This week’s Five for Friday has a loose thread running throughout all the pieces: taking account of what’s worth saving, using it correctly, and getting rid of what’s ineffective. Spring Cleaning for marketers? Looks like it. We’re debating whether or not banner ads are dead, why mobile is slow to boil for everyone, the importance of your “not-to-do” list, shedding the rules of traditional media, and why you need to know exactly when your customer is buying your product.
Here are the top reads for the week ending on June 1st, 2012:
The Great Banner Ad Debate
A collective discussion on whether banner ads are seeing their final days, or if there’s some salvaging to be done. The opinions range widely, and come from folks at notable agencies and publishers: It’s not about the banner, it’s about the content in it and marketers need to create banners that build the brand with innovation rather than worrying about clicks; banners can still work quite well if the creative is up to the challenge; the Internet is a two-way street, and pushing out banners that ignore that is no way to solve that fundamental fact; people have gotten lazy with banners, but they can still deliver if the message and placement are present–they’re still worth throwing into the mix because they can still succeed if done correctly; banners are the only true broadcast medium on the web, and if they have a strong concept for branding, they can work wonders for very little money. So what’s the consensus on banner ads? A mostly positive chorus of “it’s not over yet.”
Everyone has a mobile problem: not just Facebook
The challenge of monetizing mobile platforms goes beyond Facebook — everyone is having difficulty finding solid footing. Mobile usage is changing everyone’s business model, and mobile ads are 5 times less valuable than desktop ads, according to Mary Meeker (her full findings on internet growth and developing trends here: http://www.kpcb.com/insights/2012-internet-trends). Mobile-native or mobile-era companies don’t necessarily have a consistent advantage, but it’s early. Meeker insists that someone will come along and provide a highly workable model — she also believes that everyone is far more prepared and concerned with how to succeed on mobile than those who tried to do the same for the desktop web in the past. It’s a problem without a solution, but it’s also a shared problem.
Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning
Nice advice piece on how you can better manage your tasks and avoid unnecessary distractions. While you’re bombarded with a constant influx of information and data, there’s no way to catch it all, and attempting to do so will only lead to exhaustion, unhappiness, and likely screwing up because you didn’t prioritize correctly. The author promotes the habit of making two lists to help guide you. The first is for where you’re trying to go and what you’re trying to achieve, the second for what is unimportant and not worth your time. It’s a seemingly simple activity that has the potential for serious ROI: completing tangible objectives that will continue to move you to where you want to be.
Is Forbes the model for a digital-first media entity?
How has Forbes transformed itself from a traditional media entity into a digital-first entity? Lewis Dvorkin, their new chief product officer, has had a lot to do with it–but he emphasizes that his model is not right for the entire media industry. Forbes has found success by opening up their base of contributors to greatly increase the number and diversity of voices on their site, blog-style. They’ve maintained a focus on readers’ engagement with content, rather than simply trying to drive as much traffic per story as they can. Forbes has also allowed select contributors access to this engagement, to see what kind of response they’re actually getting from readers — they also require writers to respond to commenters on the article’s page, to create a two-way conversation. The hope is to form a loyal relationship between Forbes readers and writers, advertisers and audience — one that can result in ongoing digital relevance.
Why Programmatic Marketing is the Future
Delivering the right message at the exact right time is the future of marketing, and if you can’t figure out a way to do it well, you’re going to get left behind fast. It’s not good enough to be shooting off messages at the right audience. They need to be targeted AND timed. To combine the knowledge of who your consumers are, what they like, and how they find your product or service is a winning formula, and for marketers it’s vital to be able to turn that data into relevant information and offers for the consumer, and deliver it on the devices they’re using at that precise moment. Don’t rely on just one method — integrate all channels and devices in a cohesive, useful strategy that delivers promotional content when your customer wants it and can actually use it.