Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mortgage technology firm focuses on emotional messaging

I am proud to say our work for Advectis Inc. has once again been featured in BtoB magazine. First spotlighted in March of this year, the publication has again featured us and our work in the BtoB Special Issue "Vertical Insight: 2006 Guide to Marketing to Vertical Industries," which just came out this week.

From: BtoB magazine

Mortgage technology firm focuses on emotional messaging

Three years ago, Alpharetta, Ga.-based Advectis Inc., teamed up with its integrated marketing agency, nearby Atlanta-based Arketi Group, to introduce its paperless mortgage technology to the banking industry. The software, dubbed BlitzDocs Collaboration Suite, provides loan lenders and originators access to an online document network in which users can submit, organize, share and archive loan documents.

"The goal was for Advectis to claim market leadership for all mortgage participants," said Sami Jajeh, principal at Arketi Group.

However, at the time of launch, the company faced two major obstacles. "First, there was a lot of marketing spin about 'e-mortgages,' and our target audiences were confused about what was real, what was not and what the various solutions actually did," Jajeh said. "Second, during this period, the audience dealt with a refinancing boom followed by a refi bust that made it difficult for us to engage very preoccupied senior management teams."

To read the full article visit:

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New ABM study shows how buyers use business media

This is some information that is does support advertising...really support getting face-to-face.

New ABM study shows how buyers use business media
By Matthew Schwartz
Jun 27, 2006

New York—Nearly six in 10 executives surveyed say an advertisement in a b-to-b magazine prompted them to purchase or recommend the purchase of a product or service, according to new research released Wednesday by American Business Media.

ABM commissioned Harris Interactive to research how media “end-users” (readers, event attendees and online participants) use business media in their decision-making. Harris conducted phone surveys from February to April. The study garnered 588 responses from executives in the 21 advertising categories tracked by the Business Information Network, including banking, financial and insurance, computing, software and telecommunications, business advertising and marketing, and health care.

According to the study, b-to-b trade shows play a prominent role in driving executives to seek additional information either on a company’s Web site (77%), by talking to a sales rep (73%) or calling a toll-free number (40%).

To read move visit BtoB Online

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Behind the Scenes in the Blogosphere

I have not read this report from The Center for Marketing Research at University of Mass./Dartmouth but am excited by it...just released, Behind the Scenes in the Blogosphere: Advice From Established Bloggers is a detailed study of over seventy company weblogs.

Should be packed full of great and worst-of-class examples and more!

U.S. Companies To Spend 46% More On Marketing

Maybe I like to read headlines like this because I own a firm...but regardless I have to say that this appears to be a good thing for all types of marketers. In addition to the optimistic Marketing Index number the marketing spending indices release are also very interesting. Moving media dollars online continues to be a trend -- one we don't think will slow anytime soon.

Blackfriars Communications sets marketing index at 146 for Q2
Jun 20, 2006

Blackfriars Communications announced that its Blackfriars Marketing Index has been set at 146 for the second quarter. The index reading means that U.S. companies expect to spend 46% more on marketing in the second quarter than they did in an average quarter in 2005.

Blackfriars also released its marketing category indices for 12 categories of marketing spending.
The indices show that more media dollars are moving to online advertising, which grew to 15% of overall marketing spending during the first quarter. Spending on traditional advertising made up 19% of marketing budgets during the first quarter....


Podcasting for Internal Communications...Smart!

Kudos to National Semiconductor for this move it is a great way to improve internal communications, take advantage of a new media channel and at the end of the day even reduce costs. We have long been a fan of podcasting for internal and channel communications efforts.

In today's communications world podcasts don't have to be like a "Bill and Ted Adventure" radio show...they can be very professional and deliver real content in a way that will encourage the recipent to want to act.

Nice job National Semiconductor!


National Semiconductor gives all employees iPods as comms tool

SANTA CLARA, CA: National Semiconductor makes analog products, such as amplifiers, display drivers, and power-management circuits. However, its new approach to internal communications is uniquely digital: The company is giving 30-gigabyte video iPods to all of its 8,500 employees worldwide to deliver training and communications programs.

Jeff Weir, director of worldwide PR for National, said podcasts will include five-to-ten minute video and audio segments of such content as CEO messages to employees worldwide, video training modules, and new product announcements "that people can conveniently download and watch."

"Most companies do sales training before product launches," he added. "The big difference is that if you are reading an e-mail, the experience is very passive and static."

Marketing Executive Say They Pay to Play...

This is an interesting report. I have to say I have not seen a dramatic increase in the pay to play world lately...maybe it's our client mix but mostly media outlets (even in the BtoB space) a good about church and state.

We are not sure how the question was asked (i.e. would the executive be tempted to answer "yes" because they are paying a PR firm to secure media coverage?). We find this response very high...but have to take it at face value.


PR survey indicates editorial credibility in tatters
Jun 15, 2006

New York—In the latest blow to editorial credibility and the crumbling of the wall between church and state, nearly half of senior marketing executives (48.9%) said they have paid for an editorial or broadcast news placement, according to a PRWeek/Manning Selvage & Lee survey conducted by Millward Brown.

According to the survey, 24% of senior marketing executives said their companies had paid for an editorial placement; 9% said their companies had paid for a broadcast placement; and 15.8% said their companies had paid for both. Additionally, 45.6% of all respondents who indicated their companies had never paid for a placement said they would consider it in the future.

"The question of editorial credibility is as critical for the future of the PR profession as it is for consumers and the media," said Mark Hass, CEO of MS&L, in a statement. "If people with big marketing budgets think they can buy a story, it rubs against the very premise of earned media: the notion that there is an objective brain filtering the information. The bottom line is that no reputable marketer should pay for a news placement. It must be earned."

The annual survey, now in its fourth year, polled 266 U.S. chief marketing officers, marketing VPs and marketing directors.

—Carol Krol

Friday, June 09, 2006

Can't live without my mobile

Can't live without my mobile
The Age 06/08/2006
Author: Louisa Hearn

If you value your mobile phone above your wallet, credit card or even your wedding ring, you may not be alone in your preferences according to a new international study.

One in five survey respondents, who were aged between 18-35, said their phone had become so indispensable they would be more upset about losing it than any of the personal items listed above.

According to Nokia, which commissioned the study, the findings indicate that mobile devices are not only serving as address books and calendars but are also rapidly replacing the gadgets we rely on in everyday life.

About thee-quarters of the 5,500 respondents interviewed admitted they used the device both as their alarm clock and their main watch or clock, and almost one in two people said they used their mobile device as their main camera.

India was hailed as the most prolific mobile photographic nation with 68 per cent of respondants using their phone to take the majority of their photographs.

When it comes to the music download market dominated by Apple's iPod music player, 67 per cent of respondents said they expected a music-enabled mobile to replace their current digital music player in the future. Almost half of the respondents also wanted their printer, PC, stereo, TV and mobile to be interconnected, and in Saudi Arabia 72 per cent wanted their refrigerator included in that network.

Tapio Hedman, senior vice president of multimedia marketing at Nokia, said: "The results strongly demonstrate that people are buying into the idea of convergence. They really do want one device that does it all, from taking quality images, to storing their music collections and operating a digitally connected home."

Mobile phones are increasingly being marketed as an extension of the user's personality, and there have even been recent reports of people asking to be buried with their mobile phones alongside other personal possessions. But with mobile phone market penetration hitting new highs in many countries, handset makers are now looking to high-end consumers with money to burn on high-end functionality and designs.

Last week LG launched a brand new handset called "Chocolate" for the top end of the market. Retailing at $799, the sleek, black handset features a high-tech touch-keypad and is the company's first effort in the luxury phone segment.

Not to be outdone, Motorola will launch its RAZR V3i Dolce & Gabbana in Australia later this month. In its latest collaboration with the Italian designers, the phone will be available in either gold or silver, and will retail at $899.

Tapping into the digital music explosion comes the latest in Nokia's Nseries multimedia range of phones, also due out this month. With a price tag of $1199, the Nokia N91 has been optimised for mobile music with a 4GB hard drive to store 3000 tracks, a stereo headset jack, wireless LAN support, dedicated music keys, and PC synchronisation to the Windows Media Player.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Emails Offering One Service Bring Higher Conversions

This research from Marketing Experiments is very useful. Tempted to pack a ton of "special offers" in your next email campaign? You'll think twice after reading this...

Source: The Marketing Experiments Journal

Marketing Experiments reports that emails offering one service compared to emails offering a choice of services bring higher conversions.

The outcome? The email that was focused on just one service, from beginning to end, significantly outperformed the email which tried to describe and pre-sell four separate services.

Our findings are not entirely surprising. Most of us already know that a website landing page which focuses on a single product or service will almost always do better than a similar page which tries to sell multiple products or services.

To read the full article visit:

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Cell Phone Challenge to Survey Research

Below are some excerpts an article release by the Pew Research Center regarding how mobile phones might be changing the art of polling...some nice findings (and I think Pew hijacked a few questions from a late 2005 survey we did at Arketi for our friends at Sprint...we will take that as a compliment!)

A new survey from the Pew Research Center, shows that not only are many Americans now relying solely on their mobile phones for telephone service, many more are considering giving up their landline phones. As the report says, "This trend presents a challenge to public opinion polling, which typically relies on a random sample of the population of landline subscribers."

The Pew researchers concluded that "including cell-only respondents with those interviewed from a standard landline sample, and weighting the resulting combined sample to the full US public demographically, changes the overall results of the poll by no more than one percentage point on any of nine key political questions included in the study."

For more detailed findings from the Pew Research Center study, click here.