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September 2007 Marketing Archives

Friday, September 07, 2007

Apple's iPhone Blunder Makes Buyers iRate

The unofficial motto for Apple should be "Great products at a not so great price." Apple bit the hands that feed the company's profits by revealing that the company knows no bounds in extracting the maximum out of cash from its core audience. Offering a $100 credit to overpay for more Apple products only further iRritated customers. The WaPo's Eugene Robinson nailed itin summarizing Apple's botched iPhone marketing strategy.

This time, though, he has failed to live up to one clause in his implied contract with iPhone buyers. The sky-high price was supposed to guarantee a decent period of exclusivity. For a time, if you bought an iPhone, you were supposed to be the envy of your friends. The ability to show off all the neat things it could do was your compensation for the fact that the iPhone didn't really change your life.

Apple customers are happy to iPay and wait in line (like Harry Potter fans) to be able to brag to friends that they were one of the first to buy (like my friend Michael), but the $200 reduction in price less than two months after it went on sale just makes them look silly. Apple should have had a better plan to phase in subsequent models of the iPhone, but at least it is now painfully obvious that the company likes to take advantage of customers by charging a ridiculous premium. Maybe the iSheep won't follow herder Steve around so closely anymore.

Apple's iPhone Blunder Makes Buyers iRate By John Gartner at 09:57 AM
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Internet Radio Pays for FM Stations

The potential for Internet radio to generate revenue is huge -- as long as copyright holders don't want too large a share of the pie.

MediaPost has detailed analysis of several analysts' projection for Internet radio revenue, which could someday rival terrestrial radio. Online advertising is the fastest growing segment for newspapers and radio alike, growing by 16 percent during the first quarter of the year.

Advertising via online radio has several advantages over terrestrial: it's interactive to spur purchases or other actions, it adds a visual element (banners etc.) to compliment the audio messaging, and it can be used to sell music.

Internet radio should be the music industry's best friend, but instead the two groups are constantly sparring. Radio stations are offering "click to buy" options for recently heard tracks to encourage sales, but the copyright holders group is doing everything it can to prevent the growth of online radio.

Sooner or later the music industry will realize that Internet radio can generate much more revenue through advertising and direct sales than iTunes ever could and will play nice.

Internet Radio Pays for FM Stations By John Gartner at 09:39 AM
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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Flash-Silverlight Battle for Streaming Supremacy

In this corner is the two-head monster of Adobe and Cisco, combining their network optimization and Flash expertise. In the other corner, weighing in at a gazillion billon dollars, is Microsoft and Silverlight, looking to knock off the champion.

Yesterday Microsoft announced the availability of its Silverlight media technology aka Flash killer. Today Adobe ups the ante by integrating the next version of the Flash Streaming Server into Cisco's Content Delivery System.

The goal is to create an interactive video/social media/advertising platform that can be accessed through PCs, TVs and mobile devices. This is a battle royal that will determine the future of media and interactive advertising.

Streaming technology will become the operating system of the Internet, video on demand and online marketing, so who is in control will affect all of us. Cisco's rich media platform gets better with Flash 3 (supposedly at 2x the speed) and getting Comcast to sign off on the technology is key to crossing media platforms. Silverlight looks good but is slow (at least as seen on MLB.com).

Another key question is how do we make this interactive content available to search engines? Indexing Flash content today is not easily done, so new technologies or strategies have to be developed.

Flash-Silverlight Battle for Streaming Supremacy By John Gartner at 11:20 AM
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Waterfall of Widgets Continues

Widgets are clearly where it's at. The other day ComScore quantified their popularity, and the web is rife with new applications for increasing traffic and providing customization.

The Washington Post created a widget for tracking news about the presidential candidates that can be posted to social networking sites.

Adidas worked with widget marketing platform Freewebs to develop a widget for posting personal success stories that generated brand exposure for the company. There are also new widgets for tracking the volume and location of website visitors.

Developing widgets can even get you a job, as Joost widget developer OnTheToob was acquired by Joost.

Widgets enables brands to gain exposure virally, for publishers to open up their content, and to mine data about users. If you have a website, you should brainstorm into how you can use widgets and rewrite your applications to make them "widgetable."

Waterfall of Widgets Continues By John Gartner at 11:01 AM
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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Online Sales Won't Slow Down

According to Jupiter Research, online shopping will double by 2011, but then slow to single digit growth. But the logic behind that analysis is flawed.

“Pretty much, most of the people who are ever going to be buying online are online,” said Patti Freeman Evans, senior retail analyst with Jupiter Research (as quoted by MSNBC.

Um, what about the current generation of high schoolers and tweens who live online and are buying music downloads and ringtones online? This group became comfortable with technology and living online so early that it's ingrained, so they will be buying much more online than the generation of baby-boomers who don't know DSL from DVD.

Also, the analysts quoted say that technology is too limited to see and experience goods online before the purchase. That may be true today, but 3D rendering and videos will be used more readily to give "hands on" feel to products before you buy. Also comparison shopping engines and customer reviews will eliminate some of the guesswork, and these are still in their infancy today.

So online shopping may not grow by 20 percent forever, but I'm skeptical that marketers won't find a way to keep growth above 10 percent indefinitely.

Online Sales Won't Slow Down By John Gartner at 01:35 PM
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Yahoo on Target With Blue Lithium Buy

Yahoo is putting up a good fight with Google by acquiring advertising networks Right Media Exchange and now Blue Lithium.

Blue Lithium has been at the low end of the "remainder" network spectrum, offering low CPM ads for publishers with excess inventory, but through targeting and deals with big-time publishers, Yahoo should be able to elevate the revenue stream. Having an ad exchange and Blue Lithium in the fold enables Yahoo to work with a wider variety of publishers and advertisers.

It's a long way to the top to catch Google, and despite the departures of several executives, Yahoo is stronger than it was a year ago.

Yahoo on Target With Blue Lithium Buy By John Gartner at 12:27 PM
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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It's a Widget World for Marketers

We used to call them "applets" back in Internet 1.0 days, but widgets are taking over as mechanisms of marketing your business or brand. These code snippets, which make personalized content easy to put on a website or shared virally, are spreading like crazy, and marketers are paying attention. According to ComScore, 239 million widgets were used on the web last month (per the San Francisco Chronicle). From video sharing to to travel info to news headlines to photo sharing, if you can publish it, you can widgetize it. For marketers, the opportunity is to gain exposure for your brand with a free widget, or to sponsor others widgets. As part of any web strategy companies now have to consider what part of their content could be spread virally through widgets. Technology in the form of javascript and dynamic web pages has finally caught up to Microsoft's Dot.Net idea of a componentized web, but without their influence. Sorry Bill.

It's a Widget World for Marketers By John Gartner at 10:05 AM
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Contest Offers $10,000 for Social Ideas

Sure we have Blackberries, MySpace, free citywide Wi-Fi, and the iPhone, but it still so hard to stay connected to our necessary information and people (written with tongue firmly in cheek).

But seriously, there remains ample opportunity for marketers, social networks and entertainment companies to enable consumers to stay connected. Cisco, the former boring router and networking company and now hip "social network" vendor will pay $10,000 for the best ideas for creating a "Connected Life."

So what would you like your mobile phone, social website or cable service provider to do? Since as a journalist I'm not eligible to participate, I'll throw out a few ideas.

First, we could use a better integration of CitySearch/Google Local with mobile phones. The screen size is a limiting factor, but there is plenty of room for improvement in presenting geographically targeted information available. If I want a guide to the restaurants or clubs in a one mile radius of my current location, than don't offer me outside information. Your online searches should also be e-mailable to a cell phone or friends so that you don't have to retype or (gasp) write down places of interest.

And how about integrating ratings from local search with social networks? It would extremely useful to be able to find out if your Facebook/MySpace network has eaten at a particular restaurant without having to spam everyone. Getting a list of the recommended places from trusted sources takes the best of local and social functions.

Contest Offers $10,000 for Social Ideas By John Gartner at 09:35 AM
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September 2007 Week 2 »

  • Week 1 (8 entries) September 1-8
  • Week 2 (10 entries) September 9-15
  • Week 3 (10 entries) September 16-22
  • Week 4 (11 entries) September 23-29
  • Week 5 (0 entries) September 30-30

Apple's iPhone Blunder Makes Buyers iRate
I just don't see this logic. I think the iPho...
by Tom
Apple's iPhone Blunder Makes Buyers iRate
I admit being an Apple freak. I love the new iPod ...
by Yves
Apple's iPhone Blunder Makes Buyers iRate
This is what actually termed as trickle down effec...
by BlogOxide
Apple's iPhone Blunder Makes Buyers iRate
What company doesn't want to squeeze as much ...
by Brandon
Online Sales Won't Slow Down
John, I agree with you 100% and have written abo...
by Chip Arndt

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