2010 Digest: Favorite Marketing Subjects

2010 Digest: Favorite Marketing Subjects

There were lots of game-changers in marketing this year… the iPad hit the streets, Facebook surpassed Google in weekly traffic, social networking became an indispensable part of business communications, and the mix began to tip from “traditional” print and broadcast media to online marketing.  Still, certain principles of marketing are as true as they ever were.  Here’s a selection of “at random” blog posts, food for thought as we head into 2011. Branding:  In the beginning, God created FedEx. Advertising:  #1 biggest mistake in advertising. Social Media:  Don’t put the cart before the carrot. Online Marketing:  5 reasons online marketing isn’t free. Content Management:  Content is king. Blogging:  5 reasons to blog for business. If you’ve occasionally enjoyed these “at random” posts in 2010, consider subscribing, either by email or RSS reader.  As always, your comments, questions and feedback are...

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Product review: Diigo bookmarking tool.

Product review: Diigo bookmarking tool.

When Yahoo announced it was “sunsetting” Delicious, our favorite bookmarking tool, it was time to find something else.  Firefox and Internet Explorer have bookmarking, or favorites, functions, but they never seemed as user-friendly as Delicious.  Diigo, recommended by Kristi Hines at Vertical Measures, looked like a reasonable substitute.  It was  easy to switch from Delicious to Diigo…no problems at all.  Diigo preserved all the tags and public/private settings.  Diigo’s interface takes some getting used to and isn’t quite as intuitive, but it works.  You can look at your bookmarks in the sidebar, or on the Diigo site.  There are many extra functions that heavy researchers will find helpful, and Diigo has a very nice Help section.  While one reviewer appreciated the easy, 30-minute read about how Diigo works, this reviewer would wish for the functionality be a bit more obvious than that.  Overall, Diigo is a good product and worth a look.  But we’ll miss Delicious. What are your favorite content management tools?  Please comment, and...

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Writing by ear.

Writing by ear.

Without Further Adieu, Part II There are things spell-check won’t catch, like homophonic words in phrases such as these: bare a resemblance…should be bear fair well…should be fare wet your appetite…should be whet take the reigns…should be reins If you write a blog, newsletter, or other business communications, beware the dreaded homophones.  There are websites that list the potential pitfalls at length.  For more on the subject, see Without Further Adieu. What are your favorite...

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Gratuitous moralizing: truth in advertising.

Gratuitous moralizing: truth in advertising.

Once upon a time, a client asked me to write a questionable superlative statement about his business into an ad campaign.  His is a heavily regulated industry and, not anxious to spend any time in Club Fed, I thought it prudent to ask for a source, for a footnote.  His reply:  “Spare me the gratuitous moralizing.”  So I fired him. Advertising people don’t always get the best rap.  In the media, they are are usually portrayed as a bit shallow or even downright slimy.  The impression seems to be that people in our business just make stuff up for money, that we help sell things that people don’t need by saying things about the product that aren’t true.  McCann Erickson’s dictum “Truth Well Told” is as good an idea today as it ever was. Our job is this:  to connect people who want things with the people that have those things.  That’s it.  So why wouldn’t the truth work best? What’s your opinion on the subject? If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please...

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Who’s your buddy? The 7 marketing questions you need to ask for 2011.

Who’s your buddy?  The 7 marketing questions you need to ask for 2011.

Whether you’ve got a community bank, a local retail shop, a nonprofit organization or a one-person consultancy, the next year is full of opportunity.  Sure, the economy’s bad; business and donations are hard to come by.  That’s when the cream rises to the top.  Strong communicators, confident in what they have to offer, will stand out.  As you plan your marketing for next year, ask yourself the following questions. 1.  Do I really understand who my best prospect is? Nobody can be all things to all people.  Visualize your idea prospect, and write down everything you know about him or her:  age, location, lifestyle, interests.  Give your prospect a name, say, Buddy.  Everything you do, do it with Buddy in mind. 2.  Do I have a way of keeping up with him? Most companies know a great deal about their current customers but not so much about their prospects, in a way they can use to communicate with them.  A good prospect database is essential, with the ability to segment it for different messages. 3.  Am I using all the marketing tools available to me? In addition to traditional media like print, broadcast, collateral materials, direct mail and point of sale—which still have their place—are you using social media, location marketing, electronic newsletters and mobile?  Buddy probably is. 4.  Is my website where it needs to be? The days of a “brochure” site being enough are long gone.  Search engines reward fresh, original content, and so does Buddy.  Even if you have hard-coded all the keywords someone may be searching on to find your site, what will keep him there, get him to act, and to return? 5.  Do I have all the marketing talent I need? For most organizations, the answer is this:  probably not. Lean staffing, high expectations, and warp-speed changes in technology leave everybody gasping for air.  Getting outside help can help you with executing your plans and give you more time to think about Buddy. 6.  Is my marketing plan strategic? If you feel you’re spinning your wheels, reacting instead of acting on a strategy, do a plan.  Figure out what Buddy wants to know, and stick to that, ignore distractions.  Spending a few hours up front can save a lot of time down the road. 7.  Am I missing opportunities? Probably.  We all do, because nobody can reach everybody, and there are only so many hours in a day.  But asking yourself the right questions now can mean better results in 2011. Now, who’s your...

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