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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Making your Marketing Explode

Remember the really cool science experiment to make a volcano? You use simple ingredients like baking soda and dish soap. On their own they work for baking and cleaning, no wow factor. But when you combine the two you get a volcanic eruption. Pretty cool.

Marketing works in much the same way. If only one channel or technique is used to promote the business, firm, or product, many find they get so-so results and come to the conclusion that whatever channel or technique they used didn’t work. Unfortunately, this happens all too frequently and some marketing gets a bum rap.

The magic with marketing happens when you take an integrated marketing approach. Much like our volcano experiment, when you combine the right ingredients (marketing channel or technique) you’ll see an eruption in your results. Research shows that consumers must be exposed to your message multiple times before they notice you. It also helps to reach people in more than one way, as integrated marketing’s use of various channels and means to deliver your message also helps to reach people who have different learning styles. Someone may see an ad and have it barely register in their subconscious, but when they see a detailed description or recommendation through another source it clicks. Somehow they remember hearing about the product so they know it and now they have another message that hits them to ignite the volcano. Magic.

What does this mean? When you are working on your strategic marketing plan, you must expand your horizons. Look closely at the channels used by your current customers and those you would like to be customers. Even though integrated marketing requires multiple channels, you should only include as many channels as you can do well and consistently. This will vary based on whether you are a B2B or B2C company. The demographics of your customer base will also have an impact, with younger age groups more likely to respond to social media and mobile marketing channels.

Plan campaigns that will touch each person a minimum of 4-6 times and use more than one channel. Many people run to the web, social media, TV, direct mail, newspaper, or radio first. These are all good options depending on who you are trying to reach. But don’t neglect to have a strong, consistent Customer Relationship Management & Marketing (CRM&M) campaign, it is one of the most cost efficient marketing tools to increase business. If your business is referral based, also include a Professional Relationship Management & Marketing (PRM&M) campaign.

Be consistent with your branding and message. To make magic, your message and brand must be recognizable from channel to channel so people can make the connection in their minds. Monitor campaign effectiveness; don’t be afraid to adjust campaigns that are not working as well as you’d like. Converting new customers is frequently a numbers game—it all comes down to planning and effectively executing on those integrated marketing plans.

Think about how you can incorporate these ideas into your marketing strategy to improve your results. Questions and comments are welcome. Please share any success stories or challenges as well.

Follow up note: This article was picked up by the B2C Marketing Insider and appeared on the front page of Social Media Today!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Buzzwords become buzzwords because they strike a cord. While they’re hot, phrases like “win-win,” “think outside the box,” “convenient location,” “free consultation,” all make the user appear to be on the “cutting edge.” But what happens when you are using a buzzword past the expiration date?

You lose clout and become part of the incessant background noise and not the hype buzz you’d wanted. Attorneys are the most egregious over users of “free consultation.” It is hard to get them to think about other ways to say this phrase, but when you do find other ways to invite people to learn more about their rights for free results increase.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cvent Survey - There's No Need to Swear, Surveys Aren't Going Anywhere

This is an interesting article I was quoted in that talks about the changes with online and social media research versus traditional research. Cvent Survey - There's No Need to Swear, Surveys Aren't Going Anywhere

Monday, August 9, 2010

How to Use Social Media and the USPS to Create Customers

Just had another article posted on the B2C Marketing Insider site. Using social media to reach customers and propsects can be very effective, but including traditional channels - like sending a personalized note through the USPS - can really make your campaign pop. Read the full article...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Has DVR usage made TV commercials obsolete?

DVR usage has grown over 90% from May 2007 to May 2010, with DVR playback almost doubling in the past two years. The number of people who have a DVR still varies greatly by market, ranging from 26.5% to 47.1% in the top markets.

So with the widespread usage of DVRs and expected continued growth, are TV commercials obsolete? The answer is a resounding No. While the media mix for advertisers is changing to include more social media and two way conversations, TV commercials remain one of the most effective ways to advertise for many business categories.

Do people with DVRs even watch the commercials? You might be surprised to find 40-50% of those who watch a watch the entire program, including TV commercials. I have a friend who doesn’t like to fast forward through the commercials; for him, it “messes with the flow” of the program. I’m in the “fast forwarder” group: so does this group see the commercials? There are studies that confirm commercials that are fast-forwarded are seen and have good recall. The theory on this is you have to pay even closer attention to the commercials so you stop the fast forward in time to not miss any of your show. I couldn’t agree more—I’ve even found myself repeating lines from commercials while fast forwarding through them!

Advertisers might worry whether time sensitive messages will still work in this new DVR world. To read the rest of the here.

This article was also picked up by

Source: Nielsen 2010 analysis of live and same day ratings.

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