Archive for March, 2011

AdWords Location Targeting Got More Advanced

March 25th, 2011

If you have an AdWords campaign, most likely you have targeted your ads to specific geographic locations, be it by country, state, city, or region. Well now you have even more control over who sees your ads. This week Google added two new targeting methods: (1) targeting by physical location and (2) excluding by physical location and search intent.

How the enhanced AdWords location targeting works

Targeting using physical location. If you own a florist in New York City, with the location targeting available prior to this week, you had to pick a target location. You probably picked New York City. Your ads would be shown to people in New York City as well as people who included the term New York City and your keywords in their search query. Now you can target New York City using physical location only. This will limit viewers of your ads to those in the New York City area who use keywords in your campaign in their search query. BUT keep in mind this will also prevent people outside of New York City searching for “new york city florist” from seeing your ad – even if this is one of your keywords.

Excluding by physical location and search intent. Let’s again say you are a New York City florist and you are not affiliated with FTD. You have agreements with florists in some additional states, but not others. You don’t want to limit your ads to New York City, but you don’t want them to show throughout the entire country. You can now exclude what states you “don’t” want your ads to be shown in.

If the previous AdWords location targeting had been limiting your marketing campaigns, try these new options.

Twitter Updates On Bing News

March 24th, 2011

One more reason to keep on tweeting. Bing just added tweets on its news search results pages. Now when you conduct searches on Bing News, you will see realtime Twitter updates related to your search query.

Below is a recent search for the term “exercise program”:
Twitter Updates on Bing News

Notice the tweets on the bottom right under Public updates for exercise program. They are a continuous stream. You can pause and restart them. You can also click through to the direct Twitter page and any links inside the tweet. If you click on More updates under the stream, you will be directed to additional search results on Bing’s Social Search, which you can filter for just Twitter, Facebook or All.

So keep up with those tweets!

Marketing Training for Success

March 9th, 2011

Any marketer can tell you that retention is just as important to a business as performance management. While the latter focuses on employee satisfaction, the former focuses on the means to increase the sales and customer satisfaction. The list of those means starts at the marketing training plan. The employees of an insurance company, those of a land-based casino or those of a transportation company… they all need to be trained to build the skills they then have to use in the best interest of the business they are part of.

Identifying the marketing training needs

Every good marketing training plan starts with the proper identification of the marketing training needs. Let’s assume you own one of the businesses mentioned above. Best case scenario is you own a casino. You may have recruited new staff that have very little experience in gambling or the performance levels of your staff may have dropped for some reason. Of course, unless those reasons are reasons you cannot control, you can avoid the latter by rewarding your employees. Casinos often reward their customers for their choice by offering them attractive casino bonuses, for instance, so there is no reason why the employees should not have their own reward system too. If you want to get an idea of just how attractive those casino bonuses can be, you can do it here. Anyway, a reward system will prevent your employees from feeling tempted to steal from you. Also, you may need to keep your staff up-to-date on the regulatory modifications, which are quite common in the casino industry.

Identifying the business objectives

Marketing training is only effective if it focuses on a business achieving its goals. The marketing budget may be limited, in which case priorities need to be set. Some businesses have to focus on sales, while others have to focus on their employees. If you own a casino, you will fit in the second category. You need to improve your employees’ skills, which vary from their attitude toward the customers to their contribution to the casino making profit despite the incentives they are offered like casino bonuses or progressive jackpots.
As mentioned just now, a marketing training plan is only effective if it helps a business obtain results. Of course, these should be measurable or establish performance standards. For instance, the employees may be given targets to achieve. In case those targets are not achieved, their rewards are off the table. It should be noted that the business outcomes and the training plan are very much related in terms of value. However, your training plan may serve to motivate your employees to achieve performance rather than feel drawn to the casino bonuses and the other piles of cash they are surrounded by, but the costs usually involve more.

Identifying the marketing training techniques

Finally, you may be aware of the business goals and outcomes, but as a business owner, you have to make sure you find the best training methods. Of course, your employees will learn a great deal doing their actual work, but you can also try workshops, conferences or seminars. This will make your training more effective. In the end, whether there is a casino involved or some other business, it all comes down to acknowledging the value of training. This is how performance is boosted. And then, finally, you have training evaluation to consider, which leads the way to the identification of new opportunities and needs.