Since we are just about to go on hiatus, I thought I'd make a quick post to give a *very big thank-you* to Don Lange at "Cornerstone":http://www.cstonecanada.com/ for being One Degree's first official sponsor this month.
I think this was a *very smart move* on Cornerstone's part. Then again, I'm biased. :)
Search marketing is hot in Canada but most marketers I've spoken to are still at a loss to find people who can help them figure out how to take advantage of it. Cornerstone brings years of experience to this (their one of the largest companies in the traditional direct marketing industry in Canada) and that is something that few other companies in this _very_ new industry are able to do.
Thanks again for sponsoring One Degree for the entire month of August Don!
Sponsorship for September was booked a few days after Don decided to sponsor us in August - let's hope this is a trend. Look for September's sponsor "Got Corporation":http://www.campaigner.com/ to be "taking over the site":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/08/12/target-ownz-the-new-yorker on the Labour Day weekend.
To find out a bit more about "OneWebDay.ca":http://www.onewebday.ca/ we decided to ask Five Questions of the site's "Ambassador" Gavin Michael Booth.
*One Degree: One Web Day Ambassador is a pretty cool gig. How did you get such an exalted title?*
Like the lady of the lake throwing a sword to Arthur... the Masters of "CIRA":http://www.cira.ca/ passed on an email knighting me as Ambassador!
How that happened? Well in a quest to find the One Web Day Ambassador they were looking for someone who had the ability to host the daily video blogs as well as work behind the scenes to direct/edit the clips as the tour went from city to city. In addition to those two key items, they were looking for someone web savvy enough to have a firm grip on how important and how powerful a tool the Internet has become for Canadians. "FUSE Marketing Group":http://www.fusemg.com/ and CIRA found me primarily through searching "MySpace which I actively use":http://www.myspace.com/gavinmichaelbooth.
I am owner of Mimetic Productions in Windsor, Ontario and work primarily as a feature film and music video director... as well as shooting tour videos for several high profile musicians. I've always utilized the web as Mimetic's primary way to share our finished media and promotions for our films with the world. Blogs, behind the scenes video clips, a reality show focused on Mimetic's challenges and triumphs, etc. All this made me a good candidate for the Ambassadorship!
*One Degree: Does the title come with any particular perks?*
Continue reading "Five Questions For OneWebDay.ca's Ambassador" »
Adrian Capobianco, VP of Interactive for FUSE Marketing Group, offered to give us some insights into a recent campaign, so we asked him 1.5 questions about onewebday.ca...
*One Degree:* Adrian, what was the challenge "CIRA":http://www.cira.ca/ presented to "FUSE":http://www.fusemg.com/ and how does "onewebday.ca":http://www.onewebday.ca/ address that challenge?"
*Adrian Capobianco:* The opportunity was one that many One Degree readers will I'm sure be interested in. CIRA wanted to acknowledge September 22nd each year as a day to celebrate the positive impacts that the Internet has made on individuals and business.
The 2 key challenges were:
# We needed a way to make it relevant to the average Canadian.
# The program needed to be launched nation-wide in both official languages which meant a huge awareness building effort.
To address the first challenge we decided to send an Ambassador from coast to coast to coast to meet, interview and video a wide range of Canadians and present these interviews on the "OneWebDay.ca":http://www.onewebday.ca/ site in an engaging national forum.
To address the second issue and help raise awareness we tapped into "partners":http://onewebday.ca/partner_info.html who have helped us facilitate the tour as well as raise awareness of the program.
You can be the judge to see if we've made it compelling. Visit the site, see the tour, check out the education section, enter the contest for a chance to win free music downloads for a year and share your views by taking the polls while watching the tour videos.
I'd be interested in your feedback.
I was talking to a colleague at "Tucows":http://www.tucows.com/ and we hit on something I'd experienced before, but hadn't quite formalized into a structured idea.
The issue at hand was "what is the proper way to 'test' a new blogging platform - or blogging in general for that matter?"
To me the biggest benefit of having a blog is not "publishing a personal diary" but "sharing thoughts with the world". The impact of blogging on your ability to share with others only happens if others can in fact share - otherwise you are just talking to yourself.
And therein lies the problem.
If you are "just testing" blogging, or a new platform like "vox":http://kenschafer.vox.com/, you don't really want to tell people it's only a test and that you might not keep it going.
In a nutshell, *without committing to blogging it is very hard to get the benefits of blogging.* My guess is the blogosphere is strewn with "hello world":http://technorati.com/search/%22hello%20world%22?language=en&authority=n blog posts that are the first and last post because it is impossible to see the benefit of post number two.
Continue reading "How Do You "Try" Blogging?" »
There's an established and long-standing process to developing and choosing names for new products. In fact, this is a business in and of itself, and it's not unheard of for companies to pay tens of thousands of dollars to come up with the name for a new product.
Based on what my colleagues and I recently uncovered, I'd like to make the case for this money being spent on coming up with truly unique product names. Why do I believe this? It has to do with something that I've just named "The Spinbix Effect."
We've been working on a large and complex search engine optimization (SEO) project for a client that manufactures and markets lots of consumer widgets. For the purposes of this article, let's pretend the client is "Acme." Each of Acme's widgets has its own brand name. Some of the names are more generic and use words found in the dictionary, such as Acme Mosaic and Acme Hunter. Other brand names are completely unique words not found in the dictionary, such as Acme Spinbix and Acme Bunfob.
As part of our SEO project, we've been looking at inbound traffic to Acme's Website from search engines. More particularly, we've been analyzing the keywords and phrases that are generating traffic for Acme. One of the most interesting patterns we observed was that products that have unique names (e.g., Acme Spinbix) generate higher search traffic (Website visitors) than products with generic names (e.g., Acme Mosaic).
Continue reading "The Spinbix Effect" »
Kathryn Lagden joined "AIMS Canada":http://www.aimscanada.com/ as General Manager in March 2006.
She first experienced AIMS when she joined as a member in 1998. AIMS is Canada's largest Internet association, representing over 5,000 members from a broad range of roles and industries and with varying levels of online experience. From long term Internet aficionados to relative newcomers, the association's members all have the common desire to stay informed and up-to-date with the latest industry developments.
Active in the community, Kathryn is a regular guest speaker at Ryerson University and a member of the Humber College Marketing Program Advisory Board.
*One Degree: Hey Kathryn, what's new at AIMS?*
What a great question! There's so much happening at AIMS right now and I do like talking about it.
A few weeks ago we launched the "AIMS blog":http://blog.aimscanada.com/ (more about that in a moment) and we also just launched "our new website":http://www.aimscanada.com/.
We're in the midst of planning the AIMS 10th anniversary bash. We'll mark the occasion with an event on September 20th. Shel Holtz will join us to talk about "How Social Media is Changing Everything You Know". (Plans are also in the works for a geek dinner the night before). We're also ramping up quickly for our other fall events and will have more details on those shortly.
Beyond the blog, website, and events what I find most exciting is how engaged members are with the association. In the last couple of months we've set up a number of volunteer committees who are helping in all aspects – over 40 people helping with everything from event topics to promoting AIMS and our events.
We've had a good response from sponsors. We're still finalizing details but we'll have an announcement up shortly to talk about our new sponsors and what they'll be offering members.
*One Degree: What's the response been to the new blog?*
Continue reading "Five Questions For Kathryn Lagden, AIMS" »
Big news today - Barrie-based start-up "Hot Banana":http://www.hotbanana.com/, (see our "Five Questions for Krista Lariviere - President, Hot Banana":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/07/15/five-questions-for-krista-lariviere-president-hot-banana for background) has been acquired by "JL Halsey":http://www.jlhalsey.com/ for around $2 million.
While the name JL Halsey might not ring a bell, many marketers will be familiar with their services such as "Lyris":http://www.lyris.com/, "Sparklist":http://www.sparklist.com/, and "EmailLabs":http://www.emaillabs.com/.
At the closing of the Hot Banana acquisition, Halsey paid the owners of Hot Banana approximately 1.9 million Canadian dollars in cash and will make installments totaling up to approximately 750,000 Canadian dollars if Hot Banana achieves specified revenue and technology integration targets in the first and second year following the closing. An additional 500,000 Canadian dollars will be paid subject to working capital and other adjustments.
Interestingly, the company announced the acquisition of popular web analytics firm "Clicktracks":http://www.clicktracks.com at the same time.
The core of the press release with all the details follows the break...
Continue reading "Breaking News - Hot Banana and Clicktracks Acquired by JL Halsey" »
Everyone on this site will surely know the "4 P's of marketing":http://marketing.about.com/od/marketingplanandstrategy/a/marketingmix.htm. I must come clean, I have a favorite P. It's Price. I've always been a secret admirer of the pricing strategies of companies, even before I got into marketing myself. I can't understand anyone not admiring the genius of the "Buy One, Get the Second Half Price!" offer.
An accountant would say that this is just a marketing trick and that it would be more honest just to say "Get 25% off this item but only if you buy 2 of them". That's why there are no accountants in marketing. The strategy is to create extra demand for a product that you already have a qualified customer for at the till. For every customer who you get in the door interested in the sale item, you double the speed of your inventory movement. It's genius. Then, of course, there is the Walmart approach of constantly rotating in-store price discounts. This strategy encourages frequency and loyalty in shopping behaviour and I would guess also increases the total amount of time spent in store.
Comparing these pricing innovations in the offline world with pricing online demonstrates the maturation process still needed in online marketing.
Let's take one of the biggest and most successful online retail sales sites as an example, "iTunes":http://www.apple.com/itunes/. Don't get me wrong, I love iTunes for its simplicity of use and its vision of creating music "experiences" for customers. Further, at a billion paid downloads and growing, it's tough to argue that they need a whole lot of coaching from me. That said, I would suggest that their current pricing practices reflect their existing dominance in the music download space (78%, I heard). I would predict that as new entrants increase their own market share, iTunes will naturally have to look at maturing its pricing practices to compete.
So what does iTunes do with pricing that so violates my sacred and favorite "P"?
Continue reading "Web Pricing Needs to Grow Up a Bit" »
Sometime One Degree Contributor Tara 'Miss Rogue' Hunt doesn't like to play by the rules. She started her career over seven years ago as the first-ever online marketing position in-house at a junior oil and gas firm. Soon, she decided to start her own company, Rogue Strategies.
Last summer, Tara moved to California to become the marketing director at "Riya.com":http://www.riya.com/.
More recently, Tara joined ranks with Chris Messina and Ben Metcalfe to form Citizen Agency, a consultancy that specifically helps bootstrapped companies and startups connect with their communities. Tara continues to blog at HorsePigCow, is a "BarCamp":http://www.barcamp.org/ evangelist and leads a community of marketing revolutionaries under the Pinko Marketing brand.
*One Degree: What is "Citizen Agency":http://www.citizenagency.com/ ?*
Citizen Agency starts with three Citizen Agents - "Ben Metcalfe":http://www.benmetcalfe.com/blog/index.php, "Chris Messina":http://factoryjoe.com/blog/ and "myself":http://horsepigcow.com/ - who are grassroots advocates, first, and community building consultants, second. Technology companies hire us to help them connect with their communities, whether established or barely there.
Our process is simple:
I show them how to be part of the community they are serving, introducing them to their community members and building communication channels for them to open up further as well as build bridges for their community to collaborate.
Chris helps them turn feedback and user experiences into improvements in the product and helps them design to become a truly essential product - open sourcing (APIs) and employing web standards along the way.
Ben's expertise in building developer networks (he built the devnet at the BBC) comes in handy when those APIs are available. An API is no good without developers. ;)
Strategies for customer delight... not customer acquisition. The latter naturally flows from the former.
Continue reading "Five Questions for Citizen Agent Tara Hunt" »
Today's Question of the Day is based on "a reply by Jeff Ginsberg":http://www.onedegree.ca/2006/08/15/qotd-does-every-business-need-to-be-online#c940 to our "Tuesday QotD":http://www.onedegree.ca/2006/08/15/qotd-does-every-business-need-to-be-online
bq. Next time you go into your local convenience store, restaurant, bar, jewelry or even Uncle Johnny's Snake and Drain service ask yourself...do these guys really need a web presence or a better sign in their window telling you their hours of operation or in Uncle Johnny's case, a more up to date fridge magnet?
Today's question is:
bq. How _could_ Uncle Johnny's Snake and Drain Service use the Internet to grow its business?
Add you insights below...
One of the big reasons "I joined Tucows":http://www.onedegree.ca/2006/03/24/ken-schafer-joins-tucows earlier this year was the company's strong desire to build a "new marketing" team within Tucows.
The company gave very few resources to the small overworked marketing team they had in place for the last few years and, frankly, it's amazing they got as much done as they did. Kudos to Jacqui, Adam, Scott and those that were gone before I got here.
But now the cracks are showing and the company knows it's time to rethink the "if you make it, they will come" approach to marketing (unfortunately common to many tech-heavy companies). And so I was brought in to rethink what marketing means for "Tucows":http://resellers.tucows.com/.
That was music to my ears and I've taken the tune to heart. I'm rethinking not only marketing at Tucows, but how marketing in the 21st century would be done if we were given the chance to hit "reset" and start all over again.
Continue reading "Building A New Marketing Dream Team" »
A common question received in the SEO(search engine optimization) world is "what directories do you think I should pay to submit my site to?"
Many SEOs direct their clients to the most common and popular directories - but are they the "strongest"?
Recently "SEOmoz":http://www.seomoz.org developed a "slick new tool":http://www.seomoz.org/tools/page-strength.php that allows you to calculate what they refer to as your "Page Strength". The tool was designed to provide you with a more accurate reflection of your site's importance/visibility (and the contributing factors) than Google's PageRank score.
Continue reading "Page Strength and Site Directories" »
I've seen far too many friends and colleagues accidentally lose their Website domain names by forgetting to renew them in a timely manner. This can have catastrophic results, but it doesn't have to happen to you. In fact, it can be easily avoided by following my list of seven simple steps.
Why not take a few minutes right NOW to reduce the likelihood of losing your domain name?
Seven Easy Steps to Protecting Your Domain Name
Step 1: Identify who your domain name registrar is.
If you are not sure who your registrar is, use a WHOIS directory like Allwhois to determine the name of your registrar (the company you registered the domain name with).
Step 2: Determine your registrar's contact information.
Using the WHOIS record information, make note of the email and phone coordinates for the registrar (sometimes listed under "Technical Contact") and file this information in a safe place. And the registrar has to have a Website, so make sure you bookmark it.
Step 3: Confirm your domain name expiry date.
Also using the WHOIS record, check to see what "Renewal" date is listed. This is your expiry date and you MUST renew your domain name before then.
Continue reading "Protect Your Domain Name in Seven Easy Steps" »
For many people, the term "Web Analytics" is meaningless or confusing. Not surprising since Web Analytics has been used to describe:
# The software and tools used to report about data
# The process of analyzing data
# The results and insights of the process
What's the right answer?
All of the above!
It's a means to an end. Think of Web Analytics as a combination of tools and analytical processes you can use to measure the results of your marketing efforts. Analysis uncovers new insights (aha's!) into what you can do to kick your marketing performance up, one notch at a time.
How exactly is Web Analytics a means to an end? The end is a marketing goal. Dramatically higher campaign response perhaps? Web Analytics helps you analyze people's behaviour and answer meaningful questions that move you forward to your goal, one step at a time.
Sometimes these steps are small, sometimes large. The more questions you ask and get answers to, the faster you'll improve. Small changes, made frequently, lead to big gains.
Continue reading "Analytics Is Not An End In Itself" »