Showing posts with label business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label business. Show all posts

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Who Do Aussies Really Trust?

2014 Edelman Trust Barometer - Global Results from Edelman Insights

Trust is critical in content marketing or any other form of communications. The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer shows who people around the globe trust. 

The Australian results are interesting.  Overall there has been an increase in the trust levels of Australians over the past 12 months. Specifically trust in:
  • Not for profits is marginally up.
  • Trust in media is up six points.
  • Business has taken a 10 point leap in trust levels.
  • There is a higher level of trust in government.
Interestingly Australians trust business slightly more than they do governments. 
Globally people want CEOs to communicate in a clear and transparent fashion, tell the truth regardless of the situation and regularly engage with employees.  For a clear majority these behaviours count more than CEOs being active in the media.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Creating Social Marketing That's Actually Social

Image courtesy of
Creating Social Marketing That's Actually Social

The above blog post by Ryan Darby and Jake Herway explores why businesses don't succeed on social media and how to get better results.  It may sound like SOCMED 101 but we all need a refresher on the fundamentals every now and then.

Ryan and Jake report businesses doing the best with their social outreach:

  • Set unambiguous expectations on why they are on social media.  They have not blindly wandered into the social media space nor are they there to do everything.  They go for a clearly defined business purpose - it could be to sell, provide customer service, tap the mood of the market or simply share information.
  • Engage the engaged.  Rather than going for volume they go for quality.  They use social media to reach out to those who already understand or like what they do, keep them informed and encourage them to spread the word to their networks.

  • And they are simply social.  They appreciate social media was born to connect people to family and friends.  So they share and converse, and scrupulously avoid blatant advertising.  

They get it and instinctively know command and control communications and banging a broadcasting drum don't work in this space. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Disney Story Telling Secrets

Recently I heard the Creative Executive of the Disney Company,  Joe Rohde, talk about Disney's approach to turning raw ideas into  commercial success.

The Disney Company has built its success on storytelling to become one of the world's great brands. It uses compelling narratives in film, theme parks, resorts and other ways  to engage global audiences.  And, it has been doing this for generations.

Joe spoke about how Disney translates ideas into reality through themes.

A theme is a simple statement that distills the essence of an idea and infuses it with spirit and feeling. 
Similar to a brand statement but more than a mission statement or key message, a theme is the fundamental building block for the communications and business decisions surrounding a new project.

Once Disney selects a theme it cascades downwards to guide the design and shape of a  project. At a working level it gives Disney's people a framework to add, modify or reject suggestions.

Themes lead to stories.  And here Disney taps into the ancient art of story telling.

Stories help us make sense of the world around about us. They allow us to find the familiar patterns of life.  Joe is quick to add that stories- any story - needs fresh information or insights to keep our interest. 

The stories it selects (within a given theme) and the telling of them make Disney so successful, so different.  They inspire Disney staff to venture into new ways of thinking in pursuit of creative difference.

Disney is continually researching, seeking new information and challenging its people to enter new corridors of thinking rather than ambling down the predictable hallways of the mind. 

So is Disney approach to themes be relevant to you and me?

Perhaps it might encourage us to look for the themes that best sum up what we and companies do.  And to seek out the compelling stories that we can use to engage one another and the wider world.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Automation Poses PR Risk For Qantas

If you recently travelled Qantas from Sydney, you will have used the airline's automated check-in and bag drop services. 

The DIY check-in has been around a while but the self serve bag drop is new. 

Qantas seems hell bent on using automation to contain costs and remain competitive. For example it is cheaper to book a Qantas ticket online than over the phone. Hopefully all this results in better priced travel. 

Of course technology is replacing people in many industries. But is it the best strategy? The more hi-tech our world becomes, the more we crave hi-touch. As humans we want to engage with others when we travel, bank or are otherwise involved in transactions where making errors can cost us. Rightly or wrongly we think dealing with people is less risky than dealing with microchips. 

With the new automated bag drops (which are clumsy to use) aircrews may now be the only Qantas staff most people ever meet. That means the pressure is firmly on hard worked cabin staff to carry forward the company brand. 

In recent times how often have you remarked on improved service when you fly?  Probably not very often. Increasingly air travel is a frustrating experience. Airport parking fees are exorbitant, restrooms are smelly and on planes and terminals you pay high prices for everything including the coffee. 10 years on from September 11 security checks remain onerous. 

By removing people-facing staff, Qantas has embarked on a high risk strategy. How will the cumulative effect  of these changes be seen by customers? Will they be happy dealing with machines or do they prefer the friendly staff for which QANTAS has become rightly famous? The accountants might be happy but the marketers must be holding their breath.

It will be interesting to see the data on Qantas' customer satisfaction levels 12 months from now. My feeling is the new measures will be as popular as going through airport security.

In previous times Australians used to applaud the pilot when the plane landed safely.  However in less than a generation air travel has gone from an experience to a commodity.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Get Content Get Customers: Book Review

Get Content Get Customers: Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett
‘Content is king’ is an old marketing maxim.  According to US authors Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett, content is now the undisputed monarch when it comes to successful marketing.

With so much choice and so little difference between many product and service offerings, the best way to engage and keep customers is to give them valuable information that will enrich their experience with your organisation.

Internet-savy customers look everywhere for information before making their buying decisions.  Selling to them has become more difficult and traditional media channels are less influential.  Pulizzi and Barrett are urging companies to take advantage of new digital technologies to become their own publishing houses and deliver high quality editorial content to the people who matter most – clients and customers. In over 250 pages of delightfully simple to understand language they show the reader how to develop and follow through on a content marketing mindset.

A content-based approach starts with knowing what customers want, similar to traditional marketing.  Who are my customers and what do they need from my product now and in the long-term?  What and when is the best way to engage them are questions that demand better answers than merely reaching in the bottom drawer for another tired advertising schedule. In today’s environment it is totally about ‘them, not me and you.’

Pulizzi and Barrett identify how companies can deliver information straight to customers.  Their communications menu includes websites, on-line forums, social media, e-books, white papers, webcasts, digital magazines, blogs, podcasts, videos, road shows and face to face contact.  Corporate magazines and newsletters get a new lease of life under a content marketing strategy and the authors identify 15 tips to repurpose information from a traditional company magazine to increase the return on investment on each story.  

One of the book’s real strengths is the 15 case studies showing companies in different industries using content marketing to drive sales and increase market share. They include a couple of Australian examples, a rare find in US marketing books. It seems Melbourne-based, website developer Bitemark is using content marketing to create leads and drive sales and giant American manufacturer has strengthened ties to Australian customers through a print and on-line program that bridges business cultures.

Marketing instinctively know the importance of credible information.  Get Content Get Customers shows how to develop that information and deliver it directly to customers to get short and long-term impact.   

Get the book because this is a worthwhile read.

Friday, August 20, 2010

15 Key Questions Bosses Should Ask About PR

Most bosses intuitively know the power of PR.  However they are so busy running the business they focus on communications only when a crisis hits or when staff present a fresh PR proposal.  Most are willingly to leave the details to their PR professionals.

But by asking pointed questions a boss can quickly determine the value of any communications, PR or marketing proposal they are asked to approve:
  • Does this plan support my business or operational plan?
  • Does what it is being recommended build on our previous good work and avoid our past communications shortcomings?
  • Are my audiences clearly identified by geography, interests, beliefs or other common characteristics?
  • Are the messages we want to share clear, unambiguous and easy to understand? 
  • Could our information be misunderstood or misinterpreted and cause unintended consequences?  
  • Is our information persuasive and backed by evidence such as facts and figures, case studies but above all by stories of ordinary people who benefit from what we do?
  • How, when and where is information going to be delivered to audiences?
  • What opportunities do audiences have to offer their opinion?  
  • Is there a processes to improve communications based on feedback?
  • Are the communications tools proposed the right fit for the audience? 
  • Is there a mix of approaches so if one communications channel fails, others may work?
  • What is the communications timetable? 
  • Will we deliver consistent communications or are we communicating by episodes?
  • How will I know if this proposal is working?  
  • What is the process to monitor, measure, evaluate and adjust what is being proposed?
Bosses can't be expected to know everything particularly about the ins and outs of communications.  But they should able to ask penetrating questions when it comes to approving a new PR or marketing budget.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Business Reason To Tell Stories

Story telling is the universal language of the human camp.  We have been telling each other stories for 40 000 years.  We use them to motivate, amuse, warn and share information.

Stories are powerful.  Yet are you using them to communicate the good things your organisation does? If not why not?  A story is more powerful than a mission statement, annual report or policy document. 

I recently came across great advice from Alison Esse of the about how  companies can use stories and I thought it is worth sharing with you.  Thanks Alison.


 The best way to pitch storytelling to your organisation is to position the argument as a 'winning  hearts and minds' one - creating an emotional connection to the  organisation, its objectives, goals, strategy and vision rather than  simply a rational one.

 Assuming that no business leader would argue that they didn't want to  create this level of connection, it would be fair then to suggest that  a storytelling approach is really one of the most effective ways of  achieving this.  Since mankind began we have used stories as a  powerful way to transfer knowledge and information, engage and inspire  people and to spark the emotions, stimulate actions or change  attitudes and behaviours. 
It's a necessary and vital part of human  bonding.  

We all tell and hear stories every day of our lives, in and outside the workplace, and harnessed to specific business messages you  can effect the most remarkable changes very swiftly.  The corporate  'story' or journey can be structured and told as a narrative which  makes it easy to understand and believe in (and corporate narratives  should be constructed in the same way as any story narrative), and  validated and nurtured with great stories about employees and  customers to keep it alive and to sustain interest.  Unless leaders  believe that 80-deck Powerpoint presentations can achieve the same  effect, it's a no-brainer!

 It may be a good idea to pitch the idea starting with a great story  about an employee who, faced with a particular dilemma (eg customer- related), took a particular course of action to win the day and make  something happen that has been truly inspiring or beneficial in some way to the business.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Rise and Rise of Twitter

In recent days two reports have been released on Twitter. Both outline why and how organisations can use Twitter to reach the people they need to talk to. Both are simply written and certainly worth a read. Together they reflect the rise and rise of social media in today's communications mix.