Spoilt for choice

My friend Scott has a great posting about manipulation techniques. Some of the stuff I heard before in a documentary about Walmart marketing techniques, but the “lecture” by Prof. Barry Schwartz is very impressive.

Medium: www.youtube.com
Link: www.youtube.com

After watching the video it seems that sometimes simple psychology can work as good or even better than some high-end web analytics solution ;-)

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July 27th, 2007

ComScore now segments Heavy, Medium and Light Users

Comscore announced yesterday their new Segment Metrix:

The first segmentation to be offered is one defined by online behavior.  This approach, called comScore Segment Metrix H/M/L, will allow marketers to analyze online activity by heavy, medium and light users of the Internet and of any category of sites reported by comScore. The Heavy segment group will be defined as the top 20 percent of consumers, based on time spent online at the category of sites; the Medium group will be defined as the middle 30 percent; and the Light users are the lightest 50 percent.  H/M/L user segments will be available in all 32 countries where comScore syndicated data are available and across all 110 comScore defined categories and sub-categories of sites.”

Definitely a great idea. Now advertisers will be able to figure out where to find the very attractive “heavy” users and target these specific websites. The Comscore Segment Metrix should make media buying a little bit easier.

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July 27th, 2007

Silver Surfers In Europe spend in average $2294 per year online

Not only in the US, but also in Europe more and more “Silver Surfers” explore the web:

Research announced today from the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) reveals the following:

- 68% of all European internet users aged 55 years and over now use broadband at their main point of internet connection

-Broadband adoption amongst silver surfers is growing at a faster rate than the average European internet user (26% year on year growth compared to 14%).

-This older demographic now spends an average of 8.8 hours online per week - a growth of 18% since 2004 - and 78% of the time they spend online is for personal reasons rather than work.

-One in four log on to the internet in a typical week and weekend use is growing at a rate of 19% year on year….

-Over half (53%) of all of these users now use online banking and finance sites. 74% of internet users aged 55 and over have shopped online, buying an average of 7 items and spending €830 in a six month period; well above the average online shopper (€750).

-38% are using price comparison sites and books (29%) and electrical goods (18%) prove popular online goods. ”

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July 26th, 2007

Free vs. licensed web analytics solution

Eric over at Webanalyticsdemystified published the 2nd set of research based on a survey in March 07.

Here his interesting key findings:

“-Those deploying free web analytics solutions are more likely to treat web analytics as a casual endeavor, with 35 percent of survey respondents using free solutions reporting only an ad hoc use of their measurement tools, compared to less than 20 percent of those using licensed solutions.

- Companies using free tools are dramatically understaffed for web analytics, with 42 percent of respondents using free tools reporting having no dedicated resources, compared to only 18 percent of those using licensed solutions.

- Individuals using free tools have less experience with web analytics in general, with 64 percent of respondents using free tools reporting less than two years of experience, compared to 32 percent of those using licensed solutions.”

A lot of Web analytics folks already commented on Erics’ findings, so I just want to give my 2 (unimportant) Cents:

Even that Eric findings show, that a licenced solution seems to have a greater impact on a business, I believe that a free solution like Google Analytics, Gatineau, Sitemeter… makes a lot of sense for the majority of websites.

Eric’s results clearly show that if you can afford it, you probably should go with a paid vs. a free solution. However I think, that most businesses don’t even explore the full power of their web analytics product, independant if the product is free or not.

For most businesses the interest and knowledge of the web marketer / web analyst / responsible person… is much more important than the choice of a free (Google Analytics, Gatineau…) or licensed tool.

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July 26th, 2007

Amped Up - UE2

Here the 2nd site, that I find really engaging: Amped Up. Ampd Up is a flash version of the Playstation2 game Guitar Hero . It is not only fun among teenagers and adults, but also allows you to stick your face into the game (if you have a webcam).

Guitare Hero Amped Up

The idea of adding your own profile to a game or movie (Verizon Actionhero campaign) is just great.

I can imagine that in the future some Onlineshops could adopt this technology. A fashion onlinestore could possibly allow site visitors to add a body or head shot and then let them try on clothes in a “virtual changing room”.

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July 25th, 2007

Bid management tools pro and contra - PPC2

So my search for a PPC bid mangement tool or agency is now about 2 weeks old. I am not really in a rush, but it would be great to get a better idea of what’s out there.

Currently I lean towards a tool or homebuild solution rather than an agency. The reason therefore is, that I am not really in the mood to explain to an agency on how the business works, with all it’s little secrets.

After reading tons of articles, I found a great summary from “Beantown SEO expert” Robert Rains, who seems to be in favor of a bid management solution, especially when it comes to longtail keywords.

His posting includes a lot of pros and cons from experts and his personal take on seems in line with my approach:

  1. Use a bid management tool to manage the long tail of your campaign.
  2. Stay focused on your ad copy and your landing pages, because they can dramatically influence the cost and conversion rates of your campaigns.
  3. Take significant brand building terms and manage them separately
  4. Take significant “first visit search” keywords and manage them separately as well.
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July 24th, 2007

Gatineau screenshots leaked

Gatineau, Microsoft’s new Analytics solution, will be released this summer, but a few screenshots leaked already:



Found via Dave Nayler, who must have taken the screenshots while the Microsoft guys closed their eyes or at the time they were in the bathroom :-)

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July 24th, 2007

Digg comments tracker

I just found this incredible valuable Digg comment tracker. It let’s you track a specific Digg username including all comments and ratings and replies of the Digg crowd.

Up Down Rating Replies
Max 9 13 3 10
Min 0 0 -5 0
Average 2.25 2.25 0 1.25
Mode 2.5 0 1.5 0
Range 9 13 8 10
Total 18 18 0 10

Great data! A smart brain could certainly use this data and create some nice tool, which creates “top stories”, that engage the Digg crowd.

A smarter brain would not only create, but even submit specific stories and connect with users, that rated or commented on specific stories.

Where is the first person, that creates a Digg Story suggestion tool, which certainly outperfoms any human story submitter?

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July 22nd, 2007

Truth vs. Quick sell - UE part 1

I am not a big fan of “How to” or “Top 10″ websites, but I wanted to list a few sites and marketing campaigns that really caught my attention. So here a series of websites that engage users in a great way:

I am currently spending a lot of time planning my India trip in August. I am going to fly from NYC and arrive in Delhi perfectly on time for the Monsun season. Exactly how I planned it out!

As I am getting older and more conservative, I also thought about booking a hotel in New Delhi for 1-2 days in advance and not staying at the 50 Cents backpacker hostel as I used to.

As an experienced traveler, my first stop was Barnes and Noble. You probably can imagine: Yes, I bought the Lonely Planet, the bible for rucksack travelers, that is around for quite some time now.

So far so good. I read most of the book, got some great tips, but I missed user reviews and ratings. I also don’t like to stay where all the other tourists are staying. LonelyPlanet became just too popular among all travelers, rich and poor.

So at the end I was searching the web….Yahoo reviews, LonelyPlanet.com, Expedia.com, Hotels.com…. All not great, because they all want to sell “their” hotels instead of giving value to their users.

After a little search I found Tripadvisor, which is commercial, but one of the most engaging websites that I have seen so far.

The site includes a travel community, reviews and ratings and and a great feature called Popularity index.

The popularity index lists the most popular hotels and adds the last three review titles with dates right below. Also the approx rate is shown right next to it. Great usability, a little bit busy design, but all I needed to make a quick decision.

With other travel websites, I had to review 5-6 hotels and then got kicked to some travel/hotel booking website without even knowing if it is within my budget.

It’s one thing to make a quick sale, it’s another thing to engage a user to the website and make him/her return over time.

Of course Tripadvisor, which is owned by Expedia, could market their own hotels with fake reviews and ratings, so I decided to double check Tripadvisors info with Indiamike, one of the largest India forums online.

As a result of comparing the popular hotels from Tripadvisor with Indiamike, I can say that I fully trust Tripadvisor. This is also the reason why I setup a free member account with them:


Now I am part of an truthful travel network, and I guarantee that Tripadvisor will get the affiliate sale more often than some hotel site, that was looking for a quick sale.

Engaging users with truthful content will (hopefully) pay off in my case:

Medium: www.youtube.com
Link: www.youtube.com

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July 22nd, 2007

Sparky - Alexa for Firefox

Finally Alexa launched an official Firefox toolbar extension. They call it “Sparky”. Sparky has even more functionalities thanthe unofficial Alexa toolbar (for Firefox). It is a great move from the Alexa team. Especially for countries outside the US, this will bring more accuracy to Alexa users.

You can download it here.

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July 21st, 2007