Friday, October 30, 2009

The transfer reallocation moving about reaily of mobile retail applications

I read today that Pizza Hut has booked $1 million in sales in 3 months via it's I Phone App.

See Article

But some perspective needs to be shed on this. First of all Pizza Hut is a $6 billion company. So the amount is very small. But that being said the key to success for Mobile is getting people to Adopt using mobile devices in ways that benefit your firm. So today Pizza Hut has a clear cut advantage over other pizza delivery companies because I Phone users can easily order from them on the way home from work, or while in transit to watch football at a friends house. That will change over time and eventually there will be applications that collate all delivery places including private one off local pizza places into one App so you can compare all prices and specials and make your decision. But until then Pizza Hut has an edge.

Now for the reality. Pizza Hut can not tell how much of the $1 million was added sales vs sales they would get anyway via traditional phone call or the internet. Obviously Mobile and Online reduce over head because a person does not have to answer the phone. But the fact is I will guarantee more than half the sales were sales they would of gained anyway. So the impact as of now is minimal for ROI, but huge in terms of being a trend setter and conditioning customers to order via their phone. This benefits not only Pizza Hut but the entire Mobile Ecosystem.

It is very important that firms and agencies relay proper measurements. Often in the news 'success' is touted without any data to back it up. They conveniently omit the number of people, or the true bottom line impact of their activities. While this is great PR investors should be wary of buying stock in companies that do great PR without the substance to back it up. In this case the jury is out, but we will give Pizza Hut some kudos on their efforts and progress!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Marketers Salivating At Smartphone Potential..but is the Public?

USA Today Article

My views on this have been pretty blunt. People do not want ads pushed to their phone. Obviously AdMob feels you do. But this person said it perfectly in the comments section of the article:

Oversanitized (1 friends, send message) wrote: 54m ago
Sounds like advertisers can now literally be in your pocket wherever you go. Society acts like that's a good thing. I hate pop-ups on my computer, commercials on TV & radio. Why would I want them in the palm of my hand? I take pride in NOT being a commercial zombie.

Not all marketers and brands feel being pushy is a good for business. But for Ad Server Networks it is their lifeblood. And they will do everything they can to convince clients this is a good thing. Opt-In advertising is the way to go. If people have their small phone screens cluttered with served Ads they will leave mobile web.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Is Traditional Digital Advertising Over Rated and Over Hyped?

Center for Media Research Article on Media Post

Billions have been invested on Internet Ad Serving Networks and Companies. This was supposed to be Advertising Nirvana. That Behavioral and Demographic Targeting would reduce Wastage and enable Ad Networks to serve relevant Ads to people. But has this been achieved? Obviously based on the research the answer is no. Search actually was the answer not ad servers.

Why is this? Agencies and Marketers spend millions on research. People do enjoy advertising to learn about new products and services and promotions. They do state they wish more of it was relevant. So what is the problem? Very simple traditional branding doesn't excite anyone. Seeing a banner ad online or a billboard somewhere that just says Drink Coke means nothing even to a thirsty person. People don't like it when advertising permeates everything they do. They see Ads everywhere all the time as it is. So why should they click through a banner Ad unless it states clearly some benefit. Specifically something free, a coupon, sale, or deal, or a new product being launched that interests them. Most Digital Advertising does not offer any of these things. Digital Agency's have sold Brands that they need to put their name out there online because the Ad Serving Networks and Digital Agencies have a vested interest in this even if the ROI and Click Through Rate is completely pitiful. Yet Digital as a gateway to a website when successful is more powerful than a 30 second commercial spot because of unlimited time and creative options!

On top of all this open software communities like Mozilla not only created an incredible Web browser with Firefox, the Ad Networks had the double whammy of the creation of Ad Blocker Plus which prevents the ads from showing up on the browser. And malicious software/viruses led to the creation of No Scripts software. I specifically must turn on scripts for every single new website and I have never activated any of the Ad Networks.

So with me as an example there is an ROI of pretty much Zero. When I want/need something I search or go directly to the company I am seeking. When I want info on a Brand I type in the Brand not the category. And Ad Blocker Plus actually blocks Google Ad Words results!

Now I know you cry foul. That I am blocking Ads that support the free content that I consume and that statement is correct. But Brands don't force anyone to watch commercials on TV or Cable or look at Billboards or Print Ads. So why should I?

Now the worst kicker of all. I do feel guilty so for certain websites that I feel need support like Newspapers (NY Times, LA Times, Huffington Post, and the Economist and a few others) I have disabled AD Blocker Plus! And not only that I specifically click on Ads so that these businesses can make money equivalent to what the subscription rate is or more! And of course my clicks cost the Brands who's Ad it is money. Yet they make zero money from me. On the Economist I click on Ads from Siemens, Lloyds, Oracle, IBM, Shell, BP all the time yet give them no business because I am not interested in their message, and only interested in supporting the Economist.

So is Traditional Digital Over rated and Over Hyped? I truly feel paid content/technology is really the way to go for many digital brands and some are starting to get a clue such as the Wall Street Journal. The Financial Times has been charging for a long time is is very profitable. People will pay for quality content. Ad Networks and Brands be damned. I pay 6.95 a month for a radio show from Premier Networks that I listen to online time shifted commercial free (yet I would still pay even with the commercials because the content is that good!)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Response from General Mills/Yoplait is BS

Talk about a canned response that proves 1] They didn't read my actual letter, nor care to discuss why their decision was best. 2] They really do not care about fighting breast cancer.

I challenge Yoplait to prove that 15 million lids are returned from this promotion! That is right it would take 15 million lids to reach the 1.5 million in donations. Yet it would take only 300,000 people each donating 5 dollars online to have the foundation receive 3 million in funds if Yoplait matched!

Dear Valued Consumer:

Thank you for taking the time to write to Yoplait USA regarding your concerns about our recent Save Lids to Save Lives® program.

We have made a commitment to support the Susan G. Komen For the Cure and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®, but we feel we are also charged with heightening awareness and participation through national marketing and merchandising efforts, such as Save Lids to Save Lives®.

While we considered a number of formats for our program designed to support breast cancer treatment, education and research, we ultimately selected the Save Lids to Save Lives® program for the unique partnership opportunity it offered and for the potential it had to raise awareness. Because we believe that breast cancer has powerful implications for all of us, we wanted to craft a program that would allow our consumers to take an active role in combating this terrible disease by collecting and submitting the pink lids.

More information about the Susan G. Komen For the Cure is available by calling 1-800-IM AWARE (800.462.9273) or by accessing the Susan G. Komen For the Cure website at

Again, we appreciate your comments about the Save Lids to Save Lives® program. We hope you will feel free to contact us in the future with any comments or concerns you may have regarding Yoplait.


Rhonda Short
Consumer Services

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Does Yoplait truly want to help fight breast cancer? I have my doubts.

Yoplait Yogurt has this program that for every lid sent back from a container of yogurt they will donate 10 cents to breast cancer research up to $1.5 million. Sounds great but why do they not just donate 10 cent for every container sold? Why use the cost of mailing and the added green house gases from sending the lids and the poisons from the papermill that made the envelope to send them in? Is there some sort of ulterior motive such as reusing the lids to save them money a possibility? 10 cents off a container is quite a gross margin hit.

I would bet most people don't bother. So is the purpose then to gain positive PR while hoping to not have to donate the maximum of $1.5 million they state they will donate? They can then use the 'lazy consumer' as the reason that number wasn't met? I personally think a better bargain could struck with consumers that actually makes sense. If Yoplait really wanted great PR, to truly fight breast cancer, and to reduce environmental impact, wouldn't a special code that when entered online to the charity directly with Yoplait matching all donations up to $1.5 million be much better and more lucrative for the charity?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Twitter and Facebook just hit with body blow

Article from Ad Week

I have written plenty about Facebook and Twitter being over hyped. Not the technology, just the business model of using social media behavioral targeting for advertising. I think they are stellar technology companies and should be charging for the service just like a Skype or Google Voice or an I Phone App.

Report from Social Science Research Network

This report adds power to TV/Cable who at least can prove their demographics that watch each show. People are ok being semi-targeted but if you start using social media conversations to serve ads your running into privacy concerns. Think Bush's NSA eavesdropping on peoples phone calls. Remember we got rid of a king in 1776. We don't want one back. Remember McCarthyism and how we rebelled against that. Advertisers for some reason feel they have the right to invade people's lives no matter where they are and this view is wrong. When it is done in classy, unintrusive, or at least transparent ways people do find value in discovering new products, being given discounts or free schwag, and staying current with pop culture.

But advertising done wrong is offensive. So the idea from Twitter about people who Tweet having their location exposed to businesses seeking to reach them scares consumers. It is why Beacon from Facebook was such a disaster. It is also why SEO is so successful. That is classy BT! Your looking for something online and Google or Bing serves up possible vendors but not by being in your face. It is why Social Media is great for listening at what is being said and participating in conversations because that is seen as Altruistic vs throwing branding in their face. Think that every time someone Tweets the word Coke that every beverage maker in the US wants to send an Ad to that person saying try my drink that is not Coke. Or here is a coupon. Can you imagine the volume you would get? And if Twitter limits the Ad Serve to the highest bidder that doesn't serve the consumer because it isn't presenting all the choices.

Point of Sale will always reign King, Queen, Jack and Ace when it comes to decision making and presenting options and enticements. Not mobile or online BT.