With the proliferation of information-based blogs and blog marketing comes the need to report faster than the next fast typer. It’s perhaps why the blogger has gained the reputation of a caffeine-driven writer who spends every waking hour (and perhaps even some sleeping hours) perched above the warm glow of a keyboard, ready to report on breaking stories that are so hot, they’re steaming. Sometimes, however, the steam blinds the information-hungry reader into thinking that what is being reported on is true. A recent New York Times article explores the importance of being more relevant for blogs versus seeking credibility. The article describes the world yore when Newspapers were actually printed on actual paper, where writers fought to break stories first regardless of whether they checked sources or not. Eventually, newspapers that sought to be more credible survived because the readers demanded it. But now, methinks, the reader may be demanding more. So the question isn’t which is better. The question, in my opinion, is which is more interesting. Who says that all the news that’s fit to print has to be the cold hard facts? Perhaps there’s room for scuttlebutt and rumor just to keep things spiced up. By the way, did you hear that Apple is buying EA and Twitter?
Archives for June 2009
Companies have utilized the power of blogging to build stronger customer relations, generate new qualified leads and sales, and build a readership list quickly and inexpensively. But now, research shows, moms are getting into the act. Moms have always been social networking experts in the offline world. Mommy clubs on the local and neighborhood level abound. Moms naturally tend to congregate and share tips on raising a healthy family and swapping stories about what works and doesn’t. Blogging offers mothers a fantastic platform to be social, to network and to share information quickly and effectively. What’s more interesting is that these women sometimes have multiple blogs and in some cases, these blogs generate income. Yep, that’s right, moms are getting into the ecommerce world in full effect with blog marketing. Mommy blogs can generate income in multiple ways. Selling ad space is one. Google Adsense (a program that enables website publishers to display relevant Google ads) is another. Some moms use blogging to promote their own products, books they’ve written and even services. And the big money comes from companies that sponsor mommy blogs they feel fit within their brand image. So mommy blogging isn’t just about advice on how to potty train Sally or wiping little juniors nose. Moms are giving birth to a whole new way of generating income and stoking the flames of the online economy one blog post at a time.
Enzo F. Cesario
In a traditional ad like a billboard or television commercial, you are limited to the medium; 60 seconds of airtime for a commercial and the number of poster sheets that fit on the billboard. But the internet offer a landscape that stretches boundaries farther than the eye can see. In traditional advertising, these boundaries limit what you can communicate to your audience. More often times than not you’ll notice that the majority of traditional ads spend their efforts on telling you about their product or service. But on the web, everything is flipped around. Instead of telling you about a product or service, you are shown the product or service in action. Take a recent New York Times article where Methodist University Hospital in Memphis released a live video webcast of a patient’s craniotomy while the patient remained awake. No billboard or print ad necessary touting the expertise of Methodist University Hospital. You can see it for your own eyes. Social networking, webcasting and online video are a wonderful thing for marketers in that they allow them to “show” their audience rather than “tell” . But mediums that happen in real-time, like a video casting, can be a double-edged sword. In Real-time information scenarios, you don’t really have control of the outcome versus scenarios (print ads for example) where the creator has control of what is released. In this way, marketers carry a greater risk if things don’t go well during the web cast or video cast, but also a greater reward if it turns out to be positive. I’m not saying one is better than the other, however. I believe smart marketers will use a combination of showing and telling across traditional and non-traditional mediums. Finding the right media mix is a lot easier if you can utilize the power of what the internet has to offer. After all, it’s not brain surgery. Or is it?
Enzo F. Cesario
Whenever I hear that the next new thing will be”¦ I cringe. About five years ago I went to a mobile conference where I heard pitch after pitch about how the mobile phone will be the next killer piece of hardware loaded with the next killer apps. At that same conference I saw some pretty amazing things, like the fact you could scan barcodes with your camera enabled phone and get a price and info of a product or you could receive location based texts that offered coupons on nearby goods and services. But most of the companies pitching their wares went away and were replaced by iPhone apps and Blackberry software. Yes, it’s been an amazing ride, but not half as amazing as how they all made it sound. You know, I’m still waiting for my Dick Tracy watch and, by the way, where’s my hovercraft! In an article titled “š “Making way for the mobile decade” Â Michael Jones, chief technology advocate for Google says, “š” The mobile phone is for the next decade what the computer has been for the last two or three. The whole experience of the Internet is becoming not a desktop computer experience, but a personal experience. It’s something you’re going to grow up with and you’re going to live with all your life and I think every handheld device will have all of those experiences.” Â Really? You promise? Mobile phones will be the next internet? Sounds like a Dick Tracy talk to me.
Enzo F. Cesario
According to a recent Adage article Microsoft is set to launch a massive advertising campaign to announce its latest version of a search engine called Bing (aka code-name Kumo).Â Will it work? The article claims that Microsoft will “focus on planting the idea that today’s search engines don’t work as well as consumers previously thought by asking them whether search (aka Google) really solves their problems. That, Microsoft is hoping, will give consumers a reason to consider switching search engines, which, of course, is one of Bing’s biggest challenges.” Way before I got into the advertising business I can remember a similar effort by an upstart company that intended to unseat the number one soda company in the world. I’m talking about the famous Pepsi challenge. That was over 30 years ago and it is, in my opinion, a fantastic example of how marketing dollars can be used to eat into a market leaders profit by simply suggesting there’s room for a contender. In the Pepsi challenge, it really came down to convincing people that one caramel colored sugar water was just as good or even better than the other. In fact, in blind taste tests, Pepsi claimed that more Americans preferred Pepsi over Coke. I took the test back in the mid-seventies at the Los Angeles County Fair and was dumbfounded to discover that I too chose Pepsi over my favorite Coca-cola drink. The sales guy who conducted the test planted doubt in my mind about what I liked. OK, so I never switched, mostly because I love the Coke brand like a biker likes his harley, but for a second there I actually kinda sorta considered it. Other Coke loyalists however, did end up going over to the dark side. Is Microsoft trying to lead us in the same direction? It seems so. Now, when are we going to get a taste of bing?
Has Microsoft zeroed in on Google’s Achilles’ heel, or will their latest effort be way too little way too late. According to a recent Business Week article Qi Lu, Microsofts top dog of search, believes it’s his duty to improve search experiences online. The article states,Â “while Web surfers may say they’re happy with search technology, the data show they don’t find what they’re after almost half the time.” Is this a kink in Google’s armor? This kink is exactly the kind of weakness Microsoft is building their new Bing engine around. How will they do it? A couple of things Bing offers to help searchers get to what they want faster: hover-over pop-up summaries, a side panel table of contents that lists related options to refine the search, health-related queries from reputable sources on top, simultaneous displays of reviews and photos for product searching and much more. Microsoft is positioning Bing not as another search engine, but a decision engine that helps you overcome search overload. I had no idea I was being overloaded, but apparently Microsoft tells me so. To get a better look at bing, visit this link.
Enzo F. Cesario