You are currently browsing the archives for January, 2008.

Even Business Travelers Read Blogs

From NY Times:

“According to Forrester Research, in the second quarter of 2007, 21 percent of business travelers who use the Internet read blogs, not just ones about business travel, but also those involving sports, business, finance and other topics.”

I’d like to learn more about those business travelers who aren’t yet using the Internet.

Simple, High-Impact Conversational Marketing, Pioneer Woman Style

As part of HP’s continued efforts to make websites and blogs more printable, and to get customers more comfortable with printing projects in general, they’ve sponsored the photo sections of parenting sites such as Dooce and Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. Here’s the masthead at Dooce, where HP invites readers to share their own pet photos.

HP Sponsors Daily Chuck

The Pioneer Woman hosts frequent “Give That Photo A Name” contests. Today’s installment solicited nearly 3000 comments in around six hours. (Yes, 3000 reader comments attached to a single post.) The lead-in to today’s contest, the Pioneer Woman alerts her readers to the new functionality added to her site as part of HP’s sponsorship: “Before I show you the prize, have you noticed the little ‘Print Pioneer Woman Photos’ blurb in my nav bar above? Here. Let me show you.” Followed by these screenshots:

Pioneer Woman Prints

Conversational marketing can be this simple. Simple yet well situated — right in the thick of an engaged conversation among 3000 web-savvy moms.

Facebook Apps Not Making Money?

My colleague Pete Spande responds to Adam Ostrow’s post at Mashable on the topic of Facebook applications and sponsorship dollars:

“I think the article misses the point and potential of Facebook apps as a business. There are supposedly 100 million blogs and most don’t make much money – even those with decent traction. Some however, and FM represents many of them, do very well and are seeing revenue growth that now rivals the audience growth they saw in previous years. I see a similar dynamic forming with FB applications. A handful of applications are making significant dollars through advertising, affiliate deals, etc. Others are seeing real promise. Most aren’t, and won’t, make much money ever.”

From the projects I’ve observed firsthand with Facebook apps affiliated with FM (Watercooler, Graffiti Wall and a few others), brands like Wacom, HP and Dell are finding large, high-quality audiences and significant marketing value. We’re only half a year into the era of Facebook applications, but I’m betting that marketers will do what they always do — send their advertising dollars in pursuit of their customers.

FM Is Reading Jaffe's “Join The Conversation”

Burned out on Oprah’s Book Club? Us too. So we’ve started our own book group here at FM. Our selection for Q1 2007: Joseph Jaffe’s Join The Conversation.

Jaffe Join The Conversation

From Page 29:

“Whereas [old marketing] puts the brand on a pedestal and expects consumer to worship it, covet it, aspire to it, and ultimately take a subservient position to it, [new marketing] asserts the opposite: that the brand must fit into consumers’ lives.”

While you’re waiting for you copy to arrive, you should be reading Jaffe’s site, Jaffe Juice.

HP Adds Value to Business Trends Site Through Sponsorship

Anita Campbell announces a new feature to her site, Small Business Trends, “a new section here at Small Business Trends called ‘Marketing Tips,’ with the support of Hewlett Packard (HP). We’ll be creating special content with marketing tips you can use.”

Small Business Trends Logo

Here’s the part I like best about smart marketing, “conversational” or otherwise: When a marketer adds value to the content experience — by funding product development or other new services — the brand benefits from the goodwill it creates among the community and the leaders

of that community. Here’s how Anita puts it:

“HP has given us access to a number of in-house people so that we can pick their brains and include their expertise. That kind of access has been invaluable. As a result of their support I’ve been able to get additional help to pull together some special initiatives — and I think you’re going to be excited about those.”

UPDATE 11:30am: Here’s coverage at Sphinn, the internet marketing news and discussion forums site.

UPDATE 4:45pm: As I’ve watched the first conversation at Anita’s Marketing Tips site develop, I’ve been astounded by the names of the participants she’s enlisted — Seth Godin, Jackie Huba, Guy Kawasaki, John Jantsch and a dozen others. This is conversational marketing at its best: An authentic (“editorial”) conversation among smart people on topics they are already immersed in (several have published books — and all maintain blogs — on the topic). HP didn’t ask Anita or her community of marketing gurus, entrepreneurs and small-business owners to talk about HP products or the HP brand. Instead they made the decision to let the marketing gurus talk amongst themselves in a virtual meet-up space for which HP pays the rent. When marketers are brave enough to trust their customers, like HP did here, collateral benefits start to accrue. Anita is so pleased with the content and conversation in the Marketing Tips area, she added this plug on her homepage, alongside her own trademark avatar:

Anita’s Homepage Promo

The folks who helped put this idea together include Ashley Houk and Wendy Cole at HP (who run a variety of programs, including co-marketing efforts between HP and Staples, under which this initiative falls), Jared Katzman here at FM, and Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends.

Wacom's Facebook Graffiti Sponsorship Keeps On Giving

In November 2007, Wacom launched their first in a series of sponsored contests among users of the Graffiti Wall application in Facebook. Because certain participants in each contest take the extra step of becoming “fans” of Bamboo By Wacom (which gives Wacom permission to alert them to a new contest), each new contest is bigger than its predecessor.

These sponsored contests, it seems, are the marketing gifts that keep on giving. Now I’m seeing that forty-four people have posted to a Facebook discussion called Did you get a tablet for Christmas? My favorite entry:

Bamboo for Xmas

Email Invaders: My Submission to DeVry's Raise Your Game Site

DeVry University has launched a marketing site that invites visitors to submit ideas for a video game you’d like to play. My entry, Email Invaders, works likes this:

“The game looks like a standard email inbox, with new emails stacking up at an alarming rate (each one making that spine-chilling “bing” noise). But instead of having to read them, you shoot them like space invaders of Atari fame, and they shatter into bits before evaporating. Special keystrokes would allow you to shoot dozens with a single shot. Bonus points for hitting emails with attachments. Unlike conventional video games, where finishing a wave immediately advances players to the next wave, players of Email Invaders are “rewarded” by getting a 24-hours pause to the game — no new emails for a full day. The next, more difficult wave becomes available the next day.”

Please, give me your votes. I want to win the XBOX and — more importantly — be featured on WebbAlert!

Space Invaders

Economist: Recession Will Hit Hardest on TV, Print Ads

According to the Economist, a recession (whether it’s in 2008 or 2009) will hit TV and print advertising sectors much harder than online advertising:

“In rich countries the internet is claiming a growing share of advertising—at the expense of traditional media, such as TV and print. There is still a gap between the time people spend online as a fraction of their media consumption (about a fifth) and the fraction of marketing budgets spent on the internet (about 7.5%). Many companies are trying to narrow the gap, which will sustain internet advertising during a downturn. Search advertising, the most effective kind of all, should be safest.”

While I agree with the obvious part — that anything done online is more trackable than something done offline — I hope a recession doesn’t serve as a time machine, pushing the online ad industry back to its roots as a blunt instrument for harvesting clicks and leads.

US Ad Spending

NBC No Longer Funding Pilots

From NY Times:

“Jeff Zucker, the chief executive of NBC Universal, said Tuesday the broadcaster was moving to save as much as $50 million a year by reducing its reliance on expensive pilots of new series on the NBC television channel.”

More evidence (like anyone needs it!) that the packaged-goods approach to media — where large media companies own and control distribution of content — is breaking down. As audiences move to the internet, the economic models behind television networks are becoming less lucrative. Fifty million dollars a year to throw programming-spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks just doesn’t pay out anymore.

Morgan Webb's WebbAlert Attracts Young Male Demo

That’s obvious. But here’s one of her very young male fans!