Monday, December 6, 2010

John Paton’s Dec. 2 Presentation at INMA Transformation of News Summit in Cambridge, Mass. « Digital First

John Paton’s Dec. 2 Presentation at INMA Transformation of News Summit in Cambridge, Mass. « Digital First

This is a terrific case study of a business whose business model was undercut by the Internet -- yet by embracing the net, has stopped the losses and started making money.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Twitter, After Number of Users Surges, Turns to Ads - NYTimes.com

I was in Italy during Ad Week this year, but it must have been a treat to see the new advertising man/CEO of Twitter on stage with Facebook and Google. The days of dismissing the web as a time-waster (banned from offices in the early 90s), Google as a "mere" utility, Facebook as a time-waster and now Twitter as the latest to disappoint naysayers, are gone. There will be stumbles no doubt, but it's time for marketers to accept that some fads fade, but others grow and take over.

Twitter, After Number of Users Surges, Turns to Ads - NYTimes.com

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Does this mean bricks and clicks can NEVER be joined?

Blockbuster, Barnes & Noble and other major retail "bricks" stores have tried repeatedly and as this NYT article reports, generally failed to beat their online-only rivals -- Netflix and Amazon, respectively.

Does this mean all bricks retailer efforts to build business online are doomed?

No, of course not, but...it does mean you have to commit to a host of changes in how you do business. All your business. What changes, exactly? I knew you were going to ask that! Good question! Next...

Okay, here are some starting points:
1. Accept that there is a new world. Begin to grapple with the implications: pricing, new definitions and ways of achieving trust, customer power, level of customer service, best practices defined not by your old competitors, but globally, online.
2. New business model, often not compatible with your well-established one.
3. Probability of losses or low profits for a while -- painful when you have an established, profitable business that you're cannibalizing...for this?
4. New metrics of success -- with the right ones hidden in a flood of new metrics, not all of them relevant.
5. Faster pace: products, customer service, changes to plan needed.

Other issues you see?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Advertising IS (local) news -- if done right

Gordon Borrell, one of the wise men (I deliberately omit "old") of media new and old, points out that a century-old saying is just as, if not even truer in our mobile, drive-by news world. And wouldn't you know it, one of the supposed dying icons of print advertising, Yellowbook, is trying a quick follow of the leader Groupon, with weforia.com. Can't help myself: when do you think newspapers will figure out that this might work?

Borrell Associates, Inc: Local Interactive & Online Advertising Research and Consulting

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What We Can Learn From Alien Hunters - Advertising Age - CMO Strategy

Jonathan Salem Baskin makes a very good point: "Purpose, legitimacy and direction are core drivers of conversations, whatever the medium." Too many social media campaigns are merely clever, but not really rooted in a relationship to the product or service.

What We Can Learn From Alien Hunters - Advertising Age -

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

12 sites that "get" it -- good models

Lori Luechtefeld at iMediaConnection explains what makes each of these sites so good at what they're trying to do. Levi's has gone so far as to remake its site using Facebook lingo, for example.

12 killer websites worth watching - iMediaConnection.com

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Now that we're all on social media, which type of ads are most effective?

A research firm with the great name Psychster has answered the question, at least for now. They tested seven different types, on their client's site allrecipes.com, and on Facebook: brand profile pages with fans and without, widgets you can give to your friends or get, banner ads, newsletters, and sponsored content.

Spoiler alert: ads that matched the site they were on performed best, regardless of type! And engagement, at least as measured as propensity to interact with the ad, seemed not as likely to generate buying intent.

MediaPost Publications What Type Of Social Media Ads Are The Most Effective? 03/30/2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Superpages Offers Coupons to Small Businesses on Twitter | Response Magazine

Another corner turned in the race-- which will make money (appropriate to the usage) first, Twitter or Facebook? And, more to the point, which will make itself more useful to small businesses first?

Superpages Offers Coupons to Small Businesses on Twitter | Response Magazine

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Predicting lifespan of online communities

Through Shaping Tomorrow I found this study of what factors influence the longevity of online communities. "Researchers have previously claimed that there are too many variables influencing the survival or demise of such channels and that there is therefore no way of testing it, and earlier studies have primarily focused on group size and activity."

Turns out the key factor is how quickly the membership turns over -- the more frequently, at least to a point, the better. Those old friends, your first members, loyal as they are, don't contribute much to the life of the network, it seems.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sometimes Social Media Does Trump Email - MarketingVOX

Sometimes Social Media Does Trump Email - MarketingVOX ...and sometimes it doesn't! As one of the surveys quoted points out, we need email addresses even to get on a social network -- and then the social network generates an awful lot of email notifications to us. I'm still of the opinion that in general (but not always) Facebook is best for issues that concern people in their daily, personal lives, mostly on the fun side of life: gossip, family, entertainment -- although other topics are certainly creeping in. If your product or service can connect to the conversations your target audience is having on Facebook in some subtle way, great. If not, listen more and push less. An example: a garden supply center realized that FB ads targeted to their local market were very cheap. But how many people are talking about their gardens on FB? If you look for groups, you'll find very few, with very low membership. Garden talk goes on, but not on FB. The campaign, cheap as it was, didn't work, and was soon pulled.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How NOT to use the web

Top of an email I received today:


"Thank you for your request to ABC News.

To submit a story idea to one of the ABC News shows listed below, write a single page letter including your name, phone number, and address. Include photocopies of backup information. On the outside of the envelope, write "Story Idea." If a producer is interested in your story, he/she will contact you. Here are the show addresses:"



And you won't be surprised at this point to know that the addresses were all "bricks" -- no email, Twitter, chat, video... NBC (MSNBC.com), Foxnews.com and CBSNews.com also have the typical "contact us" link in the footer, but different things happen when you have the patience to scroll all the way down -- a very long way for Fox News. NBC and CBS give you the usual email form -- NBC devotes a whole page to the various shows, while CBS hides them in a dropdown list for the email form. But if you find and click the "contact us" link for Fox News, here's the nice welcome you get:


"We want YOUR input! Tell us what you love, tell us what you hate ... just don't keep it to yourself! As a FOX Fan, you'll have a unique opportunity to make your voice heard and affect change at FNC. Below, you'll find a few ways to contact us. BUT, if you're more of a phone person, you can call us at 1-888-369-4762."


If only they put that at the top of the home page, I'd be more inclined to believe them.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Finding the words Google will rank highest, on deadline

Article kicks off with a good case study of the frenzy behind the scenes as savvy web editors at newspapers tried to figure out the words that would get their story above the others, when the Ft. Hood shootings were underway. Author Kim Krause Berg then takes us through some of the details of how to go about it.
The Algorithm Chasers

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Smartphones plus new Google click-to-call mobile ads to make 2010 the year of mobile -- really!

A new survey of what people do with their Android and iPhones, combined with Google's announcement means that mobile advertising, long-promised as the next big thing, should really truly happen in 2010. The AdWords email, time-stamped 1:23 am, begins:

"We’re pleased to announce that beginning in January, your location-specific business phone number will display alongside your destination url in ads that appear on high-end mobile devices. Users will be able to click-to-call your business just as easily as they click to visit your website. You'll be charged for clicks to call, same as you are for clicks to visit your website."


A new survey by Compete, just released, says shopping activities lead all other uses of smartphones. ReadWriteWeb reports: 


"Smartphone users are becoming increasingly comfortable with using their phones to shop online. According to new data from Compete, about 37% of smartphone users have purchased something with their handset in the last six months. Among the most popular items that these users bought were music, books, DVDs, video games and movie tickets. At the same time, though, Compete also found that smartphone users are very likely to abandon shopping sites that haven't been optimized for mobile usage. Almost 8% of smartphone owners who tried to buy something from their phone were simply unable to do so...Researching products is still the most popular shopping-related activity on the smartphones. According to Compete's survey, 41% of iPhone users and 43% of Android owners check sale prices while they are shopping. Surely, the popularity of mobile apps like ShopSavvy andRedLaser - which make checking prices as easy as scanning a barcode - will only drive these numbers up in the coming months.
The second most popular shopping-related activity for smartphone owners is finding consumer reviews. 39% of iPhone users and 31% of Android users use their devices for this."


Take this trend and combine it with the ease of use and accountability of pay-per-call AdWords on the phones, and savvy businesses should do well this year.