Digital Marketing | Internet Marketing

Trends in Web Marketing: Tried, Tested and New

by Kelly Kubrick on May 21, 2009

By Kelly Kubrick – first published in Building Excellence Magazine, Spring 2009

In September 2008, at CMHI / MHAAC’s semi-annual meeting at Oak Island, Halifax, Kelly Kubrick presented attendees with an overview of recent trends in web marketing. Kelly reviewed a variety of tactics, and categorized them as “old news” (offering declining value), those whose value hasn’t changed and those which are considered “hot” (you might get burned using them).

Old News

“Old news” tactics are those which have been around some years now, may be showing their age and which are generally receiving fewer marketing dollars than in the past. To begin, marketers appear to be shifting “offline” advertising (print advertising, outbound telemarketing and rented mailing lists) dollars towards online (search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, etc.) dollars, because the online offers a far more measurable spend.

However, within the world of online marketing, there is movement away from designing complicated home pages, measuring gross traffic (vs. net leads), static micro sites and live chat as a customer service channel. Again, the driver appears to be accountability – ensuring that the dollars spend deliver the most value. Finally, offering a web site and email newsletters is certainly old news – any company that hasn’t invested in at least the former might as well be trying to market itself using an unlisted phone number.

What hasn’t changed?

By contrast, other tactics have proven their value within the online marketing toolkit. Home builders should ensure they provide customer testimonials, pricing information and multiple product search criteria on their websites. As an example of the latter, Kelly suggested visiting Vacation Homes to see all the different ways visitors might choose to search for a property they might be interested in.

In addition, Kelly recommended testing of the length of any “Request for information” forms you offer on your website – until you objectively test which elements do or do not depress response, you shouldn’t make assumptions about which fields should stay or go.

Finally, Kelly advocated strongly that home builders should allow prospects to communicate with you based on their channel of choice – thus if they first contact you by phone, you likely will need to continue communicating them via that channel. Alternatively, if you can convince your clientele to initiate contact with you via less expensive channels, you should reap financial benefits later. Wondering how? Here’s a quick question – in your marketing materials, which gets the larger font? Is it your telephone number or your website? What does that tell you?

What’s hot now

These tactics are experimental and too new to have established themselves as keepers in the web marketing toolbox. However, for those willing, there are several emerging online tactics you might consider trying in 2009.

Targeted Messaging

To the right is an image used on the homepage of Wilshire Homes to help the visitor grasp how this builder can solve living arrangement concerns. This is an excellent example of sidestepping home building jargon by offering the consumers’ perspective first.


Source: Screenshot from homepage, September 2008

Geo-targeted pay-per-click (PPC)

Below is a screenshot from a Google AdWords PPC account. Pay per click refers to the process of purchasing positioning on search engines such as Google, Yahoo! or MSN. In particular, the screenshot shows how targeted this media buy can ensure that advertisement is only shown to search engine users connected to a computer within 35 kilometres of Oak Island, Halifax. In other words, using this technology, home builders can ensure that their advertising dollars are not wasted on those people who are outside the targeted geographic range. Revolutionary, don’t you think?


Source: Screenshot from Google AdWords, September 2008

Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing refers to a concept where by a marketer can identify several elements on a web page that they are not sure about, and test response against each. To illustrate – below, there are two versions of the same home page from , a Canadian DVD-by mail rental service. In the first image, the home page is designed around the release of Dark Knight with no mention of pricing. In the second image, the home page is designed around an image of a happy family, with pricing and a “quick start” free trial form to fill in.

Which appeals to you? Why?



Source: Screenshots from homepage, September 2008

Here’s the trick – both of those home pages exist simultaneously. In other words, during this multivariate test, this website presents alternate versions of the same page, and records response so that the marketers can figure out which approach drives the most response. No heart-stopping redesign project here, but rather an objective analysis of what works, or doesn’t, on your home page. Imagine the number of things you might consider testing on your own site…

Interactive Microsite

Also from Wilshire Homes is an interactive micro-site found at BuiltAroundYou. When the site launches, you’ll be greeted by Sheila, who will proceed to ask you about your housing interests. However, instead filling out a survey, Sheila asks you a series of questions, verbally. As you respond, by clicking or filling in fields, a personalized housing report is created, which you can elect to receive by email, print out or send it to Wilshire to request follow up. Or do nothing with at all. Try it, and imagine how it might appeal to younger generations unwilling to visit a sales centre…


Source: Screenshot from, September 2008

So where does this leave you? Essentially, the message is that there’s no shortage of tactics in web marketing available to you, but rather that you should have an opinion about which ones might be appropriate for your own company’s strategy.

A final thought – it’s five years from now, and Internet advertising now outpaces traditional channels. How will you acquire customers? Furthermore, young Canadians know Internet better than you. How will you retain their business?

Best of luck in 2009!

Kelly Kubrick is the former Director of E-Commerce at Time Warner in New York and President of Internet marketing consulting firm Online Authority.

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Kelly KubrickTrends in Web Marketing: Tried, Tested and New

Prepare to Defend Your(site)!

by Kelly Kubrick on May 21, 2009

I had the pleasure of teaching a workshop at the Manitoba Libraries Conference 2009: Future Generations, Evolving Services in Winnipeg, Manitoba on May 7th, 2009.

My thanks to the audience who threw themselves enthusiastically into my “Prepare to Defend Your(site)! Internet Performance Measurement” workshop. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about challenges faced by libraries in the digital world as we were able to divide the group into three segments:

In addition, I’d like to thank the Manitoba Libraries Association conference programming committee for the flawless organization of those of us involved in the event and the event itself. In particular, I’d like to thank Kerry Macdonald  Pat Routledge and Jo Ann Richling.

So glad to meet you all, and to have the chance to see a bit more of my Canada!

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Kelly KubrickPrepare to Defend Your(site)!

Ottawa Business Summit 2009

by Kelly Kubrick on January 29, 2009

If you have the chance, please join us next week on Tuesday February 4th, 2009 for the Ottawa Business Summit 2009. I’ll be speaking in the morning, but there’s a ton of great information on offer all day.

However, far more fun – the organizers have managed to entice one of the Dragons to head east on the 401!

Looks like three entrepreneurs will be given the chance to pitch – so if you’ve got a business idea and are looking for funding, this is your chance. Right here in our frozen, transit-strike paralyzed city.

Ahh – home, sweet home.

See you next week!

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Kelly KubrickOttawa Business Summit 2009

Belated Thank You to George, Mark and Zone5ive

by Kelly Kubrick on January 29, 2009

On December 11, 2008, I had the opportunity to moderate “Naughty or Nice: Lead Generation Tactics” offered by OCRI Zone5. My panelists were

George McTaggart, VP Marketing, Third Brigade, Inc.
Mark Emond, Business Unit Executive, North American Field Marketing Cognos, an IBM company

First of all, they were excellent presenters – great, meaty information from each with a compelling combination of entertaining credibility. I thoroughly enjoyed myself but the better news is that I think others did too:

From inmedia: Naughty or nice a matter of circumstance

From rove: OCRI Zone5ive Events: Are They Naught Or Nice?

My thanks to Leo and Elizabeth – I’m glad the event worked – we shall strive to do more of the same!

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Kelly KubrickBelated Thank You to George, Mark and Zone5ive

Ottawa’s first Web Analytics Wednesday!

by Kelly Kubrick on November 3, 2008

This morning, while checking Web Analytics Demystified for upcoming Montreal Web Analytics Wednesdays events, I was very pleased to see our first ever Ottawa WAW is scheduled for November 19th, 2008 at the Heart & Crown on Preston Street. Excellent news!

For event details and registration

Thank you to Alex Langshur for hosting – looking forward to it!

Now I’ve got to think of all the folks in the national capital region who need to know about this…

Quick update: Check out the photos Darlene Moore of Drive Traffic kindly posted from this event.

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Kelly KubrickOttawa’s first Web Analytics Wednesday!

Thank you CMA Ottawa

by Kelly Kubrick on October 28, 2008

A big thank you to everyone who attended today’s CMA Ottawa‘s luncheon, “Secrets to Effective Internet Marketing”. I enjoyed everyone’s questions and appreciate the time you took out of your day.

For those who may not be familiar with CMA Ottawa, it’s the local chapter of the Canadian Marketing Association, “the largest marketing association in Canada representing the integration and convergence of all marketing disciplines, channels and technologies.”

CMA Ottawa welcomes marketers from all sectors, public and private, from both sides of the river to its monthly luncheons (September to May). For information about upcoming sessions, please visit


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Kelly KubrickThank you CMA Ottawa

Internet Marketing Secrets Revealed

by Kelly Kubrick on February 3, 2008

Good news for Ottawa’s business owners and entrepreneurs – details about the City of Ottawa‘s Small Business Forum 2008 are now available. The Forum is set for February 22nd, 2008 from 7:30am to 2:00pm at the Ottawa Congress Centre and the cost is $90.00 CDN (plus GST).

This year’s keynote is Cora Tsouflidou, Founder, President and CEO of Cora’s Breakfast and Lunch. As a result of one of my standing committee meetings, I’ve become a regular at the Ottawa-Kanata location so I’m looking forward to hearing the scoop on how Ms Tsouflidou grew her restaurant chain from a single location in Montreal in 1987 to more than 90 Canadian franchise locations today.

Speaking of scoop, I invite you to “Internet Marketing Secrets Revealed”,  a presentation I’m giving at the same event from 9:00 – 10:00 AM. For those who might be interested, my plan is to explain

  • How to identify rich sources of website traffic
  • Why you should play nicely with robots
  • How perception vs. reality can work in your favour
  • Why assumptions can hurt (but testing can help)
  • How to take immediate advantage of the dawning “other” Internet

I’m going to assume that you have a website for your business already, but if not, please pop by anyway – if nothing else, I hope you’ll leave with a few plans in mind for when the moment does come.

Register  for the Forum online or contact Kim Kelly Associates at (613) 521-3910 or

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Kelly Kubrick
Online Authority

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Kelly KubrickInternet Marketing Secrets Revealed

Is your web marketing MIA?

by Kelly Kubrick on February 3, 2008

Calling all Ottawa home builders, renovators, designers, trade contractors and suppliers! Have your Internet marketing efforts gone missing in action?

If so, GOHBA (The Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association) invites you to get your Internet marketing on track. Learn how to use the Internet to your advantage through improved customer service that remains accountable to the bottom line.

Join Kelly Kubrick of Online Authority for a web marketing breakfast workshop on Tuesday February 12th, 2008 from 8:30 to 11:30 AM at the Cleo Banquet & Convention Centre located at 156 Cleopatra Drive, Ottawa, Ontario.

To register, please contact Stephanie Norbury, Event Planner / Office Manager at GOHBA at or call (613) 723-2926.

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Kelly KubrickIs your web marketing MIA?

Jim Sterne is coming to Ottawa!

by Kelly Kubrick on January 22, 2008

If you are in marketing or communications, private or public sector, and responsible for your organization’s website, you need to make room on your calendar on February 7th, 2008, as Jim Sterne, Chairman of the Web Analytics Association, Founder & Chairman, eMetrics and all around web analytics guru, is speaking in Ottawa on February 7th, 2008.

His session is called “An Industry in Transition: Web Analytics to Marketing Optimization” and as per OCRI‘s recent email, the session overview is:

  • “Keynote presenter Jim Sterne will deliver insight into the maturity of the web analytics industry, the level of expertise among practitioners today; challenges and opportunities; and the role we – web managers, marketers and analysts – play as companies adopt the continuous improvement method of marketing optimization.
  • Jonathan Levitt of iPerceptions will follow with a 20-minute case study showcasing the benefits of capturing and measuring the perceptions and attitudes of your website visitors and customers.
  • Alex Langshur of PublicInsite will complete the event by delivering a 20-minute case study featuring the benefits of web analytics at work.”

Event details

Date: Thursday, February 7, 2008

Time: Registration 7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m, Breakfast & presentation: 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m

Location: Sheraton Ottawa Hotel, Rideau Room, 150 Albert Street

Cost: Early Registration: $35.00 – OCRI / WAA members* (plus 5% GST), $60.00 – Non-members (plus 5% GST), late (after 5:00 PM February 5th) / on site: $45.00 – OCRI / WAA members* (plus 5% GST), $70.00 – Non-members (plus 5% GST). *WAA members please email to register.

Register online or contact Allison McManus, Conference Administrator, tel 613-828-6274 ext. 224, fax: 613-726-3444 or

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Kelly KubrickJim Sterne is coming to Ottawa!

Measure for Measure: CASLIS Ottawa

by Kelly Kubrick on January 22, 2008

Are you a member of the Canadian library and information community? Are you interested in how to measure and communicate the value of your specialized library’s website?

If so, please join Kelly Kubrick of Online Authority on Thursday January 24th, 2008 at by registering for the 2008 CASLIS Ottawa Seminar held at Library and Archives Canada (395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario).

Kelly will present “Measure for Measure – an Internet Comedy of [T]errors: Web Performance Measurement” from 1:30 – 3:00 PM. She’ll discuss:

  • What Internet performance measurement means;
  • Why to bother with it; and
  • How to develop an Internet performance measurement framework

The seminar is hosted by CASLIS Ottawa, the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services (CASLIS), a division of the Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliotheques: “An award-winning not-for-profit organization, serving as the national voice of the Canadian library and information community and delivering a range of value-added services to professional librarians, library technicians, and the organizations that employ them.”

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Kelly KubrickMeasure for Measure: CASLIS Ottawa