Posts Tagged ‘SPAM’

Buyer-Enabled Bill of Rights

February 6th, 2012

We created a Buyer’s Bill of Rights a couple of months ago, but didn’t have the right context to explain the “why” of Buyer-Enabled, but now in context it is becoming clear that this is the “how” to become buyer-enabled in your engagement within your markets. Imagine if all vendors treated buyers this way how amazing our buying experiences would become. All movements start with a “moment” and a core of early evangelists. Here is to hoping this one catches on…. please, soon…. and start with the worst offenders who provide lights-out customer service… I mean literally “no one is home in our call-center bad service”… or the “SPAM to your inbox chokes” marketing offenders. Continue reading “Buyer-Enabled Bill of Rights” »

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.
Continue reading “Direct Marketing and SPAM: If you are not an approved IP address, you can’t message to this server” »

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?
Continue reading “Marketing is Like Commercial Fishing” »

10 Ways Marketers Quickly Kill Online Social Relationships

May 25th, 2010
  1. Invite me to your local social networking events that are completely across town & send me a different invite every day
  2. Invite me to Mafia Wars, Farmville, Star Wars, and any number of games on Facebook. If you are the 428th person to invite me, what makes you think I will join now. For the record, I am not an online sim type game player, I am a news junkie (business and politics), send me that stuff. Better yet, ask me what I am interested in…
  3. Just because we are connected on a social network does not make us friends. Not sure that even classifies as acquaintances. Etiquette rules still apply.
  4. No matter how many times you spam me with your special of the week or forwarded tweet, I will not think better of you.
  5. I delete canned spam messages in my inbox from people that I don’t know or don’t recognize. I can’t keep up, gave up. Even if from social media sites…
  6. No, I won’t connect to you on Facebook if you send me a cold introduction from countries that are possible sources of terrorists or identify theft suspect.
  7. Inviting me to the “latest” social media platform from a canned system generated email is so 2005.
  8. Not having a clear way to delete my profile from said type platforms is even worse
  9. Just because you have 200,000 fans on your corporate facebook page does not mean that your customer service has improved.
  10. No, I don’t generally connect to corporate twitter accounts unless I have a real reason to connect. Even if I do, doesn’t mean that I am a loyal customer.

I will throw in some freebies – No matter how many emails your email marketing system sends me, I will NEVER have a relationship with the system. You may be able to catch my interest, you may be able to even get me to buy something, but we will never have a relationship. Relationships involve emotions, systems involve information and data. See the disconnect?

The challenge is that many organizations have lost sight of the fact that, although they have tons of customers, even tens of millions, buyer behavior has to involve both emotion and intellect. Creative marketing does not create passionate buyers. Just because Apple or Google creates great ads does not mean that I will run out and buy the product. You need great product; you need some compelling value proposition beyond just a presence or brand recall. How are you going to rise above the noise?

You ever see an ad campaign that was started 10 years ago and was a hit that is so now over-done that you pray that it dies a slow death? You wish you could just reach out to the VP of Marketing and the AD team and beg them to try something different. A couple of keys there… Despite recall there is negative brand equity and an extreme desire to talk to someone to explain what they are doing wrong in alienating the market. Faceless corporate entity that has stopped listening and focused on “branding”.

Just because you create a great Facebook page does not mean that fans will flock to your site and you will be written up in the Marketer’s Hall of Fame. Not that I am sure there is even one to begin one… How does Facebook posts tie back to brand strategy let alone revenue or corporate objectives. You may have a plan, but if it isn’t evident, it isn’t working…. And don’t get me started on how Twitter isn’t a marketing strategy…. … or that it isn’t a plan if I can’t read it…

Remember Fields of Dreams – “Build it and they will come….” – the real miracle isn’t that they had ghost players in the field, but rather that they built a baseball field in the middle of Iowa and people showed up, even after compelling visions…

It is like going to a Consumer Electronics Show -like tradeshow (125,000 attendees and 1000+ booths) and you have a 10X10 booth in the back. How are you going to get people to come to your booth? If you try the tried and true approach of branded shaped squeeze toys like you neighbor selling electronic, remote control dogs over there, you might as well go home. You don’t have the budget to hire Aerosmith to rock out in your booth, and you don’t have a bevy of massage tables to give free massages. How are you going to get attention and build sufficient traffic to get your percentage?

The reality is that social media is a tradeshow or conference in the sky. Human nature is human nature online or offline, it is the same. Rules of engagement and extent of connection are different, but the core interactions and motivations are the same.

You have to establish relationship, understand motivations, build momentum, give value before asking, establish trust, support their buying process, and be relevant to their needs. Oh, and make sure that you are high enough on their priority list so they pay attention. The rest is about etiquette, influence, and value….

Using Baseball Fans to Explain Web 2.0

July 28th, 2009

As a web evangelist, I cheer the widespread adoption of the latest web techniques and technologies. As a business person, I am a little confused by the widespread use of 2.0 label on everything; Sales 2.0, Recruiting 2.0, Pizza 2.0, Beer 2.0, etc. Everything seems to become 2.0.

As a product manager, I cringe when I see a 2.0 label slapped onto something that is vague and unclear. Even worse, many are now moving towards 3.0 to discuss semantic web. For many people, they are still getting their arms around the what web 2.0 is let alone things like mashups, mobile marketing, online communities, social networking, semantic web, etc. For those of you confused, here is my baseball fan analogy to help you understand…

First there was the baseball uniform, then numbers were added, then names. Eventually, the jerseys were mass produced which the fans could take home from the stadiums. This was the equivelent of HTML.

Then the fan favorite jerseys were then sold at local retailers. This was the equivelent of email marketing. This of course led to the development of fake jerseys sold everywhere. This was SPAM.

When a buddy organizes a trip to the park and buys a 10 pack of cheap outfield tickets for his friends to tag along and drink. This is a social network. As an aside, when he bought them online, this was ecommerce.

Now, Major League Baseball does not allow you to build and order your custom named jersey(imagine a couple with Chug-a-lug & Beer Goggles on the back), but if they did, the jersey would be XML and the experience would be Web 2.0.

Imagine if MLB would imbed RFID tags in the jersey tied to an acount that would allow you to just walk into the stadium without tickets. This is RFID. If you don’t know RFID, there is the technology they have been using to track packages, groceries, and warehouse pallets. If the ticket was on a phone that was bar coded, this is mobile commerce. (Yes, they are doing it now)

Take this further and imagine that MLB took your online account of when you came to the stadium and combined it with a weather chart to figure out if you were a true “fair-weather” fan. This is a mashup.

If MLB, then took this information and sent you a 50% off promotion on your phone inviting you to attend on the next rainy day, that is mobile marketing.

If they took that information and the next time that you came to the game, they ejected you from line because the system automatically figured out that the team had lost the last 4 games that you came to the park, that is semantic web.

You could call all of the above Baseball 2.0…

In all seriousness though, web 2.0 and the like terminology is confusing for a lot of people. I know first hand how hard it is for people, who spend their every waking working minute immersed in developing a new technology/product and/or company, to remember that everyone else doesn’t have the vocabulary or the frame of reference to “get it”. For many in the technology business, it is hard to imagine that AOL still has 6 million dial-up customers. For those of us who run marketing & product management organizations, our jobs are first to build a fantastic customer experience and then make sure we make it easily understood. Of course, it should go without saying to get it widely adopted, but that is still more art than science.