A Reckoning is Coming: Digital Data is better than Traditional Media

The post is a part of a series of blogs about traditional media’s data quality versus digital data. 
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You can read part 1 here and part 3 here. 

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I believe a reckoning is coming about the quality of data that traditional media is able to give us. As I mentioned in my last post, the metrics that traditional media (newspapers, tv, radio) gives us is not of good quality.

Digital media offers a quality of data that traditional media cannot touch. This is something I have become more aware of as I have become part owner of a digital media journalism group called: “Our Jackson Home“. While preparing to sell advertising on the website and podcast I realized that I had something that other companies could not offer: I can bring amazing data to the table. This data also reminds me that privacy is dead in the internet age. In fact there is beginning to be a market of companies that sell privacy through apps or devices (see Mark Cuban’s CyberDust). With free tools like Google Analytics I can tell exactly how many people visited my website, how long they were on there, where they are from (down to the city), approximate demographics, what operating system their device was running and how they navigated through my site. Also and most importantly for Our Jackson Home, I can tell an advertiser how many people saw their ads and how many clicked on their ads. 

Podcasts offer a similar set of data. We can tell exactly how many people started listening to the podcast and what device they listened to it on. Unlike radio which I propose works from a assumption of its listeners not paying full attention, podcasts are intentionally downloaded and listened to. Generally ads on a podcast are designed to be more engaging and are written for the target demographic of the listening audience of the podcast instead of a ad targeted to a demographic of the listening audience of the radio station. This sounds like a slight semantic difference but it is a huge real difference.

Email Marketing is a great way to communicate with customers. It is one of my favorite ways to reach out to customers for my clients. With good email clients like Mailchimp, you can get pretty in depth data on each of your email subscribers. You can see who has and has not read your campaigns and then using filters communicate with your best and worst customers. With the proper integrations of software you can track someone from email to website to online purchase. Its an amazing world we live in.

Ad targeting and cost: One of the best things about digital advertising for business is that on some platforms like Facebook and Google Ads you can spend as little or as much as you want. You can literally spend $5 or $5000 on Facebook or Google Ad Campaigns. In addition to this you target your ads to the groups of people you want to and know that they are really getting your message. You can also engage people who are already looking for your product with Google Ads.

I think one of the reasons that the NFL just announced its first completely online game. (Other reasons being: 1. Its being played in England 2. Bills and Jags have smaller fan bases and 3. People are moving off of cable.)  Why is there a correlation? I think the large national advertisers are already feeling the need to start getting better data. Once a tv show or sporting event has moved online they can collect the same quality of data that I can on my website here in Jackson. They will be attractive to powerful marketing firms and companies.

I still feel there is a place for local traditional marketing in your planning but I willl write about that in my next post.

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A Reckoning is Coming: The Traditional Media’s Data Problem

The post is a part of a series of blogs about traditional media’s data quality and its use. 
Subscribe to my email list to make sure you see the other parts of this series.
Read post 2 here and post 3 here. 

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I believe a Reckoning is coming.

I think someday soon (3-5 years) most business people across the country will begin to revolt because of the lack of data that offered by traditional media outlets. Our culture is growing more and more data aware and savvy everyday. This is not to say that traditional media will no longer be a good place to advertise. I believe that traditional media can be useful and I will talk about that more in the 3rd post in this series. Lets look at three of the main types of traditional media and their data:

Newspapers and Magazines: Newspapers and magazines strongest data to show someone is their distribution. In the Old World of data this was sufficient. I believe there is a little something in our heart that assumes that what ever the distribution number it is the same as the number of people who would see our content or ads. But in our brain we know that there is no possible way that everyone of those newspapers was read and of the ones that were picked up very few of them were read all the way through. But there is no way to know what the number of people who read the newspaper is or how many of them interacted with your ad. Newspapers and magazines also have a short shelf life but longer than Radio and TV.

Radio: Similar to a print distribution number but more accurate I think are radio ratings. But radio ratings are still based on what I would consider an extremely fallible system which is built similarly to TV.(more on that in the next paragraph Radio deals with a few specific challenges like: are people paying attention when listening, is it on in the background of a work place, or are people talking in the car while its playing. In my opinion most radio stations do not start from a place that assumes engaged listenership.

TV and Radio operations usually refer to Neilson ratings (or a similar type service like Arbiton, which was  acquired by Nielsen). Nielsen has had some problems recently: Here is a New York Times Article on how Nielsen had bad data for several months.   But that Old World Data is still going to be inaccurate even if reported correctly. Nielsen collects ratings two ways: journal and meters. Journal (or diary) markets have people who record what they watch on TV or listen to on radio each day. Journal reporting relies on peoples ability to remember and their willingness be honest in their reporting. Nielsen and organizations like it select people based on demographics to report in these journals. West Tennessee is journaled market. Similarly in a metered market a demographically diverse group of people are selected and their TV or Radio use is recorded and transmitted to the collecting organization. These numbers are flawed in a New World of Data because its only a sample group. As our culture becomes more and more segmented the representation of demographics will become less and less accurate. People are less and less likely to watch what everyone else is watching or  if they do it might not be on the same screen.

Additionally most of the traditional mediums are based on repetition to get the message across. This requires money over time. This may work if you are a large business but if you are small business or a startup you probably will not have enough cash to start an effective campaign.

The new world of data demands much more than what traditional media can offer. In post 2 I will talk about the New World of Data in marketing and in part 3 talk about some ways to maximize use of local traditional media.

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Update Yahoo Local – A How-To

I had a client recently who found that their map listing on Yahoo Local was incorrect. They had tried and had been unable to find how to update Yahoo Local. I then took up the quest to change their Yahoo listing and also found it to be difficult. I wanted to show how to make that change and talk about why it is so hard to change:

1. Using Yahoo search: Look up your business.

2. Look for the local listing, which should look like a map listing.

3. Click the text that says: Is this your business? Verify your listing

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So far so good. But here is where it goes downhill:

You will now be taken to a page that instantly aggregates almost all major (and some minor) directories online to match up the contact information for your business. This showed about 36 directories in all and all the info shown about your business. It also highlights the problems with each listing.

This tool is powered by Yext. Yext is a tool that I was told about by a fellow CO Member Austin (@NotReallyAustin) a few weeks ago. Yext allows you to update all of your online listings at the same time. This could be a very useful tool for marketers and businesses in two ways: 1. It shows you were your listings are incorrect (for free!) and 2.) if you have more money than time (established business or if you do not have an intern), you can pay Yext to update all your listings at once. Yext would be a great tool for creating brand consistency over all the different channels people might be looking for you. Yext could be a good tool, but this article is about Yahoo.  Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 11.04.02 AM

Yahoo really really really wants you to use Yahoo Localworks.  Localworks is Yahoo branded version of Yext. Yext has a small icon at the bottom of the page indicating that the Localworks is powered by Yext. Most of us are not going to want to pay to update a Yahoo Listing though!

Now its time to pick up with step 4.

4. From here, click on the Local Marketing tab on the main navigation menu.

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5. On this page scroll down to “Try Local Basic Listing for free” this is two thirds the way down the page.

Clicking “Sign Up” will bring you to a prompt to fill in your business info. This will once again bring you to a screen with the Yahoo LocalWorks listing. They will once again ask you to buy something!


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6. Read this screen carefully and find the No Thanks! button.

It is next to the large brightly colored sign up now button on the top of the page. Now you will be able to go through some more routine steps to update your information.

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There are a few steps still like verifying your identity and things but from here its pretty typical. One last thing is they have to approve your changes which takes between 2-5 days. The last listing I changed has been pending for about 2 weeks now.

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