Friday, November 20, 2009

Are You Marketing (and Living) Your Mission?

Over at AdAge, there’s an interesting look at the trend in mission-based marketing among consumer brands.

Big names like Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Wal-Mart are putting a lot of emphasis on taglines and catchphrases that sound like they’re right out of a lofty mission statement.

Think Wal-Mart’s “Save money. Live better.” That’s a pretty dramatic and emotional turn from the old “Always low prices.” More importantly, the audience seems to be internal as much as external.

Guess it’s a sign of the times. In the recession, employees need to know they’re working for something more meaningful—helping people “live better”—than just providing cheap merchandise. Seems to be working at least OK for Wal-Mart lately.

Yes, a tagline tied to a mission can pack a pretty powerful punch. But a note of caution: If you’re going to engage in mission marketing, then it’s more critical than ever to follow through with the mission you’re promoting. You’ve got to live that brand promise.

Otherwise, it’s just an empty slogan. And your customers, and your employees, will see right through it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Key Considerations for Your Company Facebook Page

Should your business be on facebook?

Yes. With more than 300 million users across all demographics, you shouldn’t ignore this channel.

However, what you do with your facebook page is a different matter. Many companies may be unsure how to proceed in this huge but still evolving arena.

Maybe start by consulting this helpful primer on facebook pages for small businesses in The New York Times (sign-in required). There are some good links to other resources there, so by all means, read the article when you have time (away from facebook).

In the meantime, some key takeaways:

  • Start with strategy. Yes, you should be on facebook. No, you should not be aimlessly wasting time. However, there’s a learning curve involved. So identify objectives, and start experimenting now with ways to achieve them.
  • Show, don’t sell. People use facebook to interact, not to buy things. They’re interested in the personality of your business, so give them that experience on your page—not a bunch of pushy hype.
  • Stay up to date. Regular doses of current and relevant news, events and commentary keep visitors returning.
  • Don’t expect too much. Since facebook is about relationships, and relationships take time to develop, maintaining a great page won’t do your salespeople’s job for them.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Recovery Is Ramping Up. What about Your Marketing?

Feeling a little more optimistic lately?

If so, it’s not without cause. Numerous signs suggest that the economy is continuing to emerge from recession:

If you have some other tales of the upswing to point out, please join the conversation at Positive Breakthroughs, a LinkedIn group promoting good economic news.

In the meantime, you should be thinking about how you’ll take advantage of new growth opportunities as they arise. After all, there will be no shortage of companies vying for new business in the coming months.

How are you going to set yourself and your company apart from the fray?

It doesn’t have to mean big spending. As AdAge points out, positioning yourself as a thought leader is a smart, cost-effective way to differentiate yourself and increase your visibility. Whatever niche you’re in, now is the time to demonstrate your expertise through relevant social networks, in the trade publications and on the blogs.

You can start by commenting right here. ;)