Ten signs you are a skeptical marketer

You ask for goals and metrics before a project starts You search for analogous historical programs to give you sense of potential results You ask too many questions when a vendor uses jargon or overly technical terms You talk with others who have tried this type of marketing before You push vendors for CPA or pay for performance deals You make vendors give you the full volume price until a medium is proven You don’t believe the hype about anything that is hot You start with a low cost test whenever possible You believe in results over rate cards Your colleagues ask you to critique their programs to help improve results. Did I mention I am hosting a new webinar and podcast series for the Skeptical CMO ? Did I miss any...

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Can I have a witness from the congregation?
May05

Can I have a witness from the congregation?

Why is it that someone who is an expert in social media is often referred to as an evangelist or guru? Do we really need to resort to faith-based arguments to convince people that these new media are important to businesses and nonprofits? Well, I guess if we made stronger arguments based on “the numbers” then we wouldn’t need to ask people to blindly believe.  In the B2B world, more case studies from prominent companies would help.  Until pragmatic managers get a taste of higher customer retention rates, improved SEO, or increased online sales, then social media will be something that is optional (even if everyone is talking about them online). Try this next time you explain Twitter or LinkedIn to a friend – share a couple of stories about organizations who turbocharged their sales or customer service levels using social media.  Then you won’t have to ask them for their blind...

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Is social media doomed?

As I blog about new media, I am often struck by the irony of my social media “lifestyle”.  Many of my new “friends” have drunk the web 2.0 Kool-aid and spend most of their time on social media talking about social media.  From my conversations with them, you would think that these new media like Twitter and Facebook will change every aspect of our lives (heck, even Oprah is on Twitter now).  While I remain bullish about the potential of these channels, I have a bunch of concerns about long term adoption by pragmatists and laggards particularly in the B2B world.  Here is my logic: Advertising based business models are weak: Regular readers of the ‘slice know about the poor response rates of Facebook ads.  Without a strong ROI from this advertising, companies will eventually steer clear of this medium or prices will be driven down to a level reflecting its effectiveness. Where are the doctors, lawyers and other “regular” business people? I can see them wanting a presence in the social media world but until these media can improve service delivery, increase sales or cut costs, it will be a nice to have experiment for some guy in marketing. Customer conversations are great: Engaging them online is valuable but it is challenging to measure the impact.  We’ll see in the long run if customer satisfaction or retention rates improve from these online interactions. Someone’s gonna pay: In many cases, however, we just don’t know who that will be.  I love what people like TipJoy are doing in the micropayments space but we still don’t have strong revenue models for many of these sites. Call me old fashioned: One of the things that helped Web 1.0 explode was when business people realized they could sell more stuff by having an ecommerce site.  I’m still waiting to hear more of these B2B stories from the social media world. So what does this mean? We need to keep innovating and testing.  There is a great deal of option value in being a part of the conversations.  They are happening out there whether you like it or not.  Also,  I know this isn’t a very web 2.0 idea but repurposing and syndicating your content through these channels can have a positive impact on your search engine marketing and help you reach prospective customers. Just be don’t be an idiot, be relevant, and add value to the...

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Is Facebook vs. Twitter the next epic battle?

With the recent design changes at Facebook, the media is buzzing about the “epic” battle for status update supremacy.  If you are looking for an informative article about the growing rivalry, check out a great post by Brian Solis on his PR 2.0 Blog entitled The Social OS, The Battle Between Facebook and Twitter is the New Mac vs. PC. Both Facebook and Twitter do provide simple ways to enable our oversharing of every little detail of our otherwise mundane lives but in my opinion, this is where the comparison ends. Facebook has realized that status is important and redesigned their site to put status front and center, but there’s still a heckuva lot more to FB than status.  In fact, I bet that many Facebook users don’t use status much compared to everything else they can do.   The key difference between these sites seems more about openness than functionality.  For example, I can get an RSS feed of my tweets but so far as I know, not of my FB updates.  And as many of you know, I can then push that drivelstream into untold crevices of the Internet from Twitter. I understand how both Twitter and Facebook would want to see themselves as our next operating system but I don’t feel like it is the right analogy. Perhaps better comparison is cell phone vs PC or Blackberry vs Mac.  Besides features, these sites are quite difference in relation to demographics, user behavior and technology.  Here are my reasons why I think that this won’t be the next “Mac vs. PC battle” as Brian Solis suggests: Size:  Facebook is about 20-40 times bigger than Twitter at the moment.  I know Oprah tweeted last week but Twitter is still a niche application (albeit one with a crazy growth rate). When Twitter starts taking users from FB or vice versa, then we’ll have a real battle. Demographics:  Facebook is more about students and young professionals. I know, I know Gen X’ers and boomers are the fastest growing segments on Facebook but they are not likely the heaviest users.  Twitter by comparison is more about obsessive 30+ professional (don’t trust anyone over 30, right) with a bias towards marketing, social media and consulting. Openness: Twitter has been all about their open API and third party innovation.  Facebook has historically had some issues with embedded apps and is still less open than Twitter. Exclusivity:  Despite recent conspiracy theories about Facebook and Twitter apps not communicating with each other, it is pretty easy to use both concurrently.  TweetDeck recently added Facebook updates so I can push my microdrivel to both places with...

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And you may ask yourself-well…how did I get here?

The Talking Heads were playing on the radio as I made my trek to the train this morning.  I imagine many people are asking this very question today about their personal and professional lives.  What did I do to get into this situation?  I guess the better question now is “what do I do to make the the most of my future opportunities”? All the cliches about hard work and “making our own breaks” aside, now is the time to think about what could happen before it happens. Many times in my professional life I am asked to help people locked up with too many “priorities”.  My strategy is simple.  Make a list of everything that is on his/her mind and force rank them by priority (A, B or C).  I know we want it all but we can’t.  It is better to make a decision about priorities than have it emerge based on unintentional neglect.  The decision will be made now or later.  Isn’t it more empowering to make it yourself than have it make itself? So what are you doing to make the hard...

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