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Why Aren’t Small Business Owners Taking Advantage of Online Marketing?

469994_antique_storeAs I travel around the web each day, I see a variety of ads. Many of them are banner ads reminding me of the effectiveness of cookie based technology. (Hey, look at that ad for Old Navy, I was just on their site this morning. What a coincidence.) Then there are the Facebook ads which I hardly notice and when I do, I find them irrelevant. Also the search results I see in Google (now that’s effective advertising) and the emails and social media updates I get from companies I follow.

That’s a lot of advertising and some of it is working because I’ve been known to click and buy things. But when I think about it, I realize that almost all of the ads I see in a day are for big companies and brand names. The last time I saw an ad for a local store it came out of a Val-Pak envelope.

New FTC Rules Push For Clear and Conspicuous Disclosures on Social and Mobile

dot-com-coverThe FTC just released an updated version of their dot com disclosures guidelines (aka rules) which was originally released in 2000. A few things have changed since then, but the FTC’s stand on “clear and conspicuous” disclosures hasn’t and that could be a problem for advertisers.

Everyone loves social and mobile, but both outlets are hampered by a lack of useable space. The FTC understands this, but they’re not backing down. My interpretation of the guidelines – find a way to make it happen or don’t post ads to mobile and social. If they start enforcing that, it’s going to be one heck of a crack down.

Here is just a portion of the instruction son how to make a disclosure clear and conspicuous:

Infographic Gives Google’s Mobile Push High Marks

Larry Kim of Wordstream published an infographic today that blew my mind. It was all about how Google is using their mobile apps and ad programs to create new revenue streams. Larry grouped the products in categories then graded them based on quality, value to users and marketers and other factors.

Overall, it looks like Google’s doing a pretty good job. But what really made me stop and gasp was the sheer number of mobile products Google has in the works. Who (other than Larry) knew?

how google makes money

 (This clip doesn’t do it justice. You need to click here to see the whole, big and beautiful infographic.)

New ExactTarget Report Reminds Marketers, You Are Not Average

SFF20-coverI often forget that I know things the average person doesn’t. I don’t mean that to sound snobby. What I mean is that when you spend your whole day navigating the internet, posting to blogs and social media, and responding to email, you forget that some people don’t go on the internet at all. (Horrors!)

ExactTarget just released a fascinating new chapter in their Subscribers, Fans and Followers series. It’s called “Marketers From Mars.” And before they got me with the research, they hooked me with the wonderful, 1950′s space race graphics that they used throughout the pages.

The report contends that the modern marketer is like the space explorers of the past. We’re left our connected world behind in favor of technologically advanced devices and web tools. We’re Tweeting and Instagramming photos while much of the world is still talking on the phone and sifting through old snapshots they had processed at the Fotomat ten years ago.

Mobile Marketing Goes Postal with Holiday eCommerce Promotion

It may not seem like it, but mobile is actually the perfect compliment to the US Postal Service. When a customer uses their mobile device to buy something online, that something has to be mailed to them and there’s a one in three chance that that something is going to arrive via the US Postal Service.

In order to encourage this symbiotic relationship, the USPS is offering a special holiday direct mail promotion aimed specifically at mobile marketers.

The 2012 Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion gives online merchants a 2% postage discount as long as they have a a mobile bar code or QR code that leads back to the web. (You’ll find the specifics here.)

In Advertising, Consumers Trust Earned Over Owned

When it comes to information about a product or brand, the personal recommendation trumps all else. That falls under the category of “earned” advertising. Your product was worthy, so you earned the respect of a consumer, who in turn, passed that good word on to their friends and family. It doesn’t get better than that.

The downside, is that “earned” advertising has to come when it comes. You can’t make it happen on schedule, so that’s where “paid” and “owned” come in.

Take a look at this trust chart from Nielsen and we’ll talk about it on the other side.

It’s a given that consumers don’t put much stock in paid advertising, but look at mobile dragging its knuckles at the bottom of the chart. Mobile phones and tablets are the hottest thing in tech right now, but people are almost universally shunning the ads they see there.

Google Pays Homage to Old School Advertising By Giving it a Modern Twist

When Coca-Cola decided to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony, I’m sure they hoped it would catch on and help them sell a few bottles of soda. They didn’t set out to create one of the world’s most iconic advertising images but that’s just what they did and forty years later we’re still talking about it.

Project Re: Brief is a Google-backed documentary that revisits those classic campaigns of the past with an eye toward inspiring a new generation of advertisers on the internet.

Harvey Gabor (Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop); Amil Gargano (Volvo’s “Drive it like you hate it”); Paula Green (Avis’ “We try harder”); and Howie Cohen and Bob Pasqualina (Alka-Seltzer’s “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”) all come out of retirement to help reinvent the campaigns they were known for.  Through the use of modern technology, these old ads get new life as interactive campaigns for the internet and the tablet.