By now, everybody knows that customers to Yahoo!, Facebook, Google, MSN, NY Times, WSJ, etc. are not the visitors. Advertisers are the customers. All these sites make money selling advertising. Over time we learned, placing ads on Facebook is much less effective than placing them on Yahoo!, WSJ or even MySpace.
How come? Wasn’t the narrative that Facebook knows everything about us? That they unlocked the gate to the holy grail of marketing? The frictionless sharing paradigm will lead us to the golden ages of marketing, including fountains of youth and unlimited budgets.
Think about what you do all day and what you share on Facebook. (Forget about the few exceptions that share everything.) I bet it’s less than 0.1% for 99% of all Facebook users. I would even bet it’s less than 0.001% for for 98% of all Facebook users. You do thousands of things today and you may share 1-2 posts daily, if you’re a heavy users.
Compare that to major sites. They’ve been around forever. Some, like Yahoo!, Google and MSN, have their own email product. You read news on Yahoo or MSN, never on Facebook. If you want to find a local movie, you visit Bing. If you want to see TV listings, you go to Yahoo! While so many people proclaim Yahoo! is already in the coffin and rotting away, have a look at the rate of interaction on some of their sections. More people search on Yahoo! than on Facebook.
Since Yahoo (and all these other major sites) are connected to massive ad networks and ad exchanges, they track what you like, what you do, where you live and understand more about your real digital life than Facebook could ever imagine. Google didn’t build Maps and Google Documents to help you through your daily life. They build all these tools to understand each user better.
Facebook doesn’t have acces to that information. Yet. That’s why I get these silly ads.
I don’t care about any of these products. Ever.
This doesn’t mean the future is a black hole for Facebook. The future might be all rainbows.
The present? A different story. When brands tell me they want to increase their Facebook ad spending dramatically in the next 6 months, I wonder if it’s because the bandwagon is coming through their town or because they see real business results. Sure, there are brands that are successful using the Facebook ad project. The majority should be looking for other (”OLD”) targeting tactics to get good results in the short-term.
Tags: advertisers, behavioral targeting, Facebook, Google, interactions, MSN, NY Times, Targeting, yahoo
When you stay up late enough, you encounter the most bizarre things on TV. Let’s take Shapewear, the Wonderbra of obese people. As the commercial says “It takes away 40 pounds.” Not really. It provides a perception that you weigh 40 pounds less. But what about the reality when you take that thing off? Ooops, haven’t see you 40 pounds lately.
Or, the Mashable headline: Old Spice: The archetype of a successful social media campaign. Yay, Social Media, winning! Conveniently forgetting the fact that Old Spice spent a huge chunk of change on introducing the campaign at the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. This was more than just a good idea going viral. This was a brilliantly planned campaign. But, like Cisco, many brands/agencies want to believe in viral marketing aka creating a video, putting it on YouTube and hope for the best.
Perception is not reality. It’s just the perception of reality, not reality. Just ask anyone involved in the financial crisis. Or the majority of homeowners.
The marketing industry tends to embrace perceived truths with an amazing speed: The year of mobile – Was it 2008, 2009, 2010 or 2011? Maybe 2012? Viral Marketing. Location-based apps. The Web is dead. TV is dead. Radio is dead. Print is dead. Everybody is dead. Behavioral Targeting works. Sponsored tweets work. We often accept things on face value because it’s more convenient for us. A little digging might change perception and confront all of us with reality. How can somebody say “Display advertising works” when 99.9% of all ads are never clicked on? How can we anyone recommend Facebook ads when their performance is utterly abysmal?
When you follow the perception of truth you will head down the wrong path. Better follow the truth.
Tags: behavioral targeting, location-based apps, perception of reality, shapewear, social media, sponsored tweets, truth
Unless you lived on the moon, you realize the global economy is struggling because most corporations are not constructed to produce any real value. They are designed to maximize shareholder value while stakeholders are getting squeezed to improve the bottom line and introduce as many efficiencies as possible. Add to that corporate welfare, Fed and Treasury policies, regulations (or lack thereof) and you end up with a toxic mess of an ongoing banking crisis, mind-numbing landscapes of mini malls, toxicity in assets, the environment and the overall capitalistic world we are living in. And, while people are crowding the bargain bins, corporations continue to develop cheaper ways to satisfy the need for the bargain. Interestingly, when you produce a mediocre product/service (create thin value, as Umair Haque calls it), the price is all what matters. When you create real value/thick value, price becomes a tertiary consideration. Call it awesomeness, call it being amazing, call it being a linchpin.
With a few, rare exceptions, advertising has focused on creating thin value. Rather than inspiring people with marketing for products that add value, most of marketing/advertising is focused on brainwashing people into buying stuff that makes no difference. Just another item I can use and throw away/forget about effortlessly without considering the implications for the rest of the world. (Labor Conditions, Environment, Export/Import Structures)
Now, let’s look at the advertising/marketing industry. It’s not a dying industry but an industry in deep trouble. We are not considered partners, we’re just another vendor that sells questionable value. Media Buying has become a commodity, media planning to follow soon. The people we market to are busy tuning us out because they don’t feel marketing creates any real value. While we continue to communicate to people as they were still consumers, they are busy producing, communicating and building networks. We have commoditized our industry to death, starting to hop on a dangerous death spiral. Just like the whole economic system.
Advertising is just one pillar of the economic system we’re living in. Advertising can’t change the world or make it a better place. But, as part of a new economic system, advertising can be an inspiration, an artistic expression of the paradigm change. As an industry, we need to focus on the drastic changes the economic system is going through. We can safely say, the end of creating slim/thin value for profit is fast approaching. No matter how good your strategies/tactics/ideas are, unless you create real value for society with your products and services, you will fail in the long run.
My headline “Why advertising professionals need to be economic professionals” didn’t imply you need to watch Bloomberg all day, read each article in the WSJ or get a degree in economics. Most of what you read or see there is just an expression of times almost passed. All of us need to understand that our whole economic system is transforming and changing into something much more substantial, sustainable and human. Advertising is just another expression of this change. Please work, create, add value accordingly.
Tags: Advertising, behavioral targeting, bloomberg, Brand Experience, Business Management Practices, Co-Creation, Collaboration, economic system, Human Business Design, Shareholder Value, Stakeholder Satisfaction, Stakeholder Value, wsj
This post was first published on Jack Myers’ MediaBizBloggers site.
Last week’s Monaco Media Forum with the theme “Mobilization” was a fascinating event filled with superstars of the media, advertising, VC and emerging technologies world. As usual with conferences of this magnitude, the most insightful conversations took place outside of the main event center.
It is pretty apparent that the advertising/media industry continues to optimize ways delivering relevant messages to people: Data warehouses, behavioral targeting, and contextual targeting – you name it. While the powerhouses of that industry shared the main stage, emerging technology providers and VC’s are starting to build new tools that focus more on the intent of people.
Advertising faces a race to the bottom: studies have shown that the least desirable customers click on ads and paying people specifically to look at advertising is likely to catch lower income people with time on their hands – not a good option for marketers. Sure, we’re getting better at delivering relevant messages to people but the success rates of our marketing efforts are fairly low and the privacy questions comes up more often. Which leads us to the question: Where are we going from here?
The Intention Economy
A more effective way of engaging with people is to build tools that engage both parties (customers and vendors) in ways that work for both. While CRM systems are very one-sided in their benefits, ask vendors to bear the burden of the whole engagement and don’t allow customers to engage on their own terms, VRM systems (Vendor Relationship Management) help customers to be equipped with tools that transform them from followers in the marketplace to leaders. Let me give you an example:
Location-based apps are the big craze in the emerging media world right now. I visit a place, check-in and the marketing tactic is to receive special offers from the place itself or competitors. The VRM idea would be different: It’s noon and I plan on going to lunch in 10 minutes. I declare my intent to restaurants within a specific radius, even specifying my budget and the size of my party. Restaurants have now the opportunity to engage with me during the next 10 minutes to send me specific offers, based on my intent. Clearly, brands have a real captive audience for a limited amount of time and don’t need to waste any advertising inventory with guesswork.
VRM used to be an intellectual framework, nothing more. The Monaco Media Forum convinced me that entrepreneurs are starting to buy into this concept and building the necessary tools to bring VRM to life. I saw apps and sites that are based on the VRM model, and I’m convinced that the end of data collection for advertisers (Foursquare, Facebook) is near. The future is bright and the future is based on intent.
Tags: Advertising, attention economy, behavioral targeting, emerging technologies, intention economy, media, mobiliztion, monaco media forum, Stakeholder Contribution, Stakeholder Satisfaction, vc, VRM
Image: Courtesy of 24.media.tumblr
I’ve been blissfully married for quite a while now but I still remember this specific date from hell: She was gorgeous. She had the same interests than me. And through a mind-numbing dinner, she only talked about herself. Her concerns. Her dreams. Her life. Never asked a question. Never engaged. Never showed any interest in me.
Does that remind you of your brand’s social media presence?
Broadcasting messages about yourself is fine for specific channels. It’s not acceptable for social platforms. It continues to astonish me how many companies still apply the broadcast model to a non-broadcast medium. Blasting messages through their bullhorn at a cocktail party. Where is the Social Media Security Force when we need them?
If a friend asks you if he should buy a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, would you send him a glossy brochure? Would you annoy him with special offers, sweepstakes and spam emails?
Of course not.
Somehow, when people put their marketing hat on, they lose some of their humanity. That marketing hat must have secret powers because suddenly it’s okay to target people, spam them, annoy the living daylights out of them. Once the hat is off and the office door is closed, the same people go home, regain their humanity and are as annoyed about these marketing tactics as all the other humans not wearing a marketing hat.
The simple truth is, Social Media is not a new channel. Social Media changed the rules of the marketing game: New players, new strategies, new tactics, new values. Too many brands are trotting out the Vince Lobardi’s Green Bay Packers and their playbook from 1961 and try to compete with today’s New Orleans Saints. Just to be guaranteed a total beatdown.
The purpose of a business and its marketing remains unchanged: create a customer. The way to achieve this goal has dramatically changed and is evolving as we speak. Brands need to understand these new rules, the new players and the new playbook.
Frankly, it’s not that hard. Just leave your marketing hat off and be human. Help people. Add value. Give. Build brand karma.
My date from hell cost me $100 and, more importantly, 2 hours of my life. Being a date from hell on social platforms will cost you customers for life.
Tags: Advertising, behavioral targeting, broadcast channel, date from hell, Social Marketing, social media, social media marketing, social media presence