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January 2006 Marketing Archives

Friday, January 06, 2006

Microsoft Miva Marriage?

If you thought you had a bad 2005, check out this story in BusinessWeek about the trials and tribulations of ad network Miva.

The stock lost 72 percent of its value, the CFO quit among suspect financials, and the company had to pay $8 million to settle a patent dispute. Miva, the network formerly known as FindWhat could be ripe for the picking, but is Microsoft really in the market for an ad network?

On the plus side, buying a veteran ad network would give MS lots of experienced brainpower and industry connections to help the company understand the online ad world and provide an instant cache of external customers for AdCenter. On the other hand, Microsoft is probably more interested in developing the ad serving technology and leveraging its audience than managing the day-to-day goings-on of an ad network.

Microsoft will likely buy its way to a larger market at some point, but now is probably too early as the company tends to do so as a last result, not when it is beginning in an area.

Microsoft Miva Marriage? By John Gartner at 07:09 PM
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A Google Phone Coming Soon?

Google Phone Coming Soon?
There seems to be no boundaries as to where Google will find a place to squeeze its' search technology. Last week I was quoted in this article which discusses Google's partnership with Lexar to include their search functionality on USB thumb drives and this week Google announces a partnership with Motorola to include Google search on future Motorola handsets. Now currently just about any cell phone with Internet access can reach Google but Motorola plans on including a Google button on future handsets to make the search feature more convenient.

Convenient is not quite the word I would use for it, overkill would probably be a better choice. Maybe its me but I wish the phone companies would focus more on having a phone that actually had a decent call quality, rather then being able to IM friends, search Google and cook your breakfast all at the same time.

A Google Phone Coming Soon? By Jason Dowdell at 05:01 PM
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Vehicles Go Viral

Automakers are embracing viral marketing and the blogosphere in a big way, according to the Detroit News. Ford gave the band Hurra Torpedo one of its new Fusion sedans to tour with, and the band incorporated images of the vehicle into its "rockumentary" web site.

One of the people who registers on the website will win the vehicle used on the tour. Ford even created a slick website (incorporating videos vignettes) for the car.

This is an excellent example of how brands can distinguish themselves by going the extra mile (pun intended) to associate their brand with something people love (up and coming bands). Instead of investing millions in conventional banner ads or TV spots, brands can hire creative people who focus on image and popular culture. The stakes are higher, but people are increasingly becoming numb to conventional advertising models.

In addition to music, video games, movies and sports are also likely targets for brands to leverage in viral marketing. These segments are ripe for "mockumentary" film making that could put the brand in the forefront of a humorous series of videos that would get people addicted.

Vehicles Go Viral By John Gartner at 08:59 AM
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Thursday, January 05, 2006 a Target for Google?

The search engine that never sleeps, there is speculation that Google is at it again and attempting to buy Google would use this partnership to populate its' Google Base project with job listings and thus taking one more giant step towards being a portal. Personally this seems a little odd considering Google already has a partnership with

Google isn't the only one eying as a potential acquisition, who first reported this story is also speculating that Yahoo Inc,, and News Corp could also be potentials buyers for I would never count out Microsoft because they always seem to be lurking around the corner somewhere.

Although this is mostly speculation, Monster is keeping extremely tight lipped on the subject and their stock price has also felt the impact rising 3.5% today. We'll stay on top of things and let you know what happens as this all unfolds. a Target for Google? By Jason Dowdell at 10:55 PM
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Intel Changes Logo in Rebranding Efforts

Intel new logo
In an attempt to re-brand itself, Intel released a new logo and images to go along with the badges for each individual line of processors. A press release by Intel states:
Intel Corporation formally unveiled a new brand identity today that represents a significant milestone in the company's history and further signifies the company’s evolution to a market-driving platform solutions company.

While I agree that Intel needed to jump into the year 2006 with a corporate refresher, but saying the execution was poor would be an understatement. Sure the previous logo looked like a 3rd grader drew it with some crayons, but I'm not sure they did their market research with this new logo because they missed the memo that having a swoosh on your logo is so 1993.
intel Logo
In this day in the Internet age a good recognizable logo is extremely important because it will be plastered all over computers, web sites, and media. While I understand Intel probably didn't want to deviate to far from its fairly recognizable current logo, but this new Intel logo just seems bland and outdated. It's almost like McDonald's changing all their golden arches to a Times New Roman 'M', and taking a step back in the logo time mobile. If you are going to change it do more then changing the font and rotating the swoosh around.

Someone at Intel better be getting a kick in the bum for this blunder because they took a leap back instead of a "Leap Ahead" and they are still a leap behind AMD.

Intel Changes Logo in Rebranding Efforts By Jason Dowdell at 10:14 AM
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Google Analytics Down ..... Again

Not sure what the issue is this time, but Google Analytics continues its up and down performance. I really wish they would iron out the issues, because my morning routine relies on checking my web stats and I'm sure there are other marketers out there who appreciate the free stats but are considering paying for a reliable program.

Hey Sergi, sell some of that stock and fix your program!

Google Analytics Down ..... Again By Jason Dowdell at 09:34 AM
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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Microsoft Trying To Buy Yahoo!

You and I know good and well that Microsoft wasn't going to go down in search flames without putting up a fight after losing the 'Battle at AOL-burg' to Google. Microsoft has officially thrown the gloves off and pulled out its' wallet. Microsoft, like the rest of us would do, pulled out some billion dollar bills, 80 to be exact, and slid them over to Yahoo in attempt to buy Yahoo Inc. This rumored bid was slightly more then 30% of Yahoo's current market value and they kindly said ..... NO?

Now this is either Yahoo playing hardball or just knowing the prediciment that Microsoft is in and hoping to squeeze another 10 of those billion dollar bills out of Mr. Bill Gates' Wallet.

Will Microsoft do it? Will Yahoo take a 90 billion dollar offer from Bill? Only time will tell but if this does happen, it would be one of the biggest stories to hit the online world in recent memory and would solidify Microsoft as a serious player in the contextual ad market and we all know this is the space that everyone is trying to get a piece of.

From the LA Times piece...
Within days, speculation was rampant that Microsoft, determined to keep itself in the game, had offered to buy Yahoo Inc. for $80 billion. If rumors were to be believed, the Microsoft bid — a premium of more than 30% over the Web giant's current market value — was rejected by Yahoo as too low.

Will Microsoft spend $90 billion or more to buy Yahoo or, alternatively, AOL parent Time Warner? Maybe not, especially when the software giant could buy Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp at a fraction of the price. If owned by Microsoft, Diller's collection of websites such as Ask Jeeves, Expedia,, LendingTree and Ticketmaster could help drive traffic to MSN.

Microsoft Trying To Buy Yahoo! By Jason Dowdell at 03:03 AM
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Google to Sell PCs at Wal-Mart

Google will unveil its own low-price personal computer or other device that connects to the Internet potential called 'Google Cubes'

Google's co-founder and president of products, Larry Page, will give a keynote address Friday at CES in Las Vegas. It is suspected that Page will use the opportunity either to show off a Google computing device or announce a partnership with a big retailer to sell such a machine.

Wally World maybe?

Google would be able to sell this Google-Pc so cheap because they have been secretly (or not so secretly) creating their own operating system which would run on these Google PCs instead of Microsoft Windows in turn helping trim the overall cost of production.

There is no telling what type of functionality this Google Pc will have but it would be a safe bet that there is going to be lots of intergrated search, which means more places for contextual ads which in turn means more money into Google's pocket. More money is exactly what Google needs :eye roll:

It Is also being rumored that this box will be basic media center PC, allowing users to move songs, videos, etc from computer to PC. A product like this could really put pressure on so many different types of industries from hardware manufacturers to cable and network television, there just seems no limit to the extent of the media empire Google is trying to build. Where is my 'Evil Google' picture when I need it?

Keep an eye out for blue light specials on your next Wal-Mart trip and let us know when you see a Google PC!

*Update* Seems like all the Googlers are denying this rumor with the same response:
"We have many PC partners who serve their markets exceedingly well and we see no need to enter that market," Google spokeswoman Eileen Rodriguez told Light Reading via email. "We would rather partner with great companies."

I'm not sure this completely rules out all aspects of a Google-PC, maybe it is just a Google OS? Something just seems fishy to me.

CES won't get here fast enough.

Google to Sell PCs at Wal-Mart By Jason Dowdell at 02:48 AM
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Monday, January 02, 2006

Top 10 Marketing Predictions For 2006

Sorry for the delay folks... here's my top 10 list of marketing predictions for 2006. Let's see how close I can get on some of these.

10.) Free api's will continue to grow and licensing issues will be disputed by companies making commercial use of free api data and a benchmark lawsuit will be filed in this arena similar to the American Blinds & Wallpaper vs Google lawsuit.

9.) Feed marketing will explode as more and more places are discovered where clips from feeds make sense to be placed, similar to the web clips being shown in GMail.

8.) Email marketing will once again get hot. A service will be created that will allow anyone to put an email list on their blog without having to actually manage the email itself. They just say how often the email needs to be sent and the types of ads they'd like in it (if they have any preference) and somebody will make a lot of money off of this service. The service will be free and will be based on a revenue share agreement between the blogger and the company providing the email list mgmt service.

7.) RSS will never be a mainstream tool, I think it will be replaced by a technology that will be more friendly to the masses. Probably some sort of blogpost aggregation via email.. hmmm :)

6.) The hype around RSS aggregators will die! Feed aggregation services will have slower growth in 2006 as compared to 2005 for several reasons.

a.) The benefit of rss / atom / rdf is the ability to pull data from sites quickly and effeciently and RSS aggregators are the crudest of applications because they only aggregate data. To date, RSS aggregators like Bloglines have applied very little logic to that which it's aggregating and that will no longer be enough to satisfy real world needs.

b.) Moms, dads, grandmother's & grandfathers will never be familiar with RSS or feed technology and they'll need something more familiar like email to get info they're interested in. RSS will be combined with email in ways we didn't think possible.

c.) Scores of companies will continue to build their businesses on top of feed technology and by applying logic to the data in those feeds. These companies will get their users the data they're most interested in, in any medium they want it in, and whenever they want it. This application of logic to the data is what will increase the value of the feed and empower users to make better decisions when they need to make them without having to worry about learning the latest tech jargan.

5.) The bortal will rise & the newspaper will fall. A bortal is the combination of a blog and a portal. Key bloggers will expand the content & scope of their sites and we'll see portals become more blog-like in an effort to promote their key members as experts in specific fields and piggyback on the popularity of the blogging phenom. Newspapers will become more bloglike and encourage contributions from their readers and move a large majority of their content online to capitalize on the online advertising spend increases.

4.) Both Google & Yahoo will release a more accessible commercial version of their search API that's accessible and affordable for the small business (think pennies per thousand transactions) in an effort to monetize their free APIs and extend their brand.

3.) A non-profit or small group of geeks will start a free service that makes it easy for bloggers and advertisers / PR firms to find each other. The service will let bloggers specify the types of businesses they want to promote while also stating the type of compensation they most prefer (gifts, trips, shoes, ipods, etc...). This will build long lasting relationships between key bloggers in their respective markets and promote the 1 to 1 marketing campaigns that were not possible or scalable prior to blogs.

2.) Viral marketing will no longer be closely tied to grass roots marketing efforts because corporate America will continue to exploit the viral marketing tactic and incorporate it into over 50% of their online marketing efforts. A new form of viral marketing will emerge, one that is much more difficult to copy by Fortune 500 companies. I have no idea what this new form will be.

1.) Multimedia search will catch fire. SEO's will try to figure out where all of this image traffic is coming from and a king of image search optimization will emerge. Video search will follow closely behind followed by other formats like print. And don't forget the mashup pimps, taking other people's content and deriving new meaning from it while profiting from it like never before.

Top 10 Marketing Predictions For 2006 By Jason Dowdell at 06:15 PM
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January 2006 Week 2 »

  • Week 1 (9 entries) January 1-7
  • Week 2 (14 entries) January 8-14
  • Week 3 (12 entries) January 15-21
  • Week 4 (11 entries) January 22-28
  • Week 5 (2 entries) January 29-31

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