This week on NVTC’s blog, NVTC member company Kathy Stershic of Dialog Communications continues her Brand Reputation in the Era of Data series by sharing principle six: comply with all applicable laws and regulations - then exceed them. 


There are a LOT of laws and regulations out there that govern data handling and privacy. They vary according to where you conduct business. The European Union has the strictest set of laws that are built on the principle of human rights. The United States has what’s called a sectoral approach, that is different laws are set for different sectors – like HIPAA for healthcare, Gramm Leach Bliley for Finance, the Cable TV Privacy Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and on. In the US, 47 of 50 states also currently have data breach notification laws, all of them slightly different. Asian countries adopt data protection laws and sectoral laws. Many Latin American countries have constitutional guarantees, data protection laws, and sectoral laws. Yikes! It’s a lot to comply with – and just to keep things fun, laws and regulations are changing and updating all the time.

Realistically, marketers are not going to know every legal requirement that impacts their organization. But you should at least be aware of the basic principles of what’s allowed in the places you do business, then coordinate with Legal (I know, I know!) on how to stay out of trouble. This discovery can also happen through a process called a Privacy Impact Assessment, mentioned in my previous post.

Observing laws and regulations must be standard operating procedure. But just being compliant really isn’t enough to enhance your position in a fickle and frenetic market. Think about it this way – do you want your child to just stay out of trouble at school, or be a leader in the classroom? Where’s the attention going to go? You sure don’t want to stand out in a bad way – like being one of the 256 app providers who violated the privacy terms they contracted with Apple.

Going beyond the legal minimum and making extra effort will help your business differentiate as a trusted source. Simplified privacy policy language will help. Minimizing data collection and retention (yes, you CAN get rid of stuff!) will help. So will being transparent at all times about your practices and behaviors. Use creative ways to tell the story to your customers and stakeholders – through vignettes, through messaging, through customer service scripts – put it out there. Earning trust marks like TRUSTe really sends the message that you take data stewardship seriously.

Your customers expect you to comply with the law. They want to feel like you care and are proactive about protecting their data. I firmly believe that the great majority of people want to do the right thing; it comes back to mindfulness and balance between enthusiastic pursuit of business objectives and a bit of thoughtful restraint.

Brand Reputation in the Era of Data: 8 Principles for Responsible Data Stewardship That Won’t Kill Your Customer Relationships
Brand Reputation in the Era of Data – Principle 1: Empower Customer Control
Brand Reputation in the Era of Data – Principle 2: Be Clear and Accountable
Brand Reputation in the Era of Data – Principle 3: Do Everything You Can to Protect Customer Data
Brand Reputation in the Era of Data – Principle 4: Mind Your Partners!
Brand Reputation in the Era of Data – Principle 5: Practice Customer Empathy

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This week on NVTC’s blog, Kathy Stershic of member company Dialog Research and Communications introduces her 8 part series of principles for responsible data stewardship to help guide behavioral change that will preserve customer good will and trust.


An Introduction.

At what may be the dawn of a radical new era of technologically-driven marketing capability, I have been wondering – is enough ever going to be enough for the people being marketed to? People love their apps. They love online shopping. They love free stuff. They love connecting digitally to their friends and family 24-7. Even the growing stream of data breaches doesn’t seem to have much of a behavior-changing effect.

But the game is accelerating. Predictive intent, always the brass ring of marketing, is becoming ever-more precise, thanks to unprecedented analytics capabilities, Big Data, and soon-to-be connected everything. We may be heading toward something like on-demand lizard-brain manipulation — with marketing suggesting what people are going to want to buy before they are consciously aware of it themselves — with greater and greater accuracy on the timing of when a desire will manifest. That’s a future vision I don’t think many people understand.

So I thought I’d pose a simple question. Dialog recently conducted a study in which respondents were asked how they’d like marketers to behave in a predictive analytics world, mining data from the places the respondents digitally engage – willingly or not, knowingly or not. Respondents ranged in age from 30 to late 60s. They were male and female. They were all Americans, except for one subject of Her Majesty. Most have a college degree, a few have a Master’s, and a few work (or worked) in marketing-related jobs. They all willingly and regularly participate in the digital economy. And they all sense a lack of control over data about themselves.

One of the things that most struck me was that people have a general, vague awareness that ‘they’ are tracking everything about us. But less clear is who ‘they’ are or what’s being done with the data. Although I asked for gut reactions, what I got instead from the great majority were thoughtful, detailed and impassioned responses. Clearly this topic pushes a button. There is a growing undercurrent of discomfort. A general discomfort will get quickly channeled to any particular brand that pushes too far. Several respondents expressed (unprompted) anger at particular brands they felt disrespect their relationship. Given the huge investment required to build positive brand reputation, active customer anger should be every marketer’s (and CEO’s) nightmare.

The patterns that emerged from all of the respondents’ feedback were clear. It’s time to change behaviors. A lot of them. In the interest of something actionable, Dialog will offer NVTC members over the next few weeks a series of 8 Principles for Responsible Data Stewardship to help guide behavioral change that will preserve customer good will and trust. I request and welcome thoughts and feedback to further this important discussion.

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Contribute to the NVTC Blog!

October 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Allison Gilmore in About NVTC | Member Blog Posts | Social Media - (Comments Off)

NVTC welcomes member submissions for guest blog posts. There is no suggested word count and posts do NOT need to be original content (i.e. they can be excerpted or summarized from other authored material coming out of your company). Guest blog posts should offer information and thought leadership, and must NOT be promotional.

The best blog posts incorporate lists, graphics and/or photos, and include links to supplemental information and a concise headline. Check out this example. (Note: This post plugs a product, but only because the product is the source of the information the blog author is providing us.)

With limited editorial space (usually one or two guest posts a week), we urge you to reach out to us with your proposed submission in advance (especially if it’s time sensitive or needs to be coordinated with an event). NVTC’s editorial staff will select an appropriate date for publication of each guest post, and reserves the right to make suggestions for edits to a post before publication.

To share your insights with NVTC’s readers, contact Sarah Jones at sjones@nvtc.org or 703-268-7878 ext. 207.

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NVTC is inviting members and industry leaders to serve as guest bloggers, sharing insights and information on trends or business issues relevant to other members. This week, Elizabeth Harr of member company Hinge Marketing shares five reasons social media impacts your business in a measurable way.


With numerous social media platforms to keep track of — each their own little world with a specific set of participation standards — it’s no wonder that many marketers are asking “is this worth it?” Between the tweets, shares, status updates, pins and likes, maintaining a strong social media presence can be time consuming and confusing. Social Media Examiner’s latest industry report revealed that marketers spend a minimum of six hours per week on their social media accounts — nearly an entire day’s work.

It’s understandable that you’d want to see measurable impact from your technology firm’s social media marketing if you’re putting in all that effort. social-media-tree-icon
Perhaps the easiest way to answer the question of “is this worth it?” is to look to your clients. How are they researching their technology needs? What factors are they considering when making a purchasing decision? Where are they looking? More often than not, your buyers are starting with a basic online search, glancing through the first page of results, and checking out their options from there.

Combined with a well-rounded digital marketing strategy, social media can add the extra boost your technology firm needs to get you on that first page of search engine results. Once prospective buyers find you, social media can play a role in closing the sale. And to really drive home exactly why social media marketing is “worth it,” here’s a list of benefits that can help improve your bottom line.

5 Ways Social Media Marketing Benefits Your Technology Firm 

It Boosts Your Search Engine Rankings

Your buyers aren’t likely to look past that first page of results. Luckily, a strong social media presence can help your technology firm be one of the first options they see. Having more backlinks to your website helps to improve your ranking and social media is the perfect platform to share those links and increase your search engine optimization.

It Increases Referral Traffic

Thanks to Google Analytics, you can see exactly what types of posts on which social media platforms are driving traffic to your site. Learn from your results and focus on the types of posts that are generating the most visitors.

It Helps Establish Your Brand

When a prospective buyer finds your website, they’re probably going to poke around to see if your priorities and personality match their own. Social media is a great way for potential clients to get to “know” your technology firm. The information you share can help position you as a trusted authority in your field.

It Can Build Your Contacts List

You can use your social media accounts to promote premium content that drives visitors to your website. In order to download the content, ask visitors to enter in some basic contact information to build up your email lists. Sticking to requiring nothing more than a name and email address will help increase your conversions for the content.

It Can Be a Great Promotional Tool

Promoting offers on social media requires you to walk a fine line. Your followers don’t want to see an excess of promotional content, but you can still publicize offers as long as they’re mixed in with predominantly informational content.

Though the time commitment of social media marketing might seem overwhelming to your technology firm at times, employing it as part of your digital marketing strategy can help you acquire new clients. Between increasing your online visibility, driving traffic to your website and establishing your credibility in the industry, social media is, without a doubt, “worth it.”

Check out Hinge’s free Social Media Guide for tips on increasing your social media footprint.


Elizabeth Harr is a partner at Hinge, a marketing and branding firm for professional services. Elizabeth is an accomplished entrepreneur and experienced executive with a background in strategic planning, brand building, and communications. She is the coauthor of Inside the Buyer’s Brain, How Buyers Buy: Technology Services Edition and Online Marketing for Professional Services: Technology Services Edition.

 

 

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DARPA, Millennials and More – Now on YouTube

January 7th, 2014 | Posted by Sarah Jones in Social Media - (Comments Off)
1310_techcelebration 278 web

Did you know that NVTC is on YouTube? Check out our page for highlights from some of our biggest signature events! The most recent video features DARPA Director Dr. Arati Prabhakar, who shares some of the Agency’s coolest projects and investments in national security.

In addition, we’re sure you’ve heard about “Millennials” (aka Generation Y) and their cultural impact,  but have you considered how their passion might ignite our industry’s workforce? Check out SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott’s address at our annual banquet, TechCelebration, to hear more.

P.S. – we’re also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

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Meaningful Measurement: The Impact of Social Media

January 7th, 2014 | Posted by Colby Cox in Social Media - (Comments Off)

It should come as no surprise that companies are working at feverous paces to gain a better understanding of the unstructured data that social media provides. Companies are searching for ways to measure and understand social habits of  fans and brand advocates along with a myriad of social activities to advance the company’s position. One of the best ways to do this is have a solid understanding of what you are measuring along with benchmarks to know you are advancing at a productive pace.

In conjunction with DC Week 2012, the NVTC Social Media Committee hosted an event focusing on; “Meaningful Measurement: The Impact of Social Media”. We were joined by speakers from comScoreR2integratedPew Research along with our event moderator Chris Abraham who shared with us some great statistics and insights we can all take advantage of.

Sara Goo (@sarakgoo) of Pew Research kicked off the event with a fantastic Prezi focused around the recent elections that highlighted some key statistics to keep in mind.

  • Who is using social media? – 69% of all American adults (doubled since 2008)
  • ‘Dual Screening’ – 11% of viewers of the 1st Presidential debate used both TV and a mobile device or computer.

Carmela Aquino (@caaquino) of comScore presented next and discussed how her company is going ‘beyond the like’ while providing some key Facebook statistics. Carmela mentioned that measuring your message is very important for direct fans, but don’t forget the impact that ‘like’ has on their friends.

  • 1 Facebook user can virally amplify your message to 80 friends.
  • 40% of Facebook time is on the newsfeed while only 12% is on the profile page.
  • 1 in 6 minutes is spent on a social network

Dave Taub (@davetaub), the co-founder of R2integrated, gave some fantastic advice when he said “Social is a behavior, not a channel.” When companies accept the fact that social interactions should not be viewed simply as another channel but as a chance to truly impact their customers, fans, etc., then they will truly understand the meaning of social media.

I leave you with two questions that came up during the Q&A portion of our discussion. We would love to hear your responses for future posts and a possible event discussion.

Do blogs still play an important role in social media?

Is ‘Behavioral Modeling’ the biggest need for brands to succeed in social media?

Check out some of the pics from today’s event on the NVTC Facebook Page.

- Colby Cox, Director of Sales & Business Development, RepEquity Inc.

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In late September 2011, LinkedIn added new functionality that allows contacts to endorse each other with a single click. This tool is not meant to replace one’s ability to write a detailed recommendation, it’s just meant to increase and simplify the opportunity to endorse others.

True recommendations are often difficult to receive. The time it takes to create a meaningful post for a contact’s profile frequently slows down and hinders the process. Many say that they are willing to show support of their colleagues, but writing a strong recommendation takes thought and effort.

LinkedIn recognizes this fact and now provides a one click option that allows users to quickly and easily recognize contacts for their skills and expertise. This new feature has already become popular and is receiving significant attention.

linkedin

Here are some of the basics to take advantage of while using the Endorsement tool:

Add your abilities to your profile – Under the Skills & Expertise section, select the capabilities to show your experience and proficiencies. Make sure your privacy settings allow others to see this feature.

Ask for endorsements – Like recommendations, it is best to reach out to your connections and ask for their blessing. Avoid asking contacts that may not know you well enough to feel comfortable recommending you.

Endorse others – View the profiles of your colleagues, clients, partners and prospects. Select the skills that you truly believe they possess. Remember that NVTC.org is filled with many of your most trusted contacts.

Avoid blindly endorsing contacts – It is very easy to use this feature. It is almost too easy. Endorsements will lose value if anyone and everyone receives them for every skillset on their profiles.

You can do this quickly and you will likely receive endorsements for any expertise that you have developed throughout your career.

Once you are ready, start clicking!

Connect with me on Twitter @AndrewBates or LinkedIn

 

andrewbates

Andrew Bates is the director of online marketing at Hinge Marketing in Reston, Va. He is responsible for managing all of Hinge’s digital marketing strategies and services. These services include search engine optimization, social media, paid search and media advertising, email lead generation as well as comprehensive web analytics. Bates has developed custom online marketing and social media programs for organizations that include Chevron, the American Cancer Society, DuPont and Rosetta Stone. A self-described super geek entrepreneur, Bates helped create and lead two Washington, D.C. area design and marketing firms, both acquired by industry giants. He has been an active member of NVTC for 10 years, serving on multiple committees.

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about.me – Your Online Business Card

August 1st, 2012 | Posted by Andrew Bates in Social Media Committee - (Comments Off)

Paper business cards are becoming a thing of the past.  Most of us still hand them out as well as receive them, but where do they go?  Do you enter all of those details into your contact lists, or do those cards end up in a stack with others that will never see the light of day again?  The truth is that many people do not refer to them after meeting someone new.  Frequently these cards even end up in the trash before the day is over.

Now it has become increasingly important to provide a simple method to give your new contacts a way to find your information without digging through that dusty stack hidden in their desks.  LinkedIn is still one of the best ways for professionals to keep track of fellow business associates, but there must be more than one way to find each other online.

What if you had a simple online business card that represents your experience and value without all the issues when we meet someone new?  about.me has the answer.  This site is a free way to meet these needs without all the hassle.   about.me allows you to provide your details in a single page that can become your online business card.

In a matter of minutes, anyone can create an about.me page. It can communicate your value as well as a bit of your personality which really sets you apart from others.  The site also allows you to build a custom about.me page that can even include your name as part of the web address (like mine for instance: about.me/AndrewBates).  And, since I built my page a few years ago, I’ve found that other business professionals can find my page and details with a quick search in Google.

Some quick tips to get the most out of your about.me page:

Keep it simple – That is the point.  Less is more.  This differentiates about.me from all other personal websites.  Include only the amount of text required to show your value.

Show some personality – You can add any image as your background, much like the wallpaper on your desktop.  Using a picture of yourself will help others remember you, and it is a great opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd.  LinkedIn is the right environment for all of your professional details; about.me gives you the opportunity to be less formal.

Link it to your other profiles and sites – about.me features include the ability to link your page to other URLs including your website, twitter and LinkedIn.  This can help others find any and all of your profiles.  “Social SEO” / social media optimization builds a web of your profiles online allowing others to find you more easily.

Promote your profile – Get it out there.  Mention it to your new contacts.  Put the link in your email signature.  Make sure your about.me URL is prominent on all of your other social profiles as well.

About.me is free, easy and fun.  There a number of examples on the site that can give you inspiration.  Please let me know what you think.  Comment on this post and include the link to your new profile!

andrewbatesThis post was written on August, 1 2012 by Andrew Bates, the director of online marketing at Hinge Marketing in Reston, Va. He is responsible for managing all of Hinge’s digital marketing strategies and services. These services include search engine optimization, social media, paid search and media advertising, email lead generation as well as comprehensive web analytics. Bates has developed custom online marketing and social media programs for organizations that include Chevron, the American Cancer Society, DuPont and Rosetta Stone. A self-described super geek entrepreneur, Bates helped create and lead two Washington, D.C. area design and marketing firms, both acquired by industry giants. He has been an active member of NVTC for 10 years, serving on multiple committees.

 

 

 

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