Friday Fun: Little Miracles Make The Difference

12/22/2006

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Girlfriend, one of my most fav movies - holiday or not - is  Miracle on 34th Street. I even like the new updated version; but the film with Maureen Sullivan and Natalie Wood is still The Classic Christmas Flick - a little romance, a little conflict, Santa, children, imagination, hope for the future and simple miracles.  However, it is also one of the best lessons in customer service.

Favorite Miracle on 34th Street quote: Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don't you see? It's not just Kris that's on trial, it's everything he stands for. It's kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.

Miracle on 34th Street offers a great lesson in customer service and in the philosophy of social media marketing.

Look Doris, someday you're going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn't work. And when you do, don't overlook those lovely intangibles. You'll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.

For your reading pleasure, here is a post I'd like to share with you from the 2004 Diva Marketing archives. Enjoy .. and happy holidays to you and yours!

Miracle_on_34th_street_1It was Christmas 1947. Before blogs, buzz marketing and building online community strategies.

The CEO of a major retail organization briefs the company's ad department. "No high pressuring and forcing the customer to take something he doesn't want. We'll be known as the helpful store. The friendly store. The store with a heart. The store that places public service ahead of profit. The plan sounds idiotic and impossible .. consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before."

With those words Macy's Department Store launched the most innovative sales program ever viewed...on the silver screen. It was a Miracle on 34th Street.   

Fast forward 59 years. The use of the internet is one of the most exciting sales and marketing strategies we've seen in the last 59 years. However, in this model there is no room for high-pressure sales techniques. The customer is in control of the sales experience. The customer is also in control of the marketing message.

Include a blog strategy to an internet marketing mix and yet another dimension is added. The company steps out from behind the shadows of traditional PR, customer service and research (all valid in their own right) and declares it's ready to listen and learn from prospects and customers .. on the their terms.

It's not afraid (ok. perhaps there are a few wobbles) to show the world that there might be a few warts. That's a giant step from old world marketing to open communication new world marketing.

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible .. consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

As the year 2007 approaches, high-tech developments spin even faster taking the possibilities of internet marketing into areas that were impossible in '47 or '57 or even '06.

Imagine a site that holds current inventory and pricing, allows for on-line financing and results in better, faster cheaper processing.

Imagine a site that allows for product customization.

Imagine a site where you can start a conversation with a real person about what matters to you regarding a product or service.

Imagine a site where you can talk to a real person who doesn't respond with an FAQ list.

Imagine a site where you can actually help change the direction of a product or service before it's even launched.

Imagine a company that doesn't close the door (or comment section) to you or your ideas.

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible .. consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

It's interesting to compare a 1940's film, where finding solutions to customers' problems was perceived as unique, to 2006 where finding solutions to customers' problems is considered ingenious.

The techniques may have changed. New buzz words may be added to the mix. Bells and whistles may be a little louder. However, after all is said and done, the premise remains the same:

  • Listen
  • Understand
  • Add value
  • Do what it takes to go the extra mile to delight your customer

The plan sounds idiotic and impossible .. consequently, we'll make more profit than ever before.

So Very Bloggy!

And with that I wish you and yours a very merry holiday season!

Sidebar: Based on an article written for Marketing News

Sidebar: Take a cue from Diva Marketing <wink> dusty off your classic posts .. with a little polish and  updating they will take on a fresh new read.

 

Astrology_15 business astrology for fun -
from The Astro Divas Paula Dare & Donna Page

MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKKAH AND HAPPY KWANZAA

Take time to relax and have some fun after being harried from working and then shopping and decorating and wrapping packages and, on and on.

It maybe difficult to get anything accomplished this coming week after the Christmas Holiday and then preparing for New Years Eve festivities.

On Wed. Mercury enters Capricorn. The mind has a chance to settle down and focus on practical matters like “How on ea rth am I going to pay for all of those presents?” I wish everyone Many Blessings, Happiness and Joy this holiday season.

Sidebar: Special joyful wishes to my dear Astro Diva Bloggers friends Paula & Donna who have put a unique spin on Diva Marketing's Friday Fun.  Girlfriend, I ask you where else in the biz blogosphere can you find business astrology?

Edelman /Wal-Mart - Lessons Learned

10/21/2006

Curtain_up270 Curtain Up! Light The Lights! The front row seats that you and I have watching the twists and turns of the Edelman / Wal-Mart debacle/s could only happen in the blogosphere. And not only do we have a great view of this unfolding saga but we can play a role in the theatrics. On the social media stage it's called participating in the community or joining the conversation. Right Mack?

Bloggers are not shy about voicing their opinions (yeah, Girlfriend that was The understatement of the post!) but Edelman CEO Richard Edelman and VIPS Steve Rubel and Rick Murray (on the WOMMA blog that has been established to carry on this conversation) are asking for our feedback.

Edelman might have broken the trust of its client (Wal-Mart) by having employees who did not understand the social media space work on the account. But let's be fair. What does that have to do with you or me that an agency messed up with their client? Nothing.

What is important are bigger issues (how to ensure trust and ethics in a new industry) and the lessons learned. 

Richard tells us Edelman's plan for going forward.
Sidebar: Richard, it sure would be nice if you could make your training available to all. It would be a tangible, good faith gesture that might help other companies.

  • Thorough audit around the world to ensure we apply best practice guidelines to every program in every market and specialty area.
  • Requiring that all employees attend an Edelman University class on ethics in social media, hosted by members of me2revolution team as well as external experts.
  • Establishing a 24/7 hotline so our me2revolution team can review, provide counsel and apply best practice guidelines on social media programs before their implementation.
  • Creating ethics materials that will be distributed to each office and all new hires.

Bloggers' Lessons Learned

  • Blogging is personal. - It's all about the people. The more I read your blog the more I feel I know you. The more I feel I know you the more I am likely to trust you. In a strange twist Edelman's bloggers blogged so well that they achieved the pinnacle of blog success .. "relationships" with their readers,  who in turn, felt betrayed by the people they trusted.
  • Blogosphere is a culture with shared values. Bloggers take the values of honesty, transparency and authenticity seriously and will "fight to the death" to defend them.
  • Social Media is an emerging industry. The hard earned credibility of blogs / social media as a marketing strategy can be blown away by companies who don't take it seriously.
  • Guidelines including ethics need to be established and reinforced by a credible third part e.g., a professional organization. Is WOMMA up for this challenge?
  • Strategy is critical. Without a strategy that supports and integrates into a company's master marketing plan a blog or social media is a "me to play toy." The very process of creating a strategy will help ensure that tactics are on target and identify potential blogoshere land challenges.
  • PR must be transparent and honest. For some firms this may entail a change in company culture and business processes.
  • Blogger relations is increasing in importance and is influencing changes in companies internal processes.

Richard Edelman commenting on Pajamas Media - Of our own volition and because it was the right thing to do, we changed our methodology on identifying our Edelman employees on paidcritics.com. We will continue to support the WOMMA guidelines and are in the process of reviewing every one of our programs involving new media.

Sidebar: Richard and Steve perhaps you might want to enter GourmetStation's Get Out Of The Dog House MySpace Video Promotion? A year's worth of gourmet dinners could help you say you're sorry to a lot of people <wink>

Cuteness Creates Buzz For Old Navy

05/19/2006

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Maxie Max_may_06 is very cute but cuteness doesn't always pay for the doggy treats. Sometimes I think little Max should be helping out with the expenses of his doggy chocolate kisses and cookies. I might have found the perfect gig where cuteness does pay. Old Navy is on a search for a new spokesdog mascot to star in ad campaigns and commercials.

All kidding aside, Gap, Inc. has created an innovtive and fun strategy that is attracting the attention of dog lovers online and off. You can nominate your pooch for the honor by submitting a photo on a special website. The site is loaded with games and pet information. Don't have a picture? Take Spot to a casting call where photgraphers will snap your pup.

Of course you want to see your dog in the cast of thousands so you click back to website. The technology falls flat at this point. It's almost impossible to find your dog's picture and the photos are not showing up. Very frustrating.

There's one more surprise and this is totally awesome.Old_navy_max Coming back into the site <after submitting your photo> you are greeted with a splash page film about your very own pooch's adventure becomeing a star. How cool is that?

Diva's just for a giggle let's spin this and show The Gap how they could have included a little Web 2.0 magic and extended the buzz even further.

  • Make it easy to download the film. I'm betting we'd see a lot on YouTube, blogs and websites.
  • RSS feeds for updates of specific breeds
  • RSS feeds for contest updates
  • Podcasts and vlogs of the casting calls
  • Ability to add your dog's photo to the send a friend an e-card
  • Blogs written by the judges: Katherine Heigl (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Alfre Woodard (“Desperate Housewives”), Malcolm David Kelley (“Lost”), Kristin Chenoweth (“RV” and “The West Wing”), Betty White (“Golden Girls”) and celebrity dog trainer Andrea Arden.
  • Blogs written by the dogs' peoples
  • Dare I say a character blog?
  • A customer video element - perhaps a contest within the contest

You have until May 29th to enter the contest. Vote_for_max


 


Astrology_6

Biz Astro Tips
business astrology for fun
By Diva Astrology Bloggers Paula Dare & Donna Page

Mercury, the planet of communication and commerce is moving into its own kingdom of Gemini today. This position is excellent for getting your message out. What do you need to communicate about your business in order to connect with your customers?

The sun enters Gemini on Sunday giving a one two punch to communication, connecting, and sales. However because Mercury is traveling with the Sun, essentially hiding in the suns shadow, it is best to keep your marketing plans under wrap until you are ready to launch.

Monday is a daydreamer’s paradise, let your creative thoughts flow, and just remember to click the save button so your brilliance doesn’t disappear into never never land.

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WOMBAT Wrap

01/25/2006

Word_of_mouthWoW WOMBAT was intense on two accounts - back-to-back blogging and information take aways. The WOMMA WOMBAT blog has a wealth of information - posts and podcast interviews. John Moore told us that the posts were so rich he barely took notes. Thanks Doc!

If you want to jump right to chase, WOMMA has posted all of the presentations Free for download.

A few WOMBAT Take Aways
Josh Sinel, Kaava - Consumer Generated Media provides an opportunity to listen to the voice of your customer in the language of your customer.
Zane Safrit, Conference Calls Unlimited - There is a difference between happy customers and engaged customers.
Virgil Simons, The Prostate Net - For my $, The Prostate Net gets the WOMBAT award for the most innovative word of mouth strategy. Virgil tapped into barbers and barbershops to build word of mouth buzz to educate men about prostrate cancer. What's more he's getting results. BiG results. If that's not enough he's turning barbershops wired.

Lots of pink boa tosses: to Dana VanDen Heuvel for pulling the bloggers together and to WOMMA's Andy and Michael for their support in the bloggers' efforts. It was fun to finally meet and blog with Marianne Richmond. Very special thanks to Josh Hallitt for going beyond blogger friendship with rides to and from the airport.

Graphic from artist Michael McConnell

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WOMBAT: Day One Ends With A Laugh

01/19/2006

Bob Mankoff, Cartoon Editor of the New Yorker's Cartoon Book, was the perfect ending to an intense day of back-to-back sessions. We kicked back a notch as Bob shared some classic New Yorker cartoons within the framework of how the Power of Humor can be used to foster customer loyalty.

Bob must be hangin' with his pal Renee from Edelman (oops Renee lost your card!)... he talks in great sound bites...or is that just a cartoonist's communication mode?

Bob Mankoff on Cartoons and Humor
(Perhaps a wee bit paraphrased)
Humor is where we are the most human
People ask me how many cartoons a day they should draw. I tell them do 10. 9 out of 10 things don't work out. With 10 you've got a shot.
Humor makes an emotional connection. -
Humor/cartoons are not just jokes, they're ideas.

Hugh...you may have some company if Bob decides to blog!

And on a high note, we headed off to the Disney Animal Kingdom for some much needed, and well deserved, food, beverages and more networking!

Sidebar: WOMMA had some great goodies in the cool blue backpack .. many of the speakers' books and Intuit Turbo Tax software...but alas! a copy of the Cartoon Book was not included.

[Note this is cross posted on WOMBAT Blog]
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Pre WOMBAT

01/19/2006

How nice it was to be greeted at the Orlando Airport tonight by fellow WOMBAT bloggers Josh Hewitt and Marianne Richmond. My flight from Atlanta was delayed but they waited for me. And then we waited for Steve Rubel whose flight was late coming in from NYC.

When I was registering I met WOMMA attendee, James Kim, who recently launched a new blog search engine opinmind. opinmind is an interesting twist on the traditional search engines that pull in everything related to your key world search. opinmind sorts the positive and negative opinions of bloggers - based on a keyword search. The results are displayed in 2 columns..thumbs up and thumbs down. Its a more analytic approach to search then we've seen thus far.

With Nielsen's announcement of Nielson BuzzMetrics this plays right into the hot consumer generated media space.
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