Message in a New Medium

Share this content:
For companies with experience in traditional direct marketing, online advertising offers a world of new opportunity but also potential pitfalls. The online marketplace, search engines and shopping sites in particular provide a great avenue to acquire qualified, demand-driven potential customers.

The basic principle is that to succeed online, you must stay "on message." Encompassed in this seemingly simple directive are several distinct but related concepts.

The first concept is the most obvious: Your online marketing message needs to reflect what your customer knows you for and what has made your traditional business successful. If you sell value, make your message one of price-consciousness. If you sell exclusivity, your online message should reflect that.

Second, ensure you are selling what your customer is looking for. Not just that you carry it, but that you effectively use your ad copy and Web site to sell it to them. This should be reflected in the ad copy and, perhaps even more importantly, in the landing page to which you direct the search. Don't send the shopper seeking a cardigan to a home page featuring swimsuits. More often than not you will sell neither.

The third point is one that is a special challenge in the world of search. You must play to your product and image strengths.

In the setting of a catalog, you have room to carry products that may stray at times outside of your core model. Just because a competitor has some advantage on a certain product or category, you are not precluded from entering it.

But in search, your competition is much more direct. Only a few advertisers will appear in meaningful positions for any given search term, and the bid-based nature of the medium means that you need to perform on their level to maintain your position.

So what do you do about those ancillary products? The answer for many crossover marketers is to feature them without advertising for them. That is, use the design and layout of your pages to your advantage by featuring related, but potentially "off message," products alongside the featured product descriptions on your landing pages. Top content-driven sites, such as, manage space very effectively, maximizing ad delivery without obscuring the central message. Take a cue from them and effectively monetize your own space with internal advertising.

Armed with these basics, an offline marketer should be able to begin testing the waters of online advertising.

Loading links....

Next Article in Digital Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

DMN's Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here