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REMEMBER This Week

REMEMBER This Week

It’s taken me a relatively long time to be able to identify my successes, let alone celebrate them.  I used to think that acknowledging success meant settling…

but last week, I beat the machine…

and I can’t be happier about it.  More as a statement and validation than simply retaining a client.  The very thing that I’ve previously written about, robots taking our jobs, stating that those with innovation will survive, came full circle for me.

The story goes something like this (as I’ve come to understand it second and even third handed):

A client began directly interfacing with Facebook shortly after I launched their campaign seeking mobile app installs.  Our Facebook rep, after reviewing my work and the results of campaign (pretty darn good and improving) later referred my client to the Facebook Preferred Ad Vendor under the guise that ‘You could be doing much much better’.  Drinking aforementioned blue and white Kool Aid, the client put my services on hold to perform a week-over-week winner takes all comparison.

What was  I up against?

For starters, I am but one man.  I have no expensive machinery or macros, or software.  I use the Facebook Power Editor, MS Excel, and the native Facebook platform to manage ads and build campaigns.

Reviewing Facebook’s preferred ad vendor list, it could have been anyone of these companies that I was challenged by, but the long and the short is that any one of them would have more substantial bandwidth, technology, and big name clients to draw experience from.

What were/are my challenges?

As with any large scale campaign that is properly developed, the man hours required to manage were/are nearly full-time status with some likely human error always inflicting more pain and punishment.  The Facebook Ad Platform is simply not built to be the active manager of thousands of ads and terabytes of rolling data.  Moving things around, restructuring, and abiding by consistently evolving terms of service create a wild roller coaster of emotions without the assistance of the big software providers (Kenshoo, Wildfire, Acquisio, etc).  There are no alerts, budget monitors, or split test building devices in the stripped down version.  When an ad needs to be clipped or turned back on, my alarm clock is set at midnight and my netbook is always within arms length.

What happened?

The test agency was provided the same instruction, ad collateral, and budget that I had been given all along.  I tested first, which is not necessarily the drivers seat.

Keeping a tight loop on my mid-week budget, I rotated between 10 core targeting segments, adding and subtracting daily budget as performance dictated.  My findings have been that certain age and interest groups operate like migrating predatory fish, appearing at the same time in herds consuming everything in their path.  Over the weekend, I tripled my daily mid-week spend, capitalizing on an already existent engagement observation previously made by the client.

My results were pretty consistent with what I had been producing on a consistent basis, around 10%-15% growth from the previous week.

The opposition took an opposite approach spending the majority of their budget allocation over the first 3 days of the campaign.  As I only had an app ranking tracker to measure the competitor’s results, I was startled when rankings spiked in midweek. They tapered off and fell to the cellar by the weekend, leaving my perception cloudy.

When I was initially presented with this challenged, my expectation was that I had an incredibly daunting task at hand.  Facing just the challenge of new tech was enough to put me in a severe underdog position.  But, seeing ranking numbers that were very pedestrian gave me hope.

 

The Results

I didn’t receive direct communication from the client immediately after the test.  First word was that we should ‘resume spend as previous’, and I turned back on my money makers,  without delay.  My attached sales rep, who’d been heavily involved in the client management reported to me that from what he could gather, we (meaning I) had outperformed based on the early data.

I acknowledged that this was astounding for one person to even be in the ballpark of outperforming, as I was.  But, it ran even deeper than that.  The rumor mill began to turn, and third-hand people knew and asked me about my BIG win.  David had struketh Goliath, right in the stupid self-entitled face.

It turned out, that it was not even a close race.  Once the data tabulated, I completely mopped the floor with the opposition.  Discovering this, my client fired them in dramatic fashion, recommending that they seek my assistance in revamping their service.  They had mismanaged budget, oversold their capabilities, and didn’t meet any expectations.

Superior strategy and tactical fulfillment proved to be more effective than better technology and bandwidth. 

In this instance, I’ve further substantiated the innovation over robot theory by outperfoming a larger agency that uses global controls and technology versus my manual articulation of ads, but superior launch strategy.

Still wondering how I did it? 

I’m being pretty vague about the ACTUAL delivery method that made my campaign stop-drop-and open up shop.  You would too if you just beat the ‘best’.

I believe that the Facebook ad strategy I’ve used in this amazing win can be replicated for almost any industry.  I’ve spent almost $1million in the last three months testing.  If you would like to take a new, fresh approach to your Facebook marketing, I will back up all of my claims and pull back the curtain.  Simply fill out the form below and mention this post and I will be in contact shortly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Life After the Big Agency

The first question to ask is, ‘is there a career and life after working at an agency, other than working at another agency’?

This is a difficult come-to-terms for people that have been jaded, wounded, and battle trodden by the rigors of agencydom. Very few industries have the same daily pace. This can be said with confidence because agency people see it all. We have had an inside look into hundreds of businesses and learned their quirks.

There’s a luster maintained on the exterior of a big agency that covers a dingy surface far from the reaches of client vision.

Digital agencies are a haven for young guns that believe they are at the center of the universe. Attitudes and confidences swollen larger than lofty titles. Suddenly, everyone believes they are on the set of Mad Men, and their decisions should be documented forever in reality TV. I assure you shows about Agencies have not hampered the ideas of grandeur that run rampant.

I’m proud to say that two local partners that I know very well have launched a brand to peel the thick coat of smelly paint off of Digital Agencies and let it be known that going ’boutique’ is going ‘beautiful’. Two former digital agency pro’s Ricardo Figueiredo and Steve Peron have found a way to persevere on the other-side. They have dedicated their new search boutique brand to becoming a true anti-agency.

Check out this case-building for going boutique versus ‘big agency’:
Elevated Search Comparison

Spend just a few minutes on the Elevated Search site and you’ll find it obvious what gap in this world Steve and Ricardo intend to fill. Knowing them as I do, smart money is that you’ll hear about this company quite often over the next few years.


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Music in Advertising

Advertising is getting cool.

That would likely be extremely difficult for consumers to admit, but something that marketers have been proclaiming for half a decade.

As a marketer first and biased consumer second, I haven’t been able to truly realize a shift in cool factor until I had an epiphany today. I’ve discovered some great music within the last year from ads. I suppose it helps that I’m pretty liberal in the types of music I’ll listen to, but a bit of curiousity lead me to do some shallow investigation if other people are finding themselves compelled to search for music they’ve heard in TV & PreRoll Video ads as I am.

The climb in search interest for ‘songs used in commercials’ is certainly an eye-opener. Indeed music has given big brands a major search connectivity. This association of music to brands is certainly not a new practice, so why now? Have marketers simply become better at creating a playlist for their targeted demographic? Are new focus groups sitting around an iPod and picking out their favorite songs?

music searches

Here are 3 cool songs I’ve discovered recently in advertisements:

Song: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour “The Golden Age”

As heard in: Heineken commercial

Song: Sleepwalking by Photek

As heard in: ‘Sleeping Dogs’ game trailer

Song: Alex Clare “Too Close”

As heard in: Microsoft’s IE9 commercial

 

What are some of your favorite songs from ads?


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The Gift Bruce Lee Gave Digital Marketers

When thinking about how you can best serve visitors on a website or an open market of potential customers within an advertising target, first consider water.

Water would flow around obstacles within a site only pooling in places that were not properly plumbed. The goal is to make water (visitors) travel as easily as possible to its destination. You can apply this thinking by understanding the needs of your user majority. Content replacements and navigation changes to a site should be done based strictly upon user feedback (whether verbal or action based), otherwise you risk losing the positive flow of water and creating reservoirs of non-productive visits.

In an ad campaign, Bruce Lee’s recommendation would be to not be self-indulgent with your creative. Speak the same language as your target market, even be a common extension of their communication patterns. If your ads don’t open a channel for visitors to travel, then they will again pool in places that you haven’t intended. It’s more difficult to push water into a duct, than to allow it to flow with gravity. ‘Pushing water’ would mean greater cost of marketing to a lesser efficiency.

The value of treating visitors and prospects like water is that it takes away the value of the marketers agenda or ego in a campaign. Flowery ad copy and overdone user-interfacing takes a backseat to data.


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Will Work for an R8 #WantanR8

I’ve been casually following Audi’s ongoing social media contest called #WANTANR8.

I noticed that a contestant with the twitter handle of @grossman recently was selected as a winner. Out of curiosity, I checked his twitter profile and noticed that he is in Advertising. Couldn’t be rigged, right?

Well, I did a bit of digging and found some things that only piqued my curiosity further. In more than one instance, the Agency that @grossman works for and Audi are mentioned together.

On a Photographers Website:
Audiarnold

And various search combinations:
audisearch

It turns out that Arnold Worldwide has done quite a bit of work for VW (which of course is a sister company of Audi). Eyeballing a few different articles that report the start-finish of their engagement, the Arnold and VW relationship lasted about 10 years. I imagine that over 10 years of agency and client relationship the bond was tight. @grossman has been with Arnold Worldwide since 2006. I think you know where I’m going, and though it’s just speculation, @grossman as an Account Supervisor has his hands in a lot of Fortune 500 clients that come through the doors. I suppose if you do a good job you should be rewarded, as long as it’s not at someone else’s disadvantage and used as promotional content.

Arnold did very good work for VW/AUDI. Proof being in the pudding:
arnoldawards

I’m a big advocate of online contests as a means of distributing content and driving engagement. Using a branded contest as a facade to reward your friends and cheat others (Audi reports as 50,000 respondents) out of genuine participation is simply bad practice.


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Striking at Ghosts

In the not so distant future, Internet Marketing agencies will compete with nobody but hired assassins.

Under the guise of team effort and total service offering agencies are able to provide less for more. Business owners will likely wise up as they become additionally savvy and spend time being run through the ringer of big agency turmoil.

Here are some observations from being on the inside that business owners should apply to their own experiences in working with an agency:

1. The team that you originally hire in an agency will likely not be the team you fire.
2. If your relationship with an agency lasts over 1 year, then you’re generating too much profit for them and should try someone new or renegotiate your contract.
3. Transparency only exists when it is favorable to the agency.
4. Inter-departmental communication looks good on paper but is rarely aligned for the good of the client.
5. ‘We are growing’ is unlikely to be a good thing for most clients.
6. Innovation in service is solely dependent on the profitability of the agency.

There are a number reasons why, on the flip-side, free-roaming Marketing assassins make a much more cost efficient and communicative solution:

1.The consultant you hire has no reason to be anything but transparent, because they will likely bill hard costs on your own credit cards.
2.Consultants won’t need to charge you to cover costs of operating that an agency does. (Lower fees)
3.The person you hire is most likely the person that will be doing the work, and if they’re not, they know somebody competent.
4.A consultant is more substantially affected by the loss or gain of a client. This means that they don’t need as many clients to be solvent, and they will work even harder to retain.
5.The fallacy of a deep team (agency) is that everyone pitching-in means a fragmentation of intel, unlike with consultants.
6.Most Internet Marketing campaigns, regardless of size, can be navigated by a single consultant that has properly managed their workload.
7.Consultants have the luxury of picking and choosing their projects, unlike most agencies. If you are a client, then you can assume that the consultant believes in your project.

If you believe otherwise, please feel free to challenge my theories.


next page

REMEMBER This Week

It’s taken me a relatively long time to be able to identify my successes, let alone...
article post

Life After the Big Agency

The first question to ask is, ‘is there a career and life after working at an...
article post

Music in Advertising

Advertising is getting cool. That would likely be extremely difficult for consumers to...
article post

The Gift Bruce Lee Gave Digital Marketers

When thinking about how you can best serve visitors on a website or an open market of...
article post

Will Work for an R8 #WantanR8

I’ve been casually following Audi’s ongoing social media contest called...
article post

Striking at Ghosts

In the not so distant future, Internet Marketing agencies will compete with nobody but...
article post