The business case for asking for a business case

Please stop asking for the business case for blogs or Twitter or Facebook or all these digital tools. Is there a business case for people reading the Irish Times in the office? Or listening to Morning Ireland?

On Friday night I was in London. On Friday night a local furniture store in Cork burned down. My Cork friends in London and myself watched what happened via my mobile and Twitter. Feck the notion of “how can we use this for business” before we allow it through our web filters. Just allow it. These are some of the pics we saw from London.

Pictures via Sam Kidd who was on the scene.

This is the aftermath:
Cork Fire North Main Street

What exactly is your justification for blocking the outside world from hearing from your company and sharing with your company?

Business Cards and the Mulley Communications business philosophy

I got asked the other day at the it@cork (their writing style enforces no capital letters) business conference whether I’d be toning down my brashness/style now that I was a serious business person. It got me thinking about this and it’s a popular enough question. Personal comes first, then business. To me. Business people are people first. To me.

If my personality has to suffer to get more business then I’m doing this wrong. I get into a lot of trouble for what I say and do and I wouldn’t be in these interesting places if I was some toe-the-line sycophant. At the same time I needed to get new business cards as I’ve run out of my current cards. To reinforce my philosophy of taking risks, the new cards will probably make some people choose not to hire me from the cards alone:

Mulley Communications

As always, the cartoons and doodles have been designed by Hugh MacLeod.

Hijacking a Brandjack – How would you do the Pat the Baker campaign?

Brand-jacking is the idea of taking a brand and without permission going off using it to promote yourself. Here’s another definition:

Brand-jacking happens when a third party hitches a ride on a brand’s fame, positioning and slogan and uses them for its communications’ own purposes – whilst undermining the brand’s reputation in the process

At the recent BarCamp, Alexia Golez and Pat Phelan had decided to take a few brands and build a whole online marketing campaign for them, whether they liked it or not. There is nothing malicious in this, the idea is to actually get more coverage for a brand but the ambassadors doing it are unofficial. I like that idea. You see many design and photoshop challenges getting people to redesign sites or logos and it is a way of people showing off their abilities. So I’m hijacking this great idea.

You may have heard of the Pat the Baker Bebo campaign, apparently me blogging about it made people buy sliced pans.

MySpace Music Party - Bryan Thatcher of Empressr and Michael Birch Co-Founder of Bebo
Photo owned by b_d_solis (cc)

If you were to run the Pat the Baker “online marketing ” campaign, what would you do?

With all the tools out there now, many of them free, what ways would you engage with the public? Blogs, Facebook, Bebo, Google Ads, special games, advertising or clever hook-ups with websites like and

There is no prize for this, no reward except showing off your knowledge and skills here. If this works, well I might turn it into a regular thing on this blog. I’m sure many companies might volunteer to be the mark for the brandjack.

Niall Harbison on the benefits of Twitter and Blogs and Vids

Very good talk at Connector by Niall Harbison

This is a very good talk giving a layperson’s guide to how blogs, videos, social networking etc. can help a business and how to go about doing it. Like how Niall warns that success is not going to be overnight. It won’t be. Remember too Niall is a trained chef that came into this area from that business and I think with that background is probably more qualified to talk to businesses on what to do that those that claim their experts just because they have a blog. (I’m looking at you here Mulley)

Pat the Baker campaign on Bebo – An analysis

Pat the Baker on Bebo

For those unaware of it, it appears that Pat the Baker has decided to market itself on Bebo, of all places. Not sure how Bebo was chosen as a place to market since this is where the average age is below 18 and a space where the ones that make the bread buying decisions would not be hanging around on that space. Perhaps it was to influence the people that pester the mammy to buy the bread? Someone knows.

Irish companies that are running campaigns on Bebo are apparently dropping €30k to €50k on their projects. Figures for these campaigns and the breakdown of them are not public and don’t seem to be available but I would guess that for your money you’d get promotion to the front page for your profile, a specially designed skin (a template that the kids can install), promotion of the skin on the skins section and banners ads to be displayed around the site. This is pretty much what Pat the Baker has had.

So the profile was created in September and what are the results?

  • 2878 friends on Bebo.
  • 334 love hearts.
  • 3638 skin installs.
  • 45 pages of comments. 20 comments per page. 900 comments.

Pat the Baker on Bebo

Pat the Baker on Bebo

So what about mentions in other places?

So if this campaign cost €30k, what were the costs per “engagement unit”?

It all depends on how things were measured. Are comments the measure of success or page views or Luv Hearts or skin installs? Taking only one of these factors as a measure of success:

  • 2878 friends on Bebo. So that’s €10.4 to acquire each friend. But getting friends on Bebo is dead easy.
  • Look at how many “shared the luv” which is more of an engagement. You can “share the luv” 3 times a day now. Yet they only got 334 love hearts. 90 quid for an engagement of that sort.
  • 3638 skin installs. €9 per skin install?
  • 45 pages of comments. 20 comments per page. 900 comments. €33 euros per comment.
  • 19811 views since September. €1.51 a view. Perspective: did 146k pageviews in the same time period.

Adding up all “engagements”
If we add the number of comments, to the number of friend adds to the number of Luv hearts to the number of skin installs we get 7750 engagement “units”. That works out at €3.87 if we use the magical €30k number.

The level of engagement if you consider the “Sharing the Luv” action is low. If you consider this blog post that asked people to comment about their favourite sandwich it only got 15 comments. Out of 2800+ friends?

Marketing bread on Bebo is probably not the best place for it. There was nothing innovative in this whole campaign either. Take yor picture with a sliced pan? Jesus. Singing to the theme song on YouTube is ok but is a very very expensive method of brand reinforcement.

Also, some advanced SEO work would have been good. The first result in Google is full of grammatical errors. Capital letters and apostrophes please.
Pat the Baker on Google

So what would I do? Not go on Bebo to sell bread. Hit mommy bloggers up and those who buy the bread and use the bread. Or if you wanted to get to the kids then actually sell them something more appealing but which makes them buy your product. You know like chocolate spread, peanut butter and jelly spreads etc. etc.

Facebook Ad campaigns now generate more data to help you

Facebook yesterday announced that they are now providing more data to advertisers
Over on I’ve covered creating Facebook Ad campaigns before and in some detail. Facebook allows you to target people based on their profile data and you can get very granular with the data. Facebook sent out a notice yesterday letting advertisers know that they’ve added more metrics to their ad campaigns:

Photo owned by mudpig (cc)

“Responder Demographics” report: Facebook users spend a lot of time
connecting with friends and family on Facebook – uploading photos,
writing on each others’ Walls, posting notes. Now you can find out
who is interacting with your ads. This report provides the aggregate
age, gender and geographic location of the users who have clicked
on your ad.

This is good. It gives you more feedback on how your add is performing which will allow you to write even better copy for the ads that you have.

“Responder Profiles” report: In addition to age, gender and
geographic location of the users who have clicked on your ad,
we’re happy to provide psychographic information of these same
users. This data is aggregated from user profiles and shows common
interests, favorite TV shows, movies, books and music.

This is probably a bit scary but you will now know more about the group of people clicking on your ads and will know that an ad that mentions X is liked by people who like Pearl Jam and The Wire etc. Like the above, the more data you have on these people, the better you can make your ads which gives value to you and those clicking on them.