2008. dec. 11.

Nothing Special Just the Usual Big Success

  • Have a quality product - Allee Willis and Holly Palmer (project name: Bubbles&Cheesecake) two talented song writers and singers.
  • Don't just observe your customers, but live together with them - Allee and Holly are very active online/offline social networkers.
  • Involve your customers and give them relevant content - They wrote and played a song in Allee's home. They recorded the 8 stages of the process with a cheap camera from the first rehearsal to the last fine tuning. They put all the 8 videos on YouTube.
  • Be compelling - Most of the viewers started to search their song wich stuck in their minds after watching 8 videos.
  • Have a simple, content-focused and user-friendly hompage with strong SEO - Allee and Holly have an award-winner site.
  • Sell the product at the time and place when and where the need arises - Holly broke up all her contracts with the record companies and she is selling her music only via the net (iTunes). CD Baby online music shop burns CD-R from the lossless files if you can't live without a physical CD.
  • Don't focus on budget, focus on efficiency - Their promo budget was extremely low, but the way they are treating their fans and customers is priceless.
  • "Editing is Cool" - I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with the core message of their promo song:

Reality is a perception,
you must edit to suit your own needs.

In life you can edit out weaknesses
and turn them into strenghts.

Edit out bad friends, bad jobs, bad habits and lovers
and anything else that is bad.

Edit your life!




Advertising That Does

by Paul Isakson
I've had this image for a while now and have been meaning to write a bit on it. It comes from a presentation given by Tim Smith at the Digitaal Willen We Allemaal 2008 Conference/Event (which loosely translates to "We All Want Digital," if Google's Dutch translation is correct). The only thing I'd change is instead of it being about the future, I'd say it's already what great advertising and marketing is doing today.

Crispin gets this. Whether you like their work or not, they're getting people to talk for nearly every client in their portfolio. Additionally, they're going beyond talk and getting people to upload content and become part of the message itself.

Fallon London gets this too. They not only created talk for Cadbury, but they have inspired people to create new versions of the Gorilla and Trucks spots for them, some of which became ads that aired. They have created quite a stir for Sony as well, where the last few years people have awaited the next new ad for Bravia.

One of the latest examples may be in the works from Droga5, where their Bike Hero video has not only been creating talk, but it has inspired at least one Guitar Hero fan to extend the message further...



When you sort it all out, it comes down to one thing really - foresight. You have to start with the goal of getting people to talk and/or create content in mind.

If your creative brief's "one thing" has to do with getting people to do something rather than take away something you're telling them, you're going to inspire people to talk about your brand at a minimum. And if you've got a solid foundation in place for them to build upon, you're going to inspire fans of the brand to create new content that supports your idea and pushes it even further into culture.

So, is what you're putting out into the marketplace encouraging people to tell others about your brand? Is it going further and inspiring them to create something new to support your brand even more? Or is it just creating noise people would rather tune out?

To be one of the great marketers of the future, we've got to catch up to those who already are, today.


original post

Only 16% of Students Read Marketing Email

Today’s high-school and college students started using email at an average age of 13, have had an email address for 8 years and have about 2.4 email addresses each, yet 61% say they ‘never’ or ‘hardly ever’ read marketing emails, finds a survey from eROI.

The research, which was designed to uncover how students communicate digitally and relate to email marketing messages, found that the majority of students do not feel companies are effectively speaking to them personally through email, and only 16% of students say they ‘frequently’ read the marketing emails they receive.

In terms of preferred forms of communication, email continues to score well among students. While 37% say that texting is their favorite form of communication, 26% cite email.


However, despite this continuing popularity, the study finds that email, as a viable marketing channel for reaching students, is dying.


Email Marketing Messages Ineffective

In addition to the majority of students not reading marketing emails, 66% of students similarly report rarely or never taking action after reading them.

However, the major reasons students take action upon receiving email:

  • They are interested in the product (60%)
  • They are attracted to a special offer (47%).
  • They like the design of the email (11%).

With this in mind, there still may be some opportunity to reach students with relevant, targeted email messages that resonate with them, according to eROI. “Staying on top of constantly evolving trends is the key to gaining trust and staying relevant to the student market,” the report said. “But another challenge in reaching them is knowing which channel will carry and present your message most effectively.”

Additional findings about students and email are detailed below.

Google is Favorite Email Provider

In terms of the primary email service used by students, Gmail is the clear favorite. Nearly one-third (32%) of college students use Gmail as their primary email address, while 19% use Yahoo, 18% use MSN/Hotmail and about 17% use their school email.


Reasons For Getting Email Address

Approximately one-quarter of students say they first got an email address so they would be able to buy online, while a much larger number of students got an email address for communicating with family (81%) and with friends (52%).

Frequency of Email Checks

More than two-thirds of students say they check email at least once per day, and 55% of those check more than 3 times per day. This indicates that students are aware of the emails that hit their inbox, and are looking for compelling messages that cut through the clutter and speak to them, the report said.

Only about 36% of students use email alerts to keep up to date on what’s happening on their social networks and only about one-quarter of students originally got an email address for social networking purposes.

About 12% of students currently check email on a mobile device, though eROI forecasts that this number will increase. quickly over time.

“Overall, email plays an important role in college students’ life as a personal communication device, but not as a major marketing channel,” the report stated. “Ultimately, marketers need to ensure their products are relevant and take the time to craft emails that truly speak to students.”

About the study: The survey included a sample of 283 high school and college students representing 29 US states.

Original post

2008. nov. 26.

Garr Reynolds talks to Google

Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen talks to Google about how to make an effective presentation. Excellent talk.

Mobile Internet in UK Grows 8X Faster than PC Internet

The number of Britons accessing the mobile internet increased by 25% (from 5.8 to 7.3 million) from Q2 to Q3 2008, compared with only a 3% increase for PC-based Internet users (34.3 to 35.3 million Britons), according to (pdf) insight data from Nielsen Online’s Mobile Media View service.



The research also found that - in addition to faster growth for the mobile internet - the mobile internet audience has a higher concentration of younger users than PC-based Internet. Some 25% of mobile Internet consumers are aged 15-24 compared with 16% for PC-based consumers. Similarly, while 23% of the PC-based Internet population is age 55+. only 12% of the mobile Internet audience is.

Most Popular Sites: Mobile vs. PC-Based


  • While Google Search is the most popular PC-based internet site, on mobile internet BBC News is the most popular, being visited by 24% of British mobile internet users (1.7 million people).

  • Of the most popular mobile sites, BBC Weather (21% mobile, 17% PC-based) Sky Sports (11% mobile, 8% PC-based) and Gmail (9% mobile, 7% PC-based) have greater reach on mobile internet than they do on the PC-based internet
  • Of the most popular mobile sites, Google Search (23% mobile, 79% PC-based) and eBay (13% mobile, 43% PC-based) have the greatest reach differential between mobile and PC-based internet
  • The fact that the most weather, sports, news and email sites make up the majority of leading mobile sites shows that mobile internet is mainly about functionality and need at the moment, as opposed to the more entertainment and ecommerce-focused makeup of the leading PC-based sites, Nielsen said.

“The first insights from the launch of Mobile Media View confirm two things - that when it comes to the Internet, the huge growth is now happening through the mobile platform and that the mobile online audience is younger than its PC-based counterpart,” said Kent Ferguson, Nielsen senior analyst. “The fact that almost 7.5million Britons now access the web through their phone shows that mobile internet is fast becoming a viable way for advertisers and publishers to reach important demographic groups.”

Business Model Innovation

Alex Osterwalder does a great job of visually explaining business model innovation. He has several upcoming workshops and speaking engagements, including New York and Toronto, so depending on where you live you might have a chance to attend a workshop in the near future. More detail on upcoming events here.
origanal post

Obama and the power of Social Networks

Barack Obama is the first major candidate to decline participation in the public financing system for presidental campaigns. He's found a more effective way to raise money - by leveraging the power of the American people through online Social Networks.



Click on the picture to zoom in.
Illustration by Xplane

TorrentAds: Advertising Purely in P2P

by Paul Glazowski

'Back in 2004 it was rumour 33% of all internet traffic was bittorrent traffic. This still seems to be the case today.'

ErnestoTorrentfreak

As we’ve all learned, BitTorrent traffic has grown so large over the years that it has created enormous worry in the media world about lost revenue. And no doubt those concerns are legitimate.

Yet it can also be said that the P2P space has grown so large that the panoply of sites which make up the space register many, many millions of page views each month. And anyone with a basic understand of Internet economics will tell you plenty of page views equal plenty of cash. Enter, TorrentAds.


Exclusive to the World of P2P

Purportedly operating out of Cornwall, UK, TorrentAds has been founded to do one thing and one thing only: serve advertisements on BitTorrent websites. (Not the ads in the screenshot to the left, though. That’s somebody else’s business.)


For publishers it promises “some of the highest CPMs in the industry.” For advertisers, it offers a serving and reporting technology gleaned from a partnership with Zedo, an ad solutions provider based in the US, India, and Russia.

A ‘World’s-First? Is There Gold in That?

I’m not entirely positive about this, but its claim as the “world’s first torrent tracker…related advertising network seems fairly legit. Alternatively, sites like Mininova and Piratebay appears to rely on engines like BlueLithium and Ventiv Media for marketing duties, and those companies don’t serve the file-sharing directories only.

Now, as a young thing, it’s hard to deduce whether TorrentAds’s business proposition is a smart one. Putting your eggs into one basket can be a good thing, depending on the circumstance, but there’s that niggling risk thing that goes along with it.

Still, if TorrentAd’s stated security and services are the real thing, its entering a marketing with numerically guaranteed rewards. The size of the P2P world explains that premise easily enough.


The Bittorrent Advertising Network

TorrentAds is the worlds first Torrent tracker/search related advertising network. TorrentAds brings together some of the worlds largest websites in the Torrent sector and allows advertisers to target their audience easily and effectively.

Bittorrent is a form of P2P sharing protocol. Traditionally, Bittorrent sites aren't accepted by many ad networks around the world. Here at TorrentAds we believe that even Bittorrent users provide a value to a certain type of advertiser. Bittorrent users are early adopters, highly tech savy, and normally aged between 16 - 28.

Over 500 million monthly pageviews and rising.

Currently, TorrentAds has access to over 500 million monthly pageviews and rising fast. With Bittorrent sites currently making up around 33% of all internet traffic, this number is sure to increase.

Premium Ad Serving Technology

TorrentAds has partnered with one of the leading ad serving technology companies, in which allows us to provide advertisers with quality reporting tools and confident results.

Advertisers who use the Adphilia network are assured of top quality traffic that is normally not possible to reach from other sources. Targeting options within the Adphilia platform are top notch, with the ability to Geo-target, target via browser or operating system, and more.. All of this can be done at an affordable price that is normally hard to come by.

2008. nov. 24.

Future tense: The global CMO

by Economist Intelligence Unit


The chief marketing officer (CMO), a title that barely existed 15 years ago, is under growing pressure to keep pace with rapidly changing digital media and globalisation. The rise of the Internet has changed the face of marketing from one to two-way communications with customers. The increasing adoption by business of interactive technologies, for example, wikis, blogs, mashups and other tools, has enabled consumers to interact with firms as never before, creating unprecedented opportunities for marketers at global companies. A new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Future tense: The global CMO, sponsored by Google, examines these issues and suggests that CMOs at global companies must recast marketing operations to meet these 21st-century objectives. Leading marketing executives must move beyond traditional advertising, marketing and brand awareness to a more transformative role, driving innovation across the entire business.

The CMO’s traditional dilemma of demonstrating effectiveness, return on marketing investment and relevance to the business persists. However, the democratisation of how information is consumed, produced and disseminated is forcing the global CMO to adopt a broader role in engaging all corporate stakeholders, from their traditional audience of customers and prospects to investors, employees, government regulators and others. This often entails remaking operations into integrated marketing and communications organisations that work collaboratively across the enterprise to gather, develop and use customer intelligence while blending talent with a nuanced understanding of their business. Successful CMOs must not only evolve the marketing function into an integrated, strategic component of the business—rather than simply a cost centre—but are also draw on long-practised but previously separate disciplines of PR and corporate communications to build integrated marketing and communications operations that encourage ongoing dialogue with customers and focus on long-term relationships.

Key best practices illuminated by this study include the following:

  • Balancing global brand awareness with local market relevance. Centralising global marketing functions such as advertising development and production can create economies of scale and save money, but they must be guided by the needs of the local market and customer insights. At the same time, budgets must be freed up so that regional directors can make appropriate decisions based on market demands.

  • Integrating marketing with other forms of corporate communications. Both the interactive nature of Web 2.0 technologies and the transparency of corporate messages among different constituencies—such as customers, investors, media, regulatory bodies and employees (past, present and future)—demand the integration of various forms of marketing and communications. Businesses can no longer segment audiences and messages as if audiences don’t talk to each other.

  • Adopting new media. In particular, there should be a specific budget for experimentation with the newest Web 2.0 technologies. To remain competitive, companies must engage customers and fully exploit the interactive nature of digital media to create a stronger affinity with their brands among consumers and other stakeholders. The CMO should have the foresight to anticipate how different constituencies will respond to different events, messages and channels, and should be able to deal with the proliferation of new-media tools and expanded audiences.

  • Developing new skills, capabilities—and partnerships. CMOs must not only position their companies, but help define them. To do so, they need to understand the fundamental business model, brand, culture, policies and values of the organisation. Equally important in terms of adapting to the evolution of new media are partnerships with vendors whose expertise can be used to get new initiatives to market faster—and more effectively—than a company would on its own.

  • Championing innovation. The need for greater accountability for marketing expenditure is pushing global companies towards digital marketing campaigns with higher returns than traditional media. The interactive nature of the latest digital-media vehicles provides the opportunity to develop deeper insights into customer dynamics and allows the CMO to become the corporate champion of customer insight.

Download the briefing paper
Future tense: The global CMO

Social Retailing by LBI

Find out how a fusion of insight, creativity and ground-breaking technology has revolutionised shopping.

2008. nov. 19.

Best of Advergirl's Blog

Social manifesto - How companies are using social media. Part 1 of 4
Social manifesto - How companies are using social media. Part 2 of 4
Social manifesto - How companies are using social media. Part 3 of 4
Social manifesto - How companies are using social media. Part 4 of 4
PRSA: The Biggest Influencers You Don't Know
Social Manifesto: How brands SHOULD use social media

Bonus:
Social Manifesto:
Social Media Etiquette
by Miss Advergirl

Technology changes our expectations for behavior, our standards for etiquette. Social media is no exception. The things that are important here are vastly different than the broadcast Web. A few live-by rules:

Be real: Be honest about your identity. Speak with your true voice. Share your personality.

Be responsive. Engage in conversation. Reply quickly. Answer questions.

Be a good host. Thank your community. Make people feel comfortable. Translate new terms, insider references, etc.

Set expectations and deliver on them. Try to be consistent. Focus on a topic. Let people know when things change.

Be personal, don’t broadcast. Don’t be one sided. Don’t be overly promotional. Don’t repeat, repeat, repeat.

Listen, then talk. Know your community. Be relevant. Hear other opinions.

Edit. Don’t overwhelm with frequency. Be brief. Be compelling.

2008. nov. 18.

Everything Is Risky

by David Armano



Marketing maven Seth Godin once said something along the lines of "safe is risky and risky is safe". While I'm no guru, I'd like to make an addendum to this statement.


Everything is risky.


But it wasn't always this way. TV once portrayed perfection—fantasy, and radio told us what we thought we wanted to hear. There was no way to provide instant feedback. If you wanted to pick a bone with a TV or radio personality, you'd have to call the hotline, and chances were slim that you'd get on. Risk in these mediums could be managed with a degree of precision. Time delays and *beeps* over unsavory language ensured it. We got used to how the mediums worked and mastered their rhythms.


The internet is slightly different. And it's evolving. It's unpredictable, messy, organic, empowering, addictive and pervasive. It's good and bad—highly interactive, responsive, connective and alive. In fact, it's a lot like life. And like life, with it everything is risky. Each time we step outside our homes, we put ourselves at risk. The world can take us out at any time. A car accident, a virus, an act of nature.


The Web is a lot like this. Put something on it that you think is provocative—try to get people talking and you risk being ignored. Put something out that looks "safe" and you might inadvertently upset someone who you never new existed. Put something out that you think will appeal to everyone and you risk appealing to no-one. Stay away from the internet and someone will capture what you did with a mobile phone and put it on there anyway. With every post I write, I'm taking a risk.


Everything is risky.


When all roads lead to risk, there's only one thing we can do. Live. We live life by learning, by trying, by falling down getting up and learning from the best teacher we've ever had—life itself. Everything is now risky, every piece of media we upload can come back to haunt us. Everything can be frozen through a screen capture. In life we deal by going out into the world and navigating it's customs. Those who barricade themselves indoors thinking they avoid risk end up risking the quality of their social interactions.


If everything is risky, then nothing is safe. There is no safe anymore. What's left looks a lot like living. You live, you learn. You get up in the morning, tie your shoes and cross the street looking both ways. But you cross it—because if you don't, you can't live. And every once in a while you take a chance. Because everything is risky anyway.

Original post: http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/2008/11/everything-is-r.html

Interaction Design Best Practice - Sixt: WiFi



Advertising Agency: Jung von Matt/ Alster, Hamburg, Germany
Creative Directors: Fabian Frese, Daniel Frericks, Götz Ulmer
Copywriter: Jo Marie Farwick
Art Director: Till Monshausen

Original post: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/ambient/sixt_wifi

2008. nov. 15.

The Filler is dead: long live the Discovery-Shorts!

by Claudio Scotto di Carlo & Federico Gaggio
October 2006 (but in 2008 it's still stunning )

With the multiplication of channels and programme schedules, the necessity to fill gaps of air-time is providing a unique opportunity to support our channels’ on-air messages beyond traditional branding and promotion practices. At Discovery we have seized this opportunity to create a new kind of interstitial: the brand-building short.

Compelling stories which build network brands

These elements are also called “fillers”, a name which reflects their functional role: to fill a gap between two programmes. They are needed but not particularly desired by broadcasters. We would rather use the precious air time for content, advertising, promotions or branding, so they are generally made by recycling and repackaging available programme material.

Programme lengths vary, as do advertising sales slots, but schedules need to maintain a coherent pattern - so the filler is here to stay. But what do they mean to the viewer? By their very nature fillers are not ‘programmable’, but used tactically as and when they’re needed. A viewer could see one at any point in the day or night, and then see it again, and again... for a very long time in the future.

The filler is not a programme and it is not a marketing message. So what is it? How does it affect the viewer’s experience and perception of the channel?



How we started

Last year Discovery Networks launched a new lifestyle channel in the Italian market: Discovery Real Time. As part of its on-air launch campaign, we took the decision to create 50 ad-hoc ‘fillers’. The objective was to tell short stories that communicated the positioning of the channel, to provide practical advice for good living, delivered without pretence, and with good humour thrown in for good measure.

After a selection process, 50 short films were commissioned from a small number of directors and producers within Italy and the UK. The shorts extended and complemented our key marketing message, while also providing compelling content to watch.




This experiment proved very successful and audience feedback was very positive: the shorts proved to be memorable and served the brand extremely well. Only a few months after launch, Discovery Real Time was performing well above expectations.

Encouraged by this initial success, we decided to repeat the experiment with Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Travel & Living.



In February 2006 Discovery Channel in Europe signalled a turning point by introducing a new identity package across on-air and off-air marketing. The guiding principle of the new identity is “True to Life”. It means that we no longer focus primarily on technical knowledge and facts, but we dig deeper into the stories of the people behind the facts. This was an irresistible brief. We promptly briefed our growing network of writers and directors and commissioned 35 new “true to life” shorts for Discovery.



They are the extraordinary stories of what you might call ordinary people. The enthusiasm of the people involved was amazing and the results are outstanding. These films were produced on shoe-string budgets (carved out of the channel’s on-air budget) but the passion, creativity and dedication of those making them managed to overcome the limitations and exceed all expectations.



Animal Planet in Italy is squarely aimed at younger audiences. It is competing for the attention of 4 to 14 year olds alongside families, with all of the traditional children’s channels, whose output is largely based on cartoons and animation.

Our brief for these shorts was to create stories of bonds between children and animals. Fun or moving, live action or cartoon, our main selection criteria were based on compelling stories and creative excellence.

The shorts for Discovery Channel and Animal Planet were originally commissioned for our Italian networks but they have since also been distributed across all of the EMEA region.

Discovery’s latest European venture was to launch DMAX in Germany, our very first free-to-air channel. DMAX is the only “fact tv” channel that offers new way of looking at life and the world through stimulating entertainment and provocative ideas. It is aimed at a young upscale male demographic. Following the success of our previous commissions, we are now in the process of producing 35 short films for DMAX. The focus is on men, their passions, interests and aspirations. DMAX launched on the German airwaves on September 1st 2006.



Conclusions

Gaps in the schedule can be used very effectively to build and evolve a channel’s brand by creating shorts that combine compelling content with brand values. These can provide multiple opportunities to connect with an audience. They are interesting to watch; they celebrate the channel’s core values; they speak directly to the target audience; they support the brand positioning; they bridge the gap between programmes and marketing messages; they provide a fertile ground for the incubation of new ideas; they give new talent an opportunity to reach a wider audience; and all in all they are really good fun to make!







Let them feel it! - Experiential Marketing Online

Best Practise: Samsung Mobile and TryDrugs.net



Mom Bloggers More Likely to Be SocNet Addicts

Mothers who read and contribute to blogs are more active online, more receptive to online marketing and more likely to be involved in social networking than the rest of their US mothering peers, according to research from Lucid Marketing.



The “Social Media & Moms - Blogger Edition” study divides mothers into three categories based on their relationship with blogs, and examines their behavior as it relates to other online activities.

  • Blog Clueless: Moms who don’t read or know what a blog is.
  • Blog Reader: Moms who read blogs, but don’t publish their own.
  • Blogger/Blog Publisher: Moms who publish their own and read others.

The survey found that blogging moms most often cite socializing with others as their reason for going online, while moms who pay no attention to blogs report going online to find information.

Mom bloggers also pay more attention to what their friends say online about a particular product, service or issue than other moms do.


Additional survey findings:


  • Mom bloggers are 71% more likely to indicate being addicted to a social network when compared with moms who know nothing about blogs.

  • Mom bloggers are more active online in such things as having fun, getting things done, researching topics and conversing with friends as compared with other moms.Many blog readers and bloggers feel their social network profile is an extension of their real identity.


  • When viewing ads online, relevance is rated by mom bloggers as the most important factor. Special offers and uniqueness of ads rated lowest, suggesting advertisers should place more importance on media placement rather than creativity, according to Lucid.


  • All online moms check their personal email throughout the day and are more receptive to email when compared to other online marketing tactics.


  • All moms also prefer opt-in emails as the way for marketers to communicate with them, but bloggers are most likely to accept banner ads and promotions.

Based upon the research findings, “the attention that marketers are giving to online word of mouth and the importance of connecting with mom bloggers as influencers appears justified,” said Kevin Burke, founder of Lucid marketing.

About the survey: Survey data was gathered from 457 US women with children of various ages randomly recruited on the internet between August 12 and September 12, 2008. As an incentive, $5 for every 10 people who completed the survey was donated by Lucid marketing to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

2008. nov. 12.

Online bubble is set to burst

by Andrew Harrison

It’s been a turbulent month for traditional media stocks. Even a globally strong, market leader such as WPP has seen shares fall to a ten-year low (on the back of a leaked internal email claiming a hiring freeze), while unfashionable ITV shares are trading at less than 30p. And some of the stronger performing mid-cap groups, such as Future, YouGov and Chime, are being marked down despite strong trading results. Worst of all worlds, for sentiment, seems to be a music business – just ask EMI, now being run by the somewhat ironically named Terra Firma.

The industry’s response over the past few weeks has been brutal. In TV, for example, ITV is to lay off 1,000 employees, and Channel 4 has announced plans to save £100m and drop its nascent radio business. In radio, GCap and Global Radio are to shed a further 80 staff in the merger of their sales teams; in newspapers, the Daily Mail & General Trust, News International and The Independent have all announced new sales structures, while the regional press – Johnston Press, Trinity Mirror and Midland News – all say they are planning organisational changes. Against this background, it’s no surprise that future-defining deals have either fallen through (like UBC Media Group’s sale of its commercial division) or are being pushed through shareholders on tough terms (like WPP’s acquisition of TNS).

According to the latest study by the IAB and its consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers, internet advertising is “propping up
” traditional media. Thank goodness something is. “Overall, we believe online will perform better than other media during the downturn but expect to see differences in performance across the various online segments” said a PwC media director, before PwC and Enders Analysis both promptly dropped growth figures for 2008 online advertising revenues.

This to me is the real story that’s not yet been reported. What will happen online tomorrow threatens to be just as brutal as what is happening offline today.

Here’s why. On the surface it looks as if digital growth remains strong: online revenues are up 21% in the first half of 2008. But that masks two truths. First, the overall digital growth rate is in serious decline – indeed it’s about half the growth rate of a year ago. Of course, we’d all rather be growing (especially at 21%) than declining – but it’s also true that digital revenues are not immune to the downturn. If the growth rate halves again in the next few months (and all the marketing signals are that it could), then internet growth rates will struggle to make double digits.

Still, not a bad problem to have – until you unpick the sector a bit. Which leads to the second truth: more than half the overall digital market is in search and about 90% of that is Google – so one company accounts for half the total digital economy (which is growing at a faster rate than the other half). Put another way, all the other thousands of websites in the UK aggregate up to less than Google alone.

So, for Google, it’s probably just a bump in the road. Search remains the web’s killer application and while it’s arguable that a prolonged recession is bound to reduce consumer traffic and searching as purchases decline, it’s equally arguable that search – with its robust ROI – will hold up well. But, for all the other thousands of sites on the web, life’s about to get much tougher because if there is structural weakness in offline display revenues today (and there is), then the same will be true for online display revenues tomorrow.

Search has grown exponentially because it attaches ads to consumers with an intention to purchase; but display online (or anywhere else) attaches ads to content – a much less direct relationship. Put another way, search is part of the process of purchase rather than the initial persuasion to do so. Rightly or wrongly, many advertisers give undue credit to the former (because it’s much more measurable and translates directly to sales). In turn, advertisers fail to give sufficient credit to the latter because it starts rather than finishes the process.

Unfortunately, especially in a downturn, it will not be easy to nudge advertisers towards a greater respect for the contribution display makes to the initial customer persuasion – so the result will be a tough time for both the online and offline display market.

But, in the digital space, we know the number of content sites seeking advertising is growing fast (certainly at a rate many multiples higher than the current 16% revenue growth), because very few sites are cementing a subscription model. So, inventory is growing, not contracting, as it should in a downturn, meaning prices will tumble.

Too many sites chasing too little ad revenue. Haven’t we been here before? When sites that have users but no revenue next go to the bank for an extension of their funding, we’ll see a second digital bust. It’s not as if the banks have any money to lend to businesses without revenues.

But, this time around, one thing’s for sure: you’ll still be able to search on Google for an updated ranking of the winners and losers.

2008. nov. 7.

Ads on Edge

Excellent presentation from the guys at The economist. Especially cutting marketing budgets in a recession is not a good thing:

  • because marketing is part of the solution, not the problem
  • because what you sacrifice now, you will pay for later
  • because it can do serious damage to your brand
  • because it is a golden opportunity to gain market share
  • –> The biggest shift in a downturn is towards accountable media – this typically means a greater spend online.

Blogs Influence Consumer Purchases More than Social Networks

The number of those who read blogs at least once a month has grown 300% in the past four years, and what they read strongly influences their purchase decisions, playing a key role in ushering them to the point of actual purchase, according to a BuzzLogic-sponsored study, reports Retailer Daily.


“Harnessing the Power of Blogs,” a research study of more than 2,000 online consumers in the US, was conducted by JupiterResearch, a Forrester research company.
The study aimed to uncover changing behavior around blog discovery and consumption, how blogs factor into consumer purchase decisions, and the nature of blog influence on buying behavior.

For example, frequent blog readers (those who read blogs more than once per month) - constituting 20% of blog readers - say they trust relevant blog content for purchase decisions more than content from social networking sites, the study found.



Below are additional findings released by BuzzLogic.

Buying Behavior: The Nature of Blog Influence

  • Blogs influence purchases: One half (50%) of blog readers say they find blogs useful for purchase information.
  • Blogs go beyond tech: Outside of technology-related purchases, for which 31% of readers say blogs are useful, other key categories include media and entertainment (15%); games/toys and/or sporting goods (14%); travel (12%); automotive (11%); and health (10%).

  • Niche focus ups influence factor: For those who have found blog content useful for product decisions, more than half (56%) say blogs with a niche focus and topical expertise were key sources.


Blogs’ Place in the Purchase Cycle

Blogs factor in to critical stages of the purchase process, weighing most heavily at the actual moment of a purchase decision, according to the study: Among respondents who say they have trusted blog content for purchase decisions in the past, over half (52%) say blogs played a role in the critical moment they decided to move forward with a purchase.

Blog readers’ responses regarding blogs’ influence as it relates to the following steps of the purchase process:

  • Decide on a product or service: 21%
  • Refine choices: 19%
  • Get support and answers: 19%
  • Discover products and services: 17% Assure: 14%
  • Inspire a purchase: 13%
  • Execute a purchase: 7%

Blog Ads and Reader Trust

For frequent blog readers, ads on blogs are on par with sponsored search results, one of the most prevalent and successful forms of advertising on the web - and trust of blog advertising exceeds that around social networking site advertising.

Fully 25% of frequent readers say they trust ads on a blog they read; paid search links also account for 25% of their responses; and 19% say they trust ads on social networking sites.

The study also suggests ads on blogs spur various activities:

  • 40% of blog readers have taken action as a result of viewing an ad on a blog; 50% of frequent blog readers say so.
  • Top activities include the following: read product reviews online (17%); sought out more info on a product or service (16%); visited a manufacturer or retailer website (16%).

Changing Reader Patterns: The Power of Links

Frequent blog readers use blogs as the top online navigation tool to discover other blog content, ranking higher than general web search or blog search, the study also found:

  • 38% of frequent readers said blog links were the top tool for discovering new blog content.
  • 34% cited web search, and 11% said blog search engines were the top tool for discovering new blog content.
  • For frequent readers, blog links appear to have similar impact as a trusted recommendation from a person (a response from 39% of survey participants).

One in five general blog readers (defined as consumers who have read a blog in the past 12 months) use blog links to discover new blogs.

Blog search engines received the lowest ranking from respondents: 6% of general readers say they use these tools to discover new blogs.

Blogs are not consumed in isolation, but experienced as part of a connected conversation: Nearly half (49%) of blog readers and 71% of frequent readers read more than one blog per session.

“For a portion of web users, blogs rival search as a navigation tool, which has really interesting implications for advertisers,” said Rob Crumpler, CEO of BuzzLogic. “Blogs are becoming trusted guides, steering users who are seeking very specific information to places of interest online. Being able to identify where this is taking place across the blogosphere gives us a window into user intent and a means to better target advertising to a qualified audience. This is great news for advertisers looking to maximize value in today’s environment.”

About the study: In August 2008, JupiterResearch designed and fielded a survey to online consumers selected randomly from the NPD Group US online consumer panel. A total of 2,210 persons responded to the survey. Respondents were asked approximately 40 closed-ended questions about their behaviors, attitudes, and preferences as they relate to media and entertainment, including 10 questions relating to blogs. The samples were balanced by a series of demographic and behavioral characteristics to ensure that they were representative of the online population. Demographic weighting variables included age, gender, household income, household education, household type, region, market size, race, Hispanic ethnicity, online tenure, connection speed, and student status.

2008. nov. 6.

Consumer Segments Likely to Spend Differently in Tough Economy

Though nearly all consumers are facing economic uncertainty, their responses to economic difficulties differ - but not along conventional demographic lines, according to Acxiom Corporation’s first Retail Consumer Dynamics Study (RCD), reports Retailer Daily.

The Acxiom study, an industry-specific analysis of consumer shopping behavior and attitudes, finds variations in how consumer segments perceive the economy and how that perception affects whether and how they will defer spending; the type of stores they will visit; and generally how they go about their daily shopping.

The study identifies nine consumer behavioral segments, placing those segments into three distinct groups that reflect consumers’ potential future behavior:

- Potential Rebounder (33% of consumers) - those likely to loosen up on spending sooner
- Status Quo (48%) - those not likely to change from current behavior
- Digging In (19%) - those tightening spending and retreating further


“Rather than thinking in simple terms of who is spending more versus who is spending less, this study allows us to see how consumers are making their decisions,” said Jie Cheng, vice-president of analytics and consumer insights at Acxiom.

Among the consumer segments that the study identifies:

1) Savvy Spenders (mostly married, affluent, young or mature, living in outer suburbs and rural communities) are more likely to spend sooner than other segments, given some improved circumstances.
Of the Savvy Spenders, 37% are shopping sales more often.
Savvy Spenders favor department stores for their combination of category offerings and brand/price options.

2) Those likely to shop more online are the Tight with Purpose; they are married and have children, and they’re upper middle income with professional or management careers.

3) The It’s My Life segment - mostly affluent young consumers maintaining a child-free city lifestyle - are not letting economic conditions change their shopping behavior. They shop in category-killer stores to benefit from the blend of brand selection and price.

“This challenging economy creates an exceptional opportunity for retailers and consumer product manufacturers to target direct messages to specific consumer segments in order to sustain and maximize a return on marketing investment,” said Jim Harold, industry executive for retail and consumer markets at Acxiom.

About the study: The Retail Consumer Dynamics study is based on an integrated data set combining consumer survey study findings with Acxiom’s consumer demographic, life stage and lifestyle information. The survey was conducted by BIGresearch, a consumer intelligence firm, and the analysis using 18,924 panel data points was performed by Acxiom.

Measuring social media

How do you build brands post-Google?

As the recession begins to bite, brands are finding that getting through to customers is tougher than ever.

Offline advertising is showing diminishing returns. McKinsey predicts that by 2010,
traditional television advertising will be one-third as effective as it was in 1990.


This is partly because online media is growing at the expense of offline. A UK survey by Media Week showed that time spent for both live/realtime TV and teletext tv decreased by 1% and 2% respectively between 2006 and 2007, while internet usage by 50%; an IDC study of U.S. consumer online behavior found that the Internet is the medium on which online users spend the most time (32.7 hours/week). This is equivalent to almost half of the total time spent each week using all media (70.6 hours), almost twice as much time as spent watching television (16.4 hours), and more than eight times as much time as spent reading newspapers and magazines (3.9 hours).

It is partly because of the rise in ad avoidance strategies. DVRs owners (according to an
IBM survey) watch at least 50% of television programming on replay, thus avoiding television advertising. It is partly because of a major decline in public trust in brands. People trust people more than they trust the media. In a 2006 survey of U.S. consumers, Forrester found that 83% of respondents trusted friends’ opinion, but only 75% trust product reviews in a newspaper, magazine or TV. (Groundswell, Charline Li and Josh Bernhoff).

The answer would seem to be to move the business online. More than half of the world’s Internet users have made at least one purchase online in the past month, according to Nielsen. The web also seems to offer promising growth for advertisers: Nielsen estimates that spending on online advertising will escalate at 19.2 per cent annually till 2012 and will surpass the TV advertising budget in the US in the next decade.

But advertising on the web poses challenges. Online banner click-throughs on Yahoo!, Microsoft and AOL have declined from
0.75% to 0.27% according to ad monitoring firm Eyeblaster.
Paid search ads now represent the lion’s share of online ad spending. Contextual search ads are great for selling specific factual propositions (flights to Malaga, hotels in Brussels) but they are less effective at communicating emotion. In a recent report from
The Wharton School, marketing professor Patti Williams observes that it’s unclear how a company like Crest can leverage search advertising: “How many people are going online to search for toothpaste? It’s not [obvious that] a little ad on the screen is going to attract them. For the biggest bulk of media spending, online is just hard to figure out. The Internet is not that good at big brand-building objectives, so there are a lot of companies struggling with a way to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity Google and other searches offer.”

A 2007 global Nielsen survey found that consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising among 78 percent of the study’s respondents. And there are perhaps clues for advertisers in the shift of online consumers to social networking sites. In the UK,
social networks overtook webmail by percentage of visits in 2007, with social networks accounting for 5.17% of all Internet visits compared to 4.98% for email services. Advertisers want to follow consumers but that’s difficult. When you are chatting to a friend the last thing you want is to be interrupted with a clumsy brand message. Privacy settings in most networks preclude direct marketing. Facebook recently announced that it was opening up key pages to allow for contextual advertising.

So how do Brands engage with the consumer in a way that provokes conversation and endorsement? The most successful strategies for engagement with social media is for a brand do something which allows people to pass on a key message about your brand.

People can talk about you for three reasons:



1. You have given them useful information.


H&R Block set out to build awareness of their online tax return offering by creating content customised for channels. The budget was 5% of their annual digital spend only 0.5% of their total ad spend. They grew awareness 52%, and saw an 11% growth in tax services business, feeding net income which rose to $544m from an $86m loss the previous year.
Giant Food Stores increased monthly consumer website visits by 400% after lauching a “Super Shopping List”, which lets customers easily browse recipes, view weekly specials, and create a personal shopping list.Brand discussion goes beyond the product itself. The entire process and value system around which a product created is also a source of conversation.


2. You have entertained them.


The hugely popular Cadbury Dairy Milk campaign which featured a gorilla playing the drum solo of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” received 7m views online, more than 6,000 comments and boosted Cadbury revenues by 5% for that year. (Gorilla ad works its magic on sales of Cadbury bars ).
This jokey video from Philips Norelco Bodygroom raised the issue of persuading men to shave “below the neck” in the summer 2006. The video (cross-posted at youtube.com and at heavy.com) has been viewed 1.8m times, it boosted unaided awareness 8% and contributed to year-on-year growth of 17% for the DAP division (of which shavers represent 45%) to Q1 2007.


3. There is something in your product that they respond to.

Jeep’s “Have fun out there” website aggregates communities from where they already exist, such as Facebook and Flickr, to create its own uber-community where members drive the content.
The t-shirt company Threadless has used community as a mode to build its business by allowing members of the website to submit and vote on t-shirt designs. The top designs are selected for printing and sold through an online store with winning designers getting a cash prize and store merchandise. What started as a hobby in 2005 by founder Jake Nickell has been growing quickly with annual sales on track to hit $5 million in 2008.
The last is the best because it means that consumers have engaged with your brand and are doing your marketing for you. With the additional benefit that they are marketing to people who are inclined to believe their testimonials. It is also the hardest to achieve. New online measurement techniques (such as those used by Market Sentinel) offer the opportunity to chart how effective brand building in online by directly measuring response to creative campaigns, by gauging consumer engagement and by changing the creative to take account of live consumer responses. But how do you measure such responses. A consensus about this is only now beginning to emerge and we will deal with this in our next post.





Measuring social media
podcast interview with David Armano
David Armano of Critical Mass, author of an excellent blog on social media - what he calls micro interactions - gives us his perspective in a podcast interview (10 mins) on ways to measure in social media, and how to judge ROI.

2008. nov. 5.

Online Shines in UK as Old Media Ads Dim

Digital ads will weather the fiscal storm.

Advertisers in the UK are tightening their budgets and shifting their spending to more-effective and measurable methods. Online advertising will continue to benefit from this trend as marketers move away from traditional media in search of a more targeted audience.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK), in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), reported that total advertising spending in the UK was down 0.7%, coming to £8.9 billion ($17.4 billion) between January and June 2008. Online ad spending grew to £1.7 billion ($3.3 billion) in the first half of 2008, a 21% increase from the same period last year. Without online advertising, total ad spending would have been down 4.6%.

“Normally we would expect a rise in online ad spending associated with the end-of-year holidays,” said Karin von Abrams, senior analyst at eMarketer. “Any rise this year will be muted, thanks to continuing economic difficulties. But we still anticipate very solid full-year figures for 2008, and are interested to see that the IAB UK is predicting annual results for Internet ad spending that are similar to our own.”




In March eMarketer predicted that though the overall ad market would be affected by the financial sector’s woes, online ad spending would show double-digit growth through 2010. eMarketer estimates that spending will reach approximately £2.6 ($5.3 billion) in 2007 and £3.4 ($6.4 billion) in 2008.



“Internet use, and online activities such as e-commerce, video viewing and catching the latest news, are now firmly embedded in the lives of tens of millions of UK residents,” Ms. von Abrams said. “This isn’t going to change, and in fact most Web users are using online channels more than ever to keep on top of events, make their lives more efficient and help their money go further. This can only boost advertisers’ desire to put their messages in front of online consumers.”

For your free copy of the eMarketer whitepaper, Marketing NOW: Seven Strategies for Surviving the Downturn, written by eMarketer’s CEO, Geoff Ramsey, please click here

Best practise ...ever


GOT HOPE?

2008. nov. 4.

An interview with Brian Elliott, the CEO of Amsterdam Worldwide

The ReVISION made an interview with Brian Elliott, the CEO of Amsterdam Worldwide (formerly known as Strawberry Frog). The interview was conducted for the Hungarian Advertising and Marketing Conference.

(English with Hungarian subtitle)



2008. nov. 2.

Give Before You Get - by Heidi Skinner


“Make a Facebook Fan Page because it doesn’t cost anything. Create a YouTube Brand Channel to house your video assets - YouTube allows you to do it for free. Befriend 100 people on MySpace and create a Ning community because there are no fees…” If you’ve ever allowed yourself to say these things, please adjust your social media compass.
The expectation that social media tactics are free initiatives is a huge fallacy to both agencies and marketers. There are four reasons why a good influential marketing strategy should cost you money:

1. Focusing your scope costs money. Take the guess work out of social media by engaging a buzz monitoring tool. Before you decide on your brand’s approach, gain insight on the topics, tonality and volume of conversations around our brand before you get started. If not, you aren’t truly fishing where the fish are.

2. Creative development costs money. Don’t let your media planners decide on social placement without consulting the creative and technical teams – and vice versa. At Critical Mass, we’re changing the model to make sure the “how” and the “what” happen in tandem to make sure that we’re not hap-hazardly repurposing TV or traditional online media messaging. If content is the currency in this environment, we need invest in our message.

3. Getting people to talk to you costs money. Sites like Facebook and YouTube are so large that a great effort is needed to cut through the clutter. While standard banner buys aren’t the solution, a dedicated effort is needed to monitor and grow community-based conversations.

4. Tracking costs money. Because brand presence in social places has yet to be perfected, it’s imperative that we calculate risk, set benchmarks for both branding and quantitative study to be able to scale in the future.

Done correctly, influential marketing strategies aren’t cost-prohibitive, but we need to accept the fact that 100,000,000 new pieces of content are posted within the social sphere every week. To cut through the clutter, we need to start taking social media seriously. Be prepared to give before you get.