Thursday, February 23, 2017

How Paid, Earned & Owned Media Drive Success

When budgets are tight, it's tempting to focus on earned and owned media over paid media promotion. But marketers need to know the growth penalty of that strategy. Brands that use paid media typically grow three times faster than those that rely on owned and earned media alone, according to recent international research from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), as reported by The Drum. At the same time, paid media is more effective when coupled with earned and owned media. IPA research shows that owned media, which includes brand websites, blogs and social media sites, typically increases the effectiveness of a paid ad campaign by 13%. Meanwhile, earned media, which includes online mentions, shares, re-posts and reviews, increases the effectiveness of a paid campaign by a larger 26%. The IPA examination of media marketing further finds that emotion is a vital ingredient to success, and that television advertising continues to be the most powerful in delivering emotional engagement. Researchers report that adding television advertising increases a promotional campaign's effectiveness by 40%, for example. The growing use of video-on-demand and online video has turbocharged video impact: IPA's research shows a 54% increase in the average number of "very large" business effects from adding television and online video together. For more on balancing paid, earned and owned media, as well as brand-building vs. targeted sales promotion, see our post:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

2017 Trends Offer Good News for Fundraisers

While 2017 is starting as a year of uncertainty, especially in politics, a recent CauseVox post by staff writer Tina Jepson spotlights 10 fundraising trends that offer good news and opportunities for nonprofit marketers in 2017. Donation forecasts are upbeat for individual, corporate and recurring giving, Jepson shares. Philanthropy Outlook 2016 & 2017 predicts that an increase in individual and household income will help to boost fundraising efforts for nonprofits, charities, and NGOs by as much as 3.8% in 2017. Plus, with Gross Domestic Product and business savings on the rise, total corporate giving is predicted to rise by 4.7% in 2017. And monthly giving, which accounts for 17% of online revenue, also will continue increasing per the 2016 M+R Benchmarks report. At the same time, donor retention rates are at the highest rate since 2008 at 45.9%, and nonprofits and charities clearly should make retention a marketing priority to capitalize on this powerful fundraising engine, Jepson notes. Another positive for fundraisers is the growth in donor data as digital interactions—websites, e-mail, social media and now the Internet of Things (IoT)—combine with traditional channels such as direct mail to generate a wealth of information about existing and potential donors. So a key goal for 2017 is to gather, analyze and use actionable data effectively. Meanwhile, on social and mobile marketing fronts, nonprofits face challenges as well as opportunities. Social media platforms, including Facebook, now are promoting organic content prioritizing audience friends and family over nonprofit messages so that effective social media marketing will need to rely more on purchased ads and targeting of key demographics. And any nonprofit that hasn't invested in mobile optimization of websites and e-mails is missing a key donation source: Mobile giving makes up 17% of all online giving now and is projected to rise further in 2017. For suggestions on maximizing the fundraising impact of each trend, see our complete post at

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Do You Have a 2017 Cross-Device Strategy?

With mobile now a key platform for digital display ad, social media and e-mail viewing, and even print integrating with mobile and online, marketers clearly need a 2017 cross-device strategy. As a 2016 Econsultancy survey noted, only 14% of marketers said their company was able to handle the customer matching across multiple devices, even though almost three-fourths of respondents felt cross-device customer tracking was a strategic priority. A recent Direct Marketing News article by Pierre DeBois offers some good tips for initiating a cross-device strategy. Start with analytics platform reporting now that Google Analytics, Piwik and Adobe Analytics all offer a user ID feature, a modification to the analytics tag, to allow cross-device visits to be an identifiable segment in the analytics reports. DeBois also suggests setting up report filters for digital traffic to take advantage of what is already known about the digital points at which customers engage, such identifying web traffic by the IP address of a store site to track customers who shop the site while in-store. A mobile site that makes it easy for customers to act immediately—whether they want to order, call or download—is a must. With strong mobile traffic, a marketer can even develop enough audience to support an app launch. Since accessing social media is a key activity for mobile users, and video viewing continues to soar, marketers will want to leverage social traffic stats and demographic parameters to tailor content to social media platforms, with an eye to mobile and visual/video impact. DeBois cites the Google Customer Journey tool as one way for marketers to adjust when media content should be deployed. Then design ads for cross-device viewing and response and take advantage of the paid search platforms' expanded mobile and IoT (Internet of Things) offerings, with device selection for re-marketing and paid search ads, call extensions and cross-device reporting. For the full post, go to

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 Event Marketing: Social, Visual, Data-Focused

Event professionals can look forward to some exciting new marketing trends in 2017--especially in the social, digital and data arenas--as recently highlighted in both an EventManagerBlog survey and a post by MarketingTango, the marketing blog for brands like PIP and Sir Speedy. Data, with a social twist, remains key, with many event professionals reporting to EventMB that they saw an increase in the amount and quality of data available through social media in 2016--data that can be used to improve retargeting and create better multi-channel campaigns in 2017. MarketingTango points out that tighter targeting of the right VIPs and digital influencers will allow marketers to ride their social media coattails to higher Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram traffic and maximize social data ROI. Underlying social media's growth as an event tool is its ability to boost engagement and professional connectivity. Certainly, per EventMB's survey, using contests and giveaways for posting or tagging in social media is a big trend with exhibitors, who not only reap booth traffic but free marketing buzz as people tag and share. MarketingTango likewise notes the growing use of a "digital social wall" to engage attendees in real-time and harness the power of hashtags to own conversations. Social media also offers more ways to connect, and EventMB's surveyed event pros reported increased use of Snapchat and Snapchat geolocation filters to meet and connect as well as use of guest-generated pop-up events such as Twitter meetups. Event marketers further stressed that today's attendees want websites and landing pages that are easy-to-use, faster and more concise, preferring bullets and visuals over wordy pages. Image-based platforms are winning more followers, and many event pros forecast growing popularity for video in event invitations and advertisements, virtual reality experiences to sell venues, etc. For more, go to

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Study: Customers Not Recognized Across Channels

Just 9% of marketers say they can consistently recognize customers across media channels, according to the MediaPost report on a new white paper published by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA). The study, conducted by Winterberry Group, is based on interviews with marketers from about 120 organizations. Per the MediaPost story, the study did find that companies have improved how they provide the same brand experience across channels, with slightly more than 77% of participants claiming to coordinate the delivery of content across all the media channels extremely well, fairly well or to some extent. But since most companies are marketing to devices not people, the challenge has been recognizing the same customers as they cross devices, for example going from search to catalog, or from mobile to in-store. Companies do realize that there is a problem per the survey, with some 72% of those participating identifying audience recognition as a "moderate" or higher priority. And when asked what would help to advance their organization's efforts to better recognize addressable audiences across marketing media, better aggregation and management of data, cited by nearly 48% of marketers, led the top five solutions. For more statistics from the study and for a link to download a free white paper copy, go to full blog post at

Thursday, January 12, 2017

How Direct Mail Testing Differs by Product Stage

Direct mail success is all about testing -- lists, offer, creative, and, of course, the product/service itself. While there's no single formula, Malcolm Decker's excellent article "How to Test Your Direct Mail" in Target Marketing magazine's resource section offers some useful guidelines. Decker differentiates the weight given the various direct mail testing parameters by a product's life cycle--new product testing; honing success of an existing product; and testing to revive a mature product. For example, his ideal new-product test is mailed to 120,000 names, with the house list providing less than 20% of names mailed, and testing of 15 different lists, three different prices/offers, and three different creative packages. In looking at the relative contributions of testing factors, he notes that even the most well-researched new product can impact results by 30% plus or minus. Mailing lists--ranging from tightly targeted response lists to larger, broader and thus riskier lists--will contribute another plus or minus 30% to success, based on Decker's experience. Then the price/offer will deliver another 30% up or down. And last, the creative factor for a new product can move the testing needle by another plus or minus 10%. Once marketers have a couple of years of mailing results to help determine price elasticity, list universe, creative preference, premium impacts, etc., Decker notes that the 30-30-30-10 relationship of start-up testing has shifted. And once a mature product's marketing choices face the challenges of competition or changing tastes and demographics, the weights of key testing factors shift once more. For more on testing parameters for proven and mature products, see the full blog post at

Thursday, January 5, 2017

3 Digital Trends Challenge Multi-Channel Marketers

As this year's marketing gets underway, we want to alert multi-channel marketers to three important 2017 digital trends recently cited by digital marketing hub ClickZ author Rebecca Sentance. Trend One: Marketers need to go beyond "mobile friendly" to a "mobile first" strategy given current search trends. Think mobile is over-hyped? Sentance asks you to consider the following: Search-engine giant Google has removed the "right-hand rail" from the search results page and moved to only displaying paid ads at the top and bottom, making the main search results layout more adaptive to mobile; Google continues to strengthen a mobile-friendly ranking system that penalizes websites that aren’t mobile-optimized; and Google announced in October that it would further favor mobile search by splitting off desktop and mobile into separate search indexes, with mobile as its primary index. Trend Two: marketers need to embrace visual elements and visually focused platforms for more effective social media performance. Trend Three: Marketers should stop assuming social media is mainly a tool for brand and traffic building rather than direct sales. For the facts driving the last two trends, read our complete post at