Archive for July, 2010

Sexy Social Media and Irresistible Attraction

July 28th, 2010

By David LaBonte, Author of Shiny Objects Marketing: Using Simple Human Instincts to Make Your Brand Irresistible

Social media marketing is a sexy new addition to traditional marketing formats. It bridges the gap from broadcast or print to broadband, introducing fresh access to market share. But the secret of success in this brave new world still rests on your target fingerprint. You must know what makes your product, brand, or service irresistible before social media marketing can work.

Irresistible attraction is the physiological, instinctual, or psychological appeal generated between your product and the consumer. It makes your product into a shiny object that sparkles, eliciting a spark like an arc of electricity. Subconsciously, your prospect feels that they must grab it and hold onto it; it’s just too shiny to pass by.

So how do you make your product, brand, or service irresistible? The key notion is that you are looking for your customer’s shiny object, not yours. In all my years of advertising and marketing, this is the single hardest concept to grasp. Executives have trouble putting themselves in their customer’s shoes. That’s why advertising agencies exist outside of the corporate culture. They ask the dumb questions that lead to revelations.

Three simple steps will lead you to a clear definition of your customer’s shiny objects, the source of irresistible attraction.

  • First, list your customer’s shiny objects. What attracts them? What are the “must haves” that are irresistible? Be thorough during this step. It is critical to get every shiny object onto the whiteboard. There is often a hidden gem that, if overlooked, can leave a black hole in your marketing efforts.
  • Second, divide these shiny objects into features, benefits, and needs. This makes it easier to determine what motivates your prospects to reach into their pockets and exchange money for product.
  • Third, determine factors that fuel desire. Usually, they fall into one of five categories: critical to sustaining life, vital to my protection, important to my being accepted, crucial for my self esteem, and important to make life rewarding.

Finally, compare the shiny objects of your customers to your product, brand, or service. What fits? Where does your brand, product, or service dovetail with their wants and needs? How can you generate an irresistible attraction? Apply what you have learned and voila, your product is now their shiny object.

And remember, simply finding your customers’ shiny object isn’t enough to make them a committed client. You need to apply what I call the “Five Facets of a Shiny Object:”

  1. Grab attention
  2. Create a driving curiosity
  3. Stimulate an irrepressible urge to touch
  4. Activate an emotion
  5. Demand ownership

Basing your marketing on irresistible attraction doesn’t mean that people are mindless sheep. On the contrary, it means that although they can’t control what shiny object inspires irresistible attraction, they do control which shiny objects they grab and hold onto. Be ethical. Be honest. Be creative. Make your product into your customer’s shiny object, and irresistible attraction will sell truckloads!

Social 3.0: Social Media Drives Demand Generation

July 14th, 2010

By Brian Kardon, Chief Marketing Officer at Eloqua

Best-in-class companies have evolved beyond mere participation in social media. They have put a robust marketing technology platform in place that allows them to see how social media activities drive revenue. Social media is earning a seat at the revenue table. It’s called “revenue performance management.”

Social 1.0: Observe

Social 1.0 was all about curiosity. How interesting? What does it mean? What are the risks? Could social media (or “social computing” as my friends at Forrester called it in 2006) really take off?

Social 2.0: Act

Social 2.0 was about companies jumping in: tweeting, blogging, monitoring, and participating across social media platforms. “We should be doing this,” said an anxious CMO. “We will look cool.” “Look how ‘United Breaks Guitars’ or the ‘Comcast Sleeping Tech’ is killing them.” “We need an Old Spice viral idea.” “Hire a bunch of young people, stat!”

Social 3.0: Convert

Well, Social 3.0 is here, and it is about how social media is driving demand generation, adding engaged people to the database, nurturing their interest, and winning business. Yep, social media is driving revenue growth. It has evolved, matured. And it has earned a seat at the revenue table.

As CMO of Eloqua, I get to work with some of the most sophisticated marketing organizations in the world—companies like Adobe, American Express, and Sony. You may think “slow moving” or “bureaucratic.” Well, I can’t speak for everything these companies do, but in the world of social media, they have come to a remarkable place—faster than most would have expected. They have evolved to Social Media 3.0 in record time and are proving how social media drives revenue by:

  • Identifying “complaining” customers and resolving those complaints quickly, leading to higher retention rates
  • Identifying prospects who are shopping for a solution by their status updates or tweets (e.g., “Looking to switch brokerage account out of [competitor]. Any ideas?”) and responding through direct, helpful communications

Of course, most companies by now have set up processes to monitor the social environment. Best-in-class organizations have taken it to a whole new level by measuring and continuously tracking these people. For example, if someone is shopping in the category, they put them into a highly relevant nurturing program, score their progress, and pass the lead to the sales team at the right time. Then they track whether the prospects close or not, attributing the lead source to social media. In the case of complaining customers, they often put them into “remediation” nurturing programs to win them back. And, of course, they rigorously measure renewal rates of those in the remediation program.

From our experience, the companies that are proving social media’s contribution to revenue have five foundations in place:

  • Actively participate in all forms of social media
  • Have deployed a robust marketing and sales technology backbone, consisting of a CRM system, marketing automation, and social media monitoring
  • Have developed specific processes to deal with “complainers” and “active prospects”
  • Continuously measure and optimize the programs
  • Routinely report on social media’s contribution to closed business

Welcome to Social Media 3.0! If you are still in 2.0, it’s time to step up!