Megan on Marketing

Online Marketing is discussed

Mobile Marketing

In Canada, the majority of the population are mobile subscribers, with techvibes stating that numberto be 70%.  Most of these users are active, with more than 4 million accessing the web on our mobiles more than once a week.  However spending on mobile advertising and marketing is less than $5 million annually, which is only a small portion of what the US spends on advertising and marketing.

Mashable.com lists the top 5 mobile advertising trends to watch on their website.

  1. Continued Importance of SMS
  2. Experimentatio with Rich Media
  3. Mobile Sites vs. Mobile Apps
  4. Interest in Geo Location
  5. The Growth of Mobile Video

In Canada, mobile marketing is not be utilized as effectively as it could be.  It is a trend that will continue to rise until its full potential is tapped.  Since technology evolves so rapidly this is an area that requires constant attention if a company wishes to be successful witht their mobile advertising.

November 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Email Marketing:”Permission” is Not Optional

“Permission is basic equipment, not an optional extra” – Lyris HQ

According to Lyris HQ, “when you market to people who have told you expressly that they want to hear from you, you can expect to see these results:

1. Better response rates
2. Increased trust and brand affinity
3. Better deliverability”

Express permission is defined as coming from “the user himself, when he checks a box requesting your emails on a site-registration form or point-of-purchase postcard, agrees in person or sends in an email request.”

November 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Virtual Worlds: A huge source of revenue

Marketers have found a way to make real revenues in virtual worlds.  One of the biggest virtual worlds on the internet is Webkinz.  An online world that is targeted to young children between the ages on 7-12.  There is also a Webkinz Jr website ehich targets children age 3-6.

In order to access the online world, you must purchase a plush toy from a physical store and use the product code to gain access to the website.  A quick look at the Webkinz website will reveal that these children are exposed to many advertisments.

“By the year 2011, eMarketer predicts that 53 percent of all American child and teen Internet users will visit virtual worlds at least once a month.” – Alycia de Mesa

Webkinz has also set up an online store where virtual items can be purchased with real money.  Obviously this takes the co operation of the childrens parents to facilitate these payments.

Many other companies have joined the virtual world such as Disney, Mattel and Lego.

According to the NY times, “Disney’s biggest online world is Club Penguin, which it bought in August from three Canadians in a deal worth $700 million. At the time, more than 700,000 members paid fees of $5.95 a month, delivering annual revenue of almost $50 million.”

November 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Interactive Advertising

Do you remember the last banner ad you saw on a website?  probably not!  this is because we have become so accustom to seeing these ads that we have learned to tune them out, and simply ignore them.  So what can companies that utilize online advertising do to get their ads noticed? the answer: interactive advertising.

“Of course, consumers always have the option of not paying attention to, becoming involved with or ignoring the ad. In the case of the Internet, however, the control has switched (for the most part) from advertiser to consumer.” – Shelly Rodgers and Esther Thorson

Advertising can occur in many different formats, which are constantly changin to reflect industry trends.  Here are the breakdown of ad fomats for 2010 from the Interactive Advertising Bureau

The Internet is a medium where users must be engaged in order to use it.  Advertising works the same way.  It is more effective when users are activley engaged in what they are doing.  The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada even specifies Canadian Interactive Advertising Standards and Specifications.

You can check out the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Facebook Page

November 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Search Engine Advertising

Search Engine Marketing is widely used today as the Internet continues to be a widely used platform for information seraching.  Markers have found a way to use the prevalence of the internet and the popularity of search engines to taget customers and increase brand and product awareness.  Since search engines are the go to for almost anyone trying to find information on the Internet, here are some “Effective Search Engine Marketing Strategies” to consider.

Serach Engine Marketing has been around since 1996, but is now more popluar than ever.  According to Alan Lim

“Between 2002 and 2006, the budgets for this method of marketing have increased across the board by 750%.  That’s even though this form of marketing is also one of the most affordable. In fact, all advertisers in North America in 2006 combined spent more than $9 billion on search engine marketing.

Search engine marketing can basically be divided into two categories, Organic, and Paid.  Organic listings are the unpaid, and most companies strive to be the first on google.  These positions are taken by content rich websites which are easy to navigate and full of keyword.  Paid advertisments, on the other had, are when something like Google AdWords are bought, and your advertisment shows up as when someone searches for those AdWords.  Although organic listings may take longer to reach the top of the Google ladder, they generate higher traffic and are seen as more trustworthy – and they are FREE.  Google AdWords are less timely, but expensive.

There are some key differences between SEO and SEm which can be looked at “Search Engine Marketing vs. Search Engine Optimization“.

November 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization refers to improving the visibilitty of one’s web presence.    It is a form of Search Engine Marketing that will help drive traffic to your site.  When you think of a search engine, Google is probably the first thing that pops into your mind.  However there are also many other popular search engines such as Bing, Yahoo!, and Dogpile to name a few.  In these search engines, many different types of content can be searched for including images, and local listings.  This allows users to select what they are looking for, and give them a list of more specific results.

There are many different tactics that markers can employ in order to optimize their websites specifically for search engine results.  Search engines rely on things such as keywords, headings, images, and content to rank pages as seen fit.

All Business’s article on “How Can I Use Search Engine Marketing to Promote my Business” outlines the ways to be search engine friendly.  It is also important to note that if you are changing your website you need to pay attention to your SEO plan.  There is also an article titles “Redesigning Yor Web Site? You need an SEO Migration Plan”.  This article contains things related to

  • Changing domain names
  • Changing content management systems
  • Changing design
  • Changing web hosts

Some experts also suggest you “Prepare your search engine optimisation for Chritmas…” since people tend to search for more specific things at this time of year.  This is an important considerations for businesses who rely heavily on SEO to establish their web presence.

Since it can be an aquired skill to be successfull at optimizing your website for SEO, many thrid party sites offer optimizing services such as:

October 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Viral Marketing – not as bad as it sounds

Viral campaigns are not easy to implement.  They start with an idea so crazy, or funny that you can’t help but clicking the forward button and sharing with your entire address book.  That being said, it takes a BIG idea to have this effect.  Recently on the apprentice, the 2 teams had a task of creating a viral video for Popcorn, Indiana.  Needless to say, neither team did a very good job.

The Apprentice Men – Popcorn fight

The Apprentice Women – Lunch break workout

Neither of these wannabe viral campaigns earned accolades from The Donald, or the CEO of the company.  But just in case you’re curios – the mens team won.  This was due to their  effort in creating a spectacle, rather than the woman’s team more commercial-like campaign.

If you’re viral campaign is not the greatest, you could still get the attention you desire by being featured on “The Top 10 Dumbest Viral Marketing Campaigns”

On the other side of the spectrum, you can check out some examples of good viral marketing campaigns.

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Social Networks and Customer Engagement

So…I’ve got you here…..but how to I make you stay, and keep you coming back for more?  With the advent of social media, that is the question a lot of brands are asking these days.  Thandian News reports that university students have an attetion span of just 10 minutes.  I’d say that may be slightly higher than other users due to our “conditioning” (3 hour lecture anyone?).  So how can a brand get users to stay on their site once they get their.  The answer is engagement.  SOS eMarketing has posted “The Rules Of Customer Engagement On Social Networks” on their website, where they specifically discuss the use of Facebook and Twitter.  So….why is customer engagment so important??  According to WTN news, customer engagement drives loyalty, referrals, and growth.

ENGAGEMENTdb hasa very interesting website, where they have compiled a list of brands and ranked them based on “how they leverage social media to interact with customers.”  A report published August 3rd, 2009 indicated that “Starbucks unseated Coca Cola as the #1 Facebook brand”.  On the other end of the spectrum, brand like Wrigley, Allianz, and AIG were rated 97, 98, and 99 respectively.  Fedex and Cocal-Cola were smack dab in the middle with a tie for the position of 51.

Naturally, 3rd party companies have developed to assist companies in the area of brand engagement.  4orce, an “Award-Winning Brand Engagement Agency” decription of services:

“4orce bridges the space between branded engagement and digital technology. By blending creativity, design, insights and intelligence, and usability testing, we deliver marketing solutions from an empirical perspective on what makes consumers tick and how they interact with brands.”

They perform social media services such as

  • Display
  • SEM
  • Social
  • Planning
  • Mobile
  • Email

It is reported on their website that only 40% of Companies have a Social Media Plan.  Should the other 60% percent of Companies hop on the social media bandwagon, or will the social media craze be over as fast as it started?

What’s next in the rapidly changing technological society that we live in today?

October 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Appearance matters on the Interent too

When you walk into a retail outlet you notice everything around you.  How the products are dislpayed, what colours are used, fixtures, lighting, music, and staff all form the ambience of a store, and may influence your opinion of that particular establishment and brand. 

Even though not all of those physical experiences are relevant on the internet, the layout, design, and usability of your website are. These are the  factors that may cause people to form opinions about your brand in the online world.

It is safe to say that even some of the smallest businesses have some sort of web presence.  But that web presence may not be achieving it’s full potential if it is not executed with the customer in mind.  According to Chris Brogan – President of New Marketing Labs – one of the points that may seem very obvious when designing your web page is  to “make [things] really obvious”.  Sounds easy enough? Right? well many sites have trouble implementing this seamingly simple task of making things really easy!  If your customers cannot figure out what to do on your website, then there is a good possiblilty they will get fed up and leave all together.  There is no point in attracting customers to a web site if they get frustrated and end up leaving right away.  From that point on, it is possible that they will have a negative perception of you and your brand.

Once you’ve done the work to get your cusomers on your site – it is imperative that they stay. According to searchSOA.com,  stickiness is an important evaluator in web site functions, and is also something that advertisers use to evaluate “what a website has to offer”.  The theory behind this is that the longer someone is on your site, the more ads they will view.

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you are reading this, I know who you are…

Okay, maybe I can’t see your facebook page, but the amazing world of web analytics can tell me a lot of information about you.  That information may be a very valuable tool for market research.  Analytics can be applied to web pages for free by signing up for a Google Analytics account and inserting the java script into the html code – easy as that.

Once web analytics has been applied to a site, the account user may then see information such as page views, number of unique visitors, and how each visitor got to the site (e.g. google search, linked from blog, domain name); among other statistics.  However, this information is only useful if you can interpret it with meaning and use the information to make appropriate changes to your site.

There is even a Web Analytics Association which “leads, unites and fosters the interests of industry practitioners, vendors, consultants and educators worldwide.”

September 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment