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April 2006, Week 3 Marketing Archives

Friday, April 21, 2006

Advertisers Lust for Small Screen

According to BusinessWeek, advertisers are foaming at the mouth to put product placement within videos for mobile phones.

This dream has two major obstacles: small screens on the phones make it difficult to see a product that is a minority of the frame, and if the product is to be clearly visible, it may look like an infomercial. The other difficulty will be having to compensate the networks for the bandwidth that delivering this video requires, because I strongly doubt that users will pay to download product-laden videos.

Yes, there are tens of millions of people spending billions of hours cuddling their phones. But most of that time they are multitasking, which doesn't bode well for retention of the brands.

Advertisers Lust for Small Screen By John Gartner at 10:34 AM
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Find Love on Adwords or Become a Spy Downunder

I'm still sifting through my RSS feeds after being away a few days, hope these aren't too old.

Star Crossed Lovers on Adwords? A man is trying to use Google Adwords to track down a lady he passed in the airport... Stalker Much? [Via Oilman]

Spy on your competition if they are using Google conversion tracking. [via SERT]

My Spy career can finally commence, I wonder if I have to be an Aussie? [via SEJ]

Yahoo publisher network launched a blog for its users by its users

Find Love on Adwords or Become a Spy Downunder By Evan Roberts at 10:27 AM
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RSS Scores Coup(on) D'etat

In a move that could save many a tree and the shoulders of mail carriers, manufacturers are increasingly moving coupon offerings online and delivering them through RSS feeds.

Sites like have been around for some time, but startup Zixxo is signing up companies and aggregating their electronic coupons and feeding them to subscribers through RSS. The service delivers coupons based on the subscriber's zip code, and consumers can select local and/or national advertisers.

If they can a majority of local advertisers and the mega-chains on board (a big challenge), this service could be in great demand from those who spend their Sundays with the scissors making a mess on the dining room table. Also, if this gets me off the mailing list of the retailers who pollute my mailbox weekly (No, I still think Domino's Pizza is awful!), then sign me up.

The beta only allows to sign up for one category or all; Zixxo needs to change this to check boxes to make it useful.

Zixxo joins MonkeyBargains and the Cost Savings Network in the RSS coupon Biz, and I would expect that many more will follow suit.

Found via Adotas.

RSS Scores Coup(on) D'etat By Jason Dowdell at 10:24 AM
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Technology Prevents Ad Skipping

Just a few days ago I wrote that technology that forces consumers to watch commercials could save TiVo from oblivion. And just like that, Royal Philips Electronics has applied for a patent for technology that would prevent DVRs from fast forwarding past ads.

Consumers should have the option to watch recorded shows for free by watching the ads, or pay a premium to see them ad-free. I personally skip through all the ads when I record programs, but I realize that my free lunch will end someday. The other extreme option for broadcasters would be to charge to watch every channel, which isn't what anybody wants.

So it would make sense that Philips now buy TiVo and create a device that suits consumers and broadcasters best.

Found via AP

Technology Prevents Ad Skipping By John Gartner at 11:32 AM
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Monetizing Maps

Yahoo's latest mapping function is upping the ante for geographical search as the big players are slowly learning how to make money from this utilitarian feature.

Yahoo isn't quite there yet as the company hasn't integrated its Local and Map functions yet, and the interfaces for the two products are very different. Joanna Consumer should be able to search on a store name and zip code (or city) on local, maps, or general search, and always get the location in the first set of results.

I searched for "Target" and "97068" and got what I wanted 3 times on Google, but Yahoo did not find the store closest to my house, and the Maps beta mixed in some other stores that had target in the name.

The portals will have gotten it right when once and for all I can stop using my phone book to find local businesses, and that hasn't happened yet.

Monetizing Maps By John Gartner at 11:11 AM
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Feedburner RSS To Email, My Prediction Comes True

During the winter slowdown I put together a top 10 list of marketing predictions for 2006. Well yesterday TechCrunch let the cat out of the bag on FeedBurner turning your RSS feed into an email and sending it to your subscribers, thus making one of my marketing predictions (no. 8) for 2006 a reality.

In a related note prediction (no. 4) is coming partially true but not in a way I expected. I knew api monetization would occur from Google but I predicted it on the free web search api, not on the ppc api. There's an old saying about not looking a gift horse in the mouth and another about not biting the hand that feeds you. I don't think those analogies have been heard in MountainView, perhaps it's time for Google to take a class in good ol' fashioned manners.

Both predictions (no. 1) and (no. 2) are being realized as we speak and (no. 2) will have more concrete examples displayed here on mshift in a few short weeks. (no. 1) deals with multimedia search heating up and a great example of this can be seen in the SuperTour Q & A I did a few weeks back. Look for more and more players in this space.

Feedburner RSS To Email, My Prediction Comes True By Jason Dowdell at 10:42 AM
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Google Base Car Search Introduced In Natural Results

Google Base car search refinement in normal search results While doing some query checking this am I noticed my normally friendly Google results had been moved further down the page and in their place was a query refinement form for a car search. I figured this was to increase the amount of users to Google Base so they can soon monetize it once it has met a minimum threshold of users and feels comfident they will be able to compete with eBay in their own way and still make money.

It was quite annoying though. Especially since I was looking for actual information on the environmental impact of the vehicle and not shopping for a car. Yesterday a stir broke out about the AdSense bot adding the content of sites in the AdSense network directly to the Google search index and thus having higher rankings due to fresher content on those sites... which is the first legitimate claim I've heard from anyone that Google has started to tamper with their results. Then today I'm greeted with a car search refinement tool (which is obviously geared at selling cars from Google Base - just look at all the listings from in this screenshot). It's quite clear Google is bending to Wall Street and doing whatever they can to generate more revenue but it also appears they may have started cutting corners.

I'm not sure if the car search refinement tool will be on all car results or if they're just testing things for the time being but it's annoying and I'd like the real Google to stand up please.

Google Base Car Search Introduced In Natural Results By Jason Dowdell at 09:34 AM
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Video Ads Get an Audience

Wildly popular video download site YouTube has its first advertisers in Nike, Warner Bros., MTV2 and Dimension Films. The companies will supply viral video ads (and revenue) to the site, which delivers up to 40 million videos per day.

It only stands to reason that YouTube profit from providing the bandwidth and a large audience for video advertisements. Marketers can upload videos for free, or get preferential by doing a deal with YouTube.

The proliferation of video and flash ads doesn't bode well for static banner ads. Like it or not, web video is becoming the TV of this generation, and marketers will have to provide consumers with fun, fast paced videos to get their attention.

Found via USA Today.

Video Ads Get an Audience By John Gartner at 06:24 PM
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Google Gone Mad - Treo Hollywood Bad - AdSense Sad

Rhymes aren't my thing but here's a recap of some of the most interesting events from this week so far. Google AdWords API is no longer free (you could see that one coming when they announced Google going public). The Treo Hollywood is supposedly a real deal and even though Sprint gave me a free phone, the Treo Hollywood is the phone I must have.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, AdSense has started the crackdown too. Those of you who's sites have great click thru ratios and low traffic better watch out, AdSense AdClicks is coming for you. I'm trying to get some answers from them but of course it's nothing but canned responses. More to follow on the Google class action click fraud cases and their implications with AdSense publishers to follow later in the week. The picture is looking dark for Google and it all points to one thing, a prediction from me...

Google is going to miss their quarterly numbers again! Mark my words!

Google Gone Mad - Treo Hollywood Bad - AdSense Sad By Jason Dowdell at 05:01 PM
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Escape Pollution In A Ford Escape Hybrid - Viral Site

Escape Pollution Ford Escape Hybrid Viral Marketing
I just got off the phone with an interesting individual, Maizal Munif, creator of the Escape Pollution web site. Maizal created the web site for a couple reasons... First and foremost, he wants a Ford Escape Hybrid and secondly, he wants to build awareness of Kelowna, BC (the town in which he lives). Inspired by the Million Dollar Homepage, Maizal is hoping to raise enough money from sponsors, to buy a Ford Escape Hybrid for himself.
Escape Pollution Web SiteHe makes no bones about where the idea came from (million dollar homepage) but has made his own twist on the theme. The ads companies buy are placed directly on the virtual Ford Escape, much like a traditional race car driver has sponsor stickers on their cars. I personally am a bit intrigued by this new wave in viral marketing and have to think about whether variations on a theme are going to emerge or if they're just anomalies. It's too early to tell but I've secured an exclusive interview with Maizal and will post the results of our Q & A tomorrow.

Escape Pollution In A Ford Escape Hybrid - Viral Site By Jason Dowdell at 12:53 PM
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Product Placement Gets a Home

Just what the world is asking for - a search engine that tells everything you ever wanted to know and more about the clothes, makeup and furniture that may have been featured on TV shows.

The misnamed "Thoughtworthy" search engine picks apart scenes from shows such as House and Cold Case to show items "inspired" by the clothes that the actors are wearing. The site also says that "no celebrity endorsement implied," so I'm guessing that the actors and production companies aren't getting a slice of any revenues, which could lead to problems down the line.

There is a niche market for the fabulous fashions of the stars, but the beta version of this site is the advertising equivalent to strip mining -- exploit it 'til there's nothing left.

Product Placement Gets a Home By John Gartner at 11:10 AM
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Pick a Pack of Podcasts

Marketers looking to stream ads will have an abundance of inventory to chose from by year's end. RSS/Podcast feed management company FeedBurner says the 44,000 podcasts and videocasts it manages currently have 1.6 million subscribers. That averages out to 36 subscribers for each feed, which isn't anything to get your agency on the phone about. You'll have to advertise in a slew of podcasts to get real numbers.

But FeedBurner says podcast circulation is growing by 20 percent per month, and the company should manage feeds with 5 million subscribers by the end of the year. Most, okay nearly all, of these feeds are probably ad-free today, so companies who aren't getting a good response from radio may want to give podcast advertising or sponsorship a try.

Including RSS feeds, Feedburner (which has its own ad network) now manages the feeds for 11 million subscribers. Introducing ads may turn off a portion of your audience, but somebody needs to pay the bills.

Pick a Pack of Podcasts By John Gartner at 02:36 PM
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Google Breaks Own Code

Since time (er began, the Google home page has been footloose and ad free. Well, the real estate that is more valuable than Times Square is partially up for sale.

Google is promoting the movie The Da Vinci Code on the personalized version of its home page, and I'm betting that the ad creep is just beginning. If the stock price inches back at all, someone on Google's board of directors who understands the millions per day that the company could realize by selling out a small fraction of the home page will start lobbying for change.

Now I'm not expecting to start looking like a NASCAR driver's uni anytime soon, but this is inevitable.

Found via Marketing Vox.

Google Breaks Own Code By Jason Dowdell at 02:02 PM
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Tom Cruise Needs Disaster Recovery PR Manager

Have you ever watched an episode of Seinfeld where George tries to be someone more glamorous than he really is and has to tell lie after lie to cover his tracks? You know that in the end the truth will be found out but you watch anyway because it's so funny to see him squirm as he gets further and further into his mess. Well, Tom Cruise is a bit like George Costanza but the reason we're so attracted to the Tom Cruise PR nightmare is that we're not sure if he's acting or if he really is nuts. And Tom just keeps digging a whole deeper and deeper and it's impossible not to watch. And we're all thinking the same thing...

Is this just a huge PR stunt and in a couple months he's going to reveal this project he's been working on and that Katie Holmes really isn't pregnant, etc... or is he just plain nuts. If he's nuts then he may never work in Hollywood again and some PR / Brand Manager is going to have the challenge of a lifetime repairing Tom Cruise's reputation (another Johnnie Cochran in the making).

Tom's latest stunt, only a couple months after we all thought he was going to choke Oprah, is him telling a reporter he's going to eat Katie's placenta... Directly from EntertainmentWise
"Actor Tom Cruise just keeps on getting on weirder and weirder…he has recently vowed to eat the placenta of his unborn child.

Cruise believes that the placenta and umbilical cord will be nutritious and delicious…however, he may have to get his extremely heavily pregnant fiancée Katie Holmes to give birth first.

According to The Mirror, Cruise said: 'I'm gonna eat the placenta. I thought that would be good. Very nutritious. I’m gonna eat the cord and the placenta right there.'"
File this under "when good PR goes bad, really bad". Tom, if you need to start a positive image campaign we've got adspace available on marketing shift. I hear Jason Dowdell is a real whiz with the search engines too, haha.

Tom Cruise Needs Disaster Recovery PR Manager By Jason Dowdell at 10:28 AM
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New Land Rover Means New Media

Land Rover launches broadband video content for new model lineup.
PSFK points to a new minisite Land Rover recently launched that's chocked full of videos showcasing their new product line. It's noteworthy in that I have yet to see a big push on legacy television (cable networks & such) with any Land Rover commercials. On a personal note, I recently purchased a new LR3 and must say that using new media to highlight the product line is a great move. When Shannon and I test drove the old Land Rover Discovery it felt like a slug and I couldn't get comfortable in the driver's seat no matter how I positioned myself. The new Land Rover LR3 is a completely new vehicle. It handles like a car but still has the offroad capabilities Land Rovers are known for. My favorite feature of our new LR3 is the adjustable suspension. I can raise or lower the vehicle 13" on command, talk about sweet!

New Land Rover Means New Media By Admin at 05:14 AM
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Monday, April 17, 2006

Viral Marketing Fits In

Honda's viral campaign to support its new Fit car is running on all cylinders. To pitch the new youth-oriented car, the company is giving out grants to universities across the country to create viral videos.

Schools like NYU have taken up the challenge and produced a clever parody of a Beastie Boys rap. The students are also charged with promoting the cars on campus and throwing parties to celebrate the vehicle's launch.

Honda is paying its target demographic to directly participate in the marketing of the new vehicle, and I'm betting they get a much better ROI than through conventional advertising.

You can expect more of these viral vehicle videos to be hitting YouTube any day now.

Viral Marketing Fits In By John Gartner at 12:52 PM
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Mashups Go Yard

The Bowling Green Daily News is making the most of its classifieds information about yard sales through a Google Maps mashup.

For a small fee, the newspaper's website will show all of the current yard sales on an interactive Google Map, making it easy for bargain hunters to plan their day. Clever newspapers will find away to adapt to the new world order and stay relevant in classifieds.

Next on the list of mashups I wanna see is real estate, where map data should be combined with information about school districts, crime rates, and average prices.

To keep track of mashup madness, check out this blog of slick Google mashups.

Mashups Go Yard By John Gartner at 12:12 PM
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Social Networking Acceptance Rates Stats

Friday I had a nice chat with Konstantin of LinkedIn and we were discussing the different types of users in social networking sites and the variance in acceptance rates based on the quality / reputation of those users. I asked Konstantin if he could share some numbers with the Marketing Shift readers about acceptance rates in LinkedIn... to my surprise he agreed.
There are two types of acceptance rates...

1.) Those from invitations
2.) Those from introductions.

Invitations to connect are generally from people you know and trust already, like former co-workers, classmates, etc.. By accepting an invitation, you agree to make introductions for the person when he/she wants to meet people you or your contacts know. Of the people who send over 10 invitiations, 7% have an acceptance rate of 90% or higher. These kinds of conversion rates are unthinkable in traditional marketing, but only possible via word-of-mouth marketing where there are well-established relationships and bonds of trust.

Introductions are contact requests from people you generally don't know and who are contacting you about doing business via an introduction from someone you know. When accepting a contact request, you are providing your contact information, so you can start a dialog about the opportunity via phone or email. When people receive an introduction, they accept it (meaning they provide their contact info to the sender) 84% of the time. This is quite amazing given that they generally don't know the sender, and it's a testament to the fact that business users realy heavily on social filters -- they are much more willing to give their attention and respond favorably to someone who comes introduced (even if the sender is just a friend of a friend of their connection) than if they get contacted directly via phone or email where nobody is vouching for the sender and where they can't easily look up the profile of the sender. It also shows that most users are careful which people they let into their LinkedIn network and that they give signficant weight to the fact that one of their LinkedIn connections is recommending the sender, based on their direct knowledge of the sender or based on the recommendation provided about the sender by someone they know and trust.

Pretty interesting numbers and definitions of the ways people enter social networking sites.

Social Networking Acceptance Rates Stats By Jason Dowdell at 11:02 AM
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« April 2006 Week 2 April 2006 Week 4 »

  • Week 1 (19 entries) April 1-8
  • Week 2 (20 entries) April 9-15
  • Week 3 (18 entries) April 16-22
  • Week 4 (17 entries) April 23-29
  • Week 5 (0 entries) April 30-30

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