#Facebook is making it happen with their #advertising program

September 18, 2013

adage-digital-logoWhat a difference a year makes! Facebook appears to have really turned around their advertising strategy and offering. A recent survey published in #AdAge Digital identifies some 74% of ad budgets including a line item for Facebook and most indicate that ROI has increased in the last 6 months.

The article brings an interesting thought to mind… why do we refer to ads placed in a site that is primarily social to be social media marketing? Do we indicate that ads placed on Yahoo! or through Google somewhat social media marketing? Of course note. I may be standalone here but that identification needs to change. Social media work done by brands and agencies on Facebook is distinctly different that their advertising work on the same property. The role of the efforts are different, don’t lump them together.

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#CustomerCentricity – is your customer view 360 degrees, or 208, or 151?

November 7, 2012

Quick thought… how frequently do you hear people talk about a 360 degree view of the customer? How frequently are the same people referring to a core marketing database that is exclusively offline OR online in its capabilities? This is a clear indicator of the actual range of their customer centricity.

Historically, the marketing database held insight about customers and prospects and aggregated information from many offline channels… telemarketing, POS, customer service, direct mail, and others. 15 years ago, that was pretty close to a 360 degree view. However, since the advent of digital communications channels, more and more insight has been outside the view of these assets… rendering them less valuable and perceptually obsolete. Today, with about 42% of media impressions being in digital channels, this historical vision has now shrunk to about a 208 degree view, and, promises to continue shrinking.

Contrasting this, all too often I see industry luminaries extole the benefits of a 360 degree view of the customer and refer to a solely digital solution… Yeah, that’s actually only a 151 degree view. Even a less accurate view of the customer, and typically with far more remdial concepts of marketing data and predictive analytics.

What does this all mean? Customer centricity will be illusive until online and offline marketers start sharing data and tools… communicating towards the same objectives. The traditional direct marketing folks have assets that digital marketers would be floored if they understood; Predictive analytics, record matching, cross channel campaign tools and more. However, the people who manage them frequently do not see the path to actioning these assets in the new world. Meanwhile, digital marketers are trying to build things that already exist and their vision is limited in scope, never actually seeing the 360 degree view of the customer.


Survey – Is Facebook the next Apple or the next MySpace?

August 13, 2012

In a blog entry last March, Is Social Media a Consumer Haven or Marketing Channel?, I discussed the disconnect in value exchange between social properties and their consumers. I went so far as to identify the pressure Facebook will feel when they become subject to quarterly earnings expectations after their IPO, and hypothesized the situation where they will increase the exposure of personal information to encourage marketers to spend with them. Well… the game is getting started…

Today, Digiday featured the article “Brand View: Facebook’s New Targeting Options” and identified new elements of consumer data that will be available for marketers to leverage. I’m a firm believer in data driven marketing, this blog entry is not a comment about that. Rather, I point back to my initial conjecture that Facebook will do this and emphasize that this action will end up making no sense to consumers. Opposed to content rich sites like Yahoo or Microsoft properties, Facebook has no content, consumers create all of it but don’t yet recognize that it is their content and their profile are being monetized.

Mark my words… within three years, we’ll either see a Facebook with a dramatically new approach to monetizing their platform or a dramatically smaller company. Maybe both.


#Digital #Attribution is a misnomer

March 9, 2012

The concept of “last click” is as flawed as attributing the purchase of an adult beverage to the neon sign hanging outside the liquor store. The concept of “Digital attribution” simply tries to count the number of beer signs the person saw. What about TV, bill boards, demographics and socioeconomic factors?

While reading a Digiday article this morning, “The Last-Click Attribution Dilemma“, two arguments presented by the author struck me as worthy of comment…

  1. Authors point – Brand marketers are staying out of display ads because of the inherent inability to properly attribute spend to results. Really?!? Is TV a good example of being able to attribute spend to results? Of course not. Yet, this has been the haven for brand dollars for generations. I suggest that while attribution is AN argument to this issue, the main argument is that display ad technologies target consumers very poorly and that those targeting capabilities have little to do with the knowledge and needs of brand marketers. Comscore identified that 80% of targeted ads fail to reach their intended audience. Pause for a second… yes, 80% failure. Why? They all rely upon poor proxies of the real, underlying predictive insight required… bad and incomplete data. 3rd party cookies, context and behavior are not sufficient. Individually or collectively.
  2. Authors point – focus on expanding perspective of digital touch points to do attribution properly. Three research points come to me: 1) about 40% of ad impressions occur in digital channels; 2) Forrester estimates that 70% of consumers exhibit multichannel behavior – researching in one channel and purchasing in another; 3) multichannel customers contribute 4-5 times the revenue per customer than single channel customers. Doing a perfect job at assembling all digital touch points will never be enough. I suggest it’s a false objective. It misses the perspective of consumer behavior, information necessary to support executive media mix decisions and simply creates focus on the minority of ad spend.

All of this makes me thirsty… Sierra Nevada’s my favorite beer!


Narrow solutions lead to false impressions

December 30, 2011

Subtitle: If all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail

I recently read an article in digiDay, written by the CEO of a modestly large online personalization firm. The title drew me in… “Outsourcing Data Management is a Mistake“.  As I read, I was consistently impressed with the idea that narrow solutions, while interesting, lead to profound mistakes.

An open reply to the article –

If the proposal is that better management of online data needs to drive towards online personalization, I believe the premise and conclusions of the article are too narrow. While interesting, they are incomplete. Consider this, even if the premise is executed perfectly, advertisers will still have not solved 60% to 80% of the problem. A growing portion of media is being consumed online and a growing number of transactions are occuring online, but it’s still a minority.

The root of my point is that the writers premise solves only a small portion of all consumers interactions with a brand… not all portions of some consumers. In a world where more than 60% of consumers act in a multichannel manner and bring 4 to 5 times more value (Forrester research), solving the larger problem of multichannel insight has become the new table stakes. Using the writers premise, relying solely upon online actions to drive personalization, success would rely upon shere luck that a media impression would actually be triggered by the appropriate marketing reason.

 Until we have a data management solution that leverages the knowledge, segmentation and targeting of a brand as the primary data select and targeting methodology, we’re going to be chasing after the big money with small solutions. Consumer behavior is more complex than the distillation of online data. Consumer expectations are greater. The problems marketers are trying to solve are larger.

 What you propose isn’t wrong, I feel it’s just incomplete.

Love to hear your thoughts!


Believing “data” is more than behavior

August 11, 2011

I read MediaPost on a regular basis and find great value in their content. Maybe it’s a matter of timing, having just read several similar articles on DigiDay, but I have to express my deep concern over the lack of substance the digital marketing community expresses regarding marketable data. Behavioral data is interesting and for in-market, bottom of funnel, DR marketing efforts it may even be critical; however, it is by no means the “Pandora’s Box” of insight.

The article that triggered my entry today is “eXelate’s CEO Coins Term For DMP”. A main point in the article is to call out the clever twist on the acronym that the CEO of eXelate is espousing… it’s a Data Marketing Platform, not a Data Management Platform. Missing the point, is the concept of what “Data” is, not the nuance over managing data for marketing or marketing itself. The article starts off by declaring data as being behavior. Tacoda conducted research a few years ago to test out the concept of online behavior versus the purchase of a flat screen TV… using the implication of this article one would expect that the behavior of looking at flat panels would be the strongest intent indicator, right? Wrong, it was #22 on the list. #1 was viewership of military content. You’re probably asking yourself the question, “why military?” I don’t know. People are complex beings. What I’m asking myself at this point, and trying to communicate today, is “why behavioral data?”

Behavior, context, 3rd party data, and the myriad of proprietary segmentation models are all great… though each is incomplete. Not until we start to look towards the insight that brands possess regarding their target audience will the industry start to attract the brand dollars we’ve all been anticipating. The concept of marketing data and our identification as to what it is needs to expand, to include what marketers know it to be.

My $.02


500 years of marketing…

April 12, 2011

Over the last 500 years there were very few inflection points to the advertising and marketing ecosystem. In the last 5 years we’ve seen hundreds more infection points…

In the beginning… 1440 to 1940…

  • Guttenberg invented mass printing in 1440.Yet, it wasn’t until 1704 that the first newspaper advertisement, an announcement seeking a buyer for an Oyster Bay, Long Island, estate, is published in the Boston News-Letter.
  • Fearing there may be a pattern occurring, the first convention of advertising agents is held in New York in 1873.
  • Still not knowing which portion of his advertising is wasted, department store founder John Wanamaker is the first retailer to hire a full-time advertising copywriter, John E. Powers, in 1880.
  • Not until 40 years later did KDKA air the first commercial radio broadcast in1920.
  • 21 years after that, with 7,500 TV sets in New York City, NBC’s WNBT aired the world’s first legal television commercial July 1, 1941, costing the Bulova Watch Company a whopping $9.00.

Fast forward 37 years…

  • The first recognizable email marketing message was sent on 3 May, 1978 to 400 people on behalf of DEC – a now-defunct computer-maker – This is also noted as the first SPAM message.
  • In 1990, the very first tool used for searching on the Internet was launched, Archie.
  • Then, in1993, the Internet becomes a reality as 5 million users worldwide get online.
  • In 1994 HotWired coined the term “banner ad” and sold the first clickable advertisement to AT&T

During the last 15 years we’ve seen a flood of new media and advertising options: comparison shopping, SMS, mobile advertising, social media, games. As well as the digitization of our analog world: mobile phone, Kindle, addressable TV, HD radio, digital variable print.

Five years ago, who would have thought that MySpace would now be a worn out social network? Who’s next?


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