By Michael Palmer
Posted: Sep 14, 2010 12:00am ET
Influence is one of a marketer's best tools. In today's environment marketers no longer slog along by themselves, they have to reach out to others, bring them into the fold. Respect for marketing grows dramatically when we help sales do their job better, faster, more profitably. We get few accolades for building a more creative sales brochure or a new advertising campaign.
The question then is, how do you get others into a collaborative mood? A March 2009 study published in the Journal of Marketing affirms that marketing departments are in a weakened position. The article suggests two possible approaches for marketing departments to regain their influence within firms: (1) They should become more accountable for the link between marketing actions and financial results, and (2) they should become more innovative by contributing to the firm's organic growth.
Sounds pretty simple. Prove that the stuff we do moves the needle and creates new growth opportunities. Influence - the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others. It's what we as marketers can do to create a customer centric organization with a singular satisfaction focus. And by influencing others to put the customer first, we are gaining respect and delivering real value.
Customer insights are the foremost way to influence others - showing them what's best for the customer will help break down silos and get everyone focusing on a common goal - what's best for our customer. Need some help with insight or consumer centric education? Turn to ANA School of Marketing to find the right foundational course.
By Susan Burke
Posted: Sep 13, 2010 12:00am ET
Once thought of as a laughable craze of the past, 3D technology (which first became prominent in the 1950s) is re-entering our cultural consciousness with a vengeance. Hit movies such as Monsters vs. Aliens, Alice in Wonderland, and The Clash of the Titans are utilizing it, as well as advertisers such as Gillette and Pepsi (in partnership with Dreamworks and Intel). ESPN is even getting into the act with their 3D sports channel and manufacturers, including Samsung and Panasonic, are selling 3D TVs for home use.
Timberland has become the latest advertiser to go 3D with their new "Nature Needs Heroes" campaign, which utilizes 3D technology online and in-store. In a Brandweek article, Jim Davey, VP of global marketing at Timberland says, "this is the first time we've reflected new media realities with additional elements like 3D microsites and interactive windows in our retail stores."
Despite all the hype over 3D, questions still remain. How deep is the 3D penetration when it comes to home use? How much does 3D really add to the viewing experience? And, will the interest in 3D last this time around? Only time will tell, but, so far, it looks like 3D is not going away any time soon.
To read more about Dreamworks Animation and their use of 3D, please click here.
By Michael Palmer
Posted: Sep 9, 2010 12:00am ET
A job search is much like building a marketing campaign; you need to decide what you are going to say and to whom. Segmentation is critical; no matter how good you are—you and your qualifications are not right for every employer. Who is your most likely target? Decide that, and you can start to write your marketing brochure—your resume.
As you build your print ad/marketing brochure how will you position yourself to your target audience? What is the one thing that they need to know that will make you a more desirable brand/product than the other options? What can you do for your potential employer that will make you valuable to them?
Begin writing your resume by first evaluating the needs of the employer and then determining how you can fill those needs. Be sure to design a targeted resume for each and every job for which you apply. If you mass-produce your resume, you will have to compromise to find a qualification that will impress everyone. We all know it is better to be right for a few customers, than try to be right for everyone and in the end being "vanilla."
If you want to strengthen your resume, think about taking a few key marketing training courses - this shows potential employers that your never satisfied, that you are always looking for ways to improve yourself, a great trait for any potential employee. Need a few marketing course options? Visit the ANA School of Marketing's website for a variety of alternative educational options.
By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Sep 8, 2010 12:00am ET
Last week, I was on a particular website looking at flights. In an attempt to be a savvy consumer I decided to check a competitor's website for pricing information. To my dismay, the website wasn't working. I checked the url, thinking perhaps I had typed it wrong. No—website was definitely down. This got me thinking, what do companies do when websites crash?
My first instinct in the digital marketing realm would be to reach out to all of my fans/consumers/customers via social media. I would write a quick 140 character tweet letting people know we were aware of the situation, we apologize for the inconvenience and will hopefully be back up and running sometime soon (which is precisely what this company did.)
Just last week I noticed a company in the fashion industry have issues with the update of its website. Unfortunately the update caused the website to be temporarily unavailable for a few hours in the middle of the day. The company posted an apology on its facebook fan page and received nearly 100 comments in a few hours.
Does your organization have a strategic plan in place on how to respond if your company's website should be temporarily unavailable? What department would handle the outreach, or is it multiple departments working together? Tips, suggestions, best practices—feel free to share!
By Michael Palmer
Posted: Sep 7, 2010 12:00am ET
Many organizations today say that one of their core values is their commitment to the pursuit of lifelong learning and personal development. To that end, these companies say that they emphasize helping individual growth to reach full potential.
Nowadays, I would suggest that your career growth is up to you. You need to take control of your professional future and make sure that you are progressing down the right career path. Here are several proven strategies to help you get started:
· Talk to
your boss. Understand what your boss
thinks it will take for you to move to the next level-what skills you need to
meet the company's goals. Share your own career goals to ensure that your
dreams match what your boss thinks you can achieve. What often derails careers
is that you and management have a very different take on your ability to move
to the next level.
· Keep learning. Continually acquire new knowledge. Stay on top of trends or developments in your field by seeking out educational opportunities. If there is a cost associated with your learning goals, share your desires with your boss who will most likely help you find a way to achieve your goals. Make sure that your current résumé reflects those needed skills.
· Build your reputation. In marketing especially, your reputation is the most valuable thing you own. Those who have the ability/knowledge to help others accomplish their sales goals and objectives will be continually sought out. Find out what makes your customers buy from your organization, and then help others use that insight to build more effective programs.
Need help? As an ANA member you can turn to the ANA School of Marketing. We offer both free and paid training opportunities-take advantage of the benefits of your association membership. Find out more today!
By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 12:00am ET
At a recent conference, I was busy writing my "elite tweets" aka valuable snippets of information from the top marketing gurus in the industry, as I noticed one of our conference attendees reaching out to the ANA corporate twitter account. They needed a contact number for our live-streaming option and I was able to immediately give it to them. They thanked me, and continued to enjoy the conference. I gave myself a pat on the back for quality customer service.
Now, why did I bring this up? I recently read an article from Businessweek.com detailing how Delta is using Twitter to respond and rectify customer complaints. The article talks about how Delta is setting itself apart by resolving customer issues on Twitter rather than simply monitoring what consumers are saying. Consumers are using social media sites to reach companies because the wait time is less. Instead of waiting on a long line at the airport, or calling the company from your hotel room and being forced to wait on hold for 15-20 minutes, writing a quick 140-character comment might get you a response in minutes.
Other airlines like JetBlue and Southwest listen to customers on Twitter but refer them to call centers or websites to settle issues. Customer service is part of JetBlue and Southwest's Twitter account but not the soul purpose.
What does your company use its Twitter account for? Is it primarily a customer service outlet, or is that just one piece of the puzzle?
By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Aug 4, 2010 12:00am ET
Do you look forward to your commute to the office solely because you can read a book and not be answering your boss's inquiries via email? Soon that is all going to change—a $200 million project is underway to bring mobile phone and Wi-Fi service to NYC's subway stations. An Australian mobile-infrastructure operator is footing the bill and took a majority stake in Transit Wireless LLC, the group of wireless and construction companies that was awarded the contract to bring Wi-Fi to the subways in 2007.
According to a Bloomberg article, "Transit Wireless will begin installing smoke detector-size antennas in six stations within the next two months...stations could be completed at a rate of 10 to 15 per month."
After the Wi-Fi is installed, subway riders will have mobile service on the platforms and parts of the tunnels. So what does this mean for advertisers?
Will companies expand and invest more in their mobile advertising and social media networks? Will the iPad become a key player for advertisers? What do you think?
By Susan Burke
Posted: Aug 2, 2010 12:00am ET
Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is all about relevancy-catching the right consumer at the right moment-and is growing rapidly. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, advertisers spent $5.9 billion on OOH advertising in 2009. Consumers spend a lot of time away from their homes during the day and marketers are recognizing that there is now an opportunity to reach them in the elevator at work, at a football game, at the movies (for more on this aspect of OOH, please click here), while driving, or on the tray table of an airplane seat.
Over the course of the summer, I've seen a few pieces of OOH advertising that were particularly relevant to me, such as an ad for a car service on top of the luggage carousel at LaGuardia Airport or an ad on the NYC subway advertising the company, ZipCar, which allows you to rent a car for just a few hours. And, of course, an ad for a Nathan's hot dog or a beer at Yankee Stadium always triggers a response when I'm half way through a good ball game. These ads were all relevant to me and my needs, so I found them to be helpful and welcome.
The flip side of OOH is that there are also many ads that are not relevant. For me, the countless ads on the subway for cheap international calling cards or the in-cinema spot on joining the Armed Forces don't meet my needs and often feel intrusive. When that happens repeatedly, OOH starts to become unwelcome to me.
So what's an advertiser to do? How do you measure the consumers you touch via OOH versus the ones you may annoy? What is the value of OOH and when do you choose to deploy it? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
Posted: Jul 22, 2010 12:00am ET
By Guest Blogger Lisa Neary
The digital landscape is changing. That was no clearer than after hearing Geoff Ramsey, CEO, Co-Founder eMarketer present at the ANA Digital and Social Media Conference last week. The downturned economy has decreased traditional media spend almost 20%. Marketers are being asked to do more with less and that has meant shifting discretionary dollars to digital initiatives.
With more than 57% of the US population participating in social media, many companies are attempting to leverage this space, but there is still confusion as marketers wonder if it is overrated. That is shocking considering that Geoff did note that only 10% of companies are effectively measuring the success of their social media programs.
While it still may be premature to tell, that fact is this: with a 60/40 split in terms of companies using social media to those not, you are behind the curve if you are at least exploring how to create an authentic dialogue with your audience and more importantly, you are at a severe competitive disadvantage if you are not listening to the buzz about your company, products or services across social media platforms.
With an ever-growing number of tools out there for "listening" to what your customers have to say, there's no excuse to not be taking advantage of this resource. This valuable information is readily available and more importantly: free. Whether it's listening to what words they use to describe your product or brand or gaining a better understanding about their interests, intentions, real or perceived problems, the insights gained from harvesting this information can have a drastic effect on your messaging, product development and marketing strategy.
If you are still wondering if social media is a fad, watch this video, and make sure you listen.
Posted: Jul 21, 2010 12:00am ET
By Guest Blogger Lisa Neary
According to Arianna Huffington, a part of the Huffington Post's success has been based on that simple strategy: Listen. Engage. Respond. It's no secret that the general sentiment towards Corporate America is at an all-time low. Couple consumer doubt with the economic hardships that the majority of Americans are facing and marketers are now faced with using their conversations in social media to help public relations initiatives to foster trust and loyalty to the brand, product or company.
For The Huffington Post part of building this trust has been through creating content around topics that the readership cares about. How do they know what their readers want? They listen and ask then they act. Arianna reminded us that, self-expression has become the new form of entertainment and they foster this dialogue to further nurture reader relations. Leveraging these insights has enabled The Huffington Post to cultivate a participatory and loyal readership. Here are four other ways they continue to differentiate:
- Watch the trends. With a small internal staff, THP leverages a vast pool of talent who contribute to the internet newspaper through blog posts.
- Get a cause. Create a pulse, a personality, a value system for your brand. Customers want a connection to your brand that resonates with them.
- Accept failure. Or run the risk of becoming stale. The biggest risks come with the biggest rewards. Experiment.
- Be nimble. Operate as flat as possible and encourage input from all levels of the organization.
While these ideas may not be new, they are the tenets to developing a successful presence in the social media presence where your audience is savvy, is easily distracted and demands a more personal relationship. As Arianna explains, "Time is long. Life is short." Slow down, start having some meaningful conversations with your audience, and be sure to take notes.