Sunday, February 14, 2010

In Response to Pepsi Comment

For some reason Blogger is not letting me post a comment on my own blog but I want to respond to the very insightful comment that was posted anonymously this morning.

I think that Google and other "online" companies advertising in the Superbowl says advertising in the Superbowl is still one of the best ways to mass advertise. Just that it is up to the individual companies as to whether they are seeking that mass "top-of-mind" awareness that you get during the Superbowl and the week or two after versus a longer term customer relationship strategy like using social media.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pepsi: Refreshes its Advertising Strategy and Goes Social

For years companies (including Pepsi and Coke) have spent millions and millions of dollars advertising their brands during the Superbowl. While many companies including Coke still chose to do that this year, Pepsi was not one of them. Coke spent the money on the bowl while Pepsi made the decision to invest $20 million in its social media efforts. This decision means many things for Pepsi and where advertising is heading today.

First, the decision to not advertise in the Superbowl and to instead commit $20 million to social media says that Pepsi is still after all these years embracing its "cola of the new generation" positioning. While Coke continues to go with the tried and true Pepsi is leading the way in new media - a better place to reach its target audience of hipsters.

Second, this decision proves that the power and value of social media as an advertising strategy is growing as other companies like The Gap have made it a central part of their advertising strategy and the main media for reaching its target audience. I believe we will continue to see more consumer products brands taking this approach although it will not work equally well for just any brand.

Finally, as brands like Pepsi continue to market to the customer through social campaigns and channels, we'll see that those consumers who are not as engaged in the new media will hear about it from their friends and colleagues and quickly find that they are missing out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Social Media ROI

I've heard many people on both the agency side and client side say that it is difficult if not impossible to measure ROI for social media. I've also heard it said that social media only works for consumer marketing. I wanted to take a few moments to put in my two cents.

So let's start with the most fundamental question. Is social media a viable marketing tactic for your business or your client's business? You can qualify this by answering a few questions: What are your goals for social media? Can you have a social media account or do you need to go through legal, corp communications channels first? Is it okay if everyone knows about the updates you'll be sharing? etc.

Now, it is difficult to simply measure buzz and translate that into ROI. You'll need to set targets: mentions in blogs or social networks, inquiries, increased links, search rankings, leads from the social media sites you're using such as Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin, more media placements, etc. The best way to go about measuring ROI is to decide what your goals are and then measure your baseline. Once you have your baseline you can continuously monitor your progress.

You can measure and track some of these goals manually and there are also monitoring tools from companies that you can utilize for tracking the more difficult areas such as mentions.

As for Consumer versus B2B. Both need to be participating in some form of social media. A manufacturing plant that makes machine tools for example may not benefit greatly from having a Facebook presence but if they have a blog, a twitter account and participate in Linkedin and industry portals the benefits would be plenty.

It's really all in the planning. As with traditional advertising you need to have a strategy and track your progress to be successful.