Thursday, 30 October 2008

Facebook... Think About It

My company, Rosetta, recently conducted a study amongst the top 100 online retailers in the US. The study found that 59 had a fan page on Facebook, up from 30 in May 2008.

Commenting on the study, Adam Cohen. a Partner in our Consumer Goods & Retail practice, said
“Social media sites continue to be an important source of community connection, and savvy retailers are reaping the benefits of Facebook’s rapid extension into new demographics, such as Gen X and seniors".
Adam went on to say that just putting up a page will not suffice - like all other expressions of marketing, using social media takes focus, care and attention.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Coming Soon to a Road Near You

A team from the Hokkaido Industrial Research Institute has come up with a novel idea "melody roads". The idea essentially turns the car into a pitch fork which plays tunes as the cars pass over grooves cut into the roads at very specific intervals. To get exactly the right pitch, you need to be driving at 31 miles an hour.

The example shown is used by Honda in California. I see this being interesting a half mile from a McDonalds in a suburban area when, as you are driving along your car starts to play "da da da da da i'm lovin' it...."

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Do It Yourself

Google recently followed MySpace in providing a new way of creating and serving targeted display ads of all types without the need for a media or design agency. Display Ad Builder allows advertisers to create ads in any of the formats supported by the Google content network and all types of creative executions including video and game ads.

The MySpace version is called MyAds and follows the same basic principle, the package also includes an analytics tool to measure campaign costs and effectiveness. MyAds interests-based targetting capabilities are a result of the acquisition a couple of years ago of Strategic Data Corporation.

Recent additions to the ever growing family of self serve ad creation...

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The Return of the Art of Display...

My friend Jonathan Mendez has always had an interesting and unique view of the online marketing ecosystem. In the latest post on his blog Optimize & Prophesize he argues (with his usual conviction) that the potential incremental gains in the effectiveness of search marketing are limited. Display advertising, on the other hand has a bright future. Estimating that the vehicle is "about 10% fixed", Jonathan argues that the possibilities in sucessfully bringing a new flavour, approach and - most of all - relevancy to display advertising are limitless and will also drive the emerging channels of online video and social media.

In my humble opinion, the smartest marketing has always been a delicate balance of art and science (or wisdom and magic). Through the advances in search optimisation (paid and organic), the wisdom has held the upper hand for a while...

More here...

Image from Curiosos de comida (

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Free Insight?

This week Yahoo! launched its competitive product to Google Analytics. Called Yahoo! Web Analytics, the service is the product of their recent acquisition of IndexTools. So will the arrival of a new tool lead to more effective online marketing? Yahoo claim their product is superior to Google Analytics in that it provides:
  • Real-time data: If recency is the best predictor of future behaviour, real-time is hard to beat
  • Raw data: Getting raw data means that the only limit to the way one interogates the data is the imagination applied
  • Ease of use and flexibility: The easier a tool is to use the more likely it will be used well
Let's see... While good tools will provide good analysis, only humans can provide the crucial insight that will ultimately be the difference maker, that insight includes asking the right questions and interpreting the answers. Whilst I am enthusiastic about the real-time analysis in the new tool, that is only valuable if it leads to real-time optimisation. Otherwise, it's just quicker evidence of what's not working...

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Human Interactive Marketing

Having spent an hour on the phone with Verizon yesterday, I was reminded that the contact (or call) centre is still the most poorly used interactive marketing channel in the whole panoply. All of the efforts we make in targeting and tailoring in the other channels are simply not being replicated in this the most human of touchpoints. There are, my opinion, a couple of reasons for that:
  • Marketers are daunted by the technological challenge of bringing together the different data sources that would arm the contact centre representative with the right information to have a meaningful conversation with the customer/prospect (transactional data coupled with behavioural and third party demographic feeds).
  • In this age of "listening" and "marketing as a conversation", the call centre representative is not trained to really listen and interpret the customers' requirements. This would better facilitate both up and cross sell opportunities as well as creating a rich seam of data (insight!) to be fed back into the marketing organisation.
These factors - by their nature - create few opportunities for optimisation. Compare that to my tracking your onsite behaviour for the slightest clue of your intentions so that I can present content that better meets your needs - I have you on the phone, most likely you are going to be pretty explicit about what you are there to do.
When will multi-channel marketing get even close to where it needs to be?