Sunday, May 2, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
The Importance of Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Marketing for B2B Marketers – Part 1 of 2
By: Paul J. Bruemmer
Is Search Engine Marketing cost effective enough to increase profits for B2B marketers? You bet, and here’s why. It’s always been conventional wisdom that the fastest and most efficient way to research products and pricing is on the Web. Now Enquiro has documented survey research on the role of search engines in B2B transactions.
As you know, B2B transactions differ from most consumer transactions because these decisions require coordination between a number of different personnel before the final transaction is made. Therefore, the process requires a period of time between researching the product and placing the order. It’s an ongoing rather than snap decision.
“The Role of Search in Business to Business Buying Decisions” is a well-designed study of approximately 1500 participants responding to a 40-question survey that was validated with pre-testing before implementation. You can download the entire report for free, and here are a few highlights:
- When participants were asked to indicate how they would go about making a B2B purchase, 93.2 percent said they would research the purchase online.
- When asked if they would use a search engine at some point in this task, 95.5 percent of participants indicated that they would.
- When asked where they would start their search for information, 63.9 percent of participants chose a search engine over consumer review sites, e-commerce sites, manufacturer’s sites, and industry portals.
- When taking budget into consideration, manufacturer’s sites and industry portals were the chosen starting place as budgets increased. However, 86.9 percent of participants said they would visit a search engine after visiting those sites.
- Search engines play a dominant role in B2B purchases.
- Search engines are used in the early or mid research phase in the buying cycle.
- Google is favored over other search engines.
- Search engine research takes place at least one to two months before the buying decision.
- Good balance between organic and paid search is necessary. Organic SEO gets over 70 percent of the clicks.
- Position is a factor, with over 60 percent clicking on the top 3 listings.
- Most users decide which listing to click on in seconds upon scanning the page.
The Uniqueness of Search Engine Marketing
Search engine traffic is highly targeted. That's because potential buyers who find your B2B offerings through search engines are looking for your products and services on their own, so they are predisposed to hear your marketing message. You can’t find a more qualified prospect than that. Here’s what distinguishes search engine marketing from other types of advertising:
- Non-Intrusive: Search marketing is a non-intrusive marketing tool. Most advertising, both online and offline, interrupts consumer behavior. If a user goes to a web site for info, up pops an intrusive ad. Reading a newspaper? Ads dominate and force articles to be continued on another page. With search engine marketing, the user is actively seeking your products, services, and information. They are delighted to be driven to your site.
- Voluntary: Search marketing is the result of user-originated behavior. Your visitors from search engines and directories have voluntarily clicked on your listing rather than any competitors, thus they are motivated to explore your offerings.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
1. Coca-Cola 68,734 ($m)
2. IBM 60,211 ($m)
3. Microsoft 56,647 ($m)
4. GE 47,777 ($m)
5. Nokia 34,864 ($m)
6. McDonald's 32,275 ($m)
7. Google 31,980 ($m)
8. Toyota 31,330 ($m)
9. Intel 30,636 ($m)
10. Disney 28,447 ($m)
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
GM and Frito-Lay and their agencies have recently figured out a great way of getting consumers more engaged with their brands, leveraging the new found power of the consumer. It's a great lesson in integrated marketing communications and engagement for all marketers.
Both brands are running contests for consumers to create homemade commercials (also referred to as consumer generated content) for their products, the winning entries will appear as commercials during this year's Super Bowl (XLI).
Now, of course, primarily hardcore brand advocates and video enthusiasts will enter these contests. But, the media attention and word of mouth these contests and the commercials will generate (and already are generating) for these brands is significant.
I am confident that, executed well, these campaigns will capture a great deal of consumer attention (and it should, as a spot on last years Super Bowl cost around $2,500,000 USD). With reality TV still hot and consumer generated media getting the public's attention, the timing is right.
Now, in and of themselves, the increased visits to each brand's websites won't make them any money. However, it does represent increased time consumers spend engaging with these brands in (mostly) very positive ways which these marketers hope and believe will eventually pay off in increased awareness and brand preference. But there's more to these campaigns.
Done well, these commercials can send a message to viewers that slick commercials with beautiful actors and models cannot: that real people love these brands. In a world where consumers increasingly distrust advertising messages, these messages can convey something that polished professional messages cannot do as well. Authenticity.
This is also a very good example of a marketing communications campaign that is not bound by functional silos of online and offline marketing communications that well, for most companies is a prevalent, and even outwardly obvious problem. Let's face it, today's standard for marketing communications integration is often not much deeper than slapping a web address into an offline ad with no value proposition for visiting the site -- not even a few words. If marketers can't think up a good reason for targets to visit our websites, why would we expect the consumers or business decision makers we are targeting to do so? Some companies/brands have done a great job of integrating offline and online and leveraging offline advertising and packaging to drive visitors online -- FedEx, Intel and IBM immediately come to mind. Now I'm adding GM and Frito-Lay to the list.
Kudos to GM and Frito-Lay and their agencies for the idea. Now go execute this as well as my expectations so I don't look back on this post with regret come February!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
In 2009 e-mail marketers started to get social, but 2010 will be the year social media makes e-mail marketing more powerful. Social media is a partner, not a threat, to e-mail marketing because it provides new avenues for sharing and engaging customers and prospects.“Even though people are spending more time using social media, they are not abandoning e-mail,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “Maximizing the E-Mail/Social Media Connection.” “The two channels can help each other, offering the opportunity for marketers to create deeper connections.”More than four in 10 business executives surveyed by StrongMail said integrating e-mail and social was one of their most important initiatives for 2010, just after improving e-mail performance and targeting and growing opt-in lists.About one-quarter of respondents had already implemented an integrated strategy, and another 24% had formulated a strategy and were researching how to put it in practice. But 18% of business executives wanted to add social components to their e-mail campaigns and did not know where to begin.
So far, the consensus of the value social media adds to e-mail marketing has been in the area of softer metrics. Four-fifths (81%) of marketers surveyed by MarketingSherpa in summer 2009 said social media helped to expand the reach of their e-mail content, most likely because of sharing buttons incorporated into e-mail newsletters. A further 78% said social helped to increase brand awareness.
But the fact that so many are unsure about lead generation represents an opportunity for e-mail marketing firms to extend lead-generation measurement techniques into social media.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Viral Internet Marketing Technique – not Using it Could Kill your Online Home Based Business Internet Affiliate Marketing!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Father : I want you to marry a girl of my choice
Son : "I will choose my own bride!"
Father: "But the girl is Bill Gates's daughter."
Son : "Well, in that case...ok"
Next Father approaches Bill Gates.
Father: "I have a husband for your daughter."
Bill Gates: "But my daughter is too young to marry!"
Father: "But this young man is a vice-president of the World Bank."
Bill Gates: "Ah, in that case...ok"
Finally Father goes to see the president of the World Bank.
Father: "I have a young man to be recommended as a vice-president."
President: "But I already have more vice- presidents than I need!"
Father: "But this young man is Bill Gates's son-in-law."
President: "Ah, in that case...ok"
1. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" - That's Direct Marketing.
2. You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says: "He's very rich. Marry him." - That's Advertising.
3. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day, you call and say: "Hi, I'm very rich. Marry me." - That's Telemarketing.
4. You're at a party and see a gorgeous girl. You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink, you open the door of the car for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her ride and then say: "By the way, I'm rich. Will you marry me?" - That's Public Relations.
5. You're at a party and see a gorgeous girl. She walks up to ! you and says: "You are very rich! Can you marry me?" - That's Brand Recognition.
6. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" She gives you a nice hard slap on your face. - That's Customer Feedback.
7. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" And she introduces you to her husband. - That's demand and supply gap.
8. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say anything, another person come and tells her: "I'm rich. Will you marry me?" and she goes with him - That's competition eating into your market share.
9. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say: "I'm rich Marry me!" your wife arrives. - That's restriction for entering new markets.
Ambush marketing is expected to play a big part in World Cup 2010. Ambush marketing is the term used to describe the marketing efforts of brands that are not official sponsors of an event. These brands use big occasions, such as major sporting events, and arrange a lot of outside activities in the vicinity to benefit from the audience that the main event will draw. The hope is to get large impact without spending as much as the sponsors shell out. The FIFA website says that the trend towards ambush marketing started in the 1990s. In the 2006 FIFA World Cup there were reports of 3300 rights infringement spread across 84 countries. There is expectation that 2010 will be a record year for this.
Nike is expected to try and upstage adidas, which is the official sponsor for the World Cup. Adidas Australia's marketing director Simon Millar feels that, "The adidas three stripes will be highly visible. I don't believe our competitors have an avenue to portray themselves as the official sports brand without facing serious repercussions. That said, they do sponsor competing teams and athletes and I would expect them to leverage those associations."
Seasoned ambush marketer Nick Callander, of marketing agency Ignition, says that "Nike will definitely try and ambush adidas, as will a number of other brands. It always happens at every sporting event because it's a cheap way to generate noise around your brand.'' Callander says ambush marketers should stay mobile to avoid breaching any legalities. "The authorities can move you on, so you've got to create your activity so you're always on the move. Then there's nothing stopping you because you're not in breach of the event or the sponsorship guideline. Ambush marketing won't deliver the commercialised depth of a broadcast sponsor, but it's a worthwhile form of marketing."
Managing director of Sydney ad agency George Patterson Y&R Phil McDonald has reservations about this kind of marketing. "Consumers know who have earnt the association properly and those who are only trying to. This can result in major credibility issues for the ambusher."
- Coors put its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer from diarrhea.”
- Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”
- Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick”, a curling iron, into German only to find out that “mist” is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the “shit stick.”
- When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the U.S., with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what’s inside, since most people can’t read.
- Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called “Cue”, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
- An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of “I saw the Pope” (el Papa), the shirts read “I saw the potato” (la papa).
- Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”, in Chinese.
- Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan, “it takes a strong man to make atender chicken” was translated into Spanish as “it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”
- The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Ke-kou-ke-la”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax”, depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “ko-kou-ko-le”, translating into “happiness in the mouth.
- When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, “it won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you”. Instead, the company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Can Ambush Marketing Actually Work Online?
Image Credit: one nation under CCTV
There's a new marketing catchphrase that's getting rave word-of-mouth reviews. From articles in the popular press to conversations in the classroom, huge companies to boutique marketing firms, suddenly it seems you can't talk about new products without addressing 'buzz marketing.' "People are buzzing about buzzing," says Wharton marketing professor Barbara Kahn. "People think it's cool. There is something almost empowering about the idea of being able to 'buzz' your way into the products people buy."
"Buzz marketing needs to be used very judiciously for it to remain effective," he adds. "Otherwise people will become so skeptical and annoyed by it that they will become completely immune to the marketing virus that [marketers] are trying to spread." Fader doesn't think companies will succeed in preserving buzz marketing as an effective tool because they simply don't exercise restraint when they have discovered a new marketing approach. And perhaps even more importantly, Fader says, they regularly confuse useful marketing tactics for real marketing strategy.
Once set on strategy, tactics come into play. "There could be a role for buzz building in both skim and penetration marketing strategies," Fader says. But buzz marketing should be combined with other forms of marketing to create a pattern of tactics that support the overall strategy. "It needs to be decided in concert with decisions about what other forms of both traditional and non-traditional forms of marketing should they be using, and exactly how much of the budget should they be spending on each form of messaging. Too many companies are starting with tactics and backing into them as a strategy. I'm a little afraid that people are loading onto particularly small bandwagons such as this and losing sight of the larger, more important issue of resource allocation."
Bell, however, also discovered something else: Word-of-mouth apparently has a shelf life. "Before people try something once, they don't have their own experiences to make judgments, so they will try something based on what their social acquaintances tell them. But for repeat customers, there was no spacial pattern at all because the decision to purchase again requires no input from others. You will buy something if you liked it the first time. Period."
For some, buzz marketing raises not just strategy questions, but serious ethical issues as well. In most cases when marketers talk about buzz marketing 'agents' they mean regular citizens who have volunteered to be product guinea pigs -- people who receive no financial compensation, but do get products in advance of their release to the general public in exchange for a promise to talk them up if they like them, and to provide feedback to companies about what they and others think. Sometimes, however, marketers blur these lines in their effort to create buzz, hiring actors to pose as Average Joes, similar to what Sony Ericsson did to promote one of its digital cameras.
Actions like these raise the question of whether there is something inherently unethical about buzz marketing itself. After all, even those 'buzz agents' who are not monetarily compensated do receive free products in exchange for their services, and few freely admit their status as agents to the people they are buzzing to. For some, the ethical question amounts to just a vague twinge of discomfort when they realize a friend's excitement over a new product is part of an orchestrated corporate effort to create buzz on the street. For others, it raises the specter of a paranoid future where corporate marketers have invaded every last niche of society, degrading all social interaction to a marketing transaction, where no one can be certain of anyone else's true opinions or intentions.
Wharton marketing professor Lisa Bolton is one of the hard-liners in the buzz marketing ethics debate. "I realize not all buzz marketing is subversive. Sometimes it's just a case of getting people on the street and getting the word out. But stealth marketing, where you don't know that something's part of a marketing campaign because people don't identify themselves as such? I thinks it's wrong. It's unethical. Over the long term, when people find out, they will feel deceived and betrayed. Ultimately, it will damage a company's brand equity."
Bolton, who teaches consumer behavior at Wharton, recently discussed buzz marketing in her class. During the discussion several students identified themselves as buzz agents for various boutique marketing companies; some were currently aiding buzz marketing efforts for everything from forthcoming books to new consumer products. Most students were intrigued by the idea of buzz marketing, and few said they perceived any ethical conflict. "They claim that they only act as buzz agents for products they truly like; therefore, they aren't lying when they praise them. They seem to focus on what they are saying, not why they are saying it," Bolton says.
Still, the students don't identify themselves as agents unless directly asked and this is what makes the difference, according to Bolton. "Whenever the buzz agent doesn't identify himself upfront as a marketer, the customer interaction is deceptive and, therefore, unethical. Research in psychology suggests that consumers are more readily persuaded when they do not know that the other person is trying to persuade them. By not revealing their persuasive intent, the buzz agent is gaining an unfair advantage that undermines social interaction. We usually assume that other people, in ordinary discourse, are not trying to sell us something; when we know we are being marketed to, we can raise barriers to try and protect ourselves," she says.
Bolton's students changed their tune a bit when she proposed this scenario for them to consider: "At one point I said, 'So John, you're sitting in a bar and a cute girl chats you up and you're feeling like 'Oh wow, this attractive person is talking to me.' It's only after she's gone that you find out it's a marketing ploy. Suddenly they said, 'Yeah, I'd feel pretty bad, [like I had been] taken advantage of'. Because now they are the victim."
Wind disagrees. "I don't see any ethical problem as long as the company provides the product to a person and that person is totally independent in terms of saying whatever they feel about the product to the customer. If we say, 'Here's the product and here's what to tell people,' then you're not allowing them to really express themselves. That's when it undermines credibility," Wind says. "Consumers are more sophisticated than people give them credit for. Buzz marketing is like sampling; it's simply providing exposure to the product. You're not forcing them to buy anything; you're just exposing them to it. They are not stupid. They will try it and if they like it, they will do more research and maybe buy it themselves. It's useful. If they don't like it, they won't buy it."
Besides, adds Wind, relying on word-of-mouth marketing may actually force companies to create better products. "Research shows that negative word-of-mouth is seven times more powerful than positive word-of-mouth. This really forces people to have good products. Otherwise, when you turn people loose to say whatever they want, you could be in real trouble."
What does a virus have to do with marketing? Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message's exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions.
Off the Internet, viral marketing has been referred to as "word-of-mouth," "creating a buzz," "leveraging the media," "network marketing." But on the Internet, for better or worse, it's called "viral marketing." While others smarter than I have attempted to rename it, to somehow domesticate and tame it, I won't try. The term "viral marketing" has stuck.
The classic example of viral marketing is Hotmail.com, one of the first free Web-based e-mail services. The strategy is simple:
- Give away free e-mail addresses and services,
- Attach a simple tag at the bottom of every free message sent out: "Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com" and,
- Then stand back while people e-mail to their own network of friends and associates,
- Who see the message,
- Sign up for their own free e-mail service, and then
- Propel the message still wider to their own ever-increasing circles of friends and associates.
Like tiny waves spreading ever farther from a single pebble dropped into a pond, a carefully designed viral marketing strategy ripples outward extremely rapidly.
Accept this fact. Some viral marketing strategies work better than others, and few work as well as the simple Hotmail.com strategy. But below are the six basic elements you hope to include in your strategy. A viral marketing strategy need not contain ALL these elements, but the more elements it embraces, the more powerful the results are likely to be. An effective viral marketing strategy:
- Gives away products or services
- Provides for effortless transfer to others
- Scales easily from small to very large
- Exploits common motivations and behaviors
- Utilizes existing communication networks
- Takes advantage of others' resources
Let's examine at each of these elements briefly.
"Free" is the most powerful word in a marketer's vocabulary. Most viral marketing programs give away valuable products or services to attract attention. Free e-mail services, free information, free "cool" buttons, free software programs that perform powerful functions but not as much as you get in the "pro" version. Wilson's Second Law of Web Marketing is "The Law of Giving and Selling" (http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmta/basic-principles.htm). "Cheap" or "inexpensive" may generate a wave of interest, but "free" will usually do it much faster. Viral marketers practice delayed gratification. They may not profit today, or tomorrow, but if they can generate a groundswell of interest from something free, they know they will profit "soon and for the rest of their lives" (with apologies to "Casablanca"). Patience, my friends. Free attracts eyeballs. Eyeballs then see other desirable things that you are selling, and, presto! you earn money. Eyeballs bring valuable e-mail addresses, advertising revenue, and e-commerce sales opportunities. Give away something, sell something.
Public health nurses offer sage advice at flu season: stay away from people who cough, wash your hands often, and don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Viruses only spread when they're easy to transmit. The medium that carries your marketing message must be easy to transfer and replicate: e-mail, website, graphic, software download. Viral marketing works famously on the Internet because instant communication has become so easy and inexpensive. Digital format make copying simple. From a marketing standpoint, you must simplify your marketing message so it can be transmitted easily and without degradation. Short is better. The classic is: "Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com." The message is compelling, compressed, and copied at the bottom of every free e-mail message.
To spread like wildfire the transmission method must be rapidly scalable from small to very large. The weakness of the Hotmail model is that a free e-mail service requires its own mailservers to transmit the message. If the strategy is wildly successful, mailservers must be added very quickly or the rapid growth will bog down and die. If the virus multiplies only to kill the host before spreading, nothing is accomplished. So long as you have planned ahead of time how you can add mailservers rapidly you're okay. You must build in scalability to your viral model.
Clever viral marketing plans take advantage of common human motivations. What proliferated "Netscape Now" buttons in the early days of the Web? The desire to be cool. Greed drives people. So does the hunger to be popular, loved, and understood. The resulting urge to communicate produces millions of websites and billions of e-mail messages. Design a marketing strategy that builds on common motivations and behaviors for its transmission, and you have a winner.
Most people are social. Nerdy, basement-dwelling computer science grad students are the exception. Social scientists tell us that each person has a network of 8 to 12 people in their close network of friends, family, and associates. A person's broader network may consist of scores, hundreds, or thousands of people, depending upon her position in society. A waitress, for example, may communicate regularly with hundreds of customers in a given week. Network marketers have long understood the power of these human networks, both the strong, close networks as well as the weaker networked relationships. People on the Internet develop networks of relationships, too. They collect e-mail addresses and favorite website URLs. Affiliate programs exploit such networks, as do permission e-mail lists. Learn to place your message into existing communications between people, and you rapidly multiply its dispersion.
The most creative viral marketing plans use others' resources to get the word out. Affiliate programs, for example, place text or graphic links on others' websites. Authors who give away free articles, seek to position their articles on others' webpages. A news release can be picked up by hundreds of periodicals and form the basis of articles seen by hundreds of thousands of readers. Now someone else's newsprint or webpage is relaying your marketing message. Someone else's resources are depleted rather than your own.
The concept of guerrilla marketing was invented as an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. Typically, guerrilla marketing campaigns are unexpected and unconventional; potentially interactive; and consumers are targeted in unexpected places.The objective of guerrilla marketing is to create a unique, engaging and thought-provoking concept to generate buzz, and consequently turn viral. The term was coined and defined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing. The term has since entered the popular vocabulary and marketing textbooks.
Guerrilla marketing involves unusual approaches such as intercept encounters in public places, street giveaways of products, PR stunts, any unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. More innovative approaches to Guerrilla marketing now utilize cutting edge mobile digital technologies to really engage the consumer and create a memorable brand experience.
What is negative marketing?
Negative marketing involves making other companies who are your competition look bad. This is a ploy used in order to make your product look better than theirs in the eyes of the consumer. While some people may find this to be unfair or unethical it is a marketing strategy used all the time. Why? Because it gets attention and it really seems to work.
In the world of advertising, this type of marketing is aggressive. Yet they term it as comparative marketing instead of negative marketing. That way they aren’t labeled as trying to sabotage the business of someone else. In order for negative marketing to work though you must has a company name that consumers have grown to trust. If you don’t appear to be credible they aren’t going to listen to what you have to say.
If the advertiser goes about it the right way, negative marketing can prove to be extremely powerful. They will capture the attention of the reader and they will be able to get an edge over the competition. With hard economic times right now many businesses consider to use those methods of advertising that are going to generate sales for them.
You can be sure the company on the flip side of the advertisement isn’t going to be very happy though. They have worked hard to get their product recognized in a positive way. They aren’t going to like having their product name associated with negative marketing methods. It can cost them a great deal of money in the long run.
The effects that negative advertising can have on those companies is unbelievable. Millions of people use the internet each day to search for various products. When it is the negative aspects of a given product that find their way to the top of the search engine rankings - f.e. caused through negative SEO (negative searchengine marketing) initiated by their competitor (we will inform later about negative SEO en detail) - you can imagine the negative impact on their sales. Consumers will shy away from such products for a very long time.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Anti-Marketing Practice Is Much Like Grassroots Marketing
Marketing has a well defined theoretical meaning. When it comes to implementation, marketing is achieved using very different means by very different people. Regardless of the techniques used, it is one of those activities that every business has to implement in one way or another.
The latest trend is to appear not to be doing marketing in any form. Antipreneurs (a growing group of small business owners that believe in connecting with the community and shrugging off traditional big business practices, were profiled and defined in Business Week’s SmallBiz magazine, June/July 2008) are testing the non-advertising, non-marketing waters. Big corporations are not far behind in creating countercultural environments for their products and services.
There is a name for this type of non-marketing, non-advertising practice - it’s called grassroots marketing.
Grassroots marketing requires developing strong relationships with customers, clients, small businesses or organizations. If it works right, it can be highly successful and satisfying.
Kyle Potvin of Splash Communications, LLC wrote about the three Fs of grassroots marketing in aboutpublicrelations.net. She defines the Fs as Feel-good, Frequent, and Free.
The first F of a grassroots marketing campaign makes customers feel good and motivates people to bring out their passion for a company. Frequent means to build many strong relationships within the community on several levels so that the buzz created within the community grows and grows. The final F, is to give free samples which always seems to get people excited about a product or service.
Grassroots Marketing - Building, Growing and Sustaining
According to the SmallBiz article, the anitpreneurs support each other. They also focus on the importance of buying from small companies with social responsibility and sustainability at their core.
To build their networks of supporters, these companies depend on the most powerful tool in the marketing arsenal – word-of-mouth - which is at the heart of grassroots marketing.
Whether a business considers itself part of the antipreneur crowd or whether it embraces marketing as one of the unequivocal factors of success, grassroots marketing can be the best marketing or non-marketing technique of choice.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
It takes some knowledge of basic psychology and human behavior to succeed at marketing. People buy things to either meet their needs or satisfy their wants and desires. As a marketer, you are looking not at what your product has to offer, but at what is motivating your target audience to buy your product or service.
For example, people aren't buying perfume because of the aroma. They are buying romance. The new exercise machine doesn't sell because of the latest features, but because the customer is buying a healthier, perhaps thinner look. The end result of a product or service is what it does for buyers — how it makes them feel, look, or act. Even children are looking to have the same games as their friends, not just to play with, but to be popular and fit in. Therefore, you need to keep broad motivational reasons in mind when planning your marketing campaign.
There is also a psychological aspect to establishing trust and forming a relationship. Most customers have been burned, treated badly, swindled, or disenchanted at least once. They will not necessarily jump at the opportunity to buy something unless they have a sense of confidence in the seller. In an age where people are tired of receiving spam and a glut of marketing materials, the modern consumer has become savvy and somewhat cynical. Only a company with a strong proven reputation will gain their trust. You, therefore, want to always build a level of trust through quality of service, and this should be reflected in your marketing.
Finally, there are practical factors that enter into marketing. If it is simply inconvenient for a customer to purchase from you or you simply cannot satisfy their needs with the product they are seeking, then don't attempt to fit a square peg into a round hole. Too many sales are lost by trying to do so. More importantly, you may risk ending a future relationship with the customer by losing their trust.
In the end you want to sell customers by gaining their trust and building a relationship based on customer satisfaction and by being honest and not trying to be everything to everyone.