Archive for category Tactic

No Top 3 Country Visitor Stats for this Blog


Sorry, with WordPress.com at this time it can’t be done.

WordPress.com Is Great

Firstly let me say that I love WordPress.com.  It is now my platform of choice for introducing web sites with web content capabilities to small companies.  Many of my clients are Mom & Pop shops, small non-profits, or small for-profits with less then 50 employees and no IT staff to speak of.  They might already have a site, but haven’t updated it in years.  They don’t have the discipline in place to update their own sites on a regular basis, let alone a web development package to update their legacy site.

WordPress.com becomes a great inexpensive proof of concept tool.  I can show the staff how a web site should be updated, by the staff, as frequently as needed.  I can remain an admin to their site so I can fix any minor problems that occur or answer any questions on capabilities or limitations.  If the client sees results that prove valuable, I can then walk them through the analysis of moving to a hosted WordPress.org site or a custom built site from scratch.  (You can guess which one usually wins.)

I like WordPress so much I’m in discussions with the college I teach at to use WordPress.com and a WordPress.org installation for a CSS and Advance CSS class I want to teach.

Marketing Shortcoming – Stats

If there is one area that vexes me while I am navigating my clients through the proof of concept is the lack of decent stats.  WordPress.com provides the basics: Page Views, Referrers, Top Posts & Pages, Search Engine Terms, Clicks.

Items I would love to see:

  • Geo specific information – to help identify where geo targeted PPC advertising might be most effective.
  • Path Analysis – I want to understand if they stay for more then one page then where are they going.
  • Entry / Exit Stats – which pages are the stickiest, which exit pages do I need to work on.
  • Time Spent Stats – I love to understand what’s working and what’s not.  Outliers are the most fun!
  • Time of Day Stats – When is  my site being visited the most, this might affect my PPC spending habits.

Possible Statistic Solutions

I’m sure WordPress staff have heard all this before but I want to add my two cents.  For anyone that uses some of the different log analyzing tools out there this is nothing new.  The following seem reasonable to me:

  • Upgrade Existing Default Package – maybe there is a add-on which could be implemented for WordPress.com that would bring it up to modern marketing times
  • Google Analytic Tool – possibly some hitch in ‘Tools’ or ‘Settings’ that allow someone to put their unique site id in a field and WordPress would fill in the blanks behind the scenes.
  • Log Export Utility – either on demand or on a timed event the site logs would be sent to the admins so they can manually run the logs against their own log analyzer (webalizer, etc.)

Even with the stats shortcoming I still would use WordPress.com as a starter web site for smaller clients.  The ease of use and the fast indexing of content by Google make it a very strong tool to begin the processing of understanding exactly what your company needs.

Good Hunting.

PS.  I’ve gone round and round on changing the title of this post to be more gracious to WordPress.com but I got the idea from the DailyPost.WordPress.com so I wanted to keep the “List three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.” question theme alive in my post by focusing on the 3 top countries that visit my blog.  Since I could not answer that question, this post was created.

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Ban All Mirrors!


We handed out our traditional Christmas gifts to the contracted cleaning crew today. Nothing special, just some home made cookies my wife worked on for several days. One of the ladies, now a regular we have come to know and appreciate, made some funny statement like “Great, that’s all I need is some more pounds!” We all laughed.  She explained she walked by a mirror in her house the other day and her reflection shocked her. My response – “Ban all mirrors! That would solve the problem!”

The Real Problem – Not Enough Mirrors.

In truth, we don’t have enough mirrors in our lives. In business, we become so focused on the next deal, the next deadline, the next pay period, the next ….. OK you pick. We lose sight of our reflection in the mirror.  We don’t even bother to look most times.

Mind you, everyone else still sees us. Our employees. Our family. Our friends. Our Vendors. Our clients.  They don’t see us as a reflection in the mirror.  They have the luxury of simply watching us in our daily struggle to focus on the next thing.

Difficult Solution – Put up more Mirrors!

The strategy is simple, create an accountability network.  The tactic is difficult to implement.  There is a reason why peer accountability groups work.  Left to ourselves, we are our own worst enemies.  Finding a peer to trust is hard enough, finding someone you look up to is very bold.

Customer Service Mirror – find someone, maybe a trusted client, and review your company’s performance.  What’s working, what’s not.  What are they seeing your competitors doing.  What do they wish you would do

Leadership Mirror – are you creating bold audacious goals for you and your teams?  Who is reviewing them with you before you make your presentations.    Who is raising the bar, making you think of options outside your comfort zone?  Who laughs at you when you come up with a real stinker but you think it the next revolutionary idea?

Management Mirror – who is helping you improve you systems, processes, and staff?  Who’s helping you develop a performance model that fits your team’s talents and abilities?

For the sake of this post leadership and management are defined this way.  If a ladder was leaning against a wall, management would be focused on the most efficient and productive use of that ladder where it stands, leadership would be responsible for making sure it’s leaning on the right wall.

Social Media Mirror – it’s not just the people around you any more folks.  As Matt Hames states in his Web 2.0 posts, now it’s also your digital presence that is being looked at.  What you do on the internet, but also equally important, what is said about you on the internet becomes the new dimension to the mirror’s reflection.  Do you have someone helping you with your global perception?

Conclusion

Wow, all this from a bunch of home made cookies for Christmas.  I hope this post has a longer lasting quality then my wife’s baked goods.

I hope in the future when you walk by one of the mirrors in your life you are not shocked by what you see.  And I hope, for your sake, that it’s not too late to correct what you see.

Good Hunting,

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Motrin, Social Media, and the Brand Manager’s Bad Day


Brand Managers have a new world to live in. No longer can they sit back and decide such things as when, to whom, where, and what information they will deliver to the world. They must now worry about how quickly they may need to respond if something goes terribly bad. Social media has reduced the feedback cycle time to seconds, not weeks or months. Reaction time is so short that any misstep will cause brand value to plummet faster then the price the rare spiders at an arachnophobia convention.

Blog Social Media Buzz

I ran across a marketing blog post (Motrin Babywearing Ad/PR Debacle) and it referenced Motrin ad and baby carriers. I was curious. Normally I would not go hunting down this type of discussion but for some reason this caught my eye. I viewed the YouTube ad and posted a comment on the blog.

TweetDeck Global Search

Continuing my curiosity, I used my TweetDeck (Twitter Interface) to set up some global searches for hashtags and phrases I thought relevant, and wow, did I get flooded with feedback. I specifically searched “#motrin OR #babycarrier OR #motrinmoms” for the hashtags. I also searched for “motrin OR babycarrier OR motrinmoms” thinking I would also capture all the people not using hashtags.

Firestorm an Understatement

My TweetDeck makes a sound each time it updates the deck, in this case my two searches. Those two columns of information have not stopped updating all day. There are some very angry moms out there and they are using Twitter to express their rage. There are also a bunch of folks that are very apathetic to this ad that can’t seem to understand why everyone is so upset.

Either way, there is a brand manager out there that is eating Motrin like candy right now …. wishing this firestorm would pass.

Good Hunting,

Post Post Update

Since I originoally put out this post there have been some interesting videos that have surfaced that I thought would be of interest.

Motrin Ad Parody: The entire Motrin Mom (motrinmom) episode could have been avoided if this ad would have been released because the negative and positive responses would have done nothing but improve the brand standing ….. and make a bunch of people laugh themselves wet.

Mad Motrin Mom Tweet Video: Here is a 9 minute YouTube video showing some of the responses posted by #motrinmoms moms on Twitter!

Outraged Baby-Wearing Mama: First of all, if this is outrage, then I don’t want people showing up and my house because I’m afraid how they’d label me! This is actually one of the best responses I saw given the firestorm on Twtiter.

Noise To Signal Cartoon

Found this great cartoon about the brand manager’s bad day!

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Holiday On-Line Shopping Best Practices


We know the Holidays are just around the corner when Direct Marketing magazines start their year end tradition of telling the retailers how to improve their sites for the up-coming on-line shopping season. (Forget the fact that Christmas displays are going up, retailers need the magazines to tell them) I recently read a great article by Ken Burke in Target Marketing. He provides a great example (knowing or unknowingly I don’t know) of how the Direct Marketing crowds look at web sites versus how Internet Marketing Specialists look at web sites.

All kidding aside for the moment, this is a critical question or concern for many starting out in the ecommerce realm. It seems that every year we are asked by smaller companies venturing into on-line shopping what do do to capitalize on the opportunity. In the past we wrote about this in Favorable News in On-Line Spending and Be Proactive – React Now!

Five Best Practices for the Holidays

All of Mr Burke’s recommendations are dead on. I think he writes a compelling reason for each and provides language that matches his audience. Below are the five key points of his article. You can read the entire article at TargetMarketingMag.com

  1. Improve Internal Site Search Performances
  2. Improve Product Page Conversion
  3. Reduce “One-and-Outs”
  4. For the Holidays, Give Shipping and Delivery Center Stage
  5. Promote Worry-Free Shopping

As I stated above, Mr Burke has sound advice. I like the Target Marketing magazine. It’s one of the few magazines I refuse to let me wife throw away before I get a chance to read it. (The USPS has a special truck just for magazine deliveries to my home office …. just kidding)

Think TAX Day (US April 15)

Now let’s assume I’m your tax accountant. Every small business in the US files quarterly, and the really lucky ones get to file monthly! (Sarcasm intended) Two months before our nation’s citizens begin to spend billions of dollars on tax services for that fateful day, I send you an email stating it’s time to start thinking about your taxes. I layout a well thought out plan of attack on what you need to do in the next two months to capitalize on the tax credits and new filling regulations for the April 15th deadline. So how long would I be your tax accountant?

Enhanced Advice

OK, let’s say we were to follow Mr. Burke’s advice ALL YEAR LONG! (Which is what I’m recommending you do!) Your organization could focus it attention on the true benefit of all your hard work ….. increase reach. With the knowledge you have a very well designed web site and a web site with great conversion potential, this is the time of year you should be kicking up the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. You would be finding email newsletters and purchasing ad space. Increase your spending in tower and banner ads. These items would increase the holiday profits for more.

Oh, and for those of you who find yourself in November and are beginning to ask these questions, do the best you can for this holiday season but really start thinking about 2009.

Good Hunting!

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You with Risk: Mitigator or Instigator


How do you handle risk? Are you aggressive or passive with your campaigns? Do you think your job is to mitigate risk? Do you believe success is bred only when you instigate risk? Recently I read an article by Joseph Jaffe called Rewarding Risk and it made me contemplate how we think about risk, or rather how we should be thinking about risk.

Now I must be honest, Mr Jaffe is advocating risk in his article. He’s also writing for the United States Postal Service magazine and suggesting that companies be more aggressive with their direct marketing, and from this I assume their mailings. There is nothing wrong with that, but I want you to consider risk in a different light.

The Constant within Change

In times of change, risk is the only factor that remains constant. In today’s uncertain times, how you perform your role as marketer could be an important aspect to the success or failure or your organization. Doing nothing allows a competitor to act and take a position within your space. Taking aggressive marketing actions could cause you to dwindle your reserves and leave you weak when you may need to react to a competitor’s aggressive move.

So what is the answer? Do we focus on playing it safe? Do we become very selective in our approaches and try a minimalist approach until the economic times improve? Here is something I want you to consider.

The Mitigator Statues

OK, so how many are there? Someone point them out to me. Show me the place where we honor those fallen heroes of avoided risk. So how many statues, monuments, renamed schools or streets, plaques, or even little plastic trophies are out there for the following:

  • kept their company safe from spending money that might not have been needed
  • avoided a trip that may have been a disaster
  • Kept a department happy and safe by avoiding the potential of failure due to a tough project
  • never got fired because you refused to stick your neck out for something you thought was right

Let’s face it. We don’t honor the people who avoid risk. We like to keep them around so we have reminders of what not to be, but we don’t honor them.

I think Karl von Clausewitz stated this best:

“Some statesmen and generals try to avoid the decisive battle. History has destroyed this illusion.”

My Suggestions

Practice Marketing Warfare – Darwin’s survival of the fittest living out right before our eyes. The customer wins when the strongest company, product, or service survives and walks off the battlefield.

Fail Often, Fail BIG – If the next project you work on isn’t making your stomach churn with acid reflux because you have it all hanging out there, then quit marketing and join a PR firm. I hear they love working on Risk Mitigation.

Continuously Improve Yourself – never think you know it all. Never stop reading. Never stop going to school. Never stop teaching. Never stop!

Narrow Your Focus – apply your strengths and talents with the greatest possible force on the target or objective at hand. Go into every assignment with a superiority that assumes you will succeed.

Parting Quote

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Good Hunting!

Source:

Jaffe, J. (2008, November). Rewarding Risk. Deliver, 4, page 5

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Digital Media from the Internet


Catching up on my reading. I got tired of reading on the screen so I switch to print for a while. I get some of my best ‘what-if’ ideas reviewing the metrics posted in periodicals or polls. This number caught my eye:

Percentage of Online Adults Who Download Digital Media

43% Download digital media

57% Do not download digital media

Business Opportunity

This tells me there is an opportunity to flank a lot of business with an untapped user base. Not only would a company have the position of introducing something new to a large audience, they would have them as a captive audience for a little while.

Source: Metrics (2008, November). EContent, 8

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Failed Bailout Bill Marketing Plan


This post is an attempt to create dialog around the marketing aspects of political life in the US. It is also my attempt to better understand the situation because several facts don’t seem to make sense about this failed bailout bill. I want to see how people would work their way out of this problem.

Strange Facts

These are the facts that are not in allignment with all that I am seeing on TV and reading on news sites or editorials about this failed bailout bill.

  1. The Democrats hold a majority in the House and Senate and thus control which bills will be worked on and when
  2. The President is currently on the same side as the Democrats on this issue. The likelihood of a veto is very slim. The bill would have to be very one-sided for that to happen.
  3. The Republicans, being in the minority, could not stop this bill without looking very bad so are left with procedural tactics at best.
  4. The news organs and politicians in both parties are constantly crying that the public wants this bill and wants it turned into a law now.

So the enigmas running around in my mind are this:

  • Why couldn’t the Democrats simply ram this failed bailout bill through last week?
  • Why didn’t the failed bailout bill pass with all the reporting hype that has transpired in the last 2 weeks?

So now to the failed bailout bill discussion:

  • You can pick any interested party in this situation you desire
  • You must provide an actionable item in your comment. This could be part of a plan or campaign but it must be focused on reaching an objective.
  • Name calling only or a post that lacks any action items or suggests doing some illegal or unethical will be removed in the moderation process. Sorry this is not meant to be a venting ground, we want to focus on marketing plans.

Based on the sample size this discussion brings, I will try and have a follow-up post on this topic.

Good Hunting.

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What is Social Media?


An interesting post by David at Marketing Integrity about “What is Social Media?” This got me thinking about how I would answer this question in a short and to-the-point answer:

Social Media is:

  • Personalized Publishing
  • a portion of the internet lifestyle
  • technological ties to networks of information and opinions
  • mobile and fluid
  • constantly timeless and irreverent to traditional media standards
  • accessible any hour of the day
  • limited only by a dull imagination or apathy

Thanks Dave for sharing your post with me.

Right / Wrong? What should be added?

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Jott Thought: RSS Usage and Knowledge


Jott Thought: RSS usage and knowledge. 88% don’t know what RSS is. listen

Powered by Jott

Expanded Thought: This is among US Employees. This would be a great niche to fill as a flanking marketing tactic by a service providing RSS Readers or RSS Add-ons!

Source: Workplace Print Media, August 2006; MediaBuyerPlanner, August 2006

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Green Event Marketing


The ROI Hunters were challenged to come up with a green marketing campaign. The rules of this little contest were simple: Use three magazines to generate ideas and then create a campaign for a client category we currently have. We chose the hospitality industry, of which we have one non-profit, a religious retreat center.

Successful Meetings

As you can image, we subscribe to many periodicals that our clients either receive or we believe help us stay on top of our client’s sector. As chance would have it, the first magazine we picked up from the stack produced some results. We got our ideas from this one source which we’ve listed below at the end of this post.

Promoting a Green Event

Green Golfing Campaign. Even though the authors of the golfing article took the negative and wrote on this, we looked at this data and said “to some level or degree, 63% corporate planners will consider events with golf included in the future”. Now you throw on top of that the eco-friendly Green Tee product revelation (www.biogolftee.com) and you have something to work with. I alone, would save thousands of trees each year with the number of tees I go through, if I had the time to golf, that is.

You throw on top of that, your company name and 800 number on the Tee and we are talking about a great take-away as well.

Solving World Hunger

Now, this got the ROI Hunters thinking. If someone could create a biodegradable golf ball that turns into fish food when it decomposes, and we turn the fairway ponds into fish farms also, I personally could feed the world with how many times I find water with my balls.

Good Hunting.

Sources:

Robert Carey and Terri Hardin, “News & Analysis”, Successful Meetings July 2008, 10 – 11

Vincent Alonzo, “Tools of the Trade”, Successful Meetings July 2008, 30

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