Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Crunching Numbers vs. Analytics

We talk a lot about ‘analytics’ in digital media. In fact, that’s one of the really cool things about the digital age, we can measure, track, and analyze every single visitor that comes to our site or receives our email pushes.
Ad4! Interactive was launched as the interactive web division of Ad4! primarily to take advantage of the KISS Metrics analytics package as an integrated feature in our web offerings. And while there’s more to it than just metrics, the metrics drive the SEO, the design features and certainly the copy and graphics. So what are we doing with all this data?
I’m afraid in most cases, we’re crunching numbers for the sake of crunching numbers. Especially here in North Alabama where we have more Ph.D’s per capita than any place in the U.S., it’s only natural that we would crunch the numbers way past their prime.
Analyzing the metrics to draw the proper conclusion is like most parts of social media. It seems easy on the surface, but it’s really difficult once you dig into the details. Looking at your analytics to see how many people visited your site, what keyword was most effective in getting them there, or what page had the highest bounce rate is easy. How do you use this information to make your site better and more importantly, to create better engagement with your customers?
It’s the phycology of the behavior that’s really interesting. Knowing how many people behaved in a certain way is one thing, knowing how to get people to behave in a certain way, is quite a different story. This is what separates effective campaigns from wasted money. 

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Great Stories Sell

We’ve had a little fun with Super Bowl ads this week. All the water cooler talk has been “Did you like the Clydesdale?”

While no ad will ever please every viewer, I think there are at least 5 things we can take away from this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads.

1. Puppies and Clydesdales still pull at our heart-strings.

2. Even though we pull for the underdog, a sloppy wet kiss with sound affects is just too much information, even if the nerd IS kissing a supermodel.

3. Goats, should be limited to 3 bags of Dorito’s a day.

4. Old people getting tatts and having midnight munchies is pretty funny. And

5. Telling an authentic American story will win us over every time.

While there’s a little post-game blow back from Black’s and Latino’s for their lack of inclusion in the imagery, you have to admit, if your demographic is middle-aged white men, Paul Harvey reading his essay “So God Made A Farmer” captured the resilience and determination of the American spirit. Dodge tried to pull the same rabbit out of a hat twice with the Oprah voice-over. But there’s just no connection between American Heroes and Oprah. She spent her glory years telling soccer moms what to read and how to think. And middle-aged soccer mom’s aren’t Jeep’s demographic. 

But Ram was careful not to sell trucks. In fact, you barely knew it was a vehicle ad until the end. What they did, was remind us a lost heritage. For 2 whole minutes, we relived the values of the Greatest Generation. And in a time of high unemployment, fiscal instability, and disintegrating families, Paul Harvey selling us Americana to the tune of Yankee Doodle, was pure genius. 

If you need help telling your story, contact me at 256-425-8787 or chris@ad4group.com.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Is your brand working for you?

Is your brand working for you? Business owners are generally reluctant to change or update their brand, and rightfully so.

But is your brand a good reflection of your company vision? Maybe the better question is do you know what your company stands for? Can your articulate your values? If you can’t answer any of these questions easily, or you have no idea what we’re even talking about, then the answer is probably less important than the question. 

In order for a symbol to represent your vision and values, you have to be able to articulate your brand promise. And here’s the important part, you have to operate your company according to that vision and treat your customers, vendors, and employees according to those values. If you don’t do that, then no flowery logo or fancy-sounding tag line will convince the market that you are a great company. 

It’s not about having the best product or the lowest price. It’s about treating your customers like you really appreciate their business. It’s about treating your vendors like partners. And it’s about treating your employees with dignity and respect. If you can do these things, you create an environment where employees will clamor to work, and where vendors line up to help you create value for your customers. And, instead of widgets at 5 cents less than your competition, you can start selling magic. 

If you need some help getting your brand in order, give me a call at 256-425-8787 or email me at chris@ad4group.com.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Smart Web

Are you smarter than your website? If you are, then it’s time to get a new website. The digital age continues to usher in capabilities for small businesses that previously never existed. I’ve spoken several times about the 3 Pillars of Digital Promotion. The interactive pillar is maybe the most important, because the tools not only track every single visitor, they also help you test campaigns for design and copy, and help engage customers for brand promotion. The bottom line is these interactive web applications drive more traffic to your site and convert that traffic into sales.

What’s different about A4! Interactive’s Smart Web is that these tools that previously had to be bought or licensed individually and then programmed into your site, are now all built in. You get some of the industry’s best tools for search engine optimization, visitor analytics, and customer engagement already neatly integrated into the package for optimal performance. You don’t have to worry about inserting code into your site or whether Andriod will talk to Apple. Rich has already taken care of all those concerns and put a pretty face on it that’s easy to use.

 If you’d like Smart Web for business, call me at 256-425-8787 or email me at chris@ad4group.com . Rich, Felica, or I would love to talk about using Ad4! Interactive’s Smart Web to improve your bottom line.