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July 2006, Week 2 Marketing Archives

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Preparing to Launch New Blogging Platform

Migrating data from blogger should be as easy as hooking into their awesome new atom api, sucking the posts into your db, sucking the comments related to those posts into your db, and that's it... Oh if it were that easy.

Preparing to Launch New Blogging Platform By Jason Dowdell at 10:53 PM
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Publishers Get Control of Ads

The founders of Flycast Communications are back, this time creating tools that enable small publishers to manage the ads that appear on their sites. The new venture, Adify, works with publishers to create vertical ad networks where the content owners directly interact with advertisers.

Advertisers sign up through a "self-service" form on the publisher's website, with Adify providing the infrastructure and reporting, and the publishers setting pricing and determining who gets to advertise on their site. Adify stays in the background and takes a 20 percent cut of the advertising revenue.

Publishers who may not have experience in setting ad rates or dealing with the large ad networks can choose Adify's suggested rates or set their own. For example, advertisers can sign up to appear on BikePortland.org through a storefront that gives options for sponsorship, CPM, or CPC ads.

Adify is targeting "long tail" niches by building community through direct communications between publishers, according to CEO Larry Braitman. He says the future of online advertising is not in monolithic networks, but in thousands of niche networks that are much closer to customers and community.

"Community of interest" based advertising will give publishers the opportunity to increase their revenue over slapping on some contextual advertising that may be of questionable relevance. Community members (be they supporters of a non-profit organization or readers of a blog) are much likely to buy from advertisers of their favorite sites than a mega-retailer on a generic portal.

The "verticalization" of ad networks, search engines and marketing, is clearly happening as Internet advertising has gotten too unwieldy to satisfy many publishers. This will create a need for a directory or search engine that specializes in discovering niche markets.

Publishers Get Control of Ads By John Gartner at 02:55 PM
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Solving Click Fraud Sans Google

The question of whether or not click fraud can be battled by technology or a change in business strategy is a hot topic in the blogosphere this week. Just as a website or computer can't be infallibly protected from hackers and viruses, there will never be a perfect click fraud prevention, but certainly there is room for improvement.

While Google is spending resources on technical solutions, the company seems happy to wait until advertisers revolt, according to quotes found on ZDNet. That laissez-faire approach is convenient for Google which makes more money the longer it delays fully addressing the problem.

Advertisers should force the issue by refusing to participate in Google's network sites (where most of the click fraud occurs) until the company discloses the click fraud rates that it has experienced and adjusts what it charges advertisers accordingly. The problem won't self correct.

Security expert Bruce Schneier comments on Wired News that the pay per click model should be trashed in favorite of pay per action. That would defeat click fraud, but will probably take years to get advertisers to switch and develop sufficient actionable models.

Solving Click Fraud Sans Google By Jason Dowdell at 01:26 PM
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Circulars Make the Rounds Online

News site Topix.net has partnered with ShopLocal.com to create an advertising system to bring store circulars online.Circular Objects

Topix.net customizes news by region, aggregating the news around your town from multiple sources. The localized sites will include ads from ShopLocal that show offers from the chain stores in your area.

For example, a Walgreens skyscraper interactive ad lets you choose a category, and shows the weekly offers without having to leave the page you are on. This is a great use of Web 2.0 technology, and gives value to both consumers and advertisers.

Google, Yahoo and the other search engines should adopt this strategy of promoting local commerce as part of their customized search, be it news or standard search.

Circulars Make the Rounds Online By Jason Dowdell at 11:08 AM
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Shoppers Search Before Buying

According to a new online survey 87 percent of people occasionally or regularly research their products online before going to a store in person. The BigResearch survey says consumer electronics was the most popular category.

Google was the first choice for product research of 22 percent of the people surveyed, more than than Yahoo, Amazon and eBay combined. That so many people research online before hitting retailers is great news for Google et al, but not so much for advertisers who would like to see those leads converted into sales.

People may continue to go the brick and mortar route because they still want to see or touch the item, or because they may feel they can get a better price (by avoiding the shipping charges).

Marketers can address these issues by including more product information online, such as more images and deeper specifications, or by offering a price guarantee. Amazon.com etc could offer to accept returns of an item if consumers were able to get it for less in person. This would assure people that their purchases were a good deal, and the percentage of people who returned goods would likely be very low.

In a different study, BigResearch says more people are staying home to shop online and driving to stores less because of the rising gas prices. There's always a silver lining.

Shoppers Search Before Buying By Jason Dowdell at 10:09 AM
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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

RSS Feeds Marketing Channels

RSS remains an underutilized format for distributing streams of information between marketing organizations. While advertisers are slowing "getting it," by adopting RSS advertisements and distributing coupons, RSS has yet to take hold as a mechanism for sharing data between publishers and their affiliates, and ad networks and their clients.

The data feeds for pushing product catalogs to affiliates should all be in RSS, as well as the Web traffic and advertising campaign analysis. The standardization speaks for itself, and the integration of RSS reading into Microsoft Excel (enhancing today's XML capabilities) and new RSS readers that can mix and match data will simplify information management.

Although LinkShare doesn't mention RSS in its press release, the company is making it easier for affiliates to filter the data they receive through the Merchandiser-by-Category option. This creates subsets of affiliate feeds so that niche publishers can select only the products that are relevant to them.

RSS Feeds Marketing Channels By Jason Dowdell at 02:32 PM
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Video Ads Won't Fade Away

While I agree with some of his points, I disagree with Tom Hespos' assessment that video ads will be a passing fad.

He says that unlike TV, the Internet is an active medium, and people won't sit through 15 to 30 second spots. While the Web is undoubtedly more participatory (those millions of American Idol voters aside), people are watching full length movies, reading 1,000 word articles, or playing games online for hours and hours at a time, so their attention can be held for a quarter of a minute.

The point he doesn't emphasize enough is that videos should be both interesting and interactive. The technologies are there for video ads to contain hot spots within the video stream or otherwise engage the viewer to jump to action. Advertisers who use Web 2.0 and Javascript can ask for input within the stream to pull in the viewers to their websites.

Poorly done video ads won't last, but clever video ads are here to stay.

Video Ads Won't Fade Away By Jason Dowdell at 01:50 PM
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Monday, July 10, 2006

This Blog for Hire

Bloggers who are becoming advertising shills need to clearly state they are being compensated for their efforts. If they don't, the rising credibility of blogging goes in the toilet.

PayPerPost.com pays bloggers for writing about products, but there aren't any requirements for providing disclaimers in the posts, a big no-no. Without transparency, this is as bad as spam blogging, and companies who are discovered to pay for blogs will suffer backlash for participating.

Meanwhile, more honest bloggers are having mixed success in working with newspapers to distribute their content. BlogBurst is successfully signing up major newspapers to include blogs, thereby increasing their audience and boosting their advertising inventory.

Bloggers should agree on a code of conduct to enable them to compete as trusted online media outlets and earn advertisers respect.

This Blog for Hire By John Gartner at 03:02 PM
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Yahoo Accused of Spyware

Lawyer and online commerce expert Ben Edelman says Yahoo knowingly participated in spyware distribution and tried to mask it efforts, according to BusinessWeek.

Edelman says the company allowed pop-up adware company Direct Revenue to distribute its ads and shared the revenue with them through third-parties. Yahoo was sued for allegedly promoting spyware earlier this year.

Edelman is a credible researcher, so along with the click fraud controversy, these accusations won't help Yahoo's reputation as a marketing company. The big boys need to set the standard by which smaller marketers operate.

Found via MediaPost.

Yahoo Accused of Spyware By Jason Dowdell at 02:35 PM
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« July 2006 Week 1 July 2006 Week 3 »

  • Week 1 (8 entries) July 1-8
  • Week 2 (9 entries) July 9-15
  • Week 3 (15 entries) July 16-22
  • Week 4 (9 entries) July 23-29
  • Week 5 (0 entries) July 30-31

Video Ads Won't Fade Away
Hi Jason: Your third paragraph nails it. Video a...
by Tom Hespos
Circulars Make the Rounds Online
Topix + ShopLocal = boring...
by Jason
Yahoo Accused of Spyware
Anonymous, I don't have an axe to grind with ...
by Ben Edelman
Yahoo Accused of Spyware
Many programms include spyware modules. Use anti-s...
by Simon Scatt
Yahoo Accused of Spyware
Ben Edelman clearly has an axe to grind with Yahoo...
by Anonymous

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