Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. - Henry Ford

Google's click-to-play video advertisements go on sale today

The click-to-play video advertisements go on sale beginning today, and will be available to advertisers in the US, Canada, and Japan at launch.

Visitors to sites in Google's network of AdWords publishers will have complete control over the video ad experience Google's AdWords team announced in its blog.

Only a static image will be loaded upon reaching a page containing a video ad. Once started, users can advance the video, pause it, and adjust the volume of the playback. As with other Google ad formats, users can click through it to the advertiser's website.

Google sees the product as one that can be used by smaller advertisers as well as powerful brand names. "This feature makes video ads much more accessible to all advertisers," the post said.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The dos and don’ts of Joint Venture marketing.

There is of course a second way of doing Joint Ventures which is to market your own product to other people’s customer lists and if you’re really clever you can help people sell their own products to their own list in return for a share of the extra profits that you help them make!

So, if you have a good list of loyal customers you should approach (email is fine) people with good products that you think your list will buy. Write a persuasive but short email that explains what’s in it for the person you’re writing to and why it will sell. Do all you can to make it easy for them to do the deal i.e. you need to offer to do all the work!

I would strongly recommend that you offer them at least 50% of the profits as most people will assume that to be fair, but will be mildly insulted by a lesser offer.

Similarly if you have a great product (that your proposed partner does not already have access to themselves) then email them with a suggestion to market it to their list and why this will work. Again 50/50 is the norm.

I would not try the idea of helping somebody to sell their own product to their own list until you have a lot of success and credibility to point to!

Normally it takes very little thinking on the part of the person you are suggesting a JV to realise that a proposal is good but often you will still not get an answer because it looks like it will take a lot of time to organise.

You can overcome some of this issue by demonstrating how much of the work is already done, include links to a sample website and sample sales letters to show you are serious and easy to deal with.

Lastly, since you need to build trust with your partner, unless it’s just too stupid to contemplate, go with whatever money collecting and order processing suggestions your partner wants as this can often make or break the deal.

The posts on JVs come courtesy of Tim Lowe.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

How to manage win-win-win situations using Joint Ventures.

There are many people who have made a great deal of money by selling other people’s products on a Joint Venture basis.

At first glance this can seem like an odd arrangement, the inevitable question that people ask is "why would the owner of a product let you sell that product and keep half the profits?" Why not simply sell it themselves and keep all of the money?

There are two good reasons why product owners do this:

1) If you are already so busy that you cannot find the time to sell anything else yourself you must employ somebody to help you, which costs money and leaves you with the burden of managing that employee and also the headache of what to do with them should sales tail off. Conversely JV partners cost nothing to run if there are no sales and are an awful lot more motivated to get sales than an employee is likely to be.

2) A Joint Venture partner often has access to techniques that the owner may not or a special relationship with his customers that will result in more sales than the product owner could otherwise achieve.

Just looking at point 2 in a bit more depth – imagine that I am going to try and sell a new product to new customers (say that I’ve already sold all that I can to my own customers). Supposing that I decided to rent the mailing lists of other people and send those potential customers a letter (usually referred to as a ‘mail shot’), I might reasonably get between 1% and 2% of those people to buy from me.

However if the person who owns that mailing list has looked after those customers and kept in touch with them, and THEY write to their customers and recommend me then I might sell to as many as 7% or 8% of those same people.

With a $50 product that can amount to $4,000 worth of sales per 1,000 customers shared equally, whereas the list rental would have gained the owner maybe $150.

I should mention that the product has to be good otherwise everybody’s reputation is tarnished.

But with that said, everybody wins, the customer gets a good product, the customer list owner makes an awful lot more money than he would otherwise have made and the product owner can easily make twice as much as he would do by renting the mailing list instead.

Of course the best thing to do is not only to find people with suitable customer lists to do Joint Ventures with, but to actively encourage and assist people in building those customer lists, sort of a win-win-win-win situation!

Friday, May 05, 2006


"Knowledge has to be improved, challenged and increased constantly or it vanishes."

Peter Drucker