Greetings folks,

if you were reading your BusinessWeek
carefully the last three weeks, you'd
notice something kinda odd: Steven
Wildstrom, their tech guy, seems to
say that MSFT XP is very bad one week,
great the next week, and bad again.
what's going on here? the new OS, XP,
gets all kinda reviews. and w/$300M
to spend on marketing & PR, what can
you believe? my opinion, if it ain't
broke, don't upgrade. and while on the
topic of good PR, what's up with so
much anti-americanism in the middle
east. well, bush has recognized the need
for a really good PR campaign out there
by placing a former ad exec as chief
of public diplomacy for state dept's.
unfortunately, like most "experienced"
ad execs, her ideas only work w/massive
amounts of money, when a good guerrilla
campaign is all she really needs to
change opinions. would you believe she
wants to BUILD radio transmitters to
have pro-american programming & has
the gall to request for more money
from congress to do it?! and finally,
if you're still unsure about the online
marketing lingo, the interactive ad
bureau has been kind enough to list
them all for you @ iab.net. :)

1. IMARKETING: what money can't buy
2. E-ADS: new ad type, very cool
3. ANALYSIS: importance of branding
4. AOL: how giants do marketing
5. EMAIL: how to do it right
6. TRENDS: VoIP & you. it's techie.

*************** al berrios imarketing ***************

IMARKETING: "can't buy me loooooove".
marketers are just starting to realize
that non-stop discounts, giveaways, &
freebies are not the keys to customer
acquisition & loyalty. wow. these
people have clearly mastered the fine
art of stating the obvious.

bottom line: i have personally executed
dozens of campaigns where i have created
entire networks of advertising inventory
on fan sites, driven traffic to sites, &
harvested valuable research, all w/o having
paid a cent. how? b/c i simply asked.
now there's a strategy, asking your con-
sumers to do something for you. then, if
they don't, asking them why. traditional
marketing occurs in a one-way direction.
tell us sheep what they want, then wait
for a reaction. the internet was supposed
to change that. but marketers didn't
allow it, still trying to measure, study,
& research our clickthroughs. al berrios
creates two-way marketing where consumers
get involved in the creation & decimination
of the brand message, & guess what - it works!

read more:

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

E-ADS: nytimes.com is now offering "surround
sessions" where the same brand can follow a
visitor around wherever s/he clicks via diff
ad types throughout site, allowing marketers
to develop storylines outside the confines of
regular buttons & banners, & hopefully, a better
experience, & better results. do i think this
new ad type will work? DAMN RIGHT!

bottom line: i don't have to tell you how bad
online advertising is doing. some blame the
poor creative, horrible cost per acquisition
deals, or abundance of quality destinations,
leaving less traffic for ads. well, this ad
type provides a venue for advertisers similar
to TV, and in a way that helps branding even
more. the relevance of this is that content
pubs now have new product to offer, & every-
time this happens, new advertisers are drawn
to the internet w/bigger budgets.

read more:

*************** al berrios analysis ***************

ANALYSIS: kbtoys bought assets of bankrupt
etoys & you know what they did w/them? they
put them back online with no consideration
to branding. both look alike, from colors
to layout of info. neither offer position-
ing to distinguish from the other. in fact,
the most distinguishing thing on etoys.com
is the crappy slogan: "where great ideas
come to you". this needs no witty comment
to make it funnier. the only thing that
i could think of was that kbtoys bought
the brand equity already established by
etoys, so whoever hasn't heard of mallbased
kbtoys has hopefully heard of etoys. and
after years of the same old clunky design,
hotjobs finally got a clue & streamlined
their site to look cleaner, more organized
and user friendly. i guess they finally
realized that there actually is competition
and visitors had choices.

bottom line: never underestimate the power
of a brand. kbtoys will probably spend no
serious money on building etoys into a bigger
brand. they're going to milk it for what
it's got left this holiday season, and
probably fold it back into kbtoys.com after,
to avoid the cost of running it year round.
it had over $100M in assets, and burned
through a billion in venture capital, &
all they had left was their name. & hotjobs
had always been pretty secure since there
weren't any serious competitors, so they
didn't care what sort of experience visitors
were having with its brand. now that they
care to remain in the lead, they've made
it so visitors can now have an aesthetically
enjoyable experience w/their brand. so, still
think branding is something you don't need?
think again. if you don't have a branding
strategy in place, call me. if you do, call
me anyway, so i can at a good internet com-

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

AOL: a week doesn't pass that AOL doesn't
amazes & scares me w/the way they make their
business work. no sooner does AOL 6.0
saturate the market, and AOL releases AOL
7.0, but this time, they have the dis-
tribution might of Time Magazines, the
30,000 retail relationships of Warner
music & movies, & of course, the various
TV properties they own to promote on.
ladies & gents, if you've never witnessed
a marketing monster in your lifetime,
prepare yourself, b/c this promotional
effort will be so... monstrous, bin laden
will get one of those diskettes in his
cave. i report this only b/c for most
people, the internet IS AOL, and that
unfortunately means that all marketing
must include "AOL Keywords" & logos in
order for consumers to more conveniently
locate companies now. And if you think
that AOL isn't influental, then consider
this: the STD Prevention and Control
Services of San Francisco is lobbying AOL,
and even Virginia's Health Dept to shut
down AOL's sanfranciscocom4m chat rooms
w/accusations that they have contributed
to the explosion of syphilis in San Fran's
gay & lesbian population, since they use
the chat rooms to meet sex partners.

bottom line: AOL is powerful b/c they are
media, not an ad agency. they provide the
venue to reach lots of consumers. but they
also provide a very critical service for
media: distribution, via TV distrib, internet
service provision, and Time Distrib. Ser-
vices w/o which we wouldn't get our maga-
zines. this distribution power is AOL's
real secret weapon to commanding high ad
rates. do you realize they can sell use-
less info about their business & consumers
since they reach so many consumers? well,
even against such a colossus, i always
find a bright light: they will soon face
anti-trust issues simply b/c of the nature
of their business, where, in some markets,
they are the only source for TV, magazine,
& internet availability & content. so don't
worry about competiting against them. the
same way you like choices, so do media buyers.

read more:

*************** al berrios email ***************

EMAIL: with an anthrax scare, people are
mailing less. add to that a rise in USPS
costs and companies cutting costs, & you
get an increase in use of email. Nissan
even recently canceled a direct mail cam-
paign which positioned it's new Altima as
the "cure for the common car", sending out
mailers shaped like prescription bottles.

bottom line: you may think that using
email is as simple as inserting a thousand
addresses in the "To:" field and pressing
send. and if you do, i suggest you never
conduct an email marketing campaign, b/c
you're wasting your money. seriously, it's
not as easy as you think: 1. set a strategy.
most campaigns don't have realistic goals,
budgets, or technology to execute & measure
results. all this has to be planned first.
2. buy list. unless you've been collecting
emails for years, chances are, your email
database is about 100 names deep. thank
goodness for list brokers, but be carefull
b/c you may end up buying a list of sure
fire leads w/your address on it. 3. get
& test technology. so, yeah, you've guessed
you just can't use your own email account
to send several thousand emails. this
requires serious equipment, sometimes even
it's own dedicated server, software, &
plenty of time. a million emails would
literally take about two days to send.
and then you gotta receive & filter
thousands of "wrong addresses". believe
me, you're not the one to do this. your
technology is. 4. plan out the message.
folks, this is just like an advertisement
on TV or newspaper. you just can't say
whatever's on your mind. it has to be
drafted several times, w/clear & concise
directions, working links, and Unique
Selling Proposition aimed at target audience
you're mailing. don't ever think that
since it's just email, it doesn't matter.
the #1 thing people do when they get to
a computer is check email, so you better
make this email good. brevity is also
important, since they're being kind enough
to give you their time. and on that note, bye.

read more:

*************** al berrios trends ***************

TRENDS: "The premise is that by migrating
voice traffic onto data networks, tele-
communications firms can cut costs by
combining separate voice networks and
data networks into one. Furthermore, the
infrastructure costs associated with
data networks are less than those of a
traditional voice networks, and it also
provides data service providers with an
option to offer voice services to their
customers." yeah, exactly. but what can
VoIP really do for you, right?

bottom line: imagine you're on a Amazon's
website, but wish to speak to a rep about
an overcharge. you have the option of
speaking live through instant messaging
on the site provided by LivePerson.com or
b/c Amazon has VoIP, you can press a button
on their site, and be instantly connected
directly to an Amazon call center, where
the rep has all your info, purchasing history
& payment history, and can offer you stuff
you didn't know you wanted @ a price you want
based on predictive CRM software by E.Piphany
that calculated your value to the company and
other metrics instantly for the rep. This
would all happen directly from your computer,
for free, since the call is traveling directly
via your internet connection and paid for by
Amazon, again, a function of VoIP. And
should there be a queue, Amazon will allow
you to call your friends, listen to music,
or get ads relevant to you, thanks to new
technology by Walker Digital, the same guys
that brought you priceline.com. now, this
is the sort of experience that effective
branding is all about.

read more:

*************** 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.