R2 Marketing Weekly Digest

Jul 10

Weekly Digest – 7/26/10

Due to an unusual travel schedule the last two weeks, I’m playing catch-up this week with an expanded group of articles.

Front-line Employees are Key for a Successful Loyalty Program

So many companies forget this simple fact: your front-line employees are the ones that sell your loyalty program; they are the “face” of your brand to the customer. Employee acceptance of the program and evangelism to your customers are critical components of the program. If the front-line doesn’t buy it, they will not sell it. No doubt about it. This excellent article from Colloquy provides the steps that leadership can take to open the dialogue with front-line employees.

Colloquy Article

Did It Work?

For the last couple of weeks, everyone (especially the media) has been captivated by the Old Spice Guy. The 180 personalized videos that were posted to YouTube were highly targeted to social media influencers, industry leaders, celebrities and some average Joe’s. So has the campaign increased sales?

YahooTV has the answer (and Old Spice’s response)

Free Ebook from Seth Godin

Seth Godin is giving away an ebook addendum to Linchpin. It’s free. It’s Seth. What’s not to like?

Free Seth Godin Ebook

Interruption vs. Engagement

This article from AdAge sparked an interesting discussion of general advertising vs. social media and how that results in sales. Make sure you read the comments for alternative viewpoints. I’m definitely on the side of “both.” It is not a “zero sum game”.  We should always consider all the tools at our disposal as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.

AdAge Article

The Experience Gap

Scott Stratten provides an interesting case study of his personal experience with coffee. He theorizes that it is not usually a momentous event that alienates your customers. It is a combination of many small problems. Eventually, your business has created a gap that allows the competition to slip in the space. Very good lesson for anyone who’s in a customer service business, and isn’t that just about all of us?

Article from Scott Stratten at UnMarketing

How Clorox Entered the Social Media Game

Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner interviews the Social Media Architect of Clorox, Greg Piche. Greg discusses how Clorox stared their social media program. He also explains how they incorporate a points system into their Facebook page, and how Clorox addresses different audiences – consumers, employees and vendors.

Video from Social Media Examiner

Does Social Media Produce Business Leads?

Many companies continue to struggle with social media as it relates to measuring sales and ROI. A new study finds that BtoB customers who visit websites from Twitter and Facebook, are more likely to interact with content than the “Contact Us” form. This article from American Express’ Open Forum argues that while these visitors may not directly result in sales at this time, these interactions are still important to the future growth of a company.

Article on American Express’ Open Forum

Kmart Online Reviews Go In-store

Kmart has started an interesting pilot program to connect their online community with visitors in-store. Select video game reviews written by customers online will be posted in store. It is a very clever way to bridge the gap between online and traditional point of sale. I will be very interested to see how it plays out (pun intended.)

The details from the Kmart Blog

Leadership – Earn Credibility Before You Can Gain Respect

This article is an interview with Dawn Lepore, Chairman and CEO of Drugstore.com. She makes many good points about the nature of leadership.

Article from the New York Times

Groupon Moves Into Cause Marketing

I’m a big fan of the Groupon business model and have watched their explosive growth with great interest. This month, Groupon announced the formation of the G-Team to match causes with merchants. This program, currently a pilot in the Chicago area, will allow non-profits to partner with businesses and be included in the Groupon daily offers. This could be a very exciting, targeted way to further engage communities.

Blog on ReadWriteWeb (Including a link for non-profits to apply)

Seth Godin on Direct Marketing

This blog on direct marketing vs. traditional media encapsulates why I’ve always found direct marketing to be so exciting: you know the answer, and you know it quickly.

Seth’s Blog

Jul 10

Weekly Digest – July 9, 2010

Merits of Facebook vs. Twitter for Businesses

This article from Social Media Examiner is an excellent examination of why all businesses should be on Facebook. In fact, Michael Stelzner argues that Facebook is more important to small businesses than Twitter.  It also provides invaluable tips and tricks.

Social Media Examiner article

The Art of the Cheese Pull

Those of you who have experienced the tedium of a food shoot for television will laugh with recognition at this backstage look at a Domino’s Pizza shoot. For those of you who think making a television commercial is all Mad Men and glamour, I’d like to point out one quote, “we MIGHT (emphasis added) get one shot an hour if we’re lucky.” I continue to be amazed at the talent (and patience) of food stylists.

Brandflakes for Breakfast video

Mobile for Real Estate

Also, from Brandflakes for Breakfast is an article about the addition of QR codes to For Sale signs in front of properties. The ability to use QR codes to get basic sales info eliminates the need to call, and those plastic containers of soggy fliers can be history. Great idea!

Article from Brandflakes for Breakfast

The Transition from Traditional to New

This is one of the most clear-headed pieces I have read on the transition from traditional media to new types of media emerging today. Hank Wasiak poses the argument that it is time to “stop lamenting the end of advertising as we know it.” New technologies give traditional advertising agencies the ability to rethink their client’s relationships with consumers. And is that such a bad thing?

Mashable article

Jul 10

R2 Marketing Weekly Digest – July 2, 2010

Social media strategies for busy people

Many marketers have hesitated to embrace social media as a communications tool because they “don’t have the time.” Nathan Hagen has outlined some strategies to help the busy marketer establish a social media presence in just 10 minutes a day.

Social Media Examiner article

The first iAd

Apple recently introduced a new in-app advertising platform, the iAd. The first iAd to debut is for Nissan’s Leaf, an electric car. This video gives you a tour of the iAd. Very slick. I will be interested to see what advertisers do with this new platform.

Nissan Leaf iAd video (via PSFK)

A/B testing for websites

The database geek in me loves this article. It gives practical advice (along with tips and tools) on how to set up an A/B test online. A/B testing is basic tool that has been used in direct marketing for many, many years. The best advice in the article “don’t let your gut feeling overrule test results” is one of the first lessons I learned in the industry. It was, however, one of the most important.

The article from Smashing Magazine (via Liferemix)

Apple’s prohibition on donations in iPhone apps

Mashable’s take on whether Apple’s refusal to allow non-profits to accept donations via iPhone applications adversely impacts non-profits. I know that this has caused a great degree of consternation within the non-profit community. For now, donations require a click through to a website. I sincerely hope that Apple will change their policy in the future. In the meantime, non-profits should focus their online efforts on a fully functional mobile version of their websites, and building relationships with their donors through social media and traditional marketing methods.

Mashable article

The new generation of direct mail

New technologies can provide multiple ways for your target audience to respond to a direct mail piece. This article from Direct Magazine shows the ways that traditional direct mail can work as part of an overall strategy including mobile and internet.

Article from Direct Magazine

Groupon to partner with local newspaper sites

Much has been written about the challenges facing newspaper publishers. Groupon announced a partnership with McClatchy newspapers to deliver exclusive deal-a-day offers to their newspaper website. I’ve been very impressed with Groupon and will be curious to see if this partnership will help newspaper websites improve their declining visits from local audiences.

Groupon/McClatchy press release

Awesome Promotion

This Wheat Thins promotion is just awesome.

Wheat Thins Tweeter

Jun 10

R2 Marketing Weekly Digest – June 25, 2010

Combining social media and CRM.

This podcast provides a case study of how the NHL integrates social media and their customer relationship management programs (CRM). I continue to strengthen my belief that applying direct response techniques and methodology to social media will make for a richer experience for the customers. It will also provide the data for marketers to be highly targeted in their other interactions with customers.

Podcast from 1 to 1 Media

Does my company need to be in the mobile space?

This article provides some excellent thought starters when considering mobile marketing. A recent study by Ogilvy showed that women would be more willing to sacrifice their TV’s rather than their mobile phones.

Article from PROMO

Making money with social media.

Socialmediaexaminer.com discusses the results of a study by R2integrated: is your company seeing an increase in sales from social media. 65% of the marketers surveyed said that social media is not improving their sales numbers. The study examines the differences between those companies showing a sales increase and those that do not. The primary factor that emerged for successful companies was “those who responded that their company had profited or increased revenues using social media were almost twice as likely to have a formal social media strategy.”

Social Media Examiner article (via Holy Kaw!)

Full R2integrated report

Is email on the way out?

It appears that the Facebook COO’s prediction of email’s demise may be greatly exaggerated. While social networking sites are growing at a faster pace than traditional email, some reports are showing email usage has continued to grow. There is interesting data on both sides of the argument from this article in Fast Company.

Fast Company article

10 things we can learn from Apple.

The tech media was all about Apple this week in the days before the launch of the iPhone 4. However, this article reminded me of the real reason that I’ve been an Apple fan since my college days in the 80’s when I first saw an interview with Steven Jobs.

Fast Company article

Ice cream for a smile!

Mashable reports on an ice cream machine being tested at the Cannes Advertising Festival. The integration between POS and social media is interesting. The real test will be if customers tag themselves on the Facebook page to complete the interaction and to allow for information capture by the client. I will be watching for follow-up case studies.

Mashable article

Sapient Facebook page

It’s all about the chocolate.

Awesome site for custom designed chocolate bars (via Holy Kaw!.) A great gift idea for employees, clients or anyone who loves chocolate.


Just for fun.

Why do the goats cross the bridge?

Video from Holy Kaw!

Jun 10

The NEW R2 Marketing Weekly Digest

One of the benefits of no longer having a two-hour-round-trip-commute is that I now have much more time to read. While I initially thought this to be a luxury, I’ve found that it has become a critical part of my business. I’m able to keep up with the newest developments in the marketing field and in the quickly evolving digital world. I also found myself forwarding articles to friends, colleagues and clients with greater frequency. So, I’ve decided to post interesting articles in a weekly digest on this blog. Some of the articles will be useful for marketers, but some will also just be for fun. I’ll typically post each Friday, but here are a few items to give you a hint of what to expect.

Where Americans are moving.

This map from Forbes shows how people are moving across the country (in 2008). I’ve selected my home base of Tulsa, OK. You can click on any market, and the map will personalize inward and outward movement from the county you selected. I see this as a very helpful tool for marketers in a number of areas such as hospitality and real estate, but also for those marketers who simply want to understand any market a bit better. (via brandflakesforbreakfast.com)

Forbes Interactive Map here

What’s a Facebook fan really worth?

This article in Ad Age provides two very different approaches to answering the “$64,000 question”. Neither is perfect and both require some leaps of faith. As a direct marketer by origin, I am happy to see more and more companies attempting to apply some mathematical rigor to the ROI challenge. However, I am firmly in agreement with David Armano, senior VP, Edelman Digital, quoted in the article, “we would do well to think of Facebook as part of a larger marketing ‘ecosystem’ [emphasis added] where there are practical and actionable set of measures like customer lifetime value, acquisition costs and sales.”

Ad Age Article (including formulas!) here

New AARP Survey shows increase.

A new survey from AARP shows that social media and internet usage is increasing dramatically among the 50+ demographic. The days of saying, “the Seniors market is not online” are quickly fading.

AdWeek Article

AARP Survey

Startup to Watch.

I’m an avid music lover (some, including my spouse, might think “junkie” is more appropriate), so I found this startup featured in Mashable’s Spark of Genius series to be quite intriguing. The site, tastebuds.fm, is a dating site that matches potential mates based on musical tastes. While the database of users is still small, this will be an interesting concept to watch.

Mashable Spark of Genius Article here

Words to live by.

Live with Art It’s Good for You