Source: http://markholmgren.files.wordpress.com

You know the old saying, “Two heads are better than one?”  Now we’re dealing with “Millions of heads are better than one.”  Crowdsourcing is a compound of the words “crowd” and “outsourcing” and is defined by Wikipedia as the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an open call to a large group.  Jeff Howe coined the term in an 2006 article in wired magazine.

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Character Study: Brand Mascots in Social Media

Category: Marketing Dilemmas
Source: http://coolrain44.wordpress.com

Geoffrey the Giraffe.  The Green Giant.  The Nestle Bunny.  The Energizer Bunny.  Wendy.  The Rice Krispie Elves.  Chester the Cheetah.  The Travelocity Gnome.  The Pillsbury Doughboy.  And my creepy friend, The Burger King.  Brand mascots endear us to a product.  They create a connection by becoming the face of the brand.  So how do they play into today’s marketing strategies?  If we once again look to social media as a way to create a community around a brand or product, using a brand mascot can certainly bolster this effort.  We are more likely to pay attention to a brand when it has a character to follow on Twitter and “friend” on Facebook.  Some companies have the advantage of having a character already built into the legacy of their brand.  But only some brands are taking advantage of this.  Many companies have already integrated social media into their marketing but who is doing it through their brand’s mascot? Let’s take a look at a few examples.

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Propel Your Holiday Online Sales Through Practical Advertising Strategies

Category: Marketing Dilemmas
A few weeks back, we shared with you tips on planning your social media program around the holiday season.  So what about traditional paid search advertising?  The holiday season is all about making the most of opportunities and at the same time, maintaining a tight control on key performance metrics.  Make sure that you are paying attention to your campaign on a daily basis.  Changes in these metrics could yield sales…if you take advantage of what the numbers are saying. 5 Places Where You May Find An Opportunity
  1. Sudden spikes in product sales or spikes in purchase in certain geographies.  How can you capitalize?
  2. Sales Promotion results beat expectations – can you extend the promotion?
  3. A particular customer acquisition channel does exceptionally well.  How much additional budget can you shift?
  4. Competitive intensity drops for select categories – are you ready to take advantage?
  5. Twitter buzz about your brand spikes.  Do you know why?  How can you use this opportunity on other channels?
There are tactics you can take when planning your holiday paid search advertising campaign. Have a “Holiday Season Paid Search Advertising Execution Plan” in place.

Analyze the SEM campaign performances for previous years and use the learnings.

  • Click pattern versus conversion pattern.  (When did people search and when did they buy?)
  • What were the key online shopping dates and what percentage of holiday sales happened on these dates?
  • What were the most (and least) successful promotions?  How were these promoted?
  • Plot the daily “(Sales Revenue-PPC Cost)/Click” number between November 20th and December 20th and identify “profit zones.”
  • Did you track the competitor promotions during the holidays?  How can you use the learnings?

SEM advertising allows nimble marketers to reap huge benefits by utilizing “sudden opportunities”.

Finally, 3 Online Customer Acquisition KPI’s Every Retail Marketer Should Master


To learn how NetElixir can improve your social media and search marketing efforts, visit us here.

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It can be a daunting task to dive into email marketing for the first time.  To help guide marketers through the nuances, I spoke to Jordan Lane, email marketing expert and author of the blog EmailMoxie.com.

NetElixirPlease tell me a little bit about your background as an email marketing expert.

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How Philadelphia Cream Cheese is Using Social Media

Category: Netelixir Updates

Imagine you’re a brand with a rich history.  Your followers are loyal but sales have been less than favorable over recent years.  You need to revitalize your brand and give people new reasons to consider why they loved it in the first place.

Integrating social media into their advertising, the company launched a promotion geared towards amateur cooks.   The Real Women of Philadelphia site was created as platform for interaction and engagement among consumers.    Philadelphia Cream Cheese partnered with Food Network personality Paula Deen for their venture.  The campaign kicked off in March with a YouTube hosted by Paula announcing a cooking contest.  Cooks  were asked to submit videos highlighting their best recipes…using Philadelphia Cream Cheese, of course.  The aspiring cooks were judged on personality rather than technical expertise.  Deen and a panel of judges narrowed the field to 16 semi-finalists, who will be invited to a cook-off in Savannah, Georgia on June 3oth.  The competition will stream live on the site and there will be winners in four categories: appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts.  Each lucky winner will receive a $25,000 contract that includes hosting a weekly online cooking show, participating in publicity tours, being featured in cooking videos, and appearing in a cookbook featuring the community’s favorite cream cheese recipes.  After the four winners have been chosen, they will be in charge of soliciting recipes from other women in the growing online community.  This contest, held over a period of 16 weeks, will culminate in a winner receiving a $500 prize.

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Source: www.nationaldirectmedia.com

We live in a world of bite sized communication.  Our attention spans are short and if you don’t grab our attention in the first minute, we’ve most likely checked out and are on to the next thing.  Brands seem to have picked up on this and are producing slick viral videos on YouTube.  These are the videos we talk about, which in turn promote brand awareness or product sales.  The examples below are the top viewed brand-driven ad campaigns for the first week in June.  Though the videos come from established brand names, this is not to say that a smaller company can’t get involved.  This is the beauty of user driven video content on YouTube.  What makes these videos successful is how they entertain without a hard sell angle.  Viral content doesn’t work unless it’s viewed as entertainment rather than a commercial.  Take a look, get inspired.

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After an exciting time at IRCE 2010, we are back at the office.  It was the largest Internet Retailer conference to date, with several thousand attendees and hundreds of exhibitors!  We spent most of the time at our booth speaking with attendees but were able to sit in on Imran Jooma’s presentation.  Imran is the Senior Vice President & General Manager of E-Commerce at Sears and spoke on the subject of social media.

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Source: http://www.mimifroufrou.com

Peer reviews dictate how we shop, teenagers in particular.  They seek approval from their friends who often hold more influence over fashion choices than a carefully planned out advertisement.  Today’s reviews are not in the pages of magazines but broadcast via webcam for an audience of millions over the web.  “Haul” videos, if you’re not tuned in, are basically a review of one’s shopping trip.  These videos are made predominantly by teenage girls and mostly cover shopping sprees of the apparel and makeup persuasion.  The goods are usually from mid to mass retailers like Forever 21 or Target, making them attainable purchases for the avid watcher.  This phenomenon feeds right into the need of consumers to “keep up with the Joneses”.  Plus it’s kind of fun to live vicariously through the spending of others.

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Go Green: Brands Support Image through Social Media

Category: Marketing Dilemmas
Source: http://huzefa58.wordpress.com/

The green movement has become somewhat of a marketing trend these days.  “Eco”, “organic”, “sustainable”, “all natural”, and of course “green” are all the advertising buzzwords.  Consumers now take into consideration how safe a product is.  Lip balms and face washes declare that they are free of chemicals.  Household cleaners like Method are marketed as safe to use on your baby’s highchair.  Water bottles declare that they are BPA free.  SunChips come in decomposable bags.  Clothing made from organic cotton has become more popular.  But because the green movement is such a powerful marketing trend, many companies are looking to align themselves by claiming that they are “organic” “eco-friendly” and “green” without actually backing it up.  So then how do companies successfully market themselves as a green company, through and through?  Social media is being used by many brands in highly successful ways to promote them as trustworthy companies.

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Members Only- The Online Sample Sale

Category: Netelixir Updates
Source: www.businessweek.com

Are you already on the list?  Sample sales are not new; it wasn’t too long ago that people lined up at private, invitation only New York warehouses.  They were crowded and shoppers came ready for battle.  I mean, where else were you going to get designer wares at 75% off?  But now consumers can enjoy the same satisfaction from the privacy of their home.  The adrenaline is still there, as items this deeply discounted move quickly.  It’s a rush for the shopping enthusiast and a pretty good deal for the sites as well.  Gilt Groupe, which launched in 2007, is projecting $400 million in sales for 2010.  Each site seems to have its own niche and since I’m never one to discriminate, I am a member of them all.  Here’s a rundown of the most popular sites:

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