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Posts from November 2008

November 28, 2008

Vote for OneDegree and our contributors in the Canadian Blog Awards

Canadian Blog Award nominee The Canadian Blog Awards are currently in progress.  I'm delighted to see OneDegree as well as a number of our contributors amongst the nominees!

Please take a moment and support OneDegree and its fabulous contributors by voting!

Round One Closes mid-day Saturday, Nov 29th!  So vote today!

November 26, 2008

N2S on Animal Instinct


Bonus Link: N2S on the benefits of a limited profile

Shelly Palmer, author and host of MediaBytes, on Digital Media

At the nextMEDIA Monetizing Digital Media Conference last week, Shelly Palmer, Managing Director, Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC delivered a keynote address on digital content business models.

Here is a snippet from Shelly Palmer's keynote plus my interview with him on the different types of currency on the Internet and the possibilities for wealth creation as well as his thoughts on the change in consumers' media consumption patterns.

November 25, 2008

Are You Too Focused on SEO?

The following is a sponsored post by Commune / The Content Optimization Company™.

November 20, 2008

N2S on Social Media Headaches


Motrin Mom Video Mishap

A few days ago the makers of pain-reliever Motrin (Johnson & Johnson) launched a commercial campaign that annoyed and outraged mothers around the world.

"That couldn’t have been written by a mother," noted my sister, Jennifer. "The speak about how carrying your baby around is in fashion, but it's certainly not a passing fad nor a fashion statement - you need to carry your child… and the car seat… and the stroller."

Complaints about the ad were flooding through social networks like Twitter this weekend. Jennifer added, "some of the comments I read online said that 'mommy bloggers' were taking things too seriously. But, um, aren’t 'mommies' the target audience for this ad?"

In a demonstration of the growing power of social media, on Monday the company issued an apology and withdrew an ad that was meant to be a light-hearted look at 'baby wearing.' …Instead, the online video offended a large majority of moms. They not only weren't laughing, they were making their views known in an online storm that blasted through the blogosphere and the micro-blogging website Twitter, spiking traffic and spreading bad news about the brand. [Vancouver Sun]

Continue reading "Motrin Mom Video Mishap" »

November 19, 2008

Holiday Helpers

Because marketers from across industries are planning for an uncertain economy, they are working extra hard to ensure that every marketing initiative is going to yield the strongest return on investment as possible.

So, to help optimize your holiday email programs, here are a handful of focused tips that you can use right away:

Cut Through the Clutter with Enticing Subject Lines

Generate excitement and stand out from your competitors by developing a subject line that concisely captures a key holiday desire (e.g. saving money, saving time, accessing exclusive offers, etc.). But, before deploying to your entire targeted group, test the subject line thoroughly to ensure that it gets delivered successfully and is opened and acted upon.

Keep in mind that while the phrases "free shipping", "sales" and "specials" influence online purchase behaviours, subject lines need to accurately reflect the content of the email and meet deliverability standards.

Focus on the Distinctive Needs of Holiday Customers

Target your emails to customers’ distinctive holiday purchase behaviours. For example, price discounts that decrease over the span of a few weeks will attract “early bird shoppers” who want to take full advantage of the cost savings. At the same time, expedited delivery options appeal to "last minute shoppers" who delay their purchase decisions.

Enable Relevant Updates

If your business relies heavily on product, your inventory will fluctuate throughout the holiday season. Since recipients often keep and re-open holiday emails with special offers, design these emails to reflect current inventory levels. Also include links to other offers when items are "sold out".

Respect Your Holiday Customers’ Inbox

To ensure your campaigns have the greatest success, ask your recipients about their preferences for receiving holiday/special offers. You could find that they want to receive more email to serve as reminders. At the same time, they will want to receive news and updates about products and/or services that they see as more appropriate for holidays.

Being Bold for the Cause with Alison Gordon - 5 Question Interview

Breastfest_2 Later this week (Nov. 21 & 22), Rethink Breast Cancer is kicking off Breast Fest, the world's first breast cancer film festival in Toronto. I had the chance to catch up with Alison Gordon, VP, Strategy, Marketing and Communications to talk about Rethink and Breast Fest.

By the way, we've got two passes to each of the Breast Fest screenings on Nov. 22 for OneDegree readers who are passionate about this cause. Details are available at the end of this post.

OD: There are over 175 Canadian registered charities with "cancer" in their name. How does Rethink compete for share of mind and share of wallet?

At Rethink Breast Cancer we are focused on young people who are concerned about and affected by breast cancer. We are the only registered charity that is focused in that way. Twenty per cent of all breast cancer diagnoses are women under 50 years old and it is critical that their unique needs and situations be addressed.

Rethink is also committed to raising awareness and educating young women and men around this cause. This is so important as so many young people are touched by breast cancer and they want to both get information in a way that is relevant to them and be able to get involved in the cause. Our event and programs are created to engage this audience. This really sets us apart.

We are always thinking of new ways to be bold, innovative and entrepreneurial. Fashion Targets Breast Cancer is a great example of how we are thinking differently. The campaign centers around the sale of "target apparel" which is both fashionable (we partner with retailers such as Holt Renfrew and Roots and work with the fashion media community) and is a reminder for women to "target" their breasts. This type of awareness and fundraising campaign is not like any run or walk - it is a simple and relevant way to reach women and men with the important messages of breast health.  (Ed .. See the video from the campaign below)

OD: What trends are you seeing in the Canadian marketplace around charities, giving and cause-related activities?

An obvious trend that has been happening for a few years now is the use of the Internet including social media around charities and giving.  These tools have really simplified the ways that people can contribute to and be a part of the causes that they are interested in and passionate about.

I think it is a great thing that many companies are donating a portion of proceeds for a variety of products to different causes. It really is a win-win for charities, corporate citizenship and consumers who want to support a cause. This trend is growing and we are also seeing companies create their own programs and charities.

Continue reading "Being Bold for the Cause with Alison Gordon - 5 Question Interview" »

November 18, 2008

"About Us" Pages That Work

The following is a sponsored post by Commune / The Content Optimization Company™.

November 17, 2008

The Return of Erella.com: A Cautionary Tale

I often write about the importance of managing your domain names and caution people about what could happen should they fail to do so.

I recently witnessed a chilling example of this. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending.


Erella Ganon is a Toronto-based artist whom I have known for over a decade. She also happens to be a friend of my wife. On Friday night, my wife asked me to look into something on behalf of Erella. A few days prior, Erella had lost ownership of her domain name, erella.com, and she was very upset.

Erella had first registered erella.com in October, 2000 with domain registrar GoDaddy, and had been using it since then for her Website and email address. Her Website, located at www.erella.com, is where Erella showcases her work and promotes her services. It is her primary means of generating employment.

An artist and single mother, Erella supports her teenage daughter by doing a number of freelance creative assignments. Sadly, for many years, Erella has also been battling brain tumours. 2008 has been especially difficult for her as she's been in and out of the hospital for seven different surgeries. The good news is that she's on the mend.

During the last few months, in between surgeries and post-operative recovery, Erella was unable to do a lot of her normal day-to-day activities, and due to a misunderstanding, didn't renew her domain name like she normally did. The domain expired, and 26 days later it flowed into GoDaddy's expired domain auction, where it was bid upon and eventually acquired by a domain name speculator based in Hawaii.

Since I work at Tucows, one of the largest domain registrars in the world (and, full disclosure, a competitor of GoDaddy), I am very familiar with the domain name lifecycle and expired domain auctions. I knew that the domain speculator had broken no laws when he acquired the erella.com domain name. It expired. He bid on it. He paid for it. He now owned it.

Continue reading "The Return of Erella.com: A Cautionary Tale" »

Canadians Shopping Online More

Some good news out of Stats Canada today ... Canadians placed $12.8 billion worth of orders online in 2007 - up 61% from 2005.

This increase was driven by a larger volume of orders, which rose from 49.4 million in 2005 to 69.9 million in 2007. The proportion of orders placed with Canadian vendors declined slightly from 57% of the total in 2005 to 52% in 2007.

More than 8.4 million Canadians aged 16 and over made an online purchase in 2007, up from nearly 6.9 million in 2005. They accounted for 32% of Canadians in this age group, compared with 28% in 2005.

From a regional perspective, Albertan Internet users were the heaviest online shoppers in 2007, with one-half placing an online order.

And the Internet continues to support offline retail.  43% of Canadians logged on to do research on products, and 64% reported that they had subsequently made a purchase directly from a store. The most popular items for browsing were consumer electronics, such as cameras and VCRs; housewares, such as large appliances and furniture; and clothing, jewelery and accessories.

For more info, see the report summary over at Stats Canada.

Search Engine Marketing [Miro's Review]

Search_engine_marketing This our second MBE:BE review from Miro Slodki, who liked Search Engine Marketing by Andreas Ramos & Stephanie Cota much better than his first book. Here's his review:

I enjoyed this book considerably.

Often times, the how-to genre is hobbled by an endless litany of screen shots, menu selections, options etc. that, while imparting data, tends to encourage skimming.

The authors did a good job of bridging this with smart tips and links to additional information sources. In fact, I found the greatest value of the book lay in its insights and perspectives from industry leaders Google, Ominture, Coremetrics. 

Continue reading "Search Engine Marketing [Miro's Review]" »

November 13, 2008

The “Rights Stuff” Key to the Future of Online Ads

While the interactive revolution is here, the effective use of iconic media content on the web remains in its adolescence.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen the type of content used in online ad campaigns rapidly evolve from mostly static copy with a few graphics or images, to include more dynamic media such as flash animation and most recently, pop music and video. But it’s all just the beginning.

Brands are increasingly looking for ways to break through a cluttered online environment and to figure out how to attract consumers to their message rather than the traditional model of simply pushing the message out to them. As brands focus on drawing people in, iconic content – most notably music and celebrity content - is playing a significant role.

Music in particular, is starting to make noise online.  Music has the power to move, inspire and excite, and thus advertisers are harnessing pop's powerful potential more frequently than ever. While the commissioning of original jingles for ads is plummeting, licensing music from established and emerging artists is soaring.

‘Synchronisation’ licence income - that is, income from the use of music in advertisements, films and games – is a growing revenue stream for the recording industry.  For example, in the UK, the home of some major record labels, income from sync licensing has grown by 20.1% over the past year according to the BPI (previously the British Phonographic Industry) - and this is a figure that looks set to continue rising. 

In the digital era, this is the result of several factors, including the music industry seeking new revenue streams and the fact that broadband and better technologies make it easier than ever to add music to an online ad campaign.

Continue reading "The “Rights Stuff” Key to the Future of Online Ads" »

November 12, 2008

Missy Suicide and SuicideGirls.com: Pin-Ups, Profits and Subscriptions

The following is a sponsored post by nextMEDIA

N2S on HR 2.0


November 11, 2008

Optimize Email to Avoid the "Spam" Reflex

The following is a sponsored post by Commune / The Content Optimization Company™.

November 09, 2008

Win a Free Pass to nextMEDIA - Monetizing Digital Media!

Nextmedia_monetizing_digital_conten UPDATE: We've confirmed our winner!  Congrats to Julie Wilson of SeenReading.com.  Thanks to all of you who entered and to nextMEDIA for the pass!

Looking to monetize your digital media? We thought so.

One Degree, in partnership with nextMEDIA, is giving away a pass to the nextMEDIA - Monetizing Digital Media conference! The conference takes place November 18-19, 2008 at CiRCA in Toronto.

Here's how to enter:

  1. Go to the Speakers page or the Schedule page on the nextMEDIA site.
  2. Find the speaker/session that you're most excited about.
  3. Leave a comment on this post telling us what speaker/session you're most interested in and why.
  4. Enter before noon (PST) on Thursday, November 13 and you could win!

The pass includes access to both days of the nextMEDIA - Monetizing Digital Media conference and an invite to the Canadian New Media Awards.

The winner will be selected through a random draw and announced here on One Degree first thing Friday morning.

And now for the fine bold print:

  • The pass is non-transferable - all this bounty goes to one person only.
  • The pass does not include travel or accommodation.
  • Please enter only if you're actually able to use the pass!

Unlock Those Hidden Video Assets

Online video is hot. Consider:

  • More than 20.1 million Canadian Internet users watched an average of 145 videos per viewer in August 2008. (Source: comScore Video Metrix, All Locations- Persons 2+)
  • Video currently generates more traffic in the US than was transmitted across the entire Internet backbone in 2000. (Cisco Systems via eMarketer)

Video is undeniably part of the mix to build and extend your brand online. So, I've got to ask, are you using all the video assets at your disposal?

Too frequently, gorgeous footage is locked away in B-roll and projects far removed from the web and the digital marketing teams. And let's face it, these are belt-tightening times for Marketers. "Hidden" video lends itself to soft innovation.

I had the opportunity to hook up with Stephen Gardner, Executive Producer at Gardner Productions, a Toronto-based video and commercial production house. Stephen and I worked together back in my agency days putting together B-Roll for clients. One of our projects saw us doing a shoot at a grocery store in Newmarket at 4:00 a.m. (good times).

We had a chat about this explosion in online video and how to make the most of the opportunity.

Continue reading "Unlock Those Hidden Video Assets" »

November 07, 2008

Adam Oliveira from Quizative Inc. on the Future of Marketing

At the CMA Digital Marketing Conference last week, Adam Oliveira, Executive Creative Director at Quizative Inc.  Adam shares his ideas that the future of marketing rests not with technology but with anthropology.

Nick Iannitti From Fuel Industries on the Attention Economy

At the CMA Digital Marketing Conference last week, I spoke with Nick Iannitti from Fuel Industries.  Nick shares his thoughts on the recession in the attention economy (where entertainment is currency) as well as on advertising to the younger generation.

Mining Cross-Media Gold From Olympics Data

The following is a sponsored post by nextMEDIA

November 06, 2008

Increasing Subscribers is More than Offering Incentives - 5 Tips for Improving the Sign-Up Process

Checkmark Marketing Sherpa's 2009 Email Benchmark Guide said to increase opt ins, you should offer real benefits to your potential subscriber.

Previous Benchmark Guides have also said that if you can improve your opt-in conversions on your website by 25-40% - which are not uncommon result during design tests - your list will grow significantly and those new names will provide your highest email campaign results.

Incentives can range from special pricing, to promising not to share personal information, or offering a free download. Incentives may increase an individual's interest or intent to sign up, but that won't translate into real numbers if the process is complicated or time-consuming.

Here are five best practices to consider before you begin offering the world to your potential subscribers.

1. Always tell users where they are in the sign up process

  • Provide Breadcrumb trails and/or steps/length of time required to complete the form.
  • Keep initial registration to one page if possible.

2. Validate email addresses before displaying thank-you pages

  • It ensures the user is interested in signing up and not just in getting the incentive offered at the end (which is more a bonus for you).

Continue reading "Increasing Subscribers is More than Offering Incentives - 5 Tips for Improving the Sign-Up Process" »

Buyology [Carmen T's Review]

Buyology Carmen T found Buyology a tough slog - but she would recommend it to her media and advertising friends interested in facts and stats on why we buy.

Here's an excerpt from her review:

As for the book itself, I found it a bit of an oxymoron (right use of term?) The book is about the way we buy and how our minds are being targeted by companies and advertisers. Yet... the author works in advertising and helps companies capture buyers. The author points out all these companies who manipulate buyers, yet at the same time, by all that name dropping of companies and brands, the author is once again just advertising those products.

Keep reading Carmen's review...

More information 

November 05, 2008

Ron Bertram from Nintendo of Canada on Digital Marketing

At the CMA Digital Marketing Conference last week, I spoke with Ron Bertram, Vice-President & General Manager, Nintendo of Canada.  We discussed digital marketing, patience, relevance to your customers and surprises in the marketplace.  Ron also shares the importance of social media in Nintendo's outreach as well as how they are incorporating social interaction into their games.

Two sites that Ron refers to:

Click [Miro's Review]

Click The first book review is in! And the book is Click by Bill Tancer. Miro Slodki pens our first MiniBookExpo: Business Edition review and I'll give you a preview - he didn't enjoy it. Here's his review:

Click's book jacket starts with a compelling endorsement,
"Bill Tancer is the king of measuring online research. And online research is the Main Street of the new world. Which makes Bill Tancer king of the world or something like that." - Stephen J Dubner, co-author, Freakonomics

Who is this King of the World? Bill Tancer is general manager of global research for Hitwise, the online search/competitive intelligence company. Drawing from the privileged perch of his database, he gives readers a glimpse into the aggregated online behavior of 10 Million American households. "Click - What millions of people are doing online and why it matters. Unexpected insights for business and life." is his first book.

Tancer seeks to illustrate how the internet is becoming a more pervasive mirror of society and how our collective behavior in cyberspace can be used to understand and even presage our future actions.

Continue reading "Click [Miro's Review]" »

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