The End of Cold Calling

by Mark Slatko

I’m posting this article by Tim Williams on the death of cold calling, written a year ago. It’s a great article and has never been more relevant (he also wrote an article called “Evolve or die”). Interesting to note that his “multi-dimensional publicity plan” for agencies to market themselves doesn’t include Twitter. This is because, again, the article was written a year ago when Twitter was still an infant. I’m sure his list would have evolved to include Twitter today. The toolbox for agencies to market themselves has never been more full.

Ask any agency principal what he or she dislikes and avoids the most and the answer will almost always be the same: cold calling new business prospects. Not only is this the most dreaded activity among C-level agency executives, it’s also among the least effective.

Cold calling has always produced only modest results and today’s avoidance-enabling technology only makes it easier for prospects to hide from your phone calls and ignore your e-mails. I routinely hear from agency principals how traditional new business prospecting methods are becoming less and less effective.

Hard to reach

The dynamics that make it more difficult to reach a client’s prospective customers are the same forces that make it harder for agencies to reach their own prospective customers: media proliferation, multi-tasking, message overload, and short attention spans.

If you feel guilty for not spending enough time cold calling and cold e-mailing, here’s a really good excuse to stop: it doesn’t work.

A better alternative

Management genius Peter Drucker preached that a good marketing program makes sales irrelevant. Says Drucker, “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” The aim of marketing is to make a product so relevant and compelling that it literally sells itself.

If you think this is mere hyperbole, consider the outrageously successful iPhone. Can you imagine ever seeing an iPhone salesman? Instead, eager customers are lined up in front of Apple and AT&T stores for hours.

If agencies spent more time and energy on making and marketing a relevant, differentiated “product” (their own agency), they could spend a lot less time and energy trying to sell it.

A multi-dimensional approach

Witness the hyper-successful Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Not only have they devoted themselves to making a differentiated product, but they have invested considerable time and money marketing the CP+B brand to the business community. Getting mounds of press – both offline and online – is the result of a concerted effort by a dedicated team of PR professionals whose only client is the agency.

Most of the agencies that constantly kick themselves for not devoting enough effort to “prospecting” are the same ones that have devoted below-average resources to marketing their own brand. That’s no coincidence.

In addition to focusing on the business press, entering the awards shows, and joining business organizations, the most progressive agencies have also engaged in an online conversation with both their peers and prospects. In place of a traditional PR plan, you need a multi-dimensional publicity plan that includes:

Search engine optimization (SEO) program
Postings and comments on relevant blogs
Search engine marketing (SEM) program based on keywords
Letters to the editor
(both offline and online)
Landing pages (based on owned URL’s)
Paid and reciprocal links
Listings in both paid and complimentary online directories
Wikipedia entry
Membership in relevant online professional networks
Facebook page
Participation in professional online forums
YouTube channel

The only limit is the amount of creativity you apply to marketing your own brand. So stop thinking sales and start thinking marketing, which starts with how your firm is positioned in the marketplace. Trade the time and money you spend “selling” your brand and invest it instead in differentiating and marketing your brand and you’ll get a much better return on your investment.

– Tim Williams, Ignition Consulting Group

True Blood Marketing

by Gio Gutierrez

HBO has set up many clever marketing angles for True Blood, and now that the show is such a hit, HBO is making a “real” version of the blood-substitute drink. It is designed to look like the beverage from the movie but tastes like blood orange soda and actually comes in different “blood types”.

We just received a 4-pack in perfect time for this weekend’s finale and the packaging’s great. We’ll be using these to celebrate in our way. Grinning Vampire Emoticon

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Flagler Awards 2009

by John Underwood

The Agency walked away tonight with three (3) Flagler Awards at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism held at The Fountainbleu Hotel. We were actually finalists in four categories and won the three below:

Radio: Tropical Storm Fay
TV: Go Green
Multicultural: The only time we’ll tell you to go straight and Flaming and Fabulous

About The Flagler Awards:
“The Flagler Awards were established by the Florida Commission on Tourism to recognize outstanding tourism marketing in Florida. Every year, the Flagler Awards honor many of the countless individuals and organizations that help sustain and improve Florida’s position as one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. It is a way to recognize the determined efforts of those who use their skill, resourcefulness, creativity and innovative spirit to market Florida to the world, and in doing so help ensure the continued success of the state’s most important industry.”

Thanks to ALL for their hard work. Harold and Rita Irwin (TDC Chair) were in attendance with Harold accepting the “Henrys”.

66% of companies are Using Social Media in 2009

Nearly two out of three companies are Using Social Media in 2009.

As marketers embrace new media platforms, social media and viral videos have seen the largest jump in ranking, according to a survey done by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), BtoB Magazine and in partnership with marketing services firm ‘mktg.’ The survey had the following findings:

  • 66 percent of marketers utilized social media in 2009, as compared to 20 percent in 2007
  • Fifty percent employ viral videos, up from only 25 percent in 2007
  • 55 percent of respondents funded new media formats by shifting funds from their traditional media budget, while 48 percent shifted funds from other marketing communications budgets. Twenty-six percent of marketers created an incremental budget.
  • The top concerns for marketers when considering newer media platforms are the inability to prove ROI (45 percent) and having metrics to properly allocate the mix of traditional and digital media (43 percent)
  • Among social networks being embraced by all marketers, the top sites used are:
    • Facebook (74 percent)
    • YouTube (65 percent)
    • Twitter (63 percent)
    • LinkedIn (60 percent)

YouTube Viral Videos Are Great For Advertising

by Gio Gutierrez

In a blog post today, YouTube presents a case study on Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz’s wedding party. The video (see below), set to R&B star Chris Brown’s hypnotic dance jam “Forever,” became an overnight sensation, gaining more than 10 million views on YouTube in less than one week. What’s happening is that most advertisers don’t want to associate themselves with user-generated videos (the bulk of YouTube), just the professionally produced videos on YouTube, Hulu, etc. and YouTube wants to change your mind. YouTube presents this as proof that advertising works on viral videos even if they are audience produced.

This traffic is also very engaged — the click-through rate (CTR) on the “JK Wedding Entrance” video is 2x the average of other Click-to-Buy overlays on the site. And this newfound interest in downloading “Forever” goes beyond the viral video itself: “JK Wedding Entrance” also appears to have influenced the official “Forever” music video, which saw its Click-to-Buy CTR increase by 2.5x in the last week.

So, what does all of this mean? Despite compelling data and studies around consumer purchasing habits, many still question the promotional and bottom-line business value sites like YouTube provide artists. But in the last week, over a year after its release, Chris Brown’s “Forever” has again rocketed up the charts, reaching as high as #4 on the iTunes singles chart and #3 on Amazon’s best selling MP3 list.

Fortune 100 CEO’s and Social Media

by Gio Gutierrez

UberCEO recently did a study with the headline “It’s Official: Fortune 100 CEOs Are Social Media Slackers.” It goes on to analyze the social-media habits of CEOs at large companies and concluded, shockingly, that they don’t use social media much. They looked at Fortune’s 2009 list of the top 100 CEOs to determine how many were using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, or had a blog. The results show a miserable level of engagement. Here are the topline results:

  • Only two CEOs have Twitter accounts
  • 13 CEOs have LinkedIn profiles, and of those only three have more than 10 connections
  • 81% of CEOs don’t have a personal Facebook page
  • Three quarters of the CEOs have some kind of Wikipedia entry, but nearly a third of those have limited or outdated information
  • Not one Fortune 100 CEO has a blog

I’m surprised but then again… I’m not surprised. Too many CEOs think there are more important things to do besides identify with and build an audience for themselves and their company. I also suspect the reasons CEO’s aren’t using social media is because of fear and lack of knowledge seeing that the CEO’s that stood out of the pack are all from technology companies – Michael Dell (Dell), Gregory Spierkel (Ingram Micro) and John Chambers (Cisco).

Tinsley Creates New Keys Co-op Website

By ROB BUSWEILER Free Press Staff

Cooperative advertising with the Monroe County Tourist Development Council has been made a little bit easier.

TDC officials met with members of the Middle and Lower Keys District Advisory Council on Tuesday and Wednesday this week to unveil the new Web site that allows private businesses to piggyback on national and international advertising campaigns. The county’s promotional materials are handled by Tinsley Advertising.

Businesses can get started on the process by going online to www.keysco-op.tinsley.com.

The new Web site allows for businesses to pay for placement in the ad campaigns handled by Tinsley online. The Web site lays out the rates and placement dates for the separate campaigns.

“This streamlined a lot of things,” said Tinsley Account Executive Sharon Joseph.

Businesses can submit their desired ad copy and payment information on one form. The private business information is then placed below the main artwork from the TDC ad. Officials from Tinsley said it gives the small private businesses a national presence at a fraction of the cost.

Tinsley execs also laid out a video presentation that showcased some of their upcoming targets for this year’s advertising campaign.

Those targets included trying to reach the traditional niche markets that the Keys have been successful with in years past, such as families, scuba divers, fishermen and the wedding crowd.

One of the new additions to the market grab is Tinsley’s attempt to try and reach eco-friendly tourists. The video displayed a new television advertisement focused on attracting “green” tourists, which showcased visitors using bicycles and kayaks to get around, in addition to those enjoying the coral reef.

“The ads are very catchy,” said Middle Keys DAC Board Member Vicki Tashian.

The DACs and the TDC have already committed to upping advertising budgets this year, with a greater focus on an internet presence.

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Michael Jackson’s Greatest Hits

by Gio Gutierrez

MJ’s memorial service will no doubt go on as one of the most watched web events ever. Facebook, UStream, CNN, MySpace, Hulu and more offered live streams and here are the numbers.

CNN:
72 million page views
10.8 million unique visitors
8.9 million live video streams

Ustream:
4.6 million total streams
1.6 million total unique visitors
12,000 messages per minute sent through chat/Ustream’s Social Stream

Facebook:
733,000 status updates
759,000 Facebook users viewing broadcast
6,000 updates/minute at the peak

E! Online:
9,000 status updates
87,000 Facebook users viewing broadcast

ABC:
48,000 status updates
97,000 Facebook users viewing broadcast

MTV:
5,000 status updates
21,000 Facebook users viewing broadcast

Very impressive numbers to be sure, but they don’t surpass those of President Obama’s inauguration, which was the last web event to draw this much attention from the social web. During the inauguration, the CNN/Facebook live stream drew 13.9 million live streams between 6 AM and 11:45 AM ET, with millions more during the course of the day, and a peak of 1.3 million concurrent streams.

Miami Children’s Hospital wins Aster Award

by Dorn Martell

We’re pleased to announce that our campaign for Miami Children’s Hospital has been recognized by the Aster Awards as among the best in the country. The Aster Awards Program is an elite competition recognizing the nation’s most talented healthcare marketing professionals for outstanding excellence in advertising. Winning entries, judged by a diverse panel of experts, are published in the Marketing Healthcare Today magazine. You can see our campaign and other winners here. Our campaign “Fits kids perfectly” makes the case that not all hospitals are dedicated exclusively to children. The campaign uses vibrant shots of children with oversized objects with the headline: “There’s a reason things are made just for kids.” The print campaign was shot by Miami photographer Sid Hoeltzell. We also created outdoor and television that has made quite a splash in the Miami market. The television was shot by Mike Neumann of One World Productions and scored by John Martyn of Audacity Recording. We’d also like to thank the staff of Miami Children’s Hospital for making this a reality.

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Miami Children's Hospital - There's a reason things are made just for kids