greetings execs,

the US has started bombing.
what's the first thing you
noticed? i noticed how good
political p.r. really is.
i support the no nonense
approach Bush is using, but
the bottom line is that
we're obliterating human
beings w/air strikes & the
media makes it look like
it's a good thing. remember,
this is not a forum to discuss
your views on current events,
but an analysis of marketing
methods, & these days, there
is no better marketing machine
than washington.

1. TRAVEL: good news
2. E-ADS: busy week, consolidations
3. MEDIA: a better way
4. CORRECTION: on health

********* al berrios travel *********

TRAVEL: recently i covered how
valuable minority-targeting media
outlets are becoming (opportunities
monday, sept 24, 2001
). well,
it seems that minorities also
travel, and online travel planning
is becoming another value added
feature. however, just adding
features doesn't mean it'll
attract more users. it seems
that even the current online
travel agencies can't give the
sort of customer service offline
agencies provide. and it was
most evident after sept 11.

bottom line: ok, so what? minorities
travel, adding features doesn't
drive traffic, and online customer
service still sucks. and...
when you're watching a commercial
on TV and it has a young girl
presenting a product like barbie,
do you pay attention? no, your
kids do. when you see an older
guy, wearing glasses, discussing
the stock market, do your kids
pay attention, definitely not,
but you might. well, when african
americans hear another african
american voice on the radio, they
are more likely to listen. when
a latino gets travel planning
in their native language, they're
more likely to become loyal to
it & spend lots of money on it.
a new feature like travel planning
provided by a trusted hispanic
brand isn't to drive more traffic,
it's to give current users of the
brand another reason to use the
brand longer & trust the brand more
in their daily lives since no one
else is serving this market. and
even when the brand fails to provide
the best customer service online,
it will continue to retain it's
loyal following. online customer
is one of the most important
distinguising features for a brand
catering to the same audience
their competitors are. so unless
your brand is in the fortunate
space of being the only brand
for your audience, i would recommend
focusing just as much on customer
service through your website as you
do on making sure you can pay your
bills on time.

read more:

********* al berrios e-ads *********

E-ADS: there have been significant
stirrings in the online advertising
world while the nation braces for war.
Doubleclick, the biggest ad hoster,
(online, there are the ad hosting
companies that provide the software
that allow buttons, banners, and
other ads to be delivered. then
there are the media companies that
provide the space.) bought L90's
ad hosting tech last week while they
were in talks to buy Real Media's ad
hosting tech. When RM parent, french
PubliGroupe realized what DCLK was
doing, they pulled out to replan deal.
Mind you, RM is having problems
& recently divested other assets
to focus on ad hosting. Enagage, an-
other big player, was loosing money
faster than Mariah Carey looses her
clothes, so parent CMGi, cut the money
facet, forcing Engage to look for a
buyer while it focused also on ad
hosting. The remaining players, 24/7
Media, Advertising.com, B2BWorks are
not exactly doing well in this market.
what made ad hosting such a lucrative
industry in the beginning was that
when a million sites poped up monthly,
all offering space to advertisers,
advertisers needed consolidated
planning, distribution & reporting.
Jupiter Media Metrix, the biggest
measurer of online traffic, recently
cut staff (i'm guessing 'cause there
wasn't enough ads to measure). ad
repping firms (these guys manage
selling ads for media companies to
advertisers for a commission, and
do not need to have nothing to do
w/ad hosting companies) cybereps &
winstar interactive media announced
that they weren't accepting anymore
CPA deals (cost per acquisition means
a user must conduct a transaction
on site in order for site to get paid
by advertiser), stating it's highly
unfair for their clients, & are only
accepting cash-minimum CPM deals
(cost per thousand is the industry
standard in placing an ad order &
guarantees that a media site will
get paid for just delivering traffic
to the ad an advertiser bought on the
site) since they don't have to worry
about crappy creative this way, (which
is what is being blamed for buttons
and banners delivering such horrid
performance in recent months). and
all this amidst the debate that buttons
& banners work for branding (b/c when
you repeat an image several thousand
times, it's bound to stick), & that's
about it. pheuw.

bottom line: if ad hosting companies
are doing bad, and ad reppers can't
sell, all while buttons & banners are
delivering horrible results, why would
anyone even be crazy enough to be in
an online publising business? the big
ad hosting companies put their software
on a bunch of crappy content sites like
givingyoueyestrain.com & wehopeyoulikeus.com
with the idea of selling advertisers
lots of impressions. the advertisers
give these ad hosting sites the stupidest
creative you've ever seen [check below
under read more] that they wouldn't
use on any other media. the companies
that measure site traffic just weren't
prepared for the change in preference
in ad formats that actually work, &
the simple fact that their panels
that they use to represent the entire
internet population will never be
large enough to truly represent the
sort of traffic sites actually get,
so sites complain & refuse to use their
metrics. the ad brokers basically
manage the adsales efforts for content
pubs for a commission some sites aren't
willing to give for too long since
they're already successful enough to
do their own adsales. and if all you
have to offer are buttons & banners,
give up now, b/c frankly, no one is
willing to buy just those. the opportunity
in this sort of online ad market are
plenty: add interactive ad formats to
your inventory, add sponsorship deals
to your offerings, diversify into
paid for memberships or research data,
but most importantly, never go it alone.
you may think you have an all-in-one
package to offer advertisers, but the
truth is, in order to stop dealing
with small change advertisers, you
have to be able to offer a compelling
deal to big deal advertisers that is
not possible to offer w/o relationships
and partnerships. if you're already
working with al berrios, you've already
a good start.

read more:

********* al berrios media *********

MEDIA: what does it mean to be able
to control over 25% of sales for all
national TV revenue. it feels pretty
damn good & that's how magna global
CEO bill cella feels. magna is the
newly created media negotating company
owned by the largest advertising agency
holding company, interpublic group of
companies. they say that bigger is
better, but they also say that the
bigger they are, the harder they fall.
that sums up how i feel about inter-
public. however, magna is a different
beast. interpublic has consolidated
all of it's media buying accounts under
this roof w/the idea that they will have
more leverage w/ever growing media
companies & be able to negotiate better
deals for their clients. makes sense.
aggregative business models are always
more effecient. but where does that
leave the small media buying agencies?
if you were the adsales manager for
some TV station, and you had two potential
clients, the small account that may
pay you enough to pay your rent, or the
large one that promises to keep you
in company paid-for massages & shoe
shines, which one would you give the
best deals to?

bottom line: w/the economy on the brink
of recession (hey, that's what CNBC
says), the ad market in the crapper,
and marketing budgets being cut for
security needs, how does one find the
light at the end of the tunnel? using
the same tactics as the big guys, except
w/an edge they can't match. first off,
as i've been saying all along, this
slump in the ad market shouldn't affect
smaller media companies since they're
not accustomed to making the sort of
money the larger media companies make.
further, and you'll see this a lot in
the advertising world, everyone whines
about everything. for some reason,
there seems to be an allergy for
innovation, b/c everytime there's one,
everyone complains & criticizes it b/c
makes their jobs a lot harder. and b/c
of this, the holy grail of marketing,
integrated services, will never be
achieved completely in this lifetime.
these facts mean that any company can
do the same thing interpublic did except
w/enough forward thinking to never stiffle
innovations, offer complete integration
of marketing services, but most importantly,
never permit egos to be involved, b/c
that's what makes this industry so
gloomy all the time. remember, if the
better way was already invented,
there wouldn't be innovations like magna
or al berrios iMarketing.

read more:

********* al berrios corrections *********

CORRECTION: last issue i stated that
there weren't any good online desti-
nations to retrieve info about mental
health. while researching for another
special feature, i found one:
http://www.mediwarp.com/. this
site is a foreign based search engine
that isn't very well marketed to the
average consumer, and yet has abundant
information, including links to other
mental health destinations, with up
to date information and services.

********* 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.