Tag Archives: marketing

Google Analytics Track Adsense

Bottom line up front: Create a new Google Analytics account for every website domain, unless you want to track your Adsense clicks in Analytics.

After attending Affili@SYD 2011 last week, I decided to review all my web properties.

I don’t consider myself an affiliate marketer, I’m more an e-commerce and traffic guy. But I’ve had moments of success over the years.

The first step of the review is to benchmark my properties and get a picture of their current state. Some have been sadly neglected over the years so I’m dusting them off and giving them a lick of TLC. Google Analytics provides some wonderful benchmarking tools for this.

Βest-practice is a one  Google Analytics account per domain. Any subdomains can then be set up as a filter or a profile under that account. My old web properties were created with a new profile under my main account.

Analytics profiles cannot be moved between accounts. A separate account for each property lets me sell a property and “unhook” its Analytics without losing all the historical data.

I also want to run  Google Adsense on the revitalized domains and track ad effectiveness through Analytics.

Unfortunately Google currently allows only one AdSense account linked to one Analytics account.

So for now it means the smaller properties must reside in my main Analytics account if I want to track Adsense with Analytics as I don’t want multiple Adsense accounts.

Once a property gets traction and significant traffic on it’s own I will then create a new Google Analytics account for it. I’ll disconnect the history and lose the ability to track it’s Adsense data in Analytics, but I’ll be better able to use the reports in Adsense with more traffic.

Business Model for News

Rupert Murdoch has created a stir with his intent to charge for content. Dave Earley wrote a great piece at Earley Edition explaining how it won’t save news media’s business model.

What is the core business of news media? They are not in the business of “reporting the news”. News media’s business is to aggregate an audience to deliver to advertisers. That is why celebrity tabloids sell – the perceived quality of the “product” only affects the demographics and size of the audience. But in reality the audience is the “product”, journalists and producers are the manufacturing team. The sales team are supposed to be the rain makers. But news media believes their own manufacturing-oriented PR that their business is “the news”.

If news media companies are to thrive under a pay-for-content business model they must now do two new things well for sustainable competitive advantage. Firstly they must deliver compelling content, now mixed with rights management and security that does not interfere with the reader experience. Secondly they must become expert subscription marketers – better than Time Life or Readers Digest. Because the internet is littered with the corpses of companies who believed “if you build it, they will come”. If your business depends on paid subscription you had better become outstanding at the skills to deliver subscriptions. Dave Earley said

It is worrying that users will now be made to pay for news simply because marketing departments are unable to make online advertising work.

Sadly this is typical of sales and marketing reactions in a mature market, it always looks easier to chase the next big thing rather than get great at your core business. If their marketing departments can’t sell online advertising (B2B) how are they going to develop the skill to convince people (B2C) to pay for something they’ve previously got for free? I wouldn’t take that bet.

News media is like the buggy whip manufacturers complaining their markets are shrinking because cars have replaced horse-drawn carriages. Nobody promised newspapers a perpetual license to make money. Evolve or die.  Get good at your real, core business.

Rupert, baby, deliver an audience to your customers.

NBL and Singapore Slingers need Import Rule Change

I was talking to someone with long connections in the NBL – Australia’s National Basketball League.

The Singapore Slingers are based in Singapore, but I’ve heard if they put a Singaporean on the floor he must take one of the two import slots that NBL teams are allowed. Normally those spots are for players who have to produce every game in the role they are hired for.

This may be a limitation of the FIBA license granted to the NBL and international politics of basketball. I’m investigating,  but if this is true it seems like a sports marketing mistake.

Do not to put obstacles between your customers and your product. In this case the Slingers need decent home crowds, and that means putting local talent on the floor – developing it if you must.

More to come as I gather information.

Channel Ten finally on Foxtel’s EPG

Channel Ten Australia has finally signed a deal to allow digital broadcast to Foxtel’s cable and satellite subscribers. Until now channels Ten and Seven has only been available on Foxtel cable as an analogue retransmission. This meant that Foxtel’s digital Electronic Program Guide did not list Ten’s or Seven’s schedule.

In the new media world not being in an EPG make you invisible. It doesn’t matter that I can scan while channel surfing, I rely on the description that pops up on screen or on the EPG. Until last year I would go online and look it up, but I finally got tired of that. So as a result my family watch precisely one (1) hour of channel Ten per week. We watch less channel 7.

What amazes me is that the management of these businesses obviously thought cutting a deal to be on Foxtel’s digital would not impact their ratings. Instead it allow the other Foxtel digital channels to capture eyeballs and forget about their programming. So the only way I discover their programming is to see their expensive advertising in other media.

My informal pub chat poll shows my household is not unusual. Foxtel subscribers love their remotes, their electronic program guides and their planners.  Media analysts counter that very few Australians watch Foxtel’s channels other than sport or movies. It doesn’t matter, enough of us have stopped watching Seven and Ten because it is not accessible.

Lesson: Do not get between your product and your customer.

Thankfully Ten is has now joined the party. Now seven needs to get over their C7 digital hissy fit and make their schedule available.

A&R Scandal: Tower Books’ Michael Rakusin Replies

Michael Rakusin, Director of Tower Books replied to Charlie Rimmer‘s letter. I’ve emailed a request to reproduce Michael’s email here, but in the meantime you can read it at Susan Wyndham’s Undercover blog. That way the conversation can allow trackbacks around the blogosphere.

I look forward to watching the fall-out in the industry over this. When a major market player decides to flex their muscle, they should make sure they are a big enough player. I suspect that at a claimed 18% of the Australian book retail market Angus & Robertson will find it is not enough to succeed.

Bunnings on the other hand does have enough market share. But more on that later.

Update Michael Rakusin has granted permission to reproduce his letter below Continue reading A&R Scandal: Tower Books’ Michael Rakusin Replies

Would you like fries with that?

On of my favourite quotes is  “would you like fries with that?

It is the best-known, English-language suggestion sell. And it works. Every business can up-sell something to a customer who has their wallet open.  It’s just a matter of getting creative enough on your product or service offering.

I tend to favour the suggestion sell cost less than the original item. In the same way that the fries cost less than the hamburger. IT and consumer electronics retailers can sell extended warranties, consumables and accessories. Consultants can up-sell research seminars, subscriptions and evaluations.

This is different from promoting a special, time-limited extra as a call to action. The customer has already made a decision to purchase your product. The cost of acquiring the additional order is zero. It will never be cheaper to offer that customer another product. Seize the day.

If you’ve got a product or service that you can’t find a suggestion sell for, leave a comment and we’ll come up with a few ideas for you.

Now would you like to super-size your meal for only $1?

Retail KPI’s – the germination

Price Tag by Sarah Williams Brisbane, QLD, Australia via http://www.sxc.hu/photo/480217I’m developing a series of KPI’s for a retail operation. They own nine garden shed outlets and don’t currently track anything. It’s late and I’ve got a pile of notes, but I’ll document the process here.

One of the key elements is avoid collecting useless data, and reward the collection of useful data that reinforces the corporate values, empowers the store managers and is an aid profitability through performance measurement.

Obviously the store managers are going to have a say in the KPI.

What sells online?

Militia 04 secret photo by Bartlomiej Stroinski Poznan, wielkopolska, Poland, http://www.stroinski.pl/ http://www.sxc.hu/photo/236495 Flemming Funch at Escape Velocity posted in Ugly sells? and challenged Mark Daoust’s Site-Reference.com post The Surprising Truth About Ugly Websites.

It is not fancy, it is not exactly beautiful.

It’s one of the best-kept online secrets (and worst-kept direct marketing secret). It is possible to be too well designed or professional. Especially if that award winning design eats most of your marketing budget.

Once, before I knew anything about search engines, online marketing, seo (search engine optimization), I let a business friend talk me into closing a website “better no website than an unprofessional website” he advised. This guy was a marketing professional whose clients were all the big end of town. Big mistake many years later I realised it was popular with our customer base and drive enquiries to our sales team.

Another anecdote. I was meeting with a client last Tuesday to finalise a web marketing campaign, One of his marketing team wanted input to the website I am designing for them. Specifically the objection was precisely about the elements I use to get the fantastic results my websites generate in so little time.

What sells online is whatever speaks to the target audience. Banks and finance companies are expected to have slick, modern award winning design.

Online marketing demands function over form. Once the website gets attention, then you can add pretty features. Make sure the function of the website is clear obvious!

Web stats, log analysis and web tracking

I just got home from an interesting talk on corporate health management. More specifics on that later, but it matched with an email from a client.

Doctors use numbers to measure our overall and specific health, businesses have KPI’s. Webmasters, eTailers and eCommerce practioners live and die by their stats. But it’s amazing how many website owners ignore their stats.

Web logs get ignored until orders stop flowing

It’s a great quote, but it’s getting the cart before the horse. Logs give early warnings of problems and early pointers to success. Find out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats sooner than later. It’s always better to have time to plan a response before it becomes critical.

But logs in isolation are useless, we’re after trends. Your traffic should be moving in the right direction, and that traffic had better be relevant. There is not point in say 12,000 unique visitors if it’s all unrelated or marginal traffic.

And seeing how people are finding a website is as important as the bulk numbers. Is a pattern emerging for searchers? Are they looking for particular information or products that you provide, or can easily provide. If your product is on say page 18 of Google and people are willing to dig through 180 websites to find it, then look at improving your ranking, either through organic search improvement or sponsored placement.

Gratuitous plug. If you want to improve your natural placement in search engine results pages and want a consultant get in touch. You’ll be amazed at how high our techniques will get you.

When the Team IS the Brand

New York Red Bulls Logo

Red Bull bought the (USA) Major League Soccer‘s New York MetroStars and renamed them New York Red Bulls. Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion calls the renaming risky in When the Team is the Brand.

I think it’s a gutsy move from a company revolutionizing the beverage business. Red Bull didn’t get where they are now by being timid. Let’s review the risks.

The team could lose… regularly. New Yorkers hate losers. The brand becomes associated with a pack of losers. But this is a World Cup year, soccer’s profile is huge. The Red Bulls could finish with the wooden spoon and the market impact would still be positive. Soccer is the most played team sport in America due to the number of kids playing it. The move shows long term commitment to the sport in one of the biggest media markets in the world. FIFA wants to grow the code’s popularity in the States and is going to spend money there.

The players could get involved in scandal. This isn’t the NBA, NRL or any of the European or South American leagues. The MLS is still not the big show in US sports. As such the stars are not treated as gods with the egos and behaviour to go with it. No individual players will consitently risk their future careers in Europe behaving like prima donnas on the road. Owning the team actually reduces the risk associated of individual player endorsements.

Pre- and post-season camps and road trips are a risk, especially with the sexual assault scandals rocking professional sports on all continents. Team owners in every sport are addressing these risks, team-wide scandals are not good for anybody’s business or career.

By owning the team rather than sponsoring it, Red Bull can’t use morals clauses to weasel out of sponsorship deals. No doubt all the players have morals clauses to limit the team risk. So if the deal goes bad Red Bull has to step in an fix it. The up side is the deal is all up side for Red Bull: they get a sporting brand to go with their existing extreme games sponsorships. As they build the brand they build their equity value for about the cost of a sponsorship deal.

There is the possibility that soccer in the States will remain a marginal sport. So the risk is MLS fails financially as a league. I don’t think Red Bull or FIFA are expecting it to knock the NBA, NFL or MLB of their pedestals anytime soon. It is a niche play to capitalise on the penetration of the sport. Plus as a European company, Austrian Red Bull would love to see soccer conquer the US market. Just like they imagine the day when they are the world’s #1 non-alcoholic beverage.

Great business.

Update I also forgot to mention the subliminal association of “New York Red Bulls” with “Chicago Bulls” who play in red and are one of the most recognised NBA franchises outside North America. English Premier League also has the Red Devils (a.k.a Manchester United) now owned by an American. Branding buzz all round.