Christine Perkett interviewed on NewMarketingTV

PerkettPR’s own Christine Perkett talks with BMA President Michael Lewis on NewMarketingTV during the last day of the 2008 New Marketing Summit at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. All of the video interviews that Mike created during the summit can be found on the NewMarketingTV YouTube page.

Meeting of the New Marketing Minds, Part 3

This is Part 3 of my series of takeaways from the 2008 New Marketing Summit at Gillette Stadium. Part 1 focused on the importance of listening, while Part 2 focused on content creation and becoming your own publisher. Today I’ll share some of the ideas mentioned around controlling your brand online.

Lose Control – Heck, you already lost it, but it’s all good

If you can’t beat them, join them. Smart corporations are quickly realizing the value in giving up control of their brands and putting it into the hands of their customers.

I really enjoyed David Meerman Scott’s keynote “World Wide Rave: Creating triggers to get millions of people to spread your ideas and share your stories.” During his presentation, David shared six “Rules of the Rave” from his upcoming book entitled “World Wide Rave” which will be available March 3, 2009.

According to a description from the book’s microsite, a World Wide Rave is when people around the world are talking about you, your company, and your products. Whether you’re located in San Francisco, Dubai, or Reykjavík, it’s when global communities eagerly link to your stuff on the Web. It’s when online buzz drives buyers to your virtual doorstep. And it’s when tons of fans visit your web site and your blog because they genuinely want to be there.

One of his six “Rules of the Rave” and a key theme from the conference was “Lose Control.” According to Scott, the new rules of marketing mean you have to give up control to reach your customers. Don’t require people to give up their information to get information because it’s not working. If you make your information totally free to the public then you are likely to get a better response.

Sometimes you have to give a little to get a lot – and it works. David offered the example of how the Grateful Dead was the first band to allow its audience to record live concerts. This practice ultimately made them the most popular touring band in history.

Another great example was the Cadbury Gorilla video. Cadbury created a video of a drum-playing gorilla set to Phil Collins’ – In the Air Tonight. Now Gorilla’s have nothing to do with the Cadbury brand and the viewer didn’t even know it was Cadbury behind the video until the end when its logo appeared. What was even cooler than this video concept was that people actually took the content (content creation again) and made mash-ups of the same video to different music and released their own version. And within each and every one, the Cadbury brand appeared at the end. That didn’t cost them a dime for that additional exposure – excellent!

This isn’t your grandfather’s marketing

While the concept of new marketing is really exciting, we need to remember, as Christopher S. Penn pointed out, that new marketing is not a shiny new object so don’t treat it as such. Instead, look at it as another tool in your toolbox. There are ideas that have been done way before the internet existed that you can incorporate into new media. It’s a balance of finding what will work best for your organization.

So before you decide to jump in and incorporate some new media into your organization be prepared to stop, listen, create and let go. Visit www.GoNewMarketing.com for more information on upcoming New Marketing Summit events throughout 2009.

Meeting of the New Marketing Minds, Part 2

This is Part 2 of my series of takeaways from the 2008 New Marketing Summit at Gillette Stadium. Part 1 focused on the importance of listening. Today I’ll share some of the ideas mentioned around becoming a content creator.

Content Creation – Be the publisher!
Content Creation

During a panel moderated by Paul Gillin, William Cava (Ektron), Darren Guarnaccia (Sitecore), John Munsel (Bizzuka) and Peter Nieforth (Documetrics) defined content marketing as “using content to drive behavior and action.” In today’s environment, ultimately everyone has the opportunity to be a marketer.

Another point they discussed was unlocking your content. Take down those web forms because you are losing 95% of your potential readership. Try looking for different ways to engage with the reader and give THEM the option to give out their information in return – you will see a greater success rate with this open mentality.

Cava stressed that organizations should not underestimate the power of fresh content, and it should be treated like a living, breathing thing. Avoid “Content Rot” explained Gillin. A steady schedule of new content will keep your site fresh and will help drive SEO.

Some suggestions discussed during the panel for getting more mileage out of existing content include:

  • Post a video. Tape simple events your company might be involved with. The company BBQ, a re-enactment of the scene from “Office Space” that involves the office printer and a bat. This type of content creation is easy to develop, free, and it works to drive visitors.
  • Viral videos. Ok, everyone knows you can’t “make” a video go viral – you can just post it, promote it and hope for the best, but again, it is another avenue for attracting eyeballs and getting people to interact with your company/brand.
  • Press release – yes, they said press releases. As more people are doing away with the press release, there is not as much noise.

During Gillin’s own keynote presentation “Why Content is the New Currency of Marketing” he stressed that while marketers no longer have control over what customers are saying about them, they can and should participate in the conversations. Using the same tools as customers, marketers no longer need the media to help influence public opinion, they can do it themselves!

Stay tuned for the third and final part of this wrap-up series coming up tomorrow.

Meeting of the New Marketing Minds, Part 1

Last week I was fortunate to have attended the New Marketing Summit at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. There was certainly no shortage of information and knowledge sharing going on during the two day event. A wide-variety of non-stop sessions and panels filled each day, while keynotes from hosts Chris Brogan, Paul Gillin and David Meerman Scott sweetened the experience even more. Our very own Christine Perkett spoke on a panel that discussed “PR 2.0” with Tony Sapienza (Topaz Partners) and Bobbie Carlton (Beacon Street Girls) towards the end of day two. And if the sessions weren’t enough there was always plenty to learn from the 300+ attendees who made the journey to the conference.

New Marketing Summit 2008Photo Credit: Steve Garfield

After reflecting on the experience and all the information absorbed during the two days, I’ve selected three common themes that resonated throughout.

  • Listen, Listen, Listen
  • Content Creation – Be the Publisher
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Lose Control

In order to keep the size of this recap in check, I’ll be breaking each of the take-aways into separate (“snackable”) posts.

Your Customers Are Talking About You – LISTEN!

Mike Lewis, President of the Business Marketing Association of Boston kicked off the conference with a video of him at Quincy Market in Boston asking random people what they thought “New Marketing” was. Surprisingly, what he found was that most people actually got it. The old form of marketing, according to Lewis, was to talk “at” people – one way communication. New Marketing is about listening and engaging with your customers.

The “Listening in a Blizzard – Social Media Monitoring, and the Future” panel with David Alston (Radian6), Candace Fleming (Crimson Hexagon), Todd Parsons (BuzzLogic), Tony Priore (Biz360) and Mike Spartaro (Visible Technologies) continued the discussion on the importance of listening. They really hit the nail on the head when they said “…your customers are out there talking about you on the Web. They are blogging, commenting, making videos, etc. about the brands they either love or they hate (probably more about the ones they hate).”

Alston, during another discussion he presented at the Social Media Breakfast (#smb9) on October 16th expanded on the theme by asking the question “if someone was outside your place of business shouting about how much your company sucked, how long would it take for someone to run out to them to get them to fix the situation?” The same philosophy applies to relationships online.

When people are talking about you, take the time to listen and engage with them. If it is a positive comment, take the time to thank them and be sure to save that comment, retweet it (if you are using Twitter) and favorite it! If the comment is negative, reach out to that person directly and help them. Taking that extra step can turn a bad situation into a very positive one.

At PerkettPR we work with several of our clients on their social media initiatives to help them listen and engage in online discussions. The results have been incredible, and customers that might have, at one time, left the company, are now happy again and talking about their positive experiences with their social media spheres.

New Marketing means using today’s many social media resources to better listen, understand the issues, and get directly involved with your customers to make a positive difference in their experience with your brand.

Stay tuned for the next part of the New Marketing wrap-up series coming up tomorrow.

PR, Social Media, Transparency & Good News

I’ve been having a very lively discussion on Twitter today about PR, social media and where the lines of transparency fall. We asked if a PR firm should run social media entities in social communities. If they do, should they identify themselves in these communities – like Twitter, Facebook, etc. – as the PR firm or as part of the company’s marketing team, or is simply having a company entity sufficient enough to imply that you’re probably talking to the marketing folks (which could include an agency). How transparent is transparent enough? I received a lot of lively – and differing – answers:

PR Company Transparency

My favorite answer, however, was from @tgruber. She said:

@tgruber Transparency Reply

It’s my favorite answer because for me, if I’m interacting with a company’s brand online, it seems obvious that the marketing team would be behind it unless otherwise noted (as in the case of @zappos which is clearly identified as the CEO, Tony Hsieh; or in our case @PerkettPR – where we identify who is behind the Twittering of the brand right in our bio).

But I’m in marketing and PR – so I wanted other viewpoints. If you are interacting with @Lotame (client), for example, do you assume you are talking to the CEO or a marketing executive, or someone else? If a PR firm maintains the account should they say in their bio, for example, “We’re PerkettPR Twittering on behalf of Client.”? If you follow @TJMaxx, @Starbucks, @JetBlue, @LuckyShops or others, does it matter to you who’s behind the social media curtain – as long as they aren’t claiming to be the CEO when they are not?

We’re excited to announce several new clients today and as we continue planning and launching many social media campaigns for them in the coming months, we continue to value and learn from the collective communities and their opinions. That includes you – so what do you think?