Google TV Ads, Cisco Feeds MSNBC, & Interactive Marketing Agencies: A Fresh Perspective

Another week, another Tuesday segment on TheTVNews.tv. This week, I aggregated three new online video news stories that I think merit your attention. My video segment is below, and below that are the Google TV Ads video demo, more comments, and links to all the sources. Please let me know what you think.

1. Great Video Demo of Google TV Ads

Seth Stevenson of SlateV.com did a wonderful job of demoing Google TV Ads for the rest of us. I’m sure you will agree that he proves his point that, yes, anyone with the technical chops to produce a 30-second TV spot and set up a Google AdWords account, also now has the opportunity to be a media buyer and place those TV spots on carefully targeted cable TV networks in the time slots of your choice.

I’m impressed and ready for a client who wants me to do this for them. I’m highly qualified. Are you reading?

Here’s the SlateV Google TV Ads demo for your viewing pleasure:

By the way, for those of you doing the math, not familiar with Google AdWords campaigns, and figuring that, hey, that’s about $1.30 per website visitor… please keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for AdWords customers to pay $4, $5 and up PER click. And the visitors he “acquired” via this campaign were coming to a strange website URL with no identified service or product being offered.

2. Cisco Feeds Its High-End Teleconferencing System to Rachel Maddow and MSNBC

In what is said to be “a news media industry first,” Cisco has partnered with MSNBC to provide  The Rachel Maddow Show’s New York and Washington D.C. studios with its branded TelePresence technology. According to Cisco, “TelePresence offers what traditional broadcast interviewing technology often lacks: a truly two-way, visual connection between the studio host and remote guest with virtually no audio lag time.”

To me, that’s an interesting tech story, not only because of the “no audio time lag,” but also because of further in-roads being made by a traditionally IT industry player providing hardware services to the broadcast TV industry.

Click here to see for yourself.

For more details and illuminations of the interactive benefits of TelePresence, Beet.tv has a video interview with Charles Stucki, VP & GM of the Cisco’s TelePresence unit.

3. Forrester Research Predicts the Future of Marketing Agency Relationships

Anyone in the marketing or advertising business knows that all marketing agencies are being forced to cross “boundaries” that traditionally defined specific niches. Now, Forrester’s latest report, “The Future Of Agency Relationships: Marketers Need To Lead Agency Change In The Adaptive Marketing Era” sets the stage for overlapping, multi-discipline agencies and the ways we all will be doing battle (or not) in the future.

But if you don’t feel like plopping down $499 for the report, I highly recommend Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim coverage of the report, Forrester Predicts the Interactive Agency of Record Will Die. Beal reveals the main types of agencies discussed and some of the top level data including this quote which gives you a flavor of the sophistication being required in today’s marketing agency market:

It is not enough for adaptive agencies to understand market research, ethnographic, or behavioral data. To fully understand customers, and to leverage that knowledge to improve customer experience, requires agencies to understand the interplay between the various types of data, and crucially, demands the ability to turn the data into actionable intelligence.

Stay tuned. The landscape continues to morph at a record-setting pace. Keep on dancing… and keep your seat belt fastened. 😉

Get a Grip on Internet Marketing: It’s a Process

Get a Grip on Internet Marketing: It's a Process(This commentary originally appeared in the Feb-March edition of ComBridges’ “It’s a Wonderful Web” e-newsletter.)

Many people think of Internet marketing as a “thing” or an event. It’s not. It’s a process… an adventure even.

Yes, of course, this process requires the generation of content. Whether your content is just what you say on your site, or if you get more vocal by writing blog posts, publishing e-newsletters (like this one), and/or tweeting on Twitter, there are things to do. But, what surprises us is not that people (including us sometimes) lack the discipline to write on a regular basis. What’s surprising is how short-sighted many people frequently are about the process.

What’s amazing about Internet marketing is the kinds of real world, actionable feedback that it makes available, for the first time. From the beginning of the web and e-commerce, we’ve loved the phrase “launch and learn.” Your website and all the associated opportunities to communicate with your consituencies is a low risk learning lab packed with valuable information, if you use it.

It works when you work it, but…

How many of you have Google Analytics (or some other analytics system) installed on your website, but fail to review those analytics on a regular basis? And as long as we mentioned “adventure,” how many of you actually go the extra step of testing new ideas, learning from the results, and then making appropriate adjustments? We’re guessing not many.

This is why ComBridges’ Internet marketing agreements now routinely include regular monthly coaching and consulting sessions as well as service deliverables. That way our work together can include monthly analytic reviews & recommendations as well as follow through on previous initiatives.

Internet marketing is a process, and we’d love to help you make yours more productive. Please contact us for more details.

Super Bowl Ads Still Lack Social Media Marketing Success (Mostly)

Thanks to everyone who participated in our live, interactive Super Bowl Commercial Rating Party in partnership with TheTVNews.tv, the TV industry’s only daily video newscast. (Watch this space and TheTVNews.tv for details on our Oscars Party.)

Reprise Media Search Marketing Scorecard on Super BowlBy way of follow up, Jeff and I did a segment on tomorrow, Wednesday 2/10’s show (my New Media / New Marketing starts at 2:50) discussing my view of the winner and loser Super Bowl advertisers in terms of social media marketing. We referenced Reprise Media’s Search Marketing Scorecard on the Super Bowl (a free PDF download) which points out a surprising fact: While 93% of the advertisers—who shelled out a reported average of $2.6 million for each spot—do have an official Facebook profile, (get this) only 5% promoted their social profiles in order to leverage or take better advantage of their massive investment (a.k.a. marketing expense).

The single biggest social media marketing loser was Denny’s. Here’s the link to Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion author, Gary Vaynerchuk’s rant about how Denny’s missed the boat with their multi-million dollar expense. Gary is totally right. Why not use an incentive like a free breakfast to capture customer information and build a platform for better engagement? Duh!

The viral marketing buzz winner was the Audi Green Police spot below which got the most Twitter buzz according to Trendrr (via a chart referenced in the Repris Media report):

Bonus Category: My “nominee” for the Super Bowl TV spot with “Best Script,” at least the script that hit closest to home for me had to be this creative “Man’s Last Stand” spot for Dodge Charger:

Too bad I don’t relate better to the product. 😉

Bonus Just for Fun Video Link: Business Insider’s 10 Best Tech Super Bowl Ads Ever

Bonus Link #2: USA Today’s Super Bowl “Ad Meter” (pretty slick, including green screen video intro)

As always, your comments, suggestions, rants, and any other insights you care to offer are welcome via the comments space below. I look forward to hearing from you.

TV Industry News, Talkin’ New Media, part 2

I’m continuing to have fun as a video contributor and New Media / New Marketing expert on TheTVNews.tv. Today was the “world premiere” of what will now be a weekly appearance every Tuesday and more. I wrote a press release for the occasion, “New Media / New Marketing Consultant Joins the TV industry’s Only Daily News Show with Weekly Segment.”

This press release also introduces the “Super Bowl Commercial Rating Party” which will be offered via Twitter and Facebook during the big game. FYI, we’re still looking for peeps with TV industry creds and experience. If you’re interested in being part of our Twitter list of luminaries, please give me a virtual “shout out.” Here’s today’s show. All feedback and suggestions are welcome. Thanks!

Am I Your Go-To Guy? (a self-awakening)

One advantage of having a coach who is also a client is that her testimonials not only flatter me, they make me think.

Here’s what Christy Strauch, author of Passion, Plan, Profit: Twelve Simple Steps to Convert Your Passion into a Solid Business, said about me and my work:

I think Jon knows better than anyone how to help businesses use the Internet as a powerful marketing tool. Wherever you are in the process of developing your Internet presence, Jon can tell you exactly what you should do next. He will enable you to take advantage of the latest (sometimes bewildering) array of tools, from blogs to Twitter, from Facebook and LinkedIn to YouTube videos. From my experience, Jon is the guy to call if you want to market your business more effectively; and, as a bonus, because of his openness, you will learn from a real visionary every step of the way.

What stopped me in my tracks about this statement was the “Jon knows better than anyone.” It’s a strong statement, and when it came on the heels of another flattering statement by another client, Rick Weinstein of Life Insurance Services for Charitable Giving, I had to self-reflect further:

The go-to point player for the Cleveland Cavs is LeBron James. Simply stated, Jon Leland is the go-to player if you are a profit-seeking entrepreneur who wants to leverage the power of e-commerce. Better yet, Jon is a people’s person. He’s no nonsense and a master communicator. I view Jon as a life-long partner, not a vendor; and I am pleased to wholeheartedly recommend him.

LeBron James! Yikes. I was humbled and inspired at the same time. And, I’m not just tooting my own horn because together these quotes added up to a personal wake up call. Thanks to my willingness to listen to my clients, I realized that I have not been positioning myself well given the levels of my expertise and experience.

I honestly know that I am able to be that “go-to guy.” I am so much more than just a website designer/developer. I am someone who can tell virtually any client of any size company what they should be doing next with regard to their web presence and their internet marketing. But, unfortunately, up to now (at least recently), that is not how I’ve been telling my story. Hello? Mr. Leland calling Mr. Leland. Wake up!

So, yes, we do websites, but I also want you to know that these days we’ve evolved ourselves into WordPress experts. As a result, we offer a carefully evolved approach to using WordPress as a CMS (content management system). We’re calling this custom “cocktail” of plug-ins and configurations, “We Do WordPress Right!” But most people, even some of our clients, don’t know that yet.

Furthermore, we have initiated a brand new set of internet marketing packages which include support for blogging and social media marketing. (Please contact us to receive a confidential copy of these offerings and get the “go-to guy” on your virtual team. 😎 )

I’m done with just being a website designer who also does internet marketing. It’s time for me to re-own my expertise as someone who has honestly been on the cutting edge of new media all the way back to the early ’70’s—before the term “new media” was invented—when founding a narrowcast radio network was “new media.” (Read more about the other new media/new marketing innovations I’ve been involved with for literally decades in my online bio.)

I hope my “self-awakening” is inspiring to you as well. Have you been under-selling yourself? What story should you be telling about yourself that you have not been telling?

And, of course, if I can be your “go-to guy” that helps you build a truly successful web presence, I’d be delighted.

My apologies for the shameless self-promotion, but I needed to say this “out loud.” Thanks for listening.

Leading with Value: The Currency of New Marketing

In my keynotes and workshops on internet marketing (which I am hereby referring to as “new marketing”), one of my key concepts is “leading with value.” For me, a key part of business in general is creating (and maintaining) relationships. Of course, business is about much more than just making money. But, in this culture, that’s easy to forget. My real bottom line is the fact that the quality of the relationships that I have created via my business are perhaps the greatest source of satisfaction that I have in my work (right up there with the creative satisfaction and opportunity to make a difference).

For this reason, I am particularly enthusiastic about the authentic aspects of social media that literally depend upon “leading with value.” Social media is about networking, which to me means “virtually meeting” new, interesting people and learning new things from them. And, likewise, being able to easily share what I consider to be valuable information with as many people as possible. I love that. I enjoy it so much that sometimes I even think, “I was born for social media” …and I’m not even a social media “big shot.”

So along these lines, I simply want to start my Monday morning by sharing a couple of insightful blog posts that to me do a great job of underscoring some important aspects of our new media world. Hopefully, they will provide sparks for you as they have for me, so we can all go out and (like the Beatles said) “make it better”:

  • Focusing on Value: How I’m Changing How I Use Twitter
    This is one of the most substantive blog posts I’ve read in some time, and I especially like it because it addresses, in a very real and pragmatic way, how best to deal with Twitter users who spam. Bottom line, don’t auto-follow everyone back; and most importantly, un-follow all those affiliate marketers who are only trying to “capture” your dollars.
  • The Five Essential Pillars of a Social Media Campaign
    This list of values provide a foundation for social media relationship building that are, as the author says, “essential.” They include “generosity” which is very close to my “Leading with Value” concept.
  • ABC-TV News on “Marketing with Meaning”
    Yes, marketing executives are actually writing books on how marketing campaigns are more effective when they have MEANING. What a concept! Nice to see it being covered in the so-called mainstream media.

Enjoy! And keep having fun out there.

The Power of the Blog

Even though blogging is currently a very big buzz… a “buzz word du jour” even, I still think it widely misunderstood. So, what’s The Big Idea?

First of all, your blog is your home base. If you’re doing social media marketing, it’s the center of your virtual storm. Your Twitter, Facebook and other social media posts all link back to your blog.

Perhaps even more importantly, your blog is where you find your voice. It’s a real world exercise in speaking your truth and finding your value, making your offering. It’s not a new marketing trick. It’s actually the heart of authentic, transparent, 21st Century marketing.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s an awesome video clip featuring two true marketing “gurus.” Don’t be fooled, this video is less than 2 minutes long, but you may not hear a more important message this week (or month? or year?) So maybe you’ll want to watch it more than once? You probably know the speakers. Seth Godin who has written some of the most creative as well as best-selling internet marketing books ever (in fact he coined the term “permission marketing”) and Tom Peters of “In Search of Excellence” and so many other best sellers. Listen carefully. These guys not only really know what works, they are sharing what’s most essential to them… and apparently that’s blogging!

Major Trend Alert: Shared Links Can Trump SEO for Internet Marketing

NYTimes "share this" imageLink sharing inspired by social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn is nothing new. But fresh data published in Sunday’s New York Times by Brad Stone in his article, “Share The Moment And Spread the Wealth” reinforces the fact that this trend is continuing to gather momentum. It is doing so even to the extent that it has become equally important and now sits side-by-side with SEO (the historically dominant technique for building website traffic via Google) as a strategy for increasing the visibility for your website.

This underscores the powerful points made by some of my favorite thought leaders. Whether you call it building your “Tribe” as Seth Godin does or creating a “World Wide Rave” as David Meerman Scott articulates the opportunity, I have to say that whether you are a marketer or just a business owner, social networking has now crossed a major trend line. If you didn’t consider it essential before, now there is no doubt (at least in my mind) that social networking that encourages link sharing must now be considered a mission critical component of every company’s marketing plan.

For this reason, ComBridges’ is increasingly offering more social media marketing services in a variety of formats, including contract, consulting and even mentoring/coaching. Click here to request a free consultation.

FYI, I’m also very excited to let you know that I will be covering social media marketing and related topics in our upcoming EBiz Express Teleseminar series. Be sure to subscribe to our “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter if you want to be invited. The guests/co-presenters will be awesome, and we are keeping this educational series very affordable.

Still Think Social Media is a Fad? Then Watch This Now.

Don’t view this in your face presentation at your own risk. It’s packed with provocative stats, presented in rapid fire fashion, to make the case for Social Media as much more than a fad, but rather a real people-powered media revolution. Dare to disagree?

Twitter Resisters Surrender!

If you are still in the “I don’t get it” crowd in relation to the current Big Thing i.e. Twitter, you are not alone. I resisted it. Tim O’Reilly resisted it. David Letterman is still resisting it. Even Kevin Spacey can’t convince him. Just the same, the Twitter “toothpaste” is out of the tube and it’s not going back in.

So, to support your techno-enlightenment, especially if you are a business person not taking advantage of this remarkable opportunity for fun, social networking, information gathering, low budget customer service, and just plain ole marketing, I offer the following recent bites of online media in a friendly effort to get you going:

  • Our ComBridges team uses Central Desktop as “groupware” for project management and collaboration. I appreciated a blog post by one of their young associates called “Twitter for Business? Call Me Dr. Jekyll…” Although I think of this as more of a “Confessions of a Former Twitter Resister,” bottom line he makes a solid business case in a very personal way (which, by the way, is a very good thing to do online).
  • Nissan has recent launched a new website for its upcoming electric car called the Leaf. What’s interesting is that their new website is “Powered by Twitter.” Of course, this is just one example, amongst many, of serious businesses investing in Twitter for marketing and customer relationship building. Note the real time Q&A below the car stuff.
  • Darren Rowse, a.k.a. ProBlogger, who I respect, is arguably one of the most successful professional bloggers in the world, and he is also a down-to-earth, authentic thought leader. Darren has not only created another blog especially for Twitter, Twitip which is packed with great info on how to use Twitter; but he’s produced a very nice, FREE 40-minute orientation program for you which I’m embedding below.

Now, go tweet your brains out, have a great time, and market appropriately please. Thanks.