Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

The myself of the me brand.

When I was an employee, the company by default became a credential of my personal brand. If the company enjoyed a positive reputation, it nurtured the perception of who I was, especially to anyone who did not know me. I’ve since learned that everyone is their own living logo exuding impressions with or without employers, because people talk.

Now that I am self-employed, I can still push out my clients as references or I can build an awareness of who I am, what I do and how I think independent of who or where I work. The latter is without question more difficult. After a half-century of signing my work with the logos of others I have come to learn the importance of signing with personal relationships.

During the past few years social platforms have made it possible to build a personal reputation and connect with others to share personal and professional views and visions. It was easier being one of them, but not as rewarding as being oneself.

Six seconds is just long enough

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the value of a 6 second video?

Just read this sentence out loud and by the time you finish, six seconds will have elapsed. Curiously, it is the very brevity of Vine, the app that lets users make and share six-second video clips, that has made it attractive to 40 million contributors and brand marketers trolling for buyers with bucks. With the Vine app, looped videos play over and over. The consequence of that engagement is, if you like what you see … you watch it over and over again. So six, becomes twelve and so on especially if there is a bit of humor, self-reflection or an unanticipated surprise among the moving pictures. While Instagram’s videos can be 15 seconds long, artists, comedians, actors and artists appear to favor the shorter loop over the longer clip. Infinity to a creative person is like electricity to a light bulb and to a brand it is a veritable addiction.

Peer video sharing may prove to be of much greater marketing value than any paid targeted media commercial. Serendipity is its own magic.
Joel Margulies 310-433-0299

The objective is to be passionately objective

Tools of the Trade

It should not surprise anyone that we are no longer participating in a rational economy, but rather a passion economy, where our highly personal and biased perspective of purpose anticipates how people, products and services should act. The Boomer concepts of brands and value no longer sync with digital commerce and its unquenchable thirst for continuous data metrics.

Today, it is not the stand-alone brand and its attributes, but rather Brand associations that hold greater significance for Millennials – It’s not the sneaker, but who is wearing it and that their peers know and covet the potential of engaging in that social relationship.

The semantics of this economy assume that competitive advantage will be conferred not on those who best reduce costs, but those who create new value for the brand network.

To reduce the risk of failure the innovation is not always an innovation.

Creativity thrives on optimism, but its success is often rooted in the pragmatism of experience and earned expertise. Reducing the prospects of failure are best addressed by retaining the jack of all trades who carries a Swiss Army Knife of get it done tools.

The tools of the trade: Joel Margulies 310-433-0299

There is infinite power in the perception of a brand

A personal brand is beyond what we say we are, it is who they say we are and more importantly what we have accomplished.

Personal brands are invitations to conversations

Brands once were things we bought and used, now each of us are seen as brands as well. I proffer some thoughts by way of an explanation for this ever broadening extension of marketing to our persons’.

Recent scientific research is evidence that our attention spans have been reduced to a fleeting 9 seconds, a most profound contraction. Owing to the constraints of our precious time, technology has provided the means and methods to accommodate our eternal need to know now.

With organic browser search, keywords, hash tags, images, re-tweets and “likes” we can filter innumerable volumes of data files and so avoid the time spent on unproductive interpersonal contacts.

The unintended, but logical consequence of the absence of time and the digital digestion of data is our manipulation of the very algorithms crafted to identify the authentic kernels within our posted personal brand profiles we hoped people would learn about us. To succeed the filters we choose descriptive, but “popular” Google Keywords. We sequence them to be found in precise succession and to improve our search rank we hyperlink them with recognized brands to increase our relevance. But working the system only creates new mechanisms.

Posting a personal brand profile no longer cuts the mustard. We need to engage with others that endorse us, share our professional interests and enter conversations to comment on our frequently posted views.

Brands without followers are statements of fact, but not an affirmation of genuine authenticity warranted by a community of our peers. What was initially thought to be a shortcut is now a considerable commitment of time and thought.

A personal brand is beyond what we say we are, it is who they say we are and more importantly what we have accomplished.

Big brands scale to the Lilliputian world of smart-phones.

To keep pace with the global consumer shift from computers to mobile smart phones with their miniature displays, branding has had to learn to think like a Lilliputian. All things small however, does not guarantee less expensive as we have Apple asking $1M for interactive engagement media on its iPhone. Their explanation is the user experience… advertisers should not have an exclusive window to their subscriber, but rather a shared engagement with the content.

One of every five consumers is using a smart-phone to make a branded purchasing decision. The small screen will be attracting growing numbers of transaction as device prices drop and current carrier contracts expire. Being able to present offers 24 hours a day coincidental to the consumers geo-location with GPS technology is a ticket to demographic Nirvana.

For there to be a mobile brand conversation icons et al have to be miniaturized. The 3G-4G consumers already know there is less functionality in a mobile app and web browsing is a richer content experience, but to be effective both must be consumer relevant, up to the minute and platform specific. The inherent functionality of the medium….phone, web site etc, needs to focus on the user experience, so a mobile version of a Web site is becoming a have to have rather than I will think about it option.

buy me, bring me, get me, take me, give me….if you want them to come back. Once again, branding is edging ever so much closer to sales promotion with bar code scanning and location aware proximity technology drawing them all together at the point of sale.

One caveat when creating your mobile marketplace…each platform; Apple, Android, Blackberry and Bada sees the code differently and each device sees that code differently.
Holding on too tight to your graphical standards could cost you your sanity unless you accept the idea that each consumer interaction is a one to one experience.

For a thought to have value, it must have weight

We may speak of the quality of the air we breathe, but what we actually dialog about are the component elements and compounds of air measured as particulates of matter carried about by it even though we use words like; sweet, warm, damp, salty, humid, musty, fowl, fragrant, rank or fresh to communicate our personal and shared experience of air.

Values for the weight of those particulates are expressed in the effect that they have on our bodies and environment because there is no commodity market for used sulfur dioxide.  In specific instances, the weigh of the impact by particulates upon us is so great that their existence can be converted into monetary values… both real and projected.

Isn’t it curious that an idea may only have value if it is shared like the air? And that sharing must have velocity to assure that the idea’s transmission is received by such significant numbers of minds as to be repeated without contamination of errant particulates in order for the author to be justly credited with the original thought?

Original ideas are not unlike the wind impacting us like zephyrs, breezes, tornadoes, gales, hurricanes and vortexes. Forces of emotional and intellectual thought so profound as to have sufficient weight to be expressed monetarily – or haven’t you downloaded a song lately? Did the words and music not have velocity – moving you to think, feel or dance?

So then, is the weight of a thought expressed by the demand of consumers to have access to it, or by the impact it has upon them or by the advertiser willing to pay for the privilege underwriting the publishing and distribution of the thought?

Or – could it be that an original thought has an intrinsic valuation – published or not – copyright protected or not.  Might it not be more appropriate to value a thought on the weight of its impact?

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said.

It might be difficult not to believe an entrepreneur who has convinced thousands of investors to put their money behind an untried and untested innovation that their marketing directives will be successful. But experience has shown me that technological genius and capital raising acumen are not assurances for mass marketing mojo unless the image you are seeing in the mirror is Steve Jobs.

For everyone else, I recommend investing in marketplace research of both the wholesale and retail side of distribution as the euphemism of mine field will actually prove to be an understatement. Ask consumers for their opinions, watch for their unspoken reactions, challenge their willingness to please and respond to their aspersions with an open mind. With that input draft a psycho-demographic profile and challenge a variety marketing and media consultants to develop media plans and schedules. Keep in mind that your campaign must be in sync with product production, distribution cycles and media timetables – None of which are probably in lock step with your competitors, bankers or investor interests.

The new online social marketplace has presented communication professionals with unique opportunities for both free and paid impressions. The debate between CPM and CPC metrics hould not be taken as the only measures of success… brand recall isn’t SEO and unique visitors are not a measure of a customer’s willingness to buy.  More importantly, learning the differences will not suffice having practical experience. Being bloodied in battle and hailed as a victor keeps one both human and humble.

Clicks and keywords are monetary metrics not brand credentials

It wasn’t that long ago that advertisers invested in producing truly creative print ads, radio spots and TV commercials to engage consumers in a dialog with product marketers and their brands. So artful were these efforts that the Museum of Modern Art built a collection of the best examples.

More recently it was learned that the once presumed family friendly social networks; Facebook, MySpace, Google et al, have been aggregating the personal ID data from site visits and sharing it with their advertising media networks to effectuate higher click-thru rates.

Besides the unethical business practice what should concern all of us is the shift from earning the hearts and minds of consumers through relevant content exchanges to spying on consumer activities in an attempt to ambush their attention as they navigate the net.

Worse still is the thinking that a click is a value metric in building a brand franchise with a consumer. The click doesn’t actually measure a positive or negative brand recall, but it does serve as an accounting methodology.

Roy Grace, creative director of “Spicy Meatballs”– “good advertising is achieved by cooperative effort between agency talent and clients with courage and intelligence. For those that know there are short cuts, but choose not to take them — I’m with you.

Content is its own virus

So much of our current marketing energies are focused on abetting the ability of a prospect to locate a brand online that the “solutions” which consumers are actually searching for may be overlooked in an effort to execute optimization.

Solutions of real value are most often found within current, relevant content that addresses the answers to the; who, what, where and why questions… the DNA of a successful brand.

Truth be told, it is easier to optimize a site than it is to imbue the essence of a brand with relevance, substance, character, merit, functionality, purpose, resolve and then affirm those key brand terms with performance guarantees.

 Invest in the underlying values and the credibility of a brand will become the subject of peer conversations both on and offline.

The conversion of an interest to an outcome

We are sponsors of a culture driven by virtual conveniences craving irrefutable credentials to support what appear to be its impromptu choices.

Appearances can be deceiving though as the traditional exemplars of “branding” have evolved through the socialization of marketing. Personal networks now endorse the role of the consumer as the publisher of its peer to peer messaging. While the brand continues to be perceived as a personal credential, the consumer, rather than the brand has emerged as the “qualified” expert.

The “why” answer is a question of trust. The consumer is skeptical of media messages and has been empowered with the tools to verify the credentials of a product by communicating with a global community of peer users. Managing that interpersonal correspondence can present unanticipated consequences – both positive and negative.

Today, marketers need to actively participate in the conversations of the peer community and do so openly to be compliant with FTC guidelines in the interest of a truthful outcome.

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