Did Digital & Social Media kill the economy? [OPINION]

While the internet is full of success stories for Digital & Social Media, and we all know I have covered a few, like Facebook Success Stories (Social Media), Google Places for Your Service Industry (SEO), New Google Newsletter and Mobile Adwords Features (SEM) etc. However, I was recently left wondering about the bigger picture…

Did we fail to learn in web 1.0?

Websites were all anyone could talk about in the late 90’s and everyone was trying to get on the web. The issue with web 1.0? Business owners created a website just to have a website, which resulted in a business move that in most cases was a poor investment. The websites had no business plan, no systematic function and in some cases reflected poorly on a business rather than positively. The complete lack of strategy wasted time and money which also left the business owners in disbelief about the value of such a venture.

Less than a decade later here comes the Social Media Revolution, with the promise of opportunities to reach and touch people on a global scale at rates, that overnight, make TV and Print look like the dinosaurs. In 2008 the Social Media rush is on and you can’t help but get a sense that web 2.0 looks a lot like web 1.0. Social Media sites are flooded with businesses that again have no business plan, no systematic function and in some cases reflected poorly on brand. Overnight Social Media Marketing becomes a keyword that tens of thousands flock to. This brand new communication tool in the digital space is barely in industry use and gurus and experts pop up everywhere and overnight the guy next store has started an agency.

When the iPhone was launched in 2007 and forever changed the music industry, mobile for business doesn’t pick up steam till 2010, when it starts to become a part of mainstream marketing. With the announcement in early 2011 that Smartphones have surpassed PC sales the industry prepares for the next technology rush. In that same year reports indicate that Mobile Advertising is Expected to Reach 5B in 2015. This brand new communication tool in the digital space is now front and center and the young child of social media tries to pivot and tie mobile and social together, not an easy lesson as Social Media giant Facebook is learning in 2012. A prediction everyone sees coming but Facebook and the greedy analysts, and a point I tried to make days before the IPO in my aritlce “Why the Facebook IPO looks like a Bad Investment. Just like websites and social media, the industry rushes to mobile, creating apps, mobile sites and forever changing their advertising all without any thought to a strategy or branding.

Was there a bigger problem?

  • For the first time anyone who wanted to launch a website could.
  • The masses can be reached through Social Media sites that are free.
  • Everyone has a mobile device envisioned as if we all lived in the era of Star Trek .

What is it about the “basement business effect” that caused irrefutable damage to the digital economy?

The basement business effect

With the entry level barriers of owning and operating a business practically vanishing overnight and with the pool of talented employees vanishing, the best corporations are left competing against the best talent, who despite the lack of traditional resources can do the same job for a fraction of the cost and in some cases better!

Here enters our problem, the entry barrier is so low that anyone can show up at your door with a fancy website, flashy business cards, a MBA from the internet and the promise of gold. Fool’s gold that is. The market tumbles overnight because the shift happened so fast no analyst can predict the effect the American ego has on the pretty bubbles floating in front of them.

It’s not just digital, but it’s hard to argue that digital hasn’t played a crucial role in the economies demise. Banks offer checking accounts for free, the technology and promise of low overhead and the thought that you don’t need a traditional infrastructure make it seem possible. The overflow of students in education that already had swelled the ranks were overtaken by the fact that you don’t ever have to come to school to earn the same degree as the people before you did.

As if the degree from Walden, Phoenix, Capella or any other distance program could even compare to the brick and mortar programs. Can you truly believe that the distance learner has any of the abilities that a traditional student was forced to learn through socialization and real life interactions? I have done them both and I don’t think so…

Digital and FREE

FREE, its killing our economy and the digital revolution is what caused it. The best technology still requires two things:

  1. Education (Invest to Expect)
  2. People (Humanity)

While the industry would have you believe that there is an automated solution for everything, there is not and the truth is humanity can’t stand automation. Take IVR, the phone system that would replace a call center employee, for example.  The research shows that people can’t stand it and those that offer a “real” human interaction have seen their sales climb! However, this will not stop someone from selling it and some unaware business from buying it.

FREE is the biggest thing plaguing business and the economy. Despite the common phrase “you get what you pay for”, business owners continue to pursue FREE at their own demise. The pursuit of FREE, whether by the seller or the consumer, leads to complete chaos and is quickly ruining our economy.

Make a decision, it doesn’t matter whether you’re buying or selling. Invest in what will work and you’ll get the ROI your looking for.

If you’re a consultant selling digital services, STOP doing FREE consulting or proposals. The second you start to look over a company’s assets, be it the business model, the website or the social media site, you are WORKING! Do you want to work for FREE? How do you see that in the long run?  This is why you are running around working 80 hours a week and only getting paid for 10!

If you’re the business owner stop taking or looking for FREE! When you get something for free you don’t respect it, and if you don’t respect it, it’s useless. Second, you’re not that smart. When you assume you can listen to someone explaining a business or marketing strategy and then you just go do it yourself, you are, quite literally, entering into idiotic behavior. Now you’ll spend time doing a job that you don’t quite understand, are not equipped to supervise, and might never have the skill set to correct or evolve as needed. Worse, you are spending time working on something that won’t provide the promised ROI (based upon the professional’s history), and you will end up spending more than necessary, and possibly stunting your businesses growth!

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Long Island Goes Local: The Kioli Business Summit 11.3.11

Alison Gilbert's DBME press pass

Alison Gilbert’s press pass © DBMEi.com

As one of the original contributing authors and business supporters of Digital Brand Marketing Education, I received proof of my proudest accomplishment the other day in the mail, my PRESS PASS. I tried it out, wearing it around my apartment and even wanted to wear it to sleep on my pajamas. But reason overtook excitement. I decided to wait until this past Thursday, November 3, 2011 for its first official outing, the Kioli BUSINESS SUMMIT at the Inn at New Hyde Park on Long Island.

Kioli ID tag © Kioli.org

Kioli Exhibitor ID tag © Kioli.org

I am no newcomer to events such as this having attended tradeshows, workshops and seminars as far back as the days when the Coliseum (New York not Rome) was home to NYC tradeshows and the Jacob Javits Convention Center was merely a cruise ship sized dream for becoming the primary host to the world of vendors and buyers for many, many industries.

After four hours at the Kioli Business Summit, including my eating a delicious lunch, listening to seminars on ‘Growing Sales’, ‘Banking, Borrowing & Investing’ and ‘Social Media & Search Marketing’ as well as attending an on-going networking tradeshow, my tired feet insisted that it was time to call it a day.

The previously scheduled Happy Hour was canceled due to a wedding that took precedence over continuing our celebration of LI Business. The news of this came as a mixed blessing, relief to my tired feet but disappointment to my boundless networking energy.

What is Kioli? To quote the November 20th, 2008 edition of The Long Island Press, it “is a catchphrase. An acronym to be more exact. It is a philosophy and a movement. It stands for Keep It On Long Island, but it means many things. (Kioli has actually become a verb as well as an acronym. To kioli means,  ‘to keep it on Long Island’.

Kioli defined

Kioli defined © kioli.org

“It means keeping our money here where it cannot be manipulated by treacherous Wall Street investments. It pleads with consumers to spend money in local businesses that are owned by local residents. Businesses founded by investments made by Long Islanders that result in profits staying here and circulating through our economy. It is a movement that dreams of providing our children with affordable housing alternatives and productive skilled employment. It is a notion whose time has come and Kioli.org is where it resides.”

LI Press

LI Press Logo © LI Press on facebook

The Long Island Press, a free weekly Long Island based newspaper distributed through out the Island and dedicated to “informing, entertaining and educating the opinion leaders of Long Island”, is the founding member of KioLi.org. “In the fall of 2008 a handful of companies, both for profit and nonprofit, came together to form a movement called ‘Keep It On Long Island’ (Kioli) for the purpose of stimulating business in the local economy. In 2009, the movement found a home online at www.kioli.org. Today these companies are known as Kioli Founding Members . . . .”

They are Alure Home Improvements, Farmingdale State CollegeSchwartz & Company,  Sperry Credit Union, MCL Dental Lab, Cactus Salon & Spa, Men On The Move.

Since its beginning three years ago, Kioli has been busy, very busy with the business of keeping business alive and well on Long Island. This is a serious challenge due to both the cost of living to stay here and the fact that jobs are hard to find because businesses here have been compromised by the current economic crisis.

Long Island is no exception to the hit our nation has taken. But there is a palpable ‘kioli’ spirit in the air. It is my opinion that this spirit was well represented at the Kioli Business Summit. I felt the spirit present in the amount and types of businesses, nonprofit organizations and business people who define LI for me.

Photo-of-Items-from-Kioli-Summit

Photo of items from Kioli Business Summit © Phil Jacobs

As I collected dozens of promotional items, exchanged innumerable business cards, introduced myself and shook hands with my fellow business owners, I had the opportunity to experience and feel this spirit at work, in the flesh, for the first time. I realized the foresight and dedication the original founding member businesses had.

Most importantly, I came to understand how both consumers and businesses on Long Island must think and stay local in order for Long Island to survive. That is what ‘Keep It On Long Island‘ means. Everyone on Long Island has a stake in this.

Fortune 52 Event Oct 17, 2011

Fortune 52 Honoree Event Oct 17, 2011 © LI Press

Even a major national social media company, Constant Contact, that is not Long Island based has provided us with a direct, full time and in-person link to the heart of their products. Ellen DePasquale, was a Kioli Summit speaker  in the afternoon  and a Kioli participant, giving a seminar at SUNY Farmingdale (a Kioli founding member) in the morning.

Best of LI 2012

Best of LI Competition 2012 © LI Press

The Long Island Press, Kioli’s founding member, plays a huge part in ‘kioli’ daily. In addition to its weekly publication both online and on paper, it is host to and reporter of many local activities. It adds an extra spark to the mix with its ‘Best of Long Island‘ yearly competition and Beverly Fortune’sFortune 52‘ and the honoree events. Felice Cantatore, Executive VP, bears highlighting as well. When he is not representing the LI Press or boxing, he is the ‘poster man’ for Kioli. I see him at every LI Business event I attend. And I am sure he goes to many more.

With the ability to travel from one end of the Island to the other in under two hours (depending upon the traffic) and in seconds (depending upon the cooperation of the Internet, WiFi and 3G), Long Island is in the process of becoming one business community. Although it is comprised of two counties (actually four if you count Brooklyn and Queens) and countless municipalities, towns, villages and cities, those boundaries are fading and in my opinion need to continue to be replaced by a sense of one common goal, Kioli.

Nonprofits at Event

‘Giving is Good Business’, Nonprofit Organizations  at the Kioli Event © Phil Jacobs

Common concerns and cares as well as a love for the life that we have here on Long Island are partly what glue us all together. With the extraordinary assistance of skyrocketing technology, we are becoming one. Not only does Kioli serve to ‘Keep It On LI’, but these types of gatherings and movements also strengthen that intention and further the unification of LI into one local business community. Kudos to Kioli, its founding members, its present participants and activities, as well as its energy in working towards this economic lifesaving destination.

SOURCES:
Who Cares About LI?  Kioli Business Summit Announcement

Kioli Business Summit (Advisory provided by Google)
Keep It on Long Island
About Kioli
The Long Island Press
The Founding of Kioli.org

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

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