What Has Influenced & Inspired Me Over the Past 10+ Years?

Earlier this week, Rae Hoffman wrote a great post on her blog about 48 Things I Know Now That I Wish I Knew Then. It’s a great read and following her advice will certainly lead to more efficiency and more happiness in your life. Most of the list were items that I need to remind myself of on a regular basis. That post got me thinking about all of the various forums, conferences, blog posts, and people who have influenced and inspired me the most over the past 10+ years in online marketing. I have a lot of people that ask me where I’ve learned what I’ve learned so I decided to do a brain dump of that info.

Rae – It seems fitting that since one of her posts inspired me to write this, that she’d be first on the list. There aren’t many people out there that I trust as much as I trust Rae. If she says something, it’s worth listening because whether you agree with her or not, she’s giving you honest information. Posts of hers that I have bookmarked and revisit from time to time are why you fail at affiliate marketing, Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda, or how she got into internet marketing. She’s a huge reason I am where I am and I am who I am now. Info she has given me over the years has resulted in literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra income over what I would have made without listening to her.

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SassiBoB’s Take on Pinterest

We’re starting a new series here on the AuthorityLabs blog. We’ve been long time fans of SassiBoB and her opinionated videos. We had her give us her take on Pinterest and she pretty much agrees with what Christina thinks about Pinterest. Check out the video below and enjoy the show.

The “1%” Commercial of the Month: Lexus’ “December to Remember” Sales Event

January is almost here and the holidays are mostly behind us (minus one last drunken evening where you surround yourself with Woo Girls and toast the last year before the Mayans go apocalyptic on our asses), which means that you only have a few precious days left to enjoy Lexus’s “December to Remember” Sales Event commercials. You may already be familiar with them: they’re basically a series of commercials advertising Lexus cars. The website even urges you to “give that special someone the gift they’ve always deserved, and make this December one to remember.”

What cracks me up about this promotion isn’t the idea of giving someone a car for Christmas (an act of generosity I won’t be able to pull off until the startup I work for starts making mad dolla dolla bills y’all), it’s the fact that the commercials each center on the idea that everybody can immediately recognize Lexus’s self-appointed “You’re getting a Lexus, bitches!” jingle and creams their pants when they hear it.

Here are a few of the Lexus ads in case you haven’t seen them:

“Hey, this elevator music sounds a lot like the Lexus jing–waaaaait a minute…”

I like how the song was put together by the username “Dad of the Year”–how modest.

The Lexus YouTube account is trying to make this song a “thing” to the point where they state on each video, “When you hear that song, you know it’s time for the Lexus December to Remember Sales Event.” I can only deduce that they hire trucks to drive through affluent neighborhoods and pump that jingle out like some sort of One Percenter Ice Cream Man to get rich people to develop a Pavlovian reaction once they hear it.

Truck speakers: “Dum dum dum dum da da bum bum bum bahhhhhhhh…..”

Rich Ol’ Moneybags: “Hmm, I really need a new Lexus for some reason…”

Of course, big brands and catchy jingles are nothing new. Everyone’s familiar with McDonald’s “Ba da ba bah bahhhhh” I’m Lovin’ It tune, and many of us have heard a borderline hysterical woman screeching on the radio “That’s JA-REDDDDD!!! IT CAN ONLY BE JAAAAAAREDDDDDD!” to promote Jared Jewelers. But something about Lexus trying super hard to force this jingle down our throats and make it seem as if everyone knows it by heart seems a little “Are you fucking kidding me,” at least to this middle class girl. They’re the Gretchen Weiner of luxury car ads–”Stop trying to make these jingles happen, Lexus! They’re not going to happen!”

I know, Gretchen. I know.

Then again, perhaps the point is to make the commercials so incredibly cheesy that snarky poor folk like myself make fun of them and inadvertently get the song stuck in their head, which is exactly what happened to me throughout an hour fifteen minute-long run. By the time I was done, I wanted to either kill myself or trade in my Subaru for a Lexus, I couldn’t decide which. Or maybe Lexus is trying the “Gabbo” approach to marketing, in which they hype up something that nobody knows about but gets excited for nonetheless. “You’re not familiar with the Lexus jingle? Well, of course you wouldn’t know it, you Camry-driving commoner! I shall laugh at your ignorance while polishing my monocle! “

“Your welfare ears couldn’t possibly handle the sublime sound of the Lexus jingle!”

The commercials are cheesy, sure, but you often get that type of marketing around the holidays. The real question is whether or not these ads are effective. At first I thought no because of how ludicrous the forced jingles are, but the more I thought about it, the more I accepted Lexus’s “Emperor’s New Clothes” marketing tactic. Poor people are probably thinking “WTF is up with this jingle, I’ve never heard it before. Is this a rich person thing, like a ‘wealthy folk only’ song?”, while rich people are all “Wait, I’m rich. Should I recognize this song? …uh, ‘cuz if so, I totally do. It’s the Lexus song! The one we rich people know…I’m gonna buy a Lexus, that’s how well I know this song.”

So in this marketing case study, Lexus tried to make “fetch” happen and maybe it worked. Then again, maybe it didn’t, but either way, it was intriguing enough for me to make fun of it in a blog post, so at least it got people talking (the ol’ “There’s no such thing as bad press” tactic). As you ponder how you feel about the “December to Remember” ads, keep in mind that if you like them, there are only a few days left to buy yourself a fancy new car, and if you hate them, there are only a few days left before you don’t have to put up with attractive Burberry-wrapped couples squealing with delight when they see their new luxury sedan adorned with a ridiculously gigantic bow. As for me, I’ve got to take my Impreza in to get the “check engine” light dealt with and hope for the best…

Tracking Target in Real Time & Other Fun Loggly Tips

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Target’s new site. We have had quite a bit of attention on that post about Target’s failure of a new site and people from all over the world have read it. There have been a few instances where someone comes to the defense of Target and due to logs and tracking that we use, we have been able to find out that those people were at least partially involved in the project.

Logging Visitors with Loggly.com

A couple days ago, we saw a large number of visits coming through IP addresses we didn’t recognize. Checking the logs and doing an IP lookup tied allowed us to tie those to Target Corporation in Minnesota. Without having Loggly to do some of the analysis automatically, we may not have noticed. Sure, the data is available through Google Analytics too, but how many people dig down to that level?

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5 Things I’ve Learned From Google Correlate

If you haven’t taken the time to check out Google correlate yet, head on over there and play around. There are some huge insights to be gained from it, especially if you’re targeting areas of the US with your product or campaigns.

1. Utah: Not good for beer. Great for bikinis.

I’m not really surprised by the fact that searches for beer are dramatically lower in Utah, but it is pretty funny that they fall right behind Hawaii as the #2 place for bikini searches.

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Location-Based Data: The Next Frontier for Local Search?

When Google released their new Local search results format in October, 2010, SEOs quickly determined that the number of reviews and overall rating associated with a business were ranking factors. They also predicted that these would be quickly be gamed.

It was an easy ranking factor to launch the new integrated SERPs with, as they already had piles and piles of review data from their own properties as well as sites they’d partnered with. But Google’s algorithms are not static, and it couldn’t be too long before the Local algorithm included other ranking factors.

Now, it looks like they might be starting to think about other options. A paper submitted to the upcoming Very Large Data Bases conference, on Hyper-Local, Directions-Based ranking and written by two Googlers along with two other researchers, proposes a method for using direction queries…say, of the sort a user might enter into Google Maps…to determine interest in particular places that could possibly be used for ranking such places.
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