Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category
The sky isn’t falling – but it sure feels like it when you hear the economic news every day. And that causes a lot of businesses and not-for-profits to put the halt on marketing and advertising.
But slower economic times are the perfect time to market. If your competitors aren’t marketing, you can pick up their marketshare. If you don’t, it’s a pretty good bet that some savvy person elsewhere will.
The key is to ensure you’re getting a return on investment from the marketing dollars you do spend. That means implementing trackable and measurable programs with every piece of marketing you do.
Why not put custom web addresses on each type of your advertising and then look at your web stats to see what’s driving traffic? Then you can make adjustments based on real facts – not hunches.
Another tip: focus on e-Marketing. It’s less expensive, more effective, and trackable. And with Tivo, satellite radio and the web devaluing traditional media more every day, strong e-Marketing is a better way to effectively connect with your customers, clients or donors.
Want to see how good e-Marketing and new media can work? Check out our website or contact Bijoy at email@example.com to talk about it in person.
I’m out of the norm at GrafiQa. I love sports. Really, really love ’em.
The NY Mets dominate my April through September (I’d be happier if it was April through October but it just doesn’t seem meant to be lately). It made 14 year old Bijoy’s decade when they located their AA team, the Binghamton Mets, in my hometown in 1992.
Sadly for me, the Cincinnati Bengals dominate my – well, not very long each fall since they perpetually stink.
Anyway, I get ESPN The Magazine because I read ESPN.com several days a week and want to get the latest baseball buzz in the middle of winter by seeing the pay-section Rumor Central (to see what #5 starter the Mets will settle on). Along with signing up for The Insider, I get a subscription to The Magazine.
I received my latest issue today. It’s all about how EVERY BOWL GAME MATTERS (as in college football bowl games).
Now, I’m not a huge fan of college football. But I’m such a sports dork that I know what games matter and what don’t. Just about every b0wl game DOESN’T MATTER because of the asinine BCS system.
I also watch enough SportsCenter to know that ESPN carries nine million bowl games over the next few weeks.
So it’s clear to me as a professional marketer that The Magazine is pushing for ratings – not pushing to interest me as a sports reader.
Don’t get me wrong – I understand that ESPN (and ABC, it’s parent company; and Disney, ABC’s parent company) are crazy serious marketers.
I just hate that my guilty pleasure on such a base level has been tarnished. The stuff I want to read about because it’s important in the sports world has been encroached on by less meaningless stuff that ESPN wants to promote for ratings.
Whoever is in charge of ESPN The Magazine is burning the rest of ESPN’s Permission with me.
Seth Godin had a really interesting post today about how the Pulitzer Prize committee is finally getting (sort-of) hip to the fact that online writing is making a huge difference in the world – and is, therefore, worthy of being recognized with their fancy-schmancy award. The screwy part is that only writing associated with big outlets will be considered.
The web is a huge place. A lot of the content on it obviously isn’t associated with those big outlets. And a lot of important work is happening outside those big outlets.
Here in GrafiQa Land, a lot of our clients are having great success positioning their businesses or not-for-profits as the leading experts in their fields through business blogs or e-news tools. Some of them have experienced such success that we think they should get an award. I guess it just won’t be the Pulitzer.
One of the big recent fads in the music industry – especially for older acts trying to recapture former glory – is exclusive sales of new albums at certain big-box stores.
AC/DC just released “Black Ice” at Wal-Mart and one of my favorite bands of all-time, Guns N’ Roses, did it last week with “Chinese Democracy” at Best Buy (though they at least also offered tracks through iTunes, too).
Is it a good idea to create this artificial exclusivity?
I don’t know what kind of financial deals AC/DC or GnR got from Wal-Mart and Best Buy so who knows if it was good for their pocketbooks. But, as fans and consumers, it’s bad for us.
Like I said, I love GnR. Grew up on them. Learned to play guitar to “Appetite for Destruction”. Couldn’t get enough then. Even had my first date with my wife at a GnR concert (though it was the strange 2003 version).
But I was ticked that I had to drive 70 miles to spend my money to buy “Chinese Democracy” because my hometown doesn’t have a Best Buy. (Of course, I could have downloaded the album on iTunes but there’s something really primally satisfying about holding the actual album of rock in your actual hands.)
So Axl, Best Buy and Universal Music Group got my $14.99 (x2). That means that my brand loyalty to GnR was so high that I was willing to drive lengthy distances and overcome my annoyed-ness at having to do so.
But, if they do it again (hopefully not with a long 13 year wait again), my loyalty will fade a bit more.
A good brand creates a good gut feeling when you think about it.
Listening to the album (well, most of it at least) gives me that good gut feeling. But my experience purchasing it – forking over my money – sure didn’t.
(I’ll save you my full review of the album – but the short of it is that I’m pretty happy minus a few duds. Here is Rolling Stone’s review if you’re interested)
A lot of our clients here at GrafiQa regularly ask us how to get ranked as high as possible by Google, Yahoo! and other search engines.
Their motivations are pretty obvious: get seen by more customers, get more qualified leads, get more business.
Many people think that Search Engine Optimization is about manipulating or tricking search engines into ranking your website higher. That’s dead wrong. Why would you want to trick Google or Yahoo? That means you’re tricking your potential customer (who isn’t really your potential customer anyway since he’s probably not really interested in what you’re selling if you tricked them).
The first step to effective SEO is actually having relevant and useful content about your product, issue or whatever it is you’re marketing.
Sounds simple, right? It is.
Think about it: if you want to buy small-scaled steel kettle drums, you want Google or Yahoo to direct you to the best, most relevant dealer for that type of specialized equipment. You don’t want them to direct you to some random music equipment dealer in Tacoma who’s really selling indian tablas but “tricked” the seach engines into thinking his selection was broader.
Successful search engine companies are smart. And they know that finding the best, most relevent sites for their customers is what is going to keep those customers coming back.
So, if you’re thinking about SEO, start by understanding that the first step is being honest about what you’re doing.
(Of course, there are a million more advanced things to do after that. But that’s a whole other post….)
Here’s a great post yesterday from marketing guru Seth Godin’s blog about qualities that good marketers possess. While he’s framing this particular discussion in terms of hiring, what he’s really talking about is (cliche alert) the Power of Positive Thinking.
Cliches aside, it surprises me almost every day how many times I can consciously choose to change a negative feeling or attitude into a positive one – and that conscious decision usually helps produce a more positive result.
Sound hokey? Yes.
Still good advice for your business and life in general? Absolutely.