Local Business Analytics and Digital Metrics

While there are plenty of global business models, the reality is that most people prefer to do business with local providers. When all things are equal we differ to the professionals we can look in the eye and shake hands with…

But that idea isn’t so simple to understand when it comes to the collision of online trends and real world usage…

When someone uses a smart phone to search for nearby services they first have to overcome the extreme bias of marketing dollars that control how ‘not so local’ businesses have bought themselves the lion’s share of exposure. While some search engines have limited ad slots to prevent the search results from being completely dominated by advertising, the bottom end of the ‘natural results’ are equally affected by money being spent optimizing information in a way that other local small and mid-sized businesses are unaware of.

But exposure is simply one metric for a local business…. Read more

I love Starbucks… but…

I need to gripe. My below comment that I made on TechFlash really says it all.

Fellow Seattle blogger John Cook was covering how a study by put Starbucks as the biggest consumer brand utilizing social media, but the idea just didn’t sit right with me.

The most essential part of the disagreement is the conclusion “social media works” for them. Knowing how many larger organizations are dealing with the social media evolution crisis, I am fully aware of good dollars being thrown into the chaos simply for organizations to claim superiority in a virtual game of monopoly with little (or no) revenue driving result.

[stextbox id=”info”]“It is interesting to see established offline brands perform so strongly,” Famecount founder Daniel Dearlove wrote in a summary of the rankings. “This highlights the growing importance of social media in wider marketing campaigns, as well as the applicability of these channels to established brands[/stextbox]

My commentary is simple:

While I love Starbucks (heaven knows I drink enough coffee from them), I think this has an entirely different message about social media working (or not working) for them.

Without understanding the massive amounts of budget being thrown into these campaigns and the results they are mustering, the numbers in this type of scoring are entirely flawed.

The fact that Starbucks (a retail chain with in-person locations and lots of contained foot traffic) is compared to Skittles (who has no in-person locations and shares foot traffic with 500 other candy brands) shows how entirely off the comparison points are.

Have the millions (or tens of millions) in marketing dollars supporting the digital effort paid off? It costs A LOT of money to brand signs, cup holders, gift cards, coffee cups, CDs, WIFI entry points, tradeshows, speaking engagements, etc, etc.