Friday, January 30, 2015

An example of billboard creative controversy

Controversy isn’t something that most advertisers like to deal with when it comes to creative messaging. However, it is something that can come up, and advertisers and vendors alike must handle it quickly.

Recently, some billboard creative has caused offense in neighboring communities. According to MediaPost, some of the outdoor vendors have chosen to remove the creative that has incited the uproar. One example is from Texas where there was an ad for “reparative therapy.” This is largely known as “ex-gay” therapy. It was removed soon after initial posting.

Anecdotally, we had a client that once had a campaign that was very tongue-in-cheek to advertise new small plates on the menu. While the creative translated well on outdoor, print, and online campaigns overall, the positioning of one billboard near a church did not. After complaints, the outdoor company approached the client and us. To alleviate the tension, we moved the creative to another board. While the creative was not meant to offend anyone or any affiliation, it did. This situation was handled relatively easily because the campaign did not suffer because of the board location shift, and the gesture from the outdoor company and advertiser ended the matter on good terms.

Overall, advertisers have to remember that pushing the boundaries for creative can have a big impact. It can be good, but it can also cause problems. It’s up to advertisers to handle each situation accordingly.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mobile devices show more traffic on e-commerce sites on Christmas Day

On Christmas Day 2014, did you make any online purchases? If yes, was it on a desktop computer, mobile phone, or tablet? Research from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark showed that while PCs had less e-commerce traffic than mobile devices on Christmas, PCs did account for more final transactions. In fact, desktops had an estimated 65.2% of the total online sales.

The Center for Media Research reports that e-commerce traffic from mobile devices was approximately 57.1% followed by PCs at 42.6%. The average order value for a desktop purchase was about $107.72. Mobile devices only had an average order value of $88.70.

The report further breaks down the mobile devices into smartphone and tablet traffic. Smartphones had about 40.6% of the online traffic and 16.3% of online purchases. By comparison, tablets had 15.9% of the traffic and 18.4% of the online sales.

The mobile traffic has increased from years past, which makes sense considering more of the population is obtaining mobile devices, is becoming more comfortable with mobile purchases, and the fact that it was Christmas, and people may not have been near a desktop to browse e-commerce websites for deals. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Don't let your email marketing end up in spam

Sometimes good intentions can get you sent to the spam folder. For advertisers who send out email marketing, the headline is very important. Advertisers have one line of copy to grab the attention of the audience and entice them to open the email. A hazard of the job is avoiding terms that will send an email straight to a spam folder.

Spam and phishing emails are very creative and deceptive, which can make it difficult for genuine advertising emails to break through the clutter. Keywords or phrases that an advertiser may want to use in a headline may trigger that email going straight to a junk or spam folder. According to the Center for Media Research, a new report from MailJet tallied some of the words that can get an email flagged as spam.

For retailers, be careful of using words like “Buy,” “Clearance” and “Discount” as spammers can heavily use these terms.

For marketers, spammers over-use words like “SEO,” “Web Traffic” and “Sign-up Free Today.”

Overall, advertisers work really hard to have a message reach a potential customer; therefore, don’t let the hard work go to waste by sitting in a spam folder. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Classic Hip-Hop format performing well for radio audiences

Radio stations rely on listening audiences to determine if a format is effective. With the introduction of Portable People Meter (PPM), it is possible to measure radio ratings and listenership much quicker than before. With this quick response, programmers have an easier time determining what moves the needle in terms of audiences.

According to MediaPost, some radio stations have flipped formats to include “classic hip-hop.” While historically urban format stations have not fared well with PPM markets, there seems to be a trend of growing ratings and listeners with the switch. The New York Times was first to report that a station in Houston, TX changed a news format to classic hip-hop. Results showed average audiences go from 245,000 to 802,000.

Other radio stations have started converting fledgling dial positions since Houston’s KROI-FM did so in October last year.

For media buyers, the key is tracking radio stations in the markets. If the ratings have dropped or skyrocketed in a target demographic, find out why. It may be because of a format change, which may need to be approved by the client to buy, or it could be another seasonal factor like carrying sports games or playing Christmas music. Whatever the case, an advertiser needs to know what station and what format is being purchased.