Posts Tagged ‘Marketing Communications’
Market segmentation as you know it has become more complicated today than ever before. Capturing data in CRM systems, doing primary research, etc. all help, but the ways of segmenting we’ve learned don’t allow you to see your customers in their natural space. Sure, sales, marketing and customer service teams capture a lot of information, but is it insightful? Is it useful in understanding the segment? Or is it just what ‘they heard’ and made a note of?
There is a lot of hype around social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., but the fact remains that social media (as a concept) is the first time that organizations have ever been able to see, listen to and get to know their customers in public spaces (again, in a ‘natural’ setting). Social interactions tend to be natural and not forced or coerced, which often leads to deeper insights.
Let’s look at all of the “-graphics” to get a better understanding of segmentation and how segmentation has changed.
Demographics & Firmographics
Ah, demographics and firmographics…the marketers tried and true methods of slicing and dicing their markets. We know them well, don’t we? They were drilled into our heads as marketing majors and have stuck with us through the years as the best practice for market segmentation.
But the days of mass marketing have come to an end and it doesn’t make sense to segment markets only to treat them as if they all live, think and buy the same way.
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Failed icon. Sounds like dismal hook to hang one’s hat on doesn’t it? Especially given that most of us have such an aversion to failure in life and business—or even being associated to failure in any way.
When you think of failure, would you consider someone who:
- has spent a large amount of their career on educating and helping corporations and marketers to become customer-centric;
- is a Professor Emeritus at a well-known university that has a graduate program to educate students in being data-driven to ensure that customers’ needs and wants are met;
- has written over 10 books on subjects like driving and determining brand value and measuring ROI; and
- was named one of the 80 Most Influential People in sales and marketing a failure?
No, I wouldn’t either.
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I don’t know if you’ve notice, but over the past few weeks I’ve been commenting on Twitter about self-promotion and the need to bring it back. With the impetus of social media being towards limited, if any, self-promotion (unless I missed the memo that it was okay), I’ve notice that the pendulum for people engaged in social media has finally swung from 100% to 0%.
I don’t know about you, but I have about 5-8 people nationally that I feel confident referring for marketing, PR or social media consulting. Locally, it’s even less than that. For all the people I know on- and off-line, it’s a little sad that I have such a small pool of people to refer. And isn’t that the point of social media to build relationships that could potentially lead to referrals? That’s what we tell companies all the time, right?
What’s the issue? Sure, we all follow the social media “rules” and we try to build relationships with people first and foremost and that’s great…but then it falls apart.
The people that I feel comfortable referring are people that I met online first, then offline, and then they’ve shared links to their client work or have outright been a part of their clients’ campaigns online. I’ve been able to see their campaigns and get a 360 degree view of the person, how they think and their abilities. I’ve also had conversations with some of them about their campaigns or projects.
There are people who I follow on Twitter or Facebook that I that feel comfortable saying I know them pretty well, but honestly I have absolutely no clue where they work and/or what they have done as marketing, PR or social media professionals that would deserve a reference.
I have people asking me all the time to refer consultants, agencies or speakers on particular topics because, in their minds, I am “well connected.” And I am consistently drawing a blank, which, needless to say surprises most people.
Honestly, I have to question this “no self-promotion” rule and why we all (I am guilty of it too) make people feel SO uncomfortable to do so. It goes back to my favorite adage “people don’t know what they don’t know” and right now I don’t know what you all do.
I am not talking about blatant, outright self promotion…I hate that as much as the next person. But once we have gotten to know someone, haven’t they earned the right to share online with us the campaigns they are working on or a project they are proud of?
And yes, I get it…sometimes there are NDAs or confidentiality issues. But find a creative way to let us know what it is you are working on or what benefits you might provide a potential client/customer.
I’d like to be able to refer all the smart people I am connected with…but I need more than just knowing what you share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or your blog to be able to do that. I need some kind of evidence that you are strategic, tactical and deliver results so I can feel comfortable telling people to give you a call.
Please, help me out. I’d like to be able to provide references for you or your business. If we know each other and have connected either here on my blog or on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn let me know what you’ve been working on or share with me some of your recent campaigns/projects.
Anyone else having this issue? What can we do to help people get business or job referrals? Is the lack of self-promotion actually hurting us?
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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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Over the last few weeks I have noticed an interesting trend. Or maybe it’s been around and I just didn’t notice it until I was confronted by it.
So, what’s the trend you may be wondering? Well it goes something like this…
You aren’t talking about anything new…
PR isn’t simple…
It’s easy for anyone to be a marketer…
Why do we describe the areas of our profession and each other in this manner? I am as guilty (really guilty sometimes!) as the next marketer for throwing around a few of these words/phrases and I’ve decided to stop. Why? Because I think it’s a missed opportunity to learn and gain a new or different perspective. [And you know, hindsight is always 20/20!]
NEW: The act of being social isn’t new (on- or off-line), but for some people it is. As social media practitioners, we should provide everyone the space and, more importantly, opportunity to figure social media out for themselves whether it’s through blogging or Tweeting, etc. We tell people/companies that the best way to “learn” social media and the online culture is to engage. It’s not quite fair then to tell people (or over analyze what they have implemented), based on their new and unique experiences, that what they are doing/saying is nothing new. Perhaps if we listen to these first time experiences something new just might be learned.
OLD: Integrated marketing communications is coming back to the forefront and I made a comment that it was, well, old school. That’s a limiting perspective because as social media (the tools and the concept) disintegrates marketing silos, there’s an opportunity to learn or implement something new…even all these years later.
SIMPLE: We all work at different speeds and levels of understanding. We are at a point where early adopters are looking for more advanced conversations and information and those lagging a bit behind are scrambling to find all the information they can. We need to be aware of the different levels within our social networks and respect them.
EASY: There is a notion in marketing that “anyone can be a marketer.” I think that’s a disservice to our profession. Just like with any other profession, years of experience leads to knowledge, instinct, intuition and confidence…and sometimes those traits often lead others to a false sense of marketing being easy. Great marketers know that they need to continually learn, listen, test, ask questions, build relationships and push limits. [And when I say marketers, I mean all aspects of marketing from research to product to communications (PR, advertising, direct marketing, etc.).]
We are in a tremendously exciting & turbulent time in marketing…can we just put these words (well, adjectives) aside and focus more on the experience? What do you think? Am I looking at this the right way?