Well if you were to follow the advice of some, you would think that the key to getting noticed online sits firmly in the hands of a skilled graphics designer.
From a media perspective; great strategy, contextually-relevant
placements and low CPMs are not enough. A great media strategy is only
half the battle. Understanding how different online creative units
directly affect the consumer, and how they react to the exposure, is
just as important. Read the entire article at iMedia
What is an online creative unit anyway? Apparently an online creative unit consists of everything BUT the ad copy. And if it does include the copy, then if we were to read this article, then you might conclude copy doesn't matter.
The article alludes to 7 different principles, that if followed, will bring you online ad success. Woooohooooooooo!
And if you believe that....well then I've got this suspension bridge thingy that holds moving cars and stuff that hangs over a river in Brooklyn that I am hiring a 'creative' graphic designer to help me sell.
Do me a favor, read the article, and as you read the principles and enjoy the STRONGER vs. WEAKER ad comparisons for each, just try to imagine these ads WITHOUT graphics ONLY the copy.
You will begin to see instantly why most of those ads are STRONGER, and with maybe one exception, it has very little to do with the eye candy principles touted.
Did Prilosec "Purple Day" come and go, and I missed it? Did anyone grab a screenshot?
I must admit, when I first read this article on ClickZ News about Proctor & Gamble taking over Yahoo, ESPN and a few other major homepages for the day, I was intrigued. Mostly for the audaciousness of it all, but also because we happen to know a few smart cats over at P&G, and they've been known to make the right calls time and time again. However, without seeing the execution, I'm incredibly skeptical.
Let's take a listen to the VP of Media for the agency producing the campaign:
are going to be very visual, and will definitely break through the
He's talking about suprising Broca, right? So far, so good. Here comes the train wreck:
"The goal is to put people in
the right mindset to get them ready to buy. This event
is unlike any other form of communication because we instantly capture
the consumer's attention -- and as a result, the brand will receive an
Now he's talking about framing the context, and the participatory nature of the online medium versus all those push mediums that existed in the past. Sounds like I should be thanking him for putting several of our principles on a national stage. Not so fast. Were they ever going to consider what goal the visitor had in mind before she visited Yahoo.com and was invaded by a page popping in purple? Doesn't the context I came to the site with have some bearing on my relevance? Is it possible someone is just a tad stuck within their own bottle?
I do agree on that last point though- the brand will certainly receive an immediate response. I wonder though, how will they track the negative Word of Mouth campaign they'll potentially unleash on the 'net?
Get the book at a discount for $13.97, plus 3 bucks shipping. That is a savings of $6 bucks. Plus if you get the book right now, Steve is gonna give our readers a free subsciption to his paid newsletter, the Weekly Business Vitamin. People usually pay $99 bucks for this comprehensive newlsetter that gives business owners and managers weekly and actionable advice.
Do yourself, your business a favor and take advantage. The freebie will go away soon.
When canned customer service happens to good people. Here is a recent exchange one of our friends had with Target customer service.
> Date: Wed Sep 07 18:18:27 UTC 2005 > Subject; Other questions and comments
> To: guest.service@Target.com
> From: Brandon
> 09/07/05 11:18:13
> Comments: I work in the ecommerce marketing/conversion industry
and I expected that you guys would have a pretty decent checkout.
Boy was I wrong. The issues I had trying to purchase a $100 stereo
were so numerous that I can't elaborate on all of them because I now
need to find another store that sells it. Who gives an error message
at registration that says "Please try another password for your
account"? Why would I try another, I already tried
one? Shall I type it with one finger, shall I chant while I type,
shall I close my eyes when I hit the submit button? What are you
asking of me? I don't get it? A longer password? One with numbers?
One without letters? Maybe you don't like the letter 'h'? It could
be anything! Once I got past that issue, I entered a shipping
address, then later changed my mind on where to ship it. You mean
once I enter data, you won't let me edit it during checkout? Wow,
I've wasted enough time. I'm going somewhere else.
> First Name: Brandon
> Email Address:
> Subject; Other questions and comments
> Order #: ya right
> estar: ~Brandon~Other
questions and comments~
Date: 7 Sep 2005 20:10:00 -0700
Subject: Your Target.com
Greetings from Target.com
I've reviewed your account and I'm sorry that your first experience
ordering from our Web site was not a positive one.
We pride ourselves in convenience and efficiency at Target.com
this time we fell short of our goal. Please accept my sincere
apology for the events which led up to your most recent e-mail.
I sincerely hope you'll give us another chance to prove the quality
of our service. I assure you that we'll do everything we can to
help make your next experience a better one.
How Did We Do?
Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:
If yes, click here:
If not, click here:
Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept
incoming e-mail. Please use the appropriate link above if you need
to contact us again about this matter.
I really love the line in this canned email "I sincerely hope you'll give us another chance to prove the quality of our service. I assure you that we'll do everything we can to help make your next experience a better one"
Yeah, you did such a great job doing 'everything' this time around, I am sure to come around again. NOT!
I suppose the only thing worse than a canned email response is not sending your customers any response at all. And in light of a response like this, I am not sure how much worse it actually is.
Andrew Goodman just released a new book. We just ordered it and we will be reviewing it. Knowing Andrew it will be worthwhile owning.
Here is the description on Amazon.com:
Don’t get lost in the digital haystack! With thousands of links for every
search, the chances of your products being found online are slimmer than a
needle. But there’s good news: you can pinpoint your marketing message with help
from Andrew Goodman's newly released Winning Results with Google AdWords. You'll discover AdWord
essentials, how to bid for and win the keywords you want, how to track your
results, and much more. Create a profitable ad campaign using online marketing,
paid search, targeting, and leveraged branding.
Bryan and I asked each other that question when we first met Betsy Weber. We thought it might be a "cute" title then; now we know better. Betsy is a relentless evangelist for TechSmith; a software company that publishes three programs we find invaluable in our work 1) SnagIt 2) Camtasia 3) Morae; she never misses an opportunity to make them look good. Betsy is always spreading the word. I don't know what they pay her or how they measure success but in this humble blogger's opinion it's not enough.
Customers, B2C and B2B, are demanding more transparency and accountability. If you want to understand why companies are not always forthcoming; it may have to do with what is truly in their heart. I'm sure there are exceptions and some companies simply don't understand what the needs of their customers are or how opaque they seem to customers. Nevertheless, how can customers understand the brand or the core values of companies that don't truly have any?
The fish always stinks from the head down!
The latest Fast Track Leadership survey by IMD MBA and Egon Zehnder International finds many feel those qualities are in short supply in the executive suite. While 95 percent believe a CEOs ethical behavior plays a meaningful role in business, only 28 percent say CEOs have integrity. You can read more about it the September 2005 edition of Fast Company - Integrity Matters".
How do you get companies' marketing to stand for something when their CEO can only spell I-N-T-E-G-R-I-T-Y ?
"What makes for good online copywriting?" Both marketers and copywriters have their reasons for asking this question. And we've got answers like Carters proverbially had liver pills. You can read them. You can come listen to them. (Answers, that is. Not pills.)
"Can you recommend a good online copywriter?" Ah. Unfortunately we have considerably fewer answers to that one (although we wish we were busting at the seams with them). So, as Holly Buchanan and I put the finishing touches to our upcoming Persuasive Online Copywriting Workshop, we enlisted our colleagues in brainstorming the answer to this related question: "What qualities must a good onlne copywriter possess?"
Here's a Baker's Dozen listing what we would look for in someone we entrusted with the crafting of persuasive copy.
Good online copywriters are:
creative. You must be able to examine things from multiple and unusual perspectives.
intelligent. You must be able to comprehend new subjects quickly and thoroughly.
empathizers. You must be able to relate to and understand different audiences, especially if they are different from yourself.
well-read. The more you read different styles and works, the more you will be able to learn from others and expand your own repetoir.
good listeners. The best way to learn about a subject or an audience is to really listen.
organized. You must be able to follow directions, manage multiple responsibilities, and be detail oriented.
deadline-oriented. You must have discipline. You have to get it done on time. Period. No exceptions. Be consistently late and be out of work.
client managers. That’s right. It’s often your job to manage the client, not the other way around. You must manage their expectations and tell them when they’re wrong. They may not always listen, but if you don’t speak up – and the copy doesn’t work – they’re going to blame you.
simple communicators. You must be able to write as simply as possible, taking complex and technical subject matter and explaining it in clear concise copy.
consistent. You must be able to sustain a consistent voice and personality throughout the copy.
humble. You need to be able to separate out your ego from your work. You can not fall in love with your own words. You must be able to edit and cut your copy without emotional connection.
web savvy. The web is a different from any other medium. It is NOT the same as print or direct marketing. Just for starters, you must understand hyperlinks, persuasive momentum, and writing for search engines.
Yeah, I know. A Baker's Dozen this is not (I always get caught overpromising in the numbers department). But ever the one to come through in a pinch, Holly has posted the Baker's part of our dozen on her blog Marketing to Women Online.