Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One in ten to access online marketing services via mobile

One in ten consumers in the UK will use their cell phone device to make Christmas purchases this year, according to a new survey.

Econsultancy reports the figures, complied by Tesco, reveal a third of people take advantage of their smartphones as it allows them to fit shopping into busy schedules and offers reduced pressure levels.

The study also showed it is not just those on the move who may be considering this method of shopping, as half of respondents stated they used their phone while watching TV, with one in four accessing online services during their commute to and from work.

A similar trend has been seen in the US, where a current report by the Mobile Marketing Association found 59 per cent of people in the country are planning to use their mobile for internet shopping, with 13 per cent paying for gifts through their device.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Online Spending Up on Turkey Day and Black Friday

It appears as if turkey isn’t the only thing consumed on Thanksgiving Day as the online purchase number reported by comScore shows a 28% raise in online commerce for the holiday.

That raise was also reported for the Black Friday online event. We await, of course, data from CyberMonday but until it actually happens we’ll refrain from giving numbers

As has been the case for the past few years, year over year numbers need to be considered in the context of what the before year has been like. We are still slogging through the worst recession in a long time (oh wait that’s right, the recession is over according to Washington’s latest Fantasy Economist League report). As a result, when you see big increases year over year it’s not always a sign of huge growth. It’s more like a sign of the hope of recovery.

So however you look at it, it is improvement. Also an improvement is the apparent shift from concentrating so much on one day (Black Friday) and seeing how offline sales for the holiday weekend were up. Whenever we get too myopic and concentrate on one thing too much we tend to create bad assumptions which will be followed by bad decisions. That’s bad policy.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Email marketing in the time of social media

Ironically, the increase of social networking sites and social media have caused email volumes to soar rather than decline. What’s more, industry research shows that many internet users check their email before they do anything else when they wake up in the morning.

In a current study release by the US Direct Marketing Association, it was shown that email delivers the best ROI against all the other online marketing options, including social media.

The fact is that email still plays a central role in most users’ online lives, but marketers have not yet caught up to how much its role has changed in the past five years. There are higher email volumes than ever before, which means that content requires to be highly targeted and relevant to break through the noise.

Email is still a channel that offers enormous reach and flexibility for marketers, but we do need to use it in a more engaging and sophisticated manner if we are to create the most of its potential in a socially networked world.

Companies need to align their social media and email campaigns more closely than they have to date. For example, they should create it simpler for their customers to share email promotions via Twitter and Facebook than most do at the moment.

They also need to tap into the psychology of the active online user who likes to be first with main news or interesting special offers.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Retail Holiday Online Marketing: Has Black Friday and Cyber Monday Come Early This Year?

While it's not surprising that online holiday deals are being publicized prior to Cyber Monday, I was surprised to see advertising no longer promoting "pre-Thanksgiving sales" but instead Black Friday before Black Friday sales (giving the impression that the prices are slashed almost as much.) This year shops are opening even earlier and many are posting their Black Friday sales online Thanksgiving Eve. Will this take away from relaxing into a tryptophan induced coma on turkey day to opt for the insanity of holiday shopping online earlier than what we've seen in years past ? And how does that affect Cyber Monday?

When some may enjoy the physical exhaustion and adrenaline rush of shopping the brick and mortar stores on Black Friday, the internet has provided a portal to the similar level of price reduction minus the insanity of camping outside a store and dealing with the crowds. Cyber Monday has been designated when we will see the biggest rate cuts...but has the current serge of pre-holiday sales make Cyber Monday seem almost like any other day of discounts in the holiday shopping season? To be honest, it seems like it is beginning to blur a bit.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Online marketing services see e-commerce growth in October

Current figures from the Interactive Media in Retail Group and Capgemini sale index showed internet marketing services experienced significant growth in e-commerce during October.

Shoppers in the UK spent a total of £5.2 billion on the internet during the previous month – the equivalent of £85 per person, which was an increase of 23 per cent when compared with the same period a year ago.

Chris Webster, chief of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, said the results were better than expected and reminded retailers now is a crucial time to be exploring innovative strategies and promotion to gain an edge over the competition.

"The web is consistently seen as the place to go for bargains and retailers with an online presence should utilize this to their advantage", he added.

The study comes as eMarketer forecasts sales in the US online sector are expected to reach $38.5 billion (£24.3 billion) over the festive season.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Google's online marketing services strategy includes social media

Google has stated the use of social media is a part of the company's online PR strategy, but denied it was focusing its attention on rivalling Facebook.

The Independent reports the organisation's chief financial officer Patrick Pichette told Australian television social features would be included in "many of our products".

However, he stressed search was still the firm's primary product and any social elements are "just one chapter" of the digital world, along with developments such as cloud computing and mobile services.

Mr Pichette also dismissed the plan that Facebook, which recently introduced a messaging service that has been hyped as a 'gmail killer', was becoming his organisation's main rival.

Continuing, he stated the key principle of Google was "understanding the internet is changing the world" and making money was not the company's only aim.

He added the search engine aimed to be at the heart of a "dramatically expanding" digital economy where innovation was vital.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Apple to launch online marketing services in December

Apple has announced its iAd mobile marketing method will become available to European businesses from December.

The company said the system will allow advertisers to "reach millions of iPhone and iPod touch users right in their favourite apps" and offer developers a fresh source of income.

Several main advertisers in the country have signed up for the service since it was introduced to the US in July and the feature is expected to account for 21 per cent of the nation's mobile display marketing revenue.

Major European brands that have agreed to use the system include Renault, Louis Vuitton and L'Oreal.

Marc Menesguen, head of strategic marketing at the beauty product maker, stated iAd would offer online marketing services providers an "unparalleled opportunity to reach and serve the most engaged and discerning customers".

The content will be available to users with products running Apple's iOS platform, which according to a current report by Gartner was responsible for 16.7 per cent of the smartphone market in the third quarter of 2010.

News brought to you by ClickThrough – experts in Search Engine Marketing & Internet Marketing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

US online marketing services worth $6.4bn in last quarter

Online marketing companies in the US saw revenues of $6.4 billion (£4 billion) in the third quarter of 2010, according to a new report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The figure was the highest quarterly result ever and showed a 17 per cent increase from the same period a year ago, the organisation stated.

David Silverman, a partner at PwC, noted the statistics demonstrated an "accelerating shift in consumer behaviour towards the internet and away from traditional media".

President and chief executive officer of IAB Randall Rothenberg said companies are using internet marketing services to engage with their customers and the sector is a key contributor to the growth of the economy.

The group's current half-yearly report revealed search was the main focus of online advertising, responsible for 47 per cent of revenue, more than double the 23 per cent that was provided by display banners, the next biggest sector.

News brought to you by ClickThrough – a best practice Internet Marketing Agency.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

RVT.com Adds iPad, Facebook and Google DFP Functionality for More Powerful Online Marketing Presence

RVT.com, the leading Internet classified ad site for fresh and used RVs for sale, travel and 5th wheel trailers, motor homes and campers, has launched three new online marketing initiatives, including an iPad RV shopper magazine, a Facebook Marketplace presence and a new partnership with Google DFP (Dart for Publishers) for targeted RV ad placement by geography, category or keyword.

The new RVT.com Buy & Sell Magazine for iPad, the first of its kind, is a dynamic tablet-formatted digital magazine that allows RV shoppers to browse or search RVT.com's entire inventory of over 40,000 new and used RVs for sale from more than 430 RV dealers and thousands of private sellers.

"This dynamic magazine-style version of RVT.com puts our inventory in the hands of thousands of RVers with an interface that allows the RV Shopper to quickly and easily 'flip' through RVs for sale in his/her region," said Shawn Friesen, RVT.com marketing director. "It is the most enjoyable and convenient way to shop for RVs online, and will generate more quality leads for our RV dealer, industry and individual advertisers." The new app will be available for download from iTunes later this month.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Online marketing helps Burberry achieve 18% revenue increase

Through an “ambitious” digital campaign across several platforms, fashion house Burberry has achieved an 18% increase in their revenue for the first half of the year with digital sales rising by 50 percent.

Burberry’s investment in the wide-spread campaign has paid off, providing a rise in its gross business edge, which standards at 64.3 percent, with pre-tax profit rising to £117.7 million a 49 percent rise.

Using digital and content marketing technique, including the launch of a popular Facebook page, and the live transmission of their September runway show on the internet, Burberry has “expanded aggressively into social marketing”, reports Brand Republic. Over 650,000 Burberry devotees tuned in to watch the show, part of the three million Facebook ‘fans’.

The show was also shown to audiences across 25 flagship stores, through Burberry’s new “retail theatre” technology. Additionally, a new Burberry iPhone application allows users to make instant purchase, and a “global digital commerce platform” is currently undergoing tests, with a release due in the new few months.

The launch of a mini-website - focusing on the classic red, camel and black trench coats - has also improved Burberry’s brand reach. Sales of non-clothing products, such as accessories and bags have also seen a 26 percent growth.

Chief Executive of the brand, Angela Ahrendts is confident that the Burberry brand strategy and marketing campaign has been the key driver in their pre-tax profits: “the continued focus on the brand, ongoing investment in infrastructure…and a disciplined approach to driving growth, underpin our confidence in delivering long-term sustainable returns.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Getting the most from your online marketing budget

SEO or search engine optimization has become the heart and soul of the Internet marketing industry and many Canadian MSPs and VARs are looking at Search Optimization as part of their overall online marketing strategy.

Each and every reseller or service supplier wants to be on the top of search engine results page (SERP). This has created a need for search engine optimizers who alter and optimize the Web sites in such a manner that they become search engine friendly and bring in traffic and revenue to the organizations.

Like any competitive field of business, SEO hasn’t escaped from the hands of crooks and ne’er-do-wells who make tall claims on search engine optimization. It is main for you to detect such frauds before you assign them an optimization job. Here are a few tips which will help you in sorting a fraud SEO service provider from a real one:

Guaranteed Ranking: The only people who can guarantee you a ranking are search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing but the fact is none of them do SEO! Not even the top ten optimizers in the world in the world can guarantee you a ranking so never fall for such tall claims.

Quick results: Good SEO is a time-consuming process. It takes time to organically rank a Web site high. It takes at least a month to effectively reflect growth after optimization. So stay away from catchy claims like ‘First page ranking in 15 days’. ‘Guaranteed results in 7 days.’

Too-Good-To-Be-True Rates: ‘Quality never comes cheap.’ If you choose the wrong SEO service provider, it can be an exercise in futility costing you time and money. The Internet is a great tool to search for market-standard rates. Do not go to optimizers who quote unbelievably low rates.

Black Hat Techniques: There are lot of unethical techniques for getting your Web site higher ranking on the Web. The down side of this is such practices might invite permanent penalty from the search engines and prove detrimental for your Web site. Make sure your optimizer doesn’t use black hat techniques for optimization.

Secret and Proprietary: As the owner of the Web site, you are entitled to know what are the exact optimization techniques that your Web site is going through. In case any service provider denies you the information citing secrecy and proprietary information, it is advisable to stay away from them.

Technical Brainstorming: If your SEO service provider is bombarding you with technological terms and high end techniques it is most likely that he/she is poor with the application of what business is looking for. Good optimizers seldom talk in technical language with their clients and fake optimizers might want to hide their lack of knowledge with such terminology. The old ‘dazzle them with BS’ truism comes to mind.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Successful internet marketing

I have another interesting topic to discuss with you from our Internet marketing toolbox. Today's subject is "Online Directories."

I admit that I am not as excited about online directories as I am about other online marketing tools. Seems there must be about 2,000 directories out there on the Internet right now, and it grows every day. I freshly heard one of my teachers state that 30 percent of the Internet is new all the time.

Now that is a simple statement to glance over without thinking about its importance. If 30 percent of the Internet is new all the time, that means any month you work online, another third has been added to the Internet.

Right now, it is estimated that there are about 15-20 billion websites on the World Wide Web. That's impressive, but it is nothing compared to the 30-35 billion that will exist next year.

Just the sheer numbers are staggering. With this kind of volume, how is a business owner going to compete? Fortunately, we have all the tools we need to do that.

One of these tools is Online Directories. While most people consider a directory just a good place to look for things, it is far more than that to the savvy online marketer.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Super Bowl Ads and the Evolution of Online Marketing

Do you remember Pets.com? Back in 2000, the internet company made a big splash with a clever Super Bowl ad that had pet owners rushing to the site to purchase dog food. Actually, not the second part. Like a lot of companies during the dot.com boom, the Super Bowl ad was the first and final hurrah for Pets.com.

While you won’t see the return of the dot.com dandies this Super Bowl, Advertising Age is predicting a big run on ads that are digitally and socially enhanced. Go study the article. I’ll wait.

Back? Great. Pete Blackshaw makes a reference to a POEM framework: paid media, owned media and earned media. It’s his contention, and I totally agree, that the successful brands will find a way to balance the golden POEM triangle in order to get the very most out of each ad dollar.

Let’s look at the Super Bowl. The ads have become as important as the game. They’re the only reason I watch. But in the past, even the most ingenious ads had a small shelf life. Today, that doesn’t have to be the case. That clever ad can now rest on a company’s home page or Facebook page. People can leave comments on it and share it with friends. Before the game is even over, viewers will likely be Tweeting about their favorite ads and if you’ve done your job right, they’ll mention the brand. Remember herding cats? Do you remember the company behind the ad? No one does.

With the suitable mix of TV, social and digital marketing, a single Super Bowl ad can live on through the Stanley Cup finals and beyond. As Blackshaw says, “Google never forgets.” Just like I was reminded of Pets.com and EDS (the herding cats people) when I looked up the history of Super Bowl ads. Once it’s out there on the net, it’s there to stay.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Top 4 Free Online Marketing Tools for Holiday Success

1. Update your website with holiday specific products and services.

You have made the effort to customize your product offerings for the holiday period, but have you added them to your website? As simple as it sounds, make sure you have added holiday product and service information to online spaces, including websites, social media pages and business directory profiles. This step is often overlooked but is incredibly valuable to making sites appear more frequently in searches for seasonal gifts and services.

2. Add seasonally relevant keywords to website content.

At this time of year, consumers are web searching for particular gifts and products. Modifying or adding seasonal keywords to content listings increases the chance that online shoppers looking for something specific will find you.

3. Update online listings EARLY.

It may appear like the holidays are still weeks away, but NOW is the best time to make these online updates. Making changes by early November allows sufficient time for search engines to index and rank new content. Updating information well in advance of the holiday season will help ensure products and services are more easily found throughout the busy shopping season.

4. Take advantage of FREE, online business directories.

Your website is your online home, but why not keep your business on the competitive edge by listing it on an online directory, especially if the listing is free? Online directories offer smart marketing tools that help businesses distinguish themselves – including search engine optimization, customized tagging and categorization. You have the opportunity to include your business’ information, images of products and services, maps, and other relevant information to connect to local customers.

Whether your website’s function is to allow clients to complete online transactions or to entice customers to visit your store, an increase in online traffic drives business. Making seasonal updates, adding relevant keywords and taking part in online directories are easy and effective ways to boost online traffic, and make the most of the busy holiday shopping season.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SEO Expert Waseem Saddique Helps Boost Online Marketing

Weseem Saddique is offering his marketing expertise to help online businesses succeed through Search Engine Optimisation.

Search engine optimisation, often referred to as SEO, is an online marketing technique where keywords are optimised in the copy of a website so that it ranks highly in a search engine.

When launching your own online business there are many important factors to take into consideration, but SEO does not always seem to appear to be one of them, Mr Saddique understands that a successful SEO campaign can make a huge difference to your chances of success.

Marketing Guru, Waseem Saddique can make any business shine through SEO. "Search Engine Optimisation is important because it can help your website communicate with your target audience".

Waseem uses different SEO techniques to give a website exposure and gain attention for your business by directing relevant traffic to your website and gain trust.

A website is the most powerful sales technique but if it doesn't rank highly in search engines, it won't get anywhere. Waseem's extensive knowledge of Search Engine Optimisation and Pay Per Click management systems, allow him to take total control of a company's online marketing campaign to ensure that their website has high visibility on search engines and attract more qualified visitors.

"I can take control and produce powerful marketing campaigns to accelerate traffic to a website. SEO is a major investment for any online business, it produces results that last". If SEO isn't considered at the development stage then major changes will need to be made to the copy, however if your website is developed with SEO in mind, they will be optimised effectively, preventing the need for major changes in the future.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Balancing SEO with online marketing content

Online retailers require to balance marketing elements with proper search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.

This pertains to online consumer behavior. Browsers generally click the top ranking sites for their desired queries. Once they’ve been redirected to the link, they get little time to read the text. In fact, when they see lengthy text blocks, their first instinct is to hit back.

This is where the balance comes in handy. Good SEO will get you to the top of the rankings. But, if the site relied on huge blocks of text to get there, then it probably won’t convert into a sale.

The key here is to be more visual than textual. Craft a page design that’s appealing to the eye with minimal—but compelling—amounts of ad copy.

Of course, none of this is full-proof. You have to study your goal market’s behavior to develop the best internet marketing strategy for your business. Try it out!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Online marketing CEO sells for loss

Online brand marketing company CEO Christian Lassonde and his wife, Jennifer, sold a four-bedroom, 3.5-bath home in Tiburon to Jeffrey W. Messina and Cynthia Messina for $4.4 million on Sept. 3.

The Lassondes bought the home for $4.8 million in March 2008.

The 4,335-square-foot brick home was built in 1997 and combines Colonial and Georgian styles.

It comes with hardwood flooring, a recently renovated kitchen with Italian granite countertops and a master bedroom with a fireplace. The home also features views of Mount Tamalpais and the bay.

Christian Lassonde is the president and CEO of Millions of Us, a Sausalito company that markets brands through virtual worlds, multiplayer online games and social media.

He's previously worked as a program manager at Linden Lab, as well as a network programmer at LucasArts.

Jennifer Lassonde is the director of human resources at Millions of Us.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Small, Midsized Businesses to Increase Online Marketing Budgets in 2011

Marketing budgets are set to rise, according to a current survey of more than 750 small to midsized business (SMB) respondents. Key factors prompting marketing budget growth in 2011 are increased expectation of the position and impact of social media and the realized return on investment in e-mail marketing efforts.

The survey, fielded by Zoomerang, a leading online survey and polling tool, and GrowBiz Media, a SMB content provider and consultant, offers an understanding of how companies with fewer than 1,000 employees preparation to allocate 2011 budgets.

Heading into 2011, most SMBs plan to raise their marketing spend in both online and print mediums, with online activities receiving the largest increases. Among the marketing initiatives expected to increase the most are e-mail, website and social media marketing.

"It is remarkable to see the fresh ways that small and midsized businesses are adapting different technologies to make the most effective and creative use of their budgets," said Alex Terry, General Manager of Zoomerang. "More small to midsized companies are incorporating social media practices into their business improvement strategies. As a result, this area of marketing is poised to see an incredible uptick in the next year."

Among the more than 750 businesses surveyed, 34 percent indicated that they presently use social media in their marketing efforts. Of those using social media, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter were the most common channels chosen, used by 80 percent, 37 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

"Once again small and midsized business owners have shown their willingness to embrace new thoughts and marketing methods," said Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media. "It's also encouraging that these business owners are planning to increase their 2011 marketing budgets, which will hopefully lead to an overall economic boost in the country."

For more detail on the survey and its results, visit www.zoomerang.com/smb-marketing-practices-survey-2010 to view the report in its entirety.

About Zoomerang

Zoomerang was introduced by MarketTools in 1999 as the world's initial Web-based survey tool. Zoomerang surveys and polls are fast, easy-to-use and powerful. Millions of individuals and thousands of businesses, non-profits and educational institutions trust Zoomerang to help them make more informed decisions with least cost and effort. Zoomerang provides customizable survey templates for the most common questions including customer satisfaction, meeting feedback, product feedback, event planning, online voting and hundreds more. Zoomerang customers can take advantage of Zoomerang Sample, a panel of more than 2.5 million consumers ready to take surveys, and professional services including expert survey design and survey programming. For more information, visit www.zoomerang.com.

About GrowBiz Media

Content and consulting company GrowBiz Media helps marketers, media companies, government agencies and other organizations effectively reach the small and midsized business audience. Rieva Lesonsky, founder and CEO of GrowBiz Media, was formerly the editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine and has been part of the world of entrepreneurs for nearly 30 years. GrowBiz Media's blog, www.SmallBizDaily.com, provides resources, inspiration and information to help entrepreneurs begin and grow their companies. For more information, visit www.growbizmedia.com.