Archive for the ‘business intelligence’ Category

Ken Johns, Brunner’s VP, Director of 1:1 has just published a great article over at Mediapost.com on using email marketing to reach moms.

Ken discusses findings from research recently conducted by Brunner among more than 400 women with children age 12 and under living in their households. It turns out that even the busiest moms make time to check their email accounts on a regular basis. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Nearly 96% of respondents said they check email at least once a day.
  • More than 80% of them actually look forward to checking email.
  • Most important, eight in 10 moms indicated they want to receive offers
    and information from preferred brands via email.

Read the full Mediapost article here for more of Ken’s insights into reaching moms via email, understanding their preferences and establishing personal bonds with this valuable market segment.

Consider that $899 flatscreen on your living room wall. In a few years will it still be a television, or will it merely be a screen hooked up exclusively to the internet where you can access your stored media (housed locally or somewhere in the cloud)?

For some of the attendees at SXSW, it’s a perplexing question, one of thousands being debated here at the interactive festival. But for Mark Cuban (he of Broadcast.net, Dallas Maverics, Magnolia Pictures and HDNET) and Boxee’s CEO Avner Ronen, those are fighting words. The two media heavyweights went nearly toe-to-toe at one of Friday closing the day’s sessions to the delight of 500 fans and the cyberazzi clicking away from the first few rows.

The staged tête-à-tête was actually a re-match, if you will, a resumption of hostilities between Cuban and Ronen late last year on a chat room debating cable TV’s dominance despite its shrinking penetration.

The jabfest Friday was part AV Geek Debate, part professional wrestling weigh-in and part “you’re mama’s so ugly …” smackdown. Except in place of “your mama,” insert “your business model is so screwed, I’ve lost more money in a day than you could hope to make in a whole quarter.”

The argument comes down to a few salient points, one of which was made repeatedly my Mr. Cuban: “In an a ‘la carte world, the cost to create, produce, distribute and market content via internet is unsustainable under any business model.” Coming from a person who made his first billion selling off Broadcast.net to Yahoo, that doesn’t make Cuban a hypocrite as it does make Yahoo a patzee.

Ronen of Boxee on the other hand blames greedy content providers and their billionaire enablers like Cuban and Comcast that perpetuate the strangelhold on household penetration and true net neutrality that will allow all of us more freedom and lower costs in selecting video entertainment content through the web. His company Boxee, which is commonly lumped together with HULU in articles, develops cross-platform freeware with a 10 foot user interface and built-in goodies like social networking tools that have to this point around 1 million subscribers.

Watch the video. It’s not pay-per-view, but it could’ve been. Cuban is always a delight to everyone not wearing a referee’s uniform

My highlight was going up to him during an unexpected building evacuation break. Mark’s a jeans and t-shirt guy who actually went to the high school where I live (Mt. Lebanon). We reminisced about the town and he was aware of the recent high school renovation, as well as the proposed pricetag.

“What, is it something like $113 million?”

“No, Mark. It’s exactly #113 million.”

“Wow, that’s a lot.”

“You know you could do a lot for my taxes and get a the Mark Cuban gymnasium and media center named after you. What do you say?

“No, I don’t do that.”

“Save me taxes?”

“No, put my name on anything.”

He missed the point, or at least avoided it. The same bobbing and weaving he continued the next 60 minutes with his worthy, but overmatched adversary.Mark Cuban and Avner Ronen

Maintaining your brand in social networks like Facebook or Twitter takes time.

Maintaining your brand in social networks takes time.

Social media is inexpensive, right? Maintaining a company blog, keeping your brand active on Twitter and Facebook, and participating in online forums and discussions - it all seems like it would be cheap, doesn’t it? There are relatively low production costs; usually nothing approaching the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to produce a typical TV Spot or web site, or even the tens of thousands it often takes to create a print ad. And there is no large mass media buy, which is often the largest expense in a brand’s marketing budget. So if building and maintaining relationships for your brand through social media doesn’t take a ton of money, what is the cost?

The cost is time. A lot of time.

Establishing a presence in the social media space isn’t quick, and it’s certainly not something that you do once and then allow to run on its own. Just like any relationship, you need to put in the time and effort to listen, respond and offer something of interest on a regular basis. Monitoring online conversations, responding when necessary and generating a steady stream of content to keep people interested generally requires dedicated effort on a daily, if not hourly, basis. And once you start, you’re committed: if you stop communicating regularly then the relationship fades.

This sounds like a lot of work, and to be honest, it is. But if the alternative is that your brand isn’t present where millions of people are spending their time, or if you’re present but largely silent, then doing what it takes to for you brand to live - and prosper - in the social sphere is well worth it. It’s where the people are, and to be noticed you need to visible and active. So commit part of your brand team to maintaining a social presence. Hire people dedicated to social media or enlist the help of an agency that knows what it’s doing in the social space. Your brand will thank you, even if you need to spend some extra time to get results.

Every marketer today is scrambling to figure out his or her own stimulus package for brand growth. Unlike when everything was still in “growth mode” a year ago, today marketing, like every other aspect of business, is under a microscope. But, that may not be such a bad thing—as long as you’re willing to use that “marketing microscope” to look carefully at the opportunities that may be right under your nose (or at least hiding under some of the data that you either have already or to which you can get access fairly easily). The “4% Factor” is our handle for a different approach to growth that requires some strategic homework on the part of the marketer.

(Advertising Age Magazine recently published our white paper that talks about what we call the 4% Factor. We’d love to hear your take!  Click here to read the full article.)

Advertising Age Article