Marketing Monday

Marketing Monday: Hulu

Marketing Monday profiles a cool person, website, or business doing more online. Got an idea? Contact me so I can write about it.

People always ask me: How do you get by without cable? I say that my Google Reader keeps me in touch with what’s going on in the blogosphere/pop culture and I listen to NPR for my news. Both of these are true, that’s part of the reason I can go without a cable bill. I do, however, get my television zoning out pleasure courtesy of Hulu.

There is two main ways for media companies to make money online: 1) charge users a fee to access the site or 2) get advertisers to foot the bill and offer the users free access. Hulu has opted for the latter, and may or may not be making enough money to support themselves. Regardless of whether Hulu is turning a profit at the moment though, they are doing interesting things online.

Hulu is having customers chose their viewing experience… and getting customer data in the process.
Several times recently, I was given options for commercials. Did I want to watch a 1 minute 30 second long commercial about Nuvaring before the show began or did I want several shorter commercial breaks? Did I want to watch the stylish, tech, or speed-oriented commercial for Google Chrome? (Part of me also wonders also if there is some ad targeting going on based on my age, sex, and other demographics.)

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Marketing Monday: Lil Wayne

Every Monday, I feature some cool marketing, be it something that a person, business, or organization is doing. Please tip me off if you have an idea of what the BE Blog could feature!

Lil Wayne, courtesy of NPR.

Except for listening to the rap/hip hop on occasion (usually while driving or on a treadmill), I hadn’t thought much about Lil Wayne until last week. The rapper was busted for having a concealed weapon, and while they had initially talked about him possibly going to jail for multiple years, it looks like he’s going there for a least one.

But this guy is no slacker. Here’s what Lil Wayne is doing right, post having done something wrong:

He recorded nine music videos in two days. According to a commenter on the NPR story, Elvis did the same thing before going into the Army.

He has twenty songs pre-recorded and ready to go. Yup, that’s an album’s worth. Sure, if some get leaked, he might have to think of more (the hype alone might be worth leaking a few on purpose) but all this groundwork is part of the plan. According to NPR:

“He has a label, Young Money Entertainment, that’s going to keep him front and center while he’s in jail. They are moving from their headquarters in New Orleans to New York, to be close to him while he’s at Rikers Island…His label has made every effort to make it seem like he isn’t gone while he’s actually gone. When he gets out, he may be bigger than he was when he left.”

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Marketing Monday: Next Step Chocolate Fest And Silent Auction

Most of the time, I try not to use this blog to promote anything in particular but I do want to let people know about an event that’s coming up. (Full disclosure: I am on the board of this organization.) Domestic violence is an issue close to my heart and answering the phone line for a couple years only solidified this belief.

Next Step Domestic Violence Project is holding their annual Chocolate Festival and Silent Auction on February 13. It’s the organization’s biggest fundraiser and every year, Next Step looks to tweak it to make it better. This year is the first time they are using social media to promote the event. (Gee, I wonder which board member pushed that one…)

Here are a few things NS is doing to promote this event, both online and off.

All the board members are contacting businesses for donations, and I’ve noticed a much higher success rate via email.
If you have a lot of information to give someone, it feels like you completely and blindly attack them when it’s over the phone:

“Hi my name is Nicole Ouellette and I’m a board member of the Next Step Domestic Violence Project. We’re soliciting donations for our annual Chocolate Festival and Silent Auction fundraiser on Feb. 13. Is your business interested in making a donation?”

Could I make that any shorter? No. If you were listening to that on the other end, would you feel overwhelmed? I sure would!

In each email, I shared the Next Step’s website address and Facebook page so that those I would solicit would understand the legitimacy of the organization. So if you’re an organization that’s hesitating to get a website, there’s a compelling reason to finally do it.

The Next Step Facebook page has been very active, which has grown the fan base.
The Next Step Facebook page has recieved more fans since beginning its daily posting of a domestic violence fact. And building a lot of fans on your Facebook business page is not only a good way to make you feel popular but when you do have an event or idea, you suddenly have a much larger, more engaged group of people to share it with.

We created an event associated with the page, and invited our friends.
Nothing like using a little social media peer pressure. In creating an event and getting people to RSVP, as an organization we can have an idea of who is and isn’t coming

I made a web-sized ‘ad’ that people could share on their websites or Facebook pages.
If something is already created and formatted correctly, people are much more likely to share it. Events are no exception.

Creating a small text ad that is 450 pixels wide and putting it on my Facebook page made it easy for other board members and fans of the cause to share the event with their friends, on their Facebook page or on their blogs.

Since Facebook is such a visual interface, taking advantage of a ‘photo’ along with the event listing seemed like a good idea.

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Marketing Monday: Buying In Bulk, Social Media Style

Marketing Monday is a weekly feature that showcases a cool company, individual, or application of internet marketing. Got an idea? Send it to me!

So a completely serendipidous and slightly odd opportunity came over my Facebook feed this week. A couple who happen to be my friends own Barkwheats, a Maine-based organic grain-free dog biscuit company. Their newest flavor treat involves blueberries so they had an opportunity to buy bulk organic Maine blueberries at $2/pound. The price, however, would be even lower if more boxes would be bought so he passed on the opportunity to his Facebook friends.

The catch? The berries came in 30 pound boxes. Mission still accomplished. We bought enough so the price ended up being $1.75/pound. But how?

The world is my freezer, well, in January anyway. What to do with all these berries?

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Marketing Monday: Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts

Know of a company or individual marketing themselves well online? Let me know about it and they could be featured on Marketing Monday!

The human spirit is often most inspiring in the middle of terrible events. The earthquake in Haiti was certainly on everyone’s minds this past week. I was personally quite proud of the role that internet marketing and in particular social media played in not only raising awareness but fundraising around this tragedy. Here are a few ways that the internet moved efforts along:

Social media resulted in pressure to give.
I think we can all agree that sometimes, peer pressure can be good. In the case of the Haiti earthquake, on Friday afternoon, I felt like the only person on Twitter who hadn’t donated to the cause. And I felt guilty, which made me finally make my own donation.

In addition to regular media coverage, social media was able to bring up-to-date and user-generated information about the latest news in Haiti.

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