Tag Archives: marketing

The Gated Content Gimmick: You’re only fooling yourself

Gated content is a wonderful thing. Simply by placing your valuable content behind a gate, one that requires people to provide their name and email address or telephone number, you grow your opt-in email list and quickly have access to a huge base of potential customers. And potential customers have your content.  It’s a win win situation!

Not so fast. Here’s how gated content actually works. 

You, the company,

  • Create content that, in your opinion, is valuable and showcases the superiority of your brand
  • Choose not to share this content freely because you put time and money into it and therefore people ought to pay for it
  • Believe that receiving regular newsletters and repeated requests to meet, is fair payment for your content

Your potential customers, however,

  • Know that you are more interested in their dollars than in solving their problems because helpful companies are able to showcase their expertise with zero expectations
  • Know that you believe in tit for tat rather than generally being helpful, and this could easily transfer into any work they do with you. A little fee for this, a little fee for that.
  • Know that the second they share their email address, they will be bombarded with emails and phone calls they never wanted
  • Hate spam and therefore clicked off your website and over to a competitor’s where they can instantly see how transparent and helpful they are.  
  • Aren’t fooled by all the name dropping and filler in your ‘valuable’ content. It’s just another sales pitch with pretty pictures. ‘Content’ is not what they’re seeking anyways. 

So what is the solution?

  • Be a generous steward of the industry. Write excellent content. Put it out there with no expectations and no requests for contact details. People love generosity. You too should love generosity. You’ve benefitted from it a lot to get where you are.
  • Become known as an expert in your industry because so many people have seen the valuable information you have put together. Because so many people can share it without fear of spam (stop believing your newsletters aren’t spam).  Because so many people value your committment to helping them do better and be better.

In the end, there really is zero need to gate content.  It only “benefits” you not your potential customers, and I rather think that in the long run, it is a serious disadvantageous.  It gives people a completely incorrect vision of what your company is about. 

Let’s put gated content in the garbage where it belongs.

CMO panel discussion at AMA Houston @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own. Apologies for not indicating who said what.


Session 1

  • The Seven Big Problems in marketing
  • Focus here is on talent and recruiting and retaining that talent
  • Focus on employees before focusing on customers
  • Where is the skills void – technology, marketing is so heavily influenced by tech, we need to be experienced with tech and have a varuety of expertise. Also research and analytics, customer lifetime value, how to use data, leverage data, attribution modeling, statistical modeling. Need to understand them no necessarily know them.
  • We need to spend a lot of time with IT professionals, go to where the expertise is [yeah go visit your research team, your data analyst, your statisticians, data scientists]
  • [i’m so tired of the millenial term. It’s not millenials. It’s new adults who have money for the first time and are ready to find a brand and become loyal to a brand]
  • How do you attract people to join your company
  • [seems the term has changed from employee to individual contributor]
  • Hiring people is a sales job, always have a list of people who you really like and when you have a job that suits them, go ask them. Have a folder of people you want to hire when the opportunity arises
  • The resume is a pet peeve. You ar selling and promoting your personal brand. 80% are just a list of things someone has done but that’s what they aren’t looking for. What results have you generated. What contributions have you made, how did that produce results for the company. What impact have you made on the organization. Tell how you helped the company advance.
  • If you don’t have much experience because you’re young [then consider all your unrelated jobs and volunteer work and what you contributed to them. NO ONE gets to their first job with no relevant experience. Hard work, perseverance, working under pressure, teamwork]
  • Looking for people who want a career not a job, need passionate people
  • You are NOT owed a new job title and salary increase every six months [or even every two years]
  • You can’t go wrong with an advanced degree. Where all things are equal, that person will win. But someone who’s done amazing things without that graduate degree will win. It’s important that the person can be effective from day one.

Session two

  • [set of nonprofit speakers]
  • Budget issues, limited resource and serious expectations, volunteers, a lot of neuron racy, real lives are on the line, hard to get people to buy into a long term cause
  • Biggest challenge is segmentation of audience, donors, members and every mix of those, young, old, active and not active, everyone needs a different message
  • Need to establish a culture of marketing when the employees are all social workers or medical workers, fighting for dollars doesn’t line up with how they feel
  • Why do one third of ballet audience not come back – what are they missing?
  • How do you create a culture of innovation with nonprofits that have limited resources
  • “Pilot”” is a common word, test something with very little money, tested a Facebook campaign for potential foster families, got a lot of inquiries as a result, a full blown campaign would not have been approved but now it is
  • You rarely know what caused anyone to make a purchase. A billboard? A Facebook post? You have to expect it’s not all measureable and just try anything out.
  • They are mostly digital at this point, important for the staff to be writers and they pay firms to do the rest, good content always gives you the presence, focus on the stories

Neuroscience Scalable Marketing Solutions by Charles Spence #ACEI_CO #InvestigAction2013 #MRX

… Live blogging from the Colombian Association for Marketing and Public Opinion Research in Bogota, Colombia, any errors are my own, any comments in [] are my own…

ACEI Bogoto Colombia

Para leer esto en español, por favor, copie pegarlo en Google. Una mala traducción es mejor que ninguna traducción.  http://translate.google.com

  • successful new products appeal on both rational and emotional levels to as many senses as possible
  • how do you engage a tv in more than audio visual senses?  about opening the box has an olfactory experience as well, perhaps consider a branded smell [what the!?]
  • McGurk effect – visual illusion where looking at a person talking makes your brain interpret what you hear, you think you see them saying a certain sound but you don’t
  • the music you hear in a store affects the products you purchase – french music creates french wine purchases, ditto for german music and german wine. but people refuse to believe the music had any influence on their choice.
  • what do marketers do if the consumer doesn’t know why they make their decisions?
  • changing the fragrance of a shampoo makes people think the shampoo works better
  • where is the “buy” button in the brain?
  • fMRI is popular because it is colourful, lying in a scanner while a deafeningly loud machine watches you drink a beverage is not real  [HA HA!]
  • physiological measures becoming more popular – microexpressions, skin response, heart rate, pupil dilation, eye movements – these are challenging for real world applications
  • a manly shape to a bottle implies the product is strong, eg a squarish bottle versus one that is thinner at the middle
  • for every $2 increase in the price of a bottle of wine, the weight of the bottle increases by 8 grams, price doesn’t tell you which wine is better but which wine has a heavier bottle; even stronger for a tube of lipstick
  • perhaps make your packaging feel heavier even if you’re losing less packaging
  • the sound of chips crunching defines how we think they taste, how fresh we think they are – P&G wanted to know how they should change the sound of their chips
  • pens click when you open them, touching fabric creates a sound, spraying something creates a sound, some things should feel AND sound soft
  • restaurants can include the sounds and smells and sights relevant to the product, one restaurant even provides a headset for you to listen to while you eat and people perceive this food to taste better
  • a brain seeing a red drink or a blue drink decides on the flavour, the sweetness, and this differs by culture. A blue drink might make you think raspberry, mint, or mouthwash.
  • if you put chips in the wrong package, people are either confused or taste the flavour that it says on the bag
  • is it the plate or is it the food? the size and colour of the plate changes your experience of the food.
  • test the perceptions of different food colours by using augmented reality headsets that change the appearance of the colour for you
  • eye monitoring tells you where people look at a package – at the words, the pictures, the price?
  • putting your brand name on the narrow section of a bottle of shampoo means people are more likely to see the name – people always look at the narrow section first
  • new trend sweeping the UK is synaesthetic marketing – people who unconsciously associate a color or shape with a number or letter [Olive Sacks writes about this, really neat case studies]
  • most people do associate shapes and speech sounds – round shapes are soft letters, sharp shapes are angular letters. use these round and angular letters to describe your product.

Which half of my digital marketing is working: David Rogers #AMAresearch #MRX

Welcome to this series of live blogs from the American Marketing Association’s Research & Strategy Summit in Las Vegas. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.

AMA market research event

Dr. David Rogers, Author, “The Network Is Your Customer”; Faculty Director, Digital Marketing Strategy, Columbia University Business School

Link to buy David’s book on Amazon

  • One half of ALL US adults have a smartphone, tablet, or both. Not just online adults. ALL adults.
  • From IR to HOW to WHY
  • John Wanamaker, 19th century department store magnate and father of advertising “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.”
  • Marketing often say they are swimming in data. MR grew up in a world where data was scarce but now information is no longer scarce.  We give off digital data at all places in our lives now.
  • 39% of marketers say they can’t turn their data into actionable insight [this is really sad. i suspect MUCH of that is not due to them not knowing how but rather that they don’t have the time to  do it]
  • Problems
    • 29% say they have too little or no data
    • 39% say data isn’t enough real-time
    • 51% say data isn’t shared enough across the organization
    • 42% say they can’t link data at individual customer level
    • 45% say they aren’t using data to personalize marketing communications [this assumes I WANT personalized communications which I don’t]
  • 37% of marketers make no mention of financial outcomes when they define ROI. ROI= ((Return/Investment) -1) * 100. Nothing else. [I think I just had a heart attack and it wasn’t due to too much chocolate]
  • 57% of marketers are not using any ROI analysis to plan their budge – people use gut, last years budget.
  • Marketers are looking for a silver bullet [yup, been there, done that, it don’t exist].
  • Marketers want a universal cross-platform model for measuring spend and ROI. Dream. On.
  • There is infatuation with the word engagement. Is it the answer to every question? Is engagement ad viewership? Number of likes? Wearing a Harley Davidson jacket and getting a tattoo across your forehead?
  • How do you compare facebook fans to twitter shares? Can you? What about youtube and downloads and comments. Which piece is more valuable to your brand? Which half is working….
  • Agile marketing model. Agility is an essential skill for marketers and researchers. Keep changing tool kit, adapt metrics.
  • Step 1. Start with objectives in mind. Seems trivial but it is not! What do you want to move the needle on. Objectives do NOT start with technology. Brand building? Customer service? Sales? Social responsibility? Lead generation? Once you know your objectives, the problem of being overwhelmed by the data is no longer overwhelming.
  • Step 2. Develop metrics. Four kinds.
    • Audience metrics. Who did I reach. Fans, followers, page views, unique visitors.
    • Channel engagement metrics. Likes, visits, retweets, youtube views, votes cast, time spent on site, click throughs. Must keep metrics separate to the channel. Retweets to twitter. Likes to facebook. Channel specific metrics are more common in digital.
    • Universal engagement metric. Change in relationship with customers. Sentiment, state of mind, brand awareness, purchase intent, customer satisfaction, net promoter score, word of mouth, lead generation. Works for new and old channels.
    • Financial metrics. Revenue, market share, customer acquisition, customer retention  ROI.[These are really the only ones that matter! No money = no audience metrics, no engagement metrics…]
  • How do these four interact? You need to build your own model. [I smell regression!]

Deutsch: Spaghetti mit Sahnsauße

  • The marketing funnel from decades ago has holes but the stages still happen, and now there is an advocacy state to add above the loyalty stage. Advocacy impacts awareness and each stage of the decision making process. [I still think the purchase funnel should be the purchase spaghetti, not the purchase funnel]
  • Awareness can be affected by poor SEO, broken links to pages no longer there. Fix it!
  • Consideration is shaped by Amazon, what they decide to show consumers. Partner with amazon.
  • Preference is affected when people see a coupon on the screen. Promote 3rd party reviews.
  • Action is affected by etail + retail. Look online, buy offline. Have contests to create advocacy.
  • Number of tweets is NOT a KPI. You can only do that if you’re twitter. Audience metrics are not a KPI unless you are NBC.
  • VISA’s KPI is share of wallet vs cash. If you’re traveling, how much cash do you really need when Visa is “accepted everywhere.”
  • 7 habits of agile marketing modelers?
    1. Make it everyone’s job, not the department of big metrics.
    2. Be iterative. Don’t wait for the annual/quarterly survey.
    3. Be skeptical. Don’t accept just any metric.
    4. Be data-driven. Not just hunches and feels good. ‘The highest paid person’s opinion”
    5. Be customer centric. Don’t lose yourself in the data. Understand the qualitative experience.
    6. Be imperfect. Don’t wait for perfection. You will never have the perfect model. It is the enemy of the good.
    7. Be decision driven. Never measure just for the sake of measuring. If it doesn’t influence decisions, then you are wasting your time.

Related Articles

Cross Media Marketing by Insight Express and Disney #TMRE #MRX

Live blogs by @LoveStats! This is a session summary from The Market Research Event by IIR in Orlando, Florida, November 2011. It was posted mere minutes after completion of the talk. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any humorous side remarks are also my own. Feel free to leave comments and critiques.

***                                                                                                          ***

11:30 – Best Practices in Cross Media Marketing and Measurement
Molly Elmore, Vice President of Market Research, InsightExpress
Marc Normand, Vice President, Research, The Walt Disney Company

  • #1 Clearly defined goal objective. Have focus, choose specific objectives. [in SMR, the objective is often “do something in SM. sigh]
  • #2 Less is sometimes more. Do not include random questions that are not related to the objective. Do include brand metrics, target definition questions, profile analysis questions.
  • #3 Accurately define exposure groups. Advertising recall is very inaccurate. Don’t assume ads are memorable. 23% of people think they saw an ad but didn’t. 70% of people don’t remember.
  • #4 Ensure clean, valid comparisons between Control/Exposed group. Weighting can be your friend.

    Daisy Duck from The Walt Disney Company

    Image via Wikipedia

  • #5 Design the survey to capture frequency of exposure.How often do people need to be exposed in order for them to remember it. Binary exposure question is insufficient. 12 exposures in short time can be bad for your brand though.
  • #6 be cautious of screening to heavily [THANK YOU] People are define their target too narrowly. You DON”T KNOW which is the important part of your data every time. WOM gets ignored with excessive screening, out-of-target can become in-target. Broaden your target and get larger sample sizes.
  • #7 Compare to normative if available. Adds context. Can see if the difference you saw is better or worse than similar studies. But take it with a grain of salt, category must be similar, brand awareness should be similar, consideration set must be similar.
  • #8 Incorporate costs into final analysis. TV is expensive option. Can be three times as effective but if it’s ten times as expensive, it may not make sense. [unless the # of people you reach is vastly greater….]
  • #9 Develop analysis with a story in mind. Does the creative accomplish the intended goal – awareness, etc.
  • #10 Explore media vs creative. How are some measures aimed for media vs creative. Do people connect with ads physically. Awareness measures are often media measures, did media do its job. Education, persuasion is the job of the creative. Does the brand come across? Must always have multiple measures because “purchase was flat” isn’t helpful at all.
  • [Very tweetable presentation. Means they gave specific advice. Always good. Thank you presenters!]

We All Need a Little More Optimism

I am a commercial skeptic. The Vulcan researcher in me means that I don’t believe a word they say. I automatically assume every word is simply marketing speak to make me forget about the practical or impractical features of a product.

But this commercial, well, it’s a little different. It doesn’t talk about the brand of coffee (Maxwell House) or the flavour or the price or any other silly little thing that I won’t believe anyways. Instead, it reminds me what every day should really be. A day that we are thankful for and happy to be a part of. A day where we’re proud of ourselves and content with who we are.

If you need a pick me up, then this commercial is for you.

Advertising to Real People – Including Researchers #MRX

We take our work very seriously. We are desperate to see the fourth decimal place, we need to know the exact date and exact sample size. We design questions that are so specific, the entire question takes up half of the page and no one really understands it.

But let’s leave our ivory tower of non-reality for just a few minutes and sit on the other side of the table. Instead of being the marketer, the researcher, or the client, let’s remember what it’s like to be the person who actually uses our product, watches our advertisement, and searches our website. Let’s remember what we are actually like as soon as we leave the office. We see all the silly things that other people are doing regarding marketing and advertising, often forgetting that we are doing the exact same things ourselves.

In an effort to remind ourselves that even marketers are real people, here are just a few of my favorites from a website called Things Real People Don’t Say About Advertising. Laugh, learn, and think about them when we’re at work, not just when we’re at home. There’s many more where these came from!

Read these too

  • A Pie Chart of my Favourite bars…
  • PRAM: Multiple Coder Reliability Calculator
  • 1 topic, 5 blogs: Rich Media in Surveys
  • 3 Reasons Why Researchers Hate Focus Groups #MRX
  • 1 Topic 5 Blogs: DIY surveys suck or save the day
  • I resolve to finish eating this apple cookie

    [tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]Open a browser window and search for apple. How many of the millions of results are for apple pie versus apple computers?
    What about if you search for cookies? How many results are baked treats vs spyware?
    Now try these brands: Microsoft, iPhone, BMW, Volkswagon, Prada. I’ll bet you without even checking that 99.9% of those results are exactly what you think you’re getting. Branded consumer products.

    In this age of social media, it seems particularly prudent to consider how brand names appear in social media, how people will search for your brand, how people will talk about your brand, and how you will search for your own brand.

    A while ago, Electrasol decided to change their branding. They went from a unique, undisputed name to “Finish.” Try searching for that on google. I would try but I doubt I would ever finish.

    Did we learn from that? No. Now, Spray’n Wash has done the same. They dropped a fairly unique name for the simpler Resolve. I would resolve to show them what a bad move that was for Resolve but I didn’t finish my previous search for Finish.

    Why aren’t brands learning? Brand communications are taking over the internet. Marketing is taking over the internet. Market research is taking over the internet. If you don’t brand your products with unique social media brands, you’re going to get social media marketing garbage and social media research garbage. Validity scores and data quality indicators will take a nose dive into single digits.

    Do you want that? Can you afford that?

    Laugh at yourself and then cry at our flailing industry

    [tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]

    Well, once you manage to catch your breath after laughing solid for 4 minutes, let’s really think about all the people involved in this little prank.

    1: Interviewer: First of all, this interviewer deserves a raise, a bonus, and a promotion for going through this interview without laughing, getting upset, or antagonizing the survey responder. I’m sure he deals with this sort of thing, whether real or fake, all day long every day. And yet, the utmost professionalism on his part. Kudos for a great job.

    2: Responder: How did our industry get to such a state where surveys are written so poorly that people leave a tape recorder at their telephone waiting for researchers to call in order to make fun of them? This is nothing for us to be proud of.

    3: Data Analyst: How exactly is the data analyst going to handle data which is clearly horrible quality? Will the analyst think of checking for outliers in each question? Will the analyst review the entire set of responses to recognize that it is an across the board outlier and probably a troublemaker? Will these responses lead to completely invalid analysis and conclusions?

    4: Survey Author: Of course, we understand the need to use standardized questions in surveys. But, no matter how convinced you are, the world does not consist of people who know how surveys work. There are absolutely people out there who need to be taken through a survey with far more care than what we

    permit when writing surveys. Telephone surveys need to be written so that interviewers can speak naturally and help those people who actually need some help. That’s where good data comes from. I’m really curious if the survey author left a place for the interviewer to indicate that this instance was possibly an outlier.

    So, enjoy. But the next time you write a survey, keep this in mind. Are you antagonizing yet another survey responder or are you responsible for creating a more positive market research experience?

    Winning big with bull and losing big with brilliance

    [tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]This video isn’t new to the internet but it’s new to me. What happens when a world famous violinist brings a multi-million dollar violin to the subway and plays for commuters? Just watch.

    My take away is this. We as consumers love name brands. More importantly, we love to KNOW that something is name brand. Things just aren’t worth having or desiring unless we know it is a brand name product.

    Putting aside the sad story this tells about human nature, it also tells me that a big portion of our wants and needs are open to marketing.  And that’s where market research comes into play. Research helps marketers understand what makes people like a brand (name) and why they will continue to like that brand (name).

    It’s not sufficient to have a good product. You must also have good marketing, which, not surprisingly, can result in fairly mediocre products surpassing great products. Such is life.

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