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  • Are You Committing the Marketing Sin of Assumption?
    by Sharon Ernst
    It's an ugly truth, but a truth nonetheless: Marketers are sinners. We're not talking lying or cheating or stealing or coveting here. We're talking about the sin of assumption. And many of us commit that sin on a regular basis, from assumptions about what to say to assumptions about how ... more
  • Three Uncustomary Customer Service Mindsets That Deliver
    by Gary Levitt, Rich Baker
    You've wolfed down lunch in record time and have seven minutes before your next meeting—time enough to Google "customer service tips," which brings up terabytes of platitudes on friendliness, knowledge, going the extra mile, blah, blah, blah. You know these cookie-cutter best-practices probably work, but they're too obvious and stale to ... more
  • Case Study: How a Technology Firm Used Social Media to Build Awareness for Its Web-based Monitoring Product
    by Kimberly Smith
    CASE STUDY - How does a social-media monitoring company build excitement for its flagship product? In the case of Radian6, it leveraged (you guessed it) social media and the medium's inherent word-of-mouth properties. Here's how. more
  • Hello? Is There Anybody Out There?
    There's almost nothing more frustrating than receiving a business email that says, "Please do not reply to this message as replies to this email address are not read," but offers no other options for those who want to respond. "If it's important enough for you to send to me," says Seth ... more
  • Suck on This
    "So I'm flipping through Entertainment Weekly and I come to an ad for some kind of beverage that waylays me with the headline 'SUCK ON THIS,'" writes Julia Rubiner in the Editorial Emergency newsletter. "The copy was so arresting that I was compelled to read on. Imagine my surprise when ... more
  • I'm Rubber, You're Glue
    Imagine you're Alissa Bayer—owner of the upscale milk + honey day spa in Austin, Texas—and a client has directed you to the Church of the Customer Blog, where a post by Jackie Huba takes your business to task for selling gift certificates with a $1.50 "handling fee." You scan through ... more
  • What You Can Learn From Starbucks' Mistakes
    Comedians used to make jokes about cities with a Starbucks on every corner. It seemed ridiculous at first, but we've gotten so used to their ubiquity that the closure of 600 stores came as a surprise to many customers. And in a post at Harvard Business Online, John Quelch argues ... more
  • Why Are You Asking Me This?
    Josh Nason knows why someone who clicks on your subscribe button—with every intention of joining your list—has a tendency to disappear a few seconds later. "It starts rather simply," he says. "You're setting up fields for your email signup form and instead of grabbing just the [basic]…information, your mind starts ... more
  • Don't Move That. Seriously.
    Beyond key words, beyond placement tactics, there is one unchangeable Golden Rule of SEO for content, according to Ray "Catfish" Comstock: Once you create online content, don't move it. "I used to think that this was obvious," Comstock says. "… But I found that there are many clients that still do ... more
  • The Third Screen's the Charm
    As video continues its great migration from the television set to the Web and smartphones, advertisers face a new challenge: how to reach customers in three places at once. The so-called "three screens" (TV, PC, and wireless devices) require different ad strategies to engage audiences. The 'lean back' TV viewer's focus ... more
  • Who Says You're So Hot?
    Marketers may try to distinguish their products from those of their competitors by engaging in comparative advertising. (X Detergent cleans 25% more loads than the leading brand!) But be careful when you pull out those comparisons: make sure you don't denigrate your competitor. Research is showing that consumers become quite sensitive ... more
  • Make Failure Your Friend
    There is no question that we have entered a period of economic uncertainty. And, especially as individuals and companies begin to tighten their financial belts, fear of failure might make you less inclined to implement innovative business and marketing strategies. But in a post at Marketing Safari, Hjörtur Smárason argues that ... more
  • CAN-SPAM and Permission: Boosting Deliverability
    Last week, we discussed some of the common CAN-SPAM pitfalls detailed in an ExactTarget whitepaper. Now, we're switching our focus from meeting minimum requirements to actually raising the deliverability bar. Here are a few of ExactTarget's suggestions: Play by the ISP rules. According to ExactTarget, "Senders who deploy high quantities ... more
  • by Roy Young
    Matt Strain is director of worldwide relationship marketing at Adobe, where after just three years he is recognized as a Marketing Champion who adds financial value to the company. He has had a distinguished career in technology marketing. He recently took time to share his thoughts about what makes him ... more
  • How to Avoid TMI in Email: When Less Is More
    by Josh Nason
    It starts simply. You're setting up fields for your email signup form and instead of grabbing just the basics for information, you start to wander: What if I got all the information I want up front? So then it begins: name, address, home number, work number, mobile number, bag phone ... more
  • Six Reasons Word-of-Mouth Doesn't Work
    by Michael Antman
    Is there any form of marketing communications more compelling than word-of-mouth, the enthusiastic and genuine recommendation of a person you like and trust? It's no wonder that virtually every business-to-business marketer prizes this organic, spontaneous, and—perhaps best of all—practically cost-free method of bringing in business. But some businesses, especially on the ... more
  • Incentives: 5 Cardinal Rules, 10 Great Ideas
    by Kristin Zhivago
    When the economy gets tight, customers can take forever to reach a buying decision. So, managers think up incentives that will encourage the customer to buy. Whatever lure you use should inspire the prospective customer to edge a little closer to a purchase, which is sometimes easier said than done. more
  • Case Study: How a Young Company's History-Making Soccer-Jersey Sponsorship Increased Sales, Brand Recognition and More
    by Kimberly Smith
    CASE STUDY - Here's how a unique Major League Soccer sponsorship helped a new beverage product score big in both sales and brand recognition. What's more, here are three lessons you can apply to your own sponsorship efforts. more
  • Snare That Sale with a Decoy
    In a post at the Neuromarketing blog, Roger Dooley talks about staring at a shelf filled with shaving gels and creams, unsure of the actual difference between those labeled "Aloe" and those touting an "Advanced" formula, when a particular can caught his eye. "[It] was identical to several other cans ... more
  • Check <i>You</i> Out
    People used to get embarrassed when they admitted googling their own name—or that of their company—because it seemed vain. Today, though, knowing what shows up on the first page of a search engine's results is a critical element in maintaining your image. Because you've got a problem if someone writes ... more
  • Loose Lips Sink Ships
    If you're working on a deal that hadn't been made public, the last thing you'll do is announce it to your friends on Twitter. And yet, warns Rohit Bhargava in a post at the Influential Marketing Blog, savvy online observers could use a variety of tidbits to gather information you never meant ... more
  • Ditch the Spam, Pitch Content
    If you've ever been on the receiving end of bad pitches, you know the feeling of sheer exasperation when yet another example of terrible PR arrives in your inbox. In that moment, someone could be excused for agreeing with the statement "Pitch=Spam." But it isn't true in a general sense. ... more
  • Do You Really Want to Leave Me?
    According to Loren McDonald, "Email consumers control their destiny—choosing when to opt in and when to say adios." This means your unsubscribe page needs to be easy to find and easy to use. And, in a best-case scenario, making this option as user-friendly as possible might keep them from leaving ... more
  • Get Them Sparkling White!
    Earlier this year, Michael Stelzner predicted a jump in demand for white papers by B2B marketers. That prediction is apparently coming true: financial and Internet-service companies are just two examples of B2B firms discovering the power of white papers. Why the white-paper mania? Stelzner cites the usual culprits—social media and the economy—as trend ... more
  • Video Games: Not Just for Kids
    Anyone who has witnessed a Wii bowling tournament at a senior center knows it: video games are not just for kids anymore. They are big business. And they are early indicators of tomorrow's interactive media products and services. When the first big video game success, Pong, was invented 35 years ... more

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