‘Marketing’ Category

A Clever Viral Marketing Technique: “Fresh Balls”

January 4th, 2010

How would you like people to email your website link to everybody they know — for your site to go viral, as they say.

Think about it: Why do people forward links, pictures, videos, to their friends? How can you create a website or a marketing campaign that would lead people to hit the forward button? Jokes and sex are obvious examples. Check out the internet store link below. This link, with a clever video, has been popping up in inboxes:

http://freshballs.com/

Now, keep in mind: this is only one part of a campaign. You got them to your site. Then you have to convert them and convince then to buy. Does this sales pitch do it? It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s well produced, but will they buy it? We’re just asking. One downside to using humor, is that people don’t take your product seriously; you may not develop the trust necessary. Ultimately, there has to be a market for your product and those consumers have to be convinced — and trust — that your product is what they need (beer seems to be an exception). It’s one thing to get viral buzz; it’s another to convert.

A quick check of Alexa reports that “time on site (in minutes) peaked on Dec 21 at about four minutes. That doesn’t give much time to go through a shopping cart. Now “time on site” is down to two and a half minutes, which is roughly the length of the video.

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Did You Know??? 4.0 (VIDEO)

November 28th, 2009

If you haven’t seen the “Did You Know” videos by now, you should definitely check them out — here is the one Sony did for their annual of meeting of executives in Rome. It currently has 2.5 million views on youtube. A new version is now online, this one by The Economist magazine. It is, perhaps, not as dramatic as the Sony one, but a few statistics certainly pop out. For example, more content has been uploaded on youtube in the past TWO MONTHS than if ABC, CBS, and NBC had been airing new content since 1948! We had to watch it twice to make sure we got it right. What this all tells us of course, is how radically different our world is, and how the WWW has simply revolutionized how businesses are built and millions are made.

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Black Friday Counter-Intelligence

November 26th, 2009

Here’s a handy list of what retailers are doing this year. This would be good to put into your intelligence file, for your own internet store. Here’s a summary of the top five: (details at Iteya)

1. Amazon: Free Super Saving Shipping on $25+ orders

2. eBay: Up to 90% off retail for some items

3. Fingerhut: Low monthly payments and six special offers

4. Walmart: Big markdowns on certain products

5. Kmart: $5 off $50 purchase with code KMART5OFF50

Happy Thanksgiving

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Some Facts About Cyber Monday

November 22nd, 2009

Cyber Monday is, of course, the online shopping version or followup to Black Friday. Is Cyber Monday the busiest online shopping day of the year? No. According to Snopes, the busiest day for internet sales occurs around mid-December. Cyber Monday, meanwhile, has only been about the 12th busiest online shopping day. Cyber Monday is a relatively new invention, having been dreamed up as a promotional event by Shop.org in 2005.

It pays to be aware of how consumer shopping habits are evolving around Black Friday. There is now a “2-Day” sale that runs from Friday to Saturday. There are also “Pre-Black Friday” sales that run the four days leading up to Thanksgiving, often advertised in Sunday circulars. So there are many variations, and you can certainly come up with something that might work for your internet store. Here’s another fact to keep in mind, as reported by Snopes: consumers are going online Thanksgiving Day, to plot their strategy for the big day. Mass merchants incorporate their online operations into BF. Cyber Monday is now a secondary priority for the onlines ops of these retailers. They will still take advantage of the Cyber Monday opportunity — but BF and 2-Day are more important to them.

Should you do a Cyber Monday or Black Friday promotion for your site? It’s not an automatic yes but the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is when retailers make most of their money. And don’t think you’re too late. While, the big brick and mortars plan for BF a year or more  in advance, we’ve heard from one source that at least one big retailer went into the weekend still making their online plans — ah, the power of digital.

If you want to see what’s going on, check out www.cybermonday.com. The site is run by shop.org, a community of over 700 digital retailers.

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Warning: Bad Shipping Deal Can Kill Your Internet Store

November 20th, 2009

Here is a scary statistic as reported by USA Today: “More than 40% of people who abandoned their online shopping carts said they did so because of high shipping costs, according to a recent survey by the online payment company PayPal.” In other words, nearly half of all your customers — that you work to bring to your site, that you work to get a sale from — will dump you on the sole reason of the shipping charge. And that percentage is undoubtedly going to grow:

Increasingly — especially during the holiday period — consumers want free shipping, no strings attached. “While 25% of retailers offered no-strings free-shipping deals during the holidays five years ago, 57% say they’ll do so at some time this holiday season.”

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Black Friday/Cyber Monday: “10 Last-Minute Tips” for Internet Retailers

November 20th, 2009

Channel Adviser is offering “10 Last-Minute Tips”  for internet retailers, who want to maximize sales during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. For your contact info, you get to download a PDF with the tips.  Here’s one of the tips:

“Prominently display holiday shipping deadlines
It’s vital to eliminate every possible reason for a shopper to abandon your site and purchase from somewhere else, so have your
holiday shipping cutoff dates as easy to find as possible on every single page of your store. Label it clearly: “Guaranteed Christmas
Delivery,” “Holiday Shipping Cutoff” and “Gifts on Time” are better than “Holiday Info.” Keep in mind that you are serving a variety of
customers who may celebrate different holidays, so make sure to weave this into your policies and messaging.”

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Huff Post’s “Megan Fox Wears Panties; Lifts Foot Above Head (PHOTOS)”

November 19th, 2009

You gotta admire Huff Post for the eye-catching headlines, like this one.  The Huffington Post, a liberal blog and news site, was launched in 2005 and now has 22 million unique visitors a month and is the most linked-to blog on the internet. While Megan Fox, her panties, and photos of both are not the typical content of Huff Post, this is an example of how a blog can build its breadth and expand its audience (yes we’re serious and having serious fun writing this). Never underestimate the power of an eye-catching headline in your blog or other site — especially when it gets linked like this :)

Image: Megan Fox Wears Panties, Lifts Foot Above Head (PHOTOS)

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How to Become a Rock Star in These (Internet) Times

April 22nd, 2009

In the old days, a musician’s dream was to get signed by a major music label, which was the path to the “topper most of the popper most,” as Johnny and the boys might say. U2 has (or is it have) a new album; they, as the industry wags have been discussing, might be the last of a great rock bands — or at least the last of the successful big label bands. Ultimately that remains to been seen. But it is true these days that the A&R man — the label guy who could bless you with a chance — is no longer the single gateway. Part of the story is how technology has turned a hits business into a niche business. But a more specific example is this: At the end of his book, Click (reviewed here), Bill Tancer told the story of the Arctic Monkeys:

In 2003, The Arctic Monkeys, a “post punk revival” band in England started handing out demo CDs at their shows. They “unwittingly created a new music distribution system.” Fans started file-swapping the music online. The distribution exploded on MySpace and other sites, where “super-connectors” like Tila Tequila passed the song around and around. Tancer also charts the band, Fall Out Boy, as he saw their internet activity precede their climb to the top of the charts in February 2007.

This isn’t just a fundamental change in the music industry; it’s happening just about everythere, from publishing to e-commerce of all kinds of product and services. The corporate middle-man is obsolete. Of course, we expect that such folks will throw obstacles in the way whenever they can. (It wasn’t that long ago when a few of the telecom giants were trying to get legislation defining different grades of internet traffic. Remember that? Commercial traffic was  to have priority over non-commercial/private traffic, or some crap like that). Anyway, we still have our free internet, and all the opportunities it brings.

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Zappos.com: $1 Billion in Sales

April 18th, 2009

This week The Economist magazine has an interesting article on Zappos.com, the online shoe store that is branching out into other products. Computer Science graduate Tony Hsieh started the company in 1999 and last year it rang up sales of $1 billion. Zappos is distinctly different from many online stores in that it is decidedly not so automatic (as opposed to the Amazon model). Hsieh once described Zappos as a “A service company that just happens to sell shoes.” Job interviewees are asked who their favorite superhero is. New employees are given an option to quit for $2,000. All this to weed out those who are not committed to the wow-service culture of Zappos.

Again, this is an example about finding the edge and the niche. While most internet wags harp about the greatness of automation and working as least as possible (Rich Dog Millionaire is guilty as charged here), other guys are going out and making a billion dollars by essentially doing the opposite. Hsieh is building a brand that he can expand into other areas, not unlike Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

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Social Marketing: “The Domino Effect”

April 16th, 2009

If you haven’t heard already, Dominos Pizza had a little problem recently. A couple of idiot employees videotaped themselves making a pizza in, shall we say, a not so sanitary way. They posted the clip on youtube (which has since been removed). The story hit the viral speedway; soon five of the top 12 Google search results for Domino’s referred to the incident. A public relations nightmare. Suddenly, long-time customers were starting to question buying pizzas there.

Old-school companies are having to redefine how they communicate. Social — or viral – marketing is, well, spreading, and becoming perhaps the dominate or most powerful marketing force out there. As we suggested in our Easter post, a viral campaign should be a part of your long-term plans; and you should realize it’s not a one-way street.

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