The Long Tail of Trust in New Media Marketing

by Eric Tsai

In today’s fragmented media world where we all have some attention deficit in our busy lives, there are simply too many sources of information thus finding a filter that we trust is extremely important.

Most people tend to prefer value, look for key opinion leaders and trust one-on-one communication sources.

Accordingly to a recent “Purchaser Influence Survey” by EXPO provided to eMarketer, over 92% of US mom internet users trust peer review more than manufacturer’s brand information.

This data should not be a surprise because if you want recommendations for a restaurant or suggestions on buying a new cell phone, you’re pretty much going to first ask your friends.

If you’re really serious about the purchase, you will do your “homework” first by reading bunch of online reviews from Yelp to Amazon before accessing your trusted sources.

Thanks to the increasingly social web, everyone can have a voice in their sphere of influence.

As a result word-of-mouth has become the ultimate marketing arsenal for marketers to tap into their loyal customers and advocates to help spread their marketing messages through what it’s called earned media.
Earned

Reprioritizing Your Brand Value Propositions

by Eric Tsai

We’re almost midway through Q1 of 2010, if your business is still going through a tough time, you’re not alone.  Perhaps it’s time to review your cost cutting measures or reexamine your value proposition to your customers.

McKinsey Quarterly recently published “The downturn’s new rules for marketers,” which suggests new ways to look at marketing in this post-recession era. Here are some key points from the article:

– To weather the storm, it will be necessary to identify anew who and where the profitable customers are and to prioritize the most effective marketing and sales vehicles for reaching them.

– The old tactic of focusing on historically profitable regions and customer groups will miss the mark. Instead, marketing and sales executives must reprioritize geographic markets and customer segments at every shift of economic fortune.

– Business-to-business (B2B) companies must go a step further. A fresh look at segments isn’t enough; instead, such companies must reexamine their opportunities and risks on a customer-by-customer basis.

– No matter how a company arrives at its quality assessment, the real power comes from combining that analysis with data

What Should You Consider When Integrating Social Media

by Eric Tsai

As we progress into 2010, the rapid growth of social media has allowed more access to information, consumers, communities, and experiences.  This new medium has enabled a new way to communicate and share, from B2C to B2B marketers are all trying to figure out an edge.  Many brands start to focus on the hybrid approach which I believe will be the next phase of digital and web marketing.  The question is what role will it play in the marketing arsenal?

Here are 3 steps to consider when integrating social media to your marketing practices:
Brand Strategy Reassessment
Understand the changing habits of your customers should be the focus of your brand.  Use the 80/20 rule to segment your customers and identify the difference between your old customers and new customers.  The recession has permanently altered the way people think of value and the concept of trust.

According to Decitica’s new study, “Marketing to the Post-Recession Consumers,”

The effects of the Great Recession on consumer behavior are so profound that many of the assumptions underpinning consumer segmentation are no longer valid; and
Marketing strategies that

3 Social Media Marketing Tips for Business to Consumer Brands

by Eric Tsai

I’ve been busy with end of the year work and now I’m back on track.  For those of you that follow the designdamage blog since the beginning, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the support and hope I can continue to provide value for your time.

Although no new entries were posted for the past weeks, I continue to follow industry trends and send out useful content via my Twitter account.  You can follow me via @designdamage

Now back to work.

After reviewing some important data and content from 2009, I’ve come to these conclusions that in 2010 social media will follow the footsteps of SEO and other forms of digital advertising: on the path to commoditization. As I’ve mentioned in the post “When to Adopt Social Media for Your Business?” that social media is still in the early adopters stage, but it’s heading towards early majority phase as the concept of connecting and sharing information online are gradually accepted.

According to eMarketer’s report supported by research from Cone “More than one-half of new media users (53%) believe brands

3 Web Marketing Trends That Will Accelerate

by Eric Tsai

3 web marketing trends

It will be increasingly difficult for brands to ignore the web when making marketing decisions. The brands that get ahead will be the ones that harness the web to work in conjunction with their existing offline campaigns while adopting more social marketing strategies to generating new consumer insights.

Customers will continue to increase their time spent online and they need to be reach where they prefer to be reached.

Even for companies marketing entirely online or B2B businesses, the question will be how to benefit from blogs, social media and search engine to achieve the marketing goals?

How to take their brand message online and into web communities that will create new business opportunities?

Here are 3 web marketing trends to consider:
1) A Shift in Web Properties to Blend Online With Offline Campaigns
There are two parts to this trend.  First is the optimization of web properties, specifically efforts in blogs, social media, search engine optimization and email.

Second is the strategic usage of those web properties within an overall campaign that may or may not include offline media (e.g. direct mail, catalogs, print ads,

3 Brand Marketing Trends That Will Continue

by Eric Tsai

3 brand marketing trends

When you hear something enough times, it may be a fad.  But when you start to see email spam about it, you know it’s a trend.

That’s the case with marketing trends such as email marketing and social media.

The problem with trends is that it’s usually a lagging indicator which means to seize the opportunity you may need to be an early adopters to reap the rewards.

If adopting new strategy and implementing fresh tactics sounds too risky, just take a look at the troubled newspaper and magazine companies and you’ll realize what I mean.

Similar to technology innovation, brand strategy is taking on an increasingly strategic role focusing not just on the bottom line but the ability to produce desirable financial outcomes.  It’s no surprise that the most innovative brands also fail more frequently, it’s the nature of the tried-and-true culture.

However, it takes discipline, research, analysis and creativity to find the right fit that works for your organization. Whether you’re promoting your personal brand or your corporate brand, here are the 3 brand marketing trends to look for in 2010:
1.Brands Must

A Social Media Marketing Handbook

by Eric Tsai

fiends_w_benefits_bookIn an effort to keep up with the rate of change in the marketing landscape, it’s important to understand the tools available to drive results.  Social media is the fastest growing tactic according to a survey by virtual events provider Unisfair, “Marketers’ top priorities for 2010 will be customer acquisition and retention and the most common tactics marketers plant to increase was social media, selected by three-quarters of marketers polled, followed by search (51%) and e-mail (49%).”

It’s indicative as the internet gets more social, the speed at which information is shared through platforms like Twitter and Facebook will continue to expand.

There is no argument that social media can benefit a brand but the problem is most companies are operating with a limited supply of resources.  And with TMI (too much information) flowing around the internet you can easily lost yourself in a sea of information resulting in analysis paralysis.

In order to utilize the time on hand, it’s important to maintain focus on what’s relevant and wrap your head around a resource that walks you through the social media maze.

5 Keys to Incorporate Social Media in Your Business

by Eric Tsai

Serious Trust IssuesLast week BusinessWeek published its 100 Best Global Brands 2009 and to no surprise, financial brands were largely untrusted which dragged down all brands across the board with them.

Moving forward, brands are rethinking how they can win back the trust focusing on the psychological aspect of marketing and advertising in an attempt to rebuild its relationship with customers.

You can see from the gradual shift in magazine ads and TV commercials using regular everyday people to lead advertising campaigns instead of celebrities with messages such as the “we’re here for you in this economy” (Hyundai guarantee programs, Subway’s $5 foot long, Gieco’s money saving tips), or the “we stand by our product and services” (GM’s may the best car win, Carl’s Jr.’s value comparison with McDonald’s Big Mac) that centers around authenticity.

What’s interesting is that with more marketers embracing social media, the actual adoption bottleneck are brands themselves.

I’m not speaking about the Fortune 500s but mainly the small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs).

Why is this important?  Because small businesses represent 99% of all employer firms and employ nearly half of all private sector employees,

Bridging the Gap Between Brand Promise and Expectation

by Eric Tsai

harris-ad09One of the first priorities in building your brand is to know who you are and why you matter before you uptake a brand strategy.  I received some feedback on the post “12 Principles of Brand Strategy” and thought it would be important to discussion how to utilize strategy to achieve business goals.  Whether you’re selling a product or a service you need to be able to articulate why you are doing what you set out to do. What’s the meaning behind your offer? Do you have a core belief in what it is that you do?

Too often businesses jump on strategy and tactics but forget the real character behind their brands.  Strategy determines how to position your brand so you can optimize the brand experience you’re trying to emulate.  If you aren’t clear with your brand’s attitude, don’t market, don’t advertise, don’t publicize – don’t communicate to the world because you will likely confuse your audience at the end.

When you start communicating, you put out signals about your brand.  Your audience can’t help but to interpret them in