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Tag: guru

The Capitalization of Silence

"Silence" by Horst Schmier

Coupon Madness

The business concept of rewards coupons is not new. S&H Green Stamps were among the original applications of the concepts. The fact that coupon cutting is now going on-line is not surprising to anyone. A second major trend is in the area of data collection. Supermarkets have learned that it is valuable for them to “pay” the customer in exchange for data that makes stocking and distribution more efficient. When combined, coupon + data is a tremendously valuable marketing and logistics tool.

The next development of coupon + data model is the notion that if a person likes a product, so too will their friends. This is the coupon + data + association model. Not surprisingly, the marketing value of the combination of these linked data increases almost exponentially.

To Pay Dearly

Brands are now willing to pay dearly for information about the transaction as well as the social networks associated with a transaction. With the ability to track several layers of transaction and association, vendors can paint an extraordinarily accurate predictive model that can be used in their favor – and in competition against market challengers.

The half-life of noise

The hype is brisk and often short lived as most companies eventually run up against the proverbial viral backlash. Someone somewhere can just as easily elevate their own influence by challenging a big influencer. Privacy issues, fair trade issues, corporate responsibility issues are all fair game. Social media forces transparency in an organization too as controlled data can quickly become uncontrollable data.

The battlefield is strewn with the corpses of marketing campaigns gone horribly wrong. Even Groupon, once touted as the champion of mom and pop shops across the land is now accused of dumping economic “sugar calories” into a zero sum game where size does matter – a lot. Groupon is now used by competitors against each other thereby wrecking havoc on Mom and Pop Shops across the land.

Help, I need a Guru

Social Media Gurus continuously pound home the message that they must find their customers grazing in their own pasture and engage them in order to be truly accepted into the herd.  Now the Gurus have all the vendors looking like wolves in sheep’s clothing – nothing could be more obvious or look more ridiculous.

The inherent flaw is that companies are designing and delivering products predicted to interact with people in their own setting. Instead, they must develop a set of products and services that are designed to facilitate human interaction with each other in their own setting – and as a consequence, filter out all the noise that wastes valuable social time.

Coupon + knowledge inventory + anonymity

Learning what people know does not mean that they need to give up their identity.   Joining people who have complimentary knowledge is a superior value creation mechanism than harvesting relationships already played out. The ability to protect and empower the customer in their home setting is the greatest branding opportunity on Earth. The ability to filter out the noise is the single greatest competitive advantage that any marketing campaign can ever enjoy. The ability to bring communities of people together to solve the problems of their own choosing is far more powerful than trying to convince people that they have a problem for which only you have the solution.

This is the capitalization of silence

Image by Horst Schmier

Tattle-Tale Economics

Editorialized Economics

Social media used to be so cool – a way to bypass the mediated reality of editorialized content. Real people coming back with real ideas and real opportunities from the crystal clear waters of cooperative community. Then legacy media and their ad-rev departments started to wonder “Hey, where did everyone go?” Marketer started saying, “Hey, these CPM numbers are F***ed – something is cutting into our pie ?!?!?”

Then came the Social Media Gurus

like the tattle-tale kid brother intent on spoiling a perfectly good game of hide and seek, screeching: “There they are, there they are!!!….Can you see ’em?…see, see, your customers are hiding in the shadows… there, in the shadows….quick!!! Can you see ’em now?.  By the way, pay my fee, buy my book, and did I mention my latest ‘keynote’ yet?”

Next, the Gurus went mainstream as legacy media analysts!! Legacy media picked up the ball on the run-away ad spend. They glossed poetic on the “effects” but not the “causes” of social media. And, OH Gawd, what a nuisance all those pesky bloggers are to the dignified art and science of professional journalism.

A Monster was Born

Facebook declared that people really want to share their personal details with the world, and a monster was born. So now we are stuck with Corporate Media on steroids.  Your data are scraped so they can find you. Images are reproduced infinitely. Lies and deception grow legs half way around the world before the truth can even be awakened from it’s slumber. Say one thing wrong and it haunts you forever.

Casualty or Causality

Social Media has become another casualty of the broken financial system where people fight for artificial scarcity.  It is no longer a means to empower and enlighten, it is becoming another means to exploit and oppress.   Special recognition goes out to all the so-called social media gurus. I can’t blame them though, everyone has the right to make an honest living.

Call it tattle-tale economics

Why Two Gurus are Better Than Four


Marketers need to recognize the order and permanence of human evolution. Once our species started to walk upright on two legs, we never permanently returned to walking on all fours.   Such is also the case between the lower social order of communication called “Information” and the higher social order of communication called “Knowledge”.  I will explain the difference now.

Social Value written or spoken to a medium is defined as Information.

Social Value which exists only between human ears is defined as Knowledge.

Likewise,

Social Value is created by transforming Information into Knowledge.

Social Value is reduced by transforming Knowledge into Information.

Once humans learn to create, store, exchange, and trade knowledge among each other, they will never return to the utterly primitive practice of mining and exploiting information.

If you agree with me then I congratulate you for your advanced state of evolution.  If you do not agree with me, then I apologize for the inconvenience.

Living in the Past

Advertisers have an especially hard time with this because it is their core competence to devolve human knowledge into information through data mining, social media espionage, and machine gun marketing – all without necessarily elevating anyone to a higher state of social order.   This is, by definition, a reduction of social value.

Consumers now walk on two feet in forming a strategic networks of knowledge assets in social media. Meanwhile advertisers still slither around on all fours pimping info biscuits.  Consumers can easily see when Value is being stolen from them so they simply ignore the screeches and clamoring of the devolved creature.  Or worse, a counter attack is a very simple – and often quite entertaining – using an evolved tool set.

Holy shit, I need a Guru:

So, the advertisers go off and hire a Social Media Guru to make the old evolutionary order all better again.  The Social Media Guru does all sorts of things that look civilized to a four-legged creature, but appear increasingly ridiculous to the evolved being.

Lo and behold, the advertiser is hugely successful in attracting lots of other four-leggers and believes this to be progress!! This makes the Guru into a Celebrity.  But still, the advertiser simply cannot get any attention from the two-leggers, who now control all the Value.  So, the advertiser goes back to the Social Media Guru who responds by joining forces with yet another Social Media Guru….

Surely two gurus are better than one, especially to those who still believe that four legs are better than two.

Sell-ebrity Sects

Waiting in the grocery store checkout line, there is never a shortage of glossy media about the sex lives of Celebrities. The stories are always the same, only the Celebrities change.

There are no glossy tabloids in the DIY check-out line where the objective is to check you out as fast as possible in order to meet a competitive “service quota”. In either case, however, the consumer is being extorted of value.

A sect is a group with distinctive religious, political or philosophical beliefs. In modern culture the term can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and principles. A sellebrity is someone who sells distraction for a living – they may talk about something that sounds like productivity, but it is really a distraction designed to maintain a status quo.

When marketers want you to do the same thing over and over again, you get Sellebrity Sects.  When marketers want you to change your behavior, they remove the Sellebrity sects.  The absence of sellebrities is equally interesting, and somewhat counter intuitive.   Yet, consumers think it is the exact opposite.  In either case, the consumer is extorted of value.

Sellebrity Sects refers to a set of rules or principles set out as different from the rest and used for the specific purpose of liberating you from your values; your time value, social values, financial values, even your family values.

Social media is introducing a host of new Sellebrities peddling some object designed to fortify their credibility, usually a book tour, keynote address, “Reputation”, social currency, or an A-list client. The ‘pitchman’ preoccupies the consumer into standing still long enough to create an arbitrage position for those who can exploit the TIME that you are not acting – either for branding or automating. When the arbitrage position collapses, a new sect is formed and the game continues.

Keep in mind that “Value” exists in many different forms, the game is intense, Time is the currency, and the story never changes. Look at the sellebrities all around you. Ask yourself why they are there. Try to identify the sects. Guard your social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital very carefully – use it to increase your productivity alone.  Most of all, be different – they will either ignor you or pay you.

Pssst … Wanna Get Wasted?

dont_worry_get-stoned

Many Social Media Gurus are espousing a new culture that their clients should forget about blogging (adding meaningful content) in favor of the ubiquitous widespread “updates”.

Using automated apps, you no longer need to waste time creating content that teaches or expresses, you can populate across social media space carefully wedged in between someone else’s creative content. I find this appalling.

The new marketing mantras go something like these:

  • “Go where your customers congregate”.
  • “Gain their trust by sharing your stuff”
  • “Soon, you can start to influence their behavior”
  • “Once hooked, they will do your deed for freeeee!!”

This is starting to sound more like the neighborhood drug dealer than any sustainable economic paradigm.

Slavery on Steroids

Slavery is a term characterized in part by the coercion of another person to perform or act without compensation. The effects of slavery are not only physical, but mental as well.  The effects of oppression manifest themselves in addictive behaviors.

Social acceptance is an extremely powerful psychotic that can be cleverly turned against any person. The techniques of social media are getting increasingly sophisticated in hijacking and consuming the social capital of others.

Green Marketing

It does not take long to see that the marketing professions are defining the social media space regardless of what anyone says about user-generated content.  The danger is that social media will become just as unsustainable as the economy that it replaces.  People will soon lose the ability to produce the currency that the media demands to support itself.

Ban advertising

t would be high temple sacrilege for any social media monetization strategist to suggest that advertising of any kind must be banned.  Well, not exactly, but the objective of advertising can be redefined if there were a means to do so.

The only sustainable monetization strategy (of which there are terribly few current examples) are the deployment of social media applications that empower people to discover their own individual talents, to pursue what they are naturally best at and enjoy doing most – while also eliminating the clutter and irrelevant messages that distracts them from their personal life goals.

This means that brands should communicate more and not less.  They should identify, educate, and promote the talents and abilities of a million customers instead of 1 superstar athlete or celebrity.

The proverbial sports analogy:

Advertisers should sit in the bleachers and cheer on their favorite customer, but they should not be in the game, blowing the whistle, or running the scoreboard.  Let them pay admission, see my logo, and buy my overpriced beer.  Let them sell to each other on their own dime – but under no circumstances should they be allowed on the field, in the schools, or in the home without explicit and expressed permission of the customer.

Is it Social Media or Corporate Media?

corporate news

Visionaries Ho!

There are no shortage of intelligent and visionary social media celebrities.  They write great books about markets, social media tools, strategies, and on-line reputation for the benefit of the millions of people stuck on any part of the slippery social media learning curve.  They are infinitely generous with their knowledge and share it freely at countless conferences, blog posts, and syndicated articles.

There is, however, one thing that most of these Guru’s have in common – they consult to and are paid by large corporations. I could be considered part of this crowd for whatever my influence is worth.  So the question about causation is due – will social media develop as a function of corporate interaction with it?

If so, then it is not social media – it is corporate media.

This is no surprise, nor should there be any apparent concern, after all, everyone has to make a living and it is better that the corporations pay people to create content that benefits me.   The practice is conducted quite ethically too -most readily disclose where their financial support comes from and we all benefit from free information that helps us keep the playing field as level as it can be.

But at the end of the day, it’s all about eye-balls and bullhorns.  In order to produce eyeballs and bullhorns, people must be sitting at a computer or, at least, staring at a handset.  The longer you can keep people interacting with the brand instead of interacting with each other, the better off everyone is, right?

Social Media Consumer Advocate

A consumer advocate is someone who helps look after the best interest of the consumer for product safety and false advertising.  Social media is pushing the envelope of the corporate interaction with consumers.  “Advertising” no longer lends itself to the objective review of a billboard, commercial, or public statement.  Social Media Marketing is increasingly sophisticated and manipulative.  The vulnerable people; children and elders are no less vulnerable on social media, and may be more.

Social anomalies?

Some of the emerging research related to social media is surprising with increased instances of what can be considered social anomalies:

Infantilism; adults doing childish things like playing silly games in ‘public’
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; constantly checking for updates and new photos,
Depression and loneliness; preference of social media over real live interaction
Narcissism; The excessive love or admiration of one’s image of their self.

Is it social because it is media or is it media because it is social?

We need to ask ourselves what is the difference between computer enabled reality and computer simulated reality.   If we lose “causation” the entire body of analysis can be called into the question: is social media or is it corporate media?

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