You're Doing It Wrong
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Umm… You’re Doing It Wrong

If you have a habit of following people on Twitter, waiting till they follow you back, then promptly unfollowing them… YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

Two days ago, I was followed by two different digital marketing “experts.” I checked out their profiles, and they each seemed interesting, so I followed them back. The very next day I was unfollowed by both of them.

I hadn’t tweeted anything “controversial” in the 24 hours they were following me, so I knew that wasn’t the reason for the unfollow.

Then it dawned on me – these people only followed me to get me to follow them back. LAME. That’s not how any of this works!

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Hierarchy of Needs + Consumer Experiences = Marketing Success
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Hierarchy of Needs + Consumer Experiences = Marketing Success

There are so many different words we can use to describe marketing in today’s business climate – collective, cooperative, collaborative, connected, social, relational, digital, immediate, on-demand, integrated, flexible, pull, measurable, inbound, visual, discussion-based, creative, transparent, organic, relevant, personal, humanized, credible, sophisticated, entertaining, influential, interactive… I’m sure you can think of at least 20 more.

I think there is one particular term that marketers need to pay special attention to: EXPERIENCE. And I’m not talking about the brand experience you may be thinking about, which I have addressed before that is focused on how the consumer experiences the brand across channels. I’m talking about the experience a consumer has when engaging with what the brand has to offer.

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HEY! Are You Listening?
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HEY! Are You Listening?

It’s time to take social media monitoring to the next level (if you haven’t already) – it’s time to go beyond simple engagement metrics. It’s time to take on social listening.

Social listening is a massive and complicated undertaking, but it’s extremely important. Brands that are not monitoring what is being said in the social space about them and their products are missing out on huge opportunities – social listening and gauging social sentiment can help a marketer improve (or maintain) brand positioning and engage directly with actual or potential customers.

There are a number of tools in existence, some available for free and others for a fee, to assist organizations with social media listening. The platforms being monitored depend on the complexity of the tool, and usually how much you are paying for it. Many of them not only monitor social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+, but they also scan blogs and comments, Tumblr, forums, Q&A sites like Quora, bookmarking sites like Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, and other video and photo sharing sites. If set up properly, a brand can use these tools to not only monitor mentions of and sentiment related to their own brand across platforms, they can also measure social sentiment related to specific products, competitors, and industry-related key terms.

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The Brand Integrity Equation
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The Brand Integrity Equation

When you hear or see the word “brand,” what do you think of? A logo? A slogan or tag line? A character? That’s what many consumers would think of.

Now, put on your MarCom hat – what do you think of? Brand identity, brand promise, mission, vision, logo, colors, tone-of-voice, visuals, taglines, personas, marketing touchpoints…

Sure. But that’s not all. A brand is made up of the sum of ALL its parts, not just the ones that marketers focus on. Brand identity is delivered to consumers through an organization’s products and services, its sales team, its pricing, its product development, its customer service, even its fine print.

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Psychology Behind Marketing – The Culture Filter
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Psychology Behind Marketing – The Culture Filter

PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) defines public relations as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Marketing, as defined by the American Marketing Association, is “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

As a MarCom professional, the goal on both fronts is to build a meaningful, valuable, and mutually-beneficial relationships. In order to do that, you need to gain a deep understanding about each audience with which you are trying to connect. You need to understand what each segment cares about, what motivates them, and what inhibits them. This relationship building, when done correctly, requires a reversion back to the very basics – communication that is rooted in trust and cooperation.

Recently I was perusing some psychology articles in my feed, and two disciplines jumped out at me: Anthropology and Sociology. They got my MarCom wheels turning…

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