Good morning execs,

new look this week. still trying to make this shorter &
easier to read. hope you discover your opportunity.

so the Direct Marketer's Association has told their
members to send junk e-mail to their customers to
alert them when they're going to receive junk mail,
that way, the junk relationship is maintained & less
junk mail will be thrown out. so how long will it take
marketers to spam-masize another good marketing
strategy like email? and have you seen this really
annoying scifi.com ad format. it's a huge flash pop
up that can't be closed, appears right in the middle
of the content, and completely obliterates my
experience on the site. check it out for an example
on how to alienate your users.

1. STRATEGIES: About.com + Yahoo! on making $ from their audiences
2. ROI: marketers still can't figure it out + neither can't designers
3. SEARCHING: search engine marketing?
4. DEMOGRAPHICS: the internet vs everything else
5. RESEARCH: iMarketing tactics vs number crunching in online travel
6. ROUNDTABLE: financing your small business

::::::::::::::::::::::: al berrios strategies :::::::::::::::::::::::

STRATEGIES: About.com teams up w/price comparison
shopping tool MySimon.com so readers can compare prices
of stuff reviewed by About's guides as ecommerce play.
in a similar attempt at diversifying revenue, Yahoo! has re-
organized into 6 businesses from 44, hired new c-level
execs for marketing and ad sales, fired 400 folks & teamed
up w/SBC to offer broadband to customers. many online
portals are pursuing strategies to monetize their user base,
seeing ad dollars decline. but the question you should be
concerned about is, will making your customers pay for
something they're accustomed to getting for free work?

BOTTOM LINE: as the eBay ecommerce model has proven,
buyers greatly enjoy the ability to pay the prices they want.
this is evident by the direction of About.com's efforts to offer
its users the ability to compare prices. if Yahoo! prices its
products dynamically (in real time, depending on users demand
for them), they do have a chance for success. aside from this,
research has shown that users are willing to pay for services
they enjoy b/c they understand it subsidizes other free online
services. anyone that says it won't succeed doesn't under-
stand the internet user. doubters are too comfy using T1s,
unlimited email & calendar storage space to appreciate Yahoo!'s
usefulness. 200 million monthly users can't be that wrong.


::::::::::::::::::::::: al berrios roi :::::::::::::::::::::::

ROI: 74% of US/UK mktg execs still can't figure it out online.
that's b/c they can't figure out what the customer wants fast
enough. and that's b/c they're still using 1-way communication
methods, dictating prices, & focusing too much on what they
think looks good. even designers are feeling the pinch, having
realized that all the bells & whistles don't always translate
to increased sales, especially if the target audience doesn't use
broadband. sometimes it's just better to keep things simple,
offering information and community building tools.

BOTTOM LINE: before you can determine how much to
invest online, you have to understand your goals, resources,
and customer needs and wants. a lack of competent execs
has resulted in the hiring of agencies that overpromise on results
that don't actually mean anything to the marketers bottom line
b/c they rarely take into consideration what the customer wants.
what good is clickstream analysis, fancy technology, and jaw-
dropping creative if they never ask the customer what it would
take to get them to pay for the brand? the point - listen to your
customer, don't just measure & guess. agencies, stop kissing
@$$ & tell your clients that they're idiots & their goals unrealistic.
the internet is more than a direct marketing tool, it's a medium
that allows marketers to interact w/their customers and presents
unprecedented opportunities to educate their users about their


Cuneo, Alice Z., "Holiday Diets". Advertising Age, November 12, 2001, p48

::::::::::::::::::::::: al berrios searching :::::::::::::::::::::::

SEARCHING: as the world of search engine optimization
becomes more complex w/new standards, fees, segmented
audiences, and search engines cracking down on spammers,
this form of online brand management needs a new name,
search engine marketing. those that practice SEM are not
simply getting better positioning for a client in a search engine
query, they're understanding complex technology, managing
budgets, since everyone's charging now, and making sure
that they are being listed in optimal engines, rather than all
purpose engines.

BOTTOM LINE: remember when it was as simple as "Add
your link"? it was so simple, software developed to do it
automatically. porn dominated, paying for listings was taboo,
& execs thought hiring a college kid to register their site was
going to generate half their traffic overnight. that was never
the case, and even less today, where search engine experts
are invaluable to the success of your site online.


::::::::::::::::::::::: al berrios demographics :::::::::::::::::::::::

DEMOGRAPHICS: telecom executives report frustration
at the rate at which customers are signing on to their pricier
broadband offerings. 64% of US population is online today,
and of this, 61 million households currently use dial up and
are just fine with it. about 8mm use broadband, and most
are people like me, that require super speedy connections
to the net. so what does this mean to all those companies
offering services for the broadband consumer?

BOTTOM LINE: make sure that all your advertising is
directed at the business consumer, b/c the avg american
surfer just ain't listening. when you think about it, with so
many media choices for customers, why would they want
to access the internet faster - they can get a year's sub
to their favorite magazine for under $20 bucks, $3 dollar
video tape rentals, $.25 newspapers, free radio & basic
cable and AOL has the nerve to yank $23 bucks from them.
it's no wonder they're not willing to pay the $25 to $50 some
broadband providers charge. a simple analysis like this
would have saved investors lots of money in 2000.


::::::::::::::::::::::: al berrios research :::::::::::::::::::::::

RESEARCH: quick, what's the first thing you turn to when
you need strategic data on an important decision concerning
your consumer? if you said Forrester, Pew, Diameter, PwC,
Jupiter Media Metrix, then you may not be aware of the most
powerful tool available to you that is practically free - the internet.
chat with a user, check out search engines, browse a message
board, or even check out eBay auctions to get a true feel for
the pulse of your customer. why is this so startling, when you've
known about all these things for years? how else could these
online tools become so widespread if people, your customer,
weren't using them?

BOTTOM LINE: go to 50.lycos.com and you'll discover
that after 88 weeks as the #1 subject people search for, Napster
has fallen to #51, losing it's position to its substitutes, Kazaa.com.
This tells you, as a music exec, that peer-to-peer is wildly successful
when it allows users total freedom, users of p2p have no brand
loyalties, & the music industry will undergo a huge overhaul since
this technology will not disappear w/court orders. even reporters
and investors harvest valuable tidbits in their carefully selected
communities. now if you retrieved so much valuable data by your-
self, just imagine what a professionally trained team of dedicated
iMarketers can find for you.

Konrad, Rachel, "Online Travel Deals May Take A Holiday". news.com, November 8, 2001, 4:00 a.m. PT

::::::::::::::::::::::: al berrios roundtable :::::::::::::::::::::::

ROUNDTABLE: last week i attended an Economic Development
seminar for small businesses on alternative sources of financing to
for small businesses. the answers i received sucked. VC money is
no good, b/c i'll be damned if an investor is going to own my name.
micro-loans are not competitively priced for gov $. and what's a grant?
good luck getting one. that leaves factoring, friends & family
networking, & getting a 2nd job, but as i found out, no one wants to
factor you unless you're making over $1M, my friends & family are broke,
& flipping burgers at night time to hobnob w/execs in the day time just
doesn't work for me. so what does one do? well, after eliminating the
obvious (robbing a fast food feeder's contest's prize money and rigging
elections for media billionaires), i decided to just continue to offer
good service in this little niche i call brand-building on the internet.

::::::::::::::::::::::: 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.