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NPR's 17 Podcasts Are Getting A Lot of Downloads

If you're still wondering if all this buzz about podcasting will amount to anything consider this:

NPR's podcasting numbers are blockbuster: 4 million downloads in the two months since it launched.

It may not be time to start your own but it is time to start following the podosphere and developing a strategy for how your company can participate. Whether advertising buys, sponsorships or content creation it's clear that podcasts are a growing highly targeted marketing opportunity.
NPR's Podcast Numbers

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October 31, 2005 in audio publication, award winning design, award winning newsletter, blog publish, Building B2B Relationships, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Business Blogging Author Shel Israel Shares Some Insight

Israel's interview is mostly promotion for the business blogging book he coauthored with Robert Scoble but he does share this one excellent insight:

How can publishers specifically benefit from the blogging revolution? What are the major mistakes that publishers make when thinking about blogs?
Digital publishers as well as the traditional kind need to understand the fundamental shift from a broadcast model of “I talk, you listen” to a conversational model of “I talk first, then listen to you.” This is a huge change that benefits everyone because we all usually prefer a conversation to a lecture. Most major mistakes will be made by publishers who either try to game the blogging system with gimmicks, posting false comments and by not carefully listening to what people have to say to them even when the comments are critical.

True very true. What do you think? Seen any good corporate blogging?
Why Corporate Blogs are Boring

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October 30, 2005 in award winning magazine, Blogging Tools, Books, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

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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

Blogs: Friend or Foe?

Daniel Lyons has a piece on Forbes.com that takes as decidedly old school view to the potential harm that blogs and bloggers can inflict on companies, brands and products. Blogs and Bloggers are seen as something to defend yourself against. Complete with a sidebar that includes strategies for turning the lawyers loose, the article is clearly written with a one sided view that blogs are dangerous and a threat. While there are potential dangers in the blogosphere there are even more opportunities for forward looking companies that realize that there is more to be gained by participating in the customer conversations that are already taking place in the blogosphere.

Try this exercise. Google your company name. How many of the top 15 results are sites that provide your input and point of view on issues important to your business? Is your company even the number one entry? It's true what they say about search engines loving blogs for their focused, fresh and relevant content.

Forbes.com: Attack of the Blogs (reg req)

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October 28, 2005 in award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Current Affairs, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Two Things

This month's review for the BeTuitive Business Book Club is up over at the BeTuitive Blog. Another good review, Susan.

I also want to remind you to go ahead and add yourself to the map of BeConnected readers on Frappr.

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October 26, 2005 in award winning magazine, Award winning publications, Books, build credibility, Business newsletter, 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.

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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

Newsletter Reader Maps with Frappr

Frappr-1Here's a nice tool for mapping customers, readers, vendor locations, retailers, etc. Frappr is a free tool that let's users set up groups and members can add themselves quickly and easily.

If you are publishing a blog or a e-newsletter consider setting up a map of your own and asking your readers to add themselves and give you a shout out on this google maps based tool. Very fun.

To see just how easy and fun this is click over and add yourself to the new map of BeConnected readers.

Why map your readers? Next time you travel to St. Louis, San Francisco or Sandusky you'll know you have friends there that might buy you a beer. They might also prove to be excellent local resources.

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October 25, 2005 in award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, Travel, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Audio Comments for Newsletters

How are you incorporating the omnipresent cell phone into your business? While many look to legislate against what they perceive to be rude behavior with cell phones the fact remains that they are a fact of life. Those businesses that can most effectively leverage their use will win. I've posted before about customer service and the frustration that customers have when seeking to solve a problem but their definitely is a role for automated telephone systems designed to take advantage of the fact that more and more people have a cellphone with them 24/7.

Outbound calls and marketing text messages are still hugely controversial but what about inbound calls and messages? Can marketing encourage calls for additional information, voicemail comments, polls and surveys, contests, sign-ups, etc.

I think there is a real difference when expectations are set up-front. When callers are informed upfront that they're calling an automated system they aren't frustrated by the inability to reach a human CSR.

Give it a try. In your next email newsletter try requesting specific audio comments to a voicemail box or answering machine. Some recipients won't take time to write out an email comment but they just might give you three or four minutes of valuable feedback by voicemail.

Polite is a Moving Target
Thinking About Customer Service

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October 24, 2005 in award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogs, Brand enhancement, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, company blog, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What XM Satellite Radio Should Be Doing at the World Series

On the heals of my post yesterday about Story-crafting I can't resist commenting on XM Satellite Radio's plans to market to baseball fans by passing out coupons good for their portable receivers to all 40,000+ ticket holders to game one of the World Series in Chicago on Saturday.

This is old school marketing where the marketer tells the story and the consumer has to listen and respond in the narrow way as prescribed by the marketer. In fact fans who received the coupons have to buy at least three months of the $12.95/month service to get their radio. Way to build a nice barrier to entry XM. It's passive buy before you try marketing.

What XM Should Do

It's all about sampling the content not the hardware. By simply giving out coupons they don't allow potential customers to do either.

XM should:
-Develop special one station receivers to give to every fan on the way into the game.
-Partner with MLB and Fox to provide the best content possible.
-Do pre game and post game programming to cross promote XM content.
-Produce the game coverage with as much listener participation as possible. Use fan interviews, call-ins, contests, trivia quizzes, etc.
-Allow fans to trade in their receivers for discount coupons good for discounts on hardware and service.
-Consider broadcasting to those receivers that aren't turned in for a week following the game as further promotion of XM content.

A freebie that's got a hidden cost to it is doomed. You're bait and switching potential customers. Those prospects will feel cheated before they even hear the content. Pay per use media needs to be all about sampling. You don't buy a car without test driving it. You don't buy concert tickets to bands you've never heard before. What makes them think people will sign-up for audio content they have never heard before?

A single use sampling of the experience provides true motivation to buy. If customers feel that they can participate in the creation of the consuming experience they will take ownership and passionately evangelize the product, service or experience.

Bask in headlines like these, XM, because that's all you're likely to get out of this promotion.

Satellite Radio Outfit Outfits Baseball Fans

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October 20, 2005 in audio publication, Award winning publications, Brand enhancement, Current Affairs, Sports, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bloglines Tips

I know that many of you are using Bloglines as your newsreader of choice. Here's a nice list of tips you should know about to optimize your blog reading experience.

5 tips for Bloglines via

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October 20, 2005 in award winning design, award winning magazine, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack