Digital Engagement

Internet Marketing That Captures Customers and Builds Intense Brand Loyalty

 Digital Engagement

Authors: Leland Harden, Bob Heyman
Pub Date: January 2009
Print Edition: $24.00
Print ISBN: 9780814410721
Page Count: 256
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814410790

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1. Goals and Expectations

INTERNET MARKETING is red-hot, once again. Television, radio, newspapers,

magazines, major advertising agencies and major advertisers who once

fought the tide are being forced now to redefine how they reach consumers

and remain relevant. Web companies again are being bought

for astronomical sums (Facebook handily rejected a $1 billion offer,

Yahoo! rebuffed a $44 billion takeover bid by Microsoft and the CBS

television network grabbed CNET’s roster of influential tech sites for

$1.8 billion, all during 2008). Some of the biggest names in web branding—

AOL for one—are roiling with change.

If your enterprise sat out the last Internet revolution, got burned or

came late to the party that is Web 2.0, this book is for you.

Web 2.0 brought us social networking, wikis, virtual worlds where

people shop for body parts, text message advertising, mobile video

search, blog pundits who can make or break your reputation and your

business. This book will show you how to employ these technologies

profitably while keeping sight of your goals and using best practices to

engage your consumers and your customers.

These are practices that have worked for us, and for companies such

as Toyota Motor Sales USA, McDonald’s Corp., National Geographic,

Whirlpool Corp., Dr. Pepper, Unilever and others.


Managing digital engagement is all about managing the participatory

power of millions of Internet users to profit your business. We don’t

mean simply transferring portions of your ad dollars or marketing

budgets to the web. Most of you are already doing that. Most of you

may be quite adept at juggling marketing resources to take advantage of

online opportunities to grow your business—and we can help you do

this more successfully, and with more confidence and insight.

But engaging your customer within the online world requires a

twist to the entire corporate mindset. It requires moving not just your

media outreach but your entire organization’s mission into a participatory

global economy that has no borders. Imagine:

• Letting your business customers design your next product—and

fund the product’s advertising campaign.

• Becoming a household name—globally—through the power of viral

online video, music and text.

This is your guidebook beyond the theoretical nuts and bolts, to tangible

creative executive strategies you can use right now, with realworld



American marketers spent $21.4 billion on Internet advertising in 2007,

according to eMarketer’s report, U.S. Advertising Spending, which also

projects spending as high as $42 billion by 2011. According to this research

group, the amount of online ad spending per Internet user will,

in 2008, reach $100 per person if not more.

The trend for major advertisers is to pull money away from traditional

media (TV, radio, magazines, newspapers) to spend more on-

line. The top 100 American advertisers ranked by Advertising Age actually

spent $230 million less on traditional media in 2006 compared

to 2005, and increased Internet spending by $558 million in the same


Paid search (see Chapter 4) will account for about 40 percent of current

online ad spending through 2011, while online display banner ads

will account for about 20 percent. Classified ads, including those on

newspaper websites, will continue to be explored as will social networking

sites. Ad spending in social networks ran about $900 million in

2007, and about 8 percent of that went to niche sites targeted to older

consumers, signaling a maturing of a market launched successfully to

youthful demographics.

The numbers are important because major advertisers have signaled

they anticipate a downturn in the U.S. economy, and in this report

it was found that total media spending among these advertisers

would increase only 2.1 percent. This means that all aggressive marketing

in the next few years will be in the online space. If you are not

there, you may be assured that your competitors will be.

In the key automotive advertising space particularly, a similar

study by Advertising Age (Dec. 17, 2007) found that automakers planned

for flat spending in 2008, and intended to scale back both TV and newspaper

advertising, while “ramping up” online spending.

Let’s face it: Newspapers, magazines, and television went down in

flames in 2007—all of these traditional media sectors suffered horribly.

Newspapers saw print readership decline, watched their online page

views increase, and somehow still failed to connect the dots and realign

their advertising revenue models. The magazine industry hemorrhaged

and bled through drastic staffing cuts even as they took desperate measures

to shore up declining subscriptions. Last year the Audit Bureau of

Circulations (ABC) found drastic losses in readership at Time (–17.57%)

and Playboy (–10.04%), while newsstand sales dropped for category leaders

such as Glamour (–13.24%), National Enquirer (–15.25%) and Good

Housekeeping (–20.71%). Interestingly, the only national publication to

show a solid increase was the reincarnation of Fast Company, a publication

that caters to Web 2.0 entrepreneurs.

The 2007 television writer’s strike, which crippled American network

television, had traditional advertising running for the exits and into the

arms of online marketing partners. Most will not go back.

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