I just came off a week chock-full o' conferences. While I think it's healthy for our industry to gather together every so often to talk about where we are and where we're headed, there's always room for improvement in our industry's key conferences. After all, if there wasn't room for improvement, we would never get those surveys at the end of every conference asking us to rate the content.
By now you've heard a bunch of us talk about the Forecast 2004 event in NYC last week. My experience was a bit different. All day the panels consisted of a bunch of people on stage coming to some sort of a resolve. I moderated the last panel. It was different for a couple of reasons.
Like many of you, I've been following the controversy and court cases surrounding the US Federal Trade Commission's creation of a Do Not call List. This list, for those of you not attuned to the issue, enabled consumers to provide phone numbers that became "off limits" to telemarketers, with a $11,000 fine assessed for each offense. I should think that many of you are like me and that you signed up your home phone number immediately.
I'm flying back from the iMedia Brand Summit, where I've just spent the last 2 ½ days listening to brand marketers, interactive publishers, and agency luminaries all speak on matters relevant and, in some cases, urgent, to not just online advertising, but advertising in general. I'd like to touch on one of those issues now. iTV.
We all know that click rates are low, but anyone who is experienced in interactive advertising will tell you that click rates don't matter all that much.
Any online media planner who has worked with a small client knows about buy minimums. Publishers implement them because it doesn't make financial sense for a sales rep to spend time trying to compete for $5,000 budgets. This makes sense, but it effectively locks out the small business guy who wants to test out online advertising.
Last week I wrote to you about my personal discontent with the way the word "test" is being thrown around these days. A couple of people on the SPINboard dubbed it perfectly. They called it an "experiment." While there is no perfect word, we need to perfect the concept.
I love Howard Dean. But, I love Howard Dean for the same reason many of you probably do. He has brought the success of his Web marketing machine to the masses and popularized it by positioning his campaign as extra strategic and insightful, largely because of this Web-based success.
No doubt, faithful readers of the trade press covering our hallowed industry know that AOL Time Warner has been considering changing their name for a few months now. Plagued with the reputation as arrogant dot-commers who came with the AOL management structure and business philosophies, the remaining Time Warner old guard, now firmly in control of the company that was supposed to be the pantheon of media convergence, will move Thursday to drop AOL from their name forever and go back to using the 'TWX' ticker symbol by which stock traders and investors identify their security.
From time to time in these pages I tend to go on a rant. Usually my rants are related to what I think is working and what I think is not working, and more often than not I'm asked, "What do you think is the next big thing?" I want to finally answer that question.