Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments
For as long as we’ve been able to say “Google Analytics,” one of the key metrics in measuring a web brand’s ability to engage its visitors is “time on site.” The theory was (and generally, correctly) that the longer your average time on site, the more you were engaging consumers.
Well, a new study by Summus Limited makes a pretty strong case for the fact that “time on site” may fast becoming a fact of the past. The reason? The rise of mobile devices.
According to the research, mobile users access the web and apps far differently than via laptops. Rather than settling in for a leisurely online experience, mobile users tend to visit websites or brand apps approximately 12 times a day — but generally in increments of five minutes or less.
Not only does this fact alone reduce time on site average, a slow-loading mobile website — or even a cumbersome brand app — can cause impatient or hurried visitors to bail, and bail fast. And a bad user experience is one not likely to be repeated.
What should we take away from this? First, when analyzing your analytics, measure any time on site data with mobile device usage before determining any trends. Second, make darn sure your mobile website or mobile app is as fast loading, intuitively obvious and user friendly as possible. And third, continue to follow Trnedspottings for more great insights like this, every month.
SOURCE: SmartBrief, NOISE
Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments
If you’re an online marketer, it’s easy to become enamored of social media’s exciting landscape — its seemingly endless ability to engage consumers, stimulate action and influence or even transact sales. But here’s a reminder that despite appearances, the grass of profitable online sales remains far greener on the web side of your digital neighborhood.
How much greener? Among organizations offering both web- and social-based sales channels, according to a recent study by technology marketer Demandbase in partnership with online network Focus, websites remain a whopping 700% more powerful in generating inquiries and actuating income than alternative social platforms.
What should that mean to you? Well, NOISE would suggest that should mean you remain about seven times more focused on the success of your website, making certain it’s:
• Spot-on branded;
• Strategic, intuitive, obvious, simple and fast;
• Enjoyable and rewarding;
• Interactively engaging with video, imagery, social networking, sharing and more;
• Incredibly search engine optimized;
• An awesome user experience that consumers will want to return to and repeat, again and again.
For most marketers, social media isn’t a highly profitable alternative to web-based sales — at least, not yet. So embrace it — like digital marketing, e-marketing and your other effective strategies and tactics — as another seed to help your web sales grow.
SOURCE: ZDNet, NOISE
Monday, August 1st, 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments
Although Google+ has put a temporary moratorium on branded accounts for business, odds are it won’t be long before the new social media upstart opens the door to all of us impatient marketers who, like Black Friday shoppers at midnight, are lining up outside. Are you one of them? If not, you should be. Here’s why:
Google+ and YouTube = Success. The integration of these Google products means a far more pandemic viral potential for branded video marketing. Plus with Google Hangout (its multi-user free video chat), brands will be able to interact with consumers real-time.
Google+ and Latitude = Success. With Google’s geo-tracking product (Latitude), it’ll be easier than ever for people to check into a location and have that information immediately shared with their “circles” of friends — enabling brands to easily execute loyalty marketing and rewarding programs.
Google+ and Translate = Success. Are you a brand with an international audience? With Google’s Translate product, multi-lingual communications to your brand page will automatically re-render in your default language — and vice versa. A simple advantage like this could literally open up new worlds to marketers.
Google+ and Sites = Success. While Facebook remains relatively limited in its ability to enable marketers to truly brand pages, Google’s Sites product is far more flexible in design, content and functionality — another plus for Google+.
Google+ and Adwords = Success. Added bones: Google’s paid search marketing program will bring far more contextual, demographic and analytic sophistication to social PPC campaigns — bringing all of us more clarity on the value of social media marketing.
Within the first month of its “launch,” Google+ has been attracted more than 15 million users, not to mention Facebook’s attention. The question now is: will Google+ be the next social media phenomenon? Only time will tell — but if you’re an innovative marketer that in any way engages a social media community, the time is now to prepare for the opportunity that Google+ is about to open to you.
SOURCE: Memeburn, NOISE
Monday, March 28th, 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments
Do you know the land of Gib? The land of Gib is neither an easy nor a comfortable place to journey to. It’s a destination sought by only the most courageous brands and agencies who dare to think big plus (bonus) think counter-conventionally — thus, the name Gib.
Arriving there is like navigating your classic, precarious Scooby Doo rickety rope bridge across a plummeting-deep gorge — only unlike ol’ Scoob and Shag, should the risk-taking brand or agency slip, we can’t motor-burn our feet to congo-drum sound effects and race safely to the promised land. We fail. We fall.
Example in point is NOISE client Florida Repertory Theatre, and case in point is the Rep’s annual fundraising gala held this past March. Now, you might expect that a performing arts group hailed as “one of the best repertory companies in the United States” by the Wall Street Journal — serving an audience that skews decidedly older adult than most in the country — would default to the expected, formal, black-tie event. But not so, these daring marketers. Rather, Florida Repertory Theatre held steadfastly true to its brand — which by definition is the delivery of creativity, passion and excellence in performing arts — and challenged its status quo with the “Downtown Hoedown,” a celebration of all things red-necked, white-trashed, tatted-up, dressed-down and otherwise diametrically opposed to high artistry.
We applaud Florida Repertory Theatre leadership and management for daring to think Gib and act Gib. It’s a sparsely populated place. But it’s where great, memorable branding is found. Bravo!
Thursday, February 10th, 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments
Here’s something you already know: given the state of the economy the past few years, discounting has become the norm. But here’s something, as NOISE sees it, you may not know: subtraction may not be the best form of addition anymore.
Instead, think addition if you want addition.
By addition, we mean value added. Gift wrapping your service or product with the pretty bow of perceived high value (meaning both desirable and tangible) enhancement, rather than a discount. Amplifying your consumer’s positive experience with your brand by rewarding their experience — therefore exceeding your customer’s expectations, which fuels not only satisfaction but loyalty, which stimulates word-of-mouth and social network referrals. All of which will multiply your addition, so to speak.
And bonus: value-added promotions often cost less in real dollars than simply subtracting real dollars from your price tag.
Now, NOISE is not suggesting you abandon competitive pricing structures. Unless you’re a brand (x-luxury) that commands its own price regardless of market conditions, price point will always be important. But by combining competitive pricing (not discounting) with desirable value-added, we believe your pluses will far outweigh your minuses. It’s a strategy we’re implementing in 2011 with our clients, and the results are (pardon the pun) adding up.
Interested in learning more how NOISE can rock your world? Contact us before February 28, 2011 and tell us you want to get “plused.” And yes, of course: there’s a $5,000 value-added offer waiting for you (legal department mandatory: certain restrictions apply).
Saturday, November 6th, 2010 | Uncategorized | No Comments
As a business leader, it’s incumbent on each of us to grow our knowledge base every day. Failing to do so — in today’s exponentially-evolving world that seems to morph every minute — we lose. But as we all know, there simply aren’t enough free minutes in our 14-hour days to stay attuned to every development in management, branding, marketing, sales, user experience, customer satisfaction, advertising, social media, public relations or the countless other contributors to our professional and personal success.
That’s why, if you don’t already, you should know about SmartBrief.
In my opinion and experience, SmartBrief is one of the efficient, relevant, useful and beneficial information resources I consume each day. SmartBrief culls and compiles content from across the internet — then provides it, free of charge, to my in-box in an attractive, easy-to-scan newsletter format that allows me to very quickly identify items of interest. Most importantly, SmartBrief allows its members (again, free of charge) to opt in to to daily newsletters devoted to more than 100 industries and 10 management-marketing best practices.
Good. Fast. Smart. And yup, even cheap.
Sunday, July 25th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Great brands rock because they succeed at providing exceptional customer experiences and satisfaction. Great brands also rock because they succeed at convincing customers that the value provided is greater than the price charged. But what happens to that brand when it “nickels and dimes” its satisfied customers to almost laughable extremes? And what would you choose to do — abandon the brand, or accept the pocket-change-mentality surcharging?
Case in point: AirTran Airways.
You may disagree with me (and you probably will), but I love AirTran. They satisfy my business travel schedule with more non-stop flights. Their fares are low. Their online reservations process is a breeze. Their online ticketing process the same. Their fleets are new and clean. Their flight attendants are generally very positive. And heck (depending on whether you think it’s a plus or a minus), they were the first to market with in-flight internet.
But here’s the nickel and dime rub, and it’s moved beyond luggage. In my experience, there exists not one seat on any AirTran flight that doesn’t come with a surcharge. Front, rear, aisle, window, middle, exit row, within sniffing distance of the lavatories, it doesn’t matter — now that you’ve booked your flight, you get to pay again to sit down. And last I checked, sitting down is mandatory on U.S. air travel.
I applaud AirTran’s ability to get away with this and still not really irritate me. It speaks volumes for their brand’s overall positive experience, satisfaction and price-value relationship. That’s a goal every brand should strive to achieve regardless of pricing structure. But what would you choose — to reward the exceptional brand that is all about money (so to speak), or abandon ship?
SOURCE: NOISE, John Sprecher
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 | Uncategorized | No Comments
If one of your major initiatives this marketing year is launching a new web brand, NOISE Inter.Active would like to share our “NOISE 5.0 Process” that can help ensure your success:
NOISE 1.0: Begin at the End. The first question you need to ask is: what must my new web brand accomplish? Are we an experience and transaction site? An information and engagement site? An engagement and lead generation site? All of this? All of something else? Define your desired user experience and end results, and you’ve defined your goals.
NOISE 2.0: Set Your Site. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line; the same can be said for clicks. At NOISE Inter.Active, this is simply called the Site Architecture — a multi-leveled, content-, technology- and marketing-interface-specific flow chart of your site’s superstructure, and search engine optimization strategies and tactics.
NOISE 3.0: Bells and Whistles. What new, exciting, effective, engaging marketing and social media elements should be integrated into your site to help optimize your website, enhance customer engagement, generate the desired response and foster customer loyalty? Make sure to include this creative discussion as part of “NOISE 2.0″ above.
NOISE 4.0: Brand New, Brand True. For more and more businesses, your web brand is your front door. Make sure that every consumer walking through that front door is greeted with a smile and a welcome that reflects your brand and the many other consistently integrated elements of your brand campaign — while directing them to the next door they want to access.
NOISE 5.0: Kick the Tires. When your site is close to launch and ready for beta testing, invite a focus group of likely consumers in for a couple of hours of tire kicking. Watch as they leisurely and easily steer through your site, or careen out of control and crash into the bushes. How they intuitively interact and engage with your new web brand is the true measure of how successfully you’ve navigated Click A to Click Z.
SOURCE: NOISE Inter.Active
Monday, November 23rd, 2009 | Uncategorized | No Comments
What’s your opinion of social media? Are you an evangelist? A believer? A doubter? A nay-sayer? What if I told you that done strategically, creatively and professionally, social media can:
- Extend and Elevate Your Brand
- Create Brand Ambassadors of Your Loyal Consumers, and Create New Converts From Referred Consumers
- Help Mold and Improve Your Brand Via Dialogue and Feedback
- Be Measured, Quantified and ROIed
- Serve as an Outstanding Market Research or New Product or Service Development Resource
- Drive Traffic to Your Website (Sometimes Becoming a Top-Ranked Referral Source)
- Help SEO and SEM Your Website
- Help You Build Databases of Loyal Users
- Help You Better Understand Consumer Keyword Preferences, Making Your Online Marketing More Effective and Efficient
- Create a Community of Users Loyal To Your Brand Who Share Your Story Through Thoughts, Images, Even Videos
- Create Sales
- Create Profits
Done strategically, creatively and professionally, social media possesses the exciting potential to become a vital branding, marketing and sales tool for virtually any company or organization. It’s true. This stuff works.
Introducing Vwallah!, the exciting new social media marketing service from NOISE that’s rocking the worlds of innovative marketers across the United States in travel, tourism, destination, health care, retail, real estate, special needs and other industries.
These clients will tell you. It’s true. Done strategically, creatively and professionally, Vwallah! — this stuff works!
Interested in learning what’s up our sleeve? Contact Vwallah! Social Media Guru Alex Fernandez at 239.395.9555 or email him today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 | Uncategorized | No Comments
If price discounts or value-added promotions are part of your marketing mix, you’d be well advised to explore the potential online couponing can offer you — in flexibility, redemption and cost-effective delivery.
According to August, 2009 research from Scarborough and Burst Media, online couponing — comprised of e-mail, web-based and mobile offers — have grown to represent 16% of gross coupon redemption in the United States today.
While some statistics are obvious —over two-thirds of all coupons are redeemed by households of more than three persons — new trends are emerging, including:
• Almost 70% of all respondents would print and redeem an online coupon, up significantly from one year ago.
• Today’s typical online coupon user tends to be younger, more affluent, more educated and (if possible) more female than the old-fashioned, printed coupon user.
• In addition, online coupon redemption can also be significantly influenced by geography (see chart).
Our recommendation? Think about how your target audience matches up with today’s online coupon clippers — then craft some attractive offers, test your campaigns and learn more if online couponing can help you gain consumers, sales and profits.
SOURCE: Marketing Profs, NOISE
Monday, September 28th, 2009 | Uncategorized | No Comments
By now, only the most sheltered from the world of you have not been exposed to the marketing power of Facebook, to socially and positively extend a brand’s reputation, reach and results (caveat: when used correctly). But I’ll bet very few of you are aware of a free, traffic building and customer satisfaction enhancing application called Facebook Connect.
Facebook Connect is an API (application programming interface) that can serve as a click-to-use “forum” for your consumers to express and share their love of your product or service — in other words, a no-charge, user friendly, extremely social customer satisfaction section of your website.
Bonus for you: your consumers don’t have to be Facebook members to post their praise of you on your website, using Facebook Connect.
Bonus bonus for you: if your consumers are Facebook members, they can click-share their kudos about your product or service with all of their friends in the FB world.
Bonus bonus bonus for you: if said friends read Facebook Connect praise, a direct link back to your website automatically accompanies the posting — which, if you’ve done everything right and your consumer loves you, will drive new customers to your website to learn more.
NOISE client ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort has implemented Facebook Connect on its exciting new website (view here under “Raves and Reviews”). Since launch, an average of three comments per week have been posted and shared, expanding the resort’s reach, reputation and (hopefully) results.
But be forewarned: like any social media outlet, if you screw up, people will shout it from the mountaintop. Only with Facebook Connect, the mountaintop will be found right on your website. So rock your consumer’s world, and earn their praise. It’ll come back to you in spades.
To learn more, ask your agency. Your web developer. Or better yet, contact us at NOISE.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 | Uncategorized | No Comments
While the debate over America’s method of delivering health care carries on, the ground under the providers of health care is shifting — or so says a recent study of how consumers seek and obtain health information.
According to Manhattan Research, two out of three Americans begin their quest for health info that’s vital to them (or someone they love) not with a visit to their doctor, but a keyword search on their computer.
While this at first glance may seem like bad news for health care marketers, in fact it’s good news — because with smart marketing that embraces the Internet’s role, health care providers can lead consumers through the digital fact-finding and decision-making process. And ultimately, to their hospital’s or clinic’s front door.
So physicians and health care marketers, take these to marketing heart and call us in the morning:
• More U.S. adults use the Internet than they use doctors for obtaining health and medical information (so get on it!).
• Consumers are much more likely to begin their quest for health info with a search engine, versus going directly to a website (so optimize your website, initiate social media and do everything you can to up your search engine ranking).
• When consumers search, they’re much more likely to do so based on a specific condition or disease, versus a brand or name (so optimize your web presence with relevant content).
• The most common situation for search engine use is when a consumer, or someone they know, presents symptoms of a condition (so make sure your web marketing facilitates contacts and/or appointments).
SOURCE: American Marketing Association, MarketingVox.com, NOISE
Sunday, August 9th, 2009 | Uncategorized | No Comments
Okay, so let’s assume you’re an innovative marketer who’s just created a social video for your product or service — and now you’re ready to hand it over to web programming.
Online social video is perhaps the coolest, most effective new way to engage your customers, involve them (intellectually and emotionally) in your brand experience, and motivate them to action. But to paraphrase a certain movie cliche, it’s not like you can just edit it and they will come.
At NOISE, we’re building integrated marketing programs for our clients that leverage the power of online video across the gamut of marketing channels. Here are a few must-dos, as we see ‘em:
1. CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITIES. Social video isn’t like the old corporate video that packs everything you ever wanted to say in a five to seven minute novel. Social videos are your brand’s short stories — editorial, entertaining, fun, offbeat, quirky, informative, whatever you want them to be in ideally 120 or so seconds — but focused on a single element or experience of your brand. So inventory all your brand can offer a consumer, and you’ll have an idea of just how many interesting titles your online video library could contain.
2. YOU SHOOT, YOU SCORE. Assuming you’ve got the skill set in-house, or you’ve contracted with an expert social video producer (like QwickClick VideoTours) to create some really cool content, you’ll want to make sure you capitalize on all the ways video can drive traffic to your website by syndicating it throughout the world wide web. Sites like YouTube are obvious, but there are many more opportunities to put your video in front of potential consumers (from social media networks to industry-related websites and blogs). Asterisk: another advantage of utilizing a company like QwickClick for syndication is their ability to keyword tag your video for search engine optimization, and to provide important traffic data on your efforts.
3. HAPPY LANDINGS. Want to really create an integrated experience? Create unique landing pages (or microsites) for each social video. If you’re a hospital, that could be service offerings. If you’re a resort, that could be recreational opportunities. If you’re a retailer, that could be your sales, service or customer satisfaction divisions. If you’re a real estate company, that could be every listing. And with unique landing pages, you can track traffic specific to that page, thereby allowing you to better measure your efforts.
4. HERE A VIDEO, THERE A VIDEO. Now, examine your current marketing channels for opportunities to promote viewership of your online video. Print advertising? Direct mail? E-marketing (like the ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort example here)? Social media? Public relations? The possibilities are endless. The potential to excite consumers to clickthrough to your site is enormous.
So remember: for truly successful online video marketing, “the end” is just the beginning.
Saturday, August 1st, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
As we all know, e-marketing can be an extremely effective and cost efficient sales strategy. As we all also know, consumers and technology are also becoming more e-savvy, meaning smart e-marketers should consistently review their campaigns — tracking opens, clickthroughs, opt-outs and spam reports — for any negative trends.
Should you come across any downward spirals, MarketingProfs presents nine ways you can screw up, and how you can fix ‘em:
1. USER AUTHENTICATION. Does the domain server you use for e-marketing support Sender ID and Sender Policy Framework (SPF)? If not, recipient ISPs may be blacklisting your emails as spam and not even delivering them. Ask.
2. CAN-SPAM. Are you CAN-SPAM compliant with a legit from line, accurate subject line, valid postal address and easy opt out? If not, get on it — every violation you would get nailed for will cost you $11,000.
3. OPT IN? HELLO? If you’re still incorrectly collecting e-data or using suspect e-lists, well, don’t bother reading on.
4. NO PLACE LIKE HOME. Does your e-blast or e-newsletter simply click back to one page (generally your home page) of your website? If so, you’re wasting opportunities to drive consumers directly to specific landing pages that can improve your sales (and ability to measure results).
5. SEE THE BIG PICTURE. If you’re using images, don’t make your offer entirely or predominantly image — 50% or more of all recipients won’t see the image, due to software suppression. Make sure you combine image with text.
6. KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. The argument that brief, simple copy makes more effective e-marketing isn’t necessarily true. Studies show that if the subject is relevant to the consumer, longer copy works just as effectively.
7. THROWAWAY SUBJECT LINES. If you’re not investing brain cells in crafting an on-target subject line, you’re missing your biggest op to improve open rates.
8. IS YOUR EMAIL ON AN ISLAND? Like everything else, e-marketing should be integrated into a strategic marketing plan — and branded consistently to reflect your brand story and message. If not, shame on you.
9. TESTING, SHMESTING. How often do you test different subject lines, offers, graphic treatments of other e-marketing variables? If you haven’t yet, devise a campaign and put it to a variety of tests. Odds are, you’ll learn more about what makes your consumers tick and click.
SOURCE: Marketing Profs, NOISE
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
It’s been well documented here, there and virtually everywhere how the Internet has become the number one medium in the United States for video viewership — and how “social” or “web” videos, editorial in style and soft on sell, can dramatically drive awareness, buzz, traffic and sales in almost any industry.
Well, along comes a company to help innovative marketers everywhere sieze the moment and the opportunity.
It’s called QwickClick VideoTours, a creative group of video, post production, on-camera, Internet and social media marketing professionals. Serving clients throughout the U.S., QwickClick VideoTours — launched earlier this spring — works directly with clients or in association with their advertising agencies to create two- to four-minute “social videos” that can be embedded in the marketer’s website, search engine optimized, propagated throughout the Internet video world and otherwise alchemied, like gold, to a marketer’s overall web strategy.
The beauties of QwickClick are many and, unlike your sales manager wielding a home videocam, include: experienced, award-winning professional video production and edit teams working in High-Definition format; professional on-camera talent to open, close and “narrate” the video; rights to professional music underscores; complete on-location videography that follows a client-approved storyboard and script outline; and delivery of project for embedding into your website within three weeks of shoot date (all for an extremely cost-effective rate). Additional for-charge services include web programming, search engine optimization, e-marketing and other strategies and tactics, as well as location still photography.
Virtually any business-to-consumer, and most business-to-business marketers, would benefit with QwickClick VideoTours — particularly travel, hospitality, health care, real estate, entertainment and other industries where multiple stories will combine to weave a comprehensive brand story and brand experience.
Wanna learn and see more? Just QwickClick here.
Your Mighty Mighty Trendspotters
What's your brand story? Do you even have one? NOISE's work in brand development, brand building, strategic planning, creative, production, promotion, partnerships, web, digital marketing, media and public relations has been honored by more than 500 awards in our career, for Fortune 500 clients to boutique start-ups throughout the United States.
Would you like us to make NOISE for you and amplify your success? Contact me, or call me on my dime at 800.326.5443 today.
I double dare you.
John Sprecher, Chairman and
Chief Creative Officer of NOISE.
- Early Learning Center on MARKETING: Experience and Satisfaction vs. Nickels and Dimes — What Would You Choose?
- John Sprecher on CAUSE MARKETING: $50,000 Ways NOISE is Saying Thanks.
- Jim Esmeier on CAUSE MARKETING: $50,000 Ways NOISE is Saying Thanks.
- harley davidson on MOBILE: Where the Web Is Headed.
- Samantha on LEADERSHIP: What’s On Your Chalkboard?