Earlier this week, I attended the Pittsburgh American Marketing Association’s annual kickoff dinner at Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at the Priory. I was delighted to hear Duquesne beer president Mark Dudash talk about how his wife Maria and he are reviving the Prince of Pilsener, Duquesne Beer. Here’s the back story from their Website – it’s a great one too.
Mark’s an attorney and a proud city of Pittsburgh guy like me – in fact, we went to rival highs schools – South Catholic (Beechview – him) and Bishop Canevin (Westwood – 28th Ward – me). He might not be a “classically trained” marketer, but Maria and he are super smart marketers nonetheless – believe me. They didn’t jump into spending a ton of money in outbound marketing, but rather spent their money on creating a unique, high quality brand – a super premium Pilsener beer – at a fair price. And, with their inbound marketing efforts – via Faceboook – their raving fans are spreading their good word.
During his keynote, Mark repeatedly used words and phrases like, ‘loyalty, ‘having fun,’ ‘conducting your due diligence,’ ‘understanding your product’ and doing the right things right. Believe me…the Dudash’s are doing a ton of ‘right things right.’
When we consult with brands, we conduct a ton of research before we ever recommend marketing strategies, tactics and tools.
In fact, we start every new client engagement with a simple, initial 5 question exercise such as:
- Who are you?
- What’s your story?
- Why should someone care?
- What’s your dramatic difference?
- How can/do you passionately demonstrate and convey your dramatic difference?
Maria and Mark, may have not known the questions above, but more importantly, they sure know the answers and are hitting the cover off the ball!
I’m a big fan of Duquesne Beer – it tastes great and its a great brand – and will be rooting for them to “stick it to the man” – the man – or men – being the likes of Mr. Budweiser, Mr. Miller, Mr. Coors and more.
Good luck sweet Prince! We’re glad to have you back!
P.S.: Looking forward to you bringing back Ft. Pitt Beer too!
Congratulations to our super client and all of our super friends at Idlewild & SoakZone for repeating as the ‘Best Children’s Park in the World!’ Here’s the press release we put on the wire earlier today. What a well deserving bunch!
Idlewild & SoakZone Repeats as Best Children’s Park in the World
LIGONIER, PA – September 17, 2011 – Today, at its Golden Ticket ceremony held in Santa Claus, Indiana, Amusement Today Magazine (http://www.amusementtoday.com) recognized Pennsylvania’s Idlewild & SoakZone (http://www.idlewild.com) as the ‘Best Children’s Park in the World’ for the second consecutive year.
“The Golden Tickets are awarded based on a poll of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans worldwide,” explained Gary Slade, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Amusement Today. “Since the inception of the best children’s park category in 2004, Idlewild & SoakZone placed in the top two, and placed first in 2010. It’s a testament to Idlewild & SoakZone’s perseverance in providing a unique family- friendly entertainment value in such a beautiful park setting.”
“This honor means a lot to our dedicated team members, who work hard to provide a fun, family-friendly experience every season. To be recognized as one of the best is fantastic news for our guests and the Laurel Highlands region, who have supported us for over 130 years,” said Park spokesperson Jeff Croushore. “We’re overjoyed to once again be named Best Children’s Park and wish to share this award with all of our fans, both the young and the young at heart.”
For more information about the 2011 survey results, visit: http://www.goldenticketawards.com/
ABOUT AMUSEMENT TODAY’S GOLDEN TICKET AWARDS
Amusement Today is an amusement industry trade publication based in Arlington, Texas. Introduced in 1998, the Golden Tickets are the most prized awards in the industry. Amusement park fans worldwide are asked to rate the top parks in 25 categories. The 2011 international poll was the eighth for children appeal in its 14-year history. For more information, call 817.460.7220 or visit http://www.amusementtoday.com.
ABOUT IDLEWILD & SOAKZONE
Founded in 1878 as a picnic ground along the Ligonier Valley Rail Road, Idlewild & SoakZone (www.idlewild.com) is the oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania and third-oldest in America. Featuring seven theme areas, operations run late-May through Labor Day with “Hallowboo,” a Halloween-themed event, taking place in October. Idlewild is part of the Palace Entertainment family of parks that hosts over 14 million visitors annually at five theme parks, two animal parks, 10 waterparks, and 21 family entertainment centers. For more information, call 724.238.3666 or visit http://www.idlewild.com and http://www.palaceentertainment.com.
My father told me many times when I was young that God game me two ears and one mouth for a reason…to listen! In my early days in marketing, while doing marketing research, I came across a great quote from Frederick the Great, “I can excuse being defeated but never being surprised.” And, I agree with him too. For, in this day and age of the Internet and social media there is so much free and easy information at your fingertips that it’s inexcusable for being surprised much less shocked about anything.
However the tough thing with information for me and so many others these days is organizing it into actionable data.
Here is a list of more than 100 listening and learning tools we’ve organized for our firm and use for reference. So much these days is made about content creation and publishing in social media – which I agree with – however, not enough effort is made about tools to speed up your research efforts with brand listening and competitive intelligence tools.
I hope this post helps you become a better marketer and feel free to use and add to the list because it’s certainly not exhaustive. And, remember one final quote:
When you take information from one competitor it’s called stealing.
When you take information from more than two competitors it’s called research.
Here’s our list of 100 Social Media Listening and Learning Tools
- 123People. 123people searches for people related information publicly available on the Internet. Through its proprietary search algorithm, 123People helps you tfind name related information consisting of images, videos, phone numbers, email addresses, social networking and Wikipedia profiles and more for free.
- 48ers. This free search engine searches conversations through different social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and more to uncover what people are saying about topics and brands.
- Addictomatic. Addictomatic searches the best LIVE sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images. Keeping up with the hottest topics.
- Alltop. Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop is the “online magazine rack” of the web. We love it.
- Alterian SM2. A business intelligence product that allows you to access customer thoughts and opinions. You can find data from social media channels to monitor your brand on blogs, message boards/forums, microblogs, wikis, video/photosharing, social networks, classified sites, and review sites.
- Backtype. Helps brands measure their social engagement.
- Bing. A free web search engine from Microsoft that finds and organizes the answers you need so you can make faster, more informed decisions.
- Blog Perfume. Provides WordPress users both free and paid for resources including all the useful WordPress themes, plugins, and blogging resources for pro-bloggers.
- BlogPulse. Free search engine for Blogs that also discovers trends on daily activity in the blogosphere
- BoardReader. Free search engine that allows users to search for keywords in posts and titles of online forums and search multiple message boards simultaneously.
- BoardTracker. Forum search engine, message tracking and instant alerts system, provides relevant info quickly and efficiently while ensuring you never miss an important forum thread no matter where or when it is posted.
- Cision (CisionPoint). CisionPoint is a PR and media solutions, technologies and services offering powered by the world’s largest media database. With CisionPoint, you get the ability to plan your campaign, connect with your audience, monitor your coverage, and analyze your results, all from one place.
- coComment. coComment is a service for managing, powering and researching conversations online. You can keep track of your comments across any site, share them with friends, and get notified when you get a response
- Commentful. A service that watches comments/follow-ups on Blog posts, Digg submissions, Flickr pictures and other types of content. Whenever there is an update, such as a new follow-up or comment, Commentful notifies you instantly.
- Co.mments. Co.mments helps you stay on top of the conversation by keeping you updated of new comments. Just bookmark, track and follow.
- Comment Sniper. Comment Sniper automatically checks leading Blogs within your industry in real-time & notifies the moment a new post has been made. This allows you to get the first mover advantage on comment posting, for more targeted Website visitors and better link popularity.
- Compete Site ProfileTM. Provides Website traffic history and competitive analytics; a list of available promotional codes across thousands of online retailers; and site-specific trust scores based on up-to-the-minute data from Compete and third party security services.
- Compete Search AnalyticsTM. Paid for platform that uses tools that help optimize search marketing campaigns, create brand awareness, drive site traffic and increase sales.
- Compete Referral AnalyticsTM. Paid for platform that provides powerful traffic referral and destination data that you can use to drive online marketing effectiveness.
- Compete Ranked ListsTM. Paid for platform that provides lists of the most popular sites across the Internet, ranked by any metric available on Compete.com.
- Compete BlogTM. Free access platform highlighting how people are use the Internet and where interesting, useful sites can be found.
- Compete Category ProfileTM. Available exclusively to Compete PRO Enterprise customers, Compete Category Profiles combine the best data in the industry with powerful exploratory and research tools that enable you to discover, take action, and measure marketing performance across the online landscape.
- Copernic Tracker. Copernic Tracker automatically looks for new content on Web pages, as often as you like. When a change is detected, its Website tracking software can notify you by sending an email, including a copy of the Web page with the changes highlighted, or by displaying a desktop alert.
- Cotweet. CoTweet is a comprehensive Web-based social media engagement, management and reporting solution that helps companies of all sizes engage, track and analyze conversations about their brands across the most popular and influential social communities today, Twitter and Facebook.
- Crimson Hexigon. A social media monitoring and analysis service that helps uncover consumer opinions and insights about brands, products, industry, competitors and more.
- Crowdbooster. Provides online influence analytics that aren’t based on numbers connected to your business and your social media strategies: impressions, total reach, engagement, and more. Also includes tools and recommendations needed to take action and improve each one of these metrics.
- Delicious. Delicious is a Social Bookmarking service, which means you can save all your bookmarks online, share them with other people, and see what other people are bookmarking. It also means that you can see the most popular bookmarks being saved right now across many areas of interest. In addition, the search and tagging tools help you keep track of your entire bookmark collection.
- Delver. Delver is an intelligent social search engine that enables you to find, experience and benefit from the wealth of information created and referenced by your social world. The search engine allows you to discover and benefit from the collective wisdom of your friends, friends of friends, and people whose knowledge and value you admire. People around you are increasingly creating and sharing useful content online through: blogs, videos, reviews, articles, websites, music… and the list is only growing.
- Digg. Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the Web. Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by its community. They provide tools for the community to discover content, discuss the topics that they’re passionate about, connect with like-minded people, and make new friends.
- Empire Avenue – The ‘Social Stock Market.” Empire Avenue is a social networking game that allows you to connect with individuals based on “value relationships”. It’s a great way to get your brand in front of new, engaged audiences and connect with relevant customers in a fun environment across 150+ countries.
- Facebook Search. A useful search tool for the Facebook social network powered by the Facebook Open Graph API and returns data that is publicly available. Users can search across posts, photos, people, pages, groups and events without the need to login or have a Facebook account.
- FeedCompare. A tool to compare the numbers of subscribers to a Blog with other Blogs. This feed comparison application lets you compare up to four feeds at a time and presents the results with a nice flash chart interface. You can also do comparisons based upon different periods of time. Free service for comparing Feedburner feed subscribers.
- Feedky. A tool that constantly scans popular video networks like YouTube, DailyMotion, Metacafe, Vpod, Google Video, Flickr, etc. looking for the new videos matching the tags you enter as interests.
- FourWhere. Helps you find comments, tips for venues left by Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp users. FourWhere automatically retrieves and aggregates user comments and visualizes them on the map.
- Google Alerts. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.
- Google Blogsearch. Google Blogsearch a useful search tool that focuses specifically on finding and returning information from millions of feed-enabled Blogs.
- Google Insights. Compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties.
- Google News. Google News is an automated news aggregator provided by Google Inc. The service covers news articles appearing within the past 30 days on various news Websites.
- Google Reader. Google Reader lets you subscribe to your favorite Websites so new content comes to you when it’s posted. Reader keeps track of which things you’ve read so that you only see unread items when you come back.
- Google Realtime Search. Abandoned recently – allowed users to get information from social networks, and most notably Twitter, as soon as it happened. Looks like it may re-appear with Google+.
- Google Trends. Compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.
- Google Video (Advanced Search). Allows you to easily search for a video by narrowing down your selections through the specification of a language, duration length, date, quality, domain, etc.
- HootSuite. Hootsuite is a Website and online brand management service, which publishes to Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace, and WordPress. Also features custom analytics, team collaboration, and the ability to schedule messages in advance across all social media platforms.
- HowSociable. HowSociable provides a simple way for you to begin measuring your brand’s visibility on the social web.
- IceRocket. IceRocket is an Internet search engine which specializes in real-time search. The IceRocket site is a free resource for people looking to monitor their brand, it is ad supported.
- Keotag. Site that allows you to enter a subject and search various social media sites for what’s being said about that subject in real time.
- Klout. Klout compiles engagement and activity levels for brands in social media, and then assigns each user a Klout score on a scale from 1 to 100. Scoring available for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare.
- Looxii. Social Media tracking tool for small to medium businesses: Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, Flickr, Delicious, Forums, Identica and YouTube.
- MentionMap. A visualizer tool that lets you assess the most influential Twitter users in various sectors.
- Metacafe. The first and only entertainment destination solely dedicated to showcasing the best short-form videos from the world of Movies, Video Games, TV, Music and Sports – programmed for today’s young male Entertainment Drivers.
- MonitorThis. A search engine tool that allows you to search for new entries in 25 different search engines.
- Monitter. A real time search tool that helps you monitor a set of keywords on Twitter. You can narrow a search to a particular geographic location, allowing you to find out what’s going on in a particular part of the world. Let’s you monitor Twitter for keywords, phrases and topics being discussed online at a glance (We still prefer Hootsuite).
- MyTweeple. Checks out your Twitter account and analyzes who is following you back — a good way to monitor reciprocal relationships.
- Northern Light Search. Providing strategic research portals, business research content, and search technology to global enterprises since 1996.
- Omgili. A (Oh My God I Love It) forum search engine that lets you find communities, message boards, discussion threads about any topic.
- OpenBook. Lets you do a live-search of Facebook member status updates in real-time by searching people’s Facebook posts. The results are from public status updates where the Facebook member has their settings public.
- Page2RSS. A service that helps you monitor Websites that do not publish feeds. It will check Web pages for updates and deliver them to your favorite RSS reader.
- PeerIndex – Track you online influence with an array of influence metrics on your various social networks. Easily connect your profiles and pages and PeerIndex analyzes them for activity, audience, and authority. This is a great option to help you discover authorities and opinion makers around a particular topic.
- Plancast. Discover events your contacts plan to attend as well as other cool events coming up in your area through signing in via your Facebook or Twitter account.
- Pleegs. A free search engine that uses 16 other search engines to give you the most up-to-date information about anything you desire. Pleegs allows you to track a product, link, brand or name and gives you the option to receive new information by RSS, email, or directly on your blog with a widget.
- PostRank. A platform that tracks where and how users engage, and what they pay attention to — in real-time. PostRank gathers where and when stories generate comments, bookmarks, tweets, and other forms of interaction from a host of social hubs. Lets you uncover your influencers, identify which social networks give you the greatest traction and benchmark yourself against the competitors
- Pulse of the Tweeters. A service that uses data mining and sentiment analysis to mine millions of tweets and find the most influential people on Twitter around your cause or sector.
- Quantcast. A free direct audience measurement for all Website owners including traffic, demographics, business, lifestyle, interests and more. Audience targeting for buyers and sellers of digital media also available to reach millions of new prospects just like your best customers (Quantcast Lookalikes).
- Quarkbase. A tool that scours the Internet and pulls together a report for you about any Website. Learn about the social popularity of a site, how often it’s getting bookmarked, who’s Twittering it, who’s Digging it and so on.
- Radian6. A complete platform to listen, measure and engage with your customers across the entire social web. Platforms start at $600.
- SamePoint. Enables clients to effectively integrate social media into their business processes.
- Scout Labs. A web-based application that finds ‘signals’ in the noise to help your team build better products and stronger customer relationships.
- Seesmic. A suite of social media management and collaboration tools that provide businesses and individuals with everything they need to build their brands online.
- Sideline. A Yahoo! service that lets you create and group custom queries by topics of interest.
- Sitemeter. A comprehensive real time website tracking and counter tools give you instant access to vital information and data about your site’s audience interests.
- SiteTrail. A comprehensive website analysis platform for breaking social media and technology news on the Web.
- SocialMention. Provides a picture of how terms get used, tracking strength (brand mentions), sentiment (positive/negative tweets), passion (percentage of people discussing your brand), and reach (range of influence).
- Socialoyster. A tool that lets you share your online social activities with friends. This site offers three features, the Oysterpass, the Social Search Engine, and the Oysterline, that let users showcase their activities and interests.
- Spy. Empowers users to listen in on any social media conversations of interest, without having to take part of it or showing that he is listening at all.
- Technorati. Technorati Authority measures a site’s standing & influence in the blogosphere.
- Touchgraph. Use this free Java app to explore the connections between related websites.
- Track. A little-known Twitter feature that lets you track keywords and have them sent directly to your mobile phone as soon as they’re posted.
- Trackur. Trackur allows you to monitor your reputation, your news mentions, your PR campaigns, your employees, or your competition.
- Trendpedia. A multi-lingual social media monitoring and research tool provides insights into what the world is saying about your brand.
- Trendrr. Digital and social media business intelligence platform.
- TruCast. A social intelligence software solution that transforms masses of unstructured social media.
- Twazzup A dashboard program that monitors Twitter and will let you know whenever your keywords are mentioned in a Tweet.
- Tweetbeep. An online reputation management device that keeps track of conversations that mention you, your products, your company, anything, with hourly updates.
- Tweetburner. Allows you to track statistics on the links you share with Tweetburner, like on Twitter and Friendfeed.
- Tweetdeck. Connects you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn etc., and allows you to customize your Twitter with columns, groups, saved searches and automatic updates.
- Twendz. A Twitter-mining Web app that uses the power of Twitter Search, highlighting conversations that lead trends, conversation topics and points of view.
- Twilert. Sends you emails when it sees keywords on Twitter that you specify.
- Twitter Advanced Search. Isolates Tweets about a targeted sector. Look for keywords, search by location, date or with other filters.
- Twitterfall. Helps you to keep up on conversations about an event, or an online chat, using hashtags. You can use its geolocation panel to see discussions in a geographic area.
- Twitter Grader. A free tool from HubSpot that allows you to check the power of your Twitter profile compared to millions of other users that have been graded.
- Twitter Search. Allows you to check what is being said on Twitter about your brand/business.
- Twitscoop. Lets you search and follow what’s buzzing on Twitter in real time.
- Twingly. A Blog search engine featuring a SPAM-free, faceted, social search for the global blogosphere.
- UsernameCheck. A simple service that will let you find out where your username is registered in an instant.
- Video Alerts. A service that allows you to get an email notification when new videos are uploaded to YouTube, on whatever topic you choose.
- Viral Heat. The first measurement platform that’s social. Subscribers share a collection of profiles and charts ranging from your favorite brands, products, or topics so you can glean important insights in real-time.
- WatchThatPage. Enables you to automatically collect new information from your favorite pages on the Internet. You select which pages to monitor, and the service will find which pages have changed, and collect all the new content for you.
- Website Grader. Website Grader is a free SEO tool from HubSpot that measures the marketing effectiveness of a Website. It provides basic advice on how the Website can be improved from a marketing perspective.
- Wikipedia. A free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation providing community-edited information.
- WhosTalkin. A social media search tool that allows users to search for and join in on conversations surrounding the topics that they care about most.
- Yahoo! News. Yahoo! News is an Internet-based news aggregator provided by Yahoo! It features Top Stories, U.S. National, World, Business, Entertainment, Science, Health, Weather, Most Popular, News Photos, Op/Ed, and Local news.
- Yahoo Pipes. A powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web. Simple commands can be combined together to create output that meets your needs.
- Yotify. A free, personal Web scout service that enables you to track anything on the Internet, enlists your friends to help, and reports back only what you want to know.
All of us at BrandMill are happy to report that one of our super clients – Idlewild & Soak Zone in Ligonier, PA (about an hour drive from Pittsburgh) – is now open and operating its 134th season of summer fun and has made a huge splash with its new water park attraction, “Wowabunga” Family Wave Pool.
New Wowabunga Family Wave Pool
Wowabunga features intermittent waves suitable for both younger and older guests as well as a “beach” area perfect for guests looking to soak up the summer sun. See awe-inspiring cirque entertainment all summer long at Cirque Extreme – Under the Big Top and enjoy the following special events – all included with the price of admission – and with free picnicking too:
- June 13 – 17 & June 20 – 24 – BOGO Days
- June 19 – Firefighter/EMS Family Appreciation Day
- June 27 – July 3 – Showcase of Stars
- July 4 – Fireworks
- July 5 -8 – Antique & Classic Car Show and Parade
- July 11 – 15 – Mister Rogers’ Neighbor Days
- July 18 – 22 – Meet the Marvel Comic Super Heroes (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America)
- July 25 -29 – Christmas In July
- July 31 – Cheerleading Competition
- August 12 – Italian Day Festa
- August 22 – 26 – Car Load Days
- October – Hallowboo!
For more details, check out this recent video on KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today LIVE featuring Park Spokesperson Jeff Croushore.
About Idlewild & ZoakZone
Founded in 1878 as a simple picnic ground along the Ligonier Valley Rail Road, Idlewild & SoakZone is the oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania and third-oldest in America. In addition, it is rated the best kid’s park in the world by Amusement Today magazine and the best park for families by the National Amusement Park Historical Association. Idlewild features seven fun theme areas such as SoakZone Waterpark, Story Book Forest and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Seasonal operations run through Labor Day and “Hallowboo,” a Halloween-themed event, takes place in October. Idlewild is part of the Palace Entertainment family which hosts over 13 million visitors annually at 40 locations across the country. With 8 theme parks, 11 water parks and 21 family entertainment centers, Palace is the largest operator of water parks and family entertainment centers in the nation. For more information, call 724.238.3666 or visit http://www.idlewild.com and http://www.palaceentertainment.com.