online marketing psychology

September 30, 2010

How B2B marketeers get their hands dirty

The main goal of this blog is to show and try to explain what marketeers are doing. What does a campaign consists of and what does it hope to achieve.

For the latest campaign of B2B marketing agency Velocity they launched a new ebook called B2B Marketing Manifesto. And together with it they disclosed their goals for the whole campaign:

Some business objectives:
  • Drive three new project discussions with existing clients
  • Incite two new business discussions with prospects
  • Improve Google ranking for our chosen keyphrases
And also some metrics:
  • 25 per cent spike in downloads for our thought leadership library
The full details can be found here.  I really liked going over these details and seeing what different elements and metrics they are using.

Defining or at least thinking about goals should be the first step of pretty much everything you do. Bu I do know myself and it is an easy part to skip. That's why I think this list is a good example and it might help to set up a complete online campaign.

The actual material around which the campaign is built is the B2B Marketing Manifesto.

It is a call for new approach to B2B marketing.
The internet has changed the role of the marketeer. It allows quick creation of new campaigns, perfect tracking and precise targeting. And with the ever growing number of ways to get the word out, there are more possibilities than you have time.
Armed with a new skillset (like content marketing, lead nurturing) it is up to you to create marketing that brings something to the table, or entertains people. And that doesn't have to be boring!
But if you are a marketeer of any kind, not just B2B, you’ll find more refreshing ideas and approaches in the rest of the book. And they will be better explained and more beautifully illustrated than my efforts above!

Do you think disclosing your goals and metrics hurts your business?
Or does putting your goals out there force you to reach them?

Please share your opinion in the comments!

September 27, 2010

How Plastic Shoes Got Turned Into Online Stars

At E-mail Marketing Brasil last month in São Paulo, Paulo Pédo Filho, marketing director of  Melissa and Grendene gave some interesting insights into their digital initiatives.

The Melissa brand was founded in 1979. In the 90s, when sales were in a slump, the brand reinvented itself.

From a cheap plastic shoe to a fashion brand. 

This repositioning also meant a change in the distribution, the products were now sold fashion boutiques instead of shoe stores. To make the brand more fashionable, famous designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier were contracted to design new collections.

In 2001, a virtual store opened up: One of the big advantages of this virtual distribution channel was information.

Information about the brand and its consumers such as average ticket value, best sold products, shopping habits and of course consumer preferences could each the company more quickly. Before the extra level of retail stores made it harder for that information to get back.

Digital strategy

Lojamelissa uses the web in various ways to drive traffic to its store.

Communities on the social networking site Orkut are monitored for conversations about the brand. But the brand does not interact on Orkut, instead they use their official blog to respond or new announcements. But by keeping track of what is said in these groups they know what is on the mind of their consumers.

Blogging is another important element in the strategy. And not just their own company blog. For this year's São Paulo fashion week Melissa invited 120 Brazilian fashion bloggers and  gave them early access to the new collection. This move was well received, helped to spread the word on the new collection and turned these bloggers into more intense brand advocates.

To support temporary actions like promotions they use search advertising and different ways of e-mail marketing.

I liked the presentation of all this information as it gave a good overview of all the different parts and how they were integrated.

September 24, 2010

How Brand Names Help Sell Generic Drugs

A box a Medley generic drugs

Medley is one of the biggest pharceutical companies in Brazil.

Aside from their product line of branded drugs, they also sell generic equivalents of other drugs. With a portfolio of 189 products they dominate this segment. (13 out of 20 generic products sold are made by the company)

How have they got to that top position?

By changing the pharmaceutical business model. Instead of focusing on the creation of new drugs, they bring new generic drugs to Brazil using partnerships with the original developers of the drugs.

The idea behind generic drugs is that they don't have brand name. The name on the package usually is the chemical component inside of the drug.

Sp instead of naming individual products, Medley uses its corporate brand on its products. So even if people don't know the name of the product, but they will surely know or recognize the Medley brand.

At a time when people still aren't completely convinced of generic drugs, a familiar name might be help make the sale.

September 22, 2010

Branding 5000m Under the Sea

President Lula Das Silva of Brazil with the first oil from the subsalt Tupi oil fields off the Brazilian coast

With BP's brand lying shattered on the floor, being an oil company became a lot riskier.

And Petrobras, Brazilian oil giant, is at a crucial point in its history. One where the brand plays an important role.

The discoveries of the huge oil fields off the Brazilian coast had a huge impact on the future of the company and of Brazil. The only problem is that the oil sits deep below sea level, lower than 5000m, under a layer of salt. Exploration and production of this oil is a very new and complex process. Most technology necessary for this type of drilling still has to be developed.

And this development and exploration requires money, lots of it.

In order to get this money Petrobras is planning a new stock offering, the biggest one in business history. It could supply the company with up to $79 billion of fresh cash to develop these oil fields.

This is why they need a strong brand. Their communication focuses a lot of national pride. And there is a reason behind it. The majority shareholder is still the state of Brazil. So in a way Petrobras does equal Brazil, and huge profits can really help move the country and its people forward.

And although the destination of the money from the oil fields is still uncertain, Petrobras is a strong brand, in- and outside of Brazil.

Commercials have hit the screen to convince the Brazilian people to get in on this deal.

And if Brazilians don't come up with the cash, foreign investors will without doubt.

Although environmental concerns exist, they don't get a lot of attention.

The stock offering was delayed from July to September. This might have had something to do with the unfortunate timing of the Deeepwater Horizon accident in April.  But with possible prohibition of deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of mexico, the oil in the Brazilian soil might get more valuable.

What do you think?

Is it about having a strong business case, or does the brand indeed play a strategic role?

September 15, 2010

Norton vs. your computer

Dolph Lundgren versus your unicorn.

If the video doesn't show, find it here.
  • 80s Action hero, check
  • Voice-over, check
  • Battle of good vs evil, check
All the videos in the series combined got over one million views. Not a viral success by Old Spice standards but still not bad for some internet videos.

The videos show how the anti-virus can hold up against some really bad guys.

But as I said before, brand advertising only works on light or nonusers of your product. For the customers that really matter, heavy users that know something about anti-virus scanners, brand advertising is not effective.

They are the ones that will spend the money.

And they are the ones that know what Norton products really are: memory and processor eating programs

So instead of trying to make their product look cool, their focus should be on how they can convince these heavy users that their products are good. They might not be so entertaining or 'viral', but it would be a good decision for the Norton brand.

How about you?

Do you like the approach they take with these videos?
Can they make you forget all previous experiences with Norton products? 

September 11, 2010

How a suitcase full of money and an iPod help sell tea

If you make boring tasks fun, people won't mind doing them. 

How about brand guidelines. Manuals in which companies describe everything related to colors, logo positioning, taglines, appropriate images, etc.

Although it can be an interesting document to flick through, reading and studying every line of it requires a lot more effort. Especially in case it is a big brand. But for people that use the brand every day, knowing these rules and applying them consistently is a pretty important part of the job.

So imagine you are responsible to create a new version of your company's brand guidelines. You can put in many hours to create an interesting and good looking document. But  if you know people won't use it,  you can save a lot of time and money.

This is what happened at Lipton. So for their new brand guidelines they got some outside help. Advertising agency DDB Hongkong was hired to make the whole process more fun and engaging. 

Because of this campaign the knowledge of the Lipton brand is at an all-time high in the Asia Pacific region. And it is not the first time that game elements show their effect in the business world.

How game mechanics made this campaign work

First of all every brand manager got an iPod to play around with. Each of these devices came with a quiz application called Lipton Millionaire. In order to do well in this game, users needed to study the brand using the interactive version of the brand guidelines.

All the quiz results were uploaded to an online leaderboard. This allowed brand managers to compare their scores with those of their colleagues. And this increased competition, encouraging them to do the quiz again and rank higher.

To ensure everybody would keep using it they included a virtual prize for the end winner of the game.

There is no doubt that managers spent more time learning about the brand using these tools.  But the question remains how sustainable an  initiative like this is.

Do you think it works because it fancy and new? Or can it really help people to learn new things?

Please share your opinion in the comments!

September 9, 2010

What do companies spend on Google AdWords?

Ever since we got all those free Google AdWords coupons in the company mailbox, I have been toying around with it.
Our company is active in a small niche of the market with low search volumes. So for a couple hundred dollars we have been able to stay at the top positions for our product searches.

But I was wondering what other companies were doing with the service. So this article on AdAge came in handy to find that out. It talks about the spending of corporations on AdWords in June 2010.
A graph showing Google adwords spend in june 2010 for companies like bp and amazon

AT&T Mobility is with $8 million the top spender. A big part of this budget was used to launch the new iPhone. Other big spenders are Apollo Group (=University of Phoenix), the online travel agency Expedia, eBay and Amazon. They all spent between $4 and $6 million in June. 

These numbers show that the big sites really want to be there when the consumer is looking for a product or service they offer. Like said on the Impact SEO blog:
For a few extra cents(dollars) Amazon can ensure that they are the first advert people see when they search for a product. This can not only lead to a single sale, but help develop repeat customer. An investment in visibility now can provide long-term benefits.

One of the surprises was the big surge in spending of BP, looking to steer the public searches after the oil spill. Before they were spending $57,000 a month and after $3.59 million!
But the main keyword income doesn't come from these giant budgets. The top 10 accounted for just 5% of the Google's income during June.

Graph courtesy of AdAge.

September 6, 2010

My take on E-mail Marketing Brasil 2010

logo of de e-mail marketing brasil brazil in em SP Sao Paulo

"You can't wait passively wait for people to get into your store, you have to take the initiative and use tools like sms and email to activate them."
(Paulo Kendzerski from WBI Brasil)
While I agree on the first part, doing nothing won't get you new business, I have kind of a bad feeling about the second part. It feels a whole lot like he says that you should interrupt people. And with all the tools availible today that isn't the right approach in my mind.

I'd rather go with Seth Godin's advice:
"Marketers should establish a foundation and process where interested people can market to each other. Ignite consumer networks and then get out of the way and let them talk."
(excerpt from Unleashing the idea virus)
So if you can't interrupt and you need people to do the marketing to others, how does e-mail marketing fit in there?

To get a better grasp on that was one of the main reasons why I attended E-Mail Marketing Brasil 2010 in São Paulo. I headed there with a little bit of experience on the subject and was hoping to deepen my knowledge and get some fresh ideas.


A good start was a session by Rodrigo do Almeida from Dinamize. He went step by step on how to setup and email campaigns and some possible pitfalls.

Cool was that there was a lot of attention to improve the success rate of your campaign and how to handle possible "failures".

Track your e-mails to find out what people do with them (open, click, convert). And use information of these interaction for additional actions:
An example: an e-mail campaign with a couple of different offerings in it was sent out by an electronics retailer. The reader was interested and clicked on the TV promo. After arriving on the retailers website, it is unsure what happened but probably he just browsed around a bit. This information, that he clicked on the TV promo, was used a couple of days later to send follow-up e-mail with nothing but TV promos.
These kind of personalization results in a lot higher conversion rates.
A second example by Amazon. After a purchase of a camera, an e-mail was sent with suggestions on accessories of that specific camera model. This creates some sort of intimacy.

Opt-out(or unsubscribers): Instead of having a one-click unsubscribe link in your e-mail, ask for a confirmation, it decreases opt-out rates by 8%. A fact that later was confirmed by David Witthaker. He brought some numbers on how the single click opt-out is getting more and more rare. Today two or three clicks seem to be more common practice. Which recognizes the efforts of marketeers to try and keep people longer.

And this confirmation of unsubscription could follow a different approach. Instead of just confirming the link, you can offer some other possibilities.
  • reduce the frequency of the e-mails
  • change e-mail address
  • offer alternatives for e-mail
inactive email addresses: analyze them, look for a way to reactivate or simply remove them.

spam: Different e-mail providers have different rules on what they consider spam.
An e-mail included an image that linked to an Orkut page, this was considered spam for Hotmail. When the link was changed from an image to a text link, the email got delivered correctly.
An extra handy fact was that 48% of the B2B users read their e-mail on a smartphone (no idea about the country but I'm guessing the US). So including a link from your e-mail to a mobile optimized page might not be a bad idea, as these devices are going to become more popular.

The charming David Witthaker had more interesting information.

Many companies are planning increased investments in e-mail marketing. And a big part from this money will be spent on retention, not prospection of customers. The growing popularity of lead generation and management will play a role in this. E-mail marketing is perfect to manage the leads.

David's company, MarketData, also works with eye-tracking. And he brought some nice videos of this process. One example was an ad about diet products that featured a hot model that was showing a lot of skin.
The results were pretty interesting and were a lot different for women and men:
  • women: fingers, clothes, clothes, brand
  • men: face and breasts, very little title or brand
More eye for the flesh than for the product, borrowed interest, like Stan Lee from the blog brand dna calls it, doesn't really work.

After seeing some examples spread around here and there it was interesting to see two companies talking about their digital strategy.


The marketing director of Melissa/Grendene, Paulo Pédo Filho, brought a lot of interesting information on their e-store

But the main idea is that when sales were down, they repositioned the brand, started the e-store and are now operating on a nice digital strategy. It is a mix of email marketing and social media.

Read my post on the case.

From the case of Marisa I took two things away:
  • use models to show the products, they sell better then just the product photo
  • instead of using random models, use real clients to show your products on your website. They have a word of mouth effect which can be of real value to your website. (traffic!)
An interesting thought to close of the e-commerce part: consumers enter e-stores via product searches. They are looking for a product, not a shop. So the challenge is to be where the search occurs.

Digital trends

To close there was a speaker called Martha Gabriel. Her talk about digital trends was high-speed and filled with examples and books to read. The subject itself is very broad so many different points were touched briefly.

A couple of take-aways:
In Portuguese: pessoas não são, elas estão
Which means that people are different depending on the circumstances. In marketing terms it means that although at home I might be interested in that e-mail about plasma TVs, at work I consider it spam.
The digital evolution allows for a better synchronization between people and communication.
Active presence of the consumer on different channels has to be responded with a receptive experience by the companies.
I picked up a lot of nice things at the conference. But still a couple of things troubled me. I for example heard nothing about the importance of good landing pages.

Another thing was social media.
"You have to be everywhere."
(Alexandre Umberti from e-bit)
I would think that someone that works in a digital agency has experience in advising people on how to get into social media. And being everywhere is in my opinion not a good start. If you spread out your efforts too think on every new digital thing you will waste time and money.

My advice?
See where your customers are and in which channels they interact. Pick the largest one and get your feet wet with that one. Use this experience to get into other social networks afterwards. Remember it's about the communication, not the channel you are in.

September 4, 2010

How concept stores can help build a brand

The Gilette concept store in campo jordao sao paulo of proctor and gamble/div>

Brands start opening shops of their own. And there are a couple of possible reasons for that. I already wrote about efforts use the brand to venture into new business.
A second reason, to use this exposure to increase brand awareness.

In all the cases below the concept is the same: open a store on a high traffic location, fill the shelves with your whole product line, advertise your products to the people and give them coupons that can be redeemed in a supermarket.

These moves create a more personal contact with the customer. Which they hope of course translates in supermarket sales. And this is exactly what's behind the recent efforts of Proctor and Gamble Brasil.

  • During the past holiday period the company opened two concept stores in a São Paulo shopping mall: Beauty Store Pantene and Olay and Gillette Concept Store
  • P&G held an expo in one of the convention centers of São Paulo to show what was new in their portfolio.
  • A Gilette lounge was opened in South-Africa during the World Cup. As official sponsor of the Brazilian selection they wanted to be close to the team.
  • These past events and concept stores seem to have been successful because now P&G plans to open a new concept store in September in a shopping mall of São Paulo. There they will display their whole product portfolio.

One of the main reasons behind all these actions is the launch of three new brands on the Brazilian market: Olay, Head and Shoulders and Naturella. The shops are a way to familiarize the consumer with these brands while on the other hand connecting them with the corporate brand.

September 1, 2010

What great design teaches us about designing for the web

screenshot of the vitsoe page with 606 shelves system designed by dieter rams call to action
Click for full-size
Over at Vitsoe, furniture company they have a good bit of information on design and their products. This in the form of articles or blog posts.

One of the articles is about the 10 principles for good design by Dieter Rams and illustrates every one of them. Of those products only at principle number seven and nine are made by Vitsoe mentioned.

I like the simple call to action that they put on the article. Well integrated into the article.

By the way: both products were designed in the 60s and are still selling like hotcakes. I guess a good product and brand goes a long way!