Marketing Momentum

Monday, July 31, 2006

Podcasting & Blogging: Two Top Marketing Tools

Podcasting and blogging have been sited by technology marketing executives as being two of the most effective tools for generating sales leads in the technology industry.

Podcasting News reports the information from Marketing Sherpa's annual survey of business technology marketing executives, which consisted of approximately 1,900 respondents.

Top 5 Tools For Generating Sales Leads

  • Free Trials - 54% of software marketers ranked free trials very effective.
  • Webcast - At 41% webcasts were another favorite for software marketers, but technology services and related hardware firms also ranked webinars at 33% and 31% respectively.
  • White paper - All business technology marketers rated white papers fairly evenly at 31-36% 'very effective.'
  • Blog - 35% of software and ASP marketers rated their blog as very effective, as did 33% of technology services firms. Unfortunately only 19% of hardware companies felt that a corporate blog was effective. This may be a result of general business executives being more likely to read a blog, while IT staffers may not.
  • Podcast - Barely a new marketing concept last year, but by June 2006, 22% of software marketers who'd given a podcast called them 'very effective'. Seems IT professionals may be more likely to be in an early adopter community for this activity.

Filed In:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Webinar on Corporate Blogging

I participated in Porter Novelli and Cymfony's webinar on Corporate Blog Learnings yesterday. The session focused on findings from a survey they conducted with their clients.

Key Highlights

Writing & Frequency of Posts
  • CEO's and Marketing tend to be the authors. There's little to no use of ghost writers.
  • Sixty-six percent stated they post once a day or several times a week.
  • Posts should focus more on the industry and issues and less on the company's products. A blog is not another place to post press releases.


  • Fifty-seven percent reported they do not have blogging guidelines, but of those that do most were larger companies.
  • Ninety-six percent stated their posts do not go through legal review.
  • Over 70% indicated they have received an increase in media attention.


  • There are more companies (92%) monitoring blogs than have blogs.
  • Ninety-one percent monitor blogs once a day or several times a week.
  • Companies are monitoring blogs for developing trends, competitive insight, tracking posts on their company, and consumer understanding.
  • Monitoring tends to be a more manual process with using search engines.

Best Practices

  • Be professional.
  • Provide similar access to information as you would with other members of the media.

General Findings

  • Strong majority believe blogs will become more important in 2008.
  • Most companies created their blog to better communicate with customers.
  • Two major reasons for companies not blogging: resources and management buy-in. Creating a blog is not very costly in terms of infrastructure, but is very costly in terms of time because to have a successful blog, posting must be done frequently. Blogs may be thought of as breeding grounds for disgruntled customers, which may happen, but it's part of a conversation and not the focus of the blog. When/if that does occur, companies have an opportunity to address the issue, and it's likely that supports will participate in the conversation.

On a personal note, this was my first webinar and the experience was pretty cool. It provided good information, lasted for only an hour, conducted at an ideal time (during lunch), free, and involved two presenters making the presentation more conversational than dictating. Plus, it was a very creative tactic to promote both companies.

Filed In:

Friday, July 21, 2006

College Students Prefer iPod Over Beer?

Who would have thought that the iPod would be more popular than beer among college students?

According to 360View's recent podcast interview with Rob Walch of Podcast411, Walch stated that a study was done among college students on their preferred activities and the iPod outranked beer.

The podcast provides a lot of other good pieces of information including:

  • What is a podcast vs. an audio file - it needs to have a RSS feed to be a podcast
  • Growth trends - approx. 5 million listeners
  • Uses of podcasting - self promotion
  • Dedication - time and money involved

Filed In:

The Power of Business Blogging

What do you do when your company's reputation is attacked by a major newspaper? You set the record straight through your blog. That's just what GM did when New York Times columnist, James Friedman, described the major automotive manufacturer as a "crack dealer" feeding Americans' addictions to SUVs and accused it of being "more dangerous to America's future" than any other company.

According to BtoB, GM's responses totaled more than 2,800 words - more than three times the length of the original Friedman column and 14 times the space GM says the Times offered for a rebuttal. By utilizing it's Fastlane blog, the company has generated more buzz and awareness for its fuel-economy efforts than it ever would have created in print, and has done so with reaching targeted audiences.

As a result, hundreds of people have posted comments on GM's corporate blog, and BlogPulse and Technorati count approximately 100 posts from bloggers on their own sites.

GM's case should be a wake-up call to businesses that are not taking advantage of the blogosphere. Blogging and social networking are experiencing tremendous growth and, as demonstrated in the case of GM, provide much word of mouth power.

Filed In:

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wal-Mart Launches Social Networking

In an attempt at winning over teens for the apparel dollars they spend at Target, Wal-Mart has created a social networking site for teens - The Hub. Over the last year, Wal-Mart has been receiving increasingly bad feedback from teen girls, in contrast to Target, on its lack of cleanliness, messy layout and lack of stylish attire.

Ad Age compares the quasi-social-networking site as Wal-Mart's MySpace for teens. It's a place where teens can "express their individuality" by creating their own page for all to see and a chance to win prizes including their video appearing in a Wal-Mart TV commercial.

However, the site tells parents their kids have joined, forbids users to e-mail one another, and screens all content. Wal-Mart's policy on eliminating any video with "materials that are profane, disruptive, unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, vulgar, obscene, hateful, or racially or ethnically-motivated, or otherwise objectionable" is why "pending approval" notes dominate pages already created and limits content to a headline, a fashion quiz and a favorite song.

Seems much more restraining than the MySpace dominator, but what do you expect from a retail company that's looking to avoid any possibility of a lawsuit or image tarnishing. I think Tim Stock's, a researcher with New York-based Scenario DNA, assessment is a valid one.

"The second you try to create boundaries and draw a line around content and put a box around content, it becomes something else. Teens aren't searching for what a company deems relevant, but what they deem relevant. You can't own it. When anyone tries to own it too much, then it becomes a problem. That's the impression I get on this site."

Filed In:

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Magazine Uses Mobile Marketing Toward College Women

In a recent post, Media & The Millennials, I described Mediaweek's findings on the tremendous amount of electronic media time this generation uses. Well, it looks like magazines and their advertisers, targeting this segment, are realizing it as well.

According to GenDigital, Lucky Magazine, the 12th most read magazine by college women, will be integrating call-to-action mobile elements in its upcoming September issue. Maxim magazine, the #2 mag among college men, ran a similar program about a month a half ago.

Lucky's "Live Buy It, " uses PayPal's Mobile Text2Buy to offer readers products from 18 marketers and retailers. Readers text their specific purchases using their mobile phone.

Filed In:

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Free Press Release Distribution

If you're looking for additional exposure for your press releases for no additional cost, Public Relations India identifies 10 free press release distribution sites. These service providers distribute press releases to news search engines, journalists and other websites.

The blog does offer a note of caution. It recommends that you study the sites and checkout a couple press releases that they have distributed and discuss the services with colleagues and clients before using the services - good idea.

The 10 free press release distribution sites include:
PR Free
Press Zoom
Press Base
Express Press Release Distribution
Press World
Open PR
Free Press Release
Free News Release
I Newswire
Newswire Today

Filed In:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Digg for Marketers: Marktd

I stumbled on to this cool web site: marktd. It's similar to Digg, in that articles are submitted and voted on by the viewers/readers. With marktd, submitted articles focusing on marketing issues.

Filed In: