June 26, 2006

  • Ken And Mitch’s Excellent Podcast Adventure

    Last week “One Degree contributor”, “blogger”, and “Twist Image President” Mitch Joel was nice enough to interview me for “Six Pixels of Separation”— his latest incarnation as a podcaster. The podcast covers a bunch of interesting topics including “CaseCamp” and “Second Life”. My interview is about 15 minutes long and covers some of my thinking about One Degree and Internet marketing in general.

    Mitch Joel was nice enough to invite me as a guest on his new “New Marketing” podcast, Six Pixels of Separation. Episode Six of the show features me, Joseph Jaffe, and Neville Hobson. Here’s a bit more about the podcast and a link to the podcast itself in case you’d like to learn a little more about what’s behind One Degree and my thoughts on new marketing in general…

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 26, 2006.

  • Second Toronto CaseCamp Announced

    It looks like “Eli Singer” refuses to take the summer off.

    Hot on the heels of the incredibly successful “inaugural CaseCamp” Eli is in pulling together “CaseCamp Toronto 2”.

    Over 70 marketers came out to that first event and I think, if you are in the Toronto area, you really owe it to yourself to block off the evening of Friday, July 7th to make the scene and see what all the fuss is about.

    *Update:* The date has changed to accommodate two special Case Presenters and to take advantage of a great new venue. Here’s the scope from the organizer of this event, Eli Singer:

    Two outstanding presenters have signed on for the next event. They are Andrew Michael Baron, co-founder of Rocketboom (the immensely popular video podcast from New York) and Matt Blackett, editor of the Spacing Wire blog (arguably the most influential blog in Toronto). To accommodate the busy schedules of these gentlemen, we’ve moved the event to Friday, July 7th. It will be at the Jamie Kennedy Kitchen at the brand new Gardiner Museum. The space is stunning and so is the patio. We were missing out on some good food at the last event, so many thanks in advance to Aldo Cundari who is sponsoring hors d’oeurves for all. We are using the wiki to write a community press release which will go out to media mid next week. Please visit site and contribute. Lastly, and importantly, we need two more presenters. If you’re on the fence, please call me to discuss what’s involved. Don’t be shy, step up and share.

    While I won’t be there (because I’m supposed to be “fishin”) I’m hoping we get LOTS of One Degree readers representing for us at CaseCamp 2.


    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 26, 2006.

June 22, 2006

  • High Road’s Social Media Division Misfires At Launch

    “Marketing Magazine” reported today that “High Road Communications” is “opening a digital communications division.”

    Here’s how High Road explained the new division in their press release:

    High Road Communications has synthesized agency talent, experience and passion in VOX, a new social media and digital marketing division. The firm’s VOX team consists of seasoned communicators who specialize in the online and social media spaces. They provide a potent mix of traditional media relations skills and forward-looking technological knowledge to deliver effective, relevant and results-driven campaigns to the audiences that matter.

    Kudos to High Road for doing this, it is indeed a much needed service and I’m sure they’ll do fine with it.

    The High Road VOX team creates and delivers services including:

    • Blog/ chat/ forum relations — targeting online journalists, enthusiast and special interest sites
    • Online community relations — engaging online enthusiasts, brand Ambassadors, and promoting positive community partnerships
    • Experiential marketing — creating innovative programs that deliver direct-to-consumer, grassroots and hands-on experiences

    There’s one big problem with this that puts their “seasoned communicators who specialize in social media” in question. The problem? “vox.com”.

    Vox is the upcoming social media site from industry leader “Six Apart”. Company founder “Mena Trott” talked about the roots of Vox “on Vox back on June 1st”. Of course, this begs the question — how could a group of social media experts go with a name that is being used by one of the top companies in the space as their “MySpace Killer”? Oops.

    Should High Road do a quick about-face and rename now, or do they run the risk of having to say things like “Vox believes that Vox will have a major impact on the industry. No, not our Vox, Six Apart’s Vox.”


    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 22, 2006.

June 20, 2006

  • iCoke Coins As Currency

    Michael Garrity’s Brand Nirvana post talks about how some brands have so much equity in the market that they become a currency onto themselves.

    This got me to thinking about a recent iCoke e-mail I received:

    As you can see the iCoke promotion (codes on Coke products could be used to enter contests at iCoke) has morphed into co-promotions in which the promotional points can be cashed in for Cineplex tickets or DVDs at Zip.ca.

    When this promotion started I would never have guessed that Coke was looking to set up a tiny Air Miles but that seems to be the case!

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 20, 2006.

  • Who’s Using Big-time Analytics and How?

    Recently I received a thought-provoking e-mail from Jeff Ginsberg at “The E-mail Company” asking why we didn’t talk more about analytics here at One Degree.

    Long time reader, big time fan. How come there is not much at One Degree about analytics? Am I not looking in the right place or has it been overlooked? After getting my free “Google Analytics” trial and setting it up in a matter of minutes I have to tell you the reports rival the big boys. It would be nice to hear from readers who have used “Omniture”, “Coremetrics”, or “Web Side Story” to see what they think of Google Analytics.

    I’d also like to hear from people using the top tier products on e-commerce sites. Have they gone to the effort to do advanced tagging for the complex sales calculations the above-mentioned products can give?

    By the way, “Hotwire” and some of the other travel sites use their analytics to send triggered email message to customers based on what they searched for on their site. For example, if you sign up for Hotwire’s deals and search for Los Angeles you will start to get e-mail about deals to LA like this:

    Dear Jeff, Looking for great deals in Los Angeles, California? Hotwire finds great deals on unsold hotel rooms. You save big. Travelers like you found these great deals on Hotwire: …

    Very cool.

    Regards, Jeff Ginsberg, Chief Email Officer

    Cool indeed.

    I’m a big fan of measuring what you do and I just love the data that these big apps throw off. We haven’t done much on this at One Degree because no one has stepped up to cover “the analytics beat” and I don’t feel I know enough to add that much to the conversation. I’m therefore posting Jeff’s request a) to get a bit of discussion going around his specific questions and b) to hopefully flush out a few Canucks looking to write about their experiences with web analytics. Feel free to comment below and if you are interested in contributing posts about analytics, “drop me a line.”

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 20, 2006.

June 18, 2006

  • DMA Jury Announced

    Summer means that it is time to start thinking about the “Digital Marketing Awards.” Now in its seventh year, the DMAs have expanded once again. Six new categories bring the total to twenty. Also expanding is is the jury.

    Here’s the official jury as selected by Thane Calder, President, CloudRaker and Jeff Smith, Senior Manager, Interactive Marketing & eBusiness, hbc.com:

    • Mario Alfano, SVP, Marketing and Strategy, CanWest Interactive
    • Fady Atallah, President, BlueSponge
    • Cam Bedford, VP, General Manager, Fjord Interactive Marketing and Technology
    • Kyler Bell, Director, eCommerce and Online Marketing, Loblaw Companies Limited
    • Paul Bichler, BBH * Mike De Luca, Directeur, Publicis Dialog
    • Joanne de Visser, Senior Manager Interactive, Coca-Cola Limited
    • Will Eagle, Manager, Online and Creative Services, Virgin Mobile
    • Larry Futers, National Marketing Manager, Mitsubishi
    • Jean-Philippe Gauthier, GM, Sympatico/MSN
    • Dawna Henderson, President and Managing Partner, Henderson Bas
    • Darrell MacMullin, iMerchant Services, Paypal Inc.
    • Jennifer Maks, eCommerce Marketing Manager, The ALDO Group
    • Joe Mosher, Director, Aliant ISP, Aliant
    • John Rocco, Director, Lifestyle & Kiosk, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
    • Rosie Riolino-Serpa, Director, Usability and Customer Experience, e-Business, Rogers Communications Inc.
    • Dave Smith, Art Director, Juxt Interactive
    • Dave Stubbs, Creative Director, Organic
    • Dominique Trudeau, Creative Director, Design and Interactive, Taxi Montreal
    • Jean-Christophe Yacono, Freelancer

    DMA judging will take place this summer, and the winners will be announced Nov. 2 in Toronto. The deadline for entries is June 23, giving the judges the summer to review entries and have everything ready to announce the winners in early November.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 18, 2006.

  • 30 Quick Wins For Any Site That Sells

    Last week I presented at “Visa’s Big Thinking Conference” (Thanks to “Rick Spence” for the opportunity). My presentation was called “30 Quick Wins for Any Site That Sells”.

    One of my basic premises is that most every site should “sell” — in the sense that it should be built to help people take an action — and because of that the presentation is fairly different from the typical “a bunch of stuff to think about for your e-commerce site”. In the spirit of sharing, I’ve decided to post all 100 slides along with my speaker’s notes here at One Degree for the benefit of those who were unable to attend. You can download 30 Quick Wins For Any Site That Sells as a 100 page, 7MB PDF file here.

    <download lost to link decay>

    In case you’re curious, here are the 30 quick wins (although I don’t think they make too much sense without the rest of the stuff in the PDF):

    1. Build the right tools for the right people.
    2. Say “no” by default.
    3. Don’t use apples to make orange juice.
    4. Don’t make me think.
    5. Tell them to “Start Here”.
    6. Be memorable.
    7. Add spell-check to your domains.
    8. No dub-dub-dub? No problem.
    9. Have a list, a blog, and a feed.
    10. Build for all three browsers.
    11. Don’t make a splash, make a gateway.
    12. Think “Landing Page”, not home page.
    13. “What’s the next action?”
    14. Link on verbs not nouns.
    15. Design from the bottom up.
    16. Tell them “You are here”.
    17. Put search everywhere.
    18. Simple.
    19. Use a high-contrast palette.
    20. Never make people do what computers can do.
    21. Don’t be so nosey.
    22. Optimize for speed, but support broadband.
    23. No ads.
    24. Design for disaster.
    25. Cancel the cancel.
    26. Put your site on Atkins.
    27. Write like your audience thinks.
    28. “Lady, that is one ugly baby.”
    29. Track from day one.
    30. Build tweakable sites.

    Enjoy the download and feel free to pass it around.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 18, 2006.

June 15, 2006

  • Tucows To Acquire NetIdentity

    Disclosure: In real-life I “work” for “Tucows Inc.” 

    I feel this is big news for the Canadian Internet industry because Tucows is one of Canada’s largest Internet pure-plays, but I’m involved, so rather than provide opinion one way or the other, I point you to the “press release” and the “FAQ and Podcast” Tucows has prepared to provide further background.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 15, 2006.

June 13, 2006

  • HSBC.ca Red Tag Sale Leaves Us Cold

    I got a tip from someone at one of the big banks who swears they’re not submitting this to bad-mouth one of their competitors, merely to point out a particularly bad online customer experience.

    We’ll take them at their word because looking at hsbc.ca right now does bring some questions to mind…

    I just went to HSBC.ca after having attended a luncheon that they sponsored and I was interested in getting more information on the luncheon series. I was shocked to see that currently when you plug their URL into your browser, you are re-directed to a page dominated by a special offer. You then have to click on a link to access their real web page.

    Things then go from bad to worse when I try to find some information about the luncheon series. Their homepage is now filled with red tags with specials all over them. Isn’t it Toyota who holds the brand for a “Red Tag event”? From here, I have to click on “sponsorships”, then “Community Sponsorships”, then scroll down the page to “Women of Influence Luncheon series”, then click on the link for the HSBC branded website (hsbcwomenofinfluence.ca — terrible name), you get a pop-up that you are leaving the HSBC.ca site and have to agree before getting to where you wanted to go in the first place! Has their marketing department taken control of their publishing?

    Please, please write about this. This is the worst customer experience I’ve encountered on a large corporate site in a very long time.

    This is a classic case study in what happens when a marketing department takes control of a website. To make matters worse, they don’t use a cookie, so you have to see that damn offer message every time you go to their site.

    I’d rather you didn’t use my name but you can say I’m a competitor in the financial services industry who doesn’t plan on showing this to their own marketing department for fear they will fall in love with the idea. “Hey — I didn’t know you could do that? Can we do that?”

    I see a few issues here:

    • How promotional and a banks home page be?
    • How do you integrate special sites (for community events or promotional microsites) into the overall flow of your site? People will assume they can get to everything you do from your home page, but how do you support that?
    • How much control should marketing have over very functional sites like banking?

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on this. Add your comments below…

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 13, 2006.

June 12, 2006

  • Fuel Industries’ Deadwood Game

    I’m a big fan of HBO’s “Deadwood”.

    The first episode of Season Three is premiering as I write this — here’s to whoever invented the PVR (Personal Video Recorder).

    Needless to say, I was thrilled when Ryan Anderson from Ottawa’s own “Fuel Industries” let me know that they were the ones behind the new promotional game based on the series called “Dead Man’s Hand”

    We just launched a new project for HBO that I thought you might be interested in. As part of the promotion for the third season of Deadwood, we developed a 3D Texas hold’em game where you play against the characters from the show — Al Swearengen, E.B. Farnum, and Trixie. The additional cool factor is that while you play, you’ve got a gun that you can pull and start shooting the place up — it’s actually integral to winning the game. The game requires the download of a plugin called Virtools, which works with every browser and is about the same size as Shockwave. Basically, it allows game developers to deliver console-quality 3D within a browser. We’re still limited by bandwidth, of course, but what you can do with it is pretty amazing. I’m a little biased of course, but this is the most graphically intense promotional game I’ve seen.

    Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get the plug-in working on my Mac — despite assurances Virtools supports OS X.

    Let me know how you like it.

    Bonus Trivia — The origin of the phrase Dead Man’s Hand was explained in an earlier Deadwood episode.


    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 12, 2006.

  • CaseCamp Hits Critical Mass In One Week

    You all know that I’m a major believer that the Internet is changing just about everything around us. But even I’ve been blown away by the success of CaseCamp in going from idea to national movement in about two weeks.

    As we “mentioned last week” Eli Singer’s new event is kind of like “BarCamp” for marketers (or more accurately “DemoCamp” for marketers I guess). When I wrote that first article, Eli had 10 people signed-up at the wiki saying they’d be attending. Now, just five days later, this inaugural event has 47 signed up! I’m sure we’ll see another burst of registrations in the next 24 hours as well. This is faster growth than the first Toronto BarCamp.

    Not only that, but “One Degree Contributor Mitch Joel” has jumped in and organized “CaseCamp Montreal” for July 4th and as of this writing they have 18 people signed up — amazing. Back when I helped start “AIMS” in 1996 it took us about four months of meetings to figure out what we wanted to do and probably six months before we hit 50 people in the room.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 12, 2006.

June 6, 2006

  • CaseCamp — BarCamp For Marketers?

    I just got a note from “Eli Singer” of “CundariSFP” letting me know about a very interesting project he’s started called “CaseCamp”. It’s a new marketing community here in Toronto modeled after the “incredibly successful BarCamp” style unconference movement.

    Whereas BarCamp is geek/tech-oriented, I think that CaseCamp is looking to forge new ground in helping Internet marketers connect, converse, commiserate, and… something else starting with a “c”. Hopefully, geeks will feel as welcome to crash the CaseCamp party as suits have felt at BarCamp (i.e. very welcome).

    The “inaugural CaseCamp” is happening Tuesday evening, June 13th and features (as of now):

    1. Petro-Canada’s 2006 Online Olympic Promotion — One Degree’s own Kate Trgovac
    2. ‘Getting Started Segment’ — Personalized Microsites — Nicole Mondville, RBC Direct Marketing
    3. Starchitect Landing — Blogging at the AGO — Susan Bloch-Nevitte, Executive Director Public Affairs, AGO and organizer Eli Singer, Marketing Communications Strategist, Cundari SFP
    4. ????

    Eli wanted me to point out that the last slot is still open and he’s hoping that some brave soul will be willing to step up and add their case study to the evening.

    I’ll be there and I hope to meet many One Degree readers at the first CaseCamp. You should “add yourself to the attendee list on the CaseCamp wiki”.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 6, 2006.

June 4, 2006

  • Harry Rosen’s Evolving E-mail Strategy

    As Internet marketers, we live either in the now or slightly in the future (ever ask your neighbour about feeds, podcasts or YouTube?). With that in mind, I thought it might be nice to look at the progress on online retailer — “Harry Rosen” has made in e-mailing their customer list.

    Here we see an e-mail sent from my wonderfully named salesperson Barby Ginsberg back in September 2002:

    <image lost to link decay>

    Besides being text only and using non-trackable links, the message has a lot of quirks that caused me to use it as an example of what not to do when teaching e-marketing courses.

    But Harry (and Barby I guess) have been learning more about the Net in the last four years and I was quite impressed with this recent e-mail promoting an in-store event:

    <image lost to link decay>

    Maybe it’s the fact that the e-mail is almost a clone of One Degree’s stark black and white look, but I found this very compelling. The message is now made up of a bunch of images (and pretty much nothing else) which isn’t the best but I found the visual design appealing, very on-brand, and effective. Any thoughts on either this particular campaign on the progress Harry’s has made in the last few years?

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 4, 2006.