Archive for Zephrin Lasker

A Perfect Advertising Cocktail

Posted by Zephrin Lasker on February 18th, 2010 at 12:00 am

A quick perusal of the advertising trades over the last six months shows the emergence of a new cocktail: a shot of heady new technologies like social marketing with a splash of old favorites like email and CRM. This is an encouraging development.
It shows that the industry is willing to embrace all that is new and exciting, without sacrificing the focus on ROI. The latter is especially important as the ability to deliver measurable results is what has driven online advertising's growth over the last decade.
Take a look at some of the marketers that are converging branding and performance campaigns:

In what has to be a watershed moment for advertising, Pepsi decided not to advertise during the Super Bowl. Instead, it decided to engage consumers in a two-way dialogue through social networks.  To quote Lauren Hobart from TIME magazine, "It's a big shift. We explored different launch plans, and the Super Bowl just wasn't the right venue, because we're really trying to spark a full-year movement from the ground up. The plan is to have much more two-way dialogue with our customers."

 The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is using a combination of... Read more

Thinking (and acting) beyond the Idiot Box

Posted by Zephrin Lasker on January 20th, 2010 at 12:00 am

The Guardian's recent claim that people are indeed willing to pay for news content through the form of a paid-for-news iPhone app is encouraging. It is a sign that publishers are implementing pricing models and strategies that are beyond the TV/broadcasting/online banner era. The Guardian charges £2.39 for its app, which doesn't appear to be hurting its downloads very much. In its first month, the app has been downloaded almost 70,000 times and is number 26 in Apple's UK App Store chart.
Instead of seeking ways to take control over falling CPMs, publishers are finding creative ways to monetize their content and keep up with changing consumer behavior. The quick moves from publishers like Condé Nast, Time Warner, and Bonnier to create concepts for touchscreen tablets is yet another example of how changing technologies are giving publishers new opportunities to increase revenue.
It's not just technologically driven, though. Publishers are coming up with ideas that don't necessarily depend on the latest devices but are nonetheless guided by consumer preferences. 60% of moms who didn't previously use coupons, now say they actively look for deals. In response, Planning Family.com, a leading publisher geared towards moms, began to monetize untapped revenue streams, like... Read more

Four Major Social Media Lessons in 2009

Posted by Zephrin Lasker on December 17th, 2009 at 12:00 am

As we get ready to spend large amounts of times with our friends and families this holiday season, we are reminded of certain social rules that govern our general conduct (kitchen disasters and last minute holiday shopping frenzies excluded). Some of these social codes include: 'tis better to give than to receive, and smile and say thanks - no matter what's inside that tie-shaped box.
In social marketing, as in real life, there are similar codes of conduct that we (should) all follow. However, whereas we've been told over the course of a lifetime how to behave with others face to face, marketers are just now beginning to really understand how to interact with people online. 2009 has been a major year in that regard as thought leadership and research have shed a great deal of light over best practices for connecting with consumers in relevant and meaningful ways.
Here are four important studies that guide proper social (marketing) decorum:
1.    Want to build an effective social media presence? Start with email. You wouldn't go up to someone on the street and ask them to be your Facebook friend right away, would you? Start slow and let people get to know... Read more

Attention Retailers: Are You Looking Beyond the Research?

Posted by Zephrin Lasker on August 27th, 2009 at 12:00 am

On the surface, the latest research in retail marketing paves a clear road to success. According to an article in ClickZ, back to school searches on Google are significantly up. Specifically, searches that reflect more cautious spending: searches for "coupon" are up 40% over last year; "buy one get one free" are up 30%; "free shipping" are up 20%.
Some more retail research: Based on Deloitte's latest Consumer Spending Index, consumer spending is on the rise (an increase of 2.15% in July, the second straight month of growth). At the same time, shoppers continue to be extremely price-sensitive. The National Retail Federation's recent study conducted by BIGresearch found that over 50% of holiday shoppers consider price to be the most important factor when determining where to shop.
What this looks like for retailers is that for the two major upcoming shopping seasons – back to school and the Holidays – there may be a very straightforward opportunity: shoppers are more comfortable spending, but they need to be motivated though special deals and discounts.
It would be easy to conclude then, that with the right call to action, your problems are solved. If you're offering free shipping, just say so. If you... Read more

Hitting the Reset Button for the Online Ad Industry

Posted by Zephrin Lasker on August 12th, 2009 at 12:00 am

A recent AdAge article paints a clear picture of how the recession has changed the online ad industry. As marketers, we've been embattled by the economy for long enough to have learned a thing or two. While things aren't in the clear just yet, they are (hopefully) not getting worse. Though the final outcome is yet to be determined - the one thing that industry experts do agree on is that the way we think about media and accountability has been reset for good.
Advertisers are looking for cause and effect - a demand that won't go away just because budgets return. They want ROI on every dollar spent. Even before the recession, we heard calls for more transparency, more measurability. In response, we looked at new ways to justify old models: buckets of research dollars spent to prove the synergy between search and display, a  surge of ad networks and exchanges to help monetize stagnant inventory. Today, accountability is no longer a nice to have. It's a must. It's not about fixing what's broken - it's about a new direction.
As our industry evolves, so does consumer behavior. With the release of each new media channel and... Read more