Links worth a click #12 – my digital week

In the week where Google announced an update to its Chrome browser [link], X-Factor voting in the US hit Twitter [link] and BlackBerry owner RIM braced itself for millions of lawsuits, here are some of the other more business focused digital marketing articles that caught me eye.

First up, and the one that needs your time this Friday lunchtime, is Econsultancy’s excellent 25 B2B social media case studies. B2B cases are notoriously difficult to come by, so credit to anyone who pulls them together. (You may also want to check out my previous post on Facebook cases).

New from Linkedin, are you making the most of your former classmates and colleagues? A new feature ‘Classmates’ might just help unlock a few doors.

Social media isn’t just for big business. Small businesses can embrace the power of the Internet and the connectivity of social media to punch above their weight.

Finally, one on Facebook with a great little summary of how to get your fan base crowdsourcing and working for you.

Q: What do you make of these developments and what have you been reading this week? 


Links worth a click #11

In the week where millions of users were left without Internet and email as BlackBerry servers in Slough suffered a serious outage (read outrage) whilst Apple secured 1 million iPhone 4S pre-orders in a week in the US alone , here are some of the other interesting digital marketing related things that caught me eye.

First up, Facebook advertising with the news that Facebook ad click-through rate has increased by 18.5%, claims TBG. I’ve been waxing lyrical about Facebook [link] as an emerging and untapped b2b marketing resource of late and think that the targeted advertising opportunities might just yield a return for those early b2b adopters. Key word = targeting.

Want to see who is sharing your tweets? TweetReach might help identify your biggest fans.

And if you’re not tweeting, why not? Maybe it’s your nervous CEO. Reviewing this 28 point list might help you see the social media world from their perspective and help gather some insight to change their mind and see the benefits.

It wouldn’t be a round up without some content from the lovely inbound marketing experts at Hubspot. This week they offered some good examples in their piece outlining 9 must-haves for the perfect landing page.

Finally, a piece exploring B2B cold calling best practices together with my comment on whether such a thing even exists in modern business?  Surely there should be no such thing as a cold call these days with all the profiling information available?


Riot brands: The dangers of chasing the lifetime customer

Brand reputation has never been more firmly in the spotlight thanks to the recent riots that took place across England. A systematic breakdown in law and order for just a few days ensured that many of the country’s leading brands had their high street stores looted by a demographic they have spent years seducing.

It is no surprise that the very brands that have actively solicited the youth pound, whether they were JD Sports, T-Mobile, Foot Locker, Miss Selfridge and gadgets purveyors Dixons Stores Group, were the ones that were dealt the most savage treatment at the hands of rioters.

In an age where the disparity between the have’s and the have not’s has perhaps never been greater, it was inevitable that so many youngsters decided to take a chance to secure something for free, when Londoners were allowed to do so just a few nights previously.

RIM’s Blackberry together with its Messenger platform, which allows people to communicate instantly without trace or record, has been singled out by the authorities for criticism.  Blackberry remains the dominant smart phone of choice amongst the young because of the expense and contractual arrangements required to secure an Apple iPhone. Messenger is a powerful and cost-free communication platform. A great position to be in, but left unchecked, it becomes a dangerous tool that criminals can take full advantage of.

So, where does this leave brand strategy?

Attracting the young is an important strategy in many markets because it presents the opportunity to nurture the mythical ‘life time customer’. I say mythical because on one hand, in the age of unrivalled choice, improving own brand quality, and a decline in real-term disposable income, I doubt they exist. But from another they clearly do. Clothing brands like G-Star-Raw, for example, represent a specific gangster lifestyle. There is a swagger about the models, an attitude, an arrogance.

Clothing giant Burberry had a huge problem a few years back, ironically caused by its main USP it’s check design. The market was flooded with cheap copies and Burberry became the clothing of the class termed ‘chavs’. Burberry has steered a steady path to return to its premium positioning and the company recently reported incredible profits.

The lesson for brands? I think as a responsible brand owner, be careful what you wish for. Assess the long term viability of a target cluster of customers and think carefully about how to service their evolving needs.

Images: Newquaysurfer and Gadgethelpline

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