Thursday, 21 January 2010

A good cost per acquisition. If you're selling superyachts.

It's no secret that I don't like ID cards.

That said, it's time for a fair and impartial look at the government's investment of half a million in advertising money to publicise their trial run in Manchester. It can be fair and impartial and still anti ID cards because... well you'll see in a minute.

1300 people have signed up.

For half a million pounds.

Lets pretend loads of them aren't civil servants and journalists and say 1300 people saw the advertising and thought "I've just got to have one of those".

That's a cost per acquisition of £385. Bargain.

At that price, persuading 48 million adults for a national role out will cost £18,480,000,000 (yes, I know that's a silly calculation, I've stopped being fair and impartial now.)

Can we just abandon this monumental waste of money please?

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Has it occurred to anybody else...

That the Met Office seem to be treating outside chances of bad weather as a PR opportunity?
Take tomorrow. There's a weather warning in place for London*. It's not going to snow.

The Met Office know it's not going to snow too, so why the weather warning? Either they're absolutely terrified of not issuing one when there's a blizzard coming (which is possible) or I have a strong suspicion that they use them for PR.

A weather warning generates lots of Met Office coverage. And then whose name is in your head when you need to buy some weather expertise? Never mind that you could always get it for free from (Sshhh, don't tell anybody.)

I'm being very, very cynical but the damn things are issued so often that nobody takes them seriously any more. Rain, fog, snow, a bit of a stiff breeze... Weather warning. I think they like being on the news.

If you want non-sensationalised weather (which has been more accurate than the Met Office since Christmas because they don't worst-case-scenario everything) try meteoblue.

* And a lot of other places, which actually do have lots of snow.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Which clown at Sky...

Come on, who at Sky didn't know that Avatar has clever new 3D glasses, rather than the old fashioned blue and red ones?

I went and saw the film last night (cheesy plot, you pretty much know what's going to happen in the finale and it's properly brilliant) and was surprised by the lack of 3D ads. Bit of a missed opportunity there, I thought. Everybody was already sat in their seats during the ads, which never happens, and it was just the same old mobile phone spots as usual.

Then a big sign flashed up. "Put on your 3D glasses now". Here we go...

Hang on, this isn't working. I can see a sky box but it's sort of blue and red and flickery through the 3D specs.

Did some clown in marketing at Sky think they'd just run a 3D ad and not check what technology Avatar was using? Or was I supposed to get some old fashioned blue and red 3D glasses in The Sun or something? If so, I couldn't see one person in the cinema who had them and could hear lots of confused people who didn't.

The PR people knew. They said:

"As Sky's 3D TV services uses the same underlying technology as that being used in cinemas, it seemed natural to use Avatar as our first marketing platform. We also wanted to give consumers the opportunity to sample first hand the quality of experience we will offer next year."

Oops. Marketing money well spent...

Monday, 4 January 2010

A New Year thought (yes, I'm back!)

The updates might be less frequent, but I'll be back for 2010 with some more data-based marketing type thoughts. And probably some musicial musings thrown in along the way too as a whole new work obsession, but we'll have to see.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

So what's brought about the change of heart? Well, it seems marketing hasn't gone away despite me leaving Mindshare and apparently a few people are still reading Wallpapering Fog now and again (thanks Grace!) Actually, I'm perversely disappointed the traffic didn't drop off all that much - it just brought home the fact that I only wrote three vaguely interesting things last year and people are still reading those. Must try harder...

'here's a Facebook strategy and I can give you a bucketload of data to prove while this Facebook strategy is a good thing'.

Steve over at Analytics Arbitrage has been speculating about disjointed planning and ideas for 2010 and mentioned a Facebook Strategy. He's not suggesting that having one would be a good starting point for planning, don't worry.

So what is a good starting point? What's fundamentally wrong with saying 'here's a Facebook strategy'?

It's wrong because it doesn't start with what you've got. It starts with what somebody else has got.

Football managers lose their jobs this way. They compromise their own team by setting it up to counter what the opposition are doing. They've got a good winger? He'll need man-marking. They play a man in the hole behind the striker? We'd better have a holding midfielder this weekend then. And before you know it your team's tactics are negative and all you're really trying to do is not get beaten.

So a here's first thought for 2010, whether you're building media plans, contemplating Facebook or looking for a new job. Before you react, what have you already got? And what can you do with it to give everybody else something to think about?