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PR 101: Articles Win Over Ads to Get Consumers to Act Study Says

What is the best way to get consumers to visit your website and follow your brand? The answer–not advertising but public relations efforts resulting in articles mentioning your brand.

eMarketing reports this week in “Brand Mentions Preferred Over Ads” that according to ARAnet, based on polling by Opinion Research Corporation:

Compared with banner ads, pop-up ads, e-mail offers and sponsored links, articles that include brand information were most likely to lead US Internet users to read-and act. When it comes to getting someone to read or take action after viewing content, it turns out PR related functions – namely, placing your client in a story – are more effective than online advertising tactics.

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The eMarketing article quotes ARAnet president Scott Severson:

“A key finding for marketers is that younger audiences respond to information that reaches them in the form of articles. More than two-thirds of the respondents between 18 and 34 said they conduct Internet searches for products or services they read about in online articles either very frequently or somewhat frequently.”

How about you? Do you react to company pitches more often through advertising or by articles?

During the Downturn–Where Marketers Spend

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A new study from the Aberdeen Research, “Recessionary Marketing: How Best-In-Class Companies are Weathering the Storm” found that 82 percent of companies have redistributed their marketing budgets because of the Recession.

Elizabeth Glagowski reported in the current issue of 1to1 Weekly in the article “Where Do Marketers Spend their Money During the Downturn ”  that according to Jeff Zabin, research fellow in Aberdeen Group’s Customer Management Technology Practice:

There is momentum away from traditional media toward online marketing activities that allow for customer behavior tracking and concrete metrics. The report found that a majority of best-in-class companies have cut their traditional media -60 percent have cut television and print advertising, 45 percent have cut trade promotion, and 62 percent have cut their event budgets. Many of those who have cut traditional advertising are increasing their investments in infrastructure and technology to enable social media (68 percent), email marketing (47 percent), online promotions (41 percent), search engine marketing (38 percent), and mobile marketing (16 percent).

Glagowski reported in her article that Zabin found that a lot of companies are starting over. Zabin said, “A lot of organizations are completely revamping their marketing plans from the ground up. Companies are now trying to figure out how to drive consumer demand without incurring as many costs, or making sure the costs they incur are worthwhile.”

How are you driving consumer demand without incurring as many costs?