Strategies for Improving Workplace Behavior and Performance

From Leadership Expert Dr. Diane Hamilton

One Key Word That Impacts Intelligence, Engagement, Sales, Soft Skills, Gamification, and Millennials


There is an emotional component behind most of the things that will make or break employees’ and leaders’ success.  When someone first hears the word emotion, it may suggest emotional intelligence.  Developing emotional intelligence is one important factor that has been demonstrated to lead to success.  However, that is just part of the picture. Continue reading “One Key Word That Impacts Intelligence, Engagement, Sales, Soft Skills, Gamification, and Millennials”

Are QR Codes Successful?


I am currently reviewing a text about marketing.  Schools hire me to do this on occasion.  One thing that disappointed me was there was nothing in it about QR codes and some of the other newest marketing techniques. QR codes have been around for a while. If you have not noticed them, they are the little barcode-looking square that appears on newspapers billboards, flyers, and even cars.

While QR codes offer some great marketing opportunities, they have not been as successful as other techniques.  In the article QR Codes are Dead! Long Live QR Codes, the author stated, “One of the most popular Tumblr blogs of 2012 is Pictures of People Scanning QR Codes. If you click through to the site you will see that it is empty. The joke here? No one scans QR codes (short for Quick Response code). It is obvious that QR codes have a bad rep and haven’t gained much traction on the consumer end of the equation.”

QR codes have been utilized well by some companies.  I am currently reading the book Neuromarketology by Brian Fabiano.  He is a marketing guru who was wise enough to put a QR code at the end of each of his chapters with the note, “scan to learn more!” Other examples of successful QR code use include:

For more information about how to use QR codes, check out the following articles:

Entrepreneurs Replacing People with Tablets


One of the hardest parts of getting a new business off of the ground is to have enough funding.  Many entrepreneurs use family members as personnel in order to avoid paying wages.  It may be quite expensive to hire people to take orders or process requests.  The Wall Street Journal article Can the Tablet Please Take Your Order Now included some examples of how some small businesses have begun to use tablets instead of people in the customer-ordering process.

If customers can order through a digital device, it may not only be cheaper but faster.  There are app-building tools that entrepreneurs can use to create a way for customers to input their orders.  Some companies have used QR codes to speed up the order process. Using apps is another logical alternative. With talk of increasing the minimum wage, some small businesses are looking for ways to remain profitable.  If tablets become a popular way to order, it may impact many minimum-wage workers.  “In all, one-third of low-wage workers are employed by businesses with fewer than 100 employees, according to the National employment Law Project, an organized-labor-backed advocacy group for low-wage workers.”

Not only may entrepreneurs experience some cost savings by utilizing tablets and apps, there may be some other entrepreneurial opportunities for the app designers.  According to the Wall Street Journal article, “Some entrepreneurs see a promising market in selling technologies to small businesses that might help them to streamline operations.”  While this may cost some minimum wage-earners jobs, it may also be opportunities to train them for higher-skilled positions.

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Have You Been Retargeted?


If you have ever shopped online for an item and then later noticed an ad for that exact item on another page, you have been retargeted.  It may cause some problems for people who are trying to surprise others with something special. Consider the scenario of the man who has searched for engagement rings. If his future fiancé should suddenly have ads for rings show up all over their shared computer screen, the jig may be up!

To see what it is like to be retargeted, try going to the site:  GreatCall.  Once you are on that site, you will notice they sell a phone service.  You might then decide to go to a site like  Once you get to the dictionary site, you might notice that suddenly there is an ad for GreatCall.

Now take a look at the top right corner of that ad. There is a little sideways triangle that you can click that explains AdSense.  “The AdChoices symbol appears on web pages and ads to let you know when information about your interests or demographics may have been collected or used to show you ads – what’s known as interest-based advertising. You can opt out of interest-based ads, as well interest-based advertising from other participating companies by visiting the choices page.” Click on the following link to find out how to manage your ad preferences.

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Marketing Based on Personality Type

QuantMethod is a site that offers ways to help companies market to customers based upon understanding their personality type.  The Quant Method assessment puts people into 1 out of 4 categories.  According to their site, these types include:

  1. Thinker – “The Thinker likes facts, details, proven examples and is highly organized. Their approach to business is thoughtful, logical and analytical.”
  2. Mastermind – “Masterminds are characterized by a more assertive approach to business. They tend to be fast-paced, results-oriented and get right to the point. They are efficient, logical and task-oriented.”
  3. Olympian – “The Olympian personality type is characterized by an expressive, aggressive approach to business, and aspires to great heights because “everything is possible.” They are emotive and have an easy-going” love of life” approach in her personal dealings.”
  4. Diplomat – “Diplomats are friendly, compassionate, “feeling” people that desire to contribute goodness to the lives of others. They are effective at doing this through their nurturing, insightful and encouraging nature.”

I took the test and I came out as a thinker. I assumed I’d either be that or a mastermind.  The results don’t tell you how close you are to another personality type. The site claims that my results puts me into the same category as George Washington, Michael Caine, Donald Duck, Eliot Ness, and Johnny Carson.  Hmmm … interesting group … especially Donald Duck.  Apparently half of U.S. presidents are “thinkers”.

In the results, it listed tactics about how to appeal to this type of personality in terms of suggested sales tactics.

This company surveys customers to find out their personality type. They claim their instrument is similar to Myers-Briggs MBTI but with 1/6 the size.  The thought process behind this business is that people like to deal with others that are on their same level of thinking.

Time Magazine article Get Personal with Marketing and Net More Sales reported that this Quant Method may be helpful because, “Knowing more about personality types can help you optimize email messages and websites to include specific landing pages with information that the four different personality types like in order increase conversion rates.”

While I find this to be an interesting way to market, it may be difficult to get people to respond to these assessments.  When marketing to a large database, it is not feasible.  I like the concept of targeting to the individual’s needs.  The real trick would be to get people to actually take the assessment.

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How Businesses can Maximize Online Presence

While business leaders may constantly hear they need to maximize their online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, there may be more that they could do to succeed.  Just having a Facebook or Twitter page is not enough. These sites need to be managed and constantly promoted.

Technology entrepreneur Alex Zhardanovsky was recently interviewed by Fox News about ways businesses can improve their online presence. He explained that Facebook can be used like a newsletter.  He stated, “The nice thing about Facebook is that if you spend money building a Facebook page, you have an audience that does not go away.” This gives businesses an advantage of the old style of having people click on a link and then closing a page where they may never return again.

Facebook allows for more of a conversation where businesses can reach customers on a consistent basis.  The best part is it is a free way to build a relationship with people that may later become paying customers. Facebook Fan pages are a very important thing for business to create.  Businesses can post interesting content so that people will want to interact on that page.  Facebook also allows companies to target specific demographics.

Zhardanovsky recommends using a company called AlphaBoost to help companies build better advertising.  This site allows potential advertisers see how the competition’s ads are performing.  They can see the likes, clicks and views of the competition’s ad. The thought process is that if the business is similar, they will receive a similar reaction to a comparable ad.  He explained that once companies get the “likes” from posting a similar ad, then that is when they can differentiate their business from the competition.

To hear more tips about Twitter and other social media platforms, check out the video interview by clicking here:  Small Biz Tips from Top Tech Entrepreneur

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Texting Offers Latest Marketing Opportunity

As mobile phones have taken over the way people communicate, it is a natural progression for texting to become a marketing opportunity.  In the Wall Street Journal article Teen Stores Try Texts as Gr8 Nu Way to Reach Out, author Christina Binkley explained, “Like many parents who have turned to texting to reach their teens, some youth-oriented fashion brands like Charlotte Russe, Claire’s Boutique and Vans are finding that young people are most accessible by text.”

Texting now can include more rich content, pictures and video.  Marketers can send shopping passes, discounts, and offers.  Rather than merely being a vehicle for chat, texting now offers a way to get customers to opt in and avoid illegal lists or spam.  Customers can selectively pick who they would like to receive offers from, which leads to a higher chance of the sales message being received.  The article stated, “People are five times more likely to open a text than an email.  Five billion people text on mobile phones, while about two billion people use the Internet.”

This new form of communication has increased the speed of receiving offers and acting upon them.  There is immediacy due to the ability to send messages that state things like “get 10% off if purchased within the next 3 hours.”

One of the hardest parts is to get people to opt in to receive the texts.  Retails often post signs to ask customers to opt in by texting short codes.  For more information, check out Top Links Explaining SMS and Short Codes.

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Marketers Use Retina-Tracking and Facial-Scanning Devices

The latest technological advances have allowed for marketers to perform experiments that used to be the things only considered in science fiction.   Shoppers may soon have their retinas and facial expressions scanned to determine their product preferences.  Although these scans are not available on the grocery store shelf, they have been used in product research.

The Wall Street Journal reported, “Kimberly-Clark’s researchers used computer screens outfitted with retina-tracking cameras when testing the newest packaging for its Viva paper towels in 2009. Their goal was to find which designs got noticed in the first 10 seconds a shopper looked at a shelf—a crucial window when products are recognized and placed in the shopping cart. They also wanted to know if the preferences held up on different count packages, from single rolls to multipacks.”

Researchers have found that they may obtain more accurate data this way than through the use of traditional surveys.  The retina-tracking devices are useful because the human eye can detect information very quickly.  It’s not just our eyes that can give marketers important information.  Some companies have used brain scans to determine product preferences.  Now with facial recognition software, even more customer data can be compiled as companies can “track involuntary facial expressions to gauge true emotional reaction.”

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10 Top Links to Explain Social CRM

Organizations use technology to keep track of customers’ information.  The hope is to build relationships with current and potential customers.  This is referred to as customer relationship management or CRM.  Social media has changed the way companies handle customer relationships.  The following is a compilation of some of the top sources that I have found regarding how social media has impacted CRM:

  1. How Social Media CRM Affects ROI
  2. Don’t Cold Call – Social Call
  3. Facebook is the Future of CRM
  4. Search Engine Marketing:  Effects on CRM and Online Exposure
  5. How Social Media is Changing CRM
  6. Connection Between Social Networks and Cloud Computing
  7. The Impact of Social Media on CRM
  8. Social Network Management Enhances Customer Relationship
  9. How QR Codes Affect Cloud CRM
  10. Empirical Study of Social Network Effects on CRM

As social networking changes and grows, organizations must keep up with those changes in order to remain competitive.  The company that does not create a Facebook page or is not on Twitter, may lose out to companies that have taken advantage of these sites.  There are unique ways to utilize these social networks.  British Airways uses online surveys for customer satisfaction.  Burberry launched a fragrance with Facebook, and Twitter.

To find out more about social networking and CRM, check out a video by titled:   What is Social CRM.  Paul Greenberg defines Social CRM as, “a philosophy and a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, process, and social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment.  Social CRM is the company’s response to customers’ ownership of the conversation.”

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What You Should Know About Push Notifications

Anyone who has installed iPad or iPhone apps has probably seen the notification: “Would Like to Send You Push Notifications” (with the options of don’t allow or OK). explains, “Push notifications are a way for an app to send information to your iPad or iPhone even when you aren’t using the app.”  If you’ve noticed the number of email listed on your email icon, that is there due to a push notification.  That notification reminds you that you have mail without making you actually open up the application.

IOS (Apple’s system) is not the only one that utilizes push notifications.  Android and Windows smartphones also use them.  Check out:  Not all Push Created Equal.

Apple’s IOS system provides 3 types of push notifications.  To manage these notifications for an iPad or iPhone, you “Go to Settings > Notifications to choose the apps you want to receive notifications from. You can also select what form you’d like the notice to take – sound, badge, alert or banner, depending on the options the app includes.”  For more help, check out:  IOS:  Understanding Push Notifications.

Some push notifications may be very useful.  However, TheNextWeb explained push notifications need to be smarter.  Having the ability to adjust how they work may need to be adjusted.  Lifehacker explained that push notifications may not be the best thing.  In the article You Should Forget About Push Notifications for Your Email, author Adam Pash stated, “the vibrating pulse in your pocket indicating the arrival of a new email; the unpredictable “ding” from your desktop’s email notification; these things are killing your focus and destroying your ability to work to your capacity.”

Push notifications are an effective marketing tool. Check out the following video explaining why:

MobileMarketer warned that apps need to be pushy but not too pushy to be effective. “ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL is not an effective strategy in any marketing channel. An effective push notification strategy should maximize the likelihood of message relevance and a beneficial value exchange between brand and customer.”

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Facebook IPO Stock Market Performance

Facebook’s recent IPO demonstrated how difficult it may be to determine when to purchase a newly released company’s stock.  Companies like e-Bay, Yahoo!, and Linkedin had impressive launches. Facebook has not shown the same first-day stock market gain.

The first-day results may not give a good indication of the strength of the stock.  The company may see an increase in stock price due to Facebook’s advertising and marketing appeal.  The company recently acquired Tagtile.  Due to this acquisition, Facebook’s success may be improved through e-commerce.

Even if Facebook opened without a pop, Mark Zuckerberg became very wealthy with the initial offering.  Although it may surprise some that Zuckerberg does not own the most shares of Facebook,  Zuckerberg is now one of a select group of famous entrepreneurs who made it big before turning 35.

While some may be eager to cash in on the success of Facebook, check out:  Some things to take into consideration before buying shares of an IPO.

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Facebook Advertising Appeal

When a company like Facebook goes IPO, there is a lot of discussion about future potential for income.  One area where Facebook may increase revenue is through advertising.  Facebook took a big hit this week when GM killed a $10 million advertising campaign deal. GM claimed that Facebook ads were ineffective. reported, “Click-through rates are much lower on Facebook than they are on the internet generally, or on Google (Facebook: 0.051%, Google: 0.4%, Average: 0.1%)”

One way for an ad to be effective is for it to reach the target audience.  Understanding a company’s target demographic is important.  The following chart demonstrates the age of Facebook users:

According to Statista, “This statistic shows the age distribution of Facebook users in the United States as of April 2012. During that period of time, the majority of local Facebook users were between 18 and 24 years old. Furthermore, the most popular Facebook activities of U.S. users were posting on walls and checking the internal newsfeed.”

According to Facebook’s advertising Q&A area, there are some limitations regarding how advertisers may reach a specific demographic.  Other than age and birthday-specific advertising, Facebook targets based on location, interest, education and connection advertising.  This differs from Google that allows targeting by interest, keywords, remarketing, location and demographics.

BusinessInsider explained the difference between advertising on Facebook vs. Google in terms of reach and revenue.  “Total reach for Facebook is 51% of all internet users.  Total reach for Google is 90% of all internet users.  First quarter revenue for Facebook is $1.06 billion, down 6.5 percent year on year and down 32 percent sequentially.  First quarter revenue for Google is $2.09 billion, up 1 percent year on year and up 0.7 percent sequentially.”

Facebook is hoping to use friendships to sell products and brands.  Check out the following video to find out more about this and the importance of geofencing.  According to Amos Content Group, “A geofence is a virtual perimeter around a real area as in within a block of a restaurant. Marketers can use this location-based service to target a passersby who has opted in to send deals or information to smartphones.”  Facebook’s friendship-based approach could influence geofencing.

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Using Giant QR Codes on Cars to Promote Business

QR codes may offer sales people a new way to advertise.  Real estate agents are known to put company and contact information on cars as a form of advertisement.  Agents have even begun using QR codes on the “for sale” signs. Interested buyers can scan information about the home instantaneously into his or her cell phone.

Now that QR codes are on just about everything, why not make them into a magnetic attachment for an automobile?  Chevy has already used QR codes on automobiles to promote car sales. “The vehicles are currently undergoing Southern California road testing, so the displayed QR codes will allow consumers to get a closer look at this vehicle even before it is available for sale.”

How big can a QR code be?  Check out the 10,000 square foot QR code made that can be viewed from 2 miles up in the sky.

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Facebook Recognizes Importance of E-Commerce

Companies are able to increase global reach through e-commerce (short for electric-commerce).  E-commerce occurs when products and/or services are sold over the Internet. Some examples of e-commerce include:  Online shopping, electronic payments, online auctions, internet banking, and online ticketing. E-commerce may be business-to-business, business-to-consumer, or consumer-to-consumer.

Facebook recently acquired Tagtile to grow e-commerce business. Tagtile is a company that is designed to keep customers engaged and motivated to continue to frequent a company’s website. This will help add to their strong advertising revenue. Zdnet stated, “Facebook needs to be able to bundle a solution to sell to brands who want to tap into Facebook’s store of data for closer customer connections. It needs to find an alternative revenue stream to keep its shareholders happy as it builds its e-commerce offerings post IPO.”

To find out more statistics about e-commerce, check out Statista’s site. Statista is a website that provides some important statistics available on the internet. Statista “provides business customers and academic institutions with an innovative and intuitive tool for the research of quantitative data, statistics, and facts.”

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What is a Meme?

There may be some confusion as to the meaning of the word meme (rhymes with dream).  John Gunders and Damon Brown, authors of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Memes, define it as, “A cultural unit of measure.  It can be a thought, a phrase, a style, or any other cultural expression that can be imitated by individuals.  More important, a meme is a replicator; that is, a particle of culture that strives to get itself copied as many times as possible.”

Basically it is an idea that is replicated through imitation.  There is a lot of that going around on the Internet.  If an idea catches on there, it may be referred to as “going viral”.  There is much more than just Internet messages that are memes.  Gunders and Brown explain that things like philosophy, sex, religion and politics also exhibit meme qualities.

It is a unit of culture such as a tune, idea, habit, that makes its way from person to person. It must be short enough to catch on and easily understood.  There are a lot of versions of the following meme that are based on different job occupations.  The template of what others think that the job entails is the same.  People have had some fun putting in their own ideas of the different perspectives of a job.  Here is one for a sales professional:

Examples of Memes:

  • Technological:  Rick Rolling – Promising one web site but redirecting to Rick Astley’s music video.
  • Musical:  The opening five bars of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
  • Marketing:  Slogans like “Where’s the Beef?”  The trick is to have something be catchy, memorable and desirable.

The Players and How it Works:

  • The Creator:  Creates the Meme
  • The Hook:  The Enticement to Remember the Idea; Example:  Belief That Others Will Enjoy Idea or That Others Need to Experience the Idea
  • The Bait:  The Desired Result; Example: Positive Benefit of Meme is Realized
  • The Vector:  The Medium that Transports the Idea.  Example:  E-mail, Facebook, Youtube
  • The Host:  The Carrier of the Idea Who Initiates Delivery

Popular Internet Memes:

Popular Concept Memes:

Popular Video Memes:

Popular Picture Memes:

The following list are some websites that explain more about memes:

Help With Yelp: Popularity of Site Important for Business

With all of the review sites out there, why is Yelp so important?  Yelp’s site helps connect people with businesses. According to their site, “Yelp had an average of approximately 66 million monthly unique visitors in Q4 2011.”  Statista put together the following infographic to demonstrate the importance of Yelp:

Businesses can use the site to post photos and connect to their customers. Yelp is most useful to businesses when customers write reviews.  It is important that the reviews are legitimate.  It is not recommended to improve ratings on Yelp through illegal means. urges businesses to embrace Yelp or miss out on over 50 million Yelp users.

If owners are concerned about negative reviews, the following chart shows that it appears people enjoy spreading good news more than bad.

Is Yelp worth it?  That answer may be based on the type of company.  However, Bay Area Web Solutions explained that Yelp is one of the top review websites.  Check out how to use Yelp without paying for it.

Click here for the: Top Links for Help with Yelp.

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Brand Awareness: The Importance of Facebook

Youtube, Coca-Cola and Starbucks are just some of the most popular brands according to “fans” on Facebook.  Companies that have yet to embrace Facebook as an important marketing tool, are missing the boat.  Gourmet Marketing explained, “Businesses carve out an identity and following of customers through Social Media…none is more central than Facebook.”

Seattle Local Marketing’s article Tips on How to Find Fans for Facebook Fan Page stated, “Why is Facebook so useful? If you want to pull a lot of people to look and find out about your business then, the best way is Google since majority of these people use this search engines. However, Facebook comes almost as second in being one of the most accessed sites in the world.”

Social Media Today recently ran an article titled 15 Ways to Use Facebook for Business.  By creating a Facebook page, businesses can create a forum for discussion, facilitate word of mouth, research and test-market products, list press releases, and even hold contests.

Simply Zesty’s article Beer Company Generations $50.7 Million from 400,000 Facebook Fans demonstrates the impact on Facebook fan pages. New Belgium Brewing, “recently surveyed their Facebook fans and found that on average, their fans are spending $260 annually on the company’s products. This equates to $50.7 million in annual revenue, with 400,000 Facebook fans spread out across their products. Not a bad return on investment, given that the company had invested just $235,000 in 2011 in social media campaigns.”

To find out how some of the top companies rank on Facebook, check out the following chart:

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What is Socialnomics?

In Erik Qualman’s 2010 book Socialnomics, he described how socialnomics exists “where consumers and the societies they create online have a profound influence on our economy and the businesses that operate within it.”

Social media is the new word of mouth.  Now that individuals look online to find out information about products from their peers, marketing has taken a new turn. Companies must create a social networking presence in order to survive.

Click here to see some examples of socialnomics in action.

The following video gives some interesting statistics about the social media revolution.


Top 5 Reasons Why Big Pharmaceutical Companies are Failing: An Inside Perspective

The Wall Street Journal recently reported how drug companies are using cues taken from Disney to improve lagging sales.  I usually do not write opinion articles, but having worked as a pharmaceutical representative for 15 years, I witnessed a lot of mistakes in the industry that I believe should be uncovered.  While high pressured sales pitches may be causing some of the problems facing Big Pharma, there were plenty of other issues that I experienced.

  1. Too Many Reps – The biggest problem I saw was the number of sales representatives hired.  When I began selling pharmaceuticals in 1985, I had my own territory.  It consisted of several zip codes.  My job was to call on doctors within those zip codes once a month.  In that sales call, I presented information about my drug.  As time went by, leadership decided that if one person could do so well calling on doctors, having two people delivering the same message would just improve sales.  They began to think it was inspired to just double the amount of reps.  By the time I left in 2002, there were eight of us in my territory all delivering the same message to the same doctors.  It is no wonder that doctors began to stop seeing reps.  Doctors were tired of being overwhelmed by the same information.  While it may sound bad that a company like AstraZeneca is laying off 24% of its sales staff, perhaps it is important to realize that they may have had too many sales reps in the first place.
  2. Rewarding Mediocrity – The commission structure was set up in way that did not inspire motivation.  My company set up forecasts so that reps would attain around 105% of projections.  If a representative came in at 100%, the next year, their forecast would be decreased.  If the representative came in at 120%, the next year, their forecast would be increased.  There was no real incentive to do well, because it would catch up in the next cycle. Reps also were paid most of their income as a base salary.  Commissions were a smaller part of their income.  In the Wall Street Journal article, it mentioned that companies are now considering changing the way they pay commissions.  In the past, commissions were based on number of sales.  Companies like Glaxo are now considering basing commissions on physician satisfaction.  Now that I am just a patient and not a rep, I would rather a doctor wrote me a prescription for a drug because it is the best drug and not because they are satisfied with a drug rep’s performance.
  3. Lack of Control – A pharmaceutical rep either sold a drug that was or was not on a formulary.  A formulary is the list of medications an insurance company will pay for if a doctor prescribes it.  If the drug he or she sold was on the insurance company’s formulary that the doctor used, then the rep had a fighting chance of convincing the doctor to prescribe the medication.  If not, the rep had little effect because patients would not be willing to pay cash for their prescriptions.  The reps had no control over getting drugs on the formularies.  That was someone else’s job.  The lack of control led to low sales and poor performance.
  4. Training not Realistic – Pharmaceutical reps go through intense training before entering the field.  In that training, they are taught sales scripts.  These scripts were things they should say when they were in the doctors’ offices.  When a rep would get out into the field, they quickly saw that the training was not realistic.  They did not have the kind of time to say the kinds of things they were taught.  Doctors were too busy.  My boss basically told me to forget everything they taught me and just be conversational.  This is interesting to me now that the Wall Street Journal article claims that this style is now being embraced by Lilly.
  5. Doctors’ Preferences – Like it or not, many of the reasons people are given the medications are due to doctors’ friendships with and preferences for their reps.  I had a doctor tell me that he wrote a medication for a rep he hated just because he saw him so much it was “just in his mind” to do so.  He did not choose the drug because it was better.  The Wall Street Journal article explained that a psychiatrist deliberately wrote for a competitive product just because he did not like the rep.  It was disturbing to me to see the reasons why a doctor prescribed what they prescribed.  It usually was based on familiarity and friendship rather than anything else.

I was fortunate that I was successful in my 15 years as a pharmaceutical rep.  I was a multiple winner of their coveted “Presidents Circle of Sales” award. However, some of my success was based on luck.  If my drug was on a formulary, it made my job a lot easier.  Now that I am a Professor of Business, I see many problems with their business model.  It may have worked for a while, but over time, there have been cracks in a less than solid foundation.

I believe that a lot of the problem in that industry is due to the lack of time doctors put forth in terms of researching their medications.  I have witnessed a lot of scary things that doctors have done over the years.  I witnessed a lot of doctors who only obtained information about medications based on a sales pitch.  I would rather have a well-informed doctor that has done his research prescribe my medication, than a physician who liked the lunch or “performance” delivered by the rep that was just in his office before I arrived for my appointment.

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Could Augmented Reality Technology Inspire the Next Steve Jobs?

One of the biggest obstacles the new entrepreneur faces is coming up with a unique idea.  The Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerbergs of the world have raised the creativity bar.  By creating augmented reality phone apps, certain companies are getting attention.  Autonomy has developed a new technology called Arasmsa that may change how people interact with objects.  It works with a smart phone and can reveal some things that are not readily visible to the naked eye.  Check out the following video:

With the popularity of QR codes and now new technologies like Arasmsa, there is potential for some amazing app possibilities.  For example, you can now point your phone at a magazine and have an app translate the material from one language to another.  There are a variety of augmented reality apps already available on the market.  Check out 40 Best Augmented Reality Phone Apps and 2 Augmented Reality Technologies that are about to Change the World.

The question is who will be the next Zuckerberg or Jobs to create an idea that goes above and beyond what is already out there?  Perhaps they are listed in the article 8 Important Silicon Valley Innovators Not Named Steve Jobs.  Only time will tell.

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Unusual Uses for QR Codes in the Classroom and Job Market

QR codes are those little barcode looking squares that are popping up everywhere.  They are an excellent marketing tool.  They have some unique applications as well.  The article 50 Great Ways to Use QR Codes in the College Classroom lists some unusual uses such as:

  • Using QR codes on name plates to find instructor office hours
  • Adding QR codes to the syllabus to link to classroom calendar
  • Adding to class announcements to create buzz for upcoming events
  • Linking QR codes to lectures, videos or answers to commonly asked questions
  • Linking QR codes to digital portfolios

These are just some of the unique classroom uses.  Click on the link above to read all 50 uses. 

For more articles about using QR Codes check out:

Stand Out In Job Market with Mini Resume Cards

Combining a resume with a business card in a smart, easy to read fashion, is a great way to capture a future employer’s attention.  ResuMiniMe is a site that has done a nice job of creating such a card.  In just minutes, job-seekers can create a traditional-sized business card that promotes their strengths while serving as a nice ice-breaker for networking opportunities.  Prices start at $90 for 1000 cards.  Gift packages are available.  A free profile on LinkedIn is required. 

They offer two style choices for the back of the card.  A traditional standard style that lists education and experience is one option.  Also offered is the option to include a QR code on the back.  For more information about using QR codes to find a job, click here. 

The following are examples of the cards that can be created on this site.  The back of the card is shown vertically here for easy readability.

Front (although not listed here, a phone number may be included):

Back Traditional:

Back QR Code Version:

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Top Links for Help with Deciphering Web Analytics

Sites like Alexa, Compete, Google Analytics and Quantcast can give some important data about website visitors.  If these were the only choices available, it might not be so difficult to choose the best tools for web analytics.  However, there are a lot of sites out there.  They may also have some techy jargon. Some terms that may be confusing to some who are trying to decipher the data include:

To explain the importance of the type of visitor, check out the article: Total or Unique Visitors:   What is the Difference? While many people focus on unique visitors, in an article titled Unique Visitors are not Everything, Jakob Nielson was quoted as saying, “Chasing higher unique-visitor counts will undermine your long-term positioning because you’ll design gimmicks rather than build features that bring people back and turn them into devotees and customers.”

To try and keep it all straight and pick the correct site based on individual needs, check out the following top 10 links with information about web analytics, explanations of popular tools and what they measure:

  1. Web Analytics Demystified – Unique visitors ONLY come in one size.
  2. Alexa Analytics Explained – Take a tour of Alexa’s analytics.
  3. Compete Analytics Explained – Where they get their data and PDF of methodology.
  4. Google Analytics Explained – FAQ for all Google Analytics issues.
  5. Quantcast Analytics Explained – FAQ for all Quantcast Analytic issues.
  6. Top 24 Web Analytics Software Packages – Top software packages explained.
  7. 11 Best Web Analytic Tools – Includes Google, Yahoo, Crazy Egg, Compete, and more.
  8. Alltop Web Analytic News – News about all analytic issues.
  9. Web Analytics Review – Side by side comparison of top web analytic tools.
  10. Yahoo! Analytics Explained – FAQ for all Yahoo! Analytics issues.

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SitePal and Voki: Add Pizzazz to Your Website or Classroom

There are some fun sites that can be used to animate pictures to add pizzazz to websites or online classrooms.  One of these sites, Voki, is free and is available for non-commercial use.  For commercial use, SitePal starts at just $9.95/month. 

Are you looking for a way to create content for an online classroom?  Consider adding a link to Voki.  “Voki enables users to express themselves on the web in their own voice using a talking character. You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters… animals, monsters, anime etc. Your Voki can speak with your own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or phone. Voki lives on your blog, social network profile and will soon be integrated in various instant messaging platforms. You will also be able to download it to most video supported phones.”

Click on the picture below to see what happens if you add a link to your Voki-created file.   Be sure to hit the play button to hear the message once you get there.

If you are looking for a way to stand out on your website, resume, email signature line, or other form of social media, consider SitePal. “SitePal is an easy-to-use service that allows you to create a speaking avatar for your website and empower your online communication.” Click on the picture below to see that animation. 

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Facebook Now Allows Subscriptions to Your Site

Facebook announced a new feature that will allow for people to expand their exposure on Facebook.  People can subscribe to your feed if you set it up for them to do so.  This is a useful tool for companies who have a profile but not a separate Facebook page to promote.  Without having a page set up, the profile site previously required an acceptance by the owner for people to view the content. 

With the new subscribe feature, all that has to be done to allow others to view the profile, is for the owner of the profile to look for the word subscriptions under their profile picture.  By clicking on that, they can enable others to see their updates.


This isn’t the only change announced by Facebook. According to TechCrunch, “In addition to Subscriptions, Facebook is also making it easier to tweak the amount and types of content that show up your News Feed. Now, when you’re viewing a user’s profile, you’ll be able to hit a button and choose from three subscription settings:

  • All updates: Everything your friend posts
  • Most updates: The amount you’d normally see
  • Important updates only: Just highlights, like a new job or move

You’ll also be able to choose what kinds of content you want to see (for example, you could opt to block all game-related updates from one of your friends, but keep their photo updates).”

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Social Networking Use Doubled: Future for Neuromarketing

Recent Pew Research found that 65% of adult online users are taking advantage of social media sites. That is more than double the 29% of users in 2008.  According to Pew, “The pace with which new users have flocked to social networking sites has been staggering; when we first asked about social networking sites in February of 2005, just 8% of internet users – or 5% of all adults – said they used them.”  With such an increase in adults frequenting social media sites, this could have a dramatic impact on how companies market their products.

Adults are making social networking a normal part of their daily routine.  The only part of daily Internet usage by adults that takes up more time than social networking was checking email and using search engines.   Women were more likely to use social networking than men. Young adult usage has been more stable, while older users are increasing their frequency. 

Half of American adults now use Facebook. This increase in how people use the Internet has a strong impact on how marketers must focus their advertising.  Previous research has already shown that women were more likely to use the “like” button on Facebook.  However, this requires action on the part of the user to hit the “like” button. 

Now the trick would be to somehow combine neuromarketing with social networking. If there are QR readers that can read information, what is next . . . eye tracking programs to register product appeal?  Eye tracking is just one form of neuromarketing.  Neuromarketing is one of many routes that the future of advertising may be headed.  Several companies have used neuromarketing techniques.  “Frito-Lay has been studying female brains to learn how to better appeal to women. Findings showed the company should avoid pitches related to “guilt” and guilt-free and play up “healthy” associations.” 

Now if the programmers who created the QR reader can create an app for eye tracking, think of the neuromarketing possibilities.  If women are flocking to social media sites, companies like Frito-Lay could use these techniques to find out much more about the appeal of their products.  This possibility may not be so far off in the future.

How to Use QR Codes on Your Resume and Business Cards

QR codes are the latest thing in marketing.  They are in the newspapers, on billboards and on just about every kind of marketing material you can imagine. Now you can utilize this amazing new technology to make your business card and/or resume stand out from the rest.  This is an innovative way to show prospective employers that you are tech savvy.  It also can redirect them to important information on your website that you cannot include in your resume. 

Here is an example of how to put one on your business card. 

Anyone with a smartphone that has an app for reading QR codes can easily point their phone at your card and find out more information about you.  If you don’t have a QR reader app on your phone, they are easy to download from sites like iTunes and they are free.  I use QR Reader for iPhone.  Once you have the app on your phone, open it, and point the phone’s camera at the square on my card.  See how it directs you to a site. 

The QR codes are simple to create.  Check out this article:  how to create your own QR codes.

Here is an example of how to include them on your resume:

If you used your reader to scan these codes listed here, you can see they each will send you to a different site.  You may just want to send them to your LinkedIn page or some other website that showcases your abilities.  You could create a presentation in Google Docs or on YouTube that would make you stand out from the crowd.  If you have always felt that you could get that job if only they could see you, now is your chance.  Just be careful to create quality content on the site where you direct potential employers. 

To see QR codes in action, check out this video about how QR codes are changing the way people shop:

Neuromarketing: The Future of Advertising

In Morgan Spurlock’s movie, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, there is a scene where they discuss neuromarketing. Spurlock is put into an MRI machine and shown product images.  The information obtained showed dopamine was released when he looked at images of Coca Cola.  His desire for the product was actually visible on the brain scan. 

What is neuromarketing?  Tech.FAQ defines neuromarketing as, “a field of marketing that involves studying the way people react to marketing techniques and adjusting those techniques to maximize sales and inform the public about a specific product, idea, or campaign. Neuromarketing includes the use of biometric sensors, social studies, and subliminal messaging. While neuromarketing is a relatively new technique, it has been widely implemented in recent years and nearly every marketing agency and medium-large company in the world now uses it.”

Just less than a year ago the question was asked:  Is neuromarketing the future?  AdvertisingAge stated, “Neuromarketing offers a chance to get accurate, factual data about the buying habits of target markets.” However, they also pointed out that, “At the end of the day, neuromarketing is still in its infancy. A technology that is unproven outside of laboratory conditions, prohibitively expensive, and potentially a legal minefield is a technology that requires a lot of capital and a solid brand to experiment with.”

The future may be here sooner than anticipated.  Combining neuroscience and marketing may just be the next big thing available through the use of apps.  ThreeMinds reported, “large companies like Google, Disney, Microsoft and Chevron have already begun to dip their toes in the neuromarketing waters.  And research vendors have responded, recently announcing the availability of portable EEG devices that can wirelessly transmit brain scans to iPads, as well as “full-brain home panels” for original research studies.”

Marketing professionals may be able to use this technology prior to products coming onto market.  Currently researchers from Duke and Emery are studying how products appeal to the human brain

iTunes offers a free series of videos from the University of Warwick about neuromarketing. In these videos, find out how “Cognitive neuroscience has revolutionized our understanding of the consumer’s brain – a fact with huge implications for business and marketing…you will hear from practitioners, clients and academics at the forefront of neuromarketing. Hear how neuroscience is being applied commercially to research and develop new products and services, improve the effectiveness of communications and boost revenue.”

Loss Leaders and the Old Bait and Switch

Go Daddy is in the news right now due to their consideration of global expansion. One of the ways they have become so successful is that they utilized a marketing technique where they offered a “loss leader”.  For those who have not taken a business course, this term may not be familiar.  The Business Dictionary defines a loss leader as a, “Good or service advertised and sold at below cost price. Its purpose is to bring in (lead) customers in the retail store (usually a supermarket) on the assumption that, once inside the store, the customers will be stimulated to buy full priced items as well.”

In Go Daddy’s case, they charged customers only around $10 to register domains while their competition charged closer to $35.  The Arizona Republic reported, “Then, they were able to capitalize on that by figuring out that domain names are a loss leader or a low margin item, and the way you really make money in the business is not with the domain names, but it’s with everything else that people buy with them.”

How does a loss leader differ from what people refer to as the “old bait and switch”?  First of all, the old bait and switch is considered fraud.  “Customers are “baited” by advertising for a product or service at a low price; then customers discover that the advertised good is not available and are “switched” to a costlier product.”  This is considered false advertising.

The use of loss leaders is a smart marketing move because it gives customers what they want at a lower price and allows companies to make more money on any additional items purchased.  The old bait and switch is illegal and causes a loss of business in the end through word of mouth about shady practices.    

Top Apps for 2011


mobile apps


The list of apps that are available for iPads and other tablet devices can sometimes seem staggering. recently listed their 10 Must-Have Business Apps for 2011.  Most of these apps had to do with productivity.  For a more productivity apps click here.

Hubspot had a more complete article titled The 25 Most Important Mobile Media Apps. This list is nice because it is broken down into financial tools, organizers/time savers, utilities, news/information, shopping, social, and productivity applications.

One application that any mobile device should have is for reading QR codes. For more information about QR codes and their use, click here.

The Most Useful Articles about How to Use Twitter

As Twitter grows and develops, so does the need to understand how to use Twitter as an effective marketing tool.  Companies and individuals that still have confusion with understanding hashtags, obtaining followers or how to remove annoying followers, should check out this list of the top Twitter articles:

  • Best Twitter Articles of 2010 – gives an exhaustive list of everything you want to know about Twitter. 
  • How to Find Hashtags on Twitter – This article explain hashtags and joining conversations on Twitter.  Hashtags are a popular way to start up a conversation about a specific topic within Twitter.  By putting the # sign before a subject, it creates a conversation that others can join.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Getting Twitter Followers – Dave Larson from explains the 6 ways to get Twitter followers including how to build a reputation, self-promotion, becoming a reciprocator, understanding automation, joining following groups, and avoiding spamming.    
  • Deciphering Twitter:   Twictionary Terms can be Very Intwesting – As Twitter grows in popularity, so does the number of terms that are associated with the site. Check out some of the most popularly used Twitter terms.
  • How to Block People on Twitter – One big difference between being on Twitter as compared to being on Facebook is that people can follow you without your consent.  That may lead to some situations that you find to be bothersome, including unsolicited contact or having to sift through a bombardment of tweets on your homepage. 

     According to you can block people on Twitter by:

    • “Log into your Twitter account using your unique username and password. If you use a public computer, do not forget to mark the ‘Do not remember me on this computer option’ to protect your personal info.
    • If the user you wish to block is already following you, go to your ‘Followers’ list. Browse among your connections and click on the personal profile of the unwanted contact. Alternatively, just type the person’s Twitter name on the search box and click on enter.
    • While on the person’s profile, you will see a gear icon on the top center of the screen (next to the ‘Message’ box). Once you click on it, a drop-down menu will reveal the options ‘Mention,’ ‘Block,’ or ‘Report for spam.’
    • Click on ‘Block’ and you have successfully blocked the spammer. Moreover, a box ‘Blocked’ with a red line will appear on the user’s profile replacing the ‘Following’ box.

   What happens later if you decide you blocked someone that you would rather not block?  Check out  how to unblock Twitter followers.  


Baby Boomers Keeping Plastic Surgeons Busy

The popularity of plastic surgery is undeniable.  What may be interesting to note is how much of an impact the Baby Boomer generation has on the number of plastic surgery procedures performed.  Baby Boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964.   Karen Zupko and Sheila Hall from the Aesthetic Society News magazine recently reported some interesting Baby Boomer, cosmetic and plastic surgery statistics:

  • 7,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 per day in 2011 – This will jump to 10,000 per day over the next 18 years according to Pew Research
  • People age 51-64 account for 28% of total plastic surgery procedures
  • People over 65 account for 7.3% of total plastic surgery procedures
  • Baby Boomers make up 35% of plastic surgery patients
  • The rate of men age 50-64 who color their hair grew from 3-10% from 1999 to 2000
  • 2,437,165 Botox procedures were performed in 2010 (all age groups) – Non-invasive procedures are growing with men accounting for 15% of injectable market and 26% of skin rejuvenation market.

How can plastic surgeons capitalizing on this demographic?    The authors suggest a few ideas to appeal to this group:

  • Have marketing material in larger font for ease of reading
  • Offer a pampering environment
  • Don’t waste patients’ time by making them wait
  • Focus on men too as they are becoming more interested in plastic surgery
  • Don’t focus on age in marketing because according to Pew Research, this group feels 9 years younger than their true age
  • Make things convenient for them

For those targeting Baby Boomers in their marketing plan, they may want to consider television advertising as Boomers watch more television than any other generation. 

For more information about plastic surgery and specific procedures, click here.

Using QR Codes to Get a Job or Promote Your Business

You probably have seen QR codes and don’t even realize it.  Perhaps they were on a marketing ad or a flyer someone handed you.  You might have seen them on a promotional piece or on a poster at a local store.  It may have looked so under-stated that you probably passed right by it and didn’t give it a second thought.

Start looking for them.  You’ll be surprised at how many places are using them.  What are they?  Think of them like a bar code that lists a lot more information and can direct you to specific websites.  Companies are creating these codes to be used with smartphone apps.  This is an example code that I created for my book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality:

It’s really simple to make one.  You can go to a site like and type in the information you want to be encoded.  It may be something as simple as a website address.  You can go to the Qurify site and type in your website URL address. If you don’t have a website, consider putting in your Linkedin profile page.   Click on the Qurify button and then download the image it creates as a jpeg file.  Now you can take this file and put it on your business cards, on your resume, or on any other information you create. 

Anyone who has a QR Reader app on their phone can simply start the app on their phone and point it at your code.  When they do that, they will be directed on their phone to the URL address you entered on Qurify.  It couldn’t be easier. 

This can really make you stand out from the rest in the job search.  Just having that code on your resume will make those that don’t know what it is, look into it why it is on your resume.  For those that do know what it is, they will appreciate how technologically you savvy are.

If you have your own business and want to promote different parts of your website, these can be useful as well.  To show examples, I created several of these QR codes for Dr. Robert Spies’ plastic surgery site.  To see how they work, first download a free QR Reader app onto your smartphone.  Then open that app and point it at the codes listed below.

This code directs you to information about facelifts:

This code directs you to information about tummy tucks:

 This code directs you to information about breast augmentation:

 By having different QR codes like this, you can customize your marketing material to direct people to the appropriate websites.  For companies like a plastic surgery practice, this can be a very effective tool to target people that have a strong enough financial background to own a smartphone as well as those that are interested enough to point their phone at the code for more information.  It is a great tool to specifically target the appropriate population. 

To find out more about how these codes work, check out information from the guys at how stuff works technology podcast. 

Marketers Target Impatient Customers through Smartphone Quick Response QR Codes


Quick Response or QR codes are the latest bar code system that allows customers to use their smartphones to obtain discounts, gather information and even order products ahead of time so that they are ready upon their arrival.  For an instant gratification generation, these new codes can connect customers to products faster than ever before.

Companies are putting these codes in their advertisements and on their products so that customers can scan them with their smartphones and gather more information, find out about discounts or even order the product.  Although these codes aren’t that new, companies are starting to use them more due to the increased frequency of consumers using smartphones. 

It’s simple to install an app on a phone. In fact some even come with the app pre-installed.  Wall Street Journal reported, “Scanby Inc., a New York company that develops and manages QR codes, estimates that 30 million people in the U.S. have a code-reader app on their phone.”

Companies like Ethical Bean are taking advantage of the code to get their coffee products into their customers’ hands more quickly.  Customers simply need to order their coffee through the use of these apps and it will be ready when they arrive to pick it up. 

These apps can also give more information about the products being purchased.  Customers can find out recipes, ingredients and more.  The Wall Street Journal had some statistics about the use of these codes:

  • 32% of consumers in a recent survey said they’ve used a QR code
  • 70% plan to use QR code again or for the first time
  • 53% are motivated to use it by getting a coupon, discount or deal
  • 52% are motivated to use it by getting more information

Pharmaceutical Representative Jobs Being Replaced by Computers

Ask anyone about a pharmaceutical sales job and you are likely to hear something good about it.  People have this conception of the job being glamorous, well-paid and well-respected.  It can be glamorous working in a sales division of a large manufacturing company.  There may be company cars, plenty of perks, some traveling and even entertainment at events.  In my years in pharmaceutical sales, my company paid big bucks at meetings bringing in high end entertainers including:  Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, Kenny Loggins, Martina McBride, Danny Gans, Harry Anderson, Larry Miller, Huey Lewis and many more.

Those days of big spending on the sales force are changing.  In fact, the drug makers are not only cutting back on entertaining their sales force, they are actually getting rid of them, replacing them with digital tools.  Wall Street Journal reported, “Tens of thousands of pharmaceutical sales reps have been eliminated in the U.S., creating a void that drug makers are now increasingly filling with websites, iPad apps and other digital tools to interact with doctors who prescribe their treatments.”

I was going on my 20th year at AstraZeneca when I quit in 2002.  When I first started with the pharmaceutical division of the company in 1987, sales reps didn’t even have computers.  Notes about conversations with doctors were handwritten.  A sales rep was given certain zip codes as their territory and they had a lot of control over their day and how they interacted with doctors. The plan was to call on each doctor once a month and explain the products.

Fast forward to the early 2000s and by that time, the reps all had handheld computers.  Instead of one representative calling on the doctors once a month, sometimes there were 5-10 representatives all calling on the same doctor with the same message every month.  Somewhere along the way, big pharma management decided that if the doctor heard a message two times, they were more likely to remember it.  That changed to 3 times, 4 times and so on until they hired so many representatives per doctor that when I left, these poor doctors had to listen to the same message delivered to them at least twice a week. 

It turned doctors off to the idea of a pharmaceutical sales representative calling on them.  Many of them became “no see” doctors which meant they would no longer allow representatives to call on them.  According to the Wall Street Journal, “In 2009, one of every five doctors in the U.S. was what the industry calls a “no see,” … Just a year later, that jumped to one in four.”

Before I left AstraZeneca, they were already beginning to work on some computer-based sales presentations.  Doctors were not really catching onto that idea a decade ago, but the digital market has become much more popular since then.  The Wall Street Journal reported, “AstraZeneca set up a digital marketing group in 2009 and substantially ramped up its work last year, says John McCarthy, vice president of commercial strategy and operations in the U.S. The group, which is primarily focused on marketing to health-care providers as opposed to consumers, created “AZ Touchpoints,” a website doctors can use to ask questions, order free samples and ask about insurance coverage. The site also contains brochures and other “educational materials” that doctors can print out.”

What does this mean for the pharmaceutical sales representative job?  “Last year, AstraZeneca said it planned to eliminate 10,400 jobs by 2014, including thousands of sales positions in Western markets. The company said the cuts, amounting to about 16% of its work force, would help it save $1.9 billion a year by 2014.” 

Looks like I left at the right time . . .

Importance of Facebook Like Button: Millennials and Women Likely to Hop On

Businesses are increasing their presence on Facebook in hopes that users will pick the “Like” button about their company, product or service.  This is becoming today’s “word of mouth” through technology. 

A research brief from the Center for Media Research claims, “Apparently a consumer approval on social media trumps other messages when people want to show their support for local businesses. Leading ways that users show support are:

•75% of people tell their friends

•20% of people say they “Like” it on Facebook to show their support, compared with only 13% who write a review

•Millennials and women are even more likely to hop on Facebook

•40% of people under 35 “Like” a business; 49% in the 18-24 group, versus 18% who said they would write a review

•25% of women hit the “Like” button, versus 11% who write reviews”

This does not mean that Facebook will capture all business.  “The study also showed:

•52% of adults under 35 visit more than two websites before checking out a local business

•63% of respondents under 35 head to Google

•24% visit Facebook;

•21% look at reviews sites and

•17% clicked on the first link on the search results page

•8% of people said a deal is the number one thing that influences them to try a local business”

Facebook and Twitter Getting Free Advertising through Redirection

Have you noticed lately how many companies post somewhere in their advertisement that they have a Facebook or Twitter page?  Perhaps you have seen wording like:  “Follow Us on Facebook” or “Follow Us on Twitter”.  Imagine if your company was mentioned like that on everyone else’s advertisements and you didn’t have to pay for that.   

This is something that is new in the advertising world.  In the past, you would see companies listing their websites to direct their business to their own companies.  They still do this, of course, but now they are also directing business to Facebook and Twitter to get people to come to their website indirectly. This redirection may have implications on web analytics, making it more difficult to know how many customers are seeing the company’s message.  However, the advantages for using sites like Facebook for advertising can be significant. reported, “With one in every 13 people on the planet using Facebook, the potential exposure that Facebook advertising offers can be massive, costing a fraction of what a TV advertising campaign might cost.”

This redirection of business is something that is growing.  It can be easier to get people to go to Facebook or Twitter initially due to their popularity.  Sites like allow links to be shortened and more information to be included in a tweeted message.  This can also be useful for redirection to mobile devices. reported, “Facebook and Twitter are two of the most user-friendly sites on the mobile web – and that’s great news for those who are going mobile with their websites, because it means people can right-click on links in Twitter – and be automatically taken to a mobile version of your site, if they’re accessing it from Twitter.”

Sites like Facebook are helping increase what used to be called word of mouth advertising by allowing people to pick “I like” on a product page. refers to the F-Factor involved here, meaning Friends, Fans and Followers on Facebook who can influence purchasing decisions. Check out an article by that suggests there are 10 tactics to increase your number of Facebook likes.   For more information about adding a Facebook Like Button to your site, click here.

Companies Like BMW Using Apps to Gather Data as Part of Product Marketing Research

Companies like BMW have created a new way to gather information as part of their research for product marketing.  BMW recently has a new app, Evolve, that will allow drives to track their driving habits to see how compatible they would be should they drive a battery-powered vehicle.

Product research is a big part of the marketing process.  In marketing classes, one of the basic things a student learns about is the product life cycle.  Products go through the following stages:  Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Decline.  In the introductory phase, companies seek to gain product recognition through product, pricing, distribution and promotion. 

Image via

What is unique about the BMW app situation is that they are learning about consumer behavior to incorporate that knowledge into the products they will offer later.  BMW will have a new electric vehicle called i3.  By gathering this information about drivers and their behaviors, the data can help the company know more about interest in their vehicle.  BMW will also be using social media to get customers to encourage their friends by sharing their driving experiences. 

Wall Street Journal reported, “BMW says its taking its buzz-creating efforts a step further, by integrating what it gleans from them into the marketing and development of the i3 and other electric cars. Smartphone users who download BMW’s new app, for instance, can feed their driving statistics into a main website that shows them how they and their fuel-savings compare with other drivers. BMW plans to collect the anonymous data on users’ driving patterns to inform the design of its mass-market electric cars.”

Blog Overload: Who Has Time to Read it All?


There is no question that the blogosphere is growing.  According to webdesignerdepot “WordPress has statistics for both (15.1 million blogs and counting) and self-hosted WordPress installations (17.4 million active installations), which gives part of the picture. There are more than 10 million tumblogs on Tumblr. Blogger doesn’t offer any public statistics on how many blogs they host. Technorati is currently tracking more than 1.2 million blogs. And there are likely millions of other blogs out there hosted on other services like Movable Type, TypePad, Expression Engine, and other CMSs.”

There is no shortage of blog search engines to find blogs that contain information of interest. There are also lots of articles by sites like Forbes and others who occasionally list their idea of top blogging sites.  Google and Google News features can be incorporated into an iGoogle page, and can be another way to keep up with topics to follow. 

With all of this information out there, who has time to read it all?  Bloggers know it can be good form to make comments on others’ blogs.  However, finding the time to not only read these blogs but formulate insightful comments may be difficult. Even if people find a good blog to follow and subscribe to their RSS feed, as sites continue to be added to the feed, the feed reader may have more information than people have time to visit. 

There has been speculation about when blogging popularity will die down.  The latest discussion is whether Facebook will replace blogging and company websites.  Cnet reported, “Even if Facebook doesn’t somehow supplant lots of Web sites, though, there’s no denying the social network is becoming more important to marketing, and it’s adapting to the idea.

With technology constantly changing, people may find it difficult to keep up with it all.  To get an idea of just how many blogs and how much information is out there, check out the following graph:


Ever wondered how many blogs are there on internet?how big is the blogosphere‘. How much revenue is generated from blogs? what are the key demographics for the blogging publishers? and what are the languages used used online? This Infographics is an answer to these questions.


5 Top Networking Tips for Small Businesses


Entrepreneurs are often looking for ways to promote their new businesses.  On March 18, the local YOB (Your Own Business) Fair will be a place where Arizona business owners can go to find out tips to help them promote their business.  I will have a booth there and I hope you will join me.  In the meantime, please check out some of the top networking tips that small businesses should be considering in order to succeed: 

  1. Find out where your customers are and connect to them through social networking.  It is important to network with as many people as you can, but remember to try and focus on those that have connections.  Spend some time looking through contacts on LinkedIn and Twitter to see who your friends and contacts know.  Get into groups on sites like LinkedIn and start threads about topics that would be of interest to people you’d like to target as customers.  Become an expert in the Q&A area on LinkedIn as well.  Create Facebook pages for your company and products.  Link your sites together so that your updates get posted to all of your social networking sites.  If you don’t know where to begin to learn how to social network, check out for a reasonably priced series of videos to show you how to become social-networking savvy.  If you have the funds, you could hire a social media expert to do it for you.
  2. Give people something so that they will want to come to your site.  If you aren’t on Youtube, you need to be.  Create several short (3-4 minute) videos offering people something for free and post them on Youtube.  End your video with a link to your landing page to have them sign up for a free newsletter or some other free item.  This will allow you to capture their email address and get them on your mailing list in a legitimate way.  The videos do not have to be fancy.  A simple video camera can create all you need.  You can also make a PowerPoint presentation and then overlay it with Camtasia so that your file has your voice and presentation without necessarily having to have a video of your face if that makes you more comfortable.  You can upload the file to Youtube and also link to it from your website and/or blog. 
  3. Ask for word of mouth.  One of the best ways to get noticed is to have people talk about your business.  If you aren’t asking your satisfied customers to tell other people about you, then you are missing the boat.  Happy customers are usually more than willing to tell others about you if you ask them to do so.  Many just haven’t considered it until it is brought up.  Ask people if they know people who could use your service.  If they do, ask them if they will tell people about you and give them your cards or flyers to give to these people. Remember to ask people to do things based on assessing their level of comfort.  Part of connecting with others is to understand individual personalities
  4. Keep records of contacts you make.  If you have a software package like ACT! or Outlook, you can keep notes there.  Keep a record of everyone you meet and make notes about everything you know about them.  Every time you meet someone new, find out something about them that you can write down into your file and bring up later.   If you can figure out their birthday from Facebook, always send them a note saying “happy birthday”.  Find reasons to stay in contact.  Put notes into your calendar reminding yourself to drop a note, asking if the baby was born yet or how the wedding went.  Showing an interest in people draws them closer to you.  Avoid promoting your products and yourself in all outgoing messages.  Make it be about them or give them information that helps them and makes them want to come back to you.    
  5. Be a resource or mentor.  Find ways to offer your services for free to others and it will bring people back to you later.  On LinkedIn, you can answer questions in the Q&A room to help others and get recognized.  Join local groups and volunteer to do things to become noticed.  People remember kindness and are more willing to give out your name to others if they associate you with good things. 

Google Adsense No Longer On Facebook


According to  There are many advertising companies on the Internet all wanting to offer developers and website owners the opportunity to generate revenue from ads on their sites and services. By far and away the largest and most well-known is Google AdSense, which Google counts as its biggest revenue stream.

Until recently AdSense was allowed on Facebook, meaning any developer wanting to support a Facebook app with adverts could use Google. However, that is no longer the case, and AdSense has been effectively banned from the social network.

In order to be listed as an advertising provider on Facebook, companies has to sign up for the Facebook Platform Terms of Advertising Providers and agree to Facebook’s policies. The deadline for getting on to that list was February 28, and as of today AdSense is not on the list.

To read the complete story go to:

Deciphering Twitter: Twictionary Terms Can Be Very Intwesting

As Twitter grows in popularity, so does the number of terms that are associated with the site.  For example some of the popular terms you may hear are:

Hash Tag:  A number sign # followed by a key word indicates this is a category that people are tweeting about.  For example, if you see #Jobs, click on it and it will bring you to a page of everyone talking about that subject of jobs.

ReTweet:  If you see RT that stands for retweet which means to pass along someone else’s original tweet. 

This is just the beginning of some of the terms coined since the creation of the site.  Twitter has a glossary of terms where more definitions may be found.  For 102 Twitter Terms Phrases and Slang, check out   For a more complete list, describing who coined and defined Twitter terms, check out’s list.











image via: Google

Related Articles

Top Branding Failures


Companies are always looking for that next Old Spice campaign that will become viral on YouTube and get people talking.  Effective branding is crucial for a company’s success.  The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

Branding needs to be credible and motivate buyers.  According to, “It’s important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all, your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer. It’s a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without.”

There have been many marketing blunders when advertising has missed the mark. lists what they consider to be the 10 Most Ill-Advised Ads of All Time.  Remember those singing Quiznos rodents?  Some of us wish we could forget.  Check out the top 10 list by clicking here.

LinkedIn Advertising Effectiveness in Question When Majority of Members Don’t Visit Site

LinkedIn recently filed paperwork for their IPO.  Within their application, they noted, “… a substantial majority of our members do not visit our website on a monthly basis, and a substantial majority of our page views are generated by a minority of our members.” This brings up an important question about the effectiveness of advertising on Linkedin. 

LinkedIn boasts of having over 90 million members in over 200 countries as well as being the most extensive network for professionals.  This may be the case, but if their members are not logging into their site regularly, advertisers may see this as a big problem.  So far, ad revenue has not been a major contributor to their financial success.  According to, “Ad revenue is 32 percent of Linkedin’s entire business. The bulk of its money comes from subscriptions and “hiring solutions” for recruiters.”

LinkedIn’s VP of Marketing Solutions, Steve Patrizi told that they are developing their ad offerings.  When asked what type of advertisers are utilizing LinkedIn, Patrizi stated, “Our advertisers tend to be in industries like banking/finance, technology, travel but we’re also seeing automotive and education advertisers coming on board.”

Who is signing into LinkedIn? According to, “more males (57%) are users and the distribution of the age groups reflects the working world.  Interestingly, while LinkedIn still has more users over 54 years old (15%), this is a 7% drop from the 1st quarter.  That is offset by an 8% jump of the 24-34 year old users in the last six months.”

Baby Boomers Turn 65 This Year: Keeping the Illusion of Youth While Staying Healthy


This year the oldest baby boomers will turn 65.  If you call a baby boomer “elderly”, you might find that is not a term they take lightly.  The days of older generations taking it easy and moving to quiet communities have faded.  This is a very proud group that wants to remain vital and active for as long as possible. 

Although boomers may not have noticed it, marketers are using subtle targeting methods to reach this group without insulting them. Some companies are using larger typefaces and avoiding colors that are hard to distinguish between to allow for their packaging to be distinct to older eyes.  If aging boomers haven’t realized their clothing size may remaind the same, while their body size increases, they may not be aware that clothing companies are doing something called vanity sizing.  Although not necessarily unique to only boomers, reported, “Gap, the parent company of Banana Republic, was contacted to ask about the new double-zero size. They said they’re responding to the demands of their customers. They said women want smaller sizes.”

Boomers may dress for success still but father time is creeping up on them.  Companies are doing their best to allow boomers to age gracefully, keeping their dignity intact. reported, “Kimberly-Clark spent two years overhauling its Depend brand, anticipating boomers would demand changes to the image and design of a line long considered too diaper-like and institutional. By 2020, Kimberly-Clark expects 45 million boomers will need incontinence products, up from 38 million currently.”

Those not ready for diapers, are not ready to sit on the porch swing and rock either.  In the past, retired generations paid off their mortgages to live their twilight years free of debt.  Boomers may be downsizing but many plan to move into new homes.  “A big driver of boomers’ increased spending is the fact that over one-third plan to move to a new home within five years of becoming empty nesters.”

Boomers may not be retiring as early either.  The stock market crisis is partly to blame, but there are other reasons.   Another issue facing this generation is that they often have to not only care for their children but their own aging parents.  They have often been called the sandwich generation because of this.  US News Money reported, “Almost a third (31 percent) of relatively wealthy Americans are supporting older and younger immediate family members at the same time, according to a new Merrill Lynch Wealth Management survey of 1,000 people with investable assets of $250,000 or more.” The stress from this has caused many boomers to have difficulty with their jobs and health, leading to a generation that experiences higher rates of depression. 

RetirementBoomerStyle listed some recommendations for this generation and how to stay as healthy as possible, “So, while baby boomers are caring for the health of their family, they should keep themselves in mind as well. A diet that is high in fiber is ideal for the baby boomer, and including lean meats in the diet will provide the protein that is needed for energy and muscle toning. Baby boomer women should also considered taking a supplement that includes omega-3 fatty acids; this will improve memory and brain function, and make it easier for the body to fight off free radicals. In addition to taking supplements, women should also be sure to eat some form of fatty fish each week, such as salmon or tuna. Men of this generation should be sure to eat foods that are rich in lycopene, a substance that can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Lycopene can be found in foods like tomatoes and watermelon, so eating these fruits fresh a few times a week can make a big difference when it comes to preventative health.”

LinkedIn Ads to Target its 90 Million Members Prior to IPO

With over 90 million members, LinkedIn has the attention of advertisers.  With the release of LinkedIn Ads, individuals and groups can be targeted, with a reported click-through rate that is 3-4 times higher than other campaigns. 

MediaPost reported, “LinkedIn Wednesday formally launched its pay-per-click, self-serve ad system after being in beta since 2008. Rebranded as LinkedIn Ads, the text-advertising service formerly known as DirectAds mainly expands audience targeting options to include job title, LinkedIn groups and companies. Previously, the platform offered several targeting choices such as age, gender, geography, job function and seniority.”



LinkedIn Ads is about focus and reaching the target demographic.  Advertisers can spend as little as $10/day, but they must use a credit card to pay unless they spend over $3000/month for 2 months in a row.

This new advertising comes prior to their IPO, to possibly sweeten the offer.  Media Post claims, “The company plans to file for an IPO in the first quarter, according to a Wall Street Journal report earlier this month. LinkedIn had estimated revenue of $200 million in 2010 and online market SharesPost has reported that the company has an implied valuation of $2.2 billion.”

LinkedIn is one of several rumored IPOs due to come out this year. For more information, check out Top Social Media Sites IPO.

Facebook, Google and Bing: When Companies Become So Popular Their Names Are Used as Verbs

If a company has its name used as a verb, its popularity is undeniable but it may also be problematic.  Although Google is a company name, it is not unusual for it to be used as a verb, as in someone is going to “Google” something.   Google and Facebook are listed as verbs on  The official definition for the verb version of Facebook is “to search for (a person’s profile) on the Facebook website.”  In fact, there is actually a Facebook page titled When Did Facebook Become a Verb with an entry as early as 2006.   

In 2006, CNet announced that Google had officially become a verb.  Google was not the first to be used this way.  Think about Xerox.  It used to be common to say that something needed to be Xeroxed instead of copied.  However, having the company name used as a verb can have its consequences.  CNet reported, “Becoming synonymous with an invention may hold a certain amount of historic glory for a company, but ubiquitous use of the company’s name to describe something can make it harder to enforce a trademark. Bayer lost Aspirin as a U.S. trademark in 1921 after it was determined that the abbreviation for acetylsalicylic acid had become a generic term. The trademarks Band-Aid, Kleenex, Rollerblade and Xerox have had similar issues.”

Is Bing the next company name to become a verb?  Bing has a nice ring to it like Ping did recently.  Perhaps the use of the phrase “Ping Me” has been played out and Bing is too late. It may also become complicated when dealing with past, present and future tense as noted in the following from a New York Times article:

Generations 2010 Report Claims Millennials Not Only Tech-Savvy Group: Important News for Marketing

Post-Baby Boomer generations are often credited as being tech-savvy.  This may be true, but older generations are catching up.  According to new research by Pew Research Center reported in the Huffington Post, “Internet users aged 18-33 still rule the web when it comes to social networking, instant messaging, and wireless internet usage on laptops and mobile phones. And they also remain the generation with the highest percentage of active web users, at 95%. But the older generations are catching up, in surprising ways. The fastest growth on social networking sites like Facebook has come from the G.I. generation, those aged 74 or older. This age group otherwise lags behind the rest of the generations, with only 30% using the internet, compared to the 79% rate across the general population. Yet when it comes to social networking, usage has quadrupled since 2008 from 4% to 16%.”

More generations are jumping on the technology bandwagon.  Since 2008, all age groups are seeing an increase in how people are obtaining their news. This Generations 2010 report provides important information for companies and individuals looking to market their products.  Understanding behaviors and preferences for each age demographic is a crucial part of the marketing process. 

If the goal is to market to Millennials, take advantage of all media types.  TommyToy lists the top 10 tips for marketing to Millennials, including, “Utilize every platform available to you. Please listen carefully: print is not dead. TV is not dead. All forms of media are alive. Millennials are bombarded with hundreds of messages before they even reach their first class of the day. Why would you ever cut your chances of communicating with them? They are everywhere, and your messaging should be everywhere as well.”

Millennials may not be slowing down but older generations are doing their part to catch up.  When marketing to other demographic groups, the key is to know the audience and focus the message based on their individual needs and where they prefer to get their information.

Best 2010 Christmas Videos Gone Viral on YouTube

This is the time of year where people are sharing lots of fun holiday videos on Youtube, Facebook and other social networking sites. The following are a sampling of some of the most popular.

7 yr old Rhema Marvanne Sings All I Want for Christmas

Animals of YouTube Sing Deck the Halls

The Digital Story of the Nativity

2010 Advertising Successes and Failures

As the year comes to an end, many marketing departments are looking back at the year’s results to see if their plans were successful.  With the new year and the Super Bowl just around the corner, advertisers are analyzing what worked and what didn’t. 

One of my favorite ad campaigns was the Old Spice Guy.   I also enjoyed the Snickers Betty White ad.  The Wall Street Journal had a nice article about “The Best and the Busts” advertisements from 2010.  This article mentioned the Old Spice and Betty White ads.  I was curious as to the success of Old Spice specifically, as that was a product I had previously associated with older men and drug stores. According to their article, “Since February, the initial video has drawn over 25 million views on YouTube.  More important for Procter & Gamble, the Old Spice brand saw sales double from mid-June to mid-July versus the prior year, a period when the social-media part of the ad campaign heated up.”

Not all campaigns have been as successful.  Some failures that were listed in the WSJ article include:

  • PepsiCo’s Crunch Time Sun Chips Ad
  • The Nike Tiger Woods Apology
  • Gap’s No-Go-Logo

In the marketing courses I teach, we often discuss advertising.  For current advertising examples of how to create a specific effect, I like a site called  Check out some examples of advertisement styles by clicking the following links:

Dramatic Conflict

Problem Solution




Employee Brand

Reasons Why

QR Code: Why You Should Be Using It to Promote You, Your Business and Products

qr code


QR Code or Quick Response Code is a two-dimension matrix code developed in the mid 90’s in Japan.  Businesses are drawn to it because it offers an improvement over barcodes.  Wisegeek explains, “QR Code contains data in both vertical and horizontal directions, whereas a bar code has only one direction of data, usually the vertical one. QR Code can also correspondingly hold more information. QR Code is easily digested by scanning equipment, and because it has potentially twice the amount of data as bar code, it can increase the effectiveness of such scanning. QR Code can handle alphanumeric character, symbol, binary, and other kinds of code. QR Code can hold up to 7,089 characters in a single symbol. ”

QR Code has become increasingly popular with the use of cell phones.  I recommend checking out an article by to see some video demonstrations.  A code can easily be generated on sites like  If you are wondering if search engines like Google will be able to recognize them, “If you add them to your website, the search engines will see that your pages have changed, and that you are updating pages. The search engine will see a new image and index it accordingly. At some point soon, the search engines will likely recognize QR codes and possibly index the content in them.”

There are several recommended uses for the QR Code but one that I found to be interesting was that you could add one to your business card.  People would then be able to scan your information directly into their cell phone contact database.

Some other recommended uses may be to add them to media ads.  This simple little code could communicate product, contact, offer, and event information as well as coupons and social media links.

Related Articles:

What is a Super Cookie and Can You Remove it From Your Computer and SmartPhone?

Webopedia defines a cookie as “A message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.”  Computers store these cookies so that they can remember information.  There is also something called the Super Cookie. claims, “Unlike its cousin the browser cookie, the super cookie is a Flash-based cookie that is stored in a different location on a computer than a browser cookie, can be much larger than the 4K allotted the browser cookie, and is much more difficult to uninstall (or even find on your PC) than the cookies you’re used to dealing with.” claims Super Cookies can store around 100K by default. claims “The new Web language and its additional features present more tracking opportunities because the technology uses a process in which large amounts of data can be collected and stored on the user’s hard drive while online. Because of that process, advertisers and others could, experts say, see weeks or even months of personal data. That could include a user’s location, time zone, photographs, text from blogs, shopping cart contents, e-mails and a history of the Web pages visited.”

It’s not just computers where you have to think about cookies tracking your actions. If you haven’t read the recent Wall Street Journal article Your Apps are Watching You, I highly recommend it.  The author of the article does a nice job of explaining how apps on smartphones are able to track and share information about us.  With the popularity of apps, this is a big issue.  In the WSJ article they claim, “Every phone has a unique ID assigned to it.  “It is effectively a “supercookie,” says Vishal Gurbuxani, co-founder of Mobclix Inc., an exchange for mobile advertisers.”



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If you want to remove cookies from your smartphone, you may be faced with a challenge.  As recently reported on Technology Review and listed on

  • Ringleader designed a pseudo-cookie analytic system called Media Stamp.
  • Deleting the cookies doesn’t help, nor does going into Safari’s stored databases and deleting the Ringleader database, RLDGUID.
  • Ringleader would simply fetch the unique ID it stored for an individual’s phone and start tracking all over again. The folks at Ars Technica tried using Ringleader’s opt-out service, but the RLDGUID database just reappeared. Apparently, the company needs to keep track of your phone’s unique ID forever, so it knows to opt-you out of its ads.

If you do most of your web surfing on your computer, there are ways to remove Super Cookies from your computer. gives the following suggestions about how to do this:

  • Manual deletion: The most tech savvy method to remove the super cookie, manual deletion is probably best suited for the technically minded. A super cookie is usually found in the “Flash Player” directory on your computer, but can be stored elsewhere. Use the search tool on your PC and look for the *.sol file extension.
  • Better Privacy (Firefox addon): If you use Firefox you can add the Better Privacy plugin to your install and let the addon work its magic on your LSOs.
  • Disable/remove Flash: Not a fan of Flash in the first place? Don’t care about certain videos or online games? If so, just disable or full-on remove the Flash player from your computer. If it works for iPhone users, it might work for you, too.

Additional Resources

Advertising Focus: Where People Are Getting Their Information as Web Time Equals TV Time

Before the invention of television, families sat together and listened to shows on the radio.  Times have certainly changed.  In the late 1920’s, a man named Philo Farnsworth is credited for inventing the early television transmission. By the 1940’s, television began replacing the radio as families’ preferred method of entertainment.  Today, people are still watching about the same amount of television as in recent years, but the Internet is changing the way consumers spend the rest of their time. This is changing the way companies must focus their advertising.

Forrester’s 2010 survey reveals that people are spending as much time on the Internet as they are watching television.  The U.S. consumer is spending 13 hours a week doing these combined activities.   Internet usage is increasing dramatically – 121% over the past five years.  Consumers are finding that they are doing more things online such as shopping and visiting social-networking sites. 

Due to technology and consumer’s new focus, advertising has had to change as well.  Cost-per-click advertising has gained in popularity.  However, as technology increases, so does the options for advertisers.  Companies can now use retargeting technology offered by companies like Fetchback.   According to their site, Fetchback defines retargeting as “putting messages in front of lost prospects who have left your Web site in order to attract them back and convert – finish the purchase, sign up for the newsletter, or whatever action you’re looking for.” To see a live demo of how their system works, click here.

Advertisers must also become creative with people on the go.  Mobile devices allow easy access to the Internet.  More than one third of American cellphone owners use a mobile browser. Using browsers to connect to the Internet and texting are the top two uses for these devices.  Consumers are able to be mobile and still connect to their social media sites. 

How can today’s advertisers target consumers?  The Internet Advertising Bureau’s mobile best practice guide may be useful. iAd platform and Google Mobile may be helpful to reach smartphone users.

What’s in a Name? Famous Marketing Translation Blunders

If you are considering marketing your product internationally, there are a lot of things you must consider when naming your products or creating your slogans. It may surprise you to learn that some major companies have had some huge product failures because they didn’t do their research. Remember the Chevy Nova? That didn’t do so well in Mexico due to the name meaning: No Go. Once they realized this, they renamed the car the Caribe.

Here are some other famous blunders:

Schweppes Tonic Water translates in Italian to “Schweppes Toilet Water”

Coors’ Slogan “Turn it Loose” translates in Spanish to “Suffer from Diarrhea”

Pepsi’s Slogan “Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation” translates in Chinese to “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave”

KFC’s Slogan “Finger Licking Good” translates in Chinese as “Eat Your Fingers Off”

Clairol’s “Mist Stick” curling iron translates in German to “Manure Stick”

The Dairy Association’s “Got Milk” ad translates in Spanish to “Are You Lactating”

It’s not just Americans who make these blunders. Scandinavian manufacturer of Electrolux created the campaign: Nothing Sucks like an Electrolux.

It has been said that Gerber may have made one of the biggest blunders, however, when they put a picture of a baby on their jars of baby food. In Africa, it is common for them to put a picture on the label of what is actually in the product. This has since been considered a myth.

Additional Resources:

Product Placement:  Is it Shameless or Just Good Business

How to Market Your Product Using Social Media

50 Famous People Who Failed Before Becoming a Success

Product Placement – Is it Shameless or Just Good Business?

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I teach a lot of marketing classes where we talk about product placement.  In a recent discussion we were talking about FedEx and the movie Castaway.  I read that the company didn’t pay for that mention.  I find that hard to believe but I guess it is possible. 

Product placement is big business.  Recently BeBe launched a new line of clothes based on its popularity from 90210. 

Here is a list of some very noticeable products placed in movies that you may remember.

  1. Taco Bell in Demolition Man
  2. Popeye’s Chicken in Little Nicky
  3. Reese’s Pieces in ET
  4. New Beetle in Herbie:  Fully Loaded
  5. AOL in You’ve Got Mail
  6. Several Dolls like Barbie, Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story
  7. Aquafina in National Treasure
  8. CNN in Contact
  9. Dr. Pepper in Spiderman
  10. Apple computers in too many movies to mention

Check out the following links for some more examples: – 10 Most Shameless Uses of Product Placement in Films – Examples of Product Placement in Movies – 10 Most Shameless Product Placements in Movie History – Top 10 Blatant Examples of Product Placement in Movies – The Complete Lowdown on Product Placement

What is Google Goggles? Visual Search Technology is Here

Google Goggles is a visual search engine for Android and iPhones.  It allows you to search by taking a photo.  It is as simple as opening Google Goggles and taking a picture of the thing you want to know more about. It has many uses.  One of those uses is to scan a business card in to find out more about the company or person and add their information easily to your contact list. You can take pictures of landmarks, famous buildings or artwork and Google Goggles can give you more information about them. Goggles also includes a language translator. Their video shows an example of taking a picture of a menu item that is in a foreign language and having it easily translated. They say it works well on a lot of things but no so well on food, cars, plants or animals. Right now it is available for Android and iPhone.

Yesterday Google announced an experiment they are doing with Buick, Disney, Diageo, T-Mobile and Delta Airlines. These companies have enabled their ads, posters and other media to be Googles-enabled. This means that you can take a picture of these items and they will be recognized by Google Goggles, allowing the user to go directly to the brand’s mobile destination. For more about this go to GoogleBlog at Blogspot.

How to Market You or Your Product Using Social Media

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane: I just wrote a book that is available through Amazon.  I’m just not sure about the best way to market it?  Any suggestions?
That is a good question.  The tips I’m about to give can also be used to market things other than a book. 
You could market it through several ways.  I would create a link to it on your site like I have links on my main website to Amazon.  If you don’t want to do that, you could offer it directly from you as a PDF through your site and charge them using PayPal
You might want to make a video (3-4 minutes at most) and put it on Youtube.  At the end of the video make mention of a free offer or newsletter and where to go for more information.  If they go to that site, it should be a capture page to get people signed up  to receive free newsletters (through a site like to get them interested in you and your book. 
You definitely need to be on Facebook and create fan pages like the ones I have for each of my books there.  See:
I would be on Twitter as well.  You can tie all of your Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc. accounts into one area on sites like Hootsuite . . . but I like to use Posterous a lot. It is like a blog but it has a great share information toolbar that you can get that and it also allows you to share your updates on multiple sites like Hootsuite does. 
If you want to learn about social networking and “how to do it” . . .for a reasonable price you can go to  Letsgetsocial and sign up to get their videos.  I watched them and they are really very informative.  They are designed to teach people how to be media managers but people who don’t want to do the job of media management can learn how to do their own media management from them. 
I gave a presentation yesterday to a local group here where others were presenting to career-seekers … they all agreed that Youtube is one of the biggest things you can do to get noticed. 
I watched a video a while back on about videos and they had some good information.  They are more costly though. You might watch their video for information.  If you are going to spend that kind of money, you need to have a major product to promote.  Books probably won’t have the return to support that. 
Talks are another great way to promote your book . . . so are radio interviews.   You can go to or other sites like that to find people looking to interview you.
Blogging is one of the best ways to get your name out there.   I like to use WordPress because it is free and uncomplicated. 
You can also release press releases on prweb or other such sites.  I am on wooeb who also has press releases that are not as expensive.  You can send out free releases on pitchengine.
You might check out some books . . . .I liked a book called Career Renegade . . . had some good ideas.  (on a different side topic . . .I liked the book The Happiness Advantage written by ex Harvard professor – very entertaining)

How to Get a Job Showcasing Your Abilities Using Camtasia, Powerpoint and Youtube

In my presentation yesterday at the CareerConnectors.Net workshop, I presented several different examples of how to market “you” as the product in order to get a job. If you are interested in learning how to use Camtasia with Powerpoint to promote your abilities and showcase them on Youtube, check out the following video based on information in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career:  Make Money Doing What You Love.  I am definitely going to be looking for a new video recorder though as this one crunched the screen, making it and me more compressed and wide.  If anyone has a good recommendation for a video recorder, I’d like to hear about it. . .

YouTube Uploads 35 Hours Of Video Every Minute — InformationWeek


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You may already know that Youtube is extremely popular, but a recent article from really spelled out the numbers.  Think about this . . . according to that article:

In March, users uploaded more than 24 hours of video per minute, Hunter Walk, director of product management at the video social networking site, said in a blog. Within only eight months, traffic has increased by almost 69%.

“That breaks out to 2,100 hours uploaded every 60 minutes, or 50,400 hours uploaded to YouTube every day,” Walk said. “If we were to measure that in movie terms (assuming the average Hollywood film is around 120 minutes long), 35 hours a minute is the equivalent of over 176,000 full-length Hollywood releases every week. Another way to think about it is: If three of the major US networks were broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for the last 60 years, they still wouldn�t have broadcast as much content as is uploaded to YouTube every 30 days.”

to read the rest of the article, click here:

What is the Status on Apple’s iAd?

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Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled plans for the iAd service during a product event in April.

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This summer Apple introduced iAd, its mobile advertising network for use with iPhone and iTouch.   Since I teach a lot of marketing courses, I was curious to see if this has been successful. reported that the service has gotten big brands interested in these ads.  

Some are complaining about the ad rates being high, with Apple requiring a minimum of $1 million in advertising commitments.  Although the service is only currently available on iPhone and iTouch, they will be making it available to iPad soon.

New Study by Krux Digital Shows Data Leakage on Popular Websites


Data leakage occurs when an external entity, often without a publisher’s consent, collects data about a user while the user is on the publisher’s website. Krux Digital has recently released information from their study that found tracking tools on major websites were installed without the company’s knowledge.

According to key findings include:

  • 31% of all data collection was enabled by parties other than the publisher, often without their control or consent
  • 55% of all companies collecting data on a Web site also brought in other companies to collect data as well
  • 27% of all collection was conducted by parties that are potentially competitive to publishers in media or data sales
  • 167 different companies were observed participating in active data collection across just fifty publisher sites, few of whom appeared to be doing so in the publishers’ interest or at their request

To find out more about these results, click here.

Authority Pro: Promises More Than the Typical WordPress Theme Engine

 Authority Pro Review - WordPress Squeeze Page Plugin


Authority Pro has positioned itself as a theme engine unlike any other currently available for WordPress.  The intent of the engine is to maximize the ability to have content delivered as needed and to drive conversations.  They offer 24 customizable widgets to increase functionality.

I’ve been reading some reviews of Authority Pro since it debuts today. stated, “The promise of Authority Pro is this: you get targeted traffic, and it’ll work to get you the very best conversions possible, on as many of your pages and posts as possible.  It can continuously split-test for you, so that you’re always finding better and more profitable ways of configuring your site. If you have low levels of traffic, Authority Pro might be critical for you, as you need to really maximize the ROI of each visitor that comes to your site.  If you get moderate to high levels of traffic, then it’s obvious that you have a lot to gain from Authority Pro.” lists the following capabilities as part of Authority Pro:

  • Video Fake Out
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Website Optimizer (split testing)
  • Built In Squeeze Page Graphics
  • Multiple Squeeze Page Templates
  • Aweber & Get Response Intagration
  • Custom Exit Page Redirect
  • Custom CSS Coding

James Morgan at claims he was skeptical about this product due to all of the hype, but found the product to be much more than a theme.  He stated, “It comes pre-installed with a bunch of different squeeze page templates that make your sites indistinguishable from the ones the pros spend thousands and thousands of dollars testing.”

They are offering this product for $97 and you can get it by clicking here.

If anyone has used this and wants to fill me in on their experience, I’d love to hear about it.

Facebook Not Just For Fun Any More: Why There’s Even More Reasons For You To Log In


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Think of why you check your Facebook right now?  Is it to see what people are talking about?  Is it to see if it’s your move on Scrabble?  Well, now you have a really good reason to check in.  Facebook just added a new service that will allow you to check for deals on products and services in your area.

Think about it. . . You’re walking along, realizing you need to purchase something.  All you will have to do to find out who is offering special deals in your area now, is to get your iphone or other internet-accessible phone out and check Facebook.

Who is offering the discounts?  According to, “GAP, Inc. will be one of the first marquee partners, offering free blue jeans to the first 10,000 customers who check in to their stores on an unannounced date in the near future. Facebook said Starbucks, McDonald’s, Macy’s and Harrah’s will also be offering deals.”

MTV Scratch to Connect with Millennials


According to their site, “MTV Scratch taps the power of MTV to connect with millennials in new ways.  Partnering with select brands to pioneer new business models, we deliver award-winning, multi-platform programming and creative, consumer insights, brand strategy, product development and design.”

I am interested in marketing and especially in the post-boomer generations.  Most of my students fall into that age-group.  In our book, The Young Adult’s Guide to Understanding Personalities, Toni Rothpletz and I write about the unique needs and issues facing this generation. 

Because I teach a lot of marketing classes, I tend to look for differences in marketing techniques.  I found the tone of MTV Scratch to be interesting.  They are trying to market and appeal to the preferences of a younger generation.  In their FAQ, instead of having the traditional question and answer format, their responses are a bit different than what you see on most sites.  

Examples FAQ:

Question: Can I come work with you guys? 

Answer: Let’s make friends first, yeah? We’ve love to meet you.  Hit us here . . .

That is not the typical vibe that most sites project.  MTV has always been good at targeting their market segment.  I will be curious to see how well they do with MTV Scratch.

Wealthy Individuals Use Social Media More Than Most Americans


There is no denying the popularity of social media.  There are so many sites, it can be difficult to keep track them all. It is interesting to see who is actually using social media.  When sites like Twitter came out, many were using it more as a means of chatting about their day.  Times have changed and social media is now a very useful tool for businesses.  Sites like Twitter and Facebook now have a strong business presence. 

Wealthy individuals are recognizing the importance of using social media.  Recent polls have shown the wealthy to use social media more than the average Americans. See the results of a recent poll by listed below.  To read the full article, click here.

OAKS, PA., Oct. 19, 2010 – A new Quick Poll from SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) today showed that 70 percent of high-net-worth individuals surveyed are users of Facebook and other social media sites. That’s considerably more than the number of daily social media users among the general populace. According to an August, 2010 report from the Pew Research Center, titled Older Adults and Social Media, 61 percent of Americans ages 18 and over have used a social networking site.

However, the Quick Poll results make it clear that wealthy individuals have a hard time squeezing in their social media time – just 17.4 percent of respondents said they use social media on a daily basis. While 38 percent of those surveyed by Pew had used a social networking site in the previous 24 hours.

SEI surveyed 46 wealthy individuals with more than $5 million in investible assets. Of those surveyed that use social media, 50 percent said they use Facebook. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they visit YouTube, while just under 35 percent use LinkedIn.

Social networking use continues to grow among older users

One in ten (11%) online adults ages 50-64 and one in twenty (5%) online adults ages 65 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others.

The use of Twitter and other services to share status updates has also grown among older users—most notably among those ages 50-64. While just 5% of users ages 50-64 had used Twitter or another status update service in 2009, 11% now say they use these tools. On a typical day, 6% of online adults ages 50-64 make Twitter a part of their routine, up from the 1% who did so in 2009.

By comparison, social networking sites have gained a much larger foothold in the lives of older Americans over time. One in five (20%) adults ages 50-64 say they use social networking sites on a typical day, up from 10% one year ago. Likewise, 13% of online adults ages 65 and older log on to social networking sites, compared with just 4% who did so in 2009.

Email and online news are still more appealing to older users, but social media sites attract many repeat visitors.

While email may be falling out of favor with today’s teenagers, older adults still rely on it heavily as an essential tool for their daily communications. Overall, 92% of those ages 50-64 and 89% of those ages 65 and older send or read email and more than half of each group exchanges email messages on a typical day. Online news gathering also ranks highly in the daily media habits of older adults; 76% of internet users ages 50-64 get news online, and 42% do so on a typical day.1 Among internet users ages 65 and older, 62% look for news online and 34% do so on a typical day.

Social media properties—including networking and status update sites—are newer additions to the daily digital diet of older adults. Yet, the “stickiness” of the sites is notable. To look at the data another way, among the pool of adults ages 50 and older who use social networking sites, 44% used them on the day prior to their being contacted for our survey.

The pool of Twitter and status update users ages 50 and older is too small to segment, but the behavior of this limited early adopter group does suggest a similar tendency towards regular use of the sites.

By comparison, less than half of online banking users ages 50 and older visited the sites on a typical day and less than one in five older users of online classified sites reported use of the sites “yesterday.”

A Typical Day: Where social media use fits in

If You Aren’t Using Video to Promote You or Your Product, You Need To Read This

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Cisco recently stated that 40% of all Internet traffic will be video in nature by the end of 2010. They increased that forecast to 91% by the end of 2014.  Are you using video?  I recommend checking out the forecasts that Cisco has made for visual networking by clicking here.  

Videos can be an effective way to capture your prospective customer’s attention.  I wrote about the importance of self-promotion in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career.  A big part of self-promotion is using video.  In a recent radio interview, I discussed some tactics to using video to promote your products and services.  Click here, to listen to the broadcast. recommended the following tips to help you with your video marketing:

  • Short videos: Make sure that your videos (whether you post them on your own website or a website like YouTube) are no more than 5 or 6 minutes long. If you have a video topic that you feel needs to be expanded way beyond the 5 or 6 minutes, it is a good idea to do a series of videos to cover the entire topic. People will be more inclined to watch and will really get a lot out of your videos if you feed them to your audience in small doses.
  • Sales pages: It is sensible to post your videos on your sales pages and to take that opportunity to discuss your products and their benefits or some business opportunity that you are offering to others. The video is helpful in making your potential customers comfortable and the points that you make in your video about your products are reinforced about your sales letter.
  • Key words: Search engines pay a great deal of attention to videos. When the search engines are looking at content and figuring out how to rank the various websites and their content, it is essential to do everything possible to make sure that your website appears as high as possible in the search engine rankings. You should do research to make sure that the keywords that you use in your content is optimum. You should choose keywords that will attract the kinds of leads and traffic that you want to pay attention to you and your business. Try to find out what your target audience is interested in and what they are looking for. Make sure that you include your keywords in headings, tags and resource boxes.
  • Clear structure and purpose: By using the appropriate keywords, you are ensuring that your video will be targeted properly. You need to make sure that your video answers the questions that your audience is thinking about when they start searching for answers. You need to make your communication and your content as clear as possible at all times.

I think you can even make your videos shorter than 5 to 6 minutes.  I have found that people prefer less than 3 to 4 minute videos.  I also think it is extremely important to include a landing page website address on your video.  You must be able to draw your customers to your site.  If you have a landing page where they can sign up for a free newsletter, that is one really effective way to build a customer base.

If you want more tips about how to make an effective video, click on the rest of the article by clicking here

In my conversation in yesterday’s interview, we discussed how simple and inexpensive it can be to create a video.  If you have a flip camera or video camera, you are well on your way.  A video does not have to be elaborately produced to be effective. 

Check out instructions from Youtube about how to make as well as optimize your video by clicking here.  For more general information about lighting, sound, etc. click here.

Levi’s for Millennial Women: Marketing Tactics

I often write about the post-boomer generation and personality assessments.  I found an interesting press release about a study by Levi’s, about the challenges faced by the millennial woman.  In our book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I write about the post-boomer generations, their personality issues and challenges. 

Before getting into the study’s results about millennials and their indepedence, which can be found below, I found it interesting that Levi’s put together this study.  Because I teach several Marketing courses and I am interested in marketing tactics to get a company’s message across.  I have often wondered about Levi’s popularity.  When I was young, Levi’s were the main denim that people wore.  I  wore 501’s for years and never looked at another brand.  Back then, your choices were pretty much Levi’s or Wranglers.   The cowboys wore Wranglers and just about everyone else wore Levi’s. 

With designer jeans, things have certainly changed.  Levis’ have quite a bit of competition.  About a year ago, Google posted some data about Levi’s brand awareness. Check out the results below:

The study showed a significant increase in Levi’s brand awareness among people who saw an ad in the top position but didn’t click on it, as shown in the chart below.


They also looked at data for “non-consumers” which they rather generously described as people who hadn’t bought Levi’s jeans in the last 6 months, as shown below.


As promised, the actual Levi’s study information is listed below.  Notice the “shaping the future” tagline when looking at the marketing aspect of a denim company sponsoring this study.  Check out what Levi’s found out about millennial women and their independent nature:

New Global Study Reveals that Independence Trumps Marriage, Wealth and Professional Success as Important Life Goals for Millennial Women

New research from the Levi’s® brand unveils shifting priorities and a desire to shape their own future; Brand launches as a communal mentorship forum to help young women navigate non-traditional paths

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Levi’s®, the original, definitive jean brand, released the findings of a global study to better understand the challenges, expectations, goals and experiences Millennial women face around the world. The results show a surprising generational shift in life priorities and a need for a new, nontraditional form of mentorship.



In response to these findings, the Levi’s® brand has launched, a global online community where Millennial women around the world can connect with peers and mentors to shape their futures.

“Since introducing the first pair of women’s jeans 75 years ago, Levi’s® has been a relevant part of women’s lives,” said Mary Alderete, Vice President of Levi’s® Global Women’s Marketing. “Today, young women face more opportunity in their twenties than any generation of women before them. It’s important we understand their mindset and their cultural and societal impact. We truly see as a community of women changing the world – it’s a global platform of women coming together to share, inspire, grow and shape their futures.”

The Levi’s® Shaping a New Future study shows that women in their 20s are experiencing a world unlike women of previous generations.

Aside from living in a dynamic, rapidly changing environment, there are many choices and options open to Millennial women, and technology has dramatically increased their access to these different avenues in their lives. While these women are independent and focused on carving their own path in life, they are also actively looking for mentorship. But these Millennials view mentorship differently and now they are reinventing it: rather than a one-to-one, inter-generational passing of advice, they prefer to engage with their peers and other women of all ages and in different parts of the world who have experiences in their areas of interest.

Key highlights from the Levi’s® Shaping a New Future study include:

Redefining success and how to get there:

  • Ninety-six percent of Millennial women worldwide list “being independent” as their most important life goal.
  • Meanwhile, 87 percent of women surveyed defined success as “being able to shape their future.”
  • Last on Millennials’ priority list? Marriage and other more traditional pursuits – being a mother (68 percent), getting married (50 percent) and being wealthy (43 percent), were seen as far less essential in defining success.
  • Not only are Millennial women reshaping what success looks like, they’re changing the way they reach their goals as well. More than half (58 percent) of women worldwide “do not have a definite plan to achieve their long-term goals.” This lack of a “life plan” is precisely what Millennial women seem to relish – and perhaps what makes previous generations so nervous, leading to accusations of Millennials extending childhood into their twenties.


Re-imagining mentorship:

  • While they might not desire a prescribed path, Millennial women do express a need for perspective from other women. To that end, they are re-imagining traditional mentorship – transforming it into a communal exchange that’s two-way rather than one-way, shared among many women rather than one-on-one.
  • In fact, 94 percent of Millennial women agree that “the best mentors are people you can both give advice to and receive advice from.” In addition, 88 percent agree that “a mentor is someone who helps them shape their future, regardless of their age or professional experience,” and 77 percent say that “mentors can be someone their own age.”


“For many Millennial women, the expected path or ‘ladder’ towards adulthood – which included milestones such as school, career, marriage and motherhood – to be achieved in that order, has blurred,” said Lindsey Pollak, Millennial expert, bestselling author and lead collaborator on the Levi’s® Shaping a New Future study. “In its place is a web of opportunities that Millennials sample throughout their twenties, representing a different approach from previous generations. These women are challenging long-held beliefs about success as they navigate a complex world.” launches in the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan. Twenty inspiring Millennial “ambassadors”, engaged by the Levi’s® brand and living in the U.S., UK and Japan ranging from up-and-coming artists and performers to twenty-something entrepreneurs and advocates for social change wukk enrich the community with content. Key ambassadors include:

  • Social-change advocate Tammy Tibbetts, 24, founder of She’s the First, which harnesses the power of social media to fundraise for girls’ education in the developing world.
  • Author Ashley Rhodes-Courter, 25, a former abused foster care child who now serves as a voice for the thousands of neglected and abused children in America’s foster care system.
  • New York-based Daisy Edwards, 26, a freelance animator, illustrator, designer and film producer, who is trailblazing in the male-dominated field of animation.
  • DIY fashion enthusiast Elsie Flannigan, 27, whose passion for vintage and handmade crafts led to the opening of her own boutique – Red Velvet Art in Springfield, Mo.
  • Up-and-coming photographer Lauren Dukoff, 25, who has captured some of the world’s biggest stars on film, including Lady Gaga and Beyonce.


“The Shape What’s To Come(SM) initiative builds on our global commitment to respond to the energy and events of our time by empowering young women to shape their futures by pursuing their passions and potential,” added Alderete.

Millennial celebrities who are uniquely shaping the future such as Zooey Deschanel of She & Him and singer/songwriter Janelle Monae will host live videocasts to further inspire community members. Millennial women can join the discussion at

The study and community initiative come on the heels of the August 2010 introduction of Levi’s® Curve ID, a revolutionary fit system based on shape, not size. The fit system was created as a result of studying more than 60,000 women’s body scans and listening to women around the world who expressed frustration over finding the right pair of jeans for their unique body shapes.


The Levi’s® “Shaping a New Future: Women Navigating Adulthood in a New Millennium” study was managed by StrategyOne, an applied-research consulting firm. StrategyOne conducted a rigorous, two-phase study to provide projectable, reliable insights to form an understanding of Millennial women’s perceptions of this important juncture of their lives.

  • Phase 1: Qualitative – a comprehensive, global literature review and focus groups among Millennial women in the United States, France, and Japan.
  • Phase 2: Quantitative – for which a 15-minute telephone survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,000 Millennial women ages 21 to 29 across five countries: Brazil, France, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom. A sufficient sample of respondents across the Millennial generation – Younger Millennials (age 21-24) and Older Millennials (age 25-29) – was obtained in order to compare perceptions, behaviors and trends.



The Levi’s® brand epitomizes classic American style and effortless cool. Since their invention by Levi Strauss in 1873, Levi’s® jeans have become the most recognizable and imitated clothing in the world – capturing the imagination and loyalty of people for generations. Today, the Levi’s® brand portfolio continues to evolve through a relentless pioneering and innovative spirit that is unparalleled in the apparel industry. Our range of leading jeanswear and accessories are available in more than 110 countries, allowing individuals around the world to express their personal style. For more information about the Levi’s® brand, its products and stores, please visit For more information about Levi Strauss & Co. visit


Jeannine Benoit

Alexa Rudin



Levi Strauss & Co.


(312) 233-1307 

(415) 501-7645

Why Customers Subscribe and Unsubscribe to Facebook Pages

If you are trying to market your product or company on Facebook, you might be interested in why people decide to subscribe or unsubscribe to Facebook pages.  To read the entire article by Frank Reed at click here.

eMarketer reports on a survey conducted by DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research in September tells the story that most Facebook brand followers are not researchers or self-starters.

The report also shows that Facebook brand attrition rates are at 36% and that number doesn’t include those who choose to hide brand updates from their Facebook newsfeed.

So why do people stop following brands on Facebook?

Do you Like the Old Spice Ads? Of Course You Do! But Have They Been Profitable?

It’s hard not to like the new Old Spice ads. I have to admit, when I think of Old Spice, I think of an older product that was around when I was a kid and associate it with older men or as a kind of cheaper product you’d find at drug stores.  Since I teach a lot of marketing classes, I was curious to see how those very fun and popular ads are affecting the sales of Old Spice.

As of July, Old Spice sales have increased 107%. 




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In her new analysis of the Old Spice video push, Adweek’s Eleftheria Parpis has this summary: “According to Nielsen data provided by Old Spice, overall sales for Old Spice body-wash products are up 11 percent in the last 12 months; up 27 percent in the last six months; up 55 percent in the last three months; and in the last month, with two new TV spots and the online response videos, up a whopping 107 percent.”

For some fun short Old Spice clips, check out this compilation put together by

Also check out Mashable’s Top 10 Funniest Old Spice Guy Responses by clicking here.

How does advertising with Yahoo differ from Google?


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I saw the above chart today from eMarketer and it surprised me a bit.  I hear so much about Google adwords that I expected their income from ads to be higher.

How does advertising with Yahoo differ from Google?  I found an interesting comparison from that showed some comparisons between advertising with each of the sites:

Yahoo! Advertising

Yahoo! Advertising gives its advertisers custom solutions to choose from that allow for brand building and response drives.

The more popular solution is the company’s sponsored search solution. This program allows advertisers to control the overall marketing cost by setting a daily budget. Advertisers can also set the amount they wish to pay each time an advertisement is clicked and payments are only made for those ads clicked upon. Additionally, advertisers can stop specific ads and completely close out their advertising account at any time, no questions asked.

The Yahoo sponsored search solution has a reach of over 2.3 billion potential clients and customers. To even further narrow an advertising customer base, advertisers can utilize the company’s geo-targeting feature – allowing for very specifically targeted marketing. Created ads can also be rotated to see which message garners the most traffic. In-depth reporting is part of the program and offers the ability for advertisers to see results in real-time.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords allows advertisers the ability to choose keywords related to their business or service and create ads based on these selections.

Just like its counterpart, Google AdWords allows for setting a specified budget and advertisers only pay for actual clicks on their ads rather than any set daily or monthly amount. Advertisements can be placed on hold or removed entirely when it is found that some ads are garnering more traffic and customers than other ads.

As one of the most used search engines, Google AdWords can offer an extremely large base of potential customers. For local businesses wishing to target a more specialized and specific audience, Google AdWords offers the ability to narrow advertising regions to a particular region, state or even city. Customers can be targeted to within 20 miles of a business’ front door. Additionally, ads can be set to show a business’ location when searchers are seeking data within and Google Maps.

Excerpt only – to read the rest of the article go to:

What is the difference between Vimeo and Youtube?

Youtube is always in the spotlight.  However, they do have some competition.  Vimeo is another site where users can upload, view and share videos.  As of March, 2010, they had over 3 million members.  Vimeo’s name comes from combining video and me together.  You won’t find any commercials on Vimeo.  I was doing some checking to see what people were saying about how they felt about the differences between Youtube and Vimeo . . .  here are some of the differences between the two sites:

Those who preferred Youtube, did so due to some of the following reasons: 

  1. Quality
  2. Links to Related Videos
  3. Embedding
  4. Larger Audience
  5. Higher Possibility of Going Viral
  6. Large File Size
  7. Good Playback
  8. Can have infomercials and self-promotion has an interesting article that explains some of the advantages they found for Vimeo.  Some of these things include:

  1. Ownership
  2. Content Allowed
  3. Copyright Issues
  4. Library
  5. Video Quality
  6. Uploading
  7. Promotion/Humiliation
  8. Community
  9. Downloadable
  10. Support
  11. Purpose

To read the rest of the article and find out about each of these 11 areas, click here.

What Kind of Return Can You Expect From Using Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin?

Have you ever wondered how your actions on some of the major social media sites are helping generate income for your business? has published some findings from one of their studies where they tracked a set of metrics to quantify the value and impact of social media.

According to their report, “When someone shares an event with their friends through social media, this action results in real dollars. Our most recent data shows that over the past 12 weeks, one share on Facebook equals $2.52, a share on Twitter equals $0.43, a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90, and a share through our ”email friends” application equals $2.34. On an aggregate level across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and our email share tool, each share equals $1.78 in ticket sales. We’re seeing this number improve every week with the most recent four-week average equaling $1.87.”

If you are curious how they got these figures, click here.

How we did it
We use a custom suite of social analytics tools that we have developed entirely in-house. Our reporting lets us track and analyze not only which sharing options our users leverage, but where on our site each share action takes place. These tools also tie back into our conversion funnels, so we are able to attribute ticket purchases to the specific social distribution channel that drove them. So, for example, we can compare not just the value created by a Facebook “Like” vs. a tweet, but also the performance of shares initiated before or after a purchase.

Are You Using Wooeb’s Interactive Search Engine Platform?

If you haven’t heard of yet, you need to check out their site.  Wooeb is an interactive search engine platform.  Rather than having to wait for search engines to pick up your information, they put it all together in one place. 

They did a nice job with with creating ads and banners.  This is an example of an ad they can create for you on their site.  You can also click on it to find out more about my book:  How to Reinvent Your Career.

They also offer press releases that you can incorporate on your wooeb site.  To see my site, go to:

Check out an article about the Top 5 Reasons Wooeb Boosts Your Online Presence by clicking here.  In that article they list the following benefits of using Wooeb:

1.  Everything is in one place

2.  You own your URL

3.  It is accessible to everyone

4.  Wooeb indexes search engines

5.  Messages boards are included to discuss topics with others

Do You Need Publicist?

Meet Publicist Rebecca T. Crowley

If you are an author, you probably have seen how difficult it can be to be recognized.  That is why it can be very important to have some help.  Rebecca Crowley at RTC Publicity is who I use for PR.  I think she is amazing!  Check out the above link for an article telling more  about her and some great information about what all authors need in 2010 and beyond!

Search Engine War: AOL, Google, Yahoo, and Bing

I use AOL and I am a big fan of Google.  If you use AOL, you may have noticed the search screen says:  AOL Search Enhanced by Google. 

AOL and Google have a continuing relationship that they have extended for another 5 years.  Part of that relationship includes: 

  1. Google provides AOL with additional features and enhancements to improve their search function.
  2. Google provides AOL with ad formats.
  3. AOL and Google work together to focus on mobile apps.
  4. This relationship allows AOL to have a content partnership with YouTube
  5. This relationship improves the international scope of AOL’s audience.

I was curious to see if there was a big difference between the results by searching within AOL vs. going to Google to search. AOL included a few local addresses at the beginning but otherwise the results were similar.

I have to admit I don’t use Yahoo and Bing very often.  I noticed when searching for my press releases, that Yahoo and Bing do not pick up the information nearly as well as Google and AOL do.  However, I am interested to see if their future relationship may change things.  Today’s Wall Street Journal had an article about how Bing and Yahoo were going to join forces.  Google may have some competition with that.  WSJ stated, “With the integration of Yahoo’s and Microsoft’s search businesses now well advanced—Yahoo searches are using Microsoft’s Bing engine and its search ads will increasingly go through Microsoft’s adCenter platform—the duo have a better chance to take on Google.”  Google is hardly hurting though, “Digital-marketing firm SearchIgnite estimates Google’s share of U.S. ad spending rose nearly two percentage points to 80.2% in the third quarter, with Yahoo dropping two points to 13.4%. Bing had 6.4%.”

The search engine war and capturing unique visitors continues to be big business.  Check out the following chart to see how the search engines and social networking sites compare in terms of revenue per unique visitors:

chart of the day, revenue per unique visitor, google, aol, twitter, facebook

What are Hover Cards?

Have you heard about hover cards?  Twitter introduced hover cards earlier this year. In July, Facebook announced the use of hover cards.  What is a hover card? You’ve probably seen them but didn’t know what they were called.  If you place your mouse over a picture or information, it blows it up bigger so you can see it better and find out more about it.  That is the hover card showing the blown up information as you hover over it.  

Now Gravatar hover cards are available on WordPress. Check out the latest WordPress blog about Gravatar Hover Cards by clicking here.

WordPress inputs Gravatar images,  those images that can follow you from site to site,  into their blogs.  Now users can also have the hover card feature.  For more information about Gravatar and its many areas where it is popping up on the web, click here.

Directions about how to set up hover cards on WordPress can be found by clicking here.

Are You Monitoring Your Online Reputation?


Individuals and companies need to keep track of their online reputation. Do you know who is writing about you or your business? In my book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I mention the importance of having a clean reputation online in case employers do some research into your background. That is important for employees, but organizations must be sure their reputations are intact as well.

One bad comment out there can cause a lot of damage. It is not just negative comments that can hurt you. I have heard stories about companies who have had their information translated incorrectly in other countries which has led to their business looking badly. Don’t assume that something posted in another country can’t be translated back into English and hurt you here.

There are sites like or or other sites where your reputation can be ruined.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and others are very important to help spread your positive message. But be careful, because they can just as easily spread a negative one.

I like to use Google Alerts to set up searches to track who is posting things about me or my company. I think it can be very helpful and it is free. If your company is large though, it can be harder to track all of the keywords.

Another free option is Yext Rep. This site tracks mentions and reviews on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Superpages and Foursquare.

If you are willing to pay a fee, Viralheat can monitor online conversations for a cost as little as $10/month.

Trackur is another option that many use. They offer powerful tools, you can be up, and running in 60 seconds with their service, monitoring keywords, tracking trends on the web, and discovering how influential your site really is. They have something called sentiment tracking that, “you can tag discovered items with a positive, negative, or neutral sentiment. Keep track of who’s saying positive things about you and who’s attacking your reputation.” The price for this starts as low as $18/month for their basic plan.

Visible Technologies is a good option if you need monitoring in different languages. They support 12 languages and allow employees to share reports. This comes at a cost of $500/month and up.

Radian6 allows you to manage your social media campaigns. It can be integrated with, Webtrends and Omniture for $600/month and up.

What is comScore’s Social Analytix?

Are you looking to follow how often your company’s brand is mentioned?  You might be interested in comScore’s Social Analytix.  This is a new social media tool that can provide detailed insights. 

According to CBR, “comScore said that Radian6 technology captures mentions across 150 million social media sources including blogs, discussion boards, video and image sharing sites and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn Answers. The Social Analytix will enable clients to monitor consumer-generated brand mentions and gauge consumer sentiment, listen and respond to potential customer service issues, and help identify key social media influencers. The new social media intelligence also engages with social media users and scale listening and response across their organisation, and tracks the lifecycle of campaigns, announcements and communication efforts. comScore vice president Steve Dennen said that the new Social Analytix leverages Radian6’s social monitoring technology to help the company provide its clients with enhanced insights into a critical variable in the marketing mix equation: consumer word-of-mouth. ”

The comScore site claims Social Analytix will enable clients to:

  • Monitor consumer-generated word-of-mouth brand mentions and gauge consumer sentiment toward their brands, products and/or competitors
  • Listen and respond quickly to potential customer service issues as they arise
  • Help identify key social media influencers, reach out to them and form strong relationships with their customers
  • Engage with social media users and scale listening and response across their organization
  • Track the lifecycle of campaigns, announcements and communication efforts

If you want to learn more about Analytix, click here.

What is Visible Measures? Measuring the Popularity of Videos on the Web

I teach several different marketing and advertising college courses.  It can be a challenge to keep up with all of the different social media advertising trends.  Companies want to be able to know that their message is being seen.  One way to find out if your message is being picked up is through a company called Visible Measures.  Visible Measures is the independent third-party measurement firm for Internet video publishers, advertisers, and viral marketers. According to Forbes , “Visible Measures is a New York firm that counts the popularity of videos on the growing list of sites hosting them, of which YouTube continues to be the most important.”

On their site you can sign up to receive free public beta for trends and track the hottest viral videos on the web.  Once you sign up, you can chose a category such as media, dining, etc. You can also refine your search by agency, brand and even get specific about things like humor, reality, spoof, etc.  It will then generate a list of the top videos based on your parameters based on the dates your select.  I picked media for the week of September 6 and one of the top videos it picked up was YouTube Turns Five . . .see below.

Do you want to know the top 10 ad campaigns, top 10 film trailers, top 10 webisodes or those in 100 million view club?  They have the charts.  They have a paid program you can sign up for to find out even more detailed information.  Are you interested in following the Old Spice campaign?  You can type in Old Spice into their search bar and it will pull up a list of their videos, show their rank and their reach. 

To keep up with what Visible Measures has to offer, you can sign up for their blog by clicking here.

What is Formstack? Creating Forms on WordPress

WordPress has become the preferred blogging platform for many users online, and as it’s footprint expands companies are coming out with widgets and plugins to make the platform even more user friendly. has released a WordPress Online Forms application which makes the task of creating forms much easier for WordPress users. Formstack’s web form creator allows users to create forms with an easy to use HTML editor. There is no need for any additional software or programming to be done when using Formstack.

Once the data has been collected, users can edit it, share it with others, interface it with third party application such as Salesforce, Highrise, and many others. Formstack even has their own API. Formstacks simple to navigate site even shares video showing how Formstack works.

Formstack can be a valuable tools to small business, nonprofits, educators, web designs, and more. With Formstack there are no sign up fees, no minimum contracts, and no long-term contracts. They has packages to fit any size organization, and even offers a free version of Formstack.

According to an article by Chris Lucas, their WordPress plugin features include:

  • Ability to embed a web form widget in your blog or site’s sidebar
  • Automatically embed any Formstack web form into a page or post using a short code
  • Native Formstack button on your WordPress Tiny MCE Editor (Menu Bar)
  • Works with Free and Paid Plans

Here are just a few ways that you can use the it and the widget:

Check out their video to highlight some of the features by clicking here to read the rest of the Chris Lucas article. You can also see their  WordPress Plugin page to view more screenshots as well as to download the plugin and get started using your Formstack web forms in your WordPress blog or website.

Asking People to Join You on Linkedin

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  I want to invite people to join me on Linkedin to follow my work.  Many are not responding because they don’t know how to set up their own profile.  Can you help me?

If you are you thinking of inviting someone to join LinkedIn but think they might not join for fear of learning how to set it up, you can offer them a bit of help in your invitation.  Linkedin is a great way to get your customers to follow you or find out more about your services . . . but if they don’t know how to setup the profile, they may reject your invitation. You can simply send them this link to help them out when you invite them.  You can add a statement like:  Please join me on Linkedin.  See this link for a quick tutorial to show you how to set up your profile page.  It’s simple, free and takes just a few minutes of your time.

LinkedIn Social Media Creating Most New Business

Check out this interesting article by Andrew McMains at  “Only 6 percent of the 123 leaders that consultancy RSW/US polled use social media outlets “often” when reaching out to prospective clients and 8 percent “never” use them, the survey found. And the majority of the respondents — 54 percent — rarely or never use such outlets in prospecting.” For the full survey results, click here.

In our book It’s Not You It’s Your Per…

In our book It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I write about the needs and preferences unique that the millennial generation.  I recently found a millennial marketing site.  It includes an interesting compilation of articles based on that group’s attitudes and values.  Anyone looking for some good information about how to target this unique group, should check it out.  This site is set up as a Wiki.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Wiki’s, click here to find out more.  I have taught some courses on a Wiki and see some great uses for such a platform.  To see specific information about millennials and their special needs in the workplace, click here. To add information to the discussion of NewGens, the term coined by my Toni Rothpletz and me to refer to post boomer generations, please click here.

Advice: How Do I Get People To Read My Blog?

Today’s Question for “Ask Dr. Diane”: Hi Dr. Hamilton right now I am up and promoting my artist Bianka and would like to ask you, how do I get people to read my blogs and visit my artist website. I am new to blogging and would like to know how to start people talking about them. If you can give me some insight on this it will be gratefully appreciated.

There are a lot of good books that give helpful advice about blogging.  I liked the last two books I read:  Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields and Dirty Little Secrets of Buzz by David Seaman.  I also think there are a lot of bloggers like Seth Godin and others that list helpful advice on a regular basis.  Some sites like Mashable and Problogger can be helpful as well.  If you type in the question ‘How do I Get People to Read My Blog”, into Google, I think you can find more advice than you probably can handle. I think some blogs are really good to follow for advice as well.  It can take some time to get blog followers.  You need to post regularly and post information that is targeted toward the people you want to have follow you.  Remember to include your blog address on everything . . .your signature line on your email, your twitter, facebook, linkedin, etc. pages . . . You’ve done one important thing already by responding to a blog (in this case mine). By posting helpful information on other people’s blogs, people can find you as well.  You can go to forums like these to chat with others about it:  . . .   You can start with Twitter as well by following people and posting things from your blog there . . . check out these articles:  and  I’m not sure if the price is still as reasonable as it was (I assume it is), but programs like byKate Beck can be very helpful.   She gives some good advice about how to set up social networking sites.  Her aim is more about starting a social networking business, but I feel her videos are just as helpful to someone like you that is new to the social networking scene.  One big piece of advice is to be sure you are spell checking what you type.  You want to come across as professional as possible.

InformIT: The New Social Norms: Identity, Sharing, and Influence on the Social Web

InformIT: The New Social Norms > Identity, Sharing, and Influence on the Social Web

via InformIT: The New Social Norms > Identity, Sharing, and Influence on the Social Web.

Check out this interesting article from Dan Schawbel about social networking.  I particularly liked the sections on corporate branding.  What is nice about the article is that he gives explanations and examples.  Check out his explanation of hypertargeting. 

Another point I’d like to make about sharing . . . Just used the new Google “send to” feature to post this to my blog.  This feature and the ability to share on Posterous are two great ways to share on the social web.

Constant Contact Adding Social Networking “Like Button” Features

Constant Contact offers a email marketing, online survey and event marketing programs.  Their products help all types of small businesses and organizations create professional-looking email newsletters and online surveys.  They are now offering new bells and whistles to their 350,000+ customers worldwide.  The new features include share buttons that allow users to add social media links to the headers of their email newsletters; a Facebook Like button, allowing recipients to vote on a campaign with their Facebook colleagues; a Tweet button, allowing for the retweeting of a message without having to leave the email application; and a Share This function for one-click postings of emails, surveys and events on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Best and Worst Websites

I often teach marketing courses where we discuss the use of websites to promote products.  In one class, I have students compare two different online malls to see their reaction to them.  Without exception, all students prefer one of the sites over the other.  Here are the two sites: and  Can you guess which one they prefer? 

I use certain sites as examples in my courses to show overly busy pages.  I think Godaddy’s site used to be an example of a difficult to navigate site.  However, they have since made some big improvements.   A company may have a great product, but if the average user can’t navigate easily, they may be losing out on business.

I chose my website developer, PS Web Design Studio, because they listened to what I wanted and developed a clean and easy to navigate site.  To see some of their example websites, click here.    Not everyone wants to spend a ton of money to have a site developed.  Many can save money having their site developed using Joomla or other inexpensive applications.  I consider myself pretty tech savvy, but it can help to have the professional touch to add some extra appeal that you may not have considered.  For more information about Joomla, click here.  I also like WordPress for its ease of use and ability to put together a blog with little technical expertise.

For some examples of well-constructed sites check out these links: – I tend to like simple sites and Seth Godin’s does everything it needs to do. – Dani’s site has a very clean and easy to manage feel. – I am impartial . . . but I prefer the simple design.

To see some examples of overly busy or poor websites check out these links:

In all of the examples of bad web pages, I think the following one may have my vote for the worst:

This may very well be the worst web page of all time.

Most Popular WordPress Themes

Click on the above link to see the rest of the article.

Facebook Users Like Brands for Discounts, Social Badging : MarketingProfs

Click on the above article by to get more information about why Facebook users become interested in brands.

Bring Traffic to Your Page by Creating Custom Text in Facebook has a great article you should check out about creating a landing page in Facebook.   If you have an individual page set up for your business on Facebook, I recommend reading their article about promoting that page by clicking here

If you are in Facebook, look up Static FBML in the search bar at the top and add it to your page.  You can simply go into edit your page to add HTML text.  It is like the WordPress widget text box.  In Facebook, it will put a tab on the top of your page and you can put in text just like you would into any HMTL text screen.  I found it very useful to add the icons where they can follow me at other locations such as Twitter, Linkedin, etc.  To see my example page, click here.

How to Use Google Docs and Linkedin to Get a Job

I often write about different ways to obtain a job.  One of the best ways is through networking and having strong visibility.  A great tool that you can use to accomplish this is Linkedin’s ability to input from Google Docs.

If you don’t have a Google account, I recommend getting one.  It is free and easy to set up.  Go to Google Docs at to set up your presentation.  Your main page will look something like this.  I have presentations listed here but yours will be blank on the right when you first sign in.

You will need to create a new presentation by going to the create new drop down menu at the top left.  I recommend creating a presentation that highlights “you” and your abilities or accomplishments.  If you are trying to find a job, you need to create a presentation that makes people notice you and want to hire you.

Pick presentation and a window will open up that looks a lot like what you see when you want to create a PowerPoint presentation.

You will create your presentation here just as you would in Powerpoint by adding text and pictures.  When you are finished you will go to the share dropdown menu at the top right and the following window will be displayed.  This is where you can share your presentation by copying the link, or sharing directly into Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and Buzz

This is also where you will decide who can view your presentation.  To make changes, pick “change” to open up a new window.

To see what this actual presentation looks like in Google Docs, click here.

This will allow you to have your presentation viewable on the web.  Once you save this, you can go to Linkedin and be able to add the Google Docs application there.  On your profile page in Linkedin you will see an add applications picture that looks something like this:

Note that the featured app will change so it may show a different picture each time you sign on.  It should be located on the left side of your screen as you scroll down on your profile page. Once you click on the see all applications link at the bottom, it will pull up a list of applications they offer such as:

You will need to click on the Google Presentation icon and that will bring up the following

You will want to be sure that both boxes are checked at the bottom You will need to click on the link that tells you to go to the application where you will see the following:

Mine has a presentation already showing but yours will be blank until you add one.  To do this, you will pick create your presentation which you will do or you will already have done in Google Docs.  When you are finished be sure you pick the share this presentation with my connections link that will be in the lower right corner.

Once you are finished, your presentation will show up on your Linkedin profile page and will look something like this:

Not only will people find out more about you, they will also see that you are technologically savvy.  In today’s competitive job market, this is one more effective tool to use to stand out in the crowd.

Most Popular Products in the US

Yahoo Finance posted an interesting article by Bloomberg Businessweek recently about popularity of items we purchase.  In my marketing courses I teach, we often discuss what makes a product more or less successful.  Do you ever look at products out there and think . . . Who would buy that?  I often see a strange color car and wonder what the buyer’s thought process was with that!  I tend to have more bland and simple taste when it comes to colors.  I guess I am not alone.

 In the Bloomberg article, they state, “Fully 17.8 percent of cars sold in North America last year were white—the No.1 choice, according to the annual DuPont Global Automotive Color Popularity Report. Black, the No.2 color, scored a close second with 17 percent, having climbed six points since 2005. Silver, the global favorite, placed third in North America, totaling 16.7 percent of sales.

Here are some more interesting statistics mentioned in the article about popular products:

Wal-Mart sold more bananas than any other single item in the store. 

The growth of Honey Nut Cheerios is largely due to a growing Hispanic population who is targeted in their ads.

Hungry for a potato chip?  The highest sales, by far, were for Lay’s brand.

Americans ate 4.1 pounds of shrimp in 2008.

If you are looking to buy a dog .  .  .Labradors are the number one choice. 

If you are considering traveling . . . You’ll probably see a lot of Americans in France as that is the number one travel destination.

One third of all cosmetics are sold by Revlon.

Looking for the popular sneaker?  Check out Nike’s Air Force 1.

Students Using Social Media for School Shopping

Marketing school products has taken a virtual direction with sites like Facebook, My Space, Twitter and others focusing their messages on young shoppers.  Advertising on cell phones and social networking sites is becoming more common.  Students can now see virtual dressing rooms right on their phones.  Apps, or applications, are the big thing now.  With them, companies can set up pages on Facebook and other sites to show off their product line. 

In a recent article in the Arizona Republic, Staples Inc. spokeswoman Karen Pevenstein stated that virtual retailing is big business. “It’s the best way to reach teens.”  This same article cited that “Young shoppers are expected to spend more than $200 billion of their own and parents’ money this year, making them one of the retailers’ most sought-after demographic groups.”

According to ABC News, the latest trend is to post haul videos.  “A new phenomenon called haul videos means they can show off their purchases to the whole world. There are more than 110,000 haul videos currently on YouTube, and some videos are racking up tens of millions of views. Hauls are short product review videos. The “vlogger,” or video blogger, shows off her goods, gushing about everything from lip gloss to flip flops and gives her opinion on the quality of the products. Haul videos are the perfect marriage of two of Generation Y’s favorite things: technology and shopping”

It is not just teens and tweens students that have the retailer’s focus.  This year it is anticipated that $34 billion of the estimated $55 billion in back-to-school spending will collected from college students and their parents.  The Arizona Republic reported, “To reach that market, retailer Target Corp. has added a “college” tab to its Facebook page with coupons, supplies, checklists and sharable cellphone apps to help students determine how to furnish their dorm rooms or apartments and manage shared bills and chores with roommates.

FREE Site PitchEngine: Get the Word out About Your Products or Company

Are you using Pitchengine to get the word out?  If not you should be. PitchEngine was has been around since 2008.  This site is for businesses and journalists in need of a better alternative to email for exchanging information and assets for publication and print.  Unlike traditional wire services, PitchEngine enabled users to openly create and share their own content, while including images, videos and attachments FREE for 30 days with other plans offered for a monthly fee. According to their site: In 2009, more than 70,000 pitches were shared by 27,000 organizations looking to get the word out to not just journalists, but to bloggers, consumers and other influencers as well. It’s easy to design your message.  They liken it to being as simple as filling out a Facebook page. You can add your pictures, videos or attachments.  After publishing, you can easily share your pitch with your friends and followers through your social networks, email and other methods. Once your message is published, journalists, bloggers and other readers can direct-message you privately to ask questions or give suggestions. And, you can track your pitch with our Google Analytics integration.  Some of the companies using their service include:  Zappos, Olive Garden, Mattel, Cisco, IBM, Xerox, British Airways, Lowe’s, Yamaha and more.

Teen Social Media Influencers Wield Power Online and Offline : MarketingProfs

Offline Activities

As active as they are online, teen social media influencers are nearly 40% more likely than other teens to have attended a party during the previous weekend and 20% more likely to have had a friend visit them at home in the previous week.

What are teens doing when they are not online? That is just one of the questions this article answers. If you are trying to market to teens, read this article to see what kind of content they are likely to pass along through social media.

FHA Calculator

It is easier than ever to know the loan amounts that FHA offers. If you are in the mortgage business, you can get the widget for your website showing loan limits for your state at:

The amounts shown in the picture above are the actual loan limits right now for FHA loans in Maricopa County, Arizona.

How Sociable Are You? New Site Will Give You a Score

There is a new brand visibility search site.   Type in a brand name to find out how visible it is on the social web:  It will measure over 100,000 brands using 32 metrics or sites such as Twitter tweets, Google images, Google pages, Yahoo news, Youtube video scores, Facebook page scores and more.  The score is based on a set of benchmark results using one globally recognised traditional brand and gave it a score of 1000.  To ensure that even small, local brands would register they made it a sliding scale.  The site mentions that this way of calculating could change.

What is Weedle and What Does It Have To Offer?

I am a big fan of sites like LinkedIn for networking, so I was curious about what could offer that is different.  Weedle is about utilizing word of mouth referrals to get noticed. Sites like Linkedin allow you to create your home page to showcase your work experience, skills, etc.   Although there are applications that you can add to Linkedin to present images and video, it is not as simple to do as with Facebook as other applications. 

With Weedle, your contacts will be able to see how they are connected with you from past experiences such as where you worked and what school you attended.  This site is about promoting yourself through showing recommendations as well.

The site has begun to take off with over 50 countries utilizing the site.  Google is picking up this information as it does with Linkedin.  What is different, is the search of your profile is supposed to be based upon your skill as it is optimized that way within Weedle.

According to

“Cost: Free

What makes it different? Certainly there are lots of social tools to promote your skills, but Weedle is different in that it:

  1. works smoothly
  2. includes only professional contacts
  3. gets great Google search rankings

Popularity: Alexa site ranking: 86,427 (worldwide traffic rank) with 11 sites linking in.

Time to setup: Count on 30 minutes to setup your account properly.

What you need to know:  The focus is on individual skills, not on companies. It is an amazing tool to find freelance work, or maybe your next job. You can find scores of success stories on their site.

Bottom line: If you are a brand-of-one then you should be listed. Really, why wouldn’t you claim your page and get listed? Either you are currently looking to make connections or will be. It’s worth the 30 minutes to setup your page.”

Why it is So Important to Be Connected With Social Media: Some Recent Social Media Statistics


  • In Dennis Prince’s recent book Get Rich With Twitter, he quotes: “In order to reach 50 million users it would take:

             38 years by radio

             13 years by television

              4 years by Internet

              3 years by Ipod

              He also states the following about positive impact based on the type of media:

              14% of consumers say they trust company-produced advertisements.

              18% of traditional TV ad campaigns generate positive returns on investment

               25% of search results online for the world’s top-twenty largest brands are links to user-generated (socially accessible) content.

              34% of bloggers post opinions about products and brands

             78% of consumers trust peer recommendations”

  • According to latest Nielsen research Americans spend nearly a quarter of their time online on social networks and blogs, up from 15.8% a year ago (43% increase). 


  • Mashable reported: One-third of women aged 18-34 check Facebook when they first wake up, even before they get to the bathroom. 21% of women age 18-34 check Facebook in the middle of the night.


  • Information Week reported: Two-thirds of Americans now use Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other social media sites, up about 230% from the 20% penetration in 2007, and 43% are visiting these sites more than once a day.


  • Social Networking Watch reported: According to a recent comScore Video Metrix service, 178M U.S. Internet users watched online video during the month, and topped 30.3 billion videos in April, with Google Sites ranking as the top video property with 13.1 billion videos, representing 43.2% of all videos viewed online. YouTube accounted for the vast majority of videos viewed at the property.


  • Read Write Web Reported: Apple, the most high-profile purveyor of mobile apps, has said it has seen 4 billion apps downloaded from its store, for a total of about $1.5 billion.

Are You Considering Purchasing Media Advertising?

One of the many different business courses I teach is an Innovation and Entrepreneurial Management course.  Because of this and also from running my own business as an author and speaker, I am always interested in social media  and ways of getting a business noticed. There comes a point when a business or entrepreneurial venture has grown to the point that they are looking for additional help with advertising. 

Are you considering purchasing media advertising?  Today’s guest is Scott Harkey with Harkey-Owens Advertising ( .  Formerly with CBS Radio where he negotiated with agencies in Los Angeles and New York, Scott has had many years of advertising experience before starting his own advertising agency. Harkey claims that many companies are not getting the most out of their advertising dollar. “It is very important to have knowledge of television, radio, billboard and print companies and how they price their inventory.  I have seen some advertisers pay $10 for a commercial and another advertiser pay $500 for the same commercial.  If you don’t know what your competition is doing and negotiating, it can be a very expensive lesson.”

One reason Harkey-Owens has been successful is due to their analysis of how to purchase media.  Harkey stated, “The best way to negotiate with media companies is to find months or weeks where they have excess inventory.  Partner up with stations to come up with promotions to cut through the clutter.  The more you work with the companies and the more knowledge you have about their business, the better deals you can make.  It’s a simple supply and demand; buy when they have excess supply and you’ll get a better deal.”

Harkey claims it is very important to know the station’s “report card” that shows their revenue ranking each month. According to Harkey, “What most people don’t know is when a Radio or TV station finishes 1st or 5th in revenue, it can be separated by a few thousand dollars.  By adding an extra $10,000 to one station at the end of the month or by taking it to a competitor may be a big enough swing to get a sales manager a promotion or have them looking for a job. Because a General Sales Manager at a TV or Radio Station are not only adding $10,000 to their revenues but are also taking away from their competitors at the same time. If General Sales Managers at TV or Radio companies have the inventory they are very likely to give you as the buyer great deal.”

Harkey likens the way media is sold (on a supply and demand basis) to how airlines sell seats. “If an airline doesn’t sell a seat on the plane before it takes off, they earn nothing.  Sometimes you arrange to fly ‘Stand by’ for a deeply discounted rate.”

If you are considering purchasing media to promote your business, be sure you have done your homework.  Check out how long your media buyer has been in business.  Many get into the business without prior experience, only to move on after a short while.  Find out what method they use to purchase media.  Is it strictly based on statistics or are they negotiating on your behalf?  Negotiating or as Harkey put it, “Buying around the edge”, may be more effective.  

Imitation More Than Just Flattery – It’s Good Business

In the business world, there have been plenty of success stories. Many people who find success, have learned to take what others have created and added their own spin to the formula.

Lady Gaga is a prime example.  She is the current phenomenon in the music business.  However, she has been accused of imitating Madonna.  She probably got ideas from more people than just Madonna.  Perhaps she watched Elton John, Cher, Boy George and others that used “over the top” garb and personas to make millions.  I’ve heard Harrison Ford quote that “you can’t imitate someone else’s success.”  I agree that you won’t be exactly the same as someone else who is famous. However, you can put your own spin on a wheel that has already been successfully created. 

If you are interested in being a motivational speaker . . . look at the work of Zig Ziggler, Dale Carnegie or Tony Robbins.  They all have been great and yet different.  You can learn something from each of them.  You can build your own persona while still researching the things they did to become successful. 

If your goal is less ambitious than becoming a superstar like Lady Gaga or Tony Robbins, find someone in the field you are interested in and look at the things they do well.  If you want to be a top sales person, find someone in your field who is the best.  What do they do that makes them different?  How can you put your own spin on their system to make it unique to you? 

Harrison Ford is right . . . you shouldn’t imitate someone else’s success . . . or even try to duplicate it.  It is important to have “you” be at the core of your success.  However, I believe far too many people try to recreate the basic wheel that has already been invented.

Is it OK for Doctors to Use Social Media?

  With Twitter breaking the 20 billion tweet record, social media has shown it is becoming the way for people to communicate.  Businesses are using sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others to get their messages across.  Doctors have traditionally been slow to get into some forms of advertising.  Some feel it doesn’t seem professional.  Others just don’t have the time.  However, there are some things that social media could offer for many physicians such as ability to stay in contact with patients, answering common questions, possible virtual visits, and a general enhanced patient relationship.  

    The question may be where to draw the line?   Is it OK to offer medical information online if there is a demand for it?  The New York Times reported: a survey by Pew Internet and American Life Project reported 61% of Americans will go online for health information.   Doctors are looking for guidance as to what is acceptable in terms of how close of a relationship is deemed appropriate in terms of communication.  This has lead to the first set of guidelines ever published on using e-mail in patient care.   Anonymity is a huge issue when dealing with patients and HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).  HIPAA was devised partly to ensure protecting the privacy of Americans’ personal health records by protecting the security and confidentiality of health care information.

    However, helpful information can be shared through social media if it is general in nature and doesn’t involve specific patient information.  Mayo clinic is even tweeting these days.  Are you ready to be friends with your physician on Facebook? Are there better avenues such as LinkedIn or other more professional sites where contact would be a better option?  Michael Lara, MD recently stated that he felt there are 5 social medial tools for physicians that he considers helpful:

  1.  Facebook Practice Page
  2. Google Reader for Medical Articles and News
  3. YouTube Channel for Patient Education Library
  4. Twitter for Connecting with Colleagues
  5. Practice Blog 

    I know a lot of physicians from my 15 years being a pharmaceutical representative and being married to a plastic surgeon.  From my experience, I see that they have a lot on their plates; learning social media may not be a priority for them.  That is not to say they may not benefit from hiring a social media manager.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to see which of your messages gets through to your physician in a timelier manner some day. . . the message you sent where you had to sit on the phone system listening to the recording asking you to push 1 for appointment desk, 2 for billing . . .  or the message that you tweeted to them quickly from your iphone . . .

10 Famous Product Failures And the Advertisements That Did Not Sell Them | Growthink


Excellent list of some infamous product failures . . . Will definitely have my marketing students watch this one. To see the actual commercial – go to:

Everyone makes mistakes. When big business makes mistakes, however, it’s typically after they’ve spent millions of dollars on marketing campaigns to let us know about their flawed products.

Here we present the advertisements for ten of the most infamous product failures in history.

10) Sony Betamax

The 1979 Betamax was a real breakthrough for its time and for the video recording business. It’s a shame it didn’t catch on. Grandma must be pretty ticked off that all of her memories are trapped in a dead format.

Why it failed: Despite having higher quality (and a cooler name), Betamax was defeated by VHS when over 40 companies decided to run with the VCR-compatible format instead. The lower price of VHS-C camcorders probably helped a little too.

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9) Coca Cola- New Coke

Bill Cosby, a soda can, and a crystal ball. Nope, nothing odd there.

Is Bill Cosby really trying to be believable

Why it failed: There was nothing wrong with old coke. Life lesson: If it ain’t broke, don’t fizz it.

8) Polaroid – Instant Home Movies

Five seconds into this commercial and this guy has already lost us. “Imagine if someone invented a wonderful box (what??) and gave you a way to catch little pieces of your life so that you could see them again, anytime, by just dropping them into the box. Now, now…wo..wouldn’t that be something?”

Why it failed: Polaroid will inevitably be associated forever with the act of standing around shaking a picture that may or may not come out as intended. Trusting Polaroid to capture any life event big enough to warrant a video camera would just seem reckless.

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7) Pepsi – Crystal Pepsi

Who knew that 15 years later Van Halen would be done with Sammy Hagar and bring back David Lee Roth? Also, who knew we would live in a world without Crystal Pepsi? We were pretty sure it was here to stay.

Why it failed:Similar to New Coke, there was no real need for Crystal Pepsi. Despite the shifting tides in early 90’s marketing towards healthiness and purity, people just didn’t get excited about a clear caffeine-free Pepsi. Not really a surprise- those who were that concerned with the health and color of their beverage probably would not be Pepsi drinkers to begin with.

6) McDonalds – Arch Deluxe Burger

Worst. Commercial. Ever.

Anytime you think the best way to market your product is by standing in an elevator in a chef’s outfit and begging the people on that elevator to eat that product…you might want to go back to the drawing board.

Why it failed:The goal of the Deluxe line was to market McDonald’s fine cuisine to the adult demographic. Unfortunately, adults weren’t interested in paying significantly more for slightly different burgers.

5) Apple – Lisa

Wow. Looks like it took Steve Jobs and his minions a few years to really get the hang of that “cool commercial” thing….

Why it failed: The Lisa was geared towards business consumers, though those consumers were attracted to the lower price tag on IBM PCs. NASA got behind the Lisa project, which they regretted after it was discontinued two years later.

Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.  Growthink’s professional business plan consultants have worked with more than 2,000 entrepreneurs.  We know what works and what doesn’t.   

4) Levi’s – Type 1 Jeans

Apparently jeans that are perfect for those situations when you’re being dragged through the dirt while hanging on to a rope wrapped around a possessed car don’t resonate with the masses. This confusing Super Bowl commercial was simultaneously the debut and the death knell for Levi’s Type 1 Jeans.

Why it failed: Fashion is a capricious field. The designers at Levi’s made Fashion Fumble #41b: Celebrating the launch of a product before checking to see if anyone RSVP’d to the Evite.

3) IBM – PCjr

This is what happens when you only have enough money in your marketing budget to afford a dead guy. This commercial is flawed on many levels. Would Charlie Chaplin really know how to use a computer? He was born in 1889, back when North Dakota wasn’t even a state yet.

Why it failed: This computer had a hefty price tag. At $699, it was twice the price of computers from Atari and Commodore. Many were also disappointed at the awkward layout of the factory-shipped keyboard.

2) DeLorean – DMC-12

How this car failed to catch on perplexes us. We know we”d want one.

Why it failed: The fall of the DeLorean Motor Company was not due to the vehicle, which is no surprise because this car is an incredible piece of engineering and style. Rather, failure ensued after hard times fell on the company’s founder. John DeLorean’s empire was dismantled after his arrest on accusations of drug-trafficking resulted in bankruptcy.

1) Ford – Edsel

“They’ll know you’ve arrived when you drive up in the 1958 Edsel, the car that’s truly new!”
I guess in 1958, new was slang for ugly. The front of this car bothers us, as it looks like an angry mechanical face.

Why it failed: A small army worth of factors came together to curse the Edsel. A name that didn’t resonate with the crowd, a bizarre pricing strategy, and a national recession have all been cited as factors by those who use the Edsel as an example of how not to market a product.