100 days later Service is still king

spinn

Arguably there should not be 100 between posts, but sometimes life and job get in the way… Well it is a nice even number of days to start again on though…  Just read a brilliant post – Content is a Service Business (Andrew Savikas on toc) – where I believe Andrew explains the challenges of content in a digital freemium world perfectly. Some great thoughts around the music/publishing/aggregation industries in there as well as links to some inspiring people. And, while on the subject of free, if you haven’t picked up a copy of FREE from Chris Anderson, do. Some interesting reading/listening about the history and future of the free business model.

This is not new to digital content. Why would the price of admission to see a given year’s Razzie Award winner be equivalent to the price of admission to see the year’s Best Picture? Because the price of admission is not for the content. It’s for the privilege of seeing it early, and doing so on a big screen in a social environment — movie patrons pay for the service provided by the theater, not for the movies themselves (here’s a counterpoint on movie pricing). That’s the point that Reznor and Kelly are making: think long and hard about what your customers want, and provide the service of giving that to them.

Insure this…

created @ Allstate garage

Found this in among my drafts, worth posting even if created 080415…

Created this sweet ride at the Allstate garage. A {new} campaign effort by Allstate to sell insurance to bikers. By Leo Burnett Chicago and Domanistudios. A few things you can do on your visit is plan a trip (mashup with Google maps), watch Garage TV (kinda stupid but im not a biker?), build a sweet ride like above or watch Indian Larry team do the there stuff… o and find an agent or get a quote.

Video is getting old

“Indeed, video streaming is no longer simply an online behavior enjoyed exclusively by the stereotypical early adopter segment – young males. Rather, the growth in the online video audience is now being driven by other demographic segments. Adam Wright, Director at Ipsos MediaCT, explains: “It appears the prevalence of streaming video online among younger males may be approaching a ceiling today, whereas the other demographic groups are driving the audience growth here. The implication for those in the video entertainment industry is that online video – as a medium – appears to be tapping into later stage adopter segments that were perhaps reticent to embrace it even just a year ago.”

The data not only illustrate the massive audience that online video services are attracting today, but also underscore the shifting media landscape today for many video entertainment consumers. Wright concludes, “Television networks, movie studios and other video entertainment entities will need to recognize the growing demand among all consumers for digital distribution. Streaming video is no longer something just teens and twenty-something’s are enjoying, but rather it has become a fixture in mainstream America’s daily routines.”

There you go, a major shift in behavior and channel but don’t forget it is still TV. Now we just need to adapt the TV part to fit the channel and use the benefits of this great medium. Think interactive and personal engagement.

Methodology – Data were sourced from the June 2008 Prevalence wave of fieldwork as part of Ipsos MediaCT’s MOTION
study, which was conducted via computer-assisted telephone interviews
among a representative U.S. sample of consumers aged 12 years and
older. To learn more about MOTION, a quarterly syndicated tracking programming researching the U.S. online video market, please visit: http://www.ipsosinsight.com/knowledge/techcomm/products/motion.aspx.

Connecting Branding and SEO


SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday-SEO for Branding from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

Clear and direct linking between branding and SEO efforts presented on this SEOmoz White Board Friday. A basic overview but a good illustration of how SEO efforts can add to the reach of a branding campaign and extend to of mind.
If you don’t follow the SEOmoz team and/or the White Board Friday video series, recommend you do. Good topics and interesting interviews.

Understand. Act. in that order

Collaboration

AdAge on Separating Brilliance From Blabber. A round the table discussion with some heavy weight bloggers/marketers (Power 150 network) on the subject of making sense of the shift in relationships between the consumers, brands, marketers and media. Brilliant conversation on the subject with maybe a not so surprising outcome which I have tried to capture below.

So the game is changing (yes yes we all know this…), but the large media/ad shops are still ignoring (yes they now have digital departments, but come on)… How do we educate to change the mid set…

“You’ve got to be ahead of what we’re doing. You’ve got to educate the agencies, because they’re the ones who for now are buying a lot of your advertising. So how do you help them see the next best thing? Blogging is going to be superseded by something bigger and better, and people like you, editors, need to know what that is. Because it’s going to bubble up from the people” – Lewis Green of Biz Solutions Plus.

Yep, got to be at least on game, well preferably ahead and know your stuff. The web thing is not that new anymore, so one should know this. The social aspect maybe new, but anyone with a little vision can see the potential in this for both brands and media… why then are we struggling here? It is all about the education, correction, all about the right persuasion tactics… One need to sell this in the right way… for the VP’s there is one way, for the media companies there is another and so on (hey sounds like advertising to me). Like Green and Howard points out.

“I came out of the corporate world as VP of marketing, and I’m not going to do any of the things you guys are suggesting, as a VP of marketing, because you haven’t told me how that gives me more customers. I only care about social media if it helps me to create more loyal customers. As a VP of marketing for a major brand, I don’t care about filtering and aggregating, and I don’t care whether you give me a link or not.”Lewis Green.

“The conversation that needs to be had with big brands is this: They are looking at how media is changing, they are talking about fragmentation, about spend, about all these things. That’s not the game. The game is that behaviors are changing. So the discussion we generally get into is to focus on understanding the shift in behavior. Once we start to understand the shift in behavior, then we can start talking about things like context and relevance, which is really what we’re talking about.” Sean Howard of Livingston Buzz

Only when one has understanding one can reap the benefits (that sounds very zen, but not a quote:). There are lots of great people out there that has full understanding of this, so  persuade without steeping on peoples feet. Aha, there lies another dilemma, the egos. As pointed out by Dickman:

“The other conversation inside the agencies that I’m seeing now is there’s so much confusion. Really, because the PR shops, Fleishman, Ogilvy and all those guys are doing the digital stuff, but the client may have a digital agency, and then they have an ad agency that also has a digital group, and there’s all this confusion on who has control of that space. And it’s worse for the client, the marketer. Trying to educate them on how to deal with that situation to get the most out of their money — it’s very confusing.”  Matt Dickman of Technomarketer.

Adaption without full knowledge. Noted that many of the larger shops get good people joining but many of the clients don’t, to many players syndrome. Hard pressed to find a solution here, but believe that it is good with separated disciplines, have specialists on each subject. This is especially true for fields that are constantly evolving. Important is that these specialist have a 360 view on what they do, so opportunities do not get lost in narrowness. Integrated com, optimal use of all channels – done by specialist in respective fields. So let’s put egos aside. Less confusion and better communication…
Good point also by Green on where this will happen (quickest).

“The Fortune 500 is never going to lead anything. The Fortune 500 [are] going to be the last adapters. I work with what I would call midsize companies ($100 million companies). It’s uphill with their marketing people, but they are willing to listen because their margins are thinner, and some are public and some aren’t. And that’s where I think we have to do a better job. Because it’s not going to come down from above. It isn’t. The Apples and IBMs and Microsofts — when the time comes, they are going to do the mergers and acquisitions to get what we’re all talking about.” Lewis Green.

Warping this up – educated persuasion with friendly collaboration between specialist from the ground up… I love to here your thoughts on this subject.

Tv and the Web. Correction – Web and the TV.

So how do your spend your time after work/kids/etc? Watch TV? or surf? or multitask? At our home there is always an laptop present in our coach. Now there are some interesting stat out there on this –

More than three-quarters of the US adult Internet users surveyed by Harris Interactive in February 2008 went online while watching TV. More than one-third of the respondents to the survey, which was sponsored by blinkx, said they did so “always” or “often.”

internet usage while tv watching

Some consumers are not multitasking. They are just watching less TV. More than one-third of respondents to a July 2007 TNSAOLGoogle survey said that increased Internet use was a reason why they watched less TV. However, only 9% said they watched more TV shows or other video content online.

reasons why people watch less tv

Note that this is US stat only but I am sure it is similar on this site of the water. Read the full article here.

Excellent opportunity for some smart multichannel marketing, right. Yes one would think so, but it seem that many are missing the boat here.

Just take a look at this years Super Bowl as an example. Lots of spending, some good stuff produced for TV, and almost no integration? Not true for all, of course (the beaver thing as example), but most did not have an message to continue online, not even an clear url (interesting article here). Now, due to the surfing behavior many got some good stat anyway. And of course YouTube helped. But the transparency and the opportunity to build more was lost. Why is this? It is beyond me… Spend a large amount on some good exposure and do not use it to its full extent.

There are may more exemples here but still… why? We have stats, we have success cases, we have ROI…

May reasons – I think the now old thinking of “online as an afterthought” is very prevalent and still the major reason, especially for the bigger corps. Even is transparency and multichannel was in the mix I do think that they are still missing the boat. So what to do?

A few humble suggestions – start with integration of campaign, all channels, define purpose and goals for each and cross link. What is the goal, what should the outcome be, relevance, niche, time? Most likely forget the campaign site, think one experience for the user. Use current stat and behaviors of your target – social?. With a clear picture make the most of each channel while still thinking seamless integration. Making the consumer a part of the experience should be high prio. Don’t forget the long tail, how long will this live and how can that be used most effectively. Have a complete road map and time line. Measure everything with relation to goals. Follow up on all and analyze based on set criteria. Success!

In short – provide a seamless experience that offers relevance to your consumer.

See you in 4

Ok, so it is February 29th and we won’t see it again for 4 years… and my first month of bloging is coming to a close… and it is 10:30 on a Friday and I am at it. Life is exciting… Now before I grab a beer and relax for the weekend I had to round this month of with something. So here we go, some of the interesting things I found and did not blog about, yet that is…

Online Research Drives Offline Sales
”Online consumers are becoming precision shoppers,” says Mr. Grau. “They are availing themselves of the wealth of information resources online to discover and evaluate products, compare them and find where they can be purchased.”

Now look at that…

Hidden Secrets of the Amazon Shopping Cart
Very interesting post by Bryan Eisenberg. See the evolution of one of the best shopping experiences out there…

Crispin Wins Microsoft
Crispin Porter & Bogusky wins a major consumer assignment promoting its Windows products to break later this year. Publicis Groupe’s Fallon was the other finalist in the pitch. Other competitors previously eliminated included incumbent Interpublic Group of Cos.’ McCann Erickson, San Francisco, which remains lead global agency on Microsoft’s account, and WPP Group’s JWT.
Very cool that such a small(ish) agency wins a big pitch like this. Think this will be good for Microsoft, some new fresh and bold ideas. Well its worth around $300 million so some good things will follow.

Bill Gates Links Up With LinkedIn
Well well, wonder if he connect with me 😉 Good PR gig for LinkIn thought. Must confes that I did answer one of Bill’s questions in the answer section. Take a look if you are connected – on page 53 of the 2000+ answers…

Is Web Technology Making Your Life Better?
Now this is worth reading and thinking about…

AIR Goes Live
Two articles from readwriteweb on this new app. This could be big and open to some real cross platform and media executions. Doing some research on this so this topic will come back…
The Best Things About Adobe’s AIR Platform
6 Adobe AIR Apps to Check Out

35 Ways to Stream Your Life
Good summary and ref here…

F&B's Logo

F&B the carpet is out
Well one of my favorite Swedish (Forsman & Bodenfors) agencies are remodeling their web site and have the office carpet out…

Why Google Apps is a Serious Threat to Microsoft Office
This one got me to use the apps and it is worth reading.

ikordo Helps You Organize Meetings…
Very cool service for a seriously time consuming task…

Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business
Just to finish of with some light free reading…

Well that is some of it… now my wife and a cold beer is waiting for me. Se ya in 4.

What listening can(should) do…

Admiration to companies that listen to their customers/users and make the experience (web site, service, product) better based on this. It takes a smart and humble company… but all should. It is only logical, right? This is what the evolution of the web is… communication both ways. And then reaction to make the experience/service/product better.

Found two cases – two completely different markets and purposes and methods – on the use of such tactics – form Get Elastic and Creuna (sorry this one is only in Swedish for now).

Get Elastic Outtake:

Customer Feedback Inspires Eddie Bauer Redesignby Linda Bustos
Eddie Bauer recently revamped its online store design using customer feedback. At first glance, it’s hard to see much difference other than the doesn’t look like much has really changed. But when you look under the hood, you find Eddie Bauer’s packed its new site with plenty of Web 2.0 to improve usability and customer satisfaction.

Before

Old Eddie Bauer Design

After

New Eddie Bauer Design

And the product presentation – brilliant in name and function…

Eddie Bauer calls this “virtually picking up” an item, and “putting it down” to continue browsing that category.

After

 

Virtual Pick Up

Before

Old Product Page Layout

The favorite – a consumer friendly shopping bag with great options and cross-selling.

Eddie Bauer’s “Add to Shopping Bag” confirmation gives full details of which item, size and color was added, the price, availability (in stock), cross-sells and links to check out, “>continue shopping or add a gift box. Trust me, I’ve looked at hundreds of “add to cart” confirmation methods, and I really dig this one.

Add to Shopping Bag

The revamped cart page has larger product thumbnails, tax and shipping calculations and holds items in your cart for weeks, so if you abandon your cart, you don’t have to start over (a.k.a. “persistent shopping cart”.)

Shopping Bag Layout

Must say, one of the best e-shop i have use… Feels like they have thought of everything… forgot, their customers did 😉

Check out the site here – www.eddiebauer.com

Creuna Outtake:

Stockholm stad remake

Offentligt i världsklass

Creuna och Stockholms stad har ett strategiskt partnerskap kring Stockholm Webb, som innefattar den stadsgemensamma intranätslösningen och www.stockholm.se. Creuna har arbetat med Stockholms stad sedan 2005 med koncept och interaktionsdesign för båda webbplatserna, användarstudier, fokusgrupper, webbutveckling, integration, redaktörsutbildningar, funktionell och teknisk förvaltning samt tekniska förstudier inför satsningen på e-tjänster för medborgarna.
Stockholm.se
Beta-version av nya stockholm.se växer fram successivt under våren. Under tiden den nya sajten tar sin fulla skepnad finns gamla stockholm.se kvar. Med den öppna utvecklingsprocessen ges chansen att involvera stockholmarna i slutresultatet.

Creuna har arbetat fram koncept, interaktionsdesign och form och gör även utvecklingen. För att skapa förutsättningar för kommande e-tjänster till medborgarna används den senaste tekniken och funktionaliteten inom området. Nya stockholm.se följer WAI och Vervas riktlinjer för tillgänglighet.

Utvecklingen av nya stockholm.se sker med starkt fokus på medborgarna. Fokusgrupper har genomförts på ett tidigt stadium för att utforma interaktionsdesign och struktur.

Webbplatsen utvecklas i en öppen utvecklingsmiljö med en beta-version där medborgarna ges möjlighet att spela en viktig roll i utformningen. Kommunikationen sker via utvecklingsbloggen för Stockholm.se.

Here we have a very interesting way of developing a new site with the help of the users/citizence. For a public service site such for Stockholm city this is defiantly the way to go – get the users/citiceze involved in the process and make them feel as a contributing part of the project. Benificial for both parties and seriously good for the bottom line. If managed right you will end up with a great site.

Stockholm stad entery page

While the new site is under construction the old one lives but with clear CTA to take part int the development of the new.

Stockholm stad dev main page

The main page of the developing site. Here you get info on what this all is about with some nice animation. Your are encouraged to click around (the site in development) and enticed to take part in the development thought the blog. It also shows in percentage how far the project is as well which is a nice feature.

Stockholm stad dev blog

And the blog page or conversation page as they call this. Here one can follow the story, get more info, vote and take part. The posts generally asks the user to comment and give feedback.

This is a great example on how to make a new site with user input through the whole process. Again the way to do it… Great show Creuna. If you live in Stockholm and know Swedish check this out and take part…

As you see some great effects of customer/user feedback. Now let us all be wise and adapt…