Archive for February, 2010

When adorable advertising is overdone

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on February 24th, 2010 at 12:00 am

I want ever so much to tell you that ads prominently featuring puppies, kittens, and baby animals of all sorts have no effect on me whatsoever. I want to tell you that because I know enough about advertising, marketing, and underlying human psychology, I am immune to this sort of ploy. I want to tell you this. But alas, I cannot.
I, like so many others, am a sucker for grotesquely adorable photos and videos. I swoon over squishy cheeks. I coo at oversized Precious Moments-esque eyes. And I absolutely want to smother (in a good way) baby animals that haven't grown into their own paws yet.
Did I make my last toilet paper purchase based on the puppy on the package? Yes. Yes, I did.
If you have a product that can reasonably feature cute animals in its advertising, and I am at all in need of that category of products, you'll win my business every time by flashing a wet nose and pair of puppy dog eyes at me. That's it. I'm a cheap marketing date.
That's why, when I saw this ad, what instantly sprang to mind wasn't, "Aaaaawwwww," but rather, "What kind of budget did the brand blow here?"
I... Read more

Do you Trust Your Data?

Posted by Jeff Hirsch on February 22nd, 2010 at 12:00 am

One of the chief concerns advertiser's have about working with ad networks is that they often have significant access to data, however  there is rarely transparency about its' origins. On the flip side, publishers want to make sure that how their data is utilized is 100% under their control.
 So how do you know where your audience data is coming from? When you're evaluating a network, or buying segments from an exchange, here are certain things to look for and demand from your data providers.

Industry Best Practices for Privacy – are data practices reviewed and certified compliant by NAI and IAB standards? Is the privacy policy clearly posted on the site?
Opt-outs – as a matter of written policy, does your provider offer opt-outs?
Anonymity – as a matter of written policy, does your provider state that it does not collect, process or store personally identifiable information? Does this extend to both online and offline data sources?
Quality Verification – Does your provider conduct internal audits to ensure accuracy of data and intelligence? Will they guarantee that quality?
Fair Use – What kind of contracts are in place to ensure the rights to use data and that the owners of the data are being... Read more

3 Tactics to Optimize E-Mail Nurturing

Posted by Daniel Flamberg on February 22nd, 2010 at 12:00 am

Marketing is a process of nurturing interested prospects from awareness and info gathering through preference to conversion. E-mail has become our tool of choice because it's widely used and accepted, flexible, easy to change or update and it's cheap. But assuming a prospect needs a series of messages or branded interactions between initial interest and sale, what's the best way to engage, entertain and grow the relationship? 

There is a clear, if unacknowledged, difference between jamming messages down their throats and building a customer-friendly sequence of messages that keep you top of mind without turning off your prospects. 

New research by MarketingSherpa casts some light on the topic by documenting the mis-match between marketers' perceptions and their prospect's perspective. The key take-away is that the two are out of synch. Marketers love the tools they've bought and used time and time again like white papers, research studies and content considered "educational." 

But many customers could care less about getting this stuff. This corresponds to my experience with many brands who have put carpet bombing e-mail programs in-place with little regard for frequency, segmentation or the content needs of prospective buyers. The marketing effort is rooted in and measured by showing outbound activity rather... Read more

Mythbusters: LBS Edition

Posted by Matt Silk on February 22nd, 2010 at 12:00 am

 "Minority Report" flat-out rocks.  What a great movie. 
 Remember the scene where Tom Cruise runs through the mall with the "precog" played by Samantha Morton?  And the security guys can track his movements because of a futuristic location-based retinal-scanning technology Steven Spielberg brilliantly set up in an earlier scene?
 Armchair futurists in the mobile space have been touting LBS (location-based service) as the next big thing in digital marketing for years now. 
 But while location targeting has come a long way in recent years, we aren't quite to "Minority Report" just yet.
 Let's cut through clutter, bust a few myths, and focus on the things marketers can and cannot currently do with LBS. 

Yes, the mobile Web has a few ways to triangulate your location, and mobile apps can be location-aware leveraging the GPS chips on your phone. But they must be turned on in order to transmit that data or you need a subscriber to download an app to the phone.

Sprint is the first carrier to open up its network for commercializing location-based messaging – nirvana for digital marketers.  AT&T is just starting to open the kimono – and once the AT&Ts and Verizons fully join the party, LBS can become... Read more

Zappos & the Importance of a Vibrant Corporate Culture

Posted by Michael Sprouse on February 22nd, 2010 at 12:00 am

Corporate culture is a topic that is very important and often overlooked by many businesses. The detractors claim that it is difficult or even impossible to measure the impact that corporate culture has on the bottom line. Phrases and topics like "employee empowerment," "managing from the bottom-up," "management training," and "employee perks" are still not widely embraced in most businesses.
My question is: Why not? I’d like to provide an alternate point of view. One of the tent poles of Epic Advertising over the past two years has been a focus on our culture and people. The result? Two consecutive years of great business success, double-digit percent year over year revenue growth, and a No. 3 ranking in Crain's New York Business “Best Places to Work” 2009 competition.
But my intent here is not to tout Epic. Perhaps the best example of the importance of corporate culture and how it is a key component to success is Zappos. In case you’re not familiar with Zappos, we featured them in our latest issue of Winning the Web. Zappos also has a fantastic subscription site - called Zappos Insights - devoted entirely to helping other businesses enhance their corporate culture and develop an innovative... Read more