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Ad Design Tactics That Increase Response Rates Online

Why are ads with pictures of people seeing higher response rates than those without? Human beings read a person’s face rapidly; the emotion and feelings are conveyed before the words are even noticed. A recent survey by the MarketingSherpa suggests using people photos in your online ads will increase your response rates.

What else is working for online ad design? Here’s a chart that provides insight into ad design based on an online advertising survey of marketing professionals (click on the chart to read the full article at


Catalog Choice Stop the Mail

Catalog Choice is a new not-for-profit operation that lets you opt out of unsolicited mailings on a catalog-by-catalog basis. Visit the website and let them know which catalogs you do or don't want. The company will contact the advertisers sending out the catalogs for you.

This is a great method to improve target marketing for advertisers and a great way for you to save a few trees – not to mention landfill space. Visit Catalog Choice here.

Hat's off to Tech Crunch for spreading the word. 

Common PPC Mistakes Web Marketers Make

If your using PPC (Pay Per Click) ads to boost your web traffic and sales, check out Igor's post over at his BizMord Search and Marketing Blog. His recommendations are specific and will increase your ROI in many cases:

17 Most Common PPC Mistakes Web Marketers Make–BizMord Search and Marketing Blog
As I manage quite a few PPC campaigns I always notice the silly and sometimes not so silly mistakes that advertisers make with their PPC programs. Mistakes when creating PPC ads, click fraud detection, and lack of testing are just a few of them. Fixing each of these mistakes could mean an extra 70% of revenue or a savings of thousands of dollars every month.

How to improve CTR on Google AdSense – Remove MFA Sites

This is a great Google AdSense tip I found to improve your site revenue.

Remove MFA Sites From Google AdSense
MFA stands for Made for adsense sites. A lot of these sites are buying low cost keywords in adwords. Likely, some of these ads appear on your sites if you use Google AdSense. These type of advertisers usually pay very little per click ($0.01 to $0.05 per click). The idea is to eliminate these advertisers – low revenue for you – from showing on your site.
Here’s where I found the tip:

And, here is the original source (How to details):

Einstein's Theory of Relativity Meets Marketing

TiVo changed the world for many. Is Slingbox – a new digital device that streams live TV to your computer – about to shift the location you view content? The impact on traditional marketing models will be substancial if Slingbox takes off. My guess is it will.

Excellent article just published at Ad Age. Here’s an exerpt:

Rishad Tobaccowala, CEO of Denuo, the Publicis division charged with exploring business models for a digital world, believes Slingbox could have TiVo-sized impact on advertising models. First, he said, consider that people now shift content between devices — TV to computer, PC to iPod. Then add time-shifting and place-shifting to the equation. Marry all that with the idea that search essentially allows users to go back in time and find content created weeks or years ago, and you’ve got what Mr. Tobaccowala calls “Einstein’s theory of relativity meets marketing.”

Read the full article here:
Advertising Age – New Device ‘Place-Shifts’ TV; Changes Media Assumptions

[tags] marketing, TV, Slingbox, media assumptions, TiVo,, eoecho [/tags]

Blog Traffic Tactics – Autoresponders

Go to almost any popular blog and you’ll find an offer to receive more info: e-books, newsletters, white-papers, podcasts, and other creative marketing media. So, what do they all have in common?

They drive traffic and build relationships with your target-audience. I won’t go into the strategies or list all of the benefits since numerous blogs already do, but I did notice a large majority of the best blogs I frequent all use the same delivery, or autoresponder software. So I had to check out why?

It looked good and it was inexpensive, and there weren’t any annoying monthly fees.So I purchased the software.

A side note: if you use email delivery software such as Constant Contact, you should at least take a look at switching. You’ll likely better results. I switched and I’m glad I did.

To learn more about autoresponders, go to the source – the company that developed the software. You can test-drive one of their demos.

Repeat exposure is a proven advertising method. You need to be in front of your client or prospect when the need arises. The use of “autoresponders” is a good way to stay in front of your target audience; it also helps you improve readership numbers and builds stronger relationships with your clients.

I’m producing a series of brief articles on custom publishing (one of the services I offer to my clients). We’ll see how it goes.

Are you using autoresponders? Is it working? If so, please leave a comment so I can visit your blog and check out your offers. Thanks!

[tags] autoresponders, email delivery software, custom publishing, custom magazines, marketing strategy, enewsletter tips,, eoecho [/tags]

Let Go and Thrive in the New World of Customer-to-Customer Conversations

Consumer generated content is slowly being accepted by main stream marketing gurus and I’m finding case studies on blogs more commonly. It took awhile to work the strategies through the halls of the ivory towers, but many are now on the right page. Unfortunately, many marketing managers working at mid-size companies have yet to open the book.

When I discuss these strategies with potential customers I usually lose them after the second or third sentence. And when I hear “we need more new media ideas,” I just cringe. New media is old folks. Today’s reality is a marcomm strategy you need to digest slowly. It requires a variance from the norm that you don’t expect and it takes time to understand the implementation techniques.

It’s probably time for me to write up an article or two outlining the strategy with examples. I’ll see what I can put together during my flight to Chicago. I’ll send it out to my clients and post a summary here on my blog later in the week.

In the interim, if you have a subscription to Advertising Age magazine or their online content, you can read Scott Donaton’s article, How to Thrive in New World of User-Created Content: Let Go. I don’t have a current subscritpion and AdAge tells me, “Greg, the article you have chosen costs 1 credit. You currently have 0 credits in your account.” It is likely you don’t subscribe either so just Google GM and Chevy’s consumer generated ads and you’ll find plenty of free content on the subject.

It is refreshing to read about Chevy’s consumer generated ads and GM’s willingness to air uncomfortable, yet effective, commercials astray of the norm. They get it.

Thanks again to Katie Paine for pointing out the article above.

[tags] Customer-to-customer, marketing strategy, Advertising Age, WOM, User-created, content, word of mouth, eoecho,, Greg Magnus [/tags]

Integrating Marketing and Communications – Who Really Gets It?

Early this month we talked about integrating customer-to-customer conversations using new media. A common WOM technique, it is an effective means of promoting products and services. Are there benefits from harnessing the power of your customers?

While further researching the topic this week I came across an excellent article written by Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers.

Bob published a series on “Integrated Marketing Communications.” Take note of his observations concerning new media and the shifting power from the marketer to the consumer. We’re both on the same page.

Integrated Marketing Communications – 2nd Pillar in Reinventing Marketing

For those with limited reading time, here’s an example from Bob’s post that supports our discussion rather well:

So who really “gets” what integrated marketing communications is all about?

One company that does is Daimler-Chrysler. They’ve recognized that the traditional demographic approach to marketing planning is outmoded in today’s fragmented marketplace. So they’ve transitioned to a lifestyle approach – deeply integrating their brands into the popular culture through a breathtaking array of experiences: sports, fashion, entertainment, music, technology … and an equally breathtaking array of innovative channels: video-on-demand, event marketing, gaming, IPTV, text messaging, pod casting and webisodes, not to mention sweepstakes and public relations.

This highly integrated and diverse approach recognizes the fundamental change in consumer behavior from yesteryear – namely that people aren’t passively sitting at home watching their TVs. Rather, they’re actively engaged in and controlling their media experiences. To connect with these consumers, Daimler-Chrysler’s lifestyle strategy is seeking them out, wherever their heads and hearts might be.”

Side Note: There are a few posts on my blog concerning Mercedes-Benz use of “free music,” (brand and pop culture integration).
[tags] Marketing, Communications, Daimler-Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Bob Liodice, Association of National Advertisers, customer-to-customer, eoecho, [/tags]

The Evils of AVEs – Advertising Value Equivalency and PR

Don Bartholomew has a great post on measuring the value of PR with respect to Advertising Value Equivalency – AVE. Measuring the effectiveness of PR is still more art than science, but thanks to people like Don and Katie Delahaye Paine progress is being made.

AVEs are calculated by measuring the column inches (in the case of print), or seconds (broadcast media) and multiplying these figures by the respective ad rates. By assessing your media coverage in this way you can assign an overall AVE to your coverage.

For those interested in learning more about AVEs, see the Institute of PR white paper at this link. Here’s a brief excerpt:

How much a publication charges for advertising is a reflection of its circulation, and its reputation versus its peers. In Canada, for example, the Globe & Mail and the National Post have identical circulations, but the Globe & Mail can charge considerably more for ad space because it is the more credible publication. When using ad rates, therefore, you are taking into account both of these factors.

Some people have gone beyond these calculations and applied another multiplier to allegedly take into account the “PR factor.” This refers to the idea that news messages are presumably more credible than advertising messages and are therefore more persuasive…

Don is an executive VP at GCI Group, a global communications firm. Thanks to Katie Delahaye Paine for pointing Don’s post out to us.

[tags] AVE, PR measurement, ads, circulation [/tags]

Is Jack Trout at All He's Cracked Up To Be?

Is Word Of Mouth All It's Cracked Up To Be? – With more than 40 years of advertising and marketing experience, Jack Trout still doesn't appear to get it. He states in his recent article,

I certainly would never tell a CEO, "B.J., I just put a big chunk of our budget into word-of-mouth." If you did, all I would say is "good luck."

Yes, Trout is right when he states WOM isn't new, but who believes it is? Adopting "WOM" nomenclature is relatively new, the concept of using electronic as well as offline communication strategies to get people talking about your company or ideas isn't. Measureable results from WOM campaigns are readily available and campaigns can be controlled to a certain extent if your communications are concise, clear, honest and your marketing department knows what they are doing. Trout's recent article at includes several good points, but his conclusions are behind the curve. When implemented and measured properly, WOM is an effective, yet sensible, non-traditional marketing strategy in today's rapidly changing world. Everyone now has a "printing press" and there's no need to worry about a shortage of ink. TAGS: WOM, social networking, word of mouth, Forbes, eoecho

Word of Mouth Marketing – A Strategy

Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing is a term used to describe activities that companies undertake to generate favorable publicity. People are inclined to believe word of mouth promotion because the source is preceived as credible and likely someone you know.

WOM is highly valued by marketers and it has become a managed marketing strategy with significant budgets. Successful word of mouth campaigns create buzz and there are dozens of techniques being used to engage target audiences.

The following WOM articles and research reports discuss the concept and provide background information for those interested:

Harris Interactive Inc.
Harris Interactive Inc. analyzed the effect of word-of-mouth communication and found that it strongly influences those making purchasing decisions. The survey shows Continue reading

State-of-the-Art Endurance Center Grand Opening Today – Feb. 25

Endorphin Fitness hired us to help market their Grand Opening event. Given a very limited marketing budget, we recommended and ran a sensible Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing campaign for the event. The campaign included:

  • Writing and distributing press releases to local media, publishers, key contacts (or connectors), associations, and sponsors
  • Regular website updates to keep relevant content front and center; and, most importantly, consistent with all other event communications
  • Preparing compelling content for the company’s email newsletter
  • Numerous “one-up” email communications, etc.
  • Planning and marketing FREE seminars
  • Managing a part-time marketing assistant
  • Preparing several handouts and fliers
  • Although no money was spent on print or television advertising, more than 300 people attended a very successful event. If you would like more inforamtion on effective and economical WOM campaigns, please contact eoecho at your convenience. We’ll be glad to help you plan and implement a WOM campaign. Continue reading

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