CMO needed to drive Aussie social media surge

I want to echo Julian Cole’s latest post from his Adspace Pioneers Blog about the need:

To get a CMO/CEO of a blue chip Company to state the success of an Australian Social Media Strategy in The Financial Review.

Read his reasons why, here.

Even a Google search turns up very little about social media success in the Australian marketplace. Is this an issue with a lack of education about social media amongst Australian marketers or a lack of interest in sharing  experiences? As Cole points out, the missing literature has Australia appearing far behind the USA, UK and Europe in embracing online social tools and strategies.

Any one with case studies?


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Olympic media scrum still needs bloggers

With the outpouring of Olympic information from every possible source over the past two (and more) weeks, you’d think the main-stream media could keep the public satisfied, if not moribund, with the cascade of statistics, images, stories of heroism overcoming tragedy and tragedy being defeated by courage. Yet, bloggers have found plenty of room to put their spin on proceedings. Over at A Stubborn Mule’s Perspective, Sean Carmody analysed the medal count using Swivel charts, not just by the usual population breakdown, but also by dollars of GDP.

The results were interesting:

With Jamaica in second place (after sitting in first for much of the competition) in terms of both medals per capita and third per dollar of GDP, I am now prepared to declare Jamaica the winner of the overall adjusted Olympics.

For the full report and charts see Olympic Medal Count by Population and GDP

Of most interest, from a digital media and blogger’s perspective, The Mule saw traffic skyrocket, and I mean seriously. People came to find these Olympic posts because, in all the mass media, 24-page daily newspaper supplements, multi-channel China and Olympic TV Specials, they couldn’t find this important analysis, comparing country-by-country efforts along multiple axes, anywhere else. So, no matter how much mass media content is churning through, there’s always room for intelligent blogging.

Google Ad Planner draws on wealth of data

I’m looking forward to checking out Google Ad Planner in detail. I have read the Introduction pages within the Google mega-site, and applied for access to the free beta product, especially designed for media managers.

Google Ad Planner

As you’d hope, Ad Planner allows you to plan campaigns by identifying the most relevant sites for a target market, providing demographic data and traffic statistics – as long as the sites are large enough to be included in the tool.

The Google site explains that:

Google Ad Planner combines information from a variety of sources, such as aggregated Google search data, opt-in anonymous Google Analytics data, opt-in external consumer panel data, and other third-party market research. The data is aggregated over millions of users and powered by computer algorithms; it doesn’t contain personally-identifiable information.

In addition, Google Ad Planner only shows results for sites that receive a significant amount of traffic, and enforces minimum thresholds for inclusion in the tool.

This, of course raises, the question, if your site falls below the threshold, will you be cut out of the media buying space and experience a significant fall in revenue share, particularly if Ad Planner is taken up as aggressively as Analytics has been?

For those concerned about how the Google Analytics data they chose to share is being used, Google says this:

Google Ad Planner uses Google Analytics data in a manner consistent with our firm commitment to user trust and privacy. Specifically:

  • Google Analytics doesn’t share individual, site-level information with Google Ad Planner.
  • Google Ad Planner gathers data from multiple sources. This data is then checked against anonymous, aggregate, industry benchmarking data within Google Analytics.
  • Google Ad Planner only uses anonymous Google Analytics data to calibrate category data and correct for under-reporting or over-reporting in certain verticals.
  • Google Analytics benchmarking data only comes from Google Analytics customers who’ve proactively chosen to share their data in an anonymous and aggregate form.

I have no doubt Ad Planner will be a highly popular product for media agencies and SME marketers. It will not be so popular with current providers of online analysis such as Nielsen Online, Hitwise and ComScore.

Update: Here’s an important note from Strategic Market Segmentation about the intended link between Ad Planner and the Ad Sense network:

Google Ad Planner May Make Ad Sense Profitable Again

Google Ad Planner will spread more of the growing Internet advertising income across more Web sites.

However, to earn your share, your Web site has to get 3000 visitors per month, and you have to be an Ad Sense site. If your site qualifies, you may start earning more Ad Sense revenue. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google Ad Planner revolutionize Ad Sense.

You can read what other bloggers are saying about Google Ad Planner through these links:

Tribble Ad Agency

SearchEngineLand

New York Times

Domain Tools Blog

And get the inside word from Google’s Analytics Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik at Occam’s Razor.


Google tests business tool in Australia

Today I received an email from Anthill magazine asking me to test the latest Google tool.

Apparently, Google is testing the new online learning tool for business owners in Australia before it begins rolling it out internationally.

“10 Steps to Promote Your Business Online”
takes you through developing an AdWords search marketing campaign to promote a website, although, by the title of the product, I expected a lot more. I was looking forward to SEO/SEM tips, maximising the use of Google Analytics, design tips (eg: Eye-tracking), link tracking and so much more. But, of course, “10 Steps” is a promotional tool to assist companies learn how to use Google AdWords and search marketing more effectively.

Maybe with Google already supplying so many valuable products for free, it has created unrealistic expectations.

Protect your IP and maximize promotional opportunities

I’ve just been reading Jeremiah Owyang’s latest post about companies needing to make their content embeddable. Hey, people are going to scape it anyway if it’s useful, so you may as well maximise the promotional opportunity afforded when your feed / embedding is set up properly for use in blogs and websites worldwide.

You may notice that, because I think Jeremiah churns out really worthwhile stuff, I have an RSS feed from his blog on this page, and, hopefully, he is gaining some advantage from readers heading back over to WebStrategy by Jeremiah to get his full story. That’s the beauty of how RSS (really simple syndication, for those who have forgotten) can work. As can embedded videos, audio presentations and images.

However, from the ‘re-publishers’ perspective, organisations of any size need to be aware of intellectual property. As Jeremiah points out, without proper accreditation, content creators are getting ripped off. In his example about a slideshow of the Beijing’s Olympics opening ceremony, “Essentially, someone grabbed each of the images from Boston.com and then uploaded them to DocStock.com and tagged them “public domain” with no attribution to the Boston Globe.” Further, especially with images and video, accreditation is often not enough in the professional world. These issues need to be dealt with up front by the content originator through the design of their distribution process to minimise intellectual property concerns, both for themselves and for their content suppliers (journalists, photographers). At the same time they can build into the process ways to maximise their marketing and promotional opportunities.

See Jeremiah’s post for the methods and measurements!

Emirates dumps paper for digital content

Open Skies magazine, grounded.

Open Skies magazine, grounded.

There’s been a lot of talk about Emirates Airlines canning their inflight magazine, Open Skies, together with other entertainment publications and shopping catalogues as part of a plan to do away with a tonne of paper in the seat pockets of the new A380 “Superjumbos”, thereby reducing haulage weight and fuel usage.

The demise of a publication, particularly one that might signal a trend in a category, is a disturbing one (full disclosure, I’m a board director of Publishers Australia, this country’s industry body for print and digital specialist and B2B media), so I wanted to take a closer look at what was happening. What people haven’t identified is that Emirates is moving a lot of the magazine content onto their inflight entertainment systems as digitised content.  There is no reason why the entire Open Skies publication, all 200 pages of it, couldn’t be designed for access on the iCE inflight system using digital magazine technologies such as Realview Technologies or a number or other similar systems now available worldwide, complete with rich media content including video and audio.

The digitised edition of Virgin's Voyeur magazine

The digitised edition of Virgin's Voyeur magazine

Digital magazines like Virgin Blues’ Voyeur or SportingNewsToday are able to present information in a straightforward, familiar way, easily navigated and consumed by a broad demographic of readers (and this is a key point for product such as inflight entertainment). The touch screen technology of iCE makes digital magazine technology all the more attractive and user-friendly.

Emirates' iCE touch screen inflight entertainment system

Emirates' iCE touch screen inflight entertainment system

Magazines no longer need to be restricted to print; they can be designed and digitised for reading on most new media platforms – web, inflight, mobile, kiosk etc. The question publishers (and marketers) need to ask is, what media format will best suit my customers: a magazine may not be the answer, but often it still is.

The politics of behavioral targeting

I hope those who read my previous post, Behavioral Targeting creates fear, didn’t feel I was questioning the value of this complex advertising methodology.

I wanted to pose a question about advertisers being exposed to the risk of a consumer backlash from being involved with a process perceived to be about privacy exploitation or spyware. As well as any potential for a general flight from behavioral targeting because of consumer fears.

To understand the history of Behavioral Targeting, the issues in the industry and to see what Behavioral vendors think might be coming up in the future, this excellent keynote address video by Dave Morgan, founder of TACODA and Real Media (predecessor of 24/7 Real Media), is worth watching. It is from MediaPost’s OMMA Behavioral conference in San Francisco in June this year.

In the 35 minute address Morgan outlines problems with consumer perceptions about behavioural targeting and spyware with particular reference to US senators he has spoken to, including Washington’s Senator Maria Cantwell, former Marketing Director of RealNetworks, all of whom are apparently willing to err on the side of political caution due to the significant concern over privacy and spyware of their constituents.

Dave Morgan at OMMA Behavioural

Dave Morgan at OMMA Behavioral, June 2008

He ends by answering a question about ISPs doing deep packet inspections. “Is it legal – yes, probably it is. Is it a good idea – no. It doesn’t pass the creepy factor” He says that anything we do in this environment must pass the creepy factor or it is doomed – which is exactly my point.

There are two sides battling out the privacy debate, particularly in the US, and their arguments have been summarised concisely by Josh Gordon in his blog The Lunch Pail.

Side 1, articulated by Jim DeMint, a former marketing research firm founder-turned Republican Senator from South Carolina, states that any new privacy laws governing behavioral targeting amounts to, “a solution looking for a problem.” He supports his argument with the idea that market forces will provide the changes needed to protect consumers’ rights. In sum, he argues that businesses will try to out-do each other with their privacy policies, paving the way for self-regulation.

Side 2 is best captured by committee chair and North Dakota Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan. He sarcastically argues that if market forces could alone regulate society, then the FDA would no longer have to perform inspections. If a company sold spoiled or bad goods they would simply be avoided by consumers, an example of corporate Darwinism. In sum, Dorgan believes self-regulation doesn’t go far enough and is risky for the consumer.

It may be a type of corporate Darwinism that I talk about when companies get backlashed for using techniques such as deep packet inspection, but I’m concerned about unwitting advertisers who aren’t aware of the types of behavioral products they are using and how powerful the market’s response can be if it feels betrayed. The fundamental rule of marketing 2.0 is “be honest with your customers, because if you’re not, this big, networked world will turn around and bite you”, and advertisers need to understand the risk and return for each investment. Where government policy is “the elephant in the room”, as Dave Morgan puts it, that can change the terrain for BT vendors and users in a flash – consumers are the whale.