Financial Online Community brought to you by WSJ blog

Written by on October 29th, 2008
If a Facebook user is valued at $400 what would a WSJ online user be valued at?

With the announcement that second quarter print advertising revenue has dropped again, it’s good to see newspapers reaching out to embrace social media in an attempt to figure out how to monetize their online communities.

I like to remind those in traditional media industries that by developing an online community, they are in effect developing a new media franchise. Think about it. When Facebook received the $265 million dollars Wall streeet journalinvestment from Microsoft for .6 percent of the company, the value per user of the 60 million users (now over 100 million) was nearly $400 per user. That’s far below the value of a newspaper or cable subscriber, but it provides a benchmark for any organization interesting in creating an online community.

It appears that the Wall Street Journal is now starting to understand their Internet strategy could result in a whole new business unit with significant value. They recently upgraded their website and adopted some of the more successful interactive and engaging tools and services that other sites have been using for years to not only attract new users, gain data and information about them, but to keep the coming back.

The WSJ has added

  1. Discussion areas for each article
  2. Profiles individuals can use to brand themselves
  3. Tools to ask questions and answer questions that will lift the users social authority
  4. They even give subscribers the ability to email each other     (…More…)

Twitter as a Marketing Tool for YOUR Business?

Written by on October 24th, 2008

Stock brokers, real estate agents, sales people, physicians, service and retail industries can use twitter to reach and engage customers!

Twitter LogoMany consultants, authors and individuals are using Twitter as a personal branding tool.   By following others and commenting on what is happening in their lives they hope to build their own following  hoping it will increase their social media stature and brand.

So how are businesses like yours using it?

I was developing a marketing strategy recently and ran across the website namethis.com It’s a tool that includes online community and social networking tools to access the wisdom of the crowds to help you name products and services.  Their motto is quite simple, “three world-validated names for your thingamajib in 48 hours.

When someone like you or I need help in naming a product, we simply pay 99 bucks and wait 48 for the top three names as determined by the participants in the online community. The creative community sits back and waits for you or someone else to throw out a naming opportunity.   It’s really an amazing process to watch as people from all over the world come forward to give you their input and suggestions.   (…More…)

Huggies Integrates Online Marketing with Traditional Event Marketing For Fantastic RESULTS!

Written by on October 18th, 2008

6 things to keep in mind when building an integrated marketing strategy

Huggies and Alison Sweeney of Biggest Loser Huggies, a Kimberly Clark Company knocked the ball out of the park with a   well thought out and orchestrated B2C online and offline marketing campaign to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their Huggies brand.

Targeted at the first generation of moms that probably wore Huggies as babies, the campaign was designed much like the TV program Seinfeld and to capture a video statement about moms everyday experiences as a mom.

Back in the old days, The Queen for The Day TV program (1956-1964) featuring 4 down on their luck moms who’s story would be “rated” by the audience “applause meter”. The winner, or better said, mom with the biggest loser story would be rewarded with a washing machine and new fangled appliance that would make their lives easier. It was a great marketing channel for brands to reach their target audience. The program ran for a total of 20 years on both radio and TV.

Today brand advertisers like Kimberly Clark are learning how they can reach a similar audience using traditional event marketing and online social media.   (…More…)

What If Your Sales Force and Distributors Disappeared Overnight?

Written by on October 15th, 2008

8 ways to protect your distribution channel in a down economy!

The once in a lifetime events occurring on Wall Street are making companies think about contingency plans for things they never thought could happen. The focus of this blog article is to talk about a situation where the channels you used to sell your products disappear. For example, what if:

  • Magazines, radio, TV and newspapers circulations were drastically reduced.  How would you reach customers
  • Your distributors (stores, small businesses, corporations) were driven out of business due to the recession
  • Energy prices rose so high you couldn’t afford to send your sales force on out of state trips

To deal with these questions I wanted to share with you how a company run by my brother Tom is facing some of these issues.

Tom is a world renowned glass artist and business man in Tucson, Arizona. Tom wandered into the desert Tom Philabaum Magic Carpetsway back in 1975 and found his home. Since that time he’s built a business (Philabaum Glass) around designing giant glass installations like the “Another Way To Fly” magic carpet installations at the Tucson International Airport, creating 50 pound hand built art vases that literally will break your back when you lift then and traditional consumer products like paper weights and company awards. His product range from tens of thousands of dollars to as little as one hundred dollars.   (…More…)

Social Media, Online Community & Web 2.0 Confuses Business Executives!

Written by on October 3rd, 2008

Social media, online community, Web 2.0 confuses business executives!

You want an Internet strategy but…..

One of the reasons I sold a company I founded in 1995 to create online communities for alumni associations, non profits and companies was to concentrate on helping organizations understand how they could use the Internet to acquire, communicate, retain and engage customers.  Most people we spoke with, likened the Internet as a puzzle they didn’t know where to get started with.

In the 12 years we were building online communities, (Internet Strategies Group) my sales force spent most of their time educating prospective customers why they needed to adopt online communities and social media. To help, I wrote white papers, held conferences, Webinars and books.  We looked at this as the cost of doing business and selling a product that people didn’t understand and didn’t know how it would provide an ROI.

So it’s was no surprise when I read a McKinsey Global Survey (fall 2007) that surveyed how businesses were using Web 2.0 tools and services showed business executives were struggling to figure out how these tools  will help them reach their goals.

The report found:

     • 42% thought they should have invested more
     • 24% thought they should have invested sooner
     • 40% of these companies are not using social networking, RSS, Podcasts, Wikis and blogs.

There are two reasons business leaders are not investing more in Web 2.0, social media and online communities:

     • Confusion
     • Internal focus    (…More…)

7 Ways to Reach Consumers Abandoning Landlines!

Written by on October 1st, 2008

How will you reach customers if 1 in 5 don’t have home phones?

rotary phoneA recent study by the Nielsen Company says that more than 20 million U.S. telephone households, (17 percent) are wireless substitutors (homes without landlines). Their study also uncovered another 5% of those surveyed as likely to drop their land line in the next 12 months.

This changing behavior is probably catching your organization off guard as the increase has occurred in just the past 4 years. While the study first reported in December, 2003 indicated just 4.2 percent had abandoned a home phone and replaced it with their cell phone, the study has shown a steady 3-4 percent increase year. Researchers are anticipating it to reach a tipping point and grow faster in the next couple of years. By the end of 2008, at current growth rates, that would put 1 out of 5 people out of touch from your customer service, sales reps, technicians’, surveyors, political campaigners and others.

A recent Jupiter Research also found that 12 percent of Internet users do not subscribe to land line phone service and nearly 2/3rds of them are 18-34 year olds. Worse, the same report suggests that another 12 percent of those surveyed indicated an intent to drop their home phone service. (That would represent 24% of this age group!)   (…More…)