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Small Business and Social Networks Are Yet to Be a Match

7 Jul

Posted by Paul Christ March 16, 2010

Entrepreneurs Question Value of Social Media (Wall Street Journal)

No Sales from Social MediaIt is virtually impossible to escape the hype surrounding social network websites (a.k.a., social media).  The buzz regarding social networks is so strong that all types of businesses are now seriously considering whether they MUST start incorporating it into how they do business.  In particular, businesses are wondering how social networks can be utilized as part of their marketing strategy.  They have heard about the success some companies have had with marketing through social networks and think the time is now right to jump in with both feet.

Yet, for many small business owners their initial experience with marketing through social networks has not gone well.  As pointed out in this story, many entrepreneurs are in the dark when it comes to understanding how social networks can be used to meet their marketing objectives.  And because of this experience they are questioning whether Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other services are all talk and no action when it comes to being a valuable marketing tool.

Meanwhile, a separate survey of 500 U.S. small-business owners from the same sponsors found that just 22% made a profit last year from promoting their firms on social media, while 53% said they broke even. What’s more, 19% said they actually lost money due to their social-media initiatives.

In addition to what is discussed in this story, what other factors affect whether marketing through social networks is something a small business should consider?

Image by KateMonkey

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Studying the Brain for Marketing Research

28 Jun

Posted by Paul Christ June 13, 2010

Neuroscience: A New Perspective (Millward Brown)

Neuroscience in MarketingWhen most marketers think of marketing research techniques they generally focus on traditional methods such as surveys, experiments and focus groups.  While these methods continue to be at the top of the list of how marketers gather customer information, new technology-driven methods are increasingly gaining favor among a growing number of marketers. Some of these methods, such as website analytics, are already well established and necessary for managing many marketing decisions.  But there are a number of others that have evolved over the last few years which marketers should watch closely.

In this story, market research firm Millward Brown explores three unconventional methods for measuring consumer behavior – implicit association measurement, eye-tracking and brainwave measurement.  These are grouped as neuroscience techniques, which we will define as methods for measuring brain activity when customers are exposed to certain neuro-stimuli (e.g., advertisement).

While each method uses a different approach for gathering customer information, each shares the goal of enabling marketers to learn something about customers that customers may not be willing to share or may not be able to express.  For instance, they may not be able to tell the marketer what part of a magazine advertisement first caught their attention, while eye-tracking methods can.

While the story offers nice coverage of these high-tech research methods, it does caution marketers to be careful in how the data is interpreted.

…marketers should use neuroscience-based research in conjunction with established techniques when (and only when) it adds value. If used in isolation, such methods can be hard to interpret, but when combined with qualitative or survey-based research, they can add a powerful new dimension of insight.

Besides using these techniques to test advertising, what other marketing decisions could be supported using these methods?

Image by digitalbob8

Promotional Methods

28 Jun

The Struggling Trade Show Industry
Infomercial Marketer Tries Old-School Advertising Approach
Foursquare Geo-Social Network Captures Marketer’s Attention
Readers and Advertisers Flee and Newspapers Wonder What to Do
New Research Journal Focuses on What Works Online and It’s Free!
Measurement Issues With Location-Based Video Networks
How Marketers Are Ambushing Event Sponsorship Restrictions
7 Reasons Why Selling to Manufacturers is Different than Selling to Resellers
Once Again Marketers Get a Whiff of Scent Marketing
Premium Chocolatier’s Positioning Strategy is About Emotion and Not Price
Research Report Has Cereal Marketers Playing Defense
How Companies Are Successful With Low-Cost Marketing Strategy
Marketers See Opportunity in iPhone Apps
Basics of Text Message Marketing and the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Franchising
New Media Ratings Method, P&G Use Price Cutting Strategy, and Who is Using Coupons
All About Social Networks for Marketing
Word-of-Mouth Spending, Implication of Eye Tracking Research and Bratz Doll Maker Tries Again
Twitter as Marketing Tool and Perception in Pricing

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25 Jun

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