Planning a Customer Loyalty Program? Forget Social Media!

It’s not often that you’ll hear the advice to NOT bother with social media, but a new CMO Council report suggests that when it comes to customer loyalty programs, social media just doesn’t make sense.

While 60% of the 600 marketers polled, planned to make better use of the web and social networking tools, consumers say that’s not how to reach them. In fact, just 4% of consumers say they used social media–dropping to 3% when focusing only on blogs–to learn about customer loyalty programs.

Now, you could argue that the number is at 4% simply because companies are doing a lousy job of promoting their customer loyalty programs via social media, but the CMO Council suggests otherwise:

Email Users Grew by 100 Million in 2009, 81% of Them Were Spammers?

Web site uptime monitoring service Pingdom has put together a nice list of internet stats for 2009. Most of them are from studies and surveys already floating around the web, but Pingdom adds in some of its own metrics.

I had a lot of fun applying my own fuzzy math to a number of the startling statistics.

For example, the number of email users grew 100 million in 2009, to 1.4 billion worldwide. During the same period, email spam increased by 24%, with 81% of all emails being spam.

Now, I know that you can’t assume that 81% of new email users were spammers–one spammer could account for 1% of spam, all on their lonesome–but that just takes away all of the fun! ;-)

Cup of Joe: Your Business Needs To Be Like a Wet Noodle

Wet NoodleAs I write this post, it is my birthday, and there is a White Russian with my name on it, after this post is done. So you will have to excuse me if today’s column is a bit short, but I have a party to go to!

Even though all of the data says something different it is clear that the life span for most small businesses is incredibly short. Yep that’s right, people fail all the time.

If you ask most defunct small business owners why they failed, they will point towards one or two key areas of their business. Some will say that they didn’t have the right marketing mindset, others might say they didn’t have the right product. And all of these reasons may be true. But one thing that many won’t even recognize is because their business wasn’t flexible.

Can Journos Live by Twitter & Facebook Alone?

And news.com.au proves it’s clueless

If you read the headline “Reporters put Twitter, Facebook, to ‘Big Brother’ test,” what would you assume:

  1. Intrepid journalists will show just how much the Internet knows about individuals by scouring those social media sites for personal details about strangers and assembling a doubleplusthorough profile on the activities and personality of people they’ve never met—people who believe they are safe and “private” online, OR
  2. Reporters will be going on a paid vacation in a French villa with only Twitter and Facebook as their news sources.

I suppose both stories have some potential, but I’m a bit disappointed that it’s B—especially since I have to assume that “Big Brother” in that headline is a reference to that reality show where people are forced to live together in a house with a bunch of cameras. (No, not The Real World. No, not Road Rules. Please focus.) Ungood to forget where that title actually comes from.

YouTube Gets Makeover (Again)

Today, YouTube is rolling out its video rentals program (maybe it’s a good thing Blockbuster is already closing all those stores!). And just in time for the Sundance rentals, YouTube is trying out another stripped-down version of its video viewing page.

The most noticeable improvements are in the video player. The player now offers more viewing options, including viewing with a larger player (without going to full screen) and multiple resolutions. Also, if you search while watching a video, the video continues playing in a small left-side panel, while search results are listed in a larger right column

Pampers’ Reputation Crisis Has P&G Crapping Itself

Every couple of months, we can reliably count on a big brand to help us learn a lesson about online reputation management. Today, we give thanks to P&G for today’s lesson:

The conversation starts when your customers say so, not you!

As AdAge reports, P&G has launched what it considers to be the most significant improvement in its Pampers line of diapers, in 25 years. Unfortunately, the company decided to start shipping the new diapers in old packaging, without explaining the benefits of the new pooper-protector.

Engineering this manufacturing overhaul meant putting the new diapers into the old packaging and into stores starting last summer in parts of the country. But because the new diapers had only reached a fraction of the U.S. by fall, P&G wasn’t ready to launch its campaign. Without marketing or communication, some consumers in early markets reacted strongly and spread the word virally to markets that did not yet have the diaper.

Google Has a Great Q4 but Suffers at Hands of Secret Society of Whispers

When you’re Google, having a great quarter is not good enough. Apparently, there’s a secret society of Wall Street Analysts that quietly hold Google to a higher standard, says MarketWatch:

However, several analysts maintained their bullish long-term view in the wake of the report, noting that Google missed higher "whisper" numbers even though it handily beat Wall Street’s consensus.

Those whisper numbers meant that Google’s share price is currently drifting 3%, with Google executives likely staring at their stock portfolio wondering what the heck just happened. After all, Google saw net income rise to $1.97 billion in the December quarter, compared with $382 million, earned in the same period a year earlier. Net revenue hit $4.95 billion–beating the target of $4.92 billion Google thought Wall Street was seeking.