Monday, February 11, 2008

Best of 2007: Marketing Research

How is online consumer behavior changing? Which SEO tools and techniques produce the best results—according to the experts who use them? Does advertising on social media sites really work? What do marketing professionals need to know about online video? Get the answers to these questions and more from this collection of some of the best articles and blog posts from 2007 on marketing research.

There’s Still Room on the Web for Small E-Tailers by

Writer Fredric Paul cites a study showing that smaller web-based retailers have an opportunity to take share from more established sites by implementing solid SEO. Many larger e-tailers (and B2B vendors as well) have left the door open to more nimble competitors by failing to search optimize their own sites: "only 20 of the top sites were considered 'well-optimized' while another 20 qualified as 'moderately optimized.' On the other hand, 34 were 'nominally-optimized,' and 27 showed 'no signs of optimization.'"

The 18 Mistakes That Kill Start-Ups by Paul Graham

After pointing out that the single mistake almost universally responsible for the failure of start-up companies is "not making something users want," Paul Graham goes on to detail the "list of 18 things that cause startups not to make something users want," including picking a marginal niche, relying on a derivative idea, launching a new product or service too early, and "not wanting to get your hands dirty." Graham provides an excellent list of strategic mistakes to avoid for any start-up enterprise.

People Do Read Online -- Who Knew? by Marketing Interactions

After citing research showing that online readers are more likely to read an entire story, or a least a significant portion of it, in an online source than print, blogger Ardath Albee drives home the key takeaway from the research for marketers: "People want to read content that has benefit to them...a story about how their lives will change if they use your products, or even better, why they should disrupt the status quo and bother at all, in the first place."

Creativity & You by THINKing

Blogger Harry Hoover comments on the results of study into the roots of creativity. The good news is that we all have more creativity within us than we probably give ourselves credit for. Among the keys to unleashing that creativity are training, practice, and most importantly self-confidence.

Most Searchers Have Two Words for Google by Search Engine Watch

In this brief article, Enid Burns quotes research showing that two-word searches are most common across the major search engines, accounting for nearly a third of all searches. Searches using four or more words collectively account for about 26%. For SEOs, particularly in the B2B space, it's important to point out that although multi-word searches are less common than for shorter phrases, searchers using longer search terms usually have a much better notion of specifically what they are looking for, and—if they are potential buyers—are likely to be further along in their buying cycle.

Best SEO Resources, Practices & Conferences : Reader Poll Roundup by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Search guru Lee Odden provides a mega-post detailing the results of 14 separate online polls tallying the votes of SEO professionals on questions such as how many conferences they attend each year, which online communication and networking tools they use most frequently, favorite keyword research tool, and best search marketing newsletter.

The writers of the MediaPost blogs also frequently do a great job of covering online research findings. Here are some of the best marketing research-related posts from MediaPost bloggers last year.

Happy World Internet Day by MediaPost Online Spin

Seana Mulcahy provides a brief history of the Internet, some interesting statistics, and her list of favorite web research-related sites.

Pure Viral Marketing - A Pipe Dream? by MediaPost Online Spin

Max Kalehoff notes research showing that viral marketing campaigns aren't like a pyramid, where you tell 10 friends, who each tell 10 friends, who each etc. until the entire planet has seen your content, but more like bouncing a basketball--if you throw the ball against the ground, you'll get a big first bounce, followed by a series of successively smaller bounces. The key to viral marketing success, therefore, lies in getting as big a first bounce as possible.

Advertising On Social Networks: Risk or Reward? by MediaPost Online Spin

Seana Mulcahy observes that while social media offers a powerful way to reach prospects, traditional advertising probably isn't the way to do it. "Web users do not view social networking sites as a place to buy products and services." Instead, marketers should view these sites as medium in which to track user feedback on their products and services, offer valuable content, and build relationships with prospects.

Generation Net-Obsessed by MediaPost Online Spin

This post provides some interesting statistics and observations about the "net generation," 16-to-29 year olds who have "grown up with computers, video games, the Internet, instant messaging, online music and the like." It provides that top ten themes of research on this generation, and not surprisingly notes that "77% of the net generation could live without television but could not live without Internet access."

Just An Online Minute… Web Video Watchers by Just an Online Minute

In this short but informative post, Wendy Davis provides some interesting data on who's watching online video, what type of content they watch most frequently, and how frequently they watch.

Online Debate #2 Today, As Survey Delves Into Who's Watching by Online Media Daily

Citing research into the use and consumption of online media for political campaigns, Les Luchter finds that although "traditional media reigned as the overall choice...for getting 2008 campaign news, with 86% planning to use TV and radio for info about the candidates, and 63.5% planning to use newspapers and magazines," online sources are becoming more important, and the demographic group most likely to tune in to online debates may surprise you.

Previous articles in this series:

Best of 2007: SEO Analysis Tools
Best of 2007: SEO Keyword Research Tools
Best of 2007: News Articles on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Blog Posts on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEM
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on Google AdWords
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEO (Part 1)
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEO (Part 2)
Best of 2007: Website Design
Best of 2007: Blogging for Business


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom


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