• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Private Content
Best of 2012 MarketingProfs Articles
 

Best of 2012 MarketingProfs Articles

on

  • 5,852 views

Enjoy the top articles that have

Enjoy the top articles that have
sparked our imagination and
fed our intellect this year.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
5,852
Views on SlideShare
5,595
Embed Views
257

Actions

Likes
8
Downloads
155
Comments
1

5 Embeds 257

http://www.scoop.it 248
http://pinterest.com 4
https://twitter.com 3
http://twitter.com 1
https://twimg0-a.akamaihd.net 1

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel

11 of 1 previous next

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
  • Thank you for sharing. This is very helpful! =)
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Best of 2012 MarketingProfs Articles Best of 2012 MarketingProfs Articles Document Transcript

    • Best ofMarketingProfs 2012:The Top Articles ThatInfluenced & Inspired
    • ContentsIntroduction 1How the Best B2B Marketers Think Like B2C Marketers: Five Strategies to Emulate2What’s Driving Pinterest’s Amazing Growth6Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual Revolution12The 7 Ps of Customer Retention Marketing21Six Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid24Top B2B Firms Gaining 230% More Leads via Social Media Than Peers27Fortune 500 Social Media Adoption Surging in 201231Facebook ‘Like’ Patterns Akin to Email Opt-In’s37Pinterest Now No. 3 US Social Network, Surpasses LinkedIn40CEO Communications: Five Phrases That Signal ‘BS’44Personal Branding Trends for 2012 (Part 1)46Four Easy Tactics for Becoming a Must-Follow Account on Twitter51Connect with us 56
    • IntroductionBefore we fully embrace 2013, let’s take a moment to reflect on the year that was, shall we?At least, let’s wander through our Top 12 articles of 2012, based on the number of views viaMarketingProfs.com as well as a measure of editorial sensibility. (No one needs 12 articles onPinterest, right?)Represented are the new and shiny (“What’s Driving Pinterest’s Amazing Growth” and “SixWays to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual Revolution”), signs of the maturation ofsome social platforms (“Facebook ‘Like’ Patterns Akin to Email Opt-In’s”), and just plain funreads (“ CEO Communications: Five Phrases That Signal ‘BS’”).For simplicity and focus, we’ve gathered only the most popular how-to articles and researchsummaries (and not, for example, our top seminars, infographics, podcasts, opinion pieces,and so on).These are the Best of 2012 articles: 1. How the Best B2B Marketers Think Like B2C Marketers: Five Strategies to Emulate 2. What’s Driving Pinterest’s Amazing Growth 3. Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual Revolution 4. The 7 Ps of Customer Retention Marketing 5. Six Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid 6. Top B2B Firms Gaining 230% More Leads via Social Media Than Peers 7. Fortune 500 Social Media Adoption Surging in 2012 8. Facebook ‘Like’ Patterns Akin to Email Opt-In’s 9. Pinterest Now No. 3 US Social Network, Surpasses LinkedIn 10. CEO Communications: Five Phrases That Signal ‘BS’ 11. Personal Branding Trends for 2012 (Part 1) 12. Four Easy Tactics for Becoming a Must-Follow Account on TwitterSo, enjoy the articles that have sparked our imagination and fed our intellect this year. And welook forward to spending some time together in 2013! ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 1
    • How the Best B2B Marketers by Russell GlassThink Like B2C Marketers:Five Strategies to EmulateBusiness-to-business (B2B) marketers have one of the most difficult and underappreciatedjobs on the planet. Their mission is to create memorable brands out of some downright “un-sexy” products. (Have you ever tried making software, manufacturing widgets, or chemicalslook interesting?)B2B marketers must educate extremely smart potential buyers, ensure that influencers areknowledgeable about their products, and ultimately convince people they should bet theirjobs on choosing their products over those of competitors. Moreover, even while sticking toa limited marketing budget, B2B marketers must provide a hungry sales team with enoughqualified leads to keep their pipelines full and their families fed.How do they do it? The best B2B marketers are successful because they start with build-ing a brand. In other words, the best B2B marketers think like business-to-consumer (B2C)marketers.Think Like a B2C MarketerThe first step toward thinking like a B2C marketer is to create great brand recall. Let’s sayyou’re thirsty and you walk into a store that carries Coke and DMG-Cola. You immediatelyreach for the Coke because you know exactly how it will taste; it is the safe choice. However,if earlier that day you’d seen a banner ad that said “DMG-Cola—Tastes Like Coke, but 100%Organic!” you may well have tried the DMG-Cola. The DMG marketer who bought that bannerad had a simple goal—not to drive someone to make an immediate purchase but, rather, tocreate brand recall that would influence purchase decisions in the future.Of course, applying this method to B2B marketing is more challenging, but it can work. First,to illustrate how much more complex the B2B marketer’s challenge is, let’s use the sameexample—but in a B2B context.Your boss asked you to buy soda for a company party, so you go to the store and spot Cokeand DMG-Cola on the shelf. Even if you had seen the banner ad marketing DMG-Cola, you’dstill choose the Coke. Why? Simply because Coke is the less risky decision, and many purchasedecisions in a business environment are made with the goal of minimizing risk. Nobody ever ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 2
    • How the Best B2B Marketers Think Like B2C Marketers: Five Strategies to Emulateruined a party by buying Coke, but if you showed up with DMG-Cola and your coworkersdidn’t like it, you’d take the blame for making a poor decision that had a negative impact onthe company party.So, what would the DMG marketer have to do to convince you, as the business buyer, tochoose DMG-Cola instead of Coke? • First, she would have to build awareness of the DMG-Cola brand as in the above example. • Then, she would have to provide examples and testimonials of others who had thrown successful company parties with DMG-Cola. She might create whitepapers and host webinars highlighting the advantages of DMG-Cola vs. Coke and other competitors. • She would also have to influence executives at your company and your trusted peers outside the company, so they would recommend DMG-Cola around the water cooler. • Finally, she would have to ensure this information stayed top of mind, so you wouldn’t fall back on the “safer path” of reaching for Coke next time you were tasked with plan- ning a company party.Smart B2B Marketing = B2C With a TwistOf course, the previous example is simplistic, but that is essentially how B2B products aremarketed and purchased every day.The best B2B marketers think like B2C marketers—but with a twist. They understand buildinga memorable brand perception is critical, but they also understand... • Exactly who the buyer is and who or what influences the buyer • The key elements of a purchase decision and how to create messaging that addresses those elements • The content, best-practices, and case studies necessary to remove the risk of the decision • How to distribute messages and content to targeted decision makers, influencers, and peers with enough frequency to move the needleAnd they do all that while staying within budget. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 3
    • How the Best B2B Marketers Think Like B2C Marketers: Five Strategies to EmulateWhat tips can B2B marketers follow to start thinking more like their B2C colleagues? Here arefive strategies B2B marketers can implement right away.1. Create great brand recallThe first step in any B2B marketing campaign is to create brand messages and campaignsthat will “stick with” potential buyers long after they see the ads or marketing messages. Getcreative and try new messages and slogans to make your brand stand out from the crowd andtarget them specifically to your audiences. Finally, always be branding! Creating brand recallisn’t a single campaign—it’s an always-on tactic.2. Know your audienceThinking like a B2C marketer doesn’t mean treating your audience like general consumers.Your audience is made up of business professionals looking to make the most economical,risk-averse, and high-value purchases for their companies. Always keep their needs and risksin mind when considering marketing strategies.3. Use visuals to sell your productPeople remember images long after they remember words. Make sure your campaigns aresplashy, memorable, and interactive. Try using interactive banners, social ads, or videos to tellyour brand story.4. Maintain creative consistencyTrying new creative ideas is fine, but make sure they’re consistent across all your marketingcampaigns, including paid ads, social media, sales sheets, webinars, whitepapers, and yourwebsite. Synch your messaging across all media activities as you move buyers down themarketing funnel.5. Be humanYour audience may be businesspeople, but that doesn’t mean they are automatons who don’tenjoy a good laugh or a personal touch. Make sure all your marketing materials speak to thehuman side of the business world. In a world where most B2B campaigns are boring, a morehuman touch will make your campaigns stand out.*** ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 4
    • How the Best B2B Marketers Think Like B2C Marketers: Five Strategies to EmulateSo, next time you meet with your B2B marketer, give him or her hug and say “I get it now!”B2B marketers have a rich, complex, and high-pressure job to do in a very dynamic and noisyworld. Those who do it well are rewarded with outsized growth and shareholder value gains.Russell Glass is the CEO of Bizo (www.bizo.com), a B2B-audience-targeting platform and advertis-ing network. Reach him via twitter: @glassruss. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 5
    • What’s Driving Pinterest’s Amazing GrowthPinterest is arguably the hottest social media site on the Internet—user traffic to the onlinesocial catalog has skyrocketed since mid-2011—but the website also boasts strong audienceengagement, retention, and “virality” among its core demographic, according to a reportby RJMetrics.Based on data collected and analyzed by RJMetrics, key findings from the report include: • Pinterest is retaining and engaging its users 2 to 3 times more efficiently, on average, than Twitter was at a similar time in its life cycle. • “Pins” link to a huge array of websites. For example, Etsy is the most popular source of pin content, but it accounts for only 3% of pins. • 80% of pins are “re-pins,” attesting the viral nature of the Pinterest community. By con- trast, at a similar point in Twitter’s life cycle, roughly 1.4% of all tweets were re-tweets, according to a study conducted by Hubspot in 2009. • The “quality” of the typical new Pinterest user (where quality is defined by a user’s level of engagement and likelihood to remain active) is high, but declining. Users who have joined Pinterest in recent months are 2 to 3 times less active during their first month than users who joined before them.Below, detailed findings from the RJMetrics report Pinterest Data Analysis: An Inside Look.Pins Connect to a Vast Array of Web SourcesOn Pinterest, every pin (or linked image) ties back to an external link. Among a sample ofroughly 1 million pins, more than 100,000 distinct source domains were found. Among those100,000 domains, the following chart shows the top 20 sources. The most popular domainwas Etsy, which powered just over 3% of pins. Google was a close second, though almost allGoogle links point to Google Image Search, which is technically misattributed content fromother 3rd party domains, RJMetrics points out. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 6
    • What’s Driving Pinterest’s Amazing GrowthFlickr (2.5%), Tumblr (1.1%), and weheartit (1.0%) round out the top 5, after which no domainrepresents more than 1% of pins.The Viral Nature of Re-PinsThe analysis also broke out the population of pins by how those pins were posted to Pinterest.Remarkably, over 80% of pins are re-pins, demonstrating the impressive level of “virality” atwork in the Pinterest community.By contrast, a study conducted by Hubspot at a similar point in Twitter’s history found roughly1.4% of tweets were retweets. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 7
    • What’s Driving Pinterest’s Amazing GrowthSurprisingly, a low proportion of pins originate from pinmarklet, a browser bookmarklet thatallows users to pin content from any website via one click.User Engagement: Cohort AnalysisCohort Analysis is a tool that allows marketers to study different groups of users at identicalpoints in time in their lifecycles, regardless of when they actually joined the site.In the following chart, each line represents a cohort, or a segment of users who made theirfirst pin in a specific month. For example, the June 2011 cohort consists of users who madetheir first pin in June 2011. The line itself shows the “average cumulative pins made per cohortmember.” So, the “Month 1” data-point for the June 2011 cohort shows us how many itemswere pinned in June 2011 among users who joined in June 2011. The “Month 2” data-point onthat same line shows how many pins were made by the typical user in that cohort by the endof July 2011, and so forth.Among most companies, even highly successful ones, similar cohort analyses show lines thatsteadily decay toward a more horizontal slope over time, RJMetrics points out. The effectoccurs because there is some natural attrition, causing the incremental engagement of thetypical user to drop off.But that doesn’t appear to be the case with Pinterest. Instead, the lines show little to no decaywhatsoever. Their slopes remain consistent, indicating a net attrition rate of close to 0%. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 8
    • What’s Driving Pinterest’s Amazing GrowthWhy no decay in engagement? The reason, according to the study, is possibly one of twofactors: (1) no one who starts using Pinterest ever stops or, more likely (2) users who continueto use Pinterest become so much more engaged over time that their activities fully make upfor those users who quit the site.To explore the issue further, RJMetrics broke out the data on a weekly basis for the eightweeks ended December 18, 2011. The analysis found that between 40% and 60% of uniqueusers were still actively returning back to the site to pin again in each of the first 8 weeks oftheir life cycle. Although that may seem like a steep drop-off, the results are exceptionallystrong, particularly for a consumer Internet business, RJMetrics notes.By contrast, when Twitter was at a similar point in its life cycle (late 2009) Twitter’s decay ratewas twice that of Pinterest, with user activity (measured by tweets) rapidly plummeting toroughly 20% before stabilizing, according to a 2009 analysis of Twitter by RJMetrics, publishedby TechCrunch.Growing Pains: Quality DecayAmong most fast-growing consumer startups, however, an increase in media coverageinevitably drives a big spike in the number of registered users and a drop-off in the quality ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 9
    • What’s Driving Pinterest’s Amazing Growthof the typical user, RJMetrics points out. (Similarly, quality is defined in the study by levels ofengagement and likelihood to remain active.)Pinterest is no exception to that rule. The following chart shows how the typical new userwho has joined Pinterest in November and December 2011 is using the site far less than theircounterparts from previous months.The drop off is likely caused by flocks of curious onlookers who are outside of Pinterest’s coreaudience who are registering accounts but failing to get engaged.Growth StatsIn order to put the RJMEtrics research in context, it’s interesting to note Pinterest’s growthtrends, particularly over the past six months.Below, some key Pinterest stats, according to separate research from Compete: • Pinterest attracted 11,140,641 unique visitors to the site on January 20, 2011, up 815% from 1,217,935 visitors six months earlier. • On a monthly basis, the number of unique visitors to Pinterest grew 54.6% in January over mid-December levels. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 10
    • What’s Driving Pinterest’s Amazing Growth • Over the past six months, traffic growth has averaged 63.7% month over month. • Ranked by numbers of unique visitors, Pinterest was ranked No. 119 in January by Compete, up 87 spots from No. 206 one month earlier.About the data: For the analysis, RJMetrics wrote various scripts to identify random users whojoined Pinterest at different times in the company’s history, and to download their complete historyof pins to conduct the cohort analysis. Several hundred thousand additional pins from the gen-eral user population were also compiled, amounting to a database of nearly one million pins, torepresent the greater Pinterest population. Though the sample base is sizable, there is always a riskof sampling bias, the researchers note. In order to identify users and pins (because Pinterest doesnot use auto-incrementing IDs) the researchers identified user names based on common diction-ary words and then expanded to general-population pins by guessing at ID numbers in numericproximity to the pins of those core users. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 11
    • Six Ways to Prepare Your by Nick WestergaardBrand for Social Media’s VisualRevolutionAs social media continues to evolve, one reality is coming into focus: Brands are becomingmore visual.One indication is the emergence of new kids on the block, such as the image-driven socialnetwork Pinterest. Another is the recent updates to more established social platforms, suchas Facebook’s Timeline. What’s clear is that brands without a solid visual vocabulary will beleft behind.“Visual” can be a loaded word. When we refer to a visual brand, do we just mean a brand witha good logo? Of course not, though it would be hard to imagine a visual brand that wasn’tanchored by strong imagery. Rather, a visual brand has a strong visual identity, a clear visualvocabulary, and an eye for visual storytelling.What does that mean? And, more important, how can you be sure that beyond simply beingsocial your brand is ready for the visual revolution as well?Social Media Changes That Favor Visual BrandsFirst, consider the following updates and launches of social platforms over the past year thatenable brands to make a significant visual impact. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 12
    • Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual RevolutionPinterestDepending on what you’ve read most recently, Pinterest is either one of the fastest-growingsocial networks (it grew 52% in February alone according to comScore)—or it’s just anothershiny new thing. Regardless, Pinterest is a hot new platform with exceptional growth, andwhat makes it popular is the visual component. At its core, the network isn’t anything morethan a social bookmarking system. What’s different is that it’s image-driven and visual. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 13
    • Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual RevolutionInstagramThough not making nearly as many waves as Pinterest, Instagram is quickly becoming a cultfavorite. In 2011, the photo-sharing application was named the App Store’s App of the Year.Although many dismiss the mobile-only, easy-photo-filter app as just a fun tool for hipsters totake funky photos, brands such as General Electric and Ben & Jerry’s are finding traction usingthe network as a visual storytelling platform. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 14
    • Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual RevolutionFacebook TimelineBoasting the world’s third largest online population, Facebook is the 600-pound gorilla in anyconversation about social brands. It’s no surprise, then, that the giant just sent a wave of visualupdates down the beanstalk. With Facebook’s “Timeline” update, brands can enjoy severalnew features that rely heavily on bold graphics and visual storytelling: the cover photo, thetimeline itself, and larger images on wall posts (RIP thumbnail graphics). ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 15
    • Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual Revolution ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 16
    • Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual RevolutionTwitter, Foursquare, and Google+Though their changes are not as substantial as those of the previously noted social platforms,other networks are also jumping on the visual bandwagon. Recent updates on Twitter allowfor Twitpics to display in-stream, and Foursquare boasts larger images for posts as well.Google+ also came out of the gate featuring larger images for links and photos than othernetworks (such as Facebook at the time). ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 17
    • Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual RevolutionA Checklist for the Visual RevolutionYour brand’s visuals, then, are more important than ever. As Convince & Convert’s Jay Baernoted during a recent panel at SXSW, we are moving into a time when “content creators maynot even have to be writers.” What does that mean for marketers?Here’s a six-item checklist to ensure that your brand is ready for the coming visual revolution.1. The basics still matterYour visual vocabulary starts with a strong foundation—a solid logo and corporate identity.However, more than making sure that your letterhead and business cards match, your brandteam needs to ensure that you have typography that can transcend platforms and a lexicon ofapp-friendly iconography as well. You also need to consider how your brand can flourish in acontrolled ecosystem (e.g., your website) as well as offsite platforms (e.g., Facebook).2. Have a planThough this tip may apply to any new social endeavor, it rings especially true here. Too often,those with visual savvy in organizations (the creatives!) are kept out and are brought in onlyafter the fact—to “make things look pretty.” You need to bring in those visual thinkers at theinitial stages of your campaigns to help you visualize your story across social channels.In addition to personnel, you also need a plan for attacking various platforms. What are youpinning on Pinterest? How do you use Instagram?3. Photography can’t be an afterthoughtMany organizations have a couple of trusted photographers they contact in times of need,(e.g., for events or launches). That won’t suffice any more. You need a strategy for consistentlycreating more interesting imagery to feed the larger spaces on Facebook’s Timeline... and forcreating the slices of life for visual storytelling on Instagram. (Fun fact: New Belgium Brewing,a Colorado brewery, shares Instagram responsibilities among five photographers for greatervariety in its brand story.) ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 18
    • Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual Revolution4. Teach storytellingTake some time to teach your team how to capture moments and tell stories visually. Considerbringing in a photographer to deliver a guest lecture for some Friday fun.5. Understand the mechanics of ‘pinable’ imagesThough Pinterest can be a powerful platform for a brand, using it still requires planning. Thatmeans including large, engaging photos that stand out in a sea of boards. You also need to ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 19
    • Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual Revolutionbe cognizant of the need to stand out when coding your site to ensure that your images are“seen” by Pinterest’s bookmarklets and other pinning tools.6. Make your past as visual as your present and futureIn addition to covering your visual bases from now on, make sure you digitize imagesfrom your brand’s past. Tools such as Facebook’s Timeline give tools to brands for tellingtheir stories socially. Coke and Starbucks, for example, do a great job of that on theirFacebook pages.***As the innovations outlined above remind us, the social Web is only getting more visual. Apicture is, again, worth a thousand words. People can scan pictures much more quicker thanthey can scan thousands of words. Therefore, content in the form of images helps us feed ourinfo-snacking culture. As brand builders, we need to make sure we are leaving appropriatevisual snacks out for our audiences.Is your social brand ready to get visual?Nick Westergaard is a brand strategist and founder of Brand Driven Social, a social media strat-egy, training, and management firm that helps build social brands. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 20
    • The 7 Ps of Customer Retention by Karl WirthMarketingWhen we think of marketing, we often think of Marketing’s efforts to acquire customers.The world, however, is moving toward relationship-based business, including subscriptionservices and subscription commerce—but also most other business.Consider consumer packaged goods companies that used to have no direct relationship withcustomers, who bought in box stores. Many CPG companies are now using online and socialmediums to build direct relationships with their customers.In this world, customer retention is just as important as customer acquisition. So how do the7 Ps of marketing apply to customer retention marketing?1. People are the most important. Retaining customers is about building relationships, andrelationships are about people. Treat your customer as a person, and not a customer; start byhiring people who show they care about others.Compare how you behave driving in rush-hour traffic with how you drive down your ownstreet past your neighbors. When you know you will see people again, or if you want to seethem again, you treat them better.The whole company needs to care about customers and customer retention, and one execu-tive must be responsible to ensure that’s so—hence the rise of the chief customer officer.2. Product is a very close second in importance to “People.” If your product is off, you will havea difficult time with the rest of the Ps. However, if the product is on target, you will accomplishthe rest of the Ps much more easily.When designing your product or service for maximum customer retention, provide quicktime to value, continued value over time, and high quality (those are what Apple does sowell). Sometimes there is another P: Packaging. I include packaging as part of the product (orservice), and the key to it is polish. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 21
    • The 7 Ps of Customer Retention Marketing3. Place obviously matters when you are figuring out where to put your physical store, butwhat about when you’re online? Does it matter there? Yes. If I am looking to communicatewith my customer and offer them an upsell, I could send them an email or message themright while they are shopping, browsing, or working on my site. The first communication isout of context and has a low chance of response. The second is in context and has a higherlikelihood of response. “Place” is context, and context matters.4. Price. In any good relationship, people take care of each other. That is now the expectationin the customer-business relationship as well. Our customers assume that we will look afterthem. That is what they pay us to do. In an e-commerce business, that sort of relationshipmeans providing deals for our recurring customers. In a subscription business, that meansrolling new features (some, not all) into the service, over time, without charging more.5. Promotion. How should you promote your product or service to customers to retain them,upsell to them... and keep them for the long haul? Quite differently from how you promoteto a prospective customer. Why? Because the person is your customer. You know, or shouldknow, him or her. You know what the customer bought from you or how he or she uses yourservice. You can use that information to message customers in a more targeted, appropriate,helpful, and effective way. Don’t spam them with the same generic info you send to everyoneelse. Send them targeted emails and in-context messages.6. Processes. To succeed in all of the previous Ps, and for this success to be more than aone-time fluke, you need good processes, such as monitoring social media and engagingcustomers there, surveying customers for satisfaction, and implementing marketingautomation. My company uses its own customer engagement solution to understand howeach customer is engaging with the business. We look for positive or negative patterns andrespond accordingly, sometimes by person or email but often right in our application with atargeted message based on behavior.7. Positioning. If you want to retain your customers, you have to know who you are andcommunicate that clearly and repeatedly to them so they know who you are as well.Foremost, however, is this: Your actions must communicate your positioning. Those actionsare showcased in the people you hire, the product you ship or service you deliver, the priceyou charge and the discounts you provide, the place and promotions you choose, and theprocesses you put in place. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 22
    • The 7 Ps of Customer Retention MarketingCombined, your words and actions say “This is who we are and what you can expect of us.”***By acting on the 7 Ps of Customer Retention Marketing, you can keep your customers;make their interactions with your business successful; and in so doing make your businessmore successful.Karl Wirth is the CEO and a co-founder of Apptegic, a customer intelligence and marketingautomation solution that enables online businesses to understand each customer and respondin real time. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 23
    • Six Email Marketing Mistakes by Janelle Johnsonto AvoidEmail might not be as shiny as social media and other emerging marketing channels, but it’sstill arguably the most powerful marketing tool around.A recent study asked consumers which channel they prefer for receiving permission-basedpromotional messages. A whopping 77% said email. No other channel even scored in thedouble digits; only 4% of respondents said Facebook, with Twitter and mobile apps bothscoring a mere 1%. That’s a very clear message about how your leads and contacts want tohear from you.So how do you maximize this old workhorse for new gains?Sometimes the best way to learn what to do right is to consider what not to do. In that spirit,here are six common email marketing mistakes... and guidance on avoiding them.Mistake No. 1: Neglecting Buyer NeedsDoes the CEO of a major corporation in California have the same needs as a small marketingteam in the Midwest? Probably not. Moreover, retail email volume increased 61% from 2007to 2011, making for a very noisy environment. To slice through the clutter, ‘you need to speakdirectly to your buyer.Use segmentation strategies to target campaigns to specific buyers’ specific needs,particularly their “pain points.” By doing so, you’ll position your company as a friendly onethat’s paying attention.Mistake No. 2: Blasting the Same Message to All ContactsChances are, your interactions with prospects are not all the same. Some prospects mayalready be fans who follow you on social media; others may have never heard of yourcompany before. What’s more, you may well have more than one product or service to offer.Email marketing is wonderfully customizable. Segment your lead list into differentgroups and customize your messaging to each. You’ll see higher click-through rates—andmore-engaged customers. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 24
    • Six Email Marketing Mistakes to AvoidMistake No. 3: Failing to Adapt MessagingYou’ve heard insanity defined as doing the same thing over and over, and expecting differentresults? Start paying attention to your response rates, and you’ll prevent some of theexpensive insanity that can result from a bad email marketing strategy.Split-testing allows you to test copy and other variables so you can adapt your messaging,timing, and so forth based on response rates. Doing so boosts your open rates, making formore efficient campaigns.Mistake No. 4: Not Linking to Your WebsiteYou send out marketing emails to increase sales by increasing traffic to your website, right? Sodon’t forget to include links to your website and to specific product pages in the actual email.In fact, research shows that the more links you include, the higher your click-through rate.That said, we don’t advocate loading your emails with irrelevant links in hopes of more click-throughs. Too many links will turn off prospects. Determine the right number by graduallyadding more links until you hit the sweet spot that provides the highest return.Mistake No. 5: Ignoring Mobile Email ReadersA recent Return Path study revealed an explosive 81% growth in mobile email viewershipfrom October 2010 to March 2011. You can’t ignore this trend. No matter how great yourcontent is, if your prospects can’t read it on a smartphone or tablet, it’s not going to be read.Making your email mobile-friendly is a bit tricky: You have to optimize it for multiple mobileoperating systems (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.), all which have different requirements. Butthe mobile trend is unstoppable, so it’s well worth taking that extra step now.Remember that most mobile email readers will not automatically load images; even if they doload them, you have no guarantee that the images will display properly. So, design just as fornon-mobile email: Use HTML text, use alternative text for images, and don’t forget to include aplain-text version.Mistake No. 6: Not Having a Strategy in PlaceThe No. 1 reason people unsubscribe from an email list is that they receive emails toofrequently. Put an email marketing plan in place that strategically lays out when emails will besent to each segmented group. If you see a spike in the number of people unsubscribing fromyour emails, the cause may well be that you flooded their inboxes. Look at the frequency of ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 25
    • Six Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoidprevious emails and compare unsubscribe rates; you’ll most likely see a pretty clear window oftime when you can email again.Janelle Johnson is manager of marketing operations at Act-On Software, provider of a cloud-based integrated marketing platform for marketing automation. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 26
    • Top B2B Firms Gaining 230% More Leads viaSocial Media Than PeersBest-in-Class B2B companies generate on average 17% of their leads from social mediachannels, roughly 230% more marketing-generated leads than other companies (5%),according to a new report by Aberdeen Group, which examines the social marketingstrategies of top-performing B2B companies.In the new report, titled “B2B Social Meeting Marketing: Are We There Yet?” Aberdeenuses four key performance criteria to distinguish the Best-in-Class (top 20% of aggregateperformers) from the Industry Average (middle 50%) and Laggard (bottom 30%)organizations.The top 20% of companies (i.e., Best-in-Class) have achieved the following performance metrics: 1. Average annual company revenue growth of 20%, compared with 8% for Industry Average and -3% for Laggard firms. 2. 10% average year-over-year improvement of marketing leads resulting in closed business, compared with 3% for the Industry Average and -1% for Laggard firms. 3. 44% of sales-forecasted pipeline generated by marketing, compared with 10% for Industry Average and 5% for Laggard firms. 4. 73% annual customer retention rate, compared with 27% for Industry Average and 7% for Laggard firms. 5. Overall, 84% of all surveyed B2B companies are using social marketing in some form.However, Best-in-Class companies are more likely to use social media primarily for lead-generation purposes, and more likely to integrate social marketing with other core channelsand processes, the study found.Below, additional findings from Aberdeen Group.The Diminishing Influence of the Traditional Sales CycleDigital and social media have created an asymmetrical relationship between buyers and sell-ers, according to Aberdeen. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 27
    • Top B2B Firms Gaining 230% More Leads via Social Media Than PeersIn this new environment, buyers have more information at their disposal than ever before asthey discover and evaluate products. Aberdeen refers to this notion as the “hidden sales cycle.”Best-in-Class companies are combating the effects of the hidden sales cycle by listening toand engaging with would-be buyers across social media channels—and generating leads viasocial engagement. • 47% of Best-in-Class companies cite expanding lead generation as their primary strategy with social media marketing efforts, and 13% cite generating leads as their secondary strategy. • 23% of Best-in-Class companies cite developing clear business processes for social marketing as their top strategy, and 8% cite process development as a secondary strategy.Best-in-Class companies are also more actively engaged in social marketing: 80% say they aresomewhat or actively involved in social media marketing, compared with 73% of Industry-Average firms and 60% of Laggards.Integration With Other Marketing ChannelsBest-in-Class companies are far more likely to integrate social media with other multi-channelmarketing efforts. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 28
    • Top B2B Firms Gaining 230% More Leads via Social Media Than Peers • Best-in-Class companies are 27% times more likely than Industry-Average firms to integrate email with social media (65% vs. 51%), and they are 33% more likely than Laggards to do so (65% vs. 49%). • Best-in-Class companies are 24% times more likely than Industry-Average firms to integrate SEO with social media (61% vs. 49%), and they are 69% more likely than Laggards to do so (61% vs.36%).Best-in-Class companies also stand out in their adoption of various social technologies: • 51% of Best-in-Class companies use website social sharing tools, compared with 36% of Industry-Average firms. • 49% of Best-in-Class companies use keyword-based social media monitoring, compared with 39% of Industry-Average firms. • 21% of Best-in-Class companies use social sign-in, compared with 8% of Industry- Average firms.Adopting Best Practices Now Matters More Than Experience“Best-in-Class” performance in social media marketing is based on the execution of bestpractices now, rather than years of experience, Aberdeen found. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 29
    • Top B2B Firms Gaining 230% More Leads via Social Media Than PeersOn average, Best-in-Class companies have been using social marketing for 2 years, onlyslightly longer than Industry-Average firms (1.7 years).About the data: Findings from “B2B Social Media Marketing: Are We There Yet? “ are based on asurvey of 500 B2B companies, conducted by Aberdeen Group in sponsorship with Silverpop andEloqua, October to December 2011. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 30
    • Fortune 500 Social Media Adoption Surgingin 2012The use of blogging, Facebook, and Twitter among the nation’s largest companies—thoselisted on the 2012 Fortune 500—has surged in 2012, according to a new study by theUniversity of Massachusetts at Dartmouth: • 73% now use Twitter (have an official corporate account with tweet activity in the previous month), up 11 percentage points (or 17.7%) from the 62% that did so in 2011. • 66% have a corporate Facebook page, up 8 points (or 13.8%) from the 58% that did so a year earlier. • 28% have a corporate public-facing blog from the primary corporation with posts in the previous 12 months, up 5 points (or 21.7%) from the 23% that did so in 2011.Below, other findings from The Social Media Surge by the 2012 Fortune 500, issued by theCenter for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.Twitter AdoptionSome 365 (73%) of the 2012 F500 have a corporate Twitter account with a tweet in theprevious thirty days; among them, the 10 largest companies (Exxon, Wal-Mart, Chevron,ConocoPhillips, General Motors, General Electric, Berkshire Hathaway, Fannie Mae, FordMotors and Hewlett-Packard) consistently post to their Twitter accounts.Twitter Accounts by IndustryThe F500 companies with Twitter accounts come from a cross section of industries.The food consumer products industry has the highest Twitter penetration with 93%, followedby the specialty retail and aerospace industries, each with 86%. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 31
    • Fortune 500 Social Media Adoption Surging in 2012A partial list (below) shows those industries with the greatest presence on Twitter:Corporate Twitter FollowersGoogle has the highest number of followers on Twitter among the F500 with 4,795,987,followed by Whole Foods Market (2,666,439), Starbucks (2,546,244), and Southwest Airlines(1,305,938). Walt Disney recorded the largest year-over-year increase, from 206,843 Twitterfollowers in 2011, to 1,289,222 in 2012.Facebook PagesSome 332 (66%) of the 2012 F500 now have a corporate Facebook page; among them,8 of the 10 largest companies (Wal-Mart, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, General Motors, GeneralElectric, Fannie Mae, Ford Motors, and Hewlett-Packard) have a Facebook Page. Exxon andBerkshire Hathaway do not use Facebook. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 32
    • Fortune 500 Social Media Adoption Surging in 2012Facebook Pages by IndustryCompanies in the specialty retail industry have the highest Facebook penetration with 89%,followed by consumer food products and telecom, with 86% and 80%, respectively.A partial list (below) shows those industries with the greatest presence on Facebook:Those industries with no Facebook presence are tobacco and diversified outsourcing services,the study found.Corporate Facebook FansFor the second year in a row, Coca-Cola has the biggest Facebook fan base with 42.2 millionfans. Walt Disney follows with 32.0 million. Walt Disney’s and Intel’s (10.4 million) fan baseshave more than quadrupled year over year, while Yahoo’s (9.6 million) and Google’s (9.7million) have more than doubled. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 33
    • Fortune 500 Social Media Adoption Surging in 2012Corporate BlogsSome 139 F500 companies (28%) have a corporate blog. Two of the largest five corporations(Exxon and Wal-Mart) are included in that group, whereas the other three (Chevron,ConocoPhillips, and Berkshire Hathaway) do not have a corporate facing blog.Blogs by IndustryThe 139 corporations with blogs come from 54 of the 71 industries represented in the F500.Companies in the telecom industry are most likely to have a corporate blog: 40% do.Commercial banks follow with 30%, followed by utilities with 27% and specialty retail with 25%.By contrast, only one F500 company in the Aerospace industry has a corporate blog.A partial list is presented below showing those industries with the greatest presence inthe F500. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 34
    • Fortune 500 Social Media Adoption Surging in 2012Blogs by RankCorporations ranked in the top 200 of the F500 tend to blog far more than those in thebottom 200.More than one-half (54%) of all F500 blogs are published by the top 200 corporations,whereas 28% are published by companies ranked 300 to 500 on the list.Since 2008, rank has influenced the adoption of blogging among the F500, whereas rankplays a smaller role in Facebook and Twitter adoption, the study found.Comparison With the Inc. 500Over the past few years, the F500 companies have typically blogged at a lower rate than otherbusiness groups, specifically the Inc. 500. The Inc. 500 list is composed of the fastest-growing,private companies in the US, whereas the F500 is based on total revenue (not growth) andmay include public and private companies.In 2011, 37% of the Inc. 500 had corporate blog (a 13% decline from 2010). With 28% of theF500 companies publishing a corporate blog in 2012, that gap appears to be closing. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 35
    • Fortune 500 Social Media Adoption Surging in 2012About the data: Findings are from The Social Media Surge by the 2012 Fortune 500, by NoraGanim Barnes, Ph.D., Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts at Dart-mouth. Data was collected in July and August 2012. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 36
    • Facebook ‘Like’ Patterns Akin to Email Opt-In’sPeople want great offers. That’s the primary reason they opt-in for permission-basedcommunications from brands, whether in the form of “liking” a brand on Facebook orsubscribing to an email list, according to a new survey from Constant Contact and ChadwickMartin Bailey.Among email users surveyed, the top reasons to subscribe to an organization’s email listare to receive discounts (58%) and special promotions (39%), whereas motivations such asreceiving exclusive content (26%), staying informed (26%), and showing support (25%) areless important.Similarly, Facebook users cite receiving discounts (41%) and promotional offers (28%) as theirtop reasons for “liking” a brand on Facebook.Roughly one-quarter (27%) of Facebook users like brands to support them (27%), and 22% doso to demonstrate that support to others. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 37
    • Facebook ‘Like’ Patterns Akin to Email Opt-In’sBelow, additional findings from the study titled “10 Facts About Why and How Consumers‘Like’ and Subscribe.”‘Unliking’ and Opt-Out Patterns Also ConsistentProducing content that is not relevant (42%) and over-communicating (42%) are the topreasons brands drive consumers away from their Facebook pages.Similarly, too many emails (69%) and irrelevant content (56%) are the top reasons people citefor unsubscribing to email lists, followed by email content that wasn’t relevant to begin with(51%) and simply no longer being a customer or supporter (48%).Interestingly, among Facebook users and email consumers alike, excessive communicationsand irrelevant content are even bigger turnoffs than bad customer experiences (32% and42%, respectively).Why People Open EmailEmail users say the most important factor in opening an email is the sender’s identity (i.e., whothe email is from)—64%—followed by the subject line (47%) and promotional offers (26%).Lack of interest (61%) and over-sending (45%) are the top two reasons consumers do notopen emails from an organization, followed by receiving too many emails overall (32%). ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 38
    • Facebook ‘Like’ Patterns Akin to Email Opt-In’sOther key findings: • Local preferences: 25% of consumers prefer to opt in to local businesses over national businesses via email and Facebook. • Mobile email: Despite the widespread use of mobile devices, 84% of consumers primarily access email from their computers, and 14% access email primarily via mobile device. • Facebook via mobile: Though 30% of consumers access Facebook via mobile device, 82% access Facebook primarily via computer, and 15% do so primarily via mobile. • About the data: The Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey findings are based on a survey of 1,481 US consumers age 18+ via the Research Now online panel. The survey was fielded in the fourth quarter of 2011. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 39
    • Pinterest Now No. 3 US Social Network,Surpasses LinkedInPinterest is now the third most popular social networking site in the US, behind Facebook andTwitter, according to a new report by Experian Hitwise.Web traffic to Pinterest traffic surged 50% from January to February of 2012, enablingthe invitation-only site to overtake LinkedIn, Tagged, and Google+ in total monthly visits,Experian reports.Moreover, visits to Pinterest reached nearly 21.5 million during the week ended January 28,2012, almost 30 times the number of total visits recorded six months earlier (week endedJuly 30, 2011).Pinterest continued to outpace its closest competitor LinkedIn by a healthy margin inMarch 2012.Below, the top 10 social sites in Experian Hitwise’s Social Networking & Forums category,ranked by total visits* in March: ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 40
    • Pinterest Now No. 3 US Social Network, Surpasses LinkedIn 1. Facebook: 7.0 billion 2. Twitter: 182.2 million 3. Pinterest: 104.4 million 4. LinkedIn: 85.7 million 5. Tagged: 72.5 million 6. Google+: 61.0 million 7. MySpace: 43.3 million 8. MyYearbook: 38.1 million 9. MyLife: 29.7 million 10. Tumblr: 29.6 millionBelow, other selected findings from Experian’s 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark andTrend Report.Pinterest Site DemographicsVisitors to the site in the 12 rolling weeks ended January 28 skewed female (60%) andbetween the age of 25 and 44 (55%).However, Pinterest visitors have a different geographic profile compared with visitors of othersocial sites such as Facebook and YouTube.Pinterest and the Social Networking & Forums category both attract the greatest share of theirvisits from California and Texas. However, the Social Networking category as a whole over-indexes on share of visits from Northeastern states, whereas Pinterest over-indexes on visitsfrom the states in the Midwest, Northwest, and Southeast. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 41
    • Pinterest Now No. 3 US Social Network, Surpasses LinkedInHobbies and CraftsPinterest tend to attracts people interested in home crafts and hobbies: 19 of the US stateswhere Pinterest visitors over-index against the online population also over-index for theHobbies and Crafts category.Boomers and young adults (Boomerangs) were the groups most likely to visit Pinterest andsites in the Hobbies and Crafts category during the 12 weeks ended January 28. Such visitors(heavy Web users who spend time on house and garden, sports and fitness, and family-oriented websites) accounted for more than 7% of visits to Pinterest and 3% to the Hobbiesand Crafts category during the period. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 42
    • Pinterest Now No. 3 US Social Network, Surpasses LinkedIn*March 2012 traffic data were provided to MarketingProfs by Experian Hitwise for this article.Figures exclude mobile traffic.About the data: Findings are from The 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report, byExperian Hitwise, issued in April 2012. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 43
    • CEO Communications: Five PhrasesThat Signal ‘BS’Leading business bloggers say the perceived authenticity of a CEO plays a critical role in howthey assess a leader’s abilities and performance overall, according to interviews conducted bythe 10 company and Gotham Research Group.CEOs who are perceived as inauthentic are viewed as not only less likeable than authenticCEOs but also less capable and less effective leaders, the interviews found.Below, other findings from The Value of Authenticity: Managing Bloggers’ Perceptions ofthe CEO, a report based on in-depth interviews with 10 institutional bloggers who covercorporate and business news for top-tier national, regional, and trade news outlets.CEOs in the financial and banking industry were consistently rated by the interviewedbloggers as “less likely to be authentic.”Bloggers’ observations of high-profile CEOs in that industry (as well as their perceptions of theculture in the financial sector in general) lead them to believe that such CEOs tend to be “tonedeaf and scripted,” according to the report.The interviewed bloggers most often rated the following CEOs as authentic: • Warren Buffett (“He’s a straight shooter.”) • Steve Jobs (“He was always himself, even if it rubbed people the wrong way.”) • Ray Kroc (“He wasn’t in some Ivory Tower; he was out in the field all the time.”) • Herb Kelleher (“His door was always open—I think he ate with lunch with his employees every day.”)Asked to name the top 5 phrases that raise concerns about a lack of authenticity, the bloggerscited the following: 1. “This deal is a win-win.” Bloggers commented that few business deals, if any, are really a win-win—particularly in the current economic climate. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 44
    • CEO Communications: Five Phrases That Signal ‘BS’ 2. “Thinking/working/planning outside the box.” That phrase is viewed as classic corporate-speak, according to the interviewed bloggers. 3. “We’re not here to talk about the past.” That expression is viewed as a clichéd, not- so-clever diversionary tactic designed to avoid an unpleasant topic. 4. “We are an innovative company.” Innovation has become an empty promise—some- thing many companies say they stand for, but few, if any, can actually deliver, accord- ing to the report. 5. “Executive X is stepping down to spend more time with his family.” Among blog- gers interviewed, that expression is code for an executive who is being forced out of a job.Bloggers agreed that CEOs who exhibit any of the following traits are not authentic: • Lack of courage. Bloggers say CEOs are too tightly handled and scripted and, as a result, too tentative not only in their public statements but also in their actions. • Failure to engage in unscripted “give and take.” Bloggers say they should have an opportunity—even if only once a year—to ask questions, preferably in person, and get a glimpse of the real person inside the CEO. • Failure to acknowledge and discuss their company’s challenges. Bloggers, who are usually looking out for potential problems that can undermine the companies they cover, say a CEO who is not similarly vigilant is suspicious.“The bloggers we surveyed expressed a desire for CEOs—particularly those in the financialsector—to explicitly acknowledge the corporate excesses of the last several years, even if theircompanies were blameless,” said Dr. Jeff Levine, founder of Gotham Research Group.“There’s something more authentic and relatable about a leader who can admit that mistakeswere made.”About the survey: The report is based on findings from 10 one-on-one in-depth interviews withinstitutional bloggers who cover corporate and business news for top-tier national, regional, andtrade news outlets. The interviews were conducted in December 2011 by the 10 company and Go-tham Research Group. Each blogger participated in a 30-45-minute interview designed primarilyto assess their views of CEOs and the C-Suite at large public companies. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 45
    • Personal Branding Trends for by William Arruda2012 (Part 1)In 2011, my company Reach Personal Branding turned 10. In the early years of the business,personal branding was seen as a luxury—reserved for CEOs and entrepreneurs. As personalbranding became a little more visible and better understood, marketers jumped on the“brandwagon.”Today, professionals in all job functions view personal branding as a proven technique forenabling career success and personal fulfillment. The philosophy has remained the same,but the way we build our brands and the workplace trends related to personal branding areevolving. Each year, I compile those trends for you early-adopter marketers so you can stayahead of your peers as you build and express your brand.Here are the first six of my 12 personal branding trends for 2012.1. Headshots EverywhereThere was a time when only actors, models, and senior executives had professional photos ofthemselves taken regularly. Well, thanks to personal branding, the need for virtual visibility,and the universal desire to connect a face with a name—the professional photographybusiness is booming! We now expect to see a photo alongside a blog post, on a socialnetwork profile, and accompanying an online article.People are less likely to click on a LinkedIn profile if it is missing a photo and are less inclinedto believe Web-based content if the contributor’s photo is missing. Yet many people are stillreluctant to post their photo. Some fear age discrimination or harassment, and others justhaven’t invested in high-quality photos. (Have you seen really weird avatars or photos thatclearly were taken at someone’s party—after a few too many cocktails?)Social media companies realize the importance of connecting a face with a name and aredeveloping apps to make that easier. For example, Plaxo now allows you to take any contact’sphoto and view it in your Outlook and iPhone contacts. Many more apps will offer similarcapabilities. And the next frontier—face recognition—will add a whole new twist to Googleimage searches! ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 46
    • Personal Branding Trends for 2012 (Part 1)What does this mean for you?If you haven’t done so already, get professional headshots and upload them to your Flickraccount (remember to name the images with your name so they appear in a Google search).Take a series of photos with different clothes and poses because your photo will appear inmany places, from your Google profile to your YouTube channel or your Flavors.me page. Youdon’t want someone doing a Google image search to see 20 copies of the same photo of you.As the old adage goes, first impressions last. Make sure your headshots are of high quality andexpress your personal brand.2. Personalization of WorkWhen I worked at Lotus, a software company that is now a division of IBM, we did a lot ofresearch on consumer preferences related to IT and learned that people wanted to use thesame hardware and software they use every day at work... at home.Today, that concept is turned on its head. People, especially Gen-Yers, want to use theirown technology—what they use regularly at home—at the office. I call that trend “thepersonalization of work.” More and more, the imaginary line that separates work and life isdisappearing. Over the past decades, work has invaded life (e.g., checking work email on theweekends, having conference calls with Asia at midnight, and so on). Now, we’re seeing thereverse happen.Many years ago, Tom Peters and Dan Pink wrote that we would all be free agents, movingfrom project to project, or role to role—much like consultants and solopreneurs do today.The personalization of work is a trend that supports that new paradigm, in which you are aone-person brand with all the tools and resources you need to do your job (even if you areworking inside a company).What does this mean for you?Employees: Your tools—everything you use, touch, carry, and surround yourself with—arepart of your brand. They send a little message to those around you about who you are.Choose tools that are consistent with your brand, and help reinforce what you want people toknow about you.Employers: If you want competitive advantage in hiring the best and the brightest, meetcandidates where they are. Ensure that your IT and legal departments are ready to haveemployees show up on day one with their iPads or other preferred devices. Think of other ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 47
    • Personal Branding Trends for 2012 (Part 1)ways your employees would want to bring their lives into work, and understand how to makethat work for the company and the employees.3. Personal PublishingBlogs and other online portals have allowed more people to get their work published or toself-publish articles and content. Newspaper and magazine editors are no longer the exclusivegatekeepers to the information we read. Now, book publishing is going the same way. Sure,credibility comes along with being published by John Wiley & Sons or Random House, butreaders rarely actually look at the imprint.Book publishing has changed forever. When I interviewed bestselling author Seth Godinfor the Reach Personal Branding Interview Series, he told me about The Domino Project.Although he has published dozens of books with major publishing houses, he has decided toforgo the “middle man” and work directly with Amazon.com—the distributor.The Domino Project will get relevant books to market faster and more cost-effectively.My company is going to launch our own publishing arm in 2012, and it will produce andrelease books written in conjunction with our Reach-certified strategists. That is part of anirreversible trend.Amazon.com sold more e-books in 2011 than books made from trees, making it eveneasier for you to publish. With e-books, you don’t have to worry about the messy multi-stepprinting process to get your book in the hands of (or in front of the eyes of ) those you seek toinfluence with your message.What does this mean for you?If you have been thinking about writing a book, there’s no better time than now to putpen to paper or finger to key. The fear of publisher or agent rejection does not have to be afactor. Numerous services are available to support all steps of the book-development anddistribution process. A book is one of the best tools for demonstrating thought leadershipand extending your personal brand.4. Crowdsourcing for ProfessionalsYou’re only as good as the collective opinions of others. Independent contractors have alwaysunderstood the value of client feedback and testimonials. Now, with the ease of requesting ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 48
    • Personal Branding Trends for 2012 (Part 1)and providing recommendations, careerists must also be mindful of the importance ofexternal reviews.Virtually every new social network or app allows users to request and showcase reviews.LinkedIn (the first to have that feature) calls them recommendations. BranchOut andBeKnown call them endorsements. Honestly.com calls them reviews. Regardless of whatyou call them, such reviews are becoming increasingly important to those who are makingdecisions about you. A Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey found that 90% of consumerstrust peer reviews. Although no research (to my knowledge) has been done about that topicas it relates to people, I predict we will quickly become accustomed to using crowdsourcing tomake decisions about professionals.What does this mean for you?Get out there, and get testimonials, recommendations, and endorsements. Make thoseendorsements visible via various social media sites and via your own website. People willbe doubtful of those without any external recommendations. And remember, people whoevaluate your performance will have more and more opportunities to share their experience,so always deliver your best, on-brand work.5. Personal QR CodesQuick response (QR) codes are taking off in all kinds of ways that weren’t originallyanticipated. For example, according to brandchanel.com, it’s now possible to place extremelylarge QR codes on the tops of buildings that will be photographed by the satellites thatfeed Google Maps and Google Earth. Those QR codes will be digested by Google’s mappingsystems and will cause companies’ logos to appear when someone looks at their building’simages. Though you may not put a giant QR code on the top of your house, as a career-minded professional or entrepreneur, you have the opportunity to use QR codes to pointothers to your websites, blogs, and other relevant career marketing content. I have seen QRcodes on resumes, on business cards, and on networking name badges.What does this mean for you?You have a great opportunity to direct people to the content you want them to see. Especiallyif one of your brand attributes is “innovative,” think about how you can use QR codes to directpeople to what you want them to know about you. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 49
    • Personal Branding Trends for 2012 (Part 1)6. Personal LogosTiger Woods has his TW logo. Oprah Winfrey has her ‘O.’ And someday, you will have yours,too—a stylized version of your name. Thanks to websites like 99Designs.com and crowdSPRING.com, it’s easy and inexpensive to create your personal logo. In previous trend lists, I discussedhaving your own personal brand identity system (PBIS)—font, images, color, etc.Your logo is an important part of the visual vocabulary of your brand. As we move closer andcloser to the free agent nation, you’ll need a way to represent your personal brand via a logo.Your logo can be used on your website or Web portal (about.me, flavors.me), your resume,your stationary, or your thank-you notes—anywhere you’re looking to express your brand.What does this mean for you?Determine if having a stylized way of using your name is right for you, and then think aboutwhat emotions you want your logo to evoke and what message you want it to send. Once youhave your logo, use it consistently to create recognition and memorability.William Arruda is founder of Reach Personal Branding, author of Career Distinction, and curatorat Personal Branding TV, a premier multi-media resource for professionals interested in buildingtheir personal brand. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 50
    • Four Easy Tactics for by Slavik VolinskyBecoming a Must-FollowAccount on TwitterAs a smart marketer or business owner, you are likely aware of the benefits of blogging andpublishing helpful content on a regular basis. Doing so establishes you as a thought leader,allows you to rank well for relevant search keywords, and, as a result, brings more traffic toyour site, which generates more leads. The classic inbound marketing example!But how about social media, and Twitter in particular? How do you get more followers tospread your message to lots of people?Sorry to disappoint... you really don’t. Save that for the outbound. But here’s what you can doon Twitter: • Connect with and listen to your customers and prospects. • Get new ideas for blog posts, products/services, etc. • Help others, and answer their questions. • Promote others’ material/products. • Give credit to others. • Establish your Twitter account as a must-follow in the industry. • Promote your products/services. (Yes, it can be done after all! But do the other sugges- tions continually, at least 80% of the time.)If you’re new to Twitter and have yet to gain a following, you can do many things today tobecome a “must-follow account” in the future. Here are four tactics to get you started.1. Use Twitter’s search to connect with prospectsDo you ever wonder how many people talk about your services every day on Twitter? Whatexactly are they talking about, and what question do they ask? Finding the answer is easy; justuse Twitter search.Go to http://twitter.com/search, and use the following advanced search operators: • Use near:”city” to find local results (e.g., tennis near:”new york” or near:”albany, ny”). ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 51
    • Four Easy Tactics for Becoming a Must-Follow Account on Twitter • Use within:25mi, for example, to narrow down your search range by distance, in miles, to the city you’ve selected. • Use -http (minus sign http) to make sure that none of the tweets contain links. • Use ? (question mark) to show only tweets with a question. • Use “tennis lessons” (in quotation marks) to search for an exact phrase. • Use OR to find tweets that have any of the words in your search query (e.g., why OR what OR how OR where).Mix and match any of those search operators, and you might end up with a search querysimilar to the following: tennis ? -http near:”new york” within:45mi. You’ll see tweets thatinclude the word “tennis,” have a question mark, contain no links, and come from somebodywithin 45 miles of New York City.What now?Let’s say you provide tennis lessons and do tennis partner-matching in New York. Here’s youraction list:Action: Answer the question, then follow this user and add her to the Twitter list “nyc tennisplayers.” You’re likely to be followed back.Action: Follow these users and add them to the “nyc tennis players” and “nyc tennis matching”lists. If you have time, offer to play! They are potential customers of your partner-matchingprogram, so use your time wisely. Or, simply send them to the tennis-matching part of yoursite (if they are able to find a partner instantly) or recommend a partner from your “nyc tennismatching” list. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 52
    • Four Easy Tactics for Becoming a Must-Follow Account on TwitterAction: Follow this account, add it to your list “nyc tennis influencers,” and engage! Theaccount is likely to follow you back. You’ll get more exposure for your upcoming tweets, blogposts, announcements, etc.Action: You have to be in! Standard procedure: reply to the user, follow her, and add her to thelist. Attend the event, and connect with a number of potential customers.2. Find content ideas for your blog via a Twitter searchDelete “near” and “within” from your search, and you’ll see a much more lively list of tweets.Learn what people are asking and what kind of information will help them. Take note, and doone of the following: • Answer with a tweet or two (if it’s short enough), and open conversation. • Send links to useful articles (written by somebody else). • Send links to your blog.If you do not currently have any blog posts related to a question, check Google’s KeywordTool to see the estimated monthly search volume. If the topic is popular enough or is highlyrelevant to your business, write a new post and use the best keywords to attract more traffic!Next time anybody asks a related question, you know where to send them.3. Be the best local resource for industry Twitter listsEvery time you spot local users talking about services/products related to your business, addthem to the list. Depending on what they say, you can add them to a private list, a public list,or both. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 53
    • Four Easy Tactics for Becoming a Must-Follow Account on TwitterThe following are four best-practices for creating Twitter lists: 1. Customers (private). Make sure to read that list regularly. It’s a great way to learn what customers are up to and to gain their loyalty. 2. Prospects (private). Every time somebody follows or mentions you, ask yourself if she is a right fit for your services. Is she likely to become a customer? Remember to check her location. 3. Influencers or (industry) influencers (public). This list should include journalists, popular bloggers, and celebrities within your industry. 4. Location-based lists. These are lists of locals (and not necessarily those related to your business).Add lists related to your business, products, and services. Coming back to the example of tennislessons and the tennis partner-matching program, consider the following lists: • NYC Tennis Players • NYC Tennis Matching • Tennis Courts/Clubs in Brooklyn... or Queens, Uptown, etc. • NYC Tennis Coaches • NYC Tennis StoresOthers on Twitter can access and follow your public lists, and you can refer people to thelists: They add value! It’s important to note that you can now stay on top of everything that’sgoing on locally. That is sure to create new connections, ideas for blog posts, or even businessdevelopment deals!4. Become a must-follow person in your industryBy monitoring what’s being said, engaging, re-tweeting, and following others, you will startgaining followers yourself. But you won’t achieve overnight success! Use Twitter to conveyhow passionate you are about your business and to genuinely help others; they will noticeyou and will want to do business with you. They’ll even start promoting your services for you.One big mistake that companies continue to make is that they “push” messages and treatTwitter as another outbound marketing channel. For instance, recently @ragusauce angeredsome dads by spamming them on Twitter, and when dads replied... nothing happened. Thatwas a horrible use of Twitter: @ragusauce had a chance to open a conversation and connect ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 54
    • Four Easy Tactics for Becoming a Must-Follow Account on Twitterto prospects. Instead, small business owner TJ Gallivans used the opportunity in his favor,showing big brands how social media should be used.Another example is L’Oreal, which realized that it needed to participate in social media. Butinstead of doing just that, it created a fake blog, praising its own products. Pushing yourown product is always easier than earning the attention, of course; but, needless to say,people always find out about it. To quote Gary Vaynerchuk, “People have awesome ‘bulls**tdetectors.’”As you gain Twitter followers, use your opportunity to reach others wisely and genuinely—by posting relevant articles, reviews, and—following that 80/20 rule: promoting your ownservices at a level that’s less than 20% of your overall participation.Good luck, and share your success stories with others!Slavik Volinsky is an online marketer at AmsterdamPrinting.com, a promotional products com-pany. Slavik blogs about inbound marketing and related fields. Follow him on Twitter via@svolinsky or subscribe to the Promo & Marketing Wall blog. ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 55
    • Connect with us Ann Handley twitter.com/marketingprofs Managed by Chief Content Officer Ann Handley MarketingProfs Wire twitter.com/mprofswire A feed of all of our daily articles, blog posts, and other content to help you be a smarter marketer MarketingProfs Events twitter.com/mprofsevents All about our seminars, conferences, and events MarketingProfs on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/marketingprofs MarketingProfs on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=100106 ©2012 MarketingProfs LLC • All rights reserved. 56