Casual Gaming – interview with Mochi Media CEO

30 June, 2008

An interesting interview over on with the CEO of casual gaming ad network company Mochi Media. AdViking is not sure we even know what ‘casual gaming’ is all about, but even though it may sound a bit¬†rude ūüôā —¬†its an interesting emerging area¬†in the digital advertising ecosystem… Hey, we managed to get the words¬†gaming, casual, emerging, ad network¬†and ecosystem all into¬†one short¬†post. We would have included the video but wordpress is stripping out the embed code for some reason¬†– so you can VIEW IT HERE.

Facebook, MySpace, et al = Double Bubble?

26 June, 2008

AdViking has good days and bad days when pondering Social Media and sometime this means quitting Facebook and sometimes heavy use of Twitter.¬† Generally, the main point is that we are in the early iteration of the what and how of Social Media and we’ve got a long way to go before it’s all pervasive and delivering true value to the user.

Recently came across Charlene Li‘s deck on the Future of Social Networks on SlideShare and thought it was worth sharing as some solid consolidation of thoughts flying around the ether.¬† i.e.:

  • The youth are all ready heavily into this stuff (e.g.:¬† Club Penguin)
  • Your Universal ID has to be easier to use
  • AOL, Google, Microsoft will be coming hard into this space

Obscene Valuations?

Anyway, onto the main point and that is there’s a lot of debate if the valuations the Social Networks are getting ($15bill Facebook, $1bill LinkedIn, $850mill Bebo, $580 mill MySpace) are just crazy and more proof points that we are on the cusp of bubble2.0 or are just fair indications of value.

There have been some recent work in just this area that is useful to ponder.

First, Andrew Chen had a stab at looking at MySpace versus Facebook: Analysis of both traffic and ad revenue, using Google Trends.

Second, Michael Arrington did some Modeling The Real Market Value Of Social Networks.

The later piece is the real interesting one to digest, mainly as they start from looking at a wider set of networks, use comScore data for the traffic and also the recent PWC ad spend numbers.¬† And though Arrington is the first to admit there’s some flaws in the model (e.g.:¬† LinkedIn comes out low but the actual traffic could be considered high value), you can still take it as a starting point based on some data rather than just plain rhetoric.

In Search of the Perfect Online Marketer

20 June, 2008

Every Online Marketer Needs HelpAt AdViking central, debate is encouraged. The knee-jerk response to the previous post and article in Precision Marketing from these quarters is: “I.T. aren’t they just there to take orders for sandwiches and make sure that things don’t go wrong?”

And, yet, we’ve all been in those meetings, where the Marketing Manager, or worse still, the M.D. has a bright idea. A fantastic idea that would make the business rule the world… if it were possible. Which it isn’t. And then a little cough from the corner, the I.T. Director suggests very gently that Marketing has lost its’ marbles and Marketing suggests that I.T. needs a shave… and then it all gets ugly again!

The problem is this: that although most Marketers know what they want to communicate, know what looks good and are pretty strong at getting a marketing strategy in place – and are definitely the best people to lead the process… but they don’t know the limitations of what is (or isn’t) possible and that’s where they fall down.

To solve this problem we need to work out what we need out of the Perfect Online Marketer:

  • Good at Marketing (obviously)
  • Experientially knowledgeable of the limitations of hardware and software
  • Instinctively aware of the importance of user experience
  • Plugged into all the metrics and analytics required to tell them whether they’re doing a good job

In short: they need to know what technology can do for them.

So, for us, the perfect online marketer would be Commercial but a bit of a Nerd! And, if you can’t get that type of person, then I guess make sure I.T. is stationed as a sanity check for the more ludicrous ideas.

My favourite was from a Corporate P.R. who was upset about a pressure group who was bad-mouthing a clients’ products:

“Can we just virus their site?”

Oh, yes. Why didn’t we think of that… get I.T. onto it right away!!

The brothers grim?

19 June, 2008

Precision Marketing

Charlie McKelvey’s biblical post today on Precision Marketing explores the Cain-and-Abel-like relationship (in his terms) between Technology and Marketing. His assessment of the mismatch between expectations and world views of these two disciplines is pretty stark and his solution is to make them sit together and play nice. I’ve seen places where that happens, but they are essentially going to be disruptive siblings at all times.

But sibling rivalry doesn’t always have to end with blood on the floor.

Marketing (like any good magic) has always been an arcane mix of art and science… the trouble is much of the science has been manual – manipulation rather than automation. Marketers need technology in C21 more than ever before to take the drudge out of their lives and allow them to focus on what they should do best: insight, inspiration and the creation of desire.

AdViking is curious: has Charlie noticed there’s been quite a little industry spring up to do just that, most of it based around the SaaS idea which allows Markerters to pretend they are buying services, not technology. Microsoft and Google seem to be quite keen on this business model, as well as a host of other companies in the Web Analytics, Email Marketing, Customer Reviews, AdServing/monitoring spaces.

In most organisations, getting IT to sit with Marketing is not going to deliver that solution. There are lots of things internal IT departments are really good for: responding to the fast moving, ever changing moods (or needs) of Marketers is probably never going to be the best thing they do – or the thing they most want to do. So don’t try to force them!

Software Company Drops AdWords – replaces with charity program

18 June, 2008

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† We love this story¬†up here¬†at the¬†AdViking stronghold. Jama Software – makers of a web-based project management app called Contour – are ditching Google AdWords in favour a viral PR led marketing strategy or “social public relations strategy.” ReadWriteWeb have lots of details and good info about this on their post (RWW). There is also more info on the Jama charity program here and the Jama¬†marketing directors blog here.

The question is will this work? We hope so. The fact that Jama were not getting good ROI on AdWords is significant. We wonder if there are other advertisers in a similar position? It would also seem that this means that other online ad channels would be of value Рespecially if it were easier to place the ad buys (banners, vertical networks, 2nd tier PPC networks, etc). We know there is still a lot of friction in the digitial ad ecosystem and know Google is not the only channel. More on this meme at a later date.

For now we say spread the word and give Jama Contour a try!

Online DIY Video Ad Space Heating Up

16 June, 2008

We love it when the summer starts to get hot up here in the north. Its also nice to see that another DIY video ad start-up is getting more money to burn in the race to make video ads available to everyone and their dog (trust us dogs, cats and even vikings all need more video¬† in their¬†ads). Ads are good. Ads are fun – dude.¬†Mashable has a sweet piece on¬†the news that¬†Jivox gets¬†$10.7 million just got more funding to add to the overall¬†global warming in this¬†ad space¬†¬†– so please read it. ūüôā

Yahoo! must really hate Microsoft

14 June, 2008

Well, as we all know Yahoo! and Google announced a new deal around paid search yesterday. Lots and lots of coverage and analysis on TechCrunch, here and here, and SAI here. What strikes us at AdViking late on a warm weekend afternoon is that if you dig into the deal [read this one!] it really looks like the CEO and other senior executives at Yahoo must really hate Microsoft. You might even think they look pretty desperate and we are not talking about desperate house wives (that at least would be fun to watch).

Don’t get me wrong, we are fans of Yahoo and I’ve been using the site for more than a decade. But if this deal isn’t letting the fox right into the hen house then there is obviously things we’re not bale to see from up here in the land of the viking. I guess we can look at this as the end of web 1.0 and the day Yahoo as they become essentially an affiliate to Google (much like AOL). We also think there must be a host of legal and regulatory problems that lie ahead for G and Y.

Now the really interesting thing is what will other big publishers and content owners do? And is this day that a new online advertising war started?

We need to go back to the fort for awhile to ponder this but in the meantime we are going to re-read the Blog Maverick‚Äôs post on one way possible to beat Google and also think some more about how great brands (both advertiser and publisher) like to work together (we’ll start be re-reading some post such as this one from JB – The Rise of Independent Media Brands Online). Enjoy the rest of your weekend!