RelevantNoise: Keeping track of the political buzz

I’m a big politics buff, so I thought this article was rather interesting as it brings together my interest in interactive media and the world of politics (and its related to a tool I have used and can recommend).

Bloggers and social media enthusiasts on the Internet have weighed in on the recent McCain – Palin ticket, and the responses have pulled the Republican nominee into a virtual tie with Senator Barack Obama in the blogosphere.

I’ve had the opportunity to test-drive the technology behind this — lots of powerful intelligence and analytic tools to help you interpret the “noise” out there.

…according to RelevantNoise(TM), Zeta Interactive’s technology that mines the Internet’s social media landscape — including over 100 million blogs, as well as countless message boards and online communities — the buzz on the Internet regarding John McCain has skyrocketed by more than 12 percent since the announcement of Palin as his running mate, bringing him virtually even with Obama for the first time in the campaign.

I’m rooting for McCain, and was happy with his pick for VP, so its nice to read the good news. From a political strategy point of view, it seems to me that all the attacks on Sarah Palin is backfiring for the Obama campaign and has them off-message.

Since announcing Palin as his running mate, McCain also has benefitted from an increase in positive posts on the online media landscape. According to RelevantNoise, the number of posts that were determined positive in tone increased from 47 percent in the month prior to announcing his VP to 59 percent positive on the day that McCain named Palin. (Click the URL to see the volume and tonal charts) –

Integrated Marketing: Aligning offline and online efforts

Lack of marketing strategy and execution integration seems to be a common challenge to many companies face when there are “silos” within the marketing channels. Inevitably, your customers will end up seeing different creative, different offers, and different price points.

Your integration efforts would probably needs to start at your “List” level. For best integration, you’ll want to make sure all channels are working of a shared List/customer database. Depending on who your customer is, you would then build an integrated segmentation strategy (who gets what channel as well as what offer/incentive, etc.). You will also want to make sure to pay attention to touch points and marketing calendar — you don’t want customers getting a flood of communication from different channels, so keep things on the same marketing calendar and decide how much is appropriate for each segment/channel.

To determine the best strategy, you could run some tests — select a control group and then do some split or A/B testing (DM vs Email, or DM & Email, etc.).

Most experts agree that the evidence supports sending mail first and following with email a week after a timed in-home mail date. You can find some case studies with more information on this at the DMA (Direct Marketing Assocation) website:

I would certainly advice on a cohesive messaging and offer value. We tend to do DM first (strong branding effect, as its in-hand and tangible) followed by a reminder email that reinforces the offer (one week later). I have also seen it to be effective to send “reminder” emails on regular intervals during the promotion period (this will depend on how long your promotion is to last).

Finally, all channels are usually tied to a custom-built micro site that pulls the promo together. Usually, the micro site should be created to match your corporate or product brand. I also like to use tracking links and unique URLs on DM vs Email to be able to measure which creative caused the customer to take action or respond, as well as to test various email creative.

Browser Wars II — Chrome vs. IE7

Sounds like Google is seeing the IE 7 as a possible threat, or perhaps they see a potential market that has been under-served.

Google Chrome is designed to make it easier and faster to browse the Web, by offering enhanced address-bar features and other elements that are very different from those on other browsers. The product will be open-sourced, meaning others can modify the code, according to the report.

I wonder how much of “search” preference is impacted and influenced by browser choice. With browsers having pre-set search tools, more and more people probably just type in their search queries into the browser search fields — which in turn drives the search ad results.

Google has been working on the product for about two years, but work became more serious when Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 7, the Journal said.

Google release a comic book as part of their launch of the new browser, which is scheduled to go out in over 100 countries tomorrow. There is more on the official Google Blog.

As you may have read in the blogosphere, we hit “send” a bit early on a comic book introducing our new open source browser, Google Chrome. As we believe in access to information for everyone, we’ve now made the comic publicly available — you can find it here. We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome tomorrow in more than 100 countries.

Identify Shoppers by Past Purchases… and by Sight

One of the memorable scenes in the Minority Report (Tom Cruise), a Gap billboard mis-identifies Cruise’s character by the “donated” implanted eyeballs he is “wearing.”

“[Cruise] walks into a shopping mall, where his new eyes are scanned with a telltale spark. Mistaking him for the eyeballs’ former owner, a nearby Gap billboard exclaims, “Hello, Mr. Yakamoto! Welcome back to the Gap! How’d those assorted tanktops work out for you?””

Find more videos like this on AdGabber
Marketing Vox has an article on this and covers how several retailers are using RFID to do something similar. Make sure to read to the end of the article where they cover the new cutting edge stuff.

The most exciting new technology for vigilant early-adopting marketers is that of facial recognition:

Cameras embedded in digital screens that can record and identify customers as they roam stores or make purchases.

Facial-recognition technology, like those of YCD Multimedia, capture a person’s image and analyzes features (size and shape of nose, eyes, cheekbones and jawline) against their databases.

The result is a near-instant classification of a customer into a particular demographic (age, sex, even ethnicity), creating the possibility of serving highly-targeted advertisements to individual shoppers, not groups.

Of course, one can already here the shouts of protest over privacy issues (legitimate, but not insurmountable I think).

Tech firms and marketers hope to avoid privacy issues by taking care not to capture or store personally identifiable information about consumers. In June, for example, facial recognition firm TruMedia Technologies committed never to record or store video from the tracking systems in its billboards.

Cool stuff.