Brand, Digital Marketing, Internet Audience Measurement, Internet Industry, Others, Traditional Media Marketing

And The Award For The Most Intrusive Ad Format Goes To…

In the times of Oscar Fever, I wanted to talk about an entity, which is equally exciting and I got to know few days ago. Courtesy my wife, Priya, who recently went to Millward Brown conference.

Dynamic Logic (DL) is one of the lesser known services of Millward Brown. DL focuses on ad measuring effectiveness in this ever complex world of online and offline media. You may recall, MB is a leader in Brand Measurement Studies, Brand performance monitoring and marketing accountability.

Dynamic Logic, has three specific products to help the Internet marketer’s brand prerogatives…

1. AdIndex: Test and Analyse digital marketing campaigns


2. Cross Media Research:
Evaluate Multimedia Campaign (TV, Print, Internet etc)

3. LinkSelect For Digital: copy-testing solutions.

The best part about DL the cross-media behaviors and the resultant brand impact. As such, there would be very few research agencies, which can put this as specialisation in the service list.
I read a few insights from their book and found them extremely interesting. I would like to share one such report, an extract of Dynamic Logic’s Beyond the Click Study done in April 2008 on the subject of Consumer’s perception of Ad Formats (and across different Medium).

The study found the following ad which respondents rated as the most negative ….

Telemarketing (72%)

Non-opt-in Emails (46%)

Ads on Mobile Service (37%)

Direct Mail (17%)

Opt-in Email Ads (14%)

Cinema Ads (14%)

Online Ads (13%)

Online Search Ads (13%)

Product Placement (13%)

Radio Ads (7%)

Outdoors/Billboards (8%)

TV Ads (6%)

Magazine Ads (5%)

Newspaper Ads (4%)

(Basis Dynamic Logic’s Adreaction Survey, n=933, US, respondents fielded 2007)

The most intrusive formats (not very surprising!) are the Telemarketing and ads on mobile services (72% & 46%, respectively). Whereas, Newspaper, Magazine and TV ads are the ad formats with least negativity (4%, 5% and 6% in that order). What is surprising is that the online banner ads and online Search ads have similar negativity associated with it (7% each). One would have expected Search to be more acceptable format (maybe indicating the impact that the medium would deliver the brand association), however that not the case. Online ads are perceived more intrusive than the Radio and Outdoor Billboard ads.

This was a surprise to me, as we are in the world of web 2.0. The control of the web is with the browser, but the current perception is far from this fantasy. Maybe Online publishers efforts to deliver more inventory to the advertisers are now showing its effect. Do you remember the days of pop-ups and blinking fake-HTML like banners? Irritating and bad it was. However, what this seems to have done is to limit the engagement of the online brand with its consumers and therefore its impact on its overall imagery.

This also has bearing for all of us internet marketers, to be as engaging with the browser as possible, not to focus on click through rates (CTR) and optimise the creative to deliver the best ROI. Maybe also the usage of formats which enhance the engagement such as rich media, gadgets and viral marketing. Maybe start measuring the performance through new matrix such as engagement per click (an aggregation of referrals, time spent, roll overs and clicks).

Maybe, digital marketing still has to go a long way till it starts impacting the consumer consideration set.

Cheers!

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Brand, Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Internet Industry, Search Engines

S T P (?)

I came across this inspiring note by Norm Rose, the 26 years travel industry veteran. His blog is compendium of interesting articles on travel technology, emerging trends and latest happenings. In this particular article, Mr Norm has covered Expedia’s new approach (basis Dara Khosrowshahi’s address at PhocusWright conference, Nov 2007). This might not sound rocket science but pretty much what we have always been discussing about. Though written in Nov 2007, but is still valid..

Expedia has 3 focus areas…

> Email: Make it more focused and targeted. Email has tremendous potential of upsell opportunity

> Segmentation: content based segmentation. Premium groups, no cancellation/change fees or other services

> Search Experience/Personalisation: New algorithm will send people to a specific hotel property, therefore increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Thus Expedia’s leap from being impersonal to a more personalised interaction. I saw lot of Amazon in their approach, emailing, algorithm, personalisation etc. You can read his full article here.

As an emarketer, I’m sure most of us have always been smitten with the Google bug, Search Optimisation Search Engine Marketing other display related communication to reach out to our target consumer (talk about segmentation, targeting and positioning). I’m also sure that very few of us would have looked internally, at our own database, our own consumers and found effective ways of marketing.

Banking folks are a great example and market according to clusters lifetime value etc (alas, they might be around for long). However, the other service industry players such as travel and retail e commerce still have to long way to go.

Truly, in the context of e-Marketing, the three pillars of marketing strategy- Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP, as we call it) has a new P- Personalisation. Practicing this formula on Search (whether SEO or SEM) is relatively easy. All we need to do is to marry the keyword (read as search intent) to the product offering. But, what Expedia is talking about is the next level. This will marry the customer level data (from CRM) to the content to enhance conversion. And we don’t have to look elsewhere, but our own data and integrate this to deliver the lasting consumer engagement. I’m reminded of a scene from minority report, where Tom Cruise, while walking in a mall is offered a proposition basis his Retina scan.

Sounds very simple, eh! But who cares, as long as, we have Google 🙂

Cheers!

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Brand, Others

Marketing and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence

As I was driving back home today and cruising through the chain of thoughts, I was reminded of a few regular comments in my organisation, which my marketing folks will not find irregular- Where are the numbers? Marketing can never get their numbers right? Marketing never backs up data. etc etc.

The war between between sales and marketing lingers on; numbers and leads and conversion. These are eternal debates and has been a discussion point for many research papers and conferences.

However the truth is and the fact remains that at the end of the day and the quarter and the year end, sales is the only factor which has a direct impact on the organisation’s bottomline and it is these numbers that builds CFO’s confidence (and therefore CEOs). Marketing on the other hand, and till this point this would be still contesting and justifying, which gets me thinking- Is marketing an exact science?

Let me elaborate a little on what I’m talking about. I happen to attend a session on ROI marketing organised by ZenithOptimedia, where panel included Mr.Santosh Desai (Future Brands), Mr.Sachin Bhatia (MakeMyTrip.com) and a gentleman from new Walmart team. Mr Desai’s thought were very provoking, he said- Numbers are handled very loosely and sometimes we measure for the sake of measuring. Remember, when we made graphs for science lab test. The line in the graph would come first and then would the figures. Results and targets would come first, then the numbers. All of us would have encountered this situation.

Now, consider marketing, where the greatest tool/invention is the concept of “Brand”. Ironically, it never features in the balance sheet. But it is a brand which drives the consumer mindspace, preferences to use the product and therefore sales and market. Organisations spend huge time and money to build a strong brand. An ideal stage would be something like Google, where one doesn’t have to spend any money, but before one gets to this situation, one has to do a lot of board meetings and meet quarter end sales pressures.

And if I were to ask, how big the brand should be, what is the measure of a big brand and how can it drive business goals, to what extent does it effect the bottomline and will shareholders buy it? Well, it is very debatable, but surely, it is not as easy as to have a future projection for sales. It is like defining the “Quality”, which might empirically precedes any intellectual constructions. Deriving formula for numbers and projection is easy, but creating a brand isn’t. Sales is easy, Marketing isn’t. Thats why there are few marketing guys and very few of them become CEOs 🙂

Let me elaborate a little more and dwell on the realm of philosophy. World’s fastest growing company, Google didn’t know what it would become when it launched “Adwords”. Best of the discoveries were not planned. It happened with a mixture of conscious effort and magic (call it hands of god, stoke of luck, belief etc). Robert R Prisig’s book “Lila” (he also wrote “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainence”) has a very insightful story. P wanted to reach Newfoundland, and prepared well for it. He trained himself as a sailor, gained proficiency in reading stars and maps. And so one day, he started on his journey to Newfoundland. There was a terrible storm and he lost his map, but then his inspiration kept him going. He used his instincts to guide him towards coast. He saw an island and he remembered that newfoundland was 10 kms to the right. Though he could not measure 10 km, he went further and saw some people. In order to ensure that his calculation was right, he asked these people how far was newfoundland. To his surprise he found that he was in Newfoundland!

In the process to get the right numbers, right target, right stretch target we seem to suppress our instincts and loose the feel for numbers (read business) and can’t look beyond. If we can’t differentiate between business goals and targets, the numbers become useless to reach goals. We loose the bigger picture. We measure for the sake of measuring and we make numbers to defend our options and resort to precision and more precision. The qualification of success would be how precise we are. And so would be the bonuses!

Marketing is philanthropic in its construction and all about hopes, dreams and aspiration and philosophy, which may not follow a polynomial regression equation and extends beyond the number business. Marketing is an inexact science and a creative profession. It is laidback, but performs, we should try to force fit its statistic correlation with bottomline.

Or shall we? I would love to hear from you 🙂
Cheers!!


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