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.
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.
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.
As I’ve consulted with various companies, there’s always that initial meeting I attend to kick things off. It is at this meeting when I realize that people are just nodding their heads and not understanding what I’m saying. That’s when I stop and ask if anyone can tell me the difference between SEM and SEO.
It is because of this experience that I created this document to help anyone who is either going to talk about digital marketing or wants to know what others are talking about. It contains a list of common definitions that anyone should know before walking into their next meeting.
Not too long ago I was at a Direct Marketing Club of New York (DMCNY) event where traditional marketing was weighed against digital marketing in an open forum. I was happy to see that the DMCNY is making great efforts to keep its members up to date on the changing landscape of marketing.
But during the course of the evening two telling questions were asked:
“But where is my direct mail budget going, to digital what?” and “So how are we supposed to reach people now, spam e-mails?”
Unfortunately – to a good number of marketers – digital is considered either a nebulous black hole into which their budgets disappear, or a collection of bad practices like spam or black-hat SEO.
This isn’t without cause. For a long while, Internet marketing was a negative thing. E-mail list buying, keyword stuffing, and link farming were considered the norm. But the climate has changed.
If digital marketing isn’t on your radar because of its bad reputation, look again at the industry as a whole and see how far it has come. Rather than fighting shrinking budgets and claiming that digital won’t get results, see if there’s a way you can apply your valuable knowledge of what currently works to what might work with some sage wisdom and guidance.
When it comes to way in which to engage your target audience, gaming is becoming one of the more important tools in the marketing arsenal.
By building a simple online game (or mobile game) to entertain your customer while educating them about the benefits of doing business with you, you can capture more of their attention and focus which will lead to increased brand recall later on.
More and more consumers have become accustom to online gaming. The Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) “World of Warcraft” has over 3 million users in the United States alone. That’s 1% of the US population.
And online gamers aren’t just teenagers. In 2008 Neilson tracked online gamers from ages 25-54 and found that they spend an average of 11 hours a week playing games like “World of Warcraft”.
Online video has become a great way for businesses to express themselves to potential customers and clients in a focused way (as opposed to television commercial broadcasts to large audiences). But the issue becomes what’s the best way to go about creating a video campaign? Should you hire an agency, go to a specialist, or try and figure it out yourself?
A lot of small companies are toying with going the do-it-yourself route. With the advent of digital video cameras and simple video editing software, anyone can now shoot, edit, and publish a video for distribution on the web. But as compelling as it might sound, there are many challenges to such a strategy.
On the flip side, hiring a specialist or an agency to take care of it may end up costing you a lot up front, with no guarantee of gaining returns on the back end.
So what’s a marketer to do? In my experience, creating a clearly thought out list of goals for the campaign helps to determine the solution. Are you going to thrill them with something unexpected using special effects (agency), or are you going to come across as genuine and heartfelt (do-it-yourself)? Questions like these will go a long way toward determining the right solution for your company when going do the web video path.