The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is stepping into the practice of paid posts on the blogosphere and it’s about time. I have personally been solicited by mommy bloggers willing to write for cash. Pay to play schemes among mommy bloggers have been commonplace, it is akin to payola in the record industry, and it does a disservice to other bloggers.
Decades ago there was a crackdown on payola in the music industry as record promoters paid off radio DJs to spin their records and popularize artists. The practice has largely been curtailed, although payments are still made under the table to DJs in major markets. Brands have been willing to shower freebees on bloggers in exchange for editorial coverage that fails to attribute the gifts and their influence. It stinks and it’s corrupting the blogosphere.
According to Consumer Reports:
“The FTC is updating its “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” which were last refreshed in 1980. What this has to do with bloggers is a new form of advertising, called word-of-mouth marketing, in which advertisers pay your favorite bloggers to “review” their products. The bloggers get paid, for example, with free product samples; gift certificates for JCPenney shopping sprees; cash payments; or the loan of a $30,000 Ford Flex for a year.
The bloggers are supposed to write whatever they want about the product—pro or con—but the payments put into question whether they would be inclined to seriously bite the hand of a “friend” lending a car or giving other valuable goodies or cash.
Excerpts on Predictive Analytics from CRM News in 2004 and still relevant:
“While creative ideas and good marketing instinct will always be important, effective marketing requires a thorough understanding of customer behaviors and motivations.
Predicting customer product preferences and purchasing habits — and crafting the most relevant marketing messages around this information — requires a carefully orchestrated mix of intuition and an analytical framework that supports fact-based decision-making. Without an analytical structure in place, even the savviest marketer or marketing team will have difficulty analyzing the high volume of complex customer information.
For example, why do some customers make multiple purchases? How can companies ensure long-term loyalty from high-value customers? How can you attract and retain different types of customers? This level of detailed customer knowledge enables marketers to develop relevant, compelling messages and offers for each customer, and to adapt their approach as customer needs and wants change throughout the customer lifecycle.”
From Tech Crunch
IBM is buying analytics software and solutions provider SPSS in an all cash transaction at a price of $50/share – a 42 percent premium to Monday’s closing price of $35.09 on Nasdaq – resulting in a total cash consideration in the merger of approximately $1.2 billion.
SPSS Predictive Analytics software captures and analyzes data about people’s attributes, attitudes and behaviors to gain a full understanding of anticipated future behaviors, so companies can make smarter decisions for improved business outcomes.
CEOs and CFOs are making greater demands than last year for marketers to show a potential return on investment (ROI) as part of securing budget, according to 65% of the 601 marketers surveyed in the Lenskold Group / MarketSphere 2009 Marketing ROI & Measurements Study.
Current economic conditions are putting pressures on marketers to better understand their marketing effectiveness as 8 in 10 marketers (79%) report that the need to measure, analyze, and report marketing effectiveness is greater in 2009. However, budget pressures are evident with 6 out of 10 (59%) indicating that this higher demand for measuring marketing effectiveness is not budgeted for the necessary measurement efforts and the other 2 out of 10 indicating they are appropriately budgeted.
The full 35-page report with detailed findings and Lenskold Group recommendations is available at www.lenskold.com/2009mROIstudy.