Are you ready?

Posted on June 9, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media |

The Hyperconnected: Here They Come! is the name of a new IDC study of global communications habits commissioned by Nortel. They interviewed 2400 working adults in 17 countries. This will have implications on how business is being conducted as this group expands at a rapid pace and travel will certainly be affected. Their demands on the user experience will be higher than those of the less connected. They will also very likely be more willing to post their comments and reviews, good or bad, to their social network and beyond.

The study can be downloaded from the article page. Better get ready!

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Congrats to the Brits!

Posted on May 21, 2008. Filed under: DMO, Marketing, Travel2.0 |

Be a Brit Different

is a new micro-site by VisitBritain that presents the UK in a fresh new and, in my opinion, effective way to potential visitors. Not only is the tag line “different” but an appropriate word play on the British who are often known as individuals with character. To let the hosts talk about the places they live, the things they like around their town or region gives a destination a human face and also credibility that goes beyond the usual and no longer accepted marketing speak still used on too many sites.

I find the site well designed, crisp, uncluttered and easy to use. It combines map features well with the commentary so you know where these people live. Another cool feature is the “What’s on top of British minds today?” Again, a way to let visitors know what’s “in with the locals”.

I have written about a similar approach by Tourism BC and Oregon Tourism a few months ago but this is the first site I’m aware of that is entirely focused on this approach. I can imagine more will follow.

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What do you know?

Posted on May 12, 2008. Filed under: Marketing | Tags: |

OK, here’s a straight copy-paste post, but this is so spot on I think it’s fine and Seth agrees. The one’s emphasized in bold are my favorites:

by Seth Godin

Three years ago, I published this list, which was very much a riff, not a carefully planned manifesto. It has held up pretty well. Feel free to reprint or otherwise use, as long as you include a credit line. I’ve added a few at the bottom…

What Every Good Marketer Knows:

* Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk.
* Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.
* Your best customers are worth far more than your average customers.
* Share of wallet is easier, more profitable and ultimately more effective a measure than share of market.
* Marketing begins before the product is created.
* Advertising is just a symptom, a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that.
* Low price is a great way to sell a commodity. That’s not marketing, though, that’s efficiency.
* Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.
* Products that are remarkable get talked about.
* Marketing is the way your people answer the phone, the typesetting on your bills and your returns policy.
* You can’t fool all the people, not even most of the time. And people, once unfooled, talk about the experience.
* If you are marketing from a fairly static annual budget, you’re viewing marketing as an expense. Good marketers realize that it is an investment.
* People don’t buy what they need. They buy what they want.
* You’re not in charge. And your prospects don’t care about you.
* What people want is the extra, the emotional bonus they get when they buy something they love.
* Business to business marketing is just marketing to consumers who happen to have a corporation to pay for what they buy.
* Traditional ways of interrupting consumers (TV ads, trade show booths, junk mail) are losing their cost-effectiveness. At the same time, new ways of spreading ideas (blogs, permission-based RSS information, consumer fan clubs) are quickly proving how well they work.
* People all over the world, and of every income level, respond to marketing that promises and delivers basic human wants.
* Good marketers tell a story.
* People are selfish, lazy, uninformed and impatient. Start with that and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
* Marketing that works is marketing that people choose to notice.
* Effective stories match the worldview of the people you are telling the story to.
* Choose your customers. Fire the ones that hurt your ability to deliver the right story to the others.
* A product for everyone rarely reaches much of anyone.
* Living and breathing an authentic story is the best way to survive in an conversation-rich world.
* Marketers are responsible for the side effects their products cause.
* Reminding the consumer of a story they know and trust is a powerful shortcut.
* Good marketers measure.
* Marketing is not an emergency. It’s a planned, thoughtful exercise that started a long time ago and doesn’t end until you’re done.
* One disappointed customer is worth ten delighted ones.

* In the googleworld, the best in the world wins more often, and wins more.
* Most marketers create good enough and then quit. Greatest beats good enough every time.
* There are more rich people than ever before, and they demand to be treated differently.
* Organizations that manage to deal directly with their end users have an asset for the future.
* You can game the social media in the short run, but not for long.
* You market when you hire and when you fire. You market when you call tech support and you market every time you send a memo.
* Blogging makes you a better marketer because it teaches you humility in your writing.

Obviously, knowing what to do is very, very different than actually doing it.

I have only one thing to add: Follow this!
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CondeNast is moving into the blogosphere

Posted on April 24, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media, Travel |

according to this TechCrunch post CondeNet Tries To Blogify buying HotelChatter and jaunted from SFO Media.

jaunted-logo.png hotelchatter-logo.png

Looks like an attempt to capitalize on the expanding social media scene that might have led to a decline in traffic to their main site. The two blogs will also give them more media inventory to sell as the article mentions. It’s another move of main stream media in the direction of the social web where the conversation is taking place.

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Co-opting the YouTube generation

Posted on April 24, 2008. Filed under: Marketing |

is my alternative title for this latest effort by major companies to get their message noticed in a marketplace that is increasingly tone deaf to their traditional one-way marketing speak. To counter that trend PR Giant Edelman Ventures Into Branded Content as reported in Advertising Age – Madison+Vine. It remains to be seen how effective this type of “enhanced” user-generated content will be and how many aspiring producers will participate to sell more burgers to their peers.

Interesting to note, is the participation of Expedia in this initiative. My question here is: Why not enter into a direct dialog with their thousands of customers and TripAdvisor users to provide them with content that they are most likely already posting on the web instead of going the “managed” route by working with their PR company? Looks to me like some kind of an American Idol inspired contest to sponsor consumer produced content rather than having it delivered by ad agencies. Will people buy it? Remains to be seen.

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Can user-generated content generate revenue?

Posted on April 21, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media | Tags: , |

is the question asked in this eMarketer article, which also says that UGC is no longer a fad, with 77 million creators in 2007 growing to 108 million in 2012 and the consumers of this content from 94.1 million to 130.1 million. Beyond the advertising revenue question, what these numbers represent is a huge audience of consumers of products and services across all industries engaged in a conversation about these products and services. It doesn’t take too much imagination to understand the power and influence over purchasing decisions this will have. It also shows how challenging it will be for marketers to work successfully in this type of marketplace.

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Good advice on how to market to bloggers

Posted on April 21, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media | Tags: , |

can be found in this Marketing to Bloggers piece on eMarketer. Especially useful is this part from Peter Rojas

* Most important, there must be a fit between the product and the subject of the blog.
* Avoid shooting e-mails and press releases to bloggers. It is more effective to become familiar with a blog and get to know the writer behind it.
* Give a product to a blogger as an exclusive and allow the blogger time to work with it.
* Provide bloggers with links to more information, such as product images and updated information.

the old PR agency approach won’t work, although many haven’t realized this yet, judging from the number of emails I get telling me about some travel related news that might be interesting for the traveling public but not industry professionals who are the audience I’m trying to reach.

Interesting statistic included in the story: 49% of “market leaders” are using social networking and blogs vs. 31% and 21% respectively for “non-leaders”. Just shows that some get it and some don’t!

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How not to market on the web

Posted on April 17, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media | Tags: |

could be the subject line for this study quoted in Micro Persuasion stating that One Billion Dollars in Internet Advertising is Wasted by display ads visible to about 70% of web users but only seen by about 25% because the ads are displayed “below the fold” requiring people to scroll down a web page.
This doesn’t surprise me as these ads, like the original banners, are no different from interruption advertising in print or on TV without the relevancy of search ads. This tired approach is no longer effective in any media. We live in an age of permission based marketing and if the web is used as an interruption tool advertisers can’t really expect better results.

It’s one more indicator that web based marketing has become more complex and to be effective needs to consider the effect of social media and networking on the buying behavior of today’s audience. As this chart here shows, the growth in online advertising over the next five years will be considerable but to be effective it has to take advantage of what the web has to offer to increase effectiveness.

Just to slap more ads including rich media ads won’t bring the necessary ROI unless they are relevant to the content and compelling.

This is a key message traditional marketers need to understand as they shift more of their marketing budgets to the web.

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Who can you trust?

Posted on April 15, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media, Travel2.0 | Tags: , |

seems to be a question travelers should ask themselves after reading Secrets of Lonely Planet in Gulliver, the new travel related blog by the The publishers, of course, claim that this is an isolated incident but who are we to know for sure. The episode shows that the traditional media are challenged by user generated content and traveler reviews that are spreading across the web with great speed. Who the most trusted sources are has always been clear, it’s relatives and friends with a personal experience about a certain destination or hotel but now peers from your wider social network who can easily post their first hand opinions on the web with multi-media to boot, are becoming increasingly important and influential as well.

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Keeping it real…..fake

Posted on April 4, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media |

These social media marketing “don’ts” described in a post on the MarketingExperiments blog are a great follow-on to my last post about corporate blogs, or in this case communications in general. It all comes down to honesty and openness. In today’s world it just about becomes impossible to fake it and stay successful in any business.

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