Google, holding the internet captive

 

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Source: The Korea Times

I’m no longer friends with Google.

Google was like my study buddy and when I needed help, sometimes I would ask my friend where I could find something or if they knew about a particular subject. My friend was like an unbiased objective professor with infinite knowledge and wisdom.

But something is changing about my friend, he or she “I never did find out what sex the professor was” anyway they have changed. I have a suspicion they are on drugs or something, every time I ask Google something it just starts raving about ads and then goes of on some other story and about crap I didn’t even what to know.

By the time Google get’s to the point of the story they have completely lost me, I end up having to repeat myself again and again, so lately iv been studying and conducting academic research with a few other different friends to gather more objective opinions, its very enlightening to see what other opinions people (search engines) might have.

OK so in short it’s my belief that after years of using Google as the go-to search engine, our relationship is coming to an end, I feel like the flow of information and freedom I once had has been blocked by ads, videos and pop ups,

Google to me was once an free and open gateway to the net, its now appears to be claiming THAT IT IS THE NET that Google is the once source of information, hardly conducive of net neutrality it think.

The problem is rather a complex one with service providers slowing down internet speeds of certain search engines and Google actively blocking other search engines such as duckduckgo.com, Duckduckgo is like what Google used to be, same could be said about Facebook before adds and WhatsApp before it turned to shit and was bought by Facebook. Its Only a matter of time before Wikipedia is aggressively taken over by Google or Facebook or even Amazon.

“Google, Inc., isn’t just the world’s biggest purveyor of information; it is also the world’s biggest censor.”

With great power comes great responsibility, Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil” apparently ruining the internet and putting up walls and trapping people in loops that keep you within the Google garden and stop you from actually finding useful information is not evil……I guess not but its is not a prerequisite for the growth of a free and open net.

What is the point of all of this, it is to encourage a the reader that has the attention span to read to the bottom of this article to search further abroad, don’t become a Zombie walking around the Google garden, Google’s roughly 60% stranglehold on Web search is killing the diversity of information on the internet not to mention not to mention the massive problem that no one seems to pay attention to and this is Click fraud, the Motley fool reports that

” the explosion of link farms and spamblogs is pretty decent evidence that the click-fraud biz is not only alive and well, but also thriving at the expense of all of us. Except Google. For now, anyway”, we are being taken for a ride.

Is this what work looks like to you?

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OK so as I write this blog tonight, I’m home alone without my gorgeous wife, she is out having a beautiful dinner in Brussels with her work colleagues, and i’m a little bit bored and thinking, how can I use my time more productively. I thought why not practice a bit of self- South Brittany, South Brittany! WT!, (Self-branding) why would I type this? well I wouldn’t and I’m not, I’m dictating most of it on my Google Pixel mobile phone, yes its a bit cheeky, lazy too I know, but its speeds up work flow so much, technology has come so far and I love it. I bet your thinking “why have I done this yet” I say give it a try!

So I’ll move on and get to the point, I’d like to talk about marketing and photography and how marketer needs to pay more attention to digital images and the power they possess.

How many marketer pay attention to the images being used in there DMC strategy or wider marketing strategy, they say a picture paints a thousand words and I would agree, you don’t see the traffic lights in most city’s saying WALK or STOP no my friend they show a picture or symbol, a picture can be symbolic too and it’s easier to comprehend.

So a little about the professionals you might need to deal with or even in house ones, Some photographers will sell you the world, Some will say they are natural light pros but that is code for- I don’t know anything about flash photography and

(I’m not saying I do…. but they should, and that is something I endeavour to learn about)

or how to use a grey card or a light metre. Are they using colour calibrated monitors, are they using a full frame camera as the very least, This stuff in industry standard or in the corporate world we would say-best practice, sounds a bit PC to me.

I am of the belief that the power of Visual Communications is climaxing and the rise of digital and social marketing Media that modern marketers used to promote their content and Brands is becoming more and more ambiguous.

For instance, I see so many LinkedIn business profiles that are using Unsplash, Unsplash is a dirty content marketer secret, but they do have free high resolution stock photos, they’ve now amassed a rather large online warehouse of stock images however they don’t update them very often,  I’m not sure if it’s monetised yet but it will be soon.

A big issue is that Googles algorithms are involving every single day, and Google loves fresh, crisp, creative, new and different content; all the old stuff gets pushed to the back of the bus if you keep putting old stuff Google will just walk on by again until you come up with something more authentic, You can of course buy your way to the front of the bus but not every Marketing strategy has a bottomless budget.

Lisa Friedman marketing manager of global partners operations SAP has written a great article where she goes on to state that “visual elements increases people’s willingness to read content by staying 80%”, furthermore “The human brain can only process a limited amount of information at a given time. Data that can be processed much faster, such as a compelling photograph, will always take precedence.”

 

 

Marketers and Twitter

Your thinking I already know how to use Twitter, its part of our DMC strategy or broader marketing strategy and I’ve been using it for years and we’ve got hundreds of followers. I pose the question for self reflection, are you using the right tool for the right job, is it really giving you returns, I’m aware most of you probably have it plugged in to Google analytics but unless your selling your star power of your opinions it probably inst doing much in terms of brand recognition, So lets look at this from a different angle, social media according to online Cambridge dictionary is defined as ;

“Websites and computer programs that allow people to communicate and share information on the internet using a computer or mobile phone” 

I would draw your attention to the word people, social media is where people talk to people and share content, if you have a look at the top 100 Twitter accounts being followed on twitter I can tell you there is not a lot of brands with the exception of companies that have changed the way we live, such as Google and NASA to name a few, most are actually people.

Twitter “On which planet does a tweet at the right time beat traditional, beautifully executed video ads? asks Mark Ritson, Associate professor of marketing and branding

Mark Riston gives an excellent speech at the Melbourne Universities Business School. which happens to be ranked 32nd in the world…(just saying) So why have we been sold this lie that spending inordinate hours posting to Twitter for company brands is an effective strategy.

I will give you one good reason-shareholder value, another is just pure media bias and no real subjective examination of facts which Mark Ritson has so kindly done for me as you can see below, the average Australian watching TV did’t suddenly swap to the internet, As per graph nothing changed between 08 and 2012.

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OK, so I know your thinking, but its 2018! and the world has changed a lot (not likely) Donald Trump is now a sitting president, I’ll give you that…that’s change and not the good kind. I digress, Below is the latest from Roy Morgan witch just further strengthens my argument.

twitter 3 Yet major news media corporations such as Forbes are selling such unsubstantiated highly subjective statement such as “According to Twitter, 74% of people who follow a brand on Twitter do so to get product updates.” ……..My mind just exploded, I think i’m living out in real life, the 2006 Film “Idiocracy” The statement from Twitter is of course bias, it’s like saying; according to myself, “I’m the best blogger in the world”, this statement is untrue of course and is completely unsubstantiated furthermore Twitters comment is completely self serving, This is just one problem with public companies where almost everything said is in the best interest of the share holder and not the greater public.

In conclusion, crunch the numbers, do your due diligence and don’t believe everything the young hip millennial with the iPhone is saying.

The Sub-Cultural Tsunami

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Image Courtesy of Alexander Marinescu

A huge tidal wave has swept across the web and more specifically the web 2.0 and leaving in its wake web 3.0, a highly interconnected accessible and almost asymmetrical web, where business of all sizes can market there goods to the world and the world can either embrace these goods or reject them.

 

This new exposed terrain has presented the digital marketing cohort with many obstacles, Some of these obstacles include “Micro-communities”(William Belk, n.d.) for instance yesterday I was sitting down for my morning coffee perusing the Brussels Times, a kind of Online newspaper for Expats, behold! I see a headline stating “ Belgium’s e-sport market experiences spectacular boom” I must have been living in a cave for the past ten years.

I digress, according to the Brussels Times and studies conducted by PayPal “Belgium’s e-sport market generated three million dollars and is expected to increase by more than 20% this year.”(Maria Novak, n.d.) Furthermore  “In 2017, more than 111 million people watched the Super Bowl”(Syracuse Staff, 2017) and in contrast e-sports has “250 million”(Syracuse Staff, 2017) followers and most of which pay to view this online competition.

The learning’s above demonstrate how much momentum some micro-communities can achieve before morphing into an international industry ripe for the picking.

So, we have established that there is yet another sub culture that isn’t micro but rather turning into a macro culture. The issue for digital marketers is that sub cultures are popping up every week, and the traffic and content created on the web from these sub cultures are creating barriers in the form of digital noise in which marketers need to be able to penetrate. Other issues effecting the web 3.0 are bots, Bots can be programmed by anybody even unintentionally to click your ads thus giving you false data and feedback with software such as google analytics.

This doesn’t just affect the digital marketing guy in the corner but your whole marketing strategy hence this being a subject in my business degree, so as the old saying goes keep your friends close (The Web 3.0) and your enemies closer (bots).

To conclude digital marketers are facing a highly saturated web full of cute kittens and bots which only makes content creation authenticity all the more paramount, Be unique, creative and stop using so many reused stock photos like I’m about to do, as you can see my budget is a little low.

 

Best Practice for Digital Marketing Communications and everyone else

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Image courtesy of Rawpixel

Why would you need to know about digital marketing communications (DMC) and it’s best practices, first off, let me throw around some hard facts and statistics for the intelligentsia of the world. “Smartphones are becoming increasingly popular in Australia and it is estimated that in 2017, 83 percent of all mobile users will have a smartphone, in comparison to 74 percent of users in 2014. The vast majority of people in Australia already have a mobile phone, with the number set to reach 19.4 million people in 2017.”(“• Smartphone Statistic,” 2018)

According to the Australian bureau of statistics (ABS) and pen pushers no pun intended, the population as of 30 June 2017 was “24, 598 933 million”(European Commission, 2015), so what there telling us is that 79 percent of Australians have mobile phones and the number of smart phone users are only increasing.

You may be thinking that marketing doesn’t apply to me, Well your just plain wrong. Let me educate you and then I’ll give you some basic tools, Let’s say you’re an accountant and your Chief Marketing Officer is of course always trying to get some huge budget for their department, the Marketing strategy has an outlay of 1.2 million, of course you saw the figures last year after their last effort and you’re not impressed with the Return of Investment (ROI).  The strategy in question is a copy and paste of last year’s marketing campaign. (The CMO thinks you have forgotten what a flop it was…Pfft)  but wait because you reading these hot tips below you’ve got this in the bag.

So, let’s talk about those basic tools you need to arm yourself with, whilst in a round table meeting 

1. SEO

SEO…. this has nothing to do with your CEO, its stands for Search Engine Optimization, So why is this so important? because web browsers are constantly updating there algorithm’s that help keep keywords part of the search engine cycle in order to make your brand more discoverable on the internet.

 

2. Social Media

Social media, I’m not going to extrapolate about what this even is, rather where you should put it, as I mentioned earlier approximately 83 percent of mobile phone users are using a smart phone. I’m sure the digital designer at work thinks everything looks amazing on the their huge Apple Mac screen, but most people will be interacting via their Smart phone probably on the toilet, train or in bed…no data on that one. “Consumers are expecting cohesion across multiple platforms, and the easier they are to use the more likely this will drive viewer engagement”.(Jeremy Goldman, n.d.)

 

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Image courtesy of Rawpixel

So, to wrap up this blog, next time you get a chance to even sit at the table be sure to raise your hand and ask the hard questions, such as “have we updated our SEO strategy and are our invested scarce resources showing transparent ROI as our messages may be going nowhere. That will raise the eyebrows of any CEO and just watch his head turn towards the CMO.

PS…listen more than you speak.

Stay tuned for more Digital Marketing communication best practices

Knowing where to fish in a digital ocean

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Image Courtesy of Tom Quandt 

Knowing where to fish can be the difference between eating or going hungry, to put this into a digital marketing business context, let’s call the Internet of things (IOT) the ocean, and some fish in the ocean supply the revenue, keep in mind bait fish cost money too, lets call bait-fish your budget.

How do we know where to fish? what bait to use? and how much of it before moving on to a different location or in this instance different social media platform.

Your probably thinking enough with the metaphors right! OK we currently understand the world wide web as Web 2.0, Well Welcome to Web 3.0. “The ever-present Web 3.0 has to do with the increasing popularity of mobile internet devices and the merger of entertainment systems and the web.”(Nations, 2018) Simply put the Web has gotten a whole lot bigger and more complex, What has this got to do with marketing I hear you say! well Sir or Madam its has created noise and a lot of it, its made the waters murky if you must, From a Marketing perspective it used to be just the four P’s, I’m sure this is what your parents studied a thousand years ago.

Fundamentally it’s still the four P’s which consist of Price, Product, Place and Promotion

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The Four P’s

However, promoting your product has changed a lot because the web has changed dramatically, by analysing trends of where the fish are feeding and in which area of the internet we can then identify better drivers for the business. lets say that Facebook is the Indian Ocean, Twitter is the Coral Sea, Instagram is the Tasman Sea and finally YouTube is the Arafura Sea. You’re after a particular fish and your bait only goes so far and the ocean is a big place and not all oceans have the fish your after…Confused yet.

To conclude the rapid change and expansion in digital marketing with the advent of Web 3.0 is putting bigger and bigger budgets in unprepared hands and places more emphasis on analysis of Mediumism, mediumism is coined in the book X: THE EXPERIENCE WHEN BUSINESS MEETS DESIGN it describes placing inordinate weight on the technology of any medium rather than amplifying platform strengths to deliver desired, integrated experiences. What this means to you, is that you shouldn’t write a massive product description and put it on Instagram or put funny memes on LinkedIn you wouldn’t be using the right bait in the right ocean for the right type of fish. So, make sure you employ the right fisherman (Marketer).