Friday, March 28, 2008

The Ad Contrarian Strikes Again!

I like to read other people's blogs. It provides me with insights into what they're thinking and I can see if my thoughts align with the rest of the industry. The Ad Contrarian is one of those blogs, and he's pretty damn funny. Any guy who can coin the phrase "interporn" should be read on a regular basis (by the way, it has NOTHING to do with porn).

Check him out here and comment on his blog!

This Apple post is one of my favorites.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Culture Catalyst Blog Is Live!

The best way to be great at advertising and marketing is to study everything you can about popular culture! That was told to me once many years ago and it stuck. If you watch what the masses are doing and if you can learn what the "mob" is thinking then you can gain valuable insights into their psyche and become an effective marketer.

Unless of course they are thinking about Britney Spears and her kids.

Seriously though, even that can provide insight into what the average American thinks. to that end our company just launched the Culture Catalyst; a blog that identifies the best and brightest moments in popular culture, as well as some of the worse ones. Check it out here and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pearl Jam On Tour

I know it has nothing to do with marketing, but when Pearl Jam announces they are going on tour, I have to blog about it. If you want to know where they're headed, visit their site.

A Little About Ad Exchanges

These are a HOT topic, at least I think they are. There are lots of great articles to read about why you should be using them, or at least considering them.
To start, check out this article from Mediapost.

I also wrote about them a few weeks ago on the Online Spin. Check that out here. We also have an article about ad exchanges here on this site.

The exchanges can put you in control of a larger portion of the media dollars you would be allocating to networks while saving you time. Time is a valuable commodity here, so either get used to them or be afraid of them.

The Digital Dashboard: Does It or Will it Exist?

Lots of attention has been paid over the years to whether an agency or a client can build a true digital dashboard; one that manages and reports on all aspects of their marketing efforts. The offline world has been resistant to this effort simply because the media formats they work with are not viable for this type of open accountability. Print, Outdoor and Radio are pretty much impossible to track in this manner, and even though TV could be tracked with a dashboard, the industry hasn’t been interested because of the impact it would have on revenue and profit margins (more accountability means more changes, more intensive work to implement, etc.). All that being said, online is where a digital dashboard should make sense, so why isn’t it live yet?

There are a few companies trying to build these for agencies; Connexion A and Blackfoot Interactive are two that come to mind. Some of the larger agencies have been trying to build it themselves, but why is it so hard? Well… it’s easy to say, but not so easy to follow. There are too many data points that need to be tracked; ad side as well as site side. There is territorialism amongst agencies as well, so if you have one agency handling your search and another handling your display, it can be difficult to get them to work together on your dashboard implementation. Beyond those two areas, I really cannot understand why it's so hard! It’s not that we want a single tool to do everything, we simply want one location to visit that can allow me to see what’s happening across all options; search, network display, general ads on targeted sites, ad exchanges and promotional opportunities that are live.

Maybe the digital dashboard is our white whale? Call me Ismael, but I imagine it has to happen, right?

Cory's Online Advertising Blog

I discovered this blog today and found it to be interesting enough to blog about. It's a link to a creativity blog off Mediapost. Everyone will tell you that media and creative are linked online more so than in any other format and I agree with that, but very few people will show examples. That blog shows examples!

Amy Corr writes the majority of the posts and she writes very well, so check it out!
And couple it with the reliable old AdFreak blog, when you want to find the funny creative/media ideas!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Google. Not An Agency.

I love it when I read about the innovations at Google, like how they are building tools and services that make it easier to buy and manage media.

But they are not an agency.

Google is consistently trying to make it easier for a marketer to manage their campaigns on multiple formats; such as radio, search, tv and print.

But they are not an agency.

Google assigns an account manager to work with you and ensure that you are managing your campaign in the correct manner.

But they are not an agency.

It's true. They are not agency, but they play one on TV. It's not a bad thing to be in the agency business because fundamentally they are bringing in the right tools and the right services to manage the business that agency's are having trouble with and they're doing it efficiently. They don't want to say they are an agency because they don't want to lose the dollars they get from the agencies.

It's ok. Confess gang. You'll feel a whole lot better!

Accidental Branding: Accidentally Interesting!!

I was sent a request to read some excerpts from an upcoming book by a PR woman working with David Vinjamuri on his new book, called "Accidental Branding". I am typically skeptical when someone asks me to write about something and I tend not to do it simply because they asked (too much like pay-per-post), but I was intrigued enough by the title to read some of the excerpts and I accidentally came across something interesting!

The book chapters I perused were interesting accounts of the life of a few entrepreneurs and how they built their brands in an accidental fashion. The focus is on the idea and its relevance to a consumer rather than an overt attempt to create a brand. Old marketing applies, but is implemented in a new marketing way through viral means rather than ad spend and assertive growth.

Craig Newmark of Craigslist was one of focused-upon people and his chapter was of the most interest because I've met Craig in the past and he is a very interesting fellow who also came up with a brilliantly simple concept waaaay back in the early Internet which has continued to grow and thrive, regardless of the fact that there are no apparent updates at all. Craigslist has spawned a whole industry of copycats, even companies like Yelp and MySpace to some extent wouldn't exist without Craigslist. The chapter provides some insight and personal humanity to an idea that effects our everyday lives, but previously lacked a personal a feel for me. In the respect alone, I think the book is worth reading.

Check it out when it comes out (sometime in the next month or so).

OK... back to working on digital stuff, rather than books.

Guess What? Online Video Will Not Replace TV.

This report from eMarketer tells us the obvious; Online Video will not kill the Broadcast star.
It is actually a great report and article, but the most interesting thing included is the detail on the multi-tasking habits of general online users. Scroll down a little and see what your audience is doing while viewing your ads and content...

23.6% are talking on a cellphone while online.

17.8% are doing school work at the same time.

58.3% are watching TV while surfing the web.

Read the whole article here and take away the fine points for your integration discussions. The key point here is that consumers are watching TV and interacting with multiple formats at once. This is valuable when talking about cross-platform messaging.

Have fun with the info!

Mobile: What Expectations To Have?

According to a study from Nielsen, 58 million wireless subscribers have seen a mobile ad in the last month. According to the advertisers, they have no idea what happens to them once they see the ad!

That seems to be the issue with mobile; what are the expectations? Mobile is a strong opportunity to remind a consumer of a message they have already been exposed to, but what action can you expect a consumer to take as a result of the impression? Should they click through? Not realistically. Should they make a call? Not realistically.

We need to come up with a standard metric for evaluating success "one-dimensionally" (meaning on the immediate reaction from a consumer) for mobile. My suggestion is actually a basic one; Reach. I would take reach and overlap that with customer demographic data. I think it's unrealistic to expect to see data on actions for mobile, but if we do that's gravy! The platform is a reminder vehicle, so reach supporting your other vehicles is a consistent measure of value, especially when compared to price for that reach, and then you can see if that support increased the conversion to a customer or an increase in sales.

Have you tried anything that works? If so, please share with the rest of us who are itching to see it!

These guys might have some of the data, so ping them too!

The First Post

As many of you might know (hopefully), I 've been involved in online advertising for some time now. I started back in 1995, and I'm starting to feel old!

I write a weekly column for Mediapost in the Online Spin, and I used to write for, but they are shutting down their Online Advertising blog in May 2008... they have better ways to spend their time and money, which is a bummer because we were getting about 17,000 pageviews a week, so it is time to start my own blog here!

Come back regularly and see what i am writing about. It's fun, but not unless there's someone there to read it!