IMKTG REPORT 09.03.02: MP3; What Matters to Them; more...
>> "Nevertheless, we are alarmed by the continuing deterioration of the TV environment caused by the increasing number of distracting elements present in prime time." --Debbie Solomon, senior partner, group research director, MindShare


Good morning execs,

TV is ridiculous. I can't watch
Comedy Central without sitting thru
1 minute of programming then 2
minutes of commercials. Same with
all the other channels. Even Mind-
share, the WPP media buyer, says
that ad clutter is going overboard.
"The four broadcast networks
averaged about 14:30 minutes of
clutter per prime-time hour in the
first quarter of 2002". I guess with
106.7 million people at home watching
TV, advertisers feel that TV is still
a great place to be. It's gotten so bad
that TV is doing their equivalent of
the pop-up ad or spam email, where
they show logos, snipes, split screens,
and product-placements-as-star just
to get the attention of the viewer.
Does it work? Of course not, since
everyone's doing it. Not only that,
advertisers are still looking for more
stealth approaches to marketing, such
as celebrity endorsements (as we've
discussed in the last two issues of
IMKTG REPORT > 1 2) and "real-life
product placement" such as having
paid "trendsetters" use products
in public in everyday settings. When
consumers are exposed to over 3000
ads per day, how can we, as advertisers,
make just one stand out? Enjoy the rest.

READ MORE:,9171,1101020902-344045-1,00.html


2. CONSUMERFOCUS: Relevancy and the Consumer
3. MEDIA&CONTENT: WTF Does Any of This Have To Do With An Increase In Ad Spending?!
4. MGMT&OPS: Getting Back To Them

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>>>>> >>>>> >>>>> >>>>> >>>>>


This business of music has been dis-
cussed in these REPORTS many times.

(Related articles: Commodity?)
I just can't help myself - the industry
is just so f'd up, how can I resist?
Now they're blaming the web again
for a 7% drop in CD sales and 41%
of consumers who purchase less music.
The funny thing is that they're basing
their complaints on some survey on
only 860 music consumers (yeah, like
that narrows down the consumer seg-
ment) with Internet access between
the ages of 12 & 54. So naturally, its
time to b!tch some more about the
internet. They're doing everything
from releasing a new CD format,
smaller and more protected, to shutting
down anybody, including online college
radio stations and starting their own
weak attempts at paid subscriber ser-
vices. There's just no bandwagon the
industry ain't willing to jump on to try
do something about MP3s. Labels
have even resorted to giving away
music and selling most of it at a loss,
just to get consumers back in stores.

BOTTOM LINE: Typically, I recom-
mend just getting out of the music biz.
Unless you have an idea that can change
the way the system operates, you're not
going to make any money. You may
as well resort to losing money on music
so you can get your music into movies,
TV, and commercials. But the business
of selling music the way it's always been
done is dead. So, how can you change
it? Eliminate the middle layers. There
are about 17 layers of people, from
distributors to writers that have to get
paid for every album that gets sold. How
did this happen? The next layer needed
the next and decided to mark up the
prices as it passed through their hands.
F*ck the customer, as long as they got
paid. So, do we need these extra
layers? Well, it appears that all artists
aren't that good at the business of
music, so they need the help of those
that are, but aren't talented. These re-
lationships can be skipped if the artist
is smart enough to figure out their
own distribution, marketing, and legal
rights at a relatively affordable cost
to them. But is this model too late?
Has music become a commodity,
to be valued at pennies? Well, if
you pay $1.25 for water (!!!!!) any-
things possible with the right amount
of marketing & consumer perception.

READ MORE:,1285,54773,00.html
Radio stations unplug streaming project, By Frank Barnako,, Last Update: 9:48 AM ET Aug 26, 2002

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2. CONSUMERFOCUS: Relevancy and the Consumer

How can you identify what is relevant
to a consumer vs. what is relevant to
you, but you think is also relevant to the
consumer? Truth is, you will always be
biased, so the best thing to do is simply
ask your consumer. Pretty simple solu-
tion, right? Not really. Bill O'Reilly,
some old conservative fart says on
national TV that Pepsi is being immoral
and should be boycotted for it's use of
a particular rap/hiphop artist that uses
profane language and derogatory terms
to describe women. Shortly thereafter,
Pepsi removes it's ads with this rapper,
and apologizes. It just so happens that
in a survey conducted by my agency for
the demographic that would most likely
prefer this rapper, he came in at the top
of the most preferred performances they
would be willing to attend. Consumers
said this without prompting by my iMarketers.
So, did Pepsi identify what was relevant
to it's consumers? No. It took the same
approach it took way back when Madonna
caused a little scandal by burning crosses
and having sex in a church in her video,
it failed to acknowledge what it's audience
wanted. With Britney taking time off,
was this the best time for Pepsi to stop
using this rapper? No. Why do brands
continuously assume what their consumers
want without asking them first? Take
broadcast TV - almost a third of the 35 new
programs being launched this fall will be
family comedies because that's what some
generic TV programmer felt was popular
with Americans today. Never mind the
wild success of Queer as Folk on Showtime,
Sopranos on HBO, or The Shield on FX.
Obviously, consumers don't really under-
stand what's good for them. So, how can
any brand identify what is relevant to
its consumers?

BOTTOM LINE: This is the time of the
year when everyone starts making pre-
dictions about consumer behavior and
spending habits for the holidays. Spending
online will definitely increase; consumers
will most likely start after Thanksgiving
holidays to have access to their high-
speed connections at work; they will click
on more newspaper sites than local TV
news sites, just b/c local TV news sites
suck compared to local newspaper sites
(go figure, consumers actually prefer good
local news content, vs. re-hashed, pre-
recorded, stuff); they will give return
business to sites that offer quality service
and quick replies to their questions; they
will use their PDAs and cell phones or
their paid-for e-services to make their
shopping more convenient (yeah, I know,
but it turns out that since there are so
few quality free services left, most have
opted to pay for brands they trust for
convenience, leaving the free-service
audience practically non-existent, and
free-service providers practically shut
out of a potentially lucrative market).
So with so much going on with your
consumer, you cannot afford to base
your strategic decisions on your own
biased opinions. In order to determine
what's relevant to your consumer, you
have to be realistic and accept that you
don't know everything, your product/ser-
vice may suck and need refining, and
your consumers do know what they
want, since they're aware of their choices.

117 shopping days to go online, By Frank Barnako,, Last Update: 8:25 AM ET Aug 30, 2002
Internet Usage Plans for the 2002 Holiday, eMarketer Daily, Issue 165, 2002 - Q2 E-Retail Sales
IQ DAILY BRIEF: August 28, 2002,,,SB1030054415595077915,00.html

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3. MEDIA&CONTENT: WTF Does Any of This Have To Do With An Increase In Ad Spending?! says that TV and print
media will lead a rebound in ad spending.
Bullcrap or not? MRI, (the media analyst)
discovered that in actuality, print reader-
ship has actually increase in the last 4
years, not through increased circ, but
through increased pass-along rates.
"readership of 171 continuously published
titles increased 5.3 percent among adults
from 1998 to 2002, according to a new
report by MRI... which based its report
on an analysis of more than 26,000 at-home
interviews, conducted annually." Any study
with this many interviews merits at least a
serious look. This year, I didn't renew
any of my five magazine subscriptions.
Why? Because they give everything
away for free online. Why on earth
would I pay? "Because it feels good in
my hands"? Yeah, whatever. You
media buyers keep thinking that that's
a good reason to keep spending on mags.
If you want to reach me, cross-platform
all the way. But seriously, the internet
hasn't been figured out by print yet.
For years, AOL has been trying to
figure out how to convert their mem-
bers to Time magazine subscribers with
questionable results. They claim that AOL
drives 10,000 subscriptions per month,
but if you have AOL, you know that they're
giving away crazy amounts of free issues,
which means they're probably taking a loss
on these internet subscriptions. OK, great,
free magazines, free web articles - what
the f*ck does any of this have to do with
an increase in ad spending in the magazine
category when huge mag spenders like
Phillip Morris have pulled out of magazines

BOTTOM LINE: Everyone is looking
for a reason to get up in the morning.
So are adsales guys. They will use bullcrap
reports like this and sell the heck out of their
titles. Truth is, marketers aren't looking
to spend money on magazines because
magazines get passed around a lot. They're
looking for new, innovative approaches at
talking to their consumers. It's in magazine's
best interest to leverage the internet for
their advertisers, and readers, but not by
giving everything away online. It's impor-
tant to understand why your readers use
your site and tailor your content and access
according to what they want. This way
they'll even respond to advertising better.
Believe me publishers, advertisers do
want to spend money with you, since
spam has all but destroyed email as a viable
solution and Clear Channel has just about
alienated their listeners with homogenized
content. So, get with the twentieth cen-
tury, hook up your website, and get a plan
going, because the longer you wait, the
less willing anyone will be to re-subscribe
to your offline or online versions.

READ MORE:,9171,1101020902-344045-1,00.html

>>>>> >>>>> >>>>> >>>>> >>>>>

4. MGMT&OPS: Getting Back To Them

Do you know a friend, business contact,
or family member that's always telling
you that they'll get back to you. I know
lots of these. I can't understand why any-
one would tell you that they'll call you
back, email you, or pass by in a few
minutes, and next thing you know, it's
7pm, you've got a personal life to get
back to, and nothing got done. Well,
that feeling you have right now, imagine
your customers having that exact same
feeling when they email you and you
don't get back to them in a timely fa-
shion. Just hope that that customer
doesn't realize that in this case, they
can simply choose not to do business
with you anymore. (Unfortunately, you
can't stop being friends with your late-
@$$, loser friends. lol.) Anyway,
Jupiter says that only 52% of you guys
reply to inquiries within 24 hrs, and 32%
within three days or longer. If you're
spending $500 bucks online, 59% of you
expect resolution IMMEDIATELY, not
in three days. What kinda sh!t is that?!
How do you ever expect to leverage
the web's cost advantages if you ain't
using it right? You're gonna force your
customers to shop at your stores, call
your call centers, or worse, go to your
more responsive competitors. After
all the money you spent in getting these
customers to do business with you at
your site, you're gonna just let 'em go?!
If 82% of you are busily sending emails
to your co-workers about crap, you can
take a few minutes to email your cus-

BOTTOM LINE: So now you know
about customer maintenance. What
about customer acquisition? I personally
don't like lists, but they do work when
executed correctly. There are
supposedly 4 "P"s to email marketing:
permission, privacy, profiling, and persona-
lization, and when you observe all four,
you can actually acquire new customers
at a relatively lower cost than buying
an ad on TV. But don't think of the web
as simply an email medium, after all,
we just discussed how spam is such an
issue, it kills a good $13 million of pro-
ductivity per year per company. So
does the internet work at acquiring new
customers, and keeping them happy?
Well 97% of you believe you're getting
measurable results, while only 66% of
you feel the same about mass-media,
offline advertising.


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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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