Good morning execs,

hope your holidays were happy and safe.
while everyone else is recapping 2001 in
year-end reviews b/c they need to meet
adsales quotas, i'm giving you only what
you need to know, b/c i ain't got no steenkin'
ads. guess what? you can now access all
our newsletters & offer your feedback at our
online archive.
we are also finally accepting advertising
on this and over 17 other very popular sites
that have hired al berrios to represent them.
for info, email adsales@alberrios.com.
this issue is big. don't worry, its just been
three weeks, and you know the amount
of news that follows the end of one year
and the beginning of another. so, without
further adue, to those of you joining us
as of this issue, and to those of you that
have stuck around, enjoy.

CONTENTS: (i know, i know, it would
be easier if everything were hyperlinked.
don't worry, if you find it hard to read,
just imagine the time i had writing this solo.)

1. POST9/11: what's the consumer thinking.
2. RECRUITMENT: blowing up in 2002.
3. PERSONALS: big revenue opportunity?
4. ELEARNING: schools are out, net is in.
5. IM: the next marketing tool?
6. ETAILING: why the eBay way?
7. COMMUNITY: it works, but not why you think.
8. DESIGN: change is good for your brand.
9. GAYLESBIAN: is content overly sexual?
10. DIVERSIFICATION: take your brand offline.
11. AFAM: online, no one cares if you're black.
12. BET: why is this brand successful?
13. CRM: you want it? why? because...
14. INNOVATE: live customer support
15. SECTIONS: why aren't you doing this?
16. PREMIUMPRODUCTS: it'll work.
17. NETWORK: does it work?
18. EMAIL: won't work. what then?
19. PRIVACY: paying for trust or not.
20. CONSUMER: internet anonymity is valuable.
21. TEEN: new research
22. THEWEEKS: for the last 3 weeks

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios post9/11 ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

1. POST9/11: how do consumers feel
in the new year, with 9/11 not too far
behind? answer, relieved 2001 is over.
is it the same as online? no, online,
people were relieved by november.
why? b/c of the community building
nature of the internet. by 12pm, that
day, people were already using tools
like chat rooms and message boards
to ask questions, locate the missing,
and during the following weeks, grieve.
is 9/11 being kept alive only by media?
i read about this interesting question
and i think it is. w/the avg consumer
having so many media choices, the
media needs something to try and hold
on to the remaining readers, viewers,
listeners that they have.

BOTTOM LINE: has the avg consumer
moved on? yup.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios recruitment ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

2. RECRUITMENT: trend to watch.
online, it's the hottest thing. but how, in
this economy? perhaps you weren't
paying attention when Yahoo paid $436
million for HotJobs.

BOTTOM LINE: classifieds is a $60
billion dollar business offline. just imagine
the potential online, w/less cost to entry
for recruiters and so many people posting
resumes & looking for jobs? employers,
wouldn't you love having access to a pool
of millions of categorically targeted, qua-
lified choices as potential employees for
a fraction of the cost? would you believe
there's even a jobsinfasion.com? and for
you content pubs out there, in case you
missed that, that's millions of people
logging on to your site to post, manage,
and look for jobs.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios personals ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

3. PERSONALS: trend to watch. another
blazing market, quickly being exploited by
AOL, MATCH, NERVE and others. but
why? DUH! what's the internet all about?
interacting. to meet new people and find
out new things. i regularly chat with friends
in nebraska, california, and even brazil, never
even having met them. remember the classi-
fieds business

BOTTOM LINE: if you don't have community
building tools on your site, you're already in
trouble. and if you're not at least thinking
about a relationship facilitating service for your
community, then you're missing out on revenue.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios elearning ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

4. ELEARNING: trend to watch. books
are old school. newspapers and magazines
are relics. paper? who uses that anymore?
more and more people are getting educated
online. from the unemployed seeking to
increase their value by getting MBAs to
corporations educating workers as needed,
the internet has become an indispensable,
cost effective resource that will drive growth
as the internet matures.

BOTTOM LINE: everyone from for-
profit companies to traditional universities
are rolling out e-programs to compete.
and as these programs roll out, new demand
for design, hosting, traffic, data management,
and curriculum design in very very very
specific areas has got to be supplied. are
you ready? al berrios is.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios im ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

5. IM: trend to watch. as a marketing tool,
instant messenger hasn't really been cracked.
why? mostly b/c there's no global IM
standard. why? all the players are trying
to dominate a technology that builds com-
munity, lowers productivity costs, and reaches
close to 200 million folks. how can it be used
then? look for this to be the next horizon for

BOTTOM LINE: right now, software com-
panies are working on making a unifying soft-
ware where one can use all other IM software
thru one interface. others are concentrating
on producing auto buddies that can be used
to answer questions about brands, but this
would require users to know about this auto
buddy, go and download it, and remember to
use it. if you're involved with this, get ready
for an avalanche of investments.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios etailing ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

6. ETAILING: why don't e-tailers address
what consumers want, rather than simply
shoving things down their consumer's throats?
e-tailers such as Bluelight, Toys R Us &
Federated Department Stores dictate pro-
ducts, prices and only listen to the feedback
they select to. to date Bluelight has been
reigned in by parent KMart, toysrus.com is
now managed by Amazon, & Federated
suspended transactional functionality from
Macys.com. eBay is on track to make
$1 billion this year

BOTTOM LINE: by now you should
all know that i don't believe in ecommerce.
i believe in auction commerce. the eBay
way. not just because it works, but b/c
it gratifies all the most fundamental truths
of the human psyche: desire for negotiating,
desire to bargain hunt, desire to make $,
desire to interact, desire to choose. tra-
ditional e-tailers cannot ever deliver these
things to the extent that an eBay model
does. it's not just an opinion, it's the truth.

Costello, Daniel, "CPG Marketers Missing Online Opportunities", Customer Relationship Management, December 2001, p. 13

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios community ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

7. COMMUNITY: management consultant
McKinsey & Co released a report w/Jupiter
Media Metrix that states that community
interaction and feedback improve sales on
ecommerce sites. however, with failed
communities such as theglobe.com, critics
ain't biting. it's interesting to note that they
pointed out eBay as a site that has successfully
used it's community to harvest customer data
and improve experiences on their site, and yet,
critics still can't understand what's the secret.

BOTTOM LINE: the secret isn't just to allow
communities to develop on your site, but to
also nurture, use the data learned, but most
importantly, allow dynamic pricing, something
that many e-tailers just aren't ready to do.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios design ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

8. DESIGN: ask yourself, how can your
customers use your site if they can't find
what they want? design is just as important
to your customers' experience with your
brand as anything else you do for your
brand. everything from search function-
ality, layout of content, and upload time
play critical roles when influencing visitors
to spend money.

BOTTOM LINE: why is this something to
watch in 2002? because with information
storage & access being the goal of companies,
it's amazing how the old notions of branding
are so deeply ingrained that many businesses
still haven't made significant changes to their
appearances, online or off. even Disney
and RedEnvelop tweaked their catalogue
designs and sales dramatically improve.
so if you're in the business of providing
strategic design, you're in luck because
many companies still need it.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios gaylesbian ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

9. GAYLESBIAN: why are they online?
to meet other gays and lesbians and hook
up. but guess what, they're not all interested
in sex. so why does creative reaching them
online have so much sexual innuendos?

BOTTOM LINE: the unfortunate business
reality is that you can't please everyone.
there will always be a group of people that
will not like what you're doing. don't try
to be everything to everyone, just to those
that will make your business grow. remember
that 20/80 rule. 20% customers = 80% $.
when you look at GLBT content on TV,
radio, and mag, it really wouldn't be much
without sexy bodies to look at, sexy stories
to check out, and sexy people to meet.
creative isn't over sexual, it's just what it
takes to relate to this audience.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios diversification ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

10. DIVERSIFICATION: this section is
reserved to discuss interesting revenue
opportunities and none caught my attention
more than GAY.com's attempt to go offline
by inviting their community members on a
cruise to meet other community members.

BOTTOM LINE: for about $1000, members
will get to interact with other like minded
members, have fun, and see sights, while
GAY.com earns cash, strengthens community
ties & customer loyalty.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios afam ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

11. AFAM: last issue i argued the relevance
of using black themed ads to reach black
people and attempted to point out the differences
between black and white consumers. now
i'm reading that the best place to reach black
people is in church and that for years, marketers
have inundated black churches with their
messages in an effort to build brand awareness.
understand, to an african american, church may
double as a health center, school, bookshop,
counseling center, job-placement center,
early childhood development center and more.
ok, so what about online? are black and white
consumers all the same, are they different?

BOTTOM LINE: the best way to segment
online isn't by specific ethnic, economic, or
geographic group, it's through the communities
where people congregate online to meet other
like-minded people. the success of a brand
with a particular ethnic group of consumers
doesn't mean that it's an ethnic brand online,
simply that ethnic netizens are aware
that there are other people of their same
mentality and interests that visit that community.
i am not invested in the stock market, and yet
i keep up with it. you may not be African
American, but you listen to music they also
enjoy listening to.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios bet ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

12. BET: even the "Black Entertainment
Television" network is discovering this
sociological truth above. as the only major
television force to reach african americans,
advertisers consider BET a must buy.
but wait, is it really the only way to
reach african americans? af. ams. don't
seem to think so. in fact, they constantly
accuse BET of selling out, not portraying
African Americans positively, and just
poor judgment. the programming
seems relevant to anyone interested in
music, fashion, and comedy. so what
exactly is making this network successful
then if the audience that supposedly loves
it, hates it & even veteran hosts & execs
leave the network disappointed?

BOTTOM LINE: BET provides choice,
something all consumers enjoy regardless
of what specific marketing category they
get segmented into. for 20 years BET
provided another medium for lifestyle
programming. so what if the original
mission was to attract black people? as
society changed, so did how people thought
of their access to the content they wanted to
enjoy. even BET.com hasn't figured out what
black visitors want online, (evident by their
repeated missteps in promoting the site on
air and constant redesigns of the site), so how
can their be a case for segmenting ethnically
or other, online?


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios crm ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

13. CRM: ok, so you know you gotta
do it. but what is it? well, remember
when you were young, and you went
into your neighborhood store, and the
guy behind the counter knew your name,
your family, where you lived, and even
was kind enough to extend to you your
first credit line for candy? no.. well,
that's CRM. except performed to
thousands of customers simultaneously.
naturally, in order to do this, you'd need
countless well trained customer service
reps, or software. there is software
currently available that allows your
systems to "interpret and respond
accurately to questions from customers".
so now that you know what it is, your
goal is to keep customers happy &
coming back, and you got the software,
but how do you measure results, is it
really your edge in the market?

BOTTOM LINE: although good
customer service makes a difference,
it ain't the only thing, and this is important
to remember before spending lots of
money on fancy tech. after all, how do
you explain the success of luxury brands
notorious for snobby attitudes? above
i described essentials like the design of
your brand experience makes a difference,
ability for consumers to interact with you
and each other, and dynamic pricing are
all key contributors to your success online.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios innovate ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

14. INNOVATE: some companies
are placing "call us" buttons on their
sites to make their visitors feel more
comfortable in using and spending on
their sites, since they can speak to
a customer service rep at any time.

BOTTOM LINE: imagine that, actual live
customer support, rather than emailing an
anonymous info@yoursite.com and waiting
two days for a reply.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios sections ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

15. SECTIONS: "movers and shakers"
sections and "new hire" announcements
are mainstays of offline publishing.

BOTTOM LINE: online content pubs just
aren't thinking like their offline competitors
and allowing this cheap, yet very effective
source of traffic and revenue slip past them.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios premiumproducts ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

16. PREMIUMPRODUCTS: this sucks!
i went to Lycos to open a new account
for a homepage, only to discover that
they're only giving me 20MBs. why does
it suck? b/c they want $5 bucks a month
for an extra 10MBs and other special
features, which makes no sense to me
having opened my first account months
ago that gave me 50MBs + pretty good
features. this sucks because it can only
mean one thing - they're going to reduce
my account to avoid undervaluing their
new premium service strategy. so, the
question on your minds must be, would
suddenly charging for your once-free
products work online?

BOTTOM LINE: i don't pay for music,
online storage space, or water, so why
should i now, just because these companies
have to turn a profit? well guess what, i'm
not the only person on earth, and i'm cer-
tainly not part of the next generation of
surfers that will become accustomed to
paying for stuff online. when considering
your premium products strategy, just re-
member that little tidbit and you won't feel
so bad about that sudden drop in your user


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios network ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

17. NETWORK: CNet networks, AOL
Time Warner, Primedia, Snowball.com
all have tried it, but does it work? i'm talking
about putting a nav bar at the top of all
your online affiliates, properties, partners
that connects them all together into some
tangible network that you feel consumers
will enjoy because they're all somehow related.
Clearly, this is something that benefits the
advertiser, but does the consumer care, or
even enjoy this limitation of choice?

BOTTOM LINE: every time i evaluate a
strategy like this, it becomes very difficult to
think like a regular consumer would. after all,
i know the players and plans. but the average
online surfer doesn't. the goal of these com-
panies is to redirect traffic all over their net-
work, which benefits advertisers, and of
course the company. the user is only interes-
ted in convenience and meeting new people
and seeing interesting stuff. as long as they
get that, it doesn't matter where they click.
if the network operates smoothly without
interruption of experience, then sure, this
strategy will work.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios email ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

18. EMAIL: well, it seems that even that last
remaining online marketing solution is losing
it's appeal as effectiveness rates decline.
that's right, with so much spam email floating
around out there, email is beginning to get
deleted more often than read, resulting in
decreased response rates for marketers
that once thought it the best (and sometimes
only) way to reach customers. even the direct
marketing association has encouraged marketers
to send email to warn recipients that they're
about to receive junk mail. so what do
you do now if you have a relatively small
budget and want to use it effectively?

BOTTOM LINE: as any email marketer
will tell you, it's all about the list you purchase.
if you buy a crappy list of recipients, then
chances are your messages won't even make
it to the desired target. then consider the tech-
nology you're using to email. some email will
end up in SPAM inboxes if your tech is wack.
if you send email using text, try and design
layout so your recipients will find it interesting
enough to read. if you're sending html,
make sure open times are fast and all links
work. but most importantly, make sure you
have a catchy subject line and a familiar
name as the sender, whether it be your
brand name or your name, since this
is the recipients first indication of whether
or not to open it.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios privacy ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

19. PRIVACY: still getting violated, marketers
have resorted to infiltrating your computer
via software embedded and automatically
installed in P2P music file sharing programs
to find out where surfers go and how to reach
them better. software maker said it ain't
their fault, distributor says it ain't his fault,
file sharing software companies say it ain't
their fault. trust is a very expensive commodity
online. if you got it, you probably paid dearly
for it in marketing or buying it from trust brokers
like TRUSTe.org, BBBonline.org, or VISA.com.

BOTTOM LINE: but is trust really necessary
to doing business? on the business side, it is.
a quick scan of some major online brands
reveals that they all have some sort of pri-
vacy protection and/or seal of trust on their
website. but what's the consumer's point
of view? what's the point of paying for
trust if your consumer doesn't even know
what a seal of trust means? at first, this was
my first sentiment, especially since all seal
programs require a fee. i'm thinking, what
sort of objective company requires a fee to
gauge the trustworthiness of another company?
and what about the small players out there
that are trustworthy, yet cannot afford to pay
for trust? well, not to worry, trust isn't simply
paid for, it's generated by the amount of
positive interaction occurring on your site's
community. a good example of this are
CommunityConnects three communities
AsianAvenue, MiGente, and BlackPlanet,
that have built substantial user bases w/o
significant marketing or trust seal programs.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios consumer ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

20. CONSUMER: a software company
recently "announced a new tool that links
customer feedback, such as survey responses,
to individual customer profiles, then performs
analysis on those integrated records". and
this is why privacy is such a big deal. altho
technology like this will help marketers
understand and target consumers better,
they forget that perhaps consumers don't
want to be serviced this much.

BOTTOM LINE: internet anonymity is
valuable and if a company makes it hard
to pinpoint their key execs, why should it
be any simpler for them to locate an indivi-
dual customer?


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios teen ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

21. TEEN: those nutty COPA rules, that think
they're protecting kids online. have any of
you ever watched a kid surf, and then watched
where they went? it's amazing, nothing but
music sites looking for free samples & MP3s,
pics of fave artists, or other people to meet
online. if they want to find porno, they will.
ok ok, you knew that, but did you know that
kids rarely surf alone?

BOTTOM LINE: al berrios conducted
a small survey of public school teachers and
discovered that the most powerful influence
in the lives of their 12 to 16 year old students
at that age is each other. b/c of the physio-
logical transition into puberty, they experience
a deep urge to satisfy peer pressure and rarely
sway from the group. it's interesting to note
that since scholastic achievement is considered
"uncool", many will intentionally fail in public
to appear "cool". and when online, they tend
to visit sites the group recommends, usually
the most tech savvy conducting the actual

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios theweeks::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

22. THEWEEKS: covering the last 3 weeks:

>>M&A: Monster punked out of Hotjobs
bid to Yahoo, iWon.com bought & now
runs Excite.com as Excite Networks,
eUniverse, a successful online entertainment
network, buys L90, an online ad repping,
direct marketing network, Amazon buys
Egghead, WebMD buys Medscape, Com-
cast & Microsoft buy AT&T Cable away
from AOL, who, now miffed, is looking for
other cablers to buy, Vivendi Universal buys
USA Networks, Coors Beer buys British
Bass Brewers, Nestle buys Haagen-Dazs,
Line56, an e-biz mag pub, buys Freedom
Technology Media Group, a CRM mag pub,
Virgin selling remaining hotels from hotel group,
pheuw, and they say M&A has dried up.

>>LOSERS: site hosting company Globix
goes bust, after wasting $100 million on fancy
ad campaign to boost profits, KMART may
file chapter 11, remember GoodWill Games?
Ted Turner created it for his networks, now,
AOL says it's pointless, so cancels, Dr. Koop
maybe, possibly, shutting down, again, maybe,
minorities use internet to learn to get better
deals at car dealerships, while GM, FORD
scaling back on online efforts.

>>FILM: "Harry, Frodo and Anakin are
about to get zapped by Miramax's Dimension
Films with release of "Scary Movie 3:
Episode I -- Lord of the Brooms" -- just
in time for the next installments of "Harry
Potter," "Lord of the Rings" and "Star
Wars" --variety.com, Jim Carrey in Howard
Hughes biopic.

>>MISC: with the highest monthly ISP
rate, AOL actually reached 33 million
subscribers who spent $33 billion in US
online, should change name to Addicts On Line,
Apple finally releasing flat panel iMac, "you
can only hope that your brand isn't completely
screwed in 2002: www.osama.com".
-- adbumb.com

* if i had a dollar for every time i mentioned
an AOL brand in here, this newsletter would
pay for itself, geeez.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios iMarketing ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

Disclaimer: The recommendations, commentary and opinions published herein are based on public information sometimes referenced via hyperlinks. Any similarities or likeness to any ideas or commentary from any other sources not referenced is purely coincidental. al berrios & co. cannot control any results occurring from advice obtained from this publication nor any opinion(s) conveyed by any reader of this publication.

(c) 2001-2005. All Rights Reserved. al berrios & company, inc. Published by al berrios & co. This Report may not be reproduced or redistributed in any form without written permission from al berrios & co., subject to penalty.


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