Category Archives: Marketing Trends

Bring home the bacon – make your social media work for you


If you’re looking for an example of how to use social media to enhance your brand’s presence online, look no further than J & D’s Bacon Salt. The makers of this incredibly popular product have been able to successfully use social media in a way that fits in with their brand message, their company’s personality and their audience’s behavior.

Let’s start with their great website. The “Our Story” page introduces you to the company’s creators, Justin and Dave, and how Bacon Salt came about. The story is told in a friendly, off-the-cuff tone, and it is taken to an even more personal level with a YouTube video of one of the creator’s toddler, which that won them $5,000 on America’s Funniest Home Videos, an amount they refer to as their “first round of funding”.

Since their product is in the spice/condiment family, J & D’s Bacon Salt website smartly offers a recipes page, which are perfect for sharing but would be even better if each recipe had its own “share” button (although you can share the website with the bookmarking links at the bottom). The reviews page has another a YouTube video that shows a bunch of people, women and men, young and old  (and really young), professing their love of Bacon Salt. Plus, the merchandise page makes use of an e-commerce widget from Zazzle.

But although it does contain social media elements, the website is reserved for communicating their brand message and their company’s personality. So Justin and Dave created a blog to help document their quest to make “everything taste like bacon” and created a MySpace page and a Facebook group so they can interact with their customers more directly. Both are very active, with customers proclaiming their love for bacon and Bacon Salt, sharing ideas, videos, asking for recipes and more.

So follow Justin and Dave’s lead and find out how social media can work best to enhance your brand and messaging.


Link Roundup for 1.25.2008
A very cool, simple app that lets you create embedable flyers and business cards to put on blogs, social networks, websites and emails. Via: TechCrunch

Best Internet Marketing Blog Posts of 2007 – Techipedia
A VERY extensive list of the best and timeless articles of 2007 about internet marketing, broken up into categories like specific social networks, blogging, content generation, etc.  Via: Greg Verdino

Using Social Media to Create Social Media Training
A wiki for social media training. Via: Social Media Marketing

The Interactive Media Mix Series: Part 2 – Banner Ads


This post is part 2 of The Interactive Media Mix Series. In the series we plan to go over the basics on each of the tools that marketers can use in interactive campaigns, such as microsites, banner ads, streaming audio, online video, mobile marketing, podcasts, email marketing, search engine marketing and social media.

Dear Interactive Marketers,

When banner ads (AKA display ads) were first introduced, they were hailed as one of the greatest advances in advertising, because unlike billboards or TV ads, they could interact with the audience AND their effectiveness could be measured by way of click-throughs with a great degree of accuracy. But then, the advent of flash animation created an unfortunate side effect: “hit the monkey”, “shoot the spaceship”, “trap the mouse”, and “the dancing baby” banners became too annoying and ubiquitous to be effective at all. And so, the banner ad fell from grace.

It finally appears that the age of the dancing baby is over. Today, studies are showing that various campaigns become more effective when display ads are added to the mix and new design technologies like rich media and video are allowing banner ads to become increasingly more interesting and usefullevis-banner-ad.jpg

Lets hear from the experts:

  • Tessa Wegert, from ClickZ says that banner ads allow marketers to visually imprint their image on the minds of consumers in a way other forms of online media don’t.
  • Jason Fittipaldi, from iMedia thinks that expandable banners—which use a new technology that allows the banner to expand when the user rolls over them—are fresh, exciting, compelling, highly interactive and rewarding to the viewer, and they provide an effective foundation for viral marketing and brand extension.
  • Lydia Estrada, also from iMedia, claims that the interactive space provides the capability to reach consumers on multiple levels (rational, emotional) and it is important to take advantage of that as often as possible.
  • And finally, examples cited in both Media Post Publications, by David L. Smith, and in BusinessWeek, by David C. Churbuck, show that banner ads used in conjunction with other channels increase the overall effectiveness of the campaign.

So What?
Banner ads have made a comeback and have become the centerpiece of the interactive media mix. Used wisely, they can be helpful and entertaining for your customers and an entryway into your company or brand’s web presence.


Internet Advertising Bureau UK – Display Ads

DoubleClick – Best Practices for Optimizing Web Advertising Effectiveness, May 2006 (Available for download)

BizReport – Europeans Click with Video Ads, Kristina Knight, May 2007

BizReport – Large Ad Formats Popular with European Marketers, Helen Leggat, May 2007

Media Post Publications – TV and Web, Working Together, David L. Smith, Aug. 2007

BusinessWeek – Google and the Rebirth of Banner Ads, David C. Churbuck, April 2007

ClickZ – Do you buy Banners? Tessa Wegert, Nov. 2006

ClickZ – Interactivity with a Mission, Tessa Wegert, July 2006

iMedia – The Seven Principles of Effective Online Ads, Lydia Estrada, Sept. 2005

iMedia – Three Ways to Improve Banner Ads, Jamie Roche, Nov. 2006

iMedia – 5 Targeting Success Stories, Robert Moskowitz, Oct. 2006

ClickZ – Making Video Advertising Accountable to Consumers, Jeremy Lockhorn, Sept. 2006

iMedia – Extreme Makeover: Banner ads Redux, Jayson Fittipaldi, April 2007

BusinessWeek – Levi’s Fits its Ads to the Web, Steve Rosenbush Oct. 2006

iMedia – How better display ad targeting is changing internet advertising, Tim Brown, Aug. 2007

Marketwire – Marketers can Buy Blog “Buzz”, Nielsen Reports, July 2007

Yukonbiz (blog), Do banner ads still work? Geoff Harries, Oct. 2006

GigaOM (blog), Why Google bought DoubleClick, Om Malik, April 2007

ClickZ – Mobile advertising goes graphic, Rebecca Lieb, Jan. 2007 – Brand Marketers Return to the Web, David Kesmodel, May 2006

And here are a couple of examples of great video banners

The Google/Saturn banner video

A “Get a Mac” campaign banner

(knife image: ©, Levi’s banner ad courtesy of Avenue A | Razorfish. See all of them here.)

The Interactive Media Mix Series: Part 1 – Microsites


This post is part 1 of The Interactive Media Mix Series. In the series we plan to go over the basics on each of the tools that marketers can use in interactive campaigns, such as microsites, banner ads, streaming audio, online video, mobile marketing, podcasts, email marketing, search engine marketing and social media.

Dear Marketers,

If you want to launch a specialized campaign for a company or brand or a new product, centered on an idea that is set apart from the overall brand, a microsite is one of the most interesting and compelling ways to do so.

One way to use microsites is to do what Coke has done. In addition to its regular site, Coca-Cola also has specialized microsites for specific products, such as the new Coke Zero. Since Coke Zero has its own concept and campaign that is separate from the broader Coca-Cola brand concept, its microsite allows audiences to further connect with the campaign by maintaining the same look and feel, and featuring games and activities related to the campaign.subservient-chicken.png

But microsites are also often used to support a new campaign for a brand. Burger King found a fresh way to communicate its traditional slogan, “Have it your way”, by creating a microsite called “Subservient Chicken”, (credited with launching the microsite concept), where visitors could type in commands for the person in the chicken outfit to perform on the screen.

Well-executed microsites such as the BK’s “Subservient Chicken”, OfficeMax’s “Elf Yourself” (only available during the holidays) or Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” (with online videos such as Evolution) often also serve a double function, since they are excellent viral marketing assets. Entertaining, innovative or exciting microsites will be shared and forwarded millions of times.

So what?
Microsites are an excellent way to engage your audience with a new product or campaign online and does double duty with potential viral success.

Interested? – The history of microsites

iMedia Connection – Go Micro for Macro Results

ClickZ – Microsites and SEM: A Proof of Concept

iMedia connection – Offline-Online Unity

Marketing Sherpa case study – How Microsite & Video Lift Consumer Leads 13.54% for Home Builder

And for more examples of microsites check out:

The Weather Channel – article and review
Land Rover – review
Toyota (autoshow) – article
Audi A3 – review
National Geographic – Inside the Mafia – review
Reebok – RBK Pump – review
Verizon Broadband – review
Cartoon Network – review
Warner Home Video – “Kiss Kiss, Bang Band” DVD release – review
Lexus 2007 ES – review
MINI Canada – review
Twentieth Century Fox Corp. “24” – review
Mountain Dew – review
Reebok – G xt II – review
Sony Electronics – Mobile DVD Dream System – article

Integrated Interactive Campaigns with Microsites:

Arctic Cat – Mediums: TV spot, microsite
KFC – Mediums: TV spot, microsite
Old Spice – Mediums: TV spot, microsite
Range Rover – Mediums: TV spot, microsite
Fox Atomic – “Turistas” – Mediums: MySpace, YouTube, blogs and microsite – Review
The Simpsons Movie – Mediums: MySpace, Flickr, Xbox contest, JetBlue Contest, merchandise, be in an animated episode promotion, 7-11 to Kwik-E-Mart makeovers, Vans custom shoes – Review (blog post)

UPDATE: Check out this presentation for an overview on microsites and some great case studies!

(knife image: ©

It pays to be social


Dear Traditional Media Marketer,

Social Media is a very profitable and effective tool for tradit

ional media, and in addition to innumerable companies and brands, radio, television and print companies have also started to take advantage of it.

Minnesota Public Radio, for instance, considers its Minnewiki, which is launched in the fall of 2005 as a local music scene encyclopedia, to be one of its most successful social media projects. On April 13, 2007, the site had already been accessed 48,264 times. (Source)

Meanwhile, WBEZ prominently features daily photos of Chicago scenes on its home page, either found on Flickr or submitted by the station staff. The Photo of the Day functioned, for Daniel Ash of WBEZ, as a powerful tool of localism, countering what he sees as a public radio weakness. (Source)

Other stations like Q101 and Hot97 incorporate blogs, podcasts, and profiles on MySpace, and even channels on YouTube.

In television, ABC Family has launched a promotion on twitter around the new show Gr

eek, a comedy-drama about frat and sorority life, and the title character in NBC’s show Chuck, a computer geek who becomes a secret agent, also will twitter to fans. (Click here for the article)


And CBS has disclosed that social media has brought an additional 200,000 viewers in just one month and that, “YouTube has brought a significant new audience of viewers to each broadcast.” (Link)

Print journalism is also jumping in. In June of this year, the BBC conducted a “social media experiment”, where journalist Ben Hammersley “will file to his personal blog, he will upload photos to Flickr, video

to YouTube, post snippets of text to the microblogging site Twitter, bookmark research on the social bookmarking site and network with people through Facebook” while covering the run-up to the July elections in Turkey for two weeks. Check out his social media content here.

Even the The New York Times Co. last year started offering on its Web site buttons for posting articles on Digg, Facebook, and, an indication that the venerable news organization is embracing online social news sharing, while Steve Rubel explains how USA Today offers reader comments on every story, the ability to create a profile page that can be shared with others, citizen journalist photos, story tagging and digg-like recommendation buttons.

So What?
Your audience is social. Are you?

Interested? Here’s more:

Mathew Ingram – Can a newspaper be a social network?

GigaOm – Can social tools save plan ole’ radio? 

New York Times – Is radio still radio if there’s video? 

Billboard – Clear Channel launches social networking sites 

Online video for small business


Dear Small Business Marketer,

YouTube along with other video sharing sites have caught the attention of more than just at-home movie goers. A predominately print and infomercial advertiser, Oreck vacuums recently joined the video sharing community in October airing its XL21 Vacuum Cleaner commercial online through the Oreck Direct YouTube Channel. The ‘home of the 8lb vacuum’ appears to have gotten its weight up in the realm of diverse marketing by branching out to social networking forums as well. You can now find Oreck age/gender-targeted ads on Myspace by logging on as 26 year-old woman, for example. You will find a flashing Oreck banner on the top of the screen advertising its Professional Table-top Air Purifier. Through video and social network advertising, Oreck hopes to ‘suction-up’ more than just dirt.

On a tastier note, La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant in Lake Stevens, Washington is saying buenos dias to online video advertising. La Hacienda has included a video ad on its listing via Superpages Video, a new feature from Superpages. La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant’s listing pops up with not only its address, phone number, reviews and website, but also its own personal commercial giving potential customers a virtual sampling of la comida before heading out and possibly running for the border.

Loome Book Sellers
has used YouTube to reach out to customers informing them of the closing sale of their Loome Antiquarian Booksellers store. Customers were confused as to why the sale was only for walk in customers and not available on the internet as well, and Loome cleverly used the YouTube video comments to clear everything up.

The YouTube video, added on December 12, 2007, has already had 7,386 views, proving that this marketing tactic is a must-use for small businesses.
(image courtesy of

The Social Media Quiz

Dear Marketing Expert,

For the last several months, we know you’ve heard buzz words like “social media,” and “join the conversation” pretty much non-stop. Well, we thought that you might be interested in knowing that there are some pretty significant differences between two of these buzz words that sound like they could mean the same thing: “social media optimization” and “social media marketing”.

There’s more than one way to use social media. Social media marketing (SMM), for eample, uses the peer-to-peer networks, online communities and viral tactics to help a message spread online. Social media optimization helps make a website more discoverable. An example of SMO optimization is including social bookmarketing tags like post to and making content like videos embeddable on other sites. SMM could consist of creating groups and profiles on social networking and sharing sites. SMM is primarily focused on promotion through social networks, whereas SMO is concerned with getting visitors to link to and share your website.
Check out Cameron Olthuis’ post provides an insightful commentary on this.

Got it? Take the quiz and find out! (Scroll to the end for the answers).
Is It SMM Or Is It SMO?

1. The “Be Social” section on Miami New Times website


2. The “Apple” group on Flickr


3. The Dell “Yours is here” campaign Channel on YouTube


4. The “Share” button at the bottom of every post on TechCrunch


5. The Wired Magazine Page on Facebook



1. SMO

2. SMM

3. SMM

4. SMO

5. SMM

How did you do?