Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don't Ignore the Elephant

There's an expression about "Ignoring the Elephant in the Room", that refers to ignoring the obvious.

Borders filled Chapter 11 last week.

Less than 24 hours later, they used the power of their email data base to address the issue with this email:

Nice job of addressing the elephant.

Don't hide from bad news, address it front and center, Be A Leader in bad times as well as good.

There is just one other element they could have done and let us know which stores are closing.

The Wall Street Journal did provide a search-able list online. Borders let you find out if you found the right link and clicked, a pdf file would appear which you could search to see if your favorite store was going away.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another Chance to Learn

Another Update... The original 50 tickets are gone. Currently (as of 4pm today) you can sign uo for the Wait List. In talking with Kevin Mullett, the host of the event, there will be an additional 20 or 25 tickets released soon.

So, click on the link, and sign up on the wait list.....

One week from today, I will be one of the panelist for the Social Media Breakfast Fort Wayne event: Managing Social Media Message Delivery & Interactions

I admit, it's not a flashy title.

But it is accurate.

Here are the details from the eventbrite registration page:

This months event:

This months Social Media Breakfast Fort Wayne event will consist of a panel of those charged with social media management and active social media professionals. They will be answering questions, discussing, and displaying methods for managing message delivery and interactions via social media channels.

Host Kevin Mullett, himself an online marketing practitioner, will ask the panel a series of questions geared specifically to have you leave with an enhanced understanding of how to use social media to engage their audience.

Come with pen, paper, laptop or other mobile notation and recording device to take note of how each of the four panel members will answer practical questions like:

  • Setting up an editorial calendar
  • When is it appropriate to preload or schedule content
  • Why is being transparent or real important and how to do it while being efficient
  • How to use alerts and notifications when a response or action is required
  • Tips on maintaining quality, legal, and ethical methods for posting
  • What tools might make social efforts easier and more efficient
  • much, much more, including open follow up questions.

Our panel will consist of:

Heather Schoegler - @HSchoegler: Communications Director for health care non-profit. Her blog.

Lee Hershberger - @LeePings: Marketing Director for Harlan Cabinets

Scott Howard - @ScLoHo: Media and Marketing, multiple ScLoHo blog author

Randy Clark - @randyclarktko: Member of the TKO Graphix marketing team

The Plan:

  • 7:30 a.m. Breakfast & Networking
  • 8:00 a.m. Take your seat, pens & devices ready?
  • 8:45 a.m. Open question time
  • 9:00 a.m. You can't hide from work any longer.

There seems to be an explosion of events in our area that are offering to teach you how to use social media and people are signing up in droves.

Social Media has been around for a long time.

In Fort Wayne, Indiana, I was an early adopter.
2011 is the year social media is becoming main stream.

The opportunities are far and wide. I urge you to take the time and start learning, make the time to seek out events such as the one I'll be at on February 22nd.

Even though I am on the panel, I will be learning too and taking notes.

The past 3 or 4 years, I have both attended these events, and been the teacher, host, mentor, instructor, panelist, etc.

Registration is limited, the cost is free, and all the details are here: http://smbfw001.eventbrite.com/

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday Morning Quarterbacking

Friday, I was asked which will be better, the Superbowl, or the commercials.

Here it is 30+ hours later, and I have some answers.

The Superbowl was an event. For the folks in Texas, it will be a long time before it is ever repeated at their stadium.

For football fans it is an annual event.

In less than a year, it will have been played in my home state of Indiana.

But all the Superbowl hype and festivities have a deadline, and once the time has passed, it is over, until the next year.

The season is over, the time has passed, we have to wait a few months until the start of the next season.

And to throw another monkey wrench into the equation, the players union are renegotiating for the next season, which means there is always a possibility of a strike....

But I want to talk about the difference between the game and the commercials from a marketing viewpoint.

Like I said, the game was an event. It's over. There was a timeline and it has passed.

The businesses that ran commercials during the television broadcast however, needed a different mindset. A long term, long range, branding mindset.

Grab a pen and paper and jot down the commercials that you saw.

I'll wait...

(Tick, Tock)

How many companies did you write down?

That is the power of the Superbowl and the megabucks it cost to run a 30 second ad.

What will really determine the success of the ad however is what all those companies do next.

If they had the event mindset, you won't see their ad again on tv. Which is a BIG waste.

If they are smart and have the long range, long term, branding mindset, then you'll see those ads again and again and again and again and again.

Those companies used the Superbowl to launch an advertising campaign.

For the others, the Superbowl was their advertising campaign.

What about you? Are you a one and done advertiser?

I won't sell one radio commercial.

I could, it would cost you $50, and be a complete waste of my time and your money.

Go Long instead.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rigid vs. Flexible

In the "good old days" of advertising and marketing, a company would often develop a plan for the year and stick with it. That plan would include a budget for this, for that, and have expectations of growth base on doing better than last year, etc.

I still have companies that plan for things annually, which is smarter than not planning at all.

But if you don't allow for some wiggle room, you could be missing out.

Missing out on an opportunity that you were not aware of when you had your planning meeting 6 months ago.

And what happens when you say, "No, it's not in the budget"?

Someone else says, "Yes, I'll do it."

How does that add up when it is your competitor?

Here's the math:

Let's assign a value of $1000/per year to a new customer. Your numbers could be much, much higher. Let's also assume that the opportunity could have brought you 50 new customers.

You say no. That means you are saying no to inviting potential customers to spend money with you. Using the numbers above, you said no to $1000, 50 times or $50,000.

Well, you still have your original plan, so everything should be fine and dandy.

Try and ignore the fact you turned down an additional $50,000.

But that $50,000 has also been taken out of the marketplace that perhaps you were counting on in your original marketing plan.

Now instead of losing out on increasing by $50,000; you've lost $50,000 in business that you were counting on coming your way.

How rigid do you want to be?