Tag Archives: New York Times

A Good Move for Goldman Sachs?

There has been a lot of hype surrounding the recent launch of Goldman Sachs’ advertising campaign.  The firm that has built a reputation for being a group of elitist “bad boys” wants to change its image.  Perhaps it was the reference to the firm as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity” in a Rolling Stone article that caused the firm to act.  In any case, the most profitable U.S. securities firm in Wall Street history wants the public to know that it creates jobs and loves the small-business community.

The firm’s first ad appeared in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and it has been reported that ads will follow in other daily papers across the country.  Initially, I was surprised that their first effort to “repair their image” was via a full-page ad in two of the nation’s costliest media outlets.   If the firm’s message is one of inclusion and engagement, hence the tagline, “Progress is everyone’s business,” why is Goldman Sachs choosing to limit its campaign to a one-way message rather than engage the public with an integrated campaign that includes social media and public relations tactics?

A Goldman Sachs spokesperson said the advertising campaign is meant to “reflect the work we do for clients and the effect on the economy as a whole.”  Writing and circulating stories about the work they’ve done, the jobs they’ve created, and the industries they’ve helped would bode well in social media and traditional public relations.  In today’s environment, these tactics can be the most powerful weapons in a marketing arsenal.

What do you think?  Is Goldman Sachs on the right track to repair its image?

— Debbie Dryden, VP, Thought Leadership

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Why buy a cow?

I saw an article on MediaPost.com with the headline “Nielsen: Users Won’t Pay For Web Sites” and thought immediately of the saying ”Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” (although this phrase normally refers to an entirely different situation.)

The Nielsen survey indicates that nearly 8 in 10 Web users (79%) would give up using a particular site if they had to pay for the content on that site. And this is surprising in what way?  We’ve seen this in all aspects of life. If you give customers free merchandise and they’re used to it being free, what makes you think they’ll magically pay for it if you decide to charge? People are resourceful and will eventually find what they want online, without having to pay for it.

Again, and not surprisingly, nearly three-fourths (71%) of those surveyed said that if they’re going to pay for something online it better be well worth it and be considerably better than what they’re currently receiving. That’s called the price/value relationship.

I really don’t think this is news to online publishers. They’ve been trying for years to figure out how to charge for the online information many of them now provide for free.  The stately New York Times found this out first hand when it decided to charge for premium content. Only its readers decided that the content wasn’t so “premium” as to warrant money out of their pockets.

It’s the price/value relationship that determines if people are willing to pay for content. The barn door has been open, and the publishers have been giving away their “milk” for a while.  They had the opportunity to charge and shape the user experience, and they didn’t take advantage. Call it a calculated gamble. One that they lost.

— David Capano, Director of Media Services

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