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October 28, 2009

Customers Prefer Engaging Brands via Multichannel

Very compelling report from Forrester describing a new breed of consumers that are "less brand-loyal customers who seek to engage with companies across a multitude of new digital channels, such as on their mobile phones or via social technologies."

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October 22, 2009

Social Media Imperative for Holiday Sales

This will be the first Christmas and holiday sales seasons since social media has become so important for driving sales. Companies are encouraged to focus on social media's ability to create word-of-mouth marketing in order to fully capture the benefits of social media during this year's holiday sales.

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SMB's Use of Social Media Difficult to Measure

Two recent studies offer conflicting information on the extent to which small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) use social media for generating leads and sales or engaging customers. However, I think the negative results must be downplayed since the survey questions were so vastly different.

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October 20, 2009

Business Case for Using Twitter

Great blog post over at MetroplexInteractive.com on how Con-way trucking is leveraging Twitter to recruit employees and streamline operations. Very useful for any company trying to figure out how to leverage social media to extend their brand or engage customers, employees and partners.

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October 14, 2009

Cyber Monday: Just as big as Black Friday for sales

What are you doing to capture sales on Cyber Monday? Does your company plan for a special promotion or advertising campaign to increase sales on Cyber Monday (or Cyber Monday week)?

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October 08, 2009

How Social Networking Increases Leads and Sales

Used properly, social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace can generate leads, create community with existing customers, and provide information on products and services. Great advice from the experts over at MetroplexInteractive

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October 07, 2009

iPhone App Helps Road Warriors Find Convenient Places to Work

Great app for the road warrior - finding a convenient place to plug-in and work for a while in a strange town is worth its weight in gold. Thought Starbucks may not like the attention on other establishments! Wonder how you get your location added to the list?

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Sponsorship Covers Cost of Mariah Carey's Latest Album

Great concept - lower the cost of music albums by offering advertising. Mariah Carey's latest cd apparently uses this approach as described in this article from Springwise.com.

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34% of e-retailers say social marketing has increased sales, study says

Interesting article from Forrester Research showing impacts of social media efforts to the bottom line.

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Riding the Google Wave to Social Marketing

Google Wave is being touted as "the next big thing" in a lot of different ways... this article applies its benefits to social marketing.

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Google now serving ads in iPhone Maps

Google Adsense is now baking advertisements into search results on the iPhone browser. Great idea and tool for advertisers who's target market relies on the iPhone. Next, Google should find ways to leverage Adsense to bake advertisements into iPhone applications (especially those that are location specific).

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October 06, 2009

Social Media is Swell, But Don’t Forget the Basics

A lot of hype has been placed on social media lately but we must remember social media is part of the marketing mix and shouldn't be the sole effort of a marketing plan. This article recaps some of the basics in a short summary.

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September 24, 2009

MMS Gaining Mobile Advertising Popularity

SMS, or text messages, have been used for advertising for several years. But as MMS enabled phones gain in market penetration advertisers are starting to use this media rich technology for advertising. MMS offers many more options for customer engagement. This article provides research from a recent Aberseen survey.

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September 23, 2009

SMBs Not Prepared for Disaster

Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs) are not preparing for disaster recovery according to a survey conducted by Symantec. A few simple steps could mean the difference between a company shutting down or thriving immediately after disaster strikes.

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SkyMall Increases Sales with Customer Re-engagement

As I've said many times before, the most successful marketing and advertising campaigns are the culmination of several tools and techniques working seamlessly together to engage customers and drive conversion. SkyMall gets it.

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Facebook Partners with Nielsen for Social Media Measurement

Facebook's revenue is created almost soley from advertising revenue. But how do you defend your ad rates without trusted metrics? Add Nielsen Ratings as your partner, of course. This will add the credibility that Facebook needs to drive ad revenue in the coming years from advertisers wary of social media options that usually lack traditional advertising metrics.

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Benefits of Business Process Management

Great summary of the challenges Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs) face when considering business process management.

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Google Host of Your Next Application?

Cloud computing lowers infrastructure costs for businesses while (sometimes) increasing flexibility, uptime, resiliency, etc. Google is one of the first movers in this space and certainly the largest. I can't argue with this article discussing how Google cloud computing might revolutionize the way we think of software and application development.

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Dell Buys Perot Systems - Sign of Recovery?

Dell purchasing Perot Systems, the enterprise technology services firm, points to signs that technology services will be in demand in the near future. This must surely be a sign of recovery for the US economy. Or is Dell just chasing huge increases in health care and the federal government to support Obama's proposed plans?

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Tips for How Much to Spend on Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is essential for ensuring your business survives in rough times, but how much should you spend on the planning, technology and services required to enact your disaster recovery plan? This article provides a few pointers.

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September 15, 2009

How to Catch Dirty Vendor Tricks

Ahhh... the tricks vendors will play when trying to sell software. This is agreat list of tricks vendors use quite often to "make the sale" right before socking you with a large bill for other neccesary services.

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Online Marketing Should Combine TV and Web

Online marketing is part of the overall marketing mix. Treating it as the only element of your marketing plan ignores many time proven, and still relevant, marketing channels:

Tess Alps, chief executive at Thinkbox, emphasised the relationship between the internet and TV at this month's Westminster Media Forum Keynote Seminar: The Future of Advertising, observing that online brands such as Compare the Meerkat are seeing great success via the medium of television.

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Low Cost Business Process Management Software from GE

Now Small and Medium Sized Businesses have a business process management solution built by a large enterprise and priced affordably. However, integration with existing data systems may surprise SMB's due to its potential complexity and cost when not done properly.

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CRM in 2009: Personal, Social, Mobile, Adaptable

Now that many national brands are focusing on leveraging social media in their marketing mix new tools are cropping up to integrate social media feeds into existing customer relationship management and communication platforms. This report summarizes trends from Forrester Research.

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UPS Ups Anti Againt FedEx Kinkos with Online Printing

Web-print services are a great solution for printing brochures, flyers, tri-folds, business cards or even invitations. I've used them for years to print my Christmas cards. Because of the volume and scale of most online or web printing shops their costs are quite reasonable. Interesting that UPS has entered this market - presumably to compete with FedEx Kinkos.

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September 03, 2009

How Green is Your IT - Free Tool from IBM Measures Impact

How green is your technology? What is its environmental impact? Can you save money by being green? This free tool from IBM and Aberdeen Research quickly and easily measures the impact of your technology and provides suggestions on how to reduce your energy impact. There's a lot of juice to be squeezed from IT departments with a minimal amount of effort.

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Today's Search Engine Optimization News - 09032009

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Today's Online Marketing News - 09/03/2009

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Today's Outsourcing News - 09/03/2009

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Today's Disaster Recovery News - 09/03/2009

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Today's BPM News - 09/03/2009

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Americans Continue To Adopt Digital Lifestyle says Forrester

Forrester Research survey shows Americans continue to adopt technology, especially in the use of social media and mobile phones. Interestingly, even though recent reports show Facebook's membership is aging Forrester's report shows younger ages use social media more each week:

While media consumption among all Americans is split evenly between new and traditional media, on average, consumers younger than 40 spend almost 2 hours a week more with new media than they do with traditional media. 

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September 01, 2009

Primer on how Small Business can Benefit from Business Process Management

Business process management is not widely adopted yet by small business but small businesses stand to reap the most benefit as an industry. Here is a primer on how small businesses can start using BPM.

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Fire Sale on Print Ads as Newspapers Suffer from Decline

Print advertising can still be an effective tool in your marketing mix and now that newspapers are suffering wildly you can bet last year's rate sheets have been cut in half or more. Bargain on print ads anyone?

 

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Most to Access Internet via Mobile Device

Just figuring out your company's online web site strategy for viewing on PC's? Forrester Research predicts most will access the Internet via mobile device by 2014.

In the next decade, the mobile Internet will replicate the success story of the PC-based Internet as social networks, widgets, search engines or company websites adapt for mobile presentation

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In Disaster Recovery Uptime Not Equal to User Productivity

This article makes a great point that in disaster recovery "uptime" is not equivalent to user productivity in a normal business as usual environment. What does that mean? When trying to recover the business after a disaster don't worry about employees having to take a few extra steps to perform their daily routine - the cost savings will more than make up for it.

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Traditional Interactive Still Trumps Emerging Interactive for Advertising

Don't put those email marketing, PPC, or banner ad programs away just yet - Forrester Research concluded traditional forms of interactive advertising still have a place in the marketing mix.

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WiFi Users Affluent Males Aged 24 to 49

Are you reading this article from a wifi connection? You must be an affluent male between the age of 24 and 49. Now that advertisers know this - how will they better target you with ads?

A new survey of who uses Wi-Fi hot spots in coffee shops and cafes shows the audience is generally affluent, overwhelming male and mostly between the ages of 25 and 49.

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IBM's New ECM Software Includes BPM, DR and Analytics

IBM's new enterprise content management (ECM) software provides business process management (BPM), analytics, disaster-recovery (DR) tools in "starter packs" to make selection, installation, and setup easier.

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August 31, 2009

Six Ways to Save Money in Enterprise Content Management

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) projects are popular cost-savers but how do you ensure a successful project whether internal or external? Good tips from Gartner:

At a time when IT budgets are tight and few can afford to spend anything they don't have to, Gartner's research vice president Tony Bell is offering some interesting thoughts on best practices for reducing costs.

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Enterprises Continue to Adopt Web 2.0 Blogs Wikis RSS and Mashups

Enterprises will adopt Web 2.0 technoloies in coming years according to Forrester Research. This marks a trend already underway at many corporations.

The 5-year enterprise Web 2.0 forecast includes technologies such as social networking, RSS, blogs, wikis, mashups, podcasting, and widgets.

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27 Billion Fewer Pieces of Mail hurts US Postal Service - Email Marketing to Blame

Email marketing is making a dent in the US Postal Service's revenue. Advertisers are flocking to email marketing because of its high ROI, but will the Postal Service survive? Should it?

About 175 billion pieces of mail will be sent in 2009, down from 202 billion last year.

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Social Media is Outlet for Consumers - Product and Brands Should Engage

Social media is a consumer creative outlet that companies can leverage for feedback and inspiration - but keep in mind the aging population using these tools. Good news though from Forrester Research - the internet (and social media) is NOT a waste of time... whew!

Most growth in social networking is occurring among adults 35 and older, Forrester Research says. Four of five adults of all ages now use social media, including blogs, social networks and review sites, in some form at least monthly; half visit social networking sites.

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Traditional Marketing Loses Impact, Replaced by Online Advertising

Here's a good list of ten reasons why traditional marketing is losing pace with online advertising and why advertisers should consider shifting more budget to online advertising.

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60% of Online Shopping Carts Abandoned - Live Interaction Helps

How to do increase sales when 60% of potential customers abandon their online shopping cart before submitting their order? Good tips on using online chat with customer support:

consumers abandon nearly 60 percent of all online transactions before they hit the "submit" button.

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August 28, 2009

Why Marketing Executives use Social Media

Looking to pitch social media as part of the marketing mix at your company? Use this recent and compelling survey information as ammo.

Looking to make the case for why your organization or clients should be using social media marketing? A survey last month, highlighted today in eMarketer, outlines the benefits that marketing executives cite as reasons to embrace the medium:

 

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More US Companies Adding Email Marketing

Email marketing is an incredibly useful tool for any marketing and advertising campaign. The ROI's are extremely high when done even marginally.

53 percent of marketing budgets for US companies have increased in the past year, in the face of slow economic conditions. This extra budget is being used to fund high-return Online Lead Generation campaigns

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Affiliate Marketing Useful Pew Study Shows

For many e-tailers, affiliate marketing is low on the list of marketing tools they use to drive and convert buyers. Here are five reasons it may be a great way to stretch your marketing budget.

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Business Process Management and Lean Six Sigma - Coexist

Business Process Management (BPM) seeks to optimize business processes and therefore it only makes sense that BPM should coexist in an environment adopting Lean Six Sigma (LSS). One leverages the other to merge business process and technology.

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) methodologies can be used as the weapon to solve problems BPM uncovers.

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5 Reasons Blog Marketing is Useful

A basic list of 5 reasons why businesses benefit from blog marketing and should be considered when creating a marketing plan for any company, brand, product or service.

Blog marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote goods and services on the internet today. Commonly referred to as business blogs, these sites are able to capitalize on their versatility and ability to interact with visitors to the site.

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August 27, 2009

Penetration of Online Media for Small Businesses Increases to 77%

Online advertising is a great levelling tool for small and medium sized businesses and this latest study shows compelling results for SMB's to advertise online:

According to the latest report from the Kelsey Group, in the last 12 months, the penetration of online media for small businesses has increased from 73 percent in August 2008 to 77 percent this month.

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How E-mail Marketing and Social Media Can Work Together

Leveraging email marketing with your social media campaigns can create huge ROI's when compared with traditional media options:

A shift has taken place in corporate marketing strategy. If your brand, company or organization is like many others, you’ve moved away from traditional marketing strategies and are now focusing on strengthening your online efforts. Social media and e-mail campaigns, in particular, have both seen tremendous growth in recent years.

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Time for Companies to Outsource Disaster Recovery is Now

Outsourcing disaster recovery reduces staff required to perform daily, weekly and monthly backups as well as reduces expensive hardware to support such activities. Plus, disaster recovery outsourcers can provide more sophisticated tools such as server virtualization that allow companies to recover more quickly when disaster strikes.

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August 25, 2009

How Small Businesses Leverage Business Intelligence

Think of business Intelligence as really smart reporting for your business operations. It provides a clear data-driven summary of how your organization is performing using things like key performance indicators to define success and failure. Here are 9 ways small businesses can use BI.

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Why Social Networking Will Go Enterprise Wide

Interesting argument:

Given all your employees are now online social creatures it stands to reason that these technologies will make their way into corporate applications as features.

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August 24, 2009

Time is Now for Web 2.0, Cloud Computing, Virtual Worlds, Internet TV, SOA

Very interesting report from Gartner on technologies reaching an inflection point (meaning they are ready to take off). Of note are: web 2.0, cloud computing, Internet TV, virtual worlds and service-oriented architecture.

The researchers at Gartner Inc. released their 2009 Hype Cycle Special Report last week. The report, prepared by the organization since 1995, is at its core a comparative tool for risk judgment which, this year, looked at over 1,500 technologies and nearly 80 tech sectors.

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Retailers Target the "iPhone Mom"

Time to make sure those iPhone apps appeal to iPhone Mom's: 

Mobile ad network Greystripe has coined the term "iPhone mom" to describe the 29.5% of iPhone users on its network that are mothers and household decision makers.

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You have one hour to do disaster planning

There's a brush fire bearing down on your small business. You've been told you have one hour to evacuate — which means you have one hour to come up with and execute a disaster preparation plan.

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iDatix now Business Process tool for Pitney Bowes

TradingMarkets.com - Pitney Bowes Inc. announced it has selected iDatix Corp., a provider of document management, workflow, and business process management and business activity monitoring (BPM & BAM) solutions, as a software platform for the company's Imaging and Workflow Solutions.

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August 21, 2009

Use CRM to Close More Sales Leads

What does your company do with all those sales-ready opportunities that fail to close quickly? These may be fairly long-term prospects, but without processes to nurture and retain them, they're sure to go unrealized. In order to have a leak-proof sales pipeline, your lead nurturing strategy should stretch across the entire lead life cycle, not just the front end.

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Obama's Health Plan calls for Electronic Medical Records

Considering that every filing cabinet costs $25,000 to create and maintain moving the American health care industry to an electronic document management environment can create significant cost reductions - not to mention valuable data for health care providers to use in administering care options.

"The Obama administration’s focus on digital patient records to minimize medical errors and improve efficiency has promise, but will face significant obstacles."

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Companies Spending More On Application Development

Your competition is restarting their application development efforts to get ahead of the competition.

Nearly three-quarters of (6000) respondents, 71%, listed new product or software development as a top priority in their organizations. Cost-cutting also rated high, as did improving end-user usability.

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Employers Screen Job Applicants Using Social Networks

What have you posted to Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, etc that could cost you that potential job?

According to a new study conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.com, 45 percent of employers questioned are using social networks to screen job candidates

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August 20, 2009

Top EBay sellers have some advice for GM

GM will begin selling automobiles on eBay this fall as part of its overall restructuring plan to lower operating costs (especially marketing and advertising). It will be interesting to see if GM's margins suffer from an inability to haggle, up sell, and use sales psychology to close the deal.

When it comes to online auto sales, there are no smiling, smooth-talking salespeople to help seal a deal.

So how can General Motors Co. sell more cars on EBay?

 

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Social-Media ROI Elusive: MarketingProfs Poll

Only 21% of marketers say they are now adequately measuring the impact of social-media campaigns in terms of tangible results, according to the MarketingProfs poll results.

In corporate terms, social media is a very new concept. Not suprising to me then, corporations are not sophisticated yet in measuring their social media impact. Given the loosely defined universe of "social media" will good tools ever exist to measure the ROI of social media?

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Social networking skills important in the online marketing job hunt

I was surprised at the importance companies place on social networking - seems very high to me - but even if inflated by 50% social networking skills are obviously very important.

It appears that knowledge of web 2.0 is a must for those in the workforce as more companies are looking for experience in social networking and blogging.

A new study from Pressroom, with help from the Public Relations Society of America, Korn/Ferry International and Trendstream, finds that...

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August 19, 2009

Mobile internet audience continues to grow, says Forrester

The number of people accessing the mobile internet is continuing to increase, industry analysts have noted. According to Forrester Research, Weather.com now attracts more than 12 million unique visitors to its mobile website every month. In addition, the number of people accessing sites such as Yahoo! and ESPN through their mobile phones was described as "significant".

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Top 5 Considerations for Automating Business Processes

Interesting (foundational) white paper on what business processes should be automated via business process management by Michael Hammer and Thomas Davenport:

  1. Most work, they asserted, does not add any value for customers and therefore should be eliminated, not merely accelerated through automation.
  2. Advances in information technology, acceptance by well‐established management thinkers and consulting firms, and an increasing focus on overcoming foreign competition fueled continued adoption of BPR.

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Adding Search to Your Marketing Mix

Great research from Forrester regarding success rates, ROI, and increasing focus on search engine optimization:

The powerful capabilities of organic search engine optimization (SEO) are now a highly sought after marketing tool by many companies that want to alert customers to their products or services by focusing on certain keyphrases that highlight these offerings. And though SEO has embarked on a meteoric rise in the past few years, other non-traditional forms of marketing are now gaining a great deal of well-deserved credibility as well. More and more marketers are using paid ads to hone in on a potentially profitable client base, while other more traditional channels, such as PR and print ads, appear to be becoming somewhat less effective.

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3D Tool Decorates College Student Dorm Rooms

What's fascinating about this innovation is not that a college student can view their room in 3d - it's that the retailer has provided an innovative tool that helps customers buy their products. Imagine if more retailers did this!

DesignYourDorm is a web-based 3-D interior design tool that allows college students to customize their dorm room interiors and purchase what they need online.

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Mass And Niche Social Networks Enhance Social Media Campaigns

Brands need to harness the power of both mass social media and niche social networks to extend brand awareness to online consumers according to Reality Digital, the leading provider of social networking software for brands and businesses.

Mass social networks such as Facebook and Twitter can be used as effective crowd sourcing tools, as brands seek to reach out to a larger audience and engage them, whereas niche social networks dedicated to a brand can offer deeper consumer interaction. It is a combination of the two that reaps the greatest results and ROI for businesses.

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Manufacturers Shift Marketing Dollars Online

Manufacturers focusing on quantifiable ROI for advertising increasingly prefer online advertising - especially online directories/Web sites, e-mail marketing using in-house lists, and search-engine optimization.

While you may think of the manufacturing sector as "old economy," it's increasingly "new economy" in the way it conducts its marketing efforts. That's one conclusion to be drawn from a new GlobalSpec report that analyzes polling during the first quarter among marketing and sales professionals at manufacturing companies.

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August 18, 2009

Online Advertising Drives 9% Sales Gain For CPG Brands

Studies are proving that in a down economy online advertising makes even more sense. This latest study from the experts over at Media Post

Study: Online Advertising Drives 9% Sales Gain For CPG Brands

A new study indicates that online advertising boosts retail sales of consumer packaged goods brands by 9% on average -- comparable with the lift from TV ad campaigns.

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August 17, 2009

Online Community Gives Early Feedback on Marketing Concepts

Interesting concept on community based feedback covered over at Springwise.com:

Marketers can now get early thoughts on new designs and concepts through Concept Feedback, which provides a simple tool for getting free, sincere feedback from like-minded professionals. more...

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How BPM Can Help The Bottom Line In Difficult Financial Times

Great research report on business process management (BPM) from Forrester:

The current global economic crisis is putting increasing pressure on enterprise architects to find new — and more cost-effective — ways of meeting business needs. One software category in particular offers proven solutions to help increase operational efficiency while...

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SMBs spend more, enterprises buy more managed services

By Carol Wilson at http://telephonyonline.com: Large enterprises are still planning to cut IT and telecom spending, but small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are ready to invest more, according to two new studies out this week from Forrester Research. Both groups show more interest in buying managed services, and larger companies are doing more of that buying already.

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63 Million US Households To Pay Bills Online By 2014

If you provide products and services to consumers what is your strategy to accept online bill payments? Do you have a strategy? Forrest Research predicts the adoption of online bill payment to continue to grow hitting 68 million US households by 2014. Read more...

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How to Select a Business Process Management Vendor

Good tips for selection a business process management vendor from CIO Midmarket:

Business process management (BPM) has seen increased interest during the past year as organizations look to automate and streamline business processes to wring out cost and become more efficient. So for those that are evaluating business process management solutions vendors and tools to map processes and integrate electronic workflows, we have compiled a list of questions to ask up front to ensure a good technology fit.

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August 13, 2009

Smart Disaster Recovery Options for Small Businesses

Great summary of newer DR options for small businesses over at FreshBusinessThinking.com:

Click here for more information on Disaster Recovery from KellyRShort.com

No doubt, as a small business owner, the thought of a major incident or disaster occurring sends shivers up your spine. If your business was affected by a fire, flooding, or perhaps vital IT equipment was stolen, what impact would this have on your business and do you have a plan in place if such events were to happen?

It's likely that today's uncertain economic environment may make failure more...
read more


August 12, 2009

Twitter Attack Proves Sites' Popularity

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, a Denial of Service attack must be the sincerest indication a web site (Twitter) has become wildly popular. As Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and other social networking sites become increasingly popular hackers will focus their efforts on disrupting these sites' functionality, stealing members' profile data, and finding other surreptitious methods of exploitation. 

The denial of service (DOS) attacks which knocked Twitter offline and slowed down Facebook response times yesterday may have been designed to target just one individual.

Max Kelly, chief security officer at Facebook, said the problems experienced by those trying to access the two sites, as well as LiveJournal and Blogger, may have been motivated by efforts to silence a Georgian blogger on the one-year anniversary of Georgia's invasion of South Ossetia. read more...

August 04, 2009

Offshoring by US companies surges: survey

(AFP) WASHINGTON — US companies are increasingly turning to offshoring their functions to achieve cost savings, and few plan to bring those jobs back to the United States, the Conference Board said Monday.

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August 03, 2009

IBM Provides Disaster Recovery to SMBs

Most small and medium businesses are not properly using disaster recovery techniques to protect against data loss. IBM is now offering solutions in that space for those leveraging IBM hardware/software:

Big Blue is now offering native replication as an option for remote office data storage in its ProtecTIER Deduplication appliances. ProtecTIER is an integrated physical appliance that includes a server, storage and data deduplication software.

http://www.eweek.com/showblog/54688/IBM-Upgrades-Disaster-Recovery-for-Deduplication-Appliances/

IT Departments to Spend 10% more on BPM in 2010

Very interesting survey by Gartner on expected business process management spend in 2010 - I've heard of many companies following the "do more with less" approach to technology during the current recession.

IT departments are expected to spend 10% more on business process management over the next 12 months, according to analyst Gartner.

Half of organisations surveyed in a poll of 500 business said they would spend 5% or more on BPM, while a third said they would spend more than 10%.

Facebook's Member Profile Image Used to Sell Dating Services

A brew-ha this week over at Facebook highlights the fact that many are learning the accepted norms of social networking and media. Apparently, a Facebook third-party developer used the profile picture of a Facebook member (without permission) to create an online advertisement for a singles group.

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May 27, 2009

Kelly Short Now Expert Author at EzineArticles.com

Kelly Short is now an "Expert Author" on EzineArticles.com

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August 21, 2004

Neoris, FWISD attempt to reduce truancy rates

Article appearing in the Fort Worth Business Press mentioning Kelly Short

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