Posts Tagged ‘ROI


The IAB released their ‘Social Media Ad Metrics’ report today. Being the IAB, you can bet this report and the metrics systems contained within will carry some clout for online marketers. Read the full ‘Social Media Ad Metrics’ report here.


Online Marketing ROI plus Economic Instability equals Good Times.

In an article a couple of days back in the Sydney Morning Herald, we read about Credite Suisse’s analyst Finola Burke forecasting a 2.4% drop in advertising spend in the coming year. In the same article, we saw Fairfax media have just cut 550 jobs in the wake of anticipated revenue losses on the back of economic slowdown. Whilst the past 4-5 years have seen massive shifts away from traditional media’s and to online advertising, this is the first analyst I’ve seen who has forecast all-round reduction in spending as a result of looming recession and economic turmoil. Does this in turn mean we (i.e. Aussie online marketers) might be cowering waiting for the axe to drop on our jobs?

Not yet. Australia is yet to be stung by the credit crunch in the same way the United States (and now Europe) are currently being, and generally our financial markets have been better regulated (yay ASIC and APRA!) and are therefore (for the time being) less likely to suffer the large scale disaster seen in the US (ripple effects are inevitable though). Same situation for alot of Asian countries, who all remember how darn hard they hit the skids in 1997 and have been appropriately prudent in their financial activities since. This doesn’t mean the massive clusterf–k mistake our American friends are suffering is not going to hit us. It probably will. And it will hit some of us harder than others:

1 Consumer spending on High Involvement goods will slow down. Retail forecasts for the coming holiday season in Christmas look grim for the US at least, which is to be expected. Typically, in hard economic times, sales of big tickets items such as houses, new computers, new cars, airline tickets etc are hit the hardest. So potentially, companies in the struggling Aussie automotive, airline and manufacturing industries will be putting the squeeze on their marketing department to tighten the belt and knuckle down.

2 Financing for growth will be harder to come by. Credit will cost more if it is in high demand and low supply – basic rules of any market. With some of the biggest banks in the world being US banks, we will inevitably feels some pain here. Even if their revenue doesn’t take a hit through all this, a company will still have fewer opportunities to expand due to difficulties in securing credit (again, we’re yet to see this in Australia, and if the Reserve Bank keep cutting interest rates, I could have egg on my face here). This means companies will look to other sources of funding growth initiatives (and perhaps to meet their debts) – internal sources. We all know marketing and media spend are often one of the first things cut during serious financial strife.

3 Companies will revert to their core competencies. Peripheral parts of a business will begin to be stripped back, as CEO’s begin to take action to free themselves of blame if the credit crunch begins hitting Australian companies harder. They cannot be begrudged for this, as they have a job to do aswell. Despite marketers assuring companies otherwise, marketing is probably considered by most companies a peripheral part of their business – the value it adds is not necessarily viewed as the same value delivering their product and/or service adds. So again, marketers may see the chop.

So why, then, has it never been a better time to be in e-marketing? Because e-marketing, done well, provides the best ROI a company could hope for. E-marketing (or digital marketing or online marketing or whatever the heck else you want to call it) is the most track-able form of direct marketing, which financial decision makers love because they can see a direct relationship between spending X and making X^y profit (where y is hopefully greater than 1). What this will mean is that as companies in Australia inevitably tighten their belts worrying about what ripple effects the US economic crisis will have, E-marketers will (read should) be the final ones to be effected as our activities are the ones most able to show the CEO, CFO, board etc. value added. Furthermore, this might mean that companies shift even more of their marketing spend away from traditional, harder to track marketing activities and into e-marketing which shows stronger provable ROI. Whilst not wanting to dance on the potential graves of other types of marketing, this economic downturn could see a new vigour and focus on E-marketing from business leaders, and we may be in a new era where e-marketing is finally given the resources and importance that traditional marketing activities have always received.

So go have lunch with your boss and give him the schpiel. And get him to give the schpiel to his boss. And flick your zippos and hold them in the air, e-marketers, because we could be about to see a marked change of the guard from the marketing old school to the new school. There’s always a light at the end of a dark night.


And the Marketing Strategy of the Year for 2008 is…

… making a racy ad, “leaking it” on YouTube & then officially distancing yourself

For the record, I’m not saying that the below companies are actually doing this. For the record too, I’d never do – or recommend doing – something like this… but you have to admit that, although it’s a potentially dubious and high risk strategy, companies have gotten some pretty good viral style attention from having controversial ads ‘leaked’ over the past 6 months. They can then mop up most of the outrage it instigates amongst more conservative members of the viewing public by distancing themselves from the ad… If it can be done by mistake, why can’t it be done on purpose.

Example 1 – JC Penney

Take JC Penney for starters. Saatchi and Saatchi made them a nice little ad featuring 2 fit young things practicing how to get dressed as quickly as possible, with the tagline “Today’s the day you get away with it”.


Not entirely too offensive or racy, but JC Penney apparently found it suitably offensive to decide not to use it.

Fast forward a few months and it’s leaked on YouTube after winning an award at Cannes. JC Penney, understandably outraged, piss and moan and eventually have the video removed from Youtube (but in typical fashion there’s a few other copies of it on Youtube plus it’s since popped up a few other places). The interesting thing about all this is the fact that JC Penney never paid for TV time to air the ad and likely never even paid for production of it, but it’s been getting probably close to the number of views a TV campaign might achieve, plus massive amounts of discussion in forums, blogs and other online vehicles. I seriously doubt it’s going to be bad for Saatchi and Saatchi either, since it may slightly damage relations with JC Penney but it is a great case study in creating excitement online. So, as a brand awareness campaign, this has probably been quite successful (hell, as an Aussie blogger, I’d never heard or given a damn about JC Penney before now… and for the sake of a good blog post, lets ignore the potential issues of brand damage and the damage to the S&S / JC Penney relationship for a moment too).

Example 2  – Guinness

The more recent Guinness “Share one with a Friend” ad is another example. Same story, except the ad is perhaps better produced. It tugs on all the appropriate emotional strings (sex, shock, humour, surprise), and features what is essentially 30 seconds of Guinness logo time… I mean really, I’ve never seen an ad that gets people looking at a bottle of Guinness for 30 seconds whilst being totally entertained… This is one of the better crafted ads I’ve seen in a long time, but was apparently too racy for even a beer company.

It would have been (is) the perfect viral video.

However, the ad was deemed unsuitable by Guinness and was never to see the light of day. Enter (again) youtube, and the ad is getting some good numbers (my last count was 235,000 views of the different copies of it in various places on youtube, not to mention offline vehicles and the versions that have been taken down at Diageo’s request). Diageo / Guiness were, just like JC Penney, a bit miffed at having an ad they’d canned leaked on the net,and a similar hoopla kicked off to the JC Penney case. So this meant that, again, without paying for any TV time or even having to build a supporting campaigns to drive traffic to the video, Guinness managed to get it’s brand in front of hundreds of thousands or people for very little money and drove some real brand exposure time for it’s product. Particularly in the case of beer companies (as opposed to the slightly more conservative JC Penney) this is a positive thing for the company. And any potential negative issues are mitigated by the company distancing itself from the ad, even though behind closed doors it may actually fully endorse it. So the conservative fuddy older Guinness drinkers / investors remain placated, whilst the younger generation of Youtube using beer drinkers see a very different vision of Guinness to what they’re used to. And all this was achieved for probably what would amount to money for jam.

Nice, no? It’s a fine line to tread though.

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