July 13, 2010
Marketing Remains Both Art & ScienceThe C's on marketing: CEOs, CFOs, CSOs. Robert Rosenthal has a piece today on marketing and what non-marketing execs can do to help ignite the fire. He suggests that smart marketers are making more decisions than ever based on facts – rather than on speculation, opinions, and biases.
Pointers below from his post:
DON’T COMMAND – COLLABORATE. In some cases, the biggest barriers to marketing success are internal rather than external. Organizational and cultural hurdles are one reason many businesses never see breakthrough marketing outcomes. Choose collaboration over command and control. Discourage unhealthy competition between functional teams. Keep everyone focused on doing what's right.
MAKE IT SAFE TO EXPERIMENT. The best marketers are the best testers. Testing is to marketing what R&D is to manufacturing. The value of successful tests tends to far exceed the cost of failures. Joe Sugarman, who sold millions of BluBlocker sunglasses said, “I have failed more times than anybody I have ever known.” Encourage your team to dare to be great.
TAKE MEDIOCRITY OFF THE TABLE. Some executives outside marketing pressure the marketing group to run what’s comfortable. Familiar. And perfectly ordinary. A few are even quite adept at locking out innovation. There’s never a good excuse to run undifferentiated advertising in any media. Marketing is, more than anything, a business of ideas. Big, bold ideas. Don’t stand in the way of innovation. Support it.
THINK ENGAGEMENT. Three words sum up the 20th century marketing model: Sell, sell, sell. (With a veiled sales pitch disguised as education in some cases.) Now, thanks to social media, marketers have an exciting new way to make new friends. Try putting the pitch aside from time to time, and bring together people with a shared interest or passion. Start fascinating conversations. Bring the power of television into the mix with Web video. Do something extraordinary.
PUT ROI AHEAD OF COST MINIMIZATION. Marketing isn’t simply about keeping costs as low as possible. It’s about maximizing lifetime customer value. Building major revenue streams. Optimizing profits. Many marketing skeptics never budget for innovation, and find themselves perpetually disappointed in the results. Avoid self-fulfilling prophecies. Budget to do the job right the first time.
DON’T DO IT ALL YOURSELF. Marketing is more complicated than ever. Those who do everything internally generally do few things very well. Monopolies stifle innovation. Outside teams bring diverse experiences to the table that often prove invaluable. Since they serve multiple clients, it’s often easier for external teams to introduce unconventional ideas and raise everyone's level of play. Get the help you need to do great stuff. Let in outside experts, and give them what they need to succeed -- and make you as successful as possible.
May 24, 2010
Social Media "Tech" Experts from the InsideJeremiah Owyang put together an amazing social media expert list a few months ago (the people are doing it rather than consulting others how to) and I just came across a really cool Pearltree Foremski created of those in the tech sector, my world.
May 13, 2010
Smash Summit Attracts the Best Marketers & Brands in Silicon ValleySmash Summit, which was held in San Francisco yesterday, explored social media marketing strategies, tactics, tools, & campaigns used by successful online companies to acquire and retain customers on search, social, and mobile.
Some of the speakers included Altimeter Group's Jeremiah Owyang, Google's Hunter Walk, Twitter's Anamitra Banerji, Facebook's Bubba Murarka, Mattel's Cynthia Neiman, Dogster's Ted Rheingold, RockYou's Lisa Marino and Paul Kim from Automattic.
Also on stage was Marcus Nelson from Salesforce, Comcast's Frank Eliason, David Lifson from Postling, Rowen Payson from Virgin America, Rashmi Sinha from Slideshare and Victoria Ransom from Wildfire.
Payvment's Christian Taylor talked about the use of shopping carts to enhance your campaigns; one simple line of code embedded on your web page transforms into a shopping cart system without a lot of effort. You can use it to sell your products anywhere or with affiliate/referral links to increase your affiliate revenue.
It's important to create social sharing components in your copy: the more social your copy is, the more effective your click through rates will be. He used an example of how KISS in the 1970s made their fans become part of their army. The same thing applies today but online -- create your army and keep them satisfied.
A few Facebook fan page tips for big brands: give users an incentive to become a fan of your brand by offering exclusive deals or merchandise. This can triple engagement as well as up the number of fans. For example, Pampers offered 1,000 diaper packs for $10 each on its Facebook store and in one hour, they not only sold all 1,000 diapers, but got 1,000 more fans.
20,000 brands & retailers have launched stores on Facebook, 120,000 searchable products have been added to Facebook, and there are 400,000 Facebook users shopping across these 20,000 stores.
Google's Hunter Walk talked about how to more effectively broadcast your business on YouTube and how it should be part of your overall SEO strategy.
Rule #1: create the right content and make sure it’s the most effective it can be in the YouTube environment. He reminds us that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world with over 1 billion video playbacks each day.
So, what is a content strategy? Creating something people want to watch AND helping others create content for you.
Sure, you have to create something that is not only compelling in a YouTube environment, but also authentic, the overused but still relevant word when 'playing' on social media platforms. Being authentic is not enough however.
The basics: create a YouTube channel, upload demos, make sure you offer lots of content so there are more opportunities to engage with people and offer value through fresh content. Other tips include showing some behind the scenes visuals and audio, such as interviews and amusing moments.
A few takeaways -- ask yourself the following questions:
How does your product relate to what people are talking about & searching about now? Are you adding the most relevant meta data - description and tags? Once you upload your video, are you participating in your community?
Are you adding the most relevant meta data - description and tags?
Once you upload your video, are you participating in your community?
There is higher value in the comments people leave behind - you want to make sure you are participating in those discussions. You should have an anchor video (for your anchor, you should shoot for 5K+ views, which will help you surface in search and related videos and ultimately lead to more organic traffic.
You should also cross-promote your videos on Facebook, Twitter, your website and blog. You can auto-share your uploads, favorites and other links directly to other social networking sites. According to Hunter, for every auto-shared tweet, they see about 7 click backs on YouTube. You can also promote your video by getting a custom overlay which will improve your conversation funnel. You can then check your cost-per-view in your content and maximize/tweak it to get more click throughs over time.
Salesforce has a YouTube presence and with over 300 videos and more than 6,000 views a day, that's roughly the equivalent of 35 hyper-efficient sales reps on the phone.
Twilio's Jeff Lawson talks about how their solution is the intersection of communications apps and web developers. They have over 10,000 developers and are currently being used by Sony, 37 Signals, Tumblr, SalesForce, Duke and more.
With Twilio, you can call people from Twitter. We see a demo of Lawson calling Dave McClure who has opted into the system, directly from Dave's Twitter account.
Twilio allows you to use social media to connect to people you already know. He then shows the Zappos Twitter page and talks about how Zappos could have analytics around the content is reading when the person calls, i.e., Customer X was reading this particular tweet when he called Zappos. It's an interesting way to connect social media with voice and SMS.
May 13, 2010 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Branding, On Mobile & Wireless, On Social CRM, On Video, PR & Marketing, San Francisco, Social Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
April 26, 2010
Bay Area Meet-Up Takes on Social CRM & Enterprise 2.0The April 27, 2010 Bay Area Executive Meet-up is hosting a panel on Social Business: Where Social CRM meets Enterprise 2.0.
In a Start-ups Showcase at Somavar Conference Hall in Mountain View, client Nimble's CEO Jon Ferrara, eCairn's Laurent Pfertzel and Crisp Thinking's CTO & Founder Peter Maude will talk about the current landscape.
Nimble's Social CRM platform helps small businesses attract and retain customers by enabling their team to work more effectively together and stay top of mind with their prospects and customers.
eCairn specializes in community and influencers marketing and Crisp's NetModerator Platform is automated moderation and social analytical technology, which has been deployed to date, predominantly in the online gaming sector to detect, track, report and action on anti-social behavior including spamming, gold farming, bullying and online grooming.
April 16, 2010
Open Leadership a Must in the New Open WorldI had the opportunity to read an advanced reading copy of Charlene Li's new book: Open Leadership - How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, which is available to buy online starting May 24, 2010.
I started my career at large agencies working with big brands - Bausch & Lomb, Novell, Hilton, Vodacom and others, so I had to rewind the clock to remember how structured management can be, how long it can take to push decisions through the ladders and layers, and all the considerations you have to take into account if you're publicly traded or are in an industry with sensitive information, i.e., healthcare and insurance.
I have been advising start-ups for years, and many of them are building social media tools. Those who are not, are using them as an integral part of their daily lives, including the CEOs. Not the case with many of the big corporate giants although there are exceptions, and many of them are outlined in the chapters of Charlene's book.
We learn about the four major types of decision-making methods in organizations today: centralized, democratic, consensus and distributed - and which method is useful for various types of corporate culture: what works, what doesn't and why.
Open leadership can most certainly lead to new innovations and like most things in life, learning, developing and growing doesn't happen in a vacuum -- it's a two way street. The core principles of open leadership are a healthy reminder of that.
There's even an open management 'audit' so you can discover how open your leadership style is today. The results pinpoint holes where you might be 'closed' or 'cautious,' and a follow on section provides tips and guidelines on what you can do to become more open, whether it's for yourself or managing a leader above you.
Charlene brings us in and out of the corporate landscape, citing example after example of positive outcomes from using social media, outcomes that improve branding, customer relations, partnerships, and yes, profits.
She points to familiar ones many of us know, like Frank from @ComcastCares, who promptly responded to a negative tweet I posted about Comcast during the Comcast CEO talk at Web 2.0 Summit last fall. And, SolarWinds, a network management software provider who built a 25,000 member user community of network administrators who help each other with their problems. They continuously invest in the health and well-being of their community by listening and actively engaging.
Remember that collaboration platforms provide structure for conversations. Traditional enterprise applications are even becoming more conversational, such as Salesforce.com's Chatter platform, which integrates real-time updates and conversations directly into the interface.
People will increasingly start to have conversations around work processes that already exist. And, the more you can give employees the ability to hear and learn directly from their customers, the more you empower them to use that information to not just do their jobs better, but build loyal relationships and a more powerful brand.
Whether its improving customer support, community management, sales or marketing, in a world that is more transparent than it has ever been in our history, it's critical that we 'humanize' marketing and communications, "replacing the non-descript 'voice' of the company with a personal and meaningful relationship."
As she points out, "with today's empowered customers and employees, organizations need to 'earn' the right to have a conversation, and then, only at the right time. Without a relationship in place, the best marketing campaigns will fall on deaf ears, especially as people struggle to channel the real signal in the cacophony of today's media clutter."
And let's face it, that clutter is only growing and the tools to help us sift through the noise are not effective enough.....yet.
On top of it, measuring the impact and effectiveness of the success of campaigns amidst building those relationships while getting your message out in a noisy landscape is not easy. It takes time - working with start-ups for as long as I have, time is not a luxury many of them have. If they don't get traction within a few months before getting funded, they may be forced to close shop.
I loved the chapter on measuring the benefits of being open. American Express CMO John Hayes is quoted as saying, "we tend to overvalue the things we can measure and undervalue the things we cannot." Hear hear. For example, what is the ROI of a handshake? Hayes says, "while we strive to become more measurable and accountable, there is a limit to what is feasibly (and economically) measurable. Inevitably, we based many of our decisions on just the thinnest sliver of information and evidence, or even more likely, our gut feeling."
We also explore the value of 'inviting customers into a covenant.' She writes, "as uncomfortable as they are, the presence of negative comments can give the conversation a ring of authenticity." With product roll-outs I've done over the years, some early negative feedback has been filtered back into the product roadmap and incorporated. Even when you don't give customers everything they want, as long as you listen, and make them feel 'heard' and that their input matters, you're half way there. You are in fact building a relationship and trust will only grow over time, as long as you continue to listen and engage.
If a brand doesn't have user-generated content about it somewhere on the web, then people aren't learning about it organically.
As customer feedback gets circled into more and more threads, forums, blogs and Twitter conversations, bigger brands are learning that they need to monitor them and respond. While better moderating and workflow tools are becoming available, it's still a cumbersome process, even for smaller companies that opt for freebies such as Twitter clients Hootsuite, Co-Tweet and others.
Chapter after chapter, we hear from leaders who have made social media work for them. The new world is an open, transparent one and it demands that leaders be more open inside and outside their organizations. Blogging, tweeting, sending Facebook and LinkedIn updates and firing off videos and photos from your iPhone in a few quick button clicks are no longer a fad - they have become an integrated part of doing business.
Leaders at all levels, CEO down to manager level, are cited, and the examples are diverse ranging from the U.S. Department of State, Ford, Kodak, United Airlines and Cisco, to Yum!, Best Buy, the State Bank of India and Proctor & Gamble.
There are many lessons to be learned in this free flowing, conversational and insightful book that anyone running an organization should read. Remember that "transparency, authenticity, and the sense that are you being real are the by-products of your decisions to be open" -- on and offline.
March 30, 2010
Social CRM is a Beautiful Emerging ThingWe're starting to see Social CRM starting to become an important emerging category outside of our incestuous circles. And, we're starting to see more consultants and 'experts' emerge as the need for CRM gets stronger and the use of social tools explodes.
A great read is the report that Jeremiah Owyang and Ray Wang from the Altimeter Group published earlier this month on the "18 Use Cases of Social CRM and the New Rules of Relationship Management."
Dr. Harish Kotadia writes a recent post 'defining Social CRM' as "the business strategy of engaging customers through Social Media with the goal of building trust and brand loyalty."
I would add here that brand loyalty doesn't necessarily mean a product or service. It could also mean an individual branding themselves as a thought leader, speaker, consultant, author or industry celebrity. I use the descriptor 'industry' before celebrity to remind us that many celebs in our own industry are absolute unknowns in another. Certainly, my industry needs reminding of that from time-to-time. :-)
He defines loyalty as "attitude towards a brand that inclines a customer to repurchase it and/or recommend it to others." On the human side of the brand creation, Social CRM and Social Media are used to establish relationships, engage regularly with a fan base and build not just trust over time, but a following based on some level of admiration and respect. Leaders achieve this by doing the same thing in the offline world.
He breaks down the definition into what's behind its meaning, down to the individual components of Business Strategy, Engaging Customers, and how Social CRM augments traditional CRM.
He writes: "Social CRM is the business strategy, NOT technology, tools or platform.
I'd add an important piece that I discuss with many entrepreneurs I work with regularly. Regardless of what tools you have or thought leaders you know, you need to have a well-defined strategy, messaging and a value proposition that resonates with the audience you're going after, or it will fall on deaf ears. Social tools are merely facilitators that enable the conversation to happen more personally and in more places than ever before.
He also talks about how Social CRM will augment traditional CRM. "Engaging Customers through Social Media: Engagement through Social Media - any CRM related activity through existing channels like the telephone, email, snail mail and so on, will continue to be part of 'traditional' CRM and will not be replaced by Social CRM (unless the Customer prefers to use Social Media instead of “traditional” channels)."
Here, I'll remind that it goes back to these social tools acting as facilitators. I remember ten years ago (and Steve Wildstrom even encountered it in the last six months), some clients who still wanted communication via fax. A few years ago, there were more people who preferred phone over email or Facebook than there are today (in my world).
Each industry will implement new social tools depending on their comfort level, how quickly they 'feel' they need to receive updates and how often they need to engage. Clearly what works for lawyers may not be the same tool that will work for designers. Or, perhaps the reason why they use a particular tool will be entirely different.
Each 'influencer' or customer will prefer a different way of connecting and it's up to us to figure out what it is and how they want to be engaged. Social Media makes communication and engagement prolific and now we have more immediate ways to let customers know about bugs, software updates or amusing industry anecdotes you want to share from time-to-time.
Now, not only do we get to be more direct and communicate with a personal 'human' voice to thousands of people with a quick button click, but we create a new persona for ourselves in our online world. I find myself amused or intrigued by things online that I may choose to tweet about or comment on that may not be a topic I want to have an in-depth discussion about over dinner with someone. The medium is different and so is my attention span.
In the land of the social media purists who want to tear down the walls of traditional marketers, lets remember that some marketers have always made their CUSTOMER KING and valued what they had to say. They established strong relationships, sought to understand what they wanted and worked to deliver it, responding to need after need one at a time.
While a rookie in one of my first marketing jobs now twenty years ago, I was inspired by the Marketing VP at the time, who not only had CUSTOMER IS KING on his office door, but lived it. And, we learn from our mentors, our peers and from throwing ourselves out there into the world of 'customers' to listen and learn.
I grew up with a grandfather who ran a small business in a relatively small "all American town." He also felt that CUSTOMER WAS KING. The old fashioned dial up phone sat on our 1950s retro kitchen table at dinner and when it rang, he took the call and listened: really listened. If there was an emergency, down went the fork and out he went, a foot of snow on his truck or not -- to SERVE his customer.
The beauty of Social CRM is that we can engage regularly and in the environments where our customers spend their time. We can actively listen and sometimes choose to learn from what he/she says and say nothing at all and another time, reach out and offer something of value whether it's a tip, a discount or an introduction to someone who could help them.
Loyalty indeed comes from having a "Customer-Centric” mindset, but it doesn't stop there. That mindset needs to lead to engagement and action, showing you care again and again and again.
Below is a Pearltree I started on CRM.