Archive for August, 2008
I included the word “potentially” in the title because testing are critical componants of any and every marketing campaigns. Below is a case study regarding testing that Ice.com did with their blog. What you learn form this case study may or may not directly apply to your company.
Are company blogs really as successful as everyone makes out? The answer is … yes, no, well, maybe.
Two years ago, Ice.com® Marketing EVP Pinny Gniwisch noticed from his site traffic logs that he was getting an unusual amount of traffic from independent blogs.
Turns out dozens of bloggers who loved fashion frequently linked to SKUs they admired in Ice.com’s jewelry selection.
Naturally Gniwisch began to wonder, what if Ice.com launched some blogs of its own? His marketing department could control the messaging and feature SKUs that way. In effect, the idea was blogs as separate promotional microsites.
Bad news — Ice.com’s CEO “was not keen on the idea.” However, Gniwisch promised the idea wouldn’t take up many company resources — he and the in-house team would write the blogs and they’d use ultra-cheap blogging software to post them online.
The importance of building trust online with strong, consistent branding and customer-centric practices
I’m surprised by the number of companies that lack an understanding of how to improve stickiness on their site. Every end-user approaches a site for the first time with a degree of anxiety. We’re all a little apprehensive about whether the site will be secure, easy to navigate and, ultimately, whether we will actually get what we order.
Over the years we’ve looked at perhaps a hundred thousand sites and we’ve found that the best sites (and best converting sites) have security symbols above the fold, crisp images and convey a feeling of orderliness. Additionally a shopper is made to feel comfortable in other ways too; most importantly, no surprises! The “best practices” site will give the shopper a window view on availability and shipping costs well before they arrive at the check out page.
A real concern for end-users, too, is privacy…the collection and use of personal information. Studies show that 30% of the online population is still wary of giving out their personal information and an astounding 51% don’t trust search engines to keep their search data secret. Additionally, 30 percent of consumers report reducing their overall use of the Web, while 25 percent say they no longer make online purchases, according to WebWatch. The report, “Leap of Faith: Using the Internet Despite the Dangers,” was based on a survey of 1,501 online adults.
It’s a hot button issue for end-users and marketers too.
Rob Jones has written a several articles regarding blogging for business and I thought I’d jump in with this real life story that I came across in the eBrand Media library. Although this case study relates to a B2B business, I think the tactics discussed are applicable to the B2C world as well:
Can business marketers use the blog world to get more site traffic from highly targeted prospects? Yes, it is possible.
Like many niche B-to-B marketers, David Aferiat’s first online marketing efforts focused around search engine optimization. “We were relentless, optimizing every page of the site for SEO.”
His team’s efforts were rewarded. The firm, which offers analytical software for professional hedge fund traders, began to get significant rankings and traffic for extremely targeted terms such as ‘Fibonacci Retracement.’
As Aferiat studied his Web analytics reports to see which terms pulled the best targeted traffic, he was startled to notice something else. Although search engines dominated his traffic sources, a smaller slice of visitors who converted fairly well were coming from blogs.
He wondered, was there a way to get more of that targeted blog traffic?
I remember watching a grainy black and white film of Albert Einstein accepting his Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. What struck me was that he expressed gratitude for his intuition which put him on the path to his great discovery. I’ve often wondered why he didn’t express gratitude for his intelligence, his mathematical skills or his ability to conceptualize and express what was then inconceivable. But, instead, he chose to mention specifically his intuition. More than that; I’m impressed that he had the courage to follow his intuition. How often have you felt on a cellular level that you should do something, take a path that’s contrary to logic, only to think yourself out of it?
One of my favorite Einstein stories is the based on his famous quote that God doesn’t play dice with the Universe. During an interview this quote was mentioned and the person conducting the interview asked, “Well, if you believe in God, Mr. Einstein, how do you explain His maliciousness? Einstein supposedly replied, “I don’t believe that God is malicious….I think that He is very, very sophisticated.”
Here are a few quotes that I hope will add value to your day:
“I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, but I can never find out which half.” – John Wanamaker (widely considered the father of modern advertising)
“Any seeming deception in a statement is costly, not only in the expense of the advertising but in the detrimental effect produced upon the customer, who believes she has been misled.” - John Wanamaker
Reprinted from the Christian Science Monitor
Is this the summer that the Internet finally kills television as we once knew it? Most industry observers are stopping short of that prediction, citing some significant hurdles still in the way.
But the growing number of new deals and new devices being announced suggests that a profound change in the way people watch video — and what video they watch — is under way.
The line between “television” and video via the Internet already has blurred and may disappear in coming years.
At least one industry analyst has declared “TV is dead” and welcomes Americans to a new age of video everywhere.
Increasingly, Americans are watching video when they want to, and on the screen that suits them at the time. And more programming is from new sources that threaten to unlock Hollywood’s domination of content.
Video is now delivered on displays and devices of every shape and size, from gigantic theater screens and ever-larger home projector screens to flat-screen HDTVs and from desktop and laptop computer monitors to tiny personal screens such as those found on iPods and mobile phones.