When An Increase In Ad Spend Numbers Really Isn’t

You know how we feel about research here at Marketing Pilgrim. If you don’t have your ‘grain of salt’ hat on when you read most surveys and reports you could be led down a path that isn’t what you thought it might be.

The latest version of this is a report from Nielsen (as reported by MediaPost in an article titled “More Confidence, More Advertising) about increased ad spending trends. Here is the chart that was of most interest to me. Needless to say, when I saw it I had a few questions.

First, take a look at the sectors that have increased their ad spend the most. Automotive and things connected to automotive. Where is that ‘confidence’ coming from? Well, read some of the details behind the numbers and you may be able to guess.

Congress Has a Few Questions for Facebook

When if comes to privacy, Facebook doesn’t have any. This week, we all got a look at a letter from Congress that was sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding answers.

Maybe demanding is too strong a word, but the letter, which came from two members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, made it clear that they expected a full response by next week.

Reps. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Joe Barton of Texas make reference to the recent Wall Street Journal article where it was stated that third-party Facebook apps were selling off user information. They follow this with 18 questions which include:

— Did you notify users of this series of breaches, including the specific nature of the information shared without their consent? If not, why not?

Competitor Gone Out of Business: Their Loss is Your Gain?

Mike Michalowicz, has an article in the small business section of today’s Wall Street Journal that talks about ways of siphoning off the clients from a competitor who has gone out of business. The concept is based on the idea that the world is full of ads that lead to dead phone numbers or defunct websites. It happens because companies don’t anticipate going out of business when they buy that phone book ad or drop 10,000 postcards with their web address from a hot air balloon. So Michalowicz says you should claim old phone numbers and web addresses and redirect them to your own active business.

Have Corporate Blogs Really Caught On Yet?

We see report after report after report of the acceptance or the non-acceptance of corporate blogging as a marketing tool. Often the measurement is done based on the activities of the Fortune 50 or 500 which I find a little puzzling since they are likely to have the most difficult environment to truly blog based on rules and regulations that keep public companies from themselves regarding the financial side of the ledger.

eMarketer, however, is taking another stab at looking at this part of the online marketing world and sees the following from data that apparently goes beyond just the big boys. (Note – The full report is from eMarketer and is for sale on their site and MP receives no compensation from eMarketer).

Google Ventures Likes Local Play

Google continues its foray into the world of local Internet marketing and services with an investment by Google Ventures into a local deal site called Signpost (originally named Postabon).

At this point it’s not a shock to watch Google get its hand deeper and deeper into the local cookie jar. What is interesting is how they are doing it which is in just about every facet of the company. Of course, as the world gets more mobile with its Internet use that means more mobile search so it’s not terribly difficult to connect those dots now is it?

TechCrunch reports

Eloqua Report Offers Tips on Lead Generation & Email Marketing

Marketing automation has made it possible for a small sales staff to contact and monitor 1,000 of customers with just a few key strokes, but such ease of use has its downside. Just because you can send out mass mailings, doesn’t mean you should. 1,000 randomly targeted emails might bring in a couple of dollars, but Eloqua, a provider of marketing automation solutions says that proper lead scoring and nurturing are more likely to pay off in the long run.

As part of their Eloqua Experience user conference, Eloqua collected data from more than 700 B2B and B2C companies to come up with their new report: How Do You Stack Up? Marketing Automation Trends, Benchmarks, & Best Practices.

Social Media is Good, Trust Me

In light of  the recent privacy breech on Facebook, it’s no wonder most internet users don’t trust social media. Only 16% have faith, says a study by Vision Critical with forums and blogs scoring even lower.

Who do we trust? The only online source is news, I’m assuming they mean from a known source such as CNN or the New York Times. TV, radio and print all came in much higher on the trustworthy scale.

Seeing as most of us are using social media for marketing, how do you get over the trust hurdle? The key is responsiveness. Says Professor Judy Olson,

“In e-mail, Linkedin and Facebook messages, much of the traditional markers of trust, such as voice intonation and body language, are hidden. . .  when only text is available, participants judge trustworthiness based on how quickly others respond.”