Great Marketing From Successful Companies
Monday, December 17, 2012
Wist and the
Great Customer Service/Social Media combo
Wist is amazing at the fun
marketing technique, combined with some of the best customer service you will
ever find – and we’re not just saying that because they’re ASBA’s new office
supply partner. They have consistently won The Best of Arizona Business since
2006 and it doesn’t look like they’ll be stopping any time soon.
Wist’s social media
marketing combines two key marketing techniques: creating content around
interesting fringe topics and producing engaging content that doesn’t overtly
push a sale. The first one can be difficult for companies with "boring”
products. If the marketing director at Wist had said "Office products? Who gets
excited about office products?” then no one would be excited about Wist’s
products. Instead, they created a relatable marketing campaign, using random
information and bringing it back to their products. (Check out their "This Day
in History” posts on Facebook) The second component to these posts is that they
are not overtly asking you to buy something. With posts promoting their
suppliers or Local First Arizona, they are gaining your trust by not pushing a
particular item on you. The marketing team is simply showing you what they have
to offer: local, friendly service and great products that can be conformed to
Apple and the
anti-Social Media, pro-Education
Apple is on the other end.
Until July 2011, they pretty much ignored Facebook. And while 8.2 million
people "like” them, they don’t post anything on their page. It’s barren,
unofficial, almost forgotten, and that’s how they want it to be. As Todd
Wasserman puts it, "Apple is a
great example of a brand that's too busy -- or likes to present itself as too
busy -- for social media because it's improving its products.” Simplicity
is key for Apple. Walk into an Apple store and you won’t find a million
products being shoved into your line of vision – they are all lining the walls,
leaving the majority of the space for their customers to engage with their
It’s important to remember
that Apple also spent millions on ad campaigns, partnered with higher education
facilities and managed to completely reinvent our way of communicating and
experiencing media (iTunes, anyone?). So, while Apple has avoided social media,
they have thrown themselves into other avenues of advertising and increasing
One example is their
partnership with universities. In the late 80’s, Apple began pushing for their
products in places of education. Most who went to school in the 90’s remember
Apple computers, and many universities in the States continue to buy Apple.
Why? Because Apple worked with 28 leading universities in the United States and
Canada to create a product specifically designed to meet their needs. The
benefit to Apple would be gaining a loyal base of consumers – if college kids
started off their education using a Mac, maybe that loyalty would follow them
into their workplace. Essentially, this was product placement in the real
world. Unfortunately for Apple, while they continued to have a loyal customer
base with educational facilities, they failed to see that transfer of loyalty
with the consumer until the 2000’s – right around the time that social media
got big. While they did not promote through social media, Apple created
products that enhanced the online and communication experience. So, more
important than a transfer of loyalty, was Apple’s ability to adapt its products
for the customer’s needs – first with education, then with the internet age –
and allowing their marketing to adapt with them.
Geico and the
Quick! Name the insurance
company with the Gecko!
Created after some confusion
regarding the pronunciation of their name, Geico has successfully created a
brand image through its cockney accented spokes…lizard. And they aren’t the
only ones. "Mayhem” from AllState has a popularity of over 1.4 million people
on Facebook; the laid back "Mac” from Apple’s 2006-2009 commercials increased
the company’s sales by nearly 40% in their first year; and "Flo, the
Progressive Girl” has 3 million more likes than "Mayhem”, was heralded as "the
commercial break's new sweetheart" by the Boston Herald, and even inspired a few Halloween costumes.
You might recognize "Boom”
from LoudRumor.com. He makes the rounds at local community and ASBA networking
events, representing the company in his green spandex super-hero costume. And
he’s a great example of a local business’ mascot or spokesperson who is
memorable and great for marketing. Which isn’t surprising considering that Loud
Rumor is a marketing firm. But don’t let that deter you. Create a memorable
mascot and promote, promote, promote!
Just beware of the Quiznos creature.
Ultimately deemed too disturbing for customers, they were stopped after the
negative reaction affected business. So, no spongemonkeys, please.
and Small Business Saturday
We, here at ASBA, got just as
excited about Small Business Saturday as American Express. And while not
everyone was as enthusiastic, there is something everyone can agree on:
American Express gets a lot of "free”
marketing through this campaign. So, what can Small Business learn from Big
Business in this case? Promoting good things can really pay off. With small
business sales reaching $5.5 billion on just that Saturday, you can guess how
much American Express made through fees and promotion.
This is actually a very easy
and affordable way to get your name out there. While AmEx gave everyone a $25
gift card or rebate for spending money on that Saturday, you can do something
as simple as sponsor a little league team or charity walk, have your staff
volunteer for a cause, encourage a charity to promote through your business.
GoDaddy.com (a local company, headquartered in Scottsdale) sponsors Danica Patrick,
who also has worked as the company’s spokesperson, and gives to a list of
charities. ‘Tis the season for giving. This might be the perfect time to give
back and promote your business at the same time.
*ASBA members! Wist is
offering an 85% discount, with an additional 10% discount at checkout. There is
no minimum for free, next-day delivery, and through December, they are offering
2 free Harkins theatre tickets for first time orders of $100 or more! See? This
is part of the reason we love these guys!
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