Mannatech.com Advertising Strategy Draft 2<br />Executive Summary<br />Contents TOC o "1-3" h z u HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647398" Executive Summary PAGEREF _Toc245647398 h 2 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647399" Introduction PAGEREF _Toc245647399 h 5 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647400" Statement of Work PAGEREF _Toc245647400 h 6 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647401" Methodology PAGEREF _Toc245647401 h 7 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647402" Findings PAGEREF _Toc245647402 h 8 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647403" Competitive Analysis PAGEREF _Toc245647403 h 9 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647404" Research PAGEREF _Toc245647404 h 9 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647405" Analysis PAGEREF _Toc245647405 h 10 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647406" Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc245647406 h 11 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647407" Path Forward PAGEREF _Toc245647407 h 11 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647408" Target Markets PAGEREF _Toc245647408 h 13 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647409" Summary PAGEREF _Toc245647409 h 13 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647410" Research PAGEREF _Toc245647410 h 13 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647411" Location of Sales PAGEREF _Toc245647411 h 16 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647412" Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc245647412 h 45 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647413" Path Forward PAGEREF _Toc245647413 h 46 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647414" Communication Methods PAGEREF _Toc245647414 h 48 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647415" Social Network communication PAGEREF _Toc245647415 h 48 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647416" E-mail Advertisements PAGEREF _Toc245647416 h 51 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647417" Advertisement Communication with Mannatech Associates PAGEREF _Toc245647417 h 53 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647418" Sponsorships PAGEREF _Toc245647418 h 54 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647419" Interstitial Ads PAGEREF _Toc245647419 h 54 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647420" Banner Ads and Skyscraper Ads PAGEREF _Toc245647420 h 55 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647421" Rich Media PAGEREF _Toc245647421 h 56 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647422" Pop-up Ads PAGEREF _Toc245647422 h 56 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647423" Pop-under Ads PAGEREF _Toc245647423 h 57 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647424" Advertising PAGEREF _Toc245647424 h 59 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647425" Research PAGEREF _Toc245647425 h 59 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647426" Analysis PAGEREF _Toc245647426 h 63 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647427" Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc245647427 h 72 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647428" Path Forward PAGEREF _Toc245647428 h 88 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647429" Summary PAGEREF _Toc245647429 h 90 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647430" Works Cited PAGEREF _Toc245647430 h 91 HYPERLINK l "_Toc245647431" Appendices PAGEREF _Toc245647431 h 93Executive Summary2Introduction5Statement of Work6Methodology7Findings8Target Markets9Summary9Research9Location of Sales12Recommendations41Path Forward42Advertising44Research44Analysis48Recommendations57Path Forward73Summary75Works Cited76Appendices78<br />Introduction<br />Statement of Work<br />Methodology<br />Findings<br />Competitive Analysis<br />Research<br />We assessed over fifty Multi Level Marketing companies to determine if any of them use online advertising to generate revenue. We reviewed all the big firms’ sites as well as few of the small ones (revenue generated). From our initial research we found that none of the Multi Level Marketing sites we looked at featured outside advertisers on their websites, at least not on the home page. Since we did not have the member log in information for the sites we were unable to review the member-specific content. <br />Our next step was to do online research and find websites similar to Mannatech.com (not necessarily Multi Level Marketing companies) to see if they used outside advertising. We analyzed sites targeted toward MLM associates and potential associates to see what kind of advertisers they feature on their sites. The main thing we found was a clickable Facebook or Twitter ad that sends users to those homepages. Based on our research, we found that no one advertises on their official websites but some of the Multi Level Marketing employees advertise on their personal websites.<br />To further assess the interest for placing advertising on MLM’s website, we developed a survey that we sent to potential advertisers. We conducted a survey to see what companies may be interested in placing ads on Mannatech’s website. We send out a 6 question survey to various companies to assess interest for advertising on Mannatech’s website.<br />Analysis<br />If Mannatech decides to include online advertising on their sites, it will be the first MLM, as far as we know, to do this. This could be a good or a bad thing. One question wequestion we should consider is why are other MLMs not using outside advertising on their sites? One possible reason is that advertisers may not want to advertise on MLM’s sites because of their reputation. Another reason may be because MLMs don’t get as many hits as other retail sites. <br />We developed a survey to determine if companies are interested in including advertisements on MLMs websites and if so, what type of companies should Mannatech try to target. Here are the findings from our survey:<br />To date 8 responses were received.<br />Out of the 8 responses, 1 company said it has previously places ads on an MLM site (the MLM specialized in weight loss products)<br />2 responders said they would be interested in placing an ad on an MLM site, while 6 said they would not be<br />Of those that would be interested:<br />1 responder said his/her company would create their own ad<br />1 responder would let Mannatech design the ad<br />1 responder said he/she would utilize third party to design the ad<br />Based on the survey, one reason why other MLMs are not including outside advertising on their websites may be that they are not finding enough companies who would want to advertise with them. This can be a major concern for Mannatech. If Mannatech decides to have ads on its website, the first major and potentially difficult task will be to find companies who are willing to advertise.<br />Another thing we considered to help us determine whether or not Mannatech should include ads on their site is how those ads will affect the associates and impact Mannatech’s revenue. We can look at a couple of key questions:<br />If the advertisement customers click on gives them a bad deal (i.e. faulty product or buying somewhere else is cheaper) or “tricks” them into getting in a long term contract, how will they view us as a company?<br />Maybe in a negative way because this could hurt the company’s image and therefore hurt the number of people coming back to the website or even the company<br />If the customers click on the advertisement, will they spend too much time on the other site and forget why they got online?<br />Customers could possibly get side-tracked, but they would probably come back to the site since more than likely they visited the site to order products for their customers and that will make them money.<br />Recommendations<br />With the current scenario, we believe it will be a difficult task to find advertisers for the Mannantech’s website. Since no other company out there is advertising to its down lines, this might be a risk. Mannatech can further extend the survey we accomplished to additional companies and try and see if there are enough companies who are interested in placing ads on their website. <br />Path Forward<br />We recommend that Mannatech first contact all of its vendors and business partners to determine if any of those companies would be interested in posting ads on Mannatech’s website. Since these companies already have a relationship with Mannatech this would be a good opportunity to gradually implement outside advertising on the company’s site. Once Mannatech feels confident that having outside advertising meets its business objectives, the company can then seek out other companies who may want to advertise with them. <br />Target Markets<br />Summary<br />Mannatech, Inc. sells health enhancement, skin care and weight/fitness products using a direct selling MLM model. The Mannatech website is a place where members can order products, communicate and track sales. The website has approximately 500,000 registered users. Located across the globe, these individuals are of differing cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and speak a myriad of languages. Members are organized in a tree-like structure with people at the top of the tree benefiting from the sales of people at the bottom of the tree. The purpose of this section is to identify the characteristics of members that use the web site. Understanding the target market will allow Mannatech to better evaluate the pros and cons of advertising on the website. If Mannatech proceeds with website advertising, target market information is helpful in determining the types of advertised products, design of web ads and member segmentation. Understanding the Mannatech members and communities determines which advertising strategy is most appropriate for the typical Mannatech registered user.<br />Research <br />Market as a Whole (Direct Selling Market Information)<br />This information is based on information collected from the Direct Selling Association surveys.<br />Main Reason for Becoming a Direct Sales Representative <br /><ul><li>36% Additional income
31% It's your (primary) business and making money through direct sales is important to you
4% Other</li></ul>2862739120492Ethnicity Breakdown: <br />Caucasian: 78%<br />Hispanic: 13%<br />African-American: 5%<br />Asian: 1%<br />Other: 2%<br />26289002060575Total Household Income: <br />$150K+: 8%<br />$100K - $149.9K: $14%<br />$75K - $99.9K: 16%<br />$50K - $74.9K: 21%<br />$35K to $49.9K: 14%<br />$15K to $34.9K: 16%<br />Less than $15K: 11% <br />Education <br />0491490Number of People involved in selling direct marketing products:<br />Estimated Total direct selling sales:<br />Location of Sales (reported as a percent of sales dollars)<br />Hours spent on direct selling per week<br />Average Percent of Time Spent on... <br />Gender of people involved in selling direct marketing products:<br />Age of people involved in selling direct marketing products:<br />Marital Status of people involved in selling direct marketing products:<br />Mannatech Market Demographics<br />This information is from research provided by Mannatech, Inc. corporate including the Mannatech Customer Experience Scorecard1 and the Omniture Site Catalyst Countries Report2.<br />Age<br />According to the Mannatech Customer Experience Scorecard1, registered users are between hethe ages of 25-55+. Those 55+ over account for over 50% of registered users.<br />Gender<br />The majority of Mannatech users are female. <br /><ul><li>67% Female
33%Male</li></ul>Income Levels<br />Over 60% of visitors’ household incomes are in the $30,000-$99,999 range.<br /><ul><li>Less than $30,000 19%
Other37%</li></ul>Nationality/Ethnicity2<br />Approximately 45% of registered users conduct their business and live in the United States.<br />Marital Status<br />Nearly three-fourths of users are married. 1<br />Married73%<br />Divorced/Separated12%<br />Single, never marries7%<br />Widowed4%<br />Living with partner3%<br />Behavioral Analysis<br />Research<br />User Status<br />Our plan of action is to determine a user’s status with regard to Mannatech (Nonusers, Ex-users, Potential Users, First-time Users, Regularand Regular Users). Research (which will be explicated further in a different section of the report) shows that the core target market is current registered users who sign in to the Mannatech website. Further analysis may be used to determine status in terms of associates, members, non-members and prospective customers.<br />Primary Motivators<br />47% of Mannatech users visit the site to manage their personal Mannatech business. 29% access the site to purchase products. Only 2% peruse the site to learn about Mannatech business opportunity.<br />Analysis<br />The breakdown of Mannatech visitors indicates that the vast majority of site visitors are either Mannatech associates or members. Thus, the vast majority of site visitors will be logging into the private pages in order to manage their Mannatech business or to purchase.<br />Recommendation<br />If one of the main motivators for visiting the Mannatech site is to conduct business, related advertisements would be appropriate and beneficial. If there are advertisements for companies and products which may help the visitors conduct their business in a more streamlined manner, this may motivate visitors to click on one of the ads for information. Accordingly, the ads must be designed and marketed in a way which would have the user make a subconscious association between the advertised product and Mannatech product sales. As an example, AT&T can target their ad for the Mannatech site by correlating with Mannatech to offer special Mannatech-specific benefits in addition to a general discount.<br />Mannatech associates are also motivated by the need to be successful business people. This means that they will be aware of any cash outflow, and thus will constantly be looking for more economical ways to do business. Marketing ads to the typically frugal natures common incommon in most entrepreneurs greatly increases the opportunity for click through. <br />Path Forward<br />Looking forward, Mannatech needs to focus on their target market (the true believers) and this market’s interest in growing their business. Further research on the typical companies Mannatech associates utilize to conduct their business may be advantageous. In addition, Mannatech should gather an internal sample of the target market and conduct a relevant survey. The survey would be effective in determining how Mannatech registered users would feel about advertising on the Mannatech site. Analysis of the results would help Mannatech understand if users find advertising beneficial or a distraction. Moreover, a survey would reveal answers to questions about the type of advertising users would prefer or find most distracting. Once Mannatech does an internal research of ad types, the company may even include samples in their survey.<br />An internal financial analysis of costs and returns with regard to both internal, Mannatech-oriented advertising and third-party advertising is necessary. The analysis may also include other important factors such as intangible expenditures and earnings with regard to the Mannatech reputation, credibility, the loyalty of users. All the different factors, some of which may seem irrelevant, must be taken into account before entering this new advertising and website content strategy. <br />With regards to third-party advertising, it is imperative that Mannatech keep the end-users in mind. Ads on the website should be companies that would assist users in forming and staying in contact with downlines and growing their business. Mannatech must conceive internal benefits to correlate with third-party advertisements and entice users. Also, Mannatech must monitor the benefits received from third-party advertising parties if third party advertising is placed on the site.<br />Geography<br />Research<br />78% of registered Mannatech users are located in the United States. Of the remaining 22%, 11% are located in Canada. <br />Analysis<br />The majority of Mannatech registered users are located in North America.<br />Recommendation<br />Since North America amounts to the majority of Mannatech users, advertising should be limited to products available in North America. A statement should be placed close to the ad indicating that the offer is only available in North America to avoid confusion among international members. Members should be surveyed before and after advertising is placed on the site to gauge member reaction. If web advertising enhances the value chain in North America and the members are not irritated by the advertising, then it can be expanded to other countries such as Australia and New Zealand.<br />Benefits<br />The majority of Mannatech business comes from North America. Focusing on the North American market allows Mannatech the opportunity to test the market at a low cost. Starting the advertising in one part of the world is more cost-efficient. The target market in North America is mainly English-speaking. Therefore, no translation is required. In addition, the U.S. boasts higher technological standards. Web advertising methods are not restricted due to the target market’s bandwidth or connection speed.<br />Drawbacks<br />No matter the location, some advertising deals may not be available to all registered users in every part of North America. Canada and the United States have different governing bodies with different regulations and rules. Different firms provide different services depending on their city of operation. The software to pinpoint the geographic location may be expensive. As with any connection to a third-party, there is the possibility of diminishing Mannatech’s credibility. Mannatech must have some control over advertising content and type. Focusing the advertising project on North America limits the full possible benefits of the project. <br />Path Forward<br />Mannatech should investigate the costs and benefits of geographic segmentation of web content. Content could be tailored to the language and location of the end user member. Ads could be targeted to ensure that the advertised products are available and useful to members.<br />Associate Profile: Online Sales<br />The auction site eBay and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Orkut and LinkedIn were reviewed to enhance our understanding of Mannatech member interactions outside of the Mannatech web site.<br />Research<br />Only eBay and www.checkoutmannatech.com were found to have any Mannatech products for sale. EBay sellers are primarily low volume sellers that appear to be leaving the direct selling business. One Mannatech associate even offered to sell his downline of sale people. Mannatech prohibits its associates from selling on eBay and has created a specialized website www.manaprotect.com for people to submit complaints of unauthorized selling on the web. All other web links that were found offering Mannatech products for sale looped back to the Mannatech main page or an associate page on www.mannapages.com. <br /> <br />Mannatech position for saleLocation: North Carolina Seller User ID: cberglundView similar active items | Sell one like this 0 Bids$7,500.00<br />The few repeat Mannatech products sellers are heavy discounters. <br />Repeat EBay Sellers<br />Mannatech price $1572<br />Shoppinglady50<br />12 Jars Advanced Ambrotose Mannatech 150g 150 g 5.3oz INTERNATIONAL BUYERS WELCOME * US BUYER FREE SHIPPINGLocation: Texas Store: A Brand Name Designer...Seller User ID: shoppinglady50View similar active items | Sell one like this Buy It NowSold$749.99Free shippingOct-20 07:53<br />Mannatech Price $262<br />Cat57man<br />Enlarge(2) Advanced Ambrotose Mannatech 150g 150 g 5.3 oz gramFree Priority Mail Shipping for U.S. Buyers exp. 05/11Location: Texas Store: A Bargain Price Parad...Seller User ID: cat57manView similar active items | Sell one like thisBuy It NowSold$148.49Free shippingOct-19 16:23<br />Analysis<br />Mannatech online sales are primarily through the main Mannatech web site. Creating an independent web site to sell Mannatech products is difficult due to strict policies regarding the display of Mannatech products. Blog postings regarding the creation of a websites to sell Mannatech products mentioned the difficult policies that exist. The majority of Mannatech members have decided that a private web site is more trouble that it is worth. In summary, legitimate sellers of Mannatech products are not easily found on the internet. Mannapages for members do not appear to be heavily used by members. The existing Mannapages do not offer much in the way of customization or usability. Unauthorized sellers are not common, but when found, are heavily discounting the product and devaluing the brand. Mannatech has successfully ensured that the vast majority of online selling is performed on the official site and that all links found on the web consolidate to the Mannatech web site. <br />Recommendations<br />Mannapages for members should be enhanced to provide real functionality and customization. Currently members do not have an outlet for creative design and marketing of products. Hosting member websites would allow Mannatech to monitor content while providing a store front viewable to the general public. Blogs and member created experiences with the products would be a strong advertisement for Mannatech products. The members could leverage their philosophy or interests to gain members. Prospective members do not currently have a way of evaluating groups to join. Finding original content regarding Mannatech products is very difficult. Web users expect to research products, look for reviews and find unique information. Let the members sell products and share their passion.<br />Path Forward<br />Mannatech should investigate creating a store on eBay to create an official outlet for Mannatech products and put pressure on unauthorized sellers. A department or person in charge of the internet community could help involve new members in discussions and site creation. Group advocates could help place members with communities that share their interests and background.<br />Associate Profile: Facebook<br />Research<br />There are over 500 Mannatech Associates who have facebook accounts. There are 75 groups and 19 fan pages formed by Mannatech Associates on Facebook.com. The Mannatech groups consist of 3670 members and 1318 fans. <br />Nationality/Ethnicity<br />The majority of Mannatech AsssociatesAssociates on facebook.com are from North America. <br /><ul><li>US: 340
South Africa: 17 </li></ul>Gender<br />Most Mannatech users on facebook.com are female. The age profile is very similar with the Mannatech score card. <br /><ul><li>60 % Female
40% Male</li></ul> Age<br />The users are mostly adult. We can easily see from most of their facebook profiles that, most of the female associates are middle-aged, married and have children. <br />Analysis<br />Facebook seems to be as popular among Mannatech Associates just like it is with non-Mannatech associates. Facebook users, connected to Mannatech, share feedback and information about Mannatech products. Users discuss health, weight loss, well being, and nutrition on group walls. Associates advertise Mannatech products on group pages and provide information about job opportunities for prospective Mannatech members. <br />Recommendation<br />There many individual Facebook pages dedicated to Mannatech. It would be advantageous for Mannatech to create one main primary Mannatech Facebook page that all associates could access and link to. This process should at least be done at a regional level. Such a page would help Mannatech associates keep in touch with happenings and information from multiple sources in a single place. This easy access to information would reduce the time and effort associates would spend to interact with other members. Also, the feeling of kinship may be enhanced if Mannatech Associates perceived and felt that they are a part of a large and wide, yet close-knit network. Since the associate’s revenue is directly proportional to their downline, it may encourage to users to work harder.<br />Path Forward<br />Mannatech should link to its Facebook page on the main Mannatech website and link back to the Mannatech homepage on Facebook to create a closed loop.<br />A Facebook link on the Mannatech homepage would encourage Associates to join or interact on the social network and use it to their benefit. Facebook features a more laid-back, enjoyable atmosphere,atmosphere; it is also a friend-oriented network (as opposed to LinkedIn’s professional perception). This association may help with the Associates’ perception of Mannatech. Mannatech may now be perceived as a workplace which also provides for some enjoyment and this might help attract more Associates in the future.<br />Associate Profile: Twitter4<br />The official Mannatech Twitter page twitter.com/mannatech boasts 697 followers. A small sample size of MannaTweeps was examined.<br />Research<br />Gender<br />The majority of Mannatech followers are female. The figures are similar to the Mannatech demographic figures listed in the scorecard1.<br />58%Female<br />42%Male<br />Nationality/Ethnicity<br />Followers are located across the world. Geographic locations include the United States, Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland. <br />United States61% <br />Canada 15%<br />Australia 9%<br />Switzerland 6%<br />England 3%<br />New Zealand 3%<br />Sweden 3%<br />Occupation<br />Mannatech followers and its following are diverse in their occupations. Many followers are network marketers, home business owners (many are stay-at-home moms) or training coaches assisting those with a multilevel marketing business. Many MannaTweeps list Mannatech in their profile. Some followers hold full time jobs and utilize their Mannatech business as supplemental income. Listed professions for the Mannatech following include physicians, chiropractors, life coaches, teachers, performers, motivational speakers, athletes and personal trainers.<br />Behavioral<br />MannaTweeps are advocates of home businesses, making extra money, fitness, wellness, natural health, weight management, nutrition and skincare. Mannatweeps are users of Mannatech health and skincare products and are firm believers in their positive effects. Many MannaTweeps are spiritual and religious. Individual Mannatech followers have a handful of followers to thousands of followers of their profiles and pages. <br />Primary Motivators<br />MannaTweeps use Twitter to socially connect with others, find out more about upcoming Mannatech advances and events. Many Mannatech followers post their own techniques and strategies for being successful in the business on their personal Twitter page. Mannatech corporate posts are news-oriented with links to articles.<br />Analysis<br />Twitter is a logical place to connect associates with their immediate downline and Mannatech corporate to connect with their registered users. However, the site is not very Mannatech oriented, with only a small logo appearing on the upper left side of the page. The Mannatech website is listed in the right panel but is lost otherwise.<br />Twitter and other social networking sites offer Mannatech a plethora of connections and networks to tap into. Each individual follower on the Mannatech Twitter page adds value to the overall Mannatech network by allowing for an additional connection. With some followers having tens of thousands of followers themselves, the possibility to expand the network is endless. <br />Path Forward<br />The Twitter page should be transformed aesthetically to feature Mannatech more prominently. Mannatech registered users are internet users. The internet is their life-line and many are Twitter users. They should further be directed back to the Mannatech homepage or at least one of the satellite sites, depending on their interest. Whether their interest is in weight loss, the science behind Mannatech products, skincare, etc. the official Mannatech sites should remain in the network loop.<br />Associate Profile: MySpace<br />The number of Mannatech members within Myspace.com is 20 samples. Those people list Mannatech as occupation and most of them work as independent associate of Mannatech.<br />Research<br />Gender<br />The figures demonstrate that the number of Mannatech members between men and women are the same:<br /><ul><li>50% Male
50% Female</li></ul>Age<br />The majority of Mannatech members are between twenty to thirty years old (approximately 50%). The next highest age group is 31-40 year olds. This information is very different from the Mannatech demographic figures listed on the scorecard. However, this error may be the effect of a small sample size and the younger demographics of MySpace.com.<br /><ul><li>20-30 year: 50%
51-60 year: 12.5%</li></ul>Education Levels<br />Most Mannatech members have college degrees or higher. This information is compatible with the demographic data in the scorecard.<br />Location<br />Based on geographical data, it was found that Mannatech followers generally reside in the US. The rest of members are located in other parts of the world such as Canada and England. <br /><ul><li>US 87.5%
Others 12.5 </li></ul>Analysis<br />Mannatech members on MySpace have used this social network to network and send information about Mannatech products to friends or other members. However, there are only a few Mannatech followers on this site. Due to the low numbers of MySpace followers, this social networking site is not an effective place for Mannatech advertising. Other social networks, such as Facebook with larger fan bases would be more effective location for Mannatech advertising. <br />Path Forward<br />If Mannatech is interested in further using this site, it should motivate Mannatech associates to visit this site more. Associates could use this site to create networking and transfer information and experiences about Mannatech products effectively. Furthermore, it would help Mannatech associates to interact with their downlines. <br />Associate Profile: LinkedIn<br />Research<br />Gender<br />56% of the employees are female and 44% are male. This data is very similar to the data on the Mannatech scorecard.<br />Age<br />The median age of the employees is 37 years old.<br />Location <br />Most of Mannatech associates are located in the DFW area, with a few located in either Denver or Los Angeles. As a company, Mannatech is listed as a mid-sized public company (2006 revenues of $410 million) in the Health, Wellness and Fitness industry (Company Size 501-1000 employees). <br />Occupation<br />Common job titles found on LinkedIn are Associate, Independent Associate, Director, Regional Director and Consultant. Through research, the career paths for Mannatech employees are clear. <br /><ul><li>Before - Home Interiors, Latimark...
After - Mary Kay Inc., SYSTIME...</li></ul>Judging by the career path, it seems like the associates join Mannatech after having worked at small companies with about 100 employees and then move on to bigger companies with a greater number of employees. Some associates even move to other big MLMs such as Mary Kay Inc. <br />Analysis<br />One would expect LinkedIn to be a natural networking ground for associates, because it is of prime importance in multi-level marketing firms. However, the profiles show different. Network connections are few. Though associates are very internet savvy and use the internet for selling products to customers, the associates don’t seem to be very active on LinkedIn. Perhaps the Mannatech network is so close knit and personal that associates can manage to maintain that network using personal email alone. It seems like the vast networking potential that LinkedIn offers is not being properly utilized by Mannatech employees. <br />Recommendation<br />Mannatech should encourage more of its employees to create profiles on LinkedIn and to use it more actively. This is because the first person a customer would go to verify a salesperson’s credibility is LinkedIn, and it would help the Mannatech associates to come across as more trustworthy to their customers this way. <br />Path Forward<br />The LinkedIn page should be used more creatively by the associates to help build their network of customers. The description of Mannatech given there is insufficient, and customers need to be told of the company’s vision and mission statements in that space for company description. This could also help convert potential Mannatech customers to associates, helping Mannatech associates increase their downline, and hence their revenues.<br />Associate Profile: Orkut<br />Research<br />The following information was based on doing a search in Orkut for Mannatech in the Occupation field of profiles. There are a total of ten users who listed their occupation as Mannatech. <br />Age and Gender<br />In the North American region, users are all middle aged to older women. In Europe, the users were younger and mostly male. These figures may show that the presentation and selling of products is managed differently overseas. <br />Location <br /><ul><li>US 50%
Canada 10%</li></ul>Other Pertinent Information<br />The website www.buyambrotose.com is listed 6 times on discussion boards across Orkut. <br />Analysis<br />The users of Orkut, although small in number, are representative of the North American demographic trends- middle aged women who market to their friends in their homes. It also shows that this small slice of users also follows the generalized international trends that have already been observed in Mannatech users. <br />Recommendation<br />Orkut is a small but growing group of users who have found an alternative to other social networking sites, and Mannatech would have an edge if they get into the market at the beginning stages such as this, in order to maximize the potential of all new entrants into the website seeing their advertising and becoming potential Mannatech associates and members.<br />Path Forward<br />Mannatech must consider the gains which they would experience if they decided to expand their presence onto Orkut and weigh this against the time and resources it would take to implement a presence on the site. Also, further studies should be done to see if the growth rate of Orkut will overtake other social websites in the future. Finally, Mannatech must look into the privacy and other policies that Orkut implements in order to see if this would inhibit their use of the site to promote their products.<br />Website Information<br />Research<br />Frequency<br />48% of repeat visitors come to the site daily or at least weakly. First time visitors comprise only 7% of all visitors.<br />How do users find the site?<br />Users learn about business opportunities through friends, relatives or a network of acquaintances. Only 9% of users learned about the Mannatech site thorough Internet search engines<br />Which pages are visited most? <br />Approximately one quarter of the top 50 pages on the Mannatech website are public to users who have not logged in. The remaining three quarters of the sites require users to be logged in. <br />The top page views are related to shopping and the completion of orders.<br />PagePublic/PrivateHits1. Home PagePublic402,3632. MyMannatech:DashboardPrivate249,6883. Select CountryPublic241,3284. Checkout:Order DetailPublic195,9315. My Mannatech:Order:My OrdersPrivate173,1196.Checkout:Order CompletePrivate124,7787. Checkout:Order ConfirmationPrivate105,5238. My Mannatech: Success TrackerPublic105,4279. Checkout: ProcessingPrivate94,00710. Checkout: Payment InfoPrivate89,144<br />Analysis<br />From these figures, it is apparent that any advertising on the Mannatech site should be on private pages. Third-party advertising should be more prominently placed on private pages, where most of the target market visits. <br />Recommendations<br />Although, the Mannatech homepage is the most commonly visited page, no advertising should be placed on the homepage as it is the point of first impression. Advertising on the homepage would clutter the page, portray a negative connotation and may distract the target market from effectively achieving their goal in accessing the site. <br />Path Forward<br />Mannatech should further investigate their website in detail. Some pertinent further that should be answered in determining which pages to advertise include: how long do users stay on the web-site? Which page do users spend the most time? More public content should be available from the home page. Many people visit the home page and then leave without a purchase or login. The informational sub pages could host offers designed to benefit prospective members and entice them to join Mannatech.<br />Community Profile<br />Each individual Mannatech associate and member is a part of an extensive Mannatech community. The common thread that weaves the group together is Mannatech. Loyal and committed, this group of believers connects with each other in multiple ways both online and on a more personal basis. Through research and analysis of the individual Mannatech members and associates, we have conceived a community profile of Mannatech members, specifically those in North America. <br />The North American user tends to be an older educated population. 67% of the North American users are female. Over 70% of the total users are married. Several indicators on different social networking websites indicate that the majority of the users are associates with religious beliefs. The trends illustrate that the group most responsible for Mannatech's success are middle class American families who use Mannatech as a secondary source of income. With the current economic times, many individuals in North America have found alternative ways to earn money, in order to sustain their current standard of living into retirement and older age. Many people in this demographic require a second source of income, which they have control over. This leads many in this demographic to start small with a home business or to start selling products such as those offered by Mannatech. <br />Needs<br />As a community, Mannatech associates and members need:<br />Good Health<br />Primary or supplemental income<br />Close family ties<br />Spirituality<br />Connections<br />Desires<br />As a community, Mannatech associates and members have a multitude of wants and desires on a personal note and with respect to a work environment:<br />Business Desires<br /><ul><li>Products that sell well
A feeling of helping neighbors and loved ones be healthy
A feeling of doing good in the world</li></ul>Motivations<br />Whether Mannatech community members are mothers or male entrepreneurs, their primary goal is to help other people. Altruistic and faithful, the community believes that Mannatech products will improve the lives of others. They have a great desire to spread this prophecy and the tools to conceive it. They are true believers in the products’ ability to improve wellness and improve monetary independence through sales. Mannatech members want control of their own health and financial welfare.<br />Selling Mannatech products fulfills a need to build a successful business and downline. The successful downline will be composed of people that share common interests and continue to recruit like mindedlikeminded members. As the page reports illustrate, Mannatech registered users are constantly working to expose the world to Mannatech products by purchasing and reselling. In addition, users are accessing their personal Success Tracker pages to gain a feeling of accomplishment and move forward with their goals.<br />The Mannatech community as a whole is family-oriented and in some cases, religious. The majority of registered users are middle-aged, married females with children. Attendance at Mannatech events is a good illustration of the strong family and religious associations. The events incorporate sponsored Sabbath Keepers events and sponsored child care. In general, people do not bring children to conferences. However, Mannatech functions have a demand for child care. This speaks to a strong family dynamic. <br />Communication<br />On the go, driving the kids around between school, extracurricularalicular activities and errands or working another full time job, these individuals are extremely busy with their daily lives. Yet, they find the time to stay connected. Quick and easy communication is most efficient for conducting their business and interacting with their downline and potential customers. PDA type phones and the internet are probably most commonly used. Utilizing multiple social and business networking sites as well as mannapages, there are multiple points of contact for these individuals to connect and interact online.<br />Recommendations<br />Understanding the Mannatech community is essential to building loyalty and commitment among members as well as communicating with Mannatech Associates. According to the research on individual registered users and the Mannatech community as a whole, advertisements should offer discounts as well as be correlated with a Mannatech loyalty program. In order to properly target ads towards the North American Mannatech community, Mannatech and third-parties must offer these individuals opportunities to realize their goals of earning a secondary income, or offer them savings on products which they may already currently use in their daily lives. Mannatech must ensure that ads are relevant to the users. Otherwise, Mannatech will not earn any benefits from the companies which are advertising on the website. In addition to relevance, Mannatech must ensure that certain intrusive advertising is not used, as this demographic will have a negative reaction and hold Mannatech responsible. <br />Path Forward<br />Answering these questions will help define the sub communities within Mannatech community and allow better targeting of products and services. <br /><ul><li>What is the distribution of down-line size? Are there many small groups, few large groups or a combination? What is the mix?
We believe that the distribution of down line size could reveal the amount of true entrepreneurial members versus followers.
Do different down-lines concentrate on purchases of specific product lines such as Optimal Health, Optimal Skin, Optimal Weight and Fitness? Or do most down-lines order equally from all groups.</li></ul>Mannatech should study the purchasing history of the Mannatech communities and target them appropriately.<br /><ul><li>What characterizes high, medium and low producers? </li></ul>We are looking for traits that could identify a potential high producer early and target retention promotions to them.<br /><ul><li>Mannafest and other Mannatech functions can reveal much about the Mannatech community. The content of the workshops in correlation to attendance of the workshops would reveal specific interests. KiddieCorp attendance could reveal the number of families involved with Mannatech and explain the differences between Mannatech numbers and those of multilevel marketing industry as a whole.
Sabbath Keepers appears to be an active sub community. Investigating the positioning of Sabbath Keepers in the Mannatech structure could reveal opportunities for targeted products.
Are the athletes in Team Mannatech active Mannatech salespeople? Do they typically lead down-lines? What is their role as a group? This is another opportunity to target an internal community.
There are someare some differences between the demographics of the overall direct selling industry and Mannatech demographics. The differences should be investigated. Opportunities may be found in untapped communities.</li></ul>On the international front, although other parts of the globe only account for 20% of Mannatech total sales, the group is increasing in size. This international group conducts business in many different languages and utilizes different selling techniques. If Mannatech decides to advertise to its international market, different versions of an advertisement must be created and marketed toward the myriad of groups depending on the group’s geographic location, language, religious and cultural beliefs.<br />Communication Methods<br />Social Network communication<br />Research <br />People posting blogs as well as comments regarding Mannatech were found on numerous websites such as Face Book and Twitter, personal blog, as well as video clips on YouTube. Also while doing our research we found this online regarding a Mannatech lawsuit. -- “Mannatech Company Settle False Marketing Claims for $1 Million penalty. And this wasn’t the first time.-- The lawsuit, filed in 2007, alleged numerous instances in which freelance sales associates falsely claimed that the products helped cure or prevented diseases such as cancer, autism and Down syndrome.”<br /><ul><li>22 Mannatech Facebook Pages foundFace Book(FB) 22 page results are found
Among the pages found one official page was found “Mannatech, Inc. - Official Page” which was created in late Sep. The information provided regarding, Press release, Product, Training Information, Dialogue with associates on these pages are various and much more attractive than Mannatech’s website.
The other 21 pages are confusing. Some are obvious personal groups; some look very similar to the official one. (ex. Mannatech Europe page… Is it official?? )
Positive feedback from fans on the official website. One of the posts was “glad that Mannatech was finally supporting the network”
FB chats with some fans from Mannatech official page.Limited chatting is used on Mannatech FB site
Some are not associates, they’ve just used Mannatech products.
Some are associates. They Associates have joined FB group to share information about what is going on in the market, and to suggest that Mannatech add this function to its website. They also mentioned is that they wish that Mannatech provided “Contact information on all their members.”
Some associates mentioned, compared with website, they prefer E-mail because it is the best and easier to transfer information.
They tend to visit the website mainly for Product information and updates
4 major sellers sell various Mannatech products.</li></ul>Analysis<br /><ul><li>The unofficial comments from associates might hurt the Mannatech brand or cause financial fine. There’s a need to control this situation among the social network.
It is effective to set up the OFFICALOFFICIAL Page against other Mannatech pages on FB. The fans of the official page are outnumbered the other pages in a fairly short period. (6xx fans vs. less than 200 fans)
Although the official twitter page is set up, it is less effective than the one in FB.
First, it is difficult to distinguish the official page from some of the unofficial pages; the reason we recognize it as being official is because of the Mannatech link posted on FB official page.
Secondly, we don’t know which posts are official, and which are comments from associates or users.
Associates are more focused on attracting down lines than selling products. They like the network effect more than anything else.
YouTube click cdount is low; either the awareness is low, or the CEO talk might not be an effective / attractive way to communicate with the associates. </li></ul>Recommendations<br /><ul><li>Setting up “Official” pages / groups in major social networking sites. People will make up their own minds as to what they believe in. Also, there is a need to clearly address the contract of the down line, telling them whether they are allowed to claim the effectiveness of the medicine, is it legal to sell Mannatech’s product on their own.
Leverage other social networking official pages in the same way that Mannatech is doing with FaceBook page.
Make use of YouTube, which is an effective and free communication tool. Create official YouTube channel, post links to it on all social networking sites. Distribute the Mannatech advertisements or discussions in an attractive format.
Set up official shop on EBay / Amazon to avoid sales associates selling Mannatech products in private online.
Include an adaptive Search Engine application on the Mannatech website (ex. Google AD)
With the advent of high speed internet hotspots, 3G mobile networks, and WiMAX, consumers are increasingly integrating mobile communication and information inquiries in their busy lives. This additional communication channel is vital to the future of any advertising campaign, corporate communications department, or customer relationship management program.
Over 65 million, roughly 22% of active Facebook users access their facebook accounts using mobile devices. ( HYPERLINK "http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics" http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics)
Facebook users that access their account via a mobile device are 50% more active than users without mobile access. ( HYPERLINK "http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics" http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics)
Approximately 76% of Twitter users access the internet wirelessly via wireless laptop or PDA connection or a cellphone/smartphone. HYPERLINK "http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1117/twitter-tweet-users-demographics" http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1117/twitter-tweet-users-demographics
Approximately 82% of Twitter users use their cellphones to send text messages and access online content. HYPERLINK "http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1117/twitter-tweet-users-demographics" http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1117/twitter-tweet-users-demographics
Text message users are active people. For example, texters are 37% more likely than other cellular users to have played recreational basketball and 23% more likely to have practiced yoga. HYPERLINK "http://www.marketingcharts.com/uncategorized/texters-young-culturally-diverse-online-spenders-6944/scarborough-top-online-markets-texters-dma-2008jpg/" http://www.marketingcharts.com/uncategorized/texters-young-culturally-diverse-online-spenders-6944/scarborough-top-online-markets-texters-dma-2008jpg/
Approximately 63% and 31% of mobile users 18-27 and 28-39 respectively use text messaging as a way to communicate. These percentages are growing. HYPERLINK "http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/2005-07-27-text-messaging_x.htm" http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/2005-07-27-text-messaging_x.htm
Several types of text message ads exist – Initial Appended Ads, Complete Full Message Ads, Reply by text, Click to Call, and Link to mobile websites. HYPERLINK "http://mmaglobal.com/mobileadvertising.pdf" http://mmaglobal.com/mobileadvertising.pdf
Recommendations</li></ul>It is recommended that Mannatech embrace mobile communications technology by building a mobile version of their website and adopting text messaging as an additional touch point.<br /><ul><li> </li></ul>E-mail Advertisements<br />Research<br /><ul><li>Pros:
Low Cost – Can send thousands of e-mails for pennies on the dollar compared to physical mail
Speed – The message is delivered to customers in seconds
Instant reply – Customers can respond instantly to the advertisement
Better Statistics – HTML e-mails allow you to track how many people received the e-mail, and how many clicked through the e-mail to make a purchase
Targeted Advertisements – The sender is not locked in to sending the same advertisement to everyone on an e-mail list
Cost effectively customize message – Based on customer demographics or interests, the advertiser can send one offer to one part of the list, and another offer to the others
May be considered SPAM – The e-mail may never reach the intended recipient because it was caught by a SPAM filter
Requires large sample size – May require 100,000 e-mails or more to get a meaningful response
Low Response Rates – Non-opt-in e-mail campaigns typically have very low response rates of .25 to .50 percent or less. However, targeted opt-in e-mail campaigns can reach response rates of 5 to 10 percent or more
Must Comply with Federal CAN-SPAM act – This act prevents marketers from sending unsolicited messages, and sets rules for e-mail marketing behaviors. For example, the e-mail must include unsubscribe or opt-out links and a physical mailing address in every message. When someone requests removal, the sender must act quickly to remove; usually within 10 days
Permanent once sent – If you are too quick to send the message out and overlook a mistake, it is impossible to un-send, or get the e-mail back </li></ul>Analysis<br /><ul><li>E-mail can very quickly become a nuisance if used incorrectly. You do not want to annoy the associates by sending multiple e-mails a day. How much is too much? Mannatech must decide the acceptable level of e-mail communication between itself and its associates. Do you want to e-mail the associates once a month? Once a week?
What do you want to include in the e-mail communication? Do you include advertisements for Mannatech products? Do you include advertisements for third parties? Links to official social networking sites to increase awareness? </li></ul>Advertisement Communication with Mannatech Associates<br /><ul><li>Majority of Mannatech Members and Associates use the web and email for communication with Mannatech.
When placing ads, position in the premium location above the fold for major landing pages, or pages where dwell time is low. As an option, placing a skyscraper on the side of the page is acceptable provided it extends above the fold.
Unless the background and adjacent content is so cluttered and overpowering, motion of a flash ad is not necessary to draw attention to the ad.ad. Color and contrast with the background and surrounding content will attract the eye.
Placing ads in an “email newsletter” should be near the top but not necessarily above the fold as the primary purpose would be to provide useful information (value); otherwise the email may get deleted outright as a spam advertisement.
Allow users to choose either HTML or Plain Text for email newsletters as email is now commonly read on mobile devices which do not necessarily support HTML. If an email is unreadable, it will likely get marked as “read” and not be read again. </li></ul>Sponsorships<br />Logo and company message is placed in webpage to look as if it is almost part of the page, but is clickable.<br /><ul><li>Pros
Customers unsure if it’s an ad or a partner of the company</li></ul>Analysis<br /><ul><li>Research shows that consumers are more trusting of sponsorship advertising. This could be a good option for Mannatech to pursue. Sponsorship (unlike other forms of advertising) generally doesn’t cheapen the appearance of a company’s website.</li></ul>Interstitial Ads<br />Appear after you click a link but before you get to the final destination.<br /><ul><li>Pros
Customers can’t close the</li></ul>Analysis<br /><ul><li>This form of adveritisingadvertising may be effective if Mannatech users often surf multiple Mannatech pages. It is suggested that ads be placed between Mannatech and R&D websites. Possibly could place an ad having to do with particular product that consumer is researching. Also embedded link advertising could be an effective form of advertising in order to not push advertising upon consumers. </li></ul>Banner Ads and Skyscraper Ads<br />Banner Ads and Skyscraper Ads - usually on side or top of the page, have animations and offer ability to click through to advertisers’ site.<br /><ul><li>Pros
Take up large amount of page can be in line of readers vision.</li></ul>Analysis<br /><ul><li>This form of advertising is shown statistically to be a declining form of advertising. Cognitive filtering is taking place within the mind of the consumer and consumers are not paying attention to banner ads in a similar fashion that they don’t pay attention to TV commercials.</li></ul>Rich Media<br />Ads done in Java, HTML, Flash, that can activate when rolled over. Can be games or videos, generally interactive<br /><ul><li>Pros
Visitors don’t have to leave the site to interact with the ad
People have pop-up blockers so many people will not see it
You are unable to control when the ad is viewed / may be after they exit the site
Wireless telephone providers, Internet service providers, and other telecommunications firms
Gym memberships, organic grocers and other non-competing firms with products supporting a healthy lifestyle
Legal and tax preparation software</li></ul>Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3 A win-win-win relationship.<br />Such relationships with Mannatech suppliers could result a win-win-win. The supplier wins due to the volume gains from Mannatech’s vast network. The members and associates win because of the exclusive discounts provided by Mannatech’s partnership with the supplier. And, finally, Mannatech wins directly by reducing the cost of doing business while simultaneously gaining goodwill, largely because the members and associates will feel they are privileged due to their relationship with Mannatech.<br />Affiliate Marketing<br />Affiliate marketing is an “Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's marketing efforts. The Affiliate marketing industry has four core players at its heart: the Merchant (also known informally as 'Retailer' or 'Brand'), the Network, the Publisher (also known informally as 'the Affiliate') and the Customer” (Wikipedia).<br />The following illustration shows the concept of affiliate marketing:<br />An alternative for Mannatech is to join an affiliate network for quick and easy access to advertisers. Affiliate networks serve as intermediaries between affiliates (publishers/website owners) and advertisers. Mannatech would be provided with thousands of advertisement possibilities for their website. The affiliate network would provide banners, text links, and other forms of advertising displays. Each click and impression would be tracked by the network. If a visitor clicks a banner from Mannatech.com and fulfills requirements (such as service sign up) Mannatech would be paid a pre-defined amount of money for the conversion. This alternative is simple and provides a lot of advertising possibilities. Mannatech would not have to get in direct contact with the advertiser since the affiliate networks already have a commitment from the advertiser. On the other hand, unique advertising opportunities would be hard to come by using this method. Offering associates a unique discount, for example, would not be possible. These ads would be more generic and thus more risky due to the negative generally associated with ads.<br />Below are screenshots of what Mannatech may expect to see with an affiliate network:<br />Front page:<br />Campaign search – find companies/products to advertiser on website:<br />Search options – can search by type of banner and much more: <br />Search by specific product category:<br />Search results – Women category (displays campaign description, payout, and image)<br />Sample campaign page – Clicked on “Free Silkies Tights” – displays ads you can use and the code to paste into your website for tracking. Mannatech can create a custom ad if they feel it will lead to a higher conversion rate.<br />Statistics page – shows stats for specific campaigns (banner impressions, clicks, leads, click thru ratio, total sales, amount earned, and more.<br />Options for Advertising on Mannatech.com<br />Staying in the Mannatech.com Boundaries<br />The new Mannatech web site<br />Old SiteNew SiteFigure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 4 Source: Mannatech.com (Mannatech)Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 5 Source: Mannatech.com (Mannatech)<br />The new Mannatech.com site provides additional advertising opportunities. For the first time, Mannatech will allow consumers to shop for Mannatech products online and will route orders to Mannatech associates CITATION ManResp2 l 1033 (Mannatech, 2009).<br />Leveraging Mannatech’s Total Web Presence<br />Mannatech has a much larger web presence than Mannatech.com alone. REF _Ref244275253 h Figure 6 shows a handful of the targeted, content-oriented sites operated by Mannatech.<br />Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 6 Other Mannatech web sites.<br />These sites include the following:<br /><ul><li>HYPERLINK "http://www.mannatechosolean.com"http://www.mannatechosolean.com
HYPERLINK "http://www.mannapages.com"http://www.mannapages.com </li></ul>These sites offer additional advertising opportunities for Mannatech. Each site provides information about the interests of the user to assist in targeting advertising content. And because these sites are operated by Mannatech, cookies can be employed to identify a Mannatech member or associate even when not logged on.<br />Recommendations<br />Create an Advertising Content Policy<br />Regardless of advertising strategy employed, we recommend Mannatech develop a comprehensive content policy for all forms of advertising. A content policy should encompass Mannatech’s desire to serve their downline, while ensuring advertisements conform to Mannatech’s corporate vision and marketing goals. An established content policy also helps reduce uncertainty regarding whether an advertisement is appropriate for Mannatech. REF _Ref244366954 h Figure 2 shows how such a content policy could be described graphically.<br />Figure 2 Sample decision tree to aid in the creation of a Mannatech content policy.<br />A content policy clarifies advertising restrictions. Examples might include the following:<br /><ul><li>Advertisements for competitive products
Advertisements that would be generally offensive to the Mannatech audience
Advertisements of a religious or political nature</li></ul>This list is provided for examples only and not intended to be exhaustive. <br />Enhance Advertising Effectiveness Using Geo-Targeting<br />At the moment, Mannatech is using Google Analytics to find out the location of their visitors. Geo-Targeting takes this concept and adds another element to it. While Google Analytics will tell Mannatech where their visitors are from, it does not display specific for visitors of a particular geographic location. A Geo Targeting script first identifies where the visitor comes from and then displays the proper ad to the visitor based on his or her location. Mannatech would alter the code in the script so that predefined banners show up for visitors of specific countries. In addition to countries, Mannatech can display selective ads based on region, state, or even city.<br />Mannatech can use Geo-Targeting with OpenX: http://www.openx.org/en/support/geotargeting. The service costs $50, plus $12/month for database updating fees. This service will let Mannatech target banners based on the visitor's continent and country. If Mannatech wants to target visitors more closely, by region for example, it will cost $150 plus a $36/month updating fee. To target by city, it will cost $370 plus $90/month for updates.<br />While this can be done for free, we recommend using OpenX as it has a much greater accuracy due to its use of MaxMind. MaxMind uses a number of Internet mapping tools to identify and correct IP addresses where the end-user location does not match the ISP location on the WHOIS record. The service comes with instructions for easy installation. Another Geo-Targeting alternative for Mannatech would be to do this manually. Step-by-step instructions can be found at http://ekstreme.com/geotargeting.<br />Partner with YouTube<br />In the past couple of years YouTube has become one of the top five most visited websites in the entire world. All that incoming traffic into the website has made it easy for posters to earn money from the website. A couple of years ago YouTube started what they call the partnership program, or in other words profit sharing. This program has helped many people earn a lot of money through posting videos on YouTube. <br />This is a simple way of earning money and at the same time keeping the professionalism of the Mannatech brand on the website. Currently this program is invite only and in order to be invited there are criteria’s that we believe Mannatech fits into. The criteria go as follows, the video needs to be at a minimum thirty seconds long, have thousands of views and the poster of the video should own everything that is being displayed in the video or have permissions for them. Once you have been established on YouTube and have people view your videos, then YouTube will give you the appropriate amount judging by the profit they are getting, hence the term profit sharing. This is a brief description of the partnership program straight from googleGoogle. Our Partnership Program is a revenue-sharing program that allows creators and producers of original content to earn money from their popular videos on YouTube. You can earn revenue from relevant advertisements that run against your video using Google's proprietary technology (http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=72851).<br />There are many pros and cons if Mannatech plans to use YouTube’s partnership program. The pros include but are not limited to, Mannatech earning revenue for something they already do which is making videos. Having the Ad’s not on the Mannatech website therefore there is no responsibility. The initial investment for this is very little in some cases less than five thousand dollarsthousand (dollars (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/11/business/media/11youtube.html). The cons include but are not limited to users being diverted away from the Mannatech website and spending significant time on YouTube which they can be spending on the Mannatech website.<br />Use Twitter and Monitor the Social Media Stream<br />Four Steps to Social Media Marketing Success<br />Whether you're a business or an individual, you must wrestle with many complex issues for social media. These can often be overwhelming. Where to even begin? <br />Rather than be paralyzed, it's often best to understand that there are four simple, yet critical, steps to social media: <br />It's easiest to think of it as a stairway, and the diagram is laid out as such. If you learn anything from this column, it's that you need to take that first step. It's also the most important one. As showcased in the diagram, the four steps are: <br />Listen to your customer and conversations around your brand. <br />Interact -- join the conversation. <br />React -- Adjust your product or service based on feedback. <br />Sell. <br />Companies often enter the social media fray and jump straight to step four, selling. This is the worst thing you can do, and it won't be effective. <br />You need to start with step one, which is listening. Without listening, the other three steps won't achieve any degree of success. As many have said before me (including Li Evans), there's a reason we have two ears and one mouth. <br />Notice in the diagram that the steps for the customer than happen in the reverse order of the company. This is huge. It's these steps that the customer takes within social media that give an exponential return (good or bad). <br />If it makes it easier to grasp, you can consider these steps 5, 6, 7, 8. This is where the magic can really happen. <br />Listen: The customer buys the product service from the selling company. The customer's first step is to listen for what to expect from the product or service (important expectation setting here). What is the value that will be delivered? This also may involve reading instructions or a manual. <br />Interact: The customer will then interact with their new product or service. <br />React: During or after this interaction, the customer will react according to their experience (good/neutral/bad).<br />Sell: The consumer's reaction to the product or service will determine if they sell for or against (the company/product). Keep in mind if it's a negative reaction you still have a chance to correct the situation by interacting and reacting.<br />That's the beauty of social media. As a company, if you appropriately engage in the four steps, then the stairs in the diagram act more like an escalator (pun intended) rather than a traditional stairway. It will create a positively circular motion, which, with the appropriate greasing (effort), will continue to take your product or service to the top. And that is the true beauty of Socialnomics. Some of the best strategies in social media are often the simplest. <br />Tips to Use Twitter More Effectively<br />Profile Says It All<br />A Twitter profile giving a clear, crisp and unambiguous message gets the most attention of potential followers. Custom Twitter background, your real name, a link to your blog and an appealing mini-bio turns any twitter profile into an effective fishnet to get new connections.Your success on Twitter largely depends on whom you follow. It's not the quantity but the quality of your Twitter network that matters the most. Follow most active, popular big names in your domain and leverage their strong network by interacting with them and by attracting their attention. Swim with a big fish and benefit from their reach. Use twitter services like Mr.Tweet to get recommendations about whom you should follow to get the maximum benefit from this micro-blogging service.<br />Track Hot Trends and Join The Bandwagon<br />One of the keys to get connected with more people on twitter is participating in constructive debates. Use services like Twitscoop, Tweetmeme and Twitterfall to stay updated with the latest happenings and the hot trends on twitter. Pick ongoing conversations and heated debates related to your niche, and take that debate to the next level by sending your constructive tweets. This will create large number of new connections in quick time.<br />Tweet What You Are Known For<br />Large number of your followers expects to get specific kind of tweets from you, whether it's your personal tweet or a tweet related to your business/domain. Intelligent tweeting involves cleverly crafted personal and business tweets intermixed with each other to keep your followers asking for more.<br />Direct Your Twitter Stream to Other Social Media Profiles<br />This is one of the best methods to leverage your already grown social media profiles. With the advent of various social media mash up technologies, you can easily feed your different social media profiles with your never-ending twitter stream. This will not only keep your other social media accounts active, but will also spread your tweets across different channels giving more eye balls for your Twitter conversations.<br />Don't Be an Owl, Tweet During Peak Time<br />If you know your audience, then you are also aware about the demographic data associated with them. That means you very well know when they are most active on twitter. Tweeto'clock is an excellent service that calculates the best time to tweet someone. You can handpick the most popular, active and interesting users in your twitter network and can calculate the best time they are most active on twitter. This will help you to engage with them more easily during their convenient hours.<br />Understand the Power of Retweets<br />Initially, Internet marketing experts never saw twitter as a viral marketing platform. As it grew, Twitter users realized how a snowball effect is created when people start retweeting some interesting stuff. Once people start picking any tweet, it creates a rippling effect in connected networks spreading the content to massive number of people in very short time. Here are some tips to get your tweets retweeted more often.<br /><ul><li>Keep tweets short.
Keep them interesting. Ideally a condensed teaser excerpt with a link.
Use best URL shortening services to track performance of your tweets.</li></ul>Using Twitter for Enhancing Customer Service is part of advertising<br />Twitter is an ideal outlet to provide quick and reliable customer service. There are a few key benefits of why Twitter should be offered as a tool for customers to get help from your company should they need it:<br /><ul><li>Low Cost – Twitter does not cost anything to sign up for and typically only costs you the time you or your support staff spend on it.
Increased Brand Awareness - Twitter provides your company an excellent opportunity to not only further your brand recognition, but also to demonstrate that you are a company that stands behind what you offer and will do everything in your power to satisfy customers.
Ease of Use – One of the beauties of Twitter is the ease of use with the 140 character limit. This helps the customer looking for support to be clear and concise on the issue they are having as well as your support staff being straight to the point on a resolution. Should the resolution require a more in depth explanation your staff can arrange an email response or phone call to the customer.</li></ul>Make it Known and Be Available<br />If your company is offering support via Twitter make it known on your website, contact info, business cards, on site, in your store, etc. If the customers know that Twitter is an option for additional help, chances are they will use it should they need support. However, if no one knows it is a viable channel for help, then chances are no one will use it.<br />Most importantly, if using Twitter as a support tool, be sure you have a staff member monitor it frequently and engage with your followers. The majority of Twitter users like the “real time” aspect of the site, so chances are they will want a real time response from your company. You don’t need to sit in front of the computer to monitor your brand continuously on Twitter.<br />Five Ways to Use Twitter to Aid Marketing<br />When assessing how to add Twitter to your marketing mix, consider the following five options:<br />Content distribution. Twitter is useful for time-sensitive information, such as:<br /><ul><li>Announcing breaking news. The US Airway plane crash-landing in the Hudson and the Mumbai riots were initially broadcast via Twitter.
Transmitting time-sensitive information. This includes last-minute flight delays by airlines like JetBlue and major traffic disruptions by LAFD.
Positioning your company as a thought leader. This includes distributing original content to extend the conversation.
Providing an alternative forum for comments. This also includes enabling attendees at live events, such as trade shows, to communicate with each other.</li></ul>Commerce support. Twitter can aid sales, but it can't become strictly a promotional broadcast channel or many followers will leave.<br /><ul><li>Disseminate last-minute deals to drive sales.
Provide additional sales support to answer questions and help close deals. Like chat or a toll-free number, Twitter enables e-tailers to service prospects and customers. A few retailers already using Twitter effectively, including Dell, Zappos, and Whole Foods.
Offer customer service via another channel and proactively alleviate customer issues. Comcast, a cable provider notorious for its customer service issues, has received positive feedback on its responsiveness via Twitter.</li></ul> Advocacy forum. Twitter is a platform from which to develop a following for you, your brand, or your company.<br /><ul><li>Aid brand building. While many individuals use Twitter to enhance their personal brands, Twitter enables companies to participate in the conversation.
Expand services with useful information cost-effectively, particularly for nonprofit and political organizations. The March of Dimes provides daily pregnancy tips in English and Spanish, while Barrack Obama's presidential campaign connected with voters (although as president, Obama's tweets have become less frequent).</li></ul> Public relations support. Twitter provides another outlet to enhance PR-related communications.<br /><ul><li>Enable reputation monitoring by tracking and participating in the conversation related to your management, brands, and company. Also follow what's being said by thought leaders in your niche.
Provide another channel to aid crisis management by getting your organization's story out quickly in case of an emergency.
Use for PR outreach to journalists looking for timely input.</li></ul>Research enabler. Leverage Twitter's search functionality and ability to query and respond to an audience.<br /><ul><li>Track new trends on Twitter to discover what customers and prospects are saying about your brands, products, and company. Unlike search engines, the conversation on Twitter takes place in real time.
Participate by asking prospects their opinion about products and issues related to your firm.</li></ul>Brand your Twitter, design an individual background<br />You need to have a unified experience consistent with your brand so as not to confuse consumers. Your Twitter profile is where people go to quickly discover how you are using Twitter and learn more about your business. Make sure that you get your brand or business messaging across using the 140-character descriptor field.<br />It is acceptable to tell them how you are going to use this Twitter channel and set expectations. For example, if your account is strictly for distribution of an RSS feed and there will be no human interaction, tell them so. Companies like SUN and Dell have multiple Twitter channels -- each specifically geared to deliver niche content to a target audience. <br />Tip: Update your Twitter page background with an image that conveys the positioning of the brand. A good example is Dunkin Donuts.<br />Notice how the company uses a visually branded background, page font, color, and an icon that are all consistent with its brand. Also note that the bio is descriptive, concise, and links to the Dunkin Donuts' homepage. <br />Utilizing Twitter Platforms <br />There are several Twitter application tools that allow you to communicate and engage your followers. The most popular ones are Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop. However, if you want to utilize your tool to build social media campaigns, monitor trends, track your followers, keywords and analyze your company’s and competitors’ statistics, you should look to more business structured platforms. The most popular platforms are Peoplebrowsr and HootSuite. <br />Peoplbrowsr<br />Hootsuite<br />Measuring ROI<br />Trying to associate social media with direct ROI (define) is doable, but with different kinds of metrics.<br />Twitter + advertising concepts, however, offer a little of both worlds. For rich media ads like Volvo's, ad engagement and click-throughs can be measured. There are also tangible metrics associated with Twitter, such as:<br /><ul><li>Changes in follower count. Is there an increase or decrease?
Number of retweets (people re-posting someone else's tweet in order to "forward" it to their followers).
Number of tweets using the designated hashtag. This provides a sense of the campaign's popularity.
Changes in Web site or blog traffic -- traffic spikes should be expected and referral data should show Twitter as a source.</li></ul>There are two primary formats for leveraging Twitter for advertising:<br /><ul><li>Sponsored postings (known as "tweets" on Twitter), whereby solutions providers match-make advertisers with willing Twitter users. Companies such as Twittad, Magpie, and Izea offer these services.
Incorporating live tweets into rich media ad creative.</li></ul>These sample ads can be fairly low- to moderate-cost, relatively easy to implement, and present a new way to reach people, as well as generate awareness, brand buzz, and site traffic.<br />Path Forward<br />In determining Mannatech’s online advertising strategy, we recommend Mannatech carefully address each of the following questions and concerns:<br />Evaluate whether Mannatech’s internal policies and procedures are compatible with this project.<br />Does Mannatech already have an online content policy? If not, we recommend the company begin investigating whether such a policy would be beneficial.<br />Have any current suppliers or partners expressed interest in expanding their partnership with Mannatech? If so, consider approaching them for inclusion in a trial. Using established partners will reduce time spent vetting content and partners, and reduce company risk.<br />Mannatech should evaluate affiliate networks already existing in the marketplace. If Mannatech can use existing networks to locate advertisers, this would reduce the resources needed to develop their own advertising network.<br /> Mannatech should immediately investigate expansion of its presence on social websites. While social websites have traditionally been viewed as the purview of younger internet users, the demographics of at least Facebook.com are moving toward the demographics targeted by Mannatech.<br />Evaluate whether regional and national targeted-advertising would be beneficial to Mannatech and its advertisers. If it would be, considering using the geo-targeting tools previously discussed. <br />Competitive Analysis<br />Research<br />We assessed over fifty Multi Level Marketing companies to determine if any of them use online advertising to generate revenue. We reviewed all the big firms’ sites as well as few of the small ones (revenue generated). From our initial research we found that none of the Multi Level Marketing sites we looked at featured outside advertisers on their websites, at least not on the home page. Since we did not have the member log in information for the sites we were unable to review the member-specific content. <br />Our next step was to do online research and find websites similar to Mannatech.com (not necessarily Multi Level Marketing companies) to see if they used outside advertising. We analyzed sites targeted toward MLM associates and potential associates to see what kind of advertisers they feature on their sites. The main thing we found was a clickable Facebook or Twitter ad that sends users to those homepages. Based on our research, we found that no one advertises on their official websites but some of the Multi Level Marketing employees advertise on their personal websites.<br />To further assess the interest for placing advertising on MLM’s website, we developed a survey that we sent to potential advertisers. We conducted a survey to see what companies may be interested in placing ads on Mannatech’s website. We send out a 6 question survey to various companies to assess interest for advertising on Mannatech’s website.<br />Analysis<br />If Mannatech decides to include online advertising on their sites, it will be the first MLM, as far as we know, to do this. This could be a good or a bad thing. One question we should consider is why are other MLMs not using outside advertising on their sites? One possible reason is that advertisers may not want to advertise on MLM’s sites because of their reputation. Another reason may be because MLMs don’t get as many hits as other retail sites. <br />We developed a survey to determine if companies are interested in including advertisements on MLMs websites and if so, what type of companies should Mannatech try to target. Here are the findings from our survey:<br />To date 8 responses were received.<br />Out of the 8 responses, 1 company said it has previously places ads on an MLM site (the MLM specialized in weight loss products)<br />2 responders said they would be interested in placing an ad on an MLM site, while 6 said they would not be<br />Of those that would be interested:<br />1 responder said his/her company would create their own ad<br />1 responder would let Mannatech design the ad<br />1 responder said he/she would utilize third party to design the ad<br />Based on the survey, one reason why other MLMs are not including outside advertising on their websites may be that they are not finding enough companies who would want to advertise with them. This can be a major concern for Mannatech. If Mannatech decides to have ads on its website, the first major and potentially difficult task will be to find companies who are willing to advertise.<br />Another thing we considered to help us determine whether or not Mannatech should include ads on their site is how those ads will affect the associates and impact Mannatech’s revenue. We can look at a couple of key questions:<br />If the advertisement customers click on gives them