December 11, 2008
We’ve made a decision to stop publishing on Marktd. Despite making changes to focus on the creative/marketing ideas sister site of PSFK.com, we are still unhappy with the quantity and quality of the site.
Marktd started life as a subscription site called IF! which offered ideas to marketers about how to promote their products in a fresh, modern way. It was fairly successful and we got a good number of people pay the $25 subscription - but we felt that the subscription stopped it being read by a large group of people. A few months back we decided to stop the subscription and relaunch the site as Marktd. Since then interest in the site hasn’t really picked up. I would suggest that this is because of a number of reasons:
* We just aren’t that interesting in marketing and advertising. Personally it’s been 7 years since I had a full time job in advertising and the longer time goes on, the less interest I have in the field. Combine that apathy with the fact that only one or two of the regular writing team have ever worked in advertising.
* Many of our readers who work in marketing and advertising don’t seem to be that interested in only reading about marketing and advertising.
* When we do find exceptional marketing ideas that we are interested in, they tend to end up on PSFK.com anyway.
* We launched Marktd because IF! just wasn’t good enough. We’re closing Marktd because the site just didn’t meet our standards.
Maybe one day we’ll think about relaunching it - maybe with a sponsoring partner. From today, the Marktd email newsletter and RSS will change to PSFK content. We’re hoping that the existing Marktd readers will get even better creative ideas content as a result.
December 3, 2008
At our Good Ideas in 2009: Digital salon yesterday, much of the conversation surrounded how our online identities are created, both actively - through our own decisions of what we share about ourselves - and passively - through the actions and perceptions of others. Given that we only have control over half of that equation, how do we ensure that the best and brightest portrait of ourselves is seen by the wider community?
Piers posited his “Red Coat, Black Coat” theory back in 2006, which proved to be a harbinger of conversations to come about approaches to online privacy as the internet extends its reach further into our daily activities. At yesterday’s session, two methods became most evident: one centers around greater transparency. By choosing to let every detail out into the public sphere by our own hand, we’re able to send a clear message that says “this is who I am and I’m okay with that.” Of course, this is a bit of a risky proposition, but a more complex picture with all of its strengths and flaws, is certainly a truer one as well.
The other view that operates alongside the above idea of being “free and open,” is to take a more dynamic role participating in the feedback loop. Developing relationships with not only your friends, but your critics as well, promotes conversation and can lead to understanding.
These lessons don’t only apply to our individual profiles anymore either, but speak to the larger identities being developed at the level of corporations and brands too. Building on this platform, we’re witnessing a trend of businesses starting to raise the bar in terms of the amount and type information being provided to the public, while at the same engaging consumers on a more personal basis.
Online retailer Zappos was mentioned during yesterday’s session as one company that has been able to implement this model in a positive way through the context of their social media-styled employee blogs. Other examples that illustrate this new movement include user generated review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp that enable businesses to directly respond to their costumers and GM Facts and Fiction, an attempt by General Motors to dispel rumors about the current state of their company.
As we begin to see successes from the early adopters of this paradigm shift, we expect more companies will jump aboard and participate. This trend can only lead to a richer consumer experience for all involved.
[image via Michael Martin]
November 20, 2008
Team PSFK are pleased to announce our second book! At this time of year we’re supposed to produce a trends report for 2009. When we all sat down and chatted about it, we thought such a report would be so gloomy and rather depressing. We didn’t want to write about things like ‘trading down’ or ‘discreet consumption’! We wanted to talk about all the inspirational ideas we read and write about every day, we wanted to spread the positivity, we wanted to encourage you to re-ignite the world. Honestly.
So we created Good Ideas In 2009. The 80 page click-to-print book features nine Good Ideas and manifestations of them. We write about design, mobile, collaboration, digital, social media, the long term and much more. Click through to the Blurb site and you can get a sneak peek.
The books are $50 for the softback and $60 for the beautiful hardback. If you’re considering buying reports for your company or just books for your coffee table, we ask you to consider Good Ideas In 2009. We’re rather proud of it. We hope it inspires you yo make things better.
November 17, 2008
PSFK is excited to announce Steve Roberts, CEO and Founder of ShopText, as a speaker in our Good Ideas in 2009 Salon. Steve will be participating in our first discussion surrounding ideas and innovations in the Mobile space on the morning of Tuesday, November 18th.
ShopText has developed a technology that brings the shopping experience directly to the cell phone, enabling consumers and brands to interact via text message. This new model literally takes retail anywhere, to a point where brick and mortar stores and even internet connections are no longer necessary.
Steve Roberts launched ShopText in November 2006. Prior to ShopText, Steve’s marketing and internet experience includes COO of McCann Erickson’s $200 million relationship marketing company MRM Partners, CFO of McCann’s $650 million marketing services companies and CFO of Modem Media (acquired by Digitas in 2004), where he led the company’s IPO in 1999, and drove its profitable growth to a run rate of $160 million in revenue. Prior to Modem Media, Steve held several global and international P&L management positions at United Technologies. Prior to joining UTC in 1990, Steve structured debt financing for radio, paging, cable and newspaper acquisitions and leveraged buyouts in the Corporate Finance Group of Continental Bank (now Bank of America). Steve has an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Middlebury College.
Tickets for this and all other Good Ideas in 2009 Salons are available for purchase here.
Allison Mooney, friend and Contributing Editor to PSFK, will be moderating our first Good Ideas in 2009 Salon on Tuesday, November 18th. The discussion will surround ideas and innovations in the Mobile space as we look ahead to next year.
Allison Mooney has been working in media and marketing for six years and was part of the launch team for Mobile Behavior, a new Omnicom Group company. As the Director of Trends & Insights, Allison manages the group’s R&D lab, NGT, leads behavioral research efforts, and guides thinking on youth trends, mobile innovations, and consumer behavior. She also started and currently runs NextGreatThing.com, which now has readers in over 400 cities around the world. Prior to Mobile Behavior, Allison was the Director of Trends & Research at Fleishman-Hillard. She currently sits on the YPulse Advisory Board.
Hear more from Allison at our Good Ideas session this coming Tuesday. Tickets for this and all other Good Ideas in 2009 Salons are available for purchase here.
November 6, 2008
Starting Nov 18, PSFK will be running a series of breakfast discussions in New York City up until the holidays. We aim to host these Good Idea Salons twice a week about different topics that we hope you’ll find inspirational and helpful as you prepare for next year.
Good Idea Salons are part of our Good Ideas initiative - a campaign of positivity in a time when we need a little.
Good Ideas In Mobile - Tuesday, November 18
Good Ideas In Design - Thursday, November 20
Good Ideas in Collaboration - Tuesday, November 25
Good Ideas In Digital - Tuesday, December 2 (details to follow)
Good Ideas In Social Media - Thursday, December 4 (details to follow)
Good Ideas In Brand Experience - Tuesday, December 9 (details to follow)
Good Ideas In Design II - Thursday, December 11 (details to follow)
Good Ideas In Collaboration II - Tuesday, December 16 (details to follow)
Good Ideas For The Future - Thursday, December 18 (details to follow)
The session is really a conversation with a group of about 30-40 readers. For the first 10 minutes, PSFK will present a thought starter then a number of experts will open a discussion and invite the audience to debate for the next 40-50 minutes. Simple. Time: 8.30-9.30am (Doors @8.15am).
October 31, 2008
LiveRail recently revealed their advertising platform for the iPhone, giving developers the option of adding short commercials to their applications, which would play whenever their app is launched. The positive spin: LiveRail gives developers the chance to monetize their apps without making them charge a premium price - meaning potentially more high-quality, free games and tools for iPhone users. The flipside: more ads, on our screens, all the time. LiveRail also implements a video streaming system that might not sit so well with Apple. As TechCrunch reports:
Apple takes a cut of all premium applications sold through its store, but it absorbs the bandwidth and hosting costs for free applications, charging the developers nothing. If these ads make the one-time payment model obsolete and more applications switch to “Free”, Apple may wind up changing this structure (or even ban ‘intrusive’ advertising entirely).
Developers can tag their apps with keywords to help pair them up with the most relevant ad content, and future versions of the platform will even offer location-based ad options. Watch the video below for more:
October 21, 2008
The allure of the iPhone has unsurprisingly garnered the rapt attention of the advertising industry. With 100 million App Store downloads since it launched and 90% of those downloads being free applications, ad support is a clear way for developers to balance profitability and popularity. Currently, one of the iPhone’s most popular applications is Loopt, a location-based social networking program, but on different platforms and in early development it was sold to consumers for a few bucks. Now, thanks to venture capital backing and further ad-revenue support, Loopt is hoping to be completely free. A similar story can be told of iBeer, which is a simplistic fun application that turns the iPhone into a virtual beer, and more importantly, costs $2.99. Carling caught onto this idea and released their own application, iPint, with the identical formula, but thanks to the corporate backing, provided it for free. CNN reports on this growing trend:
“Consumers are drunk on free from the Internet,” says Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry, a startup that has developed an analytics tool that lets mobile developers track how people use their applications. Farago believes that paid-for mobile services will initially give way to ad-subsidized applications.
September 11, 2008
In another instance of intriguing brand partnerships, following on from HP’s collaboration with fashion designer Vivienne Tam that we mentioned yesterday, the same brand is now joining forces with MTV and their university channel MTVu to produce the TV and online series ‘The Engine Room’, which will feature 16 young creative types divided into four teams as they compete to produce digital art using HP laptops and other Hewlett-Packard products. The contestants will be tracked as they sit in a loft in Brooklyn, New York. Nearly 2,000 contestants from 122 countries submitted 20,000 pieces of artwork to be considered for the series. ‘The Engine Room’ is an example of the growing trend of brands latching on to online programs in a bid to reach out to young people who mostly access the brand online or through their mobile (a growing segment of the target market). It isn’t the first time HP has entered into such a partnership though - their relationship with online video seems to be tried and tested through another previous program called ‘Meet or Delete’ they presented with MTV and ‘Dorm Storm’ with Broadband Enterprises.
From the New York Times:
“We don’t want it to be advertising; we want it to be real,” said David Roman, vice president for worldwide marketing communications at the personal systems group of H.P. in Cupertino, Calif.
“We’re learning as we go not to do so much talking about what we do but rather let people do things with the product,” Mr. Roman said. “That’s where the ‘wow factor’ comes from.”
[via New York Times, image by T.Lawrence Wheatman/MTV via New York Times]
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