Monday, January 31, 2011

Mobile Monday - You Must Integrate Your Content Properly

One thing that really sucks about mobile Monday is I can't take screen shots from my Droid2 to show you visually the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. It is also true that things that frustrate me with mobile could possibly be because I have not been taught or discovered a feature. Consider me the Bridge. I am not a techie. But I am not afraid of tech. I am pretty darn good at figuring things out. I do not know HTML. It's why I use Blogger. Wordpress is too complicated for me. 

The reason I say this is because consider me a hybrid between a techie and the average Joe and Jane on the street. I want things easy. I don't want to have to think. If it isn't easy for me, and if I can't figure it out, the average person won't and they would just give up. Remember that when you decide how you wish to use Mobile Technologies for your business.

I will write in greater detail about various subjects that entail ease of use or limitations for various reasons over time. But I want to discuss Social and Mobile here in relation to my post last week about formatting. LINK

I use Huffington Post and BBC APPs. They are free and they work really great. They are formatted tightly and are very easy to use. But now I wish to share a news story. It is very advantageous for the BBC and Huffington Post to want me to share a link. Especially if the people clicking my tweet are on a full sized computer screen using a traditional browser.

They get: 
1] Page Views.
2] Digital Ad Revenue if opened in a full browser from my Tweet (assuming they don't block ads).
3] Potential for ReTweets so the article is shared with others.

All great reasons to make this easy. But it doesn't work so easy when it comes to integration with Twitter for Android and Hootsuite Apps.

First of all, they do make it pretty easy to start sharing with one button popping up a list of choices from SMS Text to Twitter. BBC will shrink the link on Twitter. But not Hootsuite. Neither Twitter APP makes it easy to shrink a link once it is loaded. Huffington Post's links do not get shortened in either APP. This deters me from sharing on Twitter. The real irony is they get ZERO revenue from me using their APP. Even the APP was free! So now they block potential revenue from their content they are giving me for free? Which basically says they developed the APPs but did not then follow the path to what happens after the link moves elsewhere.

Next on Friday I started my morning at the Social Media Club Tech Valley Breakfast, and I knew my guest post on Shonali Burke's Waxing Unlyrical was coming out. I was quite excited. I am ok with the blog not being formatted for Mobile. Shonali is not some big company oozing money. And her web page has buttons at the bottom of each post to share.

So I loaded the webpage. Sized it with zoom. I clicked on the Twitter button and instead of loading into the Hootsuite or Twitter APP which were both running, it asked me to log into Twitter's Web Homepage. Which I did. Several times to no effect. Then finally it worked! I jumped out of my seat in the Auditorium and screamed Touchdown Giants! Clicked send and was stoked I just shared my guest post........until

I got home clicked the link and it went to an empty webpage. This is technically a Skyfire Browser issue. In fact none of the browsers seem simple to share links on Twitter. Talk about a big fail. Maybe it is different on the IPhone or Windows 7 or Blackberry Phones.

So I just explained much good intentions. A lot of fumbling around with a small screen. Lot's of opportunity for sharing content socially, but because Android, the Content APP/Web, and the Social Communication APP's are not seamlessly integrated it winds up a big Social-Mobile Fail.

Granted if you are a Content provider you are challenged with Mobile Technology Platforms, APPs of all sorts, possibly even your own. But it would be wise to pick the most popular platforms and ensure at least most of your readers can share the content with their networks should your content be worthy. Trust me, they aren't going to remember when they get home and you then lose a grand opportunity.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fun Friday - On Saturday - The Oatmeal

Yes on Saturday. I was out most of the day yesterday so sue me. 
No wait we already have a way to lawyer happy sue everyone including Jesus and my sisters baby Turtle society. 
So don't sue me. You can't! Plus Tort reform is around the corner. 
Like in 2086 when we finally have a 3rd party in power in this great country. 
Any country that can not only invent the word Turducken but make it a noun where it actually exists in reality is a great freaking country.

In 1066 the Battle of Hastings was started because in a fit of rage
over losing a game of Yahtzee,
King Harold II of England told Duke Williman of Normandy
'Don't make me Turducken you!'
Of course that went down as one of the worst things every to say to a French Duke,
second only to 'Would you like some Ketchup with your Chateaubriand 

Anyway its freaking Saturday and I am typing this because I feel I let you down yesterday and because I don't want to ruin your weekend, at least I wanted it to suck much less, so here I am.

So without further ado I bring you 

Thank you and a Follow Saturday to Vinny Warren who is pretty funny himself and has a great blog listed on your left.
Also thanks to the assorted blogs that prompted me,
after seeing it once again from Vinny to finally read the State of the Web Winter 2010 which made me laugh really hard.

Turducken Photo Credit to the 103.1 Morning Bounce
Chateaubriand Photo Credit to Mental Floss

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Fallacy of Impressions

(ĭm-prĕsh'ən) pronunciation
  1. An effect, feeling, or image retained as a consequence of experience.
  2. A vague notion, remembrance, or belief: I have the impression that we have met once before.
  3. A mark produced on a surface by pressure.
  4. The act or process of impressing.
  5. Printing.
    1. All the copies of a publication printed at one time from the same set of type.
    2. A single copy of such a printing.
  6. A humorous imitation of the voice and mannerisms of a famous person done by an entertainer.
  7. An initial or single coat of color or paint.
  8. Dentistry. An imprint of the teeth and surrounding tissues, formed with a plastic material that hardens into a mold for use in making dentures, inlays, or plastic models
To say I hate this term is an understatement. I loathe it. The term has earned Ad Agencies a Gazillion Dollars. Brands love buying them. It's like buying air though. You can't see them. But since you breathe air, you know you need it to live, you accept that it is there. How many Brands are clueless that after all those TV, Radio, Digital, and Out of Home Impressions it turns out in the Supermarket their box design is what catches people's eye? Or you happened to have the best Price-Value proposition of your competitors? Will an Agency tell you that? Hell no.

TV Impressions - Number of people who watched a commercial. 
But did they really watch it? How do you know. Were you in the room tracking their eyes?

TV: Well we actually did that with some people.
Chief Alien: But you claimed 1 million views. All one million?
TV: Well we extrapolated and used an algorithm. Here is your invoice.
Chief Alien: How about I cut you a check for 80% just in case some left the room?

Out of Home Impressions - Number of people who viewed a Billboard
This is highly dependent on location. Some have much higher potential. In subway cars or certain street locations do better than say overlooking Freeways. LINK

OOH: We know 100,000 cars pass by this Billboard everyday. X 30 = 3million X 1.7 passengers = 5.1million Impressions.
Chief Alien: Do you know what speed they were all driving? Because if they were at highway speed they would be less likely to see and consume your ad. Or in heavy traffic too they could be watching out to ensure they don't get in an accident. What about the 0.7 passengers. Were they looking out the window? On the Phone? Reading? Playing with the Radio/IPod? Putting ketchup on their burger?
OOH: We did some surveys. We used some sophisticated measuring technology with some cameras. Plus people tell us they read Billboards when they are driving and they are bored.
Chief Alien: How about I cut you a check for 3mil Impressions not every vehicle with 1.7 people could have possibly paid attention to our Billboard.

My point of this is not to make fun of the TV or Out of Home Vendors. It is up to you to do your own math. Whether you are the head of Marketing or a Media Buyer you have to do your own analysis. When you ask for a price quote, get the Rate and their quoted Impression numbers and decide for yourself. Include everything in your pricing analysis.

Billboard costs $50,000 for one month. They claim 5million impressions or $0.01/impression or $10 CPM. $50,000 is your cost. But if you know the location and you know you will be lucky to get half those impressions your internal cost should be double. And that is what you should be basing your ROI calculations on.

I am not saying the Advertising efforts did not work. Or should not be undertaken. But a lot goes into a buying decision. I bet if I don't see another Geico commercial for the next 2 years I will still remember '15 minutes could save me 15% on Car Insurance'. In fact in my judgement Geico could spend 50% less on TV advertising and see zero decrease in phone calls or sales. I bet their Media Buyer would never admit that.

*credit to for the definition of impressions.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Social Tuesday - Soundcloud

Have you checked out Soundcloud?

I have been a member for quite a long time. It's really a Social Music Platform. I have not explored for all forms of music but it is being driven by Electronica. Many incredible DJ's post Live Sets, Studio Sets, Remixes, Mashups, and their own music. Plenty of the Artists sell music on ITunes, Beatport and other online retailers, but put their songs here to listen to for free because of the people who are in this community are other Artists, Promoters, Record Companies, and trendsetting Music Fans.

This is your log in page. It shows the latest music uploaded, favorited, or commented on by the people/artists in your network.

The music they create and upload they can sell very easily. This is a Record Company Page.

If you are someone who gives away your music in order to get people coming to your show there is an easy download button.

You can follow DJ's and Bands, and connect with friends:

Note favorites,

Even comment on places in the songs/sets.

There is also many Apps for IPhone and a new one for Android. The Android App I have used. It is still primitive and I can't connect to my account, but it does allow me to stream through my headphones (I prefer SkullCandy), through my Droid2 Speaker, or connect to my car stereo.

Even better! Soundcloud just scored Venture Backing by my favorite VC Fred Wilson and his Union Square Ventures who are early backers of such companies as Twitter, FourSquare, Tumblr. Also note Fred's blog in my list to your left which is a must read for Startups and Entrepreneurs. Soundcloud Announcement: LINK

Editors note: I have been a fan and member of Soundcloud long before Union Square Ventures invested. I have followed Fred Wilson on Twitter and read his blog for about 17 months now. I chose Soundcloud because I was sick of writing about Facebook and Twitter for Social Media! Had to freshen it up. If you follow me on Twitter you will know I have been linking many DJ Sets posted on Soundcloud from my DJ friends and my extended music network for a very long time now.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mobile Monday - You Must Format for Mobile!

Seriously I can not make this any clearer. Wait yes I can.


If I knew HTML I would make that statement blink on and off and shoot lasers into the air. How you do this will depend on what type of Business you are. It could mean developing an App, formatting your website, or creating a mobile micro site. I am specifically talking only phones with this post.

My Droid2 has a slightly bigger screen than the IPhone. And that screen is way too small for sites that are not mobile formatted. Yes with my fingers I can zoom in to see content but seriously it is a pain in the ass. Normally when I get bumped to the browser from a link if it is not formatted I close it. Sometimes I remember to then go to the page when I get home. Often by then I had forgotten. 

Screen size is why Mobile Video-TV will never be the primary choice (at least not on phones). It will be the last choice. The "well I really want to watch this and have no other larger screen around" choice. When your site is not formatted either vertically or horizontally so everything fits when I view it and I can scroll you get put into this group with the video.

To make this very simple:

If you are a content provider your choice is formatting for the screen size or creating an App specifically for your content. NY Times, Huffington Post, ESPN all have Apps. But I have seen plenty of mobile web formatted content sites that look nice on the phone. And if I turn the phone sideways when the page is sized for that width I have no problem reading the words. Sites like the Daily Show enable you to view the videos to your screen size. Both Skyfire and Firefox Mobile Browsers lets these pop out. It is the print that usually is not Mobile compatible.

Music is very App-Centric. I have Pandora, Soundcloud, and Slacker Radio on my Droid for streaming music. Sites like are perfectly formatted for my Droid so I can pull up my browser and check the weather instantly. 

One caveat with formatting for content is the Vertical/Horizontal. I like to read before I fall asleep. Normally with my head on the pillow and me on my side. When I use NubiNews Droid App to read the Economist or the New Yorker it is a fixed vertical screen. So when I turn the Droid on its side it stays fixed so I can read it just like if I was sitting up. For the BBC News App, if I lay on my side it switches to Horizontal and then the words are in the wrong position. So no BBC in bed. Economist and New Yorker yes.

If you sell via Mobile you have major challenges. Apps can help give a very unique experience. But you can also format you web page. The biggest challenges here are do people have to Type, Press Buttons, or ever Cut and Paste? This is a big challenge for phones. You need to make it so people are not trying to use a finger nail. I have been to some sites that drive me bonkers because I have to press on some very teeny lettering. There is also screen size limitations. People can really only see a few items at a time. This makes browsing products very tedious. Especially if clicking on an item brings up an un-formatted browser page!

Amazon has a very simple and sleek App. It is a search bar. Type in the search it pops back a list. The problem with Apps vs a Mobile Formatted Site is you need an App for each platform. I know Pizza Hut and Dominos have IPhone Apps. They do not have Droid Apps. There is a Pizza Ordering App for the Droid. But when using that App I can order from many different companies. An App would ensure I don't choose another Pizza Place from within the App.

As I mentioned in determining a Mobile Strategy LINK the biggest factor in determining what technologies to pursue. Which means figuring out in what ways will make it easiest for someone to engage, connect, consume, purchase via their mobile devices with your company.

To App or Not to App that is the Question? That will be my next mobile topic.

*that bitchin high performance shopping cart is available at Target in case anyone needs one. LINK

Addendum: Yesterday Mr. Ben Kunz tweeted a LINK that had Mr. Edward Boches and Mullen interviewed in an Ad Age Article. I clicked the link on my Droid. The article came up. With the whole page fit into my Droid2 screen. The writing so teeny I could decipher the letters. I tried enlarging but then couldn't get the paragraphs to fit my phone so to read I had to slide it right and left! Ad Age Fail!  BTW Ben and Edward have great blogs to read see links in my list to the left!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fun Friday - Halp! I Been Steam Rolled by a Fat Goggie!

 Ms. Susan Hua aka @satisfeye on the Twitter shared this with me
and I can't stop laughing at this photo!

 So I had to post this. There are many more fun pictures on the site.

Today I featured Susan because over the almost year I have gotten to know her she is a very delightful and funny person, who loves Advertising and Marketing. She likes to champion great work as well as bringing insight. She is really eager to learn and always good for a laugh. She is currently finishing her second degree in Creative Advertising and is a Teachers Assistant in the Program at Seneca College in Toronto. Her first degree is in Sociology (damn overachiever!).
I also owe her my Space Daiquiri recipe.

Susan is in Cahoots with Mr. Anthony Kalamut also known as @SouthSideAdGuy who is a Professor of Creative Advertising at Seneca College in Toronto. Anthony is very passionate about Advertising and every one of his young posse I have gotten to know on Twitter is whipsmart just like him! He is pretty fun and frolicky himself even though he tries to present a more serious face. Oh and he is a big Leaf's fan.

Oh and you can find Susan at:
Her own blog:
and working with
 (damn over achiever!)

Anthony can be found at:
and he has also been a guest panelist on the Beancast Hosted by 
Mr. Bob Knorpp who is @thebeancast on the Twitter.
October Podcast
If you don't subscribe to Bob's great Podcast covering current topics in 
Marketing you should. In fact drop everything and do so now!
I Been Steam Rolled by a Fat Goggie!

Fun Friday is my take on Follow Friday. It is meant to highlight people or websites or 
freaking anything that makes life more joyous, interesting and fun.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I am in Advertising Not Public Relations

We all can learn from each other. I know we want our peers to like us, to find our work good work and insightful. If our Advertising and Marketing work does not increase sales no matter how Bitchin and Cool the work we did, we technically Failed. If my clients don't sell more from my work for them, I failed. But I am in Advertising not Public Relations. My work is free to be critiqued. In fact I enjoy using case studies when appropriate on this blog because I want to get better at what I do. I want feedback from my peers.

I try not to say 'Look what I did'. I am a background service. My clients are in the forefront, not me. So it's bad enough when people Tweet 'Look What We Did' and then when I look I go....'SO? Where is the Cha-Ching? Come back when there is Cha-Ching?'. You are in Advertising. It's about Selling! If you need a primer there is the Bible written by the Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman to help you focus on what your craft is supposed to do:

Last night I saw this tweet from David Armano, whom everyone knows, whom I follow on Twitter because 'Everyone knows him'. I don't talk with him, and don't know him. I know who he is. I have read a few of his pieces at the Harvard Business Review. I see him tweet with people I have gotten to know via Twitter in Marketing whom I like, admire, and even have become friends with a few. I know he is a good guy and a nice person.

But last night I got pissed at his client. And he then became the vehicle for me. Not sure he expected that. Could of been anyone who follows him who has an opinion.

This he should of left to Walmart. I can write a gazillion blog posts about why Walmart is bad and why I never buy from them. Trust me plenty of their workers qualify for food stamps that our taxes pay for. I will state they are trying to change their image in some good ways, but it will take a massive change in their business model for me to feel it's not just mouthpiece. So when I see this, Walmart becomes fair game. Especially on this specific topic!

My point being David Armano is in Advertising/Marketing. I would love to hear his strategies or what his work for Walmart is. Why he chose certain angles or tactics. But Public Relations is not our role for our clients. Walmart with $400bil in revenues and $385bil in costs has plenty of money to have a big Public Relations push on this charity work. 

So while the Food Bank effort is Good. They need to do more and David should be leaving that Public Relations work to his client. Because it came across to me as 'Look at how great my client is. The huge big heart' and my response was 'Really?'.

But Dave has a posse I knew I could get a response. It says a lot that someone has them.

I had every right just as any Joe or Jane Blow person in this Industry or not to have an opinion and take an issue with Walmart or any Business. And I know David is capable of handling my tweeting that comment. Not sure if he had anyone else tweet back. He surely can call me on it if I did something similar. I know having Walmart as a client is impressive on a resume.

I will use Client work as case studies for this blog. But only for Advertising/Marketing because that is what I do for a living. I do Advertising/Marketing not Public Relations.

Editors Note: David responded to my assumption which was incorrect. You can see the exchange in the comments section below. I still stand by my point of this blogpost. But apologies to David for takes 140 Characters out of Context.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Social Tuesday - Facebook the Unused Network

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Anti-Social Network
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>The Daily Show on Facebook

Gosh that sounds harsh I know. The purpose of this post is not to slam you with data like I have in the past. If you want the data its: HERE HERE HERE & HERE

There is also: 
A Nifty Infographic from Ingrid Abboud's NittyGriddyBlog from Saturday.

What I see in the news is big numbers in aggregate, but small numbers when broken down per user. On a per user level Facebook incredibly underwhelms. 600 million users who log in once per month sounds AWESOME. But we only know half log in each day. And only 30-40% do any actions when they log in (Like, Comment, Update Status). What if the other half logged in once per month? Then really it's a 300 million user network. The news always has these amazing numbers in total and no one ever breaks them down to see what they mean. And since Facebook benefits from this opaqueness with mystical aura and with up to 45% of the world suckers because of their DNA (myers-briggs), there are plenty of people who would invest in Facebook just like everyone who got suckered by the and housing bubbles.

But when it comes to Social Media Technology and Human Communication what does having such an underused network mean? 

Is it the interface? Is it unwieldy? Or is there something more primal with us the people? I can build a network and claim a ton of things. And I can cherry pick data to spin rosy images of success. But is it human nature or technology that is the stumbling block?

I view Facebook still as Social 1.0. Maybe 1.2 because they basically fixed the bugs of Myspace. But none of the initiatives they have rolled out: Open Graph, Brand Pages, Places, Deals, Events, Video etc are used enough to claim a success. Is it because the network is bad or do we just not wish to connect as much as the people who benefit from the 'Aura' want us to believe.

If Social Media Technology is a Bubble and it crashes and we stop being as interested who loses? Social Media Rockstars who give talks and write books, Mashables and every Blogger or Journalist that only covers Social Media, Social Media focused Agencies and all the Guru's, certain Venture Capitalists, and of course the people who are working in Social Media Technology Start Ups. Who creates the news we watch, read, and hear? This group! Who gets hurt the most by Facebook the unused network? This group!

Is it Technology or Human Nature? I am curious to know the answer.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mobile Monday - What is Your Mobile Marketing Strategy?

You might be confused about Mobile Marketing. It's in the Trade News a lot. The amount of options and technologies is a bit overwhelming. So I am here to help you get a better grip on Mobile Marketing and how to develop a Strategy.

The very first question you have to ask is why Mobile?
  • What can mobile do for your business? 
  • What can you or your customers gain? 
  • What are the challenges? 
  • What are the costs and processes you need to take to implement the strategy you come up with? 
  • What is the realistic return on these efforts?

Your customer needs to benefit in some way for them to even think of participating in your Mobile Strategy. You need to benefit for you to even pursue a Mobile Strategy.

To simplify things I separate Mobile into 2 distinct areas.  

1] Doing Business 
2] Marketing

Doing Business:
This is easy stuff. If you can not take a step back and view yourself as a customer ask someone you know! Ask why would anyone want to use mobile (Phone or Tablet) to engage with your business. For many businesses that have physical customers, the simple ability for someone to use the Voice Search to pull up your business on a map w/GPS like the Droid2 does is plenty. 
  • Will people be needing to access your website via mobile for information or possibly buy something? 
  • Would this be different or similar to what they do on traditional web? 
  • Are you a web based business or do you have physical locations people come to?
  • Are you using Social Communication Technologies for Customer Service and Support?
  • Are you a Media or Entertainment Content Provider?
There are many new technologies that enable companies to market via Mobile. 
  • The simplest of which is a directory listing or being on Yelp! 
  • Push advertising via banner ads, pre-roll commercials before video, in App/Games ads of all sorts.
  • Location Based Services like FourSquare or ShopKick. 
  • You might hear terms such as Geo Fences or Satellite Based Services.
  • Branded Apps.
  • SMS/MMS Text, QR/BarCode Readers which are 'Call to Actions' and often need Traditional Advertising formats to help initiate the action.
  • Social Communication Platforms can also be used to reach people on their mobile devices.  
    Once you have answered the first simple questions you can then start looking at your options for Doing Business or Marketing. Some businesses will do both. The biggest thing to know about Mobile is it is changing rapidly. The devices, networks, and technology services are coming to market rapid fire. I warn you that being first doesn't mean you win. There could be a wonderful technology you like but people never use. 

    It is really important to connect how people like using their mobile devices and then figure out your strategy to fit what people are using. For example, for every Facebook Status Update, 183 SMS Text Messages are sent. Everyone can send a Text Message. But only about 25% of the US have web enabled smart phones. This doesn't mean you shouldn't create an App or pursue Mobile Web. It means we have to look at your goals and work backwards picking the right technologies that will enable you to reach your goals.

    In future Mobile Marketing Monday posts we will cover in detail the various options and technologies to help you choose what is right for you. I will also link articles, news, and blog posts that are relevant and of interest. One thing to remember is Mobile is here today. It is growing fast. And you do need a strategy to integrate with your overall Marketing and Business Plan.

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Fun Friday - Africam

    Surprise! I know I brought up the new format and you thought I would blog about someone you think I kiss too much ass with here, but this proves I am my own Alien. And not only am I my own Alien I love Animals! Yes I am a $#%#^#& bleeding heart for animals. I think they are rad and fun and amazing!
    I wish I could say when I found @Africam which runs but the basics are they are a do gooder org that wants to bring wild animals and nature to us all so we can appreciate them in ways that before we had to watch National Geographic. They have a few cams and they are live including night vision. They are placed in animal congregation areas.
    They have three main areas and I have seen Rhinos like above, Zebras, Elephants, Birds of all sorts etc. You see them live in their natural habitat. A window into a place we all dream of visiting. When there is an animal sighting they will Tweet and alert you to click and check out what is there.

    They also have educational programs and a nice blog where people write about and post photos from their visits to the parks.
    There you go. You can have access to see a ton of animals in the wild in South Africa in a platform never before available. BTW the Rhino is not leaving he is mooning you!

    I have made a few friends in South Africa via Twitter in the Advertising world like @WalterPike and @SezLeigh and I forget they live so close to such amazing wilderness and wildlife!

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Isolate Your Message!

    Is this where you want to advertise?

    You are kidding right? Try to find the pebble in the sand. I am not saying don't advertise here. But your exposure is limited and you are competing with everyone.

    What About Here? Yes Here! Why? 

    Your Ad is Isolated!

    Your Viewers are Captive! 

    Your Viewers don't want to Look at Each Other!

    Other Great Places?

    Bus Stops, Phone Booths, News Stands - Facing the direction people walk. 
    Anyone walking towards this sign will see this sign!

    Think of places people have to wait for something. Standing around. Bored. Advertise there!
    Places people are captive yet don't want to look at each other.
    Places with high foot traffic that allows your ad to face them.

    Crowded Shelves? Uhm...Not as Good! 

    You have to be on this shelf if you sell chili based hot sauces. But how am I to pick yours? 

    Great for National Guard...Not so great for MOOG!

    My specific point is not for only Out of Home. Think of it with all your Advertising Strategies and Media Buys.  TV works (caveat if it is watched). Paying to have your Brand Logo behind home plate at a baseball game works. Flying Ads behind a plane at the Beach works! Call to Action Mobile Marketing works!

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Every Business Needs a Winston Wolfe for Marketing

    Big or small, your business needs an independent Advisor for Marketing. Even if you have a Marketing Department it would be wise to have a second voice. A CMO is supposed to do this for you. Make sure you incentivize them properly so that a potential vendor you might spend $50mil with can't buy their way in. Trust me if you don't align compensation and make sure plenty is there, people can be 'bought'. Take it from an Ex-Salesperson who has spent plenty of Lunches and Dinners and Sporting Events on my employers dime entertaining clients or potential clients. Good news is most people can't be bought, they want to stay in their job and they have loyalty and decent ethics. But you would be surprised.

    There are also plenty of trustworthy souls who don't have their own agenda besides your success such as your friendly Aliens at Sky Pulse Media . Sorry it's our blog we can plug ourselves. There are all manner of small agencies with no bias or platforms to sell you. Most have connections with people who have answers they are not an expert in. Most will come at a reasonable price.

    Think of these types as your personal Lawyer who looks after your marketing budget. There are all sorts of reward systems you can work out to ensure when you succeed they benefit too. But the real driver for this post is Bias. Monetary Bias drives most businesses. Ask any business what is the best choice for your company whether it be a product or service and most will recommend something they make or service they offer. Even if there are options that are a better fit.

    Think about it. If you go to a TV Agency the answer is More TV! A Media Buyer? More Media! I want to do Mobile Marketing Google will tell you Ad Mob. JagTag will tell you 2-D Barcode is best choice. Viacom wants to sell you Billboard space and Cable TV Commercial time. How do you know who to believe? They are incentivized to sell you their platform or service. They invested heavily to build now they need a return on that investment.

    Isn't that funny? They are focused on their ROI but how dare you try to measure your own! I have no issue with these Media Channels, Technologies, and Platform providers looking out for themselves. But you need someone looking out for you. So find yourself a Winston Wolfe.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    New 2011 Blog Structure Announced

    In an effort to make this blog more focused and to help bring more value to our readers, the content of this blog will be changing somewhat. After a big meeting on the Mother Ship and a really long and sometimes buggy Skype Video Conference with our Supreme Council in the Andromeda Galaxy, it has been decided by threat of Gamma Ray Particle Agitation Disintegration, I mean Consensus, that there should be more structure and the themes should reflect the skills that our crew of Aliens brings to our clients.

    So going forward there will be an effort to put put 3 Blog Posts per week that discuss strategy, developments, or news for the following subject areas: 

    1] Mobile Marketing -
    • Mobile Technology and Platforms
    • Location Based Services
    • Strategy that works, Strategy that is powerful, and Strategy to not use
    2] Social Media -
    • We will continue causing a ruckus about Hype and News
    • More Data Crunching to help you with reality
    • Strategies and Observances
    • Technologies and Platforms
    3] Marketing Strategies -
    • Everything Marketing all if fair game including:
      • TV/Cable, Out of Home, Direct, Mobile, Social, Print, Guerrilla
      • Agencies and Clients
      • Costs vs Benefits
      • How To's
    •  News and Developments
    • Case Studies for Success and Failure
    Lastly in an effort to reward those that have given so freely to me in various ways,  we plan to write a blog on Friday highlighting someone or a website that gives value and insight or is just plain all around deserving similar to what Gini Dietrich does on Spin Sucks with Follow Friday. There also will be occassional opinion piece explaining why we don't like a specific news outlet etc. But we have a few cutesy titles we are kicking around for you to cringe at when you see it.

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Why Livefyre is Winning Me Over vs Disqus - MicroMarketing

    I blogged in November about these 2 companies that in my view are Conversation Platforms or Conversation Engines that can power the discussions on blogs and media sites way better than anything on Facebook or Twitter for coherency.

    Since then I have used both extensively. But there is a critical difference in their Marketing, Branding and Technology Evolution that Livefyre is winning me over with. Whether they know it or not they are using what Greg Verdino , Senior VP of Strategy at Powered wrote a book about: MicroMarketing.

    The two key differences between the two are Technology and how they Engaging with Bloggers on Blogs and on Twitter. I have gotten to know Jenna Langer (@JennaLanger) and Jeremy Hicks (@JMattHicks) both Livefyre Community Managers over the last 2-3 months on blogs like Gini Dietrich's SpinSucks (@GiniDietrich , @SpinSucks), and a few other blogs. Also on Twitter for both Livefyre Support and personally as people. Plus Jordan Kretchmer (@JKretch) the CEO is not above chiming in on Twitter as well. This is personal one on one growing of relationships one person at a time. 

    They feel the best way to market and to learn how to improve their service is by giving great customer service, getting feedback, and acting on it.

    They even have a sense of humor. When I was joking with Ingrid Abboud (@nittygriddyblog) that maybe my account was singled out for punishment by Livefyre for being a Trickster to Jenna Langer on SpinSucks....

    Jordan chimed (Yes the CEO!) in explaining it was to help fix Ingrid's tech problem. Yes they put the system on hold for a minute to fix one users problem!

    All this for little old us? Who else does this stuff? Please alert Joseph Jaffe Chief Interruptor at Powered that a Funnel is Being Flipped! Plus Jenna and Jeremy participate on many of the Beta Testing blogs, not just to show off their Livefyre technology, but to learn more about Marketing!

    For notifications, I am given the choice of following the whole Conversation or just my comments. This allows you to see all the comments from your email box. Disqus default is just your comment. I myself leave the whole conversation. Yes it slams my Inbox but then I know what topics are getting the most chatter.

    Lastly technology. I asked Jenna about some features that exist and that we would like:

    You can add people with Livefyre Accounts to your conversation and even include Twitter handles to alert people you roped them into the discussion. 

    "Social mentions: We love this feature too :) People can mention their Facebook and Twitter friends right from the content, making commenting a much more social experience. It's great to see everyone using it."

    Edit Feature. I like this for Disqus. But Livefyre has a philosophy about it:

    "Editing comments: This is something we go back and forth about a lot. The reason we don't allow users to edit comments is because it allows them to change the context of what they said, which could change the entire conversation. We're looking into other ways to handle these situations."

    Video and photos:

    "Image/Video integration: If you include a link to a Youtube or Vimeo video, or pictures on Twitpic, Flickr, and others in your comment, Livefyre automatically pulls a thumbnail that links to the original content."

    Lastly I brought up monetization. I rail against Twitter and Facebook for not having subscription models. We pay for a cell phone and internet access. Why do they not have the Apple business model. They are not Content Providers they are Technology Providers! Do we get free use of Windows or MSOffice? Or a free IPhone in exchange for seeing Ads or having our private content exploited?

    "Cost structure: We are licensing our white-label product that includes advanced features like Single Sign-on. We will also have an upgrade from the basic version so bloggers can take advantage of additional tools as well. We'd love to get your thoughts on this."

    They want input. How many companies are so arrogant only they know best? Watch any interview with Mark Zuckerberg. Yes we all want to share so much that 80% of Facebook accounts are 100% private. He didn't ask you how you want to use Facebook or watch how you use it. He is telling you how to use it, over and over even when you refuse to listen and use it differently.

    Does this mean I do not like Disqus or their technology? No it does not. But Livefyre is working really hard to convert me, and others into Brand Ambassadors through yes MicroMarketing and Flipping the Funnel and no I was not paid to say this by Joseph or Greg*. Kudos where due. Maybe one day when I integrate a real Conversation Engine here you will know my answer. Stay tuned.

    *Chief Alien Note: After I had read Aaron Strout's Blog Post on MicroMarketing I included the concept in a post on September and Aaron kindly sent me a copy. I have read only half so far (bad Alien) but the concept is a good one. See LINK

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    What is Facebook's Business Model? Worth $50bil? Uhm..No.

    It seems that Goldman Sachs feels Facebook is worth $50bil. But Goldman Sachs makes money by finding suckers for bad investments and profiting off them. If I was Mark Zuckerberg and Goldman came to me with this offer I would take it.

    I have two points of discussion here. One to enlighten you. The other to get some answers maybe. The reason Facebook would pursue this arrangement with Goldman is financial and market driven. The law states that once a certain number of people own shares the company must go public. It is capped at 500 Owners. We all know to attract talent start ups offer stock options and ownership stakes. They do the same to attract investor capital. If Facebook was worth $30bil today on the stock market wouldn't they be going IPO in less than 2 secs flat? The reason they have not gone public is because the inflated values are all lies. Trust me on this.

    So what Goldman wants to set up is a way Facebook can sell parts of the business so they can hire more workers and keep their investors happy. Remember they have 2 key investments making Mark Zuckerberg sweat at night. One is from Russia valuing the company at $20bil and one is from China valuing them at $30bil. If Facebook could go public at $50bil these two men make a killing. These two men got their money from shady business deals based on Government graft and underworld connections. Though they are trying to be legit now, just like all Mafia organizations want to be some day.

    Now comes the basis for the valuations. A stock's value is based on future earnings. The only successful product Facebook sells is Facebook ads and a share of Social Gaming from Zynga. Nothing else has been a revenue generator for them of any note. And most never will for various reasons. I have already proven there has been a 25% decline in time spent on their network. The Brand Fan pages make no money for big business. Open Graph, Places, Deals nada zippo yawn. What is their business model?

    Adpulp just sent out a news letter. Only 33% of all Facebook users have become a Fan of a Brand!!! So 200mil. Of which only half log in each day. 100mil. Of which only 30% live in the US. 30mil. Whom are using the network less and less. I have already proven half the people who log in do nothing. 15mil. So you have a pool of 15 million active consumers you can possibly reach every day via Facebook. Hmmm...the Twitter looks better and better.

    You can see which companies are valued over $50bil yourself. Only 43. Is Facebook worth more than Boeing? American Express? Ford? Target? Kraft Foods? You tell me. Facebook has nothing that will prevent people jumping for better technology when it arrives. They have done it before over and over again. Think AOL or Myspace. Great examples. 

    Tell me you are not a....

    Authors Note: The 15mil people in the US I calculated represents the number of people 1] logging into Facebook today 2] have also Fanned a Fan page and 3] will do something on the site other than read ie: post a status update, comment on a post, or click the like button. All this comes from Facebook's own stats.