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What’s A Blog? Consumer Reaction Says it All.

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family_guy_2.jpgMany folks tout blogging as a part of Web2.0. Many of those same people have convinced the main stream that in order to succeed, you must ease your site ‘copy’, get shiny, change your colors and forget selling anything- we have to educate. I’ve even heard many say that to not follow this new thread of thinking will leave you behind in the dust.

It is all a fabrication in my opinion. Web 2.0 is nothing but a label placed on something investors blew off several years ago. I believe it’s a hype to increase values of technology companies. Why do I believe that? Austin is said to be the “silicon valley of the Midwest” and with a phrase like that, you would think more folks would know what a blog is. In fact, you would think that most of the advertisers in the Midwest would know what exactly web2.0 is. The reality is that everyday average folks have no idea what in the heck a blog or web2.0 is. Nor do they understand it.

When I look at it from a know-nothing position, I have to agree. I can understand the confusion that there’s been a sudden change, but no one bothered to take the consumer with them. Think about that from a marketing perspective- change in marketing is normally driven by consumer demand; doesn’t it stand to reason if they demanded it, they would understand it? The answer is a simple yes. In the case of Web2.0, techies demanded it- techies wanted to illustrate their spin on how the market should bear out, and we let them, we even helped fan the flames.

Should we follow tech demand? Yes. But we as businesses we should find a happy middle, not swing completely one way or the other. Change with consumers is gradual, not overnight, and in the race to be different, we shouldn’t leave the consumer behind- or jump off a bridge because a heavily leveraged venture company said so, and not to please Google.

Update: This is what you give up by buying into all things internet. This is what is lost in web2.0. This is what people who are serious about real estate need to keep in focus. This is the concept that wins, no matter how shiny your website or avm is…

Greg’s solution? Address the problem head-on. Go beyond where I had gone, which was to justify my need to know: Acknowledge that I’m in sales. Ask whether the client/prospect has had a bad experience with a salesperson and listen to the response.

Bravo Cathleen for asking the right questions and delivering relationship-centric ideas. Relationship2.0 has been here 1,000 years, beta tested and true.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Shailesh Ghimire

    October 8, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    There is more hype than reality in the whole Web 2.0 thing. The recent botched sale of AR is case in point. Also, I’m not sure if MySpace is making money for Murdoch or not. How about Facebook? How are these guys going to make money?

    I started blogging back in early 2005 because I wanted to do something unique to get business. Problem is all my business was coming from off-line sources. Why would I blog? I never got serious about blogging until business actually slowed down 6 months ago. I have received some business from blogging but – in my honest opinion – not enough to really justify it, but its fun, and I enjoy it and it’s kinda work related. I have enough business to keep things going – so why not is my answer.

    You hit the nail on its head, when it comes to where consumers stand. Most of my friends don’t know what a blog is – they know I blog but I have a buddy who says everytime he hears the word “blog” he thinks of me and smiles. One person even thought it was a bad word, kind of a kinky internet-sex variety. I’ve talked to so many people who don’t know what a blog is – one person asked me how you’d know if you’re on a blog. Good question, I said.

    So, either we’re way ahead of the curve or we’re just blowing smoke. Either way in my opinion this whole Web 2.0 thing will go up in smoke like the bust of 2000 and we’ll be talking about Web 3.0 in 8 years. I still think the correlation between effort and dollars isn’t quite there yet to say this is a proven method. We’re all trying and all thinking of something innovative. However, as my economics professor used to say, “you can’t build an economy doing eachothers laundry” – and sometimes blogging feels that way. We’re just talking to eachother and every once in a potential client overhears our conversation and wants to do business.

  2. benn

    October 8, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    excellent points!

  3. Lani Anglin

    October 8, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    As BR noted, it’s worth jumping on in *case* the rest of the population catches up. As for blogging and the Web 2.0 feel being the ultimate universal tool for consumers, well, we all know that it isn’t so. As a blogger, when was the last time you walked into a room of regular consumers and said “I’m a blogger” and didn’t expect to have to explain yourself?

    There you have it; I think BR said it best, “change in marketing is normally driven by consumer demand; doesn’t it stand to reason if they demanded it, they would understand it?”

  4. Athol Kay

    October 9, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Great great image.

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Business Marketing

How a Facebook boycott ended up benefitting Snapchat and Pinterest

(MARKETING) Businesses are pulling ad spends from Facebook following “Stop Hate for Profit” social media campaign, and Snapchat and Pinterest are profiting from it.

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Phone in hand open to social media, coffee held in other hand.

In June, the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign demanded social media companies be held accountable for hate speech on their platforms and prioritize people over profit. As part of the campaign, advertisers were called to boycott Facebook in July. More than 1,000 businesses, nonprofits, and other consumers supported the movement.

But, did this movement actually do any damage to Facebook, and who, if any, benefited from their missing revenue profits?

According to The Information, “what was likely crumbs falling from the table for Facebook appears to have been a feast for its smaller rivals, Snap and Pinterest.” They reported that data from Mediaocean, an ad-tech firm, showed Snap reaped the biggest benefit of the 2 social media platforms during the ad pause. Snapchat’s app saw advertisers spending more than double from July through September compared to the same time last year. And, although not as drastic, Pinterest also saw an increase of 40% in ad sales.

As a result, Facebook said its year-over-year ad revenue growth was only up 10 percent during the first 3 weeks of July. But, the company expects its ad revenue to continue that growth rate in Q3. And, some people think that Facebook is benefitting from the boycott. Claudia Page, senior vice president, product and operations at Vivendi-owned video platform Dailymotion said, “All the boycott did was open the marketplace so SMBs could spend more heavily. It freed-up inventory.”

Even CNBC reported that Wedbush analysts said in a note that Facebook will see “minimal financial impact from the boycotts.” They said about $100 million of “near term revenue is at risk.” And for Facebook, this represents less than 1% of the growth in Q3. However, despite what analysts say, there is still a chance for both Snapchat and Pinterest to hold their ground.

Yesterday, Snap reported their surprising Q3 results. Compared to the prior year, Snap’s revenue increased to $679 million, up 52% from 2019. Its net loss decreased from $227 million to $200 million compared to last year. Daily active users increased 18% year-over-year to 249 million. Also, Snap’s stock price soared more than 22% in after-hours trading. Take that Facebook!

In a prepared statement, Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman said, “As brands and other organizations used this period of uncertainty as an opportunity to evaluate their advertising spend, we saw many brands look to align their marketing efforts with platforms who share their corporate values.” As in, hint, hint, Facebook’s summer boycott did positively affect their amazing Q3 results.

So, Snapchat and Pinterest have benefited from the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Snapchat’s results show promising optimism that maybe Pinterest might fare as well. But, of course, Facebook doesn’t think they will benefit much longer. Back in July, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told his employees, “[his] guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”

Facebook isn’t worried, but I guess we will see soon enough. Pinterest is set to report its Q3 results on October 28th and Facebook on the 29th.

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Business Marketing

Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive

(BUSINESS MARKETING) In the midst of a pandemic and with winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.

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Outdoor eating at restaurants grows in popularity.

Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.

Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.

The new rules of keeping clients safe means setting things up outside is the easiest means of keeping large numbers of them from crowding inside. Because of this, weather has become a key influence in a company’s daily income. Tents that were a gimmick before, only needed by presumptuous millennials, are now a requirement to keep afloat. People are rushing to make their yards into lawns that bring some in some fancy feeling.

The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.

San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.

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Business Marketing

Healthcare during pandemic goes virtual, looks to stay that way

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employment-based health insurance has already been through the ringer with COVID-19, but company healthcare options are adapting for long term.

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Stethoscope with laptop, showing healthcare going virtual.

Changes in employment-based health insurance may end up costing employers more, but will provide crucial benefits to workers responding to the healthcare challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey by the Business Group on Health, a member-driven advocacy organization that helps large employers navigate providing health insurance to their employees, businesses will increase access to telehealth, mental health resources, and on-site clinics in the upcoming year.

Besides the obvious impacts of the coronavirus itself, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also rippled out to affect other aspects of public health and how we engage with medical care. With so many people staying home to reduce their in-person contacts, there has been a significant increase in the use of telehealth services such as virtual doctor’s visits. According to the survey from Business Group on Health, whose members include 74 Fortune 100 companies, more than half of large employers will offer more options for virtual healthcare in the upcoming year than in the past.

The pandemic, resulting economic fallout, and dramatic changes to our lives have inevitably exacerbated peoples’ anxieties and feelings of hopelessness. As we move into cold weather, with no end in sight to the need to socially distance, this promises to be a particularly dreary, lonely winter. Mental health support will be more necessary than ever. In 2019, 73% of large employers provided virtual mental health services. That number will increase to 91% next year, with 45% of large employers also expanding their mental health care provider networks, making it easier for employees to find the right the therapist or other mental health service provider, and making it easier to access those services from home, virtually.

In addition, there will be a 20% increase in employers offering virtual emotional well-being services. Altogether, 9 out of 10 of the employers surveyed will provide online mental health resources, which, besides virtual appointments, could also include apps, webinars, and educational videos.

There has also been a slight increase the availability of on-site clinics that provide coronavirus testing and other basic health services. This also included an expansion of resources for prenatal care, weight management, and chronic health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These improvement won’t come free of charge. While deductibles will remain about the same, premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase about 5%. In most cases, employers will handle these costs, rather than passing them on to employees.

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