Archive for category web marketing

Facebook expands @ mention tagging to comments


A while back, Facebook introduced Twitter-esque @ tagging, allowing users to mention specific people in posts and status messages. Now Facebook has expanded that same functionality to include comments. The update also provides users with a notification when someone tags them, the same way Facebook notifies you about — well, about nearly everything.

via Facebook expands @ mention tagging to comments.

The use of “@ mention tagging” is one of the tactics I teach my clients to use.  It is one of the fastest ways to get your status post to show up on someone’s wall, and by that I mean their fiend list.  Now with the instruction of @ mentions on comments we can even push this further then before.  This comes in very handy since the share button is no longer visible on our page updates.  I think I need to get my clients on a conference call and retrain them on this new capability.

Usage Recommendation

This exercise is about Marketing Reach.    And this introduction of comment @ mention’s now opens up any status update to increase your brand awareness.  Also let me say, this is not about spam either, remember your comments can be deleted by the status author and they can remove you from their list as well.

Here are some ideas, and remember you need to switch to the ‘fan page author’ so your fan page get’s the credit for the comment:

  • Affinities – If you know that one of your fans has in interesting or passion in something you have run across, you make a comment with and @ mention to that fan and your fan page is then showing up on their wall and to their friends.
  • Awareness – something new that you find and want to share it with specific fans, especially very active fans,  you make a comment with and @ mention to that fan and your fan page is then showing up on their wall and to their friends.
  • Praise – share the love so you make a comment with and @ mention to that fan and your fan page is then showing up on their wall and to their friends.

I’m sure there are other applications.  Please share with me your ideas on how your are using this new capability.

Good Hunting.

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Marketing Lesson: Smartphones Outsell PCs


According to IDC, smartphone manufacturers shipped 100.9 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2010, while PC manufacturers shipped 92.1 million units worldwide. Or, more simply put, smartphones just outsold PCs for the first time ever.

via Smartphones Outsell PCs.

The above quote should not come as a surprise.  Change happens.  The real question becomes, “How are we preparing our clients, or shaping our projects/campaigns for this shift in the marketing landscape?”

Nostalgic Deja Vu

I was just telling one of my classes yesterday that even though the assignments are focusing on 8×11 documents they need to keep in the back of their mind the fact that their message might be seen on a small screen so always plan ahead.

This problem seems to be resurfacing constantly in the technology sector.  I can remember, in my brief stint in development, which now seems like three lifetimes ago, the revelation that the developers I worked with all had power user machines: top of the line CPU’s, memory maxed to capacity, every bay in the tower loaded with the largest hard drives that could be purchased, the biggest fasted monitor and video board that was sold at the time.  Not a real problem unless you consider the average ‘consumer’ of these developers were running on machines three generations behind, and were loaded with the least possible equipment to save costs for the company purchasing the hardware.

At least we were lucky to have a great software development manager, my brother-in-law, who demanded no code go into production unless it passed a speed test on a machine comparable to what the user base was currently using.  So we always kept a box in the corner of the office with the current configuration our clients had.  This created some awkward moments when the entire development team would watch as one of the developers would run the cpu/memory/video gauntlet with a piece of code that ran like greased lighting on his box.

Some Possible Action Items

Here are some things you should do right now:

  • Test your existing site: get a smartphone, get several with different size screens, and test what you currently have out there being viewed by visitors to your site.
  • Update Project Requirements: only accept work that can be used on a smartphone screen.  It will cost more, but if your site works and your competitor’s doesn’t, well that’s just priceless.
  • Update Your Marketing Plan: Think mobile.  What items in your plan can change now as this wave begins to form, rather waiting until is past you and you are playing catchup.

Let me know if you’ve encountered feedback from your visitors about your site not working on smartphones and what you did to fix the problem.

Good Hunting.

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5 Reasons Why Online Marketing Rules


One of the blog authors I read frequently is Matt Hames at his blog “People like to share“.  Recently he threw out a blog post that seemed to challenge my chosen profession of Internet Marketing.  The post was “5 reason why online marketing sucks“.  Now besides the title catching my eyes, some of the content was equally abrasive.  Now let me say this, if you come from the print world, his thoughts might be exactly what your are thinking and seem normal.  For someone like me that has come up the ranks in the internet only path I found his items lacking.

So rather then attack Matt’s prejudiced and bias post towards those of us in the internet space I thought I would spend some time explaining why I love the online marketing realm and why I think it is the future of our industry called marketing.

Reason 1: Speed of Feedback = Reaction Speed

I love the fact that I can put out an internet ad on Google or Yahoo and within a day I can start making adjustments.  I can test titles, graphics, copy, landing pages.  I know based on impression rates how many eyes have seen the ad.  Once they land on my ad landing page I can track what they do and where they went on my site by telling a story and adding action items at different points of the story, thus giving me valuable information about what engages the visitor.  I know how many people have clicked on the ad.  I know what phrases they used to search the internet that introduced them to my ad and land on my page for that ad.  I love the speed of feedback.  I can make changes to my world while my print counterparts are still wondering how bad their campaign was with some 0.000000000000003 conversion rate.

Reason 2: Pay Per Click

Most of my clients are small and thus are trying to compete in the world of the big boys, mostly national or regional players.  Yes, 75% of my time is building guerrilla marketing campaigns for these small businesses using internet advertising that the larger competitors don’t see as relevant or worth much to them.  I have very little buying power when it comes to the print world for my clients to compete against the larger companies.  The pay-per-click (PPC) tools provided by Google, Yahoo, and the likes, provide a low cost to entry model that when coupled with geo-targeting allows for many local and small companies to gain market share in their realm of influence.

Reason 3: Measurements mean Change

I laugh at some of the dollars spent in the print world as well as the deadlines they must meet to get in a publication’s print run.  In the non-online marketing world you have to spend a lot of money up front to generate your campaigns for print, TV, radio, billboard, wrap-around vehicle ads, etc.  Because these contracts are written for multi-year commitments you can have a real campaign STINKER like McDonald’s “I’m Love’n it” last much longer then it ever should.  You would have to find a large number of bad web sites on the internet ether floating around to compare to just that one example of a complete embarrassment of a marketing campaign built around a bad tag line.

In the online marketing space, owners of web sites can change agencies quickly and adjust at speeds the non-online marketers fear with all their souls.  Is it any wonder you see the attacks on the on-line marketing world coming from those that would love to see the status quo remain the same?

Reason 4:  Multiple Tools in the Toolbox

I can agree with Matt that certain online tools are used for the wrong reasons.  I for one don’ t use email marketing for prospecting new leads.  I use email marketing for retention marketing and increasing the “share of wallet”.  I explain to my clients that all the different things you can do on the internet are but tools in the toolbox.  We listen to the desires of the client, build the measurement expectations, then implement the plan based on the best tools for the job.

I often explain that a client demanding a web site as the solution to all their problem is the same as demanding that your home builder only use a hammer to build your entire home.  No tape measures, no ladders, no saws, no plumb lines.  Just a hammer.  They quickly realize that they would never demand this limitation on their builder and often then come to the conclusion that they should allow me to quote the job based on the tools I think I’ll need to complete their request.

Reason 5: Competition for Customers drive Innovation

Matt brings up a great ‘one click away’ discussion but online marketers tend to look at it differently.  We understand that we only have a few seconds (most will say 3 seconds) to engage with a prospect or client or they are ‘one click away’ from going to a competitor site.  This often drives more ‘creative’ tactics to come to the marketplace at faster rates then some would like.  It does tend to cause us to look at impulse and emotions more then someone who has the time to tell a story. We assume our web site landing pages will continue the interaction and tell the story.  It does also allow for some poor choices to be made but go back to Reason 1 to understand why I don’t care.  If I’m not making the numbers I expect within the first 48 hours of a new text or banner ad, I’m already working on an A/B test to see what I can do differently.  The next 48 hours will be better then the first 48 hours, I guarantee.    Let’s see … how long does it take to change a billboard, magazine ad, TV commercial, etc?

In conclusion

With all the advancements on the internet, I’m surprised the print marketing world is even around.  As more and more people drop their magazine, newspaper, and newsletter subscriptions and reduce their TV consumption, they begin to use their electronic readers  and on-demand viewing devices.   I would think that the print and TV world would be worried about their business models ….. oh, wait, THEY ARE!

Good Hunting.

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A Picture is Worth …


A picture is worth more than you can imagine.  Our brains make connections based on many stimuli, not just our 100_3387ability to absorb text and react to call-to-actions.  We are helping one of our client return to this principle by finding images from past events and incorporate them into their web site and print materials.  The goal is to have this become a natural occurring event in their day-to-day activities.  One of our biggest challenges is to get them back into the habit of taking lots of shots throughout the day, regardless if the shots are not perfect.  It’s not like you are buying film for them to use!

No Excuses

With great quality low cost digital cameras so plentiful, there are very few excuses not to have your staff carry a digital camera with them at all times.    It is a habit that they need to learn.  Just think of the possibility if you had the following library of images available when producing update to your web pages, or print material.

  • smiling client faces
  • staff having a great time
  • work in progress
  • celebrations of completed projects
  • any form of excellence

Make It Worth It …. to start

Contests are something we always recomend.  In this case, we recomend having a “best picture” contest that everyone can take part in.    Monthly, three images would be selected to represent every employee entry.  If one of their images is selected they receive a comp day to be taken the next month.

And before those sole proprietors chime and say anything, just think of yourself as the judge, jury, and executioner.  After you start taking your photos, you are simply left with asking the question, which day do I want to take off next month for winning this contest!

Start Today

So the first step is getting everyone a camera and some memory sticks.  Create a process in which they can turn in the photos and receive new memory sticks.  Create a process to catalog the images, maybe use something like Flickr or some on-line tool.    Start building you library of images that can be used in the future for campaigns or materials.

It will pay for itself in the long run!

Good Hunting,

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Motrin, Social Media, and the Brand Manager’s Bad Day


Brand Managers have a new world to live in. No longer can they sit back and decide such things as when, to whom, where, and what information they will deliver to the world. They must now worry about how quickly they may need to respond if something goes terribly bad. Social media has reduced the feedback cycle time to seconds, not weeks or months. Reaction time is so short that any misstep will cause brand value to plummet faster then the price the rare spiders at an arachnophobia convention.

Blog Social Media Buzz

I ran across a marketing blog post (Motrin Babywearing Ad/PR Debacle) and it referenced Motrin ad and baby carriers. I was curious. Normally I would not go hunting down this type of discussion but for some reason this caught my eye. I viewed the YouTube ad and posted a comment on the blog.

TweetDeck Global Search

Continuing my curiosity, I used my TweetDeck (Twitter Interface) to set up some global searches for hashtags and phrases I thought relevant, and wow, did I get flooded with feedback. I specifically searched “#motrin OR #babycarrier OR #motrinmoms” for the hashtags. I also searched for “motrin OR babycarrier OR motrinmoms” thinking I would also capture all the people not using hashtags.

Firestorm an Understatement

My TweetDeck makes a sound each time it updates the deck, in this case my two searches. Those two columns of information have not stopped updating all day. There are some very angry moms out there and they are using Twitter to express their rage. There are also a bunch of folks that are very apathetic to this ad that can’t seem to understand why everyone is so upset.

Either way, there is a brand manager out there that is eating Motrin like candy right now …. wishing this firestorm would pass.

Good Hunting,

Post Post Update

Since I originoally put out this post there have been some interesting videos that have surfaced that I thought would be of interest.

Motrin Ad Parody: The entire Motrin Mom (motrinmom) episode could have been avoided if this ad would have been released because the negative and positive responses would have done nothing but improve the brand standing ….. and make a bunch of people laugh themselves wet.

Mad Motrin Mom Tweet Video: Here is a 9 minute YouTube video showing some of the responses posted by #motrinmoms moms on Twitter!

Outraged Baby-Wearing Mama: First of all, if this is outrage, then I don’t want people showing up and my house because I’m afraid how they’d label me! This is actually one of the best responses I saw given the firestorm on Twtiter.

Noise To Signal Cartoon

Found this great cartoon about the brand manager’s bad day!

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Holiday On-Line Shopping Best Practices


We know the Holidays are just around the corner when Direct Marketing magazines start their year end tradition of telling the retailers how to improve their sites for the up-coming on-line shopping season. (Forget the fact that Christmas displays are going up, retailers need the magazines to tell them) I recently read a great article by Ken Burke in Target Marketing. He provides a great example (knowing or unknowingly I don’t know) of how the Direct Marketing crowds look at web sites versus how Internet Marketing Specialists look at web sites.

All kidding aside for the moment, this is a critical question or concern for many starting out in the ecommerce realm. It seems that every year we are asked by smaller companies venturing into on-line shopping what do do to capitalize on the opportunity. In the past we wrote about this in Favorable News in On-Line Spending and Be Proactive – React Now!

Five Best Practices for the Holidays

All of Mr Burke’s recommendations are dead on. I think he writes a compelling reason for each and provides language that matches his audience. Below are the five key points of his article. You can read the entire article at TargetMarketingMag.com

  1. Improve Internal Site Search Performances
  2. Improve Product Page Conversion
  3. Reduce “One-and-Outs”
  4. For the Holidays, Give Shipping and Delivery Center Stage
  5. Promote Worry-Free Shopping

As I stated above, Mr Burke has sound advice. I like the Target Marketing magazine. It’s one of the few magazines I refuse to let me wife throw away before I get a chance to read it. (The USPS has a special truck just for magazine deliveries to my home office …. just kidding)

Think TAX Day (US April 15)

Now let’s assume I’m your tax accountant. Every small business in the US files quarterly, and the really lucky ones get to file monthly! (Sarcasm intended) Two months before our nation’s citizens begin to spend billions of dollars on tax services for that fateful day, I send you an email stating it’s time to start thinking about your taxes. I layout a well thought out plan of attack on what you need to do in the next two months to capitalize on the tax credits and new filling regulations for the April 15th deadline. So how long would I be your tax accountant?

Enhanced Advice

OK, let’s say we were to follow Mr. Burke’s advice ALL YEAR LONG! (Which is what I’m recommending you do!) Your organization could focus it attention on the true benefit of all your hard work ….. increase reach. With the knowledge you have a very well designed web site and a web site with great conversion potential, this is the time of year you should be kicking up the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. You would be finding email newsletters and purchasing ad space. Increase your spending in tower and banner ads. These items would increase the holiday profits for more.

Oh, and for those of you who find yourself in November and are beginning to ask these questions, do the best you can for this holiday season but really start thinking about 2009.

Good Hunting!

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Digital Media from the Internet


Catching up on my reading. I got tired of reading on the screen so I switch to print for a while. I get some of my best ‘what-if’ ideas reviewing the metrics posted in periodicals or polls. This number caught my eye:

Percentage of Online Adults Who Download Digital Media

43% Download digital media

57% Do not download digital media

Business Opportunity

This tells me there is an opportunity to flank a lot of business with an untapped user base. Not only would a company have the position of introducing something new to a large audience, they would have them as a captive audience for a little while.

Source: Metrics (2008, November). EContent, 8

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What is Social Media?


An interesting post by David at Marketing Integrity about “What is Social Media?” This got me thinking about how I would answer this question in a short and to-the-point answer:

Social Media is:

  • Personalized Publishing
  • a portion of the internet lifestyle
  • technological ties to networks of information and opinions
  • mobile and fluid
  • constantly timeless and irreverent to traditional media standards
  • accessible any hour of the day
  • limited only by a dull imagination or apathy

Thanks Dave for sharing your post with me.

Right / Wrong? What should be added?

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Business Twitter Ideas


I’ve been reading some interesting posts on Twitter tweets with the tag marketing and I have been trying to understand the relationship between the two. Mind you, I loved the posts, just not sure about how some people tag their work. No biggy really, but I wanted to see if I could come up with some examples of how Twitter could be used to create a brand, (personal or corporate), and if not, just have some fun with it.

First let me start by saying the two posts that got me thinking about this topic are Twittiquette by Ron Shevlin and Twitter for Business — What’s Appropriate? by philbernstein

Fun Stuff – BOSS Tweet

This idea, I originally, came up in the 90’s as “BOSS Cam” in which you place a wireless video camera on your boss’ forehead and can see where he is all the time on a PC window. I’ve adapted this concept to Twitter Tweets, but it does require a RFID implementation of sensors throughout your campus and RFID markers in your security cards used to gain access to buildings and rooms.

With this implementation you will get BOSS Tweets when the following happens:

  • Parking Lot Entry – The Boss has arrived – you have about 15 minutes to look busy.
  • Building Entry – You now have about 7 minutes to make your office look like you’re really busy.
  • On the floor – Have your boss’ cup of copy ready in hand and ready to give
  • Movement Tweet – he’s moving about the building and you know where.
  • Mining Tweet Alarm – uncomfortable levels of methane are in his office, STAY AWAY! (methane monitoring equipment sold separately)
  • BOSS BOSS Tweet – your boss just met with his boss, HIDE – WORK IS COMING YOUR WAY!
    • Note: use Movement Tweets to evade your boss for the entire day if necessary.
  • Parking Lot Egress – time to stop hiding from your boss and get some work done real quick and go home.

OK, another example of American ingenuity and exceptionalism in the can!

Branding Exercise – Project Tweet

In this example, your team has landed a new client. You want to impress on them how great your company is, and especially how great they are at projects like the one the just won. You explain to your new client that you will be using Twitter to keep them updated as the project progresses through the different stages of project management.

Some things they can expect to see in the Project Tweet:

  • Meeting Titles – and who attended
  • Meeting action items – post meeting
  • Key milestones or meeting action items delivered
  • Gratuitous comments from the team stating how smart the client was for picking them!
  • Documents updated on the shared project library
  • Lots of positive statements with the client’s staff names included so they are all sitting around waiting for their names to show up on a tweet.
  • “Hey check this out” messages asking them to head to the team web site and review something

I know some of the themes of twitter BLOG posts have been about ‘too much’ tweets, but in this scenario, the more tweets focused on the project, the better you look.

Good Hunting,

See Also

Twitter’s Design Flaw

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Anonymity Masks Pain


Seth Godin, a favorite author of mine, in his recent post “Proximity to pain” gives us some real world examples of how companies can charge higher (premium) prices when clients are in crisis (pain), but begins to compare apples with oranges, when he uses Yellow Pages and Google in the same light.

Execution over Pain

Yellow Page advertising and Google are successful because they have a business model that works given the current environment they are in.  They do not charge more, as with Seth Godin’s other examples, when you are in crisis mode and using their services.   Yes, they are positioned well for consumers to use, but no, the can’t capitalize on the great positioning in times of crisis.

Anonymous web sites level the playing field

Search engines or e-Yellow Pages have no way of knowing why you are using them.  And even if they did, can you image the up-roar if they charged 300% for ads that had the words “emergency towing service” in it because they assumed you were in crisis or ‘felt your pain’?

Better Web Examples

I would drop Google and YP and focus on web services that charge a premium for their services because they are associated with someone in crisis and they are respected enough (branded) that someone off the street would not perceive another viable choice given the need for expediency.  If you can create a web property that meets this requirement, you should have no problem charging a premium.  Here are some of my thoughts of companies that might make it to this level:

  • Crisis PR Firm
  • Disaster Recovery Firm
  • Immigration Legal Firm
  • Specialized Health Group (Rare or Time Sensitive practices)
  • Green PR Firm – just wait if the Cap and Trade stuff hits us.

If your web property can position itself close to the pain of your clients, you can charge a premium.  I agree with Seth Godin on that, I just don’t see YP and Google in the same light as an emergency road side towing service.

Good Hunting.

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