Articles written in October, 2007

October 31 2007

To bid or not to bid (on Branding)


When it comes to pay per click advertising, it is important to ensure that you are being seen for your own name. Seems like a no brainer, right? Surprisingly, one of the most common misconceptions I hear (almost daily) is when clients’ tell me they already show up in the organic search results under their own name; thus there is no need to spend additional advertising dollars. This could not be any further from the truth. Here are just a few reasons why it’s extraordinarily beneficial to bid on your own name.

  • Showing up under both the organic and paid results in a search engine will reinforce your brand, as well as add credibility to your company.
  • Not all searchers are the same, and therefore search behavior will be unique across the board. Some will only click on paid ads, while others only organic ads. You ought to appear in both areas so as not to lose potential eyes to your site!
  • It is perfectly legitimate and quite prevalent in the world of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for your competition to bid on your name. Google and Yahoo are 2 of the main players today and also hold the largest online market share; according to a recent article which revealed Google at 69 % and Yahoo at 19%. Both engines permit this activity, which means that a competitor can snatch away your searcher without doing anything illegal; provided they do not use your actual name in their ad copy.
  • As many as three paid listings can appear above a natural result, which will allow any company the chance to lure your prospective customer away. Keep in mind: this is a customer who was initially looking for YOU!

Online Advertising has become increasingly competitive. If you want to make a name for yourself, it is essential to stay ahead with your competition! How does that old saying go? If I had a nickel for every time people told me it was not necessary to bid on their company name…

October 26 2007

Microsoft buys Equity Stake in Facebook


Microsoft has won the battle with Google and Yahoo to invest in Facebook. The two companies announced on October 24th that Microsoft will invest $240 million for a 1.6% equity stake in Facebook, a price that values the social networking site at $15 billion. Last year, Microsoft started supplying banner ads for Facebook in the United States through 2011. The new deal secures Microsoft as Facebook’s primary advertising partner and expands its reach to Facebook’s international users, while splitting the revenue.

Marketers are expected to spend about $1.2 billion worldwide on social-networking this year and this number could grow to $3.6 billion by 2011. With 50 million active users, Facebook remains second behind MySpace with over 110 million active users, but Facebook’s audience has been growing at a far more rapid clip during the past year. This is in part due to Facebook’s technology, which has enabled it to distinguish itself from rival social networks like MySpace. In May of this year, it began inviting other companies and outside developers to create tools for the site and share in advertising revenues. Thousands of applications have been developed since, which enable users to personalize pages in various ways. It is also believed that the company is building an operating system that exists on the web instead of on hard drives or personal computers.

Social Networking sites allow internet users to connect with friends and share information such as photos, videos and music. Microsoft plans to tap information on Facebook’s users and will have the ability to offer more targeted ads. Social networking provides the advertising world with something beyond basic demographics. It shows how people interact. Facebook is favored by some over MySpace because it is based on who you really are and who your friends really are. Myspace is not based on authentic identities. Marketers want to reach the real you and not the “fantasy you” that lives onMySpace and uses a photo of a model.

October 24 2007

Mobile Marketing in a Flash


Mobile Marketing in a Flash

Expectations of mobile search and local Mobile search in particular are rising. What took the desktop Internet roughly a decade to develop is happening in a much more condensed period of time in mobile. However, at this point, advertising on mobile phones is a tiny business. Last year spending on mobile ads was $871m worldwide according to Informa Telecoms & Media, compared with $24 billion spent on traditional Internet advertising and $450 billion spent on all advertising combined. That said, analysts are predicting that Mobile advertising is an industry that’s about ready to explode. Although the market’s explosion has been prematurely predicted in the past, research firms are confidently forecasting that annual global expenditure will reach $11 – $20 billion by 2011. In the United States alone, Mobile search advertising revenues are projected to reach $1.4 billion in 2012. Therefore, major players in Online advertising, such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, as well as the major Mobile carriers, undiscouraged by previous unfulfilled expectations, are maneuvering to capitalize on the emerging market.

What has everyone so excited about Mobile advertising? One reason is what has happened on the Internet. Ad spending on the Web is growing at a compound annual rate of 18.3% and will reach $73 billion in 2011, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The consultancy says Internet advertising will comprise 14% of the entire global advertising market by that year. In addition, the 2.5 billion Mobile phones around the world can potentially reach a much bigger audience than the planet’s billion or so personal computers. The number of Mobile phones in use is also growing much faster than the number of computers, especially in poorer countries. Better yet, most people carry their Mobile with them everywhere–something that cannot be said of televisions or computers.

Yet the biggest selling point of Mobile ads is relevance. Advertisers believe that about half of all traditional advertising does not reach the right audience. Less effort (and money) is wasted with Online advertising: half of it is sold on a “pay-per-click” basis, which means advertisers pay only when consumers click on ads. But Mobile advertising through text messages is the most focused: if marketers use Mobile firms’ profiles of their customers cleverly enough, they can tailor their advertisements to match each subscriber’s habits. Some carriers are already starting to take steps to make it possible for advertisers to target particular demographic categories.

The main problem with Mobile marketing is that phones are considered personal space, which makes them appealing for marketers but is dangerous ground for push advertising. While consumers are accustomed to ads on television and radio, they consider their Mobiles to be personal devices. A flood of advertising might offend the Mobile audience, and thus undermine its own value. Another issue is that operators have lots of databases with information about their clients’ habits that would be of great interest to advertisers, but privacy laws may prevent them from sharing it. Lastly, advertisers are not used to advertising via this channel. Traditionally they are familiar and comfortable working with print, TV, radio, and Internet advertising. Utilizing new forms of advertising will take some time to get used to.

At the moment, most Mobile advertising takes the form of text messages, since few customers have taken to more elaborate services that allow them to download music, games, and videos, and to surf the web. Only 12% of subscribers in America and Western Europe used their Mobiles to access the Internet at the end of 2006. Most people think Mobile screens are too small for watching TV programs or playing games, although newer models, such as Apple’s iPhone, boast bigger and brighter screens. Although text-driven Mobile advertising has been the main driver in the industry, telecoms firms are also beginning to deliver ads to handsets alongside video clips, web pages, and music and game downloads, through Mobiles that permit such things. In the future, Mobile advertising will become more interesting when richer content on wireless devices becomes more widespread, especially video and TV. The richer the media, the richer the consumer experience, which drives sales and brand recognition.

With technology developing by the minute Mobile marketing is the field that is sure to substantially grow.

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