Friday, March 20, 2009

For Banks, a Crisis Communications Fail

An article in AdAge offers a reminder why staying quiet about a crisis is bad communications strategy.

The piece cites a new PR survey showing that only 8 % of consumers have full confidence in the nation’s financial service companies. AdAge attributes the low approval rating, in part, to the banks’ failure to communicate clearly with their customers in this time of trouble.

We say it all the time, and we’ll say it again: You’ve got to tell your story the way you want it to be told. If you don’t, it may be told by someone else—and they won’t be nearly as nice about it. In the banks’ case, the barrage of bad publicity in the 24-hour news cycle is telling their story.

So once again, we’re seeing how a “no comment” attitude only digs a deeper hole for businesses stuck in a bad situation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some Stimulating Conversation about Targeted Marketing

BtoB Online has a piece worth reading about what the federal economic stimulus legislation means for b2b marketers.

The theme is that it’s a good time for targeted marketing aimed at those who stand to benefit, either directly or indirectly, from the government spending.

“We are … taking more of a rifle-shot approach to target places where dollars are being spent,” says one article interviewee.

The piece looks at the prime targets of the stimulus, including commercial construction, alternative energy, telecommunications, computer hardware and software and financial services.

OK, but what if you aren’t involved in any of those markets? No matter. In this economy, targeted marketing makes sense, whatever markets you’re in. It’s about being as smart and cost-effective as possible. Rather than broad campaigns, you should be working to tie all marketing directly to specific sales initiatives. That means working harder to understand each and every customer’s situation.

Online and Web 2.0 tools offer speed, flexibility and interactivity that are especially conducive to these targeted marketing efforts. So get cracking. Identify those targets. Ready, aim …