Well, not entirely. If you search for “regeneration” at Google, the #1 result is a Wikipedia entry for the biological process that starfish, for example, go through when they grow back arms that were torn off. But the second entry, among nearly 18,000,000 pages identified by Google, is Dell’s site ReGeneration.org, a site (and brand concept) that was kicked off, in part, with a Graffiti drawing contest inside Facebook.
A question I get frequently is, “Sure, big conversational marketing ideas are great for Honda and Dell, but how can a small company like mine participate?”
VisualCV, “a better resume, online,” answers that question. As part of an advertising campaign across a handful of leading business and technology sites such as Guy Kawasaki’s How to Change the World and Henry Blodget’s Silicon Alley Insider, VisualCV asked the authors if they’d make their own “better resumes” using the VisualCV service. It’s important to note, VisualCV didn’t ask authors to review their service or say nice things about it; just to try it.
Then, instead of running conventional ad banners on those authors’ sites, VisualCV bought 125×125-pixel boxes that invite readers to check out Guy’s or Henry’s VisualCV. Advertising that shows rather than tells. Click-through rates on those little 125x125s are averaging better than two percent (2%). That’s somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty times
Avenue A’s senior VP for global media isn’t worried about Microsoft buying Yahoo. Or, as the Silicon Alley Insider headline puts it, “Microsoft + Yahoo = Irrelevant.”
“”There’s a perspective that going from three portals to two is bad for buyers. But spend is actually moving away from portals and much more broadly across the web, so I’m actually not concerned about moving from three to two, because we are really moving from 3 to 800.”
“For the first time in the past four years, portals lost share of ad dollars year over year — at least from Avenue A/Razorfish, which releases its latest Digital Outlook report today. The shift comes after years of ad-dollar consolidation with the largest players online. In 2007, 19% of Avenue A’s media spending went to portals, down from 24% in 2006.”
Here’s a keynote quote from Sunday’s IAB conference in Phoenix, as reported by Battelle, “We must not trade our advertising inventory like pork bellies.”
Great line, and important sentiment. Google has ushered in an era of ad-networkification of online advertising. Even erstwhile media companies, like Yahoo, that used to sell brand-advertising experiences have lost their way chasing Google deeper into CPC-land.
Here’s the Guardian UK on “the new wave of cyber celebrities” — Joanne Colan from Rocketboom, Alex Albrecht from Diggnation, Mark Frauenfelder and Xeni Jardin from Boing Boing TV, and the eponymous Ze Frank.
“SAI: Haven’t ad networks played a role in holding down online CPMs?”
“Moore: I dont think its the networks that are doing it. I haven’t spoken to anybody who thinks media fragmentation is going to stop. I think we are dramatically underpriced compared to offline. The amount of money newpapers and magazines have been getting per thousand is outrageous. Newpapers and magazines are still getting roughly 30% of all advertising expenditures–yet if you look at their share of media usage, they’ve got between 7% and 9%. Thats why they’re having so much trouble.”
Oh, come on. Google and the ad networks are selling clicks, even when the advertiser signs an IO with the acronym “CPM” after the $0.70 price tag. They are giving away for free the vast majority of impressions, those that don’t generate a click. They are telling advertisers that those impressions have no value. Charging nothing for impressions that make a positive impact on creating demand and spurring consideration is, in fact, charging too little for the service rendered. Google and the ad networks are most certainly deflating CPMs across the media landscape.
According to analysis by Richard MacManus at ReadWriteWeb, Ars Technica is the source of 87 front page Digg stories in the past 30 days, making Ars the top source for Digg conversations. Gizmodo and Engaget are close behind, filling out the top three. TechCrunch, GigaOM, VentureBeat, ReadWriteWeb and Mashable are other FM sites in the top ten. These are the brands that start the conversations, while Digg spreads the conversation to a much wider audience.
Techmeme’s Leaderboard does a similar analysis of sites-of-origin for stories tracked by its service. For the past 30 days, the top ten (in order) is TechCrunch, CNET, Engadget, NY Times, Ars Technica, ReadWriteWeb, Silicon Alley Insider, WSJ, The Register, and PaidContent.
FM and Dell are hosting a party at SXSW along with Bulldog Solutions, The Conversation Group, and Social Media Club Austin: An Evening of “Conversation Starters.” Join us at the Iron Cactus in Austin, March 10 from 6:30 to 9:30pm. More details at Upcoming.
More on this from my colleague James Gross. I’d argue this has always been true — the best TV commercials are ones we watched because they were mini films that touched us or short, clever comedic sketches that made us laugh or 30-second songs we sang along to — or some weirdly wonderful combination of all three.