Emotional Investment . . . Emotional Capital

Upon sending our daughter off to her first school homecoming dance with a boy we hardly know, I realized the emotional investment it took to prepare her and us for this giant leap and to making sure she was safe and in good hands. Of course, my husband made sure to grip the boy’s hand, make eye contact with him, pull him in a little and say “Make sure my daughter gets home safe, son.” All the while, my husband was grinning a little evil grin to remind the babbling boy that he knew where to find him should anything happen to her.

Emotional investment . . . emotional capital. In the age of social media becoming one of the greatest influences on how we do business and how we market business, we need to pay attention to the things we do to invest emotionally in making our business a success so that the emotional capital that is gained is positive. Since social media has come into play, it’s more important than ever to realize the immediacy of what we do to invest in connecting with the customer.

First coined by Coca-Cola president Steven J. Heyer, “emotional capital” is the value of the feelings and perceptions held by the customer towards your business.  I can think of nothing that will influence that value more in today’s business than social media. Our investment in connecting with our audience through the social arms of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or blogging through Reddit, Tumblr, Blogger, or sharing media through Instagram, Youtube, or Flickr will say everything about how our business values knowing our customers and what they want.

In “The Key to Social Media Success Within Organizations” Huy and Shipilov explain the study they did to see what resonated with organizations internally that builds emotional capital. They found that there are four components that make the difference to the internal customer:

  • Authenticity
  • Pride
  • Attachment
  • Fun

What if we marketed our business the same way to our external customer and used social media to do it? What would that look like?

1. We would create connection with the customer through our blogging or posts that reveal the authenticity of who we are as a business and what we really want them to know and to feel as a customer.

2. We would show our pride in the quality of what we produce as a business by displaying it through our social networks and how we interact with and treat the customer in going above and beyond their expectations.

3. We would connect with the customer on a more personal level to show that we as a business are committed to attachment with them for the longer term.

4. We would show the fun side of the company through Youtube or Facebook and how we as a company are just people too through celebrations and achievements we have made along the way.

Emotional capital can be a positive or negative value. If we are to make it positive, we need to invest in social media to make it happen. The customer is watching to see if you are committed to connecting with them. If you don’t show up on the social media scene, that will be their answer.

Let us help you make that connection. www.kromamarketing.com

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The ROI Mammoth or “Aaaaagggggghhhhhhh, this ROI blog is going to kill me!”

As a blogger, I pride myself on good research, creative content and being relevant. For this week’s Kroma blog, I was asked by my boss to write on the ROI (Return On Investment) of digital design. Inside I thought, “Uh oh. That doesn’t sound like as much fun as what I’ve written on, oh . . ., up until NOW!” But, I thought, “Ok, maybe it will be a great time to brush up on this ROI thing and learn something that will help our clients understand it.” Hours of research later, late nights with coffee stains on my shirt, bleary eyed, frustrated, and nowhere close to a final blog copy here I am; empty.

What I have learned is that the ROI idea is huge, very ethereal to a lot of people and it’s very relative to the object of its assessment. Just what is the return value? In fact, there are bloggers out there who say that ROI is such a broad idea that we sometimes ask the wrong question:  What is the ROI of such and such? When the real question should be:  Did such and such turn out to be worth doing?

In Social Media and ROI: Some clarity. (Again.) Olivier Blanchard says, “ROI went from being a simple financial calculation of investment vs. gain from investment to becoming any number of made-up equations mixing unrelated metrics into a mess of nonsense . . . They measure nothing. Their aim is to confuse and extract legal tender from unsuspecting clients, nothing more. Don’t fall for it.” Wow, well that just instills confidence, doesn’t it?!

I think the main thing I learned on this ROI quest was that value is relative. What return we get, depends. (Don’t you hate it when you ask someone something and all they can say is “It depends.”) It depends on what you expected of the investment as to the value it gains. It depends on the formula you use to calculate the ROI. (Apparently there are various calculations. Very confusing!) There’s also the value that isn’t inherent to the outcome i.e. not monetary but still valuable. All in all, there really isn’t a clear cut way to determine the ROI of anything unless you determine what it is you are looking to calculate in the first place. So, it just depends.

If you aren’t much clearer on ROI, you’re in good company. Let’s commit to this:  know your product, see the value as more than a monetary input or outcome, and determine ahead ”What is value?”

Talk to us. Let us know your questions on ROI or marketing or social media. We can help you sort all this out for your company, here at Kroma Marketing.

Making a Statement

Making a statement can be a bold move. It can also be wimpy. It all depends on the way you present yourself, what you say, how you say it, how you’re dressed, and how you act. In fact, it’s impossible NOT to make a statement. It’s kind of like nonverbal—you cannot, not communicate. So if you’re going to make a statement, why not make it worthy.

In social media marketing, it’s the same way. You’re going to make a statement by what you present online in some way, whether you like it or not. Even your absence makes a statement! That may be hard to read. You may be thinking, “I don’t have time to do this social media thingy,” or that it’s just not in your wheel house or not on your horizon. All of us are trying to run a business; all the more reason to use social media in your marketing efforts. The future is no longer out there—it’s here and it’s time to use it to create your presence online by making a statement about who you are and what you can do to help people with your business.

Ric Dragon, author of Social Marketology, says “Social can be the lighter fluid on the marketing bonfire.”  So, if your statement is excellence and your brand is solid, social media will enhance and boost your presence online.

Make no mistake. The statement you make has to start with a presence that is positive because what you start with will be even more pronounced in social media. In fact, the attitude you present through your message and the tone it sets will be as if under a magnifying glass for all the world to see.

So, once you know your statement is quality, establish that statement online and show that you are a force to be reckoned with in your market. Brett Relander, founder of Tactical Marketing Labs, lays out three areas you need to focus on to create that online presence.

1. Personality: your social media accounts should each have a personality, reflecting your company’s online goals and the medium i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.

2. Borrow Creatively: (oh, and, ethically). Study and parrot what other businesses who are successful in social media are doing: headlines, profiles, techniques. What are they doing that sets them apart and gets them noticed?

3. Content Strategy: Regarding blogs and postings, have you given thought to the strategy behind what is presented and when? Creating a regular schedule of postings at least once a week will tell everyone you are alive and well and you’ve put thought into your content.

Remember: You’re going to make a statement by what you present online in some way, whether you like it or not. Even your absence makes a statement! What is your business doing in social media to make a statement?  www.kromamarketing.com

The 90%

How important is knowing a percentage? Very important. For instance, when you ask your teenager how much milk is left in the jug that they just guzzled, “some” doesn’t really tell you if you need to go out and buy another one. Or if you’re looking forward to that last piece of pie in the fridge after work that you hid behind the giant jar of pickles, knowing there is only 1/8 left is extremely important! What about that water usage this last summer?! The percentages there speak for themselves.

So when it comes to business, percentages speak loud and clear here as well, if we pay attention, that is. A survey was done of 600 small business across the US to find out how they view social networking. 90% said they are actively engaged. 90%! It’s obviously important and relevant to the world in which we do business AND it’s where business is being done. Of those businesses, 74% said that social networking was as valuable and probably more valuable than networking in person. Moreover, when 42% say that 25% of their NEW customers say they found their business through social media such as Facebook, social networking is not only necessary, it’s actually vital to the small business!

This infographic shows just how social networking stacks up in small business. Contact us HERE at Kroma and we can help you join “The 90%” and make social networking work for you and your business.Image

The “Social Loyalty Loop”

Things have changed . . . yes, and they have changed dramatically for marketing your business! Today’s consumer is connecting with brands in totally different ways than with traditional marketing strategies used in the past. In fact, many of those strategies are now considered obsolete.

In an article, entitled “Branding in the Digital Age; You’re Spending Money in All the Wrong Places,” in the December 2010 Harvard Business Review, David Edelman refers to research by David Court and others resulting in a theory known as “Consumer Decision Journey.” The theory states that consumers used to select a product by narrowing down their choices in a process known as the “marketing funnel.” Because of social media and the “in touch” environment the consumer is placed in, the process is much more repetitive as in a loop, a social loop, of bringing the brand around and around to the consumer through the social media. These “touches” along the “Consumer Decision Journey” have become an opportunity for the brand to influence the consumer “before, during, and very importantly, after” the purchase.

The theory has now evolved into the “Social Loyalty Loop” with “vast touch points” where the brands are now building campaigns to spread the word not only to buy into the brand but to “cultivate brand loyalists.” In “How to Create a Social Loyalty Loop,” Roger Katz identifies four ways brands can “fuel” such a loop. Here’s how it works:

  1. Brand Consideration (engaging)—Hyundai recently gave its fans an opportunity to build their dream car in the hopes that even if they don’t buy that dream car they will share it with their friends who consider the friend that shared it with them to have credibility—so “If so and so might buy a Hyundai, maybe I should, too;” a very powerful recommendation!
  2. Brand Advocacy (sharing)—New Belgium Brewing launched a new beer through solely through social channels i.e. fans on facebook invited their friends to join them in trying out the beer together—as a bonus, fans who participated were entered into a drawing for a party to share the beer with their neighborhood. All in all, New Belgium used relationships to build a friendly engagement with the brand through sharing.
  3. Brand Enjoyment (fun)—“Give fans something they can do that’s enjoyable, related to your brand, and, ideally, shareable.” Universal Picture’s promoted The Lorax by encouraging fans to add the large yellow mustache to a photo and then share it, hopefully prompting all kinds of “hullabaloo”, putting the brand into conversation, ultimately leading to participating in the brand.
  4. Brand Building (relevant/shareable)—Outside Magazine  tested their fans’ “Fitness IQ” by posting daily “fitness-provoking” questions, like a Myers-Briggs for fitness, that they could then share with their friends, who would then participate to find out how “relevant” the questions are to them, tying them into the brand.

We hope these insights will lead your business to powerful marketing solutions.

-Your friends at Kroma Marketing

#NewTwitter

Have you been one of the lucky accounts to see the new version of twitter? Some are resisting the change and others are embracing it. Love it or hate it, there are some pretty cool new key changes to speak of. The main three are the introduction of brand pages, new layout, and the neatest one yet, embedded tweets.

Twitter has jumped on the bandwagon by offering up brand pages, following in Facebook and Google+’s footsteps. The most distinctive impact of offering brand pages is the banner that stretches across the top of the brand’s profile (which is similar to Facebook and Google+). Another new feature for brands is the ability to pin a tweet to the top of the page.  This will be particularly effective for tweets with pictures or videos, which will add another engaging element to the page.

The new layout/design of twitter is also a great upgrade from the older twitter. The usability of the new unified design is not the only cool thing about it. The discovery button allows easier browsing of trending topics and why they are trending. The iPhone and Android have both jumped onboard and developed new apps to keep up.

Finally, an embedded tweet is an interactive update by Twitter. You no longer have to screenshot tweets; the new Twitter allows you to embed tweets nearly anywhere.  With embedded tweets, you can actually reply, retweet, favorite a tweet, and follow right from the site the user is at.

Ultimately, the new Twitter is a lot easier to use. What are your thoughts on the upgrade?

Contact Kroma Marketing for all of your marketing needs.