5 Marketing Best Practices Used by Marketo August 28, 2014Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Lead Gen.
Tags: Integrated Marketing, Lead Generation, Marketing Campaigns, Marketo, Social Media
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In early 2013, Mary Gospe, KickStart Alliance’s lead generation and integrated marketing strategist, ran a blog post about 5 best practices used by Marketo to promote themselves. Because this topic continues to be relevant, I wanted to replay that blog post here. Good stuff to consider in any marketing campaign. (more…)
Social Media & the CEO April 25, 2013Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Social Media.
Tags: Integrated Marketing, marketing strategy, Social Media
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Irate customers? Don’t let them stew. Check out how Dell approached it’s Customer Advisory Panel July 27, 2010Posted by Mike Gospe in Customer Advisory Boards.
Tags: Customer Advisory Board, Customer Advisory Boards, Customer Council, Social Media, strategy, twitter
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A friend of mine just passed me a link to this great blog post on Dell’s recent Customer Advisory Panel meeting. There are a couple of things that are noteworthy here:
* Talking with angry customers can be a challenge for anyone. Human nature inclines us to seek shelter in friendly surroundings. But, as Dell found out, avoiding irate customers and letting customers stew in disappointment and frustration can be bad for business. They chose to meet the challenge head-on with a Customer Advisory Panel. How they did this was very creative: two groups of bloggers/customers, divided based on their affinity towards Dell. Each discussion moderated by a “graphical facilitator” who captured comments and feedback graphically. Check out the pictures.
* Graphical facilitators are superstars when it comes to capturing notes and turning them into instant illustrations that communicate with a punch. It’s an engaging technique that can be used to create an aura of creativity and fun, despite the obvious tension that commonly accompanies dissatisfied customers. While this technique will not work for all audiences, it seems to have worked well for Dell based on the photos shared in one of the accompanying links.
* What impresses me most about Dell is that they opened their kimono to use the Customer Advisory Panel as 1) an opportunity to collect customer feedback AND 2) as a public relations platform. Notice that several of the bloggers have already posted comments relating to the event. It’s a PR/Customer Support strategy that makes a whole lot of sense in today’s social media world.
As Susan Payton says in her blog, the proof of Dell’s actions will be in what they do with the information they’ve collected. While I’m sure this was not an easy pill for the leaders at Dell to swallow , I applaud them for taking action, and frankly the risk. We live in a world where the customer is king, and Dell is taking note.
Thinking about adding a blog into your marcom mix? Here’s how to break through blogger’s block June 8, 2010Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Social Media.
Tags: blog, blogging, Integrated Marketing, Social Media, thought leadership
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Several of my clients are considering adding a blog into their integrated marketing mix. In each of these specific cases, the company wants to use the blog as a portal to showcase “thought leadership” — not to sell. Yet, the marketing and sales leaders are struggling to get their thoughts on paper.
I recently ran across the following blog post that is written specifically for bloggers: 6 Ways to Constantly Produce Quality Blog Content. This is a wonderful recipe for breaking thru the barriers of writer’s block that everyone faces.
Here’s the synopsis:
1) Before you start blogging, clarify the specific objective for your blog and how/when/where the blog fits in your marketing blueprint. With this in mind, now establish an editorial calendar for the content that fits the objective.
2) Make a list of categories with sub-topics. This sets the framework for how your blog will develop over time.
3) Keep a running list of blog topics. Brainstorms can hit at any time. Keep track of all ideas, rational, crazy or not.
4) Write several blogs at one time. Set aside time to write. Personally, I find it easier to write early in the morning before the interruptions of the day begin.
5) Find guest bloggers. Share the writing opportunity with others.
6) Interview experts. Whenever you feel that you’ve tapped all your knowledge, interview a partner, peer, client, colleague, expert, etc. Look for alternative perspectives that can freshen up a topic.
Searching for Product Comparisons January 14, 2010Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Persona, Messaging, Social Media.
Tags: Integrated Marketing, marketing blueprints, search, Social Media
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Want to get some quick market research on how your product stacks up to a competitor? Ask the Internet.
I teach a course at San Francisco State University entitled, “Essentials of Integrated Marketing.” In that course, I have a case study that has proven to be a lot of fun as well as very insightful when it comes to gathering “product comparison” data. The case study is called Video Game Wars and follows the exploits of the Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii.
In developing the case study, I needed to somehow find a way to educate the class on these products quickly. So, I turned to the Internet. My first course of action was to do a Google search on each of the products. This yielded the expected corporate-esk press releases, data sheets, and website info. All of this was helpful in building “awareness.” But I wanted more practical information when it came to comparisons.
So I tried a search variation.
The search results provided a perfect example on how the dynamics of search have changed the way people gather and process information. Here’s what I mean:
- Much of the “product comparison” data I gathered was produced by users, not corporate executives.
- I couldn’t help but feel that the more “unpolished” the presentation, the more genuine the information.
- Many of these search results also included some sort of social media commentary, meaning that the material was actually being used and discussed.
Lest we think this is only useful for consumer products, I started testing this “product comparison” research tactic on a few projects I’m working on with B2B clients. I’d do the same thing: go to Google and YouTube and search on “product A vs product B”. In every case, I found very interesting information. Now, while I don’t take everything I find to the bank, I do find that the results have added to my cumultative knowledge. It’s helps to further my skills as an investigative marketer in order to discover which product differentiators are true and meaningful, and which are bogus.
Lesson for marketers
Based on this insight, it is important for marketers to consider a couple things as they are architecting their integrated marketing campaigns:
- Producing only the traditional marketing datasheets and collateral is no longer sufficient.
- There is a mountain of “awareness” information available; but customers are also keenly interested in product comparison data (see Content & the Buying Process blog post).
- Consider adding your own product comparison articles and videos. Some companies do this already, and I applaud them for it. Prospects are looking for this information. Why not provide them with short snippets of useful information? Otherwise, someone else might do it for them.
- As you develop your own marketing materials, do a comparison search to see what people are talking about. Do your expectations match up to the user community’s reality? Might be worth checking out.
Does your company have social media policy? November 11, 2009Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Social Media.
Tags: Integrated Marketing, Social Media
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Social media is on top of everyone’s mind. Most professionals have already set up their profile on Linkedin. While many individuals are becoming conversant with Twitter and Facebook, the jury is still out on how effective and compelling these new tools are for selling in a business-to-business environment. Yet, that isn’t stopping marketers from integrating these tools into the marcom mix. Forward-thinking businesses of all sizes are being creative and clever in their social media efforts as they find new ways to dialog with and listen to customers and prospects.
A word of warning: social media is a different type of marketing tool where control of your messaging is an illusion. To avoid any miss-steps and potential embarassment, your company should have a policy on the “how, who, when, and where” questions of social media:
- How are the social media elements integrated into the larger integrated marketing campaign?
- Who is responsible for listening to the social media dialog and coordinating responses when responses are required? And, to a larger extent, who is allowed to participate in the social media conversation on behalf of your company?
- When and where will new content be posted?
These are just a few of the questions which need to be addressed. The good news is that a number of companies have already penned a policy statement for their company. The marketing strategists at the Arlington Mill Group are experts in this area and wrote a blog post which offers some good advice on establishing a social media code-of-conduct.
Chris Boudreaux (of the Arlington Mill Group) has pulled together the web’s largest collection of social media policies. You’ll find policies from small companies, enterprises, non-profits, news outlets, and governments.
To quote directly from Arlington Mill Group’s recent blog post:
The ideal policy will look different for every organization, and change as your company shifts its participation in social networks over time. While developing this type of policy is hard work, it is worth it… If you haven’t examined this area of your business, now is the time to get started!
Demystifying the Marcom Mix October 16, 2009Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Operations, Social Media.
Tags: activities & offers, awareness, campaign managers, direct marketing, Integrated Marketing, lead funnel, Lead Generation, marcom mix, marketing best practices, marketing programs, Social Media
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How to read and use the graphic
Adding video to the marcom mix September 22, 2009Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Social Media.
Tags: direct marketing, Integrated Marketing, lead funnel, Lead Generation, marcom mix, marketing blueprints, Marketing Campaigns, Social Media, Video, YouTube
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Amanda Ferrante of the Demand Gen Report has a great article today entitled: Marketers Tapping Personalized Videos to Generate, Engage Leads.
YouTube has been the video bulletin board for all kinds of random content. Now, however, savvy marketers are figuring out how to add video into their marcom mix. This fits perfectly into the marketing blueprint I shared in an earlier blog post.
Quoting directly from Amanda’s article:
“With the use of video, a solid connection can be made between the presenter and end-user and personalizes the communication while creating interaction,” says Ben Chodor, President of media software provider Stream57. “With video exposure, you are giving clients the opportunity to associate a name and a face with your company and creating a personal relationship.”
Video by itself is not “the magic bullet” that will ensure a successful marketing campaign. However, this is another example of a piece of the integrated marketing mix.