Ling also collates a few interesting terms floating through literature on mobility:
Rock solid start for Day #2 - as an Agency peep, we heard from Yahoo and Sportgenic...and Sportgenic managed to make an early morning, coffee-free room of media/agency folks surprisingly interactive...
Frikking awesome panel by John "Media-tronic" Durham opened up the morning's festivities with a star-studded cast of agencies and publisher/vendor people. The theme was "trading places", and the idea was to share viewpoints of the 'others' with the others present - to seek out commonalities and isolate differences. Following on the heels of Rick Parkhill's interactive opening the previous day,folks wer elooking forward to this one. And the panelists did not disappoint. Heck - John wouldn't let them.
John roved the floor, posing questions to the panelists, and letting them (at times) riff:
Q. What are the biggest challenges in the buyer/seller relationship?
John aimed question numero uno at the Jeter of his lineup (props out, Arens!!!), Chris Arens. Arens thought for a nanosecond then got the party started with "lack of communication, lack of respect, and tunnel vision." Messina agreed, and wondered why publishers never hear back from agencies when they submit work for RFP's but don't make the plan...
Q. What does the other side do?
Samples batted first: "They ask really dumb questions, offer dumb solutions to the dumb questions they ask...and too often they are order takers, not solution providers". Niiiiiiice. Collective gasp.
Q. If you could strangle the neck of the other side over one issue, what would it be?
iMeem's Har: "Getting the RFP with a 24 hr turnaround, with no set budget. And we need an "out-of-the-box solution. By noon tomorrow. With working mockups."
Agency-side Lane responded: "we send those RFP's with 24hr turnarounds often because the client asks for the same thing...the original request funnels through an acct director/AE, through various channels to media...we don't do it to be unreasonable." She asked one thing: "if you need to say no, DO say no." Then she used agency judo, and said "often, we have publishers who don't even respond to RFP's - they just go into a black hole." Bam. Whi-chaaaaaa.
--> Following up on an earlier Messina's point, John asked Lane, "don't you have an obligation to share whether a [publisher's proposal] has made a plan or not?"
"We do", she said. "And we need to be your best friend. Because we need to understand you well enough to pitch you to our clients"
Favorite interruption: Witt - "none of this is very interesting to me. I work in the idea business.
Q. If there is one thing you could change in the other side, what would it be?
McGoran: "Time management. Our people need to be better capable of managing their time."
Note: this is the first time time management came up, and several panelists agreed mandatory training could be a good thing. John had asked the panelists to pair off with each other, prior to the conference, and discuss their perspectives on agency/publisher relationships, which led to this:
Q. What perceptions do you have or that changed after your conversations with the other side?
Gordon and Lane noted that "there were more similarities than differences", but Gordon went on to ask buyers for a little "empathy". Gordon went on: "there is no empathy on the part of buyers for what the sellers have to do to give them a compelling campaign idea for an RFP." Whii-chaaaaa.
Value of time/value of training. Talent. Resources.
Publishers ask: "Why is my innovative idea being assessed by a 25 year old ding-a-ling? Who knows less about the stuff than I do and who was doing tequila shots 10 months ago?"
Witt: "Media shops place too much emphasis on spreadsheets and machines, not intuition."
Lane: "There is a sense of entitlement amongst younger folks. They are harder to train. Some are not as trainable as we'd like them to be. Simple decorum - manners. Picking up a phone rather than sending tons of emails."
McGoran notes: "It used to be easy to get a meeting. But things have become so fragmented there isn't time to meet. To develop a relationship."
Q's from the audience:
from Topix, to the agencies, "You want custom, but you want turnkey. Why can't we meet with the client? how does a 25 yr old rep know how to talk about my package to a client?"
Jeff Cole of Agency: "When does publisher get involved in a client discussion?"
Har - "I see an issue with seeing the agency and publishers as separate."
McGaron - "We have relationships with your clients too...they come to us directly...the client thinks something gets "lost in translation"...it's not to do and end run, but to keep client insulated isn't a good thing."
Nice exhcange between Arens and McGaron:
Arens: "I am ok with you talking to my clients, just not talking cost."
McGaron: "Of course! Of course!"
Arens: "You say of course, but this "ground rule" gets crossed all the time..."
Q. The one piece of advice/idea you have to make things better?
Messina: "the overall relationship is critical...it's getting automated to the point that facetime is lacking - we have become an RFP industry. That has to change."
McGaron: "We need to distribute our knowledge down through the ranks [re: training]. We sit here talking heady best practices, but we need to spend more time managing and training." This comment came from a general theme that I'll paraphrase: "young folks [publisher-side salespeople, agency-side buyers] with no training, decorum or time management skills were making life a lot more difficult than it needed to be in our space."
Scott: "I don't care about most of this - I care about ideas - we are all [media+creative+publishers] in the business of ideas, we just see it through different lenses...there's no problem that good design can't solve...and if we look at ourselves as being in the 'designing solutions' business, not the 'RFP' business, we'll be in a better place."
Notes from Panel #2: "Making Sense of Metrics"
Jonathan Adams, Moderator (Digitas)
Adam Gerber (CMO Quantcast)
George Ivie (Pres., CEO Media Rating Council)
David Smith (CEO Mediasmith)
Young-Bean Song (VP @ Atlas - Analytics & Atlas Institute)
Gerber: "Planning has no relevance to buying and delivering a campaign. Panel-based data fails to be the backbone of an addressable marketplace." [it was noted later no panel-based data folks were ont he panel...]
Smith: "When you buy Yahoo, you are effectively buying the homepage demos, but you don't get those demos unless you actually buy the homepage."
Gerber: "The web is not a page-based medium anymore. Page-based analytics fail to provide the level of detail that planners need to evaluate distributed planning opportunities." [disclosure: Gerber is CMO of Quantcast, a company with its own "open internet ratings" system]
Young-Bean: "The last ad clicked is an absurd measurement for creative efficacy." [disclosure: Atlas just came out with a new product for "engagement mapping", which apparently tries to adderss the "94%" of activity that takes place prior to the last click to transact]
Gerber - "It's not about the DR metrics, as brands come online - at the end of the day it's about the creative and the product offering - our people pull numbers to rationalize decisions, but we don't know where the data comes from or how to use it." Sweeeeeeeet.
Q. how do we build data metrics model that alow for intuition and ideas?
Gerber: "Look, 80% of business is still spots and dots."
I had the pleasure of being invited by the great folks at iMedia to attend the iMedia Agency summit in Austin over this weekend and through today. Here's my notes on it, as I try to share what was a pretty remarkable experience with the folks unable to join.
Monday morning saw the agency folks getting breakfast and presentations from first DoubleClick, then Google. More DFA than you could shake a stick at.
Rick Parkhill tipped off the main session with a series of questions that revealed work to do in the relationships of agencies and media companies...
Russell Simmons, impressario and "Do You" author then took the stage.
He popped "Global Grind", though he "didn't have his notes" on the new site of "Godfathers and filters". He warned Al Gore that with regards to Global Warming, Pelosi and Gingrich didn't "speak" to the hip hop community. So he single-handedly got Fat Joe and Fiddy on board. Much positioning of the "Hip Hop community" as the best arbiter of brands - multi-cultural, owners of their own evolving language, proud when they get "big". According to Russell, the "HipHop Community" loves the American Dream so much they are proud when they get a piece of it for themselves. And if you want them? Weeeellllllllll....you gotta hire Russell. Heck - for the right price, he offered to drive a VW around the Hamptons.
IMHO, 'Interaction with the audience' shouldn't be a replacement for not having prepared anything beyond a promotional plug for a new property. He just launched a global web property. With his unique insights into the "Hip Hop Community" to whom the site is targeted, I asked 'what will you do to launch Global Grind that would be new/useful and leverage digital media in ways particular to the target?"
The answer (as best I could reconstruct it):
"Offline. Breaking it like an old school album. Radio. <pause> We are still working on the business plan. <pause> Grind'll have a "presence" in social networks, with applications, <pause> and Facebook, and... etc., etc.".
You get it. Global Grind is still looking for the sauce, folks. Some strong sauce.[NOTE: other agency attendees pointed out that Russell hung out, and was available to talk after the keynote, and that many felt those conversations were great.]
Next up came Joey Dumont from Questus - whose speech didn't join him on stage and made for a rough start - moderating "can you really monetize social media?" Patrick Keane from CBS, gamely tried to respond - then a slightly overwrought Dumont unloaded a Murdoch admission of a failure to monetize social nets...Jack Myers responded that it "doesn't make much sense listening to News Corp about monetizing social networks".
Navarrow from Global Grind says yeah, Facebook is ok, but MySpace is still growing...nice and frisky up there. Favorite quote from Patrick, sitting in for Quincy - "there is a lot of creepy shit you can do to target a user - believe me, I was at Google for years, I know what you can do..."
Buzzword namecheck: Viral Marketing vs. Viral Expansion Loops...it's catching...
Jason Burnham of Burnham Mktg: "Social Networking will be a browser based or app based system, rather than a walled garden...I look @ social networks as a RM channel to find brand advocates, not a display/branding channel...brand ads on social nets are less effective as people are more engaged" - not much objection from panel, interestingly...
Question from the crowd: "So specifically, rather than theoretically, what have you sold or gotten done?" - Patrick talks about March Madness, sold on a 'sponsorship' basis...Myers talks about UGC - says marketers are launching their OWN consumer communities, but that since they need to promote those networks, social nets are a way to advertise..suggests funding coming from social/PR outreach rather than ad budgets...Patrick from CBS cites LastFM for Pontiac (CPM and sponsorship basis)...lumpy lumpy weak sauce.
Master classes: 'ad networks' was the SRO favorite but rowdy, and some agency folks and publishers were concerned there was network bashing and a little "over-the-top_itude going on... 'email' and 'local' treated by the attendees as small and specific, respectively were more sparsely attended, but apparently benefited by the smaller size and the apparently well-prepared, non-pitchy presentators.
Then speed dating. More on that later.
Wow. 60 presentations, ranging in length from 60-90 seconds. If you ever want to test out your new people - sales, media or publishing, have them deliver your value proposition in 60 seconds. (a) they should be able to do it, and (b) jeepers, it's a great tool to teach folks to get to the point quickly - or "bottom line" it :-) - I'll do detail on the folks that presented when I'm back at the ranch.
50 winners have been selected for the first Google "Android Developer Challenge", and it was great to see the range of applications entered - wikipedia/map mobile mashups ("Wikitude"), consolidated virtual presence management ("Sustain"), pervasive gaming ("City Slikkers") - it's in there. And more.
Creativity (fueled by cash and visibility) is dangerously close to bring applied to the mobile canvas. The folks over at Silicon Alley Insider did a nice job pulling together a list of winners names and apps, so do check it out - they even posted links to explanations of the apps where available.
And for your download pleasure, here's a nice, simply formatted .pdf of the winners - with images and explanations. Download AndroidApps.pdf
It's worth reviewing to get a look at what's coming next...
"Brands exist in people's heads" goes his premise - and here everyone's
brand-related tags are collated and rendered as a swarm, creating a graphic
illustration of the brand as socially-constructed collective
perception, with each perception proportionally scaled by it's
importance to the group. [Interestingly, as participation with the site
has increased, Brier's noted more "noise" being introduced - profanity,
brand bashing, etc.]
How does it work? Brier's site shows you a logo, and you free-associate a word (that becomes a tag) into the handy blank field. Then the next logo appears. It's shockingly simple, and irritatingly addictive. So people come to you to tell you about your brand. Contrast this with Summize, the Twitter search tool that searches public twits/tweets for brand mentions and aggregates them, or their "sentiment"
He's cobbled together a single player Google Image Labeler, only now instead of help Google tag every image using your free labor, you can help Brands get a gut check. And make Naked look brilliant. Sweeet.
What I really liked was the gaming aspect of the site - Brier lets you try to guess the brand based on the swarm and see the tags posted by referral URL (so you can ferret out any domain-based swarm biases :-)
Melissa conjectures that the site coding may reveal potential Brier-based brand bias in the order in which brands were entered - Nike is #1 (ID=1), Google is #2 (ID=2), etc. - but his numbering scheme skips from #9 (H&M) and doesn't pick up again until #25 (Yahoo!). Perhaps this has something to do with their client list? Or maybe he's leaving room to put them in later?
Check these swarms for W+K partners:
If Brand Tags sits at one end of the spectrum of collective brands (where people are required to go to a destination to create and experience collective perceptions), Summize sits at the other.
Summize positions itself as a provider of "conversational search", and it searchs public twitter streams for keywords. Enter a brand, get a slew of brand-relevant tweets. In aggregate, it's a pretty interesting snapshot of what people are saying, right now, about your brand. You can even sift for sentiment.
Why do you crash - oh sorry, "quit" - "unexpectedly"? And why pop up an alert box to tell me you've crashed "unexpectedly"? Don't I already know that? Safari - you are why I don't entrust myself to complete entombment within the cocoon-y white softness of the Apple ecosystem.
Two interesting "videos":
The first - a music video made from Mac screen captures. Wondering how to demonstrate dull product functionality in a compelling, entertaining way? Microsoft's agency's job just got harder:
You know those voicemails when a friend's mobile phone dials you on its own from their bag or pocket and you get to listen in to rustling fabric and unintelligible talkbits for fifteen minutes? Imagine if it was from your brother while he was in a firefight in Afghanistan. And the last thing you here before your machine cuts off is "incoming RPG".
W+K's newest inter-wunderkind, Melissa Sconyers, started recently in W+K's NY office. Her blog makes for a great read.
Some recent highlights:
In a great riff on Twitter, she outlines key usages and why its such a polarizing (but inexorably advancing) tool. She and Gaia Brown (W+K's other Twitter-kind) have been having some really interesting conversations on this front -
And her attempt to get "Befoogled" into the OED. Solid.
Having a grumpy Monday, folks.
"Playstation will reclaim lead" as the world's leading console manufacturer, said an article carried by the BBC and picked up by the NYT. The best? The headline is pulled from a "quote" from the head of their console gaming division. Geez. Pinch me if I missed it, but where is the story here? This "reportage" reads like cue cards from an investor call. Can anyone tell me why this is news? Or why it got a greenlight through major media outlets?
Amplifying the awesomeness, the forward-looking folks programming the big and little screens offered these bromides at "Digital Hollywood":
"Consumers today have more control over their lives than ever before, in terms of what they'll do and what they won't do. We have to change the way we create content to make sure we're giving them content they actually want."
Imagine that. They're finally smelling what the Rock's been cooking for a DECADE OR MORE. Ouch. Accckk...Thhppfffffft. Did anyone else have tickets to this wake? ANYTHING good come out of it?
When I was a sprout coding games in BASIC on my TRS-80, there seemed to be a lifestyle distinction between movies and videogames: socially inept geeks like myself played videogames, guys who could get dates took them to movies.
If that distinction remained, GTA IV vs Iron Man pretty much obliterated it. The two are now entertainment options, vying for your limited mindspace. And they serve distinct needs in that spectrum. Blue Ocean Strategies talks about expanding your competitive set to include other "options", not just obvious direct competitors. Should publishers of killer franchise titles (Halo, GTA, Sims, Anything Wii) and franchises-to-be (Spore? Star Wars: Force Unleashed?, etc.) consider movie release dates in their own release schedules?
When Ben Stiller's Heartbreak Kid tanked the film industry cited Halo 3 as a culprit, but c'mon, would any self-respecting HALO 3 player be caught riding that Ben Stiller crap sled? Waa Waaaaaah.
This past week, when bleary-eyed gamers finally let drop their game controllers from their sweaty paws, they had probably already thrown their significant other a bone: "hey, though I'm gonna play GTA IV for 26 hours straight, let's take a break for a movie together. Some quality "us" time." And guess what film they probably took them too?
Iron Man and GTA IV - like chocolate and peanut butter.
Silicon Valley Insider's Hank Williams wrote a solid post that summarizes and contextualizes Adobe's latest 'Flash' move, the 'Open Screen Project'. The move is a direct play against Apple and Google to win hearts, minds and development time from mobile platform developers.
Three key takeaways:
1. No more licensing restrictions and fees for the Flash Player and the SWF file format = OEMs get to embed Flash for no $ and with no restrictions. Expect Flash EVERYWHERE.
2. Platform compatibility in a Flash: it sucked to have to redevelop Flash apps to ensure compatability on each new device, OS, and tech...now Flash apps will be split into two layers: the core functional application layer (HOW the program works and WHAT it does) and the platform-specific layer (WHERE the program works, and with WHICH technologies). So develop the core functionality, then (like a snap-on Nokia faceplate!) interchange the platform layer to fit the devices/platforms you'd like to target.
3. Consistency: The Flash Player will now be the same and operate the same, across all devices. "THE" next generation operating system? TBD. But in one master stroke, Adobe may well have created a platform level with iPhone OS, Android OS, and possibly Symbian - and portable (theoretically) across any of those platforms.
Some recognizable names are already on board with the effort, including Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Intel.
News Feed Parody:
If Facebook were Real Life:
Brilliant proof that virtual interaction with friends are JUST AS GOOD as real interactions with real friends. Sort of. Not.
Yes, worth another post. The hijinks continue on Chris Brogan's blog. What's intense is the interaction that takes place in the comment string that follows this nicely written slag-off...
Ironically, Chris called out the PR guy and his tactics, and the ensuing fervor probably went farther in promoting the company than had Chris perfunctorily blogged it and moved on...or ignored it. So was the PR guy an idiot, or FIENDISHLY CLEVER? You decide.