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A Master Class in Web 2.0 March 27, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Social Media, Uncategorized, Web 2.0.
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Whatever your politics, there is one fact that is undeniable about Barack Obama, the man knows how to utilize today’s Web 2.0 technology to reach his audience and convey his message. In the following story you will learn how he utilized an interactive website to obtain citizen participation in developing questions to be answered on an Internet broadcast, and that he had them casting votes to decide the “favorite” questions (or the ones that would be most popular with his Internet audience). You will also learn about the Internet broadcast Town Hall Meeting where he utilized those questions that were voted on. What the article doesn’t tell you, but I can because I saw it, was that he publicized the whole thing (both the website question request/voting and the Internet broadcast) via Twitter, which then resulted in hundreds of retweets, and postings on both Facebook and in LinkedIN groups. As I said, whatever your politics, you have to be impressed with his ingenuity in reaching out to his potential audience – and the response number he received (as indicated in the article below) that shows it to be working.So my question to you now is – “How can you apply these same strategies to your business to help it grow?” Think about it, if your website became interactive and allowed you to obtain customer response that helped you to market your product more effectively, wouldn’t that be helpful? And, if you could drive people to your website at absolutely no cost by developing a creative “Tweet” that would cause people to retweet and to post your information on Facebook and LinkedIN to be seen by even more hundreds of thousands of people – wouldn’t you find value in that?

With the country and the media saying that small business is necessary to the turnaround of the economy, and small business owners looking to Barack Obama for answers on how to help those small businesses help the economy – in my opinion, he’s already given us one of the answers. Follow his lead in the use of technology in promoting our businesses to our target customers – it costs us essentially zero dollars and the impact can be huge! So I challenge all small business owners out there – read the article below and then sit down and evaluate your business to think of ways you can utilize Web 2.0 technology to promote your business and increase sales. And if in the final analysis you decide you don’t know enough about it to come up with the ideas, then contact me – or another marketing professional – to help you make the most of this opportunity! I assure you, “our cup runneth over” with ideas we’d like to provide to clients willing to jump in to this new marketing arena and we’d love to hear from you!

 

Obama wraps up first-of-its kind Internet Q&A

 

 

 

 
  By Ron Edmonds, AP
   

WASHINGTON — President Obama wrapped up a unique Internet-era town hall meeting at the White House on Thursday, pushing hard for support of his $3.6 trillion budget and asking people to be patient with the administration’s efforts to resuscitate the USA’s ailing economy.

Obama said the precedent-setting online town hall meeting was an “an important step” toward creating a broader avenue for information about his administration.

He joked at one point about the number of questions about decriminalizing marijuana, saying he did not think that was the best way to stimulate the economy.

After a brief opening statement, Obama held a microphone and walked the floor in the ornate East Room, gesturing as he answered questions in an event reminiscent of town hall meetings he conducted in person across the nation during his campaign.

Before the event, the White House had said that 92,003 people have submitted 103,395 questions and cast 3,582,670 votes.

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said about 67,000 viewers were watching the webcast, which was also televised on some cable channels.

In advance of the event, potential questioners signed up on the White House website “Open for Questions.”

CNN reported that Obama answered seven questions submitted that way, while also taking questions from the audience in the East Room.

Questioned also about growing unemployment, Obama said creating jobs was difficult during these hard economic times, and recommended that the work of the future should be in more high-paying, high-skill areas like clean energy technology.

Many of the lost jobs in recent years, Obama said, involved work that was done by people earning low wages and with limited work skills. He said it will take some time — perhaps through the rest of the year — before vigorous hiring resumes, and that might not happen until businesses see evidence the economy is rebounding.

On the home financing crisis, the second question put to the president, he was asked how his programs helped homeowners who are not facing foreclosure but have been deeply hurt by the recession. Many homeowners, after the housing price bubble burst late last year, now owe more on their homes than the houses are worth.

Obama told his Internet audience and about 100 people assembled in the East Room that his injection of stimulus spending into the housing market now makes it possible for 40% of all homeowners to take advantage of record-low mortgage interest rates. He encouraged eligible Americans to refinance.

Political operatives say the White House’s strategy is a way to reach a demographic key to Obama’s election.

“In the new world of online media, formal press conferences are just one element or program to get the message out — to those, usually older, who watch such things on TV. The online version he is doing is an alternative way to get out the same message, in this case on the budget, targeted toward a different audience, usually younger,” said Morley Winograd, a onetime adviser to former vice president Al Gore who now runs the Institute for Communication Technology Management at the University of Southern California.

“In both cases the questioners are just props — or, in some cases, foils — for the star, Obama, to deliver his message. But in the latter case, they get to self-nominate instead of be selected by elites,” Winograd said.

In a way, it’s part campaign-style politics and part American Idol, said political strategist Simon Rosenberg.

“Barack Obama is going to reinvent the presidency the way he reinvented electoral politics,” said Rosenberg, president of the New Democrat Network and a veteran of presidential campaigns. “He is allowing everyday people to participate in a way that would’ve been impossible in the old media world.”

Yet the process lends itself to softer questions and ones the White House is eager to answer, Republicans noted.

“The president is going back to the safe confines he was always most comfortable with, in this case a friendly audience where the focus is on the sale rather than the substance,” GOP strategist Kevin Madden said.

Contributing: Richard Wolf at the White House; Steve Marshall in McLean, Va., and the Associated Press

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Mobile Marketers Guide to Mobile Commerce March 16, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Social Media, Uncategorized, Web 2.0.
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I read an interesting article recently in the Mobile Marketers trade association newsletter regarding the use of Mobile Commerce as an advertising channel. The article provided examples of firms that had used Mobile advertising quite effectively, made reference to the fact that consumers took awhile to warm up to eCommerce as an advertising/purchasing channel and that the same was likely with Mobile Commerce, and it also contained links to excellent Mobile Commerce educational tools. Among the tools available via this article is a PDF copy of the Mobile Marketer’s Classic Guide to Mobile Commerce, an excellent overview of this emerging industry. The link below will take you to the article on the trade association’s website.

http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/commerce/2173.html

While you’re there, I also encourage you to review the website for additional industry white papers and educational materials, as well as a section where you can sign up for a free educational newsletter. I have found this site to be quite full of very useful information and refer to it often.

Now is the time to learn everything you can about Mobile Marketing and Mobile Commerce as it’s becoming obvious that this is likely the next big advertising/purchasing channel. Though this channel is still in its infancy, due to the high penetration of cell phone users in the U.S. (approximately 85% market penetration) and higher-still penetration in Europe (140% market penetration – meaning that users have multiple devices), it is highly likely that Mobile Marketing/Mobile Commerce is not going away but rather will become an integral part of our everyday lives.

Let me know if you find this article link of value; if so, I will continue to seek out similar educational tools and opportunities to make available to you.

For additional information on Mobile Marketing, or to learn how we can help you develop a Mobile Marketing campaign for your firm, please contact us via our website or email us at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com

Survey Indicates CMOs Not Tracking Social Media Well. How About Your Company? February 21, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Uncategorized.
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As most of you are likely aware, the use of Social Media Marketing is on a tremendous upswing today, particularly among small businesses that typically have minimal marketing budgets – and even less staff. This being the case, it seems prudent to provide information that small businesses can use to understand the pros and cons of using social media, as well as how best to effectively measure ROI to insure that monies available are put to the best use.

A recent article in Advertising Age reviews a study conducted by the CMO Council which indicates that companies overall are not yet doing an effective job of tracking the results and impact of social media. The article further discusses who in the corporate environment should be charged with this responsibility, as well as providing examples of how some of today’s largest companies are beginning to implement social media tracking strategies. This article is shown in-full below.

Since the majority of people who will be reading this blog will likely be somewhat social-media-aware, I thought this would be a good audience to ask to review the article and then provide commentary on what your company is doing to insure the effective tracking of your social media strategies and the monies being spent on that endeavor – from a small business perspective. I would ask readers to provide Comments in this blog on the following questions in order to assist other small businesses who will read it and who have not yet addressed this issue:

  • Do you currently have in place a social media tracking mechanism for your company? If so, please provide a brief description of your tracking methodology.
  • Who in your organization (by title) is responsible for implementing/monitoring your tracking mechanisms?
  • Are you measuring ROI as part of your tracking? If so, what is an appropriate social media ROI per your company?
  • Please provide any additional input you believe to be relevant to the discussion

After reading the article below about social media tracking, you might have interest in going to the following link http://www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com/marketing/Marketing-Information-Resources_I12.html to learn the basics about An Introduction to Social Media Marketing and how to put it into effect.

 

Few CMOs Think They’re Effectively Tracking Social Media, Word-of-Mouth

Survey: Marketing Execs, Not Other Departments, Should Be in Charge of Monitoring Customers’ Conversations

by Jack Neff

Published:
January 26, 2009

BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) — Who in corporate America owns the consumer relationship, the customer experience, word-of-mouth or social media? The answer appears to be nobody.

For all the talk about listening to consumers, few marketers think their companies are doing so effectively and even fewer are monitoring what people say about their brands in social media, according to a new survey by the CMO Council.

The survey of 400 executives found that 56% said their companies have no programs to track or propagate positive word-of-mouth; 59% don’t compensate any employees based on improvements in customer loyalty or satisfaction; and only 30% rated their companies highly in their ability to handle or resolve customer complaints.

Few have a system in place
Despite all the hype about social media, only 16% of respondents said their companies have any routine system in place for monitoring what people are saying about them or their brands online.

The survey comes, however, as big marketers are paying growing attention to monitoring and leveraging social media. Procter & Gamble Co. has a Social Media Lab that’s about 18 months old, and Unilever last month hosted a word-of-mouth summit at its U.S. headquarters dedicated largely to understanding how social media affect its brands.

Another big marketer, Johnson & Johnson, became acutely aware of the trouble social media can cause when complaints on the micro blogging site Twitter led it to pull the plug on an ad campaign for Motrin in November.

One problem for marketing executives is that they’re not clearly in charge now of managing the customer experience, customer loyalty or social media today, given that public-relations, sales, consumer-affairs and research-and-development departments all have a stake in those areas now.

Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, said marketing should take the lead in overseeing the customer experience and satisfaction. And he said addressing deficiencies in tracking and analyzing consumer feedback and buzz may be the key way CMOs can stake a claim to leadership.

Buck stops with CMO
“From our standpoint, if there’s anybody who needs to be accountable for the customer experience, it’s the CMO,” Mr. Neale-May said. “Clearly what marketing needs to do to cover a lot of ground we’ve lost in the organization is more analytics, predictive modeling, and data integration and aggregation.”

How three big package-goods marketers are addressing social media, however, shows just how varied functional ownership even of that aspect of the customer experience can be.

P&G’s Social Media Lab has been led largely by corporate digital-marketing specialists. Unilever’s word-of-mouth summit last month appeared to be spearheaded by market research. And J&J last fall appointed corporate-public-relations executive and part-time corporate blogger Marc Monseau to focus full time on social media, both monitoring how J&J is faring and reaching out to help exert corporate influence.

Regardless of who’s in charge, the CMO Council survey suggests “companies generally still aren’t very sophisticated at capturing or managing either positive or negative word-of-mouth,” said Laura Brooks, VP-research for Satmetrix, the company behind the “Net Promoter Score” and a sponsor of the study. Aside from the leadership vacuum, she said corporate silos mean that disparate data streams are never brought together in a way that could help identify and solve problems.

But Pete Blackshaw, exec-VP of digital strategic services for Nielsen Online, isn’t sure separation of duties is such a bad thing.

“You could argue that tension is positive,” he said. “It’s probably a good thing that the consumer-affairs department is freaked out that the digital-marketing team is doing listening. It’s probably a good thing that the research team is kept on its toes by the social-media team.”

Database problems
He also said marketers, even those with extensive customer-relationship-marketing programs, are hamstrung by databases that don’t take into account the word-of-mouth potential of consumers by asking whether they blog, participate in social networks or post to message boards. One exception, he said, is beauty marketer Coty, which does ask consumers about some of those things.

On the social-media front, while Ted McConnell, P&G general manager for interactive marketing and innovation, generated controversy late last year with his dismissal of Facebook and other so-called consumer-generated media as places for P&G ads, the company remains intently focused on tracking and working with social media.

P&G’s Social Media Lab has worked with 15 P&G brands and 70 external partners in an effort to better understand and leverage social media. Among the more interesting projects has been working with Ripple6, acquired last year by Gannett, to develop tools for monitoring social-media buzz and building online communities. Among other things, Ripple6 is helping P&G Productions’ soap opera “The Guiding Light” develop a new online community.

To be sure, wherever there’s consumer data, P&G will try to mine it.

“Aside from technology, it’s almost been a natural thing for P&G to [listen to consumers],” said Stan Joosten, innovation manager-holistic consumer communication. “What technology does for us is truly extend what we can do. For the first time ever with this technology, conversations are visible to us. … You cannot start in social media without knowing how to listen.”