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The End of Marketing and PR?

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Estimated reading time: 21 minute(s)

FACT 1:

There are 1,000,000,000,000 + (one trillion plus) unique URL’s in Google’s search index.

google-trillion-250x69Do you have one? If so, you’re lucky.

FACT 2:

Each day there are approximately 2,000,000,000 (two billion) Google searches by people trying to find information, ideas and insights to help solve their problems.

searching-man-200x250

Do you or your business have good answers to offer for some of these problems? Answers that can help create new sales, customers and a hopeful future in these challenging economic times?

If so, you’re lucky.

The Problem

But how can you or your business stand out in a world with one trillion unique URLs and two billion daily Google searches? How can you or your business be discovered and break through in an exploding online world that includes 14 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute? With over one billion views per day? And all of these other weird and wacky Web 2.0 ways to communicate?

How Can You Break Through?wallman

The Answer

Easy.

How?

Think Like a Publisherapublisher

Fight daily on the battleground of content. Publish great ideas, information and insights via New Media applications. Publish content that is helpful, educational, unique, specific, credible and  -

astory

written in a storytelling way. Content that affects the way the reader (prospect, customer, employee, etc.) does their job―for the better.

The End of PR and Marketing

The latest-greatest buzz calls this concept “Content Marketing.”

“Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. In contrast to traditional marketing methods that aim to increase sales or awareness through interruption techniques, content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action.” Wikipedia

It’s not really “content marketing.” It’s not PR. It’s not marketing.  It’s survival―for you and your business.  That, by necessity, means a successful collaborative communication effort between Customer Service, Sales, PR and Marketing to create and support new business. That’s what it’s all about; creating, supporting and growing new sales.

Good News!

The good news is that there has never been a better time with more creative, cost-effective ways using New Media applications to do that. You don’t need a $100 million marketing and advertising budget. Real companies are doing it successfully – right now.

Bad News?

It requires successful collaborative communication efforts between disparate business groups. It requires breaking down the secretive silos in businesses that so often strangle breakout success. That smother fresh ideas and disdain approaches by “outsiders” of the business group – even though they’re in the same company. That seeds and sows a reclusive, restrictive, “us against them” mentality.

Collaborative means playing well with others. Successful collaboration means doing it so well that the customer is served, problems are solved and the business makes money. Siloed domain expertise egos need to back off, back up, back out or just get out of the way. Who isn’t tired of hearing “They (insert the favorite hate group of the day – Marketing, PR, Sales, Service, Product Managers, etc.) Just Don’t Get It!”

Times are tough. Hate to go all “Three Musketeers” on you but …

“Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno”

One for all, all for one

- should be every company’s motto right now.

Jump in

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Below are some of the New Media Web 2.0 (for lack of a better term) capabilities and applications available to support the sales and service I’m talking about. Examples of how real companies are using New Media to help grow their businesses are included. Try them out. Plant your flag in some or all of these new territories if they fit your business needs. But to succeed, know this: They need active, authentic, honest participation to help grow and create new business.

For an Experimental SlideRocket Tour of New Media

For a quick visual introduction to some of these New Media tools, view the SlideRocket presentation below, or come back to it later. It’s best viewed in full-screen mode with audio on.

Also, I have personally used or experimented with all of the New Media apps below―some with great results, others not so good. So, if you have any questions, just e-mail me and I’ll get back with you. I’m not an expert, but I am a prolific experimenter, which means I’ve made way more mistakes than the experts who are focused on one little niche.  I’m a multitasking mistake-maker.

BOOKMARKING

Companies use bookmarking sites like Delicious.com and StumbleUpon.com to create interesting and helpful resource and information libraries for customers―and to attract new prospects.

Examples:

  • Adobe: http://delicious.com/adobe
  • PR Newswire http://delicious.com/michaelpranikoff
  • Kodak: http://delicious.com/kodak.delicious
  • Me: http://delicious.com/stevekayser

adobe

StumbleUpon is also a social bookmarking site. It allows you to vote, rank and recommend interesting websites. You’ll find some spectacular hidden treasures there if you care to take a peak. Though not the darling of the media like Twitter, StumbleUpon’s popularity is undeniable. They have over 7 million members.

Examples:

Additional reading: “How to Use StumbleUpon for Your Business,” by Tamar Weinberg.

VIDEO

The idea behind a YouTube (or other video-sharing site) channel is to create a video learning lab for products and solutions. Short video clips to help educate, entertain and inform customers and prospects.

Examples:

  • Siemens: http://www.youtube.com/siemens
  • Blendtec: http://www.youtube.com/blendtec
  • Google: http://www.youtube.com/google
  • Cincom: Http://www.youtube.com/Cincomvideo (the company I work for)
  • Cincom Smalltalk - an application development  programming language. The product manager uses it for “how-to” videos.  http://www.youtube.com/user/jarober
  • Emc: http://www.youtube.com/user/PointBB
  • Mayo Clinic: http://www.youtube.com/user/mayoclinic
  • Jet Blue: http://www.youtube.com/user/JetBlueCorpComm

avideo

Quick tip―one thing I learned. Save the video under names of which people are likely to search for. I named my first 25 videos something like DSC145735.  Then I wondered why no one was viewing them―well, no one except the people that searched for DSC145735.

Twitter

“Twitter is a free social  messaging utility that allows users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.” – Wikipedia.

Twitter is a low-/no-cost way to engage customers and prospects with short, headline-like chunks of content. Twitter, to be most effective, needs a lot of participation, especially from product managers, customer service, sales, PR, marketing and others―real, authentic, helpful and non-salesy or  promotional fluff.

atwitter

Twitter is my favorite. It’s amazing to watch ideas and information explode and ripple through the Twitterverse. For a recent example read, “Tesla on Twitter – Twitter on Tesla.” Take heed though, it’s a challenge to write something meaningful, clear, concise and compelling in 140 characters or less. That’s 15-20 words. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself.

Are there companies using Twitter for business? Yes.  Are there sales being generated via Twitter and sites like it? Yes. Dell attributed $1,000,000 in sales last year to its Twitter sites.

Examples:

Then There’s This Guy … A REAL SCENE-STEALER

abarack1

  • Barack Obama: CEO & Prez, United States: @barackobama – http://twitter.com/barackobama

For additional information on Twitter for business, check out:

Images- Photos

aimages

Companies and institutions are using photo-sharing sites like Flickr to inform, educate and build customer communities.

BLOGS

Though sort of old hat, blogs are simply the best and most powerful sources of dynamic content to help customers and … your business. Blogs are a way to showcase your thought leadership. To share your information, insights, ideas.  See if they resonate. Test the waters. For business examples check out GE and IBM’ers blogs. They have thousands of them. That’s right, I said thousands.

ablog1

If you want to do some in-depth research, check out Guy Kawasaki’s “All the Top Blogging News.” It’s a one-stop shop of information and resources on blogging.

WARNING! Blogs Can Be Big Trouble

Blogs can be troublesome though. Big trouble. Especially if some employee or blogger goes wacky-wild-west off-the-deep-end on an upside-down triple-gainer-rant of a blog post. Below is my favorite example of an out-of-control blogger. He ought to be fired because …

ablog

He simply  has too much fun. No one should be able to do cartoon-torials, yuck it up, muck it up, enjoy blogging and keep a job.  I mean all seriousness aside … what’s the deal?

WIDGETS

Widgets are embeddable pieces of code that can be installed and displayed on a website. They’re reusable. It’s a great way to let others promote your website or content, and they will,  if … you provide them useful widgets. 

Try it out yourself. Create a widget. I use Widgetbox, but Wowzio is excellent too. Watch out though – they’re addicting.

Blidgets

What’s a blidget? A Blog widget. Pretty simple. It captures a blog in colorful, adjustable frames and displays multiple blog post headlines.


The blog post titles are live. Each blog headline is an opportunity to attract people to your blog. Each time a headline is clicked it takes the reader right to your blog. Test it for yourself. I’m a big fan of blidgets. The one above has received 20,510 views in three weeks. (That was a shameless self-promotion. I have to out myself on that one.)

Twidgets

Yes, you guessed it. You can even make a widget out of a Twitter feed.


SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT AGGREGATION

FriendFeed

FriendFeed is a social media content aggregator. What’s that mean? Basically all content, images, video, and audio files published by contributors on any of the 49 social media sites it accesses is aggregated into a live feed. Like a Wall Street Stock Ticker–without the associated pain. It is an exceptional place to discover new content from multiple sources and formats. Robert Scoble is big on FriendFeed Vs. Twitter for many reasons. I’d agree with him.


Example?

  • How Companies Can Use Friendfeed – by Forrester Analyst Jeremiah Owyang. As an aside – Jeremiah, in my opinion is absolutely one of the best, if not THE best, social and New Media analyst around. Class act. If you want to keep up with everything that’s going on in the social computing interactive marketing world, check out his blog or Twitter account – http://twitter.com/jowyang

FACEBOOK

Facebook and other similar social networking sites such as MySpace are powerful opportunities for businesses – if, once again, approached with a helpful attitude. Why? It’s where a lot of the world online population is now. Facebook has more than 150,000,000 (million) active users and is growing at the rate of approximately 450,000 new users per day.

afaceboo

Those kinds of statistics tend to blow the mind. But there are reasons people are flocking there. I like it because it’s pure opt-in.  No one can stalk or spam you. A lot of people have found me on Facebook that I hadn’t heard of for years. Of the two, Facebook and MySpace, I’ll give you the best explanation of demographics that I heard from a soon-to-be 16-year-old girl and her brothers in college: “MySpace is for music, Facebook is for friends and business.”  That’s concise, clear and short  enough to use as a Tweet.

NETWORKING

Linkedin is an online network consisting of more than 30 million professionals globally representing 150 industries (from their website.) It’s a way to find and be found―for jobs, old friends and groups. It’s also a way to investigate a company or potential job. I use it, but am not a “power user.”

Additional reading: “100+ Smart Ways to Use Linkedin.”

Plaxo is also a similar online network of people. They have more than 40 million hosted address books.

ADDITIONAL  WEB 2.0 SALES SUPPORT TOOLS:

animoto_logo_lg_blackbkgd

Featured on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine, January 2009, Animoto is a video creation platform. I wrote a story with “The Boys of Animoto” in October of 2007 – and  have been using their product every since.  If you are doing a presentation of any kind that needs spruced up, or might benefit by the use of a “movie-like trailer” to help banish the boring – you need to ANIMOTORIZE.

Examples?

SlideRocket

asliderocket

SlideRocket is a Web 2.0 application, built on Adobe Flex that allows you to create, manage, measure and share secure, online presentations. You can import PowerPoint presentations from offline to online. And, you can export presentations from online to offline. Key? You can create, edit and access your presentations from anywhere in the world. No need to email or carry round a flash drive. SlideRocket has some visually stunning effects.

Examples:

Check them out in full-screen mode. Simply click the screen to advance slides.

Marcolina: Moving Design Presentation

SlideRocket Product Tour

The End of PR and Marketing

It’s not PR.

It’s not marketing.

It’s not the end of PR and marketing.

It’s the evolution of business communications.

It’s a revolution in business communications.

Use the new media applications and capabilities to share great ideas, helpful information and insights to connect with and help your customers. Jump in. Test them. Experiment. Find which new media capabilities might be right for you and your business.

They  work … but only if you think anew, act anew, and disregard the stultifying and stiflingly destructive “Us Against Them” siloed business mentality.

END:

Additional Resources:

“Brink: A Social Media Gude From the Edge,” by Todd Defren, SHIFT Communications.

Lose Control of Your Marketing,” E-Book by David Meerman Scott.

“Media Savvy in the Internet Era,” E-Book by David Henderson.

“Getting a Foothold in Social Media,” E-Book by Amber Naslund.

“Marketing in 2009,” E-Book by Valeria Maltoni.

“Who Do I Follow on Twitter … and Why?”by Steve Kayser.

Bungie Jump photo courtesy of Pmarzai1985

11 Responses to "The End of Marketing and PR?"
  1. J.D. Meier says:

    That was cool …

    You’re points + examples actually helped me connect the dots, and I formed a few new brain wrinkles along the way.

    I’m glad you went 3 Musketeers. Not only do I love the candy bar, I like the “all for one, one for all” saying.

    Multitasking mistake-maker is the path to enlightenment (but I think enlightenment is like a game of chutes and ladders.)

  2. Steve

    You are brilliant. I loved your vids when I searched for them as “DSC145735″ and I love them with your name instead too.:>)

    You stand out because you really want to educate folks on all the things they can do without spending tons of money. Bravo!

    Nettie

  3. Tom Hortel says:

    Steve,

    Amazing as always. You always give me more fascinating things to think about than I can possibly cram into my brain but what great fun it is to try!! I’ll need about a week to check all these out, at which point you’ll come up with a half dozen more. When will I ever find the time to finish upgrading my hall closet into a holodeck?

    I think we should coin a new techno phrase just to cover your whimsical firehose style of edutaining the masses, the “breeding edge of technology” perhaps?

    Do more than create… Zenovate

    Tom

  4. pedro coelhoso says:

    hi,

    iam a student of PR from Portugal now working in lithuania and i always pass here to read ur articles, by the way they are great, i think the same that we are walking for a new era of marketing and that includes all kinds of publicity, pr, advertising, and communication.
    Content marketing!!!maybe, but in our days if u dont ask u dont get!!!Its like my mentor says is abc, antecedent behavior consequences. we must know that all the stuff we read now is already dead, and communication skills can be complemented with all tose stuff that u presente.
    Is free, dont take u so much hard work and can improve ur business…so why dont we try, maybe you win but for sure u dont lose…just dont do like the others, dont look how beautiful it is but what it miss and what u can do better.

    regards,

    Pedro

  5. Ellen Kratka says:

    Thanks for this survey! Very helpful info.
    And then there are the INTRA-business or INTRA-organization Web 2.0 applications. OntheSystem.com is one that I recommend (I’m a trainer for it :-)). It’s a complete management, strategy and collaboration tool, and I think it’s unique. It’s available for free for up to 3 users AND comes with free training via The Great American Small Business Challenge (tgasbc.com). Anyone wanting more info or support may contact me through my website or through the Challenge community.

  6. Stevo,

    Always so timely and relevant. Sitting with a group of 50 peeps right now who have these exact questions and need a good overview to guide them.

    I’m sharing the URL

    Cheerio
    Pam Gilchrist

  7. What a great article! Super tips, right on the money advice. If marketers/PR professionals are not listening and actively using these tools, I’d like to know what they are doing!

  8. Great resource, Steve! I appreciate how you’ve brought a lot of very useful things together in one place, and quite concisely. Nice job! I, too, am a fan of David Meerman Scott and Valeria Maltoni. These ideas and tools are definitely the present and future of business and communications. I don’t think PR or marketing will end, but their forms are definitely changing — and I think that’s purely an improvement. Thanks for the handy resource, and the level of detail. Several apps here I haven’t used yet. I’m sure I’ll refer to this post often, and send others this way, too. Cheers!

  9. This is a great resource – I appreciate how you’ve brought so much detailed info on social media and content marketing together into one concise post. There are definitely some apps here I haven’t used yet, and I’m sure I’ll reference this blog post several times, and send others here, too. This is definitely the present and future of business and communications – though I don’t think PR or marketing will end, I do think they are changing permanently, and for the better. Thanks for making this available!

  10. You’re a total whack job and will eventually be exposed as such…..

    The future is mass marketing. Interruption. Irrelevance. Speeds, feeds and features. Product brochures and booth bunnies. More about me.

    Just kidding.

    You’re awesome — and this is truly powerful stuff.

    Keep it up and the folks following you JUST MIGHT CHANGE EVERYTHING!!!!!

    Best,

    Britton

Comments are closed.