Archive for the 'Advertising' Category

Advertising Signs of the Times?

It’s no secret that the economic climate of the past 10 months or so has wreaked havoc on some of the world’s most well-known brands. Car companies are filing for bankruptcy, banks are losing their minds, retailers are consolidating or downright closing shop, and restaurants are offering deal menus out the wazoo.

Here’s a look at how some brand marketers are, in one way or another, taking advantage of the recession to prove that less is more to stay afloat in these tough times. Some ads are funny, some are touching and some are outright ridiculous. So ridiculous I couldn’t event include them (i.e., a Victoria’s Secret ad about how less clothing is one good benefit from the down economy…come on!).

Allstate “Back to Basics”

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young “Depressed Economy”

Domino’s “Bailout”

Dunkin’ Donuts “Belt”

Etrade “The Economy”

GM “Reinvention”

iPhone Magic Wallet App

Target “Brand New Day”

— Posted by Melissa Coyle

Goodbye ROI, and Other Marketing Lessons

I took a rare day off from client work yesterday to attend Tech Target’s Annual Online ROI Summit for technology marketers. Overall the event was a great one, and I thought I’d share the “top lessons” I took away from the various panels and sessions.

  • Goodbye ROI. There is a move away from thinking about marketing as it relates to return on investment. Instead, marketing efforts should be measured based on ROMO, or return on marketing objectives. This may mean did the campaign meet lead goals, pipeline goals, conversions of leads to opportunities, etc.
  • The death of the marketing blitz. Gone are the days of big to-do’s around product launches and huge campaigns. Instead, marketers should think of – and measure – campaigns in terms of long-term, long tail approaches. Remember the 20/80 rule: 20% of your response will happen immediately, while the other 80% will happen over the long term.
  • Bloggers are the influencers. More and more, IT buyers are depending on blogs as resources instead of traditional media, and advertising on blogs is now out-performing traditional online advertising.
  • Key phrases, not words. Increasingly, IT buyers are using long phrases in order to narrow down search results and get more specific, relevant results. Effective search strategies will now focus on 3+ word phrases and negatives, instead of key words. Think “server consolation in an all-Linux environment and not Windows” instead of just “server consolidation.” Also, companies should think of paid search as a way to fill in the gap and complement their organic search efforts.
  • Match the sales process. Think about lead generation in terms of different stages of the buying cycle. Your content type and topic should target the buyer at each stage. At the “awareness” stage, your best bet is a whitepaper that addresses a problem and provides an overview of the landscape. At the “interest” stage, editorial content pulls best (with a 2x higher CTR over vendor-produced content), so focus on editorial Webcasts or podcasts. The “decision” stage is the time to introduce trials, demos and specific solution assets. Another interesting tidbit: existing prospects are more likely to be pulled in by a vendor asset, while new leads are likely to be pulled in by editorial content.
  • CIOs are busy. OK, so that’s not a new concept, but what may be somewhat surprising is that they admittedly aren’t doing any of the research themselves when it comes to evaluating new technologies and vendors. They rely on their staff to do the research and present the relevant info and short-list of vendors to them, so make sure you’re marketing to the lower-level IT staff! And, when you are marketing to the CIO, make sure your content is short enough that they can read it or listen to it during their commute.
  • Don’t over market! Clean up your database frequently to remove inactive prospects and distinguish between folks that are further down the pipeline. Don’t be afraid of “do not market” lists and segment your lists so that you’re not over marketing!

I’ll end with my favorite quote of the day: “If you can’t measure it and you can’t repeat it, then it probably shouldn’t have been done in the first place!” My second favorite? “Sales is the consumer of marketing’s leads, so work closely with them!”

2008: B-to-B Marketing Preview

It comes as no surprise that b-to-b marketers plan to increase their spending online and decrease print advertising in 2008. What may surprise folks, however, is that spend on direct mail and events is forecasted to rise in 2008.

We’re finding this to hold true with our own clients, too. I think this is because, in our technology-driven lives, we welcome a chance to re-connect with folks in a tangible, one-to-one way. Whereas maybe three years ago direct mail effectiveness was on the decline, folks are so overwhelmed now with email and online banter that they are starting to glaze over those and once again pay attention to what’s coming in the mail, especially if the creative is eye-catching and the offer relevant. And as great as virtual tradeshows are, you can’t beat the chance to pitch your product or service face-to-face at an event. Besides, we wouldn’t want to put the tchotchkes vendors out of business. 😉

In other forecasting news, the same study found that two-thirds of b-to-b marketers plan on increasing their overall marketing budgets – largely because they also plan on embarking on new campaigns. And, in terms of what online areas marketers will invest in, Website, Webcasts, email, search and video leads the pack. Finally, despite all of 2007’s hype around social media, only 20% of marketers are currently using it as part of their strategy and 69% are not planning to increase spend in this area.

Stop Talking…Start Doing…

That was the message at the tail end of the latest IBM commercial I saw last night as I settled in to watch Bret Farve and Bret Farve Tony Romo battle it out on NFL Network (yes I get the channel, in HD no less, I know you’re jealous).


The ad shows a hip(ish) young guy showing the by-the-book business man his online avatar in a virtual world, exclaiming – “Its innovation!”

After some short dialogue this business man says -“The point of innovation is to make actual money”

Cue the Stop Talking, Start Doing tagline.

The ad is an obvious dig at Second Life, but it got me thinking about 2.0 in general. Sure, all of these conversations are important – but is our “talking” getting in the way of our “doing”? Are our contributions to our social networks, tweets and blog posts actually accomplishing something?

A bit of a heavy question for a Friday….but something to mull over while waiting for the clock to hit 5pm.

Out: The New In?

Standard beliefs hold that online ads are more effective when they are “in-context”, or placed near relevant content. For example, perhaps you’re more likely to pay attention to an ad for a particular brand of paint if it’s next to an article about home improvement instead of next to an article about fashion. Well, according to new research from Yahoo!, that widely held belief may be false.

Yahoo! and MediaVest studied a group of consumers passionate about a particular topic (in this case, food), and found that ads displayed out-of-context had virtually the same impact as ads shown next to related content.

This data supports proof that targeting the right people may be more important and effective that targeting the right content, and new tools are making this level of targeting easy to achieve. It also supports the idea that advertising in nontraditional outlets may not provide the high quantities of response, but the quality of response and conversion to sales may be higher. So, the next time you want to run an ad promoting your new software, you might look beyond the typical technology trades. I’m not saying it makes sense for software vendors to advertise in Dog Fancy, but perhaps it’s time you look beyond Informationweek and consider that Jane Smith, avid reader of Conde Naste Traveler and CIO of a major Fortune 1000 company, may be your ideal customer.

Read more in this week’s AdWeek.

— Posted by Melissa Coyle

Hide and Search

Recent research from Jupiter Research reveals that the top challenge facing search marketers is rising key word prices (62%), followed by:

  • ROI tracking (44%)
  • Management of multiple engines (43%)
  • Expansion of keyword (42%)
  • Measure of off-line impact (34%)
  • Click fraud (28%)
  • Bid tool functionality (21%)
  • Declining ROI (21%)

According to Jupiter, spending on search will rise to $11.1 billion by 2011 and paid search spending will increase by 65% this year alone. However, despite the concern over rising costs, marketers do not seem as worried about declining ROI – insinuating that even with costs rising, search is still profitable.

— Posted by Melissa Coyle

Who wants my MTV?

Viacom’s MTV announced today that it will, for the first time, begin measuring audience viewing second-by-second in hopes of gathering more precise data on its commercial break placements and consumer viewing tendencies. This second-by-second audience data will help monitor viewer behavior during specific moments within ad breaks, revealing whether commercial viewing is different in prime time vs. late night or if certain types of commercials rate higher.

Thanks to devices like DVR and TiVO, consumers now control whether they want to see an ad or not. This data will tell TV executives how their viewers may be acting differently during different times of day and difference programs, ultimately helping advertisers to better place ads and target consumers.

Read more about this move.

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