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Increase of 38% in Q1 for Online Advertising!

(by Lucas Roze)

Online advertising is amongst the fastest growing advertising medium. In recent years, the growth patterns have been nothing shy of astonishing. The last quarter (Q4) of 2005 saw a rise of 6% in the US for market, and even more impressive is the Q1 of 2006 that saw a 38% increase, according to a report published by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. This last increase equates to a record $3.9 billion in the, presumably, slowest months for advertising.

Online behaviour in North America has shifted to the faster broadband connection approach for more efficient surfing. This transition of speed opened a fundamental door for online advertising, allowing advertisers to offer what is known as rich media. Rich media is described by Wikipedia as an “interactive digital media that exhibits dynamic motion, taking advantage of enhanced sensory features such as video, audio and animation”. This type of media is ultimately focused towards broadband connections. Broadband is ideal because of its rendering capabilities. This new wave of online advertising is not only attention grabbing, but can be better targeted to the audience that is more likely to purchase the product or acquire the service. Therefore, this equals to a much greater ROI for far less costs than conventional advertising.

Furthermore, companies like eBay and Yahoo are teaming up to drive more effective online advertising. Google is still the current champion in this field with over 90% of their revenue. Moreover, big companies in other sectors such as Merck (Pharma), Procter & Gamble (Products) and GM (automotive) are focusing their budgets to the online vessel which helps to leverage the market.   

With the current population more reliant on the Internet to gather information and purchase products than traditional sources, it seems only natural that advertisers will focus online to target their client base. While television and print ads seem to be losing their lustre, online ads are the next cost effective solution. This radically upward slopping trend seems to be creating more buzz to advertise online, but the down side to this is that the more people advertising means the inevitable elevation of prices. However, things are looking up, Forrester Research predicts that online spending will increase to $26 billion by 2010 (4 years away!). That’s $26 of $500 billion total advertising expense worldwide or (5.2%). So online advertising will only get better and more precise in the years to come, so plug in your mouse and start clicking.

By IC-Academy | May 31, 2006 | E-Advertising , | News & Trends
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Squatting Online May Bring In Big Money

(By Lucas Roze)

As blogged about before by David, the domain name business is a big part of this second wave of the Internet boom. People, as well as businesses, have renewed interest in gambling to find the next desired domain name. Although most people simply cybersquate on the page and retain ownership, others have profited from generic sounding names (i.e., http://www.losangelesvacation.com/) to produce relevant advertising that could ultimately generate revenue through clicks on the page.

Seattle Companies such as Maveron LLC (outfit from funded by Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz 7.6 million) now own upwards of 400’000 unique domain names. Outside venture capitalist seem to be the driving force behind the majority of these successful types of companies. Massive investments in these companies were and are being made to yield high returns. The most staggering are recent investment to Demand Media ($120 million from investors) and Marchex Inc. (raised 164.2 million to acquire Name Development, etc.). These companies and many others alike, are trying to build their very own domain name empires in hopes to draw advertising interest by generating clicks. And the beauty of these sites are that they are pretty much self sufficient. But is it worth it?

RBC Capital Markets stated that direct navigation sites generate roughly $150 million in revenue per quarter. You’re looking at 7.5% of the total advertising pie (total search engine ad revenue per quarter, averaging $2 billion). Furthermore, it would be safe to assume that these numbers are running parallel in an upwards slopping trend (as advertising online is growing).

This should stay true to the mix for a while yet, but the uncertainties of the web and human behaviour cannot guarantee that searching habits will not change. If by chance traditional URL searches would become irrelevant to the Internet user, many domain name investments would be worth about as much as an Enron stock. 

By IC-Academy | May 24, 2006 | E-Advertising , | News & Trends
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Canadian Marketing Budgets are Being Spent Online

(by Lucas Roze)

Based on a panel of 270 senior Canadian marketing executives that have been surveyed for 3 running years about marketing budgets, the consensus is that budgets are rising and the communication vessel of choice is becoming the Internet. Compared to last years first quarter, spending online has increased one percent in 2006 (+4%). This occurrence is directly related to strong growth in 2005. Furthermore, the spending forecast is expected to increase at an even faster rate in the years to come.

The indicator/survey was introduced 3 years ago by the Institute of Communication and Advertising (ICA, no relation to us!) conducted by NTC Research, to ultimately measure overall business health in Canada. Canadians are becoming much more technologically inclined by cutting the traditional phones by replacing them with a cellular, or upgrading to a high speed Internet connection leading them to be more dependant of the Internet. This paves the way for new wave marketing strategies and adaptability by companies.

However, the real question is, what are these companies looking for? How can companies tap into this pool of resource while competing with the Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft giants? The answer lies with innovation and originality.

Take for example the all too famous Adwords by Google. By using textual ad placement on the most used search engine and Google AdSense which “is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website's content pages and earn money.”(source: https://www.google.com/adsense/) they seem to have cornered the market. Not true, because of the rigidness and rules set by the all seeing eye of Google, many clients are left feeling unfulfilled and powerless to the ads that are displaying on their site. Enter Ads-Click from Switzerland. This young company saw the problems within Adwords and offers a solution to manage all ads being displayed on their site (which are profit yielding). Furthermore, they offer options to post Adwords or other textual ads if a dry spell were to occur.

Originality and innovation will drive business away from the giants, but herein lies the sharpness of your networking skills to lure interest your way and generate buzz on your company. Canadians have a long history of adaptability. Take for example the dramatic weather patterns that we feel yearly. This makes change a regular occurrence in daily life. This is recognized by marketing executive and thus advertising is concentrated towards less conventional methods for results. With advertising on the rise in Canada, the future will only tell to what importance the Internet will play in the media communication world.

By IC-Academy | May 17, 2006 | E-Advertising
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Charlize Theron : "Shine" with us !

If someone asked you to keep an eye on a stunningly beautiful and glamorous woman, you would probably jump at the offer.  And if the mission involved finding out what people are saying about her free-spirited personality, how her fans react to what she wears, and what kind of people emulate her trend-setting style, that would probably make the mission even more attractive.

We had the pleasure of fulfilling this mission for Raymond Weil. Click here for further details.

By Claudia de Pretto | May 16, 2006 | IC-Agency Events
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Covering the Internet’s Virtual Watch Fair

At the 34th annual Basel watch and jewellery fair this year, a record 94’000 watch aficionados, retailers and wholesalers flocked to discover the latest new designs from the world’s greatest watchmakers.

But the show goes on online. Watch manufactures invest precious advertising and marketing dollars into their virtual showcases as an extension of the Basel experience.  Online, aesthetically perfect photographic settings are complemented with technical details and convincing arguments to increase desire to buy.

Surprisingly, the press does not cover this critically important show, and watch makers do not receive feedback on their competitive performance in this ongoing virtual fair. In the global marketplace exhibit, few have access to how many visitors have ‘passed the online doors’, which brands they are searching for, nor the models, materials and technical mechanisms they desire. Instead, after the watch fairs, many watchmakers retreat into the warm cocoon of shallow basic quantitative statistics from their own corporate websites.

But, accessing on-demand coverage of the yearlong ‘Virtual Watch Fair’ is possible. Using targeted e-research, our agency hopes to open the eyes of the luxury watch-making industry to the outstanding competitive advantage and revenue-growth potential of key market web analytics.

Wwr_w_euoprastar_petit For example, over 25 million search intentions were analyzed for just 12 watch brands in 5 key markets in our 2006 WorldWatchReport. When compared to the 94’000 visitors attending a one-time event like BaselWorld, it’s obvious that the virtual showcase far outweighs the impact and scope of any single event.

Online research like the WWR provides timely unbiased observations which can be tracked at a fraction of the cost of conducting traditional marketing research.  And, firms can rapidly benchmark and gain objective customer insights, monitoring consumer preferences and reactions to new models and product lines. Online response to brands, models and even brand ambassadors can be tracked and benchmarked for optimum ROI.

What’s more, these insights can be crossed with qualitative opinions from forums to track quality, measure satisfaction and detect unmet expectations. Demand for new models and limited editions can be measured and used to optimize distribution and to project production quantities for next year’s creations. With both commercial and production benefits, the possibilities of this kind of web analytics are endless.

By Claudia de Pretto | May 15, 2006 | IC-Agency Events , | News & Trends
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Skypecasting Has Arrived

by Lucas Roze

For all you 100 million + Skype users, you can sympathize with me when I tell you that having more than 5 people on the line gets a little sketchy. People get arbitrarily dropped, the line goes dead, or worse you sound like the voice coming from the drive-thru at Burger King. This problem must have sparked some people to bombard questions to the Internet phone giants to come up with an effective solution….and they did.

As of today, members of Skype will have the option to host audio conversations (aka. Skypecasts) with up to 100 people at a time! I don’t think I even know a hundred people, but Skype believes there is a market out there, and they are probably right.

In addition to hosting a massive Internet conversation, TypePad is also getting in on the action by offering the ability to publicize their Skypcasts on their personal TypePad blogs.  With recent interest in Vlogs, this seems to be a natural transition for the blogging community. Large conversations can be great for topic discussions intended for groups (i.e. universities), this could be utilized for community meetings, large political endeavours, interest group gatherings or even family reunions. Who knows, they might start hosting premier events like the World Cup on choice sites (which would be awesome)! Or better yet, universities could host tutoring forums for all their online courses for added value.

To subscribe to this service, you simply need to go to https://skypecasts.skype.com and create a Skypecast…it’s too easy.

With all this buzz around voice blogging, I think that they really nipped this one in the bud. Large benchmark companies such as Skype understand the importance of catering to their clientele and strive to achieve new levels. I just hope that with all these recent innovations that I will get a clearer connection when I meet up with my buddies’ world wide for our online poker games. Better yet, I’ll host a Skypecast! 

By IC-Academy | May 03, 2006 | News & Trends
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