Thursday, March 26, 2009

Interactive Marketing in a Recess

This article confirms that the advertising buying consumer is changing its buying patterns and that the traditional ad agency has to re-engineer for survival.  This is the wave Applecore Interactive saw 5 years ago when it positioned itself to be a Canadian market leader in interactive marketing.

Forrester Research has this prediction for online  marketing performance during a downturn:

Money will flow toward search. Search marketing is close to where value is delivered. Search pays on clicks, which correspond to prospects doing active research or buying. We think that Google and other search-based firms could actually see prices increase as marketing dollars cut from mass brand advertising begin to flow into performance-based search.

Email marketing will increase. Email targets your existing customers, a group far more likely to listen to your messages in a recession than new prospects. A recession is likely to increase email marketing volume. Smart marketers will even invest in analytics to determine which of their existing customers are most likely to buy again and then send appropriate messages to those consumers.

Online display ads won't be hit too hard.  In the last recession, much of the online money came from dot-coms and venture funding, a source that rapidly dried up in bad economic times.  But the mainstream consumer companies now advertising on't evaporate so quickly,  Instead,  brand advertisers seeking cheaper media could turn from TV and print to online video and flash ads.  And tey'll shift some dollars into performance-based display ads.  Result:  Ad pricing will shift toward performance-based ads and away from CMP, but total spending on display ads won't suffer.

The article predicts that Social Applications could thrive, because:
  • Well-designed social applications are effective
  • They're cheap
  • They motivate consumers in the middle of the funnel
Its recommendations:
  • Make sure results-based interactive gets its share of the mix
  • Stop dabbling and insist on social applications with metrics
  • Stick with partners that have staying power
  • Focus on quick inexpensive success

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Alternatives for Trade Shows

Recent consultation with the crafts industry revealed a shared concern that wholesale and retail trade shows no longer deliver the results they once did. This article in The Crafts Report online, offers good suggestions:
  • Traditional networking (use and lose the business card)
  • Existing web sales sites such as and
  • Blogs
  • Upload video (how to's are popular)
  • Participate in online crafts discussion groups and forms

Splash Pages and other Nasty Things

When I saw this morning that a recently relaunched website of an acquaintance's business had gone from OK to really bad, it drove me to blog.

The very first thing I found is.... yes, a SPLASH PAGE.  Let it be clear:  in our world driven by search engines and impatient web users, there is NO use for a splash page.  It is outdated.

A splash page is that graphic home page that resembles the cover of a brochure.
  1. Search engines do not read graphics
  2. A home page is the most valuable online real estate on a site - for a user and for a search engine
  3. I and millions like me, have no patience for an unnecessary click - which is what it takes to get past the curtain to the show
  4. A splash page is guaranteed to chase at least 50% of traffic to the site away.
And while I am ranting about the really bad website, some other thoughts:
  • Use standard font styles and sizes for headings, content, captions and links.
  • For goodness sake, don't say "Coming Soon"  While you write your content, think of at least one useful sentence to put there in the mean time - even if it is only your contact information.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Edit Your Pictures Online

Thanks to the latest Wired magazine I found this very useful online photo editing tool called Fotoflexer.

If you are struggling to edit your photographs because you do not have software such as PhotoShop to do the job, here is a free tool. is a solution for anyone who wants to tweak a photograph before uploading to their favourite social network. No need for bulky programs on your laptop any more!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Internet Making Us Dumber?

This article looks at both sides; one arguing that excessive Internet use robs us of the skills of deep thinking and analytical reading, the other that the Internet makes us smarter - giving us the skill to process vast amounts of information.

I tend to agree that Internet time is taken from traditional TV time - and talk about a medium making us dumb [insert applause soundbite here]! Read what the BBC article has to say. >>