The Power of Community in Social Media ~via @GenFabulous

by  on July 11, 2013 in Coffee with ChloeGenFabTVSocial Media – VIDEO interview below

Last year at BlogHer I had the chance to meet Ted Rubin, co-author of Return on Relationship, in person, but didn’t take it.

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The Content “IS” the Ad

1There’s a lot of angst in marketing land right now. With Google’s Panda and Penguin changes and social algorithms that favor engagement, it may look as though SEO is dead, or that traditional ads will soon be going the way of the dodo. What’s a marketer to think? Are we supposed to throw out everything we learned about marketing and advertising to date and learn to ride a new horse? How the heck are we supposed to get in front of customers now?

Well, things ARE changing. Traditional advertising isn’t yet extinct, but there is simply too much noise out there, and people are sick of it. They’re shutting out the blast advertising that has crept into every aspect of their lives and centering in on the things they truly care about—friends, family, and social connections. You need to take a step back and study this shift in order to take advantage of it.

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Vonage Takes Generosity To A Whole New Level

No matter where we come from or where we’re headed or who we are, we could all use a little more generosity in our lives, right? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more people had “a quality that’s a lot like unselfishness — someone showing generosity is happy to give to or share time, money, food, or whatever with others?”

Those of us who live, work and play in the marketing, advertising and branding world would love to have consumers look at us and our clients as being generous, yes? How priceless would that be? In today’s relationship marketing world, especially.

voncupWell one national brand is doing something that they hope will convey their message of generosity in a somewhat “crazy” way.

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Who Benefits from Entertaining, Non-Brand Centric, Commercials?

relevanceWhat did this last round of Super Bowl ads do for the brands who created them? In my opinion, not much—when you consider the colossal price tag of the ads compared to brand perception. This past year a 30-second spot cost $4M to air, not counting the costs for an agency to produce it.

According to MediaLife, $1.85 billion was spent on these ads over the past 10 years, and all the while TV viewership has flattened. So who really benefits?

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What Is Programmatic Advertising And Is It The Future?

I am by nature a very curious person especially when it comes to the world of marketing, advertising and branding. Be it the latest mobile technology or the newest social media platform or whatever, I am usually instantly drawn and my curiosity piqued.

So when I heard about “programmatic advertising” I knew I wanted to learn more. As I began to delve into it, I learned of some very interesting statistics related to it and specifically real time bidding (RTB). According to the IDC, “spending on real time-bidded display advertising will accelerate at a 59% compound annual growth rate through 2016, making in the fastest growing segment of digital advertising over the next few years.” 

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More Proof That Television Advertising Is Alive And Well

Ok, ok, quiet down everyone. All those who have predicted the demise of television advertising raise your hand. You know who you are, the ones who have forecast doom and gloom for television advertising in the digital age for years  now. You’ve been predicting that social media, mobile advertising, online advertising and digital advertising in general will spell the end of our near and dear friend – the television when it comes to advertising.


This article is directly squarely at you or as we say in Philly – at yous. (Yes I know the grammar police will be after me but please pardon my brief colloquialism if you will.

If television advertising is on its death bed how do you explain the fact that almost two-thirds (62.4% to be precise) of all advertising dollars spent by the major media buyers was spent on television advertising?

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When Taglines Go Bad – The Best Buy Saga

So there I was minding my own business when I came across an article on Fast Company entitled What Every CEO Can Learn From Best Buy’s (Continued) Branding Mistakes. Written by David Brier, who I know to be not only a great writer but also a branding expert, the article made reference to the new tagline the much-maligned Best Buy recently trotted out after what was surely an exhaustive 18-month odyssey. Truth be told the 18 months was spent “working to reframe the retailer’s brand proposition” and the new tagline was one item that came out of said reframing.

The new tagline for Best Buy is, wait for it “Making technology work for you.”

In his article Brier refers to the tagline as “not only tired, it is a death sentence that is bland, old, worn, uninspired and not reflective of a single strand of your customer’s aspirations.” He also, quite correctly I might add, says the tagline “reeks of “marketing speak” and “committee-itis.”

He goes on to talk about branding in general but I want to focus squarely on this horrifically bad tagline.

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The State of the Twitterverse 2012

The first time I wrote about Twitter was March 2007. My, how time and Tweets fly. With 500 million registered users and 250 million Tweets flying across the Twitterverse every day, Twitter has become a fabric of our digital culture. Twitter is now ingrained in our digital DNA and is reflected in our lifestyle and how we connect and communicate with one another.

While many struggle to understand its utility or its significance in the greater world of media, it is the most efficient global information network in existence today. News no longer breaks, it Tweets. People have demonstrated the speed and efficacy of social networking by connecting to one another based on interests (interest graph) rather then limiting connections to relationships (social graph).  Twitter represents a promising intersection of new media, relationships, traditional media and information to form one highly connected human network.

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The Fifth Model “Crowdsourcing” Hits Madison Avenue

The Rise of Crowdsourcing

In the era of seismic change now occurring on Madison Avenue, ad agencies are starting to strap on an extra seat belt.  There is a lot of talk about revamping traditional ad agency models, e.g., digital, hybrid, tradigital or simply, creation of the “new agency”.  Traditional agencies are pushed to their limits by the explosion of digital and social media marketing projects as clients demand greater expertise.  Agency compensation models fortified with high overhead are under pressure since it isn’t easy for a large agency to monetize the creation of a Twitter background page or Facebook fan page.  This leads us to the need for a compensation model that reflects activity-based pricing delivered more efficiently. For new ad agency start-ups, the answer may be what we call the “Fifth Model”.  This is another step in the long evolution of ad agencies adapting to changing market conditions for well over 100 years.

The “Fifth Model” Recognizes the Value of Social Media Marketing

Marketers can connect with customers using social media more efficiently vs. outbound marketing tactics.  For example, downloading a digital coupon for a free taco may not only cure one’s short term hunger but, for the marketer, it is a viable reward for loyal customers and drives traffic at a price far less than traditional ads. Even when the value of the free taco fades, a smart marketer now understands the importance of engaging customers.  Armed with a social media strategy, many brands now understand the drill: listen, engage, feedback, analysis = win.

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Build Relationships, Not Billboards!

The marketing paradigm is shifting with much greater “power to the people” facilitated by social media.  If you want to continue to reach your market, it’s not about advertising any more, but about building relationships.

Consider the following differences:

Advertising Building Relationships
1.     Telling

2.     Starts with “me” (the brand, the product, the service)

3.     Focuses on “what can you give me?

4.     Goal:  instant impact

5.     Where’s the money?

1.     Listening, hearing, empathizing, asking,

2.     Starts with “you” (the customer’s needs, wants, interests and expectations)

3.     Focuses on “how can I serve you?

4.     Goal: ongoing engagement

5.     Who are the people?

1. Telling vs. Listening

It may sound counterintuitive, but if you truly want to be heard above the growing social media “noise,” you need to listen.  Listen to what your consumers and potential consumers are saying before you even put one word out there:  What are they saying, what are they feeling, what are their pain points, what solutions do they need?   Then when you do “speak” (type), empathize with them and ask them questions.

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