Enough about you — let's talk about me

[Posted by Steven Noble]

What a ride! Since joining Forrester's interactive marketing team about six weeks ago, I've been trained, tested, supported and toasted.

And I feel like this amazing introduction has worked. I now feel ready to produce challenging, accurate, insightful research that helps interactive marketers to be successful... and that's probably the last I'll say about it on this blog.

For me, this blog will be the place where I kick around ideas in formation — as opposed to our research, where we present analysis that has been tested to within an inch of its life. This is where I will talk about absolutely anything of interest to the interactive marketing community — as opposed to our research, which we focus on business outcomes. And, this is where I will let you see a little about the person behind the product, perhaps forming a relationship with me if that is of interest. I'll probably mention the research, but on this blog I will create something different.

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Don't believe the hype (it's a sequel)

[Posted by Peter Kim]

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Benchmark Your Email Organization

Want to see how your company's email structure stacks up against your peers? We're conducting a survey of email marketers based on Forrester's Email Marketing Review. And we need your help! Click on the link below to take the survey:

Take the survey

Still need more convincing? The survey is short -- it takes only 10-15 minutes to complete. We only report results in aggregate. And, for your participation, we'll send you:

  • A spreadsheet with the aggregate results, and
  • A copy of the research based on the data we collect.

So what are you waiting for? Take the survey.

The survey will be open through mid-July, but don't delay, take it today or spread the word to your email colleagues.

Thank you,

Julie Katz

P.S. If you still have questions, contact Tom Cummings (tcummings@forrester.com) -- he's the researcher managing the survey process.


MySpace's Flashier Front Page

MySpace debuted it's new front page design this week (among other user oriented tweaks.) Today, however, was the premier front page advertising takeover. It features a skin and a video box for the new Batman movie. The player worked very well, and I am happy to see that they used a wide screen player instead of a square box. The skin works pretty well, especially because Batman is a cool brand. Although the design does happen to clash a little bit with the "MySpace blue" of the navigation. I am skeptical that Crest toothpaste would be received as well by users of the site. Like any site that matures into a revered brand, MySpace will have to be careful choosing which advertisers to feature in order to manage the spot's value.

As The Yahoo! World Turns

Just when we all thought the curtain had closed on the soap opera surrounding Yahoo!, the media company announced it officially ended talks with Microsoft and instead entered a partnership with Google – a match both firms hope has revenue upside of about $800 million.

I’ll admit, I’m still scratching my head on exactly why Yahoo! thought this move was a smart one for them.  I see the deal as:

*A great move for Google.  Google – which already has about 60% of consumer searches and its own vast paid search and contextual network – now has access to and will make money off of its primary rival’s inventory.

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Watching the Online Buzz around the Presidential Election

[Posted by Jeremiah Owyang]

I was watching the chatter, and participating in the conversation, with great fascination in last Tuesday's democratic nomination. 

I've recorded some data using free social media tools (minutes after Obama left the stage), that look at keywords on twitter, as well as 'traffic' to websites of the runners.  I rarely place much weight in any single use of these tools, but there is a clear trend towards Obama getting a great deal of activity, of course this is skewed toward the activity at hand (the Democratic nomination).

When you look at the longer term charts (such as blog activity and site activity towards the bottom) you'll continue to see a more active amount of instances for Obama than McCain

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Promise for advertiser widgets

Just had a nice briefing with Gigya, one of the largest widget platforms out there. They are getting a lot of traction by allowing their widget makers to offer online users an advertising widget as a companion to their own widget. Advertisers get the opportunity to be seen across MySpace, Facebook and others with one buy. It's a voluntary download on the user's part. Surprisingly, campaigns typically will get tens to hundreds of thousands of downloads. Gigya says that the download rate is so good that advertisers buy on a "cost per install" rate and end up paying a decent but not obscene amount - $1 to $2 CPI. They also track the rate of interactions, which have been 11 percent on some recent campaigns.
Liza Hausman of Gigya has three words of advice for advertisers when it comes to designing a popular widget: simple, shiny, and shareable.

Full Page Opener Ad on NYTimes.com

The New York Times is running full-page ads that show before you get to the home page. They load quickly and don't take very long to run. I was not annoyed, although it is my job to be interested in this stuff. So far I have seen one for SAP (I'm not a good target) and Jet Blue (just bought a ticket there yesterday.) Newspapers are the bete noire of the advertising world these days. If the New York Times can keep visitors' attention long enough to make it to the home page, they might have a good money-maker on their hands.