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April 12, 2008 | Erik Uetz: When Web Sites Are Stolen

Imagine surfing the web and finding a site that looks and behaves exactly like yours…the one you spent a lot of time and a lot of money designing and building. Your web site has been stolen! How did this happen and what can you do?

April 11, 2008 | Greg Ness: Microsoft Makes Bid To Buy U.K.

I thought this was extremely funny, but, then again, I have a strange sense of humor. George should write for The Onion.

April 10, 2008 | Greg Ness: The Future Structure of Corporate Marketing Communications

Consumers are rapidly shifting their media consumption to emerging channels. As this transformation continues, the challenge for corporate marketing will be to ensure their department structure adapts to this seismic media reorientation.

In the previous era of one-way, corporate-controlled communications, marketing was most often structured in vertical stacks around product groups, usage groups or channel groups. Those channels could include sales, brand advertising, promotion, PR, direct marketing, event marketing, etc. The Web as a channel has changed the equation, because the Web can function well as a super channel for brand, sales promotion, direct sales, events, etc.

Today, even when traditional channels are used, the Web is often a major complementary component. The sales function uses the Web for leads and sales support. Direct marketing uses the Web for fulfillment. The brand-building function of marketing now often sees the Web as the most vital first brand touchpoint.

Emerging digital channels have shifted control of marketing to the consumer, and it is no longer possible to manage the “boundaries” of communication that fit so conveniently into the vertical corporate marketing stacks of yesterday. Consumer perceptions and preferences are now fed by wide and deep brand experience interactions that are more in the customers’ hands than with marketers.

April 09, 2008 | Greg Ness: The Changing Emphasis of Design

The emphasis of design has undergone a major change since I first entered the communications business several decades ago. In the 70s, 80s and throughout much of the 90s, when you talked design in marketing, most people were referring to graphic design. At that time, the emphasis for designers that were well respected and admired by their industry peers was doing something that was distinctive, eye-catching, and helped define a brand look and feel.

One of the main goals of advertising, and designers that were associated with the marketing function, was to create relevant attention for their clients’ companies, products and services. The tools of the marketing trade at that time — including design — only allowed one way communication, and marketing practitioners were often left to interpret the results of their efforts through the complicated and time-consuming sieve of research and extensive account planning activities.

April 08, 2008 | Greg Ness: CMO 2.0

The fact that the average tenure of a big-company CMO continues to hover around a measly two years is well documented in repeated Spencer Stuart studies. It has been suggested that part of the reason for this rapid turnover is the tremendous pressure now exerted on CMOs to quickly demonstrate tangible, high-return results for their marketing expenditures and efforts. While I think that pressure is real and causative to the CMO revolving door, I think there is a deeper reason behind the volatility of this position. Namely, there are a lot of CMO 1.0 executives in what has rapidly become a CMO 2.0 world.

April 04, 2008 | Greg Ness: Planning: The Condensed Version

imageSeveral years ago, I recall reading some good advice about advertising concepts: Try making the point first with a billboard idea. A billboard forces you to economize your thought process and to really focus on the essence of the idea. A recent Fast Company article highlights a book with the same type of advice for planning and problem-solving: Put it on a napkin first.

April 03, 2008 | Greg Ness: 10 Trends In Social Media Via Aki Spicer

Aki Spicer, a planner at Fallon gave a live presentation last week on 10 social media trends that marketers need to watch. The livecast is gone, but you can still pick up the Slideshare deck above—you’ll want to go to a full screen view of this one. You can also pick up the pdf version here.

April 03, 2008 | Sarah VanNevel: Social Media Campaign Works Wonders for Disney Flick

While Disney’s tween movie series High School Musical (HSM) has been wildly popular among 12 to 14 year-olds, older siblings of HSM fans have probably been more excited about the company’s dance-themed flick Step Up and its sequel Step Up 2 the Streets. Released on Valentine’s Day, the sequel was a surprise hit at the box office, thanks in-part to Disney’s use of social media. A post last month on http://social-media-optimization.com/ discussed the success of Step Up’s MySpace campaign.

April 03, 2008 | Lon Keller: Podcasters:  Don’t quit your day job—just yet.

Those of us in the podcasting game, both subscribers and producers alike, have listened for the past 4 years on how podcasting could allow a content producer to quit their day job and reap the rewards of financial freedom.

Recently, Michael W. Geoghegan posted some very insightful thoughts on the topic, going as far to say that podcasting is a community rather than an industry.

April 01, 2008 | Mark Sjurseth: Sprint Bets Big in Vegas

Today was a big day for Sprint at Las Vegas trade show CTIA Wireless 2008. CEO Dan Hesse announced several new devices.  The most significant of these reveals is the Samsung Instinct.

Look Familiar?

April 01, 2008 | Greg Ness: A Fresh, Getting-Your-Career-Started Point of View

For the last several years, I taught an advertising class as an adjunct professor at Concordia College. It was a rewarding experience. As part of my class requirements last year, students were to start and maintain a blog. One of those students was a promising and bright designer by the name of Christopher Nuernberger. His blog was entitled “Shades of Gray” and he is still blogging today under the same title about a year after his graduation.

In fact, if you are just starting out in design, marketing, or communications, Christopher’s thoughts and insights might be especially helpful for you. Many of his posts deal with the challenges of getting started in the business, and he is writing this from the relevant viewpoint of his own personal perspective. I heard from Chris recently, and he now has a great job and many regular blog readers. Good job, Christopher.

March 31, 2008 | Greg Ness: We All Need A Little Downtime

Just got back from a week in the wilds of Utah hunting light and photographic landscape icons with my camera. There are a few photos from the trip here on Flickr. I was offline (= downtime) for about a week, and that felt good until I attempted to catch up on all my RSS subscriptions. Yikes! Why didn’t the world take a time out while I was gone? On a side note, I can’t believe how much richer (and accurate) the colors appear on Flickr with the Safari Browser rather than Firefox.