Coping: Marketing & the “Crooked” Internet

Marketing 603 Lecture, huh? Well, seeing as you are still here, curious about this “crooked” stuff…

Sorry to be a whiner here, but every so-often I get a little cranky and have to point things out about our dearly beloved internet that just isn’t being reported either by the MSM or the AltPress itself.

Let’s start with the backstory, shall we?

I have been looking at web rankings lately (always paranoid and wanting to provide a good read, naturally) and what did I find?

Turns out that a LOT of internet sites have deployed “Push technology” and are using it to artificially “inflate” the number of people who are actually reading their web sites. Automatic page refreshing is going everywhere lately…

Here’s how it works:

Say you go to a popular news headline site (here, use this one).

You begin to scan the content and then Presto! 2 ½ minutes into your read, the screen reloads. WTF?

No, not a browser glitch…you saw the ads change, right?

Actually it makes perfect *financial* sense from the web site operator standpoint. You see, websites are paid by impressions so if someone is reading a site and hangs around for several minutes, why not show them several more ads?

I mean money is money, right? Maybe one of the next flight of ads on refresh will grab a click out of ‘em….

Here’s the problem, though: Rankings.

UrbanSurvival’s “numbers” are still pretty much what they always have been. You are a reliable reader and for this we thank you.

But other sites rankings have gone up.

Here’s the mechanics of how new technology works in a nutshell.

We begin with two web sites, say Urban for one and that popular news headline site for another.

Now we turn on two browser sessions. One on the UrbanSurvival site and one on that other site. Now we leave the room, after making sure that our screen savers and power management are turned off so the computer doesn’t hibernate.

At the end of one day, how many viewers and sessions does the UrbanSurvival site report? Exactly one viewer and one session. We served up 2 ads and will be comp’ed accordingly.

But look at what the OTHER site did:

There are 1,440 minutes in a day. And since that other site is refreshing every 2 1/2-minutes, in the 24-hour period, they will force a browser refresh 575 TIMES. And if they were serving the same two ads that Urban does, they could bill 1,150 exposures. We’d bill one.

The comparison is not so even, of course, since the news headline site cited does update content several times per day. But 500+ times per day, not counting the ad content? Excuse my skepticism.

My point is that there is nothing preventing websites from forcing an update every x-number of minutes, regardless of whether the content has changed, or not.  It is a major irritation, though, since I am usually done with a scan at 2-minutes and 45-seconds, not 2:30…

To be sure, such refresh/push techniques are not widely used – yet – but it’s growing. In part because some media networks (networks that push ads around) may have rules that would prevent small sites from employing the same techniques.

My local weather page from this source seems to be updating every five minutes (or more).

However, a large site? One that is really critical to getting reach and frequency in a particular demographic? Well, exceptions to all rules, I suppose, can be found everywhere.

Still, I wanted you to be aware that’s where your browser is going when on some sites it is auto-refreshing every few minutes.

It’s busy pushing the cash register for the website operator.

I’m looking at such options for Urban, too. No point leaving money on the table, is there?

Marketing II:

Speaking of Money on the table, I got a really nice offer via email Wednesday from eTrade.  Or so I thought…

Get up to $10,000 when you make a qualifying deposit to your account1” it said.

Hmmm… $10,000 sounded pretty enticing, but that little uppercase “1” had me worried.

Being the cautious sort, I clicked around on the ad until I landed on the “Details” page.

The “deal” is that in order to get a $10,000 credit, I would need to deposit (Gulp! Am I reading this right?) $4-MILLION DOLLARS.

Don’t let on, but that’s likely not going to happen this week.

Spit-fire and save matches, here we go again. At the slightly more believable $25,000 to $99,999 added to my account, the reward would be $200 bucks.  All that for #25-large?

It’s in here somewhere we gain some insight into customer acquisition costs, which is one of our favorite metrics around here. You know, how much ad money does it take to get you to buy a new car, 4K TV, or high end gaming platform, got it?

All of this got me to wondering if there might be some M&A activity to come in the online brokerage world if someone is out trying to buy up customers with cash bonuses like this, or whether someone is just trying to hit a year-end customer acquisition number.

Still, interesting to watch, and as always, when something sounds too good to be true, usually it is.

I’m pretty sure the ad cost per sale on a $25-thousand dollar car is higher, but I will have to check with our expat marketing expert on this…

We ironically note that if they pay 1/2 of one percent interest to the Fed for money (until rates go up) that the annual cost of $25,000 is only $125 – which means the Fed really might bump a half point in two weeks.

Advertising, you know, does tell the future.

Marketing III: Blue Skies

My son, whose recent parting of the sheets with a former GF left him with a $20k hole in the bank account, went out and got himself a part-time job in sales.

He’s selling Ifly skydiving tickets at Costco’s in the Seattle/Everett area…and doing very well.

First week wasn’t so hot..sold a half dozen or so. But when he started following the Ure Family Scripted Sales approach (and wearing his full skydiving rig including both parachutes) sales went up to 37-sales in a day…and he will post which Costco he’ll be at on his FB page here, if you have always wanted to skydive, except for the getting out of the airplane part.

I believe there are enough small business owners who wouldn’t mind knowing a LOT more about sales that my eBook “The Very Best Book about Sales” will be one of the holiday season reports.

And, if you work in sales (or would like to) this I assure you will teach you a metrics-based approach to sales that will absolutely work when diligently applied.  Most times you end up knowing more than whoever is running sales.

Well, there you have it. A lot of information about sales and marketing that you didn’t have before you got up today.

Why with this (and a copy of Trump: The Art of the Deal) you too might become President.

Or, not.

Wanna bet on whether Putin’s read it yet?

Write when you get rich,

5 thoughts on “Coping: Marketing & the “Crooked” Internet”

  1. I use a plugin called “no script”. It allows you to turn java on or off for a website. I.E. for the “(here, use this one)” noted above, it will not refresh and you can make through the headlines without losing your place. Its also quite telling when using it on other websites and you can see all the sites wanting to loaded when when you look at the “no script” list of what to allow or not allow.

    • I LOVE NoScript! It’s a security feature and lets me keep many more windows/tabs open for cross reference. It speeds things tremendously since MY computer is doing MY work, and not as much for the web perveyors. It’s not for everyone since it requires a few brain cells to know when and how to use it. I also use some very serious firewalling against such nasties as Facebook.

      • I LOVE NoScript also. It is problematic when you go to see something on a click bait site. It’s astounding how many scripts run. Sometimes to see a video you have to allow noscript to run all scripts on a page several times to get the video. Meaning that you have to allow scripts to get at other scripts to get at other scripts… So they’re running scripts that depend on running other scripts sometimes three and four deep. I don’t know how anyone uses the internet without noscript as you’re so bogged down with scripts you can’t actually read anything.

  2. Hi George,
    Not to compete with your sales book which I’m sure is excellent, a book I used as a textbook for several Radio sales staffs I managed over the years is Tom Hopkins “How to master the art of selling”. It’s the fast track if you’re charged with turning novices into productive salespeople because it will teach them how to CLOSE.

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