2007 | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral - Part 3

Yearly Archives: 2007

Who Inspires You To Be Better At What You Do?

I’m driven by other marketers who inspire me to be more creative. These people push me to try harder, and in the end, I’m better for it. One of those people is Shawn Collins.

Shawn inspires me daily with his videos and his marketing ideas and his general attitude of having fun as a marketer. I mean, the guy really knows how to connect with his audience.

Check out this video he did with his kids. He made a post on his blog saying he was retiring from Affiliate Marketing (great hook headline for him), then put up a video of a fake press conference with his kids asking the questions. Very effective.

Watch this.

His promotion of his projects and conference always make me jealous of his ideas. It seems that every month I get a unique item from him via snail maril or email that is tied into some clever marketing campaign pushing me back to his blog or website.

Thanks Shawn, and keep up the inspirational work. It drives me to try new things and reminds me to have more fun.

What about you? What do you do for inspiration? Do other people or companies help you push the envelope on your creative efforts? Name them here if you wish.

Web Video Advertising – How Much Does It Cost?

Daisy Whitney wrote a very nice article at WebVideoReport.com about costs associated with running video ads, or ads on video on some big sites.

She looked at ad-rates and ad options for a few sites, including the Wall Street Journal, YouTube, Metacafe, MySpace and a few others.

Summary: Get your your wallet and open wide. YouTube won’t even talk to you unless you’re going to spend $50k.

The company said on its site: “Currently you can apply to advertise directly with YouTube if you’re willing to spend a minimum of $50K and you’re interested in running a large branded campaign. This advertising option requires an authorized contract or purchase order with YouTube, and ads are served on a reservation-purchase basis, rather than the AdWords auction model.”

Other sites like MySpace will give you a lower CPM ($25), but I’m sure they also have a minimum buy.

What she didn’t cover is that you will also have other costs like someone to serve your video like Doubleclick or Eyeblaster, who usually charge anywhere from $2.00-$5.00 CPM. You also have the costs of having a web video produced, etc… No, it’s not cheap, but video works.

Great guide though. Check it out.

Google, & You, Need To Learn How To Make Things Easier

Google has decided that they’re going to allow you to create sitemaps for them for your video content. This is great news. I’m in. Let’s do it.

So I head over to the page explaining how to make them, and I’m stopped dead in my tracks.

Are you kidding me? It’s way too complicated.

So this post really isn’t about Google’s new video sitemaps. It’s a post about why companies make things too hard to do unnecessarily, using Google as a good example.

Google should never have released this without some type of easy-to-use video sitemap creator tool. Same with their other sitemaps too. I should be able to go to this page, then have a little tool, either a web admin or download, that I can insert my video url’s into, which would make me a coded sitemap for submission.

Done. Easy.

But they don’t do that.

Remember, if you want your stuff to be used, you have to make it easy for them. Today’s world is filled with endless distractions. The truly successful solutions are ones that make things easy.

When was the last time you looked at something you were doing objectively? Do you make it easy for your customers, or your readers/viewers?

Ever wonder why you’re not getting more people to interact with you, or use your online tool? Did you ever think about if you’ve made it easy enough? You should.

TV Commercials Suck, Good Or Bad, They’re A Time Waster

Who are these people watching all of the commercials on recorded programs? Because I don’t, ever. I watch so little TV nowadays, that when I do, it’s because I know I can watch more because I don’t have to be a slave to their schedule, and I can just fast-forward through the commercials and get more watching done, faster.

In fact, I’m thinking I need to invent a device that puts a counter on the screen that shows me how long until the commercials are over, just so I don’t blast too fast through them, which happens nightly at my house. We can’t get through them fast enough, so we go on super 4x speed, and almost always blast over into the show we’re watching. Annoying.

Side note: I know programmers and commercial makers are onto this, because they switch the way they display commercials sometimes now. Usually, in the past, you could see a station identification promo right before the show would start, so you knew that’s when to stop forwarding. Now they have begun to adjust when they show those. Anyway, I’m onto you commercial programmer dude. You suck.

This report (need login, how dumb) can’t be true can it? Only 13.8% of DVR users “time-shift” through commercials? No way that’s accurate. I don’t know one single person who watches commercials if they are watching it back on a DVR. Do you?

Yet another study argues that most DVR owners watch most of their TV live, and don’t skip commercials. Interpublic’s Magna Global says that just 13.8% of all viewing in DVR homes is time-shifted, MediaPost reports.

And no, it cannot be because “Advertisers have already adapted to the DVRs and have suddenly begun creating innovative and compelling ads which are worth watching”. The ads still stink, well, 90% of them.

Let’s take a poll. If you have a DVR device, do you watch the commercials?

A Conversation With My Niece About Facebook

My 19-year-old niece babysat my children last Friday night. She’s a Kent State (that’s a college) student who lives in a sorority in a “quad” with 4 other girls in one room.

Every time I see her, I take the opportunity to talk to her about social media, and all things “new and hip”, etc… Heck, I have to, I’m a 36-year-old Internet geek. I see a lot of new tech online, but it’s obvious I’m not the core target for new stuff. I don’t “get” a lot of it.

Why do I have these conversations with her? Because I want get it straight from the horse’s mouth about what is new and hot and how she and her friends interact with things like Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a surmised recap of my conversation with her.

Me: So are you still using Facebook?
Niece: OMG, yes, about 5 times a day at least.

Me: You mean you log in 5 times a day?
Niece: At least. Me and all my roommates are on Facebook all day, and night. Constantly.

Me: Doing what?
Niece: I don’t know. Just updating, and socializing. Looking at pictures, leaving messages?

Me: Really? (Genuinely surprised)
Niece: Oh yeah. It’s our life beside classes.

Me: Ok, you login, and what exactly do you do? Because I login and I’m out of there in 2 minutes. I don’t know what to do.
Niece: We just send each other pictures and stuff, and chat and leave messages. It’s socializing.

This conversation finally made me realize why I don’t get Facebook. It’s because I don’t want to socialize, really. I just don’t.

She proceeded to tell me more about mp3 downloading and listening to music, and texting.

Here’s a thought on YouTube:

Me: So do you watch videos on YouTube?
Niece: Not really. I mean, we do watch the “hot” clips and stuff, but no one I know sits around and watches videos online instead of TV.

Wow, it’s amazing to see how that generation is truly utilizing today’s tools to interact with each other, not just daily, but by the minute.

When was the last time you talked to someone in your target market? It’s a sure-fire way of learning about how they use and think about your tools and company.

Heck, ask your Niece. It works for me.

Big Media Publishers Finally Getting In On The Conversation

Quietly, but surely, many online publications are beginning to enable conversations. By this I mean, sites like ESPN.com and online newspapers are enabling comments at the end of their digital content.

How smart is this? VERY.

Look at this story on ESPN about my beloved Browns. So far, this little story has generated over 100 comments. They call this “Espn conversations” and it’s in beta.

A Real-Time view of Conversations on ESPN.com

And it truly is a conversation. The main conversation page is an ajax updated page of comments that are flowing into the site.

Even my local Cleveland.com site is getting into the action. This story is an example (scroll down for comments). Now, instead of just “listening” to the writer’s thoughts, we can now converse with them and other readers.

Pretty, pretty smart for media companies to finally figure this out. I find that I spend as much as 50% longer on these sites leafing through the comments, when before without comments I would read and leave as quick as possible.

Of course, all of us in the blog world have known this for years. Finally big media begins to catch up.

My Sunday Afternoon In The Snow In Cleveland

This is brand evangelism at its best. The worst possible conditions… yet we still show up, all of us, 70k+. Do your customers love your brand?

Google Adds Blogs To The Matrix – Blogs Finally Legit

The legitimizing moment for blogs has occurred. Google is adding blogs into their regular index as part of Google Universal Search (video link).

Starting this week or next, queries on the leading search engine will return links to blogs alongside the images, news, books, local maps and video, Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, told eWEEK in a briefing at the company’s headquarters here.

I’ve posed this thought for years, and I’m glad to see it finally happen. With the growing number of blogs (content), it would be impossible for Google to ignore blogs, and they would be forced to include blog content into the mainstream flow of blood.

I argue, and now believe I have proof, that Google would not be able to distinguish the difference between a “blog” and “regular” web content, therefore, they would have to make this move eventually, and they are now.

What does the future hold for blogs and Google?

Blogs are generating content at a pace that is faster than you can possibly imagine. In the next 10-years, the massive amount of content that will come in blog form will choke the Internet. Ok, not choke it, but it’s going to account for a massive percentage of content… that Google simply cannot ignore.

I started blogging in 2001. Back when many still didn’t believe in blogs, and certainly back when nobody thought a blog could actually “do” something. I’m glad to see this moment for bloggers. The days of discounting us as non-legitimate sources of content are over.

What is Google Universal Search? Watch this video.

What’s Worse? Spam Or Telemarketers?

95% of ALL email sent in 2007 was spam, or so says the spam-experts.

There was a time–2004 to be precise–when spam “only” consumed 70 percent of all e-mail. Those were the good old days. Today, as Barracuda Networks’ annual spam report shows, upwards of 95 percent of all e-mail is spam. In 2001, the number was 5 percent.

Here’s the killer stat though. Bold is mine.

It has come to the point that, as a separate Barracuda survey of 261 business professionals shows, we increasingly prefer telemarketing to e-mail spam.

You know? I tend to agree. Email spam is manageable if you use the right stuff to catch it. Although, there’s nothing more annoying than getting a phone call during dinner from a predatory lender.

What’s your take? Spam or telemarketing?

“Funner” Should Have Won Merriam-Webster’s Word Of The Year

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2007 is…

1. w00t (interjection)
expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word “yay”

w00t! I won the contest!
Submitted by: Kat from Massachusetts on Nov. 30, 2005 23:18

We’ve been lobbying for “funner” to be a new word. So much so we made a website to help it along. Visit www.makefunneraword.com to cast your vote and support.

Read/Write Web thinks it should have been “facebook”.

I also agree with ParisLemon. Do you know anyone who has ever used the word Facebook in a sentence? No you don’t, c’mon.