Posted: September 29th, 2010 | Author: Ed Munro | Filed under: Brands, Creative, Culture, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Observations, Social Media, Video | Tags: Kids Media Habits, multi-tasking, Multimedia, Network TV, TV Habits, TV Viewership | No Comments »
There must be a cadre of seasoned and soon-to-be retired TV executives who long for the day when all they had to do was look at the daily ratings for the 3 big networks and figure out how they could gain their audience share. Juggling TV schedules and finding the right time-slots for their programs was an art (that may indeed have been cut throat) but at the end of the day the ratings always let these execs know exactly where they stood.
Prior to the early 80′s TV, radio, newspaper and magazines made up the bulk of the mass media outlets and the consumer neatly fit into these slots. This is evident with a look at the network promo’s from 1990 which now seem antiquated – yet oddly enough, quite familiar.
Today, as most of us are acutely aware, the TV audience is so utterly fragmented with way too many channels, Blue-Ray, the Internet, social media and tons of interactive video games; that for the average TV exec it’s beyond difficult to attract and retain (let alone track) any kind of decent audience numbers. The key challenge facing the TV business, says Warner Bros Television Group chief Bruce Rosenblum, “is making enough noise to launch new hits. There’s such a broad array of choices right now for viewers that attracting attention for programs is harder.”
It’s true that TV viewers are spending more time online, and the changes reflect a deep uncertainty about how TV companies will make money as their audience moves increasingly into the broader Internet. Yet, TV watching is at a record pace in U.S. households — 35½ hours a week, according to Nielsen. Challengers to the four major networks — ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox — will be more aggressive than ever in trying to siphon viewers.
It’s also important to recognize that many consumers, especially kids and young adults, tend to be masters of multitasking with their media consumption habits.
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Posted: September 22nd, 2010 | Author: Ed Munro | Filed under: Brands, Creative, Culture, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Notes, Observations, Social Media, Video, Work | Tags: B2B Commerce, B2B Marketing, Brand Trust, Content is King, Follow-up Communication, Global Networks | No Comments »
Picture a scenario where after months of planning, careful development and rigorous testing, a new online B2B networking platform is about to be launched to a global audience. Everything is poised to go; all that is needed for success to take hold is establishing brand trust. Prospects will ask who this company is and will this new entity be able to deliver on its value proposition.
This new brand will be defined by the collective perception of the new product by the outside world, accumulated as the result of every interaction they have with the new product. The brand trust is created and sustained by the customers impressions and feedback on whether or not there has been consistent delivery on the value proposition. In other words, does the platform work as advertised and is there an intrinsic value for the end user.
The intent for this new brand is to be built on clarity and consistency. The brand equity and brand trust will be built over time and consistency will be one of the keys to success for this new venture.
Initially the task of building the user’s confidence (and later their trust) will be accomplished through targeted marketing, smartly focused PR and by engaging in savvy social media efforts.
What Others Are Saying
Customer testimonials will also help in building trust since buyers of B2B products and services seek advice from people they know and trust. However, if this online platform has yet to be launched these referrals won’t be available until after the service has been fully utilized. So what to do?
The launch of a new online B2B platform involves many steps while developing and implementing the marketing plan. In addition to the initial development of the brand elements that include the product name, logo and a graphic standards package, there is also a fair amount of marketing research involved. (This brand exercise will be addressed in a future post.)
Although the goal with the launch is to convert prospects into new customers (members), the process may be longer and more involved. The main objective is to focus on relationship building and communication using marketing activities that will generate leads that can then be nurtured into becoming members and satisfied users.
These relationship marketing efforts will be used to educate a variety of prospects partly because the decision to sign up for a new platform may often involve more than one person. For example, the goal of an email campaign is to drive prospects to the website to learn more about the features of the service and how it may be able to expand business and ultimately increase profits for the B2B user. Personalized e-mails to a business should contain contact information for offline communications and the landing page should contain information on key features, benefits, and (once available) the aforementioned testimonials and referrals.
This kind of marketing activity is usually the first step in an integrated campaign that will likely include attending events and trade shows, direct mail campaigns, social media activities, web casts, newsletters and personal follow up’s by company representatives.
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Posted: September 18th, 2010 | Author: Ed Munro | Filed under: Books, Brands, Culture, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Observations, Social Media, Work | Tags: B2B Commerce, Global Business, Global Networking, Online Business Networking, Vertical Platforms | No Comments »
As businesses become ever more dependent on global connectivity, there is an increasing need and opportunity for dedicated vertical networking platforms that will allow buyers, sellers and facilitators to connect and conduct business within their industries and beyond.
In today’s marketplace businesses from Vladivostok, Russia to Porto-Novo, Benin are able to connect and conduct B2B business because they are continually accessing and utilizing all the right tools to make the transaction process quick, simple and efficient. And the expectations for the future will only grow as more innovative and practical technology comes online to speed up and expand these systems.
Facebook for Business
The idea of Facebook for business has been around for a few years and with sites such as Linkedin and Plaxo, many of these niches have been filled and used widely by businesses and professionals. However, these sites tend to cater to professionals and businesses at-large rather than to specific industries, or what is commonly referred to as verticals.
There are many businesses exploring how to facilitate the expansion of global connectivity as well as experts who have investigated and written about the subject. For example, author Emily Nagle Green, president and CEO of Yankee Group, recently published a book called Anywhere: How Global Connectivity is Revolutionizing the Way We Do Business.
The book’s premise is about a world that connects all people and all the things we care about. A global communications network that will free us to go wherever we want without leaving information, entertainment or anything else behind. This change will have an impact on more people in more places worldwide than even the Internet has had to date. And it will create multi-trillion-dollar sectors within the global economy.
One of these emerging sectors is the process of networking global businesses with sophisticated and intelligent vertical platforms that connect and match buyers with sellers around the planet. What was once a laborious, time consuming and costly process is now becoming simple, efficient and ready for engagement.
Filling the Global Niche
The coming trend for global trading platforms was spotted early by Global Trading Web when it began in 1999 as an online community for international B2B e-commerce using industry-based trading portals to streamline transaction processes across industry lines and to foster economies of scale for international businesses. Today it faces more and more competitors, each with their own signature feature(s) that are quickly attracting buyers and sellers from every corner of the world.
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Posted: September 13th, 2010 | Author: Ed Munro | Filed under: Brands, Copywriting, Creative, Culture, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Notes, Observations, Work | Tags: Billboards, Outdoor Advertising, QR Codes | No Comments »
After a recent road trip through the several US states it became more than evident that many (if not most) advertisers still don’t understand the concept that less is better when it comes to outdoor advertising. All too often advertisers get caught in the trap of wanting to say and promote everything and end up creating a cluttered mess that no driver or passerby will ever read, let alone remember.
Most of us have seen many great examples of clever outdoor advertising but these campaigns usually come with a hefty budget, which most advertisers aren’t willing to pay. The fact is in order to be effective the message needs to be simple, concise and easy to read, which doesn’t necessarily require a big budget. The ad is supposed to be quick and memorable and to achieve that – brevity is key.
With the introduction of QR Codes some advertisers have chosen to encourage viewer interaction with the billboard by using their smart phones to capture the image that will link them to a designated website. There may not be too much impetus for viewers to interact with a giant QR code but in the future these codes may be immersed in the ad itself and people will naturally assume that by pointing their smart phone at the billboard they will automatically be linked to a website – but we’ll see what happens. Again, simplicity is what the advertiser needs to keep in mind, so understanding if there is extra effort involved on the part of the viewer the original intention may be lost.
Take Pepsi’s 2009 campaign that placed it’s latest logo iteration inside some familiar words and phrases. The result was simple, engaging, fun and immediate. Yes, Pepsi has the luxury of a well known logo and brand that is easily recognizable, however the use of simple graphics was still the preferred method to promote the popular soft drink.
Pepsi understands the medium and the best way to communicate its brand appeal. The campaign had many applications that could be geographically specific or general in nature. Either way the audience connected with the message and tone instantly and the purpose of the billboard was realized.
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