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The Best Of Digital Marketing

1st July 2008
The Grange City Hotel, London

Monetise Your Digital Channels And Inspire Consumer Engagement By Capitalising on the Future of Digital Marketing.

Reserve your place at Revolution’s high-level review of 2008’s digital marketing brand best practice, showcasing handpicked award-winners and pioneers from the hottest brand case studies, spotlighting new digital channels that are about to hit the big-time, and looking across the digital landscape to make sure you can create an integrated cross-channel campaign guaranteed to capture attention and keep ahead of the competition.
Special Feature: To guarantee you leaving the conference with expertise that you can apply directly to your campaign, we’ve dedicated time to allow you to book small group time with our speakers

• Multi-Channel Fluidity Develop cross-platform campaigns for the best multi-channel mix
• Monetise Social Media From the creative to the commercial: make social networks produce real business benefits
• Optimise Your Website Explore new options for attract new traffic and streamline your site to convert visitors into customers
• Navigate The Search-Affiliate Landscape Maximise brand potential as the search environment evolves
• Quantify Creativity In Display Advertising Create captivating campaigns with calculable affect
• Perfect Email Campaigns Inspire with fresh design innovations, personalisation shortcuts and attention-grabbing ideas
• Debate Mobile Marketing Is it ever going to be the year of the mobile? Get involved with our down-to-earth, hype-free debate with cross-channel representation

A 360 degree brand-led showcase for all Marketing, E-Commerce and Digital teams wanting to keep their brands at the cutting-edge.

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Win a Free PPC Summit Conference Pass Contest

Pay Per Click Summit is searching for the most effective Search Marketing strategy, tip or technique that increased your conversions!

We’re calling all internet marketers to submit your proven technique or strategy here on this Search Marketing strategy Contest Form:

All you have to do is answer the following questions (noted on the form at the above link). What Increased Your Search Marketing ROI Last Year? What one thing could you point to and say “THAT made the difference!” Please provide two paragraphs describing your most effective SEM tip, technique or strategy. Only one submission per person and make sure to include your name and email in the spaces provided on the submission form. Stand by to see if your Best Strategy submission is chosen as the winner, and you will win a FREE FULL CONFERENCE PASS TO THE NEXT PPC SUMMIT!

PPC Summit will review all submissions and choose one overall winner on May 9. The winner will be notified by email and posted on all contest blog hosts by May 12. If your submission is chosen as the winner, you will win a FREE two-day conference pass to the PPC Summit of your choice (San Francisco May 19-20 or Los Angeles Sept. 25-26).

The PPC Summits are educational two-day Internet Marketing workshops which connect you with the world’s leading pay per click experts. You won’t want to miss the upcoming PPC Summit to learn from the Microsoft Keynote and other industry leaders during two full days of expert SEM and SEO lead generation and sales producing strategies. Stay tuned! The lucky winner will be announced and notified by May 12. The winner will also be recognized on all participating blog host sites.

Reserve your seat today and SAVE 10%, PLUS $200 off with code WMA10

We hope to see you in San Francisco May 19-20.

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The WebAwards is the Best Website award competition

When the Web Marketing Association begin the WebAwards back in 1997, there were plenty of advertising award programs, and some even included a category for online media, but none were devoted to recognizing and improving overall Web development. We changed that!

We think we the WebAwards is the Best Website award competition for many reasons:

We have a transparent process. We tell you what the seven criteria for a successful Website are and let the judges determine how to apply them each year.

Our judges are Internet Experts from around the world that volunteer their time because they are leaders in their industry and understand the value of the WebAwards to Internet community.

All of our sites get sent to the judges – not just a handful of “finalists”. In fact, each site is reviewed by 3-6 judges and the final score is an average of the top two scores.

The awards are industry specific with 96 categories that you can enter. You are judged against your peers, not each industry has a different standard of excellence – just like in real life.

The year we are introducing a new award image plaque with a modern look that will look great on your office wall or in your company’s trophy case.

Winning a WebAward is also a great marketing opportunity. Winners can use press releases to drive traffic to your site and will receive links from our site to help with SEO efforts.

Everyone who participates gets feedback. Some will get specific comments from the judges reviewing your site, but everyone will receive their scores on each of the seven criteria and benchmark those scores against your industry averages.

Everyone who participates will also receive a copy of the 2009 Internet Standards Assessment Report which provides more than a decade of benchmarking data for your industry.

It is simple to enter and last years sites can be reentered with a single click from your nominator account.

If you have not entered theWebAwards yet, now is the time to give it a try. It’s effortless to enter. Simply go to the WebAward Website, create a nominator account and enter information about your site. The Web Marketing Association will send their independent expert judges to visit the site using seven criteria for an effective Website. If your Website has the highest score in your industry, you will receive a Best of Industry WebAward and a beautiful plaque for your trophy case. Other sites will be recognized with an Outstanding WebAward or a Standard of Excellence WebAward. All entries will receive their scores in each of the criteria benchmarked against their industry and overall Web development.

But you can’t win if you don’t enter, so don’t delay, enter the 2008 WebAwards today.

The deadline for entry is May 31, 2008. A complete list of past winners and this year’s entry form can be found at

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Angry Websites Take Action

I have ambition. I have drive. My entire life – from when I was a wee pop-up trying to gain everyone’s attention to the grown-up full-fledged, content rich homepage that I am – I have always wanted to be the best. Get the best visitors. Shout out the best content. Have the newest, most innovative design around. My goal has always been to be the best.

So I wake up extra early in the morning – earlier than some of those other sites, whom we wont mention – spiff myself up quite a bit, and head into work. I put on my best content, shine up my title tag and even do a little dance for Google every once in a while to let her know I’m still around.

But maybe Google is upset with me lately. I mean, I did sort of break her heart a couple months ago, but that is a really long story and I’d rather not get into it at the moment. Or maybe somehow my site isn’t being promoted enough. Because lately there haven’t been any good visitors!

And that really aggravates me to my metadata. Come on you guys! I am a great site! And you don’t even seem to care. Well, if I can’t get your attention in a good way, here is a warning on how I am going to get your attention MY way!

1. You know that horrible feeling when your alarm goes off in the morning, and you just want to go back to bed, and you will do anything to make sure that happens? You hit the snooze button for five more minutes of bliss? Yeah, that is how I have felt every day lately. Not wanting to do any work, not caring if I get up out of my server in the morning. You know what I’m going to do to get some attention? CRASH! Haha, that’s what you get for ignoring me.

2. When I’m feeling particularly vengeful and angry that no one is recognizing me, I like to play a little game like not giving visitors the content they need to help them find the product/service that is right for them. This game is called “move around content so no one knows where to find anything!” It’s so fun! Take the company mission statement and move it onto the “Contact Us” page. Take the contact information and hide it under the “Locations” page. And maybe just get rid of the “Customer Testimonials” altogether. I mean, why show that people have said positive things about you in the past when now, in the present I’m being completely ignored?

3. I also like to incorporate some poor grammar into my content. So I’ll go through the work a diligent copywriter spent hours optimizing and I get rid of the keywords altogether and just insert the word “stuff” or “things”. That is always a good time. Then no one knows what you are offering, and my ex-friend Google won’t be poking around my site so much, trying to see what I’m offering.

4. These days, I don’t like having to run too many applications. And I definitely don’t like having visitors stay around and bother me all afternoon. You know those fun interactive bits that are on some websites? Yeah, not on mine anymore! No more visitor polls, no more exciting flash videos, no more “leave your comment here” forms. And while I’m at it, why not get rid of the color and formatting as well? This way, I use less of my very valuable energy to be “flashy” and “exciting” for visitors, and they take one look at my site, see its boring black-and-white format, and leave. I love it!

5. And remember when I said I haven’t been getting any “good” visitors? Well, that is correct. I mean, I have had some visitors, but they are of the rival gang. The kids-from-the-other-side-of-the-tracks. The Spammers! So what’s a guy to do? He’s starved of attention and boom, here comes someone so fantastic, so tempting, so nice-looking. And I just let him right in. But hey, negative attention is still attention right? And I might be a little insecure at times, so I just let Mr. Spam hang around. At least it’s company.

This is the life for me these days. My ambition and drive have gone out the window. Do you really want your site to get as annoyed as me? I don’t think so. That would be bad for your business and your reputation as a website developer.

If you want to boost your site’s recognition and keep it happy, enter it in the WebAward competition by May 31st, 2008. Being judged by internet gods is just the thing that will perk up your site and make sure he knows he is appreciated. And trust me, attention from a WebAwards judge is the greatest honor for a website. Your site might just be working up to his full potential soon to make sure he wins!

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Interactive Briefing Featured Articles

Here are two articles from the April issue of the Web Marketing Association Interactive Briefing that you might find helpful.

Build Customers Extranets to retain and increase revenue – Customized Customer Sites can and should be a viable component of your best marketing practices arsenal.

Go Online to Reach the “Online At Work” Audience – Reaching the office worker with relevant advertising has always been difficult. The Internet overcomes these challenges and offers advertisers a true opportunity to effectively reach the “online at work” audience. To better understand the “online at work” audience, Burst Media surveyed over 11,500 web users 18 years or older on the online activities they engage in while at work (PDF).

Sign up for the free monthly newsletter.

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The WebAward Judges Take on Clinton and Obama To see Who Has The Best Website?

Our WebAward judges have a lot of experience reviewing Websites. Not only are they all experienced Internet professionals that create and maintain Websites themselves, but as a group they have submitted more than 18,000 site evaluations over the past decade as part of the annual WebAward Competition.

With this in mind, the Web Marketing Association asked past WebAward judges to review both and using the same criteria used in the annual WebAwards program. The sites were judged side by side on seven criteria of a successful Website. More than 100 Judges responded on short notice (111 to be exact) with additional judges just missing the deadline.

The 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination process is being fiercely contested by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Both candidates are using the Internet to help their campaigns woo volunteers and campaign contributions. But who has the better Website?

Here are the results:
Design – Asked “which Website has the most pleasing design?” WebAward judges selected the Obama site 3 to 1 over the Clinton Website.74.8% of them voted for Senator Obama’s Website and 25.2% selected Senator Clinton’s Website as better looking.

Innovation – Website innovation also went in favor of Barack Obama. By the same margin as design, the vast majority of WebAward judges (74.8%) thought the Obama Website seems more innovative, while only 25.2% favored Clinton’s.

Content – In terms of having the most appealing content, judges again selected the Obama Website over Hillary Clinton’s Website, although by a narrower margin than the first two criteria. 65.7% of the WebAward judges felt has more appealing content for visitors compared to 34.3% for WebAward judges also found that the Obama Website is more effective for telling the candidate’s story and attracting contributions and voters to its cause (68.5% Obama vs 31.5% Clinton).

Ease of use – Senator Obama’s Website was seen as easier to use by the WebAward judges than Senator Clinton’s. 57.5% selected as easier to use compared to 42.5% of WebAward judges who felt was easier.

Copywriting– It is obvious that both campaigns have excellent writers on staff. Neither Websites have any of the editing issues some large organizations can experience. However, the WebAward judges gave a slight advantage to the Obama site (60.8% over the Clinton site 39.2%).

Interactivity – Interactivity makes a Website more than just an online billboard and both candidates were effective in giving visitors to their Websites plenty to see and do. Nevertheless, once again the WebAward judges gave the edge regarding interactivity to the Obama Website (64.8%) over the Clinton Website (35.2%).

Technology – Use of technology is evident in both candidates’ Websites, however, the clear favorite for the WebAward judges was winning 73.8% of the votes compared to with only 26.2% of the votes.

Regardless of who you will be voting for in the next presidential election, Websites are going to play an ever increasingly important role in how candidates get their messages across to the American voters. Based on the findings of this survey by some of the top Internet professionals available today, the Web Marketing Association names the winner of the Clinton vs Obama Website Challenge. We wish both candidates the best of luck in their efforts to become the Democratic Presidential candidate in the November election.

To see the actual results of the survey please go to the Clinton Obama Survey Results page on our website or view a short video of the results. We also have posted survey comments from some of our judges in another posting on this blog.

The 12th annual international WebAwards competition sets the standard of excellence in 96 industry categories by evaluating Web sites and defining benchmarks based on the seven essential criteria of successful Web site development. The goal of the Web Marketing Association, sponsor of the WebAwards, is to provide a forum to recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing some of the most effective Web sites on the Internet today. Entrants benefit from a Web site assessment by a professional judging panel and the marketing opportunities presented to an award-winning Web site.

Websites in 96 industries can now be entered in the 2008 WebAwards at the award program Website. The 2008 Call for Entry deadline is May 31, 2008. For more information, visit

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Comments from the judges on Senators Clinton and Obama Websites

The Web Marketing Association asked past WebAward judges to review both and using the same criteria used in the annual WebAwards program. The sites were judged side by side on seven criteria of a successful Website. More than 100 Judges responded on short notice and named Senator Obama’s Website as the Best Websites in head to head competition against Senator Clinton’s Website.

One of the main benefits of participating in the annual WebAward competition is the feedback participants receive regarding their Websites. Below are some of the comments from the WebAward judges regarding the two sites being evaluated. They are the personal opinions of the specific judge who made them and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Web Marketing Association. Attribution is given where available.

For compete information on the Clinton Obama Website Challange, please visit our Website at

I think both designs and architectures were well planned. But on the user experience side, both the Clinton and Obama sites initially forced a sign up page, requesting my email and contact info on my first visit. When I landed on Hilary’s site, I thought I had received a link in error to some landing page see Both sites request this ahead being allowed in the main area but it went away on a browser refresh, so while I did not study the code, I assumed it was a basic use of a cookie. Overall, I thought this was a poor treatment of the first time visitor by forcing the desire of the campaign to gather information without having served the user. Both sites did offer a “skip this” choice to proceed to the main site but it took some review time to even find that. I tested this with others on my staff and got the same reaction about the treatment of the 1st time visitor. For the record I also checked and McCain’s site did not currently use the same information gathering tactic which may only relate to where he is in the primary cycle. With so many undecided voters, I thought this was a clear cut example of not putting the user first and designing the experience for them rather than forcing them into a model that worked for the campaigns.
Bo Simmons, President, Cool Blue Interactive

Barack’s website has a more calming effect and eases you into the different topics on the site. Hillary’s feels more clutters and pushy. As far as web design goes Barack’s website has a more current web 2.0 look and feel. Both websites are very impressive and the technology used is equally so.
Jon Harrison,

The navigation of the site appear the same — even the DONATE NOW/CONTRIBUTE button is the same color and placement. Even the language of video (candidateTV) is the same! In the end, Barack seems to be doing a better job visually. There is much more use of white space, which results in homepage scrolling, but this works better than cramming all the content into the homepage like the Hillary site. Content-wise the websites appear similiar just with a different candidate. Obama does seem to make more use of social media, but one has to wonder if it a case of name-dropping (“hey, I represent on MyBatanga!”). Interestingly, Hillary’s “bilingual” page keeps navigation and a lot of the call to actions in English. No bueno.
David Felfoldi, Sherpa! Web Studios

I found the design of Barack Obama’s site to be lively, consistent and professional and the messaging to be positive and engaging. Every element was handled with finesse and the flow of information invited exploration. The site definitely conveyed “possibilities.” If I lived in bubble and this was the only exposure I had to the candidate and his campaign, I would be very impressed. On the other hand, I found Hillary Clinton’s site to be uninspiring in both its design and its tone. The site appeared overly conventional and cluttered, the messaging came across as harsh and needy, and the overall experience felt stale. I think the site might actually do the candidate some disservice because it lacked warmth, vision and personality. If I were to vote for a candidate based solely on the merits of his or her Website, Barack Obama would win by a landslide.
Sherry Bastion, ARCHESITE.

Both sites are almost complete copies of the other. The differences are so minor that I believe they are very evenly matched with Hillary’s site being more compact and Obama’s site is more iconic. The Hillary site is more pure CSS than Obama’s but both function nicely. One cool thing that the Obama site has is ring-tones and more focus on the mobile user. Also his layout of the video channel is nicer although her’s loads much faster.
Bruce Baughman, President, Design Monkey Artists Domain Inc.

Overall, it was tough to determine a clear winner because both sites were very similar. What made stand out for me was that through the use of color and his photography, it made the experience more inviting and personable. felt a bit stale and cold, not engaging enough. I did prefer Hillary’s story though with the timeline and photography. Another great element was ‘The Hillary I Know’ microsite that featured video of those closest to her – nice touch.
Jeannie Metz-Fratoni, Creative Director, Red Door Interactive

While both candidate web sites are superb on their own, when judging them side by side, Barack Obama’s web site has the edge on every available metric — from the initial look and feel of the splash page to the way the interior of the site is structured and dressed to communicate effectively. As one example, the Barack Obama web site is much more effective in its use of white space to make each area of the page stand out whereas the Hillary Clinton web site feels more crammed — with lots of bold colors competing for attention.
Raymond Pirouz

It is very hard for me to distinguish between the 2 of these sites. if you took the name and photos off, they would look almost exactly the same- color palette, font, layout, menu headings, they have nearly the same content in the same order.

In this campaign Hillary Clinton appears to be trailing in every aspect, including online campaigning. While her campaign has made an effort to include references and connections to most social networking tools, they clearly lack the commitment and resources to make the most of their online opportunities. As a result her Website presents Hillary Clinton as a fairly scattershot candidate. Barack Obama’s campaign, on the other hand, clearly started with a strong commitment to using design and online campaigning to engage the public in their campaign story. As with his speeches and other communications, every element of Obama’s Website is meticulously crafted. Typography is impeccable, graphics are gorgeous, and his message of hope, community, and vision for a positive future are unmissable.

As an objective judge for the WebAwards for the last 4 years, as well as dealing with web design and communication issues daily in my business, the Clinton site was by far more professional and intuitive than the Obama site. As an Obama supporter I felt quite disappointed in the disparity. Perhaps the answer lies in the financial resource that Clinton has over Obama in hiring the right web and communication managers.
Brian Bickford, President, Strategic Productions

I think Obama’s site is much more contemporary, and will appeal to more technically savvy viewers, while Clinton’s is not as innovative in structure, technology, etc. As a designer I’d rather be taking credit for Obama’s site, although I’m a Clinton supporter.

Both candidates have loaded their sites with the latest media tools and are nearly identical in form and function. They have nailed the technology, but they are missing the human element. Neither Clinton nor Obama have a personal blog where they could connect with voters in their own words and share their daily experiences. Everyone from Moms to CEOs are blogging today, why not the candidates? It’s a real chance to make a competitive difference on the web and build a personal connection with voters.
Bob Gilbreath, Chief Marketing Strategist, Bridge Worldwide

Most annoying on both sites was seeing a sign up form very prominent on the page. I almost thought that’s all there was until I saw the “Enter site” button. This would turn off a lot of people I think and is almost the same as the annoying “Skip Intro” Flash sites. Clinton’s site was more straightforward HTML so it was a little easier to use and the contribution form looked and worked cleaner. However overall Obama’s site was better especially in the copywriting it was clearer where he stood on positions or at least was able to find his positions better. Probably the biggest piece of cheese on his site was the “Powered by Hope” emblem on the bottom. It almost felt jokey and if it wasn’t, it’s taking the “hope” theme too far and making it meaningless. (I hope his t-shirts aren’t “built by hope”) Overall there’s not much differentiation between the sites, it’s almost like they bought the same template and went from there. Especially when they aren’t going for politics as usual, their sites certainly are.

“The websites of the 3 leading U.S. Presidential contenders reflect, not surprisingly, their various personalities and agendas. The design, contents and use of technologies vary from conservative to very progressive. A look at all three websites gives insight into how modern media planners can integrate technology tools to promote their message and their brand strategy.
Ric Shreves,

While many of the details of their platforms are informed by similar values and proposals, the vitality of Obama’s site is inspiring and engaging (even the backgrounds of the Obama site have a vitality lacking in the Hillary site’s drab gradients). Will a site change the minds of visitors? I found that it effectively drew me closer to the candidate; in fact I might just go back and volunteer.
Jamie Leo, Creative Director, The Monday Campaigns

In the battle for popularity, the ability to use the Web and Social Media effectively can be a critical determinant of success. The Hillary Clinton campaign has put together a cogent, persuasive website with sophisticated use of technology, including social media. The Barack Obama website however has an earthy appeal to it, and perfectly reinforces the message that the Obama campaign has consistently sought to convey. The Obama site thus strongly resonates with it’s target audience.
Dr. V P Kochikar, Assc Vice President and Principal Consultant, Infosys Technologies

It’s clear that the Obama website has embraced all that is new about the web. An indication of what he stands for and what he’s aiming to achieve. It is clear, concise and beautifully designed. Although not a poor site in many ways, the first impression of Clinton’s is of desperation. It is loaded with colours and content that can confuse the user. Being from the UK, I can judge these sites with little affiliation to a candidate, and I would say Obama’s site is by far the most appealing.
Nic Sheppard, eBusiness Manager, iShares Europe

Barack Obama needs to make it clear to the user that visitors do not have to provide their name and email information in order to view the site. Currently, you can only use the logo to access the site. Hillary Clinton clearly states it on the home page.
Linda Girard, Pure Visibility

Both sites were slick, but I would have to give a narrow edge to Sen. Clinton. The design was denser, the content seemed richer and the video streaming was clearer on the Clinton page. Both sites reflected the personalities of the candidates — Clinton’s site had more detail (and threw more punches); Obama’s site was more inspiring. Both candidates emphasized money raising, no surprise there.
Rob Wray, Rob Wray Marketing

The Clinton site whilst looking very basic on entering it is really full of technology but not in an “in your face” kind of way. Subtle, good copy, nice graphics.
Nic Carter-Jones, New Millennium Internet UK

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Internet Industry Conferences

If you are attending ad:tech, April 15&17 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, please stop by and see us in the exhibit hall in booth 6381. Also look for Dennis Franczak, of FUSE/ideas who was the winner of the conference pass drawing we held in the last issue of Interactive Briefing.

Speaking of winners, congratulations also goes out to Susan Prater, Interactive Marketing Manager at Owens Corning who was selected to receive an iTouch by stopping by our booth at Search Engine Strategies New York Conference (another outstanding industry event)

We are giving away several copies of Seth Godin’s newest book Meatball Sundae: Is your marketing out of sync. Please email your contact information to (meatball at
and if you’re selected, we will mail you a copy of this interesting book courtesy of our friends at Search Engine Strategies.