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Posts from February 2008

February 25, 2008

One Degree on Early Spring Break

Just an FYI ... we're on hiatus this week, participating in TED, BIL and other activities in Monterey.  We'll return the week of March 3 with event reports from PodCamp Toronto and Northern Voice plus our first blogroll entries.

Mar 26-28 - ICE 08 - Early Bird Deadline Extended!

February 21, 2008

MobileStorm's "Commercial" for their White Paper on Digital Messaging

This was sent to me by the folks at MobileStorm.com.  It's a video promoting their upcoming white paper entitled "Digital Messaging Best Practices For Geniuses"

From a B2B perspective, I thought this was a neat idea - using a catchy video to illustrate their central thesis.  My perception is that B2B marketing is an area that is under-serviced, particularly in terms of social media and particularly in Canada.  Anyone have any great examples of B2B marketing via social media closer to home?

Bonus Link: MobileStorm has a post on their blog about optimizing video for search engines.  Part 2 of that post has a list of video sharing sites (great resource) plus some recommended key words.  From the article:

Let’s start with the video optimization.

Remember 3 things here:

    - Title;
    - Description;
    - Keywords.

The video title should be short but descriptive. Tell what the video is about in one line and make sure to use words that fit what people would naturally search to find that content. You want you title outstand all others in the results to make people clicks on yours.

The video description should explain what it is about and how the viewer can benefit from it. It should include a couple of major keywords that will make it easy for your video to be found in searches.

The video keywords (most video sites call them “tags”) should include up to 30 of the most targeted words/phrases related to your video. This is important for not just being found via search engines and video portals but also for being a “related video” for the videos from your competition. That’s your additional traffic right here.

It goes on to talk about the importance of file names and thumbnails - not sexy, but ESSENTIAL for SEO! Great piece for those who use a lot of video as viral promos.

IAB Canada's Standard Ts+Cs and Late Creative Policy for Online Advertising in Effect March 1, 2008

In October 2007, IAB Canada announced the creation of a standard Terms and Conditions (T's and C's) for online advertising as well as a Late Creative Policy.  Since the announcement, online advertising agencies and publishers have been in a transition period which will end as of March 1, 2008.

The new T's and C's include details and standards around:

  • Campaign Cancellation Terms
  • Late Creative Deadlines
  • Responsibility For Space/Impressions
  • Stand-In Creative
  • Reporting
  • Billing
  • Payment Terms

Developed jointly by the agency and publisher councils of the IAB, the standards are designed to create a uniform best practice.

The full press release, the official IAB Standard Terms and Conditions and an annotated example of the T's and C's can be downloaded from the standards section of the IAB Canada website.

February 20, 2008

Calling Canadian Marketing and Communications Bloggers

What We're Doing

We have a number of excellent bloggers in the Canadian marketing/PR/communication/creativity/digital culture space.  And there are plenty of ranking sites (albeit not purely Canadian) to go along with these blogs: AdAge Power 150, Viral Garden's Top 25, or good ol' Technorati.  But there isn't a *directory* of Canadian communication blogs where each blog has the same basic info.

Canadian_blogroll_3 So we're going to take on a potentially Sisyphean task and create "The Great Canadian Marketing and Communications Blogroll" (I'm open to suggestions for better names! Leave your suggestions in the comments).

What's In It For You

This isn't a blog ranking directory, per se.  However, we are going to allow you to rank a blog.  On each entry, there will be a mechanism for you to give a blog a star rating from 1 to 5.  We're not going to sort them anywhere by this ranking, but it will allow our blogroll browsers to see how valuable each individual blog is to other readers.  It's all about value to the community.

Each blog will be featured in a post when they are first submitted, giving the community a chance to check them out and give them a star ranking. We'll also have a rotating "Featured Blog" in our new "One Degree Blogroll" section in the sidebar. And of course, once submitted, each blog will be enshrined in our Blogroll category.

How to Submit

So, if you'd like to participate, please send the following details to mose [at] onedegree [dot] ca.

Name of Blog: What is the name of your blog?

URL: Your blog's URL

One Line Description: A pithy one-liner describing your blog

Topics It Covers: Keywords - no more than 10.

Language: English, French, Klingon - whatever you write in

Author(s): Your name and your co-authors names.  If you have more than three, we'll just list "Group"

Location: Where are you in the world - Toronto, Halifax, Montreal, Moose Jaw

Contact Deets: Either your email (we'll spam-deter it) or a link to a page that has your contact info or your Facebook/LinkedIn URL - however you want people to contact you.

Three Representative Posts:
Please  include both the title of the post and the permalink.  Please don't send more than three.  If you do, we will link to your "hello world" post and your "Talk Like a Pirate Day" post.

Miscellaneous Notes and Accolades:
You're on the AdAge Power 150.  You won a Webby.  Michael Arrington linked to you. Sean Moffitt friended you on Facebook.  If you have a companion podcast, mention it in here.

Successful Blog Submission Criteria

We reserve the right not to list your blog if you don't meet some basic criteria.  What criteria? 

  • Your blog should have *something* to do with marketing, communications, social media and PR.  If your blog is generally about your cats but you write the occasional rant about how Sean Moffitt keeps friending you on Facebook, maybe don't submit your blog.
  • You should write your content yourself - so if you're just a feedblog, that's great, but we likely won't list you. 
  • You should be writing from Canada.
  • Other mystery criteria we reserve the right to make up as the occasion arises.

We look forward to getting your submissions! Please help us spread the word, on your blogs and anywhere else you can think of. We're looking for blog representation from all across Canada (that means you P.E.I. and Nunavut!).

February 19, 2008

N2S on Being Snubbed by the Academy


Urgent! Build Desire with Scarcity

February 18, 2008

How Do You Manage Your Personal Brand?

With another PodCamp Toronto just around the corner, I’m reminded of Mitch Joel’s spectacular presentation: “Building Your Personal Brand Through Podcasting” at the inaugural PodCamp Toronto. A year has passed and it got me thinking…

Today more than ever, it’s becoming increasingly important to manage your personal brand. If you haven’t done so already, step back, take a deep breath and think about how you want others to see you. Now think about how you interact with people online. Is it consistent with how you want to be perceived both online and offline?

We no longer just need to worry about what people see and hear about us in person -- we also need to consider our digital footprints. It’s one thing to control how we portray ourselves online and offline. It’s another when we can’t control what others do and say about us. What gets posted online is easily found and lives on forever in the Google age. Cutting through the clutter is more challenging than ever.

Last fall, I co-presented an information session for parents of middle-school students, helping them understand what their kids were doing online. Within minutes of introducing them to Facebook, they were concerned about their children’s profiles and whether or not their online behaviour would come back to haunt them in the future.


Recently, I’ve been consulting with a recruitment specialist. We’re developing an outreach strategy for connecting with prospective new hires using social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Regardless of what you’re told, when employers are using social networks, they’re checking to ensure profiles of prospective employees are “clean.”. Standing out in the crowd because you have obscenities on your Facebook page probably isn’t the best way to manage your personal brand.

Chef Michael Olsen, who runs the restaurant management program at Niagara College, told me of an old-fashioned way he encourages his students to make an impression on a prospective employer: following an interview or co-op term, he suggests sending them a handwritten thank-you note. Why? To paraphrase Chef Olsen, “Everyone sends e-mail and our inboxes are overflowing. Send a handwritten note and you’ll stand out from the pack.” Think of this the next time you’re pitching a new client. (In case you’re wondering, this chef is no stranger to the digital world. He produces his own podcasts to use as teaching aids and posts videos on YouTube to market the program.)

To bring this subject a little closer to home, I asked three members of the One Degree community to share, in a mere 30 words, how they manage their personal brand. Here’s what they had to say:

Lisa Rousseau from Fredericton, co-founder and COO of WalkingSpree and Atlantic Canadian digital community builder at meshEast shares her thoughts:

“I manage my personal brand by being authentic in the multiple channels (ie. linkedin, facebook, twitter, my blog, etc.) that I interact in online. I also monitor WOM and other sites via RSS feeds for my name, username, blog, etc. Finally I keep an eye on what someone finds with Google search results for my name.”

Michael Seaton of Toronto recently made the switch to the agency side as VP, Digital Marketing at Thornley Fallis. After a well-established career on the client side, he has this valuable advice:

“Find your passion and work it. Read relentlessly. Listen to learn. Question everything. Form opinions and voice them. Keep an open mind. Always take the highroad. Give back to the community. Find a mentor, be a mentor. Be nice.”

Colleen Coplick of Vancouver recently launched 99directons, a social media start-up with One Degree contributor Adele McAlear. She had this to say:

“Consistency in actions, words. My appearance is important and it's important for me to always (mostly) look pulled together. Try to keep anything negative out of words and rely on humour, sarcasm and the fact that I am willing to help people top of mind.”

How much thought have you given to managing your personal brand?

What would you do if someone posted something negative about you online?

These are just two questions to ask yourself as you continue to try and adapt to an ever-changing digital age.

Photo credit: I'm So Freakin' Wasted by brbirke

February 15, 2008

The Mose on Vids

Editor's note: We thought that we'd add a little edge to Fridays here at One Degree. So we let The Mose loose with his first One Degree rant.

I am at my wit's end. Yes, thanks all for the comments -  I know it wasn't a long trip.

This is what put me over the edge:

Wearable Video

Ok. Enough already. (Gets back from medicine cabinet - two Tylenol popped and swilled back)

I am somewhat involved in The Cluetrain (www.cluetrain.com). If you haven't heard of this - please stop reading and go to ...

and about a bazillion of others. You probably have them all bookmarked. Away ya go... see ya. (Patronizingly pats their little empty heads.)

Hey? They all left!!!!  Why is no one here? HELLO!!!!!!

My point exactly,  Bucky!

You see,  if you are a Cluetrain cultist, you believe that any and all  "throbbing grizzle" and "jumping bunnies" (which pretty-much sums up all the video content online) is just not the internet. They devalue the experience. Lessen it. Lower it. Just screw up the relationship.

"The more the web is like TV - the less we need it." Quote, the Cluetrain.

Now here is the issue. I have always believed that the net is all about user experience. And, let's say, for argument's sake, that with the proliferation and glut of vids online and more bandwidth, easier production software etc. etc., that users want them.

Hmmm, he scratches his bald pate and muses... "What are ya, stupid? Wake up!"

I don't care what ya want. You, sadly are wrong.

Is it because we as digital experts have no clue (pun intended) as to what to do for our clients in order to lead them into the wonderful world of "interactivity?" Are we like our Ad Buddies  (I laughed at Mario's recent post BTW - Death of Advertising? Sorry - been dead for 20+ years) who have served up client driven and client approved crap as advertising 'cause they didn't have the backbone to actually stand up for what is right - assuming that there are any ad professionals left out there that really know? Oh well, it is Canada: "A good campaign is a client approved campaign." Nuff said about that mess.

Sorry, je digress ...

So, for all these years we served clients brochure sites, and we have been happy to go to the bank and deposit filthy lucre for all the "Happy-Marketing-Brochure-Speak-Sites" we have built them.  And now "TA-DA" we can get em "Talking Brochure Sites"?

We already have enough crap on TV.  Have for decades. TV - That's the open sewer in your living room Gladys!

The one you put your kids in front of to baby sit. The one you run to after a tough day at the old office and have a far more in-depth relationship with than your spouse, your Mom or your kids! The one your sons and daughters watch all day and night instead of reading, talking, playing games, being outside and discovering a world for themselves.

The device that is making you depressed. (BTW want to feel better? Stop watching TV.)

Anyway je digress, encore, again, one more time

I hate TV. I hate what it has done to us. I hate what it is doing to us.

I fear that the Net - where there could still be an element of free speech, empowerment and powerful one-to-one  "conversations" is getting to be just what we feared ... "cheap TV."

Along with the cheap element is:

1. Crappy content,
2. Crappy production value,
3. Lowest common denominator sensibilities (think stuff even "America's Funniest Videos" wouldn't dare run
4. Enough bandwidth wasted to educate most of the kids on the planet for free.

I see no value to video online. Like when I tell folks I do not have a TV - haven't for a long time. Know what they all say: "Oh I don't watch TV"  or "I only watch the Discovery Channel".  Or, "Oh yes I agree but there are wonderful programs Live at Lincoln Centre ...PBS etc., etc."

That is where I up-chuck my coffee.

Liars. All.

Everyone is sitting there watching "Fear Factor" -  "Canadian Idol" -  "Springer"  and other crap. For lack of a better term, I call it cultural pornography.

If the Fall of Rome was midnight - well, we are at 11:55.

I have clients clamouring to put video on their sites. I have clients who I am about to fire. If I don't kill them first. If I lose it you can watch for my Video on YouTube.

February 14, 2008

Canada is for Lovers

Canadianflagheart I couldn't let Valentine's Day go by without a quick nod to possibly the most commercial of holidays.  Media in Canada provides a quick round-up of different ways that Canadian marketers are tying in with the holiday theme, including Dirty Dancing e-cards from Mirvish and a best date contest from ZipCar.

They also provide a snapshot of data (from BBM) about Canadian lovers, including ...

If, this Valentine's Day, you just happen to be wondering about the consumption habits of the 4.4 million (16%) Canadians who've used contraceptives during the past month, here you go.

▪ These loving Canadians are 2.7 times more likely to have visited an online or Internet dating site in the past year than average Canadians.

▪ The Internet sites must work, as these Canadians are 2.9 times more likely than average Canadians to be intent on purchasing wedding services in the next two years.

▪ As a group, they are 3.2 times more likely than average Canadians to have had a body scrub or a body wrap in the past year.

▪ The top three media by yesterday exposure for Canadians who have used contraceptives in the past month are TV (86%), Radio (83%) and Internet (75%).

And if you're still looking for love this Valentine's Day, one of Canada's own Web success stories, Plenty of Fish, is ready for your profile.

Any other Valentine-related promos that caught your eye?

Artwork from Webweaver

Feb 28 - CMA B2B Conference - Toronto

February 13, 2008

Book Review: Join the Conversation by Joseph Jaffe

Join_the_conversation Joseph Jaffe's latest book, Join The Conversation, is about community and dialogue in our new marketing landscape.  True to its title, Jaffe leaves no room for doubt that the conversation is an operational imperative.  Failure to do so is the equivalent of waiting for extinction.

Beginning with a powerful call to talk 'with' rather than 'at' consumers, Jaffe rips into the ego of the corporation bent on controlling the market rather than participating as equals with their customers.  Loaded with examples of what to and not to do, the book provides solid resources for anyone still needing convincing.

Lest it be thought that Join the Conversation is merely an extended riff from an outspoken industry rebel, Jaffe provides guidelines on experimentation, budget allocations, finding the right people, and how to strike balance between the command-and-conquer and the free-for-all-anarchy approaches.

I do, though, have one major issue with the book.  Jaffe asserts that in order to succeed as marketers today, we need to drop communications in favour of conversations.  From his point of view, communications are the single biggest problem in marketing.  His point is simple: communication is one-way.  It`s a monologue.  Communications, then, become the catch-all for everything monolithic and pig-headed in the modern corporation.  Conversations, on the other hand, are about dialogue, community and humility.

By lumping all that is evil under the banner of 'communications', we throw the baby out with the bathwater. Conversations without communication are empty, without value nor meaning.  Communication is, after all, first and foremost, about conveying ideas with clarity.  If you're not communicating anything in your conversations, then you might as well talk about the weather. Furthermore, not everyone wants to join a conversation with a corporation (sadly).  Surely we need to be ready and willing to participate as equals in conversation, but we also need to have something valuable to add and we can't simply rely on conversations alone.  There are times when one-way communication is best, so long as people can, if they want to, transform that monologue into a dialogue.  Or so says I.

Still, the idea that communications and conversations are polar opposites does spark an interesting debate.  It challenges us to look at what we're doing and really ask if we're participating as equals or simply attempting to force the market to respond favourably.  It requires us to examine just how much we respect consumers.  By attacking the foundation of modern marketing theory (e.g. communications), Jaffe forces us to re-evaluate our entire industry.  Which may be the single most valuable take-away from the book.

All in all, despite my difference of opinions on a few points, I have to say Join the Conversation is a must read.  Jaffe challenges our assumptions in an extremely polarizing and confrontational manner, which I personally love.  It's lead to several debates with friends.  Plus, you have to give credit for his complete lack of fear in taking on our entire industry.

February 12, 2008

N2S on Takeover Bids


Make an Offer They Can't Refuse

11 Reasons to Share

After looking at hundreds of viral videos, microsites, emails, and services, I started to notice several patterns.

Here’s a list of the most common benefits/incentives that make people want to share a viral idea:

  1. Benefit in Numbers - To personally benefit from the product you need to sign other up people. The more people, the bigger the benefit (e.g. Skype).
  2. Competition - This usually involves challenging someone to a game (e.g. can you top my score).
  3. Entertain Others - Make other people laugh…the louder, the better.
  4. Influencer- Allows you to become the leader of the pack. Spreading the message will help build your reputation as an influencer or leader (the more you influence, the more powerful you become).
  5. Social Needs - Desire to be part of the herd or share an experience.
  6. Fear - Motivation based on fear of death, illness, isolation, shame, etc.
  7. Knowledge Gap - A situation is created where the visitor has to invite people to fill in gaps in her/his knowledge. Family history is a good example of this.
  8. Financial Gain - Commission, free samples, bribes…you get the picture.
  9. Entertain Yourself- Ability to surprise, trick, scare or embarrass someone.
  10. Altruism - Help friends just because it’s the right thing to do. It gives you that warm fuzzy feeling.
  11. Cause-Driven- These campaigns are centred around a cause or charity. Sharing them with other people makes us feel like we’re helping someone and that other people identify with our plight.

Have some other compelling reasons why people pass these things on?  Share them! I’ve posted this list on a marketing wiki called Whamwiki.com. If you’d like to expand the list simply visit the wiki and post your additions.

And hey, while you're at it - why not use reason 4 or 10 to share this article with your friends and colleagues (wink wink, nudge nudge)?

February 11, 2008

Advertising isn’t dead. Or If it is, it’s our fault. We killed it.

For the longest time, I’ve hated advertising. Or at least I thought I hated it. Constantly being interrupted to be “given” messages of absolutely no value to me… it’s enough to make anyone a little exhausted.

It’s no surprise then that I took to the “Advertising Is Dead, Long Live Social Media” mindset like cheese on pizza. I love the idea that every day people like you and me took back control of our lives and told advertisers in unison to bugger off. I love that we’ve taken control of the conversation. And as a marketer myself, I love joining conversations as opposed to simply screaming into the void. Lord knows I would not be in this business if all I had to look forward to was creating work that people either hated or ignored.

But before we hammer the nails into advertising’s coffin, let’s take a step back and reassess what’s really going on.

In reality, I’ve loved many ads. Like so many others, I look forward to each new mini-episode of the Mac vs. PC saga. That’s unfortunately the only example of TV advertising that comes to mind as a positive experience, but consider these print ads, all of which are brilliant and provide real value to me.

Continue reading "Advertising isn’t dead. Or If it is, it’s our fault. We killed it." »

February 07, 2008

Crowdsourcing 101: Episode 3 - So You Think You Can Crowdsource?

This is Part 3 of my 4 part Crowdsourcing series. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.

I wonder how this genetic gold rush effects the search for infectious agents? After all, we now know that whatever genetic predisposition there is towards ulcers it's the Helicobactor pilori that accounts for the vast bulk of the cases. Also, it's becoming clear that bacterial infections in the walls of blood vessels plays a roll in arteriosclerosis and infarcs. Schizophrenia seems to have an infectious component as well. With everyone tumbling into the genetic gold mine how much science is going to be done searching out infectious diseases?

- From a comment posted on Wired.com by arpad

I began the last article with a rant about the quality of comments posted to YouTube (as an example of why it's understandable to fear the crowds).  As evidenced above, the crowd can respond wisely.  And comments on sites such as Wired.com can produce more astute feedback, than say YouTube.  (Note, I'm biased here, I can't love Wired more than I already do - were it a guy, I would blush and wave at him, as I do firemen.)

The attention span component certainly plays a large role in the quality of comments: YouTube viewers are looking for a quick fix (I watch it too, so I'm not judging), while Wired readers often aim to delve deeper into the pot and hence stick around long enough to make often well-articulated, well-thought-out comments.  This can sometimes be true as well for the level of participants in crowdsourcing projects, especially when their motivations are primarily based in passion.

And, in a subtle way, we all tap into the wisdom of crowds every time we search for information on the web - initially by using a search engine (Google "which organizes websites based on how they link to each other" or Wikipedia founders' Wikiasari) and then when we, among other things, assess the poster's/site's reliablity. 
Wondering how to insert a Windows Media player into your blog? (I was) – well the information is out there, posted by someone who knows more about the subject than you (OK, me).  And, just like the companies who employ crowdsourcing, we must filter the information (in our case, choices) to find the best answer (e.g. this site explains it all clearly and is clean and organized:  I think I'll trust it, rather than one that looks like Geocities circa 1998).   

Only a select few of the comments on Wired.com, in fact, make it into the actual magazine.  Filtering is critical and not everyone's contribution is focused, relevant or equal.

    Continue reading "Crowdsourcing 101: Episode 3 - So You Think You Can Crowdsource?" »

    Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, How Do Your Social Networks Grow?

    I’ve been receiving more invitations to join new business social networks recently - Plaxo, NotchUp, Spock, etc.  And I've started to wonder just how much time to people spend tracking these sites, in addition to sites they're already on, like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. I mean, I'm all for networking, but all these profiles require upkeep - and I HATE housekeeping.

    So hey, One Degree readers! You’re some of the most plugged-in and active social networkers I know. How do you manage your multiple social networks? Which ones do you belong to? How many are you active on (really)? Do you join new ones all the time or have you started to politely decline? Take our poll - then discuss!

    March 5 - Millennials Canada - Toronto

    Feb 20 - CaseCamp - Vancouver

    February 05, 2008

    Things I'd Like to Share, but Ad:Tech and MarketingSherpa Won't Let Me

    I'm not sure what to think about this one.

    The good folks at ad:tech and MarketingSherpa conduct a survey each year of "some of the biggest Internet marketers"  and ask them about what tactics worked in the past year and what they are going to be spending on in the upcoming year.

    I just got all the results in an email.  And apparently I'm allowed to forward the email to all of you if I wanted.  But I'm not allowed to post or reproduce it elsewhere.

    I find this a little puzzling .. because to me, it's all the interwebs: email, blogs, websites, Facebook, RSS, Twitter.  It's all bits that move through multiple distribution mechanisms to reach me where I need it to be.  I would think you would want your content to be free to travel down any of the distribution channels as long as you're getting the attribution.

    But, I want to respect ad:tech's and MarketingSherpa's copyright notice - so I won't post or reproduce the content here.  But, if you want to see the web version of the email, via a link provided in the original email, you could visit this page.   

    Am I off-base with finding this frustrating?  I don't even want to post the whole thing, just a couple of interesting tidbits and then send you off to read it yourself.  Is there a difference between email distribution and blog distribution?  I guess search engine indexing.  But volume/reach certainly isn't an issue as spammers have proven.

    Does it matter to you which distribution channel is used for your content?

    A Certified Shortcut to Customer Trust

    Scoring the Canadian Super Bowl URLs

    I'm no sports fan, but the 42nd Super Bowl was an exciting event, and not just because of the antics on the field.

    As I watched the Canadian feed of this much-watched event, I counted over 40 different URLs on display in the TV commercials run during the three-and-a-half hour broadcast.

    Here's a rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly of Canadian Super Bowl URLs:

    The Good:









    www.freshenergy.com - Guess who?


    www.forthegreenergood.ca - Guess who?













    www.seeingandhearing.ca - Guess who?

    www.spend.ca - Guess who?


    The Bad:

    www.nflcanada.com - What, they couldn't get NFL.ca? Sheesh!

    www.siriuscanada.ca - Doesn't the .ca make "canada" redundant? sirius.ca would have been so much better...

    www.manulifeincomeplus.com - Man that's a lot to have to type!

    www.creditunionsofbc.com - Ditto!

    www.cdic.ca - Well, it's not so much that this one is bad as much as it's boring.

    www.10000bcmovie.com - This one's just begging to be mistyped! And the studio forgot to register the typo variations like 1000bcmovie.com. Typical.

    The Ugly:

    www.rogers.com/tellyourstory - Now that's awkward! Is that "tell yours, Tory" as in John Tory? ;+)

    www.rogers.com/windowsmobile - That's a lot to type...

    www.truehd.ca - Great domain name, but inconsistent with this company's URL strategy (see above)

    www.disney.com/narnia - If you already own narnia.com, why use the slash version instead?

    www.bcaa.com/tv - Hmmm, do you think they're measuring their TV spend?

    www.ikea.ca/mattress - Yawn...

    The MVP:

    www.educate.com - Sweet! Guess who owns this killer domain name?

    The Sore Loser:

    www.nestle-bowlblitz.ca - Not only does this feature "the dash of death" but someone forgot to register the version of the domain without the dash. (Please tell me this wasn't the work of the agency I used to work at!)


    Sports and News - Possibly the Last Stand for the 30 Second Spot?

    Football_tv I realized something about myself on Sunday.  Despite all my tiresome hyperbole about being a representative of the "new marketing" generation, there I was camped out in front of the television set, bowl of popcorn in hand, anxiously waiting for the next 4 straight hours of live, commercial packed network broadcasting. 

    And let's be clear here, I sat through it all, almost single every one of those 30 seconds spots which I have claimed many times to be destined for the trash bin of history.  Besides the occasional bio-break, I literally sat through  45 minutes of commercials.  Once, I even raced back to the couch so as to not miss one of the funnier ones. That is more commercial consumption than I would normally take in a month.  So why, you might ask, with my PVR right there and a general dislike of television advertising, would I do this to myself?  One word.  Sports.  I love sports.  And the Superbowl is the grandaddy of all sporting events, where the 30 second spot shines like a star on the red carpet of the Oscars.

    Watching the spectacle got me to thinking.  Maybe I've been too hard on the 30 second spot.  Maybe there is, in fact, still life left for these commercials even in this new world of PVR's and TIVO's.  That thinking then led me to an epiphany, a new prediction for the much maligned 30 second spot.  My prediction was that there are at least 2 places where the 30 second spot will continue to live on and to thrive: Sports and News.

    I use myself as a test case. I will PVR everything that I normally watch on television except two things, live news and live sports.  Why?  Because news isn't new if I'm watching it on delay and sports doesn't hold the same appeal if I already know the outcome.  It's like knowing the ending of a book before you read it only worse because all sports are essentially binary.

    In case you were one of the few people who didn't watch the game on Sunday, the New York Giants won, making history for a whole bunch of different reasons, and I got to watch it all happen. That real time experience was worth the 45 minutes of commercials I had to endure.  I'll even admit to enjoying many of them at the time and then forwarding the ones that I liked to other people so they can watch them from the 30 second spot "secondary" market, the Internet. It was like being reunited with an old friend.

    February 04, 2008

    Test Driving Social Media Marketing? Go Ahead. Experiment. 'Tis the Right Road to Ride.

    eMarketer's recent report B2B Marketing Online : Business Meets Social Media shows there is neither broad adoption of social media nor one "silver bullet" social media tactic. Many companies are experimenting, and reporting different successes with different tactics. Some data nuggets comparing B2B and B2C findings:

    • 21% of B2B marketers report podcasts being effective versus 13% of B2C marketers
    • 17% B2B report blogs as effective versus 6% B2C
    • 8% B2B report Second Life as effective compared to unreported B2C number

    The difference in B2B and B2C is not surprising. Social media marketing is such a broad category of tactics that one size will definitely not fit all. What is effective for one organization may very well not be effective for another, even in the same industry. It depends on how you're trying to engage your audience and what type of interaction you're targeting. And because engagement is all about interaction, if you're aiming for a one-shot perfect-the-first-time design, you're bound to be disappointed. It's interactive, so you'll have to try it out.

    Indeed, eMarketer says ' the operative word for using social media is "experiment" ...[because]... they were unsure how emerging vehicles such as blogs, games, social networks, virtual worlds, widgets and wikis would actually influence potential customers '. Absolutely! Try it, evaluate, improve.

    To evaluate effectiveness, it's necessary to have targets. However, it's also important not to constrain projects too tightly with too many targets. In the early experimentation phase, insistence on numerical ROI can kill learning and experimentation. Instead, employ a balanced scorecard (wikipedia definition) approach. Have a vision and a goal in mind but focus more on learning or process than financial ROI. Where marketing is "social", higher level metrics may be more relevant and useful. For example, some learnings from the recent Social Media Conference by the Canadian Institute:

    • The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has a blog. Colin McKay, Director, Public Education and Communications, explained that one of their primary goals is outreach. They created and posted a video on the blog and on YouTube called "A friend of a friend of a friend knows you're on vacation". This video has been viewed over 3,500 times on YouTube since it was posted in November 2007. But the numbers don't tell the full story. Isn't it valuable to receive feedback from a teacher that students should see this video and that she's going to show it to the Grade 7 students at her school?

    • Microsoft Canada hosts a series of blogs* to facilitate dialogues with professional developers in Canada, making technology more open and accessible. I asked Barnaby Jeans if they have metrics specifically for the blogs. No, but developer satisfaction and what they think of Microsoft is tracked. The blogs' impact, as well as the impact of other developer community events is tracked within that ongoing developer satisfaction measurement effort.
      *Blogs: Developers, IT Pros, IT Managers, User Experience

    • BMW Canada has launched its 3rd social media campaign, marketing the 1 Series. Previous campaigns involved xDrive and the M Series. The BMW 1 Series campaign currently underway integrates multiple social media tactics and is the first with evaluative metrics.

    Some believe that lack of insistence of ROI metrics by tactic is a cop-out. Not so.

    Too much of a focus on attribution of benefits can be value destroying. At a past CMA conference on accountability, there was much talk about how some folks were expected to report the ROI of a customer telephone call. That's going too far. I favour the approach put forward by Hewlett-Packard at that conference. Measure the ROI on your marketing mix. Experiment with different mixes. Measure the difference in ROI on different mixes. Repeat.

    ROI marketing measurement will continue to be a minefield, especially where new tactics are involved. Organizations should waive ROI for emerging marketing tactics. Set specific learning goals but defer financial ROI during the learning phase. Run integrated campaign experiments with and without social media marketing support. Compare the integrated outcomes. Repeat.


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