Author: strategisadmin

The Ice Cream Truck, Brilliant Marketing, Brain-Washing or MAGIC!?

Written by Adam Cupples (@ACupples)

 Had an observation over the weekend…….

Very simple concept: A truck (that always needs a muffler, or it’s a creepy van, really an ice cream van?) PLUS ice cream (and not even good ice cream) PLUS a theme song = Emotional Connection

The driver doesn’t (to my knowledge) have a marketing plan, a website, Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn accounts – though I have received business cards, seriously – but more often than not, it’s just a person driving around and playing an annoying tune.

I bring this up because for two reasons:

 1. Music — how do songs get us to recognize brands? Chili’s (I want my baby back baby back…) Six Flags (dancing song), okay 1-800-54-GIANT has their name in the song, but still… and who hasn’t hit the falsetto and belted out, “I’m lovin’ it!”, just me?… or a little Snap, Crackle, Pop?

Anyway, my point is coming! Picture this: typical Saturday evening: house is calm, we have some Dora in one room, iCarly in the other and I’m (finally) sitting and reading (well, espn.com on the laptop) and my 2 year old, yes 2 year old sits up and says “Dora”. Now I know what you’re thinking, and it’s what I thought too, she’s watching Dora and that’s why she said it. Nooooooooo. It’s because she heard the ice cream truck music (which I haven’t heard yet) and you know what she gets at the Ice Cream truck? Bingo…a Dora ice cream.

 This leads me to my next point: the emotional connection.

 2. When you see your kids, nieces, nephews, etc…. all jumping up and down, so excited because they hear that delicious song, how can you say no when the truck finally takes your corner? You can’t. So what happens? You shell out $20 for sub-par, overpriced ice cream (but you still get one for yourself!). It’s like MAGIC!

So the point of the story (I think) is that sometimes using the darker color blue on your website isn’t as important as you think. It’s about keeping things simple and finding the right message (or music) to create the emotional connection. Or it’s magic, who knows!?

LinkedIn Groups—New and Improved

written by Adam Cupples (@ACupples)

Who has two thumbs and likes the NEW LinkedIn Group interface and functionality? (Two thumbs thumping into my chest) “This guy” Yup, I’m that guy.

For those who haven’t noticed or have been ignoring LinkedIn lately, the Groups have changed and I’m loving it.

I’ll leave my favorite new feature that received my two thumbs held the highest until the end, just to create some blogging suspense. I’ll start with my one thumb up and a couple of head nods… it goes to…..

  • Latest Posts

I like what they did here. I’m a fan of the scrolling bar and being able to scan the groups discussions so you can easily read what’s happening now, in the past hour etc.. It’s much more user-friendly — you can easily comment on specific questions. You can even “like” a post (hmmm, where did they get that from? They probably could have consulted an online thesaurus so they weren’t completely ripping off Facebook… my choice would have been “fancy” as in “I fancy that discussion on the latest developments and implementation of social networking in the strawberry rhubarb pie industry”).

Next, two thumbs up – but not way up – goes to…

  • “Most Popular Discussions”

Instead of sifting through hundreds and hundreds of discussions, now LinkedIn highlights the most popular posts so you can see what the group really cares about and what’s creating all the buzz.

And now the number 1 reason….. (insert drum roll, I know, I know you can hardly wait…)

 NUMERO UNO (well actually two things that I’m giving two thumbs way up and a funny grin)

  • First, if you’re active in your group and participating, not just viewing/scanning, you will get a little PR for yourself and your company. There is a section called “Top Influencers This Week” (see below). If you’re involved, starting discussions and commenting, the group will recognize it.

AND……….

  • Second, you better get an even better profile picture. If you start a discussion or comment it seems they drastically increase the size of your picture! Here’s a tool you can use… and I swear this is my first attempt at it, but I think I’ll keep my untouched photo (but I was curious to see what I’d look like with blue eyes):

Tracking Social Media Trends

I stumbled upon this nifty device that is very easy to use and offers a quick glance into your target audiences’ online behavior (and it’s FREE). It’s a mini tool that was recently launched by GlobalWebIndex. It is a “lite” version of the GlobalWebIndex Wave 2 (available only to GlobalWebIndex clients). It gives you a snapshot of what motivates your audience, what they do online, and how they feel about brands in social media.

Here is how it works:

You can select a country, gender, age range and an attitudinal outlook (optional) like “risk takers”, “informers”, “strivers”, “premium lovers”, “internationals”, and “thrill seekers”. According to GlobalWebIndex, “these attitudes are predefined for demonstration purposes…” For a description of each, check out the GlobalWebIndex web site.

After defining your audience, the tool generates user trends like what the consumer considers to be motivating – research for work, staying in touch with friends, research/find products to buy, sharing content, etc. It also provides at look into the consumer’s social media behavior within the last month – were they online to read a blog, visit a consumer review site, upload photos, watch a video, subscribe to an RSS feed or use webmail. This tool also establishes their perceptions of brands active in social media and the types of social marketing communications that improve their opinion of a brand.

You can access this tool by clicking here. Check it out and let us know what you think.

There are tons of online tools for tracking social media trends and statistics like trackur.com, addictomatic.com and socialmetion.com, just to name a few. Which tool do you find most useful?

A-Twitter “Thank you very much”

written by Adam Cupples (@ACupples)

I’m sure my most astute and loyal readers (or just my mom) will remember my last Twitter post, and yeah, I was a little harsh and down on the tweeting trend. (For the rest of you, here’s the link if you want a refresher). Today, I’m changing my tweeting tune and I want to finally give a shout out to Twitter and say “Thank you, thank you very much” while doing my best Elvis Presley impersonation, swivelling hips and all.

Try all you want, but you can’t make EVERY conference or event. Whether it be a scheduling conflict, location, money…..you get the point. But as you know, conference organizers/twitter users can generate a hashtag for their event and create groupings on Twitter (example: great idea by @ACupples to make tuna sandwiches in the park on a 99 degree summer day at #hottunaconf) so if you can’t make it, follow on Twitter and it’s like you’re there anyway!

I know what you’re thinking: it’s not the same thing as being there. No, it’s not, but it’s close enough and better than nothing. You can get the highlights of the conference at your desk or on your phone and feel like you’re (kinda) in the audience.

Sometimes missing things (like the tuna conference) and getting highlights is really enough!

Do you really “Like” me?—Facebook “Like” me that is

written by Adam Cupples (@ACupples)

Everyday I see my Facebook friends “liking” everything from TV shows to Spamburgers, or becoming “fans” of the Black Eyed Peas,”finding $20 on the ground”, or “doing the Single Ladies dance when no one’s looking”…okay, not sure if that last one is really a group, but I’m sure it is… but did you know the average Facebook user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events.

Now, I ask you, how many do you really, really, really like? I mean, not just “like” with a click, but what are you truly passionate about? What news do you look forward to in your news feed? Is it Dunkin Donuts, Victoria’s Secret (hellooooooooo), Kohl’s, or your local coffee shop, e.g. , Coffee Shack, Marshfield (shout out, haaay)?

More and more companies are creating a Facebook presence for their loyal customers while trying to entice potentials. Shameless plug coming: I can do that for your business! Developing strategies and content is a forte of ours..anyway… the goal of any social communications strategy is to increase awareness but also develop a “fan base” or have you become a “Raving Fan” about a service, product and tell everyone you know about it.

 BUT why do you “like” certain places, companies etc….Is it because you can get a free donut or 20% off? Do you even need an incentive?

What would make you really, really, really “Like” me (Facebook that is)?

Apple Introduces iPhone 4, Mayhem Ensues

“This changes everything. Again.”

During Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference held last week, Steve Jobs (re-)introduced the world to the new iPhone 4, set to be released on June 24, 2010. According to Jobs, the latest incarnation is “the biggest leap since the original iPhone,” and with over 100 new features and an overwhelming number of new fans, this just might be true.

Arguably, The Top 5 new features on the iPhone 4:

  • At a mere 9.3mm, it’s the thinnest smartphone ever.
  • While the screen remains 3.5 inches long, iPhone 4 packs 4x as many pixels (960×640) as its predecessor. At 361dpi, it has a display denser than the human retina can distinguish at arms-length, thus Jobs dubbing it the “retina display.”
  • iOS 4 = multi-tasking abilities. Many.
  • A major camera upgrade: 5 megapixels, 5x digital zoom, backlighting, an LED flash (finally) and the coolest 2way camera concept ever…
  • Front and back-facing camera lenses, allowing for the debut of Apple video calling, or “FaceTime”, which will run on Wi-Fi and allow everyone that calls you with an iPhone 4 to see you (through the front lens) or see what you are looking at (through the back.)

So how do you get your hands on one of these fabulous little gadgets? Good luck.

With pre-ordering opening to the public yesterday, June 15, Apple out did themselves yet again by selling a record breaking 600,000 iPhone 4’s in one day, subsequently selling out, and then shutting down. With debut pre-order sales reaching 10x what they did last year with the debut of the iPhone 3Gs, both Apple and AT&T have been forced to suspend pre-ordering indefinitely.

Check out this slideshow of the 14 best tweets about the iPhone 4 FAIL.

Information Overload!

by Pam Maloney @pmaloney

I was recently out at lunch with a favorite client, (Hi Frank!) and we were having a friendly discussion about information overload. You know:

  • 500+ email in your inbox. (or worse the mailbox is over it’s size limit)
  • 1000’s of unread posts in your RSS reader
  • The voicemail light is always blinking
  • You are watching television – laptop on lap, iphone in hand – in case the connection is too slow.
  • Can’t decide what to cook for dinner even with a boat load recipe books, Epicurious.com and Mark Bittman’s iphone app.

So I thought I’d take the time to address some of the problems we face in this super accessible world and  offer some ideas on how to get through the summer, a little smarter, and a little dumber…

Condition: Work-Dizzy: Your head is spinning. There is so much stuff on your desk. Your inbox is full. The phone is ringing. You don’t know which task to accomplish first/next. Part of you wants to smash your computer. Part of you wants to go back to bed.

Solution #1: Clean your desk off. Reduce the pile of stuff. Throw away what you don’t need. File what has already been accomplished. Make a priorities list.

Solution #2 Take a lunch. (I know you don’t) Walk away from the desk. (I don’t care what time it is) Ignore the email. Leave the mobile behind.

Condition: Unread Anguish: RSS Reader has thousands of unread items in it! Email is full; Inbox has a million f*%$^ng things in it.

Solution #3: Get an RSS reader account. Google Reader is great. Now scan you emails for e-newsletters, blog subscriptions and Google alerts. Set them up in the reader; Unsubscribe to the email. Wait one month. Refer to Solution #5.

Solution #4: Accidentally click the “Mark all as read” button.

Solution #5: Put some time aside to manage Your RSS Subscriptions: Get into the reader’s settings and organize!

  • Delete. I know you have things in here that you never read. I also know you have probably never done some basic spring cleaning.
  • Categorize your subscriptions. Start simple. A folder for delicious food blogs. A folder for industry hot topics. A folder for local news. A folder for your Google Alerts. A folder for the competition.
  • Now do it again. Get a little deeper.

Condition: Mobile Addiction: Your eyes hurt from squinting and your pointer fingers are sore. Also, your family/kids/husband/wife is/are looking at you rather crossly. When asked, you have no idea what time it is.

Solution #5: Ask yourself, why am I doing this? Unless you are a doctor you can probably afford to put down the crackberry/iphone/smart whatever and leave a few unattended emails rather than a few unattended loved ones.

Condition: Brain To Mouse Finger Malfunction : OMG! I almost sent the newest Lady Gaga video to a client.

Solution #6: Stop. Take a deep breath. You are in multi-tasking hell. You need to focus. Refer to solution #1 stat.

Condition: Hungry : You have so many options, you can’t decide what to cook for dinner.

Solution #7: Pizza.

Send us your chronic problems / solutions –  we’d love to hear them!

LinkedIn Recommendations: “You scratch my back, I scratch yours???”

written by Adam Cupples (@ACupples)

I love LinkedIn. It’s a great tool to reconnect with past colleagues, create new business opportunities, and strengthen relationships. I could go on and on about the positive aspects of it, but let’s face it, what fun would this post be if it was one big, fat LinkedIn love-fest?

Here it is: I hate LinkedIn Recommendations. Always have and I’m guessing, always will. They feel empty to me, here’s why:

1. You scratch my back I scratch yours?

When I see Billy Gates…you know the Microsoft guy, yeah, we’re tight… recommend me, I DON’T want to feel the need to recommend him back — whether he’s trying to save the world or not!

Anyway, from what I see others do out of obligation I feel the need to recommend Billy here to all. Is that helpful for others? Do you recommend others just because they recommended you? If not, do you feel like you’re snubbing them? Doesn’t it make all recommendations meaningless? I think so.

2. Get out the Pom Poms

I know they’re called “recommendations” and they are great if you’re looking for a new job or trying to impress your friends/mom/new girlfriend … but I’m thinking people are beginning to see right through it.

I’m all for supporting friends and colleagues, and would rather do that on Facebook, Twitter, this blog… I guess I thought LinkedIn was different. I have stopped (but never really started) recommending because I don’t want others to think it’s meaningless. Am I way off-base here? Are the recommendations still relevant?

Quit Facebook Day Fails

Not only was yesterday, May 31, 2010, Memorial Day here in America, it was also Quit Facebook Day worldwide. Prompted by the recent publicity surrounding Facebook’s blatant disregard for it’s user’s privacy, preferences, feelings, etc., a group encouraging a mass exodus from the beloved social networking site was born. As reported by QuitFacebookDay.com, 35,056 Facebook users committed to quitting cold-turkey on May 31. At first glance, this figure may appear significant, yet after comparing it to the 150,000 new users that join Facebook daily, one realizes that the enlisted participants hardly register on the membership scale. According to PCWorld.com, even if the 35,000+ committed quitters actually went through with their pledge, Facebook membership would only drop by 0.005%. While the movement’s commendable efforts and dedication to the preservation of our waning privacy must be applauded, ultimately, Quit Facebook Day turned out to be more symbolic than successful.