Friday, June 25, 2010

Rain Brings More Than 1,000 Acts of Kindness

It’s pouring and you forgot your umbrella at home. Don’t you wish someone would hand you an umbrella? Volunteers for the Pittsburg based non-profit, The Sprout Foundation, may give you just what you wish. True to its charge to use innovative grassroots tactics, the foundation is acting as a catalyst of positive change with its Here You Go project. Volunteers roam Pittsburgh on rainy days, giving out umbrellas. Their only kind request from the recipients of their gifts is to return the act of kindness and help someone else out. Each umbrella comes with a waterproof card. Recipients are encouraged to write about their experience on these cards and mail them back to Here You Go. The organization posts them here.

Besides promoting good deed and creating a chain of positive interactions, the Here You Go project shows how we can add more meaning to marketing programs and draw audiences into a cause with a simple call-to-action delivered at the right time, in a creative way. The program is memorable because it solves a consumer problem from the get-go. It delivers the product to people at the moment they need it. The experience Here You Go project creates before it asks consumers to generate new acts of kindness also taps into emotions.

The Sprout Foundation inspires and leads by example. It first demonstrates a good deed and then asks for the same in return. The message is clear and direct. Finally, the volunteers enable their audience to pass along the message with the postcards. The organization has an online platform, equipped with social media bells and whistles, which amplify participants’ voice. This web site also helps to showcase the program’s impact.

The Here You Go program serves as a model for those who are planning to give product samples, and those who wish to get community members to take civic action. Read more about this program and similar ones sprouting in Seattle, Baltimore and Sydney here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Despite Facebook's Popularity, E-Mail Leads Brand Communications


As Facebook users increasingly use their social network emails for peer communications, the e-mail marketing industry is pointing to a new study almost every month, underscoring the medium’s validity as a branding and sales channel. The latest is a study by ExactTarget and CoTweet that takes a high-level look at online consumers’ email use.

According to the study, based on more than 1,500 interviews conducted among Internet users15 and older, brands have conquered online consumers’ inboxes, they’ve seized the attention of a sizable audience on Facebook, but they have ways to go on Twitter. The study results show that grand majority of online consumers (93 percent) have signed up for some sort of daily email. Four in10 (38 percent) of online consumers are a fan of some brand on Facebook. Meanwhile, a mere five percent of online consumers follow a brand on Twitter.

Internet users’ daily surfing habits show that checking personal news reign over other online activities. Six in 10 (58 percent) users say they start their day by checking email, one fifth (20 percent) go to a search engine, and one in 10 (11 percent) begin their day on Facebook. Visits to corporate and brand sites trail behind. This hierarchy suggests that the personal inbox is the ultimate place to connect with consumers.

As Facebook took over the Internet, many focused their attention on turning the social network into a valuable relationship platform. While throwing an ever-growing online party with hundreds of Facebook fans is a significant accomplishment, email remains a critical component of full-fledged e-CRM plans. E-mail’s popularity among consumers may pose challenges to marketers to break through the inbox clutter. Yet a balanced program that blends relevant emails and entertaining Facebook content can build brand equity and increase open-rates. 


For additional information on this study, click here


Posted via web from Speaking of Social Media