Tag Archives: marketing

Debe Recursos Humanos o Comunicaciones Internas Actuar Como una Empresa Editorial?

Hace un par de días me llego via Tweeter un link a un debate sobre el significado del postulado que “los departamentos de marketing deben actuar como si fuesen una empresa editorial” y me surgio la pregunta de si los departamentos de comunicaciones internas o de RRHH en las empresas medianas y pequeñas, también deben actuar como una empresa editorial.

En el debate se pueden encontrar varias descripciones del concepto relativo a “…actuar como si fuesen una empresa editorial” pero en mi opinion tiene que ver con un cambio en el paradigma de como una marca se comunica con su mercado objetivo, en el sentido de dejar de hablar y promover los productos y servicios para pasar a comunicar contenido que es relevante, entretenido y valorado por el mercado objetivo.

Uno podria preguntarse que tiene que ver este cambio en la forma de hacer marketing con la gestion de los departamentos de comunicaciones internas o RRHH. Pienso que la respuesta tiene que ver con el objetivos de estos departamentos, entre los cuales esta fidelizar a los empleados para lograr una mayor lealtad que se transforme en menor rotación y mayor productividad principalmente.

Teniendo todo esto en consideración me pregunto y en realidad pregunto a quien se anime a participar si los departamentos de comunicaciones internas o RRHH en su afan de desarrollar programas de fidelización y beneficios de empleados deben desarrollar contenidos con este nuevo paradigma en mente?

Exito.

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Una Verdadera Fidelización se Basa en la Confianza y Credibilidad

Tuve la suerte de asistir a al seminario de la AMD Chile “Del monologo al Dialogo”, aprovecho de dar las gracias a Edwards Asociados por la invitación, en donde me dio mucho gusto escuchar como se profundizo en como la revolución digital le ha entregado el poder a los consumidores. Esto toma aun mucho mas relevancia en la area de la fidelización, independiente de que sean clientes, empleados, canales comerciales o fuerzas de ventas. Y es de esto es que quiero compartir un poco de mis pensamientos al respecto.

Muchos programas de fidelización cometen el error de actuar como el Loro_Lorenzo de la AMD Chile, quien repite, repite, repite pero no entiende lo que dice y menos aun dialoga con la contraparte. No hay dialogo, no se establece una relación, no hay confianza, no hay relación.

Una verdadera fidelización se basa en la confianza y credibilidad. Esto se logra estableciendo relaciones en base a comunicación bi-direccional, verdadera, que agrega valor y es oportuna. Lo que quiero decir es que es tiempo de introducir mas y mas elementos que involucren y fomenten conversaciones con los cliente, empleados, etc.

Para sumarse a esta revolución y embarcarse en un viaje a la conversación, la empresas deben entender que no hay vuelta atrás, que no hay otra opción y que hay que asumir el reto de un cambio de mentalidad. Esto implica reorganizar departamentos y los roles en marketing, recursos humanos y ventas. La pregunta es como lo hacemos?

Conversemos…pueden encontrarme aquí:

EMAIL – jose.guerra integromkt.com
LINKEDIN – www.linkedin.com/in/joseguerra24
TWITTER – twitter.com/joseguerra24
BLOG – joseguerra24.wordpress.com
SKYPE – jose.guerra24

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How to get your audience’s attention?…from more than 35 experts, the answer is NOTHING NEW.

I came across a blog post from Tamar Weinberg that shared the responses from several “influencers” to the question “how do you recommend people grab your attention?” and after reading all of their answers (yes, I read all of them) my conclusion is NOTHING NEW. If I were to put all their comments in a pivot table in Excel (I am sorry, but I love spreadsheets) and look at the most common recommendations I’d get the same ones that everyone writes about. Check them out below.

However, this finding once again highlights the opportunity to leverage the powers of new media such as internet, social media, location-based technologies and mobile media.  The fact is that all these tools are nothing but data sources and channels to distribute more data, the uniqueness is on how you use them and the beauty is that data can be leveraged to create very targeted communications and interactions with other individuals. From a marketing stand point, we are getting closer and closer to really effective ways to communicate with potential customers, where we will be able to talk to each one of them in the terms that they like. We just need to wait until technology catches up with the how we manage relationships offline, the human brain can quickly recognize someone you know and create a mind frame to effectively communicate with that person, utilizing your common stories, friends, likes, etc. In the meantime we have to settle on the opportunities and limitations of hyper-segmentation tools and best practices.

Common recommendations to grab someone’s attention:

  • Be relevant
  • Be interesting
  • Be original
  • Be outrageous
  • Be direct
  • Don’t sell
  • Be short
  • Be precise
  • Give praise
  • Be helpful
  • Be tenacious
  • Be passionate
  • Be personal
  • And most importantly know someone they trust

Exito

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6 Step Process to Generate Sales from Blogs

Blogs can be used for many different purposes, including sales.  They started as a simple tool to share thoughts, ideas and opinions online, since then they have evolved significantly and now they are being used in many different ways. Companies are using them more and more for marketing purposes and they are seeing the benefits. A study from HubSpot indicates that businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors . Blogging for sales is another effective way to leverage blogs and I will explain how to go about it in a 6 step process.

  1. Find a large enough group of people to talk to. Marketers are always looking for new segments to penetrate with their products and blogs are a great channel to communicate with them.  For example, if you sell executive suites to small businesses, you will probably want to target prospects based on geography and perhaps service firms. That will give you a large group of people to talk to but this group will probably be composed of several smaller groups with similar interest, so don’t stop there.
  2. Learn what is unique about each smaller group. Within that larger segment you should create a variety of content that speaks to what is unique to each one do those smaller groups. Following the example above, it could be interesting to create content that talks about the importance of first impressions, the role of branding in finding new clients, the most successful stock investments strategies or the latest high-end entertainment events in the area.
  3. Share with them and build trust. We all know that people like free samples, gifts, give away, free content, free research, extras or free trials. Use those to start building your brand and relationship with them.  Once you have built that trust and created that first impression, it is really hard to lose it – unless you really screw it. When blogging for sales you must honestly want to share knowledge and tips without expecting something back immediately, you must have patience.
  4. Be patient and keep sharing. This is key as the game has changed for marketers and sales people, if you go aggressively for the sale without really knowing where the prospect is in the purchasing process, you will create a lot of enemies that could have been clients down the road. More than 95% of your blog’s visitors will not be ready to buy so you must be softer and broader with your message to appeal to a larger group that is most likely looking to simply educate themselves. However, make sure to make it easy for those that are shopping to contact you or purchase online.
  5. Embrace your visitors and their networks. As people comment on your posts, bookmark them, share them on social networks and subscribe to your blog, make a task for you to develop each one of those relationships and ideally try to take them offline if appropriate. Don’t try to sell them until they are ready and ask more about your product or services. Developing those relationships will also help you reach a much larger audience than you can reach yourself.
  6. Keep improving your sources. The content that you put in your blog is the fuel that will get your lead generation machine going, so make sure to create an editorial calendar and follow it religiously. If you have trouble coming up with your own thoughts or ideas, you can comment on research reports, studies, do book reviews, interview other experts, etc. Don’t ever run out of gas.
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3% buy now, 7% are open to it, 30% not thinking about it, 30% think they are not interested and 30% know they are not interested.

What does Education have to do with Marketing?

I was going to use the question above to title this post, but then I realized that I was making the precise mistake that I am going to blog about – Making your titles/headlines/subject lines or your entire content too specific. The consequence is that you lose the vast majority of your audience that may not be ready to buy your product or services now, but may be be in the future.  Being too specific in your pitch may be damaging your opportunities to build a stronger sales pipeline in the long run. This is what Chet Holmes talks about on chapter 4 – “Becoming a Brilliant Strategist, How to Get Up to Nine Times More Impact from Every Move You Make” – of his Amazon and New York Times best-selling book “The Ultimate Sales Machine”. He calls is “Education-Based Marketing”.

I have to say that I agree with his recommendation only to some extent. Conceptually it makes a lot of sense, however what happens when everyone else (your competitors) have also learned this? and they are changing their marketing messages too, from being very tactical or street-level to more strategic in order to build brand awareness, recognition, trust and thought leadership? I get bombarded all the time with webinars, white papers, podcasts, blog posts and videos with strategic marketing content. How to achieve better Marketing ROI with web analytics? How to incorporate Social Media into the overall marketing strategy? How to drive more leads? So, what I do with them is delete them right away because I have seen them all already.

If you noticed, the media I made a reference to, from which I get most, if not all my content, is online. Why is this important? Because sales and marketing happens on and off-line as we all know and the strategies should be coordinated but different. Being more strategic on your messaging, like Chet Holmes recommends, makes a lot of sense via traditional media and on sales activities such as cold calling, trade shows, conferences or networking. I want to emphasize that I strongly agree with such strategy when dealing offline, however, when you are online the game is different. The economics and the rules are different so you can implement a long-tail strategy to reach each segment with the right message at the right time.

I want to conclude with 6 suggestions to increase your sales performance using education-based marketing and online media (but make sure to complement it with offline media)

  1. Create targeted education-based messages. Identify the market segments or industries that you want to target and create a content strategy for them. But you can’t stop there, you have to create different messages based on where in the purchasing process the prospect may be: not considering, thus a more strategic message; researching, thus a more tactical message; or ready to purchase, an offer based message.
  2. Use and integrate different online channels. Prospects may use different channels at different stages in the purchasing cycle, so you need to be present on all of them with the appropriate message. For example those that are researching may start (probably will) on Google so you want to make sure that your optimized (blog, website, social media sites) for the keywords used at this stage in the process with content that is more educational on why you are better than your competitor. In addition, you also want to have a separate web and content optimization strategy for those that not considering by using a more strategic message and for those that are ready to pull the trigger using for example email marketing to your house list with strong offers to those that have shown interest in your product or services.
  3. Implement adequate supporting technology. You need to have the appropriate technology given your reality, otherwise all the work that you do on the front end to drive traffic to your website, blog, social media sites and any others may be lost.  Assess what kind of volume you expect to get given your investment in online marketing communications, and what resources you can dedicate to monitor and turn that traffic into sales opportunities. Then, do a through research because there are hundreds of software as a service (SaaS) providers that can help you. But make sure to adopt one or a combination of several.
  4. Nurture a develop online relationships. Once you identify the leads, make sure to categorize them based on their time to purchase. That will give you more insight into how nurture them, what type of content to share with them and with what frequency. Engage with them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Nings and on the Blogs.
  5. Drive online interactions to offline relationships as soon as possible. It is my opinion that all these online tools; web 2.0, social media, or whatever you want to call them, will never replace face to face interaction. However they can be a great bridge to get you a face-to-face interaction and very effective tools to help you maintain and develop those relationships.
  6. Analyze and refine. Establish clear goals and objectives for your plan from the beginning. As you probably know, what does not get measured, does not get improved. Utilize the technology in place and frequently challenge the process and results you’re getting to find ways to improve them.

Any thoughts or comments? Go ahead tell me what you think.

Exito

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Re-asses, Re-think, Re-imagine SEO

A few weeks ago we were invited to talk about SEO at the Dallas-Fort Worth American Marketing Association and we took the opportunity to “de-muddle” the search and content landscape. We focused our presentation on how Search Engine Optimization is evolving into what we are calling CSO or Content Search Optimization. The concept behind CSO is that with the growth of user-generated content on social media and web 2.0 sites, along with the proliferation of blogs and their integration into search results, off-page SEO is set to become more and more relevant when optimizing for search engines results. 

Search Engine Optimization has been a cat & mouse game since its inception, marketer and web masters spent their time figuring out how to game search engine algorithms to only find out that these sites kept evolving and coming up with new criteria. The beauty of this game has been that it has evolved in the direction of making results more and more like what you would find on an offline search for a product or service. The difference though is that looking for an accountant offline could take you days or weeks to find a good one. You would probably look for one on the yellow pages, then ask your friends if they knew one, then interview several, than ask for references, to end up probably working with one that worked with someone you trust.  However, online you can do this in a matter of minutes or seconds. Product or service searches on Google (using their filters, social search features and Google buzz) or searches on Facebook (which can also be filtered for friends) will, if not already, complete the entire search and selection process.

So, the questions are: How do you optimize your web presence? How do you embrace word of mouth and user-generated content around your brand? How do you grow a network built on trust and reputation? In a few words, and you can watch the presentation below to get more details, the answer is three-fold.

First, you want to establish an editorial calendar because it will help you increase content quantity, quality and your will get more subscribers. Do simple math, more content + better quality = better search engine ranking. Add a little of smart marketing and you will get more readership and that will drive more subscribers (or potential customers)

Second, become a publishing warehouse as it will help you get your target audience in the format and timing that they prefer the most. Take the topic for the day, week, month, whatever your reality is and put in your “content development process” to create blog posts, articles, presentations, tweets, white papers, questions, videos, podcasts, etc. or whatever your target audience respond best.

Third, leverage personal branding to distribute content to networks built on trust and reputation. Employees can become a great channel to distribute your content.

Exito

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What does Employee Retention have to do with Social Media Marketing?

Everyone talks about the importance of embracing Social Media as a marketing channel because it is free, easy to implement and everyone is doing it. But I also want to emphasize that it is a great channel to retain and engage employees. Leveraging employees, and their online networks and presence, in corporate social media initiatives helps marketing get the brand in front of the target audience via a channel and network built upon trust and reputation. Employees, on the other side,  fulfill their need to express themselves, develop their own personal brand for professional growth and get the opportunity to integrate their work life with their personal and social life more smoothly.

Employees and their families are online and using social media related sites more than ever before (I assume I don’t need to give a stat on this to make the point) and they like to share personal and professional content with their networks. The beauty is that these networks are built on trust, reputation, friendship and real business relationships. Therefore, they listen to what each other has to say making it a great word of mouth channel for a brand. However, many companies are still concerned that access to social media sites while at work could be a source of loss in productivity…well, let me say that the next outlook version integrates with Facebook and other social media tools and most of them have mobile devices. So, I would say that corporate mind-set will have to change much like it did 15 years ago when email came up. Next are six simple ways to start embracing employee social media activities to boost your marketing target reach while retaining employees.

  1. Set expectations and boundaries: Define how social media can help align employees with your business and marketing goals and what the objectives are for social media. Then be specific on what the expectations, implications and limitations are for employees. Clearly and frequently communicate this to them to make sure they are aware and accountable for their actions, but don’t force them into social media and make sure that they don’t feel that they have to do it.
  2. Educate them: Create a program to coach them on the benefits and limitations of each tool for social and professional purposes.  Show them examples of what to do and what not to do. Do it frequently and embrace knowledge sharing amongst themselves. Encourage employees to try it and find their own social media style.
  3. Invite them to participate: Share with them all your news, campaigns, events, promotions, offers, etc. and ask them to share them with their networks. But don’t stop there, make them part of it by asking them to provide content and help in the creation of these initiatives
  4. Use incentives: Contest are great, I recommend setting up daily, weekly or monthly contest to rewards those that participate the most or help reach the goals of the initiative at hand.
  5. Give them feedback: This is key, no one knows how they are doing and how they can improve if they don’t get any feedback. Give them metrics, comments, ideas and feedback in general on how they are helping the company. They need to know the consequences and implications (positive and negative) of their actions to improve them, correct them or embrace them.
  6. Embrace their ideas: Social media is all about user-generated content and participation, so companies must incorporate employees ideas into their programs. Employees are the ones closer to the customers and prospects and understand better than anyone else what make prospects and customer click or engage. Create the appropriate mechanisms to incorporate their social media ideas.

Exito

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They are following you! and your friends know about it.

I am approaching this line of thought from big to small, probably not going small enough but let’s see.

The New York times published an article titled “Share the Moment and Spread the Wealth” where they talk about the importance of sharing content by leveraging influencers in social media platforms and how Internet sharing companies like AddThis and ShareThis have been growing lately. It concludes that this trend may cause friction on the Internet Industry as “search engine optimizer” firms like Google compete with these “social media optimizer” firms. And posts a question to discuss if and/or how people will share smaller bits of content. Also, I read an article in the last edition of Fast Company, titled “How much are you worth to Facebook?”, which talks about embracing  content sharing by giving incentives to people to share content, all this supported by technology like Lotame that helps you target influencers based on behavioral data.

I think that both articles are approaching it the wrong way and I don’t agree with their position for moral reasons. Human beings have personal relationships and professional relationships that many times overlap with each other, but there is alway one governing relationship when it comes to trust.  If the solution to monetize social media is by muddling the waters and introducing money to relationships based on trust and friendship, I think we are evolving against core values of a healthy society. But, who am I to say that?. However,  I think if that were to be the future or next evolution of social media and online social behavior we would face a world with closer and smaller networks built on trust and friendship, which will co-exist with in larger social networks. The tools exist today, Facebook has some if you want to tightly manage your social networks. The need exist today, it is just not massive yet. The question is then, what are we marketers going to do as we face tighter and tighter communities that find ways to protect themselves from marketing messages and advertising? I think the solutions must come from firms truly living their brands and their identity, where employees, customers, partners, suppliers, and other industry related groups pass the word, share the content.

The key is that the content must fit within their social activities – not easy for certain companies. I think that the ability to constantly produce content innovation that is  tied to brand values and that is real will help firms find and retain loyal customers/clients.

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What does “think outside the box” really mean?

I think that only the brave, audacious, innovative and serious marketers take the time to embrace “thinking outside the box”.  They believe that original and creative marketing campaigns that are well executed and properly distributed using the right media for their target audience will give them a boost in their branding and sales.  I believe in that premise, but got me thinking how companies go about “thinking outside the box” and how is that process different for small and medium firms.

I think that large organizations have approached it by sourrounding themselves with (hiring) highly  creative people from prestigious ad agencies. This approach makes sense for me because these agencies have the expertise to craft very innovative campaigns, and although one may think that they don’t have the proper knowledge of the client’s culture, product, market, etc. their clients may them humongous amounts of money for the them to research and learn all the need to do to create outstanding campaigns. However, with the proliferation of social media not only as a set of tools and technologies but as a social behavior phenomenon, companies are embracing new sources of ideas such as their own customers. There are many examples of this, one of the latest ones is Unilever.

But, how can small and medium firms compete and leverage new social media practices to effectively compete and win?

They can’t afford paying creative directors from well known ad agencies to spend hundreds of hours researching about their company, culture, products, competitors, customers, etc to then come up with super creative and cool campaigns that they can’t afford to run on the expensive media recommended and with the frequency needed to have an impact.  Small and medium firms must be resourceful and the answer is within themselves. They can leverage all the knowledge, ideas, social and professional networks, and passion that is within their employees, partners, customers, investors and even suppliers to come up with the most creative and innovative campaigns ever.  That is the core of social media and the Web 2.0, it is the collaboration in the creation.

If you are a small or medium firm and your are wondering how to innovate in your marketing programs, you may have the answer sitting next to you.

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Proud to be Chilean…Now I know why we have such great wines.

My last post was about a week ago…that is lazy. With so much going on I should be sharing my thoughts, learns and stories more often.

I have been networking and focusing on business development, well last night I met this guy from Colombia, Dario, an entrepreneur full of passion, ideas and energy. The conversation took us to talk about wine and I kept thinking about business opportunities related to Chilean wine and how they are leveraging new media and social media to market their wines to the US  consumers. Long story short, there are great opportunities there, but this morning I run into this video that makes me proud to be Chilean…and makes me hungry for “un asado con ensalada chilena” that I may just eat that tonight.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

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