Sunday, July 19, 2009

Comments on Chaotics - Part 2

The second half of the article takes a turn for the better as Kotler answers specific questions concerning how to achieve marketing success in these turbulent times. His answers can be categorized as follows:

1. In-depth market research
2. Database-focused analytics
3. Product research
4. Proper budgeting

All four are great ways to improve marketing in these tough times, but Kotler hasn’t re-invented the wheel here. He’s repeating what others, himself included, have been saying for years; marketing is changing more rapidly that ever, and savvy marketers need to change their outlook on the world, focusing more on customer needs than on their own.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Comments on Chaotics - Part 1

Philip Kotler, the marketing “expert” everyone seems to look to for inspiration, has written yet another book to garner praise for stating the obvious. This one, entitled, Chaotics: The Business of Managing and Marketing in The Age of Turbulence, centers around two forces that are driving the rapid changes in business today: globalization and technology.

In my opinion, this book is about five years too late, and will only be useful to C-level executives that have their heads so far up their own, or their CEOs’, rear ends that they can’t see what’s been developing over the past half decade.

These ideas can also be helpful, I suppose, to people who are new to the work force and have no clue how to form their own thoughts based on their surroundings.

I haven’t read the book yet – I probably won’t read it anyway – but from the interview Mr. Kotler gave in Deliver magazine, he seems confused. In the first part of the interview, he states that Chaotics isn’t about the current recession, but instead about the previously mentioned two forces (technology and globalization) that have increased the speed at which circumstances change in the current business environment. Then, in the very next question, he mentions technology again, but includes three MORE forces that can affect a company: social change, legal change and economic change. That’s now a total of FIVE forces that must be monitored.

In answering the next question, Kotler talks about Chaotics’ description of the current recessionary economics and how customers are responding to it. I hate to say it, but this story is nothing new. Since the great depression, there have been 12 recessions. In each one, people have responded by buying lower priced items, postponing big-ticket purchases and spending less on things like fuel and eating out. Customers’ reactions to tough times can really be boiled down to ONE thing: looking for ways to SAVE MONEY.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Three Things for Your Personal Brand

Personal branding is important for every marketer, if only to prove to potential clients that you understand what a brand is and how to build it.

According to an article I recently read in Deliver magazine, there are three main things that every personal brand needs. And frankly, I agree with all three. They are:

Expand your expertise
This is my favorite one of the three because it involves one of my favorite pastimes: learning to do new things. It’s the reason I manage a variety of groups on LinkedIn and the impetus behind me starting this and Bountiful® Wi-Fi’s blogs. It’s also the reason I’ve accepted so many different positions at my current company, from product design to quality assurance. I’m willing to do whatever they need me to do because it allows me to learn about several different parts of the business.

Boost your visibility
As a natural extension of expanding your expertise, your visibility will increase. You’ll meet new people who will therefore expand your network. Also, you should pick a few key places on the web to put information about yourself. I suggest LinkedIn, Facebook and one other, more industry-specific network. I like for the third one, personally. It's for social networking professionals only, so it's the perfect, industry-specific social networking site for me.

Protect your brand
With the additional visibility comes an increased danger. If someone does a search of your name, they’re bound to find the bad along with the good. Fortunately, this increased visibility also makes it easier for you to find and deal with threats. I’m not going to get into how to deal with affronts to your character in this post, but there are many ways to stop people from marring your otherwise reputable brand.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A tweet worth tweeting about

Southwest Airlines logoImage via Wikipedia

In an attempt to engage people that follow them on Twitter, Southwest Airlines did a "20,000th follower on Twitter" prize. The lucky winner was from New Mexico, and that person won a lot of travel-related promotional items branded with the Southwest logo.

This promotion was a success for two reasons. First of all, it engaged customers in a more social setting than television, print
or a traditional website. Twitter, Facebook and other social networking outlets allow customers to virtually shake hands with companies they admire.

Secondly, it was just nice. They didn't HAVE TO do anything, but they did anyway, just to say, "Thanks." Often, there's no better reason for a company to do a giveaway; "just because" is a good reason to do promotions because customers often see it as a great big "hug," so to speak. And let's face it: everybody needs a hug every once in a while!
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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Video success is more complicated than I thought...

For anyone who works in an "online" environment, Website Magazine is a great way to get caught up on current issues. I read an article the other day called, "Getting Scene in a World of Clips," by Michelle Wicmandy. It gave me some insights into the basics of using online videos to promote products.

According to a comScore report from December 2008, the following is true of online video:
- 78.5% of online users watched video on the Internet.
- 309 minutes of online video were watched by the average viewer.
- 5.9 billion videos were watched on YouTube by 98.9 millions viewers.
- The overall average online video was 3.2 minutes long.
- Viewers on watched 367 million videos.
-'s average video is 10.1 minutes long, which is higher than any of the other top 10 sites.

The article also talked about advances in SEO technology for indexing and listing video in search engine results. Some, like Blinkx, have software programs that can analyze audio to create keywords for search.

As social networking specialist at Bountiful Wi-Fi, most interesting to me was the social media aspect of online video. My job, as far as video goes, will be to write, produce and distribute company videos through as many online channels as possible. The article listed a few, and I need to learn more about each of the top 10 vehicles so I know how to use them for the benefit of the company. Any marketer who deals with anything online - or even those who should be using online channels (that's everybody, by the way) - needs to know the different ways that people can find out about their companies.

If we undestand online channels, specifically video, we can use them to our advantage to promote products and give people opportunities to interact with our brands.
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