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Smile, Broadway! You're on Instagram

10/2/2012

Amazing sets. Colorful costumes. Imaginative makeup. Historic venues. Nearly everything that makes up the live theater community screams visuals. Marketers get it. Broadway ads are typically overflowing with many of these elements. But that's all about broadcasting. As companies now understand, "better customer engagement via social media will lead to increased revenue when done correctly of course," according to Forbes.com. It's the "doing it correctly" part that is always the challenge for marketers.

By James Sims as seen in Huffington Post

Four Essential Rules for Online Content

9/18/2012

You want your customers to read your e-mail, your tweets, your Facebook postings, and your blog. If they're already doing so, great: Congratulations. But beware: Too many businesses go out of their way to annoy customers and get them to unsubscribe or turn away--often without even being aware of the problem. Are you guilty of this?

By Peter Shankman as seen in Inc.com

Like Pinterest for Pros, a New Platform to Share Creative Inspiration

9/18/2012

It can be hard to impose order on the creative process, particularly when working in groups. Mural.ly, a new collaboration platform based in Buenos Aires, operates on the notion that order is overrated, and sometimes what you need is a big, messy page filled with inspiring ideas.

By Douglas Quenqua as seen in Fast Company Create

Separate but Equal

9/18/2012

Programming should be unique in the context of individual markets. Across the country, most orchestras approach programming from the same perspective. They feel trapped in a Faustian programming bargain. They know change is needed to attract a new audience and new donors, but at the same time they worry that accepting change will alienate traditional donors.

By Peter Sachon as seen in Thought on the Symphony

Goodbye E-Mail Chains: A New Collaboration Platform for Marketers

9/18/2012

If too many cooks are spoiling your broth, maybe what you really need is a better kitchen. That’s the idea behind collaboration platform GraphEffect. A sort of social network for the marketing community, GraphEffect provides a virtual space where agencies, brands, vendors, and media buyers can work together to create social marketing campaigns.

By Douglas Quenqua as seen in Fast Company Create

Six Lessons Marketers Can Learn from 2012 “Back to School” Digital Marketing Campaigns

9/18/2012

Marketers never really graduate--we’re always learning new techniques for appealing to consumers. Take a look at the stand-out digital campaigns of the season and apply the lessons they teach to your own future digital marketing efforts.

By Paul M as seen in Mono Photos

Three Ways You’re Wrong about What Your Customers Want

9/18/2012

Most marketers think that the best way to hold onto customers is through “engagement” — interacting as much as possible with them and building relationships. It turns out that that’s rarely true. In a study involving more than 7,000 consumers, we found that companies often have dangerously wrong ideas about how best to engage with customers. Consider these three myths.

By Karen Freeman, Patrick Spenner and Anna Bird as seen in BRW

Is Instagram Useful for Nonprofit Marketing?

9/4/2012

Instagram, the mobile photography app purchased by Facebook, has been getting a lot of attention lately. From critics saying it is killing photography to hype and hoopla from marketing pundits saying it is a must-have as part of your “visual marketing tool box.”

By Beth Kanter as seen in Beth's Blog

Four Easy Steps for Handling Complaints

9/4/2012

No matter how impeccably your business is run, you're going to get complaints. Customers will call you, angered by a mistake you or a member of your team made. And employees will air grievances, feeling management has been unfair to them. How you handle these situations can make or break your company. When the inevitable complaints come, it's natural to get defensive and explain why the person's complaint isn't legitimate--but that never gets you anywhere.

By John Treace as seen in inc.com

Klout, Schmout. Connecting Is the Real Clout

9/4/2012

Let me start by saying, I’m not against numbers, scores, or analytical methods that give us an objective understanding of how far-reaching our brand’s impact is, be it our personal or professional brand.

By Bryan Kramer as seen in Social Media Today

Four Rules for Creating Interactive Content for A Multiplatform, Multidevice World

9/4/2012

The interactive world is constantly changing, and the number of different devices that connect it all is growing every year. The problem that arises is that there are no rules for the game. As big corporations create new products with different systems and technology, it’s inevitable that we’ll have to come up with creative ways to adapt.

By Miller Medeiros and David Vale as seen in Fast Company

How Your Brand Is Abusing Social Networks

9/4/2012

As consumers, we might sigh in frustration when our sister-in-law posts the 285th picture of her new cat on Facebook. But we most likely won't share that frustration with the world. We might be annoyed and surprised at the vitriolic politics or the annoying FarmVille requests of all of our "friends." But other than "block" those post, we certainly won't @reply with a complaint about their behavior. And, if Dad mistakenly posts a picture of himself in his underwear, we certainly won't be blogging about this with the title "Family Social Media #Fail."

Brands, on the other hand, have to be much more careful. Marketers are the nerdy freshman at the cool kids' senior party. Say the wrong thing -- or say it in the wrong way -- and risk getting ridiculed and bounced out. Come with a case of beer and some great conversation, and you just might be a hit. But even then, you are only one mistake away from a viral case of #Fail. Your mistake could become the fodder for endless blog posts of how it "shouldn't be done."
 

By Robert Rose as seen in iMedia Connection

Why Prescheduled Tweets Are the Most Horrible Thing in the World--Half the Time

9/4/2012

Depending on which guru you ask, you’ll get very different--and very strong--opinions on whether to preschedule your social media. Social Oomph and HootSuite give users the ability to write now and Tweet later, but is that really what you want attached to your name? Anti-autos see scheduling tweets as inauthentic and misleading. The pro-automation set sees them as effective time-management tools that allow them to be “present” on social media--even when they aren’t. Can we split the difference?

By Allison Graham as seen in Fast Company

Production: The New Call to Action

8/14/2012

Customers … why don't they just do what we want? That would make direct marketing so much easier, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, it's not that easy. In today's marketing climate—with so many choices, technological devices and brand messages bombarding the senses—it's more difficult than ever to get customers to do anything, let alone what you want them to do.

In printed direct marketing vehicles, the stalwart "order now" or "go online" prompts simply don't cut it anymore. You need to do more. How? By creating a compelling call to action that cannot be ignored. Prompt customers to act, to see the call to action screaming at them from the printed piece in a way that moves them to react and act. To do something!

By Lois Brayfield and Matt Fey as seen in Target Marketing

Free Social Media Advice for Brands: Find Your Obsessions

8/14/2012

Brands continue to flock to social media, but the massive growth phase for most networks is over and you no longer are going to rise with the tide. Now, if you want mindshare, you're going to have to fight for it. I'm here to help. I should admit up front that I am not a credentialed social-media consultant. I don't use Pinterest and Path to sell shoes. But I do think about how to build audiences and how to design content that people want to read and share. So, consider these thoughts as notes from an outsider. I'm talking mostly to lifestyle brands here, businesses that would run ads in high-end consumer magazines/websites, but the lessons could apply more broadly.

By Alexis Madrigal as seen in The Atlantic