Pre-2008 trend season has started.

As every year around this time, all sorts of sites start to publish trends. Along the many lists that get published (and some of which I will subsequently link to), there is one selfproclaimed „Uber“-List, an aggregation of links of the main sites with trends. These trends do not only concern marketing and advertising, but also technology and internet trends.
It does sound a little like a link bait, but that’s fine for me as long as that lists gets updated frequently.

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Heineken Advergame: Google Maps with real life geo tracking.

Heineken in the Netherlands has launched a new advergame which looks interesting. The game asks playes to spot and track the delivery men of Heineken around the Netherlands and find out what their next stop will be. Whoever guesses correctly first, gets the chance to win a Nokia phone. So in a way, this game play is not that complicated or creative.

heineken_maps.jpg

What I admire, is something completely different: Apparantly, these delivery men are tracked in real time with real journey data, during the regular working hours. And this is remarkable. I have also worked for clients with a huge fleet of delivery vehicles and I do appreciate the fact that Heineken managed to include their drivers into this game. Creatives usually come up easily with lots of brilliant ideas how to connect the mobile workforce of a client with a webpage via all sorts of mobile devices like phones or GPS tracking devices. But organisational reality most of the time kills these ideas.

So this won’t have been easy to push through the internal, most likely rather political, approval and commitment chain in order to get the buy in of all the different departments (marketing, distribution, logistics, etc.). Kudos, I like that.

(via)

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Google and the liberation of mobile phones

Clever, very clever indeed. Google announces the Open Hand Set Alliance and liberates the 33 participating mobile phone operators from the claws of proprietary systems. From the Google Blog:

Android is the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. It includes an operating system, user-interface and applications — all of the software to run a mobile phone, but without the proprietary obstacles that have hindered mobile innovation. We have developed Android in cooperation with the Open Handset Alliance, which consists of more than 30 technology and mobile leaders including Motorola, Qualcomm, HTC and T-Mobile.

It appears to carry very similar objectives as OpenSocial which was announced only last week. Google seems to favour open standards, so that the web as a plattform and mobile phones as the future personal device for everything will stay open and free. This should enable innovation to the benefit of the user, no doubt about that! But it might also serve Google quite well.

Why? I can only guess: Googles revenue models are still mostly built on advertising. So Google needs scalability in customer reach, which they can only keep increasing with ready access to information and users. As social networks are obviously becoming the dominating platforms for users to interact with, and mobile devices probably being the first choice for going „online“, then Google needs to be able to freely play on these grounds.

In the future, I think the key to revenue will most likely not reside in just delivering content, i.e. producing or transporting it, since there will be soooo much of it. And it is very labour intensive to produce it. Instead, it is much more efficient to

  1. intelligently aggregate and sort content (which Google already does)
  2. adequately aligning this content to the needs, preferences – and most importantly: intentions of the users.

Regarding the second point, I think it is fairly obvious that Google should be way ahead of the competition in gathering the necessary user data. Think about Google Toolbar, Google Analytics and Google AdSense, nevermind the main site, the search engine itself. They should have better tracking data than anybody else, which they can put to work for solving the second point above.

One thing that can stop the (nearly) endless scaling of Google’s model into the long tail of every single social media profile and mobile device is „artificial“ restrictions such as walled gardens and operating systems. So: very clever to launch initiatives to at least partially open up social networks and mobile phone operating systems.

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Links & News, 03.11.07

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The first Digital Advertising trends for 2008

Just last weekend, when I was buying grocery for my farewell party from Frankfurt, I noticed that supermarkets already stock christmas cookies and bakery – but it’s only beginning of September…It starts earlier every year it seems, doesn’t it?

Giles Rhys Jones is also rather early: He already predicts the Digital Advertising Trends for 2008. The trends he lists are all about the changing agency landscape. And he’s right about them, I think. The way agencies will work will change (does change already). The skills needed will change, too.

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Links & News, 09.08.07

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The benefits of being a digital addict

At the moment it seems to be a good time to be a „geek“ as the digital addicts in the US call themselves (and think that’s cool). That’s what this article in wired says, at least.

Ad agencies are about to trade three-martini lunches, schmooze-fests and fast-talking account executives for programmers, custom software and anthropologists who can navigate MySpace.

One comment was aimed squarely at all those agencies that are desperately trying to acquire people who understand digital and „interactive“ advertising, which invites consumer participation via digital media — for example, voting on products online or sharing text messages as part of a viral marketing campaign.

„Digital anthropologists are going to be the next people you scramble to hire,“ DeCourcy said.

[…] agencies will need people who can use the tools of cultural anthropology to interpret the overwhelming amount of user-generated data, and come up with strategies for using social networks to sell stuff.

But this trend also won’t last much longer says this article. Two more years, and there will be enough young people ready to fill every remaining gap there ever was. So enjoy while it lasts.

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