We’re learning marketing insights from all the wrong places

oreos (borrowed from Wikipedia)Trying to imitate the digital giants is an exercise in futility and frustration.

I remember sitting in front of a television with a bunch of people about ten months ago utterly confused about what was going on. It was Super Bowl XLVII and the lights in the stadium had simply turned off right after the halftime show. Little did anyone know that this disturbance would provide one of the most famous viral marketing stunts in recent history: Oreo’s “You Can Still Dunk In The Dark.”

As if talk about Super Bowl advertising isn’t already frustrating enough for those of us managing marketing budgets of less than half a dozen digits, for the next month we had to be bombarded with hundreds of ‘What we can learn from Oreo’s brilliant ad’ blog posts.

Oreo’s ploy was dubbed “the benchmark for breakthrough marketing.” After all, the ad from one of America’s most famous cookies accumulated more than 21,000 likes on Facebook and nearly 16,000 retweets on Twitter.

So there’s a lot to be learned from this ‘case study,’ right? Wrong. Learning from the top-down simply doesn’t work.

Unless your brand has thousands upon thousands of social media followers, you probably could have posted an even cleverer and more relevant ad, and without an insane amount of luck, it would’ve gone nowhere. And this is the essential problem with where we take marketing insights from.

We need to stop learning exclusively from established brands. Most of us simply do not have the resources or social capital to truly imitate any of these ‘marketing deities.’ We will simply burn the far limited resources we have only to find out that we should have just saved our time and money in the first place.

Doesn’t it make a lot more sense to learn from the bottom-up? If we look at the stories of successful marketers from companies you’ve never heard of and stunts that required few to no resources or reputation, we can derive insights that are tangible and applicable.

This isn’t all to say that Oreo’s ad wasn’t brilliant. It was. But to pretend that SMB’s can ‘tap into the moment’ in any similar fashion is ludicrous. We’re outsiders and we need to accept that. Let’s instead learn from the ‘fringe’ cases – from those who were resourceful and innovative, and we may just begin to understand marketing on a new level.

Entrepreneurial marketers have been called ‘growth hackers’ because of their ability to find innovative ways to extend their brand despite overwhelming barriers. They’re able to grow because they are of a different mindset – they follow a different set of rules.

In my webinar on October 31, I will delve into the techniques ‘growth hackers’ use to market and evangelize their brands. I will tell the story of two marketers who succeeded without emptying their bank accounts. You may just find that being resourceful is better than having resources.

Sign up for Nis’ FREE live webinar with Social Buzz U – Thurs Oct 31, 11am Pacific. CLICK HERE to register now!

Curious About Crowdfunding?

3 Simple Ways to Understand Crowdfunding and Harness the Power of this Hot Trend!

crowdfundingby Patty Lennon

Crowdfunding–the ability for a large group of people to band together and make small investments that collectively are enough to fund a project or startup–is becoming a hot trend.

Technology platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter make it possible for individuals and small teams to harness the power of social media to create a crowdfunding campaign. Millions of dollars are raised by individuals and businesses each month through crowdfunding.

Despite the enormous cash flow passing through the crowdfunding space, there are few regulations around crowdfunding, which leaves it feeling more like the wild, wild west than the traditional finance industry. This makes many entrepreneurs resistant to utilizing this powerful business growth opportunity.

Perhaps you’ve heard about crowdfunding and are excited at the prospect of accessing risk-free cash to grow your business or launch your latest endeavor but aren’t sure how or when to start.

Here are few quick tips that are helpful to anyone, anywhere on their path to crowdfunding:

  1. Subscribe to a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. You’ll receive weekly summaries of campaigns that are successful. This will “prime the pump” with inspiration when/if you decide to crowdfund yourself.

  2. Make small contributions to a few campaigns, even $1 works. This increases what I call your “crowdfunding karma” by connecting you with the energy of this community. You’ll also notice what campaigns called to you and why. This will leave you better prepared to design your own campaign when you decide to crowdfund.

  3. Become more likeable. This is not something you can fake but it’s not hard either. Just be helpful to other people. Give information, support or love. Give freely. This will pay you huge dividends if you decide to run a crowdfunding campaign by having a sea of people ready to send that love and support back your way. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever crowdfund, being a likeable person is one of the keys to success in this new global marketplace. (The good guys and gals are winning. Pick the right team!)

Want to learn more? Attend Patty’s free webinar! Coming up with SocialBuzzU… DETAILS ARE HERE.

lennonPatty Lennon plunged headfirst into the Wild West World of crowdfunding in 2012 when she decided to go outside the sponsor world to raise $45,000 for her Mom Gets A Business Conference through crowdfunding. A former VP at a global bank and business coach, she quickly unlocked the formula to successful crowdfunding and is passionate about sharing this valuable business growth and marketing strategy with entrepreneurs everywhere!

3 Tips to Get More Leads Every Time You Speak

There it is – now you’re a speaker.

Becoming a speaker will help grow your businessYou just made the decision to add speaking to your marketing mix so you get in front of your ideal prospects. 

You work hard at securing your first gig and are thrilled because you have your first real shot at getting in front of a room filled with your ideal prospects.

So, you work for hours getting your speech down cold.  You spend a lot of effort working out the slides and you think you’re ready.  You deliver your speech and are quite pleased with your presentation.  You’re relieved to finish your presentation, people clap, and some people take your card.

Then you wait.  And wait.  And wait.  You even check your phone to make sure it’s working.  Confusion turns into frustration.  You simply don’t understand why you’re not getting calls because so many people came up to you and loved your message.  All of that time, effort, money, travel and nothing.  Continue reading

A Look at ‘Honestly, Now’ the New Hot Social Network

 Post first appeared on genConnect where readers can make genuine connections with world-class experts on what matters to you!

 Honestly, Now is a new innovative new social network I recently discovered. It’s still in beta, but users will see quickly how useful it can be.

In a nutshell, users ask questions like, “Do I tell my boyfriend I cheated on him?” or “Should I thank people for re-Tweeting me on Twitter?” and experts like myself and others answer the questions, as well as general users of the site. One user uploaded a picture of herself in her new glasses and asked for opinions from the user base. It is a great way to get expert and objective opinions.

I had the opportunity to interview Tereza Nemessanyi, the CEO and founder of this new innovative social network, on the story behind Honestly, Now and what users can expect when they join:

Q: What is the idea behind Honestly, Now? Why did you feel the need to start yet another social network?

A: My parents died rather suddenly after I had my first child. I found I had more questions than ever – personal questions, and important decisions. But my support structure was gone and I wasn’t sure my friends were telling me the truth. So, to recreate what I’d lost – great advice and honest, compassionate truth – I combined the best of social technology with what I know about market research techniques and expert networks. You can say I digitized my mom, in a way. There are important conversations women have every day – our most important conversations – that are not happening online and are not as good as they could be, because existing social networks don’t understand them. Said another way, we are disrupting “Dear Abby.”

Q: Who are the experts?

A: Experts are a special status level on Honestly, Now and we showcase our experts to the community. They’re the top dogs and their comments have the most visual weight – they are the wise ones. We believe in the power of smart people helping others, and we want people to get to know these experts. We are always looking for new experts. Popular topics include social media, career and business, parenting, relationships and romance, fashion and style, travel, and technology. We want no great question to go unanswered. Because – for certain – there is someone excellent out there who makes a living helping people with that problem. We want people to know it!

Q: What do you want people to know about Honestly, Now?

A: We truly want to make the world better, and make great business for everyone, by being honest. I want us to create a billion ‘honest moments’ – moments where someone asks, votes, or answers. I truly believe that if we hit a billion honest moments, the world will be a much better place.

Honestly, Now can also be great as a business tool to do some crowdsourcing. I’m sure brands and businesses can benefit from asking poll-like questions to help in target marketing or test a concept.

Honestly, now … who wouldn’t want more honesty and making the world a better place? Give it a try! It’s a great way to get objective input on your most pressing issues.

3 Key Points Your Social Marketing Must Have

If you haven’t taken the time to master the art of social marketing you will be heading nowhere and fast!

Most of the time when we hear the phrase “social marketing” we think of all the new social media sites like twitter and facebook that have changed our economy in recent years. Yes, that’s correct, completely changed our economy

But that’s not what I mean when I refer to “social marketing”…to me “social marketing” really means Relationship Marketing.

The point of being social is to build new relationships and strengthen old ones.  I can’t think of any entrepreneur who doesn’t need new and strong relationships to sustain their business.  Continue reading