If they’ll play on your site, they’ll pay on your site

October 29, 2009

Last year, I told you about Meijer, a 180 big box store in the Midwest and the very cool promotion they unleashed on Chicago and Cincinnati around Halloween.  Their headless horseman rode wild through the streets…having some fun scaring the downtown crowd.

Well this year, they've upped the ante.  They've created a 3D experience where you can "put on a mask" and record a Halloween greeting.  Basically, it's a digital hologram called augmented reality.  (Kevin Dugan explains it better than I can.)

Using this technology and your webcam, you can record a :30 video message wearing one of the masks and altering your voice to match the mask.  Then, you can e-mail it to someone, or share it on Twitter or Facebook.

Come on…you know you want to try it.  Go give it a spin here.

Picture 1

But…this isn't just for fun.  Much like Office Max's Elf Yourself success (read about their PR results here and here) this is ultimately about selling product.  PR is dandy, but are we moving product?  

Yes, it will.  But it doesn't happen overnight.  Office Max and Meijer need to wrap their arms around the idea that this is a long term strategy.  (And I suspect they both have)  This is not a "put out a 20% off coupon and watch them flock in" sort of an effort.  This is brand building.  This is buzz building.  This is about creating connections.

And when someone feels an affinity or connection to your business, eventually they'll come back and buy.  I've said it before but…marketing is not a sprint, it's a marathon.  And both Office Max and Meijer are proving they're in it for the long haul.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Protect your privacy on Facebook -10 privacy settings you should consider

June 28, 2009

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase

As Facebook and other social networking sites continue to grow by leaps and bounds… many privacy issues are also cropping up.  Most of us end up blending our personal and professional lives on Facebook and sometimes that can get a bit uncomfortable.

We've talked about the issue of whether or not you get to have a private life anymore, if you're active in social networking.  But, there are some things you can do to protect your own privacy and also, the privacy of the people you are linked to/friended.

This has been a growing concern of mine, so those of you who are my Facebook friends (link to the right if you are not) might notice a few changes in my own settings after researching and writing this post.

Ten Privacy Setting You Should Consider:

Use your friends lists — everyone doesn't have to see everything.

Remove yourself from the Facebook Search results — if you only want to be found by people you reach out to — this is an easy fix for eliminating most of the unwanted friend invites.

Remove yourself from the Google search — Facebook listing seem to grab great Google juice.  So if you want to be found, leave it be.  But if you'd prefer more privacy, you can remove yourself from the listings.

The dreaded photo/video tag — this one has cost people jobs, relationships and their own dignity.  With a simple change in privacy settings, you can make it so that no one (or just those you choose — think friend lists) can see those tell all photos and videos.

Not everyone needs to see every picture — this holds true of your photo albums as well.  You can set privacy settings for each one separately.

Prevent "stories" from showing up on your friends news feed — is there anything more awkward than when your friend goes from in a relationship to it's complicated or single?  Avoid that embarrassment with a few simple settings.

Keep your application updates from being published — do you really want people to know you're looking for a tommy gun in Mafia Wars or that you've wasted yet another hour hitting a new high on Bejeweled?

Make you contact information private — for some people, their cell phone number is public information.  But for others who might have arms lengths relationships at best with many of their Facebook friends…a bit less shared would be good.

Censor your friends…keep their thoughts off your wall! — I think this is one of the most critical on the list.  You can control who sees your wall and who can write on your wall.  Do you really need your frat buddies sharing stories with your boss?  I'm guessing not.

Keep your friends private — this isn't just about your privacy, it's about your friends' privacy as well.  Remember, anyone who is a friend of yours can pop onto your friends list and cherry pick them for whatever reason they'd want. 

The beauty of most of these privacy moves is that no one will ever know you've even implemented them.  But you will…because you'll feel a whole lot safer and less exposed.

I found an excellent post on the topic over at www.allfacebook.com that covers all ten of these suggestions in great depth — including showing you how to alter your settings.

Check it out and protect yourself a little.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Is your online userID yours….everywhere?

January 13, 2009

16220403 Remember when everyone was scrambling to Go Daddy to grab their own name so if they wanted the domain, they had it?  And the smart ones grabbed their kids’ names too.

Then there was the mad dash to get your name at Google for gmail and all the Google tools.  (Again…don’t forget to get the kids covered!)

Last week, Mike Sansone encouraged us to be sure and get our Twitter name secured.

All well and good.  But what if there was one site that would allow you to check the availability of your preferred userID (for most of us….our name) all over the social media spectrum?  Guess what….there is!

Check out www.UserNameCheck.com.  You can type in your name or preferred userID and with one click, check what seems like 100 or so sites.

How cool is that?  Hat tip to Chris Brown, where I first learned of this site.)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Search Engine Marketing demystified

December 19, 2008

Picture 11 SEM, SEO, organic search engine optimization, driving traffic, etc, etc.

I believe for most people, search engine optimization/marketing is one of the most confusing, misunderstood aspects of marketing today.

But it doesn't have to be.

This fall, Mike Moran and Bill Hunt released the 2nd edition of their book Search Engine Marketing, Inc: Driving search traffic to your company's web site.  The guide is 600+ pages and packed with practical, applicable information.  I've worked my way through it once and now am heading back in to begin implementing some of their strategies.

This is not a book for someone who wants a light read.  But if you want to understand how search engine marketing really works and how you can master the tricks of the trade — buy it now.

The book also comes with a DVD, filled with more than 2 hours of video tutorials, podcasts, articles and slide sets.

This book will be on your desk, propped open and dog-eared, for a long time to come.  I know mine will be.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

The best argument for overpaying your proofreader I’ve seen in awhile

November 20, 2008

First….pay attention to the subject matter of Omniture‘s offering.



Now look at the e-mail they sent out to solicit customers for the above webinar.  How sad and scary is that?


My client who shared this with me is actually NOT known by FirstName.  And the guy didn’t even sign this very important e-mail.  But not to worry — she can call him at…

Note to all of us.  For the love of God…have someone proof your work. 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Text in your movie review?

October 10, 2008

Picture_4 Here in Des Moines, moviegoers attending the premiere  of the documentary movie "Trouble the Water" will have the chance to participate in an interactive review via their mobile phones and text messaging.

To join the review, audience members will send the keyword "water" to 72466. A return message back will invite them to join the review by typing in their general opinion based on one to five stars, with five being the highest rating.

Then, participants will asked to submit three adjectives they believe best describe the movie. A final message invites texters to provide additional opinions, with a 160-character limit.

The review is sponsored by the theater and Catchwind, a mobile marketing company. Reviews can be viewed at www.fleurcinema.com and www.textvu.com.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Lies travel at the speed of the Internet – what to do if they’re about you

August 13, 2008

71367500 One of the amazing things about the Internet is the speed at which information is shared and digested.  When a young journalist was jailed in Egypt that was a good thing.

But for American Airlines, sometimes the speed stings.  Bad.

All over the net (and in print pubs like the Washington Times) headlines like "American Airlines Charges Soldiers For Extra Bags" appeared and then the stories go on to describe how American Airlines is charging soldiers traveling on orders to Iraq or elsewhere a fee for their 2nd and 3rd bags, in alignment with their new policies.

It’s a doozy of a headline.  But, it’s not true.  For the whole story, check out what the Seattle Times has to say.

But what should you do if you find your company in the spot American Airlines has been in – at the receiving end of false information (or misinformation) on a blog?

  • Secure the facts first.  The last thing you want to do to accidentally deny something that’s got a kernel of truth in it or give false information.
  • Write a response that is clear (no weasel words), free of emotion and professional.
  • Decide how you’d like to release the response (based on the tone, impact, intent of original blog post).
  • Execute your plan and be accessible for follow up questions.
  • If you have a blog, deal with it there as well, even if it wasn’t raised there.  That’s where many people will go to see if you have responded.

When you’re in the cross hairs — you need to respond quickly and judiciously.  Unlike the good old days, you don’t have a lot of time to ponder the possibilities.  If you’re wondering how quickly a spark can build into an inferno, ask American Girl.


Business Cards 2.0 (They’re Leo Approved!)

July 31, 2008

Haven’t you wondered what the archaeologists from 3008 will think when they unearth piles and piles of business cards?  I suspect they’ll think we killed a lot of trees.

Leonardo DiCaprio spends a lot of his time trying to inspire people to save the earth through his eco site.   He would heartily approve of this latest business card option.

Meet the mobile business card.

These cards can be e-mailed, sent via text message or posted on a website or blog.  Thanks to www.211me.com you can create and use them for free.

Here’s how it works:

  • Go to www.211me.com
  • Create your free business card
  • Grab the code to post on a website or blog
  • Or…Get the code to embed it into your e-mail signature
  • Or…Send a text to: 555211 (their short code) and in the body of the message, enter any mobile number and they’ll receive a copy of your card*

It was not only easy to create, but it was easy to personalize.  I wasn’t loving any of their backgrounds, so I uploaded a photo of my own and within a couple minutes, had created the above card.

The FAQs on the site say that you can also create fliers and use images, text and hyperlinked content to create a paperless way to promote concerts, bar specials, events, invite buddies to a party, or whatever else your mind can come up with.

What do you think?  How (or would) you use this technology?

*For some reason, Verizon is the only phone company that isn’t playing nice.  I could still send my card…I just got a false error message. When I sent myself my card, Verizon wouldn’t let me click on the link. Apparently, if I had a Treo or Blackberry, it would have.


How is your website holding up against search engine optimization?

July 21, 2008

Picture_1 You can’t attend a marketing conference or talk to anyone about their company’s website without hearing the words "Search Engine Optimization" or SEO.  But the truth is, many business owners or marketing professionals can’t define what SEO is all about, beyond that when done well, it will result in an increase in ranking on Google.

They also don’t have any idea what factors contribute to SEO success or failure.  Well guess what…we don’t have to understand the complex algorithms.  Heck, I’m pretty sure most of the employees of Google don’t understand them!  You just need to know what areas within your site that need some tweaking.

Here’s a free way to see how your site measures up.   Go to HubSpot’s websitegrader.com, which will give you useful and detailed information about your site’s SEO power and where you can crank it up even more.


SWAT Summit offers YOU a discount!

July 2, 2008

Picture_1 Get the inside scoop on advertising and marketing on social networks on July 17th in lovely San Francisco.

Social networks are transforming the way brands and consumers interact. Leading brands and agencies are embracing their potential — are you?

SWAT Summit looks at how agencies and brands can harness the power of social networks. This conference is for anyone who wants to be a leader in the next generation of marketing and advertising — and for the publishers, developers, and ad networks who will work with them hand in hand.

SWAT Summit is an exclusive gathering place for 200 key influencers and decision makers such as Brand Managers, Media Planners, Media Buyers, Marketing Directors, and individuals at the Director, VP, and C-Level.

Limited spots are also available for: Press, VCs, Analysts, and Academics.

Check out their speakers, or go ahead and register.  Marketing Minute readers are being offered a $100 discount on the event.  Use discount code:  drewmm

1 8 9 10 11 12 15