Saturday, April 14, 2012

Media Gone Haywire - Fall Of The Gurus

Swing you sinners - your day is about done. Back in 2003, the online world was pretty much inflated with half truths and best guesses. Today it is basically the same thing but the only thing different is that we know that some techniques flat out don't work. But in 2003 I remember the online climate to being even more annoying than it is today. Back then there were plenty of people who pontificated over the joys of early retirement. I'm talking about people in their early 20's claiming they never had to work again. In 2012 we don't see a whole lot of these people. The way there were going to retire from the working world was through affiliate programs and lots of cheapie MLM and gimmicky type programs. In 2012 those people did not swing the banner of financially free and instead opted to sit inside a pup tent on Wall Street doing the "Occupation." Different times.

After 2003, the economy took some wild dips and turns and people lost their fortunes. The housing market did some wild stunts too and there were a ton of mortgage people, (some of them right here in West Bloomfield, Michigan) who marched off to prison for a nice extended stay. I was a bit surprised at this as more investigations came into view. Then the house market faced another interesting challenge as people left the State of Michigan in massive droves. The Detroit Free Press had a headline that read - "Mass Exodus".

In 2008 the scene in Chicago was very disturbing. I holed up in a hotel near Broadway and Clark and watched as people jumped off the brown line every hour holding suitcases. This continued long into the night. You will never hear about this in mainstream media because the message there is that things are shuffling along quite nicely. I was intrigued with these young people jumping off the train platform with suitcases in hand in search of a better life. Some estimate that 480,000+ people left Metro Detroit that year never to return.

As the optimism slipped from the MLM and affiliate world something else happened. A score of people lost their securities licenses and went to jail. I came across a list of people who are banned from ever dealing with the financial world again. Its on the web and the number of people who mishandled investor dollars is overwhelming. It has to number in the 1000's. Its right there clear as crystal and black and white. SO many crooks -- so little time. Do your due dilligence and look them up it is quite overwhelming.

Along with that whole fiasco you can imagine the age of the "Web Gurus" has taken some considerable hits. When you start to do a research on some of these monkeys you will find some sheer ugliness on the web. Everything from flat out credit card fraud to phony fly by night "offices" run out of P.O. boxes and other un-savoriness. The worst, (as if that is not bad enough) includes a full roster of horrendous web skills and bonus areas of expertise including child molestation. It appears that there really is no need for extensive background checks on these dirt bags when it comes to working with the unsuspecting MLM-esque public. On one hand these guys do not really deserve to be put on a pedestal by any means. They certainly did not put their time in the halls of marketing or advertising, (think real places like FCB, Doner and Young and Rubicam) but are instead self appointed masters of the obvious.

My big pet peeve on web traffic programs that I have purchased over the years centers on a common problem. Most of these things simply do not work. There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through to get to the - massive traffic - end of things. The average person is not going to bother doing any of this of course because it involves real work. And real work to most people is a big pain in the ass.

I usually get to the end of one of these big "traffic" programs only to find that the last chapter lacks the critical criteria for online success. One of these guys lives in Commerce Township, MI and actually asked me if I wanted my money back at a marketing show. He pulled me aside and basically told me his program was garbage to a seasoned web guy, ( like me) and asked if I wanted to get my money back. I had another situation where I purchased some Ebooks and signed up for a coaching program and once the gurus heard that I was "The Ted Cantu" he freaked out and called me directly and said I was not welcomed in his club... Why? I asked....

He said that I was too advanced and would not benefit from the club. These guys always spout the same nugget of ignorance and blurt out that you must build a blog for "Extensive web traffic" which is complete hogwash. Sure on a technical standpoint Blogger blogs carry a high PR ranking thanks to being owned by Google but that does not mean that it can deliver high streams of online traffic. That is the case no matter how many you build. The blog thing is confusing for most MLM, retailers and traditional business people. This is due to the fact that it takes time to build them and it is overwhelming. The same can be said for Wordpress and Typepad.... Traffic does not come from blogs. If anything that clutter up the web sphere. There are a lot of crappy blogs out there. The poorly written ones are not traffic ones anymore than the well written ones. This is a big misconception. Anytime that a gurus tells you that you must build a blog first throw it in the garbage..... I test everything and when it comes to web traffic you will want to do something... a little better.

Ahhh.. The Media Collapse?
There is a HUGE media collapse right now. This is both terrifying and exciting at the same time. Its really terrifying for the guys who do traditional media such as phone books and IT companies. These guys might be able to produce large infrastructures of poorly optimized websites and other online clutter but they are not marketers. In addition to that you have the SEO websites which can actualy get you very little web traffic, (yes it is true) unless you have them properly postiioned on the web and even then the traffic can be slow. Newspapers continue to fold and limit their distribution leaving many advertisers less places to get the word out. Now the fun begins....

Look I rant on this stuff a lot so I will have write this in installments but bare with me....

I was in NYC a few years back and I ran into some marketing shmo. That is what I call them in the professional ring because they are a dime a dozen. You got good ones and you get your lemons. Then you got the hustlers who run in between the companies and play hopscotch and really know how to make money. Now, let me get back to the shmo. He busts into this large conference table and announces that he has taken $3,000 of the companies dollars and with true genius like alchemy has magically created 34 click through. People applauded him and hailed his online prowess and I'm thinking -- "Holy Cow! -- fire that guy !! Fast.. before he eats your lunch and mine! He is going to destroy us all".

The Dot Com thing happend around 911. It always makes me laugh when Michigan people say they can recall it fondly. I laugh becuase it didn't really affect them one way or the other. This sort of financial abuse and the mismanagement of funds - courtesy of venture capitalists happend more in California, Chicago and in New York City, (where it happened a lot). The tech wave never really came down hard in the Michigan area because they were so resistant to change for the first 5 tech waves, (multimedia, CD-Roms, and so on and so forth... ). Now let me tell you how this relates to what is happening today. The exact same thing is occuring in the area of online media buying, (think impressions).....

A purchase of $2,500 will get your website logo plastered on 45,000 impressions or user screens in the geo target of your choice. The funky thing is that you will only get 35 click thru's on it. Sound familiar? The big boys in the telecom industry is delivering this sort of thing and it is just as terrible as what was offered 10 years ago during the dot "bomb" era -- sorry for the pun.

Yes there is a better way... and its not by buying text links, building Google blogs, or getting these impressions.

People are stubborn and are very self centered. This is the age of the narcissist and let me add that we are living in the Golden Age. Everything has been pared down to the barest niche and you cannot get away from it. This means that peoples attention is scattered even more than before. You cannot put this in traditional media terms such as network television when we had only three networks to choose from. Now we have 900 channels and satellite radio and a gazillion websites and blogs. When it comes to social media that attention gets spread even further. Worse, the very people you may be trying to reach might only be reading and watching their own media like on Facebook for example.

These are really playgrounds for the lonely.... It is going to be incredibly hard to reach these introverted people. Getting 35 people out of a focussed media blast of 45,000 is still terrible results. This is especially true after ten years. Facebook generates millions on ads but I am looking for sales conversions and getting the phone to ring. I don't want people to just "Like" me. That is not going to get the job done or put food on the table. There has to be a real monetary exchange happening for me to lock onto.

This is where radio gets it wrong too because there is no way to get a handle on who is accessing this media. Media noise is running rampant in this modern age. There are too many people screaming for attention. There are even more people looking to cut out being advertised to which makes things even more difficult. The message from this new generation is that they simply, "Anti Money" and Im they number in the millions. They are anti-corporate, they are anti capitalist and they hate advertisements. Don't forget that there part of the Occuptation of Wall Street movement insisted that people just stop buying stuff. The idea for this is absurd but that was the message that these people wanted to spread globally. It was ridiculous but they hate advertisements.

So how do you reach these sour apples? Is it worth it? Do they have money to spend or do they spend their days rummaging through thrift stores? The car companies think you have to grab the young attention through the help of MTV. But these people have very low self opinion and do not care about things like car ownership.

**** IN CLOSING ****

The web is becoming a more congested place to get the word out. When it comes to making serious money on the web and attracting wealth for yourself and your clients you have to study how money moves on the web. Gone are the days of 2003 when you could afford to be sloppy, lucky and have a little faith that everything would work out in the end. Most people do not realize it but their websites are pulling in a lot of zeros when it comes to web traffic even if they are a top ranking site on Google. It is not enough to float a company or to bring them real business.

The gurus tries to tell you differently and that his affiliate programs are the way to go. That level of business thinking and the people that it attracts are like sewer rats. They are the lowest common denominator and focus on the top grab. I hate MLM's and I will admit that to you. I think it is a waste of time -- especially when you have to support other people.

The web is becoming too real of thing to rely on gimmicks. That is especially true if you are trying to run a substantial company, corporation and want to reach real cash paying customers.

In 2012 -- there is no time for gimmicks.

More to come....

Ted Cantu spits out the truth, and actually works in the media field instead of teaching mere theories, (and unlike many of these gurus phonies actually worked in advertising and marketing.)

Go figure...

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