Thursday, February 25, 2010

Supercharge Your E-blasts

Was your last e-mail campaign a boon or a bust? The industry average for e-mail click- through is around 3%. Some e-blasts do better, some worst. Here are five ways to insure your campaign is firing on all cylinders:

1. Tantalize. The best way to get some attention is to tempt the reader to read further. Without spelling out the whole offer, let the reader know that there is something worthwhile at the end of that click through trial.

2. A clear subject line. The subject line is where you will hook the reader. Make it a good one. Remember, it’s more about being clear than being cute.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Can your website be saved?

There are several blind spots in website design. There are several mistakes that are routinely made web architecture. The reasons they are made are many. Honest oversights. Budget limitations. Template-based websites. And so on.

But, thankfully, every one of these blunders can be corrected on the backend of the process. All it takes is a lot of time, money, delays and profuse apologies. Or you can catch them on the front end and look like a hero.

Here are a few mistakes we frequently see:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The thing about Bing.

Bing, Microsoft’s bold foray into the world of search engine marketing, doesn’t exactly have Google on the ropes, but it may have them on the run. Consider this. Microsoft is planning on investing 5-10% of their operating income in search marketing over the next few years. Now, 5-10% may not sound like much, but remember we are talking Microsoft dollars. So we’re talking upwards of $11 billion. Not exactly chump change. Plus, for a Microsoft product, Bing is not half bad. It is colorful, easy to navigate and, well, something kind of different. And different is good in the fast-moving world of the Internet.Which is why, if properly done, Bing could stir up the world of search to the benefit of users and marketers alike. Of course, if you’re Google, you don’t welcome a cash-rich company like Microsoft poking around in your kingdom.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hey Apple, it’s time to embrace Social Media

As innovative of a company Apple is, it is surprising to think they have not embraced Social Media. Heck, even Bill Gates has a Twitter account now (@billgates). After just 2 weeks, Mr. Gates has more than 415,000 followers and the list is growing every day.

It is worth noting that within the past week Apple launched a YouTube channel where Apple has published five high-def videos about the new iPad. This move into Social Media makes sense considering a few years ago Apple’s only competitor was Microsoft. These days they also have to worry about Google, Nokia, Adobe and now the Amazon Kindle.

The more Apple pushes new products, the more competition they are going to have. It took time for the fans of Apple to build a base for their computers. With a little research, anyone can find out that if you bash Apple computers online; there will be fans ready to defend the brand. In iPad’s new waters, though, it is risky to assume the fans of other brands will easily jump ship and join Apple.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The death of the 30-second TV spot

Shakespeare said that a coward dies a thousand deaths. Well, the 30-second television commercial has died nearly as many. The 30-second spot eased the 60 off the stage in the 1960s. When the 15-second unit came on the scene in the 1980s, people prognosticated that the 30-second spot has not long for this world. With the advent of TiVo, again, forecasters began to write its obituary afresh.

"The ad industry is changing," said Jeff Binder, Senior Director for Connected Home Solutions with Motorola. "The 30-second mass spot is probably 10 years from being extinct."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Guerilla Marketing Meets Social Media

Recently, Coca-Cola® pulled what would have once been known as a “stunt.” These days, it is nothing short of marketing genius: The Happiness Machine. Click over to YouTube to watch the video

The event happened on the campus of St. Johns University in Queens, New York. A Coke machine appeared to be on the fritz in the student union and instead of stealing your money, this machine was defective in your favor. A student would put in their money and an ice-cold Coke would plunk down. Then another unexpected plunk. Followed by another. And another. And another. The bewildered and amused student would then begin passing out Cokes to other passers-by. Giant grins would appear on everybody’s faces. And all of this is captured on film.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The theory of logo evolution

Being in the branding business, you get a lot of opportunities to launch new brands and revamp others. Probably, the most ticklish of these branding assignments is the brand re-design. This is usually a high-wire tightrope journey between a new marketing director who wants to radically update their brand and a quiet hunch that there may remain truckloads of equity in the brand’s current logo design.

When faced with this power struggle between the hunger for being different and the wisdom of staying the same, it is imperative to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is helpful in these situations to look at how some of the big brands have struck this important balance over the past century.