B2B Social Media “Slow to Take-off in Industrial Sector”

In 2011, engineers and industry professionals choosing to use Social Media at work remains well below 30%.

We are often asked by our Industrial B2B clients, “How can we use Social Media for marketing purposes? Which Social Media channels should we use and why?”

In a recent search we have found various reports on the use of Social Media by the industrial and engineering market.  Interestingly, there is significant growth of those able to access the internet from work without restrictions however the number of engineers and industry professionals choosing to use Social Media for work related purposes remains well below 30%. [Read more…]

Successful Media Tips during Election Fever

Navigate media buying during the 2012 Election


With the 2012 Presidential Election just over 4-months away and races heating up, you may want to consider putting your broadcast advertising programs on hold this fall for some very important strategic reasons.  Download our Media Buying tips from lessons we’ve learned in the political trenches. See how you can maximize your broadcast advertising dollars during this hectic political season!

Click here for Lessons from the Trenches

Etsy “Likes” Facebook Gifts

Etsy is an e-commerce site that provides an online presence for 400,000 local independent sellers with annual sales of 8 million handmade goods. Etsy is on track to handle $400 Million in transactions in 2011 (double last year’s sales.)  Etsy has partnered with Facebook to use “Like” data for suggested gifts for friends.

How to Give Your Friends What They Really Want,” in the Etsy Blog, describes the new tool used to buy gifts for that person you would normally just buy a gift card for.  The tool provides a personalized socially networked e-commerce shopping experience. [Read more…]

2nd Annual Winter Wine & Ale Fest Shows GeneroCity

Deer's Leap Winery of Geneva served attendees their choice of local wines including Holiday Spice, Fusion, and Peach Wine. Photo by Gregory Jackson.

Jingle Bell Ale, Christmas Ale, brews, and wines of all kinds warmed the season during the 2011 Winter Wine & Ale Festival.  Winter Wine & Ale Fest, a sellout, ticketed VIP pass event (750 tickets) included unlimited food specialties from local restaurants and up to 20 samples of local wineries and breweries. Tickets were promoted through radio, print and social media.  Profits were donated to benefit GeneroCity, a downtown homeless fund for the Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA). The fund generates programs that focus on job placement and housing.

“Winter Wine & Ale Fest is a wonderful way to ring in the holiday season with some of our best local wines, ales and cuisine. It supports a cause that is critically important to the downtown area,” said Joe Marinucci, president and CEO of Downtown Cleveland Alliance.  “Event proceeds connect DCA with the homeless community by assisting them the services needed to find jobs and permanent housing.  As the weather gets colder, our mission becomes even more important.”

The event was a sell out for the second year in a row.


The Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) is a non-profit organization that works with property owners and neighborhood partners to revitalize downtown and provide economic development opportunities, attracts business and retention efforts, sponsors the Clean & Safe Ambassador Program, and handles strategic marketing initiatives for downtown Cleveland, Ohio.

GeneroCity started in 2008, and was formed by the DCA to increase funding for the homeless, reduce panhandling, and add 12 bright green donation receptacles – formerly old parking meters – located throughout downtown Cleveland, to collect change for homeless services.


Winterfest 2011 Lights up Christmas Spirit

Winterfest 2011 lights up Downtown Cleveland, Ohio with a 45-foot Spruce Christmas tree. The Old Stone Church (in background) is illuminated by the lighting display. Photo by Gregory Jackson.

Winterfest, Cleveland’s Annual Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting ceremony, did not disappoint the jubilant crowd that filled Public Square on Saturday, November 26.  Downtown Cleveland Alliance Ambassadors were prolific and served as the official voices of the event, answering hundreds of questions and passing out event information packets to festival attendees. Huntington Bank was the official sponsor of Winterfest 2011.

Radio Disney took the stage mid-afternoon to rock the crowd and entertain the children.  Festival goers were treated to free horse-drawn carriage rides that circled the square. Following the rides, one could enjoy a jazzy Christmas concert (watch “Silent Night”), a hot chocolate and cookie reception, and the post fireworks- Christmas Chorale Concert.

Many vendors were on hand with custom Christmas merchandise to help kick-0ff the holiday shopping season.  Shoppers bustled through Tower City and shops along Euclid Avenue. Even parking was on special for the event.  Those parking at Tower City received 5 hours of free parking in exchange for a making a $15 purchase. (As an added bonus, the pay booth at the parking lot is dispensing new $1 coins throughout the holidays, a popular Christmas gift for grandchildren and friends.)

An amazing display of fireworks capped off the evening. Photo courtesy of Downtown Cleveland Alliance.

As the sun set behind Terminal Tower, anticipation grew as time approached to light the City’s 45-foot Spruce Christmas tree, donated from a home in Garfield Heights. The spectacular tree is back dropped either by Old Stone Church or Terminal Tower, depending on from which direction the tree is viewed.  Mayor Frank Jackson and other city officials were introduced and thanked everyone for celebrating Winter Fest.  Following the introductions, a powerful fireworks display dazzled a highly enthusiastic crowd, officially ushering in the Holiday Season.

Musings on Google +

This week I was lucky enough to receive one of the hottest invites in Social Media – Google +. The internet has been abuzz about what has been termed “The Facebook killer” so I was very interested to give it a try.

Test driving Google+ is by invitation only as it is currently being beta tested. This precludes brands from creating pages as only consumers are invited into the Plus Club for the early viewing. According to the July 7th issue of Advertising Age, brands should have access to setup pages by the end of July or early August.

Google Plus Screenshot

As you can see from the screen shot, Google + does look similar to Facebook but in my opinion, has some features that I like more than Facebook.


There is an “About” section in which you can tell the social media world as little or as much about yourself that you want.  The “Posts” section, similar to the Facebook wall, is where you note what’s new.  A key difference with Google+ is you have more options on what is shown in your stream and what is not.  Posts are easily filtered with a simple click of a button.  The Photo and Video sections are pretty self explanatory if you ask me.

New Features

One addition to the Google+ menu is the +1’s tab.  This tab will show all the websites that you have given a +1 to so your connections can see what websites you rank helpful.  As with Facebook, all sections can be privatized.

Another great feature with Google + is the opportunity to put your connections into “Circles”.  Yes, Facebook has a similar option of grouping people but it seems that Google has streamlined the process and made it much easier to accomplish this.  This allows you to separate business and personal connections easily.  You can make posts to all “circles” or choose specific ones that will be given access to each post made.  Your connections can not see the circles you put them in, only that you added them to a circle.

Crystal Ball Gazing

So the question remains, will Google+ be the “Killer of Facebook?”  In my opinion, the jury is still out. With branding, the first brand one to own a category in the consumers mind has a distinct and long-term advantage – think Kleenex, Xerox, Q-tip or Sharpie marker.

While the younger generation will happily learn a new platform, a growing number of Boomers 50+ are joining Facebook to stay in touch with family.  It’s a coin toss as to whether they will be as eager to learn something new.

-Lisa Holmgren, Digital Media Buyer

HarperCollins Publishers Expire their e-Book Titles after 26 Check Outs

EBooks continue to grow, boasting 115.8 percent Year over Year sales growth, or $32.4 million to $69.9 million, for January (2010) to January (2011).  Just a few weeks ago however, HarperCollins Publishing announced it’s e-book titles will expire after 26 check outs, according to Library Journal.

Late last April, 5 of the 6 major book publishers: Macmillan, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and HarperCollins followed the agency model for selling e-books, but as of late February of this year Random House also switched from the retail model to join the agency model.  In the agency model publishers set prices and keep 70 percent of sales, while digital booksellers keep 30 percent of sales. [Read more…]

It’s a Mobile World After All

Collect virtual stamps at Disney Parks and share your passport photos with friends using Gowalla.

Disney theme parks have partnered with Gowalla, a location based mobile app, to provide guests a way to share their photos and visiting attractions and provide trip itineraries.

“Well of course we are teaming with Gowalla,” said Rick Sylvain, Walt Disney World media director, “so that’s the game plan.”

Gowalla is a mobile app featuring location based services where you collect digital stamps in a virtual passport, using your iPhone, Android, Blackberry, WebOS or iPad.  You can share your photos and recommendations with your friends through Facebook and Twitter.  Branded trip itineraries also exist including Disney’s Gowalla trips that list attractions according to age.  In some places you can collect virtual items and Pins at the theme park as well as digital souvenirs. [Read more…]

ABC’s of QR Codes


You’ve looked them, you’ve scanned them or you are thinking about scanning them and you are wondering how to integrate them into your company’s marketing mix. They are the new “IT” – QR or 2-D codes popping up everywhere.

The recent U.S. adoption rate of QR is predicated on the growth of Smartphone use as well as the cellular technology needed to power them. And yes, the Japanese have had the cellular technology to use these codes since the mid-90’s.  But we digress. If you haven’t done so, download a QR reader to your phone.  Play around by scanning a few codes.

To use them in your marketing, follow these steps:

1.     BE STRATEGIC!!  Have a plan for the use of the code.  What do you expect your customer to do with this code?  Are you using it to develop leads, deliver coupons, educate via a video link or sign-up customers via mobile for on-going offers?

TIP: Remember to make any mobile sign-ups easy – no one wants to type in full contact information from their phone.  Always ask for permission to send any bounce-back data through a mobile device.

2.     ENGAGE!!  Developing a code that just jumps to your website is, well, boring.  Engage your customer; give them something fun to do with the codes.FirstBank in Denver did a really cool promotion in the Denver airport.  Targeting travelers weary of waiting for their flights, the FirstBank campaign gave away “free books, crossword puzzles and SuDoKo games” to help pass the time.

Classic BMW Learns Customer is “QR Code” Savvy at 2011 Cleveland Auto Show

BMW is utilizing QR codes, like the one found in the dashboard of this blue BMW convertible, as a purchase incentive.  When scanned, this code lands consumers on the BMW Facebook Page offer.  Current offer is  a free $100 gas card upon purchase of a BMW. Photo by Gregory Jackson.

Willoughby based BMW Classic Cars believes that technology is an integral part of their business model for maintaining positive customer relations.  The dealership, which contributes to the BMWBlog.com, also uses a Classic BMW’s iPhone App, Yelp, Facebook Places, thedealmap.com, Foursquare, Twitter and clevelandfreepress.com to connect socially with current and potential customers.

It is no surprise then that Classic BMW, representing area BMW dealers, unveiled a unique QR code1 at the Cleveland Auto Show, February 26 through March 6, 2011.  By scanning the code a consumer lands on their Facebook fan page which currently offers a special purchase incentive of a free $100 gas card upon purchase of a BMW. (BMW generated their QR code using bit.ly’s automatic QR code generator2.) [Read more…]