A day unplugged

It was only one day. No digital devices. Which meant no YouTube, Facebook, Skype, chat, email, Farmville, etc. Seems simple and easy enough. But the results were anything but. This experiment among college students resulted in all the tell tale signs of addiction and withdrawal.

Unplugged experiment

What does this mean for you as a marketer? It  means if you aren’t present in these places that college students are addicted to, then you are going to be in big trouble, if you aren’t already.

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EpicMix – Vail Ski Resort’s impressive use of social media

I absolutely love what Vail is doing with social media. I have already heard co-workers say they are going this winter just to experience it.

Check it out here…EpicMix

Take Chances

I sat in on an online presentation, or webinar if you prefer, that was titled Be a Non-traditional Marketer -Smart Ways to Brand Build and Boost Sales. At the onset, they asked the audience the following question and gave them three answers to choose from.

How would you best describe your marketing efforts.

1. Traditional

2. Mix of traditional and non-traditional

3. Avant-garde

First off, the question is way too vague. What is traditional to me may be avant-gaurd to you. Or vice-versa. So the results to this question mean very little. But the question did get me thinking. What answer should a good marketing department give to this question? Avant-garde sounds cool. I surely want to be viewed that way. But my feeling is that #2 is the only good answer and here is why.

“Traditional” is defined as a specific practice of long standing. And its of long standing for a reason. It works to a certain degree. So in most instances, traditional marketing should be the foundation of any marketing program. Things like proper messaging, pricing, determining your target audience, defining your competitive advantage, etc are all still very important.  But if you stop there you’re as good as dead. You need to take chances when it comes to marketing. You need to go beyond traditional.

This is one of my most recent favorites of a company that took a chance and went beyond traditional marketing. Its a “Case Study” done by Heineken. Be sure to watch through to the end to see the results of this marketing effort. It was amazing.

Heineken Case Study – Champions League Match vs Classical Concert

So what chances are you taking to set your company apart?

How NOT to use Facebook

As a habit, I follow closely what my companies competitors do…press releases, articles, service offerings, etc. And now with Facebook its as easy as becoming a fan of all my competitors to follow exactly what they are up to.

One of the companies I follow is Adecco. Great company, tremendous amount of success. No one can fault them there. But what they are doing on Facebook is the wrong way to go about using social media. Here is a recent example.

In one of their recent posts to Facebook, Adecco touted that the job market was showing signs of recovery and provided a link. That’s good information for their fans. Adecco is in the market of finding people work so any information on the job market makes sense. The problem came when their fans started to comment.

“Adecco stinks, the girl in the Falls NY area passed over submitting me for jobs i was wanting instead using me for a warm bdy for grunt work, Steamed!!!!”

“Be carefully what you say they deleted my comment last time I said something they didn’t like.”

“If you have any talent at all…don’t go to Adecco cause they don’t care about talent…”

Now, no company wants to see comments like this for everyone to see. But unfortunately, its part of doing business. And the bigger you get, the more likely it is that there will be people that will say negative things about you. That in itself is typically not the problem. The problem comes when you do not respond the right way. So how did Adecco respond? They deleted the negative comments and replaced them with positive comments. Positive comments by their employees non-the-less.

“Adecco is the best company ever!”

“You’re def right (name), it IS!!”

This is NOT the way a company should use Facebook. The proper way is to address the problems right then and there. Show the world that you know the proper way to deal with unhappy customers. Complaints on Facebook are an opportunity. Don’t try to sweep them under the rug. They will simply show up somewhere else. And you won’t be able to simply delete them there.

Marketing Key #8 of 13

Marketing Key #8 – Use social media to provide value, gain trust, and spread your message.

Social media can be a powerful tool, especially if you are selling a service.

One of the keys to selling a service is that customers view you as an expert, and what better way to do this than through social media. Examples may include:

  • Instructional videos posted to YouTube
  • Blogging about your industry
  • Creating an online community (facebook, message board, forum, etc.) around your service/industry
  • Instructional podcasts

There are many other things that can be done as well. The key is to do your research and start leveraging social media as soon as possible. It doesn’t cost a thing (except your time) and the reach can be enormous. Just remember that quality is key. Your name will be attached to whatever you put out there. And once its out there, there’s no bringing it back.

Distraction vs. engagement

Are your attempts at gaining new customers simply distractions to try and get their attention or methods for engaging them? There is a big difference.

Most attempts by companies to gain new customers are simply eye catching images, loud audio, bright colors and so on. They attempt to distract us from what we are doing and push the product or service into our face. Louder, brighter, flashier, more shocking. Repeat and distract. Short term (as in a few seconds) this may work, but long term, very little is accomplished.

Look to engage your target audience. Provide value to them. Instructional videos, expert advice, daily blog postings, white papers, anything that will engage them and leave them better off than before they came in contact with your company. Do this well and they will seek you out.

Engage don’t distract.

BE what interests people

Thought this post by Paul Dunay was spot on.

Don’t try to interrupt people to get them interested in your brand…BE what interests them. Social media in a nutshell.