Is Your Agency Ready?

Are they prepared for the digital revolution?

Do they have the capabilities, experience and staff to create strategies and win in the new world of advertising?

Is their media company forward thinking, challenging and hell bent on ensuring they've developed the best plan for the campaign (and are prepared to optimize it?).

Are the teams integrated or does the digital group never speak to the mass side?

Does your boss know that Social Media is a bit more than just Facebook?

All of these questions can help to predict your agencies future. But maybe the key question really is - are you ready?


The Econimist likes Pizza...boxes

The word from the Canadian University Marketing Blog is that the Economist is targeting Philadelphia area students with a Pizza Box based campaign.

When I saw this I thought.."Interesting approach. Students rarely order a box of Pizza for themselves, so maybe Economist can help to start and create an educated conversation at the dinner table. This could be enough to make them grab their laptop, go online and maybe order a subscription.

They Ty made a comment that cheap media cheapens the product. Your thougths?

Is the Econimist being innovative in reaching a new target or cheapenign thier product by lowering themselves to the level of the Toyota Yaris, HP, and Lava Life among others.

Your thoughts?

How easy it is to care. How easy it is to succeed.

Most banks, credit card companies, etc create a advertising campaign targeting small business a couple times a year. Usually every October during Small Business month, or around small business week (depending on what country/province/ state you live in).

Enter Open Forum from American Express (developed by Digitas). A genius investment from a company that is demonstrating they support business; and they have not gone half assed with their effort. They have brought in some of the leading business consultants to create insightful and relevant content for their visitors. The video is high quality, the interviews and discussions are insightful and the talk value is priceless.

Covering topics that include management, finance, leadership, marketing and innovation American Express has created an experience for not just small business owners, but all business people while delivering on their brand positioning of leadership.

Well done Amex & Digitas. Why is this so difficult for everyone else to understand?

Gary Vaynerchuk Crushes it

Please find 30 minutes to watch this keynote.

Video is a little sketch at the start, but fight through it.

TheTop 25 Marketing & Ad blogs by Feedburner stats

As compiled by The Viral Garden:

1 - Duct Tape Marketing - 243,000
2 - Church of the Customer - 233,000
3 - CopyBlogger - 44,452
4 - Web Strategy by Jeremiah - 16,238
5 - Search Engine Guide - 12,578
6 - Chris Brogan - 11,259
7 - Logic + Emotion - 10,615
8 - Influential Marketing - 7,334
9 - Daily Fix - 6,251
10 - Jaffe Juice - 4,945
11 - Drew's Marketing Minute - 3,413
12 - What's Next - 3,238
13 - Converstations - 3,182
14 - The Viral Garden - 3,167
15 - Conversation Agent - 2,915
16 - Techipedia - 2,451
17 - The Social Media Marketing Blog - 2,263
18 - Being Peter Kim - 2,027
19 - Emergence Marketing - 1,849
20 - The Social Customer Manifesto - 1,739
21 - Social Media Explorer - 1,661
22 - Greg Verdino's Marketing Blog - 1,631
23 - Techno Marketer - 1,523
24 - Spare Change - 1,331
25 - Movie Marketing Madness - 1,284
- Adjoke - 28 ;)



Here is an really easy way to take screengrabs of entire web pages. I just found this tool through Social Path (the site featured in the grab).

Its called screengrab! a firefox plugin. Enjoy.

6 Steps to Better Display Metrics

I’ve done a few rants in the last year about the value of media impressions and how the current media measurement model is broken. A number of industry related groups have sprung up to discuss the issue, but I think that one key area we can focus on now is how to increase the current reporting for display advertising.

Right now, when a media company books media they usually do 4 things:

1. Find a site that you want to be present on (Facebook)
2. Buy a number of impressions depending on your budget
3. Send the agency the site, the total impressions and the standard ad sizes they have to deliver
4. Never think about it again

Some savvy companies might do monthly or weekly reporting, however my guess is that the majority of clients don’t really care about the optimization of their campaigns (mostly because the agencies haven’t stressed the importance of it).

At the end of the campaign, the company comes back with there report and it usually says something like this:

“We planned to serve 10 million impressions over a 12 week period and our ad campaign achieved that and exceeded our planned impressions by 10%!”

What’s missing?

A lot.

Right now, an impression is counted as follows – a user logs into a site, spends a few seconds on the page and the ad is served. It doesn’t matter if you’ve built a 15-second ad but the user is only on the page for 2 seconds, it still counts. It doesn’t matter if the execution is below the fold and is never actually seen, it still counts.

So how can we improve the current method of reporting without reworking the entire model? Ask your media company to do the following things:

1. Provide a complete site listing (impressions planned vs. served) – Basic…all companies should be doing this already

2. Provide an execution breakdown by site and execution type

3. Determine – by site – where executions are (what percentage are above the fold, below? Are there costs savings for ones below? Hint: there should be)

4. Average time spent per page by site (don’t make a 15 second execution if the average time spent on a page is 4)

5. Overall impression serving plan (are you going to test your executions for CTR? Why not launch with a large number of executions and scale down based on what’s working best?)

6. Tell them to optimize - weekly - based on the objectives you set out at the start

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard when thinking about digital campaigns is this:

“The campaign you start with should never be the one you end with”

Use the medium. Half of the work on a campaign should occur after launch.

Young & Free Alberta - GroudSwell Winner

During my busy day at work I have been trying to follow the GroundSwell awards on Twitter. They are streaming the awards live from the Forrester Consumer COnferenece, but I am too busy to watch, so twitter updates it is.

Common Wealth Credit Union has just won a GroundSwell award for their campaign Young & Free and I wanted to share it....

Their challenge was to launch a free checking account for the under 25 group and connect with the youth market . But how do you raise brand awareness with members of the seemingly unreachable Generation Y and create excitement and understanding with all 400 staff members?

They named the new product Young & Free and created a fully integrated marketing campaign combined with a spokesperson search to find the voice of Alberta's under 25 crowd. The whole campaign comes to life on a dedicated microsite at

To be seen as real and accepted by youth they embraced the power of the social web by tapping into popular sites like YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter to create an immersive experience where compelling user-generated content takes centre stage.

The program launched in October 2007 with a two-month search and competition to find a dedicated Young & Free Alberta Spokesperson. The winner, Larissa Walkiw, became a paid employee of the credit union, working full time with the job description: talk, type and tell good stories. For her nine-month term, Larissa was essentially a full time blogger for the credit union. They have now launched the year two search.

Results include:

  • 63,431 site visits
  • 197,529 page views
  • 3:14 average visit
  • 80,726 YouTube views
  • 906 blog comments
  • 230 Facebook fans
  • 101 Twitter followers
  • $179,000 unpaid media
  • 2,000,000+ impressions
  • 2,316 Y&F accounts
  • $3,587,000 new funds

Account openings have been brisk, site traffic has exceeded expectations and media and youth interest in the program has been overwhelming. Since the program launched in October 2007, new account openings have grown by 960% over the same period one year prior in the 19 to 25 year old age group. Traffic and sales have been steady for the entire year even though all supporting traditional media stopped after the first two months of the program.

Virtual justice: Woman jailed for 'killing' her 'husband.'

I found this story on the Social Path. Great timing as it relates to the discussion in the comments section of Ty's post below.

TOKYO – A 43-year-old player in a virtual game world became so angry about her sudden divorce from her online husband that she logged on with his password and killed his digital persona, police said Thursday.

The woman, who has been jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his ID and password to log onto the popular interactive game "Maple Story" to carry out the virtual murder in May, a police official in the northern city of Sapporo said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of department policy.

You can read the whole story here.

David Griner from Social Path had a great comment in his post; "I'm just upset she was charged with "inappropriate computer access" — not something cool, like "avataracide.""


Warning: Gamers Are Cool [and Influential]

I've been developing some in game strategies for a client and, as a result, have spent some time thinking and learning about gamers. I think for anyone over 30 the concept of gaming still seems nerdy, weird and reserved for young boys who spend a bit too much time in their parent's basements.

To be honest, until I started in the industry I used to think like that as well. I was wrong. Sort of.
First off, gaming is a huge industry. A pro gamer league has been around for at least a year, industry sales in the US eclipse Hollywood movies and blockbuster games can sell millions of copies (generating multi-millions in revenue) in less than a few months.

Millions of Canadians own gamer consoles and a huge number of people play online games on a weekly basis (some even more than TV). Advertising campaigns for games are film-like, expensive and in depth and they're only getting bigger. When you consider that the Cyber Cannes lion was given to a Halo 3 campaign this year, you know that gaming is pretty mainstream.

How have games become so popular?

For one, they've been around for a while - just in different forms (cards, board games, etc). The emergence of online gaming has provided another outlet for gamers to actually play real people wherever and whenever they want. The rise in mobile gaming over the next decade is only going to intensify and create strong game brands and, in turn, revenues.

Secondly, they provide a more engaging experience than TV or film.

I love movies and go frequently. But even when I've found a fantastic movie that I love, I can only see it a few times and each time the experience looses a bit of it's original taste. There's something in not knowing how the story ends that always makes the first time better.

Games have a similar issue. After you've conquered the single version, you don't really want to do it over again. That being said, there are about a million other things you can do: play multiplayer, go online, look for hidden levels, cheat codes, create your own, etc. The game doesn't die out after you've conquered it and, in some cases, you're now at a level where you might feel comfortable challenging other, experienced players.

That being said, the gaming industries strongest asset is their rabid, passionate user base. People get excited about new shows and films but gamers take it too a new level. They'll wait in line for consoles or games and there extremely involved in fan forums, chat rooms and comment everywhere online.

For the most passionate gamers, it becomes their life. Being the top gamer - by ranking, gamer points or victories - is an obsession more important than anything. Don't believe me? Check out this video:

Athene has declared himself the #1 Paladin (World of Warcraft) player in the world. He has a full website, a series of trash talking videos (even a new preview to his life story) and even provides lesser gamers ("Noobs" as he calls them) tips on how to get better.

The video above had over 1.5 million hits on YouTube and has generated just under ten thousand comments - ranging from love it to other, trash talking gamers telling Athene he's brutal.

Why does this matter?

It matters because it's passionate people like Athene who help to spraed the word about the power of the product and get others interested. Tapping into this group (in a relevant way) can be great for a brand - especially when the content you provide is relevant to the crowd and, of course, fun.

Thinking Digital

A collegue of mine flipped me a link to a fantastic video from the Sony "Do you know series". It's a collection of stats - about global population growth, the rapid changes in techonlogy, the future of jobs and advertising. A couple that really jumped out at me:

- The 25% of India's population with the higest IQ's is greater than the total population of the United states (India has more honors kids than America has kids)
- The Top 10 In-Demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004
- The US labor department that by age 38, the average person will have had between 10-14 jobs
- 1 of 8 US married couples met online last year (good timing for my eHarmony post)
- Today, the number of text messages sent and received everday exceeds the total population of the planet
- It is estimated that a week's worth of New York Times articles contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century

Some mind blowing stuff. What does it mean for us?

For starters, it means that those who are constantly reading, learnging and engaging (in whaterver they are interested in) are going to remain relevant. Those who are comfortable, unengaged and lazy won't. And they won't fast.

When you work in the knowledge economy, producing strategies for clients and ideas, you've got to stay up to date on what your peers are doing, what's working and what technologies are at your disposal.

It always amazes me how many companies ( get stuck in the same tactics and propse the same plans over and over again. No plan should be the same. Everything should change based on previous learnings and campaigns.

It's hard to be part of something that's always changing and it's not comfortable (it's disconcerting). But if you take the time to learn something and test, test, test, the results can be pretty sweet.


Chicago's Bid to become the New Media Olympics

The Olympics are about the world coming together to celebrate human achievement, diversity and sportsmanship. What better way to involve the world than to capitalize on the power of social media.

This presentation focuses on utilizing these tools to share with the world the real Chicago in an effort to help them win the 2016 Olympics.