Tag Archives: interactive marketing

How much to budget for Interactive Media?

It’s not unusual that I have clients ask me, “should I have a specific category for interactive media such as email newsletters, blogs, text messaging, pay-per-click advertising, social media, and other web  marketing channels in my budget?” Yes, is always my answer.

Then the next question is usually, “how much?” Between 5%-10% of your overall budget and up to 50% of your marketing budget depending on your type of business and your goals.

Quite a few people will get very wide eyes when I throw out those numbers. Many times they think I’m kidding. Rarely am I.

You see over the past ten years there had been a huge shift in how people buy and the most effective ways to market. New technology and the web have played a huge role in this. So, doesn’t it make sense that it should affect a company’s budget and tactics? I know so.

I agree with Seth Godin. Advertising is dead. Very little of it works. Only targeted marketing to people who might actually buy works. That’s why the web is such a perfect medium for this. A website “pulls” interested people to it. Unlike a TV commercial that usually “sends” people “away” to another channel or the bathroom.

So, the next time you are looking over your budget, give it a good hard look. If there’s not a “web” category or a significant portion of dollars going into your website, SEO, online promotions, viral marketing, or other forms of interactive marketing, I’d think hard before putting it into action.

Go Ahead, Bug Your Customers

What is a Viral Campaign?

Have you ever visited a website and found an article, a coupon, a special offer, or something else that impressed you so much that you immediately sent an email to a friend about it? If you have, you’ve experienced “viral marketing”.

Viral marketing is a low cost, highly effective way to reach your customers using the internet. This “word of mouse” method is like a bug or flu virus in humans. Instead of replicating and propagating itself to other humans it does it to other computers (in a good way). One minute nobody’s heard of it, next minute, it’s everywhere. Viral marketing is so effective because it lets you capitalize on referrals from an unbiased third party—your consumer! Let just one of your customers catch your “marketing bug” and they will happily spread it to everyone they know.

So what then is a viral campaign? It’s a specific marketing promotion that focuses on something you do, NOT on who you are. It is also not something malicious or under-handed. Viral marketing is used by reputable companies trying to promote reputable products. A viral campaign does not use spam or programs that force people to see or do things they do not want.

Instead, a viral campaign is something that is so cool, so exciting, or so creative that it gets people so excited; they can’t wait to share it with others. It’s subtle, not forceful. It’s uncontrollable. The exposure you get from this MAY raise sales or otherwise help your company name recognition, but that’s actually the by-product. That’s why it’s so effective if done correctly!

With a good viral campaign, people feel compelled to spread your word. They can’t help themselves (just like sneezing when you pass a virus around). The heart of a viral campaign is the content. People don’t spread what you say or do because they love you, they spread it because they can’t help but adore your content. Don’t forget! They are not evangelists serving you, they are self-serving.

So, all successful viral campaigns appeal to any one (or all three) of these basic human motivators: entertainment, greed, or charity.  For an example of a viral campaign, check out SkiHeroes.com.