My husband and I were watching the evening news tonight, which is something we very rarely do because we get most of our news from online sources (though he's also a radio junkie). This story comes on to one of our local Denver area stations: a local company that provides products specifically for dogs, made a very generous donation of dog oxygen masks to the local fire department's rescue squad. Great video, and actually a pretty long story (slow news day, I think). The image of a sweet Golden Retriever being cuddled by a fireman as he adjusts an oxygen mask over doggie's muzzle is coupled with a voiceover stating that this will now allow the fire department to provide help to pets "in distress" from smoke inhalation at a house fire.
This company sells products specifically for homeowners with dogs, and it's a pretty significant investment if you use their product. What a smart donation, right? Directly helps animals AND the local community (that didn't have the budget for this sort of thing) AND also showcases the product and company in beautifully positive light.
I Google the company. I find a national Web site with no news feed or press area. (I think the donor was a local franchisee, but I'm guessing). I google everything I can think of to try to find the company -- zip.. I DID find the story had been picked up by all of our local TV stations. Nothing popped up for the actual company office in Denver.
Then I tried social media -- Facebook, Twiter, LinkedIn -- nothing, nothing, nothing The company has a Facebook page staked out -- zero content. On LinkedIn, there are franchisees in Florida and San Francisco -- zip in Denver.
This is so puzzling to me! Animal lovers are a passionate bunch -- they tend to vote with their wallets when companies do GOOD THINGS that help animals. I'm not even naming this company because honestly I'm so embarrassed for them. They did a great thing, and yet they have made it IMPOSSIBLE for anyone who find out about that donation to connect with them -- and connecting for a big-ticket pet investment that requires wiring and construction... well... to me, you drive sales by CONNECTING with potential customers.
This company did a kind and compassionate thing with their donation -- and they totally blew the opportunity to be accessible to potential customers. Strange to see nowadays!
I have read a number of articles recently on what to do to ramp up your company's mobile marketing, like this one.
Most articles provide similar sorts of advice: don't spam, know your market, provide a coupon, things like that. All good advice. However, as an Android user with a wee bit of an addiction to my device, I've got a more modest proposal:
If you want to goose along your mobile marketing strategy, start with something a little more basic: MAKE SURE YOUR WEB SITE IS PHONE-FRIENDLY.
For example, this Mobile Usability Update
from late September 2011 discussed the following types of tasks
- Highly specific tasks. For example, "You are in an electronics store and consider buying a Canon PowerShot SD1100IS as a present. The camera costs $220.25 in the store. Check adorama.com to see if you can get a better price online."
- Directed, but less specific. For example, "Find a moisturizer with SPF 30 or above that is suitable for your skin." (While using the Walgreens app.)
- Open-ended, but restricted to a predetermined site or app. For example, "See if you can find any interesting pictures related to today's news." (While using the China Daily app.)
- Web-wide tasks that let users go anywhere they wanted. For example, "Find out which is the tallest building in the world." (While giving users no indication of which site might have the answer.)
How does your own company's Web site stack up? Do you have a dedicated mobile site that's easy for someone to use via phone? Do you offer a choice? I know a company that drove a lot of their customers nuts last year because if you accessed their ecommerce site from anything that was not a traditional computer, you got their phone app. Which, if you think about it, would drive a tablet owner NUTS. My site is built using Weebly, and I love how clean the mobile version is from my phone -- AND that they offer a choice of viewing either "Mobile Site or Full Site".
What I'd love to see in 2012 regarding mobile marketing is for more companies to focus FIRST on providing a super clean, easy to use home base, and once that's handled... then start testing other tactics.
I just noticed this post on Alltop
about how social media has plateaued. I'm not surprised! I remember when marketers got all hot and sweaty about email marketing in the mid-90's; it was supposed to kill off virtually all other types of media, and we;d even stop killing trees. Anybody remember the promises of "the paperless office"???
Twitter's tapering off... Chris Brogan made a great point about this
, and as usual I agree with him. Believing you NEED more Twitter followers is like believing you NEED more Facebook friends. Heck, I routinely bump people off my back because I don't cotton to spam or irrelevance.
It's not going to die, certainly, but I think we'll start seeing a rebound in 2012, where people start to reconnect to other people in real life, face to face. It will be interesting to see how the trends continue to shift.
Why do they always look totally cute AND totally pissed off when you plop a holiday collar on them???
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The CEO's CELL # is on their web site -- how's that for transparency?
I've found a great brand recently -- and it's kind of a surprising one, because it's truly disruptive. It's a local Denver area-based company called Pawngo
. Why am I excited about this brand? Watch this video about Pawngo
, and you'll see.
Most people wouldn't think of a pawn shop as the sort of company that would bear a truly disruptive brand -- but this group has managed to attract solid venture capital backing, and they are creating true value by extending the consumer lending category. This is going to be a company to watch, and I predict a lot of success for them. They are clearly doing the right things right -- at the right time.
growing up in San Francisco, I got to see snow ONE TIME at my house. I was 12 or 13, and my mom woke me up at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. because it was SNOWING! I know I have a photo of me standing in the backyard somewhere, with maybe a scant inch or so of snow covering the lawn. I got to stay home from school, and we played in the yard until it all melted by noon.
Today, I woke up to a total Winter Wonderland. Shoveling still makes me happy, even though I've now lived in snowy climates for maybe a third of my life. When you grow up in California near the beach, snow just doesn't cross your mind (unless you're vacationing at Lake Tahoe or something.)
It's a beautiful, happy day -- and it's our wedding anniversary, too! I think we get closer every year.
Love it, love it, love it -- Klaatu42's Talking Animals Channel -- Animals Sing "12 Days of Christmas"
. Share with the pet-lovers in your life!!!!
Is it overly annoying to crow about such a little thing? Don't care. Today was the first time I ranked as "Top Influencer" in the Microsoft Alumni and FTE LinkedIn group -- I've been experimenting a lot more this week with different types of social media tools, and ramping up how I use LinkedIn, and it's brought up some weird thoughts.One thing is that there are SO MANY social media apps, tools, platforms, etc. out there today, the past week has been sort of analogous to this scenario: if I wanted a new CAR, I'd have to test drive virtually every type of car sold in the USA before I could make a decision. Who has time for that? I'd rather ignore 90% of what's available, and just go get a damn car that fits my needs well enough -- and if I happen to miss out on the perfect car because I didn't test drive every single model, no big whup. I've got the wheels I need. I think that's one of the reasons that for most types of product categories, there are one or two 800ob gorillas, and a slew of also-rans: human brains love to categorize, and we definitely get sick of test-driving! But I still think the Top Influencer thing on LinkedIn is cool, and I saved a screenshot of it. Vanity, thy name is Laura, today!
I am just about finished with the book Different, by Harvard Business School professor Youngme Moon. Has to be the best business and branding book all year. She writes about what it takes to break free from the herd and create a category-breaking product. I'n going to have to write a few posts about this, because there is so much great info in this book that I am stunned. She writes about Sony's Aibo, the robot dog -- we bought Aibo for our daughter Brenna in 2000, and it was an amazing piece of hardware and software. Buggy and glitchy as hell -- but the truly brilliant thing Sony did was to sell it as a PET -- and as we all know, pets are quirky, they have their own personalities, and they don't always listen to you. Hence, people were more than tolerant of their quirky little "pet" -- they loved it. We sure did! Other category busters include the Mini Cooper (sell a little-known teeny-tiny European car into the U.S. market that was dominated by huge Escalades, Explorers and other SUV roadhogs), and Pull-Ups (parents want their kids out of diapers by age 2 -- but they'll happily keep them in "big kid" disposable "underwear" until age 4!) and much more. Brilliant analysis of how human brains need to categorize things -- and how deft marketers can flip that on its head. think RedBull -- it tastes utterly disgusting, but it gives you wiiiiings!