Welcome to 2009

February 19, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Firstly, pleased to announce that Babelfish has joined forces with Rdois marketing and Communications to form a new company named AQUARIUM. Details of service offerings are in our Creds presentation on Slideshare.

Good news, less emails and a monthly overview / analysis of key topics. You can still track ongoing articles on the ‘Articles we’re reading’ page and other stuff on ‘Other oxygen’ page. The Blog will continue to be called Babelfish… because frankly it was too good a concept to lose. We have migrated content to the new blog (so some of you will have to re-set your RSS feeds.

Cheers

Babelfish

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BABELFISH – Top Headlines October 28, 2008

October 28, 2008 at 6:43 am | Posted in Digital thinking, General, Innovation, Strategic planning | Leave a comment

 

Nielsen: This Is Your Brain On Advertising | Mediapost

Rough Seas Ahead? Digital shops ride the waves of uncertainty | Adweek

Marketers: Fire Your Agency If… | Mediapost

Google’s Schmidt To Web Sites: Don’t Be Evil | Mediapost

Three Ways The Credit Crisis Is Impacting Online Video | Mediapost

An OMMA Journey: Search Future | Mediapost

What’s in a Name: From Lists To Segmentation | Mediapost

Dissecting The Future According To Google: Mobile Web | Organic Three Minds

The Difference Between Tactical and Strategic Media Planning | Mediapost

The Future Of Media: Gaby Darbyshire, VP, Gawker Media | Mediapost

Consumers Deem TV Most ‘Credible’, Online 3RD (Ahead Of Mags) | Mediapost

Google To Decode Social Networks | Mediapost

The Definition: What Makes A “Digital Native” Different? | Organic Three Minds

What Does It Take To Raise A Digital Native? | Organic Three Minds

Great Premise, Good Production Values, BUT… | Mediapost

Design: The Center of the Circle | Mediapost

Strategic Thinking 3.0 A media forecast for 2009 | Adweek

Transforming TV From Medium to Platform – A new addressable system | Adweek

Viva La Evolution! Get More Return On Insight | Experience Matters

Confidence Erodes Among U.S. Ad Execs, Budgets Expected To Decline | Mediapost

The Coming eRevolution in Online Marketing | Adotas

 

ESOMAR Congress 2008 BLOG

Day one: Coca-Cola’s management of its brand equity

Day one: Research intervenes in developing markets

Day one: From the pursuit of truth to meeting the needs of sophisticated urban consumers

Day two: My, myself and I

Day two: People power

Day two: Mastering the “metaverse”

Day two: Calling back – Nokia’s recycling initiative

Day three: Why clients need different researchers

Day three: Measuring emotions with metaphors

 

If you have a few more spare minutes, here are some past BABELFISH blog posts.


11 trends / effects of the economic crisis on Marketing & Communications in 2009

The secrets to harnessing innovation (notes from presentation @ Proxxima 2008).

Communications design: Not a cheap pick-up line, but brands longing for true-love

The opportunity cost of over-engineering / over-producing TV Commercials

7 considerations when deciding the most appropriate budget mix for traditional and emerging communication content forms and contact vehicles?

“I want to have more digital?” - Transition management

Is Molecular Marketing a solution when mass messaging stops working?

8 easy steps to optimizing the value of content in the digital era

The largest barrier to digital growth – demons of the past, digital silos & evangelism

Forrester: Agencies Need to Reboot

11 trends / effects of the economic crisis on Marketing & Communications in 2009

October 23, 2008 at 10:25 am | Posted in Control, Conversation, Customisation, Disruption, General, Innovation, Integration, Mass, Metrics, Segmentation, Strategic planning, Trends | 1 Comment

1. Fragmentation of mass audiences to continue

a. For people who have passed a disruption line, expectations have already permanently changed. These shifts in expectations (control, customization, conversation, connection) can not be undone.

b. Fragmentation process / access to disruptive devices will slow (restricted access to credit – especially for middle class)

c. The only things that variable that can be disrupted is the overall value proposition e.g price related, perceived value and other brand related attributes

2. Discretionary content expenditure under scrutiny

a. Need to buy / construct customer / consumer loyalty

b. Focus on subscription packages rather than a-la-carte (e.g. newsstand sales will suffer)

c. Free content to thrive

3. Less innovation

a. R&D to be reduced

b. Fewer software upgrades

c. Less interface development – focus on existing or standardized formats etc to drive efficiencies

4. Safe harbor

a. Clients will become risk averse

b. Increased need to understand the risk profile of decision stakeholders

c. Intelligence & Research will be reduced chasing short term results

d. Standardised / tried and true interfaces / formats

5. No major events

a. Fewer annual event sponsorship packages

b. Pressure on visibility properties

c. Focus on message segmentation (rather than content separation)

6. Increased need for alignment and integration

a. Lots of desperate tactical proposals (media vehicles & agencies in survival mode)

b. Essential to agree to what is of value (can be integrated, aligned with core idea)

7. Tactical flexibility

a. No major events – focus on tactical buys

b. Variable, highly sensitive demand driven market

8. Increased focus on accountability and efficiency

a. Need to align metrics with business goals / KPIs

b. Need to define success (impossible to measure results without predefined success parameters)

c. Reduction in the number of campaign content pieces (fewer better quality, planning content to be versatile across platforms)

9. Focus on loyalty

a. Consumers / customers, under pressure, will be more promiscuous and more likely to challenge premium priced / value added products and services

b. Concentration of sales strategies – 80/20 rule – consolidate heavy user business

c. Branding & relevant customer conversation becoming more important.

d. Get closer to customers to reduce tactical promotion driven churn

e. Increased power of trusted advocacy e.g. word-of-mouth (free, credible, easily found e.g. blogs)

10. Content costs

a. Increased global content distribution to leverage critical mass

b. Imported content costs increasing – favors local content producers

11. Tension between mass and segmented marketing (targeting and messaging)

a. Mass appears to be efficient (based on tactical execution metrics), but has a generalised message and significant impact wastage.

b. Segmented marketing has a better probability of message relevance and ROI (Strategic metrics)

BABELFISH – Top Headlines September 25, 2008

September 25, 2008 at 6:23 pm | Posted in Agency Model, Digital thinking, Integration, Segmentation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Firstly, sorry for being off the grid over the last month. Wired again….so here we go…

Y Moms Connect Through The Internet; X Moms Task | Mediapost

Why you should be interested: This puts some meat to the theory that younger people use web tools mainly for socializing, while young adults tend to be more objective in their web use (i.e. as they balance work needs with personal entertainment / socializing)

Your Data With Destiny | AdAge

Why you should be interested: Although his reference to `post advertising age` is a bit sensational, in general a very goods article by Bob Garfield that gives some good examples of how path-to-purchases are being disrupted, how technology is helping attend to increased needs for segmentation and data and insight extrapolation.

I (heart) Google Chrome | Experiencematters

Why you should be interested: Chrome, Googles new web browser (to compete with Microsofts ubiquitous Internet Explorer) is a major disruptor because it redefines how browsers work. In short, Chrome is faster than existing browsers because it processes information in parallel.

Part 1 of 3: Future Interfaces Will Be More Natural | Organic Three Minds

Part 2 of 3: Future Interfaces Will Be More Intelligent | Organic Three Minds

Part 3 of 3: Future Interfaces Will Be Everywhere | Organic Three Minds

Why you should be interested: As we move from standardized analogue interfaces to new user controlled digital interfaces, we need to understand what tools we have to play with to best present out content and experience. These rather detailed articles dimensionalize the dynamics of interface design and start to explain in laymans terms, the challenges we have ahead.

Branding in a New Dimension – How to build a brand and a relationship in a Web 2.0 world | Adweek

A Holistic Approach – It’s time to bring all media under a single umbrella | Adweek ~ Bob Greenberg

Why you should be interested: A couple of good articles from Bob Greenberg depicting how digital is changing the process of branding and is forcing integration between disciplines. He gives some good examples of how brands need to redefine the way they present themselves because of digital environments e.g. how does a brand move, what does a logo sound like.. and I would add other sensorial stimulation e.g. how does a brand smell etc

The Metrics Maze – Am I Lost? | Mediapost

Measurement Hurdle for New Media | ADWEEK ONLINE
Why you should be interested: `If you dont aim at anything, the chances are that you will hit nothing` Pretty obvious, but an area that forces client and suppliers to:

1) audit your measurement capabilities (separating strategic and executional),

2) define success (because at the end of the day we all get paid to meet our goals)

3) set realistic measurement KPI’s that cascade up to business goals

4) develop tools / structures to measure success and

5) set a plan to evolve all off the above over time

Google Strikes Partnership With NBC to Expand in TV Advertising | New York Times
Is The Future of Media Buying Already Here? | Mediapost
Google to be arbitrageur for NBCs cable NETWORKS | WARC

Why you should be interested: An interesting pilot program for Google to extend its sales and inventory management tools to other media. A logical step for media vehicles to maximize revenue for often unsold or undervalued space. One more step towards the commoditization of media space that increases the need for old style agencies / media shops to develop a new value propositions for clients.

If you have a few more spare minutes, a more extensive list of headlines is available – click here: BABELFISH Full latest headlines.

BABELFISH – Top Headlines August 29, 2008

August 30, 2008 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Control, Digital thinking, Disruption, General, Integration, Mobility, Segmentation, Strategic planning, Through-the-funnel, Top-of-the-funnel, Traditional, video | Leave a comment

Survey: Many executives say on-the-job Web surfing is OK | The Business Journal
Why you should be interested:  One of the biggest challenges in corporations is to foster a digital culture. Obviously, web based tools and enterprise content access systems can generate considerable efficiencies. Web based tools encourage self service / pull information rather than companies having to hire people to manually push content out to users.

The line gets blurry when managers see staff appearing to waste time on Instant Messenger or in non-work related social community blogs. Flipping the coin, hypocritical corporations can’t ban at work social web use while they continue to invade employee personal time with intrusive devices like Smartphones / Blackberrys (always on / always connected to boss and client syndrome).

Similar to corporate policies regarding access to pornography, companies can establish rules of engagement without over-policing staff (or causing unnecessary tension between work and personal functions). Sure, employees need to respectful and have some limits on socializing during work hours, but a the same time, managerial styles need to change to reflect disrupted consumer expectations, especially regarding control, multitasking, content rights management, collaboration and networking.

Blocking access to information and tools that encourage digital culture is short-term corporate thinking. Maybe corporations need to cater to the growing expectation to balance / multitask personal and work based content consumption and integrated social and work based tools (like the way people use IM).

 

Yahoo Launches Fire Eagle To Manage Location-Based Information | Washington Post
Mobile phones will become main marketing tool: KV Kamath | The Economic Times

‘Sports Illustrated’ Sells Ads Via Online Auction | Advertising Age
Why you should be interested:  Location based targeting is the emerging frontier of segmented marketing. It is liberating small to medium sized businesses to use once mass media content forms and vehicles.

The pioneers in this area are the US cable companies e.g. Comcast. They have been able to isolate demographically (and behaviorally) down to specific households (based on Cable TV billing details and viewing habits)

Geographic or location based targeting, is complicated and limited via traditional internet alone. Most people connect to the internet via an ISP (Internet Service Provider). The problem is that ISP’s are not organized geographically (you could be using an ISP backbone based in India for all you know). Hence, to geographically isolate information via internet, the user either has to nominate where they are (e.g. a drop down menu on entry…resulting in extra clicks) or we have to ask consumers to register and provide their geographic location.

Mobile is opening up a whole new level of geographic targeting because it allows marketers to send messages to consumers within a specific location (Via Bluetooth or Infrared) or target people in a specific region relative to the internet base station that they are using to connect. This opens up efficient marketing opportunities to a whole new market of local businesses.

Another linked trend is the development of low cost / template based content generation / management tools e.g. SpotRunner. These tools facilitate good quality, extremely dynamic production, flexible for localized versioning, at a very low cost.

Lastly, internet based bidding systems are allowing vehicles to efficiently monetize once fragmented, unsellable or undervalued space.

When you link the three efficient elements (Space + Content + Targeting), you have a functioning version of the accountable and dynamic future of marketing.

 

Imagining a World of Interactive Movie Theaters | Advertising Age
Why you should be interested:  Without sounding like an advertisement, cinema inherently has many qualities that attend to the needs of the digital era, including: a) an  attentive, captive audience, with few distractions b) one of richest and most efficient content forms in video c) geographically and behaviorally segmented audiences.

Arguably, live performance / interaction is the most powerful content form because: a) it’s ability to engage all of the senses (including smell and temperature), b) ability to adjust messaging on the fly to the audience mood c) geographically and behaviorally segmented audiences d) facility to offer product samples and value added material e) ability to easily measure exit attitudes and opinions.

As many music performers have already discovered, when you combine the two, video with interactivity, you have a very powerful experience. Moving forward, when you incorporate automated feedback mechanisms e.g. using mobile devices / phones, the cinema environment becomes a very powerful marketing tool.

 

ZAP & BuscaPe Unite to Integrate Classified Ads and Online Shopping in Brazil | PR Newswire
Why you should be interested:  BuscaPe is a price comparison site. Zap is an online version of traditional newspaper classifieds. The combination of the two provides significant scale and a richer online shopping experience journey (both new and used products). As e-commerce business models mature, keep an eye out for these disruptive mergers / integration of tools and content to gain a competitive value added advantage.

 

If you have a few more spare minutes, a more extensive list of headlines is available – click here: BABELFISH Full latest headlines

BABELFISH – Top Headlines August 5, 2008

August 5, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Agency Model, Control, Conversation, Customisation, Digital thinking, Disruption, General, Infrastructure, Innovation, Integration, Mass, Path-to-purchase, Segmentation, Strategic planning, Through-the-funnel, Top-of-the-funnel | Leave a comment

Why the Internet Enhances TV Advertising | Advertising Age
Why you should be interested: Cheap cost-per-thousand distribution combined with an extremely powerful content form in video, has helped sustain TV advertising as the default weapon of mass distribution. 

 

Many a client has been heard to scream in frustration at the relatively unaccountable nature of mass demand generation. What happens in the cloud of uncertainty between the mass demand building message and the moment the customer walks in the shop door to purchase??

 

Fragmentation of this mass distribution power combined with new tools that enable segmentation of messaging are setting mew marketing practice precedents and challenging the concentration of marketing efforts in mass messaging.

 

Along this complex path to consideration, purchase intent and ultimate purchase, marketers now are acknowledging that there is a delicate balance mass demand generation and segmented messaging.

 

TV will still remain a powerful mass demand generator, but the world of segmented content distribution, led by the internet is where the exciting stuff is happening.

 

Consumers find ads in long-form online video ‘reasonable’ | BizReport
Are Short Videos Best for the Web? | eMarketer
Why you should be interested: Moving from a world of standardized content lengths to a more free-form environment, we need to test the elasticity / expectation of users. Of course the answer is ..the form and duration of content depends on the idea / message objective. This study shows that users will tolerate longer form video content on the relatively smaller computer screen, although I believe that the motive is more convenience of on-demand than preferred viewing experience.

 

Digital ad agency reaches out to old media | Washington Post
Why you should be interested: For many years, digital agencies have been building credibility / equity with clients by getting closer to their business, building segmented messaging strategies and providing measurable results. So, it is no surprise that digital agencies are trying to leverage this equity by expanding services into the relatively vacant strategic space left by the once dominant big mass messaging agencies. Big agency culture provides many barriers to change, and arguably, in the short to medium-term, digital agencies are in a very good position to find fertile revenue growth in the integrated strategic planning space.

 

Recognizing Transformation Triggers…Before It’s Too Late | Accenture

Why you should be interested: One of the greatest challenges for any organization is to gauge how aggressive they need to be in building capabilities in a dynamic marketplace.

 

Change in the communication space is manifesting itself in two forms 1) The need for communication innovation (driven by content distribution fragmentation and consumers resistance to irrelevant messages) 2) The need for always-on content (to facilitate brand related conversation and answer specific questions to influence purchase decisions). The iterative steps to achieve competitiveness are logical, but the eternal question remains as to how fast do marketers need to change.

 

This very good article argues that for significantly disruptive change `It is crucial to spot the impending danger early on and make fundamental rather than incremental change`

 

If you have a few more spare minutes, a more extensive list of headlines is available – click here: BABELFISH Full latest headlines

 

 

 

 

 

 

BABELFISH – Top Headlines July 22, 2008

July 22, 2008 at 10:26 am | Posted in Control, Infrastructure, Integration, Metrics, Search | 1 Comment

The Internet’s Hierarchy of Needs | vortexdna

Why you should be interested: An interesting set rationale and a good read. As a cautionary observation, I fundamentally disagree that the internet is changing people’s needs. Digital experiences are changing habits & expectations of how the needs are fulfilled, but the basic needs as defined by Maslow remain true. i.e. people have the same needs, but are just using different tools to fulfill them. On a similar note, we need to be careful not to create unnecessary jargon that potentially complicates issues and alienates stakeholders in the marketing approval process. In general, jargon increases perceived risk. Hence, creates counter-productive barriers to digital adoption and integration. 

 

Web 2.0 Control Moves From Marketing to IT | eWEEK
Why you should be interested: There has always been confusion and an internal political battle over who controls company web sites. Although, I think the loose reference to web 2.0 here confuses the issue. People naturally resist a change that appears to reduce their perceived domain of responsibility (particularly when it comes to such a high profile topic such as `digital`). A move of web site control simply reflects the need for increasingly sophisticated technology infrastructure e.g. information / database management. In my mind, the function of a web site needs to be divided into two areas: Strategic and executional. Marketing departments should be less worried about executional control and more worried about messaging / experience strategies, analyzing the data supplied by the technology, and fine tuning the content. Sure, any innovation agenda and interface R&D should be a shared responsibility, but leave the executional technology part to core competency specialists who do it best.

 

5 Immutable Laws Of Marketing Measurement | Mediapost

Why you should be interested: Measurement is one of our greatest mid-term challenges in marketing. Defining relevant and measurable KPI’s and setting a measurement infrastructure to measure cause and effect is an iterative transitional process.

Generally, metrics can be divided into three broad groups: Transactional, Experiential & Executional. Each of these three should evolve in sophistication as your marketing structure evolves. We must remember that metrics and KPI’s are all about establishing relative performance expectations. It’s nice to be leading change, but we don’t get rewarded for setting goals too high / too sophisticated and not achieving them.

The biggest trap is to get seduced by metrics that provide no clear conclusion / implication (because we can now measure them). Granular metrics are a distraction unless they clearly cascade to contribute to overall Personal / Brand / Product KPI’s.

Emarketing pure-plays are the metric trailblazer because they have a lot more control over their ecosystem.  Hence, they can confidently draw correlations between cause and effect. Measurement is much more difficult when the purchase decision is affected by less measurable offline factors.

The secret is to know your infrastructure limitations. Sure, set stretch goals, but keep metrics focused and simple until you build a more sophisticated infrastructure / capabilities.

 

Employee Brands Must Be Part Of Your Search Marketing Strategy | Mediapost

Why you should be interested: Employees can be the strongest brand advocates and in consumers minds often represent brand / corporation values.

 

Will Brick-and-Mortar retailers ban the iPhone (and other mobile phones)? | Customer Experience Labs

Why you should be interested: The dynamic and empowering nature of online price comparison is a powerful disruptive tool and poses a threat to traditional retail pricing practices.

 

If you have a few more spare minutes, a more extensive list of headlines is available – click here: BABELFISH Full latest headlines

BABELFISH – Top Headlines July 14, 2008

July 15, 2008 at 9:23 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment

 

Social Media Demands A Reinvented Agency | Medipost

Agencies: Reinvented Or Replaced | Mediapost

Obama and the “We” Generation | Henry Jenkins

Behavioral Targeting Making Massive Strides due to Richer Segmentation, Higher Engagement and Increased Audience Fragmentation | Revenue Science

Location-Based Party Hopping Gets Interactive in New York City | PR Newswire

Online Reviews Sway Shoppers | eMarketer

If you have a few more spare minutes, a more extensive list of headlines is available – click here: BABELFISH Full latest headlines

BABELFISH – Top Headlines July 7, 2008

July 7, 2008 at 8:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Managing a Web 2.0 Strategy | Financial Times

Is Google Making Us Stupid? | The Atlantic

As Web Traffic Grows, Crashes Take Bigger Toll | New York Times

Are we what we Google? | MSNBC

Many Dial-Up Users Don’t Want Broadband | Time

Behavioral targeting: Google puts cookies to work | International Herald Tribune

If you have a few more spare minutes, a more extensive list of headlines is available – click here: BABELFISH Full latest headlines

BABELFISH – Top Headlines June 30, 2008

July 2, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Key To Keyword Search Advertising | Forbes.com

Crafting TV Ads for the Digital Age | Advertising Age

BlackBerries, blogs create overtime work disputes | USA TODAY

Keller Fay/OMD Study Finds Offline Word of Mouth More Positive and Credible than Online Buzz | Quote Media

New Yankelovich Study Reveals Traditional Media Are More Effective Than Digital Media | PR Newswire

The 13 Most Popular Methods for User Centered Design | customer-experience-labs

A Selection of articles on Customer Experience Management | costomer-experience-labs

ROI Needed: Offline Companies Please Apply | Adotas

Facebook flash mob pull public freeze prank | News.com.au

Illegal ‘dipping’ parties on Google Earth | News.com.au

NBC Reminded That In Web 2.0, News Won’t Keep | Daily online examiner

New Netiquette? | Mediapost

If you have a few more spare minutes, a more extensive list of headlines is available – click here: BABELFISH Full latest headlines

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