January 25, 2005

  • Canada Post Launches Fetch

    Canada Post is about to launch Fetch. The site is now live at www.fetch4.info.

    There was a brief Globetechnology article about the fact that Fetch is being piloted in Calgary (which is somewhat unusual).

    This quote from the article does a good job of explaining the service at a very high level.

    “The Fetch service allows a user to set up an account with Canada Post, and input personal contact information in confidence. When users see an advertisement from a company participating in Fetch, they request that information be sent to that on-line account, either by entering a text message on a cellphone, or through an interactive voice system.

    Advertisers would pay only when a consumer requests one of their offers, and individuals would pay nothing for the service.”

    Congrats to Warren and Tim for getting this off the ground after a huge amount of internal work.

    It will be very interesting to see how this turns out. My guess is it will be a fundamentally new way of protecting consumer privacy while letting marketing through the veil, or it will be a flop. I doubt there is a half-way for this type of model. I’m hoping for the former as I like the idea of bringing greater interactivity to the offline environment.

January 21, 2005

  • Thought

    Kevin Lee has a very nice overview of the difference between SEO and SEM in his ClickZ article Compare and Contrast: SEM and SEO. I particularly like his analysis that SEO is largely a technical issue of site visibility (a fixed task) followed by ongoing PR and reputation management (an ongoing, evolving effort).

January 4, 2005

January 3, 2005

  • What Will Interest Me In 2005?

    Happy New Year!

    Here are a few of the top trends I’ll be watching closely in 2005:

    1. “Web First” Marketing Strategies — Forget integrating online into the marketing mix, I’m seeing more smart companies starting with the web and working out from there. For some of my clients this will be the first year where they have moved almost all their efforts (and dollars) to the web. Look for offline media to play a supporting role for many more savvy marketers in 2005. And look for web AORs to take the lead as other agencies fall in line with the online strategies set by the web shop.

    2. Rich Internet Applications — With Gmail, Flickr, Basecamp, Bloglines, and the brand new 43 Things I think we are really seeing the dawning of a whole new class of online experience. By bringing far greater functionality to their sites, these services are showing that online applications can rival desktop apps. I think 2005 will see a blurring and stretching of our concept of what the terms site and software mean. Look for ways to turn content sites into tools that users can use instead of read.

    3. Desktop Apps — The flip-side of the web-based applications trend is the rise of net-centric desktop apps. Think of iTunes and RealRhapsody, FeedDemon, or Google’s Desktop Search. 2005 will also see more sites creating custom Firefox extensions and IE toolbars to keep top-of-mind with consumers. Don’t expect all your marketing to happen in a browser or e-mail client anymore.

    4. Firefox — With over 15 million downloads since November 9th, the best web browser on the planet will stir things up as it rapidly gains marketshare on the old, buggy, unsecure Internet Explorer. One of my clients (with a non-tech audience) had over 8% of December traffic arriving via this open source app. This makes the move to standards-compliant sites even more essential as “IE Only” sites will alienate too many visitors to be worth the risk. As a side-note, let’s see if heads roll over the dreadful non-standards redesign of Indigo’s site.

    5. RSS Hits Mainstream — Feeds were the hot tech topic in 2004 and 2005 will find this incredibly powerful tool gaining broader awareness. If you’re not using a feed reader to stay on top of the industry already, you are definitely missing the boat, and if you are not thinking about a corporate strategy to benefit from feeds in 2005, then shame on you.

    Of course search will be the online marketing success story for 2005 as it was for 2004, and blogs will continue to grow in importance.

    What do you see for 2005?