Net neutrality is just as confusing

What Reversing Net Neutrality Really Means

We’ve treated the internet like a public treasure until now, thanks in large part to the net neutrality policies championed by many technology advocates. This has led to widespread adoption of online connected services, many technological breakthroughs and the creation of an entirely new economy. Because the internet is unfiltered and uncensored, information travels freely in a utopian, libertarian dreamland. It’s a blessing and a curse, net neutrality.

Hold onto your smartphones, though. The FCC announced a change in the way it would regulate the internet. Essentially, the government is going to stop restricting internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon or Comcast from blocking or otherwise slowing down data streamed from the websites you visit online. That means these companies will for the first time ever have the legal right to block content that travels over their internet pipes.

Some are decrying this as the end of the free and open internet. Here’s why that isn’t true on its face, and what you can expect as companies shift control over what you do online. Especially what that might mean down the road for marketers like myself. Read More

Digital advertising begins and ends with the computer

Digital Advertising Is Not Traditional

We’ve been very active over the course of the last few months. Many, many consults with local businesses about how they can get more out of their digital advertising. Of course, these meetings are always part education, part salesmanship, and always enlightening.

In many of these consults, we answer a lot of the same questions about digital advertising and how it works. In fact, these questions keep us grounded because we often forget what other people don’t know. This way, we slow down, explain the process and reassure them that their campaign will be constructed the right way. It keeps us focused on the fundamentals so that we don’t stray too much form what works.

Most business owners think of digital advertising in terms of traditional media. When will the spot run? How much does it cost? How do I know people will see it? We hear these a lot in new client consults. So this week, we’d like to clear up a few of the most common misconceptions about digital advertising and how it works differently than print, radio, TV and other traditional channels. Read More

Transparency from an SEO professional

What Your SEO Professional Won’t Tell You

Every single business with which we talk wants to work with an SEO professional. In fact, we’re often asked about how we can help with SEO. They believe search engine optimization is this magic tool which is the key to unlocking unlimited growth potential. It’s not that easy, and it can’t be that easy.

We don’t advertise SEO as a service. That said, we know enough about it to tell you when you’re getting a raw deal from your SEO professional. Here’s what we’ve learned after working in the digital space for years. Read More

Algorithms Gave Us Charlottesville

We’re all still trying to process what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. You probably know white nationalists met with otherwise peaceful protesters, resulting in several deaths. By now, you’d think we were over this kind of outward racial animosity. We were wrong.

What was striking was the appearance of the average marcher. All looked young. All looked like they had some means, as if they could fit into any crowd in America without being noticed. Yet at the same time, they could harbor this hate and spread their misinformation. Such is the nature of the internet communities that fan these flames.

There’s a hidden culprit, though. One that fomented the flames faster than any man could. Predictive algorithms took what might have started as a simple curiosity and turned it into outright hatred through a series of escalating and insulating options. And that doesn’t bode well as we move to an even more digital future. Read More

Advertising is Proof

Were big fans of Proof in Advertising here. It’s sort of the whole reason we do what we do. We believe good digital marketing proves its value over time, and you’re able to see what works and what doesn’t as it happens. When something isn’t working, it’s clear and we change it. At least, that’s what we’ve done for our clients to this point.

But let’s take a step back and consider what makes advertising good. How do you create powerful ads? Is it all about the art and visuals? What about the concept? And what do you say?

What if I told you that the key ingredient to good advertising was simple? What if it could be distilled down to a simple phrase that works in nearly every situation, offering direction and guidance for even the most complex sales?

I can. Just read the title of this article.

What does that mean, though? How is advertising proof? Proof of what? Everyone knows ads are fake. Advertisers have a vested interest in making a sale, so everything they say is a lie, right?

Not exactly. In fact, the very act of advertising has a lot of benefits for brands, regardless of the message. Read More

An AdWords campaign is a lot like playing a word game

Why AdWords Campaigns Don’t Work

Statistically speaking, you’ve tried an AdWords campaign. Google makes over $15 billion in revenue from advertising, more than 90% of all the revenue the search giant takes in. That means most businesses have given Google at least some money for advertising. Statistically speaking, your campaign also didn’t work.

Why do we say that? Because we see the remnants of these AdWords accounts every day. We see just how off they are and how much money they waste. Bad AdWords campaigns underperform expectations, don’t cover costs, get suspended and make the whole platform look bad. Then we sift through the rubble and figure out what really happened.

So how can we take these failed AdWords campaigns and get them to perform as much as ten times better than they did for you? We have our ways, which is why we’re not only Google Certified Partners, we also perform in the top 10% of all certified AdWords professionals. Read More

A Marketing Advantage You'll Find Here

Autism as a Marketing Advantage

Last week brought the shocking revelation that I, the founder and leader of this marketing agency, have autism. While probably no surprise to anyone who has met me for more than five minutes, it’s something of a relief having that out there. So, now what? Can it really be a marketing advantage? We think so.

Not much attention is paid to adults with autism, even less to those who are high-functioning. Everyone seems to be more concerned with how it affects children and what we can do to help them. Perhaps it’s because many believe we can reverse the effects in kids and turn them into normal people. That’s a bad idea. Read More

Your social media strategy starts with figuring out what to say

Social Media Strategy: What It Is and What It’s Not

We get a lot of requests to handle social media, which means a lot of talk about social media strategy. First, though, we have to bring clients expectations into line with reality.

So many brands and business owners think social media is this free gamechanger that, when leveraged properly, can unlock tons of direct revenue. They’re mostly wrong. Social media at best supplements your sales channels and chips in extra revenue. At worst, it becomes a major distraction from what really matters. Your social media strategy will determine which version you get.

This is a condensed version of the discussions where we explain exactly what clients can expect from their social media strategy when they work with us. Use it as a guide. Or a word of caution. Read to the end, though, to understand how we can actually help. Read More

Yeah, stat speak is kind of like that

Deciphering Digital Stat Speak

As someone who loves data, I often use stat speak in everyday situations. I also forget that most people have no idea what I’m talking about. It happens from time to time, even when explaining campaign results to clients. So I step back, take a deep breath, and explain exactly what it is I mean when I refer to medians, standard deviations and positive correlation.

This is my guide for some of the most common misunderstandings related to stat speak. I plan to mostly use this as a reference the next time one of them comes up in conversation. And now you can, too. Read More

You can still load a .co website on any computer

Our Life as a .co Website

Digital Pudding is a fairly new company with a different philosophy on marketing. Founded in 2015, we were late to the domain registration party. So, even though we loved the name and concept, we had to settle on the top-level domain. While we could have had pretty much any domain other than a .com, we settled on a .co website.

Our original thinking was that it’s similar enough to a .com that maybe people won’t notice. At least it won’t look like a cheap knockoff. There’s little mainstream use of the .co website other than as a URL shortening agent, really (ta.co, t.co, o.co for example). We could totally pull it off as our main URL.

What have the results been 2+ years into the experiment? They’re mixed. Here’s what you can learn from our experience so far. Read More