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:


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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Social Tuesday - LBS Check Ins, Miami vs Orlando, Ignoring Social

Going to start this off really slowly since everyone was getting rowdy yesterday for the 4th of July except for my friend Gini Dietrich who said she was staying in to respond to all my comments about Google + on her blog yesterday.

LBS Check In Fails:

There was a time when I thought services like Gowalla and Foursquare would never catch on because they seemed really a means to tell people you aren't home so please rob me, or for stalkers, etc. I seriously was expecting the first serious news events with people being robbed, murdered, or possibly hounded for autographs. But this was before I got my Android Phone back in August 2010. 

But then I got my Droid2 and started the 'I will check in everywhere and post to Twitter' part of my life that everyone hates so much. Which then led to me getting my first reward last October at Chili's...Free Chips and Salsa. And then no others. I stopped sharing on Twitter except for very unique instances. And I stopped adding any friends on either network whom I did not already know. But I still check in. Not everywhere. But I do. But guess what. You are not. No one is.

Go to any establishment with high traffic. Your mall. Your favorite restaurant. And look at the check in volume on Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places. It is really zero. So the fad is over. And unless I start seeing value these businesses will go under. It's not that I do not see a use for them if they offer proper incentives. And I have seen some when I look at what is nearby. But they obviously aren't prevalent enough with critical volume of participants to really motivate anyone right now. And to me like the years 2000-2009 were a lost decade for America since in that time span the US worker was making less than when they started the decade (after inflation), it was a lost year for LBS where they could of showed us enough value to catch on like crazy.

Miami v Orlando

Miami decided to open a storefront on Facebook. While someone like Aaron Strout, with all the rational reasoning says this is a good move, eyeballs are there and why not sell some stuff if you can. I question whether the Heat are moving product on their page.

If you check out what is offered vs their own private store that gives zero money to facebook and can be tricked out in impressive ways who would prefer shopping on the Facebook Page?

In fact if you look at their wall, they get about 1,000 to 5,000 clicks of Engagement per wall post. They have 3.3Mil fans. That is a whopping 0.03% to 0.15% Engagement. That is not moving product. Of those 5,000 who click LIKE how many never leave their own Facebook Page? Most. And since the company who created the store front Milyoni doesn't share sales data we have zero proof anything was sold. Am I against extra sales this way? No, not at all. But it will never be a big driver of revenue since the store is so limited and so few come to the Fan Page directly.

Now Orlando is smart! 

If you click the little shop button it takes you to.....drum roll please

The Lie about Social Product Research:

Lastly let us get over the bullshit being slung by Facebook, Social Media Agencies, Mashable and the Social Media Talking Heads. We are not going to our social networks first for product research. I have tried crowd sourcing and it fails. Almost always. I rarely get feedback on Twitter or Facebook when I ask questions about products. It is because I am not asking my network. I am asking the small percent of my network that sees my inquiry. So of my 1300 Twitter followers if I am lucky on a good day 100 will see my tweet. Then of course of that 100 how many will actually have an answer for me? Nevermind respond.

And the latest study confirms we go to our Social Network last:  LINK

I bet when you look over that list you will agree it most likely mimics your own behavior.

In Fact Media Post published yesterday a study (totally mis-titled!) that only 25% of Consumers go to Facebook Brand Pages at least once in a month to keep up with sales and promotions. If you go to 1 Brand Page in 1 Month for this purpose that is equal to ZERO people. Good luck getting your promotion seen on Facebook. People just don't care when it comes to social networks about your Brand. Sorry. It is a flawed article. Considering we each have hundreds of brands that want us to fan them, if only 20% of consumers Like 5 or more pages this proves they are a failure. If 75% of consumers never go to the pages after all this time touting them, they are a failure. And if you think your brand is different I have proof it is not.

And I know someone will now show me the Exception like Tony Hawk on Twitter. Exceptions are great. But they are called an Exception for a reason!

The true title of the article: People don't care and don't visit Brand Pages on Facebook!

Just maybe we are too busy chatting with friends and family? Just maybe we rarely see posts from Fan Pages? Just maybe we just don't care about Brands the way Marketers say we do? Just maybe....