What? You haven’t tried Apple iAds yet?

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That’s like missing out on Facebook ads when they launched in 2007.

Let’s cover this early stage ad platform to understand the opportunities and the

Head on over to at advertising.apple.com.

Sign in with your Apple id.

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There are 4 steps: campaign set-up, targeting, ad, summary.

Sign into your iAd workbench to promote an app or a product.
There are 24 product types.

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Upload your logo in 300×300.

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For where to run your campaign, you can choose App Network or iTunes Radio.
Choose App Network, since iTunes Radio can run only in Australia right now.

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Choose CPC or CPM.
We recommend CPC, in general.
Perhaps Apple will have goal-based bidding via oCPM or another default bidding strategy.

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You’ll want to choose manual targeting, instead of auto targeting.

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You can specify targeting criteria in any or all of the following categories:

  • Device: Which iOS device you want your ad to appear on.
  • Gender: Male, female, or both.
  • Age: The age group or groups that your app is most likely to appeal to.
  • iTunes Store Preferences: The interests that users of your app are likely to have (in several categories including apps, audiobooks, movies, and music). iAd will place your ad in apps downloaded by users who have similar interests (based on download data from the iTunes Store).
  • Geo: Your users’ home (not current) location. You can select locations by state or DMA (designated marketing area).
  • App Channels: The categories of apps in which you want your ad to appear, and whether you want your ad to appear in apps rated 17+ (within the selected categories).
  • Scheduling: The day (or days) and times when you want your ad to appear.
  • Frequency Cap: The maximum number of times an ad will be shown to the same person on any day.Note:  Frequency Cap is available for CPM bidding only.

You have to budget at least $50 per campaign and no more than $20 million.
And you must budget at least $10 a day.

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The recommended bids are low at 15 cents.
And we find that we’re getting CPMs at about 25 cents, which only go up when more folks get on the platform.
Pricing will vary by ad unit and target of course.

400 taps (clicks) on 100,000 impressions is a 0.4% CTR.

So this can work out nicely for you.

You can add multiple lines per campaign.
For those not familiar with lines, it’s an old-fashioned media buying term, where you can have multiple lines run in a campaign, where each line is buy against a particular audience.

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On the creative side, we have to deal with some non-standard ad aspect ratios.
There are 9 of them and it doesn’t look like you can reuse the 2:1 aspect in Facebook ads.
And you have to upload a bunch of creative variants (required).

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You can’t target as fine as you’d like, clone ads, or bid to business goals.
But it’s a great start to a platform that previously required 7 figures to even get in.

If you’re a real pro, you’ll make fully immersive experiences with the iAd Publisher.

Now time to get rolling before you miss out on the cheap traffic!

Google absolutely crushes other social networks and here’s why

Special thanks to BusinessInsider.com for this image.

Special thanks to BusinessInsider.com.

It’s fashionable to say social is popular, while old dogs like Google are on the decline.
You can cite a litany of failures in Wave, Google+, Orkut, Latitude, Buzz, or whatever.
And you might note that Facebook will earn $4.8 billion in display ads this year versus Google’s $4 billion– pulling ahead for the first time.
In the last year, Facebook has added 200 million users. The  stock price is at $74, and the company is worth $206 billion.

Yet Google makes $30 per user per quarter, while Facebook makes only $6.
Twitter makes only $3, so a tenth of what Google makes and half of Facebook’s monetization.

96% of Google’s revenue comes from advertising, most of which is search.
And what advertiser doesn’t want to put their dollars where consumers are buying?

Here are a few things to consider for this tide to turn:

  • Last click attribution is still strong: As long as people are using last click attribution, they’ll put money into branded search terms and other over-weighted sources of “conversions”.  Heck, they don’t even know what last click is, since a conversion is a conversion. Multi-touch and assisted conversions don’t matter yet for the mainstream.
  • Social networks are not just people posting personal statuses and pictures: Google and Facebook both know that whoever controls the log-in controls the content production. I believe recently, because of mobile logins, more people are logging into Facebook to communicate than mail platforms. But of the Four Horsemen, you could even say that Apple will win, since they’ll own the device, but that Amazon will win, since they own the credit card. So do you want to own the user’s content (Facebook), their logins (Google), their device (Apple), or their credit card (Amazon).  The lower in the stack, the more you can pull the rug out from the others above you.  And Facebook is at the top of this stack.
  • People’s ingrained habits change slowly: A decade after ATMs were available, most people were still going into the bank with their check ledgers. Most small business owners still make orders via fax machines and advertise in the yellow pages. If you’re reading this, you’re a technology early adopter– not representative of the mainstream customer.

Google still has plenty of time to own the customer data.

They own a quarter of Uber, you know, plus are building self-driving cars.
Most people spend 22 minutes each way in their commute. Of those who go in a driver-less car, that’s 44 minutes a day to show ads to people.
You think wifi on airplanes or movie theater popcorn is expensive?  Try valuing the captive audience in a moving capsule.

The telcos and mobile device manufacturers have battled it out on walled gardens, but where do you really think the consumer’s attention and wallet is?
It’s retail, not online. And the physical world is where Google is preparing to dominate.  

The real social network is the shopkeeper who remembers the preferences of his best customers, not video snapchats.

My favorite trick to weeding out unqualified job applicants

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You probably heard of Van Halen’s 53 page contract rider and how it required a bowl of M&M’s backstage– brown ones removed.
It’s not that brown M&M’s are necessarily bad. Rather, the band was checking for attention to detail.
If there were brown M&M’s there, they knew to expect sloppiness in the lighting, stage set-up, and other details.

So we’ve been following a similar strategy in our job postings.
In this particular one, we asked the candidate to say “INCEPTION” in their response.

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We find it’s a good proxy for whether they will be sloppy when hired.
You don’t want people messing up on your projects now, do you?

Is Facebook Atlas the Google AdSense Killer?

Alex Houg will be speaking at Pubcon Las Vegas on Thursday, October 9th, where he’ll discuss Facebook Atlas and other topics in-depth. Check out the panel “Real World Results” at 12:40pm-1:35pm in Salon E.

Not so fast.

Facebook announced this today, creating broad speculation by non-marketers that this is the event years in the making.  Finally, a response to Google’s AdSense. The Atlas ad serving platform, bought from Microsoft, which in turn, was part of the Razorfish (agency) acquisition, is just an ad server.

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Warning: geek talk ahead, but worth it for practical-minded, non-geek marketers.

The talking point of “people-based marketing” is strong. It means that Facebook is targeting based on what we know about people via the Facebook login, as opposed to only cookies.  While cookies are faulty across mobile, which is 60% of Facebook’s traffic, a true marketing solution must accommodate tracking users by cookie (website pixels), email, and native userids.

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To show ads triggered by remarketing and general social targeting is certainly interesting.  Facebook’s existing data platform will eventually squish 3rd party cookie collectors, DSPs, 3rd party ad servers, and most independent data providers.  There will certainly be a hold-out audience of folks who still buy on insertion orders, for negotiated impression-based rate card deals.

The discussion of tying to offline sales is not Atlas-specific.  Facebook already has conversion tracking and Datalogix integration, the latter of which is only to big brands with a large retail footprint.  Facebook’s cross-device tracking is perfect for mobile and only they have the scale necessary to tie users. DSPs are dead, as well as many in the inefficient middle.

If this sounds like technical ad geek stuff, this is what you need to know:

  • If you’re a small business, you don’t need to know anything about ad servers.You’re not selling your inventory for money, and even if you were, you don’t have enough to make it worth your time. Your customers are worth more than a few pennies of selling banner ads. Don’t run ads on your own properties and don’t buy ads except directly on Google and Facebook.
  • If you’re a marketer of any type, you need to first focus on understanding marketing automationbefore you worry about negotiating traffic to buy or sell. Unless you must buy or sell banner ads, focus on buying on native platforms (directly via Facebook and Google).
  • If you are a major publisher (over 10k uniques a day), this is your answer. You probably won’t be kicking out your ad sales team, but you can look at replacing stuff from other vendors. The cookie-only guys don’t have an answer here, especially on cross-device tracking.
  • If you’re a technology player, especially an ad serving player, time to update your resume. You knew it was a matter of time before the money got connected to the technology.
  • If you’re a student, learn all you can about the data you can collect from all free platforms(Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, etc).  These guys let consumers play for free in exchange for data that powers ads. So you’ll need to help businesses bridge this gap, to use data to help drive smart marketing and sales. This trend is not going away.

Here is their product tour.

Facebook has their javascript tracking on over a million sites, last time we heard a couple years. Who knows what the number is now. With the roll-out of Altas, we can expect this number to jump.

Javascript pixels allow Facebook to collect an immense amount of information about users on a site.  And when they authenticate to Facebook, their system can then tie that web user to a Facebook userid, allowing Facebook to track the user into mobile and cross-platform.

Nobody disputes that Facebook has the widest footprint of any network, cookie-based or not. What we don’t know is how much of this web-collected and natively-collected data can be used to help us as marketers. A lot, I’d imagine.

What do you think about this?

8 Links you MUST have, but probably don’t, to keep up with Facebook

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1) These are the 9 public ad types on Facebook with how to use them, ad dimensions, and so forth.
The local awareness ads might not be showing for you yet.

https://www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide/

2) Hard to find, but get to the education section at:

https://www.facebook-studio.com/education/index
You’ll have a ton of videos and courses to take.

3) Custom audiences are critical to your conversion.

https://www.facebook.com/business/a/online-sales/custom-audiences-tips

4) Because Facebook is 60% mobile, you must measure traffic that crosses from mobile to desktop, especially if you’re in e-commerce.
This is one part of how Facebook lets you set attribution by view and click windows. Default is one day view-through and 7 day click, but you can change it.

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/cross-device-measurement

5) And because you need to have an app (iOS or Android mainly), Facebook created a streamlined method for you to connect it Facebook.
Then you’ll be able to run app install ads and app engagement ads.

https://developers.facebook.com/quickstarts/

6) Facebook has great interviews with other ecosystem players.

https://www.livestream.com/fbmarketingtalks

7) If you can get into this group, you’ll get notice of the latest releases before everyone else, even if you live in New Zealand (the country that gets the updates first).

https://www.facebook.com/groups/pmdprogram/

8) Or you can just search Google for the latest docs.
Do a query for site:https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference

Ironically, low income targets on twitter are the most expensive we’ve seen?

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We’ve been bidding $5 a follower on low-income targets.
Who would have thought low-income would have been so expensive?
Twitter’s algorithm sometimes makes insane recommendations.
Do you believe others are bidding $9 to $13 a follower for these targets or is this eCPM suggestions at work?
What we have noticed is that when you have a low click-through rate, Twitter begins to suggest higher bids, no matter what the business objective. Sometimes we can get followers for a dime and other times it’s a few dollars.
To get around this, we will increase our audience size and increase our bids.
With Facebook, you know you can hit nearly 50% of your targeted audience in a day, so you have to limit the target size, else eat up your budget quickly. But with twitter, that’s not the case.
Readers, what are you observing?

Brace yourselves: the fall of the United States Empire

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage. – Alexander Tytler

Where is the United States in this cycle? I’d argue we’re in the final stage back to bondage. The top 1% of the population controls 20% of the nation’s wealth. They used to have 8%. CEOs make 300X the average employee wage, up from 20X a hundred years ago.

Source: prwatch.org

Source: prwatch.org

The pitchforks are coming, as the masses revolt with their Occupy Wall Street, $15 minimum wage bill in Seattle, or other manner of have’s versus have-not’s.

Our “Arab Spring” is nearly here.

Like the British and Roman Empires, and many before them, the pattern plays out.  The inevitable result of capitalism (a wonderful mechanism to create wealth, mind you), is that competitions create winners and losers. Before you label me as either an entitled millennial or an Internet millionaire, hear me out on the problem and a solution you’ve not heard before.

The entitlement society: a nation on the nipple

The middle class in America has vanished. This is the educated, hard-working backbone of society. They do the bulk of the purchasing, so they are the true job creators, not trickle-down, supply-side economists. Tytler goes on to explain what happens when you have a small wealthy class and a majority that is just squeaking by:

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Alexander Fraser Tytler

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Dear reader, where would you say the United States is along this path?

The more you produce, the more you can consume

If you haven’t noticed, the United States has been steadily losing the lead in manufacturing and technology- we used to make stuff here. Produce more than you consume, and you can sell the rest to other countries.  Consume more than you produce and you’re a net importer and a borrower.

Our standard of living now exceeds our productivity, which leads to debt financing.  For the economics-minded, we’re talking about a balance of payments gap, national debt, and weakening currency. For the folks who forgot Macroeconomic 101, other countries are now more productive than we are.

Our dominance in manufacturing and technology since the 2nd Industrial Revolution stems from investments in education. Simply put, an educated workforce is more productive.  A more productive workforce gets paid more, which strengthens the middle class, which reverses our economic decline.

But simply forcing a $15 minimum wage without solving the underlying productivity problem doesn’t solve the core issue. More on that in a moment.

The McDegree

Kids are coming out with college degrees like #2 value meals from the McDonalds drive-through. Serving billions and billions. (Sorry to pick on you, McDonalds. You still have the best fries!) But they can’t trade these pieces of paper in for jobs, any more than you can use Monopoly money to shop at Whole Foods. They don’t have real world experience.  And employers can’t pay them as much, nor are willing to deeply invest in on-the-job training programs.

  • It’s not the teachers’ fault, as their roles were not designed to be vocational.
  • It’s not the millennial’s fault, since they can smell that $100k in debt over 4 years isn’t a good thing.
  • It’s not the business’ fault, since they are not designed to be a school.

The trillion dollar education bubble is the next to pop after the mortgage bubble.

Hate the player, not the game

You can get mad at the $100k of debt you accumulate or the big corporations that don’t pay taxes.You can hate the school system and its arthritic pace to adapt to the pace of technology. But that won’t solve the problem. We’ve got to educate the youth, the future leaders of America, to get real business skills early. If you want to get hands-on experience with cars, go work in a garage.

If you want to get hands-on experience in business, go work inside businesses. Not the classroom. An UNTERN is a student who recognizes this and wants to get direct experience straight out of high school. As opposed to an intern, the UNTERN takes a leadership role in helping a business drive sales, using techniques they’re certified to use.

They are experts in their areas of passion (a hobby tied to a commercial interest), as opposed to a summer administrative assistant. If you’re proud to be an American, help us build back up our businesses by employing our own people: local kids that you know.  We’ll help train them at no cost to them. Find out more:

My young friends, are you worried about the jobless future?

Vivek Wadwha talks about a jobless future, where the machines do everything.
Even the McJobs go away, as robots will ask you whether you want fries with that.
No offense to my friend, Atif Rafiq, who is the new Chief Digital Officer at McDonalds.

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But seriously, in a world where the factories are smart and the people are dumb, what is left for us?
Can you yank the tube from the back of your neck to lean back and dodge bullets in slow motion?
Are we truly facing a dystopia that would make Orwell proud?

We have a scared, old world: a bleak landscape where machines can do everything better than us.

However, none of these views is accurate.

In a world of physical, manufactured goods, the robots ought to do what humans have been doing.
But we’re moving into a service economy, where the workers are not just servers, transporters of items.

You go to a movie theater with friends, though you could watch the film at home and get popcorn a lot cheaper.

You could instantly Google thousands of pictures of the Eiffel Tower, better than any pictures you could take and without an international plane ticket.
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And you drive to the mall to walk around, shop, and socialize. But you could just go to Amazon.

The crappy jobs are going away

And that’s the way it should be.  Let the machines make donuts.

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Because the new jobs are service-oriented.
Machines can’t solve problems of business strategy or marketing.
Business owners need consulting and support.

If a machine can do your job, you’re in the wrong area, my friend.

Humans crave human interaction.
We were designed that way.

Will Google’s self-driving cars kill Uber, since we won’t need human drivers?

Maybe eventually, but Google did invest $100 million in the company, so they win either way.

Will software eat up the world?
When it comes to mechanical processes that can be defined by rules, yes.

But providing services to the businesses around us is a market of insatiable need.
We’ve got plenty of hammers, but no carpenters. Plenty of stethoscopes, but no doctors.

To portage is to transition from water to land, carrying your canoe to go around the obstacles.
It’s for students to transition from the education system, where they pay, to a system where they get paid.
It’s for businesses that have been enslaved by technology to where technology serves them.
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Yes, the old factory type jobs are going away.
But they’re replaced by jobs we actually want.

Are you ready for this and want to join us in accelerating this change?

12 Things You Didn’t Know about Heather Dopson

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As a social media strategist, Heather Dopson‘s passion to help others grow their online presence is overwhelming. She understands utilizing social means more than marketing, distribution channels, and cute pictures of cats.

Formerly the Social Operations Manager at Infusionsoft, she built the social business infrastructure by implementing Social Customer Service, Social Voice of Customer, Social Recruiting and Employee Social Advocacy programs.

Heather continues to help others with their business’s social presence with honest criticism, empowering owners and employees alike to get involved socially.

Here’s some facts about her:

1) Before becoming a social operations manager, she was in the Air Force and was a cop.  And this gave her the toughness to be able to deal with people of all walks of life.  If you’re running social in your company, you’ll have to pick your battles with others in marketing, operations, customer care, IT, creative, SEO, and so forth.

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2) She has a hedgehog named Viggo. Her dog died last year, but Viggo is a prickly friend.  He weighs in at just under one pound.

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3) Her passion is educating and helping small businesses succeed. She guided development of Infusionsoft products, employee engagement and customer education.

4) She made it her mission to stop the confusion of Internet Marketing and be the guiding light for businesses and individuals wanting to leverage the immense power of Social Media.

5) She teaches classes focusing on Facebook and online marketing as she understands the tremendous value in educating the masses about the lucrative power of the Internet.

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6) She believes in the importance of empowering employees to build a brand.

7) Although she is a Native Texan, she grew up on a working ranch in Oklahoma and has been riding horses since she was in her mother’s belly.

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8) She strongly believes fear is what holds most brands back from truly harnessing the power of social media.

9) She is known for her brutal honesty. She’ll say what needs to be said even if you don’t want to hear it.

10) Heather’s main inspiration for social are Jay Baer and Gary Vaynerchuk, helping businesses understand how to weave social into their marketing plans.

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11) She believes if everyone truly provided exceptional customer service, brands could reduce their spending on lead gen, marketing and retention plans.

12) She will always be the voice for the voiceless & stand up for the underdog.

 

If you’re ever in need of good social advice or just someone awesome to follow, give Heather a shout:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/heatherdopson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theheatherdopson

 

751 notifications on my Facebook page

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The big brand pages we have insights access on usually show 50-100 unread notifications at any point in time. If you get a few hundred public interactions and messages per day, you know how hard it is to get this number down.

If you are a small page or just getting going, you may welcome this level of activity. Like when you got your first cell phone, the novelty wears off.

Why does Facebook show this?

Because they know managing a Facebook page is not solely a marketing activity. Having a store in the mall isn’t purely a marketing activity for the same reason.

You are building relationships in a Ted Rubin or Heather Dopson-like way.

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Behind these clicks are real human beings. Behind your Google Analytics or traffic reports are people just like you.

Nurture them like potential friends, not numbers, and you will have mastered the “secret” of social!

My friend Dennis Yu experienced this first-hand a few years ago in New York City. He lost his wallet and was stuck. Ted Rubin came to Dennis’ rescue with cash, food, a hotel room, and his full attention. No amount of marketing or public speaking could ever equal the indelible impact he created there.

Now go forth and make raving mad fans of your business, organization, and initiative.