Greetings folks,

i attended the Financial Technology Expo
this week @ Javitz. the turnout was bad.
the booths were uncreative & the prospecting
was not enthusiastic. the technology being
displayed have already been displayed at
other events i've covered this year so far.
nothing new. the experience was so under-
whelming, i won't go back next year. folks,
let this be a lesson, the experience offered
by your brand is important to your sales.
i don't know about you, but these new powers
Bush is authorizing to fight terrorism don't
fool me. not only could the CIA be reading
this email for just mentioning Bush in it,
but if i, or you, the recipient, were not a
citizen of the US, they could "detain" us
indefinitely for it. wow, i feel safer. but
you can't hate Bush - the man is a fox in
disguise. turns out that "The family of
Osama bin Laden is close to ending its
relationship with the Carlyle Group, the
US investment group backed by George Bush
Snr, the former President," altho Papa
Bush will remain advisor to Carlyle, the
11th largest military contractor in the US.
"Mr Bush has been accused by political
activists of indirectly profiting from
the war being waged against the Taleban
by his son, George W. Bush." "The former
President's close relationship with the
Saudi royal family has helped Carlyle to
attract wealthy investors from the Middle
East." ain't that some sh!t?! enjoy the rest.

read more:

1. E-ADS: new standards
2. BRANDING: Yahoo's killing Microsoft
3. TRAVEL: marketing's growth opportunity
4. SPECIAL REPORT: NBC & cross media ownership

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

E-ADS: getting closer, but still no cigar.
on the heels of NetRatings buying up rivals
Jupiter Media Metrix and eRatings to solely
dominate the online ad measurement industry,
the IAB is getting their act together as
a regulatory board by defining what counts
as a measurable unit online. it's good for
advertisers who always argue everything to pay
as little as possible, knowing full well they're
killing content pubs. but it's also good
for content pubs, since now, they have a
basis for arguing what they've always known
to be true, they're getting more traffic
than advertisers give them credit for.
would you believe that a search engine bot
looking for your site counts as an impression?
that the ad hosting you use gives totally
different numbers than another ad hosting
company used by the other pub on which the
advertiser's campaign is running, aggravating
the advertiser?

bottom line: stop thinking of the internet
as a new print, broadcasting, or billboard
medium. the problem lies with marketers
not yet having a legit strategy for using
the net. is an impression, clickthru,
unique visit, page view, or transaction a
true measure of an online ad investment?
well, what the hell is the goal? get the
goal, settle on a metric, and everything
else will work towards achieving both &
everyone will be happier.

read more:

*************** al berrios branding ***************

BRANDING: Yahoo! takes full coverage for
their new products. last week they re-
leased no less than three products, Yahoo
Experience, Essentials & IMvironment.
Experience is free downloads for users
to turn their browser into a Yahoo browser,
providing redirections to all things
Yahoo from the browser. the prior week's
"service enhancement" from MSFT, which
made misspelled URLs redirect users of
Internet Explorer to MSN Search results
forced Yahoo to retaliate. IMvironment
leverages Yahoo instant messaging to
allow marketers to brand the background
of IM boxes w/logos, images, & more in
the future. so now, while one of my
iMarketers is chatting with a gaming
community member, they can do it with
Nintendo's logos in the background. and
people still think chat rooms aren't an
effective marketing tool. Essentials, tho,
is by far the most anti-Microsoft. "People
who sign up for Yahoo Essentials will get
a collection of services set as their
default on Windows. The bundle includes
instant messaging, e-mail, a browser
toolbar, photos and file storage, many
of which will become default services
on the Windows XP Start menu".

bottom line: remember, effective branding
is giving your customer an experience they
will enjoy enough to want to use your brand
even more. "consumers will determine success,
not the self-appointed arbiters of taste
nor the avatars of greed." the Yahoo Ex-
perience takeover of our browsers is ef-
fective branding b/c users voluntarily
use Yahoo products and services, while MSFT
shoves it down our throats, even going as
far as not permitting any other browser
software, like Netscape, Opera, or Mozilla
access to their relaunched msn.com. IM-
vironment works b/c it also allows users
to use new emoticons, know when someone
is about to IM them, & provides targeted
visual stimulation in very popular, formerly
text-based communities. and the Essentials
default software on your desktop, well, if
plastering a users desktop w/your logos is
not effective branding, then explain why
Bill has $54 billion in the bank? go Yahoo!

read more:

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

TRAVEL: Continental Airlines announced
last week that they wouldn't be paying
any more commissions for tickets sold
online, prompting investors to sell &
downgrade online agencies Expedia and
Travelocity for fear of loosing revenue
from a domino effect of other airlines
also terminating such commissions. so?
if other airlines don't pay for tickets
sold by these online agencies, these
agencies will not offer these airlines,
leaving us travelers w/less choices &
no other alternative than to go back to
our travel agents. so, what does this
have to do w/the internet? stop offering
selection & convenience, and overcharging
your customers for it, and you'll find

bottom line: the travel + tourism industry
is completely going nuts right now, from
staff reductions to reduced schedules. but
surprisingly enough, the only thing that
seems to be doing well within the travel
industry is marketing. if you're in the
industry, you're spending to get your
customers traveling again. and one of the
most cost effective ways to do this is...
the internet. ta-da! see, i can relate
anything to the internet. well, if you're
in the business of advertising or media,
guess who you should be going after? if
you don't know, ask me.

read more:


*************** al berrios special report ***************

Editor's Note: This Report was published in BrandChannel.com

SPECIAL REPORT: NBC: They Don't Need to
be a Cross Media Giant to Successfully

The medium of television serves only one
purpose, to aggregate audiences for adver-
tisers. In order to aggregate this audience,
they must provide programming (sports, news,
etc). In between, you have the companies
that make that content, and the companies
that distribute it (sometimes housed within
media companies themselves). TV can play
a very important function for advertisers
trying to reliably reach a broad or targeted
audience (as the recent Al Jareeza network
is now learning), but it isn't enough.
Advertisers utilize all media, so media
companies are giving it to them, with
discounts for consolidating accounts. So
what is television's real role, when there
are so many alternatives to reaching


The National Broadcasting Company was started
as a radio network in the 1920s by RCA, GE,
and Westinghouse. RCA bought all of NBC in
1932, and GE bought RCA in 1986, enhancing
its investment with media brands like CNBC,
MSNBC, and most recently Telemundo. NBC's
strength doesn't lie in diversifying its
media offerings, but rather, in its brands.
It's not catering to the advertiser that
wants to advertise on multiple media, but to
the advertiser interested in television only.
With all the talk of advertisers clamoring
for cross media packages and media companies
lining up to offer it, I think people have
forgotten the oldest human truth about shop-
ping: people like choices. And when they go
to a specialist that can offer them expertise
in a single field, rather than a general pro-
vider that has poor knowledge in many fields,
people buy from the specialist. NBC offers
quality programming that draws the right
audience for specific advertisers.

NBC's Brands

CNBC draws international viewers that are
interested in financial information, MSNBC
draws viewers that are interested in general
news information, NBC draws a national 20
through 40 something crowd with internation-
ally branded programming, and Telemundo draws
Spanish-speaking US viewers, a highly coveted
demographic after Census 2000. These brands
draw online as well, but NBC's failures on
the Internet are clearly signs that NBC
just wants to focus on what it knows best, TV.

NBC's Strategy

With this corporate strategy, NBC should not
be inclined to have cross media ownership as
a revenue growth engine, since they should
not attract advertisers with all-in-one media
packages, but rather with tightly focused,
internationally broadcast, niche brands. Out
of all the media majors, Viacom (specializing
in broadcast and outdoor media), News Corp
(satellite and print), Disney (specializing in
content and theme parks), and AOL Time Warner
(internet, movies and publishing), NBC is in
the unique position of being an expert at only
one thing, which fits with the overall GE corp
strategy of being the number one brand in all
the industries GE does business in.

NBC's Core Competency

What NBC addresses by their media brand owner-
ship strategy is that they are only interested
in what the consumer wants. The NBC consumer
expects news, finance, and intelligent program-
ming on TV, nothing else, nowhere else. Remem-
ber the XFL? And a review of online businesses
with their corporate logo indicate just how true
this is: nbc.com is the most confusing, disas-
sociated brand I've ever seen for a major media
brand. It has no search features, poor design,
and horrendous navigation. Msnbc.com is screaming
for a redesign that doesn't look so intimidating.
Cnbc.com management is being outsourced to MSN
Money Central. NBCi.com is a poor hodge-podge
of content from all their other web sites, dis-
guised as a portal. And as for Telemundo.com,
well, if you're a design or web business manage-
ment firm, start making your proposal, because
from the looks of NBC's track record online,
you'd be guaranteed some business on this account.
I'm surprised some other "strategic investments"
were even approved, such as NBCMarketplace.com
and NBCEnterprises.com, that don't make any stra-
tegic sense for expanding their core competencies.
Notable investments include Rainbow Media holdings
Paxon Communications, which airs family friendly
PAX TV nationally, (http://www.pax.tv), A&E Tele-
vision Networks, which airs intelligent, award-
winning programming on A&E Network, the History
Channel, and Biography Channel

I believe that NBC's future lies in its ability
to sell its brands as seamlessly integrated packages
to effectively reach the affluent, international,
educated consumers that are lending NBC valuable
time, so a sales pitch better be delivered intel-
ligently and quickly via the only media they know
will do that quickly, TV. I consider myself a
guide for media companies ready to do serious
branding with their Internet brands. I have no
affiliation with NBC, but if I did, I would tell
them the same thing you've just read. This analy-
sis of NBC is based completely on public information
and my professional opinions. I hope it offered
insight into the complex media/advertising rela-
tionship, growth strategies for the NBC brand, and
direction on what's important when evaluating cross
media packages.

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