Thursday, February 26, 2009

Falling Economy: Recession Profit Stategies - #1

Okay, you don't need me to tell you things are tough. Hell, in Vietnam when stockbrokers jump from the roofs of bamboo huts they just get up and do it again. This can go on for days. But the boys in this video have figured out how to make a buck even when the banks are going up in flames. Make sure to scroll down and "pause" the lite-green podcast button in the right sidebar to stop the background music while you play the video.

Give it a look and see if you can't apply a similar strategy to your recession profit woes. For more ideas go here, and teach your employees how to market their way out for your firm.

For more Recession Profit Strategies, click below.

#4 Rubber Stamp Post-It Note Business Cards
The Recruitment Process
#2 Saving On Employee Costs

A big thanks to Wayne Borg, one of the good old SIU boys from Chicago, for this one.

For more in Political Satire and Satire see:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What's Wrong With The Vietnamese Advertising Association? - How Not To Market in Asia II

Advertising, Brand Provocateur, Crazy Deranged Fool, Gapingvoid, Golden Bell Vietnam, JWT, Marketing, O and M, Transparancy, Vietnam Advertising Association, WPPA scan of articles on the state of the Vietnamese Advertising Market over the last few months reveals one thing: Somebody can't get the numbers right. And that somebody is the industry's guiding body, the Vietnam Advertising Association.

For instance - How many advertising firms are there in Vietnam?

This article says 3000. And the next one says 3000 as well. But this one says 6000. And yet another says 7000. So how many firms is it really and what is considered an "advertising firm"?

And, how large is the market?

One story says $500 million. The next story says $1 Billion. Another only $31 million (are US bankers doing the counting around here?) And finally, a projection for the market in 2020 reaches a lofty $3 billion. But who really knows? Not the Vietnam Advertising Association, that's for sure, because all the numbers you see quoted above have been attributed to them according to the various publications.

But the one thing the VAA seems to hold a rock-hard consistency on is it's dislike for foreign companies in the business. Just take a look at the headlines below and you tell me if this supposed Trade Association is really representing the industry or just Vietnamese owned companies in the industry? It's embarrassing. For a nation that prides itself on greater and greater FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) numbers, year after year, the VAA has succeeded, in just a few short months and stories, in becoming the poster child for How Not to Market in Asia. Want to scare foreign companies away from investing in Vietnam? The VAA can help.

Imagine if the Banking Association started going after foreign banks - or the Construction Association started complaining about all the foreign money coming in, in the form of real estate development from - oh dear - other countries!

80% of industry profit falls into foreign hands - said Tran Quy Cap, Chairman of HCM City Advertisement Firms’ Association.

VietNamNet - A report on the 3-year implementation of the Advertisement Ordinance released recently by the Ministry of Culture and Information said that despite limitations on foreign ownership in the field of advertising, he number of domestic firms that have a foothold in the market remains modest, while the majority focus on organising events or printing. More than 3,000 advertisement firms are licensed to operate in Vietnam; however, 80% of profit falls into the hands of foreign companies.

Advertising: Profits Go To Foreign Pockets

VietNamNet – Vietnam has over 3,000 advertising companies but their turnover is still modest. Tran Nguyet Dan, Deputy Chairman cum Secretary General of the Vietnam Advertising Association (VAA) comments on this issue.

There are nearly 6,000 advertising firms in Vietnam.(according to VAA) “Of the more than US$1 billion of annual revenues from advertising activities in Vietnam, local firms account for 10-20%. Over 80% belong to several big foreign advertising groups,” said Do Kim Dung, Vice Chairman of the HCM City Association of Advertising, General Director of the An Tiem Advertising Company.

Foreign advertising companies now dominate up to 70% of the advertising market in Vietnam

VietNamNet - According to VAA, more than 7,000 advertising companies currently employ nearly 100,000 people, but many of them should take refresher and advanced courses to meet the professional requirements. Foreign advertising companies now dominate up to 70% of the advertising market in Vietnam. The industry’s revenue is projected to reach some US$3 billion by 2020, with local firms accounting for 50-60%.

VnBusinessNews - Total turnover for the Vietnamese advertising industry is currently around US$500 million. Presently, there are 7,000 companies licensed to do business as advertisers throughout Viet Nam.

Marketing-InteractiveNews - According to the Vietnam Advertising Association, Vietnam's ad and internet industry is expected to hit US$31 million by 2010 from US$10 million in 2007. There are currently 3000 companies in the advertising business.
Advertising, Brand Provocateur, Crazy Deranged Fool, Gapingvoid, Golden Bell Vietnam, JWT, Marketing, O and M, Transparancy, Vietnam Advertising Association, WPP
Shortsighted, unfair and wildly unprofessional. Have I refrained from calling them crazy deranged fools yet? Oh, but wait. It seems the VAA have some experience in this area already. Take a look at this story from 2002. Yes, you can actually buy this story from a news service for $9.95. It's almost as if they were taking lesson's from the music industry by trying to sue their customers.

Vietnam Advertising Association launched fresh argument against investment license to foreign ad firm J Walter Thompson.

464 word report - published Jul 29, 2002

And on the battle goes on. Pointlessly. They forget to mention that the companies involved employ Vietnamese people and put quite a bit more than Ban on the table for thousands. They neglect the fact that the agencies didn't ship a few thousand Europeans and Americans in for the work and that the handful of foreigners who are here, pay Vietnamese landlords, eat Vietnamese food and drive vehicles bought and possibly made in Vietnam. And that's not even counting the beer. Vietnamese beer. The association also misses the training and more than significant technology transfer made by these firms towards the betterment of the entire industry, and country, and they seem almost blindly oblivious to the fact that the WPP group is a 30% shareholder in Vietnam's largest advertising company, DatViet VAC (Vietnam Advertising Corporation), which is still government controlled and also has a relationship with DDB, an American agency.

So you must wonder - What do they do at the meetings? But rather than speculate about what unsavory buggery might go on, I'd like to focus on what they should be doing at their meetings.

1) They should revise their charter - Whatever the hell is in their current charter certainly isn't helpful to the business at large. They should aim to serve the entire industry with a real special emphasis on the word serve. Do they really think a foreign company wants to join a body that spends a great deal of its time fighting them? They should be Brand Provocateurs for every advertiser and agency be they local, foreign or Martian.

2) They should aim to recruit the top agencies as members - Since the VAA doesn't have a website it's impossible to understand who is a member and who is not, but the last information I saw, at the Vietnam Advertising Festival, listed Dentsu as the only foreign agency. With O&M and JWT as big winners at the show and WPP affiliates, it shouldn't be much of a push to get them in as members, so long as nobody pulls their chairs out from under them at the big table. Also, oddly missing are the big local agencies, DatViet VAC and Golden Group. Somebody should be all over that.

3) They should stay on message - One look at the selection of news stories above and the plethora of people delivering the message is enough to understand why the numbers are always messed up. Figure out what the numbers are, and stay on message. They'll stand a much better chance of getting complicated regulations through a fairly dim body of lawmakers if the bureaucrats aren't totally perplexed by the numbers.

4) They should publish the numbers - I was contacted by a journalist lately from Media Magazine in HK because my blog was the most frequent result to a Google search for VAA. That's pretty sad. The journalist had commented that Thailand had a good site set up with facts and figures that advertisers, agencies and media companies could use as reference. Vietnam could use that and it should be the charge of VAA make that information transparent and accessible.

5) They should get a new logo - It's on the poster behind the people at the table.

This post isn't something that I sat up nights thinking about - rather it came after months of collecting stories and then realizing that the organization set up to bring some order and respect to the business was engaged in a concentrated effort to keep it divided - and I couldn't figure out, to what end? To be as fair as possible, it does seem that the multi-nationals won the lion's share of awards at the Golden Bells this year, indicating that the judging had a fairness that might not have been expected, considering the VAA's recent media output. Maybe that's a start.

To learn more about Brand Marketing Training in Vietnam, go here.

For more in the "How Not To Market In Asia" series, click below:

I) The Importance of Time, Money, Quality and Knowing How Much of Each You Need to Succeed

III) Detri-viral Marketing: When Web 2.0 works against your brand

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Homecoming: Sweet Dreams V

Homewood, Moline Illinois, Psychedelic Sunrise, Ken Boyte, Fidel Castro, Cuba, Sweet Dreams, VHS Tape,Interesting. I don't usually dream as much as I have been lately, but so long as I am, I might as well write em' down. This one was particularly vivid and I was able to revisit it after an early morning bathroom break and the taking of notes. Always fun when that happens. Like brain Tivo.

February 11, 2009

All of my friends have come to my home for my birthday party. The home sits atop a tiered landscape that drops down along a canal.
Ken Boyte, a friend from Korea, is pitching his domed style tent on one of the tired sections. He is having trouble with it. My college buddies, the High School pals - everyone is there. It's pretty wild. O Next door is the doctor's residence from the home I grew up in, in the Homewood addition of Moline, Illinois. It was originally built by a Dr. Laros, but later occupied by Dr. Escarza and his family. I remember my mom and the neighborhood tea ladies worrying that "them Mexicans would have the whole fam damily" living in the place. Dr. Excarza was Cuban, and this would have been just shortly after Fidel Castro's takeover of Cuba in the early 1960s. He had a quite normal family and his daughter, Rosa, was especially funny and popular in High School. But in the dream they have dug a recatangular hole in the ground in front of the house that is being used as a swimming pool. It is full of mud. One of my friends is climbing out with mud and chunks of grass all over his body but he is happy. I am unhappy because they took the space we were going to use for a volleyball court and now it was a mess. O My dad is there and I have purchased him a celphone. We make a call to test it and later he shows me a bill for $700. Strangely, I am not worried. O There is an art galery on the premises that has my work and photos of me. One is a black and white photo of me shot from over my shoulders. I am kneeling with a copy of a VHS videotape in my hands but in the photo the image is moving, so it is a video of a video that loops over and over again. O Throughout I am happy - running around greeting, organising and keepings things together. O There is a basketball arena with a stage but on the second mezzanine there is a desk, and underneath the desk is a 1970s sound system, Pioneer amp and tapedeck and such. It's the soundsystem for the whole place but it seems to work just fine. O Funny how things in dreams just work out.

Comments, analysis and interpretation are always welcome...

For more Sweet Dreams Click below:

VI: I Woke Up Drunk Today
V: Homecoming
IV: All In A Mouse's Night
III: Fragmented Fermentations
II: Strange Dreams
I: White Huskies: Interpretation please?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

2008 Annual Report: Wild Wild East Dailies Blog

Obama, ,  Blogs, Blogging, Budweiser, BarCamp, buddhist funeral prayer, Sarah Palin, Todd Rundgren, Anniversay, Annual Report,  2008,
Following my last post on the anniversary of this blog it seemed only Obama-like to practice near total transparency in sharing a few statistics with the growing loyal readership base that you all have come to comprise - and so without further adieu, I present to you, The Wild Wild East Dailies (WWED) 2008 Annual Report.


Obama, ,  Blogs, Blogging, Budweiser, BarCamp, buddhist funeral prayer, Sarah Palin, Todd Rundgren, Anniversay, Annual Report,  2008, What a year. From a base of zero in Feb 08, WWED has accumulated 20,000 views in the last year. Beginning with around 500 in February and March and doubling to around 1000 a month by April, things stayed at pretty much that level until September, which doubled again to 2000, when either the election kicked in or I received a bonus for getting through 6 months without being booted off the Internet. I suspect the election was the influence here as you'll see later when we look at the most popular posts of the year. Also, that's about the time I started delving into political satire and you'll see it was a big ticket item in terms of hits but interestingly enough, the majority of those hits did not turn into loyal readers. November brought 3000 and by December we hit the year's high at over 5000. With plenty of holiday time on their hands, and little cash in their pockets readers took to the Internet with reckless abandon looking for cheap entertainment and the WWED was just the ticket. Holiday traffic stretched from Thanksgiving in the west through Lunar New Year in the east and has now just leveled off to around 3000 per month - but that's a projected 36,000 for 09 and I suspect we'll do much better than that. My goal would be 100,000 but that may be under-achieving. ranks the site at 520,000, which doesn't look so impressive until you realize that they track 120 million blogs worldwide - and that puts us well inside the top .5%.

Where you are from:

According to
Alexa rankings, the United States is the runaway winner with 72%. Other countries, a real mixed bag from Gambia to Togo account for 20% and Vietnam holds it own at a more than respectable 7%. "Hey, that's only 99%!", your saying. That's because North Korea is the only country in the world without Coke and Internet for its citizens. A chart for just the last few days (below)puts Vietnam leading America with the UK, Canada, Australia and Korea following. Just a quick look at the world map at the top of the page is pretty enlightening and that map has only been tracking since November.

drill down16443.97%Viet NamViet Nam
drill down11430.56%United StatesUnited States
drill down184.83%United KingdomUnited Kingdom
drill down102.68%CanadaCanada
drill down92.41%AustraliaAustralia
drill down71.88%Korea, Republic OfKorea, Republic Of
drill down71.88%United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates
drill down71.88%SingaporeSingapore
drill down61.61%ThailandThailand
drill down41.07%MalaysiaMalaysia
drill down30.80%Unknown-
drill down30.80%IndiaIndia
drill down20.54%JapanJapan
drill down20.54%FranceFrance
drill down20.54%GermanyGermany
drill down20.54%TurkeyTurkey
drill down20.54%SerbiaSerbia
drill down10.27%EgyptEgypt
drill down10.27%CambodiaCambodia
drill down10.27%BangladeshBangladesh
drill down10.27%FinlandFinland
drill down10.27%NorwayNorway
drill down10.27%HungaryHungary
drill down10.27%CroatiaCroatia
drill down10.27%GreeceGreece

In terms of real concentration, the Northeast US is the heaviest with New York city and state carrying the bulk but LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas and Chicago all carry respectable weights.

What do you like:

Suffice to say that the greatest number of entries to the site come from the main page, but many others come in looking for a particular item. Not surprisingly, anything involving Obama scored well but I have to tell you - Sarah Palin was a more than respectable second - in fact her lunacy sparked the biggest post of the year when she entered the race and she scored a healthy #5 with Kim Jong Il as her WWED running mate. Political satire carried 4 spots out of the top 10.

01. 08/August/Obama Splits Ticket - Boots Biden! (1,272)

My first crack at political satire and the biggest at twelve hundred+ hits. Thank god Sara Palin entered the race. This post was helped out by a link from Cracked Magazine that still yeilds hits t
oday. Comedians worldwide are still mourning the loss of Mrs. Palin.

02. 08/July/Paris In The 30s - Saigon Today (680)

This one surprised me - a wonderful memory of an evening in a French bistro with an accordion player and the French Navy dancing. Maybe some proof that the more artistic stuff works too.

03. 08/June/June 22 - Happy Birthday Todd Rundgren (487)

Surprising as well as Todd is a big favorite of mine but not of the masses.

04. 08/April/American Foreign Policy Since WWII (411)

A video rant by Rodney Dangerfield and Sam Kinneson that really takes US foreign policy apart. Fun
ny as hell.

05. 08/September/Kim Jong Il, Ill After Threats by Palin (381)

Who would think to put Kim Jong Il and Sara Palin together in print? I would and have been apparently be the only blogger to do so. I still see the search terms for this post and it still gets respectable hits.

06. 08/July/Obama Brandishes a Bud For The Bubbas! (365)

My first c
rack at both Budweiser and Obama this post still draws hits even though it's technically politically incorrect to make fun of Obama. Fuck those who can't take a joke.

07. 08/May/Buddhist Funeral Prayer (346)

This made me feel good. I had copied the prayer given to me at a friend's memorial service and it seems one that a lot of people are interested in. It's beautiful.

08. 09/January/
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới or Happy New Year in Vietnamese (336)

This just underscores the importance of the Lunar New Year here and also for the tracking response it received from Vietnamese search engines because it uses Vietnamese language - not to me
ntion that it's a nice story as well.

09. 08/November/BarCampSaigon - A truly impressive start (301)

BarCamp is a digital non-conference that brings techies, bloggers, marketing folks, venture capitalist and all sorts of wing-nuts together for an all-day event that ends in free beer. Who wouldn't love it? It was also a great way for WWED to broaden its Vietnamese and Cambodian reader base This post has been featured as the "Best Tech Blog Post of 2008" on the Blog of Baomi.

10. 08/July/Belgian Prime Minister Quits Over Budweiser Purchase! (281)

We end our top ten with another political satire piece that just reinforces to me that there's always a m
arket in funny. As much as I love some of the more artful stuff I do, and the business things, one should never overlook that crass and sophomoric have their place too. It certainly works for the Farrelly Brothers.

Who loves me baby:

Obama, ,  Blogs, Blogging, Budweiser, BarCamp, buddhist funeral prayer, Sarah Palin, Todd Rundgren, Anniversay, Annual Report,  2008, Our final category today involves quality - the quality of readers that come, come back and spend real quality time. In our first chart today we look at "Return Visitors". These are people who visit regularly. Some of them may get WWED from a feed - we have around 70 feed subscribers - and others just check in manually from time to time. If you haven't subscribed yet, I urge you to do so. That way you get em' as I write em' and can just preview a headline and decide if you want to read the whole thing. According to stats from both Google Analytics and Statcounter about 10% of the crowd are return readers and based on unique readers (not just page impressions) of more than 16,000 that adds up to 1600 regulars.

Obama, ,  Blogs, Blogging, Budweiser, BarCamp, buddhist funeral prayer, Sarah Palin, Todd Rundgren, Anniversay, Annual Report,  2008, The second Chart involves "Visit Length". That's how much time how many people spend here. You can see that 76% of the people blow off in less than 5 seconds but that a whopping 7.8% stay for more than an hour. Amazing. The average visit across all visits is 2 and a half minutes but even 8.4% of you stay for at least 5 minutes. I have documented proof that 3% of the people are hanging out for hours upon hours - some up to 10 or more! And you've got to ask yourself, "Why?". My guess would be the podcast. I think some people may be just popping up the site for a radio station and that's okay by me. Whatever hooks em. Rhona from New York complained appropriately loudly when her podcast went away for a few days - but then she got a new computer and everything was fine. Whatever people's reasons for tuning in I just couldn't be more happy to have them. On an e-com site hits mean money, but in our case on the WWED, quality is job #1. If I write it, they will come. But not if I write shit!

So long as we're not far away from the subject of money, I am prepared to tell you just exactly how much the site has made me all year. $4.86 cents. Yep. Four eighty six. This has come from the little Google ads you see below each post. As far as the PayPal button in the sidebar, goes? Nothin. Zip. Nada. It seems the Radiohead concept has not caught on here yet. But now that we're up a year, and I feel that I have more than done my work, do consider throwing a donation in the pot for a hard working street performer - and I mean seriously - toss me a buck, if you like what you're getting here, and support my work if you will. One of these days I'll have a book I can gig you into buying, but until then, at the risk of sounding like a public radio station, consider a small donation.

Thanks to Rhoda in NYC, Freya in Wisconsin, David and Ted in London, Hugh in Texas, and Nels & Debs & Pat & Tom & Kevin & Steve & Mads & Daniel and all the many thousands who have spent at least a minute here from all around the world. If it weren't for all of you I wouldn't have had to have written such a long-assed post as this!

Cheers 2009!

For more on blogs, blogging and bloggers, check here:

Advertising People & Blogs - The Travis Diaries VI
How to Write the Best Damn Blog in the World
Throw That Blog a Bone!
If Blogs Are Free Are They Worthless?
What If Gutenberg Had a Blog?
If You Like the Blog, Read the Book>/a>
2008 Annual Report - The Wild Wild East Dailies
Blog Redesign WWED
BarCamp Saigon 2008
Attraction vs. Conversion - How to Power Your Blog
Are the Bloggerati Missing the Market?

The Wild Wild East Dailies

D a v i d E v e r i t t - C a r l s o n
Find me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Read my blog: The Wild Wild East Dailies and keep up on our efforts with aSaigon/CreativeMorning.