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Marketers Remain Cautious Despite Consumer Sentiment Uptick

Many Hold Spending in Check, Say Economic Indicator’s Rosy Report Doesn’t Match Their Metrics

confidence game

Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index

U.S. consumers are feeling pretty good right now — as good as they have since the pre-recession days of July 2007, according to one recently released key measure. But many marketers are unconvinced that the so-called new normal is about to be replaced by the old ebullience.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index posted a nearly six-year high this month. Its increase since November 2011 is stronger than any since the early 1980s, when the U.S. emerged from back-to-back recessions.

History shows the index is not to be taken lightly. It accurately predicted the last five recoveries and last two recessions (lagging behind the prior three it didn’t predict). Nor is it alone in flashing green. The Dow Jones Industrial Index recently reached a high. The unemployment rate, while still a steep 7.5%, has been steadily declining. And housing starts rebounded the past year, particularly in recession-ravaged California. All this comes despite a 2% hike in the payroll tax and federal budget cuts in recent months.

So why aren’t marketers jumping for joy? Many have other metrics on their minds.

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The Truth About Reddit

The Benefits of Neglectful Ownership, Where Gawker and BuzzFeed Get Their ‘Inspiration,’ and More

1. Reddit has become, simply put, mainstream media.
As noted in Ad Age recently, Reddit closed out 2012 with more than 37 billion page views and 400 million unique visitors. Even people who don’t check the so-called social-news site regularly — or at all — constantly experience the Reddit Effect because …

2. The mainstream blog media is almost ridiculously (even pathetically) dependent on Reddit.
Reddit has a state-of-the-art-circa-1998, text-centric user interface, but its critical mass and core upvote/downvote system has allowed it to become a sort of real-time cultural Zeitgeistometer. A post that captures the imagination of Reddit readers (aka Redditors) gets upvoted and then speeds to Reddit’s home page (and/or the home pages of Reddit’s major topical verticals, e.g.,,, etc.).

And then an hour or two — or 12 or 24 — later, there’s a really good chance you’re going to see that popular Reddit post repurposed on Gawker or BuzzFeed. Well, the silly or controversial stuff, at least. (The random nerdy/newsy topical stuff that Redditors upvote — like last Wednesday’s front-pager about chickpea farming — tends to stay in the Redditverse.)


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LinkMe Displays Texts, Social-Media Alerts on Your Wrist

Move over, Apple and Samsung. While two of tech’s biggest companies are reportedly developing smart watches, startup LinkMe has already gotten a head start.

LinkMe is a Bluetooth-enabled device that lets users view incoming text messages or social-media alerts on their wrist. They send a message with their smartphone via an app, which in turn, will be displayed on LinkMe.

“It’s that simple — in meetings, in class or when you have your hands full, you’ll be able to receive the messages that matter to you most,” according to the device’s Kickstarter page.

Users can also customize notifications, choosing a set of characters that LinkMe will display to denote a particular person or situation, its creators said. Currently, each prototype has 125 LEDs in its display.

LinkMe has raised just over $23,000 of its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter, with 28 days left in the campaign. If $140,000 is reached, the startup said it will also add vibration capability.

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Pinterest Launches Web Analytics to Track Popular Content

Pinterest Launches Web Analytics to Track Popular Content

Pinterest today became more measurable to brands and bloggers alike by launching web analytics that shed light on how images shared there resonate with users.

Available to any account that’s gone through the automated verification process on its web site, Pinterest’s new analytics tool lets accounts track how many people have pinned content from their sites, how many people have visited their sites from Pinterest, and how many Pinterest impressions their content has generated. It will also show a selection of the most recent pins captured from their site and the content that’s been re-pinned and clicked on the most within Pinterest.

View of recent pins from a user's website now offered by Pinterest.

View of recent pins from a user’s website now offered by Pinterest.

Marketers are keen to know what content is popular on Pinterest, since it gives them a window into consumers’ ever-changing preferences.

For example, for marketing purposes, a retailer might want to know that red is the most popular color of a particular style of shirt. But in the past, it would have had to work with a startup like Curalate or Pinfluencer that scrapes Pinterest data to get analytical insight into its content’s performance. Pinterest hasn’t yet opened up an API that would allow developers to build applications on top of the service, and harvest the data.

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5 Dead Simple Ways to Track Social Media ROI

Todd Wasserman recently wrote on mashable, “There are a few dead simple ways to track ROI that don’t require a mixed media modeling program or a staff of math nerds.”

Here is our favorite from his list;

3. Conversion Measurement

Another new Facebook tool for measuring ROI is Conversion Measurement. Conversion Measurement lets advertisers track the behavior of people who click through an ad. If a customer clicks and then goes on your site to register, then you have proof that the ad was at least effective for that. Of course, the ideal scenario is when a customer clicks through an ad and then buys something on your site.

Baser says adding Conversion Measurement to your ads and webpages is as simple as cut and pasting a few lines of code. “Anybody who runs a website should be able to do it,” he says.

In theory, when used in conjunction with OptimizedCPM, another Facebook tool, you can use the conversion data to get a better idea of whom to target. For instance, Fab used that combo to cut its cost per new customer acquisition by 39%.


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How to Ensure Your Business is Found on New Facebook Graph Search

Once again Facebook will put marketing departments all over the world in a mad rush.  Why?  The new ability to search through pictures, aka Graph Search.

, for Small Talk, writes about how to ensure your business isn’t left in the dust.

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Lo writes, “Number of likes becomes more important–since search will begin with people connected to Pages, the more people liking your Page means more people connected and thus the higher frequency of showing in search results.”

Read Lo’s Full Post and Get All His Tips: Click Here…


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Is Instagram Going Too Far?

For many of us – Clicking “I Accept” without reading the terms and conditions is a common occurrence.  The famous photo-sharing app Instagram was hoping that would be the case with its upcoming updates to its terms and conditions.

writes on, “Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users’ photographs without payment or notification, a dramatic policy shift that quickly sparked a public outcry. The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.”


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12/12/12 – Why Not Review The Year On Twitter

If you haven’t jumped on board twitter because you think it is just a fad, or if there is just not enough time in the day to tweet. The 2012 year in review from Twitter may help you realize that there is a whole world out there… and they could be talking about YOU!  Don’t let those conversations go unnoticed.  Be apart of the community.  It will take some work, there is no way around that… but with an open and positive attitude (stop trying to sell to everyone) success is only a tweet away.  Enjoy! Hope 2012 was as good to you as it was to us.


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Your 2013 Social Media Marketing Plan From “A” All The Way To “Z”

Melinda F. Emerson, blogs on The New York Times website about the 2013 Social Media Marketing Plan.  Yep- that elephant in the room for most small business owners.  From blogs to Pinterest to that 24-hour/7-days a week twitter feed… Staying on top of Social Media can be a daunting task. Emerson writes, “Maybe you set up a blog, but you haven’t been up updating it. Maybe you set up a Twitter account, but you have yet to post that first tweet. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you updated your Facebook page. Well, now’s the time. Social media can be a great equalizer for small businesses. It used to be that guy who had the most advertising dollars was usually going to win. These days, people are much less interested in being sold; they are looking for useful information, and if you have some to offer, you have the opportunity to build a relationship.”

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Emerson showers us with early holiday gifts by breaking down a successful 2013 Social Media Marketing Plan from A to Z.

To See A – Z: Click Here…

Here is one of our favorites – Letter E: “Execution. Develop a daily execution plan. How much time will you invest each day?”  10 minutes a day looks a lot easier than 15 hours a month!

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Mamma Chia Founder and CEO Janie Hoffman Named BevNET’s Person of the Year

Mamma Chia Founder and CEO Janie Hoffman Named BevNET’s Person of the Year

Award Recognizes Category Leadership and Overall Impact on Beverage Industry


Janie Hoffman, founder and CEO of Mamma Chia, a conscious and sustainable company that offers delicious, high quality, organic chia-based beverages, has been named “Person of the Year” at the 10th annual BevNET Best of 2012 awards. Hoffman is recognized for her impact on the beverage industry, including the creation of an entirely new category – the first chia-based beverage – as well as a leader in category sales and growth.

Mamma Chia Founder and CEO Janie Hoffman Named BevNET’s Person of the Year

“Receiving this recognition from BevNET is both extremely rewarding and humbling – it really puts into perspective what the Mamma Chia team has accomplished in a relatively short period of time and acknowledges our innovation as the creator of the chia beverage category,” said Hoffman. “In a little more than two years, I’ve watched Mamma Chia grow from a delicious beverage I developed in my kitchen to now being a brand leader in the functional juice category. Best of all, we’re making a difference in people’s lives by providing a convenient way for them to increase their natural vitality with the powerhouse ingredient of chia.”

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