Thursday, May 30, 2013

Don’t Fall Victim to Things That Stifle Innovation

With all the talk about the importance of innovation, you’d think we’d be better at it by now. Not so according to a recent Accenture study of more than 500 executives at British, French and U.S. corporations. Rather than offering “the next big thing,” researchers said that innovations coming to market today are more typically “line extensions.” Instead of the game changing products, services, and business models that were anticipated several years ago, many so-called innovations have become considerably more limited in scope. 

First the good news: Over 70 percent of respondents to the Accenture study ranked innovation among their top 5 priorities--with nearly one in five (18%) putting it at the head of their list. However, study authors found two dominant obstacles standing in the way of driving higher returns from innovation: Conservatism and the “invention trap.”


1.      Conservatism focuses on individual line extension renovation rather than developing a broader portfolio that also includes big, hairy audacious ideas.

2.      The “invention trap” is an overreliance on the invention process itself.

The problem here is that most organizations—large or small--lack systematic, enterprise-wide processes that can commercialize inventions into scalable products or services and bring them to market in a timely manner. 
Here’s what else disturbed us about the Accenture report:
·         Only 34 percent of respondents believe their company has a well-defined innovation strategy.
·         46 percent say they have become more risk averse in considering new ideas.
·         45 percent see their company pursuing a portfolio of smaller, safer opportunities rather than seeking the next breakthrough.

Busting through inertia

We recently
interviewed Michelle Mason, managing director of ASQ for the Association Adviser enews. Michelle told us that if your organization has complex problems to solve, “look for employees with high levels of curiosity.” Eric Wulf, head of the International Car Wash Association told us he’s a “resource getter, not a management of people person” and Bob Hasmiller of the National Association of College Auxilliary Services told us he’s a big advocate of “Management by Walking Around (MBWA)” and hiring people who are insatiably curious and lifelong learners.
Here’s another shocker: Nearly all (93%) of the executives surveyed in the Accenture report regard their company’s long-term success to be dependent on its ability to innovate. At the same time, less than one in five (18%) believe their own innovation strategy is delivering a competitive advantage. Fewer than half the present-day respondents believe they have an effective approach to new product development or are seeking innovation effectively.

C’mon people we can do better than that.

Respondents cited specific challenges to innovation (we call ‘em excuses)

  • Predicting future trends (30%)
  • Achieving cost containment (27%)
  • Securing ongoing budget support (26%)
  • Leveraging new technology (26%)
  • Transforming new ideas into marketable goods and services (24%)
Macro View

Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index posted the biggest gains in seven years as housing prices rose in every one of the 20 cities tracked.  Further, consumer confidence reached a five-year high in May according to a Conference Board report also released on Tuesday, with big improvements in Americans’ views about both the current economy and future economic conditions. It hasn’t hurt that employers have added jobs for 31 straight months.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the only thing really stifling innovation at most organizations is fear or failure and lack of imagination. That’s why we pioneered the Art & Science of Strategic Stumbling™.

You can’t learn if you don’t fail from time to time. And that’s the main difference between visionaries who build great companies and products and executives who simply build careers. Who would you rather work for (or hire)?

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Tags: Accenture study of innovation
Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index, the invention trap, management by walking around, lifelong learning, Strategic Stumbling

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Today's webinar with @EricSchwartzman teaches you about Scaling Social Media Inside Organizations

Social media plays such an integral role in business, connecting consumers and products more closely than ever before. While social media is just as important as your employee handbook, most never dive deep into the abilities this newer service can offer. As a result, social media campaigns tend to suffer in digital networking.

Therefore, social media needs to be taught to organizations so that everyone is on the same page. Because it's nearly impossible to train entire teams of employees without interrupting day-to-day operations, it takes a careful lesson plan in order to activate everyone's awareness. 

Join Eric Schwartzman, arguably the most experienced corporate social media trainer in the world, and learn how to design and produce real-world and on-demand social media training programs that effectively accelerate and broaden digital literacy inside organizations. In this webinar, you will learn to:


- Develop business cases for social media training.
- Implement social media training for different departments and roles.
- Discover what employees need to learn the most.
- Choose between live and on-demand social media training.
- Plan and schedule live trainings.
- Produce and deliver techniques for on-demand training.
- Uncover social media training case studies.

Click here to register for FREE (5-29-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/11VX5aG



About Eric Schwartzman:
​Eric Schwartzman is Founder and CEO of online social media training provider Comply Socially, whichhelps employers manage the risk and capitalize on the opportunities of social media in the workplace.

He is also an independent communications consultant for hire to businesses, global nonprofits, the US Military, US Federal government agencies and foreign governments. His consulting services include digital strategy, social media audits, social media policy development, online public relations, social media marketing, search engine optimization and web development.

Schwartzman founded iPRSoftware, his best-selling book "Social Marketing to the Business Customer" is the first book devoted exclusively to social media for business-to-business communications, and he's founding chair of the Digital Impact Conference in NYC.

You can also find him on Google+.

Click here to register for FREE (5-29-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/11VX5aG

Friday, May 24, 2013

Optimize Your Display Network Campaigns with New Tools & Reports

Google recently launched the Google Display Planner for Display Network campaigns. This tool provides suggestions based on the data you enter including impression and cookie estimates, age and gender reporting and historical cost-per-click (CPC) information.

Along with this rollout, two new reports will be available: Demographic Performance and Placement Performance. Now with more powerful insights, you have the ability to optimize your campaigns to be more relevant to your targeted audience. For example, the Demographic Performance report gives you performance data by gender and age including impression, click and conversion rates for each group.

Generally speaking, the Google Display Network doesn’t convert better than other campaigns such as Remarketing or Pay-Per-Click; however, it absolutely has the potential to be a worthwhile test to gauge its effectiveness for your business. Google continues to fine-tune the Display Network’s targeting features and inventory selection tools. By understanding the relationship this marketing channel has with various other marketing channels, you may discover it is a meaningful contributor to overall conversions by way of assist.

Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

Image credit: FindYourSearch

Thursday, May 23, 2013

You Have to Hit it Full Throttle This Summer


While gathering around the barbecue with a cold beverage in hand this Holiday weekend, take a few moments to enjoy your good fortune. The weather is warm. You can swim outside in most parts of the country and week by week, month by month, the good news is outpacing the bad news.

According to a recent
Business Confidence Survey by Insperity, small business owners are showing a willingness to hire more employees amid signs of expanding business activity.
·         More than 40 percent of the nearly 5,000 respondents said they are adding employees, up from 28 percent last October;
·         55 percent are maintaining current staffing levels, versus 63 percent last fall;
·         Only 5 percent are laying off employees, down from 9 percent in October and
·         28 percent think an economic rebound is currently in process versus 20 percent last fall.

Here’s what’s worrisome about this otherwise optimistic report; nearly three in four business owners STILL aren’t convinced that the economy’s on the mend. What else do you want?  A memo from the Commerce Department declaring, “Recession Officially Over—OK to Start Making Decisions”? Don’t hold your breath.

Financial markets are at historical highs, housing prices are at their loftiest level in 3-1/2 years, interest rates are at their lowest levels since most business owners have been alive and domestic business travel is up 5 percent over last year and above the all-time high reached in 2007 (Source: US Travel Association). That’s not enough for you?

Not only has economic rebound been “in process” for at least two years, it may be fading into the rear view mirror. When you think (and really feel) that everything’s fine, it’s usually too late. Your toughest competitors are way ahead of you anyway.

Sure the economy leads the list of short-term concerns for 62 percent of business owners, while government health care reform, and rising health care costs, are tied for second on the list at 51 percent, followed by hiring the right people, at 42 percent. Yet almost the same number (59 percent) expect sales to increase and 85 percent expect to maintain or increase employee compensation.


An Oxford Economics study found that companies that invested the most in business travel during the recession have grown faster than those that cut back on travel. Same goes for those that invested in marketing, product development, business development and hiring. You’ve got to keep your foot on the gas at all times and keep the pipeline full.

Macro View

Despite all the noise and confusion coming out of Washington (and the IRS), home prices rose to the highest level in three and a half years in April—up 11 percent over the same period last year. It was the fifth consecutive month of double-digit gains according to the National Association of Realtors. We were even more encouraged by this stat—the median time on market declined to 46 days from 62 days the previous month--which means properties are selling more quickly and inventory is shrinking.


Conclusion

As Seneca the ancient Roman philosopher once quipped. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Whether it’s war, business, sports or courtship, nothing’s really changed that much in 2,000 years. Have a great barbecue this weekend and rest up. Summer’s the time to hit it full throttle. Waiting till after Labor Day to make decisions, isn’t going to cut it anymore.


Tags: National Association of Realtors, Insperity, Oxford Economics, US Travel Association

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

5/22 Webinar: Free Reviews of Your Social Media Accounts & Websites!

It seems as if everyday, the social and online landscapes change to better fit their surroundings. Consumers are always in search of a better product than yesterday, so it's up to brands to stay committed and relevant to their core audience. Because of this, social marketers must stay actively in touch with other businesses in order to not only grow, but to succeed in general. 

We're currently offering free reviews of social media accounts and websites to better help you align your marketing vision. Get real insight and tips into how you can change your online spaces for the better, right here and right now! Jay Berkowitz is offering up his services to help you better align your online efforts.

Feel free to contact Jay with your websites or accounts that need reviewing:

jay@tengoldenrules.com

Click here to register for FREE (5-22-13 at 12:30 pm EST)
http://bit.ly/11aTIdP

About Jay Berkowitz:


Jay Berkowitz is an author, an educator, an International keynote speaker and an award-winning thought leader. A senior online marketing professional with over twenty years of marketing experience, Mr. Berkowitz has managed marketing departments for Fortune 500 brands: Coca-Cola, Sprint and McDonald's Restaurants, and he has developed online and offline strategies for AT&T and leading health and fitness website eDiets.com.

Mr. Berkowitz is the author of The Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing Workbook, the Founder and CEO of www.TenGoldenRules.com, a strategic online marketing consulting business based in Boca Raton, Florida. He is the host of the Ten Golden Rules of Internet Marketing Podcast, an Adjunct Professor with the University of San Francisco Internet Marketing Course and he has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, The Business Journals and he was interviewed on FOX Business TV.

Click here to register for FREE (5-22-13 at 12:30 pm EST)
http://bit.ly/11aTIdP

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Time to Take a Break from Tech?


We’re so hyper-connected and tech-addicted these days that even some of the elite technorati are finding a need to unplug. Take Nick Bolton, popular New York Times technology pundit.  He wrote Monday that one of his tech compadres intentionally drives out of cell service range, so he and his wife can spend weekends together engaged with “all things analog.” Another of Bolton’s pals still uses a notepad and pen when he really has to be creative and not spend his “idle minutes” checking e-mail and tweets all day long. When Bolton dines with other technologists, he plays a form of chicken. They all put their smartphones in a pile in the middle of the table and the first one who touches his or her device has to pay the bill.

The meal probably doesn’t last past the appetizer, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

When used correctly and in moderation, technology gives us tremendous power to connect, create, communicate, collaborate and otherwise GSD (get shit done). But it’s just a tool and you can’t become a slave to it. When’s the last time you saw a carpenter sleep with his or her hammer by the nightstand or pick it up every five minutes to check for new heads, peens, wedges and claws to attach?

Did you get my email?

How long can you go without emailing, or calling someone on the phone to ask, “Did you get my email” if they haven’t responded instantaneously? Some companies, such as employment screening services firm e-Verifile, have email-freeFridays. On the last day of each workweek, employees can use email only for external communications. If they want to contact fellow employees, they have to use the phone or even scarier, meet face to face. We know that’s frightening for some of you in the under-40 crowd, but at least you’ll reduce many of the misunderstandings that come with email as it doesn’t allow for nuance, voice inflection or visual clues.

Our blog has more

Burnout Busters

Reducing our over-reliance on technology should also help alleviate symptoms of burnout. I received a lot of feedback to this articleI wrote last year about recognizing and reducing signs of burnout. It was intended for executives of trade associations, but many of the tips and coping mechanisms could be valuable for you.
Here are some other techniques that have helped my colleagues and me:
·        
  • Leave the headphones at home next time you go for a run. Just focus on your breathing and take in the scenery. The run won’t take as long as expected and you’ll be brimming with new ideas.

·         Turn off the TV monitor when you’re using the stairclimber or treadmill. That’s right. Just stare into the blank screen or admire some of the well-toned “scenery” around you.  Again, you’ll come back to your desk with dozens of new ideas and possibly a new “friend” or two.

·         Mow the lawn or wack the weeds. It’s a great way to burn off some steam and the steady hum of a high revving power tool will surely drown out any noise around you. Thinks of it as free use of outdoor sensory deprivation tank. You can’t possibly hear your smartphone under these circumstances. You’ll come back inside with plenty of clear-headed ideas and a highly appreciative spouse.


Macro View

Stocks rose yesterday, with the Dow and Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rising to new highs and the Nasdaq reached its highest point since November 2000—that right, 13 years ago.  “The main things driving the market — the Fed, earnings, consumer confidence — are holding up, and people put money in the market on any down day. I still see a lot of value,” he said.
In signs that the rally may strengthen from current levels, the Credit Suisse Fear Barometer, known as the CSFB Index, fell 11.4 points over the last two weeks — the largest decline on record — and was now at a one-year low of 21.73.

And, if you still don’t think the fear/greed pendulum has officially swung over to the avarice side, it seems the IPO market is back—in a big way. U.S. companies are on track to raise the most money through initial public offerings since before the financial crisis, driven by the same thirst for risk among investors that has pushed the stock market to new highs. According to Dealogic, 64 U.S.-listed public offerings have raised $16.8 billion already this year. In the same period in 2012, the biggest year in dollars since the financial crisis, 73 companies raised a total of $13.1 billion. Last week alone brought 11 U.S.-listed IPOs, making it the busiest week for such deals since December 2007.


Conclusion

Technology is not going away. The trick is to stay up to speed on as many tools, apps and devices as you can, without becoming a slave to them or feeling like you’re constantly behind the curve. Don’t do it alone. Ask as many smart people as you can, and make sure you have a few friends, confidants or advisors who are significantly younger and more intrepid than you. Regardless of your age, there’s always a smart person in your circle who’s a little younger, more plugged in, and who has more free time for experimentation than you. As Tino Mantella, head of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) told me the other day, “You don’t have to be first on the wave, you just have to be ready to catch it when it comes.”

Tags: CSFB fear index, Dealogic, e-Verifile, no email Fridays, Tino Mantella, TAG


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Understanding the Relationship Between Various Marketing Channels

In a previous blog post, we covered the value in multi-channel funnels reports. Digging in deeper into the value of this type of reporting, let’s look at the types of channels and insights that are leveraged in these reports.

You can think of this type of reporting similar to how a basketball team works together. Sure we all know who made the winning shot, but think about how that winning shot would’ve never happened if his teammate didn’t make the perfect pass to him. Each team member plays a part in their victory. Similarly, a channel can play the role of first interaction, assist interaction and last interaction in multi-channels funnels reporting.

The various channels that are captured in these reports include, but are not limited to:

• paid and organic search (on all search engines along with the specific keywords searched)
• referral sites
• affiliates
• social networks
• email newsletters
• custom campaigns that you’ve created, including offline campaigns that send traffic to vanity URLs

Reporting occurs during the 30 days that led up to each conversion and transaction. Understanding the relationship between each channel will give you the intelligence you need to help define your most valuable marketing efforts.

Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

Image credit: Stefan Baudy

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Modern Marketer: Part Artist, Part Scientist


Today's guest blogger is Matt Wesson, a Marketing Content Specialist at Pardot
The marketing profession is changing. The Mad Men-style era of marketing, which prized creativity above all, has evolved as technology provides new opportunities to track performance and create data-driven marketing campaigns. While many view this shift from creativity to data as a battle between two distinct and separate ideologies, the truth is that marketers can’t afford to pick sides.
The modern marketer needs to be multifaceted, with one foot planted in art and the other in science. The daily responsibilities of a marketer are not conveniently divided into quantitative and creative tasks and marketers that truly excel in today’s environment are those that can shift effortlessly between these two mindsets. Marketers need to become part artists and part scientist. We have put together the infographic below to help highlight the tremendous assets marketers can bring to the table if they are able to find a balance between the two.
Click on the image to see a larger version:
The Modern Marketer

Monday, May 13, 2013

This week's webinar with @MWooddy - New Instagram Secrets for Better Brand Recognition

Instagram has become a household name and leader among social networking apps in the last couple years, but how did it come so far in such little time?
Launched in 2010 for the iPhone and introduced to the Android market in April 2012, Instagram's unique photo-sharing capabilities have enabled the startup to reach an audience of more than 100 million users. Because the photo app has garnered such an enthusiastic following over the last 2.5 years, software giants like Facebook and Twitter have taken notice -- the former purchasing the app for developmental purposes. But like all social apps, Instagram has drastically changed the way users interact with each other, and once again, brands can take full advantage of the online networking app. But how can your business use Instagram in order to market itself to the appropriate audience? Join IMC Wednesday Webinar Host Matt Wooddy as he explores the new secrets for better brand recognition. This webinar will explore:

- New! Photos of You 
- Photo Map
- Sharing to Other Networks
- Improved Analytics

Click here to register for FREE (5-15-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/125Kvpm


About Matt Wooddy:

For the last five years, Matt Wooddy has used his social wizardry to improve the online presence of over 200 brands. Understanding that social media is more than just a place to promote your business, he uses personal interaction and entertaining messages to improve the branding and interest of any given company. Every brand has its own personal soul, and Matt taps into that very idea to expose the greater good in business. He is also a lead editor and writer for alternative lifestyle print magazines, specializing in motorcycle racing, music and tattoos.
Click here to register for FREE (5-15-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/125Kvpm

The Value in Multi-Channel Funnels Reports

Marketers often tend to attribute conversions to the last interaction a customer had with a marketing channel. However, looking at it from this perspective doesn’t really give us the complete picture.

Are you currently leveraging the insights Google Analytics has to offer? As part of this product, there is a suite of valuable multi-channel funnels reports. Although this isn’t a new feature, you may find that it is underutilized by many. The purpose of these reports is to give you a comprehensive overview of the steps your customers take from inception through to conversion.

Within these five multi-channel funnels reports, you can analysis data and important insights that would have otherwise been missed. Rather than just attributing credit to the last interaction, you can now identify which marketing channels initiate, which assist and which complete conversions.

This type of reporting can provide critical data for your marketing decisions. For example, imagine if you didn’t know that although your display advertising doesn’t provide as many conversions as you would like, it is involved in over 90% of conversion assists. Without knowing a key statistic such as this, the display channel may have been undervalued in the overall conversion process.

Watch this video to learn more about multi-channel funnels.



Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

Image credit: Horia Varlan

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Is video advertising worth it?


Nearly 10 Billion Video Ads Viewed in February
But, web users increasingly fed up with lousy ads

If you think advertising is starting to intrude on your favorite video sites like springtime dandelions on your lawn, you’re not alone. According to comScore, 178 million Americans watched 33 billion online content videos in February, while the number of video ad views reached 9.9 billion and time spent watching video ads totaled 3.8 billion minutes. Video ads reached more than 50 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 63 times during the month and video ads accounted for 23 percent of all videos viewed.

But, before you put all your marketing eggs into the video basket, please make sure you can deliver high quality, relevant video messages to your target market or be prepared for backlash—fast and furious backlash and negative brand equity. Hint to do-it-yourselfers: don’t forget about the importance of good lighting and high quality sound. Invest a few bucks in a tabletop or lavaliere microphone.

According to InsightsOne, with Harris Interactive, the vast majority of American adults 18 and over (87%) are putting their foot down on the number of irrelevant ads they are willing to tolerate before they ignore a company completely. One in four Americans (23%) say they will do so after seeing just one spam email or online ad, and 43 percent say they will ignore a company completely after seeing as many as two.

Annoying ads are pervasive, says the report, with 91 percent of Americans reporting they see them. While email spam and junk mail tend to get the most attention, many Americans are annoyed by website ad spam, email spam/sidebar ads, postal junk mail, television ads and ads on social media.

If you advertise or promote your firm on the web take note: 36 percent of web users who’ve been flooded with online ad spam say they will leave a website because of too many irrelevant ads, and many more feel that the company doing the advertising doesn’t respect their time. In terms of email, 60 percent will unsubscribe from future messages, but 45 percent will simply ignore future communications.

Men less tolerant than women


According to InsightsOne research, Men were statistically more likely than women to take certain actions, including:

  • Stop using the product (17% vs. 11%)
  • Boycott the company doing the advertising (16% vs. 10%)
  • Respond angrily (7% vs. 3%)
  • Hit their computer or mobile device in frustration (5% vs. 3%)
  • Feel the company doesn’t respect their time (30% vs. 22%)
Macro View

With interest rates low and corporate earnings surprisingly solid, the equity markets continue to flirt with record highs. Weekly applications for jobless benefits fell to a five year low. U.S. employers maintained steady hiring in April, alleviating widespread concerns about the economy heading into a spring slowdown. Economists say the job gains don't reflect a rapidly growing economy, but they provided enough relief to markets Friday to boost stocks into record territory.

Conclusion


The web is one of the most powerful, cost-effective tools ever invented for reaching your target market. But, if you don’t respect your target market’s time or really understand what your clients/prospects are interested in—at their current stage in the purchase consideration cycle—then it can be devastating to your firm’s brand name and reputation.

Tags: InsightOne, Harris interactive, video advertising, intrusive advertising

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

This week's webinar with @EricSchwartzman - Scaling Social Media Engagement Inside Organizations

While social media policies are a critical component of corporate governance, like employee handbooks,
most people never read them. And if they do, it’s highly unlikely they’ll actually understand them well
enough to be able to comply. Policy doesn’t teach itself.

In the analog era, we the media-trained are official representatives. But given how ubiquitous social media
has become, we need to start social media training entire organizations. However, that creates some unique
challenges because it’s s impossible to teach key concepts and best practices to an entire organization
without disrupting day-to-day operations.

Join Eric Schwartzman, arguably the most experienced corporate social media trainer in the world, and
learn how to design and produce real-world and on-demand social media training programs that effectively
accelerate and broaden digital literacy inside organizations. In this webinar, you will learn to:


- Develop business cases for social media training.
- Implement social media training for different departments and roles.
- Discover what employees need to learn the most.
- Choose between live and on-demand social media training.
- Plan and schedule live trainings.
- Produce and deliver techniques for on-demand training.
- Uncover social media training case studies.

Click here to register for FREE (5-8-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/XRCvsN

About Eric Schwartzman:
​Eric Schwartzman is Founder and CEO of online social media training provider Comply Socially, whichhelps employers manage the risk and capitalize on the opportunities of social media in the workplace.

He is also an independent communications consultant for hire to businesses, global nonprofits, the US
Military, US Federal government agencies and foreign governments. His consulting services include
digital strategy, social media audits, social media policy development, online public relations, social media
marketing, search engine optimization and web development.

Schwartzman founded iPRSoftware, his best-selling book "Social Marketing to the Business Customer"
is the first book devoted exclusively to social media for business-to-business communications, and he's
founding chair of the Digital Impact Conference in NYC.

You can also find him on Google+.

Click here to register for FREE (5-8-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/XRCvsN

Our CEO's Top Internet Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Need a boost for your business? Recently, our CEO, Jay Berkowitz, did an interview with Barry Epstein on what small business owners need to know about marketing on the web. Here are Jay's top tips for small businesses:

  • Follow the 4-second rule: within 4 seconds, someone who visits your website should be able to tell who you are and what you do.
  • Offer a U.V.P: a U.V.P., or Unique Value Proposition, offers visitors to your site a freebie in order to collect valuable information from them, such as an email address.
  • Use Wordpress: Wordpress offers a simple webiste setup - you can get your website up and running in 15 minutes, and can skip an expensive designer.

Want more tips on small business solutions for internet marketing? View the rest of Jay's interview on our website. He'll give you all of the details you need to make his top tips succeed, and offer additional information and advice for store owners on what is most important for success on the web.

Connect with Leah on Google+

Friday, May 3, 2013

Time To Get Creative with Google Analytics Remarketing

You may already be familiar with the fact that you can make your Remarketing more powerful via Google Analytics, but it’s time to take it a step further and get really creative with this advertising method.

Depending on your business, you can slice and dice your Analytics data in numerous ways to utilize these insights via different lists. Aside from “loyalty discount” lists, another viable targeting option is – social media users. Because Analytics allows you to segment by source, you can target a list of visitors from social media sites with ad messaging tailored specifically to them. These types of users most likely reached your website via a link from someone they trust and are connected to, so they may naturally have a bit more trust in your brand as a result.

Think about how you can craft ads that truly resonates with them. How would you speak to these users compared to users who found your site by clicking through on a pay per click ad? Remember, they already have shown interest in something that you had to say or offer. Take this opportunity to answer their interest by showing them meaningful ads.

Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

Image credit: laogooli

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A great time to be self-motivated. Are you up for it?


If you think you’ve been making more and more important decisions on your own these days, you’re not alone. From your 401(k), to your healthcare, to the clients your retain, to where and how you live, work and worship, we live in an increasingly self-directed world.

As Thomas Friedman (The World Is Flat), noted in an op-edpiece today, “something really big happened in the world’s wiring in the last decade, but it was obscured by the financial crisis and post-9/11.” Thanks to social media, 4G, iProducts, broadband, wireless, the cloud,  Big Data, Skype and apps, we’re now more connected than ever, Friedman observes, so there are more ways for people to “start stuff, collaborate on stuff, learn stuff, make stuff (and destroy stuff) with more people than ever before.”
Friedman and others have noted that if you’re self-motivated, it’s a great time to be alive. Many of the barriers that used to slow you down are gone, but a lot more responsibility rests on you. A big, company, firm, union, or government isn’t there to hold your hand as much anymore.

Warning shot to those ‘mailing it in’

“But, if you’re not self-motivated, this world will be a challenge, because the walls, ceilings and floors that protected people are also disappearing,” observed Friedman.
Now most of you on this distribution list are among the most highly motivated, highly creative, highly caffeinated people we know. If not, you would have opted-out a long time ago and that’s why we love you.

Our blog and the conclusion to this post has more.

Macro View

Whether or not you think the market’s run into record territory is sustainable, we’re starting to see signs of real support (not because there’s nowhere else for investors to put their money). Average single family home prices rose 9.3 percent in February, their fastest rate in almost seven years according to the S&P/Case Shiller index yesterday. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said Monday that consumer spending rose another 0.2 percent in March, following a 1 percent increase in the January to February period. Personal income and after-tax income also rose in March. Experts say higher incomes are helping to offset the end of the two-year (2%) Social Security tax holiday on workers’ paychecks. What’s more, this week’s stock market rise has been fueled by tech companies, which had been laggards earlier in the year due to investor concern over weak business spending and concerns over sluggish overseas sales.

Conclusion


While many businesses, economists and market watchers are waiting for a rebound from this slow growth economy, we see today’s environment as the new normal. There are still big opportunities in a slow-growth economy, and the winners will be those firms who can increase their margins, not necessarily their topline revenue or billings. While others see threats, danger, disintermediation and loss of turf in this self-directed world, you see opportunity. No single firm, company or product really owns the marketplace anymore--and if they do, they don’t get to own it for long. Celebrate your agility, not your lack of resources.

It’s on you now. Don’t ever take your foot off the accelerator. Just stay focused and keep your eyes on the road at all times.

Tags: Thomas Friedman, The World Is Flat, S&P/Case Shiller index, 4G, iProducts, broadband, wireless, the cloud,  Big Data, Skype and apps

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