Marketing Student Views

Perspectives by GMU Internet Marketing Students


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Integrated Marketing

Blogger: Tevah El Emmet

Integrated marketing is extremely important in today’s society. In the past everything was broken into silos and was separate. Each division looked out for its’ own and did not all work together for the good of the company. Marketing was separate from PR, sales, and direct mail. In contemporary times many companies continue to use the same tactics even with all the research that says an integrated marketing approach works best. This is because many are stuck in only traditional forms of media or in new forms of media and haven’t grasped the ability to effectively use both. This is why integrated marketing is such a huge buzz word and goal for many organizations today because they know that each form of marketing has strengths and weaknesses and when you can put them all together your campaign will be that much stronger.

As we continue to move into a more technology based world many companies are moving to a digital platform. Some are ahead of the times and make sure to use the latest and best in technology and social media and mobile and others are way behind the times. Many however focus their efforts solely on one type of marketing or communication. This is especially true when they are communicating with the millennials. In the articles I read it I learned about how important it is to continue traditional marketing efforts as well as make sure that you are keeping up with current trends.

One article that I read spoke about how 51% of millenials still get there coupons from newspapers. The next highest percent is 50% and is from online sources. Therefore if you do not have both you are really doing a disservice to your company. Others are of course in store options as well. I also learned that even though millennials are the most technologically savvy group most of their shopping still occurs in stores.

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They do however do a lot of online comparison. This means that if you are only doing online promotion for millennials than you are still missing a great share.

The second article I read about spoke about talked about the magazine All You. At first it was just a print magazine. And that is where the money from advertising came. Once the number of sales began to decline a little they added a website and social media aspect. The online component was not the full magazine but of really good content that the users wanted from the magazine. That way they would continue to go to the print magazine and also look at any ads that were on the online media.

Overall it is really important to tie all of your media outlets together. Do not ignore one kind of media because you never know who uses it and how successful it will be when combined with your other forms of media. Lastly and almost most importantly make sure the content that you distribute is of high quality and watch your audience wants that way it turns away from you trying to send them a message but more to them coming to you to find a message.

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2013/09/16/why-integrated-marketing-communications-is-more-important-than-ever/

http://www.strategicdriven.com/marketing-insights-blog/traditional-marketing-approach-2013/


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PPC

Blogger: Alexa Filipek

The first article I read: PPC for brand impact explained the benefits and advantages of companies using the PPC campaign to brand and rebrand their products and services. “Paid search marketing is the process of gaining traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. It is sometimes referred to as CPC (cost-per-click) or PPC (pay-per-click) marketing” (Shuen). The added bonus is companies only pay for actual advertising results, when someone clicks on your add and visits your website. Not all companies can afford to spend money on fancy campaigns to promote their brand, so the PPC campaign is a cost effective alternative.

Every successful business has a webpage, and in this day in age customers, and clients rely on that webpage for important information, and companies rely on their webpage gaining a lot of traffic. With internet marketing being such a useful tool, PPC can help your company gain more traffic and generate more clients for your business.

“For something that has been around for a few years, PPC has become an established part of online marketing for many companies” (Shuen). One of the main advantages of PPC is that it can be very effective for branding, and rebranding awareness of a product or service.  For example, ServiceMagic was a company who was looking to rebrand after using their name for over a dozen years. The new brand name is now HomeAdvisor, and this company used the PPC approach to learn and test traffic impact. The company was simply looking for a way to increase the number of clicks, as well as increase web traffic, and using the PPC campaign was able to accomplish just that, and this method proved to be a success for the company.

The second article I read, Why PPC ads will always work, Cunnignham provides three specific advantages and benefits of using PPC.

  1. “Speed (PPC works on a bidding system, you can competitively bid so more people see your ad. This means if you put up an ad today you can gain traffic today from that ad, no waiting).”
  2. “Target (With PPC you can target certain types of people with certain interests with your advertising, and not have to pay for people who don’t care to see your ads).”
  3. “Results (No internet marketing tool brings more immediate results).”

 

“The typical click through rate (CTR) for a decent ad campaign is anywhere from 1-5% (the ratio of people who see your ad to those who click through). The good news, is you aren’t paying for the 5,000 people who don’t click on your company’s ad, but you pay for the 50 who do click on it. “Depending on the exact targeting of your ad, you will probably begin paying about $1-2 per click, and if you’re good or have good people working for you, they will half that cost in a few weeks by optimizing your campaign, so in the beginning you’ll be paying $50-100 per sale or new lead; in the end about $25-$50” (Cuningham).

With results and benefits mentioned previously, it is hard to see why companies wouldn’t want to spend time creating a PPC campaign for their company. It has proved in many situations to be successful and help companies promote their products and services, by targeting their specific audience efficiently and effectively.

Article #1 http://socialmediatoday.com/sookie-shuen/473076/death-pay-click-advertising-ppc

Article #2 http://www.cowleyweb.com/blog/why-ppc-pay-click-ads-will-always-work


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(SEO) Search Engine Optimization

Blogger: Brandon Hayes

Search Engine Optimization is about how to get traffic to your website through keyword searches and how to have your business show up on the first page of results, in a natural or organic way, instead of having to use a PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns. According to the Finadabilitly Formula, a book dedicated to assist businesses in their marketing techniques, after determining the keywords, then the website must be redesigned “that requires carefully crafted customized content, specific linking strategies… to get and keep your site highly ranked in Page One results”. To a specific air conditioning business, searching an HVAC system would seem logical, but a normal consumer would not search for that, they would search for air conditioner. Using the correct keywords are crucial because they are what the consumer will search for, not what a business would search for.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, Did Edward Snowden Kill the Search Engine Optimization Industry, they state that it is becoming much harder to have optimal results through search engine optimization. Over the past decade, Google has implemented updates that allow related results, not just results that included the keyword. For instance, if someone was searching, “The Great Wall of China”, and then searched, “How Long is the Great Wall of China?” the new updates would now recognize that both articles share the same intent. So, its making the modifications to your website, social media, blogs etc., that allow your company to show up not just if they use the keyword, but also if it is related to the topic that was being searched.

In an article published on Entrepeneur.com, Google’s New Secure Search Means More Work for Online Business Owners, they indicate that with these new changes to Google, “this means that business owners who track keyword data provided by Google on search traffic are now out of luck…”. Almost 75%  of websites are not tracked by keywords anymore, simply making it harder and harder for the retailer or company to tune in to what people are really searching for. Now, it does indicate that if you are running ads on Google, you can obtain the keywords consumers are searching, but of course that costs extra money and ultimately you are paying for a PPC just to find out how consumers find you. In this article they do suggest that since keywords are being phased out, a new way to obtain data is to start focusing more on conversion rate optimization. In a sense, this means that it will cause businesses to “focus more on the right things, individual landing pages, instead of individual entry keywords for each landing page”. Conversion Rate Optimization will give the company real time data updates for the changes they are making, for instance to their website. This new technique will really help while working with new updates and algorithms from search engines.

Both SEO and Conversion Rate Optimization will cost a business financially, because unlike PPC where you pay to run an ad, to keep updates on your website and analyzing data, you have to pay someone to do that for you. There is no way around the cost, however, there are other ways, other than using PPC, to have your business show up in the first page of results through a search engine, like SEO and Conversion Rate Optimization.

 

Resources Used

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chad-pollitt/did-edward-snowden-kill-t_b_4012531.html

Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228561

The Findability Formula

 


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Search Engine Optimization: “Meet Them Where They’re At”

Blogger: Topher Hall

In the marketing world, it’s a tried and true (albeit extremely played out) strategic philosophy: “Meet them where they’re at.”  The phrase implores marketers to put and keep their product or service in plain view of their target audience.  It suggests that the marketer’s job is not to prod people into changing their mind about a particular product or service, but rather it’s to be in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.  Online, the right place is on the very first results page on Google, Yahoo or MSN search.  The right time is the instant a member from your target audience submits a keyword string related to your product or service.  If you sell little black handbags for tweens, and a young consumer types in “black purse” into Google’s search bar, your company had better be in front of her seconds later. How is this accomplished? Even after years of continuous innovation online, the answer has largely remained the same.

Get optimized. Stay optimized.

“Organic search still continues to be the number one way people find content and websites,” according to C3 search industry conference host, Conductor. (D’Amico) This search conference, held in New York City, explores the trends, challenges and opportunities that exist in the web search field.  Even with all the advances in Pay Per Click advertising and social media presence building, the moral of the story at the end of the conference was, SEO is not declining in importance. Organic search engine optimization, and relevant destination content makes a successful web presence.

If digging into your site to surgically place keywords into lines of metadata seems like a lot to handle for business owners, it is.  But there are now thousands of specialist that can help optimize a website in iterative steps, to allow small businesses to play with the big boys on search. While some companies spend thousands of dollars and hours of manpower on SEO, there is room for smart marketers to pinpoint their target audience and work with SEO specialists to make a site visible.

In Aubrey Beck’s article about hiring a specialist, she suggests asking three questions in an interview with the potential SEO partner. Beck tells us to ask SEO specialists if they use “White Hat” organic techniques. This is important. Black hat operations (cramming in tons of repetitive keywords, or other means of cheating the system) are looked down upon. They will eventually get you in trouble with the search engines.  Don’t hire someone that may use those techniques. Stick with one who uses above board activities like link-building, clever keyword use and establishing great site architecture.

Beck also says to ask, “Are they technical and creative?” (Beck) Technical expertise is fine, but if your specialist can’t think outside the box, you’ll be steps behind your competitors. Lastly, Beck would have us ask our SEO specialist, “Do you use analytics-based approach for running ROI-focused campaigns around concrete earnings models?” (Beck) In other words, is he or she tracking success of keywords? Is a he or she monitoring search success throughout different steps of the customer’s path to purchase? Will there be an established baseline on which to measure traffic, rankings and linkbacks? Measurement is key. Without great measurement practices, it’s difficult to tell what’s working and what’s not.

Know these important focal points of good SEO. Also know that SEO is here to stay. PPC and social media presence building are viable online activities, and they certainly have their place in your integrated marketing, but stay on top of the best practices of SEO and keep your site in plain view of your target audience. This is acquisition marketing. This is your conversion plan. SEO is how the consumer finds you, assesses you and buys what you’re selling. Make their experience effortless.

As stated by Christie Nichols of Performance Solutions, we want to make sure we give customers what they need, at the right time on their journey through the brand eco-system.”


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Acquisition marketing

Blogger: James Clifton

Acquisition marketing is marketing to those who are not existing customers with the purpose of acquiring them as a new customer. An article both agrees and disagrees with this statement. Joanna Lord says “If you had asked me this question a few years ago I might have corrected you and called it ‘customer acquisition’ because that’s where the roots lie.” This is because it was all about acquiring customers and increasing their customer counts. Lord goes on to say that now a days it would no longer be considered “customer acquisition” but rather “acquisition marketing.” This is because it is more than just gaining customers it’s more about acquiring “traffic, engagement, leads, customers, attention, partners, and possibly even companies”(Lord).

What is Growth?

“Acquisition marketing, at its core, is simply driving growth. To be successful you must align your efforts with the growth goals of your company” (Lord). Lord then goes on to mention some points that present challenges.

  1. People like boundaries. People fear change and if you challenge their boundaries they don’t usually like it.
  2. Having too many goals can lead to very few gains.
  3. It’s hard to remain a specialist if you become a generalist.

-This can be interpreted in an example of a small accounting company. If there is a small accounting company that does an acquisition marketing campaign and acquires some clients to manage accounts for but also some clients that you decide you can do financial advising for and with consulting for. This can diminish your specialty of accounting and make you more of a general firm.

These are very relevant points to acquisition marketing. As a company you want to acquire a lot of different thing but you can’t have them all. If you try to gain too much you will spread yourself to thin and might not be able to keep up. For example if you are a small company and you keep acquiring new customers, if you acquire too quickly, your ability to do each project the best that you can might suffer.

Internet Acquisition Marketing

One of the best ways of doing acquisition marketing according to Regali(x) Solutions is through internet marketing. “The obvious goal of an internet marketing campaign is lead generation converting to customer acquisition and retention” (Regalix solutions). This basically means that you have to turn leads into customers. Some of the ways to improve your customer acquisition online is to know the demographics of the visitor. You have to be able to recognize who your prospective leads are and then finish the sale to those leads. “Calculating the number of leads that need to get directed to the website or landing page to make a sale come through would effectively allow you to direct the volume of web traffic methodically through proper use of various internet marketing tools. Furthermore, if too many leads are backing out then it is time to pitch the marketing strategy in a different manner, either by making the deal more attractive or by reworking on the technical issues, if any”( Regalix solutions). The last point is a crucial step that can help you determine the effectiveness of your website. Using the skills we learned in class a company might have to reevaluate their site if their lead numbers and sales generated from it are too far apart.


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Rethinking Acquisition Marketing

Blogger: Christina Chao

Getting a consumer’s attention is one of the most difficult aspects of marketing. In this day and age, consumers are so glued to their laptops and phones and tablets that they hardly take the time to look at the world around them. People are now able to take their friends, books, and music with them wherever they go. This means they no longer need to stare at that poster on the subway or listen to that advertisement on the radio in order to pass the time. The technological advances we have made created a new barrier for marketers… But it has also created a new channel of communication for marketers.

In an attempt to keep up with these technological advances and the change in consumer behavior, companies have attempted to unify their marketing attempts across various technological platforms. In The Truth About Tracking Consumers Across Devices, Joshua Koran discusses the advantages and disadvantages of marketing to consumers across both mobile and desktop devices. On one hand, while increasing frequency of your message is important, receptivity to advertisements changes from device to device. Attempting to follow a consumer may cost more time and money than it brings in. In addition, it may actually be limiting the target audience too much. Acquisition marketing is marketing to consumers that do not necessarily have a relationship with the company. Therefore, tracking actions across devices is not necessary. Koran suggests that cross-tracking consumers is better for retention marketing. Instead, marketing across various devices should take the form of channel-specific marketing, in which techniques are tailored to the specific device the advertisement will be viewed on.

Perhaps the fastest growing channel through which to market is the revolution smartphone or mobile device. Consumers use their phone for everything nowadays, from socializing to working to checking the weather. So how do we get them to stop what they are doing and look at your advertisement? According to Avinash Kaushik’s article, Mobile Marketing 2015: Rethink Customer Acquisition, Intent Targeting, the key to is to “rethink acquisition” and “shift from being an interruption to becoming a persistent part of someone’s life.” Kaushik suggests providing value in an immersive brand experience and gives the example of Skullcandy’s mobile app. While Skullcandy makes headphones, its mobile app does not push its users to buy headphones. Instead, it provides information about activities during which one would wear headphones. It delivers an invaluable experience for the app user, while collecting information and learning about its potential customer. A customer who was initially looking for information about surfing learned about a new brand of headphones. And everyday that the client looks at the Skullcandy app icon, the customer is reminded of Skullcandy headphones. He or she may tell his or her friends about the app and the cycle repeats itself. Though the app is seemingly unrelated to Skullcandy’s product, the company has managed to get their name out there. As a result, Skullcandy acquires a new customer and becomes an everyday necessity in the consumer’s life.

As technology has evolved, so has consumer behavior and the art of acquisition marketing. Getting a consumer’s interest is more difficult than ever. The key is to understand your target audience and the various marketing channels they use. It is learning what they find valuable and delivering it in a way that they can no longer go about their day without it. It is at that point you have gained a new customer and you can move on to the retention marketing stages.