3 Things Marketers Can Learn From the Media

We’ve seen a lot of changes in media this year: from new devices and multiple screens driving responsive design, to the rise of native advertising, and the importance of imagery on social networks. The media is an industry that, for the most part, tends to innovate quickly, at the risk of dying.

And most of the trends and disruptions that media face usually affect marketers shortly thereafter. So with that, here are three things the media has learned this year that marketers ought to pay attention to as they head into 2013.

1. Integration Is the Way of the Future

The media world moves too fast for marketing, public relations and social media to continue to operate in silos. Companies must embrace integrated marketing or risk being left in the digital dust.

Customers now expect and demand brands to be everywhere. This requires integrated plans with consistent messaging and emphasis on real-time marketing.

Marketing plans of 2013 should all include advertising, social media, PR and event/experiential components. These plans need to be tied back to larger brand goals, not secondary metrics like social media growth — because it doesn’t matter if you have 100 more Facebook Likes if you don’t have a cohesive strategy or messaging to turn those Likes into real value for your business.

The success stories coming out of 2013 will be the organizations that integrate marketing departments with single leadership that is closest to overall brand and company strategy — whether they are run by Chief Marketing Officer, the Chief Communication Officer or Chief Brand Officer is for another discussion.

But what matters is that the disciplines and talents of marketing, public relations and social media are all working together toward the same strategies and goals, which means they’re speaking the same language to customers everywhere.

To do this will be not easy, just as it was a struggle for media companies to integrate print and digital operations five years ago. Companies will need to make big organizational changes, and rethink budgets and ROI as traditional advertising metrics do not apply to earned and owned media.

They’ll also need to invest in technology, training and tools that can manage cross-channel messaging. But as with media companies, the efforts will be rewarded when marketing strategies are aligned with what consumers are demanding.

2. Get Comfortable With Rapid Response and Have a Plan B

Traditionally companies have invested millions of dollars and time into brainstorming and fine-tuning the perfect pitch or slogan. This typically involves agencies, whiteboards and market research.

What the media taught us this year is that things move really fast online — memes are instantly created, and the best laid marketing plans can become stale before the first tweet is sent, or worse, can be hijacked to the detriment of the brand. Just look at Starbucks’ latest hashtag campaign in the UK, which quickly flared into widespread brand-bashing.

The best plans of 2013 have to be seen as the first draft, with the expectation that things will change quickly. Having a rapid response plan, and the ability to call in quick changes is a must in 2013.

Having a back-up plan may sometimes include a mea culpa like IKEA or playing along online. But as social media only accelerates the media cycle, it will be more necessary for marketers to develop a deep playbook for campaigns and messaging where changes can be called in as quickly as the meme of the moment makes it to a global Twitter trend.

This is what public relations executives are innately good at, and why having an integrated team of marketers, social media experts and public relations professionals will only provide more of an advantage in 2013.

3. Design Is the Next Killer App, Embrace It

In the physical world, packaging and design matters. Consumers like pretty and interesting things; this has enabled companies with the best packaging to outsell competition for generations. The famous and viral Old Spice campaign is, in many ways, an extension of the product’s physical brand packaging for the Internet.

If the majority of potential new customers will likely first experience your brand online, why not think as much about online design as the packaging that catches their eye on store shelves?

Social networks are placing greater emphasis on visuals. Just look at Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram or the rapid rise of Pinterest. Mashable’s new site design puts a greater emphasis on visual because we see our audience sharing more images, and the engagement around the photos that we share on our Facebook Page are 8x that of just text-based posts.

With social networking going more visual there are greater opportunities to stand out with design.

2013 will bring more focus to design, and it will require all successful marketing teams to include designers who work to create compelling images for Facebook, Pinterest and whatever the next breakthrough visual network may be.
Social business will be a buzzword of 2013, but one worth paying attention to — today’s consumers are more interested in interacting with and purchasing products from companies that do good.

For many small and medium-sized companies, that doesn’t mean shifting your entire focus to changing the world. That means integrating the good you already do as a company into your brand strategy.

For instance, we started our Social Good coverage to complement our first-annual Social Good Summit, but found that our community wanted that content year-round. Today, social good is both a key part of Mashable’s coverage and core to the company’s mission.

Make philanthropy a feature, not an after-thought buried on a corporate website. Talk about it and engage your customers in it.

We know that 2013 will bring more changes for media and marketing. There’s much to be done to bring marketing closer to the media cycle and consumer demands, so let’s get going! Stacy Martinet

Get familiar and utilize on and offline marketing strategies simultaneously, from social media, email and network marketing.

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3 Surprising Ways to Find New Clients

People tell me the weirdest stories. Some are tales of drunken escapades, brushes with law enforcement or photos inadvertently distributed on the internet. Others are more surprising: They star astonishingly sober folks hellbent on playing by their own business rules. One of my favorite themes of the second group: People who employ unconventional methods for connecting with new customers. Get ready to put their oddball antics to work for your business.

Make house calls.

Andy Dunn, founder and CEO of New York City-based Bonobos, wanted to sell a better brand of britches directly to men online, without stocking the product in stores. To build a customer base, he loaded up his car with samples and hosted private events in homes around New York. Gents could try the pants on and experience Bonobos’ better fit and better service model, then have the product shipped directly to their homes. His customers became his evangelists, and Dunn’s schedule filled up with in-home events. Bonobos reached its first $1 million in revenue without spending a dollar on customer acquisition (aside from the cost of gas). Today Bonobos boasts sales in the multimillions — and it all started by going directly to the customer.

Offer unlimited service.

Domain registrar Name.com is known for its exceptional customer service — and that’s not business as usual in the domain-name game. But how many businesses do you know that actively provide service to noncustomers? In early 2011 that’s exactly what Name.com did. Via Twitter, the team caught wind of a software developer whose domain name had been hijacked. (This can occur when your domain registrar mistakenly allows your name to be transferred without the proper authorization.) Name.com reached out to the noncustomer and subsequently tracked down the hijacker — all the way to Ukraine. The company’s outstanding efforts (and the good PR they generated) earned it a slew of domain transfers from other consumers.

Differentiate your direct mail.

Business consultant Ashley Ambirge is nothing if not unconventional. The mind behind The Middle Finger Project, which pushes people to “get your ass off the warm-up bench,” Ambirge encourages clients to take unconventional and sometimes rocky paths to achieve hell, yeah status in their businesses. A copywriter by trade, Ambirge decided to create a very targeted direct-mail campaign aimed at companies she wanted as clients — but she skipped out on traditional collateral materials. Instead, she went to a roofing supply company. Yes, a roofing supply company. She sent 30 companies (new home builders) a single roofing shingle inscribed with the words “My Company + Your Company = sales through the roof.” The result? A 100 percent response rate, with nearly every one of the responders becoming a client over the following year.

The key to unconventional customer acquisition is to remember to keep it about the customers. Think about their needs. Go where they are. Make them laugh. Help them. And, once you have them, provide exceptional service so they stick around and help you bag new customers.

Don’t worry if your competitors think you’re all about using shenanigans to bring folks to your door. We know that it’s all about your dedication to your current and future customers’ needs.

Thinking outside of the box for sure. Thanking Erika Napoletano for this great article!

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How to Read a Client from Across the Room: Win More Business with the Proven Character Code System to Decode Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

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Banners Broker Is Busted

The company Banners Broker of India has been shut down by the police. Documents and computers have been seized from all offices and investigations are underway. It is said the closing of Banners Brokers was due to affiliates and ex-employees explaining the compensation plan wrong; thus violating company rules and regulations. http://www.mlmwatchdog.com/

Just a word of advice, research a company thoroughly before you join. Check out it’s history and reputation. Find out as much information as you can before you make a decision to join.

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Can Internet Marketing Be a Long Term Business?

Here is the basic honest truth: most of the people get into Internet Marketing because they are convinced it is an easy way to earn quick money. Their approach is to make a fast website, put up some advertising and a few affiliate links and then sit back and watch while they earn real cash. There are a large amount of individuals who do this and also earn lots of money on the internet. But what if you want more than some extra or even quick cash (quick cash, naturally being a misnomer)? Can Internet Marketing really be leveraged to produce a worthwhile and long-term career?

The quick and dirty answer is that yes, you are able to make Internet Marketing your long-term and sustainable career. You only need to take on the project properly. The procedures and programs you use to build something to earn fast money are not all that different from the methods and systems you will use to build long-term profits. So what would you do if you need to develop a sustainable career on the internet?

It is very important that the first thing you do, in order to earn long-term money online, is accept the fact that you are going to have to do real work. You will have to do actual and real work on a daily basis and you will have days when you feel fantastic about what you do and days when you wish you could find something else to take on. This causes it to be just about like every other occupation that is out there. If you want to produce lasting cash flow by working lots right now and not at all later on then you are going to be in for a rude awakening in a little while. So be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

There are a few ventures that lend themselves much better to a long-term career than others will. Affiliate marketing, to use one example, is a great task for someone who wants to earn money on a part-time basis or to supplement your already existent income. Is it truly possible to earn a full-time income in this manner? You could if you pick out only the right products and then work like crazy to promote them. A far better approach, nevertheless, is to create your own products or websites and then promote those. This gives you full control over the projects you take on and how you accomplish them. And you will end up more likely to stick with it in the long run. If you want to give a service on the web this works much the same way. Writers, for example, need to create websites for themselves and create portfolios that they can point to as examples of their work.

Finally, perhaps the most significant thing that you need to recognize is that, when you want to build a long-term and reliable income on the internet, you need to truly dedicate yourself to your task. You might have fun and feel rewarded by your efforts but first you should tell yourself “yes, I really want to do this.” Making a half-hearted effort is not about to get you anywhere. T.Ara

Thank you all for reading!

Glenda Coker
Network Marketing Professional

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