This post has nothing to do with Online Marketing, but the excitement is building.
One Monday I will run the 112th Boston Marathon. This will be my third marathon (2nd official) so some of the first time nerves are long gone, but this is the Boston Marathon so I still have plenty. Boston in the endurance racing world is like the SuperBowl of Marathons: Elite Athletes, Large amount of runners, Newton hills, and the best supportive crowds. The course is gnarley as it can trick the runner to run faster than they should as till mile 17 it is mainly downhill. Living in Boston I’ve done the majority of my training directly on the course, so I know my strong spots and I know where I’m really going to need the Fans to give me a shot of endorphins.
The why I started running marathons is too long for this post, but it’s been an amazing experience to know your limits and then surpass them. Running Boston is a real treat, and doing it with the Dana-Farber Marathon challenge team has been fantastic. The team is extremely friendly and every team member is a real inspiration for better health and helping advance Cancer treatment research. My Flip video camera has been cleared out and is ready to get some great shots of online initiatives in use during the Marathon.
A co-worker led me to this story about the first foray of live video being used in banner ads:
GE last month became the first advertiser to present live streaming video within banner ads, using a new feature developed by rich media company EyeWonder.
GE used the technology, called LiveWonder, to deliver a live webcast of Chairman-CEO Jeff Immelt presenting the company’s annual report to investors in a banner ad campaign that ran on about 10 Web sites.- Kate Maddox, BtoBonline.com
Rich Media has made some huge leaps in the past year in regards to video, but to push live dynamic content through an ad network is incredible powerful. Sharing your annual report is spiffy, but imagine if this was used during “Black Friday”for an electronics boutique. You could have an HSN type setup and sell the latest GPS gear in Real-time. O wait that may be pop under annoying to the user. Maybe not great ideas but it certainly merits a bit more thought and maybe even a test. The LiveWonder does have limited functionality as why would you want to show live content? Only time-sensitive content (News) would seem like the best fit for this tool, as the rest could be created and then distributed with out using LiveWonder.
With great power comes great responsibility
EyeWonder thus far has been a real hero in the rich media world. With increased competition from Google’s no-fee rich media serving I wonder how EyeWonder will stay the dominate rich-media ad server. They may have tripled their market share in ‘07, but Google Video and Banner ads with $0 serving cost is sure cut that share in ‘08.
YouTube, the 6th most popular website is about to get into the Analytics game for the average joe. YouTube plans on offering later this month the following to start:
Geo-specific viewership data- What is the viewership of your video segmented by region.
Relative Video Popularity -A video’s popularity relative to other videos in that market over a given period of time.
The above features are already apart of the YouTube sponsored video platform, so we can assume that some of the other YouTube analytics may be coming soon to the masses. The most notable future feature would be if they added the average length a user is engaged to a video. For more information about the Insight tool or learning more about how you can advertise/ optimize with YouTube, check out the YouTube advertise’s channel.
In the past month at work I’ve been fighting with a co-worker: My work Laptop. From the time I hit the power button until Vista loads would take 2+ hours. Now as a GTD wannabe I clearly was wasting a good sum of my day fighting with the very tool that allows me to make a living. As I’m no stranger to broken hardware I followed proper protocol and restarted my computer, reseated the battery, reseated the memory (of course with the battery out)… Until I hit the wall and started to look for a HP tech support hotline for my HP laptop.
While I have all the printed documentation stuffed in a desk drawer like most people I used a another computer and did a Google search for “HP Customer Service”. The resulting page had a paid text ad the caught my attention:
Curious I clicked. The resulting landing page took my frustration away in an instant:
HA, I was not alone. Clearly HP Customer Service had irked the wrong person. Amazingly now that it’s been a month since I first spotted this Adtext it is still in rotation. I was sure this would get pulled as they are using “HP” directly in the Adtext, which is slightly* taboo. Clearly someone is asleep at the helm at HP marketing, public relations, and customer support for this ad is still running. If HP took 10 minutes and placed a trademark violation report with the Google Adwords team they would not have this public relations issue.
What I would do If I was at HP:
Fill out a Google Adwords Trademark violation form
Contact the individual who put up this paid campaign. Get his/her feedback of what happen to them and learn from the honest feedback. The person had the gusto to put up a paid search campaign to bash HP, the likely know your service department better than you.
Start your own Customer Support paid search campaign. Bid on terms like HP Pavilion Dv6000 support, HP Laptop help, HP tech support… While electronics keywords are highly competitive if your campaign uses qualifying keywords that are then phrase and/or exact matched you will “likely” pay a lower CPC. See Apples customer support model for supporting evidence of this theory, they do a great job supporting the customer throughout the lifetime of an apple product using a paid search campaign.
Will I ever by an HP Laptop again? I wouldn’t rule it out, but I’m happy with a trusty (please don’t blow up) Dell at the moment.
Last week while at Search Engine Strategies (SES) NYC I met a recent online marketing viral star: Chuck “The SEO Rapper”(20K+ views on YouTube). For a few months I have enjoyed Chuck’s lyrical marketing productions on such topics as Link building, Social Media Addiction, and my favorite Paid Search 101. A few minutes long he sample’s classic rap beats while rapping the basics of Search Marketing. From the novice to the expert I’d strongly suggest watching any of his videos as they are not only hilarious they provide a great training overview.
Poor Yahoo! not only are you in internal turmoil, but you just got dumped. Opera, an up and coming Norwegian browser maker has gone back to its long term relationship with Google. Just a year ago Opera had left Google to go to the “content” driven Yahoo! for their mobile web browser. On Tuesday Opera made the return announcement , which specifically highlights that opera is now the default engine for Opera’s mobile Web browsers.
“Google and Opera have established a valuable relationship over the years and we look forward to continued collaboration on mobile products,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera.
The move by Opera must be driven by this autumn announcement of Google’s Android platform, which promises to evolve the mobile web by leap and bounds by advancing open standards for mobile devices.
On Thursday the Boston Interactive Media Association (BIMA) held their 3rd Annual Agency Shoot Out at the Hard Rock Cafe Boston. The event was billed as a “head-to-head” of some of Boston’s leading agencies. Six agency’s sat on the panel to discuss today’s “Hot Topics” that faces digital marketing, while being moderated by Ron Belanger, Vice President of Agency Development, Yahoo!. The panel consisted of (seated left to right in the below video’s):
-Brian Babineau, Vice President/Director, Media Digitas
-John Wolfarth, Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director, Mullen
As the evening was held at the Hard Rock Cafe Ron started the panel introduction with the question: “Who are you, and what’s your favorite band”.
-Brian Babineau- “Led Zeppelin”
-Whitney Berns- “The Samples”
-Adam Cahill- “Dave Matthews”
-Bill Haeck- “Van Halen”
-Stephanie Rogers- “STEPHANE POMPOUGNAC, House DJ at Hotel Costes, Paris, FR”
-John Wolfarth- “Vampire Weekend”
Question- What are your thoughts on online spending related to user consumption?
-Brian Babineau- “The big challenge is the bright shiny bubble factorâ€¦”
-Whitney Berns- “Comes down to metrics ultimately”
-Adam Cahill- “Most of the money that’s being controlled is being directed by traditional lead agencies, and there’s always going to be a uncertainty to move away from thatâ€¦”
-Bill Haeck- “We’ve grown up in a silo manner focusing on individual tacticsâ€¦”
-Stephanie Rogers- “I think we are hitting that watershed moment were budgets will shift more towards to web”
-John Wolfarth- “People Lie, percentage of spend to consumption can’t be compared”
Question- What online media properties do you deem a first buy?
-Brian Babineau- “Just buying space understanding the breadth and demo of your audience, and telling us your CPM is just not a first by approach”
-Whitney Berns-“A couple of key thing matter, its volume and its control”
-Adam Cahill- “Partners that can be strategic, and help agencies be smarter”
-Bill Haeck- “Folks we tend to like to work with are the folks we can engage in a partnership…”
-Stephanie Rogers- “we spend a lot of time on the upfront trying to understand who we are trying to reach”
-John Wolfarth- no comment
In the past month as Microsoft dangles gobs of money in front of Yahoo!’s founder Jerry Yang, they seem to have forgotten all the little companies they’ve already acquired that could help there search efforts. One in particular is top of mind, Microsoft Seadragon.
Microsoft acquired Seadragon Software in March 2006 as part of its new Live Labs initiative was/is a research unit focused on Internet technologies — trying to speed up its product release cycles as it takes on Google and other rivals in the increasingly competitive online world. Seadragon could alter the way we use our screens. The size and speed of information is limited by the size of you screen today. The software aims to change that so from wall-sized displays to mobile devices visual information can be smoothly browsed regardless of the amount of data involved or the bandwidth of the network. It’s curious that Blaise Aguera y Arcas work is not being used to its full potential, but that’s the price you pay when Microsoft is at the helm (Jerry please take note).
The TED talks held in Monterey California have always been a trusted inspirational and motivational resource for me. To watch the luminaries of today speak on demand has certainly help stoke some creative thinking sessions.
One particular TED talk I have watched numerous times since it was posted two years ago: “Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you’ve ever seen” with Hans Rosling. The content of the presentation about current world trends is fairly interesting alone, but Hans sells this normally sleepy data with such energy that you can’t help but be drawn in. The video’s description says it best:
“You’ve never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called “developing world” using extraordinary animation software developed by his Gapminder Foundation(now owned by Google)”.
Q: Why do you keep watching this video?
In the field of Online Marketing (especially Search Marketing) large sums of data are “played” with everyday. The problem is few interpret this transparent data with the vigor of Mr. Rosling. Now I’m not implying every piece of data needs this level of Showmanship, but their a few lessons Hans can teach anyone presenting any large set of data:
1. Connect your Audience with the Numbers:
The saying “Know the audience” can’t be used enough. Find ways to make the numbers meaningful by relating the numbers to something more tangible. The classic (a bit overused today) is the Stadium analogy. “and in our campaign we drove the equivalent of 25 filled to capacity Fenway Park’s (It’s a small park but that’s 990,125) to..” Ideally you use something your audience will relate to.
2. Use the Narrative Arch
Yes, you do need to think about the pacing of your data. The data naturally lends itself to great story telling if you tell the full story. this can be a challenge at times as people just tend to care about Key Performance Indicators(KPI’s) with out seeing the full story, which is akin to seeing an average of a number without explaining the distribution that drives the average.
3. Demonstrate Enthusiasm
The substance and integrity of the data should be paramount, but by Mr. Rosling’s example it doesn’t need to be “Dry toast”. Rehearsal for any presentation is always necessary, but when presenting intricate data it’s best to over rehearse the specific data points so you can speak to them on a whim with confidence. Hans has become a mascot for enthusiastically presenting data; just find your internal Hans Rosling.
The Pats may have lost, but from the group of 40 I was watching the game with, these are the winning ads of tonight:
5. Pepsi - Magnetic Attraction Super Bowl Ad- Justin has added to his comedy routine with an ad you can’t help but laugh at.
4.Bud Light Wine & Cheese Party Commercial, DDB Chicago- An ad that speaks to man’s drive to innovate, especially when forced to go to a wine and cheese party when the game is on.
3.E*TRADE Trading Baby 2008, Grey Worldwide New York - A cute baby banker who needs a wipe.
2.Budweiser Clydesdale Team Commercial, DDB Chicago - A SuperBowl classic character that pays homage to Rocky.
1.Thrillicious: 2008 Sobe Life Water Super Bowl Ad, The Arnell Group - Clearly the winner with crazy Sobe lizards dancing the Michael Jackson Thriller dance led by Naomi Campbell . A commercial that anyone of any age can enjoy. Sobe also receives extra points for basing their campaign on a new keyword term: “Thrillicious”. When doing a search on “Thrillicious”, they own the top natural listing, and they even are hedging their bets with a Google AdWords CPC ad.
Well done Thrillicious.