Posts

News Update – Best of the Day

daily1Do you know how many Tweets we have for now worldwide? 5 billion (in the form of a reply to another user)! Caroline McCarthy (CNET) wrote about a company called Gigatweet that has been measuring the service for some time now… and sometiomes you ask yourself: Do we really have to waste the bandwidth by sending out so many Tweets?

SMB’s are quicker adopting social media, a study by Internet2Go, an Opus Research advisory service, and MerchantCircle finds. The main findings for me are…

– 45% have a presence or profiles on Facebook and Twitter to promote their businesses
– 79% have annual marketing budgets of less than $5,000 with the 44% spending “less than $1,000” annually on advertising and marketing
– 75% said they monitor online reviews of their business

Fantastic commercials – men are so simply but ey… we are clever, aren’t we… Well done, Jim Beam!

News Update – Best of the Day

daily1Although this sounds unbelievable… New study (online poll amongst 271 US CMO’s by ME&L Worldwide and PRWeek – Marketers ignore social media feedback. The findings…
– 70% of marketers have never made change to their products and marketing campaigns based on consumer feedback on social media sites
– 39% are not convinced of social media
– 43% admit lack of knowledge

To find the benefits of Twitter is not easy. Every company has to evaluate Twitter for their own purpose (company messages, products and service). Nevertheless, this Forbes article gives 21 tips on how to use Twitter for business.

As usual – funny commercial for the day by bud.tv…

News Update – Best of the Day

daily1One of the question of our web 2.0 times: How are companies benefiting from Web 2.0? The latest McKinsey Global Survey results deliver some insight and were well-analyzed by Andre Yee.

Coupons are not dead. They found a new renaissance in the online world and Dan Meihls gives us hints how we can get more for less “with the latest generation of an old standby” – online coupons.

The iPhone rules the world of mobility. But there are people who love to produce spoof ads on the latest innovations. And this one on the iPhone is really funny (ok, for boys)…

News Update – Best of the Day

daily1Why do also small businesses need a website? The answer is easy. A recent Nielsen Online custom survey from WebVisible, Inc. shows that if somebody wants to buy a product, 92% do some research online first and then might purchase locally. So, if small businesses do not have a website, these companies are “virtually invisible to these local consumers”.

Launching a product in today’s business scenario is not the easiest effort. So, tips are always appreciated. Here are three tips I found lately that put your prospects in the center of attention. My brief summary…
1. Make it easy for prospects to find and study your new product.
Customers need to be ready – Stop convincing them that they are ready!
“Research by MarketingSherpa shows that customers now find suppliers — not the other way around — in 80 percent of b-to-b transactions. B-to-b buyers like to research, analyze, and make rational group decisions.”
2. Encourage word-of-mouth marketing.
Find VIP editors and bloggers, customers and influencers that your customers trust in.
3. Let your prospects help you figure out your new-product launch message and media mix.
The Dell Ideastorm approach… – Make the “voice-of-the-customer” design, create and promote your products. “Then, use their specific language in your advertising copy as keywords to attract their Google searches, etc.”

The viral video to Guitar Hero 5 is probably causing a lot of talks in the world…

Study: How women use blogs and social networking…

A recent study Women in Social Media from BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners, shows that the motivation of women using blogs and social networking differs. Blogs for women follow the purpose to find the right information while social networking platforms have the ‘mere’ sense to connect.

The results state that US women are nearly twice as likely to use blogs than social networking sites. Blogs are seen especially valuable as a source of information (64%), advice and recommendations (43%), and opinion-sharing (55%). Social networking sites are more used to share their strong affinity to connect and to entertain themselves.

Women show much more interest and increase their activity in social media. So, women are turning to blogs (55%), social networks (75%) and online status updating (20%) to satisfy their interest.

The new study found that women spend less and less time engaging in traditional media activities like watching TV, listening to the radio, or reading magazines or newspapers.

And for women blogs are becoming more and more important as a trendsetting and purchase sources of information. Seeing the influence of blogs on purchase decisions, the study makes clear that women are more likely to buy a product after reading a customer post or reports about the item. 45% of survey respondents bought a product after reading about it on a blog.

“The scale of social media usage among US women continues to grow, and blogs remain the go-to resource for those who want to gather information, share ideas and get reliable advice,” said Elisa Camahort Page, BlogHer co-founder and COO. “At a time when the economy is top-of-mind for more than 70% of these active social media participants, women who blog are turning to online resources, including blogs, to help them make their day-to-day purchasing decisions.”

Spot On!
The influence of blogs on purchase decisions shows the importance for companies to evaluate blogs as a new important part for their media plans. Reading about the habits and attitudes, the study revealed that half of the survey respondents participate in social media activity daily and weekly or more often. When we think of the 42 million women participating in social media weekly, 55% of women do some form of blogging activity; 75% participate in social networks (i.e. Facebook or MySpace) and 20% are using Twitter. The data provided shows the change in the media landscape. While traditional platform face a decrease of importance, social media is on an all time high. The time seems right to rethink traditional and digital media planning.

Report: Marketers web-strategy not listening to SMB needs

The latest report from Bredin Business Information (BBI) finds that SMB’s will not become customers with the common marketing strategies: Marketers are going online while small and medium-size companies are still living the offline world of direct mail and tradeshows.

The two surveys by BBI, conducted in late January and February, combine the findings of 50 leading marketers and 741 SMBs. While marketers were asked about their outreach and research efforts for 2009, the SMBs had to give some insight about their online and offline media preferences, top business issues and brand ratings. The findings show that both sides don’t go and-in-hand to reach their targets.

The marketers world
What marketers know…
SMBs rely less on traditional marketing tactics but that’s one of the top ways they like to receive product and service information.
What marketers do…
Marketers’ spending will increase spending on every online tactic (especially microsites and resource centers, social networking and webinars) but decrease budgets in direct mail, print advertising and trade shows – only PR and telemarketing will increase.

The SMB world
What SMBs rely on offline…
– 43,6% newspaper and magazine articles
– 43,5% direct mail (including letters, postcards and catalogs)
– 32% radio/TV ads
– 27,4% phone calls
What SMBs rely on online…
– 72% online referrals (friends and peers) most popular information source on products and services
– 57% search engine marketing
– 44,5% educational websites
What SMBs favorite in social media…
– 19.7% Facebook
– 15,6% LinkedIn
– 11,3% Twitter

“Marketers are clearly reacting to the difficult economy by using offline tactics much more selectively. They are also moving online aggressively, to reach SMBs efficiently and learn how to get the most from new media opportunities. (…) However, our survey of SMBs indicates that business owners are not nearly as enthusiastic about many online formats for business purposes – such as social networking – as marketers are.” said BBI CEO Stu Richards

Spot On!
The high percentage of marketers more focused on winning new customers than keeping current ones surprises… : 48% balancing their acquisition and retention efforts, 32% concentrating more on acquisition and 20% focusing more on retention. In my experience it is easier keeping clients and trying to meet their needs. Marketers should try to face the difference between customers who really ‘live and communicate the web’, and those that don’t. Going online will be the future, sure, but step-by-step with training the customers the benefits of receiving the information online. Today in some industry sectors, marketers can still put into question the high priority of moving online (3,5 on a scale of 5) and slowing down offline tactics (2,6 on a scale of 5) if the target group is not ready for listening online.

Study: Agencies moving to slow for consumers?

If we can believe in a recent study ‘Beyond advertising: Choosing a Strategic Path to the Digital Consumer‘ by IBM Institute for Business Value, then ad agencies are years behind in catching up to digitally savvy consumers – although consumers are moving their media consumption online more quickly than anybody could have expected.

Now, despite the difficult economic climate there are some good news for the digital industry: IBM’s study states that interactive, measurable formats will be expected to account for 20% of global ad spending by 2012. The interviewed CMOs said they will increase interactive and online marketing spending in 2009 while 63% while 65% will decrease on traditional advertising. Generally speaking, the same trend that we acknowledged from the latest CMO report.

So, what are further interesting findings? Between 2007 and 2008 the proportion of consumers answering they used social-networking tools went up to 60% (from 33%). It even doubled for for online and portable music services to 46% and almost tripled for mobile internet. And believe it or not, the access to mobile music and video quadrupled to 35%.

Seeing these numbers, it is surprising that 80% of the interviewed ad executives forecast the industry to be at least five years away from being able to deliver whatever might be necessary in terms of cross-platform advertising, encompassing sales, delivery, measurement and analysis.

The problem seems to be the agencies according to study co-author Saul Berman, IBM global leader, strategy and change consulting services. Agencies need to identify and keep pace with the value shift in order not to loose out the same way the music industry did, he summarizes.

“To succeed — especially in the current economic environment — media companies will need to develop a new set of capabilities to support the industry’s evolving demands which include micro targeting, real-time ROI measurement and cross-platform integration,” said Saul Berman, IBM Global Leader for Strategy and Change Consulting Services, and co-author of the new study. “Now is the time for companies to move quickly to become more effective with their assets and build for the future.”

Spot On!
Watching the last decade, companies and agencies followed their customer audience and pushed their budgets to more interactive, measurable formats such as the internet and mobile (gaining 20% of the overall spend). This is not surprising as digital advertising enables advertisers to measure more effectively campaign success to prove the value of their budgets.

In terms of platform owners it shows that these need to identify new opportunities to monetize new consumer experiences before it is too late like the music industry has shown. The options are obvious: value of content, visual goods sales, value-added services plus hardware or software offerings.

For this study IBM conducted 70 interview sessions with global industry execs and surveyed more than 2,800 consumers in Australia, Germany, India, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.

CMO report: budgets better than expected

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council’s Marketing Outlook 2009 states that CMO’s see their budgets stable. Almost half of all asked CMO’s (54,1%) say their budgets will increase or at least remain.

What is the value of a click? Obviously, the best deal is transforming a consumer into a customer. For 36% this seems to be the biggest issue: converting clicks to sales and finding the value of online marketing. Just 9% of the chief marketers argue about their online performance capability as being “excellent”.

The outlook in the recession is not too bad… The majority of top marketers answered their traditional marketing focus (print, outdoor and TV) remains the same, and especially digital advertising (also social media and search marketing) will increase. But it also has to me mentioned that 45.7% said their spending budgets will decrease.

“Senior marketers are looking to hold budgets steady and not make tremendous cuts in headcounts,” said Liz Miller, the council’s VP of programming and operations. “Instead, they’re reallocating both their budget and talent into those areas that better engage and communicate with core audiences and customers.”

Spot On!
The loyalty of customer becomes more and more an issue for marketers. Who would be surprised… Those who want to study as deep as possible how the customers thinks, don’t ‘owe’ the sovereignty on customer service and support issues, nor have they big influence on CRM, the survey says.

The question remains why the majority of marketers rely on old online measures (i.e. page views and registrations 64.6%) and not focusing on more modern online engagement opportunities which keeps the consumers with the brands. The most obvious options could be personalization and client first programs (i.e. client opinion platforms or community building) which could replace the old-school “watering cans” techniques. The more companies focus on the client, the ‘happier’ the revenue lines will show.

The report was co-sponsored by Deloitte, Jigsaw and Ad-ology and asked 650 worldwide marketers.

News Update – Best of the Day

Most of big companies are not really relying on social media, nor evaluating it seriously. Susan Rice Lincoln found some answers why ‘big brands struggle with social media’. She found six reason.

Social Media is…
– … often viewed as just another marketing channel.
– … does not fit into current structures
– … a long term proposition
– … promises no guaranteed results
– … measured differently
and… Communities and content are global and corporations are generally national. – A lot of option if you tackle these issues from the right angle…

In some way Twitter is like a search engine. Have we ever thought on how we use this search option?
Danny Sullivan started a research and – although someone might be there who does not believe in research results – there is definitely a very interesting trend in the findings. Yes, I would say, Twitter is an ‘additional search engine’…

– Half ask a question on Twitter at least once per week
– Nearly 40% are “usually” satisfied with the answers they get
– Half “sometimes” or “often” turn to Twitter for questions rather than a traditional search engine
– Only 4% said they’d give up a traditional search engine for Twitter
– Nearly half said they ask questions on Twitter because they trust their friends or followers more than search results or are seeking expert answers
– 40% said they seek answers to “real time” issues or they want a variety of opinions
– Nearly 70% said questions they asked were related to computer or the internet, followed by 44% asking questions about Twitter, then 41% asking about shopping or product advice

Advertising in a social media world always carries the problem that people might abuse your brand in some unfavorable way. Last week some boys made up the idea in “How to Smoke Smarties”. Adage focuses on this latest YouTube phenomenon and posts some important hints how to handle situations where people are ‘messing messing with your brand online’.

1. Don’t fight it. (Brands cannot control client communication!)
2. Survey the extent of the problem. (Brands need to know how big ‘the damage’ is!)
3. Turn to your social-media crisis plan. (Develop one!)
4. Be open with employees. (Social Media guidelines will help!)
5. Respond accordingly. (All spokesperson should have the official response statement asap!)

News Update – Best of the Day

Die richtigen Strategien für Social Media zu finden, ist derzeit ein Versuch von zahlreichen RP- und Marketingexperten. Geoff Livingston, ein bekannter amerikanischer PR Stratege, bringt die Komplexität der Thematik in seinem Post ‘Five Social Media Strategies‘ kurz und prägnant auf den Punkt.

Es gibt viele Leitfäden für die Planung einer Webseite – aber nicht viele für die Planung der perfekten. MintTwist, eine Internetberatungsfirma aus UK, hat eine sehr interessanten Planungs-Leitfaden abgeliefert. Einfach mal durchlesen und selbst prüfen, ob die bestehenden Elemente der Planung, dem Design und der Aussagekarft der Webseite entspricht.

Nach seinem erfolgreichen Post über Personal Branding 101, hat der Autor des Buches ‘Me 2.0’, Dan Schwabel, nun seinen zweiten Teil abermals bei Mashable veröffentlicht. Personal Branding 102. Wer sich diesen Post durchliest, macht sich danach sofort an das Auffrischen seiner Digital DNA und seiner Kontakte in seinen Social Media Netzwerken.

______________________ Spot On!

Wenn Sie einen aktuellen Report zum Thema Social Networking haben möchten, bietet diese Studie Ihnen die Option dazu. Die Studie will herausfinden, wie wir Social Networks im Business-Kontext nutzen, welche wir bevorzugen und wieviel Zeit wir dort investieren. Nehmen Sie sich die Zeit und sein Sie einer der ersten, der die Studie bekommt.