Technology Perception

Technology will be (and already is) just an utility.
We will not think about it or... well... we will not want to think about it.
It has to be there, to simplify and enhance our lives, more and more, but without bother with uncomprehensible slangs, practices and requests.

Some weeks ago, a friend of mine signalled me an interseting research "All change: marketing in addressable media" by GroupM.
In the first page author writes "Anything that you grow up with is not technology": TV, cell phones, PCs, You Tube, blogs and social media, are not techonolgy.
What would you have thought ten years ago of an company unreachable for the lack of the telephone?
More or less, the same a teen might think today of a company without an interactive communication system. (Warning: e-mails too are getting old! As the News.com article states: Kids say e-mail is, like, soooo dead!

To reinforce this evidence (as reported by Reuters) two more surveys published by Microsoft and Viacom units MTV Networks and Nickelodeon.
Young people don't see "tech" as a separate entity - it's an organic part of their lives", said Andrew Davidson, VP of MTV's VBS International Insight unit
Here the entire article: Young keep it simple in high-tech world: survey

Thanks to: Andrea Di Fonzo


Italian Web 2.0

I'm working on Social Networks: scenarios, tools, strategies...
Here in Italy, on my experience, only few big companies have understood the role of this phenomena.
Compared with other european countries we are certainly not leading the run.
Consequently is very hard to find good studies on web 2.0.

Here is one of them, the author is Daniele Sommavilla Nielsen/NetRatings VP South Europe:
Web 2.0: lo scenario italiano e internazionale

And here another interesting research from Novatris:

14th edition of NetObserver

via: IAB

Social Networks Ad Spending

E-Marketer changed its prevision for ad spending on social networks in 2007 (from $865 to $900 million).
Should we just joy or should we start to fear a new crackdown?

MySpace and Facebook account for 72% of the revenues...
No wonder that new social networks are appearing every day and that existing websites start to add social network capabilities

Here a list of the most popular ones, ranked per Market share of visits (click to enlarge)

And here the article: The crowded world of social network

Click Fraud Rate

As reported by Click Forensics Click Fraud Rate is fast climbing.

Main evidences:

The overall industry average click fraud rate was 15.8 percent for Q2 2007. This is an increase from 14.1 percent for the same quarter in 2006 and 14.8 percent for Q1 2007.

The average click fraud rate of PPC advertisements appearing on search engine content networks, including Google AdSense and the Yahoo Publisher Network, was 25.6 percent.
That’s up from 21.9 percent for Q1 2007 and 19.2 percent for Q4 of 2006

Traffic from botnets doubled from Q1 to Q2 2007 and contributed significantly to the increase in click fraud rates.

In Q2 2007, the greatest percentage of click fraud originating from countries outside North America came from France (5.1 percent), China (3.2 percent) and Australia (3 percent).

It's quite obvious that informations on how frauds affect PPC campaign and ROI might be useful to gather.

Click Fraud Network offer a tool to track up to 100.000 clicks per month.
It's called ClickForensic, and it's free (probably one starts to pay for a higher click number, or probably they would try to sell some "antidote tool"... no idea)
(Quite curious the extra-US origin of click fraud, and what's more I read about the research on an italian blog... )
However, I would try it (the free service).

Here the complete research: Click Fraud Index
Via: IAB Italia


Social Media Ranking (Share of Voice)

Immediate Future guys wrote an interesting article about Social Media performance of the top 100 brands (Interbrand 2006)
Interbrand rates brands analysing their financial performance, influence on customer demand and brand strenght.
Immediate Future rated first 100 brands analysing their Share of Voice and Social Network Group Sentiment

"Of the top brands in Share of Voice, only 36% rank in the Interbrand top 25"

No surprise that first in SoV ranking are technology brands (Google, Yahoo, Apple, Microsoft)
What is probably more interesting is that:
"Microsoft, Disney and BMW show the closest correlation with the Interbrand rankings... while Shell, Starbucks and LG show the greatest difference in rankings"
It seems that LG has a problem to face.

Share of Voice per category:

FMCG come immediately after Technology stuff.
But, as writers warn, SoV don't tell anything about the Sentiment... and Influence.

Read the entire article: The Top 100 brands in social media


The Future of Public relations

The Council of Public Relation Firms has just released a fascinating white paper about the future of Public Relations in the new context of Social Media.
New challenges and new goals to achieve.

Some highlights

"Customers must find and engage the best partners with the best ideas, regardless of whether they are public relations agencies or not"

"The survey also found that 84% of participating firms were emplying blogs on behalf of clients"

"The council survey revealed that approximately half of the participating firms currently have a dedicated or distinct interactive/digital group within their firms"

"Collaboration within media disciplines is increasing as more corporations demand thet their various marketing and public relations agencies work togheter on integrated communications programmes"

"The public relations industry must determine that the golden opportunity to lead on the new media front has arrived"

Here you can download the entire paper: "Relating to the public - The evolving role of Public relations in the age of Social Media"

Blog Wheel

Yesterday I read an interesting paper from Lewis GPR.
It is an interesting guide on how to answer the question: to blog or not to blog?
I think it is a very useful paper, there are lot of suggestions and insights.

This is their suggested 4 steps process to decide about blogging

And what's more they designed this blog wheel that is a very efficient graphic tool
What's more it can be easily adapted (changing slices' volume) to depict strategic use or intention of blogging (which slices changes and how much do they?)

Here you can download the enire paper: The business value of blogging.

Worldwide Buzz & IM

Jure Leskovec and Eric Horvitz, released an interesting study about Microsoft Instant Messanger network population: demographics, attitudes, etc...

Here is a chart about demographics, compared with the world population: "ages 15-30 are over represented in the Messenger user population"

Here a map about "most active lines of comunications"

Two more evidences:

"a strong influence of homophily in activities, where people with similar characteristics overall tend to communicate more with one another, with the exception of gender"

"...we find cross-gender conversations are both more frequent and of longer duration than conversations with the same gender"

Here you can find the entire paper: Worldwide Buzz: Planetary-Scale Views on an Instant Messaging Network

via: Datamining


Strategic Blog and the art of listening

I live in Italy.
In Italy few companies have a corporate blog.
In Italy we don't have Starbucks.
In the US, blogs are considered resources to get to the customer's voice.
Starbucks is an american company

Starbucks has an italian blog.
(and it probably costs less than running focus groups)

Post price & blog reliability

This new service has been reviewed enough.
People considering it like a big threat for blogging community, and people... well just considering it the last buzz.
I'm not here to judge anything. I simply think that, in the end, market will award good ideas and forget bad ones.

Instead, I would like to highlight comments prices (can they be used for a rough ROI calculation?)
Buy Blog Comments pays about 0.20$ per post.
Pay per Post pays "from $5 to several thousands of dollars" (the more traffic you have, the more you earn)
Review Me pays "$20.00 to $200.00 for each completed review that you post on your site"
(if anybody konws more of these services, please let me know!)

But there is something else.
What if paid comments will become a norm in the future?
Will it happen something different from magazines?
Or TV?


Bring the love back



What people want (to look at)?
How many times do we have visualized a place?

This map give some answers, at least about Virtual Earth users:
"the darker a point, the more times it has been downloaded"

Waiting to be able to filter datas per periods, or geographic locations of the viewers (who and when looks at what) it is interesting to see notice that most beautiful places of Italy are... forgotten!

(Existing map has been built with datas collected in the first six months of 2006).

Via: Datamining


Automatic Grocery Shop

This is a very useful machine.

Here in Italy we don't have 7eleven shops,
so if you're hungry during the night, or if you forgot to buy something during the day...
well you can only ring to your neighbour.
One of the biggest grocery chains, has installed the first automatic grocery shop.
You select the products, insert the money, and take your shop (bag included)
Prices are obviously higher, but you know... when you need something...

But we should probably think of the premium price like a ticket to pay.
A ticket to enter that wonderful world that is our deepest self.
This machine will allow us to keep all our bad habits, without having to be false with our neighbours
- no more headphones in the night,
- no more cuddles to the dog,
- no more smiles in the morning

We don't need that "glass of milk", ot that "just one egg", anymore!
It's the end of a slavery, don't tell me it is just an automatic machine.

Here is a video (in italian)


Web Strategy: How to evolve your irrilevant Corporate website

Italian translation of a Jeremiah Owyang's post.

Il Web Marketing tradizionale deve crescere, e questo post vuole mettere in moto la prossima generazione.

Che cos’è un sito Corporate?
E’ quel dominio che viene indicato dopo ogni annuncio pubblicitario, e dove è possibile reperire maggiori informazioni sull’azienda… ci siamo capiti è: aziendax.com

Ma ci siamo stancati del sito Corporate e del suo modo di parlare felice e tipicamente markettaro. Con tutte quelle foto da banca immagini che ritraggono i soliti tizi in pose intelligenti o ragazze affollate attorno ad un computer mentre vanno in estasi per il prodotto. Con le rassegne stampa piene di elogi, le tesimonianze di consumatori soddisfatti e le schiere di ritratti di direttori e quadri, e con le donazioni a scopo benefico che l’azienda non smette di fare. Un unico punto di vista che non finisce mai.

Nonostante un po’ di traffico possa aumentare, questo incremento non è certo un indice utile a capire come il tuo sito Corporate viene usato. Le analisi non ti dicono perché la gente visita il tuo sito, e potrebbe non essere per la ragione che ti aspetti

Il sito web corporate è un’incredible susseguirsi di esagerazioni e testimonianze a favore dell’azienda. Il risultato è che la fiducia viene data a tutt’altre fonti e in tutt’altri luoghi su internet

Perché il tuo sito web è irrilevante?
Il marketing si è evoluto: non si esaurisce più in due soli domini.
Molti web marketers credono che le battaglie si debbano combattere solo attraverso i risultati di ricerca di Google e il sito corporate. In realtà, il marketing nel frattempo ha saputo guardarsi attorono ed incontrare nuove aree. Aree dove avvengono le conversazioni: social networks, rating sites, chat rooms, e persino blogs.
Ho dedicato un post intero alle ragioni per cui il marketing non si esaurisce in quei due soli domini

Le decisioni vengono prese prima di andare al sito Corporate.
Ieri ero a pranzo con una studentessa del college. Mi ha detto che i suoi coetanei decidono cosa comprare principalmente attraverso i rating sites e il confronto con i loro pari. Usano programmi di Istant Messaging, Facebook, (ed altri solcial network) e solo raramente digitano direttamente il nome di un sito Corporate.
Se questo è vero, ne possiamo desumere che i prospect prendono l eproprie decisioni su altri siti web, PRIMA che essi giungano al sito corporate in cerca delle informazioni di prodotto.

Le informazioni di prodotto
Per legge, le aziende devono rendere pubbliche le specifiche relative al prodotto, e questo è un motivo molto importante per l’uso dei siti Corporate. Ad ogni modo, continuando la mia conversazione con la giovane ragazza della Generazione Y, è emerso che lei tende ad usare i siti Corporate in cerca delle carattteristiche del prodotto e del prezzo, ma ciò avviene solo dopo aver preso una decisione; è la decisione è basata sui feedback dei suoi pari.

Il futuro e come rimanere interessanti

I siti web sono creati assieme ai consumatori
Questo è difficle da credere, ma è facile prevedere che i siti più rilevanti in futuro saranno quelli costruiti a quattro mani da impiegati e consumatori. I siti più efficaci avranno un punto di vista molto più equilibrato, frutto sia di coloro che lavorano sul prodotto sia dei consumatori – persino se dovessero avere delle lamentele sul prodotto stesso

Appariranno testimonianze non filtrate
Non sarai più il solo a pubblicare sul tuo sito. Consumatori, prospect, ed altri membri della comunità avranno accesso diretto a pubblicare materiali sul sito. Certo, ci saranno controlli per esser sicuri che i contenuti corrispondano al vero, ma sarà evidente che a parlare non sarà soltanto la voce del dipartimento marketing

I contributi mostreranno opinioni positive e negative sui prodotti
Questa è difficle da mandar giù, ma come costruisci la fiducia? Attraverso l’apertura, l’autenticità e la trasparenza al mercato. Sappiamo dagli studi fatti in merito che la maggior fiducia viene riposta in quelli “come me”. Chi avrà buon senso, dunque, favorirà la nascita dei contenuti provenienti dai consumatori e dal mercato stesso. Non saranno sempre elogi e complimenti, infatti potranno anche essere critiche delle più esplicite; l’obiettivo? Ottenere dei feedback, e mostrare apertamente e sotto gli occhi di tutti, la nostra capacità di migliorare. Un caso da studiare: Dell ha fatto questo con IdeaStorm

Il tuo sito web diventerà una risorsa per la comunità
Ciò significa che metterai i consumatori al primo posto. No. Veramente. Intendevo proprio quello che ho scritto. Significa esporre analisi e risultati, anche ad uso dei competitors, e creare dei link ai competitor stessi
Follia? Feci questo nel mio precedente incarico di Community Manager, creai un wiki per i consumatori che linkava i competitor, e ciò aumentò la mia rilevanza nel settore.

Il sito corporate del futuro sarà una fonte credibile di opinoni e di fatti, creato da entrambi: azienda e comunità. Il risultato? Un vero punto di riferimento per la comunità stessa in cui il flusso di informazioni disponibili porterà a migliori prodotti e migliori servizi

I consumatori renderanno il tuo sito il primo luogo dove cercare per avere informazioni. La fiducia crescerà e tu potresti essere in grado di costruire prodotti e servizi migliori con feedback in tempo reale. Cosa ancora più importante, sarai considerato una risorsa per la comunità che di rimando ti aiuterà a soddisfare più velocemente i bisogni della tua clientela

Essere visionari
Inizieremo a vedere consumatori che daranno il proprio contributo a scrivere newsletter, utenti votare, classificare e giudicare le caratteristiche che maggiormente li interessano e che vogliono veder migliorate, team di prodotto che lavorano direttamente con i consumatori in tempo reale, ed anche i consumatori aiutarsi e darsi supporto a vicenda.

Thanks Jeremiah!

About Promotions

via: eMarketer


Fiat 500 buzz

Some trends from Blogpulse.
It is interesting to see how the new model "500" affected the buzz around the company.

Launch event: Fiat 500

Yesterday night the launch event,
I would expect something... different.
It has been a very expensive and spectacular event, fireworks, great coreography, moving platform on the river, 7000 people wathcing it live, and one hour of live tv show.
But... well, the flavour...: reading it one could find Fiat-corporation-would-be-values,
but no Fiat 500 values.
It is a pretty nice car, small, good design, creative mood, fresh appeal...
I expected something fresh and new, something unusual and "out of the box".
That's exactly what Fiorello brought... that's exactly the reason we Italians have found a new interest in Fiat image.
Fiat showed the ability to joke with its brand.
That was damn new and unexpected!
Not the same music, dancers, and fireworks that we saw for the olympic games (I think they would hardly work even for Fiat Croma)
Next time, please, spend less, surprise more, and if you don't knw what to do... call Fiorello!


Fiat: good job

Not many years ago, Fiat had just one meaning: the cheapest choice.
Today we see guys, here in Italy, that proudly show the brand (the one in the picture, is about twenty years old)
Something to add?
Yes: good job.


Direct Marketing Strategy

Waste bin is too near, too easy to reach.

Some ideas to scare him?
Or to attract him elsewhere?
Or to make people hate him?
Or to make letters bin-repellent?

Beware of Waste Bin.
He seems harmless, but he's not,
he's voracious and dangerous
he never sleeps,
he is never tired,
works 24/24 7/7 365/365
no salary
low cost
extremely powerful:
can fire people.


Books have commonly a so boring "image".
The promise still strive to communicate as much as the object.
They can hardly be considered "appealing", to uncover their magic,
one need to love them.



Here it is: the next big thing (?)

In my opinion it is another Instant Messaging program,
but that's probably because I really don't understand.

Here you can find some more information.
i personally requested to use it... let's see if it will all be clearer after usage.
Via: Jeremiah Owyang