Monthly Archives: April 2009

Social Marketing Doesn’t Work Unless You Have Something To Say

I have been having many conversations regarding help with social marketing.  They want to know all about how to use Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, etc. to grow their customer base and their business.  And I always respond with the same questions:

  1. Why do you want to use social marketing tools?
  2. Does your audience use social marketing tools?  If so, which ones?
  3. By using social marketing tools, how do you plan on helping/educating/informing your audience?
  4. Do you have a compelling, unique and motivating brand position?

If you can answer the first three questions, great. The last question, however, is the most important, as a company needs to define its brand position before venturing into social media.

I understand the excitement regarding social media as an inexpensive way to reach an audience.  I understand the business benefit that social media can provide when approached correctly.

But I also understand the time that can be wasted on social media without a proper message, understanding of the audience or strategy. Improper planning and understanding of your brand can actually tarnish your reputation.

If you can answer the four questions mentioned above and can commit the time to keep your content fresh, interesting and relevant, then social media may be right for you.

Tip: Once you start using social media, be patient. Growing a community takes time.

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Filed under Brand Position, Social Marketing

When Personal Service Forgets To Be Personal

visa-black-card“Dear Mr. Abend,  It is my pleasure to invite you to apply for the exclusive [Visa] Black Card.  Limited to only 1% of U.S. residents, Black Card members are ensured the highest caliber of personal service.”

So after reading more and more about personal service, helping me with my “business, travel and leisure needs” and being someone who “demands only the best of what life has to offer”, I was disappointed that they sent me a blank application.

I guess Visa doesn’t know me well enough to personalize the application for the $495 card, yet my free (insert generic bank) credit card does.

I have written about making sure your brand experience is consistent from seeing an ad to receiving an invoice.  This is a lesson Visa could certainly use.

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Filed under Brand Position

Jumping The Marketing Shark

I was driving to a client yesterday when I saw a billboard for Asian Pearl restaurant.  What caught my eye was this “asian” restaurant was promoting its Chinese, Japanese, American and Mexican buffets.

I think we have finally jumped the shark by trying to be everything to everyone.

Think about Asian Pearl.  If I want Mexican food, would I really go to a place that also serves Chinese?  And what are the chances that I am going to want a burrito, dim sum, sushi and a burger at the same sitting?

I come across companies doing the same thing all of the time.  Companies want to tell the world all of the things that make them great because they fear alienating anyone and missing out on a potential sale – especially in today’s economy.  Unfortunately, in communicating everything to everyone, you often speak to no one.

For example, Company A and Company B both sell pest control.

Company A talks about its customer service, efficacy, training, experience, number of locations, various services, and courteous technicians.

Company B gets rid of your bugs, guaranteed.

If you have a pest control problem, which message are you most likely to remember?

Now ask yourself, is your messaging as concise as Company B?

  • Look at your current communications, what is the key point you are trying to make?  If you are unsure, you can’t ask your audience to be able to discern it.
  • Is your message targeted to  a specific audience or does it answer a specific need?
  • Does your message provide differentiation from your competitors?
  • Do you have a message that is unique, even if for a smaller, targeted audience?

Sometimes this last point is the most important.  Will your business be more successful getting a small percentage of a large audience, or a large percentage of a small audience? (We will discuss this further in future postings).

That said, maybe I am looking at the Asian Pearl billboard the wrong way.  They could be targeting the small percentage of the population who can never decide what they want to eat and thus want a choice – unless they want Italian.

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Filed under Messaging

No New Post This Week

Thanks for visiting Don’t Stop Marketing.  Market Smarter.

I am taking a break this week enjoying some R & R.

A new post will be up April 14, but please leave a comment and let us know if there is a specific subject you would like us to cover.

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