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The Key Difference Between Multi-Channel and Cross-Channel and Why You Should Care

Posted November 11, 2013 by fran @ 12:28 pm

Like most hot buzz words, people have started throwing around the terms “multi-channel” and “cross-channel” like they know exactly what they mean. We hear pundits saying that multi-channel and cross-channel advertising / marketing are the future and companies must absolutely get on the bandwagon.

To their credit, the pundits are right about one thing: These trends really are the future and businesses must find ways to incorporate them in their practices. But what we did notice is that a lot of people–mostly Internet marketers and those claiming to be experts in e-commerce are using the terms multi-channel and cross-channel interchangeably, as if they have the same definition, when in fact there is a stark difference between the two concepts.

Multi-Channel vs. Cross-Channel

Multi-channel means having a presence on more than one channel or platform. For example, if you’re marketing your products on your website, in person, and via catalogs, then you’re conducting multi-channel marketing.

Cross-channel on the other hand means that you’re seamlessly and interchangeably using multiple channels to market, sell, and interact with customers. For instance, when a customer uses your mobile app to look at a product but doesn’t complete the purchase, you can use a cross-channel approach to remarket that product by serving up ads for it even when the customer is on another channel or platform (say email or social media).

That way, even when they’re reading their favorite news website or checking their email, they’ll be able to see your ad which has the product they were originally looking at. And when they click on the banner, they’ll be taken to the product page and continue browsing or shopping where they left off on mobile.

As you can see, cross-channel takes multi-channel to the next level so that the customer gets a seamless and consistent brand experience no matter what device or platform they’re using.

What it means for you

These days, customers are browsing the web and shopping using multiple devices and platforms, so having a multi-channel strategy is like the bare minimum. But if you want to go even further, you must adopt a cross-channel approach.

Having website, a physical store, a catalog, and an app just won’t cut it if your efforts are fragmented. You need to integrate all these channels and platforms to effectively engage customers no matter where they are or what device they’re using.

How to successfully pull off cross-channel marketing and advertising

How do you cross-channel right? Here are few tips:

Have one key message

The first step is determining what you want to communicate. Be consistent with your messaging and give customers a seamless experience.

Round up all your teams–web, brick-and-mortar, mobile, customer support, etc.–and clearly establish the message that you want to send to customers. That message should dictate how you execute ads, how to design your site, etc.

Use and collect customer data

Be sure to set up data-gathering and analytics software for all channels and platforms so you can collect as much user data as you can. Doing so will enable you to get to know your customers even more, so you can improve and optimize your campaigns accordingly.

Integrate platforms and services

It’s kind of hard to pull off a seamless cross-channel campaign when your vendors and service providers are all over the place. For instance, if you have one vendor for mobile, a separate platform for email, and yet another provider for ecommerce, combining all those platforms and channels yourself can prove to be a challenge.

What you need is a cross-channel advertising and marketing partner that can integrate all those services into once roof. Find a trusty vendor that understands the concept of cross-channel and supports multiple platforms so you can execute your campaigns quickly and efficiently.

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines

A Happy Halloween for the AdMedia Team!

Posted November 4, 2013 by fran @ 1:00 pm

Halloween has come and gone, but AdMedia hopes you had as much fun as we did this year.

Normally, our employees will dress up and get to participate in a contest for the best Halloween costume. This year though, we decided to take it even further. Not only did we have a costume contest, but we also launched a pumpkin-carving  competition, took part in a “guess how many” contest and played Halloween-themed bingo (aka BOOGO)!

Each event was a chance for everyone to show off their wit and make some great memories with the rest of the team. Angela won an iPod Touch for Halloween bingo, while it almost came to a tie for the candy-filled pumpkin contest, where everyone had to guess how many pieces of candy were inside (spoiler alert: There were 427). The tie was between Daniel and Lauren (both had come close with a guess of 412), but it was Lauren who won the second round. Meanwhile, our content writer Brandon won the pumpkin-carving contest with a very lively display, while our HR manager Yesenia Linares had the best costume, looking both elegant and ghoulish in her costume.

Our employees were also treated to a great lunch of salad and gourmet pizzas, with flavors ranging from simple cheese to delicious pesto.

Even though we still had work to do that day, we saw a lot of creativity from our team. We have to congratulate our Publisher Team for banding together and dressing up as the Minions from Despicable Me. And who could forget the imaginative designs we saw in the pumpkin-carving contest?

While we’re all getting ready for the ad:tech conference in New York, we still found time last Thursday to have some fun, some food, and some great team-building.

  

  

  

  

  

 

AdMedia to Attend ad:tech New York; Will Showcase Its Advertiser and Publisher Solutions at Booth M3

Posted October 17, 2013 by fran @ 4:09 pm

AdMedia, a leading provider of performance-based advertising solutions confirmed its attendance for the 2014 ad:tech New York conference. The conference will be taking place November 6-7 at the Javits Center in New York City.

Danny Bibi, the company CEO together with the rest of the team will be at Booth #M3 to meet with brand advertisers and agency executives. All attendees are encouraged to stop by to discuss AdMedia’s advertisers and publisher solutions, as well as take advantage of show-only promotions and booth giveaways.

In addition to attending the conference and greeting attendees at their booth, AdMedia will be sponsoring the PluggedIn2013 pre-conference party on November 5. This exclusive event for elite advertisers, ad agencies and publishers will take place at Slate, a premier venue in the heart of Manhattan. Guests will have the opportunity to network with innovators and executives of the online advertising world. Attendees will also be able to enjoy free entertainment and drinks, care AdMedia, Altitude Digital, and MediaPost.

To RSVP for the event, attendees can visit: http://www.pluggedin2013.com/

To connect with AdMedia to set up a meeting at the conference, attendees may contact (800) 296-7104 or email danny@admedia.com.

About AdMedia

A performance based advertising network, AdMedia has been providing Advertisers and Affiliates with marketing solutions since 2007. AdMedia connects advertisers to consumers across many channels, including industry leading email, domain, social and search networks. More than 60,000 advertisers utilize the AdMedia network to advance their offers. A privately held company headquartered in Burbank, AdMedia has domestic offices throughout the state of California. Connect with AdMedia on the web at www.admedia.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/AdMediaCommunity and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Ad_Media.

 

About ad:tech

ad:tech New York is the digital marketing industry’s leading conference and trade show. Over 10,000+ attendees will be present to showcase and to demonstrate the latest in digital marketing products, tools and technology. The attendees of the conference range from established ad agencies, upcoming startups, well known advertisers and premium publishers.

 

Carrie Marketers Get Crafty with Advertising Prank #FlexLikeCarrie

Posted October 10, 2013 by fran @ 11:24 am

This is online advertising at its finest.

Talk about spooky creative. The marketers behind the new Carrie remake film released a viral video experiment to test and capture the reactions of unsuspecting customers at a New Your City coffee shop as they witness a telekinetic event.

Entitled “Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise”, the video first shows us how the prank was set up. They created a fake wall, attached a harness to a stuntman so that it appears that he is lifted up the wall. The team also put some remote controlled tables and chairs in place, and spring loaded pictures and books so that they’ll look as if they’re flying off the walls and shelves. Finally, a bunch of actors took their place and pretended to be coffee shop customers.

And then the fun begins.

The stunt man knocks over a cup of coffee and the girl goes batshit and starts using her “telekinetic powers” to lift the man up the wall, move the tables and chairs, and make stuff fly off the shelves.

Needless to say, customers in the coffee shop were freaked out of their wits, while viewers watching from home were thoroughly entertained.

The Results

Two words: Viral hit. The #FlexLikeCarrie video spread like wildfire. It was posted on YouTube on Monday and got millions of views overnight. At the time of writing this, Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise has already reached more than 26 million views.

And the buzz is incredible. Carrie advertisers did a great job with using hasthags. They promoted the #FlexLikeCarrie hashtag at the end of the video and the Twitterverse just couldn’t stop talking about it. Fans couldn’t wait til the movie hits theaters on the 18th.

Similarly, the advertising prank was (and still is) wildly covered in the media, having been discussed in various blogs as well as major publications and networks such as the Los Angeles Times, CBS, New York Daily News, and more.

What You Can Learn

As far as generating online buzz goes, the advertisers and marketers in charge of Carrie most definitely got it right. They produced an awesome video that while promotional, was extremely entertaining and sharable.

Here are a few things that we can learn from this great online advertising campaign:

Go beyond traditional advertising and marketing tactics

Movie trailers? Billboards? Those tactics were so ten years ago. While the film did take advantage of traditional marketing methods such as the ones mentioned above, it went beyond that and effectively made use of online video. And take note, they used online video not for straight advertising purposes. They used video to distribute genuinely entertaining content.

Use cross-channel advertising

The advertisers behind Carrie didn’t just post a video on YouTube and went on their way. Instead, they took the time to distribute it via multiple channels. And by using the #FlexLikeCarrie hashtag, they were able make it easy for users to spread the word as well, thus generating more buzz in the process.

Put in the necessary resources

It was clear that the video was really well-made. The crew took the time to hire the right people and set up the proper equipment to make the prank work. Your campaigns should be the same way. We’re not saying that you should spend tons of money on stuntmen or equipment, but do spend ample time cooking up your campaigns. Budget or no budget, don’t submit anything that isn’t well-executed. There are plenty of ways to create wonderful advertising campaigns, and they don’t always involve a ton of money. What you do need is a lot of creativity.

 

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines

Dear marketers, your controversial stunts can do more harm than good

Posted September 25, 2013 by fran @ 1:14 pm

Earlier this month, outdoor marketing company Hornet Signs came under fire due to a controversial marketing stunt that it did.

It created a decal that showed a blonde woman curled up–seemingly unconscious–on the bed of a pickup truck. She was tied up and her hair was obscuring her face. The decal was then attached to the back of an actual pickup truck, creating the illusion that there was real woman lying there.

The tactic was meant to demonstrate the high quality of Hornet Signs decal and show how realistic its signs are.

The stunt was so believable that some individuals who saw it even called the police. Needless to say, the authorities weren’t pleased to be called because of some marketing stunt. They weren’t the only ones who were disgruntled though. A lot of people were outraged at Hornet Signs’ actions and after the story went viral, people from all over the world posted critical comments on the company’s Facebook page.

Hornet Signs was forced to take the decal down. Brad Kolb, owner of the company said to the press, “I wasn’t expecting the reactions we got, nor do we condone this by any means.” The businesses also announced that it donated $2,500 to the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children in Waco.

In spite of the bad press though, Kolb also said that the stunt resulted in a rise in decal orders.

The question is: Was the rise in orders worth the whole PR mess? We’d like to venture a guess that it wasn’t. Despite his claims that the company’s actions increased their decal orders, we’re guessing that if Hornet Signs were given a do-over, the company would demonstrate its realistic decals in other ways–you know, ways that didn’t involve abuse to women.

Let this serve as cautionary tale to marketers who are trying to garner more exposure for their products and services. Instead of resorting to being snarky, offensive, or controversial, why not try being creative and genuine instead? Use the wide range of online advertising formats out there to target your audience and deliver your message in a creative, tasteful, and fun way.

Because the fact is, snark and controversy aren’t just lazy tactics to get attention, they’re also second-rate, compared to genuine and wonderful content. Don’t believe us? Take Upworthy, as an example. The media company doesn’t resort to LOLcats or shady tactics to gain traffic. Instead, it focuses on curating meaningful content around relevant and serious issues such as immigration, politics, heath care, etc. The result? 20 million unique monthly visitors, 5 million subscribers, 3.2 million Facebook Likes and Z-E-R-O publicity mishaps. Oh, and did we mention that the company is just 18 months old?

Indeed, when you’re given the chance to choose between being shady or genuine, do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor and go with the latter. Because when it comes to getting more exposure, the challenge isn’t garnering attention–it’s doing it in an authentic and meaningful way. Choose to challenge yourself. The industry–heck the entire world–would be so much better off when marketers choose the honest route.

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines

Wearable Tech: The Future of Advertising?

Posted September 9, 2013 by fran @ 1:54 pm

Smartphone, be prepared to move over, because it looks like another mobile advertising darling is about to take over.  In an insightful article, AdAge brought attention to the fact that many of the companies that we all know are love are venturing into wearable technology (aka: wearables).

From smart watches to wrist bands, and even glasses, businesses everywhere are pushing envelope in mobile technology by allowing users to integrate their smart devices into things that they can wear.  Consumers on the other hand, can’t wait to get their hands on these devices. The demand is evidenced by the sheer number of people clamoring to fund or get on the waiting lists for such devices.

For instance, there’s the Pebble smart watch, a project that grew to be the most successful campaigns on Kickstarter. The project not only reached its goal, but it garnered over 10 million dollars in funding. (Now available at a Best Buy near you.)

Samsung recently entered the smart watch space by introducing GALAXY Gear, “a perfect companion device that further integrates the Samsung GALAXY experience into everyday life. Samsung GALAXY Gear combines smart device connectivity, tailored technological features, and stylish design as a single premium accessory.”

And let’s not forget Google Glass, the search giant’s innovative device that fuses mobile technology with eyewear.

Yes, it certainly appears that we’re at the cusp of a new age in mobile technology. These devices are redefining the concept of connectivity for users, and advertisers can’t help but take notice.

Evidently, being able to advertise on wearable devices puts brands in a very valuable position. With wearable technology, advertisers can seamlessly offer their sponsored messages to users.

We can see now that large enough companies can develop their own devices that they can offer to their users. Take note though that brands developing wearable tech devices aren’t limited to technology companies. Nike for instance, has Nike+ a sporty wristband that lets users track their activities, set goals, and improve performance.

But does this mean smaller advertisers have no place in the wearable technology department? Not at all. Of course, the specific method on how adverts will be displayed is yet to be determined, but we anticipate that wearables will provide all kinds of opportunities for advertisers–large and small ones alike.

That’s why companies looking for more innovative ways to reach their customers should certainly keep an eye on the wearable technology space to ensure that they’ll be able leverage it when the right time comes.

Image credits:  The Pug Father, giuseppe.costantino, and  aaronparecki on Flickr

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines

Why Promotional Branding Is A Worthy Investment For Your Business

Posted September 5, 2013 by fran @ 9:01 am

If you’re not using branded promotional products in your advertising campaign, you’re missing out on a powerful marketing tool. Giving away promotional items is a surefire way to draw attention and increase awareness of your brand. By associating your business with a reliable brand image, you give customers something concrete that they can trust. Below are just a few advantages of using promotional products to establish your brand.

Reaches a Wide Audience

The best way to reach a wide and diverse audience is to invest in a variety of different advertising tools. It’s easy to find promotional items that reflect the purpose of your business as well as the message of your brand, but you should also take your customer base into consideration. If you’re marketing to the general public, basic home and office items are best. For specific subsets such as IT techs, it makes more sense to invest in specialized items like branded USB drives. Getting specific with your advertising makes customers feel like you know them and opens the door for future communications that translate into sales.

Builds Recognition

Customers are more likely to keep promotional giveaway items than they are business cards, pamphlets and other printed materials. Choosing products such as pens, mouse pads and mugs keeps your brand visible on a daily basis. Portable items such as tote bags can become mobile advertisements that bring your brand message to an even wider audience. The more exposure a that customers get, the more likely they are to think of your company the next time they need a product or service you offer.

Improves Customer Response

An advertising campaign is only effective if it works to grow your business. The statistics don’t lie: promotional products generate markedly higher customer response than other forms of advertising. This includes providing contact information, generating referrals and making purchases. Repeat orders also increase with the use of branded items. Such tangible results make it easy to measure how well your promotional campaign is working and whether or not you need to make adjustments to bring in more businesses.

Lowers Marketing Costs

No matter what the size of your business, you want to make the most of your advertising budget. Investing in promotional giveaways gives you a greater return on each impression than other traditional methods. That’s good news if you’re looking to increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. A single branded item may be seen by dozens or even hundreds of people depending on the type of item and how long a customer holds onto it. With some products costing less than a quarter a piece, that’s a hefty return on your investment.

Establishes a Positive Reputation
Giving customers something they can use establishes your business as friendly and helpful. When people associate positive experiences with your brand, it helps build trust. Trustworthy businesses get word of mouth advertising from satisfied customers and draw existing customers back to make repeat purchases, an effect that grows over time.

 

Abi is a marketer, interested in everything marketing. She writes for promotional merchandise specialists Fluid Branding, click here to view their full range of items.

 

Image credit: Woodlands Ad Agency on Flickr

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines

5 Keys To SEO and Your Home-based Business

Posted August 28, 2013 by fran @ 11:56 am

When operating any home-based business, it is vital to establish an effective Internet presence. This takes more than merely building a website. Before a customer can view a highly informative and well-coded site, the customer must reach that site. One of the best ways to achieve unique views and generate leads is to maintain the top position for a relevant search engine result. Driving business becomes much more difficult as the site decreases in its rankings.

When a search engine crawler gathers information about a site, the site owner wants that crawler to tell the search engine that that site best matches a particular set of keywords. Optimizing a site for search engine results is called search engine optimization (SEO). If you own a home-based business and you want to optimize your own website, there are several things to keep in mind.

1. Seek professional help to optimize success

SEO is an industry in itself. Countless service providers ranging from sole proprietors to dedicated professional enterprises like http://www.eversparkinteractive.com/ will ensure that a site obtains and maintains a high site ranking. Unfortunately, marketing budgets for home-based businesses are often nonexistent. Hiring a qualified expert in SEO can cost thousands of dollars. As a result, many business owners will attempt to go it alone.

This is usually a mistake. SEO requires a fine touch with respect to keyword densities and relevant content. The ideal techniques for optimizing a site for search engine results can vary between search engines; for example, different sites will respond to different keywords densities and content levels. To the crawlers, sites with too few relevant keywords appear to be irrelevant while sites with too many appear to be spammy. Hitting these narrow ranges is a job for a professional, as is structuring the site.

2. Not all “experts” are created equal

There are a variety of techniques that some SEO professionals use to improve their clients ratings. Some of these techniques can lead to short-term gains at the expense of long-term placement. Link building networks and software that can instantly produce thousands or millions of new links can raise a site to the top position quickly; usually, this is long enough for the “expert” to cash the client’s check.

However, without quality connections, the purported gains will not last. The site may actually be penalized for attempts to “bomb” the engine, reducing its ranking further than had nothing occurred. Most crawlers will look for quality links and only maintain sites with those results. Any professional organization that you choose to do business with should have a history of maintaining and optimizing successful web sites.

3. Optimized sites require maintenance

Search engines periodically change how their crawlers operate. Even without an update, SEO experts often discover new techniques to improve a site’s ranking, which can push down sites using older techniques. Additionally, site owners routinely move around content or discover that certain wording resonates with their customers more effectively, which can negate prior work or make the site effectively invisible to crawlers.

4. Target the SEO focus

The Internet is a worldwide phenomenon and anyone can look at any site from any location. Unfortunately, a homeowner in Miami is unlikely to require the services of a plumber from Seattle. For a service business targeting specific markets, optimizing the site for customers looking for relevant businesses in that location can save money and trouble. Targeting based upon location improves the relevance of the results, leading to improved rankings and a higher likelihood of greater traffic.

5. Uncommon keywords are key

Specific keywords are less competitive than generalized keywords. This will usually mean a higher success rate and an improved chance of achieving a high ranking if the site is properly optimized. Spending the same money to obtain a high ranking with a slightly less common search phrase is much more likely to drive business than spending money to achieve a second-page result for a more generic phrase.

Whether your business involves international shipping or localized services, having a website is necessary in the modern world. Any site that exists to drive business should be optimized for search engine crawlers looking for results relevant to specific search phrases. What those phrases are will vary between industries; blue-collar businesses may target searchers looking for “24 hour” service in that particular industry in that particular location, while white-collar businesses may target customers looking for “cost-effective” solutions. As with any other marketing activity, SEO requires business owners to understand their customers and their market.

Author Bio: As a home-based business owner, writer LaGeris Underwood Bell can attest to both the importance of establishing a strong online presence and to the vital need for SEO-savvy professional help as keys to entrepreneurial success.

 

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sepblog/3657122566/

Filed under: Company Headlines

The AdMedia Team Hits the Ice

Posted August 20, 2013 by fran @ 10:57 am

It was a hot, sunny, 90 degree Friday in Southern California. With so many options of fun things to do in the LA area, the team at AdMedia went with the obvious choice — we went with the traditional LA activity of ice skating!

Ice skating isn’t the most synonymous activity associated with Southern California, but there are still a handful of ice rinks in the area. And it just so happens there’s one right next to our office. It was a simple one block walk to our local ice skating rink where the AdMedia team got together and hit the ice.

 

For most of that Friday morning, the AdMedia team skated, glided, raced, slipped and fell around the Pickwick ice rink in Burbank. Unfortunately, we did not find the next coming of Katarina Witt or Brian Boitano. Nor did we find the next Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby. What we did find was a great way to hang out and blow off some steam at the end of a busy week. A lot of team members got to skate for the first time and some actually knew what they were doing. And for a few of AdMedia team members, it was a humbling experience falling on the ice in front of colleagues.

 

At the end of our special fun day, we had gourmet pizzas waiting for us in the conference room. Tomato & Basil, Pesto, and Chicken Barbecue were just a few of the flavors that the team got to enjoy. It was a perfect day to take a couple of hours out for ice skating and pizza. You can say it was the perfect ending to a fun team building day and a hard-working week at AdMedia.

 

Why Publishers Should Think About Advertising Too

Posted August 14, 2013 by fran @ 1:19 pm

If you’re an online publisher then you’re probably familiar with serving up ads on your site to earn revenue, but have you ever thought about buying ads of your own to do the same thing?

It may seem counter-intuitive when you come across the idea. After all, you’re producing content to make money, not spend it all on online advertising, right? Here’s the thing though, in the business of online marketing and advertising, you often have to spend money–at least at first–to make money.

You need to invest in a lot of things, including yourself, your education, technology, and getting your name out there. Let’s focus on the last point. When starting from scratch, getting your name out there can be an uphill battle. Building an audience takes a lot of time and resources, and you need to produce awesome content often and at a consistent basis.

Say you’re already doing that. What if you’re already exerting a ton of your time and effort in producing great content, but it doesn’t seem to be paying off?

If you already have a great website with useful content in it but you aren’t getting the amount of traffic that you know it deserves then you probably need a boost to improve your numbers. That’s where advertising comes in.

When done right, online advertising can pay off tremendously. As long as you know your target audience and where to find them, you stand a good chance of reaping the benefits of your advertising investment.

See, online ads can bring in more traffic, which could then translate to more readers and revenue (either through ad clicks or with the purchase of your products / services). Serve up relevant, targeted ads to in front of users that you know will love you’re content, and you’ll start seeing some improvements in your metrics in no time.

They key is serving up those ads to users that count. What’s the use of a million impressions if those users have absolutely no interest in what you have to offer? If you haven’t done so yet, conduct market research on your audience and determine where they hang out online and what ads and messages appeal to them the most.

By the way, before you start thinking that market research involves dropping a ton of cash on focus groups and what not–stop. In this day and age, even a one-man team can conduct effective market research without spending a dime. How?

Below are a few ideas:

- Send out a quick survey to your subscribers and ask for feedback’

- Read comments on your blog to get an idea of what types of content resonate most with your audience

- Turn to social media. Check out the pages that your target audience likes on Facebook, join relevant groups on Linkedin, and see who they follow on Twitter

- Conduct surveys using free tools such as Google Docs or GoPollGo

- Tweet out a question / post it on Facebook and take note of the responses

Doing the things above should give you a wealth of data and insights about your target audience. Take those insights and use them to create engaging ads that would drive more traffic (and eventually revenue) to your site.

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines
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