Something a little fun for this week via Digital Buzz. Make conclusions as you may!
Archive for December, 2010
As the New Year approaches, you’re probably getting pretty darn excited to put all your new ideas and iniatives into action. As you look at your social media strategy, you might be smart to remember that for every success story there are thousands of failed social initiatives. While there is no way to guarantee a hit, Adam Kmiec, SVP, Interactive Marketing Innovation, MARC USA, says there are ways to assure failure. With that in mind, here are his ten reasons why half of all social media initiatives fail:
1. A Self-Proclaimed “Guru” Simply Isn’t – The concept of social media marketing is roughly 2 years old. Most of the tools and platforms, like Facebook, weren’t even around in 2004. So how can anyone truly claim to know it all?
2. It’s Not Really Media – Regular business is becoming more social. If social initiatives are not tied into the fabric of a business, companies will never see the return they need.
3. Spending money is important – Great Initiatives + Weak Awareness = Weak Results. One of the biggest mistakes is to think that social initiatives don’t need traditional media support. Social does not equal viral nor does it equal free.
4. Employees Are A Catalyst – Any company’s biggest evangelists are employees. They need to be armed with information and access. Don’t revoke access to sites like YouTube and Facebook, encourage them. To be social with customers, employees must be social.
5. Just Copied Someone Else’s Plan – It’s a copycat world, but you shouldn’t ape what Apple does if you sell Teddy Bears door-to-door. Copying another organization’s model in theory sounds smart, but in practice can set a business back months, if not years.
6. Social is a Team Sport – Social belongs in more than just Communications, PR or Marketing. If you want to go fast, travel alone, but if you want to go far travel together. It’s not just a proverb; it’s a fact in the social business landscape.
7. No Experience is No Good – A plan from someone right out of school, because “they understand social” is a classic mistake. Just because a customer has been using a product doesn’t qualify them to be CFO. Why would you do the same thing with social?
8. Loads of Experience May Not be Better – Social business initiatives do fail simply because of the wrong people. Companies must look less at years and degrees and more at the core skill set. The ideal? A great balance of marketing and technology.
9. Social is a Research Tool First – The social space must be mined for insights. It is a rich data set; the largest that has ever existed. By leveraging social as a research tool companies can uncover opportunities they didn’t even realize existed.
10. Go Beyond the Big Players – Social is so much more than Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Depending on the audience, an upstart site/platform may be the best place to go. Think Facebookers are willing to publicly “Like” a genital wart medication?
So, how will you build a creative and successful social media campaign in Q1?
If you don’t have friends to ask about a certain product or company, it takes a lot of time and research to evaluate whether you want to buy in or make a purchase.It’s understandable that when a friend or knowledgeable acquaintance is available, you’ll want to skip this process.
“There is, however, a deeper reason why your customers turn to each other,” argues Valeria Maltoni of Conversation Agent, “and that is that they get an immediate focused reply instead of having to wade through clumsy content on your site [hat tip: Bernd Nurnberger]. It also means they have the feeling that peers are in it to help, while the business purely for profit [contribution: Brian Driggs].”
If you’re actively listening to your customers, it shouldn’t be too difficult to replicate this interaction, however. Maltoni asks, “How can you change the customer experience so that your business is part of the positive conversation and solution?” I love how Patagonia uses a great Q&A experience on their site to do exactly this:
How else can you be useful to the customer?
Photo Credit: Scott Feldstein.
You could interrupt your customer’s day with spray and pray advertising, or you could just talk to them. And by that I mean, activate your core super influencers.
“We’ve seen that brands that track and quantify word-of-mouth impact have found that these key influencers can drive 20, 30, or even 70% of all visits to their campaign pages,” reports Ben Straley on Mashable, “beating out display and search advertising as the most efficient driver of traffic to their sites.”
Straley goes on to argue that “if you can reach out to this 1% directly by offering them special promotions, thanking them for their influence, and rewarding them for their loyalty, they will be motivated to share early and share often.”
What are some strategies you can take to provide your super influencers with the best content? How do you communicate with them? How can you make super influencers feel, well, super?
New research shows that “the number of digital coupon events increased by 59.9 percent for the year ending Sept. 30,” and “267 manufacturers distributed digital coupon offers, an increase of 23 percent compared to the 217 manufacturers that were active in 2009 across key websites.”
As consumers habits change, so too is the couponing industry. “Digital coupons are becoming a core component within the overall promotion mix for consumer packaged-goods manufacturers,” said Mark Nesbitt, president of Kantar Media.
“Digital coupon events on retailer websites are becoming an attractive opportunity for manufacturers to align with their strategic retail partners in order to drive shopping trips and increase sales,” said Bob Cristofono, Marx VP of sales.
Coupons becoming digital is only the start of how manufacturers can use this great marketing opportunity. Can you think of other creative ways to extend digital coupon offers?
If you’re trying to fake it until you make it with cause-related marketing, stop. Consumers are seeing right through it.
“The annual Goodpurpose study of corporate involvement in social issues found consumers are expecting more from companies, reports AdWeek, “with 62% saying it is ‘no longer enough for corporations to give money; they must integrate good causes into their everyday business.’ The research indicates consumers will reward such social engagement, with 72% saying they are “more likely to purchase a product from a company that supports good causes and has fair prices than a company that simply offers deep discounts.”
Sometimes it seems, doing good leads to good profit. There’s a great opportunity here for CPG companies as well. When study respondents were asked to identify the causes they’d like to see companies engage in, “alleviating hunger and homelessness” topped the list, cited by 89 percent.
Efforts to give back don’t have to start big. Why not let your employees have a day off to volunteer? A simple initiate such as that is sure to spread lots of goodwill this season.
Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal.
There’s a new consumer shopping, and she’s all about receiving goods just-in-time, reports Ellen Byron of the Wall Street Journal. Byron describes customers that will eat out of their pantry and are averse to hoarding to save money, preferring instead to put more money towards savings or mortgage payments.
And now that the recession is showing signs of lifting, those consumer’s “antipathy to hoarding hasn’t changed. ‘I’ve stopped purchasing things just to have them on hand,’ [a consumer] says.”
No longer does buying in bulk seem like the best strategy to many shoppers to stay frugal.
“Consumers are saying, ‘I’m going to buy what I need for a specific period of time,’ rather than loading up and buying two or three extra units just because they can get a good price on it,” says Richard Wolford, CEO of Del Monte Foods Co. He calls the phenomenon “need it now.”
“Procter & Gamble Co. has been tracking consumers’ pantries since mid-2008, believing them to be a reliable gauge of how the recession has changed shoppers’ behavior,” Byron reports. “About one-third of consumers are changing their pantry levels, P&G’s research indicates, with about 75% of those cutting back on inventory.”
“There’s almost a confidence and pride in the ability to make tailored choices for themselves,” says Joan Lewis, P&G’s global consumer and market knowledge officer.
As someone who has been shopping like this for years, I highly recommend you go and read the entire WSJ article. And then, let us know what you think – are you seeing the shopping habits of your consumers change? Have your own changed?
Retailers are finding their customers on Facebook… and a lot of them.
In a recent study, the results “speak to the power of Facebook: The retailers surveyed by Media Logic with 1 million or more likers averaged nearly 40 percent growth between mid-July and mid-September.”
Other key findings included:
- Blogs, microsites, commerce sites and stores are all being swept up and into the social revolution. Retailers are connecting their online and real-world properties into what are effectively media networks owned and operated by the brands.
– Promotions in the form of social games and contests, hosted both within Facebook and on microsites, are drawing huge numbers of participants and, thus far, tireless engagement. Fans and followers must now be considered significant cooperative marketing partners as they remarket the brand messages.
“S. C. Johnson wants to step up its ‘green’ game with advertising intended to convey to consumers a commitment to disclose the ingredients of its familiar household cleaning products, like Glade, Pledge and Windex,” reports the New York Times.
The ads got underway over Thanksgiving on major network and cable channels and are poised to come online, appearing on Web sites like cnn.com, marthastewart.com, msn.com, people.com and yahoo.com since S.C. Johnson is devoted to additional resources toward online advertising.
“It’s much more holistic than just television,” Mr. Johnson said in a phone interview, with “more digital engagement than we’ve typically done.”
Transparency in product ingredients is an important facet for consumers, and letting them know through online efforts can only help to add to a grassroots authentic feeling of communication. How is your brand increasing it’s transparency to the customer?
“Consumer packaged-goods marketers are counting on growth in e-commerce and seeking to drive it, in part because of what it can mean to them in developing closer relationships with their consumers,” reports Jack Neff at AdAge.
“This is an emerging trend for branded manufacturers in particular because they believe, rightfully so, that they’ve lost touch with their end customer, kind of ceded that to the retailer,” said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and U.S. consumer products leader of Deloitte.
While Alice provides a system for CPG to sell direct to consumers (and gain access to consumer data), CEO of Alice.com Brian Wiegand said “it doesn’t really matter to most marketers whether it’s a true direct sale to consumers or through a third party like Amazon or Walmart.com, as long as they can participate directly with consumers in the process.”
“Mr. Wiegand said he’s seeing increasingly ambitious projections from CPG marketers of having 1% to as much as 5% of their sales direct to consumers online — fulfilled either by their own systems or those of e-tailers such as Amazon — by 2015. He believes that may be overly ambitious for an industry that still gets far less than 1% of sales online today. But the bigger goal by CPG manufacturers, he said, is to have “a direct relationship with 50% to 80% of their customers, meaning I have them in a database.”
With retailers typically holding the control over the data and the relationship between manufacturer and consumer, will gaining more access to the customer online help? How else can CPG manufacturers build a more meaningful relationship with their customer?