Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Good-Bye 2013 It’s been great

Posted: December 31, 2013 by Thos003 in Just for Fun
Tags: , , , , , , ,

While the idea of getting old lacks some luster, I must say each year accumulates more memories, more love, and more life. I love that despite life not being perfect that each year is a little better than the last. I look back and say, “Wow” and then look forward excited for more.

And despite one of my favorite Princess Bride movie lines, “LIFE IS PAIN, your highness. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something” I must say, Life is awesome.

But then again I am a Marketer.

Enjoy…

Happy New Year!

Google
by Thomas B.
I was approached about setting up a booth for a Home and Garden Show in San Antonio, Texas. Pest control should do well in a marketing effort targeting homeowners, right? The promotional material sent to me included the following quote:

“Dollar for dollar, consumer shows continue to offer the
most significant return on investment and are the most
effective use of the marketing dollar.”

- The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2007

Intrigued, I searched this article out online. …It was no where to be found.

Reviewing the Quote

Beyond the fact that I could not find this quote anywhere online, I see some flaws here. The quote is 5 years old. A ton has changed in 5 years. Internet marketing is still in it’s infancy. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that internet marketing can be beat on ROI. But that’s only speaking from my experience as a pest control guy. As it were, the fully report cannot be located online, therefore I cannot even determine if internet marketing was considered in the study. The quote alone a reveals nothing as to the business or businesses that they used to determine that Home Shows were the best ROI for marketing dollars. Sorry, but this quote does nothing for me. I need real data please.

Marketing Dollar for Marketing Dollar best ROI

market 1

market 1 (Photo credit: tim caynes)

Where would you put your money for the best marketing ROI? Well… that really depends on who YOU are. If you expect to get the exact same results as everyone else in a specific marketing avenue regardless of your business, of you location, or of your target audience then you don’t understand marketing. “Consumer Shows” probably work extremely well for the wedding industry. It’s a very niche audience, the attendees are looking to buy your service. But for the vast audience of “Homeowners”, not all of them will need new flooring, new windows, or new appliances. And many of them will not show up at a Home Show with the sole intention of finding a pest control company. Therefore, it becomes a harder sale. An exterminator’s ROI is not going to be the same. And the San Antonio Home and Garden show isn’t cheap, well not by my standards. How many pest control services would one have to perform to recoup the money and time investment?

Weighing Marketing ROI

Don’t buy into the “Branding” concept. Don’t just assume that you have to brand your business and that the ROI can not be determined for every marketing endeavor. The best way to determine ROI is with hard numbers. Find a measuring stick and use it. And work it backwards. How many widgets do I have to sell to break even on a given marketing campaign? Does that number seem feasible with the size and demographics of the audience? When it comes to numbers, my accountant has taught me to error on the side of caution. Be realistic. Look at the worst case scenario. Once you determine how you will measure the success and considered the value at the worst case scenario, then you can proceed and report on the success or failure.

but hey… i am just a pest control guy.

Enhanced by Zemanta

I’m sitting in McDonalds amazed at the restaurant that it now is compared to what it once was.

Modern art on the wall. Lounge chairs with coffee tables. Menu changes with smoothies, lattes. Sure the iconic happy meals are still available, but now you can order those with apple slices. The milkshakes are still on the menu as well, but I honestly don’t remember the last time I had one. What, 15, 16, maybe even 20 years ago? And I haven’t seen a styrofoam hamburger box around for awhile.

The decor is what most intrigues me. I would venture to guess that the menu changes are the quickest and least costly changes. Adding a disposable item is much less risky than adding the permanent fixtures of booths and the tile backsplash. Such interior make overs aren’t cheap. So just what is the cost benefit? Does replacing perfectly usable tables, chairs, and booths really pay off?

I don’t have the answer for McDonald’s, but I’m confident that they do. I’m also certain that not every restaurant needs an interior decorating overhaul to stay profitable. But what I do know is that staying relevant is vital to every business. Businesses need to check the lay of the land and make sure they are staying current for their market and their customers. Stay relevant. Know when a little painful and costly interior redecorating is needed to make sure your business is still alive in the future years.

20120511-124433.jpg

Today’s email brings to mind a number of great questions… Read the following for a peek into the future of digital marketing attribution.

Attribution’s Value to the Customer Intelligence Function By Bill Muller, Editor

With the emergence of the Customer Intelligence (CI) function within many enterprise-sized marketing organizations has arisen the desire to look at customer behavior across the entire marketing ecosystem. Inherent in attribution modeling’s functionality is the ability to do just that – to not only scientifically assign credit to the channel, campaign and campaign traits that helped marketers achieve success by whichever key performance indicators they choose, but also to associate that media performance success with the demographic and behavioral traits of given audience segments.

Let’s look at just three examples of CI value that can be drawn from the attribution process:

Customer Value

As transactional data that’s associated with customers is fed back into the marketing attribution process, it can be married with media performance data and customer demographic information (that’s collected through the transaction process, surveys, or via overlay by any number of third-party data providers). As a result, algorithmically attributed media performance can be identified for an organization’s highest value customers, or by those with the highest propensity to convert, or by those with the highest propensity to be repeat buyers – as defined by the demographic and behavior traits of a particular customer segment. Armed with this information, CI professionals can advise their online and offline media buying colleagues to adjust their tactics by customer segment to increase LTV, conversion rates and yield.

Mapping the Funnel

By analyzing the demographic characteristics of customers whose marketing performance data has been fed through the attribution process, CI professionals can also identify the tactics that produce the best results at each stage of the conversion funnel – by audience segment. Which channel, publisher and offer serves at the first touch (“introducer”) for the customer segment with the highest LTV? Which combination of tactics serves as the last touch for the segment with the highest propensity to be repeat buyers? For the highest value customer segments based on several different key performance indicators, what do the ideal conversion funnels look like? With answers to questions like these, the CI function can not only advise the rest of the marketing organization on which tactics produce the highest results by customer segment, but can also prescribe at which funnel stage and in which sequence those tactics should be executed.

Assessing Lag Time

There are numerous “lag time” metrics associated with every customer’s stack of touchpoints on the path to a conversion. The time between every milestone – first impression, first click, first website visit, last impression, last click, last website visit, conversion, etc.-can be calculated, and as with the examples above, can be associated to the demographic traits and media performance of the highest value audience segments. With the intelligence gleaned from this analysis, CI professionals can advise media professionals on which audience segments have the longest and shortest lag times between critical milestones in the conversion funnel, the lag times for the highest value segments, and which media tactics should be employed to produce faster conversions, higher value customers, and the greatest return across the entire marketing ecosystem.

Just Scratching the Surface

Though attribution is rapidly on the rise within the media buying function at many organizations, the Customer Intelligence function is rarely taking advantage of the cross channel touchpoint intelligence that only the attribution management process can provide. But as these professionals begin to experiment with attribution and incorporate it in the value-add they provide to their media buying colleagues, it will undoubtedly become their default methodology, never again choosing to look at audience characteristics in isolated, non-attributed silos.


Articles From Industry Publications


Can Online Marketer’s Lead the Charge for Analytics & Attribution?

By Manu Mathew, Co-Founder & CEO, Visual IQ
Published in Marketing Land

By Manu Mathew, Co-Founder & CEO, Visual IQ

Published in Search Engine Land

By Anto Chittilappilly, Co-Founder, President & CTO, Visual IQ
Published in Online Metrics Insider
In This Issue
Attribution”s Value to the CI Function
Can Online Marketer’s Lead the Charge?
Search Campaign Optimization
Attribution’s Insights Not Always A Straight Line
White Paper
Note to The Editor
Have feedback to provide on the content of this issue? Want to suggest a topic for a future issue? Drop a note to the editor here.

Attribution in 2012 and beyond

To think that analyzing touch points, lag time, and buying behavior has become so systematic and trackable is amazing. Marketing philosophy a decade ago only mentioned these processes, never before has a company been able to document these. Marketing in the past simply just gave into overlap of marketing. You show a message on TV, they see and ad in magazine, they hear your name across the dinner table… 21 impressions… 7 touches before a buy… ALL OF IT GUESS WORK. In the past you really just needed an intuitive guess on what was working. The way of the future will allow even more accurate tracking and documenting of the elusive touche points it takes for a customer to buy.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Likable = Linkable

DSC02681

Image by Hug It Forward via Flickr

Twitter is a great tool for engagement. Yes you should use twitter to build links. You find like minded individuals. You share content with them. You tweet out their good content. You make comments on their blogs. You get invited to guest post. You build relationships, you build links. The best links come from humans, not bots, not tools, HUMANS.

In the same stroke. A relationship is about give and take. Again, yes, you should use twitter to build links. But tweeting out self promoting links every 5 minutes, or 10, or even hourly just to build links will sabotage your relationships. ( see rule #3 Thou Shalt Not Blatantly Self-Promote ) So I try to avoid too much self promotion on my own twitter stream. I don’t use my twitter stream to build links for me. I don’t want to loose influence with peers by flooding my twitter stream with ME, ME, ME. I know, as a pest control guy I probably don’t carry too much influence… Even more the reason to guard what little I may have.

No relationships = No Links

FYI- The best links I get and give from twitter usually come from behind the DM curtain. 

( find me on twitter @Thos003 )

Enhanced by Zemanta

It all started with a little success from a place called Groupon.

Groupon raked in huge coupon marketing success. Google wanted to buy, Groupon said “No”. Google Offers was born. Living Social (the firstborn), Kudzu Deals, Facebook Deals, Phoenix New Times…. The list of companies trying to compete in this seemingly new and fantastic coupon space is growing… and growing… and YES AMAZON jumped on board. Here is my first email from Amazon Local, received today.

And they just assume that you want to be in on their local coupon deal email list… But you can simply unsubscribe with the link at the bottom of their email. (Doing that now)

Unsubscribe from Amazon LocalThat was pretty easy. First and Last Email from Amazon Local.

Haven’t you ever heard of Coupon Dependency?

This marketing tactic is very inciting for small businesses. It seems like a win because if you can still have a break even at 50% off then it’s worth it. Heck, if you can make a small profit as a restaurant by offering a $10 deal to get them in the door and spend more then it sounds even better. At the very least, they know that this marketing tactic is actually reaching an audience. But if you are having to double the price of your Phoenix Iron Gate to drop it down to get 75% off, then you risk loosing trust. And trust is the most valuable piece of any business.

Most marketing tactics for local businesses carry so much unknown, that small businesses can’t find that trust to take take the risk. This coupon deal produces real people. And nothing draws a crowd like a crowd. The down side… What crowd are you drawing? Are you drawing in the penny pincher, non tipper? Is that your ideal customer? Before you charge off down a road of coupon mania, you might stop and look at where that road leads. Coupons are not a complete marketing strategy.

Do you want twitter followers? Well this a little on why I follow or unfollow people on twitter. Not claiming any secrets on how to gain followers. But perhaps a little honesty from a pest control guy could help one figure out this twitter thing.

 

Follow:

I follow people that are willing to converse with me. If you follow me and have a conversation with me on twitter then I’ll usually follow you. If you follow me and respond to a DM of mine, then I’ll follow you. I have a lot of conversations in private. There is a lot that is said behind closed doors. I find those conversations very valuable. There are a lot of people that I check in on, but don’t follow. I use lists.

Unfollow:

I unfollow people that self promote too much. I unfollow people that publish just links. Sorry, but if you if I do follow you and you unfollow me, then I take that as a sign that you don’t want to openly converse anymore and I’ll unfollow you. And yes, I trim down my list on occasion, so if you’re not following me, or not conversing with me then you’re probably not making the cut. Sorry Bob.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Facebook:

Facebook has been a bit more private use for me so I only allow people I’ve meet in real life into my facebook circle. But don’t worry, you’re not missing much if you aren’t there. I don’t facebook much.

I’d also like to thank Kenneth Gonzalez for his engaging conversation that help spur some of this post. Find his blog at,  http://blog.engagedconsulting.com/ … Now back to that problem of me following 666 people. Sorry but need to change that. If you still say, “I don’t get twitter.” then you should read some of the following articles. Or just start posting comments and questions below. …Its called engagement.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Email:

Hello from Google!

For a limited time, Yellowbook will set up a new AdWords account just for you and build your online advertising campaigns at no charge.* And even better, you get a $100 Google AdWords credit to get started. This is a great opportunity for you to have Yellowbook professionally manage your AdWords campaigns….

Sincerely, Your Google AdWords Team

Did Google team up with a Yellow Page directory?

Per a rep from yellowbook, these emails were only going to people that had adwords programs and that had stopped. If these people picked up a 3rd party and began a new and different account then yes, they could be receiving a solicitation from Google endorsing YellowBook as an Adwords Partner. This is indeed a rare occasion that Google would actually email out and name a 3rd party partner. This also means that other adwords certified companies could have clients receiving this email from Google. And this potentially means that these other 3rd parties will loose clients to Yellowbook because of Google’s mention of YellowBook and seeming endorsement.

I imagine that Google’s position will be the same as when the in-house Adwords team solicited me, “I am sorry we can’t do business with you if you are an existing adwords advertiser with one of our partners.” But disenfranchised adwords clients may simply say, “I no longer do business with that 3rd party”, as they cut ties and move to the endorsed party. Further, the reps from YellowBook.com will have every monetary incentive to take clients even if policy states that they should not.

What Happened to Google’s Internal Adwords Team?

It is interesting to note that Google has revamped their internal adwords out reach team. Apparently that team has been dismantled. The rep from yellowbook seems to believe that Google is now trusting Yellow Book to be “their feet on the ground.” YellowBook is also offering SEO services. They guarantee a first page placement and then maintenance there after. Part of that strategy includes pages such as this: http://www.san-antonio-pest-control.net/ This Yellow Page Company wants to provide every marketing service a small business could desire, from phonebook to mailers.

Funny that Google seems to endorse a yellow pages company. Last time I checked Google…

Screen Shot from Google

Advice to Internet Marketers

My advice to internet marketers, keep your customers happy. Know how to communicate with them. Stay current with them and keep working for them. If you stop performing and reporting then you will loose clients to Google’s email. Because, yes, the field of internet marketing is getting tighter.

Enhanced by Zemanta


Why did LinkedIN’s IPO price double yesterday? Was it because of LinkedIN’s awesome business prowess and potential earnings? It seemed from the few people I spoke to that were remotely interested in purchasing their stock that the simple reason was “It’s LinkedIN.”

What earning potential does the social media site of the business world have?
Pro Memberships and Ads. But isn’t the advertising/income potential a problem for other social media giants, say… Facebook? Granted the audience on LinkedIN is much more professional than Facebook.  Of course being a professional social media networking site doesn’t guarantee you have business savvy, like “What Price should the IPO open at?” which according to the LA Times cost them $130 million. Ooops. But don’t worry LA Times also quotes the high price at $122.70. Yet they posted a Bloomberg report with a high of $110.01. And Google reports the opening day high for LinkedIn’s IPO at $115.09.  So what are few number discrepancies…?

Back to the point at hand.

PEOPLE BOUGHT LINKEDIN PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF A NAME.

Many people bought knowing the name would push it, just so they could sell it after the initial jump.  Branding. Gotta love it.

Any other Questions?

What is LinkedIn’s Stock symbol? LNKD.

Next question. …..Just add it below.

Don’t mind me, just a pest control guy.

QR codes are super cool if you are an uber geek!

Google Favorite Places QR code

There is an arguments against QR codes. Not everyone knows what to do with them still. Some of the QR code scanners suck, or maybe it’s just the crummy iPhone 3 camera. People also find it more difficult to fumble through their apps looking for that scanner that they rarely use. It’s almost easier to just write in a Bit.ly url.. and people know where to put that. So has the honeymoon ended?

QR Code Marketing Advantages

Pest Control recieves Favorite Place award

See boss this is cool!

1- Tracking.

2- Tracking.

3- Tracking.

What a marketer loves about QR codes is that it can track what offline ad is generating online visitors. Plan and simple, QR codes are best for tracking offline to online marketing. Read more about QR-Codes offline to Online. There was also a romantic flare pulled off by Klein in concealing their message behind a QR code to “Get it uncensored!”. But that gimmick will only last so long… except that I am still talking about it, so props for the originality.

And, yes, there is some very creative design work that can go into QR codes. Still love the Vampire QR code produced for the show TRUE BLOOD. But, other then myself, who really appreciates this advertising? I couldn’t even remember the show! I always refer to it as the “Vampire QR Code”. Not really a stellar branding tactic.

QR Code = Get More Info Here

There is some additional value to “Get More Info Here”. It may even seem to be an easier call to action than visit us at http://www.Website.com. But that’s just it, is it an easier call to action? Are people more likely to scan a QR code than remember a URL? The plus side to a URL is that it is memorable. The down side to using just a QR code is that if they don’t scan it “NOW” then they may never visit your site and get more info.  I don’t have the answer, I am simply saying, know the limitations of your ads. Know your audience. And test which call to action works.

The Future of QR-Code Marketing

Does QR code marketing have a future? Yes, Google did pull the plug on their QR code, but don’t flush the QR codes out with the crap. Wayne,  www.SocialWayne.com, makes some good points, like “Google did not invent the QR Code”. But more importantly, it’s not how anybody else uses it, it’s how you use it! If it works for you, then keep it going. I don’t believe QR codes make great ads. I do believe that a well placed call to action, be it a QR Code or a URL, or BOTH, can be a key element in a good ad.  Do what works for you. I believe QR codes, and even Microsoft’s Tag, have their place in marketing and will still be useful in the future.