Archive for December, 2011

7 Apps That Rocked My Work

Posted by Jason Harty on December 30th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

The end of the year brings so many joys. Holiday party hangovers, soon-to-be-broken New Year's resolutions and my favorite... top 10 lists.
Reluctantly, I've drafted a list of my own (top 7 lists are the new black). I split my time creating content for Pretzel Crisps, consuming content to stay current, supporting the marketing side of the brand and heading an industry-leading marketing staff. Each of these 'apps' rocked one or more of those areas.
Here's a quick disclaimer on this list: The moniker 'app' is used loosely here as a catch all, so don't give me any grief.
7 apps that rocked my world work in 2011.
7.) Editor by Pixlr. I want to be a Mac guy, but I'm not. I want to use Photoshop well, but I can't. Editor by Pixlr is an easy browser-based photo editing tool. It's easy to pick up and has more functionality that I have yet to learn. If MS Paint ain't cutting it and Photoshop is over your head, give Editor by Pixlr a look. Best use: Resizing photos to specific pixel dimensions.
6.) Dropbox.Dropbox is a great tool to set up shared folders for easy file transfers and document collaboration. I love their... Read more

Why marketers who engage external experts gain more from testing and optimization programs

Posted by Mark Simpson on December 30th, 2011 at 10:02 am

Well, another year has come to a close. And in terms of the technology and marketing world it’s been a big one: we’ve seen mobile and tablet shopping take a huge jump, mourned the loss of Steve Jobs, embraced another new Google invention: Google+, made way for QR codes in many marketing and merchandising assets, and the list goes on.

From my seat, I’ve also seen more and more marketers embrace A/B and multivariate testing as a must-have in their ecommerce tool kit (Yay!). With DIY tools like Google Website Optimizer, almost anyone who has time, a little patience and bit of knowledge, can start to test various customer experiences on their website. Website Magazine even released a comprehensive list of tools and vendors who provide such services.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said such website "optimization" is growing as Web retailers try and emulate the likes of Inc., which does "a/b" testing to compare which website layout works better. Earlier this year, Amazon tested a new home page that is less cluttered than its old one, with fewer buttons, more white space and a bigger search box; the page also emphasized digital goods over physical... Read more

Agency and Client Relationships: Fees and Services

Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. on December 30th, 2011 at 9:08 am

I previously wrote an article about the relationship between agencies and clients. In it, I gave six rules for building better agency/client relationships. It was well received by many in the industry and syndicated to a number of industry blogs; many of you asked for more. One very important subject that goes hand-in-hand with this topic is that of agency fees and services. This is a huge pain point for agencies and clients alike. So in what follows, I am going to cut to the chase and flat out tell you how you should run a fiscally responsible agency and how you, as a client, should view fees and services as part of the Statement of Work for which you hire an agency. These three topline lessons will be simple and to the point.
In general, agencies are under tremendous stress to lower fees and provide value-added services. I know this because a) I own an agency, and b) every industry peer I know speaks of this often. Recently at the iMedia Agency Aspen Summit, many agency leaders – from every major holding company to large independents and newer start-up shops – all grieved at the “well, we have to give away our... Read more

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for Mobile Marketers

Posted by Glenn Pingul on December 30th, 2011 at 7:48 am

As we ring in the New Year with overflowing glasses of champagne, the countdown to midnight, and crowds of family and friends, it’s time for the annual tradition…making resolutions.
So without further ado, I bring you a countdown of the top 10 resolutions for mobile marketers.
10. “Get out of debt”
We’ve all seen the predictions for increased mobile marketing spend (now projected to grow by more than 30% by 2016) but what’s the return?   The newness factor is wearing off and companies are expecting it to ‘work.’  As marketers divert more funds to mobile, the pressure is on to prove its value and realize a strong return on investment relative to other channels.
9. “Help others”
The mobile phone has become a key part of our day to day lives and mobile marketers realize the value they can add when the right message is delivered at the right time and place.  The key is knowing your customers – and their needs – and then delivering what offers real value at the time it really matters.  And let’s remember, it’s not always about an up-sell or cross-sell.  It may be as simple as an educational message, alert, informational message, tip or trick.

8.... Read more

Ethical seeding: how to avoid accusations of astroturfing while generating buzz

Posted by Tamara Littleton on December 29th, 2011 at 9:56 am

There have been some truly atrocious examples of brands astroturfing: paying people or even using software to flood internet forums and social media with positive comments. Sadly, the practice continues, particularly in emerging markets. Seeding interest in a campaign should never involve using false identities to post. A good seeding campaign is transparent, and builds communities through genuine advocacy. So how do you avoid astroturfing, and seed a campaign ethically?
First, let’s look at some of the collateral damage that comes from astroturfing. Econsultancy recently reported that TripAdvisor had to lose the tagline ‘reviews you can trust’ because there is no way to be certain that the reviews are all from genuine guests rather than competitors trying to sabotage their rivals reputation online. However tempting it may be, it’s never a good idea to undermine competitors (from travel and book reviews to posting negative comments about rival products on blogs) nor to create a fake positive review blitz. Some have been known to pay third parties to write rave reviews, or in one case, have their PR agency post glowing reviews on iTunes.
Ethical seeding
But if you create an online campaign, or a new product, you want people to know about... Read more