Archive for April, 2008

CondeNast is moving into the blogosphere

Posted on April 24, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media, Travel |

according to this TechCrunch post CondeNet Tries To Blogify Concierge.com buying HotelChatter and jaunted from SFO Media.

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Looks like an attempt to capitalize on the expanding social media scene that might have led to a decline in traffic to their Concierge.com main site. The two blogs will also give them more media inventory to sell as the article mentions. It’s another move of main stream media in the direction of the social web where the conversation is taking place.

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Co-opting the YouTube generation

Posted on April 24, 2008. Filed under: Marketing |

is my alternative title for this latest effort by major companies to get their message noticed in a marketplace that is increasingly tone deaf to their traditional one-way marketing speak. To counter that trend PR Giant Edelman Ventures Into Branded Content as reported in Advertising Age – Madison+Vine. It remains to be seen how effective this type of “enhanced” user-generated content will be and how many aspiring producers will participate to sell more burgers to their peers.

Interesting to note, is the participation of Expedia in this initiative. My question here is: Why not enter into a direct dialog with their thousands of customers and TripAdvisor users to provide them with content that they are most likely already posting on the web instead of going the “managed” route by working with their PR company? Looks to me like some kind of an American Idol inspired contest to sponsor consumer produced content rather than having it delivered by ad agencies. Will people buy it? Remains to be seen.

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Does anyone still need more proof….?

Posted on April 24, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I doubt it, after analyzing the results of the study Consumers Use Social Media to Vent about Customer Service reported in MarketingVOX. Key comment:

“These most savvy and sought-after consumers will not support companies with poor customer care reputations, and they will talk about all of this openly with others via multiple online vehicles. This research should serve as a wake-up call to companies: listen, respond, and improve.”

What’s also important is the following:

Search engines are the most valuable online tools for this research. Those rated of no value include micro-blogging sites like Twitter or Pownce (39%), YouTube (27%) and social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace (22%).

Reputations are made at any customer touch-point with your brand but are amplified exponentially online with the tools available to consumers today and the behavior they clearly exhibit. Ignore them at your own peril!
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Can user-generated content generate revenue?

Posted on April 21, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media | Tags: , |

is the question asked in this eMarketer article, which also says that UGC is no longer a fad, with 77 million creators in 2007 growing to 108 million in 2012 and the consumers of this content from 94.1 million to 130.1 million. Beyond the advertising revenue question, what these numbers represent is a huge audience of consumers of products and services across all industries engaged in a conversation about these products and services. It doesn’t take too much imagination to understand the power and influence over purchasing decisions this will have. It also shows how challenging it will be for marketers to work successfully in this type of marketplace.

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Good advice on how to market to bloggers

Posted on April 21, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media | Tags: , |

can be found in this Marketing to Bloggers piece on eMarketer. Especially useful is this part from Peter Rojas

* Most important, there must be a fit between the product and the subject of the blog.
* Avoid shooting e-mails and press releases to bloggers. It is more effective to become familiar with a blog and get to know the writer behind it.
* Give a product to a blogger as an exclusive and allow the blogger time to work with it.
* Provide bloggers with links to more information, such as product images and updated information.

the old PR agency approach won’t work, although many haven’t realized this yet, judging from the number of emails I get telling me about some travel related news that might be interesting for the traveling public but not industry professionals who are the audience I’m trying to reach.

Interesting statistic included in the story: 49% of “market leaders” are using social networking and blogs vs. 31% and 21% respectively for “non-leaders”. Just shows that some get it and some don’t!

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Great lessons for our industry

Posted on April 18, 2008. Filed under: Social Media, Uncategorized, Web2.0 | Tags: , , , , , |

are contained in this interview with CNN’s King on Obama’s iCampaign on Always On

and it’s not the politics he talks about which is important but his comments about the new media world we live in and how it affects every facet of communication. The situation he describes that the traditional media finds itself in, applies to any industry. The lesson to be learned is that it’s about the conversation that influences peoples opinion about issues or products or services, and how you get involved in it. He repeatedly makes the remark that you can’t fight it or ignore it. It’s the exact same message I’ve been telling on this blog since day one. Great commentary from a real media professional.

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How not to market on the web

Posted on April 17, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media | Tags: |

could be the subject line for this study quoted in Micro Persuasion stating that One Billion Dollars in Internet Advertising is Wasted by display ads visible to about 70% of web users but only seen by about 25% because the ads are displayed “below the fold” requiring people to scroll down a web page.
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This doesn’t surprise me as these ads, like the original banners, are no different from interruption advertising in print or on TV without the relevancy of search ads. This tired approach is no longer effective in any media. We live in an age of permission based marketing and if the web is used as an interruption tool advertisers can’t really expect better results.

It’s one more indicator that web based marketing has become more complex and to be effective needs to consider the effect of social media and networking on the buying behavior of today’s audience. As this chart here shows, the growth in online advertising over the next five years will be considerable but to be effective it has to take advantage of what the web has to offer to increase effectiveness.

Just to slap more ads including rich media ads won’t bring the necessary ROI unless they are relevant to the content and compelling.

This is a key message traditional marketers need to understand as they shift more of their marketing budgets to the web.

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Predicting flight delays

Posted on April 16, 2008. Filed under: Travel | Tags: , |


is what Delaycast does as explained in the latest issue of Springwise the trend newsletter. Should become a welcome and useful tool for travelers as we head into the summer season.

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Who can you trust?

Posted on April 15, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media, Travel2.0 | Tags: , |

seems to be a question travelers should ask themselves after reading Secrets of Lonely Planet in Gulliver, the new travel related blog by the Economist.com. The publishers, of course, claim that this is an isolated incident but who are we to know for sure. The episode shows that the traditional media are challenged by user generated content and traveler reviews that are spreading across the web with great speed. Who the most trusted sources are has always been clear, it’s relatives and friends with a personal experience about a certain destination or hotel but now peers from your wider social network who can easily post their first hand opinions on the web with multi-media to boot, are becoming increasingly important and influential as well.

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The future web is the grid

Posted on April 7, 2008. Filed under: Intelligent Web | Tags: |

Coming soon: superfast internet reports the Times Online in this eye opening article. It’s further proof that “we ain’t seen nothing yet” when it comes to the web and once the grid is accessible to all users the web experience will move to a whole other level from what we’re used to today. It’s too early to tell how this will specifically manifest itself in eCommerce but it doesn’t take too much imagination to see that it will be significant. Enjoy the ride!

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