I want to take a moment here on the last day of our first, full-month back in operation to extend a sincere thank you.The Tweets, the emails, phone calls and your support are greatly appreciated.
Our site traffic this month was very. very impressive, the articles that were submitted were thought provoking (Thank you contributors!) and the comments much appreciated. Keep em coming!
As we get moving, we will be adding some new features, some new sections and, well, more stuff.
If there is something you would like to see here on One Degree, or maybe something you don't want ... please drop me a line (mose [at] onedegree [dot] ca) - I read all correspondence and promise to reply.
When you get surprised, it is always a lovely thing.
I spoke with Erica Glasier a few weeks back in roundabout terms re One Degree and my love for original content, art, cartoons and the like. She was introduced to me as a fabulous Blogger and artist. I went to her site and ... oh my, yes she is.
We chatted about a couple of ideas and I mentioned my love for Moleskine notebooks. I always have one with me and a collection around here of all sorts of sizes. No this isn't some ad. Do yourself a favour go pick one up. Very good for the creative process!
Well, here is the March Wrap-up done Moleskine-style (it is clickable) a la Erica Glasier. Now I am rushing this to get it into March posts. To give it the prominence it so rightly deserves. CLICK HERE to see the full sized image on my site in all its glory. I will see later if TypePad will let me do pop ups of some sort - but for now enjoy!
I was talking with a friend today, who said something very interesting about blogging. So interesting, in fact, that I hadn’t realized it was my own route to blogging. We get caught up in the idea that to blog means we have to be an expert; a person with great knowledge to share with the world.
When I started my own blog in 2007 I was stumped for what to write about. Every time I put finger to keyboard I felt like an idiot. You won’t find my earlier posts online anymore. I deleted them. They were that embarrassing.
I paint and I’m a Brit gal living in Canada. I tried to turn these things into blog posts but they fell flat on their silly, little faces.
Then something happened. I got promoted.
I was working as the publicist for the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) but my passions were headed in a different direction. We’d been talking about redeveloping NSI’s website and I was desperate to be involved. No one was more surprised than me, when I pushed to the front of the queue to write the RFP we sent out to folks interested in building the site. I had slowly, organically become fascinated with the internet and my employer was good enough to see that and put my skills to use as their website manager. Suddenly my blogging took on new meaning. Instead of trying to be this super-smart person, I changed tack. I blogged about what I was learning and the experience of developing a website. What was a wire frame? How do you test website usability? How do you deal with multiple feedback? What’s a podcast? Can I do one? What do I need? My philosophy was: if I’m going through this, so are others and maybe my posts will help them.
Apparently this was the key to my blogging.
I wrote anonymously at first. I didn’t know where my blog was headed. I just needed a space online to diarize my experiences. Process my thoughts. That ‘space’ is what I now call ‘Diary of a Web Gal.’ Once the National Screen Institute website got launched, I carried on with my blog. But I found I had less incentive to write. I needed a kick up the ass; a motivator. If you are one of those frustrated folks, desperate to get your blog rolling then you might find a blogging challenge helpful.
In 2009 I took the 31 Day Better Blog Challenge run by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger. Daily tasks included buddying with someone and critiquing each others blog; writing an opinion piece; writing a list post, creating a blog schedule, developing an elevator pitch for your blog and so on. The link above lists all the challenges involved. Rowse set up an online forum just for folks involved in the challenge. We were able to bounce ideas off each other and network. In fact, I’m still in touch with many of the bloggers I met there. It saved my blog. I began attracting thousands of people to Diary of a Web Gal. If it sounds too good to be true, I promise you it isn’t. When it comes to blogging you’ll only get out of it what you put in.
Rowse no longer runs the challenge for free on his website but has written a book about it. I highly recommend getting the book and doing the work. It’s reasonably priced too – currently around $20. (The challenge isn’t designed for people who have yet to set up a blog. Rowse recommends buying this book for that.)
There is also Project52 – run by Anton Peck. This challenge is underway right now. The aim of which is to commit to writing something on your blog once a week for one year. I’ve been loosely using this since the start of January 2010. If you Google ‘blog challenge’ you’ll see lots of people use this method as a way of writing frequently on their blog. Frequent posting is vital to a blog. Search engines favour sites that update their content often. Many of us roll our eyes and groan when we visit a blog that hasn’t been updated since 2008. It just looks bad.
The moral of this story is that you don’t have to be an expert to start a blog. Write about something you’re learning. Even if it means writing about learning to blog!
If you lose motivation – remember you’re not alone, and there are mechanisms designed to get the ball rolling. Sign yourself up for a blog challenge. It might just be the making of you.
To be a true service directed and quality-oriented
organization, you should recognize that people and companies: “Can and
do expect to get things right.”
By being close to the customer and addressing each sales/service
customer contact as a solution to the specific customer problem you can
expect to achieve a positive positioning (remember that?) in your
customers’ minds as the leading supplier to meet their drumming and
percussion needs. This is the true added value equation. Starting with a
marketing document, or business plan will assure a groundwork for a
quality management organization. “If you fail to plan, you plan to
The marketing document should answer the following questions:
Where are we now?
Where do we want to go?
How do we get there?
When do we want to arrive?
Who will get us there?
What will it cost?
The need for a well defined written plan will enable you to set
goals, measure your results and effectively target new products/services
with a focus on sustained growth and profitability. The plan will also
enable all of your staff to share in the same vision; the same focus.
Additionally, budgets must be developed to insure achieving profit
projections. Banks love em!
Some companies communicate their goals and some do not. Some
companies announce their goals at annual meetings, but do not
communicate them to their employees. More companies are recognizing the
benefits of ensuring that employees know what the organization is trying
to achieve and the reasons why these goals are important.
Goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Tangible.
(S.M.A.R.T.) There must be company benefits from achieving set goals and
the individual managers and their staff must reap personal benefits. In
identifying the goals, the internal and external obstacles and their
solutions and/or alternatives should be mapped out. Along with this goal
setting is a well defined action step program and the appropriate
method of tracking progress.
ideas create attitudes, that prompt actions, that deliver
By tracking accomplished goals this, in effect, becomes the
individual’s trophy case. The critical factor to the growth and future
success of your people. It is a belief that ideas create attitudes, that
prompt actions, that deliver results.
I strongly believe you can’t manage people, only their commitments.
Following the development of a marketing plan staff should be
encouraged to write down their personal goals. These sets of goals would
then be incorporated into an action plan to achieve the short and long
range objectives as set out in the company plan.
It is recommended that a program of tracking and charting progress be
developed to assure personal score keeping.
Tracking and charting is most effective when:
It is self administered.
It measures important elements.
It is developed with the input and commitment of the users.
Results are used for appropriate recognition and correction.
Furthermore, the benefits to tracking and charting are:
Identification of quality and effectiveness standards.
All of these processes combined with progressive management tactics
will ensure your future growth.
Most talk about cutting-edge advertising these days typically focuses on online and the latest digital innovations and interweb wizardry, until, that is, someone breaks through the noise using a more traditional medium.
We've seen it recently on TV with Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like." In outdoor, recent efforts like the Zimbabwean newspaper's award-winning trillion dollar currency billboard and closer to home, Leo Burnett's work for James Ready beer stood out.
Now, a new contest by Astral Media Outdoor aims to encourage just that kind of inspirational thinking by giving complete control to creatives.
Carte Blanche for Creatives challenges Canadian ad creatives to come up with an outdoor execution for any brand, with no brief and no restrictions ("Make the logo bigger!"), for a chance to win a paid trip to the Cannes Lions advertising festival and have their work displayed, pending client approval, on either transit shelters in Toronto or on billboards in Montreal.
"Creatives often complain about the constraints put on them by briefs, budgets and logo placement, so we just said, ‘Do what you have in mind for a client and we'll see what comes out of it'," said Astral Media Outdoor spokesperson Patrice Attanasio. "For us, it's a way to get closer to the creative community and promote our outdoor products, which are usually perceived as traditional but are really the essence of creative advertising. To stand out in that frame you really have to exhibit a certain level of creativity."
Creatives have until April 18 to register at CarteBlancheForCreatives.ca, where they can also comment on submitted work and vote on their favourite entries. There will be two rounds of judging, with each short list being reposted on the site for further voting until a winner is picked.
Astral Media Outdoor primarily deals with media buyers, said Attanasio. "But they want to create a better awareness within the creative community, so when a creative thinks about different projects, they also think about using outdoor as one of their tools."
Many mid-sized organizations are in the process of redesigning their website, but few have the required capabilities to design their website internally. Use this research note to understand the benefits that web design consultants can deliver. Additionally, use Demand Metric’s downloadable Website Design RFP Template to compare vendors systematically based on pre-determined requirements.
Website Design Consulting Benefits:
Consultants are great at focusing the attention of senior executives who can otherwise be difficult to engage. Consider purchasing a Business Requirements Workshop professional service to build organizational alignment on the role & risks of web programs.
Better Organizational Alignment - consultants are great at focusing the attention of senior executives who can otherwise be difficult to engage. Consider purchasing a Business Requirements Workshop professional service to build organizational alignment on the role & risks of web programs.
In-depth Expertise – not only do consultants know the vendors very well, they have loads of experience with developing and refining business requirements, which are the foundation of a successful website redesign.
Additional Resources - many organizations need additional help to complete a website redesign project. Help with defining business and technical requirements, back-end systems integration, search engine optimization, content management system training and maintenance are key areas where your partner consulting firm can add value and business benefit.
Define Business Requirements – engage your website program team and gather Web Requirements by department. Use our Web Requirements Priority Index to logically prioritize each requirement based on Strategic Fit, Economic Impact, and Feasibility.
Conduct a Competitive Analysis – use our Competitive Website Analysis Tool to benchmark your website before and after your redesign to demonstrate a measurable improvement in relation to your top 2 competitors.
Find a Consulting Partner – use our Website Design RFP Template to present your requirements to the market. Partner with the firm that can meet your key selection criteria, provides a real service-level agreement, and has at least 10 solid references in your industry.
If you are interested in One Degree offering the Demand Metric tools at a special package price please let me know at mose [at] onedegree [dot] ca. You can. of course, go there now and buy them at their regular price. This is not a formal endorsement, we are not being paid for this, I simply like the tools.
If you are interested in the Lead Generation or Marketing packages you can purchase them at the DMAT site.
I attended the Buzz Report event the other night - some very interesting stats as a result of the research. I understand I will be able to share some with you shortly. Stay tuned. Here is a quick re-cap.
I had links to some material previously, but it is not quite ready for prime time.
I want to set the record straight here on a couple of things .... Oh, the line about Ann Coulter was what I call an AGD! (Attention Getting Device!) Gotcha! LOL! Anyway - read on there is some stuff that might be good for you.
I was on a panel the other night at this event run by the LOKBP. (Hopefully will have some stuff from the folks there to post here - was a great event!) Anyway, I had a great time - I always do at these things. You see, I am first and formost a ham. Fer instance ... I tell folks that if I get up in the middle of the night, go to the kitchen and open the refrigerator - when the light comes on - I will give ya a twenty minute routine. (Ba dum pish!)
I am a ham. Full stop. I am a ham, because I am a professional entertainer and musician and a paid MC - I also teach folks how to get up in front of people. (You can win a ticket to one of these sessions BTW!) Anyway, couple of things came out of the other night ...plus I want to set the record straight on the last bit.
First, is that at networking events - no one really networks? I want to point back to an article I did a while back. Also, there are some things that event organizers can do to make events like this far more network-friendly (If they want to?) but, that is a post for another day and will add that later.
Second, the social web works only if each and every one of us works it properly. There is no difference between this thing called Social Media (or whatever ya wanna call it) and real life. If you don't clean up your room, or have a sloppy desk or are simply horrible at details - this SM stuff will fall right off the rails. God is in the details.
I liken this to when desktop publishing hit in the 80s. It was about the most atrocious thing I have ever seen. Amateur communication materials made at home, a dozen fonts used, lots of shadows - butt-ugly stuff. But, it all worked out in the end. Took a bunch of years, but all is good now - for the most part. It simply takes time. I noticed this cause all the BUZZ on the back channel at this event that concerned me, or involved me, or was directed at me was addressed to my wrong Twitter account. @mose not @themose. See details, details details!
Now, before I go any further, anyone that knows me in "meat space" (That is a term for the real world.) will know that I am not a self promoter. Not my point in writing this.
The point I am making is that SM is, in fact, just like real life. Think about those implications for a while. In fact, I have a post coming about that. I am wrestling with it quite a bit. Stay tuned.
Third, I was called a Guru.
Hardly! Sheesh!!! I am simply someone who has been around a while. I am pushing 60 so that represents 40 years of working. In my case, working all over the place. I have simply experienced some stuff. That does not make me a Guru. I do know one difference is that I love to be up in front of folks presenting - but that is not being a Guru. I know that cause I have worked with real Gurus! Peter Zarry, Tom Suiter, Lee Iacoca. Look em up. They are/were Gurus. Pas moi. Now, that, that is out of the way. It was credited to me that I predicted this ... (Here is the setting things straight bit!)
Well, I don't think I said that? What I did say, if I remember correctly, regarding traditional agencies, was that until the current generation of owners and managers die, or retire, we will not see traditional agencies adopting, embracing and fully utilizing this Net thing, let alone SM. Traditional agencies will not be going away.
You youngsters coming up REALLY, get this. The next generation of kids coming up behind you REALLY, REALLY get this.
branding, or re-branding, requires that key stakeholders are involved
in a democratic process to agree on what the new brand will be.
However, working with every stakeholder throughout the process is
simply impossible. Read this Research Note to learn how you can achieve
consensus on your brand.
Use Demand Metric’s downloadable Branding Selection Tool to help you provide choices for your stakeholders that are equally satisfactory for the brand champion.
What are the Key Branding Drivers?
Mergers & Acquisitions - combining two distinctly different brands is perhaps the most difficult of all re-branding exercises.
Entering New Markets – when new businesses are formed, or when old business units are spun off, organizations typically create new brands.
Updating Corporate Image - organizations that have been in business for over 20 years often have a requirement to get their brand up with the times.
What Key Choices Need to Be Made?
Mission Statement – your mission statement describes the fundamental reason you are in business. For example: to help our customers succeed etc.
Vision Statement – this is how you envision your
organization and would like others to view you. Typically, vision
statements look to the future.
Corporate Values – these are the core values that your organization believes in, i.e. Excellence, Continuous Improvement, Community etc.
Positioning Statement – this aspect of your brand positions your product/service or company, correctly within the industry.
Corporate Tagline – normally a very punchy 3-6 word sentence(s) that drives home your core messages. Be careful not to make this too generic.
Logo – corporate logos are images that identify your organization.
Understand Business Strategy – speak with senior
management to get a clear picture of where your organization is headed.
It is impossible to develop a brand when there is no strategic
Build a Small Team – branding exercises can be
implemented much more efficiently if you have the right stakeholders
engaged each step of the way. Build a cross-functional team of 3-6 key
executives that can represent each of your brand constituencies,
Gather Feedback – poll customers and employees to
identify how you are currently perceived in the market, and compare
this to how you’d like to be seen. Additionally, ask for suggestions
related to your branding choices.
Narrow Down Options – take all the given ideas and
further develop them until you have 3-4 options for each brand category
that would satisfy Marketing & senior management. Go back to your
general audience with these options and vote for the winners.
Make Branding Selections - use Demand Metric’s downloadable Branding Selection Tool to provide your stakeholders with 3-4 clear options for branding decisions. Tally up the results and re-vote if necessary
Implement Branding Strategy - now that you have
your brand elements selected, develop, and implement your branding
strategy. This could include: updating collateral & the corporate
website, changing policies & procedures to accommodate your new
identity, and communicating to customers.
Effective branding requires input from all your key stakeholders.
Work to understand your organizational roadmap, build a branding team,
open the floor to suggestions, and achieve consensus on your brand.
The idea of great tech writing isn't to take something complex and make it simple, it is to take something complex and make it simple to understand! As someone who has used Blogger ferever - this TypePad environment I am in is new. I had used MoveableType years ago - but I found it weird for my uses. Alan Langford and I hooked up on Twitter some time back - love his posts.( Follow him at @FxNxRl.) I posted a quip on Twitter eluding to a senior moment I was having re Trackbacks. Alan to the rescue!
Most bloggers have seen the word “trackback” in their blogging software. If they've turned the feature on, they might even have noticed a list of trackbacks at the bottom of some of their posts. It's fairly easy to figure out what they do, but it's not exactly obvious what purpose they serve and how to use them.
Like all social media, blogging is at its best when it results in a dialogue between people with a common interest. Trackbacks are designed to help readers follow a topic of discussion between different blogs and different authors.
When a blogger mentions another blog, they usually include a link to the related post. That's good in itself, but the problem is that it's a one-way connection. There's no link from the older post to the new one. One way links don't foster communication.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was some sort of automatic mechanism that detected when another blogger linked to one of your posts, and it automatically added a link from your site, so that people who read your post could see what other bloggers were saying about it? The answer is yes, and that's exactly what a trackback does.
Six Apart, creators of Movable Type, created the trackback standard now used by most major blogging software (Blogger is a notable exception). If your software supports trackbacks, then when you finish a post, your blog software checks all external links for a “pingback” URL. If the other end has trackback support, then your blog sends information about your post to the pingback URL. This information includes a link to your post, and can include other tidbits like the title of your post, an excerpt, and the name of your blog.
The blog on the receiving end of the pingback records this information. It's common for the trackback to be held in a to-be-approved state, to prevent spam. Once the trackback is approved, it shows up at the bottom of the post, and the blogs are linked to each other.
Trackbacks improve the reader experience, encouraging them to engage more deeply and explore what people have to say about your posts. Trackbacks also tend to link pages of closely related content, something that scores well in search engine ranking algorithms.
Our contributors are One Degree's greatest asset. If you're interested in writing for One Degree, we'd love to hear from you! Here's how you can become a contributor.
Step 1: Contact us
Contact us at mose [at] onedegree [dot] ca and let us know what your passion is to write about. We're looking for case studies, position pieces, relationship between online and offline marketing and how-to's. We're looking for articles that will spark discussions around interactive marketing topics and/or that provide solid take-aways or implementable ideas for our readers. Really, we're looking for anything that you think a fellow marketer would be interested in or benefit from. We're particularly interested in local flavour, e.g. reports from regional marketing associations or conferences.
You don't have to submit a topic for clearance - you can just send us a finished article. Or, conversely if you have an idea we are happy to have you bounce it off us first. The only reason we like to know ahead of time is in case someone else is writing about it. We would be happy to have different articles about the same topic, we simply would like to schedule better and make sure there are perhaps different opinions or takes on the subject.
Step 2: Write it Down
Articles can be as short as 200 words or can be a multi-part series of articles if you have a lot to say. Important points to note:
If you're using your own business or work you've done for a client to illustrate a point in your article, be sure to be transparent about your relationship with that client.
We convert every article into HTML when we post it on One Degree. You can submit your article in any format you choose, but please check with us first on specifics!
For your first contribution, please provide us with a short (two or three paragraphs) bio and photo. Photos should be 150 pixels square if possible.
One Degree likes to feel special. One of our goals is to provide content that our readers can't get anywhere else. However, we know that you like to share your content on your own blog as well. We're happy with concurrent publishing; we just don't like to publish articles "after the fact", but we'll work with you on a publishing schedule.
Step 3: Airbrushing
Here at One Degree, we offer spelling and grammar check as well as light editing on every article submitted. If we do make any edits to your piece, we'll be in touch before we publish so that you can approve any changes we've made.
There you have it! As you know we are just ramping up and we believe we have contacted all of our previous contributors. It will be a couple of weeks till we get the input from all of them flowing again. That being said we are looking for new contributors.
Just three easy steps to One Degree glory. So contact us at mose [at] onedegree [dot] ca and get the ball rolling.
We also need correspondents for different events that we receive media passes to. We keep our Correspondent Page updated with all current opps.
30+ Sessions and Workshops. Over 60 Speakers.
Keynotes Added. See you in Toronto April 8-9.
There's still time, but not much. Register now for Search Marketing Expo - SMX Toronto and you'll save $200 off on site rate!
SMX Toronto happens April 8-9 at the Delta Chelsea Hotel. Here’s what’s in store:
Exceptional Content: More than 30 sessions for search marketers and online managers of every skill level will be presented. Sessions will cover the essential search topics for 2010: paid search advertising (PPC), natural search optimization (SEO), local/mobile search, social media, real-time search and much more. See the agenda for further information.
Conveniences: We provide the extras that make conference attendance a little easier. Wifi throughout the conference floor, lunches, snacks and beverages. Sending the team?
Networking and Parties:
If you arrive before April 8th, meet up with both SMX and eMetrics Summit attendees at the Web Analytics Association Industry event and reception featuring Theresa Locklear of NHL.com from 5:00 to 7:30pm. But absolutely don’t miss out on the April 8th 6:00 to 7:30 pm SMX Search Spam Party brilliantly organized by Gillian Muessig or SEOMoz
Offered four times a year, Digital MashUp brings together digital and conventional media professionals to promote content creation on multiple platforms. Join members of WIFT-T, DATA, WGC, and The Spoke Club for an evening designed to foster relationships and share experiences.
For this inaugural session, join members for a discussion on the challenges and successes of cross-platform production, as a broadcaster and a digital producer share their insight and experience. Participants will learn what it’s like to fund, develop, and platform digital projects. The evening concludes with an informal networking reception. Light refreshments will be served and a cash bar will be available.
Mark Greenspan, VP Digital Media, Achilles Media Ltd.
Meredith Duncan, Executive Producer, Programming at CTV Digital Media Group
Patrick Crowe, President, Xenophile Media
When | Thursday, March 25, 2010, sign-in 6 PM – 6:30 PM, session 6:30 PM – 9 PM
Where | The Spoke Club, 600 King St. West, fourth floor, Toronto
Cost | Free to members of WIFT-T, DATA, and WGC. $15 for all other guests.
Registration | DATA members should email firstname.lastname@example.org with Digital MashUp in the subject line and state your Special Interest Group: e.g. FlashinTO or AETO. WGC members should contact Elaine Mannila at email@example.com to register. At capacity for WIFT-T members.
Digital MashUp is supported by the OMDC through the Interactive Narratives Initiative, in partnership with WIFT-T, York University, Writers Guild of Canada, Digital Arts and Technology Association, CFC Media Lab, and Communitech. For more information, please contact Kathleen.Webb@me.com.
others led campaign that features YouTube videos of a chocolate-covered
orangutan toe in a Kit Kat wrapper. Greepeace handout.
Greenpeace Internet video might have fallen
flat if company had ignored it
Globe and Mail Update
Published on Wednesday, Mar. 17, 2010 8:15PM EDT
Now you see it, now you don't. Wait:
Now you do.
A global game of Whack-a-Mole broke out Wednesday on the Internet when
YouTube removed a gruesome anti-Nestlé commercial by Greenpeace after
the multinational food giant complained, only to have viewers flock to
the video-sharing site Vimeo.com, where the spot became an instant cause
célèbre because of the reputed censorship.
The 60-second video depicts a bored office worker enjoying a Kit Kat,
which rather than being the popular chocolate-hazelnut ladyfinger-style
confection, appears to be a chocolate-covered ape finger. As he munches
on the treat, it oozes blood over his chin and across his keyboard,
shocking his co-workers. “Have a break?” reads the on-screen text. “Give
the orangu-tan a break.” (Continue to Globe & Mail)
You probably found this headline annoying. At least, if you're like many marketing executives, who according to a recent survey now find "social media" to be the most annoying buzzword.
No surprise. After all, despite the hype, we can't even agree on the term's definition. The continuously debated Wikipedia entry, for example, includes everything from sticky slogans to public speaking. (And while this blog offers the "inside scoop" on social media, it's doubtful we'll see many entries on creating memorable jingles.)
But let's assume, for the sake of this post, that by "social media" we mean new online tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, that facilitate sharing personal information. Clearly we can all agree that these tools can help us grow brands and revenue. Right?
Perhaps. But from my perspective, the verdict's still out on the comparative cost-effectiveness of the approach. As someone obsessed with (and paid to measure and improve) marketing return on investment, I'm an admitted social media skeptic. Not a cynic, as I believe there's some value, much of it still being determined. But from research and experience, including analytics work with prominent brands, I believe that we as an industry hold too many assumptions, including:
Social media can create a brand. I call this "be-like-Obama" syndrome, after exploding interest in social media following Barack's successful campaign for president. What many people forget is the amount of media exposure Obama had before anyone dreamed of social media technologies like Twitter. In fact, searches for "Barack Obama" exceeded searches for "Twitter" until about the first quarter of 2009. Did social media help Obama win? Sure. Did it establish the Obama brand, or even have more impact than endorsements from influential people like Oprah? Doubtful. And definitely unproven.
Social media sharing is equivalent to real word of mouth. This is an implicit assumption, I believe, amongst many marketers. For example, it includes the idea that someone "fanning" or sharing a company's page on Facebook is equivalent to someone directly recommending that company to their friends. It also includes the idea that the number of fans or followers a company has on a social site correlates with the loyalty or buying behaviour of said fans or followers. The correlation is loose at best. Even within our own social circles, studies show that, despite having hundreds of friends on a social media site, we still tend to have the same number of real friends we have always had. So what does friending or fanning actually mean? The difference between fanning a company and recommending it directly to a friend is, I believe, like the difference between posting your personal interests on Facebook for random strangers to see and walking up to random strangers in the street to deliver the same information. We make distinctions.
Big social media users are big influencers and buyers. Make no mistake, most of the internet population (over 75%) uses social media sites. So those sites should be a great channel for influencing and driving buying decisions. But are they? The verdict's out, but I've yet to see convincing data from market research or client analytics. In fact, social media sites tend to perform poorly for directly driving engaged traffic and sales to client websites. Granted, social media return on investment may be harder to measure, and longer-term. But there's an implicit assumption that the biggest users of social media are also a brand's biggest buyers and influencers. For example, people commonly want to get more fans for their company's Facebook page (reminiscent of wanting more traffic, rather than the right traffic, for websites), the implicit assumption being that these fans have more worth than non-fans. In fact, the heaviest users of social sites, and hence those most likely to fan a page, are often just those with the most time. And while some of those with the most time are the biggest influencers and buyers, this correlation is speculative at best and, I would wager, often inverse. How much time do high-income and high-power demographic groups, like CEOs, spend on social media sites relative to other users?
Those are a few of the assumptions I commonly encounter, but there are no doubt many more. Overall, there's an assumption that social media return on investment has already been quantified, and that social media works equally well for all brands, categories and industries. In fact, while some surveys and studies are emerging, most of the data highlight correlation rather than causation.
So what are we to do? Let's approach social media as scientist marketers. We have our hypotheses and assumptions. Now we need to gather data, both en masse and for individual brands, to test them. We need to know relative return on investment between social media and other digital tactics.
Which leads to the question: What are your unproven assumptions about social media? Post them in the comments. And if you have proof, please post that for everyone to see as well.
Simon Smith is Chief Strategist with Commune Media, a company with a (sometimes curmudgeonly) focus on improving marketing return on investment through services including web analytics and search marketing. Despite his social media skepticism, you can find him on Twitter.
Just reading an interesting article by Cliff Atkinson I saw on Twitter (Thanks @AnthillMagazine) about presentations and the backchannel potential disasters. This is near and dear to my heart!
I have been doing Presentation Skills lecturing and training at University level for over a dozen years now and believe I have a solid and simple solution to this phenomena.
In presentations the key to effective communications - and by that I mean communications that get results - is the issue of emotion and story telling.
In the countless presentations I have witnessed, critiqued and sat through, only a handful are memorable. That is the emotional part. Less have affected me. Changed my life so to speak. That is the effective part.
First, we simply do too many presentations. Most, if not all, are horrible. And it is not your fault, by the way. Most folks are not trained, come at the presentation from the wrong angle and have expectations of the outcome that no one could achieve.
But, I don't want to get ahead of myself here. I could write a dozen books about the professional presentation game. All I want to point out here is that I can guarantee that if you are doing a presentation and folks are Tweeting you have lost them way before this happens. Now, don't get me wrong, I really do not have anything against someone Tweeting during a presentation. Folks will do what folks do. I do have, however, an issue with the presenter not engaging the audience. You can only do that with emotion. Not spinning globes on a Deck! Death by Power Point (I have written about this at length) is a huge issue.
In my classes, I make folks give presentations without any exhibits, decks or aids of any kind. I get them to work on connecting with the audience. I believe when creating a presentation - start at the END. Start with the listener. You have to know their expectations, their level of involvement, their interest and their motivations.
If someone is not interested in what you are saying, is bored, ends up in the wrong presentation at a conference or simply is being a putz and wants attention - you can never stop that. Stuff happens. (I was going to say shit happens but I am being nicey/nicey here!) It is the same as someone heckling you - the person doing this should not be confronted. In a solid presentation the rest of the audience is affected by this person screwing up their experience. Not the speaker. The audience, if they are on your side, will not tolerate anything diminishing their experience.
Don't ever lose your temper in front of an audience. Even if a heckler or Twitterer in this case, provokes you, an attack on any member of the audience is perceived by the audience as an attack upon all. Suck it up. Keep your cool.
For the professional speaker, every appearance must be the very best, like a warrior's last dance. If you want to speak like a pro, get up there and say something that will make them lose track of time and forget everything else in the world except what you're telling them. Give them something to remember.
Or, you can run through your 75 page deck, talk to each slide off the top of your head and become Road Kill on the Twitter stream.
Tell em a good story. Trust me on this. It works. If you get them engaged they will be tweeting ZOMFG He/She is amaz .... and then get back to watching you in wrapped attention!
Oh, just dawned on me - be as good a time as any to tell this. I have a workshop coming up next month with the CMA in Toronto and will have a couple of passes to give away here for the Presentation Skills Workshop. Stay tuned.
I was working on an article about online personae last night. But as I was digging into I started to drift. It was the internet that caused this drifting. As you know, once you start surfing (I still love that term, and still love to just surf away!) you end up in many, many different places.
So, where I ended up was thus ... I want to explain a bit to all you folks about who I am - this new proprietor of One Degree. I figured, you don't know me, and I thought it would be a great idea for a 'hi-how-are-ya ... get-ta-know-me' piece.
If you could care less ... no problemo. Read no further. Here is the best thing I have seen in recent years on the Net. Roger Ebert agrees with me! (So there!)
So, if you want to continue into the Who the hell is this Mose piece click here. (I am putting this on my own Blog not on One Degree - I am always thinking of conservation - here is proof!)
Anyway, for those that are not interested in me (Sheesh! LOL) here is a little bit of joy and wonderment Kseniya Simonova - Sand Animation - if you have found something online that tops this - leave a comment.
By the way, if you are not already following Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) please do. He, not only can write, but is an inspiration.
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