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.
By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Jul 12, 2010 12:00am ET
Social media can be defined as "activities, practices, and behaviors among communities of people who gather online to share information, knowledge, and opinions using conversational media," according to The Social Media Bible. Just a few months ago you might have read about Facebook’s privacy transition. With the transition, Facebook users’ names, profile photos, gender, and hometown suddenly became publicly available information, when previously only your name and network were publicly available.
Now Canada has slapped Facebook with a class-action suit saying the transition violated Canadian privacy and consumer protection laws. The class-action suit claims that Facebook made money from its customers’ personal data by letting third parties use it for targeted online advertising campaigns.
How do you feel about these new privacy transitions? Do you feel like you own the information on your Facebook page, or does Facebook own that information?
Chime in with your thoughts!
By Cara Brooke Schultz
Posted: Jun 23, 2010 12:00am ET
How many commercials leave a lasting impression, so much so, that they play out in your head while you are shopping at your local grocery store? Soon those commercials maybe viewable while you are doing your shopping. According to a recent article by The New York Times a company called, “Automated Media Services has been working on a system that would deliver television in retail environments in a way that would allow media agencies to plan and buy commercial time in stores just as they do on the networks.” The product is deemed 3GTV and will give advertisers an environment similar to what they had in the days of only three television networks—an effective way to reach audiences without distractions.
© The New York Times
Stephen Grubbs, a media guru who held positions at agencies owned by the Omnicom Group said, “The presence of the 3GTV screens near or in front of the products advertised in the commercials represents an advantage, compared with existing systems in stores that use TV screen at or above check-out counters, after purchase decisions have already been made.” As an advertiser, what type of commercials would your company broadcast on 3GTV? Would they be 10-second catchy commercials or a 30 second spot?
By Adrienne Tallacksen
Posted: Jun 14, 2010 12:00am ET
I recently had the opportunity to see Jeffrey Hayzlett, now former CMO of Eastman Kodak, speak at an industry event for a second time. His presentation was one of the most popular at ANA’s 2009 Masters of Marketing Conference last year, and he spoke again at a recent forum of the Mobile Marketing Association. Hayzlett is an engaging and dynamic speaker who is known as the “Celebrity CMO” and who challenges marketers to be leaders and grow the bottom line. If they’re not doing those things, why are they even around, he asks. Hayzlett introduced a couple of new themes in his most recent speech.
The 118 Speech: This is the new elevator pitch. Marketers have to have a value proposition, and they have to be able to sell it. The average adult attention span is just eight seconds; the average elevator ride in New York City is 110 seconds. With the 118 speech, you’ve got eight seconds to hook your listeners and 110 seconds to sell your value proposition.
Be a Change Agent: When asked how people who haven’t yet reached the rank of CMO can be change agents in their organizations, Hayzlett told the story of the weekend he spent cleaning carpets at his company and then tearing up the carpets after finding beautiful marble floors underneath all because he was told that it was too expensive to get the carpets cleaned. Don’t just stand around saying “woe is me, I’m not powerful enough to change anything.” If clean carpets are what’s needed to grow the bottom line, get a six-pack and some friends and spend the weekend cleaning the carpets. Hayzlett advises marketers to be the change they want to see, and if they get fired for doing the right thing, all the better.