Saturday, April 28, 2007

Would you have Google as your middle man?

First of all thanks to those of you asking me to write more often, much appreciated. One of the reason I didn't write too much recently lies in the fact that I started to work in a new company and I'm overwhelmed with new information to absorb and categorize. I wish I had a Wiki built in my brain, so everyone could contribute. But that would be brain 2.0 isn't it?

So fellow marketers, I'll be getting back to a better post frequency as soon as possible and of course I'll let you know rapidly what company decided to have me on board. The one thing I can tell you at this point is that I'm back to the Enterprise Application Software gang. It's going to rock there and I'll be writing about it in the near future.

I just wanted to drive your attention to this interesting joint Intel and Google announcement I read in Advertising Age: Intel, Google Join Forces for 'Virtual Marketing Storefront'. Let's get rid of the bells and whistles, Intel is agreeing to have Google as the middle man to manage partners co-marketing on-line (at least for on-line advertising for now). Strange move isn't it, and I don't buy it. If one vendor is serious about his ecosystem, one needs to manage it and not leave this to third parties having a biased interest that might hurt the vendor's strategy.
I don't have anything against Google, and I should say I praise them to have vigorously made Web 2.0 strong, but I would not let Google be my middle-man, instead I'd have Google be my ecosystem provider. Not to mention that Intel's partners would probably benefit from an integrated approach to their co-marketing experience with Intel. On-line advertising is far from being enough.

Apart from this, if you didn't notice Google's accelerated pace to expand their business footprint, here is a quote that says it all:
"This month alone, the company has announced its intent to acquire ad-placement giant DoubleClick; struck a deal with Clear Channel Radio to sell ads on its radio stations; added support from several major radio-station systems for its Google AdSense for Audio program; and partnered with EchoStar to sell TV commercials over the satellite broadcaster's Dish Network. " -- Beth Snyder Bulik, Advertising Age
Hey fellows at Microsoft, it's about time for you to react to try to grab some of the $125 billion advertising market Steve Ballmer claimed he was after.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What business are we in: Software or advertising? Google latest news

I just couldn't help but coming back on Google (GOOG) latest news, accelerating innovation and dominance -- read Google expands office software for more on -- attacking both Yahoo and Microsoft at the same time :

"Google announced Friday it would pay $3.1 billion to acquire ad-management technology company DoubleClick Inc....Google announced the acquisition Tuesday of Tonic Systems Inc., a startup based in San Francisco and Melbourne, Australia. The company specializes in collaborative presentation software and is expected to contribute to future versions to Google's productivity suite." --

This InformationWeek Google's Deal For DoubleClick Could Be The End Of Yahoo article emphasizes the advertising acquisition even more, and finally here is what reported on about the Google Clear Channel deal:

"Google Inc. and broadcaster Clear Channel Communications Inc. have signed a multi-year advertising sales agreement under which Google will start selling its advertising on radio stations, thereby making its entry into what is described as offline media -- radio, TV and even print publications."

If you didn't realize that Google is clearly moving on two fronts at the same time, SaaS dominance together with entering end-to-end advertising via the on-line door, you've just been living on an island without any kind of media access since January! No later than today, MediaDailyNews reports about how the ad industry major players are reacting about it: Google Looms Over Ad Research Summit, Seen More As Friend Than Enemy.

What business are we in folks? Software or advertising ... it may be both.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

State of the Blogosphere

The blogosphere is just expanding like crazy. But you might wonder: what are the numbers? Thanks to Technorati, delivering numbers on a quarterly basis, here are the latest trends released and commented by Dave Sifry in his post The State of the Live Web last week:
  • 70 million blogs are currently tracked
  • About 120,000 new blogs are created each day, or...1.4 new blogs every second
  • 3000-7000 new splogs (fake, or spam blogs) created every day
  • Peak of 11,000 splogs per day last December
  • 1.5 million posts per day, or...17 posts per second
  • Growing from 35 to 75 million blogs took 320 days
  • Japanese the #1 blogging language at 37%, English second at 33%, Chinese third at 8%, Italian fourth at 3%, Farsi a newcomer in the top 10 at 1%
  • English the most even in postings around-the-clock
One quote gives you a feel for whether blogs are a fad or here to stay:
"Since our last State of the Blogosphere report in October 2006, we’ve seen a slowing in the doubling of the size of the blogosphere. This shouldn't be surprising, as we're dealing with the law of large numbers - it takes a lot more growth to double from 35 million blogs to 70 million (which took about 320 days) than when it doubled from 5 million to 10 million blogs (which took about 180 days)." -- Dave Sifry
Interesting as well is the popularity of blogs compared with traditional or media websites. During Q3 2006 there were only 12 blogs in the Top 100 most popular sites, in Q4 this is rising to 22. Even more, the audience tends to distinguish less and less blogs from official media sites as NYTimes and considers blogs as news providers. Is this the rise of Press 2.0?

Enjoy and spread the numbers out there. Blogs should be part of your Marketing 2.0 dashboard.

Monday, April 02, 2007

WOMM: Marketing 2.0 lethal weapon

One of the most critical dimension of Marketing 2.0 lies in Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM). As defined in wikipedia:
"it is a term used in the marketing and advertising industry to describe activities that companies undertake to generate personal recommendations as well as referrals for brand names, products and services."
WOMM in my opinion was first identified by Regis McKenna when describing the market infrastructure in his aging book The Regis Touch. WOMM now has its association Word of Mouth Marketing Association and his guru Word Of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking - Andy Sernovitz. As Andy puts it, here is his WOMM Manifesto:
"1. Happy customers are your best advertising. Make people happy.
2. Marketing is easy: Earn the respect and recommendation of your
customers. They will do your marketing for you, for free.
3. Ethics and good service come first.
4. UR the UE: You are the user experience (not what your ads say you are).
5. Negative word of mouth is an opportunity. Listen and learn.
6. People are already talking. Your only option is to join the conversation.
7. Be interesting or be invisible.
8. If it’s not worth talking about, it’s not worth doing.
9. Make the story of your company a good one.
10. It is more fun to work at a company that people want to talk about.
11. Use the power of word of mouth to make business treat people better.
12. Honest marketing makes more money." -- Andy Sernovitz
Let's make sure you've got a WOMM plan embedded in your coming PR activities. It is cheap, mostly effective, but terribly difficult to ramp up. Who are the individuals you're targeting? How do you approach them without sounding too much biased? How do you recognize them? With what stories and messages do you nurture them? All these questions need to be addressed prior initiating your WOMM as WOMM is Marketing 2.0 lethal weapon.

- Image courtesy of The influencers at