The Numbers game - My top 8.

A list of the most interesting numbers I have came across lately.

  1. $440 Million is the estimated account losses for Element 79 in 2008. How are they still alive.
  2. 80% is the inventory sold for 2009 Tampa Superbowl.
  3. $3 million is the cost per :30 spot at the game.
  4. 5 Billion is the number of videos viewed on Youtube in July (Yes one month).
  5. 13 cents - the amount gas jumped by the litre yesterday in Toronto.
  6. 21,165 - number of spots Compound W wart remover ran in the US last week making them the 5th largest radio buyer in the country.
  7. 14.6% - the conversion rate of I was amazed to see a website selling jewelery have that high of a conversion rate.
  8. 55% - the percentage of Americans that knew the Sun is a star in a recent survey.
Wanted to do 10 but I need to go get a coffee....

Yammer - what twitter should be.

Yammer, an internal communication tool for companies, won the top prize at TechCrunch50, crowned the winner. The event recognizes startups with merit; the company was given a check for $50,000 to grow its business model.

Yammer's micro-messaging system is essentially Twitter for businesses. Less formal than a corporate intranet, it enables employees to communicate casually in real-time on a public forum. (That is, everyone can see what everyone else is saying.)

Registering on a Yammer network requires a company email. A company network is set up, where co-workers can share status updates, post news and links, ask questions, and provide answers to others in their firm.

Unlike Twitter, which asks users to answer the question "What are you doing?", Yammer asks, "What are you working on?"


Former PayPal executive David Sacks — who produced the movie "Thank You for Smoking" — traced the birth of Yammer to his own company's frustrations. Geni, a startup of 30 employees, was struggling to stay connected.

"We looked for something like an enterprise version of Twitter, and finding nothing like that, we decided to build it ourselves," he told conference attendees. (See video.)

As it turned out, other companies felt the same way. Some 10,000 people and 2,000 organizations signed up for the service the first day it launched, TechCrunch reported.

Reviews so far have been enthusiastic. Some, however, critique the model as just another Twitter knock-off, destined to fare as poorly as predecessors. A Tony Gigov cartoon on blithely asks, "Why Yammer, when I can Twitter?"

Like Twitter, Yammer enables mobilization of its service through apps for different mediums and spaces: both iPhone and Blackberry are able to support a Yammer app, and an optional desktop extension — which ports Yammer content into an instant messaging format — is Adobe Air. (Another app, twhirl, does the same thing for Twitter.)

But perhaps the biggest difference between Yammer and Twitter is the fact Yammer has a business model.

It's free for employees, but companies must pay to "claim" their network and gain administrative control. Admins can remove messages and users, set password policies, and fix IP ranges for users. The cost is $1 per employee per month after a free three-month trial period.

The TechCrunch50 award includes $50,000 in cash and a landslide of media attention — which typically leads to additional funding. Last year's winner,, went on to nab $17 million in venture capital and now claims to be the world's largest personal finance website, writes the LA Times.

Twitter received venture funding of approximately $1-$5 million in July '07. Its market share of visits has grown 500 percent year-over-year since that time.

Paris Hotel & Casino makes you horny

Simple but effective. Ad for Paris Las Vegas.
Found on the Bottom Rung.

The Top 10 Wish List for Agencies of the Future:

Marketers were asked, this is what they said.

1. Greater knowledge of the digital space. With more than a third of marketers surveyed revealing that they are not confident that their current agency is well-positioned to take their brand through the unchartered waters of online digital marketing and interactive advertising, it’s clear that agencies need to have a greater knowledge of the digital space in order to thrive. In fact, nearly half (45 percent) of the respondents have switched agencies (or plan to switch in the next 12 months) for one with greater digital knowledge or have hired an additional digital specialist to handle their interactive campaigns. Further, when it comes to an agency’s area of expertise, 79% of respondents rated “interactive/digital” functions as ‘important/very important.’

2. More use of “pull interactions.” When trying to engage consumers with their brand, 90 percent of respondents agree that it is becoming increasingly important that their agency uses ‘pull interactions’ such as social media and online communities rather than traditional ‘push’ campaigns.

3. Leverage virtual communities. An overwhelming 94 percent of respondents expressed interest in leveraging virtual communities (public and private) to understand more about their target audience.

4. Agency executives using the technology they are recommending. Ninety-two percent of respondents said it was ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ important that agency employees use the technologies that they are recommending. For example, it is important that agency executives regularly use Facebook, Flickr, wikis, blogs, etc. in their personal social media mix.

5. Chief Digital Officers make agencies more appealing. Forty-three percent of marketers surveyed said that agencies with chief digital officers are more appealing than those without.

6. Web 2.0 and social media savvy. Sixty three percent of marketers surveyed said that an agency’s Web 2.0 and social media capabilities are ‘important/very important’ when it comes to agency selection.

7. Agencies that understand consumer behavior. Seventy-six percent of respondents deemed this as an ‘important/very important’ aspect of their agency’s online digital marketing and interactive advertising area of expertise.

8. Demonstrate strategic thinking. Seventy-seven percent of marketers surveyed ranked strategy/brain trust capabilities at the top of their agency wish list.

9. Branding and creative capabilities. Sixty-seven percent of respondents ranked branding at the top of their agency wish list while seventy-six percent ranked creative capabilities as‘important/very important.’

10. Ability to measure success. It’s no surprise that marketers want an agency that can report on where campaigns succeeded, fell short and where they should be fine-tuned. Sixty-five percent ranked analytics at the top of their agency wish list.

(the above list and commentary was pulled from this press release: Sapient - Survey Reveals Brand Marketers’ Top 10 Wish List for Agencies of the Future).

The only challenge to calling the agency of the future the Digital Marketing agency of today is that we're not seeing enough interactive shops take the lead on points #8 (demonstrate strategic thinking) and #9 (branding and creative capabilities). More often than not, most Digital Marketing shops are adapting current/existing Marketing initiatives and are not taking the (or being given) opportunity to drive the over strategy in regards to the brand, marketing goals, outcomes and marketing optimization. It's happening is some instances, but for the Digital Marketing agency of today to really take full ownership of this list from the future, strategic thinking and becoming the guardian of the brand are essential.

What kind of agency are you working with and would you agree that this list looks strikingly similar to the core competencies of the Digital Marketing agency of today?

Via MarketingVox.

There are facts, then there is eMarketer.

US Fact - In 2007, Digital Marketing accounted for only 7.6%.

US Fact - In 2008, they are anticipating that number to move to 8.7%.

US Fact - Digital Marketing accounts for under 10% of the total media advertising done in the U.S.

Not sure how, but eMarketer is saying that by 2013, Digital Marketing will be at 18.3%.

Will it really take that long some say? That quickly say others? As I have discussed before I actually think a recession could be a big help to digital marketing.

Found on 6 Pixels of seperation via their twitter feed.

The Women - viral video

This is great. It could be one of my favourite viral efforts of late.


Emily and Image Metrics

Meet Emily. She's a rep from the CG company, Image Metrics.

And no, she is not real.

Jerry and Bill...back for another adventure.

Last week, PJC posted the launch spot from Microsoft featuring Bill and Jerry. What looks to be the next installment - a 4:30 minute video posted below - continues to drive the mystery around what PC's new product is going to be. 

We started with the "delicious" tagline and now we've evolved to see the new meaning of "PC" - Perpetually Connected. 

Reviews for this campaign have been extremely mixed. Some reviews like how Bill Gates is being positioned - a likeable, normal guy. Not one of the richest men on the planet. It's a good thought - make Microsoft more human - and one that the campaign will definitely continue to use. 

That being said, this tease seems like it could go on for months and I wonder if people really care. Yes, Bill and Jerry are entertaining (and have a lot of inside jokes with one another) but what happens once this mysterious product is released? Do they travel the globe together to spread the word like the Wii guys? Or does the story end and they part ways, happy that they've become more like "regular people" and that their new product focuses on everybody else - not the ultra-rich crowd? 

However this campaign ends, Micrsoft is making a brand promise - that their products are going to become more human, more easy to use and more friendly for everyday folks. It sounds a lot like Apple's and it's a lot to live into.


The Links

Lot's of good stuff this week. Check it out when you're bored at work on a Friday...

- Wal-Mart sponsores a blog that says "Nigger Obama Eats Babies"
- Google creates a comic strip for Chrome's ad blocking functionality 
- W+K links to a UK list of the Top 10 most awarded ads of the last decade (W+K and Honda have two of them, can you guess which ones?)
- What's the difference between a 1.0 Geek and a 2.0 Geek?
- Advertisers tell the industry that they are not keen on the Google-Yahoo merger
- iTunes and Apple announcing a subscription model? 
- 58% of Americans still have no idea what "Social Networking" is. That's OK...neither do 90% of marketers....Bam!
- The book this fall that has me the most excited about it's findings (yes...I am a nerd).
- How many ads have been served on the iPhone? A lot.


Ad Quote of the day

What helps people, helps business.
~ Leo Burnett

Comcast Tweets customers to happines

I recently read a post on Logic & Emotion that discussed how Comcast has began offering customer service.

This is a genius way for companies to leverage Social Media to improve their business. Does it take much to have a couple of your employees in the call center monitor a twitter account while they take calls? I doubt it.

Courier companies - allow users to send the tracking number for instant updates.

Airlines - allow customers to tweet flight numbers for updates (delayed to 12:15, on-time, etc).

Car manufacturers - Road side service?

Movie theatres - movie times. Sold-out shows.

Realtors - post your twitter name to ads, for sale signs to instantly respond to requests.

Nightclubs - provide inquiries into lines, take table service resos.

AA - support over twitter

Children's Help Phone - see above.

Find me on twitter (pcrowe) if you want any thoughts about how you could use twitter with your business.

Your online World is changing

First Chrome - which I am using and love.

Now Ubiquity. Amazing video.

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

The Value of User Experience Design -

Another tool to explain UXD and why IT MATTERS! Will this conversation never end.

Found this map the other night on Experience Dynamics. I enjoyed. So I've shared.

Don't be afraid of the Guillotine

Everyone knows the person I am going to be talking about; that colleague, or client with a passionate desire to survive. They don't want to jeopardize their job so they view every day and every interaction not as an opportunity but as a threat -- a threat not to the company but to her own well-being. As Seth Godin says in his post Guillotine or Rack? that I will quote and use throughout this post, "If she had a mantra, it was "Don't blow it."

In business, these people face two choices: to die by the guillotine, a horrible but quick death, or to perish slowly on the rack -- which is just as painful a way to go, if not more so, and guaranteed to leave you every bit as dead. But in their nightmares, only one of those two options loomed large -- the guillotine.

I have to admit it. I have the same dream.

Have you ever spent a night worrying about what your boss (or your stockbroker or a big customer) is going to say to you at that meeting the next morning? Have you ever worried about some impending moment of doom? That's fear of the guillotine.

But almost no one worries about the rack. We don't quake in our boots about a layoff that's going to happen two years from now if we don't migrate our systems before our competition does. We're not afraid of stagnating and dying slowly. No, we're more afraid of sudden death, even though the guillotine is probably a far better way to die.

Too often in the digital world especially the guillotine rules. Why? Because believe it or not in a lot of companies Senior Management still does not understand or believe in the purpose and power, too often in advertising the strategy is final, the commercial shot and now 30 days before the in-market date they realize they DO NEED the digital strategy you tried to speak to them about 45 days ago. So what happens? Sites get built with 1/2 the time they need and then obviously user experience is sacrificed, functionality reduced, and the digital efforts become nothing more than a one-off tactic supporting a campaign.

The realities of todays world is that in most cases the first place consumers look for information is online. If your advertising works and they see a spot, or hear about your product or service through word-of-mouth they look online to discover more. This experience is paramount. It must be aligned with the brand, connect to the campaign and answers the questions the consumers have.

But due to the lingering Guillotine, in a lot of cases marketers aren't putting the thought or strategy they should behind the majority of their digital efforts.

What is the implications 3 years down the road if a project goes to market 3 weeks late? Probably only positive implications. If you launch early and a horrible user-experience is provided, if you aren't satisfying the needs and desires of your visitors,and if the brand isn't properly represented then 3 years later you may still have consumers with a bad taste in their mouth, they may still be talking about the horrible experience they had with your brand and they probably aren't purchasing.

If the 3 weeks can eliminate these issues do it. The guillotine can be stopped by showing that you are delivering a strategically sound, brand aligned and high-quality product. And your solid efforts that will be paying off exponentially down the road will be recognised celebrated and will keep you from dying on the rack.


Now That's a Brand Spot

It's not often a spot leaves you speechless...but this new work from JWT is pretty awesome - especially for a brand like HSBC. Great, great work.