Last Wednesday I was happy to be part of the Direct Marketing Club of New York (DMCNY) “Breaking Through Marketing Barriers” event. This open discussion on the nature of marketing through both digital and traditional channels lead to some unique insights for all involved. I want to share a few key takeaways from that night’s discussion here.
1. Trust is more important than ever off and online. Whether it’s a print ad or a product micro-site, your audience needs to trust the message you’re delivering. Without trust, you’re just talking to yourself.
2. Trust comes from consistency. Whatever form your message takes, it needs to be consistent, even if that means it needs to be contently objectionable, humorous, critical, or serious.
3. Know your audience. It seems simple enough, but often this key factor is overlooked. Speaking to your audience in the way in which they want to be is critical to gaining trust from them.
If you can gain your audience’s trust, you’re one step closer to achieving your ultimate goal.
I’m happy to announce that registration is now open for the October 6th Direct Marketing Club of New York (DMCNY) event: Breaking Through Marketing Barriers. I’ll be presenting as a topic expert in digital marketing, helping to facilitate discussions on how marketers can stop looking at “direct versus digital marketing” and start thinking “direct and digital marketing.” If you’re going to be in the New York area October 6th, I suggest you stop by, as this is an evening you won’t want to miss. Full event details, along with speaker bios, can be found here.
Recently, the FDA put a major pharmaceutical company’s Facebook page on notice. The issues was that sharing the information on the page did not include enough information on the drug, indication for use, and possible side effects to meet FDA requirements for promotion of one of the company’s drugs.
Big Picture: No matter what the industry – highly regulated or not – knowing and following the rules when it comes to posting and sharing promotional information on social media sites is critical to maintaining a good reputation online.
Having worked with companies in a variety of industries, I know how easily oversights can occur when addressing new communication channels. Having someone on hand to help guide your company through possible landmines such as the one faced above can go a long way to protecting against these issues.
Yesterday I was out at the ballpark watching one of my favorite teams play. During the game, I received a promotion to fill out an online survey for a chance to win money. To see just what was involved in the promotion, I pulled up the website on my phone and tried to fill out the survey right then and there. 3 innings later, I was still trying to complete the survey.
So what went wrong?
1. Site wasn’t optimized for phone platforms: When I got home, I pulled apart the survey’s code and found that it was running too many things in the background, keeping my phone’s browser from being able to display the information on the page until everything in the background had run its course.
2. Too many questions: There was page after page of survey questions, a lot of them being redundant or of little value to any marketing team.
3. Filling in the blanks was difficult: Once I got through the survey, I had to enter my information. Unfortunately, it took me 5 minutes to enter my phone number because that field had difficulty registering the input from my phone.
Keep these things in mind when you go about designing your own surveys. The ability of customers to use their phones to access the web means that you have to think about how to apply surveys to this new technology to get better data from your customers.
Here’s the presentation I gave Wednesday night at the Social Media Coffeehouse. I want to thank Kevin for allowing me the opportunity to address his group. If anyone is interested in attending, they meet every 3rd Wednesday of the month in Little Falls, NJ.
This week’s big news has been the Old Spice YouTube campaign. I won’t rehash what they did here because I want to get right to my point. Old Spice succeeded where so many have failed because of the following factors:
1. They found a voice and stuck to it. If they had suddenly decided to address their audience differently online than they had in their broadcast campaigns, they would have lost viewers right away.
2. They gave the brand a personality. If the online content (or commercials) had been about why our product is better brand-x, this would have never worked. Because it was really about portraying a personality (a manly man doing and saying manly things) people could connect with it on a relational level (i.e. I’m like that; can relate to that; or wish I were like that).
3. They engaged with their target. By answering comments from both celebrities and regular people Old Spice was saying to their target market, “We like the things you do, and we actually listen to you and want to make you part of the experience.” That’s a powerful message for any brand to give out.
Old Spice did what any marketer (or advertiser) knows is fundamental, but just adjusted it to a new medium. There are ways in which any company can achieve these aims with their target audience, they just need to key into these three areas.
You’re a small business that’s about to open its doors. You’ve got a great product or service, a physical store location, and you have all your print marketing materials (including signs, flyers, one-sheets, and business cards) printed and ready to go. You even have someone developing your website with all the latest bells and whistles. Life is good… right?
I recently found a business exactly like this. Guess what, were I an evil person, I could have brought the party to a screeching halt.
What’s the one thing this business didn’t do? Something that would have cost them everything they invested in all those marketing materials.
They didn’t register their domain name first! For $10 I could buy the domain out from under them, refuse to sell (or sell at an outrageous cost), and everything they had made would need to be altered or reprinted with a new web address. A small business can’t afford that kind of oversight.
Now, you can blame one of two people: the business owner or the website developer. Personally, I lean toward the website developer, because in my experience the business owner doesn’t know they should register their domain. The web developer should have bought the domain name as soon as he was handed the first check for the job.
These types of mistakes are why it’s necessary to have someone who knows online marketing handy during any new product launch. They shouldn’t be caught-up in the technology. They should be sweating the small stuff (like registering a domain name) that will save you money in the end.