Short Break

January 28, 2009

I guess it’s already been a short break, but It’s gonna be just a bit longer before there are any new updates.


Thinking Outside My Box

January 22, 2009

So Bruce Springsteen thinks music can cure society. Given his assumption that he gets to pick and choose the polititians that use his music to convey their utopian dreams, he may be right.

I also believe that digital technologies can cure society. Given the chance to pick and choose the technologies, I might be right.

What The Boss is forgetting (and I hope I never do) is that we don’t get to pick and choose. People like what they like, rarely say what they mean and are defined by action. Let’s not get too lofty about this world we may have dreamed about before anything has happened.

Digital marketing requires a delicate balance. On the one hand, a strategist dreams of the margins they can drive if given the keys to the kingdom. However, we must always pay attention to the individual. Every individual has different motivations.

Further complicating the matter is the varying perceptions of clients. Facts only get you so far when there are competing world views. Today, this is especially challenging as many clients understand that value exists in digital mediums. Their understanding of the details is highly lacking. A traditional world view does not often mesh with the new. Take politics. No, please take it. (No more Henny Youngman jokes. I promise.)

While ambitious to envision we are all changing the world for the better, let’s start with something we can bite off. In terms of customers, action speaks louder than words. Same holds with integrating digital mediums into campaigns. Start small and let the action speak for you.

A Little Perspective on Yahoo, Google and MSN

January 21, 2009

Researching some general numbers on the top online properties using Alexa and Compete is usually not the most interesting of tasks. While it is generally understood that search engines rank at the top of most lists in terms of a domain’s popularity, a little further breakdown provides some interesting data.

While Google receives more unique visitors in a month, Yahoo far outpaces it in terms of attention (percent of time spent at the site). Given the nature of both sites, this comes as no surprise. Nearly half of all Yahoo traffic goes to the mail subdomain (only a quarter for Google). Google on the other hand receives over half of its traffic to the main search page (Yahoo receives 10-20%). In comparison, Yahoo receives a greater percentage of traffic to its other bits and parts with news, 360, finance, answers, tw and groups all receive over 1% of the traffic. Google on the other hand receives very little traffice (as a percentage of the total) to its bits and pieces with the highly awaited Knol receiving 0.0% according to Alexa.

What I found most interesting was the presence of MSN. While currently listed as the sixth most popular online site in the world (receiving 88M unique visitors a month), the subdomain breakdown shows that the majority of the traffic goes to the IE installer subdomain ( 19.6% of all traffic is routed to this domain with 19.1% going to This indicates that more individuals are installing IE in a given month than using the service as a whole.

Given the current debate over whether a browser is becoming a platform, does this bode well or not for MSN? On the one hand, they are benefiting from owning the technology. On the other hand, they are desperately lacking in terms of the content.

Nothing more for now. Just found it interesting and wanted to note it.

Think They Ain’t

January 14, 2009

Think the times haven’t changed? How many of you can understand this?

Now, you don’t have to be proud about it. Just saying.

Top 9 of ’09 – #1 Drumroll Please

January 6, 2009

And way up on the top of my board for 2009 is:


While it may seem like something far down the list today, by the end of the year, perception will be the key to much of digital marketing that will be done.

Where social media, DM and digital properties will succeed in the coming year is driving perception. In fact, social media already excels here. The lack of relevant case studies is now mainly due to a marketers’ desire to drive messaging rather than perception.

Where individuals succeed on Facebook and Twitter is in crafting personas. They create personalities and live them. Often, we can be surprised when meeting someone we only know through their digital presence. They are much different than we had thought. Perception.

Much more on this throughtout the year.

Top 9 of ’09 – #2 Innovation

January 5, 2009

Just because everybody says it doesn’t make it right. Still, innovation looks to be the buzz word of 2009. Whether we see anything truly innovative remains to be seen. Still, I expect innovation to sell in digital marketing this coming year like the term viral sold in the past several.

Over the past week, there have been two debating camps on innovation. You can either read that it’s dead or that it’s thriving. Regadless of the claims, I expect to see more use of the term in 2009. Any economic downturn will force both consumers and corporations to rethink priorities. Innovative ideas are better adopted by customers while innovation is a great buzzword for corporations to trot out in content. It meas we’re always thinking about you.

Already, I have seen the push begin. Right in time for new resolutions, Weight Watchers launches their online utilities. The television spots show a desktop being cleaned up from all the failed weight loss attempts. Somehow, this time, technology will be your saviour. While the campaign and online tools are good, they still lack.

Where true innovation will appear in the coming (already present) year, will be adoption of digital properties not owned by companies. Customers are already present in many locations – Facebook not the least. The need to innovate and better engineer existing utilities will disappear in favor of leveraging existing online content. Organization, conversation and relevance will be key. Anything that can promise these in the coming year will be seen as innovation.

Top 9 of ’09 – #5 Reach

December 18, 2008

Exactly what is reach?

It used to be easy. Pay a price per point. Nielsen (sub your favorite tracking service) supplies you with reach per point (or like figures). Anyone that buys produce by the pound can figure out the calculations.

Now, we have this new digital world that we try to apply similar pay for play services. I can get you one million eyeballs for a price you wouldn’t believe.

The problem with this belief is in that every eyeball is the same. Failures of campaigns were failures of the messages or failures of the product itself.

In reality, reach only promises what it can – broad appeal. Our marketing funnel starts with awareness because that’s about all we can guarantee with reach. Everything thereafter is voodoo science.

Then along comes digital media promising relevance to users. Search engines actually provide information that matches your needs. Yet, banner ads still appear promising your eyeballs as part of a big deal.

I don’t expect 2009 to change the reliance on reach. However, the idea of reach will start changing. Rather than reaching one million potential customers, companies will begin to show more interest in reaching ten thousand very interested customers.

Now that we know these customers are interested, reach begins to show some promise and act as the verb we intended it to be.

I also expect these thoughts to begin spreading past Google. Just because Google provides a simple tool for managing customer intent does not make it the end all. In fact, there are many other starting points today where users are indicating intent and broadcasting signals that they need your product.

I expect that the bridge between user expectations of their online experiences and marketers struggles with messaging to begin to form around reach.

To aid this goal, let’s start thinking about what reaching customers actually entails. A certain scene from ‘Clockwork Orange’ comes to mind in the not to do category.