Archive for May, 2008

30th

But first… Why are Friday’s SO much better than Monday’s?!?! …

Been a while since I posted. Been working on the underpinnings of this Blog. Switched from blogspot to WordPress, hosted on my insurance technologies site. From a visitor standpoint, everything is the same. But now I have a little more control of site technology and content histories. Might be a better long-term strategy. Took a little longer than I wanted, but..you know…cobbler’s children. Had a hard time getting IT resources!!! Pesky clients taking up all the bandwidth. LOL.

Also been focused on setting the agenda and speakers for PIMA MarkeTTech 2008 in November in Baltimore at the Marriott Inner Harbor. (Btw, check out the new PIMA site!! Very cool new design! YES!) Got what I hope to be an innovative opening keynote – Kristin Brewe, the creator of Erin Esurance. You’ve probably seen Erin on TV commercials – cartoon action hero, fighting crime, and rep’ing Esurance – Quote, Buy, Print. Should be a terrific story. Erin Esurance is one of the top icon properties in MySpace and Facebook. For a budget way under G-co and Prog, they’ve accomplished similar results in the viral marketing space. Also looks like we have a rep coming from MySpace and potentially one of the authors of Groundswell – awesome book. Should be a GREAT program.

Part Four: Viral Marketing and Referrals

Please comment on any of this.

Aren’t referrals the Holy Grail of sales and marketing? (By the way, speaking of Holy Grail, saw the new Indiana Jones movie. Einhh. Shia LaBoef saved the movie – my opinion of course. I also think he might have done wonders for Harley sales to the next gen…)

So what better way to generate leads and sales than by getting current customers to recommend their friends (who are also likely to be in the same life-stage) to your product??? And how easy is that with email and links? I think, again my opinion, that we haven’t even begun to tap into this awesome power.

That’s why I think it’s critically important to start using things like “Email this page to a friend” messaging in Web page design templates, Facebook sites, MySpace sites, etc.. Simple but useful stuff, perhaps even cool new tools ‘sponsored’ by the insurance company (Al Drowne’s idea). It seems to also make sense to give people some sort of offer for referring friends. Understanding that State DOI’s have rules against – I forget the word – comment if you know it – engaging in too much of this kind of incentive, but a free bumper sticker, some cool $2 chotchkie, anything like that is probably OK. The point is, as with any sales effort, when someone makes a purchase, at the point of sale, ask for referrals. Hey, give it a try and track the results. Do A/B tests, etc. Seems like it might be good.

So we’ve talked about the growing trend and perhaps a new ‘affinity’. Then we discussed some of the public social networks, and lastly, some ideas on sources of software for private networks that you control. The point of all this, again my opinion, is to GET IN THE GAME. The more I read and learn about social networks and the Web, the more passionate I become about the fact that we need to understand and leverage. As affinity and association insurance marketers, as well as agent-driven marketers of insurance, we all need to ENGAGE in this medium. Last one there is a rotten egg.

Pictures…

Hey, shot some rugby this week. Got some BLOOD! (click to enlarge)

Copyright © 2008 Mike Wise
All rights reserved.
8th

Part Three:

Private Networks –

Please comment on any of this.

Embedded – customizable, plug-and-play utilities

Some possible sources of SN software to plug into your site…
http://www.smallworldlabs.com/blog/calling-all-competitors
http://www.alstrasoft.com/efriends.htm
http://www.onesite.com/
http://www.kickapps.com/

Lots of others…some open-source

Starting conversations, seeding conversations — What are some do’s and don’t's?

Moderating — should the good, the bad, and the ugly all remain on the site? Will users see through it if only the positive comments are left in view?

Didn’t SN’s used to be called Forums?

Not everything goes nuts right away. The activity ebbs and flows — that’s OK, right?

Some comments are out in left field, some aren’t. Some Social Networks rate content and the subject matter experts so that different SME’s are more highly valued than others. Interesting concept that makes sense.

Common Objections I’ve heard:

What about negative comments if we did something bad/wrong? We don’t want people slamming us on our own site?!!?! Any thoughts?

What about compliance — user-generated content on company-sponsored pages? Are Disclaimers enough to keep the lawyers at bay?

What about “Profile Burnout” — will people be constantly creating profiles in order to play in the game? If it’s important, yes! I’ve heard there is an increasing volume on the need for standards within Social Networks so that people can maintain one profile and link-in the data into the various networks they join.

Btw, LinkedIn — I just read: more than 20 million registered users. (source: Wikipedia)

A book recommendation from Bill Tyson, Ampac. Scroll down the search results to see others.

Unrelated:

I sat on a panel discussion here in Cleveland last week. All about the evolution of Web content. See more here…(PPT slides coming soon to the Web Association site)

http://www.webassociation.org/eventDetails.cfm/eventid/27

Please comment on any of this.

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