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Posts from June 2007

June 27, 2007

Our Customers: Eyeballs who View Ad Inventory or Valued Partners?

OK, I'm not sure if this is an "old school" vs "new school" thing.  But two things jumped out at me from today's "Media in Canada" newsletter (a newsletter I both enjoy and am frustrated by on a regular basis). First, Mike Welling, President of doug agency, wrote a letter to the editor of MiC, praising the Grand Prix win of "Evolution" from Dove.  The campaign was certainly amazing, and Welling credits forward thinking leadership inside Unilever for getting that great creative launched.  Now, I agree, the creative behind "Evolution" is wonderful, but there is no mention of the vital, essential role that social media played in it.  If YouTube weren't around; if fans weren't able to blog it, would "Evolution" have been so successful?

Continue reading "Our Customers: Eyeballs who View Ad Inventory or Valued Partners?" »

Must-Read Books for Marketers: “Have One, Leave One”

My neighbourhood had its annual street party last week and one of my favorite events was the “Have One, Leave One” book swap.  It’s simple: you bring a book that you enjoyed; you take a book that someone else enjoyed.  The event is community-spirited, efficient and usually brings out such generosity that every year there are about 100 books left over which are then donated.  The fact that the majority of the books had either kids or animals on the cover and that my copy of “Blink” was still there at the end of the day only served to point out the need for a more contextual version of this same tradition for my reading tastes.

So, in the spirit of the old fashion community book exchange, I offer up (with Kate’s permission): The One Degree first annual “Have One, Leave One” for Online Marketers.  It is summer, after all, and presumably we have some time for reading.  Also, as an online service, we will have to exchange the *idea* of books versus actual books, but the spirit will remain the same.

 

I’ll get us started by offering up a book I read recently and loved, Douglas Rushkoff’s Get Back in the Box. It’s essentially a book that urges companies to stop wasting their money on outside consultants and mass market advertising campaigns and get back to making a better product that meets their customers needs.  Here’s an excerpt from the back cover:

“Having too long replaced innovation with acquisitions and ad campaigns, many businesses have lost touch with the process - and fun - of discovery.  Indeed for all of their talk of innovation, most companies today are scared to death of it.  By returning to their core competencies, companies can offer their employees and customers alike the “social currency” they need to create value, meaning and fun for one another.”

He’s a bright mind who speaks his truth in a humorous way.  I found myself questioning a number of my held beliefs while I was reading it which for me is always a good sign.  I especially loved his turning Gladwell’s The Tipping Point upside-down by arguing that “viral” doesn’t occur because there are a few people who are influencers and can spread the word about a particular product or service.  He argues that all of us use good products and services as a type of “social currency” in order to meet our fundamental human need to engage with one another.  Great stuff!

There, I’ve left a book in the virtual exchange.  Who’s next?  What great marketing tome have you read lately?

Oh, and no books about dogs or kids. Save those for your own street party.

June 24, 2007

How I Ended Up Doing Social Media Marketing for ABC TV's Traveler - Part 1

For a few days earlier this month, I found myself running the social media marketing campaign for ABC TV's new show, Traveler.

After all, somebody had to.

Allow me to explain...

On May 30, 2007, ABC TV launched a new summer series, Traveler. No doubt inspired by the success of rival FOX's Prison Break, Traveler follows the misadventures of two young college guys who are on the run from the FBI for a crime they didn't commit.

The reason they are accused of the crime (the Oklahoma City-esque bombing of a New York City museum) is that one of their college housemates, a sketchy, technologically-savvy guy by the name of Will Traveler, appears to have framed them. Now Will has gone missing, and our two intrepid heroes must track down the elusive Will Traveler in order to clear their names.

Here (below) is a 3-minute trailer for the show that will give you a sense of how the whole thing revolves around the quest to uncover 'Who is Will Traveler?"

I caught the first episode of the series a day after it premiered, and while I quickly deduced the show wasn't for me (it was too predictable) I was struck by one thing: ABC and the producers of the show had completely missed the social media boat.

Continue reading "How I Ended Up Doing Social Media Marketing for ABC TV's Traveler - Part 1" »

June 21, 2007

Move Over, Corporate Blogs – Make Way for Corporate Social Networks

The standard way of thinking about corporate communications is that it is a carefully planned and crafted one-way street of getting your message out to your stakeholders. With the arrival of the web in mainstream of corporate marketing programs in the mid 90’s, there was speculation that the opaque walls of the corporation might finally come down and lead to a transparency and cooperation that centered on the web.

In 2000, Doc Searls and three other authors released the book the cluetrain manifesto, where they argue that the web will change the way the businesses work because of the ability to create bi-directional conversations. These conversations would allow customers to be part of corporate product planning and would remove the need for corporate spin. The web would allow customers in and make corporations transparent.

Seven years later, corporate communications has changed little compared to 2000. Today, some leading edge corporations are looking at adding corporate-endorsed blogs as part of their public relations and communications campaigns and product launches. But that is still very far from the utopia that Doc set out in 2000.

2007 might be the year that ushers in a new era in corporate communications though. There are signs everywhere if you know what to look for. In May, at this year’s MESH conference, there were lots of marketing agencies pushing social websites as another tool for corporation to use for their marketing campaigns. In June, my colleague, Colin Smillie wrote about building brands in Facebook.com, where he outlines how corporations can use Facebook for marketing campaigns. Then at the last CaseCamp5 Toronto, there were several examples of how corporations today are using social web concepts. While most merely described the usage of a blog to push a new product and create a sense of community, Specialized Bicycles went further and created their own social site.

Specialized Riders Club is a combination of Facebook and MySpace, according to Chris Matthews, product manager at Specialized. It wasn't cheap for them to create it from scratch, but this community web site now allows its members to share stories, upload photos, discuss and plan rides, and make new friends all around the central theme of their Specialized bicycle(s). Yes, it has a corporate blog, but that isn't the central hub of the site. By allowing its members, many of whom are very devoted fans of the company’s bicycles, to not only converse with one another, but also to converse with the staff at Specialized, the company has basically ‘hit two birds with one stone’. Their customers become part of their product planning and marketing processes as well as become more devoted to the company.

The Specialized Riders Club would never have been built if it wasn't for the social website frenzy that is happening now and the brilliantly executed Facebook site. While some social web savvy marketing agencies are talking about marketing on Facebook, Specialized is way ahead of the curve by mimicking Facebook's benefits, but completely within their corporate brand and their control.

I expect that other corporations will move towards a similar model. Getting the corporate message to the die-hard customers (i.e. influencers) and allowing them to actually shape that message and future product features will make corporations much more successful in today’s marketplace. Customers appreciate the bi-directional conversations that they have with real employees, because conversations are really about people talking to people, not faceless corporations spinning to target demographics.

Move over corporate blogs, corporate social sites are going to revolutionize how customers interact with corporations. Either the corporation accepts the new reality and joins in the conversation, or that conversation will be taking place without them and will not be in their best interest.

MySportsnet.ca and the Implicit Web

Mysportsnetscreengrab

Rogers Sportsnet launched its new MySportsnet.ca site today, which is a highly personalized site for sports fans.  MySportsnet.ca automatically customizes the content on the website depending on the user’s behaviour.  For example, if the user reads a lot about hockey they will get more content related to hockey on their homepage. The same personalization can also be applied to on-site advertising based on the user’s interests.

The site reminded me of a conversation last year about the real growth opportunities online being in the Implicit Web.  For most websites today, you need to be explicit – you generally answer a number of questions during registration and setup; you often have to tell the site what you want and how you want to see things going forward.  For many users this level of customization is not practical and creates a barrier to them using the technology.  RSS readers and social network sites run into this challenge where users don't see a real benefit from the site until they invest a lot of time importing their information.  Facebook does a good job of allowing users to find friends from their personal email accounts like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo.

Where websites can create an Implicit experience it can be very powerful.  For example, when you buy a Harry Potter book on Amazon.com it automatically suggests other books that you might like.  This is based on user behaviour that Amazon.com aggregates to create recommendations for the user.  The user does not need to explicitly search for similar books or try to find other titles by the author.  This is a great example of the Implicit Web Experience.

The challenge as a marketer with the Implicit Web is respecting user privacy.  In many cases it’s only possible to create an Implicit Experience by gathering a lot of user data and this creates a privacy concern.  The easiest solution to have a clear privacy policy, avoid capturing personally identifiable information, and allow users to opt-out where practical.

MySportsnet.ca does a good job of handling these concerns.  The site is powered by a desktop application (PC only) that is used to track the content you read online.  The application privacy policy states that it doesn't capture personal information and the application can be easily turned off and un-installed.  After running it this morning and watching the site update as I read more about the Toronto Maple Leafs than the Toronto Blue Jays, it’s easy to see how this can be a powerful experience.  My only complaint was that the website wasn't available at all when I closed the desktop application or if I used a different PC.

MySportsNet.ca is a great example of the experiences that are possible with Implicit Web and the balance we’ll need to create with privacy as we develop these experiences.

June 20, 2007

The Parkade Lesson for Online Marketers

I’m often struck by how my interactions with the Internet have reset my expectations for the offline world. But recently I’ve been noticing how that door swings both ways. Today my offline world involved parking my car in a new parkade.

If you think about it, parkades are pretty simple structures. They’ve been around for a long time so you’d think that there has been plenty of opportunity to get them right. This is why it astounds me how many get it wrong.

I’d never been to this parkade before so here’s what I needed to know very quickly (because I’m in a moving vehicle and I’ve got this big SUV behind me): how do I get in, where do I park, how do I pay and how do I get to an elevator to get to my meeting on time. In marketing terms, this is called the “use case” for every single car that enters the garage (oh, the luxury of a single use case).

So, after the remarkably frustrating experience of locating a parking spot that wasn’t “reserved” for someone else and almost having that SUV crash into me twice, I finally get my car parked. About five minutes of searching for the elevator later, I finally find it across the garage. Then I press the button and wait. While I’m waiting I naturally look up to see where the elevator car is so I can know about how long I’m going to be waiting. You see, as usual, I’m running late for my meeting. Unfortunately, there is no floor indicator so I have absolutely no idea how long I’m going to be waiting here. This is insanely frustrating. I listen to the door, no sound. I’m trapped in someone else’s process without knowing when I will get out. After five minutes, I leave to find the stairs. After another frustrating five minutes, I take those stairs to the street level and resolve to never park there again.

Huffing my way down the street toward my meeting I am reminded of the parallels between this experience and online marketing mistakes companies like mine could make.

I ask myself: How well have we defined our use cases for our customers (not the ideal ones, the actual ones)? How well have we mapped our processes to those use cases so that our users know exactly where to go from every page to get what they want? How well have we done on setting their expectations for all the processes we have to take them through and how long it will take? Have we included an elevator indicator for every process? Do customers always know how to get out if and when they need to? Do they leave in a huff or in a pleasant hurry, having achieved what they set out to achieve?

All good questions. None of which I had time to answer because I was already 15 minutes late for my meeting.

What offline experiences have you had recently that reinforce the need to create good online user experiences?

Search Engine Strategies Toronto 2007 - Day 2 Highlights

The Search Engine Strategies Toronto conference was held in Toronto, Canada on June 12-13, 2007 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. As always, it was a tightly-run event that was jam-packed with valuable information.

Here are some of the highlights from sessions I attended on Day 2:

Session: Seth Godin Keynote Presentation

  • "Search didn't become a business until the yellow pages." - Seth Godin
  • In the battle between SEO tricksters and search engines, "the search engines are really winning" because they are becoming much better at determining relevance.
  • "Search engine advertising is a classic example of permission marketing."

Continue reading "Search Engine Strategies Toronto 2007 - Day 2 Highlights" »

June 18, 2007

Search Engine Strategies Toronto 2007 - Day 1 Highlights

The Search Engine Strategies Toronto conference was held in Toronto, Canada on June 12-13, 2007 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. As always, it was a tightly-run event that was jam-packed with valuable information.

Here are some of the highlights from sessions I attended on Day 1:

Session: The Canadian Search Landscape

  • Canadians conducted 12 billion search engine queries in 2006.
  • Canadians are now conducting an average of 1.4 billion search engine queries per month.
  • 80% of Canadian search queries are for Website content, 18% for images, and the balance are for video content, which is growing fast
  • Depending on whose numbers you want to believe, Google currently has approximately 75-80% of the Canadian search engine query share, with Yahoo! and Microsoft evenly split over the remaining 20-25%. Expect Microsoft's share to increase as they continue to invest heavily in search.
  • MSN adCenter's a 'bargain' deal for Canadian paid search advertisers because it is still relatively new and there's less competition.
  • Only a small percentage of advertisers are taking advantage of the Quebec search engine advertising market; lots of great opportunities to get cheap traffic this way.
  • 50% of Canadian search queries are related to finding a product or service.
  • 78% of Canadians will turn to search engines to research a product or service.
  • Martin Byrne from Yahoo! Search Marketing made the interesting observation that companies who have top ranking organic search results convey a "perception of [brand] leadership."
  • Canadian searchers are knowledge seekers not bargain hunters.
  • Canadian searchers are engaged: they are very active, will look at more brands, explore more choices, and like to build and share their expertise.
  • 82% of Canadian businesses with Websites engage in online advertising, but only 36% of them use search engine advertising or search engine optimization.
  • When asked why they weren't using search engine advertising, the number one reason Canadian businesses cited was "too expensive" ... which, of course, is ridiculous.
  • Search engine advertising in Canada is now as large as the entire online advertising market was in 2004.
  • In general, Canada is a less competitive search engine advertising market, which means there is still a great opportunity for advertisers.

Continue reading "Search Engine Strategies Toronto 2007 - Day 1 Highlights" »

Leveraging the Power of Beta

Given the popularity of ‘Beta’ websites, it is surprising that very little is written about them, especially in the online marketing world. “Beta” is a term used to describe a website or online service (e.g. Facebook, flickr or several of Google’s services) that is in a development phase, but is not ready to be commercially launched.

The Beta theme is a potentially powerful tool for online marketers because it acts as a cue to website visitors. Basically it indicates that, while a website is designed to provide a certain type of experience, its present version may not be able to satisfy visitors’ expectations. As with many websites in development, visitors may encounter functionality problems, navigational issues, missing tools, and a whole range of possibilities.

Launching a website that is in a Beta phase can result in two positive outcomes for website owners. First, it can generate forgiveness from visitors if they experience problems. In those cases, instead of people being deterred from returning, they will be more likely to give the website another opportunity at a later date.

The second benefit is that Beta can encourage people to participate in a website’s development. For virtually every Beta website there will be visitors that, if they can see the potential value of the site, have the motivation to help develop the experience by providing suggestions and feedback. A person who engages in the act of contributing may also become a powerful evangelist for the site.

I emphasized the word ‘can’ above because it’s important to understand that to foster forgiveness and participation, the Beta concept must be leveraged – but how? I had to answer this exact question at the company I work for, MovieSet, and so I began to review a number of Beta websites using the Top 100 Beta Websites list as published on this Museum of Modern Betas Blog.

Continue reading "Leveraging the Power of Beta" »

June 13, 2007

BrandPower™: Everything That’s Wrong with Traditional Media

Note: I check my analytics daily - this post has soared to the top of the most viewed content. And because I am a firm believer in user experience - Enjoy!

If any of you are like me and spend at least part of every week defending the much-maligned profession of marketing then you can likely understand why I feel a need to apologize on behalf of BrandPower™. Every time I see one those misleading BrandPower™ commercials on television I want to run from the room professing “That’s not what I do, I promise!” Further, as an Internet Marketing devotee, I would argue that BrandPower™ could only exist in the traditional marketing world of one-way push-message communication and would never be able to have a viable on-line presence.

The bottom line is that BrandPower™ is built on what is best described as a “con”. They create the veneer of being an objective third party focused on “providing rational information about grocery products” (a quote from the BrandPower™ website). In essence they position themselves as a customer advocate. They are “helping you buy better” (their commercial tagline). The reality is, of course, that BrandPower™ is neither objective nor focused on consumer advocacy. BrandPower™ is a made up product name from a multi-national marketing company called Buchannan Group. At their website, (which of course is not the BrandPower™ website) they describe the product for what it really is: “Our products … are based on the delivery of information from a third party perspective.”

The key in that description is the “third party perspective”. This advertising medium is set up essentially to trick jaded media consumers into thinking that this “information” BrandPower™ is providing comes with some sort of expertise or established consumer advocacy role. That’s what third parties generally are. The reality is that they are not in the business of having the consumer’s best interests in mind. They are in the business of getting paid to convince the general public to buy their customers’ “market-superior” products like Cocoa and Crème Tums Smoothies. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Cocoa and Crème Tums Smoothies. In fact, they could quite possibly be the best tasting Tums ever. My issue with this type of marketing tactic is that it’s fundamentally dishonest. Good marketing doesn’t have to deceive the general public to convince them of the merits of a product.

Further, I would argue that this is the type of con job that could only exist in the traditional media and could not be successful online. The moment this ploy existed in a world of two-way communication and user-generated brand interaction, BrandPower™ would get so much criticism and haranguing from the general community that their paying advertisers would leave them quickly.

I would like to be proven wrong on this, of course and therefore I would like to encourage you fine folks at Buchannan Group to create a two-way communication BrandPower™ site for us members of the general public who you believe you are helping to make better product choices. Oh, and please do tell me when it is up so I can be one of the first in line to comment.

**UPDATED to include BrandPower™ website**

Affiliate Marketing - Part 1: It’s Quiet Up Here. Too Quiet.

By now I think it’s been drilled into our heads how far behind Canadian e-commerce is compared to our US counterparts. What I don’t think gets enough attention is how far behind Canadian retailers are when it comes to affiliate marketing. Best Buy, Sears, and Staples are just a few of the retailers with thriving affiliate programs down south but without any affiliate presence in Canada. Industry events like LinkShare Symposium and Affiliate Summit in Canada? You can forget it.

The affiliate marketing space is something I’m involved in everyday. As the founder of RedFlagDeals.com, Canada’s largest bargain shopping community, we’re constantly in contact with affiliate managers, reading affiliate newsletters, and educating ourselves about what drives conversion. Our goal is to connect Canadian consumers with Canadian businesses and hopefully in the process generate a few dollars for our hard work.

I’d be the first one to say that I’m biased towards the affiliate marketing industry. But I’ve also seen the numbers behind it as a publisher – millions in sales, and we’re just one publisher. If I was a retailer in this increasingly competitive landscape, I know I would offer an affiliate program. With the choice between promoting equal products or services between two retailers, the publisher is going to promote the retailer with an affiliate program. Multiply that by the thousands of webmasters out there that could join and promote your store and that’s going to eat directly into market share.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think affiliate marketing is right for everyone, but conceptually and in many cases, it does make sense. Retailers pay a commission on sales or a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) generated. No sales or acquisitions, no payments. Don’t like how they’re promoting your brand? Remove them from the program. Managed properly, it’s a very powerful way to drive traffic and sales.

And the sale is just the beginning. Once you’ve got them as a customer, it’s the retailers’ job to deliver on the transaction and keep the customer for life. Now that’s got to be worth something.

Stayed tuned for Part 2 - options for setting up your affiliate marketing program.

Toronto Girl Geek Dinner - June 27 - Toronto

Are you a geek girl who enjoys dinner? Then you're invited to a very special occasion - the inaugural Toronto Girl Geek Dinner on June 27, 2007, sponsored by Women 2.0 Canada!

Toronto Girl Geek Dinners are an offshoot of the London Girl Geek Dinners, started by Sarah Blow. The goal of these get-togethers is to make technology accessible and interesting to all age groups and all people, particularly women. They take place in bars and restaurants, are really informal and usually involve a speaker - Technology Consultant and entrepreneur Sandy Kemsley will be our first. Sandy will share her expertise as a business owner and tell us about her work and challenges she's faced as a woman in tech. There'll be an open Q&A session at the end as well.

To find out more and register for our first get-together (seating is limited), visit: www.torontogirlgeekdinners.ca

June 12, 2007

The Future is Simple, Literally

Want to ensure the success of your next product or service?

One way to do this is to buck today's "more is better" philosophy and instead aim for the utmost simplicity.

Start by reducing the number of features. Cut back on the options. And focus on doing one thing, and only one thing, well.

You can never make something too simple. Don't believe me? Ask yourself when was the last time you heard someone complain that a product was too easy to use?

Continue reading "The Future is Simple, Literally" »

Press Release Roundup

Here are the latest press releases of interest we've received at One Degree.

  • Sympatico.MSN.ca Launches Live Earth Sites - Sympatico / MSN has launched two new online destinations for Live Earth: Concerts for a Climate in Crisis in English and French.These sites will include cool information, photos and videos about climate change and the environment. In the coming weeks, the sites will also feature a video show player with DVD-style navigation. Also, on 7/7/07, the player will allow concert viewers to easily switch between footage of the live concerts across the globe and exclusive on-demand footage.

  • 2007 Digital Marketing Awards Entry Deadline - If it feels good and it's interactive, enter today! The Digital Marketing Awards represents the best of interactive marketing in Canada. The awards are produced by Marketing magazine, and judged by the industry. Deadline to enter is June 15, 2007.

  • Canadian Interactive Industry Profile 2006 - The first national survey of the interactive media industry in Canada. The report and press release are available here on the Ontario Media Development Corporation site.

June 11, 2007

Eight is Enough: Take-aways from Mesh 2007

This year, I was pleased to attend Mesh - both as a speaker as well as an enthusiastic participant and note-scribbler.  Now, I learned a long time ago that detailed live-blogging isn't my thing; I'm more of a "spark" kind of gal.  So here are "Kate's Eight Great Take-aways from Mesh 2007".

Continue reading "Eight is Enough: Take-aways from Mesh 2007" »

June 10, 2007

Can Canadian e-Commerce Be As Successful As the US and UK?

A few months ago e-Marketer published a report about the state of e-Commerce in Canada. Being the biggest fan and best customer of Canadian e-commerce, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that it’s is finally starting to take off. But kids, we still have a ways to go before we can truly call ourselves a “leading” e-commerce nation.

Our Dependence on American-based e-tailers

Our love of everything American creates a demand to shop on American-owned-and-managed sites. But many American-based e-tailers simply refuse to accommodate Canadian customers because they don’t wanting to deal with duty, shipping and other nasty fulfillment issues. The result is unfortunate: Canadians are being put off of e-commerce because of negative reinforcement and limitations by U.S. sites.

Case in Point: www.gap.com and www.oldnavy.com sites simply refuse to ship to Canada. A friend of mine who works at the Canadian Gap office told me that Gap Canada’s management has been trying to get their California-based Head Office to consider a “dot ca” or just let Canadians buy off the main site. After much deliberation, the U.S. management decided against selling to Canadians over the internet, because we are not a lucrative e-commerce market. They’re kind of right – but their attitude is also leading to a vicious circle. You can’t create a lucrative e-commerce market by consistently pissing off Canadian e-consumers.

I encountered a similar situation when I tried to buy a special “toddler floaty” swimsuit for my son off the Speedo website. I landed on the Speedo splash page (pardon the pun) and chose Canada. I was impressed to see a fully functional shopping cart in the Canadian site. But, on checkout, the Speedo site refused to take my order and I was left feeling like a second-class citizen (and I was choked I could not get this specialty-suit for my kid). Speedo faked me out and I am now checking out other brands – I even (gasp) had to go to the mall!

Continue reading "Can Canadian e-Commerce Be As Successful As the US and UK?" »

June 04, 2007

New Feature: Press Release Roundup

As you can imagine, we get a LOT of press releases here at One Degree.  Sometimes, they will inspire an article or post, but most of the time, they get filed in the "interesting, but no time to write something original and clever" folder.  However, some of them might just be of interest to you! So, we're trying something new -- the Press Release Roundup.  We select a few of the press releases we've received, include a one-liner and a link to more info.  Below is this week's first set:

  • Tokyo Game Show - Canadian companies interested in entering the Japanese market are invited to participate in the Tokyo Game Show.  Deadline: Friday, June 8, 2007.  Details: http://www.interactiveontario.com/pdfs/Tokyo_Game_Show_2007.pdf
  • Yahoo! Canada Targets Women with Launch of New Lifestyle Site - Kerry Munro, General Manager Yahoo! Canada, today announced that Canada's advertisers will have another reason to make Yahoo.ca the portal of choice for their online marketing plans with the launch of its brand new Yahoo! Canada Lifestyle site.

We'd love to hear from you - is this useful feature or a waste of your time?  Please leave a comment!

All of Canada showcased at 2007 CNMA awards

Cnma2007 I'm going to admit, on behalf of all Torontonians, that we're a little self-involved.  When you're in Toronto, you tend to have blinders on about anything that might be happening outside our centre of the universe.  Being in Vancouver for a short 9 months has taught me that.  So, I was thrilled, at the Canadian New Media Awards, to see an entire country's worth of talent showcased.  While you can check out the full list of finalists and winners (Toronto included!) over at the 2007 Canadian New Media Awards site, I did want to call your attention to the finalists and winners who are NOT from Hog Town.  They are:

Continue reading "All of Canada showcased at 2007 CNMA awards" »

Building Your Brand In Facebook

Unless you've been in a digital cave you've probably heard of Facebook’s amazing penetration in Canada. Like many of its earlier counterparts, Facebook provides some great opportunities to build your brand online.

Facebook Advertising Options

The first place to start is with Facebook's self-service advertiser option. Facebook provides the ability for advertisers to create self-serve "Facebook Flyers". You've probably seen this in your Facebook dashboard inter-mixed with your friend updates. The flyers that I see most often are for the Sony Playstation or the Honda F1 groups. It’s fairly easy to create these flyers but it’s not clear how often they are used. When I informally polled some Facebook users, most people had no recollection of ever seeing these links so I'm not certain what kind of response rate they generate.

Facebook also provides a custom integration option. In most cases this solution involves developing a branded group. Both Sony and Honda F1 have branded Facebook groups. Ironically, these branded groups are more difficult to find than user-created groups on the same topics. Custom integration is not available without signing an agreement with Facebook. The costs for a branded group are not directly revealed but it’s rumoured to be expensive.

Continue reading "Building Your Brand In Facebook" »

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