The worst of Advertising?

In online advertising we see an evolution where are getting more and more targetted if possible, and less intrusive. Think about AdWords from Google, or compare how ad-clean Windows Live Mail is looking versus the classic Hotmail screen,… All signs of less ads and more related to what you’re interested in whenever that’s possible.


In the offline it sometimes seems like they’re going the other direction. When I read about “ads on conveyer belts” of a store’s checkout lanes, then I can only find that really bad… or creepy as AdAge points out. It shows once more how well this movie by Studio Smack really was (I wrote about that one here).

“Conveyor belts have never been on anybody’s radar screen for marketing,” said Frank Cox, president-CEO of EnVision Marketing Group, a Little Rock, Ark., firm with a patented system to print digital, photo-quality ads directly on conveyor belts. “But a store with eight to 10 checkout lanes, well, you’re talking about 100 square feet of wasted ad real estate.”

Yeah sure, AdRants has another interesting idea, maybe EnVision can take a look at that as well.

“Perhaps Cox should start calling hospitals to place ads on the ceilings of patient’s room. Now there’s a captive audience.”

Happy shopping!

[Via AdPulp | Emergence Marketing]

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Customer Experience Management

“Customer Experience Management helps the enterprise see the customer with the “right brain”—concerned with perceptions, feelings and interactions that are harder to quantify but oh so valuable, nonetheless. Instead of just looking at how valuable the customer is to the enterprise, CEM requires an inspection of the enterprise’s value to the customer. Rather than recording transactional information like leads, opportunities and average handle times, as many CRM systems do, CEM maps the experience from the customer point of view.”

Quote from The next generation of Customer Management, where Bob Thompson talks about how CRM is about acquisition and retention and where CEM is more about improving the customer relationship from the customer point of view. Interesting as well is how he devides CRM and CEM into the left and right part of our brain:

CRM – left brain

  • Customer’s value to enterprise
  • Systems and transactions
  • Functional value

CEM – right brain

  • Enterprise’s value to customer
  • People and interactions
  • Emotional value

Definitely worth to check out your own customer management programs to see if the balance between both elements is right. I will :-)

Where passion begins

I was pretty amused when reading this post from my colleague Kevin: 'passion starts with two simple words'. It was so recognisable, especially after a meeting I had earlier today where about building passion for brands. In this conversation some talked about how passion starts with end user satisfaction, building great products, … Maybe it does and yes it's probably part of it but when does this passion come to live, how do you get it? For sure giving great support only won't do the trick. And I think what Kevin is talking about is so much on the point, I also want the "F**king cool!" as a reaction on what we're doing. As a marketer this is indeed the type of reaction I want to get when putting things together, nice thought! Read full post here.

The Art of being Belgian

While I’m reading this book “The Art of being Belgian” there was an interesting piece that made me think of online advertising in Belgium versus the rest of Europe. Let me explain.

“The Art of being Belgian” is written by Richard Hill, an Englishman living in Belgium for more than 40 years, about his experiences of the country. In the second chapter he talks about Bunkers and bricks – “Belgium is a country invented by the Brittish to annoy the French”. It’s about a certain scepticism we have, developed through the ages.

When you have had almost every European nation marching through your living room (which someone with a deviant English sense of humour called the Lebensraum), it’s not surprising that you develop a defensive tick. That’s exactly what many Belgians have: a healthy scepticism plus a tendency to batten down the hatches at the slightest sign of trouble, what I call a ‘bunker complex’. History has taught them to react to developments rather than to initiate them. Hardly surprising in the circomstances!

What does this have to do with online? Well it made me think of the fact that we in Belgium are still way behind our European neighbours when it comes to ad spend online. We hardly have 2% of total media spend in invested in online, where the online spend in the UK for instance is already at about 6% if I’m not mistaken. Richard continues:

This bunker complex translates in daily life into an apparent suspicion of other people’s motives, particularly foreigners’ behaviour that is in stark contrast with the other overriding feature of he Belgian character, an innate humanity. It extends into business: the Swedish manager of a well-known photocopier company told me that, while he could sell his machines to the Dutch on the strength of a catalogue reference, the Belgians expected a week’s use of a demonstration model to make up their minds. This suspicion is evident in the problem of selling PCs on-line to the Belgians: Apple, Dell and HP have all had disappointing results.

So if you ask me, this might very well be the real reason why we are so much behind in online advertising spend versus our neighbours. My only question would be, how many free photocopiers must we send out before the market is convinced of the quality of the product?

Old news

This is old news, but I only found out recently and thought it was so cool that I just need to write about it. While I was writing my marketing plan a few weeks ago Matth send me this link with the presentation Dick Hardt did at OSCON 2005. That was already in October or so, but I hadn’t seen it before.

I love the unique flow of this presentation and although my marketing plan presentation had some good content, the presentation style was nowhere near to the one of Dick. Still I won’t easily forget this webcast anymore and hope to integrate one of the ideas in a presentation of my own. Or maybe ask the agency… Matth?


All marketers are liars

“Successful marketers are just the providers of stories that consumers choose to believe. Marketing is the story marketers tell to consumers, and then maybe, if the marketer has done a good job, the lie consumers tell themselves and their friends. Those stories are no longer reserved for television commercials or junk mail. They are everywhere.”

All marketers are liars [Seth Godin]

The Time to Act Is Now

RSS icon“If you do a marketing site and you don’t have an RSS feed today you should be fired. I’ll say it again. You should be fired if you do a marketing site without an RSS feed. Saying that RSS is only for geeks today is like saying in 1998 that the Web was only for geeks. No one knows how long this ‘honeymoon’ will last. But ride the wave – and get into search engines quickly, inexpensively – by submitting your RSS feeds to them.”
– Robert Scoble, Microsoft

Out of the presentation of Steve Olechowski (Feedburner) on the Emerce Update Traffic Metrics Event. Or read the Emerce interview with Steve here (NL).