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April 2006, Week 2 Marketing Archives

Friday, April 14, 2006

TiVo Lives Another Day

The digital video recording pioneer won its patent lawsuit against EchoStar and was awarded $73.9 million dollars, but the jury is still out on TiVo's future.

TiVo and the other DVR manufacturers must craft a difficult compromise that satisfies advertisers and the TV networks on one side while also mollifying consumers on the other. TiVo needs to develop a new revenue stream for advertisers while not irritating their customers who love to skip ads.

Is there a technical solution for showing a small ad whenever the fast forward button is used, or can mining the demographic data of those who jump past commercials be successfully monetized? I would still use my DVR even if I was forced to watch the commercials, but right now it is just too easy to avoid them.

Or, maybe the broadcasters themselves could put prizes within commercials that can be seen when fast-forwarding. There must be a way!

TiVo Lives Another Day By John Gartner at 12:22 PM
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Resurrection of the Search Ad

Honda and others are buying up search words unrelated to their products on the cheap in order to drive traffic to custom marketing campaigns. Businesweek writes that Honda found success buying "platypus" and "Super Bowl" and linking to custom sites that tied into its vehicles.

So perhaps the best terms to snap up would be words that are popular, but not so popular that the cost is prohibitive. A quick look at the Lycos 50 shows that the most popular searches include seasonal words like taxes and Easter. Despite its apparent popularity, "Dragonball" has just 3 advertisers on Google, so if you are looking for eyeballs, make a bid.

If you can find a marketing hook for a popular term, it may be a better investment than competing head on for the obvious words.

Resurrection of the Search Ad By Jason Dowdell at 11:24 AM
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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Prime Time Is Dead

Put a fork in the 8 to 11 p.m. TV time slot, it's done.

Porque? Because TV is slowly learning that making programming available on demand online or through cable companies will bring the more cash than trying to build a moat around their prime time properties.

First, Disney says it's going to make it's top shows available online for free, and voila, within a few days they sold out their ad inventory for the online downloads. Then, Time Warner President Jeff Bewkes tells an audience of cable wags that they should make all programs available on demand within a year.

As anyone with a TiVo knows, there is good quality programming on TV, but finding something you want to watch at the exact moment you put your derriere on the sofa is often a challenge. The modern lifestyle isn't conducive to staying up late just to watch Dave or Jay or Conan or staying in every Wednesday just to watch Lost.

So, the answer is TV when you want it, with ads that can't be skipped. When all of this content is available 24/7, it will greatly increase TV watching and create demand for new filtering services to help us find the programs we like.

Prime Time Is Dead By John Gartner at 06:37 PM
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Time Will Tell About Google Calendar

So Google has a new Calendar app and API.

While you might think that the world needs another calendaring app like it needs another Elvis impersonator, Calendar may eventually prove worthwhile. For me, Google Calendar is like a banana (a favorite food of The King, BTW) -- by itself it's nothing you get excited about, but when its added to something tasty (aka ice cream), all of the sudden the tongue starts to waggin'.

Forget organizing your lives with Calendar, the real value is if publishers adopt the API and tag content so that Calendar can search the Web more effectively. Google Base should be made searchable with the Calendar tool so that you can search on concerts by date, which doesn't really work well in Base itself. Imagine if there were a standard date tag that publishers used so that you could search the entire web based by date, much like you can search Google News by Reuters.

Another way Calendar could be made more powerful is by mashing it up with Maps so that you could see when and where things were happening. Let's hope that there are some Web 2.0 creative types who will do more with Calendar than remind me when I'm supposed to go to the dentist.

Time Will Tell About Google Calendar By John Gartner at 06:11 PM
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Yahoo (yhoo) & Microsoft (msft) Breaking Up PPC Deal

So I guess the email Yahoo Search Marketing sent out to all of their Commission Junction account holders is a sign of the times, Microsoft is coming of age in the paid search arena.
Dear Jason Dowdell,

Yahoo! Search Marketing’s partnership with MSN is expiring. As such, we will be removing banners containing MSN’s logo from the Yahoo! Search Marketing affiliate program immediately. You should remove the following links from your site prior to April 21, 2006.

Don't worry Yahoo, I removed your non-performing banners a long time ago and you know what that got me? A killer cell phone from Sprint! Who wants to use my cellphone? I'm going to start shipping it around the country tomorrow cause I don't have the time to put it through it's paces. I'm not kidding. Holler if you're interested in using it and are near a big city.

Yahoo (yhoo) & Microsoft (msft) Breaking Up PPC Deal By Jason Dowdell at 05:36 PM
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Google AdSense Rejected Me, Again

This isn't the first time I've gotten into a bit of trouble with Google AdSense. Well I wouldn't call this trouble, more like they just aren't interested in having my api site as part of their contextual ad network even though it does have great and unique content. I guess they'd rather have sites like this wasting AdSense advertiser money. And yes, of course, I added good ol nofollow in my links to those AdSense scam web sites.

Here's my latest application in which I asked for ApiBlog to be included in their network... you tell me what's wrong with this picture.
Hello Jason Dowdell,

Thank you for your interest in Google AdSense. After reviewing your application, our specialists have found that it does not meet our program criteria. Therefore, we are unable to accept you into our program.

We have certain policies in place that we believe will help ensure the effectiveness of Google ads for our publishers as well as for our advertisers. We review all publishers, and we reserve the right to decline any application. As we grow, we may find that we are able to expand our program to more web publishers with a wider variety of web content.

Please note that we may not be able to respond to inquiries regarding the specific reasons for our decision. Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team
After the initial surprise of getting denied again wears off, the technical analysis of my declined AdSense application begins.

How to get accepted by Google AdSense
I now know that if your name (including the registrant and contact information used in the whois info for the domain name in your AdSense application) is the same as an application that has been declined in the past, that you'll definitely be declined every time you try to get one of your sites in the AdSense program. Now if you're using blogspot you should have no problem as the whois info is Google and not you.

You'll also want to use a different email address than ones you've used in the past when you've been denied. If you decide to use a gmail address then I highly encourage you to use that address for at least a month before applying to the program since spammers have tons of gmail accounts they don't use and activity on your gmail account may very well be used to determine if you're a spammer or not.

Google AdSense Rejected Me, Again By Jason Dowdell at 04:02 PM
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MSN adCenter Upgrades, No Google Ads & Click Fraud News

MSN is changing how their broad match works. Initially they didn't have enough data to make the ads show properly and still maintain high relevancy for the advertiser. Check out Adcenter Blog for more info.

MSN adCenter has also announced a big upgrade happening "within the next two weeks, and we will contact you 48 hours in advance with the exact date and time of the upgrade," The upgrade should fix a lot of the problems low budget self serve advertisers are running across. Thing such as:
The new release contains many features you have been asking for! Highlights include:
• You can now choose to receive Marketing Communications from adCenter through the adCenter Member Communications tool in Account Management.
• The Compressed Invoicing feature is now defaulted and will reduce the number of pages generated for invoices.
• With the Bulk Keyword Upload Tool, you can copy and paste keywords (instead of entering each one manually) to significantly reduce the time needed to set up a campaign through the UI.
• Estimate your bids through our improved price estimation tool to help reach position 1 in ad ranking. Also, each keyword bid is editable and shown in a grid for easy viewing of the entire campaign.
• Insert text dynamically into the ad title or ad text (formerly known as parameters).


Google Adwords team put up some tips for customer support if you may have questions. If there is one flaw in Adwords it is the customer support. With Adwords being the honey pot that the whole GooglePlex revolves around, I would think keeping their customers happy would be their main goal. Quite the opposite. The support from Adwords has always been slow and somewhat canned. It is usually faster to do a forum search or ask another PPC friend if you have on but check out their "tips" because you may find a useful nugget.

MSN's Academic search is live and without a doubt will end up as school libraries' home pages across the land. A very useful service, but the real question is: When can I put my ads there? :)

Google Calendar = ad Free? Say it isn't so, a Google product without ads on it? Shocking! Especially when I think this would be a perfect place for ads. Quick example: If you have on your calendar to buy some nice steaks at the end of the weak for a client it would be fairly convenient to have an Allen Brothers or Omaha Steaks ad on the calendar somewhere. Low clicks but high conversions. I can't see Google passing up on the chance to show more ads, its only a matter of time.

Andrew Goodman has a good piece on click fraud and how you should keep surveillance over you ads at Traffick.com.

MSN adCenter Upgrades, No Google Ads & Click Fraud News By Jason Dowdell at 11:08 AM
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mashups Could Be Life Savers

Most of the focus on mashups and Web 2.0 technologies has been on their business and entertainment value, but the most benefit could be derived from contributions to science.

At a Bio-IT conference last week, online techies gave scientists a lesson in how Web 2.0 could revolutionize the discovery process and speed responsiveness to pandemic threats, according to Bio-IT World.

The data mining, collaboration and Google Maps applications developed for online commerce can also be tweaked and marketed to the life sciences as a way to derive additional revenue.

Mashups Could Be Life Savers By John Gartner at 01:22 PM
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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Jim Fowler Jigsaw CEO Q & A Part II


Q.) When did you start selling the leads for cash [buy and sell points]?

A.) We opened up the point marketplace in January of this year. This move coincided with an explosion of data growth. Once our members realized they could add a contact and get two in return OR one dollar, they went a bit nuts. Our top point sellers have earned over $3,000 each selling their points on Jigsaw. Note: Jigsaw does not pay one dollar per contact. The dollar is paid only if there are point buyers. Jigsaw brokers the transactions.


Q.) How long has Jigsaw been online?

A.) Jigsaw was in Beta through summer of 2004 and officially launched in December 2004.


Q.) How many employees do you have?

A.) Jigsaw has 32 employees – all of which can be viewed on Jigsaw…. : )


Q.) It seems Jigsaw has several privacy issues. Can you explain why/how Jigsaw doesn't violate any privacy laws?

A.) Legally there are no issues with Jigsaw's model. Well established data companies would have been put out of business long ago if business card information was protected by the law. It is not, due mostly to the fact that people hand out their business card information freely in hundreds of ways, including online forms, conference registrations, signature files, and by hand.

That said, people are concerned about their privacy. Once it is understood that Jigsaw only deals with data that is found on a business card (except mobile numbers which are not allowed), privacy concerns usually evaporate.

There are over ten thousand data companies that attempt to provide similar data to that which is found on Jigsaw. The difference is that Jigsaw is the first data company to take an open and collaborative approach to collecting and maintaining a database, compared to the closed and proprietary approach taken by traditional data companies (like Hoovers or InfoUSA). Jigsaw is classic a disruptive technology using the Internet to leverage the power of an online community to make business contact data easily accessible and transparent.

Lastly, Jigsaw is the only data company that lets any person find out if they are on the Jigsaw database. While people listed in Jigsaw cannot remove their business contact information, they can view, edit and set their contact preferences. For example, people can write, "accept email only, don't call, not a contact for, interested in, not interested in, etc." Jigsaw is the only data company to provide this option and it empowers buyers to specify exactly how they wish to be contacted. Thus far over two thousand people listed on the database have set their preferences.

Jigsaw's fundamental belief is that by providing transparency to both sides of the buy/sell equation a huge amount of efficiency can be injected into what is currently a very time consuming a painful process.


Q.) How do you control members from sending out spam emails to contacts in Jigsaw?

A.) Jigsaw members are not allowed to participate in any illegal activities using the data on Jigsaw, including spam. If a member is caught doing anything unlawful or against Jigsaw's rules, the member will be banned from Jigsaw permanently. So far, Jigsaw has had to lock out only two members for spamming.

In addition, Jigsaw's model isn't a good fit for spammers. Too much work or money is required to get information off in the quantity needed by a spammer. Jigsaw’s members primarily do one-to-one marketing versus one-to-many marketing.


Q.) Have you been funded privately or via VC funding?

A.) Jigsaw has raised $6M in funding from El Dorado Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners. We are on target to be profitable in 2006.

Jim Fowler Jigsaw CEO Q & A Part II By Jason Dowdell at 10:43 PM
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Part I of Q & A With Jim Fowler, Jigsaw CEO

Q.) What exactly does Jigsaw do?

A.) Jigsaw Data Corporation (http://www.Jigsaw.com) is an online global marketplace where marketers, recruiters and sales people buy, sell and trade business contact information. All of the 1.7M contacts on Jigsaw have been added by members. Members join Jigsaw to get access to these valuable contacts, every one of which has a phone number and an email. Contacts cost points. Points are earned by adding and cleaning contacts. They can also be bought from other members who add and clean a lot of data and wish to sell their excess.

The point system results in a self-correcting model where members are rewarded for adding good data, and penalized for adding bad data. Some members only buy data (with points), some members only sell data (by selling their points instead of using them to get data), and some members do a little of both.


Q.) Exactly what type of company is Jigsaw? Data, auction, social networking...?

A.) Jigsaw is a data company that uses collaboration and a community to build and maintain a database. Jigsaw has nothing to do with social or business networking. Jigsaw does not show how people are connected together. Members use Jigsaw to get contact information for people they need to contact directly in order to sell or market them something. Jigsaw is somewhat eBay-like in that members buy and sell points (which Jigsaw brokers). There is, however, no auction – just the marketplace.

Jigsaw's mission is to map every business organization on the planet, contact by contact and keep them current through a collaborative effort. The resulting database will make the process of selling and marketing far more efficient.


Q.) How does Jigsaw make money?

A.) Jigsaw is a subscription service. Members are given the option to pay $25 per month, or pay by adding 25 new contacts every month. Jigsaw also makes money by brokering point sales that occur between members. Members and corporations with large data needs spend thousands of dollars per year on Jigsaw.

Jigsaw's primary market is sales people, marketers and recruiters. One of the fastest growing markets for Jigsaw is small businesses. Most have never bought data before as, heretofore, it has been too expensive. At $25 per month any small business can afford a Jigsaw account.


Q.) Are you importing contacts from sites like LinkedIn, Hoovers & others?

A.) No. Every contact in Jigsaw has been added by a member. We started with 20K contacts and now have over 1.7M (and growing by 10K new contacts per day). Even if we wanted to import contacts from other sites we couldn't because Jigsaw requires every contact to have complete information including phone, email, title, etc. Phone numbers and emails are hard to get and are usually not provided on other sites.



Q.) Can members batch process submissions?

A.) No. Quality is paramount and if we allowed members to upload their data without looking at it first much bad data would be entered. Members upload their contacts to a staging area in mass and then click them in one-at-a-time. Members who play (pay with 25 contacts per month) can add their monthly quota in about five minutes.

Self correction is a fundamental part of the Jigsaw model. If a member puts in a contact that is not challenged by the community she gets two contacts in return. If a member purchases a contact (with points) that is bad, and challenges the contact, she gets a double refund and the person who added the contact loses the equivalent of two contacts (in points). Adding contacts one-at-a-time and offering a double refund for challenging contacts has resulted in the cleanest set of business contacts in existence.


Q.) Where did you begin your advertising and where/how do you advertise now?

A.) As mentioned, Jigsaw is a community. Like most successful communities, our growth is primarily driven by referrals. We offer points as an incentive to refer.

To complement word of mouth we do a modest bit of keyword search advertising on Google and Yahoo. Many of our small business members come from this channel.

Finally, we've been fortunate to get some great press. We get a lot of blog action and have had major hits in publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post.


It's me again, the next post deals with the juicy topics like privacy issues and such but I wanted to get you warmed up with the company backgrounder before we got into the issues that have caused a stir in the blogosphere. Read Part Two of our interiew with Jim.

Part I of Q & A With Jim Fowler, Jigsaw CEO By Jason Dowdell at 10:21 PM
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Jigsaw Privacy Concerns Heating Up

Back in November I sat down for a nice question and answer session with Jigsaw CEO / Founder Jim Fowler to discuss the business model behind his social sales networking juggernaut. Many things have happened since then, including a flurry of emails between their PR firm and myself, and I nearly forgot about the whole Q & A... that is until recently when Web 2.0 evangelists and new media Saints alike displayed their righteous indignation towards JigSaw and it's seemingly flagrant disregard for privacy laws.

Well wait no longer, following this post is a 2 part question & answer session between myself and Jim Fowler and of course I was thinking about the privacy angle when I conducted my interview. Enjoy, the great privacy debate will follow momentarily.

Jigsaw Privacy Concerns Heating Up By Jason Dowdell at 10:09 PM
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Click Fraud Shadowing Google

Today on CNET there's a story detailing how click fraud will continue to pester Google.

The IAB should rouse its membership to tell Google, Yahoo et al, that they aren't going to take it anymore. Advertisers need to speak with their wallets and demand a technical solution. For starters, why not create a unique string for visitors forwarded from Adsense and compare the click throughs that result in hits on multiple pages within an advertiser's site versus the hit-and-runs of fraudulent clicks that knock at the front door and leave?

Simple analytics will compare the value of traffic from search engines versus other clicks, and advertisers should only pay based on their worth. For example, if the average person that comes to your home page results in 2.4 clicks, but Adsense visitors generate just 1.2 clicks, then Google should be paid at 50 percent of its normal rate so that advertisers derive equal value.

Or, advertisers should migrate to other PPA models such as pay-per-call or pay-per-lead, where again the ROI is easier to justify.

Click Fraud Shadowing Google By Jason Dowdell at 12:37 PM
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Plucky Startup Pitches Blogs

Blog creep is starting to seriously infect old media, and Pluck wants to be the network distributor of choice. Pluck's BlogBurst syndicates choice posts from blogosphere ton newspapers websites including the Washington Post, Gannett news service and the San Francisco Chronicle, according to BusinessWeek.

BlogBurst will vet the best posts and feed them to the papers, which will eventually share any ad revenue with the bloggers. While this could generate additional blog traffic through the links, bloggers would have to make more money from the papers than they could get from their own traffic.

If the papers just hosted the RSS feeds, it would simplify everything -- the papers prove they are in touch by showing choice blog postings, and bloggers get the traffic.

Despite the many RSS readers, blog and news aggregators, there isn't a single solution that does it all. To make RSS a household word, we need a RSS reader that follows your news and blog reading habits and automatically collects and organizes the feeds.

Plucky Startup Pitches Blogs By John Gartner at 12:11 PM
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Myspace Hires Security Officer/Surrogate Parent

The media frenzy surrounding Myspace and the purported deviants that frequent it, has led to the hiring of the nation's best-paid hall monitor and surrogate parent; former Justice Department prosecutor Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam.

Forget for a second that the entire issue could be resolved if parents had meaningful conversations and actually took an intrest in their childrens lives and accept the fact that from a PR perspective, Myspace had no choice.

In lieu of actual parenting, many parents have turned to news programs that do more entertaining than educating. This has lead to a growing fear that sexual predators are lurking around Myspace preying on unsuspecting teens and carting them off to South America. However unlikely this senario may be, it would be unwise to ignore the ill-informed masses. The hiring of a powerless figurehead is just the remedy to cure the outbreak of Mysteria AKA-Myspace Hysteria.

While there is no question that Myspace isn't a safe haven for youngsters, wouldn't a better solution for worrisome parents to monitor the sites their children visit?

Myspace Hires Security Officer/Surrogate Parent By Brent Brandow at 11:25 AM
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Google Won't Pay, Yahoo Seeing Double, Tv Better then Internet?

This the former teenaged dot.com millionaire, has run into a problem as he tries to make his next million: Google won't pay him for ads run on his website

Time Warner modeling their ads after Google Adsense? Time Warner Cable is working on a system to allow advertisers to buy TV spots at auction .
This is doubly interesting b/c Time Warner Execs are saying "At the end of the day, Tv is more powerful then the internet".
O Rly?

Double Yahoo Publisher Network ads on purpose? This is either a bug in the system or a smart tactic to get the advertiser double exposure. You make the call. [via SERT]

Adwords Editor Beta Update - The Adwords blog annouced they have updated their Adwords Editor program. While it is still invite-only, 5,000 more advertisers have been invited to try it. This seems like the only beta that Google has been able to facilitate correctly. You can see what's new with Adwords Editor here.

Google Won't Pay, Yahoo Seeing Double, Tv Better then Internet? By Jason Dowdell at 09:40 AM
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MediaPost Email Insider VIP Invite Fakeout

MediaPost Email Insider Summit VIP Invite Fakeout
So yesterday I got one of the 5 or so emails MediaPost sends out on a daily basis but one in particular caught my eye. The subject line was “VIP Invitation to the Email Insider Summit”. So I opened it up and saw that MediaPost had invited me to attend the EmailInsider Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona and they were going to pay my air fare, hotel accomodations and conference registration as long as I agreed to attend 3 VIP breakfasts and listen to one half hour presentation by the conference sponsor, seems like a no brainer to me. But after looking at my travel schedule I realized that this was sandwiched between two trips that I can't change so I had to respectfully decline. Shortly after I sent my letter declining their offer, I got the following email telling me there was a huge mistake.

“Dear Jason:

We apologize if you received an email from MediaPost earlier today inviting you as our VIP guest to the Email Insider Summit. That email was intended to be sent to a list of 50 top brand marketers in the industry, that have already agreed to attend the event. The email below is the email that you were intended to receive. If you would like to be a part of the inaugural Email Insider Summit please read below about the summit and how to register. Again we apologize for the confusion and inconvenience that error may have caused you.

Register now for MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit so you can surround yourself with the most-thought provoking minds in the industry as they school you on the new modes of enhancing your email marketing campaigns.


The purpose of the Email Insider Summit is to bring the best minds in the industry together to share leading edge information and experience on email marketing in a think-tank environment, while exploring new technology, strategies and tactics for effective campaigns.

Hosted by Bill McCloskey, the first summit will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona on May 21-24th. In a tranquil mountain setting, over one hundred brand marketers and agency decision makers will network, discuss and debate, working collaboratively to improve the email channel, as well as their own marketing efforts.

Information-packed sessions will alternate with relaxing networking activities. Each morning attendees will share information and learn more about email marketing through general sessions, keynotes, research presentations, case studies, workshops, and panel discussions. In the afternoons the fun begins with golf, rafting and other activities that take advantage of the Arizona desert.

The Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa, named America’s Top Resort for 14 years running, is home of the Email Insider Summit. In the heart of the desert, the hotel boasts breathtaking views of 1,300 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert, and unspoiled natural beauty and includes two championship-level golf courses, four swimming pools, a terraced tennis garden and lavish spa.

The Email Insider Summit registration fee is $2,495 and includes access to keynotes, general sessions, workshops, meals, cocktail parties and networking functions for three days.

Please click here to Register for the 2006 Email Insider Summit.

Don't miss your opportunity to be a part of the industry's most thought-provoking conference and take your email marketing to the next level.


Here is the original VIP Invite I received
“Dear Jason

I would like you to be our guest for the 2006 Email Insider Summit. As a Summit VIP, the cost of your airfare, hotel accommodations and conference registration will be paid for by MediaPost.

The Email Insider Summit Advisory Board has identified you as a senior level marketer or agency executive decision maker within your company. You are among a select few to whom we are extending this special VIP opportunity.

The purpose of the Email Insider Summit is to bring the best minds in the industry together to share leading edge information and experience on email marketing in a think-tank environment, while exploring new technology, strategies and tactics for effective campaigns.

Hosted by Bill McCloskey, the first summit will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona on May 21-24th. In a tranquil mountain setting, over one hundred brand marketers and agency decision makers will network, discuss and debate, working collaboratively to improve the email channel, as well as their own marketing efforts.

Information-packed sessions will alternate with relaxing networking activities. Each morning attendees will share information and learn more about email marketing through general sessions, keynotes, research presentations, case studies, workshops, and panel discussions. In the afternoons the fun begins with golf, rafting and other activities that take advantage of the Arizona desert. As our guest, you will be expected to attend three VIP breakfasts to hear a one-half hour presentation by our conference sponsor.

The Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa, named America's Top Resort for 14 years running, is home of the Email Insider Summit. In the heart of the desert, the hotel boasts breathtaking views of 1,300 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert, and unspoiled natural beauty and includes two championship-level golf courses, four swimming pools, a terraced tennis garden and lavish spa.

Please click here to RSVP for the 2006 Email Insider Summit.

Don't miss your opportunity to be a part of the industry's most thought-provoking conference and take your email marketing to the next level.

Sincerely,

Nick Friese
VP Sales & Marketing
MediaPost

This is what happens when email marketing goes wrong. Hmmm, wonder if this will be a case study at the Email Insider Summit Conference.

MediaPost Email Insider VIP Invite Fakeout By Jason Dowdell at 07:54 AM
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Monday, April 10, 2006

Internet Ad Spend To Overtake Outdoor And Radio

South of the Border Billboard
Fans of the very un-PC South of the Border billboards adorning I-95 from NY to SC received a collective punch in the stomach this morning as it was revealed that the evil interwebs are cutting into Pedro's silly sign market.

With the internet creeping into Outdoor advertising and radio's natural habitat, the old guard must adapt or find itself endangered.

In fact, according to ZenithOptimedia, "The Internet is now the fastest-growing major medium, according to research firm, increasing at a rate faster than that of outdoor, which is also on an upward swing."

Furthermore ZenithOptimedia has revised its 2006 outlook to 6.0 percent growth in global ad spending, up slightly from 5.9 percent forecast in December 2005 - and 5.2 percent growth in the U.S., up from it previous forecast of 5.1 percent.

Some advice for the radio and outdoor guys: Keep yelling kids, they'll stop

Internet Ad Spend To Overtake Outdoor And Radio By Jason Dowdell at 03:16 PM
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Phone Purchases Everyone's Pal

So what is the revenue potential of fast and easy text-messaged purchases? PayPal's new service for buying products via mobile phone could be a huge winner for radio, TV, and online advertisers.

You could instantly buy any song you hear on the radio via iTunes through a text-message code, or track and buy items on sale from eBay via phone.

In addition to making purchases, broadcast advertisers should announce the code to request information and have it directly sent to your inbox. If the mobile phone companies were smart, they'd get together so that one code could be used (to enter a contest etc.) across all networks.

Having to enter a single code instead of going through the credit card number waltz every time is a tremendous incentive for consumers.

Phone Purchases Everyone's Pal By John Gartner at 01:00 PM
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Advantage TV in Ad Game

It's time to prepare the obit on iTunes video service. Surprise, people won't pay $2 for an episode of current or old TV shows, just as I've said all along.

Most of the TV out there isn't worth paying for (approximately 99%), but it is worth watching a few ads to see for free. Disney launched free viewing of Lost today, while Comcast and Sony are combining for a free video on demand horror channel.

Apple and Google need to shift to providing ad-supported videos for free or find unique content that is worth paying for, or video on demand cable services will stomp all over their hopes for making money from videos. The other option would be to develop interactivity for advertisers that is differentiated from what is available through a TV.

Advantage TV in Ad Game By John Gartner at 12:21 PM
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Q & A With Jim Schoonmaker CEO of SuperTour.com

Last week I gave you a brief backgrounder on a new entrant in the local search landscape (SuperTour former Mok3) when I described the conversation I had with SuperTour CEO Jim Schoonmaker. Well, wait no longer, here are the results of my Q & A session with Jim, enjoy.

Q.) What is the business model behind SuperTour?

A.) In order to get this venture off the ground we picked the locations that provided the largest amount of revenue per square foot. This is how we decided on Miami and Las Vegas as our first two destinations. Once the destination is created we build a distribution relationship with the hotels to drive bookings from our destination travel portal SuperTour.com to their properties and to improve their “look to book” ratios on their websites. These bookings are transacted through either our affiliations with the online travel agencies or the hotel’s own booking engine. This generates revenue through hotel commissions and affiliations with online travel agencies. As we expand our content, build out locations around the world, and generate more traffic we will evolve into an advertising model.


Q.) Is this a B2B or a Content play?

A.) It’s both really. We clearly are building a destination portal, which is differentiated by the digital walkthrough content, but we also provide our hotel SuperTours to the hotels for their websites as well. In either case we have a commission-based revenue model.


Q.) What makes SuperTour better / different than Microsoft’s Local Search or Google Local or Yahoo Local?

A.) SuperTour combines the 500-foot map view with a human level walking experience. Unlike those products we enable you to experience a place from the traveler’s perspective. We allow you to see what you would see if you were actually there, and then allow you to navigate that place as if you were walking the beach, shops or inside a hotel or restaurant. Local search tools don’t provide the ground level view with the level of visual fidelity that you find on SuperTour.com. Our focus and passion is to create an experience with such quality that the visitor actually experiences the destination or hotel and feels confident that their choice of destination or resort is the right one. The power of our technology is what allows us to build these high quality environments at a global scale.


Q.) How long does it take to add another major metropolitan area, including hotels, into the SuperTour backend?

A.) Miami, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico SuperTours are currently operational. Las Vegas is still in the process of development but the streets are available for preview. By the end of this year we will have 20 destinations and be launching a new destination at least every week. Destinations currently in the queue are the Bahamas, St Martin, Bermuda, Aruba, Barbados, Grand Cayman, Key West and Cancun.


Q.) What kind of proprietary technology do you have and how long did it take to develop it?

A.) SuperTour’s proprietary technology is called Panamorph and it allows users to rapidly create and edit photorealistic 3D scenes from 2D images in a fraction of the time and effort normally required to create 3D graphics. Panamorph’s visual linking technology then generates a digital walkthrough of hotel properties and their surroundings, delivering the next generation online travel buying experience to the savvy consumer. This technology has been in development for over three years.


Q.) Have you been awarded any patents? If so, please describe them as best you can.

A.) SuperTour’s technology is patent-pending.


Q.) Who’s funding this venture?

A.) SuperTour is a venture backed, privately held company. Series A round venture capital investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Draper Fisher Jurvetson New England, Draper Atlantic, and Launchpad Venture Group.

Q & A With Jim Schoonmaker CEO of SuperTour.com By Jason Dowdell at 10:33 AM
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