Thursday, April 30, 2009

Link Love from Careerealism

Ok, so to get your blog or website on the search engine radar, you have to have what Careerealism calls Link Love going. You have to have other sites and blogs link to you. And Careerealism is helping. Cool.

More Fun With Bacon! has created even more fun on your computer with bacon. This one lets you create a propeller on your browser window using 2 bacon slices and you can spin them to cool effect.

The ReTweet Button Makes Tweeting Daily EASY

So I am surfing around the other day and saw a cool addition to my blog: The ReTweet button. Now, if you like a post, and you're on Twitter, (click this link to see my Twitter page) you can simply click the ReTweet button at the top of each post and it'll automatically do a ReTweet on your Twitter page for you. How cool is THAT? So give it a try.

If you think keeping up with Twitter is hard, now you can easily just ReTweet my posts every day and voila, you are Tweeting easily and effortlessly.

Ah, don't thank me, that's why I am here. To offer you big ideas.

Aren't on Twitter yet, join now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Big Ideas

Are these following ideas big or a waste of money? You tell me what you think.


More BIG Ideas cont


More BIG Ideas

3. SQUARE WATERMELONS ('cause round ones take up too much space in the refrigerator)
Yes they grew these in that green plastic box to make 'em square.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cool Music Video. Now That's Thinking.

I am a fan of ideas. Big thinking and creativity. It's what I base my point of difference on with my company. S0 I like it when I see it come to life, like this music video called We Got Time. All the "effects" are real and done in-camera. Now how cool is that? Somebody had to think about that one to make it happen.

Monday, April 27, 2009

You Can't Sell What You're Selling

This is the first in what I call my "Belief Rants" for marketers. Or at least those who I work with. Thanks for reading and rant back at me or with me by posting your comments.

Belief Rant #1
You can't "sell" what you're selling.

Companies that are trying to force feed their products or services down their audience’s throat aren’t going to be successful in the long run.

People don't want to be sold to. Do you?

People want to be entertained, engaged, informed, rewarded. And they really want to like the brands they do business with.

They will actually wear brands like a badge. They want to tell their friends, “Hey, look at me, I am cool or important or smart because I am like this brand.”

So don't SELL IT or TELL IT, figure out who you are as a company and build your brand persona around that. Then start conversations with your audience. It will pay off in the end. While the marketers who just continue to push their mantra of "Sell, sell, sell," will slowly fade away into oblivion.

CASE STUDY BLURB: Think about Coke as a brand persona. (Beyond the red and white colors and logo) People are proud to associate themselves with this brand. They wear Coke hats, shirts, buy stuffed polar bears. The Coke persona is a likable, hip, youthful, friendly one. I want to hang out with Coke. They don't sell to me, they offer themselves up as some"one" I want to associate myself with. And Coke has done a masterful job of remaining consistent, true to their brand persona. It's the Real Thing. Coke is It. To today's Open Happiness. So much so that when brain scans were done on people shown the Pepsi logo or the Coke logo, the scans revealed activity in the pleasure center when shown the Coke logo more so than Pepsi. Dannggg. Now that is something.
Don't you wanna be like Coke (in a manner of speaking?)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

CEOs DO use Twitter

Article on about the CEO of Communispace, Diane Hessan, and her foray into Twitter land. (Comminispace helps brands get insights into customers via online communities)
The 5 stages of her experience were:
  1. Loneliness
  2. Finding Some Killer Apps
  3. Learning
  4. Getting Organized
  5. Value
Bottomline is, she says she's sold on Twitter.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Us Weekly Sells Space on Facebook Page

In reference to the ROI article I blogged about recently, Us Weekly magazine has a Facebook page and they just sold ad space to State Farm, one of their magazine advertisers. Check it out from Ad Age Digital.

Fun with Bacon

So one of my clients sent me this very funny app. You simply add anyone's website address to it and then click to have fun.

As I said, my blog will have fun stuff from time to time because that's just me and it's also a great way to break your brain out of its rut and gain some new ways of thinking, which increases your CQ (That's Black House language for Creativity Quotient.)
(Then you add right after the http:// URL you want to have fun with.)

try it on my blog:

And how COOL is it that I have a client who enjoys silly fun stuff as much I do??
(Thanks LV!)

After the Click: The Landing Page Matters

We seem to spend more time worrying about getting online banner clicks than we do about what happens next. We spend time analyzing CTR (click through rates) and deciding if a .20 is enough or maybe it should be a .50 or above.

As a creative-driven operation, I have been focused there as well. I mean, if we get "low" clicks (again, what is that number and how do we determine 'good enough'?) then it must mean the creative sucks. Or it could be a stinky media buy. But I have also always been a big proponent of the landing page or site where our clicker ultimately ends up. To me, if we get banner clicks, by golly, we sure as heck better not lose those valuable eyeballs at the landing page.

A good landing page is consistent with the design and look of the banner or ad that drove someone there in the first place. Rule #1.

After that, it needs to be RELEVANT and FOCUSED. It needs to pay off the person who clicked.
The person who gave up some of their valuable time to follow us. That is the beginning of a relationship and trust is starting to be built. Don't repay that trust with....(see next thought).

So, let's say you clicked to get more info on a sock monkey that talks. But when you get to the landing page, you are overwhelmed with ALL our toys and you have to search to find Mr. Talking Monkey. Not good.

Cram-jammed with stuff does not make a good site or landing page.

Lastly, please don't ask someone to fill out a form with 10 fields in it. They'll dump. And never return.

You see, you have very few opportunities with potential customers. That guy or gal who dumped you on the long form? They're probably gone for good. You've lost your chance.

So paying attention to your landing pages or payoff sites as much as the creative that is driving people there in the first place, matters. Good design matters. Thoughtful copy that is to the point matters. Relevance matters. So if you get a .01 CTR, at least you will be making the most of it.

Here is a great quote to leave you with by Craig MacDonald at Covario: "
Bad landing pages are where good leads go to die."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Social Media and ROI. Is there ROI?

I just read this article on social media and ROI. The writer tends to think if you're doing your social networking the "right" way, there is no ROI because it isn't "media" and you aren't "buying" anything or anybody.

I will comment later about my thoughts, but really want to hear your thoughts.

B2B and Social Media. Does it mix?

Of course, social media is the buzz. And I do a lot of B2B work (business to business) so clients are always asking if social media in B2B makes sense.

I think it definitely can work for B2B. It's very much more so the realm of B2C (business to consumer). But for B2B, like B2C, it's all in making sure you know what your goal is, who you're talking to and that you're ok being honest, transparent and possibly hearing negative feedback.

Ewwww, scary stuff that negative feedback. But c'mon, you think just because you don't see or hear it doesn't mean it isn't out there? These days its about accountability. Clients and customers rule brands. It's all on their watch. They pick a brand, you as a marketer don't sell it to them or force feed it down their throats.

So yes, B2B can use social media to its advantage as much as a company selling t-shirts or shoes.

Because social media is all about having a conversation, that means a two-way dialog, with your target prospects online instead of face-to-face. And most B2B marketers understand face-to-face selling with their products or services. It's how business gets done. Relationships, right? And social media is exactly that, except you aren't "selling" as much as you are engaging and discussing something other people are interested in talking about with you. Common interests connect. So why can't that work for B2B, too? It can.

B2B Online did a study that I thought was relevant here. The study found that 26% of people polled said that they used a social networking site as a marketing channel, with another 22% saying they plan to do so this year.

Social media can help you deepen your relationship with your clients and customers. You have wikis, podcasts, widgets, webinars, blogs, you name it. So use these tools! Again, use them correctly.
1. Know who you are talking to and make sure what you have to say matters to them
2. Do be honest and transparent. Or you will get busted by your audience. And you do NOT want the reputation of being dishonest.
3. Don't freak out when and if you get some "negative" feedback. LISTEN to it. Maybe it can help you. The whole point of social media and networking is to listen and talk. Two-way dialogue. You can actually create more loyalty when you have an issue and then fix it or address it through your social media channel.

It kind of all boils down to this for me, which has and always will be my mantra for B2B marketers: People want to do business with people. Not big, boring, stuffy soulless entities. And social media is a way for a businesses to become real people.

Welcome to Black House Creative

I started my company a little over a year ago. Marketing/Advertising is my gig. I love it. Always have been a writer with quite an imagination, so it all kinda worked out that I ended up in the creative world of business.

My whole way of thinking is this (and why I named my company with the word 'creative' attached to it): Great brands, great companies, all have one thing in common, they understand the importance of ideas and creativity.

Because that, my friends, can solve any problem you ever had, have or will have. That’s right. Smart thinking. Out-of-the-box thinking. Bold musings. The stuff that stands out and gets noticed. And when it comes to marketing communications for your brand. Getting noticed matters.

I bring ideas to the table and that's what makes a difference these days. Daniel Pink's popular book, A Whole New Mind, is all about this. You can't outsource big ideas/thinking. He says we used to be in the left-brain dominant Age of Information and now we are moving into the right-brain dominant Age of Creativity. A time when things like inventiveness and empathy will matter most.

Wow, this is what my business is all about. So finally, all of us right-brainers get our shot. Of course, you have to know how to use all those ideas and creativity in the right way and there's the rub. Too many in our industry don't.

Which is why I hope through my blog to start bringing some of that "how" to the table. I will bring insights and my thoughts on where this business is headed. Help some clients along the way and anyone else interested in keeping abreast. And I won't need any fancy, acronym-laden, proprietary process that seems mystical or magical or costs clients lots of dough either.

So, let's start talking marketing. And maybe some other fun, unrelated stuff along the way. Because fun is, above all, one of the best ways to get to great ideas!