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Vol. 4 , No. 23     June 7, 2005


In this Newsletter:

  1. Product Extensions: The Best Way to Extract the Full Value From Your Brand
  2. Five Ways to Improve Your Web Copy Immediately
  3. What Do Your Customers Really, Really Want?
  4. Does Search Engine Marketing Increase Profits for B2B Marketers? (Part 2 of 2)
  5. Staying Top of Mind (Without Being a Pain in the Neck)
  6. The Demise of the 4 Ps Has Been Greatly Exaggerated
  7. Marketing Challenge: Three Sure Ways to Reach Teens

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Premium Content

Devon DelVecchio and Daniel C. Smith
Product Extensions: The Best Way to Extract the Full Value From Your Brand

The Virgin brand name appears on compact disks, airplanes, online games, health and fitness clubs, and soft drinks. Why? Brand extensions facilitate new product introductions. Consumers are able to draw upon their experiences with the brand to imagine what the new product will be like.

For instance, if Virgin was to open a casino, people might imagine it to be loud, bright, and exciting—much like the products that are already affiliated with the brand.

Consistent with this expectation, research shows that brand extensions obtain greater introductory market share than do new brands. What's more—they do so with less marketing investment.

Get the full story.


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Jonathan Kranz
Five Ways to Improve Your Web Copy Immediately

In the literary world, "good writing" may be notoriously difficult to define. But on the Web, good copy has two clear, easily understood objectives: It elevates your search engine rankings, and it attracts qualified traffic and holds the attention of your prospects and customers.

On the Web, your words carry a lot of weight. Fortunately, you can build verbal muscle, fast.

Following are five tips you can apply right now (with a minimum of time or technical hassle) to dramatically improve the effectiveness of your Web site writing.

Get the full story.

Sherri Dorfman
What Do Your Customers Really, Really Want?

Most businesses these days are under pressure to differentiate their products and services to attract new business. Although customers can play an important role in helping companies define their differentiation, a surprising number of businesses decide to skip this important customer research and launch offerings based on what “we think our customers want.”

Companies risk building offerings that customers do not want to buy by bringing products and services to market without fully understanding what customer’s need, why they need it and how they need to purchase it.

How can companies remain aligned with customer needs?

Get the full story.


A Note to Readers

Going to Town with Content

The first panel of a triptych of MarketingProfs events unfolds next week, and I'm very much looking forward to meeting those of you there when we kick off the three-city tour in New York. (See the MarketingProfs Events page for more information.)

Each of us on the MarketingProfs management team will attend one or more of the events—because, as a group, we are looking forward to hearing your ideas, feedback and needs as we continue to evolve the Web site and its products. So, next week, I'll be in New York with my colleagues Roy Young ("Director of Big Ideas") and Shelley Ryan, who is our customer service diva and the event ninja.

The trio of June events features the very knowledgeable and always entertaining Gerry McGovern, who will be leading an intensive two-day "master class" on creating the best online content for your site. As Gerry says, "It is about understanding the most simple but profound thing about the Web: Words make the sale. Words deliver the service. Words build the brand."

I've attended a few of Gerry's workshops in the past, and one of the things he always asks his audience to do is to focus on the reader of the content.

As he writes in his newsletter this week, "In fact, in my experience, a large percentage of organization content is created without any real focus on who might read it, or why they might want to read it, or what they might do after they read it.

Too much content is created without a clear sense of its mission, Gerry says. "Web content has two primary objectives. The first is to communicate knowledge to the reader. The second is to make the reader more likely to act based on this knowledge."

In Gerry's view, the ultimate test of Web content is what the reader does after reading it. "Web content must get the reader to act in the way the writer intends," he writes. "Otherwise, it fails."

So the question is, "What do you want your readers to do after they read your content?"

Please be sure to say hello to me in New York!

Until next week,

Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer


Last Issue's Top 5

  1. The Essential Paid-Search Marketing Glossary
  2. Your Web Site Needs a Call to Action
  3. Case Study: How to Beat the Spam Filters
  4. Keywords: The Long and the Short of It
  5. Get Ready for Retail Theater
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  3. Direct Mail Offer - Dollar Off Vs. Percentage Off
  4. Resort Direct Marketing Outer Envelope Strategy
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Paul J. Bruemmer
Does Search Engine Marketing Increase Profits for B2B Marketers? (Part 2 of 2)

In part one of this article, we talked about the uniqueness of B2B marketing and the dominant role of search engines in the B2B buying process. So it goes without saying that good search engine visibility is an excellent way to boost profitability.

Now it's time to explore the return on investment, as well as the effectiveness and flexibility of search engine marketing, focusing on organic site optimization.

Get the full story.

John Doerr
Staying Top of Mind (Without Being a Pain in the Neck)

The client relationship built on a strong foundation of constant, varied, and sincere communication has less of a chance of being pushed aside when someone new comes along or happens to be the last one in the door.

Follow these five guidelines and the chances of your phone ringing the next time your client needs a service will be much greater.

Get the full story.


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Paul A. Barsch
The Demise of the 4 Ps Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

A recent book by a popular CRM expert declared the era of the 4 Ps effectively over. The author argues that product, promotion, price and place are no longer key to providing sustainable differentiation.

While the author makes many compelling points, the key question remains: has the oligarchy been dethroned and is the reign of the 4 Ps over?

Simply stated, the answer is no. Or to paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated!

Get the full story.

Meryl K. Evans and Hank Stroll
Marketing Challenge: Three Sure Ways to Reach Teens

This week, read your answers to a previous dilemma: What are the most effective ways to launch a Web site for teens who have little spending money?

Also this week, add your two cents to the current dilemma: What makes for compelling Web copy?

Get the full story.


Publisher:Allen Weiss

Content: Ann Handley

Strategy and Development:
Roy Young

Director of Premium Services
Val Frazee

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