• Plan for the Environment and the Placement
    The consumer has a filter. This filter is the device that processes the information around them, digests it, and determines what elements are perceived and acted upon. As you sit and read this very article, your filter is processing the page in front of you and the environment that surrounds the page.

    You probably see at least two ads in your immediate line of sight, and there are likely to be at least five to 10 product logos within your peripheral vision. I can guess you have a Starbucks or Peets coffee cup, your company logo, and there is ...

  • Perhaps It's Time for Aggregated Registrations
    There's been quite a bit of grumbling and online petitioning surrounding the notion of forced registration at content Web sites. A good number of publishing clients have recently asked us how they should tackle online registration and how much content they should give away before requiring a user to register. Consumer opinion on the subject is not to be disregarded - many privacy-conscious consumers are resorting to using pooled log-ins taken from sites like BugMeNot.com in order to avoid having to submit registration data for their favorite content sites.
  • Expensive Gas, Accelerated Shopping Carts
    We advertisers and marketers have dubbed this time of year summer's end. It seems like everyone is in that back-to-school rush, be it parents and guardians, kids, teachers, or just about anyone trying to navigate through a retail store (let alone find a parking space) this past weekend. To top it all off, gas prices have made everyone with a set of wheels aggravated.

    Prices have risen 10 percent over the past month. I'm sure this won't ring a bell with most of my New York counterparts, but I've never really paid this much attention to gas prices. I ...

  • When Is Arrogance Good?
    Have you ever watched one of those inane interviews after a sporting event in which the on-field "talent" asks the stud quarterback, power-forward, or pitcher "how it felt to win that big game today..." or some such? If you've watched as much sports on TV as I have, you may have seen this interview play out hundreds of times, with only one or two occasions being worth listening to.

    Their poor quality is not the athlete's fault though. After all, the very thing that enables an athlete to become that stud performer, those non-reflective personality traits, generally spiced with ...

  • Do You Really Want to Know?
    Let's play pretend for a minute. On the count of three, you will know everything there is to know about the viewing habits of your most coveted television audience: what they watch, when they watch, who's in the room, how long ... everything. In fact, since we are pretending, in this fantasy we're even going to know how the spots affected lift, purchase intent, and brand awareness. Taken a step further, we're going to know what non-television media they chose to spend time with and every metric associated with those behaviors as well.

    In our fantasy we have created ...

  • An Invitation Into the Conversation
    Have you spoken with your consumer lately? I mean really engaged in a dialogue with them?

    If you said "no" to this question, then you're probably behind the times. If you said "yes," then you're probably half-way there (the rest of the way is in my definition versus your definition of a "dialogue").

    By asking if you've engaged in a dialogue, many of you will assume I mean via surveys or focus groups. What I really mean is, does your advertising attempt to create a conversation with your audience? Does your advertising offer something of value in exchange ...

  • What to Do About Mobile?
    There seems to be this insistence in the market, for many consumer products, to "do something" with mobile. It seems odd to me that marketers will sometimes pick a medium in which to run a campaign without knowing what will be executed in that medium or how a campaign will be put together. To an extent, I think it stems from the realization that mobile devices are ubiquitous, but that young people seem to have the best handle on the wide range of features built in to today's mobile devices. This is especially the case with text messaging and mobile ...
  • The Measurement Mantra
    After last week's article , I e-mailed with and spoke to a host of people. Everyone seemed to have something to say about measurement. I was surprised to hear that they wanted to hear more of my thoughts based on my life as a digital media person for the past 12 years. So here it goes in no particular order:

    Tracking, analytics, and optimization should be thought of, strategized, and implemented at the onset of a campaign. This is not an afterthought.

  • How Can Online Travel Sites Retain Users Through the Transaction?
    How many of you have shopped for airfares or hotels using aggregator or travel agent sites like Hotels.com or Expedia.com, only to check prices and availability - you go on to make the purchase elsewhere? According to research conducted this week by Claria Corporation's Feedback Research Division, about 88 percent of you have.

    You know who you are. You found that round-trip to San Francisco from LaGuardia on Orbitz for $322 and bought it on United.com for $315. This kind of thing occurs online all day, every day. It's just the way many people use such sites. Of course, ...

  • Function Follows Form
    Form follows function is the gist of the functionalist philosophy of design. The concept is that you probably can't use a computer monitor as a fork and vice versa. So, the design of something should follow its form. Uber-architect Frank Lloyd Wright turned the concept into a religion and admonished, "Form follows function - that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union." Look around you. Our world is replete with examples of this fundamental construct.

    There are so many examples of the functionalist design philosophy in so many areas of our lives, ...

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