Archive for July, 2009

The New World of Marketing – Three Critical Activities to Market Your Company

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

The world has changed.  From the perspective of a marketing geek, it’s amazing to me how much technology has impacted the way we reach our audiences.  The days of traditional marketing are gone and the days of social media and tracking brand identity are here.

No longer is it safe to put your advertising for the product on television, radio, newspaper, magazine… then sit back and wait to “monitor” the results in sales.  No longer can we identify our demographic in broad strokes, such as femailes 18 to 35.  There is just too much information available to and from our customers for advertising agencies, publicists and marketers to take that dangerous approach.

If we are not monitoring our brand – what’s being posted or said about us on the Internet, we run the risk of negating any paid advertising that we do.  In fact, the example of Pizza Hut, where a couple of employees created a video that disrupted our concept of the brand, brings to light the accessibility and availabilty ‘new media’.

So, what’s a marketer to do?

First – be aware of channels where the brand can be mentioned, either positively or negatively.   In the case of Comcast. there is a team involved to monitor customer complaints, and take quick action to respond to them.  Other companies are jumping on that bandwagon.  Can you afford not to?

Second – take advantage of new media opportunities.  Are you on Twitter?  Do you have a business page on Facebook?Are you writing articles about the company? Does the company have a blog?

Third – Join communities and monitor the conversations.  Join in the conversations. Humanize the company.

The days of faceless giant corporations are coming to a close – those are the dinosaurs that face extinction; much like taking the corporate jet and asking for taxpayer dollars.  Today the customers are vocal and they want to be heard. They want to interract, and they want their opinion to count.

Can you afford not to listen?

Why Should Your Business Twitter?

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Why should your business Twitter? – As a new technology and social media tool, there has been great attention focused on Twitter.  The question “why should I use this?” and “how should I use this” are questions that I hear every day when I am speaking with clients.   As a platform to help drive traffic to your website or blog, Twitter can be useful, but as with other social media platforms, there are certain protocals that will earn you respect.

In a nutshell, Twitter is used to broadcast and to monitor.  In “broadcast” mode, you can use Twitter to announce new products, share existing services, highlight case studies, ask for information or resources, and generally market your business.  In “monitoring” mode, you will be able to respond to positive or negative mentions of your brand or company, keep updated about news in your market, analyze your competition, maintain links with  your suppliers, and understand customer service concerns.

Twitter is also about dialogue not one-way broadcasting.  It’s important to respond to inquiries for information and show the Twitterverse that you are a human, not a ‘bot.  To do this, you should respond to others and create dialogue as appropriate.   To this end, a “social media policy” should be established for your organization which determines the type of information that can be shared as well as appropriate and inappropriate dialogue that the company finds acceptable.  More on a social media policy in another blog to follow.

One of the most important functions of Twitter is as an information and news source.  Even the most respected television stations, radio stations and newspapers understand that they need to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.  There is something about having the ability to communicate directly with the radio personality or the television news announcer that is undeniable.  CNN has been very smart about setting up Twitter accounts for their announcers, even reading Twitter comments in real time on the air.

News is more of a two-way street than ever before.  True journalists are ‘keeping an ear to the ground’ by watching what’s being stated via Twitter statements.  If it’s important to the news, then certainly it’s important for you.

In future blogs, we’ll examine how to use Twitter to gain credibility and also how to develop a Social Media Policy.