I’ve Been Kind of Distracted But This Snapped Me Back to The Blog

I wish my distraction was preparing for the Holidays: buying gifts, writing Christmas cards, baking something. But instead, we were kinda busy at the office pulling together this.
The hiatus was starting to weigh on my mind when I noticed this on Facebook today. And it seemed perfectly apt…

Thank you Shakespeare, Enya (again) and Hungarian animation firm Delov Digital.

Even in digital form, Chuck Norris has no equal. After all, Chuck Norris doesn’t celebrate Christmas, Christmas celebrates Chuck Norris.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson

Wow! Facebook Had the Best-est Christmas EVER!

According to an article in the New York Post, Facebook got it’s first ever #1 Web Site ranking on both December 24th and 25th.  With 7.81% of all US web traffic Christmas Day, Facebook even trumped the almighty Google–a rather mindblowing thought.

Facebook traffic has always spiked around the Holidays but now that the social network’s audience doubled during the course of 2009 to over 350 million users, it finally has the heft to displace even search.

If you’re still wondering how Facebook is ever going to make money, just review those Facebook facts again–conveniently posted for your perusal at http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics :

  • Over 350 million active users, half logging on every day for fifty five minutes.
  • Over 2.5 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
  • Over 3.5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each week
  • Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have implemented Facebook Connect
  • More than 65 million active users currently access Facebook through mobile devices, and they are almost 50% more active than non-mobile users

The key to Facebook’s future profits lies in data-mining.  Because frankly, they are sitting on unimaginable volumes of it.  And if their ferocious ongoing litigation with any third party that dares to access individual accounts and potentially scrape some of that data, they clearly intend to keep it all to themselves.

That’s not particularly social; it’s just business.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

Note To e-Marketers: You Can Automate Surprise Too

Mr. Roboto?  A Bit More Creativity Please

Mr. Roboto? A Bit More Creativity Please

Every weekday morning when I first switch on my computer, I’m reminded of every purchase I’ve ever made online.  Because every morning, among various other things, my email inbox contains something from West Elm (Christmas, 2007–a serving platter), something from Joseph A. Bank (Fall 2008, a black watch tux jacket on super closeout), and another bottle from Wine Legend with at least a 92 pt. ranking for less than $15 (Summer, 2008, a very accessible case of French Rose).  Later in the day, I’ll also hear from Overton’s (waterskis and towables), Brooks Brothers (17 1/2 x 38 dress shirts) and Amazon.

The pitches come with steady, reliable precision.  The time of day, the lead-in lines, the layout of the pitches themselves very rarely varies and certainly that’s because my name and contact information has been fed into some automated system that purports to know my buying habits and thus sends a steady stream of offers to me at an astonishingly low cost to the retailer.

Obviously, I could set the spam filters and make all of these go away.  And if I felt really motivated, I could contact the retailer and ask to be taken off their mailing list.  But much like the rain-forest clearing deluge of catalogs that clog our mailbox, its easier just to dump them into the trash or recycling bin and get on with the day.

And yet, one of the great delights of humanity and something that the best, most welcome sales pitches frequently tap into is the joy of surprise.   Our world’s can quickly become rote–a repeat cycle of wake, commute, work, commute, drink, dinner, whatever–and so anything that upends the ordinary stands out like a snowman on a black sand beach.

Could someone remind the automated marketers of that?  Could someone influence these engineers or accountants posing as creative salespeople that their pitches–while statistically profitable no doubt from a CPM perspective–could generate better returns if they added something good advertising pitches always include?

A little creativity would be nice.  Or at least a small surprise.  That’s all it would take for me to stop equating your brand with ‘crap to throw away every morning.’

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79