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New Ad Unit Makes Online Marketing Affordable

February 2, 2010

Since the internet’s beginning many things have evolved, but one has stayed true.  People love to market on the internet; always have and always will.

First banners, then text links, contextual advertising, sponsorships and now social media.  Companies, businesses, and individuals love to market online.  There is a new ad unit making its way through the internet that could be the future of online advertising.

The main fallacy about the internet is that only the “big boys” can afford real online marketing.  The process to negotiate, purchase, and create traditional banner ads can be lengthy and costly.  The Digital Flyerboard eliminates all these factors and makes online marketing something you can easily create and manage yourself.

Has anyone seen the Digital Flyer Board yet?  It’s a very affordable digital version of everyone’s favorite bulletin board that you see around town.  The Flyerboard has launched mainly on news websites including the one I work for, The San Diego News Network.

Online Marketing for Local Businesses in San Diego

The New Great Way for Local Businesses to Market Online

The beauty of the Digital Flyerboard is that is makes online advertising available to everyone.  Not only is it extremely affordable (it’s about the price of a movie ticket) but its fully customizable.  You make the flyer yourself, and can chose where and when it is seen.  You can also adjust it on the fly.

The flyer also is sharable and social media compatible.  The flyers drive traffic back to your own website, and also give users the option to share the flyers with their friends via email and social media (like Facebook).

If you have a highly trafficed site, or a local business I strongly suggest you look into the new Digital Flyerboard.  Check it out for yourself here.  Please let me know what you all think about the new unit.  Is it something you can see your publication or business using?

Follow Todd on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toddliss

Test of Customer Service

January 25, 2010

Just a quick update for you all.  On Thursday my car got stolen… Yes, that really sucks.  The best part of the story is that I actually found my car myself.  Good news right?

Well of course.

The bad news: The thiefs took EVERYTHING of value in my car; a major bummer.  Let’s say they made a pretty penny off my stuff they took.

Here’s the real test, the test of my insurance.  I will be potentially filing with both my auto, and homeowners insurance to hopefully reclaim what I had stolen.  This will be a real good test of my insurance companies and their levels of customer service (very crucial with Gen Y).

As I go through the process I’ll make sure to keep you all updated and will give you all the Gen Y point of view throughout it.

Wish me luck everyone

Follow Todd on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toddliss

How do I Market in an Economic Downturn?

January 20, 2010

Everyone in every aspect of businesses have their opinions on how to handle our current economic downturn.  Everyone has to adjust to their current economic conditions and make the best of their situation.  So how should you handle marketing in tough times?  I don’t necessarily subscribe to one “strategy” for all tough times, but I do have a piece of wisdom to share.

Too many number crunching bosses see marketing in a light which in incorrect and unrepresentative of its true value.  Too frequently marketing is seen purely as an expense.  Marketing is seen as something that takes away from profits and not add to them.

Marketing needs to be seen for what it really is, as an investment.  Not only does correct marketing bring in immediate sales, it also acts as a long-term investment.  The money you spend today can bring countless customers to you in the future.

When times get tough, most businesses (big and small) cut marketing spending.  Would you?

Well think about it this way.  If everyone else is cutting spending, and you kept your levels untouched who has the advantage? Who a bigger presence?

If everyone else cut their spending, what would happen to prices of media and services?

I think you get where I’m going here.

If all your competition cuts their marketing spending, doesn’t that mean there’s less competition, less pressure from others and lower prices?  Now if you could actually increase your marketing during tough times (crazy I know) think about how effective your extra spend would be.  Prices would be much cheaper and you would get MUCH more value for your dollar, as well as having less competition from others.  Sounds like a pretty good situation to me.

Even though in tough times, consumers have less buying power, your increased effort won’t go unheard.  When economic conditions pick up again, your customers will thank you by making that purchase they couldn’t before.

Now of course this won’t work for everyone in every situation, but its something to keep in mind.  I understand cutting expenses during tough times, sometimes a company just needs to be more conservative.  But, remember marketing should never be seen as an expense.  It has both short and long-term benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked while budgeting in a tough time.

Any thoughts?  Do you know of a business that has done either?

Follow Todd on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toddliss

Keys for Facebook in 2010

January 13, 2010
Facebook.com

They Keys for Facebook in 2010

In continuing our “Keys in 2010” series, today’s entry will be for the social media goliath, Facebook.  In case you missed the first entry in the series, read about Twitter’s Keys in 2010.

Yes we all know that Facebook is king of the world and yes it’s the most popular website on the internet.

But, when analyzing Facebook it is important to remember the rise and fall of Friendster.  In 2002 and 2003 Friendster was the darling of the industry.  They were today’s Facebook.  They quickly gained 115 million followers and were the talk of the internet.  Their founders were all over magazines, tv, and talk shows.  They were the king of the mountain, until the mass exodus.

Friendster grew too quickly, too fast and their network couldn’t handle the traffic.  Load times sometimes took minutes and as quickly as everyone joined Friendster, they left.  It is important to remember that social networking’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness.  The web of influence can draw many people quickly somewhere, but once people start leaving, that same web can cause many people to leave even faster.  It is important to remember that all social media sites need to keep their users happy, because there aren’t a shortage of alternatives.

So enough of my rant, Facebook needs to accomplish some things to keep their dominance of the market in 2010.

  1. Listen to their users – As long as Facebook does a good job of listening to their users they can keep them happy and keep it growing.  Lets be honest, Facebook monitors all their users, so lets hope that they are listening and making adjustments to what the masses wants.  The important issue regarding this is listening to what Facebook’s users want in their privacy policy.  The past few years has seen an uproar caused by various changes to their policy.  Nothing will cause users to leave faster than doubting their privacy and online safety (right MySpace?).
  2. Keep Facebook, Facebook – Part of the downfall of MySpace (besides the massive hacking, lack of safety, and spamming) was that MySpace tried too hard to be like Facebook.  This alienated their main user base and made others think “well if it’s like Facebook, why not move on to the safer Facebook”.  Facebook may have had a slight panic earlier in 2009 when they revamped their homepage which had a much more Twitter-like feel.  Was this a coincidence they did this when Twitter was in its boom stage?  I think not.  Facebook needs to focus on the fact that they are Facebook.  They aren’t Twitter, they aren’t Google, they are Facebook.  Facebook needs to focus on making updates that are unique to them and that separate them from other sites, not make them more similar.
  3. Show me the money – Much like Twitter, Facebook has a monetization problem.  Yes they are the most popular site on the internet but I believe last quarter was Facebook’s first in the black (pretty crazy eh?).  Facebook needs to find a better way to make money.  The obvious thing would be to increase the effectiveness of their ad space.  Facebook ads have a click through rate which is historically lower than that of the traditional banner ad (which is <1%).  If Facebook can find a way for ads to be more effective, users will be more likely to click through and they will receive more revenue.

So the moral of the story for Facebook in 2010 is don’t get greedy and take your users for granted, and give them what they want (Facebook).  As long as Facebook keeps doing these two things, they’ll be in good shape going into 2011.  Oh yea, and make some money.

Follow Todd on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toddliss

Keys for Twitter in 2010

January 11, 2010
Twitters Keys to Success in 2010

What does Twitter need to accomplish in 2010?

In 2009 was there a more used buzzword than “Twitter”?

In every day conversation, traditional media and on the internet,  Twitter dominated conversation in 2009.  This hype is part of the reason Twitter’s users skyrocketed in the past year.  Twitter clearly is a popular and widely used technology that has helped change the media and communication as we know it.  Twitter made big strides in 2009 but what do they need to do in 2010 to keep their momentum?

  1. Keep the hype going – Nothing was better for Twitter’s exposure than EVERYONE talking about it ALL THE TIME.  Traditional media brought it up so much that Twitter’s awareness levels skyrocketed.  Twitter needs to facilitate the hype by keeping their current format and outlook.  The only way that Twitter will keep growing is if the public keeps talking about it and using it – don’t let it die in the mind of the masses.
  2. Jump the chasm – Twitter is widely used by social media/technology mavens.  These “innovators” have built Twitter’s popularity. It is important to remember that the massive popularity (and profits) in technology are from the early/late majority adopters.  Twitter needs to actively make sure that Twitter is trickling down to those in the masses.  If it doesn’t, it will eventually die like all other “un-adopted” technologies.
  3. Figure out the whole money thing – There have been many rumors about how Twitter will end up making money.  As much as we all like to think that Twitter is doing this because they are nice people and just want to facilitate communication; we know that eventually Twitter needs to start bringing in revenue and sooner rather than later.  If Twitter doesn’t figure out their main revenue strategy in 2010, in the least Twitter needs to come up with an alternate revenue source.  Not only will this bring in money to the company, but will more importantly will show the outside world that Twitter can make money.
  4. Show its true value – Although awareness for Twitter is extremely high, knowledge is extremely low.  The majority of the public has no real understanding of Twitter’s value and advantages.  The idea of “I’m sitting on the couch” is a waste of time to most people (as it should be).  Those who use Twitter know that Twitter really doesn’t ask “What’s happening?” but it asks “What do you know/What do you want to know?”.  If Twitter was more clear in presenting their true value, I suspect they would have many more dedicated users.
  5. To Geo or not to Geo – The talk about Twitter has been, geo-targeting and location-based Tweeting.  This idea sounds great, but lets see if this can be a legitimate feature which people widely use.  I’m not personally sold on it yet, but I also understand that it needs to be fully developed.  It will be interesting to see how this comes about in the next year.

If Twitter can carry out these five things, they will have a very successful 2010 and will hopefully prove to critics that it isn’t another flash in the pan.  Maybe in showing their true value, Twitter will convert critics to supporters.

What do you think Twitter needs to do in 2010?  Leave it in the comments.

Follow Me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toddliss

Keys for 2010

January 10, 2010

This week we here are going post a series of posts looking into the potential of the next year.  2009 brought many changes and innovations and 2010 is a very exciting and crucial year for many industries, companies and technologies.  Tomorrow, we will start with Twitter’s keys in 2010 and will continue with Facebook, social media, and maybe a couple of surprises here and there.  Hope you all enjoy our new series, first part which will launch tomorrow – Keys for Twitter in 2010.

NBA Jam Making a Comeback!

January 5, 2010
NBA Jam coming to Wii

EA Sports next game to be NBA Jam for Wii??

Some of the best news I have heard in a while. Gen Y rejoice!  One of your favorite childhood video games is making a comeback.

In news leaked early, EA Sports is going to announce that they are going to make a new version of NBA Jam that will play exclusively on the Wii.  Now I don’t have a Wii, but honestly depending on how the new version looks, I might have to go out and get one.

For all of you that don’t know or remember NBA Jam the phrase “He’s on Fire!” doesn’t have much meaning to you.  For those like me, who played it non-stop on my Game Gear that phrase activates a giddy side in me.  Those who played it remember the non-stop fun of a perfect video game which broke the mold of all games that came before it.

NBA Jam was a 2 on 2 arcade style basketball game which allowed players to dunk from basically every location on the court and made the “turbo button” what it is today.  It was a game of full court three-point shots (which were literally on fire) and hidden characters like Bill Clinton who could mix it up with the other NBA greats.

So what does the new version of NBA Jam have in store?  Who knows.

Am I excited?  Hell Yes

What new tweaks could we see to the franchise.  I honestly am not even excited about the Wii’s added options for the game, I want to see what new set of hidden characters and changes they will make to have the game still be the same NBA Jam we know and love.

So everyone, what new features do you want this time around?

Follow Todd on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toddliss