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39 posts from August 2006

Billboards Connect to Individual Phones

Em_18 Outdoor advertising used to be a one-way medium, but now billboards can actually connect with the cell phones of nearby pedestrians, allowing them to download music, ads or video clips. The bluetooth technology currently being used doesn't work with cars driving by, and many of the initial implementations are in mass transit centers. CBS Touts New Shows in Video Clips, 2006-Aug-24, by Emily Steel

060824 Like the addition of neon lights and three-dimensional fiberglass extensions to billboards, the marrying of mobile devices with outdoor advertising is yet another flourish in the booming outdoor-ad business. ... "This is a way to take the message off the billboard and literally place it in people's hands and into their lives," says Stephen Freitas, chief marketing officer for the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

Sustaining Fan Communities

Cb_15 Although it's amusing, I've been uncertain about how important the Snakes on a Plane phenomenon would be. Now Jake McKee has an excellent analysis. When the company takes the ball and builds on what the fans have done, then we can have something better than ever before, but it's a delicate balancing act, as Jake explains.

Community Guy: Snakes on a Plane: The Community Ecosystem, 2006-Aug-20, by Jake McKee

060823 When in balance, ecosystems are surprisingly robust, growth happens, species flourish, everyone grows. ... But when an ecosystem is thrown off balance, it can easily and quickly fall apart. This is what happens when marketers think of the fan community as nothing more than “free marketing”. This is what happens when fans forget that businesses need to make money in order to stay in business.

In an “Community Ecosystem”, much of the burden for maintaining that balance falls to the marketer, whether they like it or not. Marketers have the budgets, they have the time, and they have the vested interest in ensuring that the ecosystem stays viable....

Marketing as the Lungs of your Business

This on-line newsletter is about all the chances you have to establish a communication system with your customers, prospects, vendors, investors or other audiences. Good marketing communications is like breathing. With every message you send out, you have an opportunity to collect some information back in. If you build the right respiratory system, over time you will become closer to your audience and better able to keep them happy.

Tapping into Natural Networks

Nr_5 Tapping into a network can be tricky, but Skyzone wants to reach people who will pay for great games on their phone, so they sent out a free mini-game that people could play then forward to a friend with a challenge to play. The free game could lead to a game sale, but just collecting the phone number of potential players was the big win.

060822b 1to1 Magazine: Peer-to-Peer Marketing: Skyzone Dials Up Referral Results, 2006-Jul/Aug, by John Gaffney

Skyzone had two goals with Ragnorak. The first was to reach out to younger users through a mobile game that had offline components. The second was to convince wireless providers to license the game, which can be customized and forwarded to other users with its refer-to-a-friend feature.

Marketing with Bloggers

Em_17 With all the internet traffic that bloggers are getting, marketers would really like to get exposure, and maybe even a favorable product review, on a popular blog. However, promoting products with bloggers is still the frontier of advertising. Where the world of traditional publishing has a lot of well-recognized rules, the blogosphere is full of unpredictable people. Fionnuala Downhill (what a great name!) has some excellent advice.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Marketers hope to generate buzz by seeking out bloggers, 2006-Aug-14, by Kim Hart of The Washington Post

Marketing firms are advising companies to have conversations with bloggers rather than simply pitching a product and giving free samples. Follow the blogs carefully and join the dialogue by responding to posts only when it’s appropriate, suggested Fionnuala Downhill, chief executive of Elixir Systems.

Museum at Starbucks

Ss_6 Starbucks has marketed itself with museum sponsorships before (Houston, for instance), and now one museum has offered to supply Starbucks with posters and programming. The Cleveland Museum of Art is mostly closed for renovation, so they needed a way to reach out to the local community. We hope all the coffee shops get on board eventually. I've seen coffee shops close because their traffic is uneven, and this would be a good way to maintain an audience.

060822a Plain Dealer: Museum's Deal with Starbucks Irs Local Vendors, 2006-Aug-19, by Steven Litt

The museum's co-marketing program with Starbucks grew out of a relationship with the company that started last year, when the firm agreed to sponsor the summer evening concerts in the museum's Outdoor Garden Court. ...and the new outreach program was the museum's idea -- a fact museum officials confirmed. Hodson also said Starbucks had no problem if the museum also marketed itself through local coffee stores or companies.

New Age in Advertising?

Um_7 The new age in advertising may have arrived. YouTube will create space for advertising but no one will be required to view it. There will be ads people can select to watch on the front page, and if people are interested, they can click to a sponsor's dedicated YouTube page. I hope it works, but I guess I should say I hope the ads work. I hope they are enticing, people enjoy them and people who want to know more about the product click on through.

060822 NY Times: YouTube Ads to Market CD by Paris Hilton, 2006-Aug-22

Chad Hurley, the site’s co-founder, said he opposed one of the main existing models for Internet video, used on Yahoo, America Online and other popular sites, in which viewers must watch a commercial before seeing a clip they have selected. “It’s not very effective to force somebody to watch an ad,” Mr. Hurley said. “We feel it’s a much better experience to have somebody opt in,” as they would with the ads on YouTube’s front page.