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Archive for September, 2010

More than chili, baseball and soap… A marketing hub

September 25, 2010 Leave a comment
Greg Coleman of Huffington Post answers a question at the Digital Non Conference

Mention Cincinnati to someone not familiar with our city on the banks of the Ohio River and they usually say something about chili with spaghetti, the Reds, Pete Rose, P&G or a conference they attended here.

Of course, those of us who call Cincinnati home could list lots of pluses about the Queen City — our thriving arts and music scenes, family-friendly atmosphere, wonderful parks, museums, affordable housing, UC and Xavier, the Bengals, Tall Stacks, strong social service safety net, variety of choices for spiritually minded folks, diverse business base…

And, most impressive to me lately, Cincinnati’s prominence as a marketing hub. On Sept. 23-24, for example, I attended the 3rd annual Digital Non Conference in downtown Cincinnati.

The event featured keynote speakers such as Greg Coleman of Huffington Post, Tim Westergren of Pandora, actress America Ferarra (Ugly Betty), Drew Buckley of Electus and Wendy Lea of Get Satisfaction. Sprinkle in Cincinnati’s own Pete Blackshaw of Nielsen Digital Strategic Services, Dave Knox of Rockfish Interactive and Jerry Kathman of LPK.

In between keynotes, some of the top digital marketing minds around interacted with people who help build brands and connect customers with products and services. One attendee told me he drove from Toronto. I also shared ideas with people from Indianapolis and Lexington.

I tweeted notes throughout the event. Please review my Twitter stream on @MikeBoehmer57 and check out the #dignc hashtag. Lots of people shared lots of good stuff.

Yes, we’ve got a lot more than chili and baseball in Cincinnati!

Live from the Digital Non Conference

September 23, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m really excited about attending today’s Digital Non Conference in downtown Cincinnati. I plan to tweet tidbits of information on @MikeBoehmer57 and possibly share some highlights here as the day unfolds.

Here is where I hope to be today:

11 a.m. — Digital and Entertainment: Collision of Two Worlds (keynote) with moderator Dave Knox of Rockfish Interactive, Drew Buckley of Electus, Pete Blackshaw of NM Incite, and America Ferrara, actress, star of Ugly Betty.

1-1:45 p.m. — Social Media Research: Understanding the Why with Renee Murphy and Justin Masterson of Seek Research.

2-2:45 p.m. — Do You Still Need A Website? with Pete Blackshaw of NM Incite

3-3:45 p.m. — Online Video is Not Created Equal with Kevin McGurn of HULU.

4 p.m. — Customer Relations + Brand Management = Social Engagement (keynote) with Wendy Lea of Get Satisfaction.

Friday — Not decided yet.

At least that’s the plan. There’s lots going on all over downtown. Join me for the adventure.

Lessons from an incredible blog

September 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Just over a year ago, my wife Tami started a blog to inform and inspire those affected by cancer. The blog, www.miraclesurvivors.com, has been visited by more than 7,500 people in all 50 states and 90-some countries. It has served as a platform for her book, From Incurable to Incredible: Cancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds. And, most importantly, it has put her in the center of a powerful community of people who support each other as they live with cancer or overcome life’s other challenges.

Here are things we’ve learned along the way that could perhaps help other bloggers:

(1) Enlist the help of a web developer to help set up and tweak the blog. In our case, Jason Bayer of JMan Studios in Northern Kentucky.

(2) Provide valuable content at least two or three times per week to maintain and build an audience.

(3) Share personal stories — both your own and those of others. Don’t be afraid to pour out your heart. Others will do the same in return.

(4) Track usage with a tool such as Google Analytics. You’ll learn what works best. You’ll find out that others do, indeed, care about what you’ve got to say.

(5) Promote the blog through traditional channels such as media relations, community presentations, networking at events attended by your target audience…

(6) Do your blog with an attitude of giving, rather than receiving. Share helpful information. Connect people with others who inspire them.

(7) Promote your blog through other social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

(8) Test the waters with paid advertising on Facebook and Google.

(9) Have an RSS and/or e-mail subscription area.

Nothing earth-shattering here. Just putting in practice some of the basics we’ve learned elsewhere. It works–if you work it! For more information, please see Tami’s one-year update.

Stats for the social media doubters

September 16, 2010 2 comments

Ever run into those Doubting Thomases? You know, the ones who pooh-pooh social media. They dismiss Twitter as a place where people only talk about what they had for lunch. They define Facebook as a time-waster frequented by people from their past, folks they’d hoped to elude for good. They don’t read them-there blobs, er blogs.

Here are some nuggets from Boot Camp Digital that you might want to share with them:

 

  • Social media has overtaken porn as the No. 1 activity online.
  • More people check Facebook each day than listen to the radio or read a newspaper.
  • More people use social networks than e-mail.

If that doesn’t wow them, you could try these:

  • 75 percent of adults 18-24 have a profile on a social networking site.
  • 80 percent of Generation X (33-44) Internet users buy products online.
  • 96 percent of millennials have joined a social network.
  • 26 billion videos are viewed per month in the United States alone. (Online video is more th 60  percent of all Internet traffic.)

And you could add these stats:

Years to reach 50 million users:
* Radio, 38 years
* Television, 14 years
* Internet, 4 years
* iPod, 3 years
Facebook added more than 200 million users in less than a year.

Give them a taste of what’s coming with these mobile numbers:

  • There are four times as many mobile users as Internet users.
  • 33 percent of phones use high-speed data service (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android).
  • Over 3 billion iPhone apps have been downloaded.

If that doesn’t erase some doubts, just sit back and be patient. Tell them what you’re having for lunch. Invite one of their old “friends.” Post a picture of them on your blog. Share a video….

Boot Camp Digital: Marching ahead with social media marketing

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

If you were reading the @MikeBoehmer57 Twitter stream this past week, you saw a lot of great stuff about social media marketing. It wasn’t original. It came from one of the top social media experts around, Krista Neher. My wife (@TamiLB) and I had the great fortune of attending Krista’s 2-day Boot Camp Digital in downtown Cincinnati.

Krista gave us a crash course on all aspects of social media marketing in the 9 a.m.-5 p.m. sessions. We walked out of the Carew Tower with a thick binder of helpful materials, the start of a written social media marketing strategy, a list of local resources and events, a cool black hat, and — for me — a list of 33 specific tasks for followup. Krista’s also going to give attendees a copy of her forthcoming book and a half-hour of consulting time.

I really appreciated the strategic focus of the camp — how Krista walked us through the various stages of the brand-building cycle: Awareness, Consideration, Preference, Experience and Loyalty. She explained how you can use social media strategies to influence each of the stages. She also helped us prioritize objectives such as “humanize your organization/give a personal ‘face’ to the organization” or “build relationships and community with current customers.”

She even gave worksheets designed to help social media practitioners better manage their time. Her main tip: Devote a set amount of time each day to social media business purposes. Save personal social media for another time.

Krista stressed the need to Listen, Build A Social Media Strategy, Develop Great Content, Publish and Share Content… She went over social media “rules of engagement.”

If you haven’t already, please check out the tidbits on @MikeBoehmer57 on Sept. 7-8. Also, I highly suggest that you read Krista’s blog.

(Disclosure: My wife and I were guests for the bootcamp.)

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead

September 6, 2010 2 comments

To steal a line from one of the more famous songs by the Grateful Dead: “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

I never would have imagined while enjoying those eight or nine Dead shows back in the day that I would learn a lot about marketing while reading a book about the band in 2010.

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History by David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan helped me walk a few steps further in my journey into the marketing world. Among lessons shared are:

(1) Rethink traditional industry assumptions
(2) Turn your customers into evangelists
(3) Bypass accepted channels and go direct
(4) Build a huge, loyal following

Meerman Scott and Halligan draw from practices that made the Dead the top touring band of all time  in 19 chapters with titles such as “Create a Unique Business Model,” “Cut Out the Middleman” and “Upgrade to Premium.” They tell how more than a dozen companies such as Rue La La, Google and Amazon have successfully employed those practices.

I learned a great deal about marketing while reading Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing & PR a couple of years back. After devouring Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, I ordered Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. I’m really enjoying it, too.

As basketball legend and Deadhead Bill Walton states in a cover quote: “Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead is like a powerful, hard-charging anthem that fills in so many blanks while closing the circle of life. Like the Grateful Dead, Brian and David are transformational visionaries with a keen eye for the second set.”

Reading their latest book will help get you Truckin’ into the new world of marketing and PR!