Ten Questions with Shenan Reed, World Renowned Digital Media Strategy Expert

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With the digital interactive world changing so rapidly, we thought it would be helpful to present the views of a world renowned expert.
We are pleased to present 10 questions with Shenan Reed. Shenan is a world-renowned digital strategy and media expert. She co-founded Morpheus Media and subsequently joined CREATETHE GROUP when the company merged with Morpheus in June 2011. As Chief Media Officer, Shenan leads the digital media group for Morpheus Media, a CREATETHE GROUP company.

Founded in 2001, within a few short years, Morpheus Media emerged as one of the top digital marketing and media firms for luxury and premium brands such as Bergdorf Goodman, The New York Times, Dior, LVMH, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, DKNY, Hennessy and The Economist, among many others. An accomplished thought leader, Shenan is active on the speaking circuit and is regularly quoted in Women’s Wear Daily, The Business of Fashion, Luxury Daily, The New York Times and Fortune Magazine.

Our CPA practice www.MediaCPAs.com serves many new and traditional media companies. We provided accounting services to Morpheus in connection with their merger with CREATTHE GROUP.


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Regards,

Jack Craven, CPA

www.MediaCPAs.com

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1. Jack:  What is the Morpheus mission and what services does it provide its clients?
Shenan: Morpheus Media’s mission is to distill the complex world of digital media and technologies into actionable strategies that deliver extraordinary consumer experiences and measurable client results.
2. Jack: What services does Morpheus provide to its clients?
Shenan: We provide the following services:
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Media Planning and  Buying
  • Affiliate and Performance Marketing
  • Web Analytics
  • Data & Shopping Feeds
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media Optimization Consultation
  • Web Design & Development
  • Creative Interactive Branding
3. Jack: Morpheus tends to serve Luxury, Entertainment and Media clients. Why do you focus on these industries?
Shenan: Morpheus did not seek to delve into the world of Fashion & Luxury, but these types of brands have naturally gravitated towards us given our experience with brand guardianship. These brands are rich in history and have amazing stories to be told, but they are also very protected, thus making them extremely cognizant of where they appear on-line. We do a great job at Morpheus of navigating the vast nature of the web and finding the best places for Luxury brands to find their target consumers.
4. Jack:  Banner advertising is what essentially created the interactive agency business, but it has lost its luster.  Is this a dead concept?
Shenan: I do not believe that the banner is dead, but rather that it is being re-imagined. To me, the opportunity to provide service through advertising and bring complete experiences to the consumer through the banner is more exciting than ever. New targeting technologies allow us to minimize or eliminate wasted impressions and as a result the evolution of banner advertising will create stronger brand engagement and user excitement than ever before.
5. Jack: How should companies use Social media? It clearly has value in communicating with customers, but can it be a selling tool as well?
Shenan: Social Media’s purpose first and foremost should be the opportunity for a brand to have a relationship with its consumer. Often times that translates into sales, but having an overt sale message in the social media space is not considered a best practice.
6. Jack: When you monitor social media and other internet “Buzz” around your clients and their products are there common metrics to gauge success?
Shenan: We are always looking at engagement first and foremost. Beyond that, it is difficult to pinpoint absolute metrics for success, because beyond engagement they vary greatly from brand to brand.
7. Jack: How has the shift from web to mobile impacted the interactive agency world?  Are concepts like web design and SEO diminished as a result?
Shenan. No, SEO is even more important now that we are dealing with mobile devices. There is an entire SEO practice surrounding mobile. Making sure that websites are designed and optimized for optimal use on all devices is still of paramount importance and is in fact is its own service.
8. Jack: When you look at a new client’s website and social media what do you look for? How does Morpheus add value?
Shenan: We look to see how easy it is to locate social channels on their website and also for the integration of content with commerce and whether or not this is something that they are currently doing. Also, are there share links if it is an eCommerce website?  Ultimately we try and find where the holes are in their strategy and look to see how we can help add value.
9. Jack:  Why did you choose to become part of CTG? How does this benefit your clients?
Shenan: Morpheus became a part of CTG for a number of reasons. When the three company founders put our heads together to figure out what our future visions for the company was, there were a few key drivers that kept coming up. One idea was to build a creative department, and that had really big potential for us and for our clients. The other idea was for us to go international. Our clients are global, and the consumer, especially the luxury consumer, travels a great deal. We needed to be able to service our brands in other markets. That’s a hefty investment to make, especially without ever having done it before, and without having built infrastructure to do it. These were two factors that initially drew us to CREATETHE GROUP. We also shared about 7 or 8 clients already, which was one of the final factors that made us realize this was ultimately better for our clients.
10. Jack: Whether it’s Twitter in 2009 or Pinterest in 2011, there’s always something that’s the “cool new thing.”  How do you determine when something is more than just a fad and is worthy of your clients’ attention?
Shenan: We pay attention to everything. We are always testing, trying, and playing to stay on top of trends and new technologies. We even have an emerging technologies team at Morpheus, which allows our employees to “geek out” over the latest and greatest trends in our industry.  We also encourage our clients to embrace new technologies as well. Some of our greatest client success stories come from the brands that are willing to jump without looking. They trust us completely, and this allows us to do our job.
Jack: Shenan thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Your insights will be invaluable to our readers of this newsletter.

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Shenan Reed, Chief Media Officer of Morpheus Media and Jack Craven in Shenan’s office.

“We … encourage our clients to embrace new technologies… Some of our greatest client success stories come from the brands that are willing to jump without looking.”

“Social Media’s purpose first and foremost should be the opportunity for a brand to have a relationship with its consumer.”

“SEO is even more important now that we are dealing with mobile devices. There is an entire SEO practice surrounding mobile.”

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