Highlights from this week’s digital marketing news items and how they affect your agency:
- How Google’s Data Helped Those with Flu Symptoms
- Online Gaming Now Wearing Big Boy Pants
- How to: Perform Heuristic Website Reviews
- Looking for Links? Give It Away
How Google’s Data Helped Those with Flu Symptoms
A recent New York Times piece documented a campaign run by Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide in Chicago for their client, Vicks. The agency utilized data collected by Google and verified with actual numbers from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a supremely targeted campaign promoting the Vicks Behind Ear Thermometer. The agency utilized mobile and online ads targeted at mothers in areas suffering from flu breakouts. Using predictive modeling from the Google research, the agency was able to pull the trigger at the perfect time to reach their audience in need.
What this means to agencies: The primary difference between an agency with real marketing prowess and one that is merely well informed is the ability to translate data into client opportunity and legitimate marketing campaigns. In the example provided by the Times, Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide stepped through the door opened by the data collected and verified by Google. Agencies should seek to inform campaigns with reliable statistics and well-sourced findings. However, nothing replaces the talent required to transform numbers into goal-oriented campaigns for clients.
Online Gaming Now Wearing Big Boy Pants
Last week Zynga announced an IPO valued at $9B. The rise in gaming behaviors and the number of players in the industry only further validates this medium as one that is here to stay and grow further. Several gaming manufacturers and programmers waver between the free and paid business models. This infographic by Pando Networks shows just how much attention and resulting credibility this industry has amassed in only a few years.
What this means to agencies: Given gaming’s audiences, agencies may find perfect fits between the content and desired audience. Beyond simple product placement for large brand advertisers, marketers with less robust budgets can still make an impact in the free to play space. Networks like Appssavvy allow advertisers the ability to match their messages with game publishers regardless of the medium (desktop, tablet or mobile). Similarly, Google’s AdMob has the ability to serve ads to mobile and tablet audiences.
How to: Perform Heuristic Website Reviews
Heuristics involve self discovery free from instruction or a guiding influence. It is this quality that many websites strive to achieve when designing and optimizing the experience for online (and mobile) properties. In this article from Smashing, the process to develop a heuristic website review and analysis is detailed and broken down into nine distinct layers including task orientation, forms, trust/credibility, search functionality, aesthetics and error tolerance. The article also supplies several radar plots to aid the process of presenting findings and recommendations to clients. These plot diagrams show areas of strength and weakness of a typical website according to the heuristic layers.
What this means to agencies: For agencies providing website design, development and/or project management services, the ability to provide website audits and recommendations documents could be a boon for business. Often clients are on the fence about whether to redesign or completely reconstruct their websites. A heuristic website review such as the type explained in the article can help support or reframe their decision. Regardless of whether or not the client chooses to update the website with you soon after your analysis is complete, the review itself allows you to get paid for deftly conveying your expertise to the client. So when the time is right, chances are you’ll be at the top of their website partner wishlist.
Looking for Links? Give It Away
In a holiday-inspired video post on the value of content marketing in the link building process, Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz provides some ideas on what online publishers, bloggers and those engaged in content marketing can give freely in the spirit of garnering links. Among the gift-wrapped giveaways you’ll find writing, products, your time, graphics and your data.
What this means to agencies: Many agencies and their clients engage in content marketing as a way to build awareness and increase their lead tallies. Links are certainly a beneficial byproduct of any content marketing project. One of the notions that Rand hits on in his video is the need to make everything extremely shareable. Social linking signals will only become more powerful as Google continues to integrate social media content (especially from its own Google Plus) into its ranking algorithm and its search results. Ensure everything that you publish is as shareable as it is digestible and valuable to the audience.