Duane Reade Strategy Creates 1 Million+ Engaged Twitter Followers


~via Wired City… New York City drug store giant Duane Reade is connecting with more customers via social media.


Its Twitter fan base surpassed 1 million followers, a major milestone for the Walgreen-operated drug store chain among the drug, food and mass-arena segment. Duane Reade has raised its presence on Twitter more than 6,000 percent in the past year.

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It’s Not Just Big Data, It’s The Right Big Data That Matters Most

This past July Econsultancy issued a report which made reference to the fact that Big Data is causing big frustrations for those who make their living in the marketing world. The sub-headline that appeared on their site in announcing the report read: “Big data has become something of a buzzword over the past year or so, but is it actually useful?”

Well I happen to think Big Data is useful alright but only if it’s the right Big Data. I mean you can’t just have data just for the sake of having data, yes?big data

One company has found that leveraging a more accurate, scientific approach based on big data can help marketers socialize their data — giving them a way to understand and leverage their customers’ and prospects’ real-world relationships to substantially improve customer acquisition, cross-sell and retention.

In other words, identify the right Big Data.

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How NASCAR Uses Relationship Marketing


I am the first to admit I am not the biggest NASCAR fan – by a long shot. I am however, a huge fan of any brand that uses relationship marketing to better engage with its fans.

Such is the case with NASCAR, who recently re-launched their digital platform. Seeing the need to engage and relate to their very large and impressive list of fans, they entered into an agreement with Livefyre, the leading provider of real-time social software which allows fans to have conversations in real-time across NASCAR.com, whether it be on a PC, tablet or mobile device, to discuss everything NASCAR from the latest in-depth news to live action on the race track.

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B2B And B2C Marketers Agree – Relationship Marketing Is Where It’s At

Part of me is truly amazed that has taken this long to realize something that should have been obvious to all of us from the beginning of time. Well, the beginning of advertising and marketing time, that is.

Regardless of the medium or platform or whatever word you prefer to describe all the ways we communicate with consumers, shouldn’t we all collectively been trying to establish a relationship and engage with our customers from the proverbial get-go?

Shouldn’t adopting this type of approach bring with it the subsequent increased revenue we all seek but done in so in a more, of I don’t know, natural way?

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The Oxymoron That Is Digital Marketing

A recent report revealed that while budgets for digital marketing are expected to increase across many specific channels, including email marketing, SEO and mobile, one major component of digital marketing is decreasing and has in fact been falling steadily since 2010.


The report, a joint effort between Econsultancy and Responsys (full disclosure: the latter is my employer), highlights the findings of a survey conducted of more than 800 company and agency marketers.

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Marketing with a Mirror

What makes great marketing? I think it’s when you can really see, through the eyes of your customer, how great it is to use your product and are able reflect the emotions and passion related to the use of your product back to the masses.

I’ve studied marketing and word of mouth for 20 years. Marketers love control, but over the last several years of social media growth we, as marketers, feel we’ve lost some control. That’s not a bad thing. If you have a great product or service and you know how to facilitate rather than broadcast, you can catapult past competition.

In 1995 I wrote a book called “How to Market WITH Computer User Groups.” Back then, user group leaders and members (i.e. the geeks) were the analog version of every person in today’s digital participation culture.  The point of the capitalized “WITH” in the book title is that it was ineffective to market “TO” user group leaders. The only way to be effective was for them to be the voice. It was important for them to own the message. And for the marketer, to enable them by reflecting the voice of the customers back onto them. Marketing with a mirror. 

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Do you call on those Raising their Hands?

Every Google search is a hand being raised. So is every tweet, blog post, and Facebook comment with a complaint or question. Do you call on those raising their hands??  If not, you are missing an incredible opportunity!

Every social complaint or question is the “low hanging fruit” of a brand’s chance to interact with consumers.  But it’s not just ANY chance – it’s a chance to interact when you have the consumers full attention “and” PUBLICLY, to engage in a way that can, and often will, catch the attention of an entire audience. These kinds of comments are visible, relevant and actionable, and brands need to have a plan to engage.

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Brand Immersion with Contests… Don’t Forget About the Relationship!

A well-structured contest — wisely integrated in social media, encouraging participation of groups, and easily enabling the sharing and including of the social graph of participants — will bring consumers into your brand experience.  Savvy marketers can leverage contests to increase both short- and long-term return.

As with any marketing campaign using social media, a contest needs to be part of an integrated media strategy, using a blend of social and traditional media as appropriate for your brand’s consumers. And as always, remember to keep your message consistent.  A great contest that does not match your brand message is a waste of your resources and does little to add long-term value. Many are using strictly social contests to grow Facebook “likes” and Twitter “followers,” and this is ok if that is your objective, but keep in mind those are very targeted initiatives and offer little value to the brand experience.

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Let’s take back the word “Friend”!

Facebook has done an amazing thing – they now own the word “friend”!  The problem is that they have devalued the word while adding value to their brand. Let’s take back the word “friend” and fill it with value again!

How many of you use “air quotes” when you say so-and-so is your Facebook “friend”?  That’s exactly my point.  The word now, more often than not, just means that you exchanged a keystroke with someone.

To be clear — I am not saying that connecting through Facebook is a bad thing; I’m saying that few of us actually take the time to connect in the ways that a real friend would.  We are missing the chance to use social media as a tool that facilitates real relationships and instead using “friends” as points in a popularity contest.

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