Marketing Momentum

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Association of National Advertisers Launches Blog

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) recently launched it's new blog, ANA Marketing Maestros.

Wow, this must be the month for advertising associations to launch blogs. Like everyone else who is blogging, they see the opportunity and don't want to be left out.

Filed In:

Sunday, March 26, 2006

AdCouncil Starts Blog

The AdCouncil, the same folks who brought you Smokey the Bear, started a blog - Adlibbing.

"We've started this blog to broaden the reach of our public service campaigns and give you new insight into how we raise awareness for critical social issues. And, we hope that you'll join us in taking our public service campaigns to the next level -- discussion. We'll update the blog periodically, focusing on new and existing campaigns that the Ad Council produced. You'll find our thoughts behind the campaign, relevant links for action, and we'll also follow the discussions that the world is having in response to our PSAs. So, check back often for updates (you can even subscribe to our RSS feed), and help us start meaningful dialogue on these critical social issues."

Filed In:

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Google Selling Ad Space in Magazines?

According to BusinessWeek, Google auctioned off ad space it purchased in about two dozen magazines, including Martha Stewart Living and Road & Track, but the results were disappointing.

The auction was open to thousands of advertisers, but Google had to extend the auction to lure more bidders. Nicholas Longo, CEO of CoffeeCup Software, which makes tools for creating web sites, only paid $4,000 for each of his three half-page ads in Martha Stewart Living, which typically costs more than $59,000 for one half-page ad.

Barry Schnitt, Google spokesman, acknowledged low demand for its print auction, but stated Google did little to market the opportunity to its network of several hundred thousand advertisers. Its primary goal was to test the auction process for print ads.

This is not the first time, Google has experimented with selling print ads. Late last year, it conducted its first trial by purchasing and reselling ad space in a handful of magazines. Although Google raved about its success, a BusinessWeek analysis found that 8 of 10 participating advertisers were disappointed with the results and probably wouldn't buy print ads through Google again.

Google executives are seeking to expand Google's online advertising with radio, print, and television ads. In an attempt to further that effort in January 2006, Google acquired dMarc Broadcasting, which facilitates the sale of radio advertising.

Seems that Google's breaking a basic marketing principle - create a niche and stick to it. Target marketing tells us you can't be all things to all people. By branching into print advertising, and deviating from what the Google entity is known for, it's no wonder the results were disappointing. Google's target market of advertisers perceive Google as an online provider of ad space, and it's hard for them to make the jump in considering Google for anything but an online advertising provider.

Brand perception is everything. If Google really wants to make a concerted effort in expanding it advertising efforts, it needs to do so under a different brand name, with a different brand image, niche, and target audience. Changing consumer perception on your brand image is very difficult, and if not done properly, your customers will become confused and leave.

Filed In:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tips for Becoming a Heavily Quoted Source

PR Newswire offers Six Simple Steps for Turning Your Company into a Heavily Quoted Source.

According to Dan Forbush, president and founder of ProfNet, a lot of media pickup isn't always driven by stellar press releases. "There are two essential approaches to media placement. One is to persuade reporters that your organization has news worth reporting - this approach is deliberate and release driven. The other is to persuade reporters that there are individuals within your organization who - because of their industry perspective or some form of expertise - are worth interviewing. This approach is opportunistic and pitch driven."

Forbush's tips include:
  • Play reporter. Understand the readers you must satisfy - topics of interest, unique story angles, and sources of expertise.
  • Become a matchmaker. Identify individuals within your organization or clientele who can satisfy the reporting needs and any presentations that would be persuasive.
  • Identify ideas for the masses vs. tailored pitches. Tailor an idea for a single reporter by taking their interests into consideration.
  • Adopt a long-term perspective. Craft your pitch in a way that if it's not picked up, you can be confident your next pitch will be read. You want to position yourself as a reliable source.
  • Perform an Expert Audit. Identify colleagues or clients and who can talk effectively about specific topics.
  • Develop platforms for spokespeople. Profile your spokespeople and other expert resources on your website. Send a media advisory alerting reporters on the availability of your spokesperson on hot topic issues.

Filed In:

Sunday, March 19, 2006

How Damaging is Word of Mouth?

If you've ever wondered just how damaging negative word of mouth is, the Verde Group and Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania recently released it's Customer Dissatisfaction Study. The study provides lots of good data and quantifies the importance of good customer service.

Key highlights:
  • More than 50% of Americans reported that a negative shopping experience of a friend or colleague deters them from shopping at a particular retailer.
  • As shopping problems are repeated, they often get embellished and become up to five times more damaging to customer retention than the initial negative shopping experience.
  • For every 100 American shoppers, 64 will be told about a store's poor products or services and no matter what that store does to entice shoppers -sales, promotions, advertising, marketing - they will not shop at that store.
  • Dissatisfied shoppers are five times more likely to tell a friend about their experience than contact the company.
  • Top problems include timeliness, merchandising, and front line staff.
  • The bigger the store, the more likely poor customer service.
  • Department stores and mass merchandisers have more customer service problems related to time and accessibility.

Filed In:

Saturday, March 18, 2006

E-mails Become More Targeted

eMarketer recently reported that e-mail marketing messages work so long as you research your target audiences' needs and interests, and that more receivers of e-mail marketing messages are reporting that those messages are relevant to their preferences.

Aren't marketers suppose to identify its target audiences' characteristics with any marketing initiative whether it be print or electronic? With spam blockers and the growing trend towards permission based marketing, understanding your target audience is proving to be more crucial in communicating with them electronically.

Filed In:

Thursday, March 16, 2006

College Acceptance Podcast

Fitchburg State College is doing away with acceptance letters in favor of podcasts. The Wired Campus recently reported more than 1,000 accepted students will receive an e-mail directing them to iTunes for Robert V. Antonucci's, the college's president, podcast.

A year ago, I was at a University Continuing Education Association conference where the keynote speaker said if you're not utilizing communication technologies that your students use, then you're not providing their preferred option of communication and likewise, eliminating their communication with you.

With the college's move toward podcasting, Fitchburg State College is making the statement that it understands how its students prefer to communicate. But, Wet Feet PR raises a good question of what communication is given to those who do not get accepted.

At the college where I work, Frederick Community College, we surveyed students on how they preferred to receive communication for their first semester, and surprisingly they overwhelmingly chose snail mail over electronic communication. Go figure?!

Filed In: , , ,

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Build an Opt-In E-Mail List with Message Boards

With spamblockers, e-mail postage, and other technologies supporting permission based marketing, developing an opt-in list is becoming more and more necessary.

Connie Casparie recommends using popular message boards to build an opt-in list, and where I think that's great idea, I'm a bit skeptical on her suggestion for offering prizes. Seems to me that people opt-in because they truly have an interest, and the free prize isn't as much of an enticer as it is a bonus.

I agree that people like freebies, but rather than using them to grow relationships use them to strengthen relationships.

Categories: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hilton Develops Microsites for Specific Audiences

According to ClikZ, Hilton is trying to increase its online booking and is attempting to do so by launching dozens of microsites designed for specific target audiences - government and military travelers, wedding planners, and U.S. Olympics sports organizations just to name a few.

Online bookings, which cost the company less and enables it to implement CRM initiatives with customers, grew 30 percent from 2004 to 2005, and are fast approaching $2 billion in revenues.
Bala Subramanian, senior VP of distribution and brand integration for Hilton Hotels, stated "Anything that people book online costs a third of what it costs if they call us, and it costs one tenth of what it costs if they come through an intermediary."

Plus, online booking makes it possible for a hotel guest to enter Hilton's CRM system well before check-in, so it could potentially offer revenue producing services like a pre-ordered dinner for someone who will be checking in late.

It's another pioneering move in online target marketing. Not to sound too critical, but after seeing Hilton's busy homepage, I can see why they may need microsites.

Filed In: , , , ,

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tips for Getting Comments

A recent Conversations with Experts podcast interviewed Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion. In addition to asking him about the future of blogging and corporate blogs the hosts also got his insight on getting comments.

A couple of interesting points to note:

1. People may feel uncomfortable about commenting because they're concerned about security and don't want to publish personal information on the web (i.e. email addresses).

2. If you're looking for comments, ask questions.

To follow his advice, do you know of any measures being taken where readers can comment anonymously without using email addresses, as well as any other security measures for posting comments?

Filed In:

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Goals for Your Blog

If you're blogging than you must obviously have a reason for it. But there real question is, do you have a well thought out plan for your blog especially if your blogging for business?

Blogs and Connections: Process and Goal Setting provides good insight on developing your blog for the purpose you intend.

Key highlights:
  • Identify what your blog is expected to achieve in the way of goals.
  • Develop an action plan for writing timely and informative posts, the number of posts written per week, finding new and interesting content ideas, building a readership audience through increased visitor traffic, and developing interaction and connections with the readers, other bloggers, current and potential customers and clients, and the internet population as a whole.
  • To create a successful blog and develop long term connections and relationships, your blog must have predetermined goals that are flexible to change.

I initially created my blog to get into podcasting. I have an iPod and I enjoy listening to podcasts, so I thought it would be fun to get into podcasting. Although, that's still a goal I hope to achieve, my blog currently provides me with a means staying up-to-date on marketing issues and sharing that information and my thoughts with others; utilizing technology that will, one day, totally change the way I, as a marketer, communicate with target audiences; and, unexpectedly, a course to propose to local colleges.

The action plan is probably the most difficult. I initially thought I would post everyday and after a week or two, reality set in. With work, volunteer activities, and trying to find sometime for a social life with family and friends, I don't have the time to post everyday. Plus, looking for news, that interests me, isn't always easy. So, now my action plan for posting is down to two - three times a week.

Filed In: , , , , , , ,