Saturday, 30 January 2010

Creative + Technology

McDonalds advertising in Europe is generally much more interesting than anything I have seen from them in the US. For me, this is as true online as it is for their outdoor and TV efforts. Their latest online campaign, a tie in to the Avatar phenomenon, was created in conjuction with Oddcast a creative technology shop. The experience of turning yourself into a character from the film is well designed and fun -most importantly, the campaign has produced some pretty significant engagement metrics. The Avatarize Yourself" campaign was lauched in 18 counries and 7 languages accross the continent and has so far produced:

  • 4 Mllion user sessions
  • 9 minutes, 45 seconds average session time
  • 25% of all sessions results in sharing via email or social networks
  • Generating almost 1.2mm earned sessions

Not bad...

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Google Mail

The old adage that Google never advertises is no longer true.

Indeed, it came as something of a surprise when, a couple of weeks ago I received a direct mail piece from the online advertising giant. Surprising in some ways but not entirely... I have long believed that direct mail, as part of a coordinated multi-channel campaign - far from being dead - is a powerful weapon, a great way to cut through the clutter that is my email inbox and to capture my attention.

I read and retained the mail piece - the offer and call to action were good, but the fact that Google used a different channel to reach me really made the difference. I have told so many friends and colleagues about this that it may be the first viral direct mail piece in the history of DM...

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Biting The Hand?

Google's inclusion of an Ad Blocker into it's Chrome browser seems incongruous when you consider that Google is the largest broker of on-site advertising in the world. The company takes a (at least explicitly) different view, Google engineering director Linus Upson said recently at Add-On-Con :
"We think about this a lot at Google, because we make [just about] all of our money from advertising. It's unlikely that ad blockers will get to the level where they imperil the advertising market, because if advertising is so annoying that a large segment of the population wants to block it, then advertising needs to get less annoying."
The question would be more pertinent and potentially troubling if Chrome had a dominant market share (it is currently just above 4%). Nevertheless over time, ad blocking will become more prevalent and that will in no way ease the pressure on marketers to make their advertising more relevant (on all of the dimensions of relevance: contextual, temporal and experiential) and therefore more welcome.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Company Culture & Customer Experience

Zappos quirky, fun-orientated culture is the internal reflection of (and reason for?) its legendary customer experience qualities. I have referenced this before - they really have turned customer relationship and experience management into a major differentiator as they have integrated it into the fabric of who they are as a company.

For a while now, Zappos has offered tours of its Las Vegas headquarters. 16 times a week, groups can visit and get an understanding of how they are set up and how they operate. Going a step further, they have now packaged their approach into a set of services that other companies can buy. For example you can now purchase a seminar for 4,000 USD per person on how to recreate the essence of its corporate culture... They have further recently launched Zappos Insights, a website which proposes management videos and tips on creating a similar corporate culture from Zappos employees at a cost of 39.95 USD a month. The subscription offers:
"A comprehensive source of in-depth information, including video interviews with senior management of where we answer all of your questions and allow others to capitalize on what we've learned as we've grown from $0 in 1999 to around $1B in gross merchandise sales in 2008.

We are constantly asked for input and ideas to help many companies (or divisions within companies) get to the next level. Over time, we've found that many business leaders have the same (or very similar questions). We figured this could be a great way to share our learnings, and also allow your peer network to learn from questions others may have.

With so many management consulting firms charging such high rates, we wanted to come up with something that's available to all businesses".

More here...

Monday, 4 January 2010

Marketing Technology - The Next Wave

A report by Booz & Co highlights the advantages of creating the requisite infrastructure to enable truly personalized marketing campaigns that are relevant to consumers needs whilest being efficient to run and optimize over time through the use of next generation platforms.
In a world overrun with marketing messages, the next wave of marketing technology will cut through the clutter, building automated marketing campaigns that address your customers’ wants and needs individually. The result: greater customer intimacy, improved loyalty, and higher revenues.
Sound familiar? It really does echo the promises made by the original CRM platform vendors doesn't it - so what is different this time? The report outlines familiar areas for improvement (the often dysfunctional relationship between IT and Marketing departments), it also proposes a rational road-map from the present, transactional, siloed and sequential platforms to a more organic application eco-system where the customer interaction is governed centrally whatever the channel...