Category Archives: Marketing

FaceBook Research Project

How does FaceBook decide who and what to put in your feed?

Check out this article where they set up an account to research how FaceBook manipulates your content based on specific actions you take. There are some amazing tips and tricks if you dig through the whole think. Check out the full article here.


The more digital our daily lives become, the more perplexing the questions seem. Will the growth of social media destroy our notions of privacy? Is democracy helped or harmed by the cacophony of opinions online? And perhaps most confounding: Why does that guy I barely know from the 10th grade keep showing up in my Facebook feed?

If you’ve ever spent time on Facebook, you’ve probably pondered that last one. The social-networking giant promises to keep us connected with our friends in exchange for pumping a steady diet of advertising at us—but the algorithms Facebook uses to decide what news to pass along can seem capricious or altogether impenetrable…

The Viral Formula Revealed

I went to a great info MeetUp event the other day. It was all about viral marketing and how to get it to work. Tod Malfin gave the presentation and he covered a slimmed down client presentation PP show relating to organizing and planing for a successful viral marketing campaign.

I took some notes on my Blackberry as others typed away on their iPads or clutched frosty beers. It was fascinating to see some of the best viral videos from the past several years being deconstructed and broken down to their essential parts.

What we discovered was that most viral “fails” are missing some of the elements that Tod thanks need to be included for success. Check out my notes below and then tMedia’s website or go to this link from the PP presentation (thanks Tod) and if that’s not entertaining enough, look for more great viral samples and stories in the column on your right.

Based on my notes here is what you need to be aware of.

  • One theme (concept) is best
  • Weird is better than normal
  • It has to either Silly, Serious or Amazing
  • Have to match audiences with the content
  • Reward must be given to people who share
  • Make it a series and up the concept each time
  • Use social media to get feedback and to push awareness
  • Some viral videos sit dormant for months and then explode
  • Use highly connected Twitter people to spread the message

Check out this Doritos ad for a company who does it right with over 6 million views.

When a Commercial Becomes Entertainment

I would be great to get more ads that looked like this. The big brands have the budgets all they need is the guts to let people create concepts movies that feature there product but also entertain the audience. Here are 5 examples of the commercial as cinematic art.
BMW and the Action Thriller – 9 Minutes 30 seconds long

Hovis Bread and a Historical Autobiography of England – 2 Minutes 3 seconds long

Coke Japan and Blade-Runner style – 1 Minute long

Interesting side note to this last commercial. I was working for the ad agency that made this piece and got to work with the guys that sold these amazing ad concepts to Coke’s head office in Atlanta. I think the budget was around $800,000 for this one.

The Death of TV As We Know It

Google TV

There are bunch of alternatives to TV but soon you can now get it all through companies like Google and Mac.

Macs Soon to launch iTV

This will eventually destroy the television side of the cable and satellite industry, as your only requirement to access these on-demand stations will be an internet connection.  At $99 your family and friends will have an iTV.  The iPad will be the preferred input device for the iTV. You’ll be able to editing videos, control games, and extend the interactive television experience.

Why Your Website Is Not Working

I think this is a great comic that sheds some light onto why most websites fail as communication devices. It’s not that the website is poorly designed (which should not happen since we have so many free or cheap templates) but more that the content has little or no relevance to the people who are using the west to gain knowledge. To often website content development is focused on parts of an organization that management feels is important. History, HR and other deep knowledge are the things that can be berried and product or service information should dominate most of a website. Share buttons should be easy to find and only 1 or 2 key messages should be on the front page.

The Happiness Machine

If you plan to do a viral campaign learn from some of the best. Check out this video. It’s an awesome example of how to take a great idea and get millions to watch it on the web. Coke’s original goal was to beef up its digital activation platform.The plan was to release seven different pieces of content, iPhone and social media applications, wallpaper screen savers and a video that we hoped would go viral. “The Happiness Machine” web video started out as just a piece of digital content, a dose of happiness.

Meet the Boss TV, My New Mentor

Wow… Meet The Boss is an amazing service and it’s free.

I stumbled upon this and checked out one of their (shorter edited intro) video interviews on flat management style…

3 minutes later I was registered and listening to a fascinating 16 minute interview with Rory Sutherland on how to most effectively manage your brand in a rapidly changing – and ever more competitive – marketplace.

Why should you be listening to what Rory?

Check out this quick bio and then watch in awe. Rory was promoted to Head of Copy at Ogilvy UK in 1996 and Creative Director in 1997, where he was closely involved in the agency’s relaunch and restructuring as OgilvyOne. He was promoted to Executive Creative Director in 2002 and, more recently, also became Vice-Chairman of the overall Ogilvy Group in the UK.   Rory was recently elected President of the IPA, the advertising association.

Social Companies

I ran into this graph earlier this week and thought it was a nice indicator on how larger companies are measuring “how Social” they are. It’s important to know what your ROI is for social media but just as important it is important to measure your ROT (return on Time). This week at a Franchising conference George Moen from Blenz Coffee, confirmed a lot of my thinking regarding small organizations and there use of social media.

Here is my thinking.

  • Get into Social Marketing right now
  • You have to learn it as you do it because there are no real experts put there
  • Track your progress and be willing to change your strategy as Social Media changes
  • Make sure your content is relevant and make sure you are tracking your progress

Is Traditional Online Advertisning Dead?

Visit the unedited version of the original blog post: LINK

Is There Something Other Than Advertising:

The expected drop in internet advertising revenues this year was neither unpredictable nor unpredicted, nor was it caused solely by the general recession and the decline in retail sales.  Internet advertising will rapidly lose its value and its impact, for reasons that can easily be understood.  Traditional advertising simply cannot be carried over to the internet, replacing full-page ads on the back of The New York Times or 30-second spots on the Super Bowl broadcast with pop-ups, banners, click-throughs on side bars.

Pushing a message at a potential customer when it has not been requested and when the consumer is in the midst of something else on the net, will fail as a major revenue source for most internet sites.  This is particularly true when the consumer knows that the sponsor of the ad has paid to have this information, which was verified by no one, thrust at him.

Advertising will fail for three reasons:

There are three problems with advertising in any form, whether broadcast or online:

  • •Consumers do not trust advertising. Dan Ariely has demonstrated that messages attributed to a commercial source have much lower credibility and much lower impact on the perception of product quality than the same message attributed to a rating service.
  • Consumers do not want to view advertising. If network executives believed we all wanted to see the ads they would be staggered, so that users could channel surf to view the ads; ads are synchronized so that users cannot channel surf to avoid the ads.
  • And mostly consumers do not need advertising.

Yes, both network executives and their ad agencies have noted that we are not watching traditional ads, and they attribute this to the fact that we have moved beyond newspapers, televised network news, and broadcast movies, to video games, iPods, and the internet.  Porting ads to a new medium will not solve the three problems noted above.  The problem is not the medium, the problem is the message, and the fact that it is not trusted, not wanted, and not needed.

Alternative models for monetization:

Many of the best-known perform aggregation of demand, so that there will be enough customers to justify stocking and selling items for which there is only limited demand. Sites like Amazon and Zappos are especially good for long tail items. Other websites sell virtual things.  These activities fall into three categories:

  • Selling content and information, from digital music to news and information
  • Selling experience and participation in a virtual community.
  • Selling accessories for virtual communities.

Finally, some websites create and sell access to customers.

Again, this can be divided into multiple categories.

  • Misdirection, or sending customers to web locations other than the ones for which they are searching.  • Evaluation, assessment, and validation. • Social search. Social search is a way of tailoring search based on the user’s network of friends.
  • Contextual mobile ads.

I would offer the following guesses for successfully monetizing the net in the future:

  • Selling Virtual Things: People will pay for superior, timely, original content and for superior online experiences.
  • Selling Access. Misdirection will fail totally and completely.

The internet is about freedom, and I suspect that a truly free population will not be held captive and forced to watch ads.  We always knew that freedom comes at a price; perhaps the price of internet freedom and the failure of ads will be paying a fair price for the content and the experience and the recommendations that we value.

If you would like to read more please check out the links below.

Original Report: LINK

Further reading 1: Online Ads LINK:

Further reading 2: Pay Me for My Content LINK:

Social Media ROI Is Meaningless

Worry Less About ROI – Worry More About Being Relevant from Ross Kimbarovsky on Vimeo.

This is a great rant style video regarding “RIO” the dreaded word that is spewing from the lips of executives in accounting departments, marketers in Starbucks and all over the nicely finished board room table. The focus of his short video is “Get Relevant” or prepare to die… Ok so that’s a bit dramatic but if you are steering the ship you better take heed.