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The convergence of rare disease, digital communications, and pharmaceutical marketing communications

From Big Lights to Websites

Posted by | 4:08pm on Friday, March 13, 2009
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online is the ideal medium for promoting your brand. 

Stacy Busking, Account Manager at Siren Interactive, contributes this post:

Like most people looking back on the evolution of their professional career, I had no idea that one day I would be championing my clients to do advertising, excuse me, e-marketing… on something called the Internet!? Like most industry-mates born before the 1980s, I fell in love with the world of advertising while becoming infatuated with the sea of images on billboards, the traditional type, in Times Square.

Of course, I started my career pushing paper, literally and figuratively, but now that I have committed myself to eMarketing, the game has changed for both me and my clients.  Now that I’m past being intimidated by it, online is the ideal medium for promoting your brand. As an example, allow me to list a few things that are similar across all advertising initiatives.  First, I will tell you how it was in the traditional environment from my perspective, and secondly, how it is different and better when doing it online.

1. Audience Reach

  • The Traditional Way: Design ads that are visually appealing to your target, check with your research guru to get the stats on where many of them are spending their time — what magazine, which highway — and blast your brand message the optimal three times and see what sticks. If it doesn’t work, you still pay for the ad space.
  • The e-Way: Optimize the back–end coding of your website, utilize online metrics tools to see exactly which terms people are searching for online, decide which are most relevant for connecting your audience with your offerings, set up a campaign and let them come to you.  You only pay if your ad is getting clicked on, and your budget for clicks can be as low or as high as you’d like.

2. Calls-to-Action

  • The Traditional Way: Tell the audience where and how to get your product.  Then, do a quarterly check-in and see how sales are doing.
  • The e-Way: Depending on the goals of the site, funnels are created to implicitly suggest user direction, or next steps (order materials, request information, download PDF, watch video, purchase product), also known as User Paths. Unlike print or broadcast, a website is dynamic so updates can be made relatively quickly.  Therefore, if upon review of metrics you see that the user path is not being utilized, it can be rethought and updated rather quickly.

3. Measurement

  • The Traditional Way:  Advertisers have become savvier over the last few decades with direct marketing and ad materials have become more and more ‘trackable’ — codes were put on business reply cards, unique 800 numbers were added to the display ad or TV commercial, and so on.  Ultimately, if the target was taking action, the advertiser could identify which publication prompted the action, which network channel they were watching at what time of day when they decided to inquire or order.  The key was that the target MUST take action to be tracked.
  • The e-Way: Direct marketing paved the way for the thinking around how to track results of a particular campaign.  The difference with online is that the advertiser can measure, view and track what the user is doing even if the user is NOT taking action (ordering, requesting information, etc).  The benefit of this is that an e-marketer can not only see when they are being successful, but he/she can also see where the initiative is not being successful and can respond accordingly.

There are a number of additional benefits to going online with a brand that I won’t be expounding on in this post. Ultimately, I simply wanted to share with you my reasons for feeling proud and lucky to be involved with the e-Marketing wave that IS the future.

(Image courtesy of heymynameispaul via Flickr)

About Stacy Busking-O'Malley

Stacy has been helping to build client brands with her digital expertise for more than 7 years. As an Account Director, Stacy leads strategy development, as well as the day-to-day management of clients’ interactive programs.

View other posts from Stacy

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