Saturday, March 27, 2010

What Tag Cloud Are You?

The reason I refer here to personal brands is simple: our offline activity has been building our reputation for ages, whereas now it doesn't really have the final word to say - our online visibility isn't less important since it adds up a huge amount of features to describe our identity.

Thus, to manage our brands online we need an entire toolkit. Also, since things are evolving pretty fast, there's no point in trying to "absorb" all of them at once - selection is far better, when taken through the following filter: "what's your purpose and who's your target audience?".

One of the tools worth mentioning is: a bag of tag clouds. The more visible we are online, the bigger becomes our bag full of association words which describe us and our brands. Anyway, my point: quality always beats quantity in image contests:) and I'm sharing a few ones of value I've just recently discovered myself:

1. Wordle:

Blogs for instance, often include a tag cloud to help readers see what topics, interests they cover. I'm pretty sure you're going to love this website - although it's based on a thorough IBM research it doesn't require any technical skills to help you pick up the words and design to fit your blog page - I had some fun myself today while picking up the tags and design that would suit Digital Lunch:


The website is incredibly easy to navigate and help you choose your own creative versions: be it for your child at school (helping him easily memorize history topics), be it a report, a review, a quizz or whatever your imagination leads you to in your working process:

An other cute e-device suggests what your Twitter account personality is like using the words from your Twitter followers' bio - clever, right? Besides, you'd be surprised to see some of your personal interests' reflections on it (such as favourite type of sports, food, places to visit, etc):

2. TwitterSheep:

I've searched for @Digilunch and beside a funny feeling of surprise, I've found some pretty fair "claims":

An other curious research has been made based on public speaches held over a certain period of time by the US politicians. Below for example are the most frequent words used by senator Gravel:

plus an other one showcasing Obama's speeches - source: pollster (you'll notice an obvious confidence - ):

So, as you see - our bag of "precious pearls" can hide a lot of curiosities about both: online and offline personalities.

Thus, the more social our search becomes, the heavier the bag will be showing its diverse collection of shiny pearls which - we may or may not pick by ourselves!

Happy colouring!!

Do you have any other curious tools to share?
Looking forward to hear,

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Google AdWords against Louis Vuitton Trademark Rights

Paid ads are the backbone of the Online business model. While Google, the world's largest search engine, does not detail sales from its paid ads, it makes 97 percent of its annual revenue of nearly $24 billion from advertising.

Google's AdWords platform has been often put against trademark rights and not alongside them for the reason of deliberate "liberalization" of online consumers's choice: each time a consumer searches for a certain company's name on Google's search platform - he may first stumble upon competitors' offers, who have placed higher bids for precisely these keywords!

Louis Vuitton has fiercely argued that it alone should be able to control ads related to its brand.

The luxury goods group had already won a French court action in 2005, which resulted in Google being barred from using Louis Vuitton's trademarks in its advertising on all websites accessible in France.

Louis Vuitton complained that some of the links which appear during a "Louis Vuitton" search are for companies marketing counterfeit or replica goods.

In June 2006 Google appealed to the French Court of Appeal in Paris, which upheld the original judgement and increased damages awarded to Louis Vuitton from €200,000 to €300,000 (BrandRepublic)

In a statement, Google said at the time: "We have a trademark policy, which prevents bids on other people's registered trademarks, and we do not allow people to advertise with AdWords for counterfeit products."

Curiously enough - in June 2008, a French court ordered auction site eBay to pay £30 million to Louis Vuitton for allowing online auctions of fake copies (235 000 pieces!) of its goods.

As a second side of the coin - David Wood, the legal counsel for ICOMP (Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace), explained that it's all about whether Google can continue its policy of allowing advertisers who are not the owners of trademarks to buy up those trademarks under the AdWords programme."

Today however, the European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday concluded that "Google has not infringed trademark law by allowing advertisers to purchase keywords corresponding to their competitors' trademarks."

What do you think? Even though clearly AdWords is the major profit platform for Google - is it also the symbol of "online freedom of choise" or just an other Internet must-do side effect?


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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Are you on LinkedIn blacklist? Check out the Tips to help you stay out of it

You might not be well aware yet that LinkedIn has a blacklist, since the "punishment" installed hasn't been made too obvious: it's more an "implied suggestion" rather than a rule. LinkedIn tells you not to invite people you don’t know, but they don’t make the "side effects" clear.

See the page below which asks you about the "source of your connection" each time you hit an invite button:

The thing is that if 5 people say they don’t know you, you get blacklisted. How this may happen?

If your invitation is sent to someone on LinkedIn, the person has the option to Accept, Archive, or say “I don’t know this user”. It's enough for 5 people to say “I don’t know this user” and you are put on the "uncomfortable" LinkedIn blacklist. Thus, every time you want to invite someone in the future you will need to type in the person's email address, which is particularly disturbing when you’re trying to connect with:

* childhood friends;
* college friends;
* sales contacts;
* someone you've recently met on a busy networking event;
* anyone else you haven’t seen for a long time and LinkedIn appears to be the only source (particularly since you don't have a clue about this person's email)

Now the questions are:

1. How do you find if you are approaching to the "fearful 5" or if you've already exceeded your 5 IDNs?

2. How do you find who marked "I don't know this user" on your invitation?

Here are the steps you need to take to ensure your invite feature comfort:

* Open your LinkedIn home page;
* Access the Inbox on the left and choose Sent option;
* Go to the Inbox Sent page, click Status in the upper right to view the Invitations that you’ve sent;
* Now search for the status “Doesn’t Know”, which will appear in alphabetical order in the middle of the following:

* Accepted
* Bounced
* Doesn’t Know
* Expired
* In Progress
* Pending
* Replaced
* Sent

At this point you know the culprits. What can be done? Since you already know who denied your connection - get them to invite you instead (asking a referral invite: by means of your existing 1st level LinledIn connections or putting the effort to find their email addresses). This will eliminate the IDN restriction, which is only made slightly visible in the notice below, when you hit Find out Why button:

However, there's an other "anytime works best" option: sending an apology to LinkedIn’s customer service at so that they reset your IDK’s unaware offence.

Remember to be mindful yourself before you click the IDK button. You can always click archive which:

* Will not put off someone’s credibility;
* Will allow you to think more about who the person is and come back to it at a later date.

Hope this was useful. Any comments and suggestions for the upcoming Digital Lunch Menu are welcome!

Cooking for you,

Digital Lunch Team
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Digital Marketers' Buzz on Main ROI Trends

US vs. UK Marketing Executives: this article shows the challenges that both camps are facing when it comes to Marketing ROI, especially when Social Media is at stake. A recent study conducted by Anderson Analytics shows that "Marketing ROI" is the top concept mostly buzzed about among the US Marketing Executives - surpassing “Customer Satisfaction” & “Customer Retention”. Interestingly enough - “Social Media” officially made the top-10 list for the first time this year.(the study was conducted among +1,800 active members of Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG).

1. Social Media ROI - Marketers' Ever-lasting Concern or an Opportunity?

Even though the study revealed that "Social Media" is "one of the buzz words US. marketers are most tired of hearing", most of them recognize the importance of social media marketing, since about 70% of interviewed marketers are planning new social media initiatives in 2010. Below you're welcome to see Top Marketing Buzzwords in US:

These stats show that digital marketing involving its main branches (SEO, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Blogging, etc) is now highly paid attention to alongside universally acknowledged marketing terms as: Customer Retention, Brand Loyalty, Positioning/Differentiation and Customer Satisfaction.

An other counterpart study was undertaken by The Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM) and Cyance Limited among major UK Marketing Executives(a sincere Thank you note to Mike Housley for sharing the research report). The study showed that 74% of respondents rated the
importance of social media policy/guidelines, but only 28% actually have them.

Moreover, 53.7% actually said they do not know what kind of ROI they are achieving from Social Media. Appearantly the main reason for these feedbacks is the lack of training/knowledge, which translates into a
barrier to their use of social media tools (as seen by 37% of the respondents):

Also, the study showed that SEO, E-mail Marketing, Social Media and Affiliate Marketing are the most important to UK Marketers in terms of marketing ROI:

2. Marketing Budget Change:

In regard to budgets, marketing executives at larger firms are somewhat less optimistic than those at smaller firms.

These findings belong to Andersen Anaytics, which also revealed that fewer marketing executives believe their use of marketing research will be reduced in 2010 than was the case in 2009. Moreover, company size does not appear to be a significant factor in planned usage of market research:

Obviously, digital marketing raises in importance driving companies to change their marketing budgets, whereas in terms of digital marketing ROI, there aren't yet universally accepted metrics, which might help standardise the costs and thus, regulate marketing budgets. For example, the UK report shows that most companies aren't yet measuring their social media activities:

How about your organisation? Have you been using Social Media for business purposes? Would apprecuiate your voice on our related Poll: What are the Main Benefits of Social Media for Business? (see on the right-hand side of the main page).

Next on our Digital Lunch menu: Personalization - the Tool to Leverage E-Mail Relevance and Sales.

Digital Lunch Team
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

5 Major Email Marketing Trends for 2010: Tips and Challenges …

Marketing budgets are shifting to digital - that's a fact. Along with the advancement of Web 2.0 we’ve witnessed the rise of online communications which many predict may substitute traditional communication tools: say the web will replace TV and social networks will substitute e-mails. Current research offers a solid answer: not so fast and maybe – not even at all.

Epsilon CMO Survey 2010 showed that regardless of any expectations – e-mail marketing is skyrocketing. Here are a few reasons why:

- Less expensive than direct mail or printed newsletters, plus more environmentally friendly;
- Speedy: you can update the information daily, even instantly for little or no cost as opposed to print mail;
- E-mail marketing allows you to target your audience proactively, sharing your news & information;
- Easy to track: Analytics’ metrics: Open-rate, click-through rate and delivery rate;
- It allows the opportunity to advertise on someone else’s e-mail newsletter (sharing their mailing list and thus, cutting costs).

Research findings - Main E-mail Marketing Trends for 2010:

1. E-mail marketing is the Cornerstone:

Analysts confirm: e-mail marketing and SEO are currently showing highest demand rates and the reasons are obvious: highest audience reach and accountability (being ROI - friendly and easy to monitor). Additionally - Epsilon CMO Survey shows that email remains Primary Tool for Personal Online Communications:

The graph above only shows that if you have a personal message to send you'd rely on email first, whereas social networks seem to be a community feature, apparently not so much personal/intimate.

2. Web Analytics - are an E-mail Propeller:

According to the figure below - analytics made it obvious that e-mail has been steadily acquiring relevance, by replacing the following types of communications:

As shown - 40% of the respondents have already replaced bills/statements by means of emails, whereas - 38% replaced their promotional mail, etc.

3. E-mail marketing Entwined with Social Media:

Here's the answer to : Will social networks replace e-mail - it looks like they will happily co-exist together, instead of fighting against each other:

4. E-mail Marketing Driving Multi-channel Behavior:

The following graph clearly shows that although users are not so keen to make immediate online purchases, as a result of opening their emails (perhaps, due to SPAM overload) they are more keen to make offline purchases instead - which confirms information-based support provided by E-mail services. It also confirms that: interruptive marketing is losing ground, whereas engagement marketing rises fast.The rest is for you to judge:

5. Getting Mobile:

Some of the useful examples of possible tactics:

- Offer mobile-only incentives for opting into SMS or e-mail alerts;

- Ask prospects to text for a free guide and encourage e-mail opt-in;

- Deliver your e-mail content via mobile to expand your reach;

How about the Challenges? the figure below rates e-mail marketing challenges by their importance:

An now - some Take-Away Tips:

1. Integrate: Create infrastructure necessary to encompass all available online channels;

2. Make it work simultaneously: Create messaging, offers and creative that can be used across multiple channels;

3. Customize: Employ customized trigger and drip e-mail campaigns;

4. Engage: Create long-term engagement through: personalization and transactional e-mails (e.g. bank statement e-mails showing relevant transactions over a certain time period)

5. If you're still wondering: How much is Too Much - remember that optimal frequency goes hand in hand with content relevancy.

Good luck,

Digital Lunch Team
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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Israeli Soldier Reveals Military Secrets on Facebook

The news has spread real-time across the world-wide-web: a combat soldier posted the time and location of the raid on his Facebook page saying that troops were planning on "cleaning up" the village (as reported by Fox News)

Consequently - Fellow soldiers announced military authorities, who called off the raid immediately. The soldier was court-martialed and sentenced to 10 days in prison.

Delicate military information ranks quite high on the list of comments that should never be shared on Facebook (Israeli army has already confronted similar case a year ago when a soldier has been sentenced to 19 days in jail for uploading a photograph taken on his military base to the social networking website, Facebook - BBC).

At the moment there're no worldwide accepted guidelines that show what particular information shouldn't be shared on social networks and what type of measures should be taken in case the sensitive information is disclosed - which means that some users are not yet fully aware that social networks are not only interpersonal communication means, but quite effective broadcast channels ,just as well.

Famous Measures taken so far against "social gaffes" of this kind:

China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the country's Internet-domain-name registry announced that it will limit the system to use by businesses, effectively excluding private citizens from registering new domains. At the moment, the agency evaluates the legitimacy or better said "suitability" of approximately 13.5 million domains according to certain criteria, among which: obligatory identity disclosure of the site owners (photos attached), precise explanation of the site purpose of activity, etc. (, CNN and

MOSCOW (MN) - A 22-year old man from the Urals city of Izhevsk got 1 year suspended sentence for defacing the profile of his acquaintance on the Russian social network, the internet daily reported on Wednesday.

ARMENIA: From March 2 to 20th, 2008 internet usage was restricted during the state of emergency, when certain websites where filtered out, when Armenian Internet Union (AIU) started blocking the domains.

TURKEY: A new set of regulations for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) published in the Turkish Official Gazette on November 1, 2007, makes it compulsory for all commercial ISPs to take measures to prevent access to “illegal content” and use government-approved filters to block users from visiting undesirable websites. In addition, all commercial ISPs are now obliged to record details of all the websites visited by their subscribers and store the data for a period of at least one year (2007)

Although the list may continue - the measures taken so far by the authorities have similar grounds: piracy concerns, identity theft, cyberterrorism, etc. And even if many see it as a violation of human rights I'm wondering if the advancement of similar incidents won't stimulate tougher restrictions so that anonymity on the web will once become - history?


Digital Lunch
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mobile Marketing Case Study: Expedia launches 1st Mobile App for Modern Travellers

When a company develops a Mobile app it generally aims to answer on a couple of questions: Would my content be relevant, entertaining and real-time engaging? Would it drive more interest, traffic or demand? At this stage in time companies are primarily offering information-based content which would ideally lead to a purchase-aimed one(which is yet likely to happen in the nearest future).

Expedia launches 1st Mobile App aiming at Modern Travelers: TripAssist. The application is made available for iPhones, BlackBerry, Android and Windows phones. The company already has a highly ranked online presence, so why would it invest in mobile applications?
The reason is: an on-the-go marketing solution, offering consumers real-time brand interaction: consumers may research flights, destinations, hotels also manage and update their itineraries.

Additionally, the application provides SMS and email updates free of charge. That may be a convenience offer as explained by Adam Anderson, director of public relations at Expedia:

“The strategy behind TripAssist is to give travelers a tool to help them manage their travel from any point – at home, on the road, or anywhere in between,” said , Bellevue, WA.

MobileMarketer gives its own explanation: "TripAssist is a simplification of the travel process" to which I'd add that its' main asset is to conveniently reach the customer via his/her Mobile device:

Purchase-aimed content is also an option for TripAssist: users will be able to shop and book via a convenient stripped-down interface perfect for small screens and phone-based Web browsers.

It may not be a surprise now, but Expedia will mainly rely on social communities when promoting its product: using tweets, posts and video production geared towards the web and the blogosphere.

Obviously, mobile and social media marketing are meant to go Hand In Hand.

Concerning the results: the company claims that approximately 55,000 trips were booked via smartphone browsers using its site in 2009. Expedia has high expectations towards the growing audience now that the mobile-optimized Web interface is launched.

We may expect that the main audience of the service would be seeking for data-fulfillment, rather than mobile-based purchases. So the question is: will it pay off the efforts and the overall investment? However, at this stage - the company has an obvious competitive advantage - the ease and convenience of its travel services. Any comments?

Curious to hear,

Digital Lunch Team
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Monday, March 1, 2010

4 Reasons Why I Believe in Digital Marketing

“Content is king” – this statement is used today more and more often, since both offline and online audiences are beginning to look for more relevance, accessibility and transparency from their daily brand experiences.

The days of consumers passively absorbing a TV commercial or a banner advertising – are over. People research their purchases as never before and they read peers’ opinions about brands and products.

1. Reach:

Through the Internet, organizations can reach audiences of unprecedented scale at a low cost, but also, for the first time in human history, individuals can make their personal thoughts, reactions, and opinions easily accessible to the global community of Internet users. Thus, websites are becoming more transactional over informational.

2. Accessibility:

Today global audience is facing a rich media production, when common users are becoming media participants as opposed to media buyers (raising blogging trend, video sharing (YouTube), micro-blogging (Twitter) as part of user’s generated content).

3. Trust:

Trust becomes a defining factor for accepting market messaging, so that according to latest Mintel study (2009), consumers’ friends and relatives are becoming primary trustworthy sources for product recommendations, as opposed to advertisers.

Mass-media are not regarded today as the only influencers, as consumers themselves are becoming to influence the perception of brands.

4. Cost-effective 2-way Communication:

When used properly digital marketing can identify, target and deliver supporters, translating online Word-of-Mouth into its offline counterpart stream. Also, digital marketing tools have been proven efficient for: brand monitoring, detecting potential crisis communication cases (via online media monitoring), brand positioning, sentiment analysis, product innovation and development, using consumers reviews as free focus group insights in co-creation techniques (e.g. Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions program looking for innovative ideas, Google’s Contest on Innovative projects, called Project 10100, P&G consumers’ insight program, etc).

Social Media has given consumers tools to participate in online communication platforms in order to create and share their content, whereas marketers are given digital marketing tools to build viable brand experiences, where consumers' voice - matters.
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