Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Last Blog Posting!

The material within the Global Marketing Class has been eye opening regarding the world of on-line marketing. I do not think I will ever look at a text or display ad the same way again. My eye is drawn to ads with each search I conduct on the internet. Now I think- why is that ad in this position on the page- what factors are the most important in its success? Is that an expensive keyword? Is it generating a lot of clicks or just impressions? I find myself counting the characters in ads since developing ads that fit within the character limit was a challenge.... The course has inspired me to create future blogs for Chatham's PA Program, where I work. It has also given me vast food for thought about what makes for success in any business with an on-line presence. It is not enough to bring the public to your site. They must be individuals who want your product (target audience) be drawn through your web site pages, completing the actions you want them to complete that will lead them towards conversion. I was previously aware that Google provided educational material on the web, but I really had no idea how much they have invested in courses for making Google Analytics (for example) highly accessible for all levels of learning. The videos we watched over the 14 weeks varied in quality; I found the Google Analytics Platform Principals to be highly digestible and very practical in scope. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone looking to increase their working knowledge of Google Analytics. I am looking forward to seeing how the Literary Arts Boom GOMC campaign turns out. We have already learned a great deal from the information generated already. Thank you Dr. Chung for this opportunity to learn about this exciting advertising tool in the real world sandbox!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

BUS 572-4: Targeting Stories for Sales, Maximizing your Position

I love stories; the human element is enthralling & unpredictable. While a story captivates your attention, it also sells. Marketers of course know this & use it all the time. What do you do to revitalize a brand whose hero & namesake is no longer as visible to new generations?  You tell a new story, insert new characters and then find a way to make it self sustaining. The successful campaign launched by the marketing agency, Weiden+Kennedy, New York promoted the Jordan Brand via the character Leroy Smith and very targeted keyword advertising on the Google Display Network. Banner ads, display & text ads and links to a web site housing a motivational infomercial created buzz, intrigue and conversations about the brand itself. Though there was a great deal of potential in the six week campaign premise itself, if ads were not targeted at those who would be receptive (fan sites, basketball enthusiast blogs etc.), it might have fallen flat. 

Are you interested now? Do you want to know more about Leroy Smith? What lessons can you take from this campaign to hyper target your key audience? What character, image or tool would you use to create interest in your client’s web site or product if you were an ad agency? Does this make you re-consider the keywords you have selected?

This concept is further strengthened by the Google Display Network videos assigned for this week. Placement targeting allows an advertiser to be very specific in targeting their audience. The Leroy Smith campaign would be compatible with the sports and entertainment categories on the Google Display Network (GDN) Reserve. It is possible to target a niche within a larger interest set- these are the basketball blogs identified for targeting by the Leroy Smith campaign.Who is your real target-how specific would you like to get? 

In this week, the skill set gained is perhaps more a consideration of all the tools available for a well funded and extended campaign than a specific skill. Given unlimited funds I might utilize the GDN for awareness of Literary Arts Boom (LAB)-Would a Poetry Slam team like to volunteer with a teen poetry workshop given the knowledge that LAB offers them? Would a blog targeting Pittsburgh Teachers attract more teachers to book field trips to the LAB for their classes? Will local philanthropic writers donate funds to keep the LAB offering free classes?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A/B Testing, Insights and Link Popularity 

Though A/B testing was covered in the last class cycle, it has carried over into this one with all groups designing a test ad for their client/web page. A/B testing allows 1 variable to be tested in real time so that data may be analyzed. This has had me looking up examples and finding the most interesting things. The lesson here is that data is vital, and to go with your gut is to risk impressions and completion rates. The first link allows the reader to benefit from the analysis of why the winner was successful, the second has a nice feature of allowing the reader to participate in the test-you select A or B & then view what actually won over in public testing. 

Google analytics is a topic that could be explored endlessly. Insights is very interesting with dimensions (descriptive data sets) and metrics (measurements of that data) for each. I was amazed that 80 segments are reported on automatically including geography/location, page lode time. Who exits? Where are they from (location around the globe)? What search engine referred them? Where did they exit?

I am intrigued with the concepts discussed in Stokes 6.5: Link Popularity. Tactics include creating a game, tools i.e. calculator or widget/app and putting quality industry specific content on your web site. What would fit with Literary Art Boom’s web content & mission? Would it be an interactive tool to create a zine on their site & post it to a Graffiti like wall/web page? An article about teen writing & effects on school success? An app that lets young children associate pictures & words in story form, printable in book like format? These tactics attract those with a genuine interest in content available on your web page.  Once there, browsers are more apt to look around if the material referenced is relevant to them. This avoids a high bounce rate (percent of single page views). Pleased and captivated visitors will pass along the link to your web site containing the tool, gadget, article etc. Word of mouth works wonders for Good, solid referrals are so important in the world, why would it not be the same in the virtual world? This entire concept is very relevant & worthy of experimentation. My goal for this upcoming week is to investigate tactics that I could employ on this blog to mimic what the LAB could utilize. Currently we as a class are writing & tagging Stokes & GOMC all the time, are we increasing their search engine rankings? How do you as class participants feel about promoting these entities? Who would you like to promote? Does this section (list of tactics) give you, as a reader, ideas for promoting a personal or friend/family members web site? What are they?
Google Adwords ads. What is allowed & what is not?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

WEEK 2: Testing for success

This week through the reading for Chatham University's Graduate class, Global Marketing, I was most impressed with the myriad of ways that user experience may be tested and tracked. Four methods were discussed in Stokes chapter 15.4:
  • A/B split testing: a business may test one variable at a time to gauge success and traffic is randomly routed to one page or another-will it affect the ultimate conversion rate if I move the “Donate Now!” button from center to the right hand side? It is interesting to imagine the small changes that you might encounter when visiting a site from different IP addresses or browsers.
  • Multivariate testing: Lots of changes may be tested at the same time. Tracking for significance of these alterations may necessitate the assistance of an outside vendor.
  • Listening Labs: Watch, listen & learn how users interact with your site. It may not be the experience you envision it to be…
  • Single page heat maps: This fascinating tool allows a business to have a true mapping of a consumer’s journey through their web site, page by page. Each touch is mapped. 

The two most fascinating to me are the Listening Labs and the Heat Maps. My initial thought regarding an in house listening lab is that the experience may not yield real world results. Will consumers or employees act as they would in their own homes? Are the results unbiased? In his book, “Don’t Make Me Think” Steve Krug (Steve Krug, New Riders, 2014) reveals that we (users) do not act logically, we scan, we do not make the best (logical) choices and we do not always work to figure out how things work. Krug’s observations have revealed lessons to be incorporated into success for site design. Heat Maps are visual, this has great appeal to those of us who’s eyes glaze over when there is a bit too much technical talk floating around….This would be a great tool for those who have GOMC clients who’s web site home pages are one long scrolling page. Where do visitors stop scrolling?  

Most helpful this session was the Google videos (202:Tools to Build Ads and Advanced Ad types) that focused on troubleshooting- what if I cannot see my ad? What if it isn’t running-why is that happening? As I have not begun to actually play with Google Adwords, it seems incredibly complicated to the uninitiated. Having this tool to attempt diagnosis is helpful as are the tools referenced in 302: Bidding Tools and Adwords Campaign Experiments. This section gives some great tips for those times when you are simply overwhelmed with the possibilities of optimization. Google provides suggestions related to topics such as keywords, budget, and competition comparison.

My goals from the last writing focused on client goals. The expert presentation that began the week, Sara Peduzzi from Lunametrics, had some targeted questions to keep this in the forefront as I go forward. What are the client’s goals? This would determine what would define a conversion. Who are their customers? What patterns of behavior do their customers exhibit? This will determine the ad’s optimal time of day in running and geo-location targeting. My additional goal is to play with AdWords until it no longer scares me!

Web Sources:
Stokes, R and the Minds of Quirk, EMarketing: The essential Guide to Online Marketing, v 1.0 
Web site, Advanced Common Sense, Don't Make Me Think, Krug, S, Chapter 2  
UX Booth by Redd Horrocks, 10 Usability Lessons from Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think, 
UTube video, Crazy Egg Explainer video,

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Week one in Global Marketing: BUS572-1 

The concepts gleaned from this week’s reading of Stokes focus first on Chapter 19.2 with a refreshing re-vamp of marketing concepts in today’s techno-savvy society. The dusty concepts of Product, Price, Placement and Promotion are replaced by Godin’s elements of data, stories, products, interactions and connection. How we as consumers connect with our products, as business owners invested in the information (data) that can be observed, analyzed and then re-defined, as a community sharing our experiences (stories) about the items (products) we use, embrace or reject via reviews, endorsements, articles and sharing (interaction). Very little is truly private; an endorsement on Facebook or a blog comment will be contributions to that products demise or success. The last element, connection is actually the summation of experience, if successful. Godin traces the path a successful business must engage in: For the GOMC, the client’s story must be understood for my contribution to be successful.

I found the concept (gestalt) of the Cluetrain Manifesto to be both beautiful in its simplicity and a summation of both Godin and Mootee’s theories: Markets are conversations. Simple: evocative of lively banter, between individuals, groups, business partners, reviewers, social medial posts… confiding a love for a newly discovered author, chocolate, recipe, restaurant, contractor or conversely, a discovery of fraud and deceit. There are no secrets when people share, and the internet is all about sharing.  Conversations lead to discovery, credibility and resources. Conversations are where we delve into the realities behind a clean veneer. What is my client’s conversation? Can I follow it through the public’s eye and interpretation? Is it perceived as real, honest, and tangible? Is there trust? What is the real dirt?

AdWords is the most important skillset which I gained (a small bit of) insight into this week.  The concept itself is fascinating & the implications include a skill to be tested both personally within this ongoing blog and for client based projects. Testing Google analytics will be interesting in tracking trends and results- what keywords are most successful?

I must confess to a Google bias. I resent using other search engines when “necessary”. Delving into additional Google tools/apps & learning to blog is fun. The challenge is keeping tasks in so many varied spots together! Yikes! The real world application of team based work for a client who truly needs the exposure is refreshing. My goal is to make sure I am keeping in line with their goals for this project, step by step.