Marketing & Public Relations Firm - Verasoni Worldwide

All posts tagged consumer marketing

By: Abraham Kasbo

If the most successful brands on the planet live at the intersection of delivering consistently exceptional experiences and authenticity (the latest in industry speak – will address later), then Ireland, yes the entire country, is indeed well within great company, and from my perspective ahead of the class.  There’s no need for brand training, public relations strategies, or messaging in Ireland because on our most recent vacation to the Emerald Isle, it appeared that the entire country, from the minute we landed in Dublin to our departure from Shannon, was “on brand,” “on stage” and seemingly well prepared to orchestrate an exceptional vacation experience.

At first, I thought that there must be some centralized, formal training scheme at work because it’s impossible, or perhaps naïve to think that every Irishman and woman we encountered – from executives having dinner at the next table to pub dwellers, shop owners and keepers, to people we met on the street – and I do mean everyone we met, happened to be genuinely nice and helpful.

From pubs, restaurants, historical sites and shops, to the streets of Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork City, Killarney, Kenmare and

The Kids presenting a gift to Third Fire Officer Gerry Myers of the Cork City Fire Department

The Kids presenting a gift to Third Fire Officer Gerry Myers of the Cork City Fire Department

Bunratty, everyone – did I mention everyone?  - we met along the way was “on” the Irish brand of hospitality. Both my wife and I got the feeling that the Irish seemed to be deeply connected with and invested in not just their town and local heritage, but in other areas in Ireland.  They freely shared their experiences about other areas of Ireland complete with specific recommendations of restaurants, hidden gems, what roads to take and avoid, and so on. They also asked questions about America, New Jersey (where we live), and our work in ways that made us feel like we were engaged in a normal conversation and not a tourist transaction.  On our way to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, we got lost.  A cabbie surprised us when he pulled up while we were examining our map and said, “You seem lost, can I help you?” After a friendly chitchat, he pointed us to the right way and quietly went off into light Sunday morning traffic.  That goes a long way when you’ve already walked about 3 miles with 9-year old twins.

It got exceedingly better at the Guinness Storehouse and not just because we had the opportunity to indulge in the good stuff at the Gravity Bar. It seems to me that the Guinness Storehouse is reflective of how the well Irish tell their story to make it meaningful and connect with people. Isn’t after all the purpose of branding?  To make meaningful and lasting connections with a product or service?

Nothing could have been more surprising as what happened over the course of the next days. For the next leg of our trip, we were heading to Cork and reserved a car through Hertz. When we got to Hertz’s offices on South Circular Road, we noticed the street was closed because of a marathon route planned for that day.  Our taxi dropped us off at the intersection where we walked the rest of the way. When we arrived at Hertz, I was informed that we would have to wait another 2-3 hours for an automatic car because truck carrying automatics could not enter the street because of the marathon. The clerk offered us a manual shift BMW, and off we went. Mind you, having only driven a manual car once before, 10 years earlier on a visit to Ireland, my kids and wife were a bit nervous about my driving skills…so was I.  I must have stalled six or seven times in traffic coming out of Dublin backing up traffic several times. Embarrassed, frustrated, and at times angry at my inability to get us out of first gear, let alone Dublin, I realized what I was feeling was directly related to another deep experience. The incorrigible brand of cutthroat driving in the New York, New Jersey area, where if you don’t step on the gas within a millisecond of the light turning green, you’d be bombarded with beeps, shouts, and unpleasant gestures.  On my way out of the parking garage in Cork City I stalled on a ramp backing up business commuters two to three floors deep for about 10 minutes, seemingly forever to me. Through the stalls and back-ups, there was not one beep, not one horn, in four days of my dubious attempt to drive a manual vehicle across the Ireland from Dublin to Cork City, Cork City to Kilkenny, Kilkenny to Killarney, from Killarny to Kemare and on to Bunratty and Shannon. Not one horn or beep from my fellow drivers. The silence of those horns spoke volumes about the people in the cars.

On our stroll to dinner in Cork City, we misread the map and got lost. As we walked, we saw a couple of firefighters in front of the firehouse and asked them to set us straight. That’s when we met Gerry Myers, Third Fire Officer of the Cork City Fire Department and his colleague.  We ended up chatting with them about the States and our itinerary in Ireland. They recommended areas of Ireland to consider visiting “next time” and then pleasantly surprised us by offering to drive us to a restaurant they recommended as having better food and prices than the one we selected. The kids were obviously elated to find themselves in an official fire department vehicle!  The next day, we went back to the firehouse where the kids presented Officer Myers a gift of an American Silver Dollar and Mr. Myers reciprocated with pencils and fire department pins, and more importantly, an unforgettable experience.

There’s the Disney Experience and then there’s the Irish Experience. The former is precise, systematic and formal business process. The Irish Experience, is organic, credible and engrossing. The business community should take notice of keen lessons to be learned from the Irish Experience. In an era where authenticity is a hot topic, Ireland transcends authenticity – which in many ways is an overused and hackneyed industry mubo-jumbo.   its incredible natural beauty aside, Ireland seems to tap deeply into its most precious resource.  By harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of its people and how they represent their country, Ireland’s brand as experienced by us and other visitors stands strong and credible. After all,  authenticity is perceived but credibility is earned. For Ireland, it’s well earned.

Abraham Kasbo is CEO of Verasoni Worldwide. Follow him @akasbo.


At the time of the writing of this post, the stock market is near an all time high and the business media seems to be whistling aAbe Kasbo happy tune about the comeback of the American Consumer. Earlier this year, according to Bloomberg.com Macys’, Target and the Gap reported sales that topped sales estimates in January, 2013. This past February, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment climbed to 76.3 from 73.8 in January. Ernst & Young cited stronger global markets and calls the US markets “very positive” in its most recent forecast.

With rising property values and the job market strengthening, Americans seem poised for an uptick in wealth. In normal times, a wealth-effect makes things interesting for financial services firms. It gets more interesting when we couple it with the JOBS Act, which will provide hedge funds and other financial service firms the ability to market and in the process giving investors greater transparency. This will thrust more managers into the public and media spotlights, raising awareness of their firms and products. Public spotlight will also make it easier for investors to compare managers and options within their global investment strategies, heightening the competition for investment dollars between mutual fund families, private equity firms and hedge funds – including fund of funds.

While The JOBS Act is creating an unprecedented environment for hedge funds to market themselves, we believe there will be an indirect impact on related financial services industries like Mutual Fund Families, Wealth Advisory Firms, and perhaps even banks because the JOBS Act thrusts hedge funds into a more open market where they may have to compete with each other and other investment vehicles outside their class.  Whether you’re a hedge fund, Fund Family, or wealth management firm, you may already know that institutional, accredited and non-accredited investors remain cautious because lessons from 2008 continue to loom large in the collective psyche. Those firms who understand how to develop effective strategies, and not simply employ marketing communications tactics and ride the American consumer comeback, will surely come out ahead.

Below are six ideas to help your firm navigate the tricky intersection of the JOBS Act and the American Consumer Comeback.

1. Brand Wisely Not Quickly – Financial services firms will now be enticed and encouraged to “brand your firm.” Keep in mind that savvy marketers understand that branding is a combination of “what you do” from a marketing communications perspective, how you perform, how you treat clients and a multitude of other variables that translates into how clients feel about you…this only happens over time. So “branding your firm” is not a product that you can or should purchase as a “branding program”. Branding is a multivariate process, but only those who understand this point will truly be on the way to effectively branding their firms and separating themselves from the competition. Keep in mind that it took decades for Vanguard, Blackrock, Fidelity, TRowe Price, The Man Group and others to become a brand. So, the time is now to build your brand’s foundation through strategies rather than tactics. As for hedge fund of funds, “Niche oriented hedge fund of funds that differentiate themselves by either focusing on a specific strategy, region, fund structure or investor type [and] …those fund of funds that can clearly articulate their differential advantage will be able to not only grow their assets, but command premium fees,” said veteran hedge fund marketer Don Steinbrugge of Agecroft Partners in his January 2013’s Post on AllAboutAlpha.com.

2. Be Ready To Compete Publicly and Transparently – Work from the digital world backward and understand that your web reputation is largely your reputation. So ensuring that your website speaks to the breadth and depth of the aspirations of your clientele and that your website is mobile ready is paramount to the success of your marketing efforts. Your collateral, key marketing messages, media and conference appearances, sales presentations, your website and social media platforms must be integrated. We would argue that outperforming your competitors is no longer based upon your market returns; it’s also based on how you are perceived in the marketplace, which has a direct impact on growth and asset under management.  Certainly in the case of hedge funds, as the qualified investor pool grows, the more attention the media will pay to the industry, the more questions people will have. Consider Timothy Spangler‘s latest column on Forbes.com entitled The Simple Truth About Hedge Funds. The column attempts to introduce hedge funds to the general public by casting light on some of the perceptions or ideas that the public may have about the industry. It’s a natural cycle, as the media focuses more on hedge funds, hedge funds will have to provide answers – publicly in the media and in conferences – and privately as more potential investors are subjected to the same media messaging.

 3. Be a Category Creator – In Why It Pays to Be a Category Creator (Harvard Business Review, March 2013), the authors found that “category creators experience much faster growth and receive much higher valuations than companies bringing only incremental innovations to market.” Researchers found that category creators, while only 13% of the companies studied, accounted for 74% of the group’s growth. Think of Bank of America’s highly successful breakthrough “Keep the Change Program” campaign. E*Trade and Raymond James, both of which are attempting to re-categorize their market based on the new investor and consumer realities. While there are plenty of reasons to discount this approach if you are a hedge fund, private equity or wealth management firm, consider that Fidelity recently went to market with “Get More Out of Your Investment,” where the investor can earn “up to a $2,500 deposit bonus when you open up and fund a Fidelity IRA or brokerage account or add to an existing one.” So, be creative, you may surprise yourself.

4. Marketing Is Here To Stay – Everyone will be marketing, it’s a matter of how you define it and make it work for your firm. For hedge funds and private equity firms for example, your digital reputation must be spotless because you may or may not have a front facing advertising campaign. Though, if you appear on CNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg or speak at a conference and happen to catch an eye of an investor, be assured that it is highly likely, if not a certainty, that they will visit your website and Google your firm and you personally to learn more; this behavior works across the board from institutional to individual investors. Capitalizing on traditional media through digital redistribution of print, video and audio is one way of doing it. So are your integrated digital strategies in order? If not, take a look at PIMCO (yes the link to PIMCO’s twitter feed is intentional) as a best practices model.

5. Reposition for ValueE*Trade is doing it, so is Raymond James. Both firms seem to have understood that even with an anticipated wealth effect looming, the individual investor, and we would argue institutional and the accredited investor, are all demanding value. In their recent advertising campaigns both firms are appealing to the value-based investor suggestion that the firms will “keep less” and so “you, the investor will keep more.” We believe that the experience of the recent downturn continues to drive investor behavior from institutions to individuals. Just because the JOBS Act has opened the door, it does not mean that investors will be lining-up at it ready to do business. Investors will ask more questions and demand more clarity. Your firm’s value statement should be at the core of your marketing strategies.

6. Media: Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile – While the traditional media still has its lure providing a valuable platforms for financial services firms, the move to digital and self-owned media creation and distribution is the way of today and the future. Investors will seek information on their time and at their pace, something television and newspapers – at least in their current form – are not able to do yet.  Also note that stories on the web, positive and negative, can go viral quickly, affecting your firm’s reputation as is the case with the New York Times most recent story about LPL Financial. In this new normal of mobile media world, firms who strategically position themselves for this reality and execute against it will outpace those who don’t.

Abe Kasbo is CEO of Verasoni Worldwide a fiercely independent marketing and public relations firm in Montclair, NJ.

 

 


For distributors and manufacturers, the dental market is now moving faster than ever before and with a greater emphasis on efficiency and market penetration. It’s perhaps the understatement of the decade to say that companies are now trying to position themselves in this seemingly hyper competitive space in order to better gain market share in an industry that’s forecasted to deliver about $70 billion in sales in 2013.

However, the unfathomable speed that is moving technology and media is creating a dangerous intersection for CEOs and CMOs who may be left feeling like they are drinking from a fire hydrant when it comes to marketing communications; so are now seeking more clarity on the subject than ever before. Strategic integrated marketing decisions in this space, and acting on them or not, will obviously affect brands and sales outcomes, but only if one can sufficiently separate the hype from the realities.

Below is our take on some of the realities and what dental companies and distributors can expect in 2013 in the marketing communications space. Here are our predictions for the New Year!

PREDICTION #1

Companies Will Be More Mobile or Will Lag Behind

According to Hubspot, in 2012 more people bought more smartphones than PC’s. Fifty-percent of US adults own a smartphone or tablet and 66% get the news on those devices.  In the second half of 2012, tablets outsold PCs.  By the end of 2013, we predict mobile will play a more strategic role with companies in the dental space, including the adoption of mobile branded content platforms, mobile ads and location based marketing.  Naturally, dentists have already moved in that direction, as their behavior typically follows the consumer market.

We believe the strong attachment to mobile devices will mean that those companies who move in a measured and meaningful way will also position themselves to own the mobile device behavior of their clients and salesforce.

PREDICTION #2

Editorial Branded Content Will Prevail

Research tells us that branded editorial not only drives organic search to your website, but also influences the reader.  Editorial content must be married with a mobile and social distribution to your company’s relevant network. Everything else is simply fluff.  So companies will seek to better align their mobile and content strategies to keep their products more in reach and top of mind.

We’re never wild about business terminology, but we just came across one that fits this prediction: “Newsjacking”!  Simply put, brands and companies must generate their own news and become their own publishers.  Sales professionals and dentists are a smart bunch, so companies who position their content in a way that they can be perceived as a resource will win over time.  Last but not least, companies will create once and publish everywhere!

PREDICTION #3

More Digital Bounce to Engagement, Branding & Sales

According to a 2012 study cited by Hubspot, one-third of CMOs say more than half of their budgets have shifted from traditional to digital marketing in the past year, yet the same study showed companies with 50+ employees spend almost 20% of their marketing budgets on tradeshows.  Where’s the intersection?  Companies in the dental space will begin to integrate digital strategies into their tradeshow presence to carry relationships formed at tradeshows well beyond that event.  Companies will go beyond email, to engagement on social and through peer-to-peer activities and brand story telling via mobile microsites. Companies who engage in this space will also see more earned media as a result of organic search.

PREDICTION #4

Company Website Shall Be Responsive or Be Gone

Since all data is pointing towards the supremacy of mobile search going forward, dental companies who are seeking a competitive position in the digital space – and who isn’t? – will make their websites responsive. Since mobile devices vary in screen sizes, users will grow increasingly frustrated in viewing a traditional website on a mobile device, and if the experience is frustrating, research tell us that they will find an alternative in about 4 seconds.

PREDICTION #5

Move to Big Data in Dental

Companies will look for strategic edges through integration of big data. Companies in the dental space will demand more access to fragmented data either to help access a market or make better decisions on how to drive sales.

PREDICTION #6

Social Media Will Break Out of Its Silo

Brands will understand that likes and followers mean very little unless they are engaged. Companies in the space will capture mindshare by recognizing that will no longer place their brands in social media silos but develop a more integrated approach to telling their stories and engaging their audience. Companies in the dental space will use social media to drive inbound marketing strategies and not simply for branding purposes.  Mobile will drive access, meaningful content and the platforms will drive engagement.  Social media will evolve in the space to serve as a key platforms for brand KOLs and media engagement.

PREDICTION #7

Advertising Still Useful, Not Dead, Monetize to Digital

The era of branded print and digital advertising is over in our opinion, but that doesn’t mean that the medium is dead. In fact brand print and digital advertising can be quite useful if integrated with their digital cohorts.  Successful companies in the space will drive print to web, drive print to social, and drive print to mobile and more.  The integration will deliver more data to help CEOs and CMOs make better decisions as they look for growth in 2013.

Finally, No doubt technology will continue to transform how brands communicate their value proposition in 2013 and beyond. It’s important to note that, regardless of technology, the basics of integrated marketing communications strategies still apply. That’s one prediction that we know will last through 2013 and beyond.

Abe Kasbo is the CEO of Verasoni Worldwide a fiercely independent marketing and public relations firm located in Montclair, NJ. Follow the company here: @twitter or facebook.

 

 


Did you know that The New York Times is in the wine business? The Washington Post got into what was perceived to be the power broker business? Until of course someone shed some light on that “business” line. And CNBC is all about not upsetting business by making sure that their programming and prodigious prognosticators move markets ever upward either through sheer will, if not fast talk. Market is up, everyone is happier than a bee on caffeine. Yeah, in a downmarket, the talking heads look like they want to take their ball and go home. Bummer…These guys are the Big & Bad, these are icons of journalism.

So what does this all mean? For one thing, it confirms that content is king, I will explain the what and why later in this piece. Yes, The New York Times has to capitalize on its database to drive more dollars to the bottom line – so, let’s start a wine club! The Washington Post watched it’s circulation drop, so selling access to powerful Washingtonians seemed logical and highly accretive to the bottom line. It makes perfect sense…until it doesn’t.

Core business is critical in journalism – not earth shattering news I am sure. Let’s get serious for a minute about this and ask a critical question, What is the state of journalism as it relates to advertisers? The reason why I am using the word Journalism and not media or some other word is intentional. And while experts in suits are screaming at the demise of “traditional media” – meaning newspapers, television, radio – I submit that they are wrong, dead wrong. Why? Content IS king. The proof is Wikileaks. I mean, if these folks don’t wake up and find out that true, inspired, untarnished journalism sells, they will continue to find other ways of keeping their business relevant, like selling spirits and driving people to Twitter or asking people to pay for their “content.” The world of journalism, has actually become even more serious and competitive, but our Bigs are still asleep at the printing press or the remote control.

When the few who were calling the coming crash in between 2003-2008, the mainstream business media, including CNBC’s fell silent.  No one wanted to ruin the party.  You mean people would not have wanted to get another perspective from someone who doesn’t talk very fast and perhaps doesn’t wear a tie? Check out Jon Stewart’s – all too late I might add, but someone had to do it – undressing of Cramer on the subject…

Julian Assange and Wikileaks are hot topics these days.  From my perspective, for the wrong reasons. Governments rail against Wikileaks as they try to cover information otherwise not easily attainable by the public. The public’s apparent appetite for the information on Wikileaks has been, and I suspect will continue to be insatiable. So when Wikileaks puts out an alert, The New York Times actually promotes the content on Wikileaks and distributes it on its website and in print. While this is part in parcel with the mission of Wikileaks, The New York Times should have identified a business opportunity, one that allows it to be the trusted source for relevant content. Advertisers want and need sticky content. Wouldn’t it be better if the Grey Lady played in the same game as Wikileaks? I am taking The Times at task here, but many fine newspapers and television stations across the United States and world suffer from the same crippling disease. Yes, people are interested in this stuff, highly interested. And if you report on what Wikileaks did, I would rather visit Wikileaks, the source. Our journalists should be the source.

By many, Assange is viewed as a modern day Robin Hood, by others as spoiler and traitor.  The global media titans ought view him as an innovator and disrupter and quickly learn from him.  Wikileaks is clearly a game changer, and has quickly become a global brand, and a trusted source to boot.  Every time a whistle-blower chooses Wikileaks over “trusted” journalistic icons should make people who care deeply about these institutions mad as hell because he/she did not or could not use the traditional route to get the word out.  Content lost!  No, I am mistaken, not content lost! Judging by how many people hit Wikileaks’ servers, relevant content lost and therefore dollars lost!

Which begs another question: does anyone still care about the traditional route?

That’s a topic to chew on another time.


As technology continues to grow and the internet becomes a more common platform for business (believe it or not, many businesses still haven’t harnessed the internet), the amount of money spent on online ads has become, as you can imagine, fairly substantial. Although online advertising can be a more efficient way to target certain demographics than traditional media outlets, this does not always lead to greater results. According to a new study from MIT Sloan School of Management, the same search, and other technology, that has enabled advertisers to target particular audiences, such as men between 25 and 35 who work on Mac computers, is also creating greater online competition for the same audience, thus reducing profitability of advertising on any targeted web site.

If you think about it, this all makes all the sense in the world. And it isn’t enough that many online advertisers have only themselves to blame for fragmenting their own markets by hopping from one sexy technology or site to another, but now there is evidence that there is a finite amount of scree-estate available to compete for the attention of the viewer.

MarketingVox data suggest that the study’s findings take on greater relevance as vertical and hyper vertical ad networks continue to grow. Adify’s Vertical Gauge for Q3, brand advertising CPMs for various verticals continue to rebound from early 2009. Also, food CPMs are up 91% from last quarter and Real Estate CPMs are up 17%. As far as vertical brand advertising, both automotive and healthy living and lifestyle verticals contracted substantially.

Clearly this article suggests to advertisers and consumers alike that targeted ad dollars don’t necessarily create more efficacy or revenue, in fact, evidence, in this case, shows more targeted ad dollars are less profitable. It is critical that advertisers note the importance of integrated marketing strategies in their marketing communications campaigns…more to come.



1. Engage – People who join your group or fan page want something. Find out what it is and give it to them. Give them coupons, suggestion, offers, new, meetings, rallies, contests…what ever it is, you must keep your network engage or else you risk loosing it…or worse, having a stale network.

2. Aggregate – Social networks allow you to bring people together around your issues, products and services. Once you build your relevant network, you can engage by polling, conducting market research, delivering offers, and so on.

3. Measure Online – Measuring your activities on your social networks. For example, how many people joined your group. How many people are attending your events, how many people saw your event, and how many comments are made.

4. Measure Offline – Use every opportunity to drive your “offline” audience to your online social networks. So if have a quarterly magazine, or conduct monthly direct mail, or advertise in print or television, invite people to join your online network. Now you can measure what’s happening offline and at the same time grow your influence in your social network.

Social networking is no panacea.  But, done right, it can be a slice of heaven, even though it takes hard/smart/inspired work.


Here’s a brief interview with FIOS1 about social networking.


A discussion about the American Auto Industry's recent marketing, advertising, and public relations efforts in response to the industry's troubles. Read more

The proliferation of social networking sites is advancing at an impossible pace. For businesses, these sites offer the Holy Grail, the opportunity for engagement of their customers. This particular race is reminiscent of the race for eyeballs in the early days of the consumer Internet between Yahoo, Excite, iWon, Alta Vista, DogPile (yeah, remember those guys) and the countless search engines, turned portals.  Then Google appeared and poof, most of those guys are gone or relegated to the Internet’s C-list – in the business sense of course.  Some of them still retain their web presences, others have morphed into something else.

The similarities between the portal races and social networking race are many, let’s look at some of them:

  • Market share competition – This is done by creating useful tools that are meaningful to users.  More relevant tools, more people join, use, stay, and proselytize…at least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.
  • Viral growth – portals and social networking sites relied heavily on their users for growth, although Yahoo delved into traditional advertising to drive growth. Interestingly, advertisers are creating their own space on Facebook, and bypassing their own corporate sites by driving consumers directly to their Facebook page through traditional advertising.
  • Relevancy rules the day – the survivors of the portal wars won on their space’s relevancy to the user. Yahoo finance was created making it robust and useful, Yahoo mail kicked it up a notch after Hotmail was bought by Microsoft. And as much money iWon vowed to give away, users rejected  its business model because users care about the things important to them: 1. relevancy, 2. usefulness…iWon delivered neither.

Based on these lessons, let’s look into the crystal ball and see what shakes out for the social networking world:

Like the portal proliferation of the mid to late 90s, Facebook, Linkedin, Plaxo, MySpace, Youtube, Twitter, Friendster, et. al. are in an arms race to create useful tools in order to attract and keep market share.  One thing that must be considered here, and only one…who will be left standing when the user bandwidth becomes depleted.  In other words, why would I have a Plaxo and Linkedin accounts? Or Facebook and Twitter accounts?  Who has time for all this stuff?

Still, let’s assume businesses have the resources to sign up for these sites. Your business at Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, is only as important as your network on those sites.  Imagine managing several networks, building your client database, and then working the networking by pushing out content.  This would involve high level strategy, definition of marketing tactics, PR strategies, and a solid implementation plan…I’m getting winded just thinking typing out these words.

Now on to Twitter…

Twitter’s growth, largely organic, press and celebrity driven, is understandable. I can understand how people would want to know what Brittany Spears is thinking about while on the checkout line at Walmart – well not really.  But why would I migrate my network from Facebook to Twitter. Ok, I can update my Facebook status via Twitter, but I can do so much more with Facebook and Linkedin. I can create groups, post videos, create events, and deliver status updates, so why would I recreate or duplicate my online world on a largely one dimensional site?  What is the relevance of Twitter to my business is the question we all must answer.  And so, if  we’re tweeting to no one or an irrelevant bunch of followers, than who cares.  But if we’re serious about tweeting as a social networking medium that can help advance business objectives, then we have to take time to create a relevant pool of people that either needs or wants to hear from us on  a consistent basis.  And if I’m on Facebook or Linkedin doing this very same thing, I am not inclined to dilute or distract my network by sending them somewhere else for a singular function, like a status update.

According to a recent article in Slate, citing a study by a Harvard Business School professor, showed that 10% of Twitter users were responsible for 90% of tweets. The article also referenced a study by Nielsen, the media research firm, which asserted “that 60 percent of Twitter users do not return from one month to the next.”

So what’s Twitter to do?  Simple.  Provide more useful functionality to continue to survive. Attracting visitors is one thing, keeping them engaged on a long term basis is another.

More to come…