Obama 2012 And The Future Of Media Buying

June 20, 2013

2012-01-26_1327587338This is an awfully long article to slog through, but it was from the NYT Magazine, so I guess the long form is understandable.

The callout on the article “The Obama Campaign’s Digital Masterminds Cash In” is mostly true to form – focusing on the people and personalities involved – but somewhere around page 5 (can’t believe I got that far) it grabbed my interest.

Behavioral TV Ad Buying; It’s Time to Ditch Demographics

The Obama campaign used social data to guide their media buying.  They had a list of 15 MM persuadable voters (culled from FB and other sources) and a plan to focus on putting messages in front of those 15 MM people at the lowest possible cost.

They did not do this with demographics.  They did it with behavioral data.  They crossed the “persuadable voter list” with actual viewing data sourced from set-top box data provider Rentrak who had lots and lots of individual level viewing data.  (For instance, Rentrak had 100,000 people in its Denver sample, some 20,000 of whom were on the Obama list; Nielsen had a total of 600 people in Denver.)

They crossed these two data sources using a third-party to “anonymize” the data, avoiding privacy concerns.  The output guided them to buying micro-targeted ads – think “Judge Joe Brown” in the middle of the afternoon instead of the evening news.  The Obama campaign ran twice as many cable ads on more that twice as many channels as the Romney campaign did.  Over 566k ads on more than 100 cable channels.

Remember the key driver for this optimization – observed behavior – not demographics.  They identified 15 MM persuadable voters (mostly via Facebook) and then figured out exactly which TV shows those people watched.

Implications for marketers are obvious.  The technology is available for behavioral segmentation (persuadable voters) and targeting (what shows they actually watch) right now.  All marketers will be doing this within 10 years, but who will do it now to drive competitive advantage?


Do You Know the 3H Rule of Social Media??

June 6, 2013

Do you ever wonder why social media is hard for brands and marketers?  I think it is mostly because they don’t follow the 3H rule.

BE HELPFUL: Social media is not like broadcasting. SM is about relationships – and one great way to build relationships is to be helpful. Share interesting information, compliment people, try to help them solve problems.

BE HUMAN: We all have a “voice”. That voice typically does not undergo review and editing by legal and PR. It’s OK to have guidelines, but you must have your own, authentic voice. Sincere, emotional, enthusiastic. You have kids, cheer for a team, care about something deeply – show it.

BE HUMBLE: Even if you are the CEO, you aren’t in charge on social media. Make sure not to act like it. (There will be mistakes – admit & move on!)

Remember – it is about relationships – not selling stuff to people.  If you build good relationships, they might buy from you though!


Going West . . . Socialarc

May 8, 2013

Many of you already know this – but I have left 2012-04-09_1333930530
NM Incite (in the wake of the shutdown of the underlying Buzzmetrics business) and headed West to join Socialarc – a great small firm delivering social media consulting, execution & analytics to brand marketers.

We have a great team out here with deep experience across social and digital marketing.  We are in the process of scaling the company for rapid growth across sales, marketing, product & services.

More to come soon.



Salesforce + Radian6: What does it mean for you?

April 5, 2011

This is a guest post from David Rabjohns – CEO of MotiveQuest LLC.

In case you haven’t heard, Salesforce.com (the leading B2B Customer Relationship Management software company) bought Radian6, the leading Social Media Monitoring platform this week for $326m.   Forbes Article.

We think the deal marks an interesting inflection point in the social media age. Here is a software company that helps businesses manage their one-on-one relationships, jumping the divide to buy a company that lets brands manage one-on-one relationships. For us it is a glimpse into the possibility of the post mass media, one-on-one, world.

As Forbes imagines:

“Say a consumer tweets that she hates her cell phone service provider (I name no names). This is what a Radian6-Chatter-Salesforce.com combo could do, Kingstone says:

First the company would actually know that the tweet was sent. It would then decide whether to reach out to the customer or wait to hear from her or dismiss her entirely. The response will be dependent upon whether or not she is an “influencer” and, hopefully, has a legitimate gripe.
If it does decide to respond, it will then use the platform to decide what is the right response to make her happy.

Only bits and pieces of this is possible today and usually after a massive investment or internal realignment. Getting to this point won’t necessarily be easy, Kingstone also says. “It will take an integration of Radian6’s listening platform, with Chatter and with Salesforce.com’s 360 degree view of the customer. But it is feasible.””
Nobody really knows what this purchase will mean for the future. But if you are in the social business it is worth keeping in the corner of your eye.



Dilbert on Social Media

September 15, 2010

Yes, this is everywhere – but need it here for the archive.
Dilbert SM Part 1

And Part 2

Enjoy – TO’B

How to ruin social media

August 26, 2010

Did you see the FTC’s announcement today that it settled charges with a pay-per-post agency?

Public Relations Firm to Settle FTC Charges that It Advertised Clients’ Gaming Apps Through Misleading Online Endorsements

In this case the agency was hiring people to pose as consumers on the web and post positive reviews about its client’s products.

Glad to see that the FTC is on it – but I think this is a much more widespread problem that just this one agency.

This kind of behavior really bugs me because it has the long-term potential of poisoning the Social Media well. How much of this kind of astroturfing can go on before consumers stop trusting what they are reading? Do we (marketers) really want SM to become the next “email” or “telemarketing” where a bunch of spammers ruin the channel for everyone? I don’t think so.

Social Media (as a channel) is a great place for companies to engage with consumers – but it is not a great place for direct advertising and promotion. If you want to be effective here you have to behave in helpful, human and humble ways. It is not just about selling the next thing.


How Communities Work Part II

February 24, 2010

Another interesting post from Francois Gossieaux over at Emergence Marketing – Active lurkers – the hidden asset in online communities

I’d like to add a couple of point based on our work here at MotiveQuest.

1. The degree of lurking (read to post ratio is one easy way to look at it) has a very wide range depending on the community type. It can range from 100:1 (automotive communities) all the way up to 1,000:1 (financial services) depending on the type of community.

2. We have done segmentation of data by community participation roles (Mavens, Participants, Advocates, & Newbies). Each of these roles has very different participation motivations, issues, motivations, drivers and questions. Understanding the details of each segment is critical if you want to engage with the community in a positive way.

3. Many (or even most) vibrant communities are not company or brand owned, but rather owned by their own mavens. See http://howardforums.com/ for cellphones or http://priuschat.com/ for cars. Brands can support and participate in these communities, but they are well advised to understand the community motivations first.

In general the results of the MIT study are interesting and useful, but I would want to understand the particulars of a given community before engaging, because individual community dynamics, motivations and characteristics vary widely.


The Problem in Social Media Marketing

February 9, 2010

Have you seen the 2010 edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer? I have – and frankly, it has me worried. Specifically the precipitous drop in trust among friends/peers is a concern. I think this drop in trust has three root causes.

In the AdAge article about this, Richard Edelman attributes this drop in trust to a “sign of the times” and I agree that’s a contributing factor, but there is much more to this plunge. I think it’s a direct result of social media marketing. Yes, the mere fact of abusing SM channels (which are p to p conversational channels) with marketing messages causes everyone participating to trust less. Finally, the definition of what a “friend” is has been bastardized by Twitter, FB, etc.

I am a hardliner on “pay-per-post” and “crowds-for-hire” to go out and review things – I just think it is wrong. The term “Sponsored Conversation” is an oxymoron.

I think commercial endorsements (especially outside of their specific field of expertise) are bad for big bloggers, even if it does get them paid. It makes me (and everyone else) think less of them. I don’t think much of “influencer marketing” schemes.

Our business (MotiveQuest) depends on people having real, organic, honest conversations with each other on the web. We collect and analyze these conversations to understand why people do what they do. Our clients pay for these ideas, insights and recommendations to help grow their business. This only works if we don’t WRECK social media by using it to try to sell stuff to people.

Tom O’Brien

Why We Loved 10 Things SM Can’t Do

November 3, 2009

Yesterday BL Ochman published a blog post titled: 10 Things Social Media Can’t Do. This post went viral among a certain community on Twitter – you know who you are. BL was surprised that this post got something like 4,000 ReTweets which is remarkable.

Why the huge response? I think it is because one of the primary themes around SM is the (negative) myth of the SM Guru/Expert. This post lays bare that myth, and exposes all the hard work it takes to make SM into something meaningful that drives ROI and contributes to an organization’s success.

Most of us working in this business aren’t walking around pretending to be experts, but we are working hard on behalf of our clients and companies to do a better job connecting with customers to drive sales and profitability. BL’s post is an acknowledgement of the hard work hundreds of people (consultants, agencies, companies) are doing all over the country to drive organizational success using SM as one of many tools.

Let’s re-imagine BL’s list as requirements for SM success, because that is what they are:

1. Coordination with marketing strategy.

2. Top management buy-in.

3. Long-term commitment.

4. ROI model reflecting long-term commitment.

5. Requires a professional team of agencies & experts.

6. Must be coordinated with PR and products efforts. SM can’t substitute for either.

7. SM Requires multi-year budget commitment.

8. Don’t expect to guarantee sales or influence.

9. Must be led and staffed by senior internal people who understand the over-arching strategy.

10. SM should always be coordinated with PR, Marketing and Product.

My $0.02


9 Things About Social Media

November 2, 2009

Two weeks ago I was on a panel for the AC Nielsen Center for Marketing Research at UW talking about social media and market research to executives from Wal-Mart, General Mills, Kraft, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and 50 or so others. I was asked to share some lessons learned about SM – from the perspective of a brand marketer.

Here are my lessons learned personally and professionally over the last 10 years working in this space.

  1. What people say to each other is more important than what we say to them.
  2. People no longer rely on brands for information.
  3. Advocates are more important than influencers.
  4. Brand mentions are just the tip of the iceberg – somewhere between 5% and 30% of the relevant category conversation. You should listen to the whole conversation.
  5. If you want to participate be helpful, human and humble.
  6. When you participate, put the community’s interests & motivations first.
  7. Connect to existing passion, don’t just make stuff up.
  8. If you want new ideas, look beyond your category.
  9. Brand advocacy is the most important metric today – are people recommending your brand to others.

I could elaborate – for a long time on each of these, but  you get the gist.



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