Fri, 2 May 2014
Whether you think Google+ is dead, dying, or still on the rise, one thing is certain: something has to change. This post will tell you what and why. Google+ was meant to take on Facebook. This is an economic imperative for a company built on: a) collecting personal information that can be turned into ads and b) finding ways to have you spend more time on their sites so you can see those ads. Facebook was capturing a disproportionate share of our personal information and Google had to do something. Their aim was to build a better social network and expose all of Facebook's flaws. You could argue that it did that ... so why is Google+ in turmoil? (And it is). The reason Google+ has never gone mainstream is because the world does not want a better social network, It wants a COOLER social network and Google+ is not cool with the young people who could move it into the mainstream.
It's not about tech. It's about cool.
Facebook is vulnerable as Millenials move into other places like Snapchat, Twitter and Kik. Google is simply not on the radar screen of the folks who are going to determine the Next Big Thing. High school kids don't give a damn about better SEO results. They want to be cool. Instead of building engineeringly-beautiful new features and integrating with other Google products (who trusts that any way?) Google should hire Bruno Mars or Katy Perry to be the Google+ spokesperson and launch a massive media campaign to attract the hearts and minds of taste-makers under the age of 19. Marketing its products has always been a problem for Google and I think we're seeing this vulnerability in full view right now. There are a lot of aspects to this discussion beyond the Google+ cool factor (or lack of it) and that is the fodder for the conversation between Tom Webster and I on the latest Marketing Companion podcast.
All this and more will be revealed right now:
Mon, 21 April 2014
A few months ago, my blog was a target for a denial of service attack. What this meant was that a "bot" was set up by somebody (in this case a person in The Netherlands) to hit my site over and over so many times that readers cannot access the blog. It was a random attack and this might seem like a pretty dumb business plan, but apparently a lot of companies are obsessed with breaking into my site ... and probably yours too. The result was that I had to spend many hours and thousands of dollars to recover from the problem and guard against future attacks. My hosting company set up an app that would send me an alert when somebody tried to log into my site five times in a row, I had to turn off these notifications when they started arriving every five minutes. That's right. New attacks were occurring hundreds of times a day! That gives you some idea of the relentless barrage of bad stuff coming at our websites. More seriously, some of these bad guys are getting through. You have probably read recently about a number of bloggers turning off their comments because of the new spam attacks that are getting through to their blogs. Anecdotally, it seems in the past few weeks more people are also suffering from websites that are hacked or crash under denial of service attacks. And of course, there have been several high-profile stories about companies experiencing serious data breaches that compromise their customers. All this makes me wonder ... Are the bad guys winning? In our latest Marketing Companion Podcast, Tom Webster and I explore this topic and much more. In fact, we begin with an enlightening discussion about the diplomatic opportunities for American bacon but then also get into:
Ready to listen to this discussion? It couldn't be easier to do
Fri, 4 April 2014
In the newest episode of The Marketing Companion Tom Webster and I examine a brand new study from Edison that reveals some eye-popping new insights on podcasting, online radio and social media consumption. Some of the highlights of this podcast episode include:
Ready for more? Of course you are!
Sat, 22 March 2014
I go to a lot of marketing conferences and they are undeniably a great way to learn, network and stay up to speed on the human and technological breakthroughs that are transforming our business. But how are they changing? How important are they? Does it make sense to attend? To sponsor? This is probably a topic on a lot of minds as our personal time is compressed and travel budgets are slashed so Tom Webster and dove into this topic on our newest Marketing Companion podcast. Some of the topics we cover include:
Ready to learn more? Of course you are! Here we go!
People mentioned in this podcast:
Fri, 7 March 2014
As many of our channels for reaching customers are getting strangled, brands are turning to new ways to connect and communicate with customers. One natural opportunity is to align with the authentic advocacy represented by bloggers and other powerful content creators. In an information-dense world where it is more difficult to become the signal instead of the noise, blogger outreach is escalating, providing both financial opportunity and ethical dilemmas. This dynamic provides fascinating and entertaining fodder for the latest Marketing Companion podcast. Tom Webster and I dissect some of the most important issues in the field today like:
Hey! I'm ready to listen to this all over again! Are you ready?
Fri, 21 February 2014
A number of news items coalesced recently and made me wonder ... what is the true role of social media in the marketing mix today? How has it changed? Is it really about connection? Is it still a way to engage with customers? Or, has it been so overrun by agencies and programmed content that it is little more than advertising? Maybe you have been wondering the same thing? This is such a vital topic that Tom Webster and I decided to tackle this on the latest edition of The Marketing Companion. Have you listened to our podcast yet? If not, please give it a try. We always aim to deliver entertaining and thought ideas to help you through the latest marketing trends and you might have some fun along the way, too. In this edition, we explore:
Yes, we covered a lot of ground in just 30 minutes! Are you ready to give this a listen?
Resources mentioned in this podcast:
Posts about Esurance Super Bowl ads referenced to in the podcast
Thu, 6 February 2014
Over the past decade, companies and executives have re-discovered the power of incorporating public speaking into the marketing mix. Some of the advantages include:
This growing trend has impacted marketing strategies and transformed the professional speaking industry. One speaker told me that it is more difficult getting high-level paying engagements now because so many companies are willing to offer their executives as speakers for free. This opportunity is not often evaluated in terms of marketing strategy so Tom Webster and I thought it would be an ideal topic for our latest edition of The Marketing Companion podcast. We had a lot of fun on this episode and begin by rolling out a new content marketing "product" that includes "Breaking Bieber." You have to hear it to believe it! But we also roll up our sleeves and get into a discussion full of tips on how you can be more effective in adding public speaking to your marketing mix:
Are you ready to rumble? Of course you are!
Folks mentioned in this podcast:
Fri, 24 January 2014
When I was in graduate school I took a class that examined the qualities of leadership. I have to make a confession ... the only reason I took it was because I thought it was going to be an easy blow-off class! I was completely wrong. This turned out to be one of the most interesting and inspiring classes of my career and it ignited a lifetime of study on the subject. It turned me into a leadership junky.
My fascination with this subject was one of the reasons that drove me to write Return On Influence. I became obsessed with this idea -- how do you become a leader on the Internet -- a place that HATES leaders! Trying to understand those changes was a lot of fun and believe me, leadership DOES exist on the Internet, whether people want it or not. To a large extent, I think the "You're not my boss" attitude of social media has made the idea of leadership an unpopular concept. I see this anti-leadership mentality dripping from online posts and comments.
And, to some extent, the attitude may have been codified when Zappos recently announced that it was eliminating titles and organizational charts. This was too good of a topic to pass up for me and I think you'll enjoy the discussion Tom Webster and I have on this topic on the newest edition of our Marketing Companion podcast. But that's just the beginning. Tom and I cover a lot of ground in this edition. As you may know, a recent post I wrote called Content Shock went crazy.
Suddenly, I felt like I had become the center of attention for a large portion of the marketing dialogue. When we recorded this episode of the podcast, the personal implications of all this attention and the clubbiness of the social web were weighing on my mind. This led into a discussion of "content curation" versus "content assembly." Is curation a legitimate way to stand out today? Isn't every move Google makes HURTING the idea of curating content as a strategy? Tom does a great job in this podcast providing some tips for skillful content curation.
Are you ready for some podcasting fun? Well, wait no longer.
Fri, 10 January 2014
Over the past few weeks the interweb airwaves have been humming and buzzing with data pointing to the increasing costs of getting your content seen and distributed through an over-crowded web.
All of these trends support the idea of a "Content Shock" that is coming -- if it isn't here already -- for many businesses. Businesses who just pump out more content -- even "better" content -- are engaging in a strategy that is becoming increasingly difficult because the cost to succeed is going up, up, up. What are you going to do about it? That is really the dialogue that has to be happening next, right? And that is the conversation that begins here, in this new edition of the Marketing Companion podcast I created with Tom Webster. We start with a little fun, introducing a new idea called "Prickstarter" and then get into some pretty deep ideas about content and audience that includes:
Pretty amazing, right?
Resources mentioned in this podcast
Comment from Ken Rosen that served as an example of Content Shock
Christopher Penn discussion on owned, earned and paid media
Website of Dr. Robert Cialdini
Website of Voices Heard Media
Illustration courtesy BigStock.com
This content was created as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.
Sat, 28 December 2013
In our latest Marketing Companion Podcast, Tom Webster and I examine three ripped-from-the-headlines topics critical to digital marketing: A decline in Facebook reach?
-- New research from several sources indicates that Facebook algorithmic tweaks could be dramatically depressing the visibility of brand posts to their audiences. We dissect this data and discuss whether this is real or something that could actually get much worse.
Are we safe? -- Our last podcast covered 2014 marketing trends and I predicted that the "malignant complexity" of Internet systems would provoke more attacks to a vulnerable system.
We look at the recent Target breach -- 40 million credit card profiles were stolen -- and an analyst remark that indicates something even more sinister could be going on here.
Influence marketing trends -- An influence marketing company released some eye-popping data about the number of marketers who are actively paying influencers to promote their brands.
The trajectory of this trend is remarkable and strikes at the heart of some moral issues of content creators. I think this will be a profound topic for 2014 and beyond and I think you will enjoy this lively debate!
Are you ready for this? Of course you are!
Here is the podcast, at your service:
References in this podcast:
Jim Tobin article on Facebook reach
Agora Pulse article on Facebook reach