29 January 2012

Inflation Hits WOMM/Social Media Marketing

It was in August 2011 when WOMM reviews could be purchased for a dollar a star:

5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5
imageIn tens of millions of reviews on Web sites like Amazon.com, Citysearch, TripAdvisor and Yelp, new books are better than Tolstoy, restaurants are undiscovered gems and hotels surpass the Ritz.

Since then, due to demand, the price has doubled:

For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets
5-Star Product Reviews

imageThe merchant, which seems to have no Web site and uses a mailbox drop in suburban Los Angeles … had received 4,945 reviews on Amazon for a nearly perfect 4.9 rating out of five.

It’s time for social media marketing departments and agencies to take action by locking in their Brand Ambassador and Citizen Marketer rates.  If not, the cost for phony reviews will spiral out of control. 

Collusion in the Social Media industry is the only answer – or soon Brand Ambassadors/Citizen Marketers will feel free to make even more outrageous demands.  Some predict that it won’t be long before they’ll be forming Unions. 

The Federal Trade Commission is already sticking their stinking noses in all this:

Under F.T.C. rules, when there is a connection between a merchant and someone promoting its product that affects the endorsement’s credibility, it must be fully disclosed.

That would sort of defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?

These are likewise freedom of speech and censorship issues.  All Citizen Marketers should be allowed to write/say whatever they want when reviewing a product/service without evil government intervention (and, more importantly, as long as they are properly compensated – but no gouging, please).

I don’t know why we can’t all live and work together in a peaceful, deceitful world.

More reading:

The Social Media - WOMM - Web Advertising Posts

27 January 2012

Web Log

This I knew:

imageA blog (a portmanteau of the term web log) is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first.

This I knew:

The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger

This I didn’t know:

The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999 … Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger"…

Why am I writing about all this arcane stuff?  Because I have nothing else to write about.  So I guess I’ll blog:

Along with some client work, just finished up a huge project (too huge) for Henry Stewart Talks.

QR Code2My blog has a QR Code!  Found it while fiddling around with the Google Blogger settings.  If you wave your smartphone QR Code reader over it, you’ll be reading ….. this. 

Topics I write/talk about all the time, the ones that fill so many folks with unbounded love for me, are advertising on the web, word-of-mouth marketing, and using social media for advertising/marketing.  So they’ll love me even more, I’ve tossed up links to most of my posts on these subjects.  If you’re a proponent of social media and all that wonderful stuff, and you feel like worshipping someone new, consider Yours Truly as an object of your affections:

The Social Media - WOMM – Web Advertising Posts


One I forgot to add to the list:

“Hello, slippers!”

17 January 2012

NostraChuckus Predicts The Future Redux

imageFamed Soothsayer and advertising gadfly NostraChuckus has been startling the world for years with his mundane prognostications.

In 2006, he omened the re-branding of Retirement Living TV (or at least strongly suggested it):

Tailoring media to an older crowd
imageI won't comment on the shows because I haven't seen them (although this doesn't stop some media experts and pundits). I will say that I admire Mr. Erickson and his team simply because they're doing it.

However, the word 'retirement' might scare off Baby Boomers. It smacks of 'old' and 'irrelevant.'

Six years later, NostraChuckus’ predictions are again coming true (click the graphic):


The re-branding has begun.  Imagine how far ahead in the game they would be if the powers-that-be had heeded the advice of The Crystal Ball of Common Sense those many years ago!

Back to NostraChuckus’ predictions in 2006:

I hope Mr. Erickson finds some good sounding boards—along with an eclectic mix of vibrant, creative Baby Boomers to produce, write, imagedirect, and edit his network's offerings.

Hmmm.  The Crystal Ball is still a bit hazy on that one.

04 January 2012

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers VI: Turkey

It’s 2012.  Last year we had “The Arab Spring” – which continued into summer, autumn, now winter – and probably for many seasons and years to come. 
That’s the end of my predictions on that subject.  I’m no political expert – just guessing. 
And, of course, writing about international advertising and marketing doesn’t make me an expert on world politics.  Whatever I’m about to say, I shall recuse myself from political positioning. 
I’ve done this before with a few other posts about Turkey:
Turkey: A Bright Star In The Region (2010)
There are 15 million people living in Istanbul – and I think I saw all of them. And I met about two dozen of the brightest … 
Turkey is a vibrant, economic powerhouse – especially  the financial sector.  There will be no stopping them (not that you’d want to).
Turkey: Tiptoeing Across The Bosphorus (2011)
I do my best to keep this blog apolitical and focused on international advertising and marketing to Baby Boomers. A warning: I’ll be tiptoeing across The Bosphorus with this one.

Turkish Democracy: A Model For Other Countries?
What does all this have to do with Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers?
With a thriving economy and ties to Arab and European countries, it just might be a place for adventurous Boomer entrepreneurs.  Apparently (again, I’m no expert), Turkey welcomes new businesses.  Even if your business is based in your own country, you might think about the possibilities of taking advantage of the Turkish economy and its connections around the world:
In Turkey, Western Companies Find Stability and Growth
By Mark Scottimage“The economic backdrop in Turkey is better than in other European economies and has been rebounding faster,” Emre Yildirim, an executive director at JPMorgan Chase who focuses on Turkish mergers and acquisitions. “It’s a large country that’s growing quickly, so it makes strategic sense for companies to take a look.”
It also has a growing middle class, an attractive characteristic to Western consumer product companies.
Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers IV
Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers V

28 December 2011

Microsoft: 2012

This’ll be a long one – the last of the year.  Let’s get all the disclaimers, caveats, and transparencies out of the way:

  • Back in the Middle-Ages (around 1998) I did a bit of freelance copywriting/consulting for Microsoft.  It had something to do with this, and whatever I did has vanished into the ethereal unity.
  • I’ve applauded and bashed Microsoft in various posts over the last five years. Here’s one.  Here’s another one.  There are more.
  • imageAn “in-law” relative works for Microsoft.
  • I never received my shiny, new, free laptop.
  • I recently installed Windows 7 on my desktop and like it.
  • I recently purchased a Windows 7 Phone and like it.

From CNET:

Microsoft: Five things to look for in 2012
by Jay Greene
image… Microsoft is prepping the big kahuna of its product arsenal, Windows 8. The company hasn't set a date, though most analysts expect the flagship operating system to debut before the end of the year, and perhaps in time for back-to-school shopping. From that product, much else from Redmond flows.

I’ve had a lot (probably too much) to say about smartphones & tablets & Baby Boomers.  Some of the too much:

imageThe Slippery Finger Dance

The Obligatory iPad Post

The Obligatory Follow-Up iPad (and Smartphone and QR Codes) Post

Baby Boomers & Smartphones
The real issue: Marketers assuming that if you're over fifty you're automatically a member of one and only one age demographic - all with the same needs and wants.

So for now, forget about online advertising and marketing and let’s talk about selling smartphones and tablets.

Most Boomers in business have been using Microsoft products for twenty-five years.  Some stuck with Apple, especially in the advertising/media biz because Macs were better at all the graphic stuff – or was for years. 

But in offices around the world?  Windows and Office rules. 

Baby Boomers want to keep on working.  They also want to have fun.  Repeating for the umpteenth time:

imageThe computer/internet ethos for most Baby Boomers is that they pick and choose what technology they want to use, buy, or install. Some are all over Skype, video and music uploading and downloading, research, education, travel planning, shopping—while eschewing blogging, communities, and web page design. Or it’s the other way around. Or variations thereof. When it comes to new technology, most Baby Boomers learn only about what interests them, what they believe will be useful. They don’t feel the need to know everything there is to know about technology, computers, and the web.

… It will be the Baby Boomers who will be the first to pick and choose, to ignore or be seduced by leading-edge technology marketing. There’s a simple reason for this. We have the money to buy this stuff. Experts say we’ll continue to have the money for at least the next twenty years. Write us off at your own peril.

We’re not Luddites.

In 2012, Microsoft wants to make more than a dent in the symbiotic smartphone, tablet, and computer markets.  It can be done.  Their smartphone OS (Mango at the moment) is top notch, and a compatible tablet is coming (Windows 8). 

And we won’t be retiring.  We’ll be working, millions starting our own businesses

imageThis is perfect positioning for the new Microsoft offerings: Fun and productive technology for Baby Boomers.

Unfortunately, NostraChuckus’ Crystal Ball of Common Sense is a bit hazy, not projecting any clear images depicting the marketing department at Microsoft having or not having a clue about any of this. 

And even if they did, would they know what to do about it?  How to do it?