The Evolved Marketing Model


I hear a lot of hand wringing about how marketers don’t know how to leverage the new media well.  Agencies seems clueless or if they do understand new media they tend to “black box” it making it hard for the mortal marketer to follow what they mean and more importantly what results they think a marketer can reasonably expect.  


So let’s demystify this “new media” thing (including viral marketing) with an evolved approach that is pertinent and practical.   


Evolved marketing includes a well balanced portfolio of new media and old media. Largely new media is about tapping into the viral marketing phenomenon – web 2.0, social networking, blogging and keyword seeding and so forth. 


The trouble is that viral marketing tactics tends to fall between the “agency cracks”. Traditional agencies haven’t a clue and PR agencies think of viral marketing as something they don’t really do because they are focused on getting pick-up in the New York Times.


Hence viral marketing is sort of like direct marketing was in the early 1990’s. Something advertisers played with but didn’t really take seriously. 


Think again.


Evolved marketers are recognizing that viral marketing and public relations are evolving into something called PVR = public + viral relations.  These functions are evolving into a singular function because the Internet is one big content serving engine (as our CEO is fond of saying) with a heavy dose of direct response thrown in. Marketers need to tap into the paradigm shift if they want to understand how to evolve their marketing models. This new PVR model is executed via strategic “content campaigns” where marketers concentrate content creation and content distribution into a theme and drive that content within a timeframe across tactics – SEO, blogs, public relations and article distribution etc. Today, most marketers take a slio’d approach — the SEO agency optimizes keywords and the PR agency drafts release about whatever and the marcom agency suggests promotions. None of it working together – all of it sub-optimized. 


So first evolve your thinking, then evolve your agencies’ thinking and you will evolve your results.  

Judy Shapiro

What’s the matter with agencies today?

I’ve looked at life from both sides now – the agency and client side. And here’s a simple truth — agencies don’t get it until clients get it.  Agencies have never led clients in marketing innovation. Why? Simply because there’s little money in it. Innovation takes people resource investment and risk – both of which agencies are reticent to do.

So clients must push their agencies and only then will agencies deal with it.  Look at PR. It is stuck in an old model of doing PR to get coverage in the New York Times. Nice? Sure. But does that drive sales? Hardly.

Today for example, the PR model is evolving right under the noses of the agencies into something called PVR = Public + Viral relations (ok – I use that term since I don’t know what else to call it). PR should be used to gain SEO visibility which gets sales. Don’t look to your PR agency to explain this to you – they don’t even know how to do a viral relations campaign, much less merging PR and viral relations to optimize web presence. I challenge you to ask your PR agency to do it . At best,  they will look at you like you have 2 heads – at worse they will try and talk you out of it.

Pity — because PVR works. At my company, we built a base of millions of users using just PVR. But agencies won’t embrace it because there are no huge media buys associated with it — no large budgets — no glamourous WSJ articles to point to.  

Take it from me (after having spent lots of $$$ in agency fees) – agencies don’t innovate – they follow.  Maybe that’s why clients are frustrated.

Judy Shapiro


It’s all about share of mind

There are lots of ways to reach people online – blogs, podcasts, social networks, YouTube. You name it and a new tactic seems to come out of the woodwork every other day. And sure – everyone wants to get noticed but in business, getting noticed is nice but getting lots of quality attention is even better and that’s the name of the game.  

Getting noticed by people who can advocate your product or service is the secret sauce to successful PR and viral marketing (a.k.a. PVR – public + viral relations ). From social networkers and customers to the press, Trenchwars is all about fighting the visibility battle & winning!  

Here are some practical steps you can take to start your own PVR trenchwar campaign.   

1) Start simple.

Set realistic goals that you can achieve.  A starting goal for instance might be to just identify the big bloggers in your segment and track them. Respond to their posts and if appropriate submit content to them. 

2) Track your progress.

Sign up for Google alerts about your company, your competitors and your industry. See who’s making noise and how. There are valuable lessons. This service is free and it is chock full of insight. 

3) Incrementally add tactics.

Once you are comfortable in the blog-o-sphere – add one tactic at a time. Maybe you do a fun YouTube schtick. Post and experiment. Learn how get traction. Then be more aggressive – add more tactics as you master their value to your business. 

4) Create a User Forum. 

This is a powerful way to engage your customers (and competitors). Get social networkers to be moderators. They will be happy to play as it gives them a platform too. 

5) Work the Press Release Angle.

Create a PR engine by sending out lots of releases (and I mean lots). If you can stand it – try and do one a week. There are tons of free distribution channels out there so the only cost is your time to create the release. Your goal should not really be to tempt the New York Times to print a story – but rather to gain visibility to your target. What is news for the media and what is news to your prospective customer is entirely different. Recognize that distinction and play it up. As an aside, remember releases are usually written in a “neutral” third party voice. Stick to that – it sounds more credible. Again – you will see how you are doing via the Google alerts. 

Finally – be patient. It can months of work before you start seeing results – just like farmer can not reap the wheat without first doing the prep. With patience, your crop will come in 🙂  

Judy Shapiro

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