On NBC News in Chicago

September 27, 2011

If you’ve ever wanted to see me on video, here you go. I was recently on NBC’s The Talk with Marion Brooks discussing social media marketing and the launch of Socialogic, a new agency in Chicago (to point out the obvious – I work for them).

Ah, sweet validation from mainstream media.

My post on finding the right social media team members was published in Crain’s Chicago’s Small Biz Blog today.

Six years ago I was a fresh college graduate just getting started in the online marketing world. The average person didn’t know what a blog was, Facebook was restricted to university students in the U.S., and Twitter had yet to be invented. And the web was just starting to be respected and understood by mainstream marketing firms and teams.

Today, bloggers appear in commercials and social media is a key part of the marketing mix for brands both large and small. Finally, some respect! That said, I still see companies struggling with the connectivity, the immediacy, and the transparency of the web, and how it is all integrated into their organization. It’s an interesting problem, and one that I’ll continue to write more about on this blog.

Unrelated and relevant only to fellow Chicagoans – my agency is hosting an event at Social Media Week on social engagement and content creation – RSVP! It will be a great chance to gain some expertise, network with your fellow members of the media, and generally have a fabulous time.

“I was a revolutionary who lost his ideals in heroin, a philosopher who lost his integrity in crime, and a poet who lost his soul in a maximum security prison. When I escaped from that prison, over the front wall, between two gun towers, I became my country’s most wanted man. Luck ran with me and flew with me to India, where I joined the Bombay mafia. I worked as a gunrunner, a smuggler, and a counterfeiter. I was chained on three continents, beaten, stabbed and starved. I went to war. I ran into the enemy guns. And I survived, while other men around me died. They were better men than I am, most of them; better men whose lives were crunched up in mistakes, and thrown away by the wrong second of someone else’s hate, or love, or indifference. And I buried them, too many of those men, and grieved their stories and their lives into my own.”

Some books are like an exquisite meal, meant for indulgence and slow enjoyment.  Shantaram is one of those – written by Gregory David Roberts, the book tells the story of his escape from a New Zealand prison, his subsequent arrival in Mumbai, a visit to village India, and his life in the Middle Asian underworld.  Although some of the events are based on the author’s life, it is technically classified as fiction since he merged different events and characters for narrative flow.

My favorite books are the ones that immediately draw you into their world and make you care about the characters, and this one accomplishes that marvelously.  A few more choice quotes:

“The past reflects eternally between two mirrors -the bright mirror of words and deeds, and the dark one, full of things we didn’t do or say”

“Astounding and puzzling images from the city tumbled and turned in my mind like leaves on a wave of wind, and my blood so thrilled with hope and possibility that I couldn’t suppress a smile, lying there in the dark…In that moment, in those shadows, I was almost safe”

This book makes me want to jump on a plane to Mumbai and embrace the chaos and energy of the city myself.  Highly recommend it.

From the Greek philosophical tradition:

Telos: All things have a purpose. Translated as “the purpose” or “the objective”.

Techne: The way this purpose is served, the abilities and actions required to accomplish said purpose. Translated as “the skill”.

Phronesis: The intuitive understanding of what the purpose of something is and why it is so. Usually translated as “practical wisdom”, Aristotle considered it the ability to determine a particular goal, decide how best to achieve it, and completely understand the effect that accomplishing that goal will have on your overall existence.

Applied to interactive marketing:

Telos – page #1 rankings for the long tail

Techne – a creative, well written, consistently updated blog.

Phronesis – a tool to harness the long tail, which is where the conversions are.

Telos – page #1 for competitive keywords

Techne – high quality backlinks

Phronesis – link aquisition done with focus on high quality, high PR, websites.

Telos – word of mouth buzz

Techne – clever video or blog

Phronesis – people talking about you and sharing your content without your direct involvement is one of the most powerful forms of marketing.

Telos – authentic communication with your market

Techne – social media presence

Phronesis – people want to interact with fellow humans online. people buy from people they have relationships with.

Telos – a permission marketing campaign

Techne – useful or entertaining newsletters and a website with a clear opt-in funnel

Phronesis – permission marketing is powerful and effective tool with a high ROI.

Telos – repeat traffic

Techne – constantly updated authority/entertaining/controversial content, consistent marketing message spread throughout the web (PPC/banners)

Phronesis – people who repeatedly visit a website are more likely to convert, so give your users reasons to come back

Telos – a good reputation and a particular image

Techne – PR and media relations

Phronesis – people work with and buy from people and brands they trust

Telos – a website that positively reflects your brand and drives conversions

Techne – a carefully designed, elegant website that makes people feel relaxed, comfortable, and even catered to

Phronesis – the human response to positive visual stimuli will ensure that your users do what you want them to do

Telos – reach a target demographic

Techne – creative banner ads on sites your target audience frequents

Phronesis – your message is communicated to your targets through appearing on places they already go online, and sparking their interest

And so it goes – it can be applied to every aspect of interactive marketing (it can really be applied to all of life if you want to get seriously philosophical). For every element of a campaign, we can determine on an objective(telos), isolate the skill/actions required to accomplish it (techne), and understand how it will benefit and how it fits into the overall campaign (phronesis).

In other news, I am a huge nerd.

Happy Birthday to Me!

July 28, 2009

Also born on this day: Soulja Boy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  Interesting combination of individuals.

Its okay to let people leave your website.  Seriously, they’ll find their way back via search, bookmarks, or links if you have anything at worthwhile to offer.  Link out to other useful/entertaining sites, news articles, social media profiles, or what have you, and trust that your customers are capable of remembering your brand and returning of their own free will.

To people who think of their audience as sheep who must be herded into purchasing, I’d like to ask you a question.  Do you seriously have that low of an opinion about your customers?  Common usability considerations aside, why are you catering to the lowest common denominator?

There are a host of reasons why people leave websites, but most of them boil down too is that they can’t figure out what the site is all about (communication fail), that something doesn’t work (usability fail), or that they are bored (engagement fail).  The first two are simple to avoid with proper design, communication, and optimization.  The last one is a little bit trickier.

Hat tip to Hugh MacLeod and this cartoon.

I just checked out  Bantam Live and, as someone who manages complex interactive campaigns on a day-to-day basis, I have to say “DO WANT”. (gotta use appropriate internet-nerd speak).

Like I said in my last post, it is not the relationship you have with your customers, it is the relationship your customers have with your business that is important.  Social CRM systems like Bantam have got it right.

Via Crunchbase:

“With Bantam, business teams can create secure social workspaces to share information, track activity, and manage contact and company relationships inside and outside the organization. Status updating, auto-posting, following, notifying, messaging, and profile pointing features weave purposefully into business workflow objects (activities, CRM, events, project management, etc.) for users to become aware and interact with their colleagues and contacts.”

B2B decision makers, what do you think?  I love the idea of something that combines internal and external project management like this – it could streamline the process and cut down on the mystery between business and IT.

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