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December 2006, Week 4 Marketing Archives

Friday, December 29, 2006

Tag You're a Video Ad

Google has started testing an instream video ad network, according to AdWeek.

The spots run after the video content, and AdWeek correctly points out that ads could ebe matched to YouTube videos based on the tags that video authors provide. However, that system would be open for abuse if content providers want to get the best paying ads, similar to those who corrupt search engine marketing with improper use of keywords. Some human monitoring would probably be necessary.

Running 30 second spots won't please audiences who wouldn't be happy to watch an ad every time they want to view a YouTube video, which tend to run three minutes or less. Branded ads with calls to action -- such as a brief Gap ad with a link to a coupon -- would provide a better return for advertisers. The pressure on the creative teams will be high as they'll have to convey a compelling or humorous message in a short time to get viewers interested.

Tagging has been darn useful for identifying blog or video content, and news publishers should take advantage of it.

Tag You're a Video Ad By Jason Dowdell at 07:15 PM
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Blog Marketing Muddies Media

PayPerPost, the blog for hire company that pays people to write about products, just bought analytics tools from that will help them to study blogs' advertising and traffic data.

This acquisition seeks to provide "hard data" to show that paying folks to shill for your company with a minimum amount of disclosure is a good investment. The blogosphere is becoming a bloated mess, full of corporate rhetoric disguised as a blog (see WalMart), "splogs" or websites that copy the contents of RSS feeds to generate AdWords revenue, and if PayPerPost succeeds (unlikely), things will only get worse.

To me it's much more honest if product manufacturers instead run advertisements on focused websites that cover their products amongst other things, like what they are doing at Federated Media. One of the biggest trends for next year will be vertical ad networks that should provide higher returns. While this may complicate the ad buying process, finding people who are genuinely interested in your products is worth the time.

The wall between advertising and editorial has been eroded to a curb. Bloggers who don't fully disclose who is paying them will make it tough for independent writers to be believed.

Blog Marketing Muddies Media By John Gartner at 01:55 PM
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Thursday, December 28, 2006

SpiralFrog Looking Like a Toad

SpiralFrog was supposed to leap into "free" music downloads this year, but it didn't happen. According to Forbes, the company now hopes to launch at the end of January. SpiralFrog has yet to land the catalogs of Warner Music Group or Sony BMG, so if it launches early in 2007, it will be dominated by smaller labels, which drastically reduces the service's appeal. And as Forbes pointed out, two other alternative music revenue schemes -- Qtrax and Mashboxx -- haven't gotten out of the gate with services even after years of trying. As I've said before and before, this is a bad idea that has almost no chance at becoming a profitable venture. To repeat, the cost that the company has to pay to the copyright holders is higher than any potential ad revenue, you can't transfer the music anywhere, and someone will find a way to hack the digital rights management software. Napster continues to struggle to make a buck with its free and subscription services for streaming music online, which is much cheaper for them and safer for the music industry. Napster lost $9 million during its most recent quarter, which is an improvement over the previous year, but still far from profitability. If anyone could make ad-supported music work, it's Napster.

SpiralFrog Looking Like a Toad By John Gartner at 11:59 AM
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Rise of the CPA Networks

New cost per action (aka cost per acquisition) networks will find willing customers amongst the advertisers who are tired of overpaying for their pay per click campaigns because of click fraud.

I'm in agreement with Chad M. Little that ad networks should offer a click fraud-free alternative based on actions. He mentions Turn as a new network that is offering auction-based CPA advertising.

For many years companies have studied the value of leads and understand the metrics of converting sales and increasing profitability, so it only makes sense to use those metrics instead of questionably valued clicks to drive their ad plans.

The search engines have a vested interest in keeping things the status quo, but hopefully someone will see the opportunity of better serving advertisers as opposed to maximizing their short term gain. If the largest ad networks don't jump in soon, the new players could get the early lead.

Rise of the CPA Networks By John Gartner at 11:10 AM
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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

TV Advertising Fast Forwards

Pricing a TV commercial ad is getting much more complicated thanks to DVRs and internet based television (IPTV). In April Nielsen Media Research will start providing viewer data to the television networks that includes time-shifted playback from DVRs.

The company currently doesn't rack which commercials were fast forwarded through, but at least advertisers will know how many additional viewers watched a show in the days following a broadcast. According to Nielesen, the top time-shifted programs were not the season's most popular offerings. For example, NBC's "Studio 60 from the Sunset Strip" and "30 Rock," along with the Gilmore Girls and four other CW shows were among the shows that had the largest percentage of views after their debut.

Nielsen soon will also have to track shows delivered online, either through broadband IPTV networks from the telecom companies such as Verizon and BT, and also the episodes that are streamed online from the network's websites.

According to AdWeek, younger to middle-aged families with DVRs time-shifted nearly half of their primetime shows. I can vouch for the necessity of parents with small children to be flexible in their TV watching.

One the millions of time-shifted viewings of TV are confirmed by Nielsen, DVR suppliers will need to develop their ad models so that extra revenue can be derived from us folks who love our fast forward buttons. How about a "jump to the program" button that skips all of the commercials, and instead runs a very brief (10 seconds or less) branding message? That would save us from having to rewind when we accidentally skip the return of a show.

TV Advertising Fast Forwards By John Gartner at 02:13 PM
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Google: Now Us Versus Them

Google continued to have incredible success in 2006, but 2007 could be a different story for the company. While its stranglehold on search and search marketing continues, Google has several weaknesses that could slow down its financial freight train. My guess is that a year from now the stock price will be south of $400.

First, off, there's the new Wiki search project, as outlined by BusinessWeek. Wikiasaria (an awful name -- they should crowd source the title) may take longer than a year to deliver better results than Google, many people unhappy with the state of search might start using it contribute to a Google alternative.

Then there's click fraud. The bogus clicks that Google is happy to pretend it doesn't see while lining its corporate wallet with advertiser cash has prompted several lawsuits, and advertisers could finally tire of overpaying for clicks and revolt. Or, Microsoft could revamp the AdCenter model to track only clicks that go one level deep into a website, or move to a cost per action model. Taking the high road in click fraud might be Microsoft's (or Yahoo's) best shot at becoming a better buy than Google.

Google also has much work to do with YouTube. Indexing the countless videos will be a technical challenge and drain on resources, and delivering the streams will also be a burden, especially if energy prices spike. Google also hasn't paid the pipers who want recompense for all of those copyright infringements that YouTube has allowed over the past few years.

Once YouTube is cleansed of the adult and copyrighted content, traffic could drop substantially. The network TV guys are also considering their own video service, which take away one of the two legs that YouTube has stood upon. Google's video search is still far from great, and Blinkx and the myriad of specialty video sites could make the YouTube purchase more of a burden than a bargain.

Google's growth is likely to slow while the company remains wildly profitable, but it is good to recognize that the company has risks that could dampen its outlook.

Google: Now Us Versus Them By John Gartner at 01:43 PM
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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Local Search Ready for Takeoff

In a previous post I complained about the high cost of print directory advertising and said that more users will be shifting their search for a local service or product online. The print yellow pages continue to own much of the local advertising dollars because online services haven't done a great job at advertising the benefits of searching online.

During the past few years, local search has integrated maps to make the service more useful, but the search engines should do more to promote and differentiate local search to both consumers and advertisers. The search engines and online yellow pages need to get the word about why they are better than print directories to grow their audience.

According to MediaPost, local search advertising will nearly double in 2007 to $1.83 billion, and all forms of local advertising will grow from 25 to nearly 30 percent of the online market.
There is plenty of opportunity for growth as just 5% of small and medium-size businesses are using paid search, according to BusinessWeek.

To help local advertisers target their customers, Skyhook Wireless is developing technology that identifies a computer's physical location by triangulating the WiFi connection. This makes sense as
local advertisers have smaller budgets, and so they don't want to waste their ad dollars on out-of-market readers.

Local advertising companies will have to do considerable hand holding to make smaller companies comfortable with display advertising and pay per click fundamentals. I would think that small biz would feel more at ease with pay per action, especially with the continuing problem of click fraud.

Local search should be more effectively integrated into general search. Typing in keywords for service should generate responses that include local search, and search providers should use geotargeting to get the process started. Search sites such as CitySearch, or should emphasize registration so that they can track users and offer the most relevant responses without requiring a zip code to be entered every time.

Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but local search advertising has the potential to be on par with print directories in revenue within a few years. With Web 2.0 technology and more relevant results, finding what you need online should be much faster.

Local Search Ready for Takeoff By John Gartner at 01:43 PM
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'Sponsored By' Ready for Comeback

One of the trends for 2007 will be more advertisers becoming the sole sponsors for programs to tie their brands to popular broadcast and online shows. Most of the surveys say that netizens aren't so crazy about pre-roll ads or those within video segments, so for some shows, sponsorships may be the way to go.

Recently Philips Electronics sponsored one evening of the NBC Nightly News, which garnered higher ratings and positive audience feedback, and a similar strategy makes sense for video logs, channels or podcasters.

In the early days of TV soap and cigarette companies often sponsored shows, and the stars (oh for the days of live TV) gave brief endorsements in between sketches. Now and Internet celebrity Amanda Congdon are using the same strategy with the ex-Rocketboomer's new vlog.
Unilever is sponsoring the broadcast and will use Ms. Congdon in an ad for Dove soap. Unilever is also asking people to contribute their own Dove ads, and will show the winner during the Academy Awards.

Advertisers could use Flash or ad some messaging around the frame of the video to promote their brands without interfering with the content.

We can expect to see much more of this as interest in banner ads wanes and fast forwarding through TV commercials increases. The DVR companies like TiVo should use this tactic and insert sponsored messages in a window during the fast forwarding. While this isn't the best value for an advertiser or broadcaster, generating some revenue is better than none.

'Sponsored By' Ready for Comeback By John Gartner at 12:25 PM
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« December 2006 Week 3 December 2006 Week 5 »

  • 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

Tag You're a Video Ad
Your article about video ads is right on target bu...
by sirjesse
SpiralFrog Looking Like a Toad
Not only Qtrax and Mashboxx will purpose a new mod...
by Reynaud Olivier
Google: Now Us Versus Them
Problem Solved: As long as you are using Fire Fox ...
by Yeti Steele
SpiralFrog Looking Like a Toad
Can a site acheive viral marketing when it doesn&a...
by judy
'Sponsored By' Ready for Comeback
I think "sponsored by" will also...
by Chris Brown

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