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November 2007
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January 2008

Google Moving into Newpaper Advertising

The London Times reports that Google is augmenting AdWords, its search engine advertising program, with Google Print Ads which will allow Google clients to bid for ad space in participating newpapers with GOOG receiving a slice of the revenue for each deal struck.  Google already has a similar program for radio advertising, and you can expect that eventually the Google-pus will have it’s tentacles into most forms of online and offline advertising (note its recent $3.1 billion merger with Double Click).

We could be close to the day when many businesses will be able to manage their media placement (online and off) through the Google-opoly.  This will be good for businesses (and also for Google) who will be able to buy much of their media through a centralized platform that is bid-based, making the already irrelevant rate card move several steps closer to extinction.

There’s still a big place for offline advertising, and Google is smart to make a play into that space to render additional value to its growing army of clients. 

Cell Phones In Flight?

I'm not too excited about the prospect of in-flight cell phone usage coming to America.  About 1 in 17.3 people think that cell phones have adapted can-and-string technology which requires that they raise their voices to banshee levels in order to be heard not only by the other party, but also to prove to everyone in earshot how important they are.

It's bad enough that the widest people in the gate lounge will always end up in a middle seat, but now their unmitigated sprawl will be supplemented by the opportunity to bellow on their I-don't-have-a-clue-about-all-these-features Blackberry totem from gate to gate.

Please, let's not give the flying public any more opportunities to wax inconsiderate.  Most of us can't wait until the cabin door closes so that the "Turn off all electronic devices..." announcement mutes (reluctantly) the boorish quasi-elite as they bluster in condescending tones to the workers back at the office.

So please nix in-flight cell phone usage.  Let's also outlaw use of cell phones in the airport bathroom stalls.  There's just something about it that's not right.

Last Mental Image

Yesterday I had breakfast with my brother, his wife, and one of our former business professors who is still a great friend.  The service and the food were pretty good, with me relishing a bowl of oatmeal and dry wheat toast as penance for my holiday splurge.  After the plates were picked up and the check was delivered and paid, there were no further offers for coffee refills even though we sat there and talked for another hour midst a sparse crowd in the restaurant.

I assume once our waitress delivered the check she considered her work at our table to be done.  Then there is this skill they teach in food service school of being able to avoid eye contact with customers.  She was flawless but I'm sure also clueless.

Roy Williams at Wizard Academy talks a lot about the importance of first and last mental images when developing advertising copy.  The same applies to someone's experience with your business.  Yesterday my first image was good.  Place was clean, service was quick.  But that last mental image of a cold and lonely coffee cup yearning for one more fill...

Be sure to stay engaged with your customers until they are ready to leave, whether it's your store, your cell phone, or your website.  Don't squander a good first impression with a fumble on the one-yard line.

Coffin Nail for Newspapers?

055 From the Wall Street Journal via BuzzMachine (Jeff Jarvis) -

"Now, for the first time, pure-play Web companies have the biggest share of the local online-ad market. In 2007, Internet companies had a 43.7% share of the $8.5 billion local online-ad market, while newspaper companies had a 33.4% share, according to the media research firm Borrell Associates. Just three years ago, newspapers had 44.1% of the local online-ad market. (Directories such as the Yellow Pages have 10.1%, and local television outlets 9.3%.)"

Jarvis goes on to note - "Newspapers are losing their own core market because they didn’t understand the scale of the internet. They still thought mass when they should have realized that small is the new big. That is, online, newspapers still threw their lot in with the big advertisers who had been the only ones who could afford their mass products. They didn’t see the mass of potential spending in a new population of small, local advertisers who never could afford to advertise in newspapers but who now could afford to buy targeted, efficient, inexpensive ads online."

"The internet is an entirely new economy. It’s not built on big. It’s built on a mass of smalls. And newspapers think big. That’s their real challenge."

Read the entire post here.

Have you noticed that things are really changing out there?

2007 Marketing to Women Awards

My friend Holly Buchanan has announced her awards for Marketing to Women in 2007.

Read about it here.

As the whole media landscape changes with mass media losing its mass to scores of micro-channels, it's important that marketers not get overly focused on the media placement issues of communication.  Getting the right message, telling the right story, understanding your audience (gender, personality type, etc.), and creatively packaging that right message - these are still the priorities for marketers.  Dealing with the massive shift in media is but another added opportunity for stress and growth.

Auto Industry Accelerates Internet Advertising

From Marketing Pilgrim -

"There’s a new study by the Kelsey Group talking about online auto advertising. Budgets are rising from 5% this year to 13% in 2011. Money spent for TV advertising is slowing down. Like newspapers, the auto industry is suffering and looking for ways to revive sales, and channeling more into the Internet and less into traditional advertising. ”

Kelsey Group estimates automakers’ 2008 U.S. ad spending will be flat or down slightly. CEO Neal Polachek said carmakers will shift more dollars online and to out-of-home, with declines in TV, magazines, newspapers and direct mail.

Read the entire article here.

I was fishing with a good friend a few years ago.  We were pummeling the east bank of a small inlet at Skiatook Lake near evening on a beautiful fall day, but catching nada.  We heard some noise and looked across the water to the west to see a rather large school of fish thrashing the surface in a feeding frenzy.  For some reason we smiled and continued our mindless ritual of casting into the still waters on our side of the inlet.  Then after a few more minutes of being disturbed by all of the feeding fifty yards astern, our eyes met and we both had the same revelatory thought - "Let's go over where the fish are feeding."  And sure enough, our luck changed. 

I mean, it's all luck you know.

Local Web Advertising

Forecast: Spending will triple in 2008, to $1.3B

From Media Life Magazine - "Local online advertising will once again be hot in 2008; that hasn’t changed. What is changing, however, is how this advertising is delivered, compared to past years when banners and pop-ups dominated, and who is selling it. "

Some other points from the article:

  • A shift out of banners ads and into search, email, video and promotions
  • Local online video ads will triple in 2008
  • Local media companies (newspapers, radio, TV, etc.) must develop internet-only sales staffs to compete

If you own a local business or lead another local organization you need to be tuned in to the huge impact the Internet is having on the local advertising market.  Perhaps nowhere is the cultural shift creating a bigger impact than in advertising and media.

A good time to get started on a local Internet-based campaign would be now.

But first get a plan.  (See previous post)

The Role of Strategic Planning

I’ve been exposed to a lot of different organizations.  Large to small businesses, churches and ministries, schools and government agencies.  And families.

Larger businesses tend to do a better job of strategic planning since they have more resources and have advanced from a start-up and growth phase where planning is more difficult and tends to be pushed down the ladder of priorities.  But the other organizations I mentioned need some semblance of planning in place in order to maximize their effectiveness.

My long-time friend and former professor, Dr. Henry Migliore dedicated his life to the study and practice of planning and management.  From individuals to large corporations he worked to help people benefit from the process of making strategic plans and I’ve been able to help a number of people over the years using his methods.

As I am working now with businesses and ministries who want to grow and flourish, I find that few have a written plan as a road map.  If you are a leader in any organization you move to adopting some system of strategic planning and management.  No system is perfect, but time and again I am seeing the lack of planning as a serious hindrance to growth.