The Trade off: Quantity vs. Quality with Ad Vendors

Would you pay the full price of a luxury sports car like a Lamborghini if you knew it had a Ford Escort engine?

Obviously not. Before you spend that kind of money you would look under the hood and take it for a test drive.

The same is true for ad vendors, platforms and their new technologies.

Like everywhere else, they're basically playing two different games: quantity versus quality.

Some of them will give you reach and exposure for the quantity and compete in a game of price. Cost Per Million, CPM, and a race to zero.

Others will deliver higher-quality ad viewers through ever-improving targeting capabilities. Here we're willing to pay more for the viewer because it takes less viewers to achieve our goal, For example, qualified conversions.

At my company last week we made an 11th hour decision to pull a client campaign hours before launch because we found out that we were paying for quality and being given quantity.

With today's trend toward local and hyper-local digital marketing, their technology would take the precision of an ad viewer's latitude and longitude and dumb it down to a ZIP Code in order to determine the closest location of our client.

In a situation where more than 30% of our client's locations share the same ZIP Code, that usually results in the viewer being driven to a location that is not the closest one to them.

We specialize in multi-location digital marketing at PowerChord and that's not a good user experience and definitely not worth paying a premium.

You've taken the Holy Grail of digital marketing, the precise location of the viewer and dumbed it down to an imprecise use of their ZIP Code as their location.

I'm not willing to pay a premium for imprecision. Nor should you.

So remember to look under the hood and take it for a test drive before you invest too much money in your precious new ad solution.

Advice to my Daughters (and my team)

When I recently read an article about some famous NFL dad's post to his daughter, it made me think what I would pass on to my daughters. Once I wrote it down I realized that it's not just advice for little girls, but appropriate us all.  In particular, I think of my team at the office as they continue to master what we do and master their own life.

Advice to my Daughters

  1. Seek life-changing events. Go to the bigger party. Get off of the couch. Choose the path with the better story.
  2. Master  decisions and learn from outcomes.  Do not confuse the two.  A good outcome does not necessarily mean you made a good decision.
  3. When you're young (pre-18) you should be rewarded for trying. After that all rewards are based on doing.  Most people struggle with this transition.
  4. Answer to 3 people.  If you're not sure if you should do something or not do something in life. Take a moment and, in your head, ask 3 people what they would think. For me those 3 people have always been: my mom, my wife and my boss. If I can get all three to agree, in my head, then I've passed moral test. They don't always agree, by the way.

I know I'm missing a money nugget, but I haven't been able to condense one down into a single profound statement yet.

What do you have?

Google+ Local: It Really is a Game Changer

Google's recent changes to Google Places and Google+ are a proverbial canary in a social coal mine that are true game changers.

How to Fail at Multi-Location Online Marketing

I’ve worked for two large national brands to solve the dilemma of marketing multi-location, local businesses online in a cost-effective manner...

Tim Moore Interview

Tim Moore from Maximum joined me for an interview.


Your Background

Tim Moore

Mark Regan: Tell me a little about your background and how you came into your current role as Social Media Director at Maximum Design.

Tim Moore: Digital Biography: http://TimMoore.tumblr.com/about and Digital Business Architect at Maximum (http://maximumrocks.com) Erupts 4.22.11

Mark Regan: With the constant arrival of emerging techniques, products and companies, how do you decide which ones are worth testing out for your clients? Tim Moore: Easy, for production advertising, established channels with large demographic base that meets client needs and has an ad platform that is trackable.  For emerging platforms, most need maturing before you would use client ad spend on them. We have to report monthly ROI, so efficient and strategic A/B testing is critical, before a recommendation is proposed.  We are not in the hype business, we are in the conversion business.

Mark Regan: Do you approach developing a personal brand differently than you do a corporate brand? Tim Moore: Yes, completely. Also, each brand will have different goals, expectations and definitions of 'success', so listen, listen, listen, before talking.

Mark Regan: How has your experience in the business world helped you master your own personal brand marketing? Tim Moore: I haven't mastered it, I am learning everyday. The more I listen, the more I learn. I don't see that changing.

Mark Regan: Bonus: What is your favorite online marketing/social media toy of the day? Tim Moore: Hitpad (new release - http://hitpad.com) and Poweri (new startup - dropping 5.1.11)

Mark Regan: Thanks Tim! How can people find out more about you and connect with you? Tim Moore: Twitter: @TimMoore; Facebook: /TimMoore; Email: TimMoore (at) Facebook (dot) com; Tumblr: http://TimMoore.tumblr.com

Why I Wasn’t Invited to Speak at TEDx Tampa Bay

I'm Not

I’m not a player.  I’m not a sought-after speaker.  My blog doesn’t draw thousands of visitors each day (maybe in a month it does).

TEDx

So why wasn’t I invited to share my wisdom at the 2011 TEDx Tampa Bay?

The A-Crowd

In high school I wasn’t in the A-Crowd.  Heck when I got there I wasn’t even in the C-Crowd.  But I wanted more.  More friends like any teenager. I wanted people to want to be with me.

That hasn’t changed has it?  I want to be popular.  Have people listen to me speak.  Pay me money to speak.  I want TEDx to want me.

I wanted the invite.

Yearbook Photographer

In high school I wasn’t a jock.  So I took my photography skill and became the yearbook and newspaper photographer.  Bingo.  It was admission to the A-Crowd.  It was an identity.  People knew my name. High School Photographer

At the 10 and 20 year reunions, they knew my name.

I have something to say.  But I haven’t found an audience.  That’s OK, I’ll keep talking.  Everyone says I need to speak to my audience about them and not be about me.  But that’s all I know.  Me.  Not them.  I can only tell my story and hope that it will connect with someone.

Backstage Pass

Today I still want to be in that A-Crowd even if it means I have to work my way in.  I’m headed to the invite-only Mashable Connect in May.  Not as Mark Regan, but as Mark Regan an the Internet Marketing guy at Coast Dental.  My application as Mark Regan was denied.  So I reapplied as Coast Dental and BAM, I’m in.

Mashable Connect

Did they want titles?  Did they want to make sure there were no salesmen, scammers or affiliate kings? I don’t know, but I’m in.  Again everyone will know my name.

Maybe I can back-door TEDx the same way.  Do you guys want me to speak as Coast Dental?  Maybe as a great husband or Gator fan?  Maybe I can connect you with someone important or in some way make you important.

Kingmaker

That’s what I did in high school without knowing it.  I was a kingmaker in my own right.  I held the keys to yearbook immortality.  Do I need to find a 2011 equivalent before I can be invited to speak at TEDx?

Maybe I’ll try to find it.

Maybe I’ll just continue to be me and one day a TEDx by a different name will recognize me, care what I have say and invite me to speak at their event.

I Invited Me

I’m not waiting for them.  I’m not waiting to be picked.  I’ve picked myself and moved on to my next great masterpiece.

It’s me.  Want to know more?

MLB, Publix and Buffalo Wild Wings

Note: This video was shot using a Flip video MinoHD 8GB camcorder (Amazon affiliate link) and a Fat Gecko Double Knuckle Camera Mount (Amazon affiliate link). Boo-Yah!

My Flip is awesome! Though I wish I had the 3rd generation version which includes image stabilization. The Fat Gecko is wicked. Use it in or out of your car, snowboards, mountain bikes, bike helmets. I love it!


Transcript

I’ve had this video transcribed below for those who prefer to read rather than listen or watch. The transcription provided by me.

Hi everybody! Mark Regan here.

MLB Fan CaveLast week Major Baseball league kicked off its 2011 season. And one of their initiatives that they put up together was this Fancave — at www.MLBFanCave.com where they put a guy up inside a loft in Manhattan.

And for the entire season, he’s going to watch every baseball game on a bank of TVs and really kind of grow that concept to bring in fans, big stars to do interviews and they had a big contest to choose who this person was.  As the executive from Major League Baseball termed it, it’s real great opportunity to take that major league baseball brand and humanize it and bring it to the fans that are already out there talking about their baseball teams on social media and bring this whole concept and connect with it to the “electronic water cooler” to quote him.

And it made me begin to think about a couple of brands that might be able to make that same concept and really capitalize on it here in the Bay Area that I frequent.

PublixOne of them is Publix, a grocery store chain here in the Southeast and very popular that can take its Aprons brand which is a all-in-one package that allows you to cook an entire meal right there from one counter to pick all your products out.

But take that same concept and tie into the holiday season, from November, December. Where you open up a kitchen throughout the month, 2 months, and for 24 hours a day you run chefs through it, you run Ordinary Joes, allow them to come in and do some stuff and you actually get to see the creation of these foods in live and real-time without any edited Hollywood style, 30-minute snippets that you see on the Food Network and then also build up this great library of content that allows people to see in a time-shifted manner.

It is a great opportunity to really connect that Publix brand which is really great in helping you serve great food to your family and bringing it and making it much more approachable.

Buffalo Wild WingsLikewise, Buffalo Wild Wings, a sports bar which I have gone to before here in Tampa could take that same concept, but instead of using a central location for their initiative, like Major League Baseball or Publix, they can actually put together tour bus that ran through all of their franchises.

And during the restaurant hours run a live camera setup through the internet to this social media connection that they had to really talk to their fans and build that relationship that can only be had in social media and really humanizing it and that’s what I really like about what major baseball league is doing, as well as what these other brands are doing or any other brand could do, but allowing the ordinary Joe to connect with the brand.

And so let me know if you're from Buffalo Wild Wings or Publix. Please put some comments below. Or if you have any thoughts on the concept of what Major League Baseball is doing or some other brands can do.  Leave me something below.

Thanks a lot! Take care!

Mashable Connect 2011 - The Interviews

Mashable Connect In preparing to attend Mashable Connect 2011 in May I am again extended my interview series by inviting the lineup of speakers for an interview before we all converge on Orlando.

Much like I did prior to Social Fresh coming into town this past February, I'm expanding this interview series by bringing in video, audio and possibly even a Twitter-view or two.

Stop back by and join in the conversation with some of the very influential people on tap for this year's event.

Who Do You Love?

Who Do You Love

Pick One

When you get in a personal relationship with someone in real life, you know who you’re getting involved with.

But when you get into an email marketing relationship with a business (aka email newsletter), are you making the deep dive with the right brand?

Brand or Location?

For example, if I sign up for Starbucks emails, am I getting an email from the SBUX giant in Seattle or is my local coffee shop going to reach out to me through email?  The same goes for the multi-location McDonald’s.

How about IKEA?  Am I going to read emails authored by the Scandinavian Marketing Team, the US arm of the Scandinavian giant or one of their multiple locations here in Tampa?

Who Am I Connecting With?

Let’s turn this around now.  Say you manage a multi-location business.  You solicit email subscribers everywhere you can.  Your website, social media even your print materials and in-store collateral.

And you succeed at not failing your customers: Best Buy Email, University of Florida,

Who do your customers want to hear from?  The Corporation?  The Brand? Or do they want to know and learn about their local brand torch bearer?

There is no single answer.  Rather I believe you need to ask tough question about your customers to learn what they want from an email relationship.  Who knows maybe you’ll learn a thing or two.

Ask  The Questions

  • How many of my locations would my customer likely visit in one year?
  • Are my locations close to my customer’s homes or likely visited while traveling?
  • Is there a chance that my customers might like our brand so much that they want to visit other locations?

Asking questions like this of your brand and its customers will help you decide whether you speak to them as a single brand or whether each of your locations has its own brand that needs to have a dedicated and personalized email relationship with them.

Who Do THEY Love?

So it’s not who do YOU love, the right question is Who Do THEY Love?

Answer that and your customers will appreciate your email relationship more.

Are You Torn?

Do you struggle with the problem of how to develop a relationship between multiple locations and your customers?

Speak up in the comments below!

Foursquare 3.0

Foursquare Campaign WizardJust in time for SXSW, Foursquare has rolled out a new release of features and their focus on multi-location businesses sings to me. For those of you managing multiple venues in your Foursquare account know well how hard it is to kick off a campaign, deploy specials and aggregate your venue's check-ins.

Foursquare 3.0 addresses each of those needs and then some.

Benefits to Enterprises

Greg Sterling does a great job of analyzing the release, here are some of his highlights:

  • You can now initiate a campaign once and apply to any or all of your claimed venues.
  • You'll be able to aggregate your stats across venues to see track demographics as well as campaigns analytics.
  • While not new, it's key to note that all of this data is real-time.  So you can quickly react, deploy, correct and reward based on what you're seeing happen.

Imagine deploying a Flash, Swarm or Friends Special across all of your sports bars during the heat of the March Madness.  Are you listening Beef 'O' Brady's?

To me this brings Foursquare to the big kids table by courting the enterprise users.  A single point for management and analysis is key if you're going to think about having large companies and their extensive reach and deep pockets.

Foursquare Analytics

Deaf Ears

Now if only Facebook and Twitter would take notice and provide an enterprise portal so I can manage over 100 online presence through a single tool.

Next Up

Is you're listening Foursquare I'd like for your analytics and tracking to better integrate with my web analytics packages.  You don't have to do this directly for each vendor, but at least allow me to better tag my venues with their website sibling.

This will allow me to roll up Foursquare's role in my customer relationship and compare it to my other initiatives.

Vendors in the Multi-Location Space

When I look around at vendors targeting the space of multi-location online marketing, they are few are far between. Searching for the organically you find a lot vendors for telecommunications products or restaurant back office software for chains.  But what I consider online marketing for multi-location businesses really focuses on the management of a business or brand that has many brick and mortar locations.

While that seems to be dominated by B2C, there are also many B2B companies out there with this same need.

So I've down research lately to identify those vendors who might be able to help those of us managing this unique challenge.


Expion.com

Expionhttp://expion.com/

Expion is a SAAS that allows you to "dashboard" your individual location's online presences.  From one console you can manage multiple Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts etc. This saves you from having to copy your updates to each portal as well consolidating the monitoring of them.

FishBowl

Fishbowlhttp://www.fishbowl.com/

Fishbowl is really a turnkey solution specifically for the restaurant space.  Not only do they cover the trendy social media aspects of a multi-location business, they also incorporate email guest management with analytics thrown in as well.  Depending on your restaurants' other operational tools and how Fishbowl integrates with them (and therefore simplifies it for your frontline people), this could be a real silver bullet for you.

Awareness Inc.

Awarenesshttp://awarenessnetworks.com/

Similar to Expion, but really getting into the corporate workflow of auditing, approvals and multi-user involvement in the day-to-day management of a business' online properties.

Valuevine

Valuevinehttp://valuevine.com/

Valuevine really focuses in on the brand management of a business.  Bringing in sentiment measurement and location-based aspects of monitoring their offering looks great for those who want to look at each location's reputation and compare against each other.

GramercyOne

GramercyOnehttp://www.gramercyone.com

I included this one here to help contrast one  a different type of approach.  With GramercyOne and its tools you can focus on integrating everything in one place: appointment book, membership & loyalty, point of sale, gift certificates and, oh yes, marketing.  Facebook and Twitter are really a bolt-on to their turnkey solution.  Rather than build around the relationship, monitoring and participation of social media, it approaches them merely as another marketing channel.  Another outlet for your advertising campaign.  Not the way I would approach it.


I'm sure there are more out there that compete with these vendors, but they haven't hit my radar.

Disclaimer

I am in no way associated with these vendors.  I also have not used any of their products or services (yet!) myself.  So I could be way off in my claims.  If so, let me know and I'll be glad to update it.

Do You Have This Problem?

I would love to know what the many franchisor/franchisees use to solve these problems.  Likewise there are plenty of corporate-managed retail businesses that have either solved this problem in-house or use a similar product.

If that's you, I'd love the hear from you.  Share your thoughts in the comments below.