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 Manage Your Online Reputation

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

MeasuredUp featured in article about Customer Service.

Your customers are likely talking about you online. One disgruntled customer can sway your online reputation and the way your company appears on search engine results.

Proactively manage your online reputation and engage good customers to write online reviews on your website by offering discounts, use counter card instore reminders that you value customer service and reach out to authors of unflattering reviews. New good reviews will help counter bad ones and improve your online reputation.

Thanks to: Marc Karasu of MeasuredUp.com.
Read the article here: http://www.toiletpaperentrepreneur.com/blog/how-to-get-reliable-feedback-from-customers

 Marchex Builds On Small Business Marketing Leadership through Multi-year Relationship with Dow Jones Local Media Group to Sell Reputation Management Product; Adds Four New Content Sources

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

June 09, 2010 09:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time 


New partner to sell Marchex Reputation Management to local business customers; Marchex to receive unique content, increase local business listings data footprint to nearly half-a-billion items

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Marchex, Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHX), a call advertising and small business marketing company, today announced that it has entered into a relationship with Dow Jones Local Media Group, a Dow Jones company focused on publishing information for local communities. The relationship involves two key elements:

“Companies must be able to ensure the information about them in the digital world is accurate. And they need a product that provides them with an intelligent, dynamic feedback loop so they can be up-to-date regarding customer feedback from reviews, blog mentions and across social media.”

(1) Marchex will provide Dow Jones Local Media Group with a private-labeled version of the Marchex Reputation Management product, which it will sell to its small business customers on a monthly subscription basis and/or bundled with other Dow Jones Local Media Group product offerings; and
(2) Marchex will continue to receive unique content and information from Dow Jones Local Media Group as well as from other new content partners, including CitySquares, Joy of Spa and Measured Up, for inclusion in Marchex Reputation Management, which will benefit users by broadening the local business listing meta-data footprint of the product to nearly half-a-billion items (e.g., user reviews, listings, mentions on blogs and social media).

“Reputation management is a critical tool to help small businesses be more efficient and competitive in business. We strive to offer our advertisers the most cutting-edge and effective solutions for their needs, and as the market leader, Marchex Reputation Management fits that bill,” said Patrick Mullen, product manager for interactive marketing services at Dow Jones Local Media Group. “Companies must be able to ensure the information about them in the digital world is accurate. And they need a product that provides them with an intelligent, dynamic feedback loop so they can be up-to-date regarding customer feedback from reviews, blog mentions and across social media.”

As user-generated reviews continue to become more prevalent with consumers, local businesses are seeking ways to leverage this opportunity to ensure their online reputations are both preserved and enhanced. Marchex’s Reputation Management product enables small businesses to easily understand, manage and improve their online reputation, allowing them to expand product offerings, build loyalty with customers and generate more revenue.

Reputation Management Market:

According to a new BIA/Kelsey local advertising forecast, the E-mail, Reputation and Presence Management (ERPM) category is expected to grow from $460 million in 2008 to $3.1 billion in 2013. Additionally, the number of SMBs using ERPM will increase from approximately 500,000 to nearly 4 million during the forecast period.

Marchex Reputation Management Product

Marchex Reputation Management is the first major extension of Marchex’s small business marketing products, expanding the Marchex footprint beyond full-service search engine marketing to include comprehensive sentiment analytics.

Marchex Reputation Management was built using proprietary local search technology. Covering more than 8,000 sources and containing nearly half-a-billion pieces of local business listings meta-data, the product monitors and reports on a specific business’ online footprint, including its user reviews and news, blog and social media mentions and activities, providing small businesses with an unparalleled information advantage and a 360-degree view of customer sentiment and industry trends. Key product features include:

  • Alerts: E-mail alerts allow business customers to be notified when online information about their company—or competition—is added or changed.
  • Broadcast: Business customers can share positive news and reviews with customers and employees through a variety of sources, including email, Digg, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Competitive Marketing Analysis: Business customers can compare themselves to other local businesses in a variety of ways while including different measures, applying graphs and easy-to-grasp visuals.
  • Reviews and Mentions: Information is provided on positive and negative sentiment from customer reviews, as well as intelligence on sentiment trends.
  • Search Keyword Identification: Top terms and phrases from consumer reviews are identified to differentiate the business.

“For a small business, time is at a huge premium. This reputation management product provides an easy, quick way to find out what people are saying about my company without having to click through to a dozen or more different sites,” said Craig Abplanalp, vice president of Seattle-based custom home theater and audio firm, Definitive Audio. “There’s one dashboard, so you don’t have to do a lot of work to find out the good, the bad and the ugly, and in turn to decide what to do about it from a business perspective.”

“Understanding the digital footprint and customer sentiment is a critical component of local advertising that businesses cannot afford to ignore,” said Brooks McMahon, senior vice president of small business marketing products at Marchex. “Our Reputation Management product gives businesses the opportunity to efficiently monitor these elements and the intelligence to help them prioritize customer-focused activities and marketing efforts to grow their business.”Marche

 Four areas for improvement in retail online marketing

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

From Retailcustomerexperience.com

By Marc Karasu

Being an executive in this economy is tough. Being a marketing executive is almost impossible.

Whether you are at an established company with a well-known brand or at a startup, the pressure on you to deliver is immense. To make matters more challenging, it is likely that your marketing budget has been cut. Every dollar you spend is questioned for ROI and in most meetings you are asked about developments in social networking, customer service and PR because it is all anyone reads about and promises tantalizingly high yield at low cost.

Whatever category your retail business is in, the following tactics will help you build, track and keep up on the buzz about your brand without the need to invest large amounts of money. These ideas compliment almost any brand at any budget.

1. Social networking – You probably already have a Facebook and Twitter page that may or may not be yielding results for you. To help these pages along and to build up your social networking reputation or refute complaints, you should be leveraging these pages further.

What you can do now – Task a junior member of your team to be your “social outreach ambassador.” This role is focused totally on trolling Facebook, Twitter and blogs to “invite,” “reply” and “request” connections with current and potential customers and groups. By spending 20 or so hours a week on this effort you will slowly help along your Facebook and Twitter following, refute untrue online blog statements and reply to customers who have questions. This is a hard position to measure effectiveness on, so it could be hard to justify in your budget. But you have to consider this proactive marketing. The opportunity cost saved is not having uncontrolled rumors online. Many PR firms are starting to offer this service, but they don’t really get it and won’t be able to react as quickly as someone in your company culture who understands your brand.

Start with an intern and scale from there.

2. Customer service – In today’s economy no single thing matters as much for your sales and loyalty as building a great customer service brand. This is an area of marketing often overlooked or muddled with expensive and hard-to-use processes. If you are even aware of your customer service problem it is likely you first came across it the way most consumers find you: You found a review about your company online, via a search engine, and it was probably not flattering.

Online reviews are here to stay and many current and potential customers use them to help guide their online research in deciding where to buy. You can leverage the world of online reviews in your favor and often have more effect on purchase intent than the best TV commercial.

Whether you have a large customer service department, no customer service department, already have a good customer service reputation or need to build one, today many new online customer service tools exist that are often free or low cost.

What you can do now -
Start asking your customers to review you on business sites like Angieslist.com and customer service sites like MeasuredUp.com. By confidently asking customers for business and customer service reviews, you will in no time have dozens of complimentary reviews of your company online. These will negate most bad reviews, increase your positioning on search engines and help interested, potential customers find and trust you when researching online. The goal here is not to have only good reviews as even the best companies have some bad reviews about them online. The goal is to have a balance and to demonstrate through association that your brand is focused on improving.

3. Online comments – The Internet is talking about you whether you like it or not. On thousands of sites, content that mentions you or a competitor is constantly being added. You need to join this conversation, even if you can’t control it.

What you can do now - Take that intern who is working on Facebook, Twitter and blogs and have him also spend five hours a week searching for reviews about your company or articles about something that is relevant to your business. When there is a comment field, have the intern write some intelligent content in response. State that they are an employee of the company and include a URL to your site. Do not try and pretend to be consumer as this will likely be found out and create further uncomplimentary content. This effort will help rebut negative views, show your company cares about its reputation and will help drive traffic to your company Web site. If you come across compliments, add on a quick “Thank You” comment, saying that you care about your reputation and appreciate the support of customers.

4. PR - You have more to say about your business than you realize. Regular press releases about important company events, news or upgrades are often overlooked. Generate interest from journalists by creating content that will interest them.

What you can do now – You know your business and the kinds of things the press wants to cover. Often, the press does not have the resources to generate data for a story. Create a poll on your Web site based on a topic of interest and then pitch the results to your press contacts. This will often lead to an exclusive or inclusion in a larger story about the topic.

If you have good contacts you also can pre-pitch an idea to them to gauge interest and then create the poll customized to their needs. Polls like these help raise your company’s credibility, build your reputation and keep your brand in front of customers.

With these easy and inexpensive marketing tips, you can quickly augment your existing marketing efforts and start to raise your company’s social media, customer service, online and PR profile while helping increase sales and build online reputation.

 How Search Works With Social CRM

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

From Media Post

by Laurie Sullivan,

Search technology: Some companies will license it, while others build it from scratch. It depends on the egos of executives working at the company. Real-time search and social media have pushed technology to the forefront. Companies need sophisticated algorithms that can sort and index structured and unstructured data.

A recent Accenture report titled “Social CRM: The New Frontier of Marketing, Sales and Service” ties it all together. Joe Hughes, senior executive from Accenture’s customer service and support business, confirms that enterprise companies have begun to build search engine technology that will integrate into software applications and consumer hardware to help marketers, advertisers, agencies and others sort through the mounds of data created by social media.

Hughes defines social CRM as the conversation data from social media networks. And as marketers continue to try and make sense of the mounds of data flooding in from real-time search, Twitter streams, Facebook status updates, and behavioral targeting tags, they will need a faster method to sort, index and access data. Wow, are you overwhelmed yet?

Marketers need technology that can move feedback from customers and call center agents between channels with as much automation as possible. That will become the only way to analyze the data. Natural language query processing will also become a focus, to search through documents of unstructured and structured data as the mounds of social media data continues to mount.

Last year, tools measuring buzz metrics in social networks emerged. This year, the focus turns toward integrating the social data into traditional CRM platforms from companies like software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider Salesforce, which late last year integrated the feature, allowing people to search on that data in real time.

Until now, CRM packages did not allow marketers to view data collected on Twitter alongside traditional queries. But the real-time search movement has sent companies looking to improve search results back to the drawing board to build engines that can process structured and unstructured data, as well as sentiment analysis, taxonomy, classification and entity extractions, according to Hughes. “The strategy of combining structured and unstructured data will become more important,” he tells me.

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=121505

 Study Finds Marketers Embracing Social Media Marketing In A Big Way

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

By Robin Wauters

From TechCrunch.com 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Integrated marketing services provider Alteriantoday released the results of their seventh annual survey on social media marketing adoption.

The survey covered 1068 marketing professionals worldwide (actually, it was 98% North America and Europe and only 2% Asia Pacific and other regions).

Alterian found that 66 percent of respondents will be investing in social media marketing (SMM) in 2010. Of those, 40 percent said they would be shifting more than a fifth of their traditional direct marketing budget towards funding their SMM activities.

Read the article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/21/AR2010012101040.html

 L.L.Bean Still Tops In Customer Service

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

From article in Mediapost. By Sarah Mahoney

Customers of L.L. Bean aren’t just wearing their duck boots, they’re feeling the love.

The Freeport, Maine-based retailer once again landed in the No. 1 spot in the National Retail Federation/American Express Customers’ Choice survey, followed by Overstock.com, Zappos.com and Amazon.com. (All four ranked in precisely the same order as last year’s survey.)

QVC jumped into No. 5, followed by Coldwater Creek; HSN; Lands’ End, a division of Sears, and JCPenney. Nordstrom and Kohl’s tied for the 10th spot.

Read the article here: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=120495&nid=109870

 2010: The Year Social Marketing Gets Serious

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

By Laurie Sullivan from Mediapost

Marketers will need to start justifying social marketing plans with business cases, objectives and metrics, as the medium moves out of the test phase. In 2009, marketers could brag they had a Facebook fan page or Twitter account, but analysts predict that social media will become a strategic part of marketing efforts next year.

Forrester Research released a list Monday of social computing prediction for 2010. The report suggests that companies that create social councils — cross-functional teams aimed at sharing ideas about social media — will begin to get serious about budgets and structure for these groups. Expect the teams to become strategists. Efforts will likely include policies.

The report also suggests that an increasing number of marketers will adopt listening platforms to monitor social media, Twitter will become more profitable or get acquired, Facebook will take a hands-on approach to protecting members, and incompatible mobile devices in siloed application will shatter the social experience.

Forrester Analyst Augie Ray says in 2010, those who hold the purse strings for budgets will want to see results. “It’s the year social marketing gets serious,” he says.

But rather than knowing how to set up a fan page on Facebook or gain a following on Twitter, marketers must realize that it requires more than recognizing the importance of social media.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=119493

 The Value Of Real-Time Customer Care

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Allen Adamson08.11.09, 05:30 PM EDT

In a virtual marketplace, brands that add a personal touch will stand out–and win.

 

One of the best parts of vacationing in a small town is visiting the local video store, where the proprietor–a scruffy guy who loves everything related to movies–will recommend films that he thinks you’ll love. There’s no scientific algorithm to his suggestions, no data analysis or statistical assessment. The owner makes his recommendations based on bits and pieces of casual conversation with customers.

I was thinking about that video store as I read about the contest hosted by Netflix ( NFLX - news people ), which offered a $1 million prize to anyone who could significantly improve its recommendation system and ended in July. While digital technology has made our lives more convenient in many ways, especially in the way it helps people make buying decisions, smart companies realize that there are some things even the most sophisticated digital applications can’t do. Above all, they can’t replace the personal touch that often helps consumers distinguish one brand from another. In a tough economic climate, real customer care–not virtual–can be the differentiating factor between two competing brands.

 

Read the entire article at http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/11/allen-adamson-marketing-cmo-network-adamson.html?feed=rss_leadership_cmonetwork

 BBB gives advice on how to respond to online customer complaints

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

The old adage is that a satisfied customer will tell three people and an unsatisfied customer will tell 10. However, with the advent of blogs, Twitter and YouTube, disgruntled customers can now share their rant about a company for the whole world to hear. Consumers are taking their complaints online. The Better Business Bureau advises that responding to complaints is necessary if a company wants to maintain a reputation for great customer service.

“The Internet empowers customers to air their grievances like a megaphone to the world which can be a scary prospect for a business owner,” said Kathy Barrett, BBB president. “Instead of being scared, companies should view the Internet as a great tool to work directly with disgruntled customers, fix the issue and hopefully turn them into a repeat customer.”

 Small businesses use social media tools to attract customers

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

By Helen Kaiao ChangSDNN

 

Angela Cortright, founder ofSpa Gregories, which recently opened a branch in Del Mar, uses social media to find new potential customers.

“We’re trying to reach out to the local community through Facebook and Twitter,” she said, “It helps us by word of mouth. This is just a new mouth — it’s a digital mouth, instead of calling my friends.”

Cortright and about 75 other business owners attended a workshop on “Internet Marketing 3.0″ last Friday in Mission Valley. The event organized byScore, a non-profit business training group, was the first of its kind offered by the national network and the highest-ever attended in San Diego. The workshop will be held again on Tuesday in Carlsbad.
Read more:http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-08-03/business-real-estate/small-businesses-use-social-media-tools-to-attract-customers/comment-page-1#comment-10838#ixzz0NDvhoLOm

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