Archive for July, 2010
Tags: Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft
Tags: Facebook Questions, trusted brands, word of mouth
The announcement today of Facebook Questions inspires an inevitable observation. If building trust is the name of the game, then there is something very fundamental, primal and simple to remember here. But like all things simple, some reminding now and again never hurts. It is this: If you want people to trust you, go out and build a kick-ass product that gets people talking. This goes for B2B, too. When you do, you’ve gone a long way towards achieving the holy grail of marketing: Word of Mouth (WOM). Selling great products. The kind that people like to talk about and recommend. From companies they trust. Simple.
Reality check: Not all comments from users are usable.
UserVoice in San Francisco enables their users to make customer comments more actionable. The problem is that a lot well-intentioned comments have to be ignored. Period. You can’t do everything for everybody all the time. Same is true for the comments that CIOs and I.T. people get from their users. At a given time, there is an overwhelming number of really great, really cool things to be doing. But maybe two or three of these things are the really, really high-return initiatives that merit precious resources. The trick is to pinpoint those things. CIOs could use a”UserVoice model”. What do you think?
Companies still prepare case studies according to content model above.
The best practices of social media reflect what we’ve yammered about for years. Case studies work. They sell. Case- studies drive people to your site. They enable you to be found. They create interest, qualify leads, build brand, drive down the cost of sales. One catch: There are case studies and then there are self-serving, self-congratulatory loads of dreck posing as “case studies”. What distinguishes the former from the latter? Clear descriptions of three things:
1. The most valuable benefit of the product or service being featured. This assumes that you understand what it is about the product that would arouse the attention (read: make somebody reach for their checkbook) of a user/customer/consumer. In other words, you know what your target customer holds dear. What they value most.
2. What it took the user in the case to adopt your product. What did he have to unplug? Undo? Buy extra? Learn? Re-learn? What was your product’s (or service’s) adoption cost?
3. The price. At very least, some order of magnitude of what your stuff costs relative to alternatives.
Those three elements constitute your value proposition. And any case study that doesn’t communicate it is not worth the pixels on the screen. Your value prop is compelling only to the extent that the size of #1 exceeds the sum of #2 plus #3.