Making Online Ads Suck Less in 8 Easy Steps

by John Young

This article originally appeared in Advertising Age

Banner ads suck. Or not. It depends on what you expect and how you go about delivering. No matter whether your objective is awareness, engagement or click-through, you can improve performance over time. This strategy takes rigor: in the forms of measurement and analytics, multidisciplinary collaboration (strategy, creative, analytics) and the long-view. Not to mention a client willing to embrace all three.

The idea sounds simple and it may seem obvious — build a library of banner ads — but none of the many Fortune 500 clients I’ve worked with have done it well. Most marketers are reactionary and opportunistic with a short-term vision. If it worked, good. If it didn’t, kill it and give me something new. But no one spends the time to really learn much or record what they did learn.

Read more . . .

10 Essential Rules for Brands in Social Media

By Taddy Hall, Advertising Age

This article was posted on Advertising Age 3-22-10

Taddy Hall

These days everyone seems to have advice about how to run your social media marketing program. There are so many tips floating around, it’s hard to know what truly essential strategies you should follow to effectively use social media to build your business. Questions abound: Do Facebook fans drive sales? Why should I fund forums for consumers to pillory my products, ridicule my service and tout the competition? And, whatever I decide to do, how I will I know if it’s working?

In the search for truth, sometimes social media is its own worst enemy. With a self-credentialed guru waiting at every click, finding actionable, fact-based insight is tricky.

So, in a modest attempt to bring a dose of sanity to this intellectual frat party, I’ve reined my impulse to lob more “personal picks” into the fray. Instead, I’ll follow the wisdom of an august data mining colleague to just “let the data speak.”

Our process was to query data from hundreds of our brand clients to see what testable truths emerged — and here’s what we found: 10 rules that hold up across category and time.

Read the entire article here.