Tapping into the Groundswell

Social media is turning the world of marketing upside down.  Companies can no longer simply “shout out” and have one-way conversations with their customers.  Today, dialogues are not only two-way, but also customers are reaching out to colleagues and trusted advisers on social networks for brand information.

Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in their bestseller book Groundswell, describe this new shift in the relationship between customers and companies as:

“A social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.”

In fact, most B2B buyers prefer to conduct their own research first to learn about a company`s product or service offerings than rely on a customer representative.  The vast amounts of content available online, along with ubiquitous Internet access and high bandwidth make information gathering and sharing standard practice today.  Buyers are simply more social. Continue reading

10 Reasons Why Email Marketing Still Delivers

I’m a social media enthusiast, yet recognize, the number one communications tool today is email.  The Pew Research Center says that 9 out of 10 Internet users send or read email every day.  A number of sources report that social media usage ranks fairly well in the 60% range for the general online adult population, and even higher (of course) in the under 40 demographic. Only search, according to Pew Research, has around the same adoption rate as email in the 90% range. We love to “Google” don’t we?

Business marketers are also embracing email—from newsletters and  transactional emails to direct emails and sponsorship emails. In fact, the CMO Council recently reported that a majority of marketers worldwide (67%) rated email as the most successful digital marketing tactic.

Email is indeed one of the most important tools in the marketer’s toolkit, but it still needs to be complemented with search, social media, and content marketing.  An integrated multichannel campaign generates superior results and is a foundation for creating thought leadership status—essential for building brand and differentiation.

What are email marketers focused on this year?  According to a survey by services provider StrongMail, the top marketing initiative is subscriber engagement at 48% followed by improving segmentation and targeting (44%) and growing opt-in email lists (32%).

Read my list of 10 reasons why email marketing still delivers: Continue reading