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April 2008, Week 4 Marketing Archives

Friday, April 25, 2008

Social Networking: The Living Rolodex

I'm not much into Twitter (although more people are signing up to track me every day despite by lack of "twits" or Facebook's "alerts" about my friends' activities that don't concern me.

But what I find useful is the connections to past colleagues and friends of friends. If you need something -- a place to crash, a job, some software development help -- social nets function as a rolodex that stays continually updated.

Recommendations of people you trust are more powerful than any marketing campaign, and that's where social networking can shine. The groups of former co-workers and search function for finding that talented person you haven't spoken with in years can be a time saver as well as an asset to your company if you can find the right person based on prior experience.

I may not care about what movie you've seen or that you're going to the park today, but I do care about who you know.

Social Networking: The Living Rolodex By John Gartner at 10:05 AM
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Web 2.0 and the Economy

Recession, downturn, slump, sluggishness, call the economy what you will, but "boom" isn't in the vocabulary. This week is Web 2.0 in San Francisco, and CNET's Social Blogger Caroline McCarthy observes the confusion at the conference over how the internetizens are weathering the storm.

Unlike the last slump in 2001-2002, the Internet isn't a contributing factor, so there's no excess to recess. Online ad revenue is still strong, though investing in clean tech is more popular than web startups.

The old media recognizes that Web 2.0 technologies are the future, so they won't be cutting back to focus on print subscriptions. Marketers too recognizes that going directly to consumers online can have a better return rate than say, outdoor or direct mail.

However, with budgets overall tightening, Web 2.0 collaboration technologies might see a slight bump as socializing online or sharing docs is far cheaper than chatting on a plane.

So cautious optimism is the way to go unless a full blown recession hits.

Web 2.0 and the Economy By John Gartner at 09:57 AM
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Growing the Green Marketing Opportunity

Green marketing is one of the biggest opportunities, and bloggers are out in front of the media on the important issues.

The buzz around sustainability grew around 50 percent in 2007, according to Nielsen Online.

Bloggers are not only focusing on the opportunity for individual action, but also holding companies to responsible actions and are also paying attention to greenwashing -- the attempts to pretend to be sustainable.

The challenge is for marketers to reach the right target audience and seize the opportunity. Bloggers are ahead of the mainstream media on the topic, but many publishers are launching green sections in the efforts to attract ad dollars.

Companies have to develop a marketing message that is genuine and not condescending to the desirable demographic.

Growing the Green Marketing Opportunity By John Gartner at 08:58 AM
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Microsoft Again Forces Upgrade

Oh those boys (and gals) and Microsoft, always asking us to upgrade to new versions of applications whether we want to or not. We've seen it dozens of time with Office and Excel before, but now they've screwed up my nice little Outlook Express.

I received that Big Brother Gates et al have been tracking that I'm an Outlook Express user, and they wanted to let me know that Outlook Express will become useless as an organizer of Hotmail emails.



The company promises that a new free application is even better. Here's what's insane. Microsoft is no longer supporting their own proprietary messaging protocol (DAV). So instead of switching to one of the other industry standards that would allow me to continue using Hotmail on Outlook Express, they are using another proprietary protocol called DeltaSynch. This new Live Hotmail client can use the standard POP3 and IMAP to let you read email from other services though. Thanks for playing nicely with others.

But what of my thousands of messages that I've stored in Outlook Express folders over the past few years? I have to manually import them all. There goes that half hour of my life. And of course, I have to reboot my computer since the Live Mail application requires a restart.

The same goes for setting up my multiple email account to be forwarded into Live Mail.

Microsoft's arm twisting is all to familiar. At least this time the software is free, but with all of the steps required to get back to where I was before, this is like cushioning a fall with a bed of nails.

Microsoft Again Forces Upgrade By John Gartner at 01:12 AM
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Facebook Getting More Useful

I've been skeptical about Facebook as a business networking and marketing medium. But in learning about Facebook groups and the new chat feature and the growing number of RSS reader and other widgets, marketers might be able to use Facebook to their advantage.

Facebook's saving grace for marketers is twofold: the audience and application platform. Widgets are the way of the world, and developers are rising to the challenge. The audience -- allowing people to find friends of friends or contacts from the past -- might someday be leveraged into effective marketing channels.

Social networking requires a softer touch, customized message, and creative thinking in how to influence people with a personal touch. I don't know that Facebook has found a method of delivering that service to advertisers. Perhaps its audience will.

Facebook Getting More Useful By John Gartner at 11:22 AM
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Future Not Here for Online TV

The established (aka older that Gen X) crowd is slowly discovering the television programming that is available online. San Francisco Chronicle TV critic Tim Goodman provides thoughtful analysis of how the TV networks are currently lacking in putting their content available online.

I agree that the websites of the major networks are too clumsy to appeal to a broad audience. Also, the advertising model is equally as immature as the online sales folks need to convince buyers that the person watching the Office online is just as valuable as the person on the sofa, so the cost should be comparable if new services are to be developed.

We don't need multiple remotes or programming guides to view all of the channels, so users shouldn't need to go to 20 websites to find the TV content online. That's why an uber-guide like what Veoh is developing is an absolute necessity.

Future Not Here for Online TV By John Gartner at 09:51 AM
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Six Apart Sets Itself Apart With New Services

Six Apart -- better known as the company behind TypePad, Movable Type and Wordpress, is aggressively moving forward as a full service company for bloggers by launching an ad network and buying creative services company Apperceptive.

The company is smart in recognizing that for blogging to be a business publishers need help in monetizing their audience through their creating community and through ad networks that can return more than $1 CPMs.

Community -- getting people to return consistently and to develop a vested interest in the content -- is an elusive requirement for bloggers, and Six Apart is smart for owning a company that can help to achieve this. Forming your own ad network keeps more of the revenue in the family.

Six Apart Sets Itself Apart With New Services By John Gartner at 10:37 AM
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Veoh Teams With DLink for Web on TV

Veoh is closing in on the killer web-TV app -- an easy way to find and store web video and watch it on the TV.

I pondered Veoh adding such a service when writing about Veoh last year. It could be indispensable for those of us who are finding more worthwhile viewing online than on TV.

VeohTV is like a DVR for the PC, and buying a DLink PC-On-TV card gives you the ability to record web-only content and TV shows alongside each other.

Veoh is becoming the search engine for all things video, giving blinkx a run for its money for well stocked video, although focusing on different content areas. You can subscribe to Veoh's channels (but not all types of content such as TV shows) as RSS feeds and then watch them at your leisure on TV.

Veoh could replace YouTube as the preferred video destination for those who want to view outside of the user generated content realm. While buying or renting a DVR allows you to record TV shows, sharing content from the PC is a compelling reason to try VeohTV.

Via Mashable

Veoh Teams With DLink for Web on TV By John Gartner at 10:10 AM
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Monday, April 21, 2008

Skype Rebounding But Still Untapped

Skype is slowly paying returns for eBay, but adoption isn't nearly what it could be.

The company is upgrading its international portfolio according to Mashable by offering the same fixed price plans for unlimited calls within a country.
For domestic use, the low rates of VOIP that Skype offers are nearly unbeatable and they will gain inroads as long as they keep the reliability of service high.

EBay is dangling Skype as a sale possibility, and that may be a good move. First, it sends a signal to management about focusing on profits in lieu of being sold, or if nothing else can signal the kind of shakeup that has rejuvinated Yahoo.

Skype isn't the best fit for one trick pony eBay. While the big internet companies already have their own messaging solution, Skype would benefit a Yahoo or Google by spanning the consumer and corporate worlds. This would gain more exposure for Skype, which like TiVo is a service that most users adore but doesn't get enough customers. Skype has great potential for handling customer service request and for real-time marketing opportunities, and eBay is just too narrow to take advantage.

Skype Rebounding But Still Untapped By John Gartner at 09:09 AM
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Clean Data Key to Email Marketing

Staying in someone's inbox is just as critical as getting them to subscribe in the first place. Email marketing success requires clean data and users to trust the source.

According to E-consultancy, a survey suggests that companies aren't paying enough attention to keep their subscriber lists pristine. This can lead to rejections by the leading web-based email services that many of us rely on.

Many users (yours truly included) inadvertantly or intentionally pass over emails that they've subscribed to if the sender and subject line do not make the email's purpose blantantly obvious. Goodmail is offering "Certified Email" that is delivered with an icon showing that the sender should be trusted. Certifying email can reduce rejections or accidentally banishing senders into the junk mail abyss.

Email marketing services can either reside on your servers or be hosted by third parties. Hosting the email service yourself can save money and give you greater control of the data, but requires more administration. Does anyone have a "must avoid" warning for any of the web-based providers?

Clean Data Key to Email Marketing By John Gartner at 08:55 AM
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« April 2008 Week 3 April 2008 Week 5 »

  • Week 1 (9 entries) April 1-5
  • Week 2 (10 entries) April 6-12
  • Week 3 (10 entries) April 13-19
  • Week 4 (10 entries) April 20-26
  • Week 5 (4 entries) April 27-30

Growing the Green Marketing Opportunity
"Companies have to develop a marketing me...
by Jason Morris

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