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Issue #13, August 4, 2010Top
The Digital Front  
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An Intelligent Look at Interactive Advertising and Media
In This Issue
Site Tracking
The Digital Front
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FeatureThe Latest Hot Point on Privacy: Site Tracking
By Kendall Allen
Just as the industry as a whole keeps a watchful eye on privacy issues, legislation and the landscape at large -- we stay tuned to these matters at Laredo Group. There are implications for all of us, as advertisers and their agencies; publisher sellers and ad operations folk; and a whole ecosystem of third-party tracking and data management companies.
NewsKeysFrom the Frontlines of Digital
In every newsletter, we will share links to articles and headlines of note across the following areas we consider essential coverage, with our thoughts on why they are required reading.
consumerConsumer Insights
In an increasingly cross-media world, where consumers actively experience or use media in a more integrated way, we always welcome an acknowledgement on media exposures. Things such as the last-click standard don't help. Even better, we appreciate the stats on how consumer action is impacted by sequences of behavior. Take a look at this piece on the significant combined influence of well-executed TV and online advertising.
Ad Exposure On Both TV and Online Delivers Big Time - Media Post
MilestonesMedia Milestones
Within the ad economy, building and scaling publishing businesses requires constant attention to pricing models, selling practices and efficient sales infrastructure. We know this to be true. But this intricate consideration is made weightier in an increasingly complex publishing environment - where assets include all manners of content, video, individual and network media assets. Selling direct or selling through rep firms is always an important evaluation on numerous levels. But, in today's environment, the cost-benefit analysis is just not so straightforward. We like this piece's straight outlining and sorting out of the matters at hand. It's a very current and honest take on the scenario.
Why Ad Rep Firms And Networks Might Start Buying Content Sites - Media Post
DigitalDigital Creative
The role of the homepage - both in our businesses and in the media lives of consumers - will continue to fluctuate. In a fragmented media world, with social media playing an increasing role in conveying a brand - the homepage is often less consequence. Gone are the days of the URL= your brand online. This article does two things: it still celebrates the brand that gets the homepage right and provides some examples. But, it also addresses the shifting importance of the homepage, today. A good perspective piece for keeping us aware of these dynamics.
Home Page Improvement  - Brandweek
DealsDeals of Note
Some deals are simple signs of maturity. As the market has continued to watch Glam, the announcement of the company's acquisition of an ad-technology start-up is of interest. Glam has continued to advance its publishing operation and network over the years and this deal shows a commitment to increasing both the efficiency and productivity of the relationship between the buy and sell side, powering a smoother transactional environment. It will be interesting to see exactly how the company goes about scaling its publishing environment capitalizing on the additional firepower of this technology.
MobileState of Mobile
We know that with smartphone penetration and consumer acceptance of mobile messaging being at their hilt - there is great opportunity. While it is true that some marketers are not sure where to begin with mobile - from campaign mechanics to creative options to messaging strategy and implementation. But, as with any consumer marketing - mindset and channel preference rule. So, the consumer's standing right now bode well. This piece highlights the opportunity of the here and now quite well.
ABI: No Mobile Plan? It's Time To Get One - MediaPost
VideoVideo Evolution
Though evolution is a favorite theme in our discussions on media and emerging channels, we of course favor an honest look at the warts. One of the most plaguing aspects of understanding our own evolution has been measurement standards. Spotlighting how far the industry still has to go, a recent piece on Hulu's online audience stats showing a severe drop - is fascinating in how alarming it is. Read on for the specifics. But, suffice it to say the article's reference to "fun-house" quality of reporting sometimes does not feel far off the truth of the matter. We still have a long way to go on standardizing methods of measure.
PublisherPublisher News
The use by political entities of online marketing has been an experiment to watch. In addition to much of the activity we've seen in local markets supporting regional politicians - successful large-scale initiatives and digital zeal shown by the likes of the Obama campaign, indicate a trend. This piece detailing plans by AOL to create a hub for political marketers is just plain interesting, showcasing a fun development that should help advance this particular online sphere of activity.
SocialSocial Media
It's a common point of view that social can and should be used to harness the influence and connective power of the consumer to transport brands. Brand advocacy can be stirred and flourish in the strongest social networks. But, it remains that marketers are not quite sure how to really harness this exchange - connect with and learn from the consumer, benefit from the consumer's networked influence and really grow the relationship. This piece takes a look at the remaining disconnects between marketer and consumer - despite a social environment that is alive and well with valuable consumer activity.
FeatureContThe Latest Hot Point on Privacy: Site Tracking
Continued from above
While the coverage is deep and daily, from activities in Washington D.C. to the frequency of merger and acquisition headlines, to new developments in self-regulation -- it has reached an especially high pitch in recent weeks. In the past week alone, industry chatter has hit an all-time intensity with the rolling of out of investigative work at - an extensive package detailing its exploration of practices of consumer data gathering by the Internet's largest U.S. websites.
In "Sites Feed Personal Details to New Tracking Industry," the authors reveal the scope and method of their investigation, site by site - and essentially open a more aggressive dialogue on industry practices and emerging trends. The reaction even among experts in different camps has been broad and varied, a range undoubtedly due to relative levels of buy-in and comfort with the intricacies. The blogosphere is on fire. Take a look, when you have a moment.
This unveiled WSJ study examines and analyzes in great detail the cookies and other surveillance technology that publishers have implemented. The revelation and the premise entered by WSJ is that this tracking of consumers is now far more widespread and invasive than the public at-large really has ever understood - and it argues that understanding has always been somewhat limited to media elite and thought leaders. True, the divide between what the public and the trade understands and accepts has long been a point of contention in the press. But, this piece provides an entirely new lens and level of analysis. Also, notably, the piece gets into and provides a view on the space of the middleman, the intermediary entities, brokers and networks that play in the ecosystem. Objectively - we all need to know this space and who occupies it.
Levels of understanding are essential to us all, as we play in the ad economy and live our lives as avid media consumers. Regardless of your intellectual or practical points of view, it's essential that we all evolve our understanding and knowledge specifics. Today, we point to this first highly visible - potentially high-impact - read in a series worth following, in the context of our continuing professional development and ad economy business savvy.
CourseInfoInteractive Advertising & Digital Media Seminars
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Intelligent Selling of Interactive Advertising Courses
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Intelligent Search Engine Marketing for Professionals
Intelligent Social Media Marketing
How to Build & Manage a Digital Agency or Division

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