Social Media has given business owners a free platform to blow their horns. What inadvertently they end up doing is – making a laughing stock of their company’s reputation. The trend takes all the more dangerous proportions if there is a fake online panel company involved – as they haven’t got enough money to spend on marketing – they end up spamming social media to get business. What it results in is a complete chaos!! The need of the hour is to understand the best practices for marketing your company’s products/services. The article illustrates 7 marketing gimmicks that online panel companies should completely avoid.
1- SPAM LINKEDIN!!
The most irritating & growing practice on LinkedIn groups is to spam about your company services. It is NOT the right place to market your services. The LinkedIn groups are primarily a means to share across ideas and best practices.
But because it is FREE and has a considerable reach amongst its members – panel companies have found an easy and inexpensive way to SCREAM about their “me too” services.
It really intrigues me that most of the time it is the fake Indian panel companies who are doing so. And shockingly they are doing it repeatedly. Every day they are spamming LinkedIn groups how they have now online panels in 50 countries or how they can conduct studies across the globe.
Such types of marketing messages smell of DESPERATION on the part of a company. – Inexperienced people who have jumped into this business and are now starving for some cash.
For genuine panel companies it is best to completely AVOID pasting their services offerings on the LinkedIn groups. In case they have a unique service offering (for e.g. they have build panels in tough markets like Vietnam) or they have something interesting to share – it is OK to use LinkedIn groups.
It is also the responsibility of the LinkedIn group owners to CLEAN their respective groups of such nefarious activities.
Always remember if SPAMMING could get you business we would have HACKERS and not ENTREPRENEURS running AWESOME businesses!!
2- JUST ASK QUESTIONS!!
My teacher told me “it is OK to ask questions” but as I grew and reached the corporate world my BOSS told me “Don’t ASK questions provide the answers”.
In a grown up world a person who only asks questions – he/she is considered STUPID!! There might be some truth to it also. It is not about asking questions it is asking the relevant questions.
Many business owners who have a complete lack of intellectual capital and want to network – end up just asking questions. This might give you some eyeballs – but after sometime people see through your gimmicks.
Look at a sample what people are asking now a day on LinkedIn “One word which inspires you the most” – does it really matters?? On the surface it might look OK but digging deep down you realize the considered person complete lack of anything worthwhile to say.
Unfortunately here also FAKE Indian panel company owners are at the forefront of this stupidity – if you don’t have the answers; ask questions!!
Ask questions only when you have a genuine problem you want to get solved – although I am still not comfortable with the concept of asking questions on a social media platform. It is better to ask a Subject Matter Expert if you have an issue.
If you don’t have anything interesting to say – SHUT UP YOUR MOUTH – for your own good!!
3- SEND MASS MAILS!!
When the entire world is moving towards ‘CUSTOMIZATION’ – business owners in the online panel industry are still using age old marketing method of mass mailing.
Today with almost every day a new FAKE panel company popping up and spamming potential clients it is best to avoid mass mailing – you would end up getting lost in the chaos.
Customization also does not means that you just put the clients name instead of “DEAR POTENTIAL CLIENT” – what it means is that you need to study your clients – in terms of what research vertical they are working in – what kind of services they might be interested in – and then accordingly draft a mail.
For e.g. if a potential client is into consumer research it would be a waste of words bragging about the B2B panel you have.
One way to avoid your marketing activities getting lost in the crowd – is to “soften” your potential client – which is basically that your name should feel familiar to the client. It might be achieved by regularly attending industry functions and contributing intelligently on social media platforms.
Once you have ‘softened’ the potential target there is a higher probability that your mails would be read.
My suggestion is not to send an intro mail at all!! – The statement might seems scandalous to you but understand the human psyche – WE HATE BEING SOLD TO. Instead write a white paper or a case study and share it across – it would do more good than merely sending a cold intro mail harping about YOU.
The trick to getting client’s attentions is to TALK about them!!
4- MORE VOICES THE MERRIER!!
If you look at your country’s political parties or even large corporate houses – they have a SPOKESPERSON!!
This is done primarily to avoid sending conflicting messages to your audience.
What many panel companies are doing is that every sales person or client servicing executive is sending their own version of your company’s services. It creates 2 MAJOR problems – firstly you end up spamming the social media platforms and secondly the message has multiple versions.
Recently a FAKE Indian panel company has been SPAMMING LinkedIn groups with every client servicing executive harping about their services – AVOID IT!!
You should have just one person given the authority to talk about your company’s services on social media platforms – it might be the owner or someone higher up in the hierarchy. If a lower management level employee says – we are the best!! – It’s HARD for me to believe it!!
Your marketing messages should have SINGULARITY!!
5- BE OVER SMART!!
Some Humans are born with this knowledge that the world has been created to serve them – get a reality check – it is not so!!
A very recent trend that I have seen especially with FAKE panel companies is that as they don’t have anything relevant to say – they keep on sharing articles of other people.
You too must have seen it on LinkedIn – where they will share an article and write just few words of their own like “Know HOW GOOGLE+ is cool” – AVOID IT as people can see through your lack of knowledge.
While it is OK to share articles if you really find it interesting but sharing articles from FORBES or BUSINESS INSIDER (which are already there on LinkedIn Today) is PLAIN STUPIDITY!!
Your marketing messages should be created to ADD VALUE to your client’s life – not to fool them with glamour and fake glitter. Online panel companies who respect the sensibilities of their clients are eventually going to get their business too!!
6- OPEN YOUR MOUTH EVERYWHERE!!
It is one of the most infectious diseases known to human civilization – NOT KNOWING WHEN TO SPEAK!!
My Grandfather who was an army officer used to say “Words are like Bullets – if you waste them too often, one day you will be staring at the enemy – speechless”.
Make every word of your marketing message count – your clients have a very little attention span – avoid wasting it with irrelevant facts.
Many business owners have the tendency of bragging about their services whenever they see even the slightest opportunity – AVOID IT.
Fools use WORDS – a smart person use ACTION!!
7- FAKE IT TO MAKE IT!!
At the end of the day what really matters is how genuine you are.
No matter how much marketing Apple do – we cannot ignore the fact that they have AWESOME products – and they are committed to provide the best services.
To be genuine you don’t have to say it – your action speaks louder than your words. Your clients would you love you – if you are upfront with your strengths and weaknesses.
We all believe people who accept their shortcomings. Super-humans only exist in comics.
If you are in for the long haul please avoid taking short cuts – usually it takes more time!!
Now you have a choice. You can comment, share, or implement. I prefer if you implement, but I’ll appreciate all three – Akshay Kanyal