Monday, July 5, 2010

Online Marcom Vehicle Characteristics

So you are the Marcom manager trying to understand which vehicle to spend money on?
Or the marcom analyst trying to understand what are the factors that drive each marcom vehicle? Then this post is for you.

Online Marcom Vehicles can be classified into 2 buckets
Bucket 1: Those that are influenced PRIMARILY by SPEND

Example: On a little known newssite there is a banner on the right (linking to electronics giant Siemens) and a banner on the top (linking to travel site
You are likely to get more visits from the sites you place banners on WHEN you spend more

High Impact Placements (HIPs)
High Impact Placements (HIPs) are banners on 'extremely high' traffic sites like
Below is banner for netflix on; NetFlix will get more visits by advertising on as compared to; However the costs of this are huge and by the time you go to, the netflix HIP is probably gone !!

Bucket 2: Those that are influenced PRIMARILY by ACTIONS

Email is a marcom vehicle heavily influenced by the time of drops. Usually a mining algorithm run in the backend scores prospects on their likelihood to respond/make a purchase - and targeted emails are sent to this sample
These are heavily influenced by the drops - If there are a large number of drops in a particular week say 'days of deals' visits from email would be huge

Emails cost nothing to send - the only cost involved is cost of making the creatives

Bucket 3: Those that are influenced PRIMARILY by OFFER ATTRACTIVENESS

Mr X has a popular blog on computers. Samsung wants to advertise there.
There are 25 other similar blogs by folks like Mr X :). Can a large company like Samsung actually go and negotiate rates/service adherence with all these 25 folks.

Now there are many other sites where Samsung would want to advertise. E.g: Places where folks get coupons e.g:,.....etc

In these cases, the companies would tie up with an affiliate network site like,, Linkshare, BeFree, CommissionJunction - one of these would be contracted by a giant like Samsung to handle affiliate marketing. These sites would receive a portion of the payment that the end users get.

Example: Say somebody used a coupon from and made a purchase from Samsung (ASsuming Samsung contracted Linkshare as its affiliate vendor and CouponMountain is one of the many that Linkshare engages) worth $150, out of the approximately 5-10% commission that couponmountain gets which would be between $7 and $15, a small portion would go to Linkshare.

Product Listings:
Product Listings are sites that carry your list of offers - pricing comparison sites.
Example is -> They have daily changing deals of many companies one below the other.

In deals2buy site, today, there are offers of both Samsung & canon - competitors - one below the other

In both Product Listings & Affiliates, the primary driver is "offer attractiveness" - it maybe features or maybe price

Bucket 4: Those driven primarily by PLACEMENT and CHOICE

Paid Search:
Google - "no evil" - for the user of the product - for the one that wants to see search results. But definitely not "no evil" for the advertiser. Google monetizes its wonderful search engine through advertisements.

Example: A search on "used cars" yields lot of results. However there are 2 portions marked in red, one above the search results and one on the right - called "sponsored links" -> this is an example of PAID SEARCH

The ones in the red have actually paid to be there. The ones that bid the most got on top and similarly the ones below.
If you are a seller of used cars like, your traffic from paid search is going to be determined by:
a) Placement: Where you were placed
b) Choice: What keyword you bid on

Example: might have been better for you to have bid on a keyword of suzuki used car versus ford used car in India

Bucket 5: Traditional Marcom Media

These include TV advertisements (No way to track effectiveness easily and I am dead against using traditional mass media for e-comm sites - does this and I hope somebody drives it to them :)

Also include catalogs, print media etc mailed to these folks.

No way to track effectiveness and also very expensive. I am against these

Bucket 6: New-age Social Media & Communities
These include the world of facebook, twitter, orkut......

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