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Posts Tagged ‘Tony Hsieh’

Pros On Downturn-Era Digital Marketing: ‘Someone’s Laughing All The Way To The Bank’

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From left: Moderator Larry Weintraub of Fanscape; Translation LLC’s Lee “Chappy” Chapman; The Associated Press’ Paul Borgese; JumpTap’s Sean Cowan; and Razorfish’s Shiv Singh being introduced by AgencySpy editor Matt Van Hoven

Last night’s mediabistro.com panel discussion, “Digital Marketing in a Downturn,” packed Manhattan’s Tribeca Cinemas with media professionals from all parts of the industry. Interactive and digital marketing strategists shared best (and worst) practices in a recession, and advocated changing your mindset to yield successful solutions. “Digital versus traditional — I don’t think it’s the right question anymore,” said Lee “Chappy” Chapman, director of strategy, branding and consumer markets, for Translation LLC. “We live in a digital world. Our clients are asking for integrated solutions.”

In today’s tumultuous media landscape, brands are faced with what Fanscape CEO and co-founder Larry Weintraub, who moderated the conversation, dubbed a “double trouble spot” — the need to reach customers in new ways, and with limited budgets. Weintraub’s question to the panelists: How can brands act now to get consumers engaged, and how can they use digital marketing to drive their longevity? Shiv Singh, who spearheads social influence marketing at Razorfish, said, “The brand doesn’t control the message anymore. It comes from the community, and it requires a whole new language.”

Part of that language includes jargon for the community itself, Weintraub told attendees — the “gatekeepers” (those who have popular Web sites/blogs); the “influencers” (those within the communities on sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter); and the “individuals,” (solo consumers on message boards, wikis and blog comment areas). Weintraub singled out Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh as a master of present-day marketing that has company leaders serving as brand ambassadors who engage directly with consumers, rather than mere figureheads. “I don’t know when he has time to be CEO of the company,” Weintraub quipped in reference to Hsieh’s hands-on approach with Twitter and other social media tools. “User-generated content is the fulcrum that’s binding us. Traditional media is supplemental,” Chapman asserted.

So how are brands harnessing digital platforms to draw consumers? Examples, along with video from the event, after the jump.

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PRWeek EIC: Social Media’s Influence ‘Terrifying, But Ultimately Edifying’

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PRWeek EIC Keith O’Brien discusses customer service and branding at mediabistro.com’s Social Media Panel.

Here’s something to think about next time a customer service line puts you on hold: Online networking is quickly making happy customers a top priority for media companies. Tuesday night’s mediabistro.com panel discussion “The Customer is the Company” brought together top editors and executives at downtown Manhattan’s Tribeca Cinemas Gallery to talk about how tools like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace have shifted the power of branding from advertisers to customers.

“Customers have the most impact on a company’s brand,” said Thor Muller, CEO of the customer soapbox GetSatisfaction.com. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark agreed, adding that monitoring customer satisfaction not only gives a firm valuable intelligence, but also creates brand loyalty. As Wired contributing editor Jeff Howe put it, “There’s a lot of goodwill that can be bought very cheaply” by being nice to customers.

When it comes to customer opinion shaping brand perception, “it’s always been happening, but you just didn’t know about it,” moderator and PRWeek editor-in-chief Keith O’Brien told FBNY at the post-panel reception. The shift of control that comes with the rise of social media and the communication channels it affords, has been “terrifying, but ultimately edifying,” he said. “Smart companies will tie it into their business.”

So who’s benefiting from service with a virtual smile? Video interviews after the jump.

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Can’t Get No Customer Satisfaction? Learn How

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“Newspapers, magazines, and editors ignore crowdsourcing at their own peril,” Wired‘s Jeff Howe told mediabistro.com in a recent interview. “From the perspective of a journalist, the crowd is a threat. From the perspective of publishers and editors the crowd is also a threat, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity.”

So what does that mean for companies trying to prevail in a down economy? It means the customer is always right — now more than ever! Social media is rapidly changing the way companies operate, so now’s the time to learn how you can harness the power of the crowd to stay ahead. Tonight, check out mediabistro.com’s social media panel, The Customer is the Company: How Social Media is Changing Business, at the Tribeca Cinemas Theater. Our panel of experts will discuss how to use community and crowdsourcing to your benefit. Speakers include Craiglist founder Craig Newmark, PR Week editor-in-chief Keith O’Brien, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Get Satisfaction CEO Thor Muller, Fast Company‘s Lynne D. Johnson, FreshBooks’ Saul Colt, and Wired contributing editor Jeff Howe.

This event is sold out in the main theater, but you can still join us for the simulcast in the bar, where the talk will be streamed in real time. And don’t forget to mix and mingle with the panelists after the discussion!