Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fact is...No one watches Ads on YouTube....

I love the end of year Best of Series that comes out for advertising. 


Now before you click remember the following:

  • There are 250mil consumers age 14 and above in the US.
  • Views are not Uniques. The are total views. 
  • A major national brand will pay millions if not billions to reach 100 million plus people more than once.
  • A Superbowl Ad runs $3 million+ for a 30 sec spot to hopefully reach 60 million or more people at one shot.
  • Major Brand Advertising Budgets run from $25million to over $1 Billion per year.
  • There are hundreds and hundreds of ads created each year and put on TV and YouTube.
  • Often in my opinion up to 50% of the YouTube views for advertising spots are by people in the Advertising/Marketing/Media Business.
  • Views are accumulative. Meaning over the course of 1 year (or less) so most of these were not viral.
  • Lastly views are world wide. Not US. So now think 2 billion consumers.
With all this information now when you see that the number 1 ad which was the VW 'Force' ad which was cute, entertaining, 'DOESN'T SELL THE CAR!', but also a Super Bowl ad that cost $3mil+ to air, reaching 45 million views should be easy. In fact in my view it underperformed.
Many of the other spots were more organic in their boost but they all aired on TV.

The number 10 spot for Adidas if you click has 4 million views. So in 1 full year they accumulated that number of views. So if this spot aired 7 weeks into 2011 it only had 88,888 views per week which is almost zero divided by 250mil or 2bil.

Summing this up since YouTube is world wide, and we have no idea about unique views, the FACT is:

NO ONE WATCHES ADVERTISING ON YOUTUBE

Monday, December 12, 2011

What is Wrong with Advertising Trade Publications?

Continuing my What is Wrong series....I came across this today in Ad Age:

What Have Chevy, Pepsi, Sony and Verizon Gotten Out of 'X Factor'? A Look at Their Social-Media Lift

Now I have been having fun watching Tom Moradpour and Shiv Sigh on the Twitter live Tweeting during X Factor the last 2 months when my Twitter time coincides with the show. I joke with Tom about being a good company man and asked if his bonus is tied to his Tweeting, which made him laugh.

 

Now it seems the sponsorship has garnered Pepsi a bump in Social Media Chatter. Being a Pepsi fan I am happy about this. But the reporting proves why Advertising/Marketers have such a hard time proving the money invested shows a direct pay off. There is no mention if Pepsi sales are up due to the extra chatter from the X Factor. I am not saying there isn't. But why doesn't Ad Age ask this question?

 

I am used to sites like Mashable being softies and side stepping the nit and grit of business.Just like People Magazine side steps the same tough questions when they cover Celebrities. But no one takes Mashable seriously. At least none of the smart people.  But Ad Age is the premier Advertising Trade Publication for Print and Online. The only other Trade Publication I have full respect for is Media Post. The rest have very shoddy reporting standards.

 

And it does a disservice to the industry to not hold us accountable for growing sales or at least showing some sort of correlation with what we do. When Pepsi came out with the Refresh Project and bowed out of the Superbowl someone who I will not name who works at their Agency of Record told me the purpose of the Super Bowl spots is to have people talk about your brand. I called Bullshit on that and still do. The purpose is to sell and if you refuse to sell don't take the business. So last year after the spots with people assaulted by Pepsi cans I called for Pepsi (and still do) to find a new creative shop because they are being hurt by their current one (sorry and I respect the incumbent but they are failing their client in my view).

 

So who pushed for the X Factor sponsorship and is this turning into sales? That is the important missing link for this campaign and for the reporting by Ad Age.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What is Wrong with Social Media

I am writing this because there was a nice opportunity for Facebook to show that Viral is real and that people Share. But they blew it. And I wonder if the reason is because the reality would tarnish the view of Social prior to their coming IPO.

Yahoo News had this article:


They gave a few numbers. The top two were shared almost 600,000 times. Not bad. But I bet there were 79million stories (articles) in 2011 and with 800 million users 600k as number one was shared by 0.075% of their user base.

And when I look at Shares on Social this is incremental views for media. Meaning the majority of their readers will not come from Social and a prime website for news needs a few million readers per day. So this proves that from Facebook at least a prime news property will maybe get a boost of thousands of readers. Not enough to move any advertising dollar needles. In fact whenever I look at the LIKE button shares for major news sites rarely does that number exceed a few thousand and normally is in the hundreds.

What is worse is Facebook published this list and gave NO SHARE COUNTS! Why is that Facebook?


And that is what is wrong with Social Media. All fluff and no substance. This was hyped by Facebook. Yahoo picked it up. And it has ZERO MEANING TO ANYONE! It tells me nothing really about whether or not I should view Facebook as a platform that shares content enough for me to include it in any marketing strategies other than buying Facebook Ads. And this to me is further proof that Facebook really is just a big Display Ad network no different than Yahoo.

And the icing on the cake? This post by Facebook has 892 Likes and only 1392 Shares. VIRAL? I think not. Sharing even? I think not. People do not share on Facebook. They just post and read. And that is the a fact.

BTW please share this on the Twitter ;-)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Clutter that is Facebook

As I peruse offers by businesses seeking help in Social Media I still see a Mad Rush into Facebook. Everyone wants Fans and their Pages to Sales Drivers.


What does this make Facebook? Like the Internet. Can you imagine trying to reach people on Facebook when they all have Liked 200+ Fan pages and have 200+ friends all vying for their place in the news feed with their posts? Facebook likes this problem. Their solution buy Facebook Ads.

Facebook is a black box. No one knows what really is going on. The new Insights show a client of mine with 2600 Fans reaching 900,000 people via the page. Uhm..right. 

As more and more businesses try their own pages, vying for the same finite pool of people hoping they can reach them the odds are against you. Which brings us back to Search. And your own website. And your great product at the perfect price point matched with exemplary customer service. You will be surprised how this strategy will trounce anything you can ever do on Facebook. Assuming you can even get through to people on Facebook.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Social Media – Observing vs Participating



I find it ironical that an industry like Advertising and Marketing which loves to segment everything, then segment it again has not done this with Social Media. Social Media technically covers many communication platforms and technologies.

For a Brand to truly have a relevant strategy they need to understand there really is just two key components for them, and then the platforms and technologies used are determined by their needs, goals, and budgets.

Observing

Every Brand needs to Observe. This has to be mandatory. There is so much data being generated that is publicly accessible in the Media, Twitter, Blogs, etc why not use it to your advantage.

1] Set up Google Alerts for you, your industry, your competitors.

2] Using various platforms you can collect data from the Twitter

3] Using high end platforms like Radian 6 or Vocus you can collect from all online media.

This enables you to keep up on industry developments, what your competitors are doing, and what your customers and potential customers are saying.

REACT REACT REACT!

Don't sit on this stuff. You can respond to quality issues, glean priorities for product improvements or even expanding into new markets (existing markets you are not in or creating new ones!).

The only issue is you need to be adept at understanding the data and what it means. I hate sentiment. I feel our current tools do a poor job of deciding what is positive, neutral, or negative. But you should be able to see patterns in the data.

Participation

Not every Brand has to participate via Social Media. Facebook Brand Pages, Twitter Accounts, Blogs etc are only of value if you commit to them. You can't just set them up and let them run. You have to go all in and dedicate resources and time to engaging with your customers and people interested in your Brand or Products.

Pros:

  • You can talk directly on these platforms with your customers.
  • You can build brand loyalty.
  • You can field simple customer service issues.
  • You have easily reached touch points.
  • You can publicly react when things go wrong quickly.
  • You can have content and information spread on the web. 
    • I hate the word Viral. Nothing goes Viral. But even if your Fan and Follower base help expand your reach and awareness by 1% this way isn't it worth it?
Cons:

You are easily reachable and accessible.

This is a double edged sword especially for Facebook and now G+
Upset customers can air their dirty laundry they have with you at length and in public on YOUR page. If Johnny blogs about your poor quality who will see it? Almost no one. But he comes to your page and then tells all your fans? Be prepared. Or like the new Fox News G+ page that got bombed by hundreds of people slamming them at once.

Notice the Pro's outweigh the Con's here. But the Con is a big one. Many large companies prefer people call for customer service or email just so that each person does not have a public platform like they do on a Facebook or G+ page. If you are a best in class Brand you can handle the random pissed person. But what if you are chronically experiencing problems with many upset people? Here is where my peers will disagree with me. You can spend money on employees to react via Social Media...or you can spend the money fixing your product or service quality problem. You be the judge.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Klout is only Klout

There is a lot of discussions on Klout and Social Influence lately.


Some folks like Danny Brown are upset they can not leave Klout and that they measure him against his will. You should check the lively discussion because as a champion of Opt-in I agree with Danny.


A Letter to Joe Fernandez of Klout


This blog has brought up the silliness of measuring. As well as questioning the validity of it's data measuring. I will talk about influence in general in another post. I want to break down Klout and discuss should you use it? Is the information valid?


Klout measures your reach and if your web presence is such can you be influential with the spreading of links, tweets, data etc. 


The very smart Tom Moradpour who is the International Marketing Director for Pepsi says:


"Klout measures Klout"


Meaning you must decide if the definition of what Klout says it is measuring and what you feel it is, is of value. 


Currently some Brands and Businesses are reaching out to people with high scores and having them test products hoping for cheap exposure. But is this smart? Are these people really influential?


Guess what? No way to ever tell. I have in the past brought up the dark underbelly of the Twitter. There are hashtags that are sexual, offensive, etc. Go to the #TCOT hashtag and you will find people calling Obama bad names, that he is communist, that he is an N word (not all but they are there). Go to the Liberal equivalent #TCOL you will people who call Bush a Nazi.


Klout has no clue if the 'network' the person they are measuring is safe for your content. Would Gerber want to learn the folks high in Klout on Babies were networked with child abusers and have this come out? There is no way to determine who's network is safe, clean, acceptable for your brand.


Lastly Klout combs your Twitter feed and if you talk about a topic you are considered an expert. This has been really amusing. I am an expert on Rick Perry now. Why? Because I was on Twitter during the last debate and Bill Green and Ben Kunz were live tweeting and making fun of the lunacy. And many tweets had Rick Perry. And I responded and retweeted. Now I am an expert on him per Klout.


Many people have topics of expertise that are really funny. Danny Brown on Sheep for example. So we have no idea who is really influential, who is an expert, who has gamed the system or not. Because it can be gamed.


Klout is just a tool. You can take it seriously or not. I personally joke that I want my score falling because I am a rebel and seriously I don't care what my score is. But that doesn't mean you can't at least use the tool and decide what it means. You can check a person's credentials to see if they are what Klout says with a simple Google search. But then what value is a service you need to do so much extra work just to find if the data is real?


Monday, October 24, 2011

New Eye Tracking Technology for Digital Ads

The Economist had this interesting article about new technology that can be used to track your eyes when surfing the web and decide if an ad is working or not in hopes to get you to take action. Kind of spooky and if it is not Opt In I see major privacy issues and lawsuits over it. I know I would make sure the WebCam lense is always covered. LOL


One point they bring up is the 50% of Ad Spend that is wasted but no one knows which half. (Try 75% of Ad Spend is wasted is probably reality). Why I feel this will not improve things?

First of all it benefits Ad Agencies that half the spend is wasted and their clients don't know which half. Would you as an Agency reduce your billings 50% even if you knew how to fix this?

Secondly there is only a finite amount of time we all have. Now you could theory that the improvement of seeing the right ads will keep the ad spend equal. But I am not so sure that is true.

Third I use Firefox and block all digital ads except on some very specific sites like the Economist. Firefox is used by about 30% of the population and the Ad blocker Plus Ad On is downloaded about 50mil times a year if not more.

Lastly we don't like digital ads. The average click rate is 20 times for every 10,000 page views. I don't think new technology can fix this. The flaw in the advertising business is the ad people say 'It's the ads. If we just create better ads or better technology people will LOVE advertising'

It is the biggest crock of shit ever said yet they truly believe this. It is a crock because 1] they never ask consumers if this is true and 2] if they did and started ranking things in life for importance Ads will always come last.

For example how do you want to spend your time:
Exercising. Watching TV. Reading. Cooking. Travel. Eating. Sleeping. Sex. Sports. Outdoor Activities. Advertising. Shopping. Talking with friends via Social Media. Going out to bars or partying. Spending time with family or friends. Playing video games. Surfing the internet. Entertainment.

Now you go rank where Advertising is going to show up.

Yep. Last. But Ad people refuse to believe this. And it is why not only are they suckers. It is why Brands who hire Ad People for their marketing, waste half their Ad spend each year.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Social Tuesday - Big Business Social Media

Today going to discuss Big Brands (Global, National, and Regional) and what I feel they should and shouldn't do via Social Media.

Big Brands need to reach millions and millions of people today. And again tomorrow. And next week. They need to show an immediate impact on their sales and revenue streams where the baseline is hundreds of millions of dollars if not billions. They often have thousands if not tens of thousands of customer calls a day. I proved last September how customers of big brands are not being reached via Social Media. None of this can be achieved completely via Social Media.

So what can they do via Social in order to impact their business?

1] Listening - all those Tweets for your brand and your competitors, all those Facebook posts give you insight for free (minus the cost of listening tools).

2] Customer Service - while you will never be able to handle all your customer service via Social Media you can handle some. And guess what? While 99.9999% never want to talk to your brand on social often if at all...we surely want you to have a Twitter Account or Facebook Page for quick complaints and you had better respond.
My friend Christopher Baccus at ATT says they handle about 2% of the volume for customer service via Facebook. You might feel this is insignificant but if you pay the same workers who handle inbound 800 calls this saves a ton of money on an 800 line!

3] Marketing - You will never be moving the sales needle via Social Media Marketing for a big company. Get over it. Anyone who says you will is a big fat liar. But you can add to your sales. Even if it winds up just 1/2 a percent for a billion dollar company that is $50mil dollars not bad?

It's fun to do some campaigns via Social but careful about this. Facebook owns all your data. Every page post, every bit of content you run on your page they own. Who says Facebook isn't selling the Pepsi Page insights to Coca Cola and vice versa? In fact don't you expect that considering their business model is exploitation? Your competitor with deep pockets can mine all this data just like you. What about hosting an E-Commerce Store? Again Facebook owns and sees all that data do you really want them sharing with your competitor who bought what? In fact the Miami Heat had such a store. It was not an E-Commerce play vs an Impulse play. Well they took it down. Wonder why. Lack of sales? Mistrust of the platform?

How do you market to people via Social Media yet keep your cherished customer data and conversations? Easy...use Social Media to funnel customers to your proprietary website. Instead of funneling people to Facebook for an APP that is hosted on Facebook....have the APP funnel people to your tricked out campaign website hosted by you the Brand. Buy Facebook ads that bring people to your website. Post the links on the Twitter. 

View Facebook no differently than Yahoo for marketing. All it is, is a big display ad website of people spending time there. You want to reach a lot of people. You must use traditional and digital Advertising/Marketing in conjunction with Social Media to really make Social Media Marketing work for you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Sentiment and Context Quiz


One of the biggest strengths and weaknesses about the Social Web is the ability to listen and track sentiment across the social web. Last Super Bowl Mullen Agency and Radian 6 held the Brand Bowl 2011 tracking the Tweets of the participants. If you Tweeted with the #BrandBowl during the superbowl to talk about the commercials, Radian 6 analyzed the results to gauge sentiment and pick the winners of the commercials.

The strength of Social Media is the tools enabling a business to basically have a personal web bot crawling around looking for everything that is said about you on the web: Twitter. Some Facebook. You Tube. Blogs. Media. Etc. This is powerful stuff for any business to have. I personally do not feel it should replace what you are currently doing, but instead add to it. Social Web is a free large scale focus group even if a little wild and wooly.

The good part is people for the most part talk fairly freely. The bad part is this is still a very small part of the conversation. There are 182 SMS Text Messages sent for every Facebook update. High School students average 3000 texts a month so obviously that blows away their communication on Facebook. And even text is a small % of their communication. We text, email, phone, talk in person, sit watching TV/Movies, surfing the net. This one and two way communication is easily 98% of our total communication during each day. Always keep that in mind. That 98% can kill your brand and you will never know it is coming. That 2% gives you a chance...just a chance to get out in front of a crisis or react to something positive like an unexpected demand surge.

But can we always trust the output of that 2%? Doesn't that depend on the input? If you asked people the day before the Super Bowl their view of Chrysler and then asked only the people who saw the commercial with M&M the day after what their view was I bet there was no change at all for most people. My own were poor quality, poorly managed, placing the guy who almost destroyed Home Depot in 5 years in charge only to have him lead you into bankruptcy wasn't smart, boring lineup, tax payer bailout. Commercial was cool but a waste of money in my opinion.The Brand Bowl would not show this. It just shows the reaction to the commercials vs the Brand itself. In which case the output was very positive for the commercial vs you can not extrapolate it to the view of the company/brand.

Now here is a short Twitter Conversation between Bill Dorman , Margie Clayman, and myself. (psst you should follow them on the Twitter if you do not, they are really smart, witty and kind people...#justsaying). What would you or a computer make of this?


From this what should Fig Newton take from this or what could they take from it? Anything? Would Klout think we are all Fig Newton experts? Would Fig Newtons think we really like them? Would Radian 6 or similar view this as positive or negative sentiment? Couldn't it be both? My comment could go both ways. What if Bill and Margie were being sarcastic like me? What if only one was and the other was pyscho for fig newtons they loved them that much. How much of the social web out put is like this?

Will Radian 6 pick up from this blog all the Fig Newton mentions and how would they be counted?

Sentiment and Influence are tools. You need the human element to decipher reality. Sometimes that reality is that you can not arrive at reality from your data. If the data is faulty, biased, corrupted etc, the output will be the same.

This is easy for a small business. Having to analyze real data that is manageable vs a mass of data can be done by a human. What about a Global Brand? They could easily have 500,000 or 1 million or more data entries to comb through each day depending on what is being monitored. If Bill. Margie and my conversation and this blog post was even part of 10,000 Fig Newton mentions today, do we trust the computer output knowing the other 9,997 could be just as flawed?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why Facebook Tracking is Different from Google or Verizon

Yesterday I announced I left Facebook over ethics, their push for forced sharing, and how they want so much of my personal information like my cell phone or credit card. I was really upset that they will be tracking every user even off Facebook without permission or alerting people. I don't care what the Engineer who responded to the Mashable Article said. He was bullshitting out his ass. You can not bullshit like that and be taken seriously. Facebook does nothing by accident.

Which brings me to why this is different. Google has been fighting censorship in China. They even shut down their site there for a long time moving it to Hong Kong. Most of the phone companies pushed back against the NSA wiretapping during the Bush years. 

Facebook is not this type in my opinion. Their business model is exploitation, vs one that is user centric. Ever Brand makes money providing me a valuable service. Facebook makes money exploiting my content and life. They need the page views and sharing because they wake up with stained underwear from freaking out about 'What if we IPO at only $20bil and lose all that investor money'. If you don't think this isn't on Zuckerberg's mind 24/7 you are in denial. This is a huge weight. Now go to the Fortune 500 and look at the companies worth $20bil or more and ask yourself based on Facebook revenues and unknown profits would they be equal value. I bet 95% of the companies when analyzed are worth more than Facebook when using the fundamentals of sales, assets etc.

When I talk on the phone Verizon doesn't share with my friends the content of that conversation.

When I use Google and surf the web (which btw the average person spends over 90% of their web time NOT on Facebook) they do not share with my friends or my boss where I was and what I did.

My Internet Provider is also my Cable provider. Time Warner isn't telling my friends what show I am watching.

I am not having brands intrude on my life from these activities. I am not getting emails from Brands because they sold my Gmail address. I am not getting telemarketing or even direct mail from any of these providers.

But Facebook wants to do all this. And they are going to do this and make it hard to opt out of this sharing. They will allow your friends to go to your profile and see you are watching a show on Hulu unless you change the privacy settings. How many really want this?

THAT IS THE BIG DIFFERENCE!

Lastly Facebook still thinks we want this Brand Experience and yet the people have been rejecting this for years. Look at what the people are doing you numbskulls! People are engaging with brands as less than 1% of their Facebook activity. BUT guess what? They do engage with Brands every day online and off social! Every day. On their own terms. Not Facebook's. Not a brand page terms. If you ever look at the Open Graph LIKES on non-Facebook sites the participation is technically zero. If you have 500k Views of a page and you get even 1000 Likes that is 0.2% which is zero. I see lower participation rates.

And since it's value to me as a Comm Platform has diminished over the last 2+ years, and with the clutter from the network making it impossible to truly stay in touch with friends will I miss it? Not sure. But with the 40% drop in time spent per user per day since April 2010 I am not the only one who has seen the value proposition drop significantly. And while I am a proponent of Social Media we use it a lot less than the Social Media Experts, Mashables, and Networks want you to believe. A Lot Less!

Don't forget we live in a Marketing/Advertising/Media bubble and while you might think I am just a Facebook hater, I do use advise on it, but it is a small part of the marketing mix. And since my career won't be affected if Facebook succeeds or if it fails I have a pretty objective view vs many of my peers who are desperate for the success of Social Media because that is what they built their career around.

My career? I help brands sell product. That is what I do. And I am free to do it with the best tools and strategies out there. Direct Sales, Social Media, Marketing, Mobile, TV, Radio, even Print if it fits their needs.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Social Tuesday - Why the Chief Alien Left Facebook

Recently there has been a lot of talk about the changes to Facebook. I have heard the Timeline is really slick. I wanted early access but the only two ways I could do this was by giving Facebook my cell phone number or a credit card. No way jose. I trust Facebook less than I trust Russia to have free and honest elections. 

Recently I received from Spotify a bunch of invites that I could send to my Facebook Friends. Now really all they need is access to people in my network using Spotify. They don't need access to everything about me and my friends. But here is what the APP requested:


I mean really? Maybe Spotify should come into the shower with me, or my bed when I am with my girlfriend? All APPs ask this and you are crazy to allow it.

Then the changes came out for F8 and for once Mashable allowed an article damning of Facebook:

Facebook’s New Features Might Not Be as Private as You Think [UPDATED]

Which got me really aggro. Tomorrow I will blog about why this is different than Google or my ISP from seeing everything I do.

So to me this was the last straw. But I have two problems which make leaving Facebook harder than for most people. Most of my real life friends (meaning people I spent hours and days and weeks and months in person hanging out with) are in Los Angeles. They are not on the Twitter or Google Plus yet. I have a lot of them. About 200+ because I was part of the underground music and art scene. I risk losing touch with them.

Secondly is my career change to Marketing/Advertising. How can I consult on Social Media if I am not on Facebook, at least while they are still the prime network. I obviously have many blog posts analyzing the network's value, reach, success and failures. I even run a client's Brand Page!

Big dilemma. But then I read these two Blog Posts and the Media Post article with reader comments:

Some thoughts on quitting Facebook

Those analogue days

 What Do You Think of Facebook Timelines vs. Profiles?

And so I decided to go for it. I removed the cookies for Facebook from Firefox my prime web browser. No longer will I be freaked out by seeing my Facebook log in on non-Facebook websites. I created a dummy account to run my client's Brand page and I am using Chrome only for that purpose. And this is allowing me to still see what Brands are doing. My job is to help my clients sell. If that means using Facebook while the network is still alive I am ok with that. I also would be ok if Facebook turned off tomorrow. It will not hurt my client's businesses.


I also feel this is Facebook's Netflix moment. My feeling is forcing this over sharing is going to have people leaving. But will G+ or Diaspora or another network take advantage of this opening? I don't know. Meanwhile I am using Twitter, G+, Email, SMS Text, and the Phone. 


But as I pondered this move I thought how much am I really using Facebook personally? Not a lot. I update my status 1-2x per month. Most people do once every 4 to 5 days. I comment on posts from friends. But only 2-6 a day. I LIKE a bunch of brand pages but even with only 300 friends and 150 Pages my feed is so cluttered I rarely see anything from Brands. In reality I am not benefiting much from Facebook. And what I found interesting was yesterday at the OMMA in New York one of the panels brought up the fact that teens and millennials actually choose private methods of communicating far more than anything. Specifically text messaging. There are 182 SMS texts per Facebook status update on average. For that age group it is double that. Which has me thinking for all the listening and engagement on Social Media it is what is said behind your brands back that will make or break your brand. Not what is said online publicly.


And thus today is my second day of my life after Facebook. When is yours?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Mom is an Uber Influencer Klout will never find!

My mom is funny. She joined Facebook specifically to keep up with friends and family. I think the only brand she has Liked is one of my clients. She doesn't use any Facebook features or games except for Instant Messaging.

One issue I have with the online influence businesses is the lack of connectivity to off line actions. They really just measure online and even at that in my opinion they pretty much all fail miserably because they don't know who people are. But since 99.9% of our daily communication takes place privately or in non-social networks: Email. In person. Surfing the internet. Phone. SMS Text. Media (watching TV is communication, viewing a Billboard is communication) I feel they miss so much to be effective. And I don't see this ever changing.

Kind of like telling someone to focus on reaching customers through Facebook when 9 in 10 US consumers are not reachable today via Facebook. Do you want to negate 90% of your market?

Which brings me to my loving mother. She logs into Facebook several times a day (see yesterday's 85/15 rule).She sees photos, updates, so much from people in our extended family, people we used to know back on Long Island (folks moved), and friends where they live now. She never shares this information online. But she TELLS EVERYONE in person and by phone. She is one of the 75% of people who log into Facebook and take no actions (This is a fact based on the activity numbers Facebook has published over the years) each day.

If you can reach my mom you can reach A LOT OF PEOPLE. But fact is she will never have a Klout score and no influence rating company will ever know that my mom has Uber Social Influence. Yet my mom shops til she drops. She is the exact demographic Brands need to reach. She shops online. She opens email advertisements. She reads circulars and loves sales. She even clicks digital ads regularly, gasp I know rare breed but they exist! Yet you will never find her via Klout or Peer Index or Social Media. She tells people what she bought all the time. She watches a ton of TV and goes to the movies. She is one of the most social people I have ever known. She shares all of this. But off line! She can't be reached on the Twitter or a Blog or Facebook.

Dear Brands you can reach my mom. Many brands do. But they do it the old fashioned way. And they reap the rewards. How are you going to reach my mom?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Social Tuesday - Are We Really That Social?

I don't think so. In fact I think we are incredibly less Social than Facebook, Twitter, Mashable, the VC's, and everyone else who is involved in Social Media, Social Media Marketing etc will have you believe.

I like to do real world investigations. Like being at a party with 50 people and being the only person using Twitter. And NO ONE was using Facebook Mobile. Or Checking in at a Minor League Baseball Game with 5000 in attendance to find only 11 people checked in total between Foursquare and Gowalla. Or checking out Places on Facebook and finding so few check ins.

And how come we only watch 0.5 Videos per month on Facebook? How come when you look at retweets and shares the volume is so low compared to the number of...ahem...supposed participants. It is a hard fact. For every 2 log ins to Facebook today there will be only 1 action (Status Update, Link Share, Comment, or Like). ONE ACTION per two people! That is not very social to me. And if one person takes 2 actions then 3 people took NO ACTION.

I truly believe in the 85/15 rule. This is not something I crafted but it is true 85% of all Digital Advertising Clicks are done by 15% of the online population. I feel the same holds true for Social Media. 85% of all Activity is done by 15% of all users. And the activity is so huge from this 15% that the numbers look AMAZING!

I have sliced and diced the numbers over and over here. This blog is littered with proof of my hypothesis. Actually it is more a fact than a hypothesis now.

Twitter and Facebook are nice and give you a forum to engage when customers want that. But you will never engage with 99% of your customers via Social Media. At least not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not ever. Get over it. The faster you stop lying to yourself (Thank you John Falchetto very timely) about the power of social media to be harnessed for your business the better. It helps your business. But it will never drive your business. The success stories for Social Media for Brands and Businesses are so few and far between they are the exception vs the norm. And yes everyone is going to tout the exception as proof it works. Happens every time I bring this up.

So what does this mean for your business? The nuts and bolts to me for a small business marketing plan will be focus on PR, local print/online media, and community outreach efforts. Yes this includes PAID ADVERTISING! Make sure your website is nice and that the SEO is in place. Look for places to list your business that make sense like Yelp! or Professional Directories. And yes integrate Social Media Tools where it makes sense. But don't lose focus on what really drives your business. Great product. Great service. Right price.

And most important...treat every customer like they are gold.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Size Phallacy



Yes. Phallic. It is the perfect intro to this post. There is this hypnotic haze that clouds people's minds and you can lift that haze with pure logic. 

We have this view that huge, mega, market leader, invincible in one niche or market as a guarantee of success in other markets or niches. Why do we assume Google or Apple should be able to succeed with Social? Or Microsoft with so many Windows machines and war chest own the mobile screen too? Or Facebook will succeed with Deals or Location Based Services or Commerce?

Take a company and peel back their skin what is their core product/niche they own. Very few own more than one. Almost none own more than 2. In fact it would be an incredibly rare success for a company to pull off more than 2 massive successes. So the chances of what everyone assumes, such as with 700mil accounts Facebook has to succeed in monetizing this group, even in the face of all their failures. Look at Google's failures. Wave. G Phone.etc. Or the fact Microsoft got into mobile years and years ago seeing the future and yet failed to achieve their goals. Apple tried social.

Get that Phallic Mindset out of your head!

It is rare a Company actually can say 'I am so big I can crush you' see Microsoft IE vs Netscape case study. Notice Microsoft can't do that with Mobile. Get out of that mindset. Look for what is BEST IN CLASS and not what is BIGGEST IN CLASS. It is more likely Facebook will never succeed with Deals, Places, better Digital Ad Targeting, Monetization etc. They excel at growing their user base that likes to share some photos and stay in touch with little snippets of worthless information. They rock at that! But what else do they rock at? Not much.

And we all know that it is rare to have a massive dominator (Google Search v Bing)  vs many competitors. But even with search Google sees cracks in their dominance. Microsoft's browser dominance is over. And Facebook is experiencing this too now. Life Cycle is short in Social.

And that is good and ok. If you put all your eggs in Facebook you need to move some out. Look at the big picture. Continuously seek better ways to market, platforms that work, technologies that look promising that will help you achieve your goals.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Social Tuesday - Why does everyone use the Facebook 750Mil user number?

This is the biggest load of horse shit ever. They never say how many people you can reach today on Facebook. They say there is 750mil users. Well considering in the US the average user logs in 23 times a month. And of course many people log in more than once. So there are many heavy users. And many more casual users. You can't reach casual users. There are maybe 25 million active US users on Facebook today doing something. 1 in 10 US Consumers.

SO YOU CAN"T REACH 750 MILLION PEOPLE ON FACEBOOK! 
or 200 MILLION ON THE TWITTER!

What is your business? Unless you are a media company most of the users are never ever going to be customers. If you are a small business, say a restaurant in Albany, NY or Des Moines, IA what does 750 million users mean to you? It means less than Diddly Squat!

As a small business, the type of business will determine the radius for potential customers. And the number of Facebook users in that radius is all that matters. And guess what? That data DOES NOT EXIST! Well I bet Facebook will give you some data if you want to buy Facebook Ads. But they will not give you that data if your strategy is a Brand Page. How do you know how many people you can possibly connect with on Facebook that can be customers? For MOST Businesses your street sign and store front will always out perform anything you do on Facebook. ALWAYS!

If I see another presentation or media material from a Social Media Agency, Guru, Mashable, etc saying 'With 750 Million Users.....' I am going postal and showing up at their offices and throwing dog poop on their desk because that is what they are dog poop for lying. Because I hear small business owners throwing these numbers around casually like they actually mean something to them.

Do you ship to Pakistan? Mongolia? No? Then why do you want to reach those users in those countries? And the only way you can reach people on Facebook really is with Facebook ads which are more expensive and perform 50% less successfully than traditional digital ads. And guess what? The average Facebook user spends only 31 minutes a day on the site. Down from 55 mins in April 2010. Why is that important? A digital ad network can reach people online during the 87.5% of their 4 hours online or on Mobile. While Facebook can only reach people on Facebook.

Think about it!

BTW Dear Bob Hoffman the Ad Contrarian. I am sorry. I can not believe I just supported Digital Advertising but over Facebook and Facebook Ads....it kicks ass!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Time is the Bane of all Marketers and Brands

You are not that important. Get over it. Really. Get over it. The quicker you deflate your Brand Ego the quicker you can really focus on making sales. I wrote about this in December. Time to revisit. LINK

The fact is we have 24 Hours in a day. In that day we will with work, sleep, eating, socializing, etc. All sorts of activities. As a Brand whether online or off line you are competing for people's attentions. Yes much of marketing forces their way into your face. TV Commercials. Bill Boards. Direct Mail (even if you don't open the mail you see who sent it to you).

Meanwhile you have businesses like Facebook, Vitrue / Likeable, Social Media Agencies, Social Media Guru's who tell you where people are spending their time and that you can reach them there. This is a flat out lie obviously. You can't reach people on Facebook. You can reach a small number on the Twitter. People don't want to see you. They don't want to talk about your coffee or your car on your terms. They want it on their terms. End of story.

It is really hard when companies like Facebook and Mashable bullshit people out their ass with crooked numbers. 700 million users on Facebook? That is the biggest crock of shit since crocks of shits came into existence. To be included in that number you need to log in 1 time for less than 1 minute during a 30 day period. Facebook refuses to say how many only log in once. Or twice. How much time most people spend. Because it hurts their brand and their IPO efforts. I have deducted by number crunching that less than 20% of all Facebook users are responsible for 85% of all time spent and content sharing. In fact for every 2 people who log in today there will only be one action taken (Status Update, Like, Comment). So obviously if one person takes two actions, 3 people then take no action.

In June I covered this using the numbers from Compete: Why Math Really Hurts Facebook

I like to tell clients to do two easy things to bring them back down to earth. To prove we don't give a flying shit about 99% of Brands on Social Media (unless we are pissed and need to call them out).

1] Spend the day noting all the brands in your life that day. I bet it is way over 100. From your clothes, to food, to businesses you patronize, TV/Entertainment you consume, Websites you visit, News Outlets, etc etc etc.

They all want to talk to you right now. How many do you want to talk to today or this week? 1? 4? 8? I bet I just maxed you out. So what makes you so special that out of 100+ brands in someone's day that you are so special? There is a reason the average person only engages actively with 4 Brands via Social Media in their life.

2] Secondly and even more important. Go through your day today and observe all your activities then start ranking them in importance. Then figure out where 'Engaging with Brands via Social Media' is going to fall. Guess what? Possibly Dead last. Right above sweeping out the garage but right below scratching that itch on your ankle.

Let's make a list:

Sleep. Work. Eating. Reading News. Watching TV/Movies. Playing Video Games. Going to the Gym. Chatting with friends or family on the phone, text or email. Shopping. Chatting with friends and family via Social Media. Sports/Hiking etc. Cooking. Reading a Book. Sex. Partying. Travel. Listening to Music. Showering. Brushing my teeth. Getting dressed. 

All of this takes priority in my life over 'Engaging with Brands via Social Media'. You will never capture but a small % of your customers and potential customers. This does not mean ignore them or don't use the platforms. This means you need a reality check and figure out the real value and how to use these platforms. They work. But not in the way Facebook, Mashable, the Vitrue's and Likeable's, the VC's and the Social Media Guru's are telling you they will.

Don't believe me still. Spend your day asking everyone you meet how many brands they engaged with today via social media. I bet most say 1 or less.

We just don't have the time for your Brand on Social Media. We will buy your product. We will go to your website and shop or browse. We will go to your store and shop or browse. We will watch/consume marketing that is forced on us (or at least zone out like during boring commercials). But we don't have time for you on Social Media. THIS WILL NOT CHANGE! So get over it. 

Focus on having a great product, service, quality etc at the right price point, delivering something people need or want.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where Klout Fails

Obviously Klout has done a superb job of being the defacto measurement for online influence. But often I think they miss out on a lot of reality because they are only measuring such a teeny fraction of online behavior.

But recently when comparing my 50 Klout score to three Klout rock stars with 75, 77, and 82 respectively I found something very interesting. If you look at gross numbers they have far superior numbers to me. But as if you take mentions, retweeters, and retweets as a percentage of followers I have better numbers.

Meaning a higher percentage of my network is doing something in reaction to my tweets and participation with them than some Uuber Klout people. So while my network is smaller. I have much more significant Influence on my network than they have on theirs.

75 Klout


 This network has 13.8x more followers than me

77 Klout


This network has 5.3x more followers than me

82 Klout


This network has 15.4x more followers.

Just take my numbers and multiply it by these numbers and you will see 
my influence on my network in general is greater than their influence on theirs.
The point of this exercise is to have you think deeper about what is influence and just maybe the higher the score does not mean higher the influence. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mobile Monday - For APPS - Design Design Design!

I really hate blogging out of frustration.

I recently had my Droid2 die of electrical failure. While it was only 11 months old Verizon is fighting the warranty, which is really a Motorola issue. Previously I had brought it in to Verizon because it was buggy and they had me reboot. That kind of worked. And I was amazed all my APPs reloaded on their own. WTG Verizon.

The real issue with the Droid2 is Apps run without your permission and you can not turn them off. Sucks battery power and memory. Well I learned that for a new phone your APPs do not all auto download. Good news is you can purge the dead unused APPs and start fresh. I love News APPs. I use BBC and Huffington Post all the time. They are solid APPs.

So I found two new ones I wish to use as examples of what not to do. The LA Times APP and the Guardian UK APP.

The LA Times:

Really nice APP. In general it formats to the screen nicely and even has a setting to increase the font size. But it fails in the most important of all the functions for a News APP. The sharing feature. I say this because the APP is Free. I can read all the LA Times for free. Yes they have an AdMob banner ad and right now I see it is for Chase but that is not the same as Print. Not the same for the Web Version (though on the Web Firefox users can block all Ads). The trick with News APPs is sharing. If I share the article and it pops up a link anyone who clicks get's taken to the LA Times Website. This gives them a chance as display revenue and possibly convert new readers to come back.

Here is the failure: 

First it does not include the LA Times Twitter Handle in the Tweet automatically. This is a big fail and they are missing an easy way to earn new followers. Secondly is if I want to type anything added to the tweet when I open my keyboard it does not rotate to match horizontal. Seriously, it stays fixed so you are typing on one plane and the box is vertical. Lastly there is no send button. I have to do it from the keyboard. All that money spent and they have a huge fail in my view.



Next is the Guardian UK:

Their APP geez where do I start. First off it requires downloading. Why? I have no idea. No other news APP requires me to download the issue. The are all cloud based. This is very bizarre and shame on the 3rd Party Designer or Agency. But now it get's even more bizarre. It loads articles for the Web not Mobile. So when fit to the screen the font is so small you can not read it! Yes a News APP that you can't read! So what is their solution? You get to open it in the Browser which then it is formatted perfectly. Which brings me to my next question. Why not have the articles automatically open in the browser then? And why do you not have a settings option for this?


On a positive note the Guardian does have an excellent Share Feature which it uses the Droid Software for. But if I can't read an article how do I know I should share it?

So basically two very good news companies are hamstringing themselves with their mobile APP. If an APP is hard to use or frustrating you will not use it.

What APPs are you frustrated with or have major design flaws?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Social Tuesday - Death to Marketers! Long Live Marketers!

I am writing this post out of anger, and angst. I know. Best frame of mind to be in right?

I love Marketing. It is my second career after B2B Sales/Business Development. It fascinates me to no end. In some ways in large scale it is more complex than say the Missile Defense Program. Imagine having to come up with the Marketing Strategy and Buy for a blockbuster film with a massive budget. Having to figure out not only the content but the platforms and where those will be. How can someone in an office in NY or LA know when they buy placement on 1000 billboards nationwide where they all are located? Or all the Bus Stops and Bus Wraps etc etc. You also have to get everything set including any cross promotions all to run at the right time to maximize excitement to see a film in the movies and if you fail your client could lose millions. No pressure right?

And we all would agree we are consumers and like learning about new products, services, brands etc locally and nationally. Even if Brands are not the focus of our lives like Marketers want to believe they are, I am ok with this disconnect because we are performing a service. In fact I wrote about this not long ago:


But with the emergence of G+ I get angry at what I have seen all along. This view by Marketers that they have an inalienable right to market to us anywhere our eyes go. I mean there is marketing being sold on the plastic deodorizers that sit at the bottom of men's urinal's at bars! 

Currently Twitter and Facebook enable us to market in some way shape or form based on the current platform format. Twitter because it is public. Facebook while Brand Pages, Places, Open Graph, etc have failed miserably to drive sales or awareness beyond a very small percent of the Fan base, you can buy Ads on the network. You can't reach me because I block almost all digital ads except from some very specific websites I care about and wish to help them with revenue like the Economist. But I never click on Ads. And anyone who knows me, knows I hate Facebook for being Hucksters, Exploiters, Shysters, and Slimeballs. So I surely am not reachable on Facebook by Marketers.

But now G+ is coming out and Marketers are insisting they have a place there. And that is BULLSHIT! Buy a Digital Ad if you want in. But I am not bringing them into my world there. I can already find them when I want how I want 24/7. Just like Telemarketers crying over the Do Not Call Registery like they have a right to call me at dinner time there is a lot of Social Media Marketers, Agencies, and Talking Heads scared shitless if they are locked out their Fraudulent Gravy Train is gone. No more books and speaking engagements shoveling shit for money are gullible business owners. No more fame and fortune. No it will be back to reality!

Two great posts on the G+ Marketing Fraudsters including some of the biggest names in social being taken down and exposed come from:


and 


Fact is Social Media is a Revolution of Interpersonal Communication Technologies. It brings together people and is great for networking and socializing. It is not great for marketing! Youtube videos, Fan Pages, Twitter Accounts, nothing has scale. You can't reach people like you can with TV or Billboards via Social Networks. And we do not have an INALIENABLE RIGHT to Market via these platforms!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mobile Monday - Check Ins are Dead. Next idea please.

Location Based Services:

The Check In is Dead. There I said it. End of story. Nobody check's in on Gowalla, Foursquare, or Places. They just don't. The value proposition is not there yet. No matter what anyone or Mashable says.


Great example. This Cheese Cake Factory on Long Island always has an hour plus wait. You are looking at hundreds of customers per day every day. I estimate 150,000-200,000 customers per year. And they have 46 Check-ins?

Let's visit Foursquare:

The Colonie Center is one of two regional Malls. It has Macy's, LL Bean, Barnes and Noble, Sears, Cheese Cake Factory, a Movie Theater w/ IMAX. On one average day this mall easily has as many people as the total check-ins for Foursquare. The Cheese Cake Factory is always packed just like the one on Long Island. If the 1348 check ins was just for one year nevermind the 2+ I am sure it was listed then they get less than 5 Check-ins per day out of the 400-500+ people they serve every day.

I recently was at an Tri-City Valley Cats game which is the Class A Houston Astro's minor league farm club. They have a gorgeous stadium. Seats 4500 people and has standing room to allow 7000. I have been there twice. Both times seating was sold out. Both times less than 20 people checked in on both Foursquare and Gowalla Combined. 

Initially it was a novelty. Well as we all can say we have observed Check-in's uploaded to Twitter are down dramatically. I have always felt for LBS to work Brands/Businesses need to have a platform that allows me to come to the store (or just outside), Check-in via 3G not satellite and have a discussion on why I should come in. Send the circular to my phone. If I can have a unique identifier that connects me with past sales history for a customized special deal. But just to say I am here? Not happening.

Obviously if we knew about a deal that required a Check-in we would check in. Why are brands not offering deals? Because they don't have too! Business is just fine without them. And what would have to be offered to get us to pick one place over another? A bribe that is probably bigger than what the business wants to offer. If Foursquare or Gowalla or Facebook really wanted this technology to take off they should be the ones offering loyalty programs that connect my visits and what I buy to some reward. This way it isn't a one off give away and makes me earn a good reward that gets me excited. 

It was nice getting free Chips and Salsa at Chili's back when they ran that special for checking in on Foursquare. But really Chips and Salsa? Something I can get free at a Mexican Restaurant?

The point is, read the news. The news says almost 50% of people now have some sort of Smart Phone. So why is no one checking in? Would you tell a client they must be using these technologies? When they aren't working yet? Observe reality, Then decide whether what is being shoveled your way is the truth, a fib, or just some stinky cow poopy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Social Tuesday - Thought Leader Round Up!

This has been quite a week. The discussions around Google + have migrated from Google + itself to carpet bagging, gurus, and love.

Gini Dietrich had her blog on fire yesterday when she took a stand against people claiming to be Google + experts after just 24 days of public beta release of the platform and charging for seminars, webinars etc.


On Danny Brown's Blog there is a great guest post by Olivier Blanchard:


Today Shanan Sorochynski on Waxing Unlyrical shares how the new G+ network has evolved so far in her personal and work life.


Geoff Livingston who has been beating the Facebook death chant now which is refreshing since he is brilliant wrote a great piece: 


And last but never least Mr. Ben Kunz who is often the smartest man in any room once again wrote a killer piece:


All great and thought provoking reads. What should be taken from all this is several things. There will always be people seeking to make bucks even if at the expense of others. There will always be new social networks coming into play and we had better get used to it. And no social network is too big to fail, or so smart they can't.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Social Tuesday - Bad News for Facebook, and it isn't Google +

This Center for Media Research article on Media Post highlights some really bad numbers for Facebook and maybe debunks how social we really are on Social. I am always surprised the industry media's never catch this stuff or connect. With all the press and valuations about Facebook. 142 million US consumers visited Facebook in the Month of May per Compete.

I was shocked when I saw a stat that for every Facebook Status Update there is 128 SMS Text Messages sent. And the Average US High School Student sends 3300 per month! They are not updating their Facebook status this often. They surely have access to Facebook. It is not a true real time Communication Platform like Text or Twitter.

The stat everyone will cherry pick because they like to lie is that 92% of the Social Network Users are on Facebook. Without asking how many are active on Facebook.

So here is the numbers for the Average US Consumer who is on Facebook. 

Only 51% log into Facebook every day. 

The rest are much more random. It is my view anyone who logs in every other day is going to be REALLY hard to reach for marketing unless you send private emails. When the user logs in if they have 200+ friends they will have 300+ status updates and I doubt even half will get read.

31% are highly active which says that  45 million in the US are on it everyday being active. 29 million log in for a visit. But this also says of the remaining 70+ million barely use the network.

In an average day on Facebook:
15% of Facebook users update their own status.  
Only once every 6.67 days. Obviously we aren't telling much about our day to our network.

22% comment on another's post or status.
Only once every 5ish days we will comment on a post on Facebook.
20% comment on another user's photos.
Once every 5 Days we will comment on a Photo

26% "Like" another user's content.
 We only Click Like ONCE EVERY FOUR DAYS! Is this not proof Facebook isn't viral? Or that we are not active. You have to tell me in a network filled with real friends as well as semi-real we only see one post or item to Like every 4 days? Not even sympathy LIKES?!!!!

10% send another user a private message.
We obviously aren't using Facebook for email since we send a message once every ten days!

Towards the end they show that most Facebook connections (vs say Twitter) are real life connections. So you would think since you know 90% of your network personally on average you would Like more content and be more active on the network. But obviously the reverse is true.

So you think you can reach people on Facebook for your business. Good freaking luck! Better chances of picking the Tri-Fecta at Belmont. I am not saying don't have a Brand Page or have one on Google + if they allow them. But be realistic about things. Your customer is not on Facebook. You have some customers there but not most. And you want to reach most, not just some right?

Still value the traditional and proven Media Channels. They work. Social hasn't changed anything when it comes to marketing yet. You still have to work to reach your target customers.