Archive for the ‘On-Line Marketing’ Category
You might be wondering what an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher has to do with integrated marketing communications (IMC). Well, I consider Galileo a dot connector and integrated marketing communications is about marketers connecting dots so that your customers, prospects, communities, etc. don’t have to. And you know me, my marketing brain only thinks one way, integrated. But there’s more to this post than that…
A few weekends ago we drove past a billboard for the Galileo, the Medici and the Age of Astronomy exhibit at The Franklin Institute. I hadn’t heard about the exhibit so the billboard did its job, I was hooked, I checked it out online and we made plans to see the exhibit this past weekend. (Amazing, isn’t it?! A billboard! See push marketing still works.) I even talked about it on Twitter.
Even though I have lived my entire life only 25 miles from The Franklin Institute I had never been there (true!), so I was really excited to check it and the Galileo exhibit out…the notion of history, politics and science intrigued me to say the least.
To prepare for our trip we checked out The Franklin website and made a list of everything we wanted to see in addition to the Galileo exhibit. The one other thing that we were completely jazzed about was seeing “The Sky Tonight” at the Fels Planetarium. Just think about it, sitting under the night sky during the day, how cool, right?
The weekend rolled around, chores were done, and errands were run. We set off for The Franklin. Finding parking was a breeze (which is never the case in Philly), we didn’t have to wait in line to buy tickets, and everything was perfect!
And then it got a little bumpy…
After we bought or tickets, the girl behind the ticket counter shoved a little schedule towards us and we immediately looked for the 4:15 time slot for The Sky Tonight, but it wasn’t listed. Surely this had to be wrong, right? We checked their website schedule twice during the week and once before we left. It was listed on their site…they even offered the ability to add it to my calendar. But no. The girl said that was the schedule for the day. We were so bummed, but off we went to the Galileo exhibit and we picked another show at the planetarium.
Wait! What’s this? The sign above our heads as we entered the planetarium said “4:15 The Sky Tonight.” Excellent, she was wrong! It was back on.
So, we sat through Cosmic Collisions, which was amazing and actually made you feel like you were moving, which was a bit freaky. Afterwards, I figured I’d ask the guy “in the know,” the one running the planetarium shows. It was one of those typical “Hey Mister!” scenarios. I asked and he said, no it wasn’t showing. Naturally we asked why the sign said it was…he said “good point, I guess we never changed it.”
Hmmm, interesting. Onward and upward as they say. We left the planetarium to see what other goodies we could find to entertain ourselves with.
Organizations, like The Franklin, that require flexibility typically have a “subject to change” on their website. While I get that as a marketer, but as a consumer, I really don’t. I wanted to see what was advertised. It’s that simple.
What’s the point to all of this? It’s the little things that matter. Organizations need to make sure that they have all areas of marketing integrated…no matter how small the details. Because if you don’t your customers will notice.
If it’s Twitter, tweet me back and let me know that you’re excited for me to come visit (The Franklin didn’t); if it’s website make sure your schedule is reflecting the very latest, up-to-date information (honestly, we would have picked another weekend to go); if it’s a lobby sign, make sure that’s up to date too (don’t tease me!).
While the overall experience at The Franklin was a great one, it would have been excellent if only The Franklin delivered on what they advertised.
And as you know, it’s also a lesson in customer satisfaction and social media. I have a voice and, for better or worse, I am using it here on my blog. Will I go back to The Franklin? Absolutely. Even if annoyed, we still want to see The Sky Tonight and we’ll give them another shot to make good on their advertising. Will I tell others how cool The Franklin is, you betcha! But I’ll offer this word of advice, if there’s something you really want to see…call first to check the daily schedule.
What do you think? Should we marketers worry about every little aspect of integration? Is it the little things that create or enhance a customer experience or affect a brand?
[Image: Discovery Magazine]
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After discussing the inauthentic nature of PR in my last post, I hope you know that I do respect and enjoy being part of the PR profession (well, except those PR areas that are broken) and truly believe that most PR folks are engaging in PR in a way that is effective. That said, I still believe that ghostwriting from PR pros (or profs) isn’t necessary or authentic (I am not sure that there’s much that can convince me…but I’ll keep an open mind, I promise).
I thought it might be a useful conversation to discussion how PR 2.0 will keep you SO busy providing strategic services/counsel for your clients or employer you won’t need to worry about ghost blogging and tweeting as a source of income or a way to show value for one’s job. And I know for a lot of PR agencies and pros that might not truly understand the nature (dare I say, culture) of social media, those are areas of concern. I get it, I really do.
While this might not be as interesting as a debate, perhaps it will prove to be more useful.
Today’s typical and traditional PR person does a lot of the following tasks:
- Builds relationships with third-party resources (usually the media, sometimes bloggers)
- Maintains existing relationships
- Does research
- Listens/Analyzes (usually online/print pickups)
- Writes plans
- Provides counsel
- Creates targeted messages
- Conveys timely news with constituents (but typically media and maybe bloggers)
- Builds a brand’s reputation
- Maintains a brand’s image
- Deploys crisis communications
- Clips or tracks pickups or mentions
- Provides measurement of campaigns
- Handles some marketing communications (including collateral, website content if a marketer isn’t part of the team)
With PR 2.0 you can add the following to your skills, deliverables and job description:
- Monitors brand in real-time
- Listens/Analyzes online conversations or mentions in real-time
- Responds promptly
- Conducts primary research in real-time
- Engages in two-way conversations with ALL constituents (in-house PR folks)
- Participates in social networking in a value-add way (in-house PR folks)
- Develops new online skills (blogging, wikis, RSS, etc.)
- Understand the importance of building relationships with all constituents (media, bloggers, employees, investors, fans, friends, followers, detractors, etc.)
- Responsible for Search Engine Optimization
- Identifies & engages with influencers and brand evangelists (in-house PR folks)
- Manages communities of constituents (in-house PR folks)
- Integrates new technologies into PR plans
- Shares industry information, not just key messages
- Builds communities
- Engages evangelists to help create word of mouth
- Understands that engaging in PR 2.0 will help at time of crisis
- Stays up-to-date on trends
- Trains management, co-workers and/or clients constantly
I don’t know about you, but to me that looks like a pretty busy job to me! All without having to ghostwrite or tweet (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
I cannot take complete credit for these lists. While I have been engaged in PR for a long time, some people just say things more succinctly than I do…and I like to give the credit they deserve. So, please, seriously, if you haven’t read PR 2.0 by Deirdre Breakenridge, add it to your reading list. She makes the transition to PR 2.0 crystal clear, easy-to-swallow, and provides a lot of proof points (i.e. some of the list information is from her book). John Bell at Ogilvy is another source of great information when it comes to the PR pro of the future (be sure to read John’s post when you get a chance). He’s the guy behind this post’s image and some of the items on the PR 2.0 list.
I am sure that I am leaving things off of both lists, so please be sure to add where necessary if this is too simplified.
Thoughts? Opinions? Objections?
[Image: John Bell]
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It seems these days marketers are walking around scratching their heads wondering why no one ever responses to their e-mail marketing… And why, oh why, are click-through rates are so low… Really, it’s amazing this hasn’t been figured it out yet. Let me shine some light on it…
You. Are. SPAMMING. People.
And yes, while CAN-SPAM (below) doesn’t require opt-ins (isn’t that nice of the lawmakers?!), here’s the thing—regardless of what you think as a marketer—when your e-mail shows up and the person on the receiving end knows that they never gave you their e-mail address or they aren’t interested in what you have to say…they consider it spam. Even if they are your network friend, prospect, vendor, etc. It’s just rude to pop up in someone’s inbox unannounced.
CAN-SPAM Requirements for Commercial E-Mailers:
- NO false or misleading header information
- NO deceptive subject lines
- There MUST be an opt-out method provided
- It MUST be identified as an advertisement & provide a valid physical postal address
Yes, yes, I can hear it now… “I am not spamming people! My e-mail marketing isn’t about Viagra!” Hmmm, let me help you see it from the receiver’s perspective.
You’re Most Likely a Spammer if you…
- Add someone to the e-mail list just because they download something from your website
- Add someone to the e-mail list just they stopped by a virtual tradeshow or event
- Add someone to the e-mail list because sales (or anyone else) tells you to
- Add someone to the e-mail list just because they “friend” you on a social network
- Keep e-mailing someone even when they ask to be removed from your e-mail list
- Send bulk e-mail from your desktop instead of using a professional e-mail marketing application, tool, or program (that just clogs the spam filter)
- Regurgitate copy from your collateral, website or white papers
- Add someone just because you assume you have something of interest to say
- E-mail people who aren’t in your target audience
If you still say that you are within CAN-SPAM regulations to do all of the above things, you’d probably be correct…but guess what, to people who don’t expect these types of e-mails you are indeed spamming them. Why? Because you are cluttering up their e-mail and now they need to talk time out of their busy day to “unsubscribe” and hope you listen. And above all else you are annoying…like ants at a picnic.
Sin #1: Failing to test the design of the e-mail in multiple e-mail clients
Sin #2: Failing to spam-check the e-mail copy before sending
Sin #3: Putting hurdles in the way of unsubscribing
Sin #4: Neglecting to maintain the list’s invalid addresses
Sin #5: Becoming complacent
Sin #6: Sending content that isn’t relevant to what the user signed up for
Sin #7: Most importantly, e-mailing a user without their permission
[The exception: The one-off e-mail asking someone to join your list.]
Social Media & E-Mail Marketing: Turning the boat around
We live in a world where people are tired of companies shoving promotional messages down their throats. We talk about this constantly in the social media sphere. The need for conversation is becoming more and more important in business.
E-mail marketing is possible to do it correctly (Amazon.com, how I love thee!). Companies just need to consider it from the perspective of the receiver. How about marketers do these simple things first on their websites, blogs, etc. first:
- Develop great content
- Provide information that helps people (and expect nothing in return)
Then, and only then…
- Give people the option to come to you (and sign up for your e-mails)
And how about…
- Giving people the ability to select information based on their preferences (ingenious, right?!)
I think we have reached the point where e-mail marketing is ruined. And if marketers want to continue doing it, they need to earn the right to find a home in someone’s inbox. There is no other way to get it right.
This is nothing new, I get that. And it seems absolutely crazy to me to even have a discussion about bad e-mail marketing after all these years. But I still receive at least 10 e-mails a day that I haven’t asked for from people I do and don’t know. Whether it’s from a social network (Ning users, you are the great offenders!!) or from a networked offline professional or from someone who found my e-mail address…and I am tired of it.
Your thoughts? Am I off base here? Is e-mail marketing completely ruined or can it be turned around? Does social media play a part in fixing e-mail marketing? What suggestions would you provide to marketers considering e-mail marketing?
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I have been thinking about this for a while because I keep bumping into the same situations (well, people) over and over… This won’t be a lengthy post because I am more interested in seeing if you are having the same experiences as me. If so, I am really interested in your thoughts.
What are the four faces of social media? Well, as I have encountered them…I have settled on:
The Social Media Purist: The person who truly embraces social media as the conversation that the tools allow people to engage in from day-to-day. The tools might change, but the ultimate goal is to listen, learn, share, and converse with customers and prospects. For the purists, it’s about the conversation and the strength of the relationships that lead to strong business relationships. And the relationships affect all departments within a company because everyone employee is responsible for a great interaction.
The Marketer/PR Professionals or Ad/PR/Interactive Agencies: For the most part, a lot of these folks (for now, I hope…fingers crossed) see social media tools as just that…tools. They are tools that are used to push one-way messaging. It’s not about the conversation, it’s about the medium and more places and people to share the message when traditional marketing like advertising, PR, direct mail, events, etc. aren’t working or delivering. It’s what most are comfortable with, and I get that. While this mindset might work in the short-term…it won’t work long-term.
The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Gang: Social media is about the tools that help generate the links. It’s about getting clients on Digg or StumbleUpon. It’s about stuffing keywords into every nook and cranny. It’s rarely about the conversation. Because SEOs are typically paid on results, they aren’t paid for helping clients engage in conversation. Or, it’s because they are making money for themselves by selling off highly ranked sites or by monetizing social sites…it’s purely business, not conversation. And yes, there are some SEO’s that get the mix of social media and SEO…I’m thinking about Lee Odden or Li Evans or Wil Reynolds.
The End User (that would be the customer): In the end, they are the people who are stuck combing through all the blog posts, tweets, and Internet links to find information that’s truly relevant to them and right at their fingertips when & where they need it. They want information or feedback that can help them to make a sound purchasing decision or the information that can help them do their job quicker, easier and better. They are the ones looking for conversation, but are the influencers that are most often forgotten by the marketing/PR/agency/SEO folks.
What’s going to happen here? And by here, I mean the world of marketing. I don’t know about you…but I don’t think social media isn’t going away any time soon. You all know me, I am obviously a purist. I enjoy conversation and I think it has many indirect and direct benefits to business and revenue.
So, should we find a way to get everyone to work together? Or will the social media purists eventually be pushed out by the marketers who continue to try to control the market and the SEO folks who are just looking to fill Google full of irrelevant links? Or, does it not even matter? What do you think?
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Customers and prospects searching the Internet for products, services-and conversation-and the world of marketing has changed forever. Your company, brand and industry are being discussed online… Are you prepared? We know times are tough, but we also know that business owners and marketers/communicators need to get a leg up on competition (whether you are competing for business or that new job). Now is your chance! We have three tickets available…will you be the lucky winner?
The Online Media Boot Camp is April 9th, 2009 in King of Prussia, PA. The three lucky ticket winners will be picked on March 20th!
For more details visit: www.onlinemediabootcamp.com
- Want a chance at winning a free ticket to the Online Media Boot Camp (a value of $349 before 3/16 & $449 after 3/16), you have to be nominated by someone else.
- A person can be nominated in one of four ways: a blog post, a video, on Twitter, via an e-mail sent to OMBC (beth [at] onlinemediabootcamp [dot] com). All four must include: Who you are nominating and why. You must include a link to the Online Media Boot Camp (www.onlinemediabootcamp.com) in your post. If you tweet it, use the #OMBC hashtag.
- If you nominate someone, you can buy a ticket for $349 after 3/16. A savings of $100! (Code: OMBCFTW)
- f you are nominated for OMBC and you want to go to OMBC, you must do one of the following to accept the nomination: a blog post, a video, or send an e-mail to OMBC accepting the nomination (beth [at] onlinemediabootcamp [dot] com).You must state that you will cover all travel costs, that you will attend and why you deserve to win. You must include a link to the Online Media Boot Camp (www.onlinemediabootcamp.com) in your post. If you tweet it, use the #OMBC hashtag.
- All posts, videos and e-mails of those nominated will be posted to the OMBC blog too.
- The three winners will be selected by the OMBC speakers. Criteria includes: creativity, passion, honesty, statement of how online marketing/social media will help you as a business owner or marketer/communicator/etc. and any other items that you think make your case to win a free ticket.
- If you are nominated for a free ticket, but don’t win, you can buy a ticket for $349 after 3/16. A savings of $100! (Code: OMBCFTW)
- If you win a free ticket and have already purchased a ticket, we’ll refund your money. Or, if you are feeling generous, you could give your purchased ticket to a friend…
It’s that simple! Have questions? Contact Online Media Boot Camp on Twitter: @onlinemediabc
Added 3/6: And because people don’t read…here’s a video to make the process a little bit easier to understand. ‘Cause, really, they are pretty straightforward.