Sunday, May 2, 2010

Amazing ad

Bookmark and Share


Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Importance of Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Marketing for B2B Marketers – Part 1 of 2

Bookmark and Share

By: Paul J. Bruemmer

Is Search Engine Marketing cost effective enough to increase profits for B2B marketers? You bet, and here’s why. It’s always been conventional wisdom that the fastest and most efficient way to research products and pricing is on the Web. Now Enquiro has documented survey research on the role of search engines in B2B transactions.

As you know, B2B transactions differ from most consumer transactions because these decisions require coordination between a number of different personnel before the final transaction is made. Therefore, the process requires a period of time between researching the product and placing the order. It’s an ongoing rather than snap decision.

“The Role of Search in Business to Business Buying Decisions” is a well-designed study of approximately 1500 participants responding to a 40-question survey that was validated with pre-testing before implementation. You can download the entire report for free, and here are a few highlights:

  • When participants were asked to indicate how they would go about making a B2B purchase, 93.2 percent said they would research the purchase online.
  • When asked if they would use a search engine at some point in this task, 95.5 percent of participants indicated that they would.
  • When asked where they would start their search for information, 63.9 percent of participants chose a search engine over consumer review sites, e-commerce sites, manufacturer’s sites, and industry portals.
  • When taking budget into consideration, manufacturer’s sites and industry portals were the chosen starting place as budgets increased. However, 86.9 percent of participants said they would visit a search engine after visiting those sites.
The study is rich with too many details to cover in this article, but following are some important conclusions:
  • Search engines play a dominant role in B2B purchases.
  • Search engines are used in the early or mid research phase in the buying cycle.
  • Google is favored over other search engines.
  • Search engine research takes place at least one to two months before the buying decision.
  • Good balance between organic and paid search is necessary. Organic SEO gets over 70 percent of the clicks.
  • Position is a factor, with over 60 percent clicking on the top 3 listings.
  • Most users decide which listing to click on in seconds upon scanning the page.
With all this qualified traffic originating from search engines, it is more important than ever for B2B marketers, wholesalers, and B2B exchanges to ensure their Web sites are correctly optimized for good positioning in search results. There is also great value in SEO/SEM as a user-friendly marketing tool.

The Uniqueness of Search Engine Marketing

Search engine traffic is highly targeted. That's because potential buyers who find your B2B offerings through search engines are looking for your products and services on their own, so they are predisposed to hear your marketing message. You can’t find a more qualified prospect than that. Here’s what distinguishes search engine marketing from other types of advertising:
  1. Non-Intrusive: Search marketing is a non-intrusive marketing tool. Most advertising, both online and offline, interrupts consumer behavior. If a user goes to a web site for info, up pops an intrusive ad. Reading a newspaper? Ads dominate and force articles to be continued on another page. With search engine marketing, the user is actively seeking your products, services, and information. They are delighted to be driven to your site.
  2. Voluntary: Search marketing is the result of user-originated behavior. Your visitors from search engines and directories have voluntarily clicked on your listing rather than any competitors, thus they are motivated to explore your offerings.


Sunday, April 25, 2010


Bookmark and Share

1. Coca-Cola68,734 ($m)
2. IBM60,211 ($m)
3. Microsoft56,647 ($m)
4. GE47,777 ($m)
5. Nokia34,864 ($m)
6. McDonald's32,275 ($m)
7. Google31,980 ($m)
8. Toyota31,330 ($m)
9. Intel30,636 ($m)
10. Disney28,447 ($m)


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Limca unseen ad

Bookmark and Share


Friday, April 23, 2010

creative ads part 2

Bookmark and Share






Frito-Lay and GM Get Integrated Marketing and Leverage the Power of Consumers in a Big Way!

Bookmark and Share

GM and Frito-Lay and their agencies have recently figured out a great way of getting consumers more engaged with their brands, leveraging the new found power of the consumer. It's a great lesson in integrated marketing communications and engagement for all marketers.

Both brands are running contests for consumers to create homemade commercials (also referred to as consumer generated content) for their products, the winning entries will appear as commercials during this year's Super Bowl (XLI).

Now, of course, primarily hardcore brand advocates and video enthusiasts will enter these contests. But, the media attention and word of mouth these contests and the commercials will generate (and already are generating) for these brands is significant. 

I am confident that, executed well, these campaigns will capture a great deal of consumer attention (and it should, as a spot on last years Super Bowl cost around $2,500,000 USD). With reality TV still hot and consumer generated media getting the public's attention, the timing is right.

Now, in and of themselves, the increased visits to each brand's websites won't make them any money. However, it does represent increased time consumers spend engaging with these brands in (mostly) very positive ways which these marketers hope and believe will eventually pay off in increased awareness and brand preference. But there's more to these campaigns. 

Done well, these commercials can send a message to viewers that slick commercials with beautiful actors and models cannot: that real people love these brands. In a world where consumers increasingly distrust advertising messages, these messages can convey something that polished professional messages cannot do as well. Authenticity. 

This is also a very good example of a marketing communications campaign that is not bound by functional silos of online and offline marketing communications that well, for most companies is a prevalent, and even outwardly obvious problem. Let's face it, today's standard for marketing communications integration is often not much deeper than slapping a web address into an offline ad with no value proposition for visiting the site -- not even a few words. If marketers can't think up a good reason for targets to visit our websites, why would we expect the consumers or business decision makers we are targeting to do so? Some companies/brands have done a great job of integrating offline and online and leveraging offline advertising and packaging to drive visitors online -- FedEx, Intel and IBM immediately come to mind. Now I'm adding GM and Frito-Lay to the list.

Kudos to GM and Frito-Lay and their agencies for the idea. Now go execute this as well as my expectations so I don't look back on this post with regret come February!



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Creative Ads

Bookmark and Share

johnnie walked

viagra ad


Combining the Strengths of Social and E-Mail Marketing

Bookmark and Share

In 2009 e-mail marketers started to get social, but 2010 will be the year social media makes e-mail marketing more powerful. Social media is a partner, not a threat, to e-mail marketing because it provides new avenues for sharing and engaging customers and prospects.
“Even though people are spending more time using social media, they are not abandoning e-mail,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “Maximizing the E-Mail/Social Media Connection.” “The two channels can help each other, offering the opportunity for marketers to create deeper connections.”
More than four in 10 business executives surveyed by StrongMail said integrating e-mail and social was one of their most important initiatives for 2010, just after improving e-mail performance and targeting and growing opt-in lists.
About one-quarter of respondents had already implemented an integrated strategy, and another 24% had formulated a strategy and were researching how to put it in practice. But 18% of business executives wanted to add social components to their e-mail campaigns and did not know where to begin.

Business Executives Worldwide Who Plan to Integrate Social Media into Their E-Mail Marketing Campaigns in 2010 (% of respondents)

So far, the consensus of the value social media adds to e-mail marketing has been in the area of softer metrics. Four-fifths (81%) of marketers surveyed by MarketingSherpa in summer 2009 said social media helped to expand the reach of their e-mail content, most likely because of sharing buttons incorporated into e-mail newsletters. A further 78% said social helped to increase brand awareness.

But the fact that so many are unsure about lead generation represents an opportunity for e-mail marketing firms to extend lead-generation measurement techniques into social media.



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Viral Internet Marketing Technique – not Using it Could Kill your Online Home Based Business Internet Affiliate Marketing!

Bookmark and Share

Have you ever read “The Tipping Point” book written by Malcolm Gladwell yet? This is a really great book. You can apply the strategy in the book to grow your online home based business internet affiliate marketing. It’s all about “Viral internet marketing Strategy” and “Creativity”.
Creativity is one virtue a site must possess to lead the race in the ruthless competition in the Internet based online home based business internet affiliate marketing. With so many competition and rivalry going on, every method of marketing must be employed and utilized.
It doesn’t matter if you have a killer product or a fantastically designed website, if people don’t know that you exist, it doesn’t matter, and you are not going to make it big. Worse of all, you online home based business internet affiliate marketing could just get killed.
While there are so many internet marketing techniques, methods and schemes used by so many e-commerce sites today, there are still some of those that can help you with an extra boost in the popularity ratings. One of the best internet marketing strategies is the viral internet marketing. Many researches show that viral internet marketing strategy (or word of mouth) becomes the most significant internet marketing strategy to grow your home business.
While the term Viral easily depicts a virus, a word very much dreaded by all computer owners, it is not what it seems. You do not actually use a computer virus to spread your online home based business internet affiliate marketing; on the contrary it just might kill you. Everyone has had enough of all those pop up ads and spy wares.
Personally, I believe that if you didn’t take the viral internet marketing strategy as your internet marketing strategy, it could kill your online home based business internet affiliate marketing. READ THIS: If you don’t want to kill your online home based business internet affiliate marketing. You’ll discover the truth about the viral internet marketing strategy and why you have to take this into your action seriously.
Viral Internet Marketing Overview
The viral internet marketing also known otherwise as viral advertising is an internet marketing technique used to build the public awareness of one’s product or company. They use many forms of media to reach out to the public without actually promoting the product by riding on in other forms of addictive means that could get a person hooked and be obliged or amused to actually pass it on, with the product or company advertisement along with it.
In a nutshell, companies ride on the idea that if people like the content of a media they will pass it on to their friends and family. They sponsor the certain media, such as a cool flash game, funny video, amusing story and such, which one may pass on to another with the company brand or logo or the products description or any other content to help promote the company or its product.
The viral internet marketing has become a popular means of advertising and internet marketing because they are relatively low cost. To avoid being tagged as spam mail, viral internet marketing counts on the eagerness of one person to pas on the product. If a person sees the name of the person they know as the sender, they won’t block it and open it as well.
Many companies offer incentives such as discounts and rebates when they help in spreading their viral internet marketing. They rely on the number of recipient’s viral internet marketing gets from one person in determining the amount or number of incentive they can be attributed with.
Using Viral Internet Marketing to Your Advantage
The main and foremost advantage of viral internet marketing is that you get a lot of publicity and public awareness about your affiliate site and your company. You get to generate a flow of traffic that is potential customers. With a little ingenuity and imagination, plus some incentives or prizes, you can reach out to a great number of people and announce your existence.
Most every site and companies are catching on to the effectively of the viral internet marketing and advertising. Not using it could kill your online home based business internet affiliate marketing. Along with other schemes and methods in promoting your site, like Search Engine Optimization and such, viral internet marketing could easily push you ahead in the rating games.
The viral internet marketing technique could be a sneaky way to get people to know about you and your company. You get them to pass your advertisement along. They are also very low cost that not investing in it could be downright a online home based business internet affiliate marketing suicide. All it takes is a great idea, a good addicting game, a funny story many ideas are still out there. Create a gossip or a buzz; many movies are promoted by using scandals and gossips to make them more popular.
Many big companies have tried the viral internet marketing strategy and have had many success stories with it. A classic example is Microsoft’s Hotmail. They were the first known big company to utilize the scheme and it has worked wonders for them.
Final thoughts, now it’s your turn to use viral internet marketing strategy to work wonders for you. Act now and reap the benefits the viral internet marketing strategy will provide for you and your sales figures.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

This is how business is done!!

Bookmark and Share

Father : I want you to marry a girl of my choice
Son : "I will choose my own bride!"
Father: "But the girl is Bill Gates's daughter."
Son : "Well, in that case...ok"
Next Father approaches Bill Gates.
Father: "I have a husband for your daughter."
Bill Gates: "But my daughter is too young to marry!"
Father: "But this young man is a vice-president of the World Bank."
Bill Gates: "Ah, in that case...ok"
Finally Father goes to see the president of the World Bank.
Father: "I have a young man to be recommended as a vice-president."
President: "But I already have more vice- presidents than I need!"
Father: "But this young man is Bill Gates's son-in-law."
President: "Ah, in that case...ok"


Marketing Fundas

Bookmark and Share

A professor at the Indian Institute of Management was explaining marketing concepts

1. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" - That's Direct Marketing.

2. You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says: "He's very rich. Marry him." - That's Advertising.

3. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day, you call and say: "Hi, I'm very rich. Marry me." - That's Telemarketing.

4. You're at a party and see a gorgeous girl. You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink, you open the door of the car for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her ride and then say: "By the way, I'm rich. Will you marry me?" - That's Public Relations.

5. You're at a party and see a gorgeous girl. She walks up to ! you and says: "You are very rich! Can you marry me?" - That's Brand Recognition.

6. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" She gives you a nice hard slap on your face. - That's Customer Feedback.

7. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" And she introduces you to her husband. - That's demand and supply gap.

8. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say anything, another person come and tells her: "I'm rich. Will you marry me?" and she goes with him - That's competition eating into your market share.

9. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say: "I'm rich Marry me!" your wife arrives. - That's restriction for entering new markets.


Nike expected to try ambush marketing at World Cup 2010

Bookmark and Share

Ambush marketing is expected to play a big part in World Cup 2010. Ambush marketing is the term used to describe the marketing efforts of brands that are not official sponsors of an event. These brands use big occasions, such as major sporting events, and arrange a lot of outside activities in the vicinity to benefit from the audience that the main event will draw. The hope is to get large impact without spending as much as the sponsors shell out. The FIFA website says that the trend towards ambush marketing started in the 1990s. In the 2006 FIFA World Cup there were reports of 3300 rights infringement spread across 84 countries. There is expectation that 2010 will be a record year for this.

Nike is expected to try and upstage adidas, which is the official sponsor for the World Cup. Adidas Australia's marketing director Simon Millar feels that, "The adidas three stripes will be highly visible. I don't believe our competitors have an avenue to portray themselves as the official sports brand without facing serious repercussions. That said, they do sponsor competing teams and athletes and I would expect them to leverage those associations."

Seasoned ambush marketer Nick Callander, of marketing agency Ignition, says that "Nike will definitely try and ambush adidas, as will a number of other brands. It always happens at every sporting event because it's a cheap way to generate noise around your brand.'' Callander says ambush marketers should stay mobile to avoid breaching any legalities. "The authorities can move you on, so you've got to create your activity so you're always on the move. Then there's nothing stopping you because you're not in breach of the event or the sponsorship guideline. Ambush marketing won't deliver the commercialised depth of a broadcast sponsor, but it's a worthwhile form of marketing."

Managing director of Sydney ad agency George Patterson Y&R Phil McDonald has reservations about this kind of marketing. "Consumers know who have earnt the association properly and those who are only trying to. This can result in major credibility issues for the ambusher."


10 Best Funny Marketing Screw Ups

Bookmark and Share

  1. Coors put its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer from diarrhea.”
  2. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”
  3. Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick”, a curling iron, into German only to find out that “mist” is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the “shit stick.”
  4. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the U.S., with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what’s inside, since most people can’t read.
  5. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called “Cue”, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
  6. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of “I saw the Pope” (el Papa), the shirts read “I saw the potato” (la papa).
  7. Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”, in Chinese.
  8. Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan, “it takes a strong man to make atender chicken” was translated into Spanish as “it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”
  9. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Ke-kou-ke-la”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax”, depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “ko-kou-ko-le”, translating into “happiness in the mouth.
  10. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, “it won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you”. Instead, the company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”


Ads placed at the Wrong Place and at the Wrong time

Bookmark and Share


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ambush Marketing: The Art of Diverting Attention

Bookmark and Share

Ambush marketing is a strategy used by companies to promote their brands at events without paying any sponsorship fees. An example“Dutch buyers of Heineken beer were given green hats to wear to the recent Euro 2008 football tournament. Anyone who tried to enter a stadium wearing one, however, as many fans did in 2004, was asked to remove it.

The hats were an “ambush marketing” campaign… Heineken’s rival, Carlsberg, was an official sponsor of Euro 2008, paying $21m for the privilege. A few TV close-ups of fans wearing Heineken hats would have cost very little by comparison”
China, the host of the 2008 Olympics, is aware of these tactics and has taken precautions to control ‘all prominent advertising sites in the Chinese capital’ in order to prevent other companies from putting up or buying ads to take advantage of the massive increase in human traffic. They don’t want their official sponsors to be upstaged by other competitors.
Ambush marketing is opportunistic. It’s goal is to take advantage of situations which allow brands/products to get extra exposure at minimal cost. Sometimes that involves going right into the lions den and clashing head on with a competitor who dominates the main message dissemination channels. Sometimes it requires stealth and more guerrilla-like tactics.
What marketers and anyone who wants to promote themselves can learn is the strategy of seeking out people-saturated public spaces (online or offline) and seek to populate that area with your message. Buskers, beggars and poster street teams are all familiar with how to promote their agenda or needs in areas where people frequently pass through.
Contextual relevance is also important. Selling is more natural and persuasive when it flows alongside the momentum generated by the immediate environment and current news/trends.
Just the other day, I went to a rock concert and was waiting in the queue when I noticed a guy from a local radio station standing at the side of the road. As people passed by, he gave them each a high-five while saying out the name of his station.
It was innocuous enough, everyone took it in good taste. After the concert finished, I left the venue with my friends. While walking on the path out, we were stopped by three guys who handed us each a flyer for their band. On it was their band logo as well as their myspace and facebook URLs, along with a link to a free download of some tracks from their latest album.
These people anticipated an opportunity: a rock concert would bring out hordes of music fans, many of which are targeted high-value prospects. The right pitch at the right time/place.

Can Ambush Marketing Actually Work Online?

Image Credit: one nation under CCTV
Let’s talk a little about ambush marketing online. Is it even possible?  Maybe. Take the example of sneaky link insertions. Some people carefully monitor the upcoming stories with the most votes on or other popular social news sites and insert comments with links to their website. When the story hits the frontpage or gradually accumulates visibility, the well placed links can each easily net you upwards of 1,000+ visitors.
This is a tactic that piggybacks on an existing occurrence. To do this effectively, you should constantly push news/events related to your target market and specific keyword-relevant searches on major online communities to a central location, like an RSS reader or dashboard. Monitor this repository of occurrences constantly. Or get someone to keep an eye on it.
After which you need to be prepared to rapidly develop ways to leech the attention from the traffic that’s focused on a specific webpage or occurrence. Sometimes that involves creating specific landing pages that diverge from your website’s original theme/focus.
For instance, to take advantage of the buzz around the iPhone 3G, a website about fitness can create a stand-alone page about iPhone tips/hacks and push it out to not only the popular blogs but every single hobbyist/small-time blogger who has ever expressed an interest in it.
There’s a disconnect between your actual site theme and your specific article/landing page but you are relying on the fact that some of the traffic going over to the specific page will click over to your homepage and end up viewing it. A large amount of non-relevant traffic will eventually allow you to hit a smaller amount of prospects actually interested in your site’s actual focus.
Of course, this isn’t ambush marketing per se, but rather something that builds on theopportunistic mindset which underlies it. The tactical principle is simple: stay in the loop and watch for openings to divert attention towards your brand. A rule of thumb: where people gather online in large numbers, you should be there with a relevant message


What's the Buzz About Buzz Marketing?

Bookmark and Share

There's a new marketing catchphrase that's getting rave word-of-mouth reviews. From articles in the popular press to conversations in the classroom, huge companies to boutique marketing firms, suddenly it seems you can't talk about new products without addressing 'buzz marketing.' "People are buzzing about buzzing," says Wharton marketing professor Barbara Kahn. "People think it's cool. There is something almost empowering about the idea of being able to 'buzz' your way into the products people buy."

Buzzing: What Is It?
Put simply, buzz marketing is the practice of gathering volunteers to try products, then sending them out into the world to talk up their experiences with the people they meet in their daily lives. The idea is that the more people see a product being used in public, or the more they hear about it from people they know and trust, the more likely they will be to buy it for themselves. Of course, word-of-mouth has long been the way that many people find their favorite products, or learn about a new favorite movie, book or restaurant. "For years, people recognized the power of word-of-mouth in convincing, influencing, affecting consumer behavior," says marketing professor Jerry Wind. "It has more credibility than traditional advertising." But it's a fairly recent development for companies to try to create a structure around the practice, to harness and direct the way that word-of-mouth spreads -- and to attempt to measure its effect on sales once the 'campaign' is complete. "Buzzing isn't really new. The hype about these different kinds of buzz agents is what's new," says Kahn.

Other buzz marketers rely less on natural trendsetters and more on 'connectors.' "If they really want something to spread -- to see not just a slow diffusion but a big jump in awareness -- you go to the connectors," Kahn says. "Oprah is the king of all connectors. Basically these are people who have bigger rolodexes than the rest of us. They have lots of contacts in different circles, so word will spread. Fast."In practice, buzz marketing can take several different forms. Some companies identify particular types of people to do their buzzing for them. Known as 'mavens' (for readers of Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point) or 'influencers' or 'early adopters,' these are the people who naturally set cultural trends, who define what is cool before the rest of the world even realizes it exists. "Gladwell put it in terms that everyone understood, but basically there are people out there who can tell what's cool and what's not. We all know them -- the people who tell us about great restaurants, or who have cool clothes before we do," Kahn says. "To make buzzing really work, I do have to believe that the person I'm listening to is discriminating, that he or she knows something I don't. Otherwise that person is not giving me anything new." Procter & Gamble pioneered this approach on a large scale by recruiting hundreds of thousands of 'maven' teenagers to create buzz about new products -- some as mundane as toothpaste. "P&G started this idea of manufacturing word-of-mouth," says Wind. "They recruited a quarter million teens to talk about their products. Now they are in the process of recruiting mothers to do the same thing because they have suddenly realize that word-of-mouth is a powerful thing."

But Does It Work?
Buzz marketing stands in direct contrast to traditional television or radio advertising -- the classic 'mass marketing' approach that is based on the premise of broadcasting a message as widely as possible, assuming that this is the best way to reach the largest possible number of interested consumers. Buzzing, which might also be described as 'micro-marketing,' assumes that a person-to-person marketing message is much more powerful because it is so personal -- and that it could potentially reach more people than a broadcast message, if only it is buzzed about in great quantity by people who have very long contact lists and no qualms about promoting products to anyone who will listen.

Wind points to a survey performed by CNW Marketing Research on the 15 largest U.S. television markets as evidence of why buzz marketing is becoming so important to companies today. It found that more than half of the ads for cars, credit cards and pet-related products are ignored by television viewers. In addition, 42% of ads about home products are ignored, as are 45% of fast food advertisements. The numbers are far worse in the case of viewers with personal video recorders such as TiVo. For that group, 95% of fast food ads were skipped, as were 68% of car ads, 80% of pet product ads, and 94% of financial product advertisements. "The 30-second commercial is becoming less and less powerful. We have to realize that most of the money spent on advertising is being wasted, so advertisers have to look for others sources and ideas for marketing their products," Wind says.
That's why Vespa turned to buzz marketers to ride its scooters around town and talk up their 'cool factor' when they debuted, and why Ford loaned its new Focus cars out to buzz agents for the first six months of its launch. In each case, companies looked for ways to gain high visibility and personal recommendations through buzz.
Not every product can be effectively marketed by buzz agents, however. "It has to be an interesting one," says Kahn. "Products do have to live up to the hype, they do have to deliver. If these products aren't delivering coolness, this will not over time be a credible method." According to Kahn, products that fit this description are fashion items and items of cultural interest such as TV shows, books and movies -- anything that connotes a sense of being 'in the know.' "They have to be products where value comes from the social interaction," Kahn says. "What you wear, what movies you go to, what things you read -- these are all influenced by social opinion. There are other things that I buy where I don't care what other people think about them. I like Sweet Tarts. I don't really care what anybody else thinks about Sweet Tarts. But I like to go to the 'in' restaurants, and I want to have read the book everybody's talking about. I want to know what everybody's talking about around the water cooler."
The fear for buzz marketing is that, however successful it may currently be, the effectiveness of the approach will inevitably be diluted through overuse and, dare we say it: too much buzz. "Right now it's a very nontraditional practice which makes it exciting," says marketing professorPeter S. Fader. "But look at pop-up ads and email marketing, which five years ago, when you saw them for the first time, seemed interesting. Now they are at the point of tremendous annoyance. They went from clever, path-breaking and really, truly creative to this incredible annoyance where now, people have just thrown out the baby with the bathwater. And there is no question that buzz marketing is poised to go exactly the same way.
"Buzz marketing needs to be used very judiciously for it to remain effective," he adds. "Otherwise people will become so skeptical and annoyed by it that they will become completely immune to the marketing virus that [marketers] are trying to spread." Fader doesn't think companies will succeed in preserving buzz marketing as an effective tool because they simply don't exercise restraint when they have discovered a new marketing approach. And perhaps even more importantly, Fader says, they regularly confuse useful marketing tactics for real marketing strategy.
"What people have to realize is that it's not a strategy; it's a tactic. That's an important distinction," he notes. "Buzz marketing is one of many elements that a company should be doing when trying to get a new product out to market. It's a specialized tactic. But these days companies are relying on it too heavily, losing sight of what they really should be focusing on: strategy." According to Fader, the buzz about buzz marketing is analogous to the hype that surrounded the Internet in the late 1990s, when so many companies mistook the web and its technology for a new business 'strategy' rather than the sales and information channel that it is. "Your strategy is what your overall approach is going to be. It's answering bigger questions such as, 'Are we trying to leak into the market slowly or are we trying to explode into the market all at once?' For example, there are very different sales patterns for movies, which explode, versus new MRI machines, which need to be eased into the market. Next, you ask things like, 'Do we start with a high price and bring it down? A low price and bring it up? Do we advertise slowly and spread out the message?' Those are strategic questions."
Once set on strategy, tactics come into play. "There could be a role for buzz building in both skim and penetration marketing strategies," Fader says. But buzz marketing should be combined with other forms of marketing to create a pattern of tactics that support the overall strategy. "It needs to be decided in concert with decisions about what other forms of both traditional and non-traditional forms of marketing should they be using, and exactly how much of the budget should they be spending on each form of messaging. Too many companies are starting with tactics and backing into them as a strategy. I'm a little afraid that people are loading onto particularly small bandwagons such as this and losing sight of the larger, more important issue of resource allocation."
According to marketing professor David R. Bell, who conducted a study looking at retail purchase patterns for online retailer, "in general, we should expect the 'buzz effect' to be most prominent the first time a consumer tries a product.", he says, "ships nonperishable groceries using FedEx anywhere in the U.S., so we took a look at their customer data to see how their customer base evolved over both time and space." With traditional grocery stores, Bell says, customers can all be found within a 10 mile radius of the store. For an online store that ships anywhere, one might expect to see no geographic pattern at all. "What we found was that there were in fact very strong spacial clusterings: New customers came from the places where existing customers lived. It demonstrated very strong social contagion patterns - word-of-mouth. Your neighbor orders from, tells you about it, and you decide to try it, too."
Bell, however, also discovered something else: Word-of-mouth apparently has a shelf life. "Before people try something once, they don't have their own experiences to make judgments, so they will try something based on what their social acquaintances tell them. But for repeat customers, there was no spacial pattern at all because the decision to purchase again requires no input from others. You will buy something if you liked it the first time. Period."

The Ethical Debate
For some, buzz marketing raises not just strategy questions, but serious ethical issues as well. In most cases when marketers talk about buzz marketing 'agents' they mean regular citizens who have volunteered to be product guinea pigs -- people who receive no financial compensation, but do get products in advance of their release to the general public in exchange for a promise to talk them up if they like them, and to provide feedback to companies about what they and others think. Sometimes, however, marketers blur these lines in their effort to create buzz, hiring actors to pose as Average Joes, similar to what Sony Ericsson did to promote one of its digital cameras.
Actions like these raise the question of whether there is something inherently unethical about buzz marketing itself. After all, even those 'buzz agents' who are not monetarily compensated do receive free products in exchange for their services, and few freely admit their status as agents to the people they are buzzing to. For some, the ethical question amounts to just a vague twinge of discomfort when they realize a friend's excitement over a new product is part of an orchestrated corporate effort to create buzz on the street. For others, it raises the specter of a paranoid future where corporate marketers have invaded every last niche of society, degrading all social interaction to a marketing transaction, where no one can be certain of anyone else's true opinions or intentions.
Wharton marketing professor Lisa Bolton is one of the hard-liners in the buzz marketing ethics debate. "I realize not all buzz marketing is subversive. Sometimes it's just a case of getting people on the street and getting the word out. But stealth marketing, where you don't know that something's part of a marketing campaign because people don't identify themselves as such? I thinks it's wrong. It's unethical. Over the long term, when people find out, they will feel deceived and betrayed. Ultimately, it will damage a company's brand equity."

Bolton, who teaches consumer behavior at Wharton, recently discussed buzz marketing in her class. During the discussion several students identified themselves as buzz agents for various boutique marketing companies; some were currently aiding buzz marketing efforts for everything from forthcoming books to new consumer products. Most students were intrigued by the idea of buzz marketing, and few said they perceived any ethical conflict. "They claim that they only act as buzz agents for products they truly like; therefore, they aren't lying when they praise them. They seem to focus on what they are saying, not why they are saying it," Bolton says.

Still, the students don't identify themselves as agents unless directly asked and this is what makes the difference, according to Bolton. "Whenever the buzz agent doesn't identify himself upfront as a marketer, the customer interaction is deceptive and, therefore, unethical. Research in psychology suggests that consumers are more readily persuaded when they do not know that the other person is trying to persuade them. By not revealing their persuasive intent, the buzz agent is gaining an unfair advantage that undermines social interaction. We usually assume that other people, in ordinary discourse, are not trying to sell us something; when we know we are being marketed to, we can raise barriers to try and protect ourselves," she says.

Bolton's students changed their tune a bit when she proposed this scenario for them to consider: "At one point I said, 'So John, you're sitting in a bar and a cute girl chats you up and you're feeling like 'Oh wow, this attractive person is talking to me.' It's only after she's gone that you find out it's a marketing ploy. Suddenly they said, 'Yeah, I'd feel pretty bad, [like I had been] taken advantage of'. Because now they are the victim."

Wind disagrees. "I don't see any ethical problem as long as the company provides the product to a person and that person is totally independent in terms of saying whatever they feel about the product to the customer. If we say, 'Here's the product and here's what to tell people,' then you're not allowing them to really express themselves. That's when it undermines credibility," Wind says. "Consumers are more sophisticated than people give them credit for. Buzz marketing is like sampling; it's simply providing exposure to the product. You're not forcing them to buy anything; you're just exposing them to it. They are not stupid. They will try it and if they like it, they will do more research and maybe buy it themselves. It's useful. If they don't like it, they won't buy it."

Besides, adds Wind, relying on word-of-mouth marketing may actually force companies to create better products. "Research shows that negative word-of-mouth is seven times more powerful than positive word-of-mouth. This really forces people to have good products. Otherwise, when you turn people loose to say whatever they want, you could be in real trouble."


Viral Marketing

Bookmark and Share

What does a virus have to do with marketing? Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message's exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions.

Off the Internet, viral marketing has been referred to as "word-of-mouth," "creating a buzz," "leveraging the media," "network marketing." But on the Internet, for better or worse, it's called "viral marketing." While others smarter than I have attempted to rename it, to somehow domesticate and tame it, I won't try. The term "viral marketing" has stuck.

The Classic Example
The classic example of viral marketing is, one of the first free Web-based e-mail services. The strategy is simple:

  1. Give away free e-mail addresses and services,
  2. Attach a simple tag at the bottom of every free message sent out: "Get your private, free email at" and,
  3. Then stand back while people e-mail to their own network of friends and associates,
  4. Who see the message,
  5. Sign up for their own free e-mail service, and then
  6. Propel the message still wider to their own ever-increasing circles of friends and associates.

Like tiny waves spreading ever farther from a single pebble dropped into a pond, a carefully designed viral marketing strategy ripples outward extremely rapidly.

Elements of a Viral Marketing Strategy
Accept this fact. Some viral marketing strategies work better than others, and few work as well as the simple strategy. But below are the six basic elements you hope to include in your strategy. A viral marketing strategy need not contain ALL these elements, but the more elements it embraces, the more powerful the results are likely to be. An effective viral marketing strategy:

  • Gives away products or services
  • Provides for effortless transfer to others
  • Scales easily from small to very large
  • Exploits common motivations and behaviors
  • Utilizes existing communication networks
  • Takes advantage of others' resources

Let's examine at each of these elements briefly.

1. Gives away valuable products or services
"Free" is the most powerful word in a marketer's vocabulary. Most viral marketing programs give away valuable products or services to attract attention. Free e-mail services, free information, free "cool" buttons, free software programs that perform powerful functions but not as much as you get in the "pro" version. Wilson's Second Law of Web Marketing is "The Law of Giving and Selling" ( "Cheap" or "inexpensive" may generate a wave of interest, but "free" will usually do it much faster. Viral marketers practice delayed gratification. They may not profit today, or tomorrow, but if they can generate a groundswell of interest from something free, they know they will profit "soon and for the rest of their lives" (with apologies to "Casablanca"). Patience, my friends. Free attracts eyeballs. Eyeballs then see other desirable things that you are selling, and, presto! you earn money. Eyeballs bring valuable e-mail addresses, advertising revenue, and e-commerce sales opportunities. Give away something, sell something.

2. Provides for effortless transfer to others
Public health nurses offer sage advice at flu season: stay away from people who cough, wash your hands often, and don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Viruses only spread when they're easy to transmit. The medium that carries your marketing message must be easy to transfer and replicate: e-mail, website, graphic, software download. Viral marketing works famously on the Internet because instant communication has become so easy and inexpensive. Digital format make copying simple. From a marketing standpoint, you must simplify your marketing message so it can be transmitted easily and without degradation. Short is better. The classic is: "Get your private, free email at" The message is compelling, compressed, and copied at the bottom of every free e-mail message.

3. Scales easily from small to very large
To spread like wildfire the transmission method must be rapidly scalable from small to very large. The weakness of the Hotmail model is that a free e-mail service requires its own mailservers to transmit the message. If the strategy is wildly successful, mailservers must be added very quickly or the rapid growth will bog down and die. If the virus multiplies only to kill the host before spreading, nothing is accomplished. So long as you have planned ahead of time how you can add mailservers rapidly you're okay. You must build in scalability to your viral model.

4. Exploits common motivations and behaviors
Clever viral marketing plans take advantage of common human motivations. What proliferated "Netscape Now" buttons in the early days of the Web? The desire to be cool. Greed drives people. So does the hunger to be popular, loved, and understood. The resulting urge to communicate produces millions of websites and billions of e-mail messages. Design a marketing strategy that builds on common motivations and behaviors for its transmission, and you have a winner.

5. Utilizes existing communication networks
Most people are social. Nerdy, basement-dwelling computer science grad students are the exception. Social scientists tell us that each person has a network of 8 to 12 people in their close network of friends, family, and associates. A person's broader network may consist of scores, hundreds, or thousands of people, depending upon her position in society. A waitress, for example, may communicate regularly with hundreds of customers in a given week. Network marketers have long understood the power of these human networks, both the strong, close networks as well as the weaker networked relationships. People on the Internet develop networks of relationships, too. They collect e-mail addresses and favorite website URLs. Affiliate programs exploit such networks, as do permission e-mail lists. Learn to place your message into existing communications between people, and you rapidly multiply its dispersion.

6. Takes advantage of others' resources
The most creative viral marketing plans use others' resources to get the word out. Affiliate programs, for example, place text or graphic links on others' websites. Authors who give away free articles, seek to position their articles on others' webpages. A news release can be picked up by hundreds of periodicals and form the basis of articles seen by hundreds of thousands of readers. Now someone else's newsprint or webpage is relaying your marketing message. Someone else's resources are depleted rather than your own.


Guerilla Marketing: definition

Bookmark and Share

The concept of guerrilla marketing was invented as an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. Typically, guerrilla marketing campaigns are unexpected and unconventional; potentially interactive; and consumers are targeted in unexpected places.The objective of guerrilla marketing is to create a unique, engaging and thought-provoking concept to generate buzz, and consequently turn viral. The term was coined and defined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing. The term has since entered the popular vocabulary and marketing textbooks.

Guerrilla marketing involves unusual approaches such as intercept encounters in public places, street giveaways of products, PR stunts, any unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. More innovative approaches to Guerrilla marketing now utilize cutting edge mobile digital technologies to really engage the consumer and create a memorable brand experience.


Negative Marketing

Bookmark and Share

What is negative marketing?
Negative marketing involves making other companies who are your competition look bad. This is a ploy used in order to make your product look better than theirs in the eyes of the consumer. While some people may find this to be unfair or unethical it is a marketing strategy used all the time. Why? Because it gets attention and it really seems to work.
In the world of advertising, this type of marketing is aggressive. Yet they term it as comparative marketing instead of negative marketing. That way they aren’t labeled as trying to sabotage the business of someone else. In order for negative marketing to work though you must has a company name that consumers have grown to trust. If you don’t appear to be credible they aren’t going to listen to what you have to say.

Effects of negative marketing
for the one who initiates negative marketing
Research has shown that the information offered with negative marketing tends to remain with the consumer for a very long time. They won’t easily forget the message they have received from you. They really get the consumer to explore their emotions about the information they have been given. It is this type of response that gets results for the advertiser and increases sales.
If the advertiser goes about it the right way, negative marketing can prove to be extremely powerful. They will capture the attention of the reader and they will be able to get an edge over the competition. With hard economic times right now many businesses consider to use those methods of advertising that are going to generate sales for them.

for the competitors
You can be sure the company on the flip side of the advertisement isn’t going to be very happy though. They have worked hard to get their product recognized in a positive way. They aren’t going to like having their product name associated with negative marketing methods. It can cost them a great deal of money in the long run.
The effects that negative advertising can have on those companies is unbelievable. Millions of people use the internet each day to search for various products. When it is the negative aspects of a given product that find their way to the top of the search engine rankings - f.e. caused through negative SEO (negative searchengine marketing) initiated by their competitor (we will inform later about negative SEO en detail) - you can imagine the negative impact on their sales. Consumers will shy away from such products for a very long time.



Monday, April 12, 2010

The Latest Marketing Trend - Non-Marketing

Bookmark and Share

Anti-Marketing Practice Is Much Like Grassroots Marketing

Marketing has a well defined theoretical meaning. When it comes to implementation, marketing is achieved using very different means by very different people. Regardless of the techniques used, it is one of those activities that every business has to implement in one way or another.
The latest trend is to appear not to be doing marketing in any form. Antipreneurs (a growing group of small business owners that believe in connecting with the community and shrugging off traditional big business practices, were profiled and defined in Business Week’s SmallBiz magazine, June/July 2008) are testing the non-advertising, non-marketing waters. Big corporations are not far behind in creating countercultural environments for their products and services.
There is a name for this type of non-marketing, non-advertising practice - it’s called grassroots marketing.

Grassroots Marketing
Grassroots marketing is accomplished mainly by generating word-of-mouth support and promotion. It is achieved by developing a group of supporters for a company or organization who can promote the benefits of buying or using a product or service. Upside is there is little or no money spent on marketing or advertising. The biggest downside is that it is time and energy intensive.
Grassroots marketing requires developing strong relationships with customers, clients, small businesses or organizations. If it works right, it can be highly successful and satisfying.

Three Fs of Grassroots Marketing
Kyle Potvin of Splash Communications, LLC wrote about the three Fs of grassroots marketing in She defines the Fs as Feel-good, Frequent, and Free.
The first F of a grassroots marketing campaign makes customers feel good and motivates people to bring out their passion for a company. Frequent means to build many strong relationships within the community on several levels so that the buzz created within the community grows and grows. The final F, is to give free samples which always seems to get people excited about a product or service.
Grassroots Marketing - Building, Growing and Sustaining
According to the SmallBiz article, the anitpreneurs support each other. They also focus on the importance of buying from small companies with social responsibility and sustainability at their core.
To build their networks of supporters, these companies depend on the most powerful tool in the marketing arsenal – word-of-mouth - which is at the heart of grassroots marketing.
Whether a business considers itself part of the antipreneur crowd or whether it embraces marketing as one of the unequivocal factors of success, grassroots marketing can be the best marketing or non-marketing technique of choice.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Psychology of Marketing

Bookmark and Share

It takes some knowledge of basic psychology and human behavior to succeed at marketing. People buy things to either meet their needs or satisfy their wants and desires. As a marketer, you are looking not at what your product has to offer, but at what is motivating your target audience to buy your product or service.

For example, people aren't buying perfume because of the aroma. They are buying romance. The new exercise machine doesn't sell because of the latest features, but because the customer is buying a healthier, perhaps thinner look. The end result of a product or service is what it does for buyers — how it makes them feel, look, or act. Even children are looking to have the same games as their friends, not just to play with, but to be popular and fit in. Therefore, you need to keep broad motivational reasons in mind when planning your marketing campaign.

There is also a psychological aspect to establishing trust and forming a relationship. Most customers have been burned, treated badly, swindled, or disenchanted at least once. They will not necessarily jump at the opportunity to buy something unless they have a sense of confidence in the seller. In an age where people are tired of receiving spam and a glut of marketing materials, the modern consumer has become savvy and somewhat cynical. Only a company with a strong proven reputation will gain their trust. You, therefore, want to always build a level of trust through quality of service, and this should be reflected in your marketing.

Finally, there are practical factors that enter into marketing. If it is simply inconvenient for a customer to purchase from you or you simply cannot satisfy their needs with the product they are seeking, then don't attempt to fit a square peg into a round hole. Too many sales are lost by trying to do so. More importantly, you may risk ending a future relationship with the customer by losing their trust.

In the end you want to sell customers by gaining their trust and building a relationship based on customer satisfaction and by being honest and not trying to be everything to everyone.