Category Archives: Facebook

Where Do You Leave Your Fingerprints?

JBMG_5500aBy Jeff Bowman

Our fingerprints are a sure-fire way to identify us. We leave them everywhere, and we never give a second thought to it when we touch something. The same holds true with our businesses. We are leaving our finger prints on so many things that to trying to figure out all the places they could be is an impossible task.

Now, of course this may not worry you in the least, but it is beginning to worry me. As a strategist who works with businesses every day, and tries to find the most optimum way to gain market reach and exposure, or consolidate branding messages, I am responsible for leaving those fingerprints as well. If you haven’t yet figured it out, the fingerprint I am talking about is digital, the amount of data that is left on the internet, where today, any smart phone or tablet can access it. Like the “footprints” that were the buzzword only a few years ago, we are leaving these digital fingerprints any time we put any type of information anywhere on the web.

My fear is not that my fingerprint is using up valuable resources that will someday in the future affect the next generations, but that we are getting to a point of what I refer to as “Communication Smudge”. Just touch the screen on your device and the amount of information that we are bombarded with becomes a blur. Getting a message out becomes increasingly difficult. How do you market your product or service electronically and actually get seen? It often reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who. Our message is like the tiny world that sits atop a dust speck on the top of a clover that Horton the Elephant finds in a field.iStock_000005044123Small

Each minute the amount of “stuff” added to the web is simply astounding, and causes the “smudge”, one message just melts into the next. A recent article posted by Neil Spencer illustrates in dramatic style what gets pumped online every minute of every day, and the finger print remains eternally. Here are some highlights:

  1. Over 204,000,000 emails
  2. 48 hours of YouTube uploads
  3. 571 new websites go online
  4. 684,000 Facebook entries
  5. 100,000 tweets.

I didn’t even mention the number of blogs, “likes” and apps that are committed to internet pipelines each minute.

Where and how it will it end? I don’t know. Your digital fingerprints are helping to clog up the system. Perhaps we will reach a point where face to face interaction will once again be the norm and business intelligence won’t come from a touch screen. Pass the Windex!

 

 

 

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Filed under advertising, blogging, Communications, Facebook, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Media, social media

Word of mouth requires word of mouth

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

About a year ago I watched my 15-year-old grand-daughter text her girlfriend, who was sitting opposite on the couch. My wife thought it was a secret conversation that perhaps they didn’t want to share. But since then, some of my friends have shared similar experiences with today’s youth and I am concerned that they will lose the skill that will best elevate their careers, promote their businesses, advance their cause. Word of mouth.

Text MessagingWord of mouth is the cash cow of marketing. Yet, we seem to go to great lengths to avoid our customers. Are we afraid of what they might say? Do we lack confidence in our product or service offering?

Strange, perhaps, that social media is forcing us to acknowledge that being social is good for business. The tools are there to help build on that social interaction not create a barrier between you and your customer. And for businesses that get it, tools like Twitter and LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest provide a foundation on which to build a strong business relationship that ultimately means face time and that’s where business begins.

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Filed under advertising, Communications, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Pinterest, social media, Social Networking, Stephen Rhodes, twitter

I Think I’m Coming Down with a Viral Inflection eh!

By Jeff Bowman

I ran this last year and got such a reaction, I thought I would rerun again in 2011.

Like many of you, I had serious doubts about the ability of Facebook, YouTube and other social media tools to have a real impact on the way we market products and services to prospective clients.

Boy has my opinion changed.

Not only do these tools impact the way we market, but they have completely changed the way we communicate.

Today your product or service is open to real-time reviews and criticisms.  And, perhaps not surprisingly, a whole new age of product espionage has grown from the ability to sway the masses with a few simple words of negativism.

Ads are cleverly disguised as viral videos, and I would suggest it started years ago when Super Bowl ads, previously viewed by game fans only, were designed specifically for the Internet where millions more viewers could check them out.

Anyone can produce a video, post it online and encourage friends to pass it along. Some become hugely popular with hundreds of thousands of hits worldwide at little or no cost for the exposure.

I was sent a link to a “homemade Canadian Video” produced in two days by a couple of aspiring musicians. It is actually well done, and will certainly result in some degree of fame and notoriety for the singers.  I viewed it this morning, then when I tried to show someone else this afternoon, I could not get on.  When I was finally able to view it at another domain, there was a little note in the corner “Now available on iTunes” A weekend worth of work, some decent online exposure and now iTunes? Unreal.

Another site that does the viral video thing on a much grander scale is www.thefuntheory.com They have a series of very clever videos asking the question “how can you get people to change their behavior?’  The answer, of course, is to add an element of fun. It isn’t until the end of the video that you discover it is an ad for a well-known company. A wolf in sheep’s clothing? No, just a very creative and well planned advertising campaign, which has now hit millions of viewers at a fraction of the cost it would be for traditional media.

The viral age is here, here in a huge way, and I’m enjoying it.  What are some of the best viral videos you have seen?

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Filed under advertising, blogging, Branding, Communications, Facebook, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Media, Online marketing

What’s the Big Attraction?

By Jeff Bowman 

Let me get this straight. The Internet is responsible for changing the face of sales and marketing? Well, yes and no.  The Internet has certainly had a huge impact on the way consumers buy goods and services, as well as on the way companies need to market to match the consumer trends.

In saying this, I don’t want to give all the credit to the Internet.  The Internet is  just the latest mode of communication to take hold in the mass markets.

In the 1700’s you had the traders and merchants come to town with products like silk from the Orient, furs from Canada and foods the likes of which had not been seen.  Anywhere there was water, consumers had access.

The 1800’s brought the railroads, regular newspapers, The Pony Express and local General Stores, which had a huge impact on production and distribution of products to the consumer and how companies needed to communicate.

Wow, the 1900’s came and blew everyone’s socks off with mail order catalogues, automotive transportation and delivery, the telephone, radio and the advent of television. Now you could actually see a product demonstration and marketing and advertising hit the big time. The rate of change was so rapid people found it hard to keep up with the pace of technological innovation.  Heck we went from black and white televisions to colour televisions in a matter of a decade or so!  Then came the computer and with it eventually the  Internet in the tail end of the century.

The Internet has made the same type of impact that television did on mass marketing.  The trends to globalized communication grow stronger everyday now, and we are left wondering what the next big thing will be.  The change for companies has been dramatic in the last 20 years.

No longer do they mass market or target market, it’s all about “attraction marketing”. It’s all about educating consumers and attracting customers to you.  Building prospect lists, high visibility on the web, tracking buyer habits through electronic interaction.  Blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter.

There is a completely new strategy that needs to be employed, because your old marketing strategies will simply be extinct in a few years. Imagine using a mail order catalogue in the light speed world of technology today.

The question is, what steps are you taking to become better equipped, more competitive and be able to grow your business in the 5 years?

If you are unprepared, I would suggest professional help!

Resistance is futile!

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Communications, Facebook, Invention, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Media, Online marketing, Sales, social media, Strategic Planning

No one will pay for Twitter

By Stephen Rhodes

Millions of Americans use Twitter — but they won’t pay for it according to the annual study of the impact of the Internet on Americans by the Center for the Digital Future.

Some 49 percent of Internet users said they have used  Twitter, but when asked if they would be willing to pay for Twitter, zero percent said yes.

The report illustrates the struggle that media companies, who have been providing free content from the beginning, have in trying to transition to the Internet. Once free, it’s nearly impossible to get people to pay for it.

The study found that half of Internet users never click on Web advertising, and 70 percent said that Internet advertising is “annoying. ” However,  55 percent of users said they would rather see Web advertising than pay for content.

And more trouble for media companies, in particular newspapers. Newspapers rank below the Internet and television as primary sources of information. Only 56 percent of Internet users ranked newspapers as important or very important sources of information.

Now here’s the strange stuff. Sixty-one percent of users said that only half or less of online information is reliable — a new low level for the Digital Future Project.  And  14 percent of Internet users said that only a small portion or none of the information online is reliable.

So why? Convenience?  Delivery method?

Is it better to have information that is reliable half the time delivered to your Smart Phone as it happens rather than wait for the morning newspaper to be delivered? Is speed the determining factor?

Undoubtedly, that’s part of the equation. What do you think?

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