Sunday, June 20, 2010

Advertising On A Shoestring in the Digital Age

For the past couple of weeks, I've been reading this incredibly interesting book by Jeff Jarvis called What Would Google Do?. Jeff Jarvis is a guru of the digital age, having been a journalist covering various aspects of interactive and digital media, serving as a consultant in the field and also creating his own content through websites such as his blog, BuzzMachine.

An excerpt from the book description on the Harper-Collins website provides a pretty good idea of what Jarvis discusses in the text:

In a book that's one part prophecy, one part thought experiment, one part manifesto, and one part survival manual, internet impresario and blogging pioneer Jeff Jarvis reverse-engineers Google—the fastest-growing company in history—to discover forty clear and straightforward rules to manage and live by. At the same time, he illuminates the new worldview of the internet generation: how it challenges and destroys, but also opens up vast new opportunities. His findings are counterintuitive, imaginative, practical, and above all visionary, giving readers a glimpse of how everyone and everything—from corporations to governments, nations to individuals—must evolve in the Google era.

Mind boggling, right? I'm almost halfway through the book and many of the observations and conclusions the author makes are very insightful. It has actually made me rethink the way we've approached our marketing and advertising strategy. Having worked in advertising in the past and in some cases specifically with digital media (online banners, viral videos, etc.), I knew that online advertising could be very cost efficient. But in the back of my mind, I always felt that given how small our business was, online advertising would still be a stretch for our tight marketing budget. Up until now, most of the online marketing activities we've have involved blogging, Facebook and our website, But today, we took a big step! We've started using Google AdWords, to reach a larger, more targeted group of consumers and hopefully increase traffic to our website. One of the main reasons we decided to do this was because we received a $100 credit for Google AdWords from our web hosting service. I've been curious about the efficacy of Google AdWords for some time, so I figured, why not give it a go. I'm a big fan of Gmail and Google Docs. We'll see if Google AdWords can help us enhance Cupoladua Oven's online presence.


Stellar Drift said...

Good luck!

ryan said...

Love the site. Just a heads up that your link to your site appears to be broken. link goes to

Stephanie from Cupoladua Oven said...

Thanks, Stellar Drift!

Ryan, thanks for pointing out the broken link to our website. I went ahead and fixed it, so the link takes you straight to

Anonymous said...

I have been purchasing your chocolate cashew cookies at the new Market District Giant Eagle at Settlers Ridge. At first I thought the cookies were a bit pricey given the size (weight) of the bag. But they are so good and well worth the cost when you realize there are a lot of cookies in the bag. I can pop a few in my mouth to satisfy my sweet tooth without feeling guilty about consuming them as they don't contain the usual bad-for-you ingredients. Good luck with your company - I think you're on to something!

Stephanie from Cupoladua Oven said...

I'm so glad to hear that you've been enjoying our Cupola Cookies and purchasing them at Market District!

Yes, the one thing that seems to work against us a bit in terms of marketing our goodies is that they are very light and often times, people's perceived value of food products comes down to the relationship between product weight and price (I do this too).

But you're right- once people realize how many cookies come in a pouch or box and that we use only best, really healthy ingredients, I think the weight factor isn't as much of an issue.

Thank you again for being a fan of our products! We hope you continue to enjoy them.

Jami Broom said...

I am always amazed when a small business owner questions whether Adwords works or not -- of course it works or businesses wouldn't be using it! If you're using the right keywords and optimizing the campaign correctly, and have good landing pages, it is a very effective way of advertising.

However, because it works so well, the cost of advertising, or bids for clicks, is getting ever and ever higher, and this means that it may be hard (especially for small businesses) to determine whether it is worth the cost of the advertising. When you're paying $5 per click, you better be tracking that ROI!

Stephanie from Cupoladua Oven said...

I totally agree, Jami- Adword are a really cost effective, targeted way of getting the word out about your company, products or services.

It seems like even large Fortune 500 companies these days are allocating a more significant portion of their marketing and advertising budgets to online/digital initiatives, whether it means banner ads, SEO or viral videos.