Marketing Madness in 60 Seconds: 3/11/09

static3Social Media: Allison turns over the reigns of OTD to Auburn professor Robert French, one of the most inspirational and interesting voices in the social media world, for him to explain how his students are being shaped by the new media world he’s educating them about and within.

Greg Verdino voices something I’ve been thinking about lately, which is how Twitter is the new Second Life in terms of overblown hype and projections about just how mainstream it is. I think he goes a little too far – Twitter, after all, doesn’t require software downloads and avatar creation and such – but the point he makes in deflating some of the pie-in-the-sky thinking is well worth taking.

Advertising and Marketing: Chief Marketing Officers are saying, via a couple of surveys, that the tough economy is making their lives harder as they fight to justify their efforts and budgets. That scrutiny is leading to frustration with the agencies they work with, though I have to wonder how much of their dissatisfaction with the work being turned in by the agencies is the result of those agencies not being given clear direction.

Ad spending in and around virtual worlds is expected to decline in the next few years, due largely to the fact that such spending is still seen as “experimental” and in a tight budget world “experimental” efforts are usually the first ones on the chopping block.

Advertisers are beginning to realize that people’s activities on smartphones provide them with a wealth of information about those users, information that comes with the ability to target ads to them based on activities, location and interest. Of course privacy advocates are alarmed and users likely will be at first but then stop caring because they actually find targeted coupons and other ads really useful.

And speaking of targeting, Google is rolling out on a limited basis (for now) “interest-based” advertising which is essentially behavioral targeting, but with a lot more control, it seems, for users to be able to limit what sort of information is or isn’t used in that targeting.

Marketing Madness in 60 Seconds: 3/5/09

static3Social Networks: Oodle is powering the return of classified ads to Facebook. Right now there aren’t any fees to list items or do anything else on the service, but this could potentially be a powerful revenue stream for Facebook so I’d expect users to have to pony something up soon.

If Twitter really does feel it’s stronger than Google in tracking real-time conversations then ads placed among those search results is going to need to be an area they focus on as a revenue driver.

Media: Thompson-Reuters is launching an online video news network. It will focus on financial and business news and won’t run 24 hours a day, at least at the start. Subscribers will have to pay for access and the content will not contain advertising.

Corporate Communications: Netflix has joined the list of companies setting up a customer service presence on Twitter. There’s one strictly for customer issues and one for API developers.

Social Media: I’ve been following the discussion around “sponsored conversations” on blogs quite a bit the last few days. I don’t have a whole lot to add (for the moment) but Jeremiah rounds up many of the important links around this issue.

Girl-targeting retailer Justice is launching its own virtual world, which it plans to offer exclusive promotions within that tie to their real world stores. Residents will also be able to clothe their in-world characters and interact with others.

Marketing Madness in 60 Seconds: 2/23/09

staticMedia Relations: The Wall Street Journal’s piece on the secrets of achieving viral video success is worth reading but I don’t think it goes deep enough into the role that media relations has to play. Very few things, especially if you’re talking about corporately-produced videos, have been successful that didn’t have an outreach component of some size or another behind them.

Virtual Worlds: The hype behind Second Life in particular and virtual worlds in general has been deflating for a while now, but now seems to be picking up some steam. The primary driver behind this shift is that many of the brands who rushed to be there after Newsweek/BusinessWeek write-ups have now realized they don’t know what they’re doing there, with the remaining ones only the companies that actually have a strategy and an audience.

Branding: The idea that a company would be able to apply for and get its own branded top-level domain name (i.e. “.deloitte” instead of “.com”) is awful in just about every conceivable way.

Brandweek’s Todd Wasserman looks at a number of branded iPhone apps and how well they’ve done.

Metrics: The “click” might not be the best measuring stick for online ads since it’s often the combination of a number of factors, especially exposure to other components in an overall campaign,, that can contribute to where and when an ad is actually clicked on. A re-thinking of the effectiveness of a holistic campaign could mean good news for online publishers willing to charge what the ad is actually worth by this judgment.

Marketers continue to push TV networks for ratings numbers specifically for their ads, not just the shows they’re embedded within. The networks, of course, aren’t thrilled about opening this can of worms since it means rates would drop, likely dramatically.

It’s not just the click that matters. By looking at how the visitor got there, what their experience has been and other metrics, marketers can make adjustments to where they place their messaging and how their site is designed for that user.

Social Networks: Much of the growth happening on social networks is coming from the over-35 demographic. That’s in large part because the under-35 demographic is pretty much tapped out in terms of growth potential. Either people in that group are already on a social network or they never will be.

Facebook is said to be considering a tax on applications for the site as well as putting someone in the position of community laison. The latter is in large part because of the latest user outcry over their terms of service.