A new advertising philosophy

As the noted philosopher Wayne Gretzky observed, "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."

In the wake of the recent YouTube presidential debate, it’s worth remembering that many of the candidates chose a podcast as their method of delivery when they announced their candidacies. This speaks to the power of online video to transform the way we all communicate. EMarketer predicts that from 2006-2010, the number of online video viewers will grow 50% to 157 million consumers. That is a big number, no matter how you slice it. The advertising opportunities will grow along with that number, with an 89% growth predicted for 2007 alone.

Online video is the fastest growing way for marketers to connect with consumers, but context and environment matters.

How much of your ad budget have you allocated?

From the advertising trees to the marketing forest

Regular readers of this blog might find this redundant, but I came across a brilliant blog post today and I wanted to help extend its reach a bit, as well as add my two cents.

As social media continues to become less of a curiosity and establishes its foothold alongside other more traditional and, perhaps, better understood forms of marketing, there will be a fundamental shift in thinking that must take place in order to exploit these media to maximum benefit. Alan Schulman writes a beautifully reasoned post here which I urge anyone who is trying to sell ANYTHING to read.

A couple of points he makes really stood out to me:

1- "What matters now, more than ever, is [marketers’] ability to establish and advance relationships– relationships they can build and grow." (Italics mine.)

It really does not matter if you’re selling  cars, plumbing services, music, apples or Apples. Just rolling out an advertising campaign ain’t gonna get the job done anymore.

2- "To truly affect a brand’s business, you have to get out of the Advertising trees and into the Marketing forest, where the important stuff of establishing relationships, supplying insights that result in innovative products, generating cultural currency and generating real sales reside: the Business of Marketing. Today that’s what we’re really in the business of…not what the next television campaign should look like."

We talk about all this here and here.

My guess is that 12 to 24 months from now, all of this will become second nature to the most savvy marketers, and that goes for every marketer, from an automobile manufacturer right down to the musician recording, publishing and selling their music on their own out of their home studio using their laptop.

Hey, advertisers: When does 1 equal 8?

According to new research from Omnicom Group, one engaged viewer is worth eight regular ones.

The research seems to indicate that engagement really does move the sales needle. Not only does consumer engagement with media and advertising drive sales, but it can also drive sales more than media spending levels. Translation: even a relatively small media outlay might work wonders as long as the ads capture the imagination of consumers.

Three different financial services brands were tested and consumer engagement with media had three times the impact than sales media weight (GRPs) alone, and consumer engagement with the ads had an eight times larger impact on sales than GRPs.

Engagement with consumers must employ mixed models to really foster and maintain relationships. Brand loyalty is fast becoming a thing of the past.

For more on the study, click here.

More on ROE (Return on Engagement)

As we have previously noted, Return on Engagement is the gold standard of new media metrics. Ad agencies, marketers and media buyers are still trying to get their heads around the measurement tools for blogging and podcasting. It is going to require a fundamental change in the way they have always done business, but as a wise man once said, "If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got." That might be fine for some, but for those of you who are really looking to grow your bottom line and get ahead of the media curve, there are some exciting tools out there to take the guesswork  out of behavioral marketing.

Online behavior will always reveal something of a user’s passion. What you search for, where you browse, what you buy are not isolated behaviors. They form a unique pattern. One of the problems is, data crunchers try and force behavior into a pre-defined category, i.e. if you visit site X then you must belong to behavioral profile Y.

It is now possible, no, CRITICAL to customize segments for each advertiser. In our new era of user generated content or social media, people express their opinions and interests as well as talk about themselves.

There is a company called Lotame that totally gets this. Their flagship product called Crowd Control tracks, targets and pinpoints specific audiences. In essence, it makes sense of the chaos that exists in the social media realm and provides advertisers with important data that reaches the increasingly ephemeral online diaspora.

Lowest common denominator programming and advertising just simply will not get the job done anymore. We are all complex beings with multiple interests. Producers of online content figured this out awhile ago. The ad industry is now getting on board, too.

The New Rules of Marketing and PR

Caught a great podcast recently featuring an interview with author David Meerman Scott. His new book is entitled The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly (whew! Quite a mouthful.)

ANYway, his premise is clear and well-delivered: "You are what you publish." In the old days, if you wanted to get your message out there you had two options: try and convince someone to write about you (and hope for the best), or buy expensive advertising, trade show floor real estate or spend a lot of money in some other way and hope your message sticks.

With the advent of blogging and podcasting, your business can now take control of the conversation and influence people based on your positive content. Think about the people you are trying to reach. Don’t force your corporate message on them. We get enough of that everyday. As we have said before on this blog and in our podcast, it is not about hucksterism. Rather, write about a problem people are having, and then help them solve it. Once you establish that trust, people will stay with you and rely on you as a source.

The rules of marketing are changing for the better. This is allowing MORE people in and is making things LESS exclusionary. Take advantage. The time is now.