Saturday, September 4, 2010

Don't Forget about Link Building

This past summer my MBA Internet Marketing class learned about search engine optimization (SEO) and the fundamental importance of including relevant keywords in page titles, h1 tags and throughout a website in a human readable manner. This is a proven SEO technique but some sites need to do more, especially if there's a lot of competition vying for the attention of search engines and users. Another technique that we discussed is called link building.

Link building is the process of getting links to your web property (be it a blog, domain, whatever) placed on other -hopefully well-visited and relevant- domains. We used this technique to "promote" this blog by having students link back to this blog from their own personal blogs and sites. Unfortunately, since many students chose to build their blogs on blogger/blogspot, I don't think we got the link building "juice" we were looking for. Nonetheless, we were able to get the top spot on all three search engines for our chosen keywork "e-marketingclass", even bumping a consulting company with the same domain name.

Since link building requires modifications to websites that are not under your control, you'll need to reach out to bloggers/webmasters who manage sites related to yours and ask them (politely of course) to include a link to your site. Of course you'll offer a link to theirs in return (if you aren't already linking to their site) to reciprocate.

To demonstrate (and hopefully improve my personal websites relevance for certain keywords), I suggest you take a look at a site for a marketing professor in Buffalo, NY. This is a fairly new site so my visibility on search engines for keywords such as "marketing professor Canisius College" and "internet marketing professor" is still a work in progress.

Next I'll begin integrating some microsites (custom landing pages) to demonstrate how these can be used to for SEO as well as paid campaigns...stay tuned.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Farewell, Antkeg Remi!

As another installment of e-marketingclass winds down, it's time to bid farewell to our good friend, Antkeg Remi. As of this morning, both Bing and Google indicate that Shaun's website (member of Team B) took the prize while on Yahoo Kate K's website (member of Team A) ended up on top. Apparently Sarah's attempt to "keyword stuff" on her blog may have backfired.  Sarahs' site was ranked #1 on Bing last night during class but is nowhere to be seen today (at least when I attempt a search from my office laptop). Chalk this up as a "lesson learned"!

I hope everyone enjoyed the class as much as I did and continues to learn more about internet/e- marketing. For those of you completing your graduate programs this Summer, Congrats!!! For those of you continuing on this Fall, best of luck and I hope to run into you on campus.

Take care and don't forget to feed your Antkeg Remi!!

Oh, and by the way, while you're here don't forget to click on a couple PPC ads over there on the right side of the page. I have three kids so every click helps! :-)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Example of how (not) to use Social Media for your business

We've discussed social media and its business application in our e-marketingclass at Canisius College and on Thursday we will be watching group presentations on this topic. I expect to see several good/bad examples of social media use and the implications for marketers. In the meantime, I'd like you to check out the following story (which continues to evolve) about a business owner who was a bit hasty in her response to a critical review from a customer. If you want to sit back and let someone summarize the story for you, listen to a local TV stations coverage of the story.

Key takeaways:
  1. Social media is (and will continue to be) a useful tool for just about any business.
  2. Businesses need to become comfortable with the social media landscape and listen, engage and act responsibly.
  3. It might be OK to admit faults and apologize.
  4. Failing to acknowledge #2 or #3 can lead to this excellent example of how NOT to use social media in a business context.
  5. Poor Amy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

e-marketingclass in the home stretch

Now that the midterm is behind us, it's time to start focusing our attention on social media marketing. We've already discussed the topic in class to some extent but let's take a couple steps back and put social media into context before proceeding. You can start by watching the short video Social Media in Plain English. The video simply describes the concept and puts a business spin on it. Is this view consistent with what you think social media is all about? Is it only about selling? Dialog? Community Building? All of the above? However you define it, social media introduces several implications for prepared to discuss this in class on Thursday night!

While some folks are in denial, the social media phenomena is here and is becoming a necessary tool in marketers' toolbox. One recent article by highlights social network user demographics and showcases the critical mass usage has reached. We have all seen/heard of examples of marketing campaigns that tap into the power/viral nature of social media (e.g., Subservient Chicken, Dove Evolution, Elf Yourself, etc.) but does this work for every business? How often does B2B go viral? Any good examples you want to share? B2B seems to be lagging behind the B2C world but this doesn't mean these types of firms are not participating (see socialmediab2b for some examples). I'll post a couple articles to ANGEL related to B2B social media (can't post here due to copyright limitations) for some ideas to ponder (and, of course, discuss in class on Thursday).

Until next time, don't forget about our goal of being the top e-marketingclass resource on the web (or at least getting the search engines to think so) and your team goal of being the #1 Antkeg Remi destination...keep at it and use those newly acquired SEO skills!

e-marketing class: Ford's e-marketing

According to the BusinessWeek article, “How Ford Got Social Marketing Right,” Ford’s Fiesta Movement was a marketing tactic in which Ford gave Fiesta cars to 100 consumers and asked them to drive anywhere they wanted and document their adventures for six months via social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. All expenses were paid by Ford. Their goal was to attract a younger demographic to increase their hurt revenues last year. This was an edgy move that could have had very negative feedback or consequences. They are finally done with the experiment and Ford is seeing some very positive customers who have been looking forward to the product’s arrival in the US, which has just happened this month.

For the rest, visit my blog at

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Are We Ready for Location Based Marketing?

Forrester Research released a study this week that found that only 4% of U.S. online adults have ever used location-based mobile apps. This has serious implications for marketers who are considering investing in location based services (LBS) as a new piece of their integrated marketing strategy.

An article published on highlights some of the stats found in the Forrester report and provides some relevant insight to the current usage of other mobile apps such as Twitter. In addition, the study—which was released on July 26, 2010—has sent a ripple through the blogosphere attracting much criticism.

Forrester concludes that “bold, male-targeted marketers start testing but that most marketers should wait until they can get a bigger bang for their buck, when adoption rates increase and established players emerge from the fray.”

Is this a good recommendation?

To read further please visit my personal e-marketingclass blog.

The Eyes Have It

by Marian Hetherly
e-marketingclass contributor

As a marketer, wouldn’t you love to know what really goes on in the minds of your customers? Of course you would, but maybe their eyes would be more telling. There’s no doubt that a new era of eye tracking has begun. Marketers are now faced with the challenge of developing a better understanding of the data it produces and making good use of it.

Eye tracking is a groundbreaking new way to monitor brainwaves and responses of individuals. The process involves the use of a device, such as a video camera or sensor, for measuring eye positions and movements. The technology has been available to marketers for some years, but it has traditionally taken days or even weeks to receive reports.

Today, eye-tracking reports are available almost immediately and being used to demonstrate returns on investments. The promise is that marketers will be able to meet the deep-down genuine, unspoken needs of consumers at a level of accuracy never before possible and without spending a fortune.

Read more about eye tracking on

E-marketingclass: Department Stores Delve into the Virtual

In the world of online retailing, Amazon reigns king. But, as the old game goes there's always someone pushing their way to be the new king of the mountain. This is the new way of online retailing, as seen in the Chicago Tribune article, "Stores try to blend real, virtual worlds: Retailers connect shoppers to out-of-stock items on Web" by Andrea Chang. Chang tells of how major retail stores like JC Penny and Macy's are now moving their customers to their online kiosks and high tech registers. This movement helps the stores with out of stock items that aren't readily available in the store and or different options, such as more size and color choices. Though department stores online retailing has a long way to go before they reach Amazon's status, their rapid growth is definitely a clear sign of something positive as Chang states, "Online revenue still accounts for a small percentage of total retail sales. Although online sales totaled $134 billion last year, the National Retail Federation estimates that's only about 7 percent of all retail sales. But growth has been rapid, with online sales soaring nearly 400 percent since 2000." Retailers are taking advantage of this growth, since it means less inventory needing to be in the store, as well as sales clerks. The growth is something retail stores don't want to lose; executives are constantly thinking of new ways to entice consumers whether with using e-commerce such as free shipping and a faster checkout. Companies don't want to lose out as Chang informs, "As e-commerce continues to grow at robust rates -- the sector posted a 10 percent year-over-year sales increase in the first quarter, according to market research firm ComScore Inc. -- experts have predicted that online sales could grow to as much as 30 percent of total retail sales over the next few decades." These numbers only justify that if retailers are going to continue, they need to adapt even further with their online presence, as well as continuously grow with ever changing e-commerce.

It will be intriguing to see how brick and mortar stores will have to change to the intangible of the internet. Many stores that have been recognized by their retail presence for decades, such as Macy's, now have to start from scratch when they enter the online market. Though retail stores have the crucial intangible asset of their brand name to work with, they still have to find out how to gain with online profits. Though retail stores have the right idea with introducing online kiosks in their stores so customers are able to have a choice if they want the physical store or the website, there still are a lot of unknowns they have to deal with. Aspects of customer service, returns, personal selling, and commission are all things that stores need to consider when incorporating a stronger online presence. As noted in Chang's article, Nordstorm was having problems with their customers having questions about the merchandise, therefore leading to them introducing a Web chat feature for shoppers to speak with informed specialists. Macy's has introduced a user "profile" where customers can store shipping and billing information, as well as receive special discounts and free shipping, while JC Penny's allows customers to view their store catalog online and to join their Facebook page. Though these are all good ways to get started the retailers need to think further of getting customers to shop at their website, and not at their competitors.

To see the full post please go to

MARKET RESEARCH: Extracting value from a wealth of raw online data by Morag Cuddeford-Jones.

Social media has opened many new streams of information for brands, but technology is only valuable if it is married to solid research methodology
By Michael Chase

In the United Kingdom marketing revenue continues to fall into double figures, a bright side to this is advancement of market research thru social media. WhileFunctional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanners for neurological projects in the field of neuromarketing, have come down significantly in price they are still costly and somewhat ineffective. According to an article by “ David Lewis & Darren Brigder (July/August 2005). "Market Researchers make Increasing use of Brain Imaging". Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, “neuromarketing is a new field of marketing that studies consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. Researchers use technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain, electroencephalography (EEG) to measure activity in specific regional spectra of the brain response, and/or sensors to measure changes in one's physiological state (heart rate, respiratory rate, galvanic skin response) to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and what part of the brain is telling them to do it. Marketing analysts will use neuromarketing to better measure a consumer's preference, as the verbal response given to the question, "Do you like this product?" may not always be the true answer due to cognitive bias. This knowledge will help marketers create products and services designed more effectively and marketing campaigns focused more on the brain's response. This makes neuromarketing and its applied results potentially subliminal.”
As budgets continue to drop marketers are finding a wealth of information available to researchers, thru consumer chatter on social media. Alistair Leatherwood, managing director of research agency FreshMinds, elaborates: "Trying to build online communities where consumers can talk about you is interesting… "Tracking social media can tell you what is going on, but it's quite imprecise. Overall, it's just a sensible way of gaining another perspective." Market Research Society (MRS) director general David Barr says, “There has been a scramble to get hold of blogs and Twitter content. However, getting hold of raw information is interesting but not great for insight. Getting a feed of what people are saying about your brand without insight doesn't give you strategic and actionable information.” "The market research industry has been protected from the recession because people recognize there is value in understanding the customer," states Andy Moore, former insight director at Vodafone and now strategic director for research and consultancy agency Nunwood. Proctor and Gamble invests over $350 million into market research every year. This is justified by the department on the idea that, during a recessionary period a better understanding of the customer and market, this assists P&G to sell products that are thought to be necessary by consumers during their possible economic hardships.
There are some draw backs from acquiring information through social media however, certain demographics may be limited in their use and access of this media. My Grandparents do not own a computer or mobile phone with internet access and most likely have no idea what a Twitter account is. Although they have tremendous buying power, a company is not going to find out about their consumer interest through a social media site.

To read this article follow the posted link below:
sources:Marketing week article
Mastering marketing social media

author: Morag Cuddeford-Jones
publication & date: Marketing Week. London: Jul 8, 2010. pg. 30
“Area Doctors to Treat Patient’s Online”

Just as the physician’s office once replaced the house call, the computer screen is now poised to replace the office visit. Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of the largest local insurance companies, plans to introduce online care this year, a service that allows patients to connect with a physician on demand 24 hours a day using webcams for video links, secure text messages or telephone conversations. Patients will be able to talk from their home, workplace or anywhere else with a computer connection to one of hundreds of primary care doctors. Similar to, patients will be allowed to rate each encounter.

This marketing strategy shift from brick and mortar to an online model is seen by advocates as a way to address a shortage of physicians who provide basic medical care and the long waits for appointments, reduce unnecessary trips to hospital emergency rooms and help patients with chronic illnesses and multiple medications better manage their conditions.

Check out more of this story on my e-marketing blog at: