Directory Advertising Tips

Directory advertising is very different to other forms of print advertising. When someone picks up a directory we are practically assured that they are ready to buy, you ad has to reflect this state of mind. “Brand ads” which fit in nicely in some print or magazines will not cut it in a directory. These is one reason for you ad in a directory – that’s the get the directory user to ring/email/visit your website – to complete the call to action. Remember, the user is making a choice between alternatives – your ad is surrounded by competition and you […]

Directory Advertising for Small Businesses

If you are looking at taking an ad in a directory then there are a few points you should consider before entering that process. First things first and a point that is overlooked: this type of advertising is ‘directional’, it’s needs driven. When someone picks up a directory there is a very high probability that they have made a decision to make a purchase. A directory is going to help them make a choice between the visible alternatives. If you are not in that directory, then you are not going to be in that selection process. A decade ago, that […]

Marketing Mobile Coupons and Mobile Tickets

Dominos (, in the USA anyway,  have taken a real leap forward in my opinion with their new mobile coupon offering. For some time now, Dominos have encouraged customers to ‘opt-in’ to their mobile medium i.e. give details of nearest store, mobile number and permission to be contacted via text. They have partnered with who look after the mobile coupon marketing for them. Opt in customers then receive ‘mobile coupons’ which they can use when they are buying online or online via dominos mobile site. As dominos know the geographic location of customers (because of the store location) they […]

Coupons, Coupons and more coupons

With the R word abound, coupons are resurgent but their route to the consumer is changing. Some time back, I worked in the Directory business. Our core product was print and we were constantly battling against a rising internet tide. Instead of building boats, we were trying to build dams and continually sought ‘hooks’ to get households pick up the print edition. One of the enticements that worked particularly well was a section of printed coupons. Testimony to their success was the fact that renewal of the coupon business was near 100%. So the advertisers were getting a satisfactory return […]

Responsibility for the Recession

Some very unusual survey results were released by Harris Interactive.  Conducted in April, it surveyed people as to ‘who was to blame for the recession’, the results are reproduced below: Total 18-34 35-44 45-54 55+ Advertising Agencies 66 60 59 65 75 Print media 59 51 57 61 67 Other News Media 56 51 55 54 62 Talk shows on TV or radio 55 48 56 53 59 Cable news programs 54 51 52 54 58 Network and local news programs 53 48 53 52 59 Friends and family 46 47 50 46 42 Two out of three Americans believe […]

Localised Search

Google gives you every opportunity to make sure that your business not only appears in its search engines, but that it also has a ‘local’ dimension to it. Some companies seem to throw their hat at the whole search scene as they feel that, in the greater scheme of things, they, as a local business, won’t be found. But the search engines and SEO in general really do place an emphasis on companies being locally found. In the USA it’s a tad more sophisticated with Google primarily using the searchers IP address to ‘geo-locate; US IP’s are in general much […]

New Google Analytics

A post on the Google Analytics blog informed all that Google was going to change the information that it reports in the referring URL when search results are clicked. From their example of the new referring URL they gave a string, which when it is laid out and the ampersands removed, contains like this. There is no definitive source for the meanings of all of some of these parameters, speculation at best on many of them: sa=t source=web ct=res cd=7 & rct=j q=flowers usg=AFQjCNHJXSUh7Vw7oubPaO3tZOzz-F-u_w & sig2=X8uCFh6IoPtnwmvGMULQfw However the parameter  “cd=7” looks like it’s the part that tells you […]

Adspend 2009

Looks like another bad say at the Ad office in 2009. New forecasts by Zenith Optimedia suggesting that worldwide Ad spend will be down by 7% – a drop of almost $31b to $453b. To put that $31b in perspective, it’s about half of the planned total Irish Government expenditure 2009. The only winner is online growing about 8% overall to $54b (display down, search up). The big losers are newspapers declining by about 12% nearly neck and neck with magazine advertising falling 11%. Unless the traditional media (all formats) actually begin to ‘hunt the money’ and go after the […]

Free Newspapers March 2009

Interestingly the circulations of the two free newspapers are out, nothing actually interesting in that, but interesting to look at it from a retrospective point of view. Since the bell sounded for round one, the Herald has taken a different stance on its circulation strategy. Firstly it maintained a safe distance in the early months, then reducing numbers again during the mid year migration to sunnier parts and then back on top for the return of the school run. The Metro however has maintained a relatively even keel since its inception, hatching around the 70k-75k mark for over two years. […]

New Search Engines

Two relatively new search engines to have a look at. One looks like a mega spam fest and the other, while narrowly focussed, is very interesting. is the first and I think it really has a short life span. It allows registered users to submit sites then other registered users vote these sites it up or down the search results! As I said – spam heaven. I registered and searched for ‘Ireland’ where there were four, yes 4, results returned; “Dublin” returned no results at all. Whilst I wish them luck in the venture and as much as I […]

March Circulation

The Republic of Ireland Circulations for March, for the papers that participate in monthly ABC’s we released. Collectively they are showing 6.5% year on year decline and losing some 13,000 collectively copies since the beginning of 2009 alone. The tabloids are again taking the brunt of the drop in the morning market. The stereotypical view of the ‘redtop’ reader working on site or in an allied trade may actually be true and the redtop paper’s circulation seems to be intrinsically linked to the construction sector. Month on month the tabloids did get a slight lift (as they do historically) from […]

Multivariate Testing

I listened to a great presentation during Search Marketing World recently given by Russell Sutton of Conversion Works and his thoughts and insights on Multivariate Testing. This allows you to test the effectiveness of different page designs/layouts on traffic retention. If some of your landing pages have high bounce rates then you could well do with looking for clues as to why the rates are so high. As Google point out, visitors will leave a web page within a couple of seconds if they don’t find a compelling reason to go deeper into your site. If that compulsion is lacking […]

SEO and Hotels/Accommodation

I did some work on the area of Hotels and Accommodation recently. As the JNIR report pointed out so clearly, the accommodation business is really driven by internet search with 51% of Irish respondents saying that they used the internet to look up travel information in the past 6 months. Furthermore some 324,000 Irish people had booked hotels or accommodation in the past six months online. So, for a hotel or any business offering accommodation, internet search is simply too important to take lightly. But I question whether businesses are responding to changing search queries? A great piece of research […]