Archive for July, 2008

B2C lead generation – what’s the best mix?

Yesterday Marketing Pilgrim released an interesting diagram showing which marketing techniques companies preferred to use to connect with their online prospects.

While I am surprised to see Search Engine Advertising behind Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Email Marketing, I think the risk of such an article is that online marketers may focus on only 2 or 3 channels to generate online leads.

When it comes to promoting tyres, the spectrum of marketing options is somewhat limited…..tyres are NOT sexy, people don’t buy tyres like they buy a DVD, and generally people are not data hungry when purchasing tyres. Consumers want to only hear about tyres when they need them – about every 2 years.

Our message is clear: CarbonBlack saves you time, money and pain when purchasing tyres…but like many services, it is difficult to promote in some channels because the promotion must be timely – currently the primary attribute (when purchasing tyres) that really “talks” to people is price. (This is only because the average consumer does not know how to compare quality, which is a big topic we’ll leave for another day).

A marketing portfolio is much like an investment portfolio. You need to understand how each channel supports the others – or in investment speak – you need to understand the correlations between asset classes and how this fundamentally optimises your return on investment. The challenge is in all of the testing and measurement required to determine an optimised marketing strategy that maximised your marketing ROI.

Here at CarbonBlack we explored most marketing channels and have found that cost effective promotion should include affiliate marketing. The blog you read today is the tip of an iceberg of “viral / social marketing”. We enjoy the timeliness and control of Search Engine Advertising and are ahead of selected manufacturers on GoogleTM when you search for “buy kuhmo tyres” thanks to our SEO implementation.

You got the message; it’s all about the right mix, not about the right channel.

  • We need to promote our tyre dealers – we use contextual advertising and optimise their listings on CarbonBlack so that they return well on search engine results pages
  • We need to find consumers when they need tyres – our ads display on niche sites to reach the auto aficionados, and we’re in front of people when they search for tyres on the search engines.

Here’s the plan:

  1. List all possible marketing channels
  2. Evaluate the fit between these channels and your business / product / service attributes
  3. Choose and try channels
  4. Review success and track metrics such as cost/click, cost/conversion, cost/sale
  5. Adapt your marketing strategy

It’s a cycle, and we go through it every six months at CarbonBlack.

Marketing strategy should be the ground for all media buying decisions, and I encourage you to read these two quick but good articles about marketing strategy from John and from Seth.

Before CarbonBlack expands to all things auto, we remain a tyre website generaing millions of dollars in consumer leads for our members (the tyre dealers) – and we do this even without the traffic of other major websites with meager conversion rates.

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July 9, 2008 at 3:54 pm 2 comments

The Air Car

What with rising fuel prices and the need to reduce carbon emissions, the development of a car run by compressed air seems like a very good idea. India’s Tata Motors thinks so too and is backing the project. It seems there is also interest in Australia , supported by the Victorian and Federal governments. Some of you may have already read about this car, developed by a former FI racing engineer, Guy Negre, of Moteur Development International.

The car will be driven by compressed air stored in carbon-fibre tanks- the type used by deep-sea divers. The tanks, built into the chassis, can be filled with air from a compressor in just three minutes at an air-station equipped servo. This is much quicker than a battery car. Alternatively, it can be plugged into the mains for four hours and an on-board compressor will do the job. For long journeys the compressed air driving the pistons can be boosted by a fuel burner which heats the air so it expands and increases the pressure on the pistons. The burner can use all kinds of liquid fuel and can get the equivalent of 120 miles per gallon when fuel is needed.

There are skeptics as to the vehicles’ chances of success in countries such as the US but it will be interesting to see how this car compares with Tata’s own NANO Car. But in a country like India where the car market is growing rapidly and there is considerable city traffic congestion, its encouraging to see initiatives being taken to use renewable energy in low cost cars.

July 1, 2008 at 8:44 am Leave a comment