PPC Associates’ interview series with some of digital marketing’s thought leaders continues with Rob Fuggetta, founder and CEO of brand-advocacy company Zuberance and author of “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Companies Into a Powerful Marketing Force.”

Rob FuggettaName: Rob Fuggetta
Title: Founder/CEO
Company: Zuberance

What’s the first metric you check when you start work for the day?
Where the SF Giants are in the NL West. Actually, I look at how many people are recommending our customers’ brands and products on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc. Getting more advocacy for your brands and products is the holy grail in the social media age. That’s why the number of people recommending is the most relevant metric.

What’s one metric you rarely bother to check?
Number of likes on Facebook. There is overwhelming evidence that the number of likes you have is meaningless. 

If you had 10 million dollars to invest and you could invest in Google
or Facebook stock, which would you pick, and why?
I had an opportunity to buy lots of Facebook stock before the IPO and didn’t. Actually, if Facebook stock goes below $20, I’d buy it. Facebook will figure out a way to monetize, but it just won’t involve ads. Who wants to be marketed to by brands on Facebook?

What do you think will be the most important marketing platform in 10
years?
You mean aside from Zuberance? The most important marketing platform 10 years from now is the one that’s always been the most important: Word of Mouth. 92% of people trust recommendations from someone they know, according to Nielsen. There is nothing more powerful, credible, or influential than a recommendation from someone you trust. Same as it ever was.

What’s your favorite advertising campaign (e.g. Betty White Super
Bowl ad, Got Milk billboard, etc.)?
I don’t have one. I mute TV commercials. They annoy the hell out of me.  I’m not alone. Only 47% of people trust ads on TV, Nielsen says:

nielsen ads

 

What are the three most important qualities of a good account manager?

For Zuberance, the three most important qualities of a good account manager are: 1) passion; 2) ability to communicate; 3) leadership.

If anything keeps me up at night worrying about my company, it’s…
Getting marketers to understand the power of authentic advocacy. Good news: marketers are finally understanding that leveraging their advocates is the smartest, most effective way to build their brands and businesses.

What’s the one marketing lesson you wish you had learned earlier?
Trust your gut.

If you could invest in one marketing technology company, which would it be and why?
I was Zuberance’s angel investor. I invested $250,000 of my own money –  which I got from the proceeds of selling my home – in Zuberance. I’m as passionate now about Zuberance’s opportunity as I was then. I truly believe that we are changing marketing.

In three words or fewer: the future of SEM is…?
Word of Mouth.

Hillary Read, Marketing Manager

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