Archive for March, 2007

Is mobile and in-game marketing right for you?

Do you call the shots when it comes to marketing? Have you heard the buzz and are now thinking you should sink a chunk of your budget into mobile (cell phones) and in-game marketing (videogames)? Hold up for a sec cowboy. According to Forrester via Ad Age: “What emerging channels will nab the most marketer interest this year? Despite the hype around tactics such as mobile and gaming, adoption of those areas is still low.”

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why most marketers aren’t jumping on the mobile and in-game marketing bandwagon. The target audience for both makes up a fraction of the overall public. Mobile marketing is hindered by technology and hardware; all phones are different and so are their capabilities. In-game marketing is hindered by the fact that its audience is primarily younger with very distinct tastes.

So before you decide to sink a chunk of your budget into these areas, you need to think about your target audience. Think of their average age, their personalities, likes, dislikes, and so on. If it’s a younger crowd and is likely to own the latest in technology, then you may want to experiment with mobile and in-game marketing. If it’s not, then hold off for now. It might be better for you to stick with email, search, and blog marketing.

Ducati cuts advertising and is better off for it

Read this article over at the Credibility Branding Blog. Apparently Ducati, the Italian motorcycle company, decided to drop its advertising budget and spend the money on more customer-centric projects.

The company, which saw sales increase 16% in North America–including a 50% spike in Canada–last year, has done so while all but eliminating its internal marketing department and focusing on communications, events, PR and relationships with dozens of independent clubs of “Ducatisti” or Ducati owners.

If you’re a marketer, does this news scare you or excite you?

Personally, I’m pumped!

Sony’s Playstation 3: Bad Advertising Gets Bad Results

In past posts I commented on Sony’s television advertising campaign for the Playstation 3 and how it was more than lack-luster. It’s now been almost 3 months since Christmas and the numbers speak for themselves. According to Earthtimes.org:

Nintendo Wii continued its impressive performance to once again top the list of best-selling video games console in the United States for the month of February, according to latest figures released by market research firm NPD.

Wii managed to sell over 54 percent of the total hardware sales in February, with gamers grabbing all available units in the market. In total Nintendo sold over 335,000 units Wii consoles. The Japanese game maker continued to rule even in the portable consoles, with over 485,000 units of Nintendo DS being sold, which is more than double the number of PlayStation Portable units sold in the same period.

Xbox 360 was second on the list, selling around 228,000 copies while PlayStation 3 had to settle for third spot, managing to sell a dismal 127,000 units, even though there were no reports of shortages.

Granted, the advertising campaign for the Playstation 3 is not the sole reason the console is not selling well. There are many other factors. But when the advertising fails to tell the viewer why they should buy a Playstation 3 and just shows a bunch of weird imagery, what do you expect?

The Nintendo Wii on the other hand, as you read above, is experiencing tremendous sale volumes. The interesting thing is that Nintendo hasn’t been blasting the viewers away with television ads. The Wii’s popularity seems to be driven mostly by positive word-of-mouth. It just goes to show that a good recommendation from a friend is worth much more than an advertisement.

Web Metrics: The Pageview is Disappearing

In an earlier post I said “If you can’t measure it, then don’t do it.” I stand by that saying and believe all true marketers should do the same. That saying however poses some problems when new web technologies come into play. For instance, my company gave my department the “go ahead” to rewrite our web systems and tools in FLEX. For those that don’t know, FLEX is a web-authoring language similar to FLASH. It allows developers to create rich Internet applications. FLEX applications can do some amazing stuff.

The bad part is that the traditional web metric, the pageview, doesn’t work for FLEX applications (or AJAX applications for that matter). FLEX and AJAX do not create pages per se; therefore, pageviews don’t exist and therefore aren’t recorded – even though a user may be interacting with the site. This fact has kept me searching for a web metric that would allow me to measure the effectiveness of our new systems once they are implemented. comScore seems to have addressed my worries.

From MarketingVox.com:

comScore is adding a new metric, “visits” – which the measurement firm defines as the number of distinct times people visit a site per day, with at least 30 minutes between each visit – could potentially replace the pageview as a key advertiser metric.

Whereas pageviews generate a raw number of how many pages on the site were hit in a given period, visits point to a user’s engagement with the site. Tracking visits, comScore says, will give a picture of how many times the same person comes back, indicating the level of loyalty toward the site.

With more and more web sites becoming Web 2.0 sites, the pageview will quickly become an outdated metric.

Twitter is Useless

Okay, so this Twitter thing is completely useless for marketing purposes. I can see some value, albeit very little, in the service if you’re a teenager or an extreme Internet geek. But for any practical business purpose, it’s a waste of time.

Do the clients of IBM, FedEx, or Jet Blue really care what the company or CEO is up to, right now? No. Twitter is old-school marketing in the fact that it’s the author telling the audience what they think they want to hear. All too often the stuff that comes out is useless information like, “I’m waiting on sushi” or “I need to insert code into this form to…” How does any of that help to build a relationship with the client? I don’t think it does.

What’s your take on Twitter?


Who am I ?

My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

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