Todd "Turbo" Watson -- IBM Corporation
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  superbowl developerworks turbotech marketing 1 Comment 4,942 Views
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  advertising ibm_institute_for_busines... marketing digital_media 4,681 Views
When I was in Beijing this past May, I found it highly amusing that the signposts explaining each of the buildings inside the Forbidden City were "Brought to you by American Express."
I found it no less amusing to see "Squawk on the Street's" Erin Burnett broadcasting live this morning from Red Square in Moscow.
What's next, capitalist extraordinaire President George W. Bush is going to start writing checks so Uncle Sam can bail out the Big Three automakers??
Yes, the world of laissez-faire capitalism may have been turned on its head, but as author and globalist Tom Friedman has explained to us, the world is flat, hot, and getting more crowded day by day.
Whatta you gonna do about it?
All this talk of heat and crowds and bankruptcy is giving me a headache. Just be forewarned: Taking Motrin may be hazardous to your social media health.
And though that particular campaign may not have followed doctor's orders, IBM has some new prescriptions for advertising success.
In its second global online survey of 2,800 people in six countries concerning digital media and entertainment habits, the data from this year's study would suggest that consumers are getting jiggy with digital media, and are even willing to be marketed to in a more personal manner.
But before we get into the details, some quick catchup.
Last year, the study clearly showed the decline of TV as the primary media device even though it still dominated as a device. Flash forward a year, and we're now knee deep in the digital media, with large scape adoption and usage of digital content services accessed by PCs and mobile phones.
This year's study suggests that adoption for most categories of digital content services doubled from last year, with services like social networking now at 60 percent penetration and Internet data plans for mobile devices at over 40 percent for respondents globally.
Consumers both desired, and are comfortable with, wired and wireless content.
This year, 76 percent indicated they had already watched video on their PCs (up 27 percent). 32 percent indicated they had viewed video on a portable device or mobile phone (up 45 percent). And interest in mobile video content has more than doubled in a year, to 55 percent.
As to how and pay for all that new digital content? Ad-supported models (vs. consumer pays) are preferred by almost three to one around the globe.
For both PC and mobile video, over 70 percent of respondents prefer advertising-supported models as opposed to consumer-paid models, representing a huge growth opportunity for the industry. Preference for ad-supported models ranged from 62 percent to over 80 percent by country, with Japan having the highest preference for ad-supported on both devices.
But whatever else you do, don't get too much in the way of their content. When asked how they prefer to view advertising associated with online videos, a majority of respondents said they prefer to see it before or after a video.
And respondents from all six countries polled protested traditional television models such as interruption advertisements during the video or the use of product placements within programs.
As an Internet marketer and communicator, however, what I found most interesting about the study was with regards to the value exchange between marketer and consumer.
Close to 60 percent of total respondents were willing to provide information about themselves -- such as age, gender, lifestyle or communications preferences -- in exchange for something of value.
However, all respondents indicated the need for perceived value and incentives as a trade-off to provide personal information.
By way of example, consumers listed free high-quality music/videos, discounts to favorite stores, and air travel/hotel points as the most desired and attractive incentives.
These findings were consistent across all countries polled, with Japan and India having the least reservations about providing personal preferences, and with over 62 and 72 percent of respondents respectively willing to share information, versus 45 percent of respondents in the US.
This data would seem to suggest there's still plenty of upside in online marketing, but that marketers and advertisers need to learn to speak more fluently in the lingua france of the "round trip" that the digital interactive media can uniquely provide.
This consumer study is a component of the upcoming report "Beyond Advertising: Fact or Fiction" jointly authored by several folks at IBM associated with the IBM Institute for Business Value, a group within IBM comprised of consultants around the world who conduct research and analysis in 17 industries and across five functional disciplines.Read More]
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  second_life social_media gartner marketing virtual_worlds 4,589 Views
What was that old adage about advertising?
I know that half my advertising is working for me...I just don't know which half?
Well, Gartner analyst Adam Sarner has a report out that indicates over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies with Web sites have undertaken some kind of online social-networking initiative for marketing or customer relations, but that 50 percent of those will ultimately be classified as failures.
Why would that be?
Well, the Second Life land rush is one good example. Many brands jumped headlong into the virtual world because...well, they thought they had to...without necessarily having first clearly outlined their core marketing and communications objectives.
What are you trying to accomplish? Who are you trying to reach? What actions do you want for them to take as a result of your communication?
I had this conversation...when I could stop someone about their enthusiasm of getting their first avatar long enough to listen to me...many a time with IBMers during the Second Life bubble.
Not to say I was a virtual worlds naysayer myself. I thought Second Life was so cool I went in and bought my avatar some nice threads so I didn't give myself away as a newbie.
But my point to my internal clients was pretty simple: If you wanted to use the online media for marketing, at the time there were over 1 billion people using the Internet, and a handful million or two in Second Life.
Where would you place your bets?
So, as you and yours come down with Web 2.0 and social media fever, though there are admittedly some unique and relevant capabilities that can't be found just about anywhere else, remember not to throw the 1.0 marketing baby out with the bathwater.
That is to say, basic rules of fundamental marketing and communcations still apply.
One part basic marketing objectives combined with one part social media marketing tactic can help eliminate 50 percent waste in the overall capital "M" Marketing equation.
Now, has anybody seen my avatar? I've outgrown my once new virtual suit and need to find myself a digital tailor to have it taken out a couple of inches.Read More]
I had occasion to visit with some folks at both Apple and Google yesterday here in Silicon Valley.
While at the Googleplex, I saw the strangest thing when I first arrived. There were about ten people, assumably Google employees, riding a contraption that looked as though it had emerged from an Escher drawing.
They were all pedalling this contraption, but the "bike" (for lack of a better term) was going in the same direction despite ten people pedalling the thing.
I'm not sure if that was a metaphor for the state of Google's business at the moment or not. But I do think it was a metaphor presented by the opportunity for rethinking the structure of the marketing mothership.
They're still hiring like crazy at Google, and yes, the stories about the free food are all true (and no, I didn't drop off my resume). And I do hear tell that the left hand of Google not only doesn't always know what the right hand is doing, they oftentimes haven't even shaken hands yet and met.
But that's always a challenge for a fast-growing organization. And anyhow, it's Google's stock price that's reaching into the stratosphere, so they can probably get away with some growth pains and disorganization.
However, the key takeaway from my time on the ground at the Google campus yesterday and the "Searchonomics" conference today here in Santa Clara is that there is plenty of need for dramatic change in traditional marketing organizations everywhere if they're to take full advantage of the opportunity presented by search and the emerging digital media.
The disruption caused by Google in the advertising and marketing industry isn't just about the efficiencies realized from search. It's also about the inefficiencies presented by 50+ years of organizing around the mass media.
Most mass media-oriented marketing organizations organized themselves around the notion that the more eyeballs the better. The more money you spent, the more eyeballs you could get, although the negotiation was, of course, always about trying to get more eyeballs for less money.
The search marketing industry has organized around a completely different principle. With search, the opportunity is more about quality than quantity. Sure, quantity is still important, but with search and the digital media, it's the quality of the visitor that matters most.
Admittedly, some companies are using search to buy more eyeballs, but the efficiency of search also lies in its ability to take that visitor to the next step, and to acknowledge that that next step could be weeks from now (the offline impact of online investigations) instead of in an immediate transaction. Both are important.
Most important, however, is that search is akin to the inverse of mass media. Instead of hoping to catch someone's attention serendipitously, you instead put yourself at the intersection of interest the moment that the consumer decides, not the marketer.
But most of us are still organized to try and serendipitously capture the consumer's attention. Inherent in that system is waste, both in dollars and in organization.
Those companies that start to instead restructure and reorganize the marketing mothership around the intersection of interest will likely find themselves getting more and smarter customers for much less money, and in the process better satisfy the inherent demand that already exists in the market.
Those that don't will start to go the way of the eight track tape.
Currently, it is many of those gatekeeper organizations that are preventing the digital efficiencies from reaching their maximum effect, which means they are preventing those organizations from also reaching their maximum bottom line efficiencies.
I suspect that increasingly, it will be shareholders that will be driving the demand for those efficiencies in marketing.
But only when you can get those 10 people on that funky Google bike -- the traditional marketing mothership -- to all pedal in the same direction, can the opportunities that search and digital marketing provide large organizations be fully realized.[Read More]
Once upon a time, two Internet entrepreneurs were partying like it was 1999....well, that's because it was 1999.
(I remember when I used to listen to that Prince song in 1984, and think to myself, wow, 1999 seems sooo far away. Now I look back and think, wow, 1999 seems sooo long ago.)
And these two Internet entrepreneurs were almost laughed off the front page of the Industry Standard (that seems so 1999, too, huh?) when they bought the domain name business.com for $7.5M
I guess they'll soon be laughing all the way to the domain registrar bank, as word on the b'sphere is that the business.com name and business is going up for auction, and is expected to fetch upwards of $300M.
I was dreamin' when I wrote this
Forgive me if it goes astray.
But when I woke up this mornin'
Coulda sworn it was judgment day.
The sky was all purple
There were people runnin' everywhere
Tryin' 2 run from the destruction
U know I didn't even care.
Wow. Talk about a dot com hangover.
I hope Jake and Sky think about throwing one heck of a party.
To my mind, this just once again proves brand trumps reason or logic every time, and on the Intertubes, brand means name.
If it were to sell for $400M, that would be an estimated 53-to-1 ROI.
Not bad work if you can get it.
This makes me think more seriously about buying my own "GrandCentral" number.
GrandCentral is a beta company that positions itself as "the new way to use your phones."
All you need to know is this: One number...for life.
You use that one number to route all your other calls via GrandCentral's Web-based interface.
For life, huh? Would that be my life or GrandCentral's?
They're funded by Halsey Minor's "Minor Ventures," so they must have a little bit of money on their company calling card.
I just hope they have enough left in the bank for me to get a reservation at Limelight:
'Cuz they say two thousand zero zero party over
Oops out of time
So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999.[Read More]
KnowledgeStorm is an online IT solutions research and syndication tool that
In partnership with Universal McCann, a media service firm, KnowledgeStorm conducted some interesting research last year to start to understand whether blogs have joined other highly-rated, but more traditional tactics (demos, Webcasts, white papers, etc.) as an effective way to communicate and attract high-quality prospects in the B2B space.
The survey was fielded via the KnowledgeStorm Web site and generated over 4,500 responses from business and IT professionals across a variety of job titles, vertical industries, and company sizes.
It examined blogging topics that included reader behavior, credibility, value, and impact on purchasing decisions, along with challenges and opportunities.
It also explored RSS preferences and behaviors (something that more of we
The executive summary concluded the following:
“By all accounts, blogging has transformed the Internet into a true democracy, where millions of people can have their voices heard….The new, live Web now offers users a true ‘experience’ where they not only gather information, but also generate, disseminate, and interact with it.
“Blogs are now commanding a powerful presence within the B2B marketplace, as demonstrated by the large number (80%) of respondents in this report who already take advantage of this technology. With their ability to offer relevant content and generate immediate feedback, in the form of comments and posts, blogs give marketers the perfect opportunity to generate demand, nurture leads, and stay connected with customers.”
Some specific sound bites:
Do you read blogs that influence your own perspective about products and services, B2B or otherwise?
Are they just another in a long line of inputs? More influential? Less influential?
What are you, kidding me? Who has time to read blogs???[Read More]
Monday morning's are for spinning. Head spinning, that is.
I was surfing the Internets early this am, basking in the glow of my Dallas Cowboys victory over the New York Giants yesterday afternoon (How about that new Dallas kicker?!), and couldn't help but be overwhelmed by all the digital media and marketing news.
First, on the search front, Baidu.Com, China's top search company, announced it will be taking on Google and Yahoo, with plans to enter the Japanese market (which is several times larger than China's search market).
Though Ask.Com's share of the U.S. search market is minimal (low single digits), the local search advertising market is substantial (think Yellow Pages online), and local relevance is key when looking for everything from a plumber to tickets to that Coldplay show. Om Malik gives Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone the third degree on their "all search is local" play here.
Meanwhile, two seemingly unrelated stories strike me as intersecting vectors in the emerging new media paradigm.
Today's WSJ reports on the one hand that U.S. advertising growth is expected to slow to 4.2% next year (from an estimate 4.8% this year), while at the same time, AdAge is reporting separately that the web sites of Proctor & Gamble and Unilever are now reaching "nearly 6 million and 3 million unique visitors in the U.S. each month."
Such numbers "swamp the audiences of many magazines and cable and syndicated TV shows where they advertise."
Could the long tail actually be short, the new media revisit the old?? Will P&G take its soap opera storyline direct to the consumer?
Stay tuned...to www.pg.com![Read More]
It's not every day you get to have dinner with an advertising legend.
"You deserve a break today." "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there." "Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun!"
Those are just a few of the famous ad campaign slogans that DDB Worldwide Chairman Emeritus Keith Reinhard was the creative force behind.
But judging by the kick-off dinner here in Austin last night for "Chaos: New Agendas in Advertising," a conference hosted by the University of Texas at Austin's Center for Brand Research and GSD&M, a prominent Austin-based ad agency, Mr. Reinhard may be saving his best campaign for last.
Though the dinner conversation rambled across all sorts of timely and fascinating topics (including my recent favorites, exploring virtual worlds), and included the participation of several prominent UT professors as well as some very thoughtful agency and client siders from the Left, Third, and East Coasts, it was Mr. Reinhard's commitment to changing the face of the ugly American overseas that most caught my attention, and one firmly rooted and with very real implications in the real world.
Reinhard has been the driving force behind an organization called "Business for Diplomatic Action" (BDA), a private-sector task force led by preeminent business leaders working to counter the increasing prevalence of anti-Americanism that has appeared on the flattened earth landscape post 9/11.
The argument? Anti-Americanism is bad for business, plain and simple. It brings unnecessary increased security and economic costs at a time when we can ill afford them, and hurts America's ability to recruit the best and brightest.
The BDA effort, however, is not about selling -- it's about sensitizing Americans to this trend, and helping educate American citizens as to how they can counter them through their own conduct and through public, but personal diplomacy.
So, the next time you're in Paris strolling along the Champs d'Elysses in your spiffy white sneakers desperately in search of a cup of ice for that Coca-Cola in your hand, consider grabbing a bottle of Evian instead or, better yet, a nice glass of vin rouge.
And hold the freedom fries.[Read More]
It couldn't have been planned, but what a fitting tribute on the day we hear the sad news about economist Milton Friedman's passing that three of the heavyweights in search -- Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft -- come together and demonstrate that the free market works by their agreeing on a common way for developing search sitemaps.
You can read more about Mr. Friedman's life and legacy in The New York Times' detailed obituary -- they do it far more justice than could I.
And as to the Sitemaps agreement, allow me to explain.
Sitemaps are an important way for Websites to point out which areas of their site that search crawlers should visit to ensure that the site is getting maximum coverage in that particular search engine.
Essentially, a sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for the site and some additional metadata about each URL (when itt was updated, how often it changes, its relevance and importance, etc.) so that search engines crawl it more effectively.
Think of it as a sort of traffic cop for search engines.
Though this initiative originated with Google's Sitemaps, Yahoo and Microsoft have also come to the table to announce their support for the new 0.90 sitemaps.org protocol.
Yeah, it's pretty geeky stuff. But it's also important cross-industry collaboration that, when taken advantage of, has the potential to help your site become more findable across these key search engines.
That means your goods, your services, whatever it is you're selling can become more findable across these three search engines. That's all good.
I don't know who, if anybody, played Switzerland in this deal, but kudos to the "coopetitiveness" shown by these three competitors. Far as I can tell, everybody wins on this one.
The free market works. Thanks, Milton. God Bless and Godspeed.[Read More]
It's Monday at IBM, what can I say. My day has been monopolized with calls and emails and work and...I just had to pause long enough to take a blog commercial break.
Okay, I'm centered and ready to blog. Can you say "I Been Monopolized?"
Speaking of commercial breaks, on the very same day that increased rumor and innuendo swirls around about the longer-term fate of AOL, and as CNN announces a revamped video portal that encourages contributions from citizen-journalists entitled "CNN Exchange," a completely and seemingly unrelated report suggests that houses with digital video recorders (DVRs) watch less TV than adults in the general population who don't have DVRs.
Excuse me? Can you hit the rewind button for just a sec?
They clearly did not survey yours truly's household.
Anecdotal though it may be, let me just set the record straight: I lived and worked in NYC for several years, where there are plenty of amusements and diversions of all varieties. Watching TV was not high on my cultural agenda.
But in 2000, when I had occasion to use my first DVR, I went from watching virtually no TV (the evening news, the occasional sports broadcast, etc.) to becoming a full-fledged TV junkie. Why?
Though some might have attributed this partly to my not having a life -- which would be at least true in part -- the more likely culprit was the shifting of control that the DVR presented.
For far too many decades, the commercial TV networks have been the traffic cops of our collective blissful idiot box entertainment schedule. From where I sit (which in recent times is way too much on my sofa in front of the TV), the digital video recorder changed all that forever. It unenslaved me from the confines of that evil broadcast programming schedule.
In just a few short years, I've gone from a world where the broadcast schedule dominated (at least from the perspective of the networks) to becoming largely irrelevant (My TV schedule is now called the "Time Warner Interactive Programming Guide").
Second, yes, I do fast forward during the ads (Oops, did I say that out loud?) Yes, I did. Again, I do fast forward during the ads. You want me to rewind and say it again?
But guess what else? Sometimes I also stop and watch the ads, especially if they're entertaining! Can you imagine??? Hitting the rewind button to go back and watch an ad that I missed?
Geico? I am all about that Gecko. I could envision getting together with that really cool little lizard and talking a little auto collision probability sometime over a Vodka Gimlet.
Or those new Apple commercials contrasting Windows and Macs? You know, the ones where the Windows guy freezes in his startlingly realistic recreation of the "Blue Screen of Death?" I wish I had a button on the remote to download those ads...talk about knowing your audience.
Yes, in Marketing 1.0, good and entertaining advertisements were optional. In Marketing 2.0, gaining -- and more importantly, keeping -- peoples' attention is going to be all about getting them to hit the stop, rewind, and play buttons. In that order.
Madison Avenue ad agencies' new mantra for training their TV commercial producing folks should go something like this:
"Stop, rewind, play. Stop, rewind, play. Stop, rewind, play." My thumb hurts! "Stop, rewind, play." This is worse than the Crackberry! "Stop, rewind, play." Cut!
No, I'm more inclined to believe the CBS proprietary research and my own experience which suggests that whatever their level of TV viewing, the audience tends to watch more telly after getting their DVRs than before.
The boob has been unleashed on the tube, and their vote is now the remote.