Going Viral with your Social Media Marketing

How many of us have been charged with making something “big… really big” and how to make the campaign catch on in a grass roots way?

Most recently the huge success of the Ice Bucket Challenge has marketers everywhere trying to help make their social media marketing ideas catch on and spread like a bad cold.

(Okay, so maybe a bad cold is a bad analogy! How about a yawn)

While word-of-mouth advertising seems like the best (free, viral and credible) kind, it’s easy to miss a step and end up with your foot in your mouth.

This recent infograph from “Best Marketing Degrees” offers some do’s and don’ts for those marketers who are trying to take their social media marketing campaigns up to the next level and into big numbers:

Viral Marketing
Source: BestMarketingDegrees.org

Hat tip to Liyonala David for sending me the link.

On Brand, Off Brand – What Makes Sense When Combining Forces?

Image: Flickr.com Burger King Tim Hortons https://flic.kr/p/o3DPuI got an inquiry from a PR firm representing a marketing and branding consultant who wanted to comment on an “off-brand” merger between two unlikely partners.

“Burger King has agreed to acquire Tim Hortons and will be moving its headquarters to Canada. The deal will create the world’s third largest quick service restaurant company, but with Tim Hortons having been previously owned by Wendy’s and being a huge brand in Canada, it seems a little off-brand [emphasis mine] for the two restaurants to come together under the same all-American portfolio.”

It made me think of another off-brand union of Lands End and Sears.

(I always thought that “off-brand” meant a generic, less expensive alternative… but I don’t think that is what she meant in this case.)

So what makes a union “On-Brand”? What merger might be considered “On-Brand” for your company?

On-brand reasons to merge:

  • Same target audience, different seasonality or time of day/month/year,
  • Different aisle in the same venue,
  • expands the market without cannabalizing sales.
  • companies share same values or have a similar mission, goal and objective
  • organizations that own a similar positioning (low price leader… or top quality… or outstanding service)
  • Complimentary products and services
  • Respect for and trust of the other
  • Some overlap that could be eliminated for a cost savings

It’s almost like a marriage, you need commonalities, but having complementary skills helps too. Mutual respect, good communications and a commitment to make it work all helps too.

Do you have an example of when your company combined forces with another brand? Good results? Or big mistake? Let me know!

Editor’s note: As I read through the various articles about Burger King and Tim Hortons (here, here and here), I’m not convinced that they are actually thinking about branding together… it’s more about the company ownership and the portfolio of brands. Hey, they are both about food… but it looks like most of their income comes from things other than food!

Researching Household Income for Your Marketing Plan?

census driven income information for your marketing planHaving a tool that allows you to modify the settings can be really helpful.

That’s why I like this interactive map that is driven from data from the US census.

If you are including average household income in your marketing plan and your business is geographically based, you may find this interactive map that uses census data to isolate counties and tracts within the county by income extremely helpful.

It allows you to have a visual analysis of average income which could be a handy tool in creating your marketing program in your business plan.

Narrowing your marketing plan to include visuals of areas of higher income for target advertising

The tool includes the enlarge and reduce map components with the Google guy (the little orange/yellow figure that you can drag into the map to get a visual of walking or driving in the area.)

I could imagine if you were trying to figure out an EDDM mailing or where to open your next store, this could be a real help!

Will the Viral Marketing Effects from the Ice Bucket Challenge Detract From Other NonProfit Fund-Raising Efforts?

Ice Bucket ChallengeIf you participate in Facebook, there is no escaping all the buckets of water dumping over people’s heads.

Some have raised concerns about the wasting of water. But today I found really interesting thoughts on the Ice Bucket Challenge from Mike Rowe from a marketing perspective.

As I read thru his post, I was shaking my head in disagreement. Then I got to the zero sum game idea. I remembered when the earthquake happened in Haiti when the idea of texting $10 was new and fresh.

Yeah, Mike. You are probably right. It is all about marketing.

Making donating fun and interesting really lifts response. No matter if you are riding your bike 150 miles to fund MS research, or walking 60 miles to fight breast cancer, or walking a mile in high-heel shoes for rape crisis support — involving people in your nonprofit fund raiser can be a whole lot more effective in raising awareness (and $ too) than many traditional fund raising tactics like a gala dinner or a silent auction or even a direct mail campaign.

As usual Mike, thanks for making me think about it.