I was having lunch with my old Stanford pal Alex today, fellow online marketer and owner of The Hamburger Phone, a website where you can buy that super cool Hamburger Phone featured in the movie Juno. Alex has some other sites, but this one is my favorite because I can’t get enough of the hamburger design. Maybe I just like hamburgers, but I digress…
We both agreed that the pay per click corporate world is hot right now. In fact it couldn’t be hotter. Despite an overall crazy economy, careers in SEM are recession proof. However, as with anything hot, it’s important to plan for the long run. What happens when search engines get really smart and start abstracting a lot of the day-to-day work? What happens when SEM becomes super easy and large teams are no longer needed to manage campaigns?
Simple! Search marketing professionals will need to rebrand themselves across marketing channels: offline, display, email, and others. The search marketing career path may become a well-rounded one. For this very reason, I’m a big proponent of diversifying one’s skill set. In fact, I joined my current company to learn all about television and radio advertising, disciplines none of my prior companies participated in.
With this very long introduction, I wanted to take some time today and share a very cool offline campaign that I recently noticed, one that took a lot of creativity: WebEx’s San Francisco Caltrain Station Takeover. While SEM in its current form is here to stay for a very long time, it’s never too early to start diversifying your skill set into the offline marketing world. This will not only round out your toolkit but will also make you Director or even VP material!
I Really Enjoy Taking Caltrain To Work
I spend the majority of my time in my company’s San Francisco office. It’s conveniently located near the San Francisco Caltrain station and I take Caltrain to work. For those of you new to Caltrain, it’s basically a train that goes all the way from the South Bay to San Francisco. It’s an amazingly convenient, cheap, and fast form of transportation, one that can save you thousands of dollars of wear and tear on your car while allowing you to relax (or work) on the way to your job.
The Demographics of Caltrain Are Top Notch
As marketers, we all know that demographics are important. Target the right group of individuals and your returns will be through the roof. Caltrain, in my opinion, offers amazing demographic targeting for savvy marketers. Most of the folks I see on the train going to and from work are very similar to myself: Decision makers and executives in the Bay Area corporate world. If you’re selling B2B solutions like WebEx, this is the group you’re after!
WebEx Completely Takes Over the San Francisco Caltrain Station
A month or so ago, I got off the train in San Francisco and noticed that WebEx took over the entire Caltrain station. Everywhere I looked, I saw ads for WebEx. It’s hard to miss them! You can view just a few photos below of the WebEx’s banners, clock, pillars, and even advertisements on the floor! For the reasons mentioned above, I personally feel like this offline campaign is pure genius. WebEx targets the right demographic audience at the right time! Not only are they targeting decision makers, but they are targeting these decision makers as they arrive at work in the morning.
So there you have it, one of the really cool and innovative offline marketing campaigns of the last few months. While the charter of my blog will always be online marketing, I’m looking forward to sharing other great offline campaigns as I come across them! As a closing tip, I encourage you to approach your CMO as you come up with great offline strategies. You don’t want to do this too frequently (you might dilute your brand as a PPC expert), but the right tempo can work wonders for your career.
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