Tag Archives: david berkowitz

Is datamining Twitter conversations worth it?

What started with a piece by David Berkowitz on MediaPost (registration required), on Ten Ways To Decide If Your Business Should Tweet, has turned into an interesting conversation about using Twitter to support a brand, and especially about measuring those efforts. This conversation has been primarily through this lengthy post from earlier today by Marshall Sponder.

Marshall makes some excellent points (he’s not @WebMetricsGuru for nothing!), including this one: “Social Media isn’t really designed, at this time, to analyze Acquisition or Retention but Web Analytics, is — and I maintain this is one of the strongest arguments to merge the two, in a formal way, rather than in an informal way.”

Datamining and CRM

How do you begin merging these data in a “formal” way? Tools are emerging to allow for the mining of conversations, and linking them where possible to a CRM database. Here’s Marshall’s take on this process:

David Berkowitz talks about Target Audiences, but you’d first have to figure out what your Target Audience is for your Brand or for a particular product or promotion of your Brand – then do CRM datamining using house database lists, or the Social Media CRM outreach to collect names and classify them according to Target Audience Segmentation — best done with data analytics.   Let’s say, that for the purposes of this post, my article on Entrepreneur.com on Learn to Measure Your Web Presence using Unbound Technology or Rapleaf, is the way to go.

If you’re a mom-and-pop shop, you’d do nothing as elaborate, more just Twitter research, much as I’ve shown above, but if you’re Zappos, or Dell, well … that’s another story — the story I tell in Learn to Measure Your Web Presence and others, like it.

Of course, a big brand can make a lot of money whereas the mom and pop shop, probably won’t — so a big brand can afford to spend a lot of money on data mining — and it’s well worth doing because of the potential money and value that can come from it.

Scarcity of Resources

The biggest constraint in doing this sort of work isn’t technology. It’s time. Even properly guided, the process takes many people-hours, and that is a resource in short supply for most businesses today. I see a major challenge in the linkage between prospects / customers and Twitter profiles. (Ack!, I can hear you yell. Yet another datapoint to capture in our CRM databases: The client’s Twitter handle!)

But it is becoming clear that this is an area where a business should focus some of its energies — assuming the business passes David Berkowitz’s Ten Ways test.

Years ago, Don E. Schultz co-wrote Measuring Brand Communication ROI. In this marketing chestnut, he and his co-authors built a surprisingly relevant model for tracking spending and estimated returns for each brand communication (How old is this book? The included Excel file was loaded on a 5.25″ magnetic diskette). A huge category — and ROI black hole — was customer service.

Twitter is a communication channel more than a marketing tactic, and this channel has more to do with customer satisfaction and brand education than driving sales. It’s another touchpoint and nothing more.

But like email and other important touchpoints, it should be measured. Conversations like the one taking place today will help determine how this measurement takes place and to what end.

CNN’s Rick Sanchez on a social media adventure? For real.

Last night I was at a business event. During my mingling, I found myself attempting to convince the PR director of a major not-for-profit organization why she should care about social media. I thought I gave good and relavant arguments, but realized I’d only been partially successful.

She agreed that she’d have her organization join our local interactive marketing association, but said she would delegate attending the meetings: “I’ll send our web guy to them. He’ll understand all that stuff.” The problem is, if you don’t take the calculated plunge into social media, you cannot possibly grasp why it is such a game changer — for both the discipline of PR, and for marketing in general.

I wanted to tell her, “Considering your leadership position, delegating an education in online marketing to someone else is not a wise move, for either the organization or your own career.”

Just ask Rick Sanchez, co-anchor of CNN Newsroom. His newscast has lately included a real-time Twitter display, and tie-ins with Facebook and MySpace. I guarantee you that regardless of how carefully he and his producers planned this adventure in social media, they could not have planned for what would be thrown at them, and how they might respond.

Still thinking about my conversation with that PR director, I came home to read this update on a criticism that social media and marketing strategist David Berkowitz had posted about Rick’s show. David noted that Rick Sanchez had responded quickly and thoughtfully to his disappointments with the way social media were handled:

Rick managed to change my opinion of him the hard way – by taking the time to listen and respond to my comments, and to go above and beyond. He was authentic, personal, and immediately responsive, all important characteristics for any person or marketer determining how to respond to customer feedback.

This authenticity cannot be faked, and cannot be experienced at arm’s length.

I wish I could have pointed to this sequence of events — David’s post, Rick’s response, and the resulting good will and positive buzz — as a perfect example of good PR in a Web 2.0 world.

Regardless, she and others will be seeing other adventures in social media by broadcast journalists yet to come.

None of us have to climb up and try to surf a given wave that’s passing by. But as for this wave, if we’re in the communication industry, we will all most certainly be getting very wet, very soon.

Wii ad on YouTube literally thinks outside the box

As anyone who is reading the headlines will agree, this has been a harrowing week. Here’s something to put a smile on your face, first passed along to me by David Berkowitz. Watch this YouTube ad for a Wii game all the way through. You’ll agree its creators really did think outside the box.

Check out with Wii ad

Like David, I had to run it several times. I laughed in amazement each time.

Enjoy, and Happy Friday.

Facebook direct response ads prove how little has changed

It’s a common theme among direct marketers: There is little that actually changes as new media spring up and ads adapt to them. Take Facebook. As David Berkowitz discussed in his post today (and also in his MediaPost piece), an ad series that targets people based on their gender and age is making the rounds. And getting a lot of scrutiny. I had seen another version of it last week, and had mentioned it to him via Twitter. (Thanks for the mention, David.)

Significantly, this ad series wasn’t showing when I just visited a few moment ago, nor could I find in on the More Ads page of Facebook. Coincidence?

Here is the ad in context -- circa April, 2008Way back on April 9 this ad series first captured my attention, although at the time it wasn’t testing headlines customized to age and gender, as this newest batch does. At the time I made a number of screen captures, and took some notes, but didn’t blog about it then.

Now this latest twist (featuring headlines such as, “29 Yr Male Overweight?“) is a great chance to share my research into the advertisement — especially for those readers who first caught David’s post and wondered how the subsequent user experience plays out.

The answer is it’s very old school, with some shrewd modern touches.

Like the best print ads of the direct response print ad “Golden Age” (somewhere between the 1960’s and the 1980’s, I’d venture to guess), it is a carefully tuned conversion engine, as well as a massive blight on the advertising landscape.

The ad itself had the headline “Get Ripped.” The photo is smaller than the new versions, but the copy is written with the same economy and obvious care. When you click though to it, you see a page that is incredibly busy, with three different fonts and primary colors, and a ton going on. (Click to open it full size in a new window).

An AJAX layer offers a clever YouTube video player (I don’t recall checking to see if it was truly pulling from YouTube, or was residing on the advertiser’s server — but I’m guessing the advertisers were not counting on YouTube’s cooperation, and this was indeed locally streamed).

Folks who wouldn’t know better would assume this ad is a loser. “Who could possibly respond to something this schlocky?,” they might ask. My answer would be that, like the pattern on the carpeting of a Las Vegas casino floor, everything about it is there for a reason. And it’s all there because it’s effective, as proven over time, with much testing.

But Wait!

The best part for me is shown below. When I tried to close the window, I got a fake system message saying, “Hey Wait!” It goes on to say a live agent would like to give me a “last-minute saving,” Okay then. Points for persistence.

A clever way to stop people from leaving

What do you think of this surprisingly old-fashioned approach? Do you think it will work — with, or even without — the age / gender personalized headlines?

Why the debate about in-house SEM vs outsourced work clouds an important issue

This morning, MediaPost featured “The Great (And Completely Ridiculous) ‘In-house vs. Outsourced SEM’ Debate,” by Dave Pasternack (registration to MediaPost is required). The piece begins with Pasternack asserting that in his 10 years in the business, “I’ve never, not once, seen a search campaign created by an in-house team outperform one crafted by a competent SEM [search engine marketing] agency.”

I trust that what he says is his experience, although at least one other in the comments reports differing results. Also in the comments, David Berkowitz found some of Dave’s arguments to be as “spurious” as the premise itself (Hark! Do I hear you composing your own post on the subject, David?).

I’m letting that discussion continue without adding to the din.

But my opinion is that the debate itself — in-house versus outsourced SEM — clouds the true secret to optimum ROI: Working together, in-house and agency pros are more likely to get a campaign that really hits one out of the park.

No one understands the subject domain as well as those who live and breathe it. And successful SEM requires content that uses this knowledge. Customer-focused internal SEM pros can add a level of richness to an SEM campaign that no outside agency can match.

SEM Is More Similar Than Different Across Industries

So what’s the problem with most “pure-play” internal SEM work? It’s a question of experience. When someone is handling multiple campaigns for many different types of clients, the similarities and synergies become apparent. Knowledge has a way of “cross-pollinating” between campaigns and clients. That’s a huge advantage. Also, this level of activity forces a heightened level of process that is just too difficult to match in an internal campaign.

As with most black-and-white debates, this one distracts from the benefits of a middle ground.

In every industry, and in every business category, there are those brands that lead the way in SEM. For the majority of these market leaders, I would be shocked if there wasn’t a smart blend of internal and outsourced efforts and expertise at work.

Both sides of the desk have something superior to bring to an SEM campaign. I suggest we SEM agencies work harder to remember this, and to promote this important truth.

Looking for ways to promote your cause? Look no further than this Conversation Bum Rush

As marketing technologists, we are like entomologists in a thriving new ecosystem. Everywhere you look there are new species of creatures flitting about, evolving — it seems — right before our eyes. They may use similar techniques for survival and reproduction, but the combinations employed vary slightly from one to the next, and by observing the most successful species, you can learn much about surviving yourself in this teeming Web 2.0 forest.

Now don your pith helmets, and behold the authors of a book on social media. You will not encounter a more highly adaptive critter. How do they thrive?

Well, you wouldn’t expect them to typically run ads in the New York Times, or on the sides of cabs, for that matter. To promote the latest edition of their book, they are practicing what they preach. And they will succeed.

Watch and learn.

Join the Age of Conversation Bum Rush on March 29thOn March 29, join a social media movement (and help a good cause) by purchasing the latest Age of Conversation. And for an excellent blueprint for promoting the book, read Chris Wilson’s blog entry on the campaign (by way of David Berkowitz). The tactics Chris outlines are how the most successful social media “creatures” are surviving in this thrilling — and dangerous — new media jungle.

Watch and learn.

And, come the end of March, buy the book!