Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Who’s Looking in Our Digital Garbage Cans?

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Who’s Looking in Our Digital Garbage Cans?

The Devil (as Played by Al Pacino) wants your digital garbage too

The Devil (as Played by Al Pacino) wants your digital garbage too

What if a consumer brand could look into your garbage can, anywhere – anytime? It’s happening everyday Online, digitally. Brands are digging where the sun ain't shining and finding out a lot about us, not just personally, but, very-very personally.

I’m talking about your digital garbage can, not your living room, or even your bedroom. Hell, we've been leaving the window open in those two rooms for you-know-who to come in and root around for a good while now. Digital garbage cans are a whole new level for brand “engagement.” This is the kind of rooting that can yield some super-serious consumer intel – in real-time to boot. For a brand, this is like Christmas 24/7 and the "gift" is in the form of some very überesque consumer data – on an unprecedented and very scary level.

It’s all happening as we speak. Those doing the “real” looking are getting better and better at it everyday, and, they don't want you to know it. There’s over a billion plus of us, and growing, happily inviting those doing the “peeking” into our lives, bedrooms, and garbage cans - all in exchange for maybe, just maybe, somebody will “Like” us.

Facebook is one of the most prolific consumer, people, constituent, you name it, monitoring platforms ever devised - so far. It’s “the ultimate backstage pass,” (a special thanks to John Milton – The Devil’s Advocate) and then some.

Google is doing the same thing with G+. Every mention of products or services trigger a feeding frenzy behind the scenes which allows these massive HAL type machines to build a digital profile of each of us.

So let’s get back to the “garbage can” and what in the world could a consumer brand do with this kind of "particular stuff” they find? I’m real tempted to say “Duh” here, but, I won’t. With this kind of data, a consumer brand can “hit” a consumer with all kinds of highly personalized ads for things – or services, before something even happens with a person. Simply grabbing posting chatter from someone talking about an up-and-coming event in his or her's life a few weeks or 9 months from now, not to mention a pick up of more useful "tidbits" along the way is all it takes. Brands have always been obsessed with not just predictability, but the right kind of predictability. Well, now they got it. Just ask Facebook.

Of course there could be ramifications, there always are.

The Bottom Line (there always gotta’ be one of those) is:

Big Brother isn’t just watching – he’s moved in, and, looking in our digital garbage cans. The best part is, we’ve rolled out the welcome mat for him, so maybe, just maybe, we’ll be “Liked.” Add to this the pre-garbage data that is gleaned from all the shopping cards veiled as money saving specials all designed to gather demographic, purchasing, and behavioral data and you got a brand blueprint of a customer and predictability that only your nearest and dearest should have.

Oh, and just so you know, there is somebody who can dig into our digital garbage cans better than Facebook, and yep, it's yours truly - Google.

A little worthless side-note: If I were a Communications/Advertising company, with a hunger for Social, I’d seriously consider hiring law enforcement professionals, specifically computer forensic and detective types. They saw and applied Facebook’s potential for peeking into peoples digital garbage cans long before a lot of other professionals did. And, nobody does it better… just my two cents.

Contact Blackball Online Marketing for all your Internet Marketing needs.

Facebook Brand Buddies… A Love Story

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

Somewhere in our not too distant future Facebook easily broke the 1 billion user barrier.

Although brand involvement remained stable, Facebook acquired some "friends" along the way in the form of shareholders. Mr. Zuckerberg – ever the savvy entrepreneur, felt it time to re-invigorate Facebook’s brand and shareholder relationships with a new and vital product.

Facebook Community – Meet Brand Buddies:

Based on Facebook’s über-rich user data, ads and offers have been served up by brands based on the traditional; such as demographics, age, gender, interests, what “friends” like, and other - all good stuff, but, still in a way general, and, not actually personal, or, based on what you and I really like from the brands we may want to hear from.

Enter Facebook’s potential game-changer: “Brand Buddies.” Brand Buddies takes us a step beyond the brand “Fan” action with its pseudo-personalized ad delivery approach coming along for the ride.

Brand Buddies is much more intimate. It’s all about you – not the brand.  You choose the brands (like you pick a friend) you want to be close buddies with, and, in return, Facebook’s Brand Buddies will give you, and only you, all sorts of fantastic reasons why you would like to be their “Buddy.”

The communal demographic, age, gender, interest, and the other usual suspects targeting approach isn’t the staple for Brand Buddies in its serving of “offers;” what you as person specifically like is. With your permission, a Brand Buddy gets to know you – because, your Brand Buddy will ask. You share with your Buddies the products and things that you like, what you’re interested in, (like giving a friend thoughts on what you may want for your birthday) and, when any of your Brand Buddies has a great offer just for you, they’ll let you know first - before anybody else - the minute the offer happens, just for being a Facebook Brand Buddy.

Brand Buddies is an invitation to the biggest Social Marketing party out there with the ultimate reward for attending and making “friends” through special offers, deals, surprises and exclusives only for you.

As a “Buddy” you opt in easy, add or delete Brand Buddies or opt out just as easily. You can invite your Brand Buddies in on special occasions or deals, holidays, seasons, and other if you want. You come, go, change, share as you please – no muss no fuss. Plus, if you’re not yet inclined to jump on your Brand Buddy’s special offer just received, simply click the “Buddy” icon and save it to your Buddy Bin for later. And, don’t worry - Brand Buddies will give you a few friendly reminders on that offer saved in your Buddy Bin. Oh, and you always have the option to just cancel the whole deal… but, with all the great offers from your Brand Buddies - why would you?

Brand Buddies doesn’t want to waste your time on things that aren’t exciting for you, or, you don’t have an interest in – because that just isn’t how a real-life “buddy” would act.

Brand Buddies desire is to treat you very special - VIP special.

A big part of a brand’s Facebook life revolves around the craving of you being a Fan of theirs. Not so with Facebook Brand Buddies - Brand Buddies craves being a fan of you. And, make no mistake, brands can’t wait to prove that they’re worthy of being your “Buddy.”

Facebook’s Brand Buddies mission is to take its “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected” soul to a deeper place of “digital connectedness:” “Connect with the brands you love so they can love you back with deals, surprises, values, offers, and more - just for  you.”

Optimized for our “mobile” lives, brands, and Facebook shareholders were excited about Brand Buddies’ potential. Ad agencies, well, they’re drooling.

Facebook began rounding up carefully chosen brands and users for “Buddies” beta-testing in both the US and Japan. They had no problem getting testers on either end. Some brands wanted to be a part of the Buddies testing so bad they offered “gratuities.” (But, what can you give a man who has everything.)

Brands are provided a healthy amount of control over their Brand Buddy offer display. For example; a brand could put the text they wanted in the Buy button to make things more fun. Colorization of the offer’s contents or, individual words to match a brand’s logo colors is another option. The Facebook Brand Buddies display and control echoes the mobile experience with the exception of the Buy button, (which just says "Buy" in Mobile) because of the obvious smaller display area.

Brand Buddies sole focus is conversion, and, in more ways than one. And, one of them is presenting brands the opportunity and means to fall more in love with their customers than themselves - with all paths leading to customer conversion, and, a deeper “community” involvement.

Kohl’s, a Buddies beta-tester, was especially captivated by its potential. After all, Kohl’s marketing gurus literally rewrote the book on how to successfully and consistently keep customers coming back for more, which, bordered on its customers becoming Kohl’s “addicts.” So, even at the Brand Buddies beta-testing stage Kohl’s began formulating a plan to incorporate their insanely successful Kohl’s Cash Rewards program along with video into their Brand Buddies marketing strategy.

Yesterday’s marketing masters crafted the “special sauce” template for successful marketing. Now it verged on being reinvented – in "Real-Time Marketing" - the Facebook way.




All You Need is Love

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Love, Love, Love - All You Need is Love

I don’t know if you saw the Sci-Fi flick Serenity with Nathan Fillion. Anyway, at the end of the movie Mr. Fillion tells his co-pilot, River, what it really takes to pilot a ship. Here’s how he put it; “Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse... but you take a boat in the air that you don't love... she'll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down... tells you she's hurting before she keels.”

Mr. Fillion may have just described what’s at the heart of the potential Social Media presents and what it offers to help keep your (brand) “boat in the air” – nothing guaranteed mind you, but a good shot - and that’s love.

If this sounds corny, think a minute, how many times in business have you heard somebody say, “Hey, we need to show that client some ‘love’ or “that customer needs some love,” and blah, blah, blah. Maybe you consider this “figurative,” but really, is it? One thing’s for sure, if you’ve been in business a bit, you’ve heard it, and maybe said it yourself more times than you care to remember.

Companies hear the success stories, so, when a client asks "how do we go Social?" from our experience (and, we're just scratching the surface) we've found there's a question behind the question, and, what they're really asking is: "What's the secret?" - with the answer starting with the title of this post.

(There's always a "secret" when you're interested, but don't know. I'll refer to the Pacino / Keanu exchange in the Devil's Advocate; Pacino said: "... That's our secret, we kill you with kindness. Whats your secret?")

You can show a client the metrics, measurements, reports, and connections, or “all the math in the ‘verse,” and that’s all good, but it’s not going to mean much without that little 4 letter word. Besides, this is Charlton Heston – Biblical – Matthew stuff, which, of course, he made sure was on record… “And the greatest of these is love.” So there you go. If you want argue with him on that, be my guest, I’m not.

This can be pretty scary for some enterprises - and it has a lot to do a lot with the word "distance." Automation, mass production, and mass media, introduced by the industrial revolution has incrementally put up a healthy sized chasm between brands and the people they want to talk and sell to. As a result, for the past who-knows-how-many-years, brands, for the most part, have had the luxury of selling to people at a distance, with their advertising strategies coming along for the ride.

A brand didn’t have to get “that” close – only perceive to. We all got used to being sold to at more than just arm’s length. All of a sudden the Internet, with its Social Media sidekick shows up, and subtly and methodically hands people the means to close that distance. And close it well. Power to the people, and all that jazz you could say.

Peeking at the brand/Social Media situation from a familiar lens might go like this; how many marriages or relationships have broken up because one party felt that the other became “distant” – even when the other party was there.

Brands have to genuinely get close now - or again – if they want to compete and grow. Just showing up and expecting your message to be heard doesn’t cut it anymore. Every day it’s getting more and more difficult for brands to sell at the distance they’ve been accustomed to. And brands are feeling it.

Ford, Dell, Zappos and Starbucks are some examples of brands that know and go all out to understand this. Enjoying more than just reasonable and continued success, these brands use Social Networking outlets to help them close that gap, build faith, and invest in their customers – their true capital. And, like what love can imply, these are brands which apply their Social Media efforts with a seemingly genuine no-strings approach.

Moral of this story: if you’re going to take a crack at Social Media, maybe start with a little John Lennon and add some Social Media Love to your marketing. - Credit for image