IMARKETING REPORT 05.21.02: Talk, Don't Yell; Stats Below
>> Thank goodness for public transportation, otherwise, I'd be illiterate.

Good morning publishers,

CPAs Suck: A well-known advertiser
recently spent a significant budget on
putting up a new Highway Billboard on
the New Jersey Turnpike. The traffic
demographics looked promising and he
felt very good about a positive R.O.I.
on his media buy.

The advertiser put up the billboard and
waited his orders to flood in. After a
few days he returned to the site to see
just what was wrong.

To his dismay their were not any massive
25 car pile up collisions of people imme-
diately breaking and stopping on the inter-
state to view his billboard, nor were there
any tire skid marks of people stopping at
his billboard. He stood in front of the bill-
board during rush hour the next day because
he was sure people would be stopping and
wanted to personally answer questions
about his product.

The advertiser was very technology savvy
and decided to install video cameras so he
could watch the drivers and record their
interaction with the billboard in slow motion
as they flew down the interstate at 70mph.
A few days later he was examining his data
he concluded something was very very
wrong. A scant .005% of people are ac-
tually really really reading my billboard,
it must be the billboards fault!

He installed blinking lights on it that made
Times Square look pretty tame and it did
nothing except cause epileptic seizure to
an entire tour bus load of Japanese children.

He then decided that this was a total rip
off and went back to the owner of the
billboard and explained the only terms he
was continuing this campaign was for
immediate performance. He would only
pay for commuters that hard braked in
front of his billboard, stopped and used
the nearby payphone or who used their
cell phone and called the number on his
board; from his ad to the next turnpike

Of course all of this absurd, but imagine
if Billboard advertising was held to the
accountability of Internet advertising. I
would like to see more publishers just
say NO to CPA just as the billboard
owner above I'm sure did.

-adapted from "Internet Advertising & Highway Billboards are a Rip-Off" By Marty Monahan for

1. BRANDS&INSIGHTS: Talk, Don't Yell; Stats Below
2. CONSUMERFOCUS: Understanding Consumer Behavior 101
3. MEDIA&CONTENT: Music; Media Buyers; Media Sellers; Branding to The Next Level
4. MGMT&OPS: AOL Doesn't Work? Says Who?

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1. BRANDS&INSIGHTS: Talk, Don't Yell; Stats Below

How do you talk to your consumers?
Do you spend a million on TV or maybe
half-a-million on magazines? And if
you're spending, are you sure your
customers are listening? There was
a very interesting article by a Mr. Dom
Rossi arguing that "marketing is out of
step with the rhythm of modern life"
since today's average family is "too
time-compressed, over-tasked, and
fractionated to function according to
the "schedule media would like them
to." Think about it, when was the last
time you actually caught a program
at the time it started, or read a magazine
the day it came out? Thanks to the
many choices you have to access
content, you are no longer captive
to your content provider's schedule.
Well, don't be surprised folks, because
if you've been reading this publication
regularly, you'll realize that a successful
business model is one that provides a
consumer with relevant content and a
choice of when, where, and how much
to pay for it. When you adjust your
thinking to concepts like "prime time"
and other time-of-day targeting beliefs
being outdated and won't work with your
consumers today, you'll then be able
to develop a strategy to talk to your
consumers when they want to hear you.

BOTTOM LINE: If traditional marketing
concepts don't work, then what? Research
shows that "the share of people that used
a referral to make one of the following
purchases in the past year (based on an
online survey of 1000 adults in Feb 2002):
Restaurants, 69%; Computer Hardware/
Software, 36%; Consumer Electronics, 24%;
Travel, 22%; Auto, 18%; Financial Services, 9%."
Go figure. These industries spend billions
talking to us, and in the end, what drives
our behavior is our friend, Harry, who told
us they were good. But what else?
Since marketers don't like not being in
control, and that's exactly how word-
of-mouth works, dynamic and chaotic,
changing from positive to negative in
one generation, then what else can they
use to talk to us? "...mothers with the
least time tend to go online more. Single
mothers and those with three or more
children each average about 20 hours
per week -- nearly 20 percent more the
overall average." Recent research also
"charted a 19% growth in the U.S. His-
panic Internet population from last year
-- more than three times the growth
among non-Hispanic Internet users.
As a result, U.S. Hispanics now comprise
11 percent of the total U.S. online pop.,
up from 9.9 percent in the prior year."

The Big Picture: Businessweek, May 6, 2002
Rossi, Dom, "Rethink 'Primetime'", Advertising Age April 29, 2002, p16,,12_1041211,00.html

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2. CONSUMERFOCUS: Understanding Consumer Behavior 101

Damn. Did any of you see Smallville
last week? I missed it... No? It's OK,
I'll just check out the site to see what
I missed. Guess what? I'm not the only
one that does that. In fact, based on al
berrios iMarketing research
, we've dis-
covered that having a website dedicated
to specific content, whether TV pro-
gramming, on-air personality, or a good
book, is one of the most important ways
to keep your consumers interested in
your content. Although there are no
figures to show how many people log
on while they're tuned in, (anyone care
to sponsor this research?), my iMarketers
have discovered for clients that they
do log on afterwards to get new info,
download stuff, and chat with and
blog to, other fans of the program.
"Mr. Pesner knows about her because
she e-mailed him, as have hundreds of
other Tony-watchers holding special
Tony-night parties. They e-mailed him
because he is in charge of the Tony
Web site."

BOTTOM LINE: Don't underestimate
the power of a website, even if it's just
a couple of links and a message board.
It can effectively be used to communicate
anything to that 20% of your consumers
that deliver 80% of your ratings, profits,
whatever. But here's the kicker: media
is merging. Your offline consumers are
the same as your online consumers and
it's up to you to make your content ac-
cessible to them any way they want it,
anytime they want it, and at a value that
they perceive worth their time. At this
moment, kids 12 and under don't make
a differentiation between their content
online or off. Having grown up with
the internet, they simply pick up where
they left off on all their favorite content.
The generation right above them do
make that distinction, but rely on the
internet to support all their other media.
The generation right above this make
a clear distinction, since many of them
grew up when TV was still new. It's
up to you to understand your targeted
group to effectively talk to them about
your brand.


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3. MEDIA&CONTENT: Music; Media Buyers; Media Sellers; Branding to The Next Level

Music: "Peer-to-peer file sharing
advocates have received a boost in their
ongoing battle against music industry
representatives, thanks to a study that
indicates Internet file-sharing traffic
volume actually increases music sales
The RIAA says it's bullsh!t. I say the
RIAA are a bunch of idiots.

Media Buyers: Newspapers say that
"Advertisers aren't sure of newspaper
web sites' value, treaded as a value-
added for print
". I say just look at's recent expansion into
local markets. I say if this is true,
then newspapers are morons for
letting advertisers rip them off like
that. Washingtonpost has surveyed
their online readers and discovered
they are affluent, educated, and prone
to spend. Just walk around any services
office and every employee is at their
fave newspaper site first thing in the
morning. If you don't think advertisers
are aware of this, then stop selling media.

Media Sellers: When planning a small
newspaper campaign, remember that
newspapers have multiple pricing structures
for diff kinds of advertisers and use this
to your advantage. Work with your rep
at "fitting" your client into a conveniently
lower priced category, with newspaper
sales soft, many reps are willing to blur
the lines with some product categories in
order to get an advertiser on board.

Branding to The Next Level:
"Josh Kopelman, founder and chief
executive of, convinced a
small town (population 345) to
change its name from Halfway to With a price tag of $75K
and almost two-dozen computers, the
transaction and the transformation were
complete. This never-before coup landed on the map, derived substantial
national publicity, and drove an extra-
ordinary number of sales. Shortly after
that, the company was bought by eBay
for $300 million." --from

Smith, David L. "The Hangover", Mediasmith Anvil, Volume 2, Issue 6, April 25, 2002

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4. MGMT&OPS: AOL Doesn't Work? Says Who?

I'm sure you've already heard that share-
holders are calling for the break up of AOL
and Vivendi. But how can this be? The
consolidation of media was supposed to
be more cost effective and ultimately better
for the consumer, right? How can these
companies be facing so many difficulties?
You all know I believe in the niche model,
but I have to disagree with current share-
holder mentality. I believe that the current
AOL and Vivendi have value, but need time
to be realized. Afterall, both have existed
in their current state for under 2 years
and in the worst advertising market ever.
Can you blame them? Shareholders are
greedy and don't understand media or the
consumers that consume it.

BOTTOM LINE: For starters, with
AOL and Vivendi's size, niche media
is easier for them to experiment with
than a solely niche media publisher or
programmer. They can afford to wait
it out until the asset gains value, in the
process leveraging their current customer
and advertiser base, experience in the
marketplace, and clout with distributors,
while a smaller player has to start from
scratch. How can a shareholder not see


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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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