Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Message for All the Thinkers Out There

This makes me want to try some more…

Who can’t use a little dose of inspiration in the middle of the week? Christian Borstlap recently finished these deliciously simple animated illustrations for Dutch children’s charity, Kinderpostzegels.

Paul Postma did a great job of bringing Christian’s colourful illustrations to life, complimenting them with a playfully restrained animation style to really let their personalities shine.

Auto-Post Tools for Social Medias

Can you change the concept a bit?

Thanks to Jennifer Stalford for his original blog post.
  1. HootSuite 2.0 allows management of multiple Twitter accounts with tracking capabilities, scheduling features and feeds blogs to Twitter. It now also interacts with LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook pages, and Pingfm.
  2. – ”Post From Anywhere – To Anywhere”. This can auto-post to 49 different social medias. The biggies included are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Delicious, and WordPress. Users can also use this on their SmartPhone.
  3. Posterous is “the dead simple place to post everything”. This is done directly through your email account. In addition to having it auto-post to 10 social medias, users can attach url links, files, photos, video, blogs, and MP3’s. The largest social medias it works with are Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and WordPress.
  4. Twitter Feed – This works with Twitter, has analytics that are viewed on a personal dashboard, rss capabilities, works with blogs, and improvements have been made to the login process.
  5. Friendfeed states that it’s ”the easiest way to share online”. Users can post something on their phone, Facebook or email and it disperses it to their friends.
  6. Facebook allows users to auto-post to Twitter but only works with Facebook pages so it is ideal for businesses.
  7. EzineArticles has a feature that auto-posts a message on Twitter that indicates a user’s article has been published.
  8. WordPress to Twitter rates very well by users, shortens links and is compatible on WordPress blog versions up to 2.8.4.
  9. Twitter Notify is a blog plugin created by Windows Live Writer Microsoft for Live Writer. It posts to Twitter and shortens the link to a blog post.
  10. xPollinate is another free blog plugin for Live Writer. This can auto-post a portion or an entire blog post to multiple social medias including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and more through
  11. Socialooph is a free social media management site for managing your Twitter account.
  12. Postling is “social media management for businesses”. It allows multiple people to manage multiple accounts. You can create accounts for your team or your clients and control their access, including which brands they can interact with.

Great Tweeting Tips for 2010

Tweeting all the way to the Bank

Be more innovative with Twitter this year. Here are 10 useful tips.
Thanks to Andra Picincu for her great blog post.

1. Expand Networks
Using Twitter, you can join topic groups related to your business and career and gain valuable information from scanning others’ tweets. Your company will gain new customers and potential partners. Do a search for keywords related to your product on Twitter Search and then follow the users.

2. Build Credibility
If you hold free workshops, seminars or web meetings; let people know that it’s starting soon, how to participate and join in by tweeting about it.

3. Highlight Your Tweets
Twitter allows you to share the latest news and events related to your business in 140 characters. Set up a Twitter feed for the specific purpose of notifying customers when new products come in.

4. Look For Leads On Twitter
Twitter can be used to direct traffic to your websites. You can share information that is useful for prospective clients or employers to enhance your reputation.

5. Communicate With Employees
Twitter is a great collaboration tool, which can be successfully used to save time and money.

6. Deals & Promotions
Offer incentives to those who follow you on Twitter. You can give them free coupons, discounts, package deals and samples.

7. Customer Complaints and Service
By accepting customer complaints in the open, other consumers can see what kind of company you really are.

8. Interact With Your Competition
You can read the tweets of your competitors daily and stay in touch with them. Although this rarely happens in the real world, Twitter has changed it all.

9. Organize A Local Tweetup
Twitter can help you organize meetups. All you have to do is to send a message announcing the time and place of the meeting. It’s an informal and effective way of planning a meeting.

10. Brand Loyalty
With Twitter, you can always stay in touch with your followers. All these people are potential customers, so you must help them get used to your products and services. Participate actively to conversations and tweet constantly.

Social Marketing is still marketing: know your audience

Are you talking to me? …are you taking to me?

Check out this great blog post that takes you through a wonderful example of how to approach your social marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy. The original blog post was written by Heidi Cool and can be found here.

Social Media Marketing is hip. It seems like everyone wants to get involved, call themselves an expert and use the magical powers of social media to triple sales, recruit students, etc. But social media isn’t magic. Social media, like advertising, direct mail and telemarketing is but one of many tools in the marketer’s toolbox. Like any tool it needs to be used in the proper context—in conjunction with other marketing strategies. As such social media—when used for marketing—still relies on basic marketing principles such as understanding your target audience, the features and benefits of your product or service, brand awareness and so forth.

Taking the time to narrow your audience to an easily defined niche makes marketing more cost effective. People think of social media as being a free alternative to traditional advertising or direct mail, but making successful connections requires time and labor. By targeting your audience you can focus that labor on connecting with the people who matter most to your goals.

Once you’ve found that audience you need to connect with them on their own terms if you want to achieve any level of success. Study the usage patterns of the social media services/platforms you intend to use. Find out how your audience uses these tools, then follow their lead. If you put as much effort into tailoring your communication methods to your market as you put into developing a product or service that suits their needs you’ll have a far better chance of establishing connections than you would with a more generic approach.

It doesn’t take magic, just time, research and work.

Time to Get Ready For 2010

I see great things happening this year…

Time to start your marketing and advertising for 2010 today. Check out the new trends that are being talked about for this coming year. Thanks to Robert Passikoff for this great post. Predictive loyalty metrics measure the direction and velocity of consumer values 12 to 18 months in advance of the marketplace and consumer articulations of category needs and expectations, they identify future trends with uncanny accuracy.

1) Value is the new closing point
Consumer spending, even on sale items, will continue to be replaced by a reason-to-buy at all. This spells trouble for brands with no authentic meaning, whether high-end or low.

2) Brands a surrogate for “value”

What makes goods and services valuable will increasingly be what’s wrapped up in the brand and what it stands for. So make sure
that you aligh yourself with other great brands.

3) Brand differentiation is Brand Value

The unique meaning of a brand will increase in importance as generic features continue to plague the brand landscape. Awareness as a meaningful market force has long been obsolete, and differentiation will be critical for success meaning sales and profitability.

4) “Because I Said So” is so over
Brand values can be established as a brand identity, but they must believably exist in the mind of the consumer. A brand can’t just say it stands for something and make it so. The consumer will decide, making it more important than ever for a brand to have measures of authenticity that will aid in brand differentiation and consumer engagement.

5) Consumer expectations are growing

Brands are barely keeping up with consumer expectations now. Smarter marketers will identify and capitalize on unmet expectations. Those brands that understand where the strongest expectations exist will be the brands that survive – and prosper.

6) Old tricks don’t work work anymore
In case your brand didn’t get the memo here it is, consumers are on to brands trying to play their emotions for profit. In the wake of the financial debacle of this past year, people are more aware then ever of the hollowness of bank ads that claim “we’re all in this together” when those same banks have rescinded their credit and turned their retirement plan into case studies.

7) They won’t need to know you to love you
As the buying space becomes even more online-driven and international, front-end awareness will become less important. A brand with the right street cred can go viral in days, with awareness following, not leading, the conversation.

8) It’s not just buzz
Conversation and community is all; ebay thrives based on consumer feedback. If consumers trust the community, they will extend trust to the brand. Not just word of mouth, but the right word of mouth within the community. This means the coming of a new era of customer care.

9) They’re talking to each other before talking to the brand

Social Networking and exchange of information outside of the brand space will increase. Look for more websites using “Facebook Connect” to share information with the friends from those sites. More companies will become members of Linkedin. Twitter users will spend more money on the Internet than those who don’t tweet.

10) Engagement is not a fad
Marketers will come to accept that there are four engagement methods including Platform (TV; online), Context (Program; webpage), Message (Ad or Communication), and Experience (Store/Event). But there is only one objective for the future: Brand Engagement. Marketers will continue to realize that attaining real brand engagement is impossible using out-dated attitudinal models.

Santa Gives the Winter Olympics a Pass

Santa was quoted in Miami earlier today, “Ho Ho Ho.. I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to go because I am not an official corporate Olympic sponsor, so my lawyers told me to give it a miss… but I will be back next year!”

The official “West Coast Canada Santa Visit” went to Lolloowet area this year. The Mayor of Vancouver was disappointed that Vancouver was not honored with Santa’s presence but he says, “The Value of the Olympics far outweighed the downside….”

NORAD and Santa Team Up

Can I Open One Now?

If you’re like me waiting for Santa to make his way down your chimney and deliver all those cool new toys you need there is a great new tracking tool from Google Maps.

Santa Snacks
Santa takes breaks during his Christmas Eve trip around the world – especially for snacks left by children. Do you put a snack out for Santa? Kids all over the world do. Some even leave carrots for Santa’s reindeer. (Carrots are their favorite food.)

Leaving cookies for Santa is a tradition for many families. Imagine eating that many cookies in one night (burp)!

What the Heck is Google Wave

But can it wash the dishes, answer the phone and get rid of all my spam…
Edited version from Bob Moss blog post.

If you have not checked out Wave (invitation only, since September this year) you are missing out on one of the coolest and probably most innovative collaboration tool available on the market today..

Oh yea… it FREE too!

Wave is a revolutionary new way to keep in contact with people and collaborate on documents and could completely replace email. The theory is that email is beginning to look a little antiquated, especially when we could be using the features of Web 2.0 with ‘waves’.

What exactly is ‘waves’?
A wave is best compared to a conversation in an instant messenger, but in the case of a wave, you can chat to yourself or to a whole group of people. Each wave contains a subwave called a ‘wavelet’, which focuses on a particular aspect of the main wave, and can be manipulated in much the same way. This means one wave can branch out into a number of other waves, but keep all the original associations. Each wavelet contains entries, known as ‘blips’, posted by the various collaborators, extension apps, or even automated robots you converse with. These can contain anything, including text and video, and mean that your wave becomes diverse and dynamic, with content that’s constantly updated, either from an external source or your fellow collaborators. A document, in wave terms, contains the content of each blip. You slowly build up and manipulate the various blips to produce in-depth conversations or collaborative papers. You can then embed your wave document into a webpage, so it can act like an interactive and automatically updating wiki. It’s also possible to export everything into a final file for printing or sending to your fellow collaborators.

Spell checking that think for you.
You are less likely to suffer from spelling mistakes or grammatical errors than you would with a wiki, thanks to Google’s innovative natural language tools. These adapt depending on the context of your writing, and pick the most likely suggestion when it compares against the text that came before. This means you could type “I have bean eating beens” and have this automatically corrected to the sentence you expected as you type, without the need for any further intervention.

Waves have full support for you to drag and drop files, text snippets or any web content. This will automatically be added to your document as a blip. This makes things much more interactive. As expected, you can also embed other Google services such as calendars, YouTube video, Picasa images and so on into your waves. As a document creator, only the people you explicitly specify as collaborators can alter your work. You can remove collaborators at any time and cycle back through the changes they might have made.

Expect lots of great new plug-ins and applets
Google has open-sourced the open-transport layer as well as large swathes of the main code, so developers can build their own extensions using the Wave API. One such extension enables you to embed Twitter feeds into a document, thereby creating a ‘twave’ and enabling real-time communication over another protocol while still integrating seamlessly into the interface. This can then be extended by programming robots. Developers can program robots that create blips and respond in particular ways to content in other waves and external websites. They can even respond to you sending them messages, which means you can ask your robot for the latest sports scores and be told instantly. To include your robot in any wave, just add it as a collaborator, and off you go.

OK so how do you get a Wave Invitation. Find someone who has a Gmail account and ask them. If they are using their Gmail account properly they already have a Wave account setup and it not then they will thank you when they get all set up in Google Wave.

More great info:
Complete guide Blog on Google wave

Take 2 Asprins and Get Marketing Now

I have a headake just thinking about these numbers.

One of the few industries that have actually increased their marketing budget (2.457 Billion) over the last several years is “Big Pharma“. Even though they are making billions in profit they are aware that in the cut-through industry of pharmaceutical wonder drugs R&D does not guarantee success. One company has increased its advertising budget by 160 percent and most are ramping up their budgets as we exit the recession.

If they see that the only way to get a great product (or idea) to market is to spend more of marketing and cut budgets in other places should send a strong signal to all businesses. If your not aggressively marketing your business than you are fighting a loosing battle against the companies that are.

Now is not the time to go crazy and overspend on ineffective marketing ideas. If you have limited funds in marketing then you should be rearranging your cash flow to get more marketing and advertising campaigns moving sooner are rather than later. If nothing we have learnt that the business that comes out of a recession with a strong well executed marketing plan is often the leader in their segment for years and sometimes decades.