Tag Archives: digital marketing

The Five (and a half) Eternal Truths of Digital Marketing

2 Nov
The Five and a half Eternal Truths of Digital Marketing

What are our eternal truths of Marketing?

It has been a while…I guess, like many, I have been too busy with all of the things that take time up in life including work, family, and friends.  I thought it would be good to reconnect with Practical Digital Marketing by sharing with you my 5 1/2 Eternal Truths of Digital Marketing.  Let me know what you think.

  1. If you don’t have a message, it doesn’t matter what tools you choose to market your business.  You must know how to communicate consistently what is unique and special about your business. Without a message, the greatest marketing tools will be unable to help you succeed.
  2. Building a brand can’t always be quantified…even when you can, the numbers may be irrelevant.  Definitely develop metrics and measures of success, but don’t try to quantify that which can’t be measured.
  3. Simply having a website rarely guarantees web success.  Make sure your website is structured to deliver the results you want.  An e-commerce vs. brochure vs. lead generation site must be designed and promoted differently.
  4. Web “findability” is critical.  How will people find your site among all your competitors?
  5. Digital Marketing is about voices.  Does your online presence have a voice and a personality?  Are you listening to your customers’ voices?

and. 5.5.   Marketing is a strategy, not a tactic.  Twitter, Four Square, Digg, Email, web, PPC, and SEO are all tools and tactics…what is the strategy?
Bonus Tip!
LinkedIn is your business card and resume today…make sure it says what you want it to about you and your business.

Appy New Year: 10 Indispensable iPad apps you should be using this year (Part II)

30 Jan

More indespensable iPad apps

Here it is part dos…featuring some great productivity choices.  It really was hard to limit the list to just 10 favorites.

6.  Instapaper (Free)

What it does: Allows you to save interesting web pages you find for reading at a later point when you have time.

Why it’s great: Every day I find interesting web pages, people forward me interesting web pages, and I stumble on interesting web pages.  I don’t have time to read all of the “interesting” stuff I find during the day.  All I do is click on the “read later” button in my browser, and it is saved to my Instapaper account.  When I go to my iPad, click on Instapaper, I can then read the article at my leisure.  You don’t need an internet connection to read the article, but you do to sync your iPad to the web.

Worth noting: You are basically creating your own paper populated with the stories you want to read…how cool!

7. ReaddleDocs ($4.99)

What it does: A repository on your iPad for reading all of your downloaded   PDF documents.

Why it’s great: There are other PDF readers available, but none that do it so well.  It truly has become indispensible for me. When I want to have access to documents I have created, I save them as a PDF and store them on ReaddleDocs.  Bottom line, there are so many useful features to this product; I don’t have space to describe them all.  A must for anyone who downloads white papers, saves PDF documents, or receives PDF docs.

Worth noting: The key benefit to this product is how it connects your iPad to so many document sources such as Googledocs, Gmail, and even as a virtual drive on your PC.

8.  Teamviewer (Free)

What it does: Remote access and desktop sharing from your iPad

Why it’s great: When you need a quick and dirty way to logon to your computer at home or work remotely, it works seamlessly to give you access to your system.  I have gotten use to using my finger to replicate a mouse on my home PC…it really is great to email files you need when you are away from your computer.

Worth noting: There have been some discussion about security issues with remote access, but these are very rare.

9. Soundnote ($4.99)

What it does: This is a great app for taking notes on your iPad

Why it’s great: Soundnote allows you to both type your notes into your iPad while it records the information.  If you don’t get it all down, don’t sweat it.  Just tap on your text and the player skips to the audio portion that corresponds to your notes.  WOW…I could have really used that in college.

Worth noting: When you are done taking your notes, it is easy to share by emailing the audio and your notes as one document.

10. Quickoffice ($14.99) +GoogleDocs

What it does: Gives you MS Office capabilities on your iPad

Why it’s great: It is cheaper and in some ways more robust that the Apple offerings in this category.  Whenever you need to view or edit an Office doc you get as an email attachment, you can easily work in this program.  It certainly doesn’t replace you computer version, but it is very functional.  As well, it connects seamlessly to GoogleDocs for editing and sharing documents.  A great team!

Worth noting: If you want to use your iPad to do PowerPoints, you need this app to be able to project your presentations.

So here it is…my top ten.  I will add 10.5 by saying that Pinball HD app is worth every penny.  It really is like playing pinball…I love it!  Let me know what you think and if I missed a really special app.

The Internet is a Place to Connect

9 Dec
Do More Mission

Do More Mission Does More

I sometimes feel like a pinball when it comes to web surfing. My day is frequently spent bouncing from site to site.  Often, a friend or a business associate sends me a link. Other times, it is just a mindless meandering that leads me to a site that when asked, I couldn’t tell you how I got there.  Today, I found myself at a site called Do More Mission.  Do More Mission is all about helping non-profits do more by operating better, and focusing on making every scarce dollar contribute toward achieving their mission. Do More Mission’s founder Todd J. Sukol wrote a recent post about the epiphany he experienced when he discovered that the internet is a place, not a thing. WOW…that is big!  Todd discovered something that many in business, and even marketers don’t get…the web isn’t about doing, it is about connecting.

Today’s Marketing Mix

The traditional marketing mix focused simply on the Four P’s, namely:  Price, Promotion, Product, and Place (a weak “P” standing for distribution).  In B-school we were taught how to manipulate these elements to drive sales for a given item.  If sales slowed, we might run a promotion or lower the price.  If things got stale, maybe we tweaked the product or looked for new distribution outlets.  All of these were actions we controlled.  The marketer determined a plan and “did” something to drive sales.

Today, the marketing mix is still relevant, but only a single component of a more significant effort to influence consumers.  As I mentioned previously when discussing Jet Blue, companies don’t own their brands, their customers do.  They hold all of the power.  The customer has the ability through the multiple outlets available on the web to influence a product’s perception, and both positively and negatively impact sales.  For the marketer wed to the Four P’s, this amounts to heresy. No longer can they improve sales by simply “doing”, they now must figure out how to influence customers and prospects who will influence others to “do” something.  This is a seismic shift.

Where’s the Connection?

The big discovery for Todd at Do More Mission was that the web is “the ether in which we live and conduct our day.”  How prosaic, but true.  The web has advanced from simply being a tool to find information, buy plane tickets, or order a new book.  It has become the base station of our lives.  It is where we keep up with old friends, meet new business associates, express our feelings, and impact causes.  But, it is not simply a single person’s actions.  The power of the internet is in how by connecting with our network of friends, associates, and even strangers, the power of our influence becomes turbo charged.   The web simply is about connecting.  Digital marketing today is about facilitating this exchange.  The goal is to create the connections that bring people together to create a larger impact…what many call a community.  Ultimately, that is how we “Do More”.

Tiger hasn’t found his…have you found yours?

28 Nov
Tiger Wood Apology

Where is Tiger's Voice?

It is Thanksgiving time again.  Many of you have already enjoyed the ritualistic and gluttonous feast, the awkward family gatherings, and the requisite, never ending, left over parade.  As well, we remember events from Thanksgivings of years gone by including, as recently as last November, that baffling accident which set-off the death spiral for Tiger Woods.  It is rare to see a public figure lose so much, so fast.  Not even his well orchestrated PR events, Nike ads, public acts of contrition have been able to stem the tide of negativity surrounding this once dominant golf figure.

Tiger’s empty voice

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, John Paul Newport derides Woods for his feeble attempts to manage the message prior to his one year anniversary of his Escalade hit and run episode.  Newport describes Tiger’s absolute inability to connect with fans, despite working an array of mediums including sports radio call-in shows, op-ed pieces, and Twitter posts (only 4 as of early last week).  Tiger is losing the PR war despite valiant attempts to communicate with his fans.

At the heart of Tiger’s message issues is his lack of a voice.  More specifically, he has had his thoughts so thoroughly homogenized by his cadre of expert message makers that when Tiger speaks it lacks authenticity.  When you hear Tiger, you don’t feel that you are really hearing him speak.  And that is a shame.  Because I am sure that Tiger has much to say that could be interesting, could be titillating, and could be redemptive.  But, he has no consistent voice and no personality, and hence, his audience is bored and not paying attention.

Does your organization have a voice?

Unfortunately, Tiger’s communication issues are not unique him, but face many businesses attempting to connect with their audience…customers and prospects.  With the voluminous, continuous stream of information emanating from the cacophony of internet sources, your target will not focus on your message unless it is authentic and has a personality.  Who wants to read Twitter posts that are nothing more than sanitized PR releases?

The key for an organization is to find its voice.  A voice is sometimes hard to describe, but a critical first step in a communications strategy.  Your organization’s voice can be defined among multiple dimensions, but it must be consistently deployed and refined.  In the end, the voice of your organization must give the impression to the reader that they are hearing from a person, not a droid.

It is important to answer these types of questions in defining your voice:

  1. Who is the communications being penned under?  (CEO, the everyman employee, communications)
  2. What is the style? (folksy, casual, joking, official)
  3. What types of issues will you comment on in your communications? (and which do you need legal/regulatory input, subject matter experts, or need to pass)
  4. How quickly will you respond to comments?

You can’t connect without a voice

In the Wall Street Journal piece, John Paul makes the case for Tiger to favor Twitter as an effective medium to connect with his audience.  And that may be true, but it will fail miserably if Tiger isn’t freed of the stilted, rehearsed language that bores his fans.  So it is for your social communications.   Your audience is looking for a little entertainment, the feeling of intimacy, and compelling thoughts.  They will only be willing to let you in if you recognize the need to speak to them in a voice that resonates with them.  The positive benefit of social communications is clear, but you will waste your time if you don’t develop your authentic voice that enables you to connect with your audience.  Where is your voice?  Don’t wait to find it, seek it out and make it part of your communications strategy.

What do I care about…

4 Nov
Big Questions

Digital Marketing Questions

Questions abound and I am asking many of them myself.  I wonder what is happening in technology, marketing trends, cool iPad apps, social media, and more things than you probably care to know about today.  And, that is the point.   In this rapidly evolving world, there is something every day that seems important.  But, ultimately, there is too much noise out there, and too few things that will impact you or your business.  I believe that my role is to digest all that is happening in the digital marketing world and provide, hopefully, a few meaningful observations about what really matters.  Each week I will pick something that catches my attention and try to make sense of it.  If I am doing my job, this should help you decide how to leverage this information to move your business forward.  These are the questions that are worth asking…and hopefully answering.