The Big Idea

Drill down on this: The tedium of foraging

Find us on Facebook. Visit our website. Search engine optimization. Search results. Our brand name next to a social media icon. Make sure you (not your competitor) are using the right keywords you technically don’t own.

 

All phrases, inferences and practices I’d like to see retired soon.

 

Why?

 

Look, I’ll be brief because this is an issue that goes straight to the impetus behind TRE.

 

Imagine you ask me to help you buy a specific pair of jeans you saw on TV and my response to drive you to the mall parking lot wherein I point to the mall structure and say “Search for them, they’re in there.”

 

Or I say they’re inside blahdeeblah.com-go find ’em!

 

All the while I introduce you to other people that sell jeans. Swell for them but not for the brand that inspired you originally. Their ROI on their ad/inspiration? ZERO.

 

If I did this to you, you’d be pissed. And yet this is standard operating procedure in the internet. I still shake my head that the emperor of search reports millions of results retrieved in milliseconds. Yawn. I want what I want, NOW please and not what you’ve been pay to tell me is “more relevant”.

 

And if I were a brand I would be running from this model to something that helped my brand inspire and connect directly to consumers in-the-moment.

 

You can’t miss all the talk about mobile micro-moments and yet at this moment you want me to search an forage what I’m looking for as if it were a needle in the haystack.

 

Search in all its forms is THE most presumptive thing you can tell a person when they are inspired, in-the-moment, phone-in-hand.

 

Search? Find us? Why don’t you give me exactly what I want when I want it? That’s how winning brands please and satisfy existing and would-be customers.

 

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make TRE the global standard for micro-moment brand engagement. Using a simple numeric code any brand can present their TRE code in TV, video, video games or their product packaging and take their customers and brand fans to exactly what they want, exactly when they want it. No searching through results, no foraging around your website-just customer pleasing instant gratification. Oh yeah, and there’s real-time attribution and an ongoing brand immersion. Watch the TRE video on YouTube here.

 

 

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Sorry, another social media platform interruption ad tsunami isn’t innovation

Much has been made in the last week about the IPO of Snap. The speculation falls into 2 camps: 1) will they be like Twitter or 2) will they be like Facebook?

 

To me, they’re all the same from the perspective of mobile advertising.

 

They rely on the haggard, thread-bare advertising model of interruption.

 

You know, the mindless pre-roll video ad. The full-page takeover ad before the page you want loads. The ad that magically appears in the location you’re about to tap on. These are just a few of the interruption ad formats.

 

Interruption ads have been around forever. The wink-wink between the owner of the content you want and their advertiser is that because you don’t have to pay for their content you HAVE TO ENDURE MY ADS.

 

Thus ad-blocking has taken off and the content owners (I love this part) threaten the people wanting the content that they’ll destroy the internet if they don’t get exposed to the ads!!

 

What’s really destroying the internet is the endless, mindless interruptions of the advertisements. They are ruining the experience and the ads-for-content implicit arrangement cited above is getting lop-sided in favor of the ads and not the content.

 

Imagine for a moment that you are at a restaurant with friends and the restaurant owner has said that you can have this table with this menu at these prices but you’ll have to accept an open microphone at your table. The open mic pipes your conversation to ad pitch people in a separate room and when they hear their keyword they come to your table and interrupt you.

 

You agreed to this after all, but you don’t know when they’ll show up and even worse the pitch people recite an ad message you’ve already heard!

 

Or don’t care about since you only mentioned Audi at the table with your friends while talking about a person you don’t like that drives an Audi.

 

You see where I’m going. Interruption ads whether Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat et al are killing the ad business.

 

And yet it doesn’t have to be this way. There can be innovation.

 

It’s called permission-based advertising.

 

But this is where it gets a bit dicey for the brand and their ad agency. Permission-based marketing and advertising is founded on A STRONG CALL TO ACTION.

 

A strong CTA drives interest, interest leads to action in the moment and action is what you want from an ad.

 

When we built TRE, permission to advertise was at the center of what we wanted to achieve. We see a global ad world based on compelling CTA’s acted on instantly via a mobile phone. We see brands (and therefore the ad agencies and ad business) competing on the caliber of the inspiration of the CTA.

 

What we don’t see lasting into the future is the purposeful creation of distance between interest and action wherein ads are crammed in, and then leading to the obligatory inference of ROI.

 

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make TRE the global standard for micro-moment brand engagement. Using a simple numeric code any brand can present their TRE code in TV, video, video games or their product packaging and take their customers and brand fans to exactly what they want, exactly when they want it. No searching through results, no foraging around your website-just customer pleasing instant gratification. Oh yeah, and there’s real-time attribution and an ongoing brand immersion. Watch the TRE video on YouTube here.

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Where, oh where, can the entry point for your chatbot be?

We all knew it was only a matter of time when businesses would catch on to the fact that their customers don’t like to talk them.

 

As it is in the real world, talking is less favored versus texting/chatting electronically.

 

I think of my own preferences and I’d rather not/never talk to my wireless carrier, my cable provider, etc often because of their useless voice-response system and the seemingly mandatory call hand-offs where the whole process usually, painfully starts all over at the top.

 

I also like the feeling of owning the interaction and with chat and text I can reply at my own pace while doing other things of my choice in the background while I drive for a resolution to my issue.

 

Businesses are finally grabbing a clue. Chat, yes. Talk no.

 

One would then think that chatting with a business would take front and center in the ways businesses promote interaction. And many do in cases like automotive sales where leads are the life blood of their business.

 

In the case of the aforementioned wireless and cable providers, chat is found inside your account and rightfully so but even then one must typically provide account specific details while inside your account. Ugh.

 

More specifically, what I’m referring to here are all the other chatbots coming online that aren’t account/service specific and are meant to inform anyone with or without an account.

 

Take for example the super fun Campbell’s Soup Watson-powered chatbot found at weather.com’s website. At least this is where I found it. It could be on Campbell’s Soup’s website as well. I haven’t looked.

 

To me, the top of the soup can is a perfect place for an entry point to their chatbot and yet the top of the can shows a laptop with an arrow directing a shopper with the can in their hand to campbellskitchen.com.

 

If I’m in the store shopping and pick up a can of soup, I’m in-store and in the shopping moment. The notion of going home and checking out campbellskitchen.com later on my laptop is kind of odd to the point of being of little value at the moment.

 

Here’s a video of a TRE code on top of a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup. The TRE code shown is live and will take you to their Watson chatbot. (It’s a lot of fun to play with.)

 

I could go on and on about this topic but I’ll end with a simple exhortation to your customer chat endeavors-don’t make finding the entry point to a chat session hard to find on a phone. Make the entry point front and center, prevalent and mobile-ready.

 

 

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make TRE the global standard for micro-moment brand engagement. Using a simple numeric code any brand can present their TRE code in TV, video, video games or their product packaging and take their customers and brand fans to exactly what they want, exactly when they want it. No searching through results, no foraging around your website-just customer pleasing instant gratification. Oh yeah, and there’s real-time attribution and an ongoing brand immersion. Watch the TRE video on YouTube here.

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Does anyone truly want to break the Google/Facebook mobile ad duopoly?

One can’t read a story today about the bright, growing, money-drenched world of mobile advertising without pointing out the 800 pound, two-headed monster in the room. Of what do I speak?

The Google and Facebook duopoly in mobile advertising.

Here’s a great piece from the Financial Times about it.

As it happens, the article referenced here from the FT points out that innovation fueled by venture capital activity is on the decline driven by the sheer mass of the duopoly monster.

And so, as the press builds around Google and Facebook and misstated ad metrics and click-fraud and mobile ad blocking we here at TRE can’t help but ask who created this duopoly?

A strong case could be easily made that the very brands lamenting the monster’s dominance are to blame for always and only seeking scale for their campaigns.

Look I get it. In advertising scale matters. But so does experimentation.

Please stop lamenting the very thing you created.

What’s even worse is that while brands may have had a large role in the creation and perpetuation of the duopoly (in our opinion), both Facebook’s and Google’s business models are built on creating as much distance as possible between a brand and its fans and customers.

It is in this distance that they will instead pitch people looking for your brand your competitor brands which Google and Facebook feel are more relevant.

To which we say pish posh Google and Facebook. Relevant to these two means the advertisers paid them more money.

To the brands it means the potential of severe ROI dilution. Here’s what we mean. Your brand ran an ad on TV that inspired those who saw it and, per Google, a whopping 65% of the time these folks end up somewhere else that is “more relevant”.

The only way to break the duopoly is to experiment with new things that aren’t Google or Facebook. The notion that new things can’t scale and serve large audiences denies the reality of cloud computing.

Hey brands! You helped create the Google and Facebook duopoly. Take that first step towards new mobile advertising tech (like TRE!) and show your customers you care about their time and their experience more than perpetuating the duopoly you lament.

 

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make TRE the global standard for micro-moment brand engagement. Using a simple numeric code, any brand can present their TRE code in TV, video, video games or their product packaging and take their customers and brand fans to exactly what they want, exactly when they want it. No searching through results, no foraging around your website-just customer pleasing instant gratification. Oh yeah, and there’s real-time attribution and an ongoing brand immersion. Watch the TRE video on YouTube here.

 

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Mobile and the marketing sales funnel are at odds with each other aren’t they?

A funnel has a broad entrance and one exit. Today’s digital marketing experience relies on this one exit (for a sale) and yet much of marketing relies on a myriad of channels. It’s silly to think that you need to link each of these to just one funnel.

Mobile makes each channel an impulse funnel and therefore each channel needs to have the ability to frictionlessly take the sale right there.

Look at Coca-Cola. If Coke only had one funnel, the 2-liter bottle for example, how much would they sell?

I realize I am being liberal with the linkage of a 2-liter of Coke and a funnel but if you think about it for a moment the linkage is there.

This is where one may say “well, Coke is sold in grocery stores so Coke messages in all their channels to make sure you buy Coke when you’re in the store.”

True enough but Coke comes in many more forms than the 2-liter bottle and this is my point-when the impulse hits you Coke has the size of their product to satisfy your impulse to have a Coke right then and there.

Digital content these days flows like water to any exit it can find. In this same metaphor your brand’s digital presence flows to myriad channels by intent, yours and your fans/customers.

Each of these channels must then anticipate the mobile-fueled impulse to take action right then and there. The micro-moment of mobile has collapsed your funnel down to nothing.

The more steps you require and the more friction you maintain in your mobile channel is at every second a prima facie risk to the sale/engagement.

I’ll end this blog with some great examples of this.

If I want to chat with your brand about features and benefits and your brand uses Facebook Messenger for chat I first have to be in Facebook and then I have to search for your brand and then search for your Messenger instance.

Via my mobile phone this is a lot to ask. Why can’t you provide a direct connection to your chat?

An even better use case is a brand-driven inspiration from watching TV or video. My phone is in my hand in this moment of inspiration and yet your brand relies on SEO (purposely imprecise) or an 800 number (IVR anyone?) or a top-level-domain (once I get there, now where do I go?).

In this example the TV and my phone are the funnel-convert me right then and there instantly without aiming me at your SEO or 800 number or TLD funnel.

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make TRE the global standard for micro-moment brand engagement. Using a simple numeric code any brand can present their TRE code in TV, video, video games or their product packaging and take their customers and brand fans to exactly what they want, exactly when they want it. No searching through results, no foraging around your website-just customer pleasing instant gratification. Oh yeah, and there’s real-time attribution and an ongoing brand immersion. Watch the TRE video on YouTube here.

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