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October 28, 2009

Customers Prefer Engaging Brands via Multichannel

Very compelling report from Forrester describing a new breed of consumers that are "less brand-loyal customers who seek to engage with companies across a multitude of new digital channels, such as on their mobile phones or via social technologies."

In the past companies have viewed their website, social media, and mobile offering as distinct offerings, each with a seperate strategy. This information from Forrester suggests companies should take an integrated approach to these channels sharing a common theme between them. This could shake up a few marketing departments!

Click here to read this article on multichannel marketing.

October 22, 2009

Social Media Imperative for Holiday Sales

This will be the first Christmas and holiday sales seasons since social media has become so important for driving sales. Companies are encouraged to focus on social media's ability to create word-of-mouth marketing in order to fully capture the benefits of social media during this year's holiday sales.

Word of mouth has long been a priceless asset to any business, and technology has expanded the playing field in a whole new way with mobile messaging and social media sites like Twitter More about Twitter, Facebook More about Facebook, YouTube More about YouTube and more. Every day, it seems hard to avoid the buzz about social media -- who's on it, what they're doing and what the latest trend is. Through all the chatter, it can be difficult for many business owners to know whether they should get involved, where to start, and how to launch their own social media campaign. To continue reading this article on Social Media and Holiday Sales click here.

SMB's Use of Social Media Difficult to Measure

Two recent studies offer conflicting information on the extent to which small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) use social media for generating leads and sales or engaging customers. However, I think the negative results must be downplayed since the survey questions were so vastly different.

Recent news coverage suggests that a growing number of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are flocking to sites such as Facebook and MySpace to market their products and services.  But how profitable they find these networks - and the actual number of firms actually embracing social media - is still up for discussion.  

Unfortunately, two recent studies on SMB adoption of social media marketing do little to clear up this confusion.

A recent online survey by Internet2Go and MerchantCircle assessed small business marketing practices among members of the MerchantCircle member base. It found that out of 2,500 responses, 45.2% say they have a Facebook page for their business and 46% have a presence on Twitter - in the form of either a business or personal account or both.

To continue reading this article on SMB's use of social media click here.

October 20, 2009

Business Case for Using Twitter

Great blog post over at MetroplexInteractive.com on how Con-way trucking is leveraging Twitter to recruit employees and streamline operations. Very useful for any company trying to figure out how to leverage social media to extend their brand or engage customers, employees and partners.

I especially like the part about Con-way using Twitter to announce immediate job openings for contract hauling positions. Talk about real-time job posting and candidate matching.

MetroplexInteractive - Business Case for Using Twitter

October 14, 2009

Cyber Monday: Just as big as Black Friday for sales

What are you doing to capture sales on Cyber Monday? Does your company plan for a special promotion or advertising campaign to increase sales on Cyber Monday (or Cyber Monday week)?

By: Alan Ng 

While the majority of consumers will identify Black Friday weekend as the time to really go for that product that you have always wanted, new research has shown that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are actually quite similar, meaning that shoppers shouldn’t separate the two this year in terms of online and offline sales.

As some of you might know, Cyber Monday is the Monday which follows Black Friday. You might often associate Black Friday with a complete range of sales both in-store and online, while emphasis for Cyber Monday is usually placed solely on online sales.

A recent study by the Yahoo Insights team has concluded that online sales on Black Friday were not too far behind sales that occured on Cyber Monday. Even more interesting, the study reveals that online retailers experienced a greater percentage increase in conversions on Black Friday than Cyber Monday. Continue reading article on online sales

October 08, 2009

How Social Networking Increases Leads and Sales

Used properly, social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace can generate leads, create community with existing customers, and provide information on products and services. Great advice from the experts over at MetroplexInteractive

How to Use Social Media and Social Networking to Generate Leads and Sales

You might think Twitter, Facebook and MySpace are only for your fifteen year old tween texting wildly on her cell phone, but these social networking sites have become important tools for large, respectable companies in generating business leads and extending their brand.

Facebook currently has over 100,000,000 members who link to each other through known friends and to new friends through suggestions from existing friends. Though primarily for personal profiles – many companies have discovered that creating a company profile enables existing and perspective customers to learn about your company’s services, products and to receive news blasts as you update your status. To continue reading this article on how social networking can increase sales click here.

October 07, 2009

iPhone App Helps Road Warriors Find Convenient Places to Work

Great app for the road warrior - finding a convenient place to plug-in and work for a while in a strange town is worth its weight in gold. Thought Starbucks may not like the attention on other establishments! Wonder how you get your location added to the list?

Road warriors may enjoy virtually unlimited choices when it comes to finding a place to work, but by no means are those options all equal: wifi availability, noise levels and even the quality of the coffee served can all have a big impact on a mobile worker's productivity.

That's where WorkSnug comes in. The mobile application uses augmented reality to show users what workspaces are nearby along with reviews of their offerings. The WorkSnug team has gathered hundreds of spots—from small cafes to formal co-working spaces—and reviewed them on such factors as wifi access, power supply, noise levels, community feel and—yes—even the coffee. Mobile workers simply launch the application on their iPhone 3GS and use the phone to scan what's around them. The application then displays the information it has about what's nearby; there's also an option for users to add reviews of their own. Click here to continue reading about the iPhone App for Road Warriors

Sponsorship Covers Cost of Mariah Carey's Latest Album

Great concept - lower the cost of music albums by offering advertising. Mariah Carey's latest cd apparently uses this approach as described in this article from Springwise.com.

It's no secret that record labels are searching for new ways of doing business. Earlier this year we spotted Groove Armada's distribution partnership with Bacardi. Now Mariah Carey is joining the fun, orchestrating several sponsorships for her latest album, 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel'.

Carey recorded the album in the Bahamas, so sponsorship by the Bahamas Board of Tourism was a natural fit. As was Elizabeth Arden, which sells Carey's Forever perfume. Other sponsors include Métier De Beauté beauty cosmetics and Angel champagne. Sponsorship comes in the form of a small booklet that accompanies the album, filled with glossy advertisements that promote a Mariah Carey-esque lifestyle. The content of the 'mini-magazine' will be written by Elle's editorial staff, and the magazine will be distributed to the first 1.5 million buyers of the CD, which comes out later this month. According to an article in The Sunday Times, the sponsorship reportedly covered the cost of making the album (GBP 4 million) album. Click here to continue reading about Advertising Sponsored Mariah Carey album

34% of e-retailers say social marketing has increased sales, study says

Interesting article from Forrester Research showing impacts of social media efforts to the bottom line.

34% of e-retailers say social marketing has increased sales, study says

The 34% of online retailers who say social marketing helps to increase sales participate in five or more forms of it—the most common being social network pages, customer ratings and reviews, and blogs—compared to fewer than four by retailers who don’t tie sales growth to social media, according to the State of Retailing Online 2009 report.

The report, which was conducted by Forrester Research Inc. on behalf of Shop.org, the online retailing division of the National Retail Federation, an industry trade group, notes that most retailers regard customer ratings and reviews as useful and directly correlated to sales.

Continue reading this article on social media

Riding the Google Wave to Social Marketing

Google Wave is being touted as "the next big thing" in a lot of different ways... this article applies its benefits to social marketing.

Over the last few weeks there has been a great deal of buzz around Google Wave, and what it means to online marketing. Billed as an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration, the Google Wave allows people to work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps and other tools.

The introduction of the Wave will evolve social networking to social marketing and allow marketers to better target and effectively encourage customer behavior such as communication, collaboration, interaction and ideally, purchase.

 

The Wave builds on the concept of cloud computing. Through cloud computing, a single application can be delivered through a Web browser to thousands of customers using a multitenant architecture. One of the best-known examples among enterprise applications is Salesforce.com. In its basic form, a cloud allows multiple users to access applications hosted on a hub instead of having the application installed on their PC, removing the need for a laptop to have to support anything other than connection to the internet. To understand in real-life terms, it’s like a chess game created as an application, hosted on a Wave, where users play against each other in real time with the ability to view the Wave in the present, as well as activities that happened previously in that same Wave.

Continue reading this article on social media and Google Wave

Google now serving ads in iPhone Maps

Google Adsense is now baking advertisements into search results on the iPhone browser. Great idea and tool for advertisers who's target market relies on the iPhone. Next, Google should find ways to leverage Adsense to bake advertisements into iPhone applications (especially those that are location specific).

Google updated AdSense this week adding support for high end smartphones like the iPhone 3GS bringing desktop styled advertising to mobile devices. The change led to Google's insertion of advertisements, alongside search results, into the iPhone Maps app. Local iPhone map searches will now display sponsored listings in the view and list modes of the Maps app.

We discovered examples of these ads on Monday while searching for a Verizon Wireless store. You should also take note -- this is the first time advertisements have appeared within one of the iPhones default apps rather than something we've downloaded for free or purchased from the App Store. Our search for "Verizon" resulted in the following list view: Click here to continue reading this article on Google Adsense and the iPhone. Click here to continue reading this article on Google Adsense and the iPhone.

October 06, 2009

Restaurant uses Social Media to Compile Wine List

Social media meets crowdsourcing. This restaurant used social media to build their wine list based on customer preferences and desires. Imagine that - the customers getting to pick what the store carries in merchandise!

From the great folks at Springwise.com



Last year we reported on Bin Ends, who gave the public the opportunity to take part in wine tastings via Twitter. Last month, a London restaurant got in on the social media act by crowdsourcing their wine list selection. L'Anima, Time Out's pick for Best New Italian Restaurant 2009, hosted a tasting for six wine experts, including wine writer Anthony Rose, wine vlogger Denise Medrano and resident sommelier Gal Zohar. The tasters formed three teams to sample Zohar's short list and settle on the final selection. "Unfortunately," said the sommelier on his blog, "these enthusiasts, rarely agree with each other." That's where the public came in.

Continue reading this article on social media

Social Media is Swell, But Don’t Forget the Basics

A lot of hype has been placed on social media lately but we must remember social media is part of the marketing mix and shouldn't be the sole effort of a marketing plan. This article recaps some of the basics in a short summary.

Social Media is Swell, But Don’t Forget the Basics

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn. There’s no doubt that social media marketing is all the rage – and everyone is either talking about doing it or already engaged in these social channels.

People want to know how to make social media work for their business, how to use it to generate leads and obtain more sales. And social media can help you do this, allowing the proper research and strategies are in place. But it can’t do it alone.

Optimizing your entire digital presence
There’s no doubt that social media is the shiny new marketing strategy. And it does and can produce results. But it needs a little help from those tried-and-true tactics that have proven to work with measurable results. Click here to continue reading on social media

Yes, I’m talking about search engine optimization, pay per click and online display advertising. And more important, I’m talking about the power of integration.

October 05, 2009

Be Careful When Marketing to Teens Online

Interesting article from AdWeek on how adults don't understand teenagers nor how they use the Internet with an emphasis on how companies can better control how teenagers perceive their brand.

NEW YORK Teenagers are a mystery to most adults. New technology and media are another mystery to many adults. Combine these mysteries and you have ample opportunity for adult misperception of how teenagers use and feel about new technology and media. Some recent research works to get beyond popular misconceptions and provide a look at how teens actually engage with these things, including the advertising they encounter along the way.

Based on quantitative and qualitative research conducted between January and April, a report released last month by GTR Consulting confirms the conventional wisdom that teens are deeply involved in social networking. But it raises serious doubts about how congenial a medium this has been for marketers trying to reach the teen audience. Asked to cite the online activities they indulge in during their free time, 66 percent of the teens said they "use social networks" -- exceeding the number who said they "watch user-generated videos" (59 percent), "send or receive instant messages" (51 percent), "play online games" (50 percent), "watch TV/movie clips" (36 percent), "get news/current events" (34 percent) or "blog" (12 percent). The report emphasizes that social-networking sites "have become more important for communication and connection among teens than the telephone, e-mail or instant messaging." (See also: "Probing the Minds of Teenage Consumers")

Click here to read more: http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/agency/e3i505f5fdeedc76b42ca9d8d4695e83c6c