Ideas, insights and inspirations.

Google recently shared an infographic depicting how 2013 transformed digital marketing. There are some great stats in here… 73% of advertisers report using social media ads 239% YOY increase in mobile queries across the Google Display Network See the full infographic: If you are seeking a paid advertising agency, consider partnering with us.

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Digital (i.e. web+search+social+mobile) has changed everything in the world of marketing. Digital is doing to marketing what quantum mechanics did to newtonian mechanics. Let me share five indicators of a tectonic shift taking place right under our feet: 1. Communications models are now based on themes, not on THE BIG IDEA. The evidence of this is all around us. Think of your favorite brand and see how it is speaking differently to various audiences in different channels. Interestingly, a richer multi-dimensional argument has replaced cartesian coordinates stemming from a single point. Google, with its smart semantic and natural language processing capabilities, is able to understand themes and is creating winners by serving up theme leaders via Google search. 2. Iterative experimentation is replacing getting it right the first time. Analytics/testing are being used to narrow winning messages and weed out losers. Marketers are increasingly relying on A/B testing to guide message refinement. Intuit-Write-Measure-Adapt loops are replacing the traditionally linear research-write-measure … Continue reading

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For those of us working with and for colleges and universities , the increasing focus on online education has been an undeniable force in the past year or two. This article, published today in the New York Times, discusses an agreement between San Jose State University and Udacity, which is intended to offer remedial and introductory courses to perhaps hundreds of thousands of students in California, better preparing them for the next steps in their lives. At Elliance, we’re hearing from communicators every week who are interested in learning how to promote online programs, connect with prospective students, and strengthen the reach and health of their institutions in entirely new ways. For a firm like Elliance, the issues of communication and recruitment are intriguing. The “if you build it, they will come” philosophy has proven unsuccessful for most. Instead, a proactive initiative that combines new and traditional means of promotion helps hit the mark more closely for our clients. Email … Continue reading

I’m writing from my small town in Vermont, where schools are closed for Superstorm Sandy, but the sun is shining and it’s as pretty a fall day as we’ve had this year. The lights stayed on. My thoughts go out to those millions of people who have been less fortunate. Like the rest of the country, I spent a lot of time yesterday searching for information about the storm. Were my friends and family safe? Was it headed my way? Were there D batteries available anywhere in Addison County? Now that the threat has passed, I find myself thinking about how I seek, access and evaluate information online in a crunch. Perhaps there are some lessons for us here when the storm clears: 1) New Media. While I’m a loyal fan of print, I bypassed traditional media completely yesterday. Even the evening news (yes, I still watch it religiously) wasn’t up to date enough. The 24-hour news cycle has spoiled … Continue reading

Today marks the one year anniversary of Steve Job’s death. Apple’s created a wonderful video tribute, which, incidentally, makes the case for a liberal arts education better than any I’ve ever heard. “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.”

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A few weeks ago, one of the speakers at the North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals conference in Chicago raised an interesting question: Is it necessary to live a “social lifestyle” personally, in order to be a social media professional? I took pages of notes at the conference, but this one idea is something I’ve come back to far more than I would have expected to. As with most interesting questions, I think the answer is yes and no. One could argue either side, and — as I am prone to do — I’ll argue both. No. Your social media manager needs to understand the media. What is the etiquette of Twitter? What do Facebook users respond to? What’s different about LinkedIn and what’s the point of a +1? But does that person need to engaged in any of these networks personally in order to gain that understanding? Not necessarily. There are plenty of resources out there with best … Continue reading

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I have to imagine that @sweden’s citizen-driven Twitter “experiment” is waking up many a marketing director’s concerns about social media—ergo their brands—in the hands of the masses. As part of its Curators of Sweden campaign, Sweden’s government-sponsored tourism agency turns the reigns of the @sweden Twitter account over to a different citizen each week. This week, Sonja Abrahamsson’s tweets have taken their followers on a magic carpet ride. Everyone from Mashable, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes weighed in on the controversy. Even Stephen Colbert riffed on it on The Colbert Report, causing over 4.7MM Twitter users to campaign for him taking over the account for a week (#artificialswedener). Because of Abrahamsson and her gaffes (or trolling?), many are calling this “experiment” a colossal failure, while a few say it is absolute brilliance. Having worked as a digital marketing consultant for many tourism directors over the years, I felt an immediate concern for the future of tourism social media efforts. … Continue reading

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As the director of new business development for Elliance, I spend a lot of time thinking about the strengths and services that we can provide for our clients. I’m very energized by the Elliance team, and I love bouncing ideas around with them and hearing their thoughts about what’s coming next in the digital world. We meet challenges, and that’s inspiring. Of course I also spend time responding to higher education RFPs and RFPs from other verticals as well, in branding, search, website development and more. And sometimes, those can be a challenge in themselves. I’ve sat on both sides of the table so believe me, I understand that writing and releasing an RFP is tough. If you’re releasing an RFP for your institution, you’ve probably been thinking about the project for quite a while. But how thoroughly have you thought about the RFP process? That’s another story. I’m writing on the Elliance blog here, so I can’t purport to … Continue reading

Has it been a busy week for you, so far? Because it sure has been for us. Our SEOgrams iOS app is back on the App Store after our recent transition to an Enterprise developer license; we completed and delivered a huge site map for a major university; and we’re busy wrapping up wireframes for two exciting new mobile projects. But that’s only half the story. Everything we do exists as part of the constantly evolving media landscape in which we operate, and was it ever busy out there this week. For starters, SXSWi (the South By Southwest Interactive festival), wrapping up today in Austin, has produced an impressive amount of buzz as usual – this time thanks to a stunt that turned homeless people into mobile 4G hotspots. Second, let’s talk about link citation. It used to be sufficient, when citing an online source, to link to its URL (as in the previous paragraph). No longer, though, if the folks behind have their … Continue reading

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Earlier I had posted my review and critique of Stephen Baker’s book ‘Numerati’, noting that he doesn’t give b2b examples. Since the, I have been on the hunt for b2b examples. I just found another one by Otis Elevator company, which offers the following service on their website: REM® Remote Elevator Monitoring Otis developed the REM system to optimize elevator performance and minimize elevator downtime. It is a sophisticated interconnected system of sensors, monitors, circuits, hardware and software to collect, record, analyze and communicate data about elevator operations 24/7. If the REM system detects a problem, it analyzes and diagnoses the cause and location, then makes the service call and helps an Otis mechanic identify the component causing the problem. Elevators are often back in service before owners or tenants even know there is a problem. Interesting indeed.

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