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August 22, 2007

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January 31, 2007

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Interactive promotion report: email marketing

January 6, 2007

[Tags: , , , ]. Michelle Field looks at:

Email Marketing, Newsletters etc.
Michelle Field

E-mail Marketing is immensely used for commercial purposes often to promote a company’s services and products in hope to gain customers and therefore increase sales. In addition e-mail campaigns can deliver specific messages to an audience in hope to get them to carry out a required action (e.g. ‘register now’). E-mail marketing can also be used in the form of greeting cards, newsletters and event alerts. These e-mails are usually created using HTML (and elements of flash) or text formatting.

There are several aspects that make a good and bad e-mail marketing campaign. There are also advantages as well as disadvantages in using e-mail as a form of interactive promotion. I will be identifying some of these features and providing examples of where and how they are used on the internet.

Below are examples of web companies that provide e-mail services:

1) Yahoo
Yahoo offers multiple services to their customers. For example, users are able to use the search option, shop, listen to music or they can read/compose e-mail all from the same page. This is convenient for users as almost everything they need is in one place, saving the time of having to search around a number of sites. I think that Yahoo mail is set up for all internet users (all ages) as its wide range of features caters for a variety of needs.


Every e-mail that is sent through a hotmail account contains the hotmail logo. Therefore, the millions of receivers of these e-mails will come to recognise the extent of hotmail users. In addition, this is a good way of ‘spreading the word’ about their e-mail facilities.

Hotmail also sends their current users e-mails informing them of the new facilities available in attempt to get them to sign up to them. Some cost money such as more e-mail storage space and others keep up with competition and keep users hooked, for example by providing updated versions of MSN. I believe that Hotmail’s target audience is the younger generation averaging from 12-28 years as its features such as MSN appear to cater for this age group.

Some companies using e-mail marketing have become concerned that their deliverability rates are decreasing through the use of spam filtering. Image/link blocking is currently used by e-mail providers such as hotmail. If the e-mail sender is not in the receivers address book links will not be live and pictures will not be visible. How do legitimate e-mails overcome this? ‘It’s getting your recipients to “whitelist” or “safelist” you. How do you do that? Ask them to add the e-mail address you send from to their address books.’ (Jennings, 2004, Online). However this is easier said than done. Jennings also suggests, “You should also run every e-mail you send through Spam Assassin or another content/format filter before you send and check your score to be sure you’re below the ‘probably spam’ threshold.” (Jennings, 2004, Online).

Below are some examples of companies that use e-mail marketing campaigns:

1) Cancer Research UK

The company has sent automatic e-mails to existing members (e-mail blast) of their organisation, encouraging them to sign a petition, to prepare the NHS for future cancer needs. These people then also have the opportunity to ‘Tell a friend’ in hope to spread the word as a result this could create a viral effect.

I would say that the target audience for this campaign is very wide as it is an issue that could potentially affect everyone. Also many people have fought cancer or have had friends or family that has had the disease.

When receiving the e-mail a link takes you through to the website that is set up for the petition. From visiting the website I feel the need to participate in the petition because of its good cause nature. The use of stating the number of people who have already signed signifies the extent of how much people care. The use of calm colours such as blue and green connote a utopian effect suggesting how we can make a difference and have a positive impact on people’s lives. I think that this is a good landing page as it has been kept fairly simple therefore taking into consideration the wide age group and audience that is likely to be visiting the site. For example navigation is easy in that the ‘sign up’ box is bold and the use of rollovers indicates the link clearly. However I do feel that perhaps the ‘who are we’ link that is in small print at the bottom of the page should perhaps be more visible for new visitors that do not know much about the charity.

In signing the petition personal data is required; therefore data protection would have had to have been taken into consideration. Promotion mailing software would have been used in order to contact their existing users. In signing the petition there is also the option to receive further information via e-mail I think this is a good way to promote future events.

2) N.E.C

You can sign up to a newsletter to receive information on events taking place at the NEC, NIA, Symphony Hall and the ICC. This can be known as an e-mail blast where a number of members are informed by e-mail of the latest events.

There are usually a number of links on the e-mails sent; I wonder which of these links are most commonly clicked on by people and which are least useful. This also makes me think whether the company has considered this and if some links drive more activity and create more interest than others. If this is the case then perhaps the commonly used links should be highlighted more. Loren McDonald? from the Email Insider says, “If you focus just on the CTR itself, you might miss a key indicator, like finding out just two of those links drove 75 percent of your activity.” (McDonald?, 2006, Online).

I commonly use the link ‘for a full listing of what’s on’ to see all of the latest events. The landing page in which the e-mail’s link sends you to is good as it uses a simple table format with boxes to separate individual sections such as venues, dates, months and keywords. I think this simple layout for navigation is good as potentially they could be receiving a variety of users and from different age groups. This makes me consider the importance of landing pages as they are the first page in which users come to through e-mail links and therefore have the potential to win over a viewers attention to ‘read on’. In criticising this campaign I think it would be of use to them if they included a ‘tell a friend’ option.

In creating newsletters you need to consider what format you intend to use such as plain text, PDF or HTML. These are discussed further by Scott F. Geld who suggests that newsletters “…keeps clients and potential clients informed about products, events and services that relate to your business…” (Geld, 2006, Online). In order to make professional newsletters you could use a software application such as Microsoft Publisher.

Landing pages

From the above example I then went onto find out more about the importance of the landing page. Jordon Ayan CEO of Subscriber Mail states that a bad landing page can ‘…destroy a successful email marketing campaign.’ (Ayan, 2006, Online). From reading his discussion it became apparent that the following should be considered when creating your landing page:

· It should work in conjunction with the e-mail (same aims, approach and focus).

· Keep viewers focused on the action in which you want them to perform therefore get rid of un-needy items such as links concerning other topics. Consider navigation.

· Ensure customers that they have arrived at the correct location e.g. match the heading from the e-mail to the one in your landing page.

· Short and to the point information to keep user interest.

· Lead the eye, with the use of elements such as images and graphics.

· If you require personal information provide a link on your privacy policy to reassure customers.

3) Greeting Cards
The company offers a range of free greeting cards as well as ones you can buy. The receiver of the cards that are sent will become aware of which company/website the card is from through advertisements, as well as the URL address which is located at the bottom of each card. For a charge you can send a card without other adverts being included, either way the company will benefit.

These e-cards are aimed at a vast audience as there are a number of different categories such as astrology, family, love/romance and friendship a number these are likely to affect each individual that accesses the site.

I would use their free services in the future.

4) Synergy

Cosmo girl is a magazine aimed at young females. Synergy is used with the use of competitions printed in the magazine informing readers that if they wish to enter they should visit Cosmo girl’s website. By doing this readers are encouraged to become members of the site and therefore are likely to receive newsletters and other forms of e-mail from them. In turn these e-mails promote the magazine by reminding/alerting readers when the next issue is out. These e-mails are attractive and eye-catching with the use of flash and images inserted. They also cater for the young female audience with the use of pink and bold text for the important messages such as ‘OUT NOW’. However these e-mails also contain a lot of text beneath the images allowing readers to find out more if they wish to but there is quite a lot of information to scan through. The e-mail also provides links such as ‘The Mall’, ‘Music’ and ‘Guys’ this remediates the set up of the magazine which also contains these sections. Cosmo girl also provide a unsubscribe button positioned at the bottom of the page.

5) Product Promotion

It seems apparent that content is an important aspect to think about within e-mail marketing. Fragrance direct offers fragrances for both male and females. Once you sign up and buy a product off of them you can become apart of their mailing list. The company’s mail adapts a style according to the time of the year (e.g. Easter, Halloween, and Christmas) and plays on these themes to encourage sales. They know that around these seasonal times people are most likely to be buying presents for people. A recent e-mail the company sent out used images such as bats and words and phrases such as ‘Spooky Offers’ to entice viewers throughout the halloween period. I like the overall layout of these e-mails they show pictures of products for both men and women.

6) 2004 Election

This article describes how both George Bush and John Kerry in 2004 used e-mail as a form of raising their standings in the polls, they also both used e-mail marketing as a fund raising tool, ‘ Kerry raised over $80 million during the primary over the Internet, with email a major part of that effort.’ (Jenkins, 2004, Online). The article goes on to inform us of the ways in which both candidates use of e-mail marketing was good and bad. For example one aspect that was drawn upon was the use of a strong subject line. Kerry seems to have tended to use headings such as ‘Polling Update’ whereas Bush’s stood out more like “Let the Voters Choose, Not the Lawyers.” In all, the article seems to suggest that Bush’s campaign was more successful. It seems that Kerry’s was less successful as he did not; maximize use of personalisation, use strong targeting/segmenting (e.g. Bush sent e-mails to the residents of Georgia on issues concerning people in that area), deliver frequently- during the final weeks before the election Kerry was less urgent in sending out e-mails on a daily basis, also he did not offer a ‘forward to a friend’ option (viral effect) or did he include a footer with an opt-in option allowing people to agree to receiving future messages.

Mail to links
Buisnesses often have a direct ‘mail to’ link that automatically opens a new e-mail window (e.g. Outlook Express) enabling you to instantly e-mail them. I think this effectively encourages people to get in touch straight away, instead of perhaps having to write the e-mail address down to use later and forgetting to do so.


An example of a company that sends out spam e-mails is
Junk email- They out send you spam e-mails in hope to persuade you to improve your academic skills in conjunction with offers/discounts if you choose to use them.

Spamming is seen as a nuisance spam filtering is often used by e-mail users to block unwanted information reaching them. A report I found on spam says ‘ In fact, spam makes up 75 percent of all messages sent today, according to email security firm Postini.’ (Fadner, 2006, Online). Fadner also discusses the new ways to filter spam “…called reputation-based filtering, can keep spam out of in-boxes. Senders are graded on their practices, and are assigned a reputation score based on complaint rates, volume of mail sent, and senders’ responses.” (Fadner, 2006, Online).

However, spam can also affects legitimate e-mail marketing campaigns which can get filtered too. David Sousa in an IMedia article discusses some of the ways to avoid being black listed or filtered out. For example he suggests to ‘ Check your content. There is a lot of misinformation in the industry about content, such as using the word “free,” causing emails to be filtered .’ (Sousa, 2005, IMedia Online).


Advantages of E-mail Marketing:

  • Less time consuming and less expensive than direct mail or print advertising, for example an e-mail marketing report carried out in the US (results provided by the Direct Marketing Association) shows that e-mail in terms of response rate and cost was most efficient in 2003 out of 11 other marketing techniques. (2004,
  • Instantly sent to the audience and quick responses from them.
  • Tools are available to allow the sender to measure the click-through rate (how many people clicked on the e-mail link in comparison to how many were sent out), conversion rate (the percentage of people who go to the landing page then do a required action, such as sign up for a product). The E-mail marketing firm Bronto has recently released an up grade to its e-mail analytic and marketing software. “ The new features include click-stream tracking, which allows marketers to track the path that users take from the marketing email through their Web site…” (Gupta, 2006, Online). Bronto can be found at
  • Allows 24 hour marketing.
  • With the use of HTML you can make the e-mails interactive (use of graphics, video, music etc).
  • Global contact.
  • Finds the audience rather than the audience having to go out and find a service/product (like by visiting a web site).

Many companies rely on e-mail marketing to increase product interest, “Perhaps, that would explain why Microsoft sends out over 20 million email marketing pieces every month.” (Anuja A, 2006, Online). Anuja also discusses what she considers to be the top ten advantages of e-mail marketing at

Disadvantages of E-mail Marketing:

  • Sometimes it is hard for consumers to distinguish between legitimate marketing (e.g. one in which they have subscribed to) and spam.
  • Spam filters can sometimes block the legitimate marketing e-mails.
  • Deliverability- not all e-mails will be delivered this should be monitored by the company.
  • If attachments are sent out with the e-mails it is likely that they will get ignored because of the worry of catching a virus, formats such as PDF (use of Acrobat) often use attachments.

In 2003 both major ISPs and spam filtering companies such as AOL and MSN and SpamAssassin?, and twenty top e-mail senders including SilverPop?, YesMail? and Digital Impact got together, the General Manager of Deliverability Services for ReturnPath? said

“It provided both senders and receivers a set of concrete steps they could take to improve the deliverability of the legitimate mail that end users want.” (2003,

Some features that make a good E-mail Marketing campaign:

  • Call to action- words in an e-mail to trigger the audience to do something.
  • Eye catching material (perhaps the use of flash).
  • Fast loading material (some large HTML documents may prevent this). Therefore consider the advantages and disadvantages of text and HTML and which one suits your needs. Chris James on E-mail marketing discusses the advantages and disadvantages of both formats further at
  • File size- “You want to keep your file size below 30K if you can (for some clients with graphic-heavy products, we strive to stay below 60K)”. (Jennings, 2004, Online).
  • Opt-ins and opt-outs should be used as they allow a company to target genuinely interested people.
  • Personalisation- Adapting an e-mail to suit the needs and interests of the receiver. As mentioned earlier analysing the use of e-mail marketing in the 2004 election it came about that, ‘ The Bush campaign collects more data upon its mandatory registration and uses first name personalization on all emails.’ (Jenkins, 2004, Online). Whereas Kerry did not do this as effectively.
  • Segmentation- Using customer’s previous information to send a niche audience a specific offer etc.
  • Appropriate timing- sending the e-mails at the most likely time to interest an audience (e.g. wood burners in the winter). A report I found on Jupiter Media online says that 60% of customers that buy through e-mails did so because they were already considering to buy the products on offer ‘…underscoring the need to catch the customer at the right time with the correct offer.’ ( 2005, Jupiter Media Press, Online).
  • Include a good subject line in order to grab the receiver’s attention and encourage them to open the e-mail.
  • Monitor the e-mails that you send for example the click through rate but also things like deliverability. Also see if any of your links are used more frequently than others and make adjustments accordingly.
  • Keep information short and to the point, make your points easy to scan and pick out relevant information. In addition draw the eye using elements such as images, graphics etc.
  • A report I found on IMedia online suggests that e-mails offering one service/product gets more interest/sales than ones offering multiple items. Their test results show that the e-mails they sent with one offer had a conversion rate of 0.1150% and ones with a number of products only 0.0204%. (2006, IMedia, Online).
  • Could be effective to include a sense of urgency. A report I found included a discussion with an executive from the computer parts industry who said in an e-mail, ‘ As of 6:04 a.m. this morning, these are the lowest prices for these products on the web .’ (2006, IMedia, Online).
  • Consider your audience and cater for their needs whether this is with the use of colour, simple navigation or the actual contents of the e-mail.

An article I read also states that, ‘ you have to design e-mail messages that give the user a quick and clear idea of who you are and what your message offers’ (Indvik, 2006, Online). The article also suggests that a good e-mail campaign should include things such as the company logo in the top right corner, a clear headline that delivers the main message, a sub-heading that has a strong call to action, a image that illustrates your message, use of buttons such as ‘buy now’, ‘learn more’ or ‘register now’. (Indvik, 2006, Online)


Anuja, A, (2006), Top 10 Advantages of Email Marketing, accessed 10.10.06

Ayan, Jordon, (2006), What Makes for a Soft Landing,, accessed 10.10.06


Fadner, Ross, (2006), Media Post, New Ways To Block Most Email Spam,, accessed 10.10.06

Geld, Scott F, (2006), Small Business Brief, Newsletters: A Great Internet Marketing Tool ,, accessed 10.10.06

Gupta, Shankar, (2006), Media Post, Bronto Upgrades E-mail Marketing Software,, accessed 11.10.06

Hallerman, David, (2004), E-mail Marketing,, accessed 04.10.06

Indvik, Kurt, (2006), IMedia Connection, An Email Cinderella Story,, accessed 17.10.06

James, Chris, E-Mail Marketing, Newsletters: Formats That Work, accessed 10.10.06

Jenkins, G.Simms, (2004), IMedia Connection, Email Marketing and the 2004 Election,, accessed 17.10.06

Jennings, Jeanne S, (2004), The Jennings Report, The Biggest Challenges Facing E-mail Marketers Today,, accessed 10.10.06

(2005), Jupiter Media, Press Releases,, accessed 04.10.06

McDonald?, Loren, (2006), Media Post, Email Insider, About That Average Open Rate,, accessed 10.10.06

Sousa, David, ( 2005 ), Emailing Best Practices (Part 2),, accessed 17.10.06

The Marketing Experiments Journal, (2006), IMedia Connection, How Implied Urgency Increases Sales,, accessed 17.10.06

The Marketing Experiments Journal, (2006), IMedia Connection, Testing Emails Offering Services,, accessed 17.10.06

I also referred to the following websites:, accessed 15.10.06, accessed 25.09.06, accessed 12.10.06, accessed 12.10.06, accessed 07.10.06, accessed 27.09.06, accessed 10.10.06, accessed 27.09.06, accessed 10.10.06, accessed 01.10.06

Interactive promotion report: virals

January 5, 2007

[Tags: , , , ]. Palminder Shubh looks at viral marketing:

A viral could be a video, email, quiz that is sent from person to person, therefore like a virus. a website that i find is a good example of this is where you can put your own pictures on the site and create a trailor.

As the name suggests viral marketing is something that literally spreads from person to person, or perhaps in our case computer to computer. It is a style of marketing which is aimed to spread awareness of a brand. Virals can come in many shapes and forms for example, e-mail, video, a quiz and others. A good viral should encourage an individual to “tell a friend” therefore spread awareness of a product or advertise it. Its aim is to create potential growth, therefore potential sales and business (if in that particular market).

Advantages to Viral Marketing

As viral marketing comes in many shapes and forms, this I believe is its biggest advantage. You can adapt the type of viral marketing campaign you create depending on what the campaign is, the content, keep the audience in mind. So depending on the mentioned factors you can create a viral campaign accordingly.

Viral marketing spreads easily; this is its job so this is another main advantage to this type of promotional technique. Growth in the market is very much guaranteed with this promotional technique, for instance if you give away an e-book to three friends and each give it away to another three friends and so on you can see the exposure the book has gotten by doing this, plus content in the e-book will also promote other business.

Disadvantages to Viral Marketing

Though viral marketing is a very positive, creative, effective and efficient way of marketing and promoting products it does have its drawbacks and negative aspects. First of all if we look at viral content itself which may be a video clip of streaming video, it may be too large for the recipient to receive. Not everyone is on the faster connection of broadband internet, so this may be an issue. The media format may also be an issue if for instance you require certain software to view the message. If a viral campaign is done through a email attachment then having firewalls and anti-virus software may prevent you from viewing the message. This particularly be the case in office based environments.

Examples of Good Viral Marketing

A very good example of a classic viral is This is a free e-mail service, so when we sign up to this and send our friends and family e-mails there will be a little message under every email saying “Get your private, free email at” therefore, this email facility will increase and become popular.

The above example is an ad game which I gained access through via the Sun website. This is I find a good example as it is very much interactive for the consumer and is entertaining. You do need to give your email address and a name, which may be off putting for some people but perhaps not for others. This is the only downside to this particular viral campaign. The target market for this website is 18-24. Again you need a very strong web connection.,,11064-11032,00.html

The above snapshot shows the top 25 viral emails that can be viewed on the sun website. The images you get are delightful and are meant to be funny. The images though are protected by copyright and you are not able to save them, unless you contact

One of my favourite viral campaigns I viewed had to be the coca-cola M5 project: purely because of the way it was designed, the colours it used. The theme, the style, the computer generated imagery that was used in this was very professional and I believe eye pleasing to any consumer. It is a very youth orientated design, with great use of vibrant colours and exciting music. I would email these to my friends as I am positive they would be interested in looking at the videos. It is targeted for a very large audience group, ranging from 16-25. was also a very good example of the viral technique as it was targeted to a very wide range of audience. Even children can view the website and understand why beans are good for you, and also give adults a view on the origins of beans. Its user friendliness design approach is much appropriate as well as good use of colour and simplicity. As mentioned above it has a childlike feel to it but not just for children, but generally the masses. It is very simple and easy to use and navigate.

Examples of Bad Viral Marketing

One bad example of bad viral marketing was the movie called Corpse Bride:, though it was designed with the very good effects and it had good use of sound and moving imagery, I classed it as a bad example purely because it was “too” complicated. Every time I clicked to view something new it would take a very long time to load. In my opinion if it was kept simpler it would have been more effective. People who do not have broadband internet would give up on this website, therefore would not promote the film as it is meant to.


A article I found on the website to find out about successful viral marketing was the following: what I discovered was “the message must provide value, be cool and avoid reading like an ad”. This is a quote from the website itself, the author is Tim McHale? and was written April 23 2003. Again it just reiterates that if kept simple and easy to follow with not many difficult or fussy downloads or time delays viral marketing can be very successful. Tim McHale? also gives the same example that I mentioned above where when viral marketing started, it began with free email services, it also points out that it is more than ‘send to a friend’ but rather “about the value proposition”. Another article I found was which basically gives you the six simple principles of viral marketing. There are also companies created who keep track of your viral. One company who do this is: they are a company who track online viral marketing campaigns. They have quoted on their website that “Viral marketing presents exciting new opportunities for highly efficient online advertising campaigns. Viral marketing is increasingly being used by big companies and agencies as a cost-effective addition to the marketing mix”. If I take the campaign as an example have again confirmed that is a very powerful tool and when done well can promote an offer very well. The way that this website I designed, its user friendliness and the fact that its target audience is very substantial is a very good approach.

Summary – Characteristics of a Good Campaign

What makes a viral campaign successful – easy to navigate and browse through websites always make successful campaigns. Viral marketing programs that giveaway valuable products or services is also guaranteed success. This can be from free email addresses, to free wallpapers etc. The marketing message itself should also be easy and effortless to transfer or ‘send to a friend’. According to the six simple principles to viral marketing the most creative and successful viral marketing campaigns are the one that uses others resources to get the word out. In other words to affiliate programs, meaning adding text, graphics or links on others websites.


Interactive promotion report: search engine marketing

January 4, 2007

[Tags: , , , ]. Second year web design degree student Lee Aplin looks at:

Search Engine Marketing and Optimisation

Introduction to Search Engine Marketing

Put simply, search engine marketing is an important part of website promotion. A large part of search engine marketing is in optimisation and submission. Web design companies often offer these services when they build new websites for clients.

However, in order for this to be successful, the end result must be that the website in question ends up higher on search engine results, therefore getting more hits and creating more revenue.

There are several methods of optimising websites, and some of these are outlined below.

Search Engine Optimisation:

Search engine optimisation aims to index and improve website rankings on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN Search. In order to optimise web pages, different methods can be used. Such methods include using keywords in the HTML coding, Meta and Title tags, and also Alt tags on images are useful. Good design and easy navigation in the website also helps to optimise it for search engines.

Advantages of Search Engine Optimisation:

Besides the obvious advantages of SEO, such as being able to find what we are looking for easily and quickly, there are many other benefits which are less noticeable.

For example, a well optimised website will often also be very accessible and have high usability. For example, by keeping maximum sizes of web pages at about 100kb, are not too large to be overlooked by search engine spiders, but they are also small enough that they will still load at a reasonable rate on slower internet connections. Another overlooked, but somewhat obvious technique, is using appropriate page titles.

Many people forget how important page titles are to both a user, and for search engines. The title of the pages is often the first thing that is recognised by search engines; therefore it should be meaningful and contain several key words. It is also the first part of the webpage that loads up in the browser, often before any of the content has loaded. This means it is the first thing that the user sees.

A good article which covers the advantages of SEO is Secret Benefits of SEO: Increased Usability, by Trenton Moss.

Disadvantages of Search Engine Optimisation:

The disadvantages seem to be quite minor in comparison with the advantages; however it could be argued that there are some flaws with SEO. There is always the chance of getting too much business. A company with a highly successful website may find that business is moving faster than they can cope. With something such as pay per click advertising, it would be easy to turn off or remove the advertisements, but it wouldn’t be as simple to remove a whole website in order to slow down sales.

The only website I could find with any real information about the disadvantages of SEO, was Cornish Web Services Consultancy, and the disadvantages are considerably less than the advantages.

Pay Per Click Advertising:

Often, text advertisements are placed near search results. When visitors click on the advert a small amount is charged to the advertiser for the service. The price of this varies depending on the amount of hits the website gets, and the popularity of the search engine.

Currently, PPC advertising does not generate any income for the advertised website; the PPC adverts merely increase the traffic to the website. Revenue is generated only when pop-up adverts or banners are clicked on.

There are 3 categories under which PPC advertisements fall under. These are Keyword, Product and Service PPC’s.

Keyword PPC’s:

Advertisers bid on keywords, which consist of different words of phrases which can be found in the HTML code of websites. When a specific keyword is typed into a search engine, a list of the advertiser’s links appears in order of bidding.

According to a study carried out by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organisation (SEMPO), bidding on keywords is a worthwhile investment and overall, advertisers could pay up to 33% more, and still make a worthwhile profit.

“The return on investment of SEM paid placement advertising continues to stay ahead of price inflation: advertisers said on average they have witnessed bid prices rise 26% in the last 12 months for keywords they commonly buy but said they could stand on average another 33% increase in the price and still make a profitable transaction.” SEMPO, 2005

A useful website for finding the best keywords is The wordtracker compiles a database each week of the most used search terms, and recommends the best keywords for your website.

Product PPC’s:

These engines let advertisers place “feeds” of their products on the search results page. When a user searches for a specific product, all these feeds are shown from different advertisers in a list. The list can then be sorted in order of price, and the product can then be brought from this page. Advertisers who pay more are given more prominence.

Some examples of Product PPC’s are: JustCompareIt?.com, BizRate?, NexTag?, PriceGrabber?.com, Pricescan, Pricethat, Pricewatch, PriceLeap?, and

Service PPC’s:

Service engines allow advertisers provide feeds of their service databases and when users search for a particular service, links to providers of that particular service appear.

PPC services include NexTag?, SideStep?, and TripAdvisor?.


In conclusion, it seems clear that without Search Engine Marketing, traffic to many websites would be significantly reduced. The number of advantages heavily outweighs the number of disadvantages of SEO and Search Engine Marketing. However, there are other issues such as ethics which could be argued make SEO unfair.

For example, all keyword bids could be brought out by a single company, rendering it impossible for other companies to get the top spots on search results. There are also other ways to cheat the search engines into giving top spots in results lists. One of these would be buying many domain names and building small single page websites which contain just links to a main company page. Also, it could be considered cheating the system to duplicate a website and host it on two or more separate domain names in order to get as many hits as possible onto the website. Although it is hosted under a different web address, most search engines do not accept these duplicate websites and they are often not correctly indexed in the search engines if they are caught.

There are hundreds of search engine service websites available, and they all do pretty much the same thing, however there will always be customers with websites that need optimising and submitting to search engines, and as more and more businesses go online, there will be an increasing demand for Search Engine Marketing.


· Secret Benefits of SEO: Increased Usability, Trenton Moss, 2004

· Cornish Web Services Consultancy

· Search Engine Marketing Professional Organisation (SEMPO), 2005

· Wordtracker

Fake news

December 6, 2006

[Tags: , ]. The Media Guardian reports on the rise of the fake news report – essentially a video press release that is broadcast by news organisations without any attribution: “Video News Releases, or VNRs, corporate propaganda designed to look like legitimate news”. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that, just as lazy and time-starved journalists will reprint press releases verbatim, lazy and time-starved TV news operations are doing the same with VNRs. This seems to me like a very bad idea for PR agencies, and one that will ultimately blow up in their faces much as the fake blogs and YouTube videos have.

Interactive promotion report: social networking

December 6, 2006

[Tags: , , , ]. Tarika Vara looks at:

Social networking

What are social networks?

Social networks are websites that enable individuals to interact with one another via the internet. It allows its users to use this platform to gain intersest from web users on a professional or social basis . These websites allow people to not only get to know one another but to also share Photos, music, view TV clips, messages ang blogs. In this way Social networks are used by companies in order to promote their brands or products to the public or for general use and as a way of making friends.

As the popularity of these social networking websites rose, it seemed that some have taken advantage of it by using them as a way of promoting themselves as a brand. This is mainly the case for those who are trying to breakthrough into the Music or Televsision industries. Therefore Social networking has now become an Interactive Promotion technique.

Examples of these Social Networking websites are MySpace?, Bebo and YouTube?. These are general websites that are open to anyone, whereby an individual can dedicate pages to themselves, promoting who they are and what they are about. Many use these websites to launch a career or generate a “buzz” on the internet before appearing anywhere else in the media.

The Advantages of Social networking as an Interactive Promotion technique

  • One of the main advantages of social networing websites such as MySpace? is it is free of charge to use and so many feel that there is less financial strain when trying to breakthrough into the entertainment industry. As it is free to set up an account and URL for themsleves, it is a cheaper way of creating a name or a branding image, rather than having to spend thousands of pounds on promotion in mainstream media and advertsising.
  • It is an easy way of promotion by word of mouth. The internet is a vast and potentially powerful tool when dealing with the masses and creating a stirr, especially when dealing with such well known websites and networks such as YouTube? and MySpace?. Therefore once a webpage has been set up with the aim to attract attention and enable poeple to view or sample a persons talents, the word quickly spreads and fanbases are created.
  • Many people that choose to use social networks as a promotion tool begin as unsigned acts, therefore they have complete control over what they promote and the style or image that is created.This is important as they are not seen as commercial puppets, but rather are themselves who genuinely have a passion for whatever it is they are promoting. In essence their raw talent shines through. This can be said of the award winning band who started off in this way, “The Artic Monkeys.”- They made sure that they had cut out the middle man which meant no corporate interference and more control over what they showcased and how they did it.

The Disadvantages of Social networking as an interactive promotion technique

  • It can be a risk to use social networks as an interactive promotion technique as word of mouth can also be viewed as a negative reason. Once something is added to a persons webpage or uploaded and negative perceptions are made, it can be very difficult to retract this negative image from the public. This is due to the speed and mass audience the webpage can be viewed. The same could be said for Television too, however, the internet has less if no regulations and a persons image can be tainted very easily.
  • It has been noted that after a massive increase in the use of social networks such as MySpace? and Friendster, public images were being ruined. The new scientist online magazine has stated that; “The use of such social networks have led to the demise of reputations and even miscarriages of justice.” ( This can be very damaging as it can hinder a persons future job prospects and uncover illegal facts concerning politics, drug abuse and references of a sexual nature.
  • There are issues concerning privacy as a webpage on a social network is available to anyone at any time and therefore the target audience is not selective.

Examples of Social Networks

According to Nielson/NetRatings? (May 2006), the top five social newtwork websites in the USA are as follows:

  1. MySpace?
  2. MSN Groups
  5. MSN spaces

These examples are based on the retention rate that had been reported on the Nielson/NetRating? report. It shows us what the most popular websites used were during May 2006.

Within the UK the Top Social Networks are as follows;

  1. Myspace
  2. MSN Groups
  3. Friendster
  4. Youtube
  5. Bebo

Here are a few evaluations of what some popular social networks offer in terms of Interactive promotion and the differences between them.

1. MySpace?

Myspace is a user friendly website that has over 4million members, and many that use the website are not necessarily members but are browsing. The number of users is continuously growing as it is the number one social network worldwide. This social network is mainly to promote music whilst interacting with other people. Although it began and is still known as a social network, the promotion of music, Films and comedy has seemed to have taken over. The website caters for anyone who is interested in getting to know current artists from all sorts of genres and is a clever way of reinforcing the relationship between a signed or unsigned artist with their fans. The homepage suggests that Myspace is easy to use as all the icons on the top tool bar navigate a user to their preffered area of media or action. This website makes it easy for anyone to set up their own URL, whereby they can promote what they do. It appears as though this website is very much kept up to date and current and therefore it is a good choice of interactive promotion for anyone just starting out in the Music or Film industry.

An example of a campaign created using Myspace as an interactive promotion technique – CASSIE

Cassie- RnB american solo artist

Cassie is a successful solo artist who has been created through the phenomenon that is MySpace? music. Before she was signed to Bad Boy records by P.Diddy she and her music producer had taken it upon themselves to use the website as a way of promoting Cassie to the world as a brand, or image before launching her into super stardom. This campaign has been proven to be a success as there was a call from fans on the website for Cassie to produce a Music video for her first single “me and U” which was launched on her URl. After this became one of the fastest songs to be downloaded in the USA via Myspace, Cassie still remained an unsigned until her single reached the hands of Dj’s and was being promoted in clubs and on radio stations. This proves how powerful the use of a social network such as MySpace? is when launching music.

How was the campaigned managed when using Myspace as an Interactive Promotion technique.

  • By creating her own webpage on Myspace and then creating an external URL via MySpace?, Cassie had complete control over her image. She was able to design the URL to suit her personality with no one pushing her to be portrayed in an unfair light. She used colourful backgrounds and her experiences as a model to showcase pictures of herself before she began singing. This enabled people to get to know Cassie as a person and not just an artist.
  • She then used the sites to promote her music once she had gained recognition and media interest. This was done by adding the option for fans to copy and paste a code to promote the first single, pictures and slogans were uploaded promoting Cassie and her management team “Next Selection”. Video clips were also uploaded via YouTube?, showcasing Cassie during rehearsals and her new music video. This would gain her even more interest as people are able to watch this at any given time, as long as they logged onto her webpage.
  • MySpace? also make it very easy for fans or anyone to contact Cassie, there are many options ranging from an instant message to comments being posted onto her bloggs.

2. MSN Groups-

MSN Groups is a social network website that enables users to search their category in a refined way. It is different from MySpace? in terms of the options of categories it provides. As it is called MSN groups, there are an array of groups to choose from, these include; business, computers, games, health, home and lifestyle, money and performing arts. By clicking onto any one of these groups you can then choose a webpage created from members that are promoting that category. This enables industry professionals to promote jobs, or any type of business or brand that could be connected to that category.

3. Youtube-

Youtube is different to MSN groups and slightly similar to Myspace as it is a social networking website that pays less attention to the fact that it is a form of socialising and more focus is put on interacting with others by sending and sharing media to others from around the world. Youtube describes what it does as the following;

“Upload, tag and share your videos worldwide

Browse thousands of original videos uploaded by community members

Find, join and create video groups to connect with people with similar interests

Customize your experience with playlists and subscriptions

Integrate YouTube? with your website using video embeds or APIs.”

Therefore we can see that Youtube has a different approach to social networking as their main emphasis is on sharing videos, although there are other options on the main navigation bar such as; channels, groups, categories. The example of the CASSIE campaign which was created using MySpace? that was mentioned above, features video links which have been uploaded using Youtube. Other artists such as P.Diddy and the Artic Monkeys have also taken adavantage of what Youtube can offer.

Reports- Social Networking

1. Networking goes Mobile

This report is interesting as it talks about how the largest U.S mobile phone provider; Cingular is to join a social networking site. This will enable members of this social networking site to view music, downloads and videos via their mobile phones. This report reinforces that social networking has become a part of our technological lifestyles.

2. and Bebo boost UK sales teams to expand ad offer (Richard Simpson: 19.10.06)

This report suggests that; “Myspace and Bebo are both actively bolstering their UK sales teams in a determined effort sew up the online advertising sector for 18-30 year olds.” This shows that the advertising and promotion market within social networks has grown massivley, to the point where they are using these sites to target a specific age range and the masses.

3. tips for social networks (04.06.06)

This report struck me as it talks about the dark side of social networking. It highlights one of the disadvantages mentioned previously about the lack of privacy and safety issues from these sites especially when promoting ones self. This is particularly true when promoting an artist and not being selective about the type and amount of people they would be targeting.

4. forms brand community on MySpace? (Andrew McCormick?: 21.09.06).

The new Lynx boost shower gel has been promoted through the News Corp social network. This report states how larger corporations such as Unilever are using their poroducts to create a brand image by adding advertisements on these social network sites. It is also a way of leading consumers that use these sites to the corporate website, and further more promoting the new Lynx product.


After researching various Social networks we can see the impact that these sites have had on the USA and UK. As well as this we can understand how these social networks have been used as an interactive promotion technidues. Therefore we can conclude why corporations and companies would use this fairly new form of promotion as well as the general public. Reports and campaign examples from the most popular social network; Myspace, enable us to see the advantages and diasadvatages when choosing this particular technique.


Interactive promotion report: mobile phone marketing

December 5, 2006

[Tags: , , , ]. Marc Taylor looks at:

Mobile phone marketing

*Mobile phone marketing*Virals


Mobile Phone advertising has taken the Advertising industry by storm. It is estimated in according to the Shosteck group, ‘the value of the global mobile advertising market could reach $10 billion by 2010Nigel Hollis 2006?

As Mobile technologies advance, the consumer experience has changed dramatically. As technologies converge, the mobile phone now offers consumers the ability to watch Television, listen to MP3’s and Radio and use the Internet (WAP) turning the phone into a mobile media center. But its not just mobile phones that can be interpreted as Mobile marketing. Nigel Hollis, Author of Mobile Marketing: Making a good connection says ‘Mobile marketing, interpreted most broadly could describe any approach to communicating with consumers while they’re on the move: all manner of electronic devices (MP3 players, PDAs, etc.), as well as more traditional media such as outdoor advertising.’ However I’m going to primarily look at Mobile Phone Advertising.

There are already companies like SMSconnect [] that specialises in Advertising campaigns to mobile phones.
So why use mobile Advertising instead of traditional means?

>>Benefits Of Using Mobile Advertising.

“ For marketers, mobile marketing and advertising has great promise – it combines the wide reach of television with the precision of direct marketing and the tracking potential of the Internet.” [ 29th June 2006.]

>>The biggest factor about using Mobile Advertising is that it has a one to one marketing ability, (like direct advertising.) Mobile Phones, PDAs are very personal and are generally kept very close to the individual. This gives companies the ability to contact individuals wherever and whenever- which is an additional benefit over using Internet, television, radio or other means of Advertising, where people spend set periods of time on the computer, TV, Radio etc.

>>75% of the UK population carry mobile phones on them and so has a very high targeting possibility.

>>There are huge databases of mobile telephone numbers offering Senders the ability to trace, which they sent advertisements too, when they sent them and if they have had Interest/ a reply from the Consumer. (Like Internet advertising)

>>You can control and choose the name of the sender; making it very easy to change the company’s identity.

>> It is very cost efficient compared to print based, Television and Radio advertising

Here are the different forms of Mobile Advertising: –


SMS messaging has already got the reputation as being “the cheapest and most widely-used mobile technology”

SMS connect [] is a company that specialises in Advertising campaigns to mobile phones; Offering games, Prize competitions, trivia and quizzes. Also offers txt alerts for gossip, news, product updates, receiving the contents of your websites and membership information.

At this current moment in time SMS messaging is “the only way 80% of adults in the UK can be contacted through their mobile phone. Volumes are still growing, and it’s short, concise, convenient and relatively cheap.” Dredge, Stuart 12.10.2006 Pp25?

–Major Downsides to SMS advertising

>>The main problem of SMS advertising is that if you don’t target your audience specifically the SMS messages can irritate users much like Email Spam.

“Some people did abuse the rights they has when the acquired lists of mobile numbers…A lot of these campaigns have been a complete non-success…Most have been completely unfocused. It’s about pushing messages to an unknown audience, which created a lot of noise, and a lot of irritated customers.” Dredge, Stuart 12.10.2006 Pp25?

>>Another downside to SMS messaging is that there is a limited use for it. With Text-to-win and similar efforts using SMS as a feedback channel, it is a trickier proposition for ad-funded entertainment mainly due to the character limitation of the technology.” [ 2006. ] After you can send information (text) where else is there next to go? MMS advertising is the obvious next step forward offering the ability to send larger files sizes/ more information to users, through a variety of different mediums (video, Music, Images.) However MMS costs a lot more than SMS.

–Plus Side to SMS advertising

>However if SMS messages are targeted correctly the response rate is one of the highest of all advertising mediums. “Targeting is the Key. SMS is a Medium that generates anywhere between 3% and 8% response depending on how it’s used” Dredge, Stuart 12.10.2006 Pp25? and has even been as high as 29.1% response rate.

>After you have conducted your Advertising campaign you can get comprehensive reports telling you how well the campaign is, how many responses/replies you have had since the start

>Example of SMS Advertising

SMS advertising has taken the Nightclub industry by storm. “ Text Marketer’s nightclub clients are reporting huge increased attendance using SMS marketing.” With as many as “90% of clubbers” carrying mobile phones Companies have been set up (like PJB [ ) that specialise in SMS Advertising for Gigs and Nightclubs.
Currently the three most popular digital accessories are Ringtones, Wallpapers and Games. All of these can be customised with corporate logos and be distributed to its audience using various different mediums (Bluetooth, SMS messages, Infra red and emails.) However the most common way of obtaining Ringtones, wallpapers and Games are through SMS subscription.

>>SMS Subscription: Jamster
A company that has massively benefited from Mobile Phone advertising is ‘Jamster’ (Who were recently bought by VeriSign?.)

The Distributors of the World Famous Crazy Frog Ringtone offers Customers the ability to buy Animated Screensavers, Ringtones, Wallpapers, Mobile Phone themes and Mobile Phone Games through a weekly subscription service.

A recent report by the times looks at how Mobile Text Subscription Company Jamster spent over £45 million over the past year “The group spent only £39,591 on Internet advertising, more than £28 million on its television campaign and more than £16 million on press adverts.” [,,9071-1969273,00.html 2006] The ASA ( Advertising Standards Authority) even banned the television advert from being shown before 9pm within the UK, because of fear that children were being sucked into the text subscription. The 40,000 TV broadcasts in a one-month period made it most unlikely that a child would not have been aware of the characters.” [ ]

>>SMS Subscription Audiences/ Exploitation

SMS subscription plans are normally aimed at a younger market, with funky modern ringtones, wallpapers and games trying to entice them to subscribe. But there has been many reports looking at how SMS subscription can be very exploitative . Often people are tricked into handing over money weekly or monthly. However there is a new law that has just been introduced to stop this. “In January the UK’s mobile phone industry and its trade association, the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), introduced new safeguards to protect mobile phone users… The new rules ensure that punters are clearly informed by text message about what they have subscribed to, with whom, and how much it will cost.” [ ]

For example of exploitation : Telecom was fined £5,000 following 31 complaints to the premium rate watchdog ICSTIS. The complaints centred on a web site which promised a free ringtone in return for people submitting their mobile phone number…Punters then received a text message asking them to choose one of three ringtones. However, the text failed to advise them that, as a result of requesting and receiving the free ringtone, they would also be signing up to receive three ringtones a week costing £1.50 each. .” [ ]


WAP will eventually become like the World Wide Web; Website banners can already be used, but because WAP subscribers pay per minute of data usage, customers feel cheated having to pay extra for the download of them. This is a huge issue with WAP. If it wants to become anything like the World Wide Web, there needs to be a new payment method or else people will get very annoyed at the lengthy downloads (and cost) that potential pop ups, Java games and videos etc. propose.

“There has been a massive increase in WAP-enabled handsets…. the trend in WAP usage is less encouraging. Over the last two years previous growth has stuttered, showing no real increase…the only factor to have changed markedly in that period is cost. Two years ago some operators weren’t charging their customers for general browsing and downloading, but they do now” Craig Barrack Pp30?

‘The year began well for WAP with 1.42 billion page impressions viewed during January 2005. The new total has delivered an 18% increase on the same period in 2004, and an average daily total of 46 million’ (

These two quotes proves that there has been a substantial increase in WAP enabled phones over the past 2 years, however there hasn’t been an increase in people going onto WAP. This could be a huge problem for advertisers as only a limited amount of people can be reached, and until the numbers grow it may mean that the Medium will be under estimated/ used.

“Things are set to change as Internet style advertising, in the shape of display advertising (banner ads) and search, and even TV-style advertising, come to mobile.” [ 29th June 2006)

>WAP advertising example – Football365

The website offers football news and information from its World Wide Web Internet site, which has been recreated for WAP devices. Within the website is an Ad-Link that redirects users to 24/7 Media’s WAP ad server where there are able to access a selection of content including football scores and club news.

The campaign, which is aimed at football fans of UK club football, runs in three countries on WAP services Sunpoint ( ) in Finland, Krak ( ) in Denmark and Fonedata ( ) in the UK, until 2nd April. It features a served WAP text link which enables users to cross networks and seamlessly access one of the UK’s first WAP content sites – Football365 ( ).” [ ]

Although the advertisement was to a very limited market, and is the First UK WAP Advertising campaign, it shows what is to come.


Companies like Toroblue [ ] offers participating businesses the ability to send out electronic business cards to mobile phones within a range of 40 meter. However the targeting is (like SMS messaging) totally unfocused, and so the messages could act like Spam.

However spamming isn’t the main issue with Bluetooth Advertising; it has a very limited range span (using unlicensed shirt-ranged radio frequency) and so the consumer needs to be near or around a participating shop/ sender for advertisements to be received.

In order for a Bluetooth device to connect to a receiver it needs to be discovered. “This process is called an Inquiry. However to discover all discoverable devices in an error-free environment, the device must spend at least 10.24 seconds in the inquiry mode” Aalto, Gothlin, Korhonen, Ojala 2006 Pp 51? however tests on certain phones has brought about serious problems. “When tested on a Nokia 3650 device the inquiry state is terminated after about five seconds…Because of this timeout, there is only a 50% chance for a device to be discovered during an inquiry period.” Pp51? Not all phones are able to pick up this Bluetooth signal, and not all phones have the Bluetooth technology.

>>Bad Example of Bluetooth messaging

In the Netherlands Asian food brand “Go-Tan” are using Bluetooth to inform customers of the discounted “Go-Tan” items within store. Anyone within the store or 100 meters outside with an open Bluetooth receiver can pick this message up. [] However is this really ethical? Does everyone around and in the store really want to have Spam messages telling them about ‘buy one get one free’ deals?

>> Good Bluetooth advertising example (BLUECASTING)

With the examples below, the user knows what they are getting because it’s advertised to them through the billboards. However The Go-Tan Bluetooth advertising was just targeting everyone that went to the supermarket.

A good example of this happened i n Brussels on 12th September 2006. The major mobile operator mobster (orange group) launched a Bluetooth advertising campaign in which a ringtone of the latest hit from Christina Aguilera was offered free for download within a range of 30 meters from a billboard. The Promotion ran for 6 days across 8 major Belgium cities. This campaign worked really well however only a limited amount of people could receive the free ringtone due to the limited 30 meters Bluetooth radius. This advertising technique is called “Bluecasting”
[To read more about this check out]

>Bluecasting Advertising in London
The Maiden Group who have handled billboard advertising in the United Kingdom for 80years, and Filter UK, who specializes in transmitter technology, are installing bilboards in Heathrow airport that “beam out text messages to the phones of people walking by to ask them if they would like to watch a video-clip ad on their phone’s screen. The commercial, aimed at passengers in Virgin’s first-class lounge, touts a new SUV, the Range Rover Sport. [ ]

>EMI Bluecasting campaign

EMI on the release of Coldplays X and Y album set up 6 screens dotted around London offering consumers the ability to download sound excerpts, video clips and never-seen before video interviews to their mobile phones and laptops. This campaign was very successful communicating to their target audiences, starting exchanging of clips/music and viral discussions about the release of the album but also promoting interaction and music sampling. “EMI’s Bluecasting campaign for Coldplay using Transvision screens achieved a 15% response rate; highlighting the formidable potential of these screens for consumer interaction and response generation” This has become the worlds largest known Bluecast campaign [ ]

This is the best example of mobile advertising I have currently found. It had a very high response rate, caused a lot of viral discussions and appealed to the right target audience. These examples show that the audiences to Bluetooth are varied, however all of them need to have some technological knowledge in order to receive the adverts.

Infrared Advertising has somewhat died out due to the introduction of Bluetooth. The problem with infrared is that it has a very limited span in which data can be transferred (much less then Bluetooth.) Bluetooth does exactly the same job as Infrared however is much more effective due to its larger range span, and more mobile are built with Bluetooth technology.


“While you’d pay small fortunes to get a fixed number of showing on telly, virals will stay on the net for a long time or, if you’re lucky, forever… people will just pass a good ad on to their friends if they like it.” Lindberg Pp38?

Mobile Phone advertising also uses a lot of viral marketing. When people get a new ringtone, video clip, Picture etc. the first question that is always asked is “Where did you get that?”

Viral marketing is mainly aimed at a younger teenage audience, in which video clips, songs, backgrounds are exchanged in a schoolyard type environment. A very good example of this is the Crazy Frog Phenomenal. This viral marketing caused the crazy frog to beat Coldplay and become number 1 in the UK charts. The fact that they had “ 40,000 TV broadcasts in a one-month period,” [ ] and the catchy/ annoying sound the frog made caused everyone to talk about and send each other the ringtones.


Television and Video on the mobile phone is still a relatively new technology that needs to advance greatly in order for it to be used properly commercially. “In an ideal world, everyone wants to have video and audio and full-length multimedia capabilities in their ad campaigns on any platform. But the mobile market is not ready for it yet, in terms of penetration.” Dredge, Stuart 12.10.2006?

GraphIn a recent survey looking at TV and Video use on the mobile phone, it was found that “j ust 1% to 2% of mobile phone users” we watching television or Video clips on their mobile.” (
However there are companies that advertise their television shows on mobile phones. The Soap Hollyoaks and football program Match of the day offers their audiences the ability to download the recent show or episodes by texting a number. A report by the BBC looks into how Television on your mobile has been released in Japan, and that 90 million users already are able to receive this. However Finding new phones in Japanese shops has proved difficult as only limited quantities have been produced so far. [“ ]

>problems with Mobile Video Advertising

>Battery life is very limited
>lack of phones that can receive television and video clips
>Do you need a television licence within the UK to watch television?

>>Cons Of Mobile Advertising

>>Do people really want their personal space invaded by unwanted messages? ‘Therefore, unsolicited and irrelevant advertising will be even less welcome than e-mail.’ Nigel Hollis?

>>However there are many Legal Considerations. The Data Protection Act needs to be considered as Information obtained (through data collection) can only be used for lawful purposes, and not be misused. ‘Most users did not mind being pushed information, as long as they really needed the information. Thus location itself is not enough to trigger pushed advertisement.” Aalto, Gothlin, Korhonen & Ojala 2006?
>>This brings ethical questions; because we can be reached at all times of the day through our mobile phones, should it be allowed that Advertisers can exploit this?

>> Although SMS, Bluetooth and Infrared Advertising cost very little, Games requires specialised skills and so can be expensive to create. Ringtones and wallpapers can be created with little cost using just a computer and the Internet.
>>Data Protection Act

Mobile Phones are very personal objects, and because they are on potential consumers all the time, advertising companies need to consider the Data Protection Rights. There are two main parts of the Act that jumped out at me when reading it.

“The data subject has given his consent to the processing…and…Individuals are entitled to prevent processing [ ]

In order to advertise to mobile phones the user needs to have given their consent. Not everyone is going to be happy or willing to give their number out so they can be advertised too. Secondarily those individuals are entitiled to prevent processing for direct marketing purposes or if it causes the consumer “unwarranted and substantial harm or distress” data protection act.? This distress could easily happen if advertisers are constantly bombard consumers with SMS messages or bluetoothing audiences. These two issues could cause a real problem for mobile advertising.


There has been various tests using different mediums of Mobile Marketing, with the most popular being SMS advertising. Every mobile has the ability to receive SMS messages, and using the table below it is obvious that Text messaging is the most common use of the mobile phone. A lot of the uses on the table refer to SMS messaging (subscription services offering Wallpapers, screensavers, ringtones, Mobile Games)
>>U.K. Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications


[ ]

WAP also has huge potential in the future, as a good number of subscribers Browse News and Information but also check their emails on their mobile devices. This number and percentage could be a lot larger if WAP was cheaper and a lot more user friendly to use. When WAP technologies advance and it starts to resemble the World Wide Web, (plus becomes a lot cheaper to use), there will be a huge interest in Email Advertising to mobile phones and using banner, Video and Java clips, search engine and pop up advertising within the WAP browser.

Watching video clips or television on your mobile isn’t even included on this recent table. Is it because it is a niche consumption market and so isn’t worth including on the list? Mobile video advertising has yet to take off properly due to the limitations on its technology; however it has a very promising future.

Depending on who your target audience are depends also on the choice of advertising technique. All audiences can receive and be able to understand SMS messages, however more advance techniques like Bluetooth, WAP and Video Advertising excludes those whose phones cannot receive these technologies, and those who may not understand how to receive or connect to WAP/ Bluetooth. (The younger; under 13’s and older generations 50+)

If you want to reach a large audience and also have the best return rate SMS advertising is your best bet. However Bluetooth is a good alternative being that it’s innovative and has the ability to offer Music and video clips instead of just text. Alternatively Video clips are a good form of advertising however they cost a lot more to produce and send and not everyone can receive them.


Barrack, Craig 12.10.2006.? The Growth of Mobile Internet is still being held back by Price. New Media Age. Pp30

Dredge, Stuart 12.10.2006? The Evolution of Text, New Media Age Pp25

Lindberg, Oliver September 2006? Viral Challenge. .Net Magazine Pp38-44

>Internet Sources

Aalto, L & Gothlin, N & Korhonen, J& Ojala, T 2004? Bluetooth and WAP push Based Location-Aware Mobile Advertising System Online? Available from [ ]
Hollis, Nigel 2006? Mobile marketing: Making a good Connection. Online? Available from [ ]

Minney, Jaimee Online? Measurement Firm Finds That 36.5 Million Mobile Subscribers Responded via SMS to an Ad. Available from
Verdoodt, Patti Online? Mobistar first to launch interactive communication via Bluetooth with JCDecaux Available from

Ad-Funded mobile entertainment- a ‘brandtastic’ opportunity? Online? Available from 2006? Author is unknown

Data Protection Act 1998 Online? 27.03.2000? Author unknown

Mobile Advertising Worth $10 Billion By 2010 Online? Available from 29.07.2006? Author is unknown

UK ‘S FIRST WAP ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN. Media 21, 365 Corporation and 24/7 Media Press release Online? Available from 23.03.06? Author unknown

SMS Text Message Marketing – Nightclubs, Clubs & Bars Online? Availiable from Author unknown

SMS text messaging for Marketing and Promotion Online? Author Unknown

Interactive promotion report: blogging

November 29, 2006

[Tags: , , , ]. Esme Arora looks at:

Blogging, Podcasts, vodcasts and RSS


A weblog (blog) is a web application, which range in scope from individual diaries to arms of political campaigns, media programs and corporations. Either an individual or a large group of writers can publish blogs. Many blogs enable visitors to leave their own comments, which can lead to a community of readers centred on the blog.

There are thousands of blogs on the Internet, some generating news or influencing events.

The format of blogs varies, from simple bullet point lists, to article summaries or complete articles. Individual blog entries are almost always structured in the same way, with the newest post at the top of the page and the readers’ comments appearing below it. The individual or whosoever blog it may be, needs to ensure that they update the blog on a regular basis, if one is to keep readership.

Advantages of reading and publishing blogs

There are many reasons why individuals feel that having a blog is beneficial:

1. Anyone (author of blog or visitor) can write anything at any time.

2. An individual’s way to speak out and get their voice heard.

3. A chance to hear what other people have to say in response to your own personal views on a topic.

Many organisations also see advantages in having a blog:

1. They are an excellent way of sharing knowledge within an organisation

2. Blogs are a low cost and fast publishing tool for any organisation.

3. An excellent way to maintain a stream of news from the organisation.

4. Blogs can be a positive way of getting feedback

5. Allows employees and marketers to post messages updating companies’ developments, and thus, serve as a useful PR tool.

6. The consumer and the organisation itself are potentially better informed, which is good in the long run.

As with anything, where there is good, there is bad. Although there are not many disadvantages in having a blog, the following are a few downsides in having one:

1. For an organisation to have a successful blog, they need to ensure that all the parties involved use the blog.

2. Must write down thoughts/ideas in a compelling and clear manner, because the thoughts in your head may come out different when written.

3. Blogs are easy to start, but hard to maintain.

4. They take up time.

Where to find blogs

Finding a blog on the Internet is simple and straightforward, this can be done either by searching for blogs on google or other search engines, or there are certain websites where one can find blogs. and are just a couple of the many blog finders on the Internet.

Example of a blog

The most recent example of a blog is “the biggest blog in history” . This has been in the news during the week, as History Matters have been asking people all over the country to post a diary on the Internet of how they lived on the day of 17th October 2006. The idea is that this mass blog will be a record which future generations can look at and see what their ancestors got up to in mid October.

Behaviour change from this :

This plan is a really good idea as it is aimed at people of all ages around the country, and encourages them to speak up and be heard. For people to write about themselves and their day can be seen as a behavioural change because talking about such things are personal to the individual and it is not something that they would normally take part in.

Factors to be taken into consideration with this particular blog

What needs to be taken into consideration when carrying out an exercise such as this is that many people may not give true accounts of what happened during their day, as they would want to make their addition to the blog sound interesting and different.

More examples of blogs

Blogs that I found useful were the ones on Ebay. It is like an online community, and the blogs are very informative as many are about the activities of Ebayers, and the products that they buy and sell. The blogs are aimed at a specific audience, which are the people who use Ebay on a regular basis, and potential Ebay users who want to get a feel for what Ebay is like, by hearing other people’s views.

By posting comments on the blog, it can be said that this increases the chance of people spending more money as they see products for sale in the blog that they may not have been looking to buy originally.

An individual blog such as ‘Donna’s online diary’ at is how the traditional blogs were structured.

This type of blog is aimed towards an audience who are interested in other people’s lives, or who are intrigued to see others who share their interests. When there are common interests between the author of the blog and the visitor, the visitor might want to leave feedback/comments.

‘Pro-Wal-Mart Travel blog screeches to a halt’ is a prime example of an unsuccessful blog. Business Week exposed the site as a promotional tactic engineered by Working families for Wal-mart (WFWM).

The main reason this blog wasn’t successful is because “everyone involved violated the basic rule: Be transparent. If you’re found out, it comes back as a slap in the face.”

Reports on Blogs

In April, the Guardian carried out a special report on weblogs, ‘Bloggers remain in a minority’.

The report suggests that according to new research, even though people have become more aware of blogging, this has not resulted into more people writing or regularly reading blogs.

To have a successful campaign, it is vital that there is enough/consistent media coverage on blogging to increase awareness and also a tool to remind people about blogs, the advantages of reading and publishing them, and where to locate certain blogs.

Also what needs to be taken into further consideration is that if one is publishing blogs, they need to ensure that the blog they write is relevant and shares a common interest with other people, also to make sure that the blog is user friendly in the way it reads and is presented.

Research/Report on Blogs and Podcasts

According to a new study in July, downloading podcasts have become more popular than blogging. A report written by Kevin Newcomb on illustrates that more people have been downloading podcasts lately than the amount of people who have published a blog.

“Podcast listeners skew younger, with Web users between the ages of 18-24 nearly twice as likely as the average Web user to download audio podcasts.”

“The portability of podcasts makes them especially appealing to young, on-the-go audiences”

Podcasts are very recent in comparison to how long Blogs have been around. This shows that it may be because of advertising in the sense that podcasts are mainly aimed at the younger generation, and so advertising has made people aware of podcasts to the extent that in such a short space of time, a vast amount of people are downloading them.

Blogging is slightly more difficult to reach out to people because blogs in general are aimed at everyone, and so it is difficult to make everyone aware of blogs.

In order to have a successful campaign, the main issue here is advertising to reach out to the target market. Blogging is a cheaper way of advertising to reach out to the audience and therefore is not as popular as podcasts.

Podcasts/Video Podcasts (Vodcasts)/RSS

Podcasts are the publishing of audio files via the Internet, which are designed to be downloaded and then listened to on a portable music player. E.g. iPod, mp3 player.

Vodcasts are simply the same as podcasts, except they are video files.

RSS is related to podcasts/vodcasts because it is a format for delivering the changes of web content. Once each item is in RSS format, an RSS aware program can check the feed for changes and react to the changes in an appropriate way.

RSS, also known as feeds, allow you to see when websites have added new content. You can get the latest headlines and video in one place, as soon as it’s published, without having to visit the websites you have taken the feed from. ( )

Advantages of Podcasts:

There are many advantages of podcast marketing:

1. Regular podcast programming can draw a repeat audience.

2. Very low cost

3. Attracts search engine traffic

4. Podcasts are relatively easy to make

5. Podcast marketing or training files can be posted on a Web site, and they can also be distributed using RSS technology, ensuring a wider reach.

The main advantages of podcasts are:

1. The ability to subscribe

2. The ability to download the file to your computer, and

3. The portability of being able to put the audio onto a portable device, such as an iPod, and listen whenever you want.

Disadvantages of Podcasts:

The following are a few disadvantages of downloading podcasts:

1. Computers need sufficient bandwidth for downloading the mp3 audio files.

2. Podcasting is not designed for two-way interaction or audience participation.

3. Amateur podcasts do not have the same quality as professional broadcasts.

4. Some initial training is needed.

As video podcasts (vodcasts) are podcasts with video files, the main principles of both are the same, there aren’t any differences in downloading them and the advantages and disadvantages of them are practically the same.

Examples of Podcasts/Vodcasts

A really good example of podcasts/vodcasts is on

On their website, Newsnight audio and video podcasts appear weekly featuring the best of the programmes interviews, reports and discussions.

This idea of downloading podcasts/vodcasts of Newsnight programmes is great because all of the viewers of Newsnight don’t always have the opportunity to watch every Newsnight programme and the podcasts give the viewer a chance to watch what they had missed.

This is particularly aimed at viewers of Newsnight or people who are interested in watching the news but may not have time to, in which case they could download the podcast and watch the ‘best bits’ on the train, bus etc.

The ability now to download podcasts, may result in a behavioural change of the viewers, as they may not bother to watch the programme as regularly as they may previously have done because they know they can just download podcasts and watch it.

A university is currently conducting some research on the topic of vodcasts. The university is the first with video podcast news. The programme about electronics and computer science is available on their website.

“We can take video from any source and enable lectures and students alike to create a video, either of a lecture, a seminar, or to record an experiment or expectation.”

“The great benefit is that this can be downloaded to be watched or listened to at any time or place.”

The research will contribute to a way of helping the student’s revision, as it is another method of learning. I.e. visually.

Report on Blogs and Podcasts

Following the resignation of Charles Kennedy who confessed to having an alcohol problem, the Liberal Democratics were in search for a new leader. The three short listed candidates were Simon Hughes, Sir Menzies Campbell and Chris Huhne. All three used similar approaches of campaigning, some opting in favour more to one area than others. The main areas being e-mail, podcasts, vodcasts and blogs. Sir Menzies Campbell, who was eventually the successful candidate had the content on his website continuously updated therefore meaning the information posted was most recent and relevant. Regular podcasts, vodcasts and blogs enabled visitors of the website to keep up to date with his campaign and his manifesto. Blogging was taken most seriously and this is the information that was most commonly visited as users on used google maps to track his progress throughout the country and podcasts/vodcasts and blogs to highlight his following in those areas. The reason his campaign was successful was because he used different mediums to communicate with party members targeting amateur users but also those more experienced and comfortable with technology. Such was not the case with the members that only used one or two of those mediums therefore highlighting the point that pluralizing the methods leads to greater success in a campaign.


In conclusion to the above reports, research and articles about blogging, podcasts and vodcasts, we can see just how much technology has modernised. Different mediums have made us aware of these latest advances that keeps a lot of us up to speed. The use of blogs, podcasts and vodcasts being used in campaigns (e.g. the Liberal Democrats campaign mentioned earlier) shows how popular they have become. Of course, as well as having advantages in using these methods, there are several disadvantages, but that is with anything, and it only tells us that there are many more advanced technologies still to come our way in the future.


Internet Sites:,,1719183,00.html 01a_Blogging?? / Wikis_Technologies_for_Enterprise_Applications?? .html,,1757426,00.html


RODZVILLA, JOHN 2002, We’ve got blog: how weblogs are changing our culture Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing

BLOOD, REBECCA 2002, The weblog handbook: practical advice on creating and maintaining your blog Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing

Interactive promotion report: search engine marketing

November 28, 2006

[Tags: , , , ]. UCE Birmingham Interactive PR student Dorota Jablonska looks at:

Search Engine Marketing (including SEO)

A search engine is a program designed to help find information stored on a computer system (e.g. World Wide Web).It also helps to drive the potential customers to your website. What is more, Search Engine Marketing builds online brand awareness and consumer relationships.

There are different kinds of search engines:

  • search engine, which searches for information on the public Web,
  • enterprise search engine, which searches on intranet (a private computer network),
  • personal search engine, which searches individual personal computers,
  • mobile search engine.

In order to achieve the business objectives the producers can use one of the Search Engine Services that offer optimisation and submission services.

Let’s look at some examples of those.

  1. HQ Search Engine Service
  2. Interactive Return– Online Marketing Agency
  3. Get me on Google, a specialist search engine marketing company
  4. SearchPath? Internet Marketing

What do they offer?

  • Search engine submission, which means getting listed,
  • Search Engine Optimisation, which refers to the act of altering your site so that it may rank well for particular terms,
  • Search engine placement and positioning refer to get your site to the “top ten” ranking for a particular keyword or search terms.,
  • Search Engine Marketing and Promotion as the overall process of marketing on search engines such as: submission, optimization, managing paid listings etc.
  • Internet Marketing Consulting
  • Pay Per Click Advertising
  • Online Advertising
  • Email Marketing builds brand awareness, influence sales offline and keep their customers informed with relevant updates, news and offers.
  • Online Marketing Training, courses are facilitated by Interactive Return’s online marketing, usability and ecommerce consultants.
  • The main solution of these websites is to connect the business to the Internet searchers.

Some of these point need to be described in greater details

Search Engine Submission: Getting listed

Act of getting listed with several different engines , other words search engine registration. In order to let know the search engine that your web exists .

“Search engine submission is akin to you purchasing a lottery ticket. Having a ticket doesn’t mean that you will win, but you must have a ticket to have any chance at all.” (SearchEngineWatch?.com)

Search Engine Optimisation : Improving The Odds

Method that improve the number and quality of visitors to your websites from search engine listings. It is also a subset of search engine marketing, which includes sponsored search listings. The term SEO also refers to “search engine optimizers”.

” Returning to the lottery model, let’s assume there was a way to increase the odds of winning by picking your lottery numbers carefully. Search engine optimization is akin to this. It’s making sure that the numbers you select are more likely to win than purchasing a set of numbers at random “. (SearchEngineWatch?.com)

Search Engine Optimisation Tools

Search Engine Optimizer

An industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients

Pay Per Click Advertisements

They can be found next to search results and are called sponsored links or ads. When the user clicks on the ad the advertiser gets paid for the service. PPC is categorized in Keyword, Product and Service engines.

How to register with search engines?

If you want to use the Search Engine Marketing service you need to pay for an initial setup and monthly fee. Some of the services offer you monthly trial, so they can convince you that their service is worth investment. You can register online, but also you can contact representatives regarding your online marketing requirements.

Multi Channel Feature

Search Engines develop their services as everything else in the virtual word. Now it is possible to assign multiple custom channels to a single ad unit. Google AdSense? Launches Multiple Channel Feature. For more information about the invention go on Google Ad Sense blog


Website where you can find all the information in relation to Search Engines “The Source for Search Engine Marketing” as they called themselves. These include:

  • Latest stories
  • Current Articles but also Search Engine Report Archives
  • Search Engine Listing
  • Search Engine Resources contain a collection of links relating to different search engine subject
  • Search Engine Ratings. Personally I found a very interesting article about online searches done by US home and work web surfers in July 2006 that were performed at a particular search engine. The researchers were carried out by the Nielsen/Net Ratings Search reporting service. Readers can find there a graph, figures and information about the issue. There is plenty of different information which are related to the subject and can clear up any problem.
  • forums, blog
  • submissions tips

Confusion over search listing

If you tend to get lost in trying to distinguish between paid-for and normal listing, you are not alone. 70% of users claim that “online ad clutter is hampering their ability to perform key task” (Dillabough,2003). The reason is marketing jargon that is used by the search engines to describe their paid for listing. Luckily there are services that provide help for clients to “understand the unbiased research, analysis and advice, backed by proprietary data, to help companies profit from the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on their business” (Jupiterreserach, 2005). Jupiter Research Business Intelligence for Business Results company is one of those who will help you to understand all the rules that are estabished.

Event for Search Engine Marketing & Optimization

There are also events where you can learn how to maximize search engine marketing and optimization opportunities and stay informed of the latest search developments and solutions in this area. For Example: Standing-Room-Only event by Search Engine Strategies

What can the Search Engine Marketing be used for?

As an example let’s look at the Coca Cola Company that uses Search Engine Marketing as a tool in its public relations arsenal. Company uses paid search to help managed its reputation that was violated by Sinaltrainal, a Colombian labor union who charged in court that Coca-Cola is responsible for improper anti-union tactics in bottling plants.

Read the article


Search Engine Marketing is extremely useful to promote the business online. It helps to rank better, among million of other websites. Search Engines build brand awareness, customers relationship, influence sales, keep people informed with what is important, and also with what is not. That is the annoying side of the Search Engines Marketing. We all have to deal with PPC, unwanted emails and online advertising. Finding the relevant information is not so easy since the number of websites has been increasing every second. The rat race of those who want to be the most noticeable remains. Every single Search Engines Service will advertise itself as the best, the most helpful and managed. They always say that as a customer you will get the best service, and your website will be ranking well. Registering with them is not enough. Knowing how to maximize search engine marketing and optimizing opportunities, staying informed about the latest developments, understanding analysis, research, etc and constant increasing of the knowledge are the keys to success.


  • Dillabough, 2003, New Media Age
  • Danny Sulivan, 2006 Nielsen NetRatings?