In the first, Seth Godin posed the question, “Do ads work?” In particular, Seth is asking about digital ads where he feels the mindset of marketers should be “We have an unlimited budget for ads that work.” In his own words:
Digital ads are different (or they should be). You should know cost per click and revenue per click and be able to make a smart guess about lifetime value of a click. And if that’s positive, buy, buy, buy. And if you don’t know those things, why are you buying digital ads?
Seth goes on to give the example of Amazon during the Dot Com boom of the late ’90’s. He says that during this time, the mantra at Amazon was $33. “They would buy unlimited ads, of any kind, as long as they generated new customers for $33 or less each.” Was $33 too high of a number to be sustainable? Possibly. But their internal ROI showed that $33 was the magic number and there was unlimited money to buy ads under that figure.
In other words, don’t use the excuse that you don’t have the budget.
Any idea that you have proven will build your sales and share should be invested in…and it should be invested in at the expense of ads that aren’t proven.
In the second thought-provoking post, Fred Wilson talked about creating a great business team in “Putting the Band Back Together.” Fred has noticed that as times get tough, many successful serial entrepreneurs are rejoining people they have worked with in the past. Or as he puts it, “they are getting the band back together for awhile.” Fred sees this as an encouraging sign because:
Teams that have worked together successfully before know the strengths and weaknesses of each other and they know how to get along, make hard decisions, and move the ball forward each and every day.
I think this is a brilliant insight and one that most businesses don’t think about often enough. Think about your own brand team at work. How long has the most junior person been on the team? Or how long have the most senior members worked together? What about your agency? Have the same people been on the account as long as the Brand Manager or Marketing Director? I’d be willing to bet that there has been considerable change over on both sides.
I think more brands need to follow the advice of Fred and “get the band back together.”
If you have a successful brand and agency team, then practice continuity and keep them working together.
Business is a game of teamwork and it takes time to develop good working relationships. In sports, All Star games are boring because the best players don’t practice together every day. So when you throw them together, they don’t know how to work together. Just look at what happened to the USA “Dream Team” in 2002 – 2004 when we lost to teams that had played together for years.
The same thing might be happening to your brand when you change the players every year.
Guest Post: This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of MBA admissions. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com.
In the TechCrunch article (12/4) “eBay Holiday Contest Overrun By Automated Scripts, Honest Users Disgruntled,” it would seem the Internet behemoth messed up on its latest promotional effort, a holiday contest that was supposed to allow users of eBay to find valuable items in various listings for merely $1.
“E-commerce juggernaut eBay is under fire because of a holiday giveaway contest gone awry. On Tuesday 25 November, eBay announced its $1 Holiday Doorbusters deals promotion, giving away 100 gifts ranging from jewelry, clothing, digital cameras, GPS devices to a brand-new Chevrolet Corvette for a $1 fixed price on a daily basis. The only catch is that there’s no announcement on when these items are released or in which category they will be in.
But cheaters came up with a clever way of winning deals on an automated basis by running scripts to continuously bid on items for $1. That way, they’re gaming the system and winning hundreds of auctions before the items are even available to the public.”
Not the desired outcome for eBay and a serious black eye to the brand integrity of an organization so committed to keeping things honest on its site.
So, what’s the lesson I mentioned for eMarketers here? Well, it’s the lesson we all know but commonly ignore: the devil is in the details.
Here are some tips for anyone planning an e-promotion:
- Take a look at who’s done a promotion similar to yours and see what they did well and where they may have misstepped. Learn from the mistakes of others (i.e. eBay!).
- Be sure you officially announce your promotion to the public (both via press release and your Web site) with plenty of notice (several weeks) to ensure fairness for all who want to participate.
- Review, review, review. Run it through your marketing team, legal, PR – everyone to make sure you haven’t forgotten any important details, and let them all tear it apart. It’s time-consuming and painful but the input is helpful. Have someone review it externally as well. It can be hard to see mistakes in copy you’ve been staring at forever.
- If you sense any sort of shenanigans with the promotion/contest once it starts, discontinue it immediately and be honest with your audience. They’ll respect your integrity.
- If nothing goes wrong, be sure and keep site visitors informed about the contest results. People are wary of contests online and often think it’s nothing more than a ploy to generate traffic and incremental business.
Online promotions and contests are a great way to drive traffic and build awareness. You just need to make sure you’ve done everything you can to make it a good experience and so anyone who wants to participate gets a fair shake.
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Great presentation from the folks at Resource Interactive on how Millenials approach the concept of helping others. As Brand Managers think about cause marketing programs, they should consider these facts:
- 87% of Millennials (defined as 16-29) agree that my priority is to look after my family, charity begins at home.
- 50% of Millennials agree that regularly donating your time to help others in need is a sign of success and accomplishment.*
- There are four types of Millenials when it comes to their views on “giving”: 1.) Consistent Givers, 2.) Uber Givers, 3.) Not There Yet, & 4.) Spirit Givers