Posts Tagged ‘marketing’
Marketing legend Dan Kennedy is fond of saying that sales come from displaying the right message to the right prospects at the right time. The most persuasive ads in the world wont sell anything they’re shown to uninterested buyers. This is why so much time and money is spent gathering demographic data and doing market research before ad copy is written. But until recently, there were severe limits on how much could truly be discovered about prospects. Beyond high-level demographics like age, sex and income, marketing messages could seldom be customized much further. Fortunately, the last decade has seen tremendous growth in geolocation marketing. Today’s marketers can target their promotions using not just basic characteristics, but the exact, current locations of specific prospects.
Location Based Services
The most sweeping development in geolocation marketing is the availability of Location Based Services (LBS) such as FourSquare. FourSquare (which boasts around one million users as of April 2010, according to TechCrunch) allows businesses including restaurants, coffee shops, bars and clubs to register and appear on their network. Upon registration, participating businesses agree to offer discounts or special treatment of some kind to FourSquare users. From then on, FourSquare users who happen to pass by these businesses on foot or by car will receive mobile alerts about the discounts and offers available to them. This way, the seed is planted in the minds of passersby that even if they weren’t already planning on visiting that coffee shop or bar, there’s a special deal waiting if they come in immediately. FourSquare users are also encouraged to “check in” at various locations by being awarded points that count toward future deals and offers. Several other companies offer similar LBS platforms, including GoWalla and MyTown. While Location Based Services continue to rack up users, critics such as venture capitalist Dave McClure contend that mainstream consumers will not embrace them until substantial cash incentives are offered.
Geotargeted Pay Per Click
Geotargeted pay per click advertising is another rapidly growing means of geolocation marketing. Every major PPC network (including Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Ask) now allows marketers to restrict their ad campaigns to specific geographic regions around the world. You can geotarget as widely or as narrowly as you believe your campaign will benefit from. Let’s say, for example, that you’re an affiliate marketer for a credit card company that only pays commissions for approved applications. Advertising to every searcher in the country would be highly wasteful for such a campaign. After all, it’s well-established that each state varies in term of what the average citizen’s credit score is. Using geotargeting, you can ensure your ads appear only in states with higher-than-average credit scores, which boosts the odds that the people clicking your ads will have their credit card applications approved. Or, perhaps you run a cable company that only services certain regions of a few states. Most search engines now allow you to geotarget within specific ZIP codes. This way, you never waste ad spend promoting to customers who are ineligible to buy. The result is a marketing campaign that is both more highly targeted (and thus, more appealing) and less wasteful.
Entire online retailers have begun using IP addresses to customize their online promotions. In July 2008, DirectionsMag noted that retailers were using IP data to track where their website visitors were located. Using this information, retailers are personalizing what types of merchandise and offers are presented to visitors.
Geolocation marketing is here to stay. Unlike passing fads of the past, the ability to discern a prospect’s location fulfills a vital and timeless marketing purpose. Remember: the reason most marketing messages fail to close sales is that they are untargeted. Few of us are stirred into action by promotions that appear to have been blasted out to thousands of other consumers. But a marketer who knows where his customers are can craft more personalized ads and deliver them when they are most relevant. Each of these makes it more likely that your customers will follow through.
1. Smash is about acquiring customers, and keeping the customers you have happy. That’s it. “Having a social presence” is a fine way to start but for smart marketers it’s about running laser focused campaigns with deadly accurate analytics.
2. We are bringing together the leading experts in the start up and big company worlds. From Twitter, Gowalla, and Plancast to Comcast, Salesforce and Virgin. No other conference will have this mix of people. Startups will learn what it takes to partner and sell to large companies. Big brands will learn the innovative strategies and tactics practiced by more nimble startups — before competitors catch on.
3. Tips and Tricks – All speakers and breakout leaders have agreed to come with the goods. Specific tricks and tactics by channel and platform on what’s working now and what will work in the future. You can’t read about what will be discussed – you have to be here to experience it.
4. Networking – Real relationships will be formed here. The Summit is purposely designed to be a small gathering where meaningful conversations can happen. Anyone who attended the Smash dinner in January can attest to the amazing buzz in the room.
5. Real Life Case Studies – Hear from representatives from YouTube, Dogster, Mint, Virgin, Twitter, and Facebook, on what marketing tactics worked and why. Find out how you can you build on what they’ve learned.
In case you hadn’t noticed: most online marketing SUCKS.
Of course, that’s not surprising since most ALL marketing is pretty much crap too… simply a special case of the “90% of everything is crap” school of thought (words to live by).
But in particular ONLINE marketing — email, search, social, mobile, etc — has made huge advances over the past 5-10 years. There are now a wide variety of relatively inexpensive search & social media tools, techniques & platforms which can be used to connect with people and customers. Some methods have been around a decade or more (email, widgets, Google & Yahoo search), while others are relatively new (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, iPhone). Yet while these channels can easily reach hundreds of millions & are usually rather inexpensive, most marketing dorks have no friggin’ clue what they’re doing with anything more complex than a digital watch.
Simply put: we are cavemen armed with the online equivalent of nuclear weapons. We have enough internet marketing firepower to blow up the Inbox of billions of unwitting victims, but we can’t figure out where to press our grubby little fingers on the damn firing button. Not a very pretty picture, folks.
In addition, most online marketing is MEASURABLE… which historically has hardly ever been true for offline marketing. We have tons of analytics tools and info on how online marketing works, converts, and turns into profitable customers… (or doesn’t, as the case may be). However while all this data seems within reach of our fingertips, with most of it we DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. No split tests, no 1% samples, no demographic analysis. We let marketing metrics slip through our hands worse than Wile E. Coyote losing the RoadRunner.
Lastly, companies big and small have little access to good online marketing talent. Currently most “experienced” marketing folks have limited technical knowledge beyond email campaigns, minimal experience in search, and only marginal understanding of social networks, platforms, and apps. The ones that do have substantial experience with online marketing are likely full-time employed, expensive and difficult to recruit. So how do you ever find a good online marketing person, short of kidnapping them? (Yeah, we know who you are — and you won’t get away with it. Put down the gun & back away… slowly).
Then again, if you’ve got the cash you can always buy the talent you need. But not all of us are loaded, and finding great online marketing folks will continue to be a challenge for the foreseeable future. Still, perhaps there is a way you can meet talented people and learn about tools and technologies you need to be successful at the same time…
Isn’t it about time you SMASH your Marketing, & make it BETTER?