I shake my head each time I read an ‘excuse’ in regard to disappointing revenue numbers, especially excuses aligned with ‘slow seasons’ or ‘traditional downtimes.’  Does search engine optimization know of such ineffective times?  Depending on the vertical, off to online marketing may be similarly or grossly contrasted; but, can present-day brands use traditional outcomes when it comes to online marketing’s nascent years?  Are some brands simply not giving SEO a good enough try?

What do you think about SEO in relation to toy manufacturers?  Could brands, seeing a slip in sales, pay more attention to online possibilities?  Presently, the Mattel brand suffered a first-quarter profit drop.  The curtail is not entirely related to bad sales; it’s also aligned with a recent acquisition; but, the NY Times article admits lower sales of Barbie and Hot Wheels products.

The sales results are below the hopes of executives, but frowns are expected to turn upside down.  “We consider the first quarter to be spring training for the toy industry,” relays Mattel’s chief exec.  Overall, Mattel’s revenue has fallen 3% from a year earlier.  Its net income fell $7.8 million ($.02 a share).  In short, its profits have plunged 53%.

If you were handling online marketing opportunities for Mattel, what sort of initiatives would you suggest to get the brand back on the positive earnings track?  These are all theoretical, but interesting to think about from an SEO perspective.

  • Does Barbie have a smart phone application yet?  I mean, she’s been known to have Malibu houses, convertible sports cars, and her own rock band.  Is it time for Barbie to go digital?  More young children are using mobile devices with their parents.  Could Mattel entice its market with phone apps?  It’s a possibility.
  • I played with Hot Wheels as a kid.  Perhaps Mattel shouldn’t dismiss me as a target market.  Some people enjoy collecting things.  There are a lot of ‘gear heads’ online these days.  Could Mattel benefit from targeting collectors?  Could they possibly leverage a visual platform such as Pinterest to showcase its products?
  • Mattel just spent $680 million on acquiring HIT Entertainment.  I don’t know what ‘plans’ Mattel has; but, a re-branding of the entire brand could be a possibility.  People enjoy new or at least revised opportunities.  Retailers revise stores all the time, sometimes several times a month to pose a fresh appearance.  Mattel could revamp its Web site or create a new site to reflect a broader or different direction, reintroducing it to the public.
  • Matell’s target is children; but, I don’t know many kids (yet) who have an expendable income.  Perhaps making a better impression on the parents (the ones spending the money) will benefit the brand.  Could Matell align itself with children charities?  Spreading goodwill to children is one way to make a good impression on parents.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have any suggestions to reverse the brand’s present fortune?  Should some brands stay out of online marketing altogether; or, is the present state of SEO a chance for all brands to benefit?