27 Feb

In B2B, online is still just one cog in the wheel

According to a recent Australian study, “The Australian online advertising market grew nearly 50% in 2005 with $605m in revenues and this is expected to increase significantly to more than $1.5bn by 2009.”

Frost & Sullivan also predicts that Australian online advertising revenues will exceed magazine advertising (which accounts for around 7% or $700m of the total advertising market) in 2006 and radio advertising in 2007.

That’s significant of course, but the reality is that these dollars are spent by the big consumer brands.Business to Business SME’s have never been big advertisers; referral business, direct marketing and personal selling is where it’s at.

Most SME’s already struggle with the plethora of choices to spend their promotional dollar. More often than not they end up doing whatever is sold to them most effectively. And not very often as part of a more structured campaign or strategy.

Yellow Pages is still a big favourite, even if the results they get are doubtful at best. Why? Because customers get something tangible, in a format they understand.

Unless we, as marketing professionals can make it easier to create effective, multi-channel strategies I think that it will remain like that for quite a while to come.

22 Feb

Get to the point; it’s not that easy

Concise is nice. it is also much harder to convey the same message with fewer words.
Everyone gets caught up in all the wonderful new ways to deliver the message, but what about the quality of the message?
How interesting is your message/offer?
How clear and concise is it being communicated?

Apart from the challenge to clearly define what the value proposition is (and how competitive it is) translating that into a concise message is often the greatest challenge.

There are a few good ideas to consider though:

  • Before you start, write down in bullet form what it is that needs to be communicated
  • Use images where you can to convey (part of) the message. The trick here is to either create or find an image that represents what you want to say.
  • Have someone else edit your work with the instruction to take out anything that is superfluous

Oh, and don’t forget; anything written for the web should be about one third of what you would write in print. Yes, we are an impatient lot, aren’t we?

As a reader, what frustrates you most in marketing writing? Drop me a comment!

07 Feb

Knowing what you don’t want is important

As we are working on re-developing our website and brand identity, I have come across a couple of sites that do a great job in highlighting what we have to avoid at all cost.

From my experience in planning anything, it’s equally important to look at what you don’t like as it is to look at what you do like.

The first one is webpagesthatsuck.com which is a bit of a classic in webdesign land I think, but I had never had a close look.

The second one is sending-up well, us I guess. I mean marketing consultants, marketing experts, whatever you wish to call us…the name says it all: Huhcorp

Please let me know if we ever start to sound like this…

04 Feb

Kelloggs thinking is a little…hmmmm…limited?

I just read an article called “Kellogg marketing experts say their discipline must promote its strengths” curious to see what the academic top of the tree is thinking about when it comes to marketing.

What struck me is that in this article is pretty much synonymous with “Advertising”.

Anyone working in marketing (especially in ) will realise that it is this limited view of “marketing” that’s causing half the grief. Why? Because anyone with a budget can go and place advertising, and every CEO’s has seen money go down the tube on useless, ego driven advertising campaigns.

What business leaders are interested in is a much more complete approach, with advertising as one potential expense in the marketing budget. How about identifying new segments, innovation in the product line, how about getting to know more about customer behaviour, about innovative pricing, and so on, and so on.

So if they believe that marketing should promote its strengths as the article says, this would be a good point to start.

On the bright side, here is a little gem for people interested in Word of Mouth (WOM marketing: Gary Briggs ’89, vice president and general manager of eBay Canada said “Word-of-mouth accounts for two-thirds of eBay’s marketing, he said, because “eBay users respond to the company’s main marketing message — trust.”

That’s impressive. And how much advertising is involved in that?