Online marketing & advertising illuminated via a visit to ad:tech SF

As discussed in this Tuesday’s New Media New Marketing report on TheTVNews.tv (video immediately below), I took advantage of a press pass last week to spend a day at the very alive and vibrant ad:tech SF online advertising conference. It was very stimulating as well as a bit overwhelming, as most good conferences are. (Note: Examples and references are linked below.)

Bottom line, the conference was healthy and online advertising in general appears to be growing at a robust rate. This was evidenced in an announcement unrelated to the conference, as I was getting ready to go, I learned that global package goods giant Reckitt Benckiser was doubling their annual online advertising budget to $40 million.

In addition, [added 4/30] eMarker’s CEO says Online Video Advertising to Increase 35 Precent in 2010 (video interview via Beet.tv).

One educational note was revealed as I first entered the press room. Their sign read, “Press, Bloggers & Twerps.” I commented that I had not seen twerps get press credentials previously. At this point, I was told apologetically that the sign was an error. It should have said, “Tweeps.” We are all learning. And, apparently there were only three tweeps deemed influential enough to get a press pass, but this was a “first” none the less.

Loic Le Meur

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - http://www.thelettertwo.com

A highlight for me was the keynote by French entrepreneur, Loic Le Meur, founder of Seesmic.com, who now lives in San Francisco. Loic accurately positioned social media as the third major wave of internet marketing. The first major wave, as he described it, was just having a website. The second wave was being savvy enough to be found on Google (search engine optimization or SEO). And, the third is now the ability to “earn” interactions via social media. He emphasized that social media is not about “campaigns.” It’s for listening and engaging.

Along these lines, I also appreciated comments by Larry Weintraub of word-of-mouth marketing agency, Fanscape, who explained that engaging in social media marketing has many more benefits than old world marketing. All with enormous value. Without embellishment, the four solid reasons to go social are:

  1. Marketing (another speaker said that “advertising” is now morphing into “marketing”)
  2. Market Research
  3. Customer Service
  4. Public Relations

In my opinion, none of these benefits should be under-rated.

You can watch Loic’s keynote via this link. The Hitler video which Loic included (amongst the dozens of other Hitler parodies based on the Constantin Films movie that I mention in the video above) can be viewed here, if it’s still up. It’s very funny if you are geeky enough to imagine Hitler expressing Steve Jobs displeasure over the loss of that famous iPhone G4 prototype.

Here are other examples of advertisers’ money moving to online video, as well as other links mentioned in my video report above:

BONUS #1: TWITTER ADVERTISING
Amongst the MANY smaller businesses exhibiting at ad:tech SF, I was interested to learn that Twitter is now not only being used for social media engagement; but beyond Twitter’s own advertising expansion (the potential of which Andrew Goodman calls “huge”), there is also now a Twitter-specific “contextual, targeted” independently-run Twitter advertising platform called 140 Proof.

BONUS #2: BRANDS AS PUBLISHERS a.k.a. Content Marketing
Here’s a link to a great set of links that further illuminate the “brand-led online video” trend which is also called “Brands as Publishers” by this page’s author, thought-leader, publisher, John Battelle, and “Content Marketing” by others. Checkout It’s All About Publishing, a.k.a. it’s all about content. 😉

And, as I’m sure you know, there’s “more to come.” Including an inside track on branded YouTube channels that I’ll be covering in a new blog post and video report soon. I met with Google/YouTube at ad:tech and an announcement regarding this development is expected in, roughly, mid-May.

(Request: If you watch the video above on YouTube or Facebook, please comment etc. And while you’re here, I would appreciate any comments and/or feedback that you may have. I’d love to hear from you.)

Thanks for reading!

iPad Insights: Content Consumption vs Content Creation

My video comments on this Tuesday’s New Media New Marketing report (see video below) on TheTVNews.tv seem to resonate with others, including this online video program’s host as well as a video producer that I met today at the Apple store. Bottom line: Apple’s elegant new device is ideal for media consumption. As to media creation? Not so much.

Here’s the video report with one exception to this linked below. Do you agree?

One exception is the excellent tech cartoonist, Robb Cottingham, who explains how he created today’s cartoon with an iPad and a special drawing tool. Good notes too on iPhone art apps. Read Cartooning on the iPad? Yep.

Google TV Ads, Cisco Feeds MSNBC, & Interactive Marketing Agencies: A Fresh Perspective

Another week, another Tuesday segment on TheTVNews.tv. This week, I aggregated three new online video news stories that I think merit your attention. My video segment is below, and below that are the Google TV Ads video demo, more comments, and links to all the sources. Please let me know what you think.

1. Great Video Demo of Google TV Ads

Seth Stevenson of SlateV.com did a wonderful job of demoing Google TV Ads for the rest of us. I’m sure you will agree that he proves his point that, yes, anyone with the technical chops to produce a 30-second TV spot and set up a Google AdWords account, also now has the opportunity to be a media buyer and place those TV spots on carefully targeted cable TV networks in the time slots of your choice.

I’m impressed and ready for a client who wants me to do this for them. I’m highly qualified. Are you reading?

Here’s the SlateV Google TV Ads demo for your viewing pleasure:

By the way, for those of you doing the math, not familiar with Google AdWords campaigns, and figuring that, hey, that’s about $1.30 per website visitor… please keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for AdWords customers to pay $4, $5 and up PER click. And the visitors he “acquired” via this campaign were coming to a strange website URL with no identified service or product being offered.

2. Cisco Feeds Its High-End Teleconferencing System to Rachel Maddow and MSNBC

In what is said to be “a news media industry first,” Cisco has partnered with MSNBC to provide  The Rachel Maddow Show’s New York and Washington D.C. studios with its branded TelePresence technology. According to Cisco, “TelePresence offers what traditional broadcast interviewing technology often lacks: a truly two-way, visual connection between the studio host and remote guest with virtually no audio lag time.”

To me, that’s an interesting tech story, not only because of the “no audio time lag,” but also because of further in-roads being made by a traditionally IT industry player providing hardware services to the broadcast TV industry.

Click here to see for yourself.

For more details and illuminations of the interactive benefits of TelePresence, Beet.tv has a video interview with Charles Stucki, VP & GM of the Cisco’s TelePresence unit.

3. Forrester Research Predicts the Future of Marketing Agency Relationships

Anyone in the marketing or advertising business knows that all marketing agencies are being forced to cross “boundaries” that traditionally defined specific niches. Now, Forrester’s latest report, “The Future Of Agency Relationships: Marketers Need To Lead Agency Change In The Adaptive Marketing Era” sets the stage for overlapping, multi-discipline agencies and the ways we all will be doing battle (or not) in the future.

But if you don’t feel like plopping down $499 for the report, I highly recommend Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim coverage of the report, Forrester Predicts the Interactive Agency of Record Will Die. Beal reveals the main types of agencies discussed and some of the top level data including this quote which gives you a flavor of the sophistication being required in today’s marketing agency market:

It is not enough for adaptive agencies to understand market research, ethnographic, or behavioral data. To fully understand customers, and to leverage that knowledge to improve customer experience, requires agencies to understand the interplay between the various types of data, and crucially, demands the ability to turn the data into actionable intelligence.

Stay tuned. The landscape continues to morph at a record-setting pace. Keep on dancing… and keep your seat belt fastened. 😉

Top 5 Online Video & TV on the Web Mega-Trends

On Tuesday’s edition of TheTVNews.tv, I talk about how hard it is to keep perspective on how fast things are changing, when things are changing this fast.

To help put some perspective on at least some of these changes, here are five key online video “Mega-Trends” that I think are worth noting—each illustrated by a current news story from the past week with at least one relevant link for your browsing pleasure.

Please let me know if you like this post and/or if you have any suggestions. Thanks!

1. Online Video Just Keeps on Growing.
The latest example: CBS and NCAA set a record for broadband viewing: 3.4 million viewers watched the opening round on computers. That was just on just the first day of March Madness, the national collegiate basketball tournament. CBS and the NCAA put video of all of these big games, held around the country, online at a website they call March Madness on Demand (mmod.ncaa.com). Read more at the Washington Examiner >>

2. Social Networking Usage Surges Globally
The Nielsen Company is reporting that the audience for social networks is growing at a whopping 29% year-over-year. Driven largely by Facebook, the GLOBAL average user’s time spent social networking more than doubled from just more than 2 hours/month in Feb 2009 to nearly 5.5 hours/month in Feb 2010. Interesting, Italy tops the specific country list at nearly 6.5 hours/user/month and the US is just over six hours per user a month. And this doesn’t even include YouTube as a social networking site, which it is (at least in part). I promise you that this trend will continue. The public’s appetite for making connections online and sharing blog posts, digital pictures and videos is just ramping up. Read more details on Mashable >>

3. Online Video Advertising Is Poised for Growth Thanks to Analytics
Beet.Tv posted a very interesting video interview with Mike Bologna, director of emerging communications at GroupM, the giant corporate parent of the WPP advertising and media agencies. Bologna sees formerly cautious advertisers jumping into online video thanks to the availability of browser and viewer use statistics, or analytics as we call user tracking on the web. This valuable info is drawing more advertisers into becoming willing to leverage the power of online video. Here’s the Beet.tv clip so you can hear Bologna’s insights from “the horse’s mouth”:

4. More High Quality & Professional Resources Are Being Committed to Online Video
Here are just two of the many examples of this trend. Again, both announced within the last week:

  • NYTimes.com has launched a new daily video program called TimesCast that features behind the scenes footage of the Times editorial team at work, mixed with coverage of the day’s headlines. TimesCast is now at the top of the right column on http://video.times.com Here’s a direct link to Monday’s edition >>
  • The leading tech blog, TechCrunch is upping its video content creation capabilities by hiring Evelyn Rusli, an anchor from Forbes video who made over 200 appearance on Fox News in the “Forbes on Fox” segment. In it’s typically cheeky fashion, TechCrunch announced, Welcome To Evelyn Rusli, Whom We Stole From Forbes

Of course, these are just a couple of examples of the way that important players are continuously making important steps to increase the attractiveness and viability of their online video offerings. That said, I think both NYTimes.com and TechCrunch are good examples to watch. Both are attracting both a significant volume of viewership as well as meaningful advertising revenues.

5. Major Internet Players, like Google, Are Creating New TV Hardware To Put More Online Video on Your TV
We all know that Google is a software king whose reach goes way beyond being king of the hill in search to include Google Apps (like Google Mail), Google Buzz, they own YouTube, and more. And, then there’s the Google Phone manufactured by HTC. Well now, there’s Google TV.

As the New York Times reports: Google and Partners Seek TV Foothold. Expected to bring a  new kind of Internet video experience to living rooms everywhere, Google TV is a new kind of set top box that is being created in partnership with Sony and Intel. It uses Google’s Android operating system and will compete Internet video boxes like the Boxee Box, Roku, Popbox, and the innovative Sezmi system that I profiled a few Tuesdays ago on TheTVNews.tv.

As you can tell and probably already know, Online TV / Video is not just one thing, but the trends above are clear. This “toothpaste” is not going back into “the tube.” (pun intended)

And, underneath all of this is what you might call “The New Rules of Communication” that the Web has inspired. To be successful, whatever you are doing online, you can’t just be a “broadcaster,” you need to be truly interactive and authentically engage viewers and visitors in such a way that you create real relationships with them. That’s something most TV companies still need to learn… which is good news for the rest of us.

Speaking of relationships, I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below with what you like or do not like (and rate and comment on the YouTube clips if you are so moved). I’d love to hear your feedback. I’d love to hear your ideas for what stories you’d like me to cover on TheTVNews.tv or on this blog. What would be most useful to YOU? Thanks!

The Shrinking Stage of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report

“Short-sighted at best.”

I believe I said this in today’s New Media / New Marketing segment on TheTVNews.tv (embedded below) and Marc Andreessen, one of the originators of the Mosaic web browser that ignited the Web in 1995 and co-founder of Netscape, says it also, further below.

Big media companies just don’t get it. Being truly successful on the Web means being practically ubiquitous. They still want to control things. A shrinking stage is easier to control, and in some cases may be easier to monetize; but ultimate success comes from reaching your audience and your potential audience with as wide a reach as possible. At least that’s my expansive view.

Yes, sure, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report are GREAT shows. I’m a fan, especially of Stewart’s; BUT Comedy Central’s decision to pull these hot programs off of the commercial TV, online video hub site Hulu.com is a short term mercenary move that shows that Viacom (old media company & owner of Comedy Central) doesn’t know how to leverage the popularity of these programs in order to really build their brand in an even bigger way. They are limiting the size of their stage in order to harness what they think is the best possible payday.

Yes, their network may well capture more advertising dollars in the short run, but how many more clips would end up being spread virally if they let them run free on the web? How much would this exposure be worth on an on-going basis, in terms of good will as well as exposure amongst the web hordes? We’ll never know because rather than decentralizing distribution and going wide, they have opted to “centralize” availability of online video of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report exclusively on the Comedy Central website in order to optimize return on their advertising avails.

Here’s my video opinion from the TheTVNews.tv, and more Marc Andreessen comments are further below:

To further illuminate this perspective, here are Marc Andreessen’s comments on TechCrunch, entitled Andreessen’s Advice To Old Media: “Burn The Boats.” Among other things, he said:

No matter how many iPads the Apple sells, the Web will always be the bigger market. “There are 2 billion people on the Web,” he says. “The iPad will be a huge success if it sells 5 million units.” Despite trying time and again, Andreessen’s observation is that media companies have no aptitude for technology, nor do they really understand what technology companies do. The one thing technology companies do really well is deal with constant disruption…

(Andreessen) believes that all the talk once again from big media companies about erecting paywalls or somehow charging for news, articles and video online is shortsighted at best. He comes back to the simple fact that the open Web is where the users are.

Bottom line, as far as I can tell for the foreseeable future, the Web is where the real audience lives. We are global. We are the Web. We visit many, many websites. No one site, not even Google, can control the flow. Some can dominate for a while.

So, if you have a red hot property, like Mr. Jon Stewart for example, you can make some bucks by demanding the video viewers come to you, rather than putting your program in as many places at once as possible. But, how can I say it? That would be short-sighted, at best.

What would you do, if you were Viacom?

Online Video, the TV Everywhere Buzzword & Where It’s Going

Online video continues its seemingly never ending expansion. Now, it’s everywhere.

According to the latest NielsenWire report:

The number of unique viewers of online video increased 5.2% year-over-year according to The Nielsen Company, from 137.4 million unique viewers in January 2009 to 142.7 million in January 2010.

Among the top Web brands ranked by unique viewers in January, Disney Online was the fastest growing month-over-month, increasing 23.3%.

As I discussed in the Tuesday, 2/16 edition of TheTVNews.tv (my New Media / New Marketing segment is at about 2:42), amongst the TV industry, the term “TV Everywhere” is starting to achieve such high visibility that it’s almost confusing. As you probably know, Comcast has attempted to own the term as a brand; but TV Everywhere really stands for much more.

I realized that this issue needed to be addressed when I saw it achieve TLA status. In case you don’t know the joke, TLA stands for three-letter acronym, and TV Everywhere is starting to be used so commonly that it’s starting to be referred to as TVE. Brightcove (see below) even has a product called TVE-SP or the TV Everywhere Solution Pack.

But before I say a few words about why I think Brightcove may be useful to some of you, I just have to say that TV Everywhere is becoming another “buzzword du jour.” So, be careful how you use it.

In the same way that terms  like “multimedia” and “digital video” in earlier eras were used as catch phrases that covered too much broad ground to be entirely useful, TV Everywhere is a similarly vague term. Bottom line, TV Everywhere refers to any video content creator’s attempt to publish its video content online, i.e. via the Internet, in addition to publishing said content via more traditional broadcasting and/or cable and/or DVD channels.

That said, we are seeing more and more of this kind of approach and this winter’s two premiere sporting events—the Winter Olympics via NBC and NCAA basketball’s “March Madness” via CBS—provide vivid illustrations of the online video / TV Everywhere trend, but with notable differences.

PaidContent.org’s Staci D. Kramer provides an excellent overview, dare I say “high level perspective” with her post, Vancouver 2010: Watching The ‘TV Everywhere’ Olympics From 30,000 Feet. Of course, video on the Internet also now means video on laptops on airplanes thanks to in-flight wi-fi. More importantly, it’s interesting to note NBC’s huge jumps of 350% in unique viewers and 700% in video streams since they put video of the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics on the web.

March Madness is even bigger in terms of unique visitors, and I like CBSSports.com‘s more open approach better. Unlike NBC who is keeping all the video on one site, NBCOlympics.com, CBS and their “March Madness On-Demand” (MMOD) plays nice with the other web video kids by sharing its valuable video in a web-friendly way. Their approach is illuminated in this interview by Light Reading Cable with CBSSports.com’s Senior VP and General Manager, Jason Kint. Kint explains that CBS lets the likes of ESPN and YouTube link to it’s content. This not only spreads the wealth of this content and creates good will and increased visibility for CBS as “media host,” but it is also more progressive and aligned with what makes “the web go round” i.e. sharing content is good and ultimately better for media consumers. (That’s us!)

By way of additional perspective, I brought up Brightcove.com earlier for two reasons. First, because I value to views of Brightcove’s CEO, Jeremy Allaire. Mr. Allaire has been a web innovator since day 1, most notably leading the team at Macromedia that made the Flash platform that has become something of a web video standard today. If you want more perspective on TV Everywhere, I highly recommend Allaire’s Predictions for Online Video in 2010 (via AllThingsD.com) as well as TechCrunch’s coverage of Brightcove Wants To Take “TV Everywhere” Beyond Your Cable Company’s Video Website.

Secondly, for small enterprises and sole proprietors of all kinds, I recommend a YouTube channel as the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to aggregate your video clips (a.k.a. your content). But, for larger organizations and particularly TV industry folk like producers, cable networks and others who own their content, more sophisticated ways to publish it on the web is necessary. Online video publishers, for example need a feature set that includes the ability to embed your own advertising sales as well as other features. In this case, an online software platform like Brightcove delivers. Make sense?

Then, with the publishing platform in place, program distributors can get down to creating impactful social media marketing support and multi-screen cross-promotion for their programs. And, that’s just for openers.

In other words, the fun is just beginning. TV Everywhere is now and always. So if you are a significant creator of video content you better get with the TVE program ASAP.

Also, by way of reference, I’d like to share the following Brightcove promotional video. It’s just an FYI, and not because I was paid to post it… although I wouldn’t mind 😉

I hope this is useful, and as always, I look forward to your comments, feedback and suggestions. Thanks for reading.