Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ad Agencies: 5 Ways to Find Prospects on Twitter

Ad Agencies: 5 Ways to Find Prospects on Twitter

Finding your agency’s best prospective client online audience is not yet an exact science. But for now you can be in the right ballpark. The same is true regarding Twitter.

There are plenty of search applications out there but all have their limitations. The following five sites have been the most helpful to me in locating prospective client “tweeps” to follow.

1. Twitter Search – Twitter’s built in people search is the easiest place to start but isn’t necessarily the best way to find people on Twitter. Twitter Search is much better, especially using their advanced search page. Be sure and check out their search operations pages for some handy examples for your search query.

2. Twellow – is an excellent search tool for prospective clients. With over 6.2 million Twitter user profiles now indexed in Twellow and placed into a huge number of categories. You can search the entire lot of profiles, or confine searches to a single category. Twellow also operates a local directory called the “Twellowhood.”

3. Tweepz – Allows you limit searches to specific parts of Twitter’s user information (such as name, bio, and location). Through the advance search filter results by follower/following numbers, location, and other extracted terms, enhances your search results.

4. Twitterel – you can search for prospective clients to follow by doing keyword searches of tweets. This service can update you by email, direct message, or @reply when it finds new people it thinks you might be interested in following. It’s similar to Google Alerts.

5. WeFollow – is a Twitter user directory that organizes people by hashtags. WeFollow is user-generated and anyone can add themselves by tweeting @wefollow with three #hashtags that describe them. For example there are 723 Twitter users that are subscribed to #adagencynewbiz.

IAB Digital Video Ad Effectiveness Case Study

Despite the rapid growth of digital video advertising, marketers are still learning how to use the medium most effectively. The IAB Research Council undertook a study of a video advertising campaign for a major national retailer brand. This research sought to provide insights into which combinations of lengths and placements of digital video advertising are most effective. The IAB commissioned Millward Brown and Dynamic Logic to undertake this research, which serves as a case study on digital video ad effectiveness. The findings of the study include the following:

15 seconds appears to be an optimal length for digital video creative in the pre-roll position. 5-second spots had trouble conveying a message; while 30-second spots risked turning off a viewer waiting to watch something else.

30-second spots do well at conveying a complex or emotionally resonant message, but work best in user-initiated placements (where the user must take an action, like clicking on an ad or rolling over an in-text link, to begin playing the ad) where viewers display more patience for long messages.

Pre-roll, in-text, and in-banner video ad placements can all contribute to achieving the goals of a campaign; however, different placements may perform optimally with different creative lengths.

As a single campaign case study, the findings here do not represent definitive conclusions. However, they do offer useful guidance for the industry, and point in productive directions for further research in the area of digital video creative length and placement.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Do Consumers Care About Web Privacy?

NEW YORK ( -- Freaking out about the easier opt-outs proposed by some online-privacy advocates? Maybe you don't have so much to worry about.
In June, Fetchback, an advertising network that specializes in ad "retargeting," added a link within its ad units that, when clicked, took consumers to a page that explained who the advertiser was and how the ad got there and gave contact info for Fetchback, as well as a way to opt out of future targeting.
When Fetchback compared the rate at which people opted out before it added the link and after, it found that it actually went down slightly.
It's early data and a limited sample -- two weeks' worth, both before and after -- but it shows that fears that consumers will choose to eschew web targeting en masse are perhaps overblown. In a small number of instances, adding the link actually resulted in messages from consumers who wanted to know more about the advertiser or offer the ad was promoting, and it also generated a few new business queries for Fetchback.
"You're so focused on [the potential downside] you don't actually think about how it opens communication," said Fetchback CEO Chad Little. "Consumers don't know how easily to get in touch with the person delivering the ad because they don't know who's delivering it."
Similar to Fetchback, Google also affixes an "About This Ad" label on many of its AdSense ads, which leads to a page with privacy information and an opt-out option. The firm didn't specify how many of its customers had chosen to opt out.
Not the endIt's not hard to see why those who traffic in online advertising worry. In the ongoing debate surrounding privacy and online advertising, one of the persistent fears is that making it easier for people to opt out of online data collection will be the downfall of the business -- billions of dollars gone in a flash as every consumer opts out.
And the Fetchback findings -- as well as the enhanced targeting in general -- are not likely to satisfy privacy advocates.
If anything, this might be seen as more proof that the entire concept of opting out is flawed, as consumers aren't aware of what's going on and, it could be argued, even when they are, don't particularly care enough to bother jumping through the hoops necessary to opt out.
Right now, retargeting firms and the rest of the online ad industry work in a world where targeting is the default, and consumers can choose to opt out of that. The industry, and particularly ad networks, fear a future where that default would go away and instead consumers would have to opt in to be tracked online.
The opt-in model is favored by most privacy advocates, some of whom are planning to provide Congress with a detailed proposal around the issue this week.
Easier opt-outsIdeally, the online-ad industry wants to remain self-regulated, and improving the friendliness and ease of opting out is one way to convince legislators and regulators it takes the job seriously. More than a half dozen industry organizations recently launched a new set of regulations in hopes of staving off government involvement.
Opt-out mechanisms feature prominently, but when there is no link in or around an ad unit, opting out for behavioral or cookie-based targeting typically requires users to find the privacy page of the site on which the ad appeared, which directs them to opt-out options.
That's not good enough, said Mr. Little, in a world where people want access to the info.
"We are trying to solve this problem by making privacy policies worded toward the lowest common denominator," he said. Some concerns around enhancing opt-out revolve around clients -- whether advertisers will care that there's an extra link in the ad. Mr. Little said he got very little pushback from clients and that the company had to redesign a couple of ads to accommodate the link.
Charles Curran, executive director of the Network Advertising Initiative, a voluntary self-regulatory organization, said publishers need to worry less about being scared that more visible information and opt-out policies will result in an uptick of consumer's eschewing targeting, and more about the confidence the general public has in the medium.
Meanwhile, on the other end, privacy advocates argue for the strictest possible guidelines, ones that would require that consumers express explicit permission to let ad sellers track them.
One of the most outspoken privacy advocates on the issue, Jeff Chester, who heads the Center for Digital Democracy, said the Fetchback numbers sound "unscientific and self serving."

Hartmann promoted to national position at Scripps

KNOXVILLE - News Sentinel Publisher Bruce Hartmann is being promoted to a new national position where he will be in charge of advertising and circulation revenue for all of the E.W. Scripps Co.'s newspapers.
Hartmann, who has served as publisher since June 1998, will become corporate vice president for sales as part of a reorganization of the Scripps newspaper division announced today. The promotion is effective Sept. 1.
"When we looked around the company for the best-respected leader to lead our revenue efforts, Bruce was a clear choice," said Mark G. Contreras, the company's senior vice president of newspapers. "Knoxville has been one of our best-performing markets, both journalistically and from a business perspective, because of his leadership and courage. He is a longtime Scripps employee who has the respect of his peers and folks in the industry. I am very, very encouraged at the prospects of him leading our revenue efforts."
Under the reorganization, executives at Scripps' 13 daily newspapers will report directly to corporate vice presidents who will serve as an operating committee. All advertising and circulation sales directors will report to Hartmann, who will continue to be based in Knoxville, where he has lived since joining the News Sentinel as advertising director in 1990. Scripps' niche publications, including its magazines and weekly newspapers, also will report to him.
"I will always be grateful for all the support I have received over the years from my co-workers and our customers, both readers and advertisers," he said. "It is because of them that we have been able to make the News Sentinel and all of our products among the best within the E.W. Scripps Co.
"It is my great fortune to be able to remain in Knoxville as I undertake this new challenge. I am looking forward to working with all the different properties within our division to further facilitate our success."
Rusty Coats, who is now vice president of interactive for the newspaper division, will become vice president for content and marketing under the new structure. All Scripps editors, marketing leaders and interactive operational staff will report directly to him. He, too, will be based in Knoxville.
Coats has worked in interactive media for 15 years, first as a reporter covering technology, then leading Web sites for The McClatchy Company. The Newspaper Association of America named him Digital Innovator of the Year in 2005, and he now serves as co-chair of the Newspaper Consortium, which includes nearly 800 newspapers in partnership with Yahoo!
A new publisher will be appointed for the News Sentinel and the KNS Media Group. The newspaper's editor and advertising director will have a "dotted line" reporting relationship with the publisher.
Hartmann has been active for several years in Knoxville's civic affairs.
He serves on the board of directors of Friends of the Smokies, the Bijou Theatre and Variety, the children's charity. In 2006, he chaired Knoxville's United Way campaign, and he has served as president of the Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership.
As president of the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation board, he led the $23.5 million campaign to restore the theater. The movie palace, which first opened in 1928, had its grand reopening Jan. 14, 2005.
Hartmann, 51, graduated in 1979 from West Virginia University with a degree in journalism. He held advertising management positions at the Nashua Telegraph in New Hampshire and The Baltimore Sun. He was with the Lowell Sun in Massachusetts before coming to Knoxville.
He and his wife, Tami, have three children: Melissa, Jacquelyn and Brian.
Coats, 43, graduated in 1988 from Indiana University with a degree in English and journalism. He worked as a journalist at the Evansville Courier in Indiana and The Modesto Bee in California before moving to online content management at The Sacramento Bee and then at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. Coats spent four years as director of new media for MORI Research in Minneapolis. He joined Scripps a year ago after working as vice president and general manager of, the joint online business of the Tampa Tribune and television station WFLA.
He is married to Janet Coats, a vice president and executive editor at the Tampa Tribune, and is the father of Carly and Cassidy, and stepfather of Sam, Rachel and Luke.
The Scripps reorganization is designed to place "increased emphasis on community-changing local content and peak-performing advertising sales," according to a company press release. With those priorities, Knoxville will be an important hub for the Cincinnati-based company, with Hartmann directing sales and Coats directing content.
Knoxville has had an important role in Scripps in the past. When the company created Scripps Networks, it based the new division in the city. Last year, the networks were spun off as a separate company called Scripps Networks Interactive.
Commenting on the new structure of the newspaper division, Contreras said: "We're reorganizing our division to make sure all of our newspapers have a sharpened focus on delivering unrivaled local content across multiple platforms and developing the best sales organization in each of our markets. By making ourselves more valuable to our two most important constituencies - readers and advertisers - I believe we can continue our important public service mission while providing an economic benefit for our shareholders."
In addition to the appointments of Hartmann and Coats, Scripps named four other executives who will serve on the operating committee and direct major functions of the corporation nationally:
* Frank Wolfe, formerly of Knoxville, will become vice president of operations for the newspaper division and have all the newspapers' production and circulation operations report to him.
* Robin Davis, vice president of finance and administration, will have all finance leaders report to her.
* Jim York will become vice president of information technology and will have all IT leaders report to him.
* Mary Minser, vice president of human resources, will have all human resources managers report to her.
In another aspect of the reorganization, the company's daily newspapers will be categorized in one of two tiers. Newspapers in the division's six-largest markets - Memphis and Knoxville in Tennessee, Naples and Treasure Coast in Florida, Ventura, Calif., and Corpus Christi, Texas - will be considered "regional" media organizations. Starting Sept. 1, the publishers of the regional newspapers will serve on the operating committee and report directly to Contreras.
The division's newspapers in the remaining markets - Evansville, Ind., Anderson, S.C., Redding, Calif., Bremerton, Wash., and the Texas communities of Abilene, Wichita Falls and San Angelo - will be called "mid-sized" media organizations. The publishers in the mid-sized markets will take on the added responsibilities of the sales function and report to Hartmann.