Wednesday, 25 July 2012




Be careful what you believe on the internet: there’s a growing chance that you re being hoaxed by a cynical PR firm. Just as the blogging explosion was teaching us about "vlogs" (video bloggs) and "moblogs" (mobile blogs), along comes yet another trend that is far more pernicious.

A "flog" is a fake weblog that purports to chronicle an ordinary consumer’s passion for a business or a product, typcally without the company behind it declaring an interest. It is a scandalously dishonest practice.

Take Laura and Jim, an ordinary couple who recently drove a camper van across America and stopped over for free each night at their nearest Wal-Mart car park. Their likeably amateurish travel journal, Wal-Marting across America, chronicled all the decent, hard working Wal-Mart employees they encountered during their stopovers, all of whom seemed to have been stories about the company.

Lo and behold, the couple turned out to be a professional paid by Wal-Mart’s PR firm, Edelman, and folksy Jim was revealed to be a professional Washington Post photographer. Last month, Laura used the blog to come clean, admitting that she "should have done a better job" telling her story.

Since then, Edelman’s fingerprints have been found all over other related flogs. Working Families For Wal-Mart claims to be a grassroots advocacy group focusing on "the positive contribution of Wal-Mart to working families"; the blog sets out to "expose" union employees paid to "smear" the retail chain. Typical postings attack activists for denying "working families" cheap Wal-Mart prescriptions of half-price baby food.

Use Interactive Marketing Communication and know exactly what your getting!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


Yes, the sky is falling, Major brand advertisers responsible for $20 billion in ad spending are losing confidence in the effectiveness of TV advertising. More than three out of four advertisers -- 78% to be exact -- said they have less confidence today in the effectiveness of TV advertising than they did two years ago, according to a survey released at today's Association of National Advertisers TV Ad Forum. Almost 70% of advertisers believe DVRs and VOD will reduce or destroy the effectiveness of traditional 30-second commercials. Instead, they are looking at alternatives such as branded entertainment within TV programs (61%), TV program sponsorships (55%), interactive advertising during TV programs (48%), online video ads (45%) and product placement (44%). Additionally, 80% will spend more of their advertising budgets on Web advertising and 68% are looking into search engine marketing.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Who’s running your organization?

Your customers, that’s who!


Or should be!


So don’t you think that you ought to start a regular dialogue with him or

her, as the case may be?


The word empowerment is a very overused word. However in the near future the primary strategic marketing communications battle will be to see who goes furthest in empowering their customers.

To empower your customers you will have to:
1. Provide them with far more information than you currently do.
2. Allow them to make decisions about you and your company together with your resources.
3. Give them plenty of choice.
4. Give them the perception of control!
5. Allow them to feel that they are running your organisation!

Because anything that tightens your relationships with an existing customer increases the revenue you get from your customer.

And the only form of communication that can do all the above so that you do tighten your grip on your customer is….interactive communication!

Because interactive communication allows you to have an ongoing debate with your customers and your prospects, make regular interactive conversations available where they can debate not only about your products and services but the very soul of your company. Because that will be much more powerful than just putting your advertisement on television (or wherever) or I’m going to sell my goods in Tesco (or wherever).

Then, when you get asked, "Who’s running your business?" you can honestly reply, "My customers through genuine interactive programmes!" and earn major brownie points!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The All Powerful Marketing Guru is just a Myth!


The all powerful Marketing Guru is based upon the complete fallacy that only he knows how to market products/services...and that advertising works.

And that amazinglngly patronising idea is based upon the fact that the public are dupes who digest all advertising...and than act upon it! This is not true now and never has been.

The foundation myth of marketing potency is the silly claim, attributed to many people, that "half my advertising works, I don't know which half"

The claim is both tasteless and factually wrong.

The idea that advertising works (together with Marketing) is only believed by people who work for advertising/marketing agencies, people active in corporations, and people who work in all forms of media, and now digital media, Facebook et al.

You can see this silliness incarnate in magazines like Campaign and Marketing week after week.

Most consumers resent the insinuation that they, along with all the rest of us, are mere puppets.

It is now time to accept that the end of Marketing and Advertising is here and that there are far more effective solutions to marketing programmes. Programmes that will be totally transparent and will also allow Clients to half their current bloated marketing budgets and be twice (or more) as effective. For example, Interactive Marketing Communicatiom.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Need for Interactive Marketing Communicatiom!

Put simply, because there is a human desire for interaction. We have created a media society during the past 40 or 50 years where there is an extraordinary reduction in interaction because of the one-way and more passive form of information retrieval that exists.
People desire to be taken account of, to affect change, learn and personalise their relationships with their environment. There are a phenomenal number of reasons, which cause people to interact, which go far beyond just giving them things.

When people participate in interactive marketing communication they are told that their efforts and feedback are of positive help to the advertisers. Moreover, by participating, they then learn and understand the message from the advertiser, personalise their relationship with the advertiser and their products (or services).

Consumers tend to filter out information they do not want to hear and this alters the effectiveness of advertising in quite a dramatic way. The purchaser’s decision is invariably a compromise and this leads to a certain amount of anxiety. The worry that perhaps the purchase decision was not the best or right one. In order to minimise this anxiety the purchaser seeks to reinforce his choice and begins to take more notice of his chosen product’s advertising. And, at the same time, the purchaser deliberately suppresses data, which might challenge his decision by ignoring the advertising of competitive brands.

People are often loyal to a brand simply because they do not want to readdress a decision. The opportunity to screen out undesired data always exists when media advertisements have to stand on their own and fight for attention.

Interactive Communication takes the consumer through the barrier of not wanting to address change; and this is the ultimate market the advertiser is after – the people who use his competitors’ products.

Now the consumer can say ‘Yes, I will change my behaviour and I have a very good reason or series of reasons why", and have a well-informed opinion or image in mind.

If someone goes into a product purchase decision with a very specific image of the product and its reason to exist and why they have decided those reasons are worth its purchase, the test in reality, the use of the product, will tend to confirm that premise, and therefore conversion will be enormously enhanced.

Interactive Marketing Communication turns passive advertising into active advertising and actually alters behaviour during the communication and learning process.

Interactive Marketing Communication increases sale.

And there’s more!

It enhances relationships and dramatically improves consumer knowledge, understanding and loyalty.
1. Strong Company or Brand Values.

To be effective communication has to be single minded in choosing a specific proposition which by definition cannot appeal to all. Yet every product, service or retail outlet can offer several attractive benefits and in some cases these can be numerous. Interactive Communication presents consumers with a ‘menu’ of powerful benefits, both rational and emotional, and asks them to choose the one which they find most relevant and appealing to them.

This allows them: -

a) Personalise their relationship with the communicator.

b. To absorb and retain the majority – or even all – of those extra benefits while making their choice.

Friday, 20 July 2012


A survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisersfound that digital marketers' main concern is ROI. In fact, 62 percent said that their main concern is the inability to prove ROI. The survey also listed which media platforms have increased the most among marketers, like YouTube and other forms of digital growth

However when you use Interactive Marketing Communication, properly executed, you can easily prove ROI!

Thursday, 19 July 2012


With corporations under increased pressure to show that every dollar they spend delivers results, marketing expenditures are now being held to the same level of accountability as other investments.

Clients expect to see detailed, quantifiable results for their marketing and advertising efforts that demonstrate a positive return on their investments.They want to know which elements of their marketing plan helped achieve their goals in the most efficient manner—and which did not—and be able to allocate their budgets on an ongoing basis accordingly.

This corporate attitude change comes just at a moment in time when advertisers face major challenges because:

Consumers are more difficult to reach than ever.

Reasons include:

Media options available to consumers have increased. Technologies that have been designed to suit consumers’ growing desire to be in control of what they see and hear have given consumers

the option to reject advertising messages.To determine what will yield the best results in planning their advertising efforts, advertisers and their agencies turn to research and analytic tools more and more to guide them in making decisions. However, the multitude of analytic options has led to confusion about what constitutes accountability and how to measure it.

With Interactive Communication, properly executed, this confusion ends and proper accountably exists. One exposure to an Interactive Programme is far more effective than "frequency" and allows Clients to cut, substantially, their heavy marketing expediture (s).

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Facebook Unconcerned that Advertisers Pay for Thousands Of Fake 'Likes''!

Facebook Unconcerned That Advertisers Pay For Thousands Of Fake 'Likes'


Facebook has previously admitted that 5-6% of its 90 million accounts are fake. But this is the first time evidence has emerged that spam accounts are rooking advertisers who pay for campaigns on Facebook that reach no one "real."

The BBC reports:

Michael Tinmouth, a social media marketing consultant, ran Facebook advertising campaigns for a number of small businesses, including a luxury goods firm and an executive coach, they became concerned after looking at who had clicked on the adverts.

While they had been targeting Facebook users around the world, all their "likes" appeared to be coming from countries such as the Philippines and Egypt." Mr Tinmouth asked Facebook to investigate the issue of questionable profiles after one of his clients refused to pay for his adverts on the basis they had not reached "real people".

Tinmouth then created a fake business, "Virtual Bagel," And found that it too gathered Likes from fake accounts. Facebook told the BBC it was not a big deal: We've not seen evidence of a significant problem," said a spokesman.All of these companies have access to Facebook's analytics which allow them to see the identities of people who have liked their pages, yet this has not been flagged as an issue.

Use Interactive Communication, properly executed, and overcome all these problems immediately...and for ever!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


The cartel of global marketing services groups have set marketing's agenda to serve their own vested executional interests. The resulting scarcity of enterprise, rigour and accountability has diminished marketing in the eyes of both boards and shareholders.

But when you apply Interactive Communication to your marketing requirements you IMMEDIATELY see a huge difference...for thr better.

Click Fraud

Martin Fleischmann put his faith in online advertising.

He used it to build his Atlanta company,, which offers consumers

rate quotes and other information on insurance and mortgages. Last year he paid

Yahoo! Inc. and Google Inc. a total of $2 million in advertising fees. The 40-year-old entrepreneur

believed the celebrated promise of Internet marketing: You pay only when

prospective customers click on your ads.

Now, Fleischmann's faith has been shaken. Over the past three years, he

has noticed a growing number of puzzling clicks coming from such places as

Botswana, Mongolia, and Syria. This seemed strange, since MostChoice steers

customers to insurance and mortgage brokers only in the U.S

Fleischmann is a victim of click fraud: a dizzying collection of scams and

deceptions that inflate advertising bills for thousands of companies of all

sizes. The spreading scourge poses the single biggest threat to the Internet's

advertising gold mine and is the most nettlesome question facing Google and

Yahoo, whose digital empires depend on all that gold.

The growing ranks of businesspeople worried about click fraud typically

have no complaint about versions of their ads that appear on actual Google or

Yahoo Web pages, often next to search results. The trouble arises when the

Internet giants boost their profits by recycling ads to millions of other sites,

ranging from the familiar, such as, to dummy Web addresses like, which display lists of ads and little if anything else. When

somebody clicks on these recycled ads, marketers such as MostChoice get billed,

sometimes even if the clicks appear to come from Mongolia. Google or Yahoo then

share the revenue with a daisy chain of Web site hosts and operators. A penny or

so even trickles down to the lowly clickers. That means Google and Yahoo at

times passively profit from click fraud and, in theory, have an incentive to

tolerate it. So do smaller search engines and marketing networks that similarly

recycle ads.


Google and Yahoo say they filter out most questionable clicks and either

don't charge for them or reimburse advertisers that have been wrongly billed.

That confidence may be slipping. A BusinessWeek investigation has revealed a

thriving click-fraud underground populated by swarms of small-time players,

making detection difficult. "Paid to read" rings with hundreds or thousands of

members each, all of them pressing PC mice over and over in living rooms and

dens around the world. In some cases, "clickbot" software generates page hits

automatically and anonymously. Participants from Kentucky to China speak of

making from $25 to several thousand dollars a month apiece, cash they wouldn't

receive if Google and Yahoo were as successful at blocking fraud as they

claim. "It's not that much different from someone coming up and taking money out

of your wallet," says David Struck. He and his wife, Renee, both 35, say they

dabbled in click fraud last year, making more than $5,000 in four months.

Employing a common scheme, the McGregor (Minn.) couple set up dummy Web sites

filled with nothing but recycled Google and Yahoo advertisements. Then they paid

others small amounts to visit the sites, where it was understood they would

click away on the ads, says David Struck. It was "way too easy," he adds.

Gradually, he says, he and his wife began to realize they were cheating

unwitting advertisers, so they stopped. "Whatever Google and Yahoo are doing [to

stop fraud], it's not having much of an effect," he says.

Spending on Internet ads is growing faster than any other sector of the

advertising industry and is expected to surge from $12.5 billion last year to

$29 billion in 2010 in the U.S. alone, according to researcher eMarketer Inc.

About half of these dollars are going into deals requiring advertisers to pay by

the click. Most other Internet ads are priced according to "impressions," or how

many people view them.

Google and Yahoo are grabbing billions of dollars once collected by

traditional print and broadcast outlets, based partly on the assumption that

clicks are a reliable, quantifiable measure of consumer interest that the older

media simply can't match. But the huge influx of cash for online ads has

attracted armies of con artists whose activities are eroding that crucial

assumption and could eat into the optimistic expectations for online

advertising. (Advertisers generally don't grumble about fraudulent clicks coming

from the Web sites of traditional media outlets. But there are growing concerns

about these media sites exaggerating how many visitors they have -- the online

version of inflating circulation.)

Most academics and consultants who study online advertising estimate that

10% to 15% of ad clicks are fake, representing roughly $1 billion in annual

billings. Usually the search engines divide these proceeds with several players:

First, there are intermediaries known as "domain parking" companies, to which

the search engines redistribute their ads. Domain parkers host "parked" Web

sites, many of which are those dummy sites containing only ads. Cheats who own

parked sites obtain search-engine ads from the domain parkers and arrange for

the ads to be clicked on, triggering bills to advertisers. In all, $300 million

to $500 million a year could be flowing to the click-fraud


Monday, 2 July 2012


Clutter. That dreadful word that came into vogue in the late 1960s and was applied to the proliferation of advertising messages the consumer could be exposed to during the course of his or her working day. More accurately the term was "commercial clutter", however we much prefer "meaningless noise"

Now, if you could sort that little problem then you really would be well on the way to advertising brilliance!

Another way of achieving brilliance in advertising is to actively encourage interactive television on current terrestrial TV formats.

This form of interactive communication dramatically alters the way the viewers perceive the commercials, instead of being seen as an interruption the commercials now become a meaningful source of information (a form of programming) and thus are watched in a totally different way.

Presenting advertising within this format allows the most dramatic evolution of advertising itself. This renaissance in this period of the ongoing history of advertising will be know as advertising by true, accurate, more predictable, instant and measurable results.

Clients will pay only by results. The interactive nature of the new technology will allow research to measure the results and present these results as a post-evaluation of their participation. Clients will then pay for participation based upon these evaluations.

And that’s when you will have achieved advertising brilliance!