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Traffic, Ads and Content…What makes you think you only have to be great at one or two?

I just read a post on Linkedin entitled “If content is King, Does that make SEOs The Joker?”. I have also recently engaged in several conversations on and other on Social Media and other topics. It seems everyone is promoting their skill. Only natural I guess as their livelihoods depend on that skill. In todays competitive world and most especially online you have to be GREAT at all of it not just one part…like it or not that is the state of your business.
There are 3 elements of all marketing, they haven’t changed, just the channels to deliver your story have multiplied 10x and your audience has grown 1000x smarter and more demanding.

1. Placement AKA audience, distribution. Whatever you want to call it, this is the mechanism by which you get your message out. These mechanisms breakdown into 2 categories: Proactive and Reactive I recently when into great detail on these categories as well as the channels in a post entitled “Communication Channels, Levels of Interruption and Marketing Effectiveness”, if you would like to dig deeper.
2. The ad AKA Header or Offer. This is what I will get into more detail later in this post as this is a neglected and very important part of the marketing process, it sets the tone for your story and if you don't get it right the respondent will go no further.
3. The Content, there can be no question it is king because it is where the rubber meets the road. You can spend a lot of money and time driving traffic only to end up with a lot of eyeballs and nothing to show for it. Without the RIGHT content you can’t get the conversion and if you can’t get that, what’s the point? For a deeper dive into content and conversion see “Clicks, Conversation and Conversions”.
4. *Social Media – I am adding this as a 4th here because I think it is emerging as something you will have to do to be able to market effectively. Bottom line more and more people will begin to check your story out using social media and if it doesn't pass the smell test there you won’t get anywhere. This isn’t new…basically word of mouth and has been the most effective marketing since the dawn of time. However the internet has put word of mouth on steroids… be aware it is and will continue to affect what you do in your business and marketing.

Now let’s talk about the AD, Header or Offer; this element is as, if not more important than the placement. Humans have an incredible ability to make snap decisions on a tiny amount of data. Then we will work to confirm that decision. The only chance our ancestors had to survive in the jungle was to make accurate spit second assessments. If you needed a week or even a day to decide if another Neanderthal was friend or foe, you were pretty dead. As humans with egos though we need to defend those decisions there for you only have a few paragraphs or seconds to get and keep my attention and if not I skew my perceptions to maintain that your message wasn’t right for me.

This is why message match is soooooo important. If you write the right ad then send the customer to your random access main web making customer search for the information you promised then they will abandon your site and not return.

Here are a few examples do’s and don'ts for ads, headers or offers:

First a big don't – DON'T use your inventory as the offer in you search marketing campaigns! Please everybody is talking about inventory, be different. You’re a car dealer I know you have inventory, tell me why I should look at you to buy from.

Do – keep it simple:
Vehicle Buy Back… We need your Car!
Cash for Clunkers… even more $ if you have a nice trade!
Simply the Best Price and easiest purchase you will ever make!

These are just a few, the idea get my attention in the first sentence. The myth everyone or even a majority will resonate with one ad, they won’t. You need to work hard to either match the message to your target audience or put more than one ad in front of your target audience, then test, test, test. Find the right ads that go with the right target audience. That means testing each ad with each channel. The only way to do this effectively is with software.

Finally PLEASE match your message with your ad it would be a shame to get good traffic with a good ad only to convert 5% or less.

If you want to know more check out my blog at over the next few days I will be adding some example header, ads, offers that have worked well over the years.

Hope this helps,

Views: 50

Tags: advertising, marketing, online, sem, seo, web, website


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Comment by Ray Fenster on September 21, 2009 at 11:38am
Great article, the key to social media is you make it easy for your customers to get the message and it has got to be fun with high integrity and timely.

Comment by Larry Bruce on September 21, 2009 at 5:15am
Execution on a consistent marketing plan has always been the dealers Achilles Heal. There are so many moving parts in a store they simply don't have the time to put into marketing. Some dealers have seen the value in good marketing and hired someone to head that department others are content to try and do it themselves, leave it to the GM or god forbid the Sales Manager. :(

If you are dealer reading this post, marketing today takes a lot of time and effort as we are inundated with channels of communication now, if you can't hire someone in store then contract with someone to get it done CONSISTENTLY. Consistency of message and integration of channels are the keys it takes some fulltime effort to get this right.

Thanks again for the kind words Ralph.

I hope this is helping,
Comment by Ralph Paglia on September 21, 2009 at 12:30am
Larry - This is a great article... I am sending it to a bunch of people on my team. You and I are in sync with what's important about online advertising, the real mystery to me is why so many people either don't get it, or they say they do and act in the opposite direction. I think that for many people, the challenge is in execution. Their intent is to follow these uncomplicated, mostly common sense principles, but they get distracted, sold some snake oil by a supplier who has shiny bells and loud whistles, whatever happens, it seems that many of us in this business drift away, or lose sight of these proven principles that should guide all online campaigns... I am amazed at how many dealers WANT to drive traffic from ads to a portal page. And, no matter how many eamils, phone calls and face to face meetings, they insist on wasting all those "ups" by sending them to the wrong place. Sometimes, i think it is a subtle way to intentionally undermine the campaign after the DP signs a contract... That's why we try to, whenever possible, advise the Dealer when the managers disregard sound guidance and insist on killing a campaign with a bogus destination URL. Strangely enough, we see very few actual Dealers disregarding sound advice from the supplier hired to create and flight the campaigns...

Anyways, I want to thank you for an insightful and well written post on something that is so near and dear to me!


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