About the Steve O Zone

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Real Reason GM Left Facebook

So GM is pulling its $10 million Facebook ad budget and we all are now left to ponder who will be next, right?

facebookIn their official statement GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick said “We regularly review our overall media spend and make adjustments as needed. This happens as a regular course of business and it’s not unusual for us to move our spending around various media outlets – especially with the growth of multiple social and digital media outlets. In terms of Facebook specifically, while we currently do not plan to continue with advertising, we remain committed to an aggressive content strategy through all of our products and brands, as it continues to be a very effective tool for engaging with our customers.”

Blah, blah and blah.

GM is pulling their money from Facebook just as they would pull an account from an ad agency. There is no difference.

See, somewhere along the way to IPO nirvana the folks at Facebook forgot the one cardinal rule in advertising – always keep the client happy and do whatever you can to please them.

Anyone who has been in advertising for longer than 30 seconds knows this is the way of life. Like or not, and a lot of times we don’t like it, that is the way it is. How many times of those of in the ad agency world have griped and complained about a given client’s decision to change this or alter that only to realize at the end of the day, the client is paying the bills – literally?

Fearless Forrester Forecaster

In what maybe a bit of a Nostradamus-esque bit of foresight Forrester analyst Nate Elliott wrote last November that he hasn’t “spoken to many companies that are thrilled with their Facebook programs.”

And on May 14th, on the eve of the announcement from GM and on the quasi-eve if you will of Facebook’s IPO, Elliott wrote “Facebook still hasn’t stumbled upon a model that’s proven consistently successful for marketers, or that brings in the massive revenues to match the site’s massive user base.

Hmm, catch the use of the words “stumbled upon?” Probably nothing but thought it was worth mentioning.

Regardless, they are some very telling words coming from Elliott and speak to the issue that I think is prevalent which is Facebook seems to put more emphasis on its members than it does on those who allow for the site to even exist in the first place – the advertisers.

Elliott seems to agree with my take writing “Facebook just doesn’t pay nearly as much attention to marketing as it does to user experience. If Facebook did pay much attention to the marketers who handed it billions of dollars last year, and who make the site’s very existence possible, maybe we’d see innovative new marketing solutions every six months rather than every few years.”

I’m not saying, and I don’t think Elliott is either, that there needs to be a higher value placed on satisfying marketers and advertisers than on consumers, but rather there should be an equal amount of time and effort devoted to each.

One last thing from Elliott, which he labeled as being “shocking” – and I would certainly agree with him, is that one global consumer goods company told Forrester recently that “Facebook was getting worse, rather than better, at helping marketers succeed. And companies in industries from consumer electronics to financial services tell us they’re no longer sure Facebook is the best place to dedicate their social marketing budget.”

So Is Facebook Doomed?

Of course not.

GM’s decision is sending shock waves for sure through the halls of big brands and smaller ones, too. I’m sure many are openly questioning their own Facebook ad buying strategies. So it will be interesting to see the fallout from all of this.

There is also the possibility that GM’s poor Facebook ad experience is self-inflicted.

In the original Wall Street Journal article, where the news of GM’s decision first appeared, there was mention made of a meeting held earlier this year in which reps from Facebook actually criticized GM’s approach of having multiple firms managing its advertising for the site.

Too many cooks in the Facebook kitchen?

Somehow I think that plays a role in all of this but, be that as it may – and I think it’s a small role, Facebook still needs to do a better job at helping the folks who keep them in business.

They need to provide better tools to the marketers and advertisers.

They need to keep them happy.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Forrester

Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review, I am a freelance writer/blogger currently looking for full-time work. I have worked on some of the biggest brands in the world and have over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. I live in Philly and can be reached via email,TwitterLinkedIn or my website.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why The Value Of Content Is Nothing New

One of the big buzz phrases sweeping the digital nation is the term “content marketing.” And while content marketing is important, it’s not as if someone just woke up and realized the value of content.

Was reading Brandon Gutman’s interview with Evan Shapiro on Forbes about the fact that TV is not dead – yes, there are those who still insist on proclaiming television to be dead, and I came across a quote from Evan which inspired me to write this article.

Before I get to my point, I definitely recommend reading Brandon’s interview. It’s very well done and provides some interesting insights into the thoughts of a key player in the television industry.

Ok, the line that Evan said during the interview is quite simplistic and obvious, but as I mentioned it inspired me, so you know, it has that going for it, which is nice. (kudos for catching the Caddyshack reference)

“Content is still king.”

Yes that’s the entire line.

Well, truth be told Evan’s full thought was “Content is still king. And I submit that TV is the best, most valuable and most relevant content on earth right now.”

I admire Evan’s zest and passion for what he does but “the best, most valuable and most relevant content on earth right now?”

You think there’s just a tad of hyperbole in there?

Be that as it may, it has always been and always will be about content. But not just content for the sake of content.

It has to be the right content.

It has to be the right TV shows as in Evan’s context.

It has to be the right content from brands and marketers in the social media space.

It has to be the right shoes for shoe store owners.

It has to be the right content to match whomever your given audience is.

And that has never changed nor will it ever.

And as for content marketing, heck I even wrote a piece late last year titled “The Future Of Business To Business Marketing Summed Up In Two Words: Content Marketing” in which I laid out the findings of a survey which revealed the importance of content marketing in the B2B world.

So I get it. I get the fact that content, in today’s digital world, as Evan put it – is still king.

Content Comes In All Shapes And Sizes

But the value of content as a whole is nothing new.

Think about it.

Let’s use sports for an example.

The Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Browns. Not to pick on any specific teams but they provide the perfect example.

For the past 10-15 years or so, and counting, their teams have been pretty dismal, wouldn’t you say?

How would you think their fans would sum up the “content” of their teams over the past 10-15 years?

Yes I know all about revenue sharing and how smaller market teams can’t compete, but all things being equal but would you say their collective “content” has been of any value to their fans?

Of course this is a highly over simplification of my point but you knew that, right?

Location, Location, Location
Know when you’re talking to a realtor and they invariably trot out the age old adage of location, location, location as being the three most important things when it comes to real estate?

In the context of today’s world for marketers, advertisers, brands and so on, the three most important things are content, content, content.

But it cannot be content just for the sake of content.

It cannot be running the same lineup or roster out there, to borrow the sports analogy. It has to be quality content. It has to be content that your customers and prospects want to see and read and engage with and share with their friends.

And only you know what that content is.

Image Source: Google Images

Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review, I am a freelance writer/blogger currently looking for full-time work. I have worked on some of the biggest brands in the world and have over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. I live in Philly and can be reached via email,TwitterLinkedIn or my website.


Friday, May 11, 2012

My Appearance On The Linked In Lady Show

I don't know how many of you out there know who Carol McManus, AKA The LinkedIn Lady is, and if you don't know her, you should.

She is a self-described recovering corporate executive who left that world in 2007 to start her own business. She grew it quickly with a very limited marketing budget but through the creative and diligent use of social media.

Today, she is one of the most sought-after speakers and consultants for businesses and entrepreneurs who aspire to grow their business by using this digital medium as a way to stay in touch with and attract new clients.

She is also the host of an immensely popular radio show appropriately titled The LinkedIn Lady Show. She has had many of the heavy hitters from the world of social media including the very popular speaker and author, Jason Falls, appear on her show.

And yours truly was extremely honored to be invited to appear and aside from a slight and brief technical difficulty, I thought it went very well and I for one had a blast.



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pinterest Marketing Strategies

Unless you've been living under a rock - not that there's anything wrong with that, you know what Pinterest is, or at the very least have heard of it. 

It is of course the latest, greatest, hot new social media platform that every brand marketer, brand manager, product manager, CMO and really any marketer or advertiser on the face of the Earth is using as a means to engage their audience.

Or something like that...

Make no mistake about Pinterest is here to stay and its uses are still being debated and discovered quite frankly. 

A little while ago I wrote an article for Forbes titled Why Brand Managers Need To Take An Interest In Pinterest. 

Here's an excerpt:

The person who makes the majority of household purchasing decisions has developed an affinity for the latest and greatest social media platform, Pinterest. And brand managers and brand marketers would be very wise to take note.

...brand marketers and brand managers would also be wise to pay very close attention to what’s going on over at Pinterest HQ. 

As I mentioned, the person responsible for the majority of household purchasing decisions has developed an affinity, a trust even, with Pinterest.  That person of course is a woman/mom.

Click here to read the whole story.

Today I want to share an informative and helpful infographic re: marketing strategies and Pinterest.

It's great because it gives you some basic tips on all the different ways to use Pinterest. 

So tell me how are you using Pinterest both individually/personally but also for your business/company/brand, etc?

Or have you not jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon for any number of reasons.

Please do share your thoughts...