By Bennett Andelman, Allebach Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Micro-blogs, social networks, wikis...all great vehicles for the new age of marketing. However, if the brand you are marketing isn't remarkable, ins't that "purple cow", then no matter what media you choose to use to communicate your message, your audience will move on...in fact, they probably have moved on.

Today, the marketing world is made up millions of messages, each trying to grab the attention of a similar consumer or business profile. How do you break through the endless clutter? Create chatter? Increase your share of voice...and oh yes, ensure ROI? Well, that's simple. BE DIFFERENT. CHANGE THE GAME. STEP AWAY FROM THE BOX.

Easier said then done. We know. In Seth Godin's best selling book, Purple Cow, available online at http://www.sethgodin.com/purple, he provides a clear action plan as well as a needed punch in the virtual face to all marketers that think they can pitch the same old stuff that people already have too much of and expect a different outcome. Oh, you have a new cola...and it tastes like cola...and you have a small marketing budget...yeah, not going to work.

As we have all seen and heard within the past several months, the “big boys” of the media world are pulling back and making way for others. In fact, if you’ve been watching your local news or better yet, highly priced and ranked shows like American Idol recently, you might be noticing a different strand of advertisers popping up. Since big spenders are cutting back, this allows for buyers to purchase time periods that might not have been possible for them in recent years. At the moment, spot TV is becoming more and more aggressively priced, making it a great time to advertise.

This situation also holds true in the print arena. While it might not seem like the best thing for a trade or consumer magazine to be thinning out, attention to the advertisers that remain is heightened. Some publications are being forced to cut back in size and/or editorial content. Given the scenario at hand, I try to look at the positive: less editorial content ultimately results in less competition for readers’ attention.

Behavioral Target Marketing
By Jamie Allebach, Allebach Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“We need to make the most out of every dollar in our marketing budget”. “ROI, ROI, and more ROI”. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard these words over the past 2 years, I could retire from this crazy business that I love.

No matter how much the creatives scream, “no, no, no, it’s all about the creativity and ideas”, I must agree, ROI seems to be ruling the day. Bottom line, as marketers, if we’re not getting the highest value of return on budget dollars, we’re not doing your job.

And it would appear that I’m not in the minority of those who think this way. eMarketer (hyperlink http://www.emarketer.com) predicts that the total spend on behavior targeting will exceed a billion dollars this year, and continue to rapidly grow, topping 4 billion by 2012.

On April 17, 2009, Oprah sent out her first tweet on Twitter.com. For interested parties the Tweet said: “HI TWITTERS. THANK YOU FOR A WARM WELCOME. FEELING REALLY 21st CENTURY.” My first thought, as a marketer, was that the tipping point was just televised. Even better, if I required concrete confirmation it came a day later in numbers: Twitter saw a whopping 37% increase in visits to the Twitter.com homepage. All new visitors. Each one signing up for a Twitter account.

Impressive numbers, indeed. Now let me continue by saying all of us at Allebach are big believers in social media as a vehicle for brands to get their message out to the public – and let’s face it, Oprah is a pretty big brand. As strategic, forward thinkers, we clearly see how powerful the word of mouth potential is on sites like Twitter and Facebook. However, more often than not, we also find our clients asking why social media is important to their brand. Isn’t social media just a passing fad? Does it really matter? Isn’t it something for kids – “not something my customers are using?”

By Kevin Schluth, Account Executive, Allebach Communications

I read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell before I was familiar with viral marketing or social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.

As my Facebook addiction grew, I realized that Gladwell’s ‘Law of the Few,’ and how it related to Paul Revere’s Ride, applied to a recent article I read in AdAge about Coke’s Facebook success.

If you aren’t familiar with Facebook - as of January 2009 the social networking site is 175 million members strong and growing at the rate of 5 million per week - and the site’s addictive, randomly generated newsfeed that is the site’s homepage, informing members of their friends status updates and fan groups their individual friends have joined, then perhaps you need to come out of the cave you call home. After all, it’s a Facebook nation – and as marketers, small and large, we need to harness the word-of-mouth, viral power that drives this beyond popular site.

In order to illustrate the viral aspect of Facebook, lets look at the site as a very large, but ultimately intimate, party-family-picnic-office-function-high-school-reunion-spontaneous-get-together. At this Internet soirée all the people you know, or at least 95% of the people you know, no matter how casually, are in attendance along with ALL their friends, family, and acquaintances. Your mom, that friend of yours she didn’t approve of in high school, your husband, your BFF, your golfing buddy. However, unlike an actual party, where each person doesn’t hear that you eat Tasty Cakes new low fat products when you have a craving for sweets, or that you love getting your coffee at Wawa every morning, because you are only able to talk with a few people at once, on Facebook, everyone at the party potentially hears you or knows you have joined a group.

By: Bennett Andelman, Allebach Communications

We think so. And, I am not talking about weight loss or smaller cell phones. We're talking agencies. Not Ogilvy, not Y&R...boutique agencies.

As the economy falls into what some call more uncertainty, and others call recession #2, marketers continue to look for new and innovative ways to showcase their brands without showcasing their spend. While most agencies worth their salt can develop a strategic marketing plan that offers brands, regardless of size, unique, creative, and "social" advertising programs that expose brands and drive lead flow (at a cost-effective media buy), the attached price for agency intelligence tends to rise like the rent on the floors they occupy in Manhattan.

There aren’t too many industries that have enjoyed an upswing during the past two years of the downward economy. That is, with the exception of private label food brands. Once akin to the dorky guy no one wanted to date, Wegmans, Target, even Walgreen’s Drug Stores, seeing their chance to woo shoppers with lower costs, improved quality and packaging, and raised expectations in terms of overall use, have created desirable private label products that no consumer is ashamed to take out for dinner – or breakfast, or lunch.

In fact, The Nielson Company, according to an article on Food Navigator-USA.com in December 2009, stated that sales of private label products have increased by 17 percent compared to two years ago – up 12 billion. So how do the name brand products rekindle their relationship with shoppers and compete with the sweetness of low costs and higher quality products?

by Nancy Landis, Account Coordinator

You heard the sayings, “You had to be there” and “If you only knew…”. There are the times when you wish you could be “there” or have other people understand what you are experiencing. This was my heart was this past week as my daughter, along with a team of 27, was on a missions trip in Haiti.

Within minutes of the news hitting the airwaves, there were three cell phones ringing in the room. We got on the computer and checked out the latest information. Within the next hour, a whole church community and their connections all over the world were made aware of the events. From that moment on, every time someone at home got a message from Haiti, it was immediately spread to the families and community, and from there to all the connections each of us had on Facebook, through Twitter, texting, email and cell phone. At a time as life-changing as this, the Haiti team was not alone.

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