Facebook advertising - get in the game! | 31 August 2010

Facebook started in February 2004 and has developed into one of the most heavily trafficked sites on the web. Recently, Facebook exceeded 500 million registered users. To monetize the traffic it had on its site, Facebook built a relatively simple self-service ad-serving platform that helps even technically challenged advertisers set up ad campaigns on Facebook. So why isn't everybody jumping on the Facebook advertising bandwagon? The first problem with advertising on Facebook is the... Full Story

Thank you, Houston | 29 August 2010

I define my life in two phases: pre-Katrina and post-Katrina. I was born and raised in New Orleans. My family history there stretches back centuries and I will always be a proud New Orleanian, but for the past five years, I have had the privilege to call Houston home. I am a fairly practical human being but there is simply no way to explain to people who have not experienced it what is like to be a part of a diaspora. You don't make a conscious decision but suddenly find yourself... Full Story

3 reasons your brand doesn't have more Facebook fans | 27 August 2010

3 reasons your brand doesn't have more Facebook fans Good article and it made me want to praise one of my clients. Noel Furniture recently began focusing on their Facebook presence (after much begging by me as their marketing strategist). 1.  They are putting up good content on designs, seasonal trends, and every now and then stories about interesting furniture manufacturers with unique items. 2. New website design - We met to discuss their new design and they get Social need... Full Story

08.24.10 AMA Nonprofit SIG Event PPT | 26 August 2010

Click to View, or Right Click to Save As and Download:  08.24.10 AMA Enjoy. Let me know if you have any problems downloading. Michelle Full Story

Heights Walmart - from a marketing point of view | 25 August 2010

First off, I am not pro-Walmart nor am I anti-Walmart. As an observer of human behavior for marketing reasons, I am captivated by the contrasts that we display when it comes to deciding what is good and what is not. When we measure the size of our city, big is a good thing. When we count companies, Houston boasts of our number of Fortune 500 companies with a home base in Houston. We count theater seats and boast. And let's not forget big hair. Big is good in so many ways. Then I watch... Full Story

You live, you learn | 25 August 2010

I co-hosted an American Marketing Association Special Interest Group event yesterday entitled "Guide to marketing your nonprofit online."  And here is what I learned (or was reminded of): 1. Keep Teams Small and Focused: Even with everyone on a team having excellent intentions, it takes more work to coordinate a larger group of people. Many thanks to my co-chairs. 2. Review speaker presentations in advance: Speakers will surprise you by going off-topic, way off-topic. Pre-review... Full Story

Ubiquitous icons | 23 August 2010

Quick - what do each of these icons mean? How does it happen so quickly?  We see icons and we know exactly what they mean. It is really the ultimate in branding for companies to make these tiny groups of pixels into something meaningful for so many people. Little bitty pixels tell our brains so much. In the bricks and mortar world, it took giant arches or monument signs to point us in the right direction, online it takes mere KBs of color in tiny pixel format to convey it. The... Full Story

700,000 GroupOns in one day! | 20 August 2010

Groupon Launches National Deal With Gap, Selling 10 Groupons A Second. $17.5 Mn sold in ONE day online through this program. I advocate regularly for GroupOn, LivingSocial and their online e-mail brethren to clients in retail and this substantiates my view. People want a deal. If they sign up for an e-mail program and you consistently deliver what you promise, they will stay engaged and become loyal consumers. Love this! Full Story

Good Question but here's a Better Question | 19 August 2010

I read a blog about PR firms this morning and it resonated with me for the overall message but I am not a PR firm and neither are my clients. With all due respect and credit to the original author and his blog, I am paraphrasing his questions (and deleted a few) for the purposes of "Good Question but here's a Better Question". Good question: What's the hot new trend in social media that we can use? Better question: How can we optimize and improve our existing social media programs? Good... Full Story

I am anti-PowerPoint ... but pro-presentation | 19 August 2010

I frequently make the statement that "I am anti-PowerPoint", and this article from Forbes.com is  great support of that. The best speakers connect with their audience. From the article, "The best speeches include a clear, relevant message and a few great stories to illustrate it." I say the same thing about business presentations, people connect with people not PowerPoint slides. PPT should be a tool to support your story line - it should not be your story line. Where this article... Full Story

5-step Process for Business Transformation and Organizational Stability | 17 August 2010

Blogging Innovation 5-step Process for Business Transformation and Organizational Stability. Just great and simple advice. Full Story

Professional growth through travel | 16 August 2010

I love to travel and tell stories about the places I visit.  And I learn so much through the people I meet. Today's post is from Seattle. Upon arrival last evening, I eschewed Pike's Place Market which was crazily swarming with tourists for a local bar tour. As with any travel enterprise, what you plan and what happens can be different, not much different than marketing planning really. So, I met a guy ...  no, not like that. I met a great bartender at The Alibi who is planning a... Full Story

Facebook Ad Sales to Hit $1.2 Billion This Year | 13 August 2010

EMarketer: Facebook Ad Sales to Hit $1.2 Billion This Year - Advertising Age - Digital. [caption id="attachment_83" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Facebook Ad Spending 2010"][/caption] "Interestingly, Facebook's fastest growing area comes from its self-serve ad platform, which launched in August 2007." Michelle's two cents on this:  Having used Facebook advertising for clients over the past few years, I can attest to the ease of use of the platform and to the... Full Story

Portland, Oregon ... musings on consumer behavior | 12 August 2010

It is interesting to travel to another place and see how much variety there is within the United States. Living in Houston, you would think that the majority of American women were walking around in fabulous heels. Portland is the land of sensible shoes for women. So much talk in marketing circles about the need for targeting, travel when done with an open eye to the differences is good for your marketing brain. Full Story

Can't beat the heat in Houston ... | 11 August 2010

Greg Norman says today may be hottest of the month in Houston so what to do?   Get out of town!  My choice for the heat escape is Portland and Seattle. In Portland, I will tour Nonbox Portland and see old friend Steve Karakas.  In Seattle, I will be visiting GreenRubino and having cocktails with John Rubino.  Why the agency tours?  Both of these agencies have a great roster of clients and I think it is good to learn what they are doing well in their markets.... Full Story

Video Production: "How I Saved My Company" Video Competition | 10 August 2010

"How I Saved My Company" Video Competition What a great contest idea from NYTimes. Full Story

7 Ways We Remember Anything | 10 August 2010

UH SBDC recently hosted an event to thank its trainers and educators.  Bob Pike of the Bob Pike Group spoke on "Creative Training Techniques". Bob's presentation had a lot of good quality information in it and I learned some great techniques simply from observing Bob. (My favorite being "clap if you can hear me" versus asking the question "can you hear me" but that is another blog.) Bob spoke about training and one section was titled "7 Ways We Remember Anything" which I summarize... Full Story

Top 10 Consumer Brands for Social Media? | 09 August 2010

Starbucks came in #1 among consumer brands by having 7.4 million Facebook fans, 901,925 Twitter followers and 6,509 YouTube subscribers.  via Starbucks: Social Media Superstar. Is monitoring the number of Fans or Twitter followers how they should judge success? I have recently been arguing that monitoring Clicks, Views, and Fans may not be relevant to your actual business objectives. The business objective and conversion to that objective is how to measure success. How do you judge... Full Story

How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking - Harvard Business Review | 07 August 2010

How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking - Peter Bregman - Harvard Business Review. This was an interesting read. I like to be reminded that you need focus when so many stimuli are coming at you at any particular time. Full Story

Your company website is your top priority. | 06 August 2010

You don't need a flashy web presence, practical is in, but you do need a web presence that is current and relevant to your customers' needs. If you are a small business owner you should be prepared in 2010 to show personality in your business by using your website and multi media tools to tell your story to your customers and prospects.  If you are a larger company and have not updated your site in more than three years, you need to put a review and redesign in your budget plans. Some... Full Story

The end is not quite here for traditional media, especially in B2B lead generation. | 05 August 2010

Yes, social media and mobile apps are here to stay, but other channels have not closed yet. Radio did not eliminate newspapers, radio was not replaced by the television. What should you be considering for lead generation? Email: Many B2B marketers are still seeing high returns on marketing efforts with effective email techniques. Customer lists provide a tremendous opportunity for selling additional solutions and services or upgrades. "House" list contacts continue to represent the best... Full Story

Consumer Spending: The Cost-Cutting Disconnect - AdAgeStat - Advertising Age | 05 August 2010

Consumer Spending: The Cost-Cutting Disconnect - AdAgeStat.   What an interesting thought. Full Story

Five Tools To Manage Social Media For The Franchise | 04 August 2010

Five Tools To Manage Social Media For The Franchise. I am consistently amazed at the number of new tools constantly coming out.  You could have a full-time job simply testing the tools. Full Story

Targeting Customers Online — It's sort of like dating. | 03 August 2010

Guess what? Targeting customers online isn't completely scientific; it's a blend of science and art. You need databases, multi-layered data sources, and analytic tools. But you also need the experience and insight to determine if your brand message has hit the target at the right place and the right time.  Just like flirting, it's experiential and unmistakable.  And when it's right, you just know. Here are some other ways online marketing is like dating: Target audiences, not... Full Story

Blue Sky Marketing launched today | 03 August 2010

My new website launched today and it made me feel "real".  In today's digital age, your web presence defines you. If you don't exist digitally, it feels like you don't exist at all. It is an interesting phenomenon to go from ephemeral to digital. Full Story

A primer for marketers who are scared of analytics ... by Jason Steele | 03 August 2010

I found this article to reinforce some concepts that I agree with quite strongly. Worth a read .... Web analytics is the cornerstone of any brand's digital presence. Without it, you can't possibly know whether your online marketing activity is hitting the right people. Its use dates back to the internet boom of the mid-1990s, and as more companies established an online presence to reach customers and sell product, the need for robust data to optimize the online channel grew. Fast... Full Story

The New Abnormal - BusinessWeek | 02 August 2010

The New Abnormal - BusinessWeek. Simply not sure what this says about American consumers. Are we simply a bunch of narcissistic spoiled brats who can't delay gratification?  I don't think so. Or is it simply the omnipresent messages that convince us that it is OK, we deserve all these things when we want them. Not really an opinion here so much as a question. Full Story

I "think" these two stories are related ... | 02 August 2010

How will Google grow when search flattens? (CNNMoney.com/Fortune) Report: Google plans social-networking push (The Wall Street Journal) Full Story

I am glad my parents made me work when I was young. | 01 August 2010

Why former burger-flippers make great bosses: McDonald's USA chief Jan Fields started out in life as a burger-flipper earning $2.65 an hour -- and she says that helped make her the woman she is today. Just as Warren Buffett started out as a paper boy and Steve Jobs started out as an intern, Fields says that her first job helped teach her basic business lessons that have served her well as she climbed the ladder. "What you enter as is probably not what you ultimately achieve, so learn the... Full Story

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