Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

When User Generated Video Contests Backfire

One of the hottest marketing trends of late is to get your customers to create your next ad campaign for you. It worked for Doritos and their Super Bowl ad contest, but sometimes it can backfire, as Chevy can attest to.

Malibu Caribbean Rum is the latest big brand to get its reputation slightly singed when their YouTube video contest backfired. Malibu asked for video entries, offered a $25k prize and even had Efren Ramirez of “Napoleon Dynamite” help with the judging.

Unfortunately, when the winner was declared, some entrants cried fowl, suggesting that contest was rigged.

The Online Reputation Management of Gordon Brown, the New UK PM

It seems like its been planned for a best part of a decade but today finally saw Tony Blair hand over the keys to Ten Downing Street to Gordon Brown. This of course gives us the perfect opportunity to have a quick look into how well Brown and his spin doctors are getting on in the social media space.

Youtube – not surprisingly there are plenty of clips of the new PM delivering speeches on the video sharing site. Most tend to be straight forward footage of Gordon delivering the oratory, but it’s the comments where it gets nasty. If you think some of the digg comments can get mean its worth seeing the bile spilled on this video though there does seem to be a few supporters of GB helping fight his corner. Still better to let the discussion take place; even if it isn’t entirely flattering. The nose picking clip is a little cringe-worthy though. 2/5

BlogStorm – Bloggers Criticized for Microsoft "Spokesblogging" Ads

If you’re reading this post on Monday morning, boy did you miss a flare-up over the weekend. I don’t even know where to begin!

The summary is something like this. Some well known bloggers provided quotes for Microsoft ads run by Federated Media. Valleywag jumped on the opportunity to question the ethics of said bloggers. Some bloggers, such as Om Malik, apologized, while others stood their ground. Federated Media’s John Battelle apparently tried to explain his actions and apologize, which annoyed the heck out of TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington.

There’s so much more to this story, but it’s Sunday evening and, well, it would take a huge post to summarize everything. I’ve not read every detail, but here’s what I’m thinking.

When Facing a Reputation Crisis Be Nice to The New York Times

Toy maker RC2 is facing a reputation crisis over the recall of 1.5 million Thomas the Tank Engine toys, contaminated with lead-based paint.

The company has thus far refused to discuss the recall – which includes products manufactured over a two year period – but its biggest mistake may have been to piss-off The New York Times.

Company executives did not return repeated phone calls left at their homes and offices. A manager at the RC2 factory in Dongguan detained a New York Times reporter for more than nine hours after he had been admitted to the premises by security guards to ask questions about the operation.

It’s worth pondering whether the NYT story might have been shorter and less damaging, had RC2 not detained its reporters for 9 hours and actually explained to them all the steps the company is taking to protect the public.

Dell Still in Reputation Management Kindergarten

Learning to become radically transparent and engaging social media, is not something that can be learned overnight, especially for a large corporation such as Dell. Having lived through their own reputation nightmare, the company is taking great leaps in being more open and honest with its customers.

They recently gaffed, when they tried to silence a Dell kiosk sales staffer, who had shared 22 tips for getting a better deal on your next Dell computer. They overreacted, but they quickly listened to the blogosphere and made a quick change of direction.

Ok, we goofed.   We shouldn’t have sent a notice.  To my earlier point, we appreciate the reminder from the community.  Point taken.

Word-of-Mouth the Most Influential for B2B Execs

Over at eMarketer, they’ve compiled some recent reports that suggest executives in business to business industries rely heavily on referrals and word of mouth, when making buying decisions.

“One-to-one communications make the difference in the B2B industry,” says eMarketer Senior Analyst Lisa Phillips. “Word-of-mouth can be generated from trade events such as shows and conferences. The Internet helps to sustain marketing momentum.”

Internet channels also look like they’re playing a strong part in influence business buying decisions. Who’s influenced by what they see on the web?

  • Online magazines influence 36.5%
  • Search engine natural listing 24.1%
  • Technology blogs 19.6%
  • Media/analyst blogs 10%
  • Paid search ads 6.8%
  • Vendor blogs 4.6%
  • Unsolicited email 4%
  • RSS feeds 3.6%
  • Podcasts 2.7%

Why You Need a Chief Listening Officer

I love David Jackson’s suggestion that every company should have a CLO – Chief Listening Officer. He suggests that marketing shouldn’t be a one-way conversation, and you certainly shouldn’t rely on an annual survey of customers, when determining satisfaction.

In many companies, research into the customer experience is simplistic and ineffective, based on what I call the ‘annual do you love us survey’. To be effective, experience-based research has to gather feedback at all the key stages where a customer does business with you, as well as the overall relationship. Monitoring customer interactions provides valuable information on how the company is doing; actionable data to drive continuous improvement. It is this cycle of feedback and improvement that underpins many companies’ success in building a loyal customer base.