Friday, November 4, 2011

IBM Study Unveils Top Inhibitors to Adopting Social

Sandy Carter (@sandy_carter), VP Social Business Evangelism at IBM, recently did a video interview in which she talked about the reasons why companies are hesitant to really get engaged with social media and use either internally within a hosted community or allow their employees to engage online - to post work-related communications via social networks.

IBM conducted a study of over 2,000 companies and asked them about the top inhibitors to adopting social media. Here are the top response areas. I wasn't surprised at any of these, but I'm glad that IBM's study groups the reasons into buckets so that we, as social media marketers, can help tackle the fears that companies face as we approach social media strategies unique to each company's needs.
  1. Security - Someone might break into my private community and something bad will happen
  2. Adoption - How will people use it? Will they come? Will they like it?
  3. Culture - Is our company culture ready to listen to employees or clients? Are we ready to respond and react in this way?
  4. Compliance - Regulated industries such as finance are hesitant to let anyone tweet/post about investments.
Sandy's high-level understanding of social media for business is impressive, and she's extremely articulate about it. I had the opportunity to have dinner with her at an IBM conference earlier this year and enjoyed meeting her and connecting with her.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Huge change coming to the Web: New gTLDs and what it means

I have heard about the coming change to website domain names but didn't quite understand it clearly until I read this article. AdAge titled the article "Are You Ready For One of the Biggest Changes on the Internet in a Decade?" At first, I thought that sounded a bit over-sensationalized, and perhaps it is, but if your ead through the finer points here (and I've only highlighted the key points) I think you'll see why it will change things quite a bit.

Amplify’d from
First, the basics. A "generic top-level domain" is the part of the domain name to the right of the dot, e.g. in "" - the "org" is the top-level domain (TLD). There are 22 generic TLDs (gTLDs) such as .COM, .ORG and .NET, and around 250 country-code TLDs (ccTLDs) that are specific to certain countries, like .JP for Japan and .MX for Mexico.
With ICANNs New gTLD Program to commence January 2012, the doors will be thrown wide open and virtually any word can become a gTLD if the company or organization meets certain criteria:
  • They can pony up the hefty application fee ($185,000)

  • They can prove they can afford to run a gTLD year after year

  • They can justify why they should own a particular word as a gTLD – e.g. a travel company is unlikely to be successful at justifying buying ".Apple" as a gTLD but they can justify buying ".adventure"

  • If a company can meet these criteria - then congratulations – they've just become a registry. Amazon can buy ".books" and JetBlue can buy ".fly". And if two companies want the same word and can't reach an agreement on their own, an auction commences with the word going to the highest bidder.

    From a consumer's perspective: Just when we thought it was kinda safe to go into Internet waters because we had a basic understanding of what a safe URL should look like … now anything's possible. With hundreds of new gTLDs likely to be introduced starting next year, consumer confusion is virtually guaranteed. There's little doubt fraudsters intend to exploit this new window of vulnerability.
    Now you can see why there is a lot at stake. Yet, when I spoke to my IT and marketing peers at the largest companies, there was a near universal lack of information on this topic!

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    How to Keep Your Company's Bloggers Motivated

    I was recently interviewed by a writer for Microsoft's partner newsletter publication, Redmond Channel Partner. Perficient is a Microsoft partner, and we consult on installing and configuring Microsoft software such as SharePoint for large companies.

    Barb Levisay has been publishing a series on social media in her "Marketing Matters" column. This week she covered our blogging strategy. Perficient currently has 5 active blogs and over 50 experts across the company who contribute to them weekly. I thought I'd share the details she covered about how we keep our bloggers motivated to publish valuable new content frequently.

    Amplify’d from

    Commitment to Fresh Blog Content

    If blogging is your social outlet of choice, consistent fresh content is the key to results. It's a challenging commitment, but if managed and rewarded well, a blog can give you a significant boost in organic search results and Web traffic.

    Erin Eschen, online and social media marketing manager for Perficient, a National System Integrator partner headquartered in Missouri, said, "Blogs are the hub of our social media program. Our goal is to demonstrate thought leadership through our consultants' expertise. Most of our bloggers write their posts because they love it."

    To keep bloggers motivated, Perficient also offers cash incentive programs based on milestones, like the most traffic to a post. Eschen said, "My bloggers are people who don't report to me so I give them constant feedback to recognize their success. We share the numbers of post visitors with the writers and they compete in a friendly way to write posts that will attract readers. It's important to share those numbers."


    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Using CRM to track the ROI of Social Media

    I frequently find the insights of Radian6 employees to be forward-thinking and optimistic regarding social media. Not only that, but they also tend to be extremely analytical and technical in their approach. I met Amber Naslund (@AmberCadabra) in person this summer, and this recent article by Olivia Landolt (@livslandolt) shows me that the company hires those who truly understand the social media landscape.

    Having worked in social media for 2 years now, with specific objectives in driving traffic, leads and ultimately revenue from social media marketing, I can only agree with Olivia that there can be a direct, positive ROI from investing in sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Below I've included snippets from Olivia's article on Radian6's blog. Particularly the aspect of tracking ROI that involves leveraging the source information in most Customer Relationship Management systems.

    Ultimately, if you become diligent about tracking the source of the first contact, the first brand impression and/or the first point of engagement with a sales prospect, you can then track the sales lifecycle, average and total revenue, and much more. Getting leads from social media into your sales and lead tracking systems is critical to both driving results and proving that results occur.

    Amplify’d from
    In one corner we have those that firmly believe that there is a definite return on investment from social media, and in the opposing corner those that firmly believe that there isn’t.
    Tracking sales resulting from social media doesn’t just help to justify the time or investment spent. It can also help identify what networks are the most valuable to a brand.
    Going beyond awareness and likes and retweets, companies may also consider traffic resulting in inquiries or purchases that were directly fed through to their site from social networks, which can be determined using web analytics tools, paid for or free.
    One of the first questions to ask should be how are leads tracked outside of social media? While some might use Excel, for large organizations this is likely achieved in the form of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. These CRM systems or (even spreadsheets) will host contact information, history and sales but also leads and the source for these leads. So when tracking ‘website’ inquiries one can just as easily track ‘social media’ or ‘Twitter’ as another lead source. This will make it easier to track new leads as a result of either a DM Twitter inquiry or a Facebook wall post through the sales cycle, starting at the point of entry. Analyzing this type of data at the end of the month will provide a clear picture of exactly how many leads the various social sources have generated, if they have closed and if so the amount of the sale.

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    3 Things Google Did While You Were Distracted by Google Plus

    Steve Rubel wrote a great post in AdAge - and his personal blog - about three quite significant things Google did recently amid the media storm over Google Plus. While we're all trying to figure out all we can about Google Plus, Google's new "social network" designed to compete with Facebook, Google is making not-insignificant tweaks and announcements in other areas that you should pay heed to, particularly if you work in online content marketing in any capacity. I've "Amplified" them below.

    Amplify’d from
    First, on June 7 Google unveiled a new way for authors to claim ownership of their content around the web. This allows a writer to embed verified HTML code tied to his/her Google+ profile in all their content, no matter where it appears (e.g. my blog or Once inserted Google then automatically includes the author’s profile image whenever these works show up in searches. Already the New York Times, CNET and The New Yorker have adopted this simple tag.
    Next on June 28 Google began to make more data available to companies on the impact that tweets, Facebook likes and, most importantly, its own “+1s” sharing buttons have on site traffic.
    Finally, Google News is starting to get more social as well. On July 14 the ten-year-old site launched a program that rewards regular users with social badges of authority for reading lots of news stories in a given subject matter.
    Susan Moskwa, Webmaster Trends Analyst, suggested that site owners look more deeply at other metrics such as conversion rates, bounce rates (how quickly users abandon a site) and search click-throughs.
    Google urged publishers to think beyond the almighty PageRank number that SEO types historically pay much heed to.
    Google is slowly reinventing the core of its business by refining the quality of what people turn to it most for - search results - by favoring explicit and implicit signals of authority.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Digital Overload Puts a Premium on Thought Leadership

    "Thought leadership" is a great term. It might be a bit overused in today's social media marketing space, but it's important that we social media marketers, particularly in the B2B space, keep it in mind with our business goals.

    Almost two years ago, when I began work in social media marketing and set out to define Perficient's social media strategy, I defined our goals in social media in this way:

    1. Develop a community and "center of knowledge" around what we do, proving our abilities and expertise
    2. Generate an interest in Perficient by prospective clients who seek us out as a result of our merits.

    This has thought leadership written all over it, and there is no shortage of thought leadership within the company.

    Last month, Mashable posted an article that proves this was the right approach, enabling us to capitalize on a key trend in online content consumption and purchase decision-making that has exploded over the past few years. Erica Swallow recapped a presentation by Steve Rubel, EVP of Global Strategy and Insights for Edelman.

    Below are the key insights from Steve Rubel, highlighting a shift in consumers' trust from seeking out information and advice from peers, to seeking out the companies who provide:

    1. expert insights and technical experience
    2. good content curation: separating the art from the junk for people to understand it.

    We now have over 30 experts across the company empowered to blog weekly or daily and tweet from company profiles. They are constantly curating the best content in their subject areas and contributing unique thought leadership in their space. View all of our active blogs and Twitter profiles here.

    With limited time and attention spans, people are experiencing information overload as well as “people overload.
    With the dot-com crash, though, publishing costs decreased, enabling almost anyone to be a publisher — thus, the era of “Democratization” (2002-2010). Cue the entrance of mainstream bloggers and Twitter fiends, accompanied by the shift of authority and trust from brands to individuals.
    In 2006, during the pinnacle of the era of Democratization, the study found that people trusted their peers most when forming opinions about companies.

    The 2011 Trust Barometer survey illustrated an essential shift in trust, with academics, experts and technical experts within companies rising to become the most trusted sources.
    “Every company can be a media company.” This is the idea that every brand can create valuable content.
    Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are driving increased engagement with brands and increased traffic to the other media spheres.
    Find your company’s subject-matter experts and empower them to “cultivate new ideas and engage in meaningful conversation around them,
    unprecedented opportunity for companies and individuals to gain authority and become thought leaders by being the ones who “separate art from junk for people to understand it.” Curation is just as important as creation.
    People on the Internet do not read,” Rubel says. “They read 20% of a webpage before they move on; 57% never come back to that page; and we spend 15-20 seconds on a webpage before we move on.
    The solution is to make data and information more visual and entertaining.
    Publish your company’s content, such as slideshows and white papers, on hubs like SlideShare and Scribd, so that interested parties can access it and “go deeper” when they want to.
    “Be a source of knowledge,” says Rubel. Social media is a great outlet for doing just that. Rubel recommends that companies empower all of their employees to ask and answer questions via social media, instead of putting a few people in charge of that responsibility.
    The Internet is not just a playland; it is an extension of our offline lives, a place where individuals and companies can become highly influential and respected.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    How companies advertise on Twitter

    I often get asked how Twitter makes money. Their revenue model is largely based on advertising, and ads are actually called "promoted tweets." I thought this recent article from Ad Age did a great job summing it up. You can also click the link to see some of the top promoted tweets from the past year, created by companies including Old Spice, VW, Ford and Google.

    Amplify’d from

    From the start, Twitter has charged for promoted tweets on what it calls "engagement" or user action -- a retweet, response, click on a link or when a user marks a post as a "favorite." Marketers don't pay when the tweets go nowhere. Twitter also only charges for the first retweet of the original; subsequent retweets are "earned" and free.

    As sales chief Adam Bain says, "Marketers are rewarded if they are good, not just if they're loud."
    While ad spending on Twitter is expected to grow to $150 million in 2011 from $45 million in 2010, according to eMarketer, brands are still working out how to use the platform effectively.


    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    How J-School Made Me a Better Marketer

    I am one of those Mizzou J-school grads who got out of news reporting as soon as possible after J-306 my junior year and jumped right into marketing. However, when I look back, one of the most influential factors in setting me on my thoroughly enjoyable career path of interactive marketing has been the HTML editing class I stumbled into as part of an Online Journalism elective course my junior year. I "geeked out" so much in this class that I actually ended up becoming a teaching assistant for the class my senior year, which means that I spent hours per day building websites and helping other people understand Dreamweaver, CSS and web site code. 

    Fast forward a decade later and you have the recipe for a social media marketer. I'll always remember one of the first interviews after graduation in which the hiring manager looked at my writing and editing abilities, website building skills and marketing passion, and instantly pinned me as an online marketer. Soon after I was informed what "SEO" and "PPC" meant, I found myself working for a software and online services company where I edited websites, purchased online ads and advised website owners every day on how to convert their site's visitors into customers. I realized there were more than a few things I had learned in J-school that continue to lend themselves well to success in an online marketing and social media marketing career. Here are just a few of them:
    The Inverted Pyramid Method of
    News Story Writing

    Always be thinking about what your target audience wants or needs. J-school taught me how to find the most important facts about a story and present them in the most compelling way to the reader. My professors taught me about the inverted pyramid, the method of "placing of the most important information first within a text". It essentially forces you to be concerned primarily with your audience's needs and wants. Answer the question: "Why should I care?" This concept translates so well outside of just story writing, especially in today's "ADD age" of Internet prevalence and vast access to information, where, for example, the most newsworthy info is the tweet and the headline to the story, the important details are the body of the article, and the background info are the outbound links.
      • As it relates to online marketing: You have a visitor on your site: What are they looking for? Make it really easy for them to find it. Then explain it in simple terms, and make it easy for them to buy it. Don't have enough visitors yet on your site? Then think like they do: Where are they looking for the thing that your company offers (Google, for example)? Go get yourself in front of them and make it easy for them to choose your product or service over your competition. Think of (and talk about) your company and your products in terms of unique selling propositions, not just features and benefits. What does the customer want? Convince and convert.
      • As it relates to social media: Anyone and everyone you want to connect with is going to ask themselves, "What's in it for me?" Why should I be-friend you or follow your Twitter stream, especially if you represent a company? Don't serve me press releases and company promotions all the time. Be human and foster a relationship with me online by offering me useful, valuable information and entertaining, interesting bits of information and commentary. Be concise with your message, which you're going to have to be anyway because in many cases, you only have 140 characters with which to do it.
    Be extremely efficient with your time and efforts. It must have been my first week of working for the local newspaper in Columbia, Missouri, aptly named "The Columbia Missourian" that I felt I was working 12-hour days (on top of 12 additional credit hours of school and a part-time job to pay the bills) for an end product that was not an adequate translation of my blood, sweat and tears. Essentially, in J-school, part of your education is a course in which you are officially a reporter for this paper as an unpaid part-time job. This method of learning the ropes of being a true reporter by being thrown into the fire is called "The Missouri Method." 

    While I understood that we were being given a rare opportunity for real bylines before graduation, I also felt that the number of eyes that made it to my page-8 article that had taken me 15 hours of interviews and 6 revisions to complete just simply didn't translate. The return on investment, from my perspective, was negative. It was a very personal decision of mine to get out of reporting and editing as soon as possible, and it was the right one for me. But that experience alone taught me that I personally would only be satisfied in my career if I could find ways to make a big splash with everything I do, with the most efficient expense in time and energy. This isn't about being lazy. It's a rather simple equation: The less it takes to make a quick win, the more time you have to spend on the next one, and the sooner you can start working on it. 
      Steinbruegge getting loud
      with an air horn
      • As an online marketer, not only do I feel that my megaphone has become much larger, but I also need to see that the end result is that opportunity to make a tangible impact - on revenue, sales, money! With SEO and paid advertising, I can reach new audiences all over the world, and with a compelling message and product, I can drive the bottom line for a business. Oh, and don't forget that, Voila! Online marketing gives you web analytics and conversion tracking! Is there anything more magical than being able to directly attribute your blood, sweat and tears into actual, quantifiable results? (See image to the right for another example of a great Journalism-grad-turned-online-marketer known for frequently "getting loud" and making a big splash. Proof that it comes with the territory.)

      • As a social media marketer, I have never felt more visible and more connected to an international network of experts, professionals, entertainers, social mavens, connectors, mentors, influencers, brand advocates, customers, co-workers, name it! Twitter gives me a pretty big "megaphone" to reach whomever I desire in a valuable way. The end result of my time investment in social media creates such a compelling and valuable end result, serving both my employer and myself in unique ways. I learn new things every single day, I drive brand visibility and sales opportunities, I get to help shape the public's perception of the company, I am inspired, I get breaking news before the news organizations can give it to me, I have new friends I never would have met otherwise...the list goes on.

        More importantly, leveraging social media for marketing purposes requires one to be efficient with how they spend their time. Tweeting all night long just because you can't sleep doesn't automatically make you a social media marketer, even if it has brought you 200 new followers in a day. There are now so many social networks, millions of people on each of them, and now more and more companies, messages, products all clamoring for those consumers' attention. You have to be selective, specific, and targeted - both with the personal and the professional messages you choose to publish and with the individuals you aim to connect with. The more efficient and focused you can be with your time investment in social media, the more successful you will be. Isn't that a fun challenge? 
    There is certainly a piece of all of this that can be attributed to innate characteristics and how I've evolved to think about things. I may not call myself a journalist today, but the Missouri Method, its rigorous work ethic, high expecations and standards, a focus on the audience's needs, and the entire curriculum around distilling information into a concise, targeted message -- each of these things groomed me throughout my Journalism school experience -- and each of them has made me a better online and social media marketer today.  

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    How do you Prioritize Content Marketing in B2B?

    I recently read an article that outlined some important considerations for leveraging your company's content for marketing purposes. My favorite highlights from the article are quoted below.

    It can be extremely difficult not only to produce a good quantity of unique and valuable content but also to match it up to the right stage in the buying cycle. This is even more difficult for companies that have a lot of solutions, like Perficient does, or who want to target that content by industry, geography or other data points.

    We break our content down into several types:

    • Website Copy
    • Blog Articles: We have four active blogs with over 30 people blogging on behalf of the company right now.
    • Twitter & other social media content (Example: @Perficient)
    • Whitepapers
    • Webinars: both video replays and slide shows
    • Video Content: in the form of tutorials, demos, interviews, panels, speakers, events, and more.
    • Solution Sheets 
    • Case Studies
    • Podcasts / Audio Files
    • Email Newsletters
    It has been an ongoing effort to tag all of this content to appropriate solution-based categories and or target market segments in order to promote and leverage them in the right way for lead generation purposes. More importantly, in our industry, insights and techniques can become outdated very quickly, so keeping on top of these assets and updating them frequently is very important. 

    Some of my goals as a B2B marketer involve taking this list of assets and doing just what the article referenced emphasizes is so important:
    1. Make all unique content easily sharable - across social networks and via email.
    2. Evolve the content experience from A) providing insightful value to the reader - to B) demonstrating the wealth of thought leadership at my firm - to C) solving a business need. 
    If you work in B2B, what types of content are you prioritizing in your marketing efforts? Are you trying anything different from my list above? 

    Social media has expanded both the need and the reach of content.
    One of the strengths of social media is to drive awareness of a company, product or service. Many B2B marketers set up Twitter accounts and Facebook Pages to promote product launches, trade show events and other company-centric ideas.
    Content generated leads can be tracked in a company’s CRM system, along with the description of the content that drove the lead.
    As buyers move into the consideration phase, they are looking for more than just product information. They are looking for solutions to business problems.
    Customers are doing more online research before purchase than ever before, and are further in the buying cycle before they ever have a conversation with a salesperson. This makes it vitally important to have consumable content, easily available and shareable, to keep a company’s products relevant and appearing in search results.
    According to a study by strategy consulting firm AMR International, the first and third priorities for B2B online marketers are lead generation (38%) and awareness (28%).
    While the second priority in this survey was customer retention, an important online tactic, there is no mention of middle of the funnel marketing.
    B2B marketers need to respond to the changing online environment and changing needs of prospects to make more information available on social platforms and in shareable formats
    All social content needs to be created with two thoughts in mind. Does this show a prospect how their business need can be solved, and would they be willing to share this with other connections online?

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    4 Must-Attend STL Marketing Events in the Next 30 days - #SMCSTL

    Note: I edited this post to "4 Must-Attend STL Marketing Events in the Next 30 Days" instead of "3" because somehow I thought the highly anticipated "State of Online Influence" event was next month, but in fact, it's next week, April 28th at Soulard Preservation Hall! 

    As an involved and active board member for the Social Media Club and the Business Marketing Association in Saint Louis, I am very interested in local marketing events. My employer, Perficient, a national IT consulting firm based in Saint Louis, also hosts local events from time to time, and the one we have going on this week is a short breakfast seminar on how to make your website more user-friendly and sales-oriented. 

    Additionally, tomorrow night, Social Media Club is bringing two renowned social media thought leaders and authors into town to give what's sure to be a priceless, entertaining and thought-provoking presentation at Lumiere Place (which guarantees a night of fun anyway).

    Here's a rundown of three events going on over the next month that I deem a "can't miss". 
    If you're attending any of these, let me know, and I look forward to seeing you!

    Websites Speak Louder Than Words, from Perficient

    What: A breakfast networking event and presentation about creating dynamic Web experiences with Microsoft SharePoint

    When: Thursday, April 21st, 8:00 a.m - 11:35 a.m.

    Where: Microsoft North Central District Offices, 3 City Place Dr., Suite 1100, St. Louis, MO 63141 

    Why: Brad Nunnally (@bnunnally) is a local UX guru, and he'll be presenting alongside Aaron Sloman (@aaronjsloman) of Perficient. Aaron was a lead architect in Microsoft’s eBusiness team, building some of the largest eCommerce sites and customer portal properties on the Microsoft technologies.

    Register / More Info

    Follow Perficient's Saint Louis team on Twitter: @Perficient_STL

    Social Media Club STL Presents: The Now Revolution Book Tour

    What: Networking party, presentation and discussion from two nationally renowned social media thought leaders.

    When: Thursday, April 21, 6 pm - 9 pm

    Where: Lumière Theatre, 999 N. Second St. , Saint Louis, MO 63102

    Why: Learn to take advantage of seven major shifts - from culture to process - that savvy companies of today need to adapt and thrive in a social business world. Amber Naslund (@AmberCadabra) and Jay Baer (@jaybaer) will explain these shifts with examples, useful tips, and actionable implementation advice, and they'll also talk about their book, The Now Revolution. This presentation (and the book) is appropriate for both social media professionals and executives, if there were ever an event to bring your boss to this would definitely be it.

    Also, follow the Twitter hash tag #SMCSTL before, during and after the event to get the scoop on what attendees are learning and observing.

    Huge thanks to Armstrong Teasdale, Standing Partnership and Lumiere Place, without whom this event wouldn't be happening!

    The State of Online Influence

    What: The presentation features a panel discussion with St. Louis’ top online influencers and keynote speakers Matt Ridings from Tech Guerilla and Tom Webster from Edison Research.

    When: April 28th, 3:00 - 8:00 pm

    Where: Soulard Preservation Hall, 1921 South 9th Street, Saint Louis, MO 63104

    Why: It's all about Saint Louis influential online marketers and influentials. How could you miss that? For the 2nd year in a row, Infuz is releasing its annual STL Index report on the state of social media activity in Saint Louis, and in conjunction they're offering a fantastic panel of speakers and excellent networking.

    Follow hashtag #STLi

    What's Branding Got to Do With It? Solutia's Case Study and the Importance of Branding for the B-to-B Enterprise

    What: BMA St. Louis May Marketing Masters Luncheon and Presentation

    When: Thursday, May 12th, 11:30 am - 1pm

    Where: Spazio, 12031 Lackland Rd, St. Louis, MO

    Why: Strong brands, supported by proper mission, vision, values and positioning are nearly a mandate for some B-to-B companies that want to ensure that their suppliers have standards that match their own. 

    Emily Bealke Parenteau, Director, Planning & Coordination at St. Louis-based Solutia, will talk about the re-branding of Corporate Solutia from brand research to new logo development to global launch. Mark Vogel, Senior Partner at Avant Marketing Group, will explain the importance of brand management in the b-to-b environment, but will explain its proven process of brand development and its proprietary “Living the Brand” training that focuses on making all employees in your organization true brand fanatics. 

    Register / More Info

    Follow BMA Saint Louis on Twitter: @BMAStLouis

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Guy Kawasaki's new book...Keyword: Enchantment

    Last night, I began reading Guy Kawasaki's new book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions . I was pretty impressed with what I learned in a short period of time. The book is chock-full of great tips for pushing forward your ideas and your projects socially. Whether you're an entrepreneur or just want to learn how to become more effective as a marketer with either your company's message or your own personal objectives, I think you'll benefit from this book. In one chapter, Guy talks about having a good handshake (dry, cool, firm grip and soft skin while looking directly in their eyes and smiling genuinely), and he emphasizes the impact one can have in interpersonal relationships by consistently making --not faking-- a true smile, and speaking in active voice, not passive.

    Media mogul Richard Branson put it best when he said,
    Guy's book captures the importance - and the art - of believing in an idea that delivers something entirely unique to the customer. The power of a really good idea to transform the marketplace and individual customer experiences is huge, and this book offers a wealth of insights to help businesses and entrepreneurs tap into that potential. -Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group "

    Until midnight tonight, when you buy Enhancement, you can get a copy of his previous book, Reality Check, for free.

    If you know anyone who might like this deal, please point them to:

    Guy says: Sorry but I can only make this offer for copies bought from U. S. retailers, and we can only ship the Reality Check to U. S. addresses.

    I decided to write this blog post about the book because I know so many marketers, small business owners and leaders who already like Guy for what they know abut him but might not have been given that tipping point reason to buy his latest book. Here's my vote: I think you should read it, and let me know what your greatest takeaway is!

    Paid Advertising Less Effective in 2011

    I thought this article had some fascinating stats regarding methods of online advertising and which ones can be more effective in driving clicks to your site. However, paid advertising can still drive brand impression benefits for you. Take a look at how social media has increased as a traffic driver.

    Amplify’d from

    Trends And Strategies To Market Your Website In 2011

    61% of adults say they still find websites using natural search results
    The next biggest traffic driver is referrals
    Paid advertising is now the least effective method of driving traffic to a website
    The effectiveness of paid search advertising has dropped by 10% since only two years ago.
    A mere 3% of surveyed adults say they visit websites from paid advertisements. 
    Social media marketing has been holding steady as a major traffic driver.  16% of adult internet users find websites through social media profiles and links. 
    20% of users who view a paid advertisement online choose to search for that website’s organic results before visiting the website.
    Trends and Strategies To Market Your Website In 2011
    Your paid ads aren’t worthless just because other forms of marketing are taking center stage.  Consider that your paid ads can offer you real-time analytic information along with their functionality as ads.  This analytic data is useful for improving all aspects of your campaign.
    mpressions matter.  Just because your ads don’t seem to be driving clicks directly doesn’t mean they aren’t adding to the overall awareness of your brand.  Remember that many users now view search results after viewing an ad and then navigate to a website – focusing on multiple aspects of your campaign can help target these users.
    Mobile marketing is of growing importance.  1 in 3 internet users under the age of 18 browse the internet at least once a week on their mobile phones.  Target these users to increase your success.

    In Conclusion:  Additional Tips for Success


    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Conversion Conference West 2011: Come See Me Present!

    I'll be on a social media panel in San Francisco in less than 2 weeks at Conversion Conference West. I recently blogged about it.

    I am very excited to hopefully meet Bryan Eisenberg (@TheGrok) and also Michael Summers (@ez2use) - both exceptional authors in the digital marketing space.

    Here's the news release that the conference organizers put out recently, picked up by
    Conversion Conference Keynotes Reveal Secrets to Delivering Revenue from Website Visitors, San Francisco, March 14-15, 2011
    Conversion Conference, focused exclusively on increasing website conversion rates, is a must-attend event featuring keynotes by industry experts Tim Ash, Author, Landing Page Optimization (and Conversion Conference Chair), Bryan Eisenberg, Co-Author, Call to Action, and Always Be Testing, Michael Summers, Co-author, Creating Websites that Work and Andrés Amézquita, V.P. of e-commerce at Mattel Inc. Attendees also have access to a special guest keynote from Thomas Davenport, Author, Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning.
    eet the leaders in the field and hear live landing page critiques, 20 educational sessions, 4 keynotes, book signings and have roundtable lunches with the speakers whose strategies and tactics are presented in practical how-to sessions, case studies and actionab
    Meet the leaders in the field and hear live landing page critiques, 20 educational sessions, 4 keynotes, book signings and have roundtable lunches with the speakers whose strategies and tactics are presented in practical how-to sessions, case studies and actionable takeaways.
    “Realizing the already-existing value from website visits is a board-room imperative when corporations have spent millions on driving traffic to their websites," says conference founder Tim Ash. "Conversion Conference’s expert speaker roster delivers the tools and expertise to their interactive teams.”
    Other notable Conversion Conference speakers include: Mani Iyer (Kwanzoo), Patrick Bultema (CodeBaby), David Szetela (Clix Marketing), Erin Eschen (Perficient), Justin Rondeau (TemplateZone), Ole Bahlmann (SoundCloud Ltd), Raquel Hirsch (WiderFunnel), Steen Rasmussen (IIH Nordic), Howard Kaplan (Future Now), Lance Loveday (Closed Loop Marketing), Aaron Kahlow (Online Marketing Summit), John Cecil (Innovate Media), Todd Barrs (Webroot Software), Bob Garcia (Optimize), Khalid Saleh (Invesp), Rob Snell (Gun Dog Supply), Joanna Lord (, Darrell Benatar (, Charles Nicholls (SeeWhy), Scott Brinker (Ion Interactive), Seth Berman (Blue Shield of California), James Niehaus (Symantec), Andrés Amézquita (Mattel Inc.), Joe Weller (RealNetworks), Justin Davis (Madera Labs), Pete Olson (Amadesa), Amy Africa (Eight by Eight), Chris Goward (WiderFunnel), Paras Chopra (Wingify), Eric J. Hansen (SiteSpect), David Rodnitzky (PPC Associates), David Szetela (Clix Marketing), Susan Weinschenk (Human Factors Int'l), Andre Morys (Web Arts AG), Byron White ( and Jeanne Hopkins (HubSpot).

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    I "Like" Your Brand; Now Let's Make a Deal

    "Coupons! We want coupons!"

    Small businesses, merchants, website owners - anybody with something to SELL - are you listening? Your customers want to connect with you on Facebook, but primarily because they're looking for a deal - a discount, a coupon, a freebie. Give them what they want, and they'll keep coming back, right?

    This online survey by Ad Age/Ipsos Observer of 1,000 US adults and their digital media habits indicates that if you have something to sell to the average US adult, you need to be on Facebook. In fact, it wouldn't hurt for you to give some location based services a try, such as one of my favorites, Foursquare. Try offering coupons exclusively for fans of your Facebook page, and monitor your brand's mentions across social profiles to ensure a positive experience and speedy response and resolution of issues.
    Amplify’d from
    41% of respondents said they want to receive communications from marketers on Facebook -- more than double any other digital platform. One in three said it was their "preferred" platform
    42% want better customer service, 28% sought branded games and only 22% care about customer news.
    Platforms and Desire charts
    Nearly three-quarters of Facebook users have "liked" at least one brand on the platform and more than a third of users have liked six or more.
    Coupons were also the main driver listed for users of location-based check-in services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places and others.
    are driven by the game-like aspects
    Some 40% said they use the services to keep track of friends or let friends know where they are and 15% are driven by the game-like aspects of earning rewards like Foursquare's badges
    There are 241 million residents aged 10 and older in the U.S. and 149 million Facebook accounts, which are only open to those 13 and older. When you consider that the latest Pew data shows 79% of adults have internet access, you start getting to a point where saying "Everyone who is online is on Facebook" isn't that far off.
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