Conversations Products Catalog
Blogs serve as excellent tools to foster conversations. Of course, conversations can only happen if trust is built between the marketer and customer. Blogs are a tool well suited to serve that need. A business blogger who posts routinely, provides valuable information, and who speaks genuinely and from the heart can find himself connecting with customers in new and exciting ways.
f all the talk in the business world about branding leaves you feeling like you're tuned in to some very foreign language, the chapters in this part will serve as a welcome translation guide. They present clear-cut definitions for all the terms that arise in branding conversations, and they take a look at why brands are so powerful, when and how to create a brand, what it takes to manage and protect a brand, and how to incorporate branding into your business strategy.
If your business is small and you have casual conversations with clients and prospects on an ongoing basis, you can ask the questions in informal face-to-face meetings. If your customer base is large or geographically diverse, you may need to pose the questions through written or phone surveys. Turn to Chapter 4 for advice on how to conduct customer research and when to call in professional assistance.
In The Anatomy of Buzz, Emanuel Rosen7 refers to the invisible networks that connect us all. According to Rosen, people evaluate and buy goods and services on the basis of comments by friends and family members, hallway conversations with colleagues, e-mail, and Internet research and discussion groups. These nonstop exchanges are all part of the buzz that helps people cut through the chaos of marketing to find what they need.
Intrigue, or delight, these campaigns get the products they are promoting onto conversational agendas. By getting onto conversational agendas they raise the product's salience in the minds of their target buyers and create conversational contexts conducive to sharing opinions. By creating conversational contexts conducive to sharing opinions, more opinions are shared, and if those opinions are positive, sales are boosted.34 This simple economic rationale behind viral, buzz and word of mouth marketing shows how campaign buzz is a means to an end and not an end in itself. Campaigns create conversations, and conversations stimulate opinion sharing. As the General Motors buzz campaign for the Pontiac G6 illustrates, big buzz alone does not make big bucks. Campaigns that only generate buzz about themselves rather than the products sponsoring the buzz are no more useful than ads that sell themselves rather than the products they are supposed to sell. The key point to remember here is that...
The power of blogs is buzz, or conversations and Web links that bounce from blog to blog and gather mass and impact. Companies that use blogs as buzz-building tools are finding substantial readerships of people who avidly want to know what the blogger has to say and respond with comments to every new posting. The best part is that they often spread that message to others within their sphere of influence through blogs, instant messages, or e-mail. Although the writing may be free-form, a blog has some common organizational structures that make understanding and participating in the conversation easy for readers.
The sales representative of a savoury snacks manufacturer was visiting ANUGA, a major trade fair for the food industry in Cologne. In conversation with a major distributor of grocery products in Germany he was told that there could be an opportunity for the export of his company's unique range of adult-oriented exotic snack products. During the course of the trade fair he explored this idea further with other distributors and retailers and the idea was greeted positively. On return to the UK, he filed his report and met with the international marketing manager. A pan-European research project was commissioned with the support of the DTI. Ten months later the first export orders for the snacks were processed. The company has now carved a profitable European niche for its products._
Always use the vocabulary of the lowest common denominator in your audience so that everyone understands and feels included. In other words, describe everything you possibly can in plain English. If you have to use words exclusive to your specialty, accept that the onus of education rests on you. Explain what the technical word means before you bring it into the conversation. Make sure the other person understands your explanation before you speak further. Gradually, simple bricks of mutual understanding will assemble into long fluent strings and all sides will wonder why there was ever a problem at all.
Look for blogs or bloggers that might be interested in your products and services. With the right approach, you may be able to offer bloggers free trials or demo products that turn into postings and conversations in the blogosphere. 1 Through the use of built-in comment technology, blogs encourage conversation between blogger and reader. Very often a conversation that begins on a blog is continued in comments, on other blogs, and via e-mail.
How often have you been asked if another business pays its bills to suppliers on time We know dozens of smaller companies that are reported to have poor employment practices, slow or erratic payments to suppliers and bad records when it comes to dealing with independent contractors. These poor business practices are not an infrequent conversation topic among businesspeople at trade fairs, coffee shops or over lunch, and for good reason most small business owners can't afford to deal with people who don't pay their bills on time or who otherwise treat them badly.
Two people were sitting behind us on an airplane talking about a client in very negative terms. The conversation was so vitriolic that our ears perked up. When they mentioned the name of the client and the name of their own firm (a national accounting organization), we were shocked. It didn't speak very well of their own company to be so negative about a client in a public place, and some of the mud they were slinging stuck to their company.
Not even the greatest name contenders can hold up to the scrutiny that follows a leak during water-cooler conversations. For that reason, don't let the names out of your committee until you select one and it's ready for presentation, backed by all the rationale for why it's a great choice and how it will excel in your marketing arena.
Harnessing the power of social media does afford app marketers the ability to reach large groups that share common interests. The great benefit of social media is that it is typically free for you to sign up. Within minutes you can register an account and be logged on to a social media site. There are thousands of sites that you could join, but remember that social media is like being at a party. You can only be a part of a few conversations to really be effective. Jumping from conversation to conversation at a party is not effective, and the same holds true for social media sites. You simply won't have the time to devote to more than a few of them on any consistent basis. Registering for social media sites may be free, but that's where free ends. There is a cost as far as your time. It takes time to develop a following in social media, and it takes time to establish a presence. So, even though you may get online and registered quickly, the real work comes when you want to get...
Secondly, Icecards stimulate word of mouth. In research carried out by the Rotterdam Erasmus University on Icecards, it was found that 78 of all Icecards get handed out, and in 65 of cases the handing over of an Icecard triggers a brand conversation.12 In other words, Icecards provide brand advocates with an excuse to advocate your brand. In addition, a weblink (e.g. get your own free O'Neill cards at www.oneilleurope.com) on every card enables card recipients to order their own cards, adding a viral dimension to the campaign. Thirdly, Icecards strengthen brand loyalty and affinity, making advocates feel part of the brand family. Fifty-nine per cent of people who have ordered Icecards say that the cards improved their perception of the brand. Other advantages of Icecard-type brand advocacy programmes are that they drive traffic to a brand's website, they are
From an evolution of the crisis perspective, the media won't mean the national media in the first instance.Very often, if you look at how media coverage of such incidents develops, it's the local free sheet or sometimes the trade magazine that gets wind of the story first.The nugget of a story is picked up by the daily regional, the local radio station and then a local television news crew visit the scene.The regional desk of a national newspaper twigs this and the news editor in the big city wants to know more and splashes a big story.The other nationals pick up on their story, websites publish their versions, the story goes global.Within 48 hours the crisis has penetrated everyday conversation. The stories that get into the media should go further than just being read, seen or heard.They should be the sort of stories, headlines, pieces of information and sound bites that provide the content for conversations that readers have in the course of their everyday lives. Going back to the...
The point of your zine is to engage your audience in conversation and build relationships. Many zines are boring and don't provoke much reaction. You should ask for feedback from readers in every issue. You might want to include a question at the end of featured articles like, Was this item useful to you and provide an e-mail feedback link for response.
In Germany, Mr Slicksmile is a powerhouse. Whisking through a lavish, state-of-the-art marketing presentation, complete with the flip charts and audio visuals, he shows them that this Georgia boy knows how to make a buck. Heading on to Milan, Harry strikes up a conversation with the Japanese businessman sitting next to him on the plane. He flips his card on to the guy's tray and, when the two say goodbye, shakes hands warmly and clasps the man's right arm. Later, for his appointment with the owner of an Italian packag-
Unlike Pages, Groups can have many separate privacy settings. For maximum engagement and effectiveness, you want to keep the Group Wall, photo, and video restrictions open to encourage content sharing and discussion. Groups are centered on conversation, and you need to keep the discussion going. But allowing posts will only get you so far post thought-starter questions and links yourself.
Pages allow you to target posts to geographic areas, but a Group enables you to target people based on interests. A restaurant chain, for example, could have a Page for its overall brand and Groups for each individual location. People can belong to one or both, allowing them to see general news and promotions from the Page, as well as local updates and conversations about menu items and events. Figure 4-12. Groups can be quick to set up, but you've got to do it right. Always keep the conversation flowing and encourage participation. Figure 4-12. Groups can be quick to set up, but you've got to do it right. Always keep the conversation flowing and encourage participation.
Audio The audio portion of a commercial includes voices, music, and sound effects. Voices are used in different ways in commercials. They may be heard through the direct presentation of a spokesperson or as a conversation among various people appearing in the commercial. A common method for presenting the audio portion of a commercial is through a voice-over, where the message is delivered or action on the screen is narrated or described by an announcer who is not visible. A trend among major advertisers is to have celebrities with distinctive voices do the voiceovers for their commercials.28 Actor Richard Dreyfuss does the voiceovers in some Honda commercials, Jeff Goldblum does Apple Computers, and mega-stars such as Ben Affleck, Renee Zelwegger, and Ashley Judd have done Diet Coke commercials.
We send many notes to follow up on conversations. Sometimes items are added. I once had a discussion with Kathleen Dolan Davies, my editor, in which we both marveled at the magic of television. I followed up by sending her a children's book, How Things Work, including the magic of television.
A calendar of marketing activities suggests that you will market on only certain days of the month. The truth is you are marketing all the time. Every experience with every client, every conversation with a colleague, every visit to a professional meeting, every comment to a friend is a marketing event. You are selling you. As a consultant, you represent your product or service. The people you meet are making decisions about whether they will use your services or recommend you to someone else.
Sponsorship in its various forms dominates sports marketing. This topic looms large in many conversations about sports marketing. It is with good reason, therefore, that we have more chapters in this section than in any other. Chapter 8 presents a thoughtful overview regarding mechanisms through which sponsorship can influence consumers. Chapter 9 discusses the outcomes of sponsorship on two campuses. Chapter 10 provides evidence regarding how consumers think about sponsorship, and Chapter 11 looks at what happens with stock prices when sponsorship deals are announced. Chapter 12 reviews the literature on team identification and how that relates to responses to corporate sponsors.
Frequently updated, so make sure you keep a list of all the websites that are linking to your application, and check back periodically to ensure that the listing is still there. In some cases, lists and forums allow readers to rate or comment on your application, so monitor that, too. Again, never leave a listing without a rating or review, and don't rely on others to start the conversation about your application. As soon as you are listed, submit an unbiased review of your application, or have someone you know who has downloaded the application rate and review it on the site.
Plus, you get to show clients that you are always thinking of ways to help them, and you have an opportunity to explore any other issues that may arise during the conversation. By involving your clients in the writing process, you remind them once again about you, your firm, and your interest in their company.
News conferences are far more popular among those seeking publicity than they are among those covering, writing, and producing news. More and more often, journalists shun ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings, and announcements that can just as easily be explained in a news release or phone conversation.
In this chapter, I give you specific advice on reading and participating in blog conversations. I also discuss several blogs from which you can find out a lot about the ins and outs of the blogosphere and a lot of historical material that has shaped that dialogue. Understanding what happened in the past can help you participate without being criticized for making rookie mistakes.
Having a forum allows you to understand more about your visitors by reading the conversations and discussions between them. Your visitors are likely to talk about your products, services, and Web site, which is hopefully a good thing. Regardless of whether it is good or bad, consumer feedback can be invaluable and can help you market your products or services more effectively. Keep in mind that the idea of having a forum on your Web site does not solely have to be about promoting your products and services. Equally valuable is the information that you can get from your customers to improve your overall Web site initiatives.
What these sites aim to do is better connect you with your current group of friends or colleagues and to build relationships between those with similar interests. Sound a little like the network of relationships inherent to blogs and blogging It should Being a member of these communities has intangible benefits but definitely demonstrates an understanding of Internet trends and technologies that only speaks well of you. Additionally, your accessibility through these mediums encourages curious bloggers and readers to get in touch directly. And, of course, getting hooked into the conversations going on within these networks can generate buzz and readership for your blog.
Background NMS conducted online research on the perceptions of and responses to Royal Ahold's accounting challenges as soon as the news broke. The research revealed negative buzz focused on Royal Ahold's financial stability, plus concern that the accounting discrepancies reflected larger corporate problems. Analysis of these online conversations generated two primary responses (1) to assure all stakeholders that the accounting issues were an isolated incident and (2) to underscore that the mishap did not and would not impact Royal Ahold's long-term viability and valuation. A PR strategy was developed by NMS in keeping with this analysis, and strategic messages were successfully targeted to industry insiders and Royal Ahold's investors and consumers. Results While online intelligence initially offered evidence of damage to investor confidence and to the brand, the tenor of online conversations shifted and improved dramatically soon after the PR campaign was launched. This response...
Asking the above questions is an important first step, but the real art of online monitoring and business intelligence is making sure the answers are germane to a client's bottom line and business objectives. In the case of Royal Ahold, that meant not only listening to what was being said on the Web, but also crafting a strategy for how to improve the tone of those conversations and how to quell investor and consumer concerns effectively. If technology and methodology are the first two key components of data gathering efforts then the third is professional analysis, which means turning the intelligence into business intelligence, and translating analysis into action. Businesses need to know what's being said about their brands and products What does it mean And what can they do about it Or put another way how can they influence or magnify conversations online The goal is to keep an eye on corporate watchtowers and make sure the brand's perspective is focused enough to guard current...
Blogs can do a better job than traditional media of focusing on details and of keeping the conversation current and emotions fresh. Lott's resignation was evidence the bloggers had power in the real world and not just the virtual one and that they could use it by drawing on the strengths of the medium links, comments, and interaction.
Participants are asked to assume the role of another person and to behave in a manner in which they feel that person would act. For example, to identify people's attitudes towards a particular brand a small group of respondents is asked to provide the conversation they feel would occur in a similar-sized group of consumers discussing their feelings about the brand.
I recently consulted with a group involved in the production of a TV info-mercial featuring Joan Quigley, best known (as mentioned earlier) as Nancy Reagan's astrologer. I was in a board room with a group of pretty high-powered executives and creative types, working under time pressure to agree on a long list of details about the planned show, but when a brief, casual conversation started Joan talking about predictions, I can tell you that everybody's ears perked up, the clock
An approach to interviewing was adopted which utilised conversation as method (for more information, see Josselson et al., 1997 Levy, 2002). This approach is rooted in the belief that learning is situated and contextual and that participants will have a range of different collaborative experiences upon which to draw. In brief the approach is relatively unstructured, reflecting a conversation around a How have you been involved in the past (steer the conversation here into successful unsuccessful examples) Given the fact that we did not wish the research to be construed as evaluative of the ongoing ESeN project we did not overtly seek input or views on this particular collaborative experience, although we were happy for it to emerge naturally during the conversation, should it do so. The interviews took place either face to face or over the telephone and lasted between 20-40 minutes. They were not taped, but notes were typed up from each interview.
A friend can say 'Have you seen that TV ad '. But unless this conversation is taking place online, you might never see the advertisement at all.When a friend challenges another to play a branded online game that has a 'challenge a friend' feature, the means and opportunity are provided for the recipient to participate in the promotion right away. This kind of immediacy is hard to achieve with any medium outside the Internet.
Objections open the door to brand building opportunities. When customers share concerns or objections with your company's representatives, at the very least, the customers are involved in the sales conversation, and at the most, they provide input that allows your company to clarify misunderstandings and to uncover and address buying obstacles.
An extremely effective vehicle to include as well are written testimonials from pleased and enthusiastic attendees. As discussed in Chapter 1, these testimonials can be gathered at the event itself through the qualitative research efforts or gathered later by telephone, in letters by appreciative attendees, or through personal conversations. Most people love to see their names in print to be read by peers and colleagues nevertheless, permission to publish is essential before printing the follow-up mailing.
You may also be meeting with someone who is more of a thinker than a talker. Chapter Nine, the next chapter, identifies a communication styles model. If you have a non-talker on your hands, you are dealing with either a controller or an analyzer. Since you will most likely read that chapter before you go off on your first sales call, I will not say much more here, but that chapter provides some ideas for addressing each style. Even more important, use the research you have about the client to start a conversation. Refer to the prospecting letter you sent.
Uses of technology keep evolving long after the technology itself stabilizes. For example, the telephone was first used by businesses for short messages, inter-business orders and confirmation of meeting times. Doctors and pharmacies were also among the first to have phones, largely for emergency service. Idle chatter and personal conversations did not become common on the phone for nearly 30 years after its introduction. Widespread residential use of the phone (in two-thirds of U.S. homes) did not occur for 70 years.
These days humour is also becoming more and more important with the media.We're surrounded by such serious events going on in the world that ideas such as asking someone to change their name to James Brown break that reporting cycle of grim news for the media. They like stories that are shaped for them in an entertaining way, just as we as readers like to be entertained. Reality, celebrity, surprise, humanity and unbelievability are also other good shapers that can be used to turn an idea born of the Talkability process into something that's going to get into the papers, and in turn get into that morning's conversation around the watercooler.
The owner of a large auto-parts store was extraordinarily frustrated with his advertising, complaining about weekly expenditures of tens of thousands of dollars in the newspaper, on radio, and on television, all yielding few customers. But a conversation with his employees revealed their frustration with the constant ringing of the phone calls from people asking questions, constantly interrupting them. A Saturday in his store provided a count of over 200 incoming calls. Here's how everyone was handled, with varying levels of courtesy and friendliness
Web developers should understand the principles of searchability and build them into the infrastructure and should have a set of best practices for modifying that infrastructure and troubleshooting problems. This chapter provides an overview of the technical issues involved with search acquisition. (You can find more detailed discussion at marketing intheageofgoogle.com.) You can use this chapter either to give directly to your Web developers, or if you're interested in the technical details, it can help you better understand the technical issues so you can have productive conversations with the development team about how best to build search best practices into the development process.
Seven to twelve participants is ideal. With fewer than seven, there is not enough interplay to provide worthwhile information. It is difficult to work with larger groups, for under such circumstances one or two people tend to dominate the conversation and the discussion is difficult to control.
Tape recording is particularly useful in informal interviews as long as none of the respondents objects. The use of tape recorders permits the recording of everything that respondents say, thus enabling the interviewer to concentrate on the interview. On average it may take two to three times as long to transcribe tapes as it does to record the conversation. Thus an hour-long interview may take two to three hours to transcribe. In transcribing the tapes, everything that the interviewer and the respondents say has to be written down. However, when writing up transcriptions, views, attitudes and factual answers may be put into a logical order for the ease of the reader.
Let's say each representative for your software has to bring five additional people on board each day. Allowing for such a modest conversation and no work on weekends, in less than four months every person on the planet would be signed up. Table 15-2 demonstrates this scale of recruiting.
Although important, submitting your web site URL and XML site map to the major search engines is not enough. Don't wait for the masses to find you. Go out and find them. You want to start conversations and get people talking about your new iPhone app. By focusing your initial marketing efforts on Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social networks, the goal is to leverage their word-of-mouth power to drive interested consumers to your web site. Since your app is not yet available in the App Store, this prerelease stage is all about building awareness and anticipation for the product.
The definition analysed above has proved an enduring one. Most of the articles reviewed for this chapter used it almost verbatim. In other words, there is a strong consensus in academic marketing research about what word of mouth means.The phrasing might differ a little, but the definitions are essentially the same. Word of mouth has been defined as 'interpersonal communication between a perceived noncommercial communicator and a receiver concerning a product or service',11 'opinions sought from personal sources',12 'hearing about a product or service from friends',13 'product related conversation',14 'interpersonal interaction that does not involve personal selling',15 'interpersonal information exchange about a product, service or retailer',16 'informal communication directed at other consumers about the ownership, usage or characteristics of particular goods and services and or sellers',17 'interpersonal communications in which none of the participants are marketing sources',18 and...
It goes without saying, of course, that trade secrets and the like should also not be fodder for blog postings. Again, be careful to fully understand just what kinds of information fall into confidential classifications. During a robust conversation, you may be tempted to explain exactly why your product is better than the competition's, in more detail than is usually used in marketing and advertising copy, but don't hand them the secret formula for Coke when you do so.
Social networking is a term we use to describe the activity of locating and interacting with other people who have interests that are similar to your own. Before the Internet, social networking happened in person, at mixers and other locations that were conducive to creating conversations. The Internet has taken social networking to another level by allowing people to interact socially, or to socially network, without being tied to a specific location or time. Although online social networking is a very powerful force, online connections are rarely as strong or meaningful as in-person connections.
Word of mouth is a naturally occurring behaviour of consumers -there is nothing mystical about it. It is simply communication among consumers about products, brands and advertising, who do not normally assume that their conversation partner is motivated by anything else than wanting to offer help. So, before running to the first buzz practitioner on the corner, brand managers should assess the amount and quality of word of mouth they already have (as most likely, they already have a lot of it). Consumer talk can be induced by buzz marketing methods, but traditional marketplace activities (such as advertising) result in a lot of word of mouth automatically. Monitoring it is the first priority.
Because of the high volume of informal conversations that occurs on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, it's often easy to forget that the things you say are not just between you and the participants but can be read by literally everyone within your network. And in the case of Twitter, anyone can visit your profile page and read your tweets, whether they follow you or not. Your online actions play out on a very public, global stage. Don't mix business with politics or religion. The two topics that elicit the strongest reactions from people are politics and religion. Whatever your viewpoint is, there is always someone just as passionate on the opposing side. It's a conversation you can't win. If you're using social networks like Twitter and Facebook to promote your forthcoming iPhone app, taking advantage of your audience by preaching your own political or religious agendas is the quickest way to alienate potential customers.
As the post-sales conversation goes to and fro, a good salesperson begins to form an opinion about whether his customer would benefit from training, support, or a little consultancy. What the salesperson is doing is building trust. This alone will make it easier for him to sell the next product and for his customer to buy it.
And in the socializer quadrant, circle outgoing. Socializers want and need people around them. You will see them in extended conversations at other colleagues' desks, on the phone regularly, or meeting and greeting people as they come to work. They may tend to be late in the morning or returning from lunch. It is usually because they have been chatting with someone perhaps resolving a problem
How long did it take you to reach each of those milestones from 100 a day to 200 a day to 1000 a day
You know what, I remember sitting in a New Year's Eve dinner in the end of 1998. And there was all this talk of the internet, it's like internet, internet, internet, dotcom, dotcom and I had nothing to do with it at the time and the conversation over New Year's, you know how everybody gets into this mindset, New Year's, they're going to set their resolution for the new year and their new goals, well that kind of came up. And one of the things that somebody at the table said was, you know, if we're not making a couple of hundred bucks a day on the internet by the end of this coming year, which would have been '99, we're sleeping. Like, we're not even paying attention.
Someone once said, 'Great advertising either reflects pop culture or ignites it'. The same is true of buzz campaigns, only more so. Buzz marketing is about inserting brands into the popular conversation, the running narrative of life in the homes and on the streets and in the clubs, schools, offices, churches - you name it.
2 - Post answers to peoples' questions and take active part in the conversations. By doing this, you can post your signature file with information about something that is free on your site, such as this newsletter or some other free report ,something that entice people to click on your link . I want to emphasize to you that you CANNOT post an AD in these forums or you will be flamed. You have to get involved in the conversations and let your signature file or Link to your site give a short free benefit for visiting your site.
Management can obtain information about reps in several ways, including sales reports, personal observation, customer letters and complaints, customer surveys, and conversations with other sales representatives. Many companies require their representatives to develop an annual territory marketing plan in which they outline their program for developing new accounts and increasing business from existing accounts. This type of report casts sales reps into the role of market managers and profit centers. Sales managers study these plans, make suggestions, and use them to develop sales quotas.
Qualitative techniques of depth interview and group discussion or focus groups are most demanding from the interviewer's point of view. Often the interviewer will have a degree of psychological training, since it requires considerable skill to manage both depth interviews and group discussion or focus groups in such a way as to elicit the detail and freedom of response required. In order to do this the interviewer is free to insert questions as seems most appropriate. Since depth interviews are commonly used in industrial, trade or professional research studies, depth interviewers may be required to have some subject qualifications in addition to their research expertise. In group discussion or focus groups the role of the moderator is often simply to act as a catalyst to the generation of appropriate conversation between members of the group. A good moderator may intervene very little in the discussion process except to keep it on the right lines and to ensure that all required...
Are you going to tell them to get lost (rarely wise), play them along (potentially dangerous), or are you going to display some mild interest When you've decided, go back in and pick up the conversation. You have a much better chance of displaying the required come-on coldness if you know in advance that takeovers, like dating, have their own rituals. First there's the initial pass. Then there is a line to see if you are likely to be receptive. Then both sides go for a clinch to see if there is any basis for a deal. Next both sides check out the merchandise to ensure that they are really going to get what they want. Finally, there's a short ceremony at which titles and presents are irrevocably exchanged.
Its approach to connecting brands with customers through word of mouth is built on insights from Euro RSCG's international network of trendspotters. The process involves finding the intersection between current hot topics of conversation for the target audience the brand's perception today and intended strategic goals. Co-creative director Schuyler Brown explains 'We are looking for natural insertion points for the brand in the already-flowing current of pop culture.The fit has to be believable, authentic, but just a little left of center. We're looking for a branded storyline that not only allows consumers to continue the conversation, but enhances it.'22
Another fairly well-known piece of live buzz marketing was the campaign Sony Ericsson organized for launching its mobile phone, the T68i, in 2002. It used a technique that has frequently been employed for alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Attractive models were sent bar-hopping in cool places as undercover agents, posing as tourists. They were briefed to address unsuspecting customers, hand them the phone and ask if they could take a photo of them. This usually sparked a conversation about the new feature of the phone - taking photos. This campaign later led to a debate about whether this kind of stealth approach is ultimately beneficial for brands. Some customers who found out that they had been marketed to in these encounters expressed that they felt uneasy about the approach.28
Any channel can become a part of what we call an Influentials Marketing campaign.You can have your advertising agency develop print ads that offer the right type of information and you place them in the right types of media Or traditional public relations through media outreach could place stories in the right types of places offering the right type of content. I think it's all going to be in the execution. At the end of the day, the consumers are going to look all around them, and certain types of messages are going to become appealing to them, certain sources will seem more credible, and they will seek them out, and in trying to learn more, these sources and information will become part of their conversation.60
MSN AdCenter still has some bugs to work out. At the time of this writing (June 2006), AdCenter still has several known bugs. If you spend much time using the system you are likely to see a few error messages and system timeouts. According to conversations I have had with my ad representative, Microsoft is aware of these system problems and is actively working on fixing them.
Traditional advertising) that creates within the target market conversations that add measurable value to a brand. The sub-terminology (viral, buzz, word of mouth, etc.) is not only confusing but perhaps even irrelevant successful connected marketing is not about what you call what you do, but about how you do it and what it achieves.
During our conversation, we discussed my most recent employer, Cincinnati Software. I agree that the situation I described seems strange however, it is quite true (though counter to the goals of a thriving business). To clarify any questions you may have on this matter, I urge you to call Sam Trout, Product Development Manager at Cincinnati Software (telephone 513-555-7777) he will be glad to answer your questions and verify my description of the situation. Thank you for the leads you were good enough to pass along in our conversation last week. As I mentioned, my initial conversations and interviews with you sparked my interest in a career in office furniture sales. Since that time, I have done additional research and have been fortunate to make connections with other distributors. The result of all this research is great excitement about the industry and its opportunities, and a growing belief that I am extremely well suited to a sales career in this field.
In terms of concluding from this book how marketers can create conversations that have a positive influence on a brand, put simply, the message is this the product or brand should have a stand-out quality in its class to create self-propelling word of mouth and customer recommendations that a connected marketing campaign will amplify and accelerate. If the product is not innovative in itself, you must focus on developing creative executions that generate buzz.You also have to find, connect and collaborate with the people who influence your brand, lead opinions and spread word of mouth. In fact, the most appropriate ideas for your product innovation or connected marketing activity could well come from external stakeholders, not from your marketing agencies and partners.
Participating in communities such as blogs and forums that allow you to post a link back to your Web site is a fun and effective strategy for generating Web site traffic and building links. However, keep in mind that your participation on blogs and forums should be substantive and relevant. Although commenting on relevant blogs and forums seems tedious, it is one of the quickest approaches to building links and also presents the opportunity to learn more about what people in your industry are talking about. Participating in these conversations not only allows you the opportunity to increase your own Web site traffic and search-engine rankings, but it can also help you learn how to grow your business in other ways.
Don't forget about newsgroups and forums. Just name a subject matter, and you can bet there's a discussion group out there sharing information about it in a newsgroup, or list forum. Joining such groups can help you find new customers, and you can also post your own messages which, if you craft them carefully, can bring new traffic to your site. Be very careful Blatant advertising in a newsgroup or list is one of the most serious breeches of Netiquette References to your website must be extremely subtle, in context with the flow of the conversation, and must definitely not be viewed as advertising. If they are, you'll get kicked off the site, and you'll get a backlash of bad chatter about your site.
Think of your newsletter as a one-on-one conversation. Just imagine sitting in a coffee shop talking informally with a customer. That's the starting point for your approach-- a more personable and appropriate human voice will come naturally. Drop the jargon, drop the sales pitch, be as honest as you can, and talk like a human being.
The campaign achieved millions of pounds worth of free publicity for HP Sauce, and it all came out as the new TV advertising campaign was airing, working alongside it to communicate the new positioning. A one-off piece of market research showed that 49 of all adults were aware of the story, and of those 49 , 47 had discussed the whole thing in a conversation with a friend, colleague, or member of their family. A concrete measurement of how this story spread through word of mouth.
Campaign Getting into the hearts and minds of potential Zoo readers meant getting into their everyday conversations too. What would they talk about over a pint The answer was to connect with the audience by getting behind, quite literally, the most outrageous soccer goal celebration ever. The hope was that this unique deal was going to cause a furore at the Football Association (FA) headquarters in Soho Square, London, and be the trigger for the level of publicity that was needed to get into the lads' consciousness and conversations. And that's exactly what happened. Kids are massive conversation currency when parents get together. Very often the other parents that you meet at parties and kids' related activities are not 'real' friends but friends you've acquired as a result of your children. You have the relationship through the children and they are your connection point with other mums and dads in conversations.
They don't believe, will be looked at in the same way that people look at telemarketing today 'You're intruding on my conversation, get out of here.' Right now, we are probably still too early in the process to know what crosses that boundary. But everybody in the industry needs to keep an eye on this.9
No one can afford to ignore trends today. Pop culture whims and fads are no longer only the concern of image-related brands.Absolutely everything rides on trends in our instantaneous society. Even such packaged-goods companies as Procter & Gamble (P&G) have figured that out. P&G keeps its products fresh and buzz-y by enlisting the help of over 250 000 teenage 'talkers', who seed information among their peers electronically via message boards, short message service (SMS) and email, or face-to-face in scripted conversations in such public places as Starbucks.And P&G is far from alone.Armies of teens can disseminate information for big brands and also bring information back from the field. It's a hipster intelligence network, and it helps brands stay relevant and top-of-mind.
When consumers buy a product, they exchange something of value (the price) to get something of value (the benefits of having or using the product), Effective, buyer-oriented pricing involves understanding how much value consumers place on the benefits they receive from the product and setting a price that fits this value. These benefits can be actual or perceived. For example, calculating the cost of ingredients in a meal at a fancy restaurant is relatively easy. But assigning a vaiue to other satisfactions sueh as taste, environment, relaxation, conversation and status is very hard. And these values will vary both for different consumers and for different situations.
Microsoft employees also developed a bad habit of saying stupid things in public. In 1996, for instance, Microsoft Vice President Paul Maritz was quoted proclaiming that We are going to cut off Netscape's air supply. 9 Although Maritz later denied saying it, the phrase nonetheless became particularly beloved at Microsoft and was repeated endlessly in internal e-mails, at company meetings, in conversations with the press, on online forums, etc. It all sounded tough and macho to the employees at Microsoft and rolled off the tongue in a satisfying fash-ion.10 Netscape was going to suffer the same fate that befell Luca Brazzi and that treacherous little weasel of a brother-in-law in the movie The Godfather. But if Netscape was Luca Brazzi, what did that make Microsoft
Questionnaire design is part science and part art. An effective questionnaire flows like an interesting conversation. Just as you would start a conversation with an ice-breaker question, you start a questionnaire with a question you think the respondent might like to answer. You should never start a questionnaire with demographic questions how interested would you be in talking with someone who began the conversation with questions about your age and income Just like a conversation, the questionnaire should move into the topics on which you really want to focus. You finish up with demographics or other information that you might need for your market analyses. An effective questionnaire flows like an interesting conversation.
The first step to finding out where the conversations of interest to you are happening online is compiling a list of sources. Next, compile a list of topics to search for (you might use standard keyword research to augment this) generally your brand, your competition, your products, and industry-specific topics. Then, conduct the searches and save the results. In many cases, you can set up alerts so that you are notified right away when a conversation is taking place.
I like the idea of advertising on placemats in restaurants. They get looked at by people waiting to eat. They get looked at when two people are on a date and they run out of conversation. They might as well be looking at your ad. Placemat ads probably work best for businesses with an affinity to restaurants, such as cinemas, theatres, entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys or night clubs. If people are out to eat, they may be up for other activities as well. Can you sell insurance on a placemat Well, an insurance agent's toll free number and a catchy plug might pull some response - it depends on the kind of restaurant. Consider what kind of restaurant will be using placemats with ads on them - will a fancy, fine dining establishment be using them Not likely More likely, paper placemats are for everyday restaurants that serve the common crowd. So are they a good place to sell a luxury car, or diamonds Maybe, but not likely. The only true way to find out if
The types of question most appropriate to telephone surveys are brief, and require brief factual answers that the respondent can give accurately without much thought 'Do you ' or 'Don't you ', 'Have you ' or 'Haven't you ' This is because the telephone call is going to interrupt the respondent in the middle of some other activity. The difficulty of establishing rapport over the telephone also makes it unusual for a long conversation to be practicable. Some companies have managed to avoid this problem by maintaining a panel of respondents from which a sample may be drawn.
The skills required to conduct online discussions are different skills for both the interviewer and the subject since lack of verbal communication can be a problem. Often tacit information that would be conveyed in a conventional interview situation will be lost in electronic conversations. Non-verbal communication and active listening are essential elements of effective interviewing. No doubt, as technology progresses and videocam equipment becomes commonplace, even some non-verbal communication will be transportable.
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Having a forum on your Web site allows you to understand more about your visitors by reading the conversations and discussions between them. You can use this type of information to minimize demand placed on your customer service by addressing a customer concern before it spreads. Additionally, you can use a forum to ask your customers about what products they want that you do not currently have.
Have you ever been confronted by a market researcher who asks, Do you mind if I have a few moments of your time and then produces a questionnaire that runs on for pages It is not unknown for market research companies to combine questionnaires to keep down their costs. However, an experienced researcher may not ask his questions in strict, numerical order. He (or she) picks out the questions most likely to open up a general conversation and lets the respondent run with it from there. Some are so good at this they can get three quarters of their questions answered without further probing. When they do ask questions, the form follows the questionnaire verbatim but the tone is lightly conversational. If the response is ambiguous, they know when it is better to accept the ambiguity but usually they ask for clarification. It's an ideal way to draw out the facts.
At one level, the consumer may simply enter heightened attention. Here Anna becomes more receptive to information about cameras. She pays attention to camera ads, cameras used by friends and camera conversations. Or Anna may go into active information search, in which she looks for reading material, phones friends and gathers information in other ways. The amount of searching she does will depend upon the strength of her drive, the amount of information she starts with, the ease of obtaining more information, the value she places on additional information and the satisfaction she gets from searching. Normally the amount of consumer search activity increases as the eonsumer moves from decisions that involve limited problem solving to those that involve extensive problem solving.
Groups were intended to facilitate organization and discussion around a particular topic, and they still provide a more open space for such conversations. Pages lack the personal aspect Groups excel at joining in a Group feels more like belonging than just liking a Page does (Figure 4-2). Groups are also often much more targeted than Pages, which gives them a more active and engaged member base.
A group discussion usually consists of about eight respondents and an interviewer, usually called a 'group moderator'. The role of the moderator is to introduce the topics for discussion, and then only to intervene in the conversation to guide the discussion on to other topics or to curtail discussion that moves too far away from the subject. The aim is for the group members to discuss the topic among themselves, unlike the individual interview
Managing a Group isn't just about removing inappropriate posts. You need to keep the content flowing and the conversation engaging. Hopefully, your Group will be full of useful content from members. But if not, part of your job will be to push them toward posting by asking questions, making introductions, and posting links to interesting articles or sites.
The campaign, featuring a video clip and buzz story that piggybacked off the contemporary rash of girl versus boy magazine articles, driving shows on TV, etc., struck a major chord with online users, sparking global debate on blogs and forums about male and female parking capabilities. (For example, 'All I can say is clever, very clever. Now let's see her get out.')25 The campaign created high-profile, wide-spreading conversation without resorting to overly controversial, dark, or shocking themes. Mazda is seen to be overtly having fun with its brand without alienating consumers, and getting across its brand messages without bashing consumers over the head. The campaign also clocked up a lot of free editorial exposure (including being voted Best Viral Campaign of 2003 in the UK's Campaign advertising trade magazine and its German counterpart), and the initially Web-only clip ended up being used as a TV ad in several territories.
Once you get passed your introduction, 'talk' to them in a friendly manner like you would if you were having a conversation with a friend. This way they won't feel like that are being pitched to and will put them at ease. At the same time, keep to the point and don't waffle on. Look at an alternative version to this very paragraph below
Because you can't have a conversation with your buyer about the price of your app, you may be wondering how you convince someone that the value of your app is worth the asking price. This is really the crux of the issue. Buyers must think that they are getting what they pay for in terms of quality, usefulness, and return on their investment. If you can convince your buyer of at least one of these three points, you are more likely to achieve the sale. You have to let your app, App Store verbiage, product website, and reputation do the talking.
The system is a little more complex, but this should give you the general idea Conversation on Slashdot is filtered through the submission of stories from users, selection by editors, and then self-moderation of comments by the community. You can see the breadth and frequency of comment posting in Figure 8-3. The result of this process is an ongoing conversation in which users are sometimes moderators, sometimes consumers, but are always aware of the level of dialogue around a topic. The site retains its original Slashdot flavor because stories are chosen by editors, who maintain a certain level of discourse and direction. Slashdot doesn't appeal to everyone, but the site has an enormous following. While you don't need to submit stories or comments to Slashdot, checking in occasionally and watching for mentions of your company is important. One interesting feature of Slashdot is the Hall of Fame page. It tracks the most active and most visited stories (not necessarily the same), among...
Make sure you talk to someone who played a key role in the implementation from beginning to end. Check at least two references for each vendor. Don't approach referees on an ad hoc basis. Make an appointment even for a telephone conversation. You want them to know it's important to you. Develop a standard interview to facilitate the comparison of vendor references. Besides, the more
To avoid this, simply call your merchant account and let them know the facts. Where, when, what you expect in best case scenario, etc. Let them see the site and make sure they make notes, to your account, of the conversation. Get the person's name and badge number so you can call them if you have any issues. Merchant account managers are all about risk and I can assure you they know nothing about internet marketing. So be proactive and let them see and understand what is going to happen before you go live. Failure to heed my advice here will bite you hard in the butt. Do not take this lightly. Take the time to make the simple call.
Technorati (www.technorati.com) is a Web site that tracks the connections between blogs. Type a URL or keywords into Technorati, and the system tells you how many links there are to that URL, from how many blogs. It also shows you a list of those links. You can track conversations and buzz on topics and to see how well your own blog is faring in the blogosphere.
To ensure the best shot possible at obtaining a link from a Web site owner that you contact, try to establish a conversation related to the content of the site with the owner before requesting a link. This conversation can result in more than just obtaining a link you are creating a relationship with another Web site owner interested in your niche.
Not all bloggers choose to implement comments, but if you're serious about developing a dialogue with your audience, you should strongly consider doing so. Comments are an easy way to involve your audience in a conversation and to get valuable feedback about what you're doing with your blog. Figure 10-2 shows comments posted to Paul Chaney's Radiant Marketing blog (www.radiantmarketing.biz).
Don't put the cart ahead of the horse. If you do a good job designing your blog, post often, and write well, chances are you hook readers and keep them, and your traffic numbers increase as your blog grows and earns links. The conversations occurring on your blog and on others can generate buzz about your company and products naturally. But if things are moving slowly, you can jump-start that growth.
For example, if you sell a 699 GPS system and get a 5 commission, you made about 35. But if you sell a 200 consultation - which takes about 15 minutes of preparation and an hour or two of friendly conversation - you actually make MORE than 200 Why Because during that phone conversation, you may recommend that your client purchase not just the 699 GPS, but the 229 hiking boots, the 399 pack tent, the 999 night vision binoculars, and 250 worth of high tech, moisture wicking clothing for this one trip - all from your affiliate web site, of course
The one feature that really makes a blog come alive is the inclusion of commenting. By giving your readers a voice, it turns your blog from a read-only article into a vibrant two-way conversation. By encouraging interaction, your blog readers will become much more loyal and supportive. Even if they disagree with one of your posts, they're still talking about it and linking to it. When building a community, not everyone is going to have the same opinion, which is fine that's what keeps the conversation interesting. Although some people opt to hold their conversations on a Facebook Page to avoid anonymous spam, the convenience of blog comments is that no account is required. There's no barrier to entry. If I want to comment on a TechCrunch.com article, I don't need to join a social network or log into any system. I just fill out the comment form and click the submit button.
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