Reputation management is typically seen as a sunk cost. That means the money spent is done and gone. While that’s always true, what if that sunk cost could be converted to a marketing cost (or investment) and generate a positive return on investment (ROI)?

This is something that I give a lot of thought to. Reputation management is deductible in almost every business (I suggest you talk to your CPA) as a marketing expense, but what if it were a true marketing endeavor? The way that I accomplish this for my clients is through specific marketing approaches. For example, every good reputation management company will need to create content on behalf of the client. Why not focus content to be about a particular product or service too? Let’s look at a real world example:

GT Advanced is a company who has partnered with Apple Inc. to create sapphire glass for a future product Apple will develop, possibly including the Apple Watch or the next iPhone (iPhone 7?). That’s pretty great, but right now GT Advanced has two clear reputation management problems, in my opinion.

1. Bankruptcy filing. As seen in this screenshot, GT Advanced’s bankruptcy has completely changed the typical person’s focus on the company. Last week they were known for having a state of the art facility and creating one of the world’s most advanced display overlays. Today they’re known for filing bankruptcy.

2. Lack of plan B. According to industry experts, part of the agreement with Apple was that GT Advanced was restricted from doing certain types of business with certain companies. They had all their eggs in one basket.

Not having a backup plan is outside of my control, but the reputation management and bankruptcy filing is something I could definitely control and spin. Imagine that GT Advanced is losing $100,000 per month in business as a result of their negative publicity. Now imagine a full reputation management campaign would cost them $50,000. That $50,000 wouldn’t just be to clean up their online reputation but also to market their business, products and services. They likely spend more than $50,000 per year in marketing but that is not helping with their online reputation. Spending money on reputation management can not only clean up their online presence, but hopefully gain new clients who are looking for their products.

My clients get to choose their marketing angle and we can often include a few different marketing angles including new products and services. I have a dental client for whom we created an entire marketing campaign including logos and press materials. They’re combining reputation management with newspaper ads and direct mail and it’s looking to be a fantastic success.

For more information on how to make your reputation management campaign a positive marketing experience, give me a call at 559-871-1613.