A Canadian book blog: Publishing, marketing, books and technology from a Canadian perspective

Friday, October 27, 2006

Michael Winter Survives Inferno

Michael Winter, author of The Big Why and other books I’ve greatly enjoyed reading, has survived falling into an inferno. Speaking of the big why—why? Why was he near an inferno?

According to Quill and Quire, Michael was at the city dump, unloading some roofing from his room, lost his balance and fell into the open air inferno.

Quill reports: ‘Luckily for Winter, the usually deserted dump was not entirely deserted on this particular day. Sitting nearby, according to the author, was a solitary man enjoying some spirits who caught sight of Winter falling into the incinerator. “He saw me fall in, got help, opened the back doors [of the incinerator], and I flew out with my arm on fire,” says Winter.’
Quite an X-men story: Winter wrestles Inferno.

As the Crow Flies and the Indie Wedding Season Hits ...

Darren pointed me to Kirsten Bole’s website crowstoburnaby.com.

Kirsten has discovered a list of female Vancouver bloggers on a strange site that doesn’t appear to be doing much but looks like there’s some connection to Virsouq.com, which is a website about alternative weddings.

Possibly they are looking for female, 30-something, Vancouver bloggers to blah blah about the upcoming wedding show.

My favourite part of all the strangeness is the one line sentences used to describe our blogs.

Darren is “ok, so he’s a guy, but a high technorati rating”.

SoMisguided is “Another girl, a little tree huggy—prolly thinks of herself as rather alternative”.

What do you think? If you had one sentence to describe this blog, what would you say?

 

 

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Want to Start a Company Blog?

UPDATE: Ok, it’s a little late for you to register. I can’t believe it’s already October 25. Check out the site instead and prepare for the next one.

Want to start a company blog but don’t know how or have received resistance internally? Do your co-workers think blogs are only online diaries kept by basement-dwelling, cat lovers? Tell them it’s not true. Tell them how to run a successful corporate blog. Tell them how to handle negative feedback and criticism as well as how to respond to positive feedback and praise.

If you want to blog for a business but don’t know where to start, attend the 2006 Blog Business Summit in Seattle, October 25-27.

The site offers all sort of great reasons to give your boss about why you should attend.

The full conference is $995, but you can visit SocialSignal.com who are sponsors and they’ll tell you the discount code, then it’s only $895. A true steal of a deal.

I attended the Blog Business Summit several years ago and it really helped me quickly figure out what I needed to do blogwise and why I needed to start right away.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

2006 Living Planet Report

How many planets do we need?

According to the WWF 2006 Living Planet Report we’ll need two if we continue at our current level of resource striping (5 planets if every country’s footprint was as big as America’s—Canada is not far behind so don’t get too smug).

The Living Planet Report started in 1998 and outlines the state of the natural work and the impact of human activity upon the planet.

It’s not good news.

Humans (especially North Americans) are using the planet’s resources faster than they can be renewed. Our total footprint now exceeds the world’s ability to regenerate by about 25 percent.

We are drying the dishes faster than we can wash them.

It’s reports like the Living Planet Report that makes the Conservative Clean Air Act all the more laughable. By 2050, if we continue on our current trajectory with optimistic projections for moderate population increases, food and fibre consumption and CO2 emissions, we will be demanding resources at double the rate at which the Earth can generate them.

We tend to get stuck on the economical “incentives” for carrying on with the current state of affairs, for doing more studies, for basically doing nothing. What is the financial cost of overshooting by 50%, 100%, 150%?

Here’s the full report (PDF).

Not up for a big read, take the One Tonne Challenge. Oh wait, the Conservative government scraped that.

Here’s an old site, but still useful for hints: OneLessTonne.ca.

Or read George Monbiot’s book HEAT: How to Stop the Planet From Burning.

I just got this book, but the jacket flap tells me that Monbiot “demonstrates that we can achieve the necessary cut—a 90% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030—without bringing civilizations to an end.”

Who’s up for sustaining life on Earth? 

Random House Canada sent me HEAT, along with 10 tips from George.

10 Tips for How to Stop the Planet from Burning:

1. Cut your flights. Nothing else you do causes so much climate change in so short a time.

2. Think hard before you pick up your car keys. On average, 40% of the journeys made by car could be made by other means—on foot, by bicycle or on public transport.

3. Organize a “walking bus” to take children to school.

4. Ask your boss to devise a “workplace travel plan” that rewards people for leaving their cars at home.

5. Switch over to a supplier of renewable electricity. You don’t have to erect your own wind turbine, but you can buy your power from someone who has. (How do you do this????)

6. Ask a builder to give you an estimate for bringing your home up to R2000 standards.

7. Ditch your air conditioner.

8. Turn down your thermostat: 18 degrees is as warm as your house ever needs to be. You just have to get used to it. (It’s true. James has been freezing me for years, but now I’m used to it and often feel too hot in other people’s houses. Although I also prepared for their homes to be Arctic fresh.)

9. Make sure every bulb in your house is a compact fluorescent or LED.

10. Do not buy a plasma TV: they use 5 times as much energy as other models. (Is this plasma computer screens too?)

Want more? Lots of articles on www.monbiot.com.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Geist is good for you

The good folks at Geist are running their 3rd annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.

(I know, for postcard fiction, they could have picked a shorter contest title, but it’s a good contest nonetheless.)

There’s big money to be had in postcard fiction:
1st Prize: $250, 2nd Prize: $150, 3rd Prize: $100

Postcard fiction is one of my favourite formats, perhaps I will bore you sometime with my entries from previous years, which have never graced the honourable mentions, then you can tell me they suck by your silence or cautionary feedback, i.e., “stick with the day job.”

Enough rambling, go to the Geist website for the contest details.

In a nutshell, mail Geist a postcard and write max. 500 words (fiction or non-fiction) that in some way relates to the image on your postcard.

Here are last year’s winners.

 

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Winner of the Bool

Congratulations to Aaron, winner of the bool.

Here’s my YouTube video of the random draw, watch it now.

Don’t know what a bool is, here’s how it started.

Summary of the CMA Digital Marketing Conference

For my own purposes, I want these notes handy. If you are interested in reading about the Canadian Marketing Association’s digital marketing conference, then here you go and thank you for indulging me with your time. If you couldn’t care less, add a link to the comments page for something fun that you’d rather be doing. That way, when I leave marketing-land, I’ll have somewhere fun to go too.

CMA is going to post the speakers presentations on the CMA website.

In fact they might already be up on the CMA blog:
http://www.canadianmarketingblog.com/

The CMA blog has a number of great contributors. They also have podcasts of the event, there’s links to photos. I’ll link to their posts below, but this is meant to be my archive of what people were scheduled to talk about, what they did talk about, and what I thought about what they talked about.

If you want more than my opinion, check out OneDegree.ca. I think they did a much better job than the CMA blogging about the conference.

Overall the conference was informative, I got to meet David Weinberger, I had an amazing roundtable on Social Media, which was moderated by Kate Trgovac, and I met lots of interesting people who attended the conference.

October 19

Morning Keynote:
Changing the Conversation: General Motors of Canada is Driving Success OnLine
Frank Trivieri, General Director of Marketing, GM Canada

It takes courage, commitment, and innovation to survive and thrive in today’s fiercely competitive automotive landscape. Nobody knows this better than Frank Trivieri, the senior marketing executive at GM Canada, one of the country’s largest advertisers. Frank will share surprising facts about GM Canada; where GM has been and where it’s going. He will discuss the role of digital marketing in GM’s turnaround strategy. Frank will showcase some of the innovative ways his company has been marketing online, discuss the lessons they’ve learned, and offer some words of wisdom for marketers who are struggling with the integration of digital and traditional media.

SoMisguided Post 1: Frank Trivieri talks about GM Canada


9:45 a.m.

What are YOU Thinking?
Steve Levy, President, Canadian Market Research Eastern Canada, Ipsos Reid

What are marketers (on the client and agency side) thinking and perhaps more importantly what are they (you) doing in the world of digital marketing? Steve Levy will provide highlights of an exclusive Ipsos Reid survey of Canadian marketers that will identify what is happening in this space and why. What will marketers be doing/changing in the near future? Who is on the cutting edge and what does it mean to be on the cutting edge? What are the key opportunities and major barriers in the digital marketing space? Is search marketing as big a deal as some would say and how are you responding to democratization/disintermediation? And amidst all of these issues, how are you organizing and staffing to meet some of these changing circumstances?

SoMisguided Post 2: Steve Levy on spending money online


11:00 a.m.

Six Pixels of Separation – How marketing connects in a digital world
Mitch Joel, President, Twist Image

It’s a small world after all.

While many marketing professionals are still struggling to understand the principles of online marketing, an entirely new generation of digital opportunities is already taking place and they’re being created by consumers.

Consumers have never been so powerful and have never been so in control.

But what does all of this mean to marketers, and how do we keep our jobs?

In this session, Mitch Joel will unravel the fascinating world of new marketing, consumer-generated content and social media. If media like blogging, mobile blogs, narrowcasting, podcasting, second life, viral marketing and search engine marketing make your eyes glaze over, Six Pixels Of Separation is for you.

Understand how these new marketing touch points are creating new conversations where the results are staggering and loyalty is off the charts.

Welcome to the new conversation. Welcome to the world of new marketing. Welcome to Six Pixels of Separation.

SoMisguided Post 3: Mitch Joel on Six Pixels of Separation

CMA Post on Mitch and his MySpace example

CMA Post about Mitch’s session


1:00 p.m.

Luncheon Keynote
Markets in the Age of the Miscellaneous
David Weinberger, co-author of the influential bestseller, The Cluetrain Manifesto

As information, commerce and social relationships go digital, the old constraints on how they’re organized go out the window. The digital age is also the age of the miscellaneous, enabling customers to pick and choose what they want—including not just products, but also opinions about products—from the universe of offerings. Markets are rapidly inventing new ways to organize themselves, based not on accidents of geography or even of demographic similarity, but on genuine interests and the sound of human voices. This changes the basics of what markets are, what they expect, and what they demand.

SoMisguided Post 4: CMA: David Weinberger on Humans and the Internet

OneDegree.ca Post: David Weinberger on Misinterpreting the Cluetrain Manifesto

CMA Post on David Weinberger

2:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand
Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing
Bryan Eisenberg, Principal, Future Now Inc.

Good marketers know that customer-centric marketing is mandatory. However, we are not the customer. What the customer perceives as relevant is the thing that successful marketers must anticipate, plan and deliver on. Bryan Eisenberg shares insight from his new book “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing,” which offers details on Persuasion Architecture, a proven persona-based methodology.

Persuasion Architecture helps marketers anticipate different angles from which customers frame their questions and then co-ordinate messaging across multiple channels so that marketers can create predictive models of customer behaviour. Don’t miss out on learning about this marketing approach that can skyrocket the effectiveness of your interactive marketing.

SoMisguided Post 5: Bryan Eisenberg on How Marketers Fail Us

CMA Post on Bryan Eisenberg - Why are we so bad at the Online conversion game?

3:45 p.m.

The Experience Exchange
Back by popular demand, the Digital Roundtables are an exclusive opportunity for you to exchange insights with your peers on one of 13 different topics. A baker’s dozen of leaders in the field will moderate the Digital Roundtables and keep the dialogue and ideas flowing.

1. Podcasting
2. Blogs
3. Branded Entertainment
4. Conversion & Measurement
5. E-commerce
6. E-mail Marketing
7. Social Media
8. Paid Search
9. Search Engine Optimization
10. Customer/User Experience Design (Usability)
11. Wireless/Mobile Marketing
12. Future Digital Marketing Platforms
13. In-Game Advertising

October 20

Morning Keynote:
It’s All About the Content: Podcasting as a marketing tool
C.C. Chapman, Host, Managing The Gray

Podcasting is the hottest technology to arrive on the scene. But it’s not just a creative way to repurpose audio and video content to reach your customers: It’s a powerful mechanism to allow you to build a community and truly connect with your market. Podcasting veteran and new media specialist C.C. Chapman will discuss potential pitfalls, keys to success and insights into how you can harness the power of podcasting.

SoMisguided Post 6: C.C. Chapman on Podcasting

CMA Post on Podcasting is Apple Pie for Whales


9:30 a.m.

A Day in the Life of Today’s Youngest Media Consumer
Laura Baehr, Director of Marketing & Nonlinear, YTV (Corus Entertainment)

This session focuses on kids’ use of different digital media: What’s changed over the past decade? What hasn’t? What are eight-year-olds doing that 14-year-olds aren’t (and vice-versa)? How do kids play in this multi-media world, and how do they multi-task? What technology do kids own, what do they want to own, and how are they going to get it? Find out when the kids’ experts at YTV present a comprehensive look at today’s youngest media consumers and customers.

SoMisguided Post 7: Laura Baehr on YTV and what tweens are up to these days

CMA Post on Tween

10:30 a.m.

Industry Leaders’ Panel
Moderator: Mark Evans, Senior Technology Reporter, National Post

Panel:
Jordan Banks, Managing Director, eBay Canada
Arturo Duran, President, CanWest Interactive
Patrick Lauzon, Executive Vice-President, Quebecor Media
Alex Leslie, Vice-President, Product and Technology, AOL Canada Inc.
David U.K., Director of Sales and Strategic Alliances, Standard Interactive
Ray Newal, VP Business Development, Yahoo! Canada

CMA Post: what they thought about the panel

11:30 a.m.

Closing Keynote
The Traditional Interactive Agency
Joseph Jaffe, President & Founder, Jaffe, LLC

As digital continues to enjoy unprecedented growth and continued success, is there a danger of falling into old, bad habits and the familiar territory of complacency, mediocrity and risk aversion? Is history repeating itself and if so, what can those tasked with the all-important charge of leading their companies and brands into the consumer-controlled world do to keep ahead and stay ahead? Are today’s interactive agencies and marketers structured, equipped and capable of best leveraging the onslaught of consumer generated content, social media and new marketing in general…and if not, what needs to be done about it.

SoMisguided Post 8: Joseph Jaffe on the influence of social media

CMA Wrap-Up Post

CMA: Joseph Jaffe on the influence of social media

Post 1: Frank Trivieri talks about GM Canada

Post 2: Steve Levy on spending money online

Post 3: Mitch Joel on Six Pixels of Separation

Post 4: CMA: David Weinberger on Humans and the Internet

Post 5: Bryan Eisenberg on How Marketers Fail Us

Post 6: C.C. Chapman on Podcasting

Post 7: Laura Baehr on YTV and what tweens are up to these days

Post 8:
The Traditional Interactive Agency
Joseph Jaffe, President & Founder, Jaffe, LLC

Joseph’s presentation was by far my favourite. He issued a call to arms. Be better than you are now.

If content is king, Google is Merlin: Google advises, Google is about content.

Interactive is the new traditional.

The consumer pie is not going to grow, but we’re all going to become more efficient, we as marketers will pay more for something that is organic, provides repeat visitors and is effective. We will stop paying for advertisement that is annoying to customers, does not work, and involves us continually whining at customers “over here, over here, over here.”

Joseph challenged all of us to look at our past 10 marketing campaigns and rate 1-10 on:
experience
permission
involvement
conversation

Understand social media. It’s about funnels of trust, respecting someone’s time, influence, abundance, total access, self-actualization and a ripple effect.

The new world order is about broadband, wireless, networks and search.

Joseph Jaffe is undoubtably online:
http://www.jaffejuice.com/
http://www.getthejuice.com/

He also said that he’d post his presentation so as soon as it is up, I’ll post the link, otherwise, poke around yourself. You are empowered, you are in control, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. You can see how this is alarming to “control the message” marketers. Rattle that cage Joseph!

CMA: Laura Baehr on YTV and what tweens are up to these days

Post 1: Frank Trivieri talks about GM Canada

Post 2: Steve Levy on spending money online

Post 3: Mitch Joel on Six Pixels of Separation

Post 4: CMA: David Weinberger on Humans and the Internet

Post 5: Bryan Eisenberg on How Marketers Fail Us

Post 6: C.C. Chapman on Podcasting

Post 7:
A Day in the Life of Today’s Youngest Media Consumer
Laura Baehr, Director of Marketing & Nonlinear, YTV (Corus Entertainment)

Laura’s presentation was full of numbers, in particular those from the YTV Tween Report.

Kid, Teen, Tween, Youth, what’s the difference? Lots.

Here’s how YTV defines the groups:

Pre-schoolers = age 2-5
Kids = age 6-11
Tweens = age 9-14 (sometimes more focussed to age 7-12, but tweens are basically the overlap between kid and teen. YTV is tween focussed)
Teens = age 13-19
Youth = general undefined category, could be kids, kids to teen, or kids to college-aged people

There are 2.5 million Canadian tweens (age 9-14). They are immersed in the cultural scene. They are technologically astute. They demand a say and get one. They are very discriminating in their tastes. They are encouraged by parents and teachers to make decisions. They have kidfluence. They spend more time with media than any other group.

Tween boys like adventure, trouble, risk taking, adrenaline rushes and competition. Tween girls like nurturing, shopping, competition, make believe and fitting in. Clearly these are wide-sweeping generalizations, non?

In a typical day they spend 5 hours in school, 3 hours with tv and videos, 1 hour with music, 1 hour with computers, and 43 minutes reading (I missed some of the other numbers).

Tech gadgets are replacing traditional toys. Barbie, for example, was played with by children aged 5-12, now it is ages 5-8. Tech gadgets are replacing back-to-school clothes. Best Buy is hopping at Back to School, it’s busy, busy, like an early Christmas.

There were a lot of numbers thrown around but my impression is that tv is still important to tweens. They want cellphones but they also want tv, they want the internet but they also want tv. They are multi-taskers, which may seem like a good thing, but I’m worried about this generation’s ability to concentrate. Like all teens and tweens, it’s a lifestyle thing to have gadgets. They are also at the lovely independent stage of life where they want to be different, just like everyone else.

CMA: C.C. Chapman on Podcasting

Post 1: Frank Trivieri talks about GM Canada

Post 2: Steve Levy on spending money online

Post 3: Mitch Joel on Six Pixels of Separation

Post 4: CMA: David Weinberger on Humans and the Internet

Post 5: Bryan Eisenberg on How Marketers Fail Us

Day 2, October 20, 2006

Post 5:
It’s All About the Content: Podcasting as a marketing tool
C.C. Chapman, Host, Managing The Gray

What is a podcast?
Ask a Ninja answers “what is podcasting”?

Podcasting is a subscription-based delivery mechanism for any type of multimedia file.

It’s also an apple pie factory for whales.

It’s another tool for reaching people.

Questions to answer before podcasting:

- Do you want to record in studio or mobile
- What’s the budget
- Is it host driven or interview focussed
- How do you define success

Things you should do as a podcaster:

- Focus on content
- Plan for the long haul
- Don’t go it alone
- Embrace the podosphere
- Find a great host
- Be the expert on your brand, be the leader in this space for your brand or company

C. C. Chapman is a podcaster, second lifer, filmmaker and all around web freak. Find him at
http://www.cc-chapman.com/

CMA: Bryan Eisenberg on how marketers fail us

Post 1: Frank Trivieri talks about GM Canada

Post 2: Steve Levy on spending money online

Post 3: Mitch Joel on Six Pixels of Separation

Post 4: CMA: David Weinberger on Humans and the Internet

Post 5
Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing
Bryan Eisenberg, Principal, Future Now Inc.

I don’t remember where these numbers came from; Bryan quoted Forrester, WebSmart, we did audience polls, and maybe some are made up. Just know that all the lies I tell are true.

- 54% of people resist buy a product if they feel marketed to
- 56% avoid buying products they feel are over-marketed (this skews by age, the younger you are the higher the avoidance)
- 69% actively seek ways to block marketing
- 26% of online customers report satisfaction with a web shopping experience (brutal)
- 30% of members in our audience polled don’t have a clue what their online conversion rates are
- 21% of the audience said their conversation rates are between 2-5% (Bryan says this is average)
- 99% of websites sell a product with one product page (but people need different on-ramps, don’t use just one method to sell everyone)
- 80% of traffic drops off after the first 3 clicks because the peson can’t find relevant content
- 10 % drop after the first click (this is ok, it’s the accidental click), but 55% drop off after the 2nd click, then as mentioned 80% after the 3rd click
- the average tenure of a CMO is 22 months
- the media has changed, the customers have changed behaviour, yet marketers stay the same

How do marketers change?

- Don’t think about demographics. Look at creating personas (group modes of behaviour, figure out what those groups do when buying, what are the psychological drivers to decision making, where are the entry points in the buying cycle, after you think about that, then plan your approach).

Bryan Eisenberg is the author of Waiting for Your Cat to Bark and the co-founder and CPO (chief persuasion officer) of Future Now, Inc.

CMA: David Weinberger on Humans and the Internet

Post 1: Frank Trivieri talks about GM Canada

Post 2: Steve Levy on spending money online

Post 3: Mitch Joel on Six Pixels of Separation


Post 4
Markets in the Age of the Miscellaneous
David Weinberger, co-author of the influential bestseller, The Cluetrain Manifesto

I’ve never heard David Weinberger speak before but he has a fantastic amount of passion. His main point was that the internet is made up of people, and they don’t want to be marketed to or marketed at.

Here are the main points:

1. Don’t let old institutions or work habits or creative plans re-inflict themselves online. Don’t take the easy route, don’t just go with what you know.

2. Take the war out of marketing: guerilla marketing, target audience, consumer intelligence. We talk this way out of fear. Us vs. Them. We build our businesses as little forts and the information we let out we call marketing or press releases, and the information we allow in, we guard. Get out of the fort.

3. Markets used to be about place, socializing, meeting up, and shared interests and exchanges. This is what online wants to be, but “marketing” today is something that happens to people, usually against their will. The industrial revolution allowed us to believe that goods are interchangeable, as are workers and customers—we are cogs in the machine of progress. Consumers. (David made a graphic point that consumption used to be about coughing up blood.)

4. Marketers need to think about how to have real conversation online. Conversations are in our own voice, they are open ended, they are voluntary, they are about things both parties are interested in, they are not about something else (there is no alterior motive).

5. Blogging is where customers talk to each other. Blogging is not about cats. Reddit.com and Digg.com will show you it’s not about cats, it’s about a constructed self, it’s about pointing away or outward to other sites. Any marketer or ad agency who brushes off blogs as private journals, people talking about their cats, or self-involved little worlds are really out to lunch. If you want to talk about self-involved little worlds look at the New York Times website, or any CanWest news site, and you’ll see a self-involved little world. The only links out are for ads on the site. “There’s a narcissistic bubble,” says David.

David Weinberger, author of
The Cluetrain Manifesto
Small Pieces Loosely Joined

If you want more, check out David Weinberger online.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

CMA: Mitch Joel on Six Pixels of Separation

Post 1: Frank Trivieri talks about GM Canada

Post 2: Steve Levy on spending money online

Post 3:
Six Pixels of Separation – How marketing connects in a digital world
Mitch Joel, President, Twist Image


Mitch Joel interviewed the keynote speakers at the conference:
Listen to the MP3 interview with David Weinberger.

Six degrees of separation is now six pixels of separation. Wireless and broadband means that people are always connected, they build community, they have conversations, and they know who’s in control (hint: it’s not the marketing manager or ad agency). They are engaged in social media, they are participating, they have talent, and they know what they like, and clearly voice discontent.

Mitch’s request of marketers and ad agencies, when thinking of customers, is to
1. Think in terms of tribes (how are these people connected, “social networks do not care about technology, the individuals making up the network care about who they are connecting to, not how).

2. Everything is with ... not instead of.

3. Everything is a conversation.

4. Add value to the conversation (not noise)

5. Raise the bar (if you’re the creative team, be creative, don’t rehash the same crap, put it online and call it new media).

6. Passion trumps technology (you notice the technology only when it sucks).

Mitch is the President of Twist Image, a marketing and communications company. He’s one of the leaders in online marketing. I suggest checking out his blog, TwistImage.com/blog and his podcast, Six Pixels of Separation.

CMA: Steve Levy on Spending Money Online

To continue on the notes about the CMA digital marketing conference ...

Post 1: Frank Trivieri talks about GM Canada

Post 2:

What are YOU Thinking?
Steve Levy, President, Canadian Market Research Eastern Canada, Ipsos Reid

Steve and the Ipsos Reid research really brought the marketing and agency staffers in the room into the spotlight. Not necessarily a good thing because the spotlight illuminated the fact that the majority of the people in the room were not well versed or experienced in digital marketing, and were not well read and/or had not researched or educated themselves on the field in which they apparently work. The alarming summary of the Ipsos-Reid study was that most Canadian marketers and agencies are in the same boat.

Steve put up an audience poll to see how many people in the audience had read at least one of these books:

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
The Cluetrain Manifesto by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger
Life After the 30-Second Spot by Joseph Jaffe
Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

I might have missed some titles. But the point is if you are working in the online space, pay attention to what the early adopters are telling you. These are seminal works. Please read them.

Steve gave a good presentation on what marketers and agencies are thinking about regarding online, what they are doing, and what they will be doing in the future. These numbers were, again, depressing. They are also proprietary so I’m going to wait until they are posted on the CMA site before I talk about them.

Steve’s main message was “get off the fence.” He said, 63% of the surveyed audience did not know what best online practices were, yet 90% believe the media mix has changed. He said basically that companies are spending silly amounts of money in ineffective media streams and yet are sitting on the fence about the whether to spend online.

More talk to come when the numbers are publicly available. But wow, if you are an online marketer or web design company or get the internet, there are companies out there that need help, and hopefully they paid attention and are willing to spend money in this space.

CMA Digital Marketing Conference October 19-20, 2006

Thursday and Friday of this week I participated in the Canadian Marketing Association’s Digital Marketing Conference.

Below are my notes from Day 1, first session. I should say that I was unimpressed with the first session but that the conference overall was pretty good and I met many interesting people. I’m going to lament the excitement of GM’s online marketing now, but I should also offer congratulations to them for actually trying this stuff out. Every marketing department can do better but you’re not going to get better unless you try things out, get feedback, then improve.

Changing the Conversation: General Motors of Canada is Driving Success OnLine
Frank Trivieri, General Director of Marketing, GM Canada

Frank is a nice guy. He’s the General Director of Marketing. But he’s not a great speaker, well he’s okay, but for the first speaker of the day, he’s a little stiff. Frank glowed about the advances GM Canada is making in the online space and he showed off some of the innovative ways GM is marketing online. But I didn’t think his presentation was a real, hardhitting look at the online opportunities. It was sort of old school does old-school marketing online. Sure there’s some fun, flashy stuff, but I thought it was a bit of a yawn.

That said, I don’t want to be hard on Frank or GM because at least they are experimenting with online. “Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from poor judgement,” as Ralph Hancox, formerly of Readers’ Digest, quipped in my MPub management courses way back when new media meant CD-ROM.

So what did I write down about what Frank said:

- GM has reduced their broadcast media budget by 20% (go deeper, I say)
- Between 2000 and 2006 GM increased their internet spend by 200% (either he’s got these numbers wrong or this is delusional excitement, only 200% ???)
- GM is interested in integrated marketing: they have banner ads on third party websites that allow the customer to interact with the banner without leaving the third party site. A user can play with a car and then send an email to themselves. Interesting idea that could be better implemented.
- GM is using in game ads—billboards that you can interact with in video games—ok, but again, could be better.
- GM launched some commercials that are meant to attract the “young, hip crowd”. These are the Johnny ads. “Way to go Johnny!” They’re kind of spoofs on Napoleon Dynamite, but in my mind they’re just annoying, whereas “Vote for Pedro” was not. My favourite quotes about this campaign, the website allows us to “interact with users in a fun, hip way.” “The target audience is made up of heavy internet users ... [we] intercept them.” But I shouldn’t mock because GM is pleased with this campaign, which is a good thing. They’ve had 200,000 visitors (not clear if that’s monthly or since the site launched), who spend an average of 3.5 minutes with Johnny, and 10,000+ have gone on to find a dealership. When GM did a survey about the Johnny campaign, 74% politely said that the campaign increased their likelihood of buying Cheverolet. (I had no idea Johnny was Cheverolet, but whatever, I must not fit in the young, hip psychographic.)
- GM has an email program. They sent out 3.2 personalized emails resulting in 816 online leads.
- GM is advertising or sponsoring some news bit on bbtv (Blackberry TV).
- GM has a virtual advisor, again a campaign to use a medium and spokesperson the youth can identify with because we don’t want to approach a dealer in-store.

GM needs AdHack.com