Monday, January 30, 2012

Consumers Will Avoid Purchasing, If They Don't Like The Parent Company Behind The Product

A newly released study from Weber Shandwick explores the connection between corporate and product brands. Based on a survey of 1,375 consumers and 575 executives of $500MM+ companies from four global markets (Brazil, China, the US and the UK), the study shows that perceptions of a corporate brand can truly affect product purchases:

  • 70 percent of consumers say they avoid buying a product if they do not like the company behind the product
  • 40 percent stop purchasing the product when they see a disconnect between the product and parent brand

The web plays an integral role in this delicate decision-making process. Of those consumers surprised to find out that a product they like is made by a company they do not like:

  • 34 percent will go online to find what other products the company makes
  • 19 percent share or forward information about the company
  • 17 percent make negative comments about the product or company to others
  • 15 percent post a comment online about the brand and the company

Where do consumers get these ideas about corporate brands? The web's influence is almost as strong as offline word of mouth:

  • Nine in 10 (88 percent) say they are influenced by what people say
  • Eight in 10 point to online reviews (83 percent) and search results (81 percent)

Consumer opinions have a direct impact on sales and also on companies' market value. Interviewed executives said they would attribute 60% of their firms' value to these companies' reputation. In other words, online buzz can have an impact on a company's evaluation. But reputation is a holistic concept--whether online or offline, at the product or corporate-level, it needs to be consistent and positive. 

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

What Google's New Privacy Policy Really Means

How many mainstream Google users fully know or understand how the search engine collects and pieces information together? Probably not many. To "simplify things", Google reduced its 60 privacy policies down to one. Google informed me through my work and personal emails. Catch is - I didn't realize they had my information. Very spooky! But come to think of it, I had probably gladly opted into a Google-owned service at some point. Or used a service (e.g., YouTube), that got purchased by Google. That's Google's game: collecting disparate pieces of personal data and stitching it together. 

Here's what Google's new policy says and what it really means:

"...we want to ensure you can move across Gmail, Calendar, Search, YouTube, or whatever your life calls with ease"

i.e: We trace your footsteps from email, calendar, search to video. We then show you the ads based on themes you talk about in your personal space.

"...we suggest search queries or tailor search results, based on the interests you expressed in Google+, Gmail and YouTube."

i.e.: We connect what you like on google+, with what you frequently email about and what you watch on YouTube. We know you. 

"...By remembering the contact information of the people you want to share with, we make it easy for you to shre in any Google product or service with minimal clicks..."

i.e.: We know your friends too



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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Novo Nordisk Handles Paula Deen Reactions on Facebook

I received this interesting clip from a friend. Novo Nordisk fans were reacting negatively to the Paula Deen deal on Facebook, but some advocates stepped in to defend the brand without brand interference. Below, you'll see that the Novo Nordisk community manager "played it cool" by only reminding the fans of the FDA guidelines. Good approach to issue management in social media.

Here are the best practices this mini case study underscores:

  • First, monitor closely
  • If the community handles the issue itself, continue to host the conversation -- do not interfere
  • If someone does not abide by the communication guidelines, step in and send a reminder



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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Info-Currents January Trend #1 So-Lo-Mo

Here is a snippet of trends cited in this month's Info-Currents issue:

Emerging Trend: So-Lo-Mo – In 2012, social will grow locally and extend into mobile space. According to Nielsen NM Incite research, nearly half of visitors to local deal sites recommend these sites, fueling online word of mouth. Meanwhile, smart phone users spend majority of their time on apps, customizing their experiences.

Implication: Social networks will offer hyper-targeted local services to users. As smart phone usage becomes the norm, majority of social networkers will access these local services from their mobile devices.

Action: Consider app makers as content and commerce partners. Invest in f-commerce pages, online review features and mobile opt-in lists. Motivate social networking consumers to shop with deal alerts that match their needs and locations.

To subscribe to monthly social media trends newsletter Info-Currents, please click here.


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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Great Commentary on What Tablets Mean for Magazine Business

Check out this interview with Lee Isenberg, the former editor of Esquire and Time magazine veteran. Isenberg points out the growing number of magazine subscriptions among tablet owners. This is a promising sign for an industry that had been struggling to get its fair share of digital dollars. It also suggests that the industry can charge for content and not be as tied to advertising for revenue.

In the interview conducted by Temple University's Dr. Brooke Duffy (ASC Phd '11), Isenberg (ASC '70) says:

"The magazine business is finally getting the opportunity to sell subscriptions (in the past they have not been successful here). The Kindle Fire is the breakthrough in terms of selling subscriptions. Amazon is taking a small share of subscription money, and the rest will go to the publishers. Interestingly the cost of subscriptions will be higher even though the cost of distribution is lower. My guess is that consumers/readers will pay more to get their favorite magazines in tablet form or in bundle form. I do that now. I get The New Yorker at home but I can’t remember the last time I picked up the hard copy; I read it all on my iPad...having the content on a tablet is a pleasant and easy way to consume a magazine. It will be a boon to publishers." 

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Monday, January 9, 2012

New FDA Draft of Social Media Guidance Helps....A Little

The FDA released a draft document on how companies can respond to off-label remarks in social media . Basically, medical staff from the company can acknowledge the off-label post only if the post is unsolicited and mentions the product name.

When communicating with the user, the public response can only include contact information with full disclosure about the medical staff's relationship with the company.  The rest of the communication has to be directly with the user, through private channels; and it should include standard response information.

The best illustration of this maze of conditional communications came from Dose of Digital. Here's a great decision-tree that you can use to navigate through the new draft guidelines.

Understandably, sales and marketing cannot be involved in these communications.But I hope that future guidance from FDA gives companies ways to share information publicly that can guide all social media readers towards verified information.

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