Social media is blowing up!

by Administrator 11. March 2011 15:48

The cultural presence and popularity of social media has surged in the last few years and just about everyone and everything has a Facebook page.

A survey of more than 8,500 small and local businesses across the U.S. found that 70% are now using Facebook as a marketing strategy, and nearly 40% are using Twitter to build product awareness. Additionally, more than half of the businesses surveyed say they are spending less than $2,500 a year on marketing. If you think about it, these findings should come as no surprise. The reason many small, local businesses flock to social media sites for marketing in the first place is because it is so easy, and free, to create a Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or what have you. But just because starting a social media site is simple, and costs a fraction of what more traditional forms of advertising (print, TV, radio) cost, does not make it an effective marketing tool.

In reality, the costs of social media should be measured in the time that needs to be invested in updating, posting, blogging, and building awareness. This article suggests that small business owners take a step back and ask themselves the following questions when determining just how effective their social media platforms really are:

1) What is your goal for using social media?
2) What specific tactics did you use to reach that goal?
3) How did you measure the effectiveness (revenue, profits, CPL, etc.)?

Those are some basic, logical questions that many business owners tend to overlook when they build a social media page. What most of them end up doing is, in essence, just dumping their sites into the vastness of the World Wide Web.

Social media can be an invaluable tool if it is used to its full potential.  If utilized in a smart, effective, and creative way, social media platforms have the power to reach customers and clients that traditional forms of advertising could not have ever imagined. Experienced agencies like MOB Media have the know-how and expertise to maximize the potential of social media for your business or company. By hiring an agency to manage and grow your business’ online presence, you can focus your attention where it belongs: on your products and services.

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Has Online Advertising Lost its Serendipity?

by Administrator 17. December 2008 10:59

Has Online Advertising Lost its Serendipity?
Are consumers missing the boat because they don't have a "prepared mind"?

Let me first say that I am all for the granularity of advertising. The shotgun marketing that some agencies still use can be quite off the mark. I also have been a leader in the cry for better targetability, especially as it pertains to geographic targeting; and I remain a huge proponent. However, have some online companies, some agencies and other media outlets gone too far the other way? Are we now missing "discovery" as a key ingredient in the marketing mix?

Let me explain what I mean. Serendipity is defined as the ability to gain knowledge from accidental events. Many famous new products have been discovered accidentally, but many potential discoveries were overlooked because the observer was not serendipitous (having a prepared mind).

Let's take that definition and apply it to marketing. If we all lived in a vacuum (see, the only word in the English language with "uu" in it, did you know that before this article?) and only went online looking for things via search, or browsing web pages would we accidentally find something we didn't know we needed? I mean, isn't that what marketing is all about -- creating awareness of products and services that Joe Public needs but just doesn't know it?  

But seriously, if we all live in this huge behavioral, geographic and contextual targeted world, are we exposed to things that we might be interested in, but just don't know it? Was the apple falling on Newton serendipity?  Newton himself says it helped him formulate his theory of gravitation by watching the fall of an apple from a tree. It fell straight down--why was that, he asked? Had he planned on the apple falling? If the apple didn't fall, would his theory have never been developed? Perhaps, not by him!

Here's a crazy scenario: Let's say Isaac didn't live in a rural town, but instead lived in the big city with nary an apple tree in sight. He then would be geographically indisposed of seeing aforementioned phenomenon. Going further, let's say he goes online looking for various math formulas. He of course searches the web for words such as math, astronomy, motion and the like. What are the chances that he'll find some online widget that has an apple falling straight down from a tree? Slim to none, I would guess. Heck, even if contextually, he were reading an article about motion and gravity, he's not going to notice the tree falling right beside his head as he reads the Viagra banner ad next to him!

So, how does this pertain to advertising and marketing? Haven't you ever discovered something in a store you didn't know existed but had to have? Aren't we all limited in our knowledge of what is available to us? I'm not just talking about search marketing, I'm talking about any marketing that so "narrowcasts" its audience it excludes others who may be quite interested in the product, albeit unfamiliar with its existence. There are legions of companies out there that are going so granular that I'm afraid at some point, the sum total of our knowledge will actually slow down from where we are today.

But I could be wrong. Have a great holiday season!

Mad Men and The Economy: Adapt or Die

by Administrator 29. October 2008 10:41

As MOB Media prepares to celebrate its 20 year anniversary, I thought this would be a great time to talk about advertising and the economy. For some reason, my blogs are focusing on the economy lately....one has to wonder why.

Everyone hears that you have to advertise in a down market to keep your market share and that it's even a great opportunity to blow your competitors away and actually GAIN market share. While I'm on that bandwagon, this is not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about how 20 years ago (1989) when we started our agency, the country was in a recession in which your average Wall Street snot-nosed kid today wouldn't know much about. That's right, the three "wise guys" decided to start an agency in this country's biggest recession since the Great Depression. What foresight!

From 1987-1992 (MOB Media's formative years), the median home prices dropped by more than a quarter, in one day in 1987 the Dow lost almost a quarter of its total (today that would be the equivalent of over 3000 points in a single day!), construction declined and unemployment was rampant. This scenario sound somewhat eerily familiar to anyone? For those nit picky financial historians, the Dow actually did end up with a uptick overall in 1987, but we all knew we were in for a wild ride for awhile. Again, the worst time for an ad agency to start-up, right? Well...not really.

What Jeff and I kept telling ourselves back then, was "hey, some of the biggest agencies in the world started during the Depression!" And that's true, and that's what is so promising -- if I can use that word in a downturn -- about today's economy.  The Mad Men of yore, Young & Rubicam, William Esty, Leo Burnett, Bates, Barton & Bowles, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (better known as BBDO) all started during the Great Depression! So despite the economy, despite new rules and regulations for advertising, these pioneers made it through our country's worst economic period. More than that, they flourished even though advertising expenditures went from $3.5 billion in 1929 to $1.5 billion by 1933!

How and why they succeeded is for another "blog day." Suffice it to say...and this is critical... new media and technology were surfacing and these agencies were able to craft a better agency because they understood the new world order and could adapt to it. And yes, Virginia, radio was considered a new medium back then!

Fast forward to today. MOB Media has gone from a small boutique servicing mainly outdoor and print advertising to a full-service direct marketing agency with experience in Web Development (since 1995!), Lead Generation, Direct Response, Interactive Design and so much more. We're still relatively small, but we now can turn on a dime and see the future so much better than we did in 1989. We did it mostly by the skin of our teeth, including a fire in 1994 that devastated our entire office. But we always had resolve and were looking out for what was on the horizon. In fact, at times we were too far ahead of the curve. I can remember pitching Victoria Secret about a thing called a web site! (a blog for another day.) 

Our hope is that with all the new social and consumer powered media that we take a strong step forward for our next 20 years and that some of the smaller agencies forming now will join us for the next big revolution! Who's with us?

 

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About the author

Paul Otis
As an avid enthusiast of both writing and media, Paul's focus for this blog will be on whatever strikes him at the time deadline approaches. He lives and breathes media with no real life beyond that, except of course his son and their pet Orangutan. His promise is to try to be educational and accessible without being too techy – which won’t be too difficult, because he’s not a hardcore tech kind of guy. Hope this helps you in your marketing and everyday life – enjoy!

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