The theme of this year's VT/NH Marketing Group Annual Conference was 'Making Cents of your Marketing Dollars'. Before you criticize the play on words, consider the fact that the keynote speaker was David Sundman of Littleton Coin Company. Making 'Cents' certainly does make 'Sense' in this context, when you consider that a rare find like the 1804 one cent coin sells for $2,994. The conference included a wealth of information related to offline and online marketing, and ended with a tour of the Littleton Coin Company facility.
On Thursday afternoon, Chris DeMartine and Joe Pych presented the facts about prospecting trends for 2010 and beyond. Attendees were challenged to differentiate between pure gold and fool's gold in a rapidly changing environment of emerging media channels. Session attendees also received an objective survey of what's happening with inbound versus outbound marketing, and an actionable resource guide to the mother lode.
Although most of the current conversations are about online marketing going social and mobile, we were able to put some context around the spending in those areas. The takeaway was that marketers need to continue to invest in what works, and to test emerging media channels with the same level of discipline used for traditional media channels. A quick look a the 2010 aggregate spending and growth will certainly add some perspective. The total marketing spend for digital still has a long way to go to catch up to traditional channels like broadcast, phone, and print.
For the local marketers we surveyed in New England, it was paid search that seemed to be the most widely accepted form of measureable advertising. Joe Pych noted in his presentation, however, that search gets most of the credit when other media channels are driving awareness. If you stop everything else to rely solely on your search marketing, then you could very well be putting your business at risk. Research continues to reveal the impact of print and online display advertising on click-through rates and cost per click (CPC). Also, keep in mind that your CPC is likely to be much lower with branded keyword searches.