Marketing Momentum

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Marketers Overlook Search Engines

With search engine research now being a daily routine for consumer shopping, many marketers have yet to adjust their advertising strategies to address this new reality. RISMedia highlights the importance of search engine advertising and what to consider when integrating search advertising in marketing campaigns.

Key Highlights:
  • Forty-one percent of web users find brands through search rather than typing a URL into a browser.
  • One of the key drivers of search is TV.
  • Laptops share the couch as consumers watch TV with 66.2% of consumers regularly watching TV and using Internet simultaneously.
  • Burger King and Pontiac are good examples of integrating TV advertising with search. When it's Super Bowl commercial ran, Burger King purchased keywords/phrases like"Burger King", "Whopper", "Whopperette" and "Super Bowl Commercial". Pontiac's commercial stated, "Don't take our word for it, Google 'Pontiac' to find out!"
  • With companies having the ability to bid higher on their competitors keywords and potentially woo away customers, Yahoo is starting to restrict purchases of trademark names only to their owners.
  • Marketers should purchase a lot of different words, test them and determine what words work best. It's not always necessary to buy the top position, rather number 2, 3, 4, or 5 may be better because those positions perform well for the cost.
  • Purchase keywords that take the length of the buying cycle into account. Buyers start searching using generic terms. As they come closer to purchase, their search narrows to brand names, specific products and locations.
I can definitely relate to this article for two reasons: I'm part of the 66.2% who sits on the couch watching TV while searching on the Internet (my husband thinks I'm a junkie), and I'm also like many marketers who don't include search in marketing plans. As much as I follow the consumer pattern, I failed to recognize it from a marketing perspective. I suppose I thought of my behavior as more of a personal trait than being part of a trend.

Even though this article has provided me with a good understanding, I'm not sure if I could include search in my promotional plans. I work for a college and we don't have large marketing budgets for each program. Sadly though, I was searching for a specific program earlier today and by page three I still couldn't find our program, but I did find the same program at a college approximately an hour away from us.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

What's in a Logo?

It's important that a logo be unique, attention grabbing, memorable and understandable at any size. Vigor's blog provides five categories for logo development in it's Is Your Logo A "No Go?" post.

The five categories include:
  • Readability - whether tiny or huge, a logo needs to be readable and recognizable
  • Originality - your logo should look different and be uniquely yours
  • Color and Fonts - they should relate to your target market
  • Relevancy - the composition needs to be relevant to your industry
  • Complexity - keep it simple yet strong
For companies with 5 or more years in business, the post recommends a total identity update as those businesses are more established in their industry. Whereas, companies in business for less than 5 years can get away with a just a logo redesign to enhance their image and brand strategy.
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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Whitepaper on Communication Strategies for the Blogosphere

In its Communication Strategies for the Blogosphere: a perspective on integrating blogging into a strategic public relations program, provides good information for companies looking to understand the effects the blogosphere has on industries and companies.

Key highlights:
  • Responding to blogs: having your say after the fact
  • Blog outreach: actively pursuing bloggers
  • Becoming your own blogger: getting in on the action

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Brand Searches Lead to Other Web Sites

DMNews reports people who search for a company's brand name don't always go to the brand's web site, and instead visit the web sites of its competitors, affiliates or price-comparison sites because those sites rank the highest in results. This and more details were obtained from Hitwise's Search Brand Management Report.

The report tracked 30 leading online brands in the travel, retail and business and finance categories in February. Where 85% of the searches resulted in consumers visiting the brand owner's web site, it lost 15% in potential sales from searchers going to other sites.

Marketers now need to be even more savvy about buying keywords on their brand names as consumer search engine usage increases in searching for brands. Hitwise found 75 of the top 100 search terms across all categories, in February, contained brand names - an increase of 17% from February 2005.

I'm not too familiar with search engine marketing, but after reading this I'm beginning to think I need to be.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Blogging, Social Networking, and Local Information Sites Growing Strong

According to Washington Post Staff Writer, Leslie Walker, sites focused on social networking, blogging and local information are growing tremendously. Her article, New Trends in Online Traffic, highlights findings from ComScore Media Metrix, which examined visitor growth rates among the 50 top Web sites over the past year.

Key highlights:

  • Top-ranked sites growing with the most visitors from Feb. 05 to Feb. 06 include (528%), (318%), Wikipedia (275%), and Citysearch (185%).
  • The number of people posting or reading material on Blogger jumped to 15.6 million last month from 2.5 million a year ago.
  • Although Yahoo has the largest US audience, its visitor growth slowed to almost 5 percent last year.
  • Google's user rate rose to 21 percent in the past year largely as a result of expanding its market share for Web search and attracting new users with new services such as e-mail, mapping and personal publishing. Combined traffic, from all the properties it owns including, Google's total audience jumped 27 percent last year.
  • MySpace experienced the most recent dramatic growth with pulling 37 million visitors last month, 28 million more than a year ago. Based on total pages viewed and the time spent by each visitor, MySpace ranked No. 2 on the entire Internet, behind Yahoo.

Gary Arlen's, a research analyst and president of Arlen Communications Inc, statement-"The growth in blogging reminds us the Internet is fulfilling its original promise about participation. This medium empowers users in such a way that they can do what they want and be heard"- confirms the huge marketing potential for businesses to reach and interact with customers and potential customers.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Corporate Branding in Sports Going Too Far?

We've all seen the impact of corporate advertising in sports - large stadium advertisements to corporate sky boxes to corporate named stadiums.

Here in Baltimore, the Ravens play at M&T Stadium. Previously, it was Stadium, but when the company was suffering it could no longer afford the stadium sponsorship. Although Baltimorians had fun toying with possible corporate sponsors, like "Rent-A-Wreck Stadium" and "M/T (empty) Stadium - a.k.a. M&T Stadium," considerations for naming a stadium are much different than the days of Memorial Stadium - a football/baseball stadium that was dedicated to honor the dead of World Wars I & II.

Now I've just read where Red Bull is the owner of a Major League Soccer franchise in New York, and has named the team the New York Red Bulls. I have to wonder if Red Bull ever decides to sell the team to another company, will the New York Red Bulls change their name because the new owner/company doesn't want to advertise the former?

Personally, I think commercialism has gone too far when stadiums, and most certainly teams, are being named after companies. Going from a mentality of dedicating a stadium to those who lost their lives in World Wars I & II to intentionally seeking to name a stadium after a company that's willing to pay the most, is just sad.

Professionally, as a marketer, renaming a team is like renaming a brand. It's extreamly challenging because of issues like consumer loyalty and perception. I would imagine it would be even more difficult as team fans express such loyalty that it becomes a cultural way of life.

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