12 January

Does online advertising work for your business

0 Comments, posted in Tech

Seth Godin writes about how simple your approach to online advertising should be in his post:

If your ads work, if you can measure them and they return more profit than they cost, why not keep buying them until they stop working?

And if they don’t work, why are you running them?

The time-tested response is that you’re not sure, that ads are risky, that you can’t tell. …

Digital ads are different (or they should be). You should know cost per click and revenue per click and be able to make a smart guess about lifetime value of a click. And if that’s positive, buy, buy, buy.

And if you don’t know those things, why are you buying digital ads?

internetadsWe do a lot of online advertising through various providers and it is amazing how scientific you can get in order to gain real value from the medium. Online ads have totally changed the marketing landscape and we no longer rely on made up stats like “readership” and “circulation” that off line print media rely on the help justify their advertising costs.  I’m not saying don’t use “off line” media, as not all of your target audience are necessarily online, but it sure does help to focus your marketing efforts with stats such as cost per click and revenue per click.

The one thing about online advertising is that you need to actively track them.  Gone are the days of sending off an advert to your favorite magazine and then waiting for the phone to ring. Today, you can see exactly how your online ads are performing, who is viewing them and if they are delivering real business results. All in real time. Its amazing how the Internet is revolutionising marketing and the way we reach customers.

10 December

Read magazines online

0 Comments, posted in Fun

Google has set about to digitize the worlds books through a complicated scanning and indexing system. This never really excited me as the books they chose to index first were all old library classics and journals. This has now changed with the inclusion of magazines. Today Google launched magazines as part of their Book Search tool which is still officially in beta, but can be accessed here. My favorites are all included, take a look at the full catalog scanned in for your viewing pleasure (the Popular Mechanics from the early 1900′s are classic). Here are some of the magazines already scanned, expect more to be added soon:

Google Book Search

06 October

Do you SMS more than you phone

0 Comments, posted in News,Tech,Web Hosting

Send More SMS MessagesI personally do, and it seems that for the first time in history the average American does too. The New York Times published an article stating that in the fourth quarter of 2007, American cellphone subscribers for the first time sent text messages more than they phoned, according to Nielsen Mobile.

I have no doubt that in South Africa, the average cellphone user has been SMS’ing more than calling for some time due to our higher call tariffs.

So what does this mean, how can you capitalize on this?

Here are 2 examples:

  1. Use SMS communications from your website, rather than email/call/fax, try send pertinent information via SMS.  An example of this may be a “contact me form” where when a user inputs his details for you to call him back, you could SMS the user immediately thanking them for their request and alerting the user that it may take up to 30 minutes before you call them back. In time sensitive business applications such as selling insurance online, managing this expectation could be the difference between providing what you consider a good service, and the users expectation for an immediate response.
  2. Allow people to SMS your business, try setting up a inbound SMS system. For example this same insurance company could publish a number and say on their website: “SMS 08xxxxxxxx with your car make, model and year and we will get you a quote in 30 minutes”

The bottom line is marketing is now all about using communication methods that users are already comfortable using, so if you are already using the web and email and are finding you are not growing your business or delighting your customers more, try SMS.

Checkout MyMessager, should you need the technology and API’s to do this.