Monday, October 3, 2011

New Grande Guide to B2B Content Marketing Delivers Insights for Marketers

Content Marketing for B2B is quickly becoming one of the most important and effective methods for reaching buyers.  According to research by Junta 42/ContentMarketing Institute and MarketingProfs, the average company spends up to 26% on its content marketing efforts. A number that is much too large to be ignored.

Curious to know how content marketing is actually defined and what kinds of tactics fall under the content marketing umbrella? Be sure to read the latest Grande Guide titled The Grande Guide to B2B Content Marketing.  Authored by some of the greatest minds in content marketing including The Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pullizzi and Eloqua’s VP of Content Marketing, Joe Chernov, in collaboration with CC Chapman and Ann Handley, co authors of the popular marketing book Content Rules.

The Guide touches on the ever-increasing number of ads that a person is exposed to in any given day (currently estimated at 5,000). And no, I am not kidding! Needless to say buyers (including you and me) have tuned out marketing messages. Businesses today must react by reaching buyers in different, more effective ways.  How can marketers today reach these elusive buyers? If you guessed content marketing you guessed right.

The Guide is full of fundamentals to get you up to speed quickly on the art and science of content marketing including the various kinds of content you can create to market your company, examples and methods of measuring success. To view the guide, click on the link below. 

Have you been successful in using content marketing? If so, please share your tips!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Online Display Ad Spending Rises, Metrics Need to Catch Up

According to data from eMarketer, U.S. online display ad spending is estimated to reach just under $22 billion by 2015. The 2010 spend was $9.91 million so we can see that the projected spend more than doubles in the next five years. If these figures are correct, display advertising will also overtake search spending.

Much of this growth in online advertising is attributable to online video ad spending, which grew 52 percent from 2010-2011 alone.

As advertising spends online continue to rise, digital marketers must get beyond the basic metrics like CTR and really be analyzing engagement metrics such as time-spent on ad views. Also understanding the correlation between social and online display advertising is becoming more important for seeing the full picture of display ad performance.

What metrics do you evaluate for online display advertising?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Branding Gone Bad - Abercrombie Offers to Payoff Jersey Shore Star

Just how far will a company go to preserve its brand integrity? Just ask upscale clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (also affectionately referred to as A&F). Obviously famous people that associate themselves with a specific brand can have an impact on that brand's image and ultimately sales. Still, I have never heard of a clothing company offering to pay someone "not" to wear its brand as is the case with A&F executives offering to pay Jersey Shore star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino.

In a public statement released yesterday, A&F expressed a deep concern over the association with the Jersey Shore star and the A&F brand. They offered up what is described as a substantial payment to the star to wear an alternative brand. Wow! I don't know what to say. Good for them or what were they thinking? Here are my thoughts on the impact of this action by A&F below:

  • First and foremost they have drawn attention to the situation (no pun intended).  I myself am an A&F customer for casual attire and had no idea that someone from Jersey Shore was wearing the brand because I do not watch the show, nor do I care what anyone from the show does let alone wears.
  • A&F may have alienated a large group of their target audience (largely teens and young adults who watch the show on MTV). Whether this is their target demo or not this could likely hurt sales at least in the short-term as show loyalists react to the news. 
  • My guess here is that some other brand like American Eagle will catch wind of this and offer to pay the Jersey shore star or whole cast to wear its line of clothing, realizing the potential lift in sales.
So I am curious to see how this unravels. Of course "The Situation" is now even more famous than he was before, which sortof backfired for A&F I think. Don't they realize that even bad publicity is good for brands - or was this public statement some sort of attempt at that on their part? Makes me wonder. Perhaps this was even a planned event concocted by some fancy New York PR agency. What are your thoughts? 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Justin Timberlake Invests in MySpace Purchase

He brought sexy back but can he bring MySpace back? That's the $35 million dollar question. Specific Media has confirmed Justin Timberlake's involvement in the purchase of the former social media giant.  According to Specific Media, Timberlake will also be involved in the plans for revamping the network.

The new vision for the MySpace network will be announced later this summer in an exclusive press conference.  Until then, Specific Media says that MySpace will become the premiere digital destination for original shows, video content and music.

Timberlake has been involved in other business ventures past and I think buying into MySpace, a social network most closely aligned with music and concerts is a good strategic move for someone as knowledgeable about the music business as he is. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for MySpace.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Most Popular Social Sites for Sharing Content

According to a recent study by social sharing company ShareThis, in which the content sharing habits of some 300 million+ users were studied, it was noted that Facebook largely dominates the sharing space with 56% of all shared content originating with Facebook as compared with Twitter at 8%.

Not surprising because the Twitter universe is so much smaller than Facebook.

Friday, April 1, 2011

New Cheech & Chong Shoe Intersects Brand and Culture for Nike

We all know Nike. It's one of those ubiquitous brands that transcends race, gender, class, age or sport.  From the Michael Jordan basketball ads of yesterday to the simple "Just do it" branding ads aimed at encouraging people to be active, Nike advertising consistently delivers on passion and emotion - connecting imagery and icons with ease.

Just how far will Nike go to connect with its potential customers is evidenced with its new Nike SB Dunk High 420 Cheech & Chong shoe, a skateboarding shoe with a lot of hype around it and rightfully so.  From the name itself to the marijuana-green laces, this is a shoe that is obviously designed to attract some attention. Sources say Nike plans to produce just 1,000 pairs of the Cheech & Chong shoes -  certainly driving the cost demand for such a product through the roof. Some similar niche shoes created by Nike in the past have commanded hundreds of dollars.

I'm interested in your opinion here. Should Nike, a global brand representing athletes in virtually every sport on the planet be promoting a shoe so obviously associated with smoking pot? Personal views aside, isn't this product a little skewed from Nike's inspirational, encouraging "Just do it" tagline? That is unless Just do it also embodies the meaning of Just do drugs. So please share your thoughts: is this a harmless campaign aimed at connecting Nike with pot-smoking skateboarding aficianadios or a campaign that advocates pot-smoking among young adults, who are generally the individuals into skate-boarding?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Starbucks Shows Simplicity Prevails in New Logo

When I first heard that Starbucks was launching a new logo I was surprised. Why would a brand as ubiquitous as Starbucks feel the need to update a logo that has so clearly been part of its success?  Perhaps you had the same thought. Imagine for a moment if you will that Nike had decided to revamp its swoosh? Why mess with something that works?

But then again I suppose all things evolve, logos included.  You'll see in the illustration to the right that the new Starbucks logo is more of a lineart version without the Starbucks Coffee name on it. From a branding standpoint this seems silly to me. When does a company ever want to use just a symbol to market itself versus its name? Sure many Starbucks fans may be able to spot the logo and render what it it - but what about the rest of the population? If they were not aware of or a customer of Starbucks before the new logo how will this convince them?

I completely understand and support the concept of simplicity but personally, I think they should have kept Starbucks Coffee in the logo and just evolved the artwork as they have done in the past. What are your thoughts?