Target-ing Online Retailers; Forrester ‘Waves’ At Email; Dallaire Leaves, interclick’s Katz Appointed At Yahoo!

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Targeting Showrooming

Identifying yet another digitally-inspired buzzphrase – “showrooming” – The Wall Street Journal reports that mega-retailer Target has had enough of being the brick-and-mortar showroom for online retailers and its telling its vendors to either create products uniquely delivered to Target that better differentiate from competitors – OR make an effort to meet the lower prices offered elsewhere. Read it (subscription). Analyts are dubious this works for certain commoditized products given the cheaper labor costs through the online-only model.

Reviewing Email Vendors

The “Waves” keep crashing ashore at Forrester Research as the latest Wave report takes a look at email marketing vendors. Following their DSP and SSP Waves, a Forrester team of authors led by Shar VanBoskirk chose 6 out of a possible 48 vendors to review including Epsilon, ExactTarget, Experian CheetahMail, Responsys, StrongMail and Yesmail Interactive. Get the free download from Responsys. Responsys and ExactTarget rated the best according to Forrerster. Strongmail and Yesmail were at the back of the pack. Forrester notes that most of the cross-functional marketing service providers (MSPs!) like Acxiom are slowly retiring or stopping investment in email marketing platforms and leaving it to “independent, technology-led firms” to take the lead.

Dallaire Leaves, Katz Takes Lead Sales Role

Seth Dallaire is returning to Amazon as its VP of North America sales according to Kara Swisher of All Things D. Read it. According to his LinkedIn profile, Dallaire was “Sr. Account Manager – Business Development” back in 2002. Dallaire ( Q&A in Aug. ’11) was a key cog in efforts to create better relations with the agency world. On Friday, Swisher reported on next steps in a Yahoo! sales re-org and quoted a Yahoo! internal memo attributed to Wayne Powers saying that, among other moves, interclick CEO Michael Katz “will lead all sales operations and data and performance optimization for the combined [interclick and Yahoo! mid market sales] teams.” Read it.

Do-Not-Track In The EU

European Commission VP Neelie Kros says she supports a ‘do not track’ (DNT) standard, and not just for the EU but the world over. She writes on her European Commission blog, “A global DNT standard would describe the technical details of a ‘signal’ that users can send, to providers, via their online equipment, including their web browser.” She points out this standard isn’t just about stopping tracking if the user wants to do so. It’s also about providing more personalized advertising. Read more.

Pumping Up The Icon

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), who helped guide the online behavioral advertising/privacy icon development as well as ongoing management of its rules and regs, is undertaking an ad campaign of its own to educate consumers. According to the release, the “‘Your AdChoices’ public education campaign designed to inform consumers about interest-based advertising and how to take greater control of their online privacy.” Read more. Ad Age highlights a few examples of the campaign and asks readers, “This new campaign frames the debate over targeting in a more positive light than past efforts, but (…) Will this be effective in changing the public perception of targeted ads?” Unless there’s millions of dollars behind this – with online and TV ad spend – the best effort would seem to be ongoing self-regulation efforts in concert with industry education of regulatory agencies which will disseminate opinion to politicians and consumers.

Math Men And ATDs

Redpoint Ventures VC Chris Moore runs with the “Mad Men” and “Math Men” metaphors in an opinion piece on All Things D. In the course of making the case for the increasingly data-driven world of advertising, Moore identifies agency trading desks (ATDs) are identified as a sign of the times, “In the last few years, the ad agency holding companies have rolled out their own technology-driven digital ad ‘trading desks’ to help their clients take advantage of these ad trading platforms. I wonder if they’ve replaced the scotch in the mini bars with the Math Men’s drink of choice, Red Bull.” Read more.

Clarifying Ad Spend

On ReadWriteWeb, reporter Jon Mitchell pulls from some comScore/AdXpose data and writes, “U.S. advertisers spend nearly $40 billion a year for online advertisements, but 31% of their ads are never seen. That means $12.4 billion will be wasted on U.S. online ads this year.” AppNexus CTO Mike Nolet responds decisively in the comments, “Good job writing a wonderfully dramatic post that is naive and wrong. Online advertisers measure their results well and will average *down* the price based on lack of visibility.” Read more.

Product Does Marketing

If your company is depending on Microsoft marketing spend in the coming year, you may want to make sure your contacts in the various product groups are strong. Ad Age’s Kunur Patel says a reorganization of the marketing function at Microsoft “indicates a larger trend in which product people, often engineers, are wielding more clout in — and even rising to the top of — divisions. For example, in December, engineer Terry Myerson took over as the head of the Windows Phone division and will oversee all its marketing.” Read it.

Google+ Assimilation, WiFi Targeting

Google+ is now an integrated part of signing up for any Google Account says blog Google Operating System. Read it. Google is hellbent on making sure Google+ interest or sentiment-based data is informing targeting and personalization through Google ads, products and services in the future. Meanwhile, on the Google Mobile Ads blog, product manager Morgan Hallmon announced that AdWords advertisers can now target whether a user is connecting via Wi-Fi and by mobile OS. Read it. Hallmon says the WiFi targeting is “useful if your campaign or landing page has high bandwidth content, like videos that you’d like mobile users to access.” WiFi is presumably higher bandwidth than a wireless carrier.

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