Being in an industry that is constantly evolving like social media, digital marketing and all things web related means that you’ve got to stay on top of the latest news. Along with that, we here at Venture are always striving to not only read about our industry but business, Michigan, our hobbies and interests, and things that are just plain funny. We’re rolling out a new weekly blog called the Friday Five which will include our office’s favorite articles from the past week and a short summary from each of us.

Director, Sales & Operations

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Account Executive

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Snapchat and Placed – Will Advertisers Bite Again?

Snapchat has historically provided very limited metrics to advertisers regarding how spend equates to anything further down in the funnel than awareness. The only 3 metrics available for Sponsored Geofilters were: Impressions (# of people who scrolled past the filter while snapping), Conversions (only in the sense that they used your Geofilter), and Views (impressions of your filter, via direct or SnapStories).

With Snapchat’s new acquisition of Placed, an in-store Attribution and Location Analytics firm, advertisers should be aware that down the road “Conversions” may be able to relay how foot traffic and sales was impacted by Snapchat filters!

Web Designer

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Pix 2 Pix

What happens when you try to teach an artificial intelligence to try and autofill in a face of a person with a preloaded photo set? Gold, pure gold.

A Dutch news group by the name of NPO Radio 1 has helped put together a very amusing program that attempts to fill in the image to look like an oil painting ranging from Baroque to something more Abstract, depending on your drawing skills. Unfortunately the Google translate is pretty rough on the NPO Radio 1 website, but from my understanding they where attempting to teach an AI to learn how to draw a crude line drawing of one of their personalities, Lara, by feeding it an image of her. From their they tried to give the AI a “palette”, which consisted of an image of Lara, and had real, flawed humans draw the News Anchor. They then instructed the AI to fill in the image with textures in the appropriate places. For instance, placing eyes near the top of the drawing structure, located on circles or dots or a mouth near the bottom of the image where a strong horizontal line is present.

This method of training the AI to try and recognize certain features created an image generator that is on the right track, but falls a little short as it will only ever try to backfill the drawing with the supplied photo of the News Anchor from NPO Radio 1. So if you are trying to draw Lara the images come out pretty close (for an auto generated image creator, that is) but when you try to draw anything else it turns into a abstract horror generator. Creating images that harken back to stories told around the bonfire late at night.

This concept of trying to teach an AI to fill in images and to do it in the styling of an oil painting is really intriguing. And as this is technically the second run of the series, the first rendition was using cats, there has been clear progress made. It will be interesting to see what can be created using this technology in the future. In the meantime while we wait for the beautiful automated images of the future, why don’t you try your hand at creating a lovecraftian monster!


Account Executive

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Brand Videos on Facebook Helpful in Purchase Decisions

Every time someone logs on to their favorite Social Media app, they are looking to engage with the information in front of them. They are constantly looking for something new, something interesting, and something they can share if they think other people in their sphere of influence would also have an interest in it. This is happening billions of times each day on Facebook.

Statistics show that people prefer to watch and learn rather than read and learn, so having new video assets at the ready is important to growing your brand in the Social space. In a recent survey from Animoto, 60% of Facebook users say they view at least one branded video a day, and 64% of them say that watching a marketing video has influenced a purchase decision in the last month.

When done properly, video advertising doesn’t have to be interruptive, as is the case with Pre-Roll Video which actually stops consumers from reaching their chosen and desired content they are actually looking to engage with. Rather, when Social video ads are created with a storytelling instead of advertising feel, consumers on Social Media are more likely to stop and engage with that type of video messaging – and more likely to stay engaged with your brand, which increases the opportunity for a sale.

For more information on how to successfully run video ad campaigns on Social Media, reach out to us to start a conversation.


Account Representative

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Brain-Machine Interface:  Next Big Thing? 

Technology has evolved over the years with the goal of promoting ease and integration.  It was not long ago that cellphones were introduced to eliminate the need for land-lines.  Then the cellphone evolved into a smartphone with touch-pad capabilities.  Within the last few years products like Alexa and Siri have further developed voice control capabilities.  In April, Facebook announced that they were developing a brain-computer interface that will allow users type with just their minds.

The idea of being able to “type” with your mind at a speed of 100 words per minute (5 times faster than typing on a phone) is truly fascinating and terrifying at the same time.  Sure, this would bring ease to the lives of consumers who are constantly looking to save more time throughout their days.  However, we must consider the ramifications of allowing yet another breach of privacy into our personal lives.  One might argue that the internet and social media already has the capabilities of understanding consumers based on what they search and interact with on the various platforms.

One thing that the development of technology has done is the creation of social media.  Social media allows businesses to discover their specific target market unlike any previous marketing technique.  If you are interested in more information on how social media allows businesses to be able to connect with their specific target market, please feel free to reach out!