6. Use e-mail and word of mouth. The communication capabilities of the Internet have made e-mail and word-of-mouth marketing viable possibilities for marketers. Research from eMarketer shows that close to 90 percent of all Internet users age 3 and older—162 million kids, teens and adults—used e-mail at least once a month in 2006, sending messages about their business and personal lives, and yes, even recommending products they like to friends and family. Yes, that’s word-of-mouth marketing at work.
“Both e-mail and word-of-mouth marketing have their challenges,” says Plummer. “With e-mail marketing you’ll need to create an ethical permission-based e-mail marketing plan in order to keep your messages out of spam folders. And as for word-of-mouth marketing, just remember that you can’t control it. Negative word of mouth can often disseminate much faster than positive word of mouth. Therefore, it is critical to integrate e-mail marketing with positive product usage and service experiences.”
7. Measure your success. The original promise of online advertising was that the Internet would allow more accurate measurement, the ability to gauge effectiveness, and the opportunity to optimize performance in real time. While it’s true that digital media are more trackable and accountable than most other forms of advertising, the noise-to-data ratio remains high. There is an overwhelming amount of information that can be collected, and it can be difficult to discern actionable metrics and insights under the avalanche of data. “Thankfully, a broad array of measurement services is available,” says Plummer. “There are audience measurement tactics, ad serving techniques and niche measurement possibilities. Depending on your online advertising goals, budget, and degree of sophistication, you may need to utilize several of these services to get a holistic view of your online marketing.”
8. Look to the future. Research from The Advertising Research Foundation discovered that three new models of advertising are emerging, and they’re different from the mass-media-rooted interrupt-and-repeat model and the search-based targeting model currently in vogue. It’s likely that all three of these new models will override the current model of advertising that is based on interrupting large media audiences with a message as many times as the advertising budget will permit. Let’s take a look at the future of online advertising:
• Model 1: The permission-based (opt-in) model, centered on engagement, not exposure
• Model 2: The model of consumer empowerment where both the time spent with messages and even the generation of word-of-mouth messages emanate from the consumer
• Model 3: A model of advertising as a service to consumers