Social Media Fails to Drive Black Friday or Cyber Monday Sales

Search Influence posted some great stats and data about the 2012 retail’s bust or boom days, Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

http://www.searchinfluence.com/2012/11/black-friday-cyber-monday-sales-data/

Interestingly it seems that the author is searching for some sign of social media’s ability to drive sales. Sadly, I don’t think social media really has the clout marketers are hoping for. Yet, spend on social media is still increasing. #guilty

What is notable is that email is still a driving social media force. Email is still the social media platform of the masses. And as social as companies get else where online, email should not be overlooked. The social websites to the likes of Facebook and Twitter may not drive sales, but the social email will.

Really go read the article. > Did Social Fall Flat on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? <

My comment… not related to the content of the article, but to the fantastic tweet button options presented at the end of the post:

Very cool use of the twitter button giving people the option to tweet out a stat related to your post. The only think I don’t like is the counter next to those stats as the counter is a total for the page not for each stat.

Still very cool.

Hope you enjoyed the holidays… and the shopping.

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Forbes: What’s the Point to Social Media? Pest Control Guy Answers

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Ushahidi in Forbes Magazine

Ushahidi in Forbes Magazine (Photo credit: whiteafrican)

Lois Geller does a great piece on social media. She reveals how poorly some companies are doing it, and how so many don’t have a real clear cut business purpose. Using real numbers from 3M, Coke, and Pepsi it’s a good read:

Social Media Marketing: What’s The Point?

Advertisers lost control of the media years ago when the Internet gave all the target audiences the power to run their own message delivery systems.

I’m not sure we’d fully recovered from that peaceful revolution when another gigantic wave hit us, then another and another: Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, Yelp, Foursquare, and on and on.

The whole Social Media thing can be very confusing which partly explains the problems some companies are experiencing with it.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/loisgeller/2012/09/04/social-media-marketing-whats-the-point/

She then asks how businesses are using social media.

My Comment:

Social media can be used in so many different parts of a business. It can simply be another line of communication, like a new telephone number. Or it can be a  customer out reach program, fostering current customers relations and gathering consumer feedback. But some how these new innovations always tend to fall in the marketing departments lap… How do we make money on this? How do we use this to get more customers? It can do that too, but that may be one of it’s least effective uses.

We use it for customer outreach and retention. It’s primary use for this pest control guy is to add another line of communication with existing customers. And Facebook is the platform of choice for that. The value in this comes in customer retention. We believe that a customer who likes you on facebook is more likely to keep your service.

But don’t mind me… I am just a pest control guy.

Thomas B.
Bulwark Exterminating

P.S. @Lois… Find it kinda interesting the Forbes does not have an easy location on it’s page here for me to find your twitter account. Plus the twitter button on the left adds a mention to  @Sharethis and not to you as an author. I may be a prude, but I’d like to give credit to the author when I share articles. Social Media to me is about identifying with people first. I think Forbes is missing the boat here. In fact, the “Follow” button at the top only leads me to follow you on the Forbes website…. Disappointing.

Sadly that will not be retweeted as I originally intended to do because Lois deserves the mention, not @Sharethis… and at minimum Forbes should be mentioned in the tweet. I would probably be more forgiving had the article not been about Social Media.

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GM Pulls Social Media Marketing and Facebook Ads

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General Motors automobile mural

General Motors automobile mural (Photo credit: Toban Black)

Facebook and Social Media are not search marketing. Most people don’t search on facebook or other social media platforms. If you must, Facebook marketing is classic interruption marketing. Your there having a party with your friends, talking, sharing photos, building memories, and *WHAMOO* an ad pops up related to green jello since you were just talking about gelatin something

or others. Yeah, yeah, go away green jello giant we were thinking something more blonde with that Jello reference.

Search marketing is engaging internet surfers while they are looking to engage you. Different story. You’re not interrupting them, your helping them. You can’t treat these avenues the same. You match a bow with an arrow, not a bullet. You might get lucky and kill something with bow and bullet, or unlucky…

Aimclear covers a their thoughts on GMs failed Facebook marketing attempts. www.aimclearblog.com/2012/05/16/thanks-gm-that-leaves-more-facebook-ads-impressions-for-me/

My comment:

Why isn’t GM spending what they spend on one commercial ad to build a freaking awesome Facebook Car Game?

…I know, who would listen to a pest control guy’s ideas on marketing.

 

p.s. I try leaving comments and apparently Thos003 hits the spam filter every time. So now I blog my comments and link back.

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Memorable Marketing #EpicFail

You need to read today’s post by Search Influence. Highlighting some of the off the wall creative marketing that fell flat on it’s face. Happens often.

http://www.searchinfluence.com/2012/04/memorable-marketing-fails/

 

My Comment: Great post. Should have thrown in the Quiz-no’s singing rats. Albeit, that was pre-twitter days when the social media gauge to the epicfails was not in place.

 

For those that do not know of the Quiz-no Rats:

Pretty interesting actually how much twitter effects advertising today, for better or worse.

But this isn’t just a marketing thing, twitter feedback and social media backlash happen even within the off the wall comic t-shirts for young girls: JCPenney’s #epicfail and better options

 

And just to make the point a little clearer, here the social media infographic phenomenon to explain:

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Related Articles:

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SEO Pest Control and Ethics

Inspired by http://joehall.me/seo-outing-is-immoral/
12-01 Bsktbll - WCS Crusaders vs BMR Chargers ...

FOUL PLAY!!!!!!!!! (Photo credit: gus_estrella)

Per a SEOmoz survey, those that participate in black hat tactics are more likely to report others that do the same. And Joe Hall calls “SEO Out-ing Immoral”. Actually entertaining in that they are both arguing nearly the same thing, if the surveys are correct. If black hat is immoral and those that do it are most likely reporting others for doing it then the black hatters are both immoral for practicing in link building and then immorally reporting on others doing the same thing. But really, to me, it just pest control.

And around and around they go… It’s actually a good read especially all the commentary.

Here is my comment

Funny, a friendly competitor of mine appeared to spamming twitter, I notified him about the obvious spam tweets as a bit of heads up. He replied letting me know that he had actually requested BMR to remove all of the links a client had acquired through them. We laughed and I let it go. A few days after that BMR was deindexed. In my opinion, this pattern alone, tweet out every article as it was updated, was a very clear signal. In a single day with one single twitter string I could have exposed a good portion of their network and I am just a pest control guy. I am sorry, but I don’t believe that anyone outed BMR here. A lot people speed down the highway. If you are going faster than everyone else on the internet super highway and fly by that one traffic cop you are going to get ticketed.

 

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Gowalla the location checkin service is retiring

Gowalla pins

Gowalla pins (Photo credit: sermoa)

Official news from SXSW comes out that Gowalla is shut down. You can read more about it here: http://mashable.com/2012/03/11/gowalla-shuts-down/

My Comment:

“I am really sad to see Gowalla swallowed up by the mass of facebook. I liked gowalla. But sadly, I don’t think there will be many that can compete in the social checkin arena. Even with adoption in facebook and Google+, social check-ins is far from mainstream, and Foursquare has it under wraps.”

There have been a few that have jumped into the social check-in arena. Gowalla was actually the only service that I believed could rival Foursquare. But Foursquare gained public buy-in from celebrities and others. Some how Foursquare became the cool kid in the check-in world. The few that remain have their own niches and will stay strong. Yelp.com has a check-in service and it’s devote following of Yelpers. Facebook, having bought Gowalla will continue to improve and… well it’s facebook, the king of social media. Google+ has SEO and marketing buy-in, but outside the geek/tech world, I don’t believe Google+ will gain much ground in the social check-in field.

Other pay contenders will most likely continue to drop off the map. Sorry,”My Town”, while I liked your game play the best, the sell out to sponsors made it unattractive to the masses.

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If you run from your data then you are running from your job

Here is a post of mine found on Search Engine Journal: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/what-marketers-can-learn-from-proctor-and-gamble-and-old-spice-sem/39607/

Procter and Gamble (NYSE:PG) made headlines with their recent cuts and pending layoffs. The reports have P&G cutting their marketing and 1,600 workers.

 

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Bob McDonald (C), Cha...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Per the CEO Robert McDonald, “As we’ve said historically, the 9% to 11% range [for advertising as a percentage of sales] has been what we have spent… In the digital space, with things like Facebook and Google and others, we find that the return on investment of the advertising, when properly designed, when the big idea is there, can be much more efficient. One example is our Old Spice campaign, where we had 1.8 billion free impressions”

 

Old Spice and it’s social media marketing make the cut. Google makes the cut. Facebook makes the cut. But some of the marketing team is getting cut. Marketers take note. “In God we trust… All others must bring data.”

The Marketing Spend Debate

Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) English: Winst...

Image via Wikipedia

The marketing conundrum is always in the cost/benefit or ROI equation. The problem much marketing faces is the hard numbers. When looking at cutting marketing dollars, Henry Ford is often quoted with “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” But on the return banter you have “You can’t spend your way to prosperity”, “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”, by Sir Winston Churchill.

Both views are valid. The real question to be determined here is whether marketing is an expense.

Is Marketing an Expense or an Investment?

On the company’s accountant driven spreadsheets and cash flow, marketing is an expense. They only see the outgoing money. The equation disconnects marketing expense with incoming profits. The equation only looks at total cost and total revenues. What catches me off guard is the admission of the CEO in that P&G’s budget is 9% to 11% of sales. This may help keep a tight ship, but what if the marketing isn’t the weak link? What if research and development isn’t pulling it’s 10%?

I hate to use Henry Ford’s example, as advertising is only a small part of the marketing equation, but Ford gets it. Marketing is an investment. If monitored properly then you have a return on your investment. When you know that $1000 spent on a marketing weapon brings back $2000 then marketing stops appearing as an expense. The portion of Proctor and Gamble’s marketing team that is getting cut did it wrong. They failed to show good numbers.

Online Marketing Carries Proof

The advantage that marketing is gaining online is that there are now real numbers to be shown. For Old Spice, it was 1.8 billion impressions. The CEO says it was a well thought out plan. Online marketers need to plan it out. Monitor it. Show numbers. Show that the marketing is worth its weight in gold. And if the marketing efforts are carrying their weight then learn to help identify the areas that are not. The closer a marketing team can anchor its numbers to an actual increase in revenues the better.

I am encouraged by the fact that the Procter and Gamble CEO took note of the social media campaign. I find his comments about Facebook and Google as more efficient and take stock in the fact that some internet marketer is passing up the data and the CEO is hearing it. My note to marketers everywhere, If you run from your data then you are running from your job.

Author: Thomas Ballantyne III, Director of Marketing for Bulwark Exterminating.

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