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Posts from March 2008

March 27, 2008

Why Do 9 Out of 10 Consumers Abandon Transactions?

Before you all scream "high shipping fees" which are often the culprit for eTailers, let me go a little further in my definition of "transaction" and how it relates to the August 2007 Tealeaf Technology survey I’m referencing.

For the data I’m discussing from Tealeaf, all survey respondents conducted either a "shopping (retail), travel, banking or insurance transaction within the prior year."

Now that we’ve got that straight, a whopping 90% of these consumers experienced an issue that caused them to abandon a transaction. I kid you not! But here’s the good news: even though the issues are serious (ranging from nightmare technical problems to mind-numbing functional problems), the issues are also addressable. Take a look at this list:

37% reported difficult navigation
34% received error messages
30% reported login difficulties
29% reported insufficient, incorrect or confusing information
22% reported endless loops blocking transactions
21% reported the search function not working properly
20% were automatically kicked off the page

See what I mean? There is no excuse for this type of stuff. I get especially ticked when I see that almost 1/3 of the lost transactions are the result of "insufficient, incorrect or confusing information". This is all about understanding the consumers' wants and needs…their intent, if you will.

After all, every visit to your site is backed by some type of motivation. Since so much traffic arrives via keywords, let’s talk about that for a minute. If someone is kind enough to tell you what they’re looking for via a keyword search, why aren’t the landing pages responding with the right information? Isn’t that Marketing 101?

Red_bikini_2 Let’s consider the keyword arrival of a consumer visiting an online store I’ll call Bikinis-R-Us. Now let’s pretend it’s someone searching for a red polka dot bikini. Great, now apply this intent to find a red polka dot bikini to the walk-in arrival of a consumer visiting one of Bikinis-R-Us brick and mortar locations. In this scenario, it’s kind of like imagining someone walking in to a store with a post-it on their forehead reading “I want a red polka dot bikini”. In this case, a salesperson would instantly respond to the shopper, deliver it and complete the transaction. 

But at the e-store, this ability to complete the transaction gets railroaded by sites that fail to instantly respond and deliver according to every unique visitor’s interest and intent. When you consider that 1 in 3 potential transactions fail because of poor messaging information, it’s alarming. It’s especially alarming considering web personalization can effectively address this very challenge.

Want to get really scared? Consider the business impact of lost transactions. Online competition is fierce and the sites that thrive will be the sites that create positive, personalized online experiences that meet and exceed what we’ve come to expect in the offline world. The bar is high!

What's Next for Advertising and Marketing?

What IS the future of Advertising and Marketing?

This is a great slideshow from Paul Isakson - it connects a number of the smaller pieces that have been floating about, particularly ideas about product marketing, the role of content, the role of agencies and how we reach our customers online.  Definitely worth a flip through (goes much faster than the 91 slides would lead you to believe)!

h/t to Brendan Hodgson via delicious

blog.9thsphere.com by 9th Sphere (Blogroll)

Name of Blog: blog.9thsphere.com
URL: http://blog.9thsphere.com
One Line Description: Articles around web design, ecommerce, and Internet marketing successes, failures, and challenges facing us regularly as a website services company in Canada.
Topics It Covers: internet marketing, web design, web development, ecommerce, best practices
Language: English
Author(s): 9th Sphere team
Location: Toronto
Contact Deets: info@9thsphere.com

Three Representative Posts:

  1. Do you have what it takes…to move your website? 
  2. Year in Review for Canadian Internet Marketing 
  3. Warning: Canadian Spelling can misdirect your traffic!

Community Rating:

Innovation by Jeffrey Veffer (Blogroll)

Name of Blog: JeffreyVeffer.com --> Innovation
URL: http://jeffreyveffer.com
One Line Description: The intersection of Technology and Innovation
Topics It Covers: Technology, Innovation, Web2.0, Marketing, Product Development, Customer Feedback, Disruption
Language: English
Author(s): Jeffrey Veffer
Location: Toronto
Contact Deets: LinkedIn Profile

Three Representative Posts:

  1. Search- is interface the new battleground?
  2. Demo-Wrapup
  3. MacBook Air- Form or Function

Community Rating:

March 25, 2008

SEM SEO Expert by Nima Asrar Haghighi (Blogroll)

Name of Blog: SEM SEO Expert
URL: http://www.semseoexpert.com/blog
One Line Description: SEM SEO Experts Blog covers Internet marketing topics such as search engine optimization, search engine marketing and Web Analytics.
Topics It Covers: SEM, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Web Analytics
Language: English
Author(s): Nima Asrar Haghighi
Location: Toronto
Contact Deets: http://www.linkedin.com/in/semseoexpert

Three Representative Posts:

  1. KPIs for Measuring SEO Success
  2. Should You Outsource SEO / SEM Services?
  3. Customer Retention Strategy - Cost of Increased E-mail Frequency

Community Rating:

Applying Key Lessons from Industry Studies

So_many_reports Earlier this week, I was re-visiting some recent industry reports on different aspects of email marketing:

I am always encouraged when such reputable organizations conduct thoughtful research because they provide some great insights. Furthermore, such effort reinforces the high stature that email has attained and the unique role that Email Service Providers (ESP) have in contributing to successful email marketing programs.

However, when reviewing these reports, marketers face the considerable challenge of trying to make sense of the varied insights – and often conflicting findings – contained in and across such reports. Here’s a case in point:

One study reports that the most important consideration for an executive marketer when selecting an ESP is their deliverability features and services. In fact, the vast majority of executive marketers felt this to be the case. So, it is quite curious that another study reported that only an insignificant percentage – low single digit – of marketers rated it as the biggest challenge facing them. Such a drastic contrast can potentially confuse the best of us.

So, how should senior marketers actually use these reports? Rather than using these reports to set program-specific performance benchmarks, marketers can get the most out of these tools by using them in the following ways:

  1. As indicators of current and forthcoming trends;
  2. As starting points for conversation within marketing departments on key email marketing topics such as strategy, metrics, deliverability, creative and deployment; and
  3. As the basis for discussion with key email-related suppliers such as ESPs.

Taking this approach ensures that marketers integrate the most relevant insights from such studies in a way that supports strong and timely decisions.

N2S on Social Media Myopia


March 24, 2008

SXSW Interactive: A Technology Conference About Connecting With People

Editor's note: This year One Degree was delighted to have a correspondent at South by Southwest, the premiere interactive conference in the U.S. Over the next few days, Adele will be filing her reports and observations from SXSW - these are her initial impressions on returning from the conference.

The South by Southwest Interactive festival is one of the biggest technology events of the year, bringing together those who create web technologies with those who use technology to create. Bloggers, podcasters, social media marketers, PR folk, developers and techno-geeks of all stripes mashed and mingled for five days in Austin, Texas. 

I went to SXSW Interactive with a plan of attack, a full schedule and meetings lined up. The session list was amazing, far too much for any one person to absorb. In fact, scheduling became so difficult that many people turned to online calendars, wikis and social networks to help them stay organized and connected.

And then, shortly after I arrived, I threw it all out. Why? Because once I learned that all of the panels and keynotes would be recorded and available after the festival for download as a podcast, my focus shifted to the elements of SXSW Interactive that could only experienced in the moment: the people.

One of the key places where people congregated, apart from the conference sessions, was the BlogHaus. Making its debut this year, this meeting room was sponsored by AMD intended for bloggers to plug in, recharge and update. However, BlogHaus quickly took on the role of meeting place and social central, so much so that by the end of the week, it was quieter to work in the corridors. This video from Laura Fitton (a.k.a. Pistachio) sums up the energy in BlogHaus. Clearly putting so many social media content creators in one room created a chaotic, yet happy, smorgasbord of blogging, photography and streaming video.

The conversations that went on in BlogHaus, in the hallways, at dozens of parties, in spontaneous meet-ups, on the tradeshow floor and immediately following conference sessions were vital to feeling the pulse of the future of technology and social media. SXSW Interactive attendees had the opportunity talk directly with technology developers and see first-hand how they could use new platforms to communicate and engage in conversation with their audience.

For many who were at SXSW Interactive, the ability to meet face-to-face with their peers was powerful. In my case, as well as making many new connections, I met people whom I’d only ever known online via Twitter or through their blogs, and I was able to deepen those relationships, making my world just a little bit smaller. Although, I’ve been back from Austin for several days, there is a sense excitement that still resonates in me, more so than any other conference I’ve attended. Wondering if I was alone in this in this feeling, I appealed to those on Twitter who had attended SXSW to sum up their experience in one word:

@cc_chapman  Hallways
@newmediajim  energizing!
@Pistachio  overwhelming
@davedelaney  Awesome
@OracleJulio  Basic
@philcampbell  exquisiteness
@gdruckman  excellent!
@jstorerj  creative
@nathantwright  Ass-kicking
@ranajune  exhausting
@mikeneumann  Friends
@astrout  networkingpartyfest!
@vero  enlightening

Clearly, I’m not alone in my enthusiasm for this event. And, although I did attend some good sessions, meeting and sharing time with my peers was far more rewarding personally and professionally.

Tris Hussey from b5media summed SXSW Interactive up best when he called it “a week of cool people, good times and geek spring break.” Sadly, spring break has come to an end, and as I work my way through stacks of collected business cards, catch up on email, write blog posts and fight the illness dubbed “plague” that has beset many attendees, I’m already planning next year’s trip to SXSW Interactive. No schedule required.

If you attended SXSW, please feel free to trackback or leave a link to your own coverage in the comments!

Mar 31- Apr 2nd, 2008 – eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit - Toronto

March 23, 2008

The Serious Business of Funny Email

It's no secret that using humour is a powerful marketing strategy that marketers can use to attract and acquire new customers. Every day we're likely to see a whole raft of 'funny' ads, the collective effort of creative teams who have worked very hard to come up with them.

I'm sure that you have, at least once in your life, been attracted to the products or services of a company because their marketing material made you laugh. (The same can be said of marketing material that is intended to make you cry, but that's another blog post...)

But what about using humour to retain customers? Which companies are making their current customers laugh for all the right reasons?

A little company called CD Baby is.

Until a few weeks ago I had never even heard of CD Baby. I stumbled across them while trying to find out where to purchase the debut CD from a Canadian band I admire, Delhi 2 Dublin. It turned out that their CD was available at CD Baby, an online music retailer that calls itself "the little store with the best new independent music."

"Cool," I thought to myself. I quickly found and ordered the CD on CD Baby's Website, and then promptly moved on to the next item on my to do list.

The next day, I got an email from CD Baby confirming that my CD had been shipped. This was no ordinary email, however. While most e-tailers send confirmation emails to customers once a product has been shipped - which is a best practice - this was the funniest and most memorable order confirmation email I have ever received.

Here's an excerpt:

"Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow...

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved "Bon Voyage!" to your package..."

So as not to spoil the surprise should you ever become a customer of CD Baby and receive one of these emails, I have left out some of the email's content.

Not only did I laugh out loud when I read this email, but I immediately showed it to my wife (who was sitting near me at the time). "Wow. That makes me want to buy from them," she said. I couldn't agree more.

Thanks to the clever use of humour in their order confirmation email, CD Baby not only forged a tighter bond with me as one of their current customers, but they also motivated me to share my positive experience with prospective customers - first my wife, and now you.

And that's nothing to laugh at.

VC Roundtables Happening Across Canada

While we don't strictly cover start-up news here at One Degree, we do have a number of entrepreneurs in our community who are wearing the marketing hat for their organizations (along with a b'zillion other hats).  So I thought a quick post about a series of VC Roundtables that are happening across Canada might be of interest.

Rick Segal, Partner in JLA Ventures and blogger at The Post Money Value, is hosting a series of VC Roundtables across the country.  These are small gatherings, intended for start-up entrepreneurs to meet with an experienced Venture Capitalist and ask questions - before having to face one in the dreaded pitch meeting.

The schedule is currently as follows, but you can always get the most current schedule on the event page.  You must register; each session is limited to 25 spots.  You can read the post about it on Rick's blog.

April 14th – Halifax  (8a – 10:30a) Sign up here 

April 14th – Moncton ( 5p – 7p) Sign up here 

April 15th – St. John’s (5p – 7p) Sign up here 

April 16th – Ottawa  (10:30 – 12:30) Sign up here 

April 16th – Montreal (4:30p – 6:30p) Sign up here 

April 17th – Toronto Morning (8:30 – 10:30) Sign up here 

April 17th – Toronto Afternoon (4p – 6p) Sign up here 

April  21st – Victoria (8a – 10a) Sign up here 

April 21st – Vancouver (4p -6p) Sign up here 

April 22nd – Edmonton (8a – 10a) Sign up here 

April 22nd – Calgary (3:30p – 5:30p) Sign up here 

April 23rd – Regina (8:00a – 10a) Sign up here 

April 25th – Winnipeg (noon – 2p) Sign up here

April 28th - Guelph (4p - 6p) Sign up here

Personally, I think it's awesome that Rick is offering these. We need more Canadian success stories, particularly Canadian success stories that involve smart, innovative startups getting Canadian funding and making a go of it here in Canada!

Help Canada's Privacy Commissioner - Share Your Privacy Witticisms

Colin McKay, of CanuckFlack fame as well as from Canada's Office of the Privacy Commissioner, let us know about a contest they are holding (crowdsourcing at its best, perhaps?) to help design some privacy-themed tshirts ...

We want your help in creating  T-shirts we plan to give away at conferences and workshops. We want these T-shirts to be privacy-themed, attractive, and witty. We would like to enlist your help in designing them - by either sending us your best witty privacy-themed tagline, or by coming up with your own original design. The best designs will be chosen for our T-shirts, and the winning designers will get- well, a T-shirt.

The Privacy Commissioner's Office has made a number of inroads into using social media to call attention to the serious privacy issues raised by, well, using social media.  In addition to having a blog, they also have a series of videos on YouTube discussing privacy implications.  Colin can also be found on Twitter.

Deadline for contest entries is Tuesday, March 25!

Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms by Joseph Thornley, Pat McNamara and Pat Gossage (Blogroll)

Name of Blog: Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms
URL: http://www.ccprf.ca
One Line Description: The Weblog of Canada’s public relations industry
Topics It Covers: public relations
Language: English
Author(s): Joseph Thornley, Pat McNamara, Pat Gossage
Location: Toronto
Contact Deets: ccprf1 AT gmail DOT com

Three Representative Posts:

  1. Social Media Means Opportunity for Public Relations Practitioners
  2. Interview with Trevor Campbell, President of Porter Novelli Canada
  3. What Education Helps you Get a Job in PR?

Community Rating:

March 19, 2008

Problems with Lead Generation or Conversion? Take a Usability Self-Assessment

Came across this pretty cool tool from VKI Studios in Vancouver.  It's a quiz about the usability of your site.  Questions range from details about your site layout and design to strength of your copy and keywords. 


It isn't necessarily comprehensive nor is it designed to solve all your problems, but if your boss has said to you "We need to improve the usability of the site" (or more likely "we need more web sales") then this tool is a place to start.  At the very least it gives you a framework to start thinking about web usability.

inmediablog by Francis, Danny, Linda and Jill (Blogroll)

Name of Blog: inmedialog
URL: www.inmedialog.com
One Line Description: inmedia Public Relations blogs about best practices in the marketing of technology, from enterprise software to life sciences to cleantech and more, providing provocative alternatives to conventional wisdom and sharing ideas across the technology spectrum.
Topics It Covers: Keywords - public relations, media relations, analyst relations, B2B public relations, high tech public relations
Language: English
Author(s): Francis, Danny, Linda and Jill
Location: Ottawa, ON
Contact Deets: blog@inmedia.com

Three Representative Posts:

  1. Fiction: Public relations can’t be measured
  2. Components of an integrated program: bylined articles
  3. The benefit of being in the room

Community Rating:

Crowdsourcing 101: Episode 4 – Concluding Thoughts

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

(Thank you, Miro Slodki and Alex Orlando of InnoCentive, for your "crowdsisting")

Ah, so we’ve come to the “conclusion” part.  (If you’ve read any of the others in this series, what do you think the odds are that I will be brief… ?) 

Although it’s clear that soliciting input is not new in and of itself, the internet has broadened the scope of consultation and collaboration, and innovative companies are rapidly throwing their hat into the ring.  Great strides are being made by tapping into the collective and connecting nature of the internet.   And Crowdsourcing companies such as Cambrian House and InnoCentive are expanding (respectively) “into business, engineering and computer science, among other things” and “to accommodate projects across a broader range of industries”.)

Certainly concerns about the process are valid, but the assumption that Crowdsourcing generally involves a bunch of people collaborating to arrive at a decision is somewhat false.  Such “complete collaboration” does exist but, by and large, Crowdsourcing companies tend to apply the “public agreement” phase mostly to the voting concept (if they apply it at all).

Further, going outside the 4 walls of a company is not (necessarily) a comment on the lack of efficiency or innovativeness of the company or its employees.  No one business can have staff that possesses every possible skill.  And allowing “an outsider” to look at a problem can sometimes produce innovative solutions.  Goldcorp and Colgate-Palmolive both used Crowdsourcing to find solutions to problems they were not able to solve in-house.  They understood that someone “out there” could look at their issue from another angle.   (If you’ve ever asked anyone to proofread something you’ve read 40 times only to have them notice a glaring error you understand this situation exactly.)   Jeff Howe, in his upcoming book, “Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business”, describes this concept:

"The untrained are also untainted. Their greatest asset is a fresh set of eyes, which is simply a restatement of the truism that with many eyes, all flaws become evident, and easily corrected.

Doin’ Good

Activism has always been a matter of gathering people with similar viewpoints for a cause and the Internet is ideal for bringing people with similar interests together.  Crowdsourcing allows for uniting and adds more opportunities to take action.  For instance, the National Resources Defense Council has created “Beat the Heat” which encourages people to “fight global warming – one person at a time”.  (And humanitarian organizations have also applied Crowdfunding to fund charitable ventures, e.g. Kiva).

Continue reading "Crowdsourcing 101: Episode 4 – Concluding Thoughts" »

March 18, 2008

eMetrics Panel on Audience Measurement Methodologies

Emstor_120x90 Kicking off the Toronto eMetrics Summit on March 31 is an exciting panel on audience measurement metrics. One aspect, apparent non-standard measurement standards, was actively discussed last fall. Kicked off by an article on Mediapost that asked why the WAA and IAB were not working together on standards, WAA member Jodi McDermott replied on Mediapost, on her blog and on the WAA blog. Jason Burby of ZAAZ weighed in on ClickZ .

Jodi, who is the Director of Product Management at Clearspring Technologies and an active WAA & IAB New York Member Contributor, will be Toronto for the Emetrics Summit and participating on the panel, which will be moderated by Chris Williams of Media Contacts Canada.

In addition to Jodi, other panel participants are:

The panel is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on March 31. Anyone in the Greater Toronto Area business community is welcome to attend (free of charge, but you must register in advance), whether you are an eMetrics attendee (we hope you are!) or not. And be sure to stay for the WAA reception after the panel.

Here's the session description:

Are you confused about the number of customers visiting your website?

Are the metrics reported by your web analytics tool different from the metrics reported by your online media, or by audience measurement organizations?

The WAA invites eMetrics Summit attendees and the local GTA business community of web marketers, publishers and agencies to attend this community meeting.

A panel of experts will discuss the value of the metrics, methods and tools used by web analytics practitioners, online advertising media and audience measurement organizations. Find out how-to use these metrics and tools to better understand your customers, your website’s competitive standing and overall website value.

Register to attend the panel and the reception on the eMetrics website.

See you at eMetrics!

Secret Underground Guide to Social Media in Large Organizations

You may have been asking yourself, "Sure, a blog is great for my knitting friends and Twitter seems to work for my neighbour who has a small bike-repair business - but how am I going to get social media into my large, lumbering organization?"

Well Colin McKay, aka CanuckFlack, has the answer - in his recently released eBook, Secret Underground Guide to Social Media for Organizations.


Colin is the Director of Research in the Office of the Privacy Commissioner in Ottawa.  He's worked a number of both covert and open social media initiatives and shares his experience in his guide, including such tips as:

  • Focus on opportunities, not obstacles
  • Operate as a cell
  • Train with another brigade
  • Pull a Kissinger
  • Exploit weaknesses in the hierarchy
  • Co-opt the familiar
  • Leapfrog the dead weeds
  • Don’t understate the costs
  • Kneecap the red tape brigade

His guide is easy to read and full of covert strategies that may strike a little fear into the hearts of old school marketers and flacks who aren't ready.  Outstanding!  Definitely worth a download and a read.

Montreal Social Media by Nicolas Cossette (Blogroll)

Name of Blog: Montreal Social Media
URL: http://montrealsocialmedia.com/
One Line Description: social media, SEO, internet marketing in Montreal
Language: English, French
Author(s): Nicolas Cossette
Location: Montreal
Contact Deets: Facebook Profile

Three Representative Posts:

  1. 7 snapshots from Montreal’s blogosphere
  2. Who cares about seo montreal
  3. The rise of social media marketing

Community Rating:

March 17, 2008

ProPR by Joseph Thornley (Blogroll)

Name of Blog: ProPR
URL: http://www.propr.ca
One Line Description: Joseph Thornley explores the intersection of social media and public relations
Topics It Covers: social media, marketing, public relations, community building, social networks, measurement and metrics,
Language: English
Author(s): Joseph Thornley
Location: Ottawa, Toronto and anywhere Air Canada has a Maple Leaf lounge
Contact Deets: Joe's Facebook Profile

Three Representative Posts:

  1. Advice to the Class of 08: Blogging is an essential for new PR practitioners
  2. Community Project: Roundtable on Social Media Measurement
  3. Joe’s Social Media Bookshelf

Miscellaneous Notes and Accolades:
A passionate booster of Canada and Canada’s social media smarts. Wants Third Tuesday social media meetups to spring up everywhere so that Canadians can come together, learn from one another and stop being so darned modest. We rock!

Community Rating:

One Degree Blogroll Launches This Week

After a bit of a delay as we worked out a technical detail or two, we're ready to start publishing the submissions to our Great Canadian Marketing and Communications Blogroll.  The first one will follow this post.  If you haven't submitted your deets to Mario, check out our original post for all the info!  Hope you're having a great St. Patrick's Day!  Erin go bragh!

Time to decode the mobile QR-code

Barrett_qrcode In Japan, 2-D (QR) codes are found on everything from business cards to potato sacks.

With 2-D codes showing up in European and North American markets with increased frequency and effect, it’s time to get up to speed on what they are and why marketers should be getting excited.   

What are 2-D codes and where did they come from?

It all started in Japan in 2002 when mobile network operators started incorporating 2-D barcode readers in mobile devices which allowed users to launch a specific mobile web URL by taking a picture of an encoded 2-D barcode with their mobile camera.

As taking a picture was faster and easier than typing in a long URL or typing in a keyword attached to a shortcode, it took off in a big way. Soon after 2D – or QR (quick response) codes began appearing in newspapers, outdoor billboard, bus shelters, magazines and even food products.

By incorporating a QR code into traditional media, suddenly consumers could scan a 2D code with their mobile device and:

  • Enter a contest
  • Get a coupon or gift certificate
  • Download ringtones, graphics and games
  • Get nutritional information
  • Get product information
  • Get news updates
  • Preview movies or songs
  • Book tickets – or receive e-tickets
  • Access information on a mobile website
  • Get directions to a location with a link to google maps
  • Auto-add a meeting to their calendar or contact to their contact book

A 2-D code looks like a pixilated 1980s Ms. Pac Man game board

A grid of square cells allows information to be encoded in a few different ways resulting in different flavors of 2-D codes. Common types include Aztec, QR, Data Matrix, Shotcodes (which are circular), EZcodes and Beetagg codes.

Incorporating a 2-D code into new and old media is like adding an interactive call to action – which of course is trackable and measurable. Just as text messaging (SMS) is now allowing marketers to engage consumers at the point of contact, 2-D codes can enrich and extend that experience much further.

There are still barriers to overcome

In order to scan a 2-D code, you need a 2-D code reader or decoder on your mobile device. Unlike in Japan where all mobile devices come with one pre-loaded, consumers in the rest of the world are asked to download an application first. As we’ve seen with Yahoo mobile – even if the application is fantastic, downloading is nearly never a fantastic experience and therefore some people will abandon the process before it’s complete.

It took me nearly an hour, for example, to find, download and figure out how to use iMatrix – a 2-D decoder for the iPhone. Many consumers would have given up long before that.

The other barrier has been that many phones did not come with a decent mobile web browser to view the information decoded from the 2-D code. Fortunately this barrier is quickly disappearing. Nearly all mobile devices now come with decent browsers and consumers are replacing their mobile devices more often then ever before.

Despite these barriers to mass adoption, there has been wider-spread integration of 2-D codes in traditional media in China, Europe, Russia, Mexico and increasingly in the U.S. 

Last summer Denstu Canada even launched a pioneering campaign leveraging QR codes in a Vespa campaign across Canada.

From my point of view, we are one big TV show, media stunt, or major contest away from bringing 2-D codes into the mainstream in Canada – even with the barriers discussed.

Addtofriendsqr_2 Even Social Media sites are now incorporating them. The “Add to Friends” QR Facebook application allows you to create a unique QR code that will link back to your profile. The application will even print your personal code to a variety of T-shirts and bags…for a fee of course.

If you work for a brand or agency with a brand that is looking to cut through the clutter, be innovative while engaging consumers in an interactive & measurable way, you should consider decoding the QR code as part of your next multi-channel campaign.

March 16, 2008

Andrea Mandel-Campbell at the CMA's B2B Conference

I interview Andrea Mandel-Campbell, keynote at the recent CMA B2B Conference and author of Why Mexicans Don't Drink Molson, her book about Canada's lagging role on the global stage and how this impacts the marketing of Canadian companies and brands.

March 11, 2008

Mar 29 - Bridging Media - Vancouver

News Flash - ThinData Acquired by Transcontinental

This just in ... Transcontinental acquires ThinData:

Transcontinental Inc. today announced the acquisition of ThinData Inc., Canada's leading permission-based email marketing services firm. This partnering of industry leaders will shape the next evolution of marketing – bringing the best of print and direct marketing together with the power and speed of electronic marketing.

ThinData's offering fits perfectly with Transcontinental's value-added services growth strategy which includes expanding its premedia, database management, direct marketing and analytics and e-marketing capabilities to deliver unique solutions to its clients and its media properties.

Read the full release ...

Wow ... congrats to Chris, Wayne, Chancellor, Matt (one of our contributors) and the whole crew over at ThinData!

h/t to jen evans (@nejsnave on Twitter)

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