GM Advertising: Less TV, More Internet

While working this morning I’m watching CNBC’s coverage of the proposed US automaker bailout hearings at the Capitol, and caught a very interesting quote from Rick Wagoner of General Motors when he was asked if GM was going to spend $3 million on a Superbowl ad this year:

No… we’re shifting to electronic advertising which is less expensive and more effective.

VERY telling. And I concur 100%.

And it’s more trackable than traditional advertising. I worked at an ad agency for almost 4 years, and we used to say with traditional advertising (tv, radio, magazine, newspaper), half of your ads work. You just don’t know which half.

I manage a dozen online advertising campaigns for my clients and for myself. Ask me how I can help you advertise on the internet, and you can get detailed reporting on your dollar’s effectiveness.

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Marketing Nag!

Hey retailers: here’s an awful NAGGING reminder to drive people to your site! Mention your URL to them at the register! Put it on your receipts! Print out 4×6 flyers and put those in customers’ bags! Put it in your email signature! Tattoo it on your significant other! Put up a new blog post about your business! Have an ugly window sticker made for your car! Send out those email newsletters with links right to products’ URLS!

Nag over. Thank you.

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The Three Legs of a Campaign

An Immature Ecommerce Site Needs Help

Case Study One

The following is taken from client correspondence. This case study involves a 1.5-year-old ecommerce site that’s getting very poor traffic, and no sales conversions. The site supplements a brick-n-mortar home and beauty products store.

These are the Three Legs of a web site campaign, although two or even one can make your site successful. Note this campaign does not include Product Search Marketing efforts, which in this case is out-of-reach given the owner’s budget.

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Increase Web Sales: Attacking Bottlenecks

A client and I were discussing her poor online sales, and where her resources are best spent. She wanted to spend a few hundred having me change around her cart category and brand organization.

My first email was this:

I’m not trying to talk myself out of a job here, but I wanted to say that sometimes time/money bottlenecks in business aren’t in a site’s ecommerce, but in getting traffic. Maybe the money you’re about to spend on me would be better spent on ad buys? [She has many products in her store, and they have nice photos and descriptions.]

If the products were not on the site, that would be Job #1. But they are… we’re just reorganizing the way they’re displayed, which is “small potatoes” in my opinion.

If it’s not an ad buy, maybe it’s flyers printed and distributed around cafes in Denver, or helping your site’s organic search rankings, or hiring an intern/employee to write good things about your store on Internet forums and blogs.

Again, I’m not saying your site is perfect, but I want to bring up the question to you: is product category work the fix to the sales bottleneck? Are your limited resources better spent?

She replied, saying that she had indeed run ads for some time and had no success:

Honestly,  I am not sure what the answer is.  I ran google adwords for about 8 months and while I had clicks,  I didn’t get one sale… so,  in my reading,  I found they said the consumer needs to be able to find exactly what they are looking for easily as soon as they get to your site, or they will leave.

AHA. I was betting the landing page for the ads was simply her Home page, leaving users to wander her site, or bounce right off:

Two things come to mind here… 1) I forgot to mention your potentially #1 tool — your blog. [I built her site over a year ago in WordPress, so it has a blog built-in.]

You haven’t used it, and if you have time (again, that whole “resource allocation” thing), you should use it. Write about your products there. Nothing helps me want to buy something better than when the salesperson says “I have one and I love it”. Bam. Sold.

Also, blogging gives people a reason to come back to your site, and it’s a way to “tickle” Google with constant (or at least semi-regular) content updates. Google LOVES sites that update content regularly. When you post a blog, Google, Yahoo, MSN etc are all notified automatically.

2) your AdWords landing pages… were they your site’s Home page, or product pages? If you did very general terms (“beauty products”) and dumped the Clicker on the Home page, I wouldn’t expect much. I’d target the exact product brand name/model and set the landing page to that product in your shop’s URL (“Sandalwood Bamboo Soap for Men” and ). Your CPC is likely to go down and your purchases are likely to go up.

And the result? I talked myself out of a job ;-). More importantly tho is that she’ll come back to me when the bottleneck is site-related. Plus I have her trust, and I hope, word-of-mouth referrals.