After 20+ years in marketing (OK — I am not admitting to more than that thank you very much:) – it seems that with all the talk about new media, new vehicles, new metrics that usefuls lessons still apply from the “olden days”.
Here I am talking about the 1980’s when packaged goods ruled the airwaves and an advertising agency’s success was measured in infinitesimal market share points as reported by the Nielson oracle. Countless hours would be spent manually pouring over the data. No nifty data mining software – no automated routines to extract the jewels from the data. Nope — it was just you, an excel spreadsheet and lots ‘n lots of coffee.
I hear you younger folks snickering. Surely, there are better uses of your time. Thank goodness I don’t have to toil away like that. But before you belittle this manual and arguably tedious excercise, you may be surprised to learn that numbers have a life. They are not just items to be put into a computer routine. They tell a subjective story and their secrets must be coaxed, gently and with respect to elicit the story they have to tell.
So with a deep appreciation for nuances of data, I share with you some hardwon lessons from a veteran.
Lesson number 1. To win the battle of business, you have to generate awareness about your product or service. Dah — no kidding. The secret becomes to decide — really decide which awareness battleground you want to fight on. And this where the old time lessons serve marketers well. Those big packaged goods folks understood that TV was the main battle field. Dominate in the GRP wars (Gross rating points — these are the metrics that told you how many people will be exposed to your commercial) and the Nielson oracle will reward you with fresh new market share points.
Wait a minute you say. What good does lesson number 1 do me if I am a small guy. Your first lesson only applies to those with oogles of money. And that is not what fighting in the trenches is all about. Quite right my astute observer. Which brings me to the lesson 2.
Lesson 2 — the new battlefield for many (not all mind you) is winning in the search volume wars. That’s right — you heard me. If yesterdays GRP was how to get awareness, today’s war is what I term SVRG — Search Volume Rating Point.
And this is the point. For many businesses, search volume is a direct relation to sale velcotity. Honestly. Increase that and you will see an increase in sales. No derived calculations or complex formulas. I will say it again — the more people search for online — the more you will sell. Period.
And finally lesson 3 — and the best one. Unlike the “olden days” when you did need oodles and oodles of money to buy large blocks of advertising time — todays search battelground can be won by the little guy — the guy with smarts and an understanding how search volumes are created and managed. Yep. Using cheap/ free stuff you can increase search volumes, increase link presence and even beat your biggest competitors. Stuff like blogging (I practice what I preach), SEO, press releases using free distribution channels and social networks. all tools in this war. Use them and with respect. They will pay in increased sales.
Now that’s HOW you break through and win the war — in the trenches.
Judy Shapiro, VP Marketing at Comodo an Internet Security Company