Archive for the ‘Social Marketing’ Category
For a long time I focused on marketing, PR and social media, but rarely the integration of them all. The focus of The Harte of Marketing for 2010 (and perhaps beyond) will be integrated marketing & communications. While integrated marketing communications (IMC) is nothing new, the embracing of social media surely puts IMC back in the spotlight as its principles are similar to long-standing IMC principles.
I have often said that social media isn’t shaking the foundations of marketing or public relations; it’s just driving us home to our roots, which seem to be long forgotten. The same is true of the integration of communications (advertising, branding, PR, direct marketing, etc.) or marketing functions (the 4 Ps)…many people have been integrating since the 90s and for them this will be nothing new, but I hope to add a few twists and turns even they weren’t expecting.
The Eight Guiding Principles of IMC
I am a long-time student of Don Schultz (interview with Don), professor emeritus-in-service of integrated marketing communications, Northwestern University, as well as Larry Percy, Clarke Caywood, Robert Lauterborn, Philip Kotler and all the other folks who worked diligently to put customers at the forefront of our marketing and communications. While times have changed since they first wrote and educated on IMC, the need to prove value to management has not. These are the eight guiding principles from Don Schultz’s book “IMC: The Next Generation. Five Steps for Delivering Value and Measuring Returns Using Marketing Communications.(2003)”
- Principle 1: Become a Customer-Centric Organization
- Principle 2: Use Outside-in Planning
- Principle 3: Focus on the Total Customer Experience
- Principle 4: Align Consumer Goals with Corporate Objectives
- Principle 5: Set Customer Behavior Objectives
- Principle 6: Treat Customers as Assets
- Principle 7: Streamline Functional Activities
- Principle 8: Converge Marcom Activites
These principles don’t seem earth-shattering, do they? Then why is it many organizations today still struggle? Helping organizations make these principles a normal course of their business operations (and more!) will be the focus here and I hope you’ll come along for the ride!
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Last night on our weekly PR 2.0 chat on Twitter (anyone can join this weekly chat Wednesdays at 8pm EST. Search on hashtag #pr20cat and join in!), we discussed branding and PR 2.0 and why PR folks (and marketers, that’s a topic on integration for another day!) need to understand branding and how it affects their interactions with constituents (or publics).
If you’ve hung out in social media circles long enough, I am sure you’ve heard “you don’t own your brand, your customers do.” Nothing can be further from the truth and why we need to be very careful with how we phrase this as marketers, consultants, agencies, etc.
FACT: You do own your brand and brand messaging
FACT: You don’t own relationships customers have with your brand
I kicked off by asking people’s definitions of branding and a lot of people responded with a brand relationship definition, which is great but I think it also leads us to, as marketers implementing social media, to want to easily hand over the keys to the castle a little too easily.
For some people it’s a chicken and egg situation. Do you love the logo or the company that produces the product/service first? Vanessa French asked me (paraphrased) “what if your mom gave you Pepsi as a kid, you’d have a relationship with Pepsi (based on emotion).” My response was “what if your mom served you Pepsi in a plastic cup and you never saw the bottle?”
People tend to identify with a brand (i.e. logo, message, etc.) first and then they relate to it. I think it explains why there are so many fake bags (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Hermes, etc.) not to mention other products on the market. It’s not that people relate to the company that owns the brand it’s that the brand (in this case a logo) gives them a perception of inclusion without the sting of the price tag. If they truly had a relationship with the brand they would never by fakes. Unfortunately, the perception of others is what spurs on the fakes market.
From “Driving Brand Value” by Tom Duncan & Sandra Moriarty (what I shared during the PR 2.0 chat):
Brand relationship is driven by:
(Sounds a lot like what we talk about with social media, huh?)
Five Levels of Bonding:
I think we also tend to mixed up brand perception with branding and brand relationship. My perception of a brand comes after my relationship with the brand. For example:
I bought a Jaguar and it was a piece of junk that could never be fixed. The Jaguar dealer and Jaguar wouldn’t do anything about it. I bought based on the brand (awareness/identity), my relationship was affected by lack of trust, consistency, accessibility, etc. My perception is that Jaguars are bad cars. I am sharing my story (WOM) on my blog (social media).
So, if you are Jaguar’s PR folks and I had consistent blog about this and chatted on forums, you might want to pay attention. I would hope.
The tenets of branding are still viable, but just like everything else with social media they are more visible today and brand relationships and perceptions are out in the open.
But we DO have control over our brand and messaging! You might want to reconsider using “trust” in your brand (logo) or messaging if the case is that the brand relationships and perceptions indicate that you are not an organization to be trusted.
By the way, Driving Brand Value was written in 1997, and yet offers lessons that we still have not learned. It’s available on Amazon starting at $0.38 USD. I suggest you snap up a copy.
Also, grab Integrated Branding by LePla and Parker while you’re at it…
What do you think?
[Image: David Armano]
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“A guy walks into a bar…”
It actually goes more like this “a communicator walks into a meeting and the VP or client says ‘I want bloggers!’” (or we want a “well known” social media consultant!)
I used ‘communicator’ because I don’t want to be accused of continually beating up the PR rank and file and because it’s not always PR folks, it’s also marketers and organizations/clients seeking social media consultants.
So what’s the pickup line you ask? “I/We LOVE your blog!”
If you have a blog I am sure you’ve heard it before. Someone wants something from you and they figure the quickest way in is to flatter your blog. What annoys me about this pickup line is the assumption that bloggers are so vane that sucking up with an insincere one-liner will make them give you what you want. A lot of us bloggers don’t blog to be self-important. We blog because it’s a space for us to share our thoughts, insights or opinions and to be a part of the community (whether that’s marketing, social media, golfing, wine, shopping, business, whatever…).
When I get this line (and my gut tells me they are insincere), I’ll usually say “Hey thanks! So tell, me what posts have you liked or disagreed with the most?” The usual reply: “er, um, ah…” Yeah, thought so. Another indication of insincerity is that they have never once commented or even tried to be a part of the community.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you want something from someone who blogs―whether it’s a blog post you seek or consulting services-don’t enter the relationship with a cheesy one-liner. It doesn’t work in a bar and it surely doesn’t work in business because no one wants to be just a person on your list. (Actually, this is just good advice for interpersonal relations…people know when they are being used, no matter how smooth, suave or smart *you* might think you are.) Relationships do matter regardless of the situation.
Next time you find yourself uttering those words, remember that you have just joined the ranks of being “that guy (or girl).” (In case you don’t know what that means… it’s the obnoxious person no one wants to be near.)
Have you heard any other one-liners recently?
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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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I am sure you can conjure up what I mean when I say a social media leech. But just in case the image doesn’t help (that was a joke, BTW), I’ll let you know what I mean, share my issue with it and then turn it over to you.
What I mean by social media leeches are those people that latch onto social networks, absorb all the FREE information that is shared, use it for their own benefit and then complain when the free information that they are continually exposed to is no longer new, earth shattering or insightful. This is a social media leech.
Social media leeches are the ones that spout off that in social networks that people and companies must ‘give before they take,’ or ‘listen before they engage,’ and my favorite ‘share, share, share!’ and yet, they give nothing of substance or value in return to the communities in which they participate. Another word here might be freeloader.
I am not going to point fingers here, but twice it’s happened that something I have shared from a conference (Online Media Boot Camp and BlogPotomac) was greeted with a comment that it was nothing new or earth shattering. And I’ve seen comments like this thrown at other people who are sharing tidbits from the conferences that they PAY and/or TAKE TIME to attend. Well, guess what? We aren’t talking to you, social media leech. We are sharing information with all the different people in our networks. They come from all different backgrounds, educations, experiences and businesses and, more importantly, they might not even be in your network.
I have a few things to say to the social media leech. First, the minute that you stop learning and stop analyzing the situation or context in which information is shared or how a community is interacting around the information shared is the minute you stop being a thought leader or expert. Second, how about you shell out some money (or time) to attend conferences and share information like the rest of us? Third, if you think it’s nothing earth shattering or new, then I challenge you to be the one to raise the bar. Finally, next time you want to complain about getting something for free, consider the impression you leave about yourself versus the impression you think you are making against the person or community you are complaining about. Up for the challenge?
I have no time for leeches because I am involved with social networks to learn from others, contribute my thoughts or opinions, and engage with others who are as interested as I am in advancing the marketing profession. If the social media leech doesn’t like that, I invite them to unfollow, unfriend and unsubscribe because I am not going to lower my standards.
One last thought. Think of the social media leech from a business perspective. Can you imagine a business allowing a leech to keep picking their brain, utilizing what they learned (perhaps to even become competition) and never pay for it or return it in kind? Not for long, I can assure you.
“We all share in the responsibility of the collective good. You don’t get to come over to my place, sleep in my bed, eat my food, wear my clothes and complain about everything.”
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of social media leeches. I am not interested in connecting with people who leech without contributing anything back to the marketing community.