Thursday, April 21, 2011

Can't Say Enough About Deats Design Work and Service

An Example of the clean design work of Deats Design.

We have worked together for several years - on and off-- and I recently had the pleasure to work with them again. What a pleasure! I had forgotten what it was like to work with ultra-creative, give-you what-you ask-for, fast turn around and service oriented business conduct professionals.
If that 's what you're looking for and enjoy working with - contact Deats Design!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Is Online or Offline Marketing Better at Striking Customer’s Intent?

As a database marketer and a digital/data maven, I am thrilled with the minute level of detail in demographic, psychographic, behavioral, financial, et al data that we can gather and utilize in almost real time; thanks to advances in technology.
However, I am very likely to disagree with a statement made in an AdAge article by a product manager at . The statement went something like, “… direct response marketing on the internet accomplishes this (user intent) better than yellow page ads and classifieds ever could."
From an agency (seller) perspective, one might agree. But, from the “buyer” perspective it is simply not true. As a “buyer” in print, the customer had the choice to pick ad positioning, page, surrounding content, etc.  As an example, the furniture customer (ad buyer) could ensure that his/her ad was not on the same page as their competitor. This control is now NOT in the hands of the buyer, but the seller and the seller’s downstream in an online environment.
Because of this, I don’t think that you can make the argument that online banner ads or any other ad is not as interesting or engaging to a customer online as it would be in print or any other medium. The problem could be that the ad is not as engaging online because when the user searches for furniture online, the furniture store has little control on where the furniture seller’s ad will be placed. This is HUGE to the effect that ad will have and to the user intent and enjoyment of the ad.
For anyone reading this that is responsible for online marketing in a company where there is little understanding of “it”, you can relate. How many times do you find yourself justifying your budget for little results at the beginning of an ad? If you are in an environment where they don’t get online advertising, they don’t understand that you have little control over where your ad will be placed…..BUT…..YOU CAN BETTER YOUR ODDS if they will hang in there long enough and give you the budget to apply some good SEO tactics and make adjustments based upon your ad’s performance metrics. (Yes. For those of you questioning my thought process -- ;) --- there are metrics in poor performing ads that can help you in the future!)
To sum this up, I guess I am refuting that you can compare online and offline marketing at all. (This goes back to my blog on the lack of an understanding of “integrated” marketing” but I'll move on....) One reason you cannot is obvious:  You get different results with different campaigns and although there are “benchmarks” on expected results, you don’t know what your results will be which is why A/B testing is STILL A GOOD IDEA! (Whew! I got a lot off my chest there, huh?! LOL!) The other less obvious and perhaps more cloaked reason is that the buyer does not have the control in the online environment that he/she does have in an offline environment.
And this brings me full circle back to Integrated Marketing, Affiliate vs. PPC, Testing and more…. we will discuss each on another day!

Happy Marketing!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I was told when I moved to LA that the average time a top exec stays in a job is 18 months. I dropped my jaw. I had lived in places like Seattle and Alaska where people worked for the same Aerospace, IT, or Oil Company for life!
I have found it to be pretty spot on as an average length of time execs are in positions in LA. They were surely correct and I don’t have the answers as to why. ( I’m not a sociologist.) However, what I have observed is that things move fast in LA. (Maybe it is because of all of the sun ;) !)
As I looked over my own resume the other day, I realized that when I first moved to LA, I was in jobs much longer than 2 years. In the last few positions, I was there on or about 2 years in executive roles. So, although I cannot answer the question for all execs in LA as to why the average is 18 months, aggregately, I can share my own experience as to why.
Of course as I grew with experience, as we all do, I became faster at accomplishing some goals because I’d been down that “rabbit hole” before and I knew the pitfalls and how to avoid or manage them. The experience helped me do things faster, but I need to look deeper into who I am to answer the question as to why I fit into this LA statistic.
After some self examination, I think that for me, it comes down to my personal style and how I work the best. In my last few positions and even long term consulting assignments, I realized that I am a leader of change. I don’t like to maintain things. I like to fix them, grow them or sadly, sometimes close them down or sell them.  I generally obtain a pretty good lay of the land very quickly as I like to ask a lot of questions in an interview with an employer or client. I want to know what has been working and what has not been working. Once in the environment, I give many employees at varying levels the opportunity to tell me what they believe is working and what is not working. (It is very telling when what I hear from the team in the environment differs from what I heard from the employer or client.)
Through a process of listening to the employer or client and the key staff, I then do some investigation of my own.  Once I identify all of the problems, I become a leader of change. I begin by communicating the problems and goals to both employees and employer/client and assure them that we (the staff and I) will remedy each problem and attain the goals. I think that it is very important to get everyone on the same page about what the problems and goals are and how we all can play a role in achieving them. As one of my favorite project managers of all times told me, “Mary, you make us feel like a real team – almost like a family. It makes us want to work harder to get things right.” B-I-N-G-O!  
Perhaps how LA has changed me is that I have relaxed when it comes to hierarchical organization charts. I succeed faster and make everyone enjoy their work more by working in a matrix style organization. You can debate whether I’m talking about a flat organization or not, but it really doesn’t matter. Even in the utmost hierarchical organizations, the way I lead breeds team work and celebration when we “get stuff done”. By the way, I sometimes sign my name with a GSD after it and people ask me what it means. It means gets stuff done and that’s what I do. Once the problems are fixed and goals are achieved, I am no longer needed for the organization as the change leader  - and I apparently --- that process takes about 2 years to effect in LA!