Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lead Generation - What it is all about

Seriously what do you have a web site for anyway? It is the sales person that never sleeps. It help your audience better understand you, your value - your story. In this day and age it is your own private network. In turn it generates leads for your organization. Here is an article that makes some good points about how to optimize your web property for lead generation. I will say that you can add a "#6" to the author's "5 tips."

Last but not least - you have no right to bore your audience. I have read and agree with research that suggests that most web browsers make the decision to stay or go on a site within 2 seconds. Let's face it - pics and text don't grab the senses like they used to. Strategic, engaging content that understands your audience enough to be relevant and valuable to their lives (not necessarily yours) is a great way to get them and keep them on board; then you can focus on getting them to convert to a lead. Enjoy the read.

Practicing the Best in Online Lead Gen
By Dan Felter | January 22, 2007

A Popcorn-Shilling Zombie??

This may be one of the funniest Bob Garfield ad reviews I have ever read. Easy target, but still a riot. Read the review by clicking here

Skip straight to the Orville Redenbacher "Zombie" spot by clicking here

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

MySpace for Dummies Launch

My buddies Hup and Mitch launching their new book MySpace for Dummies at Hot Box Pizza in Broad Ripple.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Streaming Google

I ran across an interesting article this morning. Google is experimenting a bit more with streaming video. However, this time it is for ad and marketing messaging, not simply user content through their Google video model.

After reading this piece my mind immediately wandered to where the business model is for Google with streaming video. The example in the article states that Google has started experimenting with streaming ad messages that run at different times during the Charlie Rose show that resides on the site. Then the article starts talking about where they placed the ads (beginning and the middle of the show).

Let's start there. I always love how the media trades focus on where the spots are placed. Is it "pre-roll" which is just a fancy way of saying the spot runs at the beginning, before the actual show begins. Or they make a big deal about how revolutionary it is that instead of pre-roll someonoe actually runs the spot in the middle of the streaming video program. Gee, it sounds just like TV to me. No real revolution there. If people tune out of TV spots, why wouldn't they do the same of these spots assuming they are as irrelevant?

Positioning is not the story here, in this guy's opinion. I believe this is merely a test. I think this is a largely developer driven company testing more with streaming media. I believe Google realizes that they can, will and should get on the streaming content bus. However, they are smart enough to know that doing so without a great model that keeps content relevant is a waste. Their adsense program is a great example - that even with boring text ads - relevancy can win the day.

So, where does this all fit. I think that Google is thinking about and starting to flirt with search relevant video ads - the same concept as their adsense program, just with streaming content instead of or in addition to text ads. If you see what they are doing with BSkyB in Britain you would see that I am not uts, rather they are brilliant. This model can be applied to traditional publications online models (newspapers, TV, etc.) and give them a model they have never had - one based on relevancy to the user's behavior based on content search and consumption.

It is just a shame Google is the one always coming up with these models. The technology is not that daunting, the idea behind the profitable business model however, is. The enormity of the opportunity is HUGE.

The article -
Google Tests In-Stream Video Ads

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Bud.TV - what took so long?

Ran across a new piece this morning regarding the large new initiative created by Anheuser Busch - Bud.TV
The headline...
Anheuser-Busch Speaks! Execs Talk Bud.TV

Let me give you the highlights, most of which are pulled straight from the article which I link to, in full, below...

- On February 5, 2007 they will launch an online entertainment network called Bud.TV. The research suggests, that adults 21 to 27 are using the Internet minimally six hours a week, and obviously that's growing. Budweiser needed to continue to move more of their marketing, and specifically media resources, as they try to reach the consumer, into the digital space.

- Whoa!! 10% of their total media budget, $606.7 million, was the budget for this project. That is coming directly out of network TV and cable TV spending.

- It is likely you will never see a 30-second promotional, other than maybe showcasing Bud Super Bowl spots. It will be using the Internet in a way that 21- to 27-year-old consumers will appreciate. There will be many consumer user components; AB brands will be more integrated into the programming and the site, almost in the form of product placement versus the traditional 30-second commercial.

- There are going to be seven, maybe eight, channels as they get started with different themes.

- The content that AB develops and what airs on Bud.TV will be proprietary; unless you download it and stream it to a buddy, you will not be able to see their content on any other site.

- AB says they wanted their creative to be proprietary, however and I quote "Now, say that one of the TV Shows, 'Replaced By a Chimp' airs for three weeks, and we move one of our shows to archives and somebody else, like say, YouTube wants it on their site… somebody may put it up on YouTube anyway, or on MySpace, if they have their own page."

- When you come onto the site, they will have a profile page you need to fill out-- not only just asking your birth date, but gender, likes, dislikes, et cetera so they can -- if you so choose, and opt to -- develop a customized page for Bud.TV. Say, you like their "Happy Hour Show," the "Comedy Show" and "Hollywood," and that is all you want to see when it is refreshed. You can opt in, put it on your desktop, and when it is refreshed there will be a ding, or a sound, that you know you have refreshed content on the site.

In this author's opinion this is brilliant. Why force a user to go through the process of the public browser (it makes the IE vs. Mozilla issue moot!) and searching a site when you can offer the content they want automatically straight to their desktop. We have discussed this for two years and it is great to see someone taking advantage of this opportunity!

The link to the full article and it is a long one - but well worth the read...
Anheuser-Busch Speaks! Execs Talk Bud.TV

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! It new year's day approximately 9:10 am, the kids are watching Peter Pan, my wife is getting things organized for school (she is a teacher) and I am blogging until I fix everyone breakfast. Doesn't feel so new to me yet.

Last night Beth (my wife) and I were watching that super cool guy Carson Daly and his New Year's Eve countdown to 12 o'clock. We watched maybe 20 minutes. It was interesting only because he kept making it a point to mention the TIME magazine Person of the Year issue only about 10 times and how 2006 was an important year for the web. He went on to talk briefly about YouTube and MySpace.

I found it so ironic. When he was conducting his interviews and just bantering about it seemed very loose and unscripted, but when he started waxing philosophical about 2006 he seemed to jump straight to the teleprompter and read very rigidly from the screen. A TV guy reading verbatim from a script praising the web and it's ability to empower us, the general public, and give us a voice - all from reading a teleprompter like a robot - during a goofy New Year's Eve countdown show. It felt strange to me. Very strange. Whatever the case I love seeing the traditionals giving the web it's props.