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Posts from September 2005

September 30, 2005

Holiday Sales Forecast

Holiday shopping starts next month, bring on the sale email! eMarketer predicts this will be the biggest holiday season online ever! eMarketer Now we need the online equivalent of a cross-border shopping run (and I know, but Borderfree doesn't have all the stores I want!). Internet shopping duty-free day anyone?

September 29, 2005

Display Ads and a Campaign TKO

The race between online display advertising and paid search ads to acquire ad dollars (and advertiser attention) is heating up. "A new report":http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3550221 from JupiterResearch is predicting that paid search revenues will "outpace" display advertising by 2010. With its pay-for-performance model and reliability where delivering a positive return on investment is concerned, we all knew search engine advertising was going to be huge. There's some concern, however, that advertisers are relying too heavily on their paid search campaigns. The pay-per-search industry (as it was once known) got its start supporting display campaigns, after all; if banner placements were the jabs thrown at a fellow boxer for show, then the paid search placements were the uppercut that ensured a knockout performance. Increasingly, though, advertisers are forgoing display ads, choosing instead to rely almost entirely on the more dependable search variety. Is this a wise decision?

Continue reading "Display Ads and a Campaign TKO" »

Search Optimize Viral Campaigns

Does search engine optimization matter when you are doing a viral marketing or teaser ad campaign? Absolutely! One Degree and the "Uncle Yaris" TV ads give us a textbook example. Because "I wrote about yaris.ca":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/09/27/toyotas-quirky-uncle-yaris a few days ago, we're getting a ton of search traffic right now on the terms _Uncle Yaris_ and _Yaris.ca_ I find it truly ironic that I wrote "they're from Toyota as a simple Google search will tell you" and now that page itself is the top result: googleuncleyaris.gif Google will redirect you to the site if you search on yaris.ca, but Yahoo shows this: yahooyaris.gif And MSN puts One Degree at the top of an Uncle Yaris search as well: msnyaris.gif

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September 28, 2005

Solving The Feed Search and Partial Feed Puzzle

One of the nice things about all this "Web 2.0" stuff is that we get some new problems to solve. Let me outline a problem that's been bugging me for a while now that was brought top-of-mind by "the launch of Google Blog Search":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/09/14/google-blog-search-now-live a few weeks ago. I've also got a possible solution I want to put out there for feedback. Here's *the situation*:

Continue reading "Solving The Feed Search and Partial Feed Puzzle" »

Observed: The Looming Talent Shortage

I'll leave it up to the hard-core research types to prove me wrong, but in my unscientific opinion there's a human resources crisis brewing in the Internet marketing space. Based on recent discussions I've had with business owners, HR professionals, and recruiters, as well as my 'fly-on-the-wall' perspective as owner of an industry job posting board, it's getting increasingly difficult to find talented mid-to-senior level Internet marketing professionals. And the situation is only going to get worse... Here's why:

Continue reading "Observed: The Looming Talent Shortage" »

Toyota's Quirky Uncle Yaris

yaris.jpg So "Toyota":http://www.toyota.ca has started a TV teaser campaign based around "Uncle Yaris". The ads feature the "quirky" Uncle Yaris - who looks like he could be my nephew, are uncles really that young these days? - doing "quirky" stuff. Did I mention the ads are "quirky"? The ads end with a full screen shot of the web address "yaris.ca":http://www.yaris.ca. The ads of course tie in to the Canadian launch of the new sub-compact "Yaris":http://www.toyota.ca/cgi-bin/WebObjects/WWW.woa/7/wo/Home.WhatsNew.LatestNews-xtivwTCYTCRL6zbWGD8Up0/5.5?n306285e%2ehtml that was "announced at the Frankfurt Auto Show":http://autonet.ca/Autoshows/story.cfm?story=/Autoshows/Frankfurt/2005/08/29/1192905.html earlier this month. I can't really say I understand this campaign. The site doesn't _do_ anything and doesn't ask anything of me (no sign-up or send to a friend or find out what this is about or anything). I can Google Yaris and find out everything I need to about the car - so what exactly is the point of this campaign? Is it to get people like me to post things like this?

September 27, 2005

Infoworld Remixes Squidoo Logo Before Launch

*Squid Wars!* infoworld2005-09-19.jpg To me is seems that the "squid-like thingy" "Infoworld":http://www.infoworld.com/ had on their September 19th cover (above) looks _very_ similar to the logo for "Seth Godin's":http://sethgodin.typepad.com new stealth-mode start-up "Squidoo":http://www.squidoo.com (below). Squidoo Logo If you are wondering about Squidoo you should keep an eye on Seth's blog as he's "starting to":http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2005/09/justin_and_ashl.html "drop hints":http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2005/09/yes_we_got_our_.html over there. Seth is promising a preview of Squidoo during his presentation at "virtual online tradeshow" "ecomXpo":http://www.ecomxpo.com. Seth is "offering free registration":http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2005/09/live_online.html - a _very_ good deal considering "the other interesting speakers":http://www.ecomxpo.com/SpeakerOctoberList.htm joining him. Too bad the free registration is for "exhibit hall and keynote presentations only". Man, this _is_ a virtual tradeshow!

One Degree Calling

When I took iStudio to task for not having a feed, iStudio fixed the problem and let me know via a comment at One Degree within an hour of the post going live. This morning I started wondering if any of the other web shops and interactive agencies in Canada are paying attention to the blogosphere. The scientist in me figured an experiment was in order. So, here is a list of ten randomly selected Canadian interactive shops. Let's see how long it takes them to spot their company name and URL and add a comment to let us all know they found this contest they didn't even know they were participating in. I'll update the post with "time to reply" updates as they find us. Results To Date: * silverorange (1 Hour 43 Minutes) * Dunedain (21 Hours 15 Minutes) * Twist Image (21 Hours 45 Minutes) * Teehan+Lax (1 Day 3 Hours) To Be Heard From: * Blast Radius * Critical Mass * Devlin * Henderson bas * Indusblue * N5R Note to our competitors: To make sure comments are legit, e-mail me from your work e-mail so I know the comment is really from the company and not from a "passionate customer" helping you out! Note to those reading our feed: To make sure those monitoring feeds instead of blogs have a fair chance I'm posting the whole post rather than an excerpt this time.

Turn Customer Complaints Into An Advantage

Campaign Monitor Logo A few weeks ago we started getting what I called "subscription spam" through our e-mail newsletter sign-up forms. It seems that comment spam attacks are mistaking e-mail sign-up forms for comment fields. Apparently e-mail lists are now collateral damage in the comment spam wars. Because we use a double-opt-in process we saw bounces from the fake e-mail addresses the spammers were using. That's how we knew this was happening. And it was getting pretty irritating because these automated tools were becoming more aggressive and we were seeing several bounces per hour from these silly things. Worse still, the bounces were coming back from big portal sites and from their perspective it looked like _we were spamming them_! I sent off a note to "Campaign Monitor":http://www.campaignmonitor.com to see if they had been seeing this with other clients, but it seemed we were the first ones with the problem. The way Campaign Monitor turned this complaint to their advantage is a great lesson for all marketers...

Continue reading "Turn Customer Complaints Into An Advantage" »

Is Lead Generation The Only B2B Goal?

In "a recent survey":http://www.mindbranch.com/products/R203-221.html sponsored by the CMO Council, BtoB Magazine, and USA Today, the vast majority of B2B marketers said digital marketing was most valuable as a lead-generation tool. Other goals defined in the survey were traffic generation, customer education, content distribution and partner/channel education. While these goals are important, they are not the primary goals of these marketing objectives. The ultimate objective for all marketing is to increase revenue - to sell. To be successful in business-to-business marketing, we all must remember a simple thought: B2B marketing is not the same as marketing to consumers. So, why do we continue to see these same marketing practices aimed at large business customers?

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September 26, 2005

The Power of Defaults

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox for today, The Power of Defaults, reveals users' annoying habit of clicking the first item of a list, in research conducted by Cornell University. This something we all suspected (a la "AAA Auto Repair" yellow page listings) and this research proves: user default is to click the top item.

Continue reading "The Power of Defaults" »

September 23, 2005

Henderson Bas Wins Nintendo Canada Online Business

Marketing Magazine Daily (requires subscription) reported today that Henderson Bas won Nintendo Canada's online business in an agency review, a key component being e-newsletter communications to their 175,000 name base. After a 10-year relationship with Blast Radius, Brand Manager John Azevedo is reported to have said, "it was time for a change." The current Nintendo.ca site is fairly spare and includes some 'user' comments like, ""...Nintendogs will be the next big thing since Pokémon! Have you actually read the stuff you can do in this game? Incredible!"" Are these for real? I'm not even a gamer and I'm hoping for their sake HB messes the site up a bit, right now it's got the appearance of having been cleaned up for company or a realtor's open house, like real people don't live there. I'm counting on HB to creatively add a 'human touch.'

September 22, 2005

No more Jeeves: is online branding too serious?

I'm quite fond of the Ask Jeeves butler, but apparently CEO of parent company IAC, Larry Diller, has no such soft spot for him and says the guy's gotta go. It wasn't enough they sent him on a diet and to a tanning salon, apparently Jeeves is about to be retired. The SearchViews article reporting this decision quotes branding expert Rob Frankel reasoning, "the butler is a vestige of the "playful, early days of the Internet"". Unh.. wha? You mean the net isn't still wacky? Say it isn't so... What are Google and Yahoo! if they do not appeal to the exploratory, who-knows-what-may-happen, original wacky nature of the net? I took the opportunity to ask Rob's opinion on this question.

Continue reading "No more Jeeves: is online branding too serious?" »

MarketingSherpa Readers Rate Search Marketing "Very Effective"

The results of MarketingSherpa's reader survey into satisfaction and spending on search marketing were released this week. Last year 34% of respondents rated search PPC ad results "very good" and this year that number jumped to 43%. In spending plans, more plan to spend on increasing SEO results compared to either flat or slightly decreased spending planned for PPC. The report goes on to reveal that a great source of new keywords is weblogs: "segmenting website log files looking for highly converting keywords produces "great ROI."" Search consultants and agencies will be quoting these stats ad nauseum in their pitches: the survey found that agency optimized sites were able to achieve a 110% increase in traffic, vs. in-house optimized sites that saw only a 38% increase.

September 21, 2005

Toro.ca and LeeValleyTools.ca Disputes Resolved

"Webnames.ca":http://www.webnames.ca pointed out in their weekly e-mail newsletter that "CIRA":http://www.cira.ca has posted decisions on domain disputes for Toro Company and Lee Valley Tools. "Toro lost":http://www.cira.ca/en/dpr-decisions/00039-toro.ca.pdf (PDF) "Lee Valley won":http://www.cira.ca/en/dpr-decisions/00040-leevalleytools.ca.pdf (PDF)

Curiosity: Spam Map

Where is that spam coming from? Mailinator provides a map updated every three minutes of where spam is coming from. Currently the map shows most is coming from the US. And none from Canada! (Bet that will change on future visits.) Read news coverage in The Register. Also check out the top ten spam countries (we're number 6).

Calling All Marketers

Think a web site is a necessity when running an online advertising campaign? Think again. Pay Per Call, a take on pay-per-click search engine advertising (or "paid search") in which marketers pay for calls to a toll-free number instead of clicks, is quickly changing the Internet marketing rules. When San-Francisco-based "Ingenio":http://paypercall.ingenio.com/default.aspx pioneered this ad model in September of 2004, it couldn't have known how fast its brainchild would grow. Just a year later, "a report from the Kelsey Group":http://www.kelseygroup.com/sum/tkradv0513.htm has found that Pay Per Call advertising could generate as much as $4 billion in revenue by 2009.

Continue reading "Calling All Marketers" »

September 20, 2005

Inukshuk Brings Wireless Broadband

Inukshuk Logo Big news on the Internet access front here in the Great White North. "The Globe and Mail reported":http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050916.wbellrogers0916/BNStory/Business/ last week on the revitalization of "Inukshuk":http://www.inukshuk.ca as a joint venture between "Bell":http://www.bell.ca and "Rogers":http://www.rogers.com to provide wireless broadband to the majority of Canadians within three years.

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E-mail Booming Despite Deliverability Headaches

With all my recommendations about deliverability being important, it is equally important to remind marketers that email is still a booming trend. In July Jay Aber, President of 24/7 Canada, penned an article on the CMA website, If deliverability is such a big issue, why is e-mail booming?, that quotes BBM research indicating email still ranks at the top of the list when it comes to online activities by those aged 18+. We also learn that Canadians prefer communicating via e-mail more than by any other methods.

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Digital Marketing Awards Tickets Now On Sale

Digital Marketing Awards

One Degree Wants To Flock With You

Flock Has Landed Pardon the horrible pun there. Seems like bad puns are pretty much standard when speaking of the yet-to-be-released super-social browser thingy called "Flock":http://www.flock.com/. Right now "it's invite only at Flock":http://www.flock.com/home/download/. Anyone care to send One Degree to the party? "Let me know.":http://www.onedegree.ca/contact

September 16, 2005

The E-mail Delivery Dilemma

If you have been reading my posts over the last months or have spoken with me you will know I am always talking about email deliverability, the ability to deliver marketing emails into the inboxes of intended recipients. Historically the delivery rate has been measured as all the emails sent less all the emails that had a hard (fatal) bounce. Today, deliverability is measured as all the emails sent, but not bounced, less those that did not reach the intended inboxes. Surprisingly few email service providers (ESPs), agencies or marketers measure this very important metric. This week eMarketer let us in on some recent research that shows 68% of marketers using email are worried about deliverability. In the September 13 edition of eMarketer Daily, the leading piece called Delivery Dilemma tells us these people are concerned about Email Filtering, ISP Blocking, Blacklisting and much more. emarketerdeliverabilityconcerns.gif If you are not already tracking your email deliverability here are some things you can do to start.

Continue reading "The E-mail Delivery Dilemma" »

September 15, 2005

DoubleClick Releases Q2 2005 Email Trend Report

This week DoubleClick released its Email Marketing Trends Report covering Q2 2005 (press release). The report concludes three forces are pushing down open rates, which have declined 23.6% from 36% in Q2'04 to 27.5% in Q2'05: ISP technology changes, aging lists and changing consumer behaviour. ISP Technology Changes Most readers here will know that changes to settings in Outlook and AOL 9.0, and the default in Gmail, have greatly impacted open rates. Open rate tracking often relies on image data and with these email clients defaulting to not display images, that information can not be tracked by email marketing software. Many marketers would argue that open rates are not reliable and not an effective way of measuring campaign success. DoubleClick's research suggests that what has most influenced open rates is changes in new versions of Outlook, indicating as many as 47% of users use their preview pane to review email.

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Life in The Valley - or is it The Bay?

It seems like it's been eons, but a little less than a month ago I found out that I got a dream job at an "online start up":http://www.ojos-inc.com in Silicon Valley. Since then, I really haven't had the chance to stop and think about what that means. So, when Ken suggested I put together a short post on the difference between working in corporate Canada and being at ground zero of the online world, I finally stopped and reflected.

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September 14, 2005

Google Blog Search Now Live

Google Blog Search Home Page "Google Blog Search":http://blogsearch.google.com/ is now live. I'm still fiddling around and trying to figure out if a few issues with our posts in Google Blog Search are our problem or Googles. Like why Google thinks "Bill Sweetman":http://www.onedegree.ca/contributors/bill_sweetman wrote all our posts for example.

Continue reading "Google Blog Search Now Live" »

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