Net Marketing - news and strategy


Thursday, October 31, 2002
Branding, Direct Marketing or Both?

I-Media Connection: Jaffe Juice: Once There Was a Line..

"Every time I hear the phrases “did it work” or “was it successful” on a panel, I cringe at the misuse and vague generalizations being employed to ascertain whether a campaign was successful or not. For the most part, campaigns are still being mostly judged on isolated, short-term metrics – of which, clickthrough is still rearing its ugly head as the sole determinant of success. I always want to shout out, “What’s your definition of work or success?”

Why does every campaign have to answer this question? Why aren’t campaigns being correctly contextualized as a step or part of a process? Why aren’t online programs being evaluated on or in an integrated mix?"



Tell Me Why I Don't Like Mondays

OneStat: Monday is busiest day on the Net

15.34% of worldwide Internet traffic occurs on Monday. Bloody skivers ;-)



Wednesday, October 30, 2002
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Another Publisher Sees Sense

Press Release: StockHouse Bans Pop-Up Advertising

"StockHouse.ca, one of Canada's leading investor web sites, has banned the use of pop-up advertising after user surveys indicated this was by far the most annoying aspect of surfing the internet.

"We're listening to our users," said Marcus New, Chief Executive Officer of Stockgroup Information Systems Inc. "They clearly find these ads annoying, and we don't want unhappy readers."

With more than 400,000 registered members, StockHouse.ca is one of the first major Canadian websites to outlaw pop-up advertisements."



Web TV Alive and Just About Kicking

Europe Media: UK's first internet-only TV channel launched

"After 6 years of production and development, the UK's first broadband TV station, Worldart Media Television, has launched on the internet.

WAM TV transmits 24 hours a day, world wide, showing alternative arts & entertainment from around the world.

The internet channel, which is only available via broadband or ISDN has developed from the Edinburgh Festival Revue, which has been transmitting the Fringe in August every year since 1998 to a world wide audience.

Paul Blyth - WAM TV CEO says "It has taken many years for us to gather and produce over 5000 hours of original material. WAM TV is a great example of how new technology allows the distribution of television on a scale previously impossible. We are the UK's first internet TV station and I am sure this is the first of many. It gives the viewer a truly different approach to television". "

Certainly ambitious. It will be interesting to see whether they can attract advertisers to this format.



Tuesday, October 29, 2002
More Tremors

IAR: P&G Targets Teens With Viral Campaign

A little more detail about Procter & Gamble's teen influencer network - 200,000 teen advocates.

AdAge previously wrote about this back in August.




Questioning the Use of Pop-Ups

eMarketer: Pop-Up Ads: More Problem Than Profits?

A round up of recent pop-up related activity, including research on audience attitude. With ISP's and content providers increasingly using anti pop rhetoric as part of their sales pitch, you'd think that pop extinction was imminent. However no such luck. The industry is vehemently defending pops, arguing that frequency capping is the answer. For the moment many leading publications appear all too happy to buy that.



Monday, October 28, 2002
Taking On Yahoo!

NYT: Ad-Free Site From the Masters of the Web Hard Sell

Interesting..IWon owners Bulldog Holdings have just opened a portal, MyWay (directory powered by DMOZ, search by Google), that contains no pop-ups or banner advertising. The plan - make money through PPC revenue.

Although my money is against this doing Yahoo any serious damage, it may cause them a little PR trouble. You just don't need the NYT comparing you to Time Square :-)



Detailed Explanation of Overture Auto Bid System

Search Engine Watch: A Closer Look at Overture's Auto Bid System

Although nothing new, it if you don't completely understand how the system works, it is worth recapping. Not understanding can be very expensive.



Marketing Network Provides Expansive Consumer Reach & Targeting

Company Release: CoolSavings Launches Distribution Network for Grocery Coupons and Samples

"The CoolSavings Marketing Network is the largest distributor of online print-at-home grocery coupons. At launch time, CSMN has more than 30 Web sites in the network, with participants from newspapers in major metropolitan cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Detroit and more than twenty other markets via partnerships with newspaper publishers such as Knight Ridder, Hollinger and Landmark Communications. Partners also include some of the Internet's most popular lifestyle sites such as, allrecipes.com, the leading community-based recipe and meal planning Web site on the Internet, and weather.com, the Web site of The Weather Channel (TWC), the world's leading source of weather on the Web. Through these partnerships, CoolSavings is able to ensure greater distribution and redemption of targeted grocery coupons than any other site or network.

The CoolSavings Marketing Network will also launch with a wide variety of coupon offers from leading advertisers such as General Mills, 3M, Dannon and Unilever among others. Additional partners such as Hormel, Hoover and Gorton's will join the network by the end of the month."



Saturday, October 26, 2002
1 out of 4 Online Households will Subscribe to Broadband by Year End

In-Stat: Consumer Broadband Not a Revolution, but a Healthy Evolution

"DSL broadband service, specifically, will grow by 3 million installed lines to a total of 7.6 million subscribers in the US by the end of 2002"





Thursday, October 24, 2002
MSN and AOL Online see contrasting results

ZDNET: Microsoft: Online ads 'on a monster roll"

"We're on a monster roll," said Yusuf Mehdi, the corporate vice president overseeing Microsoft's MSN division. "This is the best-kept secret in the industry, which is that the online ad industry is alive and well and actually kicking butt for a number of companies out there."

For the 2002 fiscal year, which ended 30 June, 2002, MSN's online ad revenue grew $40m (£26m), he said. Between June 30 and September 30, 2002, it jumped 40 percent."

SFGate.com: Internet unit puts crimp in AOL profits

"Advertising and commerce revenue for America Online declined 48 percent in the third quarter compared with last year."



Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Interactive Marketing Trends

I-Media: "Six Truths About Interactive Marketing"

  • It’s a Blank Canvas
  • Advertising Needs to Deliver Value
  • Align with Lifestyles and Interests
  • Capitalize on Interactive’s Strengths
  • Acquire Once, Remarket as Needed
  • It’s All About the Brand

    Now ask yourself - how many online campaigns are consistent with all these 'truths'? As revealing, ask yourself - is the industry moving in a direction compatible with these 'truths'?

    The trends identified aren't necessarily new, but it is interesting to see them discussed together, and in this context. Well worth taking the time to read in full.



  • Safety Bot

    AP: "AOL launches safety buddy for kids"

    "America Online is launching a new Internet-safety campaign for kids built around an automated instant-messaging "buddy" that dispenses advice in real time.

    Kids can add "AOLSafetyBot" to their buddy lists of friends on AOL Instant Messenger. It's programmed to answer, within seconds, such questions as whether kids should agree to physical meetings with online acquaintances or reveal such personal information as their address and age.

    The SafetyBot campaign, being launched today, also includes a Web site at AOL's SafetyClicks.com, where kids can play a trivia game and watch a video featuring characters from the Cartoon Network, a unit of AOL Time Warner."



    Tuesday, October 22, 2002
    Direct Marketing Association Finally Accept Need for Regulation

    cnet: "Direct marketers want anti-spam laws"

    "The DMA's change of heart, which comes as the group meets in San Francisco for its 85th annual convention this week, means that a sizable obstacle to federal legislation has vanished. The DMA, along with its allies at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation, have previously scuttled some anti-spam laws from being enacted by Congress."



    Amazon to put results on Inktomi

    IAR: "Inktomi Expands Amazon Deal"

    "Amazon.com will include its full product catalog on Inktomi's search index through the Inktomi Index Connect pay-for-performance program.

    Through a direct XML feed, Inktomi Index Connect allows Amazon.com to ensure its e-commerce wares appear in Web search results with detailed descriptions, Inktomi said. The results include "information about time-sensitive promotions, such as free shipping that drive purchasing decisions," the company added."



    Ad Revenue Down 20% on 2001

    cnet: "Year starts slow for Web ads"

    "Web ad revenue totaled $2.98 billion for the first half of 2002, according to industry trade group Interactive Advertising Bureau and consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers. That marks a 22 percent decline from the previous six months and a 20.8 percent drop for the comparable time frame in 2001. The quarterly survey, called IAB Internet Ad Revenue Report, showed sales in the second quarter that reached $1.46 billion, a 4.1 percent dip from the first quarter."



    Monday, October 21, 2002
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    Internet Proves its Worth to Major Brand

    IAR: "Net Ad Industry Pushes For Bigger Slice of Media"

    The Internet Advertising Bureau released today the results from a cross-media optimization study.

    "McDonald's, the first of the participating brands to release its figures, bumping up online spending -- from 1 percent of the total media budget to 13 percent, for a two-week campaign to promote McDonald's new grilled chicken flatbread sandwich.

    The findings indicated that while McDonald's traditional TV and radio campaign increased brand awareness by 187 percent during the two-week ad blitz, the extra 12 percent devoted to online yielded a lift of 232 percent."



    Website Affinity and Online Ad Impact

    AdAge: "comScore Study Suggests New Ways to Evaluate Audiences"

    "The implications of the finding are that Web sites that draw high-affinity audiences offer more fertile ground for the same advertisements than Web sites whose audiences are low-affinity users. "Affinity" in this context refers to a sense of strong personal connection and ongoing personal engagement with the content of any particularly site"

    The variance in attitude between high and low affinity users is significant. For instance - "22% of low-affinity consumers believe that brands they see advertised are relevant, compared to 68% of high-affinity users."



    Pop-ups Pushed Down at Ask Jeeves

    CNET: "Ask Jeeves Bans Pop-ups From its Search Website"

    The company said that it would concentrate instead on growing PPC advertising revenue.



    Friday, October 18, 2002
    Quick Solution for Throwing Brand into the Sewer: Pop-Ups

    A sane article on pop-ups and branding.

    I hate pop-ups, and think that publications that allow them are doing real damage to themselves. All of that said, I still wouldn't entirely discount them as an advertising vehicle, as the reality is that for 'call to action' campaigns they are effective.



    Thursday, October 17, 2002
    Down with Flashturbators

    A rant about the rise of 'beyond the banner' advertising. Where I agree with him in regard to pop-ups, I think that it is wrong to lump interstitial into the same annoyance category. It is a flow issue - pop-ups hijack the user experiences, whereas interstitial run within it.

    The writer goes on to allocate blame, asking whose at fault? Personally I blame the publishers - ad agencies will always push to be as intrusive as possible, clients will generally follow their lead, and therefore it falls to publishers to protect the users experience. In this ad revenue drough, many appear to have forgotten that.




    Pop-ups persist for UK AOL users

    Yesterday AOL announced that they would scrap 3rd party pop-ups from their network. It transpires that AOL UK users may not be so lucky.

    "We are still deciding the official position on this," said the AOL UK spokesman. "We don't see it as an immediate problem because we have not had many complaints. We have two million members and only the occasional complaint."



    Ad fiasco: we will act, says Ballmer

    I'm sorry, but I don't buy this. Steve Ballmer commenting on SwitchGate stating that he will "weed out" employees who do not live up to Microsoft's code of behaviour, and denying knowledge of the incident.

    I'm not sure what he means by living up to Microsoft's code of behaviour. I'd have thought that this PR woman's action were entirely consistent with it. I also don't believe that Ballmer was unaware of what was going on. Microsoft, when it comes to marketing, especially when combating Apple, are control freaks. Their is very little chance that this fake campaign went ahead with authorisation from the top.



    Wednesday, October 16, 2002
    Spam Masquerades as Admin Alerts

    "A new breed of pop-up ads is appearing mysteriously on Microsoft Windows users' computers. The so-called "Messenger spams" have security experts and system administrators scratching their heads -- and recipients fuming.

    By tapping into Messenger, a Windows service originally designed to enable system administrators to send messages to users on a network, Direct Advertiser can deliver "completely anonymous and virtually untraceable" ads "straight to the screen of your client," according to the company's website."

    Interestingly Direct Advertiser is now offline.


    Pop-Ups On The Wane At AOL

    I suppose that with EarthLink jumping on the 'anti pop-up bandwagon' that is was only a matter of time before AOL followed suit.

    The pop-up blocking feature is included as part of their new AOL 8.0 Browser.



    Yahoo's Overture economy

    A discussion of Yahoo's relationship with Overture, highlighting the significance of PPC advertising to Yahoo's present and future success.



    Tuesday, October 15, 2002
    Porno pop-ups blight McDonald's McNet Access trial

    'McDonald's has suspended a trial providing Net access in its restaurants after customers complained that they couldn't stomach porn with their burgers. Three outlets in Kilmarnock, Dunfermline and Paisley began a scheme to offer "McNetAccess" in the summer. Although McDonald's took measures to block access to adult sites, this failed to stop porno pop-up ads from appearing on screen.'



    Google the No. 1 search site in the world according to OneStat.com

    Google’s global usage share has reached an all time high and has risen from 53.2 percent to 55.1 percent.

    The 7 largest search engines on the web are:

    1. Google 55.1% +1.9%
    2. Yahoo 20.6% +0.2
    3. MSN Search 9.4% +0.3
    4. AOL Search 3.5% +0.6%
    5. Terra Lycos 3.0% -0.7%
    6. Altavista 2.4% -0.4%
    7. Ixquick 1.7% -0.5%



    Looking At Links

    Feedback from the "Looking at Links" workshop held at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose, California. The article summarises what Google and Teoma reps had to say about how their respective search engines viewed links:

  • 'Google essentially treats each link from one site to another as a vote for the site receiving the link (link popularity), but each vote is not created equal. Dulitz used a simple diagram to show that each page of a site only has one vote to give, so the more links to different sites on the same page the less of a vote each one receives. He also stated that links from higher quality sites carry more weight than those of lesser quality sites (e.g. sites with hidden links, involved in link farms, no incoming links, etc.). In addition, Google not only analyzes who is linking to whom, but they also analyze the text in and around the links to help determine the relevance of the pages receiving the links.'

  • 'Teoma views the web as a global entity that contains many subject based web site communities. They study these subject communities and the manner in which they are interlinked within themselves and with each other to determine not only their link popularity, but also the subject and context of the involved sites. According to Gardi, Teoma is able to do this by using their unique method of ranking sites. He explained that rather than relying on general link popularity to determine results, their engine attempts to employ a "subject specific popularity" to locate the most popular sites within a specific subject community. This is done by first analyzing the web as a whole to identify subject communities. Teoma then employs link popularity within those communities to determine which sites are the "authorities" on the subject of the query and it's those sites that are returned as their results to a search.'



  • Mykindaplace and Dubit to launch branded community building

    'Girl’s portal mykindaplace.com is to launch a branded building on virtual community Dubit to promote advertising opportunities on both sites. Due to go live next month as part of a total revamp of the Dubit world, the mykindaplace.com-branded area will replace the girl site’s own chat offering.

    According to Charlie Redmayne, marketing director at mykindaplace.com, the sites will share revenue from advertisers featuring in the area. He said: "Advertisers will be able to have branding in an animated environment. What’s likely is that when we secure new longer-term deals next year, there will be an opportunity to offer this extension to them." '

    This is similar to initiative that have been run on virtual community Habbo Hotel.



    Microsoft's Apple-alike ad a phoney

    "Microsoft's attempt to copy an Apple advertising campaign, which originally sought to show the Apple OS was far easier to use than Windows XP, has backfired - big time. The Vole published a "Confession of a Mac to PC convert" on its Insider pages. "I was up and running in less than one day, Girl Scout's honor," says the woman in the ad, which has since been pulled but saved by the wonders of Google's cache here.

    Slashdot first noticed that the picture of the woman in Microsoft's ad, who claimed that switching to Windows "was as easy as the marketing hype had promised", was a stock Microsoft photo.

    Turns out, strangely enough, that the woman in the ad works for a public relations company hired by (cough!) Microsoft. And, spookier still, the firm the woman works for was indeed the one that came up with the idea for the ad in the first place."



    Consumers Favor Companies with Good E-Mail Marketing

    'According to a Quris and Executive Summary survey of US e-mail users 67% say they like the companies they know of that, in their opinion, do a good job with permission e-mail marketing. Additionally, 58% say they open those companies' e-mails and 53% say their personal buying decisions are affected by those companies' e-mail.'





    Monday, October 14, 2002
    Streetmap signs ValueClick for ad sales

    How is this for good PR:

    'Streetmap.co.uk has appointed ValueClick to handle its advertising sales following a six-month test period when the agency boosted Streetmap’s ad revenues by 500 per cent.

    She added: “We were reluctant to outsource our ad sales again, as we were disappointed with the results. But ValueClick proved it can boost our revenues by working closely with us and offering advertisers the flexibility of different pricing models.” '

    You've got to wonder how bad their inhouse operation was if such growth was possible, but regardless 500% is still impressive.



    Web sites sue over pop-up ads

    'Contact lens seller 1-800 Contacts Inc. has asked a judge to stop a rival from placing unauthorized pop-up advertisements on its Web site, the third such suit (ed. others against Gator) by a retailer this month.

    The Draper, Utah-based company, which has sold more than 5.7 million lenses since 1995, says competitor Vision Direct Inc. has been inserting pop-up ads on its Web site since the summer. 1-800 Contacts is suing both Vision Direct and the company that Vision Direct allegedly hired to post the pop-ups, WhenU.com Inc.'



    How AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! Shape Up as Ad Vehicles

    A comparative analysis of how well the major portals are doing at serving marketers needs. Yahoo comes out on top, as Tim McHale, CEO, Underscore Marketing, puts it "Yahoo! continues to be the most sophisticated, most service-driven and the most creative ... and it has a strong demographic targeting tool."



    Friday, October 11, 2002
    Study: Net Hurts Offline Communications, Media Use

    'Evidence continues to mount suggesting that the Internet is chipping away at traditional forms of media consumption and communications, according to a new study by GartnerG2.

    With regard to media consumption, the Gartner survey found that 20 percent of Web users watch television less than they had before the Internet, while about the same percentage agreed for reading newspapers. About 18 percent said they go to see fewer movies, while about 15 percent also said they watch videos and read magazines less often.'



    How Many E-Newsletters Are Actually Read?

    'According to a report on e-mail newsletter usability, published in September 2002, from the Nielsen Norman Group, only 23% of the e-mail newsletters studied by the group were read in their entirety, 27% were skimmed and the remainder were not even opened. Nielsen Norman tested the usability of over 10 e-mail newsletters (ranging from Cooking.com’s newsletter to The Daily Planet from the New York City Parks and Recreation department).'



    Fall Showcase: What's New in Rich Media

    A rundown of recent formats introduced by the main players, including EyeWonder, Unicast and Brillant Digital.



    Understand the Internet as a Marketing Channel to Achieve Higher Levels of Return on Investment from Web Sites

    'Research conducted in association with The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) reveals that many organisations lack the knowledge of online marketing required to achieve good return on investment from their web sites.

    Two hundred and seven UK-based financial services websites were investigated, and the findings show that despite sustained investment in the online marketing channel, a basic lack of understanding of the medium is leading to wasted potential for profitability.'



    Get Ready For the Obnoxious Online Ad Parade

    'Over the past few months, the leading Internet portals -- MSN, Yahoo and America Online -- have loosened restrictions on how much audio, video and animation they allow advertisers to display. That, in turn, is encouraging advertisers to experiment with even more interruptive formats, including video, talking characters, floating logos and animations that mimic video by presenting still images in animated sequences like flip cards. '

    EyeWonder appears to be having the most impact, experiencing 1,000% growth in revenue in the last 12 months.



    Ad spending plans showing strength

    'The ad industry is showing signs it might recover next year from the worst slump in its history.

    Overall, the forecast for spending in 2003 looks very strong," says Jack Myers, editor of the daily media newsletter, Jack Myers Report, which tracks ad spending of more than 250 advertising and media executives across the USA. "But while the data looks strong, I can't help but be very conscious of all the negative influences."

  • Newspapers and Internet. Both segments are still ailing and will do good to post a 1% gain next year. Hit especially hard by a falloff in tech and financial services advertising is Dow Jones. The company said Thursday that ad revenue for the third quarter was down 12.7% and profit down 69%. Internet ad sales look to be off 15% this year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, and flat at best in 2003.'



  • Thursday, October 10, 2002
    Ads keep Yahoo! in the black

    'The company predicted an ad revenue rebound in July, and seems to have delivered. Of the $248.8m total revenue Yahoo reported for the three months to September 30, $147.4m came from the businesses the company categorizes as "marketing services", up 22% on last year and the first increase in revenue from that segment in some time.

    But Yahoo's relationship with paid-search firm Overture Services Inc seems to be mostly responsible for the new advertising money. The boost came mostly from search engine paid-performance listings, generally bought by small and medium sized enterprises, rather than from big-ticket marketing agreements.'



    Wednesday, October 09, 2002
    Weight Watchers Files Second Pop-Up Suit

    " Weight Watchers International is heading back to court for a second time against an advertiser using pop-up advertising served by firms including WhenU.com and The Gator Corporation. In the latest complaint, Woodbury, N.Y.-based Weight Watchers filed suit against DiscreetDrugs.com, a prescription drug e-commerce site.

    Since users might not realize that the ads originate from the software -- and not WeightWatchers.com -- Weight Watchers' lawsuit charges that the pop-ups infringe on and dilute the Weight Watchers trademarks, and unlawfully trade on the company's brand. In addition, Weight Watchers said the ads imply that it endorses the diet drugs and DiscreetDrugs.com -- particularly irksome to the firm, since it does not advocate weight-loss drugs as part of its program."



    Should Baby Web Sites Reach Out to Dad?

    This raises an interesting point. You've got to laugh when research data so vehemently supports widely held stereotyped views.

    'Should Web sites that sell baby clothes, toys and pacifiers start posting up-to-the-minute college football scores and pictures of swimsuit models? The query is prompted by results from a recent survey by ComScore Media Metrix, which measures Internet traffic patterns — including the latest findings on the difference in the Web surfing patterns of expectant mothers and fathers. The survey found that mothers-to-be surf family and community sites, seek data on raising teenagers and visit online retailers hawking home furnishings, toys and apparel. But when an expectant father grabs the mouse, he tends to go for entertainment, sports, online trading, gambling information and adult content. The data indicated that expectant fathers were 15 percent more likely to visit adult-content sites than were men in general. Mr. Kim said he was "not really equipped to speculate on the reasons why."


    Tuesday, October 08, 2002
    Study Warns Marketers to Avoid 'Silo Mentality' Advertising

    'Marketers spending some $231 billion a year in planning and buying media to reach today's consumers need to dump long-standing assumptions about frequency and reach in favor of new models built around simultaneous use of two or more media. That's the conclusion of a new study by two Midwestern university professors who surveyed 7,800 consumers, most of whom are multitasking by simultaneously using several media outlets.

    The study found that 59% of males and 67% of females watching TV regularly or occasionally go online at the same time. Of those on the Internet, 69% of males and 76% of females regularly or occasionally also watch TV. Among a favorite target of retailers -- women aged 18 to 34 with one or more children -- less than half, 45%, watch TV only. The rest divide their attention between TV and another form of media: 31% go online, 3% listen to the radio, 9% read newspapers and 9% read magazines. Of those young mothers using the Internet, only 20% give their full attention to what they are doing online; 45% are also watching TV, 23% are listening to the radio; 4% are reading magazines and 5% are reading newspapers.'

    These finding are consistent with recent research from comScore that found that "Over half of U.S. adult Internet users have a TV and PC in the same room, with half of those reporting they watch TV and use the Net simultaneously."



    Understanding Users through Brand Research

    Interview with Mitch McCasland, brand strategiest who has worked with the - Proctor & Gamble, Dr. Pepper/Seven-Up, and Verizon/GTE. Mitch talks about how Account Planning techniques can benefit the way web sites are designed.



    Bullish ad spend report counters Sorrell's pessimism

    Here is a balanced study for you ;-)

    'The Advertising Association, which represents the UK's biggest advertisers and agencies believes spending on advertising could rise by as much as 45% - to £16bn from today's £11bn.'



    Monday, October 07, 2002
    Interview with ValueClick

    'With businesses serving four areas of online marketing, ValueClick is positioned nicely for the future of the industry. John Ardis and Chad Miller provide some insight.

    iMedia Connection: What are some of the specific challenges that are barriers for growth?

    Ardis: Cross-media measurement standards seems to be at least a barrier that people vocalize a lot. Whether it truly is a barrier or it’s an excuse, I don’t know, but it seems to be something everybody does latch onto so it’s important that we at least address it. If nothing else, at least eliminate the excuse, but hopefully it will actually provide some of that comfort and trustworthiness of the new medium we’ve been talking about.

    Another really popular one that’s often voiced is the broader acceptance of broadband. My only concern about broadband and rich media and the focus on those things is traditional advertisers continuing to think: “How quickly can I make Internet like TV?” as opposed to making Internet better than TV or making TV better because of the Internet. When everybody has so many ingrained preconceived notions because of the way they’ve been doing business for decades, they tend to always want to force fit anything new into their current frame of reference.

    Also, earlier we were talking about the abuse part of the cycle, and I anticipate that when broadband finally hits critical mass we’re going to be seeing a whole lot of TV-like commercials streaming all over the Web and it could result in an obnoxious visual experience -- like Times Square on your computer. And once response rates start going down and advertisers aren’t getting the impact they think they should get, then the fallout will begin, followed by it being used more responsibly. But I just think that’s the natural evolution these things go through. '



    comScore Media Metrix Announces A New Standard In Hispanic Internet Audience Measurement

    'comScore Networks, Inc., the standard in Internet behavioral measurement, today announced the launch of a revolutionary Hispanic audience measurement service, which accurately reports the online surfing and buying behavior of the fast-growing online Hispanic population. comScore Media Metrix Hispanic Services provide marketers with the information required to better understand and more effectively market to Hispanic audiences across all key language segments.

    "We identified an urgent need for unbiased measurement of Internet usage among Spanish-speaking Internet users and have supported this important initiative since the early days of Terra.com,” noted Manuel Bellod, CEO of Terra.com and a charter client of the new comScore service. “These data are essential to the future development of our industry, and vital for advertising agencies and corporate clients alike. comScore is uniquely able to meet the demand and we are pleased that the firm has developed this new service.” '


    Buy BoostsTerra Lycos' Targeted Ad Technology

    'Terra Lycos, a Spanish Internet service provider and site network operator, has opened
    its $1.86 billion war chest to buy online direct marketer GetRelevant.

    The price tag for the 3-year-old, privately held San Francisco firm was not disclosed. The buy was made with cash. Neither company immediately responded to requests for additional details of the deal. In a statement, Stephen Killeen, president of Terra Lycos U.S., said, "With GetRelevant we are adding a high-value product that increases our inventory, gives our customers opportunities for better conversion rates and differentiates us in the industry."

    The new software will help Terra Lycos advertisers, including Barnes & Noble, Orbitz and Scottrade, tailor and serve pitches to new users. What's more, the technology includes advanced tracking and reporting features to gauge the effectiveness of ad strategies. '



    Internet advertising: Top of the pops

    It pains me to even link to this - yet another article about pop-ups/unders, giving the perspective of a pop under spammer.

    Here are a couple of choice quotes from Mr. De Souza:

  • "The user has to see the pop-under ad. Even when you go to close the page it catches your eye."
  • "Ads need to be big and high quality. They want to force you to watch the ads on the internet, and so most of the demand is for pop-unders."

    I can't agree. In the long run it is my strong belief that pop-ups will all but disappear. As Paul Ritter, an analyst of internet business strategies at research firm the Yankee Group points out - "Companies are increasingly turning to multimedia, including streaming video and audio. Our research shows this is the highest growth sector."



  • AOL Online advertising goes DayPart

    'AOL Time Warner's America Online, faced with faltering ad revenue and poised to launch its latest software, AOL 8.0, will take a new tack with advertisers by offering the ability to target its audience by daypart, much like a TV broadcast model. AOL's move to sell advertising by matching key programming areas on both its dial-up and high-speed services to specific time periods coincides with its new approach to developing consumer-focused content bundles.

    AOL isn't the first to try selling by daypart. Yahoo! has sold by daypart across the network and on its home page for more than a year.'



    Friday, October 04, 2002
    Google scheme signals marketing trend

    Asks the question of whether search engines are a marketing medium or a directory? An irrelevant question to most (clearly they are a marketing medium. OK, they are both), however to some the distinction is important.

    'It is against the law in the UK to market pharmaceutical drugs directly to the public. But search for a popular prescription drug on Google UK and a number of AdWords ads appear. At present, none of the regulatory bodies concerned seem to have noticed this. But as marketers become more and more interested in search engines, and those search engines become more interested in providing marketing products, the kind of search-related activities that count as advertising will become increasingly important.'



    Online Dating Perceptions

    'An Ipsos survey of US adults determined that 44% think singles have a better chance of meeting someone online than at a bar, but 68% would not recommend online dating to single pals.'

    I'll only use the internet when I decide I want a stalker.




    Net beats books with children

    'Almost three-quarters had used the net to find information for a project, and just over half said that what they had learned online had directly improved their grades. The results are from a survey of 1,000 seven to 16 year olds questioned by NOP Research across the UK for MSN.co.uk. '



    AOL Time Warner Creating `Shows' to Revive Web Unit

    'AOL Time Warner Inc. is developing 40 exclusive Internet ``shows'' to attract and maintain subscribers to its America Online service, the Web unit's chief executive officer said. There will be more interactive, ``community-driven'' content on America Online, the world's largest Internet service, division CEO Jonathan Miller said at the Internet World conference in New York. New content areas, referred to by Miller as ``shows,'' include news, finance and games. '



    Thursday, October 03, 2002
    Don't forget to sign up to my newsletter

    Out tomorrow - read by many key industry players.



    Rethinking Agency Compensation

    Jim Meskauskas suggesting that ad agency media buyers ditch % payment, and move to a consulting base format. I am very much in the camp that believes that % based payment does not encourage effective media buying. This is especially the case online, where reach is often given far greater precedent than targeting.



    Is Gator using EyeBlaster?

    I've been fooling around with Gator for a couple of months now, just keeping an eye on which sites they are putting their advertising over. I'm still looking into this, but it appears that today for the first time they have started using EyeBlaster style interstitials. They don't name this form of advertising as one of their ad vehicles, so I'm assuming that I've just got this wrong. Would Gator take the piss out of publishers to this extent, especially given their present legal predicament? I'll report back as and when I get more information.



    Tips for Newsletter Success: Exclusive Interview with Michael Katz

    This guy knows what he is talking about - worth reading in full.

    'An e-newsletter isn't about getting people to buy or respond today, but about making them more likely to do so at some point
    in the future. This means delivering useful information to your target customers on a regular basis, and without using typical action-oriented marketing copy.'



    Wednesday, October 02, 2002
    Media Buyer's Guide to Search Advertising

    A pretty good quick reference guide. To be good at PPC marketing it helps to know something about game theory. Overture, Google et al aren't charities. They have created a highly complex competitive environment with the goal of achieve maximum return for themselves. If you don't know what you are doing, you will pay well above the odds. That said, in the right hands this advertising medium can be hugely effective. However you decide to play, start at ROI, and work backwards.



    Newspapers Miss Out On $300 Mil. In Online Advertising

    'Newspapers are missing out on nearly $300 million annually by failing to use the Internet to serve new advertisers and enter new fields, says a new study from Harvard Business School's Clark G. Gilbert and Borrell Associates Inc. of Portsmouth, Va.

    From surveying online operations at over 250 daily newspapers in the U.S., the study estimates the entire industry's 2002 online advertising revenue at $550 million, or about 40% of local Internet ad spending. The study's authors suggest that newspapers can boost their current online projections by $650 million annually by 2005 -- if they adjust their new-media strategies.'



    Overture Gets a Standing O

    An article discussing Overture's ongoing success. It would be fair to say that if Overture warrants a standing ovation for its performance this year, the Google Adword Select should be given a Purple Heart. Google has exploded onto the PPC scene securing major deals left right and centre. Of the big boys only MSN and Yahoo remain elusive.

    'Overture has recorded four profitable quarters in a row, and in the first two quarters of 2002, it already has pulled in more revenues ($295.3 million) than it did all of last year ($288.1 million). Baker puts the company on track to hit $650 million this year. The company's stock is currently trading at about $24 and has a price/earnings ratio of only 18.7 -- pretty low for its sector.

    For the future, the company is planning expansions into Europe and Asia. It's pushing up a scheduled Japan launch from early 2003 to late 2002.'



    UPS sues Gator Corp. for unwanted pop-up ads

    UPS has joined The Washington Post, The New York Times, Dow Jones and seven other publishers, in suing Gator 'alleging it put pop-up and slider ads on the UPS Web site without UPS' permission.'



    Tuesday, October 01, 2002
    Serial Storytelling: Email Marketing's Missing Link

    'Advertisers fare much better when they tell an ongoing story with a common theme over a series of e-mail messages. This methodology, which can best be described as "serial storytelling," has existed for thousands of years in other forms of communication for good reason -- it works. For an example, just watch an episode of General Hospital, Survivor, or The Sopranos, all three of which use serial storytelling to keep viewers hooked week after week, month after month, year after year.

    Using serial storytelling in an e-mail marketing campaign is particularly important in the B2B context because business-oriented products and services are generally more complex than their consumer-oriented counterparts. The more complex a product or service, the more an advertiser must educate a prospect before it can close a sale.'



    Yahoo! to Offer Rich Media Microsites

    'Web portal Yahoo! (Quote, Company Info, News) is aiming to boost its advertising effectiveness after users click an ad, by beefing up its capabilities with rich media microsites.

    Yahoo! AdVision delivers more than simply interaction between marketers and consumers, but rather facilitates a unique branding experience that keeps consumers engaged with a marketing campaign longer than static microsites," said Wenda Harris Millard, chief sales officer at the portal. "The development of Yahoo! AdVision represents our continued commitment to deliver comprehensive tools and increased value for our marketers and a more dynamic experience for consumers." '



    Lycos UK in deal with ITV's Popstars: The Rivals

    'Lycos UK has struck a strategic alliance with ITV’s Popstars: The Rivals to provide a chat service for the show. The portal will power and host the service, which allows fans to share views on the contestants and judges, who include ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and music guru Pete Waterman.

    In addition, Lycos will provide Granada Interactive, which runs the official Popstars web site (www.itv.com/popstars) with the use of its Viral Chart to push amusing clips and auditions from the show. Fans will be able to email clips to friends to create further hype around the show. They will be available on Viral Lycos UK.'



    Branding is the web's food and drink

    A discussion on why FMCG marketers should look at the net as a branding medium, explaining how the medium can be used to develop a different form of relationships with an audience.