Friday, 24 April 2009

No more clicks

I did something very strange the other day. I clicked on a banner. Now with click through rates hovering around 0.2% on a so so day and the fact that we know there are some habitual clickers (god knows why) and some accidental clickers like my children (god knows where to). I think it is something to be remarked on. I don't click is becoming the modern equivalent of i don't watch ads.

Now I have to fess up. It was on a business site and the banner was taking me to a sister publication so you could argue it was a button or a link dressed up as a banner. So the only time i have clicked on a banner is in a contextual environment. I am not saying network buys don't cost in. Network buys clearly make sense for mass market products and awareness objectives but for specialist categories and b2b you may be better off looking at specialist networks or finding different ways to spend your money, like sponsored email, smarter search, links and buttons. Focussing on those people in the market mood. Never the less it still feels odd that this great thing the internet is premised on its ability to serve up relevant content but we still deliver marketing messages on a semi random basis.

The easy counter argument to this is that brands do invest in network display campaigns because it works; but you would be assuming that they can track activity through to sale. You would be surprised how few brands do this as well as they profess to.

Do you click?

Friday, 10 April 2009

The only marketing rule you will ever need

I have worked it out, forget your top ten lists. I know we all like lists but there is only one rule you need in the new marketing environment and that is.

Be interesting.

Ok we have known this for a while and you could say it is just another way of saying content, content, content.

But to be interesting you have to all of the following.

(1) segment your market - create personas if we want to get digital about it.
(2) understand your customers requirements
(3) give them the personal treatment
(4) be relevant
(5) get to the point quickly
(6) ignore your (product) agenda until you know what the consumer wants

I quite like the way HSBC give lots of business advice on their business banking pages but there again the choice for them is easy, business banking is inherently dull. I also had a look at Evans's website (the cycle people). They have some interesting areas like 'ride2work', 'news and events' but they should be part of the landing environment not something to do after you have scanned the product pages. And why don't they have lots of pages about great places to cycle or videos. If it is there, it is very well hidden.

Sales people always want the products up front which is ironic given that sales people always say good ones engage the customer before they talk about the product. You know the car salesman who asks you how you are going to use the car, what sort of trips you will make before talking petrol and cars.

Are we all just too good at ignoring our own advice?

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Big budgets can lead to lazy marketing

Some marketers have too much money. If they had limited budget they would :-

(1) Make sure the website was a focal point of the business
(2) Invest time in creating interesting content covering the category, events to video.
(3) Get a few staff to blog their little socks off
(4) Optimise the site for organic search
(5) Share as much as possible with key influencers
(6) Capture customer data, give customers a personal service, do CRM, maximise retention
(7) Give their brand personality
(8) Develop affiliate relationships - old style and new style affiliates
(9) Link, link, link

... and so on and so on

If they have too much money they :-

(a) Do big ads and talk about big ideas, (not lots of great little ideas)
(b) Run regular DM programs, saying the same thing to the same prospects again and again.
(c) Do lots of paid search
(d) Try to sell off the page
(e) Talk about being customer centric
(f) Copy their nearest competitors

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Just curious about marketing, psychology, economics, business, irrational behaviour, people, models, communications, advertising, market imperfections, b2b marketing. I work in the marketing communications industry for OgilvyOne.