Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Use the Web in Your Marketing Mix – Integrate Online Media for Depth and Measurability

If your marketing plan is not shifting towards more online communications and integrated programs, you are not adapting the way you should be. Proper integration of online media adds depth and measurability to your programs. But most importantly, it makes you more accessible to your customers. Accessibility is an important key to marketing in today’s business environment. You have to make it your mission to understand how your products are researched and be a resource to people who are in search of information.

Strong marketers are working feverishly to get and stay ahead online. In the recent “2008 Marketing Priorities and Plans” survey published by B2B magazine, 79% of B2B marketers planned to increase their online marketing budgets for 2008. That is up from 76% a year earlier.

Areas reported for increases included:
  • Website development (cited by 74% of marketers)
  • Email (70%)
  • Search Engine Marketing (64%)
  • Video (40%)
  • Webcasting (39%)
  • Banners (36%)
  • Sponsorships (30%)
  • Social Media (26%)

It is projected that as much as 37% of budgets will be channeled to online spending. Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) continue to rise as critical components that must be factored into the marketing budget. These tend to pull dollars away from traditional programs, but can also work hand-in-hand with targeted promotions and lead generation tactics.

Dedicating funds to organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can pay dividends in several ways. The obvious direct benefit comes from increasing your presence for searchers looking for your products or services. However, other important benefits come from the process of developing and monitoring your keywords – you learn how people are finding your products. Good keyword research will tell you what words and phrases you should use in your ads, PR and on your website. An evolved SEO program will benefit many of your programs; it adds a component of constant research to your marketing mix. If you are wondering where to start – start there. SEO should be in everyone’s plan. It may well be the single tactic that gives you more insight than anything else you do.

Sources: e-marketer, B2B Magazine

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Forget About the Home Page?

As marketers planning and developing websites, we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about our home pages. What should be included? What should be left out? What sort of first impression are we making and how quickly can we get our visitors where we want them to go?

In a recent post covering a thought-provoking presentation by author and Web Analytics Evangelist Avinash Kaushik, Kaushik explains:

"Fewer and fewer consumers are coming in via the homepage...every page of your Website must now be considered a homepage. The hours spent tinkering on your current homepage needs to shift into ensuring that every page is a brilliant representation of the keywords and external links that drove someone to your site."

Furthermore, many of the most savvy marketers are taking advantage of blogging and the myriad other social media opportunities that take place completely outside of the website.

What do you think? Has the home page lost its importance? What can companies do to develop a more meaningful web experience for their customers – both on and off the home page – and even the website itself?

Added Snapshots to the Blog

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, displays inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.

Sometimes the Snap Shot window will bring you the information you need, without your having to click the link, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not. It seems like it could be a pretty cool tool.

If you decide it's annoying, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

Worthwhile Reading on Blogs

(original Post by Scott)

Hey LoSasso Team, I know many of you are hip to the social media world, but there are lots of opportunities for our clients and thus, our agency. We continuously look for new ways to reach their customers. Blogs are important ways to keep up with the key influencers in just about any industry. Here is a link to a worthwhile article on the subject.


New Blog for New Media

Welcome to the LoSasso New Media blog.

We are launching the blog to serve as a helpful resource for our clients and friends - a place to learn more about new media trends and how to leverage Web 2.0 technologies for maximum online impact.

Stay tuned. We'll get you up to speed on best practices for using video online, blogging, how to tap into social media and more.