Tagged brand

Marketing Doubleshot Podcast – Ep.6 – Brands Mixing with Social Causes & The Optimized Personal Digital Brand

In this episode, Jonathan Barrick and Josh Muirhead discuss some of the latest news in social cause marketing, including Dove’s latest and greatest campaign, along with the dangers of not being prepared for what comes with social cause marketing. Also, we take a look at what it means to have an ‘optimized’ personal digital brand, and how you can start optimizing your own digital presence.

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Dove’s ‘Choose Beautiful’ campaign -> www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DdM-4siaQw

Chipotle’s social marketing -> www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUtnas5ScSE

LinkedIn -> linkedin.com

Sam Fiorella -> twitter.com/samfiorella

Sensei Marketing -> senseimarketing.com

5 Promises Every Living Marketer Should Make to Themselves

by Jonathan Barrick

imageMarketers, I hate to say this, but we kinda suck. There’s an awful lot of stuff that we’re doing every day that is simply no good. It’s awful, in fact, and we’re better than this. At this point in time, we should be WAY better than this. We have the ability to connect to our customers in real-time, and understand them on a unprecedented level. We have the ability to send out complex information in formats that make it easy to consume and understand, anytime anywhere.

We have the ability to turn business around to a point where it’s no longer the brand with the deepest pockets who wins customers, but the brand who is the most awesome. Yet, we still trudge along doing things that hold us back like a ball and chain. I say, NO MORE. It’s time to break the bonds, make some new promises, and move forward.

1 – I will not make statements the brand can’t live up to.

Stop fibbing. Stop embellishing. Stop over-promising. Do these two things instead: Make realistic statements AND/OR Improve your product/service so that you deliver on your promises. People are sick and tired of being let down, disappointed, and underwhelmed, and they’re not hesitating to tell their friends. Falling short of expectations is no longer an option. Meet or exceed, or be called out.

2 – I will not view my customers as simply a means to an end.

Your customers aren’t there so you can ‘leverage’ them. I hate that word. Is there any term less respectful of your customers? They’re not numbers, they’re people that you have relationships with. Social media is helping to ‘humanize’ business, so Marketers need to humanize along with it. The value is in the relationships, not simply in the numbers.

3 – I will not pretend that ‘there is no ROI’ of social communications.

Everything you do has an impact, good or bad, that can be measured. Is this impact ALWAYS measured in dollars and cents? No. But it CAN be measured. The key is to identify what area of your business the impact takes place, and then measure the ROI as it relates to that specific area. Saving time on customer service? There’s your ROI. Getting new product development ideas? There’s your ROI. The dots are there for you to connect, so grab your pencil and start connecting.

4 – I will not brag about meaningless metrics.

Fans, likes, followers? No good. Decreased bounce rate, higher share of search, improved sentiment? Good. Give some context to your metrics, and they actually become worth talking about. “Because of X, we achieved Y, which led to Z.” This ties directly in to the ‘ROI’ situation, making it far easier to see what’s helping and what’s hurting. If you’re measuring something that doesn’t give you some kind of insight in to why something worked (or didn’t), then why are you measuring it?

5 – I will not ignore how people feel about typical marketing actions
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Banner ads suck. We all hate popups. Opt-in is good, opt-out is bad. Yet marketers continue making terrible choices in spite of overwhelming data that says ‘STOP!!!’. Make the commitment to yourself to stop doing things that people hate, and do more of what people love. Remember ‘do unto others as you’d have them do unto you?’ Well, replace ‘do’ with ‘market’ and run with that. If you ignore popups, blow past banner ads, and junk spam mail as fast as it comes in, then your customers are doing the same. Stop wasting time, money, and energy on stuff that sucks. Go for the stuff that’s awesome instead.

Simple stuff, don’t you think? You can boil it all down to this: Stop sucking, be awesome, and prove it.

This should be the mantra of every marketer alive today. Now, place your right hand on your business card, and repeat after me: Stop sucking, be awesome, and prove it.

This article originally written for http://crowdshifter.com

Brand Against The Machine – A Book Review

by Jonathan Barrick
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After years of relentlessly being inundated by business books overflowing with textbook terms like ‘brand equity’, ‘value proposition’, and ‘positioning statement’, this book was incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating. It cuts through the BS and gives you the tools you need to build a powerful brand TODAY.

‘Brand Against The Machine’ isn’t like any other brand book you’ve ever read. Its chapters are short, and free of fluff. Each one is like an espresso shot of inspiration. The language style is conversational, and injected with humour. Author John Morgan @johnmorgan wastes no time in getting right to the point: Brand-building is going through a metamorphosis, and things are never going to be the same.

Now that communications between customers and brands have evolved and are far more powerful, far faster, and far more widespread, the branding methodology we’ve traditionally used is being shaken to its core. No longer are brands determined by the company’s positioning statement, but rather what your consumers say and think. They are the judge of what your brand is. You don’t tell them, they tell you.

Morgan’s book isn’t a preachy view from 30,000ft. It provides real-world examples of branding successes and failures using methods that are far from mainstream. One of the most poignant lessons I took away from BATM is to let go of our reliance on the ‘tried and true’. Take a chance, take a risk, and try something that’s never been done before. The most memorable and powerful brands are the ones who break from the mainstream and zig when everyone else zags.

Without a doubt, you will be inspired by this book. Each chapter attacks one particular branding issue or challenge, and will leave you with a simple concept that makes you confident that ‘Yes, we CAN try that’. Brand Against The Machine will undoubtedly be one of those books you keep on your desk or in your office and will be read and re-read time and time again. If you want to know what it takes to build a remarkable brand in 2012 and beyond, you need this book. Part roadmap; Part wake-up call; All awesome.

Find Brand Against The Machine on Amazon

More great stuff from John Morgan

Note: This review was not solicited in any way. My copy of Brand Against The Machine was purchased personally.


This review originally written for http://crowdshifter.com

Who Owns the Account? – Navigating the Minefield of Social Ownership

by Jonathan Barrick

When your job responsibilities include engaging in social media, are the contacts you make truly yours, or do they belong to the company?

It’s a divisive topic for companies who engage in social communications. If you put an employee in the position of representing your brand in social media channels, what happens with that account if that employee leaves your business? How should you set up these accounts, and how ‘personal’ do you make them appear?

Recently, the story of PhoneDog and its former employee Noah Kravitz brought forth a shining example of how things can go horribly awry. PhoneDog alleges they setup the account & username for Kravitz to use for business purposes. Over time the number of followers grew to over 17,000, and when Kravitz left to work for a competitor, he changed the account name to his own & continued to use it.

On the surface, the answer seems pretty clear. PhoneDog setup the account for business, so it’s theirs. However, there are different perspectives that come in to play in the world of social media that muddy the waters. For example, is it certain that the followers were truly following the ‘brand’, or were they following Noah? What’s the context in which this account was used? Does the context even matter, or does the original intent of the account override any personal factors rising from how it was used?

These questions can be extremely difficult to answer for some businesses, and the decisions you make here could have huge repercussions in the future. These are questions not typically addressed in your average social media policy, as they generally stick to covering things like behaviour and the types of content being shared, not the ownership of connections being made between individuals. Fortunately, there are some sensible steps you can take to easily maintain a ‘personal’ face for your brand AND minimize the risk of disruption if certain individuals leave your business.

In navigating this minefield, the first question you need to ask is “Will the account be used for BUSINESS PURPOSES?” If the answer is “Yes”, then I believe that the following criteria for the setup of social media accounts would protect both parties regarding ownership of accounts that are used for business purposes:

  • If the account was created under the individual’s personal identity prior to the beginning of the contract, the account remains property of the individual.
  • If the account was created by the company for the purposes of official company communication/representation, then the account remains property of the company.
  • It is appropriate for small businesses and sole-proprietorships to present themselves through the personal accounts of the owner, but it is important to keep in mind that any personal opinions shared through these accounts directly impact the image of the brand. It is nearly impossible to separate the brand of the business from the brand of the individual in these situations.
  • In larger businesses, it is appropriate for special corporate accounts to be created for each individual who will be participating in social communications, and these accounts should be designated as such. Example: A Dell employee named Jim might communicate on behalf of Dell on Twitter using the handle: @JimAtDell
  • Visually, choosing the right profile picture for the account is also important. Using the example above, it would make sense for @JimAtDell’s account to feature a picture of Jim with the Dell logo added to it in order to visually distinguish it as an official company account.
  • If the company will have multiple individuals contributing through the same account, it is effective to add the initials of the individual posted at the end of each piece of content to designate the person responsible for that posting. Example: An employee named Mike Smith tweeting through the @starbucks account would end each of his tweets with ‘MS’
  • In situations where multiple people are using the same social account on behalf of the company, it would be appropriate for the profile picture to be that of the corporate logo, or other universally applicable image not associated with any one particular individual. Although in certain situations, one individual may be designated to be the figurehead of the account, and therefore use of their picture along with a logo would be appropriate.
  • In certain situations, it may be wise to cross-reference the account of the individual and the account of the company in the bio spaces of each account. From the example we used earlier, Mike Smith’s @mikesmith personal twitter account bio might mention he tweets from @starbucks with the initials MS, and the @starbucks account might mention tweets from @mikesmith in its bio. This would help to ensure that business followers and personal followers are aware of the difference between the two.

Ultimately, every company needs to choose the approach that best suits their brand & their goals. And in the event that the one, singular face of your brand in social media decides to leave your business, the reality is that some of your fans WILL inevitably go with them. Of course, how many fans leave will depend on more than just how you approach each of the factors I laid out above. HOW they leave, WHERE they go, and WHY they left will all play a role in how things pan out for your business.

The best approach, of course, is to maintain a clear line of communication to the employees managing the accounts regarding the company’s expectations. Make it clear at the very beginning that the accounts created for the purposes of business belong to the company. They are communications tools just like laptops and cell phones, and the employee should understand that when they leave they must return all property. That includes Twitter accounts!

On the other side of the spectrum, companies must recognize that just like personal laptops or cell phones, a personal Twitter account stays with the individual. If you ask or require them to use their own equipment or account for company purposes, then you’d better respect their ownership of it.

This article originally written for http://crowdshifter.com