Archive for the ‘marketing tips’ Category

Over the last 20 years I have been involved with advertising technology, copy writing, marketing, direct marketing, and just about every form of advertising that exists in America. I love advertising. I have a special place in my heart (and my wallet) for advertising and marketing. The creative aspects of advertising can be nothing short of brilliant; as is the case with the mathematics used in formulating and measuring marketing campaigns!

Historically (meaning: radio, print, TV) , you needed to justify advertising rates with circulation, readers, subscribers, etc. Nielsen built their entire business on providing TV/radio/internet publishers what was available in “old media”. Advertising with publishers was simple: if you wanted to reach an audience of 6MM parents and have the budget, you could find the right publications, shows, etc. and even narrow your market based upon the demographic overlay of the publishers’ audience. In other words, you want to sell baby clothes to parent… you advertise in Parents magazine, not Wild West Magazine. You’d do the opposite for your limited edition collectors coin.

Social Media ushered in a promise of having near real-time and (supposedly) far more accurate statistics. Suddenly, we weren’t talking about difficult to quantify metrics like “circulation” and “page views”. Social Media brought us the “follower” and “like” metrics (likes, reactions, upvotes, etc), which are the ultimate… They are the Jesus metric and ostensibly engagement.

Of course, bots are an issue, but there’s a larger issue with Social Media metrics: the value that followers and likes are afforded. Standard web metrics like page views/session and time on a page are the gold standard for content engagement, and followers + likes are supposed to provide the same for Social Media. Yet, followers and and likes have a serious shortcoming. I’ll get to that in a bit but first…

There are really only two true “value” measurements in modern technology: human time and processor power+time (which is easy to measure in electricity). Followers and likes doesn’t measure either of those as the human time it takes to follow is nominal as is the computer time). Not to mention the intent of a follower (e.g. Judas followers & Judas sharing). This is further exacerbated by the fact that most Social Media is “free”. Obviously, Social Media is not free. The cost is your data, the rights to your content, and being subjected to the network bubble that ensues. But I digress…

Following a profile on Social Media costs very little human or computer time. Same with likes/reactions. In fact, keeping up with those profiles requires very little human or computer time AND technology is making that time less and less with automation and AI. In other words, Social Media metrics of followers and likes have virtually no economic value (human + computer time). Even comments are questionable. (consider the @username comments that are prevalent in Social Media). Throw in the fact that followers and likes can be purchased through advertising and followers/likes can carry a negative economic value to the brand.

Yet, Social Media monetary value is measured in followers. “Influencers” are those with a greater number of followers and reactions on their media. Throw in bots and the fact that all Social Media algorithms formulate a bubble and it’s not difficult to figure out how to game the social media systems.

Social Media made formulas for determining relevance that is calculated based upon self referencing metrics that are easily gamed and also have little to no economic value. Social Media formulas are not based upon relevance derived by a premium on top of human and computer time.

Enter Social Media powered by tokenizing (e.g blockchain mining). Social Media no longer needs to be powered by advertising (although advertising does not go away). Users mine on their network(s) of choice and use their earnings to perform network interactions. Users are directly investing their computer time into their social network(s), even without consuming content or using the network.

Placing content on the network(s) requires exchanging/purchasing the content space on the network. Which is somewhat counter to social networks today that are paying content creators for their content via advertising.

So, why would anyone want this tokenized model when everything under today’s model is “free”?

  • Consuming content would also require an exchange/purchase, and content creators can place a premium on interacting with their content
  • Advertising/product placement would still exist and content creators have more powerful metrics (e.g. on average, I receive 500,000 tokens for every piece of content I produce) to provide advertisers such that the content creators can charge more
  • Content creators have the ability to set their own rates of consumption as well as the license of their content (permanent, time limitation, etc)
  • Helpers (think stackoverflow.com) would be able to determine if someone asking a question is paying a viable rate for them to provide their insight for tips. For example, User A tips well for the winning answer to a complex coding issue. Helper 1 sees that and is willing to provide more comprehensive advise than RTFM and is rewarded handsomely by User A for the sound advice
  • Advertising on the social networks would have smart contracts that could come with clauses making bot interactions and/or nefarious interactions much easier to punish
  • The social networks have control over all the tokens and can easily reverse/punish bot transactions, virtually eliminating the problem of bots. In other words, if a bot farm wants to provide mining for the social network so that the bot farm can produce and interact with content on a massive scale such that it would influence people, it will cost the bot farm considerably more computer time than it does now. Also, once the bot farm is determined to be a bot farm by the social network, the bot farm tokens can be confiscated by the social network and the bot farm content revoked. The bot farm loses everything and all users effected regain their tokens (providing additional incentive to the social network users to not tolerate bots). The bot farm would have to shift its mining elsewhere immediately or else it would continue paying the social network in mining resources (i.e. computer time).
  • Content creators of games would be able to tap into the mining power of the users playing their games to add a revenue source and help offset their costs to be part of the network.

Perhaps, users could also mine elsewhere and then transfer funds to their social network wallet of choice and exchange for tokens to interact on that network. This would open up an entire marketplace of services within the social network environment.

The value of a social network is now the amount of tokens created on it’s network * the exchange rate of those tokens on the open market. Followers and likes have measurable economic value, and Judas would be paying 30 tokens instead of earning tokens as a bot troll.

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I’ll keep it really brief:

  1. Bring more attention to the “gas tax holiday”
  2. Point out how both of your opponents support it even though it would just put more money into the already fat pockets of oil companies
  3. Remind people that both Clinton and McCain support this ridiculous economic gimmick, and ask the public to decide who we think Clinton and McCain are really supporting
  4. Ask America if we want more of the same flat economy over the last 8 years with failed fiscal policy after failed fiscal policy
  5. Win handedly, so you are officially running against John McCain and then keep bringing up the fact that McCain supported this very, VERY bad economic gimmick

Free as a courtesy to democracy in America!

I’ve been spending a lot of time researching PPC search engine Internet marketing techniques over the last several months. The truth is that I’ve dabbled in Internet marketing for years, but I was never part of an hundred million dollar Internet marketing campaign. Print, on the other hand… Print, I’ve generated more than $60 million from print marketing over the last 3 and a half years. Much of that print has driven Internet results, which means that I need to know enough about Internet marketing to be dangerous!

One of the things I love about my side job as a radio host for the WordsCause Radio Show on BlogTalkRadio.com is that I get to interview great people! This Saturday, I get to interview the guy behind the very successful Internet marketing campaigns of Jdate, True.com, and several other successful Internet companies in highly competitive fields: Patrick Thona.

Patrick has been working in the Internet marketing business for many years and has many successes under his belt with both PPC and organic traffic. His latest endeavor is an online petition website. He’ll be sharing some simple, yet powerful, secrets to his trade that we’ll all be able to put to use in our own online marketing efforts. Catch the Internet Talk Radio broadcast on BlogTalkRadio.com this Saturday at 10AM Pacific.

Ron Paul is EVOL

In a move that’s straight out of the “DOH!” files, Ron Paul’s minions have been showering the Internet (and freeway overpasses) with root of all EVOL. Dana Carvey Church LadyThe idea was to share the “love” of Ron Paul’s R”evol”ution.I’m sure the intentions were good by his campaigners. But you know what they say about good intentions: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Wait! Hell also happens to be where EVOL comes from now.

Isn’t that special? 😛

I’ll keep it really brief:
  1. Don’t compare John McCain to George W. Bush 
  2. Focus on your own ideas, not another Senator’s
  3. Stay true to your promise of not running politics as usual
  4. Win handedly, so you are officially running against John McCain and it would actually make sense for you to say something about John McCain

Free as a courtesy to democracy in America!

I’ll keep it really brief:

  1. Focus on issues that will inflame your opponent
  2. Let your opponent make remarks about you and your proposed policies
  3. Notice how everyone will be talking about you and your policies
  4. Regain the lead because all the attention is on you, even headlines with your opponent’s name include your name
  5. Win handedly

Free as a courtesy to democracy in America!

I’ll keep it really brief:

  1. Remind voters that America has been run by the same two families for the last 20 years: Bushes and Clintons
  2. Remind us again, in case we forget
  3. Precede with “I’m Barack Obama and I endorse this message!”
  4. Win handedly

Free as a courtesy to democracy in America!

I’ll keep it really brief:

  1. Search the media archives for the 1992 Presidential campaign where both Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton defended Bill’s lack of experience for a need for change
  2. Run those sound bites over and over
  3. Precede with “I’m Barack Obama and I endorse this message!”
  4. Win handedly

Free as a courtesy to democracy in America!

The day I heard about the Sharper Image Bankruptcy, I searched Google for the term: sharper image bankruptcy. There was a Google Adsense ad for Sharper Image. At the time, I thought I should take a screen capture, but I didn’t. The next day, I came back and the ad was gone. Perhaps Sharper Image ran out of budget for the day, because the ad is back!

Based upon the blogs that I’ve been reading about not fulfilling on gift certificates and the obvious stiffing companies for millions of dollars, it is rather humorous that Sharper Image has an advertisement on Google when you type in sharper image bankruptcy. What makes it even funnier is that the ad claims: “Sensational service and totally unique merchandise”. I’ll have to tell that to my brother who got stiffed for his Sharper Image gift certificate this weekend while receiving “sensational service”.

Sharper Image BankruptcySee the screen shot yourself. There’s no way I was going to let this one pass me by a second time!

The good news is that Sharper Image has resumed redemption of their gift cards. The bad news is that you need to read the details:

All Gift Cards, etc., will be honored for their full value with two conditions – (1) they must be redeemed in full in one transaction; and (2) customers must purchase an item that costs double the value of the gift certificate or merchandise certificate. For example, if a customer holds a $25 Gift Certificate, the customer will get the full value of the $25 Gift Certificate as long as the customer purchases at least $50 worth of goods. Partial redemptions will not be honored at this time. This is a purely voluntary program. Customers who do not wish to redeem their cards on this basis can retain them for future use, as Sharper Image is working diligently to be able to honor the cards without condition in the future.

On the other side of karma, Sharper Image has been delisted by NASDAQ, essentially placing the proverbial nail in the coffin. Without a print catalog (they didn’t pay their printer $6MM) and half the number of stores, Sharper Image really has nothing to stand on moving forward.

Brand Genius, Al Reis, sums up much of the failure of Sharper Image in his recent article on Ad Age. Goodbye Sharper Image, hello RichardSolo.com.

One final word of advice to future marketers: If your company files for bankruptcy, remove your ads from Google and the other search engines for search terms that would include the keyword bankruptcy.

I don’t have all the economic sources nor the historical data that the FED has, but I do have data that is very telling of the economic conditions: data from the company that I work for. One of the systems we use is the National Change Of Address (NCOA). It allows us to keep our addresses fresh in our customer database so that we aren’t wasting our mailing resources. It is offered by the US Postal Service at a nominal cost given the potential savings in direct mail cost.

We ran the NCOA right before the holiday season last year and there was considerable relocation taking place with our consumers. We just recently ran the NCOA again, and there is a significant slowdown in the volume of movers. Interestingly enough, the slowdown started right about the same time that the FED dropped interest rates.

What does all this mean? Well, for us, the NCOA indicates the housing market. More than 90% of our customers own their own home, so a lot of change of addresses means volatility in the housing market. A slowdown in the NCOA means things are starting to stabilize in the housing market. A more stable housing market is good for business.

I’m predicting a slight dip over the next couple of months because of the sensationalistic nature of the media when it comes to reporting economic data. Also, most economic indicators are not real-time, meaning that seeing a bad economic indicator today typically means that it took place 3-6-9 months ago. Look for a mild 3rd quarter and a strong 4th quarter in 2008 provided there is not major political upheaval.