About the Author:

With a career that has spanned advertising, production, technical services, and project management, Michael is able to articulate the wide range skills and professions that make the Internet work. This eclectic understanding and his desire to shine the light on those hiding behind techno babble has brought success to a wide range of projects.

Twitter @bissell

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Past Postings:

Using Dissent To Enhance Your Social Influence Online

Industry Profile - Author

Industry Profiles Full Time Employees - Professional Writer

Some Thoughts On Freelancing

Building Your Online Brand

Marissa Mayer and the Change in Yahoo's Remote Workforce

LinkedIn for Professional Writers

Fake Republican Twitter Accounts

"Did you mean?" -- Google's chiding nanny of search results

Branded Technology

Sharingspree.com -- Stealing more than GroupOn's Idea

The Internet Isn't Entertaining Enough

It's not your bank... It's Apple's and Amazon's

Violated by Madison Avenue

Google+ Scares Me

"We need to..." Internet Marketing Myths

Facebook's deal with the Devil

My cool new phone is a little too cool.

You are never alone

Promotion vs. Distribution... You'd think they'd know that one...

Publishing Industry Watch

Content for Social Media

Social Media Slot Machine

Anonymous vs Me

News from the Twitter Follow Campaign Trail

The art of Indiscriminate Twitter Following

The Cloudy Meaning of The Cloud

The Demand For The Loss of Creativity

Alien Technology and Government Conspiracies

Time for a New Reality

The Death of Email

Protecting Free Speech... Anonymously (and geekily)

Amazon Shouldn't Have Shut Down WikiLeaks

The Superpowers of the Hive Mind

Time for New Ideas

Comcast, Netflix and the Mystery of the Modem

The Great Technical Disconnect

New for the Sake of New

A Retail Store Built Like the Web

Disposable Personas

When did Google Start Policing the Internet?

Getting back to HTML basics, thanks to Apple

Inspecting my Navel Base

A shoebox vs. an online backup

Is Your "Resume" Website Recruiter-friendly?

iBooks -- Creative Epicenter or Gatekeeper?

The Failure of Success

The Economy is Going to Get Worse, but that's okay

Time lost on Twitter

Client Vendor Relationships

Twitter's back alleys and dark places

Social Media is NOT Advertising

Microsoft Courier

Form (designers) versus Function (geeks)

PDXBOOM -- The power of social media and the portland pipe bomb

China and Apple -- Different organizations, same management

The volume of screens


Google Adds Biking Directions to Maps


That magical little tablet

How your website can be in two places at once

Masterpieces created by sheer volume

Suing over lack of originality

A Primer on Internet Fame -- dancing babies, hamsters, numa numa, and more...

Checking my messages

Rules are made to be broken -- in a reasoned, systematic way

So many accounts, so few passwords

Who really uses Twitter? 60% of Twitter's traffic isn't on Twitter

The Web is a Jerry Rigged Kludge

Twitter: Asleep at the Mouse Wheel

Where regulation is good: Google Voice and Vonage

How Facebook is (unintentionally) forcing programmers to piss off users

The Twit Cleaner

Perfect Secretary's pitch for @Adbroad (and the Youtube API)

The Emotions of Text

The Shorty Awards Scandal -- Manual Spam is still Spam

Google Analytics, the cloud and missing numbers #fail

Helen Klein Ross & Michael Bissell Interview at Adweek's Social Media Strategies Conference

The Internet is the New 60's

Cougars from New Zealand (and I don't mean big cats)

Adding facts together, or why you can't charge your cell phone from wifi

Social Media and the Destruction of the World

Rabid Fans vs Passive Viewers -- The Coco vs Leno saga

How to tell someone to retweet (without using up your 140 characters)

You can't buy social media

A book unopened is but a block of paper

Building the LOST: The Final Season Sweepstakes

Holiday SPAM (or the lack thereof)

Archiving Twitter

Too Many Toolbars

Random Censorship with Google Adwords

Accessibility and Shopping Online

Twisted path to customer service

Flash: Shiny objects blinding your audience

Twollow and other gold rush scripts

GPS in a Laptop computer

Thinking outside the box... There was a box?

Twitter was designed for Text Messaging

It's not the corporations, damnit

Entrepreneur or Dreamer?

Adweek Social Media Twitter for Brands Presentation

Socializing is more than Social Media

Generational Marketing is a Myth (or Who's your Daddy?)

Social Media is Just the Way We Use the Internet

Twitter Followers Don't Matter (ask the porn sites)

The Internet is Gooder than Books

Sometimes you don't want your campaign to go viral

Best Twitter Branding Campaign

Like flies to crap, Spammy Twitter Followers don't really go away

iPhone SMS Security Hole

How Flipmytweet works

Cell Phones as Microscopes

Digg is not the Hijacker -- You Are

Steve Ballmer -- the walking dead?

Twitter as an open mic poetry reading

Automatic Social [un]Awareness

New York, New York

First splash for United Against Malaria

New Media/Old Media and the CLIO Awards

Interview at SXSW: Mad Men Twitter And Tracking

We've got an App for that -- it's called the Web

Understanding Google To Get Your Resume Noticed

Made it to SXSW in Austin

The trouble with Wordpress and other templates

Wayward Words with Baggage

Speaking at SXSW March 17th

The fleeting Memory of the Internet

It's okay to say 'I don't know'

Good Morning America, now Go Fight Traffic

More surreality in Portland

Nike Takes Over Conquent

Facebook owns this title

Excuses, excuses

A little on Social Media

Feeding on Content

Attack of the Bots

Irish Music in Oregon City

Landing on an Aircraft Carrier

Got Curry? And some bizarre art?

Web 1.0

Random Music and Random Life in Portland

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump

Flight Simulator

Cold night, hot fire, happy cat

Net Neutrality

Walking to work in the snow

A window into Moreland of the Past

Getting clever with data feeds

Big and Little Beirut

The Other Credit Crisis

The Broadband Inauguration

T-Mobile owns Magenta and Other Patent Stories

The Risk-takers, Doers and Makers of Things

The noise of 20,000+ Twitter Followers

Reflections on my DC Trip

Born Again American

30,000 feet, 500 MPH Suburban Strip Mall

Cellphones, toilets and the Inauguration

The wall of pissing

National Treasure/National Archives

My trip to DC so far

Everyone is insane

Getting ready for DC

The End of Days (of song): Microsoft Songsmith Example

The Very Model of a Modern Major General

Browser Bigotry

The Death of your Soul: Microsoft Songsmith

Creative Development or Developing Creatively?

Race to Witch Mountain

The Myth of Wikipedia (or the Wiki-1400)

Online/Offline Sales -- is it really that bad?

Is PayPal Tacky?

Old School Web Design Still Works

Domain Squatting

Christmas Fire

Green Chri$tma$

QA 101

Portland Snow

Get some return on that web traffic

I think they have a backup...

I'd love to have that problem

The [un]importance of statistics

Don't be a tool of viral marketing

CAT Scan!

Follow up to the shoulder injury

Emails, discussions, blogs, wiki and web content

Ironic Injury

On the Santa Monica Pier

You Designed for Print First

You let someone else register your domain name

You figured .biz, .info, .us would work fine

What's after the Integrated Circuit?

Intelligent life is out there (but it's bugger all down here on earth)

Subject Matter Experts Talking Other Subject Matter

The Totalitarian Regime of Apple

Oversimplifying how people work


Creative Services for the New World

Reverse Anthropomorphism

The End of Time

Oil prices and birdsong

Watching Starship Troopers AGAIN!

Better Living Through Twitter

Lessons Learned From Apple

It's the Brand, Baby

Business Architecture vs. Web Construction

On Truth

You can't build life

Accidentally Drunk in Portland

Al Gore the Winner

Intelligent life is out there (but its bugger all down here on earth)

Aussie Rules Football

Trip to Nostalgia Land

I am such an idiot

Long day of travel

Miami -- as far from Portland as you can go in the US

Inverse Peter Principle

Random Knowledge

I'm fascinated with modern plumbing

Leaving Seattle (or why you should keep your ticket close)

On the Rails

The Hive

RSS for this blog
"We need to..." Internet Marketing Myths
2011-07-01 09:51:21

I seem to have arguments with my clients about what they "need to do." Part of the problem is that they really feel they need to do something but can't explain why, but usually it's just because "everyone does" whatever it is they want to do.

Here's the top of my list of things that I seem to disagree most often with my clients about...

We need to be on Facebook
By all means, get your message on Facebook, but have a purpose. Simply getting 1,000 people to like your fan page just gets you 1,000 likes. The best you can hope for is that those people will happen to see you post something and maybe click on it. I can buy 1,000 banner impressions for a fraction of what it's costing you to drive all your customers away from your own website to get that "Like."

A "purpose" would be getting email addresses, or better yet, get them to give you a whole mess of info like their physical address and date of birth by sponsoring a sweepstakes. Or, rather than getting them to "like" your fan page once, get them to "like" your products (like the way I get instant impressions using a comment box -- see it live on Jokeindex.com).

We need an iPhone App
Why? No, really... why? I mean, I get this all the time from clients, "We need an app." What you need is to reach your clients where they are -- while Apple's iPhone has 16% of the market, phones running Google's Android have... get this... 33% of new phone sales. And let's not forget the old flip phone -- Nokkia's Symbian phones are still getting 31% of the market. Oh, and Blackberry has 14%.

You'd better have a good reason to invest a huge amount of money targeting 16% of the market while ignoring the other 84% of mobile phones. A better use of that money would be to build a mobile website that works on any small screen -- it will work better on the big, low-res screens too, like game consoles like the Wii and PS3 -- and still not cost you a dime for any new devices on the horizon.

We have to be on the first page of Google
There are things you should do to make your website get indexed properly by Google -- good content being the first thing you should do but, unfortunately, is the last thing anyone ever seems to work on. But even if you do everything "right" (and "right" is subjective based on today's marketing plan), Google isn't one thing.

Google filters your results on over 50 data points even if you're not logged in. They look at things like what operating system your computer is running, what browser you're using, your default language, your connection speed, where you are in the world... You can type the same query into two different browsers on the same computer and get different results -- it's pure fantasy to think you're going to be able to control where your keywords show up on Google.

And, even if you do get that great ranking, it's still random traffic. I get 70% of my traffic to Jokeindex from search engines and those people come in, look at one page and leave. The visitors who came in from a referral on Facebook or Twitter, or the folks who bookmarked the page and came back on their own -- those folks are my real audience.

We need some animation or... I know! A Game!
Your website needs to be well designed. Adding a fancy animation or some kind of game to the page doesn't improve the design and it slows down the customer experience.

What you need is for every single thing on your website to have a purpose and then you need to track the monetization of those things. Make it easy for people to get in, give you money and get out. Make it easy to get their info so you can contact them later...

It should just be easy
Don't just do things because you're "supposed to" -- do them because you have a reason to do them. And them make it as easy as possible for your customers to do what you want them to do.

But don't forget -- it's really hard to make things easy. Easy for your customers is difficult for you and you have to be ready to invest time, energy and money into defining your goals, developing a strategy, and then implementing that strategy in an increasingly complex and chaotic world.

FactsRus: Re: Michael Bissell: "We need to..." Internet Marketing Myths
2011-07-05 13:46:07

iPhone is only 8.75% of total mobile market, inclusive of feature phones.


In terms of smartphone %, it hovers between 25-30% (domestic/US).

Michael Bissell: Re: FactsRus
2011-07-05 17:17:18

Hey FactsRus,

I was using current sales for my numbers which I pulled from Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone#Operating_system_market_shares -- but whichever numbers you use, it still makes more sense to create apps for a broad a market share as possible, which, biased as I may be, still seems to mean web sites that are formatted for the low-resolution interface.

Of course, there are times you want to get more functionality out of a mobile experience than you'd get from web-only apps, but this all just underscores the "figure out why you're dong something, make a plan, and then do things to support that plan."

FactsRus: Re: Michael Bissell: "We need to..." Internet Marketing Myths
2011-07-05 17:43:04

@bissell, I am in agreement with you wholeheartedly - But, the numbers I use are generally a reflection of 100% of the complete mobile market, where iOS is but a wee, tiny fraction (it had been at 6.75% for quite awhile, now has bumped to 8.75%, using Comscore as a guide).

iPhone apps make about zero sense; rarely do they include functionality that could not be done at the browser level (and, most new browsers have GPS and accelerometer access).

It is also very possible (we do it all the time) to build for mobile web and then wrap in "app shells" so that people find you in both Search and App Store Search. The only problematic porting is iOS; but, for Android, Windows and Meego (which will have a life on netbooks), it's pretty simple and takes only one build.

What is astounding is that marketers have overlooked how a mobile device, at it's heart, is a 2-way communication device. That's really why we buy them and carry them around. It's the great un-tapped channel (and, I don't mean single message SMS!)

Whether it's Facebook, Groupon, Foursquare or Twitter, why dilute the value of your brand and add to someone else's? Yup, use them to drive traffic and value back to your own turf. Whether you're an independent coffee shop or National retailer, driving people away from your own real estate seems foolish.

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