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How to be Creative

My work is fundamentally creative. There are loads of analytical pieces, but at the end of the day, marketing is about making a connection with human beings who are not as predictable as marketers would like to think. Yes, there are lots of studies on consumer behavior and human drive and we can move the […]

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No, Social Media Doesn’t Drive Sales…but that’s not the point

Okay, maybe I’m overstating it. Some sales are driven through social media channels. I know I’ve bought books and songs and contributed to Kickstarter campaigns many times because a friend shared a link and I thought, “Hey! That’s awesome! I should buy that!” I’ve even tipped a bigger purchase in favor of a friendly recommendation on […]

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If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

[title quote attributed to Alexander Hamilton as well as Malcolm X in various forms, image bought from Shutterstock] I’ve been trying to put my finger on the problem with so much of the social content brands put out into the world. Why does it seem so damned flat and soulless? Sure, they post the occasional […]

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Shutterstock photo

Switching Costs: A Person’s #1 Reason for Not Trying Your Service

People get comfortable with routines…even if they aren’t the most efficient. Sticking with a familiar inefficiency is often less daunting than switching to an unknown. Many companies try to sell their products and services as an ‘easier’ or ‘time saving’ or ‘better’ way to do something, but even if your potential customers will save time […]

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Tomato Tomato: Content Curation Is The New King, so What Happens to Creators?

In 2007, I sat on the patio at the Driskill Hotel with a reporter for the SF Chron. He was writing a story on what print could learn from the scrappy ‘web 2.0′ world filled with amateur writers, film makers and personalities. I told him straight up, “Want to save newspapers? Become the world’s best […]

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Identity word

The Identity Scorecard

“One of the things I love most about web standards is there are so many to choose from!” The ironically witty statement above was uttered by my friend, David Crow, on IRC in 2006. Seven years later, it’s pretty much the same. Every major company pushing their own standards and pretty much every one of […]

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Kitty Nerd by Carolina Valsecchi Gillmeister on Flickr

Big Data? No, SMART Data

One of the things I’ve loved most about crafting my career in online marketing is that there is lots of feedback when it comes to campaigns. You can tell almost instantly what people respond to and what falls flat. When I started out in marketing in 1999, billboards, radio, television, print and other difficult to […]

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Book On How To Find Love

Playing the Long Game

Shortcut. Silver bullet. Hidden passageway. Secret. So many people want one or want to unlock one and sell it to everyone for profit. In fact, the number of ‘unlocked secrets to…’ that I’ve seen advertised is off the charts. This says to me that these schemes work. Not the secrets themselves, but the schemes to […]

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Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 10.12.57 AM

Why Content?

…because all roads lead back to content. Without content on Facebook, you have this: Exciting, eh? Without content on Twitter, you have this: Hmmmmm… Blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, Slideshare, Tumblr, etc all are merely content holders. Without content, you have tools. Without content, nobody has a compelling reason to click the follow/like button, let alone get […]

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Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 12.05.22 AM

Can’t Buy Me Love: following the social engagement protocol

The other day, I was meeting with an associate who was relaying to me his frustration with influencer marketing: “Tara, influencer marketing just doesn’t work. I made a deal with the most influential person in this network and he posted his shining endorsement of my product and I got very little results.” He lamented, “He has […]

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