What’s the value placed on a social media marketing campaign by the marketers that develop the campaign? It’s hard to tell, because one typically can’t get access to the key metrics associated with the campaign, particularly sales attributed to the effort and ROI.
I was intrigued by a new social push by Sony Ericsson for the Z750a flip phone, created by their agency, Iris. The campaign is titled “Bringing Purple Back.”
Well, neither Sony Ericsson nor Iris would give me any objectives for the campaign. Neither was any information or speculation found on unofficial Sony Ericsson blog sites about the campaign.
Being an inquisitive guy, I decided to use the crude but effective research technique of following the money to learn more.
You plan for offensive operations, while you prepare to play defense. You’ll find this concept in both warfare and sports, and it’s applicable in business as well.
I much prefer playing offense, because that’s where you score and generate revenues. A strong business offensive plan also limits the amount of places you’ll need to prepare to play defense, freeing up more resources for–you guessed it–playing more offense.
What’s an example of planning as opposed to preparations in a marketing context?
A great example can be found in the United States Postal Service and the annual postage increases. If you’re using direct mail as a marketing channel, you can be sure of two things:
Talk about a great offer that addresses a couple of problems:
Chrysler has too many large vehicles to sell, with lousy gas mileage.
Gas at $3.00+/gallon is putting a crimp in the budgets of potential buyers, slowing down overall sales.
Rather than go the traditional route of putting cash on the hood of the trucks, in the form of rebates and/or lower interest rates, Chrysler whipped out the calculator. It doesn’t really matter where the “offer cost” goes from a P&L perspective (neglecting any GAAP requirements for the moment), but it does matter from the consumer’s psyche.
The glow of a low price on a 12 mpg truck fades pretty quickly when faced with $3 or $5 gas. Now the customer can at least put a cap on how much they’ll spend for gas over the next few years and take that worry out of the purchase equation.
Summary and takeaways
Think creatively when developing incentives. Don’t restrict yourself to the traditional BOGO, “X% off”, “FREE X with purchase” offers. The more complex the purchase equation, such as a motor vehicle purchase, the more opportunities you have to create interesting offers.
Use your calculator. Once you’ve got that great idea, make sure you do the math carefully. In the case of Chrysler’s offer, it could get expensive if gas rockets to $8/gallon. On the other hand, if it drops to $2, this could be one of the best offers of all time. (Assuming it helps sales.)
I was doing some SEO work this morning (and SEO will be the subject of a longer article in the near future) and happened to find a few articles where I was interviewed on topics ranging from membership to deploying analytic platforms using SAS software to education and internships.
Here’s a quick look at a few articles that might be of interest.
How important is membership to a non-profit organization? The Chronicle of Philanthropy did an article in 2005 about non-profit membership numbers and how the organizations count their supporters. It’s an interesting look on the philosophies that non-profits use. My takeaway and experience is that you should ask questions about an organizations membership and support numbers, especially if those are important to you.
I was really proud of the work I did with our CIO at WWF to upgrade our analytics capabilities using SAS. This article from the SAS user magazine has a few terrific examples of what Greg Smith and I were able to accomplish by moving aggressively to upgrade the organization’s analytic capabilities and improving our access to marketing data.
While I approach marketing from an analytic, direct response point of view, I also track brand marketing efforts to see if the principles of DR can be applied. KFC ran a promotion in late 2007 to encourage lunchtime visits to their stores by office workers. I gave it high marks for creativity, but was worried about the execution.
Finally, with college graduation approaching, I found this article at Utica College’s website where I was interviewed and offered thoughts on the importance of internships for college students.
For the first time in a long time I took a few minutes to run through the Valpak co-op mailing I received last week.
After a few minutes of looking at the offers, I came up with a short list of things to consider if you’re using Valpak (or other co-ops) as a marketing channel. The short list is powered by my own past experience and might stimulate you to think of some other ideas.
Before I get started, here’s a rundown of what I found inside. There was a total of 43 inserts inside the envelope (which featured, bizarrely, a promotion for the television program CSI: NY on the OE and which distracted me from the 1:50,000 possibility that there might be a check for $100 inside). I sorted the inserts into three categories:
National advertisers (19, 44% of the total). These included Netflix, DirecTV, Verizon, Omaha Steaks and others. Of those, 4 (27%) of the inserts did not use the standard 8 1/4″ x 3 1/2″ format and instead paid additional for a heavier and/or different stock insert.
Regional/franchise (8, 19% of the total). Included here were ads for the local Gold’s Gym, Kaiser Permanente and Molly Maids. Of these, only 1 (12%) of the inserts deviated from the standard insert.
Local advertisers (15, 35% of the total). These ranged from local dentists to home improvement providers to Anthony’s, a restaurant down the street–which included some coupons that might finally get me to take the family there!. Only 1 insert (7%) strayed from the Valpak standard format.
Valpak ran one house insert, promoting an offer of $350 to target 10,000 homes for new advertisers, a CPM of $35.
We can immediately see some ideas, just from this basic sort.
I’ve been working on a list analytics project recently and that’s resulted in me thinking of, among other things, universes. I’ve started to think about model performance and how the changes to the economy might be impacting marketing results.
However, I wasn’t tempted to write this post until two things happened yesterday. First, I received MediaPost’s Email Insider newsletter on the subject of customer lifecycle. Then, I needed to drive to a client yesterday and noticed that I’ve been driving a different car more frequently.
A client recently asked me “who can tell me if my website is working well for me?” My immediate response was “your customers and your browsers.” This, of course, triggered a conversation of how it was possible to talk to tens of thousands of (usually) anonymous visitors, collect their insights and then translate that to marketing improvements.
Prior to a large amount of advertising moving to the web, with the associated tracking and analytical capabilities, my response didn’t make a lot of sense. Unless you were the sole proprietor of a local general store or had massive resources to undertake a large amount of expensive primary research, it was really hard to figure out what exactly about your marketing was working for your customers and prospects.
Humans and chimpanzees have a match on about 96% of their DNA. That’s not a lot of difference between you or I in our automobiles, sipping a Starbucks latte while chatting our cell phones and our pan troglodytes relatives in the rain forests of central Africa.
And that 4% is about the difference between dramatic marketing success and dramatic marketing failure.
How can you avoid being a marketing chimpanzee? Just Focus on the Four.
I’ve been subscribing to email newsletters since the early 90′s and–more recently–RSS feeds to try to stay abreast of what’s going on in the world of marketing and business. Aside from a few must-reads, most of my efforts are a waste of time. However, every once in a while something just jumps out of my mailbox.