Before You Pronounce Traditional Advertising Dead Check For Its Social Media Pulse.

People love to pronounce things dead. In fact, the phrase “is dead” returns over 226 million Google search results. However, most media and marketing that has been pronounced dead, doesn’t actually die, it just changes into something else. Radio was pronounced dead when TV came along. Instead radio became a valuable local and promotional medium. I still have the cover of WIRED magazine hanging in my office that pronounced Apple computer dead in the 1990’s.

Many have pronounced traditional advertising dead as digital and social media have increased in usage and influence. In 2013 a Harvard Business Review article said, “Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead. Many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they’re operating within a dead paradigm. But they are. The evidence is clear.” The author’s evidence? More people find information about products/services on their own through the internet and social media. CMO’s lack credibility and can’t prove business growth. It doesn’t make sense to hire 3rd parties to try and sell your products for you. (I have paraphrased Bill Lee, please check out his arguments yourself).

From the evidence I gathered I see a different story. Instead of death, social media seems to be giving traditional advertising new life and this new life is growing evidence for the importance of integration of marketing methods. Instead of replacing the old, we should be including it. Even in my Social Media Marketing class focused on social media, I make it clear that it should never exist on its own. It is not a replacement for traditional marketing, but should be integrated into traditional efforts. But perhaps I am biased because I received my masters degree in IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication) so lets look at the numbers and you can decide for yourself.

According to Ipsos research released in 2013, the number one way to create awareness around new brands and products is still with TV ads followed by friends and family and then the Internet. Nearly a third of consumers also turn to magazine ads (31%), social networking sites (25%), entertainment (TV shows/movies; 22%) and direct mail (21%). Even in the younger 18-34 group, the Internet becomes the primary source of discovery (59%), but TV is still third (48%).

Nielson data reports surveys of online consumers indicating the more influential forms of advertising (ones they always or sometimes take action on). People I know and opinions posted online are number one (84%) and two (70%), TV comes in at third (68%). Ads in newspapers are still number five (65%), magazine ads are eighth (62%) and billboards are just out of the top ten (57%). These charts say “integration” to me, not “death.”

Brands that are integrating are seeing better results. Deloitte research reports Some 86% of US consumers (aged 14+) claim to always or almost always multitask while watching TV. Almost half of Millennials this year say they use a social network while watching TV. The brands that know this are acting on it and benefiting from integration. For example, combined print advertising with online has been shown to increase intention to take action by 85%. And combined use of Twitter has also delivered greater results for traditional TV by increasing awareness, favorability and intent.

I am still a social media fan and highly suggest that all brands need to jump into social media marketing. But in your enthusiasm for the new, don’t leave behind the old. Traditional advertising is still alive and kicking and gets a boost from social media marketing. The best marketing efforts combine both in IMC fashion. Do you agree or do you see a flat line for traditional?


What An Old Summer Song Can Teach Us About Social Media.

My father in-law has a pool and a jukebox. So gratefully my family and I get to spend much of our summers swimming and listening to rock from the 50s & 60s. One of our favorite tunes is “Those Lazy Crazy Days of Summer” by Nat King Cole.

“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer.” Nat King Cole makes a great point. Summers are different and our social media plans should reflect that change.

Summer has some big time holidays and events. Nicole Karlis of Social Media Today says to plan your strategies around holidays like Wimbledon, Independence Day, World Cup, and Labor Day. This makes a lot of sense, because these will be trending topics during the summer as people search to plan holiday events or are searching for updates on the big sport competitions of the summer. Some have seen impressive results such as increasing organic search traffic by 20% in 2 months.

Summer moves at a different pace. Robin Neifield of ClickZ tells us that we should do more than connect to the summer holidays. We can also tap into the changes in behaviors and shifts in priorities. Consumers respond differently in summer when their priorities and schedules have shifted and this should impact the messaging and promotions you send out. In the summer people read more, socialize more, are outdoors more, eat out more, work less, and travel more. Your consumer is changing their searching, viewing, and surfing habits. Have you adjusted or are you running the same strategy year around?

Some brands and products go well with summer. These brands create campaigns around the season. Last summer Lays Potato Chips did this by celebrating “Making Summers Perfects for 75 Years.” The summer theme came with summer content of 75 models of summer imagery made from potato chip bags posted on Facebook and Twitter. It also came with a summer promotion encouraging fans to share their summer pictures for a chance to win a $75 gift card.

What is your social media summer strategy? Have you leveraged the main summer holidays and sporting events, shifted your messaging and promotions for summer search and schedules, or tied your brand into a summer themed campaign? Just because we’re “Rolling out the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” doesn’t mean your social media has to go on hiatus.

When Do Negative Comments Become A Social Media Backlash? Restoration Hardware And Their 17 Pound Catalog.

Restoration Hardware’s annual catalog set a record with 13 sourcebooks, 3,000 pages and 17 pounds. This tree killing giant print job has created a huge backlash on social media. One article describes the catalog as sending “critics on social media into an indignant tizzy.” But how big of a problem is this really?

It is true that people are making negative comments in social media. A simple search on Twitter reveals comments calling the catalog “wasteful,” “appalling,” “reckless/unnecessary marketing” and “a risk for shoulder injuries.” My quick search reveals the comments below. There is even a Tumblr page called Deforestation Hardware that is organizing a mass return of the “unwanted mailings.” Is the backlash massive?

TwitterRestorationHardwareThe negative comments on social media are only “1/10th of 1%” of those who received catalogs reports Restoration Hardware CEO Gary Friedman. The problem is these 1/10th of 1% are vocal and active on social media. Plus there has been enough to generate traditional media stories about the controversy in mainstream pubs such as Time Magazine, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Huffington Post, and CBS News. When social media reaction gets picked up by big news outlets comments get a huge boost of attention that may overhype the backlash.

I found a 5:1 positive to negative sentiment rating for “Restoration Hardware Catalog” on Socialmention. In my brief Twitter search above, I also did see positive comments about the catalog. So have these negative social media comments been blown out of proportion when picked up as a “backlash” news story by the traditional press? This is especially a consideration when only 1 out of the 10 stories I read mentioned the “1/10th of 1%” statistic to put it into perspective.

How much buzz constitutes a trend worthy of a news story? Visible Measures monitors viral videos and claim that 5 million views is the earned media threshold for when news media picks up something as “viral” and that story in turn boosts attention even more. What about journalistic standards? Amanda Hess from Slate reports that Shani O. Hilton, BuzzFeed deputy editor-in-chief told her,  “There are no rules. “We’re all trying to figure it out.”

Overblown or not, Huffington Post’s Robbie Vorhaus says “This could become one big PR fail.” How should Restoration Hardware react? Vorhous indicated they should publicly admit that “the mass mailing model of a group of catalogs is outdated and no longer fits with a company dedicated to customer satisfaction and sustainability.” But is this really a “controversial, wasteful campaign that fuels extensive anti-brand sentiment?” Maybe the true number of negative comments doesn’t mater. Once traditional media labels it as a blacklash, it is a backlash no matter what.

But sometimes what consumers say doesn’t always match what they do. I did find research that print catalogs are in fact a successful marketing tool. For example, online retailer Bonobos started delivering a print version of its catalog last year and says 20% of first-time website customers place orders after getting the catalog and spend 1.5 times more than those who didn’t receive it. The same research also reports 58% of online shoppers say they browse catalogs for ideas, and 31% have a retailer’s catalog with them when they make a purchase online.

We will have to wait to see if Restoration Hardware’s Social Media Catalog Backlash will hurt sales. But this year the retailer’s net income was up 217% from last year despite similar news stories in 2012 about the social media backlash over its 992 page catalog.

How many negative comments makes a backlash and how should brands react?

100 Insights For New Media Marketing

For my 100th post on this blog, I thought I would share all 100 insights in one place. Each listing is a link back to the original post.

Social Media Marketing Tips

100 Insights For New Media Marketing:

  1. Is New Media Killing Traditional Media’s Star?
  2. Are Bloggers More Sensitive To Spin?
  3. Technology Makes Us Dumber, Less Productive And Stressed Out
  4. Which Advertising Medium Is best?
  5. Can Direct Response Be Creative?
  6. Toyota Apology-athon
  7. Why Does New Media Matter? Because United Breaks Guitars
  8. The Last Thing We Need Is Another Blog
  9. Walk A Mile In Zappos’ New Media Shoes
  10. Tu Voz Rings True For Minority Marketing
  11. More Information On Information Overload
  12. Does Copy Matter Less On The Web?
  13. Can The iPad Save My Newspaper?
  14. Are You Ready For A Content Revolution?
  15. Somebody’s Watching Me
  16. Is There A Creative Process?
  17. Is All Buzz Good And Cheap?
  18. Brand Extensions Achieve MAXIMum Failure
  19. Speak Softly And Carry A Big Marketing Stick
  20. Is Facebook’s Privacy Policy Friend or Foe?
  21. BP Can’t Get Beyond Petroleum
  22. Are Mobile Ads Still Annoying?
  23. Are Intellectual Property Rights Wrong?
  24. EBSCO, Forbes, Time Open The Digital Divide
  25. Yahoo Cheers Associated Content Acquisition–Society Jeers
  26. Can Millennials Save Us Through Cause Marketing?
  27. Creativity Beats Media In TV ROI
  28. GM Recall Recalls Past PR Crises
  29. Cause Marketing Or Crisis Response?
  30. US Census: Bad Ads But Great Information
  31. Where Is The Star Power In The Gulf Clean Up?
  32. Cause Marketing’s Future Is Engagement Through Social Media
  33. Churchill, TED And New Marketing
  34. Blah, Blah, Blog: Why Companies Should Listen
  35. Online Research: Temptations and Limitations
  36. Does .005% Make A Difference? Ask Toyota
  37. Can Marketing Statistics Improve Your NFL Team?
  38. Celebrity, Media Outreach And Events Oh My!
  39. Cable TV Decline: Media Planning Gets Tougher
  40. Failed Test? Try An Ethnographic Study
  41. Do We All Need Twitter Editors?
  42. The Press Release, Blogger Outreach And SEO
  43. New Media Needs A New Name
  44. Public Relations Challenges For Non-profits
  45. Three Is The Magic Number
  46. Corporate Communications, Marketing, IMC, PR and Advertising. What’s the difference?
  47. Which Social Media Conversation Are You Joining?
  48. Earth Day PSA 2.0
  49. Click Here: Digital Call To Actions
  50. Measuring Print Response 2.0
  51. Visual Continuity in Print And Digital
  52. Brand Equity: Tangible Assets Are A Small Part Today’s Brand Value
  53. Do You Have Social Media Fatigue?
  54. Which Came First The Product Or Value?
  55. Ride The Cluetrain To Five Easy Pieces: New Marketing Strategy For A New Digital Market
  56. The Top Ten Things I’ve Learned in Marketing and Advertising
  57. Social Media Is A Big Idea For Small Business
  58. Cause Marketing to Boost Startups and Small Business
  59. As Smartphone Ownership Crosses 50% And Mobile Ad Spending Jumps 80% Keep 3 Key Measures In Mind
  60. Search Gets Social
  61. A Dead Guy Is Following Me On Twitter: Signs Social Media Is Taking Over
  62. Visual Continuity: Is It Always A Good Strategy?
  63. Big Ideas And Big Results Don’t Need Big Budgets
  64. Afraid of Digital? History Says Run To It, Not Away
  65. Savages Movie Written With Fragment Digital Media In Mind
  66. A Social Media Experiment: TDI Club Forum
  67. Hallucinations Aren’t Contagious, But Social Media Is Real For Many Business Functions
  68. Do You Look For Wrongs Or Rights? Stop Social Media Excuses
  69. “Like” Is More Than A Facebook Icon
  70. Forrester: Facebook and Twitter Do Almost Nothing for Sales
  71. Communications: The Language That Drives Revenue
  72. Brand Engagement Through The “Martydom Effect”
  73. Super Bowl Ads: A Unique Opportunity for Undivided Attention
  74. Fear Means Go: Stretch Yourself For Social Media Success
  75. Successful Entrepreneurs Make Mistakes To Discover New Approaches, Opportunities And Business Models
  76. What Do We Do With Out-Of-Date Advertising Professors?
  77. Gen-Y Honda Student Campaign Gets Results With This Gen-Xer
  78. A Text For That? App Hype Shouldn’t Discount Text Marketing
  79. Trouble Harnessing Social Media? Relationships Can’t Be Automated
  80. Can Retail Make Room For Showrooming?
  81. There Are No Top 10 Best Rules for Social Media Marketing
  82. Has PR Become An Unsustainable 24/7 Profession: Do We Really Need Social Media Mission Control Centers?
  83. Do You Have To Be Active On Social Media? Do You Like Being Invited To A Party And Being Ignored?
  84. Filling The Digital Marketing Gap 19 Students At A Time
  85. Mom’s Don’t Tweet But They Do Watch The Voice And #VoiceSave Through Their Teens
  86. The 12 Ways of Brand Community Value: My Year End Social Media Tips List
  87. Research Says Add New Media, But Don’t Drop The Old: Study Of Over 400 Successful Marketing Campaigns
  88. What Is Your Social Media BFF? 42% Of Adults Now Use Multiple Social Sites
  89. Shakespeare Predicts Super Bowl Commercial Winners: Research Shows Sex And Humor Aren’t The Key, It’s Story
  90. USA Today Ad Meter Super Bowl Results: Story Wins With Puppy Love And Others!
  91. If You’re Simply Adding To The Noise, Facebook Will Now Turn Off Your Organic Reach
  92. Airline Industry Has Highest Response Rate On Twitter And Facebook. What About In Winter Storm Pax?
  93. Irony: Sharing Social Media About Spending Less Time On Social Media
  94. 5 Ways Social Media Can Fuel Startup Success
  95. 24 Hour Rule: What Harry S. Truman Can Teach Us About Social Media
  96. Advertising Campaigns Are Dead: Brand Story Is The New Big Idea
  97. Star Bellied Sneeches: Social Media Badges Can Save Companies Billions
  98. Return On Relationship: Thanks Ted For Living It
  99. Behind Amazon’s Pay To Quit Program: Happy Employees + Social Media = Real Value
  100. 100 Tips For New Media Marketing