Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Targeted online advertising, a thing of the future for some, soon to be the past?

I'm too cheap to buy a subscription to Women's Wear Daily which is upsetting since I'd love to read more on their article titled "Fashion Brands Rush to Web but Not to Advertise." I'd love to know the reason as to why they are choosing to update websites and engage in social media, but not advertise. 

What made me so interested in why they are not jumping on the opportunities for online advertising is reading more updates on the future of online advertising. While online ad spending is increasing (see graph from article), the business of targeted ads has a bleak future. Don't get me wrong... I stand by my targeted campaigns as through mine I've maintained above average click-through rates (CTR), according to results by Eyeblaster's Research Global Benchmark 2010. Alas, the days of targeted ads and the ability to analyze your online advertising media's demographics and traffic through sites like Quantcast may be few and far between as PRIVACY keeps getting called into question. 

A group of industry leaders are pushing to set standards on companies that track user's online habits and behaviors so that the issue is contained without government regulations. The initiative was started last summer with Seven Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. With the goal of the principles to make consumers aware, educate and eventually offer privacy options, I don't see how much progress has been made when as an advertiser--someone with a real investment in this--I'm hardly hearing much on this. Of course as an advertiser I don't want to lose targeting, but as a consumer privacy is important. Regardless of the consumer-advertiser dichotomy, not much has been said or implemented to either party. So, I can only guess the FTC is breathing down the necks of these ad targeting companies and regulation changes are imminent... 

So now I come back to the main question... fashion brands why NOT take advantage of  this successful marketing tool before it is changed (much more so than with advents of technologies)? If that WWD article has the answer to this, please, do share! 

Other sources:

US Online Advertising Spending as a Percent of Total Media Advertising Spending, 2008-2014

To Stem Privacy Abuses, Industry Groups Will Track Web Trackers

Monday, June 14, 2010

Forgo the craze and get creative

I'm incredibly interested in the new trends in digital marketing and advertising; yet, this article below got me thinking about the benefit of sticking to traditional media. In an older post, I had mentioned how Olay and Proactiv really thought about what traditional advertising meant for them and how to break out from it. Now I've got to thinking this... as everyone else is breaking out of traditional media in the terms of traditional vs new/digital media maybe it is the time to stand out in the old arena! 

Thinking back to my radio sales days, I started out helping to sell spots and then turned into handling only new media ads... and boy were there a lot of different ones and a lot more the station group was hoping to offer. So the media is changing to focus on digital advertising as the thought is that advertisers want to move into that. Wouldn't that mean those old spots aren't getting as much attention and would be selling for less and to less people? Increase your reach and your frequency! 

So with that money you are saving on your spot, you can put in some dough to developing really interesting campaigns. But better yet, if you are focusing on traditional media and don't spend all that time @replying to every customer whom tweets about your product/service then you have the time to build some amazing creative.  

Another way to break through the clutter... don't jump on the bandwagon of clutter! In saying all that, I'd still recommend focusing some time and money in digital as having a true marketing mix to cover all different channels really helps your reach!

Dwindling Brand Creativity Narrows Cannes Film Predictions

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Generation-spanning branding is no new thing

After having posted my last blog about the glaring differences in buying attitudes and practices from generation to generation, I found the below headline quite catching. The author suggests that with brands like Starbucks, Pinkberry, Ugg and Twilight we are entering a “new reality” in advertising and brand building.

One commenter suggested that most of the aforementioned brands really just denote social power which everyone tries to buy into regardless of age. Yes, some people buy into Starbucks for the assumed status it gives them over their 99-cent-convenience-store-coffee-drinker counterparts. I believe Starbucks really has a more alternative brand built around the music and art and environmental projects it supports, but those associations bring a sort of high-class cultured status to Starbucks image. I don’t believe it was Starbuck’s intent to market to everyone, but in marketing to what most everyone believes is status quo they have done so.

On another note, I’d like to argue that this is not at all a new reality. I’m pretty sure Hasbro played out the family game night campaign long before the advent of video games.  Since parents must support the brands their children buy into, toys and activities have always reached parents and kids alike.  After all, a child can say I want, I want, I want but it is up to the parents to literally buy into the brand. Take for instance, Disney. Who doesn’t want to go to the happiest place on earth? As much as kids love the characters and storylines, adults do too. For more than 20 years we’ve been hearing our favorite superstars tell us that what’s next for them is going to Disney!

Disney, Starbucks and the like haven’t had it easy. I have to agree it does take a great understanding of what your brand is and making it clear to your consumers in order to reach everyone. However, it is entirely important to note how building a status around your brand helps in reaching any generation. Also, new media or innovative advertising and branding hasn’t made this possible; we have established brands that appeal to the masses and have been for years.  If brands didn't appeal to multiple generations the reality would be that your target generation would take your brand to their grave... yikes.

What Generation Gap?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Media Buying BEWARE!

Having helped to create sales pitches for radio advertising, I'm quite familiar with the "key demographic." That demographic being women age 25-44--the person with the most buying power in families. We've all heard the recession buzz phrases about spend-savvy consumers, recessionistas and the new normal. As consumers, we may have developed these spending personas, but as advertisers we have to be even more aware of this change. The new demographic to be targeting isn't that 25-44 demographic anymore. It is GenY whom haven't felt much of the change from the recession and will continue spending as normal. They will buy into the new technologies that will arise from the recovery while older generations will more likely keep to the spending habits they formed when money was tight (which includes holding on to older technologies until necessary to upgrade). You will find media readjusting those sales pitches I had worked on in the past and see advertisers finding ways to reach the young, tech-friendly generation. My suggestion: focus on online advertising. My online campaigns have had tremendous success, and I think it will only continue growing. In an industry that doesn't relate to this demographic? Continue with the couponing, sales promos, etc until people forgo these habits, which I believe will happen as soon as unemployment numbers dwindle again.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thinking outside the box in advertising...

Not to be too cliche (as my title would make you believe otherwise), I think when trying to make your brand stand out among others you must really decide what is the "box" in which you associate yourself. Proactiv and Olay both found great ways to step outside their conventional advertising. Even though they are both skincare brands, their traditional forms of advertising were very different--Proactiv with a buy-now infomercial approach and Olay with the common consumer product ads. Both companies are getting a lot of hype having flipped their approach. Olay is now using infomercials that discusses more about the science of the product, and Proactiv has developed a campaign around catchy phrases about "being Proactiv" placed in usual ad space in top-selling magazines rather than the back with all that crap. I found this particularly interesting because being in shopping center marketing it seems that print is the usual channel for shopping center ads, but I've focused mine on online and radio. We are seeing some great response to both of these more unconventional forms of advertising for our industry!

Trying to Move Up From a Fast-Talking, Buy-Now Approach

Olay Infomercial Hoping to Boost Trials

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How chancy are you with your marketing medium?

I believe in being on the second cut of the cutting edge to allow for new technologies to work out bugs before investing in them. Chatroulette is one of those very popular new innovations that could use some... eh... debugging so to say. However, Travelocity has a great example of using a medium that for many advertisers was too dangerous to consider. How clever! See the link below for a story on Travelocity's success with Chatroulette. 

Small Businesses Should Take Risks on the Web from

So why are we here?

I was incredibly disappointed when I discovered that all of my 'status updates' on LinkedIn had disappeared! I had been acquiring a great set of retail and online marketing and advertising information with snippets of my opinion on them. I suppose now I must include a little more than a snippet and put them out here... permanently. Please forgive the multiple postings this evening as I am just copying over what I can remember and what remains from LinkedIn. From here on out though, I'll try to post something I find interesting in the world of advertising, and with luck, you will find it interesting too!