In Part 2 of this interview, Intel director of corporate Internet marketing Shawn Conly continues his discussion with the E-Commerce Times of i-marketing strategies and pitfalls.
ECT: What advantages have you gained throughmarketing in e-mail newsletters?
Conly: The great thing about e-mail is it’ssomebody who’s raised their hand and said, ‘I’minterested in your company, and I want to find outmore.’ It’s a great permission to be able to go backand contact these people more. Unfortunately, itseffectiveness has been impaired by the tremendousamount of spamming that’s going on right now. This hastainted a lot of e-mail marketing.
But we still have millions of people who have signed up for our e-mail newsletter and are excited to get it. We find it to be a great way to get a deeper message across to people and give them opportunities to drive down deeper within our site to find out more information or to actually purchase a product.
ECT: Have the new larger ad sizes had an impacton your advertising campaigns?
Conly: The plus of the different ad formats isthat it creates a standard across different sites. Sofrom a distribution and production standpoint, wedon’t have to reinvent the wheel for every site you’readvertising on. The standards are still not as widelyadopted as I’d like. But I’m afraid we may eventuallyend up in the same situation we’re in now withbanners, where if we get too standardized on certainads, they will start becoming invisible again.
Part of a Mix
ECT: What are some successful strategies foronline advertising?
Conly: No. 1: Experiment. Every companyhas a different mission on the Web, so you need tofigure out what combination of different activities isgoing to work best for you.
No. 2: Think about the role that your onlineadvertising is playing in your total marketing mix. Alot of our internal constituents come to us and wantto build awareness for a particular product and wantto do it exclusively with the Web. But it’s notnecessarily the best medium to get broad-basedawareness out there. You need to think about yourobjectives, and how does the Web play, versus yourother media tools.
ECT: What pitfalls should an online advertisertry to avoid?
Conly: Be careful about what your successcriteria are, and really think about this before goinginto a campaign. Focus the data that you get back onthose success criteria, and make sure the data isactionable. Because you can get completely overwhelmedwith the amount of data you get back from a campaign.
Compelling for Tech
ECT: Are there products or services that arenot suited for promotion through online advertising?
Conly: As a technology company, we find theInternet to be a tremendous medium for getting ourmessages across, and I think any other technologycompany would probably agree with me. Because we havea built-in constituent base that in most cases isaccessing the Internet using one of our products. Wefind that to be a very compelling proposition. As youstart drifting away from technology products, thereare probably ways to get your message across that maybe as compelling as using the Internet.
ECT: How do you measure the effectiveness ofyour Internet marketing campaign? What factors comeinto play?
Conly: It goes back to the objective of aparticular campaign, whether it’s to generate aconversion to an e-mail list, or to get a deeperinteraction with some key content that we have. So welook at it very much on a conversion basis, butconversion can have different definitions.
A conversion can be signing up for a newsletter orpurchasing a product. We look not just at theclick-through rate, viewing rate, or interaction rate,but at whether we converted prospects to the action wewere looking for.
Farewell, Cloud Nine
ECT: Based on your experience with Webmarketing thus far, what does the future hold foronline advertising — both in terms of strategy andtechnology trends?
Conly: The industry is going through some biggrowing pains right now, with what’s been going onwith the economy, and what’s been happening with theInternet industry in general. But I think marketersare going to come back to the medium for what it doesbest, which is getting this deeper interaction withcustomers, and will start leveraging that even morethan we have before. I think that’s the future of thismedium and where it can play a tremendous role in themarketing mix.
At first, there was a lot of overly optimistic hopefor the Web, in terms of being able to eclipseeverything else out there in universe. And I thinkit’s just coming down to earth in terms of where doesit play, and how does it fit with the other tried-and-true marketing activities.
ECT: What advice do you have for a companystarting to plan a new online advertising campaign?
Conly: Be disciplined about what you want toget out of it. It’s not a panacea for all marketingneeds. But it does some things really well, so makethe campaign focused on those things that the Web doeswell.
And don’t be afraid to experiment. We learn as muchfrom our unsuccessful efforts as we do from oursuccessful ones. As soon as you’ve launched acampaign, pay attention to it, learn from it, andadjust on the fly. That’s one of the best things aboutthe medium: its ability to be iterative in terms ofhow your campaigns look.