Target Marketing June 2009


Affiliate Renaissance

Online affiliate marketing has evolved into a “love it or hate it” strategy, leaving many marketers torn. How can marketers work to grow affiliate-related revenue, new customers and leads in a world that’s already decided “fewer affiliates are better”? A few bold voices are suggesting a Renaissance in this tried-and-true strategy.

Corralling Ted's Herd for Leads

Challenge: Lead generation aimed at adding to the e-mail database, increasing the Facebook following, testing mobile marketing and driving traffic to the restaurants. Solution: Provide a free burger with contest sign-up; provide dessert incentives for e-mail and mobile sign-up; and give away a Toyota Prius for the best Ted’s Burger love story submitted online via video, image, audio or text document. Results: 6,622 entries, of which 52 percent opted in to the e-mail program. Ted’s Facebook page saw a 40 percent increase in fans during March, bringing the total to 1,996. Plus, 394 customers wanted to receive text messages.

Everyone Loves a Story

According to copywriter Heather Sloan, case studies are often more effective than brochures and traditional sales collateral. Why is this the case?

Hidden Profits

Properly executed direct mail audits uncover new profit-making opportunities by increasing response rates and cutting costs. The term “audit” carries negative undertones, because the IRS and other enforcement agencies use audits to reveal fraud or abuse that carries fines and other penalties.

Is That You, John Mackey?

Two summers ago, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey was exposed for using a pseudonym to post negative comments about rival organic grocer Wild Oats on Yahoo Finance. At the same time, he was gushing about both his business leadership skills and his company’s value. What some chalked up to a bizarre display of self-aggrandizement, others pegged as unethical and possibly illegal behavior given that Whole Foods went on to purchase Wild Oats. The most important of those “others” is the Federal Trade Commission, which now is reviewing its advertising guidelines that relate to endorsements and testimonials.

Look Before You Leap

When then presidential candidate Barack Obama used text messaging to announce his selection of a running mate, the event signaled a coming of age for mobile, particularly short message service (SMS), as a direct marketing channel. That the content of the SMS announcement—Joe Biden of Delaware was Obama’s choice—was trumped by leaks to the traditional media made the method of delivery no less significant. The campaign successfully used a promotion to build an opt-in mobile database of more than 3 million supporters with whom to communicate and motivate for the longer haul.

Moving a Direct Mail Brand Online

As the Internet gained popularity in the ’90s, Publishers Clearing House recognized this new medium was suited for our business model. While making the transition, we were mindful of the steps necessary to maintain PCH’s brand integrity. What follows are five tips we observed when creating the Publishers Clearing House Online Network.

Now That's a Good Question!

As an outsider-insider to my clients, my role is often “questioner-in-chief” (to use a borrowed term from management expert Tom Peters). Recently, I was leading a brandstorming session with a financial services client when one of the employees pulled me aside during a break and said, “I didn’t want to ask this question in front of the group because I was afraid it would seem silly …” and then proceeded to ask me a very important and profound question pertinent to our strategic planning work.

Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Car dashboards tell drivers if their engines are going to explode. Marketing dashboards do the same for companies—letting direct marketers spot the warning signs in their key performance indicators (KPIs) before disaster strikes.

Renewal Secrets

An old marketing guideline states that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to sell something to an existing customer. Given the current recession and the skittishness of consumers to part with cash, the current acquisition cost ratio may well be 10 times or more.

Search Engine Marketing

In beta as of press time, Mountain View, Calif.-based Google’s upgraded AdWords interface touts itself as faster, due to the decreased number of pages to load; easier to use, because of increased in-page functionality; and more integrated, allowing a user to navigate to any campaign or ad group from any page in an account.

Which Metrics Are Right for You?

“What value do we get for the money we spend on marketing?” is the often dreaded question senior executives and chief financial officers ask their marketing departments. In this economy, improved marketing performance measurement is a top goal.