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Recession Survival Strategy: Go Online

Hugh Kennedy, Partner, EVP Planning, Healthcare Practice Lead. Hugh joined PJA in 1992 and still loves coming to work. He also writes The Secret Life of the Life Scientist, a blog about marketing to those who discover. Hugh has three Swiss Mountain Dogs, two children, and one husband.

Since every other blogger in the known universe has already registered their opinion about MotrinGate (my opinion: the piece wasn’t so bad, just showed a lack of audience planning; the bus shelter posters, on the other hand, are terrific) I am moving on to 2009. I know, no one really wants to, but we’ve got […]

Since every other blogger in the known universe has already registered their opinion about MotrinGate (my opinion: the piece wasn’t so bad, just showed a lack of audience planning; the bus shelter posters, on the other hand, are terrific) I am moving on to 2009.

I know, no one really wants to, but we’ve got to get through it together.

The Economist already has registered its opinion on where marketers should be in 2009, and it’s clearly in online properties. Emarketer, in fact, predicts nearly 9 percent growth in online advertising for 2009. Even China won’t muster those results for the year.

Besides the smaller piece of the online pie devoted to traditional banners (today less than 20 percent of online advertising is in banners, while more than half is in paid search), engagement will continue to be the name of the game. To quote The Economist:

Online marketing increasingly aims for awareness, consideration, preference and loyalty all at once…[Take] the example of a rich-media ad for Kraft, a food company, in which a yummy image raises brand awareness, a click reveals a recipe that increases consideration, another click provides coupons and yet another click initiates a game that can be shared with friends. Marketing managers can therefore defend their online budgets as being both above and below the line.

We have been practicing this kind of online engagement-based work ourselves for years, although our mantra tends to be “You should never have to leave the banner to get what you need.” Ads are interruptive enough, so why let them drag you off into a corner of the screen when you weren’t expecting them? We use the same philosophy when building plans to appear in social media forums. Be present, supportive, even facilitate an area for a conversation as a brand, but don’t offer an opinion unless someone ask you for it.

This latter formula also works quite well in personal relationships.

1 Response to Recession Survival Strategy: Go Online

  1. Doug Reynolds

    I like the entry Hugh and I couldn’t agree more:-)

    There are more opportunities to connect brands to participatory activities at the moment people are ready to engage. Lately it’s increasingly sophisticated Rich Media ad units that let us bring fresh, dynamic content directly into banners.

    One piece of functionality we’re developing is the ability to bring location-based points of interest into a banner to promote engagement offline. I imagine a brand uses this functionality to engage in an initial dialog or exchange with its audience. A site visitor interacts with the messaging in a banner and is rewarded with personal, contextually relevant suggestions. Like the suggestions on Amazon, this ad unit lets you know there’s more to discover and where you’ll probably find something exciting.

    For example, a software developer that engages with a brand banner about innovation might be interested in a science exhibit happening at the Museum of Science. The banner can dynamically look up where the developer is located and then serve up some suggested activities. If the developer takes the action of visiting the suggested exhibit, then he’s extended his experience and deepened his connection to the brand.

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