Archive for October, 2010

Music and Creativity

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

How exactly is creativity sparked? Cup of coffee? Nicotine? Feng shui? Mind altering substances? Or Sheer determination? I’m pretty sure there are multiple ways that designers tap into their creative tank.

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How about music? Music has been known to activate, stimulate and relax the mind and body. Pulling from the Behance Network, 87% of designers are pushing work while listening to music.

I for one tap my love for music, and coffee, to get my scrambled design ideas down. Listening to everything from Morecheeba, Z-Trip, to System of a Down all genres of music helps me buckle down and get started.

Creative or not, next time you are faced with a to-do that will require you to focus – turn up the ear candy and see where the musical melodies of your favorite tune will get you!

Who is really on Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and Twitter

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and MySpace are popular social networking sites that have significantly altered the marketing landscape today.

The general perception about users of these sites is that they’re young, plugged-in, and tech savvy. There are however, some nuanced demographic differences that help in better understanding these geeky Web 2.0 users. This is important, especially as advertisers and marketers consider targeted advertising.

After having looked at multiple sources of publically available user demographic data, there are some commonalities and differences across users of these social networking sites.

Gender. Women, as compared to men are more active users. MySpace in particularand Facebook to some extent, have a considerably larger proportion of female users than males.This information could be helpful for advertisers/marketer as they think about gender-specific strategies for products (cosmetics vs. consumer electronics, for example).

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Age. A majority of Facebook and MySpace users fall between 18-34years. With almost a third under 18 years, these users are comparatively ‘younger’ as compared to Twitter and YouTube users. Twitter and YouTube users have a comparatively higher proportion of users who are 35 years or older.Twitter users who are under 18 years are almost non-existent.

Other publically data (e.g. spring.org.uk; pew) suggests that the median age of Twitter users is 31 years. As a result, Twitter may not be the most optimal forum to reach audience under 18 years. However, if their parents and/or young professionals are to be targeted, Twitter may be worth considering.

Having said that, there are reports out there (e.g. istrategylabs.com) that suggest that Facebook’s user base between 35-45years is fast growing, where parents and professionals are becoming more Facebook friendly. Given this, there may be an opportunity to go beyond youth marketing on these sites.

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Income. User data shows that most users have an annual income of between $30K and $100K. Comparatively, a considerable proportion of Twitter users skew higher on income levels. Almost a fifth have an annual income of $100K or more. Likewise, almost an equal proportion have an income level of under $30K.

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Education. Compared to users of other social networking sites, Twitter users seem most “educated,” followed by YouTube users. Given this, it is no surprise then that Facebook users are more interested in topics related to teens, bridal, fashion/ cosmetics, baby, education and parenting, whereas tweets are mostly centeredaround issues related to politics, science, technology, and news.

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To sum up. In general, user demographics of Facebook and MySpace users seem fairly similar. Across these social networking sites it was found that females relative to males are more active users. Facebook and MySpace user are relatively “younger” as compared to YouTube and Twitter users. It is not surprising then, that YouTube and Twitter users are more educated and have higher income levels as compared to Facebook and MySpace users. These differences, as a result, underscore diverse user interests. As marketing professionals, data such as this provides interesting user demographics of the 4 most popular social networking sites today. It provides insights into how marketers could target their marketing/advertising messages in order to reach the right audience types.

Using Google Ad Planner in Google AdWords Display Network

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Google Ad Planner is a strong tool which helps you identify the sites where your target audience is present. You can research sites on the basis of various parameters available, like demographics, languages, sample sites visited by the target audience, keywords searched online by the audience etc. If we are targeting US, we can refine the results by adding demographics or using pre-defined audience such as IT professionals, housewives, etc.Adplanner Parameters for Audience Targeting 1024x451 SEM   Search Engine Marketing Placement Tool pay per click Online Marketing Google Adwords Google Adplanner Google Display Network display advertising Adwords

Google Placement Tool and Ad Planner are similar tools; both providing indicative site lists of where the relevant target audience would be present. However, the advantage that Ad Planner has over the Placement Tool is that, in Ad Planner you can narrow your audience by adding filters in audience whilst researching, whereas, on the Google Placement Tool this option is not available.

Ideally, once you select the country and language we want to target, adding sample keywords and sites help Google to understand your target audience better & suggest relevant sites. Ad Planner also allows you to select sites according to different categories & genres, which would be useful to create well themed ad groups & campaigns.

While creating a plan for Google Display Network, the sites should be filtered according to the “sites” which are part of Google Display Network. This can be selected from the “Ad Item” menu under the filter option.

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Plans created through Ad Planner can directly be exported to the Google AdWords account or downloaded and saved in an Excel or CSV format.

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Resultrix – Now a Google AdWords Certified Partner

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

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Resultrix is now a Google AdWords Certified Partner!

Google has lately retired the Google Adwords Professional (GAP) program and replaced it with a new Google AdWords Certification program for those managing AdWords accounts on behalf of advertisers. In order to become certified, a company should have at least one individually qualified employee. To become a qualified individual, one has to pass both the Google Advertising Fundamentals exam as well as one of the three advanced exams.

As per the revised Google AdWords Certification program, we have met all of Google’s qualifications and demonstrated an in-depth understanding of AdWords. Google explains this certification program as, “challenging certification exams to test practical application of knowledge and best practices.”

This program confirms:

  • Up-to-date testing on the latest developments
  • Testing of conceptual thinking through strategy-focused questions
  • Awareness of the latest tools
  • Awareness of best practices
  • Advanced-level exams to highlight competency in search, display, reporting and analysis

It provides a seal of reassurance for advertisers who use our services.

Congratulations to Shibu, Praveen, Suraj, Rohan & Hiren for passing the fundamental and advanced exams and getting us certified.

Congratulations once again to everyone at Resultrix on this achievement.

Linking SEM and user generated content on the web

Friday, October 1st, 2010

In a previous article, I had examined a few ways in which user generated content (UGC) on the Web could complement an organization’s marketing communication efforts.

Another insightful use of this first-hand UGC on the Web is closely related to potentially augmenting a company’s search engine marketing (SEM) efforts. This is an intriguing link, and if used strategically, could be helpful to marketers and marketing communication specialists.

Find ‘user generated’ keywords. A critical examination of the language customers/audiences use to “talk” about your company/product(s) is a good way to add their words and phrases to your existing repository of keywords. Especially if more conversational non-standard industry terms are used to describe your products and services, there is a good chance these keywords and phrases are less expensive compared to standard terms.

Improve organic search. Incorporating these phrases and words into your ads, could also increase chances of your ads appearing in the top organic search results.

Target your reach. Understanding who is saying what about your company/product(s), and where on the web, is a good way to try and better target and optimize your ads by the type of audience, message, and Web forum.

Let customers know you’re listening. Using their language and addressing their opinions in your ad copy and other marketing communications, would make your customers/audiences feel like integral stakeholders in your company’s strategic roadmap. This would make it more likely for them to remain loyal or get more interested in your company offerings.

Make you ads viral. Making customers feel like they’ve been heard and that they have a “voice” would make them more likely to forward your ad to others in their social network and promote your ad on other sites and blogs. They would also be more likely to talk about you offline. Think word of mouth, referrals, perhaps free advertising?

The point being, if people are talking about you on say, Twitter, as a marketer, it is an opportunity for you to understand what is it that they are saying and how you can leverage your SEM skills to reach them effectively and efficiently. Once you have, there is a good chance you’ve made them ‘evolved’ customers, as you’ve started a dialogue with them and made them feel like stakeholders. You’ve let them know that you’ve heard them and that you care.