Archive for Taddy Hall

Hooked on Advertising

Posted by Taddy Hall on December 10th, 2010 at 2:17 am

Tempted as my less noble side is to include links to a bunch of really bad blog posts, I’ll stick to the positive…no time for Grinches, after all!
Pointing no virtual fingers, then, I continue to be struck by the volume of smart people saying relatively dumb things about the transformative power of Social Media – notably in regards to Social Media and Advertising.
To be clear, can Social data make advertising work better?  Yes.   Companies like Media 6-Degrees and 33 Across are proving that there’s value to be created.
Furthermore, by commanding upwards of 24% of online display impressions, Facebook proves the obvious -- that it is possible to stick ads on social platforms, as well.
However, for Marketers looking to leverage Social Media, is more inventory or novel targeting the great promise?  Taking nothing from the aforementioned successful companies -- absolutely not, and the data says so.
There’s a reason that Facebook commands less than 10% of the display ad spend despite delivering a quarter of the impressions.
One of the world’s leading CPG companies has done extensive testing of all their display advertising and consistently finds that advertising on Facebook is – by far – their worst performing spend: delivering roughly 12% of... Read more

Branding in The Digital Age

Posted by Taddy Hall on December 2nd, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Returning home with the family from Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad’s, I was stopped in my tracks by the Harvard Business Review cover in the Dulles Airport news stand: “Social Media and The New Rules of Branding”.  Are you kidding me?  At first I thought it was the pumpkin pie overdose, but an HBR cover feature on Social Media – just seemed like a seminal moment, a reflection of just how fast “social” has gone from experimental to essential.
The Spotlight article by Mckinsey’s David Edelman is worth a read:
Edelman starts on firm, well-trod ground: the traditional Purchasing Funnel is in need of a makeover.  It’s hardly surprising that a model that dates from the 19th Century could use a tune-up in our world of interactive media.  But the research findings get interesting, and I’ll limit myself to four headlines here:
-          In addition to the three time-honored phases of Consider, Evaluate, Buy, Edelman adds what he calls the “Loyalty Loop”.  This post-purchase phase is where some consumers potentially become Advocates.
-          70%-90% of marketing spend targets the “Consider” and the “Buy” stages -- the former primarily through mass media advertising and the latter through promotion.
-          Consumers are most open to influence at... Read more

Inconvenient Truth?

Posted by Taddy Hall on November 19th, 2010 at 1:10 am

Last Spring, Nielsen released a study on the effectiveness of advertising on Facebook . Reading much of the ensuing media coverage and online discussion of the study, it's clear that many marketers leapt to the recklessly oversimplified conclusion that "advertising on Facebook works really well".  That conclusion was not in the Nielsen data.
Nonetheless, the misconception was a convenient "mistake" for planners invested in the "tonnage-centric" economics of traditional advertising.  "Hey, Facebook has 500 million users, let's buy that audience!"
The danger of telling yourself wishful fibs is that at some point you forget that the fibs are fibs – and you start confusing the tale with the truth.
So fast forward a few months to last week when The Wall Street Journal led the coverage ( of comScore and eMarketer data reporting that while Facebook commands 24% of online display impressions, the site captures less than 10% of display media spending.
Huh?  I thought this advertising-on-Facebook stuff was supposed to work really well?
Well, not exactly.  And an important point is that there is no conflict between the Nielsen data released in April and the comScore/eMarketer data of last week.  The conflict is between the way that traditional media minds would like the world... Read more

“Flying Blind vs. Flying With Instruments”

Posted by Taddy Hall on October 7th, 2010 at 11:48 pm

I’m stealing the title for this entry from Fred Wilson -- as I’ve always been a Fred Wilson fan.  I will, however, reserve the right to remind him that Kozmo was a really bad investment idea (for non-New Yorkers, that was the .com flameout that you could call and have them bring you a bag of chips from the corner store – no delivery charge.  Cool.)
OK, that gratuitous distraction complete, I wanted to turn to one of Fred’s recent pearls (  Excerpting the essence of his wisdom, “only invest in advertising and marketing that (you can) test, measure, and then scale.” Now this hardly qualifies as revolutionary, but it’s striking to see how many marketers abandon accountability when it comes to Social Media.
The problem, as with anything, is that if there’s no accountability sub-standard performance is the result.  If you believe that Social matters to your brand, content, or campaign, then it behooves you to measure it.  Specifically, there is money on the table for marketers who know:
-          WHO are their most influential visitors
-          WHAT are their most effective content and offers
-          WHERE and HOW is social sharing occurring
At Meteor Solutions we see that clients who invest in mapping... Read more

Social Media Know-it-Alls: Beware The Sun, Young Icarus

Posted by Taddy Hall on October 1st, 2010 at 11:57 am

I think it was in Business School when a wise professor advised, “know what you know, know what you don’t know, and know what you don’t know that you need to know.”  I’ve tried to keep those buckets handy and separate their contents honestly – having suffered the consequences of the occasional want of humility.  Social Media Marketers would be well-advised to take a quick inventory of their buckets.
Meteor Solutions is blessed with many smart clients – innovative marketers who are leveraging powerful social tools to increase reach and revenue of their marketing programs.  Taking a broader market view, I am regularly surprised how routinely marketers and (even more often) their agency partners are confident that they “know” things that data subsequently proves not to be accurately understood at all.  Sometimes it doesn’t particularly matter if we’re off the mark, but there are six frequent fallacies that regularly derail social marketing programs.

“We know who the influencers are”: marketers and agencies often cultivate lists of influencers in particular categories, and they use these lists for outreach and seeding.  Meteor data consistently reveals the vast majority of “influencers” to be anything but, and the true voices of consequence are only revealed when... Read more