Social Marketing and Split Personality Disorder

12 10 2009

I hear numerous friends and colleagues differentiate between their facebook spaceball201087733_34e1689730_tprofile and their Linkedin profile. But in reality can you be two people on the web?

The ultimate key to social media is the linkages, the power of influencers, but in the networked world with all these linkages and connections how long can you remain two people? The argument goes I’m myself on facebook with my friends and my ‘work’ self on linked in with colleagues. If the gap between these two personalities is too wide, what impact does that have on your personal brand.

Maybe it’s not split personality but definitely delusional in my medical opinion (For the record, I once attended a first aid course when my son was born, that’s the extent of my medial experience). Maybe it’s temporary amnesia – happy in your job, no need to remain professional on facebook. But what happens when you change jobs, can you delete all the other images.

We have all heard and read horror stories of posting on face book or other sites and lost their job, or posted something stupid on twitter and lost that client. My question was not should you be fired for it? My question is should you have posted it.

Interestingly in the Middle East I believe theses two things are the same. In Dubai for instance, so many people do business with their friends, and there are so many family businesses, and with so many expats it’s natural that these connections become friends. So facebook seems to be the most popular of social media sites, used for business and pleasure.

Maybe it’s cultural, or linked to age. But once on the web, it’s on the record, and hard to delete. I think it’s best to handle your personal brand with care, you’re going to need it someday!

Is Direct Mail Dead?

5 10 2009

I recently received an email (SPAM email to be specific) to attend a webinar direct mailfrom the US Postal Service about direct mail. Yep… A webinar about DM, what next a face book page for DM? As a marketer I found it a little ironical…but it made me think!

DM still plays an important, if somewhat shrinking role in the B2B marketing mix, but with the diminishing returns and the hype surrounding social media it’s easy to play down it’s importance and play up its death.

The B2B conference industry has been guilty of killing it’s fair share of trees. The argument often goes (sometimes supported by test data) that a customer associates a bigger, thicker DM marketing piece with a bigger better event, they are so overwhelmed with the quality of the piece that they book straight away or that the piece is so large it will be a “desk dominator” and interupt the recipient so they feel compelled to book lifting response rates.  The packaging also comes into question, plain envelopes, red ones, poly wrapped, window, non window… all tested and measured for the peak return. All of which won’t make a difference if the product is rubbish. But lets assume the product or service is worth cutting down the tree…

The keys to successful DM are more important than ever:

  • Personalised content – The piece is highly personalised, yes we get the name and salutation right, but also everything else. The content speaks to that person’s situation. Excellent copy that starts or continues the conversation, drawing the prospect in, highlighting the value proposition, telling a story that resonates with the audience.
  • Anticipated – They receive regular DM from us, and values the relationship or content.  Timing also comes into it.
  • Relevant – The content is not just highly relevant (& personalised), it also add’s value to the persons experience with the brand. Hopefully creating a more tactile and immersive association with the brand. A piece of content they we would want to pass to a colleague.
  • The database: Having good lists to mail is key, preferably with full permission, but at least with a relationship or nominated interest in the topic.

It should also form a part of your overall strategy and fit with the overall messaging or branding. Basic but worth remembering.

DM, like all channels, comes with it’s own challenges in the Middle East and other parts of the world, where delivery also comes into question. Ensuring the quality production of the materials from design to delivery can often be a significant challenge. A challenge that can also be expensive compared to the cost effectiveness of other channels.

But these simple keys to successful DM, look remarkably like the keys to any good marketing, online or off. It’s easy to get caught up in all the social media hype and forget the basic’s. DM is likely to play a role for a lot longer, but are it’s days numbered? When was the last time you wrote a friend a letter and posted it?

Rant #1

1 10 2009

DSC00331Occasionally I am going to rant about something that irks me, just to vent, well today banks get a shot. I am in the middle of my own war with a bank in Dubai ( I won’t name them), for my part, I simply want to close my accounts, for their part, well lets just say they have other ideas. Despite 3 ‘visits’ to close said accounts, I today got 2 new credit cards delivered via courier, 3 weeks after my last ‘visit’. Enough said…

But maybe this takes the cake for banks that don’t get it:
Bank of America demands thumbprint from man with no arms

Welcome Interuptions?

1 10 2009

Can there be such a thing as a welcome interruption?DSC00310

I’m fan of permission marketing and pull marketing, but as a consumer, and interested marketer I also often get some interruption (SPAM) marketing. I am not alone I am sure…

I fly often, and often get annoyed that airlines want to constantly make announcements, turn on the lights, pause the video, feed me breakfast at dinner time or do something generally annoying .  I also often fly BA (British Airways), they once helped me out in a difficult spot that allowed me to see my son born (long story for another day), so they made a deposit in my personal trust account.

At the end of a recent BA flight, full of annoying announcements, they asked if anyone would like to donate to a charity call Change for Good, I had heard this before, but all the other interruptions had drowned it. It’s a charity partnership with UNICEF, co-ordinated by the cabin crew who asked passengers if they want to donate their spare change or foreign currency. Nice touch, maybe a welcome interruption?

The interuptions are going to keep coming, we keep hearing how ad spend is down in traditional media, and moving online, I also read recently that the BBC are going to allow product placement, and we have all heard about the Obama ad in a video game.

Everyone uses google, and largely ignores the sponsored links, but we are happy to put up with the interruption/distraction, because we think google search is the best. Most of my favorite sites take advertising, am I willing to accept interuptions because I like the content? Would free music, in a portable form be OK if it was sponsored? Someone is always willing to spend money to interrupt us and get our attention.

Interuption, Sorry, but it’s the start, and the real question is always what you do once you get it. But is there such a thing as welcome interruption?