Saturday, August 29, 2009

Views on Social Media

There was an interesting blog posting on Media post about measuring social media.

Five Ways To Measure Social Media

The intro was great because it rehashes some of advertisers challenges. I put some comments on the post regarding my view of utilizing social media. I truly feel getting people to send your message via word of mouth is important if you can achieve that. Actually advertising via this media channel I feel is going to be more than fruitless for most campaigns.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Google and Twitter the evil side of Mobile Marketing

It is my position that my phone is a sacred place. I will deal with mobile web advertising that is similar to traditional web. Though eventually their will be Ad Blocking technology. Mobile Advertising should be classy and valuable and Opt-In always. But Google via Android and Twitter are developing location based and behavioral targeting ad serving to invade your phone. Eric Schmidt mentioned in a Business Week interview:

What are the biggest challenges the mobile Web presents?
Let's start with the fact that the phones are not fast, the networks are not as capable, the ad formats are not standardized. But on the other hand it's very, very important to solve those problems because a phone is very personal. And so if we know a fair amount about a person, with their permission we can target a useful ad—you know, "It's Eric. You had a hamburger yesterday, do you want pizza today? There's a pizza store on the right." That kind of ad is likely worth a lot of money to an advertiser because it will generate a sale.

In other words, you send a message to the person's cell phone, saying: "Look, we know you had a burger yesterday. If you want pizza today, just go around the block"?
Right. It may sound creepy, but it might also be quite valuable. People could use advice as to what to eat and where the food is—and of course you can turn it off. So the important thing here is advertising that has value to the person is advertising that is a valuable business. That's the business we're in.

The Marketing Sensei wants to know how Google plans this as an Opt-In service vs Push Technology. And how do they know I had a hamburger? BTW this little exchange proves Mr. Schmidt doesn't really know Mobile.

Now Twitter is planning to make public your Tweet location.

From Marketing Vox:

Twitter is preparing to add an additional detail to each and every tweet published by its users: location, according to co-founder Biz Stone on the Twitter Blog.

"A new API will allow developers to add latitude and longitude to any tweet," wrote Stone, adding that with "accurate, tweet-level data" you can immediately toggle to the tweets from users in your neighborhood or city — even if you do not follow them. It would also be of use to Twitterers at events "like a concert or even something more dramatic like an earthquake."

"A small business on Twitter could potentially use the location feature to reach out to local customers, or a Twitter user hungry for pizza could search for nearby pizza joints offering specials," The New York Times speculated.

The question the Marketing Sensei has is if I turn on this feature does that open the flood gates that enables all local businesses to see me and spam me? Do I really want to be located?

Let's break down the last point from the New York Times:

A small business owner will be able to broadcast tweet to all people with this service turned on that are within a certain radius! Basically every store/restaurant can do this flooding your phone!

Now the second part. Why would I use twitter to find Pizza? if I have mobile web I can instantly go to City Search or the Yellow Pages just as easy!

So where is the unique value?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Only following 19 on Twitter and clutter just ruined the experience

I am new to Twitter. I signed up 3 months back and only recently have I started using it in even a minimal way. I had quite a few people following me who I was not following so I returned the favor. One was a music label and I log in and whole front page is 100% an update every 5 minutes what music this person is playing. ARGHHHHHHHH!

Now imagine if that was from a Brand? OMG I would become the biggest terrorist against that Brand instantly. Even though initially I signed up to follow willingly and permissively.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Social Networking and the big lie

I started with Friendster and Then Myspace was the rage. Now Facebook. And even more current Twitter is the newest in new. With all these services the same thing occurs over time. Clutter Creep. Initially it was great reconnecting with friends on Facebook. Or connecting on Myspace (I am into music). But over time when you finally have enough 'friends' you can not keep up with everyone. My old High School friends? Rarely ever see even a post from them on my front page since the initial 'Hey how have you been exchange'. And while Brands, Musicians, etc think this is a great medium to broadcast updates and news, most gets buried in the clutter. Normally I log in check my email....and just like with standard email I delete 90% of the broadcast updates without opening them. And to reach me me through updating what you are up too....if your not on my front page when I log in...I will never see it. I never check my wall so I never see anyone who is posting to my own updates.

Clutter Clutter Clutter!

And thus is the reason why Advertising is a failure on Social Networks.

In my opinion the true value of a Social Network for a brand is to reach the people outside of the network not inside...but to use the information from inside to help narrow who you send your advertising too.

Think of this scenario. Coke wants to launch a loyalty campaign. So they send a message to all their fans on Facebook. Well as I just mentioned since all the broadcasts to my email are ones I opt in for and each possibly important or of value. The fact is if I have 200 of them to go over 90% get deleted without opening. What about just posting on their fan page? Well I am fans of a lot of things but I also never go to any of those fan pages, or have so many I don't have the time. This is not a dilemma. This just means Social Networks are not a great medium to use (though they are CHEAP!).

As for damage control from attack campaigns. Well is this different than email? Not really. In reality the big worry should be search. Coke does not want someone to Bing 'Coke' and have all these anti-coke blogs pop up first. I personally do not think Social Networks are all that more powerful than TV or Blogs or even a bad write up in Consumer Reports.

The other big deficiency in Facebook is the lack of a true profile page. Their set up is very weak. It is not an information service it is a communication service.

And Brands need to understand they are already inundating us with Advertising everywhere. On TV, Radio, out of your home driving around, in stores, in print etc. So why they feel they have to intrude on every single personal space we have to be successful is because Agency's are snowing them into thinking this is the way. But really it only enriches the Agency's.

Google isn't a tech is a Media-Advertising Agency

There has been many articles in the Business News about Google and Apple competing in more and more ways. Well the answer is yes and no. Apple creates products for people. Gadgets and computers and phones. From these gadgets they make money selling software and digital products such as apps, music, etc.

Google is a Media/Advertising Business. They create applications that enable them to make money from Brands seeking to advertise. They have their own Digital Ad Server Business and their search engine is specifically for Advertising revenue.

So in reality Google is closer to a WPP, Omnicon, New York Times or Yahoo than they are to an Apple or Sony.

Recently Eric Schmidt has mentioned the reason for Android is so that Google will eventually be able to serve ads to your phone using behavioral targeting. Google also created the Chrome browser. Why? Because Firefox has Ad Blocking Software so it impacts Google's revenues (not for search BTW). And while Chrome might be promoted to 'improve' your browsing experience, it ensures all Ads Served reach your browser.

Now they are working on Chrome O/S which I am sure will be tightly tied to help behavioral target and serve even more Ads to your desktop or Laptop.

Apple makes their money selling products. Google makes their money selling Advertising. So technically in my view they do not compete.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mobile can bite you in the arse!

As I am pouring through way too many back logged Industry Trade Emails with so many ideas swimming in my head I realized how helpful or damaging the mobile web can be on people's smart phones to their retail business. The technology isn't there yet....but it will be.

Imagine going to Sears and looking for a new Dishwasher. Your budget is $600. Your decide while in the store to do on the spot research comparing 3 brands and 4 models. Specifically to see if Consumer Reports have given a thumbs up as well as any social network recommendations.

You decide that Brand X's Model 1234 is perfect.

Wow....Sears didn't even need sales person to help you with your decision.

Now the three horror film scenarios for retailers.

1] Because your doing research on Dishwashers the behavioral targeting software for the ad server alerts all the stores that use the ad server that your potentially ready to buy. And your phone starts seeing offers from competing retailers.....where you click through to compare prices real time. And you find the same model down the street for $500 and Sears who has you in their store will have to lower their price or lose the sale.

2] You immediately go to Google/Bing and punch in Brand X and the model and a list of all prices come up for this Dishwasher that also includes total price including shipping and you find a retailer out of the area but for the total cost for $550 and you show the salesperson at Sears and demand the lower price.

3] You immediately go to the 'IAuction' I Phone App software. You enter in the brand and model and a real time auction takes place between all the retailers carrying the Dishwasher with the lowest price winning the sale.

Even worse.....Imagine going to Nordstrom's and trying on clothes. And immediately putting out to bid the exact same ones, you place the order with Macy's and say thank you to Nordstrom for letting you try on their clothes, but sorry they lost the bid.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Perfect Ad Perfect Content Perfect Placement

So recently I was walking around NYC observing advertising content and placement. The true problem with out of home advertising is it is impossible for one person or even a small group to physically choose where their signs and billboards they rent are in relation to reality. Though Google Street View can help. But just imagine trying to make an out of home buy in NYC. How many signs and locations there are, and coordinating the actual installation of the ads!

So even a massive media buyer has to rely on small fry to get all this work done at a reasonable cost and timing.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I am a cynic. I truly feel that certain locations are very effective to get your message out. But this one was the winner.

Dr. Scholl's ad for the gel inserts. Placed outside a bus stop on 3rd Ave that is seen by anyone who just walked up the gradual hill heading south. Anyone who has spent time walking NYC know that your joints and feet ache after pounding the concrete...and that pain starts sooner and hurts more as you get older. So as I am returning from a long walk to a book store and having jogged central park in the AM....just as I am burnt and feeling the pain....there is the Dr. Scholl's Ad!

Nearby there was an Ad for America's Next Model which is great for their narrow demographic (wasted money to have me included in the CPM), the Dr. Scholls really reaches it full demographic which is anyone who has walked up the hill and feels their feet could use some loving!

That being said....I will guess the actual choosing of that window was probably random from a map of all available properties in the city at the time of the buy.