Articles in the Techniques & Strategies Category

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March 17 2008

The Weak Dollar Presents the Need to Expand Targeting Parameters

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As a Client Strategist, I am often the person that my clients go to for advice about their CPC campaigns and reaching their target audience. Recently, I have had several of my US based clients interested in targeting the Canadian market. Their interest stems from the struggling US economy and a desire to broaden their targeting parameters.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past several months, you are aware that the US dollar is extremely weak right now. I am sure that many of you are experiencing the hole in your wallet while filling up your SUV and/or taking a trip to the grocery store. It seems that the cost of everything is increasing dramatically, while the US dollar decreases in value. Several businesses are feeling the effects of the weakened dollar and are desperate to market their product/service outside of the struggling US economy.

According to a recent article I read, the United States Department of Commerce released 2007 tourism figures that demonstrated how the weak US dollar is bringing more people from overseas to the United States, especially people from Europe. At the end of February, the Euro was trading above 1.5 dollars- which was an all time record. It seems that people who are coming from overseas are taking advantage of the weak US Dollar by buying property within the United States, going on shopping excursions, and traveling to different areas of the United States that they may not have traveled to before. I cannot blame them! The value of the Euro surpasses the Dollar, therefore resulting in more “Bang For Their Buck”, or in this instance their Euro.

Therefore, if you consider setting your target parameters to areas outside of the United States, Canada might seem like the next logical place due to the common language, but don’t forget about Europe. With the value of the Euro at a record high, it might be beneficial to reach this target audience, especially if you are a real estate or travel company. Some of the concerns one might face, could be: how a company from overseas will react to a US based company/product, how a US based company will handle the language barrier, and the ignorance about an international market in general. Although those are valid concerns, I think it is worth the effort to investigate the situation and evaluate expanding the target parameters. There are several people interested in coming over to the US right now for plenty of different reasons, such as the ones mentioned above. Capitalize on their interest and increase your sales revenue by testing and targeting different markets. You never know how it could work, until you try it!

February 22 2008

Search the Internet Through Your Television Remote

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Integration between Television and the Internet is one step closer. The Internet has always been a medium for people to get what they want, when they want it. It is a place where people proactively look for information and/or products. Television, on the other hand, has always been more of a “lean-back experience”. A place for people to relax, watch their favorite show, and often get bombarded with commercials (at least before the fabulous invention of TIVO and DVR). Television has never been recognized as place to proactively gather information, until now.

Samsung seems to have found a bridge between the Internet and Television through a device the company is calling See’N’Search. The new tool allows you to access the internet without using a keyboard or a PC. This new tool automatically pulls content from the Internet to match whatever television show you are watching. According to Mashable, “The new See’N’Search is a set-top box that reads the closed captions on a television show, as well as listens for keywords, to search for related Internet articles to the content you are currently watching. Say you’re watching the news and they do a story about the President; links to information on the President will appear at the bottom of the screen. For programs such as scripted shows, the system will pull up information on the actors as well as whatever they are discussing in the show. Furthermore, while it may be annoying to have information covering the bottom portion of your screen, you can instead choose to have any requested info sent to handheld devices or a computer connected to the local network.”

With any new technology, the question then becomes, will consumers find this tool useful or annoying? I am guilty of multi-tasking, which is why I am torn on how I feel about this product. When I get home from work, I often use the internet to search for a restaurant nearby, while using my DVR to watch my favorite daytime television show, and usually chatting on the phone with family or friends about my day. Multi-tasking is something that I am used to. Would this new tool from Samsung relieve some of my activities at night, or would it become more of an annoyance than a useful tool? While I am trying to relax and watch TV, do I really want to be bombarded with search results at the bottom of my screen? Also, would this type of technology be a fit for every type of television show? For example, I understand how this technology would be useful when watching a news clip or television about the President and/or any topic he or she is talking about, but what if I was watching “Everybody Loves Raymond”? What type of information would be made available to me? I am assuming articles and video clips related to the actors on the show, but truthfully, I don’t really care to learn more about that? I watch “Everybody Loves Raymond” for a good laugh, not to learn everything about the actors in the show.

Either way, the news is pretty exciting! With this being one of the first steps toward integration between the Internet and Television, it seems that the digital media space is joining together to try and make our lives a little bit easier and more connected. I am excited to learn more about this new technology and how it will evolve in the near future.

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