Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Marketing, De-evolution Style!

Friday, 22. October 2010 by Gavin Handley

Last week I received this fan email, from new wave band Devo. I went on-line and checked out what they were up to. Turns out they’re launching a new album.  Here’s a great example of an awesome 80’s band leveraging 21st century technology.

The Spud boys have always understood how to leverage themselves and their message through great marketing. With the launch of their first album in 20 years, they recently created focus groups . Of the many things they surveyed, one question asked respondents to choose which songs should go on the album. Another question asked, “What color [of power domes] makes this musical group feel more effective?” They embraced current feedback and have now relaunched themselves. You’ll see their stuff on all the mainstream social networks you can think of.  Clearly this was their intention, as you’ll see in their tagline, “Devo is Everywhere.” Fitting that as the band who espouses futuristic predictions, they would be the ones to embrace new technology. Check out this tongue-and-cheek  video chronicling their relaunch campaign. It’s as unique as Devo.


Even my 3 year old daugher is a fan of Devo since they are featured on one of her favorite shows, Nickolodeon’s Yo Gabba Gabba!

I’m so excited about their comeback, I know what I’m going to be for Halloween already!

User-Generated Content

Tuesday, 12. October 2010 by Gavin Handley

People love to contribute content to their favorite brands and what better way for your company to connect with consumers? With the social media explosion in marketing it is advantageous for companies to use user-generated content in their marketing and loyalty programs.

Back in 2008 I came up with the idea of using customer submitted photos for an email programKodak Moment of the Month” after the success of the staff photo slideshow in our newsletter. It was time to take the concept a step further and the program was born. This program of course did not come without its challenges and I will go into that later in the post. But the results made it all worth it – the  response was overwhelmingly positive. I learned quickly that people love to show off their photography skills! Check out John Harrisons’ post on user-generated content and the “Kodak Moment of the Month.”

Kodak Recently launched a site celebrating your Kodak Moments, user images and video, “ The real Kodak Moment happens when you share.” Disney Parks  launched last month a new site dedicated to fan content very similar to Kodak Moments, in which  you can share your photos, videos and stories from your trips to Disney Parks. One nice feature is that you can also categorize the content by theme, location and the emotion. Check out this post on Mashable, on Disney’s “Let the Memories Begin” campaign.

A few things to consider if you are building out a user-generated marketing program, depending on the size of your company it will take a lot of work to manage all that content, so make sure you have the resources and have a clear goal on how you want to engage your customers and use the content now and in the future. Try to be as specific as you can when you request content,  trust me it will help you out tremendously to receive more relevant content. Copyright is always a concern in the digital age so consider all avenues when creating your Terms and Conditions. This content is also a great opportunity to index your site with this rich content and optimize for SEO.

Viral vs. Social – What Is The Difference?

Thursday, 07. October 2010 by Anna Billstrom

Viral: when a marketing campaign takes on a life of its own.
Social: using social networking applications in your multi-channel (email/site/direct mail) campaign.

Viral example: almost anything that use a trope or motif that is embraced and reproduced by others, at no cost or expense by the company involved, such as, BlendTec

Social example: A marketing campaign that uses new social applications and existing social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. to further its goals. Example: Zappos.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have attended a conference seminar or read an article that was completely misnamed- not viral at all- and thus has been mis-used and abused in all of the time that has passed since it’s introduction. It’s not it’s fault, but the definition has been muddied.

Because I consider very specific social marketing being the use of social networks and social network tools- Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, etc. Viral has actually been around for a while, back to Guerrilla Marketing days, back to the “pay someone’s toll and add your business card.” Social marketing could be very un-viral, hiring interns to tap away twitter messages all day. Viral marketing could avoid all uses of social network tools- see example of business card at the toll booth.

Well, the distinction is muddied because most, if not all, social marketing campaigns aspire to viral. We all want to be the BlendTec of [insert your industry here].

Why Social Media? Part 3

Friday, 17. September 2010 by Gavin Handley

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Obviously empowering your customers does have consequences, if someone has a bad customer experience with your company; it is very easy for them to share that with the world. The good thing is, if you respond quickly and make it right it can turn into a huge positive. Most people will respond to their friends and followers how you went above and beyond to fix their issue.

Customer perspective:

A large part of our marketing mindset is to be in the customer’s shoes and what they expect from you in social media. Here are a couple of points I have used to good effect:

  • Share emotion over the product or topic – I  want to interact with other customers
  • We are listening
  • Inspire me
  • This is Social Media it should not be a dull marketing experience
  • Throw me an exclusive offer   

On a final note you can leverage your customers to be advocates for your company, one’s circle of friends and family tend to carry the greatest amount of social capital in the business context.

Why Social Media? Part 2

Thursday, 16. September 2010 by Gavin Handley

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

As we all know- with any marketing campaign keeping it relevant is the key to success. It’s really no different in with social media, but the great thing is — you can have a little more fun with it.  They are a fan for a reason, now keeping your fans engaged, is just like any relationship. You need to work on it!  

Here are a few ideas of where to start on messaging:

  • Support current marketing campaign
  • Social media only offers
  • Current mainstream topics
  • Integrate current email campaigns
  • Product and service awareness
  • Pre product launch sneak peek
  • Member feedback 
  • Market research -  Vote
  • Did you know? Little known trivia or facts regarding the product.
  • Customer service response- managing customer concerns or questions
  • Video – Photos, other media or access that you may have to the product
  • Sweep stakes / Give away- low cost or inexpensive freebies, or access that you can offer customers for a contest
  • Inspirational content- create some creativity, this is harder to do but usually has the most impact.

Once you have an idea of what they are responding to, ask for their feedback (poll app), what they want to see more of and what they haven’t seen!  

Check out this great post from The Email Wars  Examples of Social Media in Email Marketing.

Next up: the customer perspective and concerns.

Why Social Media? Part 1

Tuesday, 14. September 2010 by Gavin Handley

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Why try social media? Why not? If you haven’t already, it is a no-brainer to have a social presence for your company. I personally think there is no real expert in social media marketing yet! I think it is very much trial and error at this stage, so test, test and test again. So my advice is to you,  is to go for it.

Over the next week or so I will be sharing a few simple tips I’ve found helpful in building out a social media program:

Have a clear goal:

  • Engage current customer and prospective new customers
  • Build brand loyalty
  • Build awareness

 Measuring Success:

  • Recruitment/Fans
  • Response to post and the viral affect
  • Link tracking/clicks
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Market research
  • SEO
  • Set modest goals

Next up: messaging and engagement.

Also check out this great article from Social Email Marketing blog and see why 37% of companies avoid social media.

Adventures in Email Marketing in European Business Review

Monday, 23. August 2010 by Anna Billstrom

The good news, is that one of our posts: Obama Campaign – Stephen Geer Dir. of Email was used in the European Business Review, in an article on the Obama campaign and social media. The bad news is that one of their links back to here didn’t work. One did! One didn’t. I also didn’t check comments on here for a while, so the fault lies in both courts.

The article – Obama and the Power of Social Media Technology by Jennifer Aacker and Victoria Chang. The Review has also disable the right button, so that I can’t copy and paste a snippet here. Still, glad we got the mention. And yes, the devil’s in the details.

It’s a great article, too!

Little Things Web 2.0 Could Learn From Email Marketing

Tuesday, 01. September 2009 by Anna Billstrom

This list was inspired by a good friend who had to do a quick 101 class in email marketing when his Web2.0 company had some email hiccups the other day.

Throttling, it is your friend.
Despite how much you think you customer base wants to hear from every little social activity on the web site, make sure you’re really only sending one email a day, if that. Digest the notifications (or provide the option).

Frequency Control
Allow your users to manage the frequency and notification by use of a web page that allows them to check and uncheck the various ways you can email them. Offer RSS as well as Email.

Frequency Control… nuances
Check on history, and consider rolling out “tastings” of each communication, just once, in the cycle of their engagement with the site. So for certain kind of notifications, the customer/member gets it once, until they select that form of notification in the preference center.

Sharing, FTAF in the footer
Include viral pass-along options in every communication. FTAF = Forward To A Friend.

Test your emails in SpamAssassin
Check the content of every notification against a SPAM filter to make sure it’s not triggering some odd rules. Even Though you’ve convinced yourself you’re not a spammer, that means very little to the consumer. It’s in the eye of the beholder, and luckily, we can test that.

One-click unsubscription
Despite your audience loving you, and you not being a spammer, still provide one-click, easy, non-sign-in unsubscriptions. Provide a link to the notification preferences center, but a one-click will save you a lot of grief.

When Twitter Spams

Saturday, 20. June 2009 by Anna Billstrom

Friend is learning to Twitter. I had a special conversation with him the other day. He forwarded me some tools others had recommended, and I teased him on the “1st line of text.” If it says “it’s legal” or it will “increase your follower count,” it’s spam. Just like in email. Doth protest too much.

Quick tips to identifying Twitter spam:
- Woman’s name + some numbers, in the username.
- Follow ratio is way off, they follow lots, nobody follows them.
- “get rich quick” scheme, regarding followers.
- Look at their posts- all plugs for products

Recommended Tools I’m Using Now
TweetDeck – organizes your Twitter followers, includes basic functions like search, recommends, etc.
Topify – sends rich email with Twitter info, and methods to follow via email

Regarding the ReTweet…

Saturday, 25. April 2009 by Anna Billstrom

A new Twitter pal, who is a friend IRL (in real life) as well as a very talented food reviewer and author, re-tweeted Mashable. Oh, so wrong. I knew she was new to Twitter, so I cut her some slack. What is wrong with re-tweeting Mashable?

1) Don’t re-tweet A-list twitterers. They have tens of thousands of followers, so popularizing their content simply sends the message that either you don’t know they’re an A-lister, showing naivete, or that you are ass-kissing.

2) Don’t do a simple re-tweet. Contribute. You can get a whole lot out of Twitter if you treat it as a conversation, and that extends to re-tweeting. Add a note before the RT – not just “wow” or “neat” (guilty as charged, on that).

3) Inside jokes. Nobody likes to feel excluded, give back-up or follow-up info to those not part of the exchange.

Louis Gray goes into a lot of detail into the politics of re-tweeting in: “You have entered a No-Retweeting Zone Here.”

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