Archive for September, 2009

Jobless? Leverage Your Social Network

September 30th, 2009

ComScore released an interesting report recently on the value of your Social Network when looking for a job.  Their focus was specifically on LinkedIn and the amount of it’s traffic that is not just there for networking, but actively seeking a job:

28.5% of its total audience was comprised of job-seekers, compared to just 11.8% of the total U.S. Internet population. Perhaps even more compelling is that 8.2% of visitors were heavy visitors to the Job Search category, compared to just 2.4% of the total Internet audience. In fact, LinkedIn had at least twice as high a percentage of visitors from each HML sub-segment than those of the total Internet population.” (courtesy: ComScore)

LinkedIn might not be your only avenue to finding a new job via the Social Web as CNN Money reports last month.  It appears that Facebook is horning in on their action a little bit.  My take – leverage both – your Social Network is a valuable tool.

Social Media , ,

Pandora in the news…again

September 28th, 2009

I have a lot of respect for the tenacity and vision of Tim Westergren and the gang over at Pandora.  If you’re a fan, there is a great interview with Tim available on press:here (I’ve embedded the first section below but you can get all three sections through the previous link).  In addition, TechCrunch ran a story on Friday, detailing how they were on the verge of shuttering their doors only to break through and expecting to be cash positive by the end of 2009. 

According to Tim, Americans spend 20 hours a week listening to music, 17 of which is not self selected (meaning, they are not grabbing a CD and popping it into their player – rather they are streaming music: Radio, Internet, etc).  This equals a significant opportunity to advertise to an attractive audience set.  Pandora has capitalized on this by creating a service where the the user is very interactive with the website – up to 7 times per hour rating songs or bookmarking songs.  Each of these user activities provide the opportunity to present an advertisement through a ‘skin’ on the site or a video interstitial between songs (Intel has used both in our advertising efforts with Pandora).  That, coupled with the 10-15 second audio spots sprinkled within your stream, ensures a significant interaction between brand advertiser and consumer on Pandora each hour.

From his discussion with Sarah Lacy of TechCrunch post-interview with press:here regarding the success of advertising on Pandora:

I think it’s because the interaction doesn’t feel like work. It’s a natural instinct tied to the ability to affect the listening, and it’s rewarding.” (credit TechCrunch)

That reward translates into a significantly higher interaction rate (up to 10x) with ads served on Pandora when compared to industry average – which will make advertisers very happy.  Count me as one of them.  Keep up the great work Tim and Team Pandora.

Online Advertising ,

The Twitterverse Doesn’t Hate Ads

September 25th, 2009

According to a recently released report by the research group Interpret LLC:

Twitter users are twice as likely to review or rate products online (24% vs. 12%), visit company profiles (20% vs. 11%) and click on advertisements or sponsors (20% vs.9%) as those who only belong to traditional social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace. The data suggests that Twitter users uniquely demonstrate higher engagement with brands, not just with “tweets” they post. (credit: All Things Digital)

This is an interesting finding, especially when you consider that 20% of Tweets mention Brands and Products, according to Researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology.  Message to Brand Marketers, if you’re not already looking at Twitter as a community that is receptive to your message – you should be.

Advertising, Twitter ,

Buy your java on the quick – there’s an app for that

September 23rd, 2009

As I’ve written before, Starbuck’s is a company that is an active evangelist of the Social Web.  Now, they have taken that a bit further and have expanded that to the Mobile Web with the release of two new iPhone apps: myStarbucks and Starbucks Card Mobile.  Targeted at coffee drinkers on the go that are hyper-connected with their iPhone or iPod Touch, these apps offer the convenience of loading a Starbucks card through your mobile device and “a groundbreaking mobile payment component that will allow customers in 16 stores to pay using their iPhone or iPod touch mobile device“. 

The myStarbucks app “will allow users to build and share their favorite beverages, find store locations anywhere in the world, look up detailed nutritional information for Starbucks food and beverage items, build and store favorite Starbucks® espresso drinks, and learn more about Starbucks rich selection of whole bean coffees.” (via Starbucks Newsroom).  Well done Starbucks – identify an opportunity to add convenience to your customer experience and deliver innovation on the mobile front.

Mobile Marketing ,

The Internet is now Y!ours…

September 22nd, 2009

Honestly, this campaign baffles me a bit – hasn’t the Internet always been ours?  Now Yahoo is giving us the persmission to actually state that obvious fact?  Apparently so, and it is costing them $100M to grant that permission.   Reading a summary of the campaign announcement on the Wall Street Journal’s Digits Blog, I found myself shaking my head – until I read one of the user comments that summed up my feelings in one sentence:

badgett wrote:  No new core value proposition =>wacky marketing

Well said.  Perhaps Yahoo should go back to the drawing board on this one.  Working at Intel for the last 10 years, I’ve been through my share of rebranding efforts and this one has several components that are, frankly, similar to our current campaign with the most obvious being an updated soundmark – an auditory, recognizable symbol of a company.  According to the WSJ article:

“The rebranding effort includes a modified version of Yahoo’s well-known yodel, something she called ‘an essential part of Yahoo’s DNA, but I think we have to admit it’s a bit dusty.’ Yahoo will use several new yodels, and the new campaign ends with one sung by a choir that ends with children’s laughter.”

Interesting… oddly similar to the way we end our newest TV spots.  Coincidence or Flattery?

Advertising, Branding ,

Our team players aren’t like your team players

September 21st, 2009

Round 2 of our Sponsors of Tomorrow creative… pretty good stuff.

Advertising , ,

Apps-olutely Crazy for Mobile Apps

September 18th, 2009

Great visual (click image for larger) of the Mobile App landscape this week on the mobile focused site, ismashphone – a daily blog focused on the iPhone covering News, App Reviews, and Tips/Hacks.  Some of the more compelling stats from the visual include:

  • 59% of mobile users (iPhone, iPod Touch, Android) download one paid app a month
  • Over 50% of iPhone and Android users spend more than 30 minutes a day on apps
  • Total monthly paid application market share is over 200 million dollars
  • iPod Touch users download the most apps, iPhone users pay for the most apps

What’s the take away here?  There is a market for targeting customers in the mobile space.  As I wrote earlier this week, at some point this may be a consumer’s only connected device.  Those that aren’t interacting with their target audience via this medium are missing a huge opportunity.

Advertising, Mobile Marketing ,

The Marketing Phenomenon of Fantasy Football

September 17th, 2009

When you think about Fantasy Football, do you think about it as a complete marketing opportunity?  More likely than not you don’t, however, you should.  There was a great article in MediaPost yesterday that  described the benefits of focusing a marketing program around this annual Fall phenomenon.  Would it work for marketers not selling a non athletic product?  Yes, specifically for this point:

For advertisers, these are highly dedicated, highly committed players with very, very attentive engagement,” says Paul Charchian, president at Fantasy Sports Trade Association. (quote courtesy of USA Today).  Paul touches on another key point in his second statement: “It’s extremely cost-effective entertainment, and it remains an important part of the social networking for men“.

I spend a lot of time on my CBS Sports Fantasy Football page – currently, Edge Gel has the advertising monopoly there.  Coincidence?  Not if you bear in mind the quote from Paul above.  This is a very specific audience that spends a significant time on their respective football sites – targeting them with ads that are relevant and useful to them are bound to make a positive impression for the companies placing those ads.  That’s why you will see truck manufacturers, major electronics chains, and other purveyors of goods mostly bought by men advertising on every major fantasy site offering in market – if they are smart.  As the MediaPost article above references, marketing around a passion point like Fantasy Football offers more than more than meets the eye at first:

1. Integrated Marketing Platform, coupling an offline event (the game) that is still ‘appointment’ TV – less likely to be recorded and watched at a later time – with online tools to track player stats, your team, and your league standings.

2. Social Networking opportunity – whether it’s gaining an edge on your opposing owners, or smack talking during Sundays many of the sites offer one to one or one to many tools for easy communication.

3. Loyalty– this is an addictive past-time. As such, active owners of fantasy teams are not limiting their perusal of their favorite sports sites to just Sundays.  They are hitting them every day of the week, often multiple times a day – offering the brand that is advertising a tremendous number of impressions to their campaign.

The NFL has embraced the extension of their brand into Fantasy Football – in doing so they have found additional avenues to engage with their target audience through a completely integrated marketing campaign – online, offline, broadcast, social media, and in some cases – print.  How many other marketing campaigns can claim that level of integration?  And we haven’t even touched on the positive response from the audience they serve… Well done, NFL.

Integrated Marketing ,

Marketing ‘To Go’ – The Mobile Opportunity

September 15th, 2009

What’s the one personal item most people can’t live without?  I bet if you ask the average person on the street, the majority would answer ‘My mobile phone’.  It’s a connection point to friends and family that is almost always with you.  You use it for voice, email, quick text messages, and in some cases (more often outside of the U.S.) it is your only computing device.

Think about the iPhone and the recurring line you hear on most Apple commercials: “There’s an app for that“.  It’s true – the iPhone has quickly become many consumers only ‘connected’ device and because of that, Apple has single handedly made the mobile space relevant to marketers and advertisers. If companies aren’t paying attention to the opportunity mobile provides, they are missing a major piece of their marketing mix.  Rachel Pasqua – Director, Mobile Advertising @ iCrossing supports this in her interviewwith eMarketer this week:

Most major brands, if they take a good, hard look at their site analytics, will see a significant amount of traffic coming from mobile devices—mobile devices that won’t be able to handle their desktop site to the best advantage. I think failing to take those users into account will have serious repercussions.

Given the fact that mobile advertising is growing at a staggering pace (Magna forecasts the U.S. market for mobile advertising will grow by 36%, rising from $169 million in 2008 to $229 million during 2009) the mobile medium has to be in your marketing mix – not as necessarily as a primary component – rather, as a complementary or ‘companion’ to your more traditional media vehicles (retail, online, television, print, and out of home).  Brands and Marketers that recognize the importance of mobile will create new avenues to intersecting their customers and influence their perception of the brand, regardless of their location.

Advertising, Mobile Marketing , ,

Facebook goes aTwitter…

September 14th, 2009

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right?  Twitter – be flattered – Facebook loves your @ reply functionality.  Either that, or they are kicking themself for not thinking of it first.  This capability was announced last week and will begin rollout to users this week.  I experienced for the first time today…with a little green pop-up box asking if I wanted to tag anyone in my status update.  It’s essentially the same as ‘tagging’ someone in a photo, whereby it also gives the friend you included in your status the ability to ‘untag’ themselves (something you can not do with a Twitter @reply).  While this is a useful social feature for Facebook users to include friends in their status, let’s be clear that this data also helps Facebook continue it’s emphasis on ‘structured data’ and assists in profiling users for more targeted advertising by companies contracting with Facebook – as AllFacebook points out:

Information attributed to an individual user helps us paint a picture of that individual’s personality as well as their general habits. In addition to giving Facebook ad developers greater access to understanding a user, it also is extremely useful for producing more effective communication.

Facebook ,