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It's Not a Sign, It's Good Advertising


It's Not a Sign, It's Good Advertising

Recently, in conversation with a friend it was mentioned that she/he/they saw something on Facebook. (Sorry, at this point I cannot for the life remember who I talked to about this or exactly what the finer points were.) They saw it as a sign, that maybe they should pursue something they had been thinking about. 

As a online marketer, I saw it as an algorithm. Wait..that doesn't sound cool. 

I saw it as the evolution of our business/marketing environment to provide catered, unique content.

A little fluffy, but better.

Isn't it funny though? Companies, search engines, and social medias have now become so advanced that we can now offer each individual person unique content and advertising. Somehow, the message hasn't been relayed to the general public. So now shopaholics, eager travelers and clueless elderly every day are thinking life/god/spaghetti monsters, are telling them to take that next step, "buy the stupid thing!"

We have all seen it. The people who can't stop talking about how they want to travel and suddenly they see Facebook ads about trips to Italy. Or the person who wants to diet all the time constantly seeing new programs. It really isn't a bad thing because now you don't have to sit through messages you don't care about. 

The next time you see a sign from life. Take a step back. Is it a sponsored Facebook post? Google advertising? Or do those Twitter cards seem oddly specific? If so, it is not a sign from life. It is good advertising. 


Why Everyone is Wrong When they Say "All Shampoos/Soaps are the Same".


Why Everyone is Wrong When they Say "All Shampoos/Soaps are the Same".


Recently I sat through a lecture that talked about consumer products. Essentially the message was, 

All products are pretty much the same thing, its the branding we use to differentiate them.

To me statements like these are what create a divide between consumers, marketers, and businesses.  The exact example  was about Shampoos. With an image of a CVS shampoo aisle, the lecturer quipped that really all of these products are 90% the same. The other 10% are minor adjustments that do not constitute a significant enough impact. Consumers really were just wasting their time and money on all these different products. 

Let's Hold it Right There 

Now this is where I'd have to disagree. Though it may be true that these Shampoos have the same make up of all the other brands, it does NOT mean that they are the same thing. Some people need special shampoos to cure dandruff, some like a certain scent, and some are formulated especially for kids so that they don't burn their eyes. Many of us have used enough of these shampoos to know that there really is a difference. It's not just a placebo effect. I'm really not a shampoo expert though so excuse me while I switch the example.

Let's take restaurants, specifically Mexican Restaurants.

We all have our favorite spots to eat. We have our spots that we immediately go to after a long day and the mere thought of this place launches a tidal wave of cravings. For me, there is a place called El Patio that makes THE BEST Carne Asada Nachos that you'll find in Orange County. 

Jason Khoo - Carne Asada Nachos

Carne Asada Nachos are not a novelty item and you can pretty much find them anywhere. If you live where I live, you can find three other stores within a block that serve the same dish. Think about the relationship between these different restaurants. They all use chips, they all use carne asada, pico de gallo, some sort of beans, etc. Every restaurant will add a little variation in accordance with their recipe, but just like shampoo 90% of Carne Asada Nachos are going to be the same. However, if you told me we were going to get Carne Asada Nachos from some place other than El Patio my response would be ".......really? We might as well not get it."

Okay, okay, I may sound a little haughty, but hear me out. 

Burgers at Mcdonalds, Carl's Jr, Smash Burger, Fat Burger, The Counter, Umami Burger are 90% the same. They have bread, meat and bread. Yet I am 100% sure that most of you wouldn't deem a McDonald's burger the same as Carl's Jr or Umami Burger. If you don't believe me, go take your best friend/significant other to a McDonald's for their birthday. See what happens. Or better yet, tell them your going to get steak and take them to a Carl's Jr. [If you decide to take me up on this challenge, PLEASE let me know how it goes]

Jason Khoo - Chimpanzees vs Humans

One last example to drive this debate home.

Humans and Chimpanzee's according to the 2005 special issue of Nature share 96% genetic similarity. Yeup. Some studies even suggest 99%. You know where I am going with this.  I'm sure we can agree that Humans and Chimpanzees are not the EXACT same being. 

So there! Point made. 

This conversation is really about context. Data is great but we must do our part to interpret it properly. The relationship between corporations and consumers has always been strained because of the false reports and interpretations on both sides. I just want to do my part in clearing up this misconception and breathe confidence back into consumers who choose a different shampoo. So go ahead, choose that bottle of Shampoo specifically made for the problem you may have, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!. 





Marketing - It Takes A While

Jason Khoo - Marketing, It Takes A While

I had a rewarding conversation with my client this morning. We talked about how events and emails we sent out months ago were starting to show results now. I must say learning this was a sigh of relief, but also breathed life into the high quality work I try putting in. Whether it be link building, search engine optimization, blogging, or just outreach, Marketing takes time. My client would visit farmer markets in the Fall of 2013 and he started to see a steady stream of customer returning back in the Spring and Summer of 2014. Emails I sent out to bloggers were done in early Summer and bloggers were starting to roll in the Fall Time.

It takes time. Building leads, getting links, and finding customers. My advice is to use a strategy of short term gains with long term high quality contacts. Run quick campaigns that will bring a shot of consumers flying in, but make sure to take time out of every month to find the best events or leads.

Leads can be in the form of conventions, events, bloggers, journals, publishers, networking organizations, pretty much anything. However, this requires research, what you need to do is identify and reach out. It'll take a while, but once you get one things will start snowballing.



All Marketing Boils Down to Outreach

All Marketing Boils Down to Outreach - Jason  Khoo

I had a thought today while working on some client work. I've spent the last two years helping my clients create materials and content. However, I realized that what often is not emphasized enough is outreach.

Outreach? The hec is that.

What I mean by outreach is the concept of sending emails, interacting with other businesses and blogs to gain connections. I think we often forget that marketing is for people. It is not sticking a piece of paper on a cork board and hoping that people will come running to you. (Yes this works, but only for a limited time)

Marketing encompasses some cold calling and sales. Find those who are your industry leaders, those who are your community leaders, and connect with them. Interact in order to gain an opportunity to expose your business to new customers and new businesses.

How Do You Do This Outreach?

Outreach is vital, but one of the most time consuming and meticulous tasks for marketing. The best way to reach out and connect with people is to look on the internet, especially social media. Social Media makes it insanely easy to connect with people.

Find those who are the leaders of your industry. For example, find the best food bloggers or the best parenting newsletters. If you find the best, you will find a multitude of other people following them as well.

So it's often hard to connect and communicate with the best because they are bombarded with thousands of people trying to get a hold of them. If your starting out too, it's not likely you'll be able to get their attention. Don't worry though, there is more.

Look through those who are following and see if any of them are mid level leaders or better yet, local leaders. It's easier to connect with those that are in proximity or those that are not so famous yet. These people are much more willing to connect because they have the time.

Though I am a believer in go big or go home, you got to start somewhere and sometimes the best is to start building small.

How Do You Connect?

This is one where you shouldn't over think it. This is where you send that email, private message, or comment asking for some sort of connection. Remember though, know what you are asking for, whether it be a link, product review, or a coffee.

Just make sure you don't sound like spam or too generic. Remember people always love new opportunities, but these opportunities need to sound real and from a person. So sound real, and like a person :)



3 Easy Tips to Linkbuilding

3 Easy Tips to Link Building - Jason Khoo

I've just spent the last two hours writing about SEO for my company's blog so I'm in the mood for more SEO talk. Link building is one of those areas of online marketing that seems to get the least attention, however, it probably is one of the most important and effective. Link building is often seen as a science, and it rightfully is. However its application is far from being "scientific". I only say this not because I don't think those who are link builders don't do a legitimate job, trust me it is totally legit, I just think link building scares a lot of people away because the jargon used is so technical.

Here are some Laymen's tips on Link Building

1. Find local directories like Yellow Pages, Dineries, and Foursquare.

There are a surprising number of directories that exist in the world. Why does there need to be so many? I'm the wrong person to ask and I often myself that question when I work on SEO.

It is what it is though. It's a great opportunity for you to build links so whenever you have an hour I would suggest filling out some online forms for these directories.

Quick Tip: Create a Word Doc that has all of the info prior so you can just copy and paste every time. It's the worst to have to re type everything.

2. Reach out to blogs

Blogs are starting to take over the internet. Actually, they probably already have.

Use these blogs to your advantage. Send emails out to these bloggers and ask them if they would like to write a feature about your product or your business. You can offer them free trials, free products, free food in exchange for an honest review. Note the emphasis on honest.

ABE = Always be Ethical

If you can't seem to find any bloggers to help you, ask your friends to help you on social media. Tell them to link your website and review your product. It's small, but it's something and can get you started.

3. Talk to Local Businesses or your Friends who have Businesses

We all are just trying to make it in the online sphere. You can ask your friends or local businesses to help you by providing a link to your website. The best way is to make it organic. What I mean by this is to just write an organic blog post talking about your friend's product and how you want to support them and so on.

It doesn't take a ton of commitment for a link.