Tag podcast

The Geography of Marketing: The Podcast Edition

In the past few posts, I’ve placed a lot of emphasis on how geography influences what people buy, how they shop and how they consume content.

Given the fact that consumers act differently based on where they live, it makes sense that marketers have learned to adapt their marketing techniques to meet the needs of the businesses in the geographical regions where they are currently working in.

In addition to the differences in consumer behavior, the industries that marketers work in may be influencing the types of marketing campaigns that are currently being used. In other words, it may be the case that each marketing community adapts its marketing techniques to meet the needs of the primary industries in that region.

However, it may also be the case that marketers in each community are sharing ideas with each other in that region and thus, the same ideas are being spread over and over again.

In order to break this cycle, marketers need to get ideas from others outside of their “bubbles” that they currently live in.

The obvious solution is to attend national or regional events in other parts of the country in order to network and share ideas with marketers who might have different points of view. However, many marketers don’t have the budget for this type of networking.

Another solution is to read books and blog posts from marketers in other areas of the country. This is something that I highly recommend. However, sometimes time is an issue.

That is exactly why I love podcasts.

Podcasts often are a free way to gain valuable insights from marketers around the country or the world, for that matter, in a way that allows you to do something else at the same time, like drive or clean the house.

Podcasts That I’d Recommend

Last year, I wrote a blog post that highlights some really great marketing and technology podcasts, including the BeanCast, ADVERVE, and Marketing Over Coffee. I still listen to many of the podcasts on that list on a regular basis.

However, I’ve added a few others to my rotation. These include:

AMA’s MarketingPower Podcast – In this podcast, marketing thought leaders provide insights about the challenges that face businesses today.

Six Pixels of Separation – Hosted by Mitch Joel, this podcast often features some of the biggest names in the marketing and PR world. This podcast should definitely be on your list.

The Digital Dive Podcast – Based out of Atlanta, this bi-weekly podcast is hosted by Emily Binder and Melanie Touchstone. In each episode, the hosts discuss the current events that are shaping the digital landscape.

There are also a few podcasts that I plan to listen to in the near future, including Chris Brogan’s “The Human Business Way” and Marcus Sheridan’s “Mad Marketing Podcast.”

Finally, my list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention HubSpot’s Marketing Update. The show is filled with useful information that businesses of all sizes can benefit from. In episode #229, Mike Volpe mentioned that the show will soon be available in an audio version. When that happens, it will be a lot easier for people to listen to the show on a more regular basis.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned last year, podcasts are a great source of information.

They give people the ability to increase their knowledge while doing other tasks that need to be done in their day-to-day lives.

Moreover, I feel that podcasts are an important way for marketers to keep up with news and information and get suggestions from other business leaders outside their “bubbles” that they currently live in.

By listening to podcasts, marketers might learn something that could help their businesses gain the edge they need to outsell their competitors. At the very least, they might be entertained for an hour or two.

Photo credit: Compudemano on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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The Geography of Marketing: Staying Connected

The number of people who own smartphones worldwide continues to rise. Therefore, mobile marketing is becoming more important for businesses around the globe.

While the technology that is used in mobile devices has improved markedly in recent years, there are still issues that marketers need to be aware of that can influence the overall effectiveness of their mobile marketing campaigns.

In episode #436 of UNTETHER.tv, Rob Woodbridge interviewed Jasmeet Sethi, Regional Head of Consumer Insights for Ericsson ConsumerLab in India.

In a blog post introducing the episode, Woodbridge explains that Sethi believes the greatest challenge he faces is understanding the user experience for consumers in emerging markets.

“Forget your perceptions of UI/UX if you are thinking of swipes or “pull to refresh” or tap and hold, user experience to Jasmeet means something altogether more fundamental,” writes Woodbridge. “We take for granted the almost pervasive access to high speed wireless data we have at our fingertips but, as you know, in certain parts of emerging countries that doesn’t exist. This is a critical first step in understanding how to build for these markets – if your app or mobile service requires an always-on connection to the stream, it will not work in much of India. This, and many other basic usability requirements, could do irreparable damage to great brands and limit success in these huge markets.”

Back in the United States of America

While having limited access to an always-on data connection and slow download speeds are definitely going to be problems in emerging markets, these issues are also problems for marketers here in the United States. Therefore, the lessons that Woodbridge and Sethi are trying to teach marketers around the world are also valuable to those marketers who are trying to reach U.S. consumers.

According to a report that was released last year by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 77% of adult mobile Internet users in the United States said that they experience “slow download speeds that prevent things from loading as quickly as you would like them to” at least occasionally. In fact, nearly half (46%) of adult U.S. mobile Internet users reported that they experience this problem at least once a week. (Note: Data from this study was also reported in an article written by Amy Gahran on CNN.com in August of 2012.)

An even simpler way to illustrate this problem is to go to the maps that show the 3G and 4G coverage areas for any mobile network operator in the United States.

According the current coverage map for Verizon Wireless, Verizon 4G LTE is available in 480 cities and covers 87% of the U.S. population. However, there are still many areas of the country that still don’t have access to Verizon’s 4G network. In fact, there are major areas on the map where 3G coverage isn’t available. While these areas aren’t places where many people live, they might be places where people travel to. Either way, they are locations where mobile marketing might not be the best option at this point in time.

It should be noted that there are many places around the country, including in the metro areas of Atlanta and Minneapolis/St. Paul, where I have experienced regular data connection problems when I used my 3G smartphone. This includes outdoor spaces, as well as in malls and major retail stores.

In episode 6 of the Digital Dive Podcast, co-hosts Emily Binder and Melanie Touchstone talk about connection issues that they encountered in the metro Atlanta area when vendors used their mobile devices to accept mobile payments with apps like Square or LevelUp. In episode 7, they arrive at the conclusion that the problem is fixed when vendors are connected to a 4G network. Therefore, 4G might be the solution that marketers and entrepreneurs are looking for.

However, keep in mind, that although 4G LTE is available in most urban areas, not everyone has upgraded to a 4G-enabled mobile device.

Therefore, if your mobile marketing campaign requires an always-on data connection, it is highly recommended that you test to make sure that consumers can connect using various types of mobile devices in the geographical areas where the campaign will be running, and definitely test to make sure that they can connect using a 3G network. In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to test at different times of the day using different mobile devices before implementing your mobile marketing campaign. Then, continue to test the data connection availability and download speeds from time to time while the mobile marketing campaign is running.

Final Thoughts

As Woodbridge and Sethi point out in the post introducing episode #436 of UNTETHER.tv, data connection issues and slow download speeds can limit the success of mobile marketing campaigns and possibly cause irreparable damage to great brands.

Although they were talking about marketing to consumers in India and other emerging markets, similar issues are still problems in many parts of the United States.

While having a 4G connection might solve many of these problems, 4G is not available everywhere. And, even in places where it is available, many consumers won’t be able to access it because they haven’t upgraded to a 4G-enabled mobile device.

Therefore, before your business implements a mobile marketing campaign that requires an always-on data connection, it would be a good idea to test the data connection availability and download speeds in the geographical areas where the campaign will be running using a variety of mobile devices during different times of the day. And, definitely make sure that consumers can connect using a mobile device on a 3G network. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to test the data connection availability and download speeds from time to time while the mobile marketing campaign is running.

Finally, if your business plans to offer mobile payment options using Square, LevelUp or some other similar service, it is probably a good idea to make sure that your business is connected to a 4G network. It is also a good idea to test to make sure that everything is running smoothly before you use the service to process transactions during peak sales hours.

Photo credits: LGEPR and ETC@USC on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Content Marketing: The Value of Reruns

The holiday season is fast approaching. With it brings holiday parades, Christmas shopping and gatherings with family and friends.

However, even though there are many additional things that demand your attention, the work still needs to get done.

In fact, chances are that your business has year-end goals that need to be met. This could very well mean many long days (and nights) at the office.

When you combine the daily work responsibilities with the increased activity in your employees’ personal lives, something will have to give.

It is very possible that your business’s content marketing efforts might be the first thing to get pushed aside because it does take time and the return on investment is not always immediately noticeable.

However, while the impact on your business’s bottom line might not be immediately noticeable or even trackable, most experts agree, content marketing often works.

And, now is definitely not the time to let up, particularly if your business can benefit from consumers’ holiday gift-giving traditions. Furthermore, if your business is a B-to-B, now might be the time of year that your customers are making plans for the next fiscal year, particularly if it coincides with the calendar year.

It Pays to Plan Ahead

If your business had the foresight to plan ahead, you might have created a few extra blog posts, white papers or informational videos when your employees had a little extra time on their hands. If so, now would be a great time to add them to your editorial calendar.

However, even if you didn’t think ahead, it doesn’t mean that all is lost.

There is still time to pull in a guest blogger to create some non-branded content that your customers might find useful this time of year. You might even be able to ask employees who aren’t normally involved in your content marketing efforts to submit a blog post. You never know, you might find out that some of your employees have hidden talents that you were unaware of.

Content Marketing Reruns

Another thing to remember is that most people don’t have the time to consume everything that you produce throughout the year.

Therefore, just as television shows air reruns from time-to-time, posting old blog posts or other content on social networking sites might be a great way to keep your customers engaged and informed, with little or no extra effort required. (This is particularly useful if the content isn’t time-sensitive and therefore has a longer shelf life.)

Also keep in mind, people love lists. Therefore, now might be a great time to write a few best-of blog posts that highlight some of your best posts from the past.

Final Thoughts

There are some things that your business can do to keep your customers engaged and informed online, while still accomplishing all the other things that need to get done this time of year.

With the right planning, you won’t have to play role of Ebenezer Scrooge and require employees to work so much that they don’t have time to enjoy the holidays.

This can include posting content that was created ahead of time or pulling in a guest blogger to create non-branded content that your customers might find useful.

Also, keep in mind, just because you posted something a few months ago, doesn’t mean that the information isn’t still valuable to your customers. In fact, your customers probably didn’t see all the content that you created throughout the year.

Therefore, now might be a great time to repost some of your old blog posts on social networking sites or create a few best-of blog posts.

As television shows have demonstrated for years, content that is created might be just as valuable to consumers the second time around.

Photo credit: J.Elliott on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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An Excellent Resource for Information: Podcasts

When people talk about social media, they are usually referring to blogs or social networking sites like Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, and more recently Pinterest. This is not surprising, given the fact that these are the platforms that most consumers are familiar with, and thus, this is where businesses and traditional media tend to focus.

However, there is a type of social media that I find very useful, almost indispensible, that doesn’t receive the attention that it deserves. From the title of this post, you know the amazing resource that I’m writing about is podcasting.

Merriam-Webster defines a podcast as, “A program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet.”

The type of podcasts that I am particularly interested in are those that focus on providing information on a specific topic that might be of interest to a particular subset of the population. Often, the best podcasts give users access to insights from experts that were previously only available via lectures in a classroom or a conference, or via summaries in books, blog posts or articles in magazines and newspapers. The great thing about podcasts is that this information is often available for free and on a regular basis. Even better, it is often delivered in the expert’s own voice.

Furthermore, as Todd Schnick points out in a recent blog post, titled “10 Benefits to Podcasting [New Audio!],” there are several ways that businesses can benefit when they add podcasting to their marketing mix.

Podcasts That I’d Recommend

Given that fact that I’m interested in digital marketing, most of the podcasts that I listen to tend to focus on marketing, social media or technology. Here are a few of the podcasts that I recommend:

ADVERVE – Hosted by Angela Natividad and Bill Green, ADVERVE covers design, ad goodness, brand stuff, pop culture and almost anything else that they can think of. Both hosts are extremely knowledgeable and fun to listen to. I’d definitely add this podcast to your RSS feed.

Be a Beacon Show with David Cohen – This podcast is hosted by David Cohen, brand consultant and artist. The podcast focuses on personal branding and small business entrepreneurship in the age of social information. I met David at the “Shine a Light on Others to Build Your Brand” event at Social Media Atlanta (now Digital Atlanta) back in 2010. David is a very smart guy with some interesting insights to share. If you get a chance, you might also want to check out his doodles.

CNN’s Tech Check Podcast As they say, “The weekly podcast offers a roundup of the week’s technology news, with members of CNN.com’s tech team working to make sense of, and sometimes make light of, the top stories from the digital world.” This podcast regularly features Doug Gross, Stephanie GoldbergBrandon Griggs and John Sutter.

Duct Tape Marketing Moderated by John Jantch, this marketing podcast is definitely worth your time. If the podcast only featured his thoughts on marketing, it would still be a very valuable resource. However, the fact that his podcast features some of the most respected names in Internet marketing today makes it a podcast that you definitely should be listening to.

Intrepid Radio – This podcast is hosted by Todd Schnick, owner of Intrepid Group, LLC. Todd was also a panelist at the Social Media Atlanta “Shine a Light on Others to Build Your Brand” event. He’s a very good guy and his podcast has featured some heavyweight guests, including Guy Kawasaki, David Meerman Scott, Julien Smith, Christopher S. Penn, Jay Baer, and C.C. Chapman.

Marketing Over Coffee – This is, by far, is one of my favorite podcasts. Christopher S. Penn and John J. Wall really know their stuff. If your business is doing anything online, you should give them a listen.

NPR’s On the Media – This podcast is a great way to listen to past episodes that you didn’t have a chance to listen to when the show aired locally on NPR. Hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, On the Media is a very entertaining podcast that covers journalism, technology and First Amendment issues.

Office Hours – Each week, Vanessa Fox, former Google employee and founder of Nine By Blue, covers questions regarding search engine marketing. If you have a question about SEO, search metrics, social media strategies or just about anything else that you can think of when you think about online marketing, Vanessa Fox can probably give you an answer. (Note: There hasn’t been an episode in a while, but I still wanted to include it on the list).

Social Pros Podcast – This is a relatively new podcast that is being moderated by Jay Baer, author of “The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social” (affiliate link). After listening to the first few episodes, I think this podcast should be on your list, too.

The BeanCast – Each week, host Bob Knorpp and his guests discuss the latest news from the marketing and advertising world. This podcast is always insightful and entertaining. It’s another one of my favorite podcasts.

This Week in Law – I recently added this podcast to my RSS feed. In each episode, Denise Howell and the TWiL panel talk about breaking issues regarding technology law.

There are many other great marketing and technology podcasts out there—all a person has to do is do a Google search to get additional suggestions.

However, if your favorite marketing or technology podcast is not on this list, please let me know about it in the comments section below, as I’m always looking for additional sources of information.

Final Thoughts

Podcasts are a great resource for information.

No matter what you are interested in, I’m sure there is someone out there podcasting about that topic. And, if not, this might be something that you might want to consider doing.

Keep in mind, podcast listeners aren’t the only ones who benefit from podcasts. As Todd Schnick points out in his blog post, podcasting can also be very beneficial to your business.

Photo credit: Colleen AF Venable on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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