Wednesday, 28 November 2007

The Channel Of Me & The Channel Of Us

Two consumer mega-trends have emerged, both powered by the maturation of technologies that allow consumers to filter, screen, delete, take, consume and share what and when they like. These trends are the channel of me and the channel of us. In the Channel of Me, the consumer has become an editor, a cameraman and a censor. It presents a new culture of both control and customization, it creates a new model where the user is at the center and brands revolve, and evolve, around her.
The Channel of Us leverages the forces of collaboration and influence that have emerged in the connected society. At its best, the brand becomes a part of the conversations that are occurring naturally in these groups in an open, honest, flexible relationship with both the community and the individual.

The era of influence marketing - where we need to develop constituencies and not simply customer databases has come to CRM...

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Who Goes There?

Domodomain has launched a web analytics package that converts the visitor's IP address into a domain name. Domodomain transforms anonymous website clicks into actionable sales and marketing intelligence. The package can also provide playback of the visit and an intuitive analysis of the products and services in which the visitor appeared to show an interest.

More here...

Monday, 26 November 2007

Performance Marketing & Creative

In my industry, there is and has been a conflicted view of how metrics driven performance marketing effects the creative process. It's too restrictive, too limiting, what about the brand experience?... And yet, as Norman Guadagno, a colleague from a sister company Zaaz said in a recent post:

"When used properly, performance marketing doesn't serve as a threat to designers, usability experts, or anyone else in the organization. It provides the foundation of a holistic business strategy that leaves designers free to be creative, usability experts open to shape the experience and ultimately allows the company as a whole to monitor Web initiatives and make well-executed adjustments that benefit all parties. Performance marketing allows everyone to bring their "A game" to the table and clearly see the results of their efforts. "

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Buzz Visualisation

Another great visualisation tool, Buzztracker lets you visualise frequencies and relationships between locations appearing in global news coverage. Big events in one area tend to ripple through to other geographically distant areas of the world. Political, economic and social connections between cities thousands of miles apart become apparent at a glance...

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Looking It Up...

I have long been a fan of Plumb Design's Visual Thesaurus for its elegant design and frankly, usefulness. There is a new entrant in the category. Merriam-Webster and QA International have joined forces to create the Visual Dictionary Online ( Visitors to the new site may either search ideas within organized subject fields to quickly locate more than 20,000 terms with full definitions or consult more than 6,000 stunning illustrations of a wide variety of objects from all aspects of life.Very nice...

Monday, 19 November 2007

When There Were Brands...

Following up on my post on building constituents as opposed to customer bases - please read the post below from Modern Marketing. Follow the links just to see the damage that we can do to our brands if we do not create relationships that our constituents value.

I have been in the market for a new kitchen for sometime and as a result, quite randomly, found myself in a Moben salesroom and booked up for a consultation. The Moben rep duly arrived and was very good, explaining everything we needed. In short we were sold and even cancelled other consultations. However, I then mentioned our intended purchase to friends and family and got some concerned looks. Unusually for me I hadn't checked the company online but then did so. I found a series of horror stories - including this particularly graphic one. Order cancelled. Moben's tight marketing programme including a shop in a nice part of town, lovely website, super salesman and beautiful literature had been made entirely redundant by my 10 second search. Call it death by Google Index.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Influence Marketing & The Sagrada Familia

I was lucky enough this week to be able at address 400 or so marketers from Europe at the Forrester Consumer Marketing forum in Barcelona (beautiful city). So apart from getting back to Europe for a bit which is always nice, my presentation and discussion afterwards focused on Influence Marketing. I discussed the consumer trends that are the "channel of me" and the "channel of us" and the need for marketers to give serious consideration to building constituents as opposed to focusing only on building customer databases. We discussed further how social media marketing and CRM are really expressions of the same desire - to better know and therefore better converse with your customers and future customers.

The Forrester blog is here...

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The End Of Advertising As We Know It

A voluminous report from IBM gloomily predicts the end of the current advertising model. The core drivers of this according to IBM are:
  • Attention is increasingly controlled by consumers as media consumption moves away from the TV and due to ad skipping/blocking technologies
  • The rise of user generated content is enabling engagement marketing
  • New channels and technologies are enabling measurement of advertising effectiveness for the first time
  • The rise of exchanges is changing the way advertising is bought and sold
There is no doubt that allocation of ad spend against the evolved media consumption needs to change (and quickly). We spend 37% of our time as consumers watching TV - a whopping 32% of ad spend is allocated to that medium. On the other hand, we spend 29% of our time on the Internet, where the ad spend is around 8%... So much for engagement marketing, at least so far...

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

The Next 100 Years In Marketing Starts With A Press Release

Facebook and MySpace have both started to use profiles and community membership to target ads to their member base. Both are likely to suceed but for different reasons... MySpace's massive membership (growing at 5 million a month) and their innovative SelfServe system gives them enormous scale and a local footprint. Facebook is actively encouraging members to subscribe to a brand, so people who actually really like a brand can make a public endorsement of it and share it through their networks, brands can leverage the already established and trusted social relationships.
Here's an extract from the Facebook press release (the full release is here...):

Today, Facebook Ads launched with three parts: a way for businesses to build pages on Facebook to connect with their audiences; an ad system that facilitates the spread of brand messages virally through Facebook Social Ads™; and an interface to gather insights into people’s activity on Facebook that marketers care about. ...
Advertising messages will gain distribution through what Facebook has termed the “social graph,” the network of real connections through which people communicate and share information. When people engage with a business’ Facebook Page, that action will spread information about that business through the social graph.

Facebook's CEO prefaced his recent remarks at the New York ad:tech conference by saying modestly "the next hundred years will be different for advertising, and it starts today."

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Virgin Freebies

In the high stakes "engagement" game, Virgin Mobile's Sugar Mama program straightforwardly places a dollar value on the time a visitor spends watching and interacting with a sponsor's ad. And, unlike previous versions of this model the Sugar Mama approach is offering users something they already want - minutes - and it does so in a very clear and uncomplicated way. To get your credits, you need to go to the Virgin Mobile site and view ads from Ultramercial. In exchange you will get pre-paid credits to your wireless account. It appears to be working, Ultramercial has had over 450,000 customers subscribe to the program, which has given away over 15 million free minutes. The company says 1,000 new users sign up a day. The program has also found success with advertisers, with relationships as diverse as Dell, United Airlines, E-Trade, Fox and the History Chanel...

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Subway. Slowly But Surely....

...Mobile marketing is making significant in-roads in the US. We needn't hold our collective breath for the more innovative applications coming from Asia and Europe, but, progress is being made all the same. The My Subway Mobile program from the people that Jared works for is a cell phone-based opt-in promotional program that sends customers timely product offers and coupons via email and text message. The reported redemption rate was in the 8% to 10% range. Considerably better than the 1% or 2% redemption from local press ads....

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Web Analytics From Microsoft - Free!

Microsoft are working on a competitor to Google Analytics. The objective is to provide this free of charge. Whereas Google based their product on technology acquired when they purchased Urchin, Microsoft are basing their product on technology from the web analytics firm DeepMetrics acquired in May 2006. Code named Project Gatineau, the tool will indicate whether users came to a Web site via e-mail, paid search, banner campaigns, offline campaigns, or other means. Reports will then provide insight on how they left and what pages they requested.
The system also ties information to personal profile information gathered through the Live ID system (formerly known as Passport). Live ID stores data on users including sex, age, income and location. Still in beta - you can sign up here...