Friday, 11 December 2009

Online reputation management and the killers

So I went to watch the Killers in Paarl this weekend and what a concert it was. Getting there was a bit of a nightmare and so we missed Goldfish and Zebra and Giraffe but the Killers were out of this world. The R100 extra for Golden circle was well worth it and we had a killer time (sorry, couldn’t resist). We went to the party at the Polo club afterwards which was also great fun. All in all it was an awesome jol but that’s not why I’m writing.

The reason why I am writing is because some attendees of the concert spent 4 hours getting to the concert and 5 hrs getting back home afterwards and I’d like to have a look at the manner in which Big Concerts responded.

The bigger question is, if a brand or organisation has stepped out of line or blundered massively, what is the best course of action online? I’m not certain of the answer to that but lets see what Big Concerts had to say and perhaps we can let you decide the rest.

Firstly to Big Concerts credit, they were very quick, they had a press release out the following morning and this is what it said:

The thing which created frustration is that they stated that they had planned thoroughly and what had happened was beyond their control. The thing with social media (the comments box on and 2oceansvibe) is that it does not allow one sided stories. There were 1000’s of eyewitnesses who said that it was very poorly planned and it was impossible to expect that many cars to exit on one dirt road. What made this problem worse for Big Concerts is that all these readers who disagreed with the press release were also angry and had spent 4 hours in their cars and so they really wanted to vent….

So what unfolded was hundreds of responses across numerous websites and pretty much all of them had the same sentiment. Have a look below at a few comments from the site and just a note, I wasn’t taking the really bad ones, these were just three short comments in a row

I think this is a great example of how different today’s media is. In the past Big Concerts would have published this press release and the job would have been finished but now angry readers get to have their say and challenge the integrity of the statement for the world to see.

So this brings me back to the question on which I started this post, if there is a “Reputation Crisis” of this nature online, how does an organisation deal with it.

I think the most important answer to that question is that one must be 100% transparent and honest on every point. If an online statement misrepresents the actual events in any way the online world will expose the truth. There were 20 000 people at the concert and they all had to exit on one road and so, the truth is that the “rigorous logistics guy” should have foreseen a problem.

It is also vital to monitor digital media and online forums, this allows you to react appropriately when you can see a problem getting out of hand. There were 180 comments on the blog alone and yet no response from Big Concerts.

At the end of the day, I have been to plenty of Big Concerts gigs and to date and they have all been great. This is the company who have brought everything from Roxette and the Spice Girls to U2 and Counting Crows to South Africa over the last 20 years and I think that is something important to remember in times when things go wrong.

So Big Concerts, thanks for making South Africa a better place over the years but this time you cocked up, I say you stand up and own it and this little youtube clip from Jet Blue is a great example of a company doing just that.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Peperami brand announce winners of crowd-sourced ad brief

London, 24th November 2009: Following an intense idea selection process reviewing over 1,185 entries, Unilever brand Peperami today announces not one, but two winners (upping the cash bounty to $15,000 US dollars) whose creative ideas will be combined to form the next TV and print campaign for the infamous Peperami Animal character.

The winners Kevin Baldwin, a copywriter from London, and Rowland Davies, an ex-creative director from Munich, Germany were selected to create the new Peperami ad campaign. Kevin’s idea which he created for both TV and print campaigns bagged him $10,000 (US dollars), while Rowland received $5,000 (US dollars) for his TV campaign idea - a stroke of luck for both men who were made redundant recently. The collaborative ideas from both Kevin and Rowland will shape the new Peperami ad, set to launch early next year.

Kevin has been a copy-writer since the mid 1980’s at a number of different agencies and worked across various FMCG brands, whilst Rowland, an ex-creative director has been shooting TV commercials for almost 20 years and who has been running his own agency for 3 years. Both winners were chosen as the brand embarked on its first crowd-sourcing project inviting creative people around the world to submit their ideas for the next TV and print campaign with the offer of a cash bounty.

Noam Buchalter Marketing Manager at Peperami comments: “We were so overwhelmed with the level of entries and range of high-quality creative ideas pitched for the brief that we found it impossible to pick one, so we bought two! A large proportion of submissions were from experienced, creative professionals and being the first crowd-sourcing project for the brand, we couldn’t have asked for a better response. We’re certain the two ideas will be a successful campaign for the Peperami brand and the legendary Animal”.

Jon Ratcliffe, Marketing Director at Idea Bounty comments: “Selecting two winners is a first in Idea Bounty history and testament to the quality of ideas that were submitted and high level of creativity from all entrants. It was a tough brief and we were inundated with responses, so our hats go off to everyone who gave up their time to submit a brief”.

Kevin Baldwin one of the winners added: “I knew the brief would attract a lot of entries so am delighted that my idea has been chosen. The $10,000 will definitely come in handy and now I can’t wait to see the finished ad next year.”

Specialist agency, Smartworks are now set to start work to produce the ad. Further detail on the advertising campaign will be revealed next year.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Linked in - Ten Tips on Building a Strong Profile

Ten Tips on Building a Strong Profile
What can I do to make my Profile stronger?

1. Don't cut and paste your resume.
LinkedIn hooks you into a network, not just a human resources department. You wouldn't hand out your resume before introducing yourself, so don't do it here. Instead, describe your experience and abilities as you would to someone you just met. Also, write for the screen, in short blocks of copy with visual or textual signposts.
2. Borrow from the best marketers.
Light up your Profile with your voice. Use specific adjectives, colorful verbs, active construction ('managed project team,' not 'responsible for project team management'). Act naturally: don't write in the third person unless that formality suits your brand. Picture yourself at a conference or client meeting. How do you introduce yourself? That's your authentic voice, so use it.
3. Write a personal tagline.
That line of text under your name is the first thing people see in your Profile. It follows your name in search hit lists. It's your brand. (Note: your e-mail address is not a brand!) Your company's brand might be so strong that it and your title are sufficient. However,you might need to refine your professional personality into a more eye-catching phrase that describes who you are at a glance.
4. Put your elevator pitch to work.
Go back to your conference introduction. That 30-second description, the essence of who you are and what you do, is a personal elevator pitch. Use it in the Summary section to engage readers. You've got 5-10 seconds to capture their attention. The more meaningful your summary is, the more time you'll get from readers.
5. Point out your skills.
Think of the Specialties field as your personal search engine optimizer. It is an avenue to refine the ways people find and remember you. This searchable section is where that list of industry buzzwords from your resume belongs. This is also the place to display particular abilities and interests, the personal values you bring to your professional performance, or even a note of humor or passion.
6. Explain your experience.
Help the reader grasp the key points. Briefly say what the company does and what you did or do for them. Picture yourself at that conference again. After you've introduced yourself, how do you describe what you do, what your company does? Use those clear, succinct phrases here and break them into visually digestible chunks.
7. Distinguish yourself from the crowd.
Use the 'Additional Information' section to round out your Profile with a few key interests. Add websites that showcase your abilities or passions. Then edit the default 'My Website' label to encourage click-throughs (you get Google page rankings for those, raising your visibility). Maybe you belong to a trade association or an interest group; help other members find you by naming those groups. If you're an award winner recognized by peers, customers or employers, add prestige without bragging by listing them here.
8. Ask and answer questions.
Thoughtful questions and useful answers build your credibility. The best ones give people a reason to look at your Profile. Make a point of answering questions in your field to establish your expertise, raise your visibility, and most important, to build social capital with people in your network. You may need answers to a question of your own down the road.
9. Improve your Google Page Rank.
Pat your own back and others'. Get recommendations from colleagues, clients, and employers who can speak credibly about your abilities or performance. (Think quality, not quantity.) Ask them to focus on a specific skill or personality trait that drives their opinion of you. Make meaningful comments when you recommend others. Also, mix it up because variety makes your recommendations feel authentic.
10. Build your connections.
Connections are one of the most important aspects of your brand. The company you keep reflects the quality of your brand. What happens when you view a Profile and see that you know someone in common? That Profile's credibility increases. The value of that commonality works both ways. So identify connections that will add to your credibility and pursue those.

A final note: As you add connections and recommendations, your Profile develops into a peer-reviewed picture of you and of your personal brand. Make sure it's in focus, well composed and easy to find. Edit your public Profile's URL to reflect your name or tagline. Then you can put it to work by adding it to your blog, linking to it from your website, and including it in your e-mail signature.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

I am extremely terrified of chinese people

Interesting statement, I just cant emagine how so many people have searched for it over the years that it comes up on Google suggest.

Friday, 9 October 2009

This guy is a genius

Now, I know what you're thinking... I mean every guy has found himself in this position once or twice... It's thinking on your feet like this guy which can sometimes make the world of difference.

Nice work mate, I'm going to reherese this.

PS: Not exactly eMarketing but it's superb viral so I thought I could bend the rules a little.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Trendsmap - The best thing since Twitter

Trendsmap is by far the most innovative and useful ad on to the Twitter offering that I have seen in the last few months. It allows users to view which topics are trending in certain areas on Google maps. For example, you can have a look at London you can instantly see which topics are trending real time. They are displayed similarly to a tag cloud and if you click through, you can also see which images and videos are trending.

They have developed a tutorial which gives you an overview of the key offering but I'm sure this project will evolve.

The reason that I think it is great is that it is real time, it has very easy usability and it’s simple.

It will be interesting to see what commercial uses this information could have but for now, it’s just really interesting and fun to play with.


Monday, 21 September 2009

Really great business quotes

Robert Collier: The great successful men of the world have used their imagination... they think ahead and create their mental picture in all it details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building - steadily building.

Nelson Mandela: The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Comer Cotrell:The greatest inspiration is often born of desperation.

Henry Ford:The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

Thomas Paine: The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

Lord Macaulay: The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it.

Sam Walton: The key to success is to get out into the store and listen to what the associates have to say. It's terribly important for everyone to get involved. Our best ideas come from clerks and stockboys.

Winston Churchill: Never, never, never, never give up.

Victor Hugo: No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.

Harry Emerson Fosdick: No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.

William Shakespeare: No legacy is so rich as honesty.

Andrew Carnegie: No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.

Chris Evert: If you're a champion, you have to have it in your heart.

Friedrich Schlegel: In actual life every great enterprise begins with and takes its first forward step in faith.

Ray Kroc: In business for yourself, not by yourself.

Chester L. Karrass: In business, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.

Thomas Carlyle: In every phenomenon the beginning remains always the most notable moment.

Unknown Author: It doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game.

Elbert Hubbard: It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.

Napoleon: He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.

Edward F. Halifax: He who leaves nothing to chance will do few things poorly, but he will do few things.

B. C. Forbes: Honesty pays dividends both in dollars and in peace of mind.

Malcolm Forbes: How to succeed? Try hard enough.

George S. Patton: I don't fear failure. I only fear the slowing up of the engine inside of me which is saying, "Keep going, someone must be on top, why not you?"

Thomas Jefferson: I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.

Rudyard Kipling: I kept six honest serving men. They taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

amuel Smiles: Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever.

Niccolo Machiavelli: Make no small plans for they have no power to stir the soul.

Lee Iacocca: Management is nothing more than motivating other people.

Edwin H. Stuart: Men who do things without being told draw the most wages.

Napoleon Hill: Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.

Roger Von Oech: Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn't work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach.

Zig Ziglar: Remember, what you get by reaching your destination isn't nearly as important as what you become by reaching your goals - what you will become is the winner you were born to be!

William Penn: Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.

Mario Fernandez: Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.

Horace: Rule your mind or it will rule you.

Horace: Seize the day, put no trust in tomorrow.

Henry Ford: If you believe you can or you cant, you are right

Great overview of why eMarketing is the future

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Twin towers 9/11 WWF ad

DDB South America seem to have got themselves in a little trouble over this ad. It was done proactivly in an effort to win the WWF business and has created a bit of a stink.

The ad has been banned in some countries and the WWF have stated that they didnt brief the agency on the piece of work. The creatives behind the work are apparently not working at DDB any more.

It's amazing how the promise of advertising awards drives creatives. This is probably a place they will regret going

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

PPC Tips to optimise your spend

How can I improve my campaign performance?

Based on our experience with managing numerous AdWords ads, we've found a number of techniques that help improve an account's performance. These techniques include:

* Fine-tune your keywords.
o Experiment with keyword matching options. Some keywords work better as exact matches, others with phrase match. Sometimes adding a negative match gets great results. Of course, there are always some words that just don't work, so delete those.
o Add plurals, synonyms, and related phrases to your keyword lists.

* Revise your ad text. Include a call-to-action - language designed to entice the customer to take an immediate action.

* Organize your ad groups by theme based on your products, services, or other categories.
o Shape your ads around your keywords.
o Try running 2 to 4 ads per ad group. We'll automatically monitor the clickthrough rate (CTR) of each ad and show the better performing ads more often than ads with lower CTRs.

* Pick the right landing page. Make sure the destination, or landing, page for your ad is a page where users can find the product or service promised in your ad.
o Keep your original objectives (sales, leads, downloads) in mind.
o Refer to specific keywords, offers, and calls to action on your landing pages.
o Make your landing page navigation as simple as possible.
o Help people get what they want in three clicks or fewer.
o Don't create obstacles that discourage easy transactions.

* Enable content bids. When you enable content bids, you can set one price when your ads run on Google and its search partner sites, and a different price when your ads run on Google Network content sites and products. Learn more in our content bids FAQ.

* Track your results. Your AdWords account will provide you with clickthrough rates and costs, but it is often useful to understand how many clicks actually convert into your customers. For this type of analysis, you can use our free conversion tracking tool. To start tracking today, simply select the 'Conversion Tracking' link at the top of the 'Campaign Summary' page in your account.

We also offer a more detailed Optimization Tips page. We suggest that you use this page for guidance when creating and refining your campaigns. However, these tips are not exhaustive, and we encourage you to experiment with your own ad text and targeting techniques to find what works best for you. You can also watch these tips in video format (English only).

This is a simple cut and paste from the Google webpage.
If you want to view the original doc click here

Monday, 7 September 2009

Hitler Aids awareness tv ad

This is a pretty hardcore take on Aids awareness. I think it's certainly hard hitting and will get a lot of attention but I think it's a little tactless towards the millions of people living with HIV around the world.

None the less, it's a solid message and will certainly make the point.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Marketing 101

Dealing with lots of ideas

There are plenty of ideas out there. Some are good and some are not as good. The real skill is to be able to pick the good ideas. If you can then find a way to measure the ideas that you have picked, you are in the ideal position.

Here is a list of steps to get where you need to be. It’s an obvious list but sometimes the things standing in front of you are the most difficult to distill.

Here goes….

Step 1. Line up all your ideas.
Step 2. Put them in order, starting with the best idea and moving to the worst idea.
Step 3. Assign costs to each idea
Step 4. Reorder them in a new list starting with the idea which you expect to be the most effective relative to it’s cost and ending with the idea which you expect to be least effective relative to it’s cost.
Step 5.Establish a way to measure the effectiveness of each activity relative to the others.
Step 6.Structure a plan to implement all the ideas you believe are worth investing in and can afford.
Step 7: Implement ideas
Step 8. Establish test period and gather feedback.
Step 9. Analyse feedback and choose which ideas are performing best in terms of ROI.

The structure above is not easy but marketing plans are important, if you were building a house, you would never start by putting a few bricks down, you would get a solid plan together first and it’s the same for marketing, the better you plan, the greater your chance of success.

Assess the ROI
Unless market share is your primary goal, it’s difficult to think of an instance where you would spend marketing dollars which would give you a return which is smaller in the long term than it costs. Always ask yourself how much “product” you would need to move in order to make this activity profitable. If it’s a direct mailer and you need a 7% return then probably don’t waste your time.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Iphone market share is unbelievable

It's amazing to see how much market share the iphone has in the email world. The iphone has 3 times the market share of Lotus and of all the email sent in the world 5% is from the iphone. Thats amazing!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

What did the free Camcorder and SEO have in common

As most of you reading this will know, content generation is a key part of search engine optimisation. Generating this content is sometimes quite costly and finding a way to generate relevant content without having to pay for it is one of the Holy Grail’s of SEO.

Omni Hotels clearly understand this value as they have launched an innovative promotion with the objective of creating video content from each of their destinations.

They are offering all guests a free camcorder for the duration of their stay and then asking them to upload their video for a competition. Why I really like this promotion is that it is effective even without the added SEO benefit. The camcorder company gets their product in the hands of potential consumers, the hotel gets to offer a fantastic value ad and the guests get a cool toy for the duration of their stay.

Nice one Omni hotels, I'll keep my eye on youtube for the winner!

Read more about the promotion here.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

This is brilliant - from the Google Blog

I now pronounce you monetized: a YouTube video case study

7/30/2009 09:32:00 AM
(Cross-posted from the YouTube Biz Blog)

Last week the world watched in wonder as Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz's wedding party transformed a familiar and predictable tradition into something spontaneous and just flat-out fun. The video, set to R&B star Chris Brown's hypnotic dance jam "Forever," became an overnight sensation, accumulating more than 10 million views on YouTube in less than one week. But as with all great YouTube videos, there's more to this story than simple view counts.

At YouTube, we have sophisticated content management tools in place to help rights holders control their content on our site. The rights holders for "Forever" used these tools to claim and monetize the song, as well as to start running Click-to-Buy links over the video, giving viewers the opportunity to purchase the music track on Amazon and iTunes. As a result, the rights holders were able to capitalize on the massive wave of popularity generated by "JK Wedding Entrance Dance" — in the last week, searches for "Chris Brown Forever" on YouTube have skyrocketed, making it one of the most popular queries on the site:

This traffic is also very engaged — the click-through rate (CTR) on the "JK Wedding Entrance" video is 2x the average of other Click-to-Buy overlays on the site. And this newfound interest in downloading "Forever" goes beyond the viral video itself: "JK Wedding Entrance" also appears to have influenced the official "Forever" music video, which saw its Click-to-Buy CTR increase by 2.5x in the last week.

So, what does all of this mean? Despite compelling data and studies around consumer purchasing habits, many still question the promotional and bottom-line business value sites like YouTube provide artists. But in the last week, over a year after its release, Chris Brown's "Forever" has again rocketed up the charts, reaching as high as #4 on the iTunes singles chart and #3 on Amazon's best selling MP3 list. We've seen similar successes in the past with partners like Monty Python.

One of our main goals at YouTube is to help content creators effectively make money from the distribution of their content online. That they can do so in a way that brings artists and our community together to create fun, spontaneous and inspiring works, is one of the best and most exciting things about YouTube.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The order of importance with SEO

Hi all
Please see the two pie charts below. This is what SEOmoz thinks the order of importance is when it comes to SEO.
As you probably know, there are a lot of soft edges when it comes to SEO and each engine has it's own rules but have a look below for one point of view.

Great song


Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The nuts and bolts

SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday-SEO Site Reviews Step-by-Step from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

Where it all started

Hi Everyone

As my first Blog post, I feel it’s worth writing a little about why I’m here…. I’ve always been fascinated by the role of marketing in the business world and how it has the power to change the way consumers behave. I remember when I first decided that I wanted to be in marketing, it was in my 1st year marketing class at Stellenbosch University when our lecturer told us that the sales of Horliks went up 600% when they advertised that it makes you sleep better. A simple thing which gave consumers more reason to use the product made 600% difference in sales.

It is the impact of marketing which has always been the most exciting for me – Effective marketing activities which can lead to landslide victories keep me up at night and I am always thrilled to engage with briefs with objectives which can be measured.

It is this measurability which has always attracted me to the online space. I can’t say it has quite the flash of big brand advertising but what could be more rewarding for a marketer than putting a campaign together and being able to measure real time exactly how effective your communication is. David Ogilvy is famous for saying “50% of all advertising works, I wish I knew which 50%” With eMarketing you know exactly which 50% is working and the exciting part is that you can just ditch the 50% which doesn’t work and plough your funds into the effective part. Also, arm yourself with some solid results and your Finance Director will approve more budget every day. This is why I believe there has been such rapid growth in online spend and this trend will only gather momentum as bandwidth increases and we spend even more of our time online.

So… that’s the summary of why I’m here and how exciting the first few days have been. I’ve learnt about all sorts of useful marketing tools like Google insights and and some which are just super cool to use outside of work like Spotify the live streaming music system which has exposed me to a whole host of music which I couldn’t have discovered another way. I know there is a lot of hard work ahead but it’s going to be along a path of discovery and I suppose that’s the best part. So in closing, here’s to the future of marketing and I can’t wait to find out what the next month holds in store.

Bye for now