So we’re officially in a recession now (according to official government figures via the BBC) with no sign of things getting better anytime soon. Marketing budgets are being slashed by many and redundancies are spreading like wildfire. So, if you want to either make the most of your marketing budget, or if you’re in marketing and you want to hold onto your job, where should you be putting your money in online?
It’s pretty simple to be honest, just keep spending but make sure it’s working for you!
Something I’ve been doing for many years is capping all my online marketing spend through the use of a CPA (cost per acquisition) limit. Work out what you can afford to spend per sale/referral/lead and still make a profit, optimise your use of the various marketing channels available to keep your cost per acquisition under the limit, and then keep spending!
Hard to justify in the current climate? Just build a business model to show your boss (or yourself) which demonstrates the returns available by keeping spend tied to a CPA.
This is one of my bugbears, especially with regards to PPC (paid search). If it’s working for you, your campaigns are optimised continuously, and you’re coming in under your CPA, then why not throw more money at the campaign? Yes, you have to be diligent to ensure that your CPA limits are adhered to, but once you have it embedded as a process in your organisation it’s not that difficult to grow your spend and as a result your return.
So where should the marketing spend go (in online)? Well, into channels which are measurable and where you can track the returns. Paid search, affiliate marketing, banners (yes, you can work to a CPA if you use the right tools), social media campaigns, viral and of course natural search (search engine optimisation). Of course SEO deserves a different CPA to other channels as it’s naturally cheaper to do as long as you stick to the principles and don’t get sold by an agency looking to charge you the earth for something that costs nothing but common sense.
March 21, 2008
Advertising can be so boring sometimes. It’s far more engaging to create an advert that makes your prospective customers stop and stare while they try to figure out what it is you’re trying to market to them. Then the moment of realisation kicks in when they figure out what your product or service is and that’s when it gets stuck in their minds and advertising recall pays off.
My favourite I think has to be this one advertising a casino in an airport:
March 3, 2008
Here’s an interesting series of articles and audio/video from Business Week on the subject of widgets. The series is designed to help influence CEO’s as to whether it’s worth dipping your toes in the waters of widgets (I’m a believer so I’d say yes, go for it).
Building a brand with widgets gives a good overview as to why it may be important to your brand to embrace new technologies and distribution channels such as widgets in order to promote your brand and discusses the viral aspects that can make brands fly online.
A widget mogul in between classes is about the up and coming Facebook app developer Ankur Nagpal who’s made six figures at the age of 19 creating apps for Facebook.
When Facebook ads flop introduces us to some of the many unused Facebook applications and gives reasons for their failure. What’s good about this piece is the fact that most of the apps are from large companies with mature marketing strategies and yet they’ve still got it wrong, should be a warning to us all.
The CEO guide to widgets is a podcast talking about the use of widgets for advertising on social networks.
Finally, Making money from widgets is a video interview with VideoEgg CEO Matt Sanchez discussing how to go about monetising the widget world.
Great series of articles, definitely recommend sending this to your CEO (or manager…) if they really don’t seem to get it yet!
February 5, 2008
AOL has bought Buy.at the affiliate network. This is the first affiliate buy I’ve seen by a major portal like AOL, there’s been a lot of other ad network buys but it’s good to see an affiliate network securing such a deal. Affiliates were always going to be huge in 2008 as technology advances and publishers get onboard more, perhaps this is a sign of things to come?
January 30, 2008
45% growth in the last year is being reported for the affiliate marketing sector (according to Marketing Charts). The total value of online sales by affiliates was around £3 billion in 2007.
While that’s some very strong growth year on year it’s still a drop in the ocean compared to total online sales. I’d expect to see affiliates continue to grow at a rapid rate and other referral marketing channels such as paid search slow or even begin to drop in a year or two. As affiliates hone their skills, and retailers get more strategic they are going to become a far more cost effective way to get leads and sales for your website.
Top sectors for affiliate marketing in 2007? Financial services, Retail, Telecoms and Travel (travel attributes nearly 18% of online sales to affiliates).
January 14, 2008
Google’s power and influence in the online world has been demonstrated again today with the news that IncrediMail has had it’s Adsense deal with Google stopped abruptly.
IncrediMail received a large amount of its revenue from displaying Adsense adverts to its users. Now this has suddenly stopped and IncrediMail is feeling the ramifications reflected in its share price which dropped 40%.
No real news as to why the deal has ended but the Adsense account that was used has been suspended so it’s looking like it could be less than amicable.
This really shows the power Google holds over many websites that are considered to have good revenue streams. Switch off the major source of that revenue and what is left for them to survive on. Perhaps some of these websites find they are making so much off Adsense that they neglect other revenue sources and leave their eggs in the one basket.
December 20, 2007
This just in…
That was quick! The FTC voted 4-1 in favour of the deal and concluded that the deal would not substantially lessen competition.
Well done Google! Look forward to seeing the first development come out of this partnership!