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Want To Buy Some Cheap PR On Twitter? Not As Cheap As It Was

Twitter promoted trends, which cost $25,000 for a day when the feature launched last year, now cost $120,000 for a day, ClickZ reports.

That’s a huge increase in just over a year, making the sell, if you’re in marketing or PR, that much harder to the folks who hold the purse strings at your company.

But out of Twitter’s 600 advertisers, Twitter’s director of revenue Adam Bain said, 80 percent come back for repeat business. So despite the price increase it must be working for Twitter’s advertisers.

At the same time, Twitter’s “promoted accounts” ad product, which allows companies to gain more followers based on a bidding system, is averaging out at $4 per new follower, Bain said.

That seems high to us.

But Bain told ClickZ it was “a pittance because the ROI is insane. …once they have a follower, they can keep marketing to that guy as many times as they want without worrying about where they are across the web or what kind of mindframe they’re in.”

Incidentally, today’s Promoted Trend is #Super8Secret, which Paramount purchased to promote “secret” preview screenings of the movie “Super 8.” Peter Kafka notes that 1) this purchase is part of a year-long marketing contract Paramount signed with Twitter, committing it to a full year of buys. and 2) the movie’s pretty good.

Guy Kawasaki On Enchantment: Achieve Likability, Trust, And Do Something ‘Dicey’

Guy Kawasaki’s got a book out about enchanting people, so it is not a surprise that he wanted to speak today about how to make people enchanted by you. (Somewhat like Edward Cullen does, we surmise.)

Point #1: people need to like you. So smile, dress nice (but not too nice), and have a good handshake.
One time Kawasaki and Sir Richard Branson were in the same room prepping for a conference. “He asked me if I flew Virgin and I said I’d never flown Virgin…and that’s when he got on his knees and started polishing my shoes,” said Kawasaki. “And that’s when I started flying Virgin.” This anecdote got a lot of laughs but the photo of Branson shining Kawasaki’s shoes looked suspiciously staged. Ah well—the point remains that if people like you they will do things for you.

Which brought Kawasaki to point #2: Read more

Kawasaki On Bieber: ‘Never Say Never’ Is The ‘Best Marketing Movie Ever’

Need marketing tips? Rent a copy of “Never Say Never” and start soaking up knowledge, Guy Kawasaki said this morning.

Speaking only partly tongue in cheek, Kawasaki said the Bieber movie is “the best marketing movie ever.”

“You’ll see how hard Justin Bieber works. He’s making 86 stops.” You’ll see how mentor relationships work. And “if you want to see about word of mouth marketing, there’s a section where Bieber’s people look in the parking lot for girls who don’t have tickets and give them tickets. It will bring tears to your eyes,” he said.

And for the skeptical in the audience, Kawasaki said, “do any of you work for a company that totally controls your market segment? I doubt it. Justin Bieber owns girls 9-16.”

Go On, Brands. Hire A Journalist.

Twist Image prez Mitch Joel says that brands should go further than just hiring “content creators” who may or may not be former journalists.

That’s because marketing content, no matter how engaging, is still just marketing. “What makes great content spread is how unique and inspiring the message is, not in how it slants into a direction that ultimately positions your company as the only one to buy from,” says Joel.

Why not hire a real, unbiased “content creator”—a real journalist?

“We’re not talking about a journalist who is working for you as a writer,” he says. “That would be missing the point. The idea here is to start creating content that is both valuable and needed. … It’s about adding so much value that your clients (and potential clients) need you in their lives because the insights and information that you’re providing are so valuable. The challenge (of course) will be in doing this in an honest and credible way. Marketers don’t have a strong history of being able to pull this sort of stuff off, because we just can’t help ourselves but to push our own wares in the moment of truth (which is sad). The only way this will work is if the brand truly does let the journalist be an actual journalist (instead of a corporate shill).”

Our take: Probably not going to happen; marketers don’t like giving up control of their message, especially if that message in the hands of a trained journo turns out to be something unflattering about the company.

And readers have so far been reluctant to trust journalism coming from brands, though it’s been tried in some industries.

But what do you think?

Full Disclosure: Disclosure Might Not Work

Weigh ScalePutting a note at the end of a blog post explaining the author’s ties to the subject is becoming the most popular solution to journalism’s conflict of interest problems.

But a new behavioral economics study shows that the “solution” may actually be part of the problem.

“None of us are saying that transparency is a bad thing,” Daylian Cain, a behavioral economist at Yale University, told the Boston Globe. “But almost always, it fails to work as well as we think it does.”

The first study asked people to serve as experts giving other study participants advice on how to estimate the price of a house. When the experts were paid higher according to how high the estimator guessed, the experts gave worse advice.

No surprise there, says the Globe. But when the researchers required the experts to disclose their conflict of interest, the experts’ advice got even worse.

“After having behaved honestly and virtuously, you then feel licensed to indulge in being a little bit bad,” said Don Moore at the University of California Berkeley, who collaborated with Cain on the study.

In a separate series of experiments, conducted at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, tested whether patients would be able to make better, more informed decisions after being told of their doctor’s potential bias.

People said that if a doctor prescribes a drug but discloses that she has a financial interest in the company that makes it, they’d be less likely to take the drug. But in practice, people were actually more likely to comply with the advice when the doctor’s bias was disclosed. [The researchers] say that people feel an increased pressure to take the advice to avoid insinuating that they distrust their doctor.”

People were more likely to make better decisions (i.e. to discount biased advice from a doctor) if the disclosure came from a third party, if they weren’t made face to face, or if there was a “cooling off” period before the person was asked to make a decision.

We don’t really want to speculate on what this might mean for the FCC’s blogger rules or Michael Arrington. But it’s likely to cause waves down the line.

Location-Based Services Not Yet Providing ROI For Marketers

Think twice about setting up a Foursquare campaign for your next client: location-based services don’t provide more than a “minimal” impact on the bottom line, according to data obtained by Fast Company.

In fact, a successful promotion from Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook Places or Opentable Spotlight usually provides about a 2% increase in revenue.

The company that provided the data, Applied Predictive Technologies, is a software firm that uses analytics to conduct studies of the effectiveness of social media campaigns. Senior VP Jonathan Marek told Fast Company that he was optimistic about the potential of location-based services, even if they haven’t yet proven themselves: after all, there’s little risk or up-front cost to offering a check-in deal.

“It’s still a pretty nascent space,” Marek told Fast Company. “I don’t think anybody has gotten the model right.”

Quora Opens To Marketers

Quora has lifted its ban on “self-promoting questions and answers,” potentially opening the door to another way for marketers and PR firms to spread the word about their clients.

Late last week, Quora’s Marc Bodnick announced the old ban was “problematic” and would be eliminated as of Thursday.

“Quora’s key principle regarding content is that users should make the site a great resource for people who want to learn,” he wrote. “The quality of the answer is what we care about. Evaluating the intention of an answer does not support this policy. We want to encourage users to provide answers based on personal experience, and this often involves — or even requires — discussing subject(s) in which the writer has personal experience. Personal experience is an asset, not a liability, and is a key element of many of the best answers on Quora. In other words, we want users to write about what they know and care about — companies, organizations, causes, people, products, etc.”

Still required: disclosure. And Quora’s voting system, which can bury useless posts under real answers, will help eliminate much of the spam, Bodnick said.

Quite honestly, to assume that until Thursday the only people answering questions were completely disinterested third parties with no agenda would be pretty naive. This is more honest, we think.

If These Ads Are Anything To Go By, The Media Job Market Is Back

TMNT 108It seems like in the past few weeks we’ve gone from seeing very creative resumes and cover letters to seeing creative job ads.

That makes us think, if hiring managers need to be creative to get jobseekers’ attention, maybe it’s no longer a buyer’s market.

Here’s the latest example of a funny job ad— this one comes from online art community DeviantArt, which is seeking a marketing assistant. We’ve excerpted the best parts after the jump….don’t worry, the ninja turtle will make sense soon.

Read more

CMOs Have Social Budgets, No Social Experience

[22.365] sphere-itize me, captainDespite billions of dollars in social media marketing spending, most head marketers have little social experience of their own, SeekOmega has found.

Out of 143 Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Communication Officers in companies in the Fortune 100, only 15 have Twitter accounts. Twenty one had absolutely no social presence.

“If the Fortune 100 are any indication, the investment in Social is being led by a group of people that have remarkably little personal experience in Social Media and Social Networks,” says SeekOmega.

However, a few companies, SeekOmega notes, really get it.

The blog awarded platinum honors to Phillip Schiller, SVP of worldwide product marketing at Apple; Nikesh Arora, SVP and chief business officer at Google; Beth Comstock, CMO at GE; Bill Wohl, CCO at HP; and Marc Pritchard, global marketing officer and brand building officer of Procter & Gamble.

Dell, Best Buy, Disney, and more took Gold honors, while Cisco, Safeway, and Verizon’s CMOs were among the silver winners.

Really, though, SeekOmega has an excellent point. Shouldn’t the person in charge of social media marketing spending understand a little bit about how to spend that money?

Shakeup At Time Inc Consumer Marketing, Jobs

There’s been a shakeup at Time Inc. Consumer Marketing, we hear.

Steve Sachs, EVP of consumer marketing and sales, announced the changes in a memo.

The reorganization includes the appointment of three group SVPs and the creation of two new senior positions, as well as the dismissal of a number of employees.

Nate Simmons becomes Senior Vice President, News and Sports; Jennifer Ogden-Reese will be Senior Vice President, Style and Entertainment, and Carrie Goldin is now Senior Vice President, Lifestyle.

Hollie Cavanna becomes Vice President of consumer marketing innovation and strategy, a new position, and the division is soon to appoint a senior vice president of digital marketing and business development.

As with any reorg, there are some people leaving the company as well: John Reese, Jose Perez, Matthew Hoffmeyer, John Tighe, Steve Crowe, Sarah Jack, Alison Ehrman, and Chris Butler are all out, we’ve heard. A company spokeswoman confirmed the number of departures was correct but declined to confirm individual names. She also pointed out that headcount in the consumer marketing division will actually increase, as Time Inc. will be posting 20 junior level positions in the division starting next week.

The changes will “allow us to focus better on our goals of revenue growth, innovation, and building our print business, while moving marketing resources closer to the brands and expanding our expertise in digital marketing,” Sachs said in the memo.

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