Posts filed under ‘advertising’

Consumers are segmenting themselves.

Before allocating resources, savvy marketers identify segments of the marketplace where they stand the best chance of making an impression that will lead to a sale. In short, they look for the “low hanging fruit”.

Big companies use sophisticated CRM (customer relationship management) software to track customer activities, compare them with other customers, and target new offers or custom-tailor support services. In theory, CRM sounds good, but it is complicated and costly.

According to an article by Nick Wreden in Strategy+Business…

A better alternative is now available: The rise in social networks and online communities, combined with the new era of the Web-empowered consumer, makes it possible for companies to reap the benefits of segmentation without many of its costs or complications.

Using self-segmentation information for marketing does present challenges. It must be accompanied by organizational changes. These include allowing or expanding customer input into such insular areas as product design, services, policies, and procedures, and may require that departments other than marketing and customer service open their doors to customers.

Marketing must de-emphasize product promotion and think bigger than the company’s brand, tuning into conversations and issues that customers and prospects face. Monitoring and responding to conversations among multiple communities is labor-intensive, and the signal-to-noise ratio can be low.

There are risks as well. The same community that offers an opportunity for a stronger relationship can also generate a backlash that hurts the brand and affects sales.

Read the entire article here.

November 6, 2009 at 9:15 am 1 comment

Radio reaches more adults than the web.

As a former FM DJ — a long, long time ago — I took some pride in reading this Chart of the Day. That said, I was surprised to see that radio and television are still the best ways to reach adults.

November 3, 2009 at 7:09 pm Leave a comment

Embrace change…

OK, if you’re not a “hugger” you might not know what I mean. And, sheesh (!) that headline is old school, but bear with me. As a marketing coach, a big part of my day is asking questions, so here’s a biggie…

What should you be doing tomorrow that you aren’t doing today?

September 21, 2009 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

Questions about advertising in a down economy.

I work with people who run companies. As a coach, I don’t try to convince them of anything. I make sure they have the information and resources they need to make the right decisions for themselves. Mostly, I ask questions…

  • If you slash your marketing budget, how will your customers know that you are alive and well and ready to do business?
  • Your customers are cutting orders. What is the most cost-effective thing you can do to find new customers?
  • Your competitors have slashed their marketing budgets. Is this a good time to take away their share of the market?

“Advertising” or “marketing communications” can include a wide range of tools and techniques. Every company has to choose the right mix for their audience… print ads, snail mail, email, blog posts, webcasts, trade shows, sky writing, whatever.

If your industry is off 20% in this recession, that means somebody is getting the 80% that’s left. The important thing is to stay as active and visible as you can. Maybe the most important question is…

  • If you decide to compete aggressively, what else can you cut besides marketing?

A good marketing budget includes some combination of brand building, lead generation, direct sales and customer support. Lead generation and direct sales are the easiest to measure, customer support often delivers the greatest ROI.

I would ask…

  • What is your current marketing mix and how should it change in response to current conditions?

Of course, this question should be asked routinely in good times or bad.

June 23, 2009 at 8:48 am 3 comments

Monetize your web app.

Last week, I attended a Think Tank session sponsored by NWEN, the Northwest Entrepreneur Network. The panelists discussed the iPhone ecosystem and marketplace. The three panelists had very different business models and app focus.

This morning, one of my fellow Think Tank committee members sent a link to a blog post by Box UK that analyzes and compares business models for web apps in general. Since “marketing” in its broadest sense includes all aspects of developing and delivering products into the marketplace, I offer the link here.

By far, the most successful business model thus far is based on advertising, where third-parties place clearly defined advertisements within the website/application. Variations include banners, text, inline, pop-over, interstitial, etc. Advertisers are charged by cost per click, cost per action, or cost per thousand impressions.

April 7, 2009 at 7:37 am Leave a comment

Make shrinking dollars work very hard.

Seth Godin tells a great story…

25 years ago, driving cross country to go to my first day of work at Spinnaker Software I was the 30th employee I drove through Chicago. And I passed a Spinnaker billboard. Wow! This company was going somewhere if they had billboards all over the country. When I got to work in Boston two days later, I discovered that this was the one and only billboard they had in the country, strategically erected on the road to the big CES trade show.

When I read it, I thought how important it is for a company with limited resources — almost every company in today’s economy — to pick its battles well. One billboard on the right road at the right time. Brilliant!!

October 22, 2008 at 7:41 pm Leave a comment

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