Posts Tagged ‘online media’

Seek Out Your Customers, Be Where They Are: Engage and Be Social

Figuring out my "social" prioritiesWhere are your customers hanging out these days? Chances are social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. (And if your customers go to three particular tradeshows a year, and only those three tradeshows, make sure you’re there also.) With the time and resources people are spending online, everyone’s trying to figure out a way to monetize the relationships they have. But before we go into monetization, let’s think about relationships for a second.

I always think the concept of “following” vs. “followers” on Twitter is revolutionary – you’re not just friends or colleagues with people who follow you or who you follow, but you’re actually cultivating a clout – a group of followers – while you become another person’s following.

What do you do with your followers? And if your followers happen to be your customers, what would you do differently in your interactions with them online? Chances are, you will interact with each person fairly equitably. Every Tweet is posted instantaneously on every follower’s status page, so your communication with any one person is shared and displayed. (Unless you go the route of DM – where you Direct Message the person; but what’s the point of DM if you can email each other.)

So what’s the insight here? Social media compels marketers and business owners to behave differently from before – every decision and point of interaction made is in relatively full view of other people (some competitors, too). The relationship-building process becomes open, rather than competitive, i.e. you’re no longer an exclusive commodity to your customer and neither is your relationship with your customer an exclusive one because your customer can be followed by Nth number of people just like yourself.

The open nature of online communication brings us to rethink the way we’ve been doing business or marketing our products and services. Our engagement with each customer is now driven and fostered by relationships, not by hardselling or advertising. And these relationships require commitment – a commitment to continually engage our customers in meaningful and reflective conversations, continuous service/product improvement and deeper relationship building. And some of these relationships may translate into better performance or financial rewards, while others may not. (Charlene Li of Altimeter Group recently released a study on the breadth and depth of the 100 most valuable brands’ engagement across 11 different online social media channels http://www.altimetergroup.com/2009/07/engagementdb.html )

So when Topsy (a Twitter-based search engine) said on its blog today: Influence is the New Web Currency, I think that ties right back to what we’ve been saying about relationships, engagement and open communication – the three elements that make influence possible.

Instead of figuring out what our customer loyalty index is, maybe we should ask, “What’s our influence index?” to be more relevant, engaging and social.

Resources:

1) Measure your social media influence: Take the Engagement Survey http://www.engagementdb.com/Rank-Yourself

2) Check out the brand engagement report at http://www.engagementdb.com/Report

On Marketing…Inspired by a 21:9 Cinema Proportion Online Ad

Go to www.cinema.philips.com for the full view of Philips’ 21:9 online ad titled “Carousel”.

When you have a great product topped with a brilliant marketing plan, it’s a sure-win. This isn’t just another webisode I want to share with you – it’s Philips’ viral commercial to launch its 21:9 Cinema TV. That’s right, not 16:9 but 21:9. For your home theater, this TV allows you to view the widest screen possible giving the fullest gratification of being in an instant cinema. The benefits aside, let’s talk about the commercial.

The approach for the commercial is unique – having actors and actresses wired and frozen in action as the camera glides slowly across the hallway and up the stairs of a building that’s under the attach of anarchistic clowns. Explosions, gunfires, murders and fights were seen “real-time” in one smooth, uninterrupted shot. One may think it’s nostalgic of The Dark Knight in 2008. I can’t help but marvel at the superior level of precision and creativity of the production – by Tribal DDB Amsterdam and Stink Digital. Unrivalled, the movie sweeped the Film Grand Prix for long-form Internet film at the Cannes Advertising Festival several weeks ago.

This is the second year in a row that an Internet commercial bested other award-worthy TV spots. If audience attention to commercials is moving away from TV to the Internet, then what does it mean for marketers like you and me? There’s not much of a doubt that a seismic shift is taking place right now where commercials are exploding and consumers yearning for a heightened level of creativity and experience online.

If you haven’t yet considered the possibility of engaging your customers and clients online, think again. Think how much more often you can join in their conversations, get their feedback and plan your business accordingly; think how many more consumers you can touch over a relativley short period of time, and think how much more scalable your marketing can be when content, people and time are in your hands.

There’s a Chinese wisdom saying that goes – success comes where time, location and people are harmonized. In our terms – if the stars are lined up.

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