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Posts Tagged ‘Digital Communications’

Some Concrete Ideas…

March 26, 2010 2 comments

So, I have been thinking a bit about my most recent post, along with a large chunk of my posts — and how they all focus on the very abstract concepts inherent in the field of communications. More importantly, I realized that although my brain may be conjuring up all of these abstract ideas, they may not be very useful for people since most people like to trust in facts and data.

So, I decided to start blogging with the intent of leaving the reader with a bit more than just my abstract ideas. I have now determined that I will have at least one concrete, actionable idea in each of my posts. Hopefully, people will find this a bit more useful — I know I will.

With that said, I have listed three ideas that companies/brands could use in order to be more authentic with their end-users/consumers are listed below. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

1. Determine where you want your brand/product/service to be in the next three to five years.

Now, I have know this may be a very tall order for some companies (this goes for individual teams within a company as well), simply because some are on autopilot right now and have not thought of their long-term strategy in a very, very long time. However, it is essential to think about if you want to reassess, reaffirm and re-calibrate the way you think of your company/brand. Besides, it keeps you on our toes and keeps you focused on the core, crucial aspects of your brand/service/product.

2. Engage three employees, at different levels of influence, to listen and research for customers who are on twitter, facebook and top bloggers in your field of service/product.

I say three for now because you can assume that you will have at least varying perspectives to work with. This will definitely take some time and investment, but it will be well worth it to have a solid understanding of how your customers really feel about your brand/service/product instead of what you tell yourself every day.

3. Although you will have “customer listeners” hard at work, you don’t necessarily have to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter or even in the blogosphere.

It might help you look like you are in the social media space but it won’t help at all if you have no idea why you are there. So, determine what channels most resonate with your focus for your brand/company/service and then head to those mediums first and begin developing a presence there. This probably sounds counterintuitive given that everyone is talking about all of the emerging technologies, the rise of various digital media, etc. — however, the customer is who you should be focused on. If your customer is confused about your Twitter presence because you only joined because everyone else did — well, you have just given your customer a reason to doubt if you know what you are doing. And who wants to buy from someone who doesn’t seem to know what they are doing?

Those are my ideas for now…off to get some sleep…hope these help!

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Connecting is at the Crux

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

I just spent an amazing afternoon/evening with a really good friend of mine (Chris J.). It is always refreshing because he is so present to your presence when you spend time with him. He is also very much like a clear landing strip in the sense that he allows you the space to just be your complete self – and it feels awesome!

As I was bonding with him, we spoke about my passion for digital communications, the internet and the power that is now in the hands of the end-user. And as I was discussing with him these passions combined with my passions for singing, writing, dancing and maybe even acting, he expressed what I am trying to express through all of these mediums. What he expressed was so powerful for me and I processed it as my deep desire to help people/companies/brands reach their authentic selves and my deep need to share myself with the world. Why am I bringing this up?

I bring all of this up because I, once again, am calling for brands/companies/individuals to strive for their authentic selves. Why? Simply because that is what most resonates with people. I believe that there is a proliferation within the world of communications (and other fields as well) in which people seem to have forgotten their own humanity and that what people resonate most with is authenticity and empathy. If you (the brand/company/person) is being authentic, then you are operating at the level of self that also will be empathetic (just my own belief).

And if people are resonating with you, you do not even need to sell to them because they will want to buy whatever you have to offer – trust me on this one. I see it everyday when people act from a space of authenticity & empathy — others tend to respond with reciprocity. Check out this awesome pizza place in Berkeley, CA –> The Cheese Board…where there is always a long line for the great pizza, they create a sense of community in the way they treat people and by supporting local artists. And they don’t have to sell to people because people sense their authenticity & empathy and respond in like.

So, take a step and strip away all of the b.s. and busyness all around you and FOCUS on what your brand/company/personhood is OFFERING the end user instead of what you will GET…trust, it works everytime, regardless of what digital or traditional medium of communication that you use. 😉

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Now on to the geeky stuff, lol…OpenID and email marketing

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I had to get a lot of the other writing out of my system…and it felt good…haven’t done it in a while…but now, with this post, I am ready to address some thoughts I have been brewing on for the past few weeks in regards to my beloved world of digital communications…

So, lately, I have been really focusing on the evolution of Open ID and what it means for email marketing. I think many in the world of email marketing are still trying to wrap their minds around social media, which is sometimes frustrating seeing as technological advances are happening faster and faster everyday. However, with something like OpenID, its ease and simplicity, all marketers are going to have to catch up and fast.

Before we go into the why, let’s determine OpenID is anyways.

Open ID (also, check out this link for more info) is basically a method for people to log in to a multitude of different trusted sites with the same trusted login — thereby lessening the amount of times you have to login to multiple sites and the amount of username/password combinations you have to remember. Does it sound awesome? Yes…especially since I like the idea of having one login to use wherever I go.

On the flip side, would I be lying if I said that it doesn’t worry me just a tad that all of my information, all of my data, all of my keystrokes can be tracked back to one ID specific to me? Yes, I would be lying. But you know what? I am sure that all of that information is available to someone already, if they cared to really look for it. Scary? Yep. Life as it currently exists? Yep.

Anyways, what does this all mean for email marketing? Or the space of marketing overall? Frankly, I cannot decide if it gives marketers a headache or it solves alot of data problems. If the user has an OpenID and decides exactly what information is shared whenever they login into a site, what if they decide not to share anything at all, including their email address? What if the user decides that they do not trust your site (or that they do not trust OpenID on your site) and the user decides not to entrust your site with any of her personal information? You have just now lost out on the opportunity to gain any further insight into who the user is or worse, she left your site without any further interaction and you completely lost out on a potential customer.

Ooooorrrr…you could use OpenID to your benefit. If you add OpenID to your site, which could very well allow you access to a myriad of user data (of course with the user’s permission), you would then have a higher likelihood of sending more relevant messages to users. As for email marketing, OpenID would definitely make it so much easier for email marketers to get clear, correct information attached to a specific email address, which is always extreemely valuable. So, I guess, in the end, OpenID is an overall win for email marketing.

At the very end though, the user just might win since she ultimately controls how/what portions of her data are shared and with whom. Yay for the user!

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I’m baaaaccckkk!

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m baaaaccckkk! lol

I have so very much to share…and it has been a bit difficult for me to figure out where to begin…so here goes…

For the past month, I have been debating in what direction I should take this blog – should I use it as a platform for all of my digital marketing/communications geeky insights and ideas? Should I keep it as a place just to put all of my feelings, ideas, etc.? Should I merge both concepts? And if I do, will it make sense…will whoever is reading this understand that I have a passions for singing/writing/dancing/thoroughly expressing myself, motivating people and for finding solutions for people within the digital space? Would people get it all?

So, I have been hesistant to write or send my blog in the wrong direction…and I think I have figured things out, lol. I am going to leave it as it is. It continues to be a hodgepodge space for all of my passions, ideas, ups and downs because I need it to be that. I need it to be a space for me to be me, regardless of whether or not people get it. This space is where I lay myself out and find a space to fully and wholeheartedly express myself. So I figure, I will just keep it as it is and see what happens.

Besides, I think there is common thread in all of my passions – I like to help people. Be it by being a space for others to take steps towards their own dreams and passions or just that I am able to help someone better utilize the digital space…I am motivating people to be more, dream bigger and actually head down the path to manifest their dreams, ideas and passions. Do I sound like a fairy godmother or a naive, young woman? Maybe I do…but hey, its what works for me and what brings the ultimate level of joy to my heart.

So I toast this blog and my focus to press on with what resonates the most to me…and I am glad that I am finally back after my mini identity crisis, lol. Muah!

I got to thinking…

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

The other day a co-worker of mine posted this awesome link about this recent invention called “The Sixth Sense”, invented by a Ph.D. student at MIT named Pranav Mistry. He explains his invention at a TED Talk (which made him that much cooler in my eyes since I love TED Talks, lol). Anyways, this invention is basically one that can allow people to interact with digital media in the physical space — from using any physical surface as a projector screen to taking a picture with one’s hands.

The Sixth Sense

Now, when I viewed this link and watched the TED Talk — I was absolutely blown away by the possibilities of this invention and the advancement of technology. It made me think of Minority Report and then I started wondering if soon we would be using pre-cogs to predict crimes, etc. But I digress, lol. This invention, regardless of how it could be used in the wrong hands, is fascinating and just plain great. Please watch the link so you know what I am so excited about, lol. Could you imagine just taking a picture with your hands?! Or going to the grocery store and picking groceries that fit your preferences (ie: ecologically conscious, least pricey, etc.) without you having to research it before you left home? Or for people like me who always are Googling something, how great would it be for me to know the history behind a physical space OR the type of fish I am watching swim around OR even something as simple as reviews for another book I am about to buy????

Do you know what “The Sixth Sense” means for geeks like me? People who get excited when they meet other people who like to learn? LOL…oooo, just thinking about this invention makes me break out into a cheesy smile, lmao. But most of all, I have to agree with Pranav — an invention such as “The Sixth Sense” connects people so much more and allows for people to share their worlds with people everywhere, near and far. And the thought of having connectivity increased on such a level with a small device such as the camera that is at the crux of this invention? It just may mean that more people are forced to become more empathetic — yes, my inner hippie just peeked her head out, lol.

But think about what a greater sense of empathy would mean for brands? (Yes, my inner capitalist is out here too, lol). If people are focused on being more empathetic and connected, then brands have no choice but to follow suit if they want their businesses to thrive. Which then means that brands will be focused on telling authentic, engaging and cool stories in order to create a great experience for the customer — because what would convince me to buy from Brand A when Brand B is giving me the better experience? And maybe all of this excites me to no end because I am a digital communications geek…or maybe it is because I like creating stories (I am a Sims junkie for goodness’ sake!)…or maybe it is just because I like people and connecting with people and I want more people to have that great feeling too.

Who knows? All I know is that I am way too wired to go to bed right now because I have been talking about all of this stuff…lol…but must go to bed…going to see the mentee this afternoon! Yippee!! Okay….okay…I am done now. Nite!   😀