Archive for December, 2008

FTW (Future of The Web) 2009: Digital TV

Posted by Michael Leis on December 29th, 2008 at 12:00 am

February's TV conversion from standard NTSC to Digital TV has dragged on for nine years like a star player who's been sitting on the bench. Much of the talk has been around the conversion itself. But what about the content?
From what DTV I've been able to see, it's not looking good. Lots of recycled content, weather, information loops. Where's the advertiser value?
This is where Interactive marketing has a huge opportunity. The CPM of these channels locally and nationally will never be lower, and network flexibility will never be higher. And thanks to the digital conversion, the technical barriers to entry are also low.
What this means for brand marketers is the chance to return to the sponsorship model. But this time, instead of just sponsoring a show, brands can enhance the broadcast itself with content driven from the Web. For brands well poised with Web video content this is the opportunity to begin broadcasting that video against a wider audience, testing effectiveness.
For example, InTheMotherHood will be making the transition from the Web to TV this spring on ABC. And it's a harbinger of revisiting the onld sponsorship model. A no brainer : the content is already created in digital video by Suave (Unilever)... Read more

Agency Clients Want Pay For Performance – So Long As The Agency Doesn't Make Good Money

Posted by Jay Friedman on December 26th, 2008 at 12:00 am

The ability to target a very small group, or even a single individual online is now possible with good use of social media DIY tools.  The problem is that no agency who values its revenues will recommend that type of plan.  This is because with the retainer model the client feels like he or she is overpaying the agency.  With the commission model the agency doesn't make any money.  An example:
A client wants to launch Product "X" to a very narrow, easily defined group of people.  The agency knows that for $1 or less CPM they can get on one of the main social networks and define exactly this target.  Total target - 500 people.  Let's just be nice and say it'll take an average frequency of 50 to really get the response they need.  25,000 total impressions.  $25 campaign. 
On a retainer model where the client is paying the agency $10,000 monthly to handle their business, they're going to look at this and think they just paid a retainer that was 40x the media value.  Ripoff!, says the client.  Or, on the commission model, the agency sees they're going to make at best $5 and says no... Read more

What is the X in UX? (Hint: There be Treasure Here)

Posted by Rachel Defriend on December 25th, 2008 at 12:00 am

X marks the spot for pirate maps, but is it also true for website design? Arrr, says I.
UX is a (not so) clever way of saying user experience, and without a good one, we risk losing customers. No matter how awesome your product or flashy your website, without someone thinking about how users will find it, what they’ll do with it and the value they’ll get from it, the total sales of your product or service will not be as good as it could be.
Good Functionality + Good Design = Good User Experience
In the land of UX, the colonies are comprised of Interaction Designers (IxD), User Experience Architects (UXA), User Experience Designers (UXD), Information Architects (IA), User Interface Designers (UID), Usability Engineers (UE), Human Factor Engineers and, well, you get the picture. While talents and skills overlap, the focus of each should always put the user first. Because before X comes U. To truly design a good X, you must first embrace the U — the user.
To start, you should:
1.    Define your users. Users can be defined by data (the numbers never lie) from your targeted demographic or by the creation of personas derived from interviews with... Read more

9 Proofs That I Am Definitely Not The Only Digit Head In The Village(s)

Posted by Jim Nichols on December 24th, 2008 at 12:00 am

My parents and I went to an "active adult" community called The Villages in Florida this week. Here are nine things I heard that indicate how much our world has changed via digital. Everyone living in The Villages is over 55, many much older. Incomes range from a little below average to significantly above – all share a plethora of amenities in a sort of retirement playground of something like 125,000 people. It bills itself as "The friendliest place on Earth."
Anyway, here’s what I overheard:
9. (From a woman I am guessing is in her 60s) Yes, I tried Match.com, but for The Villages, it’s those same 12 guys you see at Katie Belle’s every night.  [Katie Belle’s is the nightclub in this complex.] I’m on eHarmony now.
8. (From a man in his 60s, on cellphone) Wait a sec, Anita, I’ll conference them in.
7. (From a woman in her 60s) Oh yes, there’s even a virtual tour of our house online.
6. (From a couple in their 70s, talking of their second time around marriage) We met in a chatrom in 1999.
5. (From a woman, about 70) My grandkids come down about once a year. But I see them every week because last... Read more

Surviving the New Year Biz Dev Stampede

Posted by Daniel Flamberg on December 24th, 2008 at 12:00 am

The layoffs of 2008 will soon give way to a manic new year’s scramble for new business in 2009. Marketers, agencies and consultants of all sizes, shapes and specialties will madly chase a shrinking pool of new assignments and do their darnedest to seduce customers away from their current providers.
 
What’s new is that business is “out there for the taking” because half of all buyers will be open to switching according to “How Clients Buy”::the 2009 Benchmark Report on Professional Services Marketing produced by RainToday.com with survey help from the Wellesley Hills Group. The full detailed report is for sale on their site.
 
Evidently professional relationships aren’t what they used to be. High and changing expectations, a financial crunch and the ready availability of alternatives makes the business development landscape much more fluid that’s it has been before. Add the continuing need for service and reduced ranks of internal marketers and there are more potential openings than most of us might realize. The real question is are new business seekers willing or able to do what it takes to snag the newly available switchers?
 
So what’s a sales guy to do?
 
Make it Personal. The top tier methods for getting access to... Read more