The latest Beyond the Browser on The Western Star went live today.
I'm still getting used to the formatting for newspaper publishing so I thought I would re-post the beginning section here as it was originally presented.
Online advertising is powerful.
Also lucrative, especially for the ad servers. The biggest player in the online advertising space is Google. Google’s revenues for last year topped thirty three billion dollars. Ninety seven percent of that revenue came from online advertising.
Here’s a crash course in how Google AdWords works:
- Setup an account
- Create a new ad campaign
- Choose one ore more keywords that your advertising will show up for
- Craft your ad, alternative wording is also an option
- Set your maximum budget per day
- Activate your campaign
There are of course a few screens to get through to manage all of that. The online documentation is good though and there are hundreds of businesses that specialize in helping you run AdWords campaigns.
The other thing I am getting used to is editorial changes. I'm not certain why the last section of my article was truncated. I suspect it was due to content or timing. As it related to the recent election, which has of course ended, it may not be considered topical anymore.
The thing is, the truncated portion of my article was inspired by a conversation I had on Twitter pertaining to AdWords use by certain political parties. I think some discussion on the matter is deserved so I'm posting the deleted section here now so we can continue our chat.
Without further fanfare, here is the missing section:
Before I wrap up this column, I’d like to point out an innovative use of AdWords I had never seen before.
A keen eyed reader was browsing the Internet reading information on the upcoming elections. They mentioned on Twitter the result they saw when they typed the keywords nl liberals. Fortunately they were also quick enough to take a screenshot of the result because the ad that was displayed has since been disabled.
The URL for the screen is: http://t.co/3k3T0RA8. Don’t worry about the strange format of the link. That’s a customized short link Twitter uses to help users share links without using up too many characters in the 140 character limit per post.
There are several interesting things about this ad.
- First, it was not a product related ad, it was a political ad that pointed to http://newenergynl.ca.
- Second, the ad was tied to at least the keywords nl liberals and muskrat falls, there were likely other keywords.
- Third, the disparity between the headline, “NDP”, and the website the ad redirected to, newenergynl.ca (a PC site), should have lowered the accuracy score given by Google. Google checks the content of the target website against your ad wording to ensure there is some relationship.
I am not sure how I feel about the wording of the ad but I do find this use of AdWords innovative. Technology, at its best, is a disruptive game changer that can supercharge your marketing efforts.
One thing is certain, political campaigning in Newfoundland & Labrador has just been changed forever.
Is Apple secretly cutting costs and disguising it as an innovation?
Last night Apple announced they would no longer be attending the Macworld conference and Expo. The explanation is that Apple is popular enough to no longer need the publicity. Apple retail stores draw 3.5 million people per week and Apple.com draws 100 million customers.
The consensus on this BNet poll is that the cost of trade shows are not worth the leads they generate. The example they list shows a single genuine lead costing $4500. That translates into a lot of iPhones per lead. Less than 2 Macbook Pros though.
Perhaps Apple simply realized this truth:
If you are attending MacWorld, you probably already like their products. Simple math says they don't need the expense of a trade show to sell their gear.
What's missing from this black and white view of trade show ROI? Is there any other potential value of showing up and showing off? What possible purpose could the droves of Apple fanboys and girls attendees serve besides shelling out cold cash to buy product?
One word: buzz!
Trade shows like Macworld do more than showcase to the crowd that attends. The majority of people there will be sharing their experience with everyone in earshot.
"Grandma, did you know I'll be attending Macworld?"
"Hey co-worker, when I was at Macworld..."
Twitpic - "Just Seen at Macworld!"
You get the idea.
People want the cred that goes with attending the big show. They want the connection that comes with hearing Steve Jobs in person. They love the opportunity to network with others who love their gadgets as much as they do. Ah well, there's always SXSW I guess.
Apple is hot, hot, hot, there's no doubt. But do they really have the momentum to drop one of the events that got them where they are today?
I've become increasingly interested in the art of online marketing.
Some may argue the use of the term art when used in reference to marketing but I checked this out fairly carefully right after I wrote that sentence.
According to the handy dictionary on my Mac, art can be defined as:
- a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice : the art of conversation
- works produced by such skill and imagination
- the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power
Wikipedia backs this last one up with the definition:
- Art is the process or product of deliberately and creatively arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions
If you still aren't convinced, think of any ad that has ever appealed to you in any way. Sometimes they are visually stunning or interesting to watch, but the most impact is often achieved through basic human emotion.
By this last definition, anything that deliberately appeals to your senses or emotions in a creative fashion can be labeled art. So, to answer the question posed by the title above, I'll stick to calling marketing, at least effective marketing, a form of art.
My wife points out that I've argued an objection that no one posed in this post. Hopefully you'll forgive me; she did
I have so much to say on marketing that I opted to devote an entire page to the topic. Stay tuned to read my musings on testing and measuring your online marketing efforts.