Monthly Archives: April 2009

Why most advertising doesn’t work

Robert Townsend was the CEO of Avis in the USA in the 1960s. His problem was Hertz dominated the car rental market. There were lots of smaller brands: Dollar, Budget, Econ-o-Car, Alamo, Avis.

Read more on Why most advertising doesn’t work…

Putting the brakes on?

At yesterday’s IAB Automotive Forum, presenters from Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google were united in acknowledging that the automotive buying cycle has changed with the growing ubiquity of the internet in the research process. They also acknowledged that this has given rise to the emergence of a “new consumer”, one who is web savvy and would prefer to spend his time researching cars on the internet than on the forecourt.

Read more on Putting the brakes on?…

Marketers fail to seize internet’s branding mother load

I recently wrote about the way
video is bringing major changes to internet content.
This is a big deal. Online video
already plays a massive and unique role in the lives of the UK
population. Whether it’s an embedded YouTube clip on a blog, a professional news
clip on the Telegraph or Guardian websites or even a full length programme or
film from Channel 4, Sky or the upcoming Love Film service.

Read more on Marketers fail to seize internet’s branding mother load…

Facebook Feeding Frenzy

Facebook 2.0? Not quite, but today’s the day that it looks set to open up access to the ‘feed’. What we’re talking about is the rich real time data that developers would give their eye-teeth to get their hands on; the stuff we’re all sharing with our fellow Facebook users. It’s important because it ups the ante in the ongoing battle with Twitter. After all, search the net, and you’ll already find a plethora of news aggregation sites based on the most popular things people are Tweetering on about. Knowing what people are sharing is one thing, but imagine filtering it by geographic or company location too. The big question is precisely how much of the feed will be opened up and how it will sit with thorny privacy issues. What’s to be applauded though is the fact that they’re acting quickly to assimilate the best of competitor social media. People’s attention spans wane quickly online, so anything that sustains interest or reinvigorates has got to be welcomed.

Read more on Facebook Feeding Frenzy…

Where’s Dave Morris now we need him?

Last week I spent four days at D&AD, judging TV and Cinema advertising. Over the whole four days there was one amazing piece of original, creative, thinking that totally blew me away. But it wasn’t any of the adverts.

Read more on Where’s Dave Morris now we need him?…

3D ooooooooooo

Sam Mendes was recently asked whether he would be using 3D anytime soon. He replied by saying, “I’ve been doing it for years – it’s called theatre.” Aside from loving the quote and hating him for being married to Kate Winslet it appears that 3D is the way forward.

Read more on 3D ooooooooooo…

Never mind the brand bollocks

In the late sixties I’d just started at art school in Brooklyn. I was really disappointed. Everyone was so uncool. They either dressed like slobs or nerds.

I’d just come from London, I was a mod. I thought if London was stylish, New York would be way more so. But I was wrong. Style had totally bypassed America.

Read more on Never mind the brand bollocks…

Editor’s blog: Can the new connectedness save us?

On Thursday MT held a seminar with the title ‘Recession 2.0 – is there a silver lining in the cloud’? Snappy title, eh? It’s fair to say that after the dismal news contained in Wednesday’s budget, silver linings were in short supply. But the group of 40 guests wanted to look at whether the ‘new connectedness’ will help organisations get themselves ahead of the curve as the recovery comes.

It’s certainly true that the speed of this downturn’s onset and its truly global nature have been exacerbated by this connectedness – the always-on, instantaneous nature of modern communication – whether that’s automated selling systems for bonds and equities, or the way in which global bad news spread fast like contagion. However, staying close and connected will be vital to those businesses who want to speed the upturn. And this applies to the full set of stakeholders: employees, customers, investors and prospects.

The panel consisted of MT contributing editor Stefan Stern, Caroline Plumb of FreshMinds (the youngest woman ever to make it onto the MT ‘35 Under 35’ young women in business list) and David Beard from Sage’s enterprise division (who kindly sponsored the event).

Caroline was particularly interesting on the subject of the formation of collaborative networks, both within and outside organisations, that help to innovate and solve problems. The old idea of the company as a fortress was out-of-date, she said, and contributors from outside needed welcoming within the walls with ideas about how to improve products and services. Caroline cited the case of Dell, which acknowledged that shortcomings in its customer service had given it hordes of detractors. So it invited them into the fold to help make things better by allowing new ideas to be discussed, and even voted upon, in its online communities.

Read more on Editor’s blog: Can the new connectedness save us?…

Beyond impressions

“Too often we measure everything and understand nothing”, said Adam Freeman, commercial director at Guardian News and Media, at yesterday’s ABCe’s Interaction 2009 event. Freeman was quoting Jack Welch, former chairman and chief executive of General Electric, before going on to argue that the constantly evolving nature of online media has resulted in the need for measurement structures to be prepared to change at a similar pace.

Read more on Beyond impressions…

Is the digital industry welcoming newcomers with open arms or are we a closed shop?

I recently had the pleasure of talking to a mature sales professional who had worked in traditional publishing for over 35 years. As a victim of the recession and in particular one of the many employees cut loose from their traditional publisher, he was looking to move into the digital industry.

While I was advising him on what and how much he would need to learn, it occurred to me that we aren’t making it easy for these consummate professionals to diversify into digital. We have created a vast array of acronyms that we then change every 6 months – SEO to NSO being my favourite de jour! We invent a complicated mix of revenue streams – far beyond the DPS, half page or at best, barn door of the traditional sales arena.

We are passionate about our industry and for those of us who have worked in it over the boom, crash, boom short history of digital, expect that those that didn’t jump on board at the start shouldn’t be allowed to walk in easily.

Well, perhaps we should evaluate. We should welcome new and old blood with open arms. That in itself would be the kind of attitude that we all so proudly aspire to have.
When traditional publishers are forced to let good people go, let us be the industry that embraces that talent.

I for one, welcome the mature, seasoned and consummate professional. For one reason, sales, design, marketing or editorial are skills that are acquired over time. Digital for all its complications, can and should be taught to all – irrespective of age or previous career path. Otherwise, surely we are letting good talent go to waste?

Read more on Is the digital industry welcoming newcomers with open arms or are we a closed shop?…