The Evolution of Advertising & Consumer Data

The ideal television of the future. The realis...
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More specifically, the evolution of your customer. Incorporating social media into your overall mix definitely has it’s benefits.  We tend to shy away from social media in business because we feel it’s unmeasurable (i.e., no real ROI).

When the television set and advertising was introduced in the late 40’s, early 50’s – there was a bit of caution and concern about this new method to reach viewing audiences with animated advertisements and messaging. After a few tries, the concept took off, and as the television gained more popularity and more people gained access, then real costs, returns, and monitoring took off and there was comfort in using this method as a way to drive/inform consumers to products & services.

Just as the television revolutionized a new era, the internet has done the same. This time evolving in a number of forms. From one-dimensional promotion to multi-dimensional communication. The opportunities with this media are limitless today, however at some point there may be some marginalizing before the next revolution is introduced.

In the meantime, to be successful at using social media for business, you have to look beyond the ‘cutesy’ interaction and (overheard) ‘time-sucking’ nature of the proverbial beast, and take value in the powerful lessons and consumer information you can learn from participation.

Engaging in social media is not about controlling the message, it is about learning more about the people who use your product or service and interacting with them in such a way that they value and promote you.  Social media is like word-of-mouth amplifyed.  You want to be a part of the conversation being had about your brand.  And you want the opportunity to have a voice.

From that positive interaction comes a new set of data to track, and you can begin to measure the value of your online interactions with the impact to your bottom line. This means commitment. Committing to the engagement, and committing to the follow through. You can have a deliberate approach to social media along with measurable results.

Don’t believe me?  Check out the following article titled “From Home to Social: The Evolution of Your Customer Data” by Jill Dyche

http://smartdatacollective.com/Home/25736.

Then ask yourself, am I committed to the value of my customer?

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Know Your Worth

When it comes to ‘wooing’ new followers, fans, and customers…I am always leery of the undersell. Having a large number of people jumping on to your cause (or product) because you offered some type of incentive can certainly accomplish an objective, if that objective is to simply gain new people.

Remember the saying “quality over quantity'”?

I recently read this article MediaPost Publications Fans Grow On Farms 03/09/2010 which basically describes a scenario where a large corporation offered cash incentives to new fans & followers for a specific promotion.  Within a very short period of time, they were able to gain a large number of followers (all looking to redeem or cash in on a prize). But how many of those new fans & followers will stick around?

Now we are not aware of the true intention of this promotion and if in fact the goal was to amass a large group of new followers.  Perhaps they have a number of cash promotions lined up to keep the fans & followers engaged; or they could hope that the new people will stay around to learn more about everything the company has to offer (without a cash incentive).

I err on the side of caution when reading this article and believing this approach is most appropriate for your business.

As with any sound marketing strategy, you should begin with a plan before diving into a promotion.  Identify your goals and ensure a follow up plan for the new people that ‘friend’ you.  The sooner they come, the quicker they may leave once the promotion incentive is redeemed.  If that was the goal or intent of the promotional program, then congrats on your success.  However if you are looking to gain a group of friends & followers who are truly interested in your cause or your product, then you should really consider the incentive…and your plan of approach.

Know your worth.  Communicate your value. Then you will be in the position to attract and retain loyal friends & followers.

Your long term marketing strategy is to gain the ‘customer for life’…right?

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Yes You Can!

I’m a big fan of positive encouragement.  We all need a boost at some point in time.  Why not receive from one of your peers.

The key to receiving a lift and a bit of motivation is to openly accept it and act upon it.  Don’t say what you can’t do until you TRY!

We teach our kids to be successful, and we should take our own advice.

What’s on the horizon for you this year when it comes to work? Let us know here, then check out the following article…

Working Women And The Recession: What’s Next? : Girls Just Wanna Have Funds: Personal Finance Blog For Women Taking Charge Of Their Finances.

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If You Don’t Add Flour, Your Cake with Fall

Chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting a...
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Yes, I’m a baker! Love the smell of yummy goodness in the oven! But when you set out to make that wonderful chocolate cake, and miss adding flour, you might get something similar to fudge.  If fudge is what you wanted, then you are on the right track… if you were preparing to make a cake, then you got it all wrong.  And please don’t tell me about the awesome flourless cake you’ve had. That’s not relevant in this case, and besides… in this post I “ain’t” talking about cake!

I just read a blog post by Shannon Paul about the missing ingredient in many social media strategies, and I couldn’t agree more!  Feel free to read it for yourself, or just follow along here.

The Missing Ingredient in Most Social Media Strategies « Shannon Paul’s Very Official Blog.

There are several steps involved in preparing to bake a cake:

  1. Preparation
  2. Ingredients
  3. An Oven
  4. and Willing Consumers (you can’t have a cake and no-one eats it!)

The same applies to engaging in social media for your business!

  • Preparation = Developing a Strategy
  • Ingredients = The Messages you hope to Deliver + The Messages your intended audience want to hear
  • Oven = Mechanism for Delivery or  The Social Media Sites you plan to employ (where your audience is)
  • Willing Consumers = Your Audience, Your Followers, the People who want to consume to product or program you are offering

Everything begins with a plan (or recipe), but beyond the plan there is execution (baking), then testing (tasting), and listening (feedback).  And once you’ve measured the feedback, you can determine whether you should revisit the recipe, tweak a couple of ingredients and try again.

The most important thing to remember though, if you miss an ingredient, or even a step in the process, IT won’t turn out right.

Plan + Prepare + Execute + Review = 4 Steps for Success

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My Job as a SuperWoman

By day, I am managing social media for myself, my client, and a member association.  I write content for the web, and manage content management systems; ever so often I blog for myself.  I read articles and look for case studies that can help me prepare plans and stay abreast of changing trends.  I write press releases, teach workshops in financial education, update databases, prepare email campaigns, research and write grants, track donations, track metrics and prepare reports, write concepts, plan events, and offer advice.

At night, when I am not mashing up recipes to create meals that appeal to me and my family, I am helping with homework, preparing the kids for bed, cleaning, checking emails, facebook-ing and moonlighting as a freelancer.

I have dreams of being a dancer, but I have no rhythm.  I have dreams of being a dressmaker, but haven’t quite learned to sew. I have dreams of being a restaurateur, but not sure I have the patience for an on-demand kitchen. I love to express myself creatively, but haven’t written in a while.  I love to entertain, so I should probably have a dinner party soon.

There are so many things I do and many I haven’t done…but there is one thing I accept with pride, and that is my job as a superwoman 🙂

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Freelancing?

If you are ready to go out on your own…or even working as a freelancer, it’s never too late or too soon to evaluate your services. Think about your product/service and niche. Position yourself as a leader and be engaged in what’s happening your industry. I read this article today from http://www.entrepreneur.com and thought it a great resource to share. Enjoy!

Freelancing? Think Like a Business Owner – Entrepreneur.com.

Tonisha’s Pretzel-crusted Tilapia

What do you do when you are out of breadcrumbs and crackers, but you want crunchy pan-seared fish?  Well, you invent something.  Tonight, I used my creative skills and made pretzels the crumb for the tilapia. I didn’t quite know what to expect, but we ended up more than pleased!  Again, there is no formal recipe for this, but here goes…

1 pound tilapia fillets (about 2-3) ~ (on sale $4.99)

1/2 cup pretzels, crushed (about $2.o0)

1-2 tablespoons flour

heavy cream (about $1.20)

salt, pepper, paprika

canola oil

Rinse the fish and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika.  Crush the pretzels in a plastic bag and add flour, then shake.  Pour the pretzel mixture on a plate and about 1/4 of heavy cream in a bowl.  Heat about 3-4 tablespoons oil in a pan.

Dip seasoned fish in cream, then lay on pretzel mixture.  Press pretzel mixture into fish on both sides.  Place in pan with hot oil.  Cook for 4 minutes, then carefully flip with spatula. Cook about 4 minutes longer, then remove from pan.  Serve immediately.

I prepared this meal tonight with steamed carrots & broccoli ($2.00) and Parmesan couscous ($2.20), in about 30 minutes, and it cost roughly $15.00

Pretzel-crusted Tilapia with Parmesan Couscous