We’re talking about the inflection point between traditional PR tactics and real-life events…and we hope you’ll enjoy it.
You can listen here (at this link that shows a way-too-big picture of Dave).
Another list? Yes: this list of the Top 25 Most Powerful Marketers is hot off the presses.
This is an experiment. We’re coming up with an entirely subjective list, and we’re doing so just for the linkbait. Let’s see if anyone takes this seriously.
This list was created using a proprietary formula, taking into account Twitter and Facebook presence, as well as a “Concentric Circle Measurement” that factors in things like positivity and reach.
Here’s the July 1 ranking, created by the Social Media Institute.
Top 25 Social Media Marketers.
Michael is the guy behind Social Media Examiner.
Have you heard UnMarketing speak? Read his books? Certainly you’ve seen him on Twitter!
Shelly runs a shop called V3 in Kansas City.
He has a book called Influence Marketing, with the guy listed below…
Danny is part of ArCompany, and blogs at Danny Brown.
Olivier is considered one of the sharpest marketers out there, and his site is called The Brand Builder.
Works at Edelman as EVP of Digital.
Wrote a book with Jason Falls (#25, above) AND runs a firm called Waldow Social.
Amber is part of the team behind Sidera Works.
Marjorie works for the family business – Clayman Marketing Communications.
Jason has a great blog and podcast.
Ken is part of the team at Inkling Media.
One of the most influential authorities on blog marketing, Mitch also has a new book out.
Can’t say enough about Seth Godin.
Dave is the author of a book on real estate social media, and is Managing Principal of Area 224.
So, what do you think…should you take lists like this seriously? Do you know they’re entirely written for linkbait? Are you in on the joke?
This is a subjective list – even though the list avoided first-person pronouns, it’s still one guy’s opinion. Clever, no?
Dave from Area 224 is working on another launch – Metasip. Real wine, beer, and spirits reviews by real people.
Indecision is awful. You want a yes or a no…not a maybe. So how do you turn the maybe into an advantage?
This might be one of the more counterintuitive posts you will ever see here. As business people, we want you to say Yes. And, if you don’t say Yes, we want you to say No. Not leave us hanging.
Binary decisions. 1 = yes, 0 = no. Code gets written that way. You click the button, good stuff happens. You don’t click the button, nothing happens.
Limbo isn’t fun. I’ll get back to you. Let me call you later. I’m waiting on someone else to weigh in.
Time to Thrive In The Maybe.
We’ve beaten the Integrated Marketing drum over and over here, and we’ll continue doing so. Because Maybe is Marketing.
We worked with a client a couple years back whose initial goal was to “get going on Twitter.” (This happens quite a bit: there’s not a real reason to be there, except for the fact that everyone else is there. See our post on Holistic Social Media.) We got them going on Twitter. It was fun, too; as a lifestyle brand it was important for them to start engaging with the influencers in their space.
Here’s Where Maybe Came In.
These were decision makers – but the Yes/No question couldn’t be asked on Twitter. And it couldn’t be answered on Twitter. That would have looked stupid – we knew it, the client knew it, and our original plan to “get going on Twitter” had to include an element of non-sales. Of un-marketing.
If we spent all of our time getting people to constantly answer the Yes/No question – “do you want this product?” – we would have missed out on some actual real life experience.
“I love your stuff! I just wish I could get it in Singapore – I have to settle for the one time each year I make it over to Hong Kong.”
This is Maybe. Maybe I’d buy it if it were near me. Maybe you should consider selling it here. Maybe I should fly over to the States and come work for you. Maybe.
We’re so busy asking for the sale that we’re not busy enough paying attention to everything that happens in-between. Yes is great, and you want that. No is sudden and can be stunning – but sometimes you want that, too.
Maybe will drag you along, sure, but possibly teach you a lot about what you’re doing wrong, or what someone else is doing right.
We have had quite a few discussions about how the New Marketing Funnel is quite a bit different than the old one. (It’s one of the lessons in 12 Minute Marketing and you can check out the 12 Minute Marketing Sample Lessons here.) Old funnel was more up and down than New Funnel – which has a much wider opening (thanks to New Media) and is gonna have so much more Maybe.
Maybe I’ll take a look at the email. Maybe I’ll visit the website. Maybe there’s a mobile component. Maybe I’ll watch a video. Maybe I’ll want to try the product for a little while first.
These aren’t just maybes – they are opportunities for dialogue, to build (there’s that word) “community.” To strive for (here’s another word) “engagement.”
Old marketers will just shrug their shoulders and move on to the old tried-and-true ways.
Positioning. Figuring out where your product or service stands in the marketplace – and using that standing to differentiate yourself.
Sounds generally pretty simple, but how do you actually DO it? How do you POSITION what you’re selling?
Time for a contextual exercise: about water.
There’s bottled water. There’s tap water. There’s premium bottled water. There’s discount water that’s basically tap water put into a bottle.
There’s flavored water, there’s bubbly flavored water.
Unless you’re in the CPG industry, though, you’re probably not paying too too much attention to the positioning of water.
I didn’t think about it much either…then I saw this commercial:
SO…there’s something interesting here: Nestle is positioning its water not as an alternative to other brands of water, but as an alternative to another beverage.
You have a choice when you take the kids off to the soccer game. You can bring a bottle of water that you picked up at the store (at an insane markup) (at a potentially high cost to the environment), or you can fill up your reusable water bottle with tap water that costs you 0.2 cents per gallon.
You have a choice between tap water and bottled water. Pragmatism, cost, the environment: those factors help you decide to choose tap.
In Nestle’s eyes, though, you have a different choice – and they have decided to position the choice of their water against a much more expensive drink. “If we’re losing water, why don’t we just drink water?” asks the soccer player.
You have a choice between bottled water and the much more expensive flavored water/electrolyte alternative. Cost, convenience, no artificial ingredients: those factors help you decide to choose bottled water.
You can take this positioning all the way up and down various choice “decision trees.” Should you choose tap over bottled? Cheap, generic bottled over more expensive brand names? Premium names over everyday brands?
You have a brand – even if you are in the service industry and it’s just you, you have a brand.
Let’s say you’re a Life Coach. You might succeed if you use similar positioning to Nestle: why would you go with an expensive consulting firm at thousands of dollars, when an engagement with me is just hundreds of dollars.
Of course, your target customer might ask itself whether it can just get an inexpensive alternative to your coaching through something like blogs, books,or a trip to the library. But, in this case, you are positioning your service as an alternative to paying someone nothing and getting average results in return.
And, beautifully for you, you can do this without negativity.
Notice how Nestle didn’t say anything negative about their perceived competition – the sports drink category?
Notice how our Life Coach doesn’t have to say “I’m the best Life Coach, better than the other Life Coaches?”
In addition to being about choice, positioning can also be about value. You will value our bottled water product when compared to other products – less cost, more money in your pocket, you’ll benefit. You will value my coaching services when compared with what you’ll get from doing nothing – more growth in your life, and more money in your pocket when compared with the cost of hiring a really expensive coaching firm.
And you don’t have to say a darn thing about how much better you are than your direct competitor.
You are painting a picture, you are telling a story, and your product or service needs to be one of the ones on the canvas. It is impossible to position your product without mentioning other categories – but it is possible to position your product as a solid choice for your target customer without mentioning your direct competitors.
Join us as we discover whether or not the Facebook Fan Page is…uh…dying at the hands of the Facebook Group.
We started an experiment last night, and, even though it’s early, we are optimistic. The experiment?
What would happen if, instead of asking people to “Like” a brand page on Facebook, we started a group instead? AND, what if that group had a mission statement that didn’t try to ram things down people’s throats?
So we did it. First, the objective – increase connections between small business owners and give them access to information that can help them better market their products and services. We came up with a Mission Statement worthy of an H1 tag:
This might seem counter to what you hear on Facebook – that it’s all about the Fan Page Numbers, and that, unless you have massive numbers of fans, you can’t do anything substantive. Like sell product. Or make connections that lead to business. Or whatever.
But what if it isn’t about that?
What if, instead of asking someone to “Like” your page (so you can try to sell them something) you, instead, invite them to join a group where they can share knowledge?
What if, instead of looking to be one of the nameless, faceless brands with 1,000,000 Fans but no engagement, you, instead, start conversations and jump in on other conversations?
What if, instead of trying to sell something, you, I don’t know, DON’T try to sell anything?
Want to join the group – and the experiment?
Here’s a link – Small Business Marketing Group on Facebook.