Broadcasters, marketers and media buyers agree that, because we now live in a video-on-demand world in which consumers control what they watch and when, the broadcast advertising model is broken. And while the media industry is still sorting through their predicament on television, perhaps the even more troubling news is that, due to the tough economic conditions the world faces going into 2009, all indications are that online ad spending will dip over the next year. What can media companies and advertisers do in this floundering ad ecosystem? The short answer: they will have to change the way advertising is bought and sold, measured and delivered.Traditional television audiences are eroding. In October, the four biggest broadcast networks reported declines in audiences between the ages of 18 and 49. Many analysts believe that those eyeballs are moving from television to online. Advertising Age, in a study on social networking and its impact on television, found that 25% of users of social networking sites like Facebook indicated they were spending less time watching TV because of the time they were spending online. And more than a third of all 12 – 64 year olds online indicated they used social networking sites regularly. With audiences being siphoned away from television, and using time-shifting digital video recorder (DVR) technology like TiVo to skip ads while they are watching TV, advertising dollars to be had in the broadcast medium are on the decline.So media companies should simply follow their audiences online, right? The picture is not that clear. The current economic climate is eroding ad spending across the board. TechCrunch indicates that in the third quarter, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL collectively eked out only a 0.6% increase in online advertising revenue quarter over quarter. MediaPost.com reports that, while online ad revenue is up 11% year-to-date, compared to last year’s growth of 26%, growth has all but stalled in 2008. They predict that 2009 will be the first flat year for online ad spending since 2003. Others offer an even gloomier outlook. In a survey of attendees at AdTech New York, private equity firm Halyard Capital found most predicted digital-marketing budgets would be down 10-20% in 2009.And even worse news for media companies: rates that advertisers are paying for digital ad space, as traditionally measured by cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM), are trending downward. According to research by Morgan Stanley, the average CPM for a banner ad has dropped from $3 to $1 over the past decade. Consensus seems to be this is because of the proliferation of available inventory (places on the internet to display these ads). In China, advertisers are paying as little as $.05 CPM because of the rapid explosion of inventory. And MediaPost predicts that this decline in the rates advertisers are paying will extend to online video advertising in 2009, which is an area that has been enjoying a two year spike in CPMs.But what about those social networks to which television viewers are being drawn? Do they offer hope? Halyard Capital found that 68% of those surveyed believed social networks are in the “strongest position to expand” among the alternative marketing channels over the next two years. Advertisers see vast potential in social networking as a channel in which to better target advertising to consumers because of all of the personal information being shared. And content providers see opportunities to tie together traditional media and social networking. Broadcasters are starting to incorporate community features into their online video players. Companies like Joost are tapping into social networks like Facebook for social video sharing.At first glance, then, social networks seem to offer promise as an advertising haven in an economic downturn. Sites like Facebook, MySpace and YouTube boast a tremendous number of pageviews, a higher than average number of pageviews per user, and a longer average time-on-site. In a CPM-driven world, this massive pool of pageviews represents a virtual treasure trove of “inventory,” because of the sheer number of eyeballs. The problem, however, is that the data shows that the actual performance of ads on these social networks is absolutely dismal. Click-through rates on these sites are 10 to 100 times lower than the average for banner ads, which were already in the 0.1 percent to 1 percent range.According to Dr. Augustine Fou, Senior VP of Digital Strategy at MRM Worldwide, a digital marketing agency, the very nature of social networking sites make them unsuitable for traditional advertising:”While the largest Web 1.0 sites (Yahoo, CNET, New York Times, etc.) were content sites that aggregated massive audiences and supported large numbers of pageviews, the largest Web 2.0 sites are social networking sites. The nature of these two types of sites is very different. Users go to Web 1.0 sites and portals to read content or do e-mail by themselves. Users go to Web 2.0 social networks to interact with others and are usually so immersed in socializing they are even less likely to see, let alone act upon, ads, despite the large number of pageviews generated per session. This may partially explain the dramatically lower click rates for ads on social networking sites. “Ted McConnell, general manager-interactive marketing and innovation at Procter & Gamble Co., postulates that social networks are not only ineffective channels for advertising, they are wholly inappropriate places to market in which attempts to do so alienate consumers. McConnell poses the question to advertisers: “What in heaven’s name made you think you could monetize the real estate in which somebody is breaking up with their girlfriend?” He makes the point that “social media” is not really “media” at all. Media is a one-way communication that contains blank spaces that constitute inventory for advertising. Social networking is a dialog between consumers, in which advertising becomes disruptive. Consumers were not intending to create media, they were intending to talk to someone.If television ad revenue is on the decline, digital ad spending on the whole is trending downward, and social networks are failing to deliver on their promise to reach consumers, what can advertisers and media companies do to weather the storm? Advertisers must ensure that they are getting the best return on investment they can on their remaining ad spending dollars. Instead of paying for the biggest number of eyeballs they can, they should focus on advertising best positioned to make a conversion. Online, this likely signals a needed shift from a CPM model, where advertisers pay for the number of folks who will see an ad, to performance-based measurements. An ad model based on performance would have advertisers paying only for clicks or other targeted consumer actions.McConnell predicts that as the economy worsens, the fortune of performance-based advertising will rise as impression-based models falter. “‘Spray and pray’ is a little harder to do when you’re under economic pressure,” he said. “So performance-based advertising will gain share over CPM.”And according to Dr. Fou, “in the Web 2.0 advertising landscape, many advertisers have already moved beyond the cost-per-impression (CPM) model to a more measurable and accountable cost-per-click (CPC) model (e.g., Google Adwords) in which they only pay when users click through, no matter how many times the ad is displayed. Some have even moved to the next step of cost-per-action (CPA), where the advertiser does not pay until the user does the desired action-e.g., make a purchase. “How can media companies respond to the demand for performance-based advertising? It is no longer enough to simply make inventory available, now these companies must ensure that the advertisements will be effective. This means that it will be more important than ever to target the right advertising to the right consumer at the right time. And media companies will have to work directly with the advertisers to ensure that advertising is tightly integrated with the content in a way that provides the right context and timing for the message.One channel that offers some interesting promise for targeting of content is mobile. 62% of AdTech’s attendees responding to the survey by Halyard cited mobile as the advertising platform that will grow the most in the next two years. Mobile has the potential to target a consumer at exactly the right time and the right place. Imagine walking into a drug store and receiving a coupon by text message on your mobile phone for an over-the-counter pain reliever. That is the power of location-based advertising, made possible by the proliferation of global positioning system (GPS) technology on mobile phones, that allows providers to know exactly where you are. This is not science fiction – companies like Loopt and NAVTEQ are already starting to serve up location-based ads on a handset near you.And while social networks may not prove to be the holy grail in providing a channel for advertising, their vast potential for understanding and targeting consumers may still be the key to effective advertising in a performance-based world. Dr. Fou explains that “By redefining social networks as ‘the collective conversations and actions of customers, evidenced online,’ marketers can instead use social networks as places to do research-e.g., test messages with real customers in a real environment, listen to how customers describe their products or services to peers, or get ideas for new products or how to improve current products. And finally, advertisers can identify influencers, mavens or ‘heavies’ on social networks (the ones who are most active in talking, posting or sharing) and let them beta-test and write about their product or service.”Not only can social networks help advertisers better identify, understand and influence their targets, they have the potential to exponentially extend their reach. According to Advertising Age, there is “emerging evidence that mapping the online relationships among consumers — creating so-called social graphs — can be just as valuable as traditional targeting and segmentation in predicting how people will respond to marketing messages.” The idea is to not only market to your identified target consumer, but market to the other people in that consumer’s social network. The theory is that advertisers should associate “consumers who are already connected and share values and beliefs, a concept called homophily.” Yahoo and several small start-ups are starting to prove out this theory.Finally, there may still be hope for television. In early November, Dish Network struck a deal with advertising technology firm Invidi that involves the creation of “advanced receivers” capable of “targeted advertising delivery” and “dynamic commercial insertion.” According to Advertising Age, what this means is “[r]ather than bombarding millions of TV viewers with the same ads for things many of them may not be looking to buy, marketers could in the next two to three years send different ads to different households — making certain, for example, that Procter & Gamble wouldn’t have to pay for Pampers ads watched by a couple with no wee tykes and General Motors wouldn’t have to show ads for its Hummer vehicles to a house full of Prius enthusiasts.” Industry experts believe that if consumers are presented with highly relevant advertising, they are far less inclined to skip the ad on their DVR.
Media Advertising Must Adapt to Survive in 2009
Commercial Vehicle Finance Loans
Commercial vehicle finance loans are something that many businesses look into for a variety of reasons. Office based jobs will sometimes give company vehicles to particular employees as an added benefit. This is especially true if there is an outside sales staff or a need for the employees to make visits to clients outside of their base of operations. Instead of utilizing the employee’s personal vehicle and compensating for mileage, the company will supply a company vehicle and apply for commercial vehicle finance loans to stock the employees with company cars. This is sometimes better for the image of the company, can help keep costs down and assist with branding. Commercial vehicle finance loans are also used when purchasing vehicles for delivery of freight. Any business that deals with the shipping and delivery of wares should look into commercial vehicle finance loans.A company with an upscale image may purchase vehicles for employees that portray a particular image. A commercial vehicle finance loan can help accommodate this need by allowing the company to purchase several high end vehicles for company use. Because maintenance and mileage on an employee’s individual car can be expensive, the company can regulate those costs by supplying a company vehicle. The commercial vehicle finance loan amount will be known and it will be easier to budget for that expense. Branding can also be used when purchasing cars through a commercial vehicle finance loan. Often vehicles are branded with the logo and a possible slogan so those who are traveling and see the vehicle will get brand recognition. The use of a commercial vehicle finance loan to purchase these types of vehicles will often help increase sales revenue by increased exposure to the brand name.Commercial vehicle finance loans are very similar to personal loans. Often there is a need for a down payment and then monthly payments are made on the note for the total cost of the loan. The advantage of the commercial vehicle finance loan is that companies can make a larger loan with the assets as collateral. This way, larger items such as trucks can be purchased and many vehicles can be purchased at once. Commercial vehicle finance loans are available for outright purchases as well as leases. Commercial vehicle finance loans used for leasing vehicles are typically used by companies that want to keep newer vehicles and trade them in every few years. Using a commercial vehicle finance loan for sale or lease of vehicles to be used in business will help companies keep a set amount of money budgeted yet allow the company to have a fleet of cars or trucks at their disposal.Commercial vehicle finance loans are available through private lenders, banks and dealerships. As with any loan, commercial vehicle finance loans should be researched to get the best deal. The finance officer of the company should sit down with bank officers at banks and lending institutions to understand what the terms of the commercial vehicle finance loan are and what the repayment options are before settling on one.
A Catch-22 In Selling SEO
Any good SEO Internet marketing firm will tell you there are many challenging factors that need to be overcome in selling search engine optimization and social media types of services in today’s market place.The most challenging factors reside in demonstrating the technicality of the SETUP process along with the necessity of ONGOING SERVICES concerning the positioning and ranking of websites to the Generation X and Baby Boomer’s. It isn’t that these particular folks are any less wise or don’t employ current marketing techniques necessary in structuring their specific corporation(s). What is more likely a possibility is: These business owners are dead set against change.
They need much more education concerning SEO, SEM, Mobile and Social Marketing services.Local small business owners or mid-sized company decision makers whom are within — the ladder era of Baby Boomers as well as those folks whom were born in the beginning years of the Gen X age — have been doing business for ten, fifteen even thirty years with what we refer to as Traditional Marketing Methods. Using sales methods, profit methods, marketing methods and methods of developing databases by way of telemarketing, cold calling and classic networking techniques, etc.Throughout the past fifteen to twenty years, marketing and sales have been slowly shifting to the digital dominion with the creation of Internet marketing, search engines as well as the relationship that’s begun with regards to being able to develop associations through social media sites, which is taking people away from using the traditional methods of marketing.To be visible to the entire target market today including all of the demographics and age categories – you must compete on the multi-functional playing field which includes the combination of Internet Marketing, SEO, Local Listings or Google Maps, Social Media, Mobile Applications mixed with some of the above mentioned traditional marketing techniques. Bundled together in such a way as to produce prospects and conversions.Impediment Of Selling SEO to Baby Boomers!As powerful as Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and Social Media might be, demonstrating these awesome tools to more mature decision makers (i.e. Baby Boomers) is usually a complicated task. Especially being that we as (SEO-ers) are in an intensively growing market with the continuous flow of new IT-SEO and Social Media type businesses popping up everywhere.Not to mention the part-timers attempting to supplement their income and international SEM businesses that vow to provide similar outcomes at a percentage of the price. Without divulging the truth that they have no intentions of attempting to rank for good keyword phrases and social media conversions.This is one of the main reasons why you now have an intrigued but doubtful audience. An audience remaining faithful to their very own conventional ways of marketing and is in desperate need of being educated regarding the Online advertising, marketing and conversion probabilities of SEO, social media and mobile applications.As powerful as these new technologies are: Common myths, thought patterns and unsure feelings, are directly involved when buying SEO and Social Media services by these misinformed Boomer and Generation X clients.Taking in to consideration that not all Boomers and Gen X age entrepreneurs fit this mold but the following are everyday concerns that have been emerging within the SEO, Social and Mobile Media product sales procedure.SEO and Conversion progression??SEO – Some prospects have been known to say something like -”I could find a small Off Shore Company to get these tasks done for around $400 per month as well as getting my business high rankings. Why should I fork out a premium price to your SEO Company that can perform a similar outcome?”Local business owners or any business owner for that matter, is flooded daily with unwanted telemarketing calls and emails. These days a few of these email messages and random calls are from off-shore or mom and pop type SEM and/or Social Media companies offering “The best page rankings” for about $300-$500 per month.They take advantage of unsuspicious company owners with unrealistic Internet perceptions offering proposals cleverly disguised as PPC or promising second-hand services such as Internet search submission. And unfortunately the fact is a lot of the techniques used by “low-end” companies are considered to be using bad SEO techniques.Meaning that the final outcomes they produce through their “almost illegal” methods could actually do more harm then good by having their client’s website penalized by search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.And if these companies are following methods approved by the search engines then another trick they try and pull is showing #1 rankings for queries like “auto repair shops in Denver Colorado.” Which has no Local Monthly Searches and no Global Monthly Searches according to the reliable Google AdWords Tool.To some business owners “auto repair shops in Denver Colorado” may appear to be a good keyword phrase since a portion of their clientele fit this category and can view them ranking 1st for that key phrase. The issue is that — that phrase has NO search volume PERIOD. Instead they should use a SEO service like 1st Page Success LLC that can get them ranked for a phrase like”Auto Repair Denver” which brings a much, much more potent 1st page ranking result – having an exact word search of approximately 720 Local and Global Monthly searches. The dilemma here is that they, (as Local Entrepreneurs,) do not understand queries have different quantities.Which reminds me of another issue concerning small business owners. Some are still under the opinion that they cannot be positioned for top level phrases in any case,so the wise action to take is pinpoint the very long particular keyword phrase which only produces a few or as seen above zero searches each month.This is one of the reasons why there are Local Small Business Owners out there today claiming that SEO and Local Business Listings Do Not Work. When in reality if a Small Business Owner invests in an SEO Company that can rank them on the 1st page, in one of the top 4 positions, for at least 3 quality keywords it is going to double or triple their business and change it forever.The Other Side Of The Coin, Are You A Victim?So, now lets look at the other side of the coin, ??where there are several companies getting extravagant sums of money for SEO and Social Media products and services which usually victimize non technically educated local small business owners.There are many businesses around today still charging extravagant fees and one business in Denver comes to mind charging $2895 just to submit a website to top search engines like Google and Yahoo.These days this type of service is needless mainly because sites are already indexed. And if for some odd reason your business wasn’t indexed then the indexing task could be completed in as few as 10 minutes. It is in fact just about sinful but I know of small business owners who have actually purchased these services lacking the understanding of the value associated with what they were actually receiving. This is a shame and justifies the importance of educating the business owners in our markets.What is considered to be a good online consumer experience?Some still believe, if their website has a form somewhere on it along with a “contact us” page that has their address, email and contact number then they are providing a good online consumer experience.Even though some would consider this to be a beginning. In general web sites are developed inadequately or are built on non-sufficient themes,which impede their clientele’s navigation. Another needed aspect of any good website is the call-to-action. A lot of websites out on the World Wide Web do not incorporate even one call-to-action.In addition to all of this, small business owners with websites, a-lot-of-times do not have an understanding of their specific click through and conversion-rates.What some still think in regards to Social Marketing. With regards to Facebook some people believe:
“Young people information, it’s stuffed with games and social events and it’s not something to be used for company promotions.”
With regards to Twitter some people believe: “Tweeting is filled with boring data, that I can do for myself all day long, why would I buy from you?”With regards to LinkedIn some people believe: “Why would I have to insert people I know or that are current customers or business acquaintances?”Influencing Baby-Boomer and Gen Xers to shell out for social, Internet, SEO, SEM and/or Mobile products and services can be a bit of a struggle because frequently these entrepreneurs do not utilize Internet and Social Media Marketing. And by chance ifthey actually do use these services on a rudimentary basis they don’t usually understand the extreme sales potential, of these powerful avenues.Several people who run businesses still observe social media marketing to be complicated and a time consuming task that target audiences outside their specified market.To some business owners, one hundred calls is much more valuable than a hundred or so fans, internet connections or brand new followers. You should understand that some business owner’s idea of social interface is actually the traditional method of networking events, BNI groups and door-to-door visits which is not what people current with social media would consider social interaction.While you can easily calculate SEO and Social Return on investment, there are some whom still are skeptical of this avenue of advertisement. Even though those out dated strategies could easily get decent end results, they may be more expensive and take longer to execute.What most do not understand is that one could endure an enhanced likelihood to convert more prospects if they were to connect with them on-line before they made or scheduled a sales appointment??The Fear of Change & Fear of Inadequacy.Pride – There are many Local Business Owners whom have been in business for 10, 15, 20 years and have been running their businesses using traditional methods of marketing since they began. These business owners are usually under the impression – “If it aint broke, why does it need to be fixed?”This creates an issue that needs to be addressed and overcome before you can successfully market SEO and Social Media products to this older generation. The traditional marketing and sales techniques worked for the past X amount of years and these methods even continue to keep performing at a reduced percentage today. However it is the reduced performance of the traditional marketing methods like the plummeting size of the Yellow Pages that has begun to worry these owners.Fear – Some wander – “What would happen if their company were to pay all this cash for Internet and Social Marketing and end up receiving little to no consequences?”??One of the worries entrepreneurs have concerning SEO and Social Media marketing is that they are afraid of receiving a poor ROI. This is a legitimate dilemma particularly if they have heard of company’s whom went with a cheap SEO provider producing inadequate results, infrequent up-dates and so on and so forth.Efficiency of Selling SEO Services.So taking into consideration the above obstacles, what is an efficient way to sell SEO services? First and Foremost it is absolutely imperative to make it a priority to educate the clientele.
Glazing over topics that your particular prospective client might not seem to comprehend is an injustice. It is vital that you show definite relationships between Web optimization / social media marketing as well as sales.
Be ready for “so what?” Do to mis-representation or lack of due diligence, some small business owners still may disregard the fact that when it comes to SEO and Social Media, “There is No One Size Fits All.” This same group will assume they can get SEO and Social Media at a discounted rate.The fact remains it takes experts hours of time to rank for competitive keyword phrases and once ranked it takes experts hours of time to keep a company ranked for those phrases. And this isn’t even taking into consideration research and development for the best phrases or SEM, LBLO, Social Media development and so on. So if you are not prepared for the “So what” attitude, and your only reply is, “You Get What You Pay For When It Comes To SEO and Social Media.” Then you’ll lose and you will close very few sales.??Also be prepared to come across business owners that want something for nothing. They will want you to promise them you will get them conversions. Since this is just another form of marketing and advertising it is no different than the newspapers and yellow pages of years gone by. Conversions are the business owners responsibility. Getting the site to have a decent CTR is the responsibility of the person or company selling the SEO service.The Legitimacy of SEO and Internet Marketing.A good SEO Company can guarantee they will be able to get a certain percentage of keyword phrases for any Internet campaign ranked on the 1st page of a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing. Nor can any legitimate SEO company guarantee conversions. Why? Because conversions are the responsibility of the small business owner to convert the leads generated by good Internet rankings into customers. Not the responsibility of a SEO company.Legitimate SEO Company’s like 1st Page Success have 90 day guarantee’s stating they will get 1, 2, 3, 4 good keyword phrases with good competition ranked organically or for local maps in top search engines depending on the size of the campaign for each of their clients.They also have in place other guarantees for social media and mobile applications. Again, if you don’t have legitimate guarantees and are not prepared to properly address these types of concerns then you’ll lose and close very few sales.The bottom line