The new age of public relations

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

For small businesses and enterprises alike, public relations (PR) is very important. Ultimately, PR is reputation management — how a brand is perceived — which is driven when end-customers read newspapers, magazines, review sites or learn about businesses, products, and services through social media and influential users on the web.


Traditional PR, which is rooted in relationship building through methods such as phone conversations and emails, has only been enhanced with the evolution of the web and mainstream adoption of media usage online.


The new age of public relations


While anyone can technically aim to generate their own editorial coverage, it continues to be a relationship business. That’s where a PR agency’s role is important. This partner is instrumental in the strategic definition of how a message will be conveyed and distributed to the public, how it’s unique, what words will be used, and when it will be pitched. They are also essential in the development of media lists — often times fueled by fancy media databases full of important media information, an editor’s email, interests, pet peeves, and more. These tools support streamlining the development of mass lists, because pinpointing who you are going to target manually across dozens or hundreds of media sources, can be trying. Not to mention the tedious tasks of pitching and following up with these sources. But most importantly, a PR agency is key to leveraging their relationships to secure coverage in relevant outlets that their clients’ target audience read.


As previously mentioned, a PR firm or in-house publicist plays a very important role in laying down the foundation for your messages. Everything from your “about us” page, to how you will be conveyed to the public, and deal with crisis management (hopefully planned in advance as no one anticipates a crisis), requires thoughtful messaging.


That said, when the foundation is laid — and if you have a communications specialist(s) in-house — social media and the web have afforded us the opportunity to learn about the media to build relationships and work toward securing editorial coverage.


Some PR firms have adopted social media in-house, but what we’ve seen most successful is pairing digital specialists with PR relationship builders. Digital specialists can leverage social media research and community management to learn more about a media outlet’s needs, the specific editor’s interest, and personal life, because at the core of everything, is a relationship.


If followed consistently and written effectively with a unique angle, here are four steps to generate authentic editorial coverage for a brand — online and off.

view full article | Add a comment

October 22nd 2014 Uncategorized

How to build a social business

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

Exactly what is a “social business?” We hear the term being bandied about freely these days as a kind of utopia every company aspires to be. In actuality, the attributes of a social business can (and should) move in several directions.


The most obvious is customer support and audience engagement. No longer can corporations operate from behind ivy walls that periodically send their news to vendors, partners, investors, and customers as they see fit and from behind the veil of one-way (and carefully corporate approved) communication.


The world is different now. Customers expect and demand to engage with the companies they do business with. And the companies that are succeeding are compelled to oblige.


But for optimal engagement and impact, a genuinely “social business” is willing to go well beyond behaving in a social way with customers via the social profiles the company maintains in the places where you know your customers are generally prone to hang out. Leading organizations (particularly within the Fortune 500) are formalizing their thought leadership and employee engagement programs, which compels them to share more and better information, but also to engage more fully with the audiences they address.


Smaller organizations excel by adopting these progressive characteristics as well, and are hard at work in the development of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who develop columns, articles, blogs, and a myriad of content pieces that are interesting, highly compelling, and most importantly, share educational material that their customer audiences really do want to know. For example, does your organization sell lawn mowers? Never mind the endless broadcasts about the speeds and feeds and the latest specials on the equipment you sell.


Instead, provide your customer and prospect audience with information about how to keep their lawns as green as possible during a drought, or how to find weed killers that are safe to use near pets and children, or the deciding factors towards buying a simple mower, a decked-out contraption, or simply planning to hire the job done. This is the information people are dying to know and will drive the appreciative audience to engage with your firm.


Next, your company should formalize an employee engagement program to give as many willing employees (willing being the operative word) the training and tools to make it easy and rewarding to share the material broadly, along with other suitable material from other aligned and articulate subject matter experts as well. This single step will magnify your audience and your engagement profoundly. As a provider of a leading social media amplification platform, we have compiled extensive data on the companies who use a social media platform for social sharing, and the impact is profound. Sharing through a platform increases reach by a factor of 38 times, and a company with an employee base of 1,250 can create $1.2 million in earned media advertising value and as much as $1.9 million in additional sales.


But being a social business, as described by social media expert Ted Rupin, goes even further beyond being present in the social media platforms. It involves connectedness within your company’s roles and processes too.


For example, in a surprising number of organizations, marketing and sales don’t connect. Instead, they behave like warring factions competing for the finite budgets they share.


But if the end goal is to drive more business, why not create an environment that allows these teams to collaborate together instead? Social media platforms should be used to help employees connect and align their agendas with each other (as well as with the personal networks they lead).


Likewise, social connection is a particularly significant advantage in customer service. In fact, companies that think of customer service as a mind-set as opposed to a separate department are already miles ahead.


Truly social businesses deliver the programs and mechanisms to connect everyone together who has input to allow them to collaborate on the education and information that can best benefit their customer partners, and can create new ways to deliver the best experience possible to the customer communities they serve.


In short, every organization should empower as many departments and as many employees as possible to leverage social media as a means of being present, communicating in two-way dialogues, and sharing. Every business should strive to be a social business. And the side benefits of being a social business are hard to deny: It is also the most efficient method available for empowering your brand.


Eric Roach  is co-founder and CEO at EveryoneSocial.


On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet. 

view full article | Add a comment

October 22nd 2014 Uncategorized

5 reasons to use automated email

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

ESPs are pushing marketing automation as a primary selling point, and major players like SMTP are moving fast to acquire automation solutions from promising, young enterprises.


This is because automation can reach millions of prospective leads, target them based on their preference, actions, and personal information and then automatically tailor an email’s content right down to a person’s interests.


Marketing automation is the future of relationship marketing because it gives customers what they want: choice.


Marketing automation leads to more and better leads, improved marketing productivity, and better conversion rates. If you’re not using email marketing automation, you’re not getting the most out of your resources.


But don’t take my word for it — the stats don’t lie, and right now they’re singing gospel!


This article will analyze some recent statistics and attempt to discover why automated email has become such a successful trend in 2014.


Triggers


Automated marketing emails are sent based on triggers. Most of these triggers are set off by customers who have interacted with an object of particular interest to the company which means one thing — hot leads!


Hot leads refer to customers who have immediately shown interest in a product or service. Since automated marketing emails are sent automatically when action is taken by a customer, they take advantage of a small window of interest.


This means they are able to generate revenue more effectively than newsletters, which rely on generalized timing resulting in colder or even dead-end leads.


Personalization


One of the most powerful tools of automation is its ability to be personalized much more than a typical newsletter. This is because each email is sent to a different person or business based on their actions or needs.


When you’re targeting businesses, relevancy is everything. Businesses looking for a service are purely objective and have only one thing on their minds: “how will this product or service help me in my specific situation right now?”


Unlike newsletters, with automated email (especially drip campaigns) you’re able to give different answers to this question to different businesses — keeping you relevant, useful, and in business!


Relevancy


If a consumer has already bought an item or displayed interest in a product, notifying them of better, similar deals while their interest is peaked is an ideal way to gain more attention and sales.


An additional advantage of using automated mail for consumers is ability to offer special birthday deals or suggestions automatically. This allows marketers to capitalize on ideal sales opportunities, like birthdays or holidays, where their product or service is fresh in a consumer’s mind.


Monthly newsletters may be able to capture generalized holidays and notify consumers of deals, but are unable to specialize those offers to each consumer when they’re most likely to make a purchase, like automated mail is able to, accounting for a 50 percent higher conversion rate.


Sales integration


Often, the difference between a consumer buying your product instead of your competition’s product is a good salesman.


Marketing automation is often integrated with sales force automation and other CRM tools, allowing your sales team to observe how prospects engaged with specific campaigns. This allows them to better strategize their approach and have more productive conversations with prospects near the end of the buying process.


Ultimately, what this means is that automation gives you the power to change how you market and sell your product on the fly meaning more adaptability than competition who rely on rigid, unchanging newsletters.


Drip email campaigns


Automated marketing really shines in a drip email campaign.


Drip email campaigns refer to a sequence of emails that are sent to a prospect in order to keep them invested and interested — similar to regularly watering a plant until it’s ready to bloom.


By paying constant attention to prospective leads, marketers are able to keep their product and brand in the minds of their targeted audience. Sounds a lot like spam? Well, the beauty here is that each email will be specifically tailored to be relevant and offer some kind of value to each lead — thanks to the segmentation abilities of automated marketing.


This means that marketing qualified leads are steadily nurtured until they’re ready to buy or for the sales team to close the deal rather than a plain newsletter each month hoping to gain leads.


The key to marketing successfully is to make your product applicable to the circumstances that surround your target market. Automated marketing gives you the power to place your product directly at the moment in time that a need is created for a consumer, making it an instrumental tool in modern marketing.


Mark Brown is a copywriter at Graphic Mail.


On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

view full article | Add a comment

October 22nd 2014 Uncategorized

10 great ads that went viral

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

We all know the saying, “You only have one chance at a first impression.” For advertisers, that saying couldn’t ring more true. If they don’t catch your attention within a few seconds, they’ve failed. To really stand out of the crowd, advertisers need to think outside the box and create something that makes a good first impression.


We want ads that actually speak to us. Actually connect with us. To make us feel something. Whether it’s sadness, fear, happiness, silliness, or just plain inspiration, ads have the opportunity to shape perception and affinity.


Today, we want advertisements to touch us in a way that inspires us to share them. And that’s an advertiser’s dream come true. To have your ad “go viral” is an incredible feat that 99 percent of advertisers never get to experience. But that 1 percent, however small it may be, revels in the bliss of having their advertisement spread like wildfire. These 10 companies did it right.

view full article | Add a comment

October 22nd 2014 Uncategorized

12 ways to leverage your social channels better than larger competitors

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

If you’re overwhelmed by the increasing number of social marketing channels necessary to reach your audience, you’re not alone. And maintaining the status quo, as well as being creative with your efforts can be just as daunting — especially for the smaller organizations. To find out more and as part of an ongoing series, iMedia asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question: In what new ways are you using social media to reach your audience that sets you apart from larger competitors?


The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.


We spread knowledge


Stanley Meytin, True Film Production


“Larger competitors tend to promote their product or service more often than not. I, on the other hand, like to spread knowledge for people to learn from instead. In many cases, I end up with people coming to me looking for business as the knowledge has asserted expertise in the field.”


We react quickly

Kuba JewgieniewRealty ONE Group

“We are more nimble because our social media experts can react quickly without going through many layers of approval. Whether it’s a quick ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that we post while the genre is still hot, or a great property we just listed that we want to showcase, we can be in the moment, that very moment.”


We curate the best of the best


Adam Stillman, SparkReel


“We create a top-five list every month for user-generated content campaigns. This includes campaigns that weren’t done by our company. It’s important to think of your vertical as a community. And as a member of the community, it’s your job to provide as much value as you can. Often, you are able to do that with your product or service. Other times, it’s acting as an expert curator.”


We offer live coaching sessions with our CEO


Steli Efti,Close.io


“We often get asked questions from our audience on Twitter and LinkedIn. When we notice an interesting question, we invite them to a free webinar coaching session, where they have the chance to ask questions and practice directly with me. There’s no veiled sales pitch or pseudo-consultation, just pure value. Large competitors don’t offer that kind of live access to founders and executives.”


We follow interesting people in related spaces


Jessica Richman, UBiome


“Following people on Twitter really gets their attention. We follow people in big data, biology, and health to cover all of our bases.”


We focus on personalized interactions with customers



Brock Stechman, DivvyHQ


“Social is a great tool for us to cultivate relationships with our customers and prospects. Instead of using social media to send out general posts to the masses, we constantly incorporate creative ways to communicate with our customers on a one-on-one basis. This simple approach is more sincere and impactful. It lets them know we are thinking about them and that they are important to us.”


We engage customers across all platforms


Mark Samuel, Fitmark


“We engage heavily with our customers on all major social platforms. We believe responding to questions and acknowledging great comments creates a true relationship between our brand and customers. It also allows the customer to see the personality of our company, which is extremely important to us.”


We help others through Twitter search


Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster


“For my site WPBeginner, I use Twitter’s search feature to monitor the hashtag WordPress and answer any questions that come up. This helps in building great user engagement, and I’ve built quite a following by offering to help users.”


We leverage the Venmo feed


Mark Arnoldy, Possible


“Seeing that most social media channels were saturated, we pursued a partnership with Venmo. Now when users cash out, they can choose to donate a portion of their money to provide life-changing medical treatment for one person. When they do that, a message is automatically shared to their feed encouraging others to do the same.”


We use direct messaging


Carrie Rich, The Global Good Fund


“We’re using the old ways in our social media approach to set ourselves apart. We leverage Twitter as a lead generation tool to take connections offline. We frequently DM (direct message) industry contacts to get their email to setup calls or coffee dates. While we understand the power of social media, we believe the most meaningful connections happen in person, and we incorporate this into our strategy.”



We make sure there’s engaging content behind our links


Grant GordonSolomon Consulting Group


“Sometimes companies just throw up posts on social media sites for the sake of it, without being intentional about what they’re linking to. We make sure that we carefully curate the external links that we’re sharing and spend time crafting engaging content, such as blog posts, that aren’t thinly disguised sales pitches. That way we’re offering value to anyone who engages us via social media.”


We host Twitter chats


Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.


“Hosting and being involved in Twitter chats is a great way to show personality, find out what people are looking for, and see how your business stacks up to the competition.”


On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

view full article | Add a comment

October 22nd 2014 Uncategorized

The inspiring speaker you need to hear

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

Mick Ebeling has been re-defining the boundaries of what is possible for years. When his friend – a world renowned graffiti artist - was diagnosed and paralyzed with ALS, most believed he would never be able to draw again. Mick Ebeling and his company Not Impossible Labs thought different. Inspired by the idea to transform the limits of human capabilities, his company invented the Eyewriter – eye glasses with open source software, which allows paralyzed individuals to draw and communicate using just their eyes. It was an unprecedented accomplishment that made Time Magazines “Top 50 Inventions of 2010.”


In 2013, Mick Ebeling and Not Impossible Labs transformed the limits of human potential once again. Mick traveled to Sudan’s Nuba Mountains – a region devastated by war and poverty for decades. Many have had limbs removed by explosives or disease, especially young children. One of these kids was Daniel, a 16 -year-old who two years prior lost both arms to an explosion. Daniel thought he would never be normal again. Mick thought differently.


With the help of 3D printing technology and American doctors, Not Impossible Labs set up the first ever 3D-printing prosthetic lab and training facility in Africa. Soon after, Daniel received a new left arm and was able to feed himself for the first time in two years. The team was able to train locals to operate the printer and computers so that the project would last far beyond the team’s presence in Sudan. It was a tremendous and groundbreaking accomplishment that transformed lives and the limits of what is possible.


At the iMedia Brand Summit earlier this Fall, Mick spoke about his team’s amazing work and how they were able to bring life changing prosthetic technology to the third world. Watch his amazing presentation here.


Mick will also be at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit as the closing keynote speaker on October 28. Here’s a quick peek at what guests have to look forward to.



Learn more about the iMedia Breakthrough Summit.

view full article | Add a comment

October 22nd 2014 Uncategorized

How to prevent the failure of marketing’s future

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

Digital is a core driver of the future of media, marketing, and advertising, and that future is now. For those of us who gladly toil in the industry, day in and day out, the future leaps before us on a daily basis. Yet we, as an industry, are woefully unprepared. If you are reading this, you most likely can relate to the challenge of finding the right talent and experience. It is a pervasive issue. The OMI State of Digital Marketing Talent Report reveals worrying statistics in regards to the current state of talent in digital marketing. The gap between the industry needs and available talent is significant.


With all the great advertising technology and digital marketing advancements, there remains a huge delta between talent and needs in companies of all sorts, including Fortune 500 brands. There are a number of points of failure. Industry experience, reports, and surveys continue to point to a host of core issues, not only in the workplace but also at our academic institutions.


The responsibility for preparing and developing individuals for the demands of our industry extends from the classroom to the boardroom. Corporate leadership needs to do more to provide appropriate training and education. Academic institutions need to provide more relevant coursework and concentrations in digital. Universities currently do not offer enough substantial curriculums to support the market demands awaiting them in digital marketing. There is cause of concern for current college students who plan on pursuing a career in digital marketing — and for those of us who employ them.


What can we do to prepare and transition the next generation of leadership?


Brand leaders, along with iMedia executives and advisors, poised this question at the iMedia Marketer-Only Meeting, an intimate, closed-door town hall working session hosted by Adam Kmiec, senior director of mobile, social, and content marketing at Walgreens. This discussion led to an outpouring of ideas and a new leadership initiative pilot program, which was announced at the recent iMedia Brand Summit. “The topic of talent scarcity and lack of education at our universities has been a hot topic among the leading brands at iMedia,” explains Judy Karsting, iMedia’s director of community. “As a recognized industry leader, iMedia saw an opportunity to extend our leadership role and step it up with a new initiative, the iMedia MBA Showdown.”


The iMedia initiative is a great example of bringing together industry leaders to activate solutions. However, we must all get involved, not only on a global and national level. but on a local level. In our communities and in our workplaces, we must come together to nurture, cultivate, and lead the next generation, our industry, our brands, and the corporations that support them, or we will falter and ultimately fail. Leadership training, mentoring, and education at our place of business, in the community, and at our academic institutions need to step it up.


Here are some practical insights and tips to become an active contributing force to prepare the next generation of leadership.


In the workplace: Support and advance “experts at learning”


Most who are established industry leaders are voracious learners. As industry leaders, we must be experts at learning, and it is critical that we cultivate, nourish, support, and activate learning environments, whether it’s in the office, with supporting industry organizations, publications, or with other educational platforms. The pace of change and the impact on strategic and tactical digital practices on our business cannot be underestimated. From higher level strategic ideation and planning to tactical, pragmatic shifts, we have all had to adapt to changing platforms, evolving consumer behaviors, algorithmic updates, and so forth. No one can rest on their laurels. There are no laurels in an industry that moves and evolves as fast as ours. If you are committed to succeeding in this industry, you must have a dedicated, passionate commitment to learning.


Cultivating and activating a learning environment requires a core foundational commitment to sharing and collaboration. While individuals must be motivated, the best outcomes come from seeding and sowing a deeper and broader approach. Programs, initiatives, and attitudes across teams, departments, agencies, and clients must be imagined, planned, and executed to facilitate shared learning.


Programs can take the shape of lunch and learns, in-house team training programs, workshops, professional summits, and conference attendance. Think about how to instill a spirit and delivery construct that inspires shared discussions extending into the hallway, over coffee, and at lunch. Learning can be fun and a valued way of working together and doing business. According to the OMI report, close to 80 percent would value an on-demand library of digital marketing classes, with almost 70 percent interested in customized e-learning of digital marketing skills or in-person workshops or training. One of our clients hosts a full-day global leadership summit once a month to advance digital leadership in its corporation. The company invites a team of stakeholders, including global executives from digital folks, brand managers, and marketing VPs with a full agenda of presentations and speakers. It’s a blast! It’s motivating and inspiring. And it supports its goals of industry leadership in its industry.

What programs and initiatives have you seen work at your place or elsewhere to grow industry expertise and facilitate shared learning?


In the community


Go local. National and global organizations are awesome, but we have to seed and sow in our own backyards as well. Get involved in your local marketing, media, and advertising associations. There are numerous opportunities to serve as a mentor, to publish, present, and participate to extend your learnings with others in the business community. If organizations in your area don’t have digital marketing programming, then help them create one.


Same is true for college and universities in your market. Most academic institutions will host expert guest speakers and invite working professionals to participate in student programs. Some will even bring the students to your workplace. So invite them in! Volunteer to speak. Get involved. Sign up for their internship programs and mentor students. Not only will you be contributing to the future of the industry,  but your own business as well.


In addition to supporting the future of the industry, there are numerous short-term benefits to activating these efforts across business, professional organizations, and in your community. For the Fortune 500 brand, it means smarter marketing and higher ROI. For the individual, it can provide satisfaction and elevate career opportunities. It helps the agency to be more competitive, elevate the work, and extend the value to their clients.


Shared learning and expertise are good business. Just ask Amy Wargin, iMedia board of advisors and engagement manager from Assurant Health, a Fortune 500 company. Wargin is the brand leader for the iMedia MBA Showdown pilot program and will be working alongside John Durham with MBA students at the University of San Francisco.


“The opportunity to provide students with a real world marketing challenge where they can apply their thinking and learn is a tremendous opportunity for them and Assurant,” Wargin explains. “We hope that this can be a model for other Fortune 500 brands to follow, as well with their local universities.”


While industry organizations, universities, and business leaders work to close the talent gaps, students and young professionals are not totally off the hook. Aspiring would-be marketers need to commit to teaching themselves in and out of the classroom to meet the needs of their future employers. 


Denise Zimmerman is president and CSO of NetPlus. Zimmerman is a long-standing executive contributor to iMedia and is currently an advisor on the iMedia MBA program and Commerce Summit.


On Twitter? Follow Zimmerman at @dzimmerman. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.


If you are interested in being part of the Marketer-Only Meeting and/or want to join a future iMedia Summit, please contact Judy Karsting.

view full article | Add a comment

October 22nd 2014 Uncategorized

CPM: Perception vs. reality

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

It’s no secret that many advertisers use the metric Cost Per Mille (CPM) at the outset of a campaign to determine the cost they’re willing to pay for impressions. While impressions are one way to measure a campaign, isn’t the end goal to drive conversions and increase ROI? Instead of advertisers’ natural inclination to equate efficacy with the number of impressions they purchased for a limited budget, why not look instead at the overall return and conversion on the total budget?


Common misconceptions


CPM vs. efficacy
Many advertisers equate less expensive CPMs with efficacy. There is a common belief that a higher cost per impression means a higher cost per acquisition (CPA). A lower CPM means you are purchasing cheaper media. In doing so, you miss out on valuable audiences with a greater propensity to purchase. You don’t need to change your overall budget to reach this audience. You just need to adjust your metrics and strategy to align more closely with overall campaign goals. Dynamic CPM (dCPM) is one way advertisers can maximize the efficacy of a campaign. Using dCPM, the algorithm will optimize ad spend, bidding higher when necessary to obtain a high value impression and lower when it can, giving the campaign both focus and reach.


Quantity vs. quality
While quantity may seem impressive, quality trumps all. As an advertiser, you should ask yourself, “Am I reaching the best possible audience and maximizing conversions?” and “What is the likelihood that these people will actually convert to buyers?” In reality, a higher CPM enables you to bid more aggressively on higher value audiences — ones more likely to engage.


“Good value” vs. hidden costs
It is not uncommon to equate low CPM with good value, but this correlation is inaccurate. For each ad placed, there is a serving fee to consider, and on lower CPM buys, these fees comprise a greater percent of every dollar spent. Would you rather blanket a general audience, paying proportionately larger fees, or increase the CPM to enable more targeted buys, reducing the percentage of overall fees and maximizing impact? Varying CPM across a buy is an ideal way to mix the media to deliver both impressions and results.


Is your goal to complete your budget, or maximize ROI?


As an advertiser, it’s simple to say you’ve completed a campaign upon meeting both your impressions goal and CPM. It’s more difficult to commit to maximizing the return within that budget. It’s up to marketers to challenge the metrics that really impact the bottom line. In the end, is it better for 10,000 consumers to see an ad that may or may not be relevant, or for 2,000 target consumers to see it and act on it? Increasing CPM is a simple way to maximize return. While you might see fewer recorded impressions for your budget, you will see a higher ROI.


Many agencies are hesitant to bring CPM discussions to the table because of the above misconceptions. This confusion often prevents agencies from being as strategic as they would like and makes it especially difficult to discuss unique, high-impact, private marketplace deals. If brands want to pursue these strategies while staying within the confines of a low CPM, then they are “forcing” their partners to counteract that with untargeted, less effective strategies. 


It can be difficult to enact the organizational shift necessary to embrace new metrics, but advertisers’ measurements must evolve as the industry, technology and consumers’ behaviors change. The key is to open the dialogue with partners, ask difficult questions about CPM, and press hard for answers.


Avi Spivack is senior director of product commercialization at Adroit Digital.


On Twitter? Follow Spivack at @avispiv. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

view full article | Add a comment

October 22nd 2014 Uncategorized

It’s a trap! 5 job interview trick questions

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

When interviewing for a job, you have to be honest. Well, mostly honest. There’s no reason to disclose your Dwayne Johnson fan club status (founding member) just yet. But if you have a good interviewer across the table from you, you’ll likely be asked a few questions that are designed to make you sweat just a little. If you lie, you’ll be held to that lie for a long time to come. Plus, fibs create all kinds of things that you have to remember. And webs of lies are exhausting. So keep it on the up and up.


Honestly is the right move at a job interview. But I think that we can all agree that job-interview honesty is a bit more flexible than courtroom-hand-on-a-bible honesty. Let’s cover some appropriate ways to steer the conversation when these common questions arise.

view full article | Add a comment

October 22nd 2014 Uncategorized

4 things to consider before adopting new technology

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

Marketing technology has exploded over the past decade, with new tools for emailing, posting, measuring, generating, responding, tracking, analyzing, and everything else you can imagine. It seems like every other day, some new company or software is touted as the next big thing in marketing.


4 things to consider before adopting new technology


It’s tempting to jump on these bandwagons early, in an attempt to gain an early competitive edge. Too often, however, businesses invest in these technologies because they buy into hype rather than taking the time to make a strategic evaluation of whether or not they really need what’s being offered. Just because you can do something new doesn’t mean you should or even need to. Even if you can in fact use the new shiny toy, do you really need it at this point in your evolution or are your strategic processes worth your attention instead?


As the saying goes, don’t fix what isn’t broken. That’s not to say you shouldn’t innovate or be on the lookout for new systems and technologies that can truly improve your business. But if you already have systems and processes in place that are working well, helping you achieve your goals, and they can be scaled for future growth, you have to seriously consider whether a new technology will make a substantial enough change to warrant buying, installing, and training employees for a new system.


Now I know some of you are simply early adopters who love trying out the latest toy, and nothing in this article will persuade you otherwise. But for the rest of you, here are some things to consider when evaluating whether or not to sign up.

view full article | Add a comment

October 22nd 2014 Uncategorized