How’s Your Game?


In 2018, I became a Mentor at CCNY City College of New York’s City Tutors program, the tutoring arm of City College’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.  This experience has given me the chance to meet and work with students and young professionals from the finest learning institutions offering  them the benefit of some valuable learning tools combined with my own experience.

Based on a systematic published Austin Method for achieving the maximum results in the shortest period of time, I am delighted to be able to offer these services to professional women in transition seeking guidance and support in actualizing their true potential.

Please contact me for more information and sign up for a 1/2 hour free consultation.

elainemorris.palmer@gmail.com

7 Top Online Marketing Trends for 2011 [Data Included]


RePosted Tuesday, February 21, 2012
By Heidi Cohen | January 10, 2011 | 23 comments

sponsored by: Adobe

Shovel and Twitter in hand during the post-Christmas Snowpocalypse, Newark Mayor Cory Booker showed that 2011 will be about being connected, showing up, and responding to customers’ needs. Like Mayor Booker, online marketers will require more than social media marketing. Further, as Mayor Booker demonstrated, an integrated approach is essential for achieving your goals. For marketers, this translates to ensuring that all facets of the marketing mix must work well together.

Seven Top Online Marketing Trends for 2011

Here are the seven top online marketing trends.

Social media marketing goes mainstream. In 2010, corporate use of social media reached a tipping point. Companies will become more sophisticated in their social media marketing usage as they get more experienced. As part of this evolution, social media will extend throughout organizations, namely customer service. Further, social media advertising will come into its own and yield relatively stronger results as happens with any new advertising platform. It’s also largely attributable to the ability to tightly target audiences based on social media activity.


The one challenge to this progress will be Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon’s high market valuations, potentially signaling a bubble.

Mobile hits its stride. While U.S. mobile expansion has been on everyone’s list for many years, 2011 will pave the way for a number of important marketing changes. Fueled by high smartphone adoption that continues to expand and an increasing percentage of mobile-only households, the U.S. is poised for enhanced mobile marketing. Recent Nielsen data shows that 30 percent of cell phones are smartphones and BlackBerries account for about a quarter of smartphones.

totalusmobilemarket
Source: The Nielsen Company

Along with on-the-go consumption, e-mail remains the dominant mobile activity. Further, app users have downloaded an average of 27 apps.

usmobileinternettime
Source: The Nielsen Company

Based on this growth, Forrester forecasts that over 75 percent of marketers plan to include mobile in their marketing mix. Given mobile e-mail’s strength and average app downloads, focus on mobile interactive extension to meet users needs on the go. Think bite-size consumption and mobile findability (aka search). As a result, location-based services (aka LBS) such as Foursquare with competition from giants like Facebook will continue to expand their reach.

emarketer-location-based

QR codes and mobile payments will also grow.

Content marketing expands in new venues. Other forms of portable devices, namely e-readers and iPads, gain traction. Apple’s iPad has sold 8.5 million units based on eMarketer’s estimates.

emarketer-us-tablet

While Amazon has sold 8 million* Kindles, its highest selling item to-date. This is good news for publishers who consider these devices paid content consumption nirvana. These devices require that marketers think about their target market’s content consumption habits. Roughly two-thirds of consumers have paid for some form of online content according to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Among the dominant forms of paid content were digital music, software, cell phone and tablet apps, digital games, news articles or reports, and videos, movies, or television shows. But, before publishers run to the bank, they must assess the average $47 content spend carefully because the typical customer only spends $10!

Marketing goes real-time, not just watching issues for PR and potential fires. (Hat tip to David Meerman Scott.) Marketers must be vigilant to take advantage of marketing opportunities while mitigating the impact of small fires (for example, Ford’s use of social media to quell a PR fire). This requires a more flexible promotional and communications strategy. As a result, marketing needs to be agile because these events can’t be planned six months in advance. Further, every firm must have a crisis management plan and vigilant monitoring.

Online retail continues to take market share from other channels. Christmas 2011 showed that consumers were willing to spend money, either due to pent up desire or as shopping therapy, despite the challenging financial outlook. Online holiday purchasing grew, taking share from brick-and-mortar retail, showing consumers’ willingness to use and trust online payments. J.P. Morgan senior analyst Imran Kahn forecasts that U.S. online retail will continue to grow at a 12.4 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from an estimated $166 billion in 2010 to $235 billion in 2013. While a very small percentage of holidays sales, social shopping will continue to expand its influence due to its ability to target and reach consumers early in the decision phase. Also, group buying via Groupon and its competitors will continue to be a growing trend as long as marketers can make money from these promotions.

Integrated marketing comes of age. As the big social media marketing campaigns of 2010, namely Pepsi Refresh and Old Spice, showed, integration across marketing platforms is a must! With expansion of social media marketing; mobile, e-reader, and offline marketing (remember, television still dominates!) all need to work together.

Metrics move into the spotlight for social media. Just as you do for traditional forms of marketing, as social media matures and invests real budget and headcount, management will require justification for these dollars. To this end, better social media metrics and a clear pathway to ROI is needed. Related to this is improved social monitoring to aid tracking. Further, marketers must incorporate calls-to-action and promotions to aid tracking.

As you plan for 2011, use these seven online marketing trends to guide your marketing initiatives. Bear in mind that to hit your 2011 goals, you need to have metrics including those for your social media and mobile strategies that help you achieve your corporate mission.

Do you have any other trends that you think will drive online marketing in 2011? If so, please add them in the comments section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

* This column has been updated. An earlier version incorrectly stated the Kindle market size.

How To Measure Your Social Media Personality.


The triggering event, of course, is the advent of a global communication
system that restores the banter of the bazaar,
that tears down power structures and senseless bureaucracies,
that puts everyone in touch with everyone.

From The Forward to the Cluetrain Manifesto
By Thomas Petzinger, Jr., The Wall Street Journal Author of The New Pioneers

Quotient or DNA? That’s the question.
If you have a Digital Quotient, you’ve learned most of your way through Microsoft Office, AOL, Hotmail or some other free email service and more than likely have your “tech guy” on speed dial. If you have Digital DNA, you probably had a MAC before Apple was chic, must have the latest gear and don’t need to flaunt it (you buy the plain black skin for it without a logo) and you can’t wait to get your sticky little fingers (from late night Twinkies, of course) on any new apps, programs, code, inside news, gossip AND your hacker’s on speed dial.

The Cluetrain Manifesto
The End of Business As Usual

Somewhere in between is where I am. I had the first Apple laptop back in the early 1990’s, my favorite people are geeks and the digital references I make are over most people’s heads. Ok, so now that we’ve established that, there’s the matter of the digital divide. Still here and still thriving. I was around for the commercialization of the Internet and a thing called the Cluetrain Manifesto“, written in 1999. That document was created, among other reasons, to inform marketers and advertisers that people using the Internet don’t want to be sold to. In short, as Thomas Petzinger, Jr., The Wall Street Journal put it, “an obituary of business as usual. ” And I quote:

The idea that business, at bottom, is fundamentally human.
That engineering remains second-rate without aesthetics.
That natural, human conversation is the true language of commerce.
That corporations work best when the people on the inside have the fullest contact possible with the people on the outside.

Fade out. Fade in. It’s the 2011, Ad Age Digital Conference here in New York City and the same principle applies. The conference is sold out and yet, the Keynote and other speakers, pretty much reiterate the same idea that those guys did. The difference is that marketers have to have their backs, or bucks, against the wall before they get the message.

This year’s conference was mostly about this. About staying out of the consumer’s way. About NOT selling but joining. About being a buddy (as in Media Buddy) and not a bully. About EXpression, not IMpression. The market place is changing so rapidly that we marketers and advertisers can’t consume the information about this change fast enough. As a sidebar, the year one Ad Age Digital conference had no sponsorship dollars at all. Now in only five years time, there are more than twenty. Presentations were delivered by such important companies as Google, Electronic Arts, Samsung, Lexus, Best Buy, Converse, Dell and more.

Aren’t We Always Rethinking Advertising?
First there were cave walls. Fast forward to print, radio, TV, satellite, digital etc etc. Each one of these innovations brings a retrench. Most professional marketers know this and still, there’s a lot of time and money spent measuring past results to predict future ones.

Ad Age Keynote Marketer Panel
Karen Quintos, Dell CMO, discusses the IT women bloggers who contribute to Dell's online community

Social Activity (like communities, polls, Q&A, notifications, status, comments, games, group buying, virtual currency, social missions, social goods, check ins and the rest) is the largest consumption of time spent on the Internet today. To get marketers in the stream of activity means leaning forward like your customers are.  This is activity, Folks, not media. Before activity was outside of advertising, now a marketer can leverage activity in the mainstream to have contact with 100 million people on a monthly basis to, say, help consumers build a virtual city.

Brand Lift Is The New Holy Grail.

Though corporations insist on seeing it as one,
the new marketplace is not necessarily a market at all.
To its inhabitants, it is primarily a place in which all
participants are audience to each other.
The entertainment is not packaged; it is intrinsic.
From Introduction to the Cluetrain Manifesto by Chrsotpher Locke

If you aren’t hip to this, sorry, but you’re already behind the eight ball. That is to say, if you’re still looking at click through rates as a measurement, forget it.  If you’re still living in a world of display-click-impressions-banner ad next to content, the digital ecosystem has shifted to the next gear, the new way in which consumers view the brand. The flailing that research was doing while the ship was turning from past performance to real time left a lot of people, technological innovation and creative ideation mistakenly in its wake. Now, the tools for this have gotten a lot more sophisticated in a very short time. Companies like Point Roll and AppsSavvy would like to help you optimize your exposure. Marketers who are finally asking the right questions (not how big they are on ComScore and Nielsen and how many pages they have) but instead, “what are PEOPLE doing”, have a shot.

Friendster, Napster, MySpace, Facebook. What do they all have in common?
The answer is freedom. Each in its time carved a space for open discussion and sharing of ideas (creative branding or otherwise) Free space for anyone and anything to be highly energized by access and information like never before. In the old days, I was part of the Southern California (405) Group Listserve (remember those?) where a bunch of geeks, who rarely met face to face, discussed the Internet and problem solved collaboratively. It was not unusual for an entire thread to go on for weeks including barbs, open insults, challenges, put downs, throw downs and a ton of really cool information.
 These were developers, inventors, code writers, thinkers, hackers and  pioneers. One day a guy looking a lot like a Hells Angel rode his bike into our offices on Main Street in Venice (CA). We’d been talking to him virtually for months, but had no idea who he was standing there. He announced he was from Digital Vegas.  We could never figure out how he got that Harley up to the third floor. But, I digress. The point is, no one was paying much attention except the other guys doing the same things. There was no regulation since no one but the government and educators even knew Arpanet was there. And certainly no one was trying to sell us stuff.

The Internet is inherently irreverent and anarchistic and therefore resists any attempt to wrangle or rope it in. It’s also a chance for people who would otherwise not meet to laugh and play and share trade secrets, whether the trade is Mommy-hood, bikers, hairdressers, dog lovers, cat lovers or just plain long-distance lovers.

The “C” or Connected generation, as Alex Tosolini, VP, Global e-Business at P&G, likes to call it, may or may not make way for today’s C-Suite Chief Data Scientist. When the advertiser insinuates himself into the conversation with waving banner ads and interstitials, the mob moves elsewhere. Social activity , the largest activity on the Web today, is, and I repeat, NOT media! Branding before this phenom was OUTside activity, now it’s INside. In effect, the herd will be heard whether marketers like it or not. It seems to have taken an entire decade and then some for marketers to realize this and having done so, loosen their grip. Like Double Click in the 1990’s with display, Tremor and other video networks and AdMob with mobile, companies like AppsSavvy, represented here, would like to help marketers brand around social activities and do it at scale.

“Everything That’s Static Will Become Dynamic.”

Wendy Clark SVP, Coca Cola Company
Wendy Clark, SVP - Integrated marketing Communications and Capabilities, Coca Cola

Words spoken by Wendy Clark, SVP-Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities at Coke.  Of those most likely to win the respect of the mob, is Coca Cola, the world’s largest beverage company. Which is why, Ms. Clark refers to Coke’s digital strategy as “liquid and linked”. And that’s not just lingo. It’s Coke’s take on brand storytelling

Ms. Clark rips up the stage in a blinged-out Coke T-shirt lauding the virtues of the hundreds of opportunities to join in and be a partner in “distributed creativity” on a “continuum of connections”.  Brands can no longer pay their way to greatness, she warned. Media isn’t categorized by the outlet you plug it into anymore, its either paid, earned, owned or shared, she said.  Coke has actually become the poster child for doing it right and the online world has chosen to anoint them with a following.

The key, of course, is not some play on words or metaphor for a marketing strategy. It is the living breathing fact that Coke has given up control in the traditional marketing sense and taken the lead from it’s lovable fan base deferring to their voice, and not imposing on them Coke’s decades old sales strategy.  Because of this, nearly 24.5 million people like Coke’s Facebook page, the largest page on the site. I guess when you serve 3 billion Coca Cola products worldwide every day, that doesn’t seem like such a big number. Yet, giving the ax to business-as-usual at a company this big, Ms. Clark had a lot to do when, in 2008, she moved over from AT&T. Coke didn’t start out with Digital DNA but, with Wendy Clark’s help, they sure did get IT along the way.

In 2008, UniLever discovered 50 representatives of the social online ecosystem (AKA Greenpeace) dressed as orangutans staging a protest outside their London Headquarters to highlight the destruction of the Indonesian rainforest. The protest forged a relationship between the two organizations with Unilever agreeing to address many of Greenpeace’s concerns. Unilever may not have started out life with Social Media DNA but they sure got religion fast.

Think Like a Start Up.   Act Like a Hacker.

The Net grew and prospered largely because it was ignored.
It worked by different rules than the rules of business.
Market penetration wasn’t interesting because there was no market —
unless it was a market for new ideas.
The Cluetrain Manifesto – Chapter One, Internet Apocolypso


Massive disruptive change is a marketers worst nightmare.  Just as Geoffrey Moore, head of the Chasm Group and author of Crossing The Chasm about technology adoption lifecycle, points out, “the marketer should focus on one group of customers at a time, using each group as a base for marketing to the next group.”  The gap between them IS the chasm for disruptive or discontinuous innovations which force a significant change of behavior by the customer. In layman’s terms, climbing on the shoulders of early adopters is where the smart money is.

FaceBook, like other successful marketing plans that came before it, envisioned a need and filled it. Like is important, but Share is more important. Adopting a start up strategy may not get you where it got Mark Zuckerberg, but it might get you out of the dark or worse, the Dark Ages. Build a virtual startup within your organization to imitate what it was like when everyone was bootstrapping and no one was watching. Teams of geniuses were liberated from the matrix and finding the next thing rather than protecting the old. The team not connected to the parent, innovates, iterates rapidly on its own and builds on user experience, skills, talent, not titles. Android, a Google offshoot, while in the search business, was simultaneouslyfree from the core and faithful to Google’s devices. Today, it’s the next BIG thing.

To Ride The Trend Wave-
Make it Low Cost
Launch and Learn
Take the Best Ideas From Everyone Else
Fast Is Better Than Perfect

VOCAB OF THE MODERN MARKETPLACE

Apple Generation, C-generation,
Social Online Ecosystem, Lean in, Honor the Community,
Passion Points, Connections Are The New Impressions,
Facilitate Commerce, Hardworking Media,
Networked Consumption, A Lense on Social Media,
Listenomics, Digital Skin, Digital Cocktailing,
Start Up Envy, Native (to a medium), Path to Purchase,
Continuum of Connections, Distributed Creativity


To Work Or Not – On Spec


For many years, I’ve worked for myself or in a small group of entrepreneurs. When I was in the Ad Agency business, the company would shell out hundreds of thousand of dollars on pitches, involving many of the agency’s greatest talent and outside vendors. We would either try and keep and account or win a new one from many other worthy competitors. Those days of cut throat competing for business taught me a lot. I was even lucky enough to be in a Christmas Day pitch at Doyle Dane Bernbach for American Airlines. Mr. Bernbach introduced me as the most important person in the room. I was the button pusher or the poor shnook who signaled the projectionist to roll the film.

Since that pivotal event, I’m not sure if I’m proud or embarrassed to claim hundreds of man hours and lots of dollars to try and win business from notable competition. Sometimes with great success and most of the time, not.

The greatest lesson is how to choose the pitches to participate in and which to pass on. What are the actual odds that you’ll win against specialists when you are a generalist? Or visa versa. At a company where there are staff people who can be allocated to the task, the man hours are absorbed as cost of doing business. Not billable to a client unless the business comes in. And even then billing isn’t retroactive unless agreed by both parties.

On my own, I’ve been fortunate enough to find and collaborate with some amazing professionals who have made me look smarter.  I’ve been able to enhance my service  offering by virtue of their participation which has given my small one-woman shop the imprimatur of being a much larger more diversified company. I’ve put a lot of creative energy into some of these pitches, the sales cycle sometimes extending into nearly a year’s time. At that point, some of the previously committed “strategic partners” have moved on. This meant, winning the gig, that I’d have to hustle up people or companies in their class of work who I’d trust as much to deliver the project on time and on budget. This often proves extremely challenging.

This brings me to the present. A time when getting a prospective client to cough up a few dollars for services is even more difficult than usual. I recently offered up some work on spec that will hopefully lead to an ongoing paid participation at their company. First, to win their confidence, I signed on as a commission sales and marketing consultant. In other words, I initially agreed to work on spec in another capacity. Once in the door, I had the ear of the senior executive and now am able to leverage the trust I’ve built into other work for fees.

One needs to be creative and have faith in one’s talent these days more than ever. Good luck out there!

The Reincarnation of Executive Women


scenic view of mountains during dawn
Photo by Stephan Seeber

This morning I got up early thinking it was gonna be a pretty good day. although it feels and looks like it’s gonna snow outside, I don’t have to go anywhere – just walk the dog in wonderful central park and then snuggle up to the computer with Pandora Radio (set on Pink Martini) – blogging about my new life working at home and sharing my reincarnation with other women.

What more could a girl want ;0

There’s definitely something comforting about just knowing that whatever I do in a day, I’m accomplishing something and hopefully helping someone else. It occurs to me that this is really what I’ve always wished for – precisely, I’ve got the home office set up already, I’ve got the high speed connection for crying out loud, I’ve got the database that most people would kill for, I’ve got a reputation for being a discriminating business woman.

So now, I feel responsible to my fellow business women to make sure my own story gets told an so does yours. No barriers to keep us from making a killing out there. Especially we dynamos who have been so so successful and for some reason (husbands, ex husbands, children, other responsibilities, no time or cash to build on what we have, go back to school, just take time out to uncover where our passions really are) just haven’t banked on it.

Now, I’m faced with the same economy everyone else is. Though I have plenty of reasons to be good and grateful about my own personal position, I know I can’t just sit still. First, I’m not that kind of person and second, I can’t afford to.

Just days before finding my new vocation I sat down and made that infamous list of what I want and why I want it.  It started with doing whatever I want when I come to work every day. Finding a task that makes me happy. and Making MONEY! My vision board is all about traveling first class around the world. Can’t do that without cash.

So, what could be better than blending what comes naturally to me anyway, coaching other people with a home based money making business opportunity???? I think I’ve been wishing for that for my entire career.

No, I don’t think it, I know it.

Consider this the launch of Executive Women 2.0 and blog your heart out. We’re all in this together. And maybe the Internet makes it possible!   At last!

To our success,
EP