My Two Cents About “Getting Your Money’s Worth”

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While I realize that Roopinder Tara’s blog, presented here, gives good marketing advice to its CAD CEO audience, there are a few misconceptions about the cost effectiveness and results of “marketing campaigns” that warrant further comment.

 “Press: Getting Your Money’s Worth
By Roopinder Tara

 “Let’s say you are a beleaguered CAD CEO and are trying desperately to move your company ahead in these tough times. Marketing is a good place to start. Let us examine the prevailing marketing guidelines that seem to be emerging.

 “DO:
          1.  Spend your advertising revenue on Google ads.
          2.  Befriend an already popular blogger

 “DON’T:
          Develop and invest in a marketing campaign.

 “Let’s look into this a bit further.

“Google ads
“Very cheap, and you only pay when someone clicks. So what if Google can’t tell the difference between Computer Artery Disease and Computer, Computer Aided Dispatch and Computer Aided Design? You can get rid of your high price marketing VP and most of the marketing department. It takes little skill to create Google ads and manage the campaigns — except you do have to get your message into 3 tiny little lines. You can get tons of empirical data… immediately.

“Befriend a Blogger
A popular blogger is like gold. A blogger gets popular because he/she is probably a subject expert, writes intelligently and often. Best to fly them to headquarters — economy class is fine.  You can pitch to them all day but leave plenty of time for fun stuff, take in the sights of you town — make sure you go to a good restaurant and let’s not forget the power of alcohol. Altogether, this creates a warm fuzzy feeling — and it can be had for a couple of thousand dollars, tops. Any blogger worth his salt will document his newfound knowledge of the company and its products. After all, a blog must be fed.

 “You can do this with press, too, but with less success. You could get old and die waiting for an article.

 “Marketing Campaign
“In contrast to above, a full fledged marketing campaign takes planning and execution, often requiring careful consideration at the highest level. They take time to run and worse of all, can run into tens of thousands of dollars. Results are not as easy to gauge.. in the short term.” 

Off the bat, I don’t view advertising and befriending a blogger as being outside the purview of a marketing campaign. Our marketing/PR firm has an in-house ad agency, and we routinely bundle advertising and PR in a well-balanced “marketing campaign.”

Roopinder is right on about befriending a blogger but that, too, falls within the scope of marketing campaign strategies and tactics. That’s what a press tour is all about, and we always schedule bloggers as a top priority. Maybe my perspective is different than other marketing/PR firms because among our executives we have a CSTO that has 30-years as a tech editor/publisher. I doubt that there are very many firms that don’t treat bloggers as the influencers they are, so separating that out as not included in marketing campaigns is somewhat confusing, at best.

Now to address the real issues that the presentation of a comparison of marketing to advertising begs. I use press releases in the examples because they are  known common denominators of marketing campaigns. Here’s the point-by-point rebuttal:

Google Ads Issues

Reality   Marketing Campaign Issues

Reality

 “very cheap” Bidding on Google ad words can be costly Marketing campaign press releases are more expensive than ads GIS client paid a mere $0.06 per Google hit from its press release*
“takes very little skill” The inference is that an ad campaign is a DIY activity Writing those “3 little lines” of ad messages is much harder than it looks Marketing campaigns require unique skills that eliminate any DIY activity Several of our firm’s clients write their own press releases and save $$ with our DIY BudgetSavers™
“You can get tons of empirical data… immediately” Don’t fire that Marketing VP. He’s the one who translates the data into refined ad copy that generates sales leads Metrics and feedback on PR are neither extensive  nor immediate Many tools that evaluate syndication, pro or con feedback, etc., including MarkeTech’s Ink Quotient™ analytics
Ad results are easy to gauge Counting clicks is easy, but then what? No contact info, etc. PR “results are not easy to gauge” Data on a GIS client’s 17,500 Google hits from a press release
Ads produce more “short term results” than PR Over 90 days, an audience has to be exposed to an ad message 18.5 times before purchasing** Little “short-term” results 48 hours after distribution, an editor and a blogger turned a press release into two feature articles

Marketing deliverables, such as press releases, white papers, and feature articles have a secondary life through pass-along readership and syndication activities. Ads obviously don’t allow for “e-mail this to friend,” or other “share this” activities.

Here’s an interesting hypothetical: What would happen if what’s being advocated in Roopindar’s blog came true? What if all CAD CEOs fired the VPs of Marketing, totally abandoned their marketing campaigns, and only posted Google ads? The situation would be that bloggers wouldn’t have anything about which to blog! Google searches would yield not text content, but hits that point to advertisements. Wouldn’t such an imagined scenario result in putting bloggers out of business? After all, a blog must be fed!

_____________________

 *There’s evidence from Proctor & Gamble research that concluded $1 invested in marketing and PR led to $2.8 in sales, versus $1 spent on advertising yielded $0.85.

 **According to a Microsoft Advertising Institute study “The long road to conversion: The digital purchase funnel,” Andrew Martin writes that over a 90-day period, a median of 18.5 advertising exposures are required, with 5.5 of them within the last 48 hours before buying.

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