A week after signing on as the second network partner for Google TV Ads, Hallmark Channel has inked another data deal, this time with Nielsen. The Crown Media property is the first cable network to license the NielsenConnections Brand Target Audience products, which will enable Hallmark to show advertisers who is actually buying the products advertised on it.
Today's marketers think a lot about producing great content for their audiences. But anyone who has done this successfully knows there's more to launching and sustaining a content program than turning out engaging articles, videos and social posts—as if that weren’t challenging enough on its own.
Paid search continues to be a highly effective channel for retailers, driving traffic and a profitable return on investment (ROI). In fact, retail advertisers invest more in paid search than almost any other industry.
In the ongoing evolution of social media in 2012, people’s behavior in social and mobile matured to a point where the first thing they do when they wake up in the morning is check Facebook on their phone (some even sleep with their phones).
Use marketing automation right and sales go up. Use it wrong and you risk the chance of alienating potential customers.
The Hidden Benefits of Social Media Marketing Why Your Strategy May Be Working Better Than You Think
If you’re feeling a bit skeptical about social media marketing and whether or not it’s worth the effort, following are some reasons why it may be working better than you realize.
Integrating design into your company involves more than just hiring superstar designers. It takes a long-term commitment and developing a culture that brings everyone up to speed.
A CFO won't make decisions without reliable metrics based on time-tested performance indicators. So why do so many sane, rational marketers think they'll get a pass when it comes to social media?
There has been much debate recently about whether or not Twitter is a meaningful tool for brands. But there's no doubt that consumers and marketers are having real, two-way conversations through Twitter that are producing measurable results for brands like Dell and Best Buy. Consumers want to communicate with brands -- and with the recent proliferation of participatory digital platforms, access to them and other consumers is easier than ever before.
Thanks to the emergence of location-based services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, and now Facebook Places, millions of users are recording their daily adventures and broadcasting digital breadcrumbs to their social graph. However, the brand value of a check-in on a location-based service is debatable, and its ROI unclear.
Today, through social media, it is possible for businesses to connect with hundreds of millions of customers and prospects around the world. Many businesses have already launched Facebook sites and Twitter accounts, and are actively engaging with their fans and followers. However, the majority of online marketers have no idea what impact these activities have on their brand or sales. It's time to get smart about social media. Social media today is reminiscent of the early days of other online channels or media -- from websites and email to search engines and behavioral targeting -- no one knew quite what success looked like and some of the early experiments were not only un-optimized, they were just plain awful. Eventually, the experimental approach gave way to a more sophisticated, metrics-based approach and, then, CFO's began to notice the healthy ROI's coming from these online channels.
What did I learn on Take Our Board Members to Work Day? It's a nice idea but our day revealed that nice ideas don't often translate into reality. I didn't change ROI's understanding of my job; it's as if he and I live on two different planets. We certainly don't share the same language, though there's one thing on which we agree when it comes to the many disconnects.
Ultimately, consumers decide what a brand means to them and how brands become a part of their lives. Elevating a brand to iconic status requires not only a great product, but the advocacy of our most loyal consumers. In addition to making the physical product available at the appropriate places, marketers must make the brand a critical part of their core fans' culture. It is important to study and to become a valuable part of that culture.
What's a brand? You realize that no two people, let alone two marketers, agree on the answer. It's a word, a metaphor, an analogy, a concept or some sort of thing with an existence and personality dependent on whomever is doing the defining, where they're doing it, and what they hope to accomplish.
Finally, marketers are acknowledging the necessity of listening to consumers - aka "people" - and brands are adjusting to the social networked environment by opening conversations. Market researchers cannot ignore these developments since they dictate the necessity of understanding peoples' identities, not only their interests. We Are People, Not Data Points - See Us Live
Search engine marketing no longer exists in an online vacuum. In today’s multi-channel world, people search online, visit stores to test out products, return to the internet to compare prices and then complete purchases in-store, online or via a call center. Over $155 billion worth of consumer goods was purchased online in the U.S. in 2009, yet a far larger portion of offline sales were influenced by online research, according to a March report from Forrester Research. Forrester estimates that $917 billion worth of retail sales last year were “web-influenced,” with online and web-influenced offline sales combined accounting for 42% of total retail sales. That percentage will grow to 53% by 2014, when the web will influence $1.4 billion worth of in-store sales.
You get that coveted interview in the Wall Street Journal or your company is covered by AP and the news goes mainstream and you jump for joy. While that's great news, counting the potential eyeballs that glanced at that story is no longer enough. It is specifically not good enough in a digital era where every action can be tracked.
Ever since the phrase “you manage what you measure” made its way into the dialogue of corporate America, metrics have played an increasingly important role in the management of businesses. No one can argue the value of timely, detailed, and accurate measures of performance as assessments of effectiveness and guides for decision-making. Yet, which metrics are best remains highly debatable.
As savvy marketers look to meet the needs of an increasingly mobile and social customer, the marketers that will be successful are those that adapt their strategies to align with shifting online trends. The adoption of new online marketing techniques will also be paramount to keeping a competitive edge and ensuring ROI. At Lyris, we have identified five trends likely to impact online marketing ROI in 2010.
In 2010, Social Media will rapidly escalate from novelty or perceived necessity to an integrated and strategic business communications, service, and information community and ecosystem. Our experiences and education will foster growth and propel us through each stage of the Social Media Marketing evolution. As MarketingSherpa observes, “2010 is the year where social media marketers gain the experience required to advance from novice to competent practitioner capable of achieving social marketing objectives and proving ROI.” It’s a powerful prediction and it’s one that I also believe. This is your year to excel, teach, and create your own destiny.
Social Media impacts every business, every brand, and in doing so, connects a network of distributed communities of influence, making the world a much smaller place in the process. Small businesses are in fact at an advantage in Social Media Marketing as they can focus on hyper-local activity that can offer immediate rewards or at the very least, the real-time feedback or lack thereof says everything about next steps.
I spend a great deal of time working within the B2B sector, among other things, and social media is a growing and or pervasive program within a comprehensive, integrated communications and service strategy. In almost every scenario I’ve encountered, executives, marcom and service executives, and brand managers have generally assumed that social and interactive activities and programming were ideally best suited for consumer applications. However, as we recently explored, in Social Media, it’s not just business, it’s business-to-business.
I’ve been thinking of how to measure engagement in the digital space for a while now, so I wanted to aggregate my thoughts and put them in one place. This post is intended to be provocative and get people thinking about how the current thinking of measurement of social media should change. It isn’t meant to be a one-size-fits-all solution – more an articulation of things that people should consider more and more when they embark on work in the online social space.
Nobody's arguing that SEM (both in its paid and organic subspecialties) can deliver ROI. But viewing ROI as a primary and exclusive goal for your organization's search campaigns is dangerously myopic. Here's why:
Some advertisers, including some of our clients, have started to reallocate branding funds from offline marketing efforts to paid search. Why search?
Last month, we reported on a survey that found that 84% of social media programs don’t measure return on investment (ROI). The comments in that post indicated that a lot of individuals and businesses want to be able to measure the ROI of their social media strategies and campaigns, but they don’t know where to start. Companies and executives are finally beginning to really jump on the social media bandwagon, and that’s fantastic. However, for social media to fully work (for everyone), businesses and brands need to be able to evaluate the impact their social media use is having, both positive and negative. Measuring social media ROI isn’t impossible, but it can be difficult because many of the pieces that need to be evaluated are difficult to track. This guide is designed to help you track down those pieces and determine the ROI you’re getting on social media.
Fact: Most people never click on web ads. And that poses a problem for marketers who want to know if their display ads are working. Google, though, is starting to provide an answer. In a bid to build a brand-advertising business, the search giant is using its vast trove of data culled from search queries and web traffic to measure the effectiveness of brand advertising. The system, called Campaign Insights, has been in beta test in the past year with marketers like PayPal and Simplexity and beginning today, the company will start offering it to its bigger advertisers in the U.S. and U.K. Ultimately, like Google Analytics, Google will offer it to all of its display advertisers for free.
Every traditional marketing campaign is a customer purchase, that is no revelation: ROI and CPC, CPM, CPA are all standards. But I suggest there is something wrong with that mindset. In fact, with the uncertainty of the future of media, everything might be wrong with that mindset.
In this continuing economic roller coaster, marketers have become more open to different ways to optimize their end-to-end marketing funnel. Increasingly, they're turning their attention site-side, where any improvements in conversion rates can lift the ROI of every marketing channel and infuse new efficiencies into the marketing mix as a whole. This shift in focus marks a milestone for e-businesses, who have had processes in place to optimize acquisition ad channels for years. Most likely due to the money regularly being spent on media, optimizing search marketing campaigns, display ads and other efforts have long been top of mind for marketers looking to get more done with fewer resources.
This is a continuation of the debrief from the Brand Managecamp conference. In my last post, I relayed insights about Innovation from the “elite conference on branding” that I attended in Las Vegas last week. Today I’m covering the 2 remaining themes that arose – both fall under the category of “stuff that matters”: Substance (meaning, mission, authenticity, integrity) and Results (ROI, accountability, behavior, reality).
For all the focus on marketing ROI, some companies miss the forest for the trees, because improvements won't happen through tactics alone. They need a new approach, applying marketing analytics to business decisions -- call it return on brand -- that can more than double marketing ROI through a cross-functional implementation of integrated business analytics. Many companies use accountability programs to measure and optimize marketing and media investments; their valuable insights can dramatically increase revenue and profits if implemented correctly. They often fall short, however, in their ability to act on this information and realize true marketing accountability ROI.
If you're reading this post, then you probably know that I'm a big fan of Patagonia's The Cleanest Line, and often use it as an example of a great company blog in my social media posts and presentations. So when Kasey Kersnowski, Patagonia.com and The Cleanest Line's managing editor emailed me to thank me for covering his blog, I had to ask him for an interview (BTW notice Kasey was smart enough to be monitoring for brand mentions, and reached out to me because I was blogging about his company). Kasey graciously accepted, and here he gives us a 'behind the scenes' look at what goes into crafting one of the best company blogs on the internet.
A new mindset is needed. There’s been a great deal of discussion of late both here and in other forums about the blurring lines between advertising and editorial and the implications for both relationship building and sales. As a measurement geek (or queen, which ever you prefer) my response is generally – who cares what you call it, focus on the results. Is what you're doing selling stuff, saving money, or making you more efficient? Great, do more of it, and less of the stuff that isn’t generating revenue.
I hear versions of the same conversations almost weekly. While they're not necessarily new conversations, the tenor of them has grown considerably tenser as a result of the struggling global economy. The conversations run something like this: The chief financial officer says: "Before I spend any money in this environment, I need to know the impact of this investment. I need to see an ROI." The CMO responds with: "It's not about ROI; it's about creating awareness. Having people understand our brand will create engagement, which will lead to revenue."
March Madness lasts only three weeks, but Metric Madness goes on all year long. What is Metric Madness? It's the notion you can run anything by the numbers, and it's become the hottest concept in business today.
A recent survey conducted by Proofpoint found that 8% of companies had terminated employees due to social media usage (common causes including sharing sensitive information on a network). And while the statistic seems significant, it only underscores one of several upcoming challenges nearly every organization will face as changes in people, process and technology fueled by the collective movement we call social media begin to transform business. Here are a few challenges that every organization should be planning for right now. If you aren't you will be.
One of the most common reason stated by small businesses for not embracing social networking is that they can’t measure or, worse yet, don’t believe there is any solid return on the investment of participation. I get emails almost daily from frustrated marketers who want to dive more fully into social networking, but can’t convince the boss that it’s worth it.
It is tempting to start slicing and dicing the spend now, even if we don't know how to precisely define waste in the marketing plan. Perhaps some rules of engagement are in order.
Marketers have a love/hate relationship with ROI. It's absolutely necessary, but annoyingly elusive. A brand's return on investment can be quantified with impressions, engagement or time spent, but rarely direct sales. It's not often that a campaign can be linked causally to a sale, especially purchases at bricks-and-mortar stores. Mobile can change that. What online advertising did for e-commerce, mobile marketing can do for traditional commerce: make it measurable.
When I attended TWTRCON in San Francisco and also the 140 Twitter Conference in Mountain View recently, the intent of businesses was perspicuous. Speakers and attendees were on hand to actively share, inquire, and learn about how to increase visibility, engagement, and brand presence on Twitter and other social networks.
Originally, F.R.Y. (Frequency/Reach/Yield) wasn’t meant to be applied to Social Media (or any media, for that matter). But as it turns out, it adapts super well to just about anything, so I kind of lucked out by being exposed to it in the first place. Pretty handy stuff, really, when you grasp just how portable it is.
March Madness lasts only three weeks, but Metric Madness goes on all year long. What is Metric Madness? It's the notion you can run anything by the numbers, and it's become the hottest concept in business today. One scientist recently predicted that the great discoveries of the future will come from finding patterns in vast archives of data. "The next Jonas Salk will be a mathematician, not a doctor." The marketing community eats this stuff up. Nobody generates more data than they do. Hallelujah! "The Singularity is Near," as Ray Kurzweil wrote in his book of the same name, and marketing people can't wait to join the revolution. I'm not too sure.
Major U.S. advertisers cut their spending on search ads in the first quarter by 13% compared with a year ago, but the market showed signs of revival in March, leading search-engine marketing firm Efficient Frontier said Tuesday. The decline marks the second consecutive quarter in which the firm's advertising customers reduced search spending, and could renew concerns about the performance of market leader Google Inc., which analysts expect will announce a first-quarter profit of $4.18 a share on sales of $4.08 billion on Thursday.
Package-goods brands are still cautious about social media, figuring that the return on investment can't be accurately measured. After all, marketing on Facebook or MySpace might generate a conversation but not necessarily a sale. Now, however, a method is emerging to relate one to the other, potentially eliminating a major impediment.
Fueled by a combination of popularity, curiosity, necessity, strategy, and trendiness, marketers are embracing a new recipe that injects a proactive, social approach to outbound communications and engagement – with or without all of the answers before they jump in. This approach, while courageous, has required faith, conviction, and champions who didn’t necessarily have access to metrics and case studies at the SMB and enterprise level. Many of the most and also least effective campaigns were implemented as a way of learning. As we all know, some Social Media campaigns have excelled while others have publicly flopped and contributed to the cynicism and fear of embracing a transparent form of open and public dialogue.
Six weeks ago I wrote "I'm Sold On Engagement." In the post I proposed that, "given the proper definition and standardization, engagement can provide the right baseline for marketers to plan, buy and measure brand campaigns online." After reading Brian Morrissey's March 23 piece titled "Making More Than a Good Impression," and speaking with Randall Rothenberg, head of the IAB and author of the must-read blog on interactive advertising "I, A Bee," I felt there were a few points I wanted to reiterate about engagement as the future base metric for branding online.
When in doubt, ask your customers to help you. I am quite fond of saying that in the context of using methodologies like Surveys and Experimentation and Testing in service of improving web experiences. Today I used that idea in a different context, ask you what was top of your mind so I could try and answer some of them. My question was very open ended.
A tough economy is forcing marketers to defend their marketing, which is leading to less satisfaction with their agencies and even more emphasis on ROI, per two separate studies.
Spending on marketing will grow just half a percentage point over the next 12 months, with traditional ad spend decreasing 7% and Internet growing 10%, according to The CMO Survey, a poll of 581 top U.S. marketing executives taken this month. Business-to-consumer marketers expect to make the most significant shifts to the Internet, for both product and service advertising, the survey found.
Most companies will increase their investment in online marketing in 2009, but the ROI may be sketchy. Fewer than half (47%) of marketing professionals in North America and the U.K. recently surveyed by Alterian reported that they currently use analytics to measure online campaign results.
During a Q&A session following a speaking engagement in Chicago on Wednesday, I was asked for my opinion of Denny's Grand Slam Giveaway Super Bowl promotional spot by an executive in the audience. "Do you think it was a success?" he asked with a hint of skepticism in his voice. "I really don't know," I replied. "I have no idea what 'success' means to Denny's. I hope it means a sustained increased in profitable sales that exceeds the $5 million cost of the promotion." I went on to express my doubts that a one-off sales promotion with no follow-on behavioral incentives or cues would have that effect.