Kodak's move into DRTV is savvy

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Kodak's move into DRTV is savvy
Kodak's move into DRTV is savvy

Kodak has been breaking new ground in its use of multiple channels to promote their cost-saving printer line. Most notable is its use of short- and long-form infomercial segments touting the benefits and savings of the products in a way that pays homage to the late Billy Mays.

While it is refreshing to see a company try new approaches and integrate multiple channels into a comprehensive plan, I am especially impressed to see the search marketing team has been brought into the picture (more on this later). But the campaign also highlights the difficulty of getting each channel's unique aspects assimilated into how your message is delivered.

Social media is often a daunting and overlooked opportunity online. Kodak has taken it head on, using YouTube to air its DRTV spots in addition to its cable TV buys. It is a good start, and quite a change from most traditional marketers, who typically shy away from social media because of their inability to fully control the message.

Simply repurposing TV spots with a push message is unlikely to get the desired results, though. Users have full control over what message they hear and for how long. In the land of YouTube entertainment and episodes of "Will it Blend?," an ounce of creativity is worth a pound of production. While it may be early to determine success, the fact that the Kodak videos have not been viewed more than 20,000 times says something about what users are looking for — or not. Something to capture the imagination, and attention, of the prospective audience would be far more likely to get people talking about the product on their own.

Search marketing represents an all too often isolated group kept alone in their silo. When I searched for "all in one printer" I was first delighted to see the ad read

Kodak Printer TV Offer Save on Ink with Kodak ESP Printers Official Site. Start Saving Now!

The ad shows great use of the new offer and calling out the specific value proposition. But it appears best practices were left behind as the keyword I searched on never appears in the text. Google rewards ads with high relevance and click through rates, and missing out on the keyword in ad text can hurt your ad score in ways that push your ad down the page and drive up your cost per clicks. In the very competitive world of SEM, this slight misstep can result in a significant loss. l

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