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10/10/2012
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From Facebook To Billboards: Thismoment Emphasizes Campaign Reach

For marketers conducting interactive campaigns across social and traditional media, Distributed Engagement Channel update (DEC4) covers Twitter cards, Facebook RSVPs, Open Graph publishing.

Oracle vs. Salesforce: Social Acquisition Face-off
Oracle vs. Salesforce: Social Acquisition Face-off
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Does your Facebook campaign belong on Twitter? Or on your website? Or maybe a digital sign in Times Square?

Thismoment has captured a big brand customer base, including companies like Coca-Cola, P&G, Sony, Levis, and IBM, with the promise of flexible delivery of messages and interactive campaigns across social media and other media. The latest release of its Distributed Engagement Channel product, DEC4, publishes rich media ad units, and digital signage, with automatic optimization for PCs, smartphones, and tablets, to sites like to Facebook, YouTube, and Linkedin. DEC4 includes a Facebook Open Graph publishing tool, which allows marketers to go beyond "like" with actions like "watch," "vote," "rate," and "comment," as well as support for Twitter Cards, that social network's vehicle for embedding rich media content.

"Our sizing capability lets you create content once and deliver it to all devices," John Bara, senior VP and chief marketing officer at Thismoment, said in an interview. Although it's not always appropriate to deliver the exact same content to every channel, DEC4 lets you specify the adjustments to be made for each format, he said.

Audi recently put that flexibility to the test with a campaign for the launch of the Audi A7, where social media users were invited to share photos and tweets on the theme of bold design and a moderated stream of those submissions was displayed on a Times Square billboard, as well as on the social sites.

[ Ready for big time social? Read Tools To Manage Hundreds Of Social Media Accounts.]

DEC4 also provides improved support for global campaign delivery, making it possible to deliver a messages in multiple languages and with the option of delegating the administration of a local campaign to people in that country or region, according to the company. DEC 4 also boasts improved content administration and scheduling tools, governance features such as consent gate integration and compliance with EU cookie consent laws, and push/pull functionality to copy and overwrite YouTube watch page metadata.


Same content, different context

Tools for publishing and distributing marketing through social media have been on fire in recent months: Oracle acquired Involver and Vitrue, while Salesforce.com bought Buddy Media and Google bought Wildfire.

Thismoment says it does business with 150 of the companies in the Fortune 500. Because big companies use multiple tools in different divisions or for different promotions, it's likely Thismoment's competitors have many of those same customers in their logo collections. Bara said Thismoment's strength is its breadth of coverage compared with competitors like Buddy Media, which he characterized as "a Facebook cul-de-sac."

Buddy, now rebranded as part of the Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud, has in fact expanded its coverage to other social networks, but is still best known for its Facebook apps.

Bara said one of the most important features in DEC4 is making sure the promotions a company is putting out on social media are also available on its own sites. "Many marketers launched social campaigns in the last few years and forgot about their website," he said.

Just as it serves content to social sites, DEC4 can display it on a company website, Bara said. After asking for technical details, I got a follow-up email explanation that this can be accomplished through manipulation of Domain Name Service CNAME records to make a domain or subdomain serve content from Thismoment's servers. Alternatively, the content can be served through an HTML iFrame. The CNAME technique requires a cooperative network administrator, but it's an arrangement Thismoment has used with customers like Toyota and has the advantage of being better for search engine optimization purposes.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)

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