Articles in the Digital Marketing 101 – The Basics Category

Once you get the hang of it, digital marketing can seem like old hat. Before then, it’s important to learn the basics. In our Digital Marketing 101 blog posts, we offer an education into the ins and outs of the digital marketing landscape. Read these blog posts to learn digital marketing basics, such as creating campaigns, writing effective ad copy, and more.

May 19 2011

Opt-out Ads for Behavioral Targeting?

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Did you ever dance to the Hokey Pokey song when you were a child? You know, “you put your left foot in you put your left foot out, etc.” It seems that this could be the case for advertisers when it comes to behavioral targeting. Due to some bills on Capitol Hill, mainly the “do not track” bill, some advertisers are getting ahead of the game to attempt to make sure their ads are compliant.

Capitol Hill wants to give consumers the opportunity to opt-out of behavioral targeting; mainly, requiring behavioral targeting ads to have a “Do Not Track mechanism.”  Chrysler along with others have started displaying ads that gives consumer the options to opt-out. It’s kind of like the fine print at the bottom of a contract. Unless someone looks for it they may not be aware that it is actually there. However, it is there and it gives the consumer the option to opt-out.

In this particular ad by Chrysler, the opt-out option is in the top right hand corner of the display ad. Once a consumer clicks on that icon, a drop down menu appears. It explains to the consumer that the ad is being served to them because it matched their interests and is based on their “browsing activity.”

Opt-out Ads for Behavioral Targeting Opt-out Ads for Behavioral Targeting

The consumer receives three options. 1. More information and opt-out options. 2. What is interest-based advertising? (aka as behavioral targeting) 3. Chrysler values their privacy. These options lead to more detailed summary pages that explain the options that consumers have and their various outcomes.

If the consumer clicks on option 1 they are taken to a page that shows a list of different online companies that may be collecting behavioral data on them. Not all of the companies give them the option to opt-out, but for the ones who do; they can just click a box to be opted-out. This doesn’t mean that they won’t see Chrysler ads anymore. However, their browsing data won’t be used to determine which ads they will see while browsing online.

If the consumer selects door number 2 they are taken to a website that shows them a demo of how interest-based (behavioral targeting) works. After viewing the demo the consumer has the option to opt-out and is even given an explanation of what will happen once they opt-out.

Last, but not least, door number 3 takes the consumer to a lengthy privacy document by Chrysler. This document explains what Chrysler does with their data and how they value the consumer’s privacy, etc.

All in all, the opt-out option is an attempt by advertisers to get ahead of possible regulation by the government. If the bill does pass, Chrysler will be ahead of the game while other advertisers will have to make adjustments to their behavioral targeting ads and create an opt-out option for them. For now, behavioral targeting ads don’t have to disclose their tracking capability to consumers, but that could change in the future. 

April 20 2011

Not All Searchers Think Like You

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One of the biggest hurdles business owners and marketers face in creating marketing campaigns is bias.  It is human nature, I suppose, that we believe our ideas and viewpoints are held by the majority of the public.  However, it is important to remove your bias from the discussion when developing an ad campaign.  Not all web surfers think alike or use the internet the same way to find information.  More importantly to consider and understand…not all people think like you when it comes to finding information online.

For small and medium size business owners, this seems like one of the hardest marketing lessons to accept.  It is understandable to expect a business owner, who built his or her business from the ground up, to have their pulse on what makes the business grow.  When it comes to internet marketing and paid search campaigns, many business owners simply apply the same logic that helped build their business to the web.  This is often a failing strategy, because of the bias inherent in the business owner’s thought process on what drives people to their website.  It is this bias and inexperience from most business owners that lead to poorly created and managed paid search campaigns.  Many of the fixes needed to restructure these campaigns are technical in design.  For example, the business owner wasn’t aware of the proper way to build out and structure the campaign, which is to be expected.  They have enough on their plates running their business, and probably never took the time to earn their Google AdWords Certification.  Getting a business owner to agree to technical and structural change is relatively easy when providing paid search consultation, it is exactly the type of help they need and want to hear.

Where it gets challenging for the marketing consultant, is educating the business owner on how to drive higher quality traffic, when the recommendations are in stark contrast to the preconceptions of the business owner.  I do not think many business owners like to hear their ideas on traffic generation are flawed.  As a marketing consultant, educating the business owner on how to look past their own bias by showing real-time statistics to support your recommendations is imperative.  Using Google Analytics (GA) is the most effective way to demonstrate the concept that not all searchers think alike and not all keywords are equal.  Website visitors and their engagement with the site determine success for any campaign.  As a business owner, learn to leverage that data to educate yourself and break down the walls of bias when creating and optimizing an online marketing campaign.  Don’t assume you can just build out keywords based on how you search the internet.  This will only limit your campaign’s effectiveness, because not all searchers think like you.

March 29 2011

One Size Does Not Fit All: 3 Tips to Keep in Mind When Crafting Your Interactive Marketing Strategy

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I’m sure you’ve heard the expression before and it’s true.  One size certainly does not fit all.  This statement is fitting and should be kept in mind when crafting an online marketing strategy for your business. 

When individuals seek advice from our team at MoreVisibility, we would be remiss to suggest a “cookie-cutter” formula to achieve online marketing success.  Each industry, business, and client not only has different marketing goals but each may have to take a different path or approach to reach individual targets.  For this reason, an interactive marketing plan should be customized according to the specific needs and objectives of any company.

Although your marketing budget often determines what you are able to accomplish in a given time period, keep in mind that all visibility doesn’t require considerable amount of resources (monetarily that is).  Much of what we do as marketers online, especially in the social media realms, require human capital.

    1. For one, be sure to take advantage of the “free” marketing opportunities that can help to give your company increased exposure.  Social media channels, if managed correctly, can be awesome brand builders.  Basic profile creation will not have a giant impact on your wallet, however, do be realistic and understand that social media outreach is only effective if you are willing to put in considerable time to manage each channel.  Often times, human resources are limited and prevent companies from being able to focus consistently on their efforts.   
    2.  Credibility is extremely important for online presence.  I say this speaking mainly about website design.  Don’t spend so much time trying to have a presence in every aspect of online marketing (paid placement advertising, custom social media pages, etc..) that you forget about improving the usability, design, and functionality of your website.  Keep in mind that your website, in essence, is your “final destination”.  It is the place where individuals are directed to through all other online and offline efforts.  Ensuring that your brand and message is consistent from channel to channel (and to your website) is important to building brand credibility. 
    3. The third and perhaps most important tip to remember is that marketing plans aren’t static.  The interactive marketing industry is an evolving market and one that consistently fosters new and innovative tools and opportunities.  For this purpose, it is always best to adjust and add to your online marketing mix.  Look for new industry trends, a topic that MoreVisibility’s President, Andrew Wetzler, speaks about in “Change Your Internet M.O. & Discover Your Mobile Mojo“, recently featured in our March Newsletter.

Whether you are new to online marketing or have been following the industry for years, it is always a good idea to review your online marketing plan.  Start by clearly identifying your audience/market, define (or redefine) your goals (often helpful to track through adding Google Analytics onto your marketing campaigns), and pinpoint which online marketing channels would be best to reach your targets.  Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to accomplish and have a presence everywhere, if your budget doesn’t allow it.  Start with improving your website (your “final destination) and work diligently to create brand awareness in other areas of online marketing when the time and budget permits.

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