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Showing posts from August, 2008

Vyatta - Extremely Creative B2B Marketing

Someone recently forwarded me the Vyattanewsletter. Vyatta provides open-source router and firewall solutions. Intriguing in and of itself, but in addition, the company does an exceptionally creative job of marketing.

The newsletter is nicely put together, with important news at the top (they get PR), a silly but probably effetive free offer about half way down on the right side (they get humor) and links to their Facebook and LinkedIn groups (they get social networking).

What really caught my attention, however, was the link at the bottom to Vyatta Ads Not Fit for Print. This would have been a $200,000 web page if an agency produced it, but by developing it in "open source" fashion through input from their users, they (presumably) slashed that cost significantly.



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Briefly: My Interview with Jon Miller

Jon Miller at marketing automation vendor Marketo, just posted his interview with me, B2B Marketing Thought Leadership: Tom Pick. I'm a bit too modest to be totally comfortable with a title like that, but I appreciate the compliment nonetheless.

So, if you'd like to read my blathering on about marketing innovation, blogging, social bookmarking, SEO, SMO, SEM, b2b lead generation, lead management and B2B marketing and PR in general (which maybe you do, since you're here after all), check out Jon's interview.

Best of 2008 (So Far) - Cool Web Tools, Part 1

For Marketers, What Recession? Part 2

As an update to the What Recession? post here in May, here are the latest figures. U.S. GDP grew 1.9% in the second quarter, so once again, we are not technically in a recession. On the other hand, the overall unemployment rate spiked upward to 5.7%; not catastrophic, but clearly disturbing.

Still, these two numbers taken together may signal a positive trend. Second quarter GDP growth increased over the first quarter, which had in turn increased over the fourth quarter of 2007. And the last time the unemployment rate was this high was...March, 2004—well after the end of the last recession. In other words, the unemployment rate tends to be a lagging indicator. The fact that the jobless rate is now at a peak, while GDP growth is accelerating, may signal the end of a relatively modest recession. Of course, the policy choices of the new administration after November could swing things in either direction.

But for marketers, at least one measure—the MarketingSherpa Career Classifieds—shows…

Five Ways to Give Back Through Social Media

Focused as many of us are on our own companies' or clients' economic anxieties, it's easy to forget that downturns (or even the perceptions of downturns) hit non-profit organizations particularly hard. When money is tight, charitable giving is an easy, if unfortunate, area to cut. In response, non-profits are getting more creative in using social media and other online tools to provide people with more ways to contribute than simply reaching for nearly-empty wallets.

1. GoodSearch/GoodShop

One example is, a search engine that makes a donation for every search, and it's partner organization, an online shopping mall with more than 700 leading retailers that directs a percentage of every sale to the user's favorite charity.

According to co-founder JJ Ramberg, with gas prices rising and the housing market already in a slump, economic fears have led to a drop in charitable contributions nationwide, making it harder for non-prof…

Best of 2008 (So Far) - Search Engine Marketing, Part 1

WMC Interviews: Tim Young of Socialcast

Last week I had the opportunity to interview Tim Young, CEO of Socialcast, an on-demand social networking platform that brings collaboration and knowledge-sharing capabilities to intranets. The software is designed to help organizations better harness the collective intelligence of employees by providing them with a secure, internal set of tools for social networking (profiles and connections), social updating (like Twitter) and social bookmarking with project management functionality. Current customers include retailers Hot Topic and Guitar Center.

WebMarketCentral (WMC): Tim, it appears that unlike tools such as Ning or Zanby, which are designed to let organizations create their own external social networks, Socialcast is more of an internal corporate social network tool, sort of an "Intranet 2.0" platform. Is that a fair description?

Tim Young (TY): You're correct. Socialcast is focused on using social dynamics to solve organization's internal information problems.…

PitchEngine Simplifies Social PR

I've been participating in an alpha test of a new social press release creation tool called PitchEngine (public beta coming soon). In the words of PitchEngine creator Jason Kintzler, "PitchEngine shakes up the PR industry making it possible for PR pros, brands, and agencies to build and share digital, social media releases with their contacts for free. Our PitchEngine SMR (social media release) takes the press release to the next level, eliminating the need for antiquated email attachments, word documents, image CDs, and more."

Although the tool has a few minor glitches at this point (the number of characters permitted for subheads and the "quick pitch" is way too small, the feature for adding Resources and Related Links is touchy, and hyperlinks have to be recreated after cut-and-paste from Word), overall it's very slick and easy to use. I created a social media release for version 10 of the Quick View Plus desktop file viewing utility (a VERY useful appl…

Using Blogs for Social Media Optimization

Blogs are one of six broad types of social media. This post will discuss how PR and marketing professionals can use blogs (even if you don't write your own) to increase brand awareness and credibility; the next will discuss all of the other tools of social media.

Blogs are a big deal; they are mainstream and competing with traditional media. There are a lot of them—Technorati tracks more than 15 million active blogs, and although the rate of growth has slowed, there are still thousands of new blogs started each day. Blogs help with SEO, whether you have your own or are generating links to your website from others. More than 60% of U.S. Internet users, and more 70% globally, have read a blog within the past 12 months. And blogs have become a key source of information for executive decision makers.

The first step in developing a blog strategy is understanding the landscape of blogs in your industry. You can search for relevant blogs using keywords pertaining to your business as wel…

Branding & Entertainment? Web 2.0? Pick an Event, a Coast and a Discount

Being the most informed and sophisticated marketing and PR executives on the planet, readers of this blog know that WebMarketCentral is the place to find a comprehensive calendar of live and online marketing events. However, in that wealth of content, it's easy to overlook something. Here are two events that deserve special attention.

For brand marketers, the L.A. Office RoadShow runs September 16-18 in Hollywood. There's no other event like this one for meeting the "players" and making connections in the entertainment industry. RoadShow is a global event that brings brand marketers together with 100 marketing execs from 40 top entertainment companies. Brands of all sizes can discover and capitalize on entertainment tie-in opportunities. It's a unique annual event where brand marketers can meet the right people and develop valuable industry partnerships for brand promotion.

The people behind RoadShow are offering WebMarketCentral readers extended special pricing on…

The Importance of Proofreading

From John Andrews at today, this is priceless:
First, let me highlight an amusing snippet of text from a creative agency that claims to include SEO in their client work:“Many of our clients have spent countless marketing dollars with little success.”You have to love the irony. That is the “copy” on the website of an agency looking to earn your business. Beautiful.
(It's real; you can find the original by clicking on "Search Engine Positioning" here.)

That brought to mind a poster that my eighth grade English teacher had hanging in her room (really odd how the brain works sometimes on a Friday afternoon, no?). It was a poster about using words and punctuation carefully, and while I certainly can't remember the whole thing now, I remember that among the example sentences were:Never break your bread or roll in your soup.

Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address while traveling to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope.

Joe likes seafood better than his wife.