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Chris Treadaway
Husband, father of Margot, sports fan, entrepreneur, author, perfectionist, weekend warrior, and amateur chef.
Husband, father of Margot, sports fan, entrepreneur, author, perfectionist, weekend warrior, and amateur chef.

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getting ready for sxsw panel. if you're still at sxsw, join us at the four seasons at 12:30 :)

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A good, well-reasoned article on Google sign-in

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So if I'm reading this right... Google sign in is different than Facebook sign in because Google doesn't do impression ads? And impression ads are bad?

Google has access to e-mail data for Gmail users. They use data in your e-mail to put relevant CPC ads in front of you while you work. Is that better?

I suppose I don't get the point of this article.

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Facebook has an 8-1 edge over Twitter in engagement, yet Twitter is the real-time social TV platform.  Why?  My thoughts in a guest blog post on the Windmill Networking blog.

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Latest guest blog post - this time on Graph Search... the good & bad as well as implications for the future.

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Margot Ellen Treadaway, born December 14, 2012, at 2:52pm at St. David's Hospital in Austin, TX.  Our first child!

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State of the Union - Marketing in 2013

(summary of my comments on today's Google Hangout)

The state of marketing in 2013 is potentially troubling for an ecosystem that has really struggled to prove real value over the early years of social media.  Large companies have ramped up to spend millions of dollars on the social ecosystem on SMMS software, advertising, maintenance, consultants, and content.  Teams of people have been created to run/monitor social properties and companies have scrambled to put together relevant content to support these assets.  Marketers and HR departments both are scrambling to put together actionable, realistic social media policies for their employees, partners, and other stakeholders.

As these investments increase in size and scope, senior marketing executives are increasingly under the gun to understand and communicate to the rest of the C-suite what companies and brands are getting for their money.  And they're increasingly struggling to find value and return on investment from social media. 

This is taking place for several reasons:
1) Lack of industry standards make measurement elusive for many companies.  Social (across platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, et al) does not have a consistent set of industry metrics like the Web or CPC advertising does, so interpretation is up to the beholder/senior exec.
2) Disagreement about critical KPIs, therefore, is rampant.  Companies don't have a firm grasp on what should be measured, at what frequency, and under what circumstances -- making the situation even worse.  Is it Reach?  PTAT?  Comments/likes/shares?  New fans?  And are the tools even in place to get the numbers necessary for analysis?
3) Many agencies and consultants are not motivated to be truly honest about the numbers.  The true promise of social is the prospect of viral success, but that's also "lightning in a bottle" and very hard to achieve.  Unless viral success is achieved, marketing tactics such as custom content production, video editing & publishing, podcasts, etc. achieve a relatively small audience relative to costs... and fully loaded costs per action can be exorbitantly and prohibitively expensive, especially when considering future budgets.
4) The promise of social marketing has been, to date, unrealized.  We used to say that it would be fascinating to have hundreds of millions or billions of people's profiles online, accessible to a marketer.  That, in combination with their feedback, would make us infinitely smarter and able to monitor customers attitudes towards our products and services.  But the reality has been that most consider the feedback very difficult to sort through and analyze, and thus the promise of social marketing has turned from an opportunity to a tax on time & available resources for many companies.
5) Search, and not social, has remained the "transactional" channel whereby a customer's purchase intent is identified and constructive, profitable funnels are built.  People go to social to interact with each other and socialize.  They continue to go to search for product information, ratings and reviews, and research.

All this has made social a very difficult channel for most senior 
executives to take seriously.  Social oversight a relatively low-priority concern for Chief Marketing Officers.  But as Facebook moves towars monetizing the collision of earned, owned, and paid media -- and as social marketing becomes more and more complex to manage and maintain, the costs are getting too large for most senior execs to ignore the channel altogether and ask difficult questions.  

As we communicate with people in marketing departments all around the world in larger companies and the agencies that support them, we are seeing a dramatic and seemingly immediate shift in attitudes toward social marketing, whereby decision-makers want to know more about the exact value that the brand earns for its marketing budget -- time, effort, energy, expertise, and opportunity costs.

Measurement, a clear understanding cause/effect, a/b testing, and return on investment have been the language of search engine marketing pros for many years.  But the language of social marketing has been "Reach", "virality", "lift", and other soft nomenclature that obscures the real issue -- that many right-brained marketers are not adequately educated in web marketing metrics, tactics, and expertise.  All the while, social continues to evolve to become more of a balanced, left & right-brained activity.

What you get for your money, time, effort, energy, etc. is the theme for 2013.  Chief Marketing Officers will expect more of social and will gain a clearer understanding of how social drives business in 2013 and beyond.

Your thoughts?

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Mark Cuban was absolutely correct about questioning the value of Facebook. Why shouldn't you scrutinize everything that you're told is a best practice?

Here's my guest blog post from a few weeks back on +Neal Schaffer's  Windmill Networking blog that explains why you should similarly make sure you know what you're really getting for your money (HINT: If you're relying on soft metrics like Reach to do your thinking for you, you're already misunderstanding the problem).

Would love to know what you all think.

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Gosh, there is a lot wrong with this article on TC.  First of all, Facebook's Reach is a very, very dirty number.  The metric has changed multiple times since it was first introduced, and may be changed at Facebook's whims whenever and without you knowing.  But what's worse is that Reach is really social media's equivalent to "Impressions" -- not terribly interesting unless it is a predictor of people doing something:  clicking, reading, reacting, commenting, sharing, recommending, buying, etc. 

Second, the sample set is tiny.  274 sample pages isn't a statistically valid number of pages even if they're randomly selected, which I very much doubt took place here.

But finally, did we really need data to know that Facebook is moving people from Earned Media to Paid Media?  These guys are asking the obvious question and not the one people really want to know... "how do I get more reaction on Facebook?" and "are people still engaging on Facebook?".  The answer is a big YES but we'll share more about that very soon.
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