Marketing * Advertising * Interactive * Public Relations

Clever is Out and Relevancy is in - Marketing

Posted: May 25th, 2009 | Author: AIM | Filed under: Advertising, Interactive, Marketing, Public Relations | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Grant Johnson, is a 25-year marketing maverick and founder and CEO of Brookfield, WI-based Johnson Direct. His Big Fat Marketing Blog at Chief Marketer is one of the best out there. Here, he opines on branding vs. direct:

“…the clever ads that don’t track their results, and probably lost money for their clients. Hooray! Perhaps I’m the only marketer alive that still thinks advertising and marketing is, now more than ever, about selling your stuff.” He goes on to say, “I have had way too much discussion lately with folks who still want to brand, but don’t take the time to realize that clever is out and relevant is in. By that, of course, I mean advertising/marketing work needs to produce measurable, real-world results. You’d think that after seeing how effective offer positioning and measurable marketing techniques are these days — even in these tough times — that folks would be using deep dive analytic crunching and testing until it hurts. Sadly, the education needs to continue.”

To read the complete posting and other excellent comments, please visit:

Customer Service Should Be Key Marketing Metric for Tucson Arizona Businesses

Posted: May 25th, 2009 | Author: AIM | Filed under: Advertising, Interactive, Marketing, Public Relations | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Despite overwhelming, longstanding agreement that customer service is vital to business few companies excel at integrating customer feedback into their business and marketing processes. How can this be done? In the first place, it may be time for your business to contact a customer service expert. AIM can recommend several customer service consultants in Arizona who can help you create and integrate a customer service plan into your marketing.

What you need are:

  • A formal program to monitor and measure customer service
  • An efficient system to monitor, measure, analyze and disseminate customer feedback
  • The ability to track word-of-mouth by customers about your business on the Internet

Now, more than ever, with customers talking about you across the Internet - as opposed to complaining or complimenting you directly - you must have a process in place to integrate the voice of customer.

Direct Media Trends 2003-2008 from the DMA

Posted: May 24th, 2009 | Author: AIM | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

According to recent Forrester research, more than 80% of direct marketers expect digital channels including email, online advertising, search and mobile to increase in effectiveness over the coming years. As a result, by 2011, less than 3% of respondents expect to decrease spending in these channels. This is being driven by the increasing measurability of these channels which is also being fueled by the current recession. The shift away from mass media advertising to direct, addressable channels continues to accelerate.

Economic Snapshot

Direct Media Trends, 2003-2008

DM Advertising Expenditures by Medium
Compound Annual Growth Rate, 2003-2008
Internet Marketing
Commerical Email

Direct Mail (non-catalog)


Direct Mail (catalog)
Direct (DR) Response TV
Insert Media
DR Magazine
DR Radio
Telephone Marketing
DR Newspaper

Source: The Power of Direct Marketing, 2008-2009 Edition

Your Tucson Business Must Have an Interactive Marketing Strategy

Posted: May 12th, 2009 | Author: AIM | Filed under: Advertising, Interactive, Marketing | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Recently, we were asked to describe the benefits of a search and social media marketing (inbound) strategy. It’s very difficult to know where to begin to answer that question succintly. 

Any business without an inbound marketing strategy need only look at the statistics to realize that, even if they do not understand the benefits, their competitors do. The statistics on what is happening in media are staggering:

Forrester projects that interactive marketing will grown 11% in 2009 to $25.6b. By 2014 they project this total will be $55b an increase of almost 115%. This projection includes display ads, e-mail, mobile, search and social media. What’s driving this is measurable media effectiveness.

Forrester also reports that 40% will cut their direct mail budgets, 35% will cut newspaper spending and 28% will shrink their magazine advertising.

Businesses of any type must be using inbound media to generate new customers; in a nutshell, even traditional media needs will be partly met by including marketing spend for the non-traditional channels where the need for traditional media needs are being researched.

Not to have an inbound marketing strategy is to risk a marketing disaster. Please see our blogoll for some excellent links to read more about inbound marketing.

Is Tucson Hooked on Population Growth? What it Means for Tucson Marketing and Advertising

Posted: May 9th, 2009 | Author: AIM | Filed under: Advertising, Interactive, Marketing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

March 15th’s Arizona Daily Star cover story on this issue concluded that the Tucson economy has long been too dependent on population growth, and the construction of homes and infrastructure it drove, and now must diversify.

It’s time for Tucson marketers and advertisers to start paying a lot more attention to current customers than trolling for new ones, because there are going to be fewer new ones.

TREO (Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities) President Joe Snell stated that the solution lies in fomenting growth in sectors of the economy that are not dependent on population growth, such as solar,biotech, homeland security and health care among others, as well as improving the skills and educational levels of the typical Tucson worker.   Local schools, it is said, are educating students for jobs that were common in the last century, but will not be in the future.

Could the cost of housing be driven upward by legislation, such as impact fees common in many areas of the U.S. , in order to slow population growth and force the economy to diversify?  University of Arizona Economist Marshall Vest is dubious that the political will would exist to take such steps, and believes that the economy will remain vulnerable to the fluctuations that accompany population and real estate fueled growth.  Snell, and Roger Yohem, Vice President of SAHBA (Southern Arizona Home Builder’s Association) believe that confining development to within a limited radius of town, such as is called for in the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, will have a similar effect.

Tucson is expected to gain just 7,000 new residents this year, compared to the average of 20,000 that have joined the community annually in recent years.

What does this mean for Tucson marketers?  A number of things.

First, it means that customer retention should now form a larger part of your marketing strategy than customer acquisition.  If your marketing strategy is based on traditional branding and awareness generation, developing ads and placing them in broadcast media, you are focusing on customer acquisition. Unless you are also devoting resources to developing a response-based, inbound marketing program, and putting in place tools to capture these new customers and build cost-effective relationships with them, you won’t know if your awareness building has worked, you might not know a new customer from an old one, and you may not even notice when they leave.

It follows then that the second point is that you need to develop a database marketing capability, married to a Salesforce Automation (SFA) and/or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) capability in order to capture, track and grow revenue per customer.  Customer retention without this is likely accidental and certainly not sufficiently quantifiable.

Third, because the population growth is going to decline, in many businesses that depend on that, your growth rate is going to decline as well.  That fact, combined with the pressure of the recessionary climate, suggests that you are going to need to demand much more efficiency from your marketing expenditures. That sounds all well and good, but even if you resolve to become more efficient, how will you measure if you actually have been?  Efficiency, by definition, requires measurement.  Does your marketing program contain metrics? Do members of you marketing staff have clearly articulated performance goals, tied to ROI and marketing efficiency?

Fortunately, inbound, response-based, database driven relationship marketing is measurable, and therefore its efficiency can be demonstrated.

In a time of declining population growth, combined with the other structural realities of the Tucson economy mentioned above, Tucson marketers need to start to think differently about they way they market. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about integrated response-driven marketing, and not just advertising.

If you’re ready for a more measurable and efficient approach to your company’s marketing, contact AIM Integrated Marketing.

How Should a Tucson Company Select a Search Marketing Firm?

Posted: May 9th, 2009 | Author: AIM | Filed under: Advertising, Interactive, Marketing | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

There are many legitimate firms offering search marketing services. At the same time, the explosion of interest among companies has resulted in an explosion of firms offering these services and you must use caution in selecting a search marketing firm in Tucson, Arizona or elsewhere in the U.S. You can find reputable firms, large and small, but you do not want to engage in a relationship with any firm which attempts to “game” the search engines - because it’s going to cost you your future organic search rankings.

From Google: “Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site.”

Here are Google’s suggestions about what you should look for - and beware of - in considering an SEO firm along with other practical information:

If any SEO firm guarantees you top rankings you should immediately question it and find another firm. Any legitimate SEO firm will not do this.

If you are interested in learning more about search engines and optimization or other search topics, is an excellent place to do so.

Are Branding and Response The Same?

Posted: May 9th, 2009 | Author: AIM | Filed under: Advertising, Interactive, Marketing | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

An excellent op-ed piece appeared in the February 23, 2009 edition of DMNews written by John Gerzema, Cheif Insights Officer, Young & Rubicam Group and Daniel Morel, CEO, Wunderman.

The authors argue that the value brands bring to a company’s total value are exaggerated and constitute a “brand bubble” of almost $4 trillion in potential exposure where brands account for 30% of S&P 500 market capitalization. 

The authors provide an enormous amount of compelling data that provide insight into how important response/direct marketing is to consumer awareness, interest, desire and action for any branding strategy.

They conclude that branding and response are the same.

To read the entire article, which may change how you think about branding, see:

Is Social Networking A Good Marketing Strategy?

Posted: May 9th, 2009 | Author: AIM | Filed under: Advertising, Interactive, Marketing, Public Relations | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Social networking is exploding and the number of applications grows on a daily basis.

There are many marketers who rave about the business that they have developed by answering questions and engaging in other activities on LinkedIn, Facebook and other applications. There’s no doubt that social networking will become a powerful business development tool - but as you use it think very carefully about how you mix the business and personal.

And, in an effort to demonstrate to clients and others that one is technology-savvy, does too much social networking detract from a serious marketing message? That’s a question with many opinions. We aren’t tremendous fans of the interruptive marketing quality of Twitter nor  are the messages thereon relevant to us in many cases.

As far as using social networking for marketing purposes, it was not that long ago that blog purists decried the use of this form of social media for such activities which have proven to be a very effective marketing channel for businesses, large and small.

For a back and forth on social networking and business, see this Guy vs. Guy post on BNET:

Should I Advertise on LocalAdLink (Is There Value in Advertising on LocalAdLink)?

Posted: May 9th, 2009 | Author: AIM | Filed under: Advertising, Interactive, Marketing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

If you have been approached about advertising with LocalAdLink in Tucson, Phoenix or elsewhere in Arizona or the country we strongly encourage you to read the following information, courtesy of the Forest Marie Blog, which discusses why this local advertising product is not true PPC and neither cost-effective nor a value as compared to other Internet local advertising options.

This is a multi-level marketing (MLM) product with enormous commissions. And so you should ask yourself: If I am paying for something with enormous commissions what percentage of my advertising spend with actually be utilized for PPC ads vs. using a traditional Google AdWords or other strategy? The answer: Very little. Does the typical MLM product benefit the seller or the buyer more?

Further, Forest Marie’s point about congruency is right-on. He predicts that Google will take some action with regards to this company, which has only been around for several months, in the near future. That’s a very, very good prediction. 

It’s also interesting that, as Forest Marie discusses, LocalAdLink salespeople (if you have ever met one as we have several) talk down Google’s advertising model although Google is actually what they utilize with an enormous added layer of cost in between since so little of your monthly marketing spend is allocated to Google AdWords. And let’s see what happens with their natural search claims.

Here is an excerpt from Forest Marie’s blog, which has been edited, but which is an excellent explanation of the LocalAdLink concept:





 LocalAdLink Is A Scam

Stay with me and I’ll explain …

I REALLY hate the word scam. I think it’s ridiculously over used in this industry, but many of readers look to me for answers and respect me for being blunt.

For all you LocalAdLinks fanatics out there, you can get call me an a-hole if you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that your LocalAdLink is a b-s scam, so let’s lift the curtain …

Here’s the definition of scam according to my buddy Merriam Webster:

Main Entry: scam
origin unknown
: a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation

So how is LocalAdLink operating in a fraudulent or deceptive nature?

When you advertise on Google, users do a search. They search on a particular key phrase. Then the user sees ads and lots of links to choose from. When the user clicks on that ad, he wants to see information relevant to that ad. This is why people love Google because their search results are more relevant than other search engines.

It’s a psychological pipeline going on through the users head. It’s called CONGRUENCY!

And this is where LocalAdLink drops it pants!

When buying “advertising packages” through LocalAdLink, your ad will show up for the keywords you selected. It will look like a normal pay-per-click ad, but that’s where it ends and the deception begins.

When a user clicks your ad, it does NOT go to YOUR Web page. It goes to your LocalAdLink Web page which destroys the congruency. And when they get to your page, they’ll see A LOT of information about LocalAdLink FIRST (it’s real big) and they put your name and Web Site in little tiny text at the bottom. Isn’t that b-s?

Look, if I’m going to pay an advertiser to advertise my business, I’m going to pay an advertiser to advertise my business. NOT their business. Period.

This is b-s on every level.

And this best part is they like to trash talk Google PPC when it’s what they’re going using “under the covers.” So basically, you’re paying them money to advertise their brand along with yours on PPC, a medium they talk down upon. There’s a word for that that starts with an h …

Except they don’t tell you what the bid prices are and won’t guarantee your ad will be seen, so they’ll keep the clicks as cheap as possible to make a profit off your dollars so you may get no impressions at all! And there’s nothing you can do about it!

And if your ad does get seen, can you imagine how many people will click on an ad and leave because they don’t see exactly what that ad says? A LOT. Imagine you’re looking for a pizza restaurant and you land on a page talking branding LocalAdLink. WTH, right? This would be like Google forcing all ads you personally advertise on Google to be hosted on a Google page that brands Google and “shows” your company in tiny text. Ridiculous.

There’s a reason Google is making billions selling advertising space and LocalAdLink is depending on frustrated or naive network marketers to build it: It’s because Google has thought all of this out.

LocalAdLink, Beware of Google

While I don’t know this, I feel confident in saying that when Google finds out what these people are doing, they are going to slap LocalAdLink and expose it for the scam that it is and what a mighty minefield that will create!

And if you’re on this blog, I encourage you to share this link around and send it to Google and express your concerns before more people get hurt. It’s scam operations like this that make constantly make Google tighten the screws.

Is There Hope For LocalAdLink

NO. LocalAdLink is hype at best right now and will be off the map in less than three months. When Google slaps them - and I’m sure they will - they’re dead in the water and real business owners that measure true return on investment (ROI) will know it and you’ll look like an idiot for bringing it to their enterprise.

One way to mitigate this would be to make the ads go to my Web Site of my choosing instead of some self-hosted LocalAdLink b-s Web page. Of course, they still have to turn a profit and will keep clicks low so your ads won’t get seen. Again, there’s nothing you can do about it.

This is a ridiculous concept driven based on deception and hype.

Bottom line: If you want to market on Google, learn Google Adwords and steer clear of this hype invested minefield.

To read the entire post:

Beware the many operations, MLM and otherwise, that are springing-up to cash in on the Web and seek-out a qualified professional.

Integrating You Marketing for Media Optimization

Posted: May 9th, 2009 | Author: AIM | Filed under: Advertising, Interactive, Marketing, Public Relations | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Pierre Charchaflian of Epsilon authors a compelling article in Chief Marketer on why media selection and investments are absolutely crucial to sustaining competitive advantage.  Quoting Charchaflian:

“In fact, marketers still are in the infancy stages of truly understanding and optimizing their investment across all media. Companies are not achieving media optimization, which I will define as the best allocation of investment across the various media in order to maximize total revenue across all available channels.

The trouble is that marketing departments aren’t structured to isolate the impact of each media, to sift through and identify the contribution each makes to revenue return. That’s partly because you can’t optimize what you can’t integrate. Executives charged with different media and channels don’t talk to each other. Another reason is that traditional campaign metrics, response rates and ROI, are no longer sufficient. The fact that data analytics continues to be under-leveraged is a third reason.”

Charchaflian offers seven strategic and analytical techniques that marketers in Tucson and elsewhere can utilize:  

So what does it mean when your Tucson Marketing agency indicates that they can obtain results for you? Is this purely a branding/awareness strategy with high-cost media and a built-in agency discount?