Category Archives: Selling

Should Companies Embrace Facebook?

bivI was interviewed for a cover article that appeared in this week’s edition of Business In Vancouver. The story reads “Surge in Social Networking Rings Corporate Security Alarms” and talks about the rising use of platforms such as Facebook and the potential negative affects it could have on the workplace. Privacy and security are increasing concerns as more people congregate, share and communicate online. I don’t disagree, particularly when it’s employees of companies disclosing corporate information not intended for the public on a ‘company Facebook page’. This is particularly true with publicly traded companies. The same careful administration bestowed to a company website, should also be taken with a Facebook page or Ning community site or Myspace space.

But this shouldn’t stop your company from embracing these social media tools and platforms, which allow you to reach prospects and customers in a meaningful and massive way like no other. First, you’re reaching them where they go and on their terms. At Facebook, a user will only get updates on your company if they opt-in by becoming a fan. At Twitter, a user will only receive your messages if they become a follower. They also have the power to share it with their friends, fans and followers instantly, giving you some viral love in return.

And second, these tools aren’t trendy, they’re cultural. More and more people find these tools to be just way too simple and powerful to ignore. And the price is right. Our raw and primitive need to communicate and connect will never change. How we do, does and will. And technology leads the way in helping us serve that need cheaper, faster and easier. These tools and platforms are revolutionizing the way we communicate and connect, and businesses may as well learn how to use them to their benefit, and not their detriment. Below is an excerpt from the article:

While a company may not be able to control negative comments that are posted on the Internet, the web’s interactivity allows companies to respond to them. “There’s a whole etiquette to social networking that not everybody gets,” said Rajan Sodhi, vice-president of marketing at PEER 1 Network Enterprises Inc. (TSX: PIX). One consistent rule is to communicate openly, honestly and often.

Vancouver-based PEER 1 uses a number of social networking tools and has an employee whose sole role is to cultivate the company’s online presence. PEER 1 also monitors the Internet for content that mentions the company. “It can be positive or negative,” said Sodhi. “If it’s something [about PEER 1] they aren’t happy with, we acknowledge them right then and there.” As well as reacting publicly on a blog or network on which a negative comment was posted, PEER 1 will usually follow-up with a phone call.

“We’re a real believer that these social media tools and platforms are here to stay,” said Sodhi, who is the administrator of PEER 1’s Facebook site. “You can be fearful of it and not embrace it, but I think you’re going to lose one of the best tools for communicating and reaching your market.”

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Filed under Business, Communications, Facebook, Internet, marketing, MySpace, Ning, Online marketing tactics, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral

Poll on Marketing Spend

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Communications, Internet, marketing, Selling, Small Business Marketing

Second Microsoft Ad With Gates and Seinfeld

Here is the follow up ad (long version) to the first Gates Seinfeld Microsoft ad. Techcrunch isn’t impressed, and based on the comments I’ve received regarding the first ad, not many of you will be either. I found this one very much like a Seinfeld episode, so I enjoy the humor, but I do have to say that it isn’t getting to the point fast enough. This holds true with the shorter tv ad versions that I’ve seen.

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Comedy, Communications, Humor, Internet, marketing, Microsoft, Selling

Full Colour Intel Ad Looks Awful in Black and White

Intel ad creative that wasn’t quite thought out completely. Yet another example that a big ad budget can buy you lots of ad space, but not a collective brain. Here is an excerpt from the the original post in Fortune:

To promote the speed of its Core 2 Duo Processor, Intel releases a print ad featuring six bare-shouldered black sprinters crouched in their starting positions beneath a white guy dressed for the office. “We made a bad mistake,” says Don MacDonald, the company’s director of global marketing. “I know why and how, but that doesn’t make it better.”

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Communications, marketing, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Word-of-Mouth

Microsoft Motivational Video… Cringe!

Microsoft takes the cringe factor to a whole new level. Check out this motivational video for their sales department to pump them up to sell Vista. Maybe there is some truth to those Apple MAC commercials after all

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Communications, marketing, Selling

Indian Tata to Acquire Jaguar and Landrover Brands

Jaguar S-TypeA lot of public skepticism and resistance has plagued the potential acquisition of luxury brands Jaguar and Landrover by India-based mega brand Tata. Looks like the deal is no longer a potential but a certain. According to MarketWatch, Ford will announce the sale of both brands to Tata on Wednesday. It will be very interesting to see how the deal is embraced by employees and more importantly, car enthusiasts. The big question being, will the public accept an India-based company as the people behind these once iconic gems of British royalty, and feel the same intrinsic prestige and confidence in quality associated with them. My personal opinion is that it can’t be any worse than the way both brands have lagged under Ford ownership. Tata is a huge brand in India with lots of money behind it and an ownership with kahunas, who would like nothing better to do than to prove the naysayers wrong. I think North America will be its most difficult market. Building the brands back up in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia likely makes more sense, than build some momentum and credibility to re-establish the brands in the US and Canada. India in general is making a bigger play on the global market, and nothing changes perception faster than success.

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Filed under Branding, Business, marketing, Retail, Selling

Steve Jobs Tells All

Steve JobsFortune has published a series of excerpts from an exclusive interview with Apple founder, Steve Jobs who reveals among other things, the keys to the company’s success and the prospects of Apple without him. Any one who reads this blog knows I’m a huge fan of Apple. They are the complete package – great products, friendly service, and brilliant marketing.

On the iPhone: “We all had cellphones. We just hated them, they were so awful to use. The software was terrible. The hardware wasn’t very good. We talked to our friends, and they all hated their cellphones too. Everybody seemed to hate their phones. And we saw that these things really could become much more powerful and interesting to license. It’s a huge market. I mean a billion phones get shipped every year, and that’s almost an order of magnitude greater than the number of music players. It’s four times the number of PCs that ship every year.

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Filed under Apple, Branding, Business, Cell phone, Design, innovation, iPhone, ipod, marketing, Packaging, Public Relations, Selling, Technology