A 7-Step Battle Plan for Small-to-Medium-Sized Agencies
Takeaway notes from an AMA sponsored webinar. By Aliza Bornstein, copywriter, Melissa Data
The online marketing and advertising world continues
to grow at an extremely rapid pace, and marketers
are continuing to migrate dollars from traditional
forms of media into online. This is driven by
marketers and advertisers wanting to use a more
effective type of media, in addition to
consumers—where consumers are spending their time,
and how they are consuming media today.
Agencies—small and regional—are in a great position
to take advantage of this growth, but are also
presented with a unique list of challenges:
• Tasked with broadcasting a brand or message around
ongoing corporate initiatives or new marketing
However, with so many options, today’s marketers
need to leverage agencies that understand the
complicated landscape and new platforms that now
make online advertising a cost-effective part of
• To a variety of outlets and targets.
• Using various methods, resources, and technology.
• Proving effectiveness of approach and good ROI.
There are many different strategies and channels
that can help your clients succeed online. Here are
seven of the most promising and easy-to-implement
1. Display advertising
This is bought advertising where you actually pay
for what you get. This includes online display, PPC,
video, and mobile. It’s a form of Internet marketing
that appears on Web pages in many forms, including
Web banners.* These banners can consist of static or
animated images, as well as interactive media that
may include audio and video elements. Adobe Systems
Flash or .gif are the preferred presentation formats
for such interactive advertisements.
There are many benefits to the client and agency
• Create brand awareness.
As Internet usage grows—and it continues to grow
every year!—there’s more and more inventory
available for this particular medium. There’s also
more targeting availability.
• Scale with your business.
• Can be easy to create—just like search ads.
• Deliver measurable results.
• Offer powerful targeting capabilities.
• Make your search ads work better.
• Can be changed and optimized in real-time.
• …and more!
Paid search is an Internet advertising model used
with search engines where advertisers typically bid
on keyword phrases relevant to their target market.*
It has become like the new Yellow Pages and is also
a form of bought advertising. Three huge
players—Google, who has the lion’s share of the
market; Bing; and Yahoo!—make up the majority of all
paid search advertising that you can do in the
Benefits of PPC:
• Most targeted form of bought media available.
Limits of PPC:
• Generates traffic immediately.
• Is easy to set up and implement.
• Is extremely flexible (keywords instantly
adjusted, added, or deleted).
• Is typically very economical compared with more
traditional advertising strategies.
• Easy to track performance and adjust as needed.
• Doesn’t require big investment in creative or come
with high media minimums.
• Can be expensive (top keyword on
• Often “over credited.”
• Can be competitive (“coats” has 909 advertisers
bidding for it; only 10 results on page 1).
• Limited scale (percent of time people search
versus visit to Web pages).
• Little brand impact.
Video advertising refers to advertising that is
served either before, during, or after a video
stream on the Internet.* The advertising units used
in this instance are pre-roll, mid-roll, and
post-roll, and all of these ad units are like the
traditional spot advertising you see on television,
although often they are “cut down” to be a shorter
version than their TV counterparts, if they are run
Benefits of video:
• Rank well in search engines.
Limitations of video:
• Stand out from the competition.
• Create interactivity and user interest.
• Let others advertise for you by Word of Mouth (WOM).
• Instruct and educate.
• Challenging DR performance.
• Creative costs high.
Mobile advertising is a form of advertising via
mobile (wireless) phones or other mobile devices.*
More and more consumers are getting their
interactive content using a mobile device. The
amount of time consumers spend on social networking
sites and other site-related content on their PDA’s
is growing at enormous levels. As these PDA’s get
larger and larger screens, the use of graphics and
mobile ad units is growing every day.
Benefits of mobile:
• Campaigns are relatively easy to create and
Limitations of mobile:
• Are effective with high open rates.
• Can be personalized.
• Are complementary to other types of marketing.
• Encourage viral marketing with links to social
• Limited calls-to-action.
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Limit standardization (different platforms,
SEO is the process of improving the volume or
quality of traffic to a Web site from search engines
via “natural” or un-paid (”organic” or
“algorithmic”) search results, as opposed to search
engine marketing (SEM), which deals with paid
Benefits of SEO:
• Very high return on investment (ROI).
Limitations of SEO:
• Long-term positioning (versus ongoing cash
• More sales from visitors.
• More targeted traffic.
• Increased brand visibility.
• Faster Web site (validated and optimized files).
• Improved usability.
• Increased accessibility.
• More “crawlable” by the search engines.
• Takes a long time to build organic traffic.
• Hard to move the needle quickly.
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing which
uses electric mail as a means of communicating
commercial or fundraising messages to an audience.*
In its broadest sense, every email sent to a
potential or current customer could be considered
email marketing. However, the term is usually used
to refer to:
• Sending emails with the purpose of enhancing the
relationship of a merchant with its current or
previous customers, and to encourage customer
loyalty and repeat business.
Benefits of email:
• Sending emails with the purpose of acquiring new
customers or convincing current customers to
purchase something immediately.
• Adding advertisements to emails sent by other
companies to their customers.
• Sending emails over the Internet using network
email and wireless network email.
• Allows for tightly focused targeting.
Limitations of email:
• Is data-driven.
• Drives direct sales.
• Increases sales conversions.
• Generates repeat sales.
• Creates up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
• Builds relationship, loyalty, and trust.
• Supports sales through other channels.
• Let’s you gain valuable feedback.
• Drives offline purchases.
• Quick and cost-effective way to test market
messages and offers.
• In-house lists are very limiting.
7. Social Media
• Lots of laws and regulations.
Social marketing is a term that describes use of
social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis,
or any other online collaborative media for
marketing, sales, public relations, and customer
The four main aspects of social media are:
1. Advertising on social net sites like Facebook and
2. Content creation on social net sites like Facebook and MySpace.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Wikipedia, Orkut, and
YouTube are all common social media marketing tools.
In the context of Internet marketing, social media
refers to a collective group of Web properties whose
content is primarily published by users, not direct
employees of the property. (e.g., the vast majority
of video on YouTube is published by non-YouTube
Benchmark and evaluate your messages and your
competition’s message. Respond with proactive brand
management (both positive and negative); immediately
address what others are saying; win fans, customers,
and advocates. Contribute by being a thought leader
and starting the conversation around trends,
technologies, ideas, etc.
How do you make sure your agency “gets it?”
1. Understand the focus areas and benefits.
2. Understand some of the key players in all major
3. Formulate an approach that aligns with your
All definitions with an * are provided by Wikipedia
---Source: American Marketing
Association webinar Mar. 10, 2010 (www.marketingpower.com).
Keynote speaker Jamie Lomas is the VP of Sales and
Client Services at AdReady. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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