Seigle’s Cabinet Center is a quality cabinet retailer in the Chicago area. Established in 1881 as a lumber company, Seigles grew to be one of the top 50 building materials dealers in the country. In 2005, Seigle’s was acquired by Stock Building Supply. Stock exited the market in 2009, and Mark Seigle reacquired the cabinetry operation, the largest distributer of kitchen and bath products in the Chicago market.
A few years ago, we were hired on to manage social media for the company. Since Seigles had been out of the public spotlight for a few years, and the public had recently started migrating online, the move made sense.
“This program reaches our targeted markets in a very expedient and efficient manner. Since selling my business in 2005 and buying it back in 2009 there has been a total paradigm change from traditional forms of media to web marketing. As of this year we have ceased all forms of marketing except for web marketing based on its potency.”
We established a Twitter handle, Facebook page, blog, and a monthly eblast. We have helped to grow their list of eblast contacts to be sure we could communicate with interested people. And we have built and helped to foster valuable relationships using Linked In. The relationships we build through these networks continue to help Seigles obtain new customers, including directly traceable connections that have allowed Seigles to bid on large projects.
We also have helped to create and promote quarterly incentives for customers. During 4th quarter 2011, new customers who spent $7,500 or past customers who increased their prior purchase amount by $7,500 would earn a free iPad2. Seigles ended up giving away 74 iPads—well above the hoped for 40—and during the promotion had their best sales month on record.
With Google+ being launched on a field trial basis this past month, much commotion has been made among internet consumers and marketers alike. The Google+ project is said to take on the Facebook dynasty in new and innovative ways. The network is similar to Facebook but has many of its own unique qualities. Google+, already being labeled as a social network, will essentially utilize all Google products into its navigation bar for a more complete experience.
For marketers, Google+ should provide enormous opportunities. While Facebook marketers can gain some insight into their consumers based on likes and their history on the Facebook website, Google+ may have the ability to do much more than that…
Imagine a consumer searching the Google homepage, researching a new electronics product they wish to purchase. After clicking on an ad from Google Adwords they are transported to your website promoting and selling that product. They come close to purchase but never convert. This would be the end of tracking for a marketer without Google+. What if you could then follow the consumer to their Google+ account where they go to ask for recommendations from the people they trust? This is the place for “remarketing”, where you could utilize hyper-targeted ads for these on the fence buyers to offer them free shipping with their purchase of the electronic item. Boom – Conversion.
Google+ has yet to launch to the public, nor has it made any announcement about its plans for Google+ advertisement, however the potential is there. Personally, I believe that privacy issues will be the biggest concern for Google+ when ad and marketing development comes into play. It will be interesting to see in the future how Google+ pans out for marketers, consumers and just plain internet users in the future.
Like most people, a select, elite few brands have my heart. They are brands I love, that I will always purchase if they are offered among others, even if the price tag is higher. I will proudly like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, welcome their eblasts about new products, and recommend them to friends without expecting anything in return.
I consider these brands as a match to my identity. My good experiences with the brand have made me align myself with the products so much that I consider it a part of who I am that I use and prefer this brand. (I’m bursting to tell you which ones… Ask me which ones! Okay, it doesn’t matter if you ask, I’ll tell you anyway, since I love them so much: OXO (kitchen and household products), Munchkin (baby products), Dyson (oh, the pet vac…a Chocolate Lab and Golden Retriever have me hooked on Dyson), among others.) In short, I am a brand enthusiast.
One way or another, these brands have already done the work to get me on board. So they don’t have to do anything additional to get me to buy their product. They don’t have to do much to get me to recommend them to friends. A reminder on occasion would help, but for the most part they just have to keep being awesome, and I’ll keep buying their products. In fact, I’ll seek them out on my various networks, so I can tell the world I love them by fanning them or following them. How they can tap into people like me to do some of their marketing for them is a discussion for another day. Just remember, there is a lot of power and potential in your brand enthusiast, especially on social networking sites.
You want a pack of brand enthusiasts for your product or service, but let’s be realistic—the vast majority of those that are in the market for your products or services would not list you as a part of their identity. I know, I know. It’s much easier to think of every one of your customers as loving you that much. But let’s face it—most people are passionate about a select few brands, and the rest they choose for other reasons. Think about your own favorite or best brands—you probably have only a handful. The rest of the products you purchase are for reasons other than the fact that you know you love the brand, such as cost, necessity of the product or service, convenience, and other factors. Unless you’ve had repeatedly great experiences with a company’s product or services, you may have a mild interest or would claim to enjoy a brand, but you wouldn’t seek them out to offer yourself to them as a fan, follower, or email contact. It’s part of the reason Facebook switched from “Become a Fan” to “Like”–more people are going to fall into the “like” you category.
So while talking to and creating brand enthusiasts can be an ultimate goal for your marketing and social networking efforts, you will need to do far more than tap into and focus on those powerful few who already love you. You are going to have to offer those who enjoy your products but are not passionate about them a reason to jump on board. Think of it as a courting ritual–you bring the girl flowers, and she might give you her number. And you need to offer up something good, because your customers won’t give their information out to or connect with just anyone. They are more particular than that. After all, if they are connecting with you on a social network like Twitter or Facebook, they are acknowledging some sort of relationship with you, and they know they will be be seeing your messaging among the messages from their friends. And with all the spam out there, your customers are very guarded with their email address. By connecting with you on social networks or offering you their email address, they are giving you an awful lot—their attention, time, and a little bit of their privacy—and it’s very likely if they are not brand enthusiasts yet, they are looking for something in return.
So what do you have to offer? When I look at those products I’m following or fans of that I don’t consider as “my” brands, some have convinced me to join through occasional discounts, coupons, or special offers. Consider this fact from the Compete “Online Shopper Intelligence Study”: Among those who use Twitter and Facebook to connect with retailers, 2 out of 3 respondents said they use the tools to keep up to date on retailer sales and promotions. A few other facts from the study show that offering up a discount is good for you also: of those online shoppers who used a coupon to make a purchase, 57% said if they didn’t have a coupon, they wouldn’t have made the purchase; they spent almost 2x as much as consumers who didn’t use a coupon; and satisfaction and intent to purchase again from the retailer were both higher.
But if you’re not a retailer, you’re not at a loss to find new fans and followers. Others have convinced me to join simply by being relevant, entertaining, interesting, and informative. You just have to know how to spark that relationship with your potential consumers and discover what kind of information will keep them around. (As a personal example, I’m a fan of Babies R Us on Facebook–they aren’t my favorite baby retailer and don’t offer me any discounts I don’t already get through snail mail, but I enjoy their cutest baby of the week photo contest, product recall information, and occassional baby advice. And if my cute baby ever wins that contest, you can bet I’ll become a brand enthusiast!)
Think of what you are a fan of and follow, and how they get and keep you on board. Think of what makes you willing to give out your email address. And then start to think of what your brand or product has to offer fans or followers. You just might come up with some new way to capture those who think you’re okay. Once you have them, you can start working on moving the relationship from like to love.
Metrostudy (Houston, TX), the leading provider of primary and secondary housing market information nationwide, has announced today that they selected Demi & Cooper Advertising to create a new corporate website and to also create, manage and execute a thorough social media strategy, including blogs, eblasts, Facebook pages, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for their company.
Metrostudy has developed an impressive reputation around the country for their consulting expertise on development, marketing and economic issues, as well as their in-depth research studies that evaluate the marketability of residential and commercial real estate projects. Their clients range from all sizes of home builders and developers as well as Corporate and Retail companies that purchase land for their companies.
We at Demi & Cooper are excited to begin. Metrostudy’s “product”, which is really well organized information collected by their own field researchers around the country and analyzed by industry leaders, is perfectly suited for social media in a professional presentation. Selling information is all about spreading the news that you have the information — and social media is perfect for this goal. Look for our blog posts and the new sites in the months ahead. If you want to sign up to receive the eblasts and blog posts, just send us a note and we’ll include you on the list.
I gave a speech last night on social media to the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB — ChooseChicago.com) that went very well. As is normal at these things, some people decided to hold on to their questions until after the speech was over so they could ask me directly and privately. I like spending that time with people since they don’t fear telling you what they really think.
While I did field many good questions, I also listened to many people describe their pleasant experiences using the various forms of social media to promote their companies. But despite there being many different tools in the social media arsenal, quite a few people said they focused everything on Twitter — as in, Twitter was the ONLY social media tool they used. I was surprised by this (some admitted that Twitter was all they knew and liked), but even more surprised that even with their great results, they were still only interested in using Twitter. From Twittered view, I’m sure the results were indeed impressive. But I could only imagine how much more impressive their results would be if they added more tools to their bag.
Now, I understand what Twitter is and how to use it to promote your business. But come on, it just isn’t the bees knees in social marketing. It’s one tiny piece of the puzzle with some really powerful benefits. So if your social marketing efforts are based around Twitter alone, you are missing out on some big things.
You see, focusing all your effort on Twitter is a lot like focusing all your media dollars on the Yellow Pages. Sure, you could have some success. But the point is that your marketing will not have the best reach. Twitter is good. It’s cool. People know about it and those who use it are pretty loyal. But while its growth is amazing, it’s still not a major tool to reach the masses. To do that, you must use other social media tools — just like to reach a broader audience traditionally, you need to add print, radio, outdoor, etc. to your Yellow Pages buy.
We have a proven program that uses various tools including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Bebo, etc. to generate advocates for our clients and build relationships with them. But to build relationships, you must first generate the advocates. After all, how does someone find you on Twitter — only through Twitter? Although possible, most people get connected from others, or they see from websites, blogs, forwarded eblasts and ads that you have a Twitter account and then they connect to you that way.
So rather than just focus on Twitter, you really should also utilize Facebook, blogs and posts to stories (with links back to your sites) to generate people to your sites and then get them signed up for Twitter or whatever else you’re doing.
Once they’re signed up, send them eblasts that link to your blogs. That’s where the real selling occurs — NOT Twitter. Twitter’s role is to help customers connect with you INSTANTLY so that you could give them answers to questions, solutions to problems, ideas on something that just came up, etc. It’s like a great customer service tool and yes, it does add to future sales because you’ve just kept a customer happy.
But to generate any significant future sales from new customers, Twitter is only part of the solution — blogs and eblasts are the main ones, along with all the other social sites you can handle.
So have fun with Twitter and learn how it can help you. Just don’t do it at the expense of other social media tools or you could find yourself De-Twitterpated in no time.
You have to love the creativity of advertisers. We’re always finding ways to push products, and this new world of technology is only making it more fun — for us.
But as we’re able to target more and more work, consumers are realizing that they’re being taken advantage of in ways that they can’t even follow.
Facebook is a great one.
Did you know that if you are a fan of some company, or belong to a group or cause, those firms can create and place ads on Facebook that will appear to YOUR friends? The kicker is, YOUR picture will be in their ad, as if you’re endorsing them.
Sneaky, eh? I agree.
So here’s how to get yourself out of that jam. It’s seven steps, but they are really easy:
Step 1. Log in to your Facebook Account.
Step 2. Go to Settings in the top right navigation bar.
Step 3. Choose “Privacy Settings” from the pull down menu.
Step 4. Click on “Edit Settings” next to “Ads, Apps and Websites” in the Privacy setting choice in the list.
Step 5. Toward the bottom, click on “Edit Settings” next to “Ads”
Step 6. Again, toward the bottom, find the drop down menu and choose “no one”.
According to a new survey from Mediamark Research & Intelligence published by “The Center For Media Research” today, 11.5% of the U.S. adult population are the key influencers of other people when it comes to word-of-mouth communications regarding personal finance.
This segment of approximately 25.4 million adults, dubbed “Big Circle Influentials,” are at par with the national average age for adults, and have only 4% higher household income than the national average of $65,500, but they score well above the national average for key financial and wealth indicators.
According to the MRI study, Big Circle Influentials are:
33% more likely to own a home valued at $500,000 or more
157% more likely to have made 10 or more investment transactions in the last 12 months
109% more likely to own securities with a value of $150,000 or more
44% more likely to have sought financial planning and/or money management advice
Anne Marie Kelly, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning at MRI, says “It’s vital for financial advertisers to be able to identify Big Circle Influentials because these thought leaders advise family, friends, neighbors and colleagues, as well as people they don’t necessarily know, through viral and social networks… targeting on demographics alone would not allow marketers to reach this key segment.”
So how do you reach these influencers? Blogs.
Influencers understand that they’re known and respected for their knowledge — so they are always looking for new and unique information that will buttress their standing. While they use the internet for research, they do not consider a company’s website to be the most accurate source of information on the products or services that company provides. Instead, they seek the opinion of others who have used the product or service. That, they know, is the “real” information.
So your blog should be a dialog between you and your customers. It should be accurate, and although some comments might not please you, your response to those negative comments is what’s critical.
You see, Influencers know that some people are impossible to please, and they expect a certain amount of negative press about a product in which they have interest. But along with a negative comment or two, they expect to see good comments. And that’s where the dialog comes in.
Encourage happy customers to post their experience to your blog — even reward them if necessary (don’t go overboard! It shouldn’t look like your buying their endorsement). And answer all negative comments in a way that will please somebody who is researching your company.
In the end, these Influencers will tell more than two people — they’ll tell dozens. And then those people will spread that information since it comes from their “reliable” source.
This is very well done and uses viral marketing techniques to really get this word out. Watch it, then read below.
Meghan Keane writes about J.C. Penney’s now widely watched “doghouse” video in her Wired blog:
If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, J.C. Penney must be pretty glad it picked the right planet to mock for its viral ad campaign this holiday season.
The discount retailer released an ad called The Doghouse three weeks ago that fictionalizes the plight of men who buy the wrong gifts for their significant others. In the ad, a well-intentioned man buys his wife a new dual bag vacuum for Christmas, only to find himself dropped into the doghouse, an underworld prison where men go when they purchase bad presents for the women in their lives.
People love it. The ad has been viewed over 1.7 million times since J.C. Penney uploaded it to BewareOfTheDoghouse.com and YouTube three weeks ago, according to Visible Measures, a video analytics firm. Since then, the 4-1/2 minute video has received 56 placements across 9 different video sites. Over 90 percent of those have been community driven.
“The response has definitely exceeded our expectations,” says Quinton Crenshaw, a spokesperson for J.C. Penney’s. “It’s taken on a life of its own.”
The retailer has focused the majority of this campaign online, with the devoted website, a facebook page and some good old fashioned male mockery. Unlike many traditional ads, the company’s brand does not factor in until the very end of the long video, when it suggests men get out of the doghouse by purchasing diamonds from J.C. Penney.
But with just a slight misjudgment in tone, an online ad can go completely awry.
That’s what happened with a Motrin ad that Johnson and Johnson pulled earlier this month. The drug giant created a short video ad on its website, aimed at mothers who get back pain while carrying their babies. But the ad struck a nerve with a vocal demographic, mommy bloggers, who found the ad condescending and demanded the ad get pulled. They succeeded in short order, with Johnson and Johnson pulling the ad within hours of the criticism.
It’s hard to say why the reactions were different. The Motrin pitch was seen as patronizing, however unwittingly, while the Penney campaign purposelessly tapped into a meme — cluelessness — that many men proudly embrace (or at least acknowledge to the opposite sex), as well as the quick and easy recoveries they make to stay in the game.
“It’s aimed at men looking to purchase jewelry,” says Dave Howlett, senior director of consumer insights for J.D. Power and Associates, “but it actually markets to women, making men the butt of the joke.”
And that strategy appears to have worked.
“I like the J.C. Penney ad because it takes a universal situation — what to get someone you care about — and makes it a joke,” Ochman tells Wired.com. “It could just as easily have been women who bought men ties, or socks for an important occasion instead of a piece of jewelry, which is a gift that signifies a relationship is at a level with a degree of permanence.”
Howlett doesn’t think that it would have worked the same way if it mocked women:
“I come at this from a bit of a sexist approach. I would like to think that men are more self-deprecating than women, but I don’t think it would be as successful if it were making fun of women buying bad gifts.”
The J.C. Penney campaign is not without its detractors. The Doghouse has a smaller, but vocal set of critics. Allison Linn, a blogger for MSNBC, writes:
“We’re not sure who should be more offended by this campaign: Men, who are painted as sexist, clueless dolts, or women, who are shown as mean-spirited and materialistic, willing to mete out menial punishment but swayed by glittery things.”
But as much as some people are complaining about the video’s content, others are forwarding it to their friends. B.L. Ochman wrote in AdAge last week:
The Doghouse came to me from women friends, it came in a direct message on Twitter and more than one male friend sent it with the note, “I know you’ll love this.” And that, in a nutshell, is what makes a viral. One friend saying to another: “I know you’ll get a kick out of this, relate to this, etc.”
“The worst thing that can happen to a viral video is that no one can talk about it,” says Matt Cutler, vice president of marketing and analytics at Visible Measures. “If you look at the history of commercially driven viral videos, there is always some degree of controversy associated with them.” And, it seems the campaign has officially influenced at least one man for the better. Says Cutler: “For the record, I’m now reconsidering a few of my planned (ahem!) holiday gifts.”
If you’re involved in social marketing or if you upload the same photos to various sites, you will enjoy this site. It allows you to upload your images once and send them to different accounts at different sites.