Bloombergbuys Superbowl :60other candidates shouldlearn from it

The New York Times reports that Michael Bloomberg is buying a :60 in the Superbowl to attack Trump, spending north of $10M. Trump may buy a :30. For some reason, politicians seem to shy away from the Superbowl:

But the Super Bowl ad is a show of financial force rarely seen in presidential politics. Though some campaigns have made local advertising buys during past Super Bowls, a national buy has often been out of reach, given the expense. It is also usually viewed as wasteful to pay to reach a 50-state audience rather than buying ads in the swing states where campaigns would prefer to target their message.

Source: Bloomberg Takes On Trump With a $10 Million Super Bowl Ad – The New York Times

But, here’s the reality, there is no better ad buy any national candidate could make. Here’s why:

  • It’s early, and first movers advantage applies. This sends a “Go big or go home” message to the rest of the field.
  • It reaches like no other ad buy. It’s the only place an ad buy can guarantee not only an audience, but a discussion the day after.
  • Contrary to Google and Facebook’s claims of being able to reach everyone that matters, there are still people offline, and even if you are online, it’s impossible to hit everyone at once with the same message to start buzz.
  • Thanks to Youtube and social sharing, the conversation can continue a long-time after the running of the single ad. People still talk about Apple’s 1984 which only ran officially once, during the Superbowl.
  • Because he’s the only challenger buying a spot (as far as we know) he’ll own the political discussion after the game.
  • He’s missed the debate stage. This clearly puts him in the mix.
  • Smart tracking of visitors to his site after the spot, should give him a huge base to remarket to.

The real question is who is doing the creative and while attacking Trump for :60 the real goal is to move people to back Bloomberg. Since he’s the only candidate not asking for money, how does he measure the conversions he’s getting for his money? Most American’s don’t donate, most don’t volunteer to work on campaigns. For a big data guy, you’d expect something more than just eyeballs and shares.

The other campaigns will all spend $10M on media. They’ll make Alphabet and Facebook money. They will only target voters in swing states and have custom messaging and all kinds of other tactical goals. The reality is, Bloomberg will have set off an atomic bomb of a message, and the rest will forever be looking at the shadow caused by the blast.

Your thoughts? Please leave in comments.

 

 

Self service media buying

Facebook Fit logoWe went up to Chicago yesterday to the “Facebook Fit” bootcamp. Every event at 5 locations through the nation has sold out- with about 900 people getting a peak at what will probably turn into a much more efficient system of teaching the masses how to serve as their own media planner/buyer.

If you can make it to the one in Austin- which still has tickets available (it’s their home base for this roadshow) go.

Facebook is far from being the first to self-serve sell media- Google and Yahoo have had automated systems in place for years. What Facebook has done is made really complex targeting based on huge amounts of psychographic, demographic, geographic, economic data tied in with buyer behavior information- accessible to all. Forget Nielsen, Arbitron, Media Audit etc- their data is in real time, and the tracking is precise.

John Wanamaker famously said “I know that half my advertising money is wasted, I just don’t know which half” with Facebook analytics, it’s really easy to tell what works and what doesn’t. And when it comes to reach- while other online advertising has a 38% effective reach- Facebook is claiming studies show they have an 89% reach.

When you also realize that all you need is a smartphone with a camera to make “a Facebook ad” with a visual and a few words of copy- ad agencies grip on “media buying” is almost as obsolete as Wanamaker’s dictum. If everyone was on Facebook- many marketers problems would be totally solved, but sadly- internet penetration isn’t what it should be in the US- and smart phones aren’t in everyone’s pocket.

Which brings us around to old school conventional media and media sales. There are a ton of options for every business to buy media- with or without the help of an ad agency. Of course, there are also people who think because they can rent the Adobe Creative Suite- they can instantly make great ads. Newspapers in our area did away with the agency discount decades ago- and the 15% commission model never really worked that well- encouraging buying quantity over quality to pad agency revenue. The real question is if media sales forces are still relevant?

We’ve seen massive consolidation in both TV and radio- with the idea that having a sales force sell multiple stations makes better business sense. Often agencies find they are competing with media reps trying to go to clients directly- with deals to make quotas and fill airspace. The Next Wave is wondering why media outlets haven’t gone to self-service online buying systems- with a totally automated sales and insertion system. Long gone are the days when reps picked up tapes from agencies- and why are they still serving as go-betweens to enter in schedules into a computer to see “if it will take the offered price” – when online dutch auctions have been selling space online for years.

Media properties should be focusing all their efforts on building relationships in their local communities and providing invaluable information in real time- be it news, concert info, local events etc. The return of the DJ, VJ, real news person is here- as always connecting with social media and web. If done right- local media can have a a renaissance. If done, business as usual- there is no hope for local media when going against a verifiable advertising media provider like Facebook.

Why newspapers have lost their usefulness to advertisers and value to their community

A few friends on Facebook (a walled garden- a wasteful place to have meaningful discussions) had a discussion about the end of newspapers. Most of them had been in the business or still are. There were lots of repeats of the standard sky is falling misconceptions about why newspapers are dying:

  • young people don’t read newspapers
  • giving away content online is a mistake
  • releasing breaking news before publication devalues the print edition
  • advertisers aren’t advertising in them because they’ve moved to more trackable methods
  • the economy is bad
  • local businesses don’t advertise anymore
  • how can newspapers compete with aggregators and bloggers who steal their content

The problem is, all of them are missing the core issue- newspapers were never the best way to distribute news, they were just the best solution when there was no internet. Stop thinking of news as content to go in a “paper” and you begin to solve your problems.

Let’s look at the limitations of the original newspaper:

  • There is a deadline for “publication” that was fixed. If the story was going to be covered it had to be in process before 7 or 8 pm to make the midnight press time.
  • Newspapers have limitations on space- with additional costs to run longer stories. They can’t run video, audio, or most importantly update after the publication or engage in 2 way discussion.
  • A huge part of the expense of creating a paper was in physical equipment- and supplies. Printing presses, ink, paper, distribution had to be covered by advertising and retail sales, before the cost of content creation was even factored in. It lead to exclusivity and a monopoly in most communities.
  • Because of the costs of distribution- and the length of the supply chain, you didn’t have to compete with other papers in your community- unless people wanted to read day old or two day old news. Only a local paper could get the content to you quickly and keep it relevant.

Reaching back to a brilliant book from 1996, “Being digital” by Nicholas Negroponte, there is a single axiom that must be understood: “Bits not atoms.” In other words, things that are created digitally, shouldn’t be converted to atoms- paper with ink unless it enhances their utility. Very few things fit this axiom when it comes to news or advertising.

The only value proposition a local news outlet has anymore is to connect a community and to be able to really know each of their readers well. Since we’re no longer creating a one size fits all general newspaper- with a fixed size and lifespan, we must become the go-to resource for local advertisers selling atoms (physical goods) that people in the community want and need.

Even here- the problem becomes that everything is one click away to be bought from someone else online. Showrooming, the practice of going to stores to see the product and then ordering it online from someone cheaper is a major problem for those that sell commodities that don’t have a short shelf life (fresh groceries) or are too big to ship inexpensively (furniture, weight sets, car engines). So the market for advertising locally has become smaller- services, local restaurants, the arts, hospitals and health care, sports teams, they become the people who need local advertising the most- but, most of them have caught on to building friends and followers via social media – and can’t afford the newspapers overhead to be included- this includes the legions of sales people that news outlets employ to sell space in their finite paper or finite TV commercial space. Outdoor has seen a resurgence since it can’t be ignored, skipped, missed or requires a subscription.

Note: Google lets advertisers buy their own ads without the help of  a legion of salespeople- and, Google knows their readers/users really well by tracking behavior, serving up custom content.

Getting back to local news organizations, they’ve been acting as the anti-social media for so long: one way communication, highly controlled, exclusivity, monopoly in their media space, that they’ve become irrelevant. That’s a big part of why newspapers have lost their value to advertisers. But, there is one big factor that many in advertising forget and don’t like to acknowledge- the fallacy of composition: just because you are online and all your friends are online- doesn’t mean everyone is.

There is a digital divide. Besides being a country with pathetically slow internet connections, we’re not universally wired. We’re not even close- and to the people who don’t have a connection, they still depend on the printed edition. The problem is, they are generally not in the key demos advertisers want. This is why the idea of running community newspapers as a non-profit community service is becoming more relevant and interesting to those who think about the value of a well informed public- from everything to the important decisions on who to vote for, to understanding the issues of the day.

Advertisers who want to be considered good neighbors, who believe that a healthy, well informed community is good for their business may begin to have a reason to advertise and support a publication that improves their community if it is also able to serve as the community hub/forum that set the agenda for the community.

Civic pride and civic duty are the keys to journalism of the future as well as community building. The monetary value will follow the utility of the content, not the other way around. Seth Godin has said over and over that he’s made more money by giving away his ideas and that the widest dispersion is the best when it comes to his content. He’d rather sell you 10 copies of a book for a buck each and have you give them all away, than sell you one for $20. The value is in the connection and the value the journalist adds with that connection- that inspires patronage and pride in the product, not because the ads are useful or the coupons save the reader money.

In Dayton Ohio, we’ve been watching the experiment by Cox Media of trying to integrate TV, Radio and Newspaper under one roof since late 2011. TV and Radio are both facing the same fates, except broadcast TV has been giving away its content for free since TV’s inception as has radio. In the UK they paid for these services with a tax on TV sets and for the longest time independent broadcast wasn’t possible. The same thing that’s happened to newspapers with the net has happened to TV- now anyone can distribute video, on demand, and not have to own a transmitter or a license from the government, enter YouTube, Vimeo, Ustream etc.. Radio has been made irrelevant by iPods, Pandora, Spotify, etc.

Once again, the key to being relevant to local advertisers is local content. The non-profit public radio station understands this and has local people on the air, talking about local issues and events. For profit radio doesn’t even have to have a person in the studio all day anymore using voice tracking and programing from Texas.

What’s most funny about Cox is that they still think there is a difference between print, radio and TV- not realizing all of them can be engaged on a single device called an iPad. Yet, they maintain different sales forces, different rates and different websites- all adding costs and no benefits to the end user. Integrate and refine your messages to a simple, single stream and engage in the old One-to-One marketing idea and you may become relevant to your advertiser again.

Local advertisers need local media. Local media needs to have and know it’s local audience. Only then, will the two connect again.

And, just as Seth Godin says you make the most from giving away your insight, I’ve given my local media a gift in this post, I just don’t think they are ready to accept that their way is D.O.A.

WiFi Kindle at $139 may be the answer for newspapers

Newspapers around the world haven’t learned that half their name is no longer valid. Unfortunately- what they’ve built as NewsWebsites may qualify as the best example of how not to build a website.

The key to the news industry is the first part of their name: NEWS. The rest of it- if it isn’t absolutely relevant to their readers- isn’t worth the paper it’s soon to be no longer printed on.

For as long as newspapers have been in business- they’ve been a one-to-many ad sponsored vehicle. Those days are over. Now, they have to learn how to be a one-to-one conversation- and know as much about you and your interests as they know about the things they are supposed to cover. Unfortunately- no one in the corporate suite has figured it out yet- and they are still selling impressions- by the thousands, instead of meaningful relations.

And while the iPad from Apple may be the ultimate way to provide a multi-media experience on a screen- these are areas that the newspaper industry is still playing catch up on. Sure – a little video here or there, and of course- photos in color (although if you look at their print editions some newspapers are still printing some pages in black and white). But- iPads are expensive and Apple isn’t exactly being easy to work with on the data collection side.

With Amazon’s new $139 wi-fi Kindle– or any of the numerous Android powered tablets hitting the market these days- the economics of publishing “Newspapers” digitally is now practical: of the $200 or so collected for a 1-year subscription- at least that much is spent on the printing and distribution of the dead wood with oil on it. It’s time for newspapers to take a lesson from the phone companies and start handing out Kindle’s for a 2 year subscription. So what if you can read other newspapers- or books on it, put your logo on it and lock customers into a “better news experience.” Make the content slightly better than the print or typical online experience- and tailor the ads like a Hong Kong custom suit- expressly for the reader. Work to sell the relationship to local businesses- who are struggling for a way to reach the masses without being obstructive- and build a community that’s talking to each other.

People still want news- and especially news that’s relevant to them. But- being assaulted by random ads in the internet age has no more relevance today than back in the sixties when Howard Luck Gossage said “People don’t read ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.”

Guerrilla ads for a guerrilla political campaign: how to wow on the cheap.

I’m not going to go Sun Tzu on you, but a guiding principle in warfare is to attack where your enemy is weakest. In judo, you try to make your weakness your strength. Political advertising may be one of the areas where this is toughest- since incumbency and large campaign chests are considered prime indicators of product value. Shrewd political contributors don’t give to longshots, they bet their dollars on who they think can win. It’s the nature of the game, and a very hard marketing battle.

Think of it as launching a challenger brand, with no money, no time, and a very absolute deadline to dominate the market (election day). Can you imagine Procter and Gamble launching a new detergent and having to have 51% of the market make a purchase in two months?

Here is our first shot at launching a local political activist into a National Congressional race. Please note, not only did the candidate star in the ad, he wrote it himself (unlike his competition) because of course, the candidate is the same person writing this post.

it is also available as a downloadable iPod version here: http://esrati.com/?p=490

One of the keys of viral marketing and leveraging your low budget campaign is getting others to talk about it- the “word of mouth” factor. You can’t count on this happening automatically. This is where your established network of customers can make or break you. First, you have to actively tell them that the campaign is out there. Digitally- this means sending e-mails, posting appropriate comments in appropriate places, and reaching out to people who think as you do. It used to be marketing to the influencer or early adopter- now, it’s to your social network either formal (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace) or informal as I did. Here is what creative genius Ernie Schenck said about the spot:

Ernie Schenck Calls This Advertising?
Seriously, people, show me a spot in this already tired political year that comes close to this simple little gem from Dayton ad guy, David Esrati, and I will eat my moustache. Attention, candidates: A little imagination, a little self-deprectation and a little ability to lighten up can go a long way. The man ought to get elected on the spot alone. Nice work, Esrati.

A client, and really smart guy, Charles Halton posted on his Awilum site:

it’s the funniest political ad I have ever seen. If politics were more like this it would make election season actually fun!

Another client, who happens to be a member of the Democratic Underground site posted it here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=385×82652
which quickly became the highest click through on YouTube- even though the numbers are very low for what it has to do. (more…)

Dayton Business Journal charges $50 a month- for what the Dayton Daily News does free

P.T. Barnum famously said “there’s a sucker born every day” and that’s what the Dayton Business Journal must think when they sent out this e-mail solicitation:

Showcase your business on the Dayton Business Journal Business Directory for only $50 a month. We can immediately profile you in front of a local audience looking for your services.
Click here to start. Enter promo code DAY for discounted rate.
Try it for 3 months and cancel anytime afterwards if you wish.
If you have any questions at all please contact us at 800.617.9715 ext. 3.
Michael Powers
Sales Manager
DirectoryM
www.directorym.com

When you follow their link they tell you the following:

DirectoryM – Local Online Advertising
Subscription Listing – Single Region

Drive qualified traffic, buyer ready leads, and powerful brand affiliations through our partner network

  • Drive qualified traffic, buyer ready leads, and powerful brand affiliations through our partner network
  • You choose the category and the region and your listing will be featured on all of our partner sites
  • You will have a full color logo, 750 word profile, and 5 links to drive traffic
  • Three month minimum, cancel anytime thereafter

The Dayton Daily News is offering a free directory at Dayton B2B. There is no reason to pay for listings when you can generate your own traffic easily by understanding how customers search for your business.

Building a directory of all your peers and competition can have as much, or greater impact than any search engine optimization strategy. We’ve done that on our “Agencies that aren’t The Next Wave” page. You can also build a site that does well in search, with lots of pertinent, relevant and helpful content (much like the content on this site). So, before you decide to spend $50 a month on some directory listing (including phone books online or the Yellow Pages) consider spending $139 on our websitetology seminar which will show you how to make your site search centric for your customers.