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April 30, 2008

The Blog Watchdog is back

You can get this column and others from the expert consultants at McKinley Marketing by subscribing to their monthly newsletter. Customary disclosure: I'm a paid freelance writer for McKinley.

Great marketing starts with a great service or product, which can only come from a culture of innovation. Last week at Digital Now, a cutting-edge technology and strategy conference for associations,'s Jeremy Gutsche appeared as one of the keynote speakers. Jeremy spoke at length about recognizing trends early, creating products and services to address the trends through innovation and getting people to spread the word about them. Check out these two summaries of Jeremy's speech at Acronym and at the Digital Now blog.

Frank Eliason is an employee with Philadelphia based
Comcast. Comcast has a reputation for burning money on glitzy multi-million dollar ad campaigns while basic customer service goes horribly wrong and technicians sleep on customers' couches. Eliason is trying to change the company's image. By monitoring the text-messaging micro-blogging site Twitter and replying to frustrated customers using the handle ComcastCares, Frank is converting Comcast haters into advocates. ReadWriteWeb covers the story along with the Houston Chronicle.

Here's some practical advice: Try sending dues invoices (or any kind of invoices) with nothing but a return envelope. Kevin Holland's experience is that
letters get filed; invoices get paid.

It's not enough to just have Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds on your association website or blog. You have to explain this most useful and time-saving technology to ensure that it gains wide adoption among your constituency. "It’s time for marketing people to step up and save everyone on the planet a boatload of time by making RSS digestible for the 98% of people that don’t spend their days drowning in techie acronyms and buzzwords."
This post on Mashable will inspire you to take that step.

If your association is planning social media initiatives, how will you get started? How will you measure success? What should you do if someone leaves a negative comment? Jeremiah Owyang's social media FAQ area at Web Strategist is the perfect place to get the answers to those questions. As always, if you have feedback or a tip for Ben, e-mail him at bkmcae at gmail dot com.

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