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Posts from March 2007

March 30, 2007

My Life - 140 Characters At A Time


Have you tried Twitter yet? I have. Some say micro-blogging , others say permission-based stalking. Share your thoughts if you've tried it.

(In the spirit of Twitter, no comments over 140 characters please!)

March 29, 2007

Not For Profit: All For Innovation

Not_for_profit_cma_hands Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the CMA’s half-day Not For Profit conference in Toronto’s East end. While the presenters were from not-for-profit organizations, it was clear that their marketing tactics were harnessing advanced marketing experiences to attracted both buzz and attendance.

I walked in late due to a queue at the parking meter payment location, but heard a majority of Maureen Oxley’s presentation on UNICEF. When presenting her case-study Maureen stated that UNICEF had a big hurdle to overcome, where donors thought; “I’m a donor, I gave 17 cents last year.” For UNICEF, partnering and co-branding with a known cause – in the presented case it was the Nelson Mandela Foundation – UNICEF was able to use what it had learned from the South-East Asian Tsunami fundraising drives, and put raised funds towards a singular and directed cause.

While Maureen stated co-branding as a strategic move, what was most important for her was to “create a connection point for the kids, and for their education.” Known for the Hallows-eve charity box, it was important to link the UNICEF campaign back to Halloween. UNICEF created trick-or-treat bags, complete with reflective stripes – to not only help kids throughout the eve, but also keep them safe.

Continue reading "Not For Profit: All For Innovation" »

March 27, 2007

Chattering Teeth - The CMA Word Of Mouth Conference

CMA Word of Mouth Marketing Conference

April 12th the CMA will be hosting the Word of Mouth conference at the Holiday Inn on King St. West.  As with many of the CMA events I will be attending, I had the opportunity to speak with event organizer Louis Gagnon who shared some insight in the events’ planning.

With tag-line From Mass to Grass Louis stressed that there is a “realization that Word of Mouth (WOM) has to be included in any integrated marketing mix.”  The list of speakers, which can be seen on the CMA’s Speaker list, provides a 360 degree perspective on the WOM horizon.

A major downside many believe with WOM is the lack of analytical data to support marketing efforts.  When I asked Luis about this he mentioned that by “complimenting experiences with technology one can easily track a WOM campaign”.  He went on to note that “technology is not the barrier, but rather the process for analytic results.”  Some of these analytic tools will be presented at the conference. As many consumers are now becoming more aware of blatant advertising methods, perhaps WOM is something you should consider in your next campaign. 

To sign up for the conference head over to the CMA’s Sign-up Page and register yourself now.

Links From The Backchannel

Today’s backchannel links come directly from One Degree’s very own Ken Schafer.

Not sure what the backchannel is? Check out the Bookmarks from the Community section in the sidebar to get involved.

10 Questions to Ask Before Buying A Domain

Over at the Tucows Blog my boss, company President and CEO Elliot Noss wrote a great piece offering 10 Questions To Ask Before You Pick Your Domain Name Registrar.

Many people don't give a second thought to WHO they are buying their domain names for.  They go with the cheapest, what they've "always used", or whatever is offered with the services they're looking to buy without much thought to the incredible value that domain names represent these days.

If you own domain names or have to buy domain names as part of your job, you owe it to yourself to read Elliot's post.

BTW: Elliot's post hit Digg.com today (digg it here) and made it to Techmeme.

March 26, 2007

Window Tinting Search Reveals Smart Use of Video

Did you know you can buy and install special tinting film on your home windows to reduce the amount of heat transmitted into your house? It's kind of like tinting the windows of your car, except, well, it's your home windows.

I had no idea such a product existed until about 10 days ago when I Googled "residential window tinting" and quickly found myself at Gila Film Products, makers of window tinting film. Not only was I thrilled to discover there was a solution to my problem (the south-facing rooms on third floor of our house were turning into saunas) but I also stumbled across a great use of video on a corporate Website.

Continue reading "Window Tinting Search Reveals Smart Use of Video" »

March 25, 2007

Melting Ice (07) - Final Day Recap

Ice_panel The second, and final day, of the ICE07 conference saw some greatly involving presentations with audience members deeply interested in panel discussions. The morning kicked off with a panel discussion on citizen journalism – and challenged the conventional understanding of the term.

Panelists voiced the idea that citizen journalists are merely citizen observers. Equating the idea of citizen journalism to citizen dentistry – a common thread amongst the big-media represented panel was that journalism can only be done by journalists (with degrees), rather than Joe-Canada. What was evident with the panel, however, was that published comments were able to change the mindset of readers based on postings on online news outlets (like the Globe and Mail). 

Moving to the Sky Room for a panel titled Social Networks Go Mobile, Sean Kane likened the movement of content to mobile as creating “a lot of different content for a lot of different people.” This long-tail model was buttressed with Nick Patsiopoulos’ futurist outlook of networks – arguing that we will be moving towards a stage where large interactive displays will allow us to share our digital media and socially interact.

Perhaps the best panel of the entire event was the afternoon session titled Just A Pipe Dream? The Evolving Internet. The passionate panel was filled with mostly corporate VP’s, with apparent underdog Jason Roks passionately arguing his case for an open internet. In a discussion that should have been titled “Net Neutrality”, the panel dealt with copyright theft, and how big media is hoping to prevent it. On this topic Jason argued that “the creative people are not complaining about their art being stolen [he had been arguing that creators create altruistically], but it is the content providers that are the ones complaining.” With an audience applause, Jason responded to Mary-Ellen Anderson’s comment on users having nothing to gain that “you [media companies] see it as people with nothing to lose, I see it as people with nothing to gain.”

Continue reading "Melting Ice (07) - Final Day Recap" »

Digital Advertising: What is Next? - March 28 - Toronto

Join us for “Digital Advertising – What is Next?

The digital landscape continues to change quarter after quarter, and marketers and advertisers need help to:

  • Gain valuable knowledge and insights into emerging markets and trends
  • Discover the best practices for online marketing and advertising
  • Understand the habits of consumers online and how to know to reach them

Speakers: Tribal DDB, Zig & Trapeze Media

When: March 28 – 8:00 – 10:30 AM

Where: The Dominion Club – 1 King Street West

Cost: $75 – includes FULL breakfast

Register: Register at the Event Registration Page

Links From The Backchannel

Here are some links from our readers on One Degree’s Backchannel.

Not sure what the backchannel is? Check out the Bookmarks from the Community section in the sidebar to get involved.

March 23, 2007

QotD: Will It Blend?

Extreme blending depends on the capabilities of the machine being used. Tasks that may be extreme for some machines are, quite frankly, simple tasks for Blendtec blenders.  Check out this Youtube video from willitblend.com, whose viral campaign places extraordinary items in a blender to find out Will It Blend?

Links From The Backchannel

Today’s backchannel links come directly from One Degree’s very own Ken Schafer (except 1)

March 22, 2007

Ice Recap: Day 1 - Non-Stick Consumers

Ice_07_logo Following an enlightening day of speakers and conversations, this post covers some highlights from the many insightful ideas and presentations.

Opening the conference was award-winning science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer, telling audience members that thinking in the present actually places you behind forward thinking trends. He urged the audience to think years in advance, highlighting the emergence of digital technologies, all content streaming, and 3d and interactive experiences. Perhaps his most entertaining quote was when talking about how easy things will be in the future, he noted that “the future is a drunken slut you can take home every night.”

Following Robert’s keynote audience members were met with panel discussions highlighting professional, and traditional, media enthusiasts, as well as ‘real-world’ media users. The first panel highlighted the need to create cross-platform content providers, allowing users to access information on any platform. Noted blogger and author Shel Israel described the future teens and media consumers as advertising-resistant, likening them to a non-stick frying pan. His most prudent analogy to new media was that “rock and roll didn’t replace Opera, but it changed the world.” Shel’s optimism and forward thinking was an attitude not shared by others on the panel. Shel also stressed that companies can no longer consider their users as dumb consumers, and that this relationship must operate on transparency.

Continue reading "Ice Recap: Day 1 - Non-Stick Consumers" »

March 20, 2007

Marketing Effectiveness Summit in Toronto, April 10 - 12

Eloqua_logo The Marketing Effectiveness Summit is a boot camp for marketing professionals at B-to-B companies. The two and one-half days agenda covers all aspects of marketing to optimize demand generation. Post workshop one-on-one consulting sessions with our professional services consulting team are included, providing both strategic and implementation guidance to you and your organization, so you can quickly apply what you’ve learned to your marketing initiatives.

Who Should Attend: Marketing managers or directors of B2B companies who oversee the development and execution of marketing programs. Please register by following the sign-up link.

Banff World Television Festival - June 10-13 - Banff

Bwtvf_logo The stunning Rocky Mountains are home to the world’s most important television content creation event: the Banff World Television Festival. Celebrating its 28th year, BWTVF continues its mandate of developing business and creative opportunities internationally for those in television programming and new media. Over 100 key international Commission Editors are already confirmed to attend along with some of the most successful and creative players in television.

Banff World Television Festival takes place June 10 to 13, 2007 in Banff, Canada. Register at www.bwtvf.com before April 3rd and save over $400.

March 19, 2007

American Idol Demonstrates Power of the On-Demand Consumer

I am addicted to American Idol. There, I said it.

Now that I have confessed, let me explain why I am hooked on this show. It is a great example of what I call the new "On-Demand Consumer" in action.

Every year (every season), millions of consumers vote for their favourite product (the singer), the one they want to be manufactured (their album produced and released by a major music label).

And how do these On-Demand Consumers vote? By calling a toll-free number or sending a text message from their mobile phone. It's a simple - yet utterly brilliant - model. And it is being replicated all around the world with Canadian Idol, Australian Idol, Latin American Idol, etc.

Last week I was giving a talk on the On-Demand Consumer and I was asked what percentage of American Idol voting was done via SMS (text messaging). I didn't have an answer at the time, but I did get one later.

Continue reading "American Idol Demonstrates Power of the On-Demand Consumer" »

March 18, 2007

The Future Isn’t What it Used to Be…

Nextmedia_logo With the digital media industry in a state of constant flux, one thing is for certain: nextMEDIA – The Future of Digital Content promises a full slate of international new media luminaries, the latest cutting edge research and intimate networking opportunities.

Learn, Strategize and Network within a dynamic international marketplace for the production and distribution of digital content.

nextMEDIA takes place June 8th to 10th, 2007 amongst the Rockie mountains of Banff, Canada. Register at www.futureofdigitalcontent.com before April 3rd and save over 30%.

RedFlagDeals' Blogging Adventure

About 4 weeks ago we started an official RedFlagDeals.com blog. Since corporate blogging is always a hot topic on OneDegree, I thought I would share our reasons for creating a blog and what we hope to accomplish with it.

Over the past few years RedFlagDeals.com has grown at a phenomenal rate. Everyday tens of thousands of Canadians visit the site to find deals and coupons and to participate in the community. There are literally thousands of conversations going on at any moment. In the formative days of the site, the founder of the site, Derek Szeto, and I would participate in nearly every one of those conversations, but as the site has grown, that just isn’t possible. Even though we are still regular contributors to the forums, the sheer volume of postings means that our visibility has been reduced. We faced a dilemma: how do we maintain the personal touch the site has always been associated when the site has grown so large?

We decided that creating an official blog would be among the best ways to reengage with our community. Our hope was that the blog would allow us to share our experiences running the site and gather feedback before and after decisions are made that will affect the community.

So far the blog has been a success. There are several hundred readers every day and it has been a great way to share information. In the coming months we plan to use the blog to involve our readers in the brainstorming process for a charity initiative we have in mind. Highlights have included:

As an added bonus, it’s been lots of fun to write about what’s happening at the RedFlagDeals.com HQ.

March 15, 2007

Links From The Backchannel

Today’s backchannel links come directly from One Degree’s very own Ken Schafer.

Not sure what the backchannel is? Check out the Bookmarks from the Community section in the sidebar to get involved.

The Marketer's Roadmap to Second Life

March 21, 2007 8:30am – 11:00am
Location: The Diesel Playhouse, 56 Blue Jays Way, Toronto

Every week brings new reports of companies opening offices and stores in the virtual world of Second Life. Telus, American Apparel, and Dell are just a few of the well-known brands that have opened their virtual doors for business. Join us for an in-depth look at what Second Life (and other virtual worlds) means to marketers. You’ll learn what the people and companies in Second Life are doing, the implications (today and future) of virtual worlds for brands and marketers, and what your company should know before throwing open its virtual doors. Plus – after the presentation we’ll have 3 breakout sessions so you can get hands-on with Second Life. Click for Registration Details.

clownpenis.fart - SNL Proves Domains Matter!

(Tip of the hat to Joe at Vpop for the link)

Google Plusbox Makes Life Harder For Marketers

Google loves to experiment with features and UI(User Interface) by providing different features to limited sub-sets of users. Recently you may have heard that Google is starting to integrate alternate content into search results using something called a plusbox. For example, they’re testing adding Google Finance information inline with some results.

I happened to find one of these in action (for my employer Tucows no less) when searching for software on Google. Here’s what a Plusbox looks like closed:


And here’s what it looks like open (i.e. after clicking on the ”+”):


This raises an interesting challenge for marketers in publicly traded companies like Tucows. Now you have to worry about the impact of your stock performance on the perception of searchers. You also have to pay extra attention to those normally bland and generic descriptions of our company because it may just end up (like ours did) representing your company in Google!

I’d be interested in feedback from others who might be starting to think about this kind of stuff. And may I also say publicly – Damn you Wikipedia! Tucows has been the number one result for “software” longer than Google has existed. Now we’ve been bumped by the collective hive intelligence! :)

March 13, 2007

Ice 2007 Is Heating Up

Ice_07_logo_2 Next week the New Media Business Alliance (NMBA) will be hosting the 2007 ICE Conference March 21st and 22nd in Toronto’s beautifully art-deco venue the Carlu. The two-day event has an all-star lineup of interactive media enthusiasts and forward thinkers. With over 100 speakers, and 34 sessions with varying topics, ICE 2007 is a conference you do not want to miss.

ICE is set to explore the “changing roles and relationships within the emerging media ecosystems, with panels focusing on gaming, mobility, social media, advertising and marketing, and industry trends,” says event co-coordinator Hilary Krupa. The conference’s wide range of speakers from varying media backgrounds will provide a wide array of examples and expertise on the changing face of the media landscape.

Curious about who is speaking? Check out the agenda programme, and register yourself for the conference.

Links From The Backchannel

Today’s backchannel links come directly from One Degree’s very own Ken Schafer.

Not sure what the backchannel is? Check out the Bookmarks from the Community section in the sidebar to get involved.

March 12, 2007

Threadless on the Backchannel

James Sherrett, one of our readers and avid contributor to One Degree’s Backchannel, recently posted a long, but fun and enjoyable video on SkinnyCorp.com – the brains behind popular internet t-shirt site Threadless.

While the video is long – clocking in at over 44 minutes – it is a humorous presentation on how to harness online communities and – gasp – make money!

If you have time to spare do watch the video below – or better yet, buy a shirt, they are on sale still (I bought a bunch last week).

Gone Vista - Welcome to 1,000 Voices

I did it, I went Vista.

I ordered a new HP machine with Vista Home Premium and spent the afternoon getting familiar. From a consumer experience, it was unimpressive. There may be a hundred awesome features in Vista for me to use, but in no way do they show you where they are.

Let’s take Aero for example. This is the “feature” where you can tab through your windows in 3D. I knew of its existence from the grey 80’s clipart ads, so I figured I would give it a try… However, I literally had to dig through help files on A) how to turn it on (you have to do three things) and B) how to use it (Window icon and tab). Repeat that experience for all new features.

One of the most obvious issues with Vista is that you feel like you are having a conversation with numerous folks, there is no common voice to guide you through the set up or new features. At first you talk with HP, but they throw you out of the car pretty quickly. Then you talk with “Vista” for a bit, unsure what “Vista” is, and start to eye your XP Install disk on the shelf. After that confusing experience, you can then setup Windows Media Center and install Office 2007. It's a continuation of a disjointed conversations, making your confidence drop and memories of Mac TV ads surface. 

My tips:
Microsoft should focus on building a common voice of all its applications to the consumer, and stop building islands. For now – fix Outlook’s HTML reader, get rid of Works, have the address book sync with outlook… Oh and work with your Partners, so at least one of my plug-ins works properly with Outlook 2007 (Skype, or Plaxo, or LinkedIn, or SalesForce …..)

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