Old Spice Guy viral marketing in Australia

Once upon time Old Spice used to be the product that, well, old men wore. I remember it being cool when I was 10.

However the Old Spice guy viral marketing campaign changed all of that with one of the funniest viral marketing campaigns to date. A quick search on Youtube will yield the results of many many clips shot following comments from followers including the names of the commenters. The interactive nature drew large attention.

Now the Old Spice guy is heading to Australia to help sell a (we think) Windows product. Interesting cross marketing that reinforces both brands. For your enjoyment, I’ve also included below Grover from Sesame St doing a send up – terrific stuff from one of my favourite muppets.

Podcast with Tom Murrell

I was recently interviewed by Tom Murrell in delightful Subiaco on the topic of marketing strategies that will work in tough times online. In this podcase we talked about new trends in social marketing, blogging for business and other ways of keeping in touch with your audience. We also discussed new disruptive technologies such as Cloud Computing and GoPC.

This podcast will take 12 minutes and 10 seconds to listen to and is available here.

Preparing a Blogging Strategy for Business

Recently I have been turning my attention to blogging strategy for business. And there are some interesting things to observe out of the process that are a tweak on good old fashioned communications planning.

  1. If multiple blogs are a part of the strategy, you must decide on who the audience is for each one.
  2. Decide who the author/s should be
  3. Determine the appropriate tone of voice
  4. Provide a guide to general direction of the posts and content. If you can outline 50 potential posts before you start you might be onto something – if not, rethink
  5. Consider frequency and quality of posts
  6. Integrity of the blog is very important

At a recent presentation I gave on PR2.0 I was asked “should a CEO blog?”.

The answer is:

  1. If there is commitment to do it by the CEO…
  2. If regularity in posts can be established and become part of the routine…
  3. If there is a message that needs to get out (a cultural change program) …
  4. If the audience is receptive to posts (whether they are or not is really of little consequence as the posts can easily be turned into emails) AND feel they can freely comment on posts (good guidelines here can really help to ensure appropriate yet candid feedback)…

Then the answer is yes.

If they are the CEO of a tech company, they should already be doing it and shouldn’t stop to ask the question.

Google Adsense wasn’t making sense

Recently I took Google Adsense ads off my blog. Why?

Two reasons

  1. No one was clicking on them
  2. I wanted to use the space taken up by Google to promote my own content

To be fair, I haven’t spent hours and hours tweaking Google Adsense formats, and perhaps if I had I might have got a better result. However, the click through rates can be pretty low click on content networks for Google Adwords campaigns, and after several thousand impressions and few clicks I decided to make a change.

The other more nagging issue is the value that the ads add for the readers. Whilst lots of bloggers do use Adsense to make some really good money (see Darren Rouse’s blog at www.problogger.com for plenty of good tips), it takes a really concerted effort to build up lots of traffic.

If you have had any experience with Google Adsense, I’d love to hear it, please comment on this post….

Mofuse traffic greater than direct to a blog?

In the same way that the television screen has been overtaken by the computer screen, I am beginning to wonder if Mofuse (the mobile version of my site) might overtake direct traffic.

Just checking my stats for yesterday – quiet day on the blog, 26 page views according to Google. Feedburner has 33 people subscribed via RSS – but up to 175 views, mofuse shows 31 page views.

Interesting, but what does it mean? Like all bloggers, I’d like getting the numbers upwards. With these three different services we are seeing different definitions of hits, and perhaps here there is also some overlap in users that either click on a rss feed and then decide to go to the blog. No doubt this will become clearer, but the early tip is an obvious one – cover all the formats that you can.

There is also the second question of clarifying who is looking at what traffic. Those that are coming directly to the blog are reading more of the articles on directorship matters. Those coming to RSS are reading what’s more recent (more the Web 2.0 posts), and those to the mobile version are reading a similar mix but mainly iphone related.

So, what is your preferred means of checking out content? I’d love to know….

Digital reputation management – the rise and rise of PR 2.0

Check out What we can learn from the WA gas crisis

From that post:

On June 3 a massive gas explosion happened sparking a gas crisis in the state at Varanus – a small island off the North West coast of Western Australia.

About 30% of WA’s energy supply was dependent on the pipeline from Varanus for their energy needs.

Perth is now on energy rations, with large business told each evening how much energy they have for the following day. Casuals are being placed on standby and large mineral processing plants have been shut down – which are the powerhouse for the national economy.

Alan Carpenter, WA’s Premier went on television this week in an unprecedented call for people to reduce their energy consumption – heating, appliances and shorter showers to keep the state’s economy going. The WA Chamber of Commerce has said that as many as 10% of Perth businesses could go out of business as a result of this.

The author, Todd Davies, goes on to discuss in detail the importance of building resilience into organisations so that they can resist shocks more easily.

Whether you call it resilient thinking or plain old fashioned disaster recovery planning, there is a whole area in which online reputation management comes into play. Resilience in reputation is dependent upon the appropriate role that companies play within the communities they work within. Companies that give back generally have stronger brands, attract more staff, are much more highly respected – and tend to be more profitable, and no doubt resilient. One of the things I will be talking on soon is PR 2.0 (See my speaking page for when).

A recent email that has been doing the rounds indicates very strongly that a reckless lack of maintenance by Apache created the disaster, and with a number of photos from the site, would make some – maybe many – people think it is credible. I do not have the facts to form a view – but from a reputation management viewpoint, neither do the general public. Coupled with some recent press from The West Australian indicated that this disaster was predicted 4 years ago, the view is that a bunch of people must have let their eyes come off the ball in a way that is simply unacceptable given the knock on effect.

Back to the point of the post – PR 2.0 effectively is the approach to managing issues online. How do social media come into play? How resilient will your reputation be should an event happen? How do you react particularly when reaction to an event gets near tipping point?

Like all disaster recovery planning, you need the scenarios and responses determined and practised well ahead of time. Communication planning is the same deal. We have seen remarkable little from the company in terms of hands on response. Again without facts, can an audience be blamed for assuming the company may not care?

WordPress as a content management system (CMS)

Kingsley Junior Football Club home page

Whilst at CeBIT there was plenty of discussion about content management systems and in a session I sat in there was a discussion about the difficulty of getting them to work appropriately. Indeed I spoke with someone prior to the session who was about to implement their 3rd tilt at content management in 4 years…. clearly this is a challenging area to get right.

The presenter was pretty strong on all of the challenges and problems with implementing CMS – and even though many of those issues exist organisations have really very little choice – they must implement a content management system to meet various record keeping requirements and retain sanity. Our Perth team at Ross has assisted 5 organisations in Perth implement CMS successfully and in two cases the pages being managed is north of 8000. Without a CMS you are history.

But what about the lower end of the market? Whilst there are plenty of open source systems (I don’t have any personal experience with them other than WordPress), the big challenge is getting the software out of the way of the communication.

So, when my son’s junior football club (the Kingsley Junior Football Club) asked me to help them with a website (more correctly, my wife who is on the committee told them I would do it!!) here is what I did:

  1. Created a new in stance of WordPress at Mediatemple (which is where I host this blog) and setup the MySQL database. Fortunately the WordPress instructions are very good (get the detailed instructions, not the overview). Fair bit of mucking around here, but would be much, much quicker second time around.
    There is a load of hosting providers for WordPress. Mediatemple does have a one click install of WordPress – but it is an old version. With the various warnings in the market at the moment about the risk of not keeping WordPress current, you need to log in manually and follow instructions to update the appropriate files by FTP
  2. I found some WordPress designs that had elements of what I wanted in the design
  3. I then sketched up (yes, using old fashioned but very efficient technology – a pencil on graph paper) exactly what I wanted and where
  4. Reach for your favourite web designers (in my case, the guys at Bam Creative) and I provided them with a formal brief of what I needed. I also provided them with the log in details so they could upload and test the template. After some tweaking we were all set. This was set up with left hand and right hand WordPress widgets
  5. Add Flickr widget – create a new WordPress widget and paste the widget code you get from the Flickr site. Fiddle with the size settings until you get what you want.
  6. And ditto with the right hand side.
  7. Once all done, put in your Google Analytics code and you are away at your test domain.
  8. Migrate your domain (this is currently sitting with a different registrar but will be moved -big tip, make sure that the domain details haven’t been lost, it is a real pain to migrate the domain)

So, all up the site we were trying to emulate in the WA Football League would have cost circa $20k to $30k. We got this one away for under a few thousand dollars and around 50 hours of my time. The Club is now managing and adding the content, and I think it looks pretty good. The latest edition of WordPress is easier to use, and well worth considering….

The Rise and Fall of Bribal Marketing

I really enjoyed my early career in direct marketing. One of the things I found interesting was determining which promotional ideas would work and which wouldn’t. The idea was to spend only what was necessary to effectively acquire a customer, and to make the communication as targetted as possible.

We’d use promotional giveaways as relevent as possible to the product value proposition. An insurance one was a free pen for writing in to advise the date of your next renewal notice (we had a 50/50 chance if we knew when their insurance was due – otherwise they weren’t the slightest bit interested in insurance any other time of year).

Now we see plenty of credit card free insurance period offers, honeymoon home loan rate offers, mobile phone intro only deals and health clubs offering new members better deals than existing members. Everyone likes a good deal, but much of this activity just generates customer churn and reduces loyalty.

So, what has been your best promotion? Let me know….