Don't Drink the Water: NIN's amazing viral campaign

Want a glimpse of the future of marketing?
An example of how entertainment and commerce will be indistinguishable?
The next level of gameplaying, puzzlement and conspiracy theory?

Nine Inch Nails unleashed the most compelling viral marketing campaign yet for their new album, Year Zero. Rolling Stone has a great overview.
It will be interesting to see how many lame imitations this will inspire…and great extensions!

Google Conversion University

There’s a huge amount of info on the various Google sites but finding it is often problematic- they really don’t have an overall portal page for all of their content and products so you have to dig around to find things. This is ironic given that they are the primary search provider (currently estimated at around 75% of all searches). Today I found this treasure trove of articles on optimization utilizing Google Analytics, their free and very powerful web metrics software.
There’s a lot of information here on ways any online business can increase traffic, measure ROI for various activities including SEO, SEM, email campaigns, etc.
By the way if you’re not familiar with the meaning of ‘conversion’ in a web marketing context it means having a visitor take a pre-defined action as a result of your marketing. For example, if you’re selling products with an ecommerce store you can track which Google ad generated a specific sale using conversion tracking. You simply attach a code Google provides to the web address (URL) in the ad. When a buyer clicks that ad Google tracks their path through your site. If they hit a specified page (for example a page that says “Thank You for Buying With XYZ Co.”) a conversion is counted. In this example, you can track the sales of individual products by SKU (stock keeping unit) to determine which ad copy and offer triggered the most sales. This gives marketers the holy grail of marketing: knowing exactly what the ROI is for an ad buy. Once you know you’re making money you can spend more to make more, a beautiful thing. And BTW, that’s why Google has $12 billion in cash sitting around right now.

First Post: Crossing the Chasm

Day one of a blog doesn’t mean much but you have to start somewhere. In my own experience blogging really doesn’t gain momentum until you reach a certain volume of quality posts. Here at Martino Flynn we’ve got sixty plus creative voices, all of whom are invited to blog at will. As an ad agency we’re working our way across the chasm created between by the web and watching as technology gets closer and closer to creative.

In an ideal world technology would be invisible- it would simply work behind the scenes making life better and easier. Unfortunately technology has been historically created by technologists (engineers, scientists, programmers) which has meant that the average person’s experience with technology is overly complex. It has been the same thing in the advertising and marketing world: Digital media was associated with technology and digital agencies handled it. Traditional agencies were associated with creative (design and writing, branding and awareness). This set up a disconnect as a client had technologists building their online presence and creatives doing everything offline. The result was the continuation of technology being separated from creativity. That had to change and it has.

Here at Martino Flynn we’re working to use technology behind the scenes to change the way we work and change the way our clients connect with their customers. We don’t see any divide between offline and online marketing, in fact it’s clear that they have to complement each other. After all, don’t we all check out the web site of any interesting company we hear about? Shouldn’t that web site, the search that helped us find it, the way we heard about it and the way we utilize it all work together?
That’s the question we’re asking across the agency these days.

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