Sean Carton’s ClickZ article, “Is The End Near?” made me a little queasy about buying Internet stocks. But like Sean, I don’t think the sky’s about to fall. What’s more interesting is Sean’s prediction that 1999 will be the shakeout year.
We all know the industry needs better accountability, and clients are screaming for ROI. Sean tells us to be prepared in 10 key areas. The first is to develop new ad models, to reach beyond the proverbial banner. Like what?
What follows are some new beyond the banner solutions that fit Sean’s quest for “new ad models.” Specifically, two innovative techniques: Desktop marketing tools and low-bandwidth rich media.
The Next Generation Email
The new generation of direct marketing is opt-in email, which is evolving to a new level on the web. This is because e-commerce is exploding, and both new and existing retailers with web sites are searching for advertising solutions and cross-promotional vehicles that allow them to communicate more effectively with customers. The retailers need to create brand awareness, generate leads, sell products and services, and build one-to-one relationships. Obviously, this can’t be done with banner ads alone.
The next-generation email is different from the despised Spam of yesteryear. We’ve got interactive, multimedia marketing tools that provide powerful database-driven tracking and personalization opportunities. There is a new way for companies to reach out to their target audiences, and in so doing, create and nurture personalized customer relationships.
There are a number of products and tools that can further email marketing, including those produced by AdTools and Media Synergy.
(As you read through this column, I recommend that you download the files. There’s no better way to describe a desktop marketing tool than to experience it first hand — see one in action for instant comprehension. Note: Because Windows and browser technologies have their limitations, not all will work on a Mac sorry.)
Animated Messages And Screen Savers
MessageMates are whimsical .exe files that attach to email or can be sent to friends and associates from a web site. Marketers use MessageMates as a traffic building tool, whereby a company purchases banner click-throughs by sponsoring a MessageMate. They are fun and provide more interaction than the traditional banner campaign.
MessageMates average over 200,000+ downloads a day. Below is a sampling of downloads from the MessageMates catalog. Or sample some at http://www.messagemates.com and note the sponsor’s banner at the end of the animation.
If your company already has a large and loyal audience, you can place a MessageMate on your own site. This allows your daily traffic to “spread the word” by sending your customized Splash Screen MessageMate to their friends, which will bring the friends to your site.
(Click on the hyperlink below to instantly download the files.) Sample of generic customized splash screen MessageMates: http://www.adtoolsinc.com/download/magic.exe
What’s more, marketers can also customize corporate MessageMates for specific clients. Check this one out.
Sample of corporate customized MessageMates:
Multimedia Interactive Brochures
IceNine can best be described as a multimedia interactive brochure, because they convey more information than a MessageMate. If you want to combine graphics and animation with text and informational materials, IceNine is a perfect product. In addition, IceNine’s can incorporate CD Quality Sound.
Samples of IceNine products:
(This was when eBay was $18 per share! How many of you are kicking yourselves?)
Emailable Desktop Marketing Tools
ScreenMates from AdTools are self-executable, windowless desktop animations that can be emailed to targeted consumers and/or downloaded by customers from your web site. This product requires no plug-ins or installation and is unique in that the ScreenMates can communicate with each other, encouraging return visits to the original download site.
Custom ScreenMates build brand awareness and help market or launch a product or a special event.
Samples of ScreenMates: Save both to desktop. Once activated, you can right click on the animation to exit.
The above desktop marketing tools are ideal for cross-promotions. But here’s more that you can do with email.
Direct Email Marketing Solutions
Media Synergy’s flo offers enterprise server software products and campaign-based outsourcing services. Flo solutions provide marketers with all the tools they need to create, execute and track large-scale, targeted email campaigns.
Flo is a complete, end-to-end direct email marketing solution that helps online marketers build customer relationships with email. The product’s robust tracking and reporting features provide a variety of metrics and traffic statistics, from test and delivery to response and purchase data.
Armed with this information, marketers use flo’s intuitive campaign management environment to refine their campaigns, filter their lists, and target their customers with messages that are personalized according to the user profile of each individual recipient. Flo also gives direct marketers the choice of text, HTML and rich media file formats to create and deliver their marketing messages, so they can choose the format best suited to their needs.
Another “new ad model” is @loha multimedia email. @loha messages combine interactivity, animation, graphics and sound, which are then compressed into small file sizes using flo’s proprietary compression and packaging technology. These rich media messages are ideally suited to circumstances where branding, awareness and increased response rates are the goals of a company’s communications.
Browser To Desktop Audience Development
As you can see, we are beginning to leave the browser, work on the desktop, and utilize email for audience development. All of the above desktop marketing tools provide excellent means for traveling beyond the banner and arming ourselves with new ad models for 1999. It’s time to get out of the pond and begin surfing the open oceans. Try something new!
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