Posts Tagged Internet Marketing

Marketing Success – Jackie Chan Style

In “Success” magazine ( February 2011) I found a great article on Jacky Chan. In this articles they list Jacky Chan’s 7 Traits for Success.  I found his thoughts fit nicely into internet marketing as well.  So I’m going to take his traits but add my own thoughts to each of his traits.

1) A willingness to crash and burn

I can’t stress enough that each internet marketer should try to fail, often, and big.  Two phrases come to mind “Go Big, or Go Home!” and “Failure is an event, not a title!”  Your embrace of risk might be the deciding factor that helps you find your niche.

2) A discipline for fitness

The key word being discipline.  Fitness is needed for everyone, but in marketing, we need focus, intentional creative disruption.  We often try many tactics for our clients.  We need to perform our duties in such a way that our measurements tell us which tactic produced the results and then build on them.

3) A disdain for wasted time

As Zig Ziglar wrote in his “See You at the Top” recording your activities and understanding what it takes to create positive results in critical.  Equally important is understanding what is not helping you create success.  Avoiding time wasters are equally important then improving skills.

4) A need for alternative opinions

It’s important we seek out and study other disciplines and build on the lessons of those.  Reading materials from other continents, or cultures.   Subscribe to blogs from other marketers on other countries.  Spend time discussing ideas on twitter or in blog comments.  It will improve your ability to communicate your positions to clients and prospects.

5) A set of high expectations

Never be afraid to say “That’s not good enough” and demand more of the outcomes of your tasks and tactics.  With internet marketing it often a series of “shoot, ready, aim” moments, but that doesn’t mean we can expect some impressive marksmanship!

6) An accurate moral compass

A marketer with no moral compass is simply a politician.  Enough said.

7) A relentless sense of humor

By all means, have some fun.  If you can’t laugh and laugh hard at your work, you will often find yourself  ‘chasing rabbits’.  I know we call it work, but push the limits, always create a version of your latest project that is an exaggeration of the client requirements.  By creating this outlier, you will find your other ideas less risky and at the same time take some risks.

So which one of these traits caught your eye?  Which of these traits are you doing well at?  Which one of these traits do you need to work on?  I’d love to get your feedback.

Enjoy!  Good Hunting!

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5 Reasons Why Online Marketing Rules

One of the blog authors I read frequently is Matt Hames at his blog “People like to share“.  Recently he threw out a blog post that seemed to challenge my chosen profession of Internet Marketing.  The post was “5 reason why online marketing sucks“.  Now besides the title catching my eyes, some of the content was equally abrasive.  Now let me say this, if you come from the print world, his thoughts might be exactly what your are thinking and seem normal.  For someone like me that has come up the ranks in the internet only path I found his items lacking.

So rather then attack Matt’s prejudiced and bias post towards those of us in the internet space I thought I would spend some time explaining why I love the online marketing realm and why I think it is the future of our industry called marketing.

Reason 1: Speed of Feedback = Reaction Speed

I love the fact that I can put out an internet ad on Google or Yahoo and within a day I can start making adjustments.  I can test titles, graphics, copy, landing pages.  I know based on impression rates how many eyes have seen the ad.  Once they land on my ad landing page I can track what they do and where they went on my site by telling a story and adding action items at different points of the story, thus giving me valuable information about what engages the visitor.  I know how many people have clicked on the ad.  I know what phrases they used to search the internet that introduced them to my ad and land on my page for that ad.  I love the speed of feedback.  I can make changes to my world while my print counterparts are still wondering how bad their campaign was with some 0.000000000000003 conversion rate.

Reason 2: Pay Per Click

Most of my clients are small and thus are trying to compete in the world of the big boys, mostly national or regional players.  Yes, 75% of my time is building guerrilla marketing campaigns for these small businesses using internet advertising that the larger competitors don’t see as relevant or worth much to them.  I have very little buying power when it comes to the print world for my clients to compete against the larger companies.  The pay-per-click (PPC) tools provided by Google, Yahoo, and the likes, provide a low cost to entry model that when coupled with geo-targeting allows for many local and small companies to gain market share in their realm of influence.

Reason 3: Measurements mean Change

I laugh at some of the dollars spent in the print world as well as the deadlines they must meet to get in a publication’s print run.  In the non-online marketing world you have to spend a lot of money up front to generate your campaigns for print, TV, radio, billboard, wrap-around vehicle ads, etc.  Because these contracts are written for multi-year commitments you can have a real campaign STINKER like McDonald’s “I’m Love’n it” last much longer then it ever should.  You would have to find a large number of bad web sites on the internet ether floating around to compare to just that one example of a complete embarrassment of a marketing campaign built around a bad tag line.

In the online marketing space, owners of web sites can change agencies quickly and adjust at speeds the non-online marketers fear with all their souls.  Is it any wonder you see the attacks on the on-line marketing world coming from those that would love to see the status quo remain the same?

Reason 4:  Multiple Tools in the Toolbox

I can agree with Matt that certain online tools are used for the wrong reasons.  I for one don’ t use email marketing for prospecting new leads.  I use email marketing for retention marketing and increasing the “share of wallet”.  I explain to my clients that all the different things you can do on the internet are but tools in the toolbox.  We listen to the desires of the client, build the measurement expectations, then implement the plan based on the best tools for the job.

I often explain that a client demanding a web site as the solution to all their problem is the same as demanding that your home builder only use a hammer to build your entire home.  No tape measures, no ladders, no saws, no plumb lines.  Just a hammer.  They quickly realize that they would never demand this limitation on their builder and often then come to the conclusion that they should allow me to quote the job based on the tools I think I’ll need to complete their request.

Reason 5: Competition for Customers drive Innovation

Matt brings up a great ‘one click away’ discussion but online marketers tend to look at it differently.  We understand that we only have a few seconds (most will say 3 seconds) to engage with a prospect or client or they are ‘one click away’ from going to a competitor site.  This often drives more ‘creative’ tactics to come to the marketplace at faster rates then some would like.  It does tend to cause us to look at impulse and emotions more then someone who has the time to tell a story. We assume our web site landing pages will continue the interaction and tell the story.  It does also allow for some poor choices to be made but go back to Reason 1 to understand why I don’t care.  If I’m not making the numbers I expect within the first 48 hours of a new text or banner ad, I’m already working on an A/B test to see what I can do differently.  The next 48 hours will be better then the first 48 hours, I guarantee.    Let’s see … how long does it take to change a billboard, magazine ad, TV commercial, etc?

In conclusion

With all the advancements on the internet, I’m surprised the print marketing world is even around.  As more and more people drop their magazine, newspaper, and newsletter subscriptions and reduce their TV consumption, they begin to use their electronic readers  and on-demand viewing devices.   I would think that the print and TV world would be worried about their business models ….. oh, wait, THEY ARE!

Good Hunting.

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Marketing Civil Rights: Impression’s Inequalities and Injustices

At  some point with each of my clients the question will come up; Should I advertise here?  The client, having seen how effective internet marketing can be, now begins to ask the age old marketing question of REACH.  How do I expand my reach with this wonderful tool or environment?  And if so, where?  And if I stumble across somewhere, is this a good place to advertise?

Inside the question lies a misconception, a costly one.  This misconception has been the death knell of many small business marketing plan’s attempts at internet marketing.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all ads and the locations they are found are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Attention, Re tension and the Guarantee of Profit.

Each failed attempt at increasing reach creates the awkward self-fulfilling prophecy that Internet Marketing doesn’t work in my business.

Russian Proverb: “Trust, but Verify”

The advice is simple, and profound.  With each instance of advertising activity you must build in the process of measuring effectiveness.  Internet Advertising has a distinct advantage over several other forms of advertising: rapid feedback.  I think this is one of the reasons I like to work in the space.

Over time you will come to realize that certain activities produce results and others do not.  The trick in moving forward is to build feedback loops into the campaigns so that your team and clients can understand the effectiveness of the new cost.  Even more importantly, you will have the ability to answer the age old question; Should I advertise here?

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Anonymity Masks Pain

Seth Godin, a favorite author of mine, in his recent post “Proximity to pain” gives us some real world examples of how companies can charge higher (premium) prices when clients are in crisis (pain), but begins to compare apples with oranges, when he uses Yellow Pages and Google in the same light.

Execution over Pain

Yellow Page advertising and Google are successful because they have a business model that works given the current environment they are in.  They do not charge more, as with Seth Godin’s other examples, when you are in crisis mode and using their services.   Yes, they are positioned well for consumers to use, but no, the can’t capitalize on the great positioning in times of crisis.

Anonymous web sites level the playing field

Search engines or e-Yellow Pages have no way of knowing why you are using them.  And even if they did, can you image the up-roar if they charged 300% for ads that had the words “emergency towing service” in it because they assumed you were in crisis or ‘felt your pain’?

Better Web Examples

I would drop Google and YP and focus on web services that charge a premium for their services because they are associated with someone in crisis and they are respected enough (branded) that someone off the street would not perceive another viable choice given the need for expediency.  If you can create a web property that meets this requirement, you should have no problem charging a premium.  Here are some of my thoughts of companies that might make it to this level:

  • Crisis PR Firm
  • Disaster Recovery Firm
  • Immigration Legal Firm
  • Specialized Health Group (Rare or Time Sensitive practices)
  • Green PR Firm – just wait if the Cap and Trade stuff hits us.

If your web property can position itself close to the pain of your clients, you can charge a premium.  I agree with Seth Godin on that, I just don’t see YP and Google in the same light as an emergency road side towing service.

Good Hunting.

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Fix Problems, Don’t Sell Services

The ROI Hunters had the opportunity to speak with a new fledgling service provider.  (We use service provider for a reason here and not company.)  They shared with us their frustrations in acquiring new clients.  A very large portion of their non-billable hours were involved in seeking new clients.  Their success rate was very poor, to their standards.  We decided to take a few moments and analyze this problem for our up-and-coming competitor, after all, sometimes Hunting ROI requires we build relationships with other Hunters.

Improve vs. Educate

It became clear after the first 5 minutes, they were trying to sell services and spending all their time selling their abilities to prospective clients.   They were hoping for that epiphany to occur as the prospective clients absorbs the abilities-sales-pitch, that this new agency before them held the key to their future success.  The prospective client was expected to quickly sign a multi-year contract to ensure that these bright young geniuses would not be snatched away by their competitors.  They were simply there to educate, and hoped this would translate into a new client.  I won’t say this is impossible, but I would say this story would be equivalent to winning the lottery, with a very, very, small jackpot.

Some Ugly Scenarios

Let’s face it, we all want our clients and prospects to perk up and get excited each time we walk in the room, as if they were completely lost since the last time we left their presence.   We expect them to drop everything and give us their undivided attention, as if the remainder of their day/week/month/year depended on the very next syllable that came out of our mouth.  This is hardly ever the case, and often depends on your ability to show them a solution to a problem they have shared with you.

The ROI Hunters have come to believe that if a prospect can figure out that your agency can help them solve a problem, it is just as likely to occur in the 30-second elevator pitch as in a 30-minute presentation.  So why waste 29 minutes and 30 seconds, time is valuable after all. The prospective client’s time is even more valuable.  Let me describe two possible scenarios that play out with this abilities-sales-pitch story:

Scenario One

Five minutes into the sales pitch, the client, easily assessing that this will likely be a waste of time, becomes very nervous.  A hint of panic is expressed on his face as he realized that he did not demand or create an agenda at the beginning of the meeting.  Unless he becomes creative, he will waist value time listing to a dead-ender presentation.  He stops the meeting and says, “This is very exciting stuff, give me a moment so I can tell my assistant to hold all calls and possibly push my next hour’s meeting to this afternoon.”  As your head swells with this feedback, he steps out the door and flashes the 10 minute signal to his assistant, who understands that she has 9 minutes to wrap up what she’s working on so she can come in and interrupt your meeting, explaining some emergency needs your prospective client’s attention, immediately!  He apologizes, and states that he has your presentation, and will be contacting you to set up a follow-up.  You never hear from him again.

Scenario Two

Five minutes into the sales pitch, the client, easily assessing that this will likely be a waste of time, moves into position to dissemble and disrupt your plans to sell your services.  The questions as first seem innocent enough, but you begin to wonder why the prospect is challenging you to provide facts and figures to backup your claims.  He enjoys playing ‘devil’s advocate’ with you, and even states as much, and that this role is how he handles all his meetings. Realizing that you are being kept from getting to your points you become frustrated as time is now playing against you.  But, at the first sign of your frustration, the prospect politely stops the meeting, claiming that he has heard enough, but doesn’t think the timing is right, or states that he has to many conflicting points of view to move any future.  He thanks you for you time.  You asked if you can leave your presentation and offer to return and help decipher the conflicting messages, and he agrees.  You never hear from him again.

Add Value – Solve Problems

Our recommendations to this fledgling service provider was to identify the problems they can help their clients with, and then create 30-second elevator pitches for each.  Let’s face reality, for every agency like yours, there are 10 more waiting in the lobby to take any money you leave on the table for them.  You can still keep the 30 minute presentations in your back pocket and pull it out when needed.  But in this case, needed means that the prospect has shown genuine interest in the elevator pitch and wants to learn more.

After all, if the Hunters of ROI cannot add value, why bother with the Hunt.  Good Hunting.

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Ad-Supported is all the rage! (Remake)

The ROI Hunters have been watching the latest fad: Ad-Supported Software. One such example caught our eyes and we sat around saying “Good idea, but who cares?” We are talking about Microsoft Windows providing a free ad-supported version of their successful operating system with free low end machines. After all, shouldn’t Hunting ROI be a win-win situation?

Defensive Leader Tactic

Microsoft is executing a defensive tactic, which we applaud. They are the leader. After all, their popular operating system generated around 13 Billion in sales last year (give or take a few Million), so it is not like they will be hurt by giving their software away with low end machines. This is an excellent response to some of the UNIX flavors running around for the last decade. Actually, it did make us wonder why it took them so long to give it away, at the low end of the price spectrum.

The Plan

Free Computer System: Give away the free ad-supported Windows OS on a low end $300 machine to those that can’t afford or don’t want to spend a lot on their technology needs. Obviously, there is a tether to the internet in this package somewhere. Either a low-cost dial up or wireless connection will need to service the ad generator. The ultimate goal: Increase Market Share & Attack UNIX competitors that have been flanking Microsoft.

Who Cares

Our question is directed at the poor soles that will buy advertising space on this channel. Which demographic would you place someone in that can’t afford or doesn’t want to buy a $300 dollar machine and the $100 operating system. What exactly are their on-line spending habits? How much do you think they will purchase on-line? Let’s face it, JupiterResearch reported at 40% increase in online ad spending last year, but we are fairly certain that this demographic was not the leader in this increase.

Maybe we are seeing the beginnings of the Lotto Advertising Network. (I hear the jackpot is going to be really high next week, but don’t ask me what your odds are) Good Hunting.

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