Money Words (guest post)

By Perry Esler, Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals:

Tell a story – give the number. That’s the simple, best-practise, message we share with hundreds of radio people every year at stations across North America. It works. $450M raised since 1998 for our partner children’s hospitals. Great stories with a great pitch means lots of calls to the donor hot line.

Now there’s research that shows we might be able to increase pledges off those calls by how we greet the donor. Philanthropic psychologist Jen Shang has released a study that shows five words tied to moral qualities prompt larger donations.






The Indiana University Professor tested her theory at an appeal of public radio station WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana. The phone volunteers answered by thanking the caller and then they would randomly pick two of the five words to describe the caller. It sounded something like this: ‘Thanks for calling. You’re a caring and compassionate donor.’ In the end female donors gave, on average, 10% more.  By contrast the use of these adjectives had no impact on men.  Suffice to say since most donors to our radiothons are women this may be worth a try.

Many events still don’t script their phone volunteers, but this study should be enough to convince you otherwise.

Here is a recent interview we at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals conducted with Professor Shang about the study.  It concludes that a focus on the connection between moral identity and an individuals cause might create a higher ROI than focusing solely on the cause

Click here to listen to an interview Perry did with Prof. Shang.
Follow Perry on twitter here 

Smartphone and Golf – The Nike way

Think mobile, its my mantra at the moment. How can the smartphone be useful, it is no longer just about – let’s build an app for that. The thinking has to be mobile. Nike are certainly one to watch in this space.

Band Aid Magic Vision Muppet App

When kids hurt themselves, sometimes the plaster doesn’t make them feel better. This might!

A world without petrol

(from Goodbuzz)

To support Nissan‘s LEAF (electric car) launch – this ambient installation urges viewers to wonder what life would be like without Gas? To do this they re-purposed nearly 40 unique, interactive gas-pumps ranging from a mini-putt to a piano

Fundraising Awards

It is great to see the Fundraising Ireland awards in their 3rd year (I will be corrected by Ed if thats not right!). The awards are another great development by Fundraising Ireland and in my humble opinion helps professionalise the sector even more.  Fundraisers are notoriously bashful and shy! “Oh I couldn’t possibly nominate myself” – but you sure can and should. Winning awards gives the entire team a boost, your corporate partners a boost. It demonstrates you know your stuff when it comes to Fundraising.
So nominate today:

Facebook Ads don’t work?

Just as Facebook goes public, advertisers go public and start to suggest Facebook ads don’t work. Kick started by GM saying they aren’t going to advertise on Facebook anymore Headlines like these have started to pop up all over the place

Without even reading these articles, you kind of get the picture. Some of what is said in these articles is pretty stark.

John Coleman, CEO of The VIA Agency , says that Facebook’s “platform” – the free stuff, like brand pages – is an “integral” part of his clients’ marketing campaigns. In fact, he says his agency spends lots of money driving traffic to clients’ Facebook brand pages – just not with Facebook. “We’ll use Facebook for apps and other engagement but we’re using other [paid] media to drive that.”

Ryan Holiday, who is a media buyer for American Apparel says:

From the time that Facebook stopped serving banner ads through Microsoft to now, the spend I oversaw fell from nearly $1M per year to a few thousand dollars a month. “The return is not there. Unless you’re selling apps or lead generation, I think Facebook ads are underwhelming. I see bad things ahead for the Facebook IPO and perhaps, rising dissatisfaction among clients.”People go to Facebook to interact with their friends. It is fundamentally different from the ad platform that is Google. People go to Google to find something they need, possibly ready to buy, which a good percentage of the time can in fact be solved by someone’s ad. Facebook ads, on the other hand, annoy users. They yield no real value, and thus no profits.

Rance Crain in AdAge says

The problem with Facebook and other social media is that they were not designed to carry advertising.

This is a bit of a challenge right? Certainly for marketers, media buyers and it really challenges Facebook. So does all this mean that Facebook ads don’t have a role to play? I certainly don’t think that is the case. But it does mean you need to think about what their role is. Ford, for example, sees the site as a way to build long-term relationships with customers, not just as an online billboard.

Rance Crain challenges how we are thinking about these new online tools:

“The internet now allows us to do those three things with amazing efficiency and creativity,” Keith said. “But none of those activities substitute for creating and sustaining the brand itself. “The point is we need both — the brand-building skills we learned in the past, combined with the brand-extension tools technology offers today. The danger is that in our mad dash to be digital, we lose sight of the former, and a brand’s core values begin to disintegrate.”

Al Ries sums it up nicely when he says:

“if you don’t have the right strategy, good tactics won’t help you very much. And social, like all media, is a tactic. What concerns me is that too many marketers have elevated tactics — especially those of social media — to the level of strategy.”

Facebook probably need to start thinking about the challenge it is facing, especially as it tries to get its mobile ad product right. But sure they don’t need me to tell them that. Advertisers are challenging the model (although we have all known the CTR are low…for a long time!). Facebook probably need to look at new ad models that don’t interupt as much. They need to be agile enough to challenge themselves (just as their ASU’s challenged other advertisers when they first appeared).

These are interesting times. It is all worth keeping a very close eye on. But don’t discount Facebook ads just yet. Just make sure they are part of your strategy, that you are tracking and measuring them, and they are working hard for you. Then, like any media spend, you can determine if they are right for you and what you are trying to achieve.

I want to go #winnersbreakfast Ticket Giveaway

An Post have been in touch and have given me two pairs of tickets to this years Winners Breakfast on Wednesday to give away to Irish non profits. At €25 a ticket it’s a seminar well worth going to, and it’s great value, but a couple of freebies is not a bad way to start the week.

What do you have to do?

Just RT this post (use the #winnersbreakfast hash tag) and you are in. I’ll contact the two winners (a pair of tickets each) tomorrow am

At the An Post Integrated Direct Marketing Awards, Winners Breakfast, Wesdnesday 23rd May, you’ll hear 4 x 20 minute presentations of these winning campaigns!

  • Acorn Marketing & PrePay Power – For the person who hates getting bills in this home. Gold for Best Unaddressed Mail and Best Acquisition
  • Direct Marketing Campaign Management & Neopost Ireland – Mailroom Emergency. Gold for Best IT and Technology
  • Ignition – integrated ideas people & Musgrave Retail Partners – SuperValu Real Rewards Spend Less this Christmas. Gold for Best Direct Mail High Volume
  • RMG & The National Lottery  – EuroMillions Peggy & Ted. Gold for Best Integrated Campaign  
So tweet away!

The Ray Bans App

When you are thinking about consumers, you need to think about how you can bring something of value to their lives. Now clearly this is relative to their lives and what I am about to show you here is probably one of those “problems” that aren’t really problems in the greater scheme of things. But there is something nice in this, when its sunny, its nice to be able to find the places where the sun is. And its a perfect fit for Ray Bans.

What do you think?

(thanks again Goons + Loons)

General Motors pulls Facebook Ads

(Source TechWorld, Sophie Curtis, May 16th 2012)

Car giant General Motors has confirmed it will stop advertising on Facebook, after deciding that paid ads on the site have little impact on consumers’ car purchases. Commenting on the news, which comes just days ahead of Facebook’s initial public offering (IPO), GM said it regularly reviews how it spends its marketing budget and adjusts its approach as needed.

“It’s not unusual for us to move our spending around various media outlets – especially with the growth of multiple social and digital media outlets,” a GM spokesperson said in a statement.

“In terms of Facebook specifically, while we currently do not plan to continue with advertising, we remain committed to an aggressive content strategy through all of our products and brands, as it continues to be a very effective tool for engaging with our customers.”

GM currently spends about $40 million on its Facebook presence, but only about $10 million of that is paid to Facebook for advertising, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported GM’s plans to drop Facebook ads.GM will continue to promote its products on the social network via Facebook pages, which cost nothing to create, but will no longer pay for dedicated advertising space.

The news comes as Facebook prepares for an IPO that is expected to value the company at $85 billion to $95 billion (£53bn to £59bn). GM’s decision raises questions about Facebook’s dependence on advertising, and its ability to sustain the 88% revenue growth achieved in 2011.

According to Gartner analyst Andrew Frank, however, the size of Facebook’s audience and its level of engagement means that the social network will remain a strong player in the advertising world. “The top tier of advertisers that spend more than $500 million a year on media probably have less need to buy social media because their brands are already well known, they attract fans and so forth,” said Frank. “Facebook advertising works best for finding a good restaurant, or a good travel destination – things where word of mouth really is important and where people don’t already have brand awareness.”

Facebook is not entirely dependent on advertising. It also has an impressive gaming revenue stream, according to Frank, and the company confirmed this week that it is testing a new system that would allow users to pay for their posts to be prioritised in friends’ news feeds.Frank said that the company could be forced to explore new revenue streams after going public.

“Facebook really hasn’t yet begun to optimise the treasure trove of data that they have about people for the benefit of advertisers. The kinds of targeting categories that they they offer today are fairly basic compared to what they could do in the future when they really start to dig into this,” said Frank. “There’s a great deal of upside potential in Facebook’s data, and I really think that they haven’t got around to focusing on that particular problem because they’ve been more focused on creating and experience for their consumers.”

However, he added that the size and knowledge of Facebook’s audience is its main asset, suggesting that advertising is always going to be the biggest part of its revenue, even if it finds other ways to monetise.

The Colour Run

Saw this on the Goons + Loons blog, great, cheerful, uplifting idea. Would be great for a brand in the colour space to do this?

Real-time Facebook ‘likes’ displayed on Brazilian fashion retailer’s clothes racks

(Source: theverge – via Goodbuzz)

Fashion retailer C&A’s Brazilian arm is doing what it can to stay on the pulse of social media. A new initiative called Fashion Like allows people to ‘like’ certain items of clothing on the company’s Facebook page, and these clicks are collated and displayed on the relevant clothes rack in real-time. Customers are thereby able to view the item’s online popularity in the real world to help them make their decision.

It’s open to debate how valuable this will be to shoppers — we’ve seen the trivial nature of much that’s posted to Facebook, not to mention the dubious fashion sense of certain denizens, and it probably wouldn’t be hard to game the data. For terminally indecisive Brazilians, however, this seems like it could be a step forward.

Case study video below (You can turn on english subtitles)

World’s Longest Lasting Click – Banner Ad

To drive people to The Stride League of Ridiculously Long-Lasting Records, we conceived of a banner ad that would test the limits of man’s ability to click a mouse and hold it. The results, a click-through rate that is currently at .9% (the industry standard is .07%) and one young gentleman who held a click for twenty-two minutes

Web 3.0

I read a great piece on Forbes that said Web 3.0 won’t happen because the new breed of companies aren’t thinking about launching on the web. They said in the piece:

These companies – and Instagram is the most topical example at the moment – view the mobile smartphone as the primary (and oftentimes exclusive) platform for their application.  They don’t even think of launching via a web site.  They assume, over time, people will use their mobile applications almost entirely instead of websites.

We will never have Web 3.0, because the Web’s dead.

Another example of this kind of thinking came from Telefónica Digital this week when they launched TU Me. TU Me is a pretty slick app that allows smartphone users to make calls and send messages without using up their quota of call minutes or texts, it uses instead data. For someone like me, who seeks out wifi at any given opportunity, this is great news. For those who are into this space, you will be right in thinking that this product is putting it up to existing apps including Skype, Viber and Whatsapp.

Similar to the likes of Instagram, the TU Me app isn’t looking for people to go to their site, when you go there, it just sends you to the itunes store and download the app. The whole approach is a fascinating one by Telefónica Digital . When you think about it, this app seems like a direct competitor to its O2 brand. But as they say themselves they would : “rather keep the customer than lose them to other products and services”.


Telefónica Digital chief Stephen Shurrock recognises the shift in consumer behaviour and consumption: “We’ve seen the growing popularity of communication apps on smartphones but we believe we’ve gone one better with Tu Me using our knowledge and insights of how people use their devices,”

There is a fundamental shift in things, with an estimated 77% of Irish consumers expected to have Smartphones by the end of the year, you have to be thinking about how you engage people on these platforms. Telefónica Digital have. They clearly don’t want to be the kind of company that puts its head in the sand and ignores what is going on around them, thinking it wont affect them (it already is). They don’t want to be at risk of being gone in 5-8 years (as the Forbes article suggests is possible for Google & Facebook, in what is one of my favourite quotes of recent times!):

We think of Google and Facebook as Web gorillas.  They’ll be around forever. Yet, with the rate that the tech world is moving these days, there are good reasons to think both might be gone completely in 5 – 8 years.  Not bankrupt gone, but MySpace gone

What do you think?
Download TU Me here