Baby Boomers (me) and Emerging Media

Baby Boomers

A 2014 report released by Pew Internet Research Project notes that Baby Boomers and Seniors are steadily increasing their use of the Internet.

Remember back in the day when we worked from 9-5, nights and weekends were reserved for friends and family, and never the twain shall meet? Now that an estimated 23 percent of American workers telecommute, many use online social networks as a way to stay connected to co-workers and colleagues. Those who are chained to a company desk often use (or sneak onto) Twitter or Facebook to stay in touch with friends outside of work.

It’s possible that these social networking tools are just the beginning of something, that they could lead to ways of finding and interacting with one another we never imagined, but whatever happens, you can’t dismiss these tools easily. They are taking us somewhere exciting, but we have to work out how we deal with the fading boundaries these tools have left in their wake and that means rewriting our social rules as we go along.

Social networking services expand the pool of people we have the opportunity to meet to near limitless possibilities. We’re no longer restricted to or rely on people in our neighborhood, church, or workplace to provide the interaction we desire. 

As a baby boomer born in 1961, I can’t even imagine what’s ahead for my generation, as far as emerging media-given what I have witnessed in my lifetime, already.  It’s an exciting time to live IF you embrace what’s happening around you.

What do you think is ahead?

Marketing-Traditional Media vs. Social Media

Social media has rapidly integrated itself into our everyday lives, both personal and professional, and it’s perhaps had no greater impact than on the world of marketing, with consumers and brands seeing enormous benefits and changes.

But how does social media compare to traditional marketing? What are the pros and cons of each?

The advantages of social media marketing are numerous.

  1. It’s cheaper. A lot cheaper. You can reach 1,000 people for a fraction of the cost using social media than you can through television, billboards or even email, social media is the only marketing platform that allows you to engage and interact with your consumers – it’s a two-way relationship, which can be hugely lucrative for brands
  2. The results are measurable, and marketers can take immediate action to spot trends and re-align campaigns

It’s not all gravy, though. Social media campaigns can be time consuming and the impact can disseminate very quickly, whereas traditional marketing campaigns, certainly in television, can produce short term results that have greater tangibility.

This infographic from Kuhcoon.com takes a closer look at social media vs traditional marketing.  Kuhcoon.com

Data Breaches on Businesses

Hacker typing on a laptop
Hacker typing on a laptop with binary code in background

The encryption laws developed in Nevada and Massachusetts are setting the foundation as other states begin to explore ways to protect their residents from data breaches. The obligations set forth by these state laws are creating tremendous challenges for businesses. Significant time, money and expertise are required to secure and maintain mobile devices and multiple endpoints at a time when most businesses have pared down their IT departments and are working with smaller budgets.

Businesses must secure and encrypt data on all mobile devices, regardless of brand like Microsoft, Apple, etc. or the type of device like a smartphone, tablet, or data card. Further, encryption must be enforced in a way that does not require additional effort on the part of employees and minimizes the impact productivity. If not, the solution will not be effective. Even with the best policies in place, employees may take short cuts that introduce threats that cannot be mitigated by encryption alone. When this occurs, businesses must be able to remotely wipe or remove access to at-risk data.

Do you think it’s getting safer or more risky for businesses and consumers?

Companies and SEO Keyword Search

Seo Idea SEO Search Engine Optimization on crumpled paper
Seo Idea SEO Search Engine Optimization on crumpled paper

When it comes to search engine marketing, there may be no larger misnomer, no more archaic term than the ubiquitous keyword. In my view, there should be an official migration to the more accurate term keyphrase, but for now I will be forced to use what I consider to be an inaccurate term. My frustration with this term is that it quite simply implies a single word, which is rarely the strategy that we employ when doing keyword research and selection in the service of PPC and SEO campaigns.

All too often, people dramatically overthink the most basic keyword research concepts; keyword generation should start simply with answering the question of “What products or services do you sell?” If you sell dog food online,  the root words dog and food alone would be very poor keywords because on their own, neither dog nor food do a remotely good job at describing what you sell. Though this example makes it obvious, many times we have to fight through our urge to include those bigger, broader root keywords.

 

The Internet of Things-the next big thing.

What’s the buzz? The Internet of Things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it’s mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection; and they say it’s going to make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports “smart.”

But here’s what I mean when I say people don’t think big enough. So much of the chatter has been focused on machine-to-machine communication (M2M): devices talking to like devices. But a machine is an instrument, it’s a tool, it’s something that’s physically doing something. When we talk about making machines “smart,” we’re not referring strictly to M2M. We’re talking about sensors.

A sensor is not a machine. It doesn’t do anything in the same sense that a machine does. It measures, it evaluates; in short, it gathers data. The Internet of Things really comes together with the connection of sensors and machines. That is to say, the real value that the Internet of Things creates is at the intersection of gathering data and leveraging it.

 

Watching Cabelas Grow

When I was a news anchor in Wheeling, WV at WTRF TV, I covered the story of Cabela’s coming to the Ohio Valley.  At first, it was just a hope and a dream for the Ohio County Commissioners.  Then, it became reality when the Cabela’s brothers chose Ohio County as their eight sight to set up their destination location store.  That was 1991.   Cabelas in Wheeling, WV.

At that time, especially in West Virginia, social media hadn’t even taken taken foot yet and since Cabelas wasn’t known for doing any television or radio advertisement, it was interesting to see their marketing concept.

Cabelas

Since its founding in 1961, Cabela’s has earned the title of World’s Foremost Outfitter without ever letting go of its humble, small-town roots, which included the way it advertised in a “no frills” sort of way.  But it was interesting watching the outdoor megastore adapt to the new its new surroundings which included advertising in social media sites and conducting its marketing campaigns on-line.

Would you do business with a company that is NOT heavily into social media marketing?

Learning a lot from work postings.

Social Media Posting

One of the hardest things about my current job is walking the fine line of allowing people to post their opinions while maintaining some sort of respect toward the Member of Congress and those that just start calling out names and don’t care what they say.  The question then becomes, do you delete the ones that do the latter or is that a form of censorship?  I tend to leave up comments unless they display foul language, have a racist tone, or directly threaten the Member of Congress.

The same can be applied to marketers who receive foul or threatening emails, posts, tweets, etc.  What determines what stays and what goes?  Is that person’s freedom to express themselves, even when angry about your product and/or service, taken away if you decide the post is not expressed the way you or your company decides?

It’s a good question to ask, especially in the way social media has become the conduit for people to express themselves, rather than writing a letter or calling the company headquarters.  What do you think?