Posts tagged ‘marketing’

Customer input from the social web.

Several months ago, I looked at some corporate initiatives to use social networking tools to interact with customers and learn what they have to say about a company’s products and services. I thought they were a bit pricy for midsize companies and predicted we would see lower cost options in the near future. The future is here. is currently in beta. It offers a simple, easy to use, online tool that makes it easy for customers to communicate their opinions, wants and needs and empowers companies to take action.

The pricing is right for midsize companies at $50/month or $495/year with a 30 day free trial and money back guarantee. The feature set is pretty basic on the “suggester” side. Anyone can make a suggestion or rate suggestions made by others. The company can respond to suggesters with a thank you or request for clarification. And each suggestion can be marked as implemented, coming soon, under review or filed away.

in a comment to my earlier post, an IdeaStorm manager suggested the power of their solution was on the back end. This may be so, but at $5 per user, this power requires a significantly larger investment.

Vivek Bhaskaran, CEO of Survey Analytics, developers of QuestionPro and IdeaScale commented on one of my earlier posts. He said, “I think the model of charging per user (or per idea) is NOT how we plan on marching down. We’ll have flat fee of anywhere between Free (yes), $15/Month and $199/Month.”

Here are some examples of who/how IdeaScale is being used: (Politics) (Large Biz) (Small Biz)

August 18, 2008 at 7:56 am 2 comments

Should you advertise in a down economy?

Most of my clients own or manage midsize companies. Some are finding new opportunities and improving sales numbers during the current economic downturn. Others, not so much.

A few years ago, I developed a presentation that looks at advertising in a recession from the 30 thousand foot level. It asks a simple question: Why advertise in a down economy? This slide show walks you through the process I use in strategic planning sessions or workshops for CEOs and senior executives.

To view in full screen mode, click the SlideShare logo, then click the full screen icon on the slide show control bar. If you prefer a “flat” article, here’s a link that will help.

Also, here’s a post with questions the CEO of a midsize company should ask before cutting the marketing budget.

July 9, 2008 at 12:40 pm 2 comments

Does advertising really work?

Branding works!This morning, Karen Renzi blogged about a discovery she made last week in the sketches of her 5-year-old daughter. In her words, “In the top is a “house” on blue, next a “fan” on pink, and last but not least, on the orange: Verizon. Ahh, the power of the brand: inspiring young minds everywhere.”

Ha! By the mid-80s, I’d been in the ad agency biz for several years. I was cynical about the effectiveness of my own snappy copy and “stunning” visuals. I figured I knew all the “tricks” so I couldn’t be tricked myself. Then, I found myself in a Home Depot one Saturday morning. A guy asked what I thought of the lawn mower we were both looking at. I didn’t have a clue, had never owned this kind of mower, didn’t even have a lawn. But there I was, telling this guy all about it… selling the thing like I was gonna get some huge commission if he took one home.

Yes, it’s a little scary that Karen’s little one is drawing Verizon’s logo on a Post-It note, but it’s harmless enough. At least she’s not selling lawn mowers at Home Depot based on deeply engrained subliminal messages from the advertising team at Toro… yet. :-)

July 8, 2008 at 7:35 am Leave a comment

Selling marketing services to entrepreneurs.

So, I’m reading Seth Godin’s blog about how to read a business book. He linked to the 800-CEO-read blog for May 16, 2008, What is Wrong With Business Books?! – Part II which quoted rather freely from the anonymous “Uncle Saul” at

And I’m thinking, Seth Godin writes/sells books. I get why this is important to him, but it’s also important to marketing agencies, consultants and service providers who are selling to entrepreneurs.

Bottom line: know who you’re pitching before you make the pitch. Entrepreneurs are different from serial entrepreneurs, who are different from professional managers or second generation owners.

Continue Reading June 3, 2008 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

10 business problems you can solve on the internet.

Most of my clients own or manage midsize companies. Some are tech-savvy, others not so much. None are able to spend a great deal of time worrying about the details of their marketing programs, especially the design and operation of their company websites.

A few years ago, I developed a presentation that looks at web strategy from the 30 thousand foot level. It asks a simple question: What is the most important business problem you can solve on the internet? This slide show walks you through the process I use in strategic planning sessions or workshops for CEOs and marketing teams.

In an hour, the execs have a strategy they can communicate to techies and creatives.

May 30, 2008 at 1:35 pm Leave a comment

What does this brand mean to you?

Since the name was trademarked in 1903, cubic dollars have been spent to build, support, expand, refine, and engrain the Pepsi-Cola brand in the mind of “cola” drinkers everywhere. It is reasonable to assume that near cubic dollars have been invested in marketing research to learn how effective the efforts to build, support, expand, refine, and engrain the brand have been. The results of this research have been, of course, proprietary. That was then, this is now….

Continue Reading May 29, 2008 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

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