Purchase Influences, Web Tracking Standards, Free Product for Bloggers and the New PR

We continue to make some headway in our backlog of stories. We are also testing a new presentation of the stories with the story title and source listed first followed by a brief comment and then a short quote from the story. Also the title of the blog post will suggest the contents of the post. Finally, following each story we will add a question.? The main purpose of this question is to possibly generate comments or discussion.

Highlighted Marketing Stories:

Global Advertising: Consumers Trust Real Friends and Virtual Strangers the Most (Nielsen) -? offers research showing what sources consumers trust when they are looking for information.? While the included graphic is titled ?Forms of Advertising? it is questionable whether two of the three top forms ? Recommendations from People Known and Consumer Opinions Posted Online ? are really considered advertising. We describe advertising, and promotion in general, as being mostly controlled by the advertiser and not by the customer.? Even so, this story has good data.

Ninety percent or consumers surveyed noted that they trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 percent trusted consumer opinions posted online.

Any surprises on the higher ranking of traditional media ads compared to new media?


Industry Tightens Its Standards for Tracking Web Surfers (New York Times) – discusses how the online advertising industry is hoping to keep the U.S. government from imposing restrictions on how website tracking information is collected and used.? This is mostly an issue of consumer privacy and the biggest names in online marketing may soon change how they track customers.

Some privacy advocates have been pushing for more stringent rules, saying, for instance, that consumers must explicitly approve all data collection.

What is the benefit to online advertisers for placing more restrictions on their tracking?


Approval by a Blogger May Please a Sponsor (New York Times) – The U.S. government may also be interested in the practice of providing free product to bloggers who then post their reviews which, of course, the marketer hopes are positive.

The proliferation of paid sponsorships online has not been without controversy. Some in the online world deride the actions as kickbacks.

Will bloggers lose credibility if they have to identify the products they are reviewing were obtained free from the marketer they are evaluating?


Spinning the Web: P.R. in Silicon Valley (New York Times) – an excellent article looking at how the public relations industry may be changing.? One telling statement:

In the new world of social media, P.R. people must know hundreds of writers, bloggers and Twitter users instead of having six top reporters on speed dial.

What really is the function of a P.R. person in a new media economy?