Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

1-800 Contacts Sues Over Keywords Again

1-800-Contacts is suing again. They filed suit against LensWorld.com this past Tuesday, Jan. 8th. Competitor LensWorld.com bid on the keyword “1800Contacts” so when someone types it into the search engine, a LensWorld ad would show. Nothing new here (this is a routine practice in many industries, with both sides participating).

1-800 Contacts lost a case against another rival WhenU.com on the same issue. This set a precedent and following rulings were that keyword advertising isn’t considered a trademark violation. 1-800-Contacts is based in Utah and that’s where the irony starts. 1-800-Contacts was part of the opposition this past April to a controversial law to ban bidding on competitor’s keywords. Even though they were guilty of the same. The law was dropped the day it was to go into affect after Utah lawmakers had some discussions with search engines. In the meantime it was an embarrassment, as is this new development.

Facing a Reputation Crisis, Network Solutions to Change Front-Running Practice

As we reported yesterday, Network Solutions has been in a lot of deep-water after many people discovered the company was guilty of "front-running"–the practice of registering a domain name after someone has checked on its availability.

Today, CNET is reporting the company is reeling from the backlash and has announced they will make changes to their practice.

One change is that the company will offer only an "under construction" page for sites that it has reserved…Another change coming soon is that Network Solutions will register domains only when people search for domains from the company’s home page. No longer will it do so when people use the company’s Whois search page.

It make you wonder what went through the minds of the executive that make these reputation-risky business decisions–probably just dollar signs.

As Real Estate Cools, Realtors Manage their Online Reputations

InmanTV has an interesting video interview with Damon Pace, the CEO of Incredible Agent. About two minutes into the segment, Pace discuss the importance of real estate agents keeping track of their online reputation–especially using Google Alerts.

With the housing market struggling in many parts of the US, home sellers are going to be more discerning about who they select to sell their home. As Pace suggests, they’re going beyond simply asking their friends “which Realtor do you recommend” and are instead turning to social networks and other social media.So, what can a Realtor do to ensure the web presents a positive reflection of their reputation?

Here are some quick thoughts:

  1. Make sure you’re managing your Google reputation. Relying on the single page profile you get from your brokerage web site, is not enough.

Apple Forces Popular Blog to Shut Down

iStock_000000582779XSmallIt’s not my intention to host a series of articles pointing out Apple’s missteps in social media, but the company continues to put its foot in it.

This time, Apple bullied Think Secret–a popular Apple rumor blog–to cease existence. The shut down comes as part of a settlement that at least protects Think Secret’s sources.

Here’s the statement posted on the Think Secret site…

Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret’s publisher, said “I’m pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits.”

How to Create Buzz with Word of Mouth Marketing

“There is only one thing worse than being talked about, that is not being talked about”
-Oscar Wilde

Yesterday I heard Andy Sernovitz speak about word of mouth marketing – one of the most imaginative ways to attract customers. Just like we want to be friends with and around people we like, we buy from companies we like.

How do you practice Word of Mouth Marketing? Give people a reason to talk about you and make it easy for them to talk about you. After all, good marketing is starting and continuing a conversation.

How many blogs does Google maintain about their products? Over 90! They keep pinging us with messages about updates, features, innovative ways to use their products, new products, and partnerships. The media and bloggers keep writing about them, even small things that would otherwise be boring – like that one more city has been added to Street View.

Does Apple Really Want the Crazed Few Defending its Reputation?

iStock_000000582779XSmallReading Tom Krazit’s excellent article on Apple’s hard core fans reminded me of my own recent experience. In my attempt to explain why I thought Apple could no longer rely on its evangelist users, I was attacked, mocked, and abused by the very same group I was discussing.

Krazit observed the same thing with one of his articles…

Nothing in the article suggested that Mac users are revolting against Leopard, or that serious Leopard glitches have knocked the Mac user base offline, or anything even close to that effect. The majority of the discussion in the Talkback section, however, descended into the usual Mac vs. PC flame war. In addition to attacking each other, several people took me to task, saying that since they had never had a problem with their Mac or with their Leopard installation, I was clearly manufacturing problems as part of a sinister plan to either attack the Mac and put Apple out of business at the bidding of Microsoft, or through some naked self-interest of both myself and CNET to generate page views.

Your Viral Marketing Message Dissected

Sometimes the turn of a phrase or even just the lack of a single word can be all the difference between delivering a powerful and highly proficient viral marketing message or missing the boat entirely. Gord Hotchkiss has recently posted an excellent breakdown of what turns a rumor or message into that successful viral entity all marketers hope for.

Gord begins with “Jumping The Weak Ties”. This is the concept of creating an idea compelling enough that it will have the ability to transcend a social group and leap out to other groups, creating the viral buzz. Gord also addresses “Moral Hazard” at the same time, which is the idea that even a compelling idea, when laden down with conditions, may fail to be able to break the barrier of the initial social group and ultimately fail. Gord does a nice job of covering historical research on these ideas as well as offering up some well thought out and useful examples.