- Online Marketing
I started taking drum lessons in seventh grade. We were taught “rudiments” which are like scales for other instruments. Learning these rolls and triplets prepared me for band and orchestral music but not for jazz and not for improvisation. I didn’t realize I needed a different perspective, one with rhythm and passion. A friend who was a jazz musician gave me The Drums of Passion by Michael Olatunji. He thought it would give me that new perspective. I have never lost this rhythm. Listen and you’ll understand.
Passion and experience
Many a night have I tossed and turned with words scrolling through my mind trying to find the right headline or a different arrangement for a sentence. Obsessive? No, exacting. This is the kind of passion I’m talking about.
Expressing the right idea, touching someone else’s heart, creating interest and value for the reader, that is writing with passion – regardless of whether I am working on a TV commercial, a video script, a website or a brochure.
A good copywriter can climb right inside the mind of the reader and that takes experience. A huge part of copywriting (and Internet marketing especially) is being able to strike a cord with a particular audience. What motivates my audience? What makes them angry, frustrated, happy or hopeful? That is always in the forefront of a good copywriter’s mind. How can I move them to action?
I am more inquisitive than most people I know. I am called on to write about photovoltaics, free-range chicken and cubicle furniture. I am challenged endlessly to come up with new angles on the same products and services. Without a genuine lust for learning, and a healthy tolerance for research, I would not be able to understand the mechanics of everyday objects (the crux of copywriting). Good copywriters crave knowledge, are tickled by trivia and love knowing the inside story.
To write marketing literature that really connects with people and drives them to action, I need to understand, and more importantly the reader needs to understand, the values your business holds dear. All of this information forms the foundation of your business branding but rarely can you articulate those details, with passion. I need lots of details and I need to hear you express why you are in business.
This appreciation for what you offer is fundamental to transforming routine promotional language into a heartfelt brand identity. If done well, the copy in a sales letter or a newsletter or a speech will take the prospect on a small journey. The story will help the customer know exactly what they are buying and why they are buying from you. This is the voice of your brand which lingers in the subconscious of your audience because it speaks their language. A good copywriter will breathe life into your brand, creating a personality that your audience will value. Before you tell them what’s in it for them, you have to explain what’s in it for you.
So I am an editor, headline writer, technical translator, researcher and improviser — all of which require passion and experience. The first is inbred; the second is only gained over time. It takes a lot of practice to get it right and hours of rehearsal to make it blend together.
When you’re surfing the web and spot targeted ads based on your prior searches, it’s a jarring reminder that someone — companies, websites and search engines — is following your digital footsteps.
They are also following the money. The volume of personal digital data available is transforming everyday commerce, particularly marketing and advertising.
Companies want to engage and interact with you through multiple platforms that can include emails, mobile devices, social media and online video — and even use that new data trove to spawn new forms such as junk mail. They want you to linger, get to know your likes and dislikes and offer more targeted promotions.
In fact in four years, advertisers will spend $77 billion on digital interactive marketing — as much as they do on TV today, according to research firm Forrester.
With so much money at stake, it’s no wonder companies are retooling how they use metrics and analytics to achieve business goals. Other industries including financial services and health care are also working to capitalize on the data boom.
“In the span of just a couple of years, how we think about customer data has really changed,” says Fatemeh Khatibloo, senior analyst at Forrester, who specializes in customer intelligence, privacy and personal data issues.
The fast-changing industry is breeding startups, which are remaking existing models and platforms to lure more and more venture capital.
Naturally, the volume of personal information has privacy activists concerned about opaque companies and governments potentially abusing their power. Just a year ago in Egypt, then-President Hosni Mubarak shut down Internet access before his government began a crackdown on political protesters.
Lest you think the issue is confined to nondemocratic governments run by despots, protests erupted in January over anti-piracy legislation in the U.S. Congress.
Buying, Selling Your Personal Data
As individual consumers navigate the digital world, the advertising and marketing industry is busy maximizing the growing volume of online metrics and analysis.
Of course the exchange and use of customer user data have been around for decades. What’s changed is the depth of data gathered, and how far and quickly that information is being sold and shared among businesses.
“People have less understanding of what’s going on and how their information is being shared,” says Rebecca MacKinnon, an expert on global Internet policy.
In the next three years, consumers will likely see even more targeted promotions like those of Groupon [GRPN 18.50 0.22 (+1.2%) ], and mobile and video advertising, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group report on the evolution of online-user data.
For example, Time Warner Cable [TWC 81.23 -0.08 (-0.1%) ] allows some home-based customers to download videos from the cable operator. That kind of individual-use data gives advertisers more pointed digital advertising opportunities.
“It’s clear to everyone that the ability to understand more about an individual’s behavior pattern creates a huge amount of value,” says John Rose, a senior partner at BCG and co-author of the report.
Another trend is the emergence of a secondary market for buying and selling user profiles.
For example, if you visit a travel website and book a hotel room, that site can then sell your user profile to an ad network, according to the BCG report. Then the next time you visit a site supported by that ad network, surprise! You’ll get a hotel advertisement based on your prior web activity.
Health Care, Financial Services
Digital consumer intelligence is re-imagining other industries, including health care and financial services.
Managed health-care company Kaiser Permanente, for example, has about 3 million registered users on its website. Members schedule appointments, share data with healthcare providers and receive updates on appointments and prescription refills.
Forrester’s Khatibloo sees more health-care companies following Kaiser Permanente, partly because of the broad move to electronic medical records.
“I haven’t had a doctor take notes in a file folder in two years. All of my data is already online,” she says.
Consumers are also migrating toward financial management websites like Mint.com, which features 5 million registered users, according to Forrester. The site offers a single stop for banking, investments and credit data.
Looking ahead, Khatibloo sees the emergence of personal data lockers that store consumer information and can be linked to multiple retailers, banks and other businesses.
The idea is to create a simpler digital life. For example, when you buy a car, the purchase, registration and insurance paperwork will be connected online to make your life easier.
Data lockers may also potentially shift the onus of data security to consumers from businesses. But Khatibloo argues in the new digital landscape, responsibility for data security will be shared by individuals and companies.
Businesses “are still responsible for keeping data secure. They’re still not off the hook,” she says.
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
We’ve all been beating the “marketing relevance” drum for years, but now it really has come down to “get relevant, or get lost” — meaning that unless you practice extreme relevance across all of your marketing campaigns, your messages will get lost in the white noise of marketing overload. Consumers are bombarded by marketing messages virtually every waking moment via email, mobile devices, electronic billboards, online ads, television, and radio. Advertising and marketing truly have become part of the “fabric of our lives.”
The good news for consumers is that they have more control than ever before with the advent of spam filters, pop-up blockers, and DVRs. Legislative initiatives brewing in Congress like “do-not-track” are putting behavioral targeting under scrutiny. You might think all of this makes it harder for marketers, but the good news is that it pushes us to be more relevant in our marketing in every channel and across channels. The key is to first take stock by asking, “How relevant am I?” Then begin making improvements one step at a time. For this article, let’s tackle the email channel; however, rest assured that many of these same principles can be applied to most, if not all, of the marketing channels you’re using.
Mobile devices feed customer data to advertising companies to fuel the hunger business’s have for targeting users that have a behavioral inclination to buy a product or service. This is a great article about the double edge sword that is “behavioral targeting.”
With a federal privacy investigation underway, a security researcher calls “Orwellian” the amount of information the mobile app shares with ad serving firms.
How much personal information does a user trade for access to a “free” smartphone application? It depends on the application, but the type of data collected can seem “Orwellian,” according to Tyler Shields, a senior researcher for application security testing firm Veracode.
“Your personal information is being transmitted to advertising agencies in mass quantities,” he said, at least based on his teardown of online music provider Pandora’s radio-streaming application for Android smartphones, which he detailed in a recent blog post.
Shields’ assessment is relevant given the news, first reported by the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, that federal prosecutors in New Jersey are investigating whether mobile application vendors are illegally retaining or sharing personal information about their customers with third-party advertising groups.
Included in that investigation is Pandora, an online music service that also makes smartphone applications. As disclosed in a recent SEC filing from Pandora, “in early 2011, we were served with a subpoena to produce documents in connection with a federal grand jury, which we believe was convened to investigate the information sharing processes of certain popular applications that run on the Apple and Android mobile platforms.”