Internet Marketing – A Maze In A Haze?

Internet marketing, website marketing, call it what you will, can be a bit like a maze. You charge off down one route……dead end. Someone sends you off down another route with a big smile on their face…….another dead end. Another route looks promising…….until it fizzles out and you reach another dead end. You can’t cheat by looking over the hedge, it’s about 20 feet high! A big ladder so you can get a good view? No, they’ve all been hidden. None left on the planet! Except those in the vaults of the internet gurus, you suspect.

So, you keep going around this maze, and at every turn there’s advertising, all about the maze itself, telling you about which way to go. Plans of the maze which, if you follow, may get you half way round, only to find you need to buy another plan to get the rest of the way. So what do you do? Carry on around this maze unaided? Or buy another plan? You buy another plan of this maze, and lo and behold, you end up at a place somewhere near the exit into real open daylight (you think), but how do you get the correct final few turns? Anyway, maybe you’re not near the exit after all? You could be on the far side of the maze from the exit. Sound familiar?

If you’ve been researching the internet from a business point of view for any length of time, you have probably found that much of the advertising, the marketing, is about …………….. internet marketing. This is partly why it can seem like a maze. If you are not sure what is going to work to market your website, or the products in it, how do you know which advice to listen too, which “offers” to take up?

Why is Internet Marketing Such a Maze?

Marketing is a subject I’ve been interested in for many years, long before I was partner in an advertising related business in the early 90’s. Then, marketing was a quite stable world. The most recent “change” of any significance had been TV, and TV advertising had evolved steadily over several decades. It was glossy, glamorous, and………..very expensive. That was good for the big advertising agencies, and they chased the big advertisers with massive budgets for TV advertising. They had their creative departments to come up with memorable TV ads, often designed to be memorable rather than to sell, and their media buyers to buy time on the commercial TV stations.

The glamour was in TV, but every company and every agency would work on a marketing mix: radio advertising, sales promotions, glossy magazine advertising, newspaper advertising, trade ads, direct mail…..all played their part. These all had one thing in common, though: they had been around for a very long time. Marketing was a stable industry, not in economic terms, but in the “tricks of the trade”. There were a few minor variations here and there, but basically, the marketing industry had its accepted, well documented, ways of doing things. Skill levels varied of course, and that’s where competition came in between the agencies and between companies in the same industries. The point is, though, it was all basically stable. Good or bad, it was stable.

Then along came the internet. Being involved in advertising in the mid 90’s, it was obvious to me that the potential was absolutely enormous. Mind boggling. It was difficult to demonstrate, though, as speeds were painfully slow. You’d try to show someone over a cup of coffee or tea, and you’d finish the drink while the second page was loading. Try coming back in 5 years. Well, they did. With a vengeance.

The internet itself came on in leaps and bounds after that. Technically it developed rapidly. Companies started to realise they “had” to have an internet presence. Why? Well, often because their competitor did, or because they thought they should before their competitor did. They were diving in, pretty much blind; they did not understand what they were getting into. The stock markets cottoned on that something big was in the offing, so .com shares were being touted to ever higher levels. Shares of companies with no substance in most cases.

I used to trade shares on a daily basis in those days, and I never touched one internet related company. I cringed every time I saw the financial figures of a listed .com. Prices of shares were often in the stratosphere while turnover was meagre and profits non existent, then and into the future. The traders in the London Stock Exchange and Wall Street did not understand. The internet was new, there was no history to go on. They simply did not understand. They were excited, and were exciting others too. The buying was frantic. The crash inevitable.

Companies all over the world were realising, though, that they must have a web presence. Companies had marketing departments and/or advertising agencies. So they too had to go along with the the tidal wave of internet anticipation. What did they do? They followed the accepted patterns for marketing in those days. TV advertising. Radio advertising. Big newspaper ads. The massive costs of those methods bore no relationship then to the potential for additional income, for sales. They were throwing money down the drain in most cases. Why? They simply did not understand!

The internet was, and is, a revolution in communications. But the marketing industry had not had a revolution, it was too bogged down in the rest of the marketing mix to realise what was really going on here. The printing press was a revolution in communications, but it took many years to spread its influence. Radio was a revolution in communications; likewise. TV? Likewise.

The internet has been more like an explosion, and after an explosion it takes time for the dust to settle. That’s one of the reasons for the maze of internet marketing. The dust is still settling. You can’t see through the dust yet. More of a haze than a maze I suppose! No, a maze in a haze!



The Power of Social Media in a Globalised World

Much has been talked about globalisation, its pros and cons, its promises and failures, and how it can or cannot help developing countries follow the trajectories of development charted by those who have already achieved the distinction of being officially called the ‘developed nations’. The debates have centred on pure economics of it: the merits or otherwise of market economics based on international trade and investment, with resource allocation mediated by international free market forces. In more sense than one, globalisation is not new – even before the Europeans rode the high tide of globalisation, Chinese and Indian traders dominated the globalised market of pre-medieval world.

There are three important factors that are overlooked in most discourses on the current round of globalisation, although these have potential to make significant impact on the lives of billions of people in poor countries which globalisation has simply passed by. First, when Britain and America led their brand of globalisation in the eighteenth to the twentieth century, they ensured that they were themselves not ‘globalised’ – they developed their domestic market and capacity of the masses to play their role in the market. This helped in broadening and deepening the effects of globalisation by making sure that the benefits were not confined to the rich and the moneyed who went out to ‘globalise’. That unfortunately is not happening in many of the poorer countries now where millions of people remain disenfranchised, and too incapacitated to play their role in a global market.

The second most important departure from previous globalisations, and perhaps the one that holds out the most prospect for the poor and the powerless, has been in the concept of global rights, especially in the global policy regimes on rights to development and application of humanitarian laws. Just as the current chapter of globalisation drew the world closer in terms of free market mechanism and unfettered capital flows, it also brought about a realisation that basic rights to protection, assistance and development as enshrined in different human rights conventions and international humanitarian laws needed global application. These are often referred to as second generation rights involving universal minimum welfare entitlements, as opposed to the first generation rights which relate to individual liberty and freedom on which an universal consensus ideology is yet to emerge. You could not have economic growth and prosperity for some, while turning a blind eye to the denial of basic rights to life and protection for a large majority of the world. The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and reshaping of the international aid architecture following the Monterrey consensus are part of this global agenda. MDGs are not just wish lists for donor agencies or governments, but reflect commitments to ensure that various instruments under the international humanitarian laws and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) are met by the governments in the first instance.

For the first time in the history of humanity, the language of rights entered the frame of discussions and policy making at national and international levels in the past decade. The economic, social and cultural rights include a number of claims, like claims to social security and a certain standard of living, including claims to adequate food, clothing, housing, health care, sanitation, education, etc. Prior to this, despite having various conventions and protocols agreed and ratified by governments, these hardly provided any strong reference point when it came to implementation, especially in developing countries. The introduction of rights in development discourse recognised that access to good healthcare is not just something a good government ought to provide, it is a right of the villagers who never see their health workers visit the derelict primary healthcare centre to demand it. Likewise, when the devastating Tsunami hit the Indian Ocean area, the affected families in the Tsunami-hit areas had a right to receive assistance in the form of food, shelter and livelihoods from the national governments and from the international humanitarian agencies like the UN, the International and national non-government organisations. It is no longer the case of ‘a good government’ doing a favour to its chosen subjects, nor a poor woman surviving on the generosity of a large-hearted non-government organisations (NGO). There are rights, duties (duty of care) and obligations that come into the equation. Thanks to globalisation that triggered this global thinking.

This has been the most significant achievement of globalisation: the recognition of individuals as ‘subjects’ of international law, and so of international concern, and bringing into the development equation the economic, social and cultural rights which national and international development processes ought to strengthen.

Thanks to globalisation, global media and public opinion, the renewed commitment to providing basic needs of life and livelihoods as a matter of right has meant that governments can no longer hide behind the curtain of sovereignty and still maintain a facade of a nation which tramples upon the rights and liberties of individuals. China could get away with Tiananmen massacre in 1989, but Chinese businesses and government would shudder to think what would become of their global dreams if the same were to occur in the 21st century. It is globalisation again which by leveraging public scrutiny of war crimes now enables international governance to bring to book perpetrators of crimes against humanity in the International War Crimes Tribunal.

Finally, it is globalisation again which has made the world flatter by democratising technology. That you and I, and billions others, can communicate in real time, although separated by a distance of tens of thousands of miles, and that we ordinary folks can have the same access to vital information which in the past would have been handed down to us from those who rule and govern us, mean that each one of us now have tremendous power to influence the world. After the Haiti earthquake, we saw social media, (the facebook, twitter, Digg, Myspace to name a few) play a vital role in bringing out the reality and gravity of the situation through numerous stories and eye-witness accounts as the situation started unfolding from day one, including where aid agencies were failing in reaching out to the affected communities. Five years ago when the Tsunami happened in Asia, we were relying on the big newspapers and TV channels to bring us stories, which sometimes were either late or only covered areas the TV cameras could reach. After the Haiti earthquake, through the millions of blogs and micro-blogs, we saw millions of concerned citizens the world over expressing their solidarity with the victims. Through these, we also saw a more extensive and mature portrayal of the crisis that was unfolding: the catastrophic destruction and damages aside, we also saw the challenges in providing any rescue or relief operations, the lack of infrastructure for providing relief and why aid was slow in reaching out to the affected communities, real time stories of what the humanitarian response was or wasn’t doing. We were no longer relying solely on the news that the governments, established media and aid agencies were dishing out to us. That was a remarkable transformation in a short span of five years.



Satellite TV Troubleshooting And Finding The Signal

Anyone can mount a Satellite with no problem. Running the cable is also very straightforward to do. But, when it comes time to find a signal; that separates amateurs from the pros. I have always said, that finding the signal is not easy to do. But, it is simple. Why do I say that? Because, patience is what comes to place. Do you remember the old saying: Patience is a virtue. Well, finding the signal is a virtue.

I don’t care if you are a professional or not. The fact of the matter is: if you have right attitude approach towards concentrating in finding the signal, you will get it done. But, if you don’t…I will suggest you. Save your grief and hire someone to do if for you.

If you still want to try to find it for yourself, be my guest. But, before you try, here are some tips, you should consider.

1) Make sure you have a direct cable line from the dish to the receiver box. This is one of the most popular problems I seen so many times. When you are into finding the signal, you must eliminate any boosters, splitters or switches.

2) Get a clear line of sight. So many times, people are trying to find the signal when there is obstruction in the way. I will mention once: Satellite Signal Cannot go through trees, branches of anything solid blocking the way.

3) Use RG6 Coax Cable. If you want to avoid problems, it is strongly suggested to use the right type of cable. In this case, RG6 cable is what you need to use. Otherwise, the other type will deteriorate with time.

4) Check cable connectors. Connectors can be sensitive. If the connectors are corroded, you won’t get much signal. Or, maybe, they aren’t tight. Change then and crimp them properly. Last and not least, check for shorts: one of the aluminum filaments is touching the copper part. Thus, that creates a short. Subsequently, no signal will be shown on the TV screen.

If you follow these for basic steps, then you will find the signal always, whenever you are. And if you want to make it easier for you, get a signal finder. You can get either an analog or digital type.



Leadership Style With Vision and Focus – David Chitel, Founder of New Generation Latino

Latinos are getting great attention through the vision of David Chitel, founder of New Generation Latino Consortium. I recently interviewed David who also is Co-founder with John Leguizamo on Urbano TV. They are having a New Generation Latino Marketing and Entertainment Conference at the Harvard Club in New York on April 11th. The panel speakers are top of the line, including Ana Flores, founder of Latina Bloggers Connect.

MC: Could you describe what a New Generation Latino is?

DC: There are so many different ways which the audience can be defined and therefore can get confusing to people and subsequently, for people to put together marketing programs that are geared towards them. In general, our demographic is anywhere from 14-34 years old from a media perspective and people who were born here in the US, or grew up here and have lived here for at least 15 years and are foreign born.

There are many commonalities and for the media perspective it is important to focus on those so people can assign budgets. That is what my organization is about, to bring clarity to that and help to make them actionable because it is too big of a segment of the market that gets so easily lost in the dust because it is not so easily defined just by status. It is more about culture and lifestyle.

MC: I am part of the Latism.org community, Latinos in Social Media. We recently had a twitter party about the mujer Latina. Some of the main points discussed were the lack of role models in leadership, promoting education, and breaking some of the typical stereotypes of women as sex symbols. Are there any initiatives in what you are doing to help with these issues?

DC: I am bringing clarity to the media market so people can say, “This market exists. I need a specific advertisement to reach this market.” Or “I should be producing entertainment that is functionally relevant. “

And out of that, my hope is that more role models come about. We have examples of role models, but there is no consolidation of it that is actionable. Latism is definitely one of them, and I as well. But there is none specifically for Latina’s. I try to put Latinas and Latinos on high profile stage in my conference.

For example, I have Rosie Perez who is a very well known Latina. She is going to talk about her journey at the conference and is going to be interviewed by Jackie Hernandez, who is the Chief Operating Officer of Telemundo, obviously a very prestigious position she holds.

So my hope is that by continuing to put together people who have broken to the other side, where others who are aspiring to be like them, can hear their stories. That will get things moving. I am also going to be doing that extensively through Urbano TV. But right now NGLC is like a business platform, and Urbano TV is more of a consumer platform.

MC: What is your definition of Leadership and what can you say to the Latino youth about what leadership means to you?

DC: Speaking specifically to up and coming Latinos: To realize how much power they have both inside themselves and collectively as a group. We saw it in the last elections and we see it in the pure numbers that Latinos represent. Specifically US born Latinos who are the majority of Latinos, who have a lot of klout and can come together and leverage that as a group.

I say that because there’s 23 different Latinos nationalities and different reasons for being here and different regions. I find that the Latino market as a whole tends to work in different silos and have many successes in the different areas that they are focused on. But if we could come together more and leverage our collective, I think that will be very powerful.

And I think that is going to be my message to the millenials in particular, because they are the ones that are going to drive the agenda forward. I certainly would be proud to be a part of it. But I think we need more people to be leaders and leverage the collective. I think that is what moves forward the African American population and we need more of that. That is what will make a difference.

MC: I just received your email newsletter today for Urbano TV and saw how you are featuring different people. I think that is great because it gives them some empowerment. Tell us more about Urbano TV.

DC: What I am going to be doing with Urbano TV is democratizing the process for aspiring Latino content producers in the same way that You Tube or other platforms have done, unadulterated without the need to be distributed through television or on the cover of a magazine.

If they are uploading good content, it is going to be seen by Latinos who are interested. So I am hoping to empower content producers, bloggers or photographers who are interested in the Latino audience or if they are Latino themselves or both. That is the vision for this platform, to put the power in the hands of us and not anyone else. And no one has really done this in the media world.

MC: As a visionary, what secret ingredients can you share from going from idea to reality?

DC: To be able to handle getting something off the ground, you have to do it for the right reasons, obviously to make it for your entire life. Otherwise it is going to be tough because there’s a lot of monetary hurdles or logistical hurdles, or if you will fail, you will be questioning yourself or other people will be questioning you.

You have to be able to see through all that, have a vision over the visibility of exactly how to get where you are going and you have to be able to adapt. Some of the advice might not be good, but some of it will be good. You have to be able to listen to that and adapt to get to the other side, so to speak.

I have already built and sold a company and being a little older now, and having a little understanding of how it works, by nature I become an elder statesman, i.e. over 40. I have a little more patience and know that it is a marathon, not a sprint. It is something you have to be patient with. You have to stick with the vision and be super passionate about it regardless of any outside forces that is telling you otherwise.

MC: Since my website is called Mi Caminar, which means My Walk, and we all have a journey to take in this life, what do you do to find your own inner peace?

DC: I find a lot of peace and grounding in my family, particularly my children that remind me every day to be patient and not take life too seriously. I also have a very big outlet by playing music. I play the guitar. Physically, I do the New York City triathlon which requires a lot of training. This is what keeps me focused. I like to set crazy goals. I never even ran a 5K and jumped into a triathlon. I really love it.

MC: Since you are helping all the New Generation Latinos share their voice by creating a platform to do so, what do you think is a core thing they are craving?

DC: I think Latinos are looking to see themselves reflected more in the world of media and entertainment and not so much in the way that has been done in the past which is TV shows from Latin America or TV shows which their parents or grandparents would watch. I think they are looking more for lifestyle and something that is culturally driven. I am meaning not just Spanish market television, but general market television, films and advertising… all across the board.

I blogged about it the other day. There was a cool aha moment when I was watching American Idol when Karen Rodriguez, one of the 13 finalists, sang Mariah Carey’s ” Hero”. She went back and forth from English to Spanish and gave J Lo goose bumps.

While there were several Latinos in the mix, I think she stole the vote by showing a reflection of who she is through that song and really touched a nerve. I think more Latinos are looking to see themselves represented in that way, proud and true to who they are and where they came from and I don’t think there is enough of that. I’m looking forward to see more of that.

Thank you David for sharing your thoughts and empowering vision as you lead the way for many.

What are your thoughts and ideas as to how Latinos can be more empowered with their voices?



Cable TV And Satellite TV – Which Is The Better System?

Cable TV and satellite TV – which is the better system? There’s a battle going on between Cable TV and Satellite TV. Today, consumers have a choice between conventional cable TV, digital cable TV, and all-digital satellite TV. Do you want to know which of the TV system is best for you? Lets compare cable TV and satellite TV head-to-head here.

First, some general things about Cable TV and Satellite TV:

Cable TV & Digital Cable TV

It is obvious that the conventional cable TV are by far the least advanced. Compare to satellite TV, cable TV provides limited features to their customers. Hence, most cable companies now are pushing hard to get their customers on their digital systems in order to compete with satellite TV providers in the market. Digital cable television has many advantages over conventional cable. Through digital cable signals, consumers are able to get high-speed internet access and video on demand, as well as hundreds of cable channel choices.

Satellite TV

Most of the features offered by digital cable TV are offered by satellite TV. Example? Major dish networks offer their own version of high-speed internet through broadband. DirecTV has DirecWay , and DISH Network has partnered with EarthLink to bring high-speed internet to their customers. Besides, satellite TV providers also provide electronic program guides, parental controls, and automated timers.

Here are major comparisons of cable TV and satellite TV:

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Popularity

Both Cable TV and Satellite TV are popular. Although cable still is more popular overall, satellite TV has made huge gains on cable TV. Equipment Cable TV systems require a cable to be installed from the network to your house. If your street has no cable you may need to wait a while before it is available in your area. Besides the cable you need a receiver. With digital services you need an additional box. Satellite TV requires a satellite dish, a receiver and a cable from the dish to your TV (no digging in your garden).

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Reception Quality

Cable TV and satellite TV used totally different systems for signal transferring. Cable TV has analog channels and even though you can upgrade to digital services, analog channels will still be analog, meaning an often fuzzy picture. Satellite TV is completely digital, which gives you all the advantages of digital systems. Very heavy rain or snow can obstruct reception briefly, but generally this happens very rarely. Reception quality is much better with Satellite TV.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Programming

Cable TV and satellite TV both served high quality programming channels. Cable TV can handle up to 260 channels. Satellite TV can handle more channels. Also, Satellite TV is more advanced in HDTV (High Definition Television) services.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Pricing

Pricing for cable TV and satellite TV have huge differences. Satellite TV is less expensive than Cable TV due to many additional costs that are related to Cable TV: franchise fees, taxes, plus costs for any pay per view services, and equipment costs. Dish Network Programming Package starts at only $29.99 per month.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: Interactive Services

In general Satellite TV has more interactive services than Cable TV. Digital services like Dish Network’s DVR (Digital Video Recorder) which gives the option to rewind while recording even in live broadcasts, EPG (Electronic Program Guide), Instant Weather, video on demand, etc. are all available on Satellite TV, but not all are available on Cable TV.

Cable TV vs Satellite TV: High Speed Internet

Cable has high speed broadband internet services. Satellite has this too, but is somewhat slower. DirecTV: offers Direcway High Speed Internet, which is ultra fast but somewhat expensive. Overall conclusion: Satellite TV is less expensive, has better picture quality (digital signal) and gives you more channels and programming options than cable TV.

I believe that currently satellite TV providers are giving a better services with a lower price. Satellite TV apparently is a must if you want excellent picture quality, fantastic value with excellent features and varieties in TV programming. There are lots more of satellite TV benefits to be talked about, in case you want to find it oput your self, I suggest this site to be viewed: http://www.satellitetvissue.com



7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Social Media Campaign

Starting a social media campaign for your business is like entering into a relationship. For it to succeed over the long term you must be committed to it and have realistic expectations as to what you’ll get out of it.

Current statistics show that that 73% of Twitter registrants have posted fewer than 10 messages and one third have posted none at all.

The majority of Facebook fan pages give visitors no incentive to “like” the page. As well, they rarely develop ongoing communication campaigns catered to their fans.

These trends are a clear indication that both people and businesses are participating in social media with either no plan, no goals, or no idea why.

So before you make your first tweet, create a Facebook fan page, or start searching for Linked In connections, ask yourself these questions. The answers may help you better focus your time, resources, and better understand how to include social media into your company’s marketing program.

Why do I want to participate in social media?

With social media “experts” declaring that any business not tweeting or without a Facebook fan page is losing business to competitors, many entrepreneurs feel compelled to participate out of fear. This just leads to frustration when time and money is spent on setting up accounts and custom pages, only to not see any measurable results. The fact is that social media is like any other marketing tool and may not be right for every business. Even so, it must still be used effectively, perhaps as part of a bigger campaign, for any benefits to be seen.

Do I have the time and resources?

Unlike conventional marketing such as ads in a newspaper, direct mail, or even a web site, social media requires continuous attention. Depending on your business, this could range from a few minutes a day to over an hour. Do you have the time, desire and patience to make regular and relevant tweets or update your Facebook page? And while you could have a staff member or virtual assistant do this for you, that means allocating resources and money that you may or may not be able to afford, or could better be used elsewhere.

Can I continuously come up with great content?

Unlike a blog where you can post content on your own schedule, making social media work means posting interesting and relevant content on an ongoing basis. Depending on which guru you listen to, this can mean a few tweets a day to more than 10 per hour. Can you keep up this pace? And do you really have enough to say? Even sharing a mix of personal anecdotes, relevant links, retweets, and business information can only go so far before you start getting mentally exhausted – and frustrated.

What are my goals?

Unless you’re involved in social media for purely social purposes, it’s likely that you are hoping to get some form of financial return out of it. The goals of attracting more clients and more sales is what drives most businesses to social media in the first place. So let’s be realistic – from a business perspective, followers, friends, fans and connections are really nothing more than lists. And if the names on those lists are not the kinds of clients you would like to attract, then you may be preaching to the wrong crowd. The best thing to do is decide what your goals are from the start. For many businesses, clients can come from any geographic area or be any demographic, so social media may be ideal. Think about if you’re trying to create awareness for your company, product, or just you

What are my alternatives?

Social media is just one of hundreds of ways to reach people. Depending on your goals you may find some old fashioned methods produce better results with less resources. Trade shows, direct mail, email, seminars, networking events, newspaper ads, or publicity stunts can still garner the kinds of result you may be looking for. Many companies have successfully used social media to build word-of-mouth “momentum” that originally started from a conventional marketing campaign. Remember the old spice guy? That campaign started as just a television commercial and went on to become the most successful social media campaign ever.

Do people really care?

The open forum concept of Twitter, Facebook and Linked In groups allows for huge numbers of people to talk about common interests. But let’s be honest here. Is your business worthy of discussion? A client of mine who is a self employed dental hygienist was disappointed when her tweets and Facebook postings garnered little response. While they were quality posts, it seemed teeth cleaning was just not a big draw for online discussion. It can be tough to hear, but sometimes the world does not share your passion about your product or service.

How do I measure success?

While many web designers and consultants will point to Google Analytics when asked about return on investment, the fact is that ROI can only be measured in dollars and cents. Your time and resources are worth something, so you must put a value to them and factor that in when developing your social media campaign. If you make $80.00 an hour doing what your core service is, then investing 10 hours in social media will cost you $800.00. If you don’t make that money back in a reasonable period of time, then you will have a negative return. Factor in other costs such as a graphic designer or marketing consultant, and your costs will be even higher. Success should be defined by a set of criteria before you begin your campaign – social media or otherwise.

Think of social media as just one tool in your marketing toolbox. And the most effective marketing campaigns come from knowing what tools to use and when to use them, either alone or in combination.



The Impact of Communications – Marketing, Business, Behavior and Culture

In order to comprehend the impact of communication within your organization, members must understand that this particular element of your marketing mix is used to deliver advertising messages and assist target audiences and customers to make purchases. Communication builds a relationship with current loyal customers, while increasing brand awareness and convincing targeted consumers to buy your brand over your competitors.

There are many factors that can have a major impact on your organization’s communication strategy, but here are four key attributes:

1. Marketing

Companies create databases through many ways, such as surveys and transactions for mass customization. Mass customization means to take products traditionally designed for mass markets and reshape them to appear to be personally designed for your targeted customer. The structure of communication starts with the source, which gets the attention of the receiver or end-user, by stimulating their interest of your message. The receiver or end-user interprets the message provided by the sender, in order to provide feedback of the message.

2. Business

Through product and service quality, customer satisfaction is achieved through the creation of increased brand loyalty and elevated repeat purchases. With changes in the environmental factors affecting traditional advertising spending, marketing managers are seeking new and innovative media avenues to reach their current and targeted audiences. We are continuing to witness a shift from traditional media methods (TV, radio, newspaper and magazines) to strategic product placement (Internet commerce, mobile commerce and buzz marketing or viral marketing). As we examine two major categories of communication channels, we discover that they are either personal or non-personal. Personal communication channels involve direct communications through professionals, salespeople, by phone or through email communications. Non-personal channels include attributes such as TV, newspaper, radio, direct mail, Internet, etc.

3. Behavior

When communicating with your current or potential customer, you are building and maintaining a rapport for continued and future business. Cultural and environmental changes affect social, technological, political and economic performances. Physical responses to advertisements will stimulate a shopping environment. These responses are based on awareness, attention-knowledge, desire, conviction, action, price, purchase, evaluation presentation, innovation, information, decision-making and behavioral responses. Regional differentiation (national or global) will have an impact on population, the perceived value of your products or services by customers, need segmentation and cultural preferences.

4. Culture

When marketing and communication managers are promoting their products and services to current and targeted audiences, cultural values and elements of culture are taken into consideration, in order to analyze the impact of their purchasing decision process. Behavioral and demographic attributes consist of values, language, religion, attitudes, population, age, social organizations, education, technology and geography. A common and advantageous concept occurring among many small businesses and large corporations is cultural diversity. Embracing differences and variety within a company and among their target consumers, includes age, ethnicity, education, sexual orientation, race and gender. These attributes are a part of the company’s culture. Cultural diversity is becoming an integral part in most companies today and drives economic development, marketing, employee development, vendor relationships and consumer loyalty and spending.

Brand equity communicates the value and quality, or other aspects of your products or services. Communications help customers make more informed decisions about their purchases. Marketing, business, behavior and culture not only impact an organization’s communication, but they build relationships.



The Event Organiser`s Social Media Software Feature List

The Event Organiser`s Social Media Software Feature List

Admin/Configuration

Organisers have the ability to enable or disable every feature (listed below), subject to certain dependencies

Custom Branding

Custom CSS and HTML fields allow the event organiser to apply the look and feel of your organisation/event including logo, colour scheme, layout and more. Most text fields are customisable as well

Static Pages

For events that do not already use their own CMS (e.g. Drupal, WordPress, Radiant, etc.), we provide a simple static page module that event organisers can use to create their home page, hotel/travel page(s), sponsor pages (not fan pages) etc.

I18N

Event organisers can configure the appropriate date, time and currency formats for the

event’s locale. Note: at this time, system strings are not exported. However, event organisers may opt to enter text in other languages into the configurable text fields

Custom Subdomain Integration

Every event gets its own unique IP, so most events choose to use our recommended custom DNS settings to create sensible site URLs

Delegate Profiles

Every delegate gets an editable page with contact info, bio, profile picture, etc. Organisers can apply a default privacy level and then delegates can customise who can see their information (everybody, only people I follow, or nobody)

Social Networking

Delegates and sponsors/exhibitors can follow and be followed, which opens up the ability to swap contact information, send private messages and set up one-on-one meetings

Messaging

Delegates and sponsors/exhibitors can send public messages to a conference-wide messaging area, on specific event pages and on sponsor fan pages. They can also send public (@) replies and private/direct messages to people who are following them. Messaging is optionally) integrated with Twitter; however, people who don’t use Twitter can still use our messaging

Groups

Organisers can create an unlimited number of groups and organise them into categories.

Delegates and sponsor/exhibitors can join these groups to converse on various subtopics of interest at your organisation/event

Sponsor/Exhibitor Fanpages

Sponsors/Exhibitors can create fan pages to showcase their brands. Fan pages can include a logo, description, a single-question poll/survey, a “become a fan button” and (optionally) a “request meeting” button. Delegates can add comments on the fan page, become fans, answer the question and (if enabled), request private meetings with sponsors/exhibitors

One-on-one Meetings

If enabled, every delegate’s profile page and every sponsor/exhibitor’s fan page will carry

a “request meeting” button which will notify the recipient that the delegate is requesting

a meeting via email and give the recipient the option to accept or decline, adding the private meeting to both parties’ personal schedules, if appropriate

Contact Export

Delegates and sponsors/exhibitors can export detailed contact information for mutual followers and fans, respectively, to CSV (Excel)

Schedule Export

Delegates and sponsors/exhibitors can export their personal schedules to iCal, gCal, RSS and Outlook. This also allows offline synchronization with most smartphones

Branded Accounts

Sponsors/exhibitors are allowed to create “branded” accounts, e.g. The Pepsi User, which can give them an official voice with which they can communicate with the community

RSS

All types of public messages and personal schedules are available via RSS feeds that are “secret” in the sense that they contain a long, very-hard-to-guess hash in the URLs. However, delegates and sponsors/exhibitors can choose to share their RSS feeds with

other people or post them publicly

Organiser Support

Wewill assist the event organizer with site setup, branding and customisation up to the number of hours specified in the pricing schedule. Additional support can be purchased

Delegate Support

We do not provide front-line support to delegates; rather, we rely on the organiser’s help desk to provide Tier 1 support. Any issues with delegates or sponsors/exhibitors can be escalated to our “always on” Tier 2+ support, which supports a 24-hour turnaround SLA on any issue

Full Schedule

Delegates and sponsors/exhibitors can browse (and search) the entire event schedule of

keynotes, breakouts, parties and other gatherings. Day-by-day listings, A-Z listings and a graphical grid view are available. All views clearly indicate which events delegates are attending and show mosaics of friends attending and, optionally, all people attending

Personal Schedule

Delegates and sponsors/exhibitors can add an unlimited number of sub-events to their

own personal schedules, which they can then choose to share with everybody, people they follow or nobody. Personal schedules can also be posted to various social sites, e.g. Facebook and Twitter and sync’d with most desktop and online calendaring software and smartphones.

Schedule Notifications

The system will send schedule update and change notifications to delegates (only those

who have opted-in) if events they have added to their personal schedules

Social Notifications

The system will send “you’ve been followed” type messages to delegates and sponsors/

exhibitors (social notifications) to those who have opted-in to this feature

Friend Sync

Delegates and sponsors/exhibitors can click buttons to easily import their existing friends from Facebook, Twitter and (soon) LinkedIn who are also attending the event

Cross-posting to Social Sites

Embedded AddThis widgets allow delegates and sponsors/exhibitors to share various

parts of their conference experience (event-specific comments, public messages, personal schedules, etc.) with hundreds of different social sites, e.g. Facebook and Twitter

Content Aggregation

For a richer site experience and better SEO, We poll the web, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube for content relevant to the event and post outbound links to this content along with summary information on the event site, similar to the way trackback pings work on many popular blogging platforms

Crowdsourcing (via Crowd Campaign)

Purchasing grants event organisers a free enterprise-level license to create a single Crowd Campaign. This allows the organiser to create and manage a Twitter-powered contest of any nature. Examples include opening a conference call for speakers, soliciting questions for popular keynote speakers or even suggesting what food or speciality drink to serve at the opening night party

Site-wide Search

Most of the site’s content is indexed into a fast and scalable search engine, allowing

delegates and sponsors/exhibitors to enter free-form queries and get back results categorised into people/events/venues/messages/fan pages

Site Analytics

We offer built-in integration with Google Analytics for overall site traffic and page-specific metrics. Event organisers also have access to a rich site analytics console that shows exactly how various features of the platform were used, e.g. average number of friends per delegate, average number of fans per sponsor, total message counts (private and public), average number of events added to personal schedules

Sub-event Capacity Planning

Event organisers have access to a reporting tool that shows how many people are attending each breakout session, party, etc. Targeted messages can be sent to all delegates of a given sub-event, e.g. “Breakout A has been moved to Room 101 to accommodate the large delegate list” or “Overflow Room 202 has been added for Keynote B.”

Profile and Schedule Callback APIs

We optionally provide two “callback” mechanisms to make sure that delegate data stays in-sync with the organisation’s system of record for personal and schedule data, if such a system is in use. For example, if a delegate updates his or her profile, the changes are posted back to a configurable URL to allow those updates to propagate back into the appropriate system of record. Similarly, each time an event is added or removed to an delegate’s or sponsor/exhibitor’s personal schedule, we post this action to a configurable URL. This allows an external system of record to track breakout attendance for capacity planning purposes or other reasons

Mass Email

Event organisers can send mass emails to the entire community or to selective subsections. Email templates can be customised in “mail-merge” fashion

Public and Private RESTful APIs

Event organisers have access to dozens of different public and private (login required)

APIs to allow external applications to automate the platform. Some examples are running searches, getting lists of friends, getting and modifying personal schedules, adding and removing friends, etc. For a complete list, visit http:// <your_conference_site_url>/api (admin account access required)

Mobile Web

Most of the features described above are available on a generic mobile web UI that is tuned to look best on iPhone and Andriod handsets, but that also works well on Blackberry, Palm and Windows Mobile. This part of the site is included even if the event organiser opts NOT to purchase mobile app integration

Mobile Application Integration

Via a partnership with mobile application provider DUB, we offer a full-featured native application for the iPhone and iPod touch that includes, among many other features, very fast offline access to the complete event schedule and personal schedules. When the handset comes back online, schedule updates and changes are two way sync’d back with the conference web site. Note: applications for other platforms,starting with Blackberry and Andriod, are due out in late 2010

QR Codes

Our platform includes hooks into various endpoints that can easily be integrated with QR Codes. Some examples include automatic following when snapping pictures of QR codes on delegates’ badges, lead generation by sponsors/exhibitors and even breakout event “check-in” by delegates

Registration Integration

Integrate with REGIS online delegate management software via a simple RESTful web service API. Delegates can also be forced to create their own accounts if registration integration is disabled

http://event-master.com & http://blog.event-master.com



Social Media and How It Changes Being a Fan

When I was a young girl, I bought my share of Teen Beat magazines. I diligently tore out the posters of heartthrobs from the 80’s and taped them to my wall. I read the articles stating what they looked for in a girlfriend and determined that I had each and every quality and would most certainly make the perfect girlfriend. I even wrote a four page letter, thought out precisely so as to appear different from all the other letters, yet not so different it sounded weird. I sent it, convinced I’d receive a heartfelt personal letter, addressed only to me, telling me how perfect I was for him. I received back a form letter with a stamped autograph. I gave up trying to have any sort of personal connection to a celebrity at that point. Sure, I still read the articles and watched the Oscars and Emmys, but I had heard their canned answers a million times. I was over it.

Flash forward to 2014 and the difference between then and now. Social media has allowed for people to interact with celebrities and sports figures in ways that weren’t even imaginable back in the 80’s. Rather than just interviews in magazines, or even sound bites on television, we now walk into a world where real-time commentary and interactive discussions are commonplace for the rich and famous. For this reason, celebrities of any nature are able to reach out to an audience they may not be able to connect with in magazine interviews filled with answers determined by their publicists. By logging on to an online discussion, you can submit questions you want to ask and maybe, just maybe they’ll answer yours. The answers are genuine, real and conversational, most as if you’re discussing the day over cup of coffee in your kitchen. You can hear their humor, their natural responses and their candor in ways you haven’t heard before.

The use of real-time commentary, interactive discussions and social media like Facebook and Twitter helps us to build what feels like a more personal relationship with celebrities. We can “follow” our famous friends and read exactly what they felt like posting that very day. It’s off the cuff, it’s their human side, and they become regular people (to a degree) just like us. Often, they’ll give sneak peeks of what they’re working on and sometimes, they want the help of their fans in promoting their work. They may even ask for ideas on what projects they should work on next. Their humor, passion for their craft and genuine personality come out in social media formats. So for 13-year old girls everywhere? That fan letter isn’t necessary, but go ahead and tweet them if you choose.



Direct TV and HD – What’s The Story?

So, you want to get into the HD scene and don’t know where to start? First, you’ll need to make sure you have an “HD-ready” television set to go with the service, that way you’ll actually be able to see the beautiful views and awesome sounds that HDTV will provide you with. You’ll most likely have to check your TV’s manual to find out if it supports 720p, 1080i, or 1080p, 720p and 1080i are the same, but most TV makers put 1080i to attempt to fool you, so watch out for that.

Now, you’ll need to decide which TV service you would like, Direct TV, Dish TV, or cable. With cable, you’ll get about 55 HD channels depending on which cable provider, with satellite TV, you’ll get 73 HD channels, and with Direct TV, you’ll receive 92 of your favorite HD channels, whereas with cable and Dish TV, nearly half of the HD channels you’ll be getting will be ones you’ve probably never heard of and if you have they are ones that you want and feel you need for the total HD experience.

For example, have you ever heard of Treasure HD, or Equator HD? No, no one has, and no one watches those channels either, so in fact, many people are paying extra for tons of channels that they have never heard of and will never watch. With Direct TV, you’ll be getting all the HD movies you could ever want with channels like Universal HD, Sony, Warner Brothers, and the traditional movie channels in HD, such as HBO and Starz. Direct TV also offers local High-Def channels, unlike what the cable companies would like to tell you on their commercials and DirecTV adds more HD programs all the time so there is little worry of tiring of these movie stations. Direct TV offers as many local HD channels as cable does, such as ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox. Of course, like cable, the availability depends on the region.

As with cable, you will also have to get a separate receiver for your HD channels with HDTV Direct TV. The basic HD Receiver for Direct TV will give you 1080i (720p) picture, while the Plus version will give you the full 1080p picture that is truly worth showing off on your new flatscreen. You’ll only pay a one-time fee, though, for most Direct TV boxes, while with Cable ones, you have to pay so much per month.