Archives for August 2010

Inbound marketing reading list update

 

World Wide Rave

World Wide Rave

Just titles that I have found useful and a way of building an inbound marketing library.

Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs (The New Rules of Social Media)
Brian Halligan, David Meerman Scott and Dharmesh Shah
Traditional outbound marketing methods like cold–calling, email blasts, advertising, and direct mail are increasingly less effective. People are getting better at blocking these interruptions out using Caller ID, spam protection, TiVo. People are now increasingly turning to Google, social media and blogs to find products and services. Inbound Marketing helps you take advantage of this change by showing you how to get found by customers online.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR
David Meerman Scott
The imminent fall of traditional mass media marketing means new opportunities for legions of smaller companies and independent professionals who need to reach niche markets cheaply and effectively. The way Scott sees it, this is also good news for consumers: the online culture of integrity and information tends to produce quality content for less, as opposed to the vapid, one–sided and pricey advertising of print media and television.

World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers That Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories
David Meerman Scott
A World Wide Rave is when people around the world are talking about you, your company, and your products. It′s when communities eagerly link to your stuff on the Web. It′s when online buzz drives buyers to your virtual doorstep. It′s when tons of fans visit your Web site and your blog because they genuinely want to be there.

The Longer Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand
Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson first explored the Long Tail in an article in Wired Magazine that has become one of the most influential business essays of our time. Now he takes a closer look at the new economics of the Internet age, showing where business is going and exploring the huge opportunities that exist: for new producers, new e-tailers, and new tastemakers. He demonstrates how long tail economics apply to industries ranging from the toy business to advertising to kitchen appliances. He sets down the rules for operating in a long tail economy. And he provides a glimpse of a future that’s already here.

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
Groundswell is a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other instead of from companies and has created a permanent, long-lasting shift in the way the world works. This book exists to help companies deal with the trend, regardless of how the individual technology pieces change.

Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust
Chris Brogan and Julian Smith
Today′s online influencers are Web natives who trade in trust, reputation, and relationships, using social media to accrue the influence that builds up or brings down businesses online. Two social media veterans show you how to tap into the power of social networks to build your brand′s influence, reputation, and, of course, profits. In this revised paperback version, learn how businesses are using the latest online social tools to build networks of influence and how you can use those networks to positively impact your business.

The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media
Paul Gillin and Geoffrey A Moore
One of those landmark books that has everyone talking and for good reason. The book is an important contribution to discussions of the sea change in marketing and public relations techniques. The democratisation of publishing and broadcasting enables fresh, and previously unheard voices, into the mainstream. With those voices and their new and constantly evolving delivery channels, marketing and public relations will never be the same again.

Get Content, Get Customers: Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing
Joe Pulizzi
The rules of marketing have changed. Instead of loud claims of product superiority, what customers really want is valuable content that will improve their lives. Get Content Get Customers explains how to develop compelling content and seamlessly deliver it to customers — without interrupting their lives. It’s new marketing and it’s the only way to build a loyal, engaged customer base.

Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back
Rohit Bhargava
The age of the faceless corporation is over. In the new business era of the twenty first century, great brands and products must evoke a dynamic personality in order to attract passionate customers. Although many organizations hide their personality behind layers of packaged messaging and advertising, social media guru and influencer, Rohit Bhargava, counters that philosophy and illustrates how successful businesses have redefined themselves in the new customer universe.

Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs (The New Rules of Social Media)
Brian Halligan, David Meerman Scott and Dharmesh Shah
Traditional outbound marketing methods like cold–calling, email blasts, advertising, and direct mail are increasingly less effective. People are getting better at blocking these interruptions out using Caller ID, spam protection, TiVo. People are now increasingly turning to Google, social media and blogs to find products and services. Inbound Marketing helps you take advantage of this change by showing you how to get found by customers online.

Making business sense of social media ROI

 

Olivier Blanchard is perhaps the most sought-after expert for those looking to connect the dots between social media and ROI (return-on-investment). This is an interview from SmartBlog on Social Media.

The chatter around ROI seems to be as loud as ever. What would you attribute this to? Are we at a pivotal moment for business proving value for social media activities?

The chatter around social media marketing ROI is as strong as ever for two reasons: the first is simply because ROI points to one of the most important questions an organisation can ask before green-lighting a social media programme: I could spend this budget somewhere else — why should I spend it on social media? Before any other questions can be asked, you have to start with “why”.

The second is that most social media “experts” seem incapable of:

a) being able to define ROI … and

b) plug social media into a profit-and-loss statement and actual business objectives.

Most social media marketers, having no true management background, simply don’t understand how to tie social media measurement and performance to business measurement and performance. This lack of business management experience is a major problem in a field where everyone seems to have become an “expert” overnight.

Olivier Blanchard, Principal at BrandBuilder Marketing, Principal at BrandBuilder Marketing, a Greenville-based Brand Consulting and Marketing Management firm

Olivier Blanchard, Principal at BrandBuilder Marketing

As long as these so called “experts” fail to answer the ROI question, the chatter will continue. Ironically, the question can be answered in about three minutes. All it takes is someone on the social media side of the table who understands how to plug new communications into a business from the board’s perspective.

Have you noticed a recurring point where businesses and organisations decide to get serious about applying ROI to social activities? Is it based on experience, resources allocated or both?

Every organisation is different. Some want to establish upfront measurement practices that include ROI from the very start. These are organisations with a specific focus or clear goals. ROI is based on accomplishing those goals. The programme won’t get the go-ahead until every “t” has been crossed.

Others don’t get around to asking about ROI until six to 18 months after a programme has begun and budgets need to be reviewed. Trust me, when 10% of your group’s budget is being cut, you start asking hard questions. Social media programmes not clearly in support of specific business objectives had better come up with a good answer when the budget hatchet starts to come down.

Typically, companies that start by identifying ROI before a social media marketing budget is assigned, people are recruited and the project is even outlined, fare better than their counterparts.

How can those who are in the trenches, but not selling product or services themselves, best justify their social efforts/hours to their bosses and peers?

By aligning their activities and objectives with key business objectives. The fastest way to ensure that your budget is renewed or validated is to show that you play a part in making the P&L positive.

Perhaps your group saves the organisation money by using social media. Customer service is an example.

Media buying, reach, could also show some interesting cost reductions, with social media increasing reach while reducing relative cost-per-impression. Perhaps your group generates not sales but leads by using social-media channels in interesting ways. There are dozens upon dozens of ways to ensure that your programme can be shown to contribute to either reducing costs or generating revenue. What you don’t want to be is a “cost centre” alone, or worse yet, the project team that can’t articulate its value to the organisation. Which happens.

A corporate blog: more important than it ever was

Seth Godin on blogging…

“Blogging is free. It doesn’t matter if anybody reads it. What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matter is the meta-cognition of thinking about what you’re going to say. How do you explain yourself to the few employees – or your cat – or whoever is going to look at it?

How do you force yourself to describe — in three paragraphs — why you did something? How do you respond out loud? If you’re good at it [blogging], some people are going to read it. If you’re not good at it, and you stick with it, you’ll get good at it.

This has become much bigger than, “are you Boing Boing or The Huffington Post?” This has become such a micro-publishing platform that you’re basically doing it for yourself… to force yourself to become a part of the conversation, even if it’s not that big. That posture change, changes an enormous amount.”

Tom Peters on blogging…

“I will simply say that my first post was in August of 2004. No single thing in the last fifteen years — professionally – has been more important to my life than blogging.

It has changed my life. It has changed my perspective. It has changed my intellectual outlook. It has changed my emotional outlook, and it’s the best damn marketing tool by an order of magnitude I’ve ever had… and it’s free.”

A definition of Social CRM

Paul Greenberg on Social CRM:

“First, there seems to be a consensus on the definition already. We all agree on its general characteristics. We see it as the use of social and traditional CRM tools and processes to support a strategy of customer engagement. Or some permutation of that.

Second, there’s too much other work on Social CRM to do. Its time to start figuring out and documenting the business models, policies, practices, processes, social characteristics, applications, and the methodologies that we need to actually carry it out. There is some great work going on in those Social CRM areas already with folks like Graham Hill, Denis Pombriant, Thomas Vander Wal, Brent Leary, Prem Kumar, Chris Carfi, Bill Band, Natalie Petouhoff, Mike Fauscette, Michael Maoz and Ray Wang, among others (please forgive me if I didn’t mention you. There are many others). But we need to create a repository for all this work – and an institution that can represent it agnostically. Right now, the body of practice out there is all over the place. Even with this, the work on Social CRM’s “how” needs a dramatic escalation now.”

Paul Greenberg

Paul Greenberg, author of the best-selling CRM at the Speed of Light: Essential Customer Strategies for the 21st Century

And here’s his definitions:

“CRM is a philosophy and a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, processes and social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment. It’s the company’s response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation.”

And here’s the tweetable version:

“The company’s response to the customer’s control of the conversation.”