Thursday, 24 June 2010

Social Media, Social Networking, Social Media Marketing

Mike McGrail over at Social Penguin was asking for some ideas for definitions in less than 140 characters ( yes just a Tweet's worth)

social media - is about what consumers want to talk about

social media marketing - is about how brands listen and respond to what consumers talk about

social media networking - is about consumers gathering to talk and listen to each other and the brands they love or hate

Any takers?

It's not rocket science appearing on the eCircle blog, Inside the Box.

Thanks eCircle

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

View from the Social Inbox

The View from the Social Inbox 2010 report from Merkle suggests that the use of email has shifted with users allocating a greater share of email time to permission email and a shrinking share to personal or social use.

But...the amount of time spent on social emails seems steady as does the number of social emails that are arriving.41% of email time is still spent on social emails

I'd imagine this reflects some switching to other social media for 'socialising' but not the mass movement we may well have expected, while the increase in email marketing whether promotional or service oriented, is reflected in users spending more time with them.

And hope is that users are spending more time with these permission emails because they are becoming more relevant, driving up engagement.

Email Click-Through Rates Increase 55% With Multiple Social Sharing Options

Email Marketing and Social Media Integration Highlights
  • Emails that included at least one social sharing option generated over 30 percent higher CTR than emails that did not include any social sharing options.
  • Emails that included at least three social sharing icons generated over 55 percent higher CTR than messages without any sharing options.
  • 60 percent of all social emails included only one sharing icon. Only 11.2 percent of social emails included 3 icons or more.
  • Twitter was the most popular social sharing option, included in 67.2 percent of all social emails; Facebook came in a close second at 62.7 percent.
  • Emails shared on Twitter returned CTRs of 10.20 percent − over 40 percent higher than messages not linked to any social media.
  • Almost 19 percent of SMB marketers (GetResponse users) used the Twitter integration feature (linked their campaigns to Twitter) at least once. Only 13.5 percent included social sharing options.

Full report available via registration here

Simplicity...not being too clever

This piece from the IAB highlights how the best ideas are often the simplest..

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Conversation Maturity

Forrester are offering the opportunity to see benchmark 'Social Maturity' with this free survey .

They want to benchmark  companies to see if they can answer questions like:

  • How do you define “social maturity” and why is it important to get there?
  • Which companies are ahead of the curve in implementing social technologies for both external use (i.e., for customers/consumers) and/or internal use (i.e., for employees/partners)?
  • What have been the biggest drivers of success?
  • What are the biggest challenges?
  • What steps do most organizations need to take and why?

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Mobile Devices and Old Audiences....

Interesting view on how venues ( theatrical and sporting) are reacting to the emergence of 'Social Mobile Devices'

Monday, 14 June 2010

It's not about the Technology Stupid

I recently read an interesting article on how Apple’s iPad was changing the way we build business relationships and have conversations.

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be another article talking about the iPad …there have been a few of those already and I already own that T-shirt.

I was intrigued by the logical progression in which it was said that this new piece of technology could open up the conversation with customers. It flowed something like this (with my own little tweaks)

New Technology = Superior user experience

Superior user experience = Easier consumption

Easier consumption = more consumption

More consumption = more chances to connect

More chances to connect = and do what?

Now there’s the $million question – we often forget that ultimately it’s not about the technology but about the customer, and what we do with that connection when we have it.

Even wikipedia’s definition for CRM now includes the phrase ‘Once simply a label for a category of software tools, today, it generally denotes a company-wide business strategy embracing all client-facing departments and even beyond’

Technology allows us to do many things bigger and faster but not always better – the better only comes together when we put the customer at the heart of what we do. What we do might include email marketing, it might be social, it might be old fashioned in-store activity but whatever we do, we have to ask ourselves ‘‘what’s in it for the customer?’’

I recently sat with a client where we reviewed the ‘point’ of one of their communications. The round table brought forward 5 different USPs that were related to business needs – not one of them put the customer’s needs at the forefront.

At this point I’m going to borrow from Joseph Jaffe’s book, ‘Flip the Funnel’ where he describes ways to turn technology to your advantage. I’ll borrow just 5:

1. Technology should bring out the humanity in your company, not mask it – don’t pretend you’re something that you’re not. Ryanair are a no frills airline – the way they use their website and email programme reflect that.

2. Adopt a multi channel approach to building relationships. The easier you make it for customers, the more they will engage – using email as a case in point, don’t let it work in isolation of all the other channels you use but rather use it to support or initiate those conversations you are having.

3. Consider tiered systems for different segments – don’t talk to all your customers in the same way: is it really a surprise when your engagement levels drop because your newsletter is a ‘one for all’?. Segmentation doesn’t have to clever, in fact it’s often how unclever you are that really counts

4. Automation is not always the answer. In email marketing the more you can automate towards ‘lights out marketing’ then the more efficient you can become. But your CRM strategy needs to have that human touch sometimes
And last but not least….

5. Personalisation is the gift of technology, intimacy is the gift of humanity. Email is great..but don’t forget the bunch of flowers.

So whatever we do to instigate, facilitate or react to conversations (the whole point of technology) let’s not forget that the ‘C’ in CRM is for ‘Customer’…and not for ‘Computer’.

(This post first appeared on the eCircle Blog, Inside the Box )

Friday, 11 June 2010

Traditional marketing 'more effective' than digital advertising

Released 07 June 2010: Six out of ten small businesses believe traditional direct marketing is more effective than online marketing, according to a new survey

87 per cent of companies believe printed marketing tools are "somewhat to very effective" at attracting customers.

Another 61 per cent think they are actually better at bringing in business than web-based advertising.

The research showed that 44 per cent of small firms intend to increase their use of newsletters and direct mail campaigns this year.

However, they are not abandoning digital advertising by any means.

Indeed, some 46 per cent plan to improve their online presence in 2010, while 36 per cent will be using social media to engage with customers.

Around 42 per cent of small companies are considering increasing their overall marketing spend over the next 12 months.

This research was kindly provided to you by courier service FedEx - yes the same FedEx that make their money out of err...delivering printed marketing tools? ( and I borrowed it from an IDM release)

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

It's Not Rocket Science

Following on from my post on 'It's not how clever you's how unclever you are' ,here is a simple chart from Marketing Sherpa that really demonstrates that at least with email, it can be as simple as giving Relevant Content.

With Relevancy comes Engagement...long live the Conversation