Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Why MarketingProfs is still worth it

I know is BlogLand one must look down one's nose at newsletters, even eNewsletters, especially those that don't provide RSS to within an inch of their lives.

Despite all the answers theoretically resting here in BlogLand, I do still find some Newsletters useful, notably today: Marketing Profs. (Actually MarketingProfs does provide RSS, but it doesn't always seem to syndicate smoothly. Today's Newsletter, for example, hasn't shown up yet.)

Two articles caught my eye, both concerning the online world.

The first, Exploring Blogs for Brand Insights, talks about some serious analysis of brand associations, and how blogs are the perfect link directly to consumers and their unfiltered, unvarnished, unadulterated thoughts on brands.

To be honest, I've never been a brand marketer or a statistical analyst, so all this mathematical talk does tend to make my eyes glaze over. But the essence of Matthew Syrett's article is this: Surveys, focus groups etc? Sure, they have their uses...go for it, but they are by their nature artificial, staged. Blogs are that direct (and unobserved) look into your consumer's soul. It does seem to me that it's unlikely to be any but the largest brands that get enough mentions in blog to be statistically relevant. But if you just want some good old anecdotal evidence? What could be better.

Scott Buresh contributes a slightly more sales-y article about thinking beyond "search engine optimization." I've certainly learned from the PPC advertising programs I've done that clicks through to your site are a necessary start, but you better have something waiting for the clicker when they get there. And the online user expects more than a "Hi, Online User...Welcome!"

One of the first ad campaigns I did for a theatre in San Francisco is a perfect example. At first they authorized a discount of $5 off per ticket. The click-through rates were only OK, and the conversion rates from click-throughs to ticket purchases were nothing to write home about.

We then changed the discount to 40% off. Blam...click-throughs and conversions went crazy.

What was the difference between $5 off and 40% off? About $10. but the perceived value of that additional $10 offer was huge.

Point being: being seen in a search engine result, whether organic, paid inclusion or ad, is a great start. But Buresh is right that it's only one quarter, hey maybe one fifth of the battle.

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