Combining Word of Mouth with Social Media

People have always been talking about you.

You were not paranoid.

You did something impressive, word got around.

You screwed up, word spread even faster.

This has been going on since the beginning of time.

The modern term for it is Word of Mouth.

But now the voice has become louder and faster.

And just because you aren’t talking, or listening, (I’m referring to participating in Social Media), the conversation is going on without you.

My Sunday Seth post from Seth Godin on Wednesday is a list for you to consider:

I spread your idea because…

Ideas spread when people to choose to spread them. Here are some reasons why:

  1. I spread your idea because it makes me feel generous.
  2. …because I feel smart alerting others to what I discovered.
  3. …because I care about the outcome and want you (the creator of the idea) to succeed.
  4. …because I have no choice. Every time I use your product, I spread the idea (Hotmail, iPad, a tattoo).
  5. …because there’s a financial benefit directly to me (Amazon affiliates, mlm).
  6. …because it’s funny and laughing alone is no fun.
  7. …because I’m lonely and sharing an idea solves that problem, at least for a while.
  8. …because I’m angry and I want to enlist others in my outrage (or in shutting you down).
  9. …because both my friend and I will benefit if I share the idea (Groupon).
  10. …because you asked me to, and it’s hard to say no to you.
  11. …because I can use the idea to introduce people to one another, and making a match is both fun in the short run and community-building.
  12. …because your service works better if all my friends use it (email, Facebook).
  13. …because if everyone knew this idea, I’d be happier.
  14. …because your idea says something that I have trouble saying directly (AA, a blog post, a book).
  15. …because I care about someone and this idea will make them happier or healthier.
  16. …because it’s fun to make another teen snicker about prurient stuff we’re not supposed to see.
  17. …because the tribe needs to know about this if we’re going to avoid an external threat.
  18. …because the tribe needs to know about this if we’re going to maintain internal order.
  19. …because it’s my job.
  20. I spread your idea because I’m in awe of your art and the only way I can repay you is to share that art with others.

Lessons from Seth & Halloween

Two Seth Godin posts for you today.

Here’s the first one:

Marketing Halloween

Some things to think about while the doorbell rings…

There are communities that have moved Halloween from today, because they don’t want it to be on a school night.

There are communities that abhor Halloween, arguing that it is a day for Satanists and other ideas that are anethema.

And there are communities where the goal is to obtain as many chocolate bars as possible. (The hobo costume will always remain the official teenager get up, because you can make one in three minutes).

How did fruit end up as treat non grata? How did the few giant candy companies end up stamping out variety, selling giant bags of cheap chocolate instead? (Hint: there’s huge pressure to do ‘the regular kind’ as many consumers/homeowners are afraid to stand out in this regard). A great example of peer pressure meeting the race to the bottom.

And in the last few years, how did a trivial kids’ holiday turn into a multi-billion dollar bacchanal for adults, complete with ornate houses and bespoke costumes? Is it because of some well-orchestrated Halloween Marketers of America initiative? It just seemed to happen, didn’t it?

My take: Marketing home runs usually happen because the market/tribe/community is itching for a void to be filled, not because a marketer committed some brilliant act of promotion or pricing. The art, then, is to pick your niche, not to freak out about how to yell about it. You can’t make a perfect storm, but you can find one.

The Challenge

from Content Marketing Today:

Content Marketing Converts Even the Toughest Business Buyers

Posted: 12 Aug 2010 04:22 PM PDT

Classic Truths about Skeptical Customers Remain Modern Business Realities

mcgraw-hill classic skeptical business buyer

More than 50 years ago, McGraw-Hill created an ad that became legendary in the decades to follow among business-to-business marketers–and among those folks like me who were selling advertising to those skeptical business executives.

As you can see above, the print advertisement featured the ultimate skeptical prospect who says:

  • I don’t know who you are.
  • I don’t know your company.
  • I don’t know your company’s product.
  • I don’t know what your company stands for.
  • I don’t know your company’s customers.
  • I don’t know your company’s record.
  • I don’t know your company’s reputation.

Now, what was it you wanted to sell me?

In a single powerful page, McGraw-Hill made the case for business-to-business print advertising. I used this on countless presentations because it makes the point so simply and eloquently with its visual representation of one very hard-nosed customer. He is one tough cookie, who is absolutely not predisposed to accept what you have to say at face value.

Back then, print advertising was the logical solution to pre-sell even your toughest customers. Print advertising worked because your message was integrated into trusted business magazines which targeted exactly the buyers you needed to reach. Business publications were the most trustworthy sources of information that helped buyers make intelligent decisions about the problems that they faced every day.

Your Content Marketing Can Answer All Those Implicit Questions–And Much More

Today, you face similar realities. You must still try to sell to tough customers within a highly competitive environment. But, you can do it even more effectively and inexpensively than in the heyday of print business-to-business advertising.

The difference between the old world of advertising and today’s world of content marketing is that in 2010, you can fulfill the complete role of a traditional business-to-business publication. That is, you can deliver both the editorial and the advertising components on your website.

You have the opportunity to become your own highly focused business publication online. You can create trusted information products that minimize all the skeptical thoughts that are lurking in the minds of your prospective buyers. Your buyers probably don’t look much like that old McGraw-Hill veteran. But they absolutely share his skepticism when they first visit your website.

Fortunately, because you can create a content rich website inexpensively, you can afford to provide relevant and compelling information that is every bit as engaging and trust building as that provided by print publications that formerly dominated the business-to-business landscape.

Prospective customers in search of answers to their most challenging problems will begin to trust you if you make it obvious that you can provide those answers. Once you have completed that content marketing mission, you can then lead your prospects to in-depth information about your company, its products, its reputation, its customers, and its people.

Why not print out a copy of this old advertisement and past it on your wall as a constant reminder of the unspoken thoughts in the minds of your prospects. It may help keep your content marketing strategy on track by reminding you that the prospects who visit you in search of solutions begin as hard-boiled skeptics in need of transformation.

So, to paraphrase the last line of that wonderful old print ad:

MORAL: Sales start before you connect with your customer–with content marketing.

Teen Truths

Wednesday I posted a story about teen spending habits.

Here’s a few more revelations:

9 Myths You Thought Were True
A teen, a Millennial and a Mom walk into a restaurant for dinner. The Mom has a coupon for 10% off that she got for “liking” the bar’s Facebook page, the Millennial checked in on Foursquare to get a free drink, and the teen has nothing and is too busy texting her friends to care.

Teens are a unique audience. They have their own needs and social drivers that are unique to their stage in life. Many marketers assume that, because teens are young, their needs are the same as Millennials and that they will interact with brands in the same way.

New research is showing that teens have their own needs and behaviors that are different from other generations. If you’re a marketer looking to reach teens, it’s vitally important that you always have your finger on the pulse of the teen audience. As technology evolves, teens are finding their own uses for it that are unique to their personal and social needs.

There are some myths about marketing to teens that every marketer can learn from.

Myth #1: All teens want smartphones
While it is true that teens want phones, smartphone adoption has only reached 31% as of 2010. If 90% of teens own a cell phone, why aren’t they buying smartphones? The answer is actually pretty simple: texting. Teens send an average of 3,339 texts per month, and typing that many messages on a touch screen is a lot more difficult than typing on even the most basic phone keyboard. That’s why BlackBerry is one of the most popular phones for teens.

Myth #2: Texting is the way in
We already know that teens love to text. What some marketers fail to realize is that teens only love to text with their friends. Only 10% say they want companies to contact them via text message. There are some instances where a brand can use a texting campaign to engage this audience, but most teens see texting as “too personal,” and aren’t inviting brands into their personal space.

Myth #3: Teens use Facebook the way we use Facebook
Don’t count on just your Facebook page to reach teens. Teens interact with brands on Facebook if they feel there is a real benefit to them for doing so. They’re not “liking” every brand on Facebook that they purchase, and even if they do, they’re not likely to come back to your page after the first visit.

Myth #4: Teens are going to join Twitter
Recent findings from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project show that only 8% of teens have embraced Twitter. Other studies also show that most teens don’t have any interest in joining Twitter in the future (76%). By the time they decide to use Twitter, they probably won’t be teens anymore.

Myth #5: If you build it, teens will come
Great ideas go to waste when no one knows about them. Many marketers believe that creating a social experience for teens will spread itself through word-of-mouth and online sharing. A good social media activation can always benefit from a mass-media driver.

Myth #6: Teens are online all the time
Teens spend roughly two hours per day on the Internet, and almost half of that time is spent on entertainment. Teens don’t need the Internet to interact with their friends — they see them all the time, and if they’re not with them, they’re texting them. If you want to reach teens online, you have to find a way to bridge their online and offline experiences.

Myth #7: Teens don’t watch TV
Teens watch over 100 hours of television per month — most of which is not viewed on TiVo, Hulu or Netflix. They may be texting or playing games while they watch TV, but they’re definitely still watching it.

Myth #8: Teen word-of-mouth happens online
Teens do not spend most of their online time communicating with their friends. In fact, over 80% of teen word-of-mouth happens offline. If you want to tap into teen word-of-mouth, find a reason for them to talk about your brand offline.

Myth #9: Teens love online video
Teens use the Internet for entertainment, and online video is an important component of that. Branded video can be a great way to engage with teens as long as it doesn’t come off as one long commercial. Teens aren’t going to be tricked into thinking that your “viral video” is anything more than an advertisement.

David Trahan is a strategist at social marketing agency Mr Youth in New York, which was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Marketing Companies in the World by “Fast Company” magazine.


from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Watch Your Time With Presentations

Have you ever had a key decision-maker leave in the middle of your presentation because he or she was out of time? You aren’t holding the attention of a prospect who is looking at the clock!

At the beginning of the call, ask how much time the prospect has set aside. Then adjust your presentation to take no more than 60 percent of the allotted time.

Why only 60 percent? Because your prospect’s decisions to act typically occur at the end of a meeting, so you want to allow enough time to resolve any remaining issues and reach an agreement.

Source: Sales consultant/trainer Kevin Davis

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and Read:

Food and Beverages
by Karlene Lukovitz
Kellogg CEO David Mackay described the initiative as “a landmark step forward in the industry’s commitment to help address the obesity challenge” and “the most significant change to food labels in nearly 20 years.” But nutritionist Marion Nestle called it “a flagrant attempt to undermine the FDA’s regulatory authority, and it is telling that the announcement comes so soon after the [Institute of Medicine] report and gives no details on what, exactly, they plan to do.” …Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The campaign is not meant to be heavily branded, Brenda McWilliams, managing director of the FedEx brand, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s there to spark ideas; for each data point, there’s an article or slide show that explores the topic further, including FedEx-specific content related to that topic. So if they are interested in how FedEx is involved, they can see that, too.” …Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
More than ever, Christmas is creeping up on Halloween. From references to “doorbusters” — a word most of America associates with the day after Thanksgiving — in JCPenney ads during the World Series to Kohl’s new holiday campaign to Target’s major pre-Thanksgiving promotion, retailers are determined to get consumers shopping sooner. …Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Tanya Irwin
Finalists in each category will be reviewed by White, who will choose the grand prize winner and runners up. The grand prize winner will be featured on the cover of AnimalNews and highlighted in an article in this publication from Morris Animal Foundation. They will also receive a gift card to PetSmart and a gift assortment of products for cats from Sergeant’s Pet Care Products. …Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
According to the report, no amount of advertising will get large numbers of people to switch from conventionally powered passenger vehicles to HEVs and BEVs because of the cost premium and uncertainties consumers feel about owning such a vehicle. …Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
“As the product moves toward commoditization, price and performance become the two drivers of satisfaction,” J.D. Power’s Frank Perazzini tells Marketing Daily. “Performance has grown steadily equal; outages are better, speeds are better. With that dynamic, price [moves] to the forefront of satisfaction.” …Read the whole story >>