Posts Tagged ‘direct marketing’

Social Media is Dead, Long Live Target Marketing

August 10th, 2011

I have spent the last couple of years evangelizing social media and its various flavors; social business, social marketing, enterprise community, social CRM, etc. I can officially say that the “newness” is over, kaput, finished, and has officially kicked the bucket. If you haven’t “done” social media by now, don’t bother. In some markets, we are seeing so much content being generated, you might as well go back to pumping out press releases and spamming email lists as you will have better odds of getting someone to respond. Having a twitter, facebook, linkedin company, etc account does not buy you anything. Worse, if you spend a ton of money with your agency on these free accounts, you are throwing away good money.

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Direct Marketing and SPAM: If you are not an approved IP address, you can’t message to this server

June 8th, 2011

Email email email Its amazing how many BtoB marketing communications, direct marketing,and demand generation firms claim that they do social marketing as well as the 50 other things that they drop on their list of “specialities”; “We do SEO, website building, marketing automation, demand generation, telemarketing, lead qualification, marketing analytics, web content development, and SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING.”

Ok, after reading 50 of these websites, I am not even sure what social media marketing is…. I gather that they think it is Linkedin, Twitter, and throw in Facebook for good measure. Oh, throw in videos, blogging, podcasts, and webinars to be safe… Oh, also throw in our standard suite of services and something about ROI. Then let’s connect to everyone like crazy on twitter and make sure that we blog on a regular basis, show up to a bunch of marketing events, and put out a couple of press releases.

In truth, most of them don’t really know how to create inbound lead generation from social marketing. It isn’t easy, actually in many ways much harder than traditional marketing. It is a lot easier to load up a database, create a newsletter, and watch the “opens” rate and the hits to the websites. Oh, and add the ubiquitous, connect to us on (pick your platform) widget at the bottom next to the “do not contact” link.
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The Value of Old-Fashioned Tradeshows Without the Headaches

June 7th, 2011

Social marketing is a better bridge between brand marketing and sales than direct marketing. More effective for targeting and qualifying “Likely” buyers than:
• Web Marketing / SEM/PPC
• Lead Generation / Telemarketing
• Marketing Automation /Email Marketing / Newsletters
• Webinars / Tradeshows / Events

Think of Social as the new version of a “Old-Fashion Tradeshow in the Cloud” without the headaches; I can sit in on presentations from experts, I can connect with my peers, I can get the latest news, and I can browse the vendors to see what is new. Buyers used to self-qualify their interest by taking the time and money to attend. Now, you can self-identify based upon what groups you join and how you participate online.

Tradeshows were great (now just ok), but you had to get on a plane and spend a few days to get the value. The web disinter-mediated a lot of this, but vendors got savvy in web marketing which is now killing the value as everyone is creating a huge amount of noise that makes it hard to get good, unbiased information. Now, add email marketing and marketing automation and it takes it a step further; allows them to drop all of their marketing stuff into your email box. As a result, buyers are insulating themselves from all of the noise and extraneous vendor marketing and sales approaches; not answering phones, emails, etc. Some companies are even taking it to an extreme and now banning sales people from calling on them.
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Marketing is Like Commercial Fishing

May 18th, 2011

We are facing a major challenge in marketing with the over-automation of market communications. Let me explain with an analogy about Commercial Fishing .

 Most marketing organizations don’t feel comfortable deep sea fishing. Too expensive, too resource intensive, and too much risk. They tend to stick closer to shore and troll the bay. It is a lot easier to crisscross the bay with nets and pluck out the fish.  Doesn’t require a real understanding of how fish think or even what bait would be used to lure them. We just pluck out our net and they pop into the net.

 The challenge is that their competitors do the same. When markets are new, there is plenty of fish for everyone. We all go out together in fishing fleets (trade-shows) and there is a collegial atmosphere. Plenty for everyone, why get testy? Except as markets mature, the amount of fish in the bay is reduced and all of a sudden tempers flare, competition becomes more intense, the activity becomes more intense, and the fear creeps in around making sure we can reach out limit. What if we don’t hit our numbers? What if our hold is half-full?
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