Is MarketingExperiments Really This Clueless?


I don't even know where to start. MarketingExperiments recent article, "Harnessing Social Media - Web 2.0 Grows Up - Free Internet Traffic," has so many holes and is so off the mark, it makes me wonder if they've been sipping too much of grandpa's cough syrup over there.

It starts off engagingly enough - Web 2.0 is growing up to be Web 3.0. But it quickly reveals a real lack of insight when attempting to show "the maturation and evolution of the Web" in a reference table. Web's 1-3 are given in table view, with the following definitions (quoting now):

Web 1.0 is: spam, seo, submission, doorway, pages, ecommerce

Web 2.0 is: blogs, tagging, online video, subscriptions, ppc, backlinks

Web 3.0 is: real content, no spam, no hype, integrated content, word travels, pay only for value

Since no definitions are given, I have literally no idea what any of that means. But it's sad to see them put "SEO" into the Web 1 category (right after "spam"), as if it's an out-dated and primitive approach, when the entire premise of their article here is based on SEO techniques. It displays the same cluelessness that's so prevalent on other parts of the Web in regards to search and online marketing.

The claim is made that social media drove 93,207 uniques vs 2,057 via Adwords, a "1,427% greater return on our investment." That's great. The problem is, nothing is discussed about the quality of that traffic, how it converted, how targeted it was. It's just traffic. Step 1, underpants. Step 2.... Step 3, profit!

The adwords campaign, assuming it was done well, probably would have yielded far greater relevance and targeted traffic, that would have converted far better than the bulk visitors they netted via social.

It's a pity when a well regarded site like this makes such a poor and immature document. The ironic thing is, while the title is supposed to be taking us to Web 3.0, the article itself is stuck in Web 1.5. There's no sophistication here.


Apples and Oranges

We then conducted a 30-day test of Google Adwords, bidding up to 75¢ per click on a variety of keywords related to the test websites.

Over the course of the month, we were able to drive 2,047 total users, spending $1,250 with Google.

In total, our “word-of-mouth” efforts yielded us 93,207 unique visitors and we incurred a total salary cost of $3,600.

A year-long campaign compared to a one-month campaign? WIth no information given to indicate how the Adwords campaign was set up or with what degree of skill? Sorry, I'm not convinced ...

I strongly agree with Adam that the "study" is seriously lacking without some analysis of how the traffic from each source behaved.

even more basic than that ...

what's the difference between 'total users' and 'unique visitors'

I already called them out on

I already called them out on Threadwatch over a previous study that was seriously flawed, and by all accounts, they haven't made any improvements to their studies.

All numbers and fluff. No substance.

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