A social enterprise is an internal social network. Think business version of Facebook where all colleagues are able to collaborate in real-time on documents and projects. It  is a truly collaborative environment to service and support customers and prospects and make better use of employee time. No more waiting for email or hoping someone will pick up the phone. It takes away the geographic boundaries and massively increases business efficiency.

Namarketer social enterprise

Made possible through cloud computing, businesses are extending this familiar model to establish a similar synergy between their employees, customers and business partners — thus, employing a new social enterprise.

The value of the social enterprise is simple. It allows customers to get closer to their favorite brands, offers them a voice when they have something to say (good or bad) and encourages them to make better buying decisions. For companies, it magnifies the voice of the customer, allows them to identify macro trends, improve their customer service, maximize sales through new channels and even improve employee satisfaction.

The social enterprise is a strategy, not simply a single system or idea. It impacts an organization’s culture, processes, systems and bottom line. Leveraging social media in the enterprise is new to many, but time is ticking for those who haven’t developed a social enterprise strategy — chances are competitors have a head start. The cost of not taking action could be high.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned L'Oreal SA's (OR.FR) Lancome USA unit about the marketing of certain anti-wrinkle products, saying the products are marketed with claims suggesting they are drugs. Namarketer Namrketing A to Z Bob Namar

The agency said the way the products are currently marketed cause them to be drugs because the products are "intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body."

"We are aware of FDA's letter to Lancome and will respond to their regulatory concerns in a timely manner," said Rebecca Caruso, a L'Oreal spokeswoman. "Lancome is committed to complying fully with all laws and regulatory standards."

Compliance after-the-fact is no way to run a company.  Lancome was well aware of what they were saying and implying.

It's the simplest rule, yet this is where the most trouble comes from. Slight exaggerations and boasting ("the best kitchen gadget ever invented!") are expected and for the most part allowed in advertisements, but don't get slick with your wording or rely on technicalities to remain truthful. For example, you might be able to truthfully say that your umbrella is great in the rain, but don't go overboard and assert it will hold up to any hurricane if you haven't tested it.

“A truth that's told with bad intent Beats all the lies you can invent.” ― William Blake, Auguries of innocence

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"We really felt that the tomato is the hero of ketchup, and it was the right time to make the switch on our label," -- Noel Geoffrey, director of ketchup for Pittsburgh-based Heinz. Namarketing branding brand

After more than 110 years, H.J. Heinz Co. gave the tomato top billing on its namesake ketchup, bumping the pickle from the label of one of America's most iconic brands. Founder H.J. Heinz used a "pickle pin" to attract attention to his booth at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. The pins were popular, and the branding stuck.

Along with the "Grown not made" tagline, the new branding set Heinz apart from the growing threat from private-label brands, which often cost less, as consumers look to save on their food costs.

Never compete on price because, (all together now): brand beats pricing.

Before the Renaissance, the letter J had been merely a glyph variant of I. After the Renaissance, it became conventional to treat I as a vowel, and J and as a consonant. Thus, the Latin "gesta" for "deeds," turned to "geste" in Old French, "to carry, behave, act, perform, and became the root for words such as con-gest-ion, in-di-gest-ion, sug-gest, re-gist-er, belli-ger-ent, con-ger-ies, and ex-ag-ger-ate.

The letter J was officially set apart from I in the 16th century; probably first been used by Petrus Ramus, a French humanist philosopher, logician, and educational reformer, known for being an outspoken critic of the Aristotelian philosophy which dominated European universities at that time. He advocated a more natural approach to logic which would conform to the way in which the human mind actually approaches the world around it, and made a distinction between logic and rhetoric.

Ramus objected to the way in which young students were made to memorize meaningless facts and rules of logic, and set out to reform the curriculum of the faculty of the arts into one that would teach students to use reason to advance their knowledge. He advocated the “freedom to philosophize,” maintaining that the use of reason would eventually lead a person to discover the truth.By emphasising the central importance of mathematics and by insisting on the application of scientific theory to practical problem solving, Ramus helped to formulate the quest for operational knowledge of nature that marks the Scientific Revolution.

Science and math have not only advanced the world politically and socially, but economically as well.  This is no more evident that with the recent introduction of Microsoft's gesture controlled advertising

Lynx, Toyota and Samsung are the first brands to take advantage of Microsoft’s “game-changing” NUads platform for Xbox that uses Kinect gesture control to make ads interactive.  The ads will appear on Xbox Live this autumn.

Lynx

Xbox says the NUads platform “transforms standard TV ads into engaging experiences” by allowing users to use the voice and gesture controls on Xbox 360 to control the ads.

Unilever will adapt its Lynx brand’s cops and robbers themed ad for Lynx Attract - its first fragrance for women - to ask users whether the Lynx Effect should be given to girls. Viewers can then answer yes or no using Kinect’s gesture controls.

Toyota will use its “Reinvented” ad that ran during the 2012 Superbowl to ask viewers what they would like to reinvent. The car marque then plans to use the feedback from users to inform the direction of future campaigns.

Gesture controlled ads deliver the one thing traditional TV advertising is missing - engagement. Brands can get real-time feedback from audiences, making TV advertising actionable for the first time, helping establish a dialogue with consumers.

Gesture and voice-based Kinect technology have great potential for creativity. No jest.

Namarketing: Habits, and Social MediaHabit: A learned response to a stimulus that has become automatic and routine, requiring little or no cognitive effort. Influence is the ability to cause action, and action is the ability to act within and across social and private networks.  The people we influence the most are our friends and acquaintances in our private networks: family, friends, neighbors, classmates, churches and clubs.

The sum total of our private and social networks allows us to influence others. In network, content and relationships, the quality of the network, content and relationships is the most important thing. The social media habit of sharing quality content is where we add value and trigger action.

New Habit: Adopt Social Media

Personal branding and the responsibility and power of social media is demonstrated every day. The line between public and private life is a blurred one. We begin a conversation at school or work, and it leaps onto a social network, and then into text-based comments.

In a world where awareness of connections and degrees of separation are openly discussed, where networks are consciously cultivated and nurtured, people are connecting us to their networks, content and relationships. Those who change their social habits to include the private networks will be those who have the power to listen, to act and to change.

Is the Content Void continually harassing you? 

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Namar  and Namarketing Designed by England's Ministry of Information during WWII, the Keep Calm and Carry On poster has regained a place in the social fabric of the U.S. will versions representing everything from video games to dietary choices, appearing on tee shirts, key rings and, yes blogs. Never underestimate the power of a slogan.

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1. What do you do? 2. What problem do you solve?

3. How is your product or service different?

4. Why should I care?

Describe your product or service in 140 characters or less, short enough for a tweet. Business professionals who stand out are the ones who deliver their pitch in less than a minute, but still make their points quite persuasively.

But it is not all about speed or brevity as the infographic below details quite nicely.

Content communications

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Geo-Targeting is a method of detecting a website visitor’s location to serve location-based content or advertisements.

Every computer is tied to an IP address that indicates its specific location. The first three digits of an IP address corresponds to a country code, while the succeeding digits often refer to specific areas within that domain. This geographical information, when used for marketing purposes, is called geo-targeting.

Geo-targeting aims to improve the cost-effectiveness of marketing programs. For example, if the product is a plane ticket from Honolulu to Vancouver, then it will more likely sell to someone who is located in either of the two cities. If a visitor is in a different city, then a different set of offers may be given.

The system is not 100 percent accurate. Inaccuracies happen when web surfers use proxy servers or some other IP-masking tool, among other methods. However, these instances are rare enough for geo-targeting to still be effective. Geo-targeting is available to even small advertisers via outlets such as Google Adwords.

Practical application: geo-targeting is critical for professional service firms-- dentists, doctors, attorneys, and the like. Some folks are more local than others-- for example, the local dry cleaner is not going to attract people from 3 states away (much less, across town) while an east coast realtor may attract folks who are searching from California for real estate.  A Las Vegas hotel may attract booking nationwide, as would a world-famous restaurant.

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Not every site needs an FAQ section, though if you’re selling something, providing a service, or giving information about a complex subject, an FAQ can make life much easier for your visitors.

There’s no “right” design method for delivering FAQs, but any way you shape it, FAQs are content, and content is king. You must be sure the content you’re presenting is efficient and effective.

Bad FAQs

  • have outdated information
  • answer nothing
  • are not organized
  • take the user through circular links
  • are recycled information from the sit

Good FAQs

  • answer questions your customers are really asking. If you have a customer service department, support center or call center, find out what questions they regularly answer.
  • include timely questions. Are you answering the same questions today as you were last year? Maybe there is an issue there to be fixed.
  • are straightforward in their answers and clear in their expression.
  • resist the temptation to use marketing-speak. Customers want answers to a question, not a commercial.
  • are professionally written. Nothing turns off  customers faster than getting a techno-geek answer when what they need is well-written, plain-language instructions.
  • are easy to find and search.
  • are referenced throughout your site.
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Authorbob namar

AN advisory board helps you focus your editorial marketing content

Content Advice

One of the most underrated, but most valuable parts of any content generating groups is the editorial advisory board (EAB). Even if your business isn't content, if you publish anything tot the outside world (and if you don't you likely should) then you should have an EAB to help you with your content and your content calendar.

These boards are generally made up of the publication editors or your chief content office and a handful of internal (and occasionally external) experts on your business. Keeping the group small will make it exclusive, more desirable and sought-after. Their expertise could be about your product, your service or even you sales force.

Your content will improve immeasurable with input, advice and suggestion from these boards. Now, they do not direct your content, so you are not surrendering power or decision making; rather they provide subject matter ideas, comment on content that was produced, and provide opinion on topics or projects underway.  Often, the cross-talk generated between board members in your regularly scheduled meetings (important) will be valuable in itself.

Who to choose?  In  compiling a board, choose members from different disciplines, regions or business groups; you want a variety of opinion. Don't pick friends; you will learn more from agnostics or even those who not so friendly -- they will be more honest (and you may improve a relationship). Most importantly, they must commit to you schedule of meetings. It is pointless to have an adviser who never makes it to the meeting. Compensation is generally the honor of being asked, but can also include where appropriate a listing  within the publication or on a company website.

Start simple, but start now. The creation of a content marketing advisory board will completely revolutionize your content marketing and your marketing overall. You will see and hear about  things that you had never considered. Content ideas will flow like a river and direction and priority over content will reveal itself in a golden shaft of light.

Start emailing invitations.

_______________________________________________________________

February is Library Lovers Month

Perpetual calendar pictured available here.

Namarketing:  differentiation Market your differentiation

Finding a way to stand out may be the most difficult chore a business faces. But it becomes an opportunity to establish the voice of authority in your industry and enhance your brand image with customers.  Aside from price, which is a simple but often self-destructive differentiator, highlight differences between products, you can market differences in quality, convenience, or even the best packaging.

How can a professional help identify a differentiator for a company they market? For a company with a rich heritage, review its past, the founder's vision and thoughts, any records or archives, even old publications for a few insights.

Market to its customers the most important value the company owns: it may be reliability,  expertise or flexibility, or it may be a niche area of operation. Use it as a sledgehammer. Drive home the point in every communication the company does. Both internally and externally.

Create a visual manifestation. an icon or graphic application that can portray the offering or perhaps link the organization with a cause that be a partner to market with, and an image to identify with.

Be an opinion leader. Publish thought leadership content on topics of interest. Do your competitors have a blog? If not, this might be an opportunity to establish the voice of authority in your industry and enhance your brand image with customers.

Overall, it is best to differentiate the company on the basis of unique emotional values, instead of on functional category values

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Authorbob namar
CategoriesUncategorized

It's the time of year for Top Ten Lists. Here's ten of the most interesting ones:

Forbes list starts with autos in the $1 million range.

10. Top Ten Most Expensive Cars for 2012. The Forbes list starts with autos in the $1 million range.

barranquilla-carnaval-columbia

9. Top Ten World Carnivals of 2012. Ancient hedonistic feasts have become modern version of drinking, dancing, and dressing up!

Byron Wein's endlessly entertaining year end forecasts,

8. Top Ten Surprises for 2012. Byron Wein's endlessly entertaining year-end forecasts,

Quantum Conundrum is the latest project of Kim Swift, co-creator of the classic PC puzzle game Portal. Like Portal,

7. Top Ten Original Video Games for 2012. Quantum Conundrum is by the creator of puzzle game Portal.

Commodities, the recession and President Obama's future.

6. Top Ten Market Predictions for 2012. Commodities, the recession and President Obama's future.

food and drink trends

5. Top Ten Food and Drink Trends for 2012. Trends in food and drink from the Ingredients Network.

bad music

4. Top Ten Worst Albums of 2012. Music you won't want to hear...or will you?

privacy and security

3. Top Ten Privacy Trends for 2012.   Privacy and security professionals look into the crystal-ball for 2012.

2. Top Ten Tech Trends for 2012. Nokia has a prototype of a flexible screen.

Space tourism is a job that will be hot in the next several years.

1. Top Ten Hot Careers of Tomorrow to Prepare for in 2012. Space tourism is a job that will be hot in the next several years.
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Authorbob namar

Christmas is a season where people are predisposed to spending and therefore an excellent marketing opportunity for most businesses. And the time to plan your Christmas marketing campaign may be right now. Yes...for next year... Take some notes on what impressed, what impacted and what cut through to you this season and file it away for consideration when you plan your campaign in the late summer.

Developing a strategic marketing campaign to reach your target market, engage with them, and achieve your goals is a lot more difficult.

Your Advantage: Planning three months in advance, yes in the summer time, is the best way to kick off an amazing, results-driven Christmas campaign.

But, first you need to figure out what your objectives are, how you are going to measure your success and who you want to reach out to. Then you will need to develop deadlines to make sure you campaign achieves everything you wanted it to. After all that "shopping," you'll finally be able to relax and unwrap the gift you are giving yourself.

Merry Christmas.

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Authorbob namar

Your business card is a marketing tool Birds of a feather will gather together. 

Centuries ago , English clergyman and scholar Thomas Burton studied and wrote about the nature of man, as well as science, history, politics... and social reform. His insight into social behavior--how beings of a like kind gather--has borne fruit in today's social media revolution.

A shorter time ago, the president of the company I was consulting for called his staff together to announce some changes to help the business. Among the items he presented was a plan to give everyone a business card. At that time, only employees who were in a sales position or had vendor relationships were given the little deck of 50-100 cards with their name on them. But this initiative would put business cards in the hands of everyone -- admins, designers, assistants, accounting personnel, production staff... everyone!

Why? He explained he wanted all employees to be ambassadors for the company. Even in social settings, he wanted everyone to be proud (and able) to show and share the brand with their own card. "You should be proud of where you work and the business should be proud of all of you," he said. "It's a small cost to give everyone cards," I remember him saying "and the return can be enormous."

His vision was for each one of his team to carry the brand out into the real world. He wanted to take advantage of their social networks to spread the name, and the reputation, of the firm. It was a great idea. Simple to explain and understand, cheap to execute and easy to implement. And it created buzz throughout the company as people felt empowered and validated by this simplest of measures.

Then it all crashed.

The business manager would not approve the expense. There was not a proper business case for an expenditure on business cards for people who had no business purpose to have business cards.

And like that, it was over. Get back to work. Opportunity avoided.

Thomas Burton had another famous saying that applies: Penny wise and pound foolish.

Your Advantage: Your employees. While some envision the growth for business that social behavior could bring, there is always skepticism about expenses associated with "experiments", just as there is an unwillingness to allow all employees to speak for the brand. FLASH: They already do.

Epilogue: I find it interesting that today, a couple of decades after my experience, we are on the verge of a new paradigm, total employee engagement, or what IBM is calling social business.

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Authorbob namar

A is for Autoresponder marketing autoresponder steam punk

Autoresponders are used to send an automatic e-mail in response to an incoming e-mail message. This allows for the sender to know the e-mail has been received. They can be used effectively in customer service by indicating to the consumer:

  • A query was received
  • Alternate means to find information
  • A response timeframe

Your Advantage: An autoresponder can also be used to distribute a digital product (a white paper or some other thought leadership content) in response to an e-mail request.

Take advantage of this technology. Create content which helps position you as an expert in your niche, which will encourage your readers to spread the word about you, raising your credibility.

The content you develop  may be used further down the road, for an eBook or another free giveaway for new customers; remember, writing informative, instructional content is never wasted.

As always, additional soft marketing can be included in these emails, with links to your website and encouragement to find out more information on certain pages of your website. Promote an event, newsletter, or upsell your prospect/client...automatically.

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Authorbob namar

One of the keys to creating a competitive advantage over your business competitors is to develop a strong marketing message. Some companies lose their way getting there. Some are inflexible, adhering to a concept or a theme that doesn't resonate, doesn't motivate or simply doesn't get attention. The message the committee developed last January in the seclusion of a meeting room may not be the one that will work today, in this economy, under today's circumstances. Change, evolution is a necessary part of the process.

Francis Ford Coppola, director of films such as Patton, The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, said that producers create a picture three times. First they write it; then they shoot it; then they edit it.

Those changes can be very significant, changing the entire message of a story. Important films have often changed even the ending of the story.

The Grapes of Wrath, a 1940 film directed by John Ford and based on John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel,  switches the order of story sequences from the book so that the family ends up in a "good" camp provided by the government and events turn out relatively well. The ending of the book is far less optimistic.

In the film, The Natural, from the 1952 book by Bernard Malamud, Roy Hobbs is victorious and fulfilling his dreams of glory, hitting the game-winning, pennant-clinching homer. The novel shows a Hobbs who is crushed by his own hubris and must live as a forgotten man, striking out in his ultimate moment.

If filmmakers, the executives of arguably America's most successive industry, can change the message  of their film to accommodate their audience (clients), why shouldn't you?

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Authorbob namar

Almost 100 years ago, in April, 1912 during the sinking of the Titanic, the ship's radio operators sent out distress calls begging for help. They intermixed "CQD" and "SOS" distress calls, hoping someone would respond. French was, and still is, the official language for international postal services.  The letters CQ, when pronounced in French, "sécu", resemble the first two syllables of sécurité, and were therefore used as shorthand for the word. It is still used in this sense in international telecommunications.  In English-speaking countries, the origin of the abbreviation was popularly changed to the phrase "seek you" or, later, when used in the CQD distress call, "Calling all distress". CQD appears to have died out shortly after this event, but SOS has lived on into today in popular culture.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the letters SOS were chosen because they are easily transmitted in Morse code; a continuous sequence of three-dits/three-dahs/three-dits, all run together without letter spacing. They were not an abbreviation, acronym or initialism for "Save our Ship", "Send Out Succour", or "Save our Souls". These were 'backronyms,' and came into popular use after SOS went into effect.

Today, marketers can rescue their business from its distress by intelligently applying content to their blogs, websites or tweets. Their key to success is as simple as S.O.S.: Solve Or Share.

But leave out the "sell"

Your blog should focus on your customers. Solve their problems; share your resources. Don't sell. As tempting as it may be to force yourself on your customer once you make a connection, resist!

In the movie War Games, Mathew Broderinck's character needed to 'break into' a computer (the WOPR) in order to prevent WWIII. The generals all stood by and watched as he chatted with and coerced the computer to play a game with him. As soon as he accessed the game, the generals jumped in and tried to manipulate the WOPR and it immediately shut them out. He had more work to do to get back int he good graces of the WOPR, which he did, and saved the world.

Like those generals, marketers are anxious to force themselves and 'news' about their company, products and services as soon as any tenuous connection is made with a consumer/customer.

But that won't engage prospects or attract customers. You need to write about what they care about.

What should you include? Ask your sales force or customer service staff  about the problems or questions they frequently encounter. What search terms are popular on your site? Think like a customer, or a reporter, not a salesperson.

When the Titanic was sinking, customers wanted to know where to get a life-jacket and how to find a lifeboat. They were not interested in the total tonnage displacement of the ship, or how many years of brilliant service the captain had under his belt.

Give your customers what they want and need, and it'll be smooth sailing.

----------------------------------- A new truth about the sinking of the Titanic?

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Authorbob namar

What do the Doobie Brothers know about marketing? Listen to the music... What the people need Is a way to make 'em smile It ain't so hard to do if you know how Gotta get a message Get it on through

The very best companies have built their business on the backs of customer satisfaction. It's the "number one rule" in business. We increasingly live in a customer-centered market economy.

Developing a strong marketing message that resonates with that specific group of people, and providing useful content related to your customer's needs, helps to build your credibility amongst that target market. You’ll be perceived as someone who specializes in that product or service. In effect, you'll become the “go-to” authority when someone is looking for solutions in your particular area.

While you develop your marketing message, think of the best way to communicate your differentiation. What would motivate someone to buy from you rather than someone else? And what do your prospects and customers want to know? ...need to know?

What social media has taught us is that a good conversation with your market can go a long way to making your business successful. And every good conversation starts with good listening.

Make the people smile.

What the people need is a way to make them smile.

..Gotta get a message, get it on through...

Listen to the music.

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Authorbob namar

What exactly do you do with content? I am not asking those of you who write, design, produce, create, edit, shape, film, review, strategize, draw or otherwise "make" the content. This is a question for those who have recoiled at the term 'consume' and are tired of being referred to as consumers. Marketers are quick to label people and their actions, but to me at least, this term rings true. While the first definition of consume is usually "to expend" (consuming gas, air, energy) the more appropriate use in this case has been "to use". When it comes to content, reading is using. Watching, listening, looking is using. Using is using.

How else can we refer to what we do with content if we don't "consume" it? Here is a word cloud of some other options.

Sure, you can appreciate content. You can absorb it. Assimilate or enjoy it. But I'd say these are redundant to the idea of consuming. We do consume. We are consumers.

Bottom Line: When it comes to content, after all is considered, the Consumer is King.

Consumers are the Kings of Content, and vice versa.

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Authorbob namar