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Friday, October 9, 2009

Up Next at 10, News' IPO on NASDAQ

Ok here is the article that started this rant off, Article from the San Jose Mercury News.

I will give you a second to read it.... Ok got it? Great. Now here are my thoughts:

Call me naive, go ahead, sometimes I am, but my idea of news is that its function is to educate and inform the broadest audience possible. As I was growing up and having only 3-4 television stations in my home the news was a good portion of what I was consuming on a regular basis. The News in my view wasn't sensationalized or really thought provoking to be honest but I was kept aware of what was going on around me and thus learned often some essential information. Now as I am older the above article only solidifies something that I have been noticing in National and some local News productions (I call them productions rather than casts for illustrative purposes). These productions seem to have adapted their story writing and videography to make each story dramatic, comedic, or sensational. Can I blame them? These stations are now competing against an every growing list of stations for advertising dollars. Also, as the Internet has gained in popularity and stations have lost viewers to online destinations they have had to adapt their news productions to compete these online competitors.

Here is my main point, when does charging for people to view this content start and when does it end. It seems Rupert would like to assert that all News should charge for access rather than just premium content. Aren't users already paying for content via viewing advertising and in some cases purchasing Cable or Satellite packages? Is there going to be a time in the future when only the privileged and wealthy will know about the string of murders around the corner. Are we going back to a time when "News" is something told word of mouth or futuristically word-of-blog? Is my neighbor going to have to be the one to let me know the new laws our legislature just passed because I don't have the $5,000 per year to pay for my "News" subscription?

Honestly I really do get it that television stations are trying to recoup the money that they are expending on their online and traditional news reporting. I thought this used to be recouped through selling advertising and promotions. Is this media's knee-jerk reaction to a recession based problem or is this going to be an ongoing issue where advertisers rather place their ads where people are going. If people are going to other places I would think it would signal big media that something is wrong with their model and not vice-versa. Here are some questions big media should ask and be able to answer:
1) What are the aggregators offering that we are not? Objective media from a variety of sources?
1a) What can we do about it? Cut off society from all News stories we create and make them pay for it?

2) What is driving people to use these sites rather than our stories that have the same information and we work hard at presenting?
2a) Are money issues getting in the way of presenting what the public needs?

3) Are advertisers find these areas more attractive because people are there or because of the conglomeration of content?
3a) How do we keep our advertisers and attract new ones?

I think I have said what I want to say. As always tell me if I am way off the ball on this. Thanks for listening!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Is there such a thing as too much data?

Sometimes I like to consider the unanswerable questions. The question of "Is there such a thing as too much data?" may seem like a very simple question to answer but I would like to lay out the basis for why I believe this is more a conundrum than it seems.

1) It is all about perspective.
If you were to show up for class in Elementary School and the teacher began running through the "basics" of nuclear physics and there was a test at the end of the class do you think you would be able to pass that class? Can a client who has grown up in the traditional media "age" be given a log file with all the data he/she would need to show how his/her customers interact with their new website and be able to tell what they need to do?

Are these two cases similar?

I believe that they are. In each case the individuals are being given data to which they may or may not have a frame of reference for. Each having their own set of alien terminology with a mix of words that they may have heard before but could quite possible have a very different meaning in each context. Although the minds of each are in a different state of development, each has been trained in some specific tasks. Eventually with enough training each of these sets of people will be able to analyze and make sense of what they see before them.

2) Do we really need it?
Even though as I am writing this I am think of digital media, this really applies to all forms of analysis. Do we really need all the data that we have in our reach? As a society? Yes, we probably do need all the data that we can get. As individual people and companies? Probably not, but being able to pick and choose the data that will tell us what we need to know has started becoming a crucial factor in business and personal decision making. We now have match making services that can give you match making factors to see who you would like to date. We also have free tools that go beyond telling us how many people visited our sites (think of those cheesy visitor counters we used to put on the bottom of our websites). There really is now no way to limit the amount of data available because if limiting begins a group of people or companies will begin to cry foul. They are now reliant on that data to make "informed" decisions. Once again though just like in the first bullet point giving this information to the wrong group too early can lead to false positives and inaccurate decision making criteria.

4) Why is there so much data?
There is so much data because it is now inexpensive to capitalize on the World Wide Web's global community. Research can be done quickly and with a large sample size not previously available. The tools to analyze this data are also coming on strong as well with global open-source collaborations that are added-to and streamlined to perform the tasks that an analyst would have spent weeks or months creating with archaic tools like Excel. Don't get me wrong Excel has grown along with these online tools to maintain its needed status, but compare the first version of Excel with its current version and you will see the addition of many new analytical features that have grown with the times.

4) What happens if the data goes away?
Just like the show on the History Channel Life After People what will the business and personal worlds look like after the data is gone. We will actually have to talk to people face to face to figure out if a new restaurant good. We will have to rely on local data or expensive nationwide data. Without the expansive growth of the Internet this data may not have become the necessity it is today. We would have to rely on the traveling Minstrel to regale the stories of yonder countries and the trophies that they bring.

So for those of you who are allergic to data. BEWARE...your symptoms are going to get worse..a lot worse. Signing off for now! Kevin

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It has been way too long I've missed you oh so much!

Sorry I have not been posting new stuff up here lately. There has been a lot going on with organizing my life and trying to keep up on current work prospects and looking for that great permanent position. Anyway I thought I would update you all on some of my latest rants and raves:

1) The United States Postal Service: As I sat down yesterday with my son and daughter to send off a Thank You note via regular mail, my oldest child ,aka the daughter, was acting very confused. She didn't understand why I had to put the great sheet of paper that she colored on and wrote on into an envelope to send it. She had seen me typing emails and all I did was type and send and it was gone to that person. Next she didn't understand why I needed a stamp to send it, couldn't I just put it in the mailbox and off it goes, after all we just go out to the mailbox to get our mail that we are receiving. This started me thinking as I was frantically searching for some stamps to send these two letters. Why hasn't mailing things from home become a more automated system? In my search for a stamp I went to USPS.gov and tried to find a place for me to purchase a single stamp and print it off on my printer once again hit a dead end. The recent article on the collapse of the US Postal Service made me think even harder about the failures of this antiquated system for sending documents across the country.

First let's talk about the inconvenient process itself. Now I am not suggesting I just want to sit in my Lazy-boy recliner all day and have a robot take out and get my mail. No, I want something where if I need to send something I can use the tools I have at my disposal, aka computer, printer, mailbox. I know there are services out there where you can print off postage at a premium price but why doesn't the source have a means to do this same task. Also the mailbox itself may be due for an upgrade. Why not charge me on letters I place in my mailbox through a scanning device on the mailbox itself. This would have two functions: 1)I could easily pay for mail similar to power or gas as a monthly varying cost. 2)This method could be used to easily plan delivery routes especially for packages. Maybe that is too ambitious but I think if your current business model is failing you need to look at how you can make it easier for your customers to use your services. Possibly implement a better online strategy or diversify your product offerings.

2)Bing-Hoo: Not yet sure what to think of this yet. I don't have the full details of how an advertiser on Bing who also advertises on Yahoo! will fair in this conglomeration. Will the placement of the ads be exactly the same on both of them since the search results will be provided by one source (Bing). Or will Yahoo! still interpret those listings into their own SERP. One thing is for sure is that I will be suggesting that those that have the budget start a PPC campaign on Bing to take advantage of the $100 million dollars worth of advertising that they are pumping into the market. My reasoning for this is not because I believe Bing has a better way of organizing a SERP but because I believe people will incorporate Bing into their search queries just to see how it works. It is the new plaything on the block and people will more than likely be trying out. So get out there and take advantage of being in front of that audience before your competitor does.

3)The Economy: Ok I don't have a lot of controversial stuff to say on this one. I do however see some positive signs from where I am standing. I am no financial guru but I am a guy on the street looking for a job and there seems to be some interest out there in hiring on people to help with the workload that has started to come back in. I still think people are taking their time in making these hires and for good reason. With a huge available workforce to choose from and eagerness of these individuals to find something...anything. There has to be a balancing act of finding the perfect employee who has a ton of experience for that entry level position you are hiring for but will not bolt when the market is in full steam again. From my perspective loyalty needs to be a consideration when making hiring decisions sure a prospective employee may not have 10 years of experience in the duty but does the position gain anything from that amount of experience or does someone with 2 years experience who is malleable and has a track record of loyal employment make a better fit. Just putting in my 2 cents here.

I hope everyone has had a great summer thus far. I wish you all the best in your adventures in the business world and as always if you don't agree with me, don't go to hell just leave a comment and let's have a discussion. Thats what social media is all about. Peace out for now.

Kevin

Friday, June 5, 2009

Are we searching or deciding? Does Microsoft's Bing do either well?

The large question that accompanied the launch of Microsoft's newest entry in the Search Engine marketplace is: are people searching or deciding? Dubbed a "Decision Engine" Bing is advertised as a new way to find what you are looking for. Are people looking on search engines to decide or are they searching for a conglomeration of results that will provide the facts they need for their research? I think the numbers and consumer response will decide that question.

As some of the initial thoughts are dwindling, the more long term opinions are starting to surface. Even the "haters" seem to be changing their tune after using Bing for a while. Does Bing still have its issues? Sure. Is it going to kill off Google? No. Despite an article by the New York Post suggesting otherwise. If I were Sergey I would have a top team trying to figure out what it was all about as well. Not because I was scared but because having additional competitive information keeps you at the forefront rather than scrambling later down the line.

So what exactly does Bing have for the average searcher? Well to start a $100 million ad budget for one. If you can't get people's attention with PR pay to get noticed, right? Will Microsoft's big spend mean big numbers for Bing? Well apparently it is at least having an initial impact of drawing people to try it out.

The question is: Is it mainly search marketers and tech geeks like myself that went to test the waters or is it consumers making a permanent switch? I would like to argue at this point in the game Bing does not have a huge portion of the switch over audience. The majority of searchers have either always used the Microsoft search product or are trying it out compared to the results they get with the other big 2. I am personally waiting for the 6 month honeymoon to be over and then look at the numbers and if possible the number of returning users that Bing posts, if they make it available.

For me it comes down to does Bing get me the results I need, whether they look pretty or not. If they can consistently deliver what I need in one shot without the need for adjusting my search string then I will make the switch but from my testing this has not been the case the pages presented in their algorithm don't match my expectations nearly as close as a search on Yahoo or Google. But make your own decision and I am going to continue to test until I can make an educated decision or can Bing do that for me since it is the decision engine? :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A media buyers nightmare scenario to reach young populations

According to this story by KTVB.com, CableOne cable rates are set to increase to $50/month for their BASIC package which has approximately 70 channels. At this new price cable is now $10/month or $120/year MORE expensive than DishNetwork's 100 channel plan with local programming ($39.99) or $20/month more expensive than DirectTV's 50+ package ($29.99).

Does this pricing cut into the young audience (18-25 year olds) media buyers always have difficult reaching. Some programming this demo watches is only located on cable or satellite systems and without the ability to place locally on satellite systems this leaves media buyers with a dilemma. If this does start cutting into that college age demographic do we move money away from TV and towards online.

I definitely don't have all the answers but as we continue to see crazy rating numbers published by Nielsen for TV programs for the 18-25 demographic and lead us to not trust the numbers, for better or worse. Media buyers are asked by their clients to closely scrutinize their advertising spending and report back what their dollar is getting them.

Some more stats for ya:

According to Television Bureau of Advertising Cable Penetration in the Boise DMA has continued to sink from 47% penetration in Feb. 2000 to 30.5% in Feb. 2009. Meanwhile Satellite or ADS(Alternate Delivery Systems) have increase from 17% in Feb. 2000 to 43% in Feb. 2009. Combining together these two TV delivery methods leaves about 27% of people still using rabbit ears or no subscription based TV.

Now for my questions:

The main question I have regarding these stats is are the correlated simply to cost? Or is there a quality of programming/channels available in each of these television delivery methods? Feel free to leave some comments if I am completely off base on this.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Honda Ad Campaign sends you away from their website

During Monday's (4/20/09) Chuck on NBC, Honda aired an ad where they ask you to go to Edmunds.com and visit the Honda branded cost of ownership posted there. This really threw me for a loop. Why would a company purposely direct customers to go to someone else's website? All my marketing experience (it isn't vast but I consider myself pretty knowledgeable) it is not a good idea to send someone away from your home base especially in the digital realm. The only reason to send someone away from your site is for unavoidable reasons. This was the first instance of this redirection that I could think of aside from the "look us up on Yahoo!/Google" (that didn't necessarily work). I was trying to read into the approach that Honda was using and guessing at why they chose this direction. Here is what I see from this campaign:

Honda is trying to use the "trusted source" that car buyers use to research their future purchases to leverage those buyers into their vehicle. I think this by itself is an interesting concept. One thing that I have a question about though does this actually work. Does sponsored content that pretends to be informational work better than a traditional banner ad?

I would love to see the return on this investment because I am sure that Edmunds not only agreed to be part of the commercial but that Honda had to put a substantial investment in the subpages that grew from their "sponsored" listing.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Class Action Lawsuit vs Blockbuster re: Facebook Beacon Ad Program

After reading this article I had some serious questions about those little legal disclaimers we have to sign to get the software we want.

My first panicked question was: What happens if a Software truly does your life harm?
This came from Blockbuster using the Beacon Ad program on Facebook to notify your friends of what you were renting and buying. Now on the surface that sounds fine. Now place yourself in the young executive's shoes who is a single young man making his way to the top through the Good Ol' Boys club but "spices" up his video watching on the weekend. Then lets before the big promotion the Execs Superiours decide to do some digging into his social life just so they know who the face of the company will be. (I know I am taking a lot of leaps here, first that an executive has time to watch movies and be on Facebook, and that his superiors check up on him, even though that is less of a stretch)
I guess my real point is, is that damaging information is awful when you put it on the page yourself; it is catastrophic when a third party releases it for you thinking it is what you wanted.

Ok now my second question was: Can they really do a class action lawsuit after they had signed the waiver to use a arbitration and NOT do a class action lawsuit?
Well according to the judge currently presiding over this case the answer is yes. According to the article the judge claimed that the terms of use were "illusory" (I love it when judges use big words no one else uses :( it means deceptive). The judge ruled this way because the terms of the contract between Blockbuster and the end user could be changed at anytime. Now I don't know about you but that just described every single software or web-content related contract I have ever signed.
So does this mean I can sign any of those that I want and then sue the pants off of them even though the "contract" says I can't do that? Is it just me or does that ruling just throw to the wind all legitimacy that these contracts have? Why is one part "illusory" while another part of the contract is steadfast? There is probably a lawyer out there that could tell me all the nuances and ramifications of contract writing but to me as a layman I can't see what is going on.
Well we will watch and see.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How bad does your search engine have to be?

According to an article by CNET it states that a February search traffic report from a Microsoft insider shows 48% of Microsoft employees use Google as their search engine and 48% use Live, the rest are divided among Yahoo and others. Hmm what does this tell you about Microsoft's search product? Needs improvement maybe?
Maybe the search engineers that they have headhunted from Yahoo can help them out of this rut with their launch of Kumo. However, I think starting internally with a wish list from those internal searchers would garner them some interesting results as to why they shy away from Microsoft Live search product.
Maybe a $100 million ad campaign is bit too high for a product that can't pass above a 50% usage rate among its own company's employees. Possibly they should consider a $25 million research campaign to make sure they are giving the consumer what they want, oh wait these are the guys that gave us Vista, that's right... my bad...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Google Analytics Qualified Individual

This is something I am very proud of and I think I am one of the few in the Boise area to have this qualification (I could be wrong and please let me know if I am). This little certificate lets potential customers that I have proven my Analytics skills to Google and I am now a Qualified Analytics Individual. Let me know if you need help with your website and how people use/find your site.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kevin Gamache Resume


Kevin Gamache

(Leave a blog comment below to receive additional contact information)

Relevant Experience:


CLM, LLC, Boise, ID 2006 - 2008
Full service marketing and advertising firm servicing clients around Idaho, Utah and California

New Media Specialist

  • Research, organize and implement interactive media and search marketing campaigns for broad range of clients. This includes banner advertising, pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO); coordination and implementation


Media Buyer

  • Plan, implement, and track media buys for CLM’s diverse client base. Types of media purchased are, TV, Radio, Newspaper, Magazine, & Event


Spotlight Events, Inc., Eagle, ID 2002 - 2006
National dance competition company devoted to providing a fun, family-oriented environment to compete against other dancers on both a local and National level

Advertising Manager

  • Manage external advertising presence in Dance trade magazines such as Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, Dancer, etc…
  • Work with web developer on company website design, incorporating each year’s theme and marketing message to participating studios and dancers
  • Develop press contacts for each event city and submit press releases regarding the competition dates and times and invites for press coverage

Event Coordinator

  • Supervise and direct 7-10 member teams at event locations to ensure quality, customer service-oriented show for large 700 – 1200 member audiences
  • Book and organize facility rentals and maintain constant contact with event location officials to ensure problem free event
  • Organize giveaways and promotional items for weeklong National event participants in Branson, MO and Las Vegas, NV


HNA Impression Management, Boise, ID 2002
Regional Advertising, Marketing, impression management firm specializing in corporate image redesign for long term marketing effect

Project Coordinator

  • Developed database of press contacts in wide range of media outlets for clients from diverse corporate interests
  • Maintained client portfolio flow through office to ensure client received materials in a timely manner but thoroughly edited and complete.


Certifications:


Google Analytics Qualified Individual
Google AdWords Professional

Other Experience:


Treasure Valley TV Public Access Station, Winter 2000
Acted as consultant for initial launch of the Public Access station, organizing Public Relations events to promote the startup of this station.

Education:


Boise State University, Boise, ID
Bachelor of Arts in Communication, 1997-2000

Pi Sigma Epsilon, 1998-2000 – Professional Marketing Fraternity
  • Activities Coordinator, President - During term as president, increased membership and increased participation in National events by membership.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Open Letter to the Associated Press - WTF

Now before I start ranting against the Associated Press' latest threats against search engines and other news aggregators let me say this; I can understand their need for an additional income stream. I agree that the newspaper industry needs to look closely at where its readership comes from and how those readers are drawn to their websites. I also understand their grab at any straw that they can find. I would link to the article I found but I don't want a lawsuit. Instead just search for "A.P. Seeks to Rein in Sites Using Its Content"

Now for my rant:
There is a big difference in cutting off an illegal supplier of traffic and one that is a major and legal (at least according to Google) supplier of traffic. Something that the AP needs to think about is this: Does Google really need you, or are they supplying a service to you? No seriously I do not know the answer to this. I see Yahoo! as a more flagrant user of AP News on their Search page than Google. Having said this I am constant user of Yahoo! for my search needs and I have the occasion to click on the stories that they list on their news feed. Do people go to Google and Yahoo to get news or do they go there to search for news. Does Google now have to pay for everytime I search for Mt. Redoubt explosion and a news story comes up?

I am not sure if the major news organizations use Google Analytics but I am sure they know where the majority of their readers come from or where they are referred from. My experience with online advertising with newspaper comes from a local perspective and these were based solely on the number of impressions that my ad was served. How then does the AP and the newspapers not benefit from Google and Yahoo's news feeds? If it were not for those feeds I would have never added to their impression count and thus gave them the opportunity to charge more for their impression based advertising.

I fully admit that I am not fully aware of all the issues surrounding this move by the Associated Press but as a Search Marketer and a user of Search News Feeds, I stand by my opinion and will leave it at that, my opinion. If yours differs please leave a comment for discussion and give me the other side.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Yahoo Showing Facebook and Wikipedia Pics next to Natural Results and an In-Results Video Player

Yahoo seems to be experimenting with enhanced listings for Facebook, Wikipedia, and an In-Results Video Player (or have they been doing this for awhile and I just didn't notice? Probably not since I am a Yahoo searcher for my search queries.) It appears to be part of a beta test for Yahoo! Search Gallery.

For this test it looks like it is set as a default for all users, since I did not have to opt-in to it and I was not logged into my Yahoo! account at the time. This seems to be a variation of the Search Monkey apps that they launched about a year ago but all of these enhanced listings are for the most part developed the same. I have screen shots below of the Facebook, Wikipedia, and the In-Results Video Player. Hopefully more to come.






Friday, March 27, 2009

Microsoft's Search Talent Power Grab

According to this report Microsoft is continuing its search talent power grab with the focus on Yahoo! alumni. This is interesting for 2 reasons:
1) How is Yahoo! not able to retain these employees or is it that they don't want to?

2) Either the attention is so focused on the relationship between Microsoft and Yahoo! that we are not hearing about the Askers and Googlers defecting or is it Microsoft's strategy to acquire as much knowledge as possible about its possible future Yahoo! acquisition?

Either way Microsoft is acquiring the talent it thinks it needs to gain some ground in search or developing enough corporate espionage to make a valid buy attempt on Yahoo! I think the #2 option is the more likely scenario, but that is my opinion, what is yours.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Utah saves PPC but Texas Could Kill 1 Strategy

Days after the Utah Senate saved the strategy of using trademarked words to trigger ads the Texas courts are reviewing a case that could jeopardize that strategy once again. Wendy Davis's article from MediaPost states that Yahoo! was dealt a blow to its court case defending against American Airlines. Yahoo! had sought to move the case to their home ground rather than American Airlines base camp. The judge denied that request and to boot this is the same judge that presided over American Airlines battle with Google that was decided out of court in favor of American Airlines.

A quick search on both Yahoo! and Google for American Airlines shows that both have stopped serving PPC ads triggered for that Trademarked keyword. Here is my question, doesn't Travelocity and Orbitz and even travel agencies have the rights to bid on those keywords as they are selling the American Airlines product and thus not deceiving the customer. Maybe American Airlines poor service rankings over the past few years are driving this knee-jerk response to eliminate competition (see Forbes 2007 list of top 10 worst airlines. Or Travel and Leisure's December 2008 article.

Even after Google settled out of court with American and stopped serving ads why did the other airlines not jump on this bandwagon to ensure their good name?

I believe this is the court filing in case you wanted to peruse what is going on.

I would love other people's take on this lawsuit and why it could win and why it could lose. And what exactly does an American Airlines win mean?

Friday, March 13, 2009

PPC Saved again by the Utah Senate

According to the Daily Online Examiner. A bill to disable using Trademarks to trigger Google AdWords ads has failed to pass in the Utah Senate. After passing by one vote in the Utah House of Representatives the bill forwarded on to the Senate failed to get the number of votes needed to pass in to law. This is a big sigh of relief for those advertisers who believe that triggering an ad based on a competitors name is a viable competitive tactic. This is the 3rd or 4th time this bill has come before the Utah Legislature, I wonder if they will finally put this to rest. For more information on this case see my previous post at post

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Take on Utah's Ban on Trademark Triggered PPC Ads

A recent article by Wendi Davis over at Media Post caught my attention. I have been following this case for a couple of years and the possible impact it can have on the Pay-per-Click advertising medium. The Utah House has passed a bill banning using trademarks to trigger pay-per-click advertising.

At the surface this seems reasonable. Companies have worked hard to register and build their trademarks. Thus allowing someone to hijack that brand awareness when someone types in that trademark into a search engine seems unfair. For instance, if someone types in the name of a local pizza establishment but Pizza Hut has bought that establishment's name and targeted an ad there that customer may be swayed to order their pizza at Pizza Hut instead. Is that unfair or is that the competitive nature of search engine results?

I think the Google lobbyists put this analogy to the Utah lawmakers last time this bill was put forward, PPC is a competitive environment similar to a supermarket. People go to search out their favorite frozen pizza but then are confronted with a host of other options, some that are cheaper and some that have more toppings. They are given the opportunity to know that their are other options other than the Red Barron pizza they were after. In fact rack space within that supermarket freezer is a valuable commodity that is constantly being fought for. Who gets the eye-level rack space? I don't know how they figure that out but it is usually NOT the generic startup frozen pizza company. Does that make it unfair to the consumer, should the consumer have to type in the brand name it is looking for at the start of an isle so that he is not presented with other options? "No!" you say, "That would be ridiculous you are over simplifying things."
OK, but lets look at the searcher's intent. If their intent is only to find the brand name that they just typed in what makes you think that the ad copy above that Natural ranking position will sway them from their desired result. If they are swayed by that ad doesn't that suggest that they are open to other brand choices or at least curious about what else is out there?
I guess the main point I am getting at is that if people are truly searching specifically for a brand they will not be swayed by the ads above the optimized listing for the brands trademark. They will easily find what they are looking for unless they don't know what they are looking for and are using the trademark as a stepping stone to finding what they truly want, cheap and good tasting pizza!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Skittles' Multiple Personality Disordedr

So now Skittles have switched from their Facebook page to their Wikipedia entry, something that is even more stable but truly not that interesting or interactive, in my opinion.(See this previous post for info on the previous Twitter version of their homepage.)
They also still have their twitter feed but it is now under the "Chatter" button.
They also still have their Facebook account up but it is now under their "Friends" button. Another thing of note on the Facebook account is that they took the discussion forum off the main page but it appears to have given the posts portion the full page rather than boxed it off to multiple things. Well there is the latest update.
One person on my Twitter feed discussion on the Skittles Facebook page mentioned that last Friday they had their Wikipedia page as the homepage but Wikipedia flagged the entry as an advertisement that needed a major re-write to become an actual encyclopedic entry. Here is the Wikipedia entry before and now after. As you can see there was a major re-write that went on. Maybe it was their goal the whole time to have Wikipedia as their page but needed to wait for the major content re-write to take place. Who knows.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Standing out with getting in the way

I was taking a break from work and playing some Yahtzee, when it loaded this came up
They owned this space and to their benefit I am not exactly the target market for this product but this game website definitely fits their target.

What is interesting is the fact that these big name brands are finding ways to interact with their audience that is outside the norm. I noticed it right away, well it was hard to avoid, but not annoying I could still play my game in peace.

So we as marketers need to come up with the unique and memorable things that stick out but not annoy. I like this example and wanted to share.

Skittles Ballsy Homepage Move - UPDATED

UPDATE: So Skittles has already moved away from the Twitter stream it was using as its homepage. Instead it opted for a safer homepage location... its own Facebook page where it can control what is said about its brand. According to Laurie Sullivan over at MediaPost they pulled the feed after pranksters started spamming the list with obscenities. So time of death appears to be sometime on Tuesday. The messages on the Facebook account seem much more product targeted thus I believe that Skittles is monitoring what is going to stay up on their wall and discussion groups. As a test I posted a question about the twitter feed idea to their discussion group. We will see how long that stays up and what response come from their "fan" base. I will keep you updated.


I will have to say this, it is a very risky maneuver by Skittles to have their homepage be a User Generated Content feed. They never know what will come on top. It will be very easy for someone to game the system for their own benefit.

One thing Skittles has going for them is the amount of attention both good and bad they are getting in the twitterverse. I do not follow that many people (currently in the low 100's) but there has been quite of bit of talk about this webpage already. It will be interesting to track how long this will stay up before being gamed. Any predictions, leave a comment with your guess and if you are right you will win my respect (sorry don't have much else to give here, you can have the honor of employing me :) )

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Don't forget Yahoo!

I am not sure if Microsoft has pushed Yahoo! from their consciousness but as a search engine marketer I definitely should not. Yahoo! still holds the second place in the amount of searches out there in the webiverse. I am not saying that you should sacrifice your Google rankings to appear in Yahoo! SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). It is definitely a balancing act but if you have valuable content for your consumers you should be able to rank high in the results for both Google and Yahoo!.

There is some duplication of searches between these two giants of search, but Yahoo! has their loyal fan base just like Google does. Tapping into that fan base can extend your reach and thus your brand awareness.

So I advocate tracking not only your Google rankings but your Yahoo! rankings as well. You should know how people are finding you. If your analytics shows that you have no search traffic from Yahoo! then something is wrong and you are missing a good stream of potential customers to your website. Take a look it could very well be worth your while.

If you are not sure how to track where people are coming into your website and to see how your website ranks on the various search engines. Leave me a comment below or send me a message on Twitter and I will be glad to talk with you.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Video of my interview with Fox12

Someone over at Fox12 deleted the video from their servers. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Welcome KTRV Fox 12 Viewers and New and Old Visitors

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog or visit again if you are returning. If you are here just by chance, welcome! If you are here due to the story on KTRV Fox 12 www.ktrv.com, double welcome.

As mentioned on the newscast; I am out on the job hunt but it has not yet produced a full time job offer. What my hunt has uncovered are some opportunities for me to assist businesses with;

-Their ongoing web presence on the search engines
-Marketing strategy (including media buying recommendations)
-Pay-per-click advertising setup and maintenance

I will be glad to talk to anyone interested in what my services may offer. Leave me a message below or direct message me at
www.twitter.com/kgamache. Sorry I do not post my email or phone number as sites often get scraped by spammers and I am lucky to thus far be pretty spam free.
By the way, if you are not yet on Twitter it is a great opportunity to start networking as well as researching direct consumer comments about products you are about to buy. This tool has helped immensely thus far.

Please review my resume and my other blog postings and discussions. Leave comments there as well and I will gladly further discuss my thoughts on the topics I have covered.

Thanks again for visiting hope to talk to you soon.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kevin's Experience with Internet Explorer 8

Ok I know it is still in a somewhat beta format but since it is being released to the public I will give my experiences and the curious things I found:

1) On initial installation of IE8 the default Search Engine is Google. Is this Microsoft giving up on forcing people into their search engine? Is this Microsoft finally saying to their customers, "Ok we know that you use Google A LOT but please still use our browser to get there"?

2) For all the moves that Microsoft has made to purchase Yahoo they sure don't show that they are interested in their search engine. I had to manually, through several screens, add Yahoo as my preferred search engine whereas Google and Live were easy to access. I would have thought that since I had Yahoo as my default search engine it would have imported that in from the previous IE install. FAIL!

3) To their benefit it does seem to load things faster than IE6 did. So I can't complain about the speed.

4) Some of their embedded features still are a bit buggy. I expect these to be fixed as they release the final version.

5) Lots of similarities to Google Chrome in this release including: the favorites/bookmark icon and how they list those favorites/bookmarks; the tabbing system with recovering recently closed tabs; possibly more as I search more

6) I don't like that I have to click on a tab to enable the X in the tab to close it. Sometimes I search in another tab and find what I am looking for and just want to click the x to close it.


So my quick summary is that if you did not like Google Chrome you will probably not like Internet Explorer 8. A lot of the same functionality is resident in IE8 that was built into Google Chrome and IE7.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Microsoft's Presidential Search Failure

While watching the history making events of the 44th President's Inauguration, I wanted to see how the search engines performed for this ground breaking event.

I performed this search: "44th President"

Google and Yahoo searches returned a variety of sources: wikipedia, news sites, barackobama.com, and also one souvenir buying page on Yahoo.

MSN/Live returned predominantly souvenir buying sites, in fact 8 of the top 10 were souvenir buying sites. It will be interesting to track the evolution of these rankings on Live/MSN as time moves on. I find it curious that these sites were able to get top ranking over the top of reliable news sites and other "trusted" sources.

If someone else has done this search a few weeks ago on Live/MSN I would love to get some historical data as what the top 10 sites were before inauguration day. This will help to see how MSN/Live justifies their high ranking. See picture below

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blending of Media Buying and Search Engine Marketing

I don't know how many people, at least in Boise, are both a Media Buyer (TV, Radio, Print, Outdoor, Banner ads, etc...) and a search engine marketer but I am one of the few, at least according to some sources.

When I started working with both of these at the same time I noticed that it is possible to take what I know from both worlds and combine them to make both of them better.

This blog post is strictly off the cuff, as most of mine are, but it lays out some of the basic thoughts I have on this topic. They are much more in depth than what is written here (think of an onion) but it is a start.

Search Marketing Tactics used in Media Buying:

If we start to think of TV watchers as Search Engine users there are characteristics that I think both use when deciding what "information" they wish to receive. For instance, on TV if a watcher notices that both his/her favorite shows are on at the same time, will they switch back and forth, probably...unless they have a DVR. Now if there is only one source of "information" they will not switch back and forth they will more than likely stay on that source for the entire duration. So as we are buying media we need to look at what other "information" sources are conflicting with other sources. There are also other factors that obviously play into these as well, social life of the target audience as well as other media sources.

Media Buying strategies used in Search Marketing:

The Search Engine marketplace is becoming a hotbed of activity especially in a down economy. Companies are searching for ways to attract top level leads that can quickly and easily convert into sales for very little cost. Now apply that same need to what a good media buyer does. They look for the best way to reach the most people who fit the target audience for the least amount of money. So when looking at Search Engine Optimization and Pay-per-click we need to follow the demographic trail and target the words (keywords and keyword phrases) that the demographic uses to find the client's product. Just as a certain demographic is more likely to watch a certain show; I think there are some cases where a certain demographic uses a keyword or phrase to find a product or goes through a search process to find that product.
Now getting to the money part of the Media Buying process as Search Marketers we should also analyze the cost to benefit ratio. Does it really make sense to optimize the site or does it make more sense to advertise on social media where people are making their final buying decision based off of user input. Or is doing both the best thing? They are questions that need to be answered and can be answered by looking at the possible ROI of each. In Media Buying one way that is referred to is cost-per-point (CPP), in internet advertising cost-per-thousand (CPM).


I think these media are inter-related and, at least from my perspective, can work together to come up with a great strategy looking both at online and traditional media.

Give me your feedback, tell me I am full of it. I would love to start some critical thinking on this.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Kevin Gamache's Resume


Kevin Gamache

(Leave a blog comment below to receive additional contact information)

Relevant Experience:


CLM, LLC, Boise, ID 2006 - 2008
Full service marketing and advertising firm servicing clients around Idaho, Utah and California

New Media Specialist

  • Research, organize and implement interactive media and search marketing campaigns for broad range of clients. This includes banner advertising, pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO); coordination and implementation


Media Buyer

  • Plan, implement, and track media buys for CLM’s diverse client base. Types of media purchased are, TV, Radio, Newspaper, Magazine, & Event


Spotlight Events, Inc., Eagle, ID 2002 - 2006
National dance competition company devoted to providing a fun, family-oriented environment to compete against other dancers on both a local and National level

Advertising Manager

  • Manage external advertising presence in Dance trade magazines such as Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, Dancer, etc…
  • Work with web developer on company website design, incorporating each year’s theme and marketing message to participating studios and dancers
  • Develop press contacts for each event city and submit press releases regarding the competition dates and times and invites for press coverage

Event Coordinator

  • Supervise and direct 7-10 member teams at event locations to ensure quality, customer service-oriented show for large 700 – 1200 member audiences
  • Book and organize facility rentals and maintain constant contact with event location officials to ensure problem free event
  • Organize giveaways and promotional items for weeklong National event participants in Branson, MO and Las Vegas, NV


HNA Impression Management, Boise, ID 2002
Regional Advertising, Marketing, impression management firm specializing in corporate image redesign for long term marketing effect

Project Coordinator

  • Developed database of press contacts in wide range of media outlets for clients from diverse corporate interests
  • Maintained client portfolio flow through office to ensure client received materials in a timely manner but thoroughly edited and complete.


Other Experience:


Treasure Valley TV Public Access Station, Winter 2000
Acted as consultant for initial launch of the Public Access station, organizing Public Relations events to promote the startup of this station.

Education:


Boise State University, Boise, ID
Bachelor of Arts in Communication, 1997-2000
Pi Sigma Epsilon, 1998-2000 – Professional Marketing Fraternity

  • Activities Coordinator, President - During term as president, increased membership and increased participation in National events by membership.

Contact Me