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December 2012
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June 2013

May 2013

Social Media Use Lowest for Brands

A study conducted by USA TouchPoints shows of all uses of social media, brand interaction generates the lowest levels of target reach.  Numbers range from a high of 7.5% weekly reach among 25-34 year olds to 4% weekly reach among 18-24, 45-54 and 50-64 year olds. The implication is that social, while an important part of the marketing mix, cannot generate the reach, and possibly influence of more traditional forms of media.


While the numbers are low, they are understandable given the main communication/sharing use of the medium. Social may also appeal to the most involved and loyal consumers, an audience that may project more influence than the numbers indicate.

Other Other findings include widespread use of Pinterest and Facebok, and high levels of social media penetration in older age groups.

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Apple iPhone Misses the Big Picture

A new campaign for Apple celebrates the iPhone and it's widespread use as a camera. In a departure from Apple advertising which historically points out some unique feature or capability, the television campaign makes the less than interesting claim that more pictures are taken on an iPhone than any other device. Galaxy_s_4

Is it me or is this a yawn of a claim that at best supports the picture taking capability of the phone and at worst makes the phone look ordinary? It looks weak and pales in comparison to the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S 4 with a 13MP camera, auto focus and cool features like eraser shot that lets you elminiate anyone from a picture by touching the screen.

Do you think that Apple sees the big picture or are we in for advertising that fails to capture what made previous campaigns so successful?


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Penguin 2.0 Launches and SEO World Waits


Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Google has announced that a major algorithm change launched last night. According to Matt Cutts, the change is designed to eliminate web spam and is expected to impact 2.3% of english language searches. As the   De Facto police of the web, they target and protect all of us from black hat web spam. According to Matt Cutts, it will go "deeper" than Penguin 1.0.


The update will also look at link quality and eliminate the ability of advertorial or purchased links to flow page rank. There also needs to be clear disclosure when a link is paid.

What You Should Do


Don't panic if you see changes in traffic. The holiday weekend, related travel, and weather conditions will all impact how many people are surfing the web. These types of changes also take several days to roll out, so any impact may self correct in a few days. If you still see declines in about two weeks, and you are a white hat web developer that puts out quality original content, then it's time to at least understand how the changes impacted the site.

Image representing Matt Cutts as depicted in C...Matt Cutts Image via CrunchBase

Google is nothing more than a well oiled machine that operates by a set of rules. If something impacts your site, it doesn't mean that Google doesn't like you. It just means that there is somthing in the way you set up your web content, or outside promotion strategy that Google doesn't like. Check sites like SEO Rountable, or the Sitesell forum (Sitesell participants only) to see helpful discussion and a run down of what is causing any declines.

The Sitesell community (Sitesell is a web hosting community and CMS) does a particularly good job of analyzing the body of sites that decline. Since the community is dedicated to white hat practices, it is always a good sources of information.


As for myself, I'll be working with the team at MMB Marketing Demand Systems to understand how we should be adapting and optimizing our website develpment and organic search system to the new set of rules. Once that is done, we'll apply these findings to clients that we assist with on-site and off-site SEO, paid media and SEM initiatives.


Here's more from Matt Cutts on the planned Google changes:


If you see any sites that are spam and that should be reviewed by Google, they have provided this form.

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Consumer Adoption of mPayment Methods a Slow Go


Google Wallet LogoGoogle Wallet Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The mobile payments market place remains stuck on the wrong side of the chasm as consumers balk at mass adoption until the value proposition is clarified. The mobile payments arena continues to be characterized by a hodgepodge of players, each vying for the attention of merchants and consumers. In a classic chicken and egg scenario, consumers are vying away from payment options that can be used at a limited number of retailers while merchants are concerned with making an investment too early in the wrong technology.


According to a PwC study on mobile phone payments, only 5% of consumers have adopted the technology. For any "Crossing the Chasm" fans, 5% is at the edge of the chasm, with penetration into new markets needed before the technology can move forward. It will be interesting to see which platform prevails including the wireless carrier solution called ISIS, Google Wallet, Apple Passbook, Square, Paypal many others. Retailers are also getting into the act with a payment consortium of their own.


Image representing PayPal as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

The key to all of this will be the ability of any of the players to develop a value proposition which emphasizes the ease and convenience of use, along with other potential benefits such as rewards or cash back. Other benefits will include a seamless integration of offers that enhance the buying experience at specific retailers such as incentives that are text messaged the moment a consumer walks into a store.


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P&G and Google Mix it Up in Channel Attribution Modeling

The conversation around multi-channel attribution ticked up a few notches with Ad Age reporting on P&G's initiative to measure campaign ROI and Google's recent posts on the consumer path to purchase. 


English: Uncle Sam recruiting poster.English: Uncle Sam recruiting poster. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

P&G took a rare stumble with recent modeling efforts that failed to yield predictable and stable results. Month to month data did not align well with other quantitative sources.

Google on the other hand has provided great insight into the role of various media by industry, although the data is somewhat theoretical in that it is best used as a benchmark for product or service specific initiatives.


I'd suggest that both parties look to U.S. Army Recruitment for an understanding of how to measure attribution. They've always done an excellent job of understanding how predisposition (personality) and propensity (attitude toward product and service) work together and are influenced by media.

On other fronts:

What is Tempurpedic thinking? I couldn't for the life of me understand what was going on in the advertising until I watched it again on You Tube. Now that I understand it, I still don't get it.  Tempurpedic, we make comfortable beds. Yawn, is that a reason to believe.  I don't.

Does anyone like the current Tropicana television campaign? When the creatives break out people dancing in the streets and supermarket aisles you know that they agency is out of ideas.





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Unprepared CMOs Last Longer


AccentureAccenture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two pieces of news came out this month on the state of the Chief Marketing Officer. First the good news... according to Advertising Age and Spencer Stuart, CMO tenure has more than doubled from 23 months to 45 months. Now the bad news. A new Accenture study claims that 4 in 10 Chief Marketing Officers say they do not have the right people, tools, and resources to meet their marketing objectives. So, research shows that there is a strong correlation between being unprepared and keeping your job; a real turn of events for marketers that prided themselves on being prepared as they were summarily fired.


The Reality of the CMO

CMO's operate in a complex and accountable environment. Fortunately, all of this responsibility has contributed to a higher level of transparency and importance. Take Facebook as an example. The CEO can now touch the brand by visiting the Facebook page, by watching the Like counts grow and by reading posts that express the true relationship between consumers and the brand.  It also demonstrates how the brand and the customer relationship are the responsibility of the entire enterprise, not just the CMO. If that isn't enough, measured media can draw a straight line between revenue and marketing driven sales contribution.

The CMO Challenge

In terms of CMO's feeling unprepared, this is a direct result of the need to improve operational effectiveness and test new marketing channels. The role of the CMO in aggregate hasn't changed deliver and optimize workflows that make a measurable contribution to the business. What has changed dramatically is the number of marketing channels that require unique expertise and a technology investment, not to mention integration with existing systems. The challenge is to validate these channels within a time frame that doesn't test the patience of the Executive Team. With every new channel comes risk for the CMO due to required incremental resources on staff and technology.

Unfortunately, while most marketers see a new channel as the equivalent of giving birth to a baby that requires care and upbringing, the CFO views every channel as an adult that can be judged within the fiscal year.  The result of all this is a drop of 5% in the number of CMOs that feel prepared vs. the 2011 Accenture study.

The Case for Marketing Demand Systems

Luckily, there is a solution to the CMO paradox of longevity and being unprepared. Firms like MMB Marketing Demand Systems are offering CMO's fully optimized workflows that can be immediately used to test new marketing channels at a fraction of the cost associated with building internal capabilities. Marketing channels such as social, organic search (and content marketing), paid digital media and CRM can be tested using these types of solutions on a trial basis. Results can be used to justify an in-house investment, or to continue with an outsourced solution.

This type of approach benefits the CMO in several ways including the ability to minimize the size of the internal marketing staff and technology investment while aligning marketing expenses with clear outcomes. It also protects the CMO from being associated with high internal staffing costs during times of organizational change. Answering questions and internal probes become a conversation around where investments were deployed and the associated results.

The new world of the CMO is one where every new channel is tested and optimized outside of the enterprise. Without the burden of staff and technology, the CMO can be nimble in the way they turn on and off various initiatives. Internal costs never become an issue, while external investments are completely aligned with outcomes. This approach will not only help the CMO survive, but once again become prime candidates for CEO.



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