Tag Archives: Marketing

On the Other Side of the Digital Divide

2 Oct

Or, Gutter-Diving Isn’t Enough

Photo credit to lisainglasses.

Photo credit to lisainglasses.

I live my life with my feet (or more so, fingers) firmly planted on the internet.  But, this morning, I read an article about the other side of the digital divide.  (Yes, ironically, I read it online.)  The premise was that Paul Miller, a tech columnist for The Verge, had given up the internet for a year.  Through this abstention, he explored how the other half lived and how living like “them” might change his perspective on the world. Continue reading

Do Not Track — Or, At Least Pretend You’re Not Tracking

24 Mar
Restricted Area Keep Out by Zach Klein

Photo credit to Zach Klein.

The other day I sat in on a webinar about using social media data in marketing.  The webinar was fascinating – and the accompanying Twitter discussion was even better.  Towards the end of the conversation, one of the presenters made the point that marketers need to give customers something in exchange for access to their data.  He named a few possible benefits to consumers, but they were all just dressed up forms of personalized advertising.  On Twitter, I commented that, “The problem is that the things you get in exchange for giving personal data are custom ads – valuable to the company, not you.” Then I sat back and watched the retweets roll in. Continue reading

Sponsored Clutter: Coming Soon to a Newsfeed Near You

14 Sep

Or, Sponsored Stories are Bad News for Facebook Users

Air show trick flying plane

Photo credit to tqhh

Recently, my Facebook reach has been rather down.  What, I’m I suddenly not as interesting?  Are my pictures not as good?  My posts not as funny?  Although Facebook doesn’t provide individual users with stats about their posts’ engagement and reach, I can tell you what my graph would look like – like a plane crashing from 30,000 feet.

For a while, I was thinking that this was a personal problem – that I’d been so fussed on school and work that I’d let my social media presence slip.  I didn’t even want to think about my Klout score.  Then friends started mentioning that they were experiencing lower engagement, as well.  I started seeing, “Hello, can anyone see this?” posts.  Then I noticed that the same problem was happening on the pages that I admin. Continue reading

You Can’t Become a Digital Native

2 Aug

Or, Who Owns the Social Media Jobs?

Risk by avyfain

Photo credit to anyfain

Recently, I wrote about Facebook’s generation clash, in which teens are abandoning Facebook as their parents embrace it.  But, there’s another generation clash going on in social media, too; this one taking place in the professional world of digital marketing.

Last week, Cathryn Sloane, a student at the University of Iowa, wrote “Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25.”  She argued that social media was created by our generation, for our generation, and that we’ve grown up with it.  That, by virtue of being digital natives, the younger generation has an innate understanding of social media that our elders cannot grasp. Continue reading

What did you learn first? Your brands or your letters?

31 Jan

I’m home sick.  Not the kind of sick that means I get to stay home and watch Law & Order all day.  (Alas.)  But, the kind of sick that means that I can convince myself that it’s okay to skip going to the gym and that chai somehow counts as dinner…  And avoiding making dinner and going to the gym means that I have time for you, my long neglected blog.

My whining is over… on the to world of branding…

Today Jezebel posted this video of a little girl reacting to famous logos.

TL;DR?  Dude, it was two and a half minutes long.  And guess what, Cher, Cliff’s Notes didn’t write sonnets.

Anyway, the little girl has some great (and classic) little kid reactions.  Who didn’t think the McDonalds M was made out of french fries when they were little?  And, she’s clearly a little yuppie in the making – recognizing two coffee brands and getting absolutely excited over the Apple logo.  Yes, little girl, those are the brands that get me excited, too.

Disney D

No, that's not a backwards G.

Being five, and presumably at that stage when proving that you know all the letters is very important, it’s interesting that the one letter that she’s didn’t pick out is the D for Disney.  She got that it was Disney alright, but not that the logo was a letter.  (A future member of the When I found out the Disney “D” WAS a “D”, it blew my mind Facebook Group.)

Brand Marks/Logos

Go ahead and test yourself. Which ones do you know?

We did a similar exercise in my Brand Management class the other day, in which the professor flashed logos across the screen and we all had to write down the name of the brand and the first thing it made us think of.  It’s a telling experiment – in some ways it reveals brand equity, but in others it’s just a Rorschach test.  Does the hate you feel when you see the Wal-Mart logo say more about you or Wal-Mart?

Also, here’s a fact of the day for you: did you know that the term brand comes from cattle branding?

Questions of the day: So, how well did you do?  Did you know all the brands?  Also, did you know it was a D is Disney?

Social Media Marketing: Are your customers Mac or PCs?

14 Jun

I'm a Mac, I'm a PCBackstory — I attended a professional services marketing conference the other day.  After the conference, I ended up sitting around the bar with some other marketing people until about one in the morning… talking about social media marketing strategies for professional services, specifically how to reach out to customers where they live. Yep, I live on the wild side.

We had heard a lot that day about how you can leverage new technologies and social media marketing in your efforts to connect with potential clients. We talked about QR codes and phone scanners, about mobile websites and custom apps. About always being on the cutting edge of technology. One of the presenters said something about telling your customers that you’re ahead of the curve – saying something like “Explain to them that if your services were like technologies, first there was the telegraph, then the TV, then the computer, then the iPhone, then the iPad 1 and 2. Our services are so advanced; they’re like the iPad 3.”

That analogy’s all well and good for customers that are into technology, but some of our customers are Amish. If we told them that in a sales pitch or printed something similar in a marketing piece, they’d probably look at us like we were crazy.  And they probably wouldn’t know what an iPad is, or have any presence on (or interest in) social media, anyway. Continue reading

Chickens and eggs of personal branding

9 Jun

Carrie name necklace as seen on Sex and the CityThe other day, while at the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) conference, I met a communications/ social media marketing consultant who was wearing a Carrie necklace. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? You obviously don’t watch Sex and the City.) Instead of the necklace having her name, it had her Twitter account name, @ sign and all. Normally, you see people bringing their physical self to their online identity. She’s bringing her online identity to her physical self. (Offline social media marketing, who knew!) Some people may think it’s a bit over the top – I think it’s brilliant example of personal branding.  (As she’s a communications and social media marketing consultant, proving that she’s got a successful social media presence/online identity and an active Twitter account are important to her personal brand.) Continue reading

Google doesn’t think I’m funny – Humor, headlines, and SEO

13 May

I once read that you should write for your readers first, search engines second, and your ego third.  I try to consider all of these things when writing this blog, but find that they’re often in competition.  (I try to include keywords like culture, social media, and bog whenever they fit, but sometimes it’s hard to do it without getting in the way of the narrative style.)  Yesterday, I found this on The Awl.  Apparently I’m not alone in my battle to balance all three.

Stack of Newspaper Headlines - Burns out, Storm Kills, Drugs, Recycling, Stem cellsGoogle doesn’t laugh
It doesn’t even titter
It can’t guffaw like Facebook
It won’t split its sides like Twitter

Google doesn’t crack a smile
It won’t respond to mirth
There’s not a single laughing part
Not even Google Earth

Your title might be funny
Forcing chuckles from the chest
But Google sits there stone-faced
Resolutely unimpressed

Don’t try to brighten someone’s day
Don’t aim for “smart and winning”
Your goal is catching Google’s eye
And Google isn’t grinning

Best to stick to SEO
And trade your wheat for chaff
Forget the humor, blogger boy
‘Cause Google doesn’t laugh Continue reading

Do You Have a Personal Social Media Policy?

8 May Social media network logos coming out of megaphone

Recently, I read an article called What’s Your Personal Social Media Policy? Social Media Policy Thought Clouds Many companies have social media policies (some quite draconian, others pretty normal), but those are meant to protect the company’s image and interests, not the person’s.  In the article, Mike Brown discussed his own social media faux pas and how he’s developing a policy to prevent them in the future.

He started off by saying:

Googling “social media policy” returns nearly 5 million hits – obviously a topic getting lots of attention. Modifying the search to “personal social media policy” reduces the hits by 99%. That’s relatively scant attention to how individuals could or should formalize how we conduct ourselves personally across various social media channels.

In an era where people are building (and sharing) their personal brands online, your personal social media policy is important to consider, especially if you’re someone who’s in the business of selling/promoting yourself or your personal brand. Continue reading

Boys want to do battle. Girls want to love. At least, that’s what marketers think.

1 Apr

Today in blogs, The Mary Sue has a very interesting post on Gender Marketing in Toys.  The article is based on word clouds of the terms most used in commercials for toys marketing to boys and girls, respectively.  The word clouds were designed by Crystal Smith, author of The Achilles Effect: What Pop Culture is Teaching Young Boys about Masculinity.

The biggest words in the boy cloud are “battle” and “power”.  “Heroes”, “stealth”, “ultimate”, “rides”, and “beat” also make prominent appearances.  So, I guess boys are supposed to be heroes by using their ultimate stealthy rides to beat… the bad guys?

The biggest words in the girl cloud are “love”, “fun”, and “magic”.  It should probably be noted that “love” is three or four times bigger than any other word.  ‘”Girl”, “friendship”, “change”, “babies”, “hair”, “mommy” and “style” are also pretty big.  So, girls are supposed to have friendships with girls and change their hairstyle to get ready to be mommies to babies?

I guess it should be noted that the boy cloud includes “friends”, but it’s one of the smallest words featured, the same size as “dump” and “nemesis”…  Small words in the girl cloud include “whirling”, “twirling”, and “paisley”.

Interestingly, many of the boy words are verbs or adverbs, and many of the girl words are nouns or adjectives.  Boy toys are marketing towards doing and girl toys are marketing towards being.

Obviously, the discussion of gender and children’s marketing gets into some chicken and egg type questions.  As The Mary Sue put it “Do kids respond to ads because they’re predisposed that way from birth? Or do they respond to the ads because they are taught to, by ads that have people of their gender responding in the same way?”  I’m leaning more towards the latter than the former.

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