Archive for November, 2009

Brands change holiday tactics to match consumer trends

Posted by Greg Bardsley on November 24th, 2009 at 12:00 am

As consumer trends continue to shift away from traditional media and into online and mobile, brands are following suit. Here are a couple of brands that have already started their Christmas season with a digital bang:
JCPenney – The company is "doin it right" by releasing a holiday-themed mobile website to promote Thanksgiving and Christmas sales. The site gives customers gift ideas, helps them find a local store, and even offers a wake-up call on Black Friday. Still not convinced JCPenney put some time and money into this? They even got Cindy Crawford as one of automated responses for the wake-up call.
Best Buy – As newspapers become less and less prevalent, so will newspaper inserts. For that reason, Best Buy has sent a digital copy of their upcoming holiday newspaper flyer to all of their e-mail subscribers. This is interesting – Best Buy knows that their customers expect a holiday insert with outstanding deals, but instead of reinventing the wheel in order to reach their base, they simply took something they knew worked and spread it to their other channels.
Is this a flash of the future or simply a trend of today? Since we haven't even breached the... Read more

Driving Twitter's Declining Traffic: Ghost Followers

Posted by Taddy Hall on November 24th, 2009 at 12:00 am

This week, eMarketer reported data from Compete, Nielsen, and comScore showing a decline in visitors to Twitter from + 23M to + 20M.
Why might that be?
Our data here at Meteor collected from a cross-section of sites (though not necessarily representative) shows a VERY clear pattern: Click through rate on Tweets is inversely correlated with number of followers. In plain English, the more followers you have the less likely they are to click on your Tweets.
They are, in effect: Ghost Followers.
What's happening?
The currency in Twitter is Followers. Fine, but one of the essential attributes of currency is that it is either intrinsically valuable (gold) or a proxy for value (greenbacks). And what we have with Twitter is a currency (followers) of little or no value -- intrinsic or implied.
What we have all realized is that the best way for me to get you to follow me -- more "currency" for me -- is for me to follow you. I scratch your back and you scratch mine. That neither of us pays any attention to the other's Tweets is a trifling concern.
Well, you can see where this all leads: a global Ponzi scheme of Madoff-ian... Read more

AT&T vs. Verizon: How Social Media Could Fuel the Fire

Posted by Daniel Meyer on November 24th, 2009 at 12:00 am

In the beginning of October, Verizon started a war with AT&T. The commercial that launched during "Monday Night Football" was a shot seen 'round America. Verizon launched its "There's a map for that" campaign targeting AT&T's lack of coverage around the country for the iPhone. For a while, AT&T sat back probably thinking "Hey, we have the iPhone…Verizon doesn't, so we win" -- except they didn't. The hit was so bad that AT&T decided to sue Verizon, saying that its commercials were confusing non-technical consumers who may not understand the comparison maps shown in the ads.
Now, with the holiday season beginning, AT&T and Verizon are bringing out the big guns. AT&T is focusing on the iPhone's ability to surf the web while on the phone (something Verizon's phones do not support), while Verizon continues to focus on AT&T's spotty coverage. AT&T also hired star power (Luke Wilson) to counter against Verizon's "real people".
So how can social media affect all this? By using the "real people" to further each carrier's arguments of course! Imagine how fast this "war" could escalate if Verizon and AT&T users began creating Facebook groups (e.g. "Note to Verizon: Blackberries are sooo 2007") or trending... Read more

The Evolution of the Lead Generation Portal

Posted by Garth Snider on November 24th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Almost a decade has passed since the advent of the vertical lead generation portal. Since that time, web sites that generate sales leads have popped up in countless verticals across the web.   Many have come; many have gone.   The ones that remain and thrive know that diversity is the hallmark to success.   The key to a successful lead generation campaign from the perspective of both the advertiser and lead generation web site (also known as a "portal" or "web portal") is generating leads through as many paths as possible. When I say path, I refer to the source by which the lead was generated. The most common paths are organic or free search engine traffic, pay per click, e-mail campaigns, co-branded advertising, and display advertising. 
The dirty little secret that most lead portals do not want to disclose is that the paths do not provide consistently "good" leads.  Some paths produce great leads for a while but then go dry. Some paths consistently produce a lot of leads, but with consistently poor quality. The process of lead generation is part art, part science. The best lead generation portals employ a large, dedicated, and experienced staff. This is necessary, as it takes that... Read more

4 Implications of Soaring Online Video Use

Posted by Daniel Flamberg on November 23rd, 2009 at 12:00 am

If video online is any indicator; on the web, seeing is believing. The number of videos viewed on YouTube -- 10.3 billion -- in September 2009 exceeded the number of core Google searches by a full billion. That's billion with a "b". 
Then consider the scale of use. More than 168 million US internet surfers watched nearly 26 billion videos online in September -- an average of 154 videos per viewer. Where did they find the time? That's roughly 84 percent of the total US internet audience (comScore says 81 percent) watching an average of 9.8 hours of video during the month where the average length was 3.8 minutes. Imagine how many of others tasks, demands, attractions and people vie for 10 active hours a month of your time! 
The number of people watching video online is up year-over-year by 46 percent. And the use of video on mobile devices is up 70 percent to 15 million Americans watching 3 hours and 15 minutes of mobile video each according to The Nielsen Company. And all this is going on while TV usage hits an all time high of 141 hours per month. We are more addicted to the tube than ever before... Read more