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Data Can Only Take You So Far

Posted October 30, 2012 by fran @ 10:35 am

Data plays a huge part in advertising decisions. Sure, a good ad network can give you all the tools that you need, but your choices on how to use those tools are what will really make or break your campaign. When deciding on what ad type to serve up, what copy to write, and where to display them, you should always refer to what your research is telling you.

Yes, gathering data is crucial when you’re in the ad business. However, it isn’t enough. Data can only go so far. Test results and statistics have their limitations and sometimes, you need to go beyond the numbers to pull off a successful campaign.

Case in point: BIC’s ill-advised effort to market to the female demographic. A few months ago, the pen company unveiled BIC For Her (yes, that is the actual name of the product), a pen specifically designed for women. It features an “elegant design – just for her” and even has a “thin barrel to fit a woman’s hand.”

Needless to say, the sexist nature of the product drove women (and even males) to react via social media. Numerous users wrote hilarious, sarcastic reviews on Amazon. What’s more, since the guys at BIC didn’t secure the bicforher.com domain and @BicForHer Twitter handle, Bic For Her parodies invaded the Twitterverse and blogosphere.

Now, we can go on and on here and make fun of BIC, but it would be so much better if we let Amazon users tell you themselves. Here are some of the best and most hilarious reviews we’ve seen:

I love BIC Cristal for Her! The delicate shape and pretty pastel colors make it perfect for writing recipe cards, checks to my psychologist (I’m seeing him for a case of the hysterics), and tracking my monthly cycle. Obviously, I don’t use it for vulgar endeavors like math or filling out a voter application, but BIC Cristal for Her is a lovely little writing utensil all the same. Ask your husband for some extra pocket money so you can buy one today! –E. Bradley

I’m a powerlifter and when I wrote my workouts with these my lifts all plummeted. And they gave my boyfriend man-boobs : ( – EntMum

I am so thankful my daughter will never know a world without pens for women. Hopefully Crayola will catch on and start making crayons for girls.-ASC

Yes, BIC definitely fell into a social media pickle due to their misguided marketing attempt, and led people to ask, what in the world were they thinking?

Well, David Vinjamuri at Forbes had a very interesting answer to that. According to him, BIC’s blunder is “what happens when you try to build your brand by looking at it through the lens of data rather than from the perspective of your consumer.”

Vinjamuri continues with this imaginary scenario of a brand group presenting their idea to the higher ups:

Female ABM (Assistant Brand Manager):  Our share among women is lagging.  We’re losing on both coasts to SnazzyPen: which targets women.  We need a stronger offering.

Female Brand Manager (showing board of concept drawings):  Here are some designs that did extremely well in testing.  Top two box purchase intent is very high for women.

Female Group Product Director:  Right – we think we can blow these out in Wal-Mart and Target at back-to-school.

Male VP:  Great, but these are way too generic.  You can’t even tell who they’re for!  The trade is never going to cut these in if it isn’t clear that they’re for women.  Why don’t we call them “Bic for Her?”

Female ABM: [looks queasy]

Female Brand Manger: [Shifts nervously, looks for support from Group Product Director]

Female Group Product Director: [Confident that “Bic for Her” will fail in Concept testing]:  Absolutely, that’s a great idea.  We’ll get right on that.

Male VP: [Nods, satisfied]

[read the full article on Forbes]

So was BIC too busy looking at the numbers to be sensitive to its customers? We of course, don’t know that for sure. However, it does teach us the difference between thinking that you know what your customers want versus actually knowing them.

Research, data, and surveys are great and all, but remember that it’s important to get a holistic view of who your customers are. In order to be successful in marketing and advertising your brand, you need to get to know your target audience inside and out, sometimes even better than they know themselves.

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Why In-Text Ads Can Work For You

Posted October 24, 2012 by fran @ 11:04 am

Ask any consumer or Internet surfer out there. Being interrupted while they’re peacefully browsing the web would be one of their biggest pet peeves. Obtrusive ads that come out of nowhere or disrupt a person’s browsing experience is a no-no in the online advertising realm.

Being too “in your face” with your advertisements can do more harm than good. Sure, it may get you some clicks at first, but in the long run, it can ruin customers’ perception of your brand or website.

Fortunately, the web also offers a variety of unobtrusive ad choices. Whether you’re an advertiser who wants to get more customers or a publisher who wishes to make money off a website, there are several user-friendly advertising solutions at your disposal.

Inline text ads are a great example of such advertisements. Inline ads, (also known as Intextual) appear as underlined keywords in a body of text. The Intextual system scans a page and selects relevant keywords to highlight, ensuring that advertisers and publishers alike get the most clicks possible. The actual ads only show up when the user hovers over these underlined words and they disappear after a few seconds, unless the user interacts with them.

What’s more, publishers have the option of adding social media buttons and a search box to the ad, to give it more functionality. Intextual ads also have a close button, so users can manually get rid of them if they want to.

Convenient Space-Savers

Aside from being unobtrusive, In-text ads are great space-savers, and are ideal for content-heavy websites. Since they’re incorporated into the text, they save space and won’t disrupt the flow of a site’s content. This is a big boon for publishers because it allows them to earn ad revenue while still keeping the readability and layout of their site.

In addition, inline ads actually complement a website’s content, and serve as a helpful tool for people that wish to learn more about what they’re reading. The Intextual system is smart enough to only highlight the most relevant and clickable keywords to ensure that users to don’t encounter irrelevant ads while browsing the page.

Advertisers on the other hand, won’t risk being seen as obtrusive by consumers. Intextual gives companies a chance to advertise in a subtle and tasteful way, thus allowing them to make a good impression with potential customers.

Customizable

Full customization is another great feature of in-text ads. If you’re a publisher, you will be able to control the look, feel, and behavior of the ads to make sure that they fit well with the design of your website. Feel free to choose the color and size of the ads in order to give your visitors a seamless experience while browsing your website.

Advertisers on the other hand will also benefit from this. Want to show images with your ads, or do you prefer a plain text format? Either way, intextual ads can make it work for you.

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DMA2012: What happened in Vegas…

Posted October 18, 2012 by fran @ 9:32 am

…Was so awesome, we couldn’t let it stay in Vegas.

Earlier this week, the AdMedia team headed to Sin City for the Direct Marketing Association Conference & Exhibition which was held at the Mandalay Bay. The show was packed with the best marketers in the industry, and we felt right at home.

Adding Value to Marketing Campaigns

Practically all the attendees that stopped by our booth agreed that AdMedia’s Cross Channel Advertising platform and Remarketing solutions would be able enhance their marketing campaigns. Not only would our platform let them deploy their ads to multiple channels, but with our help, marketers could track and monitor the effectiveness of their campaigns more easily.

It was really great to be able to connect with people who really knew what they were talking about and who understood the value that AdMedia brings to the table. Aside from our advanced approaches and wide reach, we help marketers and advertisers make the most of the media that they’re already utilizing. The people that we spoke to were really pleased to know that AdMedia can help them meet their ROI objectives.

Goodies and Gadgets

The people at DMA2012 really meant business. But then again, we WERE in Vegas, so we still made it a point to inject some fun into our booth. Aside from our usual iPod and Nexus 7 giveaways, the AdMedia team also gave out Hangover Kits to attendees. These kits were filled with hangover remedies to aid those who partied a little too hard in Vegas.

Needless to say, the AdMedia Hangover Kits were a HUGE hit and people just couldn’t stop talking about them!

On the whole, AdMedia had a BLAST at show, and we would like to thank the Direct Marketing Association as well as all the attendees for making it happen. You guys were great and see you next year!

               

The Beginner’s Guide to Making Money as an Online Publisher

Posted October 16, 2012 by fran @ 12:02 pm

A few decades ago, the word “publisher” would’ve probably put an image of a printing press in your head. Back then, the act of publishing lay in the hands of newspaper proprietors while consumers or “regular people” were only there to… well, consume.

Fast forward to the present. We now live in a time where publishing power doesn’t just lie in the hands of periodical and magazine proprietors. In this day and age, if you have something to say and if you have the right tools, you can call yourself a publisher and you can make yourself be heard.

The fact that just about anyone can publish something and put themselves out there is pretty great, but what’s even more awesome is that being an online publisher doesn’t just stop with writing articles or blog posts. Contrary to popular belief, you can produce videos, images, apps, and more, and still call yourself a publisher.

Read on below and get a more detailed look on the different monetizing options that you have at your fingertips:

Blog posts – If you have passion for the written word and want to put your opinions and talents out there, then blogging could be for you. Simply create a site using a blogging platform (popular ones include WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr) and start writing away!

You can choose a specific area of expertise and just write about relevant topics. For instance, if you’re a food lover you can set up a food blog about your delectable adventures. Another way to blog is by documenting your life and the lessons that you’ve learned. If you’re living a pretty interesting life and don’t mind sharing it with the world, you can use your blog as an avenue to publish your thoughts and experiences.

Images and Videos – Still want to be heard but don’t have a flare for writing? Then why not get in front (or even behind) the camera and start shooting! Document the world around you by either taking photographs or producing videos. Tell stories through images with the use of your camera. You don’t  even need to have anything too fancy. Nowadays, even your good ol’ smartphone will do.

Toolbars and Apps – If you’re more of a programmer and know how to code, consider using your skill to create apps or toolbars that people need. There are high demands for tools that make users’ lives easier. Find a specific need, zero in on your market and start building a product that people can download.

Easier said than done? Definitely. But think about the rewards that you can achieve and the people that you’ll be able to help once you find that money-making idea and build a “hit” product.

Monetize them

You can monetize your blogs, images, videos, and programs by placing ads on your content. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an advertising guru to do this. Simply get in touch with an ad network and set up a campaign. Choose your ad types and customize their look and feel to make sure that they seamlessly fit into your content.

Yes, the web has opened up an array of channels that you can use to publish your way to more success and revenue. Online advertising for publishers is easy to get into and while you may not be a gifted writer, multi-channel systems allow you to use other skills (e.g. photography, programming, videography) to produce something worth monetizing.

Image credit: SEOPlanter on Flickr

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ad:tech New York, Here We Come!

Posted October 10, 2012 by fran @ 11:20 am

The AdMedia team couldn’t be more thrilled to be attending ad:tech NY, and we are super excited to connect with fellow digital marketers and technophiles! You’ll be able to find us at booth #2018—don’t forget to swing by and say hi!

What We Have In Store

We have tons of games and giveaways in store for attendees, so be sure to stop by our booth. (Again, it’s 2018!) From awesome new gadgets to trade show materials that can assist you at the conference, we’ll be giving out a lot of great stuff that you don’t want to miss.

Of course, it’s not just about trade show swag though. We’ll also be giving ad:tech attendees exclusive insights about our cross-channel advertising offers that can help you increase customers, sales, visitors, and/or revenue. Whether you’re an entrepreneur who wants to put the spotlight on your business, a marketer who wants to gain more exposure, or a blogger who wishes to monetize your website, AdMedia has something that you (and your audience) will love.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get a special look at our multi-channel products and services that are designed to help you reach your target audience through numerous channels, including search, social, display, mobile, apps, and more.

Got any advertising, marketing or SEO questions? You’re more than welcome to chat up our reps at the booth. We would be thrilled to answer any of your concerns and show you the ropes.

Why Attend?

This two-day event is packed with informative sessions and major networking opportunities. The trade show gives you access to over 35 interactive breakout sessions, and you’ll even get to see some of the hottest startups go head to head in a series called Startup Spotlight.

Last but not least, ad:tech gives you a chance to mingle with some of the best marketers in the industry, allowing you to gain valuable connections that can help bring your online strategy to the next level. That alone is reason enough to swing by!

Save the Dates

ad:tech will be held at the Javits Center in New York on November 7-8 2012. To register or to get more information, you can visit the event’s official website here.

Hope to see you in NYC next month!

 

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REALTORS Really Know How to Do Trade Shows Right!

Posted October 9, 2012 by fran @ 10:31 am

The California Association of REALTORS Expo (CARexpo) may be over, but the AdMedia team is still buzzing about how much fun we had last week! We connected with a TON of people, learned a bunch of new things, and more importantly, we were able to educate numerous real estate professionals on how they can use the web to gain more exposure.

Fun & Games

Every booth at the CARexpo had something fun in store for visitors, and AdMedia was no different. To demonstrate the power of remarketing, we gave out AdMedia lanyards to people that stopped by our booth. These lanyards represented the remarketing cookies that we use to tag people on the web.

Throughout the day, we walked around the floor and searched for people who were still wearing the AdMedia lanyards, and we gave out iPods to several lucky attendees (while of course explaining how our remarketing cookie helped us find them).

We didn’t stop at iPods though. At the end of each day, one lanyard-wearing attendee received a brand new Nexus 7 from us!

Educating REALTORS

Of course, on top of conducting games and goodies, we also made it a point to educate realtors about the various online tools that they can use to forward their business. We introduced our local PPC products that would allow real estate professionals to be found online and get more local leads and sales. In addition, we talked about how we can boost the online presence of realtors through pay per click traffic, SEO, and retargeting.

Being able to spread the word about online advertising was definitely our favorite part of the CARexpo. Not only did we make several new friends, but we were also able to give people insights on how they can use Internet ads to find prospects, get leads, and close more sales.

Yep, all in all, our CARexpo experience was awesome and very rewarding (in every sense of the word)! We can’t wait to do it all over again!

        

   

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4 Online Marketing Tips That Can Invigorate Your Real Estate Business

Posted October 2, 2012 by fran @ 11:01 am

The California Association of REALTORS® Expo is kicking off today, and in honor of this awesome event, we’ve decided to give our REALTOR friends a treat with this special blog post.

If you’re looking for out of the box ways to generate leads and sell (or even buy) more homes, then we highly recommending looking into Internet marketing and advertising. The web offers a sea—no, make that an ocean—of tools and resources that you can use to reach real estate buyers, sellers, and investors, so you can bet that with a proper strategy, you will be able to effectively push your business to the forefront.

Check out the tips below and see how you can apply them to your real estate business.

Be visual – The web is becoming more visual, thanks to websites/apps like Pinterest, Instagram, and the rise of cover images. Make the most out of this trend by posting pictures of your own. Upload attractive photos of the houses that you’re selling. The Facebook Timeline and Newsfeed put a LOT of emphasis on images, so this increases the chances of people noticing you.

Aside from images of houses, inspiring and empowering quotes are extremely popular as well. Find a great image, put some inspiring text on top of it, and post it on all your social media accounts. Yes, it’s pretty cheesy, but it works like a charm.

Don’t let your leads get away – If someone visits your website or squeeze page but leaves without filling out your form or giving their information, don’t just stand there and say sayonara, make an effort to bring them back. Use remarketing (also known as retargeting) to bring back lost visitors and get them to convert.

How remarketing works:

Remarketing advertising works by dropping an anonymous cookie into the user’s browser. When that visitors leave without completing your desired action (i.e. contacting you or filling out a form), the remarketing system will serve up your ads on the other websites that they visit. In other words, those lost visitors will see your ad even when they’re checking their email, watching a video, or reading other blogs.

Remarketing is extremely effective in converting leads because it targets users that have already expressed interest in you. Often, visitors that leave a site without doing anything are just on the fence and simply need a little push in the right direction. Remarketing ads can give them that nudge and bring them back to your site.

Utilize multiple channels – In the age of web 2.0 and with the advent of mobile computing, you can bet that your audience is using multiple devices and websites to consume information. Nowadays, you can’t stick to just one advertising model and expect it to be effective.

If you really want to stand out, then you have to be where your prospects are. Do a little research on the websites, devices, and apps that your target audience likes, and market away. Use the power of Cross Channel Advertising to put yourself out there and gain more exposure.

Don’t just talk about real estate in social media –When it comes to social media marketing, many real estate professionals don’t see their desired results mainly because they’re approaching social the wrong way.

Remember that you don’t have to go for the hard sell every time. When you’re marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other social site, don’t just talk about yourself and your business. Conduct REAL conversations with your audience. Sure, it’s great to publish pictures and posts promoting your business, but be sure to balance it out with non-promotional talk as well.

Image credit: Alan Cleaver on Flickr

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