Archive for February, 2011

The American Express Anti-Loyalty Program

Posted by Daniel Flamberg on February 28th, 2011 at 11:40 pm

American Express has devised the ultimate anti-loyalty program. They take their best customers and have idiots torture them by phone. In no time, you want to cut up your card and scream “AMEX sucks” into the biggest megaphone you can find. If you doubt me, just trying booking a trip using Membership Rewards.
Note to readers: If you aren’t up for a rant, bail now!
Here’s how I entered AMEX Hell. I’ve been a Platinum Card holder since 2003 and I amassed 200,000 membership rewards points. Over the years I’ve paid bills with the card, flown extra segments and generally hoarded reward points thinking they have extreme value.
So now, humbled by an extreme winter, I fantasized that I could redeem the whole lot and add my wife’s 100,000 Gold Card points for a great, free sunny vacation at an ultra-lux resort. Thus began 6 hours of phone calls over 4 days that resulted in no bookings and 30-45 minute passing relationships with Valerie, Cindy, Amanda, Tamika, Damian, Victoria, Toby, Kareem, Sally and Hovi, who subjected me to endless repeated verifications, put me on hold forcing me endure the world’s worst Musak, disconnected me, told me wrong or contradictory information or seemed entirely... Read more

Display Engine Marketing: How smart and sexy are your display ads?

Posted by Rick van Boekel on February 28th, 2011 at 8:57 am

Display ads create a strong retention that goes far beyond the moment the ad was viewed. Display Engine Marketing improves engagement and boosts conversion at a large scale. A 2010 Eyeblaster study found that 72 percent of online conversions were a direct result of display ads exposure and only 23 percent of conversions were as a result of search. This unquestionably demonstrates the powerful effect of display ads in enhancing marketers total campaign results
Key industry forecasts to look out for:

Display ad market will reach $50 billion by 2015
Video will be the single largest driver in the digital market.
Display will continue to shift to an audience buying model.
In 2015, 50% of all ad buying will be done in real time.
By 2015, 50% of online display ads will feature rich media, from 6% in 2009

Ad Spend
Despite continued economic downturn, online ad spend grew throughout 2010. Growth in display ad spend grew larger than Search for the first time since the recession hit the industry. This trend is expected to continue through 2014. The long awaited return of display was fueled by robust platforms including Ad Exchanges, Real Time Bidding, Social Media, Video and backed by a growing demand in brand advertising.
European online... Read more

Do Something Crazy

Posted by Jeff Hayzlett on February 28th, 2011 at 8:13 am

Are you using your social media tools to their highest potential?  There are many tools out there. But, for business, LinkedIn is tops.
With that being said… Have you checked your LinkedIn profile today?  If not, maybe you should.
In today’s changing business world, it’s important to stay in contact. I was shocked the other day with I was reviewing correspondence from LinkedIn. Last year, a whopping 17% of my connections changed jobs. Then, I started to panic. Did I remember to send each of them a personal note congratulating them on their change?
It’s all about creating good habits and sticking with them. I recently wrote about the power of thank you. The same principles apply here.
Set the tone with your connections right away.  Let your connections know that you are an open networker and then be one.  I am not just talking about LinkedIn, but any type of networking tool.  Determine whom you want to connect with. Keep in mind, the connections you have on LinkedIn may be very different than those on Facebook or those you follow on Twitter. Lucky for you, your updates and ways of reaching out can be connected simultaneously through all three tools.
Now, drive engagement with... Read more

The Arab World and Revolution 2.0

Posted by Neal Leavitt on February 28th, 2011 at 12:23 am

One of the sparks of the Egyptian revolution, Google marketing manager Wael Ghonim, has exemplified how social media has played a pivotal role in the ongoing protests against despotic rule in North Africa and the Middle East.
As you’re probably aware by now, Ghonim’s Facebook page helped gather momentum in fomenting popular dissent against former President Hosni Mubarak. Ghonim called it ‘Revolution 2.0.’
In reviewing numerous articles, blogs, and listening/watching radio and TV reports, a few really struck home. Evgeny Morozov, a visiting scholar at Stanford University, succinctly summed it up in the Wall Street Journal.
Morozov said that while it’s important to acknowledge the role that the Internet played in Egypt, don’t forget that the protesters “were blessed with a government that didn’t know a tweet from a poke – as illustrated, most of all, perhaps, by its desperate (and belated) gambit in temporarily shutting off the county’s access to the outside world.”
But Morozov also added a caveat, stating that while it was Mubarak’s ignorance of the Internet that helped bring him down, other regional dictators are already playing catch up and quickly reviewing the playbook on how to effectively roll out online propaganda.
In Bahrain, for instance, Twitter was inundated... Read more

Why Google Blinked

Posted by Daniel Flamberg on February 26th, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Don’t believe the spin on why Google changed its algorithm. Google isn’t proactively helping users. In the on-going battle between Google and the geeks who game their system; the geeks won a round. Somewhere SEO guys are smirking.
The change, which affects 12 percent of searches in the United States only – that’s 1 out of every 6 – is a tacit admission that SEO masters beat the system; at least for a while. After staring down those relentlessly seeking ways to improve their rankings in this endless cat-and-mouse game, Google blinked. The significant change is both an offensive and defensive play from the Mountain View team.
Amit Singhai’s announcement blog post starts the spin. The obvious objective is stated; “to give most people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible.”   This suggests that they are improving the system to serve users better. What it doesn’t acknowledge is that Bing is hot on their heels in head to head comparisons of results relevancy so they are highly motivated to protect their 66% share of US searches. It also conveniently sidesteps the fact that SEO mavens have successfully manipulated their own rules against them in 1 out of every... Read more