On Monday, Kate Wolcott, paid a visit to our class to discuss the ins and outs of her job as a marketing communications coordinator at Synacor, a large marketing company based in Buffalo, NY.
According to Wolcott, Synacor works for large clients such as Time Warner Cable, Century Link, and Verizon Fios. The company does a majority of the work on its client’s websites although to customers it may seem as if the websites are all being done by the direct companies themselves.
Wolcott discussed the various challenges her team experiences when it comes to marketing for cable companies.
The large number of people dropping their cable service for online services like Netflix and Hulu is one of those issues. In order to combat this problem, Wolcott says her company’s clients (the cable companies) now offer live online television. Wolcott and her team’s job is to advertise this service to the cable services’ costumers. When doing so, Synacor must be sure to cover all of its costumers coming from different platforms. For example, some costumers will find the advertisements through Synacor’s client’s websites, where others may come through a national channel’s company such as HBO. Therefore, making sure all ads are targeted at the right audience is important.
Another issue for Synacor is targeting the older audience that cable companies attract on an online forum. According to Wolcott, many older people tend to think of the Internet as just a place to get email and news. Getting an older demographic onto their client’s websites often requires advertisements offline.
One thing I thought was particularly interesting was the per-pay-click issue Wolcott talked about. Every time someone clicks on a story or video, Google pays the website for that view. Synacor’s clients then split that money with Synacor. For that reason, hosting stories that will receive large web traffic is of utter importance for Synacor.
The entire presentation, Wolcott stressed simple and direct design on the web. She showed the class various examples of graphics on the web that had what she called “direct calls to action.” Often these graphics urged costumers or potential costumers to sign up for some service. Beyond having a direct call to action, Wolcott said such graphics should also be large, bright, and be very clear. By making graphics that follow these conditions, one can create a much more successful campaign.