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November 2004 Marketing Archives

Friday, November 05, 2004

Cookie Stuffing Explained

I came across a great research project blowing the whistle on cookie stuffing. Cookie stuffing is a 'trick' affiliates use to increase the amount of commisions they're paid from advertisers. I'm no expert on it but if you read this article you will be.

Cookie Stuffing Explained By Jason Dowdell at 11:53 PM
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Search Study Proves Search Engines Drive Retail Purchases

So yet another study shows evidence of search engines driving online retail purchases.
It's great to know there was a study conducted to prove this, what a wonderful use of resources. Duh!

"In total, 9.3 percent of e-commerce sales came from the search function on shopping sites, compared to 6.6 percent a year earlier. Of those who bought products through on-site search in the third quarter, the average order size per online buyer grew to $126 from $100 in the same period last year. "

"Other e-commerce report data said that shoppers are spending 10 percent less time on commerce sites during their shopping sessions. Third-quarter 2004 data said users spent 4.4 minutes at each site compared to 4.9 minutes a year earlier, and far less time on each page--29 seconds in 2004 versus 43 in 2003. Users are also viewing more pages during each site visit--10.3 pages versus 7.7 year-over-year."

"Of those who initially add something to their carts, 57 percent abandon the carts without making a purchase--up from 53 percent a year ago. However, once shoppers start the checkout process, more are going through with the purchase. Checkout conversion increased to 63 percent in the third quarter--up from 59 percent in same period a year ago."

Anyone have any decent data to share other than this boring stuff?

Search Study Proves Search Engines Drive Retail Purchases By Jason Dowdell at 12:38 PM
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Advertisers Don't Listen to Mothers According to Report

BSM Media founder Maria Bailey recently conducted a study "Marketing to Moms: Getting Your Piece of the Trillion Dollar Market". The study focuses on advertisers missing the mark when targeting mothers. The study finds that over 75% of the 600 participants felt marketers and advertisers aren't acknowldeging their needs as mothers in ads. Why Are Advertisers & Mothers Missing Each Other? I don't think the advertisers are all to blame for this phenomenon. Mothers roles today are probably more unclear than they ever have been. If you compare men to women the problem becomes much more clear. Within the 18 - 34 male demographic you have professionals, fathers who are professionals, single dads, etc... and the same is true within the same demographic for women. However, what percentage of the women in that age demo are stay at home moms? What percentage are single parents that don't work and which percentage are single parents that do work. I think the female demographic is much harder to decipher and that won't change for some time. My own story down this path. I built a maternity directory web site for my wife when she was pregnant with our first child. The purpose was two fold. First I wanted to fully understand parent child relationships when stored in a single sql table and a directory application was perfect for that. Secondly, I wanted to help my wife keep an easy to maintain list of sites she found useful without creating a bookmarks file the size of Florida. Thus, gogomama was born. A few months ago she mentioned to me that she was shocked at some of the sites I had placed on the site. She said "I hate that site, why did you ever put that in there?". Like any man does, I said "I don't know, I guess I thought you liked that site". Obviously I was completely wrong with many of the sites I chose but I was dead on with some of them as well. The funny part is how her preferences and online shopping style/behavior have changed from the first pregnancy to the second. Things she liked before like Baby Gap may still be on her good list but have fallen in favor and have been replaced by sites like Petit Patapon, Tuti Bella, and Childish Clothing. My point is that women are constantly evolving and changing as are mothers today. Unless advertisers and marketers hit women in a specific time frame they're going to continue to miss the mark and not connect with their target. It's like trying to fish for Salmon out of season. The message is fine but the target is nowhere in sight. More on this can be found at Media Post.

Advertisers Don't Listen to Mothers According to Report By Jason Dowdell at 11:22 AM
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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

OffTopic: Giant Waffle Float of John Kerry

I couldn't help but post a pic of the giant John Kerry Waffle float sent my way. Check the site for more pics and a detailed explanation of how it was built, who built it and why.

"The giant John Kerry Wafflehead made its maiden voyage out from its secure, undisclosed location in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday morning, October 27th, in order to attend a Flip Flop and Waffle Breakfast at Capital University, organized by Students for Bush."

Giant John Kerry Waffle Float in Ohio

OffTopic: Giant Waffle Float of John Kerry By Jason Dowdell at 05:44 PM
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B2B Search Engine Marketing Myths Exposed

David Berkowitz of MediaPost did a great job debunking some extremely popular myths regarding b2b companies and their search engine marketing theories. I'm amazed at the mysterious nature of search engine marketing that pervades companies even still. Here are some of his b2b search marketing myths exposed.

B2B Search Engine Marketing Myths
MYTH: "People who see our ad can find our Web site."

REALITY: recently reported the top 10 searched terms for the day included "google," "yahoo," and "ebay." Also high on the list were terms such as "ask jeeves," "," "mapquest," "," "," and a Web site that appeared to be a strange mix of literature and erotica. People search for search engine Web site URLs in search engines.

MYTH: "People don't do searches for big ticket B2B products and services."

REALITY: Let's go to Overture's Keyword Selector Tool. Below are tallies of searches conducted in Overture in September 2004:

*Enterprise asset management - 1,341 *Supply chain management software - 1,692 *Telecommunication infrastructure - 1,052 *Security management - 5,290 *Product life cycle management - 6,294 *Wireless solution - 3,409 *Document management services - 1,644

MYTH: "Search is just for small businesses, and it's taking money away from the Yellow Pages. It's for people who can't afford advertising."

REALITY: Just how many established brands do I need to name here to show how ludicrous that line of thinking is? Such brands should either be insulted for the slap in the face or relieved that some normally fierce competitors are sitting this round out. It's like saying radio is solely for companies that can't afford television ads.

My Thoughts on B2B Search Marketing Today
It's amazing how this "I don't get it" attitude pervades every level of IT and marketing in large companies. It would've been great to be on that b2b marketing panel and to debunk every one of their silly conclusions with data and experience. Especially if it came from someone they'd never heard of, like me.

Search engine marketing is as important to branding and lead generation as any other form of marketing and even more so today than it has been in the past 5 years. I'd say it's analgous to companies that didn't want to go online during the dot com boom only to find they were losing market share and brand recognition because they failed to change with the times. Companies not willing to incorporate search engine marketing into their marketing and web initiatives will find themselves in the same position... Gone!

B2B Search Engine Marketing Myths Exposed By Jason Dowdell at 04:45 PM
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eMarketer Gives Good Data But Fails On A Different eMail Marketing Front: Download Time

I just received an email from eMarketer chocked full of good data. While the email contained some good data it failed on a few general rules about email marketing. Here are the two rules they failed to abide by.

eMail Marketing Dont's

  1. Don't bog down the email with lots of graphics requiring a high speed internet connection. eMarketer's Election Day Special email took forever to load, even on my high speed internet connection. The cause was their server running slow and because the email had a ton of navigational graphics it took quite a while to load and thus I lost interest.

  2. When providing data, don't put it in an image format. Put it in text format so that in the event of a bandwidth issue by your email hosting provider the user is able to immediately parse through the data and you've immediately peaked their interest.

  3. Lastly, don't make your email an exact copy of your website. The email is not meant as a full replica of your web site but rather a snapshot of important data the reader is interested in. Thus, make the format of the email minimalistic so as to not distract the reader from the original intent of the email, which was to tell them something. eMarketer took up over 75% of my preview window in Outlook with a banner ad (advertisement) and their nasty looking graphical navigation. Man that's annoying.

Remember what you were taught in school. K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid!

This is what the email from eMarketer looked like in Microsoft Outlook.  As you can see there is no way to determine the intent of the email in preview mode.

eMarketer Gives Good Data But Fails On A Different eMail Marketing Front: Download Time By Jason Dowdell at 03:12 PM
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Good Email Marketing Tricks & Tactics

Recently I was sent a piece of spam but didn't realize it was spam. Even after I looked at the preview in Outlook I didn't realize I'd been had. Because I get a lot of email with data and statistics in it from reliable marketing resources I figured this was just another piece from a name I hadn't remembered. After I gave the email a second look to see if it was in fact something I had requested did I realize it was spam. Why was I fooled? Read on to see what I learned.

A Good Email Marketing Trick, I Mean Tactic
When possible, start the body of the email with stats.
A good example of a piece of spam I received but gave almost instant credibility to was the email listed below because it had a tabular data section at the top.

Congratulations to all members who took advantage of our few profiles
Take a look at our recent Strong Performers:
June CFTN at 0.40 High 2.62...655% Gain
December HTSC at 0.70 High 2.95...329% Gain
January QLHC at 0.90 High 3.50...389% Gain
January ACUP at 1.50 High 3.85...157% Gain
APRIL/March DMTY at 0.30 High 0.90...300% Gain

The Marketing Truth I learned From This Lesson
-Readers want facts and statistics now more than ever and the more data you give away the more credibility you'll get. See, there is something to be learned from spam, go figure.

Good Email Marketing Tricks & Tactics By Jason Dowdell at 02:11 PM
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I Voted - Blog Your Vote!

Today's an important day for the future of America and I did my duty now you do your's. Get out there and vote!
I Voted

I Voted - Blog Your Vote! By Jason Dowdell at 11:44 AM
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  • Week 1 (8 entries) November 1-6
  • Week 2 (13 entries) November 7-13
  • Week 3 (9 entries) November 14-20
  • Week 4 (1 entries) November 21-27
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