New Jobs in Michigan? Yes Please!

3 12 2009

Companies in Michigan have hired several great people including Jenn Weesies, Patti Swanson and Dave Lemieux due to our young entrepreneurial drive and diverse acumen in business matters.

Recently , Jenn and I were profiled on Metromode Media, an online weekly publication that highlights the positive happenings in the Metro Detroit region (go to www.metromodemedia.com) to learn more.

Metromode has recently launched a new Talent Retention Program to highlight available opportunities and profiles of professionals who have landed or created jobs in the area. I love how Metromode is disputing the myth that you have to leave Michigan in order to find a job! This is an ongoing initiative and they are always looking for new people to profile. So give them a shout if you are creating jobs or have landed a job here in Michigan recently!

Click here to read the profile of Doug Menzer on Metromode.

Click here to read the profile of Jenn Weesies on Metromode





Science, Spirituality, Miracles and Social Media

9 05 2009

“]"Miracles do not 'happen...' Miracles are made." - Dr. Paul Pearsall [Photo Credit: MSD Photography]

"Miracles do not 'happen...' Miracles are made." - Dr. Paul Pearsall [Photo Credit: MSD Photography

Modern Technology with Faith

Earlier this week, I read in AdAge about a catholic cardinal (in Ireland) who stated: “Make someone the gift of a prayer through text, Twitter or e-mail every day. Such a sea of prayer is sure to strengthen our sense of solidarity with one another.”

In this post, Simon Dumenco focused on the mass volume this tool endures vs. how it can be monetized, a serious topic in itself. Heck, maybe Twitter will receive a large donation from the anonymous donor surprising colleges (or some other divine intervention.)

The notion that social media can strengthen “our sense of solidarity” is an interesting thought to ponder. Could this violate the sanctity of prayer? Perhaps. Does Twitter help bind groups together? Potentially

Social media continues to be analyzed from psychographic segmentation to simple do’s and don’ts. For example, I enjoyed a great post this past February on Mashable from Sarah Evans who stated, “It doesn’t matter if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr; your online personality is not only part of your overall brand, it becomes an interactive experience for you and your business.”

No matter who you are or what you represent – remember everybody can see you. In Dr. Paul Pearsall’s book Miracle in Maui, the second general theory from new (cosmic and quantum) science teaches us that we create our own reality by our own point of view. Can we apply this theory to social media today? What do others say about you – your brand – your company? And most importantly, do you listen to them? Take the time to listen. I recall professor Pearsall telling us, we have so many “time saving devices today but no time for anything.” Taking the time to listen is critical.

The Ten Sacred Secrets of Science Applied to Social Media

To Doug - Aloha - Paul Pearsall (March, 1997)

To Doug - Aloha - Paul Pearsall (March, 1997)


Obviously, Pearsall’s teachings inspired me (among many others, I have observed.) At times controversial, Pearsall was able to bridge science and spirituality. In Miracle in Maui, he shares ten secrets of science for the “making of miracles.” Although his teachings are at a “higher spiritual level”; looking at these complex theories – Can individuals, brands and organizations apply these theories to social media? – Can we learn how to use the tools productively?

First General Theory – Nonlocality
We’re everywhere. Are my actions on line faithful, genuine and truthful?

Second General Theory – Observer Participantcy
Reality is created by our own observations. How do I observe the world? How do others observe me?

Third General Theory – Uncertainty Principle
There is a constant state of flux in the universe. But according to Pearsall, “one thing is certain in the world: Relationships are everlasting.” Do I value all relationships?

Fourth General Theory – Complementarity Principle
There are two opposing states (e.g. energy and mass or positive and negative) Am I positive? How do I handle negativity?

Fifth Scientific Principle – Oneness
We’re all number one – everything is connected. Can I influence others? Can others influence me?

Sixth Scientific Principle – Levels of Reality
Transcending our local see-and-touch world. Do I dare to dream big? Wonder + Imagination = Miracles

Seventh Scientific Principle – Relative Timelessness
Time doesn’t tick. Can I have an “Aha!” moment?

Eighth Scientific Principle – Growth Energy Fields
Influence development of all living things. “Sudden coincidences are the pulls and pushes from these growth energy templates.” Can my tweeting inspire growth?

Ninth Scientific Principle – Entropy
Derived from the Second Law of Thermodynamics – We are all falling apart. Do I learn from mistakes to promote continued development?

Tenth Scientific Principle – Chaology
The study of Chaos. Do I fear the chaotic social web or look within it rather than away from it for clues?

The Power Of Everyone

This all may sound redundant or even a little crazy. But to summarize, I have learned from many great people in my past. From professor Pearsall who shared his knowledge of making miracles to entrepreneurial people like William “Bud” Brian who had passion about his business, his brand but also (most importantly) the people he worked with and his relationships. There are many other great colleagues and team members and even a few not so great ones who have inspired me. Now, the Internet is more of a social medium than we have ever seen in our modern day. As part of a “nonlocal” and connected universe  I look forward to continued learning and growth. And potentially teaching or inspiring others too – building many great relationships!

Fwix Local Content





SmartFinds Internet Marketing Earns Top Honors For Entrepreneurial Award In Internet Marketing Services

5 05 2009

SmartFinds Internet Marketing honored as one Of the 2009 Michigan 50 companies to watch for Internet marketing services

Birmingham, Michigan – April 30, 2009 (SMARTFINDS INTERNET MARKETING) – SmartFinds Internet Marketing has been recognized as one of the 2009 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program sponsored by the Edward Lowe Foundation and presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

“SmartFinds Internet Marketing is an outstanding company and deserves recognition as one of Michigan’s companies to watch,’” noted the Edward Lowe Foundation in a written acknowledgement.

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch celebrates high-performing companies in the state of Michigan. Known for their contributions in the marketplace, innovative products, unique processes or philanthropic actions, these companies represent a wide range of industries throughout the state.

Winners were selected by judges from the banking, economic development, entrepreneurship development and venture capital communities. Judges evaluated the nominees’ demonstrated intent and capacity to grow based on one or more of the following:

-Employee or sales growth.
-Exceptional entrepreneurial leadership.
-Sustainable competitive advantage.
-Other notable factors that showcase the company’s success.

“We are honored to be selected as a recipient of this award,” commented Melih Oztalay, CEO of SmartFinds Internet Marketing. “This award helps showcase our company’s creativity and technical skills in providing corporations with complete Internet marketing services and solutions.”

CEO Melih Oztalay has fifteen years experience with Internet and digital services in developing strategies that utilize all facets of the World Wide Web. As a digital marketing agency, SmartFinds Internet Marketing’s major focus is to develop multi-directional marketing campaigns to drive traffic to client web sites from more than just search engines.

SmartFinds Internet Marketing provides businesses with Internet marketing services and solutions that include all or a combination of the following to meet the business growth and revenue objectives: Research, Strategy and Planning; Creative and Technical Development; Content Marketing; Social Media Marketing; Internet advertising solutions; Management, Measurement and Analysis.

The official unveiling of the Michigan 50 class of 2009 will take place during a Michigan Celebrates Small Business event at Lansing Center in Lansing, Michigan on April 30, 2009. Michigan Celebrates Small Business are presented in association with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, Small Business Association of Michigan, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Edward Lowe Foundation.





What is a Global Marketing Effort?

23 04 2009

A Global Marketing Effort

A Global Marketing Effort

Feel free to read some of the great automotive articles by Freelance writer – Mike Trudel Safe, Green, Connected and Innovative Automotive Technology





Social Intercommunication – Be A Good Billboard

22 04 2009

We all depend on each other, in some fashion, right?

Growing up, I played a lot of soccer. As an average soccer player, I had to allocate extra practice time. However, I was fortunate to have great coaches and teammates continually pushing me to become better. All I had to do was be open to getting help. Becoming a better soccer player eventually just fell in place.

I knew that I was a small part of a great team and I was a part of a community that supported us. We (players, parents, administrators, community fans and friends) were in it together – To share in the fun, to learn and teach each other how to become better soccer players, to win without gloating and to hold our heads up high when the game was lost.

In Middle School, our coach (Phill Seasock) taught us when you step on and off the bus, you represent our school, our city and our community – “we are driving billboard!” As a good leader, Seasock’s teachings about the game of soccer were not as important as the respect that he intertwined in each of us – respect for ourselves and respect for others around us (including the other teams.) We played good soccer as a team and individually acted as gentlemen, always (on and off the field.)

Coach Seasock and his 1991 middle school soccer team.

Coach Seasock and his 1991 middle school soccer team.

Just as in the case with Middle School soccer players… Today, things are conceptually not very different in regards to social media. Whether you are a part of a team, group, company, community, etc. – you become “a digital billboard.”

Last night, Refresh Detroit (follow on Twitter @refreshdetroit) held a discussion with a diverse panel of excellent speakers (including, Evan Deutsch, Dalila Akli, Chris Kochmanski and Shannon Paul moderated by Marie MacNee) who provided valuable dialogue about:

· best practices for writing web copy
· users interaction with copy
· copy writing for (SEO) search engine optimization
· writing for social media

Please feel free to view the great discussions here…

Part 1 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/1415776

Part 2 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/1415935

Focusing on the last bullet, Chris Kochmanski (with over 30 years of strategic marketing experience), stated something that struck my interest, “I generally tend to write in a more conversational tone… online.”

Following up on this last point from Chris, Shannon Paul started out by saying, “The Internet is a social place…” How can a brand elevate the human level? How can you become a resource?

Shannon’s blog post (“Don’t Be That Guy”) from last summer concisely sums up how you should approach the digital space without being offensive or rude. Maybe my (yet another) analogy is an overkill but imagine your billboard standing out as an offensive eyesore, rather than blending in with the scene – nicely. In social intercommunication, your punishment is not detention or extra laps at the next practice. It creates a bad reputation and futile relationships.

I’ve probably been that guy in some cases (we all have most likely) but the key is to remember – as Shannon also explains…” it’s not too late to change your ways.” You really can’t hide your true character – the community will quickly identify the persona that you present, masking your true motives. Deceptive behaviors for a desired impression when interacting with other people will read like a blinking billboard displaying, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

Finally, I was having a conversation with a colleague about all of the opinions and discussions surrounding social media. He stated, “Everybody wants to be the smartest guy in the room.” Absolutely, who wants to feel bad about themselves or feel useless, the key is to be respectful not boastful – remember that we are all part of a community. Share what you know. Don’t be an eyesore – a showboat. Be a good billboard – a resource. Play nicely with others, even if there are disagreements. Especially when representing a brand/company/team…in the community.

We all depend on each other. I’d say so!

How do you depend on others or help those who depend on you?

Also, check out Shannon’s great presentation on:





Wordle.net – “Word Cloud” Generator

20 04 2009

Wordle is a tool that generates “word clouds” from provided text. In this case – the URL for this blog generated the word cloud (below) with the text found in this blog.

Freshmenz.Wordpress.com “word cloud" from Wordle.net

Freshmenz.Wordpress.com “word cloud\

Read the rest of this entry »





Moving the Needle with “New Media” – Technically Speaking

9 04 2009

Reflecting over the first quarter of 2009, I’ve spoken with small business owners, medium business owners, large global business leaders, brand managers, entrepreneurs, agency VPs, PR experts, client marketing executives, adverting executives, social media gurus, writers/bloggers and of course – IT and technical wizards (whew…) who are all energized and thirsty to move the needle forward.

Now that the second quarter is underway, are you maneuvering towards your goals and effectively moving the needle forward or just idling on fumes? With a sour economy still looming, budget cut hangovers are still pounding in every ones heads and resources are “busting-at-the-seams.” Yet, many savvy businesses are staying ahead of the competition by learning from and embracing the maturing “new media” technologies – cultivating well planned digital marketing, digital advertising and social strategies.

A well-executed digital strategy can drive businesses forward. Advertising can help you with the ability to connect with your target audience across multiple digital touch-points. Content marketing helps you become an authority on topics that will allow you to have “a shelf-life of years” out on the web. Social strategies can build one-to-one relationships that help your enterprise grow credibility and relevance over time. In addition, if done correctly a well-executed digital strategy can aide in building brand champions and hand raisers that facilitate your message – genuinely.

Traditional or poorly executed digital methods that lack effective measurability to track an accurate ROI can be painful. In addition, many times they can even fall short of providing valuable baseline data benchmarks and reliable consumer insights for future use.

Is New Media New?
So, when it comes to “new media”, is the media new or is it how the technology is maturing that is – in fact – new? It has matured – nicely – sort of, since I graduated from college nine years ago.

So Today, What Is New Media…?

For the later part of the 20th century, we can simply define new media as the emergence of networked information and digital communication technologies. When I was in college in the late nineties, I used every aspect of the web that was available at that time from early social communities (e.g. CollegeClub.com) to search engine research. (An MSU professor first told me of Google in 1999.)

New media today is “all growns up” Or is it? We continually see the maturation process happening on a daily basis. Content relevancy is rising and digital communication is flowing “over capacity” at times.

Twitter Over Capacity - Source: Twitter

Twitter Over Capacity - Source: Twitter

In many digital strategies discussions, people can become awestruck (at times), when I speak: conceptually, technologically, metaphorically and even literally in the same conversation. How is that possibly – you might wonder… Well, it can be a blessing (and a curse at times) but as a motivated marketer with a creative side and an actively analytical mind – I just fit right within the digital space. It also helped that I double-majored in Communications and Psychology after striving to be an Engineer the first to years of my college career.

Is digital a realistic approach for our brand?
We have a saying at SmartFinds, “We take a rational approach to an irrational medium,” which was coined by our colleague, Gene Brady, in the Fall of 2008. As is the case in any good creative, marketing, social or advertising strategy, the first step is developing a strategy based on solid business objectives and intense research – or “listening.”

Recently, I was talking with a friend about a social strategy and as I was speaking on this “listening” business he stated, “yeah, but you’re not actually “listening,” you or your marketing team is reading stuff on the Internet.” I said to him… “Shhh… listen…, with the expertise of our analysis software and technology tools, can’t you hear the sweet music of ones and zeroes playing 24-7?” Is your brand in harmony, out of tune or not even audible on the web?

Finally, don’t just throw your time or budget away!
Don’t think that you need to do everything at once. Develop your plan with solid business objectives. The new media flow begins with a review of the business objectives. Followed by – Research, Strategy and Planning to derive trustworthy marketing, advertising and/or social objectives.

For example, at a high level, – approaching an effective digital marketing program requires:

Industry Research – In developing your strategy, we need to understand your business, your products and services to provide solid gap analysis to guide you to get the results you need and catapult you ahead of your competitors.

Market Research – We must answer all questions that will allow us to reach your target market. This includes analyzing items such as, key phrases searched, the volume of those searches and competition that is out there. We will also find websites, forums, blogs, communities, micro communities, et al. – to learn (“listen”) how your target audience uses the Internet.

Competition Research – We generate Internet metrics about your site with the public information such Page Rank, Traffic Rank, Link Popularity and Keyword Density. These metrics not only allow us to perform technical marketing (including SEO) but also give us guidelines and goals to reach for a content marketing campaign for sustained presence within the Internet community.

Competitor Research – You need to distinguish between Competitors and Competition online. Competitors are companies that provide the same products and services with the potential of acquiring business away from you. Competition – Any web page that happens to have the same keywords or phrases that are part of your content marketing campaign. Competition research gives us information why a certain web page is ranked, while Competitor research will help us identify how well the competitors are actually performing on the Internet.

Strategy Development – Analysis of the research data helps determine the type of content marketing needed. It helps to guide the changes needed on your website for visible text or the effectiveness of the campaign as your brand is marinating on the Internet.

Business Plan Development – Does the strategy have potential to increase revenues? How much revenue can it potentially increase short term and long term? Based the campaign objectives and your profit margins we can provide you with an estimate for the return on your investment into your own company.

Are you already embracing new media to help drive business forward? Need help getting started? What are some of the pain points in your business world today? Let us know what’s working for you or what questions you may have. Remember, at SmartFinds Internet Marketing, “We take a rational approach to an irrational medium; and we are dedicated to one thing: helping you drive business through Internet marketing.”





Content Marketing Post by Melih Oztalay – SmartFinds Marketing CEO

2 04 2009


Please click here to read Melih’s full story… Content Marketing: It’s About Distribution

If content marketing is a “supportive method” consisting of “quality, relevant and valuable information” then the social conversations (that are in fact changing business profoundly)… must be the real culture changer for many organizations. The key and first step for a business is – listening. That is, finding the online conversations, detailing communications, analyzing the discussions, identifying and defining opportunities for before joining in on the conversation (when appropriate.)

How are you preparing for the movement of social media into your business? Are you avoiding it or cultivating leaders within your organization to take charge? Please feel free to share your suggestions and ideas.





I’m first on Google for term ‘Freshmenz’…. But who cares!

31 03 2009

As I speak with many business owners, brand managers and marketing/advertising executives throughout the course of a week – there is a common thread in organic search engine result discussions. I’m told… “We’re already ranking #1 in the search engines for ‘xyz.’” My analytical mind approaches this naturally with the following questions, is your audience even looking for ‘xyz’? Has your ranking for ‘xyz’ boosted relevant search engine traffic to your website?

As indicated with a Google search, I am ranked for ‘freshmenz’ (one of many nicknames that I have received over the years) but – who cares – because nobody is looking, according to Google Adwords Keyword Tool results, seen here:

Source: Google Adwords Keyword Tool, March 31st, 2009

Source: Google Adwords Keyword Tool, March 31st, 2009

When it comes to successful content marketing (as in the case with social media strategies) – the first step in a successful campaign is listening: strategic planning, research and analysis. It is not all about your website (Technical Marketing, including but not simply limited to SEO), but the relevant content that exists on the Internet linking back to your website.

Many companies approach SmartFinds with the idea that they simply need help with organic search engine results for a narrow scope of key phrases. Yet, a sophisticated keyword research process – specific to their industry – determines relevant, highly searched phrases that work as excellent targets for their organic content marketing campaign. Our clients operate in highly competitive industries, so challenges vary in order to successfully feature relevant key phrase rich content for the search engines to index.

A digital marketing strategy can energize your brand by helping you becoming a relevant authority. A viable and valuable resource. While navigating and constantly researching the ebb and flow of the Internet, we uncover the unfulfilled needs of consumers and unexplored business opportunities, relevant to your goals.

An active audience – with needs and desires – needs to be constantly monitored and analyzed to drive positive results. However, this does not mean that a poor product or service will yield an ROI. Rather, the Internet can escalate your business if you understand what your audience enjoys, avoid what turns them off and engage in genuine communications.

As you pass your competitors in an increasingly ( new media ) digital world… You’ll love the results!

Would you like an evaluation of your digital strategies? Do you want to learn about your website (…how it is performing on the Internet) and how it is currently impacting your audience? Feel free to share this with others or drop me a note.