Synchronizing online marketing efforts

Traditional companies often have a hard time dealing with social media marketing – for many reasons. One of them lies in the difficulty of properly “synchronizing” their various online marketing activities. The following anecdote shows that in some cases public relations and marketing heavily disagree when it comes to chosing the right business partners.

Act 1: An online retailer is planning a PR event. The PR woman contacts me to tell me that this event is very interesting for my readers and that I should consider publishing a preview post. Happens all the time – but amazingly enough, in this case she was right.

Act 2 / different stage, same play: A couple of weeks before I had applied as an affiliate with the same company – they were listed with a large international network, the application itself just requires two clicks. Just a few minutes after the e-mail about the PR event (which was related to their product portfolio) and a couple of weeks after my application I received the following (text-module based) notification:

Your application for the partner program ‘XXXXXXX” with your URL-account ‘datenschmutz blog' unfortunately was denied.

Possible reasons:
* Your site does not meet the merchant's content requirements
* Your site is in an unfinished state or is not working properly

Indeed… the second argument is very true: my blog will never be finished, it's an ongoing project :mrgreen: I'm fully aware of the fact that two different people are responsible for these two fields – yet successfully “synchronizing” a company's online activity range is one of the main web 2.0 marketing challenges. This has a lot do with internal knowledge management and communication structures, and these factors have played a vital role long before social media existed – but there is one huge difference: social media points out short-comings in this area most effectively.

I know this may come as a bit of the shock: but the marketing, the advertising, the PR, the IT and all the other departments must start talking to each other and focus on a common strategy. Great remuneration awaits: it's called authenticity.

eBook: Chinese online markets and copy-catting

National markets beg to differ: it's not only about languages, but about the subtle cultural differences which make the difference between top and drop. That goes especially for Asian markets. And there is another specialty about the largest Asian market: Chinese government strictly controls all internet access. This kind of censorship not only influences the political but also the economic sphere. Juergen Hoebarth, who knows the Chinese online market like the back of his hand, wrote a white paper about Chinese start-ups which is definitely worth a look (especially since it's a free download!).

In Don't forget China, Juergen talks a lot about the copycat situation – when it comes to net business, in many cases the copycat does a lot better in China than the original competitor:

As we can see in China there is definitely a copycat of every success story form the west and they are doing very well. This last case concerning the video portal sector in the Chinese market is really interesting, because it is a battle where an international site like YouTube has more or less no chance to win. Bureaucratic restrictions by the Chinese government just kick them out of the market. Once there is a copycat brand for a service that is better known, it is hard for the original to get into the market again, even when the restrictions are removed and an agreement is reached between Google, who owns YouTube and the Chinese government. The reason, for censorship at the moment, is that there have been regime critical videos between the millions that are offered on YouTube.

The Chinese government announced that in 2010, broadband net access will be available in every single village. If you're founding an internationally oriented start-up today, you cannot afford to overlook China, argues Juergen:

As we live in a global world we are in a global competition as well, and so I would say the fast, smart and clever one will win the race and those who are thinking from the beginning on about a global strategy when they found a company will survive and if they are well prepared and know the rules of the Chinese internet market and adapt some issues, they definitely will have a chance to survive in this country as well and will not get kicked out as easily as the big global net giants have been before by their Chinese copycats.

eBay had to learn this lesson the hard way: after their total failure they completely abandoned the Chinese market. apparently, the company had overlooked two major problems: credit cards are not too widespread in China plus the direct contact between buyer and seller (via messaging services) is a vital trust-factor.

So if in the future you do not only want to reach Mary, John and Jack but also Bao, Fang and Wei, take a look at Juergen's whitepaper: Direct Download: Don't forget China

Video-Interview: Guy Kawasaki on the state of social media

Last week, Guy Kawasaki visited Vienna to give a keynote lecture about innovation and the art of the start. I was the lucky blogger who got the chance to interview Guy – and I enjoyed the interview a lot. Guy has always been a major influence for me, his ideas have inspired me for years. We talked about his impressive biography, his Twitter strategy (Guy has more than 160k Followers) and his current project Alltop.com. The complete interview is 33 minutes long – I split it into five topical parts for your viewing pleasure. I also edited a full version, so if you prefer to watch one clip, navigate to the end of this posting.

Part 1: Guy Kawasaki's Bio and his e-mail inbox

His succesful career at Apple where he worked as a tech evangelist made Guy Kawasaki very famous. Few know though that he started his career in the jewelry business. In the first part of the interview, Guy talks about his biography and he explains how a web celebrity like him deals with tons of e-mails every day. Hint: purge everything that's older than 3 weeks!

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/6538754[/vimeo]

Part 2: Guy's Twitter strategy

On Twitter, Guy has more than 160.000 followers. In the second part of the interview he explains his micro-blogging strategy in-depth. For Guy, Twitter is one of the best marketing channels, and he is putting a lot effort into offering lots of content to create a vivid environment for his marketing messages.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/6540038[/vimeo]

Part 3: Guy Kawasaki about Facebook, Social Traffic and Online Reputation Management

Guy told me that he honestly doesn't understand Facebook – in his opinion, it's a place to “pull” people as opposed to Twitter which acts as a “Push” media. In this part we talk about the benefits of social traffic and the two-sided coin called online reputation management: Don't be afraid, use Facebook to create the image that helps your career!

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/6540300[/vimeo]

Part 4: Guy Kawasaki about Alltop

Alltop.com currently is Guy's main project: the RSS site aggregates the most popular feeds on nearly 2000 topics. The site is not meant to serve geeks, but appeals to the mainstream user – Guy explains the concept and also has got a few tricks to offer for power-users.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/6544551[/vimeo]

Part 5: Guy Kawasaki about blogging and entrepreneurship

In the last part of our talk Guy explains his thoughts about blogging and tells the true story of how he left apple and became an entrepreneur.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/6544974[/vimeo]

Full interview: Guy Kawasaki on the state of social media

This is the full cut – same content, but edited into one video. If you prefer to watch our whole talk in one video, just go with this clip:

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/6545325[/vimeo]

What do you think?

Do you agree with Guy? What is your opinion about the future of Facebook and Twitter? Have you tried Alltop? I'm curious about your comments!

Guy Kawasaki: Interview Teaser

As you already know I interviewed Guy Kawasaki last week while he was in Vienna to give a keynote about the Art of Innovation. Those who know me well were able to predict my excitement! To make a long story short: Since I started blogging a couple of years ago, three web experts (and celebs :mrgreen:) constantly turned up on my radar, and I learned a lot from them. Let me explain my excitement in detail: Trust, every web 2.0 evangelist knows that, does not evolve as the result of a single action. Trust is an emotional state which is developed and fostered over time. And when you're a blogger, you're used to scanning gazillions of RSS feeds – it takes a while to figure out the truly important ones. There are three blogs (or RSS) feeds that I don't just scan, but study carefully, because they gave me so much inspiration and so many ideas again and again: Seth Godin, Jeremy Shoemaker and – yes, you guessed it right – Guy Kawasaki.

So I was extremely happy when I got the chance (thx to Zmary from BusinessKitchen and Gerhard Laga from WKO) to sit down with Guy at Vienna's famous coffee shop Caf Sperl and ask him a couple of questions about his career and his thoughts on the current state of social media. I've edited the interview this weekend and will publish it on Tuesday (2009-09-15) – here's a teaser – keep coming back on Tuesday for the full package (including some brilliant Twitter strategy thoughts!):

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/6550367[/vimeo] Read more