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    Creative Solved - Advertising : Marketing : Interactive

    How Many Licks Does It Take To Get To The Center Of Social Media?

    Posted by creativesolved on April 22, 2010
    Social Marketing, Social Media / No Comments

    I was recently doing some research on Google and typed in the search box “simple steps to social media”. The results made me chuckle when the top 15 results contained the following descriptions:

    • 10 Simple Steps to Social Media
    • 9 Simple Steps to Social Media
    • 8 Simple Steps to Social Media
    • 7 Simple Steps to Social Media
    • 5 Simple Steps to Social Media
    • 4 Simple Steps to Social Media
    • 3 Simple Steps to Social Media

    I’m curious what happened with the 2-step and 6-step process. Well, if you search for 6 simple steps, it’s out there too! But I was surprised that no one seems to have the brilliance to devise a 2-step process. So I began to ponder to notion of how many steps does it take? Is there a answer to this question? Perhaps the magic 8-ball will know the answer? I know, Mr. Owl will know! He figured out how many licks it took to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. A one, a two, a three.

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    Aspects Of Creating A Company Blog

    Posted by creativesolved on November 20, 2009
    Blogging / No Comments

    I’m often asked “Should my company have a blog?” My answer is almost always yes. I advocated the idea of creating a corporate blog for most of my clients. The power of a corporate blog can have extremely positive results; however, several recent articles have focused on the downside of corporate blogging.

    The Upside
    One of the biggest advantages of creating a company blog is it allows organizations a platform where information, data and opinion can be shared and traded. The open forum of communication is a two-way exchange between the company and its employees, customers, partners and prospects allowing a constant stream of exchanged information. Blogs make it easy for group participation allowing users a quick way to post and comment, creating an ongoing conversation.

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    The “Dreaded Thread” aka Long Email Threads

    Posted by creativesolved on October 30, 2009
    Email, General / No Comments

    We’ve all gotten them. We’ve all been guilty at one time or another of sending them. I’m talking about the “Dreaded Thread” — long email threads. Those long emails with tons of headers or emails that don’t make sense without reading every email in the thread. It’s time to break the habit, clean up those emails and help the reader understand the message you are sending.

    The “Dreaded Threads” come in two basic categories:

    • The Scroll-Down
    • The Ongoing Conversation

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    No Opt-in, Single Opt-in, Notified Single Opt-in, Double or Confirmed Opt-in…Confused?

    Posted by creativesolved on October 22, 2009
    Email Marketing / No Comments

    Lately when talking to clients about their email marketing, it’s all about list size. Most clients feel the size of their lists directly reflect on the success of their email campaigns. Bigger is better, or is it? I still experience a lack of understanding from clients on what opt-in means and what are “best practices”. Questions arise such as: Does quality of the list impact success? What about deliverability? So, let’s take a step back and discuss how email lists are generated before we discuss size, quality or deliverability.

    Generating lists via different opt-in methods
    No Opt-in
    The most unscrupulous method for building lists is known as “email harvesting”. Harvested lists are created either by manually or automatically collecting email addresses from forums, chat rooms, websites or being automatically generated using a method called “dictionary attacking”. In 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act was passed to help curb the amount of SPAM. Part of the CAN-SPAM Act put strict penalties on people who collect email address by using harvesting methods. The act also required marketers to include unsubscribe links, physical addresses, clear subject headings, and legitimate “To” and “From” addresses. To avoid being prosecuted and keep their email from being banned, the email marketing community had to make significant changes to comply.

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    Enhancing Email Marketing Campaigns With Social Media Marketing

    Posted by creativesolved on October 16, 2009
    Email Marketing, Social Marketing / No Comments

    As an advocate of email marketing, we are firm believers this medium is not only here to stay, but an integral part of any marketing campaign. Email deployments are important for marketing any product, service or brand.

    One large drawback of email marketing is the typically short length of time that the emails circulate. Once deployed, the emails are will get a high number of click-thrus and conversions, however, it tends to drop off quickly. Marketeers have been using many techniques to improve the success of their email campaigns, but the use social media platforms is increasing and helping improve the life of email campaigns, messaging and brand awareness.

    The concept of leveraging social media platforms and implementing it can be extremely beneficial to your email deployments. Traditionally, email campaigns are deployed to a specific group of targeted individuals. Using social media will help spread your message through different channels reaching more people, therefore increasing overall goals and results.

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    To Engage Or Not To Engage In Social Marketing

    Posted by creativesolved on September 29, 2009
    Social Marketing / No Comments

    Recently many clients, business colleagues and friends have been asking my opinion on social marketing and its roll in today’s business environment. Is it a fad or trend? Do you think my company should engage in social marketing? What are the first steps? Facebook or Twitter? Blog or bulletin board?

    Social marketing has been around since the early 1970’s but has only become very mainstream in the past decade. The first thing to understand is, what is social marketing? It takes many forms, but can be most easily be described as “interaction between an audience or community with a common interest.” Of course, this is a very simplified definition of a very complex marketing concept.

    Social marketing is made up of bits and pieces of several different disciplines, such as education, marketing/advertising, anthropology and social psychology. The benefits of social marketing are more directly associated with the individual or society than the marketer’s organization. Social marketing is most effective at sustaining socially beneficial behavioral change, increase program use and customer interaction of an existing service or product.

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    Email Marketing: Understanding Compliance and the CAN-SPAM Act

    Posted by creativesolved on September 24, 2009
    Email Marketing, News / No Comments

    The environment for email marketing is again changing to help alleviate the amount of SPAM being delivered to your mailbox. But as a marketer, the complexities in getting your message delivered have become more challenging. Not only must you meet the CAN-SPAM Act, but also new compliance rules being set-up by anti-spam organizations which monitor spammers.

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued the following statements.
    The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for those who send commercial email, spells out penalties for spammers and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the law, and gives consumers the right to ask emailers to stop spamming them. A “transactional or relationship message” – email that facilitates an agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer in an existing business relationship – may not contain false or misleading routing information, but otherwise is exempt from most provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act.

    It is important as marketers that we don’t just rely on being CAN-SPAM compliant as the sole measure of whether a list is valid and compliant. We want to make sure that your brand is protected from being labeled as a sender of unsolicited commercial email. The Act defines consent as the recipient expressly consenting to receive an email message, either in response to a clear and conspicuous request for such consent or at the recipient’s own initiative. There is obviously a difference between what is allowed under the law and best practices.

    The term ‘‘transactional or relationship message’’ means an electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is to facilitate, complete, or confirm a commercial transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender. The anti-spam organizations are very tough on the practice of using lists where the registration does not provides clear and conspicuous notice of the intent to add them to a mailing list. Not only that, but sending a campaign without a confirmed opt in will almost always result in a very high complaint, abuse, and bounce rate.

    At Creative Solved, we continue to strive to make sure your email deployments meet the CAN-SPAM Act. We also educate our clients on best practices in the generation of their distribution lists. It is the combination understanding compliance and CAN-SPAM which allow us to continue providing successful email campaigns for our clients.

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    Doing More With Less, Marketing In A Down Economy

    Posted by creativesolved on September 17, 2009
    News / No Comments

    One of the first areas companies cut budgets during down times is marketing. Unfortunately, while this might be an easier cut to make, it negatively positions your company in the future, as you are not promoting and positioning your company, or products and services during this period. Research shows companies that spend a steady amount over the years, even in a down economy, will enjoy very consistent and successful lead generation, qualification and closing sales as a consequence.

    Marketing dollars spent during a down economy are far more powerful than similar dollars spent during good times, because each dollar represents a greater percentage of the overall marketing expenditure in your industry. While other companies drastically cut their expenditures, your consistency means that you stand out more in the minds of your target audiences. While other companies cut their advertising budgets, you continue to show relevance in you particular market. This projects strength and stability in a way that supports any brand strategy. It provides valuable differentiation that will contribute to increasing sales more rapidly in the short term, and toward building your long-term branding success.

    At Creative Solved, we are offering our clients cost effective methods of marketing, enabling them to stay relevant and properly positioned during this economic downturn. Tools such as email, web and social marketing have all become much more prevalent, cost effective and measurable allowing you to carefully spend and track you marketing dollars.

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