Friday, August 29, 2008

Only approximately 0.2% of web sites have a mobile version

Dev Mobi: "Since the beginning of the project, I've been charged with building its index, and so I've been crawling a lot of web sites. This has given me a good vantage point from which to view the growth of the mobile web, and to notice general trends. The overall impression I have today is of a continuous growth in content and new sites, but no tidal wave just yet. Broadly speaking, most of the leading desktop site owners have thought about their mobile visitors, and have created a mobile version of their site, even if they don't especially promote it. They are leading by example because of their popularity, in the same way the iPhone raises awareness of the existence of mobile web (even if users tend to confuse it as an "iPhone-web")….
Overall there are around 0.2% of web domains that have a mobile version.
(This is not a precise figure but a rough estimation based on the millions of domains I've crawled)."

Vewwy Vewwy Intewesting
This just reinforces that all these new media platforms and methods are still very very new. Someone also mentioned something to me so interesting yesterday- "How can people call themselves experts when this technology has only been around 5 or so years?" and they are so right.
So, the fact that only 0.2% of web domains have mobile platforms combined with the fact that no one is yet an expert dictates 2 things:
  • This is all trial and error. The companies brave enough to try this stuff should be applauded, because one day they'll find what works for them and it will have been worth all the heartache.
  • Anyone calling themselves an expert really has no idea.

And as we go into the holiday, I leave you with this, some excellent new Banksy work in New Orleans:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Public pitching makes you go vom

Sydney Morning Herald: A cocktail of web technologies, a top creative team, willing consumers and, hey presto, an Australian business idea is now heading to the United States. is a website where the public can submit advertising suggestions to established brands and in the process receive financial rewards and moral kudos.
It is an adman's way of creating user-generated content for the benefit of advertisers, albeit with little investment from them.

Another charming way for advertisers to exploit people
I remember seeing this and thinking how sad and terrible for the public. Most people sit by and don't care, but then there are the run-of-the-mill creative wannabees who have been blocked by ad agencies for years and they take a stab at doing it for free.
The advertisers put the consumer through the ringer, without compensation and the ad agencies, who are still on retainer, sit by and do nothing.
The content comes out and advertisers think, why in the hell do we need an ad agency? And in the meantime the sales for the product in question haven't wavered and are probably about equal to where they were before the advertiser exploited the public.

It did use to be that the advertiser had power. But no longer. Advertisers can't keep thinking they can do this shit just because multimedia creative technology is now in the hands of the masses. I suggest if advertisers want to go ahead and do this rubbish, they consider what they're doing- do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cheap mobile deal to serve up ads

Sydney Morning Herald: An Australian telco has announced new mobile plans that cost users less than half the usual price as long as they are willing to view advertisements.
ComTel, which operates on the Vodafone network, will market the plans under the SMSPup brand and claims it is the country's first advertising subsidised mobile phone service.

MmmHmm. Sure.
Good for a freebie, but bloody annoying.
Also a bit of a shame considering:
  • You can already spend $29 and get $130 of calls and sms in the land down under
  • No one looks at ads
  • Banner ads appear to be ineffective with low click through rates
  • We still have half of actual click through on mobile as 'accidental'
Time for something new kids.

Marketing Moves to the Blogosphere

The Washington Post: Jason Calacanis, who got into blogging early and big, has quit, leaving the blogosphere to others. One group that has been firing up its keyboards is corporate types. Of the approximately 112.5 million blogs on the Web, almost 5,000 are corporate, according to blog indexer Technorati. Calacanis blogged to start conversations and be a part of a virtual community, but corporate bloggers are in it for other reasons: talking directly to customers or giving a personal touch to a big business.

Shhh, it's oh so quiet
This is a bloody lame article. With the same old rules about how to write a corporate blog and the same stories of tears over the blatant failures and cash over sales wins. But it's old news.
Over the past few weeks, I haven't been writing much on The Digestif. There has been no new news. Everything is the same old crap spit out by different journalists. I swear we would have seen this same stuff exactly 6, 12 and 18 months ago. What's going on?

We're come full circle where 6 years ago there was absolutely nothing out there- no YouTube, no Facebook for the masses, no Flickr. The Friendster was there with MySpace in the wings, but they've both been lame from the start. We have this huge array of new tools before us and everyone is using them in exactly the same ways as when they first came out.
Corporations need to start thinking how they can cross pollinate each medium from one to the next to capture audience at any different place at any different time. It's not about rehashing the old, it's using the tools that are out there to create new ways to connect with your audience in a humanised way- potentially making the purchasing life cycle shorter and hearing that cha-ching a little sooner.

But still, it's oh so quiet...........

When bad reality TV just doesn't die

Bravo has some great reality (well, not for long)- but they really know how to put on an exciting competition.

Then there is Shear Genius. It upsets me that whenever I'm in 'transit' and put the TV on, on my favourite channel, this tripe is always on. And it's bad, so very very bad.
The whole thing is ridiculous, from-
  • the hosts
  • the commentary on the hair...please it's just hair. And commentary by actors about texture and movement, I don't think so
  • The blatant product placements
  • The challenges don't make any sense
  • All the way to the terrible puns!
Other shows get axed so quickly. Is it because reality is so cheap to make?

I'm glad we've come to the last week, but then there is this travesty coming. I'm so ashamed that she is Australian. Although she does look like an Asian Albino. That's a good thing.

Monday, August 25, 2008

More Marketers Want to Get to Know You

Ad Age: Building one-to-one relationships with consumers historically has been embraced by some sectors -- such as financial services and automotive -- more than others. But the Direct Marketing Association's Quarterly Business Review for the first quarter of 2008 finds that 50% of the marketers surveyed said they will increase their spending on database segmentation, overlays and analysis should there be a recession.

Procter & Gamble, long accustomed to a bombard-the-masses-with-heavily-tested-ads strategy, has been working on better personalizing the consumer experience. CRM is also the force behind Coca-Cola's My Coke Rewards online program. Hewlett-Packard is said to have recently completed the biggest implementation of Oracle's Siebel CRM software in history.

Retailers are embracing CRM, too. JCPenney's new JCP Rewards program lets customers earn points to snag members-only benefits. Rival Macy's West, one of the retailer's biggest divisions, also has been investing in CRM to decipher a more effective media mix and gauge reaction to digital efforts.

Let's choose the recession as the reason for everything
I'd like to think people are a bit more advanced than advertisers give them credit for.
With the current shift in marketing trends, with little and less reaction from consumers, people are expecting more from advertisers.
New developments in technology, allowing stronger and deeper connections amongst people and brand representatives allow us to move forward in newer and better advertising methodologies.

Why do so many advertisers and marketers continue to deny this? It's not like the change is a bad thing and it's actually so much more cost effective. Can't you hear that change jingling in your pocket?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Empire Of Cuteness

The New York Times: Cute Overload "is like taking a happy pill," says the tech blog BoingBoing. The Web site featuring snapshots of cute, cuddly little animals has become a surprising success, generating over 800,000 page views per day, according to The New York Times. And why shouldn't it be a success? Cuteness, after all, is the perfect antidote to the pervasive nastiness of bitter bloggers, gossip rags, pornography and spam on the Web.

But Cute Overload is also making real money. Not bad for a niche site. As BlogAds founder Henry Copeland says, it's all about niches and demographics. On Cute Overload, the audience is overwhelming female and between the ages of 18 and 34. "For these women," he said, "recently graduated from college and sitting in grim corporate America, Cute puts them in touch with their nonwork selves. It's escapism."

Oh God. Someone, please shoot me in the head
Thank you Henry Copeland for being so overwhelmingly insulting to your prime audience. It's good that you think women 18-34 are miserable and need some sort of escapism. Well positive- you've just managed to eclipse the nastiness of bitter bloggers and spam.

It's great it's making ad dollars, but are those ads really having any impact? We're still talking the 0.2% CTR, aren't we? And frankly, that isn't really good enough. Perhaps if they included some type of car being cute with another car (like Herbie), we'd get some marketing traction. But right now, it's a whole lot of cute crap disappearing into the cute ether.
It's so painfully boring anyway- I hate that cute nonsense. I realise now it must be because I don't require escapism and I don't sit in grim corporate America.

And since we're here and I'm mentioning my hatred of cute content, including cute forwards - I also hate pro-women's fluffy forwards, any form of lame jew humour I have to often tell people not to send me those things. They pain me.
It's not because I don't appreciate a good joke or something that truly is adorable- I just have a higher appreciation and that makes all the difference.

And as an FYI, if you want to kill something cute, you sandwich it between heavy Jamie Oliver books

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's finally here, a social network focusing on tampons

How I've waited for this day. It's time that tampons stopped sitting in the wings and move to centre stage.
Although, I am a bit disappointed, I thought Tampax was making their own social network, which would be absolutely awesome. This is just really free white clothing product distributed through a social network, representing the confidence Tampax brings- you too can wear white while on the rag.
Brandweek: P&G's Tampax brand turns to tween Web community and launched a promotional effort on Stardoll, a teen and tween social-networking community. The Procter & Gamble brand will offer a monthly gift club and free samples of its products.

This is really a missed opportunity. A social network around tampons is just what young girls need. They'd talk about teen pregnancy and keeping white clothes white- issues that really face young girls today.
They could also have that great Dolly Doctor that featured in the magazine, Dolly, in Australia. It was a section where you could ask any problem and the doctor would help you. Some of the crap people encountered was amazing. We used to post the page on my class noticeboard so everyone could share in the joy. We would then label it as to who we thought submitted the problem.

Even better was the embarrassing moment page. There were some really hysterical, crying and 'can't get up from laughing' stories on those pages, specifically involving tampons. I won't get into it here, some people may not be able to deal. But if you need to know, maybe I will post it.

Look, everyone's trying to get into the Tampon socnet

Pic from Wooster