Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Target Marketing HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 
Rio Longacre

Who's Your Data?

By Rio Longacre

About Rio

Who’s Your Data? is a blog that aims to disseminate thought-provoking tips and techniques involving the use of data and database marketing to direct marketing professionals. Why should you care? Because implementing data best practices has been shown to lift response rates, improve analytics and enhance overall customer experience. Reader participation is encouraged!

Rio Longacre is a Sales & Marketing Professional with more than 10 years of experience in the direct marketing trenches. He has worked closely with businesses across many different vertical markets, helping them effectively leverage the use of data, personalization technologies and tracking platforms. Longacre is currently employed as a Managing Consultant, Marketing, Sales & Service Consulting at Capgemini Consulting, a premier management consulting firm. He is based in the company's New York City office, which is located in Midtown Manhattan. He has also previously worked as an online media buyer and digital marketing strategist.

Email Longacre below, or you can follow him on Twitter at @RioLongacre. Any opinions expressed are his own.

 

Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
LinkedIn Profile Makeover for Sellers
Apr 18, 2014

Are you appealing to emotional and tangible desires of buyers on your LinkedIn profile—in ways they cannot resist acting on?...



Reinventing Direct

Gary Hennerberg
Are Autoresponders Killing Email Marketing?
Apr 16, 2014

Two events in the same week have triggered an email unsubscribe flurry on my behalf. First, a change in my...



Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
What Are You Measuring and Why?
Apr 9, 2014

An account manager working on a pharmaceutical brand once asked me, "How should we code the various opt-in vehicles to...



Marketing Sustainably

Chet Dalzell
Beyond Data: Why 'Grit' May Matter More
Apr 14, 2014

This past month, I was reminded how vital it is to have grit to achieve success, that is "true grit."...



The Power Punch

Carolyn Goodman
I Am the Judge of You
Apr 11, 2014

Pointing the finger has never been so easy ... and so anonymous. I suppose it's human nature to feel (and...



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
Verbify! Verbify! Verbify!
Apr 9, 2014

What's your brand verb? Yes, you read that right ... verb. Each and every day great brands are energized by...



The Integrated Email

Cyndie Shaffstall
Email Marketing: To Open or Not To Open ...
Apr 7, 2014

For many of us, choosing the from name is a simple task. We send it from the person to whom...



Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

Ruth P.  Stevens
How Many Leads Do You Need?
Apr 4, 2014

One key to successful B-to-B lead generation programs is to calculate exactly the right number of qualified leads to provide...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
Why Model?
Mar 26, 2014

Why model? Uh, because someone is ridiculously good looking, like Derek Zoolander? No, seriously, why model when we have so...



Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
Too Big to Fail - But Not Too Big to Suck
Mar 26, 2014

On a recent "Real Time With Bill Maher" show, Maher responded to the announcement that Time Warner Cable would merge...



Online Video Marketing Deep Dive

Eve Grey
Are Your Videos Champions of Your Brand?
Feb 3, 2014

If you advertise in an ordinary way, it's safe to expect ordinary results. However, when you take the extreme and...



Think Mobility

Greg Hickman
‘I Can't Because, I Need ... ’
Oct 7, 2013

Does this sound like you? Have you ever set up a goal, but then realized (either quickly or too late)...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
7 Magic Ways to Maximize Otherwise Boring Fulfillment and Collateral Pieces for Profit
Aug 7, 2013

Sure, fulfillment and inserts aren't as sexy as other forms of marketing, but they can be viable ways to bring...



Triple Venti Dolce Data...

Vince Pickett
Clue Me In, Please
Aug 21, 2013

So here we are, halfway through 2013. You, along with everyone, are still trying to find that magic formula to...



Yblog

Yory Wurmser
Privacy in the Age of Big Data
Jul 10, 2013

Consumers reveal more than ever before consciously through social media and, just as importantly, unconsciously through their behaviors. This data...



The Whole Magilla

Ken Magill
What Marketers Can Learn From Maine's Political Email Idiocy
Feb 24, 2012

It finally happened. Politicians' idiotic email practices had a measurable negative effect. "Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster has admitted...



Denny Hatch's Blog

Denny Hatch
The Internet Can Make You a Chump—Forever!
Sep 25, 2010

Trouble is, the Internet is rife with misinformation and if you get caught advertently or inadvertently propagating this nonsense in...



SEO & Content Marketing Revue

Heather Lloyd-Martin
5 Tips for Top Positioning (And Converting) Page Titles
Aug 11, 2010

Wondering about a SEO content strategy that offers the biggest impact in the shortest time? Try tweaking your page titles....



Instagram: Does It Matter That It Will Make Money on Your Pics?

16
 

Instagram announced the company will soon begin using your content to sell targeted advertising products to the highest bidder. Does this bother you? Should it matter?

This new policy was announced in the firm's recently published new Terms of Use, which go into effect on Jan. 16, 2013. The language that most irritates users states: "You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you."  

This recent announcement has created a virtual firestorm, with bloggers and pundits rising up in unison to trash the company. A recent article on Mashable accused Instagram of "signing your life away," and even the hacker group Anonymous joined the fray, calling for a general boycott of the service unless the new terms are revised.

I don't know about you, but I love Instagram. I downloaded the app more than a year ago (the service has been around for just over two years) and use it all the time. If I'm walking around the city and see something interesting, I snap a quick pic and upload it to the service, sharing it with my community. I guess deep down I always thought it would be cool to be a photographer, but never made the time to follow up on it, buy the equipment learn the art behind the art, so to speak.

Prior to the digital revolution, let's face it, photography looked anything but easy or convenient. I recall friends who were photographers spending hours in darkrooms, not to mention plunking down thousands of dollars on expensive film, chemicals and other equipment. The rise of the camera-enabled smartphone changed all of that. Armed with a smartphone a fraction the size of camera from 20 years ago, any aspiring photographer could take amazingly high-quality pictures. With smartphone adoption rates in the US now more than 50 percent, a whopping total of 119.3 million people are now potentially part of the club.

For many professionals in photo industry, Instagram has been an annoyance from the start. A popular article appearing in the Guardian earlier this year accused the service of debasing photography, suggesting that its bevy of filters are in fact the antithesis of creativity, and make all pictures look more or less the same.  Personally, I thought this criticism was a bit unfair and smacked of professional snobbery. I wasn't alone. A great article by Chas Edwards that appeared on Ad Age quipped that this predictable rant was what happens when members of a professional community are displeased because amateurs get a chance to compete.

So getting back to Instagram's new terms, what they reveal is that Instagram is developing a revenue model, nothing more. This shouldn't be too shocking to most readers. Let's face it, it was inevitable that Facebook was going to want to monetize on its $1 billion investment at some point. While on one hand, I understand people are annoyed with the abruptness of this change, but on the other I think it's much ado about nothing.

Now I'm sure many users who have been using the service for as long as a couple years probably feel like this is a bait and switch. But, don't forget that they've been using the service for free all this time, while Instagram (and now for Facebook) has plunked down money to pay for developers to write code, servers to host their product, and so on. In order to pay for these costs, the firm needs to develop a revenue model.

So as a business, what is its options? Well, I see three possibilities. The first option is to charge the users for accessing the service. On the face of it, that's a non-starter. Charging for access is the very antithesis of social media, so no way it's going to fly. Could you imagine the ensuing firestorm if Instagram had announced a monthly fee for accessing the service? Not in a million years.

Another option would have been to create some kind of image selling service à la iStock Photo or Getty Images. In theory this sounds reasonable, but that would have required developing a an entirely new front-end Web presence to sell the photos, not to mention tons of marketing, lots of time to organize and classify the content, working out how the royalties would work, and so on. In other words, it would have been like starting a new business. After acquiring Instagram for $1 billion, do you think Facebook wants to tool around trying to experiment with a new business for this firm? No way.

The third option is selling targeted advertising, which is frankly a no brainer. Why is that? For starters, the model has already been proven by Facebook, which has made an art form out of monetizing on user generated content and lots of eyeballs. During Q3 2012, Facebook reported $1.3 billion in earnings, up 32 percent from the same period last year. Furthermore, seeing as Facebook is the parent company, it has a prebuilt and tested advertising infrastructure, not to mention trained and effective sales staff, ready to bring the product to market.

The way I see it, this option was a foregone conclusion the moment the ink was dry on the deal with Facebook earlier in the year. It was only a matter of time. So, still unhappy with Instagram's decision? All I can say is if it bothers you so much, you should have left back in September when the service was officially acquired.

If you have any comments you'd like to share, please let me know in your comments.

—Rio

16

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: