Hey, let’s burn a couple million dollars on the Super Bowl

SuperBowl_XLVII_(2013)_logoAs we approach the big day this Sunday, everybody is getting ready for the main event – who will win the battle of the ads!  Both during and after the game, we will talk about the funniest, the cleverest, the cutest or the crassest commercials.  Brands will gain lots of exposure (a frequently mentioned benefit), but what does this actually equate to once the chatter is over and the money is spent?  If you spend $3-4 million dollars to air a commercial + another $1-2 million to produce it, there should be some major expectations that it generates serious payback.

I think there is way too much emphasis on brand reinforcement when it comes to Superbowl advertising.  We all know about the sugary sodas, beers, salty snacks and auto companies that show up year after year.  Do their commercials really change consumer behavior in a lasting way?  While they may get a quick spike of attention, the results are questionable.  As a story on America Public Media’s Marketplace shows, it’s difficult for people to even recall which brand is associated with many memorable commercials. Continue reading


4 Ways to Take Advantage of Mobile for B2B Marketing

The facts about smart mobile device adoption and the growing share of web traffic from these devices are unambiguous: we are seeing a steep upward curve and that trend will continue for the foreseeable future.  In some countries the amount of web traffic from mobile devices has even surpassed desktop devices, which could end up being the norm given the growth trends that are being reported.

Yet, even with this trend towards mobile devices, they are a not a perfect fit for B2B marketing.  Much of the growth in mobile web traffic is B2C related: social media, video entertainment, games, consumer search (restaurants, shopping, tickets, etc.).  I know I’ve struggled with seeing the benefit of the mobile web for marketing of enterprise software (the industry I’ve predominately worked in), but I have come across a couple excellent ways to take advantage of mobile. Continue reading

Does Facebook Make Any Sense for B2B Marketing?


Forget about the social graph, social search or any other product-related feature, there is a more important issue to consider when it comes to Facebook: is there a compelling reason for B2B companies to use it as a marketing tool?  I’ve seen other posts on this topic, and they tend to say that FB makes sense because of the number of people using it or the time users actively spend in it.  But all of this is pointless until the following question is answered – are the buyers of B2B products and services going to interact with product/service vendors on Facebook.  To be clear, I’m not asking if potential buyers use Facebook, because undoubtedly with +1 billion users, they are there.  Instead, the question is more of why people use Facebook. Continue reading

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Infographics

Infographics have been proliferating in usage over the past year, moving beyond their traditional usage in media publications to an interesting way for companies to provide marketing content  — a blog post earlier this week by design firm InfoNewt discussed the use of infographics as part of an overall SEO strategy.

When done right, infographics tell a compelling story and provide information in a way that the reader can easily understand and learn from.  They also can summarize a more comprehensive set of data, as a way to generate interest in a source document.  And, they can increase visibility or awareness in a company through viral propagation on social sites.  But many are confusing, misleading or just a visual mess.  Here are a couple examples that are good for illustrating what makes a compelling infographic. Continue reading