Thursday, March 29, 2007

Improve Online Ad Conversion by 127%

Marketing Experiments has posted a very interesting study about Ads that "Stand Out" from a website versus those that "Blend In" and found that Ads that "Blend In" perform significantly better.

Here is the link: Improve Ad Conversion

Monday, March 26, 2007

Privacy Policy Tips

In October 2003, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) served pet supply retailer PetCo a "Civil Investigative Demand" seeking information and documents on how the company protects customer information on the e-commerce website. The FTC request was a follow-up to an e-commerce security breach that left as many as 500,000 credit card numbers accessible from the web.

A web site's privacy policy is the document which informs visitors how sensitive information will be protected by the owner of the website. Following a few simple steps when creating a privacy policy can help prevent the situation that was experienced by PetCo.

Ensure all stakeholders help draft and periodically update the policy.

This includes Middle Management, Marketing, Legal and most importantly IT. Often a business will outsource portions of the development. The IT department will be the liaison between your organization and the third party organization and can help insure that your privacy requirements are meet by third party vendors.

Understand that each word and phrase is legally significant.

The privacy policy watchdogs communicate in legal terms and will be vigilant about false claims made by your privacy policy. Make sure that the policy does not make legal promises that can't be kept.

Support the privacy policy with company wide procedures and training.

Take a close look at the departments that "use" the customer sensitive information and make sure that individuals in those departments are trained to follow proper procedures when handling the sensitive data. This will help reduce the potential for employees to create the "hole" that could place your company at risk.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Web 2.0 Best Practices - IBM

IBM's Tactics

- Lotus Connections: IBM offers software to its corporate customers that transforms internal and external communications into a social computing format. IBM has used social networking technologies internally since 2003.

- Podcasts: During its first six months of podcasting there were 72,000 downloads.

- Wikis and Blogs: More than 20,000 IBM employees currently use wikis. 2,500 IBM employees publish internal blogs.

- InnovationJam: In 2006 more than 150,000 members of the IBM family participated in an online brainstorming event. Over the course of the two 72-hour sessions, 46,000 ideas were posted online. IBM will invest $100 million in the 10 best ideas.

US Mobile Video Advertising

Interpublic Group's media-buying agency, Initiative, last year surveyed the U.S. and found that out of 213 million cell-phone users, only 12 million watched video clips, 6 million watched live TV, and just 3 million signed up for some kind of video-subscription service.

In the U.S., thanks to the spread of broadband, home PCs, and other factors, we have a PC-based culture. That's why Web video took off here: Moving pictures on a TV-size screen are a familiar entertainment media.

However, mobile video is a whole new beast-the ill-fated Sony Watchman mini-TV from the '80s aside-and small-screen video was unknown before the advent of the Video iPod. Exactly how huge it will get remains uncertain. Exactly how ads will get placed around mobile video is even fuzzier, which is why some big marketers are approaching Mobile Video advertising cautiously.

Web video is not yet a huge part of the media mix. According to eMarketer, advertisers in 2006 spent $775 million USD on Web Video, while the total U.S. ad market is approximately $280 billion USD.

In some form, video on the cell phone is an obvious development. However, something spectacular and bizarre will have to happen before a true and robust mobile medium is closer than several years away.