5 reasons online marketing isn't free.

5 reasons online marketing isn't free.

So you’ve ditched the catalog, the brochure, the paper newsletter, and your direct mail campaigns.  After all, there’s a lot of free marketing on the internet…Facebook and Twitter are free, and there are free email newsletter platforms, free blog sites, and free measurement tools.  And, the unpaid intern can handle it all…she’s internet-savvy. Expertise is invaluable. Your marketing talent is worth what you’ve paid for it.  That free intern may have cut her teeth on the edge of mommy’s laptop, but is she really a marketer? Nothing reaches everyone. People pay attention to different things.  Even people who stare at a computer screen all day may occasionally want to sit down with something that’s not blinking at them. Electronic is ephemeral. Even if you have everyone’s email address and can get them to be a fan or follower on a social network, that brilliant message or special offer you spent so much energy coming up with can easily be ignored or be pushed further down the electronic pile by newer stuff. Measurement is just as tough online. If you didn’t analyze—and adjust—your success with traditional media, you won’t do it electronically.  It takes time, and a sustained effort. Content costs. Given the fleeting nature of electronic communication, the sheer volume of data, and the ease of entry, how will your message stand out?  How will you maintain a consistent, engaging presence?  How will you get and keep people’s attention long enough to move them to come in, or buy, or donate?  Producing a steady stream of interesting content that supports a strong brand and strategic objectives takes work… hard work that nobody is going to do for free. We use electronic marketing for our clients every day, combined with long experience in planning, marketing, media, direct mail, public relations, printing, design, and copywriting.  Whether the message is delivered via paper, email, or door-to-door, the disciplines and principles of marketing apply… and they cost something to acquire. What do you think?  Have you gone all-electronic with your marketing?  What are your challenges with...

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Creative recycling.

Finding new uses for old things doesn’t just ease up on the landfill:  it can lead us to think of objects more creatively, redefine “disposable” and even be beautiful.  Enjoy these samples of refuse made new…links below the gallery. For more information: Sonic Cloth | Oatmeal Clay | Shopping Bag Raincoat | Paper Coffin | Cigarette Rug | Bottle House | Book Vase What’s your favorite?  Have others?  Comments, please. Visit us on...

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The truth about Facebook.

The truth about Facebook.

Even people who love Facebook hate Facebook.  If we define “love” as “use it daily,” there are a lot of Facebook lovers—half a billion now—and they gripe about it all the time.  Here are some common complaints, and what to do about them. Facebook doesn’t listen to complaints. Facebook is a private system, not a democracy.  They conceived it, designed it, wrote all the programming, maintain it and we all jumped on it for free.  If we don’t like it, we can start our own networks. Facebook goes wacky a couple of times a week. Nothing’s perfect.  Given the number of users, amount of traffic, and complicated functionality, it works great.  Sure, your Notes tab may disappear now and again, but it usually comes back. Facebook doesn’t care about my privacy. They care about it as much as you do.  If you willingly post personal information, somebody can get to it.  “Internet privacy” is like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: a fairy tale.  Don’t put things on the internet if you don’t want them to be seen. Facebook lets spam and viruses in. It’s Facebook, not the Pentagon.  Nearly every site is hackable if you’re smart enough. Two rules of thumb: if you don’t recognize it, don’t click on it, and if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Facebook is clunky. Much of Facebook’s functionality relies on third-party applications that have to be plugged in to pages, and you have to know HTML to do the really cool stuff.  Did we mention it’s free? Facebook won’t leave well enough alone. Just when you start liking a feature, they change it.  They’re trying to make it better and trying to figure out how to make a profit.  They are entitled. Facebook ads are annoying. If those little notices on the right side of your Facebook page aren’t relevant, either you didn’t put much specific information in your profile—the flip side of the privacy issue—or those advertisers aren’t too smart.  That last one isn’t confined to Facebook. Facebook won’t tell you anything. Neither will Google and a lot of other sites.  A lot of the time, you have to learn the hard way, or by reading blogs and joining forums.  It’s the nature of the beast. This is no apologia.  Facebook does exactly what it was created to do: it connects people.  It is a pervasive phenomenon, a game-changer, an incredibly powerful tool.  Love it or hate it, Facebook...

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How companies pick their names.

How companies pick their names.

Several years ago, a certain rabbi cracked me up when he told me that he thought “HTML” stood for Hotmail.  Given the fact that he was using a laptop as a bookend (not making this up), I wasn’t surprised; presumably rabbis have their minds on loftier subjects than arcane internet terminology.  Turns out, the joke’s on me.  In an article about how 16 great companies picked their names, the writer points out that Hotmail was chosen because it has the letters HTML in it, and the Hotmail system is based on the HyperText Markup Language. Some company names, like Lego, are based on a real precept:  “Lego is a combination of the Danish phrase “leg godt,” which translates to “play well.” Initially the company built wooden toys, and later switched to making plastic bricks. Lego also means “I put together” in Latin, but the Lego Group claims this merely coincidence and the origin of the word is strictly Danish.” Writer Glen Stansberry continues, “IKEA is simply a random collection of letters, based from the first letters of founder Ingvar Kamprad’s name in addition to the first letters of the names of the Swedish property and the village in which he grew up: Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd. Who knew? Have you ever wondered how a certain company got its name?  Tell us what it...

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What all creative people have in common.

What all creative people have in common.

This post was updated for 2013. The old saw that creativity is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration implies that creativity = drudgery. Not very appealing, or particularly true. In fact, the creative process often includes something that looks very much like goofing off. The flip side is another frequent misconception about creativity: that it is inborn and, therefore, can’t be acquired. The reality is somewhere in the middle:  to be creative, you have to inherit some inclinations, and you have to give yourself the freedom to use them. Whether your field of endeavor is accountancy, interior design, teaching, or basketball, you can be creative. Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business have several things in common, all available to you, too.  Creative people: Don’t settle for the status quo. “Because we’ve always done it that way” is not a phrase you hear from them. Are curious…about everything. They look around corners and behind doors.  They are interested in lots of things. Learn from the best. Teachers are important to them, especially the ones who know the student will do it a little differently. Are willing to make mistakes. A good photographer takes dozens of shots to get a winner. Much has been made of the left brain/right brain dichotomy…left is linear and logical, right is abstract, intuitive. There’s a cool test you can take to see which way you lean; nobody is all one way. Each of us has tendencies, from birth, that we have either squelched or developed. If you’ve got some time, page through the presentation by Change This. It’s long but it’s thoughtful and funny. How do you develop your creative self? If you took the test, how’d you come out…60/40?  or 30/70? Was this post helpful? If so, please share with a colleague, and please subscribe. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn | Google+ Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this...

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