Where do you get your information?

It may come as a surprise to know that Australian’s are now spending more time surfing the net than they are watching television. People are also using the internet to keep up to date with their news rather than bothering with newspapers. What does this mean for your company and its advertising budget? How are other companies reacting to this shift in popular media?

In Australia, the time spent watching TV was, for the first time ever, exceeded by the amount of time spent online, according to a report released on 18 March 2008 by internet measurement company, Nielsen Online. The study showed that Aussies were spending around 13.7 hours per week surfing the net, while average television viewing was around 13.3 hours per week. This year the use of the Internet has continued to grow, but unlike previous years, an increase for TV consumption did not occur. This suggests that television has reached a media saturation point. By contrast, Australia’s active online population is increasing rapidly.

In Australia, 90% of people are broadband internet users. The impact of broadband on how people use the internet has spawned a community of lounge surfers. That is, people are more likely to follow breaking news from their laptop than from any other traditional media source. Fairfax Digital is a good example of a company that has recognized this shift with the creation of Brisbane Times. This media source provides the user with not only up to date news but also links to real estate, jobs and even online dating all from the home page.

The impact of this shift toward a whole of media approach to advertising has seen online advertising make up the lion’s share of a company’s marketing budget. “Online advertising spend was $1523.5 million for 12 months ending June 08, a 27% increase from the previous year” (Source: AIB Online expenditure report). The result of this shift for businesses is they are able to spend a relatively small amount on advertising and achieve saturation of their product. In the past media saturation was a costly exercise across print, television and radio, with the internet emerging as the ultimate marketing tool, advertisers achieve accountability, transparency, and flexibility in their marketing more than ever before. Further cementing this is Google. Google sold more advertising in 2008 than any of the major TV networks or newspapers. (Source: Pomegranate). 
The previous trend has been to purchase high CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) ad buys on high-profile heavily trafficked sites. This year, advertisers are starting to employ holistic targeting methods by merging behavioral, demographic and geographic techniques to attain better results across a wider range of niche sites. A perfect example of how businesses are best using your data to advertise what is relevant to you is ski resorts. Skiing holidays are taken by one of three demographics, the young adventure traveller, the family or the older couple. These resorts use your ‘digital footprint’ to determine which of these demographics you fit and then market only what you are interested in, that is an older couple would not be interested in the fresh fall of powder on the slopes coinciding with the opening weekend music festival. You may have also noticed your online web-mail account, like hotmail’s banner advertising relates to what you are currently talking about. This new evolution allows advertisers control over who is seeing their ads, giving them the power to truly target their demographic, focusing on engaging their customers. 

Customers want to be engaged by infinite choices and networking journeys, and this is why consumer-generated media will become increasingly attractive to advertisers. Interactive communications that connect with core human emotions such as podcasts, blogs, ‘wiki’, citizen-powered news sites, mobile videos and SMS, Facebook, myspace and twitter are the advertising mediums of the future.

iPhone: A revolution in mobile communications


Whether you are surfing the web, taking and sending photos, watching movies, listening to music, making a phone call, playing online games, or getting directions, there is only one device you can count on to do it all. That’s right, I’m talking about the iPhone. Not surprisingly, the 3G iPhone generated a lot of hype. It has begun a revolution in mobile communication and is capturing a young market, with 55% of iPhone owners being under the age of 35. Mark Donovan, senior analyst at comScore explained that “Smart phones, and the iPhone in particular are appealing to a new demographic and satisfying demand for a single device for communication and entertainment, even as consumers weather the economy by cutting back on gadgets.”  


By accessing an infinite range of applications on the App Store; from games to business, education to entertainment, finance to health and fitness, productivity to social networking. There are more than 15000 apps available for download. You can get applications anywhere, as the iPhone uses mobile networks and wi-fi. The App Store works so well, because it’s easy for users. 
The App Store has had more than 300 million downloads globally. Companies / brands / developers want to be seen there, not only because its cool, but because it is global and has a consistent user base. Apple’s marketing machine has guaranteed enough users to warrant the effort that goes into building an application. There is a built-in revenue model for sales of applications through the App Store and plug-ins to immediately enable advertising revenue.

Predictions for a mobile web explosion

iPhone owners are consuming mobile media as much as 10 times more than average phone users. By ushering in the era of the smart phone, iPhones that are able to perform multiple tasks may finally deliver on the long-held promise of mobile advertising.  It’s one of the few areas of media ready for big growth over the next few years, according to a report by the Kelsey Group, predicting that U.S. mobile advertising revenues will balloon to $3.1 billion by 2013. The rapid uptake of new 3G handsets such as the iPhone could be set to drive a massive 300% increase in mobile advertising revenue in Australia next year. Technology analysts Frost & Sullivan predicts the $2.5 million Australian advertising market will grow rapidly as consumers embrace increasingly cost effective 3G mobile data services. They also say that the current six million 3G handset subscribers in Australia is likely to increase largely over the next two years.

Advertising to your audience

Behavior advertising is what smart advertisers are using to target specific audiences. Behavior targeting advertising is a fantastic tool for business in reaching their target audience through utilizing their ‘digital footprint’. It works using information collected on an individual’s web-browsing behavior such as sites they have visited or the searches they have made, to select which advertisements to display to that particular individual. This helps businesses deliver their online advertisements to the users who are most likely to be influenced by them. And it helps your customers gain information personalised to their interests by analysing their actions online and only showing them related content or ads.

So how can you make this form of advertising work for your business?
The key is, knowing your customer. This form of advertising works so well because it is based on ‘actual’ rather than ‘predicted’ behaviour. Traditional methods of segmenting audiences are proving less effective. Defining consumers by traditional demographics is not as effective as grouping them by behaviour. Where they go and what they do online is a far better indicator of who they are.

Identifying people by their interests makes for more effective advertising. It enables marketers to reach the highest possible concentration of their target market when they are the most receptive to the message. It gives them the ability to deliver ‘timely’ messaging, based on the sites a user has visited or the actions they’ve performed during their visits. This qualification process through, observing customers online actions, reduces campaign wastage. You can avoid showing an existing customer an ad encouraging them to sign up for a service they already have and instead, focus on cross- or up-sell. This is not only good business but builds all important customer relationships by sending relevant messages and garnering higher response rates.
Joel Crawford from online ad technology firm Eyeblaster uses this example of a user who browses the Virgin website to top up his mobile account. “When this user surfs the Internet, using behavioral targeting, he may be served an ad about another Virgin product, but not one for mobile phones as we know he already has one.”

How can you get behaviour targeting working for your businesses online presence? 
Claria and Behaviour Link offer behaviour tools that rely on users 
downloading an application, which shows them ads based on their surfing 
patterns. Revenue Science helps publishers collect data on users so ads 
can be targeted to relevant segments. MediaBrokers’ tool, by contrast, 
is advertiser-driven, as messages are adapted for prospects and 
customers, depending which stage of the buying cycle they’re at.

As the popularity of blogs and social network sites such as Twitter and Facebookcontinue to rise, some experts believe behavioral advertising will come into its own. This is where a large percentage of users are spending their time and the opportunity exists for advertising to become relevant and more advantageous to consumers and less of an irritant.


Cradle to Cradle


Read it!! William McDonough’s book, written with his colleague, the German chemist Michael Braungart, is a manifesto calling for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design. This book as a must-read for anyone interested in the future of the planet and society. McDonough “argues that we can only think of our future cities if we think about what our intention is as a species….’The goal is a safe, healthy, just world, clean air, soil and power, that is elegantly enjoyed.”

‘Cradle to Cradle maps the lineaments of McDonough and Braungart’s new design paradigm, offering practical steps on how to innovate within today’s economic environment. Part social history, part green business primer, part design manual, the book makes plain that the re-invention of human industry is not only within our grasp, it is our best hope for a future of sustaining prosperity.’ (www.mcdonough.com/cradle_to_cradle.htm)

If you would like to hear more about William McDonough’s inspirational thinking and see amazing practical applications of his work take 15 minutes and please watch William McDonough: The wisdom of designing Cradle to Cradle.


Yours in design,

Pecha Kucha is coming back to Brisbane


Back in town on the 27 March, Pecha Kucha is an evening of short, interesting and inspiring presentations from a cross-section of Brisbane’s design industry. Each speaker shows 20 slides at 20 seconds each slide. Its a chance for designers to jump on their soapbox and present their designs, thoughts and ideas.
For more details on speakers or to check out past events go to http://pechakuchabrisbane.org/
When: 20.20 on 27/03/2009
Where: Queensland Terrace, State Library, Brisbane

Yours in Design,

New Woolworths Logo

Woolies Logo

The branding for the Australian household name that we have all been brought up with has gone through a transformation and is starting to be rolled out in it’s 700+ stores.

Woolworths, known as the ‘Fresh Food People’ is still committed to providing it’s customers with the freshest produce, the best price and the best possible service – which I feel it’s new logo encompasses.

Comments on the new icon from the designer at Hulsbosch:
• “W” for Woolworths
• The icon represents “people,” the upper body of a person with outstretched arms
• food is energy is life
• The round shapes signify friendliness, humanity, approachability and openness.

What do you see in the new Woolies logo? And how are you adjusting to the change in this household name?

Your in Design,

Key Performance Indicators

Whether you are designing a logo or selling a website, you need KPI’s .
Key performance indicators (KPI’s) can be a great help in allowing you to measure all sorts of areas critical to business success. Here are some useful points that have worked for me
1. Set goals & objectives. Once you can identify key areas, for instance customer focus, staff, new design ideas or financial performance, you can sit down and set some goals around these success factors.
2. Draw up a table that lists all your KPI’s and make sure that all your team know what is expected of them to meet the relevant KPI’s
3. Make sure you regularly review and measure each KPI and ensure that your team is aware of the results.
A great resource to start you thinking is the KPI library, where you can look at the kind of things other people are coming up with as a measure of their business progress, and it is free!
Yours in design

Efficient Website Styling – using parent ID’s and style-sheet reseting

Anyone who has developed a large website knows that Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) can quickly get out of control. A style-sheet can end up a maze of ID’s, classes and elements in a myriad of combinations and twists intended to produce unique styles for specific regions of a site . Here are two very important measures you can to take for a more efficient style-sheet:

Avoid placing an ID or class on child-elements. When possible, id or class the parent, and then select the element of the parent id. This cuts down on unnecessary code in your body and can reduce the amount of style rules you need. It also allows body code to be uniform and across the board which can help for dynamic solutions such as menus with active states. For example, lets take it as far as we can go and ID the body tag, which is obviously the parent to all elements you will need to style in a website. You could use  body#home h2{} to declare a different rule for the H2 element on the Home Page, while the rest of your site will retain whatever the H2 {} rule is without interfering with the body code! This effectively eradicates the need to ever need inline styling!

Reset your style-sheet! Otherwise your held hostage to the cruel tyranny of the browsers default standards! (As a general rule IE 6 and to lesser extent 7 reluctantly let go of their tyrannous ways. Stay strong and arm yourself with those dirty dirty evil little conditional comments. You will feel dirty and abused for using proprietary tags but at least you made IE submit to you!)To reset a stylesheet you could start with this: body, div, p, img {margin:0; padding:0}. Now you can set the rules not that wannabe browser!

Invisible Brands


Recently I’ve stumbled upon some of Rob Walker’s work in prelude to his new book “Buying In”. In one of his write-ups he talks about invisible badges. According to Walker, badges are signals that suggest a tighter relationship with the brand producer and the brand consumer.

Walker observes that people no longer buy stuff to impress others, rather to impress themselves. This means that logos are becoming less important indicators of status. Look no further than the high-end fashion industry where logos are shrinking.

Christian Louboutin has made red soles the staple of his shoe line. Bottega Veneta bags are identifiable by their intricately weaved patterns. Rolex is known for the weight of its watches and Armani for the slender rounded shoulders of its men’s blazers.

Intended for small affinity groups rather than mass markets, these companies are creating brand undergrounds where consumers need to be fully indoctrinated in the brand cultures to fully understand their subtle signaling.

This is a liberating trend for brands with strong belief systems like Zappos that pays their employees to quit or Gourmet that believe that there is no conflict between mixing high fashion and streetwear pieces. Companies with substance can now start to tell richer brand stories through the product themselves.

Moving forward the miniaturization of logos will become more prominent, where embedded clues, colors, fabric and materials will become the main brand identifier.

Courtesy of George Crichlow, 25 June 2008, www.wolffolins.com

Yours in design, Janet-eratops