Impressions

by Cochran

My Best of #SocialFresh East

I attended the #SocialFresh East conference in Tampa earlier this week. The lineup was packed with impressive presenters on a wide variety of up-to-the-minute social marketing topics.

Though many attendees were online for the entire conference, I find that I get more out such sessions if I focus my attention on the presenter rather than on my laptop or iPhone. I did jot down a few key phrases to help me better recall each speaker and his or her topic.

  My Best of #SocialFresh East:

Don’t think social media. Think social marketing in the broadest sense. —  @JHCdigital aka Jesse Caitlin, eMarketer

Ask for the sale on social.@ericboggs aka Eric Boggs, Argyle Social

Gradual scaling always wins.@chuckhemann aka Chuck Hemann, WCG

Without a call to action, there is no marketing.@kippbodnar aka Kipp Bodnar, HubSpot

Use social elements in all that you do.@ScottMonty aka Scott Monty, Ford Motor Company

We need to concentrate on being social rather than doing social.@jaybaer aka Jay Baer, Convince & Convert

Don’t have a Pinterest strategy. As with other platforms, have goals.@ShaunaCausey aka Shauna Causey, Nordstrom

Assess your company’s social media readiness first.@jquig99 aka Jane Quigley, StrategyJQ

Rather than being a community manager, become a social coach. #ElevateSocial — @adriandparker aka Adrian Parker, Intuit

Beware of measurement bias. Look rather than measure.@cspenn aka Christopher Penn, WhatCounts

Ask one question per month to your list.@cnmoody aka Chris Moody, Red Hat

Do a content audit upon choosing platforms.@MatthewKnell aka Matthew Knell, AOL

Thanks to everyone for an incredible learning experience. @cochrancreates aka Rebecca Cochran, Cochran Creative Group

February 9, 2012 Posted by | Marketing, metrics, Online Marketing, return on social investment, social marketing, social media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two Little Words Still Worth Using

Thank You!

In this age of online engagement, these two little words have never been more important. Rather than launching campaigns, business owners now work to spark conversations with their customers.

However quickly the tools and strategies may change, these two little words will always add value. Be sure to include them in your next conversation.

November 21, 2011 Posted by | business, creativity, design, design thinking, Marketing, Online Marketing, social media | , , , , | Leave a comment

2009: Journey Into the Marketing Unknown

A close friend recently sized me up this way: “You’re most comfortable residing in the ‘unknown’ because that’s where the most learning takes place.”

If that was an accurate assessment, then 2009 was definitely my best year ever. It was chock full of unknowns.

After 10 years as the owner of a marketing and creative design group, all of a sudden, new customers were not beating a path to my door as readily as before. Even long-time customers were scaling back on their marketing initiatives. I took a deep breath and began brushing up on my sales skills, reacquainting myself with some tried and true methods and attending a seminar or two to learn some specific tactics for selling in a down economy.

The marketing and advertising industry was in serious change mode well before the economy took its nosedive. The Internet had already changed everything. No longer were companies relying solely on traditional print and broadcast media to market their products and services. There was and continues to be a whole new set of skills necessary to compete as a marketing professional.

Several years ago, the unknowns of the online world began presenting themselves to me. Website design and email marketing were quickly becoming prerequisites for maintaining a viable business model. In true form, I jumped into those unknowns with both feet, learning as I went and happy to be doing so.

Much to my delight, even more unknowns showed up in 2009. The year has found me gaining fluency in search engine optimization, blogging and social media, especially Twitter. And, I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about design thinking to learn how better to help my business and my customers’ businesses grow in more innovative and human-centered ways. Books of particular note include Ideo’s Tim Brown’s “Change By Design” and “The Design of Business” by Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management.

Despite the unruly and disruptive nature of 2009, I was a bit sorry to see the year come to a close. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that 2010 will present even more unknowns to us all. The pace will quicken too.

Let the learning never end.

January 2, 2010 Posted by | creativity, design thinking, Marketing, Online Marketing, social media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Me? Use Twitter? 10 Reasons Why You Should

10 Good Reasons For Using Twitter
  1. To become a better listener
  2. To learn to say more with less
  3. To join in the conversation, globally
  4. To network, globally
  5. To allow your customers to get to know you
  6. To learn what others are saying about your company
  7. To attract new audiences
  8. To foster ideation
  9. To stay current
  10. To interact with society

Why and how do you use Twitter? I welcome your comments here or via Twitter. You’ll find me @cochrancreates.

November 13, 2009 Posted by | creativity, Marketing, Online Marketing, social media | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Is #1

Nope, that’s not a typo.

According to the Psychology Department at Yale University, “You” continues to be the #1 most powerful word in the English language. In today’s world of on-line communication, words are more important than ever. With Twitter, for instance, you are limited to a maximum of 140 characters per tweet. What you say is still important; how you say it and which words you choose continue to be even more important.

Keep your communications personal. Try to use “you” throughout each and every day. Use “you” when you send emails, tweets and thank you notes (remember those?). Use “you” in your blog posts, in your advertising copy and in lively discussion around the lunch table.

“You” is powerful. “You” is personal. “You” is still #1.

Let me know what you think and, for the record, here are the other nine bon mots according to the Yale study:

2. Results

3. Health

4. Guarantee

5. Discover

6. Love

7. Proven

8. Safety

9. Save

10. New

August 25, 2009 Posted by | Marketing, Online Marketing | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Web Is Still In Its Infancy

Don’t believe me?

Consider this: According to the Discover Small Business Watch, April 2009, 62% of businesses (that’s right, 62%) do not yet have websites. I found this statistic almost hard to believe, but, when I got over my initial disbelief, I looked at this in a positive light.

Probably, a good percentage of that 62% are companies that desire a web presence, but have just not been able to find the right partner to get them on-line. Lucky for them, it’s becoming easier and less expensive to establish an on-line presence and, in fact, if a company has been successful over the past ten years without being on-line, that surely speaks well of the company. And, for us marketing professionals, it also means there are still many good opportunities out there.

And, now consider this: 62% of Americans (there’s that number again: 62%!) with an internet connection at home, are still using dial-up. Many American families live in rural areas where high-speed lines have not yet been made available (hard to believe, I know!) and the high cost of service where it does exist prevents many Americans from enjoying it. So, for any business attempting to drive the average American consumer to their website, it is still critically important to keep your site easy to use, uncluttered and dare I say, basic.

The web is still in its infancy. Stay awake. There is much yet to learn.

July 21, 2009 Posted by | Online Marketing | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Keeping Your Page Content Updated and Fresh

Keeping your web page content updated and fresh is critical to attracting new customers. Doing so will also give former customers and formerly tentative shoppers a reason to return to your site and buy from you. New content entices the search engine spiders to scan your site and increases the odds that your site will appear in the rankings.

Depending on your on-line goals, investing in a content management system can be an effective use of marketing dollars. A content management system gives you the power to easily update all copy, graphics and other content within your site without any programming knowledge whatsoever.

A content management system, coupled with a strong SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plan, will allow you take an active role in driving more would-be customers to your website and choosing you over the competition.

May 11, 2009 Posted by | Online Marketing | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

This Is Not a Test?

Did you happen to notice the web link Thomas Friedman used in his column last Tuesday? He’s my favorite op-ed columnist at The New York Times, hands down.

Tuesday’s piece was entitled “This Is Not a Test. This Is Not a Test.” It centered around the fact that despite the dire economic straits we are in as a country, according to Friedman, “We seem to be playing politics as usual.” Friedman went on to lay out some viable options for coming up with a solid strategy for getting our country out of its current financial crisis. As important as Friedman’s words were and always are, what I particularly noticed is that he imbedded a link to a website within his column. Now, this is certainly nothing new. We often see web links within Times articles that help us clarify and learn more about the columns we’re reading.

But, this link was different. It linked to a site that had seemingly nothing to do with the content of his column last Tuesday. Friedman wrote, “A.I.G., Citigroup and General Motors … are not Dogfood.com.” The hyperlink was on Dogfood.com which led the reader to the website for Petsmart.

Pretty interesting, eh? Product placement at its best? I fell for it, partly out of curiosity, but also because I, like surely thousands of other New York Times readers, own a dog.

And, here’s the best part. Since I trust Thomas Friedman and literally hang on his every word, this was no less than a celebrity endorsement of Petsmart, as far as I’m concerned!

I wonder how much Petsmart paid for the placement. I also wonder what the hit rates were on the Petsmart site last Tuesday.

Contrary to the title of Friedman’s piece, I think it was a marketing test! I also think it was brilliant! What do you think? Are you seeing this technique being used out there?

(And, by the way, the reason I appreciate Friedman’s writing so much is that he never fails to make me stop and think.)

March 14, 2009 Posted by | Online Marketing | 3 Comments

Building Your Corporate Identity Online

Today, many start-ups are beginning the branding process online. Depending on the products or services being offered, this can be an efficient means of getting the word out quickly.

When looking for online branding assistance, the savvy business owner should choose a firm with proficiencies in branding both online and off. Website development firms are often unfamiliar with consumer branding and corporate image building. The choice of a well-rounded strategic marketing firm is often the better bet.

What are some of the key questions a new company should ask when seeking online branding assistance?

March 2, 2009 Posted by | Online Marketing | 1 Comment