Net Marketing - news and strategy

Monday, November 18, 2002
Google and Overture Draw in Yahoo Japan PPC Fight

CNET: Overture, Google win Yahoo berths

Yahoo Japan on Monday said it has signed nonexclusive deals with rivals Google and Overture Services to begin displaying advertising linked to keywords in searches on its site.

The deals mean a draw for now in what some had seen as a key showdown between the two search companies as they seek to expand outside the United States. Yahoo Japan, which reaches nearly 78 percent of the Web population in that country, is considered an important market for both.

Saturday, November 16, 2002
Search Engine User Patterns

iProspect: Search Engine Usage Ranks High

Culled from the results of 1,403 e-mail participants during spring 2002, the iProspect Search Engine Branding Survey found that roughly 16 percent only look at a few entries of search results, and almost 32 percent read through the whole page. Only 23 percent of searchers go beyond to the second page, with the numbers dropping significantly for every page thereafter.

This is part of an ongoing trend, with people becoming less and less inclined to move past the first few search results. Because of this many companies are now abandoning search engine optimisation, and instead focusing their resources on immediate response pay per click solutions such as Overture, Google Adword Select, Espotting and FindWhat.

I personally think that this is shortsighted - good search engine marketing has to include a mix of PPC and SEO, balancing direct marketing with long term positioning.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002
Lea & Perrins Going Global

Revolution: Lea & Perrins backs global site with on-bottle push

The site will be used as a hub for world-wide communications, competition mechanics, localised marketing initiatives and targeted promotional campaigns.

It will also be used as a platform to capture user data and for e-CRM drives. Activity to drive consumers to the site will include on-bottle promotion of the web address and viral marketing campaigns.
Although perhaps not immediately obvious, this promotional structure is actually quite innovative. It is surprisingly rare to find brands using one site to both build their global presence and co-ordinating their localised activities. Personally, and obviously entirely dependent on the brand, I'm a great supporter of this approach as I feel that it allows you to market in a way that is consistent with the characteristics of the medium.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Measuring Effectiveness Online

eMarketer: Measuring Marketing: Why Doesn’t Everyone Do It?

This is a comprehensive roundup of measurement research from the last year that includes a few choice findings:

Q: What is your company’s primary interactive marketing business objective?
A: 23% - Don't know.

Q: Channels for which US marketers have no measurement tools in place?
A: E-mail 60%, Online excluding email 56%.

What this tell me is that somewhere out there exist the perfect client - one that will hand you cash to do what you want, and doesn't require proof that you've achieve anything. What more can you ask for? ;-)

Monday, November 11, 2002
Earthlink Questions AOL's Anti Pop-up Credentials

IAR: EarthLink: Read AOL's Fine Print

Earthlink incorporated anti pop-upness into their marketing strategy back in August. AOL followed last month with the launch of AOL 8.0.

In today's USA Today Earthlink has taken out a full page ad highlighting the fact that whilst AOL 8.0 blocks 3rd party pop-ups, users will still receive pop-up from companies within the AOL Time Warner empire. Earthlink claims that this makes the buzz that AOL create around the 8.0 launch misleading.

I personally find this all very funny. Earthlink were hardly revolutionary in taking their stance against pop-ups. Google was the first major player to use anti pop-up rhetoric as part of self promotion. Earthlink came to the party late, and now appears to be upset that others have decided to turn up.

Gator Launches Counter Strike

The Register: Gator bites back, sues suer

In a somewhat bold move Gator is suing Extended Stay America Inc for preventing GAIN powered adverts from appearing over their site.

In a bizarre twist on reality, The Electronic Frontier Foundation is considering supporting Gator's case. They claim that allowing webmasters to prevent second party windows (i.e pop-up/unders) opening over their websites takes the control of the user experience away from the user, giving too much power to the website owners.

Friday, November 08, 2002
1.65 Million Broadband Subscribers Added in the 3rd Quarter

Leichtman Research Group: Broadband Internet Tops 15.6 Million in the U.S.
Leichtman Research Group finds that as of the end of the third quarter of 2002 the leading cable and DSL providers in the United States have a total of over 15.6 million high-speed Internet subscribers. During the quarter the major US cable and DSL providers added a combined 1.68 million subscribers.

YesMail Increases Reach With Forbes Partnership

Press Release: Yesmail Expands B2B Acquisition Network With Email List

Yesmail, a leading online relationship marketing company, today announced the addition of the opt-in email list to the Yesmail B2B Network for customer acquisition.

The addition of the list to the Yesmail Network increases Yesmail’s depth in several highly sought after targets including C-level executives, high net worth individuals and business decision makers.

Interview: Email Marketing Future

avant|marketer: The Fate of Permission Email Marketing

John Funk, CEO, Quris, gives us his thoughts on the future of permission email marketing as a customer acquisition vehicle. He puts forward an interesting vision outlining how non direct sales orientated email communication can become a powerful vehicle for customer retention.

Thursday, November 07, 2002
EarthLink's Blockade of Non-Spam

Wired: When Everything Was Spam to ISP

For email marketers it is getting increasingly difficult to get messages through. What they don't expect however is for an ISP to start bouncing legitimate email:

An overly-sensitive spam filter is to blame for a week-long blockade that resulted in nondelivery of some e-mail messages sent to EarthLink subscribers in late October.
Whilst Earthlink has rectified the problem, many think that this is simply a sign of what's to come, with mail filters set to become increasingly zealous.

Down on Viral Games

New Media Age: Adwatch Review

Justin Kirby, Managing Director of Digital Media Communications, is not impressed with flash games as a viral agent:

Another rife marketing misconception bandied about in the same breath as 'viral' is that Flash-based games are the latest and greatest thing that will attract users like moths to a flame. The reality - according to the Lycos Viral Chart - is that Flash-based games are the least popular viral material, probably because there are so many of them out there and the vast majority are mediocre. You have to be more savvy, more innovative, more creative than everyone else to grab user attention and make them want to engage with your brand - even more so if you expect them to endorse your message and pass it on to others.

It is worth having a look at the DMC site - it features some interesting case studies on the viral work that they've done with the likes of Levis, Xbox and Eidos.

Email Marketing to AOL 8.0 Users

DMNEWS: E-Mailers Wrestle With AOL 8.0

Since launch in October AOL 8.0 has been downloaded 5 million times. With this upgrade comes new spam filtering software which is forcing email marketers to rethink their mailing practices. AOL 8.0 offer users 4 folder options - People I know, Bulk senders, Unknown senders, Everyone.

The challenge for email marketers is how to get into the "People I know" section, or at a minimum avoid the "Unknown sender" box. This article outlines what mailing and marketing companies are doing, and should do, to address these issues.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002
Best Practices in Usability

Site Point: Interview - Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D.

Usability is an important, yet poorly utilised discipline. Jakob Nielsen is widely acknowledged as the father of website usability. In this extensive interview he takes from through a wide range of topics, detailing best practices.

Key quote:

"It annoys me on a personal level to see big Websites from rich companies violate usability principles that have been known since my first studies of Web usability in 1994. Considering that the return on investment from usability is usually around a thousand percent (the gains are ten times the expense), it simply doesn't make sense that so many designs still ship without any user testing, and that so many companies still have no usability staff. I am impatient because I know that things could be so much better and I don't see why people should continue to suffer frustrations from difficult design."

Good Potential for B2B Webcast Marketing

eMarketer: Western Europe No Stranger to Webcasts

"IDG surveyed 3,500 people and found that 60% have viewed a webcast for technical and product information, 70% viewed a webcast because they were interested in the topic being presented and over 50% watched one because they wanted to learn more about the particular technology being discussed. "

Tuesday, November 05, 2002
SMS Bigger than Internet in Europe

Gatner: GartnerG2 Says Mobile Industry Obsessed By Third Generation (3G), and Has Forgotten The Consumer

"According to GartnerG2 research, 62 percent of all adults across the major European countries now use a mobile phone. Today, 41 percent use SMS, compared to 30 percent that use the Internet. Last year, 28 percent used SMS compared to 29 percent who used the Internet. GartnerG2 said that SMS has therefore become a powerful marketing tool, which can be more important than the web for a range of activities. GartnerG2 said mobile operators must now actively encourage the responsible use of mobile marketing, because it will help evolve the mobile phone beyond person-to-person communications."

The Rise of Subviral Advertising

Media Guardian: Fwd: Have you seen this?

The article highlight a recent trend where 'spoof' ads of mainstream TV ads have appeared on the web. The piece suggest that many of these ad are in fact done by ad agencies on a deniable operations basis. Whilst that is true in respect to some of the ads mentioned, it wasn't case with the Levis "wanking" ad. Although that was done by a semi-professional filmmaker, it was not authorised by Levis, who were apparently not amused.

Breaking Through the Ad Noise

eMarketer: Clutter Kills Online Advertising

A good discussion of recent research into ad size, frequency and clutter. The message is a simple one - the online advertising terrain has become increasingly cluttered, and is set to get worse. Media planners must consider ad placements very carefully, and appreciate that page clutter has a significant negative influence on an ads effectiveness.

Monday, November 04, 2002
Evaluting the Claim Against Google

Search Engine Report: Google Sued Over PageRank Decrease

Danny Sullivan does a great job of explaining the intricacy surrounding the recent complaint filed by against Google.

E-Mail Open Rates to Fall

IAR: Is The New Outlook a Threat to E-Mail Marketers?

According to news reports, Outlook 11, which was released in beta in early October, has changed its approach to HTML e-mail. In Outlook's default mode, it will only grab HTML from outside servers when mail is opened, instead of in the preview pane.

This feature is intended to squelch a popular method used by spammers to verify Web addresses. But by doing so, Microsoft could throw e-mail marketers a curve, driving down reported open rates by eliminating HTML viewings in the preview pane for most users."

P2P Network Marketing

NYT: Marketers Try to Turn Web Pirates Into Customers

A discussion on how companies such a Microsoft are using KaZaA's premium placement program as part of their promotional strategy. With a reported 141 million downloads, Kazaa's media desktop application is difficult to ignore.

The Importance of Loyalty Marketing to Increase

I-Media: Interview: Carat Interactive's Sarah Fay

Interesting interview with the President of Carat Interactive giving insight into where the medium is heading, including comments about the likelihood of a significant increase in expenditure on loyalty marketing.

The Value of a Name

Straits Times: 60,000 S. Koreans desperately want to have 'sex'

"Nearly 60,000 people here want sex -, that is.

The Internet domain name has emerged as the most hotly sought after among more than 8,000 put up for sale since the South Korean government recently lifted a ban on site names they thought could be abused. Of the 193,000 applications so far received for the domain names, 58,000 have been for the sex address."

Saturday, November 02, 2002
Approaching Satuation

Media Post: U.S. Internet Growth Rate Coming to an End?

Rick Bruner arguing that at 65-70% penetration the US may be closer to running on full than people think. He goes on to discuss what the implication of this growth slowdown are for various aspect of the industry.