The Application has become the new Ad Unit

May 28, 2009

The job of a brand right now, when interacting in the Social Media eco-system is to get the most effective ad unit in front of an ever elusive group of consumers.  Currently the only way that this can occur in a cost effective manner is via an appropriately designed and implemented application. 

Think of it this way: if you pay for development of an application at Buddy Media the media buy is strictly performance based, once you pay for the initial installation of the app, you no longer pay a fee. Meaning that if consumer #1 installs, then passes you appropriately viral application to their friends and family (consumers #2 -#30), you don’t pay a red cent beyond consumer #1.  Suddenly the ground swells. You start to leverage the power, and see the value.  A guaranteed media buy within the most engaged attentive ecosystem of educated, consumers…ever. Keep in mind that the largest growing group of facebook users is 35+. Now we start to see the truly viral nature of the social web.

Social brand loyalty results in trial or adoption of a page, education of the brand features and benefits, extended reach to a broader demographic target (remember my post regarding the network neighbor).  Rapid lift in awareness of the brand.  Applications are the most powerful Ad Unit online today.

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Buddy Media Continues to Experience Record Growth; Adds Industry Veterans to Expanding Sales Team

May 27, 2009

This entry was posted by Buddy Media on May 27, 2009

New hires to help meet tremendous market demand for Social Media Applications & Strategy.

Buddy Media, the leading media company for social media campaigns and branded app-vertisements, today announced it has experienced record growth and has undergone a significant expansion with several new appointments to its sales team. The company has run programs for more than 100 clients and is on track to post a 300% increase in revenue in 2009 compared to 2008.

The new hires include Andrew Goldberg and Chris Dessi who join the company as Directors of Sales for the East and Mark Sarsha as Director of Sales, West Coast. All three bring relevant media and advertising sales experience to help Buddy Media meet increasing market demand for smart social media strategies and app-vertisements that help bring brands and social networkers together in meaningful ways.

Andrew Goldberg has more than 15 years of experience in media sales and joins Buddy Media from XM Satellite Radio, where he was Director of Advertising Sales and was responsible for building XM’s Northeast ad sales team.

Chris Dessi brings more than a dozen years of experience to Buddy Media, having previously held the positions of Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Miva (NASDAQ:MIVA) and Zanox, Inc., a Berlin, Germany based multinational ad network. Dessi has also served as Director of National Ad Sales for Epic Advertising (formerly AzoogleAds, Inc).

Mark Sarsha joins Buddy Media from OK! Magazine, where he served as Western Sales Director and built a team that grew sales volume by more than $3 million during his tenure. Prior to OK!, Mark was the Western Advertising Sales Director at USA WEEKEND magazine and usaweekend.com.

“We continue to grow by leaps and bounds because brands see the value in engaging the hundreds of millions of people on social networks wherever they exist,” said Buddy Media Chairman and CEO Mike Lazerow. “Chris, Andrew and Mark bring exactly the kind of experience and track records that we look for in Buddy Media employees. All three will be invaluable to driving our success and that of our clients.”

About Buddy Media

In today’s social media world, every brand needs a Buddy. Buddy Media, the leading media company for social media strategies and branded app-vertisements, offers proprietary technology solutions – including Builder, BuddyBrain and the Social Page Management System – to help brands engage their audiences by extending their advertising campaigns into the social world. Some of the world’s largest brands, including FedEx, New Balance, Time Inc. & Microsoft work with Buddy Media to create social brand loyalty and social brand advocates. Based in NYC, Buddy Media is a privately held company backed by Softbank, European Founders Fund and GreyCroft partners amongst other investors.


Why Facebook has a $10billion dollar valuation – Network Neighbors

May 26, 2009

Brands leveraging only demographic, geographic and psychographic information about a consumer is dead. This type of information is certainly powerful to gain insight into your consumer, but my belief is that this is only the tip of the proverbial ice berg. spaceball

While studying direct marketing at NYU in the late 90’s this information was the holy grail of marketing.  Today, it’s no longer the case.  As social media has become ubiquitous the manner in which people interact with each-other is now available.  This information is certainly more powerful, and more telling to a large brand regarding the consumers likes, dislikes and potential purchasing habits.

handsI’d argue that the more compelling information that’s available to a brand is who are Network Neighbors.  These network neighbors are consumers linked to a prior consumer. They adopt a service at a rate 3-5 times greater than baseline groups selected by the best practices of the firm’s marketing team. Analyzing the network allows the firm to acquire new customers who otherwise would have fallen through the cracks, because they would have not been identified based on traditional attributes. – Statistical models, built with geo demo and prior purchase data are significantly and substantially improved by including network information. More sophisticated network information allows the ranking of the network neighbors so as to permit the selection of small sets of individuals. with very high probabilities of adoption. As a traditional direct marketer within the Social Media world, this is very exciting.  This is why every brand needs to be engaging with their consumers in Social Media.


Brands and Social Media: Top 3 Reasons Why Every Brand Must get Involved

May 10, 2009

Brands continue to hedge regarding involvement in Social Media. Lack of control, a lack of knowledge regarding where to start, what to measure, and how to measure push brands into an inactive catatonic state of empathy regarding the whole of Social Media.  Dismissing Social Media is a mistake – ESPECIALLY if you’re a large brand.
get-noticed
Here’s why:

1. Social Media is the richest ecosystem of data that brands can leverage today. Firms make marketing decisions based on what they know about their customers and potential customers. Knowing how well a consumer is linked to existing customers is a powerful characteristic on which to base direct marketing decisions.

2. This is only the beginning – As more consumers create interlinked blogs, and have the opportunity to participate and create content, this is just the first iteration of a consumer based ecosystem of data that brands can have access to if they decide to participate.

3. Demographic, Geographic and Psychographic information is dead. Social media offers brands insight into communication between people. This communication is a better indicator of deep similiarity than any demographic or geographic attributes. Homophily or word of mouth is the best indicator of brand loyalty that has ever been available. Period


The Power of Small: How Little Gestures can Make Your Brands Social Community a Hit

April 23, 2009

As more and  more brands take the leap into Social Media we continue to hear  horror stories.  Some brands think that they should jump on the Social Media Bandwagon, create a community  – set it, and forget it.  BIG mistake. 2945559128_53078d246b2

While attending the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco  I sat in on a session regarding something that I didn’t even know existed before  – Community Managers. The title of the session was What would the Community Manager Do?  Micki Krimmel @mickipedia presented ideas that are worth restating there, and are certainly appropriate consider all of the brands jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon.

The 4 Tenants of the Community Manager:

  1. Creators
  2. Empathizers
  3. Pattern recognizers
  4. Meaning makers

Community Advocate – Listening to what the community wants – solving customer needs

Brand Evangelist – PR Events and Panels, participate, vision and personality – admit mistakes

Flexible – Can’t just be a megaphone for the PR company

Communication – Shape editorial, new media tools, responsive, 2 way street

Gathers Input – Actively seek input, build relationships, ask questions, report feedback

How do you hire a community manager?

The person you hire for this role MUST reflect your brands core values.  Micki shared a job offer she received from Tesla car company. She knew instinctively that this was not the appropriate role for her because she isn’t passionate about cars.  If you’re a brand looking for a community manager you must hire your biggest fan.

How do you fit this role into your company?  The community manager must be offered 4 “luxuries” in order to be successful for your brand.

  1. Autonomy
  2. Authority
  3. Agency
  4. Accountability

Your Brand can’t have a “build it and they will come” attitude. Your brand must focus on the little gestures. The conversations, interaction and nuances of your community. Hire the appropriate person in this role, and gain commitment from the whole company/brand to be advocates.

images-3Case Study:
Zappos –

A woman purchased a wallet via Zappos.  She didn’t like the wallet purchase so she returned the wallet and mistakenly left $150 in the wallet. The person that recieved the returned item sent back the $150 to the woman.

You’re successful when EVERYONE is a community manager


Master your Tweetabolism: How to Trim your Follow Fat

April 23, 2009

3161674958_049ed716ab_m2As I continue to immerse myself in Twitter I find there are some problems that have started to rear their ugly head. I’ve been lucky thus far in so much as I’ve been able to resolve said problems relatively quickly.  Currently and issue I’m encountering is how do I figure out who was really worthy of a Follow, and who’s been a lame duck, er..tweeter?

Tweetdeck has been great at letting me see the bigger picture of what’s occurring throughout the day on Twitter, tracking and monitoring certain topics that I’m interested in. For example, search for “social media” and you can view a stream of anyone that mentions Social Media in their Tweets.  I’ll check out someones profile, see if I have interest in following them, make a decision and go for it. This has worked pretty well so far, but what I’m finding is that now I’m following almost 1500 people, and I can’t really keep track of who I want to follow?

There’s a service called Tweepular that’s been a big help with “bulk un-follows”.  It’s perfect to sift through the “get rich quick” guys you may have given a knee-jerk “follow”, and want to remove from your Twitter stream.  You can check them out here: Tweepular

Happy Trimming!


The Internet is the Truth Machine

April 10, 2009

About 10 years ago, my Uncle recommended a book to me called the Truth Machine
 by James Halprin.

The book is science fiction and truthfully, I wasn’t so intrigued.  The book was published in 1996.  The cover reads: It Could be the Greatest Blessing or The Most Terrible Curse.  The premise of the book is that in the not so distant future a “Truth Machine” is invented.  Over the course of generations borders are secured, individuals become more intelligent because they can no longer cheat, and the reality of life is brought to light in a glaring manner.  The “base line” of truth is brought to the forefront of society. Politicians must tell the truth – wow, what a world.

Last week I attended the Web 2.0 conference in San Fran, and it hit me….the Internet has become the Truth Machine!

Let me explain: for the past however many years, brands have been been doing well online selling goods, building brand awareness etc, but we all know that CPM is dead.  Brands can no longer just broadcast online and hope to win new/loyal customers.  Facebook, Youtube. MySpace, Twitter, Digg, Stubleupon, Yelp, are dominating the interactive landscape and brands need to rethink their strategy.  Listening, engaging, and cultivating a relationship with their customer is the only manner in which brands can communicate now. If not, the ecosystem of Social Media will flesh out the “posers” cough *Skittles* cough…and make sure the brands that aren’t doing it properly are burnt at the stake in the center square.  web2_logos

What Social Media has effectively created (for Brands) is a Truth Machine.  

So why are so many brands panicking, and why are guys like Gary Vaynerchuk flourishing?  Yesterday I met with my good friend Alex Baydin CEO of Performline and we both agreed, that nomatter what business a guy like Gary Vaynerchuk is in, he will be successful.  Why?  Because he is genuine.  I was lucky enough to meet Gary in person and after fawning over him for the first few minutes of our meeting I commented “I love what your about” to which Gary replied “It was good parenting”….WOW.  When was the last time you heard that?

Brands need to get back to zero, start to listen to their consumer, and actually care. They need to understand that whatever they put out there will be read commented on, blogged about, Tweeted, and Re-tweeted, digested, and then either evangelized, or destroyed. 

The Internet is the ULTIMATE Truth Machine