Monday, March 30, 2009

I Haven't Forgotten

No - it's not that i've forgotten about my blog, its simply that there has not been enough time in the week to do many posts! I know. It's sad. I will be back soon, I promise!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Round-Up Volume 1, Issue 22: All Things Old Are New Again!

“All Things Old Are New Again”! That simple statement can be used to identify the theme for this week’s edition of The Round Up, from The Digital Influential’s.

Old things, or shall I say things from the past, are new again in many ways. Old friends from high school are new again because I’ve been in contact with so many of them through Facebook. Old fashioned values are new once again as the world is re-learning the benefits of savings and cost-cutting in a time of economic crisis. I even went back to 1991 this week with the re-release, re-mix and re-packaging of my favorite album, “Ten” from Pearl Jam. We tend to revisit the past because of two reasons; either it brings back solid, happy memories or we find a new way to tackle an old problem. With maturity comes wisdom, so they say.

With this week’s edition, we wanted to see how some new companies are revisiting old ideas, or at least enabling new wisdom to present an option to an old challenge.

First stop on the way-back engine is MIDDLESPOT ( Middlespot is presenting a new way to present search through a visual display rather than text. A number of new companies are presenting similar ideas (like SearchMe and CoolIris), and each of them are very interesting in their own right. What Middlespot does, which is interesting, is present results through a mouse-over display accent that affects the location of the highlighted results. It’s a unique play on an old idea and one worth checking out.

If you’re like me, you love to take notes. I have so many notepads that I have to organize them at least once a week. Well, if that sounds like you, why not add one more note pad via SPRINGPAD ( SpringPad offers a virtual online notebook service to help you keep track of your digital life. It can be used for meal planning and party planning or trip planning, whatever you need. They only launched last year, but the technology is solid and it looks like it could be a winner. It’s like a new way to keep track of your thoughts!

If you’re constantly getting into arguments, why not settle it in a new way; with SIDETAKER ( The service provides a forum for two people to air their grievance and get advice from the web-at-large! Think of it as cheap counseling, but where the counselors tell you what they think. Even if you don’t have a debate to make, it’s like an episode of Oprah to go and read the arguments that are posted on the site! It’s a new way to solve an argument!

If you’re still looking for a way to have your “Lloyd Dobler” moment with a mix-tape, check out 8 TRACKS ( 8 Tracks presents a legally authorized way to create a mix tape and share it with your friends. There are a number of these services, and they seem to keep getting shut down, but this one appears destined for the long haul. Click and play – that’s all it takes to revisit the world of the mix tape!

In the world of the iPhone Apps, there are many ongoing ways for old to be new again. Check out the GRATEFUL DEAD app as a way of reading the history of the Grateful Dead and bring them to the digital age. Check out MONOPOLY, another game from EA that reminds us how great the old games really were! And if you just need a little break, check out the I CAN HAS CHEEZ BURGER app for more funny pictures of kittens and cats!

That’s it for this edition – have a good one!

Friday, March 20, 2009

OMMA Global on Monday!

Next week I will be in Los Angeles to emcee the OMMA Global event. Be sure to check it out!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Re-Post from Marketing Sherpa - Impact of Email

This is a re-post from a Marketing Sherpa document on the effectiveness of email. Read and enjoy...

Gauge Email’s Impact on Indirect Sales: 5 Metrics to Monitor

SUMMARY: Email marketing isn’t just a direct sales source. Email promotions and newsletters sent to prospects are also enablers of delayed purchases and sales generated through other channels.

Read how one marketer expanded the list of email metrics his team follows to assess their campaigns’ impact on delayed or indirect sales. That data helps them plan campaigns, design subject-line tests, and segment lists to maximize campaign ROI.

Email is such a strong direct marketing channel that most marketers are focused on measuring their campaigns’ impact on direct sales. “There’s nothing really wrong with that, but if you are looking at email just through a direct-sales point of view, you’re missing out on all the other indirect sales email is generating in other channels”, says Rok Hrastnik, International Internet Director, Studio Moderna.

Hrastnik will be sharing a Case Study at MarketingSherpa’s 2009 Email Marketing Summit titled, “Targeting and Messaging Strategies that Affect Behavior: Making Email a Branding Powerhouse to Sell More.” His presentation outlines a strategy to maximize email’s impact on sales and lead generation, including tips on:o Content developmento Subject-line testingo List buildingo Message segmentation

Making that strategic shift requires marketers to broaden their approach to one of the fundamental building blocks of email marketing -- monitoring campaign metrics.
We spoke with Hrastnik to get his take on why the basic email metrics, such as open rate, clickthrough rate and conversions, don’t capture enough data to measure the indirect impact of your campaigns.

Five additional metrics to monitor to adapt campaign tactics for cross-channel and indirect sales:
Metric #1. Readership and engagement

Measuring clickthroughs is not enough. Hrastnik recommends digging deeper to understand how your subscribers are interacting with your email messages and Web pages, and what that interaction reveals about their propensity to buy.

- Measure how much time each respondent spends on newsletter articles or website pages featured in email links. A subscriber who spends only a few seconds on a page is less engaged than one who spends several minutes on that page.

- Rank the links in your emails according to the value of the click. For example, a reader who spends several minutes on a product information page may have a higher propensity to buy than a reader who spends several minutes reading a newsletter article not related to the brand.

- Also, measure actions visitors take on your website after receiving an email, such as:o Adding a product to a wish listo Using a product configuratoro Recommending a product to a friendo Saving a product for latero Adding a product to the shopping cart (without completing the purchase)

As with articles and Web pages, rank those actions according to their potential long-term impact on sales. You can do that by analyzing your historical campaign and sales data to determine which actions a customer took before a purchase.

For example, you can determine what percentage of customers added a product to a wish list and then completed an order within 30 or 60 days. By comparing the result for each action, you can see which ones made the most significant contribution to long-term sales.
Metric #2. Churn rates by source of email address

Measuring the churn rate of your email lists helps you determine whether your subscribers are happy with the messages they’re receiving. But you should always look at churn in relation to original source of the addresses that are unsubscribing from your list.

The expected and acceptable churn rate will depend on the technique you used to acquire those addresses:

- A higher churn rate is expected for lists that were generated through viral campaigns or sweepstakes offers that may have attracted subscribers who aren’t likely buyers.

- However, a higher churn rate for a seemingly well-qualified list, such as catalog requesters, is more problematic. It indicates that your email messages aren’t delivering relevant content.

Metric #3. Delayed conversions generated or supported by email

Calculating indirect email sales requires marketers to collect email addresses for all online sales, and then map those addresses back the specific email campaigns to which a subscriber responded. But Hrastnik cautions marketers to set up their analytics systems to capture the complete scope of indirect sales.

Here are two tactics for using your analytics system to highlight indirect sales:

- Set a longer expiration time for conversions related to email campaigns. Don’t simply measure email conversions for a few weeks or months after a campaign. Create rules that continue logging conversions for up to a year after a campaign.

- Don’t allow your analytics system to overwrite email conversions when a prospect re-engages through another channel, such as paid search. Set up your system to continue associating that lead with an initial email campaign or ongoing nurturing.

“We live in multichannel world, and there is no single channel that does it all,” says Hrastnik.
Metric #4. Short-term cross-channel measurements

Email marketers performing cross-channel analysis often rely on other departments for data, such as the database analytics team. If you’re getting those reports only on a weekly or monthly basis, you could be missing important information.

Instead, work with data providers to have them supply daily reports, so you can see the immediate impact of an email campaign on other channels.

Metric #5. Users’ behavioral changes

Email marketers typically see the strongest response rates from new opt-ins within the first few months of acquiring that address. But, in addition to general response rates, you also should monitor what kinds of content they access, and how those patterns change over time.

For example, a newly acquired subscriber may begin by clicking on general interest content in email newsletters. Then, over time, they may click through to more brand-specific content, such as product details and shopping guides.

Those behavioral changes can be used as triggers to move subscribers into new phases of email marketing, such as identifying a newsletter recipient as a qualified prospect for a specific sales promotion.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This Time on Pricing Research

This is one more IAB document in conjunction with Bain Research that details the state of online ad pricing - check it out!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More IAB Research Docs

Here are some more documents that detail the IAB's research on various interactive initiatives. I have to admit that all of these are valuable, hence me linking through the entire page. I was going to break them all up into multiple postings for the blog, but alas I don't have that much free time on my hands.

Even if you're day is strapped, check them all out here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Outlook for 2009 - From the IAB

Here's what the IAB is looking forward to over the coming year...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Imperialism With A Flag

I am starting think Eddie Izzard is a genius.

Death Star Canteen

I know I've been a bit backed up, so i haven't been able to post much on the blog, and definitely not too much of intelligent thought, but since it's Saturday, why start with intelligent thought now! No - instead we watch funny videos!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Round-Up Volume 1, Issue 20: Uncovering New Ideas In The Round-Up

As the world turns and our environment continues to evolve, our natural human instincts kick in to high gear. The most fundamental human instinct is the “fight or flight” response which is hard-wired into our brains and is intended to save us in moments of acute stress. As the economy rumbles along the roller-coaster that it is, many people are experiencing a plethora of acute stress and their fight or flight response is expressing itself in a very unique and positive manner.

According to GOOGLE TRENDS ( on Saturday, March 7, the number one hot trend being search for was “get educated”. That simple query translates to an expression of the fight or flight responses for many people searching to broaden their skill sets and uncover ways to morph their careers in the face of the increasing unemployment rate and the loss of so many jobs. That most fundamental instinct is forcing people to fight for their careers and find new ways to generate income rather than sticking their heads in the sand like an ostrich and waiting for someone else to find the solution. It is this resilience that makes the human race strong and seeing it in action is a motivating sign of hope; hope for the future where stability is present once again!

This edition of the Round-Up is dedicated to those individuals, just like you, who have an unwavering thirst for knowledge. Maybe some of the companies we uncovered in this edition will spark an epiphany for you and result in a new idea that will create or sustain an important business!

If you’re looking to uncover knowledge, one great way to do that is by monitoring Twitter through TWEETDECK ( I’m not a fan of many downloadable applications, but TweetDeck is a super easy way to keep track of your Twitter feed as well as replies and trends in the Twitter universe. It links out to TWITSCOOP ( which is another trend-watching tool for Twitter that I like. It helps you understand what’s going on in this environment and this environment is quickly becoming a necessary option.

If you’re a blogger and you’re looking to understand your audience and what they do on your site, try out the new TRACER from TYNT ( At first glance it may not make sense, but apparently 2% of web users will copy and paste content from your site to share with others and the Tracer tool allows you to keep track of it. When they post the content into a document or email, it creates a full link that can be traced back to your site, which is actually a very cool idea. I was impressed!

If you’re searching for a website creation tool and you are tired of Wordpess, check out WETPAINT ( They offer another way to create a site, or to add the social media components of WetPaint to your existing site. If you’re looking for more of a wiki-esque site, check out WIKISPACES ( as another option for quick and easy web development.

And last but not least, we uncovered a gem of a service this week called CARBONITE ( which offers a web-based automated back-up tool for your computer. It cost $50 per year, but it’s worth every single penny to have that piece of mind!

As for the world of iPhone Applications, check out the MOVIES app from Flixster as a way to find out when Watchmen is playing (as if you will be seeing anything else this week). For a branded application, check out the WATCHMEN app itself. Also, take a peek at the KINDLE app for iPhone if you’re an avid reader.

Cheers to those who are hungry for knowledge and thanks for reading the Round Up!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dexter Freebish Video

check out Dexter Freebish from The Republic Project!

I Smell Pork

Time for some videos from The Police...

Examples of what a low budget video looks like...

And now for some classics...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Google Ad Sense Recap

This is the Google Ad Sense ad that showed up on my site:

Custom Branding Irons
World Leading Mfr of Custom Irons 5% Discount to First Time Customers

Really? Is that how we target the word "branding"?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Won The Lottery

Or so it seems when you read my inbox. Does anyone actually respond to these emails? Is there anyone left in the world who doesn't understand the concept of identity theft?