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Turner Broadcasting To Buy BleacherReport.com

Money to Burn

Turner Broadcasting Systems (TBS) is rumored to be in talks to buy BleacherReport.com for $200 million. The two companies are not commenting but sources close to deal, including the website AllThingsD, are reporting that the framework of the deal is in place and due-diligence has begun.

The Bleacher Report raised $40 million in venture capital since its inception in 2007. The site is primarily made up of user-generated content. It’s the user-generated content that has Bleachers Reports competitors crying foul, saying the sites contributors borrow content already released. The argument is weak. Twitter breaks news about 15 minutes ahead of the AP. Social networks are the hub of user generated content. YouTube was full of user generated videos when it was bought for billions.

Bleacher Report has done a great job at adding relevant content at a rapid rate. The contributors have helped propel Bleacher Report to over 9 million uniques per month. In 2010 the company generated an estimated $5 million in revenue. The year over year growth has slowed a bit to an estimated 8% from 2010 to 2011. In 2011 the company hired Rich Calacci away from CBS Interactive and he transformed the sales almost instantly. His team is on pace to bring in over $30 million in ad revenue from partners such as Red Bull, Muscle Milk, Pizza Hut and more.

Bleacher Report is selling at a premium, even for a sports based platform. Compare the potential sale to AOL’s purchase of HuffingtonPost.com for $315 million. At the time of the sale to AOL it had 25 million uniques per month and was doing just over $30 million in revenue. The Huffington Post was considered a prestigious website with real reporters and it’s user generated content is generally contributed by celebrities.

Many are asking why TBS is being so aggressive with its valuation of the Bleacher Report. TBS will likely use its vast resources to enhance the BleacherReport.com traffic. There is no question that TBS is seeking to replace the over 9 million unique visitors its ad network lost when they lost Sports Illustrated this spring. TBS is also losing PGA.com at the end of 2012. Bleacher Report saw its competitor MMAJunkie.com and Big Lead Sports’ sales to USA Today Sports Media Group. Leaving Bleacher Report as the only independent website on ComScore’s top 10.

We see a trend in journalism. The barrier to entry has never been lower. User generated content is the fuel for the World Wide Web. We have operated a user generated fan driven content website for years. We were punished by a major movie studio for most of those years until last year they announced they were launching their own user-generated content fan site.

The new online media properties seem to tout their in house publishing technologies almost as much as the content they produce. Bleacher Report is not the only user generated sports platform. Vox Media, a venture-backed startup, operates the SB Nation sports blog network

Add up the pieces – revenue potential, the loss of Sports Illustrated web traffic, PGA.com relationship coming to an end, a powerful publishing platform, and a core base of passionate contributors and the deal starts to make more sense for Turner than it might at first look.


Content is not King

In the Media world the saying goes “Content is King”. The idea is: build it and they will come. Yet the kings of content, the movie studios, lose huge sums on most projects. Why? If asked most successful business people they will tell you success is a blend of hard work, luck, and controlling the controllables. Movie studios are well run corporate machines, their workers work hard, and management controls what it can. But they’ve lost control of distribution. At one time, movie distribution meant one thing: movie theaters. Own the theaters, and you control distribution. No longer. The battle is what happens with the content once it is released.

Distribution has never been so easy and the trends in technology suggest it’s going to get even easier. But across the world, content creators are filing for bankruptcy. And it’s not just movie studios, all content creators are struggling. The content creation business under assault from all quarters.

Two industries were the big winners in the Dot Com Boom and Bust. Porn and Gambling made huge sums and increased their market share while others floundered. Today, the Gambling companies have largely been shut down by the US Government and Porn is having to reinvent itself. Lack of control over their content has pretty much destroyed the Adult Industry. And you would be hard pressed to find anyone on Capitol Hill pushing for Piracy law revision for them.

You used to hear adult film stars say porn was a vehicle to launch a mainstream career and some of them actually accomplished that goal. Today most performers use the industry to subsidize their income. It is well known that many in the adult industry now derive their income from hooking and use their porn exposure simply as advertising.

Female performers have seen the pay decrease from around $3000 a scene (naughty time) now earn closer to $650 per scene (still good money if you are doing what you love). The male performers now earn about $150 per scene (I know some of you are saying where do I sign). The decrease in earnings is a direct result of the piracy, ease of distribution (DIY), and the low barrier of entry that allowed for mass-quantity and low quality films that flood the net. Yet the amount of Adult Production studios has gone from the hundred to just a few remaining production companies.

The adult industry business is on the verge of extinction. The blame? The same thing that gave the industry it’s prolific rise, The Internet. The Internet makes controlling content next to impossible. Even mainstream creators of content are struggling. The advertisers that pay for some of the content creation are struggling. The non-internet based distribution platforms tap into the Internet and give the target consumer the ability to buy the content and watch it when they want without commercial interruption. Devices like Boxee, Ruku, Apple TV and others allows the target consumer to stream the content they want when they want it.

Choices, on top of choices: you do not just have the ability to watch it when you want or how you want, you can also watch what you want. You prefer BBC to CBS? No trip to England required. Want to see a guy do the Cinnamon Challenge? Content creation and distribution is cheaper and easier than ever before. There are 60 hours videos uploaded every minute on YouTube alone. There is more content added to the Internet in a day than the average person will be able to consume in a lifetime. And the trend is accelerating.

What we can learn from the changes is that control is king. If your content becomes a part of a Peer to Peer (P2P) platform. If you cannot control and protect where it goes or get paid when it goes you lose.

A decent digital video camera costs under $150.00. Most Televisions sold today, come with the ability to watch YouTube and other user generated content. Most cell phones, tablets and computers come with the ability to shoot, edit and upload content.

Those numbers are a fraction of the budgets of the major production studios. Lionsgate who by all accounts is considered to have “modest” production budgets, is spending $80 million to make ‘The Hunger Game’ movie series (just over $15M per movie). While most would view a $15 million dollar investment that has already returned over $400 million a wise investment. When you are up against the commoditization of content it only takes a few misplaced $15 million dollar projects to sink a company.

So the creators are finding creative ways to protect themselves. You don’t have to look much farther then the UFC to see how creators of content are using both new and traditional ways to distribute their media. The parent company Zuffa, is a leader the legal fight to fight piracy or control where their content ends up.

Lionsgate pre-sold ‘The Hunger Games’ international film rights before the film was finished. Many view this as a risky venture, surely they could have got more based on the success of the movie right? Wrong, there is even less control in the International market. It is better to lock in a set amount Vs. running the risk of not ever really knowing what you made. The success of the first movie will drive up the International pre-sales in the future. Plus do not forget the global merchandise opportunities that come from a successful project like ‘The Hunger Games”. Building on the Hunger Games success, Lionsgate, through acquisitions, built a library with over 13,000 titles — which generates $150 million in annual cash flow.

Lionsgate will continue to produce content for the various platforms that the consumers are gravitating towards. Yet, to truly control the content you need to own the platform and be able to monetize the platform. Just look at the adult industry and the lack of control of the platforms used to distribute their content. They have zero control and their industry is dying. The barrier of entry has become non-existent. They are not using 3-D (most are not), 15 million dollar budgets or best selling books to help sell their content. Bottom line, Control is king.

Jason Genet


Mixed Martial Arts Gold Mine?

We have been blessed to work with some amazing athletes and sponsors over the past few years. They both shared one thing in common, they gain exposure when they perform, and in that performance they have a 50% or greater chance to loose. Throughout this time in the sport of MMA, fighters complain that they do not earn enough and the sponsors claim to not be able to identify the return on investment (ROI) involved.

One of the big issues is that the athletes are usually too busy to market themselves correctly and do not have the right representation helping them find the time and tools to build their own fame outside of the events. The sponsors rarely activate the sponsorship and roll the dice on the event. Yet the athlete they are paying has little to no control over the event, if they show the sponsors logos or the very important walkout. Some brands have paid mid five-figures per fight to have their shirt worn during the walkout and post-fight coverage.

Many opportunities to engage the consumer and potential consumers are often missed or ignored and the activation is almost non-existent. The major promotions like the UFC regulate and restrict which sponsors are allowed and even charge the Brands a sponsorship participation fee. This fees can sometimes be in the mid to high five figures per year. They are not given anything that any other brand is given. You would think that this “tax” would increase the sponsors desire to get more for their investment. Instead it appears to have only reduced the amount the sponsors are willing to pay, made the sponsors focus more on if the event will be televised, and at the same time weeded out the small to medium apparel companies from the mix and removed their ability to support athletes. That is at least what they will have you believe. The fact is, many have just used this “tax” as a reason to leave the sport because they never developed an ROI.

We have brought in many non-endemic sponsors that are focused on the athletes and are willing to look at the events as “bonus” exposure while working with the athlete in a true endorsement fashion. One of the UFC’s major sponsors, Bud Light and it’s parent company, is arguably one of the largest Sports Marketing agencies in the world. They are also one of the most successful.

There is no missing the event involvement Bud Light has in place with the UFC. Their approach to their MMA Fight Team is less about big in-event placement on the athlete and instead more focused on outside the event endorsement. They use their athletes in their retail point of sale advertisements, use the athletes image and likeness in their bar and restaurant advertising, produce webisode series promoting the athletes and more. They make sure they ingrain their brand and athletes at every possible outlet and event. It may be argued that they provide equal or greater promotion of these athletes than the UFC does.

So what are some of the solutions? The first step is for the Brands to realize they are sponsoring and endorsing an athlete. They need to have a plan in place on how they are going to extract value from the sponsorship and utilize these athletes. Instead of looking at it as a billboard type logo placement it must instead be viewed as a relationship. They have to get beyond being a fan of the athlete because that will only lead to the most expensive Facebook photo in the world. Second, they need to activate around the athlete and his or her platform. Use the events these athlete’s participate in as spikes in exposure and capitalize on the ability the events have to engage the target consumer but do not make this the be all, end all effort. The athletes and their team need to make sure they have a platform to offer. The brands need to try to coordinate and cross promote whenever possible.

As you can see Wrangler does a great job with this. They offer a wide array of their shirts with various PRCA and PBR sponsor logos on the shirt along with their Wrangler logo. I know MMA has to get away from having seven competing fight brands on one tee shirt and shorts before they can offer this type of merchandise. As you will see in the slide show below it is not just Rodeo either, many sports employ this model. You are also not tied to using all of the brands as you see with the Wrangler shirt above.

Here is the Official NASCAR Team DuPont Jersey.

And here is a NASCAR fan wearing the same jersey.

Obviously there are no competing brands on this jersey but you see various brands showcased and the primary brand DuPont is prominent. The fans buy these jerseys for the same reason they buy NFL, NBA and MLB apparel because it is authentic looking.

I recently moved to the Central Coast of California and on any given day you see a slew of Cyclists riding through the hills, coast line, and throughout town. I started to notice the majority of them are wearing authentic team apparel. Either Radio Shack has started sponsoring every cyclist in the world or once again we are seeing fans and practitioners of the sport seeking authentic apparel. Here are some examples –

Here is the Team Radio Shack cycling uniform.

and

Here is the Team using the uniform

And once again here is a fan who has sought, purchased, and is proudly representing the brand in the exact same gear.

This is not really a sport specific phenomenon. The fact is NASCAR, NBA, Soccer, MLB, NFL, PBR, PRCA, Motocross, Indy Car and more derive a considerable amount of revenue from this type of merchandise. The brands exposure is extended beyond the athlete, the event, and the athlete’s platform and the marketing provided by the Brand. The exposure alone is a tangible return on the sponsors investment and having your brand worn by your target consumer or applied to your target consumers personal property becomes an extremely valuable proposition for the brands supporting these athletes and Teams.

The majority of the MMA industry is missing this market and opportunity. From the athletes to the brands no one seems to be making any replica merchandise. There is no doubt that there is a demand for these types of products. There is no doubt that in these tough economic times we need the sponsors to be more successful then ever before and at the same time find a way to extend the engagement beyond the events.

The managers and agents in the sport of MMA need to get out of the patch business and get into the brand building business. They need to build the brands of the athletes they represent and help guide the brands that support those athletes to successful and controllable engagements. If you are merely trading logos for dollars based on exposure you did not create you are on the path to failure for you and your clients.

The athletes need to look for ways to connect with the fans and extract value for the sacrifices made. Depending on events and televised exposure you can not and do not control is a recipe for disaster. You need to yourself or have other people helping you build your brand and increase your exposure even when you are not fighting.

Brock Lesnar’s sponsor Death Clutch has offered replica walk out tees in the past. They seem to be one of the few brands or athletes offering such items. In the past you used to be able to buy the Overeem Replica Fight shorts. The issue with fight shorts is that unless you can kick ass like The Reem you probably should not be wearing his shorts. It is kind of like showing up to your first BJJ class with 20 sponsors on your gi.

Here is the Death Clutch UFC 116 walk out tee:

We have had one client that fought 9 times and 3 of which were in the UFC and he had earned just under $100,000 for 3 years of work and 9 fights that he won, his MMA earnings were predicated on when or if he fought. The same client is now a millionaire based on competing 3 times over two years. He has months where he makes $50,000 and has consistently has earned a monthly income from his endeavors in and out of the Octagon. The difference has been focusing on building his brand and finding ways for his sponsors to earn their ROI. He has both endemic and non-endemic sponsors alike.

The authentic and replica tee shirts are a great opportunity to increase your brand, your sponsors branding, and your income as an athlete. You can go to any size event and you will see merchandise similar to what you see here and in our slide show. If the athletes do not create these then the brands should. Even the video games strive to ingrain authentic sponsors on the in-game characters on both the THQ and EA Sports MMA games.

This should not be ignored and it very well may be the lowest hanging fruit in the entire MMA market. If you trained would you wear replicas of your favorite fighters shorts or rash guard?

I am sure just about everyone in the US has seen that NASCAR fan who has their personal possessions or vehicles with logos from the brands that support their favorite athlete.

Here is a slide show that shows various sport jerseys and tee shirts and the fans that wear them. It is easy to see the potential market that is out there. A lot of these fans are cross over fans and are fans of many sports.


Social Experts or Snake Oil Salesmen?

We’ve received quite a few emails about our Facebook blogs, so we wanted to expand upon some of those thoughts. Please feel free to comment or send us an email about your thoughts.

The fact is Facebook is a 500 pound “Gorilla” and most people know of it or have an account. So essentially, it becomes the easiest target for companies and brands to focus on. The job of “social media manager” is one of the fastest growing new job postings. University of Southern California is even offering courses and degrees focused on this new phenomenon. Agencies all over are working overtime to create new divisions focusing on social media. Pretty much every brand has a social media “expert” to assist them in this new world of social media.

The “affiliate marketing” experts are now touting their social selling skills and as this new market emerges, the so called experts seem to be more like job seeking opportunists rather then social media experts.

This group of newly employed “experts” continue to spout off about engagement on third party social platforms like Facebook as if they are Mark Zuckerberg’s first cousins. They are the same ‘experts’ that lead brands to the social graveyard called Myspace.com. They claim that these engagements are meaningful and encourage these brands to spend their hard earned money to help promote a third party application. Billions of dollars are being spent to gain a “like” and resulting in tons of free exposure for the brands like Facebook. Where is the ROI? They are merely telling brands what the brands already know (that Facebook is popular) and that social media marketing is an emerging but necessary market.

As we have discussed in our previous blogs, people (the brands target consumer) use social networking and specifically sites like Facebook to connect with friends. There was a time when you could not even join without a connection within the network. Now that it has grown, the brands and their experts see Facebook as the holy grail of social media marketing.

Facebook is essentially web 2.0’s version of email You do not need to send emails through email clients. You can share, connect or find your friends, colleagues and family. It is an easy way to stay connected and communicate with the people you want to connect with. No email address changes or loosing the phone number. Just type in their name and Facebook will give you numerous ways to connect. Most consumers do not seek to have these kinds of relationships with brands. They are interested in brands providing them content, information, contests and so on, but a meaningful friendship is not what they are after. If you are a brand and not an athlete or celebrity, the actual engagement ration on Facebook for brands is close to zero percent.

People aren’t involved with most brands’ fan pages, even though on a daily basis a large percentage of them are involved in connecting with the brand. The problem is the “real” engagements and the feedback provided is normally one directional. This is not engagement, but more like a new form of email spam. When the engagement is real Facebook provides no real way to engage the users back. Ultimately, what little success you will find can backfire. The consumer will feel ignored.

People tend to forgive the celebrities for the lack of response. The celebrities tend to be forgiven based on the sheer number of fans they have commenting. It would be humanly impossible to engage with 50 Cent’s 12,000,000 Facebook fans. He offers his hard core fans his own unique social network that has over 540,000 active members (www.thisis50.com). To me, this group is far more valuable to 50 and his endorsed brands. He can directly communicate back and forth with his fans. The engagements are real. He can monetize thisis50.com and owns it rather then being a passive participant on Facebook.

There are too many people and groups on Facebook and making lasting and meaningful engagements is next to impossible. Facebook and sites like it offer the users of the site a tremendous platform to stay connected and communicate. It just does not mean that all of its users will “like” you or even be your target consumer. Social media is like having clovers in your lawn. They look cool and you hope to find a four leaf clover but they are not necessarily good for your lawn.

I always try to get our clients to visualize social media as a virtual social gathering. If you had a gathering with 12,000,000 people, it would be chaos. Even 500,000 could be chaotic so brands have to remember that they are going to be at the center of the conversation. So building your network needs to be balanced with feeding your network content and meaningful engagements.
Brands should, however, focus on Facebook advertising. The cost to advertise on Facebook is very affordable and very effective. Since Facebook revolves around socializing, those conversations create the ability to target conversations and interest. Facebook users tend to list their likes and dislikes and Facebook advertising can effectively help you find your target consumer. Targeting is the smartest ad expenditure brands can make. Niche advertising networks like MMAAdnet.com are one solution; contextual based targeting is another. Each are very effective and remove a lot of the mystery involved when advertising on or off line.

Brands SHOULD have a page or at least a group or two established on sites like Facebook. They should use these platforms to help find and potentially extract this consumer from being a passive friend to a truly engaged consumer. At the very least, Facebook and third party social media platforms offer “free advertising” for brands.

Build a realistic plan, assign realistic goals and go. If you are using it correctly, social media will tell you where to go and what to do. You have to listen to the consumer. If your expert has advised you to focus solely on Facebook and suggests hiring staff to manage the comments and tell you what you should be sharing, you might need a new expert. There is no magic to social media marketing. It is about engagements and providing feedback in a timely manner.

You can have your own thisis50.com style site with an iPhone app for under $5000. You and your team can manage this and all of your social platforms through your cellphones and desk top. I guarantee you it is not Weird Science or even Sixteen Candles. It is just communication with the very person you are willing to spend tons of money to understand what they like and want. Save your money and time and just ask them.

Jason Genet

IngrainedMedia.com


Social Media Engagements

Facebook Party

You likely read our blog about Facebook members not “Liking” brands. I doubt many, if any of you, went out and deleted your Facebook accounts so here is a blog on how you can increase your potential engagements as a brand who utilizes Facebook.

The information in this blog was extracted from Buddy Media’s 14-day study of 200 of its very own clients pages. The studies show that more and more Brands are seeking Facebook users as potential target markets. Let’s be frank advertisers are inherently lazy and consumers are becoming more an more elusive. Many blame the over saturation of ads on Myspace.com for the demise of this Social Giant. Yet advertisers will simply follow the herd.

Your goal as a Brand should be to extract your target consumer from these Social Media giants. If you can’t or won’t extract, in the very least, engage. No one likes the guy at a party that just stands around and watches everyone and yet no one at the party knows the guy. Awkward or creepy is how you would describe that person. Yet brands tend to do the same thing on Facebook.

One of the biggest mistakes brands make is they look at these platforms as where the consumers are, instead of looking for their consumer. They are content with hoping or praying that the consumer somehow finds them or they can hire an influencer to push potential consumers to you. This is worse than being the creepy guy standing around not saying anything. Now the party is at your house and you are still awkwardly silent.

Social Media is about being social. Facebook is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. What does that mean? That means that Little Jimmy does not have to wait until his friend Tommy gets back from Grandma’s to show him the new bike he got for Christmas. Yep Facebook is even open on Christmas day. It never closes.

Yet the MARCOM’s or Social Media Managers tend to work 9-5. Which means even if we are trying to engage our consumer we might not be doing so at the right times.

Be Timely

The study found that daily Facebook engagement has three peaks: early morning (7 a.m. EST), after work (5 p.m. EST) and late at night (11 p.m. EST). Therefore, posting all of your updates during the workday means you’re missing key opportunities to engage fans at non-work hours. However, not all brands’ engagement peaks at these three times — Playboy’s engagement peaks in the wee hours of the morning, for example — so you must work on a case-by-case basis.

We have tools that allow our Brands to communicate on and off the clock. They are readily available to anyone who can use Google to search. The common mistake brands are making is hiring a Social Media employee and utilizing that person during the work day. The hours of work need to be split between finding time to engage with the consumer and research what the best engagements are. In essence find time to listen to the conversation before you jump in. The only thing more awkward then the silent guy at the party is the the guy that keeps jumping into conversations off point.

Think about how you would like to be engaged and when. Mon-Wed are usually stress days and Thursday through Saturday tend to be fun focused. Thursday actually being the most meaningful day to engage potential consumers. This is very similar to old PR strategy. We have advised many on the importance of using key days of the week to stage news. As an example bad news is best released on a Friday so the weekend gives them time to calm down or forget. Brands often forget Sunday’s, this could be a huge mistake. Sunday is a great day for engaging. Friday’s not so good.

The problem with PR is the same that you will Social Media. Brands tend to be lazy and they will start “stacking” news around these dates and ignore the less responsive days. This is a tragic error. You should increase your frequency of engagements on the good days but also engage on the down days. Not just 9-5 engagements either. Social Media is not about being a robot and the minute you think you have your consumer figured out, they are on the move again.

There are various ways to enhance the timing of your engagements. Be timely, on topic and pay attention to your targets behaviors not just your allotted time to create the engagement. Brands should consider how timely they are being.

Be Concise

The text box is not a glass and does not to be filled to the rim. Tweetlonger or anything that allows you to extend past 140 characters is a blog not an engagement. Do not become Chatty Cathy and hopes that someone will listen. Social Media engagement is as much about what you did not say. Keep the post under 80 characters if possible.

The study showed tweets under 80 characters garnered 27% more engagement than posts that were more than 80 characters.

What about the URL tools that shorten the URL? Surely they will allow for more right? Nope! In fact the URL tools like ow.ly and tinyurl actually have the opposite effect. Studies show that people are three times more likely to click your link if they know what they are clicking on. http://www.yourbrand.com is going to get more clicks then the URL extension created by tinyurl. Brands would be better served to create their own branded URL shortening tools. Or get creative and use less characters and more URL.

Words ranked in order of their effectiveness at converting Likes and comments


Ask to be Engaged

Just ask. Yes it is as simple as asking. Again let me reference the party setting. So you are at a party and you see someone that you are attracted too. Do you think if you spoke with the person, found out about them (make sure you really do like them) and strike up a conversation they might like you back?

Brands fail to engage and yet they expect a consumer to Like them because they found them on Facebook? Fact is you need to engage and learn about the person you are hoping to get to like you. Don’t just hope your good looks will Carry you through the relationship.

Miracle Whip has one of the best campaigns I have seen that does just this. They are asking consumers to tell them if they like Miracle Whip or do not. Another effective tool is to let the target consumer know why they should like you. “Like us if….” is way more effective then asking for a “Like”

“Like” is and should be viewed as the lowest form of engagement you can have. This simple engagement is viral and highly effective when done right. Remember, “liking” only takes one click and then the “liked” item is syndicated on a user’s own page, so don’t be afraid to ask for the thumbs up.

The same goes for comments — outright saying “post,” “comment” or “tell us” motivates fans to engage. If you’re seeking answers, put a simple “where” or “when” or “would” question at the end of the post. The study showed

you’ll get 15% more engagement than if the question is buried in the middle. Shy away from “why” questions, as they seem invasive and ask much more of a user than a “what” question.

Social Media and the engagement is not some new creation or way of thinking. We just have technology and solutions that bring the masses together, we can reach more people over longer periods of time. We just need to know when and how to engage.

Jason Genet

IngrainedMedia.com


Brands Struggle With Social Networks

Like Me, Like Me, Like Me!!!!

Pretty much every ad these days has some sort of Twitter or Facebook tie in. This week on the Howard Stern Show you could hear the crew discussing who is “Verified” and who is not, who had how many followers etc. My own company started dedicating space on our Athletes banners and websites to Twitter and Facebook..

So there is no wonder why Twitter and Facebook are some of the fastest growing Social Networks. Brands are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on promoting their Brand on Facebook and Twitter. Some campaigns are fully dedicated to increasing Facebook “Likes” and engaging with their target consumer.

That really is the beauty of Social Media. Long gone are the days of waiting on data and feedback from focus groups or retailers. You can engage with your consumer and be on a direct one-to-one relationship. This will revolutionize the way products come to market and how brands develop their strategy.

There are a couple things that Brands need to consider. These are not your typical Social Media pitfalls or even typical Social Media thinking. The facts are pretty hard to argue and the solutions are actually fairly inexpensive and the average business owner or executive can run these tools.

The first thing to remember is history has a history of repeating itself. When was the ast time you logged into your Myspace account. Myspace is on it’s proverbial death bed and if it was not for the Music and Entertainment industry it would likely already be dead. What we can learn from Myspace,com is that even Social Media giants can tumble. Social Media has to universe connected and when they move they move in herds.

So what becomes of your Facebook investment when the herd moves? You really not have collected any critical contact data and you cannot be sure that you will be able re-connect with them when you move to the new platform. So will the money spent be totally wasted?

The bigger concern is that Twitter and Facebook are so big that no matter what percentage of the total users you engage with there is a greater number of consumers that your alienating. What I mean by that is studies show that the young consumer and future consumers are turned off my brands in Facebook or Twitter.

According to a new report from Forrester Research;

“just 6 percent of 12-17-year-olds who use the Web desire to be friends with a brand on Facebook, despite the fact that half of this demographic uses the site.”

Among Web-connected 18-24-year-olds, that figure doubles—meaning that 12 percent of that demo feels okay with befriending brands—though the vast majority of young adults are not, per Forrester.

Even scarier for brands: Young people don’t want brands’ friendship, and they think brands should go away.

“Many brands are looking to social media as a strong digital channel to communicate with these consumers, since it’s where 12- to 17-year-olds are spending so much time,” wrote Jacqueline Anderson, Forrester’s Consumer Insights Analyst, who authored the report. “But research shows that it is important to consider more than just consumers’ propensity to use a specific channel. Almost half of 12- to 17-year-olds don’t think brands should have a presence using social tools at all.”

To arrive at these conclusions, Forrester surveyed 4,681 Americans aged 12-17 on the Web in September of last year.

So what should brands do? We have several solutions that we offer our clients. They solve allow of the problems listed above and at the same time tie into these very important Social Communities. We cover over twelve Social Networks and Share services and at the same time we engage directly with the small percent of consumers that want to be involved.

You can also use Social Media as a tool for extracting information. Not necessarily by blind engagements on Twitter or Facebook but by listening. Don’t push your message listen and ask questions. Show the consumer via your products and ad messages that you hear them.

With over 74% of 12-17 year-olds using social networks you can be certain that social networking will continue to be one of the biggest platforms used by your target consumer.

Jason Genet
President
Ingrained Media

http://www.ingrainedmedia.com


The iTV Movement

By now everyone has seen a Apple TV or Google TV device. My under $2000 dollar LED TV came with WiFi and streaming content from over 100 TV channels, access to new release movies as they are available and a whole host of other contents at my fingertips pumped into my living room. I am the captain of my content. I have my DVR recording my TV shows and I still buy the occasional TV series on DVD. I have spent a lot of time and money making sure I can watch what I want when I want.

Google TV

The cheapest gadget is my cable set top box provided by Cox Cable. This baby cost me $5.00 a month and I can record what I want and watch it when I want. I can record it and keep it and best of all I am not a slave to the commercials. As a matter of fact I am usually drawn into commercials when I am watching non-modern TV set ups. I am surprised by the amazing quality of the ads and yet it is too little to late. If I am viewing your commercial on TV I am likely too cheap to buy your product. It only cost $5.00 a month to avoid the ads of those who helped fund the content I am enjoying. I sometimes have to stop myself from complaining about the crappy level of TV shows we have on TV these days. I am then quickly reminded that I just skipped past the persons message who is paying for the content to be created. I am a part of the problem or movement.

I am not alone, I am just a lot older then most of those involved in the movement and they rarely talk to us “old guys”. The iTV movement is upon us. In a recent independent study (away from Nielsen ratings etc.) of how those 34 years of age and younger Social Media users how they watch TV and Videos online. The results are conclusive that the Movement has begun.

-Only 12% do not subscribe to some form of Cable or Satellite Service. Of the 12% it was reported that 8% of them used open air antenna’s to receive a TV signal (primitive).

-58% of the users watch more online TV then they did last year.

-75% of the users are using some sort of DVR device to record their TV shows.

-64% of users rely on YouTube, 47% rely on Hulu (which is owned by the networks and currently considering a business model change), 33% on Netflix (which is now surging and will likely pass Hulu next year), iTunes represents 15% and the rest is spread out amongst other online solutions. User generated content followed by Network created content.

-80% of those surveyed, who were 18 years old and younger watch TV online, those 18-24 were at 79%, and even the 55 and older crowd came in at 31%. A stunning 72% of those aged 34 years and younger watch their TV online.

-55% even recorded live TV

The iTV movement is upon us, particularly for those 34 years of age and younger, who are willing to watch their TV online. The majority of respondents are recording their content on DVR’s such as TiVo. With over 72% those aged 34 and younger are watching their TV shows online. With Twitter and Social Media being so real-time it is surprising to see how many really watch the content on their time.

We think the online community is set to quadruple in size by 2014. This will mainly be impart to the iTV Movement.

Jason Genet


The Internet Runnith Over


When I was cutting my teeth in the IT world I meet a guy at work named Ken.  he was an IT idea guy and the company kept him locked away in a room like a mad scientist.  In my time at the company I used to find excuses to go pick his brain.  I was the closest thing you can get to legal LSD.

He never wore shoes, he sometimes appeared as if he never even went home.  I never saw him build anything but he was the guy the brass would call on when they needed someone to poke holes into a gant chart or some IT sales pitch about redundant servers.  I asked him once “if anyone has ever impressed him” his reply was “not yet”.

Maybe he was chock full of ignorance and negativity I was not smart enough to understand 1/4 of the things he said. One thing that stood out is that he claimed to be one of the ex-government employees who invented the internet.  He said it was designed for the government and cannot sustain its growth patterns.  He compared it to the leaning tower of Pizza with the world trying to find space on the top floor.

It has taken almost 20 years to really understand what he was saying.  Broadband wasn’t a consumer product back then it was for business and government. Now when we check into a hotel and if it doesn’t have high-speed internet my kids act like we stuck in some road side motel with a crappy dinner.  If they only knew of dial-up and all of the tricks to getting on the net in the AOL days.

So this morning when I was reading this article on Mashable about the internet is running out of IP addresses I thought of my mad IT guru Ken.  For every box plugged into the net there is a unique IP address given.  Some can be reissued but even with that the fact is in a few days we will run out of IP address.  At least IPv4 IP’s are going away.  The ones short enough for your IT manager to remember the IP address and recite it to the boss about your continuous views of adult dating sites.  The people who are smarter than us about these things have already been preparing for this.  No need to not buy the new laptop or tablet.  No you cyber stalkers won’t have freedom to run a muck after we run out of IPv4’s

The one thing that Ken forgot is that he is not the only intelligent guy stuffed in a “idea’ room.  People have been working on IPv6 for a few years and the new IP address will be much longer and a blend of number and letters (WEP anyone).  So keep surfing, keep laughing at your friends who do not have high-speed Internet and stay connected.

Remember you are OG if your IP is 48.6.71.11 and you are a newbie if your IP includes letters and digits.  It is not to late they have just about 4 billion unique IP’s and they are getting taken at a rate of 1 million address’ every four hours.

 

 

-Jason Genet


Welcome

Welcome to the Ingrained Media blog.  We are excited to share our vision through this blog.  We will be blogging about marketing, advertising, social media, and brand building.  We are passionate about marketing and sports.

The Brands we represent are some of the best in the World.  They are forward thinking and we are proud to be associated with them.  We will share some of our success stories and of course our failures along the way.

We also represent some World Class athletes in various sports included in this group is World Champion UFC stars and PRCA Cowboys.  Our clients come first in everything we do.

 

Jason Genet

Founder


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