For another year running Marketing Sherpa has compiled a list of real-life marketing stories in a FREE downloadble PDF, called Marketing Wisdom 2005. As the marketing blurb says, "[Marketing Wisdom 2005] Includes 105 real-life marketing lessons learned from MarketingSherpa readers including the folks at Timberland, Pacific Shaving, and ING Direct:
- Email tests that worked
- Search marketing tactics
- Site design to raise conversions
- Direct mail, radio, & telemarketing stories"
Haven't read it yet but if it's like last year's, it will make very good reading.
This year (2004) Inc.com published their 25 Entrepreneurs We Love list. They are now inviting people to submit entries for their 2005 list. All you need do is go to their Entrepreneurs We Love page; check your candidate meets their criteria and submit the details.
A recent survery, by International Demographics, has found that the biggest U.S. growth in the Internet has come not from young people but from the 55's and above. The report is based on the findings of 80 U.S. Metropolitan markets and notes Robert Jordan, president of International Demographics, "Most of the new growth is coming from older age groups, including the aging Baby Boomer demographic. When you consider the huge purchasing power of this group, which continues to buy everything, including the most expensive products, there is a huge opportunity for e-commerce and e-marketing." So, I suppose, it's ignore this market at your peril.
Read the article at Clickz: People Aged 55 and Up Drive U.S. Web Growth
The supermarket is selling the latest Harry Potter book for cheaper than the local shop can buy it; you're buying water melons in winter; the meat you buy was cut up hundreds of miles away yesterday and to top it all wasteful packaging of products is filling up your local landfills. The list of supermarket misdemeanours is endless.
This Christmas I'm going to shop local. I am going to try and 'give up' supermarkets where possible and support my local community. That means local butchers, local fruit and veg from the market, local fishmongers, local farmers' markets, Christmas gifts from local shops and going for a drink in my local pub. This Christmas, why should I support vast corporations that are hell bent on destroying my community.
Please let me know of other links.
Farmers' Markets (UK)
AMS Farmers' Markets (USA)
Big Barn (UK)
Farmer's Market Online (USA)
London Farmers' Markets (UK)
California Federation of Farmers' Markets (USA)
If you're a UK business and want to place Google Adwords, Amazon, eBuyer or any other such banners on your site, or if you're looking to promote your site through affiliate programs, then you should take a look at the UK Affiliate Marketing Forum. It has many discussions going on about the best programs, pro's and cons, how to's and much more. A couple that caught my eye were:
Affiliates and Adwords
UK Rail - upto 9% for travel agents?
Play.com v Amazon UK
After allegations of how much British MP's claim in expenses, one Labour MP has offered £5 to any constituent who can prove he is bad value for money. David Taylor, MP for North West Leicestershire, calculated that his £123,042 expenses worked out at £5 per household. As David Taylor says: "Tell me why so I can try and alter the way I work and fit in more closely with the people of North West Leicestershire if necessary."
This story reminded me of something I heard from Tom Peters or Seth Godin, or some other management guru about focusing not so much on your happy clients (who will only tell you things you already know about your prodduct or service) but the discontented ones. If you can work out why they're unhappy, then you can create a much stronger product offering. Incidentally, David Taylor has an 18% majority - initiatives like this one are probably why.
Read more on the BBC site: MP's good value cash back promise
There are 2 books on my bookshelf that I regularly thumb through for ideas and inspiration, the first is Claude C Hopkins's Scientific Advertising and the second is David Ogilvy's Ogilvy on Advertising. There is always one page that I keep returning to in the latter which offers advice on how to use typography correctly. It starts off by saying that "Good typography helps people read your copy, while bad typography prevents them from doing so."
When writing long copy, he makes a 10-point list of some "typographical devices which can increase readership.
1. A subhead of two lines, between your headline and your body copy, heightens the reader's appetite for the feast to come.
2. If you start your body copy with a drop-initial, you increase readership by an average of 13%.
3. Limit your opening paragraph to a maximum of 11 words.
4. After two or three inches of copy, insert a cross-head, and thereafter throughout. Cross-heads keep the reader marching forward. Make some of them interrogative, to excite curiosity in the next run of copy.
5. When I was a boy, it was common practice to square up paragraphs. It is now known that widows - short lines - increase readership.
6. Set key paragraphs in bold face or italic.
7. Help the reader into your paragraphs with arrowheads, bullets, asterisks and marginal marks.
8. If you have a lot of unrelated facts to recite, don't use cumbersome connectives. Simply number them - as I'm doing here.
9. What size type should you use? [He says that 14 point is too big but 11 point is just right]
10. If you use leading (line-spacing) between paragraphs, you increase readership by an average of 12 per cent."
(Taken from Ogilvy on Advertising, Prion Books)
Obviously, the Internet was not around in the way we know it when the book was written, however, I still believe that most, if not all, of them have some relevance today for search engine marketing. If only more search engine marketers paid more attention to what has already been tried and tested over decades of testing.
And by the way, if you haven't already you must buy this book. Ogilvy on Advertising (from Amazon.com)
Today, Google finally launched Froogle, a website that helps you find products for sale online. As its help page says: "By focusing entirely on product search, Froogle applies the power of Google's search technology to a very specific task: locating stores that sell the item you want to find and pointing you directly to the place where you can make a purchase." This launch comes hot on the heels of Google's flotation and just over 2 months to Christmas. It will surely be a big success and a very important new sales channel for those with online shops to look at.
Google launches Froogle in the UK (BBC)
Froogle Goes Google in the UK (Search Engine Journal)
Google launches UK Froogle shopping site (Reuters)
If you are looking to make your website a subscription-only site, then you should take a look at how some of the Spanish newspapers have fared in this interesting article from Vin Crosbie: Free or Fee in Spain, Revisited. It would appear that the newspapers for which data is available, El Pais, El Mundo and La Vanguardia have each adopted a different model for generating advertising and holding on to customers, including:
? Registration through paid subscription, coupled with advertising revenue
? No registration but heavy advertising
? Free registration, advertising and compulsory subscription to weekly email newsletters.
In their own ways they have all benefitted through one or all of the following: increased revenue, market share and increased marketing intelligence about their visitors. For me, though, the remarkable stat is that El Pais went from being a free online newspaper to a paid subscription one and still kept 60% of its readership, many of them contributing to the estimated subscription revenue of $2.5 million a year.