Apparently Quark has just redesigned their logo for the second time within 6 months, and the designer blogs are all over it. Their first attempt by SicoloaMartin used a shape not that unique and also used by others in the design community. An odd choice considering it’s their target market, and how picky we designers are about these things. Now their second try is out and it seems, from the comments, that they’ve gone from a painful shot in the foot with a peashooter to blowing it clean off with a 12 gauge shotgun.
When I made the logo for Headlight, I was a bit concerned that it wasn’t good enough. That somewhere down the road I would discover a situation where it wouldn’t work. I spend around three days making it, which we all know is a bit short to explore all possibilities. But in the spirit of getting things done; that was the time we wanted to use. Now that I see what a respected company that has long been a design community darling can try to get away with, I’m sure the Headlight logo will be just fine.
They probably spent loads of time and money to reach their result, and they haven’t covered half the issues we’ve covered in three days. Ground rule issues like; how will it scale, how will it look in single color, is the shape similar in positive and negative, seems like they’ve been ignored all together.
While Quark struggles with their community, I have yet to find out if the Headlight logo gets the message through. It’s not a question of whether people think it’s pretty or not. Luckily we all have different taste, so of course there will be some who hate it. There will also be people with brilliant imaginations thinking it looks like a parrot in a pirate’s hat. I don’t really care about that, all I’m interested in is the message.
You can’t really tell until you try it in the real world and in its real context, which means just using it and see what happens. If you start asking around, people will be obliged to have an opinion, and we certainly don’t want a bunch of people with opinions on our back. Like Quark, you could end up with a huge amount of coverage and awareness. Oh no, we don’t want that.
Salesforce.com, the leading on-demand CRM solution, is taking the idea of the programmable web (e.g. Mash-Ups via APIs) for on-demand business applications to the next level by introducing a development platform so extensive and so motivating leaving me quite stunned. They call it Appexchange. I see this bring so many added values to all the clients of Salesforce.com and I see so much potential for companies like TraceWorks.com.
Just how big is this? Simon Fell of Salesforce.com says “Sforce [now called Appexchangee] is one of the world’s most widely used enterprise Web services, accounting for over 40% of the total transactions on salesforce.com” - and with $310 in revenue we don’t need help from Einstein to figure out if this is a success or not …
Open Outcry to all (well, most) TraceWorkers
All TraceWorkers directly or indirectly associated with product development should register for an AppExchange Seminar. All TraceDevelopers should visit http://www.salesforce.com/developer/ and gain an insight on to what extend developing a mash-up would be possible. You might also want to add the company’s developer blog to your RSS reader.
Need a better understanding on what the programmable web, web2.0 (ask Pelle), Mash-Ups etc. is all about? Take a look at this website: http://www.programmableweb.com. (Perspective: today TraceWorks.com is only working with two of the APIs listed here, Yahoo and Google).
I can’t wait to begin developing a Headlight/Salesforce Mash-Up solution and I can’t wait to launch our planned enterprise web service for Headlight.
Just learned about a new kind of fraud: “Impression Fraud”. Interesting.
Read more about it here: Google faces pressure from ‘impression fraud’.
An Online Marketing Manager at a new and very hot phone company asked me yesterday in London something in the line of:
A/B testing is an important way to optimze performance in Search Marketing … How do you do this with Headlight?
(I’ll actually end-up answering this question further down)
Well, first of all he’s right that A/B testing is important. With A/B testing you determine the right ads for the right keywords. This will improve your CTR% which is key to lover your CPC (while keeping POS) over time while increasing your ROI% bla bla bla. The method and theory is pretty straight forward. But when I come to think of it; all the marketing managers that I know don’t use A/B testing. Why is that?
The reason is obvious: When your are working with hundreds or thousands of keywords and ads A/B testing becomes Godzilla of complexity and time killing. Most Marketing Managers and Search Managers are already facing quite a huge job in simply doing the basics; keyword research, copy-writing, and finally uploading all the stuff to Yahoo/Google/MSN.
In many cases optimization is reduced to just deleting keywords that are not performing in terms of CON%, ROI%.
Houston, we have a problem.
Well, the actual question was: How do you do this with Headlight?. My answer was: “We do and we don’t”.
With Headlight we have been working on a slighty different approach – than the traditional process. We think of course like everybody else that A/B testing really sucks – that is the manual process of doing A/B testing. Not the purpose of A/B testing itself = locating the best marketing assets or the right combination of marketing assets. It’s fundamental and powerfull.
(BTW in Headlight marketing assets mean 1. Keywords 2. Ads (text ads / image ads) 3. Landing pages.)
We don’t introduce or plan to introduce any easy (or hard) way of manually doing A/B testing with Headlight.
We do introduce some very simple ways in order to apply automatic A/B testing rules to your campaigns.
Actually we don’t call it A/B testing but business rules. What the business rules do is basically A/B testing automatically across all your selected marketing assets (ads, landing pages) in order to detect the most succesful combinations.
The business rules was primarily developed to automatically optimize traditional banner campaigns (served either 1st or 3rd party) on request of Henrik Lykkesteen of Saxo Bank A/S. After being asked about A/B testing regarding keywords and text ads I’ll think we’ll ínvest some time and energy into making this possible with Search Engine Campaigns as well.
We try and do it smart … by doing it for you. Hopefully it turns out just as good as it sounds.
Back in January I emailed this cover story from Wired: “How Click Fraud Could Swallow the Internet” to my colleagues at TraceWorks.com in order to quickly explain why click fraud is a huge problem to all our customers and of course also to explain why this is to be an important part of our upcoming end-to-end marketing application, Headlight™.
Now a new chapter is about to enfold as Google has just agreed to settle a class action click fraud case brought in an Arkansas state court for up to $90 million. More on the .org behind the lawsuit: http://www.lostclicks.com/. Read in depth reporting on the settlement: http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060308-152034.
This means that click fraud is now not only a major problem to advertisers – also Google/yahoo/MSN etc. is troubled by this. And this means that our investment in developing and implementing “click fraud detection/reporting” in Headlight(tm) will probably pay off. That is if Google/Yahoo/MSN etc. acknowledges our findings – time will tell – but with this new settlement I think the chances are pretty good!
More specifics on our click fraud feature as soon as Headlight (beta1) is officially launched.