The New Marketing Landscape!
Many of us in marketing services and/or agency business are starting to see some real tangible marketing patterns emerging that businesses need to be aware of if they want to leverage their marketing dollars in this "post .com implosion economy."
Good Web Site Design increasingly More Important
It's imperative for a company to have a quality web site today - but many firms are still throwing up web sites that are just poorly designed or overly complex. Poor navigation (menus and overall site structure) when coupled with low quality graphics is really problematical (!) - online visitors think less of your company as a result which will hurt revenue in long run. Many think just doing a minimal job is sufficient but they aren't factoring in how close your competition is! On web any potential customer is only one click away from seeing a high quality web site that is well designed and conveys a quality image
A good rule of thumb when budgeting for a web site is to assume you will pay approximately $250-300. USD per page - this should include your graphics design, content development, setting up registration forms, etc. This may sound too expensive for many companies but for better or worse perception is reality in online world! So, don't short change yourself, put some resources into your web site and be prepared to continue to do so - it's now a vital component of any company's ongoing marketing processes that needs constant upgrading like traditional marcom (PR, print, etc.) materials.
Opt-in E-Mail Trending Down but still Viable
Opt-in or permission based e-mail (meaning people give you "permission" to market to them) response rates for Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer are dropping below where they were a year ago by 30-50% on average. What's happening? The ever-increasing deluge of Spam is negating throughput (response rates, purchases, etc.) of quality opt-in e-mail.
Opt-in e-mail is still a viable and excellent way to market your company but expect less results, lower costs/fees (more vendors equals more competition which is good) and need to repeat your campaigns if you want to see tangible results. And don't get dazzled by a design firm or your in house marketing staff that wants to design a fancy HTML e-mail message for you - 65-75% of market today still doesn't want fancy graphics, they want a short message, delivered concisely with short paragraphs in a text format. Less is more!
Performance Based Marketing on Upswing
Publishers and advertisers are more and more willing to accept advertising which is "performance based" and/or based on a "cost per click" or even a revenue share basis. Meaning, it's not like putting an ad in USA Today and hoping people respond to publication - you can now work with list brokers, online publishers and marketing organizations to setup very targeted campaigns that are based on your paying a small cost for an actual response to your message via an opt-in e-mail campaign, text link ad on a web site and/or an insert in a newsletter.