Time Between Affiliate Sales and Clicks

Chat Waite of Avantlink published some helpful data on the time between initial clicks and sales. Data is helpful in determining cookie length on affiliate sites and as a general eCommerce guideline:

  • 78% of affiliate sales occur with 0-24 hours after the initial click
  • 8% of affiliate sales occur within 1-7 days after the initial click
  • 9% of affiliate sales occur within 8-30 days after the initial click

Price of the item and complexity of the sales will also impact results, but this provides a helpful baseline.

 

 


Guide to Minimum Organic Search Requirements

I'm often asked about the minimum organic search requirements for ranking on the major search engines. While search engine optimization (SEO) may appear like an overwhelming mystery, it often comes down to these basic elements.

  • 750 or more words
  • A headline on the page that is relevant to the topic (main or subhead)
  • Original images (1 to 2 minimum, more is better)
  • A link that is internal to the site or that links to a high credibility external source

That's it.  Beyond these easy to implement requirements, consider:

  • A title tag that contains the focus keyword or topic, preferably at the beginning of the title
  • A meta description that also contains the keyword to topic.

Google uses over 200 factors to rank pages.  The key is to have great content that when compared to content from others. Think about how a computer would determine whether one piece of content is better than another. In this context, factors such as length, the presence of visuals, video and measured engagement (clicks) start to make sense.

To go a step further, think about what the reader would want in a mobile environment and in a desktop environment.  Plan for both.


Not Smart Enough for Advertising

Advertising and marketing is filled with smart people. The assumption is that they are doing smart things.  Maybe I am not smart enough to understand what is going on with these campaigns and products.

1. Android Friends Forever: be together, not the same

Cute, amusing, well produced.  I have no idea what it means. 

2.Acura: Drive Like the Boss

I do not get why she is driving like a boss. Is she a jerk making her employees wait? Maybe.  Smart? Maybe not.

3. Freewheel: The mobile phone that isn't completely mobile

Great campaign.  Strong brand identity. Clear communication. So what could be the problem?

A mobile phone that works on WIFI only. Hmm, so it is kinda mobile. Why not just get a cheap mobile phone?

End of rant.

Up next: brands that continue to confuse and confound (Target with multiple savings apps to ensure that the consumer is confused as possible when entering the store, American Express with fee based and free cards with similar benefits, the list goes on and on.)

 


Branding is Back

It was nice to see some strong branding work from McDonald's (MCD), Always (PG) and Microsoft in the Super Bowl.  In the case of McDonald's and Microsoft (MSFT) my reaction was more of a "where have you been old friend," and oh "that is what you stand for."

In a world where consumers are bombarded by media, games, apps, experiences, work, family and other time demands, brand advertising is more critical than ever. It is the way we quickly understand if a brand is worthy of our time, attention and dollars.

No, you cannot substantiate it, but boy, you sure do know when a brand is lost and now found.

If you have been living under a cultural rock, here are the three commercials (the cure is a subscription to Entertainment Weekly and the Skimm).

Always #LikeAGirl

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McDonalds Pay With Lovin'

Microsoft What Can You Do?


Can McDonald's Be Saved?

Today, McDonald's (MCD) replaced CEO Don Thompson with incoming CEO Steve Easterbrook. McDonald's has been on a brand slide. They seemed to have gotten lost somewhere at the intersection of quality, value, menu innovation, flavor, and health.

Can McDonald's be saved? Sure. Others are prospering in fast food.  Think Chipotle (CMG) for a winner in health and quality, and Wendy's (WEN) for menu innovation and taste.  Plus, watch the Shake Shack (SHAK) IPO scheduled for tomorrow to see excitement in the burger business.

Then I came across this picture, and you start to think that maybe a McDonald's turnaround is possible:

Burgers

An immediate prescription for success leaps off the page:

  • Simplify the menu to your roots, burgers
  • Prepare a burger that is flavorful
  • Use better beef (farm raised, antibiotic free)
  • Improve appetite appeal
  • Serve the food in a more contemporary way

The answer might lie in dividing the marketing program into three components that would serve as the foundation for an annual menu development and communications plan. Something like:

  • Better Burgers (to capitalize on the trend toward gourmet burgers and return to the foundation of the business)
  • Value
  • Innovation

McDonald's has a long road ahead starting with clean bathrooms and ending with appetizing restaurants and menu innovation. I would bet an 18 to 24-month road.

 

 

 


Big Lou Can Get You Insurance Too

You have to love big Lou.

He has two ex-wives.

High blood pressure.

And cholesterol levels off the charts.

"Just Like You"

But "Big Lou" was able to get life insurance, and he can do the same for you.

The campaign is raw, has little tact and hits the audience right in the middle of the target.

The Big Lou campaign is a smart creation of TermProvider.com.

Why I like the "Big Lou" campaign:

Smart Targeting: Men that have trouble getting life insurance due to some medical issue.  Well defined and different from the rest of the industry. They don't promise the lowest price, just the best pricing for guys with real problems.

Great Radio: I can't wait to hear what is going on with Big Lou today.  Is he now up to wife number 3?

Granted it is not for everyone, but what guy wouldn't like.... "Did you marry a trophy wife who wants a life insurance policy three times bigger than your last two mistakes? If so, we have insurance to meet all your needs. Call Big Lou to set up an appointment".

 

 

 


CVS Takes A Leap

I like what is going on with CVS (now CVSHealth). They are making some smart bold marketing moves (in addition to the strategic use of big data driven coupons and promotions etc.) in a category filled with larger and smaller well run competitors such as Walgreens.

Here's my take:

Brands require some type of consumer behavior related catalyst to grow. CVS-mission-2

The bigger the trend, the more urgency is felt by a slice of the population to take some type of corrective action in order to get with the program.

The quest for better health is one of these catalysts interpreted by consumers as, I'm aging physically and I want to slow it down as best I can.  

(In this case it is also the category benefit, so smart move to try and own it before someone else does.)

This sparked a wave of related trends such as wanting to know the source of our food, coconut water, watermelon water, water that is water and many others.

Chipotle gets it. Zoes Kitchen gets it. Hain Celestial and White Wave gets it. (note to self: I have to pick up a few shares of each of these stocks)

Now CVS gets it with a leap on the bandwagon.

First the name change - from CVS Caremark to CVS Health.  Sounds clear to me.

Next the new tag-line - Health is everything.

Since actions speak louder than words, they dropped cigarettes from each store. Brave move since it has to cost some $$$.

 

Cvs-health

Now it's time to market the change starting with a big outdoor splash in Manhattan's Bryant Park.

The CVS brand now has the positive mo'

Looking forward to see what they do with it.

Cvs-health-park

Part of the CVSHealth Bryant Park Takeover

Cvs-street-team

CVS Street Team Handing Out Red Heart Shaped Lollipops and Cigarette Boxes Filled with Candles for the 10 Years You Add Back to Your Life When you Quit Smoking

CVShealth-handouts

Park Handouts by the Guerrilla Marketing Team

Walgreen's it is your move.


Affiliate Summit Turns A Corner

Seth Godin recently had a post on finding your peer group. According to Seth  "it's the group of people who will push you in exchange for being pushed, who will raise the bar and tell you the truth. They are not in your business, but they're in your shoes. Finding a peer group and working with them, intentionally and on a regular schedule, might be the single biggest boost your career can experience."

Fast forward to Affiliate Summit East 2014, the sold out conference that attracted over 4,000 affiliate and performance marketers in NYC earlier this week. Think of it as a conference with 4,000 entrepreneurs, each promoting an on-line business that has similarities to your own, but that does not directly compete with what you do.

Summit had a perfect mix of large group presentations, small round-tables and networking opportunities.  Even better, everyone I met was an actual practitioner instead of the usual crowd of marketers who only know how to manage other marketers who then hire people to actually implement and measure something.  Spending even 5 minutes with experts like Sugar Rae on SEO, John Chow on blogging, Vinny O'hare for everything and Jeremy Palmer on Wordpress was worth the price of admission.

Affiliate Summit is also a barameter for the increasing complexity of the marketing industry. Every session demonstrated the need to be a subject matter expert in order to extract the full value out of the marketing channel.  The panel on Facebook moderated by Nathan Smith from Zynali Marketing Solutions and that featured  Ashley Coombe from Prosperent and Shannon Vogel from The Be Scene, drove home the point. They described the minute by minute changes going on at Facebook, with some moments of "I didn't know you could do that" discovery among the panelists themselves.

Kudos to Missy Ward and Shawn Collins for staging yet another outstanding event.