Articles in The 'Marketing' Tag

July 11 2008

Design vs Marketing: Why Collaboration is Key

by Jessica Hammer

Good landing pages and e-mails can drive traffic, increase conversions, and promote branding. But these small, important snippets of your company promotion are a lot more work than they appear. The planning, targeting and design will provide fruitful rewards if they are approached in a well rounded and experienced manner.

Speaking as a designer, I am often tempted to jump right into a promotion, in an effort to make a beautiful creative off the bat. I want something striking, well laid out, and well, pretty!

However, what I often forget is the importance of closely collaborating with our Campaign Strategists, or Marketing team. They are the troops on the front line, the ones who are speaking with and studying, not only the client’s campaign every day, but general marketing trends. They have an up-close view on the client’s campaign, brand and other current promotion efforts. They also have updated knowledge on placement of elements, calls to action and effective headlines. Without all this important information, I cannot hope to make a creative that speaks to that unique client’s unique customer.

So although it forces me to bend my pretty design, add in content that destroys my white space and color buttons beyond my original plan, it is my job as a designer to resolve these issues, and work with a Marketer to make a creative that represents our client in the best, and most appealing way!

April 9 2008

Affiliate Marketing: Big Players Emerging

by MoreVisibility

Affiliate Marketing is the oldest, most original form of performance based advertising. It goes way back to the days before the internet. The evolution of the internet and related technologies has helped propel this marketing mechanism to the forefront of online marketing opportunities today.

More advertisers are beginning to realize the importance of this channel due to increasing competition in the search engine marketing spectrum. As a result, some heavy hitters are making a bullish effort to capitalize on its popularity. In addition to the “big guys,” small CPA (cost per acquisition) networks are popping up all over the place.

If you haven’t been in a hole for the past few months, you’re aware of the Google/Double Click deal. Double Click owns Performics which is a search engine marketing company as well as an affiliate network. In early March, the deal received approval from the Federal Trade Commission and the EU. The deal quickly drew enormous amounts of scrutiny as many saw this as a conflict of interest for Google. Finally on April 4, Google announced it would go through with the acquisition but would sell off the search engine marketing side of the business. Google made it clear however, that they would in fact retain the affiliate marketing division of Double Click/ Performics.

Another big player to join the Affiliate Marketing arena is AOL. AOL recognized this as an important online marketing sector that is growing at a rapid pace; and this past February acquired is a large affiliate network which was started in 2002.

The emergence of these large companies joining this channel along with the startup of many smaller CPA networks; has helped propel this marketing technique. With the forecasted spends for online advertising, it appears that this method is poised to grow impressively. It should be exciting to see what these new players will bring to the table.

Stay tuned…

March 19 2008

The “Marketing” In Search Engine Marketing

by MoreVisibility

I studied marketing in business school and one of the most important things that has always stuck with me was the 5 P’s of Marketing — People, Place, Product, Promotion and Price. I later realized that some people were taught less than 5 and I personally came to believe that there should be 6 — Profit should matter as well.

More companies are realizing that SEM is a valid and important strategy, but many of them are not approaching it in the same way that they approach traditional marketing. People working in the SEM/SEO industry blog about these kinds of clients all the time — those that think it is as simple as picking a few keywords, throwing up an ad on a search engine and bidding more than everyone else to get the top spot.

This is not the process for traditional marketing and should not be for SEM. I have outlined how a company should use the 5 Ps to plan a paid search campaign better.

People — Who are you targeting? Targeting businesses instead of consumers means that you should be taking advantage of specific engines. Google, Yahoo and MSN are not the only options for paid search campaigns.

Place — Where are your customers? Most paid search platforms allow you to target specific states, cities or even choose your own radius from a specific point on a map. Not every company needs to target the entire USA so use geo-targeting to your advantage.

Product — What are you selling? Too many paid search ads do not clearly focus on the product and instead try to focus on the company. More importantly, the landing page for the advertisement needs to quickly explain what the product/service is. It makes no sense to spend money to get a lead only to provide them with a terrible landing page containing little product information.

Promotion — Are you promoting properly? Return on investment is usually proportional to the amount of promotion (though after a certain point saturation adds little value). Search engines like Google offer the option to show ads as quickly as possible or show evenly over time. If you have a sale/incentive with a specific end date, are you taking advantage of this option?

Price — The price of a product/service always matters and should be communicated on the landing page as quickly as possible. Searchers treat a landing page like finding a product on the shelf and they expect to quickly find the price, not carry it to a cashier for a price check.

ProfitThis is my addition and it is important because it helps to determine what you could be bidding for your ads. Higher margins provide more room to adjust bids, but higher bids do not automatically mean more sales, so be careful not to overbid. All advertisers should test lower bids and not always aim to be in the #1 position. The lower position could very well result in a better return on investment based on the cost per conversion.

I hope that I have helped you to see where the “marketing” comes into play in search engine marketing.

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