“ We noticed a massive jump in enquiries. The way SLAM works with you every step of the way exceeds any other Marketing company we have ever worked with. They not only implement effective strategies, they manage the whole process and report back to you with the results and ways to further grow your business. We are very grateful for all SLAM has done for us at Sukhavati.”

Googles New Pidgeon Update Could Push Franchisees Over the Edge

Google recently did another update to their algorithm and this one was called “Google Pigeon”.
This most recent update could greatly impact the rankings of Franchisors franchisee listings in Google search results and therefore sales revenue due to the fact that Google will be showing fewer “pack results”.
In a recent article done by Mod Girl Marketing called “top 8 ways googles pigeon algorithm changed local seo”. The very first of the 8 reasons identified discussed how franchisee listing would be negatively impacted.
A likely reasons for Google making this change is that Google wants to connect with the smaller more independent operators and not alienate them as they represent a large part of the bread and butter of Google. There is after all a lot of independent operators out there that Google can earn revenue from. According to Googles boffins that number is more valuable than the franchisees it is going to now down grade the rankings of.
While I understand diversity, variety and fairness, I am not sure that this decision is based purely on that. It will be interesting to see which franchisee listings are lowered and why? Just being a part of a “pack” shouldn’t be a negative. At the same time being a part of a pack shouldn’t be a boost.
Franchising is an integrel part of our financial system. Franchising represents the small to medium business owner. Franchising not only contributes billions to our markets it also employs millions around the world. Google needs to be careful how they implement this change and how they evaluate one business vs the next. With Google being as influential to a franchisees survival as it is, it could be enough to convince some franchisees to leave franchising and go independent, something that every franchisor should be very concerned about.
Variety and diversity is what Google is always after to give the searcher more options, however the result of this will be that it will make it harder for a franchisor to show all their store listings one after another. In other words some franchisee listings won’t show up on the first page of Google any more.
This has the potential to be very costly to sales for not only franchisees and franchisors but any multi store company. The scary thing is that most companies are blissfully unaware of the heavy impact it’s going to have digital sales for their organisation. Why? Well Google local listings are cheap and an easy way for small businesses to rank very high for potential customers who are searching for a local business. Examples of this are “Coffee shop Darling Harbour”, “lawn mowing Chatswood”, “Pool cleaner Geelong” or “key cutter Glenelg”. When 60% of people click on the first 3 business websites listed in a Google search result, small businesses have become heavily reliant upon this traffic for generating a lot of their income. See below a typical search result.

Who is most at risk
Any franchisees within shopping centres with low advertising and marketing budgets who heavily rely on foot traffic for income. These businesses generally look to low cost online methods like Google local business listings and Google maps to help channel online traffic to their shops. As a customer I myself have often pulled out my phone to find the nearest local coffee or key cutting shop to service my needs. Not coming up on that list of choices could be catastrophic for a franchisee that has to shell out huge rental fees each month.
In a time when business attitudes are already flat and franchisees are often struggling to make ends meet, a change like this could be the tipping point that turns a profitable business into one that isn’t.
However it’s not all doom and gloom for franchisee’s as there are many advertising and marketing work arounds ranging from optimisation strategies to Google advertising and social media that can help to counter act this new algorithm. However many businesses still don’t employ the services of a dedicated Internet strategy company to help develop these strategies yet. The role of an Internet strategy company is to do more than just provide the required services but also to allow a business to tap into the huge resource of knowledge of a company that works in this space every day. This kind of relationship will help to develop better strategies to allow the business to continually bend and flex with the changing digital environment.
Below is a typical local search and we have highlighted the most important locations where a franchisee needs to make sure they appear in search results. If you’re not here then you’re potentially missing out on a lot of business. Click on the image to enlarge.


Below is more detail from the original article;
A Google “7 Pack” refers to the highlighted Local listings (business name, address, phone number, website) displayed on a map within the first page of a Google search query — say, for something like “restaurants Boston Massachusetts.” In the past, small, independent mom-and-pop businesses had a hard time competing with multi-location franchises. These little one-off businesses seemed to be outgunned and never appeared among the first results. Suddenly, you’ll notice there are only two or three “pack” results listed — perhaps not the biggest chains anymore — and so many websites saw their number of queries drop by more than 23%. Other common searches affected included: jobs, cars for sale, cruises, apartments, train tickets, and sofas.
To read the full article click on the link below

Why you must invest in SLAM Strategy SEO services Adelaide

Why you must invest in SEO services Adelaide

It is the age of digitalisation and given the busy lives everyone leads, people rely on their smartphones and laptops, now more than ever before, to meet their retail and services requirements. If you are a business owner, the question is – have you invested in SEO services Adelaide?

You may have taken the leap of advertising your business on a website. However, it will serve you no good if your customers, and the right customers, do not find your website among the millions of web pages on the Internet. Yes, it’s time you invested in SLAM Strategy’s search engine optimisation Adelaide and allowed an internet strategy company to rank your business high on the internet and boost your sales.

Why hire SLAM Strategy SEO services Adelaide?
SEO Adelaide can bring a range of expertise and knowledge to place your business ahead of the competition and increase manifold the potential customers who would visit your website. A company that understands retail online marketing can provide efficient solutions to maximise search engine optimisation Adelaide and social media Adelaide for best possible ROI. Allow your website to be enriched with targeted keywords to improve your website’s ranking on search engines and better advertising to increase online visibility.

What will SLAM Strategy do for you?

A step-by-step approach is essential in building strong professional and social networks, and the same holds true for optimising a business online. SEO services Adelaide provided by SLAM Strategy include:

Search engine optimisation – Quality keyword research forms the basis of building an SEO-friendly website in order that it resonates what your business offers to its customers and gets ranked amongst the top pages in search engine results. A team of SEO experts ensure both online visibility and increased traffic from potential customers.

Social media optimisation – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Youtube, etc. are the mediums of today that bring you closer to your target audience. SLAM Strategy’s social media Adelaide consultants develop customised social media strategies that will answer your business requirement needs, help you tap online members and expand your brand through meaningful engagement on the social platform.

Pay-per-click advertisement – Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search are the largest providers of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and it would benefit your business to tap into this form of marketing that is not only effective but also equally cost-effective. Pay for online advertisements on a normal search results page as and when users click on them. The art of effective PPC advertising lies in crafting advertisements and campaigns that echo your business requirements, a task that an Internet strategy company can handle deftly.

Online marketing – It is difficult to match the effectiveness a team of specialists dedicated to running Internet advertising and marketing campaigns can achieve. Using tools like email marketing, Facebook and Google Advertising, your business not only gains visibility but also actively reaches out to your target audience, driving out competitors and driving handsome return of investments.

Search engine optimisation Adelaide is a systematic method by which businesses, small and large, can benefit through increased traffic to their website and increased sales by attracting the right target audience. SEO Adelaide services by SLAM Strategy are an investment that leads to even bigger dividends, making it a must-have tool for all businesses.

Astounding! The 600+ dotBrands Social Media Dilemma

Astounding! The 600+ dotBrands Social Media Dilemma
A strong social media presence is one of the most valuable assets that a brand can have in this new digital world. However as the social media world expands and both brands and consumers understand more about it, so does the complexities of how to effectively manage them. Facebook may have been one of the first but these days there are a huge number of social media options available including some from other countries that rival Facebook for users. The reason for this is that there is demand for specialized channels that services a variety of different needs that Facebook doesn’t adequately. However as the demand grows and channels diversify how are the brands and their target audience going to manage all these options? Will they still need them or will brands and consumers suffer from social media melt down? This is the dotBrand social media dilemma.

Social media is a journey not a destination that builds with equity over time just like any other asset. As your assets grow they can become more difficult to manage, especially if you keep adding new assets. This equity lies in the substantial and influential power that advocates of a brand can have through digital social networking. Social Media is one of the biggest, fastest and most profitable ways a brand can grow their business online over time and it’s only going to get bigger and more complicated with brands running their own top level domains as dotBrands. Considering the size of some of the dotBrand applicants that want to run their trademarks at the top level of the Internet, you quickly realize that that’s pretty powerful and potentially complicated stuff. Every social media connection represents a direct link with a potential centre of influence in a community and that is what a brand uses to build their social media equity (customers) with. But what will the social media channels of the future offer? How will brands manage it?

Our study of the 647 trademark holders that applied to ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) for a dotBrand new top level domain name raises some interesting concerns.


You can view our full dotBrand Social Media report on this here – SLAM Strategy Social Media dotBrand Report

This study focused on what social media channels could be found on home pages of each of the trademarks holder’s websites submitted during the application process. Considering these are the 647 biggest and or most progressive and influential brands in the world, you might be surprised to learn that 130 trademark applications didn’t supply a website address in their applications at all and several didn’t submit a URL that even worked. However of the 517 brands that submitted a website URL, amazingly over 45% didn’t have any social media links on their websites. Now true this has been skewed somewhat by brands like Amazon who applied for 26 dotBrands and only put down the 1 website for in their application. So if doesn’t have any social media links (and it doesn’t) then the figures will look even worse but regardless of that there still are plenty of others who also don’t have a social media presence. Of those 283 that are using social media, at least 90% use Facebook while 40% believe they need to have between 3 and 5 social media channels to reach their target market. At the extreme end, Lamborghini believe they need to have 10 social media channels to manage their brand. Although there are some exceptional reasons as to why some brands don’t have any social media channels on their websites, it’s still a jaw dropping number considering they have spent close to $500,000 or more (including other costs) on a branded TLD just to tell no one about it. It is a well-known fact that many brands applied defensively and these statistics perhaps highlight that.


Take for instance some of the brands that don’t have any social media channels listed on their websites, there are many reasons for this including the fact that many of these brands have listed their global parent brands websites in their applications rather than their sub brands. For example take Amazon who actually do have plenty of social media channels but for some reason don’t link them to their main site. Perhaps for some strategic reason they choose not to display them or perhaps it’s just too hard. Then there is who have sub brands like Cartier and Montblanc, perhaps they also find it too difficult to display all of the social media options on the parent site because they have 20 brands to consider. Or many be it’s a case of “well who really cares about Richemont anyway it’s the sub brands we are interested” perhaps. In some cases maybe it’s because they have so many separate websites and separate social media channels in separate countries that it’s just too daunting to consider like L’Oreal. L’Oreal has many sub brands like Lancome, Maybelline and Matrix with official Facebook, Twitter and YouTube social media channels (and more) for each of them in each country they are in. Now if you were in say 20, 30 or 50 countries then that is a lot of socialness to manage and their current website obviously can’t cope. From a central management and cost point of view, what started out as a relatively simple case of listing a Facebook channel has now turned into a social media soup of immensely complicated options to cover. It also highlights the limitations of both the social media channel’s ability to effectively address the brands needs and the tools for brands to effectively manage their social media presences online.

Here are just a few of the brands with no social media presence on their website’s home page.


Here are some of brands with at least 6 different social media channels on their home page.


You can view our full dotBrand Social Media report on this here – SLAM Strategy Social Media dotBrand Report

Of the 647 dotBrand applicants we found that they were using a total of 21 different social media channels. These channels are made up of hundreds of millions of fans, customers, subscribers, supporters, affiliates, distributors, sales reps etc., all digesting and sharing branded content on the internet in different ways and for different reasons. Although the top 3 social media channels appear over 60% more often on the brands websites than all the other 18 channels put together, brands are now using a combination of 21 different channels and up to 10 on 1 site to stay connected with their target market. Although the top 5 channels which includes Facebook represent 81% of the total social media channels being used, it was recently reported that for the first time in history Facebook has seen a decline in users. This is largely due to consumers moving away from the traditional channels to more specific channels for their needs and brands therefore having to follow. This could be why nearly 20% of dotBrand applicants who are using social media are using 5 or 6 channels. In other words while social media is still dominated by the big four (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn) it’s weakening and as a result brands are starting to feel the pressure to try other channels with possibly a better target market. Not too surprisingly though is the fact that the fallen original angel of the social media world Myspace, is only being used by 1 brand. Gone are the days of Myspace being the center of the social media world, possibly forever.

Why is this important? These dotBrands represent ALL of those brands which have or that have applied for their trademark to the right of the dot. In other words they will soon be able to replace their .com with a .brand and run their trademark at the top level. This ability is going to change the landscape of online forever, but how? Well when you run your trademark at the top level you have access to certain features that are only available at the top level. The main feature is of course the global brand exposure that you can’t get from a dotcom – If it’s not dotnike then it’s not us. On top of that there are the subtle emotional connections that come from a dotBrand that it is more specific than a as well as the potential SEO benefits that are still yet to be fully explored. Dotcom from a marketing point of view means nothing on a billboard or a sign, it’s just a combination of letters that don’t represent the brand like a dotBrand does. A dotBrand also allows for other more relevant wording to the right of the dot like product.brand or customer.brand.

What has social media got to do with a dotBrands presence? These brands have exclusive access to promote to millions of customers about their advancement in the digital world giving them an edge on their competition. They have a competitive advantage that others who didn’t apply could only dream of. Brands will eventually move from to dotBrand, and social media is the fastest and most cost effective way to communicate this transition. When you are running a global business, the very smallest advantages can have the biggest impact on the overall effectiveness of your marketing efforts and add millions of dollars in revenue to the bottom line. With a combined access to literally hundreds of millions of consumers through these 21 social networks, moving from a to dotBrand has never been easier. It allows for innovation that can only be achieved by owning a trademark at the top level. All these dotBrand applicants will have the opportunity to effectively communicate their competitive advantage quickly and very, very cost effectively. Combining a dotBrand with the next generation of social media could lead to new big data and new sales channels that were previously unimaginable.

In our next blog post we will go into more depth about how a branded top level domain will impact on dotBrands current social media channels, how dotBrands will manage their current and new social media channels and what tools dotBrands will need in order to capitalize on the control of the second level domains from their top level. Finally and most importantly is how their customers will react to this change and how dotBrands can take advantage of it.

You can view our full dotBrand Social Media report on this here – SLAM Strategy Social Media dotBrand Report

3 Reasons Why dotBrand Social Media Platforms Will Become Epic Fails

3 Reasons Why dotBrand Social Media Platforms Will Become Epic Fails!
Owners of dotBrands are being unleashed from the social media giants or are they? Enticing offers to develop and run individual social media platforms for their brands by tech companies who are claiming to be able to break the social strangle hold giants like Facebook have over their brands. The cost to develop these branded platforms is a substantial investment even for the biggest brands to swallow. While these bespoke platforms will also offer other alluring candy, the main ideology of the individual social media platform concept is fundamentally flawed. While a branded social media platform sounds very sophisticated and even cool, the reality is they will almost certainly become epic fails.

dotBrand fish in pond

Reason 1
From a big fish in a big pond to the only fish in a small pond – Facebook has a billion users and it is the almost boundless diversity of these users that makes the social platform work. When you specialise your social media platform to just one main interest you are dramatically reducing one of the things that makes social media work, people and lots of them. Sure there will be like-minded people but there won’t be the critical numbers to justify the expenditure to build and maintain the platform or the user engagement to attract return visitors over their existing social media channels. In effect the idea these tech companies are talking about is to take people from the big city and move them to a small country town and expect to see the same level of diversity and interaction without the same number of people to do it. There are just not the numbers of users to drive the critical levels of interest required to make the platform interesting enough to want to come back and use it again and again. It’s well known that if you want a social life then you move to New York City, London or Sydney and if you want a quiet life you move to the country. The very idea of social media is meant to be grand and create togetherness in a boundless, interesting and diverse way, not isolated and separated.

Reason 2
Too many platforms to manage and too little time to manage them – Take into consideration the plethora of existing social media platforms that a user has available to them. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Flickr, Digg, the list goes on and on – and that’s just the western ones. Many of the dotBrands have substantial followings in Japan, Russia and China and they have their own preferred social media platforms. Why would users delete or move from their existing SM platforms just because a brand decides they want to start up their own? Let’s say the users decide to add a dotBrand social media platform to their list of existing channels, how are they going to manage that? The reality is that users are struggling now just to cope with what they have. Most users only have one platform anyway (Facebook) and only have so much time available to be on it. Facebook provides just about everything a user needs in order to engage with a brand. A dotBrand platform is going to be a doubling up of a majority of brand content that can be found elsewhere anyway. For a dotBrand to think they have the power to move their users away from platforms like facebook, twitter, youtube ect in favour of running their own platform is unrealistic.

It was the users who initially started fan pages so why would a regulated branded social media platform make any difference? You don’t have to have an official brand account to share your interest in a brands content.

Reason 3
Push vs Pull and lose the X factor – Other than being a defensive tool for protecting a trademark, the dotBrand concept is actually a clever idea and a potentially lucrative concept designed to better connect a brand with its target audience than a .com or any other top level domain for that matter – “If it’s not dotNike then it’s not us”, it IS the brand. Nothing could be simpler than that and nothing is more relevant. While there is incredible perceived valuable in this from a marketing point of view it doesn’t translate into individual social media platforms. A dotBrand social media platform claims to offer user specific material that is tailored to their needs. To unite users of a similar interest or common cause and provide content based on that. It claims to be a personalised branded experience like no other. In reality though these platforms will be nothing more than databases of existing users/ customers where they will be forced to interact in order to perform certain functions. They will be pushed/ forced to engage and digest advertising and marketing material which they may or may not want. This will then mean that the brands will lose the special X factor they have on other social platforms where there is a pull effect by users wanting to engage with the brands content as a part of their daily dose of social interaction.

The dotBrands need to continue to maintain a user driven approach to their social media if they want the users to not feel like they are being sold to. Once you reach the point of feeling like you are being sold to you turn the relationship from user driven (pull) to brand driven (push) and suddenly the excitement of social engagement disappears. Users will quickly grow tired of the same old branded propaganda that they can’t just click away from when their interests change. The effort to login, log out will become tiresome and wear thin and the dotBrand marketing team will be left scratching their heads as to why their platform is not producing the ROI like they thought it would.