Archive for January, 2012

It’s Time For Retailers To Raise Their Games-Five Quick Reminders

The static website is dead long live the static website

According to a study from Accenture, comScore, and dunnhumbyUSA aimed at helping consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers, visitors to CPG brand websites buy 37% more in retail stores than non-visitors to the brand site. The study also concluded, that to maximize impact, website content needs to be updated regularly and contain brand value messaging that both engages visitors while also providing compelling reasons for them to purchase the brand at retail. Without sounding too much like Captain Obvious, here’s what retailers need to remember:

  1. Update your content regularly
  2. Give the user a reason to be there
  3. Give the user a reason to come back
  4. Reward their loyalty and visits to the site
  5. Give them an incentive to visit the site and a physical location

The study found that visitors to CPG brand websites are valuable and frequent buyers of the brand in retail stores, completing 41% more transactions than non-visitors. So it goes without saying, incent and enrich the online experience and tie it into the store experience and sales go up and buyers return.

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Chances Are You’ve Met Less Than 5% of the People in Your Social Network

The difference between a friend, an acquaintance and the friends and acquaintances we have met online is blurring…Social media would seem to dictate or would assume that I’m supposed to develop or have developed these deep online, networked, connections, i.e. That I have met them. Jay Baer calls it false intimacy. Does it matter that I have not met them? Absolutely not. Or maybe it does…

But maybe we should quickly look at what the definition of “connected” is. Check this out:

con·nect·ed http://img.tfd.com/m/sound.swf (k-nktd)

adj.

1. Joined or fastened together.
2. Mathematics

a. Not decomposable into two disjoint nonempty open sets.
b. Having a continuous path between any two points. Used of a curve, set, or surface.
3. Related by family.
4. Logically or intelligibly ordered or presented; coherent: a stroke that left him incapable of connected speech.
5. Associated with or related to others, especially to influential or important people: a photographer who was well connected in the fashion world.
In our social world, most of our connections fall under either #3 or #5 with what it would seem, an emphasis on #5. To me though,the above definitions are evolved, twenty-first century, online definitions, even though they may not be. Let me check Webster’s 7th New Collegiate Dictionary real quick. The best definition I derived from that, is simply, “to have a relationship”. That’s pretty general though, but accurate in today’s day and age.
What does a relationship today look like? How is it defined? There’s the online version and the offline version. Social has allowed us to connect with people all over the place. But what does that connection consist of.  It’s being familiar with an avatar, a name, a nickname,  and a location. It’s engaging in some Twitter banter, dropping a blog comment, and maybe having some extended conversations either via Twitter, IM or email. A phone conversation?  Perhaps. In the end, nothing necessitates that we meet though. It’s ambient intimacy.
Here’s my point
I’ve actually done business with people that I’ve never met face to face, but talk to everyday through my various networks.  Even better, I got a job referral from someone that I never met face to face until after I started working at his company. The whole process occurred via Twitter and phone conversations. I got a huge consulting contract from someone who read my blog posts. Throughout the life of the contract, I met them one time. It didn’t matter.
Social allows us to connect. It is the ultimate ice breaker. The new rules? It doesn’t mean that I have to meet you to do business with you. Does it mean that if I truly want to be friends with you, that we should meet? Not really. Is that OK with you? I’m on the fence.

Who does Google make it’s money from? A breakdown (Infograph)

What Industries Contributed to Google's Billion in Revenues? [INFOGRAPHIC]

© WordStream, a Google AdWords partner company.

Internal Social Networks Versus Social Networks-Where Should You Spend Your Time?

The tug-o-war for your time when you participate on multiple social networks can be difficult. Who get’s it and who doesn’t?  Who get’s the honor of your participation can also affect your impact because THAT will be where you spend the bulk of your time. Where should you spend your time? On the networks that matter to you or on the networks where you HAVE to participate?

Does it matter if you create content or if you lurk?  It might, though either exercise require an investment of your time. The fact is, the more networks you’re in, the more likely that your content is going to suck in some of them. It’s the law of averages. You’re going to devote more time and effort to the networks that matter. For those that are of less importance, the content you create, should you even bother, will be diluted. So does the internal corporate network win then?

It Depends

You see,time, your precious time, is the primary commodity here regardless of where you spend the bulk of it and what you specifically do with it. The less time you have, the more likely you are to mail in your participation in networks that matter less. Your day is already full and now companies want you to participate in and contribute to these new growing internal networks. But what about your Facebook page, Twitter account and your blog?

If you are part of the 70%  who just read and watch stuff, though your time is still sacrificed, it won’t really move the needle on the quality of your limited contact with others in any network. So who get’s it? The benefit of your quality time that is. For those that are part of  internal corporate networks, it can be an issue. There might be the sense of obligation to participate. Even though the reality might be that you’re just going through the motions of participation, because it’s… work stuff. It really depends on what type of social media consumer or influencer you want to be, how you want to move the needle and who wins in the competition for your attention and time.

It almost seems like in the end, it’s a push and no one’s get the benefit of the best of what you might have to offer.

Some Social Tools You Should Know About

Thanks to the folks at imediaconnection, I give you 15 social tools you should know about

  • Friend or Follow tells users whom they’re not following on Twitter.
  • Conversocial.com helps users manage customer service at scale on Facebook and Twitter. Conversocial enables workflow for multi-person teams to tackle the consumer communication for large brands.
  • NutshellMail users social network updates so they don’t have to login and check. Nice!
  • UserVoice creates engaging survey forms on Facebook and other sites to solicit feedback from fans and visitors.
  • MemoLane is a “virtual scrapbook” generated by a user’s social media history. It also allows users to search their social history across multiple networks.
  • PinBoard is a really smart, user-centric, privacy-focused social bookmarking platform.
  • Inside View gives users an aggregate view of the social presence and activity of a company.
  • bufferapp is tiny little tool that lets users schedule time-released tweets.
  • CloudFlood gives away freebies in exchange for social media actions.
  • Disqus is a better, real-time comments system for users’ site or blog with fully integrated social network elements.
  • Tweriod helps users figure out the best times to tweet based on the activity of their followers’ streams. (Note that it may take some time for Tweriod to gather enough data for analysis.)
  • Slideshare is a home for sharing presentations and white papers online.
  • PollDaddy enables users to add quick and easy polls to blog posts.
  • Twylah allows users to create a branded page for their Twitter stream.
  • EveryStockPhoto bills themselves as “the largest search engine for free photos.” It is a great way to find images for social media content.

How Do Organizations Get Better? Reward Simple Behavior

I coach. I’ve coached for a number of years spanning every sport from basketball to baseball and I have to say with utmost confidence that most of my teams have had winning records and most of my players have learned something and have had fun along the way. But…There are always those teams and those players that either don’t get it, didn’t get it,  or don’t want to get it. “It” being the magic that is winning, learning, growing and having fun. Success.

It happens in sports. It also happens in the business world.  I for one love sports and business analogies, so for the sake of this post I’m going to draw some quick parallels between the success of a team and the success of a business, but I’m going to let you connect the dots.

Why do teams do well?

1) Constant communication with everyone. Whether they were the worst player on the team or the best, players need to know that you know them. One on one is critical. Believe it or not, you will have players who think that you don’t care about them, don’t like them, or that you don’t even know who they are, all because you have not talked to them in any capacity one on one.

2) Provide feedback on how they can get better. There’s a reason we all practice every day. It’s so we can get better. But in order to get better, we have to know where we can get better.

3) Put people in a position to succeed. Sometimes you don’t know what you have until you see it happen. Give everyone a chance, they will appreciate it and you’ll gain insight from the experience.

4) Reward simple behavior. Sometimes it’s an encouraging word, a pat on the back, a simple thank you, increased playing time or just letting them know that you see that they are trying. But acknowledging to your players that you see them, that you are aware of what they are doing, can sometimes be the catalyst for excellence.

With this simple formula, your teams thrive and there are never any mysteries. In sports and in the business world, things are earned and hard work is rewarded, but employees and players still need to managed and coached. Believe it or not, most coaches(the good ones) see everything. They see who works hard and they also see who does not. But players are also watching the coaches. Coaches are held to standards just as managers should be and thus the same holds true in business. Treat your employees with respect and your organization will reap the benefits.

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Can monkey’s tell stories?

How important is content to marketing professionals? Back in October, Coca-Cola’s Jonathan Mildenhall,   The VP of Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence, was speaking at the Guardian Changing Advertising Summit when he stated:

“All advertisers need a lot more content so that they can keep the engagement with consumers fresh and relevant, because of the 24/7 connectivity. If you’re going to be successful around the world, you have to have fat and fertile ideas at the core.”

Fat and fertile ideas.  The company’s Content 2020 advertising strategy is to “move from creative excellence to content excellence”.

About 4 months ago I was talking with a colleague of mine who was told in so many words by a client that, “content and or the creation of content can be done by a monkey”. Ouch.  He essentially was dismissing the value of creating content and saying that it can be done by anyone-even a monkey.

If Coke, one of the great purveyors of creative excellence thinks that content will be the centerpiece of their marketing strategy going forward, where does that put the status of the monkey?

Maybe the better question for that client is, Really? You really think that?


The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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