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9 posts from May 2007

Word-of-mouth is Fundamental

If most businesses had only word-of-mouth advertising, they would grow very slowly (although much more profitably). The following statistics are a big reminder to make your marketing communications repeatable--in common, not-embarrassing-to-say-outloud words. One excellent way to help your supporters is to use narrative techniques, creating stories they can re-tell in their own words.

Promo magazine: Word of Mouth the Biggest Influence in B-to-B: Survey. 2007-May-15

The executives said that word of mouth has more than twice as much influence on their purchase decisions as advertising, direct mail or press coverage. That includes (in order): recommendations from colleagues or friends, conversation with a salesperson, participation at marketing events, conferences and tradeshows, and last, the Internet. Fully 75% of these influential conversations happen in person; only 3% are conducted via e-mail, with text messaging and blogs/online chat each accounting for just 1%, the survey found.


Premium Shareware

You have many different ways to support creative talent. Your company could become a distributor of a small but significant piece of software art. Consider it the digital equivalent of mailing a calendar to regular customers.

ClickZ: Shareware Synergies. 2007-May-22, by Chad Stoller

There's a large number of shareware developers, and their exposure opportunities are limited and short in time. They don't buy ads in consumer magazines or have a regional sales force that calls on Fortune 500 customers. Generally, their editorial coverage is limited to a top-tools list or a daily entry on an enthusiast's site. From there, they rely heavily on search, word of mouth, and community participation. They covet the opportunity to expand their marketplace. This is where you come in. Here are some quick tips on how you can partner with a developer: Find an innovative solution. You know your customers. Check out the thousands of consumer programs available for free on the Web, and find something that will appeal to your audience.


Ask for Natural Synergy

Okay, so Ask.com and Ask A Ninja each have a target market of just about anybody, so when that happens it's easier to, like, hook up, but those Ninja are rather wily, and you should maybe ask yourself "Is there some entertainer my company should hook up with?" (This will all make more sense and be more fun if you follow the links.) And don't miss the totally awesome metrics at the bottom of this excerpt.

ChasNote: Ask.com Enlists Ask A Ninja For Brand Campaign at ChasNote. 2007-May-19, by Chas Edwards

The campaign is smart at one (very simple) level in that it ties together banner ads with integrated, co-branded messages in the video programming. At another level, it's even smarter in that the Ninja (the featured act) rather than Ask.com (the marketer) makes the call-to-action. The data from the campaign's first 20 hours are astounding. One out of every twelve viewers of the Ninja's 'Ninja Sayings' video skit went to Ask.com, queried 'ninjuice' and watched the bonus video that the Ninja produced especially for those 'certified search ninjas' who completed the assignment. An 8.3% rate of conversion. For comparison, imagine a conventional banner that delivers a terrific click-through rate, say 0.4%. Then assume a whopping 25% of those clickers actually test-drive the product. Even that record-breaking performance would add up to only a 0.1% rate of conversion. The team effort by Ask.com and Ask A Ninja did 83 TIMES better.


Search Marketing for Information

For all the money that's being spent on paid search advertising, it's amazing how little of it is being used for marketing intelligence. Some people are testing different benefit statements to see what appeals to their customers. If your business is spending a lot on search marketing, you need to make it work as hard as possible to build your understanding of your audience.

iProspect's Search Engine Marketing Advisor Newsletter: Learning to Share: Consumer Insights and Search Marketing, 2007-May, by Ron Belanger of Yahoo! Search Marketing

Why are all of us in search marketing so bad at sharing? No, I don’t mean the box of doughnuts at the Friday staff meeting. I mean sharing the pearls of wisdom we stumble across in our jobs on a daily basis. Is it because we are not asked, or because we do not know how valuable what we know is to the rest of the organization? It’s time that digital marketers – and search marketers in particular – start taking a seat at the marketing strategy table.


Shockingly Simple Way to Share

If someone had pitched this idea to me, I would have said "ho hum, who'll bother to participate?" but I am shocked to discover it so easy and fun and heartwarming...who wouldn't? At the Country Crock site www.SpreadTheSharing.com you can upload a simple story or a long one, add pictures, and browse the country for stories and recipes. I think this is actual a good step up from those web sites that encourage sponsors to donate $1 for every click. That always seemed TOO easy, cheap, sort of. Country Crock will donate a meal to Second Harvest if you contribute a story.

Promo magazine: Country Crock Taps NASCAR Tie to Aid Second Harvest. 2007-May-10

Country Crock is using its sponsorship of NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne to drive consumers online to take part in its Spread the Sharing campaign with America’s Second Harvest. The brand will donate one meal to Second Harvest for every story about sharing that consumers post on its site....Country Crock hopes to collect 1 million stories by Thanksgiving. So far, consumers have posted 5,318. To support the effort, Country Crock put a “Please Share” logo on its No. 9 Dodge and Kahne’s racing suit.


Customers as Guests

We prize efficiency in our service personnel, and while we seldom want to get to know them well, receiving some human recognition, especially eye contact and a smile, are incredibly important to the service experience.

The 1to1 Blog: Surprised by a Handshake and a Smile. 2007-Apr-6, by Ginger Conlon

When I stepped up to the counter, management assistant Mike White greeted me and extended his hand. Instinctively, I extended my hand toward his, holding my driver’s license and credit card to give to him. As I reached out I realized that he was holding his hand not to receive documents, but to shake hands. I quickly moved my license and credit card to my other hand...when was the last time a rental car associate – or any retail or hospitality associate for that matter – shook hands when saying hello? Um, well, NEVER.


Phone Communities

Boost Mobile is doing a great job of providing a range of enticing rewards to its customers, combining loyalty and participatory marketing. If you're all about the music, they'll provide downloads and concerts. If you'd like to do some community service with fellow Boost subscribers you can EARN a concert ticket. This program is extremely well-thought-out.

Link: Boost Mobile Sets Loyalty Program to Music. 2007-May-2, by Betsy Spethmann

The LA “payoff concert” was part of Boost’s 2-year-old RockCorps volunteerism program that gives members a concert ticket for every four hours of community service that they perform. Boost recruits volunteers for local non-profit groups. This year, the program is running in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York, with plans to add 10 more cities.