Finally, an agency website that’s functional. CP+B (part 2)


OK, so they really weren’t lying.

My post went up this morning and in the 5hrs it’s been live over 30 people have been driven from Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s new website through to my blog. Reason being that the post appears on their home page (see details below).

CP+B home page - Dom Hind Collective reference

CP+B home page - Dom Hind Collective reference

CP+B home page - Dom Hind Collective reference (detail)

CP+B home page - Dom Hind Collective reference (detail)

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FINAL THOUGHT:

Imagine if you were pitching against these guys and wrote a couple of articles about your agency vs Crispin. It could definitely be interesting.

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Campaign set-up vs maintenance: what’s a fair split?


As an industry we are stuck in the ‘set and forget’ mentality. As soon as a campaign goes live, we all quickly pat ourselves on the back and move on to the next campaign, only thinking about the campaign when there is downtime (not often) or the campaign is close to finishing. The reason for this is that often there is no consistent process or methodology behind implementing a continuous learning culture. Unless maintenance/optimisation is ingrained in the people working on the campaign, it really doesn’t happen.

To try and change this mentality (both within the client and internally at the agency), we have recently introduced a 80:20 split with our clients. From their overall campaign budget, 80% is dedicated to the initial set-up of the campaign and 20% is dedicated to the ongoing maintenance/optimisation. Ideally, the split should be 60:40, but until we can prove the benefits, 80:20 is a good start.

What’s included in campaign set-up? Set-up is the initial campaign creation. It’s the awareness generating elements (online advertising, offline advertising, 1-to-1 advertising, social networking) and the engagement elements (microsite, corporate landing pages, stores).

What’s included in campaign maintenance/optimisation? Maintenance/optimisation is any updates made to the campaign after launch. It’s the creative optimisation to the awareness elements (rotation and testing of all executions – online being easier and quicker to test and understand results) and results optimisation to the engagement elements (content structures based on search results – both externally and on the site, creative testing and rotation.

WORD OF WARNING

To make sure this is a success, the following need to be considered:

  1. Owner – there must be an owner within the agency to drive this. The best person to do that is either a Data Director or the Account Director. Equally, there needs to be an owner on the client side. Someone who understands the numbers (ROI, CPA, CPC) and the need for making campaigns a success.
  2. Benchmarks – initially, there must be some targets or benchmarks set. Over time these benchmarks will become more realistic after campaign data has been collected and analysed. During the first campaign period, it is critical to ensure that the benchmarks are revisited and molded to reflect the results.
  3. Consistency – all communications (reports, results) must be delivered in a consistent manner: same time frame, format, benchmarks and structure. This will help the client and agency to understand recommendation, requirements, improvements and work more seamlessly together.
  4. Relevance – any recommendations made within maintenance/optimisation must be relevant to the client and the campaign. The recommendations must also be achievable within the remaining budget.
  5. Budget – to ensure the maintenance/optimisation budget doesn’t disappear to fund additional media or other creative ideas, it must be included in the original estimate and signed off by the client. This ensures that the campaign will be remembered and not just put on the ‘set and forget’ shelf.

SUMMARY

The set-up/maintenance strategy is extremely important, particularly now with the current economic downturn. The best and worst thing about interactive is it’s accountability and we can justify why we recommend doing things and what the direct impact is on our clients results.

Written by Dominique Hind.

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Online advertising award entries – what to include?


In the second round of LIA judging, there were still 50 online ads (banner ads) that needed to be judged. Most online ads are extremely self-explanatory and easy to judge, but some of the entries did need some explaining (for me, it was usually those that weren’t in English).

There were only a few entries that had personalised their entries and created a specific entry landing page. Only a handful created a video showing the details of the banner including the interaction. These made it so much easier.

They don’t need to include much detail, just a brief overview. Below are a few of the good examples of award entries.

IBM Banner Award Entry

IBM Banner Award Entry

Smart Banner Award Entry

Smart Banner Award Entry

Smart Banner Award Entry Video

Smart Banner Award Entry Video

Something that bugged me as a judge was seeing that agencies hadn’t bothered changing the award entry pages for the different awards. An example of this was RMG with their Huggies entry. Rather than putting your award entries to specific sites, put them on a general site. It will help to minimise the preparation and work required in entry time.

Huggies Cannes Entry repurposed for LIA

Huggies Cannes Entry repurposed for LIA

LEARNINGS

Even though banner advertising can be easy and self-explanatory, they still need the same level of attention given to their award entries. The banner category was the most competitive, but there weren’t many entries that stood out. There were a lot of great executions, but not too much explaining.

The key learnings are

  1. Dedicate the same amount of time to the entries
  2. Think about the judge – what do they need to see? what will help the entry stand out? why should it deserve to win?
  3. Make a simple video of the key elements/animations.
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Web development: 10 assumptions to think about


Palmer Web Marketing wrote an interesting article about 10 assumptions that must be considered when developing a website.  Below are the 10 assumptions:

  1. People will know how to find your website
  2. People know what you sell
  3. Everything will go as planned
  4. People know where to click
  5. People know how to get home
  6. People know where they are
  7. People know how to buy
  8. People will volunteer loads of personal information
  9. People will contact customer service if they have a question or problem
  10. People will come back

I think assumption 1 and 10 are true within most agencies: people know how to find your site and they will return. Too often we build these great sites for clients, but don’t think about how we are going to drive traffic to the site or what we are going to do to ensure it keeps back. As corny as it is, we need to think of a website being like an island, without bridges it doesn’t get any traffic. It’s our role to define what those bridges are (a combination of paid for and free traffic) and how we can generate a constant stream of traffic to the site/island.

There are so many ways that traffic can be driven to a website (I will post more about this because it is one of my favourite topics):

In regards to driving repeat traffic, this is extremely hard. Question: how many campaign sites do you return to on a weekly basis? I don’t go back to many unless it’s connected to a promotion/competition that I am actually interested in winning or it is one of my client’s competitors sites.

LEARNINGS

If there are two things to take out of this post, they are think about:

  1. How you are going to drive traffic to the site consistently (even after the campaign launch period)
  2. How you will drive traffic back to the site (what’s the incentive? content? promotion? other? Why would they come back?)
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Actionable website analytics (ZAAZ principles) – book review


Working as part of the Y&R Brands network, and in particular Wunderman, it gave me exposure to a lot of great companies that were acquired, specialising in digital, direct and data. In my opinion, there were three stand outs: ZAAZ, Knowledge Based Marketing and Fortelligent.

While on holiday (in rainy Thailand last year), I did myself a favour and read their book ‘Actionable Web Analytics’. It is co-authored by the CEO and Chief Analytics and Optimisation Officer. A good book for all those who think they get analytics or need to get it for their jobs.

There were several themes that rang true for me:

  • Data smog: How can agencies cut through the data smog for their clients? Clients are getting so many reports from so many different partners – what is important? What do they need to improve? How can they improve it? How can this information be molded into bit size chunks and usable?
  • Monetising online: How can you monetise websites? Without having a thorough understanding about how websites are performing and all of the details, this is extremely difficult to determine. However, measures can be taken to ensure this is overcome (particularly those that allow to test, test and test).
  • Results: Why understanding the results are critical? Too many people don’t understand the results. They look at them, but don’t know what they mean.
  • The difference between web analytics and web reporting – yes there is a difference. One focusing on analysing the results, while the other just highlights the findings. The hard thing with this is getting clients to understand the importance of the difference and acting on the results.
  • Consumer journeys: How do you define the conversation path? This needs to be done both online and offline. How are you attracting people, getting them to engage with the brand/company, then moving them through to transaction and into a retention cycle? So important to map this out prior to starting any campaign.

The book also made me consider the following process upgrades within an interactive agency to ensure the following are happening (and not just been given lip service):

  • Google analytics – it’s free, why shouldn’t you include it?
  • Exit survey – there is a need to understand what is missing from the site and what other content is needed. This is best gathered from users rather than second guessing.
  • Test strategies – need to be developed at the start of a campaign identifying things to be tested – offers, messaging and media.

A couple of my favourite quotes from the book:

  • ‘Your website is a series of customer processes. They’re trying to discover, learn, compare, configure, price, locate, purchase, join, discuss, etc.’
  • ‘For every action, there is an opportunity for an intelligent reaction.’
  • ‘Keywords and banner ads are highly targeted doorways to specific destinations on websites.’

ZAAZ’s focus is on performance-driven design. Most agencies are trying to achieve this, but they get lost in the big ideas. I think we should all be striving for performance-driven engagement and bring all of the consumer learnings together and understand what engages them or continues bringing them back.

In summary, the book looks at the website from the users view (who comes to your site? what are they trying to accomplish?) and the marketer’s view (how can we make the website better? what do we need to look at and what is important?). It is a great sales book for ZAAZ, but they honestly are a brilliant company that know how to make money from any site.

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Digital marketing 101 – An interactive intro


One of the most viewed posts (from this blog) and referring search terms are around digital training or advertising agency training for digital/interactive. Every agency is craving digital training and trying to up skill all staff quickly. In Sydney, there are so many digital courses and conferences out there, but it is hard to know which ones are right for the different skill sets.

Based on the iSchool sessions I ran at Y&R Brands (see previous post), I have put together an updated digital marketing introduction or basic 101 session for agency staff.

PURPOSE

The purpose of the presentation is to provide a basic overview of digital marketing, the different facets and how companies are embracing digital. This is only a short/quick introduction to digital.

TARGET AUDIENCE

Traditional advertising agency staff across all areas: strategy, account service, production and creative.

TOPICS

The presentation covers very basic digital topics including:

  1. Short introduction to the Internet
  2. Customers online: a paradigm shift
  3. Advertising today
  4. Online advertising
  5. Search consumption (SEM & SEO)
  6. Blogs
  7. Social networks
  8. Website
  9. Email
  10. Benchmarks & ROI
  11. Top 3 online trends

The presentation doesn’t cover the following topics (another presentation will be created for these):

  1. Mobile
  2. RSS
  3. In-depth web development
  4. Driving traffic (social marketing)

PRESENTATION

If you would like a copy of the presentation, please send me an email (in presentation) or post me a comment.

Written by Dominique Hind

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