WOM marketing has been around forever but with technology (chat, email etc.) the speed in which it travels can change the game. I saw this tool today www.paltalk.com and took some creative license with the possibilities! Enjoy!
Social Communities, interchangeably referred to as UCC’s (User Created Content Sites) are predominantly social hubs where people meet and interact; rekindle friendships or create new ones. When introduced to the internet the first time, online users did not see social communities becoming important marketing tools, but just another group of sites for fun-chats; in fact, they cater mostly to teens and young adults, and it was unlikely to imagine a tight-lipped businessman doing marketing on these social hubs.
MySpace, Facebook, Multiply, Hi5, Orkut and Friendster are some of the more popular social hubs on the internet that initially derived traffic from teens and the younger set of professionals who are in the lookout for friends, rather than clients. However, today that demographic is fast changing.
Businessmen saw the vast potential of social hubs for their sales campaign or product and service promotions. As millions of people interact on social communities everyday, getting into the mainstream for sales promotion while making friends seems to make a lot of sense. Here are some “rules of the game”:
Avoid blatant sales promotion, lest you let the cat out of the bag too soon. Make friends genuinely; when you have built rapport, advertising your product or service becomes effortless;
Avoid sneaky redirects and pop-ups on your community page as these will annoy rather than impress;
Exert effort on your profile. Personalize it by adding your photo or creating your avatar. You can employ subtle advertising here by leaving a link to your website, your contact details, or display your company or product logo.
Do not abuse chat rooms with obtrusive advertisement of your product or service. You may create a special room or group for this purpose where you invite your prospects or like-minded people who share your enthusiasm about a certain topic to join you.
Share ideas rather than sell them. Most professionals do not like to be sold to, but they would appreciate ideas that can help them make up their minds to come up with a good choice.
Engage in lively and informative conversations that provide subtle reference to your product or service. Create an authority image for a particular topic, which you can use to highlight your product or service when timing is ripe for it. Without appearing too eager to advertise or hold a sales campaign every time, online users will develop their respect on you, as you have shown respect to them, too.
Social communities are the fastest routes you can take to getting people discover your business, but not the easiest. As interaction is on a person to person level, you should have good people skills. Regardless of your product or service, and the risk you take in building connection, there is always a room for everyone in social communities; it’s just a matter of finding the right people to speak to about your offer.
Try a social community today, and discover how it can add value to your sales campaign. As you win friends, you gain prospects – definitely, not a bad deal.
Bert Decker, one of the finest presentation coach's in the world, announced the Top 10 Best (and Worst) Communicators for 2007. Bert named Mike Huckabee the best communicator and Alberto Gonzalez the worst one. Click through to see the other winners and losers as I find his comments to be interesting and insightful. Take a look.
Last month Huckabee was on the cover of Newsweek magazine. Click here to take a look at the article.
DM News released the results of a survey today that counted how the recipients of direct mail (you and me) see it's effect on the environment. It posts that nearly half of the 1,000 US adult respondents surveyed by DM News and and Pitney Bowes guessed that advertising mail from US households counted for more than half of the country's municipal waste. More than one-third said it counted for slightly more than one-third of that waste.
DM News cited the Environmental Protection Agency as saying that advertising mail was responsible for just 2% of all municipal waste in the United States. Yet, more than two-thirds of respondents said they would have a higher opinion of direct mailers if they used recycled paper and cardboard. Another half said they would think more highly of unsolicited mail if they knew there was an agency seal of approval or "green mail" label awarded by the industry itself. I don't know but I think direct mail has some PR work to do here.
Marketing automation is the use of software to automate marketing processes such as customer segmentation, customer data integration (CDI), and campaign management. The use of marketing automation makes processes that would otherwise have been performed manually much more efficient, and makes some new processes possible. Marketing automation is an integral component of customer relationship management (CRM).
The Federal Trade Commission has just slapped Do Not Call Registry offenders with $7.7 million worth of penalties. These are huge numbers and it's clear that telemarketers are finding that boundaries are an ongoing problem. I found this article on InsideCRM this morning and it's a good laugh. It's a bit of comic relief on handling poor telemarketers with "techniques" to get back at them. Take a look!
Eloqua, the on-demand application platform for B2B marketers, announced thier awards for the best business-to-business marketers at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco this week. Here are the winners:
The first step to fully realizing the benefits of a CRM is conducting a careful evaluation of your business needs. Factors such as budget, user-base, company size, and customer needs will determine whether a fully integrated, enterprise-level CRM solution or a hosted CRM solution will better fit the needs of your company.
For small or midmarket companies, a hosted CRM solution is attractive because it enables organizations access to best-of-breed technology at a cost-effective price, allowing the companies to stay focused on their core businesses, rather than on their software applications. For enterprise companies integrations to the supply-chain and back office are important.
Here are some things to consider when choosing the right CRM solution:
The Ability of the User Population: One of the biggest challenges with any CRM deployment, including hosted offerings, is getting salespeople to actually use the product. Most hosted CRM solutions are browser-based, and familiar to the user base, making adoption much easier and the learning curve shorter. A real benefit with a hosted solution is that training can be conducted in a matter of hours, rather than days.
Length/Speed of Deployment: The average deployment of an in-house CRM solution is between three to nine months, whereas the average deployment of a hosted CRM solution is a few weeks (in some cases users can start using the service in real time as soon as they sign up). With a hosted CRM solution the infrastructure is available immediately. There is no hardware or server software to install and maintain, ensuring fast deployment and worry-free maintenance. This gives the IT department the necessary time to configure the product to fit your business. The speed of deployment of a hosted CRM solution speaks any company that is concerned with keeping costs down, while making the best technological investments for its needs.
Your Budget: The purpose of a hosted CRM solution is its ability to bring affordable access to brand name applications at a fraction of the cost and with all the functionality of an in-house solution. The beauty of some hosted CRM solutions is that they have been built to work in either a hosted or an in-house environment. A company looking to initially invest in a hosted solution is able to enjoy the functionality of an in-house solution with the ability to bring the solution in-house in the future. If you're looking for a large-scale CRM deployment, but don't have the IT budget to sustain it, a hosted CRM solution is what you need. Available with low, predictable monthly fees, a hosted CRM solution eliminates large capital outlays and unpredictable IT expenses; simple pricing makes it easy to budget and affordable for every business.
Your Company's IT Strategy: If you are looking for a solution that easily integrates with your back-office and third-party applications as part of a strategy to integrate your applications across the organization, a hosted CRM solution is the choice for you. The value proposition of a hosted CRM solution is its ability to expand the available information to the entire organization, including through integration with other applications. The ability to integrate with mobile phones, for example, provides salespeople with the necessary tool they need when they're on the road. This ability may be the deciding factor for an organization that needs a mobile CRM solution that is both flexible and easy to use.