Thursday, December 27, 2007

Shifting Coupons, From Clip and Save to Point and Click - New York Times

Shifting Coupons, From Clip and Save to Point and Click - New York Times

I agree. Why did it take them so long? And why do people still love to clip newspaper coupons instead of printing off the Internet? Is it the printing part of the equation?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Power and Impact of Google Maps - Search Engine Optimization Forum - SEO Refugee

The Power and Impact of Google Maps - Search Engine Optimization Forum - SEO Refugee

Reading this linked story should send a wake-up call to all local business operators. In my opinion there are two things to be learned from this poor guy's plight: 1) You underestimate local online advertising to your businesses detriment. 2) Don't rely simply on Google. Your local media companies, other internet companies, (Yahoo, AOL, MSN) should all be used in your local marketing efforts.

Local Internet Marketing for Small Business on Squidoo

Local Internet Marketing for Small Business on Squidoo

I tell local businessess local search is EXPLODING. You can't wait any longer. The link will show you a list of over 20 local search sites. Is your business on any of them?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Conviction Through Personal Experience

When I find myself personally experiencing what I tell clients it naturally builds conviction. This morning I am working with the television on in the background. The Today Show is on. They have teased a story on Time Magazines Person of the Year. In fact they have teased it three times in the first 30 minutes of the program. "Stay tuned and we'll have the exclusive unveiling of this year's selection," is what Meredith continually teased. The problem.....three of my RSS news feeds had already told me Russia's Putin had been named.

When you understand NBC is still having trouble dealing with the new digital realities, it's completely understandable why local advertisers are still coming up to speed. It also speaks to the incredible opportunity that awaits those that begin to jump in the digital pool.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Older Folks Don't Do Digital

Social Networks For the Mature Set at ChasNote

Can we begin to put away the silly assumption that folks over 60 years old don't use the internet in significant numbers? Of course, in general, folks over 60 are less likely to be online than those folks 20 years old. But come on. In general, women use online services more than men. So should we ignore the men that are online?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Is Reach Really Valuable?

Seth's Blog: Meatball Mondae: Millions of channels on AdWords

I had a quick but interesting conversation with a television general manager regarding media value, specifically broadcast television compared to the internet. He told me it's simple to show why broadcast television is still more impactful and valuable as a marketing tool compared to internet options. Broadcast television reaches 99% of all homes an average of nearly 30 minutes a day. The internet reaches 70% of all homes an average of 7 minutes a day. I was not sure his numbers were accurate, but nonetheless I suggested his metric for evaluating value may be inaccurate. The GM challenged me, so I explained.

I asked him if he could tell me the name of the most successful (by revenue and profit) advertising company in the United States. It took him a second but he told me Google. Correct. Why, I asked, within a span of 10 years was Google able to overtake every media company in the United States in revenue and profit? That part is simple. Accountability. Reaching 99% of all households is of less value than reaching the right prospect with the right message at the right time. That's valuable. The link above goes into detail about the changing value metric.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Small Groups of Evangelists Have Big Impact on Book Biz at ChasNote

In my visits with local media companies and local advertisers one theme seems replay over and over. The theme is a concern that online does not reach large local audiences, or, why should we create something on our website that a relatively few people would be interested in going to or participating with. Here's why, because in those niche areas, the small group of people participating or reading the material are trend-setters and probably a local businesses best customer. Read the link for more.

Small Groups of Evangelists Have Big Impact on Book Biz at ChasNote

IBM distinguished engineer on, um, marketing? « Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger

OK, I rarely do this, but this is the second post on this. Take 15 minutes and watch this.

IBM distinguished engineer on, um, marketing? « Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger

Iterative Marketing

A totally different take on why changing your advertising strategies is important. From an IBM engineer no less. I gotta get this book.

Scoble Interview With IBM’s Mike Moran at ChasNote

- Focus on Performance

Last week it was IBM's report titled: The End of Advertising As We Know It. This week a new Accenture report detailing the changing advertising landscape. Is there any doubt to anyone these changes are real and happening. The problem is, most local advertisers still create strategies similar to those they have done for years. Who am I kidding, so do most national advertisers. Does anyone know how old the reach and frequency models are? They have to be 50 years old, at least.

Digital Advertising Study - Focus on Performance

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Great Copy

Everything we know about advertising is being turned upside down. But great copy still stands out. General Motors is facing a long, uphill grind to turn their auto company around. But their recent tag line for the latest Cadillac commercial is a nice step in the right direction.

"The question is, when you turn your car on, does it return the favor?"


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

When the time is right... (Scripting News)

When the time is right... (Scripting News)

Will advertising disappear....I don't know if he's right, but it's an interesting thought.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Local Advertiser - Web Illiterate

Audience Research & Development - Media 2.0 Intel with Terry Heaton and Steve Safran

Why Are Local Advertisers So Web-illiterate?

If you're a local advertiser, the above link is an interesting perspective from someone "inside" the industry. If you work in local media, it's a challenge to step up.

My experience in local markets has taught me a couple things: Local advertisers are a busy group and while they have a sense of the growing need to have a local online strategy, it's not something they've committed time to learn or explore. But most local advertisers I talk with know that are going to have to pay more attention to local online advertising. But unlike television, newspaper, radio, billboards or direct mail, local advertisers are not familiar with online options. If you run a business and watch the late local news, you have a basic understanding of how advertising on a local station might work. But very few local advertisers have even the most limited exposure to local web strategies. But lack of familiarity does not convert into lack of interest. And for any local media salesperson that's all the opening you should need.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

10 Things You Never Say To A Car Dealer

I've made a few of these mistakes. I'd be interested in comments from any car dealers out there reading this.

Friday, November 9, 2007

MediaPost Publications - Sears Enlists Yahoo for Holiday Campaign - 11/09/2007

MediaPost Publications - Sears Enlists Yahoo for Holiday Campaign - 11/09/2007

There is no reason local stores cannot create similar strategies with their local media partners. Of course the depth and scale of your local efforts may be very different compared to what Sears is doing, but the concept and strategy has powerful applications on a local level. Reaching your prospects and customers in today's world takes a much more sophisticated approach than simply throwing a 30 second commercial on your local television station's late news. The earlier local advertisers begin implementing these integrated online/traditional media strategies, the more powerful the results - because you'll be among the few in your market doing these things.

MediaPost Publications - Study Reveals Online Strategies for Reaching Vehicle Shoppers - 11/09/2007

MediaPost Publications - Study Reveals Online Strategies for Reaching Vehicle Shoppers - 11/09/2007

Is auto advertising important to you? The article above has a fair amount of ad-speak mumbo-jumbo. But the bottom line is this: Advertising on auto sites is good start, but it's just a start. And the fact of the matter is you're usually paying a premium to be on those sites. Speaking to prospective customers online takes a little creativity and wider selection of online sites. And direct response advertising on your auto sites may not be the best strategy.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Co-Op Evolution

Sean Lewis, our Advertising Director for the Kentucky newspaper group, shared with me a new take on my earlier post regarding online co-op rules. He has come across an account where the parent company will NOT allow co-op to be spent on newspaper and requires co-op be spent on online strategies.

Of course this is as strange as not allowing co-op funds to be spent toward online spending. In the midst of evolution strange things occur. Again, the bottom line, use co-op funds for online and if your running into resistance keep pushing. You will not be the only one pushing and your pushing will add to the chorus of voices your central marketing department is hearing from regarding this issue.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How Will You Build Your Business Tomorrow?

A Cautionary Tale for Old Media

In this week's Business Week is a "Cautionary Tale For Old Media." Interesting read, not really any new information for those of us in the newspaper business. But Knight Ridder, to company at the stories focal point, could be interchanged with any number of newspaper companies. The inside details just provide a more juicy read.

But for those of you reading this that work in a business outside media, why is this relevant? Because the changes forcing your local media companies to reinvent themselves is a reflection of the upheaval caused by the ongoing change readers, viewers and listeners are driving. You know, those folks you refer to a your customers and prospects.

Real Estate Continues To Evlove Online

ClickZ: Zillow Crunches User Data to Target Homeowner-Based Ads

Often when I talk with local advertisers I tell them to look at the real estate and auto businesses as a harbinger of what is in the pipeline for their industry. The above link details the ongoing evolution of the real estate advertising landscape. If you doubt your business will not be disrupted by online strategies to the same extent as real estate and auto, keep this in mind: Literally thousands of developers are currently working in offices ranging from home garages to high-rise buildings creating products to change the way we find, shop and buy from local companies. Most will fail, some will succeed. The bottom line is we all need to begin developing our LOCAL online strategies.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Web 2.0: Making Money On Video, Podcasting at ChasNote

Web 2.0: Making Money On Video, Podcasting at ChasNote

If you're a local business operator, occasional, if you read this blog, you'll get to hear some internal office musings. Today is one of those days. I often tell our property folks we should be providing local online solutions because if we don't someone will.

Today's link is to a guy that makes his living shifting ad dollars to online. Look what pot of ad dollars he is targeting to grow his business. Do you think advertisers might find some credibility in his argument about TV ad waste? Of course he will not be the only online sales guy out there making this pitch.

Seth's Blog: "I can't afford it"

Seth's Blog: "I can't afford it"

If you're a client reading this, chances are, you have told me least once. As a business owner you've had your clients tell you this. If you're one of the folks at our properties, of course you've heard this. I'm not going to wax philosophically about value/price selling. I'm just going to say this: If you're a business owner, get a LOCAL web strategy started TODAY. You can't afford not to....on this one, please trust me.

If you're one of our sales folks, share this suggestion - emphatically - with your clients and prospects.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Waste Metric

As a former TV sales guy I know this is a little misleading. But what's interesting to me is the waste metric used by online sales guys is much different than that of traditional sales folks. It appears to me to be more client-focused.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Co-op Is Shifting

One of the few surprising objections local businesses have posed to me during sales calls are the rules and regulations many franchisers and/or parent companies have regarding their local folks involvement with online marketing. Many large companies, Farmer's Insurance and Ashley Furniture are two I have recently run into, severely restrict what their local folks can do online. For example, both Farmer's and Ashley prohibit their local folks from creating their own website. HUH? Are you kidding me? And the use of co-op funds for online advertising is still, at best, problematic for many local companies. This of course is crazy. And my suspicious side has an idea of why local online causes some of these big companies heartburn. They know a local website can be much more powerful and valuable to local folks than a national, one-size-fit-all, website. And those large companies have no desire to give up the traffic to their national site.

As with most things regarding local online advertising, you can see the cracks in status-quo thinking starting to form. This from a recent "Media Post" article:

"Intel Corp. has decided that its co-op ad program will now shift at least 35% of its ad dollars to digital media.

"We're going where the consumers have gone," Sean Maloney, executive vice president at Intel, told The New York Times. "For the longest period of time, consumers formed their attitudes through TV, print, radio, and from the middle '90s onward, there was more influence from the Net," he was quoted as saying."

Yeah, I know it's a tech company. But others are sure to follow. If you're a local business owner/operator, don't just accept the online restriction by your parent company.

We Use It Every Day, But Did You Know

Each of us uses the Internet everyday, some more than others. But did you know the following about this "tool" you use so often?

Did Al Gore really invent the Internet? No, but give
credit where credit is due. He did the most of any elected
official to actively promote the Internet. However, he wasn’t
even in Congress when ARPANET was formed in 1969 or even when
the term ‘Internet’ came into use in 1974. Gore was first
elected in 1976.

Which decade really saw the explosion of the net?
The 90’s! The Internet exploded in or around 1993.

How fast is the Internet growing?

Very fast! It took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million users,
13 years for TV, and only 5 years for the Internet. Source:

How big is the Internet’s surfing world?

Google’s index now stands at 8 billion pages.

What are your average surfing habits according to Nielsen

Each month you usually visit 59 domains, view 1,050 pages allocating 45
seconds for each page and spend about 25 hours doing all this net activity!
Each surfing session lasts 51 minutes.

Some of these fact are fun, some are really useful. Did you notice how fast the Internet is growing? And did you see what the average user does on the net each month? Of course if you're busy running a business your usage may be substantially lower. But if you want to grow your business going forward, it's time to include the Internet in you on-going local marketing efforts.

Friday, October 12, 2007

New Digital Folks

If you're new to the digital sales arena, welcome. Some of you reading this are selling digital solutions for the first time. Some of you are very experienced. Jeanette in El Centro has years of experience selling television. Don in Lake Havasu is a former radio guy. Dan in Aberdeen is young but has a varied digital background. The only thing common among us is our passion for digital advertising solutions. I'm going to use this blog to communicate best practices, highlight wins and share bumps in the road so we can all learn. You can always add comments publicly or send me an email privately. Let's all share what we know. Cumulatively we're alot smarter than any of us is individually.

What We Can Learn

OK, so Google is growing north of 40% annually. When was the last time we saw those kind of numbers in our core product. But that's just rehashing old news. What's more important, I believe, is to learn from what Google is doing. In this latest essay from Terry Heaton, he argues it largely a matter of perspective. If you don't have time to read the essay, this paragraph should grab you:

"Google begins the day with the assumption that people come to the Web, because they're looking for something. We begin the day with the assumption that people are looking for us. In our minds, we are the ones who control growth, because everything has to happen on what we view as our property. In the collective mind of Google, the people who make up the network that is the Web control the growth by their actions, and Google's ad mechanism doesn't care where that takes place. As the network grows, so grows Google. Not so for local media."

As I said, an interesting read.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Growing with Web 2.0

So, you think you need to buy a television, newspaper or radio station to start competing in another market? Think again. Fisher has just opened up for business in the Dallas market and it does not require any FCC involvement.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Now We Know Why Television Stations Drag Their Feet

As I read about the tendencies of television stations to move very slowly into the online world this article caught my attention. Clearly newspapers are moving much more aggressively into web strategies, while television stations continue to take what amounts to baby steps. The reason is simple, newspaper's revenues are being affected by online much more than television.

You would think local stations would take this as an early sign of things to come. But most local stations still operate as if this online thing is at worst, a long-term concern. I doubt their right.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Auto retailing on the net

I work with car dealers on a regular basis. Most put up some form of this objection to me when we first meet: "I get calls from 10 new internet services a month, all promising me a unique service for my dealership." Here's what I tell them, buying an online service, or services, creating a website and putting your inventory online is like buying a ticket to a ballgame. Your at the game, part of the experience, but don't fool yourself, you're not IN the game, yet.

The link above is from a very popular blogger. He is linking to another popular blogger. That blogger posted a story about a poor experience he had at a northern California Toyota dealership. That post has been linked to thousands of times, and Dave Winer's post has been linked to thousands of times. And of course both original posts have been read by thousands of folks.

Do you think the auto dealership even knows this is going on? I'd bet big money they don't have a clue. And even if they did know what is going on, would they know how to effectively respond? Doubt it.

Getting in the internet automotive game takes more than the price of admission.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Local Advertising's Changing Landscape

If you read this link and find yourself asking "what's a news river," what's RSS," then it's time to seek some help with your marketing. Particularly if advertising in a local marketplace is an important part in the success of your business.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Just in case you think ubiquitous, fast internet access is still a long time in the future. Check out this link.

This Should Be Fun

Glad you're here. Most of the time I'm going to talk about why and how local advertisers should be taking advantage of online audiences to nurture and grow their businesses. But you never know what I might riff about. Your input is always welcome. It should be a fun ride.