Tag Archives: online
I would not want to be in this space at the moment. It is fiercely competitive and every man and his dog has a new angle on targeting, tracking, bidding and the like. Digital has always been like that, a constant stream of questions from clients, planners and other agencies along the line of – ‘you heard of x company, apparently amazing, can you have a look at it for me?’ Being on the inside of a technology company must feel like that at the moment, especially big ones like Google and Microsoft.
The energy at the moment is focused on biddable media whether that be ad exchanges, search of Facebook API and therefore companies have come along like Marin and Kenshoo to challenge the elite. They are new and shiny and fast and they produce product roadmaps about 6 months ahead of the slightly larger more sluggish rivals.
Teams in Doubleclick now are constantly being asked about what can be integrated into their systems like DART search, it’s a fair question because the market is moving so quickly the agencies are having to adapt rapidly and therefore they need their suppliers to do the same. Deep integrations that are hard to move is not a good enough reason to stay with a supplier. It’s not however as simple as doing the usual Google bashing or Atlas bashing, I have some sympathy for them. When they change one thing it has to deliver against all their other systems and make sure that nothing falls over. With great volumes and large customer bases comes a big responsibility to not mess up. Some start up with 5 clients can afford to mess about a bit and change things as it pleases with little or no impact, Google can’t do that.
I would like to see what happened if an agency said to one of these new companies – OK I will move all our spend to you, we want 24.7 customer service, technical support, migration in weeks, nothing to go wrong, we want to check all your contracts and privacy set ups and all the rest. Simply, they would not cope. So on that basis I think we have to understand that there are many pretenders to the crown but they could not all make it and its easy to bash the big boys.
Nevertheless it must be hard work right now and I don’t envy them. Sometimes things just do not work, today we saw the end of Google Wave. Of course we did, it was a nightmare. A small part of me does think though that those resources could be redirected into services that meet the real needs of customers rather than so many experiments. How is Buzz doing?
Outside of that particular field there are so many companies selling data, targeting and tracking. They all want a piece of our client’s websites, they all want a test, it is a minefield out there and sorting the wheat from the chaf for agency digital planners is extremely hard and often hard for the companies to differentiate themselves. I have not seen so many new companies selling their wares since 2000, they wont all make it and as agencies we need to somehow back the right horses..
I have just received an email in my inbox proclaiming free listing this weekend on ebay!! What a deal, that will save you about £1. What they dont tell you is that they will charge you up to 10% of the final value of your sale, no wonder they want to give you free listings.
I would very much like to see the inner workings of ebay, the day the board sat around and said ‘ I know, lets change terms and conditions, noone will read them, and charge a percentage of final value. How much do you think? umm what about 10%? Sounds good to me. Done’ This is crazy business and I am sure has made them millions but it leaves a sour taste when you have been a regular user of the site, it also makes me feel that it again lets down the web in the eyes of the consumer. Its all too easy to just hide things in sections on a site or send a random email noone reads and anyone who knows ebay knows its a nightmare to find anything to do with customer service. The web needs to clean up in this regard, if you walked into a shop and got lumped with new charges you would just walk out, with ebay, the first you know about it is when you get your end of month bill. In my case that was £33 for one sale.
In the old days you paid lets say £3 for a listing and thats with all the bells and whistles. Now you pay for the listing, lets say £3, again a little extravagant. You then get a bill for about another £30 on a £300 quid item! On top of that you pay by Paypal and they take their cut, before you know it you just lost about 12-14% of your sale. It is a joke. For that reason, I shall never sell on ebay again, its all going to charity.