Print Advertising vs Social Media

Before diving into this contentious subject, let me say upfront that print advertising in some cases can be very profitable. As with any marketing piece, when you include a tracking method such as a 1300 number, or a unique URL you can easily measure the number of conversions gained through it. Then simply multiply the results by your average lifetime client spend and you will clearly see just how profitable it is. If it is profitable, continue to do it until it ceases to be.

The main point of this post is not to argue the profitability of print advertising, rather to compare the returns that can be gained from investing the same amount of capital in the rapidly growing social media marketplace.

To demonstrate this I have created a direct comparison using the two media to target the same audience. The comparison has been generalised to keep it simple enough to make it easily relatable to most target markets. The following target audience has been selected by age and gender. This allows the selection of an appropriate print publication as well as enabling targeting through social media. Our audience is men and women aged 25-49, and we are assuming a non-gender specific general product or service such as fitness, or health insurance.

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Think Social - Print Advertising

The Good Weekend (TGW), an Australian national weekend magazine, which is inserted into both The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age has a national readership of 1,740,000. According to Roy Morgan Research, March 09, the bulk of this audience are in NSW and VIC and 726,000 are our target demographic.

You are able to download the current rate card from Fairfax Media to confirm the pricing for casual advertisement space in TGW, some of which are:

  • Double Page Spread $77,176
  • Full Page $41,971
  • Half Page $26,367

Rather than fight for attention within a shared page and not to go to the excess of a Double Page Spread, we have chosen a Full Page. Add to this agency fees for creative, artwork and photography. Naturally these fees vary with choice of agency, photographer and model. For the purpose of this comparison add $10,000.

Furthermore to quantify direct response generated by an advertisement will usually require an additional system to be put in place. Typically this could be a new website (microsite, or landing page) specifically designed to complete the enquiry, sale or redemption. Similarly, a unique toll free number can be set up and staffed. These systems require some additional investment of either capital, or staff time.

As this is a one off piece it needs to be just right and there is no room for error. However there are a number of variables that may impact on the advertisement, some of which are inherently uncontrollable, such as:

  • How aligned the offer is with the readership of the TGW
  • The cost of the product/service
  • The position of the advertisement – For a premium position add 10-40% loading
  • The headline, copy and image selection
  • The call to action
  • The details of the offer, quantity, terms etc
  • Timing – whether it is seasonal, or impacted by current events.

Taking the subjective figure of 0.1% (for both media) as an expected response rate, we can estimate from the 726,000 TGW readers fitting our target group, we will get 726 responses, each costing at least $71.58. Whether these convert depends entirely on our conversion system and is irrelevant to this comparison.

Think Social - Pros and Cons of Print Advertising

The advice most often given for print advertising is that frequent repeat exposure is essential to the success of a campaign. This means that many more than just this one advertisement is required for success, and a much bigger budget, but we did want to keep it on or around $50,000!

*The true response rate can only be the result of running the ad itself and for consistency we have used the same response rate with both media.

Social Media

Think Social - Social Media Advertising

Facebook and Twitter are our selected social media channels, although just like print there are many to choose from. The major difference is that with a similar budget we are not talking about a one off advertisement, we are talking about a sustained and continuous social media campaign. This means that we need to create an effective strategy first, then develop and put into place a social media policy, then and only then implement and manage the campaign.

With social media being a channel for conversations, the direct response mechanism is largely inbuilt, however there are instances where a specifically designed website, or landing page system may assist with conversion. We won’t delve into conversion apart from saying there are the similar variables that will impact on response, but a sustained online campaign provides the opportunity to see immediate quantifiable results and make any necessary adjustments real time.

For a budget of less than the $52,000+ for the single print advertisement, we will create, develop and manage (with personnel) a social media campaign, including advertising spend on Facebook for 12 months.

Twitter does not provide an advertising model as yet, however some of its many business uses are:

  • Customer service
  • Market awareness
  • News
  • Extended reach
  • Building relationships
  • Direct sales
  • SEO
  • Driving traffic
  • And networking.

Facebook provides a comprehensive advertising model and a fan page structure. You can read more about Facebook for business in Using Facebook to market your business and talking point, featuring a business launched solely on Facebook. The Facebook advertisement builder allows us to target specific age groups, locations, and loads of other things, including words and phrases that people have in their profiles. Using this tool we identify 3,187,580 male and female users aged 25-49 in Australia. Selecting just the two major cities of Melbourne and Sydney, acknowledged as the bulk of TGW readers, we can directly target 1,507,620 Facebook users with our advertisements. Cost of advertisements can be either Pay for Impressions (CPM) or Pay for Clicks (CPC). For this target group Facebook is recommending a minimum of $0.58 per click.

Using the same subjective figure of 0.1% as an expected response rate, we can estimate from the 1,507,620 Facebook users fitting our target group, we will get approx 1507 responses, each costing at the most $34.50. That’s if we stop at the first count. Remember, this campaign is running every day for 365 days and includes staff to converse with the respondents amongst numerous other facets. For details follow the two links above. Whether these convert depends entirely on our conversion system and is irrelevant to this comparison.

Think Social - Pros and Cons of Social Media Advertising

For a longer and more sustained campaign, with the same if not more niche targeting capability and for the same budget, social media is the clear winner. Not to say that it needs to be one or the other, the two can work nicely together. As I said in the beginning, if print is profitable, keep doing it. You may just want to try social media to see how profitable it can be for you too.

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Posted by Luke Faccini in Social Media for Business
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Good article for anyone involved in Direct Mail Marketing

Marketing Data Challenges

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=136241

Amazon launches Kindle for the Web

Hot on the heels of announcing that it will have a Kindle app for the upcoming Blackberry PlayBook tablet, Amazon today rolled out Kindle for the Web, which allows people to view and share book samples directly through their Web browsers. Amazon is also encouraging bloggers and Web site owners who are members of Amazon Associates Program to embed samples of Kindle books on their Web sites and earn referral fees from Amazon “when customers complete book purchases using the links on their Web sites.”

Kindle for the Web, which has been tagged with the “beta” label, shares some similarities to Scribd, a company that has been billing itself as the YouTube for documents and has become a popular destination for viewing and sharing documents and book samples, many of them free.

Like Scribd, Amazon for the Web has a big social-networking component, as people can easily share samples on Facebook and Twitter. But Kindle for the Web is more geared to driving readers to buy the full e-books (and perhaps paper books), which reside on Amazon. Authors and publishers will undoubtedly see this as a viral marketing tool.

Amazon has a demo page up and it shows how “selected Amazon book overview pages” will have a “Read first chapter FREE” button integrated into them. Click on the button and a new browser window will open that displays the book sample. It’s unclear how long the sample can be–or whether Amazon is using HTML5 for its samples (we were able to read a sample in the iPad‘s Safari browser, so we think it probably is HTML5)–but we’ll update this post as soon we get word.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20017835-1.html?tag=mncol#ixzz10qGncIuu

Eight Tips For More Effective Email Communication

A recent report estimated that over 7 trillion emails were sent worldwide last year! Spam messages are jamming in-boxes across the globe and the average office worker now gets between 60-200 messages a day.

While no one denies the obvious productivity gains we’ve realized from the efficiencies of email communication, many people find themselves drowning in all these messages.

Here are eight tips that will make your email communications more effective.

Practice being clear and concise with your message.
You’ll save time and your reader will appreciate it.

  • Consider using bulleted points to clearly express your thoughts.
  • Everyone has a different style of how they intake information.
  • Email communication works best if you clearly outline the points you’re trying to get across in an easy to understand format.

Investing extra time while authoring an email pays big dividends by giving your reader a clear understanding of your message. Remember, if your email is written with the purpose to educate, inform or persuade, then making sure to get your point across is even more critical.

With the sheer volume of email messages most business people receive, there’s an inverse relationship between the volume of text and successfully making the point. Most people will immediately read and understand a ten sentence email. Send them a 10,000-word document and they’ll likely scan the highlights, save it for later and you risk it not being read fully. People appreciate brevity. Remember, if your objective is to tell the reader what time it is, you don’t need to explain how to build a clock!

  • Before sending, ALWAYS reread your message and double check for grammar and misused words.
    Its obvious to most of us to use spell check after we’ve composed our message. You should also make it standard procedure to reread your entire message before sending. Often times, you’ll notice words which have been left out, grammar that’s incorrect and worst of all – words witch our spilled write butt knot used inn the write weigh. (Note, that this last sentence runs through a spell checker perfectly.) How many times have you caught something too late, making your only option to curse at your spell-checking software!
  • Copy back salient points when replying to an earlier message.
    Most people receive hundreds of emails every week. When you combine that with face-to-face meetings and phone calls, it’s dangerous to assume your recipient will remember your earlier exchange. Which of these messages has the greater chance for reader confusion?”Sure, sounds fine… Please proceed.”

    Or

    You wrote: Hi Jody, Are you okay with the proposed color scheme on the new brochure? I’d like to print it next week.
    “Sure, sounds fine… Please proceed.”

    It’s frustrating when someone sends you an email, with a specific answer but you’re unable to recall the original issue. This problem is largely avoidable by copying a portion of the original message alluding to the context.

  • Use specific subject line descriptions.
    Since many email messages go back and forth several times over the course of many weeks, it’s important to accurately describe what the reader will find inside.
    Considering the level of spam and anti-spam software in place today, you can’t afford to risk your message not being delivered because of a generic or poorly worded subject line. A subject line such as, “What do you think” doesn’t tell the recipient much. “Need your suggestions for options re: acct#45619 – Robinson Inc.” is more specific. Remember, a legitimate message coming from your plant in Hong Kong advising you that “they’ve still had no luck increasing the prototype by 3 inches” is unlikely to ever make it past today’s spam filters!
  • Realize that once your message is sent, THERE’S NO GETTING IT BACK!
    Email communication in the workplace has been around about ten years. Before the 90s, if you composed a letter later deemed too harsh or in poor taste, there were more steps involved before the message was sent. Today, the stakes are much higher. People can literally ruin their career with a single 60-second lapse in judgment, by sending the wrong message to someone. (See animated video clip in inset box for details!)Email is also ridiculously easy to edit and forward. Keep in mind that sending a message to one person can eventually be viewed by many other unintended parties. Always double-check the recipient line before sending any email. Horror stories about messages accidentally copied to “ALL” are becoming routine.

    As a rule, it’s a good idea to never put anything in writing that a reasonable person would consider to be confidential or dangerous. If your situation dictates you email such information, try to word your message in as factual and balanced a way as possible. As you write, imagine that the person you’re writing about eventually sees your message. Stick to facts, not opinions.

  • Practice the 24-hour rule when you’re upset.
    It’s never a good idea to send an email when you’re angry. We’ve all been guilty of this. In the heat of the moment we type up a literary bombast. A message that will reduce the recipient to mush. We even reread it, and we’re actually sort of proud at how powerful the wording is. We imagine the recipient opening and cringing as he/she reads our words. Then we send it.

    Only later, after we calm down, we revisit the message and realize that we dramatically overreacted. But it’s too late to do anything now, except apologize and try to mend fences. This is more common than you think.

    If you compose an email in anger, wait a predetermined period of time before sending it. If your emotions are legit, then your issue will still be there tomorrow. But in 95% of the cases, you’ll be glad you waited and toned things down after you’ve gain the perspective that can only come with some additional time.

  • Avoid sh-cuts and abbr. in biz email msgs.
    Anyone with a teenager knows you practically need a CIA decoder chart to understand the abbreviations and shortcuts that are popular in email, pagers, text messages and instant messages. These cutesy short cuts and misspellings are ill advised to use in any corporate context, no matter if your customer is external or internal. Even common shortcuts like LOL (laughing out loud), BRB (be right back), 2 (to) and u r (you are) are simply too casual for most business communication. What’s hip to one sender can be read as flip and disrespectful by another reader. Since a casual message to a coworker could easily be forwarded, it’s best to practice the same high level of professionalism no matter who you’re writing to.
  • Don’t Forward Viral Messages.
    What’s that you say? You’d only forward important messages on to your coworkers and friends? Not so fast.Unlike obvious computer viruses that involve actual destructive code, many messages are viral in nature, in that they are purposefully crafted so you’ll send them on to friends with the idea that you weren’t positive if this was real but wanted to be sure they saw it just in case! Although not usually harmful, these emails prey on normally smart individuals desire to inform others.

    Everyday, intelligent people who would never consider themselves gullible forward on hoax messages about:

    • Pending Congressional taxes on emails
    • Avoiding waking up in a hotel bathtub of ice – minus your kidneys
    • Easy steps for getting some of Bill Gates/Disney/AOL’s money
    • How to delete viruses from your pc (which are actually legit Windows files your system needs)
    • Child abductions at giant retailers
    • A widow from Zimbabwe begging you to look after her $18,000,000 if you’ll just give her your bank account number.

    The list goes on. If you are the recipient of an email message you think is relevant to your friends and family, run it by this test: Copy and paste a few words from the message into google.com along with the word “hoax.”. If the returns come back showing articles claiming the message is a fake, save everyone in your address book some time by hitting the delete key! The same rule applies to jokes and pictures which would be deemed as inappropriate by your employer.*

    While there may not be a silver bullet that saves us from an onslaught of never ending messages, common sense practices can make our business email correspondence more effective and productive every working day.

  • What Is Business Process Outsourcing?

    Many answering services and call centers claim to be experts in business process outsourcing (BPO). If the services are performing the BPO activities in house or they have partnered with various providers such as supply chain companies and business payroll companies, a BPO provider goes far beyond the traditional definition of a call center. An answering service, call center and contact center are all certain types of BPO companies, but Business Product Outsourcing goes far beyond these types of telecommunication services.

    Business Process Outsourcing is a specialized form of IT (information technology) outsourcing. Business Process Outsourcing focuses on utilizing a third party service provider to handle IT-related activities. These activities can include such applications as management, development, and data center operations. These operations can include call center services, contact center services, testing and quality assurance of products or services.

    Years ago, Business Process Outsourcing generally consisted of such tasks such as payroll. A third party payroll service was commonplace in many offices. BPO then grew to include human resource functions such as employee benefits management and employee assistance programs. Today Business Process Outsourcing can include a variety of functions that are considered non-traditional. Business’s that choose to employ third party companies to handle tasks that are traditionally done in house, are generally on the cutting edge of technology. However, in many cases these third party companies handle the entirety of the companies hardware, software and telecommunication needs.

    Telecommuting and its BPO Relationship

    An internet search on the term will reveal many businesses that label themselves BPO providers. Many of these businesses base their service on the phenomenon of telecommuting. Through a relatively new way to work known as telecommuting, the BPO company allows an employee, or an entire company to operate without the walls of an office. The entire process is seamless, invisible and effective. The entire reception and communication site is handling off premise, while the employee can operate in the office, at home, or even by the pool. Answering Service, call center, and contact center processing is part of the method of phone call handling.

    Even in the days of email, text messaging, instant messaging and the internet, phone call handling is still the primary way of doing business. The companies that embrace technology and continue to pay attention to old fashioned customer service values are the ones that will thrive and prosper in today’s business environment. In the answering service industry, the need to embrace technology and continue to provide customer service values is a necessity. By embracing change, a traditional answering service can go beyond traditional conventions and become a Business Process Outsourcing specialist.

    By Nicolas DAlleva

    Don’t Hesitate to Hire a Call Center

    Today, most of the companies are hiring a call centre to outsource their customer services. With the growth of technology, the companies are on a never-ending hunt for better services from their outsourced firms. But how does a firm check whether its BPO partner is delivering the goods? The customers are very demanding. They want a company’s representative to be available 24×7 by any means of communication. Moreover the companies expect their BPO partners to provide quality, quick and courteous service to all its customers. With the facilities of email and internet available to nearly all customers, the job of a call center has become quite a challenge. It has not only made inbound calls important, but the significance of outbound call centers has also multiplied because of the prevalent fierce competition amongst the existing firms.

    As the agents are the key components of a call centre, their performance is always under the radar. In order to ensure their quality and efficiency, the BPO must provide them with necessary training in the fields of order-taking, processing, responding to enquiries and troubleshooting. A help desk solution should also be maintained to cater to customers specific needs. The quest for survival is heating up as the competition in this industry gets fiercer making the task of an inbound or outbound call centre more important than ever before.

    Some BPO firms are also conducting market researches, surveying polls and making sales calls to enhance the efficiency of the call centre services. These are useful in providing the right evaluation of the targeted market segment. The necessity of a supervisor to oversee the functions of a call centre agent is also important to maintain the quality of the customer care. A successful call centre will also look to open up more avenues to interact with the customers; this not only broadens the options available to the customers but also diversifies a call center’s service. Nowadays, the introduction and use of internet has made customer services easy and fast. Having said this, the single-most important factor for a good call center is its round-the-clock availability to cater to diverse requirements of the customers from all around the world and having different time-zones.

    The acute need for good and fast service makes it very difficult for a call center to sustain the pressure of quality customer care. This was the primary reason for a company to outsource its call center services. The directly opposite view was that outsourcing would hamper the chances of personal touch. However, the need to cut the costs was an overwhelming cause for the companies to avail business process outsourcing. A modern call center provides high-quality service to its clients because it trains its agents after hiring. Those companies which hesitated at some point of time to outsource its business are now finding it difficult to upgrade and maintain a full-fledged customer care wing. Thus, outsourcing customer services to a call center means no expenditure on hardware, software or training of the customer care professionals, thereby letting a company focus on its area of competency.

    Hence, we can see that hiring a call center means a company has one lesser area to worry about. It enables them to access and serve its customers in a better and faster way. Thus hiring a call centre is fast becoming a norm for the company to succeed in the industry.

    Ivana Lewis has written a wide range of articles on business process outsourcing. Moat of her write ups are about BPO, inbound customer service and inbound call center.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ivana_Lewis

    An Answering Service for Business Use

    On any given day, a business owner has so much that he can never get it done. Some business owners start the day with ten items on their “to do” list and end the day with five times as many tasks still to be done. Running a business is very exciting. Every day is a new adventure. Most businesses need a helping hand. Help comes in many different forms. Often times the company’s owner will hire employees to help ease some of the workload. Companies may also incorporate different technologies to help things run more smoothly. Outsourcing is another way that business can lighten the load and run more efficiently.

    Companies such as payroll services, commercial cleaning, and temporary agencies are examples of businesses that can benefit from outsourcing their calls. These companies can do tasks more efficiently and often times more cost effective than one could do in house. In addition by outsourcing work, a business can utilize other’s expertise in getting a more desired result than if they did it themselves. A live service is the perfect model of efficient outsource.

    Business Needs an Answering Service
    While there are services all across the United States that a business owner can turn to, there is a perfect call center for every business. Finding the right fit for a contact center is a difficult search. An answer service – client relationship is based on chemistry. Regardless of how good a center is run, or the quality of their staff or their equipment, the relationship is the key factor for success.

    When you find the right outsource partner, you will discover that you have found a new best friend. The philosophy behind any successful service is that they will do everything in their power to make sure your business succeeds. This means customizing your account, promptly answering your calls, and dispatching your messages quickly. By taking every action possible and going above and beyond the call of duty makes a service the work for your business.