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Posts from June 2010

June 26, 2010

Develop the Creative Craft Part III

Light_bulb To improve your personal creativity you might include the following steps.
  • First set a measurable goal. Some goals might be: to generate 10% more solutions within 6 months  to come up with an original solution for problem "X" within 2 weeks  to practice generating ideas by brainstorming (for example, "find at least 50 ideas for a new product")  
  • Second, set up criteria to indicate whether or not you have or are reaching your goal. Typical criteria are:  a) the ideas are novel (in that particular context)  b) the ideas are useful, they solve the problem or meet the challenge  c) the ideas can be implemented within an appropriate time and budget

Continue reading "Develop the Creative Craft Part III" »

June 21, 2010

Privacy Concerns are Standing in the Way of a Personalized World

I recall sitting at a breakfast group meeting at the Marshes in Ottawa ten years ago almost to the day. I can not for the life of me remember who was speaking, but the topic of the discussion has stayed with me all these years.

That morning all in attendance gasped and ooh'd and aww'd about the promise of data mining. We were told that in a year or two we would experience some wonderful things as consumers. You would stay at a Hilton, and during your stay, you would order and orange juice to our room in the morning. At your next stay at any Hilton, a call would come from the front desk in the morning to ask you if I would like your orange juice like your last stay. You would be able to walk into a bookstore like Chapters and as you paid at the cash, and they recalled your customer information, the cashier would list off some new releases of your favourite authors or music artists. This is simply not happening in the real world. It is barely happening in the virtual world. And there really is no excuse for that.

Continue reading "Privacy Concerns are Standing in the Way of a Personalized World" »

June 18, 2010

Interview with Louise Clements - One Degree 5 Questions

As a professional marketer specializing in public relations, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with Louise Clements, the new SVP, Managing Director of the award-winning digital marketing agency, Twist Image. 

Twist Image develops strategies, campaigns and platforms that build and maintain your brand online. The agency has 100 original thinkers in offices in Montreal and Toronto and is known throughout the industry for Six Pixels of Separation, its forward-thinking blog, podcast and best-selling book.

Louise Clements recently joined Twist Image after leaving Facebook as Head of Sales for Canada.  Louise has an extensive background in digital marketing including senior positions managing the digital properties of Rogers Media, AOL, Sympatico and Bell Globemedia.

I asked her 5 questions about her new position and thoughts on digital marketing. Enjoy!

Continue reading "Interview with Louise Clements - One Degree 5 Questions" »

June 16, 2010

Twitter Drama

Twitter-bird Mark Schaefer's recent post called Cleaning house on Twitter: A drama in 10 tweets made me stop and think.

By the way if you are not following Mark you are really missing something.   @markwschaefer 

If you could only follow one person on Twitter, who would it be?

In my case it is simple, no question .... Roger Ebert. @ebertchicago

So, who would you follow? If you could only follow one?

June 15, 2010

Account Director - Blend360


Blend360 is seeking a talented digital marketing and social media professional to compliment our agency in Toronto. The Account Director is responsible for managing projects, new business, as well as,  executing programs for clients.


Provide client service:
  • Develop understanding of client’s internal organization, business and sector
  • Exhibit solid understanding of key client information including general business strategy, industry issues, products and services offered, key customers and competitors in the marketplace
  • Interact effectively with clients when required
Manage projects effectively, working closely with creative teams:
  • Keep account team abreast of timelines and deadlines
  • Manage workload, meet deadlines, and pay attention to account details
  • Demonstrate ability to multi-task across multiple accounts/projects
Assist/execute online marketing/social media programs:
  • Such as email marketing campaigns, SEO/SEM, visibility audits, blogger outreach, online conversation research & monitoring, website and blog development,
  • Conduct market research including using online services
New Business
  •  Assist in new business development as required

The Account Director must have excellent organizational skills and the ability to adapt to new conditions, assignments and deadlines. The Account Director must have solid experience with as many of the following: SEO/SEM, website development, blogger outreach, blogs, social networks, email marketing, research & monitoring.

The Account Director must have an intricate level of understanding of the role that the Internet plays in a clients communication mix. The Account Director must understand online media and be able to educate others about it effectively. He or she is expected to have a fundamental understanding of online media outreach assignments and apply experience and initiative in developing appropriate on-line media strategies.

How to Apply

Email - careers@blend360agency.com

June 10, 2010

Develop the Creative Craft (Part II)

Develop the Creative Craft (Part I)

What can I do to increase my creativity?

Becoming more creative is giving yourself permission to do things creatively. For some people, being creative involves trying not to be embarrassed by their own ideas. Some people are self-aware or confident enough to have fewer inhibitions and can just let their creative natures work, others need to work on it.

Surround yourself with people who support you and you will be even more creative. Read about other creative people and creative solutions, concentrating on the power of your own creative forces - these activities, combined with a belief in your own intuition and creative abilities, will help improve your confidence.

Continue reading "Develop the Creative Craft (Part II)" »

June 08, 2010

Adaptive Marketing

Many of us entered the interactive industry because it was fast-paced, exciting and highly innovative. We saw an opportunity to help change the way business was done, and in so doing help consumers in fresh and engaging ways. Recently, we’ve noticed an unsettling trend. Agencies are becoming more and more similar. They’ve adapted the same processes. They create the same products. And for the most part, they deliver similar results.

For an industry that prides itself on a spirit of innovation, what we see happening doesn’t feel right. We believe it’s time to press forward. We believe that time to change is now. To that end, we are actively in the process of transitioning our Marketing Programs Group to an Adaptive Marketing model.

“Business has only two basic functions - marketing and innovation."
- Peter Drucker

Adaptive Marketing is the next step in our evolution and will provide a truly progressive approach for our clients - one that we believe will become the approach that many marketers will use in the future. To the best of our knowledge we will be the first agency in Canada to provide this service.

Why are we doing this? Quite simply, we believe the days of doing traditional online marketing campaigns are fading. Linear programs based on reach and frequency are highly ineffective. As a direct marketing vehicle with clickthroughs averaging 0.02% they don’t work. And with banner-blindness being what it is, as a brand vehicle most efforts are largely ignored.

The reality is that consumers have changed faster than marketers. And they expect communication that delivers tangible value. Traditional campaigns that trumpet brand messages or focus solely on unique selling propositions are no longer considered the principle measure of value to consumers. To be blunt, what worked in the 50’s simply doesn’t work anymore. Today’s consumer demands more.

Value used to be derived from a consumer’s perception of what a product could do for them. This interpretation of value has evolved. And these days value is better characterized as, “what can a brand help me do?”

When we switch our strategic approach to deliver tangible consumer value - we are obligated not only to evolve the ways we engage with consumers, but also, to re-examine the approach (and processes) we use to create, monitor, deploy and continuously tune our marketing programs.

The Old Way
The “traditional online” marketing approach is linear and built on the idea of telling consumers about products and services through increased reach and frequency.

Forrester’s recent analysis of Adaptive Marketing issued the challenge that marketers and agencies need to change and move away from the old way of doing things. According to Forrester, agencies struggle to adapt because their models are still built for yesterday, in that they:
  • Focus on campaigns rather than experiences
  • Talk but aren’t very good at listening (or more importantly, conversing)
  • Are built for waterfall versus iteration
  • Treat customers as audience rather than participants
  • Are mostly “unbundled” — creating disparate skill sets
  • Have trouble mastering many new specialties at once
  • Moved down the value chain and rarely distinguish themselves from each other
  • Can only move as fast as their clients

At Teehan+Lax, our Programs Group is purpose-built to be the exact opposite. Our agile creative approach, small, team-based structure, and value-based compensation model (we’ll talk more about this in another post) allows us to create highly effective Adaptive Marketing programs.

The New Way
Instead of looking at projects as a series of requirements that extend the reach and frequency of a message we need to look at the problem differently. We need to first determine how to help consumers solve a problem. When we look at a marketing challenge this way, it allows us to identify a completely different set of success metrics and solutions.

If your marketing isn’t helping consumers,
then you’re shouting messages from the sidelines.

In the past we were incentivized to create ads and microsites that would launch onto the Internet, exist for a while and then disappear. In the future, we will create programs and “things” that solve consumer problems. They won’t be ads, but instead, they will be solutions that need to be marketed. It’s a completely different approach. And a whole new ballgame.

The new way is about creating programs that continuously evolve as they go. They are build on the principle of listening to consumers, identifying what they need, and creating communication that helps them. There are several projects that we see as benchmarks for this way of thinking, notably, Domino's Pizza Tracker, Pepsi Refresh, and Nike+ Chalkbot. We’d be well advised to learn from them.

In the future, programs must be iterative, highly adaptive, and responsive to consumer needs, market conditions, and technological opportunities.

The things we create will be as unique as the problems we need to solve... and our approach demands that we look beyond paid advertising as the first solution. Ultimately, what we will create are not campaigns (in the traditional sense of the word) but will be continuums of activity and initiatives - some small, some large, each of varying shapes and sizes - that each satisfy the real needs of consumers while delivering against a marketers connection objectives.

We believe that Adaptive Marketing is the right approach, one that will be the way of the future. We are extremely excited to move in this direction. And we’re looking for clients who share this philosophy.

Dave Stubbs

Reading List
Forrester (registration required)
BBH Labs

June 04, 2010

How to Dominate Your Space Online with Content Marketing

Marketers creating original content to help their companies sell is not exactly a new idea, but the concept has decidedly shifted to the forefront of Internet marketing.

The growth of the Internet as the ultimate information source is the most obvious reason. But, look further and you can see how the predominance of search as the primary method of online navigation, the growing importance of social media as a referral and trust agent, and the fragmentation and declining reach of traditional media have created the perfect storm to leave content creation and promotion standing as the most valuable customer engagement tool available to anyone marketing online.

One of the most basic reasons content creation is so integral to effective search engine marketing is that high-quality, relevant content is essential to attract visitors on the Web. It’s also the key to persuading those very same visitors to take action – e.g. Make a purchase, sign up for a membership, request more information, etc.

The fuel for online lead generation

In fact, according to a recently published white paper by Frost & Sullivan, well-formulated content is the fuel needed to drive online lead generation engines for business-to-business marketers. The most effective way to keep the content engine pumping out leads, the paper says, is for the marketer to match their content to their customers’ varied personas and to the appropriate phase of the sales process. This creates the right environment to identify and communicate with “ideal” prospects by addressing their very real “pain points, motivators and validators”.

I couldn’t agree more with this view.  However, no matter how good the content, it has to be visible to be effective. There are abundant opportunities to create and promote content, particularly online, but it can be a very resource-intensive process. That’s why it’s critical to embark on your content marketing journey with a thoroughly considered strategy to guide you along your path.

Mapping the content

This map must clearly identify the business opportunities that can be addressed through a content approach and what types of content should be created to address those opportunities with specific client types. Following this logic – and borrowing some of the terminology from Frost & Sullivan and other sources – I’ve sketched out a simple content development matrix that shows how you can map specific types of content to the information needs of four very common business client personas and their stage in the buying cycle.


Figure 1: Creating a Content Gap Analysis can help determine what content is needed to assist in moving varying personas through each stage in the buying cycle

Another important aspect of your content strategy is determining who will do what to bring the content and its delivery to fruition. Like any effective strategy, a content plan is best executed when it involves a team of motivated players ready to perform their role to reach an agreed-upon goal.

With a content-driven lead generation program – It’s all about growing the business, after all – the team would be made up of marketing professionals leading the opportunity analysis, planning and promoting the content, subject matter experts providing the knowledge base, and a combination of technology and analytics professionals to track and measure the success of the combined effort. With everyone following the same game plan, a content marketing strategy can produce outstanding lead generation results and lay the foundation for a robust, ROI-driven conversion program.

In a future post, I’ll talk about what I believe are the integral pieces of a content marketing program, including marketing automation tools and specific measurement metrics and techniques. In other words, the stuff that works.

June 02, 2010


With all the hubbub about the Facebook privacy issues and "Quit Facebook Day," personally, I thought it was Kilt Facebook Day - I really got silly looks at meetings I tell ya! Anyway, I asked one of my favorite writers to give us his thoughts on privacy. - If you do not currently follow Mark, do yourself a favor and start now - he is, and always has been, the real deal.

His guest commentary ... (And thanks Mark!)


There has been a growing amount of discussion recently about online privacy, driven in many ways by Facebook's decision to once again change its privacy policies. The interest in privacy is a refreshing change given how the growth of social media has encouraged many people to adopt a "complete disclosure" approach to their personal and professional lives.

In an ideal world, the spotlight on privacy will start to make more people aware that everything they post online - comments, photos, videos, updates, tweets, etc. - is part of the public domain. While what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas; what happens on the Web stays on the Web. Sure, some of this information is "private" but companies such as Facebook are under increasing pressure to make more of their information public to drive more traffic and generate more advertising revenue.

Unfortunately, too many people pay little or no attention to their online privacy, and the information and content they disclose. The problem is that once it goes into the ether, people quickly move onto the next thing without thinking about what they've done or the digital debris that they've left behind. I may be an optimist or perhaps misguided but I think the public-private pendulum is slowly going to swing back to private as people recognize that laying it all on the line online has its problems.

Mark Evans 

Follow mark on Twitter  @markevans

June 01, 2010

May Moleskine Wrap Up!!!

May is over. Gone, over, tooodles, see ya later! 

May wrap-up done Moleskine-style (it is clickable) a la Erica Glasier.

To give it the prominence it so rightly deserves. CLICK HERE to see the full sized image in all its glory.

And Erica ... once more!!! Thank you!

march moleskin May Moleskin

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