Have you read "Free"? That's Chris Anderson's current business bestseller, following "The Long Tail." Anderson makes a strong case for giving away value in the digital environment in order to get greater value in return (over time). Very compelling. Many versions of the Free model have already worked to some degree -- from news to air travel. But how does Free link to performance? It's all about the offer.
One tip: Email is a great way to gauge interest and generate leads. Use it to showcase your products and services to a relevant audience. Even if you don't have new products or services to promote, you may consider sharing new or interesting applications for your existing products. Make sure that you are including calls-to-action.
When advertisers come in to purchase any type of advertising they are excited and motivated, as they should be -- and it is these feelings that can make them delusional about a realistic ROI. It is our job as publishers, networks, and affiliates to explain rationally what the ROI will actually (should) be. If we are not upfront and honest about these things, we will be setting ourselves up for failure, because we are allowing advertisers to retain their delusional thoughts.
My last Performance Insider column raised the issue of whether to view lead gen via social media as closer to PR or DR (Direct Response). You provided a lot of valuable feedback. So it's clear how many marketers are really engaged in this topic -- there's a thirst for more discussion on the overlaps of social and performance marketing.
Right now, every dollar in a marketer's budget has to stretch even further and show even more ROI than ever before. Email marketing is now the method of choice for marketers, because it's grounded on the cost per acquisition model.
The important question during a downturn isn't whether or not the economy will recover. It will; it always does. What's important to ask is whether your company will be in position to surge as the economy begins to grow. To a large degree, the level of your success will depend on your marketing efforts and capabilities -- what you have done during the downturn and what you put in place now to win business during the recovery. You will need to make strategic decisions about choosing new media, entering new markets, and positioning products.
Last week, I hosted a panel at OMMA Global about the intersection of social media and performance marketing. I love how in the early days of a new ad medium -- like the Web in the '90s or interactive telephone before that -- everyone searches for analogies to more familiar marketing methods. And it generally takes a while before consensus appears. In the panel and in the hallway, one of the best debates concerned whether using social media for prospecting was more like direct response or public relations.
Many marketers struggle with creating cutting-edge ads that grab viewers' attention and drive ROI in a meaningful way. Companies that are getting the most out of their ad buys are using new methods to deeply engage consumers with creative rich-media ads that also incorporate direct-response elements. These do not have to be standalone strategies; each can play an important role in any comprehensive campaign. Depending on the marketer's objectives, rich-media campaigns can include features such as data collection, lead generation, printable coupons, targeted product and pricing information, and ticket or product purchasing directly within banner ads, shortening the path to ...
So, now that you have gone out and spent your advertising dollars on buying leads, what do you do with them now? As a person in charge of getting the leads, I have become extremely frustrated with the fact that so many of my buyers are strategically impaired. They know that it is good to have these names, but they have no strategy on how to turn these names into actual buying customers.
To compete effectively, it's necessary to expand and enhance your exposure in the same online sources your customers and prospects use while searching for products and conducting research. A broad and deep online presence gives you greater opportunity to present your brand, message or offer to your target audience -- increasing the likelihood of gaining customers.