2009 August

Twitter resources

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More information from “Who’s Blogging What“, this time focused on “The Most Useful Marketing Posts on Twitter“.  It includes a link to a slidedeck from Ogilvy that shows how they recommend you use Twitter for branding.  Also has a link to Twitter’s own guide, “Twitter for Business 101“.  All this is good introductory information while you get to grips with using Twitter.  While we’re on the subject, Twitter provide one of my favourite explanatory product videos, “How to use Twitter“.  It’s clear, nicely paced and easy to follow – not easy to do when explaining technology.

Adwords ROI and report dates

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Good post by Brian Carter at the  Search Engine Journal blog on why “Your adwords ROI is better than you think“.  He highlights that the date range you choose when reporting on Adwords conversions could make a big difference to the % conversion rates you see i.e. you could get an inaccurate view of how your campaigns are performing.  I picked this post up from one of the best sources of marketing information,  the “Who’s blogging what” weekly newsletter.

Using words to convince, not confuse

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How difficult is it to communicate precisely what we mean?  In marketing, PR, sales (and in many other walks of life) you must be able to convey your message concisely, unambiguously and in a way that strikes a chord with the recipients.  On this topic, there’s a good article posted on the ‘Red on Marketing’ blog by Robert Celaschi called “Solution is not the solution in B2B communications“.  His point – the word ’solution’ has been rendered meaningless because of overuse and imprecise use.  There is an article making the same kind of point from TechCrunch too – “10 words I would love to see banned from press releases“.  Most of us will recognize the points being made, and know when we’ve been guilty of this kind of lazy writing (and thinking).

The use of words to communicate and persuade is a subject I’ll come back to in future posts because I thinks it’s (a) important and (b) fascinating.  How can you be really good at business communications?  How do you increase the chances of persuading your audience?

These are important questions because your business depends on  your ability to persuade people to buy your product or service. (In the greater scheme of things these questions are important to society – how do we promote a particular view or cause, how do we avoid being fooled by spin and propaganda?  How do we ensure people understand what we mean?)

They are interesting questions because there are so many routes you can take to arrive at your answer.  For example, you could look at the techniques courtroom lawyers use to persuade a jury.  Or you could look at how mass-mailing direct marketers use A/B testing to determine which word in a particular sentence in a particular paragraph can increase buying actions by half of a percent.  You could look at the structure of speeches by Lincoln and Kennedy, or you could analyze the visitor stats to alternative versions of a web-page to see which one is most effective at generating sales.  You could start with Aristotle’s “The Art of Rhetoric” or Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People“.  And we haven’t even considered the non-verbal persuasive techniques taught to actors and politicians.  As a starting point I recommend two great books on the subject of conveying ideas and persuading an audience, “Made to Stick” and “Thank You For Arguing“.  I plan to nail down some common themes from all of these sources over the next quarter as a separate blog post. I’m open to suggestions for the post title.  How about “Aristotle as CMO”?

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