I know nothing official but this is as good as a summary and reason for Romney becoming the VP selection
The past month (when I was working) I've spent a ton of time in meetings regarding Hispanic marketing. And, for those of you keeping score at home, it is not necessarily political marketing. I'd say a day doesn't go by where someone doesn't quiz me on Hispanic Marketing. It comes in the form of search marketing, olympic sponsorships, display ads, in language versus English, and on and on.
I've actually had to up my game and become extremely well versed in this market and thankfully good partners at Yahoo and Google took the time to educate me and provide me with their capabilities. Sometimes it is as easy as opting in to have your ads shown (English) into Spanish content while others times it requires the hand of a translator. Unfortunately that's not me, but if you are an agency that focuses on the Hispanic community you should be raking in the cash.
Today eMarketer sent out a profile of the US Hispanic Online population. It shows approximately 23 million online Hispanics and that's supposed to grow to almost 30 million. Also, every website and search engine I speak with tells me that this is an untapped market that is hungry (yes I wrote hungry) for advertising. A growing, hungry population? Seems like a marketer's sweet spot.
Makes me jealous. Even if you are not focused on them in your business you should be now. By the way, a distant relative had the name Pizaro hence the Spanish heritage and where I get my olive skin from.
****3-2-09 UPDATE Obviously a lot of new visitors will be arriving due to the NY Times story called So You're Dead? That Won't Stop The Debt Collector in which I was interviewed and appeared in the story on DCM Services. The reporter was very professional and the story seems well researched. However, my post below is 100% accurate and perhaps I might be in the minority on what happened, but it happened as I outlined it below. Finally, I don't recall being told that I didn't have to pay this debt.*****
I received an odd call today. It was from DCM Services and they are a collection agency that collects on deceased people's payments. Seems pretty morbid huh? Well they called me and refused to give me any information as to why they called. After digging my heels in and going with some old skills I learned from AT&T (speak with a real supervisor, do not consent to having the call recorded, give zero information out until they identify themselves, get a direct line), it turns out that they are a collections agency for Discover Credit Card.
Hmm, you are probably wondering, well maybe my Dad was late on payments. Well it turns out that he had a Discover bill that was due on August 6th, 2008 and it has no missed payments on it and the dollar owed amounts to a few cups of coffee. It seems Discover Card in their infinite wisdom can't even wait 30 days passed when a love one dies and hands over your account to a collection agency who has the phone skills of a 3 year old kid hyped up on too many candy bars.
Allow me to let that sink in. For a bill that was not late and totaled a few cups of coffee, Discover Card outsourced my deceased father's account to a collection agency who tried to collect on a bill that wasn't past due. DCM Services has no prior relationship with me and called a number on a do not call list.
Discover card is slimy for even handing over a good standing account to a bunch of grave robbers like DCM Services. DCM Services - avoid them if you can. They can get your personal information and especially your loved ones. Discover Card should not be a card you have in your wallet. They hand over good standing account information to a third party (BTW - that account has been paid in full and closed. The rep on the phone of course has never heard of DCM Services).
In this Sunday's Star Ledger there was an article called For a pair of giants, still a lot of magic in the twilight which profiled Bruce Springsteen's latest tour and the end of his Giants Stadium shows. The article was of course well written, but what surprised me the most was the following section:
Springsteen is still a stadium-level attraction in Europe: He just completed a successful stadium tour there. But in the States, he mostly plays arenas. On the leg of his tour that begins tonight and ends Aug. 30, in Milwaukee, he has booked only one other Giants Stadium-sized venue: Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Aug. 2.The Giants Stadium concerts, with a capacity of 55,000 per night, did not sell out immediately -- a rarity for home-state Springsteen shows -- and there may be empty seats at some of them.That doesn't mean he can't play a Jersey stadium again. But he may think twice about it.
Bruce having trouble with selling out stadium shows in the US but not in Europe doesn't surprise me at all. This stadium run is the first one where I didn't actually have tickets for. I called in to get tickets the day they went on sale, but I got lower levels that weren't close to the stage so I tossed them back in. While Europe still packs them in, the audience in the US has become fickle. It just isn't one thing but a series of blows to the US fan base.
I'm planning on still trying to score 4 tickets because this leg of the Magic Tour like all recent Springsteen tours has now turned into a Greatest Hits show and I promised my daughter that she would see the E Street Band once. My son Jacob has already seen Bruce and the E Street Band 3 times. However, we American fans shouldn't be surprised that Bruce can't sell out three nights in Giants Stadium any more. He's lost a lot of his US fan base over the years and they probably aren't coming back.
I know I'm catching up on lost time, but I really love the GOP Toolbar. You can easily have it installed and it puts a great political toolbar in your web browser, plus uses Yahoo search. According to this WSJ article every time you search or make a qualifying purchase you add donations into the GOP. Sure it might be pennies at a time, but if you make a lot of searches during the day it can add up. Obviously the payments are as a result of search bounty payments and bounty purchases, but so what? At least someone is benefiting from these payments instead of them being wasted. Plus, it helps Yahoo with their "battle" with Google for searches.
I think these micro payments has been available from Yahoo for a while and is very similar to the new cashback search plan from Microsoft. The only problem with these programs are that they are trying to take search activity from Google which is very difficult. Plus, these are nothing new - back in the dark ages of the internet you could have won money from your searches if you used iWon.
The GOP toolbar is a wonderful concept and I hope it spreads. It gives the GOP a wonderful opportunity to push messages out very cost effectively and generate donations from simple things like searching.
So I starting blogging today after being on a vacation since my Dad died. To be perfectly honest I didn't really feel like writing anything. I had no ideas in my head and ignored reading a lot of my news feeds.
It gave me a chance to figure out why I've been writing this blog for the past few years. It definitely isn't due to the ton of traffic or the cup of coffee I generated every few days in advertising revenue. Anyway before I answer that question, I thought you'd like to see some numbers and what I think of them.
DATA OBSERVATIONS AND MARKETING TACTICS LEARNED FROM A BLOGGING VACATION
Basically in the end I write this blog as what it was originally intended for. A web log of what's going on with me. I do get a kick out of when people come up to me at events and call me out as PardonMyFrench. It does help me demonstrate that I do know a lot more about online marketing than just online media buys and search marketing. People can easily find me on the internet and it helps me control my own spin and build Google Credibility. Seriously it is fun for me and is my voice. That's all it ever was and it feels like I can speak again.
Yes, I did not buy the new iPhone. I do believe it is the coolest phone on the planet and for that price it is off the charts a great value. However, as I've written before the problem with the iPhone is the AT&T Wireless network especially in the areas where I use the phone the most.
Since my Dad died (thanks for the comments) I've had to carry around his cell phone. He also had a huge amount of monthly minutes with a ton of rollover minutes (more on that in a second). So I've been trying to use his phone using AT&T's voice network. You know what I found out? It sucks in the areas I make calls. Washington Township-Long Valley NJ, spotty coverage. Route 78? Stinks with plenty of dropped calls. Route 287? Almost as bad. County Route 517 - useless. Heck I could put up with all of that until my boss Becki called me from a train ride she was taking between NYC and DC and she couldn't talk for me for more than 1 minute without the call dropping or the quality degrading so badly it was totally useless. And, that was on her iPhone. So for where I make my calls AT&T's Wireless Voice network is substandard.
So I turned back to Verizon. After a ton of research I settle on the Verizon Wireless XV6800. It isn't an iPhone but I love it. It connects to WiFi networks and has a nice large screen. It comes with a ton of features and is Windows based so it feels familiar to me. It comes with Microsoft Office and syncs nicely with my Outlook. It has a slide out keyboard and the phone automatically rotates the screen which makes for easy web surfing. I bought a 2 GIG data card for plenty of music and video files. However, the best thing about it is that I get to stay on Verizon's Wireless Network where my CALLS GO THROUGH AND I CAN TALK WITHOUT DROPPING OFF (Can you hear me now AT&T?).
If you need a new wireless phone and you are in the areas that I frequent, the iPhone is sexy but the AT&T network is a hag. Go with a brand new Verizon phone like the XV6800. BTW - the rollover minutes was a plan idea that was very similar to one I cooked up while researching new wireless bundle plans for the old and better AT&T. I called it the EZPass plan and it was credit card based. We tested it in focus groups but it didn't really pop probably because we didn't cook up the name of rollover minutes which is brilliant.
My last post was back on June 18th/19th. I often wondered what would have happened if I just stopped posting. Well I still got about 100 visitors a day which isn't half bad considering no content has been supplied not even my link posts (not sure what happened to them). All of the traffic came from search results so clearly that's a good base. So what happened to my posts?
My Dad was told he had 4 weeks to live on Friday June 20th. While that's depressing enough it turned out the doctors were wrong and he had about 48 hours to live. To save you the details, Dad was suffering from non-hodgkin lymphoma of the Mantle cell variety and this turned out to be extremely unreceptive to chemotherapy and finally his bone marrow transplant. Since the 20th of June my life has been anything but normal.
I've learned a lot about myself and my Dad since then. I've also had trouble focusing on things that don't have anything to do with my family or my Father's business. Things like posting blogs, catching up on news, or even playing World of Warcraft don't seem to have their same impact. Now they just seem a little silly. I'm sure that will change soon, but right now that's how I feel. I just can't seem to come up with any posting material.
I do have one post in me which might happen tonight. It has to do with AT&T one of my favorite posting subjects and related a little bit to my Dad so perhaps that's why I have some material. Hopefully I'll be back soon on a more regular basis or maybe I just lost a little something and don't have it in me anymore. Only time will tell.
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