OPPORTUNITIES, MONDAY OCTOBER 15TH, 2001
before I get
started, i'd just like to
tell bush to give them the evidence!
and another thing, doesn't anyone realize
that in order for so many people in such
far off places to have all simultaneously
been affected by anthrax doesn't necessa-
rily mean terrorists are sending letters
to new targets. has anyone checked the US
Postal Service office where the contaminated
letters originated? it's probably some
container that got mailed, cracked open
in the USPS distribution center, & spread
to other envelops. so NBC snatches Tele-
mundo away from VIACOM, continuing the
trend in wanting to reach the minority
market started by VIACOM w/the purchase
of BET. but what other choices do minority
consumers have today? yeah, i got stumped,
too. which simply means there's more room
for competitor to make money. (which would
probably be john malone, who happened to
have stakes in both, not to mention aoltw
tv assets & news corp tv assets through his
liberty media.) and finally, executives
have made internet security a major concern,
as was the most interesting topic at this
year's Gartner Symposium. lots more. read on.
1. SEARCHING: MSFT is sooooo shady.
2. NEW > TRENDS: new revenue opportunities for pubs.
3. EMAIL: understanding psychology of viral emailers.
4. CRM: 4 guidelines to make your site better.
5. MEDIA: offline mags are more scared of you.
6. NEW > AOL: model of the future of media.
7. BRANDING: do it 'cause everyone else is.
8. NEW > ROUNDTABLE: traditional agencies don't work anymore.
********* al berrios searching *********
SEARCHING: i entered alberrrios.com in Internet
Explorer last week & rather than the standard
"Cannot find server" message, i was directed to
MSN search to better locate what i was trying to
look for. i thought this was a little odd, but
didn't really think much of it. then i woke up.
i'm using microsoft windows operating system,
microsoft internet explorer browser, and when
i misspelled my address, i was directed to micro-
soft search, which coincidentally mentioned it
had surpassed Yahoo! in search queries. MSFT
has been pitching it's unifying Passport, new
OS, XP, which integrates everything they offer
even more insidiously, and new gaming system
XBOX. that's not too mention it's software which
eliminates server downtime, for businesses expecting
users to log on using their browswer. do you
realize that i was stripped of my right to choose
how i locate my own site? and guess what, so
were many of your users. "Yahoo! was quick to
point out that a high number of MSN search queries
are what it calls 'involuntary.' Yahoo! argues
that those searches come when people misspell or
type in a nonexistent domain name in the address
bar of Internet Explorer. Users are automatically
redirected to the MSN search engine in certain
cases -- a feature that Yahoo! contends was added
to Internet Explorer last month to boost MSN's
this affects your business b/c
whenever a user is on microsoft real estate,
they are being pitched other content & services
from their businesses and advertisers. during
this redirection, a user may forget to go to
your site, or worse, use a competitor that
advertised with MicroSoft Advanced Marketing,
their brand new, heavily promoted, marketing
agency helping clients leverage their presence
more effectively online. the only disadvantage
that microsoft faces is that they're trying
to be all things to all people, and w/the future
of content leaning more towards niche content
pubs, there is still enough traffic for all
********* al berrios trends *********
TRENDS: over a year old, it's still catching
steam, online dating. originally made popular
thru AOL personals and faciliated w/AOL instant
messaging, the field of online dating gained
legitemacy when Yahoo! began charging fees to
use their service. USA owned Matchmaker.com,
and others have always known there was a want
for this product, however, it wasn't b/c any
of those executives actually spent any time
in a chat room, where they would have realized
it right away. but don't go changing your
business model just yet.
the reason the internet exists
is to connect people. businesses neglected
this one fact & launched ecommerce & online
advertising in totally misguided directions.
now that they've taken some time to re-evaluate
what their audiences really want, they've
realized they just want to be able to meet
new people. so now, many are attempting to
faciliate this thru orderly matchmaking. i
believe this will take off tremendously, with
room to grow, but not as an independent service,
instead, as part of the features that attract
users to their current favorite sites. imagine
the power you would weild with your users if
you gave them a venue on which to "get their
********* al berrios email *********
EMAIL: w/the anthrax scare going the way
of a good viral campaign, many spammers are
offering cipro to cure anthrax via emails.
after sept 11th, nothing connected ppl
better than chain emails used to console,
vent, unite, sell flags & t-shirts, & make
fun of the attackers. haven't you ever
asked yourself what makes that one friend
you have send out every chain letter that
they get, propegating even the least inter-
esting of topics b/c they think everyone
will appreciate it, or sillier still, b/c
they actually believe they'll die or make
money from Microsoft if they don't send it
to 1000 of their closest friends? these are
the people that email campaign managers
would love to turn everyone into, so their
campaigns would reach viral status. they've
been trying to understand the psychology
since hotmail discovered the power of
viral marketing. so how can you use this
psychology for your efforts?
as the TREND above describes,
people only want to connect to other ppl.
they need interaction, whether at the mall,
work, or online. when email was the newest,
most quickest thing one could do online, it
also perpetuated this psychology. at first,
a fun way to send interesting topics to
large groups of buddies, the easier it became
to do it, the sooner it was realized that it
could also be used to market to a large
group of people. when hotmail realized that
the quickest way to distribute their message
using this chain emailer psychology was to
offer free email and tools that automatically
distributed their simple message exponentially,
viral marketing was born. but there is the
catch. whatever your message, it has to be
clear and simple (like one or two lines simple).
users will only propegate messages that they
think other users will appreciate receiving
b/c it's interesting, not b/c it's an offer
or discount for your products, which, believe
it or not, not everyone wants. it's important
to have your unique selling proposition clearly
stated, and catchy enough that would make
everyone want to spread it around. and that's
what brand building on the internet is all about.
********* al berrios crm *********
CRM: customer relationship management is a
topic that must always stay fresh in your
mind. case in point: how many crappy ads
can you possibly have popping up on your
website before it begins to turn your users
off? ads are your bread & butter, however,
that's only b/c you have traffic seeing them.
as soon as that traffic stops, you can't
sell anymore ads. so before that happens,
i think it's time you re-evaluate how you
manage your inventory.
1. creative. just b/c you
pop something up in front of your users
doesn't mean they'll click on it. the more
creative your use of images & colors, the
more likely your conversion rate will be
very high. makes sense, right. then why
are you still allowing crappy creative on
your site? do you ever click on something
that "flashes seizure-inducing colors, telling
[you you're] a "WINNER"? 2. placement.
as important as the creative, is where that
ad is placed. content in context, always
make your ad relate to the content it's
sharing space with. whenever you go to
lycos and search for something like toys,
ebay flashes ads that announce their toy
selection. they understand that when a user
is looking for a certain thing, they appreciate
an ad telling them where they can find it.
3. change. changing the message of an ad,
even if it's the same advertiser, is as
important as refreshing your content daily.
it lets your users know that the rest of
the content on the site is fresh & worth
their time to come back regularly. 4. clutter.
avoid this at all costs. too many ads
interferes with navigation, as well as
upload time, and no one likes to wait
around for anything anymore, especially
an ad. it's important to allow your users
to find what they want, too, and clutter
causes poor navigation, causing frustration
and abandonement. not only will this re-
evaluation keep your users happy, they will
contribute to the credibility of your business,
making users stay with your site longer,
and interact with your ads more often.
Dreyfuss, Joel, "Internet Ads Get in My Face".
& Communications, November 2001, page 48
********* al berrios media *********
MEDIA: if you've been wondering if
your online publication will make it
through this current economic climate,
stop wondering. Time4Media, the company
formerly known as Times Mirror, part of
AOLTW, has been hard at work coming up
w/new ad products to offer advertisers
in magazines. some samples: "double
reverse cover gatefold" or "reverse-
the significance of
this is two-fold: as more people get
online w/high speed access, they get
more of their info from the internet,
especially content very specific to their
interests. the first advertiser to
use this new magazine ad unit was
chrysler for their new truck although
it turns out that over "38% of worldwide
buyers say the internet is an important
information source when contemplating
buying a car" vs 29% for print ads.
second, b/c of this trend, offline
publications are losing readers, &
consequently advertisers. imagine that,
in just a few short years, the internet
has been able to seriously alter a
hundred year old way for ppl get their
********* al berrios aol *********
AOL: so much to report, they're just getting
they're own section. if you're invested, this
is a stock to buy. they're releasing harry
potter, projected to make over $450M worldwide,
the hobbit trilogy, another monster, denzel
washington had his biggest opener w/Training
Day, HBO is redefining premium cable, PowerPuff
Girls and Samurai Jack make CartoonNetwork a
powerful franchise for reaching kids, its TIME
magazine unit is benefiting greatly from online
subscriptions & new ad products for advertisers,
CNN is the only source for footage in Afghanistan,
but most importantly, 50% of their sales comes
from subscriptions via AOL, magazines, and TIME
WARNER CABLE. (the rest is 25% from ads, 25% music,
books, movies, tv programming). in almost every
other issue of opportunities, i have highlighted
how the success of media bizzes must integrate
some sort of subscription or paid for model.
AOLTime Warner is the model of the future.
bottom line: diversify.
********* al berrios branding *********
BRANDING: this newsletter originally launched
to emphasize the importance of branding. altho
it has expanded to include all relevant trends
& how you can take advantage of them, at its
core, it, just like al berrios iMarketing, is
a branding resource. if you think that branding
is not something you should be concerned about,
think again: "43% of executives polled said brand
building is of vital importance to their companies,
according to a new survey by Patrick Marketing
Group. 57% said their companies spend too little
on branding efforts."
brand building doesn't necessarily
require a massive budget. all it needs is some
sort of interrelating theme in every piece of
collateral, copy, image, sound released from
your company. no matter what media your company
uses to distribute these things, the end user
should interpret the same theme from your company.
your website is not different. it's more than
just a tool to find leads and sell stuff from.
it's part of your communication efforts to them,
and as such, you need to make sure that everything
from layout of your information to use of color,
is in line with your overall message to your
customer. what's the point? well, whenever
a potential customer thinks of something they
need that your company offers, they'll remember
you rather than your competitor, b/c your commu-
nication to them was integrated and consistent.
and what happens when someone is persistent?
they're never forgotten. al berrios is a brand-
building think tank for your internet brands,
b/c the traditional ad agency doesn't know how
give your online brands as much attention as
they need. that's to say, if you've a foot problem,
why would you go to an optometrist for help?
obviously, they're smart, but that's just not
their area of expertise.
********* al berrios roundtable *********
ROUNDTABLE: recently, i was accused of
not knowing enough about the traditional
advertising agency business to criticize
it. what's to understand: one agency has
a client, another agency wooes the client
away with lower prices, rather than pro
work. staffers working on the client at
the first agency go to the other agency
to continue to work on the client w/o
taking into account if these staffers
were actually delivering results from
their work. the first agency sues the second
to prevent these former staffers from working
on the client. the case is tossed out by the
judge. the first agency drops the suit. all
that time, money, and energy wasted on a
petty quarrel that in no way whatsoever
benefited the client that was wooed. to
top it off, there won't be any fresh
perspectives on this project since most
staffers are too ego-driven to allow them.
sad, really, that i've missed all this.
when marketers are in school,
they learn very little marketing. some
don't even go to school for marketing, and
pick things up along the way. and these are
the peoeple you're trusting w/your brands.
in almost every trade periodical you read,
these people you've hired spend their time
whining, praising themselves, or attending
awards conferences, b/c afterall, that's
what it's all about in the traditional
advertising world, winning that award. since
the quality of the material offered in
schools is so poor, & continuing education
in marketing is considered easy, then the
only thing that qualifies most marketers is
experience, in what usually works and in
what they're used to doing. as employers
of marketers, it is important to not just
rely on titles & appearance to make your
decision on your marketing partner, but to
understand what you want, b4 someone offers
you something you don't want. you don't
want an ad or marketing agency doing the
same thing for you as they did for someone
else. i mean, do you really care how many
awards they've received, since they give it
to themselves? challenge your marketer, and
see if s/he is up to it. if not, call me.
Jensen, Trevor "IPG Drops Suit Against Omnicom".
Edition, October 8, 2001, page 3
MacArthur, Kate "IPG files suit over PepsiCo account shift".
Advertising Age, October 8, 2001
********* al berrios iMarketing *********
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is purely coincidental. al berrios & co. cannot control any results occurring
from advice obtained from this publication nor any opinion(s) conveyed by
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(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.