Monday, July 21, 2014

8 reasons why "performance marketing" makes no sense

I've never liked the term "performance marketing".

That dislike is in part due to the context I'd typically hear it in. This was usually as a dismissive term for work from someone more interested in winning a Cannes Lion than providing ROI.

The other reason why I dislike the term is because it makes no sense. Let me elaborate with a list.
  1. No one offers "non-performing" marketing service. All marketing is by nature “performance” based.
  2. Creative, content or storytelling without purpose, targets and measurement is better known as art.
  3. Strategy exists to help hit targets. Targets do not exists to validate strategy.
  4. The term is overloaded. Attend any "performance marketing awards" in the UK and you'll be sitting among affiliates, affiliate networks and agencies.
  5. Brand strength is directly related to the amount that can be changed for a good of service. Therefore brand building influences performance.
  6. Brand strength also directly assists with conversions. Therefore brand marketing is "performance marketing."
  7. Advertising and marketing are not the same thing. Therefore advertising isn’t and shouldn’t be a synonym for "performance marketing"
  8. Building relationships with publishers, large and small, is a vital part of SEO and affiliate success. Relationship building should never be described as performance marketing.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bing takes control of Chrome default tab

Bing as been my default desktop search engine ever since Google stopped providing my favourite service; Google Reader. In practical terms this means when I use Chrome's omnibox as a search bar I was taken to Bing.

Today things are different. Today my default Chrome tab which usually shows me my most popular webpages as quick press tiles is gone. In its place there's a Bing search box and a clean slate. I imagine these 8 tiles will fill up as Chrome's old default did.

Does setting my default search engine to Bing allow Microsoft to do this to my Chrome experience? Is this a search engine? Food for thought.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Affiliate publisher lands brand in ASA trouble

I think this is a first in the UK. This ASA ruled against Sophora Media and the company is now listed on the “bad boys” index of those non-compliant online advertisers.

So, what happened?

A blogger wrote about a deal run by Sophoro on their Swoggi site. You can read the article here on Conso Blogger. It’s called “How to get a 90% discount on an iPad, iMac or iPhone?”.

The post is written as a positive review but does not state it is an advertorial or an ad. However, as the blogger has a commercial relationship with Sophoro the ASA ruled the post should have been clearly labelled as an ad. In this case, Conso blogger has an affiliate relationship with the brand.

The ASA were also annoyed that the blogging affiliate presented an expiry date on the article but then kept on updating the article to push that date on. The ASA argued that, in effect, there was no such expiry date and this practice was deceptive.

Affiliates will know that the IAB Affiliate Code of Conduct requires them to keep expiry dates up to date and offers valid. That isn’t entirely what the affiliate was doing here.

Why is this ruling interesting?

This is interesting because it is Sophoro Media (trading as Swoggi) who has felt the wrath of the ASA rather than the affiliate. Has Sophoro benefits from the piece the ASA set their sights on them.

It seems harsh on Sophoro but underlines the value of having open communications with affiliates. As Conso blogger being asked to remove the post by Sophoro? Why is the affiliate still on the program?

Update: 10th July

While visiting this blog post I just happened to notice the Taboola content engine recommendation contained a post called "How to get 90% off the new Ipad" from ConsoBlogger. It's at the bottom and in the middle.

The click also happens to redirect via Go2Jump is a HasOffers domain.

So is ConsoBlogger offering affiliate payouts to people who drive traffic to their blog? Can they track conversions? Is HasOffers helping out a successful earner? Clues are certainly in the sub-domain outsoorce and the campaign code 1517.