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  • How Packaging Your Offering Enhances Your Brand
    by Anthony Cirillo
    Is your company packaging experiences? Are they sought—or are they sold? And, drilling the concept down one more level: have you ever looked at yourself and considered the package that you offer and the experience you provide? In the current downturn, where layoffs loom large, those with the better shot at ... more
  • Four Parts to Valuable Personas
    by Angela Quail
    Recent buzz about personas has created some confusion. If you've tried to develop and deploy personas, you may have experienced resistance from other departments because they don't grasp the value that personas purportedly provide. The reason may be that personas (in the form of customer profiles) by themselves don't offer ... more
  • Case Study: How OfficeMax Helped an Education-Focused Charity Increase Funding and Classroom Adoptions
    by Kimberly Smith
    OfficeMax teamed with nonprofit Adopt-A-Classroom to create an annual event to recognize and reward standout teachers for their dedication and sacrifice. This year, OfficeMax stepped up its marketing for the program, upping classroom adoptions +800%. more
  • Make Your Campaigns More Presidential
    As voters went to the polls on election day, Seth Godin decided to outline what we can learn from a presidential campaign that took marketing sophistication to entirely new levels. His first key takeaway: Narratives resonate with customers. "[L]ike most marketers, you're obsessed with [features]" says Godin. "Forget it. The ... more
  • Chew on This
    What do kids—and, maybe, you—like about Bazooka bubble gum? It could be the flavor, or perhaps the size of its bubbles, but we'll bet it has more to do with the Bazooka Joe comic strip contained in each wrapper. You open it up, hope for a strip you haven't yet ... more
  • I See You. I Want You.
    Just when you've mastered the whole key word concept, along comes—key pictures? Online retailer Amazon.com has released a free downloadable mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch that enables shoppers to search for products to purchase online by simply snapping photos of them. If you like your co-worker's shoes, ... more
  • When Word-of-Mouth Goes South
    Let's say you've gotten into a culinary rut—always going to the same few restaurants—and want to try something new. You visit a site like Yelp.com to see what customers think about various eateries in your neighborhood, and discover that some have uniformly positive feedback. One glowing review after the next ... more
  • Hitting the Spot
    We're suckers for any video series that takes an entertaining approach to informative content like the weekly podcasts from HubSpot TV, hosted by the extremely likeable duo of Karen Rubin and Mike Volpe. This episode opens with viewer mail. The first question asks whether a company should add a Twitter ... more
  • Welcome Home!
    "A good opt-in procedure lays the foundation for a strong email program," writes Loren McDonald in an article at MarketingProfs, "but a well-thought-out series of welcome emails will help turn your newcomer into a long-term subscriber." A proper welcome program speeds up engagement, notes McDonald, and reduces list churn "because ... more
  • The Big Bad Blog Clock
    You've been considering starting a B2B blog. But you're afraid that once you start it up, you won't be able to maintain it. How much do you really have to say in a given week, to keep your copy fresh, and meet the needs of the Big Bad Blog Clock? ... more
  • Nah, That's Not Just an Ad. Is It?
    You learned in school that there's no such thing as a free lunch. But as cable TV's popularity wanes against the force of the almighty Internet, it looks like "free lunch" has become stat quo: nobody wants to pay for TV shows, movies or SNL video clips anymore. They want ... more
  • Time for an ROI Makeover
    In a post at MarketingProfs' Daily Fix blog, Lewis Green ponders an age-old quandary facing marketers: How to prove value to a company's top leadership. "Let's begin by ending the argument regarding ROI," he says. "When we say we can't measure it, we sound like whiners. Our bosses don't want ... more
  • Holiday Appeals? Bah, Humbug!
    It's that time of year when even for-profit companies focus on non-profit giving. For instance, some merchants add an option for charitable giving to their Web sites, or set aside a percentage of holiday sales for a cause. So, what's the best way to get customers to give to a ... more
  • The Long Goodbye
    "Contrary to popular belief among marketers," says a ReturnPath whitepaper, "an unsubscribe request is not necessarily the end of a customer relationship. By executing a well-thought-out, positive unsubscribe experience, a company can extend their brand equity and keep the customer for years to come, even if that customer is no ... more
  • Web Site Content—It's All About the Why
    by Jerry Bader
    This focus on "The What" is exacerbated by some search engine optimization techniques intended to drive traffic rather than to brand product, sell services, or convert traffic into customers. Traffic is important, but converting that traffic into paying customers is more important. Even the best and brightest search engine optimizers ... more
  • A Toolbox for Brand Assessment and Repositioning
    by Bill Nissim
    To weather the current economic storm, companies must take a step back and assess their core business and brand for continued relevance. Dramatic changes in behavior by cash-strapped consumers have had an impact on respected brands ranging from Starbucks (closing 600 stores) to automotive giants, which have announced cutbacks in North ... more
  • Use Welcome Emails to Drive Engagement and ROI
    by Loren McDonald
    A good opt-in procedure lays the foundation for a strong email program. But a well-thought-out series of welcome emails will help turn your newcomer into a long-term subscriber. more
  • Why Won't Mobile Marketing Learn From Online's Lessons?
    by Bob Walczak
    Mobile advertising is deemed complex for the same reason online used to be: Standards are murky at best. Online advertising evolved because online dashboards allowed agencies to monitor and optimize their digital campaigns in real time. Why doesn't mobile do this? more
  • Case Study: How NHL.com's Online Campaign Helped Dodge Launch a New Vehicle, Exceed Sales Forecasts
    by Kimberly Smith
    Before any talk of bailouts, Chrysler called on 15 Web sites to help improve consumers' perception of the Dodge brand and launch its first crossover vehicle, the Journey. NHL.com cut through the clutter and delivered the brand message. Here's how. more
  • Are You Lazy in the Email Department?
    The informality and low cost of email has changed the way we communicate—but not always for the better. In a post at her Marketing Interactions blog, Ardath Albee reminds us that we should craft personalized, thoughtful messages when making initial contact with prospects and journalists. Too often, she says, we ... more
  • Returns? Exchanges? Take It Easy.
    In a post at GrokDotCom, Jeff Sexton puts the winter-holiday quandary in blunt terms: "[Y]ou won't keep profit margins healthy unless you actively take business away from someone—either from direct competitors, or from businesses outside your market/category. If the pumpkin pie gets smaller, you'll have to cut a fatter slice ... more
  • Now, That's a Powerful Presence!
    A Web site has to accomplish two crucial things in its quest for success: to attract customers, and to hold their attention. To achieve both, optimum site design is critical. As David Salinas says in a recent MarketingProfs article, if you design a great-looking, user-friendly site with well-written marketing copy that ... more
  • If You Wanna Play, You Gotta Pay
    In a Pro article at MarketingProfs, Jeanette Kocsis argues that paid search should be a mandatory component of your marketing mix. "Search is one of the most targeted forms of marketing, since the prospect is already looking for what the marketer is offering," she explains. To leverage that built-in connection, ... more
  • Take Two Motrin and Tweet Me in the Morning
    Motrin recently created an online hulabaloo when a video intended for laughs instead raised the ire of its target audience: Mothers. "Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion," begins the female narrator of a 47-second spot. "I mean, in theory it's a great idea." And with a whiff of ... more
  • Put Your Best Face Forward
    You want to explore uncharted territory, but you're also worried about sowing cash on unproven social media ground. Well, here's a way to play it safe: ease, ever so slowly, into Facebook. The facts: It's the largest social networking site in the world. In August '08, users spent an average ... more

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