Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

When Should An Event Get/Announce Its Hashtag?

March 6, 2012 3 comments

hashtag cartoon via microsoft office

As someone who has been to a number of events (as I’ve oft chronicled here with my “Event” tag) especially ones that are promoted on, geared towards, and inclusive of Social Media and the people on Social Media sites – specifically Twitter – I have noticed that leading up to or even at many events no one seems to know what the hashtag for the event is!

My thoughts about this really coalesced  into me writing what you’re reading now when I read this blog post by my friends over at called Tweeting Your Way Through Events. and the article is targeted towards Young Professionals but, in my opinion, what’s mentioned in the article holds true for almost any demographic. They say that we find Twitter so useful because although “we make our own notes as writers at events and leave armed with media kits…being able to go back and have a digital diary of things we may have missed – plus the access to comments of others at the event – is always appreciated.

NOTE: This post assumes you know what a “hashtag” on Twitter is and their purpose. If you don’t know, I suggest reading this article in the Twitter Help Center: “What Are Hashtags (“#” Symbols)?” before continuing.

hashtag via microsoft office clipart

I couldn’t agree more with the above assertion, it is EXTREMELY useful to be able to look up the hashtag before, during, and after an event to see what the buzz is about it, what’s going on at the event (if it’s big enough of an event there’s no way to be everywhere at once), and what happened at the event after the fact. The article goes on to say:

In this day and age, most organizers will create a designated Twitter hashtag and announce the hashtag ample times to promote the event and connect with their key audiences. It is important to let people know well in advance so they can follow along if they’re interested and engage using the same hashtag.

Unfortunately, in the article the Notable team never makes mention of what they define the terms “ample time” and “well in advance” to be in this situation so I thought I would offer my take on it. Read more…

Why Do Brands Expect Us To Find Them On Social Media?

January 20, 2012 1 comment

Find Us On Facebook + Twitter Logo

As the title of this post implies today we are going to talk about brands and how they expect the consumer/customer to interact with them. I have been seeing quite a few ads and commercials recently where the advertiser wants to show their 21st Century savvy and how they are available on different social media platforms but they do it like you see in the picture above. The announce to the world (or whoever is seeing the ad) that, yes, they are present on those platforms but they seem to think that we all like to play a game of Where’s Waldo with them.

Waldo via Waldo Wiki

Waldo via Waldo Wiki

 I mean, I loved sitting on trips with my family when I was a kid and opening one of the Where’s Waldo books but that was recreational and something to do when we were sitting in an airport/on a plane/in a car and had nothing better to do. The point of advertising and being present on the various social media platforms is so that the consumer and potential customers can engage with the brand/advertiser. Don’t make it difficult for us!

This shouldn’t be news to anyone either. Heck, I recently was in the the new shop on Queen St West called Community 54 where they have old arcade video games from way back in the day. One of those games, Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey, was from late enough (1996) that they thought it relevant to mention that the game had a site on this newfangled thing called the Internet. But they didn’t just announce this fact, they didn’t put “WE ARE ON THE INTERNET” and expect people to go out and find them. If you look in the picture below you can see exactly what they wrote because I snapped a picture of it.

Check Out These WEB sites old arcade game screen 1996 Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey

They told people to “Check out these WEB sites” and then listed them. Done. Consumer can easily interact with those two websites assuming they had computers and access to the Internet. But at leas they didn’t lose them in the potentially interested person having to do any work to engage with the brand.

Some more examples below:

Coaster With Just Facebook & Twitter Logos


Union Station Toronto 20111208 Twitter not Facebook

To be fair, the second one of the above pictures, from Union Station in Toronto, they did point to the account @unionstationTO on Twitter for us to engage with but they didn’t bother for some reason with Facebook to do the same. My guess as to why this is is because they didn’t bother to get a custom URL for their page before printing up this signage (they have’t, it seems, bothered to register a custom URL even to this day). This is just laziness plain and simple (in my opinion).

In conclusion, this is a message to all Brands, Advertisers, and Marketers: Remove barriers to engagement don’t erect them.

Have you seen similar displays as I pictured above? Have you ever gone out and actually engaged with a brand afterward or did you just say screw it because it was too much work? Let me know in the comments below.

(And in case you are wondering, no I have never bothered looking into the above pictured brand’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. As well, here’s a link provided by the Way Back Internet Machine for in 1998. I couldn’t get because it just redirects to Warner Bros which bought their assets in 2009 when Midway went bankrupt.)

Badly Targeted Emails To Bloggers By Marketers

November 3, 2011 1 comment

If you have written a blog I am sure you get your fair share of emails by marketers, PR agencies, brand managers, and advertisers. Today I got one which really struck me – it actually made me laugh – because it was SO BADLY TARGETED!

Here’s the full text of the email in case that image shows up small on your screen and you can’t read it:


Avicii / Top 10 Workout Songs


I just came across your site, by way of a post about Avicii.

I’d wanted to touch base, as I run an on-line workout music database. And Tim Berg/Avicii’s “Seek Bromance” made the top 10 in our monthly workout song poll.

If you thought your readers might have any interest, I can email you the list.

Give a shout, if you like.



 While this is just fantastic news for Avicii and Tim Berg the reason I found this so amusing is that the post he is referencing is this one: “#PlayBookCHI Story Revealed & An Unboxing”. Here is the quote that apparently made Chris think that my readers would be so interested in his on-line workout music database’s poll: Read more…

Marketing Competing Products In An Event’s Swag Bag? OK Or Not?

October 27, 2011 1 comment

Yesterday and last night I was at AndroidTO 2011 thanks to my buddy Justin Baisden (@The_JMoney on the Twitters) and I had a fantastically amazing time – and learning experience – all day during #AndroidTO itself and the #Harthfest after-party afterward. Ok, you got me, there wasn’t any learning going on during Hartfest. Come to think of it, Harthfest was more about killing brain cells with alcohol, but I digress.

While I can write a lot about many different subjects from AndroidTO – which was an extremely well put together production by the organizers and volunteers – what really struck me yesterday is the way one of the event sponsors chose to use the AndroidTO vehicle to market themselves and their products.

I am somewhat uncertain about the etiquette of even writing this and naming names so if you think I should take down the specific references, let me know.

Above you can see the picture of two of the items from the AndroidTO event swag bag – one very appropriately themed awesome t-shirt…but what is up with that red card? Is it for Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango? It is? What the…?

For those of you who don’t know, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform IS NOT a version of Android. I get it that the vast majority of people who attended AndroidTO were in some way or another involved in making a multitude of apps on a multitude of platforms a reality. I understand that Microsoft is trying to push for people to develop for their mobile platform. I am well aware that a lot of app developers/development companies don’t just do one platform but do apps on many different platforms but was the AndroidTO swag bag the place to push a different mobile platform? To me it seems like it really isn’t the place.

Some who were there yesterday may argue that the panels and speakers yesterday didn’t only discuss the apps they had and development experiences they had with the Android platform but talked about a myriad of other platforms as well. While this is true, it doesn’t change the fact that the panel members discussing different mobile platforms in terms of their centralized app downloading spots or marketing the app on the internet or through traditional media or beta testing an app holds true pretty much across mobile platforms and is, therefore and in my mind, completely valid to bring up. But out and out advertising a contest for developers to develop for a different platform through the swag bag of an event targeting and geared towards another platform just seems crass to me.

What say all y’all? Let me know in the comments!

Dear RIM: Enough With These Tiny Email Attachment Size Limitations!

September 19, 2011 3 comments


Me with the @BlackBerryScene Team @ Yonge & St Clair Toronto after I won my 9800 Torch (that's what the card in my right hand is).

As my regular readers know, I use a BlackBerry Torch 9800 and I love it quite a bit. Heck, I’m using my Torch to write this post right now. I am a BBM addict and love the keyboard. But there are certain things about BlackBerry devices which are really, really starting to grind my gears. One of these is the email attachment size limitation both incoming and outgoing. The email size limitation on any BlackBerry running BlackBerry 6 Operating System (OS) or earlier – this means any BlackBerry which came out before the recently launched BlackBerry OS 7 devices – has a limit of 3 megabytes (MB) for the size of attachments that can be received and sent from a BlackBerry device. Even if your device is running the brand new OS 7 it only ups the limits to 11 MB.

As well, message content gets truncated (cut off) at 60 KB (kilobytes) with the older OSes. With OS 7 you are allowed 300 KB before it gets truncated. At first glance 60 KB sounds like it should be more than enough. After all, as each character is only 1 bit and there are 8 bits in a byte, 60 KB means you have (roughly) 60,000 bytes * 8 bits/byte = 480,000 characters. That works until you realize people send HTML based emails which take up A LOT more space.

These sizes are WAY too small for the second decade of the 21st Century Read more…

Dear RIM: Marketing Idea For All Y’All – Market To Celebrity Security

September 16, 2011 3 comments


Many of you have probably heard the news that Scarlett Johansson recently had her phone hacked and she is enlisting the help of the FBI to track down who the perpetrators were. She is probably pretty pissed off about it because nude photos of her were taken off the hacked phone and posted online. Scarlett is not the only one, however, Mila Kunis’ phone was hacked and some not family friendly pictures were also leaked from her phone of her and Justin Timberlake as well as one of an unknown gentleman’s genitals (Justin Timberlake has denied that that picture is of him).

According to CBC, Scarlett is not the only celebrity to enlist the help of the FBI to find out who hacked her phone. This article on the CBC’s website says that the “U.S. agency is investigating a hacking ring responsible for as many as 50 breaches of celebrity email accounts, including those of Jessica Alba, Miley Cyrus and Christina Aguilera.” 

I know, after being at the launch of the BlackBerry 7 devices – #BB7FanNight – in Toronto (see my review of that night on BerryReview here) that Former Toronto Blue Jay Joe Carter is a huge BlackBerry addict as is his whole family. Other celebs are known to be CrackBerry addicts as well – such as Jennifer Garner who was recently seen in an Apple Store playing with her BlackBerry – and all the other celebs listed under the Celebrity Sightings tag on CrackBerry. There is even a whole blog devoted to pics of celebs with their favorite secure device!

Now, with all these celebrity security issues going on right now I have a brilliant PR & marketing idea for you RIM…but you have to strike while the iron is hot!

Now is the time for you guys to be reaching out to all these celebs and sports figures and offering them free BlackBerry devices!

Your devices are known to be the most secure and if all these celebs are feeling the heat of their phones & devices being hacked now is the time to put BlackBerry devices in their hands!

One key thing though, and this is why you got to move quickly on this. You have to encourage the celebs whose security has been compromised to say that they’re switching to BlackBerry devices now because of the security features.

The reasons this is so key is obvious and not so obvious. The obvious reason is because celebs pushing your product is good exposure. The other reason is because the stuff taken from the phones was stuff that many of us have on our phones. (Pictures that are private is what I am referring to, of course.) I am thinking this is key because it will make it appeal to a more general demographic. It will also highlight a key aspect of BlackBerry devices.

What do you think readers? What do you think BlackBerry? Going to get on this? I think you should!

Marketing With Tact, What Not To Do

June 8, 2011 2 comments

It is that time of year again that every year I and millions of others like me are made to feel left out while others celebrate. You’d think that as a Jew and missing out on all the major Christian holidays most everyone celebrates I would be used to this sort of thing but this issue is entirely different. What is happening now that makes me feel left out and reminds me of something I don’t need reminding of? Father’s Day.

I don’t make a secret of the fact that my dad passed away almost a decade ago but at the same time I don’t shout it from the rooftops. I get on with my life every day and try and live for the most part unaffected by this loss…and you can insert the rest of what you expect me to say about it here because I can’t be bothered to write it.


What just annoyed me and spurned this post is receiving a marketing email reminding me that Father’s Day is coming up. It gave all those sappy lines encouraging me to buy their product only one thing…who the heck am I buying it for? Right, no one. Thanks for the reminder that my dad is dead, Company X.

Now I am not expecting the whole world to stop because I have experienced a loss that the majority of other people my age haven’t.

I don’t expect to not see ads for Father’s Day/see the day mentioned on TV, in magazines, on billboards, and in storefronts or to hear talk/ads for it on the radio. I am sure there will be a ton of posts all over the internet leading up to the big day and I wouldn’t expect anything less.

However, what I think we can all expect from marketers or advertisers who are sending out email blasts is at least the attempt to get us to fill out a poll with information about what is relevant to us when we sign up for these lists. I don’t need to receive an email at 1 AM to remind me that my dad is no longer amongst the living. Never mind the fact that these email blasts are more often glanced at and deleted so I have to wonder about the conversion rate from an email blast these days.

I am mildly surprised that we don’t have this option available to us more often than not. In this world which is growing more complex and bombarding us all with more and more stimuli on a constant basis I would think marketers and advertisers would be striving to make their messages more and more targeted and relevant to help cut through the noise. We are also living in a world where we are getting more and more Politically Correct (PC) every day. I would think that targeted marketing would be a very important part of targeted marketing. We should be trying to do our utmost NOT TO attempt to market Ash Wednesday to Jews, Hanukkah to Buddhists, Super Bowl Sunday to Buffalo Bills fans, Vesak to the Muslims, etc.

What I know right now is that this is one email list for which I will be hitting the unsubscribe button, post haste.

At least that’s my opinion on this. What do you think?

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