Zeus of Marketing


Archive for April, 2011

Back to Basics – Turning Social Media Chaos into Marketing Utopia

For Easter/Spring Break, I want to bring back my first blog which represents the foundation to my writings in Social Media strategy. Referring back to your objectives not only keeps you grounded but also helps you maintain your direction.

It may be closer than you think

Back to Basics:

2011 should bring basic marketing principles and common sense to new media.

If you’re like me, classically trained in marketing and strategy (which includes starting my career at Procter & Gamble), I bet you’ve wondered when the focus of social media development will switch from what’s technologically feasible to what’s necessary to execute real marketing strategies and achieve real marketing objectives.

Remember A/T/U – awareness, trial, continuity of usage?

My advice for all marketers and media suppliers is to focus the development on delivering against these strategies, which are the fundamentals of any marketing effort. For example, why should Facebook focus on developing a smart phone rather than on securing strong tools for marketers and fans that successfully build awareness and community? Why is Google running in every direction and forgetting about search?

Please do not follow the trends without a clear objective. Creating a Facebook fan page or tweeting 24/7 without an objective will mean no clear metrics are set and you‘ll only be wasting your scarce resources. Trust me, this is a topic that deserves its own blog series and I intend to tackle it in the future. A whole business is emerging now on metrics as if fire has just been discovered. The main reason why there are no metrics now is because there were no objectives to begin with.

Come back to the basics. No need to re-invent the wheel!!!

If you want measurable metrics, then review your current marketing strategy and confirm your marketing objectives.

Is your objective awareness? Identify which vehicle reaches the largest amount of your target demo in an environment that is consistent with your brand promise. (Do you have your positioning statement memorized and up to date?)

To date, Facebook has the largest probability of delivering against this objective on a B2C basis. For B2B, I would stay abreast of improvements coming up on Linked In. Also, explore Linked In Groups – chances are that there are some groups already created for your industry. If not, create your own.

Is your objective trial? Identify which vehicle is closer to your point of sale and to your customer. Stay abreast of the players in the location-based, mobile space. Nothing spells trial opportunity better than receiving a high-value coupon for your product as your customer is located at the point of sale. Current players like Groupon and Four Square deserve a closer look.

Is your objective continuity of usage? Most brands are focused on this objective. Only via continuity of usage will you ensure a sustainable and profitable business.

Continuity includes not only repeat purchases, but also referrals from satisfied customers motivating others to buy. Continuity includes all the variables that lead to that cash register ringing, online shopping carts filling up, or contracts being signed. It also leads to that share of pocket increase as brand extensions or improved versions are launched.

Continuity is the result of loyalty – “the Holy Grail” for marketers. This is why CRM has been so important even in pre-Internet years. It’s also THE area where social media can shine (and few, if any, have mastered it). Leveraging social media for loyalty development is the ultimate goal for marketers in this medium, and I predict that it will be the hottest trend this year.

This is my maiden blog entry. My objective is to have a weekly entry where I can share my thoughts on social media based on sound marketing strategies rather than hype … For once, have business objectives drive technology creatively rather than vice versa. I welcome your comments, topic suggestions and questions (zeus@jrgrana.com).

Stay tuned for my next blog.  In the meantime, please share your thoughts below; I appreciate each and every one of your insightful comments, and I promise to pay extra attention to any opposing point of view. You can also contact me via email: zeus@jrgrana.com, Twitter: @zeusofmarketing and Facebook: Zeus of Marketing. You can also find additional contact information via LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrgrana

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2 comments April 28th, 2011

QR Codes, a marketer’s dream or his/her biggest nightmare?

I have been reading so much about QR (quick response) codes lately that I dreamed about them last Tuesday night. In my dream I had opened a tattoo parlor with a distinct point of difference. I only tattooed QR codes on the back of people’s neck representing their business card information. Was this a nightmare? Thinking of the mark of the Antichrist and its 666 symbol? Or, a dream, where we are making ourselves more green and environmentally conscious by further reducing our need for the printed form?

The truth is that, well used, it can be a very efficient and selective promotional tactic.  Why selective? Consider the demographics of the current Smartphone user:

“Smartphone owners continue to be predominantly male, are 65% more likely than the average mobile subscriber to be between the ages of 25 and 34, and nearly two times as likely to make more than $100,000 a year.”

 

Source: Nielsen

 

Which beer, automobile or financial services marketer wouldn’t drool for this one? The question is, where do I “stick” this QR code efficiently.

The answer, right now – from my point of view – is that QR codes are best tested in a retail environment. I am surprised that I have not seen an explosion of QR codes for store delivered coupons in my local A&P. What’s best but to receive a targeted coupon while I am looking for my favorite frozen pizza in my local supermarket.  What a great trial incentive for Tombstone pizza when I was simply picking my weekly DiGiorno treat,  but a POP (Point-of-Purchase) display that tempts me to look for a QR code which directs my iPhone browser to a $0.75 off online coupon for Tombstone.  Definitely a better use than Bravo’s print ad in the subway station by my apartment – WHERE THERE IS NO CELL SIGNAL!!!!!!  promising to give me more information about Andy Cohen – Really? “Can you hear me now?”

For more ideas and 5 steps to a successful test – aim your Smartphone reader (my favorite is RedLaser) to:


Or click here Mobile Marketing: How to Ensure a Successful Test in 5 Steps.

You can generate you own QR code at http://qrcode.kaywa.com/, try out today and have some fun.  Let me know what is your “dream” use of a QR Code.

Stay tuned for my next blog.  In the meantime, please share your thoughts below; I appreciate each and every one of your insightful comments, and I promise to pay extra attention to any opposing point of view. You can also contact me via email: zeus@jrgrana.com, Twitter: @zeusofmarketing and Facebook: Zeus of Marketing. You can also find additional contact information via LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrgrana

Happy Passover and Easter!!!!!!

 

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9 comments April 20th, 2011

Can Social Media Substitute Market Research?

95% Confidence Level?

Last week AdAge article on P&G wanting less methodology dogma and more projections seems to have re-stirred this controversy between classical market research companies and digital age enthusiasts (disclaimer; in case you haven’t noticed, I am in this camp). To tell you the truth the answer to this this question in the short term is a definite;  It depends!!!!

Conditions for a resounding yes:

If you value speed to market over analysis paralisys:  YES!!
If you have clear marketing objectives and a well oiled monitoring/analysis/engagement process: YES!!!
If you are in a finicky/latest trend industry (think fashion, toys, pet rocks) : YES!!!
If your primary target market is millennials : YES!!!

Conditions for a “resounding” no or  perhaps,  a “maybe:¨

If you are in a high involvement industry (think pharma, financial services) or B2B: NO!!!
If you are in a luxury category: Maybe!!!
If your strategy involves being a market follower rather than innovator: NO!!!, but then again you probably never did any kind of market research anyway.

The good news for all marketers (not classical market researchers) is that information mining technologies are advancing at a faster pace than Facebook subscribers in 2009. Meaning that,  in the not so distant future when these technologies are more strongly ingrained into existing Social Media monitoring and analysis tools,  no customer research will be able to match its statistical projectability (and in a worldwide basis).

The news for classic market researchers; ignore these trends at your own peril.

The truth is, certain activities will never be replaced. There is nothing like walking the aisles of your existing retail channels and observing your customer purchasing behavior (these can not be read about), or a one-on-one conversation to get AHA!! type of insights as mentioned in my previous blog, with an existing or potential customer. But these are not traditional market research methodologies, they are sound business practices for every person in your organization. Believe me, P&G will continue to send their brand assistants on store checks and executives at all levels will sit with Walmart and Carrefour executives face-to-face from now to eternity, but market research as we know it is changing for the better.

I know, I am pretty opinionated on this issue (the Capricorn in me)?  The truth is that my experience in technology over the past 10 years has shown how disruptive technology can be to complacent business models. Additionally, when Joan Lewis, global consumer and market knowledge officer of Procter & Gamble Co., with its $350 million in annual market-research outlays makes supporting statements, it makes it very difficult to convince me otherwise.

Stay tuned for my next blog.  In the meantime, please share your thoughts below; I appreciate each and every one of your insightful comments, and I promise to pay extra attention to any opposing point of view. You can also contact me via email: zeus@jrgrana.com, Twitter: @zeusofmarketing and Facebook: Zeus of Marketing. You can also find additional contact information via LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrgrana

Additional reading recommendation: I really enjoyed this blog by Mike Moran in Biznology: Will Social Media Listening Replace Market Research? It not only presents his views on the issue but also confirms my views on how social media benefits other areas such as customer service and product development.



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2 comments April 14th, 2011

Hide your wives, hide your kids, hide your husbands….(Is this Social Media)?

Viral is for everyone

What are we doing wrong? There has to be an easier, faster, more profitable way.  As marketers, how many times do we say this?  If you’re good at what you do, at least as often as you brush your teeth. There’s always a better way – otherwise we would still be sitting in front of an abacus under candlelight.

Can creativity and success in Social Media really come from following a formula, or does it come by sheer luck or just free-flow ideation? I am starting to believe that when it comes to Social Media a strategy is necessary but the initial idea(s) need to be innovative. As of Wednesday morning, I still had no idea what to write about this week. It’s been a slow week in Social Media News and my muse is on vacation, so I decided to be social in person (there IS a social world in real life, no need for @’s or #’s or .com’s), so I decided to have a talk with a very hip and talented 20 year old. We talked about the many possibilities of using Social Media to launch an artist career. The AHA!!! Moment came when instead of talking about Justin Bieber or “that girl with the annoying Friday song,” he gave me a tour of 3 of the current popular sites amongst the hip and young set which included a dentist patient (86 Million+ views), a rapist/perp victim (32 Million+ views) and a woman meeting her boyfriend at the park (11 Million+ views). There were a couple others but I want to maintain this blog as PG rated as possible.

I’ll leave the content and quality review to you, the important thing is that these videos, beyond impressions, have generated new business – the kid from the dentist has his own t-shirt and promotional items website. The others have had songs written about them  – I am sure they will be receiving Grammy’s next year and I bet production cost where none to minimal.  All it takes is a bit of humor, understanding what makes our audience tick and experimenting.  Maintain your objectives and strategies intact but relax those mandatory execution elements and then shoot and post.

If one in a thousand goes viral even at $250 per production cost … $250,000 it is still cheaper than a 30 sec. commercial production – So I ask again – What are we doing wrong?  I received two key insights in my conversation yesterday.

1. Need to think outside the box
2. Need to get out of our Ivory Towers/Comfort Zones (or couch or home office or Industry Expert conferences etc) and LISTEN… and always carry your video camera.

I could have written about Google +1 this week – and probably bored you to death, so I decided to go with my gut and give you some food for thought – no conclusions, no judgment. Just want to leave you this week with three final points:

1. You never know when or where the AHA!!! Moment is coming – so stay alert.
2. When looking for an idea – look where you have never looked before.
3. Innovation, like marketing, is part art and part science  – we should be so much better at it.

Stay tuned for my next blog.  In the meantime, please share your thoughts below; I appreciate each and every one of your insightful comments, and I promise to pay extra attention to any opposing point of view. You can also contact me via email: zeus@jrgrana.com, Twitter: @zeusofmarketing and Facebook: Zeus of Marketing. You can also find additional contact information via LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrgrana

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1 comment April 7th, 2011


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