People Companies Advertise Archives Contact Us Jason Dowdell

Marketing Home » Archives » 2007 » June

June 2007 Marketing Archives

Friday, June 08, 2007

New Ask.com Takes Risks

Ask.com is attempting to break out from its fourth place standing with a bold redesign of the interface that is visually pleasing but has a few gaffes in organizing content.

The new home page is clean, and the search results (with images on the right and smart use of color to differentiate results when scrolling) are easier to browse than Google.

I appreciate the organization of asking to refine results on the left, that natural results are above the sponsored results at the top of the page, and that images and dictionary results are on the right.

The navigational buttons are sharp, but why call local results "City?" Local shopping or travels usually extend far beyond your city proper, and what about the folks who live in towns or other hamlets that aren't cities? And which city are we talking about if you happen to live near both Oakland and San Francisco or Philadelphia and Camden? The interface for City is nice with related listings on the left and an always available search window, but the name must go.

Ask.com also continues to separate News from Blogs and RSS feeds. Most other sites put RSS feeds with news, while others also blend in blog results. This leads to the problem of what to do with all of the blogs on news sites. I say its about time that the world recognize that blogs (anything that has its own URL and not whomever@blogspot.com) are news, and need to be incorporated into news.

Ask.com has hit most of the right notes and may get a bump in market share from those willing to venture from Google. Will advertisers respond?

New Ask.com Takes Risks By John Gartner at 09:57 AM
Comments (0)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Keyword Prices Up, Value Down

Keyword prices are rising while the return is going down, according to the DoubleClick Performics Q1 2007 Search Trend Report. So more cost and less value means that somethings gotta give if search marketers want to grow their business.



According to a survey of 50 campaigns that ran on DoubleClick, advertisers are buying more keywords (by 54 percent, are paying more for them, and saw ROI by 43 percent. So is it the platform's capabilities or poor marketing strategy? I say both.

DoubleClick says more companies are using SEM as a branding tool, a relatively expensive way to get the word out. I'm disappointed by the lack of call to action from the ads displayed -- if people are searching on a product category, should the messaging be enticing to get them to shop now?

As an example, I searched on hiking boots, and of the 8 ads that were displayed, none was a coupon or special online offer, and only one targeted me as an Oregon resident. (The 8-3 ratio of paid versus natural results is off balance -- I'd like a little more content with my meal Mr. Google.)

Despite the candor of this report, the GoogleClick merger continues to be under fire for the potential of the combined entity to violate consumer privacy. Groups the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) said that additional privacy precautions need to be implemented before the GoogleClick behemoth should be unleashed on the world.

Keyword Prices Up, Value Down By John Gartner at 09:46 AM
Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Joost Realizes Targeting Potential

Leave it to the Skype/Kazaa guys to push online advertising to where it should have been years ago. The Joost founders are introducing ad models and are betting their future on delivering highly targeted video ads to the consumers who watch its online channels.

Per MediaPost:

"Joost can tailor its ads to individual users based on information they provide--including geography, tastes, and demographic information--along with behavioral patterns."

Display advertisers have only recently implemented ad networks that combine demographic and behavioral data, and Joost's ability to shift big media companies and advertisers will pave the way for TV to adopt the model.

Joost will know who's watching (since unlike TV, PCs tend to be used by one or two people at the most, and registration is required), and delivering ads based on an anonymous profile is clearly the future of online advertising. Cable TV providers similarly know the demographic data of the household, and theoretically track the behaviors based on which program is being watched.

What percentage of the ads that you see online or on TV actually match your demographic profile? 5 percent? 1 percent? I don't know about you but I'm tired of ads for online dating, feminine protection or pickup trucks -- products that I will never ever buy. No wonder fast forward is the most used feature of the DVR. This poor matching is great for the revenue stream of networks, but horrible for consumers and advertisers. If Joost succeeds, business as usual will no longer be acceptable.

Joost's other innovations include in-stream ads instead of pre-rolls, and interactive ads that are voluntarily activated by users so as not to disturb the video. The shift to targeting and behavioral marketing is clearly on as the technology for tracking is available.

Joost Realizes Targeting Potential By John Gartner at 09:08 AM
Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Look what I Stumbled Upon in Google SERPs

I maybe late to the train on this one but it is the first time I've seen StumbleUpon among the Google results pages. In fact, it is ranked above the YouTube page it links too. Between Digg, Wikipedia and now StumbleUpon the top 10 is getting a little crowded if you ask me.

Look what I Stumbled Upon in Google SERPs By Matt O'Hern at 02:02 PM
Comments (0)

Salesforce-Google Teaming Increases Transparency

It's nice that CRM vendor Salesforce.com is helping out a company in need of broadening its customer base by agreeing to connects its product with Google AdWords (said with tongue firmly in cheek).

The companies are streamlining the ad purchasing and tracking process by enable ads to be turned into leads and tracked throughout the sales process. Tying the products together through the Salesforce Group Edition featuring Google AdWords (that also has hooks into AdSense) will help customers and is likely the first of several end to end partnerships that Google will form.

David Bradshaw, principal analyst at Ovum explains how it works:

"From within Salesforce, you can bid for keywords in Google and set your budget. Salesforce will automatically generate the HTML for a 'landing page' on your website, so that when a prospective customer arrives on the landing page, it asks them for their details and automatically generates a sales lead in salesforce.com. Additionally, you can track the results for each keyword you have bought in Google via a new dashboard..."

Even Google detractors will not be able to argue against the new offering because it provides better tracking capabilities for advertisers. If AdWords campaigns aren't working, you'll know the details faster and in more detail. And Google could have bought Salesforce outright, so give them credit for showing restraint.

Salesforce-Google Teaming Increases Transparency By John Gartner at 09:32 AM
Comments (0)

Monday, June 04, 2007

FeedBurner Acquisition to Make RSS Mainstream

The ever-expanding chimera that is Google now wants to grab a share of the nascent RSS advertising market, and they couldn't have done any better than to buy FeedBurner. Google gets access to FeedBurner's analytics that mine feed performance and advertising exposure.

Google will give FeedBurner access to its massive inventory of AdWords customers, which will likely increase its revenue several times over. Most studies have shown that RSS ads yield superior click through rates, and Google will do its best to make its the world aware.

Google's ownership of FeedBurner is good news for podcasters looking to better monetize their content through rich media advertising. Now we just need someone -- Google, Microsoft, Mozilla -- to make RSS more consumer friendly.

Source: Mediapost

FeedBurner Acquisition to Make RSS Mainstream By John Gartner at 10:28 AM
Comments (0)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Google Reader to Boost RSS

Yesterday when I was writing about FreeRange's new mobile RSS reader I was pondering what is needed to make RSS (and therefore RSS ads) an integral part of the web experience. Then, Google announces Google Gears which allows the web to be experienced offline, including a browser plug-in that lets you use Google Reader offline.

Similar to playing the card game "fish," it's nice when you can say "got what I asked for."

Google Reader lets you download the 2000 most recent RSS articles so that you can browse them offline. While offline you can add tags, highlight the articles that you want to read in full later, and mark articles as read.

Being able to read off line from within the browser is a huge time saver and will make those times when you can't log on much more productive. Google updated Reader to make it easier to email articles to friends, and you can also create a custom "share" page that will make articles you've read available through a unique URL. These features are great and eliminate the need to purchase a separate RSS reader (but come on Google, how about a search your feeds option!).

But (to finally get to the point), for RSS to become part of nearly everyone's lives, Firefox and Internet Explorer need plug-ins or new features that let you browse the web and your feeds together. A feed toolbar or split window that gives you access to the latest feeds as well as allows you to surf per usual would take RSS from something external that requires visiting another site or loading an application. Or, even better, a scrolling news text line (like what you see in bars or on the side of buildings) that automatically loads your most recent headlines. This would give you something to do while waiting for web pages to load and saves a lot of clicking.

I was excited when I heard that IE was adding RSS feeds, but a small button that lights up is of little use. Google's off line reader is a good first step, but the lack of RSS ads reveals just how underutilized this technology is. RSS needs to become an everyday experience for nearly everyone for advertisers and publishers to participate.

Google Reader to Boost RSS By John Gartner at 10:20 AM
Comments (0)

June 2007 Week 2 »

  • Week 1 (7 entries) June 1-9
  • Week 2 (5 entries) June 10-16
  • Week 3 (13 entries) June 17-23
  • Week 4 (12 entries) June 24-30

Subscribe to Marketing Shift PostsSubscribe to The MarketingShift Feed