Archive for Mark Hughes

Memo to CMO’s: Business Marketing Strategy First, Metrics Second

Posted by Mark Hughes on August 31st, 2012 at 9:38 am

C3 Metrics CEO wonders if CMO’s are on Vacation (or Permanent Vacation)?
Several years back, I escaped to Sea Island, GA for a vacation.  Upon return, my boss came into my office, quietly closed the door, and asked if there was anything I wanted to tell him.
Puzzled, I said everything was fine.  He told me that when people go away on long vacations, momentous decisions were often made.  People would reflect during this time of pause, and make life-changing decisions--announcing divorce, big career shifts, etc.
He asked me again.  Same response, I’m fine.
I was running advertising for a publicly traded company, with an agency known for its Cannes Award-Winning work.  Within six months, I left for the Internet.  In fact, I made plans for that dramatic career shift while on vacation.
As CMO’s leave for vacation this year, the seeds of shift will spawn.  It’s no secret the average tenure of a CMO is 22 months and shorter.  So the question every marketer will ponder from California to Cape Cod is how to reverse that trend.
As the CEO of C3 Metrics, you would think my answer would have something to do with media buying, such as attribution modeling or viewable impressions, as this... Read more

Too Many Tweets & Not Enough Marketing ROI

Posted by Mark Hughes on July 16th, 2012 at 9:44 am

C3 Metrics CEO Hughes Deconstructs Fornaise Study & Provides Solution to get CMOs Focused on Metrics
CEOs don’t trust marketing.  This comes from the newly-published London Fournaise Study where 1,200 CEOs from North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia were interviewed.
Disconnected From Reality
80% of them said they don’t trust the work done by marketers.  80% of CEOs also said marketers are “too disconnected” from the financial realities of companies.
The Fournaise study indicated that CEOs think: marketers live too much in their creative and social media bubble and focus too much on parameters such as “likes,” “tweets,” “feeds,” or “followers.”
The sound of the wake-up call is deafening.
For Martin Sorrell, John Wren, Michael Roth, Maurice Levy, and the shareholders of agency holding companies—this translates into havoc.  Because when a new CMO comes in, a huge amount of resources are devoted to relationship building and understanding a clients’ business.  But two years later the account is yanked out from under the rug, wreaking financial havoc.
The heart of this agency malaise is discovered in the single sentence of the Fournaise survey:  marketers are too disconnected from the financial realities of the company.
An Explosive Solution
The solution is--explosives.  Blow up the model, blow up the trend, blow up... Read more

Facebook to GM – “Got Measurement?” (Ford Does)

Posted by Mark Hughes on May 18th, 2012 at 3:16 pm

C3 Metrics CEO Explains Why Facebook Needs Attribution Now
Rumors of Facebook’s advertising fall from grace are greatly exaggerated.
We could throw some bricks at GM—claim that their announcement yanking $10 million in advertising from Facebook is a pure publicity stunt from its CMO, telling the ad industry it can’t be swayed by anyone.
But the more likely story is this.
Digital Advertising Measurement Is A Lie & GM Believes It
GM has failed to be the truly analytical advertiser it should be.  It has believed the lie of online advertising followed by a herd of advertisers.  The lie isn’t that Facebook ads don’t work.
The lie is that measurement of online advertising uses woefully flawed systems built 15 years ago.  90% of top advertisers are still falling victim to this lie.  GM is using antiquated measurement equivalent to a yardstick only 2 inches long.
It’s called the last ad problem.
Even the smartest Silicon Valley technologists and Madison Avenue experts are barely familiar with the chasm of the last ad problem, so it’s worth illustrating:
Last Ad In Wins is For Losers
Imagine an Internet purchase on Zappos.  A consumer sees a contextual display ad for a jacket on Facebook because their friend just liked or commented on it. ... Read more

Why Your Mother Can Buy Media Better Than You – C3 Metrics on Fractional Attribution

Posted by Mark Hughes on May 10th, 2012 at 9:23 am

As Mother’s Day approaches, many of us remember quotes from our moms--simple sayings which may not have rung true then, but are timeless now. Among them: “If all your friends jumped off a cliff…would you do it too?”
It’s obvious, but sometimes it takes a mother to show us that the well-worn path is not always the right path. And this is why your mother can actually buy media better than you.
Some Historical Perspective
See, here’s what she knew that can help online marketers right now. All online ad tracking systems used today are legacy systems built 15 years ago.  They erroneously give all credit for a conversion to the very last ad in line.  So if 10 ads were involved from the top of the conversion funnel to the bottom, the bottom one gets all credit.  You’ve heard of line cutters (folks who cut in line), these are funnel cutters—stealing all the credit by jumping in at the end. Why do we still measure everything this way?  Because that’s the way it was done, and we’re following everyone right off the media cliff.
We Are To Believe What?
Today, all those tracking systems have just one slot for which an online ad is... Read more

The Commencement Speech You’ll Never Hear…Right Here

Posted by Mark Hughes on May 9th, 2012 at 6:58 am

During the Internet bubble from 1997-2000, you might have heard one of those glorious commencement speeches where nothing could go wrong. In the largest drop of the stock market in history from September 2007 to March 2009, you might have heard a very different commencement speech.
Now that we live in a virtual world, I want to weigh in on some key issues for MBA graduates.  I don’t have to appear on a podium in a nice gown in front of 5,000 grads.  I don’t need to be a former president of the US.  But having graduated from an Ivy League, top ten business school, and experiencing the economic ups and the downs first hand, I’m here to tell you that what you learn in school doesn’t have much to do with life.
I helped start a company in the heat of the Internet’s first moments and made money in the $300 million sale of our company to eBay.  Penguin published my book on marketing, which was translated across the globe in 15 different languages.  I had a drive for business profit, and it wasn’t always healthy.
It’s what I didn’t learn at Business School that helped me the most.  It took more... Read more