Category Archives: Social media

Processing the EXPO

The PPAI EXPO has come and gone. It is a hectic week, filled with plenty of new information to process. It always takes me about 2 months to fully grasp what I have see and learned during the week. However, here are two quick observations I want to share with you.

1) The environmental “green” movement is alive and well, but losing its momentum. This particular aspect, the “friend of the environment” aspect of marketing a business will continue to be important and should be considered in any PR campaign. However, due to the lack of coherent standards in the marketplace and the growing skepticism of the public towards “green” claims, I believe that the period of explosive growth in the “eco-friendly” campaigns is over for the forseeable future. Besides, it is expensive to be “green”.

2) Integrating Web 2.0 ( “social media”) into marketing for small business via tangible promotional advertising continues its steady growth. Many of the “new” ideas are simply reworking tried & true promotions from the past and adapting them to find ways to encourage consumers to interact with a company’s persona on the web. Moving forward, I believe this aspect of promotional marketing will provide small businesses an opportunity to develop and grow in their on-line presence, which is where the future of marketing is, right now.

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Filed under Professionalism, Promo Ideas, Social media, Trends

Its almost 2010. Let’s get engaged!

Promotional products can be one of the pillars of your social media strategy in 2010.

Engagement is a fairly new marketing term which you will hear more about in 2010. Engagement is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and invites and encourages them to participate in the evolution of a companies’ brand or products.

Social Media is one of the pillars of engagement. By developing an on-line presence and reputation, you can create a positive feedback loop between you and your customer. Engagement, in its simplest form, is a conversation between you and your customer. But the question remains, how do you start the conversation and then keep it going?

Marketers have come to accept that there are four engagement methods including Platform (TV; online), Context (program; webpage), Message (ad or communication), and Experience (store/event). It is a good thing for all marketers that promotional products manage to fulfill all four of these methods.

  1. Platform – The physical presence of a product in their pocket, purse, auto or on their desk, etc.
  2. Context – The actual giving or presenting of the product to the targeted consumer.
  3. Message – The brand, logo or message that is imprinted on the product.
  4. Experience – (This is where it gets REALLY good) The on-going use and enjoyment of the product (and your message)

If your marketing plans for 2010 include a social media strategy (and they should), be sure part of the strategy includes promotional products. They can become an effective part of your overall strategy.

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Filed under Promo Ideas, Social media

River of B.S.


In these days of  the new economy and internet 2.0, one can suffer from information overload.

All the information one can want or need is available on line… If one applies the proper amount of time, effort and diligence.

However, if you make the effort to gather the information, the question then becomes: how relevant is the information you receive? Do you have the time or expertise to sift through all the B.S. in order to separate the gold nuggets from the turds?

For the past 15 years, I have spent a great deal of time online.  I was one of the first in my neck of the woods to get dial-up and I’ve been using the internet ever since 1993.  I have been reading blogs since 2003 and I’ve been on Linked In since 2005. I’ve been linked to and befriended; followed and partnered on more websites than I can keep straight. I comment, I blog, I tweet and I update and I subscribe to over 50 different blogs and my inbox is stuffed everyday with highlights and words of wisdom from gurus all over the world.  I am as connected as a man my age has any right to be.

So, what is my point?  The point is; I feel I am qualified to finally make a statement about the value of social media (the new darling of the media illuminati) and here it is: Social media is a virtual river of  B.S. flowing into your office or home, particularly in the area of marketing. It is up to you to filter the truth from the crap and it isn’t easy. One corollary to my statement is this: the old rules of marketing still apply. You have only three resources you can apply to advertise your business: time, talent or treasure.

To be successful in social media, you either need to spend the time yourself to figure it out, to develop the expertise needed to work your own strategy on-line or you must pay someone to do it for you. If you decide to pay someone to do it for you, they had better damn well know what they are doing or they can cause significant damage to your image and therefore your company. Simple as that.

Most of the people on social media websites are busy trying to impress others and many come off looking like fools.  Many of the self-appointed “gurus” are trying to sell their particular program of “how to use social media” to everyone else. Most of them are all selling the same uncertain ideas – in other words, they are guessing at this point. This particular form of interaction with consumers (social media) is too new for anyone to have developed hard and fast rules for what works. Most of those who tell you otherwise are full of “wishful thinking” or something else.

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Filed under Bullshooting, Social media