What Does Your Brand Stand For?

I’ve asked this question of our clients so many times… “What exactly does your brand stand for so that we can do the best job of marketing that meaning to people who need to hear it?”

The answer I frequently get is “um, well, that’s why we hired you.”

Hiring a marketing agency to help you with getting the word out about your products, services, apps or ideas is a great step but should come after your company has a clear identity. We help folks develop brand strategies, but don’t confuse that with marketing and advertising.

Seth has a good first step for every company to take…

Seth’s Blog – “What does your brand stand for?”: Make a list of the differences and the extremes and start with that. A brand that stands for what all brands stand for stands for nothing much.

Mobile’s Massive Implications

There are some really great slides and info here… highly recommended:

Business Insider – Here’s An Excellent Presentation About The Rise Of Mobile And The Massive Implications: “Revered Apple analyst Benedict Evans of Enders Analysis is giving a presentation May 29 at the BookExpo America convention in New York.

It’s on the rise of mobile and what it means for the industry.”

Make sure to check out the part on ecosystem growth.

Things We Love: WP to Twitter Plugin

You might have noticed that we do auto-posting of things on the blog here to our @harrelsonagency Twitter account. To do that, we use the awesome WP to Twitter plugin for WordPress:

WordPress › WP to Twitter « WordPress Plugins: “WP to Twitter automatically posts Tweets from WordPress to Twitter using your URL shortening service to provide a link back to your post from Twitter.”

That’s a great free plugin, but the paid version called WP Tweets Pro is even better:

Your PRO Marketing Tool for WordPress and Twitter: WP Tweets PRO: “What can WP Tweets PRO do for you? It takes the great posting capabilities already available to you in the free plug-in and expands them: allowing you to publish to different Twitter accounts for each author; to schedule up to 3 re-posts of your Tweet at an interval of your choice; and, with a delay between publishing and Tweeting, gives you the ability to review your tweets before they go out.”

We’ve been very happy with the ability to post up things and have them go out to individual author tweet streams automagically. Plus, the reposting of tweets is somewhat of a necessary evil in 2013 with the inundation of information.

For $30, that’s awesome.

If you’re on WordPress and looking for an easy to use plugin to help you manage Twitter, this is the one for you.

Why Email Marketing Still Matters

I got my start in online marketing in 2002 working for an email marketing group in Columbia, SC. I was fresh out of an Ivy League masters program with a degree in ancient religion and literature (and some archaeology experience). Needless to say, that wasn’t a highly valued skill set for a 22 year old just moving to South Carolina.

However, those years I spent with that email marketing (eventually affiliate and search marketing) company were the perfect trial-by-fire for finding my legs in the wider world of performance marketing. I realized some very important things about online marketing in general and email marketing specifically. It was a great education in the various ways of doing agency business in a post 9/11 but pre CAN-SPAM world of glitzy conferences, making lifelong connections and getting deals done with great agility and detail.

Although “the long tail” is a term that has lost much of its 2007 cache, there is still a great amount of truth to the term within the concept of online marketing. I’ve argued to clients and friends over and over that email is (and will continue to be) a very long term prospect of increasing returns over time in a world of short-lived Twitter and Facebook promoted posts as advertising.

The SumAll folks have a great post laying out a similar argument and some nice tips you should read at the end…

Why E-mail Marketing is More Valuable Than Ever – SumAll – Blog: “It’s been a widely held notion that after you’ve sent out your campaign, you have 12 hours to get the most opens you can before your e-mail is lost in inbox limbo. But based on our research, e-mails have a much longer tail than people are aware of. “

Whatever marketing channel you’re using, email is a great compliment and something you should bake in early in your campaigns.

Free Isn’t Bad

Dr Drang nails it:

Free – All this: “I’m sure you’ve noticed the backlash against free internet services over the past couple of years. Not that there are fewer free services, just that a certain set of people have been arguing that we shouldn’t be using them. Their rallying cry is ‘If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.’ This is considered a deep truth among the anti-free set. It’s certainly true, but it isn’t deep, and I’m not convinced it makes free services bad.”

Read the rest for great connections to services such as TiVo. “Free” has taken on a religious sentiment amongst many technologists, marketers and users that simply doesn’t hold up when you look up the numbers (or economies behind them).

Pew Report On How Facebook Bubble Is About to Pop

Middle school students I talk to frequently point to Instagram, Kik, Snapchat, WhatsApp or (increasingly) Twitter as their preferred social network over Facebook:

Teens, Social Media, and Privacy | Pew Internet & American Life Project: “Focus group discussions with teens show that they have waning enthusiasm for Facebook, disliking the increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful ‘drama,’ but they keep using it because participation is an important part of overall teenage socializing.”

While Facebook did (wisely) acquire Instagram last year, the bleeding of usage is significant. Teens and the prized 18-24 demographic will continue to have a presence on Facebook as a namespace, but usage is the key demographic here.

Replacing demographics are much more ephemeral and harder-to-monetize situational networks like Kik or Snapchat.