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Posts from October 2008

October 31, 2008

DMC: Nintendo Banning Success?

After 2 days at the Canadian Marketing Association's Digital Marketing Conference, the one theme that really stuck with me was “Success”.

Not "how do we measure it" but how do we define success within the Digital Marketing world?

started me thinking about it in his keynote when discussing the Felicity Huffman webisodes for as being a successful innovation but not a successful campaign (my word not his).

’s keynote Day 2 slammed it back into my head when he said that the word “success” is banned at . Banned!

When talking about the Wii, He quoted his boss Satoru Iwata as saying they weren’t to use the word success

“… unless one of you can stand up and say they predicted this, then we can call it success."

While last year it seemed everyone was keyed on the idea of measurement, this year the idea of success, and what is success, sat just underneath every presentation, every panel and every discussion. Even at the Branded Entertainment roundtable I sat in on, the discussion kept circling the same question.

Eventually the topic popped up on the when Kate posed the question of whether awards are a measure of success? Should that be how a client chooses agency? Which even triggered the question: should that be how new talent chooses where to work?

Over and over the question of “what is success” kept popping up.

So what do you think?

How do you know if you’ve created a successful digital marketing campaign? Is it the awards? A happy client? Increased sales? Hits or downloads? Is it visibility or bottom-line revenues?

What is it that really shows who has leveraged this digital space successfully?

 

Note: I was lucky enough to be able to get some one-on-one time with both Rob & Ron after their keynotes and we'll be sharing those interviews (and more) with you on One Degree next week.

October 30, 2008

Nov 15 - WordPress2.5 Course - Toronto

October 29, 2008

eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, Washington D.C. 2008 Re-Cap

eMetrics, Washington D.C. edition October 21-23, was jam packed as usual.  I previously posted about Google Analytics’ announcement so here’s a re-cap of other memorable highlights.

Main event conference keynotes were truly energizing.  Fabulous examples of how analytics (web or otherwise), when part of strong integrated business process, intelligently informs and influences business operations in a very positive way:

  • James Robinson described how The New York Times leverages all of its deep content (every NYT word written) to provide a highly searchable repository.  Themed sections are the result of analysis of visitor interest.  And nightly, the Times determines the copies to print by the heat of the headlining story the evening before.
  • Mike Marvel shared with us how Home Depot optimizes integration of front end retail with back end fulfilment not just using web analytics but also call centre and online customer feedback.  Home Depot evaluates the success of online and offline marketing promotions not just on the basis of increased revenue but also the impact on fulfilment and delivery options, i.e. supply chain to customer.
  • Joe Megibow demonstrated with great energy that Hotels.com is fanatical about listening to customers and taking action.  If you have a compliment or complaint about Hotels.com, Joe will know.  Hotels.com has invested not only in web analytics and voice of the customer feedback, but also in customer experience monitoring, which they've found extremely worthwhile.  In one example given, a lone complaint about discrepancy in “booked nights” triggered an analysis that indicated a problem experienced by 250 people per day.  With customer experience monitoring, it would be difficult to dig for this historical data to quantify the problem reported.
  • Kim Johnston took us on Symantec’s journey, beginning at the point where they thought getting the “5 key metrics” would be the easy end to managing through a cultural change to where analytics is now “contagious fun”.   Analytics isn’t an off-to-the-side activity, it’s a part of achieving abnormally high marketing campaign results and  revitalizing “cold prospects”  to record conversion.  The "new normal" at Symantec.
As usual, I wish I could clone myself to attend the Concurrent Sessions. Of the sessions I was able attend, my top 3 were:
  • Mark Ruzomberka, Traffic.com and Gary Angel, Semphonic, presenting DIY SEM: Your Agency May Not be the Best Resource.  Mark’s intimate knowledge of traffic influences (priceless!) and fully engaged management of Traffic’s in-house paid search campaign ensured the move in-house would be (and continues to be) successful.
  • Sam Ee, Miva Direct, shared details of his multivariate testing of the ALOT weather toolbar download page; variants, unexpected learnings, testing constraints and results, and how heused the outcomes to restructure the download page.
A hidden gem which only a crazy few of us managed to attend were the 8 a.m. Email Marketing Labs on Day 2 and 3 moderated by Angel Morales, Lights Out Marketing.  Both sessions didn't cover brand new tactics as they have been described before, but I found the sessions very useful because they were live demos showing how to do it, if you have an opt-in email list:
  • Day 2 Lab focused on re-marketing to those with abandoned shopping carts.   Demonstrated by WebTrends and ExactTarget, daily automated web analytics extracts and email scripts could be enabled re-engage stale, unconverted carts, without being overly intrusive or creepy.  This tactic could also be applied to a B2B/Lead generation situation, where a person has signed up for a webinar but not attended, or signed up for a download but not downloaded (it happens).
  • Day 3 Lab focused on using onsite search engines to create email landing pages.  Based on past retail purchase history (product or whitepaper download history for B2B) or stated product preferences, emails could be semi-customized to highlight  new products or product sales.  To manage the “creepiness factor”, only one of the three or four highlighted products are typically what was purchased before.  Angel constructed the emails live, using audience names and preferences, and we were able to preview them.
As always, it was great to meet up with friends from past eMetrics and meet many, many new optimization fanatics.

Thank you Jim Sterne and the eMetrics team!

October 28, 2008

More Words, More Sales?

The following is a sponsored post by Commune Media.

October 24, 2008

Make No Mistake, Marketers – This Next Generation is Hungry, Fast and Way More Knowledgeable

Lecture_hall_laptops I was asked recently to be a guest speaker at an MBA class.  The class was devoted to fund-raising for start ups and I was asked to come and share the experience of our company in raising capital. 

I had a busy day that day and the idea of driving to and from York University to speak for an hour almost dissuaded me from doing it but boy am I ever glad I took the invitation.  Speaking at this class was an eye-opening experience for me on how much university has changed since I attended and, maybe more importantly, what this change means for those of us marketing to this generation.

It’s probably important to start by admitting that I’m 40, which means that I was going to university 20 years ago.  Now 20 years ago doesn’t seem that long ago when you are 40 and trying to pretend that you are still young, but things have changed significantly. 

When I went to University, you did research in a library, you sorted endlessly through microfiche for old newspaper content, you stood in lines for hours to photocopy books and you wrote your essays by hand at least a day in advance of them being due so that you could give them to a “typist” who would type your final copy (on a typewriter).

So let’s fast forward to how this generation learns.

Here are some observations:

  • While I was speaking with this class, there were three screens behind me projecting content from multiple sources including two live feeds to relevant web sites. 
  • Every student in that class had a laptop and a cell device and was connected through high speed WiFi from their seat. 
  • While I was speaking, students were looking up my references in real time, occasionally correcting them, and asking specific informed questions about my industry and competitors.
  • Every question I asked of them was answered correctly in about 5 seconds as they all had the wealth of the world of facts at their finger tips.  No more “Bueller ... Bueller” moments. 
  • As I was speaking, there was an online “back channel” going on in the class of students speaking to each other, to other students and even to the professor asking questions about questions to ask me.  All, without anyone speaking a word out loud.
  • When asked, every one of those students stated that they participate in social networking and blogging (either as a content provider, commenter or an observer).

So, what are my conclusions about this small, albeit select, sampling of this generation?

  • They are empowered.  They don’t stand in lines for information at the library because the library comes to them.  They don’t believe what you tell them just because you are at the front of the class because they can look up 10 counter-opinions before you are even done talking.  And they don’t have the patience for a “you talk and we listen” mentality because they have access to more methods of “always on” communication than you can count.
  • They are informed.  Because information isn’t trapped by location, language, time of day or publication costs.  They have access to everything, now.  The toughest thing this generation will have to learn (or more likely, to solve) is how to sort the crap from the good stuff quickly.
  • They are fast.  And I mean “fast”.  They can get anything, anytime, fast, and they know it.  They have information and communication networks that are always on and always serving.  What I wouldn’t have given for a 24 hour library the night before my papers were due and access to 20 other papers on the exact same topic plus video clips of the author of the book discussing its nuanced conclusions.
  • They will call bullshit faster than you are finished speaking.  They will because they can.  They understand that information is power and they have access to it.  And they get that you can’t tell them to be quiet because they can scream in 40 ways that you just can’t hear.  Our job as marketers is not to sell to this generation but to recruit them.  And you can start by recognizing how they learn and communicate.  Speak to them as equals, in a truthful way that they can validate and, if you are lucky, that they can share widely and quickly with their network. 

Photo credit:  How many non-Mac are there by Quang Minh (YILKA)

October 23, 2008

Must Have Conference Toys... I Mean Tools.

You have your name tag hung around your neck and you've found the perfect table with a good view of the podium, eavesdropping proximity to the A-listers and quick access to the coffee table. 

You reach into your bag to setup and...

It's not there!

You check again. You search every pocket. You dig around the bottom of the back. You look around nervously, while patting your coat pockets, and you do the entire search again.  Then you mutter:

"OMG, I can't believe I forgot my..."

What is the one must-have item that you bring to every conference. Or, almost every conference?

October 22, 2008

Marketing to SMBs – An Integrated Media Case Study from UPS

UPS was highlighted at the Warrillow Summit this week in Toronto for having developed and executed a highly effective integrated media campaign that targets small business owners.

One of the key learnings this week was that advertisers looking to reach the SMB market should speak the same language as the small business owners and clearly demonstrate how they provide a valid business solution.

Jeff Berry, Vice President of Membership at Warrillow, explained that taking the not-so-sexy shipping category and explaining why company x’s complex infrastructure gets the job done better than its competition is not an easy task (even if it's truly a differentiation). So, in 2007, UPS created a simplistic campaign using a couple of markers and a whiteboard to deliver their message.



The "Whiteboard campaign" consisted of 30-second TV spots, print media and an online campaign driving traffic to a highly interactive site that allowed audiences to explore UPS solutions offerings specifically geared to small businesses.

Ups_screen_shot_one

The 30-second spots were leveraged online through YouTube, providing a tremendous boost to the campaigns’ reach through both the original whiteboard ad and the viral effect from UGC spin-offs like “Sex Money” and “Getting Rid of the Body”.

Here are the results from the integrated media campaign:

  • 1.3 million visits to http://www.ups.com/whiteboard
  • 4,100 open account page visits
  • 26 million online ad interactions
  • International Shipping Revenue increase of 10.3%
  • Leader in unaided ad awareness at the end of Q2007
  • UPS 63%, FedEx 43.9%, DHL 13.6%, USPS 7.6%

Key Lessons Learned:

  • Communicate complex product offerings with simplicity
  • Interactions must be engaging, educational, inspirational and entertaining
  • Track post-click effectiveness to deliver better results

Notes:

I think the consistency of the message was one of the ingredients to the success of the campaign. UPS took a strategy and maintained the tone throughout the entire campaign. From the concept of a white board to the animated look and feel of the site, the message was consistent and provided continuity. Continuity builds trust as customers feel that they know what to expect if they continue with the interaction.

The YouTube spoof factor worked in the favor of the company as most of the parodies continued to talk positively about UPS as a company (albeit through awkward case studies). This was a great example of "letting go" and allowing consumers to run with a core message. In my brief scan of the site, I counted roughly 30 versions/spin-offs of the original ad - not bad for a re-purposed 30-second spot!

Significant Google Analytics Segmentation Enhancements

It’s been a great eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit in Washington D.C. with mind-expanding sessions and wonderfully open conversations.

But I have to say that Google’s announcement today was monumental.

Google Analytics evangelist Avinash Kaushik excitedly unveiled six new capabilities in Google Analytics, “Raising the Bar” as he said, yet again. His excitement was well justified.

The significant upgrades include:

  1. New login interface that allows comparisons of all accounts
  2. New “motion charts” that allow the correlation of multiple metrics in more than 2 dimensions, with a slidebar, facilitating dynamic analysis.
  3. Adsense data now available in Google Analytics
  4. Custom reporting, with a report builder and the ability to store different reports for different manager levels, as you desire
  5. Advanced visitor segmentation
  6. The Google Analytics API - export data to databases or to create your own custom dashboards

All these capabilities are available now. More details on the Google Analytics Blog, including demos (thank you, Jeff).

As those in my WAA BaseCamp session on Monday and eMetrics session yesterday have probably noted, segmentation was, in my opinion, one of the major deficiencies in Google that would cause most enterprises serious about web analytics to outgrow Google Analytics in 12-18 months. This barrier may have now been overcome.

Thank you Avinash for creating your “list”, pushing for the changes, and to the Google Analytics development team for taking this live.

October 21, 2008

Where to Find Hidden Niches (and Riches)

The following is a sponsored post by Commune Media.

Nov 18-19 - nextMEDIA Monetizing Digital Media - Toronto

October 20, 2008

Leverage Personalization: Build on Your Existing Email

The Opportunity

Marketers have long recognized that the best results come with the ability to deliver targeted communications to prospects and customers.

However, according to a 2008 Aberdeen Group study, while 96% of surveyed companies believe that email personalization improves marketing performance, fewer than 40% actually take advantage of its full potential.

Build On Your Existing Email

Your customers (and prospects) have come to expect relevant and timely email – in other words personalized email. And, the more you interact with them, the more they come to demand personalization from you.

But, whereas a few years ago, personalization was limited to modifying the name of the addressee and greeting salutation, today you can build on your existing email initiatives and leverage sophisticated email marketing systems to personalize every aspect of the email. For example:

  • Offers: Personalize your offers – using different text, layout and images – depending on variables such as lifetime customer value, previous purchase behaviours and/or stage in the purchase cycle.
  • Timing: Personalize the timing of your email such as – the time of day, week or month. Furthermore, you can personalize based on amount of time between transactions.
  • Formatting: Personalize formatting – choosing email formats that are optimized for mobile devices or for personal computers.
  • Subject Line: Personalize subject lines based on those that have the best responses during subject line testing.

The increased opportunity for personalizing emails caused by all these choices has naturally led to much greater complexity. As a result, leading companies are adopting dynamic content – i.e. email that automatically configures and customizes email components to suit each email recipient or audience segment – in order to achieve the full potential and benefits of email personalization.

Because of the increased intricacy involved in building on your current email personalization capabilities – and the resulting increased return on investment – work with your I.T. department and email service provider to establish a schedule that will ensure you achieve all the benefits that accompany email personalization.

The Future of Social Networking

This past Wednesday in Calgary saw Derek Ball, CEO of Tynt, speak on the future of social networking.
As the CEO of the social networking start-up, Derek offered some unique insights into how social networking developed, where he sees it going, and what it all means for marketing. 

Derek’s personal interest in social networking stems from a curiosity about new tech trends that drive meaningful change in our lives. As the father of three, he knows firsthand just how meaningful social networks have become to the under 18 crowd.

Evolution of Social Networking
According to Derek there are many exciting developments to come in the social networking space. The Tynt CEO predicts “3D worlds integrated in existing social networks is likely inevitable.”

Moving forward, social networks will be less tied to a computer. Greater technological capacity and location awareness built into cell phones will likely change how we think about social networking.
“Look for more fluidity and richness in social networking. People want to use social networking everywhere they go, to replicate what happens in real life.”

Evolution of Monetization
As social networks continue to evolve, one question remains the same: how can they make money?
Currently most social networks are built on an advertising revenue model. But advertising alone isn’t enough to make them profitable.

This why Derek favours a “freemium” model – give the basic service away for free and charge for those who want the premium package. Coupling the “freemium” approach with advertising is a more sustainable model.

Virtual goods are another potential source of revenue for social networks. Derek used the example of Facebook, who sold nonexistent gifts to the tune of $35 million last year. Derek related these virtual goods to a more traditional hobby of his, “I buy bedding plants for the front of my house - it makes my place look nice when people visit. In the same way we decorate the front of our houses, others decorate their social networking pages.”

Evolution of Marketing
Derek’s underlying message was that social networking has dramatically changed how marketers must think and act.

The key to marketing within social networks is to keep in mind that people aren’t there to be sold -
“They like to learn about things, about what products their friends are using.”

By using social networks to influence communities their customers are a part of, marketers will be far more successful than if they just try to pitch their products. Reaching the right group of influencers is vital for marketing on social networks – although it’s no easy task. As Derek noted, “kids have amazing bullshit detectors.”

October 16, 2008

Closing Digital Gaps with Adrian Capobianco and Steve Mast - 5 Question Interview

With the Canadian Marketing Association's Digital Marketing Conference coming up in a couple of weeks, we sat down with Steve Mast and Adrian Capobianco, co-chairs of this year's conference, to discuss some of the inspiration for the theme and speaker selection as well as what marketers can hope to learn.

Q1: The theme of this year’s Digital Marketing Conference is about "digital gaps" – can you elaborate?

There is a lot of media and marketing attention towards digital marketing. There is also much talk about the increased spend in the space. Despite all of this, the facts still show a huge gap between where consumers spend their time and where marketers spend their dollars. Marketers are lagging consumers with marketing spending that is behind the times!

Specifically, various sources show that North American adult consumers spend approximately 20-30% of their media consumption time in digital channels. On the flip side, marketers spend on average 8-10% of budgets in digital channels. This gap between marketing and advertising investment and consumer trends was the inspiration for this year’s conference. The theme breaks into three areas:

1. The gap in spend – outlined above.

2. The usability/content gap – most marketers do not pay enough attention to building a rewarding and engaging user experience commensurate with the significance of the online channel. Compare for example the investment that any major marketer with a physical consumer channel (auto, banking, retail, etc.) invests into the physical infrastructure, staffing and so on, and then compare that to the online channel. In many cases, a corporate website represents the single largest consumer facing channel ... yet the investment pales in comparison.

3. Future gaps – these gaps are amplified when you look at 'emerging digital platforms'. It is stunning to note that the 20-30% of consumer time in digital channels often excludes activities such as gaming and mobile. Changing consumer habits such as those occurring with gaming or the stunning reach and ubiquity of mobile opportunities are quickly creating future gaps that provide huge opportunities for those willing to take action.

Q2: Are there any Canadian marketers closing these gaps?

To be perfectly honest it is very tough to tell. There is media coverage of organizations like P&G and GM swinging significant global allocations of marketing dollars to digital channels, but it is hard to quantify at a Canadian level. On aggregate, the clear answer is no. In isolation, we’re sure there are brands that have closed the gap. Perhaps we should use OneDegree as a forum for marketers who feel they are quantitatively closing this gap to stand up and be acknowledged!

Continue reading "Closing Digital Gaps with Adrian Capobianco and Steve Mast - 5 Question Interview" »

BuyYourFriendaDrink & The Local Watering Holes

One of the popular early Facebook mini applications is BoozeMail. The application allows users to send friends virtual drinks (or even a round of drinks) on Facebook.

Currently the application has 213,215 monthly active users sending each other mojitos, sangrias or any other drink from the menu. If only they were real...

Boozemail on Facebook

The idea of sending people drinks online is one that has been fantasized about since the early days of online media. While we were busy toting around closed circuit Palm Pilots, we often daydreamed about the doors wireless mobility would unlock for PDAs “If only there was a way to send people stuff (like drinks) while they were on the go...sigh."

One dream scenario was to be able to send a friend a drink at a location they are either at or close to. Through GPS technology, the dream has become more realistic than ever. The only missing link is the network of bars that would participate in delivering on the goods. Today, I thought it would be fun to dig a bit into what has been done in this area.

I talked to Barbara Liss, the VP of Marketing for BuyYourFriendaDrink.com. The company launched out of New Jersey and Texas but has virtual offices in Chicago, San Francisco and New York.

BuyYourFriendaDrink lets consumers send drinks to each other online and is starting to pull together a decent sized network of bars that can fulfill sent drinks from across the country.

The company has a couple of business models. Among them are:

Continue reading "BuyYourFriendaDrink & The Local Watering Holes" »

October 15, 2008

Nov 16 - Sustainability Camp - Toronto

October 14, 2008

Your Brand's Crying for a Voice

The following is a sponsored post by Commune Media.

Let's Talk Talent with Bruce Powell - 5 Question Interview

Brucepowell The talent wars, particularly in the digital space, are heating up (again).  And who better to shed some light than Bruce Powell.  Bruce is the co-founder and managing partner of IQ PARTNERS Inc., an executive search & recruitment firm specializing in online marketing, media, communications and emerging technology companies. 

I remember working with Bruce in the early days of internet marketing – before the dot com bomb – he has definitely seen it all.  He sat down with us to offer his perspective on how job hunters can make a go of it these days, particularly in this new era of social media.

OD: You're seeing a renewed demand for online expertise.  What are the top 3 skill or experience sets that your clients are looking for?

This is an interesting question – with 2 slightly different answers.  Obviously there’s been an evolving niche specialization in online marketing for many years.  Where companies previously sought individuals to oversee their overall ‘online marketing’ spend, they’re now looking for individuals with much more refined skill sets.  And as marketing activities have progressively moved online, whole teams are being built to manage each facet of a company’s online marketing effort. 

Without a doubt, the most sought after skill sets over the past year have been:

  1. SEO & SEM
  2. Specialized email marketing skills (i.e. dynamic content & CRM integration)
  3. Social Media

That said, there’s also clear polarization happening.  While some individuals have developed highly refined technical and functional skills – clients have also expressed frustration at the lack of breadth and awareness on how their specialist skills integrate within the overall marketing effort. 

It’s an ironic catch-22.  At the same time the industry is demanding more specialized skill-sets, it’s also annoyed these ‘specialists’ don’t have a broader understanding of brand-marketing fundamentals and general business-case analysis. 

Within agency environments we’re seeing a similar frustration with increased specialization coming at the cost of declining client-management skills.

There’s a clear message hear – demand for online talent over the last few years has clearly outstripped supply.  Specialists are self-taught, and there’s not a clear pipeline of learning and skill-progression to broaden their skill-set - nor incentive or time to do so.  They’re in demand, and they’re being paid well - why upset the apple cart? 

On the other hand – the world is a dynamic place.  For those few individuals willing able to operate holistically AND dive deep in select areas of specialization – the world will be their oyster.

Continue reading "Let's Talk Talent with Bruce Powell - 5 Question Interview" »

Nov 18-19 - nextMEDIA Monetizing Digital Media - Toronto

October 10, 2008

Spend, Seasonality and Scarlett: October 6, 2008 Week in Review

Search Terms that Led People to OneDegree This Week

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Thanks to Our Sponsors!

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Reminder - A Few Books left in the Mini Book Expo - Business Edition
In case you haven't claimed a book yet, we still have a few titles left.  The basics: claim it in the comments, publisher sends it to you, you read it, you write a review, we publish it here.  Simple!  MBEBE closes October 30, 2008.

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Seen on Canadian Marketing Blogs

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Releases, Announcements and News

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This Week's Video Meme

We hope everyone has a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend!  And make sure you get out and vote on Tuesday!

Internal Hobnobbing…Enterprise 2.0 Style

This week at Third Tuesday, Niall Cook, Worldwide Director of Marketing Technology at Hill & Knowlton Inc. and author of the recently released Enterprise 2.0, shared his thoughts on social software and how companies are adopting it around the globe.

The discussion started with an interesting exploration of the “why now” factor for conducting this type of research and the obvious demand for it worldwide. He gave some theoretical background about how technologies required appropriate business climates in order to become fully adopted.

Alluding to the Gartner Hype Cycle that describes the time it takes for technologies to be integrated and adopted, Niall talked about the tools that have been available for some time and the global business environment that has only recently become an ideal climate for convergence and adoption.

Med_shot_1_3  

Technology

Today's most successful companies have been developed as pure platforms completely content-free for others to fill. Some obvious examples include eBay, Google and Amazon. All of these companies have based their success on providing channels for others to communicate, share, sell or review content.

Business Environment

There has been a fundamental shift in power from:

  • Producers of goods to the consumers
  • West to East
  • Employer to Employee

Niall made a specific point about the employer-employee shift in power that I think resonated with the audience. He said that where it used to be that CEOs could refer to teams as “my people”, today employees have full control over their “ownership” and feel that they are renting out their skills (on their terms) to the employers for a time that they feel is appropriate. In this shift, the CEO becomes a Chief Engagement Officer whose responsibilities are more focused on relationships and collaboration vs. hands-off leadership and control.

Here are some other interesting points discussed at the presentation:

Continue reading "Internal Hobnobbing…Enterprise 2.0 Style" »

October 09, 2008

Overhyped or the Next Big Thing? Inside the Marketer's Studio

One of my favourite things about attending conferences is getting to meet smart, local subject-matter experts.  You know who I mean - the people who may never keynote but who are hardcore mavens in their particular area.  At the upcoming Digital Marketing Conference, there are going to be a number of these mavens moderating the "Experience Exchange" roundtables: focused discussions on topics timely and pertinent for digital marketers.

I was able to persuade a few of these smart folks to step inside the marketer's studio and tell us (essentially) what's hot and what's not in the particular areas as well as share some of their best resources about their particular expertise. 

  1. What do you think was the biggest non-issue for your roundtable topic in 2008?
  2. What do you think will be the hottest issue for your roundtable topic in 2009?
  3. What are your top 2 or 3 favourite resources/tools/blogs for marketers who want to learn about your roundtable topic?

~ | ~

Continue reading "Overhyped or the Next Big Thing? Inside the Marketer's Studio" »

October 08, 2008

Immersive Marketing... Alternative Realities or Plain Old Delusions?

Small_shot_1 I was in Montreal yesterday watching the presentations at the IAB MIXX Conference. There were some interesting speakers and I had an opportunity to catch up with some of them at the show.

One of the presentations peaking my interest today was the one delivered by Pierre Côté of GRAMSCLO. GRAMSCLO is an agency that produces alternative reality content that can be branded and executed across multiple platforms. Most of the audience would agree that the presentation was somewhat confusing as Pierre attempted to convey the value of the concept it got buried somewhat in translation. So, I caught up with him afterward to talk about alternative reality games and why they are starting to make some noise.

Remember the Blair Witch Project? You might recall the media hype surrounding the film before it launched, while it was playing and shortly after. The movie was positioned as a true story but soon after audiences streamed into theatres it was revealed (in rumors at first) that the film had been a hoax developed by a clever New York based team that went on to form the marketing company called Campfire.

Pierre shared a Campfire case study in his talk for Audi A3. A news story appeared last year complete with footage from the surveillance cameras, of a car robbery at a dealership. The piece included the actual robbery, the police arrival, the wanted ads and the whole shebang that took place after the alleged heist. Consumers, ever fascinated by who dunnits and criminal acts, spent a lot of time internationally viewing and sharing the news footage and the articles that had been generated as a result of the headlines.

There were even banners created and served across the web urging people to report any facts about the missing car. When the auto show came to town later that year, Audi had cordoned off an entire area on the show floor to feature a placard with a picture of the stolen vehicle showcasing what would have been there had the robbers not taken the car.

Banner_shot_1

Results of the Audi A3 Campaign:

Continue reading "Immersive Marketing... Alternative Realities or Plain Old Delusions?" »

Social Entrepreneurism with Dawn Bowles of DreamBank.org - Five Question Interview

Earlier this year, Canadian startup, DreamBank.org, launched.  DreamBank.org is an alternative gift giving platform that helps people achieve their dreams and at the same time helps the planet and important social causes. Instead of giving gifts that although appreciated may not really be wanted, through DreamBank you contribute to someone's stated dream. Plus your gift automatically generates funds that are given to important social causes.

We sat down with Dawn Bowles, founder and CEO, to discuss her thoughts on being an entrepreneur with a social conscience.

Dreambankwithdawn 1. First off, what's your definition of social entrepreneurism?
I believe a true social enterprise is one that builds sustainability and social giving into the foundation of both the financial model of the company as well as the way it conducts its business.  While it’s important to have things like “triple bottom line reporting" and audits around social and environmental impact, I believe those initiatives are “after the fact” mechanisms. In some cases that’s great but other outcomes just can’t have numbers put to them -- clean water, food to eat, etc.

Now, this is my “if life was perfect” definition. In reality, just starting down the road of exploring ways to build positive social and environmental impact into your business model would be a great start at changing old models that don’t work for the overall benefit of society anymore.


2. What started you down the path to becoming a social entrepreneur?
It definitely didn’t happen overnight. It was a long process. I was working in the investment industry in the early 90’s and witnessed the extreme amounts of money that people and companies were making with little if not zero “give back to society”.  It was heartbreaking.  At the height of the heyday in investments, my boss told me that if charities contacted us for sponsorships or donation, I was to say  “we had a policy of not giving to charity”...

I left the industry not that long after and went traveling where I saw even more of the divide between "haves" and "have nots".  I started doing some work with Credit Unions and realized there were other business models that were more about giving back to community and stakeholders in various ways — I sought out higher education around responsible business and found the Masters Degree at the University of Bath, UK.  I would recommend the program to anyone wants supported knowledge and practice on change-making. Shortly thereafter, while studying alternative business models and pondering the waste that we produce around the way we give and receive gifts, the idea for DreamBank was hatched and then cultivated to eventually launch to the public in July this year. Finally!

Continue reading "Social Entrepreneurism with Dawn Bowles of DreamBank.org - Five Question Interview" »

Call for Speakers - 2009 CMA National Convention & Trade Show

Picture_1 The Canadian Marketing Association is looking for speakers – marketing and business professionals – to make the 2009 CMA National Convention education program stronger than ever. We intend to provide a learning experience that is relevant and stimulating with information that all marketing professionals can use right away.

FOUR REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD SPEAK AT THE CMA NATIONAL CONVENTION

  • Play a key role in Canada’s largest marketing convention.
  • Showcase your most successful business stories and case studies.
  • Contribute to the marketing world’s "knowledge bank".
  • Gain a high level of professional visibility and national exposure.

Does your business have a story that should be told? Share your experience and case studies at the CMA National Convention, April 27-29, 2009 in Toronto.

The CMA National Convention & Trade Show is the number one event where senior marketing decision - makers learn, network, get inspired and solve challenges.

SUBMIT YOUR SPEAKER PROPOSAL BY OCTOBER 15, 2008

To submit a proposal, simply download a speaker proposal form and send your completed proposal to Jeanette Soo, Manager, Conventions & Special Events via fax at 416-441-4062 or by e-mail jsoo@the-cma.org.

We are looking for speakers on the following topics:

  • Creativity and Creative Thinking
  • Retailing
  • Branding
  • Open Innovation & Ideation
  • Emerging Trends/Media
  • Digital
  • Mobile Applications
  • Collaboration/Workflow
  • Workforce Management
  • Data/Analytics
  • Global Marketing
  • Innovative Direct Marketing
  • The Green Environment

Speaker selections are already in process, so don’t delay. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jeanette at 416-644-3763 (or 1-800-267-8805 ext. 224).

October 07, 2008

How Comparisons Kill Your Business (and Grow Your Competitors')

The following is a sponsored post by Commune Media.

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