Archive for the ‘Multi-channel marketing’ Category

Twitter hashtags for monitoring out-of-home

April 20, 2009

I had written in February about brands pushing the conversation to Twitter through “big seed” marketing and monitoring it through hashtags. Today I read an article about how Land Rover is doing just that. They are using out-of-home media to push people to Twitter and use hastags. The hashtag is #LRNY.

I am pleased to see this finally happen as it makes so much sense and hats off to Land Rover, Twittads and Wunderman for making this a reality. I’m sure we will see more of this kind of integration between digital and traditional as there is no incremental cost to using Twitter as the platform for conversation and hashtags make it easy to track/monitor.


Why online has the advantage with the mass of niches

April 14, 2009

Chris Anderson made a strong impression on me with his great book “The Long Tail”. As pretty much everyone knows, it’s about how the long tail to formed and we are no longer tied to the mega-hit. The sum of the tail can be just as big as a hit. That same concept applies to using media to target specific audiences. Traditional media used to be the way to get reach and frequency and online was never in the same sentence. 

That has all changed with the concept of mass individualism. Individuals who used to be seen as “outcasts” no longer have to rely on geographic location to find like-minded friends. The internet enables them to find people near and far with similar interests. We can thank MySpace really, for making that the norm. I may be be thousands of miles apart, a different race, 30 years younger and have a much lower income than “Phil” who also likes The Black Crowes. According to the premise of MySpace, we should be friends since we have a common interest. This concept quickly grew and Facebook went one step further and said you should be friends with people you actually know, but another post.

Now there are thousands or groups and interests that equate to a big audience.  These niches are based upon common interests expressed through the internet. From a marketing standpoint, the question is quickly becoming, how do you reach them. How do you reach the mass of niches? The answer is not traditional media. The media landscape has already fragmented and traditional media outlets mostly missed the chance to innovate. Digital media on the other hand is in a much better place to be able to aggregate the niches to hit the masses. Ad networks aggregate sites and forums aggregate individuals with similar interests to name a few ways digital can create a “mass of the niches”. 

Traditional media will not go away, it will change and still be effective for certain brands/products/campaigns. It just won’t be seen as the only way to reach the masses as we have seen, there is a new mass and a better way to speak with them.

Did Gatorade get it right with G Commercial?

January 5, 2009

A recent TV campaign talks about “G”. Several different athletes and celebrities are shown as the camera pans down the line. At first, I thought it was a Nike commercial until I saw Usain Bolt in his Puma gear strike his pose. That made me wonder, who is this for? It had all the makings of a Nike campaign. So I turned to the good ol internet and searched G commercial and the only PPC ad that was present was a YouTube listing. I clicked on the ad for the “The G Channel” and none of the posts or descriptions mentioned Gatorade.

I finally found out it was a Gatorade commercial and was not surprised, the “G” now made sense. There was more content about Kanye West and Lil Wayne (who does the voice over) then there was about Gatorade.

So, the question is did Gatorade miss the mark from an online standpoint. I would say yes. Even if they are trying to be discreet, the amount of money they are spending on this campaign must be a decent chunk of change. People are going online to see who the commercial is for. Even if though they did not do a PPC campaign (I think they should have), they should have at least had some sort of online presence through a website. Maybe there will be an online component later, but I believe that Gatorade is missing out on a lot of online traffic.

G Commercial search volume

G Commercial search volume

Google and NBCU enter strategic partnership

September 9, 2008

Google announced that they are entering a strategic partnership with NBC Universal. This will give the search giant access to a large amount of inventory on different NBC cable channels. This is a large win for Google, as the TV ads program has struggled so far. Recently, they only had access to Dish Network. This new partnership will allow media planners to diversify their plans through Google’s AdWords platform.

The ultimate goal is to get more non-traditional advertisers to use Google’s platform they are familiar with to buy traditional media such as print and TV.  Google has a large pipeline of small advertisers that advertise locally online, but do not use TV due to several factors. Google’s program is trying to get them access to inventory by removing the middleman and making it more reasonably priced.

Google is starting to impede on large media agencies turf with their new platform and the partnership with NBCU will definitely stir the pot a little more as a large provider has entered a partnership. This is not the first idea of trying a new method of media buying however. eBay tried a media auction platform where Oxygen! participated, but the idea was ultimately scrapped.

The two will also collaborate on marketing and research projects.

The channels that will initially be offered are:

  • Sci-Fi
  • Oxygen
  • CNBC
  • Sleuth
  • Chiller

Olympics reveal internet’s limitations?

August 26, 2008

A recent AdAge article discusses how the Beijing games revealed the internet’s limitations. I disagree with the article. One of the biggest reasons why is that NBC did not stream enough live events online as they were protective around the offline ad revenue. CBS streamed March Madness this last year and the latest figure I had heard was around $23 million in online ad revenue. The latest I heard for NBC was just north of $6 million for the Olympics. If media buyers knew that they weren’t going to stream live video from the events, it makes perfect sense.

This might be an apples to oranges comparison as March Madness is during the day and I know of several people who had games streaming on their desktops while going through email and the Olympics were off in another land and the time zone thing was just chaos for TV “prime time”. The last thing I wanted to see was a “Phelps ticker” on ESPN saying he won gold in world record time when Bob Costas is saying he swims in 44 minutes. The tape delayed “live coverage” just irked me.

The internet allowed me to watch the events (at least most of them) I wanted to at my set time. I don’t think the Olympics displayed limitations, it was more the coverage was limited because the ad dollars were not there to support as much live video as many had hoped. Oh well, Microsoft must be happy with the adoption rate of Silverlight since the Olympics, doubt I’ll ever use again.

Don’t forget Lennovo’s great “Voics of the games” site. They had athletes blog about their experiences and stories, which I though was much better than the poor NBC coverage. There are a lot more athletes than just Americans, let them have their story told as well. I guess only the web can allow this to happen, limitations or not.

What’s up with the “click”

August 19, 2008

I am starting to get frustrated with the online focus of the click. Sure, it’s something that can be measured, and gives media companies something to show how great their site/network is compared to other properties. However, when it all boils down to it, a good “click rate” doesn’t guarantee any further action down the lead/sales funnel. Yes, it helps get the lead to the next step, but an impression can too. Just at a later more convenient time when the customer has decided to come back to the site on their own terms. Just ask anyone that has used an ad server and compares view-through conversions to click-through conversions.

I can’t click on a TV ad (yet at least) or on a newspaper ad but advertisers still spend more money offline than online, at least for now. So marketing directors can handle media without a “click metric” and it appears that social media continues to gain momentum without a resounding “click metric” in it, rather tracking conversations.

So as we move down the online marketing timeline, attribution will become the word that clients, agencies and vendors will be discussing. We all know that a majority of transactions still happen offline but online marketing can have a huge impact on that sale, it’s just hard to nail down the correct attribution. That is the answer that will be worked on in the future, not what small tweak to creative can increase a CTR of .3% to .35%. So click or no-click, attribution will become the metric that gets heads spinning and dollars shifted. Sorry Mr. Click, you had a nice run but it seams like it is going to be coming to an end.

Google AdPlanner revealed

June 24, 2008

Google revealed AdPlanner which they hope will sway more agency folk to the dark side and using their planning tools, which in return, brings Google even more data. It will be interesting to see if this is the in-road to offline media that Google has so desperately searched for. If they can bring the offline planning side along the online planning and provide analytics on the back-end, it would be hard pressed to say anything else would be better for close to 80% of companies. Obviously there will be some out there that will use other planning adn reporting tools, but if Google’s AdPlanner can directly tie into Analytics, that would be a sweet package.

Now agencies must be careful, as Google is looking more and more like the the agency killer as it makes the basics easier and easier for clients to do themselves. This will be an interesting move in the future of agency/client relationships and where “value” resides.

“Call me now” buttons back?

June 16, 2008

A long long time ago, many sites had a call me now feature that allowed users to request the company to call them. That was lost in the shuffle as sites focused on converting on the site and removing the need for a call center. However, as times are getting tough, some people still like the good old telephone. Especially when it is a high ticket item, they like the comfort of someones voice on the other end to answer any questions.

As long as you are not using an affiliate model where they will drop you like bad habits as soon as they see a phone number prominently placed with a large call to action, a “call me now button” might be a good test. The call must be as close to real time as possible as people have come to expect it, but it might close a sale that would not have happened, or worse, gone to your competitor because they answered the question online.

It’s not the holy grail for increasing conversion, but something worth testing again as others focus on fancy technology and flash. Let them play with exciting things that might help adn might not, and focus in on what consumers want, information the way THEY want it.

Google opens TV ads to all advertisers

May 2, 2008

Google is continuing to make moves to become the advertising hub for agencies and clients who have in-house teams. They have opened their TV buying capabilities to all advertisers as its been in beta for around a year. Advertisers can buy TV spots through AdWords by markets, dayparts, specific programs and program content.

The interesting component is that they offer analytics through set-top box such as seconds tuned per impression and the number of people who watched the spot from beginning to end. Will be interesting to see if they look at tracking spot times and search queries in the same market to report how offline media drives people to the web for more information.

A step forward in measuring ROI

April 24, 2008

TRA and Publicis Groupe’s Mediavest are making a major step forward in measuring ROI from offline media campaigns. TRA has developed a technology to match what advertisements people see and what products they buy. This is a great move in the right direction for marketers to be able to see if the TV campaign really generated sales or not. In the past, they have bought on sex and demographic data, now they can look at sales data as well.

Mediavest is the only agency to currently use this technology. The new technology is a big win for TV, since it has recently been under a lot of pressure for not being able to be measured like online.