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Vol. 5 , No. 41     October 10, 2006


In this Newsletter:

  1. The New World of Customer Advisory Programs
  2. The 10 Biggest Mistakes Marketers Make—No. 3: Failing to Speak the Language of Business
  3. Blogging and the Boardroom: Six Steps to Starting a Corporate Blog
  4. Three Dynamics of Viral Marketing
  5. Have You Been Digitally Dissed?
  6. Six Ways to Keep Your Web Pages Simple and Increase Sales
  7. Four Low-Cost Web Marketing Strategies

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Sherri Dorfman
The New World of Customer Advisory Programs

In the new world of Customer Advisory Programs, companies are making needed changes to their councils to support changes in their business strategies. They are reevaluating their program research objectives, participant mix, and planned activities to ensure that their program supports the decisions that need to be made. Companies are also putting the necessary organizational changes into place to support their program extensions.

Management knows that by leveraging the insight from the councils, it will make better decisions to remain a leader in the competitive marketplace.

Get the full story.

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Roy Young
The 10 Biggest Mistakes Marketers Make—No. 3: Failing to Speak the Language of Business

Many marketers make an all-too-common error in the way they present their story: They don't speak the language an executive audience uses and values.

Here's how can you master the language of business.

Get the full story.

Anil Dash
Blogging and the Boardroom: Six Steps to Starting a Corporate Blog

Why do you want a blog? Simply put, blogs make it easy to communicate more effectively with the audience you care about. They're the easiest way to update a Web site, provide simple and effective ways of automatically organizing the content you create, and notify your audience when your site has been updated.

A blog can also allow you to collect feedback from that audience. And blogs are a great complement to the communications technologies you already use, such as email newsletters, conference calls and mailings. If you're ready to jump in and get started, the following short checklist offers some essential steps you'll want to follow.

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A Note to Readers

Social Media Is Getting Older AND Younger

Many afternoons, my 9-year-old daughter hops off the school bus, grabs a snack on her pass through the kitchen, and heads to the computer to spend her allotted time all in one chunk at a Web site called Club Penguin.

Usually within minutes the phone rings, and it's one of her friends with whom she had just come home on the bus, calling to see exactly where Caroline—or, more specifically, where Caroline's penguin avatar—is waddling around at Club Penguin.

Club Penguin is a social-networking site geared to kids ages 8-12. It's a snowy virtual town, complete with shops, restaurants, and clubs, where kids assume the shape of a penguin and interact with each other and their surroundings via moderated chat. Together, Caroline and her friends dress their penguins in various outfits; shop for their igloos and furnish them with home accessories like big-screen TVs and disco floors; host and attend each other's parties; play games; and have sleepovers. They stay in touch with happenings by reading the weekly community newsletter.

So I was particularly interested when, last week, comScore Media Metrix released its analysis of the user bases of selected social-networking sites, revealing significant age differences among them. "There is a misconception that social networking is the exclusive domain of teenagers, but this analysis confirms that the appeal of social networking sites is far broader," Jack Flanagan, EVP of comScore Media Metrix, said in a statement.

Various media outlets picked up what they thought were the juiciest bits of the comScore study—mostly that the top sites are "aging." Users at MySpace and Friendster are older than most people think: More than 50 percent of all MySpace users are now over the age of 35, and 71 percent of all users are over age 25.

In my mind, though, the real story isn't that the better-known social-networking sites are skewing older. Rather, as comScore's Flanagan intimated, social networking has become a true societal phenomenon, pervading an entire cross-section of our society—from the youngest to the oldest. In fact, I think the real story is not that social-networking is aging... but that it's getting older and younger.

Having started out as virtual words where teens hang out, social networks continue to house those now-older, erstwhile teens—all the while, ever-younger Net denizens follow their lead, occupying their own virtual corners of the Web.

Of course, there are other issues at play here—the kind of issues that keep me and many other parents up at night: Is it good that my daughter unwinds from her school day by interacting with hundreds of other avatars in the fictitious penguin world? Is earning coins to purc hase disco floors and indoor fountains training her to be a consumer of the highest order? Those questions, I think, are fodder for another day.

But in the meantime, what's your take? Email me, or add your comment to my blog post on this issue over at the Daily Fix.

Until next week,

Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer


Last Issue's Top 5

  1. From Gold Watches to Fur Coats: Driving Conversions via Unrelated Keywords
  2. Four Critical Keys to Writing a Web Site Homepage
  3. Ten Questions With 'Marketing Champions' Roy Young and David Stewart
  4. Innovative Ways to Attract Female Consumers (Part 2)
  5. Improving Your Customer's Experience Through Journey Mapping
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October 12, 2006
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Eric Kintz
Three Dynamics of Viral Marketing

Viral marketing focuses on leveraging existing social networks by encouraging customers to share product information with their friends.

Here are some key insights that all marketers should use as they develop word of mouth campaigns.

Get the full story.

William Arruda
Have You Been Digitally Dissed?

Hiring managers are googling you—as are your clients and business partners. Maybe you're being googled right now as you read this article. Personal googling is a phenomenon guaranteed to impact your career.

Do you know what Google says about you?

Get the full story.

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Nick Usborne
Six Ways to Keep Your Web Pages Simple and Increase Sales

Simplicity is probably the most important underlying factor when it comes to the performance of any Web page... whether your homepage, an interior page, a sales page, or a landing page.

Here are six ways to keep your pages simple and increase conversions.

Get the full story.

Eileen Cruz Coleman
Four Low-Cost Web Marketing Strategies

Web marketers don't sit in labs, mixing and testing search engine formulas. Good Web marketers form online relationships by joining discussion forums, subscribing to e-newsletters, visiting blogs, and introducing themselves to online media.

So get inspired and get yourself out there.

Get the full story.


Publisher:Allen Weiss

Content: Ann Handley

Strategy and Development:
Roy Young

Director of Premium Services
Val Frazee

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