The functionality of iPhones and other mobile devices represents a fundamental shift in how we view the act of marketing, further blurring the lines between advertising, research, promotions, CRM and entertainment content. As new developments continue to make digital technologies a more integral part of our everyday lives, marketers will be forced to rethink mobile marketing's currently limited role within the marketing mix.
Even in the internet age, events are big, and important, business. The Aberdeen Group finds that 9 percent of an organization’s total budget is spent on events and that figure is expected to climb 20 percent over the next two years.
Today, companies are increasingly turning to SMS or text messaging campaigns to improve the efficiency of their marketing and CRM communications, but when considering SMS, it is important to understand how to leverage it properly in enterprise environments so that common missteps can be avoided. Below I have outlined six of the most common questions companies have when considering SMS, and the simple answers to help overcome these hurdles.
Social data is overwhelming. More customers, buyers, and consumers are creating content everywhere they go. Companies cannot scale to match this in a 1:1 basis, and most companies are in early phases of the 8 Stages of Listening. Earlier this year, I made clear investments in researching the Social CRM space and Mobile+Social space, it’s clear that Social CRM is starting to get wind under it’s wings, and mobile/social is certainly happening at consumer level. So what do I see happening next?
Advanced technology. Ideas that promise to revolutionize the way businesses are run. Out with the old, in with the new. Not sure how it'll make any money? Mere details. Get going or risk getting left behind. Great riches will come to those with the guts to throw caution and experience to the wind. CRM. Social media. We've seen the story before, and comparisons between the two phenomenon aren't new, either. But looking at things at the company level reveals a sobering possibility: we're about due for The Crash. The parallels are imprecise and sometimes the histories are outright apples and oranges. Get over it. If I'm even partially right, there's a reckoning a'coming.
Here's the rub: We've got too much sizzle in the system right now. Social media garnishes every marcom conference and discussion, and I'm already bolting myself in my chair before the unstoppable tweet tsunami from the SXSW crowd over the next 10 days. We're obsessed. Join the conversation! Engage the conversation! Hell, spike the conversation!
Few brands have had as singular a focus on social media as e.l.f., a cosmetics line that does zero in the way of traditional advertising yet has strong working relationships with about 500 bloggers. As the CMO for e.l.f. (the acronym stands for Eyes Lips Face), Ted Rubin is known for his active use of Twitter (where he has 20,000 followers) and his responsiveness. Rubin, a former protege of Seth Godin, says he responds to every tweet he gets. The social media outreach, along with distribution at Target, a recession-friendly price of $1 per item and a positive review in O: The Oprah Magazine two years ago have helped e.l.f. build a strong brand on the cheap. Brandweek spoke with Rubin about his thoughts on traditional advertising, social media and why larger brands like Coca-Cola can benefit from e.l.f'.'s strategy.
There certainly will be advertising winners (and losers) on Super Bowl Sunday but let's hope that the Monday morning quarterback chatter doesn't obscure the larger shift at hand for marketers this year. 2010 will be the year of the "platform" for advertisers. Unlike a website, banner, Facebook application or 30-second spot, a platform is an always-on digital environment that allows brands to run specific or multiple programs. The goal is to meaningfully engage consumers on multiple levels.
I received my first Lenovo News email last week, telling "Dear Sir/Madam" that "information can be 'the' critical factor in establishing a competitive business advantage,"so I could look forward to having "a direct pipeline to the latest Lenovo and hottest PC industry news." Only the email doesn't contain any news. It's spam. CRM gone amok. A sales message sent without even the presumption that the recipients are anywhere near even considering the possibility of buying. What a missed opportunity.
Ginger, a 27-year-old living in Indianapolis, is baffled as to why she gets the Pottery Barn catalog, let alone the Pottery Barn Kids catalog, considering that she has no children. Similarly, Jeanette, a Toledo, Ohio woman, has long received Limited Too, now Justice, mailings. At 49, she's far outside the brand's tween target. Lands' End, which she also regularly receives catalogs from, would be closer to the mark, except that she hasn't ordered anything from there in years. Even Amazon, which has better data-based marketing than most, has raised the ire of the occasional customer. Vicki ordered bike gear from the retailer for her husband, Nick, two or three Christmases ago. She was surprised to receive an e-mail just last week plugging complementary items. In today's digital world it's easier than ever for retailers to slice and dice consumer data. Yet many have yet to crack the code and use the data they do have to serve up targeted, timely and relevant offers.
I had a fantastic conversation with Frank Eliason, Duncan Riley, and Chris Brogan last night during the Microsoft Windows Mobile Developer event at Chapel in Seattle. We explored the drivers that propel companies into social labyrinths and how they participate, react and in turn, strategically plan (or should) once they’ve arrived.
For small children, there are few life changes bigger than learning how to use the toilet. It's a time when both tots and their parents can be in need of a little positive reinforcement and a morale boost. Kimberly-Clark's Huggies brand is trying to help, and engender loyalty at the same time, with an ambitious 3-week-old program that uses the mobile phone -- and points to where mobile marketing may be headed.
Providence, RI now has a new slogan -- "Creative Capital" -- and a logo, thanks to a $100,000 gig with a branding firm that specializes in helping communities respond to the drastic downturn in employment, investment, and solvent home mortgages with image marketing. If I find out that any Stimulus funds are getting spent on this nonsense, count me in as a parade leader when we march on Washington.
With Cause-Related Marketing (CRM) growing increasingly more popular as Fortune 500 companies "go green" and try to be socially responsible, advertisers and marketers should be aware that the "framing" or presentation of the cause is critical to consumers. People are more willing to purchase products and support causes that have an immediate or short-term benefit to a non-profit than a future or long-term benefit.
Social media has evolved beyond a series of platforms that enable content publishing, sharing, and discovery into a genuine, peer-to-peer looking glass into the real world conversations that affect the perception, engagement, and overall direction of the brands we represent.
The toll-free number. The email to tech support. The Tweet? Is Twitter the natural evolution of customer service? The immediacy and transparency of tweeted support is all the rage, with defined case studies (@ComcastCares, @JetBlue) and emerging software to enable and track it.
You're probably familiar with the concept of Dunbar's number. The Wikipedia entry defines it as a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person. This number is set at 150 connections.
Twitter has multiple business models to choose from.
InterContinental Hotel Group’s relaunch of the Holiday Inn brand with a new logo a year and a half ago, now seems like a pretty savvy move. As more consumers trade down on vacations this year, the chain, which emphasizes a low-cost yet wholesome family experience, is well positioned.