Posts Tagged Advertising

Business Promotional Products Explained – What They Are and How They Are Used

Business promotional products are any items that may be used to promote something about a business. That might be the whole brand – or it might be a specific product or message from within that brand.

Promotional items may be anything at all, as long as they are either directly branded or used in a way that has immediate relevance to a promotion or campaign. Such a promotion or campaign can be targeted for immediate return (as in a product launch) – or it can be a long term promotion, like getting workers within a company to wear branded protective clothing when they do a job.

The overall purpose of many business promotional products is the creation of a fun or interesting/exciting brand message. The product selected for use in a campaign becomes part of the language of that campaign, and hence is included in the lexicon of the brand itself. The message thus created is imparted by a juxtaposition of the promotional item with the product or brand it is being used to promote.

The use of branded flip flops in a bottled beer promotion is a perfect example of how this works. Flip flops are not, in and of themselves, items associated with the manufacturer and ale of bottled lager. They are, however, associated with holidays, sunshine and fun. So branding flip flops with the logo of a beer manufacturer, and using them in pub giveaways, may associate the name of a particular beer with the idea of summer fun.

Items with some kind of use to the recipient are also highly thought of as business promotional products. A USB stick or other piece of digital media is a prime case in point. In business terms, portable data is always useful – and the cost of printing USB sticks with personalised messages and logos is negligible in terms of the amount of visibility the brand gets when business clients begin using its memory sticks to carry their files with them.

The length of time an end user keeps business promotional items (on average) may be used as a factor in deciding which items to use. It is not always necessary, however, to select the products that have the longest average uptake. The item selected by the promotions manager will depend on the thrust of the promotion itself.

Some kinds of promotion specifically require products that won’t be used for very long. Often, business promotional products of this nature are novelty items, which can be used to enhance a message in the moment rather than dispensing it over a longer period of time.

The short-term message is usually associated with a giveaway promotion; or with promotions designed to help specific brands take ownership of important festivals and holidays. In this last sense, some business promotional products are no more nor less than the packaging in which a normal product is presented. As long as the item associates the brand with the holiday, that’s all that matters. You only have to look at the distinctive red and white branding of a particular soft drink over Christmas to see that in action.

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Online Marketplaces: The Future is Now

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The mail order catalog in its classic form is mostly dead, thanks to the internet. Given time and more technological advances, even retail outlets will soon be out of fashion as well. Nowadays, anything and everything can be purchased over cyberspace, and I think that’s a great thing.

What does this mean for city-dwelling humanity? The changes will seem small and inconsequential at first, but these alterations to their lifestyles will be cumulative, slowly transforming the way we do things. I’ll put on my futurist cap for this piece and put into words what I think will be inevitable for human society.

Conventional Retail Will Cease to Exist

It won’t be long until the large malls will be mostly service and entertainment centers, with retail being isolated to only perishable items like food or drink. Other minor consumable items like cigarettes will be dispensed via vending machines, as it is is not cost-effective to still have people sell these items directly.

There will still be offline places of trade and commerce, but as I mentioned above, it will be comprised of certain services that can’t exactly be delivered to your doorstep (premium spa treatments, dental work, etc.), and along with that, entertainment (live concerts and shows). To me, that’s a welcome development as malls and other places of business won’t be as cluttered and crowded. Just about every necessity can be shopped for in the comfort of your home, and you rarely ever go out for the purpose of errands.

Goods WIll be More Affordable

With more of the actual buying and selling happening online, the costs of the business will actually go down significantly. You won’t need as many people running the operations of a storefront or a retail outlet. Instead of an actual store with a handful of employees, you could just have one or two people running the website.

Costs from advertising via the conventional tri-media (print ads, radio, television) outlets won’t even be an issue, especially with the smaller entrepreneurs. Online advertising is considerably more affordable, and if you really do excel in your business, good word travels much faster over fibre optics.

It won’t matter if you’re actually operating from an old warehouse in a run-down area of the city (or in your parents’ basement); if your website is snazzy and navigable, you have a responsive customer support service, and you deliver on-time, it’ll be likely that you will do well.

Always Available

The internet does not sleep. Stores will always be open, and if one store does not have what you want to purchase, there are literally thousands of other places to look. The only current hindrance is that most delivery services don’t work round the clock (receiving and delivering, anyway), but I’m thinking that there will be companies that will raise the bar on this as well. Already, I’m already imagining small flying (hovering) delivery drones that can receive or deliver most small items…

The Future is Bright, and It’s Mostly Here

Many of the elements needed for this vision of online commerce to happen is already here. There are just a few pieces left to be filled in, and most of them have to do with logistics. Once those technical challenges are solved, we will have such a grand global symphony of goods being bought and sold over the electronic ether; capitalism super-streamlined!

About the Author

Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and works with many specialized online marketplaces such as Rock & Dirt, NextTruck Online, Trade-A-Plane, and Tradequip International.

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Why conversion optimization is necessary to enhance your profits

Every company should be looking for new ways to grow their business. Whether it is increasing the number of unique visits your website receives or advertising in new locations, a business will not thrive unless it is actively working towards increasing its profits. One of the best ways a company can increase its profit margins is by optimizing its website’s conversion rate.

Quick Results

Many businesses are eager to increase their profits as quickly as possible. Improving your website’s conversion rate is one of the best ways to rapidly increase your revenue. As long as your website receives a steady flow of traffic, you will see your revenue grow once you start to make changes to your website designed to increase your conversion rate.

These quick results will allow you to see exactly what is and is not working in regards to your website’s conversion rate, enabling you to make further adjustments on the fly. If you are able to find the right set of changes to make to your website to improve your conversion rate, your revenue and profit should increase along with your conversions.

Keep Costs Low

Typically, there are two ways a business can increase its sales numbers – get more visitors to your website and improve your conversion rate. While further promoting your website by adding more keywords to your SEO campaign or increasing your PPC ad spend are excellent ways to increase the amount of visitors your site sees along with your conversions, your expenses will also increase with this strategy. When your expenses increases, your business may not continue to be profitable if you do not get enough conversions to generate the revenue needed to turn a profit.

When you utilize conversion optimization as your strategy to increase your sales figures, you are able to keep your costs at a minimum. It does not take nearly as much money to analyze your website’s data in order to make changes to optimize your conversion rate. When compared to other online advertising methods, conversion optimization is one of the cheapest methods you can use.

Higher ROI

Along with the lower costs associated with conversion optimization comes a higher ROI. By taking the time to analyze your website’s traffic data, you will be able to see which aspects of your site are negatively affecting your conversion rate. Once you make changes to those aspects of your website, your conversion rate will increase, and you will see your revenue increase as well.

Since you did not have to spend a lot of money to see this increase in your conversion rate and sales figures, your business may now be showing a profit when it was once in the red. Something as simple as improving your conversion rate can take a poorly performing product or service and turn it into a highly profitable business venture.

Every company should be thinking of new, unique ways to improve their business. Working to improve your website’s conversion rate is one of the best ways you can grow your business. The quick results, relatively low costs and ability to greatly improve your ROI are just some of the reasons why conversion optimization is a necessity for every type of business.

Emily is a blogger and internet marketer who relies on Who Is Hosting This.com to identify the host of several websites she comes across.

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Online Advertising: Pros and Cons

There are many ways to manage advertising space on a website or blog, each with pros and cons.

Adsense (Pay Per Click)

 

Google Adsense gave new life to the online advertising market and especially to Pay Per Click (PPC). As the name suggests, with pay per click you are paid when a user clicks on your advertisement. After the click, the user is redirected to the advertiser’s web page, which usually sells and promotes products or services.

Today, Adsense is the most popular PPC program to the point of being almost synonymous with PPC, not only because Google is good at getting publicity and has many advertisers, but also because the distribution system of contextual ads is unique among competitors.

Pro Pay Per Click:

■ Easy to implement: just insert the Adsense code into the pages and Google will send itself to the most relevant ads

■ Selling with PPC is easy to implement and fast.

■ Earnings are very passive and long lasting and unlike other programs, you can just add some Adsense code into a page and earn. Among other things, once a page has stabilized Google ads continue to renew, maintaining consistent income.

■ Selling budgets are easy to manage and the analytics allow very thorough keyword research.

Cons of PPC:

■ It is not so profitable with Adsense, you can earn so much if you have bigger sites, but soon you realize that Adsense cannot be the main livelihood of your sites because it does not make enough money. With other programs, such as Pay Per Lead and Pay-Per-Sale, you can do much more.

■ Selling with PPC is basically the art of paying for something that website optimization does for free.

Pay Per View (aka Pay Per Impression)

With this method of earning, webmasters are cashing in when the user sees the banner or page. These programs today do not enjoy much luck, because hardly any users that look at a banner then turn into a customer. Despite this fact, there is still a small market for PPV.

Pro’s Pay Per View

■ Suitable for sites that Adsense wont supply. These tend to be sites of a dubious nature such as adult material or file sharing sites. The advertiser that chooses the Pay Per View it is not always very interested in being paid by a company that is ethically upstanding.

■ Selling via PPV is ideal if you have a website or marketing strategy that would get you kicked off any other sites.

Cons of Pay Per View

■ Meager earnings, they speak of fractions of a cent per view.

■ Selling legitimately via PPV is hard because it is often only the more dubious sites that run PPV hosting space.

■ Few advertisers: with a few advertisers sometimes, you do not have ads to display and so have nothing to gain.

■ Selling with PPV costs a lot for a little. Even if you pay 0.5c per view, a file-sharing site can get up to a quarter of a million hits in one day. Few of them however are liable to buy from you.

■ Bad user experience: pay per impression programs make use of various methods that are very poorly viewed by the user, such as Pop Up ads and Frames.

Pay Per Lead (aka Cost per Action) and Pay Per Sale.

This section covers PPL and PPS, because PPL quite easily converts into PPS if you simply make the action page the checkout or payment page. However, just to make it clear, the PPS system is exactly the same as PPL, but you only get charged (seller) or paid (host site) if the customer goes all the way through the checkout and pays.

With Pay Per Lead you will be paid when the user performs a certain action on the advertiser’s site. The action in 99% of cases is the compilation of a form, such as a sign up form, or contact form (this is why it is called a lead). Selling via PPL is the hardest medium to qualify for, but allows the biggest pushes for online sales if you are a small company.

Pro Pay Per Lead / PPS

■ Commissions on Pay Per Lead widely, from 30 cents to more than $20. Everything depends on the market. If the sellers are getting sales through your adverts, they will pay silly amounts of money per PPL.

■ Selling with PPL is great if you only agree to pay every time somebody hits your payment screen, i.e. they have bought something, and then you can pick higher click costs, safe in the knowledge that you can factor the fee into your sale price.

■ It is more manageable, unlike Pay Per Click, which all depends on your skill.

■ Selling is great if a user clicks the advert, does not buy (action) but then returns later via a different route such as adding you to their favorites bar. You then get the sale without paying the fee.

Cons of Pay Per Lead / PPS

■ It requires work and maintenance. When you create a web page to promote a Pay Per Lead program, you will frequently have to fix it properly because schedules change, close or renew. Pages and their content and traffic they attract need a very specific description and proof of its achievement.

■ Selling can go rotten If a user reaches the action page (preferably the checkout or payment page) and then opt out of the same such as by clicking back or clicking away, you will still be charged for the action.

■ There are few programs that allow webmasters to host PPL. There are a few in United States but otherwise its good luck chuck (nothing).

Author’s bio:

My name is Sonia Jackson. I represent the web-site www.custom-essay-writing.org. We’ll help you to solve all problems with writing different essays and research papers in a short time; we’ll answer all your questions and give you useful advices.

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Judge rejects Facebook settlement over advertising feature

SAN FRANCISCO: A U.S. judge rejected Facebook Inc’s proposed legal settlement to resolve allegations that the social networking company violated its members’ rights through the its ‘Sponsored Stories’ advertising feature.

In an order on Friday, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco listed several concerns with the proposed settlement, including a request for more information on why the agreement does not award any money to members.

Seeborg said the company and attorneys for the plaintiffs could try to modify their agreement to address his concerns.

“We continue to believe the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. “We appreciate the court’s guidance and look forward to addressing the questions raised in the order.”

Representatives for the plaintiffs could not immediately be reached for comment.

Five Facebook members filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against the social networking site, saying its Sponsored Stories feature violated California law by publicizing users’ “likes” of certain advertisers without paying them or giving them a way to opt out. The case involved 100 million potential class members.

As part of the proposed settlement, Facebook agreed to allow members more control over how their personal information is used. In the opinion of one economist hired by the plaintiffs, contained in a court filing, the value to Facebook members resulting from the changes is about $103 million.

Facebook had also agreed to pay $10 million for legal fees, and $10 million to charity, according to court documents.

The case is Angel Fraley et al., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Facebook Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 11-cv-1726.

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With Olympics backdrop, Twitter goes for big-time brand advertising

SAN FRANCISCO: If the millions of Olympics-related tweets flooding the Internet in recent days are a measure of Twitter’s popular appeal, the company’s big presence in London also signals something else: its arrival as a major player in the world of big-time brand advertising.

In sharp contrast to Google, which initially built its businesses mostly by persuading thousands of small companies to buy “direct response” ads, Twitter’s emerging strategy focuses on selling elaborate brand campaigns to major marketers such as Procter & Gamble Co and Verizon Communications.

The Olympics have presented a prime opportunity for Twitter to position itself as a new media channel that complements TV broadcasts – and carries the big-name ads to match.

“We can service the very biggest brands in the marketplace,” Adam Bain, the company’s president of revenue and key advertising strategist, said in a recent interview. “The conversation that’s happening on TV, or happening live is also happening on Twitter. That’s very valuable.”

Courting major brands is an unusual play for a six-year-old company that private investors value at more than $8 billion but has yet to prove its financial viability. It often takes years to persuade the biggest advertisers to try a new publication or TV show, much less a completely new medium that requires a different creative approach.

The challenge is evident in Facebook’s fitful efforts to woo marketers such as General Motors, which jolted the social network by pulling back from paid ads just before Facebook’s IPO in May.

GM and Facebook are now talking again, and Facebook recently began a boot camp at its Menlo Park campus where marketers can meet with engineers to collaborate on ad campaigns. But as of 2011, brand campaigns still accounted for less than 40 per cent of Facebook’s $3.7 billion in revenue, according to estimates by eMarketer.

Even Google, which revolutionized direct response ads by showing them next to search results and has reaped huge profits in the process, has not fully cracked the code when it comes to big brands.

But the advertising giants say their early experiments with Twitter have shown remarkable results.

Consider the case of PepsiCo, which spent $640 million in 2011 on marketing, according to Kantar Media. Beginning late last year, about a dozen Twitter staffers led by Bain flew to PepsiCo’s offices in Purchase, New York, for a series of brainstorming sessions.

Armed with data gleaned from Twitter chatter, the two companies drew up a plan to use Twitter as a centerpiece for a massive rebranding campaign, “Live for Now,” that tied the soft drink to pop music stars and played up its youth appeal.

As the campaign unfurled in June, Pepsi rolled out a series of music videos on its Twitter page based on which artists were most discussed on Twitter, and doled out downloads for hit songs. In late June, Pepsi threw a Katy Perry concert in Hollywood that was live-streamed within a tweet on Pepsi’s Twitter page.

The company also paid Twitter to boost the reach of select “promoted tweets,” which garnered 68 million impressions in one day.

About 24 per cent of users who saw Pepsi’s paid tweets clicked, replied to or helped broadcast the tweets – a rate that deeply impressed Pepsi.

“We saw some phenomenal results with those ad products,” said Shiv Singh, the global head of digital marketing for Pepsi Beverages. Singh said it was “extremely likely” that Pepsi will ramp up its spending on Twitter.

Where the big dollars lie

Twitter’s focus on brand marketing, which aims to create a positive association with a product rather than prompt an immediate purchase, underscores a long-standing issue in the online advertising world.

About 60 per cent of the total $150 billion spent on advertising in 2010 went toward brand marketing campaigns, according to comScore. But in the online world, the vast majority of the roughly $30 billion in ad spending went toward direct response ads that generate leads or drive sales directly.

Google’s search ads are the dominant form of online direct-response advertising, but traditional banner ads are also often judged on how many people click through and take action.

“The biggest bucket that’s untapped in digital advertising is brand marketing,” said Jonah Goodhart, the founder of advertising technology company Moat Inc.

What may enable Twitter to tap that bucket is its growing “second-screen” appeal. The Olympics deal with NBC is aimed at offering Twitter denizens tweets from athletes and other content that complement the TV broadcasts. Procter & Gamble, for one, has straddled the two media during the Olympics, using promoted tweets to solicit feedback about a TV ad shortly after it runs on NBC.

Meanwhile, Twitter has struck a similar deal with NASCAR, while Twitter’s Hollywood liaisons are pushing TV studios to create Twitter apps that accompany popular shows.

“If you have a service that naturally lends itself to being at the center of big media-event conversations, you go where the big money is,” said John Battelle, founder of Federated Media Publishing, an online ad network.

At the center of Twitter’s ad push has been Bain, a 38-year- old advertising and sales executive who rose through the ranks at News Corp beginning in 1999 and was eventually tapped to build an advertising network across all of News Corp’s digital properties, including MySpace.

Although MySpace faded amid competition from Facebook, Bain emerged with his reputation burnished and a deep Rolodex of Madison Avenue contacts.

“His singular strength was that he’s the perfect combination of a salesman and a tech person,” said Peter Chernin, the Hollywood film producer and the longtime No. 2 at News Corp. “The people who build technical products, usually none of them can sell.”

Bain has built a sales team that now accounts for nearly a quarter of Twitter’s roughly 1,000 employees. Rows of MacBook-toting advertising employees now occupy a swathe of the seventh floor in Twitter’s hulking new office building on San Francisco’s Market Street.

They are also dispersed in locations like Atlanta and Austin, where staffers watch over major accounts like Coca-Cola

and Dell Inc. Earlier this year, the company poached Shailesh Rao, who formerly oversaw Google’s Asia-Pacific business, to court overseas advertisers.

Bain also hired Joel Lunenfeld, an interactive advertising executive from Atlanta, to oversee creative and engineering teams who actively pitch ideas to Fortune 100 companies.

“Adam and Dick have been consistent and open about what works on Twitter and what doesn’t,” said Noah Mallin, vice president of social marketing at Digitas. “Advertisers trust them. That really goes a long way.”

Twitter’s transition from quirky tech start-up to glitzy media power has alienated some of its long-time fans in the tech world who would like the company to function more as a platform for independently developed social media services.

Its Olympic journey has had some bumps as well. The company came under fire again this week for banning a British journalist who was critical of NBC and tweeted an executive’s email address, leading commentators to question whether Twitter compromised its values to side with a business partner. Twitter later apologized and reinstated the account.

But from an advertising standpoint, Twitter’s priorities were perhaps most clearly displayed at a recent European event: the annual Cannes Lions advertising festival.

A massive banner hung over the festival’s main event hall, featuring the company’s blue bird logo and the hashtag: “#CannesLions,” Bain said.

The message to marketers was that all the festival’s chatter was “also happening on Twitter.”

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Facebook expands ad business to Zynga’s website

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc has begun showing ads on Zynga Inc’s website, the first time the company has distributed ads beyond the borders of its own website and raising the possibility that Facebook could eventually launch an online advertising network.

“People may now see ads and sponsored stories from Facebook on Zynga.com,” said Facebook spokesperson Tucker Bounds. He said that Facebook does not share information about people or advertisers with Zynga, and that Facebook’s advertisers do not have any new “targeting criteria.”

Asked if Facebook was planning to create a full-fledged online ad network that distributes ads on other sites, Bounds said “we are only showing ads on Zynga right now.”

Zynga was not immediately available for comment.

Shares of Facebook, the world’s No.1 social network, were up 4.4 percent to $33.25 in mid-afternoon trading on Friday.

Facebook’s stock has been under pressure since its initial public offering last month, due in part to concerns about the company’s slowing revenue growth.

Facebook made most of its $3.7 billion in revenue last year from ads that appear on its site.

An ad network could significantly increase the reach of Facebook ads, offering an important new source of revenue growth.

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Facebook to launch ad bidding system

San Francisco/New York: Facebook Inc. plans to introduce real-time bidding for advertising on its site, a technology used by Google Inc. and other Web firms to more effectively target ads to consumers.

“The service, Facebook Exchange, will let advertisers reach specific types of users on the social network based on their browsing history,” Annie Ta, a company spokeswoman, said in an interview on Wednesday. “Prices will be based on the cost per thousand viewers and spots will be sold via third-party technology partners. It will debut within weeks.”

Facebook has tumbled 28% since its stock market debut last month, a decline caused in part by concern that ad revenue growth isn’t keeping pace with surging membership. The company brought in $3.15 billion (Rs. 17,580 crore today)
from advertising last year and has introduced mobile ads and other services to boost sales.

The firm “is hoping to use that inventory on the right side of the page to deliver advertising that is more targeted”, Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at New York-based eMarketer Inc, said.

With Facebook Exchange, marketers will be able to target people who have perused certain kinds of websites in the past based on cookies, or small pieces of code, that can track activities on the Web. For example, users who have visited travel sites to research trips to Hawaii may later see a promotion on Facebook about hotels in Hawaii.

An increasing portion of display ad sales are driven by this type of technology. Real-time bidding will account for about $5.08 billion, or 27%, of the projected $18.9 billion to be spent on American online display ads in the US in 2015, according to researcher IDC. Last year, real-time bids generated $1.07 billion, or 9.8%, of display ad sales.

Facebook’s shares rose in extended trading on Wednesday, after earlier falling less than 1% to $27.27 at the close in New York.

The company’s technology partners for selling ads based on user browsing patterns include TellApart Inc., Turn Inc., Triggit, DataXu Inc., MediaMath Inc., AppNexus Inc., the Trade Desk Inc. and AdRoll.com, Ta said. Facebook has started placing cookies on the Internet browsers of its members, which will be used by its partners to identify members of the social network, Ta added. While there isn’t a way to opt out of this tracking on Facebook’s site, the outside vendors will give users an opportunity to block cookies.

The new bidding process is designed to help advertisers deliver more time-sensitive messages. Advertisers now target users on Facebook based on the interests they list in their profiles and the pages they “like” on the site. The firm will continue to offer these ads, and such interests won’t be used as part of the real-time bidding exchange, Ta said.

As its stock declines amid concerns about sales growth, Facebook has been working to show advertisers that its website is an effective way to reach customers.

Brian Womack in San Francisco and Lisa Rapaport in New York contributed to this story.

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