Archive for October, 2008

“This Isn’t the Same Old Marketing and PR You’ve Tried Before”

This was the message that best-selling author and e-mail marketing expert David Meerman Scott stressed to those in attendance at the 2008 Erie Ad Day. Scott presented content from his most recent book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing, and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly. Scott has also published several e-books which he makes available on his Web site.

Know Your Buyers

The old rules of marketing stated: “Buy your way in with advertising, beg your way in with PR.” Think of it like a person shouting a message through a megaphone to a crowd of people.

The new rule of marketing is to “think like a publisher.” Publish your way in with great content on the Web and let people spread the word for you. In essence, give them the megaphone. This is called “going viral.” If you market in a manner that is in sync with your buyers’ personas, they will find your product/service and spread the word. Essentially, they will pick up your megaphone.

Scott discussed the importance of creating a detailed buyer persona profile. The example he gave was “Internet Ian.” “Internet Ian” has the following qualities:

  • Internet/Web Marketing Manager
  • Lives his life (personal and business) online- LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Digg
  • He is 26 years old, has a bachelors degree from Carnegie Mellon and met his last girlfriend on Facebook using the SuperPoke application
  • Likes beta software and edits HTML directly

“Internet Ian” is obviously best reached through the online channel. This further demonstrates why it’s important to know your buyer personas. If you were relying only on advertising through print, television, radio and the like, chances are your message would be missing the “Internet Ians” of the world.

Publish Good Content and Speak Their Language

Post online content your customers will deem valuable. Stop marketing to nameless, faceless prospects and get to know your buyers. According to Scott, “be buyer centric.” A tip to being buyer centric- speak your buyers’ language. Avoid industry jargon and fluff. Consider hiring a journalist to write your content.

Channels to Use

Forget about white papers. As exciting as white papers are, it’s time to switch to publishing e-books. What makes e-books effective is the fact that people can instantly see the value of a product that looks like it is for sale, but can actually be downloaded for free. The key point to remember about e-books is that they should contain material that people want to read. In addition to publishing e-books, participate in social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Also, start reading, commenting and writing blogs. These are all effective, yet often overlooked methods of reaching your buyers. But remember, these tools will be useless unless you understand your buyer personas.

World Wide Rave and Word-of-Mouse

Welcome to the rave! A World Wide Rave occurs when millions of people spread your ideas and tell your stories. This is the new form of PR, getting people to talk about what you offer and share their experience with whomever they come in contact with.

Word-of-Mouse is another concept that is coming to the forefront of the online marketing channel. For years, the only way to spread ideas was to buy expensive advertising or beg the media to cover a story about a company’s products/services. Now, with publishing great content online (which is often free to do), people are eager to share information with their family, friends, and colleagues. David Meerman Scott has written an e-book about word-of-mouse to help marketers take advantage of the power of viral marketing.

A great example of the World Wide Rave and word-of-mouse in action is the recent launch of the much-anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter by Universal Orlando Resort. Cindy Gordon, vice president of new media and marketing partnerships at Universal Orlando decided to promote the upcoming attraction by spreading the word to seven Harry Potter fans she found on Mugglenet, a Harry Potter fansite. These seven people were invited to participate in a top-secret Webcast held at midnight on May 31, 2007. The Webcast detailed how the team of 20 designers is working to bring together the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park which is set to open in late 2009 or early 2010. After those lucky seven saw the Webcast, they were encouraged to share the news of the theme park with their friends. Just by telling seven people, 350 million people were eventually informed of the park. The World Wide Rave and word-of-mouse were the only tactics used to reach people beyond the original seven and the results, as you can see, were nothing short of magical.

The Take-Away

“On the web, you are what you publish.” If you publish nothing, you are nothing. Ready to get started following the new rules? Additional information regarding viral markeitng and other topics related to the new rules of marketing is available on both David Meerman Scott’s Website and blog.

To find dates, links and registration for other valuable presentations, visit the eMarketing Learning Center or eMarketing Special Interest Group Web sites.

Erie Ad Day 2008 was coordinated by the Advertising Federation of Northwest Pennsylvania and sponsored by eBizITPA, the eMarketing Learning Center, eMarketing Special Interest Group and PAPA Advertising.

eMarketing Special Interest Group

October 2008

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