Online to Store: Using Online Ads to Drive In-Store Sales

Join Google, in partnership with APT, on Thursday, July 30th at 11am PST / 2pm EST as we discuss new research that demonstrates that online ads impact in-store sales and the strategies marketers can take to measure and optimize this impact. During this webinar we will discuss:

- Snapshot of online advertising today, emerging trends, and general implications for retailers
- Case studies showcasing how marketers measure online advertising impact on in-store sales, with findings and investment returns
- Strategies and next steps to take in implementing and drawing conclusions from online to store studies

To register for Online to Store, please click here.

Summer is here, and big budget blockbusters aren’t far behind! Industry watchers believe sales of movie-related merchandise will reach new highs in 2009 [1] or as Yogurt says in the blockbuster Spaceballs, "Merchandising: where the real money from the movies gets made." With so many dollars in play, it’s worth considering how your online marketing strategy can set up your business for success.

Toy retailers are hoping that a pair of toy-inspired movies will transform 2009 into a banner year for toy sales. Despite poor reviews, "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" is already on pace to dramatically outsell 2007's "Transformers" at the box office. The first movie drove a tremendous surge in sales of Transformers toys, from $100 million in 2006 to $482 million in 2007. This year’s sales could top $600 million. [2] Meanwhile, toy companies are counting on renewed interest in GI Joe action figures stemming from next month’s release of the live-action “GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.” Conservative estimates put GI Joe toy sales at $150 million this year. [3]

Book, music, and DVD sellers also have a big opportunity to cash in. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” has already broken midnight ticket sales records and shows no signs of slowing. Interest in the movie will spark incremental sales of the book and the entire series. The DVD version of the new movie is expected to sell well this holiday season, as consumers have demonstrated continued interest in owning big titles despite the recession. [4] Though soundtracks and video games tend to be a tougher sell with consumers, there is still opportunity for incremental gains. [5]

So if you sell toys, books, music, DVDs, or any other kind of movie merchandise, how can you capitalize on this summer’s hot movies?

First, timing is everything. Use Insights for Search to see how demand for past movie products has grown leading up to release dates. For example, check out the worldwide search volume on ‘transformers toys’ leading up to the movie’s release dates in 2007:

Some analysts are using Insights for Search as a leading indicator of a movie’s box office sales. Keep in mind that when search volume surges so dramatically, it’s important to make sure your budgets are set high enough to accommodate the additional traffic.

Second, make sure you haven’t overlooked any relevant keywords. If you’ve left out important keywords that shoppers use to find products, you’ll be missing out on “virtual shelf space,” and customers may find your competitors instead. Fortunately, you don’t need to be clairvoyant to figure out what users are searching for. The Search-Based Keyword Tool will help you identify keywords that are relevant to your site but missing from your AdWords account. The tool may even help you discover interesting product variations you don’t currently carry but for which there is lots of consumer demand.

[1] “Hits at the box office are creating retail blockbusters,” Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2009
[2] Ibid.
[3] “Analysts see films boosting Hasbro sales,” Michael Caprio, Providence Business News, 7/16/09
[4] “Hero Complex,” LA Times blog, 6/22/09
[5] “Videogame sales in June expected to show another decline,” Dan Gallagher, Wall Street Journal, 7/14/09

State of Search 2009: Online Marketing in the New Era

Join us on Wednesday, July 15th at 10am PST / 1pm EST as we share findings from new research on the evolution of consumer search behavior and discuss key strategies marketers can take to adapt to these changes. During this webinar we will discuss:

- How economic uncertainty is changing the way consumers search online
- What changing consumer activity means for search and your online marketing strategies
- 3 tactical areas for marketers to focus on during the rest of 2009

To register for State of Search 2009, please click here.

Capture, Grow, Maintain: Building Global Relationships with Your Clients

As an agency, you often face questions on how to best work with a client on a global scale. The purpose of this webinar is to understand the steps needed to get a global buy started, learn about global relationship structures, and understand best practices for running a global campaign. In addition, you’ll get insight into how to work best with Google globally.

Please join us on Thursday, July 16th at 2:00pm EST / 11:00am PST when our Global Development Manager, Jared Smith, leads a discussion on how to best work with your clients on a global scale.

Registration details:
Event number: 576 838 452
Registration password: agency1
Event password: global
Call-in toll free number: 866-469-3239

Register today at: Global Agency Webinar

Ouch. Fading bling sure does sting. In yet another indication of hard times, the Wall Street Journal reports that the age-old tradition of rap stars bedazzling themselves in diamonds and gold, reflecting status and a lifestyle of opulence and fabulousness, isn’t sparkling as bright as it used to. Word on the street is that a number of hip hop artists are opting for less precious stones and even imitation ice to go with their Cristal. [1]

Consumers aren’t completely following suit with bogus baubles. As WWD explains, the bright side is in spending for special occasions, such as Mother's Day, when a slight rise in sales pleasantly surprised retailers. [2] And like some of these recessionista rappers, American brides- and grooms-to-be are still keepin’ it real by downsizing their engagement bands to smaller carat diamonds, according to the National Jeweler. [3]

As we noted in this post a few weeks ago, marketers have been employing creative recessionary messaging to appeal to consumers keeping their minds on their money and their money on their minds. While the focus has been placed mostly on compassion-based communication to be aligned with money-saving trends, is it just all about saving the Benjamins?

In addition to messaging around coupons, discounts and lower price-point items, some marketers have been focusing on the long-term value of their products. 69% of US adults surveyed by Mediamark Research Inc. say that they buy based on quality, not price, and 74% would buy products by a company they trust, regardless of price. [4] And according to an April 2009 “Word of Mouth and Viral Marketing” report by Mintel, 55% of Internet users surveyed said that they recommend products or services based on quality. [5]

Here are a few examples of Retailers emphasizing high-quality artistry, durability and wearability, and the customer experience as attributes of investments that will stand the test of time.

The David Yurman and GUESS Watch search copy both look to the future and underscore that quality craftsmanship will make these investments last.

Like the GUESS example before it, this Tory Burch ad hones in on the value-trend that is, in fact, anti-trend. Its focus is on the classic, not the frivolous or cutting-edge, highlighting a collection of substance that will never go out of style.

This Tacori ad offers a unique premium buying experience and thoughtful customer service for the uneducated engagement ring shopper.

These are just some of the ways retailers are leading consumers to look at investment in their products as gifts of sentimental value--heirlooms, not just meaningless indulgences. How have you encouraged your customers to get their investment on?

[1] Bustillo, Miguel. The Wall Street Journal: "The Culture of Bling Clangs to Earth as the Recession Melts Rappers' Ice," May 26, 2009
[2] Graff, Michelle, The National Jeweler: "Even in tough economy, bridal still booming," April 22, 2009.
[3] Chabbot, Sophia. WWD: "Jewelers Adapt to New Priorities," June 9 2009.
[4] Mediamark Research Inc, Doublebase 2008.
[5] Mintel: "Word of Mouth and Viral Marketing" report, April 2009.
[6] David Yurman, Tory Burch, GUESS and Tacori Search Ads:

In today’s difficult economic environment, savvy marketers are realizing that there are internationally-focused buyers within and beyond our shores, who represent a new potential revenue stream. As we began discussing here, you too can be on your way to generating incremental revenue and increasing brand awareness.

201 More Advanced Strategies

Full Site Translation. There are many third parties that can provide this service. The only danger here is to be certain you are culturally relevant. Did you know that a sweater is called a “jumper” in the UK? Perhaps you remember that the Chevrolet Nova was a great selling car in the United States. However, when the Chevrolet introduced the vehicle in Mexico, sales were dismal. Why? If you speak Spanish at all, you know that no va translates into no go. You must consider the native language of your target customers when naming products.

Develop Localized Content. This will allow you to communicate with customers through each stage of the purchase funnel - awareness, interest, decision, and loyalty. Customs vary in each country so be sure to “test” your specialized content for appropriateness.

Highlight any offers that are significant to that market. Shipping internationally can be expensive. If this is an area you have a competitive advantage, let your customers know. It can make a difference in your shopping cart abandonment rate.• Go the extra mile - Beyond website translation, consider having your follow-up e-mails to come “in-language”

Outsource the ability to transact in currencies to third parties. This can be complicated because of the abundance of currencies and localized payment methods and preferences.

Experience. There is no replacement for using an experienced search engine marketing team that knows the international landscape.

In summary, technology and broadband access has made us less aware of borders - why should retail be any different? Internet marketing is an outstanding medium to expand the boundaries of traditional retailing and enable advertisers to transact and interact with customers more easily than in the past. Bonne chance!