Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Happy Birthday Banner!

Interesting article from my old friend and colleague at Euro RSCG, Frank D'Angelo appeared in AdAge last week. October 27th effectively marked the 15th birthday of the first banner ad which appeared in hotwired.com (the online version of Wired magazine).

Read the article here...

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Putting It To Work

Much has been said (and written) about Web 2.0 technologies and how they are shaping the future of business - it's not all about marketing you know - on the Internet. Incidentally, there are 352,000,000 citations on the subject in Google results pages today. The best definition is still probably that from Tim O'Reilly back in the dark ages of 2005 - a good article can be found here.

Over the past several years McKinsey has conducted a Web 2.0 research initiative led by Michael Chui. As part of theis the team surveyed more the 1500 business executives on how their companies are using the different technologies, how that usage maps to the trends observed in the development of the tools and what future investment plans the different organizations have. The study focuses its attention on 12 tools/technologies/techniques that have found some level of penetration if not critical mass in the general population:
  • blogs
  • mash-ups
  • microblogging
  • peer to peer
  • podcasts
  • prediction markets
  • rating
  • RSS
  • social networking
  • tagging
  • video sharing
  • wikis.
In true Web 2.0 fashion, (I think it's all about harnessing data and making it usable and useful) McKinsey has developed a nice data visualization tool that allows one to look at how these technologies are being used against different business objectives over time.

More here...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Statistical Personalization

That's what the technology that powers Adchemy is called by its inventor.

Accenture (hot on the heels of the announcement that Accenture Interactive would be handling display advertising on the P&G websites) just announced that they will be joining two venture firms in taking a stake in Adchemy.

Adchemy is one of a number of emerging companies (MediaMath is one that my company very successfully works with) that use multiple sources of dis-identified consumer data to present more relevant display advertising on websites. Using inventory from a broad array of Exchanges these solutions are designed to be able to seek out high value niche segments based on demographics such as the Prizm data. They also provide marketers with a way to nuance a buy in near real-time based on changing market dynamics and priorities.

With Forrester predicting that the display market (who said display was dead again?) will rise to 21% of total ad spend over the next 5 years - up from 12% today - the market for a smarter, more relevant form of display advertising will become a little more crowded.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Marketing Enabled Technology

In an interesting move and a first for the company, Microsoft has announced that the next version of Office - 2010 will be available as a free ad-supported limited functionality version. Whereas Google offers Docs as a cloud solution, Microsoft's Starter 2010 will be a PC based offering unlike Office Web Apps. New Windows 7 PCs will be shipped with the software which users will be able to use for as long as they like before obtaining a license and upgrading to the ad-free version.

Is this the start of a fightback for non-cloud computing?

It is not yet clear to me either how the ads will be presented within the software (banners, one line text ads) or on what basis - sponsorship, contextual, etc...

More here...

Friday, 9 October 2009

Websites Are Dead, Long Live The Web

Very interesting post from Geoff Northcott on the decline of the destination site (and the corresponding rise of the social media sites). Geoff points out that since 2007 most of the major brands out there have witnessed traffic erosion. The examples below illustrate the point perfectly, there are more examples on the original post here:

Google Trends for Websites_ disney.com.jpg

Google Trends for Websites_ dell.com.jpg

Google Trends for Websites_ sony.com.jpg

This traffic is not lost to everyone as Facebook, Twitter et al continue to grow apace. I would be interested to see how brands are reacting to this, how they are reallocating budget and attention from the old "build it and they will come" mentality to a more off-site focus that puts the content where the consumers are, see below:

Google Trends for Websites_ facebook.com.jpg

Google Trends for Websites_ tumblr.com.jpgGoogle Trends for Websites_ twitter.com.jpg

As Steve Rubel points out:
'Unfortunately, digital marketing is still wired for the destination web era. To succeed going forward we have to change our thinking. "Earned media" through direct public engagement in the venues where our consumers spend time will become the only way to truly influence a behavior change. The greatest advantages will go to the first movers who embrace this shift. It's not too late."
The website is dead, long live the web...

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Un-Marketing Technology

Interruption marketing has proven itself to be pretty ineffective at least in terms of creating any kind of lasting affinity between a consumer and a brand. Often, the reverse is true and the frustration this kind of advertising causes can negatively affect customer perceptions and preferences.

On of my pet peeves when watching TV news or sports (pretty much the only things I do watch live) is the volume variations between the programming and the commercials.... SRS have created a new product designed to equalise these volume variations and thus to reduce the number of times I need to raise and lower the volume on my TV set.

I think two things about this - 1) well done SRS for spotting a market need and filling it. 2) The TV networks are completely crazy to make this product necessary.

If I am a TV advertiser the last thing I really want to do is have my audience reach for their remote control at precisely the moment i do not want them to have it in their hand....

Monday, 5 October 2009

Online Advertising Outpaces TV

According to a recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, online ad spending was higher that that of TV advertising for the first time in a major economy. Advertisers in the UK spent £1.75bn online in the first 6 months of the year, representing a 4.6% increase over 2008. During the same period, TV advertising accounted for around £1.6bn or a 17% decrease.

Online advertising in the UK now represents 23.5% of ad budgets while while TV spending accounts for 21.9%.

While this is a pretty significant milestone, the shift still does not align ad spending with media consumption which has seen a major (and accelerating) realignment from TV to online. So while it's reassuring to see advertisers waking up to the opportunity - it's still a little half-hearted especially because I fear that this reallocation of ad spend is less about fishing where the fish are than a knee-jerk reaction to the recession...


Friday, 2 October 2009

Marketing Technology - Are We There Yet?

Forrester analyst Emily Riley is about to undertake some research into the marketers armory of technology tools that enable them to do their jobs more efficiently or effectively. I look forward to her conclusions with anticipation. Having been involved with marketing technologies for the last 15 years in different agencies and across many clients, I have seen, first hand the key impediments to delivering the value that these tools, well engaged, can provide. The central reason for this inefficiency is the silos that many companies create to manage different elements of the same process - marketing, analytics, technology, etc... When it's done well, agencies can play a fundamental role in bridging the divides here, when it's done less well, they compound the problems.

Emily is going to look at the following technologies (to which I would add cross-channel campaign management tools):
  • Ad Servers
  • RFP management tools
  • Inventory management systems
  • Billing and reconciliation tools
  • Analytics tools
  • Search and Email tools
  • Rich media tools