Internet Advertising Still Requires Gut-and-Instinct Approach
While many over the years have tried to break down Internet advertising to an exact science, the most effective method is still a combination of luck and guesswork, according to Taddy Hall and Robert Barocci from recently published their book, “The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics from the Advertising Research Foundation” (Wiley 2007, ISBN: 978-0-470-05105-4, $29.95).
There are a number of ways that catalogers and other multichannel merchants can succeed advertising on the Web. The book contains a bunch of them. Below are several excerpted from it.
Create a balance between reaching the right people the right number of times with your ads. Employ concepts and metrics that emerge organically in online advertising while reducing dependence on reach and frequency measures.
Introduce new ads for online, move away from offline. Include a prominent logo, clear ad flow and a format matched to the job it needs to perform.
“Creativity is critical,” the authors write. “Colorful, engaging executions with eye-catching headlines or interactive capabilities will be needed more and more as clutter increases and as brand advertising becomes more interwoven with content.”
Title to Grab
Pair up online search and advertising using offline print and broadcast advertising to drive consumers to their computers to search for your products. Look for an excellent title for your text ads, which in turn helps take consumers to landing pages that are beneficial to them.
Target online shoppers. The book cites Reverse Direct Marketing, which showed that nearly 90 percent of shoppers conduct “some sort” of research before they buy. This shopping activity is a major opportunity for online advertising.
Use e-mail and word-of-mouth to your benefit. Create an ethical permission-based e-mail marketing plan to keep your messages out of spam folders. Integrate e-mail marketing with positive product usage and service experiences.
Measure your success by using several measurement services to track how well your advertising is working. These include audience measurement tactics, ad serving techniques and niche measurement possibilities.
Adjust your way of thinking, the book’s authors recommend, by breaking away from the mold and by incorporating new tactics to improve online advertising in the future. These include permission-based (opt-in) promotions that are centered on engagement and not exposure, as well as consumer empowerment where e-mail and word-of-mouth emanate from consumers. Advertise as service to the consumer.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.