Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Seven Tips to Building Your Online Tribe

April 8, 2014

Tribesman

“I’ve set up my social media platforms but I’m finding it very difficult to build a following” is a problem I hear from many of our clients and I know they look to me for a simple solution, a magic trick, a special feature or some nugget of advice that will solve this dilemma easily.

I’m sorry, the bad news is that there is no one trick or piece of magic but of course it can be done if you follow some of my tips. I’ll assume in preparing these tips that you want the right people following and not just numbers purchased online from click farms for the sake of looking popular.

Here are my seven magic tips that I believe will work for you:

1. The Tribe Mentality and Getting the Basics right

You must think in terms of building your tribe at all times and this involves exercising a discipline and structure that allows you to easily pick up new followers.

When you set up any of your social media platforms make sure you execute the process of inviting your email database to follow you, include social media links on your website and on your email signature and make it easy for people to subscribe to your e-newsletter or follow your blog.

Another simple piece of advice here is to highlight your social presence offline on all posters, adverts, signage, shopping bags and other materials where someone may interact with your business or service.

2. Start the chat,  you’re not Kim Kardashian!

Kim Kardashian & Greg CantyWe all have to do a little reality check about what type of business we are and realise that it is quite possible we do not have the natural appeal of  Kim. This is a real dilemma for certain businesses who being honest you may not be inclined to automatically follow such as the Insurance Broker in Ranelagh or the Chiropodist in Gort.

My advice to any businesses without the “Kim” appeal (that’s most of us!) is that they must initiate a lot of the social media chat by first doing the following and then interact with what that target audience are saying.

While it’s vital that we get our own message across in our communications it’s just as important that we achieve awareness for ourselves by interacting with others. Join the conversation of others, share and retweet their posts and in no time at all you will find they will do the same for you, which will bring you new followers.

3. Lose the robot, talk about the match

At some point in time we were taught about formal business communications, which has us often behaving like robots. The beauty of online is that we can lose much of the formality that can choke normal written communications and this allows us to show some of the really important attributes about our business such as our personality, our humour, our interests, our caring side and how passionate we are about things that matter to us.

It’s amazing the difference it makes to a business relationship when you discover that a prospect is also a hugely passionate Liverpool FC fan!

4. “Like” and Stop Selling

Being realistic why would someone want to become a member of your online tribe?

The Facebook word “Like” can really focus you here when you are communicating and the word dislike can be just as useful. I’ll follow you on twitter, subscribe to your blog, read your newsletter or connect with you on LinkedIn as long as it delivers some benefit to me – it should be an experience that I “Like“.

Are you going to give me advice, make me smile, be nice, let me be the first to know about special offers, offer me samples, invite me to exclusive events, promote my business, help me to solve problems, enrich my life in some way or do you just want me to Buy, Buy, Buy?

If  the online platforms are used to deliver benefits to your tribe, to build relationships and rapport with them, the sales will look after themselves.

5. Brushing your teeth

In the same way that brushing once a month won’t do your teeth any good, posting infrequently online will do your business no good.

The biggest stumbling block to success that I see with clients is that they struggle to make online activity part of their regular routine. It’s vital that you do your weekly blog post, that you schedule your newsletter, that you post daily on all of your social media platforms and this becomes part of the normal running of the business.

Every time you post you are effectively promoting your business, which is a great habit to get into just like brushing your teeth!

6. The Power of You

Just as we want to build our tribe of followers it’s really important to leverage the tribe that you have within your organisation. Online activity comes alive through person to person interactions – I’d much prefer to talk to a person rather than a logo.

Where possible I would encourage as many individuals as possible to pro-actively wave a flag for the business online, which spreads the workload, maximises the reach but also increases the effectiveness. This works as long as there is a good solid social media policy and a clear understanding around objectives and key messages.

Where companies have accounts online it is always a good idea to introduce the person behind the posts where appropriate. I have seen Eircom doing this quite effectively on Twitter and it adds a degree of trust to their content.

Show me the money

7. Show me the money!

While you can do all of the right things to build the size of your online tribe there is a time where you just have to advertise to accelerate this process.

With Facebook, advertising is essential both to build a following and then subsequently to reach them with your communications. At the moment success on Twitter isn’t as dependant on budget but unless you are as popular as Kim you will need budget to build your following quickly.

Summary

Like everything else in business nothing comes easy and if you want to build your online tribe you either get a body like Kim, do a reality TV show and have a baby with Kanye West or else roll the sleeves up and do it the hard way!

Good luck with your tribe..

Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion PR and Marketing who offer Social Media Consultancy and Training to clients from our offices in Dublin and Cork.

http://www.fuzion.ie

Searching for Gold in the world of Glamour

March 22, 2014

Panning for Gold

Is there one thing that you can do can that can help you find gold for your business?

Back in 2001 I had this crazy idea for an event – how about getting the best models in Ireland, with the best fashion brands, adding in a beauty exhibition area, spicing it up with some entertainment and then taking this on tour to the best hotels in the country in major locations?

I woke in the early hours of the morning with this crazy idea, insisted that I explained it to Dee before I forgot it and then I turned around and went back to sleep.

Soon after that we met Michael Doherty the owner of VIP magazine who liked the idea – if we went ahead with the event he would come on board as a Media Partner.

That was the last piece of encouragement we needed and from that conversation “Catwalks” was born. Both Dee and I had the job of bringing Ireland’s most glamourous fashion and beauty event on tour around the country.

Blossom Hill CatwalksWe met model agencies, we chose models, we chose a fashion show producer, we met staging companies, we booked hotels, we chose menus. we set up a lo-call number, we developed a brand and we sold the idea to top national brands and before we knew it we had six dates booked around Ireland – all we needed now was to sell tickets to the women around the country. Simple!

We went back to Michael Doherty and sure enough as promised he agreed to be our media partner. He believed in our event but he also agreed that it was a great fit for VIP magazine and it’s readers. He boldly predicted that the very first double page advert in VIP magazine, would effectively sell out the event.

When we heard this we were delighted – if that was the case our events would be a huge success, we would make money and there would be little need for all the other planned promotional activity.

The day that issue of VIP magazine hit the shelves across the country we braced ourselves. Our phone was manned and we waited for the avalanche of women booking tickets for this first of it’s kind event. We’ll never forget the name Marie Carroll, a hairdresser from Tralee who rang and booked two tickets – Yes, we were up and running!

And that was it ….nothing for another two weeks.

Panic started to set in big time. Was this great idea such a great idea after all?

Our other advertising started including local radio and newspapers. We ran competitions, we managed to get media coverage through Dee’s PR skills including a great piece on TV. We sent flyers and posters to each of the participating hotels who promised to distribute them.

Slowly but surely we started to get bookings but not enough to take away that awful sense of panic.

Tony Hadley - Catwalks

We made a decision to hit the road and visit each of the locations where we were holding our events. When we went to a town we distributed large quantities of flyers and posters – we went into the boutiques, the hair salons, the beauty salons and any place where we felt we could grab the attention  of our target audience.

We handed out our flyers and posters and we could see the reaction of the women we handed these to. What was this event all about? We stopped and we chatted and we explained what it was all about. Boutiques asked could they participate – “If you buy a table at the event we will give you a segment of the fashion show” was our response. We shifted a lot of tickets through this simple mechanism.

We got a call from our girl manning the phones. “Where are you?” she asked “I’m getting lots of calls for tickets from Limerick“. We had just spent four hours hard slog in Limerick and were totally exhausted. My shoulder was nearly broken from the weight of the promotional material I had been carrying around the place.

This was the day we learnt some big lessons:

There is no one thing that will make the promotion of your event, initiative, product or service a success – It is the combination of everything.

The one absolutely essential ingredient for success was us working our socks off!

The events turned out to be a huge success and in total over a four year period we ran 72 separate shows with our final event being in Killarney with Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet fame closing it with an incredible version of “Gold“.

Gold….it is never easy to find!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Twitter – Waste of time or a real Gem?

March 21, 2014

Jack Dorsey - Twitter

Happy Birthday Twitter..

On the 21st March 2006 founder Jack Dorsey sent the very first tweet and eight years on while it is growing in popularity it is still quite the most misunderstood of the popular social media platforms.

When we run our Social Media courses the results are nearly all the same, pretty much everyone is using Facebook at some level and just a very few are using twitter. I would safely guess that a maximum of  20% of social media users are actively using twitter.

Is this failure, is this most people deciding that it is irrelevant, is this most people not understanding how to use Twitter or is it an absolute gem that is yet to be discovered by the mainstream?

At Fuzion we take it really seriously because we see the value of it for us and for our clients but we do understand the difficulty that people have with it. By it’s nature it is looser than the other platforms with pretty much anyone being able to follow anyone, your messages are more public capable of being picked up by anyone searching and then there is the business of hash tags, re-tweeting and #FF, that’s Follow Friday, by the way!

Added to that everything is quite limited, how many characters (you have 15 characters in your twitter “handle”) in your unique identity, how many characters you are allowed in a post, how much information (literally describe yourself in 160 characters) you can include in your bio – it’s just different, different enough to scare users off initially before they get to experience the real magic.

The whole experience is very different and in many ways it is attracting quite a different type of user – often a curious individual who loves getting involved in discussions and who loves giving an opinion! Many of these users seem to leave Facebook behind as they find the Twitter experience more enriching.

This trend of choosing Twitter over Facebook is definitely happening – since Facebook went public two years ago the platform is now being dominated by advertising (any business user must advertise now for their efforts to be effective) and this is definitely accelerating the switch for many users.

In the last year we have seen the interface and some of the functionality improve, we have seen the introduction of user advertising and the numbers using the platform have continued to increase.

I won’t start giving a lesson on how to use twitter but I will share with you my Top 10 reasons why we think you should consider embracing it for you and your business -

1. Branded Chit Chat – on twitter you can choose an identity for yourself and every time you post, your “identity” carries with you, it’s like advertising in a subliminal way @prguru. Guess what service that person provides? Even if you are chatting about the latest Liverpool game your identity travels with you.

Oscar's Selfie2. Viral “ability” – of all the social media platforms twitter is the very best for passing on information. The retweet facility makes this possible. I pass the message to my followers, them to theirs and so on. Uninteresting posts will not be retweeted but interesting ones will be. The recent “selfie” from the Oscars caused quite a stir and reached more twitter users than any other tweet.

3. Innovators and Early AdoptorsSeth Godin in his famous book the Purple Cow talks about a typical product cycle and he stresses the importance of targeting people who love new things. These are the people who love to try new things out and then tell their friends, they are generally naturally curious and are often the ones who are vital for spreading the word – before you know it when enough people have heard about “that” new product it enters the mainstream, where volume starts kicking in.

If you have a new product or service you will find many of these innovators and early adoptors are already using twitter- makes sense if you think about it?

4. Avoiding the CrowdFacebook has the advantage of so many users and it is really powerful as a result. However it is a pretty crowded space with more businesses joining it the whole time competing for people’s attention. The chances are that your competitors are already up and running and competing with you in this space. Twitter on the other hand has not been fully explored to the same degree so you can steal a competitive advantage over your competitors and have more of those prospects to yourself.

5. Search – the search facility on twitter is incredible. You can use it to follow topics, to search on people discussing your business and your industry. We find it invaluable in our work with clients and in a “crisis” situation it is really useful. You can literally measure the temperature of a situation on twitter, which can be really useful if you are dealing with a tricky situation. In the last 12 months alone we have used it many times to assist us in our work with clients.

6. Read all about it! – the problem is that it is now impossible to “Read all about it” . With so many newspapers, magazines, radio and tv channels how is it possible? With twitter by following the correct media profiles on twitter you can create your own customised news feed. Everything from your favourite team (have I mentioned this is Liverpool!) to breaking news.

7. Journalists – Most journalists are using twitter – the search function makes it really useful for them to stay up to date on issues. If you start using it you can quite easily follow journalists who may be interested in your sector and if used correctly you will be able to learn what they are interested in and what they are writing about. Use the platform to try to build a relationship with them and then pitch your stories – make sure you build trust before you start pitching!

8. Audience – if you use twitter proactively we believe you have a good chance of building “followers” or an audience for your message very quickly, much quicker than Facebook. However, it’s up to you how you use these relationships once you gather them.

9. Relationships – we have found that the nature of the conversations is quite different and at times they are more of a “community” type – the conversations can happen between groups of people. As a result you can have quite different relationships with people. Once you are capable of holding your own on an issue or topic you will build a good reputation and also quality relationships with relevant people.

10. Fun – there can be quite a good sense of humour around using Twitter and even though your topics might be heavy you can build good relationships around lighter issues, which can ultimately lead to a listening for your key messages. My key message is don’t take yourself too seriously on twitter, have fun, build trust and build relationships – after that spread your message.

I heard a great quote by someone who attended one of my social media courses in Dublin, when comparing Facebook and Twitter – “Facebook is for interacting with people you were in school with, Twitter is for interacting with people you wish you were in school with!”  - This is a big generalisation but it does capture a little bit of the unique spirit that exists on twitter.

Twitter is a load of rubbish, the stuff people tweet is totally useless.. who cares what people have for breakfast

I often hear this type of argument about using twitter so I will leave you with my closing thoughts ..

Twitter is like a radio station, you tune it in by following who you want – find the channels that you like. If someone is annoying you, don’t follow them, block them, change the channel – you are the controller!

So Jack, thank you for Twitter .. I’d miss you if you weren’t there, Happy Birthday!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Destination Branding and the “special” Cork DNA

March 18, 2014

Cork region

We’ve been privileged to have been working on a really interesting marketing project in conjunction with Colliers International, Placematters and Location Connections for the Cork region, which was commissioned by some of the key stakeholders.

Destination branding is something all cities and regions must now consider as they must market themselves in a clear, concise and consistent way to all target audiences they wish to attract. How a region markets itself must be believable and true so that the actual experience matches the reality.

As part of this marketing process you must first understand what the offering is, decide what parts of this offering are attractive to relevant target audiences and then package this offering in a clear brand description for the region.

All the subsequent marketing of the region should be consistent by all stakeholders so that maximum return on investment is achieved and that target audiences develop a clear understanding of the unique offer from that destination.

As part of the research work we conducted about the Cork region we discovered that many people are attracted to the size of Cork, “it’s not too big and not too small“, they love how quickly you can get from the city to the country, they love the nearby  coastline  and they also love the friendliness, humour and warmth of the people.

Even the Huffington Post identified Cork as an “overlooked city in Europe that must be visited in your lifetime!

It is easy to understand the physical attributes of the region but the people dimension is one that is more difficult to pinpoint.

The Queen visits Cork, Friendly City

Is it really true that Cork is a friendly city just as the Lonely Planet Guide declared in it’s Top 10 List of cities to visit? The guide praises the city saying ‘Cork is at the top of its game right now: sophisticated, vibrant and diverse, while still retaining its friendliness, relaxed charm and quick-fire wit.

How can you explain this friendliness?

Do Corkonians really have this special “friendly” gene in their unique DNA?

In our research in Cork we conducted questionnaires with many foreigners working in the Cork region and they consistently told us how they had no intention of staying initially but this is now home and they would not be leaving. Cork is great fun and the people are very “friendly“.

As much as this proud Corkman would like to think people from Cork do not have a special gene, no more so than people from any other part of Ireland.

If it’s not a special gene then why do we behave in such a manner?

  • In Cork you can enjoy a good career with small SME’s or with large multinationals without the big commute.
  • You and your children can receive a great education right on your doorstep
  • You can enjoy a vibrant and friendly city where strangers still chat to each other that is easy to access
  • It’s a relatively safe place to live, visit or go to college
  • You can be in the country or walking on a beach within half an hour
  • You can enjoy a lively, entertaining, art loving, multicultural place where independents can still thrive
  • The food and entertainment offering is diverse and top class
  • You are connected to the world and major city hubs via an airport that is 10 minutes from the city centre.
  • On the very practical side of things Cork is a significantly cheaper place to live than Dublin and a more economical place to do business.

While the career opportunities aren’t as great as in Dublin or London, an internet world makes this less of a problem and the overall sense of well-being from an exceptionally better life balance makes the Cork region a very clever place for people to choose to live their lives.

So why are people from Cork friendlier, warmer and wittier?

Maybe this ideal sized region with an abundance of natural attributes just makes us happier?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Colliers International offer Destination Consulting services

Placematters are Destination Branding experts

Location Connections are an International FDI  site selection consultancy

Blogging can change your Business

February 27, 2014

Blogging for BusinessIn the international Business Week magazine recently they featured “Blogging can Change your Business” as their cover page headline.

The basic message in the article is that blogging can be a huge asset and a key tool in your communications arsenal when used correctly. When it works for you it will bring you business as I have found myself with Fuzion.

This is far from the often held impression that blogging is for enthusiasts or hobbyists who like committing their thoughts and opinions about their favourite topics online.

This headline was very timely as I am running a half day course for the South Cork Enterprise Board about this very subject on Friday, 7th March.

If you are interested in this well subsidised training session you can book it directly by clicking here:

Blogging for Business Course

In the meantime you might read my 13 Tips about Blogging and Making some Noise!

Blogging Tips by Greg Canty, Fuzion PR

What’s it to be?

Blogging is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and get your message out there and I find more and more we are encouraging our clients to jump in and let the world hear what they have to say ….make some noise!

Once your blog post is written it makes great raw material to feed your social media activity or even to pitch to the media if it is in relation to some issue that is quite topical. Interested readers (hopefully some of these are potential customers) can subscribe to your blog and will then get automatic updates whenever you post something new.

This all sounds fabulous and it really is once you are up and running but the tough part is starting!

Often I find a client will put a week’s thought, deliberation and work into a single blog post and the monumental effort will ensure that it will be their first and last – writing isn’t easy, it is a skill that needs to be practised the same as anything else and I guess it comes easier to some than to others.

What I can promise is that once you are up and running it will get easier and easier, but you have to allow yourself  a learning curve and you will soon discover a style that you are comfortable with.

Get it right and not only will you enjoy it, but it will help to bring you and your business visibility, which should help to bring you business.

Blooging Tips by Greg Canty, Fuzion PR

Power blog!

I have put together a few tips about blogging that might help you along the way!

  1. Keep the blog post as short as possible (just enough to make your point)
  2. Try to write in the “first person” if possible
  3. Avoid using technical/industry jargon (unless it is for a very technical audience)
  4. Keep it topical (where possible try making your point using some issue that is current)
  5. If the blog post is taking more than half an hour to write then you are probably thinking about it too much!
  6. Always try to include a relevant visual – people love pictures!
  7. Blog as frequently as possible (at least once a week is a good target)
  8. Mix your topics and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through
  9. Keep a note book (your smart phone might help) to jot down ideas for blog posts – they will come to you at the strangest of times, believe me!
  10. Optimise your keywords – if you want your blog post to be found try to work the important keywords (the ones that a typical user might use if they were searching on the topic) into the blog heading, the first paragraph and your keyword tags. Make sure you categorise and tag your blog post once it is done.
  11. Include hyperlinks (simply the web addresses of other relevant content) – links to your website, links to the writers LinkedIn Account, links to other resources on the web.
  12. Blogging is just the start – make sure you push it out through your social media channels to get value for all of your hard work
  13. Unlucky for some but not for you – Go on …..www.wordpress.com , what are you waiting for?

Looking forward to reading what you have to say

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Neil Prendeville – Game Changer for Who?

February 24, 2014

Neil Prendeville - 96FM, Redfm

When your main rival steals your prize asset it will no doubt be a Game Changer – for who depends on yourself.

This week we saw Cork’s Red FM, the second most popular radio station in the city make a bold, brave move by securing the services of popular and often controversial DJ Neil Prendeville from their local dominant rival, 96FM.

Neil is extremely popular because he is a brave DJ who isn’t afraid to take on issues and give his opinion. Many love him, many will tell you they hate him but most importantly for Red FM, many many listen to him. In terms of radio shows it is by far the most popular outside of  some shows on the national radio stations.

This was a huge move as Neil Prendeville, who has been with the station for 25 years has a large and loyal following, 116,000 listeners according to the latest JNLR figures.

While the move is an obvious game changer I wonder is it a game winner?

The listener profile of RedFM is much younger than it’s local rival and this move will certainly bring an audience that are not a natural fit for the current profile of the station.

Stevie G - Red FM Stephen GraingerUnfortunately this move meant that some great and very popular DJs in RedFM lost their contracts including the Cork music legend Stephen Grainger or Stevie G as he is known. Stevie G would have had a good following but unfortunately for him, nothing to match the pulling power of Neil’s show.

While the change will bring new listeners who will “move the dial”?- will it work overall for the station?

It is understood that Neil will operate his usual morning time slot, which will attract his loyal listeners but where will the younger RedFM listeners go to? I can’t really see them staying with the station as Neil’s show is quite different.

Ironically the success of this game changer depends on how 96FM react – will they try to find a like for like replacement, who I doubt will be able to compete with Neil or should they grab the opportunity to do something new, challenging and totally different and inject fresh energy to morning radio in Cork?

When a competitor grabs your prize asset it’s up to you to make sure the change works in your favour and not the other way around.

96FM, it’s up to you!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Superquinn and the Sausage that lost it’s Sizzle

February 15, 2014
Superquinn - The Last Day

Feargal Quinn pictured with family as the Superquinn name is taken down

In marketing we often say “Don’t talk about the sausage, talk about the sizzle!

Instead of talking about the “thing” we talk about how it makes you feel, the benefits, the mood, the emotion, that sense of occasion.

A sausage according to wikipedia is: a food usually made from ground meat with a skin around it. Typically, a sausage is formed in a casing traditionally made from intestine, but sometimes synthetic. Some sausages are cooked during processing and the casing may be removed after.

Yummy.. Imagine marketing that product!

Ironically this week where we witnessed the last nail in the coffin of the once fabulous Superquinn brand we heard the MD of SuperValu, Martin Kelliher reassuring customers that the sausages would be retained!

Is that the very last thing to survive of the brand or does the sausage in some way represent everything that was once special about Superquinn for shoppers?

When I worked in Dublin for Guinness during the mid nineties I was living near the Clondalkin area. Even though I had my own music store in the Mill Centre in Clondalkin where there was a Dunnes Stores, my weekly grocery shopping was done in Superquinn in Lucan, a good 20 minutes away by car.

Somehow shopping in Superquinn just didn’t feel too painful (I hate shopping) because of the atmosphere, the store layout, the smells, the unusual selection of food, the food samples, the fabulous wine selection and the genuine friendly service. Of course the sausages were different and these were bought from time to time!

Feargal Quinn and his team were delivering a product and service at a level way above all other Irish grocery competitors, which helped to build the successful brand, Superquinn.

The Superquinn brand was built using a unique mix of ingredients just like their famous sausages, which they had clearly perfected.

Incredibly there is a support group for their famous sausages!

On this support group they say:

Superquinn sausagesIn 1976 Superquinn perfected the pork sausage, nothing else even comes close. If I was a pig I would feel privileged to donate my body to a noble cause like this. Following a trip to Germany in early 1976, Feargal Quinn decided that Superquinn would create the perfect sausage for Irish tastes. Superquinn butcher, Pat Kelly was the lucky man faced with the ultimate challenge

Feargal Quinn seemed to take this approach with everything he did in his stores – they were different and they were better.

Over time the other grocery chains improved, the differences weren’t as different as they once were and the special ethos that once defined Superquinn started to dissolve.

When Feargal Quinn sold the stores to an investor group who had no experience in the very challenging sector the once special sizzle started to disappear and the business went backwards.

Are you minding the sizzle in your business?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Big, Bold, Brave ….Belief

January 28, 2014

Teamwork.com

The .com domain name for Greg Canty gregcanty.com can be registered with Register365 for the total price of €8.95 per annum.

The .com domain is the big one, the universal one, which is easy to register and without any fuss. For example with the Irish domain .ie you need to jump a few hoops and at least make some attempt at proving that you or your business has a valid reason for being able to claim that name.

The frenzy at the beginning of the internet boom was the practice of some very clever people anticipating which domain names would be popular in the future. They purchased these in the hope that at some point in time they might earn a windfall when they could sell them off for big money.

A lot of domain names are still registered to people who will never use them and are still waiting for their big pay day!

According to Wikipedia the top ten most expensive domain names are:

  1. VacationRentals.com $35 million in 2007 
  2. Insure.com $16 million in 2009 
  3. Sex.com for $14 million in October 2010
  4. Fund.com 2008 £9.99 million
  5. Porn.com 2007 $9.5 million
  6. Fb.com by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
  7. Business.com for $7.5 million in December 1999
  8. Diamond.com 2006 $7.5 million
  9. Beer.com 2004 $7 million
  10. Israel.com 2008 $5.88 million

It looks like the last big money transaction was in 2010.

What would make you pay this kind of huge money for a domain name?

  • It must be a core part of your brand and who you are – so much so that you can’t have anyone else using it and must get your hands on it
  • It must have huge earning potential in order to justify such a huge price tag – unless of course you have so much money that earnings are not a critical part of the equation

Even if these two elements are in place do you have the resources to pay out big money for a domain name and this must be weighed up against what you could do with this amount of money – could you make your existing domain name or a new name just as powerful if that fund was put being a marketing campaign?

Big, Bold, Brave

Teamwork LogoLast week I was at the Guinness Store House (a strange experience for me – I could see my old office from the top floor) for the launch of a domain name by a Fuzion client and great friends of mine, Digital Crew.

The guys have an incredible cloud based project management application called TeamworkPM, which only after a few years is creating a storm online and is quickly becoming the standard within the sector for managing projects.

These guys from Cork had paid over half a million euros for the domain name www.teamwork.com and were celebrating with friends and clients – at 9pm the new domain name was set live.

When I first heard this news I thought someone was pulling a fast one on me and when I realised it was true I wondered if they had totally lost their marbles!

This was certainly a BIG move, they are paying and playing big, they are thinking big (huge!) but then again they have a global product so it is a big market. What’s more they have big plans to develop a whole suite of products under the Teamwork name. 

It was definitely a BOLD move …they aren’t a Google, a Facebook, a Microsoft, a Twitter but this was a big bold move, which shows that they see themselves in that Premier league table.

BRAVE ….I’m not sure if I could have written that cheque!

To be fair to these guys this is isn’t the first time that they have been Big, Bold and Brave.

When Digital Crew were working on their core web development business and on some complex web projects they realised they needed a project management application to help co-ordinate their teams and the multiple tasks that were required. After playing with a few different applications online they decided ….these aren’t good enough, we can do better!

While ideas are great and we all have them, the guys got together at weekends and late in the evenings when the regular client work was done and starting building a new application.

After an incredibly hard slog the application TeamworkPM was ready, which they politely rolled out.

There was no immediate success but they interacted with customers, answered countless queries, joined discussions, tracked competitors, improved their product over and over and eventually they had momentum with some serious businesses coming on board and using the application – Walt Disney, Microsoft, EA Sports, Forbes and eBay to name a few.

Word of mouth, continuous improvements and dogged determination brought TeamworkPM to a point where the income from the application had surpassed their core business income.

They made an incredibly Big, Bold and Brave move to divest of their core business and put everything into their TeamworkPM application. Every month there is a big new feature added, which is a challenge they set for themselves.

Within a year they have added significantly to the team and even sent one of the founders to take office in New Zealand (poor Sam – we all know he hates the glorious weather and the beach!)so another time zone could be looked after.

While they have been making Big, Bold and Brave moves for a long time the decision to pay over half a million euros for the teamwork.com domain name is about something much more.

They have incredible BELIEF in what they are doing, in their own capability and in their vision. They know exactly where they are taking their business.

To Dan, Peter, Sam, Billy and all the Teamwork team …..thanks for showing us what Big, Bold and Brave looks like. My belief is your domain will be worth it!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

The blog about blogging

January 24, 2014

Blogging for business

I was in the Guinness Storehouse last week at a client event and two people I had never met before came up to me and started chatting to me because of blogs of mine that they read. One of these conversations was on the way into the loo!

One of these posts was about the Jobbridge scheme and the other was about companies undoing the good by overselling.

Yesterday afternoon I came across an incredible blog post via Twitter , which gave me huge insight into the life of a friend of mine.

It struck home to me once again the reach and impact that blogs have and how powerful this activity has been for me and for our business, Fuzion.

I’m dedicated to writing at least one blog post every week, which I publish and circulate across my different social media platforms. Typically I will write it over the weekend on the laptop or first thing in the morning like this one ..

You could be reading this post from an email or direct from my blog site or you may have stumbled across it as a follower of mine or Fuzion on twitter, a friend of mine on Facebook, a fan of the Fuzion business page on Facebook or maybe on LinkedIn, either as a status update or posted as a discussion post on a LinkedIn group.

In any scenario I write my blog post, which gives me the ability to reach a big audience across a variety of platforms.

Hopefully anyone who reads them will find the posts interesting (I vary them between technical marketing orientated posts, some business observations and some very random personal and other posts) and as a result will form some sort of an opinion about me and Fuzion. Hopefully these opinions are good and if the need arises for our range of services we will be in the frame as a possible provider!

Yes, that is a reason that I write them but I also write them because I enjoy writing, connecting and receiving feedback. I get a buzz from them … Sad but true !

My blogs are hosted on the WordPress platform, which is easy to use, is well optimised and it provides me with great stats and insights about how readers came to my site and which posts have been read the most (or least!).

In terms of ideas I use a little notepad on my iPhone where I jot them down when they come to me and when I have time I have a peep at my list …. sometimes I see these notes and I just can’t figure out what I had in mind when I jotted them down!

So …. The big question – why blog at all?

Here are my reasons why you might consider it -

Social Media Noise – it is hard to grab attention online at this stage as it is a very congested place. By generating your own (hopefully quality) content you can stand out.

Expertise – what better way to demonstrate your expertise about your business than writing about it?

Passion – if you are passionate about what you do, your blog is a terrific way to demonstrate this. Passion is hard to hide!

Optimisation – at a very practical level if you write online about your subject matter enough and use the right keywords and follow some simple SEO protocol you will be found much easier by people searching

Writing Skills – blog writing sharpens your writing skills and it also helps to formulate your ideas and thoughts properly around your topics

Idea generation – once you commit to a blog a week/day/month you will be surprised how ideas come to you and how much sharper your mind gets after a while

Testing topics – you can gauge media potential for a topic through a blog post

Rant! – sometimes you might need to take on a topic or issue online and writing a blog and distributing it through your social media platforms can be extremely powerful.

Business – if you do it right with a clear focus and some patience your efforts will result in new business

Personality – your blog is a great way for people to get to know you, understand you, see what motivates and inspires you and possibly wish to do business with you. The platform gives you an opportunity to be less formal on a website for example.

Social Media Raw Material - After a while you will build up a bank of blog posts, which can provide valuable material to feed your hungry social media platforms. Many of your blog posts, depending on the topic are capable of being recycled – great tips and advice will not date.

This prize is there waiting for you (most of your competitors surprisingly won’t grab it) so it is up to you to seize the opportunity and be the one in your sector who is winning by blogging.

It might feel strange at first but like everything practice makes perfect and in no time at all you will be flying ..

Go on …you are just one click away!

Check out Tips about Blogging and Making some Noise

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Support Beam Advice

January 13, 2014

Support Beam Advice

I know you don’t like that big beam and you want to remove it but you can’t – It’s a support beam. Take it away and the building falls down

That’s black and white advice you just wouldn’t ignore and you would have to accept.

When advice like that comes with such a critical consequence you just have to follow it, and in a way it makes it really simple to take on board.

Often we give specific advice to clients, which we believe is critical to the success of their projects or business.

It’s really problematic when the person you are advising just won’t take the advice on board. Because no building is falling down as a consequence sometimes they ignore it because they feel they know better, they have a strong resistance for some reason, someone somewhere told them to do something else, they want to save money or they just have some other reason for digging in and not taking what you say on board. Often a course of action might simply take them out of their comfort zone.

In our case it could be advice around one or more of these elements:

  • A business name change
  • Branding refresh
  • Merchandising and POS
  • A new website
  • Optimisation of the website so you will be found on Google searches
  • Engaging on social media regularly
  • Dealing pro-actively with a  crisis PR situation
  • PR for successful initiatives or good news
  • Commissioning professional photos
  • Creating an event to generate interest
  • Profiling the individuals as well as the business
  • Supporting  campaigns with advertising
  • Allocating sufficient budget to campaigns

I found myself chatting to a new client recently and we were reviewing their proposal.

The client was very reluctant about one really important element in the plan, which I felt was critical to the success of the campaign. For me if we didn’t do this element the plan would definitely not work.

After a long conversation and some unsuccessful persuasion I had to change my approach.

Imagine I am your engineer and this is your house we are talking about. This element that you don’t want to go with is a support beam. If we take it away your house will fall down. Do you get my point?

The penny drops …

If your client won’t take your “support beam” advice then maybe you should just walk away – you don’t want to watch a house falling down!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin


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