The future of search results is now

In 2008, there has been much talk about Google's plans to customize their search results. Many speculated major changes to come in 2009, but the end of 2008 has already provided us with some interesting tweaks. If you've performed a search in Google lately, you may have noticed some new icons housed next to each listing. The future of customized Google search results is here. Google calls it SearchWiki and it's for users with a Google account. Here's how the…

The evolution of choosing a doctor

As the Internet evolves it takes many industries along for the ride. One such industry is healthcare. Way back in the old days, more popularly known as the ‘90’s, healthcare customers would rely on word-of-mouth references and telephone books to find a family doctor. But oh how the times have changed. Nowadays, the Internet has molded us into a research-intense society. We can go online and scour the Web to help find qualified doctors. Thanks to user-generated content, some sites…

Moments of Truth

These days it’s hard not to read the news, turn on the TV or go for a walk without someone talking about the economy and bailouts for the financial and automotive industry.  Usually this news is followed up by a story that some company, who is begging for money is also throwing lavish training seminars at spas across the country or taking private jets to Washington. What I find interesting is that these corporations, these marketing icons, are making such…

Obama & Xbox…

Barack Obama is the first African-American president-elect of the United States, but that is not the only way he made history… Obama also made political history by being the first to place presidential campaign ads in online video games. Obama featured Internet ads in 18 games through Microsoft Corp's Xbox Live service to promote his online voter registration and early balloting drive in 10 states – Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin. All…

Do you want to be a leader or a follower?

It’s funny to me how it seems that the first thing companies tend to do in economic hard times is “trim” (PC word for cut) their marketing budgets.  I can understand that need to cut back spending during downturns but to cut back marketing dollars seems counter intuitive to me.  When budgets tighten, sales become even more elusive to capture so you would think that your marketing efforts would strengthen not weaken. Instead of cutting the dollars that help generate…

Voiceovers Can Work Quite Famously

Whether you’ve heard it on the radio on the way to work or saw a spot on television, chances are good that you’ve been exposed recently to a commercial backed by a famous celebrity voice. And while this technique for selling products isn’t new, I’m curious to know if people today are receptive to it. Call me a sucker, but I’m a fan of the celebrity voiceovers – especially if they make sense with the product. Take the latest campaign…

INFRINGEMENT…OR JUST FREE ADVERTISING?

Over dinner recently, I found myself in a discussion about the importance of “policing” trademarks. The man who raised the subject described being chastised by a friend for misusing the brand name TiVo®. Their conversation had gone something like this: “I really like that show. I always TiVo it.” “But you don’t have a TiVo.”“OK, no, it’s not literally a TiVo –– just a DVR.”“Then you can’t say ‘TiVo.’ It’s trademarked.” Technically speaking, the man’s friend is correct. Intellectual property…

Effective Associations

Change. Over the past year Americans have learned to associate this single, simple word with hope, political reform, and a particular individual who promised both. Though the word is neither new, trademarked, nor rarely used, through successful marketing the word change has been universally associated with a single politician and his political ideals. While this is an example of a positive, effective, and universal word association, I have recently come across what I feel to be a less successful attempt….

This is Who we are!

Did you ever noticed how symbols created for certain reasons were also used for other purposes as well? Groups have taken symbols and other icons to represent themselves and let the world know who they are by what they carry.This is how they branded themselves to be distinct. Some symbols are used for nationality. For example, one good example is the cloverleaf. It’s a plant but somehow it made its way to become a symbol for Irish people. The same…

Generic vs. The Real Deal

I know that in times like these, my brand loyalty is constantly being tested. Whether I’m standing in the middle of the cosmetics or detergent aisle, I seem to second guess myself. “Do I go with the cheaper generic brand or the slightly more expensive and familiar brand? Do I go with the brand I know and I am used to?” Yes I know the generic brand is probably made at the same manufacturing plant as the pricier brand, and…