Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tactis for Boosting Online Ad Response

Marketing Sherpa has been publishing a weekly series on online advertising. This is part three of the four part series and it addresses best tactics to boost ad click through:

These three take aways were also provided from Marketing Sherpa:

The results fall into three general categories:


Our brains are hardwired to pick up volumes of information from the subtle nuances in facial expressions. That could be why adding a picture of a person is the single most effective way to communicate brand information.It’s no accident that some charities seeking donations feature pictures of suffering children. Words on a page simply can’t convey emotional messages, such as suffering, joy, or frustration.


Adding drivers, such as more data-entry fields, tends to flatten the purchase funnel. Adding a video allows advertisers to pack more information into an ad. Such drivers ease the journey from product ignorance to product purchase, with the least amount of work possible.


Adding drivers, such as more dynamic text, helps match relevant messages to more exposed individuals, reducing wasted media.

Join the discussion by adding your topics or comments to the AMA Pittsburgh blog.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friendly Fridays - How to Participate

In one of my favorite recent Broadway shows, a shaggy haired puppet sings “The Internet is for Porn”. Well that may have been true, the recent news announcement made me sing a different tune.

It’s official social sites have taken down the king of the Internet and are now the most used sites. Turns out that we all want to be social after all. So raise a glass and salute the new champion. I hope it is a long run.

Which in around about way leads me back to Friendly Fridays in this space. Each Friday we would like to feature an AMA Pittsburgh member. So how do you participate?

It's simple. Answer these questions and send your profile to amapgh@universalwit.com:


What is your current company, job title and responsibilities?

What does your company do?

How long have you worked for them?

What experience do you have in marketing?

What is your education background?

What are your favorite things about marketing?

When and why did you join the AMA Pittsburgh Chapter?

Tell us about your family, hobbies or any other interesting items about you:

Piece of cake. Lets be more social. We look forward to featuring you in this space and to getting to know you better.

Gender Gap

The following article was sent in by GACC printing for interest to our readers:

A number of researchers from a variety of disciplines have concluded that in aggregate, men and women react differently to colors, images, topic matter and even the style of copy. Empowered with that knowledge, should direct response marketers take into consideration these differences when designing direct mail and broadcast email campaigns? Will doing so improve overall campaign response rates? That's the topic we are going to explore. When we talk about response rates, we are referring to readers who respond to your piece's call to action, which is typically the one action you are looking to get the reader to take. Before you even get to the message, though, the subject of a broadcast email is akin to the direct mail envelope. The call-to-action for both is: Open Me!

Gender versioning attempts to identify design and/or copy components of a direct response campaign that can be modified to reflect general differences in visual preferences among the sexes with the specific purpose of closing a gender gap. To take a simple example, several researchers have concluded that men as a whole respond better to simpler and darker color schemes, in contrast to women who, in aggregate, favor brighter and more complex color schemes. So, if you produce two versions of a mailer with color selections made to reflect these preferences, will it do better than one version with one color scheme sent to your entire list?

Of course, the product or service you are selling, or the topic matter you select, may have absolutely no gender response gap. Our guess is that there are many factors, including the nature of the subject matter, that influence response rates for women vs. men. This provides a nice segue into the four questions you should probably answer: . Is this relevant?. Is this important?. If so, what should I test?. How do I evaluate the results?

Join the discussion on the AMA Pittsburgh blog by submitting your topics or comments.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Banner Size Envy

Do bigger banners get better results in online advertising? Marketing Sherpa published their report on click through by size of banner:

Join the discussion on the AMA Pittsburgh blog by submitting your topics or comments.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Online Advertising Tests

From Marketing Sherpa, comes suggestions for testing your online advertising from messages, to pre live, and after live. Sherpa recommends balancing your testing against ROI to pick the appropriate test measures for your campaign.

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Microsoft Commercial Clowning Fails to Hit Mark

Microsoft unleashed its first tv commercial in a $300 million marketing campaign. The commercial stars founder Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld. The company's attempt at humor likely in response to the well received Mac commercials did make a lot of news over the weekend. None of it positive, however.

The buzz on the blogs and podcasts have resounded with negative responses. The over whelming response was 'What were they thinking?'. Bloggers have blasted the attempt at humor and no one seems to know what the commercial was meant to advertise.

Is this Microsoft's attempt to make a kinder, gentler brand? If so, they might have a bigger hole to fill after their attempt at clowning around.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Outdoor Advertising Metrics

Online advertising has two measurments: # of impressions and # of click throughs. Since the 1930s outdoor advertising has only had one: The amount of eyes that pass by the advertisement. Those eyes will now be measured as part of a movement to an increasingly accurate measurement system proposed by a consortium of advertising agencies and other outdoor advertising interested parties.

The new system has been dubbed the 'Eyes on Metric System'. The system employs highly sensitive cameras to track how much time a person looks at an outdoor advertisement. Before you think big brother is watching you from behind a Burma Shave sign, the system is employed only to a statistical sample of 900 people.

This group is then analyzed and applied to the traditional number of potential views. The new number is then generated for 'delivery'. This new metric is being adopted as a more accurate to price and buy outdoor advertising, which has seen renewed growth over the past several years as an effective marketing tool.

Join the discussion by submitting your topics or comments to the AMA Pittsburgh blog.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Blogging Tips

Blogs continue to grow as a marketing tool. Most corporate blogs start fast, but often fade just as fast. In today's post, we bring you tips from Marketing Sherpa to make your blog a success.


1. Genuine, heartfelt content

A main reason that blogs are popular reading is that they stand out in contrast to the massaged language of corporate marketing and PR materials. Like sitting next to an expert on a plane, the best blogs provide highly useful information in a brief and informal setting.

2. Regular updates

Many if not most corporate blogs start strong but fade after the initial rush of ideas evaporates. Some companies have created internal quotas for bloggers; others have hired or assigned specific staff. A few have been successful using social networking to attract amateurs interested in the topic. The bottom line: Your blog needs to be active to be successful.

3. Focus

In many industries, blogging is common. Technology and marketing have been early adopters, and the field is crowded. To be successful, new blogs need to provide an innovative lens on their content – usually by being highly focused on an under-reported aspect of their industry. If you are in an industry that is late to blogging, you may be able to provide a generalist’s view.

Join the discussion on the AMA Pittsburgh blog by submitting your topics or comments.