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Guerilla Marketing In The Internet Age
  Guerilla Marketing In The Internet Age  
  Guerilla Marketing In The Internet Age  

Guerilla Marketing In The Internet Age
Publication date: 2002-08-13

New Identities' approach began with an enormous effort to "clean up" the company's online reputation. The campaign was based on finding ways to inspire people to put positive messages on those message boards. It was a step that could have been avoided though-if the cruise line had focused on its online image sooner.

Information tends to spread like wildfire online, which is why Bock feels it is essential for companies to have a stake in what people are saying about them. The right pinpoint direct marketing plan can be a very effective way to do that-not only can it protect a valued reputation, but it can also help to generate significant new business.

Knowing exactly what people are looking for online empowers New Identities to make smart use of all sorts of marketing tools. Bock says the agency's grasp of existing Internet activity also lets New Identities give potential clients remarkably accurate assessments of their likely return on investment at the outset of Web marketing projects.

The New Identities team pools a wide range of expertise into intelligent, integrated programs. Their bag of tricks includes behavioral advertising, Network & Cable TV advertising, direct mail, print ads, newsgroup postings, email newsletters, e-press releases, dynamic content, online infomercials, pop-under ads, interactive screensavers, downloadable tools, and more.

For KO Electric Fiber & Data, for instance, they put together an authoritative guide on the type of services KO provides. Then, using a variety of media-including broadcast fax, direct mail, public relations, email, websites, user groups, and chat rooms-they saturated the market, positioning KO as an expert in the field.

Often, it makes sense to involve celebrities in promoting products. For example, with the proper set-up, a few well-placed phone calls could get some top TV, movie, and music stars on the guest list at a client's product launch party.

Photos and video of the celebrities enjoying the products (shot by professionals at the party) can spruce up the client website, while ushering in all sorts of free publicity. In addition to standard news coverage, an executive or two might win a spot as a guest on a radio talk show to tell a funny celebrity anecdote from the party. Even better, that same high-quality video of stars at the launch party could end up on a prime-time TV show like Entertainment Tonight-generating the kind of excitement money just can't buy.

Just as TV can affect Internet marketing, the Internet is permanently changing older media like TV, too. Greenfield cites a statistic that this year 20-25% of those responding to TV ads featuring a toll-free phone number checked for the product online before picking up the phone. "We expect that number to rise to fifty percent by 2007," says Greenfield. "People are convinced there's magic in there. They think the Internet holds some secret they can find, like discounts." This means companies advertising on television will risk losing half of their new customers to Internet-savvy competitors if they don't have strong control of their online image.

Bock points out that used properly, the Internet can even play a huge role in market research, giving companies the equivalent of massive, instant focus groups. Testing the appeal of different marketing messages used to require months of expensive research. "Now you can put the different test messages side by side on the Internet, and track instantaneous results," he explains.

Bock believes that the more executives at client firms understand about Internet culture, the more likely they are to make successful decisions, so he encourages them to get training, and to use the Internet extensively for things like banking, email, personal sites, research, shopping and more. "We are not examining a mature business model," he says, "so the people with a feel for the culture have a major advantage. The best way to get that is to immerse the decision-makers in the culture."

Creating New Identities: Consultant Jim Bock
Internet traffic, marketing, and branding consultant Jim Bock leads pinpoint direct marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) and direct-to-consumer (DTC) programs that achieve remarkable results for an array of top firms like Hershey Foods, Forest Laboratories, and Samsung Electronics.

He came to New Identities after 13 years on Wall Street and five years running The WIT Agency. The techniques he develops benefit from his mastery of business intricacies such as process analysis and return-on-investment (ROI). He has been involved in over $100 million worth of financings during his years at investment banking consultant HDV Holdings International.

At the WIT Agency, Bock headed the company's relationship with Hershey Foods. Among his many successes with Hershey was the analysis of all Hershey Chocolate sites, addressing usability, site organization, and search engine rankings. He also handled Hershey's launch of the first Hershey product that also had an Internet launch-Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews.

In addition to Bock's experience, New Identities clients also benefit from his obvious zeal. Richard Vezzosi, president of HDV Holdings International says that Bock possesses "the finesse of a prima ballerina, the strategy of Alexander the Great, the political savvy of President Clinton, the kindness of Mother Theresa and the tenacity of a pit bull." Dick Anderson, former creative director/group manager at McCann-Erickson (who handled the Coke campaign) says: "In a time that seems to serve up a lot of soft drinks without fizz, Jim Bock is the real thing."

In a letter to Bock; Tom Bugg, Hershey Foods, Marketing manager writes "WIT can effectively identify a target audience and deliver on the target's expectation. " "…was very committed to this process, as they have been with all of our Hershey's projects, well beyond just performing the work they were asked or paid to do." "...has proven to be an effective Internet partner and the company consistently delivers quality products and innovative content."

In another letter to Bock while running WIT; Matthew Warburton, Senior Product Manager of Forest Laboratories, says "...contributions have greatly enhanced Forest's ability to use the Internet for more sophisticated marketing and corporate communications, as well as dramatically improved efficiency of the company's internal operations."

In a reference letter from his former business partner, Margaret Irish, after six months of running The WIT Agency says: "Beyond the considerable financial improvements, Mr. Bock's contributions include revamping the corporate structure, adopting a new accounting system, hiring and training our staff, adding transparency to client billing and fees, and in general organizing and scripting our business process."

KO Electric Fiber & Data's Stocus says that in the end, it's that above-and-beyond quality that she likes most about Bock. "He lives, he breathes it, and he's thrilled by the chase," she says. He gets very excited about his work. That makes for a very high-quality product. That's why I have recommended him to some other people I know, and that's why they are very, very grateful."

Publication date: 2002-08-13

© 2002 YellowBrix, Inc.

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