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consumer content - MarketingRev - Tech News for Marketers

Archive for the 'consumer content' Category

October 30th

PhindMe Launches Mobile Marketing Suite

Christopher Kenton

With the growing popularity of Web access through smart phones, the need to optimize and customize content for mobile users is creating a growing market for design and dev tools that simplify mobile marketing. PhindMe is out of the gate with one of the first self-service mobile marketing suites for marketers and agencies looking to develop marketing content optimized for iPhone, Blackberry, and the new Android platform which will power T-Mobile’s G1 Google Phone.

Recent surveys by Azuki Systems found that four out of 10 Internet users surfed the mobile Web for two or more hours every week, and 62 percent of mobile users surveyed said they either already owned a smart phone or would own one within the next 12 months.

That’s Joe Barone, a former board member of the Mobile Marketing Association, and now an advisor of PhindMe, explaining the primary market driver for their platform. With an estimated 140 million people actively using SMS, the market is clearly sizeable. According to PhindMe, the compelling features of their latest agency-friendly release include:

• Improved mobile Web publishing providing optimized content rendering for any mobile device, including dedicated styles for iPhones, Blackberry and Android-supported devices
• Private label system that manages individual client accounts and provides business client access in a partner-branded portal
• A simplified user interface that supports text campaigns and a content system for creating mobile Web pages and user management features
• New features for client business pages, including a fully wireless carrier-certified permission-based marketing system and an easy, informative sign-up process for users

Now if they can just create a stupidity filter that prevents over-eager agencies and businesses from migrating spam and annoying ads to mobile devices.

Category: Advertising, Mobile Marketing, consumer content | 4 Comments »

April 30th

Baynote Announces Community Driven eCommerce Solution

Christopher Kenton

Baynote caught my eye at the Web2.0 conference in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. They weren’t in a typical exhibit booth with screaming graphics and clever tchotchkies. They were at a small stand-up table in a mosh-pit of other companies doing speed pitches to the constant stream of attendees walking through. But they stood out because they do something different and highly compelling. They continuously analyze traffic patterns on a Web site’s pages in order to dynamically optimize search engine results, navigation and content. In essence, they leverage the actual behavior of the crowd to dynamically shape what gets served up to subsequent visitors, rather than relying on the experts or editors to manually determine content. They’ve been proving their value on sites ranging from Interwoven’s enterprise knowledge base to Intuit’s mission critical TurboTax web application.

Today Baynote is announcing a new addition to their product line, a solution they’re calling Community-Guided eCommerce, which leverages their analytics-to-optimization capabilities to serve up product and content recommendations. Like their other hosted solutions, the new application works behind the scenes to analyze about 20 heuristics that provide a clear picture of user behavior and decision-making–not only what links buyers click on, but more hidden behaviors like where the mouse tracks on a page. The stream of analytics among hundreds or thousands of users allows Baynote to determine, for example,

  • what keywords a user entered to find a particular product
  • what competing products they considered before deciding on a purchase
  • what attributes or options they considered
  • what accessories or add-ons they considered 

Baynote’s Community-Guided eCommerce then uses this data to dynamically generate landing pages that leverage proven search engine keywords, and to provide product recommendations and affinity product links to new users coming into the site. If you’re shopping, for example, for a camera, you might be served up a page that shows that among 2500 people who shopped for the same camera, these were the competing cameras considered, this is the camera most purchased, and these are the accessories most considered or purchased along with their camera. And again, it’s all happening dynamically.

I spoke with Jack Jia, founder and CEO of Baynote, for an hour last week about Baynote’s technology and market outlook. His vision is to change the way content is served up on the Web to more effectively guide users to content they want. User-generated recommendations, popularized by sites like Amazon, represented a great step forward, but they’ve also revealed a lot of challenges. When recommendations are offered voluntarily by users, you don’t really know the motivations behind a recommendation, much less if the recommendation is representative of most users. In most cases, only 1% of a site’s users post any content, and what drives them to post may range from true enthusiasm to a vested but concealed interest in the reviewed product. Jia is more interested in what he calls “the wisdom of the silent majority”–insights gained from what users actions rather than their words.

Baynote’s new Community-Guided eCommerce solution leverages this wisdom of the silent majority to offer a number of useful features and insights to eCommerce sites, which Jia says has increased revenue on customer sites up to 20%. Those features include:

  • Peer-driven Recommendations, which automatically detect shopper segments and serve up product recommendations based on peer group purchasing behavior
  • Seasonality and Fad Detection, which shows shifts in consumer interest and automatically adjusts product recommendations,
  • Product Gap Detection, which identifies products that shoppers are looking for but are not currently offered, 
  • Dynamic Landing Page Optimization, which displays visitor-specific product recommendations based on incoming search-engine traffic
  • Implicit Folksonomy, which utilizes searching, browsing, and purchase behavior to automatically tag all products on the site to increase traffic
  • Built-in A/B Measurement,  which automatically performs visitor split testing 

As a hosted application, Community-Guided eCommerce can be added to any eCommerce site, and it’s being priced on both a subscription and gain-sharing model. Baynote just received nearly $11M in Series B funding from Disney this month, and they’re lining up Class A customers like Motorola, Intuit and Fannie Mae. Based on their technology, vision, backing, and the impact of their products on revenue, I’d expect them to be a worthwhile investment and not a flash in the pan. I do think they may need to come up with a snappier name for the product, though. Community-Guided eCommerce is descriptive, but doesn’t exactly roll off the keyboard. :)

Category: Analytics, consumer content | 7 Comments »

January 30th

Can You Corner the Review Market?

Christopher Kenton

PowerReviews[tag]PowerReviews[/tag] is getting a lot of buzz for a company that won’t officially launch until sometime late this year. But the company’s potential to aggregate a significant swath of consumer product reviews, and a host of user-friendly features to help customers filter through those reviews seem pretty compelling. Based on the concept of taking Amazon’s review system to the wider Web, PowerReviews will offer it’s review platform for free to online retailers, while centrally aggregating and disseminating reviews across their network. That means consumers can research a potential purchase at their favorite online store, while tapping into a much wider network of customers who have reviewed the same product at other stores. The product will be free to retailers; the company says it will earn revenue from its own shopping portal, leveraging the reviews to drive optional Pay-Per-Click traffic back to retailers.

There are a number of interesting features designed to enhance usability for posting and researching reviews, from a social tagging system to a review summary that filters up the topline takeaways from consumer reviews. One of the more interesting features is Verified Purchaser, which spotlights reviews written by consumers who have actually purchased the product in question, as validated by the retailer.

What makes this product interesting is the opportunity to consolidate a large portion of consumer review data. This would provide huge opportunities not only for advertising, but also for direct market access and research for merchants. Imagine as a merchant having a dashboard highlighting review trends and individual alerts so you can stay more closely in touch with consumers commenting on your products. Instead of having to monitor a huge number of sites, you’d have them consolidated in one place. The site already mentions the opportunity for merchants to “respond to reviews”, but the terse wording of this feature, and the otherwise narrowly defined revenue model suggest this might be a bigger part of the upcoming release than they want to announce. But now I’m just speculating.

What’s useful for marketers to consider is how to keep your ear close to the ground where consumers are commenting on your products. That’s a daunting task in a world full of vastly distributed social sites offering their own forums for product reviews. To the extent that a company like PowerReviews might draw some of those disparate threads together, marketers should pay attention.

Category: Advertising, consumer content | No Comments »