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Month: November 2006

Link Building Strategy – “SEO’s Holy Grail” (Part 2)

In the first part of this post, I discussed the importance of link relevancy and consistency to a link building campaign. In this part, I…

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Robin Whalen On The CMA’s Direct Marketing Conference

Robin Whalen, conference chair at the CMA’s Direct Marketing Conference and Group Account Director at MacLaren McCann, shares her impressions after the conference.

In this 1:44 video clip Robin talks about how the CMA tried new formats at the conference, such as concurrent lectures and unconferences, to bring a new twist to this annual event.

Click to watch the video.

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Five Questions For Mark Goodman, CEO Twist Image

Mark Goodman is the CEO of Twist Image. Twist Image is an award-winning digital marketing agency that connects today’s channels to tomorrow’s world by applying technology at every marketing stage and all consumer touch points. Mark was the Founder and President of FCB Direct which he helped build into one of Canada’s largest Direct Marketing agencies. He is a Board Member of the Canadian Marketing Association and is a recipient of the prestigious “Top 40 Under 40” Award from the Globe & Mail Report on Business Magazine.

One Degree: FCB to Twist Image is a big leap. What do you expect the major difference to be from your traditional agency experience and what you’ll find at Twist Image?

Not as big of a leap as one might think. At the foundation, marketing strategy development practices are similar between direct and digital. We create communications programs that revolve around creativity, targeting, offer structure, testing and measuring every step of the way. Of course, there is such a strong history of knowledge in the database marketing world to draw from, whereas in digital, the road is still being paved. So we need to balance the two strategies; in direct, we can almost guarantee a certain result, in digital, it takes a few more iterations to find the sweet spot.

The big difference is in the philosophy of the Agency and the team. Marketing in the interactive space is evolving so quickly. Twist Image has been successful by knowing where the space, and consumers, are heading. It is pretty much a full time job for us to stay at this leading edge to ensure our clients continue to win in marketing. Oh yes, one more thing. Speed of business is much faster online. We start and finish projects in hours, not weeks.

One Degree: You’ve got a solid direct marketing background. How do you think Direct Marketers have done when it comes to leveraging their experience when moving to the Internet?

I think direct marketers are a natural for online marketing. Both share a science for their disciplines, and both understand the importance of measuring results from prospecting right through to the final sale and continuing on to evaluate lifetime value of customers. Another core strength of direct marketing is in the rigour of testing. That has translated seamlessly to the online world. One other aspect comes to mind as well. Direct has always made interactivity with the communication a significant part of the creative because it generates more engagement with the offer and a better response. I have seen some great examples of online marketers using this practice with great success.

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QotD: Can A Video Card Have Friends?

A while ago Matt Williams sent me this…

I was just downloading the latest nVidia drivers for my new GFX card and guess what? nVidia has their own “MySpace page”: Is this a new, serious marketing medium?
I always thought of MySpace to be a social networking site, but how do you socialize with a corporation that manufactures graphics cards? Are they just out there to get people who use their cards to be “friends” to advertise the strength of their product? Are they hoping that the friends of these people will see their buddies using the nVidia cards and follow suit?

So, let’s help Matt out here folks. What do you think of the nVidia Myspace page and the concept of companies engaging in social networks this way.

Comment below and share your wisdom…


Five Questions For James Sherrett, AdHack

James Sherrett is the man behind AdHack, a new "Do It Yourself Advertising Community”.  Hailing originally from Winnipeg, he moved to Vancouver in 1998, and began working in large companies, at the intersection point between technology, culture, creativity, and communications. In addition to creating AdHack, James is a published author, an amateur photographer, and runs his own consulting firm; Work Industries.

One Degree: You describe Adhack as a “Do It Yourself Advertising Community”.  What the heck does that mean?

First of all, ‘do-it-yourself.’ To me, do-it-yourself means:

  • The masses (all of us) have seized the tools required to make professional ads
  • We’re voicing our opinions in public spaces: blogs, review sites, word of mouth
  • We’re connecting with each other in innovative ways
  • We’re looking at existing ads and thinking, “I can do better than that.”

AdHack is the manifestation of our collective conversations about the things we buy. What does that mean? Here’s a real-world scenario. My brother Scott and I do triathlons together. We’re beginners but we’re keen. He’s just earned his annual bonus at work and wants to buy a bike. He asks me about my bike, a Trek 1200. I tell him it rocks my socks: I love riding it, it was the right price for me, I can upgrade the components when I want, it’s light and sturdy and I feel like I can fly when I’m on it.

That quick conversation with me about the bike is the way my brother and I, and most people, make many of our purchase decisions. We ask people we know, people we trust about their experiences. It’s also how lots of us love to share our experiences. By adding my story to AdHack I can help other people who are also looking for a bike.

Enter the ‘advertising community’ part of AdHack. I love the bike so much that I add my story of the Trek 1200 to AdHack – as a video, a written note, photos, audio. It doesn’t matter, AdHack accepts all media. My story is credible, my other opinions and offerings to the site make me a trusted source, other members of the AdHack community back up my claims regarding the bike, and my story gains a certain popularity. AdHack can then approach Trek and show them the community and excitement around this particular bike, and basically sell the ad or ad concepts to Trek. AdHack splits that payment with the community member(s) who contributed the ad.

Or, my story of buying a Trek 1200 could have been scathing. The gears stick, the frame rivets are starting to rust and I feel nervous descending hills because the bike feels like it’s coming apart at the seams. I tell that story on AdHack and it resonates, building a momentum, because it’s the real deal. AdHack takes that feedback to Trek and helps them drive product innovation from it, delivering the real-world feedback on their product. All kinds of other opportunities can then present themselves. Companies can commission ads from the AdHack community. Companies can test ads in the AdHack community. We can make t-shirts. The possibilities become pretty endless as long as keep it authentic for the community.

One Degree: What’s wrong with the way we make ads now?

There are plenty of folks doing great thinking and writing about what’s wrong with the way we make ads now (Russell Davies, Umair Haque, Scott Karp, the folks at Leo Burnett Toronto, Joseph Jaffe) so I’ll defer to their expertise on that question. My focus with AdHack is on how to get better ads – ads that mean something to the people who make them and ads that mean something to the people who watch / read / see / listen to them. Today almost every single ad I see has no value to me. I don’t know the person or people who made it. I don’t trust the message and I frankly don’t care. I think that AdHack can change that and invert the current structure so that we get ads that mean something.

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