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September 2011 archive

Web Seminar Recap: Google Analytics: Making Sense of the Data

So you’ve installed Google Analytics, but what does all of this data mean. What the *&^# is a Bounce Rate? Why is it so high? What is Direct Traffic? How are people getting to my website? What are they searching? On Wednesday, September 29th ASPE Marketing Director JT Moore and MedThink Communications Senior Digital Strategist Brian McDonald presented the free web seminar “Google Analytics: Making Sense of the Data.”  In this web seminar, JT and Brian discussed the basics of Google Analytics to help get you started making decisions based off of the data, explained the high-level data in Google Analytics, and showed viewers how  to take the first steps towards slicing that data even finer to get even more out of Google Analytics.

Listen to the recording of this web seminar in its entirety by clicking View Event Recordings (at the top right).  Learn how to assess the quality of your current website, how to look for the common red flags, and how to utilize the campaign and keyword data to get a better understanding of how people are getting to your site and what they are doing once they are there.

Do you have more questions for JT and Brian? Leave your comments or tweet us! Follow @ASPE_ROI on Twitter and use hashtag #ASPEEVENTS.

Web Seminar Recap: Identifying and Monitoring Your Competitors Online

You are relying more and more on your online and electronic marketing. So are your competitors! Times are changing, and gone are the days that you can look out the window of your business and see your competitor across the street. With business making a transition from brick-and-mortar locations to the internet, it can be difficult to easily identify your competition. On Wednesday, September 21st ASPE instructor Josh McCoy presented the free web seminar “Identifying and Monitoring Your Competitors Online.” In this web seminar Josh discussed how to use your online presence, your goal market and online tools to assess, monitor and engage online competitors, and why any online marketing strategy without competitive insight is at a disadvantage.

Listen to the recording of this web seminar in it’s entirety by clicking View Event Recordings (at the top right). Find which assets your site holds which can’t be compromised as well areas of opportunity within your reach.

Do you have more questions for Josh? Leave your comments or tweet us! Follow @ASPE_ROI on Twitter and use hashtag #ASPEEVENTS.

How to Incorporate Foursquare with Your Marketing Plan

Just about everyone I know loves Foursquare, that fun little application on your mobile device that, unlike most of today’s social media services, promotes physical (as opposed to technological) interactivity with friends and family (oh yeah, family. Both my mom and dad happen to love the service, though they would never admit it). Its location-based platform allows for users to “check-in” to venues, alerting friends of their current whereabouts and encouraging each other to meet up for coffee at a local shopping center or hang out at a popular nightlife spot downtown. It also encompasses a gaming aspect by adding a leaderboard points system,  mayorships to the user who checks in a particular venue most often, and badges as rewards for users’ check-in patterns.

Like Facebook and Twitter, more and more businesses are starting to incorporate Foursquare with their marketing plans. But why? Do you really need another social media application to aid in your marketing strategy? The simple answer is: yes. Social media has integrated itself into our daily lives, and it’s not going away anytime soon. It is also becoming more prominent as an essential tool in brands’ marketing approaches. As modern-day marketers, we have to look beyond Facebook and Twitter and begin using fresh, new marketing platforms to get our message out. Integrating foursquare with your marketing strategy is simple, yet effective. Here’s where you should start:

1. Become a Foursquare user yourself.

Install Foursquare on your mobile device, make an account, and start checking-in! Log-on to the online site, edit your profile, add friends, and familiarize yourself with the basics of what Foursquare is and how to use it. To harness the full potential of Foursquare, you must understand what the service is all about. Once you’ve done this, create a venue page for your business (if it doesn’t already exist) so others can check-in. You can now contact Foursquare about claiming your venue’s page, allowing you to have control over the information displayed, be able to mark your brand’s staff members on Foursquare as such, and offer incentives and rewards for those who check-in. For more information on how to get started, see the Foursquare for Business page.

2. Provide rewards and incentives for mayors and loyal users.

This is what will really drive Foursquare users to your business. Foursquare allows business owners to offer a multitude of rewards for customers who check-in. Popular incentives are merits for the mayor, others who may not check-in to your venue the most often but are still loyal to your brand, and first-time customers. The Chili’s near my house offers one free appetizer upon a customer’s first check-in; a locally owned Mexican restaurant that my friends and I eat at provides free chips and queso for the mayor; California Pizza Kitchen takes 25% off of everyone’s meal if you and three of your friends check-in together; and my favorite frozen yogurt shop offers a free 5oz yogurt on a user’s every 10th check-in. You get the idea. Little incentives like these drive new customers and help retain your not-so-new customers.

3. Cross-platform and be omnipresent.

Foursquare may just be one social network, but it is integrated with both Facebook and Twitter. Use this to your advantage! Encourage those who check-in to your venue to push their location updates to the other social media services they are connected to. Use Facebook and Twitter to promote the Foursquare rewards you are offering. People will in turn begin to tweet and update their Facebook statuses about your business, sparking curiosity and intrigue among their friends. This is a prime example of viral marketing at its finest. The key here is to engage customers in something new and different (Foursquare) with the help of well-established social networking tools (Facebook and Twitter). The most successful marketing campaigns and strategies have consisted of being everywhere as much as possible; and only a truly omnipresent brand will be able to make that happen.

Whether You Realize it Or Not, You Are a Marketer

I have been interning in the marketing department here at ASPE since March of this year and am in my transitionary period of becoming a full-time Marketing Specialist. As a recent graduate of North Carolina State University (go Wolfpack!), there has been a lot learned in that seemingly short amount of time in which I emerged as a young professional from a college student. A college education can only take you to a certain point in your career; but real-world experience in a professional environment is an entirely different playing field from what is taught in a university classroom–especially in the realm of marketing.

Out of all the things I have picked up on and made mental note of, one thing in particular stands out in my mind as being most vital: You are a direct representation of and reflection on the business, brand, company, or organization you are a member of. You are a physical walking, talking, breathing advertisement. And, most importantly, your job as a marketer (whether you actually work in the marketing field or not) is not left behind when you leave the office.


Only Two Chances Left to Win Free Gas for a Year!

If you haven’t heard, ASPE is giving away Free Gas for an entire year! Three lucky winners will get to swipe away the pain at the pump with a $2,000 gas card – and the first winner has already been chosen!

Congratulations to Ann Elder of Portland, Oregon!

Ann was extremely excited to be chosen as ASPE’s first Free Gas winner (but thought her husband would be even more excited). Baffled by the magnitude of the prize, she kept saying, “You’re kidding me, right?” and even told us she wouldn’t believe it until she saw the gas card in her hands!  Well believe it Ann, and kiss your pump pains goodbye.

What would you do if you didn’t have to pay for gas for an entire year? Go on vacation?  Splurge on that toy you’ve been wanting for so long?  Maybe start a trust fund for your kid! The opportunities are endless! You still have two chances to win that $2,000 gas card, so Register Now. You could be next!


Dirty little “L” Word No One in Social Media is Talking About

This blog post could go one of two ways.  It may spark a new twist on the debate over personal brands, or it may be laughed at as another attempt by an over 40 professional, not hip to the new trends in business, trying to make a point.  In this social media/ internet marketing world I am starting to feel very old before my time (might need a cane soon), but I think this industry would be wise to consider some traditional “anthropological”/culture issues as it grows.

Pretty consistently technology drives well ahead of our culture’s ability to properly handle it.  From the Internet’s impact on pornography in the early/mid 1990s to our tax laws trying desperately to catch up with e-commerce, technology continues to throw our culture off its foundation.

With Social Media the dirty little “L” word is loyalty.  I think this word lies between the cross hairs of character and maturity.  It is a word that means different things to different people but can also be seen in some interesting legal precedent. (more…)

New School vs. Old School Marketing Ideology – You Make the Call: Direct Mail

In the second video for our New School vs. Old School Marketing Ideology – You Make the Call! series we look at direct mail. David Mantica (@davidmantica) again takes the old school position, while JT Moore (@j_t_moore) provides the new school position. They discuss topics like cost, deliverability, targeting, integrated marketing, and much more.

You make the call!