Chelsea's Blog

Archive for November 2009

According to the Mobile Marketing Association mobile marketing is described as: “A set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.”

When a company uses a mobile marketing strategy, they are able to send product or promotional information to the consumer via text messaging, email or even instant messages.  I experience firsthand the use of mobile marketing techniques by numerous companies, many times a day.  With my BlackBerry I am able to do nearly anything on the go.  I can instant message, text message, email, browse the web, find directions, and know my location using a GPS system (just to name a few).

There are many benefits for the company and the consumer in using mobile marketing.  As a consumer I can receive special offerings from my phone, and I am not dependant on my laptop to redeem the offer.  My phone is always on, and there are never any connection problems.  I always receive special emails and offerings from my favourite companies, and these offerings are highly personalized.  I am able to view my messages privately as well.

For the company that is sending these notifications, they are keeping me in the loop, building a relationship with me and essentially, retaining me as a customer.  This link provides a list of benefits the text messaging channel offers.  Benefits include reach, immediacy, and affordability.  Mobile marketing is cost effective and gets results.  The blog entitled The Five Pillars of Cost Effective Mobile Marketing discusses how to keep a mobile marketing campaign cost effective with tactics that include keeping it simple, planning, and targeting your message instead of blanketing the market.

I decided to research some companies that use mobile marketing effectively. Toysrus.com is offering free shipping deals and e-gift cards. Consumers can also sign up to receive instant email alerts on coupons and unadvertised sales right to their phones. BMW in Germany implemented a mobile marketing campaign with new customers before the start of winter weather.  Their recent customers received a personalized message with a winter tire recommendation that was specific to their vehicle.  BMW reports a 30% conversion rate for the campaign. Procter & Gamble’s Charmin brand has a campaign where they sponsor a website and iPhone application that helps consumers find the cleanest public restrooms worldwide.  Another visual example of this in action is seen in this video with Ford’s Flex Mobile Marketing Campaign.

 

 

There are many more examples out there, because almost every company has some sort of mobile marketing campaign under way.  The mobile marketing movement is huge, and will only continue to develop with more and more advanced campaign elements.

Moving from a traditional bricks and mortar store to a web presence is one of the most important things to consider and implement in this day and age.  Everything is becoming more technologically oriented.  If you don’t have interactive advertising for your brand or company, let alone a web presence, you will quickly become extinct.

Traditional advertising is becoming a thing of the past. Interactive web advertising can be specifically marketed towards your online, receptive target market.  Online marketing is interactive and can lead to online shopping. Behavioural targeting is also one of the many benefits offered with interactive advertising.  A brand can track and monitor their audience and therefore customize an online experience for each consumer.

After learning about interactive advertising I decided to classify a few websites I usually visit as to which type of advertising purpose they complete effectively.  The first purpose is to advertise the brand, aiming to build awareness of a product by putting the brand name and product benefits in front of the user.  A blog entitled Integrated Marketing Strategies – Building and Maintaining Brand Awareness and Identity written by Shannon Evans highlights many key ideas to build brand awareness.

I feel the Apple iPhone’s website is fulfilling this purpose very effectively.  When viewing the homepage for the iPhone there are so many links and articles to click on to educate me; however, I feel it is not overwhelming.  The newest 3G iPhone has so many capabilities, and each one is highlighted on this website.  I especially like the Apps page where it gives a complete explanation of all the kinds of applications for your iPhone and most of them are interactive so you can try them out and see how cool they are.  There are so many options for your iPhone that you leave the webpage feeling informed and excited to customize your iPhone experience.

The next two purposes of interactive advertising are: to motivate an action by direct response advertising such as a click direct to purchase.  This purpose also delivers more information about a product in order to solicit a response.  The last purpose is to retain customers.  In order to do this, there will be constant reminders of the brand in the form of promotions and prize draws.  Eileen Shulock, Managing Editor of Web Digest For Marketers, wrote a blog entitled 12 Internet Customer Retention Tactics. Some tactics include offering customized content, offer personalized picks, and asking for opinions.

I have always been a fan of Benefit Cosmetics. I think this website is implementing direct response advertising, and customer retention.  Previously I would buy a few items from Benefit, but now I buy all of my cosmetics from this brand.  They send me customized e-mails, constantly reminding me of this brand.  Benefit always has promotions and prizes.  The company always offers free products or goodies with a certain value purchase, and they always send free samples with their orders which usually ends up with me buying the new product.  When I go to their site, they remember me and are always offering products that they have noticed I would enjoy. They have an “easy reorder” button, and they always remember what I like, so it is drawing me to give a response and I usually do.  The Benefit Cosmetics also builds brand awareness.  Each product has a detailed description as well as a mini-lesson on how to use the product.  This website is very effective in implementing the three purposes of interactive advertising.

Geo-targeting is a crucial method to implement when using search engine marketing.  According to Gregory Go and his Online Business Blog, Geo-targeting means “having the ability to target a marketing or advertising campaign at a limited set of visitors based on their physical location and  language. Advertising programs that support geo-targeting allow you to control where your ads are displayed based on parameters like country, state, city, or even within X miles of a postal address.”

This concept seems quite interesting to me, because if a company has a web presence, why wouldn’t they want to have boundary-less communication with all web users? It seems like even if the company has limited locations, they should want increased awareness of their product or service regardless of location.  However, after further researching this topic, it makes sense as to why it is implemented.

There are numerous reasons to apply a Geo-targeting strategy to a company’s search engine marketing efforts.  Geo-targeting is useful for small businesses that are only able to serve a certain geographical area, or for bricks and mortar stores who have a new web presence and can only deliver their product or service through the physical location. In simplified terms Geo-targeting is useful when your online presence is used to promote an offline business.

Geo-targeting is an important thing to consider.  As highlighted in this Geo-targeting Tutorial, online advertising reaches everyone in the world that can access a website. So if your website wants to run an advertising campaign targeted to one region only, you will need geo-targeting.  For example a certain advertisement will be shown only to people from certain countries, or different ad campaigns could be shown to visitors from different countries. This way, the advertisements are highly targeted to a geographic location. Another use of Geo-targeting is localization. Suppose your website is written in two languages, say English and German. By default, the English version is served. However, if a visitor comes from Germany (or any other German-speaking country), your website could send the German copy by default.

A blog entitled Using Geo-Targeting to Boost Your PPC Result by Melissa Mackey explains many uses to help companies increase profitability. The entry explains how to use geo-targeting to target key feeder markets. For example, a national campaign is costly; however, running the campaign in three surrounding areas of the main location is profitable.  Another example is  Mackay states “As you can imagine, bidding on “free coupons” and “sweepstakes” nationally costs a fortune. However, bidding on these terms in a single designated marketing area is surprisingly affordable. Better still, geo-targeting provides a great source of leads for the client from individuals looking for freebies who probably weren’t initially seeking out the advertiser’s product or service. If you’re looking to build an e-mail database of prospects in an inexpensive way, running a geo-targeted online contest that requires an e-mail address to enter can be a very effective way to add to your e-mail database. Geo-targeted ads also tend to get good quality scores, resulting in lower click costs than can be had on national campaigns. Lower CPCs translates to lower cost per conversion and higher ROI.”

In the following video, Google’s Matt Cutts talks about how Google deals with Geo-targeting.

 

How many times have you looked online at something before you buy it? I don’t know about you, but I am constantly seeking for information online about the products I am going to buy, and usually I purchase them online too!  Not only am I searching for consumer product information, there are so many times where I am unsure about something… so what do I do? I boot up my laptop or grab my phone and “Google” it.  You will never know how many times a disagreement has been settled by “googling” something on my BlackBerry.

Google seems to be my answer for many things in life.  When I search something online, I look at the first five listings and almost always choose the top one.  I’ve always wondered how the first listed web page gets to top, and sometimes how more relevant websites are the third or fourth listing, when they should be the first.  For instance, I was trying to find a cosmetic company the other day, so I searched the brand name.  I could not find the website, until I typed in the keyword “cosmetics”. I thought this was strange because this brand is fairly well known.  Well the answer to all my questions rests in the term “Search Engine Optimization”.  SEO is a way to organize a web page and imbed specific techniques in order for the page to register within the top search engine results.  Search Engine Optimization is critical, because if you don’t put effort into this aspect of website creation, your web presence will go virtually unnoticed!

So how do you get your page in a favourable position on the results page? There are many things to do which include using keywords, title tags, and even paying people to ensure you rank high; however, the most interesting to me is something called Google PageRank.  Google described PageRank as follows: “PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important”. Interestingly enough, not only are there many factors that affect PageRank, but there are actual mathematic equations involved, here is Wikipedia’s very extensive page of information about Google PageRank.

This website provides a good visual of Google’s top five ranking factors, the top five negative factors, and the top five most contentious factors weighed in order to get great search engine results.

As previously mentioned there are people whose job it is to be an “optimizer” such as the company Prime Visibility. They are referred to as “Google Boys”.  Watch the following video showcasing the company Prime Visibility and Search Engine Optimization.

The following video features Matt Cutts appearing on a USA Today Talking Tech video, he is a Google engineer and discusses a few things that are important to consider to get your page viewed.

 



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