Magazines Customize Ads, Regulating Web Tracking, Equity in Failed Brands, More Twitter and the Coconut Water Market

We have been off a few days enjoying an extended weekend and during this time there were quite a few stories.  Here are several and we’ll post more this week.

Magazines Now Create and Customize Ads (New York Times) – As traditional print media struggle against online competitors some are fighting back by adding new features for their advertisers.  As described in this story, a few magazines are appealing to their advertisers by offering special ad services that include designing custom ads.

Hearst has been doing more customized ads lately, and will do about 10 this year, he said. The process is helped by digital photography, which makes it cheaper and faster to shoot and swap different models or settings.

Besides customizing ads, what other methods can publishers use to attract  advertisers?

Pressure Mounts on Web Tracking (BrandWeek) – As we discuss in our marketing tutorials, Internet tracking research has been criticized for methods that encroach on customers’ privacy rights.  This is not a new complaint and once again regulators are being asked to take action.

But now, as it has periodically over the past decade, pressure is mounting from privacy groups, federal regulators and lawmakers for stricter rules governing how Internet advertising targets consumers.

Will the industry be able to regulate itself or will government intervention be needed?

After the Fall: What Really Happens to Bankrupt Brands ( – Brand equity can live on long after a brand has failed.  In this story there are several examples of marketers tapping into a brand’s value after it fell from a position that originally made it successful.

In times past, a bankrupt brand might have been abandoned. But today, bankrupt brands represent a new business opportunity for companies to acquire a well-known name for below-market value and revive it.

What other brands not mentioned in this story were also rescued from a failed situation and remain in use today?

Report: How Twitter Buzz Is Built (FastCompany) – I know we have posted a lot of Twitter stories lately.  But this one has a nice marketing angle as it looks at research on what may be important to stimulate word-of-mouth mentions. If you do not know what “retweet” is then read this story and the linked research report.

A Boston research group called the Web Ecology Project has analyzed 12 of the service’s most popular users over the course of a 10-day period, in order to understand how influence works on Twitter.

So how would a marketing company take advantage of the information discussed here?

Retailers’ Shelves Make Room For Coconut Water (NPR)  – This is a fun story about the marketing of an unusual drink product and what it is taking for the marketers of this company to gain distribution.

Last month, Merrill Lynch released its first ever analysis of the coconut water market. The paper noted that annual sales have grown from near zero five years ago to 30 to $35 million today.

Any chance this product is anything more than a fad?