Archive for December, 2008
A person can make a series of reasonably sound assumptions by the way a company treats it vendors. Savvy Senior Managers understand that the value they place on their vendors, customers and employees is directly proportionate to the value they place on their brand. Good relationships will always add to the brands equity.
Unfortunately, over the past 5-6 years, many managers, and merchants, have seemingly forgotten the importance of, and the investment needed, to build a brand. Most of the people I’ve met over the years have been driven by a direct return on investment now mentality. Too few were forward thinkers. These people wanted X number of dollars back for every dollar invested and many times, considering the gross margins they made, one could only arrive at the conclusion that they thought of their businesses the same way they’re customers thought of their homes; as ATM’s. I often wondered where the revenue was going. As far as I could tell it wasn’t going into creating a platinum level, end-user experience.
I think the companies that will thrive during this economic transition have been companies that have always had a coherent, cogent vision for the company’s present and future. In addition, management takes care of their employees; they create a positive environment and treat their people like a valuable resource. As a result, the return they see on the the investment they’ve made in their human resources typically exceeds the usual. These employees aren’t just showing up for work to trudge through another day.
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker
I think we can all agree that the internet is like a giant calculator. Our ability to track is unparalleled and still, money is wasted by advertisers. In this new economic reality, we’re discovering a psychology where decision makers are more hesitant to make changes, take chances and, instead, are waiting for the storm to blow over. In my opinion, when times are tough there’s a tension and fear in offices that’s absent when everyone’s feeling flush. The tendency is lay low and fly under the radar. This means that there is a real need to be careful about waste. There’s a fragility today and little tolerance for mistakes.
We conduct billions of dollars of business everyday via e-mail, IM and telephones and it’s easy to forget that we’re dealing, not with numbers only, but with human beings who are bundles of passions, hopes, dreams and fears. And we have relationships with them. We’re connected.
Work in social psychology, cognitive psychology, and anthropology is making it clear that all learning takes place in settings that have particular sets of cultural and social norms resulting in expectations. These settings influence learning and transfer in powerful ways. If this is true in the classroom, and if it’s true that your job is primarily that of a teacher, then you must ask yourself questions that can’t be quantified but affect the ability to actualize success for your client, your company and yourself. These include but aren’t limited to the following:
I’m pleased to announce that eBrand Interactive, a full service agency, along with its longtime SEM technology provider, have added new features to our exceptionally successful SEM suite. Already an industry-leader, the eBrand Interactive co-brand has rolled out improvements that have left our competitors grasping at our coattails.
The former SEM manager at Motorcycle Superstore, who has worked with, and for, many of the “celebrity” SEM companies, said to me after an in-depth review of our service, “your technologies, and the quality of your people, positions your SEM solution three to four years ahead of your competition.”
The eBrand Interactive SEM solution, which includes next generation technology guided by experts, will cut paid search costs and significantly increase revenue while enhancing the return on ad spend.
Typically, eBrand Interactive clients will see about a 35% lift in revenue and an enhanced ROAS, in the first 90 days, with significant incremental lifts and enhancements thereafter with the implementation of our SEM solution.
Although our SEM “secret sauce” includes the use of rules, proprietary technologies, tactics and strategies that can’t be duplicated or beaten; our accounts managers have their hands on the accounts of our client’s everyday. We’re not “black box” “set it and forget” company. However, we’ve discovered over the years that our technologies can scale paid search accounts in ways that humans can’t, so the use of artificial intelligence is an important part of our approach. But even though our system is rules based, it’s infinitely flexible; and is continually optimized to maintain the greatest economic values of our clients. Our account managers will modify or override paid search rules, whenever necessary. The client performance numbers we deliver are never skewed by anomalies. The team and the technologies work together harmoniously for the purpose of ensuring that we meet or beat mandated performance metrics.
We continually work to improve our system and the accounts of our clients with the teams at Google, MSN, Ask and Yahoo. In fact, we were the beta partner for MSN Search, MSN Shopping and Yahoo Panama.
Further on you’ll find a detailed overview of our co-branded SEM solution including the new services I mentioned. You’ll easily see why so many nationwide brands have moved management of their paid search and product data-feeds to us from in-house and from other companies:
Hi folks, as the holiday shopping season comes to a close, I’m pleased to announce that each and every one of our clients is better off today than they were last year on this date. Our tracking indicates that each has realized solid revenue gains; an increased number of conversions; and an enhanced return on ad spend, over and above the 2007 holiday shopping season. Extrapolating from today, through the end of the year, I’m statistically confident that our roster of clients will have actualized significant revenue and market share gains again this year.
That’s quite an accomplishment considering we’re in one of the worse economic periods ever. I applaud my team for their strategic planning, imaginative marketing campaigns, expert use of technologies, and savvy account management. The success of our work shines in the numbers.
Even though online consumers are spending less per transaction than a year ago, retailers have spent 33% more on search marketing through the first half of the fourth quarter reports a new study.
The study notes that visitors to retail e-commerce sites through the first half of Q4 converted to buyers at a slightly higher rate than during the same period last year, up 0.25%. At the same time, however, average order values have declined by 6.2%, according to the study, “Mid Q4 2008 U.S. Search Market Report.” The study tracked more than 30 million clicks on ads on the Google, Yahoo and MSN search engines during the first half of the fourth quarters in 2007 and 2008.
The increase in spending on search marketing despite the decline in average order value indicates that retailers are relaxing their goals for return on investment from search marketing. At the same time, retailers are aggressively using paid search to capture more of consumers’ online purchasing, the firm adds.
Shar Van Boskirk, a marketing analyst at Forrester Research Inc., says she has found that the struggling economy has prompted marketers to spend more on paid-search and other direct-response marketing tools. “My research with interactive marketers indicates that they are happily increasing spend on search marketing (as well as other interactive, direct response marketing tools like e-mail) in a recession,” she says. “Not only is online search a measurable tool, but it also tends to work because it finds shoppers when they are in-market and actively researching or shopping.”