I often advise my clients to keep blogs human, conversational, and in context for customers --it's the opposite of what marketing has been in the past.
Yet team blogs are a unique beast, it's a great way to show a lot of different types of ideas from different analysts, but at the same time, it's difficult to hear or see individual personalities.
A reader recently mentioned to me that it was hard to tell who was publishing specific posts on our blog, so we're getting nice and friendly on each of our posts by showing our picture, and also spelling out who the author was, and a link to our related research.
Profile pics and links are great and all, but we're not done trying to write a great blog. In the near future, we're going to find out more about what you want from this blog (as researchers, we love to get feedback) so we can continue to improve, so stay tuned for that.
Much to my consternation, Silicon Alley Insider has become a must-read for me, but its analysis of a potential Apple digital music subscription service is a bit off the mark.
...But if that's really the only thing keeping this from happening, then this is a done deal. Right now Apple sells about 20 iTunes tracks for each iPod or iPhone it sells. So the two sides just need to replace that revenue in a subscription model.
For argument's sake, let's say there's a digital music boom coming, and the tracks-per-device number jumps 50% -- to 30. How much would each side need to compensate for lost sales over the life of the device? Very little.
* Apple collects about a third of each 99 cent track sold: 30 x .33 = $9.90
* The labels keep the rest: 30 x .66 = $19.80
Two things -- contrary to the headline, that's not an "all you can eat model," unless I'm missing something. And replacing potentially lost iTunes sales aren't what the labels are trying to do. They're trying to replace lost CD sales.
This is enough to bring tears to the eyes of a cynical, old-media apologist like myself. Even the Times, try as it might to be patronizing, has to admit:
For almost six minutes — about a century in broadcast television years — Mr. Ashong, who has an immigrant’s love of democracy and the furrowed brow of a Brookings fellow, held forth on universal health care, single-payer approaches and public-private partnerships...Cute stuff. Highly informative. But not the kind of political discourse that generally captures a wider audience.
Here's the healthcare debate which, indeed, is way more insightful than what you're seeing on big-screen teevee. (And maybe even what you're reading in the Times.) And I'll link to the emotional bit, which is more fun. How awesome is democracy in media? Take back the mic, baby.
After the Connected Agency report was published, I created a roundup of reactions on my blog. Next month, I'll be continuing the conversation in person with the Association of Canadian Advertisers; the event is called "Continuing The Conversation" aptly enough. I've asked some agencies to let me know how they're getting there - so far, have heard from VML, Critical Mass, DDB, Organic, and Avenue A|Razorfish.
If you're around in Toronto April 17th, it would be great to meet up. See the ACA site for more information.
Behavioral targeting shouldn't be scary to consumers -- because every major behavioral targeting system I've ever seen (outside of spyware) goes to great lengths to protect user privacy. It's all completely anonymous!
But behavioral targeting is incredibly scary to publishers and advertisers and any other company who wants use anonymous user data to effectively target advertising. Because even some very smart people simply don't take the time to understand what's being discussed. I'm sure Sir Berners-Lee is one of the great minds of the digital world -- but either he has never bothered to read up on behavioral targeting, or he doesn't know the meaning of the word 'anonymous,' or he simply doesn't trust his ISP.
I just returned from 10 days in Morocco including a trip to the Sahara desert. I've got a series of posts that I'll put up today.
My first Mobile Marketing encounter (or lack thereof) was in JFK when I landed from San Francisco enroute to catch my flight on Air Maroc. There was a billboard in JFK airport suggesting that you text a code word to a short code to find out where their services are/will be. It was a Fortune 500 or 1000 company.
The reply came back "<empty reply from service provider>" - and twice none the less. Seriously - thanks for letting me pay for no information twice. This is the first time this has happened to me. Totally lame - how do you not execute on the backend after paying for an expensive ad(s) on the walls of the gate lounges at JFK?
Then in Morocco - I saw no mobile marketing promotions and relatively little telecom advertising. There was the normal "Maroc Telecom welcomes you to Morocco. For more information ...." However, that was it - I didn't see anything else. I'm not sure if it's an issue with the Arabic language, literacy (my guide from the desert had only been in school two years). It was an interesting contrast to so many other places I've been recently.
Here are a handful of places that I visited in Morocco that have better voice coverage on a GSM network than my home in San Francisco. You can argue that the cityscapes are flatter and waves may be better able to penetrate clay than the building materials used at home. You could argue that in an area as flat as the Sahara desert, it's not surprising that you get great coverage because there is little to nothing that can interfere with a signal. It was still astonishing to me how good the coverage was in those areas.
The top criteria for consumers when selecting a carrier are quality of coverage at home and while traveling.
Tannery in Fez
Abdul on his cell phone in the High Atlas Mountains
It's hard to see, but there is a cell tower in this town in the distance.