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Posts from August 2005

August 31, 2005

5 Questions for Darren Pereira, Indusblue

*A One Degree Exclusive!* Upstart digital marketing agency "Indusblue":http://www.indusblue.com just won the work for the official "CBC":http://www.cbc.ca site covering the "2006 Winter Olympics in Torino":http://www.torino2006.org/index.php?lang=en. In this exclusive interview, we asked co-founder Darren Pereira about winning the CBC business, the future of Indusblue, and much more. Darren Pereira of Indusblue _Darren Pereira is Director, New Business Development and one of the founders of "Indusblue":http://www.indusblue.com. Along with brother Dayton, he is positioning Indusblue as a team of creative directors, producers and production talent who deliver online experiences that employ technology along with strategic thinking and stunning creative. His five year goal is to make Indusblue synonymous with the best creative shop in Toronto._ *One Degree: Congratulations on the big CBC Olympic win! What's the story behind this story?* Thanks! It's huge for us as we spent a lot of time and hard work thinking through every detail in our proposed solution. After we received the RFP, it was a matter of detailed research, thorough proposal writing and providing concrete examples of our skill set. The CBC team was so impressed with the intelligence and creativity of our proposed solutions, that they short listed us and invited us to present our proposal. We also provided references to our existing clients, who love our work. After additional rounds to clarify details, we won the contract. *One Degree: You went up against some big shops to win this work. Do you think your size worked for or against you?*

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The Red Cross Needs Your Help

Canadian Red Cross Logo The Canadian Red Cross is now taking online donations to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "Please give.":https://www.paypaq.com/redcross/en/

Observed: Wal-Mart Now Stocks Websites

Last week I popped into SAM'S CLUB Canada to see what they had in the way of bulk cat litter (don't ask). For those of you who may not be familiar with SAM'S CLUB, it's Wal-Mart's version of warehouse retailer Costco. The cat litter reconnaissance mission was a bust, however I did notice something intriguing as I headed for the exit. There, by the Customer Service desk, was a three-panel brochure with the headline "SAM'S CLUB Announces... Business Web Sites."

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Blogger Sued Over Readers' Comments

Came across "this recent post":http://www.intuitive.com/blog/seo_books_aaron_wall_sued_over_comments_on_his_weblog.html on one of my favorite blogs this morning. The story is fascinating and, although I haven't been following the whole TrafficPower.com debate, raises some interesting issues about corporate liability for blog content. Take a read then "wander on over to this similar article":http://yahoo.reuters.com/financeQuoteCompanyNewsArticle.jhtml?duid=mtfh25392_2005-08-26_15-30-40_n26690333_newsml from Reuters. If you're blogging for business, it might be time to re-evaluate your strategy for moderating comments. And, perhaps, to dust off the old business law texts for a refresher on that chapter about libel and slander.

August 30, 2005

Saw The Viral, Bought The T-shirt

cyborgname.gif There is a class of viral campaign that uses personalized badges or buttons on people's sites to drive traffic (do we have names for different classes of virals yet?). One such campaign is "The Cyborg Name Generator":http://www.cyborgname.com/ created by the endlessly fascinating "Lore Sjöberg":http://slumbering.lungfish.com/. The name generator site is incredibly simple. You enter a name, pick a cyborg body, and the site spits back a funny "Cyborg Name" for you. Of course the first thing a new class of blog-happy youth want to do is share their cyborg name with friends, so Lore provides them with the code to add the image and a link back to the generator so they can add it to their blog/site. This in itself is a great example of getting something to go viral by *making it about the individual* spreading the message and personally I think these will be the most effective campaigns in the long-term. (See Wedding Crashers' "Trailer Crashers":http://www.weddingcrashersmovie.com/crashthistrailer/ for another popular example). But that's not my main reason for pointing out Lore's site. There are two interesting things we can learn from Cyborg Name Generator...

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The End of Lazy Days Of Summer?

Used to be you could count on some things, like a slow summer followed by a busy fall. But the last two years have been different. Business slows for summer later - and ramps up for fall a little sooner. If the trend continues, 2006 may not see a summer lull at all. The realization got me wondering. Are our clients unusual or is this a new way of being?

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August 29, 2005

How Many Ads is Too Many?

How often should you update your online ads? How long can a campaign run before consumers get bored? The phenomenon of declining ad response due to overexposure has been a point of contention among marketers for years. Online, it's called "banner burnout," and it's commonly thought to occur after the delivery of about 10,000 to 20,000 impressions. Offline, ad burnout isn't measured so much in terms of volume as it is in time of exposure. A recent test of 2,500 U.S. homes by The PreTesting Company found that "most people tire of TV commercials after just two weeks":http://www.adrants.com/2005/08/study-measures-ad-viewership-campaign.php. The obvious solution for both online and offline marketers would be to update their ad creative. Of course, this can be a costly and time-consuming process. But there is a way for marketers involved in cross-media campaigns to save on online costs by stretching their investment further.

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Worst. Canadian. Site. Evar.

worstsiteevar.gif A two-part question for you, our esteemed One Degree reader: # What - in your opinion - is the worst Canadian web site? # Why?

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Kraft Tries RecipeCasting

_This article is by Guest Contributor Kate Trgovac._ Kraft Foods iPod Promotion "Kraft Foods":http://www.kraftfoods.com has created a collection of "100 classic summer recipes":http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/ff/ipod/ipod.html that can be downloaded and read on an "Apple iPod":http://www.apple.ca/ipod. Using the "Notes" area of the iPod, users can browse recipes on grilling marinades made with Kraft's Zesty Italian dressing or deserts with Kraft's Jell-O and Cool Whip. This program is part of Kraft's use of the mobile channel for marketing. Their future channels include PDAs, cell phones, and Blackberrys.

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August 26, 2005

Embrace The Raw

E-marketer Editorial Director Ezra Palmer manages to pull together blogging, the Sex Pistols, Cicero, and Paul Gauguin in an interesting post at iMedia Connection called How Blogs Pertain to You. Here's a quote, but read the "whole article":http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/6616.asp: bq.. It's probably not wise to generalize about something as amorphous as the Blogosphere, but here goes: the Blogosphere is a place for people who want a more personal relationship with various entities they deal with on a regular basis -- corporate, government, media, you name it. They want to have a sense of a person behind or within the enterprise. They are looking for something or somebody real. All of which brings to mind the Sex Pistols. (Really.) John Lydon and John Simon Ritchie couldn't sing or play musical instruments, but they took the stage names of Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious and in 1977 their album, "Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols," upended the music world, tapping into listeners' desire for something real -- real emotion, real anger, real energy. Tired of calculated professionalism, music fans (some of them, anyway) embraced the raw. p. And further-on: bq.. Nonetheless, there is clearly a meaningful group of consumers -- your consumers -- who want that feeling of community, the feeling of "the real." They don't want corporate speak or push-button options. They actually might like to know about your personal taste in music and don't mind if you aren't a good speller. How many of these consumers are out there? It's almost certainly far short of a majority. (After all, the best-selling single in 1977 was not by the Sex Pistols but Debby Boone, with "You Light Up My Life.")

Getting Real About Podcasting

Ted Schadler ("guest-guest-blogging" for Charlene Li at her blog) has a good post called Getting Real About Podcast Adoption: bq.. Podcasting feels like the Internet first did: a whole new way of experiencing the world. But at the end of the day, radio is radio and consumers will only listen to things they find valuable. So what will podcasting adoption look like? In Apple's view of the world, podcasting is radio reinvented -- as long as it runs on an iPod. To the rising tide of podcast hosts, podcasting is better than blogging for becoming famous. To venture capitalists like Kleiner, Perkins Caufield & Byers, Charles River Ventures, and Sequoia Capital, podcasting is a bet on the next big thing. To commercial operators like Clear Channel, it's yet another channel for selling advertisements. p. The post is worth a read as it goes into the novelty factor, the fact that downloads don't equate to listeners, and more.

Viral Privacy Violation?

A sex appeal test making the rounds via email raises ethical questions about privacy violations in viral marketing.

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August 25, 2005

Keyword Research Guide for SEO

Brian Eisenberg, B.L. Ochman, Kevin Lee, Stephen Mahaney, Nick Usborne and many more contributors have collaborated with "Wordtracker":http://www.wordtracker.com/ on a free dowloadable "Keyword Research Guide":http://www.wordtracker.com/keyword-research-guide.html. This is an invaluable resource for anyone approaching search engine marketing - even the most novice. [via: "B.L. Ochman's Weblog":http://www.whatsnextblog.com/archives/2005/08/new_gratis_word.asp]

Hot Banana Upgrades Benefit Marketers

Barrie-based CMS provider "Hot Banana":http://www.hotbanana.com has "just announced":http://www.hotbanana.com/news-events/press-releases-1/?i=596 a "point upgrade" to their marketing-friendly content management suite. Of particular interest: bq. The Hot Banana Active Marketing Solution has also been significantly upgraded with features such as, Atlas, Google and Yahoo! search engine campaign tracking code integration; Flash Streaming Media Manager for placing video directly into Web pages; Keyword Web Page Analyzer, enabling non-technical users to analyze every SEO attribute of a Web page; PRWeb Press Release distribution integration; and upgraded integration with WebTrends 7.5 On Demand. I'm really happy to see the work "Krista Lariviere mentioned":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/07/15/five-questions-for-krista-lariviere-president-hot-banana when we interviewed her continues at a brisk pace.

Defending the Art and Craft of SEO

Paul J. Bruemmer of "trademarkSEO":http://www.trademarkseo.com/ does a good job of Defending the Art and Craft of SEO at iMedia Connection. bq.. Organic search engine optimization (SEO) is an effective marketing strategy that provides marketing accountability. There are several reasons why organic links are so valuable. The reasons cited below come from industry research: # Well-optimized sites enjoy sizable gains in unique visitors and conversions. # Search users prefer organic listings to sponsored listings. # Organic listings produce more conversions than other online strategies. # Search engine listings provide branding. # SEO provides an excellent return on investment (ROI). p. I recommend reading the whole article if you are trying to get your head around SEO. It's also important to understand that SEO and SEM are really not related.

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Amazon.ca Adds Textbooks

Amazon.ca Announces Textbook Store It looks like Amazon is getting into back-to-school mode by announcing they've added "textbooks":http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/15115321 to their Canadian site. It's interesting to note that they've had to make the process of finding books a little more complicated, effectively putting an advanced search on the "Textbook Store main page":http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/15115321. This is probably too be expected given the obscurity of authors and topics for some required texts, and the duplication of titles in this space ("Introduction to Economics" generates 314 results). They are also really emphasizing the value of resale by giving half of the page to explaining how you _sell_ your textbooks. Think about that for a moment - a good chunk of their sales floor is taken up with information on _selling, not buying._ Why might that be?

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August 24, 2005

A Great Read for Internet Marketers...and Advertisers

Fortune Magazine's August 8, 2005 issue has a series of great cover stories related to "The Future of Advertising." (I bought the Canadian edition but it looks like it has all the same stories as the US copy.) I believe all Internet marketers (and advertisers) should get this issue and read every story. The articles are very informative and support what a lot of us know and think: more ad spending is going online, whether for: * Search Marketing * IPTV * Better Targeting of Marketing Messages Julie Roehm is DaimlerChrysler's director of marketing communications and oversees the sixth-largest pool of ad dollars in the US. Last year she spent 10% of the budget online; this year she is allotting closer to 18%; next year, she says, she will allocate more than 20%. More and more this is the trend and those people who know online will benefit.

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Navigating Social Networks

With their buying power and trend-making prowess, teens and young adults have always been popular targets for interactive marketers. In the past, we've looked to email marketing and instant messaging as our means of connecting with this demographic, but reaching today's teens requires an understanding of an entirely different online animal. Social Networks are the newest way for teens to connect with their friends online, partake in online discussions, meet new people, even create their own blogs. Exchanging email and instant messages remains a popular pastime, to be sure, but increasingly it's these online communities that are receiving the lion's share of young peoples' time. For marketers, these sites open up a whole new world of advertising opportunities. Designed around communication and effective at engaging consumers, social networks lend themselves well to such interactive initiatives as contests, quizzes, games, and branded content.

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Google Talk Is Live

googletalk.gif Hello Google Talk, goodbye "Skype":http://www.skype.com ?

August 23, 2005

Observed: URLs Gone Wild

I still kick myself for not following through on an idea for a book I had during the early days of the Dotcom boom. I had been on a business trip to San Francisco - arguably the epicentre of the Internet 'gold rush' - and while I was there I started to notice all the unusual places that URLs were plastered. Sure, people were promoting 'MyGoofyBusinessIdea.com' on billboards and posters, but creative (or maybe desperate) marketers were also putting their URLs on other, uh, interesting things. Had I been more on the ball at the time, I would have started documenting this phenomenon with my camera. Even without photographic evidence, I still thought it would be beneficial, even inspirational, to share with One Degree readers some of the more memorable places I've seen URLs advertised over the years.

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Top Email Marketing Trends

I recently helped a client find a new email service provider. They were looking for a technology platform that could provide them with leading deliverability and one that could help them drive highly relevant communications. Together we chose ExactTarget, Indianapolis, IN. Recently ExactTarget released their updated Top Industry Trends. Here's their #1 trend:

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August 22, 2005

5 Questions For Tim Shore - Publisher, blogTO

Tim Shore and the blogTO Collective _Tim Shore is the publisher of "blogTO":http://www.blogto.com, a city blog focused on Toronto culture, recently named by Forbes Magazine as "Best of the Web":http://www.forbes.com/bow/b2c/category.jhtml?id=323. In his day job, he works for the interactive arm of a Toronto-based ad agency. (Tim is front right along with blogTO Managing Editor Tanja-Tiziana Burdi (left) and contributors Christine Miguel and Paul Fler. Photo by Sabrina Cariati.)_ *One Degree: What inspired you to start blogTO.com?* I think there was both an opportunity and a need. The opportunity was that there was this great new low-cost publishing platform called a blog (not to mention a great way to experience the Internet). On the need side, there was a lack of good web sites which focused on Toronto culture. There seemed to be general consensus that "toronto.com":http://www.toronto.com was garbage and that the rest of the media players were treating online as an afterthought. That combined with my passion for the city and the fact that readership and ad dollars continue to migrate online, it was a no brainer. *One Degree: Just like One Degree, BlogTO depends on a broad spectrum of contributors. I'm curious about your opinions on whether group blogs should emphasize the individual or the group. How do you balance the personality and talents of the various contributors with the need to present a somewhat consistent and/or authoritative voice to readers - or do you?*

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What You'll Be Talking About This Week

I guarantee that if John Markoff's article about Google in the New York Times is correct this is what much of the blogosphere will be buzzing about this week: bq.. On Monday, Google is planning to introduce a second-generation version of its downloadable computer search tool, Google Desktop. It will come with both personalization and software "agent" features - learning capabilities - plus an invitation for independent programmers to develop small programs to extend the capability of the system. Both capabilities are likely to be seen as further competitive threats by Microsoft, which is focusing on similar information retrieval and organization advances in its long-delayed next-generation operating system, Windows Vista. "We're really trying to make this into a platform," said Nikhil Bhatla, product manager for Google Desktop. As with Apple Computer's popular Dashboard feature, the idea is that it will be simple for programmers to extend the reach of Google Desktop by adding custom applications, known as live content panels. Google executives say they plan to unveil on Wednesday a "communications tool" that is potentially a clear step beyond the company's search-related business focus. While executives would not disclose what the new software tool might be, Google has long been expected to introduce an instant messaging service to compete with services offered by America Online, Yahoo and MSN from Microsoft. p. My advice to Internet marketers? Don't get sidetracked by reading the tea leaves about new Google products - leave that to the pundits.

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Will Feeds Kill Newsletters Within A Year?

I certainly hope so. Otherwise "this Globe & Mail article":http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v4/sub/MarketingPage?user_URL=http://www.globetechnology.com%2Fservlet%2Fstory%2FRTGAM.20030925.gttwrsss25%2FBNStory%2FTechnology%2F&ord=18667536&brand=globetechnology&redirect_reason=2&denial_reasons=none&force_login=false (paid access only now) will make "Chris Pirillo":http://chris.pirillo.com/ and me look a bit silly.

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August 20, 2005

Really Long URLs for Slim-Fast Promo

Marketing Magazine's August 15th issue has an article called "The Spot's Next Shot":http://www.marketingmag.ca/magazine/current/media/article.jsp?content=20050815_70016_70016 _(reg probably required)_ that gives details on a new cross-channel campaign from Slim-Fast: bq.. "I'm not sure whether it is the way to the future, but it's definitely a breakthrough for the category that we operate in," says Sinem Uner, brand manager of Slim-Fast at Unilever in Toronto. "I think it's a much better way to intrigue consumers." In Slim-Fast's case, the decision to use short spots on HGTV, Life, Showcase and the Food Network to drive consumers to the Web made sense when research found Slim-Fast's target market of women 25 to 54 often uses the Internet as an information source. What's more, psychographic data found Slim-Fast's target group is comprised of often-frustrated dieters who are bombarded with messages on health and weight loss from various media. "When they hear about these things, they're more likely to surf the Web," Uner says. Enter dietingsucks.ca, a lighthearted domain name "that taps into our consumer insight and empathy."

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