Introduce Us To Your Neighbors!

January 14, 2007

Another great community builder is going around the blog world – this time focused on our MyBlogLog community members. I picked up the list from Drew McLellan’s The Marketing Minute. Drew was nice enough to add the Lonely Marketer to the list – Thanks Drew!

Here’s how this works. The first link is someone in your BlogLog community and the link right next to that is the neighbor’s community. I’ve added Matt McGee, Chris Brown, and David Temple – all great sites to check out with quality information. So, grab the list and introduce us to some of your community members.

Andy Beard | Andy Beard’s Community
Andy Beal
| Marketing Pilgrim Community
Graywolf’s SEO Blog | Graywolfs SEO Community
A VC | Fred’s A VC CommunityConverstations | Mike Sansone’s Community
The RSS Blog | The RSS Blog and KBCafe
Black in Business | Jim Walton’s Community
Social Caster | Bruce Prokopet’s Community
Shared NeedLes | Jamie Parks’ Community
Brain Based Biz | Robyn McMaster’s Community
Branding Strategy Insider | Derrick Daye’s Community
Drew McLellan | Marketing Minute’s community
Liz Strauss | Successful and Outstanding Blog’s community
Patrick Schaber | Lonely Marketer’s community
Phil Gerbyshak | Make it Great’s community
Roberta Rosenberg | Copywriting Maven’s community
Ben Yoskovitz | Instigator’s community
Kammie Kobyleski | Passion Meets Purpose’s community
Chris Brown | Branding and Marketing Community
Matt McGee | Small Business SEM Community
David Temple | SEM SEO Certification Training


Don’t Like The Ad? Put Your Shoes On It

January 12, 2007

I always enjoy reading about or seeing a creative idea taking advantage of one of the last places on earth where we’re not touched by some kind of media. This time those infamous security bins at the airport in which we load every aspect of our lives for examination before heading to our gate to catch our plane will soon be infiltrated with advertising. Some people will be annoyed by this, but I say, why not? In fact, I’m kicking myself for not thinking of it!

If you’re interested in reading more behind the effort, check out this USA Today article. Here’s what might be in store for our shoes in the near future.

tsa-large.jpg

 

You may be asking what this has to do with small business? Probably, not much. But, it does show us that there are still unique, creative places left to buy advertising space.


Giving Your Campaigns a Global Reach

January 8, 2007

globe.jpgAs a Marketing Manager with responsibility for both US marketing and marketing to other parts of the world, any article focusing on launching campaigns in different territories catches my eye.

Many small companies aren’t equipped with marketing people all over the world to tailor and launch territory-specific campaigns. Typically, we’re left with trying to figure out how to turn a US-based marketing campaign into a global effort.

This article by Carat Fusion’s Mike Yapp talks about giving your campaigns a global appeal. This section is what prompted me to write about it:

“I once spoke to a group of marketing students from U.C. Berkeley. I asked them to paint a picture of an individual from the following information:

His father is a lawyer and Rotarian. His mom is a teacher and president of the PTA. He’s Protestant. His family has lived in Springfield for three generations, and he graduated fifth in his high school class.

Naturally all I got back were blank stares.

Then I asked the same question with the following information:

He wears Volcom jeans, a Quicksilver t-shirt, a Hurley cap and DC sneakers. He drives a tuner and listens to The Killers.

Bingo! Faces lit up.”

That story got me thinking – how many times do we describe our product or service in a way that entices us but not our audience? They may be interested in what we have to offer but we didn’t engage them with our description. This can easily happen when we try to stretch a campaign globally. The article talks about many good examples and is worth a read.

Does anyone else have thoughts or comments about global campaigns and global messaging?


Search and Display: Mix It Up

January 2, 2007

I’ve written in previous posts about the right marketing mix. By that I mean the melding of various mediums of marketing into one cohesive plan. Whether it be print advertising, search marketing, banner advertising, etc – its the art of bringing it all together in one marketing plan. Well, because I think its so important and also because we’re starting a new year and a new media plan, I’m throwing out more information on the topic.

A recent article on the Marketing VOX website discussed the results of two recent studies on display and search advertising and the effects that one has on the other. One of the reports described was done by ClickZ News and they say:

“…found that online users exposed to both the search and display advertising campaigns purchased the advertiser’s products and services 244 percent more online and 89 percent more offline compared with users not shown the ads.”

I love seeing numbers like these. As I’ve stated in the past, I’m not a huge fan of print advertising, but I know that its a necessary expense for many companies due to its large impact on branding. Print advertising is costly and takes up a size-able percentage of an overall marketing budget, but when you see how one medium can impact another, you can more than justify the expense.

Now, does this mean you can go out and run print and search ads, let them run, and you’re on your way to an early retirement. No way! In order to achieve the success found in those studies, your messaging and strategy need to be consistent throughout. The mix between your display and online should support and strengthen each other and your overall message.


5 Things the Lonely Marketer Learned in 2006

December 31, 2006

Happy New Year! As we wind down the final hours of 2006, I thought I’d share some thoughts as many of the rest of you have. Looking back at what was in 2006, here are a few things the Lonely Marketer has learned:

1. With the exception of my beloved Minnesota Twins, the sports scene in this town is looking very dismal at the moment.

2. As Marketers, our target audiences are becoming more elusive by the day which, in my opinion, offers a great challenge to us to rethink how we market our products and services in 2007.

3. Years ago I spent most of a year in London and found I really enjoyed the theatre (and pints of ale beforehand in a nearby pub…and afterward). 2006 brought me to the Orpheum Theatre in scenic downtown St. Paul, Minnesota to watch the stage performance of the famous old movie White Christmas starring Bing Crosby. I realized everyone needs to have a splash of the arts in their life. It gives you a new perspective.

4. In 2007 we need to ask more questions. We need to interview our customers and learn what it is that makes them stay up at night and where they go to find their answers. As Marketers, we also need to sit down with the sales teams from our companies. These folks spend each day communicating with our audience – they will be able to tell us something we didn’t know in 2006.

5. Blogging rocks! 2006 saw the launch of The Lonely Marketer and I’ve had a blast with it. I’ve made a ton of new contacts already and have truly enjoyed putting my thoughts “on paper”. Where did MyBlogLog come from? All of a sudden its mainstream and a great tool – you have to love the new way we communicate.

As for my plans this New Year’s Eve – well, they’re a bit more tame than in years past. My wife and I have the kids to bed and we’ve just popped the cork on a nice bottle of Prosecco – a fine Italian sparkling wine we’ve been saving for the occasion. To accompany our wine, will be Season 1 on DVD of my favorite television show – The Office.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!


Are You Interacting With Your Target Market?

December 29, 2006

As I was breaking up boxes from numerous kids toys received by my kids this Christmas, I was reflecting on our gift buying this holiday. I couldn’t recall one gift that was not researched or purchased online. Granted, my wife and I are heavy Internet users, but this is not unusual anymore. We spent time on forums and product review posts looking for toys and gifts for relatives that had gotten good reviews and had high quality ratings. We found gift ideas and learned what others had luck with and what they recommended we avoid.

A recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine focused on online marketing going high-tech. The article, by Catherine Seda, discusses a study done that measured what technologies are being used by Internet users to talk and shop. The article suggested that we’re not in the minority for how we go about shopping and researching:

“This study suggests that heavy internet users aren’t sitting back, waiting to receive information. They’re chatting with colleagues. They’re creating content and conversations”

So, what does this have to do with marketing for small business? Plenty. As marketers, the rules are changing for us each day and how we reach our audience is a moving target. Social interaction online is becoming a norm and the use of high-tech media for marketing is now mainstream. As you look at your 2007 marketing strategy take a step back and make sure you’re giving your target market the interaction they need to analyze and purchase your product or service.


Very Informative Interview on SEO/SEM for Small Business

December 29, 2006

I came across a great interview with Matt McGee of Small Business SEM. The interview was conducted by Gradiva Cousin and Jennifer Grappone, co-authors of Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day. The interview was focused on how small businesses can compete in search engine optimization and search engine marketing.

I thought Matt’s answers did a great job of highlighting how small business can move faster than large business but also can be restricted by budget and resources. He also outlined some simple tips and thoughts on how small business marketers can begin understanding and implementing optimization and marketing for search engines.

I couldn’t agree more. Many small businesses can learn enough to get started and do the basics. Taking the next step of attending conferences, networking, and reading up on the topic are keys. In my current position, we’ve even tried to get larger, well-known SEO/SEM firms to come in and either validate what we’re doing or give us advice on how to improve, but often they have bigger fish to go after. We’ve taken the stance of learning and getting the job done ourselves and I couldn’t be happier with the choice. SEO/SEM work is challenging and fun at the same time.