Author Archive

Front-line Employees Can Make or Break Your Brand – Especially When You Go Social

I once read something in a customer service textbook that advised managers to treat employees the way you want your employees to treat customers. I found that to be a very powerful statement that will probably stick with me forever. After all, nothing says “We don’t really care” about our employees like not sharing your customer messaging and offers with employees, ideally before the employees are stampeded by coupon-toting customers.

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21

07 2010

The Grapes of Wrath: How My Experience with a Michigan Winery’s Facebook Page Was Bad, with a Bitter Finish

Saturday, June 19, 2010 was a big day for wine makers along Lake Michigan Shore’s Wine Trail. The 5th Annual Toast the Coast Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival – the event for area winemakers was coming to Weko Beach in Bridgman, Michigan. The evening before had been the huge storm system that had ripped through the Michiana area the night before had left many without power, but the show was ready to go on.
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09

07 2010

Has Your Social Media Integration Gone to the Dogs?

At this point, most of us are up to our eyeballs in the babble, information and regurgitated messages of self-proclaimed social media gurus. Many of our companies have launched Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and have dabbled in a host of other social networks. It seems like everyone is always talking about “listening” and “engaging” and “the conversation.” But one thing I don’t seem to hear enough about is integration. How does it all work together to serve the greater purpose/mission for your company or organization? Let’s not try to make it something more than it is; social media is just another channel or way to provide customer service, nurture sales and develop relationships.

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02

07 2010

Online Learning: How Social Media Could Have Improved My Education

On August 4, 2010 I will post my last participation comments at Baker College Online as an undergraduate student in marketing. I’m what colleges and universities would refer to as a “non-traditional” student – I’m 31, a working professional and don’t have the flexibility to attend class on campus (nor would I want to attend on campus). I live at least 20 minutes from the nearest community college campus and while that might not seem like a long commute, see how long it takes during a Lake Michigan lake-effect snowstorm! I also didn’t really want to dedicate the necessary resources to make it to a “real” classroom. On the flip side, I definitely felt that I missed out on enriching in-person, real-time discussion and interactions. To be honest, statistics was not an easy class to learn solo!

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18

06 2010

What I Learned from a Smelly Marketing Promotion (or Why Direct Mail Isn’t Dead)

While sifting through my mail a few weeks ago, I spotted a semi-appealing piece of direct mail. It was a pair of bare feet leaving a pair of brightly-colored flip-flops on white sand and walking into turquoise water. I opened it up and glanced at it briefly; it was an advertisement from Meyer Real Estate serving the Pensacola, Florida and Gulf Shores, Alabama area. I had visited their website in the height of my sunshine-deprived months of November through February (though it can really be most times during the year in Michigan these days). As I closed the interesting-but-not-relevant-on-a-hectic-day marketing piece and prepared to put it one of my many piles-of-things-saved-for-a-later-date (that inevitably get thrown out), I caught a whiff of wonderful. Was that coconut I smelled? And summer?!

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10

05 2010

Five Lessons about Sharing Content from the Original Sharing Medium – Chain Letters

If you grew up in the days before email was the preferred method for sharing information with friends and family, then you probably remember chain letters. I was born in 1978 and fell into that in-between group that started using the Internet for email and basic research in middle school and high school on our dial-up Internet connection (insert look of horror here). As a young child I remember mail arriving for me; the envelope indicating that it had come from a best friend or acquaintance written in the slapdash scrawl usually reserved for young children and physicians.

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09

04 2010

The Not-So-Secret Marketing Innovation You Can Implement Now

Innovation-III

When most of us think of marketing, we think of a department in the company that creates ads, direct mail, commercials, etc. But marketing is so much more than just a few “creative” people sitting around writing tag lines.

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29

01 2010

Innovate I: What Does Innovation Look Like?

innovation light bulb

If you could pick one company or product that, in your mind, defined innovation, who or what would it be? I asked myself that same question after I was approached by my coworker Michael Rupchock, our video and graphics editor to co-write a blog on innovation. It’s interesting that he chose this topic, because this is something I’ve been discussing in one of the groups I belong to on LinkedIn – as well as an article in the November 2009 issue of Entrepreneur.

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14

12 2009

Five Ways to Kill Your Social Media Campaign

blogtarget

Everyone wants to make the right impression – whether it’s in person, by phone, email or other mode of communication. We practice what we’ll say, spend time crafting a solid email introduction, make sure our hair is neat and breath is fresh. But when it comes to social media marketing, some of us show up with bad form and no game plan.

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20

11 2009


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