Robert Scoble Wakes a Monster
Microsoft technical evangelist and prominent blogger Robert Scoble was invited to speak to Monster Cable about blogs and blogging. Monster is aware of the marketing challenge they have. Their site does not show up very well on search engines. They were unaware that the blogosphere is talking about Monster and boy will they get an earful when they tune into the conversation. Monster products are not well liked. A good blogging strategy might be able to stop the bleeding and perhaps turn the tide. Read the comments on Robert's post to get an idea of the tone of public opinion of Monster products.
I dare say that more and more companies are waking up to the fact that they need to be listening to what blogs are saying about their companies. At the same time corporations are at a loss for how to effectively use blogs for positive PR and crisis response. It's a delicate balancing act that requires experienced hands. A good reason to consider outsourcing your blog design, management and content creation. BeTuitive can help with all that.
Scobleizer: Visit to Monster Cable
October 28, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning magazine, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
What Should Casio Do in Response to Cory Doctorow's Post on Boing Boing
So what should Casio do now when the most widely linked and influential blog writes this just as they introduce a new product:
I'm an idiot. I bought another of these cameras, the S500, which is currently the top of Casio's line. It, too, has a screen that protrudes from the camera's body, and it, too, cracked within a month. The company is charging me another 90 pounds to fix this thing, and they've had it since October 4. No parts, you see.
So that's it for me and Casio -- it's a shame. The cameras are small, pretty and work well. But they suffer from flawed designs and a flawed manufacturer that treats repair customers like crap, and I can't think of a single good reason to go on giving them my business, no matter how cool this new six megapixel camera sounds.
Casio has a huge problem and they may not even know it. The above are the last two paragraphs of Cory Doctorow's post titled “Casio: cool cameras, terrible service -- buy something else” This is a full on crisis for Casio and their Exilim Digital Camera products as tens perhaps hundreds of thousands of potential customers have or will read this post. On any lessor blog this could be ignored but written by Cory on Boing Boing this is a problem.
What should Casio do in response?
They need to respond - Get a response put together within 24 hours and post-it somewhere where bloggers can link to it.
Engage Cory Doctorow in conversation - Send your response to Cory in hopes that he blogs about it. Apologize to him for his service problems and explain how you will fix the systemic problems. Don't send him a free camera! That will surely backfire. Bloggers want to be engaged in conversation not marketed to, spun or bought.
Solicit Feedback - Evaluate Cory's comments. Invite him and a small group of his expert friends (Cory has a lot of influential geek friends) to advise your company on how to make better products. You want to turn this negative into a positive and gain positive word of mouth in the blogosphere for future products.
Blog the entire process.
Companies large and small will increasingly face PR problems like these as bloggers and citizen reviewers build their following and influence. My best advice on how to be ready for this kind of very visible negative PR is to have already established a corporate blog that has already built a trusted communication channel and conversation with customers and prospects. If you aren't completely comfortable with the culture and practice of the blog world then consider outsourcing your blog to an experienced partner who can help you become an authentic voice in the blogosphere. As in any endeavor experience can mean the difference between a long painful DIY disaster or a much shortened learning curve and path to success.
October 25, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Current Affairs, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Storytelling vs. Story-crafting
These days marketing is all about the story. It's the story of the idea that lead to the creation of your business, the history of your company, the creative uses of your product, the experience of your service, the transformation that results from your experience. Whatever it is, it's all about the story and thus the storytelling. The storytelling techniques and venues are constantly changing. Just as mass communication grew through newspapers to radio to television the new media is evolving communication and storytelling. Electronics and internet connectivity are changing the game from mass communication and storytelling to individual communication and story-crafting.
Story-crafting is different than storytelling because the listener takes an active participatory role in how they consume the story. User generated content builds on the base framework created by marketers to create new narratives that are much more powerful and relevant to consumers. A forum or blog comment section that collects customer experiences, tips, recommendations, reviews, suggestions etc. is much more relevant to consumers than traditional marketing speak generated by the in-house copy writers. Trust has shifted. Consumers believe their fellow consumers perhaps more so than the company line.
Today customers or fans self organize into different levels of loyalty and devotion to your product, service or experience. In so doing they seek out different levels of connection to your brand. Some just buy your product, some refer you to friends and colleagues, some subscribe to your email newsletter, still others read and subscribe to your blog, a few subscribe to your podcast and somewhere out there somebody wants to tatoo your logo on their body. There's a hierarchy of brand loyalty and devotion. The examples are obvious and oft written about. Apple, Microsoft, Volkswagen, Disney, Harley-Davidson, Tom Peters, Starbucks, etc.
What's needed today is a comprehensive integrated approach to the use of the new tools and communication channels available to today's marketer. The tools keep coming. It's too easy to just grow haphazardly from email newsletters to blogs/RSS to audio podcasting to video pocasting with wikis, forums, chat rooms thrown in along the way. We're seeing some dazzling failures along the way as companies attempt to use these tools without understanding how best to integrate them into an overarching story-crafting strategy.
Today's marketers need to understand new media tools and just how they can and should be used to allow customers and prospects to enter into a participatory relationship with your brand that allows them to connect at a variety of levels with your ongoing stories. Not everyone will utilize all of your communication channels but their needs to be a strategy so that all the elements move the story forward and don't frustrate customers by simply duplicating messages across different media.
That's why it pays to consider outsourcing your customer communication like email newsletters and blogs to a company like BeTuitive Marketing, LLC because we bring a lot of experience and understanding of these new media tools and can help you craft overall strategies for building your relationships and sales with your existing and prospective customers.
Technorati Tags: story-crafting | Tom Peters | Volkswagen | wiki | marketing | newsletter | tattoo | customer | stories | permission marketing | newspaper | customer communications | email | customer focus groups | customer insights | BeTuitive | B2B | Disney | Podcast | podcasting | B2C | history | storytelling | outsourcing | emarketing | communication | blog | Apple | Starbucks | Harley-Davidson | interactivity
October 19, 2005 in audio publication, award winning blog, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Brand enhancement, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, company blog, Television, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Another Example of Why Blogging Experience Matters
If you are meetings and the word “blog” comes up and someone says that your company ought to do one “because everyone is doing it” be very careful. If you make missteps your efforts might go viral but in a bad way. That's exactly what is happening to Wrigley's Juicy Fruit blog. It's not really a blog but just a dated text window that some marketer slapped blog on because it sounded cool for the kids.
So what's the big deal?
Well this so called blog elicited this post from the Boing Boing blog:
Juicyfruit gum has a blog and boy does it suck
How bad does Juicyfruit's blog suck? Let's count the ways.
1. You can't enter the blog directly. You must enter through the main page.
2. You have to wait a long time for the main screen to load up its Flash garbage.
3. You have to wait another eternity for the “blog” to load.
4. The text window for the blog content is the size of a postage stamp.
5. There's only one entry in the text window.
6. The navigation is as confusing as the zero-G toilet in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
7. The actual content is as bland as a piece of Juicyfruit with the flavor chewed out.
“So What? It's just one blog.” you say. That's true but that one blog has about 290,000 visits a day and perhaps four times that in RSS subscribers. Everyone in the blogosphere reads Boing Boing. Talk about bad PR! This is bad PR on steroids.
So if you are about to start a corporate blog for the B2C or B2B market you need to consider hiring an experienced consultant. Someone with a lot of blogging experience who can accelerate your learning curve and even help you navigate through a PR crisis like Juciy Fruit's or UPS mentioned previously. Our blogging team at BeTuitive can help you out.
September 15, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Current Affairs, Food and Drink, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Hyundai Develops Customer Intuition Through On-line Analysis
Hyundai is working hard to develop their customer intuition. They use a lot of IT stuff to keep their ear to the ground to hear approaching customers.
For Hyundai, watching what car shoppers are looking at online is one of the ways it stays in touch with would-be customers. It runs the E-mail polls with a few $600 licenses for the Zoomerang online-survey-management tool. It has invested even more in the technology to establish a “shopper quantification” program that combines outsourced clickstream analysis from Compete Inc. with a custom tool built using Hyperion Solutions Corp.'s Brio business-intelligence software, which tells Hyundai how it's doing with online car-shoppers. The tools let the company know “what's going on in the digital channel to make packaging, pricing, and marketing decisions,” says Paul Whitworth, director of strategic planning and brand development.
The service provides Hyundai with data on shopping activity at more than 30 automotive sites, which is extrapolated to represent overall auto shopping. Hyundai uses that data to measure indicators such as share of shoppers, closing ratios, and cross-brand shopping trends. The custom tool also accumulates and analyzes data from Hyundai's Web site to offer insight into demand for colors, models, options, and other product variations. The two data sources are mapped against each other.
The results have kept Hyundai from making ill-informed decisions. In May, sales were flat compared with April, but Hyundai's custom-analytics tool indicated that demand among shoppers for information on its Sonata sedans was double what it was in April. Further investigation uncovered the source of the disconnect: Hyundai didn't have inventory with the colors and options that shoppers wanted. “In the old days, we'd have said, 'Oh, we don't have enough demand,' so we'd have offered another customer rebate,” Whitworth says. Instead, the company adjusted its dealer inventory to better match what buyers were seeking.
Analysis of the digital behavior of your customers and prospects isn't just for B2C marketers. B2B marketers find understanding the digital “clickstream” of customers and prospects very helpful in optimizing their sales and marketing activities. If you are doing a blog or an email newsletter you should see just what's possible in analysis and tracking. One of the advantages of outsourcing email newsletters and blogs is the analysis of the “clickstream.” An outsourced solution puts content creation together with measured results together in one responsive unit. Results from one newsletter can easily shape and inform the next issue.
Might be worth about three minutes to submit some simple info and get a price quote for an outsourced email newsletter solution.
Technorati Tags: Zoomerang | Hyperion Solutions | newsletter | Compete, Inc | BeTuitive | car | IT | customer | customer communications | B2B | Hyundai | customer insights | permission marketing | marketing | B2C | blog
August 2, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, business credibility, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, company blog, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Ignoring Blogs Can Create and Propel a PR Crisis
More and more businesses of every kind are discovering the importance of their Google ranking. Some are even learning how blog posts and comments can positively or negatively effect their rankings. The reaction to this discovery is often more bad PR for them. This is exactly what is happening over at the Accordion Guy's blog. Seems a friend left a comment stating his opinion and experience with a business in Toronto. The business discovered the comment as the number two result for them on Google. They tracked down the blogger and threatened him to remove the comment. He checked with his friend who left the comment and verified his comment. Then promptly blogged the whole story. Now this story is the number one result when googling the name of the business. I predict a name change for the business.
Handling a crisis of bad (or good) blog based PR is increasingly important these days. This in not just a good reason for businesses to have their own blog to participate and shape conversations about them, it's also a lesson in how not to handle these types of situations. Without experience and understanding of the blogosphere errors of response (being too quick with the legal threats) can only make the situation worse. It's a good reason to consider outsourcing your blogging with experienced bloggers who know the blogosphere and have some experience dealing with these kind of PR situations.
Read the whole story here: accordion guy gets into hot water and think about how you would react if it was your business.
July 31, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Current Affairs, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Seth Nails Part of the Whole Non-Fiction Book Thing
Seth covers important ground in understanding the whole world of non-fiction(including business) book world. What needs to be added here is more information about pitching your books to bloggers.
Don't get me wrong. This is a must read as the principles that Seth points out need to be understood. He's right on the mark when he says:
If you don't promote it, no one will. If you don't have a better strategy than, “Let's get on Oprah” you should stop now. If you don't have an asset already--a permission base of thousands or tens of thousands of people, a popular blog, thousands of employees, a personal relationship with Willard Scott... then it's too late to start building that asset once you start working on a book.
Build an asset. Large numbers of influential people who read your blog or read your emails or watch your TV show or love your restaurant or or or...
Then, put your idea into a format where it will spread fast. That could be an ebook (a free one) or a pamphlet (a cheap one--the Joy of Jello sold millions and millions of copies at a dollar or less).
Then, if your idea catches on, you can sell the souvenir edition. The book. The thing people keep on their shelf or lend out or get from the library. Books are wonderful (I own too many!) but they're not necessarily the best vessel for spreading your idea.
Are you seeing this, people? You need to build a permission asset, an email list or a audience of subscribers to your blog. The only way to do that is to provide the highest quality blog or email newsletter that you can.
July 21, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning magazine, Award winning publications, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Books, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, business credibility, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, company blog, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
The Value of A Corporate Blog
Jackie Huba sums up the value of a product blog:
For any company, whether it's Vespa, GM, Whirpool or a thousand other brands, a blog can quickly become a key research tool for prospects to find real-world, authentic advice and information. But only if you let it.
This is true for B2C and B2B corporate blogs. Whether it's a refrigerator or an enterprise accounting system prospects are hungry for real world user advice and experience. What better place to find such information then a well written and managed corporate blog.
July 5, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Since When is 2003 the "latest news"
Ever have that not so fresh website feeling?
I am so tired of going to websites that feature links to their "latest news" only to find that it's a link to a pdf of their fall 2003 print newsletter. I suspect it's the result of the original web designer that had the good idea to put the company newsletter online. The decision makers agree that it would be cool but they don't realize that they are crossing from static web brochure to fresh regularly updated content. They don't realize that now more than ever people expect current fresh updated content on the web. Email and blogs are teaching people that they can expect the latest information and content online.
If you are one of those with a moldy old newsletter online I'd encourage you to either update it or remove it from your site. Do it right now. Go on....I'll wait.
Of course, we here at BeTuitive would love to help you find a way to publish effective email newsletters that can provide really fresh relevant content with minimal time and effort on your part.
June 20, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, business credibility, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, company blog, Current Affairs, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Revenge of The Seth
Could it be Revenge of the Seth?
Seth Godin answer's a critic and in so doing summarizes why we should all be marketing with the modern tools of permission marketing like blogs and email newsletters.
Marketing is not about trickery or even insincerity. It's about spreading ideas that you believe in, sharing ideas you're passionate about... and doing it with authenticity. Marketing is about treating prospects and customers with respect, and realizing that it's easier to grow the amount of business you do with happy people than it is to find new strangers to accost.
Smart one that Seth. Imagine if he worked for your competition.
June 20, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, business credibility, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, company blog, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack