Vol 1, #29, Sept. 29, 2009
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September 29 , 2009


Nielsen "in a relationship" with Facebook
Canadians show passion for pets online
Social media marketing puts region on the radar
Chef Micael Smith's identity stolen on Twitter
Canadian online wedding retailer beats recession
D.M. insite launches new compnay website
tvokids.com launches unveils innovative online game
How well do Canadian cities market themselves online?
Welcome to the new CTV.ca
Online Employers One Stop Shop makes hiring easier

Nielsen "in a relationship" with Facebook

Last week, T he Nielsen Company and Facebook announced a multi-year strategic alliance to help marketers better use the Internet to develop and market new products. 

The first product of the collaboration, Nielsen BrandLift, is designed to give marketers a tool for measuring the effectiveness of Facebook advertising, and will launch in the U.S. with selected test partners later this week, with a full rollout occurring in the coming months.

“Facebook is an increasingly vital link between consumers and brands.  We will now be able to add deep knowledge of this important social network to our unmatched media measurement and consumer insight across all three screens.  Together, we will be able to provide the missing elements to clients seeking better understanding of how Web content and online advertising affect consumer behavior,” said John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen’s online division.

The alliance comes at an important crossroads.  As with most advertising, online spend was down, but only 2 per cent on a year-over-year basis.  At the same time, however, advertising on the top social network and blogging sites increased by 119 per cent. Top of Page

Canadians show passion for pets online

Canadians are showing their pet passion online in the True Colours Photo Challenge. Sponsored by Purina this unique online photo gallery offers pet lovers the opportunity to celebrate their cherished kittens, cats, puppies and dogs by sharing photos that best capture an aspect of their pet's personality or true colour. Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite pet photo with the six, top-voted images, one for each colour or personality, showcased monthly. An instant online hit: more than 3000 new participants joined during the first 24-hours alone.

"Canadians adore their pets and the response from the public has been extraordinary," says Magda Mutch, Direct and Interactive Manager, Nestlé Purina PetCare. "They want to share their passion for pets and communicate with others online. At Purina, we understand this, and we are pleased to present this innovative, user-generated opportunity. People have been posting multiple pictures of their pets and then encouraging their friends to vote online."

Consumers are invited to enter their photos in the True Colours Photo Challenge at www.purina.ca/truecolours. Online voting by the public occurs between the 1 and 25 of each month, with the top vote getters showcased on Purina.ca Top of Page

Social media marketing puts region on radar

E&B DATA will be presenting a business case for the use of social media marketing tools for economic development initiatives at the EDAC Conference in Vancouver.

In just 10 days, Entreprise Chaleur has built the largest group of Facebook fans in Canada by a Canadian development agency for its page, Region Chaleur, exclusively for economic development.

"By launching this initiative, we realized that the technology was easier to use than expected. Not only did we reach an outstanding number of fans, but we now foresee that promoting our region will take a new direction" says Donald Hammond, Executive Director for Enterprise Chaleur."

The case will share details on the specific tools that were used by the agency and some of the benefits of the initiative that have been witnessed to date. The business case is available for download from www.ebdata.com. Top of Page

Chef Micael Smith's identity stolen on Twitter

On the eve of launching his new cookbook The Best of Chef at Home and beginning celebrations for Prince Edward Island’s Fall Flavours festival, Chef Michael Smith has discovered that a complete stranger has stolen his identity on Twitter.  The fraud was discovered earlier today when a writer for the Montreal Gazette questioned several negative tweets about the Montreal restaurant scene posted by the impostor.

All of this is a complete surprise to Michael Smith, who does not twitter.  A lawyer has been consulted, and not only is Michael trying to get his identity removed from that site but he is calling on Twitter to notify all followers of the feed that they have been deceived. 

“Frankly I’m overwhelmed. I’m very, very angry. I can’t believe that anyone would say such horrible things about Montreal.  Worse yet they’ve been writing about my family, they’ve deceived my fans and stolen what I’ve worked so hard to build,” says Michael.   “I don’t fault Twitter but I do expect them to help make this right.”

Chef Michael Smith is one of the Food Network’s biggest stars, now appearing in the sixth season of Chef at Home and second season of Chef Abroad. His fourth cookbook The Best of Chef at Home has also just been released. As Prince Edward Island’s food ambassador he is just about to kick off the annual Fall Flavours harvest festival.

The new social media monitoring program White Noise will now be following references to Michael Smith in the media and on the internet. Top of Page

Canadian online wedding retailer beats the recession

Despite an environment in which Canadian year over year retail sales declined, Burlington-based online wedding favor retailer In Casa Gifts continues to grow. Since its 2005 inception, In Casa Gifts has established itself as a premier online party favour retailer serving brides and party planners across Canada and the U.S.

“We would have loved to continue the triple digit sales growth we’ve achieved every year since we started, but in a recessionary environment where retail shops are closing, we’re thrilled to continue to achieve strong double-digit growth” beams Mary Maesano, In Casa Gifts’ founder and president. “It’s not without a lot of hard work – it’s equal parts ‘planning’ and ‘doing’ – we constantly focus on how we can achieve sustained growth in the wedding industry while continuing to do what got us here – delivering excellent products, service and overall value to brides and wedding planners” Maesano adds.

In Casa Gifts is proof that a niche retailer can, despite a crippling economic environment, leverage the internet to expand by developing a broad geographic market. From the outset, In Casa Gifts has focused on marketing aggressively yet efficiently – a balance not easily achieved my most organizations regardless of size. “We target our marketing precisely to ensure ads are only hitting prospective brides or other customer targets. Maximizing return on marketing investment is critical” Maesano says. “On the operations side, we drive out costs throughout the supply chain at every opportunity so we can build in maximum value for our customers.  Also, if it’s not a customer touching or value-added activity, we tend to outsource it...I can’t share much more” Maesano jokingly adds. Top of Page

D.M.insite launches new company website

D.M.insite, a company that specializes in developing and delivering software as a service for the mail order catalogue industry, is pleased to announce the launch of a newly redesigned and improved corporate website. The upgraded site is a strategic move that sets the groundwork for the company’s new branding and its next generation of ecommerce Software as a Service (SaaS) products now in the final stages of beta testing.

“We are making significant investment and commitment into strengthening our ecommerce SaaS products and professional services deeper into the market we serve,” says Larry Kavanagh, D.M.insite founder and CEO. “The launch of our new website represents the first of many exciting initiatives and announcements we have planned in the weeks and months ahead.”

The updated website is a result of months of planning and preparation for the release of the next generation of the company’s ecommerce platform. The site boasts the new company and product branding, along with updated content that embodies the company’s deep expertise in the mail order catalog and ecommerce industries.

Over the coming months, D.M.insite plans to announce several additional strategic initiatives on the development of its Mercury ecommerce software and continued business growth.Top of Page

tvokids.com unveils innovative online game

From Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple, the Eiffel Tower and Rome's Colosseum to the Galapagos Islands, the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Giza, viewers of TVOKids' travel adventure series A World of Wonders discover places, monuments, people and cultures around the globe without ever leaving home. And starting Monday October 5, tvokids.com takes armchair adventure to new heights with the launch of the World of Wonders companion web game, GlobeQuest.

Aimed at kids aged six to nine, GlobeQuest is an online board game that extends the themes of discovery and learning through trivia, travel and timing. Players join Cari, host of A World of Wonders, to visit destinations around the world and unlock the secrets of past civilizations and local cultures through quizzes, puzzles, memory tests, audio challenges, photos and videos from the show, and historical events. As players embark on their expeditions tackling various trivia questions and challenges and accumulating points, they don't have to worry about losing their way or getting every answer right - there's something to be learned in every game and Cari guides young travellers with helpful tips, hints and facts about our world.

"GlobeQuest is both a fascinating cultural odyssey and a unique, entertaining way of engaging kids in subjects that play such an important role in their learning years and lives: geography, science, history and social studies," says Patricia Ellingson, TVO's creative head of Children's Media Content and Programming. "The game is a useful tool for reinforcing the learning at school, but it's also a great activity for the entire family. It will open our eyes to the various cultures of the world, some of which make up the wonderful diversity of Ontario." Top of Page

How well do Canadian cities market themselves online?

E&B DATA will be releasing its findings for its benchmark study, "Web 2.0 And Business Attraction - Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index", during the EDAC Conference in Vancouver.

The study measures how well Canadian cities economic development agencies are marketing their regions to potential investors via the web. The uses of various Web 2.0 tools were assessed and the availability of relevant information sources for site selectors on the agency's site were considered as a part of the ranking process.

"The country of origin of capital investments in Canada has fundamentally changed. The majority of the investments no longer come from the United States. To remain competitive, major Canadian cities must rethink the means and the networks taken to promote their regions to new markets." says Isabelle Poirier, investment strategist at E&B DATA.

The study highlights the top 20 Canadian cities based on the usage of social media tools in particularly the cities of Halifax, London, Hamilton, Ottawa and Calgary. Top of Page

Welcome to the new CTV.ca

CTV yesterday announced a relaunch of www.CTV.ca, the online destination for Canada's most-watched prime-time television shows and News. The new site offers a revitalized online look, simplified navigation, more options for users to access and customize national and local News pages, and better search function. Responding to the growing demand for shows and entertainment online, CTV.ca makes it easier to find program features, video online and exclusive celebrity news. The redesign provides a more robust platform to provide an audience-centric Web experience, and a springboard for future development.

"The redesign of CTV.ca is an amazing opportunity for us to showcase our unique blend of premium programming, news content and entertainment in one destination", said Stephan Argent, Vice-President of Digital Media, CTV Inc. "It offers both our audiences and advertising partners an unparalleled experience to discover all that CTV has to offer."

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Online Employers One Stop Shop makes hiring easy

Are you an employer who would like to take advantage of apprenticeship training but unsure how to start? Wouldn't it be nice to just walk into a store and find everything you need to know? Well, look no further! Help is at hand.

CAF-FCA is pleased to announce an Employers One Stop Shop in the form of a catalogue appearing on our website and listing all employer incentives available right across Canada!

Employers from across the country communicated to us that they wanted clear information on apprenticeship incentives such as tax credits, pre-screening or matching services available, essential skills tools and pre-apprenticeship programs.

To address this need, we have created a one stop shop catalogue outlining various supports across the country for employers who may be interested in hiring apprentices. Top of Page