Liveblogging from New Orleans… The keynote began with a review from a collection of movie clips, all related to how marketers used to reach customers in the past. The theme of conference is the change of the marketing landscape; the face of the new marketer.
Quick corporate update: Analytics firm Coremetrics now has over 1,000 clients, purchased IBM SurfAid last year, almost doubled its staff and introduced some significant value with new marketing applications and services.
Unsurprisingly, wood is the most common building material used in the woods, yet logging is hated by environmentalists. One company has been creative (thinking outside of the wooden box), harvesting timber that is under water is called “triton logging”; easy on the environment and lower cost.
What does this have to do with ecommerce? Look for opportunities that might not be immediately visible. Mass market (high volume) vs. custom niche (high margin). What about in between? In between was just a blank space. Niche strategies require one or more of the following: limited quantities, captive audience, targeted marketing.
Globalization and internet proliferation has led to an explosion of options available to us. More products and services, few geo limitations, and a multitude of customer acquisition vehicles. Chris Anderson and the Long Tail as example; online, scarcity is N/A and we don’t have to worry about limited shelf space anymore. Lots of opportunity from quantities in selling lots of low-level products (and a lot less prices pressure). If someone ignores long tail risks, buyers looking elsewhere for niche products are likelier to buy ‘hits’ in the same place. Abundance is great for consumers as it provides choice, but for retailers it means complexity. Manual processes cannot keep up. Successful online marketing activities will increasingly be driven by automated applications that are driven by customer behavior data.
Most important skills by survey of Coremetrics clients: user behavior, search engine marketing, web analytics. Three goals for new marketer:
1. Maximize reach – Increase, but optimize, your search budget. Buy tail terms. Push to marketplaces and comparison engines
2. Measure every interaction – Develop a marketing system of record. Drive adoption throughout organization. Compare your performance. Data on customer action is crucial. You have to make data-driven decisions, if not flying blind.
3. Engage your customers – is the branding of the online world. reviews, multi-media content, blogs, personalization of recommendations and emails. Make it feel more like a community, not just an online catalog.