When we think about brand and communications messaging often the tactical "feature" message wins out over the motivation a consumer might have when making a decision about where to align their loyalties. In reality, the most effective brands in the world start from the motivation and move into the tactical "features" the deeper you dig. Some brands that do it right? Apple & Tesla. Food for thought.Continue reading
This weekend a colleague of mine and I began discussing the topic covered by Nick Bilton in his: Disruptions: As User Interaction on Facebook Drops, Sharing Comes at a Cost article at the New York Times.
This is not a new topic, Facebook charging for post promotion, it has been going on for well over a year. Similar to Mark Cuban bitching about having to pay $3000 to reach 1 million fans in a post, and yet he profited by selling last minute Mavericks tickets.
Facebooks pricing model feels out of whack, paying to promote a post in certain circumstances (i.e. I am selling something) makes sense and feels fair but not for the amounts being asked.
Individuals with feeds? I have not seen the ability for an individual to promote a post but that could possibly kick in when you have enough subscribers.
In one way - it's a new distribution model that began life for "free" but in order to sustain it's business, Facebook has added a pay model for elements like "fans" and "subscriptions" - Facebook (as far as I know) does not apply the same costing to personal Facebook accounts.
Is $50 - $3000 to promote a post to "fans" who explicitly subscribe to a feed unreasonable? Nick Bilton (indirectly) and the New York Times are directly profiting from that traffic as well, so crying foul over paying to visit Canadian Pharmacy site: https://www.topcanadianpharmacy.org/.
I'm not 100% sure what the answer is, but I would say if you make money on it, then you should pay to use the service, simply calculate your ROI and stop your bitching. That's fair. The cost structure doesn't feel baked right now though, feels arbitrary and fairly pricey given I may post 6-7 times per day. Professional post promotion subscriptions or something?
Maybe, but I still don't feel much compassion for the professional journalist at the New York Times complaining that he cannot tout his article at no cost. Unless of course I can get my online and print New York Times subscriptions for free.Continue reading
I used to live in Vancouver. I lived in Toronto for a bit. I even lived in Europe for a few years. I always find it strikingly interesting when I look at smaller population centres and how business owners, media outlets and others embrace social media marketing channels.
Wednesday January 26 Update: Interestingly enough, whoever is curating the KW Record Facebook page deleted a comment I placed in response to Wayne Gretzky's birthday. All I said was that I wished him a happy birthday and congratulations on having almost all of his NHL records still standing (only one of 61 has been broken). Hardly a reason to delete a comment on a social network. Clearly common sense isn't a part of this strategic plan.
It's not only fascinating it's almost a sociological case study in real time. Please don't get me wrong, I don't mean to insult anyone who puts hard work into any project, I just wanted to point out what I recently observed from my local newspaper, The Waterloo Region Record.
They're a great publication which I in fact subscribe to locally. I get my paper each and every morning, in fine old pulp format, sip my coffee and browse through the local daily events. Low tech and enjoyable.
Even though I am a subscriber (and often read The Record online) they never made a case to follow their Twitter feed or Facebook page. Gripped with a new found curiosity, I went on a minor hunt and *gasp* I found my friends at The Record both on Twitter and Facebook.
Their Twitter feed wasn't bad. Although alot more could be done with this, they were using it as a news feed. For a newspaper this does makes sense. I wouldn't begrudge them that at all (engagement with readers, authors and peers is always good though).
Feeling a sense of satisfaction and local pride I moved on to the Facebook page and was horrified to find:
In a state of shock. I tweeted:
To which I received a very nice and measured reply from a representative of The Record, looking for input and suggestions. I found a bit of time to reply to them and I thought it was appropriate and maybe helpful to post my reply here as well.
I made a comment about your facebook presence on Twitter and I have a few suggestions for you:
- The attached screenshot illustrates a key problem with the call to action. It is extremely overwhelming - users are saavy enough to understand the "Like" option on facebook at this point. An extremely large, visual call to action is akin to banner ads which would in fact drive users away from engaging with The Record.
- I would suggest you remove the banner call to action and make your Wall your default tab when visiting the page. This will make news and communication the primary focal point.
- As you are a news organization it might be an idea to incite discussion and engagement through the facebook page. A social network like Facebook is founded on open communication and discussion so reinforcing that is a natural step. News items can always be layered on top with opinion and insight, this is the perfectly natural venue for such communication.
- Focusing on engagement as the primary goal through your facebook page I would invite Facebook only editorial content from your readers, reader facebook discussions on hot topics such as the LRT, Municipal spending and similar content. These extremely important local discussions would benefit greatly from an interactive venue such as facebook.
- As it seems you're already using Twitter as a 21st century new feed which is fantastic (and extremely appropriate) I would integrate Twiiter as the feed into facebook and augment that feed with user opinion. That would now layer the up to date news (via Twitter) with the quorum you will create on a highly engaged social network like Facebook.
As a subscriber of you newspaper I think the above additions would greatly enhance the local news experience and strongly reinforce the idea of a "local" and engaging newspaper in a growing community.
I'm going to leave this post alone at this point but your comments and input are welcome and in fact encouraged. Am I off base here? Do we all know what we both like and "Like"?
I don't *think* I'm far off base here but then again I've been wrong many times before.Continue reading
So yesterday was an interesting day for me as a resident of Ontario and having been involved in the internet marketing side of online gambling for the past 10 years via clients who operate in the offshore space.
The Province of Ontario and specifically "Premier Dad" or Dalton McGuinty announced that online wagering on Casino, Poker and Sports (via ProLine) will be offered in 2012. Now beyond the fact that I'm 100% sure that the OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming - the overseer of all things gambling in Ontario) will royally screw up the implementation of any online gaming site there is the higher level issues I have with Dalton McGuinty.
Specifically in Ontario:
In Ontario under the McGuinty government we're coddled and treated like morons. I say this as a pretty consistent supporter of the Liberal party - although I would say I'm a fiscal conservative (ie don't waste massive amounts of money) and social liberal (ie universal education for all, public support for the most vulnerable in the community).
Also keep in mind this Ontario Liberal government is scandal plagued. Here are few notable examples:
eHealth Scandal - the Ontario government hired a completely under-qualified Sara Kraemer to digitize all public health records in the province. It's a daunting task and as I predicated when the project was started they screwed it up royally. Not only has nothing been accomplished but there was also a nice contractor scandal to go alongside with it.
OLG Expense Scandal - In Late August 2009 the entire OLG board resigned over inappropriate expenses. Now we're not talking about a cup of coffee, these were ongoing an high ticket price expenses from corporate douche bags that made 6 and 7 figure incomes. Some examples include:
OLG Insider Lottery Wins - yeah you heard me right. If you're from Ontario you know about this scandal but if not then you might need a bit of background. It comes down to people who were selling tickets were claiming their own winning tickets to the tune of $198 Million over a 13 year period. Scandals will hapen, I can imagine that retailers get greedy as they only get a small percentage of sales. But 13 years!?
This basically tells me the OLG is either incompetent and filled with highly paid, bureaucratic, do nothing greedy corporate douche bags or their just as greedy and corrupt as the insiders performing the fraud. Maybe a little from column A and a little from column B.
Learn more about the OLG Insider Lottery Scandal (via CBC News).
Ok, so you might be wondering what my point is here. I'm not simply ranting about the incompetence of my Provincial government or the scandal plagued OLG (or my personal opinion of the agency which as you can tell isn't very high).
I'm saying that:
So for these reasons I wouldn't say that this is a huge revelation or earth shattering event plus any additional revenue garnered by the Ontario government will blown in absolutely ridiculous and ludicrous scandals and programs (all day Kindergarten anyone?)
Stay tuned. I'll definitely be updating this post with any new (and stupid) revelations in the Whacky Wild Dalton McGuinty Gambling Extravaganza!
Update August 12,2010: Looks like the Alberta Government is also seriously considering online gambling offerings. (via The Edmonton Journal)Continue reading
I know social media marketing is a hot topic these days and there are a lot of companies attempting to get their foot in the door with social networks. The appeal of these networks is incredible, mainly for the viral and exponential nature of the system.
My network is a connected graph with exponential growth possibilities. My 400+ friends all have approximately 350 friends (on average and informally) if any company can get their foot into the door and illicit a response from my friends and their friends then the brand spread and effectiveness of that “sharing” can be astounding.
In addition to that it’s much more than the one way conversation that Television, Radio and even a Landing Page can provide. I get feedback, I gain key influencers, brand advocates and it’s the consumers doing the marketing for me. This dynamic is much more than a shift, it’s a paradigm shift in the way we consumer, promote and self market to each other.
So what does this mean for the average company and internet marketer?
Well to be quite honest it means that you’re not likely doing anything with your social media presence. The fact is that the vast majority of companies out there are not effectively utilizing their Facebook presence.
Having said that I have informally seen a great deal of excellent brand identities on Facebook. I’m also going to ignore some of the more popular examples here like Ford, Starbucks and Heinz.
I’m looking at smaller operations that have actionable changes you can make that will help you make more of your page, presence and ROI. Some of my personal favorites are:
Looking at these three, and yes all of them come from my casual usage of Facebook rather than any in depth digging. These are quite simply excellent pages that keep me interested, returning, visiting and interacting. This is isn’t a massive empirical case study, this is me looking at things that just “work”.
Let’s break it down what do these people do that most people do not do on Facebook?
That a pretty basic actionable breakdown of things you can work into your social media marketing strategy without breaking the bank or hiring a team of 10 people to manage. This stuff is easy, so get on out there and start optimizing your own Facebook presence, these actions have a huge ROI and lead to many many good things.
Ok so here we are - the 2010 NFL Schedule is
due to be released any time now has been released and I’m really only concerned with my New Orleans Saints 2010 schedule.
Well ok that’s a lie as well, I’m concerned with the entire schedule but particularly the Southwest Division which we owned in the 2009-2010 football season.
NFL Schedule Update: Getting a complete NFL 2010 schedule is no small task. I've been looking high and low for one for a while that covers every week of the season for each team in a good printable format (call me old fashioned). Seriously, I found schedules for Google Calendar (clunky and tough to manage) and I found a few in Microsoft Excel but the formats were never very good. So I put my own together:
If you find the printable version useful then do me a favour and donate to The Dusan Nedelko Foundation. I'd REALLY appreciate it.
Keep an eye on this article and bookmark it. I'm priming for the regular season kick off and it means that my fantasy leagues are kicking off, I'm in a few handicapping contests and I'm all over this football season. I'll be updating the Saints entire schedule with my notes and my calls on each game. It won't happen overnight but I'm slowly plugging away at it whenever I get time. Stay tuned and bookmark it!
There really isn’t much to write about just at this moment You can check out this super nifty NFL interactive schedule for the Saints 2010 Schedule - you know we’re going to win it all again this coming season. *gulp*
How is the NFL Schedule Determined?
For those of you who don’t know how a schedule is determined:
Divisional Games: 6 games (one each home and away) versus a team’s three divisional opponents.
Inter-Conference Rotation: 4 games (2 home, 2 away) versus teams from another division, by rotation, from the opposite conference.
Intra-Conference Rotation: 4 games (2 home, 2 away) versus teams from another division, by rotation, within a team’s conference.
Standings Based Matchups: 2 games (1 home, 1 away) versus teams with the same standing from the 2 remaining division within a team’s conference.
Here are some NFL Schedule rumors with the current status of the rumor (confirmed or unconfirmed) - obviously I'll be updating the rumors over the next hour but in the meantime this is pretty interesting:
- Confirmed: The Saints will kick off the season on Thursday, September 9, at home in an NFC Championship rematch against the Vikings.
- Confirmed: The Buffalo Bills will host the Chicago Bears on November 7 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
- Unconfirmed: The Minnesota Vikings will visit the New York Jets in the evening matchup on Thanksgiving Day.
- Unconfirmed: The Lions will host the Patriots on Thanksgiving Day.
- Unconfirmed: The Cincinnati Bengals will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night football on November 8
Think that was confusing? You must be glad I’m not nearly as into NCAA Football and the BCS Standings calculations.
Alrighty then - the NFL 2010 Schedule is going to be released on April 22nd (that’s today) at 7pm Eastern (1 hour 44 minutes away) an it’s probably best to watch it on the NFL Network or online at the NFL’s Official website
Updated: April 21, 2010
Official New Orleans Saints 2010 Schedule
So here is the Saints Official 2010 Regular Season Schedule:
|1||Sep 09||MIN @ NO||Superdome||8:30 PM||Tickets||NBC|
|2||Sep 20||NO @ SF||Candlestick Park||8:30 PM||Tickets||ESPN|
|3||Sep 26||ATL @ NO||Superdome||1:00 PM||Tickets||FOX|
|4||Oct 03||CAR @ NO||Superdome||1:00 PM||Tickets||FOX|
|5||Oct 10||NO @ ARI||University of Phoenix Stadium||4:05 PM||Tickets||FOX|
|6||Oct 17||NO @ TB||Raymond James Stadium||1:00 PM||Tickets||FOX|
|7||Oct 24||CLE @ NO||Superdome||1:00 PM||Tickets||CBS|
|8||Oct 31||PIT @ NO||Superdome||8:20 PM||Tickets||NBC|
|9||Nov 07||NO @ CAR||Bank of America Stadium||1:00 PM||Tickets||FOX|
|11||Nov 21||SEA @ NO||Superdome||4:05 PM||Tickets||FOX|
|12||Nov 25||NO @ DAL||Cowboys Stadium||4:15 PM||Tickets||FOX|
|13||Dec 05||NO @ CIN||Paul Brown Stadium||1:00 PM||Tickets||FOX|
|14||Dec 12||STL @ NO||Superdome||4:05 PM||Tickets||FOX|
|15||Dec 19||NO @ BAL||M&T Bank Stadium||1:00 PM||Tickets||FOX|
|16||Dec 27||NO @ ATL||Georgia Dome||8:30 PM||Tickets||ESPN|
|17||Jan 02||TB @ NO||Superdome||1:00 PM||Tickets||FOX|
This schedule is solid and not too bad at all.
Saints Prediction: I'm going to say we have a solid chance of being 7-0 going into Week 8.
Week 1 @home vs. Minnesota: Some of it hinges on the Brett Favre - I'm picturing him holding out right up until the season starts, and then a scene unfolding like the end of Dodgeball where Lance Armstrong talks to Vince Vaughn and gets him back in the game - remember "quitting is a permenant solution to a temporary probem".
If Brett Favre is back then we have a rematch of the NFC Championship game and Brett Favre's epically stupid play handling. Although it would be awesome to see Favre playing so I can witness another epic choke. Don't forget you can always count on Brett Favre to make an epic toss at the worst possible time for an interception. Consistency is everything.
The other toughie might be Week 4 at Carolina, classically The Saints have had trouble with Carolina and that could also be a difficult game.
Update: So Brett Favre is back again which was pretty much what I was thinking he would do. Waffle until the last minute forcing three of his team mates to skip a practice then have to fly out an try to convince him to return. Way to go for leadership there Brett.
Event though he's a game changer I don't think he's going to make it through the entire season unscathed. He's just getting older plus in the NFC Championship game last season it become very apparent that the Vikings O-line has been figured out by NFL defensive lines.
Week 1 NFL Pick: New Orleans Saints 31 - Minnesota Vikings 24
Week 2 - New Orleans at San Francisco
Mike Singletary is doing a good job with the 49ers - and they look good this preseason so far. Their main weakness really is Alex Smith.
I'm still going to call a comfortable Saints victory here.
P.S. More analysis to come.
Week 2 NFL Pick: New Orleans Saints 21 - San Francisco 49ers 10
Week 8 at Pittsburgh - well this one depends on the trade rumors. I'm not sure that Pittsburgh is going to trade away Big Ben even though he's always getting himself into trouble with girls who claim sexual assault. I mean Ben I know you're in the public eye but seriously I don't know what is up with all these crazies constantly making baseless allegations against ya! I mean really look at these baseless allegations:
“Significant questions about what occurred persist,” Bright said. The woman was eventually driven to the hospital by friends, and an emergency room doctor and two nurses examined her. Bright said they noted a superficial laceration, bruising and slight bleeding in her genital area, but that everything else was normal and that the doctor could not say definitively that the bruising was from any kind of trauma or sexual assault. The doctor and nurses collected a standard rape evidence kit. Initial testing found human male DNA present, although the emergency room doctor found no evidence of semen. Further testing was done, but Bright said that because the sample was so small, a DNA profile could not be obtained.
What a fantastic guy. Ben you deserve to be not only beaten up up to lose every football game you ever play - ever.
I'm going to keep updating my 2010 Saints predictions and prognostications.
Update April 21, 2010: Looks like I was quoted over at Media.asia in Five things you need to know about: Social media and brands by Andrew Knott. Nice to be referenced however briefly.
You’re probably doing Social Media in your Internet Marketing mix, most companies and marketers have jumped on that bandwagon faster than people become Dallas Cowboys fans when they go on a winning streak.
To be honest, chances are if you’re doing Social Media you are most likely completely wasting your time and resources because you’re doing social media badly.
No offense. But the large majority of marketers simple do not use Social Media the same way they might use other forms of media and advertising.
No ROI (Return On Investment). This can also be measured in Brand terms rather than dollar amounts.
No clear and definitive goals.
If you took a few hours, set up a Facebook group, Facebook fan page and Twitter feed then simply post to those profiles then you’re completely wasting your time.
Doing Social Media badly is much worse than not doing Social Media at all.
As with everything in Marketing you need to attach a value, strategy and execution plan to each and every program you put in place. If you don’t then frankly you’re Marketing badly.
Case in point.
The Pepsi Cheer was an abysmal failure from a Social Media standpoint and from a Marketing standpoint. Here is a good overview from Marketing Mag:
This campaign was the brain child of the Toronto Agency Capital C (Yeah that's right their corporate website is hosted on Typepad - very edgy).
Before we look at Pepsi’s Social Media Strategy results, let’s have a quick look at what they implemented:
Here’s what Pepsi wanted to do:
The winning cheer was an annoying (in my opinion) “Eh! Oh-Canada! Go!” which was a customer submitted cheer and was then heavily promoted through advertising mediums (all listed above).
Now on a fundamental level this idea should have died in a brainstorming session. You never ever mess with the patriotism of Canadian Hockey fans. Here in Canada, Hockey is a big part of people’s sports watching mix and particularly since Canada dominates International Hockey (even though we lost in the finals to the US this past year).
The cheers Canadians have been using for years are pretty popular and there was never a need to add a new one to the mix when it was clearly a very shallow corporate marketing initiative.
Their brutal social media implementation also caused them more brand damage than had they done absolutely nothing. Pepsi and their agency failed to remember one key component of Social Media.
It’s a conversation with people. People can (and should talk back).
This is exactly what people did and it wasn’t pretty.
Let’s look at some very basic stats:
Pepsi’s Facebook Fan Page: 134,926 Fans
Pepsi Canada’s Twitter Profile: 1034 Followers
Basic Negative Results
Pepsi - I Don’t need yer damn cheer
The" Eh! Oh! Canada Go!" chant is a national embarrassment
Twitter Search for Pepsi Cheer
I’ll actually run a reputation report for this later in the week and add this to an overall case study, since this is such a blatantly bad idea.
Let’s have a quick look at why I’m saying this was not only a bad Marketing idea but it was a failure from a Social media perspective:
This is just the beginning of this fiasco for Pepsi in my humble opinion. They’ll be dealing with the backlash for quite sometime. Particularly since they appear to be staying the course on the same bad Social Media Strategy.
Another dumb move.
The key take aways here:
If you are going to do Social Media properly then do it properly and think about what you are doing, devote resources, a strategy and team to it.
If you think you need to have a presence on Social Networks just for the sake of being there, then you’re dead wrong.
If you are going to do a half assed job of Social Media Marketing then do yourself a favour and don’t do it at all.
Additional ReferencesContinue reading
If you know me then you know I'm the father of 7 month old Jaxson Daniel Nedelko. Since I've been a Dad I'm pretty mindful (of alot of things) but I'm pretty watchful for his safety.
He is a little mover, awake and asleep and I want him to always be as safe as possible. That's why it pisses me off when a company life StorkCraft does a crappy job of handling a safety and recall issue. First they deny there is a problem, then they do issue a recall but don't put anything in place to properly handle the recall.
Their phone lines are jammed, their website is down and they are only issuing official Press Releases. Well I'm here to officially say screw you StorkCraft. You can be sure I'll never purchase another one of your products ever again and I definitely hope no one else purchases any of your products.
It's less about the fact there is a recall. It's how you handled it, or how you didn't handle it.
That's what is really at issue here. You're a backwards company and don't deserve the right to be producing products for our children, not with your brutal attitude. Check this piece of lame spin out:
“In the majority of incidents, the cribs were being used with broken parts, parts with pieces missing, parts that were damaged or with modified or homemade parts,” the firm said in a statement.
“In some incidents, the crib was in a state of significant disrepair. In other cases, the consumer had installed the drop-side rail upside down — contrary to the instructions that are glued to the mattress base of each crib. This causes extraordinary stress on the plastic parts that could result in breakage.”
Which is basically saying "no no it's YOUR fault, not ours" - which is complete and utter bullshit. Your products are clearly not well designed, harm children and your spin is not going to change that. Here some more information on the StorkCraft Crib Recall from Mama Knows
I'm compiling a list of useful resources for Storkcraft News, Storkcraft Parts, company contact information and any additional press releases I run into here. Please comment below if you have additional news and information about the Storkcraft Recall
StorkCraft on Twitter - they seem to be communicating, finally.
Update Nov 30, 2009 - StorkCraft Facing Wave of Lawsuits
|Address:||7433 Nelson Road
I've been in the eGaming industry on a number of levels and in a number of capacities for 7.5 years now, a lifetime in that sector. Over the past couple of years specifically it has become increasingly clear that the industry is completely stagnant from a product perspective. I were to specifically look at the following major channels: Sports, Casino, and Poker you can see some innovation there.
Sports: the introduction of live betting and interacting with customers through social media (not spamming them) has grown the industry somewhat. Personally I enjoy "In Game" Betting.
Poker: arguably this is the most social and progressive of the channels. Since poker is community based there a a number of interesting innovations that have taken place but as for pur "innovation" it's still Texas Holdem without a ton of innovative build outs to that strategy and product development.
Casino: this is the stagnant sector. The traditional "money sucking machine" of the industry the competitive landscape is filled with less than reputable (trust me) offshore operators who hold their concepts of slow payouts, shady tactics and questionable marketing very near and dear to their hearts.
There are a number of reasons that this sector has not innovated from lack of regulations (promoting owners with criminal histories to maintain a fairly decent operation) to software providers who do not innovate their products or services which will always impact the marketing (if you haven't got anything but another Casino Bonus to promote then what are you *really* selling?)
Well I ran into Absolute Casino today and was very impressed. The actual site on registration is clearly in a testing phase but the concept is fantastic (it's actually exciting - which is new for me especially in the past couple of years). A social network aware multiplayer casino with Facebook integration.
This is brilliance and something I personally have pitched to previous consulting clients. The problem they have is paralysis, everything is so comfortable for them at the moment that innovation has gone out the window. There is also a level of arrogance, simply put - many operators are completely unwilling to invest the money and the resources into innovative products.
But if you look at Facebook, have a peek at the Poker, Casino and Gaming apps. There are hundreds of thousands of people playing on a regular basis. Mainly because Facebook makes it social, I'm not downloading some software client and clicking on a video slot machine. The interaction is the thing that makes this extremely unique.
I look forward to checking out the final product in a month or two. It should be very cool and could potential be a disruptive force in the world of eGaming. I hope so. The industry simply is no longer interesting and it is clearly being left behind, with it's head stuck in the sand.
But it's nice to know I am not alone in this point of view. Hussein Chahine who is the founder of Advanced Gaming Labs (and Absolute Casino) has it dead to rights:
“I have been a technology provider to the gaming and betting industry for the past five years and it became clear to me that the industry has stopped innovating. The technology suppliers are too removed from the consumer, while the operators are falling short of understanding and building a business that embraces today’s social-networked internet world. This has presented a unique opportunity for us to enter the market as a new gaming company, where millions of concurrent players are empowered to connect [and] compete.”
This should be of particular interest to any affiliates out there who are making money from the traditional model. The days for these sites are numbered unless there is innovation, have a look at the next generation of gaming providers and set yourself up for shifts in the industry. Being left behind is the worst danger.Continue reading
In today’s marketing minute I’m going to talk about Twitter. Here are a few highlights:
*Whew* Busy Tuesday. Is it Friday yet?Continue reading