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January 2008 Marketing Archives

Friday, January 04, 2008

Social Nets, Bloggers, Key to Youth

No, I'm not saying that reading Mashable will put more jump in your step. What has happened is that if you want to reach a younger audience and get them to do something (other than text message each other), you need the support of bloggers and individuals who live online.

The upsets in the Iowa caucuses were partially due to the young vote turning out and the messages being shared online. Think about it -- Mitt Romney vastly outspent Mike Huckabee and Hillary Clinton spent more than Edwards or Obama in "traditional" advertising yet they got pummeled in Iowa. While it is no longer a surprise that blogging and social networking can circumvent traditional media, it is amazing that it convinced the under 30 crowd to actually get out and vote.

And look for online journos to be even more active in the future now that they have Freedom of Information Act protection. Blogging may be smaller in scale and revenue than big media, but in influence, it is clearly on par with TV and print. Blogging and social networking is becoming increasingly intertwined as sharing news is one of the most popular pastimes for the social set.

This is good news for us, bad news for big media, as advertisers are going to be spending more money on social/blogging sites.

Social Nets, Bloggers, Key to Youth By John Gartner at 09:33 AM
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'Discovery' Sites Provide Search Alternative

The number of searches is starting to shrink, and maybe it's because "smart" users are replacing search with aggregation and social networking sites. According to comScore, searches were down by 5 percent between October and November, a startling reversal. Rather than trusting their information requests to Google or Yahoo and getting generic results, users are looking to their networks by browsing Twitter or browsing aggregation sites for filtered information, according to Revenue magazine's Alexandra Wharton. (Full disclosure -- I also write for Revenue on a regular basis.) Rather than searching for timely information, aggregation sites and RSS readers are my favorite early morning pastime. I still search news as part of the reporting process, but RSS feeds and hitting my favorite sites gives me a survey of the key issues of the day and is faster than filtering through search results of "untrusted" sites hoping that I find something useful. Reducing one's dependency on search is a natural progression as users get more educated, and this has an impact for marketers. While keywords for specific search terms can be worth their cost, you generally are talking to a less sophisticated audience than the folks who read niche sites such as Slashdot or EcoGeek, as two examples. This justifies the higher CPMs charged by aggregation sites and should pave the way for new search services that specify the sites queried. Google's free custom search engine, which lets you specify a collection of sites, is a vastly under-utilized resource that should unify like-minded sites. Why search the world at large if you know that between your social sites and news feeds, you'll come up with a quality answer? Look for site-specific search to become an important feature in the next year.

'Discovery' Sites Provide Search Alternative By John Gartner at 08:49 AM
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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Local Search Pits Yellow Pages Versus Search Engines

Part of the continuing story of this year's local frenzy is the battle for dominance between internet yellow pages and the search engines. Michael Boland at Seach Engine Watch highlights the 8 trends for the year in local search, and he's betting on the directory services. But I'll put my money on Google et al if search can act quick enough. IYP services don't want to cannibalize their print sales, but search engines have no such restraint, so they can be more aggressive in their pricing and tactics. This will be one of the great power struggles of the year. I also received a call yesterday from a local "local search" company that promised that they could put my wife's business on the first page of Google's search results in the sponsored links. Now why would I pay a third party when I could go straight to Google itself, and besides, I've optimized the results anyway so that it's already in many of the top natural search results? But, you can't blame a company for trying, and we'll see even more startups try to rouse local businesses from their slumber to get online.

Local Search Pits Yellow Pages Versus Search Engines By John Gartner at 09:44 AM
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Netflix Delivers Net Movies to TV

Netflix is trying to outman Blockbuster and cable providers by delivering movies from the web directly to TVs. The company signed a deal with electronics company LG to bring content to TVs without the need for a PC.

We can expect more deals like this at the upcoming CES show as everyone -- from TiVo to Time Warner to Blockbuster to Apple-- fights to dominant the emerging market for web video to TV.

Netflix is smart to offer volume pricing for rentals for streamed movies, which are currently free for subscribers. That model won't last long as more consumers take advantage of the service. Netflix will save money on postage, but there's not much money in free, so the company will shift to a per title price, whether it's a DVD or a streamed movie.

The final piece is for Netflix or one of its competitors is to also provide web content via RSS feeds that can be delivered to TVs. You have to believe that cable companies such as Time Warner have the inside track since they "own" the deliver mechanism (the cable connection), if they are smart enough to think beyond the traditional cable space.

2008 will be THE year to determine who leads in this space. So let's take a poll: who is your money on?

Apple
Netflix
Blockbuster
TiVo/Amazon
Cable

Netflix Delivers Net Movies to TV By John Gartner at 08:59 AM
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Google Putting More Emphasis on News

Recently published articles will be given higher priority in Google search, according to TechCrunch.

This is good news for publishers/bloggers who cover the topic of the moment, and bad news for search marketers who have spent time and money optimizing content and paying for inbound links.

Google is used for both encyclopedic and news search since many folks don't bother to go to Google News or Blog Search. Google may be bending to this reality, or trying to make it harder to game the system.

As a publisher and a user I'm happy for this news. Google continues to refine its algorithm for the better, and giving news and video their due is welcome.

Google Putting More Emphasis on News By John Gartner at 10:41 AM
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2008: The Year of Living Locally

As I've been saying, local online advertising is ripe for the picking, and analyst firm Borrell Associates is in lock step with yours truly.

A new report by the firm says that local advertising will increase 48 percent this year to $12.6 billion. Search will be nearly half of that spending at $5 billion, while video ads will be nearly $1.3 billion according to Borrell.

Borrell says that automotive, recruitment and real estate, are the biggest markets, and political marketing will also take a more local flavor in this election year. But I bet that dentists, contractors, accountants and cleaning services will all wake from their slumber and move away from the Yellow Pages and local TV and newspapers to the Net.

Online marketing is easier to track and costs a fraction of print and broadcast, and that's why these media companies should be vigorously defending their turf online before Yahoo, Google and YellowBook.com eat their lunch.

2008: The Year of Living Locally By John Gartner at 07:47 AM
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January 2008 Week 2 »

  • Week 1 (6 entries) January 1-5
  • Week 2 (10 entries) January 6-12
  • Week 3 (10 entries) January 13-19
  • Week 4 (10 entries) January 20-26
  • Week 5 (5 entries) January 27-31

2008: The Year of Living Locally
This is putting a wake-up call for most smarter Sm...
by Robert Alexander
Local Search Pits Yellow Pages Versus Search Engines
I agree, the IYP's are trying to adapt to a n...
by Nick Taimitarha
2008: The Year of Living Locally
I noticed your comment about local businesses movi...
by David

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