We really enjoy Marco Arment’s blog and the links he posts and comments on. And we recently read his post, “We’re Just Flipping Through Index Cards”, with a reference to a podcast interview John Roderick by Myke Hurley that got us thinking. John is talking about the music industry, and Marco is talking about the app store. But a lot of it rings true for enterprise IT, too.
Basic logic tells us that negative opinions have a negative impact on our perceptions. If a man leaves a restaurant complaining about the service, he’s likely to drive other customers away. But this is not always the case: even negative reviews provide publicity and visibility, and a good can outshine the bad.
Marketers should always ask themselves this question when considering new initiatives. Creativity knows no bounds, and Internet and guerilla marketing tactics often turn to tactics ripped from the obnoxious MTV shows, Jackass and Punk’d. But even well-intentioned campaigns can go awry: It is common for technology companies to focus on communicating cool features instead of usability.
It’s not easy to be a public face for your employer, and doubly so when you’re using social media. Blogs, tweets, and the like value personal authenticity (and shun “corporateness”), forcing vendor bloggers to walk a tightrope. It can be hard to accept this burden, and many a bright young blogger flames out as the reality of the situation settles upon them. Yet some emerge from the trials with a reasonable philosophy and are able to continue.
It’s funny how powerful the thoughts of individuals have become. A reasonably popular blog can post an item on a new product and outrank the company that made it in the all-important first page of Google results. Corporate blogs, Twitter accounts, social networking sites, and the rest have sprung up everywhere, all trying to fight it out with “just plain folks” for “social media” mindshare. But most corporate shills fail miserably and are forced to resort to extraordinary means to make their content “go viral.” This is ironic because the secret to getting people to share your tweets, blog posts, videos, updates, etc is really quite simple!
Isn’t it funny how marketers feel the need to promote their new products by degrading their old ones. It’s inevitable, really, that improvements highlight shortcomings, but it just becomes so glaring sometimes. Is there a right and wrong way to go about messaging an upgrade?
This morning, someone left a comment on a 10 month-old blog post about EMC Corporation’s products over at Gestalt IT. Although the writer, “Brian,” identified himself as “EMC Social Outreach Team”, the short message seemed somewhat spammy, including a bit.ly link to one of that company’s marketing promotions. Further investigation reveals what looks to be an inept social media marketing maneuver by “integrated sales promotions” firm, AlterSeekers. Let’s use it as a case study in how not to do social media marketing.