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Our New Home September 17, 2009

Posted by Amanda in New Squeaks.
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Thanks to everyone who has read The Nature of Greatness!  We are officially moving to our new home on our own domain.  All future posts will be located at:

 

http://aheismann.com/blog

 

See you there! :D

Ad Age: Depth and Authenticity September 8, 2008

Posted by Amanda in Clear Tracks.
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A unique store in SoHo NY

A unique store in SoHo NY

One of my favorite parts of Ad Age is their three minute video news briefs. For example, this past friday they talked with a high-end fashion store in NY that has differentiated itself by providing the history behind a piece of clothing. All of the clothing at Operations has a history behind: Fireman’s Jackets, Railroad worker pants, watchmaker shirts. The owner explains that what sells their product isn’t the style of clothing. A type of clothing can be duplicated easily. What sells the product is the history and the authenticity it adds to every piece of clothing.

3 minute Ad Age

Social Media Optimization September 3, 2008

Posted by Amanda in Business Tails.
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Back in June I posted a few tips from ABS-SEO on how to apply SEO when your site is mostly videos.  However, Search Engine Optimization has given way to Social Media Optimization (SMO).  Sites such as Technorati, Facebook, Myspace, Linked In… the list goes on and on, have affected the way everyone looks for information.  Don’t get me wrong, Google is still the king of the internet jungle, but Social Media sites may offer a way to reach a targeted audience.  So how do you make your site work with these new technologies?

seolinkbuildingtips4u came up with 5 tips that you may find handy.

  1. Increase Your Linkability
  2. Make Tagging and Bookmarking Easy
  3. Reward Inbound Links
  4. Help your Content Travel
  5. Encourage the Mashup

See the article at: 5 Rules of (SMO) Social Media Optimization « Seo Link Building Tips 4 u.

Beating Call Reluctance August 28, 2008

Posted by Amanda in Business Tails.
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I recently ran across Portland’s Finest Advertising Blog.  Phil is a very friendly guy with lots of tidbits to share, but one in particular hit home.  As some of you may know, I have started doing a small amount of freelance marketing work on the side and I’ve found it hard to ask for business.  I’m very much a people-pleaser and I often feel like I’m imposing on someone by making my sales pitch. 

The more people you call who say no… the harder it seems to pick up that phone the next.  When you call, you may not even get through the first lines of your pitch before that dial tone is wringing in your ears. So how can you push through it?

One strategy I use it to set a particular time.  So I make a call exactly at 2:00pm.  after that call ends (unless it is hugely successful which requires additional dancing around the room time) I set a timer to make another call at 2:05pm.  In the mean time, I answer emails or file away blog articles for future writing material.  It keeps me moving foward but not bogged down with the cold calling. 

But the post over on Phil’s blog had great advice about another strategy to beat the reluctance:

See how many no’s you can get…

Maybe I’ll set up a board and add a gold star for every no I get.

Product Placement August 27, 2008

Posted by Amanda in Business Tails.
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Product placement has become a major strategy for television advertising.  The invention of Tivo’s and DVRs and other similar techonologies has placed the power into the hands of the viewer.  Don’t want to watch a commercial?  Just fast forward!  So brands have moved to putting their products in the show itself.  This is one marketing strategy that I applaud.  It makes the show more realistic if done correctly.  Notice the disclaimer.  Some shows do let it affect the quality of the show itself.  There are also a few ethical issues with product placement. The viewer may not always realise that it is a paid advertisement, especially if the show is targeted to a younger demographic. 

Haleykish over at Everybody goes to Haleywood highlighted a move by the FCC that could greatly affect product placements in the future.

Possibly coming to televisions across the nation: stronger warnings that the Cokes, Oreos and Sidekicks flaunted by actors have bought their way onto your favorite show.

That’s what the Federal Communications Commission signaled yesterday when it said it would review new rules on how television programmers let viewers know when those “props” are really paid pitches.

FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin said product placements and integration into story lines have increased as television viewers increasingly use recording devices like TiVo and DVRs to fast forward through commercials. Currently, agency’s rules require television programmers to disclose sponsors who have embedded products into shows. Those disclosures typically are done during the credits at the end of the show, which fly by viewers in small script.

“We want to make sure consumers understand and are aware that they are being advertised to,” said Martin, who first pushed to clarify disclosure rules last fall. “We ask how we should update our rules to reflect current trends in the industry.”

I will definitely be watching to see what moves the FCC makes.   

Product Placement « “Everybody goes to Haleywood”.

This article also crossposted at http://ad-mouse.blogspot.com

Inspiration, anyone? July 2, 2008

Posted by Amanda in Clear Tracks, Mouse Clicks, New Squeaks.
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I stumbled across a great blog a while ago called Brandopia.  I quietly added it to my blogroll and I stop by to read up on the lastest.  Today I would like to highlight some of their work as they are definitely worthy of mention.  I love their sense humor as illustrated below!

Visit Brandopia for more!

Book Review: Wisdom of the Flying Pig July 1, 2008

Posted by Amanda in A Better Mouse Trap, Business Tails.
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Wisdom of the Flying Pig

The Wisdom of the Flying Pig

The Wisdom of the Flying Pig was written by Jack Hayhow, a man I have had the pleasure of meeting in person, and a successful entrepreneur in his own right. 

I was probably 19 years old when I first read this book, and I enjoyed it as much then as I do now.  It is full of handpicked quotes and entertaining stories chosen to teach lessons about leadership and management.   The illustrations are wonderful and Jack has a sense of storytelling that few people can match.  It’s a great book to just read a chapter a day in.  When you reach the end of the book, simply start over! 

I’m not the only one who thinks this book is great.  Check over at Six-Figure Learnings for Dave Opton’s review of the same book.  Or just google Jack Hayhow to see many others.

 

Available at Amazon for $17.95, or as a pdf eBook at Opus for $9.95

Rating: PawprintPawprintPawprintPawprint

Office Memo… June 30, 2008

Posted by Amanda in New Squeaks.
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I can only attribute this to an unknown author, as it was set to me via email:

 

MEMO

To: All Employees

Dear Staff,

We would like to take a few moments to address some issues that have recently arisen.

Dress Code:
It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing Prada sneakers and carrying a Gucci bag we assume that you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes. Therefore, you do not need a raise.  If you dress decently, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Personal Days:
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday and Sunday.

Lunch Breaks:
Skinny people will now get 30 minutes for lunch as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy. Normal size people will get 15 minutes for lunch so they may have a balanced meal to maintain their average size. Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that’s all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast and take an alli diet pill.

Sick Days:
We will no longer accept a doctor statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Restroom Use:
Entirely too much time is being spent in the restroom. There is now a strict 3 minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of 3 minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet pater roll will retract, the stall door will open and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the “Chronic Offender” category.

Surgery:
As long as you are employed here, you need all your organs. You should not consider having any medical procedure to remove anything. We hired you intact. To have something removed will constitute a breach of employment.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplation, and input should be directed elsewhere.

Have a nice week.

What’s in a Name? June 25, 2008

Posted by Amanda in Mouse Clicks.
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A lot goes into deciding on a company name… most of the time.  Toby over at Diva Marketing recently highlighted some interesting trivia about well known company names.

Did you know Google was a misspelling, HP was named by a coin toss  and Yahoo! was from a classic novel? A look at how some of the most successful technology firms – from Apple to Yahoo! – got their groove er .. name!


Here’s a few additions to the list, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Adobe Systems LogoAdobe Systems was named for the Adobe Creek that ran behind the house of co-founder John Warnock.

 


Amazon.com was also named after a river. Founder Jeff Bezos renamed the company Amazon (from the earlier name of Cadabra.com) after the world’s most voluminous river. He saw the potential for a larger volume of sales in an online (as opposed to a bricks and mortar) bookstore.


Coca-Cola was derived from the coca leaves and kola nuts used as flavoring. Coca-Cola creator John S. Pemberton changed the ‘K’ of kola to ‘C’ to make the name look better.


Häagen-Dazs is a name that was invented in 1961 by ice-cream makers Reuben and Rose Mattus of the Bronx “to convey an aura of the old-world traditions and craftsmanship”. The name has no meaning!


Eastman Kodak Company logoBoth the Kodak camera and the name were the invention of founder George Eastman. The letter “K” was a favorite with Eastman; he felt it a strong and incisive letter. He tried out various combinations of words starting and ending with “K”. He saw three advantages in the name. It had the merits of a trademark word, would not be mis-pronounced and the name did not resemble anything in the art. There is a misconception that the name was chosen because of its similarity to the sound produced by the shutter of the camera.


Nestlé is named after its founder, Henri Nestlé, who was born in Germany under the name “Nestle”, which is German (actually, Swabian diminutive) for “bird’s nest”. That is why the company logo is a bird’s nest with a mother bird and two chicks.


See Toby’s article, with more unique company names, here.

Book Review: The World Is Flat June 24, 2008

Posted by Amanda in Business Tails.
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The World Is Flat

The World is Flat

The World is Flat, written by Thomas L. Friedman, is one of the books on my shelf not by choice of my own.  It was assigned reading during one of my undergraduate classes at the University of Missouri – Columbia.  Although I loved the class and enjoyed debating about E-Commerce with my professor, this assigned reading was the least enjoyable part of the class (despite its best-seller status).

In this book, I feel Friedman oversimplifies the changes that have occured in the 21st Century.  By his reckoning the world has become a level playing field for commerce.  While, yes, the advancements in communication and outsourcing have blurred the lines, I would not describe commerce as completely flat.  The likes of Walmart and Amazon see to that.

Overall I found this book extremely boring and would NOT recommend it, unless you need a bit of nighttime reading that will really put you to sleep.

Available at Macmillan for 16.00.

Rating: Pawprint

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