Friday, July 16, 2010

The Radio industry and Online Radio - Part 2

In the previous article (The Future of the Radio Industry) we mentioned that the radio industry, with the arrival of the Internet will go through a process of Amazonization, and as a matter of fact, this process has already started but… What needs to happen to the radio industry so that Online radio completely takes over terrestrial radio and changes the game for good?

My simple answer is: Widespread broadband Internet Connection on cars

Internet Radio already has overtaken much of terrestrial radio market in offices and houses. According to eMarketer, the trend is clear:

Sure you can buy an Radio with Internet connection, but the reality is that we use a PC or a Lap Top to connect to Internet, and where we have a computer available we’ll have Internet Radio available. But what about your car? You usually don’t have a computer running on your car, and if you had it, you can’t use it while driving. So far, there’s no widespread technology that connects cars to Internet, either through a device that comes with the car or through a cell phone, plugin antenna, etc.

The answer is until cars come with standard equipment to connect its traditional radio to Internet, and this hasn’t happened yet. In urban areas of developed countries, nobody listens to radio at home anymore; the only place where it still holds is on cars.

Of course, Car audio equipment with Internet connection will be as common in 5 – 10 years as GPS’s are today. When this happens, that’s the moment that the radio industry will be changed for good. That’s the moment when a little town radio station will compete against the next “Amazon’s” of radio, online radios that will only exist to continually learn from your music taste and give YOU exactly what you want to hear.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Future of the Radio industry and Online Radio

Everybody knows what happened to the Newspaper industry all over the world, and the trend seems more or less clear… but What about radio? How the local/regional radios will be affected by the Internet? Will it be a positive or a negative effect?

Let’s start by taking a look back at what has happened to the Newspaper Industry, which is a vivid example of what’s gonna happen with Radio. The effect of the Internet on the Newspaper industry came from many directions:

1. Lower costs of content distribution

2. Lower prices (or free) to access content

3. Increased competition from smaller players. Nowadays everybody is a content/news generator (Social News Sites, Bloggers, Independent Journalists, etc)

4. Consumers demand more “Multi-media” (Text, Audio, Video) content... that obviously this can’t be delivered by the print edition

My take is that something very similar will start to happen in the near future (5-10 years) in the Radio Industry. Let’s take a look at theses aspects one by one.

Cost of Distribution

Traditional or terrestrial radios have had to invest considerable amounts of money in infrastructure, mainly lots of big and costly antennas spread geographically so your signal can reach the maximum number of listeners. With an Internet Radio the only infrastructure cost is a Server. Server capacity is usually scalable with demand, and now with cloud computing it’s even consumed on demand. On the other hand, the cost of running a server to reach a worldwide audience is negligible compared even with the cost of running a small local radio FM Network. What this means is a change of the game in the radio industry. 20 years ago, if you wanted to compete with a local radio, you had to physically invest in local infrastructure. Now that’s not the case anymore. A local radio Jazz Specialized radio will have to compete with Jazz Radios from all over the world.

Lower prices (or free) access to content

Radio content has always been free to the end user, so this is a big difference regarding content consumption between Radio and Newspaper. In this sense, the radio industry will not have to make such a big adjustment and won’t suffer the trauma that the newspaper is suffering now. Access to content (from the user’s perspective) is free in both traditional and online radio. One less thing to worry for Radio Broadcasters…

Increased competition from smaller players

Think of this in a similar way to what happened to Broadcast TV vs. Cable TV. 30 years ago, if you wanted to see a program related to “Fishing”, probably you had to wait until Saturdays at 6:00am when there was a one hour program on the subject. With Cable TV, all of a sudden you have a “Fishing Channel” running 24/7. With radio, it’s happening more or less the same. Traditional radios have a 2 hour weekly program on 80’s rock, a Jazz Special on Sundays, classical music on Saturdays, etc. Now with online radio your possibilities just got infinite. You can find a French Radio specialized in Classical Music, playing only Mozart 24/7, or a Chicago Blues Radio, a Salsa Radio, Music from Brazil… you name it. The big change is that local terrestrial radios, instead of having a couple of small local competitors, will have thousands of competitors of different sizes spread globally. How will I (Small Local Radio) attract listeners to my Saturday Jazz Special if my audience can get thousand of specialized Jazz radios from all over the world, any day at any time?

As tastes become more specialized, local radios will be unable to compete against global players with more resources and better technology. There will be a huge opportunity for Ad Networks (such as AdSense and the likes) to localize and segment radio advertising in this new setting. The Radio industry will go through a process of “Amazonization”, meaning long process of personalization, recommendations, custom made suggestions, etc. As a matter of fact, although still incipient, this trend of “Amazonization” of the radio industry has already started with online radios such as and

But… isn’t that already happening? Aren’t already online radios where you can personalize your tastes according to the kind of music you like (Jazz, Trance, Salsa, etc), the mood you’re in a particular moment (melancholic, excited, relaxed, etc) even music according to the colors you prefer or what your friends listen? Yes, all of that exists today but the big advertising budgets haven’t moved here yet. Local traditional radio broadcasters with their traditional business model still exist… The question is until when? …

Which will be the triggers for this change? More or less when will it happen? I’ll try to answer these and other questions in Part Two of The future of the Radio Industry.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Easy steps to find great keywords without Keyword Tools

Most people use a keyword suggestion tool when they try to find new keywords for their campaigns. While keyword suggestion tools are good, they should not be the first step in your keyword research activities.

Before you use a keyword suggestion tool, ask yourself the following questions:

    keyword research
  1. What problems can your product or your service solve?
  2. Which questions do potential customers ask?
  3. Can you offer unusual solutions?
  4. Which products and services do you offer?

As you can see, the products and services that you offer are the least important. A person with a headache might not now that the Shiatsu that you offer will help them. They even might now know what Shiatsu is and if they know it, they might not be able to spell it properly. The same applies to all other services and industries.

For that reason, it is important that you focus on the first three points before using your products or services in the keywords.

1. What problems can your product or service solve?

In this example, the problem that your product or service can solve is a headache. Create a list of words that describe the problem:

headache, racking headache, migraine, vicious headache, splitting headache, megrim, constant headache, etc.

2. Which questions do potential customers ask?

People type different things in Google's search box when they try to find a solution to their problem. Here are some real queries that have been done on Google (use IBP's keyword suggestion tool to find keywords that are searched by real web surfers):

  • why does my head hurt
  • why does my head hurt when I cough
  • how to get rid of migraines without medication
  • how to get rid of migraines when pregnant
  • why can't i concentrate on anything
  • why am i so tired
  • etc.

The problem that your product solves creates certain circumstances (fatigue, temper, concentration problems). Address these circumstances in your keyword phrases.

The problem can also be connected to another factor (for example migraine and pregnancy). Create keyword phrases that are related to these factors.

3. Can you offer unusual solutions?

Most people will take a pill when they have a headache. In this example, you offer a solution that many people don't know about (Shiatsu). The following phrases would work for you:

  • get rid of migraines without medication
  • get rid of headache without pills

The unusual solutions that you offer can also be used in your AdWords ad copy and on your web pages. For example, you might create web pages around the following topics:

  • How to get rid of headaches without using Aspirin
  • An unusual way of healing migraine without medication
  • etc.

4. Which products or services do you offer?

Of course, you should also use the names of the products and services that you offer in your ads and SEO campaigns. In this example, this would be:

shiatsu, shiatsu massage, etc.

When you try to find new keywords, tell a short story that describes the problem and the solution: "A person has a racking headache. The person cannot concentrate because of that headache and the person is tired. Instead of taking a pill, there can be other solutions. That solution is my Shiatsu service."

By doing this, you'll find many keywords around which you can create new web pages and PPC ads. Of course, you can also combine this method with keyword suggestion tools.

"Copyright - Web site promotion software"

MBA Internet Marketing Manager

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Viral Marketing Key Success Factors

Viral Marketing Key Success Factors

(This article is the third part of a series of posts dedicated to Viral Marketing. You can find the previous two post here:

From Mass Marketing to Viral Marketing and The Viral Marketing Mindset)

After having a clear idea of where Viral Marketing stands today my main concern was to try to answer the following questions:

  • What elements are needed to create a succesfull Viral Marketing Campaign ?
  • What do we need to take into account when trying to make Viral Marketing Hit?

Before getting into detail, let’s analyze a bit what are the characteristics that differentiate Viral Marketing from other forms of Marketing.

Like Word of Mouth Marketing (one type of Viral Marketing), Viral Marketing campaigns are:

1. Very difficult to control: The outcome is less certain and controllable than with regular mass media campaigns. For example, if you launch a Radio campaign, you control in which radio shows you want to put your ad on; you know the size of the audience of each show and you have historical data on average responses to radio advertising. More or less the only uncertainty is how good will the Ad itself be and how the audience will react to it, but the marketer is in control of all the other variables. In Viral Marketing you don’t control the size of the audience you want to reach, the channels where it’ll be transmitted nor the message itself.

2. Cheaper (…If successful). That’s a big “If”… but if you manage to get a Hit, your cost per reaching your potential market, compared to what it would have cost you to reach the same amount of people by traditional means will be much much lower.

3. The message will be distorted along the way: Since you relay on others to spread your message, there’s a high risk that the original message will mutate and be transformed along the way. This is the price you have to pay for not being the one directly transmitting the marketing message.

Now that we have a clear picture of Viral Marketing, let’s go straight to the point and answer What elements are needed to create a successful Viral Marketing campaign? What do we need to take into account when trying to make Viral Marketing Hit? …

In my opinion, if you’re considering to invest in a Viral Marketing campaign this is what you should take into account to increase your chances of success

  1. Incentive system: Take your time to carefully design the incentive system of the campaign. This is where you have to invest more planning time. The simple question you have to answer Why on earth will someone pass my marketing message to someone else? And the answer should be 100% convincing. If the incentive it’s just fun, your message better be hilarious, otherwise people won’t pass it on considering the tons of messages a person receives a day. If your incentive is a sample, a lottery, discount or money, better be very clear on the procedures and as simple as possible.
  2. Choose carefully your channel: Nowadays the most probable outcome is that if you want to viralize a marketing message, it’ll be done through multiple channels. People choose their own channels and they can choose Twitter, Blogs, Social Bookms, Social Networks, e-mailing, YouTube, etc. Nevertheless, you get to choose the original or preferred channel according to your marketing objectives. It’s not the same to base your campaign on an e-mail than on Twitter. Another important point is that your channel has to be closely linked with the incentive system you put in place. Example: If you have a Viral Campaign based on a YouTube video… How will you incentivize people for watching the video? How will you motivate people to share your video with their friends?
  3. Opinion leaders: If the incentive system is what determines the total audience you might reach, Opinion Leaders determine the Speed at which your message will be spread. You can use Celebrities, influential blogger/twitterers, reputed journalist, or opinion leaders in your target segment to spread your message much faster than if you spread it only through regular people.
  4. Monitor and take action along the way: We mentioned above that one of the key characteristics of Viral Marketing is very difficult to control. Most people interpret this as if you had no control at all over your campaign and can’t do nothing once your campaign is launched. That’s completely wrong. The risk of your campaign going the wrong way is high and that’s exactly the reason why you should monitor closely what’s going on. This will give you time to correct things before they get out of control, clarify points of your message that are confusing, respond directly to your market or… if it’s needed cutting off the campaign.

I’m sure there might be many more other important factors for a successful Viral Marketing campaing… I’d love to hear them. Comments are open !

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Viral Marketing Mindset

(You can find the introduction to this article, in my
previous post From Mass Marketing to Viral Marketing)

Coming from more than 60 years of Mass Marketing, the mindset of a marketer has to make a big change from…

  • Designing ONE marketing message that, through mass media, will reach directly as many target customers as possible (and lot’s of non targets as well…), trying to convince them of buying or doing something. Most of the times, these messages were intrusive and not relevant; they got in the middle of a content you were interested and you were somehow “forced” to see it.

…to something completely different that is…

  • Design one marketing message addressed directly to few people. Create an incentive system for the message to be passed on to other people (it can be that the message it’s just very funny, very interesting content, it can be money, etc). Design a message that can mutate and be changed by the users in the process of recommendation. And finally the most difficult part of all: The message will have to be extremely relevant for its audience, otherwise people won’t see it and won’t recommend it.

The change in the mindset of a marketeer is the first step required to make the leap from mass marketing to viral marketing, but it's not the only thing needed. If we get into a campaign level, there are some tactical issues that need to be taken into account. All this analysis and the realization that the way marketing is done has changed for good, led me to the following questions:

  • What elements are needed to create a successful Viral Marketing campaign?
  • What do we need to take into account when trying to make Viral Marketing Hit?

I’ll discuss in part three of this series of posts dedicated to Viral Marketing: Viral Marketing Key Success Factors.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

From Mass Marketing to Viral Marketing

From Mass Marketing to Viral Marketing

The digital age has given us the tools to change the way we market products. But although the Internet and the huge growth of digital devices has been around now for 10-15 years, most marketers haven’t really began to understand its full potential. Why?...

50-100 years of mass marketing inertia is the answer.

Let’s take a closer look…

Viral marketing
has been with us for more than 90 years. In the 20’s, although it later became illegal, the Ponzi Scheme was one of the first amazing examples of how successful a Viral Marketing campaign can get. With the arrival of mass media advertising (Radio in the 20’s – 30’s and TV in the 50’s – 60’s), viral marketing was left aside for a few decades but now in the digital era it has come again strongly. Internet and mobile devices speed up and facilitate enormously communications between people, creating a fertile ecosystem where the “Virus” of an intelligently designed marketing campaign can spread like never before. To get an idea of how fertile the terrain is for Viral Marketing campaigns, let’s take a look at some findings of an eMarketer Study on Viral Marketing:

  • 89% of US adults share content by e-mail
  • 25% share content daily
  • Only 5% of respondants would refuse to share content that contains a clear brand message

… And these data is from 2006 !! Before Twitter, Facebook and Social Media became popular !!

What this data is showing is that never before in the recent history of marketing, users were so eager to spread a marketing message, had so many tools available and at such low cost. This poses a great challenge to today’s marketers. We’re just starting to see the tip of the iceberg regarding Viral Marketing in the digital era. Even though online advertising has grown at consistently high rates (see how Online Advertising has overtaken TV advertising in UK) most of it is still mass marketing. Most marketers only shift budgets from TV or Radio to massive online advertising campaigns but don’t really take advantage of all the new features and possibilities this new media has. After many decades of marketers specialized in mass media channels (Newspapers, TV, Radio, etc), it’s gonna take some time, and probably require a generational change until we see Top Brands with regular viral campaigns, big budgets assigned to Viral Marketing and really specialized professionals in this field.

This is the first of a series of three posts dedicated to Viral Marketing. In the next post, we’ll take look at the Viral Marketing Mindset.

Copyright MBA Internet Marketing Manager