Tag Archives: marketing

social media: is powersports losing out?

powersports failing to engage huge segment of potential market

Start with a number: nearly 1.5 billion. While most – but surprisingly not all – powersports B2B media and distributors and B2C retailers have staked out claims on the most popular social media channels, actual engagement of this valuable real estate lags far behind potential. This infographic measures the reach and user engagement of the most popular trade event, distributor, and online retail vendors on Facebook and twitter. Click here for more on how powersports uses social media.

 

google forces seo strategy upgrade

seo strategy a must as sophisticated algorithms become more selective

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

Trying to achieve page rank by relying on a domain name stuffed with keywords just got a lot harder. In an update unrelated to Panda, which puts more emphasis on well designed and written quality content, Google’s latest algorithm begins to make the practice of keyword-defined URLs obsolete and thus encouraging (forcing?) content managers to develop rank organically by adding meaningful content.

siebenthaler creative consistently earns page one rank

It works for me. Googling “powersports (advertising – marketing – pr)” usually results in page one rank for Siebenthaler Creative. In September 2012 screen grab below Siebenthaler Creative is the only SERP that doesn’t have “powersports” in the URL. This query returned two of my pages based on “powersports advertising,” more on subsequent SERPs. Bottom line: if the goal is to be seen by as many as possible, you need a strategy that doesn’t depend on shortcuts, and one that can survive and adapt over time.

 

make your mark – logo design basics

logo power depends on design integrity

Logos, logotypes, and trademarks have become integral to everyday life, from the pictograms used to order your lunch at Mickey Ds to finding your way to the next road trip gas stop.

This six-minute primer from the PBS Off Book series looks in on the history, tradition, and uses of a visual identity and establishes the argument for professional design versus the DIY approach that’s emerged as a result of desktop publishing empowerment.

Properly done, visual identities are a powerful marketing tool that work to fulfill an observers expectations. When that design is poorly developed, communication suffers.

five ways to tune your event marketing

This month’s announcement by Advanstar that the International Motorcycle Show added Indianapolis to their circuit to coincide with the annual Dealernews Dealer Expo trade only show offers a buffet of engagement oriented marketing opportunities from which to pick and choose. Here’s a short list to get the ideas flowing.

event marketing strategies engagement starter list

  1. QR Code: if you’re going to include one be sure to test first before committing to collateral or digital. Smaller isn’t better – just less likely to be read by apps, resulting in potential customers unhappy with their smartphone, scanner, or your code when nothing happens.
  2. Event Web Page: update and include consumer and dealer side engagement. Why? Live feeds and updates, repost to fb, twitter, etc. all deliver credibility.
  3. POP/POS: Show your dealers a little love, which by the way works to increase your bottom line. How? Fresh kit of high ROI poster, counter mat, floor talker.
  4. Engagement: Connect with consumers and dealers at the same level with the goal of bringing them together for the sale. How? #hashtag
  5. Social: Think irresistible booth situations to encourage photography/video by new to you customers/dealers. Make sure posting tags are suggested so all roads lead to you. How? If appropriate, make sure product display is camera friendly.

The list of resources to leverage both the existing customer base and a brand new Indy market is long, while budgets to carry out event activities can be contentious. The trick is figuring out which are affordable and offer the best opportunity for  continuing the conversation.

new google search challenges content

to earn google rank, get busy with content

Google’s latest product is their highly engineered search algorithm Knowledge Graph. Exactly how it works is a mystery, but best guesses are a wide ranging capability to reference major data sites, including Wikipedia, using a predictive intelligence that intuits a user’s intent beyond the specific search query. I’m just assuming this thing’s got artificial intelligence down cold and am preparing new content accordingly while retrofitting the archives to conform.

Read If Google Can’t Find You, Your Market Never Will for tips on how to upgrade your content and create a strategy for search success.

m-b to sell smart ev scooter in 2014

mb’s smart ev scooter is set to sell

I take last week’s news of Daimler’s entry into the green scooter market come 2014 as more of a solidification of their alt transport low-zero emissions SMART brand than any sudden two-wheeled epiphany. Miniscule financial risk, max pr value, and a lot of genuine utilitarian functionality backed by diamond plated quality control, first class marketing, global distribution, and built-in market affinity even though Smart car sales haven’t exactly soared as first envisioned.

The news accompanied the announcement by Reuters of this summer’s Smart ForTwo four-wheeled ev launch.

How tough will it be to convince yacht sailing, pied-á-terre dwelling, polo pony riding ‘Benz owners to swipe their debit card and pick one up – I see a discreet POS gift card offering by the cashier’s window – on the way out of the dealership? Answer: not too. You’ll look in vain, by the bye, for these same folks at a local indie scooter store.

Not everyone’s convinced. This Automotive News critique after the initial 2010 announcement pans not just M-B, but the entire scooter riding universe. Oh well. For Daimler it’s almost all about reputation: expecting however many scooter sales to add significantly to the bottom line is hallucinatory. Much easier to boost profits selling Dyson cordless vacs as P&A. A rolling ev test bed, on the other hand, is not, and that’s scaleable.

For in-depth analysis of M-B’s 2-wheeled move, Martin Racing Performance’s blog goes on at length and in great detail on Daimler’s decision, with insider perspective on what it means for the nascent EV scooter/mc channel overall.

Magic 8 Ball: if this does work out, might the technology be licensed to existing badges? One might well imagine.

china’s syndrome: getting past the past

conceptions about china may be incomplete

When it comes to opinions, those regarding China by Westerners seldom rise to superlative. From child labor sweatshops to cheap plastic trinkets to shoddily constructed knockoffs to IP piracy, the average take is commonly one of polluted cities and human rights abuses. Apple’s iPhones aside.

SapientNitro Global Marketing Strategy VP Freddy Laker tackles the existing memes with a compelling view of an alternate digital universe that’s on track to provide over half of all online content by 2015. More revealing is his take on the web landscape trod by Chinese, with same as, yet different, versions of familiar check-ins like facebook, Groupon, twitter, etc.

Does the electronic firewall separating the PRC from our digital daily life matter? Apparently not, as the Chinese entrepreneurial spirit has spawned look-alikes in a stunning variety of flavors, all without missing a beat.

This slideshare adaptation of a 2012 SWSWi preso “China – Will It Redefine Our Digital Landscape?” is a half-hour peek into a world I didn’t imagine existed. Bonus footage: Laker’s unique strategy for assimilation into China’s culture. Hint: TMZ meets ET, hatches HuffPo hybrid.

powersports pays price for poor pr

 

the slippery slope to silliness

Several years ago I put together an easy to follow guide that offers solutions for three of the most common errors made by DIY publicists. Since then I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of powersports announcements distributed under the hi-jacked heading of FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE! So poorly constructed they’re cause to wonder if a Kazakhstan goat herder isn’t ghost writing for the crowd source marketplace, they neither inform nor promote. No offense to my herder friends.

There’s a phrase common enough to pr practitioners (hack) that’s either a label of shame or badge of some distinction, if only among peers. Without naming names – and, sadly, you probably don’t know who you are – I’m gobsmacked at what the aftermarket seems willing to accept under the guise of published, presumed to be positive, information about products, services, and events by the former.

This isn’t about the errant comma, occasional misplaced modifier, or missing apostrophe. I’m raising the alarm over the wholesale abandonment of fundamental principles of grammar, any notion of style, and the essentials of literacy. Who needs complete sentences when an odd lot assortment of disjointed words strung randomly together into incoherent phrases passes as sense.

“air quotes” run amok amid out of control malaprops

I’m usually not a hard-core stickler for AP style, but. The increasingly sloppy gibberish masquerading as product praise not only offends my professional eye, but to the point does serious damage to a manufacturer’s online reputation and in-store brand. Unless, that is, the brands footing the bill think LOL ridicule is a desirable goal.

And it’s permanent. Once published to the web, these unintentional examples of no-talent hilarity circle the internet forever, ghost ships of puff piece silliness showing up on Google search “doh!” in perpetuity.

If you can’t hire a pro – and by that I mean someone possessed of a) basic writing skills and, b) a fundamental understanding that English, not Farsi, is North America’s marketing lingua franca – please take advantage of my basic tips for improving reputation and readership.

barnes and nobles says opt out is ok

like official government mail, only different

Important Information Regarding Your Borders Account

I’m not going to the mat on this one, but if you want to send me an email after you’ve bought up the physical and intellectual assets of your former competitor, please try to keep from insulting my assumed by you parochial view of online reality at the same time.

Non-breaking news: Borders Book Stores are no more. Bulletin: Chain declares bankruptcy. Bulletin: Assets bought by competitor.

My good friend William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, wrote me the other day on behalf of the entire B&N team to make sure I was aware of important information regarding my (former) and seldom used Borders account.

Skip down to fourth paragraph: “It’s important for you to understand however you have the absolute right to opt-out of having your customer data transferred to Barnes & Noble.” (Bold theirs.)

Then follow a couple more graphs of boilerplate and schmooze, but basically the message seems to be driven by B&N’s attempt to spin this in their favor by offering me the option of bailing by a date certain, after which they’ll just go ahead and act on the info as if no opinion equals okey-dokey.

In fact, they could have, and would have, curried a lot more favor by allowing me to opt in to their marketing plan. This would have had the added benefit to solicit more personal choices, including genres, platforms, frequency, etc. All presumeably valuable, driven by the coupon with sign-up bribe good for something or other, coffee maybe, MP3 download possibly, after a short survey.

On the other hand, they’ve got a probably outdated windfall list of – well, a bunch of – email addresses just ready to be acted on if they don’t hear back! Opportunity knocked. No one answered.

My guess is they’ll never know what they didn’t know.

bottleneck! your social media workflow

pick and choose what’s manageable

Edelman Digital’s recent post (via David Armano’s typepad driven feed blitz distributed Logic+Emotion blog) announcing their new SlideShare presence adds another layer of social versatility to their expanding toolkit of content sites.

Armano is Edelman PR’s widely followed social guru, operating out of their Chicago office where he spreads knowledge and opinion across the twitter/facebook/linkedin universe. A July post, for instance, presented the case for Google Plus in an extended essay piece that positions the new service as a layer, rather than a channel, then goes on to count the degrees of difference.

so many channels; really, so many channels

But regardless of worthiness, for me it’s yet one more dedicated channel to tend in a garden of tasty greenery run amok. For the small shop and independent practitioner, your fulltime job can easily become a sideline to the babysitting necessary for even basic online maintenance. The connect options presented on their Edelman Digital space (above) include RSS, email, Scribd, SlideShare, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr channels: and that’s just the tip of their social channel spear.

As Delicious prepares to roll out a much needed overhaul courtesy of new owners and YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, I’m split between excitement about what’s to come and concern over management issues. There are no best answers for any one situation. It’s clear, though, that too many channels quickly add up to a weedy, overgrown online presence where your last visited update is months old, stale and reeking of abandonment issues.