Category Archives: Word of Mouth

Web Views and Traffic Mean Nothing

Just because something is easy to measure doesn’t make it the most important thing to measure.

Both Ron and Fleet Street PR have interesting rants on the overreaction to views of viral video campaigns, questioning if the views really mean that much. And if they don’t, what does?

Here’s my take: Views mean something only in that they are a prerequisite to what you’re really wanting. That might seem like an overly simple statement, but it’s true. It’s a step in the right direction, but in and of itself, views and traffic mean nothing.

Exposure can only expose. It’s what’s revealed thereafter that prompts a response.

The thing to measure is what people do with that view. Do they click for more info? Do they make a purchase? Do they email it on to friends? Do they post it on a blog? Do the people they share it with seem like likely candidates to purchase? Do they leave a comment proclaiming how much they disliked it? Do they watch the whole video, or do they close it down 7 seconds into it?
All of that is a lot harder and more tedious to track than views. That’s probably why it doesn’t happen much. But it’s not impossible. Drill down into your analytics and see what you can figure out.

More importantly, figure out what really determines success to begin with. Popularity meant something in high school; it means a lot less in business. What’s going to actually make a difference for your business? Referrals? Purchases? Comments? Then measure that. Too often, those involved don’t remember what it is that matters; they just start making a big deal out of what is happening (like high traffic) and start talking up its importance. Bad move.

Quality will always outperform quantity. Always. Which means you’ve got a lot more to measure than traffic. Start asking if it’s the right traffic. Then ask if you’re getting the right reactions. And when you’re not, do something about it other than just getting more traffic.

The Vodoo That You Do So Well

NintendoI read this post by David and it got me thinking:

It’s too dang hard to keep up the Joneses of marketing and business.

Every time I turn around, there’s a new tactic, tool, software, myth – SOMETHING that’s better than anything else before it. It’s happening at almost a daily rate.

And it makes me want to not do anything, cuz I know there will be a better (or more popular) way to do it tomorrow.

I confess, I have no idea how to use Twitter for business. Or Facebook. I’m sure I could figure it out, but I just haven’t. And that goes for just about anything else.

It doesn’t mean they don’t work. It means they won’t work for me, because I’ll never bother to use them.

So what do you do? You accept that maybe you won’t use the Silver Bullet of the week and stick with the method that you’re confident in and comfortable with. It’s better to use something that’s not the latest than to not use something that is.

Loyalty Programs Gone Bad

Jerry SeinfeldI don’t know if the success of loyalty programs has actually increased in recent years or if there are just more companies that specialize in setting them up (and therefore keep telling you they’re successful). Either way, UberEye has yet another great observation that gloriously combines two great things in life: marketing and Seinfeld.

Here’s his formula: Bad customer experience + loyalty program = accelerated extinction

Say It

Say “sorry,” that is.

Magnosticism points out how Tweeter is handling their most recent bad news. I love it.

Sometimes saying, “sorry – we’ve screwed up” is the best marketing action you can take. Good luck to Tweeter.

Free Music for Prince = Good Business

Prince - Planet Earth Album GiveawayPrince is giving away LOTS of free music via a newspaper in the UK – full details here. As the article states, ” Prince’s new 10-track CD “Planet Earth” will be included with an upcoming Mail on Sunday, the newspaper’s managing director, Stephen Miron, told Reuters on Friday.”

Seems as though record companies are having a fit at the idea of giving away that many albums. Retail stores are pulling out of contracts. Critics are ranting at the top of their lungs. Record companies are pissed. One record store owner is quoted as saying:

“It is an insult to all those record stores who have supported Prince throughout his career. It is yet another example of the damaging covermount culture which is destroying any perception of value around recorded music.”

Here are the reasons what Prince is doing is right, and everyone else is wrong:

  • Prince doesn’t make music for the record stores (the distributors); he makes it for the fans (the customers). And for his own enjoyment.
  • CDs and plastic cases will continue to die. Don’t know if you’ve heard of this little phenomenon called the iPod, but it’s kinda caught on, and it completely negates the record store. Is it sad? Maybe. But it’s reality.
  • I guarantee Prince will sell more of this album than any of his last three. He’s getting huge PR out of this, and huge trial and new exposure.
  • Prince is also launching a 21 night concert series . . . . in London only. Is that fair for the rest of the world? It does make his giveaway make perfect sense.
  • Prince is thinking big picture; the British record dealers/stores are thinking about themselves. In all fairness, many of those record dealers have only themselves to think about, but not the record company. If I had an artist who was willing to give away that many CDs to launch an album, I would be elated. Blogging will start, fan reviews will commence and the word will start spreading. It’s perfect advertising and promotion.

Obviously, you’ll get a completely different paradigm reading this article at the newspaper’s website. It’s being touted as the “world’s greatest newspaper giveaway ever.”

I’m a huge Prince fan, so more times than not, I’m gonna automatically be on his side. But I think this is a great business decision for his album. In many ways, Prince has far outdone KISS in being a true marketing innovator in the music business.

We’ll see where it stands in 6 months. What do you think will happen?

Boomers and Word-Of-Mouth

Here’s an interesting study on Baby Boomers and their use of word-of-mouth marketing. In summary, 89% of boomers consider friends as reliable sources for product purchasing advice.

A few observations:

  • The study notes that  boomers use face-to-face and phone conversations twice as much as online tools such as email and the web to make their recommendations. It would interesting to know where that chain begins, though. In other words, are the 45% of boomers who use the web to make their recommendations advising much of the 89% who use phone conversations and face-to-face?
  • Boomers don’t like giving advice on financial services – seems most of them don’t need to worry about it (or at least don’t want to talk about it), and it’s frustrating the financial services industry.