Marketing Works Today

Integrated Digital Marketing & PR Consulting from Brown Ltd.

Google+ Gets a B Plus from Brown Ltd.

We are starting off our review with the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard because the title is intriguing:  “What Google+ could do for news.”  It peaked our interest because if it can do it for “news” it will do it for “brand journalism” – one of our specialties.

We give Google+ a B+ because it’s a project, not a finished app.  Definitely not a killer app.  Not yet.  Remember MySpace, OS/2 (what you never heard of it? – my point exactly), etc?

Google+ will be a strong player in marketing and PR.  Much better than Google Buzz.  We’ll have to wait and see what develops and how innovative marketing and PR pros develop its use in the integrated marketing mix.  I have some initial Ning like ideas, especially with the Circles feature, but that will be a later post.

Take a look at these reviews, see it for yourself, and let me know what you think:

“TechCrunch had one of the first and best explanations of what Google+ is all about, and Wired’s Steven Levy wrote the most comprehensive account of the thinking at Google behind Plus: It’s the product of a fundamental philosophical shift from the web as information to the web as people.”
Mark Coddington
, Nieman Journalism Lab, Harvard: What Google+ could do for news
http://bit.ly/oV3j71

“Google, the world’s largest search company, is formally making its pitch to become a major force in social networking. The product it announced Tuesday is called Google+, and observers might wonder whether it’s simply one more social effort by a company that’s had a lousy track record in that field to date.”
Steven Levy
, Wired: Inside Google+ — How the Search Giant Plans to Go Social
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/06/inside-google-plus-social/all/1

“Google+ is a bold and dramatic attempt at social. There’s a reason why Google calls this a “project” rather than a “product” — they don’t want people to think of this as the final product, but as a constantly-evolving entity that permeates every corner of the Google empire. Overall, Google+ is solid. But I’m not going to call it a Facebook killer or a game-changer.”
Ben Parr, Mashable:
http://mashable.com/2011/06/28/google-plus-review/

“This is the way Google always wanted social networking to work, and this time the company may have pulled it off.”
Jason Hiner, ZDNet: Is Google+ about to transform the Web?:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/is-google-about-to-transform-the-web/52004

Filed under: Advertising, Blogging, Brand Journalism, Branding, Content Development, Content Marketing, Future Vision, Integrated Marketing & Sales, Internet, Lead Generation, Marketing Measurement, Micro Blog (Twitter), Mobile Marketing, Non-Profit Marketing & PR, Public & Media Relations, Reputation Management, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Video & YouTube, Websites, Writing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Media Relations is not Public Relations

David Meerman Scott has done it again. He makes an important point in the public relations / media relations industry.  Read his blog post, including the comments, and understand the differences:

http://www.webinknow.com/2010/04/media-relations-is-not-public-relations.html

Filed under: Blogging, Public & Media Relations, Social Media Marketing, , , , , , , , ,

3 Sources to Help You Take the Guesswork Out of Marketing & Advertising

I’ll bet you want to find out how to get more qualified leads, prospects, clients, and sales?

I’ve received a lot of questions in the last couple of weeks about what are the best sources for practical information on marketing – especially online.

One of my specialties is to look across industries, find best practices, and test to see if what I learned applies to a particular industry.  This method has helped me introduce new marketing methods and systems for many products and brands.

There is NO magic bullet for marketing, especially in this economy, even though there are a lot of marketing pros searching for it, and a lot of hucksters promoting it.

Like many industries, marketing is an evolving science.  I say science because if you are doing it right, you don’t spend a dime on marketing without a strict measurement system in place – that means a well-thought-out-system [including Math] to check the results!

This next statement is going to surprise you. Please let me explain.

Two of the best sources of advertising knowledge today come from an early advertising copywriter, John Caples, that wrote “Tested Advertising Methods” in 1932, and Claude Hopkins, an engineer and inventor that wrote “Scientific Advertising,” also in 1932.

Most of their principles for testing marketing and advertising work today – you just apply their methods to traditional advertising AND online.  I read these books early in my career and have worked to apply what they taught me to direct mail, traditional advertising (print, TV, radio), and online.

I use systems to measure and quantify results to find out if a marketing component or campaign is working.  It’s extra work but it takes most of the guesswork out of advertising and saves huge $$ in the marketing budget.

The more recent book that will help you learn the new marketing and PR paradigm is written by a friend, David Meerman Scott.

There have been thousands of books written about marketing, advertising, and PR from 1932 to today.   I’ve studied a lot of them.

If you will combine the fundamentals from the earlier books and add New Rules, you’ll go a long way to gaining an in-depth knowledge of practical advertising and marketing that works to increase your qualified leads, prospects, clients, and sales – for the lowest cost / customer.

Let me know what you think!

Filed under: Advertising, Marketing Measurement, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Will Technology Change Real Estate Sales & Marketing in the Future?

My last job in the tech world of IBM (wired) and Motorola (wireless) was future vision marketing manager before I “got off the plane” and applied what I learned about digital marketing and PR in real estate.

We looked out 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years to try and imagine what is possible with wired and wireless technology. Then we would go tell customers about it.

My method involved interviewing patent holding engineers, scientists, marketing gurus, and futurists.

But one of the most valuable sources I had was from the sales force. They told me what was working and would not work, what customers asked for and expected in the future, and they actually gave me requirements for developing future products and programs.

One of the things I realized early on was that I came up with maybe 20% of the good ideas. The rest came from others. That’s where you come in.  I’ve created a starter list below.  Brainstorm!  Let’s create the idea of real estate marketing in the future together!

I would like to do that here, and share it online with Real Estate pros.

BASELINE

Here’s what we know as a baseline for the real estate market today:

- Digital imagery (photos, renderings, visual tours) made a big difference and are here to stay. 
- Social Networking and blogging leaped forward and will continue to grow.
- Email marketing is now full of pictures and is working great.
- Websites are including:
  = Listings
  = IDX integration
  = Property locators
  = Mapping
  = Galleries and Slide Shows
  = Some Facebook and blog integration
  = Some Video (in the early adopter phase and will expand in this next year)
  = Links to sites like Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Trulia.com, local community information like schools and shopping, etc., plus many others.
  = Multiple languages in addition to English (Spanish, French)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems (Early Adopters using & winning!)
- Electronic “Video” Billboards (just started)
- Newspapers/Media Company Advertising Media Buys Happening on Google (Early Adopters only)
- Direct Mail
- Radio
- TV
- Signs
- Events
- Telemarketing
- Marketing Measurement Systems to track media buys and campaigns (Early Adopters only)

So here’s the question:  What will the future of real estate marketing look like?

CURRENT TO 1 YEAR OUT
- Broker and Builder websites will integrate Social Networking technologies for easy sharing and interaction (Facebook, Google Buzz, Twitter, ShareThis, Digg, Delicious, Live, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc.)
- Content Marketing will expand
- Direct Mail will include more Newsletter Postcards (smart marketers)
- Email Marketing will include more news – less hype

1-5 YEARS OUT
The biggest change during this period for real estate pros isn’t in the technology.  The biggest change will come from you learning how to learn and adapt quicker.  You’re selling brick and mortar; but, you’re going to be using tools to do it that evolve quickly.  That means software.  Your customers and companies will demand that you know this new way to interact – forcing you to change.
- Mobile enabled websites for advertising, listings, and sales interaction
  = Images
  = Mapping
  = Video
  = Social Networking between selling organization and customers
  = GPS Enabled Listings
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems – more pervasive use and will center the effort of database marketing
- Newspaper/Websites and Media Buys Dominated by Google
- Content Marketing will become more layered so a buyer can get just the right amount of information they individually want rather than the seller, broker, or builder dictating the amount.
- Email marketing will add video
- Events will become more creative and integrated with other organizations
- Online & Mobile Chat & Texting
- Online Interactive Contracts & Documentation
- Smart Irrigation. Technology is cheap and easy today. Will become pervasive.
- Marketing Measurement Systems will link directly with CRM
  = Google May Be the Integrator

5-10 YEARS OUT
- Will websites become media rich enough to satisfy a customer enough to buy online?
- Interactive Video Television and/or Web [not sure what the devices will be called at this point - interactive displays?] about Properties. You’ll be able to select and “see” the systems work in a house.
- Smart Houses (I don’t think the house will sell itself but you’ll have to know about  these systems to show them)
- Smart Irrigation Standard
- Exterior and Interior Wired and Wireless integration (Security, Power, Appliances,  Entertainment, Info Systems)
- More Audio (Voice) enabled

Ideas?  What do you think?  Add your comments!

Filed under: Future Vision, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Brand Called “Me”

You’ve been laid-off, down-sized, right-sized, or capsized. Maybe all-of-the-above multiple times.

Your “personal brand” is old, worn, and beaten. So is theirs.

All brands go through tough times. American Airlines has fallen out of favor. Nike took it on the chin. IBM got a big-blue butt whipping for over 10 years. GE and NBC, well – you know.

And your friends, neighbors, and colleagues have been through it too. Will they adapt and move to the next big thing? More importantly, will you?

How?

In a down market, in an economy that is spiraling to the bottom, now is the time to make your biggest moves. You must re-brand yourself. You must become “Me LLC.”

That doesn’t mean you have to start a company. But you have to think like you are. You have to think like a free-agent.

A free-agent with a championship brand.

Regardless of your age, position, or business, you must understand the importance of branding you. And you are your best brand manager. Even if you work for another company, you need to view yourself as a free-agent – because “sizing” will happen again.

Careers aren’t on ladders any longer. People don’t move up. They move through a marketplace maze just like products or services from a business.

Why not use the same branding techniques and advertising that major companies use? With the web, it doesn’t cost that much anymore.

We can show you how to create your brand, protect it, and advertise it.

Know Your Personal Brand: “Me LLC”

What is a brand? The simple answer is: a promise. It’s a promise of the value you provide others.

What makes you different? What do you offer? What have you done to make yourself stand out? What do you do that adds amazing, measurable, unique value?

Can you write it into a 15 word elevator speech? Make sure you phrase it as a benefit to the customer. As a free-agent, your resume must be a marketing brochure about the benefits you offer clients or an employer.

Protect Your Brand

Protecting your brand can be complicated – mainly because of the web. It’s called reputation management. Have you been online complaining a lot lately? Do you comment on blogs? Have you been to questionable websites and left a footprint you wouldn’t want anyone to know about – particularly an employer or a client?

We know strategies that can help you create and protect your web “Me LLC” brand. There isn’t any reason why you can’t launch your new brand or re-brand right now – today.

Advertise Your Brand

The first step is the obvious one: Career Sites. Next is Social Networking sites. And to be a complete branded free-agent, you must create a website and blog.

Website domain names and template driven user created websites don’t cost much today and they are simple to use after you know what you’re doing. The problem comes in if you don’t have the time to figure all this stuff out, learn how to update your sites and social networking sites, and discover the strategy to advertise.

Actually, once you know how to do it, the whole process is easy. Finding it out is hard because you have to learn the software for each site and research the “channels” that best match your brand.

That’s where Brown Ltd. can help. We already know the best websites, the best social network sites and how to manage them, and how to expand your brand with free advertising. We sit down with you for one-on-one training, tailor a strategy that matches your brand, and show you how to do it.

We help you create the sites, plug into social networking, and get you going. The typical cost for a personal branding setup costs less than $500 and can be done in less than a week – roughly 10 – 15 hours of hands-on help.

The value is incredible. After everything is built, you can put as little or as much time into it as you want – it depends on how pervasive you want your brand to be.

So get started creating “Me LLC” today! A powerful brand attracts clients and employers so don’t wait. Be your own free agent right now! Contact Mike at 561-756-1674 or mikebrown@BrownLtd.com

Filed under: Branding, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marketing, Not Ads, Fuels Social Spending Growth – eMarketer

Going social is no longer an experiment for marketers; it is a reality. There is no question that companies and brands are investing real dollars in social network marketing.

Social Media Marketing Spending Forecast

However, paid advertising….

Click to read: Marketing, Not Ads, Fuels Social Spending Growth – eMarketer.

Filed under: Social Media Marketing, , , , , , , , ,

Marketing Works Today

This blog is to help you learn how to connect with customers. The goal is to show you how to get the most qualified leads, traffic, relationships, and sales for the lowest cost/customer. I'll write and aggregate content that relates to the goal. You're welcome to subscribe, comment, and post. Send me your news tips!

What’s In A Title?

I've had a lot of titles [Director of Marketing, Communications Director, Advertising Director, Multimedia Producer, Managing Editor, Reporter, Copywriter]; but, I approach every project as a digital producer... what does the audience need and how can I deliver it most effectively and for the lowest cost?

Sometimes I write with pictures or video, sometimes with words. I always keep the goal in mind: sales, leads, traffic, a better brand image or awareness, or just a really good story, etc.

Yeah I create content for money. But you'll see from my background that I'm way better at making money for others than I am for myself.

I wish I had 1%. I'd be surfing with my kids all the time now.

Contact me and I'll make some for you.

Mike Brown
www.BrownLtd.com
MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com

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Search Engine Advertising

I have 8 years experience setting up, writing, and managing small business and simple product campaigns ($100/week Google Adwords) and large business campaigns with multiple divisions and product lines (up to $20,000/week in Google Adwords – more than $1.1 billion in annual sales). Contact me to create your campaign! MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com

R. Michael Brown
Marketing Consultant, Public Relations Consultant, Freelance Writer: West Palm Beach, Florida

"I help organizations increase sales, and pump up the value of their brand, using media, for the lowest cost per customer."

Digital Marketing and Public Relations consultant, writer, and producer with over 20 years experience launching brands like DiVosta Homes, IBM Multimedia, Nextel, Motorola business and government sector, and SunFest Jazz Festival.

MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com
561-756-1674

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