Offline & Online Marketing Convergence – Missing Out on Key Opportunities

Sometimes I get a little frustrated when I see things in an offline environment, and I cannot find head nor tail of it online. Has that ever happened to you?

Techno Twins Comercial from AT&T on YouTubeRemember those AT&T Wireless commercials from about a year ago, where one person said they went from city to city, the background would move behind them to reflect those cities, and they’d come up with some weird concoction of a city name like PhilaDevMunichopolis? I thought those commercials were clever and wanted to show them to my mother without having to wait around for the commercial to actually appear on TV. Do you think I could find them on the AT&T site? Hell no! Think I could find them on YouTube? Hell no! The closest I could find was a blog post about them because of the director Wes Anderson. The videos though, are no longer on YouTube, and don’t play on the blog post.

Talk about a missed opportunity.

Now AT&T has “the techno twins, Slad and Veeder”, I laugh every time I see this commercial. This time, AT&T has stepped up a little bit better, they have their own YouTube channel and have the commercial out there. But here’s the thing, it’s not on their website! You would think they’d have this as a widget in their front page. These commercials are catchy – from the family going to a nude beach in Spain by mistake, to the guy who’s checking into some shady French hotel, they are funny and they get people talking about AT&T – people go to their site and get disappointed.

However, take a trip and go to their service centers and all their commercials are being played on a loop in the waiting area ( I had to back in May). Now, that’s monotonous when you’ve seen the guy in the pool hall missing out on concert tickets 8 times, and the other guy calling a client Mr. Stinky Fish Face.

Talk about a missed opportunity.

Travel + Leisure Magazine Front Page 10/31/2008Today, I was on MSNBC, and I clicked to watch a video segment from the Today show about “23 secret beach retreats”. It was about a 4 minute segment, with Nilou Motamed from Travel + Leisure magazine. I got interested of course, I’m a beach bum at heart. I then went to Travel + Leisure’s website to look for the rest of the list since the Nilou only discussed 4 places with Meredith Vieira, gosh darnit, I wanted to know the 19 others!

Travel + Leisure didn’t have the article anywhere on its front page for me to click, not even giving me a tidbit and then have to pay to see the rest. They didn’t even have an image of their latest magazine’s front page on their site, so that if I wanted to go pick up the magazine because of this article, I would know it’s there – I remembered a brief flash of it in the interview and thought I saw it, but wasn’t sure. Then there’s MSNBC, no link to an actual article on the video.

Thank goodness I’m a bit more technically savvy, and decided to check out the Today Show website. It wasn’t on the main page of the Today Show, so from there I clicked into the Travel section, and found the article, it’s 2 pages on the site, with very little to really go on. I suspect this is to draw in the person to either buy the magazine or go to Travel + Leisure’s site. Two problems here with going to Travel + Leisure’s site 1) I’m not sure at this point, if that magazine on the shelf has my article 2) Travel + Leisure isn’t featuring this article on their site.

Talk about a missed opportunity.

Carnival Cruise Lines - World Record PinataHas your Public Relations department let your Online Marketing folks know about that special event you are planning? Carnival Cruise Lines apparently does.

Carnival is planning to break a world record for the largest pinata, ever. 6 foot tall this thing is suppose to be. I’ve heard about it on the news, and on the radio, since it’s suppose to happen here where I live in the Philadelphia area (home of the 2008 World Series Champs – The Phillies). I go to Carnival’s site and they’ve got the information about this right on their front page, featured front and center.

Talk about pulling things together and getting it right.

So these instances always lead me back to my clients, and making sure their offline efforts are easily found online. As our population becomes increasing web savvy, and relies more and more on finding things on the internet whether it’s going through a companies site, or even through Google to find something, stop and think – Are you tying all your marketing efforts together?

Don’t be an AT&T, or a Travel + Leisure magazine, don’t miss out on the opportunities. It can end up costing you branding opportunities, relationship building opportunities, the chance to create brand evangelists or even sales. Make sure that you have someone pulling together all the ends of your marketing strategy, not just one or two.

eMetrics: Word of Mouth Metrics

Emetrics Word of Mouth Marketing Metrics SessionThe third day of the eMetrics Marketing Summit was chalk full of great information, just as the prior days were. I found myself completely enthralled with everything in the Social Media track, even the Word of Mouth Metrics session. In this session Sandra Ponce de Leon of BuzzLogic and Ann Green of Millward Brown presented some interesting information when it comes to measuring the effects of WOM campaigns.

Sandra Ponce de Leon, BuzzLogic

Social Media Metrics: Measuring Influence to Drive Effective Engagement & Sales

Social media means a lot of different things, it can mean social platforms, social bookmarking, etc. This fact makes measurement challenging, and without measuring where do you know where do you place your marketing dollars. More and more, marketers are having feet to fire – measurable results are demanded!

Reliable Social Media

Blogs: “old timers” in terms of consumer adoption and maturing. Blogs are pretty much mainstream these days. Over 77 million visitors go to blogs which is much more than Facebook or Myspace.

  • 90% of bloggers already talk about brands, 4 out of 5 post product reviews
  • 65% of blog readers seek an opinion when reading blogs
  • half of all blog readers consider bloga as a useful source for information

BuzzLogic offers a SMM platform & Ad network which:

  • measure influential content in social media across any topc and ..
  • serves display and rich media ads on relevant influential sites and / or…
  • makes it easy for brands to engage with content creators directly

Why does measuring influence matter?

  • looking at the influencers you can separate the signal from the noise
  • verifies perceived impact
  • provides insight into the people behind the content
  • facilitates intelligent relationship building
  • focuses traditional online advertising efforts

Social Media Strategies with Influence


  • determining whether the noise is just noise – and focus resource wlsewhere
  • commenting on blogs w/ high impact to steer conversation
  • competitive intel from blogs most influentinal on your customers


  • commenting on blogs w/ high impact
  • cultivating largely unkown but influential bloggers
  • cross-linking relationships from a corp blog to influencers
  • maximizing ad campaign ROI by targeting ads to the most influential sites

Identify “Conversations”
Quantify the “Influencers”
Identify Influencer Networks for Ad Placement

Ann Green Millward Brown,

Framing the Word of Mouth Measurement Discussion

eMetrics Word of Mouth Marketing Metrics SessionTwo types of WOM
1) Buzz – something to talk about, creates curiosity, exogenous
Great example of this is “Will it Blend” – iPhone 3g blended in their blender “buzz based campaigned” it got Bendtech on the Tonight Show (blended a rake handle on the show)
2) Advocacy – driven by product quality, offers proof, endogenous
Great example of this is Google- simple, easy to do, goal was to build a great product, they spent virtually no money on advertising. Google is now a top 10 valued brand.

89% of all marketers told MillwardBrown that they execute integrate marketing campaigns (across all fronts).

Web Analytics tools are critical to measuring online WOM transmission:

  • Audience/Reach/WOM Units
  • Tonality
  • Brand Recommendations
  • Visibility Times
  • Frequency
  • Depth of Dialog

But marketers also want to understand the impact of WOM. Its all about accountability, spending little on WOM. Word of Mouth Marketing does not operate in a vacuum, it’s about understanding its role in the purchase process. However not all Word of Mouth Marketing is all about online, WOM is a hugely influential touchpoint from any medium. In the end marketers need to make the distinction between buzz and advocacy – they build brands in totally different ways.

Can Businesses Combat the Constant, Experienced Complainer?

By Liana “Li” Evans

As a business, no doubt you will have your run in with an upset customer or two. But what happens when that customer turns into a troll? Or what happens when you are subjected to the “experienced complainer”?

Santa with the Reindeer ComplainerWhat’s an experienced complainer? Well those are the people who know how to “troll” the system. Knowing that if they complain enough, they’ll be placated with discounts, coupons, certificates, and special things all to “soothe” their complaints. They then figure out they can do this just about anywhere they go. All of a sudden, seemingly or magically they get free trips, special discounts, and the like, all because they threaten to write a letter of complaint. These days, even more damaging, they threaten to write a negative review on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor or Epinions, or even possibly more damaging – write a blog post with a scathing review, with links to your website that are nofollowed.

As customers, I’m sure we’ve seen these types of people. Nothing ever makes them happy, not even free things (undoubtedly they’ll find something wrong with that, too). So what’s a company to do? How can they fight back? Can they takes steps to protect their good name and reputation from these types of complainers, scammers and trolls?

Seems helpless doesn’t it? Well take heart, people in these social communities are smart. Especially if you are making an honest effort to communicate with your audience and reaching out to them. They can smell a “troll” a mile away. They can peg a constant complainer usually within 2-5 posts on a forum or a blog, and they can certainly use their own voice to “out” them as the scammer they seem to be.

Is there anything else you can do? Well in this day and age of digital photos, videos and instant reviews by bloggers and review sites, you do need to do your do diligence before taking extreme actions against the constant complainers. Research and documentation into them is probably the best course of action, to proove that the complainer has a history of “never being happy”.

Take the case of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and a couple from Cleveland. I wrote about them on SearchMarketingGurus. This couple has done nothing but complain for years and were “soothed” with discounts, special packages and percentages off – all because they were Diamond Club members. I did a little poking around in forums, and the wife seems to leave a wide path of complaints all over the place. The communities even call her a whiner.

Royal Caribbean seems to have done a bit of homework here, and felt they’d never be able to make this couple happy. Guess what they did? They banned the couple from taking cruises on their cruise line for life. Drastic? Perhaps, but it does alleviate the issue dealing with a customer who seems more out to take advantage of your business than anything else.

While banning customers from your business might not be the first option you want to take, it is there if you have the need to do so, but prepare for backlash, undoubtedly the customer will play the victim in the end. In the case of Royal Caribbean, the local news interviewed the wife about the distressing news RC banned them, and a website or two came to her defense, saying complaining to much got them banned. But looking at other sites, the wife has been outted as a “constant whiner” – so who’s right? I guess that’s up to Royal Caribbean’s customers and online community to make their decision with their wallets.

If you are active with your audience, talking to them, interacting with them in social media, believe it or not a lot of times your customers will take up your defense. So the lesson to be learned here is hold an honest conversation with your customers or audience, as they say, the best defense, is a great offense.

More Evidence Shows Power of Consumer Reviews

by Matt McGee

People are talking online. They’re talking about your company, your products, or perhaps your industry. And what they’re saying has a big impact on your chances of converting that next lead or closing that next sale.

Last month, Li made an impassioned case for conversations being the focus and goal of social media. Social media, she said, is an “opportunity for the general public to voice their opinions about brands, products, companies and their opinion of what is really relevant.”

The latest evidence proves that’s exactly what a lot of people are doing online. According to a survey done by the Opinion Research Corporation, reviews are a major influence on consumer decision-making. This isn’t new information, either; consumer reviews have been cited for years as a growing trend in determining who wins and loses online.

Here are some of the stats from the ORC survey:

  • 83% of respondents said online reviews had at least some influence on their purchasing decisions.
  • 70% said they look for reviews and information about particular types of products and services, with travel/recreation/leisure topping the list of most researched niches, and electronics right behind in 2nd
  • 61% look for online reviews before purchasing a new product or service

There’s no hiding from the power of consumer opinion online. If you’re a business owner, the time is now to make sure you know what’s being said about you, your products or services, and your industry as a whole.

You can download the ORC news release (24k PDF) for more background on the survey.

Relationship Building – 6 Tips For Working in Social Media

By Liana Evans

Building RelationshipsAs much as social media is about starting conversations, its equally as much about building relationships. Once you start getting involved with social media, it becomes very apparent that it takes time and resources to build those relationships within your community that creates the brand loyalists and promoters, not to mention converting the skeptics.

It certainly doesn’t happen over night, or with one Social News site submission. Rather, it takes dedicated resources, as in real human beings, that represent your company or your brand to communicate one on one with individuals who are active in the social circles within your industry space. Shortcuts are few and far between, and in the end, only manage to “cheapen” or even destroy the trust you’ve built up in a relationship.

Take for example, outsourcing a blogger outreach program. A lot of companies out there will spout out how many emails they can send out to bloggers pitching your product, service or brand. If they do that, you should stop, pack up your things and walk out the door. That’s not how you are going to build relationships with bloggers, that’s only going to get them pissed off at you.

So what’s a company to do? Well here’s some simple tips to get your started on building relationships in the social media space.

  • Dedicate Resources
    Building relationships in social media requires resources, both time and bodies. You need to have a dedicated person or team that fields the responsibility of communicating on a one on one level with your audience. That means that this team of people needs to read blogs, manage friend lists, write comments, join groups, upload photos, participate in forums, be active on sites like Twitter or Plurk, write blogs posts for your blog and so on. Depending on your industry, you might need to even dedicate an expert to your team that can field questions with the right answers.

  • Be Real
    Building relationships in social media requires trust. That means, be real – be who you are. Let your employees be who they are, representatives of your brand. Building fake profiles, writing fake reviews, concocting fake blogs, lying about who you really are will all eventually bite you in the ass, so don’t even bother. Don’t ever underestimate the audience’s intelligence, they can smell a fake a mile away and will crucify you when you are found out.

  • Communicate Early & Often
    Whether its through newsletters, blogs or even forum posts, get out there and communicate! By communicating “early” you have the opportunity to head off those “storms” that can arise, but not only that, you can also get a jump start on topics that are hot in your industry and respond to them a lot earlier than your competition. Communicating often helps to build that relationship with your audience that they can trust you will be there, informing them of the valuable information they are looking for or need.

  • Get Involved
    Don’t just post links to your blog posts, or press releases in Twitter or Plurk, or posts on forums. That’s just going to make people ignore you, because it’s not a two way conversation. Actually get involved with your community. If people are looking for assistance, point them in the right direction, even if its not to your site, that’ll gain you much more respect rather than slapping a link to your product that isn’t related to what they asked.

    One of the best examples of this “getting involved” point I’m making is Tim Jackson the Brand Manager of Masi Bicycles. This man is deeply involved in the Plurk community and it’s benefiting Masi by leaps and bounds. Why? Because Tim’s done the first 3 bullet points here and has also gotten involved.

  • Reward Your Audience
    One thing to always keep in mind, as much as you are involved in building relationships in social media, so is everyone in your community. It’s not just you spending the time and effort, but your audience is as well. They take the time to post reviews, type up comments, write blog posts, do research to answer questions, test out new products or services. Make sure you remember to reward your community for the efforts, time and resources they are putting in. Last but not least, always remember to personally thank those community members who put forth the extra effort.

  • Remember to Listen
    Building a relationship requires that you listen more and talk less. That means, as much as your PR department wants you to be promoting, promoting and promoting, that’s the last thing you should be doing in social media. Social media offers a unique opportunity for you to get real reactions, learn about real issues or problems as well as successes straight from your customers’ perspectives. All of this is not hindered by the stigma of a focus group, where people might think then need to “give the right answers”. It’s amazing the things you can learn just by listening to what your customers or your audience is saying, take the time to read their posts in forums, comments to your blog posts, their tweets or plurks and even what they say in reviews. It can be well worth its weight in gold.

It’s Not the A-List Bloggers You Should Worry About

By Li Evans

What do Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama have in common? It is a woman. However, its not the woman that was taking the spotlight Saturday afternoon. No this time its not Hillary, so you need to guess again. Give up?

Mayhill Fowler, Photo Credit Thor Swift of Washington PostMayhill Fowler

WHO?! Yep, that’s right Mayhill Fowler, someone you probably never heard of until today. Both of these polished and charismatic politicians were rocked by this unsuspecting amateur blogger, who is among 2,500 bloggers that write on Arianna Huffington’s The Huffington Post. The 61 year old, mother of two and Tennessee native, caught both of these high profile people in rather unflattering situations.

Fowler, back in April, caught Barack Obama’s “Bitter” comments on tape and set loose a firestorm for his campaign efforts in my state of Pennsylvania. This was literally non-stop for 2 weeks prior to my state’s primary.

Last week, Fowler was in South Dakota and caught Bill Clinton in what seems to be an unguarded moment when he let loose on his thoughts about Vanity Fair and their article about him.

Fowler, has no journalistic training. Fowler has no online marketing training. Fowler is a citizen journalist who describes herself as a person who “just discovered that I’m impelled to get out there and get the truth of the matter” to Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz. Armed with her tape recorder (not even an iPod!), Fowler won’t even read her own posts, since the editors tend to change her lead-ins so more people will “click in” to read her pieces.

There’s a lesson here for businesses, public relations specialists and online marketers. It isn’t the A-listers like TechCrunch, Scoble or Rubel that are gettting the scoops these days and they should not be the sole focus of your online marketing efforts to get noticed or “picked up by”. Passionate bloggers who are in your industry writing about what they love best are who you should be paying attention, too.

As someone at one of my WOMMU breakout sessions said “A-Listers” at times can be like echo-chambers.

I couldn’t agree more. Be cognizant of the B,C and even D list bloggers. If those bloggers have any type of SEO training, their blog posts could start to rank right up there with the A-Listers. What’s more important to note, is that these “smaller” bloggers probably have a more passionate reader base, and a “scoop” on an “amateur” bloggers blog, can be just as damaging or beneficial, than the echo-chambers of the A-Listers.

Just ask Barack Obama and Bill Clinton about Mayhill Fowler, that should be enough to convince you.

*photo credit, Thor Swift of the Washington Post.

Why You Shouldn’t Blog

By Liana “Li” Evans

How\'s My Blogging Photo by Scott Beale of Laughing SquipJeremiah Owyang has a great post on “The Many Challenges of Corporate Blogging“. It’s a great read, and I highly suggest taking the few minutes to take in what Jeremiah’s saying. The reasons he lists are spot on, but Debbie Weil author of the BlogWrite for CEO’s blog and The Corporate Blogging Book, added a few more reasons, and I’ve added a few more. If you haven’t read Debbie’s book, this is another read I highly recommend if you even have the inkling you want to start a blog, or you’ve started one and you are wondering where to go next. If you’re interested, check out my review of The Corporate Blogging Book.

I think these reasons that both Jeremiah and Debbie listed are all spot on, but not just for CEO’s or Corporations. These reasons are spot on for anyone considering starting a blog, from the work at home mom to the startup entrepreneur, or even the stamp collector wanting to convey his passion. Blogging is a commitment, it’s not just a fad.

So here’s the reasons I listed in the comments of Jeremiah’s post, with a little more in-depth explanation.

  • Don’t Just Blog to “Blog”
    Blogging because you read about it on TechCrunch, Newsweek or FastCompany isn’t the reason to blog. Just because your competitor is blogging, doesn’t mean you should blog either. Blogging isn’t just a fad anymore, its a commitment, and unless you can give it the time and nurturing it needs, you’ll likely do more damage to your reputation than if you hadn’t blogged at all.
  • Don’t Blog Unless You’ve Got Your “Voice” Figured Out
    Will your blog be just one person? Will it be a team of people blogging about different aspects of your company? Will you talk about products, services, issues, events, company news? Before you even start a blog, you should define a clear road map of what is “off limits” to talk about on the blog, how to handle issues as they arise (who handles what, and what’s the tone) and exactly what kind of demeanor will be portrayed on the blog – will it be laid back, straight talk, humorous or just newsy?
  • Don’t Blog Unless You’ve Got the Interest
    If you are starting a blog just because “everyone else is” and you really don’t like to right, or communicate with the outside world, perhaps you should rethink this strategy. Why? Because without a doubt, your utter lack of interest, your lack of passion and your lack of love for conveying why people should care will shine through. It will be just like those commercials Ben Stein did for “dry eyes”, he sounds monotonous and boring. If its a reach for you “social” you might want to think about looking at other online strategies to convey your company’s efforts and news.
  • and lastly…

  • Don’t Blog Unless You’ve Got The Resources

    Time, people and most importantly content ideas are the resources I’m referring to. Unless you’ve got the time to dedicate to writing a post, responding to comments and even dealing with spam here or there, you might want to think again about starting a blog. If it’s only you writing in the blog, and you don’t have the staff resources to help you out, again, you might want to rethink your strategy. If you can’t plan out your content for at least 2 weeks in advance, you really should rethink this blogging strategy. The worst thing a “blogger” can do, is start off a blog in high speed, slow down and then just stop because they are either burnt out, lack the time, lack the resources or just have no more content to give. You’ve created a following and now you’ve let them down – its nearly impossible to get them back when you find the resources you should have ad in the first place.

* Photo Credit, Scott Beale of Laughing Squid

Empowering Your Brand Evangelists

By Liana Evans
Brand PromotersEvery company large or small wishes for the kind of brand loyalists and promoters that companies like Apple, Webkinz, and Starbucks have. Companies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to figure out how to attain that kind of brand loyalty, and most of those companies fail. To a point, even Apple fails at capturing the opportunity of furthering their brand because they do not engage and empower their fan base nearly as ofter or to the potential they could.

While at the WOMMA WOMM-U event, I sat in a breakout session that focused on “Building Sustainable WOM Strategies”. There was a lot of key take aways I got from that session, but one of the ones that really hit me, that I see so many companies fail at is empowering their brand promoters or brand loyalists.

It’s great to have those rabid fans who talk about your products or services and how great and wonderful they think they are to everyone they meet. Word of mouth like that can be better than running a commercial on Desperate Housewives for 3 weeks, especially in a world of DV-R and TIVO. Having an unpaid spokes person, who’s had personal experience with your brand, willingly promoting it and touching their friends is a great thing to have.

Having those is great, but can you make it a better situation, not just for you but for them? Can you empower those brand loyalists? Can you make their recommendation more than just words? Can you make their words become actual engagement opportunities with the people they are speaking with? Do you think it’s possible to even track this type of empowerment?

The answer to all of these is yes.

Yes you can empower your brand loyalists, and yes you can track these types of engagements if you plan and strategize for it. But you are probably sitting here wondering ‘But How?!’ Well there are a lot of ways to do it, you really need to stop and think about your audience and how they speak about you. The key to empowering your evangelists is in understanding what’s in it for them. What do they gain from promoting your brand, and what can they gain from being empowered to promote a brand they love?

From coupons to exclusive opportunities, these are just some of the ways brands can empower their most loyal customers. By giving them something to “back up” what they are telling their friends, families and neighbors, it gives these listeners another reason to really believe what they are saying could possibly be true. As people we are skeptical of people who seem to always promote without any back up, but empower that promoter, and you’ve got an entirely different ballgame on your hands.

WOMMA WOMM-U: Word of Mouth (WOM) Strategy

By Li Evans

Joseph Jaffe of Gives a Keynote at WOMM-U, a WOMM event put on by WOMMAThis past week, I had the opportunity to attend the WOMM-U event put on by WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association). This was a great experience for me, as I’ve been an avid promoter of WOMMA for a while now, including when I do training for my Social Media classes at SES Training. The WOMM-U event followed my Denver Social Media Class, so this was perfect timing, to have this event follow right after.

What I found most interesting is how different forms of marketing approach Social Media. It’s great when you get to bounce your ideas, practices and thoughts on strategies with the head marketing folks from Dell, Apple and even OPI cosmetics. When you sit in a round table discussion with only 8 people or less, a lot of ideas can be bounced around, vetted out and understood.

That’s what I got to experience with the WOM Strategy track for the breakout sessions at WOMM-U. The track had six 30 minute sessions on different areas of Word of Mouth strategy including: Building a Sustained WOM Program, KPI’s that Work, Selling WOM Programs to the CEO, CO & CMO, Measuring ROI of Fans, Going for Big, Fast Buzz Now & How Does WOM Scale. I attended 5 of the 6 sessions and they had some great takeaways.

Building Big, Fast Buzz Now:

  • Evangelism is key to this. People who are whole-heartedly behind your product, brand or service can be your best allies with creating big, fast spreading Word of Mouth campaigns.
  • The internet has become a form of entertainment. Today, it is essential that companies have strong creatives for their Word of Mouth campaigns.
  • At the end of the day, its people talking to people. That’s how the conversation spreads, that’s how Word of Mouth spreads, if you don’t have an interesting story, people just aren’t going to talk to others about you, your brand or your products or services.

Selling WOMM Programs to the CEO, CO & CMO:

  • Word of Mouth Marketing programs are a natural outgrowth of great customer service. If your company already is known for providing great customer support, word of mouth is very easy to come by.
  • One of the keys to creating a long time, good word of mouth marketing program is to make promises that your company can keep. Even if they are small, eventually the numerous small promises, add up to a continuous, reliable track record that people can come to rely and trust in.
  • Small project that give back to the community that has formed around the brand, product or service, return good incremental value. They also create and build a trusting relationship, and when that happens, word of mouth starts to spread.

Carla Hendra, CEO of Olgivy speaks about the Dove campaign for real beauty and the effects of WOM at WOMM-UBuilding a Sustained WOM Program:

  • WOM should be done by all marketing units, not just the online unit, or the customer retention. Getting all areas involved helps to ensure the WOM program keeps moving along.
  • You need to listen to how your audience is promoting you, understand how they are saying things, not just “what they are saying”.
  • Product or Service co-creation is a great way to get community involvement and help to continually spread word of mouth.

KPI’s That Work:

  • Four areas to look at in WOM: Involvement, Interaction, Intimacy & Influence
  • Consumers have become very fluid now and their touch points have become fuzzy, and therefore it becomes very difficult to track.
  • Word of Mouth Marketing has shattered the linear tracking of how consumers purchase products and services, both in brick and mortar stores, as well as online. Understanding what is “success” is key to understanding your KPI’s

Measuring the ROI of Fans:

  • You need to understand what your fans / evangelists are willing to do for you. Understanding this, can give you valuable insight into your evangelists true value.
  • You need to understand that there are different types of fans / evangelists: Adovacates, Influencers and Promoters are just a few of the types.
  • Using your advocates can lead to decreased costs.

There was a lot more in these sessions, some really great take aways were given. The open environment of the round tables, and being able to ask the moderators about their past experiences was invaluable. It’s not every day you get to pick the brains of the folks who helped Leggo and Intuit, and this WOMM-U event provided just that.

Hats off to the entire WOMMA team that put this event together, it was worth every minute I spent there! For more conference coverage of the WOMM-U event by WOMMA, check out Search Marketing Gurus. For all the fun in photo form check out the WOMM-U Flickr set I set up, too

Hanes ‘Wedgie Free’ Campaign Misses Out on Online Marketing

By Li Evans

Madison Avenue advertising agencies may be good at TV commercials, and highly paid PR Firms may know how to write a press release, but when it comes to translating that across to an online medium (i.e. the internet), the majority of them have a lot to learn. I came across a post on AdFreak about Hanes’ new ad campaign for their new product “Wedgie Free” underwear, which features actress Sarah Chalke of Scrubs fame. The commercials really hit the mark by capturing Sarah’s comedic timing and her all around good looks. It can appeal to women by them thinking “wow, ‘She Gets Wedgies Too?'”, yes I know kind of corny, but all of us have been in that situation at least once in our lives.

While the commercials are catchy, and even premiered on American Idol (trying to capture that ‘young adult female’ demographic), I stopped and wondered how this was translating online. To any online marketer, it’s probably not a surprise that it hasn’t translated yet. If you’re a major online brand, maybe even Hanes, you are probably wondering “what is she talking about?” Well lets take a look at this a little closer.

Hanes PR people sent out a press release. It’s nice, contains images of Sarah Chalke from the commercials and also includes the ability to play the videos on PR Newswire. Great! Hanes’ PR company has at least managed to figure out how to get the videos and images into the press release, but that’s where it seems to have stopped. The PR Release isn’t optimized for search – at least the way normal people search – especially if the aim is “Wedgie Free”, “Wedgies”. I’m sorry, but not many women refer to their underwear crawling up their backsides as “no ride up”, its a “wedgie” plain and simple. It make work in a commercial, but that’s not how people search.

When they launched this campaign, they probably didn’t even stop to think about an online strategy. I’m pretty certain it was more of an after thought. Why? Well because if you look at the search results, you’ll see they (meaning Hanes’ website) doesn’t rank for the main phrase “Wedgie Free”, nor “Wedgie Free” Hanes. They could own this term but they don’t and they are missing out – especially with their PR people contacting blogs like AdFreak.

Google Search “Wedgie Free”

Wedgie Free Search Results in Google

Google Search “Wedgie Free Hanes”

Search for Wedgie Free Hanes in Google

Google Blog Search “Wedgie Free Hanes”

Search for Wedgie Free in Google's Blog Search

You can see the results (in both regular search and blog search) brought back are minimal, and probably until this point, not a lot of search were conducted on “wedgie free”. However, if you launch a campaign on American Idol touting “Wedgie Free” underwear, what do you think will happen? Hello – the audience of American Idol is the demographic that uses the internet the most, they are going to go on and search for videos, images and information on “Wedgie Free”. With as little competition as there is for the key phrases around this campaign, they could have really hit the mark online with this campaign without a lot of effort. Instead their Press Release on PR Newswire gets the search results as does AdFreak, who points to the PR NewsWire and Wall Street Journal pieces, not even to the Hanes website.

Multi-Media wise Hanes is sorrily missing out too. They could really capitalize on this campaign if they only took the time to contact an online marketing agency to help them “get more bang for the buck” when it comes to their online efforts. In taking a closer look, I’ll show you some examples of where they are really missing out. First we’ll look at images and then go to video.

A search in Google Image Search shows the screen capture below for “Hanes Wedgie Free”. I also did a search on “Sarach Chalke”. Granted the search for Sarah might be a bit more competitive, but had Hanes optimized their images on their site and in their press release for theses terms, they could be capturing another segment of search, and it’s quite possible they could invoke that these images produce “blended” search results in the search engines (where the images will appear in the search results).

Google Image Search “Hanes Wedge Free”

Results for Hanes Wedgie Free in Google Image Search

Google Image Search “Sarah Chalke”

Search for Sarah Chalke in Google Image Search

Now lets go to video. Here’s another chance that Hanes could quite possibly get “blended” search results to start appearing for these phrases that undoubtedly people are looking for after the appearance of the commercials on American Idol, however, again they are missing out. Google now incorporates relevant YouTube videos into their search results, Yahoo incorporates Yahoo, YouTube, Metacafe and a few others – Hanes is really missing out here!

Hanes doesn’t have a YouTube channel (as of this writing!), and they don’t have any of their videos/commercials out there. Instead other users on YouTube do. This actually does say a lot for their commercials – they are clever and witty, and Cuba Gooding, Jr is just hilarious in those commercials with Michael Jordan. People really LIKE them. It’s too bad Hanes isn’t taking advantage of this, people would subscribe to the channel and it could be another channel to disseminate their message in a quick and easy manner. Instead, with these new commercials, only one video is out there and it’s put up by a division of a PR Company. Plus the video isn’t even optimized for what it should be, it just has that “PR Spin” in the description.

YouTube Search for “Hanes”

YouTube Search Results for Hanes

YouTube Search for “Hanes Wedgie Free”

YouTube Search Results for Hanes Wedgie Free

YouTube Search for “Hanes Wedgie”

YouTube Search Results for Hanes Wedgie

YouTube Video of Wedgie Free Commercial Uploaded By Another Company

Hane's Wedgie Free Sarah Chalke Commercial / Video Uploaded in Another Users Account

The point here is that this ad campaign is clever, it hits its mark in speaking to its target audience, and it’s got a likable spokesperson, but wow, is it missing out on taking this to the next level. The video of how the commercials were made that’s included in the press release on PR Newswire is great but only included there, why they haven’t put together an online marketing strategy to take advantage of this is really befuddling!

Hanes, if you listening, at least get your own YouTube channel! (That’s a little free advice!) :)