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How to make your Marketing dollar work more – The Art of Conversations

8 Oct

When I think of marketing, I see at least three areas where marketing needs to impact to be effective.

Make Effective Online Marketing Contents, Collaterals, and Web sites

What if I make a beautiful mousetrap and they never show up? But what if they show up and find that your mousetrap is not what they wanted. Or if they find that people who sell these mousetraps are not-friendly.

Everyone is working in Marketing

What if I make a beautiful mousetrap and they never show up? But what if they show up and find that your mousetrap is not what they wanted. Or if they find that people who sell these mousetraps are not-friendly.

Some good conversation starters

Conversations about the company in the customer and prospect’s world. What are they talking about? Why are they talking about it? How am I affected by it?

Good if you are part of conversations. Excellent if these conversations are favorable towards you. Worst if you are not part of any of these fierce conversations.

Think about possibilities that a positive product review can release on your market.

What if you could influence these conversations. Shape the discussion in the conversation-space.

using marketing – strategy

Good news is that a lot of people have been thinking about these issues and we are not alone.

Here is a list of a few resources that can get you started- Marketing’s Role: Dispatches from the field.

[still refining it. Stay tuned……]

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Let us drink to Marketing 2.0

16 Jul

Wine is a good social lubricant. It allows and encourages dialogue and so are  the blogs.

Conversations, Dialogue and Interaction are necessary for a company to find out what its customers are thinking.

I came across this story about Stormhoek using blogs to communicate with its customer community.

Stormhoek

I have to confess I am not a expert when it comes to wines. Except for , Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon I do not know a lot about wines. I am often confused as to what goes with which food and mostly stick to our hostesses’ recommendations.

has targeted this group of people who are not gifted with great wine-knowledge. And where can you find these customers who do not follow conventions or don’t even bother to know about them. Well, what else can more represent this group than blogs and bloggers. And that’s exactly where Stormhoek went.

They sent a bottles of their wines to a group of bloggers. Who subsequently discussed these in their blogs: opinions good or bad started a dialogue. And the rest, as they say in show-biz, is a history.

Interestingly I found out about this story while I was reading a blog: and then later on I heard this podcast for the background story.

So next time when you are looking for newer, more social (read web 2.0), interactive, and cost effective ways to promote your products do consider blogs.

Blogs are not only an effective way of stating external dialogues but also they will facilitate an internal shift in the way we look at our markets and customers.

This customer-company dialogue is the first step in Product Management 2.0; eventually it can lead to the customer becoming the creator or at least the co-creator of your products.

 

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GPS your friends in to Facebook

4 Jul

Are you thinking about building a cool product for iPhone? Are you thinking about building a Facebook application on iPhone?

What about if we use iPhone’s GPS capabilities with Facebook application. So next time when you meet someone on the street you can see their profile on your iPhone, just because you are in the same location and you both have decided to accept “Add Friends” request on your iPhone.

Makes you think, right? Good. Now here is another idea.

Live Expense Tracker- an application idea for iPhone.

I use my bank card a lot to pay for things. I am often surprised to find out my balance when and if I look at it. I would like to see my expense/cash status in realtime.  That can allow me to make only needed purchases.

iPhone Application idea:

Build an iPhone application that allows to track expenses and real-time synchs it with cash in my checking account. You may incorporate iPhone’s GPS capabilities into it – for example track where the purchase was made – location etc.

Do you know in some countries you can use your cell phone instead of a credit card?

How to get new product/application ideas?

A good technique to to find what might happen next is to look at the slightly advance markets, in our case its European cell phone market.

 iPhone

Sources for new ideas

Look at these cool companies with some interesting products, that can stimulate your creative juices. Jambo,

Want some great source of new product or company ideas. Check out

 

Product Management 2.0

28 Jun

Everything now a days is affected by Web 2.0.

I blogged about Enterprise 2.0 in my last post. I have been thinking about changes in the product management space due to social networking, collaboration, YouTube and others.

In a series of posts I will explore how product management is affected by or should be affected by Enterprise 2.0, Marketplace 2.0, and Customer 2.0.

Too much 2.0’s but hey lets use the metaphor till it serves.

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Google’s Brand Sense

7 Feb

With the Google’s search getting sophisticated and intelligent users are depending more on its recommendations. Some of these recommendations are influencing the brands as well. Computer programs (e.g. search engines) influence a consumer when she searches solutions for a need, looks for a particular brand, researches on a particular brand category. In all of these circumstances what is presented to the consumer by search engine might have brand preferences built in.

Google Sets

John Mayo-Smith of R/GA has written an interesting article Courting the Mind of a Different Kind in Advertising Age. He is talking about a new service by Google, Google Sets that returns lists of terms with things in common. If you type in “red,” Google Sets returns “red, blue, green, black, yellow and white.” (Note the difference between Sets and Search, which returns links to websites). Google Sets is still in beta, but it can be used as a kind of aided awareness test to illustrate how Google “thinks” about brands.

What happens if you type a brand name. Here is what John found when he typed Hyundai and Toyota:

…..here’s what Google associated with Subaru: Toyota, Volkswagen, Saab, Suzuki, Volvo, Nissan, Rover, Triumph, Rolls, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Pontiac, Honda.

Here’s what Google associated with Toyota: Subaru, Volkswagen, Nissan, Volvo, Saab, WILLYS, Suzuki, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda.
In this experiment, Subaru is associated with a wide range of 14 brands, while Toyota is associated with a narrower range of 10 brands. These results suggest Google “thinks” of Subaru differently than it does Toyota. ……………………………….. Whatever the reason [for this distinction], the fact that Google can tell brands apart may influence search results, which could, in turn, affect sales.

Here is my search results for “freedom” and this what Google Sets (search: Freedom) suggested – Freedom, Equality, Money, Control, to combat boredom, parties and fun.

Aha, now I need to find out how to have money so I clicked on “Money” and viola first link is CNN/Money, second is MSN Money and so on.

You should not be supervised if in a second version of Google Sets it remembers my other searches, geo-location, gmail (emails) and comes back with a more specific (to me) result.

Here are Google Sets thoughts on my search for “cruises“.

The tribe of Nike

30 Nov

When a brand becomes an icon and its buyers turn into a tribe.
Nike, is such a tribe. Here is the Nike tribe in Barcelona. If you are curious who is behind the design of Nike Air Max, here you go meet Tinker Hatfield.  Did you noticed the French subtitles? Yeah, Nike tribe in France. Here is your Nike Air Max commercial. another one, you watch this while I am going to get myself original Air Max from the store.

Tribes, come join mine

30 Nov

What is your tribe?

You are missing a lot if you only think of a tribe as a genetic group. Nope, its much more than that.

Here are few tribes.

Harvard Business School’s tribe.

Oxford is a tribe.

MIT’s tribe.

North of border, we have Ivey’s tribe.

Schulich’s tribe.

What about advertising industry as a tribe.

What about technology companies as a tribe.

A tribe of European bikers

StarBucks customers – Are they a tribe?

Harley Davidson owner’s are a tribe, we know that but what about Jeep Wrangler owners. Oh yeah, they are a tribe. Drive in a wrangler and you will see how many jeep owners wave at you.

Baseball team fans – Are they a tribe?

Mac owners are a tribe. Sure they will go at length to even sip coffee at Mac-mindset-alike place. (translate: anti-establishment, creative-type, geeky-with-soul)

Is there any difference between these tribes and old tribes? Are we proud of our associations with these tribes? Are we protective of our associations?

Close, preserving, and conservative cultures seem more of tribal nature than aggressive ones. Canada is more tribal than US, but less tribal than UK, and Australia.

You don’t even know some of these tribes until you are up against one.

So, now here is the question? Would you like to join my tribe?