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Online Advertising Strategy Primer (Part 3 of 9)

October 24, 2008

A casual observer of online advertising would probably conclude that it is a tactical medium with banners, pop-ups, promotional email, and brief text search ads. Our analysis of many success stories and research studies, however, has concluded that without a clear strategy (usually linked to business strategy), online advertising has weak outcomes.

Every major success story started with clear business objectives, which were tied clearly to marketing strategy that included online advertising, and used a relevant mix of online and offline advertising. Even in cases where online advertising was the primary medium, a clearly defined strategy was the primary driver of success.

This post elaborates on the key strategic objectives for which online advertising is well suited to deliver positive results. These span the full spectrum of business goals: lead generation, customer acquisition, branding, sales, and growth strategies (brand extensions, new product introductions), and customer loyalty.

Generate Leads and Acquire Customers

We begin with one of the most widely employed strategies for online advertising—generating leads or building lists of prospects. Sometimes the execution is straightforward, but the best stories we encountered had a creative insight that enhanced the advertising’s overall effectiveness.

· Partnering for Qualified Leads

· Focus on Life Events

· Generate Excitement and Word of Mouth

Generate Brand Preference to Stimulate Sales

When marketing strategies have a branding component—such as raising awareness, enhancing knowledge of the brand, or increasing purchase intention, for example—online advertising alone, or in combination with traditional media, can be very effective. In the series of cases to follow, we take you through examples where marketers achieved branding goals using predominately online campaigns, and several that used mass media/new media combinations. In these latter cases, the crucial matter of budget allocation comes into play, which provides us with insights into one of the thorniest questions marketers grapple with today.

  • · Engage the Core Audience
  • · Co-create a Brand Story
  • · Educate Future Customers to Build Long-Term Brand Preference
  • · Generate Interest in a New Brand Line Extension
  • · Generate Brand Sales with Increased Online Spending

Brand Growth, Rewards, and Loyalty

  • · Leverage Integrated Multichannel Communications to Launch a Line Extension
  • Engage Consumers in Launching a New Product
  • · Stimulate Trial through Online Coupons and Sampling
  • · Provide Rewards That Promote Product Usage
  • · Create Emotional Engagement to Promote Loyalty
  • · The Power of Convenience—Simplify Reordering to Build Repurchase
  • · Build a Loyal Community of Brand Customers
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