Bridging the Gap Between Print + Digital

We’ve all seen QR Codes.  The real reason to blame for the slow growth of QR Codes are how people have implemented them.  Here are some do’s and don’ts, when using QR Codes.

Keep in mind, there are a lot of new solutions available that are quite fascinating, which go beyond QR Codes.  These general rules would still be relevant to any of those other options that help to bridge the gap between print and digital.

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Small Biz Using Digital Marketing More, Crediting It With Customer Acquisition Successes

Source: June 19, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff

ConstantContact-Small-Biz-Use-Marketing-Tools-June2013

The biggest change in how small businesses go about their work this year as opposed to 5 years ago is through their use – or increased use – of online marketing tools,according to results from a survey sponsored by Constant Contact. Indeed, compared to 5 years ago, the adoption of various online marketing tools has soared: 98% of survey respondents now use email marketing (up from 64% saying they used them 5 years ago), while 87% use social media marketing (up from just 10% 5 years ago). And while finding new customers remains the chief concern for small businesses today, among those who are finding this task easier, a leading 53% say that’s due to more affordable online marketing tools.

It’s not all rosy for small businesses, though. 59% of respondents said that it’s harder to run a business today than it was 5 years ago, with the leading reasons being the economy affecting their business (55%), it being harder to keep pace with technology (49%), and more direct competitors (40%).

Local business owners may have a leg-up on the competition, though: 51% feel that being locally owned and operated is a major reason why their customers support their business today.

Despite their challenges – which include a belief that customers expect more from them today – small businesses are keeping an optimistic outlook. In 5 years, 55% see their business as thriving, with more customers and/or more employees. Another 26% see their business as holding steady, with only 8% taking the pessimistic view of the business potentially being closed.

About the Data: The Constant Contact-sponsored survey was administered in May of 2013 to 917 small business participants in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council – a research panel of US small businesses recruited from the Constant Contact customer base. The survey was fielded to those panel members who have been in a decision-making role in a small business for at least five years, and they were asked their opinions on how operating a small business today differs than five years ago. Results include responses from respondents across a range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries.

Ad Agencies See Effectiveness in Online Video

Source: eMarketer, MAY 22, 2013

Ad execs think online video ads are equally or more effective than television ads at reaching audiences

The online video advertising ecosystem has gained both prominence and complexity, but that might be because buyers have found that the ads really work. A March 2013 survey of US advertising agency executives conducted by online video ad platform BrightRoll found that the vast majority of respondents (75%) said online video ads were equally or more effective than traditional TV. Nine out of 10 also thought online video ads had equal or greater impact than display ads.

Ad execs may be responding to US consumers’ seemingly endless demand for online video. Video monetization firm FreeWheel reported that in Q4 2012, total video views among US internet users climbed 23% year over year.

The popularity of digital video viewing is helping drive the expansion of the online video ad market. eMarketer estimates that video ad spending in the US will grow 41.4% this year, to reach $4.1 billion. BrightRoll found that the greatest percentage of advertising professionals—one-quarter—expected online video ads to see the highest growth rate of any ad category, with mobile video a close second.

The growing complexity of the online video ad market means that advertisers now have a variety of ways to measure return on investment. But which method is best? This year, 36% of ad executives indicated that their clients placed the highest value on gross rating points (GRP) or target rating points (TRP) to measure the size of their audience. Still, another 30% said clients valued the percent of impressions that reached their target audience, while 24% named the percent of unique viewers in target.

Ad buyers are faced with an increasingly complicated equation when it comes to online video ads, and they need to consider which sites to purchase ads on, what format the ads will take and how to measure their effectiveness.

5 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand Online

For many b2b marketers, the Internet remains primarily a direct response or interactive marketing medium. But the Web is also a powerful branding medium. Digital marketing can deliver brand lift via online display advertising and in a variety of other ways as well. Here are five simple ways you can build your b2b brand online:

Use Web analytics to decipher your website audiences

Web analytics can help you determine who is visiting your website and ultimately what sort of visitor is converting into a customer. Identifying the audience segments that convert at the highest rates, can help you determine where to target your messages.

Use display advertising to boost all marketing channels

Studies show that online display advertising boosts results from search marketing, email marketing and social media. Display builds your brand awareness, so that it also provides a lift in branded searches. Display campaigns also help companies boost email subscriptions and can lead to more sharing of your content on social networks.

Use blogging to create an identify as a thought leader

Branding is about credibility. A blog can be used to support branding building by presenting your company as a thought leader and as a company interested in helping its customers with information that can help them do their jobs better.

Measure the value of your marketing efforts beyond clicks

Most Internet users don’t click, and studies show that those users who do click are often not the audience the marketer is looking for. There are better ways to measure the effectiveness of display advertising than clicks. The best b2b marketers use brand metrics, action metrics and overall lift to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Use social marketing to build brand awareness

Linking to your blog posts, white papers and other content via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is a no-brainer. What are you waiting for?