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 »

What is next? A sixth sense!

17 04 2009

Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) When your mission is to spread ideas, there is no limit to what the future holds. This video with Pattie Maes and her student Pranav Mistry at a recent TED Conference demonstrates how humans can progress information with technology. From some of the leading minds at MIT, Maes’ lab is demonstrating a wearable device with a projector that allows intense interaction within our environment.

Pattie Maes: Unveiling game-changing wearable tech
Source: TEDtalksDirector (YouTube)

What will the next 5-10 years look like when you have these very smart people at MIT creating tomorrow’s technology for the cost of today’s PDA?

The Ford Story

15 04 2009

The Ford Story – A twitter-conference with Ford CEO, Alan Mulally

Posted using ShareThis

Alan Mulally on Twitter
Source: FordStory (YouTube)

Ford CEO Alan Mulally held Q&A on Twitter today. As Public relations is becoming the fastest-growing focal point of marketing services for many brands… Ford is recognizing and adapting with the maturing social and political dialogue made possible by new media technologies.

Search #FordCEO for more information from the live discussion with Mr. Mulally via Twitter.

What is your Ford Story?

My First F-150

My First F-150

What is a Lemonade Award?

13 04 2009
Lemonade Award

Lemonade Award

Until today, I had never heard of (or even been nominated for) a lemonade award!

This Blog has been given a Lemonade Award by Shane Shirley-Smith of Environmental Booty! I am flattered… Thank you so much Shane, I cheerfully accept this award from you – cheers!

Why the lemonade award?
It is given as appreciation for those people who have shown a great attitude or gratitude.

1.   Put the logo on your blog or post.

2.   Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.

3.   Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.

4.   Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.

5.   Share the love and link back to this post as I did above.

It is tough to narrow this down (and not duplicate those already received it.) But I hereby extend a Lemonade Award to the following bloggers:
1. A Student Perspective – Brett Kopf
2. Narciscottstic – Scott Ladue
3. Main Street Marketing Blog
4. Carl Winans Digital
5. The Social Media Marketing Blog – Scott Monty
6. Tales of a Spicyredhead – Kelley Walker
7. Healthy Lakes, Healthy Lives
8. Global Business Perspectives – Beverly Cornell
9. The Digital Bus – Derek Mehraban
10. Great Lakes Echo

BONUS – How could I forget our friend Melissa who took these great shots on Saturday! Love her work!!
11. Mel’s World

Photo by MSD Photography

Photo by MSD Photography

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.”