donderdag, juni 21, 2007

vrijdag, april 13, 2007

Challenges Online Advertising

Source: Online Spin by Dave Morgan

I was fortunate to hear an extraordinary talk last night at the Interactive Advertising Bureau board dinner by David Kenney, the CEO of Digitas. He spoke about the challenges that online advertising faces. His message was simple, engaging and, in the end, a clear call to action. Online media buyers like Digitas and the entire roster of Publicis agencies and their clients would like to spend dramatically more money in online advertising, but they can't. He even quantified it. Last year, Publicis recommended to its clients that they spend $10 billion in online. They were only able to spend $3 billion. Why? Because there are three enormous bottlenecks in our business -- and until they are solved, we should not expect the industry to grow as fast as it could.

Here are the challenges that he identified:

* Operations. Operational bottlenecks in the online world have created a "wall" that is almost impossible for buyers to surmount. When it comes to managing insertion orders, billing, reconciliation (of everything from impression counts to audience metrics to billing and invoices) things are, well, horrific. The agency-side costs incurred in dealing with this is overwhelming the agencies and making it impossible for them to manage online advertising buys cost-effectively, certainly as compared to what they are used to in television and print, where the "friction" costs are so much less.

* Metrics. Online advertising -- certainly the most quantifiable form of advertising -- can be measured by lots and lots of different flavors of metrics, and we do. This is bad. There is very little consistency in our metrics and how we use them. Not only does this magnify the industry's operational problems, it also hurts the industry's credibility with agencies.

* Talent. There is a talent crisis in our industry. There is no other way to describe it. We need many more smart, creative, well-trained and highly motivated folks to make our businesses work. Virtually every agency in the U.S. has an inordinate number of open positions. If they don't have the people to manage the planning, buying and execution of online campaigns, the money will not flow. It is that simple. Kenney's points are right on target. We had better take them as seriously as we take the headlines touting our industry's opportunities. If we don't acknowledge, address and solve these problems, we are going to find much, much slower growth than we want. We need to heed this call.

donderdag, maart 15, 2007

Impossible is nothing

As a former employee at adidas-Group I am positively biased towards any adidas campaign. I have worked on several global campaigns during my time at adidas. Therefor I just love the new adidas campaign, Impossible Is Nothing.

dinsdag, maart 13, 2007

Web 2.0 too much a challenge for Google?

Is Web 2.0 Bad for Google?
by Mark Simon, Monday, March 12, 2007

SINCE THE START OF '07, Yahoo's price per share has jumped about 20%. From Feb. 1 through last Thursday, Google's share price dropped by around $50. That certainly looks like a reversal of fortune for the two giants.

Of course, Yahoo's uptick is largely a product of its re-org and its Panama launch -- both signs that business is getting back to where it should be, and not an indication that Yahoo will crush Google. Google's stock dip, meanwhile, might just be Google coming back to earth after being slightly overvalued. Neither Google nor Yahoo's change in stock price needs to signify a revolution.

But even so, I do see a revolution in the works. It seems that Web 2.0 favors media companies, and can wreak havoc on search-focused ones. That's good news for Yahoo, but spells real challenges ahead for Google.

To see what I'm talking about, look to Google/YouTube.

In the summer before Google bought YouTube, Google Video trailed as the eighth-most popular source for video online, according to comScore. MySpace, Yahoo, and YouTube took the top three slots. As many industry experts have it, Google bought YouTube to buy into a video market it couldn't crack.

As a search company, Google, not surprisingly, was facing a popularity problem in online video. Search destinations are places where you find what you're looking for, and then jump off into content that lives elsewhere. Search engines provide a wealth of navigational information, but they provide little in the way of the richer experience you'd associate with video.

Which is why, when they're seeking video, video consumers would not tend to associate video with search engines. They'll associate video with sites that already do provide other kinds of rich experience -- sites that are rich in their own content, like MySpace, YouTube, or Yahoo.

To overcome that content barrier, Google bought YouTube. But buying its way into video created an entirely new problem for Google as a search engine. If video is a richer experience than most online content, then video search needs to convey more than just raw information about what a video will contain. It needs to convey the whole experience that a video offers. It needs to bring searchers to the video itself.

Which is why video clips live within video search results, in a way Web pages tend not to live within text-search results. That, though, is a copyright nightmare waiting to happen, as there's little to distinguish directing searchers to a clip, and grabbing the clip and hosting it yourself.

We got the first glimpses of that problem last year, when adult publisher Perfect 10, which brought a suit against Google claiming that, in presenting thumbnails of Perfect 10's pictures within Google Image Search, Google was stealing Perfect 10's content. A federal judge agreed.

Newspapers' complaints against Google News, and a pending lawsuit against Google Book Search, are further examples. Google argues that they're providing their searchers with information; the newspaper and book publishers claim that Google is stealing copyrighted content.

YouTube's additional problem of user-generated piracy is an extra twist to the story, but it's still a variation on the same theme. YouTube's piracy problems, after all, only exist because it's so easy to search for any kind of material -- pirated material included -- within YouTube. By providing the capability to easily search for copyrighted material, YouTube --which is to say, Google -- makes YouTube a more effective hosting service for pirated content, even if it conducts that hosting against its will. That opens Google up to copyright complaints.

And so search engines find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place in Web 2.0. Media consumers aren't just looking to find material on the Internet any more. They're looking to have a total media experience, and to have that experience within one place. And as that trend grows, the line between search results and hosting will get fuzzier, and the copyright issues will proliferate.

For media sites like Yahoo and MSN, which have large amounts of unique content, these problems are far less serious. First, their unique content creates other avenues of monetization, should copyright issues ever threaten a part of their search business. Second, experience as a publisher makes it easier for them-both because of technical experience and corporate culture-to send searchers away from copyrighted content, and toward the content they own themselves. Pure search engines have neither of these options.

To be sure, an ability to help searchers navigate will only become more valuable as time goes on. Google is the leading provider of that navigation, which is why I predict a very healthy future for Google, for a very long time. But there are undeniable troubles ahead for search-only players. And as search and content leaders, Web 2.0 might provide portals like Yahoo and MSN with advantages that Google doesn't have.

Mark Simon is vice president of industry relations at Did-it, an agency for search engine marketing and auctioned media management based in New York. You can reach Mark at

woensdag, februari 28, 2007

Build your own social site

I think I have found a new possible hit for 2007 and it's called Ning. A social community website, but different from it's ancestors like MySpace, FaceBook and here in The Netherlands, Hyves. The biggest advantage of Ning is that you can literally add anything you want and not being restricted to the limits of a pre-set community website.

Keep your eyes open for it, for I believe it will be quite a blast.

On another note; I am testing Joost for Mac 0.8 beta. I will keep you posted on my experiences there.

dinsdag, februari 20, 2007

ViaCom to sign deal with Joost

Joost is still in heavy development fase, but is already forging business deals. In this case Viacom - owner of for instance MTV, iFilm and the likes - is talking with Joost to set up a content deal.

Interesting because ViaCom recently ordered YouTube to delete all copyright-protected content owned by Viacom from YouTube.