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December 2006 Marketing Archives

Friday, December 08, 2006

Social Sites Beating Search

Social networking is becoming more important that the search engines not named Google, according to Hitwise data quoted by MediaPost.

In aggregate Facebook, MySpace and friends drive six percent of all traffic to retailers, or almost as much as Yahoo and MSN Search combined (seven percent).

While search isn't going away, there exists an opportunity to monetize the younger folks who follow the crowds and value each others opinions. I have been skeptical of the MySpace model, but social networks and their advertisers could introduce ratings services that let participants have their say without being too intrusive.

MySpacers are happy to tell you what they think about music, fashion and consumer electronics, and those are very deep commerce veins to explore. Gen X and Y will buy the products designated as worthy by their hip "friends," as long as the recommendations are viewed as genuine.

Social Sites Beating Search By John Gartner at 03:03 PM
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TiVo Ready to Get Hitched

There is speculation that TiVo could be headed to the altar with Google or Apple, but Google is the better partner.

Jon Fortt of Business 2.0 this week channeled my post from October about the synergies between Google and TiVo (GooVo??). TiVo will never be a great financial success as a subscription service or software maker because there are too many clones. However, as an advertising platform and delivery mechanism for searching and storing web and TV content, well hello kitty!

If TiVo were in 50 million homes, Google could sell targeted advertising against combined online and offline content based on demographic information. If Google can afford to give away WiFi for free in the hopes of selling display and AdSense, then they can provide TiVo boxes at low cost. If the TiVo service were close to free, 99 percent of people would use it in exchange for giving up some personal information.

Together they could make it easy to "tag" video content and subscribe to feeds so that they are automatically copied to your TiVo, something I call "DVRSS."

Apple is rumoredto be licensing TiVo's software for its iTV video/music box. Apple could get inside a greater number of homes by linking iTunes with TiVo. But Apple doesn't have the expertise in advertising, so penetration of TiVo would be a fraction of what could happen with Google.

TiVo should choose one suitor while it has some momentum with its latest products. As part of Google, TiVo could help to reshape advertising and television.

TiVo Ready to Get Hitched By John Gartner at 01:11 PM
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YouTube Email Spam Getting Bad

I've been a member of the YouTube community for some time, using it as a platform for publishing both family and business-oriented videos.

Marketing by Members
I've long received invitations from other YouTube members to be their friend, which means that I'll receive their bulletins on my profile page when I log in, as well as an email to my gmail inbox to let me know they've posted said bulletin.

This is a simple way for members to let other members know they have new videos out, and video views is what moves certain vids into top positions on high traffic pages, insuring still more views.

YouTube gets more pageviews from this of course, so it's in their strong interest to promote the promotions of their members.

Comment Spam
Text comments about videos, where YouTube members leave their thoughtful, insightful criticisms of each others' work, have long been a target for spammers too.

A frequently viewed video has naturally large numbers of people reading the comments. Throw a few pill links in the comment section of a top video and you're sure to get some traffic.

And now, introducing YouTube email spam!
Like MySpace, and most online forums, YouTube has an inter-member email service. In the last couple days I've started to get Brazilian porn spam and pill spam in my YouTube email inbox.

I have 12 sitting in my inbox now since yesterday.

I'm used to the porn marketers in MySpace setting up fake hot chick accounts. Heck there are even real porn stars who have MySpace accounts as a method of marketing their wares and interacting with fans.

It's fascinating to watch spammers discover unexploited niches - I just wish they were more engaging :)

YouTube Email Spam Getting Bad By Garrett at 09:12 AM
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Google Audio Ads to Monetize the Dogs, Not the Long Tail

So Google's done well in putting the appropriate pieces together to attract their small business advertisers to the beta Audio Ads product.

They've nailed the distribution part and, like
TurnHere, have leveraged a low cost talent pool for creative ("Generally, you may expect to pay between $100 and $1000 to create an ad for this test.")

I don't remember from the magazine buying test if Google provided access to creative assistance.

What's shocking to me though - perhaps because I've "grown up" in online marketing - is the lack of both contextual and intent-based targeting available. In discussing where ads show up Google says:
"We'll display the number of stations that meet your criteria when you complete the targeting section of your campaign setup, and will break that number down into radio station types (the type of music or talk that the radio station focuses on). We're not able to display radio call signs at this time, however."
This play seems to be an effort aimed at monetizing the dogs (is it called scatter market in radio?) rather than monetizing the long tail.

Ultimately this will result in the aural equivalent of the obnoxious "clip the nose hairs" and "free ipod" lead gen campaigns we see on sites like YouTube and MySpace which have millions of throw-away, low quality page views.

I look forward to seeing what happens of course. I just wonder if, like the print offering, they'll end up dashing their chances on the rocks of expectations of marketers used to the intent-oriented value of search-based long tail.

Read John Gartner's take on Google's print forray: AdSense Makes NoSense in Print for what is likely to happen with Google Audio until they figure out the intent of listeners.

Here's Google's blog announcement of the test.

An interviewee using the system seems quite excited about the service in this CNet article.

Google Audio Ads to Monetize the Dogs, Not the Long Tail By Garrett at 09:02 AM
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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Every House Is on the Market

Real estate site Zillow is Web 2.0-ifying the house selling industry by providing information about every house in the country, regardless of if it's for sale or not. In the process however, they may be making realtors less necessary.

Zillow has basic info about nearly 70 million homes, and through it's cool mapping software, you can type in an address and find an estimated price for every house in your neighborhood and graphically see which are for sale, and those that sold recently, and at what price. Homeowners can also post a "Make Me Move" price if they want to consider selling their house without putting a sign in the yard. You can also search by price or number of bedrooms by area.

The company has created a web page for every home and allows homeowners to dress up their pages for free with more info or pictures. Realtors can post their contact information on each home that they have on offer to make it easy to find representation. Zillow is developing services for realtors, who have as much to lose as you and I have to gain using Zillow. Since most of the services appear to be free, I'm guessing the realtors will pay for participating, not homeowners.

The data isn't perfect as my home's description is off in both the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, although the square footage was correct (before some recent improvements). While Zillow correctly identified several homes around the corner that had recently sold, a new development that went up last year is still shown as a grass field. The interactive maps make it easy to expand your search and visualize what's happening nearby. Even if you aren't in the market, it's fun to play around.

Zillow is open for people who claim to own a home to change their info, but there may be a time when the company has to tighten it's security if people want to abuse the privilege.

Every House Is on the Market By John Gartner at 03:47 PM
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Click Fraud Endangers PPC

The companies that participate in click fraud -- either by perpetuating it or allowing it to occur on their networks -- are forcing some advertisers to move from pay per click into other advertising commission schemes.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies gave the elephant in the room its overdue recognition by telling members what most of them already new about click fraud, according to MediaPost. The group also debated the issue of poor quality clicks, where publishers use deceptive means to bring people to websites that contain content that they could care less about.

This gray area should be tackled as well since their is abundance of bogus traffic. Advertisers who are still interested in playing in PPC should ask for clauses in their contracts with ad networks that guarantee that PPC costs won't stray beyond thresholds.

For example, in this case, where a PPC campaign grew in cost by tenfold with zero increase in leads generated, advertisers should be able to set a maximum such as, if clicks to leads falls beyond X, I stop paying, or at least the commission structure is adjusted.

Google et al who offer PPC will react only to the extent that their revenues are threatened. They should be willing to compromise and offer options so that advertisers don't have to leave them altogether.

Click Fraud Endangers PPC By John Gartner at 02:06 PM
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TV Shift: Local Search Video Advertising aka Pay Per Video

Following up on John Gartner's ValueClick web video advertising story, here's news from lostremote of a start up that creates $300 web video ads.

In checking out their offering I was surprised to find interview-style commercials - they're doing everything "by hand." I figured there's no way they can do $300 web video ads for folks *everywhere*.
TurnHere will create a 30-to 60-second custom video profile for your business - shooting takes less than an hour and within a few days we'll email you a link to view your video.
Well, apparently they ARE going national (in the US) by being an aggregator of local videographers as far as I can tell from this CNet article. They shoot in an unscripted documentary style to keep costs low and find videographers on craigslist.

Distribution points will be the toughest part here (something that SpotRunner, a video ad service with canned content has nailed on traditional TV networks), but should pick up once local newspapers get into the web video business.

I would try for a MerchantCircle partnership, as well as Zillow... realtors dig video for their listings.

Video is likely where we'll see lots of cash going with that 28 percent internet ad spend increase in 2007.

TV Shift: Local Search Video Advertising aka Pay Per Video By Jason Dowdell at 08:52 AM
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Books the Next Content Commodity

Microsoft unleashed a public beta of its book search website, providing another indication that to extract the maximum value from content it must be broken apart.

The Live Search Bookssite is limited to works in the public domain or that Microsoft has gained permission to publish, so it is much less comprehensive than Google's book search.

Book publishers will be dragged by the search community into the digital distribution age as their content will be parsed, tagged, and commented on for all to enjoy. The music industry and TV networks went through the same painful process of first resisting and then embracing online distribution.

For book publishers, the ability to sell entire volumes or chapters online can greatly enhance their revenue stream, and they need to quickly develop the business models in partnership with search companies. Today much of the research that used to take place at the library, particularly when it relates to history or science, now occurs online. Instead of grabbing an encyclopedia off the shelf, we use wikipedia or a search engine to get the available "facts."

But by selling only the chapters that are relevant to a search, publisher can create a new revenue stream. Books could be sold as entire volumes for the first few months, before becoming "long tail" items that are sold bit by bit. If you want to learn about an event or syndrome, why pay $30 for the book (or more likely go to the library and use the photocopier) when you could pay $5 just for the chapter you need?

Netizens can speed the process along by tagging content that has been set free for viewing. While Amazon's search engine does a fair job at finding books based on subjects, combining the power of search engines with people-powered tagging will make it much easier to find information.

Books the Next Content Commodity By John Gartner at 01:33 PM
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Networks Struggle With Revenue Model

Network television execs have done a 360 degree turn in embracing the Internet as a distribution vehicle for their programming, but determining the value of their shows remains elusive.

Time Warner has established a digital production division that will leverage its television programming into packages suitable for online distribution, according to MediaPost.

TW CEO Dick Parsons said "the company needs to find the sweet spot between leading and following the consumer" and figure out how to extract revenue online without undervaluing the content. The networks quickly learned that not too many people would pay $1.99 to watch an iTunes version of a "free show" and have moved on to ad-supported streams, but so far the few ads they are producing online don't come close to their TV equivalents in creating ad revenue per viewer.

Time Warner has this nice distribution vehicle called AOL that has a massive audience, and they should open the keys to their TV kingdom there.

You can see plenty of clips from HBO (part of TW's empire) shows Entourage or Real Time With Bill Maher on YouTube, but nothing current on AOL's In2TV website. Time Warner should offer clips for free and develop pay per view models for its top HBO shows. HBO makes its money from subscriptions, but by pricing shows high enough, they wouldn't threaten their cable deals.

In Australia, broadcasters are competing with online versions of current TV shows that will be available either as pay-per-view or supported by ads.

Most TV programs aren't worth paying for, so in most cases ad-supported is the way to go. Using clips of shows can generate ad revenue while also functioning as free advertising.

Networks Struggle With Revenue Model By Jason Dowdell at 10:38 AM
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

MarketingShift's Mega Guide to MPlanet Coverage

A conference so big it's not coming back until 2008... Seriously - Jason and I were chatting between sessions about the costs. I said several hundred thousand. He put it at over a million.

Here are my awards:
Warm Fuzzy Mplanet Marketing Moment Award goes to:
Murphy's Law of Exhibiting is Castaway
coolest side gig project:
Rachelle LaCroix in Defenders of Stan
best wrap up post and onsite Mplanet conversation award
MPlanet 2006: Ushering in a New Era for Marketers by Ann Handley
just plain weird award:
Mplanet's intro/outro performance

So there are my quick Mplanet awards. Now here's the MarketingShift Mplanet Mega Guide:

MarketingShift (it's our guide. we go first ;P)
MPlanet Keynote: Randall Stephenson, COO AT&T
MPlanet Keynote Dennis L. Dunlap, CEO of AMA
Monetizing Latent Media Assets by McKinsey
Managing the Customer Experience
Audience Q/A with Wired's Chris Anderson and Yahoo's Jason Zajac
Q/A with Jason Zajac, GM, Social Media, Yahoo
12 Take Aways from Chris Anderson's MPlanet Longtail Presentation
New World of Media: Audience Q/A
New World of Media: Craig Coffey, VP, Marketing, Nokia
New World of Media: George Harrison, SVP MarComm, Nintendo
New World of Media: Mike Fasulo, CMO, Sony
New World of Media: Paul Woolmington of Naked
MPlanet Keynote Dennis L. Dunlap, CEO of AMA
MPlanet: the Pre-Conference "Networking Immersion Experience"

Robert Kingston
Mplanet 2006 Kicks Off!
Mplanet 2006 Day 2
Mplanet 2006 Day 3

Roy Young
MPlanet 2006: What Keeps P&G's Larry Huston Up at Night?
MPlanet 2006: Shining a Light on Web 2.0

Josh Hallett
Mplanet 2006 - Heading Home
Mplanet 2006 - Reinventing the Marketing Organization - Peter Kim, Forrester Research
Mplanet 2006 - How World-Class Organizations Innovate in B2B Markets
Mplanet 2006 - Keynote: Sam Palmisano, IBM
Mplanet 2006 - Social Computing & Its Impact on Marketing - Brian Kardon, Forrester Research
Mplanet 2006 - The New Economy: Long Tail vs. 80/20
Mplanet 2006 - Measurement in a Time of Integration and Distribution
Mplanet 2006 - Succeeding in a New World of Media
Mplanet 2006 - Keynote: Randall Stephenson, COO AT&T
Mplanet 2006 - Opening Address: Dennis L. Dunlap

Peter Kim
Mplanet 2006 - It's a small world after all
Mplanet 2006 - Closing Session
Katherine Sheehan, GfK Roper - The Third Age of Globalization
Gian Fulgoni - ComScore Networks
Argenti on Integration
McKinsey & Company on Profiting From Proliferation
P&G's Connect + Develop: A New Model For Innovation
AMA's Winning Strategies For Success

Rob O'Regan
MPlanet Odds & Ends
Measurement and Metrics
Long Tail
Web 2.0 and Marketers
Customer Engagement
“Never a Better Time to Be a Marketer”

Eric Kintz
Blogging from MPlanet - "Marketing Strategy is Business Strategy"

Andy Hasselwander
Interesting B2B Sessions at MPlanet
MPlanet Post Mortem

Video Wrap up: Tampa Bay's Media Talk

other coverage:
Mplanet 2006 Wrap-Up
Marketing executive panel reviews return on marketing investment strategies
MPlanet 2006 Florida
MPlanet 2006 on Branding and Marketing
Mplanet 2006 Remote Broadcast with Michael Treacy, Co-Founder & Chief Strategist, GEN3 Partners) (December 4)
A marketing maverick in a Big Blue suit
Your brand is what Google says your brand is ... (Marshall Sponder)

MarketingShift's Mega Guide to MPlanet Coverage By Garrett at 10:28 AM
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FeedBurner Links Old to New Media

FeedBurner, the RSS feed and advertising company, is enabling old media publishers such as the Wall Street Journal to expand their reach by working with social bookmarking and commentary sites such as digg, slashdot, and del.icio.us.

Feedburner's FeedFlare service enables customers to imbed information in their feeds about the number of times a feed item has been linked to, the number of comments, and simplifies the process of having items bookmarked. FeedFlare can include links for many of the Web 2.0 services that can give a tremendous boost to an article's visibility.

Getting the "buzz" from social networking sites provides a huge lift in traffic, and automating the process for readers might increase the likelihood that your article lands on some of the web's most important home pages.

The company has signed up many of the largest general and technology publishers including Ziff-Davis and Wired News, and has tripled its advertising inventory. Integrating ads into feeds can also increase the revenue per article and is easy to do.

FeedBurner Links Old to New Media By John Gartner at 10:25 AM
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ValueClick Incorporates Video Advertising

When the number one and two players in an industry are moving in the same direction, everyone else will likely follow. ValueClick has integrated video ad serving into its distribution platform, catching up with market leader Advertising.com.

According to MediaPost, ValueClick says that 25 percent of its publishers already offer video, so enabling them to offer a parallel advertising experience is necessary. The company is also planning to syndicate video content so that for those publishers who don't currently offer video can run their ads as pre-rolls or within the content.

That's a smart move since ValueClick and its publishers will benefit from the higher CPMs of video ads,which are expected to fastest growing segment online. ValueClick and its publishers need to make certain that they will have the bandwidth necessary to optimize the delivery of the video ads. The last thing you want is for people to click away because they are tired of waiting for the stream to start.

ValueClick Incorporates Video Advertising By John Gartner at 09:17 AM
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Monday, December 04, 2006

Mobile RSS Ready to Go

Phone makers and software developers are continuing to expand the choices on how we digest information on mobile devices. Although the displays and storage capacity on mobile devices are improving, getting just the info you want via RSS and avoiding the junk is imperative.

Microsoft and Samsung just announced the Ultra Messaging i600, a smart phone that include RSS Feeder software, while Nokia released new RSS reader software called WidSets.

NewsGator, one of the leaders in RSS aggregation, has teamed up with FreeRange to develop NewsGator Go software, which enables syncing of content between Java mobile phones and the company's desktop and web-based readers.

Opera has upgraded its Mini browser to version 3.0, which includes an RSS reader.

This growth in software for mobiles will expand the opportunities for RSS ads. When you factor in that ads delivered to mobiles tend to have much higher click through rates than their desktop counterparts, creating ads optimized to mobile readers seems like a good investment.

Mobile RSS Ready to Go By John Gartner at 01:48 PM
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Podcasting Stuck in Old Media

Thanks for the comments (mostly from those who disagree) on my post about podcasting being overrated as a medium for making money.

As I said, Podcasting's fame will probably never be greater than it is today, but like Paris Hilton, Vanilla Ice, and Ryan Leaf, it will continue to have a career, just not live up to its hype.

Podcasting of concerts makes sense, but I'm talking about producing spoken word content that is to be replayed later offline. Maybe my definition is wrong, but podcasting is not live and interactive, that's what we called Internet radio back in the days when the web was first taking off.

Podcasting's strongest market will be for niche content so that people can discuss the music industry, how to make beer, or tweak their Mustangs, but this is not mass media. There are some useful programs such as daily radio shows from NPR, PBS or the O'Reilly Factor.

But we already have an abundance of talk radio that is available at anytime. No matter what your political slant, you can listen to like-minded windbags all over the AM and FM and satellite stations from morning till night, so there isn't a huge need waiting to be filled. And as Rachel Cooke points out, the newspapers so far have primarily repackaged their columnists into podcasts, not exactly what younger listeners are dying for.

Also, where's the VC and entrepreneurs who believe this will become a 7-figure industry? Scan the PR wires and investment pages for new podcasting investment or services, and the silence will be deafening. Startups in online video and social networking are receiving and spending cash in much larger volumes, and rightly so.

The media is being reshaped by Web 2.0, but innovations such as those just mentioned as well as RSS aggregators, news rating services, and personalization have much greater potential to generate advertising dollars than podcasting. It is a useful tool for the consumption of specific types of content, but a revolution it ain't.

Podcasting Stuck in Old Media By John Gartner at 01:24 PM
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AskCity: Integrating Local Search (and IAC)

Gary Price kindly guided me through the new AskCity product at 10:15 pm last night. To users, AskCity offers more intuitive mapping power (saving routes, emailing routes, inviting people to specific places at specific times) than I've ever seen pulled together in one place. To IAC AskCity pulls together more of their properties in one place than any other product.

My key takeaways:
    most IAC products (6) integrated in one place ever (a good thing since it has no ads yet)
    errand planning and event organization functionality
    directions for walking AND for driving (nifty!)
    Ask found that users don't respond to "local" as well as to "city."
    red lines around zip codes on map display
    send directions and itineraries to others
$$$
Ask hasn't cracked any new local nuts when it comes to monetization yet - there's no AskCity specific advertising product. It does pull together a multitude - 6 - of IAC products including CitySearch, TicketMaster, ServiceMagic and others.

This integration is Diller's dream realized and it's got to be the reason that there's no push to quickly monetize. Well, that and it's probably a biaaatch and very expensive to market to local businesses about yet another web product.

I think of Ask as a very intelligent top-down search improvement company. Gary mentioned that he joined the company in part because its approach was very "librarian." Librarians and libraries typically impose a top-down informational hierarchy that makes little or no allowance for explicit user input such as tags (this is not a value statement - I'm just saying).

But Ask continues to relentlessly enhance and tighten the user experience in ways that larger search engines have lost sight of in their rush for the social web and mountains of press.

Let's look at some of those ways now:

Differentiation
directions for walking, directions for driving
sometimes you need walking directions - you can often ignore stuff like one way streets and take cut throughs where cars can't drive. I wonder if the Ask engineers actually identified walking short cuts through parks and such or just ignored one-way streets...

"pin it"
The pin it function is a flexible little widge that enables users to plot out an afternoon's errands or an evening's carousing with equal ease and intuitiveness.

The pin it function realizes what I saw the beginnings of in the GenineKnows local product: an errand efficiency engine.

With AskCity I can ensure that my afternoon spent driving to JiffyLube, BestBuy and the thrift store happens in the shortest amount of time possible.

zip code outlined in red
This makes sense. It's neat. Type in a zip code and it gets outlined with a red ribbon.

MyStuff
Ask has historically called its users lazy. Many, many many of them undoubtedly are, though its troubled me that Ask has seemingly done little to enable contributions from those who aren't.

Anyways, I hadn't heard about Ask's MyStuff product until last night when Gary indicated that there could be some relationship building between MyStuff and AskCity.

I'd really like to see bloglines get pulled in here somehow too...

What's Missing
I still would like to see the opportunity to add my own reviews, commentary, local events or even walking short cuts to any part of AskCity.

Also, there's no local news, which could begin to make AskCity more of a local portal for folks. Show me the weather and I just might wake up with you ;)

Overall
Overall I love it. It's a strong, strong product that makes Ask more useful to more people (including Barry Diller). This is the most significant innovation I've seen out of Ask in some time and I look forward to where they will be pushing things.

AskCity: Integrating Local Search (and IAC) By Jason Dowdell at 07:54 AM
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Saturday, December 02, 2006

David Bonderman Long Tail Investment Videos on YouTube

This video of Texas Pacific Group's David Bonderman's Keynote has almost 800 views in YouTube and it's been favorited 5 times. Little did I know when I shot this for the CED that it would become so popular in the longtail of investment.

While digging around for data on its success I found a couple stock trading video creators using YouTube to host and distribute their videos. I post them because much of what I heard at MPlanet about marketing with video concentrated on incenting others to create branded content for you.

This can be a wonderful practice of course, as Doritos Crash the SuperBowl demonstrates (that's their YouTube profile... started only 4 days ago... gah they need to get more videos uploaded from their official site!).

It's not just college kids creating videos though, and there's more to YouTube than getting others to do it for you. This movement is about the shift from expensive production to creative, quality content and the passionate amateurs and amateur professionals who're posting videos that promote this shift.

For example here's VSUTube's profile page where you'll find videos that promote http://www.stock-hunters.com. These videos are basically podcasts with moving screen captures. Stock-Hunters if you read this would you let us know what equipment you're using?

Also check out rwrcap's profile page and his series of videos. Again you'll find no budget production that's focused on content.

This longtail video won't ever replace mainstream stuff. Ever. It will give us more options though, and the time has never been better for content aggregators to create systems for these passionate amateurs and amateur professionals to make money on their content and increase its distribution to those who share their passions.

Start shooting, and if you're creating and distributing video for your business comment this post with a link so I can check you out.

David Bonderman Long Tail Investment Videos on YouTube By Jason Dowdell at 09:30 AM
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Friday, December 01, 2006

Podcasting's 15 Minutes Almost Up

Podcasting probably will never become an "impact media" like online video or satellite radio, and deservedly so. According to the most recent survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, only 1 percent of Internet users download a podcast on a given day. Only 12 percent of webizens have ever downloaded a podcast for later listening, according to BusinessWeek. Podcasting technology has been around for a decade, and just because the "Pod" name was put on it a few years ago doesn't mean it will be any more successful. Listening to recorded discussions is good for when you are traveling, the subject is extremely compelling, or you are bored out of your skull. If you have an iPod, most of the time you are going to listen to music. If you are online, you aren't going to divide your attention between the screen and your ears because it takes too much of your brain to digest a podcast. Music is a nice background noise that doesn't prevent you from "working." The multitude of independent podcasters will scratch and claw for the occasional hour when people want to hear about a niche of their interest, but podcasting will have about the same long term business impact as e-books.

Podcasting's 15 Minutes Almost Up By John Gartner at 01:42 PM
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IAB Adds Ads About Ads

The Interactive Advertising Bureau running an ad campaign about the benefits of online advertising. The print (so 20th century) and online campaign points to a website that includes a primer on the superior online metrics and discusses the ability to open up a dialog with consumers.

Online advertising will jump from 5.7 percent of total advertising to 8.9 percent by 2010, according to market research firm eMarketer, as quoted by MediaPost.

While some in the online world might be happy with that kind of growth, they shouldn't be. Considering that people spend more hours per day online that reading newspapers and magazines, and about as much time as watching TV, having only a fraction of the revenue doesn't add up.

Online advertisers have so many tools not available to TV -- better analytics, IP tracking, behavioral targeting, and personalization to name a few -- that settling for the crumbs of the ad world doesn't make sense.

Through truly interactive and targeted (approaching one-to-one marketing) ads, the quality of the online ad experience should be greatly increased. Video and personalized ads that provide proven ROI should be charged at TV rates.

The major roadblock is proving (and improving) how online ads affect offline purchases.

IAB Adds Ads About Ads By John Gartner at 01:38 PM
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Monetizing Latent Media Assets by McKinsey

McKinsey & Company This was a spotlight session on the topic of tapping deep media and unearthing & monetizing latent media assets. Jeff Schumacher and Jeff Collins, both of McKinsey & Company. These guys have more domains than you can shake a stick at, wonder if this is part of their monetization of media assets (that was a joke, in case you are humor impaired).

The demand for advertising space is increasing and the supply of content from publishers can't keep up with the demand of advertisers. As such, publishers are creating sub-optimal advertising vehicles, thus decreasing the effectiveness of the advertising they purchase.

Sean Collins used an example of competing brokerage firms ads being displayed on the same page of the New York Times web site. He said an advertiser would hardly ever accept having an ad on the same page as one of their competitors but I have to disagree with him. I mean think about AdSense or AdWords. Search results are nothing but a bunch of sites competing for your click and happily doing so.

Sean went on to say that he estimates 50% of all advertising last year was on non-targeted media destinations (would like to know what the source of his data is).

Honestly, I will have to ask them for the powerpoint presentation of this session because there seems to be some decent ideas and thoughts in the presentation but I can't get past the audacious claims being made verbally. The other major distractor in this session was how Jeff Schumacher of McKinsey continued to pace around the front of the room like a coffehouse poet while sean Collins went through his presentation.

Monetizing Latent Media Assets by McKinsey By Jason Dowdell at 11:04 AM
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Managing the Customer Experience

Scott Bush of Martiz More AMA MPlanet 2006 coverage today starting off with a forum session on managing the customer experience (the differentiator) with Scott Bush of Maritz Research and Michael Treacy of GEN3 Partners.

The session focused on an example by Scott Bush (yes he's related to GWB) of a fictitous customer named Melvin and how he went through his daily life interacting with companies in various levels and how each of them shaped his perceptions of each company's brand. Some of the concepts were drilled home when Scott shared some case studies of a handful of their clients, including Sprint, Barclays, and Cadillac.

Michael Treacy of GEN3 Here's the Question and Answer session from the forum.

Q: To what extent was Cadillac's decision to retool their product line impact Cadillac's poor customer service.
A: Scott responded using another company example in Lexus and said Lexus found that their key to success is a great product and great customer service. In the automitive industry you must have both.
Michael Treacy: that certain industries are all about the customer experience (financial sector) and that the product is almost an afterthought. When the product is easily comparable to another product, it's a lot easier for the customer service to be the X-factor.
Scott Bush: In the financial services industry the experience will end up defining the brand.

Q: What are your thoughts on call centers trying to script out everything and how they try to manage their brand & customer experience in a scripted fashion.
A:
Scott Bush: There are different call enters, ones that respond to service requests, ones that sell, ones that do research. Start the customer experience strategy by analyzing your corporate growth strategy and make sure your call center experience is accomplishing the company growth goals. Take the research, interpret it in a way that a call center employee understands it and help them implement it. Maritz has seen several success stories when the call center managers have coached, guided, developed and lead their call center employees and helped them improve the experience on both sides of the phone.
Michael Treacy: I get a better customer experience out of a call center interaction than a face to face interaction.
Rick (my intern) thinks that Michael must own a call center cause he was definitely pushing them pretty hard.

Q: What kind of customer experience improvement tips can you give to a small bank (45 branch locations)?
A:
Scott Bush: It is actually easier to do this in a small bank environment than in a larger one. Have processes in place that will reward employees for superior customer service and focus on the intimate relationships with each customer in each market. Also be sure the senior management team is aligned with these goals as well.
Michael Treacy: The diseconomy of scale is making the technology investments to tie the call center activities with the branch location activities for a main dashboard.


Q: What are some key features of a good recognition program?
A:
Scott Bush: It depends on what level each employee is providing service and what the financial profile looks like. If you can focus in on the non-cash motivational tools then you are often better off. Communication is also incredibly important.

Managing the Customer Experience By Jason Dowdell at 10:18 AM
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December 2006 Week 2 »

  • Week 1 (20 entries) December 1-9
  • Week 2 (15 entries) December 10-16
  • Week 3 (12 entries) December 17-23
  • Week 4 (8 entries) December 24-30
  • Week 5 (0 entries) December 31-31

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