Tag: web

The uncanny valley of advertising. Ads too-targeted, not targeted enough, or just poorly targeted.

The uncanny valley of advertising. Ads too-targeted, not targeted enough, or just poorly targeted.

Amplify’d from blogs.reuters.com

The uncanny valley of advertising

From an economic point of view, improvements in ad-targeting technology seem as though they’re pretty obviously Pareto-optimal: everybody benefits. Advertisers get to waste fewer of their ad dollars putting messages in front of people they don’t want to reach; publishers get to charge more money; and consumers get to see only things which are germane and relevant to them.

So why is it that many people hate ad targeting, and hate being served targeted ads?

Part of the reason, I think, is just that targeted ads are better at getting our attention than non-targeted ads — but they’re still an unwelcome distraction from whatever it is we’re wanting to read. Most of us have become pretty good at unconsciously ignoring advertising, especially online. (Often I find myself looking hard for a big special report on a website, because it’s presented on the home page in much the same way as an ad might be, and so I ignore it, in much the same way as it’s easy to miss the big letters spelling out continent names on a world map.) Every time there’s an improvement in targeted advertising, it cuts through that wall and annoys us anew before we slowly learn to ignore it over time.

Eventually, advertisers will be able to get much smarter than they are right now, and the ad-serving algorithms will stop being dumb things based on keyword searches, and will start being able to construct a much more well-rounded idea of who we are and what kind of advertising we’re likely to be interested in. At that point, when the ads we see are targeted to us based on much more than the content of our emails or the goods that we shop for online, they probably won’t feel nearly as creepy or intrusive as they do now. But for the time being, a lot of people are going to continue to get freaked out by these ads, and are going to think that the answer is greater “online privacy”. When I’m not really convinced that’s the problem at all.

Read more at blogs.reuters.com

 

Run an effective $5 Facebook campaign

Run an effective $5 Facebook campaign

Amplify’d from www.socialmedia.biz

How to run an effective Facebook campaign for $5

jess3 ad

How to take advantage of the power of microtargeting on Facebook — at a crazy cheap price

dennis-yuLast week there was a buzz in the CEO, Webtrends and CEO, BlitzLocal offices. One of our employees was trying to get my attention. He did so by creating a Facebook ad targeting anyone who lived in Portland, was between 30 and 40 years old and worked at either Webtrends or BlitzLocal. Of the nearly 600 million users on Facebook, only 80 people met that criteria.

It cost him only 6 cents to do it. And for that price, he was able to bombard our people with ads. The cost of that inventory is a 30 cent CPM, which means it costs 30 cents to show a thousand ads. So he was able to send 200 highly targeted messages, as he details in this post on the Facebook Microtargeting trick.

Sounds less like advertising and more like super-targeted email marketing, doesn’t it?

And, in fact, it is, except for this:

• You can send these messages without needing someone’s email address.
• You pay only when someone clicks it (yes, it’s cost per click advertising).
• An impression is guaranteed when the person next opens Facebook (whereas in sending an email, you can only hope that someone will open it).

jess3 campaign

Click to enlarge

Now imagine that you’re a software company like Webtrends, building relationships with other agencies that resell your social analytics software. The founders of the data visualization agency JESS3 come to visit and you’d like to strengthen that bond. Maybe you spend $5 on a micro-targeted campaign like the one above, but slice it up to put the ad image more compactly next to the stats. You absolutely bombard anyone who works at that firm with your message almost 3,000 times. If they have 50 people, that’s 60 ads per person. Who cares that we got only 9 clicks (of which 4 happened to become fans)? The goal is not the click, but the awareness.

Total cost: $5.67 in Facebook ads

Create a specialty video with a customized message

But you could take it a step further, since those folks who do click through on the ad can come to your landing page. So imagine that we send all employees of the email marketing company ExactTarget to this Facebook landing page (warning: there is sound). And how much did this landing page cost? Only $5. We have a network of dozens of freelancers that will do voiceovers, take photos, sing songs or do whatever for a few dollars. More examples of specialty videos here.

Social media success is about pinpoint precision targets — we’re simulating the one-on-one conversations that friends have among themselves

While each of these examples might be clever or interesting, the question becomes: How do you scale this? Social media success is about pinpoint precision targets — ultimately, because we’re simulating the one-on-one conversations that friends have among themselves. But if you want to have 1,000 conversations, you need 1,000 different ads and 1,000 different landing pages. Who has the infrastructure, staff, or the budget to do that?

This is where smart automation comes in. Here’s an example of our scoring platform at work:

Webtrends sells analytics software to the big boys who don’t mind paying $100,000 per year for analytics software. Trouble is that every website needs some form of analytics. Maybe they’ll use Google Analytics — it’s free and pretty good. But we want to talk to only those customers who have the money and need for enterprise analytics software. It would be suicide to buy the keyword “web analytics” on PPC because of all the players that offer web analytics for free or super cheap.

So we took the Fortune 1000 and ran a script that collected a wide range of data — market cap, their industry, annual revenue, P/E ratio, website url, homepage pagerank, pages indexed, Facebook page, number of fans, company logo from Google images and so forth — dozens of metrics. See the detail from our spreadsheet/CSV file below.

Click to enlarge

And then we ran this data through our scoring algorithm to calculate their Social Score — how well they did versus peers in their industry. We might say, “Shell, you got a 56 and rank 7 out of 9 in Oil and Gas.” Or we might say, “Shell, why do you have only 53,548 fans while others in oil and gas have 184k on average?” Then we target people who work at Shell — not just everyone, but those people who have titles of VP of Marketing, Chief Financial Officer, Public Relations and so forth.

There might be only a couple dozen people and not everyone puts their information on Facebook, but it’s enough. And you can bet it gets their attention! They come to a landing page that has their social scoring report, which shows a portion of the metrics that we’ve gathered. But they have to click Like to see the rest of the report, which is grayed out.

Now what happens when that person clicks “Like”? Of course, some of their friends and co-workers see it. And as all curious co-workers will do, they want to check out what you found to be so interesting. And then when these people see our ad, it shows that their friend liked it, which makes our offer of a report that much more credible (image at right).

A move to quality targeting over mass media blasts

Now do you see how this works? It’s quality over quantity, folks. Think about who you want to target as precisely as possible. Where do they work? Where do they live? What kind of car do they drive? What TV shows do they watch? What industry conferences do they attend?

Let Facebook do the work for you, running ads that target journalists who write for the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forrester, VentureBeat, the New York Times

Can’t afford $15,000 to exhibit at your favorite conference, plus the $3k to ship the booth out, the cost of the people to have to man the booth during Expo Hall hours, the schwag you have to give out and so forth? Then run an ad for the three weeks leading up to the conference targeting fans of the conference.

Bingo, you’ve now spent $5 to target this audience with your message and you have plenty of time to set up in-person meetings with those folks who are worth talking to, as opposed to any random people who might wander up to visit you at the show. And then you can thank them later.

miva_thank_you

Click to enlarge

Need some PR help, but can’t afford a New York PR agency for $10,000 a month? Then let Facebook do the work for you, running ads that target journalists who write for the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forrester, VentureBeat, the New York Times or whoever. What would you like to say to them?

Can’t afford to hire a big sales staff to cold call people who don’t want to talk to you? Easy. Just run ads targeting the competitors of your existing customers. Let’s say that Marriott is your client and you’ve got a great case study there. Run ads targeting the folks who work at Hilton, Starwood, Motel 6 or whoever. You can bet they want to know what their competitors are doing. Inquiring minds want to know!

Making waves with 5 bucks in your pocket

By now, I hope to have shown you that with some ingenuity and $5 in your pocket, you can make some serious waves on Facebook. If you’re a small business or start-up, learn how to master some of the techniques mentioned here. If you’re a big brand and looking to scale, then you’ll need some process and software automation to make this happen across thousands of conversations.

Know of any companies that offer software that will do mass personalization of ad and landing page content? Ad agencies are good at throwing bodies at client accounts — great service, but no scale. Software companies are good at building code based on a predefined set of rules that can be repeated. But success for your company can’t be solved by either a pure agency or a pure software company. The agency can’t throw enough people at the problem and the software company can’t offer a one-size fits all solution to everyone.

Only you can work the magic at your company. As much as we’d like to sell you some software, vendors like us can only assist you in coming up with the creative strategy that resonates best with your customers, the PR strategy that gets the press talking about you, a unique way to position how you solve your client’s pain. Ultimately, these $5 campaigns, whether you run just one of them or 10,000 of them, boil down to a marketing strategy — a unique, compelling message — that we can multiply out to your customers and get those customers to spread on your behalf. (Again, if you’re a smaller company targeting just a few potential or existing clients or partners, go for it yourself!)

In our next segment, we’ll explore that topic in more detail — how to get your fans to do your marketing for you. The techniques that work are probably not what you’d expect, since the world of Facebook relies upon the game dynamics of News Feed Optimization, advertising, applications and Open Graph widgets. We’ll show you how the harder you make it for customers to convert, in certain instances, the more likely they will take action. Stay tuned to learn why.

Read more at www.socialmedia.biz

 

Online TV: Good press 4 @DownstreamTweet

Online TV: Good press 4 @DownstreamTweet

Amplify’d from www.smh.com.au
Online TV ads to be traded in auction-style exchanges

ADVERTISERS will be able to bid for television-style ads online across multiple websites by the end of the year, though it could be up to three years before the market represents a large chunk of the $2.2 billion online ad market.

Downstream Marketing and the media-buying consortium Group M say the technology for trading ads placed before, during or after online videos will be in place by December.

Already a small but growing volume of online display ads are bought and sold through exchanges or demand side-platforms run by media-buying groups, or by larger networks such as Google.

Television commercials viewed online is the next sector to become biddable – that is, when ads can be sold in automated, split-second, auction-style trades.

Media executives might be fearful, the media investor Daniel Petre says, but they will have to get used to it.

”As soon as the technology is there advertising will be wrapped in it,” Downstream’s chief executive, Steve Knowles, says.

”More and more people are demanding content online so whether it’s Apple TV, Google, Netflix, the television networks or Facebook that provides it doesn’t really matter. There will be advertising and it will be biddable.”

Rather than sell such ads on a traditional cost per thousand (CPM) model, agencies such as Downstream say they can draw on data such as the websites people visit, the forms they fill in and possibly even their purchasing history online to target specific audience niches with clients’ TVCs. Media agencies can specify a target audience and the maximum price they are prepared to pay for those eyeballs.

“It’s bringing rational pricing to [online] TV,” said Downstream’s chief operating officer, Justin Hind.

Although watching TV shows or films online makes up less than 5 per cent of total viewing, it is predicted to grow rapidly as more TVs are connected to a high-speed internet.

Online video advertising is currently a $33 million market – a relative minnow – but which Frost & Sullivan predict will be worth $180 million by 2015.

Danny Bass, the chief digital officer for the media buying consortium Group M, will sell video ads this way through its demand side platform by the year’s end. But he could not predict what volumes might be traded. “The more inventory that becomes available the more likely it is fall to an exchange.”

Downstream backer Mr Petre, the chairman of Netus, an investment company backed by News Ltd, said an auction-style trading platform did not necessarily mean rates would fall.

“There is a fear that everything that goes through an exchange will go to 50¢ a CPM but if you are delivering valuable content then that won’t be the case,” said Mr Petre, who also sits on the board of Nine Entertainment Co, which has a half-share in Ninemsn.

“People will resist it because they are fearful but in the end advertisers will love it because at last they will pay for advertising that performs well. At last the most appropriate ad is shown to the most appropriate audience.”

Read more at www.smh.com.au

 

Microsoft Sides With Apple on H.264 Video, Leaving Google in the Cold

Microsoft Sides With Apple on H.264 Video, Leaving Google in the Cold

Things are heating up and partners that you’d never expect are coming together to kick each other around. These three companies seem to flip-flop on a regular basis… once upon a time Google & Apple shared a lot of the same board of directors… things have really changed.

Amplify’d from www.fastcompany.com

webm

Microsoft’s just promised to place H.264 video at the core of its web experiences. Why should you care? Because it means the tech giant is siding with another company–Apple–at the expense of Google, which is pushing its own video codec.

In a blog posting titled “HTML5 and Web Video: Questions for the Industry from the Community,” Microsoft is effectively drawing the lines for a battle with Google about web video standards. It really doesn’t mince words: “A Web without video would be a dull Web and consumers, developers and businesses want video on the Web to just work. As an industry we know this and have, until recently, been on a path to make this a reality with HTML5 by integrating video into Web pages more natively using H.264.” This is a direct shot at Google, which has pledged to abandon default support for H.264 video in its Chrome browser, and a tacit admission that Apple’s push to make H.264 a de facto web standard has worked, and makes sense from a technical point of view.

Read more at www.fastcompany.com

 

Facebook ad formats getting more social

Facebook ad formats getting more social

(via www.clickz.com)

Facebook has launched “Sponsored Stories” ads, which let marketers utilize messages from their “likes” community for paid promotions on the site. The ads contain word-for-word Facebook user posts, while appearing in the right-hand column with other paid promotions on the website.

A bevy of launch partners have already readied campaigns involving the new ads. They include Coca Cola, Levi’s, and Anheuser Busch, as well as nonprofits like Amnesty International, UNICEF, Autism Speaks, and Women for Women.

Jim Squires, marketing products manager for the Palo Alto, CA-based social giant, told ClickZ that Sponsored Stories will be available on the site’s self-service platform in a comparable manner to other ads. They will be purchased on an impression- or per-click basis, he said.

For a brand like Starbucks, an endorsement that looks like this:

starbucks-sponsored1

May appear in an ad unit like this:

starbucks-sponsored

“Essentially, the recommended approach is to use [them] in conjunction with a campaign you are already running,” Squires said. “So, you say, ‘I want to add Sponsored Stories to this.’ In that case, when a Sponsored Story is able to show, it is showing [instead of] the controlled advertiser message.”

Read more at www.clickz.com

Finally updated my résumé to include my current job @ Downstream.

Finally updated my résumé to include my current job @ Downstream.

Included my current work:

Currently I am working at Downstream Marketing, a digital performance marketing agency in Sydney’s CBD. My primary role as an Account Executive involves setting up and managing pay-per-click (PPC) search engine marketing (SEM), performance display and social media campaigns and consulting on web design for conversion driven landing pages. As part of this process I regularly host client meetings and performance reviews as well as setting up an array of reporting, analysis and optimisation systems and processes. Clients during my time at Downstream include: American Express, GetPrice, JumpOnIt, National Australia Bank (Share Trading), Budget, AAMI, JustCar, InsureMyRide, Shannons, eHarmony, Freelancer.com, iiNet, Insuranceline, Informa, Live In Australia, Jetabroad and Bingle.

Back in Syd with new contact info and looking for work!

Back in Syd with new contact info and looking for work!

Greetings one and all!

I am now living back in Sydney, looking for work and possibly doing graduate studies.

At the moment I am living with my folks in Narrabeen for a couple of weeks before moving into an apartment in Alexandria.

As you may know, I’ve recently finished my Bachelor of Media at Macquarie (Sydney) and spent time in Vancouver completing my Communication Honours at Simon Fraser University.

Our apartment is close to downtown Sydney (very close to the Redfern train station, one stop from Central) – a short work from the University of Sydney. If you’re ever in Sydney or Australia, we are maybe a 10 minute drive from the airport, so don’t hesitate to get in touch! Consider yourself as having a standing invitation to come visit any time–neither Joni nor I will be back in Canada for a while, so it’d be great to see some familiar faces.

As far as keeping track of me, please add me on facebook (facebook.com/lukefreeman), follow me on twitter (twitter.com/lukefreeman) or read my blog (lukefreeman.com.au).

I am also looking for work so please, please, PLEASE let me know if you hear of any work going either in my field (communicaiton/marketing/PR) or just in general (from admin to hospitality). Joni will also be looking for work when she arrives here on October 13th.

My resume is available at http://www.lukefreeman.com.au/resume

I am also back on the road with web designing – anything from simple “pamphlet/brochure” websites to dynamic, database driven, eCommerce solutions with content management & customer relationship management facilities. I work using: PHP, (X)HTML, XML, RSS, CSS, C++, JavaScript, MySQL, Automator and Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere, Flash).

So, I think that is it!

Look forward to hearing from and/or seeing you all!

Updated: Thanks to @ andrewfergusson for reminding me to websafe it! Contact me if you want my address / phone etc…

Picture 12

Control Freak!

Control Freak!

I had a bit of an epiphany this morning, I just realised what it is that’s been bothering me and why it seemed to hit so quickly and come from nowhere!

Yay!

I am a control freak at the most subtle levels. I like to be able to control my life. Even being able to adjust my behaviour to other people is a way of controlling the results or expectations. I have no problems relinquishing control over a certain project/thing/whatever, I’ll do that at the drop of the hat because it means that I can control the things that are important to me: the relationship or the well-being of the person. For example, if I’m working on a project with someone and they want to say design the website, normally I would rather do it so that I can ensure the quality of the result, but if it is important to them I’ll let them do it so that it doesn’t damage the relationship. This is a great example because it can also illustrate my problem. Say that person does a horrible job of the website: they get bad feedback, I encourage them, then it happens again and they are angry at me. In that situation, it all breaks down. Why, because I had no control over the final outcome: them being upset with me.

Those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenarios are the ones that trouble me. Because I cannot control anything else but my integrity. But then when things go wrong, the knowledge that I made the decision with integrity doesn’t hold up against the fact that I “failed” – that is what sends me insane.

There have been a whole bunch of these things lately. I’m way out of my depth. For example financially: I’m used to being independent and work enough to get the means I need. I’ve never had trouble “getting” work. Recently I haven’t been able to just “rock up to work and bill for my time.”

I’m not going to go into detail, but I’ve finally it the nail on the head. I’ve been feeling inadequate because I’m used to being able to work hard enough to make things work out in a way that I don’t mind.

Now, I’ve just got to learn to accept that some things will just suck and I can’t see them as my failure, my inability to MAKE things work. They are just part of life.

🙂

Help needed!

Help needed!

I’m going to cut to the chase!

As you may or may not be aware I will be back in Sydney this coming October and this means a few things for me (a) before I go home and (b) once I’m back. Furthermore, (c) I am open for building more websites over the next few months and will be doing it cheaply, (d) I am starting to build something that could be quite revolutionary and am looking for partners.

  • (a) My dear Canadian contacts: I’m looking for work in Vancouver to support myself over the next few months. This is particularly important due to scholarships, bursaries and loans falling through. If you know of any work available soon, please contact me!
    Resume: http://www.lukefreeman.com.au/resume
    SFU PEOPLE!! Do you know of any research assistant positions? Or anything else on campus?
  • (b) Upon our return, both Joni and I will both be looking for work in Sydney.
    Luke
    : I have a B Media and will have a PBD Communication (Honours). Most of my work has been in marketing, web and design, however I am looking toward moving more toward the PR and networking side of things – and I’m hoping for preferably less on the side of big nasty corporations. See my resume.
    Joni: She will have a B Arts (Major: Communication, Ext Minor: English). Joni also very talented with graphic design and has worked in marketing and web design (alongside Cafe’s and an Info centre). And another plus: she’s GREAT with people and very hard working.
  • (c) If anyone wants some websites designed I am offering some great prices at the moment. Please contact me at zeekdesign.com if you, or someone you know is interested.
  • (d) I am trying to get a full-featured social networking, management and collaboration tool off the ground to help solve the problem of too many organisations and groups constantly reinventing the wheel and having too many online tools doing the jobs poorly.
    Have a look at WorldSocial.net to see my quick overview.

Thank you all so much for your support and attention in reading this email so far! I really appreciate all that you have all done for me!

WorldSocial.net

WorldSocial.net

The Worldwide Social Network

The real “social” network…because change is possible

I’m looking for partners to help build WorldSocial.net

It is going to be a full-featured collaborative open source social networking and management tool that will also provide a back-end platform for organisations, individuals, causes or events to incorporate into their own sites and customise for their own profiles.

Problems

  • Thousands of NGOs focus on issues ranging from sustainability and humanitarianism through to political reform and education
  • Difficulty motivating cross pollination
  • Not enough time, funding or people
  • Organisations constantly reinvent the wheel
  • Lack of enabling tools
    Old methods of communication cannot handle this and new ones are proprietary, incompatible and too numerous.

Opportunities

  • Rise of social media and online tools: Facebook, Twitter, Meeting Wizard, Wikipedia, MySpace, Google tools etc..
  • Economic recession provides need for innovation and incentives for collaboration

Market

  • Governments and grant-giving bodies looking to put money to its most effective use
  • Corporations willing to make progressive changes, but need partnerships to take the plunge
  • Thousand of organisations and causes that need resources, membership/event management, collaboration tools and networking opportunities
  • Millions of individuals looking to volunteer, donate, make changes and have an active role in shaping their world

Features

  • Management tools: membership, events, petitions, meeting wizards, grants, volunteer, employment,
  • notifications and management for both physical and digital resources.
  • Information integration: articles, blogs, studies, collaborative encyclopaedia, press releases, videos, tweets and status updates.
  • Relevance algorithms
  • Networking tools
  • Profiles: interests, events attended, education, affiliations, resume etc…
  • Geographical integration.
  • Online meeting, conference and collaboration tools

Scenario 1: Physical Resources

Get Out The Vote wants to run a campaign in the interior of Canada but their offices are in the major cities.
They have a few supporters out in the country.
Those supporters search for organisations in their local area that would allow them to use printing equipment.

Scenario 2: Digital Resources

Joe Smith from Vancouver wants to run a program for troubled teenage boys in high school.
He searches WorldSocial and finds the “No Limits” course which was run in Sydney.
He downloads it, adapts it and tries it.
Later on he uploads it to share on WorldSocial, along with photos and videos too!

Scenario 3: Individual Support

Mary Stephens from Newcastle wants to donate some time and money to help her community.
She fills out a survey on WorldSocial about her interests and values.
Later on, she is notified about the details of several events in her neighbourhood.
Also, her $20 donation was split between the 7 organisations that she approved upon the survey’s suggestion.

Scenario 4: Group Websites

Macquarie University Sustainability Society wants to create a website for their members.
They log in to WorldSocial, start a group and then customise a website that works in realtime with the Worldsocial database.
This time they decide to go for customised template with their own URL.
Now they can organise events and meetings, collect membership fees and donations, share their work, apply for grants and syndicate information about local sustainability groups!

Scenario 5: Online Grants

The New York City Council are looking to support social enterprise businesses in the Manhattan area.
They create a grant listing on WorldSocial and wait for applicants to create profiles and apply.
Later on they view all their applicants profiles and user recommendations on WorldSocial!

Group Networks

Groups are much more networked than we think – here’s just a quick overview of the simple relationships.

What is already there?

Facebook, Craigslist, Digg, MySpace, Google Maps, Skype, LinkedIn, Google Docs, Taking IT Global, Meeting Wizard, Livejournal, Flickr, Wikipedia, WordPress, YouTube, Twitter, Blogger, GetUp…

What are they lacking?

  • Integration
  • Centralised database
  • Synchronisation
  • Full features
  • Open source
  • Co-operation
  • Customisable front-end
  • Expandability
  • Collaboration
  • Full syndication

Challenges

  • Getting financial support for an unknown entity in times of economic recession
  • Reluctancy to support something that wasn’t started in-house
  • Creating something this big will be very hard, but there is no point in doing it unless we aim big.
  • Current tools do parts of this and the need for a full-featured collaborative and open tool may not be obvious.

WorldSocial.net

A full-featured collaborative open source social networking and management tool that will also provide a back-end platform for organisations, individuals, causes or events to incorporate into their own sites and customise for their own profiles.

Communication and collaboration are the most effective means for change!