Saturday, June 27, 2009

100 Twitter Tools & Tips

Not to overwhelm you, but you might find some of these helpful. From the SelectCourses Blog:

100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Twitter Research

Twitter has exploded into a must-track resource for news, rants, consumer reports, public health, shopping deals and emerging trends. But if you’re looking for something or someone specific, how can you expect to carve out a niche and listen in on just a single thread of conversation? Our list of 100 tips, tools and resources for Twitter research will help you keep it all together.

Directories and People

Expand your network and locate specific tweeters using these directories.

  1. Twitterholic: Find out who the most popular Twitter users are at any given moment.
  2. Social Brand Index: Use this directory to find competitors and potential clients on Twitter.
  3. WeFollow: This directory categorizers users by tagging.
  4. Twellow: Twellow is a popular people directory for Twitter users. Search by location, friends, followers, keyword or by category.
  5. Who Should I Follow?: Let this tool help you find new friends on Twitter.
  6. Tracking Twitter: Discover which Twitter feeds are the most popular in media, entertainment and consumer products.
  7. Just Tweet It: Find people to follow by clicking on industry categories like education, domainers, aviation, filmmakers and more.
  8. twibs: With twibs, you can look up businesses who tweet.
  9. twittervision: Find random tweeters whose conversations pop up on a Google map.
  10. Twemes: Twemes is another word for hashtags, and this site follows popular subject matter and keywords.
  11. Tweeter Tags: Declare your tweets by tagging yourself on this site. Then, find other like-minded users to follow and research.
  12. Twitter Fan Wiki: This research source finds conversations, non-person Twitterers, feature requests, fakers, media and more.
  13. TwitterPacks: Find people according to their "pack" or interest group, like coaching, baby boomers, or organizing experts.
  14. Twubble: With Twubble, you can find more friends and popular Twitter users.
  15. GovTwit: Find Twitter names for government agencies and people here.


Search for keywords, buzzed-about topics and more to direct your attention to the conversations that matter.

  1. Twitter Search: Twitter’s official search page looks for keywords in current conversations.
  2. Tweet Scan: Search Twitter conversations by category or keyword.
  3. TwitterScoop: Find friends, search buzz-worthy topics, and more.
  4. Tweet Volume: Find out if the subjects you’re searching for are popping up in Twitter conversations or are yesterday’s news.
  5. Tweetmeme: Tweetmeme is a social bookmarking site for popular Twitter conversations.
  6. Twitterment: This simplified search engine brings up conversations for all kinds of keywords.
  7. Twitter Forge: Twitter Forge in TwitTown has 10 different directories and search tools.
  8. Tweet Congress: Use Tweet Congress to find tweets from Congressmen and women.
  9. LegalBirds: LegalBirds is a Twitter directory for the legal crowd.
  10. Geofollow: Add yourself, update your Twitter feed and search for others on this site.
  11. Twitterectory: Twitterectory features a search engine, tag cloud and directory of Twitter profiles.


Keep your notes, replies, surveys and research organized so that all your hard work isn’t lost forever.

  1. Twhirl: This social software platform connects to Twitter, displays notifications of new messages, shortens URLs, cross-posts updates to other sites and more.
  2. Twitter Karma: Quickly paginate through your friends listing. Sort alphabetically or by another system so that it’s easier to view your friends.
  3. Tweet Clouds: View your tweets as a word cloud.
  4. Twitter Notes: Take and tag notes from Twitter using this tool.
  5. My Tweeple: Better organize all your friends and followers with this tool.
  6. Foamee: Keep up with who owes who how many drinks with this tool.
  7. Twitterator: This script will help you stay organized while monitoring groups of people.
  8. GroupTweet: Privately tweet with your project group members using GroupTweet.
  9. Twickie: Archive and organize Twitter response threads here.

Add-ons and Tools

Add these tools to your Twitter experience to make researching and indexing even easier.

  1. Twitt Poll: Create polls to find out what your Twitter friends think on a particular subject.
  2. Twitter Answers: Send out questions into the Twittersphere to get answers and opinions from your followers.
  3. Twitter Snipe: Use this tool to auto follow users based on your niche.
  4. TwitPic: Use TwitPic to share, browse and upload photos to Twitter.
  5. Trazzler Buzz: Use this tool to research deals and news for travel, museums, music and more.
  6. Twit Bear: Keep up with all the replies regarding a particular conversation or subject matter.
  7. Google Search with Twitter integration: This script combines the best of Twitter and Google.
  8. TBuzz: When surfing the web, discover each site’s tweet history.
  9. PicFog: Conduct a Twitter image search here.
  10. peekr: Check out Twitter backgrounds before opening up the whole page.
  11. Twitter Toolbar for Firefox: Download this toolbar to quickly access Twitter or your favorite Twitter feeds.


Let these guides help you become a master tweeter.

  1. Twitter as Target Market Research Tool: Find out how you can use Twitter to grow your business, attract clients and stand out.
  2. 33 Reasons to Use Twitter - a Guide to Finding Value in the Service!: Here you’ll get tips for using Twitter for business and personal gain.
  3. The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter: Learn how to set up a profile, find things to tweet about, decide when to tweet and more.
  4. Mastering Twitter in 10 Minutes or Less (Version 2): Quickly learn how to navigate Twitter with this download.
  5. Using Twitter ‘the Smart Way’: Get tips on choosing a user name and staying organized here.
  6. How to Search Twitter - the Advanced Guide: This guide outlines the steps needed to effectively use Twitter’s official search function.
  7. 6 Twitter Search Services Compared: This guide compares Twitter Search, Twazzup, Tweetzi, and other search tools.
  8. Twitter Research: Why and How to Do It: has tips for using Twitter for historical research and more.
  9. Using Twitter for Market Research: Grow your business by taking note of these research tips and tools.

Filters and Niche Search

Block out all the miscellaneous Twitter noise and use these tools to focus on the conversations and research you’re interested in.

  1. bkkeepr: This tracker keeps up with reading lists and more.
  2. FoodFeed: If you only want to research tweets related to what people are eating, head to this feed.
  3. Localtweeps: Filter tweets by zip code using this tool.
  4. Commuter Feed: View traffic reports for Houston, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, LA, New York and other top metro areas.
  5. Twitter Job Search: Research job openings here.
  6. Twitter filter: This Greasemonkey script lets you filter out any kind of annoying tweets.
  7. Omnee: Filter your list of people to research or follow by first checking this site. Omnee categorizes users by the ones with the most social capital, most reach, least centralized, and more.
  8. Stop the tweet spam! Two ways to filter Twitter into Facebook: Streamline your updates and social media research here.
  9. TwitZap: Keep your Twitter page open and active without having to refresh it.
  10. Cursebird: Keep track of the latest posts that contain curse words.


Analytics is a vital part of any research project. These tools will help you get the stats on your account, other users’ influence, trends, website popularity, and more.

  1. TwitterCounter: Get stats for other users here.
  2. TweetStats: View Twitter feed stats in bar graph form.
  3. TwitterSpy: Keep an eye on the most recent tweets coming from a particular location.
  4. TweetBeep: TweetBeep alerts you via email when preferred conversations and keywords are tweeted.
  5. MyTweetMap: This tool displays tweets by location on a Google Map.
  6. SiteVolume: Find out how often a phrase, word or website is tweeted about.
  7. Tweetburner: Track URLs as they appear on Twitter.
  8. Twist: Twist lets you compare the stats for keywords, topics and more.
  9. Twitalyzer: Use Twitalzyer to discover the influence of different Twitter users.
  10. Twitstat Mobile: Look up analytics from your mobile phone using this tool.


Track trends, follows, conversations and people using these tools.

  1. tweet140: This tool tracks the length of your tweets.
  2. Twitt(url)y: Track popular URLs that appear on Twitter to find out what people are talking about.
  3. Does Follow: Organically expand your network by following people your friends follow.
  4. twAITer: Schedule tweets for a future release and track your overall feed here.
  5. Friend or Follow: Quickly double check who’s following you with this tool.
  6. Tracking Twitter: Track brands, celebrities, media and TV tweets using this tool.
  7. Twistori: Hover over an emotion like love, hate, think, believe, feel or wish and read the upcoming posts that incorporate that feeling.
  8. Tweetizen: Use Tweetizen to create groups and track stories and posts that are meaningful to you.
  9. Twitterfall: Filter trends or do a custom search to see upcoming posts in a free-fall format.


For better research through Twitter, follow these tips and suggestions.

  1. Tweet during peak hours: Many people are tuned in to Twitter during the work week and during work hours, so you’ll have a better chance of reaching your subjects then.
  2. Use a Twitter management tool: Use a tool like TweetDeck to easily organize your groups, updates and more, so that your research doesn’t get lost.
  3. Use Advanced Search: Try Twitter’s Advanced Search tool to find people, places, dates and more.
  4. Follow the competition: Market researchers should follow their competition on Twitter to learn about any deals or tricks they have going on.
  5. Tweet about what’s hot: Join buzzed-about conversations and stories and find a way to relate your project to the mix.
  6. Update your subjects: Keep your Twitter subjects up to date on your progress so that they know how they’ve helped you.
  7. Ask lots of questions: Keep asking questions through Twitter to get a broad range of responses from everyone who follows you.
  8. Use a variety of Twitter directories: You’ll encounter some repetition, but by using several different Twitter directories, you’ll also stumble across new people who can help you that you may have discounted at first.
  9. Follow experts: Follow the tweets of an expert in your field to get routed to sensible, quality information.
  10. Stay organized: It can be hard to keep up with all the tweets, replies and updates from everyone you’re following, so use groups, alerts and other tools to organize it all.
  11. Put it all into context: Tweetree displays your Twitter stream as a tree with all replies organized by context.
  12. Use different accounts: Don’t confuse your subjects or yourself by managing different research projects from a single account. Manage different accounts with a service like Hootsutie
  13. List your credentials: Don’t freak people out by asking for their information without providing your own credentials.
  14. Post a photo and your real name: People will be more likely to help you out if you present a valid name and photo.
  15. Conduct surveys: Use survey tools to find out how your followers feel about a particular subject.
  16. Back up your Twitter: Use a service like Tweetake to make sure your research and

Sphere: Related Content


What do these letters mean? Look at this from ContentMarketingToday:

What is Your Unique Buying Proposition?

Posted: 19 Jun 2009 06:02 AM PDT

exultant businesswoman Toss Out the Company-Centric USP and Bring In the Customer-Centric ‘UBP’ to Underlie Your Content Marketing Strategy.

Don’t get me wrong. The unique part is critical. But the age old concept of a unique selling proposition views the problem of positioning almost backwards.

The idea of a unique selling proposition is that you need to differentiate yourself from the hundreds or thousands of other vendors with whom you compete. Theoretically, if you have a really good USP, you can stand apart from all the same old same old that everyone else is selling.

I think it’s much better to focus on the buyer with a unique buying proposition as the basic foundation for your content marketing strategy. Your UBP is what will get your customers excited about doing business with you and your company

What is a unique buying proposition and why should you care?

A UBP is a first cousin to a USB. The difference is that a UBP is all about the buyer and what the buyer will gain from doing business with you. Thus, your buyers don’t care that you are the only maker of green widgets in the United States. They do care if your green widgets will enable them to double their sales or cut their manufacturing costs by 50%.

Therefore the structure of a UBP should be something along the lines of: You will achieve X positive outcome by taking advantage of our solution Y which is precisely designed to solve your most challenging problem Z.

Here’s an attempt at a UBP that pretty much misses the point

For a moment this morning I thought I had invented the concept of a UBP. However, when I got on Google to search for the term I discovered one firm,’ Marketing Insights,’ that leads off its homepage with what it calls a unique buying proposition. Forget what they call it. I think it’s still an attempt at a unique selling proposition. Even worse, it doesn’t come across as being meaningfully unique.

Here’s how they describe their UBP:

With Market Insight Consultants by your side, you are completely convinced of being a winner with -

  • Exceptionally superior quality and novel survey designs
  • Fair and high excellence research
  • Insightful reports
  • Distinctively customized intercession to serve your business needs
  • Long lasting partnership
  • Higher extent of awareness
  • Eagerness to move ahead towards implementation
  • Responsibility to deliver the best
  • The UBP they could have used

    Rather than a clear concise UBP, they use a hodgepodge of phrases, some of which make average clichés look hackneyed–"fair and high excellence research, long-lasting partnership, eagerness to move ahead towards implementation." They suggest that you are "completely convinced of being a winner" but they don’t even begin to explain what that means.

    Wouldn’t it have been more powerful to use a UBP along the lines of:

    "Our research will enable you to understand, target, and dominate your market."

    When you hear that phrase, you are inclined to respond, “Terrific, Tell me more.” After all, that’s what we really care about. How will the research that Market Insight conducts empower us to achieve a clear business benefit?

    So, as you were working on fine tuning your positioning (as are we all, all the time), focus on a unique buying proposition that is all about your customer and not all about your company.

    Sphere: Related Content

    The Future & You

    From Steve Clark:

    Are You Going To Be Relevant In The Future

    In a study done at Columbia University, it was determined that the top 20% of sales reps earn 16 times more income than bottom 80%, and the top 4% of sales reps earn 54 times more income than the bottom 80%.

    Additional data confirms that 65% of everything that is sold in North America is sold by 15% of the sales people.

    These numbers should be a wakeup call for owners, managers and sales reps.

    Why Should You Care About Any of This?

    That is a fair but naïve question to ask. If you are a manager you should realize that about one - third of your sales force is actually a profit center. The other two - thirds, while somewhat productive, are barely covering their cost.

    If, as predicted by some, employee cost will more than double in the next forty-eight months this should scare the living hell out of YOU.

    When this happens, I predict that companies will have a significant reduction in force of their sales teams, and that only the sales people who are determined to be a profit center will be retained. If you are a mediocre or marginal producer this should scare the hell out of YOU.

    The End of the Company Gravy Train Is Insight

    For too long companies and managers have tolerated mediocrity and provided what amounts to corporate well fare to non productive sales people. Because of shrinking margins, increased competition, and the need to increase productivity, companies can no longer do this and remain competitive and profitable. In the future, every employee from receptionist to CEO will have to prove their profitability. If they can’t they will be sacked and rightly so.

    Many employees somehow think that it is their birth right to be provided with a good paying job which doesn’t require a great deal from them other than showing up and putting in their time. They have forgotten or never learned that in a Capitalistic Society rewards only come to those who provide value in the market place. No value no pay. Not a hard lesson to learn but one that the liberal do gooders of this world avoid talking about. Instead they pander to the lazy masses that willingly lap up their message, “that the government will take care of you”, like a cat laps up warm milk.

    What Can You Do to Prepare For This

    Accept one - hundred percent responsibility for your own future. It is not your company’s, or the country’s responsibility to provide you with the skills and talents you need to excel.

    Invest YOUR time and money in competent training and education that will make you more competitive and more skilled than your competitors both within and outside of your company.

    Become a voracious reader, attend seminars and events and associate with the top performers in your industry, turn your vehicle into a rolling university and listen to audio training materials, stop hanging around time and energy vampires that suck life from you, and seek expert coaching. If you will do these things consistently you will be well positioned to weather the coming storm.

    Sphere: Related Content

    Friday, June 26, 2009

    Friday Night Marketing News

    From Mediapost:

    by Karl Greenberg
    Hoping to generate showroom traffic for trade-ins through its "Recycle Your Ride" program, Ford says it has 20 vehicles across its lineup that meet trade-in requirements for CARS. J.D. Power & Associates calls Ford's program a good marketing move because it exploits a serious clarity issue with the CARS program. ... Read the whole story > >
    by Karlene Lukovitz
    The big winners within the food retailing industry for at least the next few years will continue to be Walmart and others that are strategically focused on strong price/value positioning, reflecting consumers' strong shift toward trading down, the "Future of Food Retailing" finds. This is the reason that retailers such as Trader Joe's and Save-A-Lot are the fastest-growing food format. ... Read the whole story > >
    by Sarah Mahoney
    When it introduced a pair of blue-and-white starred "All American" pants, it sold out in a matter of hours, says founder Chris Lindland, a first for the company. Using the right tools, he says, "gives me a quick snapshot of how people are interacting with my brand, what they're saying on blogs, how that's driving my traffic and who's buying." ... Read the whole story > >
    by Aaron Baar
    "Considering that, a few months ago, no one even knew what the brand was going to be called, their success is pretty significant," Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGovPolimetrix, tells Marketing Daily. "If you're going to go up against Google, you need to make a pretty big bang, and that's what Microsoft has done." ... Read the whole story > >
    Financial Services
    by Tanya Irwin
    To promote it, the nation's largest direct bank is planning to run search and banner display ads in select locations, such as National Geographic's kids Web site. The bank also is speaking to associations of teachers and principals. ... Read the whole story > >
    by Karl Greenberg
    A company manager says that product placement is subtle. "Our goal is not to put ads on here, but to engage and to entertain and get the association of Lexus with innovation." There is a link to LStudio on the site, and Lexus is promoting the site largely through PR efforts and through Lexus' custom lifestyle magazine that goes to some 800,000 owners nationwide. ... Read the whole story > >

    Sphere: Related Content

    Demographic Targeting

    Despite the differences within each generation, there are still common factors:

    Know Your Target Market

    Get a grasp on generational marketing with this guide to demographics.


    When crafting your business plan or giving it an overhaul, it's critical to thoroughly understand your target customers. Understanding your target customers' demographics helps you determine exactly what your products or services will be, and what kind of customer service tactics work best.

    Smart marketers know there are many subsets of every group targeted; not every message will work on every person. However, despite consumers' resistance to stereotyping in media, demographics certainly aren't becoming obsolete. It's still useful to get the big-picture view of your target consumers. If you know, for example, your product will be geared toward seniors, then your research will tell you the font on your website should be easy to read, with a white or light-colored background and that it should avoid excessive use of Flash.

    As the boundaries between categories begin to blur, and consumers no longer like to be singled out based on income, gender, ethnicity or education, one of the keys to keeping your marketing cutting-edge is customization, and personalization--essentially letting your customer know you think of them as an individual and understand their lifestyle. If you don't speak to their lifestyle, a customer will tune you out. Get a firm grasp on the lifestyles of the five very distinct generations:

    Gen I
    Also called Gen Z, the internet generation or iGeneration, they're the children of the youngest boomers. Because this generation is still very young, marketing and demographics theories are still developing. One huge distinction, however, can be made: This generation is the only one to be born entirely in the internet era, and to parents who are generally more accepting and knowledgeable of such technology. This differs from the next generation, Gen Y, which sometimes dealt with tensions stemming from their parents' lack of technological savvy or acceptance.

    Gen Y
    Also referred to as millenials or "echo boomers," they are the children of boomers, ages nine to 27. Because of higher costs of living or, in some cases, the over-protective nature of their boomer parents, many are choosing to live at home. University of Michigan economics and public policy professor Bob Schoeni told Time magazine that the percentage of 26-year-olds living with their parents rose from 11 percent to 20 percent between 1970 and 2004. They're 75 million strong and they have disposable income because of their parents' support. Growing up with computers means this generation is especially responsive to internet campaigns. They process information quickly and are especially brand loyal. Gen Yers like innovative marketing approaches and advertising that uses humor or is "outside the box."

    Gen X
    They are perhaps the most overlooked generation, falling in the shadow of the powerful baby-boom generation. But the 44 million Gen Xers born between 1965 and 1975 are entering their peak earning and buying years. They're tech-savvy and love to shop. They have a high value for education and knowledge. Unlike Gen Yers, brand prestige alone won't woo this generation--let them know why your product is a good value. They are independent and like to save.

    Until the boomer generation hit age 50, marketers generally forgot consumers once they passed that age mark. Today, however, they're awakening to the buying power of this 76 million-strong group. On average boomers spend $400 billion more per year than any other generation. They're at many life stages: empty nesters or full nesters, boomer grandparents, single or married, etc. What they have in common is exceptional drive and the ability to evaluate advertising and determine its value to them. Between 2005 and 2030, the over-60 group will grow by 80 percent--as they age, be careful not to label them as "old." This generation has a Peter Pan complex--play up their youthfulness in marketing.

    The Greatest Generation
    Born between 1909 and 1945, today's octogenarian has seen it all when it comes to advertising, resulting in a particularly savvy consumer segment. They are more careful about whom they do business with, and they want to know more about your business before they choose to patronize it. Having been born during, or lived through, the Great Depression, World War II and many economic recessions, they're keen on value and in general don't "shop for fun" as other generations tend to do. They have pensions to rely on that other generations won't have as they become senior citizens, so concentrate on communicating the value of your product or services. A practical bunch, they also tend to be extremely loyal customers.

    Seniors like to spend money on their grandchildren. Seventy-five percent of the over-50 crowd are grandparents; they buy 25 percent of all toys sold in America.

    Today's senior is living longer than ever before, and they're dealing with fewer acute illnesses and more chronic ones as their lifespans increase due to science and medicine. They want products to help them stay active, learn and be independent. There's plenty of room in the marketplace for products and services to help them achieve this lifestyle.

    It's a mistake to think octogenarians aren't using the internet. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people over the age of 65 spend more than $7 billion per year online.

    Test Your Product By Area
    Another way to use demographic research is by testing the popularity of a product within a chosen community. How do you know it will be successful in that particular locale? You must look at the community's:

    Purchasing power. Find out the degree of disposable income within the community.

    Residences. Are homes rented or owned?

    Means of transportation. Do prospective customers in the area own vehicles, ride buses or bicycles, and so on?

    Age ranges. Does the community consist primarily of young people still approaching their prime earning years, young professionals, empty nesters or retirees?

    Family status. Are there lots of families in the area or mostly singles?

    Leisure activities. What type of hobbies and recreational activities do people in the community participate in?

    Detailed demographic information is available from the Census Bureau's website. Click on "State and County Quick Facts" for your state, and you can find county-by-county demographic information. You can also get this kind of information from established businesses within your industry or from a trade association. Gale's Dictionary of Associations, available in most libraries, contains listings for more than 30,000 trade associations' national headquarters. Many associations also have local or regional chapters that serve members in a variety of ways, with everything from newsletters to lobbying actions.

    In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the Consumer Expenditure Survey, which you can find at the Bureau's website by clicking on "consumer spending." The CES annually samples 5,000 households through its Quarterly Interview Survey and its Diary Survey to learn how families and individuals spend their money. Unlike other surveys that might ask only how much people are spending on household or home appliances, the CES collects data about nearly every category of expenses--from alcoholic beverages and restaurant meals to pensions and life insurance.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics analysts then sort the information and group consumers by income, household size, race, gender and other characteristics relevant to your business. Read more in the full article on testing your product by area and researching demographics.

    Apply Your Research
    Write your findings into your business plan. List each product or service along with its respective target market(s). Include your marketplace research: your competitors, geographical boundaries, customers, latest demographic data, trends in your markets (both demographic and product-related) and list the most crucial points that need to be included in the coming year's marketing plan.

    For a detailed look at how to develop a "market situation" section in your business plan, read the full article.

    Copyright © 2009 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy

    Sphere: Related Content

    Order Maker or Taker?

    I get these daily sales tips in my email. This one arrived Sunday:

    Hi Scott Howard,

    You are subscribed to my Daily Sales Tips and here is your sales tip for the day.

    Sales tip #67:

    Order-takers are mainly helping the customer to buy goods they want. Customer needs them to finalize a purchase; they need someone to clarify a few details about the product, or to learn from the order-taker about the support or delivery, terms of payment, warranties, etc.

    Sales professional on the other side is creating a specialized situation which forces customers to think about the consequences of not buying the offered solution - of not making the move to improve their position on the market.

    Are you an order-taker or a real sales professional?

    If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us.
    Until tomorrow,
    Alen Majer
    Sales Trainer and Consultant
    The Science and Art of Selling
    Toronto, ON
    416-840-4982 office
    866-876-4761 toll free

    Sphere: Related Content

    Thursday, June 25, 2009

    Thursday Night Marketing News

    Click on the links that interst you to read more from Mediapost:

    by Aaron Baar
    The new line, augmenting the already-in-place line of battery-powered cell phone power sources, moves the company into rechargeable lithium power packs that can be used for iPhones, iPods and other MP3 players, GPS units, digital cameras and camcorders and netbooks and laptops. ... Read the whole story > >
    Financial Services
    by Tanya Irwin
    Themed "We'll do right by you," the campaign will run indefinitely, according to Craig Hamway, EVP of marketing and business development at Direct General. "We've got a solid, aggressive media schedule for the third quarter and are mapping out the fourth-quarter media mix as well as plans for next year," he tells Marketing Daily. ... Read the whole story > >
    by Karl Greenberg
    The site will expand to include video, will be integrated with other Virgin sites and will grow a roster of advertising partners -- currently, Massachusetts' tourism bureau is advertising on the site. "We see this as just beginning, we have plans for mobile, video, more around the Trip Pods," says Attik's James Somerville, "and how to inspire people with tools, and, of course, grow the community of travel lovers." ... Read the whole story > >
    by Sarah Mahoney
    A new consumer perception survey from Cone Inc. looks to "help nonprofits better understand how to protect and evolve their brands to generate as much revenue as possible," and to help the charitable organizations "demonstrate to companies and other partners that there is an established and justified cost to aligning with their organization." ... Read the whole story > >
    by Karl Greenberg
    The company will give nearby dealers tickets to the parks for promotional activity, and Chrysler will have signage at the parks, banner ads on Six Flags' web site, advertising and vignettes featuring the vehicles on Six Flags' in-park television. As for vehicle presence, "it won't be like an auto show," a spokesperson tells Marketing Daily. "We'll have a few vehicles from each brand, probably together." ... Read the whole story > >
    by Karlene Lukovitz
    The chocolate category has also identified a major functional opportunity within skin care, in cocoa butter's recognized benefits as a treatment for dry skin conditions. About one-quarter (23%) of the experts believe that the biggest area of market expansion ahead lies in non-edible products, including skin care lotions, soaps, shampoos and anti-aging products. ... Read the whole story > >

    Sphere: Related Content

    Facebook Marketing Tips

    When I wrote this a few days ago, I was reflecting on the power of Facebook as a mainstream marketing tool.

    See, I have an account on my social media sites, but I was skeptical of their usefulness for business advertising and marketing until recently.

    Then, I committed myself to writing blogs. This site gets updated 21 times a week. (I used to update it 5 times a day, then decided to be more selective and do 3 updates daily.) I also do a personal blog which is updated twice a day, a marketing and advertising blog which contains only my own writings, which is updated once or twice a week, a picture blog and a political blog which are updated when I feel like it.

    But Social Media like MySpace & Facebook, I was still reluctant to do much with. Earlier this year my wife put together a Thrift Style Fashion Show and promoted it on Facebook and other places and had a great turn out.

    Last week I posted a comment on my own Facebook page about a newspaper interview that was focused on what I do and within a couple days received a dozen comments via Facebook and Twitter.

    Here's why it can work for you. Facebook now is a mainstream platform. It is easy for people of all ages to use and they are! So how can you use Facebook as part of your marketing? Read this:

    Connecting with customers through Facebook

    Facebook can be a great way to connect with your customers, especially if your products or services are geared to consumers. But Facebook can also be useful to B2B marketers. Facebook’s popularity means that many of your customers already use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, participate in groups, and keep up with celebrities and companies. Your company should join in the conversation by using the following Facebook features: Profile Pages, Groups, and Fan Pages. All three types of Facebook pages are a great way to keep in close contact with your customers.


    Facebook Profile Page

    A Profile Page can contain information all about you, including both personal and professional details. You can include your work history, your education, your interests, and as much personal information as you’d like to include. You can easily add photos and videos to your profile, plus there is an ever-growing collection of applications you can add to your page to share even more about yourself. If you’re going to use Facebook for business, it’s best to keep the information on this page very professional.

    Once you have put your pertinent information on your Profile, you can connect with other people, who become your Facebook “friends.” When friends accept your invitation, you can see their Profile Pages and they can see yours. Your friends can be your personal friends and family, or your peers and customers, if you want to use your Facebook Profile for business.

    On your Profile Page, you can let your friends know what you’re doing in a few different ways. You can update your status at the top of the page with a short phrase, or write something longer on your “wall.” Information that you share on your Facebook “wall” or in the status field is visible to your Facebook “friends” and appears on their walls. Depending on your security settings, this information can be shown to the world or just to your Facebook friends. And, your friends can comment on the things you share on your Profile, letting you interact with others.

    Facebook Group Page

    Facebook Group Page

    Facebook users can also create Facebook Groups to give others a place to start discussions, share information and events, and get answers to their questions. Groups can be centered around a common interest, an industry, a hobby, a travel destination, a school, or almost anything. You should join groups in your industry or groups that might interest your customers. Get involved by commenting on the group’s wall, answering questions, or joining in discussions. You can also create a group of your own if there isn’t already one where your customers hang out.

    Facebook Fan Page

    Facebook Fan Page

    Facebook Fan Pages are created by businesses, by celebrities, or for products. You should create a Fan Page for your company, completing all the contact information, and be sure to add a link to your website and add photos or videos for your business.. You can post information about sales, new products or services, coupons, and more on your wall, plus send message directly to your “fans” using the “Send an update to fans” feature. And, your “fans” can comment back on everything you post, making your company wall another place to connect with customers.

    For a quick guide to opening a free account on Facebook, check out “Getting Started with Facebook“.

    For information on other social media sites your company should be using, read “Social Media Quickstart Guide - 6 Tools You Need.”

    Sphere: Related Content

    Don't Ignore this...

    Over the past year I have done research for our local Hispanic Newspaper and now I have added them as an advertising option. Contact me directly at Scott (at) for details.

    Here's why:

    Hey! Over Here! We're Buying!

    Good news for retailers! There is one consumer segment that apparently remains ready and willing to buy: Hispanic shoppers. "According to a new study conducted by Experian Simmons for Univision Communications, Hispanics are less affected by the recession, tend to be more positive about it, [and] shop more often," says Katy Bachman in a recent Mediaweek article. Here are some of the reasons Hispanics remain vital consumers, based on the study's results:

    • More Hispanics (34 percent) than non-Hispanics (25 percent) expect to be better off financially in the next 12 months
    • Only 45 percent of Hispanics have credit cards (versus 71 percent of non-Hispanics)
    • Fewer Hispanic consumers have loans (34 percent, versus 53 percent for non-Hispanics), and they are less burdened with potential debt

    In other words, these are savvy people who are able to shop! So, how might local retailers bring them in-store? Here are a couple of tactics to consider:

    Target them with discounts. "Hispanics are more likely to look out for special offers. In general, they use cash and are more careful with money," says Experian's Tom Morrison.

    The Po!nt: Draw those spenders in. Consider targeting the smart Hispanic shoppers in your community with a TV ad that offers cool discounts.

    Source: Mediaweek. Read the full article here.

    Sphere: Related Content

    New Ad Campaigns

    From Amy:

    Candy computers. Banana hammocks. Peek-O-Matic iPhone App. Let's launch!

    D.L. Couch wallcovering launched its first-ever national advertising and branding campaign. Targeting interior designers, print ads feature different periods, objects and people juxtaposed with D.L. Couch wallcoverings inspired by these eras. I thought the woman in the first ad, seen here, looked like a young Drew Barrymore working on a period piece. The remaining ads, shown here and here, are running in Interior Design Magazine. Young & Laramore created the campaign and EchoPoint Media handled the media buy.

    The Black Eyed Peas are starring in the latest ad for Target, promoting a deluxe version of their album that's sold only at the retailer. Fergie, Taboo, and begin as faceless entities that blend in with bed sheets, a black and white background, wallpaper and brick. The Target bulls-eye is prominently featured as the group removes the ties that bind to reveal their identities. And then they dance. Watch the ad here. It reminds me of an OK Go video from 2007 where band members dressed to matched the wallpaper. See it here. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the ad.

    Where there is food, there's Amy. See you at NYC Restaurant Week. A print, outdoor and online campaign launches June 30, coinciding with the opening of reservations for the July 12-31 food fest. Twitter users who follow NYCGO will get first dibs on booking meals. NYC Restaurant Week has replaced its longtime tagline, "Eat Famously," with "Love NYC Restaurant Week." Creative consists of a canary yellow background and a woman eating a strawberry. Copy pays tribute to the 257 participating restaurants by providing 257 reasons why people should participate in the event. My favorite is reason 16: "Because NYC Restaurant Week has been keeping foodies full for 18 years." See the ads here, here and here, running in New York magazine, The New York Times, NY Observer, TimeOut NY, AM NY, Metro, Harlem News Group and El Diario. NYC & Company created the campaign.

    Red Tettemer is making its first trip to Cannes. The agency packed accordingly, meaning an abundance of red Speedos will run rampant. I received one in the mail and it's sitting on my desk as I type. To complement the Speedo, there's a video packed with "11 kinds of awesome." Be prepared for some strange occurrences. A Speedo-wearing man admires his physique in the mirror, breaks boards with his head, flies a kite, table dances and drinks grapefruit juice. Watch to see how he gets the juice.

    Dell's latest TV spot, "Treats," takes place in a factory where laptops are packaged like candy and offered in an array of vibrant colors and flavors. Workers sing while they work, to the tune of "Lollipop" by The Chordettes, as viewers watch the creation of individual laptops from the time they are liquefied goo, pressed into shape, cut to size, microwaved, slapped with a logo and wrapped. Watch the ad here, created by Mother New York.

    Oh, how I love ads for Klondike. A trio of TV spots, posing the famous question, "What would you do for a Klondike bar?" show the lengths men will go to for this tasty treat. Pain and embarrassment ensues. A man gets his ample chest hair waxed in the first ad, seen here. The pain is worth the reward. When the voiceover asks, "What would you do now that it has a thicker, more chocolaty shell?" the aesthetician waxes down south. It's a cute ad, but the joke was funnier when Steve Carell did it in the "40-Year-Old Virgin." A man would carry his girlfriend's hideously dressed Chihuahua in another ad, seen here. He'd even go as far as dressing like it. Another man would not only hang with his mother-in-law, he'd also throw in a foot massage. Watch the ad here. DDB New York created the ads, edited by Cutting Room.

    The South Carolina Aquarium launched "Fish Breath," a TV spot promoting its Penguin Planet exhibit. Office water cooler talk turns to the "new guy," a close talker whose breath smells like fish. Gossip quickly comes to an end, when the "new guy," a penguin, approaches. The exhibit allows visitors close encounters with penguins. The spot closes with the penguin abruptly moving in close to his co-worker, who's caught off-guard. See the ad here, created by Hook.

    Southwest Airlines is coming to New York. To promote its service out of LaGuardia Airport, beginning June 28, the airline launched The Southwest Porch at Bryant Park. The porch is located in the southwest corner (get it?) of Bryant Park, complete with rocking chairs, porch swings and games. In addition, Tom Colicchio's 'wichcraft will offer a Southwest-style low-cost menu on weekday evenings throughout the summer. Food will be inspired by destination cities, so look for soft-shell crab sandwiches for Baltimore and bratwurst for Chicago. See the porch here, created by Civic Entertainment Group.

    Random iPhone App of the week: Since iPhone Apps are about as common as rain in New York City, I thought it was high time I started highlighting them. This week's iPhone App is the Peek-O-Matic. Created for and by Walrus, the App is a modern-day novelty pen, the kind that stripped men or women of their clothes when you turned the pen upside down. Users choose an illustration, such as beauty, beefcake or golden girl, and flip their phone. There are also different states of undressed to select, like retro, sexy and wild card. It costs 99 cents. See the App in action here.

    Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

    Sphere: Related Content

    It's not about you

    It took me awhile to learn this. I try and be less me focused now. From Jeff Garrison:

    Listening: Don't Hijack the Conversation

    Posted: 19 Jun 2009 09:13 AM PDT

    Hijacking the conversation is such an easy thing to do in sales when you have just met a prospect with whom you are thinking about establishing rapport and being memorable. In fact, hijacking the conversation is a little bit like stealing the air people breathe. They may not know why they are having trouble breathing, but until they get some air, they are not really focused on anything else.

    2843144877_f98211df97 Here is an example. John was referred to Jane. He is a good prospect and they have just met at his office for the first time.

    Jane: "I see from the picture on your desk that you have a son who plays football."

    John: "I have two kids in high school sports."

    Jane: "Really, I have three kids. One plays baseball and the other two are into soccer. A funny thing happened at my sons baseball game yesterday. . ."

    Jane is thinking that rapport is being established because they are talking about something they have in common when in fact she has just hijacked the conversation. It would have been better to ask John about his kids. That's what he wanted to talk about. For example:

    • What grade is your son in?
    • What position does he play?
    • Did you play football as well?
    • Is your other child a son or daughter?

    There are a dozen questions Jane could have asked. After a few questions, John would have asked Jane if she had kids or if she was a sports fan or something.

    This is not some sales guru, rapport establishing, manipulation technique. It is just allowing another human being to be the center of attention for a moment.

    Jane could have asked something about John's company such as how long has he owned the company or how did he get started in the business.

    Regardless of how the conversation gets started, Jane should not be anxious to connect her background with John's. Be paitent. The opportunity will present itself naturally.

    Here is a practice tip. If you think you do this (even sometimes), share this idea with someone you interact with regularly. Ask them to help you break the habit by pointing it out when you do.

    Do you have other thoughts about hijacking conversation? Does gender impact how and when this happens or with whom? Please comment.

    Photo on flickr by dotbenjamin

    Sphere: Related Content

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Wednesday Night Marketing News

    Clickables from Mediapost:

    by Aaron Baar
    "There's very little BlackBerry envy," John Martin, CEO of Crowd Science, tells Marketing Daily. "[Apple's] satisfaction scores are amazing, particularly just three years in. BlackBerry maker RIM may have to settle for being the "big No. 2 player. It's a huge, huge market. They have to weather the storm in the short term. I hope RIM and/or [Pre maker] Palm get their act together. It would be sad to have it just be a one-horse race." ... Read the whole story > >
    by Tanya Irwin
    The combination of Microsoft's destination sites like MSN and Verizon Wireless' Mobile Web service provides Hyatt with the ability to work with both a large publisher and service provider through one simple platform, says the company. The campaign includes both search and display ads, which will direct consumers to a mobilized version of ... Read the whole story > >
    Financial Services
    by Karl Greenberg
    The effort, via DDB West, carries the "We're with you" tagline with text in blue for Wachovia and red for Wells Fargo. The 30-second folksy spots use vignettes featuring real people -- or actors-as-real-people -- doing prosaic things that suggest the underlying costs involved. The ads posit the bank brands as places where empathetic customer service abounds, and customers' problems are solved. ... Read the whole story > >
    by Karlene Lukovitz
    Well over half report that they have stopped purchasing certain foods for at least a short time within the past two years due to safety considerations, and half say they would be unwilling to purchase a food product again that had been recalled due to contamination. More than two-thirds were able to name a food product that was recalled in the past two years, with peanut butter having by far the highest recognition. ... Read the whole story > >
    by Sarah Mahoney
    The Council of Better Business Bureaus wants Wal-Mart Stores to modify some of its advertising claims, and stop telling consumers that they can save $700 a year by shopping at its stores. The bureau's National Advertising Division says that while Wal-Mart has provided reasonable support for its "Unbeatable Prices" claims, there's still potential for confusing shoppers. ... Read the whole story > >
    by Karl Greenberg
    There are big surprises from a little automaker, Suzuki, and from Cadillac and Hyundai in one of the most cited industry studies of vehicle quality, based on reports in the first three months of ownership. Also, much-needed good news for the domestic brands in J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study: Ford, GM and Chrysler have improved 10% versus a year ago. ... Read the whole story > >

    Sphere: Related Content

    Merging Food Options

    I recall last summer, on vacation with my wife and she was looking for a good cup of coffee. Starbucks would suffice. We drove about 30 minutes into town and found the only local Starbucks was in the produce section of the grocery store.

    So there we sat, amidst the carrots, apples and onions, sipping fresh coffee.

    There is another way:

    Restaurants Take a Trip to the Store

    Restaurant chains are reaching out to consumers in an unexpected place: supermarket aisles.

    As the economy has soured, many consumers have ditched going out to eat for a trip to the grocery store, and restaurant chains are following.

    Starbucks Corp., which has seen traffic to its stores decline, in April launched a line of coffee-flavored ice cream in supermarkets. Last month, the company began handing out coupon books to its coffee-shop patrons containing such grocery-store deals as $1 off ice cream and $1 off 10-ounce packages of Starbucks brand coffee.

    "If consumers are coming in less frequently, they can still treat themselves at home," says Greg Price, vice president of global consumer products at Starbucks.

    By putting goods on store shelves, restaurants are able to expand their brands.

    Because of weakness in the restaurant industry, "any restaurant is going after additional revenues right now," says Morgan Stanley & Co. restaurant analyst John Glass.

    Restaurants are responding to bleak times in their business. Moody's Investors Service issued a report late last month saying the restaurant industry is likely to remain weak for the next 12 to 18 months as declines in restaurant traffic coincide with greater affordability of eating at home.

    Burger King Holdings Inc. plans to sell Apple Fries, a product originally developed for its restaurant kid meals, in 10,000 grocery stores nationwide this fall. The apples, skinned and sliced to look like fries and packaged in a French fry container, will be sold in the produce section of traditional supermarkets, along with a low-fat caramel dipping sauce in a ketchup-like pouch.

    California Pizza Kitchen Inc. in March began shipping new microwaveable Flatbread Melts sandwiches to supermarkets through a licensing arrangement with Kraft Foods Inc. Dunkin' Brands Inc., meanwhile, has been selling its Dunkin' Donuts coffee in supermarkets nationwide in an effort to bolster its brand image.

    For retailers, the well-known restaurant brands are a customer draw. "If people can save a few dollars and save some time by eating at home, these types of familiar brands....make it easier and more cost-effective," says Meghan Glynn, spokeswoman for supermarket chain Kroger Co., which carries California Pizza Kitchen products, Dunkin' Donuts coffee and other restaurant brand goods.

    Some restaurant chains began developing grocery items prior to the recession as a way to boost brand recognition, but now they are finding that packaged food helps them offset some of the loss in traffic to their restaurants.

    "Our comparable restaurant sales are down," says California Pizza Kitchen co-chief executive Rick Rosenfield. "People are trading down to supermarkets and we're softening the blow by being there for them." The chain reported a 5.9 percent decline in comparable restaurant sales for the first quarter.

    There are risks. Consumers already are bombarded by numerous varieties of cereal, soup, frozen dinners and other products in grocery stores, and some supermarket chains are culling products from shelves.

    In addition, some restaurant-branded products are positioned as premium and so carry high prices. A 12-ounce bag of Dunkin' Donuts coffee costs $8.99 in some stores, and California Pizza Kitchen's Flatbread Melts sandwiches, intended for one person, cost $3.49 each. That's still cheaper than eating out, but more expensive than items like soup and macaroni-and-cheese.

    "Restaurants are thinking, 'If we can't capture those consumers in our own stores, we'll get them at home and, when the economy improves, they'll return to our stores,' " says Bill Cross, vice president of food licensing at Broad Street Licensing Group, a Montclair, N.J., company that has brokered licensing deals for restaurant chains.

    California Pizza Kitchen has been selling its branded pizzas in supermarkets since 1998. Last year, as the economy worsened, grocery sales of frozen California Pizza Kitchen pizza increased 19.6 percent to $159 million. Kraft pockets the bulk of the revenue and pays California Pizza Kitchen an annual royalty, which last year amounted to $6.6 million.

    That's just a fraction of the chain's $677 million in annual revenue, but it's pure profit, because Kraft underwrites all of the R&D and advertising, Mr. Rosenfield says.

    Burger King's Apple Fries come on the heels of the branded salty and sweet chips the chain introduced to supermarkets and convenience stores in late 2007 -- right about the time the recession was starting.

    "It gives our brand a lot of great new exposure to consumers who might not have Burger King top of mind," says John Schaufelberger, the company's senior vice president of global product marketing and innovation.

    (Source: The Wall Street Journal, 06/10/09)

    Sphere: Related Content