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DocuSource Visual Communications / Tampa Bay Lightning Partnership: News Release

August 30, 2010 Leave a comment

For Immediate Release: August 31, 2010
Media Contacts: Ben Delanoy

DocuSource Visual Communications of Tampa, FL. and the Tampa Bay Lightning today announced a new partnership for the 2010-2011 season.  The Lightning named DocuSource Visual Communications as their Preferred Print and Signage Partner, and the two organizations will kick off a season-long promotional campaign.  The agreement, effective immediately, creates a partnership between two organizations for visual communications that shares a vision to extend their reach throughout the Tampa Bay region.

“We feel that the partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning creates a great synergy with DocuSource” stated DocuSource owner Travis Masters, “The Lightning, their partners, and their community initiatives strongly mirror what DocuSource represents as a company.”

Throughout the season, DocuSource Visual Communications will feature the opportunity to win unique Lightning prizes and experiences, both in-store and online, to interact with fans for game day, both home and away.  The partnership includes DocuSource’s active participation and presence at hockey games and DocuSource will be featured through multiple media channels, to include internet as well as other advertising and event assets, including the St. Pete Time Forum.

About DocuSource Visual Communications

DocuSource, founded in 1988, has built strong roots in the visual communications industry. DocuSource is a one stop solution for the visual communications companies need to get noticed in a busy world. Utilizing the latest technology, DocuSource offers a wide variety of valuable products and services to meet your business and professional needs. For more information,  visit www.DocuSourceVisualCommunications.com.  

About Tampa Bay Lightning

Entering their 18th year of existence, the Lightning have reached the NHL playoffs five times with one Stanley Cup Championship. Under new GM Steve Yzerman and head coach Guy Boucher, the Lightning are embarking on another run to the Cup during the 2010-11 season. For more information, visit www.TampaBayLightning.com.

Categories: Marketing, Sports

How Much Should Brands Budget for Social Media?

August 30, 2010 Leave a comment

What percentage of a B2C or B2B brand’s budget should be spent in strategies and tactics that we would label “social media-related?” Within that percentage, how should the money really be applied with the big amorphous box we all call social media? Big questions. I find it hard to generalize while at the same time am driven to try and do just that. I want to establish some benchmarks based upon all of the brand work I have seen or touched in my job. Clearly what is right for a Unilever may be very different than what is right for a Siemens. Selling cars (Ford) is dramatically different than mobile phones (LG). Running your business in North America may be very different than China.

All these differences aside. I do see a common trajectory of ‘spend’ at least as applied to B2C and separately to B2B. That path has more to do with increased experience in social media tactics, the adoption of, what I will call, a social media business mindset and the integration path for social media going forward.

Experience in social media tactics – For simplicity’s sake, lets look at what most marketers go through (including this one). Here are three stages of adoption:

  • Social Media Experiments – usually the first year or two of unconnected social media programs involving bloggers, video content distribution, cgm/ugc contests and other tactics.
  • Adoption and Integration – in the following years, the value or success of social media is felt within and there is a push to do more and integrate it with more people and disciplines.
  • Go ‘Big’ – after some experience and success following integration, brands can’t help but want to “go big” either with a substantial facebook campaign or a more impactful integration (e.g. committing to 20 people in social customer care via Twitter and Live chat). usually these brands have sketched out a measurement model that reassures them the effort is smart business.

Social media business mindset – Is using social media an obligation due to outside pressures (your CEO, board, competitors all told you to do it in one way or another)? Or do you see a way – perhaps murky now – but a way that all of the implied qualities of social media may actually change your business? I see plenty of CMOs and CCOs who fit into both camps. So, the choice is between social media as obligation or social media as quest.

In many cases, brands will likely embrace the most valuable output of social media – advocacy (or word of mouth) and engagement – as ‘must haves’ for every program and brand. Key activities will continue to be labeled social media while more and more social elements will get baked into PR, user experience, digital marketing and more. In this way social budgets will be dispersed in the organization.

Rilla Delorier, CMO of Suntrust Bank, mentioned via AdAge:

“The great thing is less than 5% of my total spend is in social media. We’ve reached over a million customers this year through that mechanism. It’s a very efficient way to get feedback on what’s working and what’s not.”

She said this in context of a program called Live Solid. This features a microsite with embedded YouTube videos, a Facebook page and a Twitter handle amongst may other online tactics (SEO? SEM? Display? CRM?) and likely some related offline programs as well.

I don’t have an inside view of Suntrust’s experience. As a customer, this is the first remotely social program I have experienced. I figure that they are in the Experiments/Quest or Adoption/Obligation quadrant. What I can’t tell from her quote is whether Rilla is a believer on a quest or proud of the fact that she only spent >5% to be able to check the “social” box.

Categories: Marketing

Google Buys Angstro to Fight Facebook

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Google’s social networking shopping spree continued with the purchase of two-man startup Angstro August 26, the company confirmed.

Angstro makes technology that helps “unlock the power of your social graph,” which is industry parlance for adding social content such as Facebook photos, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter tweets and other social services to other Web services.

Angstro was founded and run by Rohit Kohare and Salim Ismail. Kohare announced his move to Google along with Ismail in a brief blog post.

Google declined to discuss what roles Kohare and Ismail will assume at the company or whether or not their products will live on.

However, Kohare in his blog post alluded to the looming fight between Google, which is racking up social networking components and leading social network Facebook.

“While our work here may be done, the struggle for open, interoperable social networks is still only just beginning, and I’m looking forward to working on that in my new role at Google,” Kohare wrote. 

Struggle is the operative word. Facebook has more than 500 million users and is proven as much a utility as a social tool for connecting people with family, friends, colleagues and brands as Google has proven to be a utility for search.

However, where Facebook is largely protective of what content leaves its network, Kohare and Ismail are dedicated to making social content accessible anywhere. Kohare penned a blog post about this very issue for TechCrunch in May.

Angstro’s Knxt.to pairs social network profile content with voice calls on Ribbit for Mobile, enriching the VOIP app’s caller ID technology. Knxt.to provides a similar service for MySpace, aggregating profile info from other Websites.

Another Angstro service called Noteworthy News crawls the Web pipes news about a user’s friends from Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn to their computer.

That Google has purchased an open integrator of social services — and hired open advocates such as Joseph Smarr and Chris Messina — underscores its strategy.

Angstro is just another ingredient in the social network called Google Me, which the company is moving at high speed to launch.

In the last few months, Google has been stockpiling companies, technologies and top industry talent to wage a not-so-secret war against Facebook, whose functionality and developer platform are robust.

Google invested $100 million in Zynga and partnered with the company for social games; and acquired Slide for $228 million.

Source: eWeek

Categories: Marketing

Google launches search page for real-time Social Media posts

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Google on Thursday further embraced the world of tweets, status updates, and on-the-fly posts with a website devoted to finding “real-time” content as it hits the Internet.

A search engine being rolled out in 40 countries at google.com/realtime builds on features that the Internet powerhouse has been adding incrementally to its online query service.

“Real time content is often one of the best sources of information about what is happening right now,” Google product manager Dylan Casey told AFP while introducing the new real-time search home page.

“We are giving people more tools to drill down into these results.”

In the same manner that Google has search pages devoted to pictures or videos, the new one is tailored to comments, images or other public content fired off at online social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace.

“With the advent of these platforms it is easier for people to publish content, and there is more content on the Web,” Casey said.

“These tools make it easy for people to get fast access to that. Whether it is a movie that just opened or you see helicopters flying over, this shows what people are saying about that right now.”

Google began meshing real-time content with its main search engine results in December and will continue to do so.

The real-time home page adds features including being able to search based on location and being able to get “alerts” when anyone blogs, tweets, or otherwise comments online about selected topics, brands, or names.

“Over time, I think users will want to go directly to real-time search as opposed to standard search,” Casey said. “We are going to balance those two very carefully.”

Google real-time search features include being able to follow public conversations in online forums and being able to “playback” exchanges dating back to nearly the start of the year.

Google is working with Twitter to make its entire public archive available in a way that remains in synch with people deleting tweets or changing privacy settings on accounts at the microblogging service, according to Casey.

Categories: Marketing

Facebook Places Makes Marketing Relevant

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Facebook Places is still new to the location-based check-in game and is missing some key elements to really compete head on with rival services. As it matures, though, Facebook Places will be a powerful tool for businesses to engage the vast Facebook social network, and identify what really matters to customers.

Companies can take advantage of the popularity of Facebook, and the new information shared via Facebook Places to tailor products and services, and market more effectively. Customers don’t really care about specs and features. Effective marketing is built around determining what customers want and tailoring the marketing message to target what is relevant to them.

Troy McAlpin, CEO of xMatters, explains “What matters to people is highly dependent on where they are and what they are doing, right now. Facebook Places incorporates the concept of location to help define what matters now to each of their users. Understanding where someone is at a moment in time may inspire a friend or colleague to connect with me for a cup of coffee or talk about a new business opportunity. ”

McAlpin also describes how productivity can benefit from relevant location-based information. “In the enterprise world being able to connect with employees, when it matters to them and when they are near helps enterprise reduce employee frustration by only making requests or distributing work at the right times.”

The trick is figuring out what is relevant to customers, and that is where social networking and Facebook Places comes in. Many companies are already working with location-based services such as Foursquare to meet these needs.

One of the key advantages that Facebook Places has over competing services like Foursquare and Yelp is that it already has a social network of over half a billion users. Facebook members are already invested in the social network relationships they have established, and they are much more likely to engage in sharing location-based check-in details with their existing social network than to install a separate service and build a separate social network from scratch.

Combining the concept of relevance–or what matters in the moment to the customer–with location-based data opens up opportunities for companies to connect with customers when that connection is wanted, or at least pertinent. Delivering offers or specials targeted based on where a customer is and what that customer is doing at the time creates a win-win situation for the customer and the business.

McAlpin sums up “This concept opens up a brave new world,” adding “as long as the consumer gets to decide what matters to them, and when it matters to them”–hinting at the need for effective security controls and a respect for user privacy.

Source: PC World

Categories: Marketing

Measuring Social Media Marketing

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

If you have an online dropshipping business or other ecommerce endeavor, you are probably (hopefully) using social media marketing to build your brand and promote your internet business.

Although measuring the ROI, or Return On Investment, of social media marketing isn’t as cut and dried as other types of marketing strategies, it is still possible to get a pretty accurate idea of how your efforts in this direction are paying off for you.

Here are some tips to help you measure your success in social media marketing in 3 easy steps:

1. First, identify your objectives. This simply means that you should have a clear idea of exactly what you hope to accomplish with social media marketing. Do you want to gain X amount of subscribers to your opt-in email newsletter list? Do you want to increase traffic to your dropship website by a set number or percentage? Are you looking to boost sales year over year or month over month? Unless you know what you are trying to do, you won’t know whether you have done it or not.

2. Measure your results by your SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages. If you are actively engaged in social media marketing on Facebook, for instance, and you jump to the front page in Google search results for your niche: Congratulations! It’s working! Now that Google is crawling the web for real time content, your social media content is more important than ever. If you supply a steady source of fresh, updated, relevant content to your Twitter, Facebook or other social media platform, you should see results in your search ranking.

3. Make sure that you have tied your results to your goals. In other words, if your goal was to boost traffic, then keep up with the stats on how much your traffic is increasing. If your goal was to improve brand recognition, this is much harder to measure. So, for the results that you want to track, it is best to have goals that are less ambiguous and easier to measure.

Measuring the ROI of social media marketing is a bit more challenging than many other metrics, but it can be done!

Categories: Marketing

Mike Rucker Interview

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Interview with former Carolina Panthers DE Mike Rucker for the July issue of Premier Players Magazine.

Ben Delanoy: So Mike, What have you been up to since retiring from the NFL?

Mike Rucker: We’ve stayed in the Charlotte area for 11 years. Just love it here.

Ben Delanoy: What are you involved in…work, sports, charity?

Mike Rucker: I run a real estate firm in Charlotte, Vision Group realty. We specialize in relocation real estate for professional athletes, entertainers, corporate execs, basically everyone. I am also the preseason color commentator for the Panthers. I still attend Panther community functions and appearances.

Ben Delanoy: What is Ruckus House?

Mike Rucker: The Ruckus House Foundation provides scholarships for students pursuing education and teaching as a career.

Ben Delanoy: Do you get any “off-time”? What do myou do in between all of that?

Mike Rucker: Spend time with my family! We enjoy all that North Carolina has to off….camping, fishing, boating.

Ben Delanoy: What do you miss most about playing football?

Mike Rucker: The comraderie amongst the guys and all of the practical jokes. Some of the same jokes we’d play in the lockerroom on eachother don’t go over well with the wife or the kids!

Ben Delanoy: What did you think about the Panthers draft?

Mike Rucker: They did a good job addressing needs. Didn’t do much with high profile free agents.

Ben Delanoy: What about the QB situation? I like the (Tony) Pike pick?

Mike Rucker: With Delhomme, Pike, and Claussen, they got some good QBs.

Ben Delanoy: Your thoughts on the Steve Smith situation?

Mike Rucker: People don’t realize he does a lot of work in the community. The flag football thing was just a freak accident…..it happens.

For more information on Mike or the Ruckus House, please visit www.mikerucker.com .

Categories: Sports