Good morning execs,

what could be more terrible than going
out of business? going out of business
b/c your vendor is an idiot. last week
Excite@Home was in court, renego-
tiating retarded contracts it made with
cable companies to offer broadband
to consumers, after filing for bankruptcy.
creditors are pissed b/c they fear losing
lots, so they demand shutting down the
network, screwing over customers like
me. well, f&*k Excite. they're not the
only (or cheapest) provider out there.
but marketers, take note, always warn
your customers, always be prepared,
and never depend on only one vendor.
an informal poll by my agency revealed
that music is still the #1 topic of interest
for 99% af. am. kids in the 9 to 11 age
group. when asked if they use sites
especially designed with them in mind,
such as Yahoo! Kids, about 90% said
they hate sites like that and would never
use. oh, and the hot toy this year may
be robot pets based on the amount of
buzz they receive online & the upcoming
release of Scooby Doo.

1. TRENDS: local content pubs and classifieds
2. SEM: Google makes like eBay
3. INTERNET: TV is losing viewers to Net
4. STRATEGY: take risks with your branding
5. MEDIA: why the ad market is better than you think

THEWEEK: Enron implodes in largest US
bankruptcy ever, Caf do Brasil markets its
coffee to children, emmulating American
cigarette companies, Google proves to be
too good for their own good, offering hackers
easier access to passwords & credit card #s,
Orbitz now charges $5 for tickets, "Millionaire"
show may be cut next season, heralding end
of "reality TV", eBay goes offline w/catalogue
mailed to 23MM X-Mas shoppers, after
months of delay, NTTDoCoMo must recall
videophones due to data-erasing glitch, con-
tinuing the cross-over trend established by
Madonna, J.Lo, Aaliyah, Mariah Carey,
Britney Spears is headed for the big screen,
uh-oh, MSFT enters CRM space, another
free Yahoo! service gone, as they charge for
PayDirect, leading them to eventually charge
for email use, Seibel offers CRM security
solution to gov agencies to help catch terrorists.

::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios trends ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

TRENDS: the great thing about the internet
is that you can just about find anything you
want. the bad thing is that when you want
to find something local, it's hard as heck
trying to find a starting point. enter the world
of online classifieds, a $60 billion a year
industry controlled by newspapers because
of their local reach. with more and more users
logging on to find mates, real estate, cars, jobs
and sell their goods locally, everyone wants
to get into the action now. not sexy enough to
be recognized during the dot com boom, the
few that pioneered this online sector died due
to the cost of such an operation. with no one
company being able to do it online, newspapers
are now ramping up their online classifieds in
an effort to complement their classifieds profits.
they are now serious revenue models, com-
pensating for the lack of ad revenue for some
content providers.

BOTTOM LINE: if you're a content publisher,
aware that your audience consists of mostly
local readers, don't be ashamed, and get a
classifieds section operating on your site now.
in an attempt to go global, local profits were
ignored. now it's too late for others, but not
for you. don't try to be something for everyone,
just the audience that matters, your neighbors.
there are plenty of small businesses dying
to reach them, too.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios sem ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

SEM: Google gives power to the people,
by allowing them to rank searches that will
bolster their own ranking technology, in new
test last week. search engine marketers
are confident they will find a way around
this, like by ranking their own sites positively
and their competitors' negatively, so the test
was followed by accusations that Google is
not capable of delivering untainted results.
obviously, morons. 18 million people use
Google for a reason. 23 million use eBay,
and 27 million use Amazon. people ranking

BOTTOME LINE: it seems that in almost
every online sector, companies are yielding
more and more to what their customers
want. from ecommerce to rating to searching,
companies realize that the internet has changed
the way they interact with their users, not
by giving them more data to analyze, but by
giving their customers more control over
their experiences and behavior with their
brands. naturally, you're not surprised.
afterall, you've only been reading about it
here for the last 6 months.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios internet ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

INTERNET: well, it's finally been proven,
the internet really is taking audience away
from other media, especially TV.

BOTTOM LINE: with more consumers
online, it's important to understand what
they're doing, what they want, where they
go, and how to talk to them. although
a study released by UCLA provides
some answers, it's for the general online
population, not your specific audience.
thank goodness for al berrios iMarketing.
but don't go making all your assets digital
just yet. aside from the fact that most users
just don't see the need to spend for 23.95
for access or more for faster connections,
they are quite happy with their free media
options and low bandwidth connections.
and let's not forget that consumers are still
wary of failing dot coms, like a certain
@home ISP currently screwing its
customers over.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios strategy ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

STRATEGY: when you don't understand your
audience, be conservative. that has been the
philosophy of advertisers for years. as methods
of understanding audiences evolved, so to have
strategies. no longer are marketers scared to
be explicit with their communication to their
audiences as recent kotex, deoderant, & the
truth.com ads have demonstrated. and guess
what, response has been incredible. wow,
imagine that.

BOTTOM LINE: it's funny how one reads that
methods of understanding audiences have
evolved, when for as long as people have
talked, there has been a superior one: asking
and listening. there's really no need for fancy
technology and measuring tools when all one
really has to do is ask the customer what
will make them spend more money. i'm not
talking about focus groups or complex polling,
but rather, initiating a conversation with your
consumers, whether through email or chat
rooms. just because jaded marketers need
bribes (incentives) to do something for a
company, doesn't mean everyone else does.


::::: ::::: ::::: ::::: al berrios media ::::: ::::: ::::: :::::

MEDIA: for all the talk of a slumping ad
market, and yet, there are over 4 major
content publishers that have launched or
are launching new media properties:
Dennis Publications Blender & The Week,
Hollanger International The New York Sun,
& Fine Living cable network from Scripps
Networks, (owners of HGTV & Food
Network). True that many content pubs
have vanished in the last several months
alone, but that just means that they were
past their prime and no longer suitable for
this market.

BOTTOM LINE: don't be scared of all
the hype surrounding the current ad market.
as i've mentioned before, the only people
complaining are those that were making
easy money during the dot com era and
still have to show revenue growth after.
since now they have to work for every
penny, they complain. opportunities are
everywhere to fill content gaps and reach
new audiences. advertisers are tired of
the same old and are looking for new ideas
that are more relevant to their consumer.
times have changed and so will the nature
of the ad industry.


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


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