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February 2007
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4 posts from March 2007

Funding Decencies

Instead of sponsoring a charity event or a sports team, how about a fund-raising drive which asks people to pay for the privilege of using something they get all the time for free? New York ad man David Droga came up with the idea of restaurants collecting $1 from patrons for each glass a water. Tent cards on the tables promote the progam, which funds fresh water projects around the world. What commodity could you and your customers provide for others less fortunate? For instance, conferences are always handing out pencils. Maybe attendees could contribute $1 for school supplies for needy children.

BusinessWeek: UNICEF: Tapping the Power of Water, 2007-Mar-20, by Karyn McCormack

Tap water, Droga explains, is a "brand that no one owns" and is available in many metropolitan cities around the world. Plus, since the campaign rests on people making donations for their tap water, there are no costs for packing, bottling, and shipping the water. Marketing tap water is "a sustainable idea—that's why I like it so much," says Droga.

Popularity Contest

Have you noticed those little links on web sites that say "Digg this" or "add to"? With these links, marketers are giving web visitors the tools to encourage more traffic. Here's the trick: the content on the page has to be worth sharing. Whether or not you think you have an item that could go viral, any content that's worth referring back to--tools, tips, hard-to-find history or explanations--could be easier found with social bookmarks. Your site actually becomes less reliant on the search engines.

WSJ: The Wizards of Buzz -, 2007-Feb-10, by Jamin Warren and John Jurgensen (subscription required)

A new generation of hidden influencers is taking root online, fueled by a growing love affair among Web sites with letting users vote on their favorite submissions. These sites are the next wave in the social-networking craze... Digg is one of the most prominent of these sites, which are variously labeled social bookmarking or social news. Others include (recently purchased by Conde Nast), (bought by Yahoo), and Netscape relaunched last June with a similar format.

Enlarging the Email Knowledgebase

"Prior value" is a meme that ought to fly around the email marketing world and become firmly lodged in our consciousness. Your next email is can never be more interesting than your last email.

Email Marketing Best Practices: Email Marketing and the Concept of Prior Value, 2007-Feb-28, by Chris Baggott

I learned a new term today from Stephanie Miller of Return Path. Prior Value. I can’t remember the exact stat, but the basic premise from her research is that the top reason given for a subscriber engaging with an email was “Prior Value”. The value I felt I got from your previous email. Brilliant.

Playing in the Participation Age

We express ourselves by publicizing our preferences.

Link: To Get Viewers for Reruns, a ‘Sopranos’ Game - New York Times. 2006-Dec-11, by Mchel Marriott

While big games have proved to be effective promotional tools, Christopher Swain, a professor at the University of Southern California and an expert on game design and online game culture, said these games represented much more. He said they were an outgrowth of the “participation age” — he credited Jonathan I. Schwartz, chief executive of Sun Microsystems, with coining the term — in which millions of people want to join in activities within communities of shared interests. Those active in social networking Web sites like MySpace and Facebook are prime examples, said Mr. Swain, who is co-director of the university’s Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab. “They want to express themselves in a community,” he said. “In this case the community is of people excited about ‘The Sopranos.’ I think it is a natural flowing from this sort of participation age.”