Crafting a recipe for blogad success
Friday, December 17th, 2004
Toby Bloomberg, Atlanta’s leading blog evangelist, has been working with one of her clients to test Blogads. The small test wasn’t a raging success. Toby has blogged the experience, and I’ve added some thoughts in her comments. I’ll repeat them here to have a copy secure for my own reference:
In a subsequent test, I’d love to see the creative engage more directly with the sensibilities of targetted blog(s).
As Toby noted, the best clicks came from www.TowleRoad.com, where the ad creative gave a nod to the blog’s gay readership. Next time, let’s nod harder…or wink or nudge or cajole! (Here’s that creative:
The creative for the other blogs could have run anywhere on the Internet. Here it is:
As Toby, Donna and I discussed before the ads ran, what makes each blog unique is its personality; blogads do best when they engage blog personalities. Great blogs inspire strong group identities. These groups see the world through a certain set of eyeglasses. They speak in certain codes and fixate on certain issues.
So ads ideally show the advertiser (and the product buyer) to be one of “us” rather than one of “them.” Show some friendliness towards a blog’s sensibilies and two good things can happen. Readers click AND clickers have positive disposition as they engage your offer.
Here’s a thought experiment that pushes this strategy to its logical (and profitable?) extreme.
Every marketer dreams of having a product that appeals to everyone; but most of us would be very happy to sell to 20% of a given marketplace. Consider, for example, Volvo, which sells roughly 100,000 cars a year in the US. What if, rather than simply observing that Volvo drivers tend to be Democrats (65/35), Volvo sought to align itself as THE itself Democratic light vehicle of choice by running ads exclusively in Democratic venues and discounting Volvos to key Democrats?
If a Volvo became an identity badge for Democrats, Volvo might lose 35,000 yearly sales to Republicans, but how many sales, out of the total US sales of 17 million a year, might be gained?
Of course, this is untenable for two reasons. Volvo is owned by Ford and Ford seeks to appeal to Republicans too. And Ford Inc has Republican shareholders.
But what an established, publicly traded company like Ford can’t do, a privately owned upstart with a clean-slate brand CAN.
Consider the success of Ben & Jerry’s. Heck, if frozen milk can tap into a political sensibility to grow a brand, anything can. Ben and Jerry were happy to forgo ambitions for a certain large market segment, the apolitical ice-cream consumers they could never realistically win anyway, to absolutely own another segment that was reachable.
So let’s bring this back to Gourmet Station. I’d love to see a package of ads that appeal very strongly to a particular sensibility and run on key blogs. Gun-rights activists? Girl-scout troop leaders? Bush-detractors? For Gourmet Station, what sensibility is the analog to the eco-liberals Ben & Jerry won over?
Therein may lie a gourmet recipe not only for a great blogad campaign, but for long-term company growth.