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
A few weeks ago, I started working with a new client, a mid-size business. They started using Social Media a few years back and, over time, developed presences on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ YouTube, LinkedIn, Foursquare, a blog, Facebook Places, Tumblr and just started on Pinterest. Their previous Social Media consultant operated on the premise: Businesses need to be on as many social media channels as they can.
Why? In this rapidly changing world, businesses never know where their customer is going to be, so a business needs to be everywhere.
Mr. Consultant, stand in the corner and write “I will never recommend something that insane again.” 10,000 times.
There are two reasons why consultants, experts or agencies would give obnoxious advice:
- They try to fleece customers.
- They don’t know what they are doing.
I won’t even bother with people that try to fleece brands. Ultimately, brands will see through it and end the scam prematurely.
I’m much more concerned with people that believe in the philosophy that brands should be everywhere. Should Axe advertise on each TV Channel, even the Hallmark Channel? Should PETA run an ad in the Hunter’s Journal? Should Obama advertise on the Rush Limbaugh show?
Social Media shows its immaturity when “being everywhere” is still an advice I hear every day. Just like traditional and digital media, social media needs to rely on research – for example a social media audit. Understanding demographics, psychographics, spend decisions, social network use, day/time parting – all the good stuff and more that helps you understand where you need to be, when you need to be there, and what you should be doing/saying while you’re around. This helps brands and their community not to waste anyone’s time, helps to achieve goals and measure results.
Don’t be everywhere. Just be where your research tells you to be.
Tags: Facebook, Foursquare, Google, linkedin, media, Pinterest, research, social, social media, Strategy, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube
My daughter is in an interesting phase: She can read but she can’t comprehend fully what she’s reading. A picture book with a few sentences per page is perfect for her developmental stage. No, she wants to read a chapter book without any pictures. She proclaims proudly: “I’m on page 55.” When I ask her about the content, the answer is very sparse.
When she gets her homework, she wants to get it done in a few seconds: “Easy peesy, lemon squeezy.” Once I note a mistake, she freaks out and never wants to touch any homework again.
Typical behavior for brands in the emerging marketing space
Many brands have not yet fully deployed all basic digital marketing tools. Instead of focusing on getting the fundamentals right, they rather develop a comprehensive Social Marketing strategy.
Others have deserted Facebook/Twitter/YouTube presences. Why bother improving these important platforms for their brand? Let’s just start a Google+ page.
The fancy commercial not matching the dirty store layout.
The radio spot not matching the horrendous attitude of your employees.
The list is endless.
We should strive for innovation and amazing ideas.
First, we need to clean-up the store.
Change the attitude of employees.
Get the fundamentals of marketing right.
Get the fundamentals of the business right.
Then, and only then, should you consider the newest platform aka toy.
Tags: brand, business, digitalmarketing, Google, Marketing and Advertising, Online Communities, Social Marketing, Twitter
Google just rolled out a new product aimed at providing additional revenue for publishers. The new product, Google Customer Surveys, is being marketed as an alternative revenue model for publishers weighing whether to erect paywalls on their sites.
How does it work?
When users visit the web sites of Adweek, New York Daily News or the Texas Tribune, they’ll find some articles that are partially blocked. If they want to continuing reading, they’ll have to answer a question or two. Thank you, Google.
It might be questions like “What’s your favorite alcohol? Gin, Wodka, Beer, Wine or Whisky?” or “Are you planning to buy a smartphone in the next 6 months?”
Advertisers pay Google to run the surveys and gain insights, and Google pays sites 5 cents per response. Publishers can choose to frequency-cap or erect the survey-wall on all stories.
Will it work?
It’s increasingly hard for brands to gain insights through surveys. Too many of them and slim chances to win the all-elusive $10 Amazon card. People just stopped answering questions. While Social Media delivers actionable insights, many smaller or mid-size brands don’t have the money to pay for the luxury of social insights. In my personal experience, the first time I encountered the microsurvey, I was surprised. Still, since I wanted to read the content, I answered the questions truthfully. Within 2 days, my behavior changed dramatically. Whenever I go to an Adweek article, I expect the survey and my mind goes blank until I answered the questions without even reading them anymore. Even worse for publishers: Whenever I encounter a link from surveywall, I hesitate to even click on it because I know I have to do work to get to the content.
My expectation: You will see more of these microsurveys because they are a bit friendlier to users than strict paywalls. Over time, the survey results will become useless and the readership of the survey-wall sites will decrease. That will be the end of it. And the publishers bandwagon of finding new ways to monetize will move on.
Tags: Google, insights, microsurveys
We have this view of the world that the super-mega market leaders in one niche or market have a superpower that will guarantee success in new markets. The current Facebook S1 release is just another sign of this irrational view. “Facebook dominates advertising.” “Facebook more important for advertisers than Google.” “Mark Zuckerberg for President.”
The majority of brands are only good at doing one thing. If you hit the jackpot, they are good at 2 things. Almost nobody is good at three things. Remember when Facebook Places was launched and every dopey pundit proclaimed the end of Foursquare? (Including this dope.) Or when Google Wave launched? Google Buzz? G Phone? When Yahoo tried social. (Let’s not hate on a corpse.) When Microsoft got into mobile hundreds of years ago and never achieved their goals? Or when Apple tried social?
Size does matter. But it’s not everything.
There are rare instances where companies can crush a competitor: IE vs. Netscape comes to mind. But it’s not common. That’s why you shouldn’t be brainwashed by the size of a company, focus on the excellence of a company. Facebook is really good at growing their user base, allowing us to share information with family and friends. They belong in the user baser growing Hall of Fame. Does Facebook do anything else that belongs in the Hall of Fame? Deals? Places? Commerce? Advertising Conversion? Monetization. Nope. They didn’t even make the roster, riding the Minor League bus.
Will Google ever succeed in social? Google+ is doing okay but it’s not in the same league as Facebook and Twitter. They even show cracks in their dominance of the search business. Microsoft’s browser domination is gone. Soon, Facebook will see increasing fatigue and the brainwashing of a new shiny tool. While we live longer, social platforms life expectancy tends to decrease.
Don’t get fooled by size. On Sunday, many advertisers will link their advertising to Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. That’s foolish. Facebook owns all the data. Who guarantees you that they don’t sell it to your closest competitor?
Look at the big picture and have a long-term strategy. If you put more and more eggs in Facebook, you need to move some out and put them in different platforms. It’s not about new platforms, it’s about experimenting with better ways to market, platforms that convert and technologies that are effective in achieving your business goals.
Tags: apple, conversion, Facebook, Google, Mark Zuckerberg, microsoft, Monetization