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.


Do you have a #digitalmarketing #strategy” or a marketing strategy for the digital world?

July 20, 2012

I’ll admit it… I’m in my 15th year of digital marketing, wrapped inside a 28 year career of marketing. While this can make me sound like an old fart, I realized quite a while ago that I no longer think in digital terms… I apply digital concepts, tactics and measurement to marketing strategy.

More than parsing words too closely, this goes to the core of all multichannel marketing and consumer centric strategies. Thinking in terms of channel based strategies, a.k.a. digital marketing strategies, is antithetical to success. Your target audience IS your target audience, regardless of where they come upon you.

Consider the rage of discussion around data management platforms, real time bidding and web recommendation tools. Across the board, all value the input of digital signals to try to deliver better or more efficient digital media. Is this the right answer? Last time I researched the area of media consumption, I found that consumers amass about 42% of their media impressions through digital channels.

If you still believe in the “digital marketing strategy”, today’s best practice, consider that you’re looking at less than half of your cutsomer engagement to deliver less than half of their impression of your brand. How does that align to the other 58% of media impressions? How do you control consistency between those impressions?

Hope you get the point. Start thinking about your marketing strategy, and how digital signals and media can help achieve your objectives. The world is turning increasingly digital, but until you make this shift, or until 100% of your audiences impressions are digital we’ll never see an alignment between the digital marketing strategy and overall marketing stratetgy… we’ll never see true consumer centric marketing or true customer engagement.


#QuoteOfTheDay – “Don’t confuse confidence with competence or education with experience”

June 11, 2012

A departure today… this is actually a quote I came up with many years ago. I bring it up because I just read a quote from Steve Jobs and thought it similar…

“A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem.”  

He is speaking to the second half of what I point to in my quote, and does an excellent job of describing the impact of a lack of experience… too few dots to connect, end up with very linear solutions. Frankly, I don’t really see myself as an intellect but secretly hope that people reflect on my interactions with them as being smart. Connecting dots, innovating outside of the normal bounds.

I’ve always found competent people with a wealth of experience to be a breath of fresh air. Recently, I had the great fortune of meeting a person who epitomizes this, oddly enough he also has a PhD from MIT… proving a limited number of great people also have confidence and education:-)


Practice what you preach in your #advertising? Google puts money on offline ad investments:-)

March 27, 2012

I get it, it makes total sense. To expand their market they need to find people who aren’t currently / frequently using their services… to capture competitive share they need to go where their competitive set hunts. But you have to agree that this is optically weird. At least heavy up on some display ads off of your core site, or mobile ads. Here’s the article, WSJ… http://on.wsj.com/HbF3t5… Google’s spending on traditional advertising grows four-fold to $213M.


Enterprise – has the word lost its’ meaning?

March 12, 2012

Yester-year I worked to connect large direct response retailers to their first ecommerce experience – integrating commerce and content systems into “enterprise resource planning” systems (ERP). While we hear less about ERP systems these days, the point of those solutions was that it really did connect all aspects of the business… finance, inventory, customer service, billing, and more.

Today, we use the word enterprise to describe something that we either want a VC to perk up and hear, or something that involves merging a few disparate things. I read a MediaPost article today, “Enterprise DMP Will Require Companies to Merge Data Silos“, and was reminded of this point.

While I thoroughly agree with the authors premise that data silos  are on their way out, I disagree that having a larger silo is substantively better. Or, that it represents the “enterprise”. Combining more digital data for the purpose of sending more, or even better, digital messages is a great ideal but is not the right answer. Two points to consider…

  1. To rightfully use the term, enterprise, it should at least cover a majority of the average media spend, if not all of it. Combining all digital channels, the best we can see in this digital coverage is about a 25% of ad spend and 40% of the consumption of media.
  2. Consumers exhibit multichannel behavior, 70% research and purchase in different channels, online versus offline. Being better at just the online part of this equation match well with consumer expectations or marketer needs.

#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!


Is #SocialMedia a consumer haven or a #marketing channel?

March 5, 2012

adage digital facebook articleWhile reading an #AdAge article today, it dawned on me… we have yet to see how social will really play in the marketing mix. The article – “Facebook Warns Brands that Scale in Social Won’t Come For Free” – explains Facebook’s position that marketers are going to need to increase their expectations of cost when it comes to reaching the large audiences they’ve amassed. Here’s a provocative question, do consumers agree to the value exchange? Do they believe in giving up their personal information and being exposed to ad impressions? Sure, they agree to terms and conditions, but do they reciprocate that interest by clicking, buying and advocating the advertisements?


My prediction… the game has hardly started, we don’t yet know the players and it’s too early to calculate the final answer… but todays’ consumer will win.

My humble opinion… social media sites are perceived differently than other consumer tools and destinations. It’s a very personal experience that will prove to result in strained relationships as technologist and marketers attempt to monetize. Consumers add content, share it with others and increase their networks… for themselves. Intervention by external forces who attempt to shift the value equation for the consumer, from participation to monetization, will result in flight to the next “cool” thing. Search engines, blogs, portals and commerce sites have familiar business models and rather predictable consumer interaction and reception. I don’t purport to speak for all consumers but it seems to me that the familial, personal interaction with social sites serves a vastly different purpose on the part of the consumer.

I’m just say’n… but do mark this date on your calendar:-)


#QuoteOfTheDay – “There’s a difference between knowing your $hit and knowing you’re $hit!”

February 27, 2012

Some people don’t get this…  It’s OK to not know everything… it’s not OK to present that you know something when you really don’t. Find the things that you know, and then the things that you don’t know but would like to learn. Don’t dabble in what you don’t know and don’t need to know. Let it go… have some focus!


A scary, privacy embattled ad solution by any other name is still a scary, privacy embattled ad solution

January 23, 2012

I love reading the DigiDay newsletter, a great publication, but some of the articles recently have just been odd. This morning’s article, Ad Industry Want to Rebrand Behavioral Advertising, is the second in a row. Here are a few quotes from the article that caught my eye…

  • “It stands to reason that the advertising industry, faced with unease over behavioral advertising, would choose a rebranding exercise. It’s not behavioral advertising, you see, it’s ‘interest-based advertising.’ ”
  • “The new effort, done by McCann’s MRM in Salt Lake City, takes on the thankless task of educating consumers about the AdChoices icon that’s popping up in many banner ads. One thing the “Your AdChoices” effort doesn’t do is call behavioral advertising, well, behavioral advertising.”
  • “This makes sense. Interest-based advertising sounds much more benign and let’s face it creepy than behavioral.”

Rebranding of behavioral advertising is probably the right thing but the whole thought that this is the best approach is just missing the point. Cross domain tracking of consumer behavior, selling the insight to the highest bidder, is a scary proposition. The fact that it can be done doesn’t mean that it should, or that it is actually good. Leave aside the part that behavior is bottom of funnel activity, and the online channel is lamenting its’ inability to attract brand ad spend (anyone see incongruence?), the whole concept of behavioral targeting is tech based and seeks to extract value exchange from consumers in a rather insideous way.

The balance of ad tech has been, and will continue to be, technology driven and not focused on the actual engagement of consumers. The idea that behavior is a meaningful predictor of purchase intent is flawed… I once read a research piece on the predictors of buying a flat panel tv… one would think that the online behavior of looking at flat panels was a good predictor, it was number 26.

Instead of trying to convince congress and consumers that this is actually “interest-based advertising”, why don’t we start by asking what the actual predictors are to purchase intent and audience identification then back into that question an approach that provides value to consumers and not just ad tech intermediaries?


Link to my New Years resolution byline on the Demand Metric Blog…

January 19, 2012

http://blog.demandmetric.com/2012/01/17/new-years-resolutions-for-marketers-part-iii/

Here are the highlights… in three points…

1) Learn to identify and digest anonymous, semi-identifiable and identifiable data

2) Learn how to leverage customer lifetime value, or a strong proxy for customer value, in your media investment decisions

3) Learn how to better market at the customer level, this will be the trend to discuss next year!

 


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