Happy Holidays from Community 2.0!

We’re going to be taking a much needed break from the world of online communities to celebrate the holidays with our family and friends. A huge “Thank You” to you, our loyal readers for your insight, news and communication about our shared community experiences. We look forward to 2009 and all of its glorious opportunity!

Thanks again and have a very joyous holiday season.

Happy Holidays from The Market Research Event!

We’re going to be taking a much needed break from the world of market research to celebrate the holidays with our family and friends. A huge “Thank You” to you, our loyal readers for your insight, news and communication about our shared market research experience. We look forward to 2009 and all of its glorious opportunity!

Thanks again and have a very joyous holiday season.

No more shooting in the dark- track your marketing campaigns.

So you just started a blog and have been promoting it like hell. Or maybe you just realized the power of the web for marketing and use it to promote your small business. Email signatures, emails, status messages and commenting and being a part of discussions across the blogosphere- and what is called as the social media. However, there is one problem- you just do not know if any of this is working better than the other. You spent time installing a web analytics solution, but many sources are listed as direct/others and you can’t figure out if they were from your email marketing campaigns or something else. Whether you are a savvy blogger or a smart, hands-on small business owner who uses the web to connect, market and sell- there is one major part of the RoI jigsaw puzzle- tracking your off-site marketing campaigns. Sure you can use some existing ad tracking applications- but knowing that blogging and start ups are cash stranded, that might not be a very good idea. I recently developed a marketing tool- a simple spreadsheet app that you can use to generate tracking tags for your marketing campaigns. And it is not just for online marketing, if you are creative, you can even use it for tracking your offline campaigns. Interested? Read on. One caveat though. This works if you use Google Analytics (GA) as your web analytics tool. Not too much of a problem I presume- as GA is free and going by the success of it, it is likely that you’d be using this any which ways. In case you do not, I recommend that you do. (No- not getting paid to say this). To access the tool, click on the link: ChasingTheStorm campaign tracking tool It is a Google Docs spreadsheet- so you can log in using your Google ID, export the cells in your excel or spreadsheet, follow some simple instructions- and there you go. There is a detailed explanation on ChasingTheStorm on how to use the sheet. Some details are also available on Google Analytics blog – and the inspiration to make the tool comes from there, though I have explained in a manner I thought would add value to the discussion. Of course, Google does not have a tool- they just have the theory. Essentially- the sheet has 5 columns that need filled up- all according to your understanding and convenience. The 5 columns refer to the campaign variables that you as a marketer- populate. These variables will tell you about the source of the referrer and give you more detailed insights into the traffic emanating from your various campaigns. The last cell has a formula that need not be changed- as it takes on the inputs from all those cells and then automatically develops a redirect/tracking code/tag. What are the ways you can use this (there could be many ingenious uses that you can use this for):

  • You could insert it as links in your email newsletter- and track not only one link- but use to track what call to action drives most traffic to your website
  • If you track conversions, you could attribute this to conversions as well
  • You could use this to update your status messages on your social network- and track people coming to the site from your social network
  • You could even use it in your offline campaign- use URL shortening using a web service- and put the URL in your offline DM or newspaper classifieds ad. Track how many people visit your website after seeing this ad. Cool eh?
  • You could use the auto tagging feature for your PPC campaigns across search engines and see which KWs are converting better

Are there any other ways that you think you can use the tracking for? Let us have the discussion continue for the benefit of all.

Top Posts at The Market Research Event

As the year draws to a close, let’s look at the most popular posts from TMRE in 2008! Most of the top posts were live blogged from the TMRE conference in Anaheim! If you weren’t there, take a chance to look back and find out what happened!

Top 5 posts of 2008 on TMRE:

Really Cool Research Deliverables

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group’s Targeted Shopper Marketing Approach

Who’s Drinking the Wine?

So Many Presentations, So Little Time

What Women Want

Customers 1st in 2008

As the year draws to a close, lets look back at some of the most popular posts from NACCM Customers 1st in 2008!

Most came to us live from NACCM. Even if you weren’t in Anaheim to experience the Customers 1st event, you could still be in touch with everything that was going on at the event. Enjoy the top posts of the year!

NACCM 2008: We Are All Storytellers

NACCM 2008: What’s Your Red Ball

Day 1 Keynotes – It’s all about people!

Speaker Profile: Frank Capek

Social media diary 19/12/2008 – Skype


Skype launches video cards in Facebook

Just in time, perhaps, for those of us who haven’t yet sent all our Christmas cards, Skype this week launched Skype Video Cards, as both an application in Facebook and also as a standalone feature at SkypeVideoCards.com. The concept is quite simple and it works well as a Facebook application. You choose a basic card, record your video message and send this to your friends. They receive a personalised flash video message from you (and with Skype branding!). It’s a nice application, and out with good timing as we enter the festive season with a force. It’s simple to use (in four clicks you can create a card), creates a personal message and sends a flash video card which means it can be viewed directly from a web browser.

So what can we learn from this?

One question that this application raises is why is Skype doing this? As some people have noted, the video card tool doesn’t make use of any Skype technology, it doesn’t even integrate with your Skype contacts list to send to your friends. For me this doesn’t matter, especially not for the Facebook application. If this were only a standalone feature, then it would be odd that it didn’t actually showcase the product whose brand it carried. But in Facebook, and indeed in other social networks, it is not so easy to market and product-place in this way. As we’ve written about before, it can be very difficult to advertise in social networks. Primarily because social networks are social environments with social rules. People are there for their own, personal reasons – to upload their photos, network with their friends, plan their events and talk about issues that are of interest to them. It’s a ‘me’ space and when brands enter this they need to be fully aware of the social rules they must abide by. It’s not that easy to just place your product in front of people or pump your marketing message to them. This is why the Skype Video Card application works for me. Rather than trying to integrate their actual product and develop an application that people will use and forward to their friends. Instead they opted for the solution of creating an application that creates real value for the users (especially those who have forgotten to send holiday greetings already) and allows the Skype brand to be associated with this. Facebook and other social networks can be scary places for brands, and difficult places for them to succeed in. My advice: think first how you can add value to the users experience and then put your brand on it. You have a great chance of being successful, and of getting that brand forwarded round the internet faster than you could hope for.From the FreshNetworks Blog
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Service Innovation

At Customer Experience Crossroads, the recently talked about a new customer service innovation. The CAA came to replace a car battery in a timely manner at the customers house, instead of the customer having to wait for hours inline at a store. Services like this gains trust from

Service innovation: Save your customers time. Save them hassle. Take the service to them. Result: Induce loyalty. Provide a new service that makes money. Earn unpaid media.

Market Research Through iPhone

I came across this YouTube video from the Fox Business Network with Christian J. Ward, CEO of Ockham Research, in which he unveils their new application on the iPhone called Stockrazor. Unlike the app that comes with the iPhone that allows you to solely check your stock quotes, Stockrazor gives an in-depth fundamental analysis going after cash numbers, sales numbers, and dividends. Take a look at the video here.