Archive for the ‘Marketing’ category is now operational again…

November 22, 2009

Construction on is now complete. Thank you for your patience and thank you for visiting us.


Bloggers Essentail to Brand Building

November 11, 2009


November 11, 2009

Gaining visibility as thought leaders

eMarketer estimates nearly 28 million US Internet users write a blog in 2009, and those bloggers run the gamut from hobbyists and part-timers to self-employed and corporate bloggers.

According to a Technorati survey of bloggers worldwide, most are men, ages 18 to 44, affluent and well-educated. About one-quarter work for a traditional media outlet in addition to blogging, and most still don’t make any money from their self-publishing activities. But there are other ways to create value.


Fully 70% of bloggers polled by Technorati said they talked about products or brands on their blog. The most common activity was to post about brands they loved—or hated—as well as to write reviews or post about experiences with stores or customer service.

Bloggers who post about products and services may get some attention from brands in the form of free items and other perks—enough to attract the notice of the US Federal Trade Commission, at least—but the visibility they gain through publishing their thoughts also helps them in less-tangible ways.

Nearly six in 10 of all the bloggers surveyed said they were better known in their industry because of their blog, and one-quarter had used their blog as a resume or sent it to potential employers.

Further, bloggers who post for a business reported even higher levels of success: 71% had increased visibility for their company, 63% had converted prospects into purchasers through their blog, and 56% have seen their blog bring their company recognition as a thought leader in the industry.

Negative personal consequences, such as losing focus on work or getting in trouble on the job, were far less common than gaining visibility or even changing professions entirely based on blogging activity.

Printed with permission of

Younger Women Move to Social Media

November 11, 2009
Beautiful woman smiling as she is wine tasting on a summer day.November 11, 2009
Social Influence on Gen Y Trendsetter

Generation Y females have refined the idea of “peer group” to encompass online friends, bloggers and anonymous reviewers, according to the “Why Y Women?” report from PopSugar and Radar Research.

Looking to this expansive group of peers, rather than experts or celebrities, Gen Y women are particularly influenced by social media.

Beautiful woman smiling as she is wine tasting on a summer day.

Women Move to Social Media

Younger women are nearly twice as likely as their Gen X counterparts to say they had discovered a new brand or product when a friend mentioned it in an online status update. They are also significantly more influenced by blogs, by both professionals and especially by “someone like me.”

Telling friends in person or on the phone is still by far the most common way for Gen Y women to spread the word about products or brands they love. But they post about products and brands on social networking sites or online forums nearly twice as much as older women. Gen X women, on the other hand, are more likely than younger females to share information via e-mail.

Further, with even two-thirds of Gen X women considering their younger counterparts trendsetters, according to the survey, the potential pop culture influence of social marketing is multiplied.

Mr Youth, which has studied “millennial moms”—mothers around the same age as PopSugar’s Gen Y women—has also found the peer group an important influencer.

“With moms it is even a stronger source, as moms have always found it important to ask other moms before making important decisions that affect their families and kids,” Brandon Evans, managing partner and chief strategy officer at Mr Youth, told Media Life magazine. “With social media, it became much easier for them to seek out advice on a variety of topics from a wider net of people, so it quickly gained in influence.”

Printed from emarketer newsletter with permission of

Why You Need the Internet to Promote Brand You

October 27, 2009

In 1999, business management guru Tom Peters in his book ‘The Brand You 50’, said that the job security of individuals was beginning to revert back to the way it was hundreds of years ago. In this period, shortly after America was founded, job security was based on three core elements:

Networking Skills

Craft meant that you had a skill that was marketable. To have distinction meant that what you did was memorable. To have networking skills relied on ‘word of mouth collegial support’.

What Tom Peters argued was that we live in an age now where personal branding and networking is everything, even for those working for someone else’s payroll. It is these core elements that are now important once more for job security, where so called white collar jobs (knowledge workers) are expected to almost entirely fizzle out (at least in the recognized ‘western world’) as Peters claimed in the late 90s ‘in around 10 years from now’.

The age of ‘Brand You’ was already in motion when Peters spoke about it back then, and has never been more evident than it is today.

This reconfiguration of the way people are doing work coupled with the economic downturn, means that more and more people are becoming independent and freelance workers. Inevitably, many of these freelancers are using the Internet to get work (as are more prospects looking for workers and creatives). The influx of cheaper freelance labour from places like India, means that more choice, at lower costs are available to clients on the web.

Because of all this, freelancers, and particularly creative freelancers, need to create and promote a personal brand more than they ever have in the past if they are to succeed in the long-term. It is possible to succeed as a freelancer and overcome these obstacles. It doesn’t need to be frightening or complicated. It simply requires a strategy.

It requires that you can demonstrate you have a niche skill that is marketable, that you stand out as best as you can and that you build up a solid and relevant network of friends, fans, clients, colleagues and people that share your interests.

The single most effective way of building and marketing your personal brand in this way is through the Internet. The Internet is not only hugely powerful in terms of gaining exposure for your work, and I will be writing much more on this as the blog progresses, and will demonstrate that you are ‘with it’ and up to date (what clients are looking for), but it is now almost a necessity to get online as a freelancer, with so many others doing the same.

If your competition is online, you’ve got to join them to succeed!

Alex Mathers
Writer, Marketing enthusiast, Illustrator, Designer
Red Lemon Club Marketing

Article Source:

FTC Toughens Ad Rules

October 9, 2009

Advertisers, celebrities and online bloggers in the US will now be considered liable for any false claims they make while promoting products and services, new guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission state.

In its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, the FTC laid out a number of updated rules governing both online and offline ads, amending some procedures that had not been modified for almost three decades.

Executions featuring consumer testimonials must now explicitly state the average outcome customers can expect when using a product, rather than focusing on the results that are the most impressive, but are also atypical, and then adding disclaimers.

Bloggers will be required to disclose any links they have with brand owners, who often provide web users with financial or other forms of reward to review or comment on their goods.

Similarly, these online authors will be held liable if any such statements are misleading, and they are then found to be connected in some way with manufacturers.

Celebrities will be subject to similar provisions regarding the disclosure of their relationships with companies when appearing outside of traditional forms of advertising, such as on social media platforms or when on talk shows.

These high-profile spokespeople may also be held responsible for erroneous comments they make about goods they are officially endorsing.

Printed with permission of World Advertising Research Center

Just How Different Are You?

October 6, 2009
By Cidnee Stephen
Just How Different Are You
The other night, I was out at my favorite Sushi restaurant. We go there quite regularly because both my son and I are in love with their rolls, especially their Signature Dynamite Roll.

Being the marketer I am, I couldn’t help but notice as the little boats floated around with various dishes, that others must share our passion. The boats were full of our favorite rolls.

Yet oddly enough, the sign outside, promoted their excellent service. Now don’t get me wrong, their service is second to none! But the problem with boasting quality and service is that these are EXPECTATIONS, not DIFFERENTIATIONS.

It is VITAL as a small business you find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.  If you don’t, you quickly become a bit of a commodity, which allows your customer to go to price.  

Let me explain.  Awhile back I was shopping around looking for a housekeeping service.  So I began listing the attributes important to me in such a service and out came the boxes.  In the first box or column was whether the cleaners were bonded, secondly I wanted to know how many were in a team, thirdly was how long they thought it would take and then finally came the price.  As I called around I began getting very similar answers to the first three questions so began comparing to price.

About my fifth call, something very unique happened.  As I was rattling off my criteria, the representative asked if she first explain their process before she answered my questions.  Of course, I was intrigued.  She began outlining EXACTLY what their cleaners do EVERYTIME they visit a home.  She started wooing me with dusting my doorframes, and perimeter cleaning all the rooms.  As she carried on I fell in love and price was NO LONGER an issue.

What she had done so effectively was pull me “out of my boxes” and began outlining what they saw themselves as their key difference.  

So how do you effectively pull your prospects out of the box? In other words, how do you define what makes you TRULY different.  Having done many surveys for my clients asking their customers this very pointed questions, I can tell you this. 9 times out of 10 it is in the little things.  

Ask Your Clients
No one can articulate your strengths better than your clients. So ask them (about 5 – 10 of your ideal clients).  Ask them why they chose you in the first place. Ask them why they continue to do business with you. Ask them how they would explain why you’re great to others. Ask them outright; what they think makes you unique in the marketplace.  The scariest thing we can do is assume we know what makes us special.

Identify Industry Frustrations
Here’s an eye-opener and a very humbling experience. Ask people (and your clients) what frustrates them about people in your industry. If they remain incredibly polite, then take yourself out of the equation and ask them what frustrates them about your competitors. If you are great at probing and uncovering the root of an issue, you will find ways to turn this frustration into a strong differentiation.

A lawyer for a large company here in Calgary asked his clients why they enjoyed doing business with him. He heard over and over again, that they felt he kept them in the loop.

Interestingly enough, one of the major frustrations this client had with other lawyers in general, is this feeling that they were keeping them a bit in the dark. Now this may have come out in various ways like, “I don’t trust them,” or “their service is poor.” It takes further questioning and probing to uncover the root of the distrust and poor service to realize it’s a communication issue. This lawyer had identified a “little thing” that made him VERY different in the eyes of his potential clients.

Survey Your Competitors
Finally, shop around with your competitors.  Pretend you are your ideal client and that you are looking for their product or service.   Ask them some typical questions that your clients would have in their “boxes” and then just before you finish, ask them these questions:

    Why should I choose your company over a competitor?
    What is your company’s unique strength in the marketplace?

Here is the good news.  You will find most of your customers DON’T differentiate themselves!  So go forth and discover what makes you TRULY different. It is one of the least expensive ways to gain an edge on your competitors and strengthen your position in the marketplace.

Printed with permission of Cidnee Stephen of Strategies for Success

Ageing Consumers Key to the Future

September 26, 2009

LONDON: An ageing population and an increasingly inter-connected world are two of the main factors companies will have to consider when making their long-term plans, according to the speakers at an event looking at the key developments which will shape societies over the next few decades.

Hosted by Intelligence Squared, the event – covered in more detail here – featured speakers from the James Martin 21st Century School, a “unique collaborative research effort with the goal of formulating new concepts, policies and technologies that will make the future a better place to be”. 

Dr Ian Goldin, the school’s director, said we are now living in what could be a “golden age” of possibility, although while there is much “potential”, the choices that are made every day will shape what life will look like in 2050.

More specifically, he suggested the internet is an example of the inter-connected nature of the modern world, but the movement towards true globalisation could also have negative consequences, such as an increase in the number of pandemics.

Professor Sarah Harper predicted that the advances in medical science could lead to an average life expectancy of over 120 years old in many countries in 40 years time.

Indeed, Japan already has over 40,000 people over 100 years of age, and this development, combined with falling birth rates, will have profound implications for brands, governments, and societies.

From a purely commercial perspective, it was argued the ageing population is badly served by manufacturers at present, and this must change when almost a third of the population is made up of consumers over the age of 50.

The dangers of climate change also mean there will be a need for new green technology to transform the automotive and energy sectors, and this is an area which will receive a heightened emphasis in both the short and long term.

Printed with permission of World Advertising Research Centere. Data sourced from WARC Sept. 24, 2009