Thursday, November 30, 2006

O3Spaces: open source SharePoint for OpenOffice

The open source world is about to welcome a competitor to SharePoint from Microsoft. In 2007, O3Spaces from the Netherlands will release its open source version of its integrated collaboration and document management application for workgroups and small businesses that use or its commercial sibling StarOffice. It is already available in its professional version, you can take a look at this quick tour to figure it out, and read a Sharepoint feature comparison here.

It is important as SharePoint is central to Microsoft Office 2007 launch. People Ready is all about collaboration and probably the most compelling reason to upgrade your office suite software. Web 2.0 drives this collaboration attitude, motivating all individuals to do it easily over the network and from very different devices, including our cell phones.

Let's not forget that desktop productivity software is also making its early steps in the Software as a Service (Saas) world. Just keep in mind what Google is doing with Writely and its online spreadsheet service, offering native web collaboration, all for free!

2007 will definitely be a very interesting time for the office suite market and probably give us some indications on whether customers are keen to stay only with the old licensing model or move partly to the open source model or the Saas one.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

ZoomClouds: tags cloud on your blog easy

As the blogger platform doesn't offer by default the ability to create tags cloud, I was looking for a simple way to just insert one from a third party. I like tags cloud a lot, it gives you in an eye blink a feel for what a blog is about.

I'm now using ZoomClouds for several days and it seems to work just fine. Go ahead a create one, it'll provide some additional metrics about what topics your blog readers take a look at. On top of it, it generates automatically tags for you on top of the labels you have created.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Is Microsoft 2.0 on the rise?

Most of us do remember the last major Microsoft transformation around the Internet in 1996, don't you? At the announcement for its new BBS, Microsoft Network (MSN) Bill Gates declared about the Internet something as "it's just a fad". After Windows 95 launch, Microsoft was quickly reorganized in 1996 and did let appear an Internet division -- read the detailed story here. The rest is history: Netscape became an industry icon for museums despite being once the web browser gorilla.

As challenging times are back again with the rise of Web 2.0, especially around:

  • rich on-line user interfaces
  • applications directly cooperating via the network (i.e. SOA and mashups)
  • the Internet becoming a platform rather than just a media

Microsoft once again needs to reinvent itself. And this time, it seems to include a new Microsoft leaders generation, check out this business week slide show. Business Week reports this week on The soul of a new Microsoft.

Zune, Vista, Live and MDAS are some of the new ingredients of Microsoft 2.0 as I see it. The People Ready campaign will need to provide an umbrella for this, which is a challenge as the range of Microsoft marketable offers is stretching like crazy. Similarly to the last major transformation I was refering to, Web 2.0 seemed to be lagging in Microsoft communication. Not anymore, watch this Businessweek Video where "Kevin Johnson and Jeff Raikes talk about how new versions of Windows and Office represent a leap into the Web 2.0 world". I'll give you a hint, it's all about web services. Surprised?

I trust the new Microsoft leaders, especially Ray Ozzie, will probably take it to the next level. I wouldn't be surprised if a major reorg was to take place after Vista launch that we could finally call: Microsoft 2.0.

Who's next?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Online spending trends in B2B Marketing

Just a quick one to be shared for those of you mostly in B2B marketing, as I do, and wonder how online media investments are evolving more specifically in this environment.

Here are some projection from in a report they've just released Marketing Online: Trends and Tactics. To be noted that according to this report, spending on B2B marketing and advertising regained the momentum lost during the bubble burst in 2000, reaching $2.4 billion in 2006 to be compared with deceleration in traditional media.

Interestingly in the US, 98% of 220 manufacturers interviewed do have a web site, and 87% for more than 3 years. Even better, 52% consider their site as the most powerful marketing tool, knowing that increasing pressure on Marketing accountability and return on investment (ROI) makes this "most powerful" judgment a relevant one.

As you'll discover in the table above, the share of online spending compared to total B2B Media spending seems to evolve rapidly towards 10% average on its way to 13% in 2010. In our industry, I mean IT, we've gone beyond that point since long. But we're naturally incline to do so as our customers are 100% on the web, and use it as the primary information source after peers recommendation. That would open an entire topic of interest, very dear to me in B2B, which is marketing via the influencers, to be totally revisited in light of Web 2.0 i.e. another Marketing 2.0 facet.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

IBM stumbles twice on its IT leadership, HP is the new King of IT

This is what we could call a defining moment. IBM will stumble twice on its results this quarter. First, IBM (IBM) global revenue should be now slightly smaller than the one from HP (HPQ), check Link to HP passes IBM as IT leader. HP's revenue for its 2006 fiscal is surging to $91.7 billion and IBM is expected to finish his at $90 billion on December 31st. Then Accenture (ACN) took the integration services crown from IBM according to an IDC report, read more about it in Accenture tops IBM as leading systems integrator, NetworkWorld. IDC started tracking systems integrators back in early 90's and mainly attributes this success to the explosion of SOA related services. Accenture announced back in July that they planned to invest $450 million in SOA services over the next 3 years.

What a change! To give IBM another food for thoughts, Google (GOOG) market capitalization is $140 billion with its 5,700 employees, exactly the same as IBM's one with its 329,000 employees. Track the stock comparison chart between IBM, HP, Accenture, Google and Dell here. It is not yet reflecting HP successes, but gives already Accenture ahead of IBM. Of course, as we already noticed in Marketing 2.0 in Is your brand relevant on line, some new Marketing 2.0 elements are influencing the stock value. In HP's case, its recent turmoil at the company's top could have started a negative buzz about the company's legendary ethical values. When is HP starting its corporate blog? Come on, fellow marketers at HP, take a chance on Marketing 2.0. Wait, they've started several of them. Here they are. But where is Mark Hurd's? Eric, that is Eric Kintz HP Vice President Global Marketing Strategy & Excellence, as you seem to be a Web 2.0 savvy marketer -- read his blog all about marketing -- couldn't you have more influence on your CEO?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Study your competition on-line for free

Studying your competition surely is an important part of your marketing activity. Now that a lot is happening on-line, there are very easy and cheap (FREE!) ways to do this on a regular basis.

Let me highlight some interesting tools to do it.

The very first thing to use, if you didn't already, is to leverage Google Alerts. Set a few agent that will bring you back on the fly, daily or weekly, whatever web page, news item and now blog posts relative to the keywords you're looking into. Here is a result of blog search for Marketing 2.0. I use daily agents for the core topics I am covering for Sun and have an e-mail sent to my inbox and provide my team around the world with a weekly summary. Very powerful to always stay on top of things.

Now what about discovering your competitors marketing campaigns? Spy Fu can just help you do this for free. It is still in beta but effective. Enter your competitors name in there and find out how much they're paying for search advertising daily, the number of total clicks they're receiving, their keywords ranking and their average ad position. Spy Fu monitors 4.5 million domains.

Another good tool is the Internet Archive. You can track there how many times your competition changes their web site and is it split tested.

Finally, you might want to know who owns one of your competitors site and where it is hosted. Use Whois Source for this. Could be effective to establish partnerships as well and get in touch with the web master.

I'm still looking for a solid blog competition research beyond Google new blog search. Let me know if you found a good one.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Web 2.0 is not just a new user interface

Following the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco last week, lots have been said, lots have been written and lots have been exchanged. We can now grasp that this energy and enthusiasm level surge is not some temporary fad but probably the matured revival of what used to be called the bubble, not even preceding it with "Internet" anymore as it is so obvious the bubble can only refer to the Internet one.

The list of speaker is impressive and the sponsors just encompasses more than the total list of companies we're after when organizing such events. Something is in the air, can't you feel it? I know a lot of those who are reading this blog are not from the U.S., far from it, so I can already tell you this: if you're not based out of the Silicon Valley, there's already a good way to do money out of the Web 2.0, and that is simply to organize a conference about it. Invite me, I'll be happy to give a pitch there ;-)

I'll probably write more than once about this conference, but I wanted to get a kick start with this Tim O'Reilly's quote about the Web 2.0:

"Web 2.0 is much more than just pasting a new user interface onto an old application.It’s a way of thinking, a new perspective on the entire business of software—from concept through delivery, from marketing through support. Web 2.0 thrives on network effects: databases that get richer the more people interact with them, applications that are smarter the more people use them, marketing that is driven by user stories and experiences, and applications that interact with each other to form a broader computing platform." - John Musser with Tim O'Reilly in Web 2.0 principles and best practices excerpt

Yes, Web 2.0 is not just a new user interface as we pointed out already here in Marketing 2.0, it brings a whole new perspective on how marketing must take into account our new world and the way individuals have evolved their relationship with brands out there.

Have feel for it and quickly scan this "News & Coverage" section of the Web 2.0 summit. Advertising Age is focusing in How to win Web 2.0 on monetizing video and traditional press struggling with considering user generated content as competition or co-journalists. Vast conversation. Check out some photos of the event on flickr as well.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Java goes open source today

Get the Source
I usually do not comment on Sun's marketing or activity here in Marketing 2.0, but today is an exception. Today is a major milestone in the software industry as Sun fulfills its promise and open sources all of its key Java implementations using General Public Licence (GPL), the licence used by the Linux community. Sun is launching two new communities: OpenJDK and Mobile & Embedded communities.

The Java community, started back in 1995, is thriving: more than 5 million developers, nearly 4 billion devices including 8 out of every 10 mobile handsets. Java the platform -- Java is often wrongly considered just a development language -- has reached an impressive level of maturity, innovation and adoption. Its promise "Develop once, runs everywhere" attracts now an even wider developer community. This announcement marks the single largest open source contribution the industry has ever seen and propels Sun as the #1 contributor to the open source community, adding to the already open sourced Open Office, NetBeans and OpenSolaris to name a few.

"Sun has made important contributions to the free world already. Things like Open Office and Solaris so [open sourcing Java] adds up to a very important contribution .. Sun has ... contributed more than any other company to the free software community in the form of software. It shows leadership." – Dr. Richard Stahllman, Free Software Foundation

Following important announcements as the Oracle one about RedHat Linux distribution and support and Microsoft cutting a deal with Novell (about SuSe Linux), it is now very clear the open source model for Software will not go away and has changed the software industry and its business model forever. For us marketers, it means a lot when considering the potential impact on other industries where intellectual property is a major asset (music, video, books, motion pictures).

Make sure you attend today (9:30 PST/6:30 pm Paris) the live broadcast announcement if you do care, so you'll get full details.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Do you master Marketing 2.0 metrics?

Dear fellow marketers, this is the time to check if you're on top of all the trendy acronyms that one must master to deal with the new media. Here is an interesting list I submit to your expertise:
  • CTR: Click-thru rate
  • CPM: Cost per thousand
  • CPC: Cost per click
  • Conversion Rate
  • ROAS: Return on ad spend
  • Value/Cost
  • Value/Click
  • CPL: Cost per lead
  • CPS: Cost per sale
  • CPA: Cost per acquisition
  • Advertising revenue per visitor
  • Visitor to browser ratio
  • Shopping cart abandonment
  • AVO: Average order

Who's saying marketing is not about measuring the outcome of the investment we're making? I increasingly meet Marketing Executives that are working around the clock to produce meaningful dashboards to their management. Search Marketing is no different and probably paves the way for other kind of marketing activities, especially advertising investments.

The trend though is to focus more on CPA than CPM as after all we're measured on the incremental business we can bring back to our brands. ROAS is a tricky one, I'm leaving you with the formula -- the ROAS provides the amount of revenue responsible from the campaign per dollar invested. For example, an ROAS of $1 means that you are generating $1 for every $1 in ad spend:

ROAS = ((Impressions * CTR * Conv rate * Avg sale) – Campaign Cost)/Campaign Cost

Work your spreadsheet for an interesting Marketing 2.0 journey.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Do you measure buzz about your brand on blogs?

Buzz Trends is something hard to measure. Marketing 2.0 is no exception to the marketing ROI demand we are all increasingly facing. If you don't, that should be a sign that your job is at risk ;-)

Most of you are probably already using Technorati trends and Google trends to have a feel for it and be able to create nice slides for your management. Again, if you don't, check them out right now.

I wanted to highlight this very interesting set of tools coming from Nielsen BuzzMetrics: Trend Search, Featured Trends, Conversation Tracker, BlogPulse Profiles. This is totally dedicated to the blog universe and very easy to customize. The Key People analysis, which has its own RSS feed, clearly shows who's making the buzz among top U.S. personalities (John Kerry took the front seat on Oct. 31st from rank 25, you must surely know why).

So now that we have some measuring tools ramping up to help us make our point, let's make Marketing 2.0 a measured integrated marketing approach. A question remains though, how do you translate positive buzz measurement into actual opportunities or revenue increase? I guess I'll have to work on it quite rapidly.

In the meantime, enjoy your week-end fellow marketers.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Social Network ad spending grows rapidly to $900M

Latest numbers tracked by are showing that Marketing 2.0 is ramping up more rapidly than expected. This new 2007 Ad spending forecast, totaling $865M specifically in Social Networking ad, is far bigger than the last $280M estimate for 2006, still coming from eMarketer. This is pretty much in line with the 2010 forecasted $1.8 Billion.

This is to be compared with the overall $16.7 Billion spent on US online advertising for 2006 i.e. 1.7%, which is a relatively small chunk but growing fast.

"The underlying concept will influence the way advertising is done in all media, not just online." says Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst and author of eMarketer's new report, Social Network Marketing: Carving Out Some MySpace.

Social Networking is definitely an important dimension in Marketing 2.0 and the way it impacts relationships between consumers or customers and brands.