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Posts for February 2009

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What are YOU going to do to create a World Wide Rave?

February 27, 2009 by Marketing Donut

If you’ve been keeping tabs on some of the groups of marketing professionals on global social networks over the last few days, you might have heard mention of a World Wide Rave. It describes something you’ve probably experienced, although you may not realise it. It’s also something that you should find out more about if you’re responsible for marketing for your business.

Online marketing expert and bestselling author, David Meerman Scott, is in the process of launching his new book. I suppose by now you can guess what it’s called?

World Wide Rave is all about the way in which people can start and spread a World Wide Rave about their business or cause by getting other people excited about telling stories.

Like his other books, World Wide Rave is likely to be an international best seller pretty swiftly. A quick Google search will uncover that he’s the author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, and that has done very well on the business/marketing book lists, as well as being translated into over 20 languages.

Anyway, to mark the launch of the World Wide Rave, David has produced a video which itself, documents a World Wide Rave that he created. And the video itself may even become a World Wide Rave. I’ve pasted the video below, so that you can check it out.

You can check out David’s blog post about the video here. The blog also includes a free eBook which explains more about the making of the video.  Are you starting to get the drift of a World Wide Rave yet?

I should disclose that I and many of my colleagues are on the team of people involved in making the video - but there were also hundreds of people involved as you will see when you watch the video. We’re proud to have been involved, and we are certainly looking forward to watching the process of both the book and the video over time. But regardless of our involvement, this is a very interesting aspect of the huge connectivity that we can all get access to online, particularly when we find a clever way to get other people to tell stories about us!

Food for thought...

P.S. David has really thought this through.  Here's a little badge to prove our involvement!


February 27, 2009 by Marketing Donut

I joined LinkedIn a few weeks ago. I have a mighty 11 'connections' at the time of writing and, truth be told, haven't been taking a very serious interest in the site. Until I happened to log in yesterday and did a double-take at one of the 'people I may know' listed on the right. The site had helpfully directed me to connect with my brother (and yes, I do actually know him).

Logical enough, you might think, except that there's no direct link between my brother and me on LinkedIn at all. My only 'connections' at the moment are current colleagues and a handful of friends (none of whom he mutually shares). The single thing linking me and my brother is our surname, and when I did a search on his name on the site it turned out there are another 132 Brother Knights on the system. I don't know how many SomeOtherFirstName Knights are out there too in LinkedIn world, but I imagine it's not an insignificant number. I haven't let the site access my address book, email account or anything else and to be honest I've been pretty cagey about any of my details from before I started working at BHP (not listed any schools or former employers). My brother lives in a different town and works in a different industry. So HOW DID IT KNOW?

Is it a magic psychic ability? OK, probably not. My brother wondered if it has a clever cross-referencing system with Facebook, which is the only option I can rationally understand which doesn't make me look over my shoulder nervously trying to spot the LinkedIn spy stalking me. It's a bit Big Brotherly, if that is how it works, although it's clever stuff (though if that is how it works, they don't advertise it - I can't find any sources yet which mention Facebook as anything other than a competitor to LinkedIn).

Anyway. I still don't know for sure how it did it, but it impressed me (while simultaneously freaking me out a little bit). My point is that clever technology on a website or anywhere else is only going to work if it's not just flashy, but intrinsically interesting and/or (preferably 'and') useful. LinkedIn naturally wants me to use it more and more, and I have to reluctantly admit that it's got my interest for the time being (even if, by the looks of it, my next connections will be my hairdresser and my next-door neighbour). We've all had conversations about work projects where someone's gone "wouldn't it be brilliant if this did that?" And while it's often tempting to respond "ooh, cool idea!", think about what you'd actually achieve. Is it just something that's flash but ultimately meaningless? Or does it achieve what you actually want (be that users engaging with a website, people buying your products, brand awareness or anything else).

Questions like these have come up time and time again on the Marketing Donut, and hopefully we'll have answered most of them correctly when you get to see the site. We're creating a site which we think will be useful, informative, attractive and engaging for SMEs with an interest in marketing. It is going to be clever and it is going to look amazing, but what we're aiming for is a site that businesspeople actually want to use. In a couple of months, you can let us know how we've done.

Looking good in today's inbox

February 24, 2009 by Marketing Donut

Newspapers know sales depend on the enticing above-the-fold coverage in their titles – the part that can be seen from the newsstands.  With the advent of the preview pane in email software, this concept of a sizzling above-the-fold pertains to email marketing as well.

The key is to design a template that makes the best use of the 2-3 inches of above-the-fold that shows up in the preview pane. Everything in that space should brand your company and provide enticing highlights of what’s to be found in the main body of the e-mail.

In addition, the design should take into account that many inboxes have images disabled. Don't stop using images; just ensure your key message isn't reliant on them. Do include descriptive text about the images in both the article and in each image 'alt' and 'title' tag. Encourage your subscribers to add you to the safe send list so your images do show every time.

Telephone marketing = Telephone nuisance

February 20, 2009 by Marketing Donut

It's an all too familiar scene. 5.30pm and the pan of potatoes is boiling over; child one is asking the 100th question about tonight's homework; child two is kicking a football at the telly and husband is due in the door any minute.

Then the phone rings. I take my rubber gloves off and rush the the phone.
Is that Mrs P?
Hello, this is Mr XYZ from blah blah blah company. We have some great offers on at the moment and we are calling homeowners in your area to ask whether you require - a conservatory, a will, double glazing, a new ....
You get the picture.

Whilst I politely decline his offer. I am thinking that what I really need is a bazooka or self-destruct button to rid myself of these almost nightly calls.

There is a scheme which allows you to opt out of receiving these unsolicited calls. All organisations are required to ensure they do not call anyone who has opted out by registering with the Telephone Preference Service.

So what went wrong? I registered and for a while dinner time was bliss. But then the calls started again.

What I want to know is has any business ever successfully persuaded someone to buy a conservatory, a will or double glazing over the phone? Do the poor so-and-so's calling us get sick of the abuse from Mr Angry who has been roused from 'Goldenballs' to answer the phone. And ultimately, do businesses who do that know about these regulations and do they care?

Please don't call me, I'll call you.

Who is your perfect customer?

February 18, 2009 by Lucy Whittington

This is a really important exercise to undertake. Your perfect customer ideally is already your most profitable 'best customer'(s), but it might not be...

So make a list — what are all the attributes of your perfect customer?

What are your perfect customer's likes and dislikes?What is your perfect customer's budget?
How does your perfect customer define 'Value for Money'?
What level of service does your perfect customer expect?
How often does your perfect customer buy the product or service you sell?
How does your perfect customer use your product or service?
Where else/who else do your perfect customers buy from?
How do your perfect customers like buy?
If consumers: what ‘demographic’ are your perfect customers? (age, interests, family status etc)
If businesses: what 'vertical', 'size' or 'type' of business are your ideal customers?
What other things does your perfect customer spend their budget on (this is a very relevant question, as it identifies competition for you. Remember your competition might not be an alternative supplier of what you sell, but something else your customers spend money on)

With the answers to these questions you can now see if your perfect customer 'looks like' your current customers.

If they do — great! You know what to do now — get marketing to find more of them!

If they don't, then you need to make a decision: can you package your existing products and services to appeal to your perfect customer(s)? Or do you need to find something new to sell them?

Your perfect customers exist — you just need to have what they want, and tell them about it.

The painful truth

February 17, 2009 by Chris Walker

The latest Marketing Donut designs have just been put through another round of user testing. As a result, some features that I liked are being dumped and replaced with new improvements. It makes sense, of course, but I can’t help finding the process a little painful.

We all know that products, services and businesses fail for lack of market research. But I wonder how many failures come despite market research – from an unwillingness to accept customer feedback or an inability to abandon our own preconceptions of what’s right.

Posted in Market research | Tagged user testing | 0 comments

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