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Author: Ashley Friedlein
I started out working in digital TV and multimedia production. I then worked at the Financial Times on arguably the first commercial application of Video on Demand (1996) before getting involved with FT.com as a Producer / Project Manager.
In 1997 I moved to digital communications agency Wheel as the third person in the then 'internet team'. I went through the dotcom boom, seeing Wheel grow from 30 people to 450 in just 3 years, and was involved in launching sites for M&S, Abbey National, IPC Magazines, Autoglass, Channel 5, AMP etc.
Following the dotcom crash (which saw Wheel shrink back to a more modest 90 or so staff) I left and spent a very pleasant sabbatical year writing my second book in the South of France. I then returned to the UK and from June 2002 I have been running Econsultancy full time.
With the rise of user-generated content ('UGC') and blogging, there is a growing need to be able to monitor, engage with, and respond to what is being said about you, your brand, product or service online.
But what tools, products or services are out there to help you track, analyse and report on all this activity?
For a long time we at E-consultancy have been banging the drum of how powerful 'traditional' PR and Online PRare as forms of online marketing. Particularly in terms of driving search activity and natural search rankings.
So I was interested to read which terms were the most searched for on Google in 2006...
At a recent conference of big retailers in the US, Google paid search marketing was described as ‘crack cocaine’. Highly addictive, but dangerous and destructive in the long term, and something you should wean yourself off.
So what about the UK? Are site owners also wanting to kick their Google habit? And if so, how can they?
A recent New Media Age cover story titled “Search agencies feel the heat as media agencies muscle in”, which outlines recent big account wins by media agencies (like Carat Digital, Diffiniti etc.) at the expense of specialist search agencies, has excited much debate.
So which is right? Why would you go with a media agency, or a search specialist? Is paid search just a media buy, or something more?
There continues to be a tension between web design that is “highly-designed” and web design that is accessible and search engine friendly. The former sites tend to be Flash only or rely heavily on DHTML.
So it is possible for a site to be beautiful but accessible?
Dr Martens has launched a new website at freedm2.com through Saatchi Interactive. The site aims to increase engagement with customers using a range of multimedia interactions and ‘social’ elements, such as creating and sharing videos and music.
But it is all in Flash, you can’t buy shoes, and the registration doesn’t seem to work…
Often marketers complain that ‘IT’ are too inflexible, too difficult to work with, and don’t understand marketing. But marketers too can be guilty of not understanding, or appreciating, what they deem ‘IT’.
A website’s technical infrastructure is a case in point. I believe it is a marketing issue, and marketing responsibility, not an ‘IT’ one.
Speaking as someone who was part of an online marketing strategy consulting team which, during the dotcom boom and bust, went from 0 people to 40 and back to 0 within 6 months, I now find myself wondering - why aren't there more people out there selling themselves as online marketing strategy consultants?