Archive for August 2009

Which Social Media Tool will be the First to Become Irrelevant?

August 27, 2009

Key Concepts:

1. According to a recent poll conducted by the 60 Second Marketer with marketers from around the globe, MySpace will be the first social media tool to become irrelevant;

2. Twitter may suffer a similar fate, due, in part, to its high attrition rate among users.

Recently, the 60 Second Marketer conducted a survey with marketers from around the globe.

In the survey, over half (51%) predicted My Space would be the first social networking site to become irrelevant. The heavy competition from Facebook could explain the gradual demise of My Space in our poll results. Facebook has gone from a Harvard-only phenomenon to a college-student-only networking site and has now evolved into a networking site for adults of all ages.

60SecondMarketerPollTwitter may also be facing some challenges.Garnering 35% of the votes, Twitter offers a completely different paradigm in networking which clearly appeals to some and not to others. While Twitter gained national attention as it provided a much-needed information conduit from Iran for protestors during turbulent post-election days, high rates of attrition continue to plague the service.

Currently, more than 60 percent of U.S. Twitter users fail to return the following month, according to a report from Nielsen Research. This kind of churn rate could plague the service for the forseeable future.

LinkedIn, essentially the only ubiquitous career networking site, continues to be very relevant as job seekers use the site for potential job opportunities. And YouTube, despite intense competition from Hulu and other websites, was seen as a social media tool that wasn’t going anywhere soon.

There are a few things marketers can learn from the results of the 60 Second Marketer survey:

1) The life span of some social media tools might be no longer than the life span of the pet rock: That’s not to say that MySpace won’t be here for the long-term. It is, after all, the Grandaddy of All Social Media tools. It’s just to say that if you thought internet time was rapid, wait until you experience social media time.


2) If you’re targeting young people, MySpace is still a valuable tool: The fact that millions of young people from around the globe visit MySpace each month shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re smart, you’ll find a way to leverage that traffic for your own brand.

3) Many people may end up migrating back to MySpace: Once people under 25 who are on Facebook get “friended” by their Aunt Myra in Iowa, you can be sure a certain percentage will migrate back to MySpace. Just watch.

4) Reports of the death of MySpace are greatly exaggerated: To assume that MySpace isn’t aware of some of these trends that were spotted in the 60 Second Marketer research would be wrong. Trust us, they’re evolving the product right now as we speak. Stay tuned. You might be surprised with where they take their platform next.

10 tips for great copywriting

August 27, 2009

I read something not too long ago—written by a world-class copywriter, no doubt—that said “copywriting is the single most important element of any successful campaign.”

Other than being slightly self-serving, he was right.

Copy happens before graphics, before design, before anything. Copy drives the campaign. It is the heart and soul of your presentation.

So why do so many promotions fail?

Speaking frankly, Crappy copy.

What can you do to make your copy more compelling?

Here are a few time-tested ideas to help you improve your direct marketing presentation.

1- Throw out the longwinded intro. Nobody cares about your corporate history or how happy you are to write to them. It’s a brutal reality. File 13 it.

2- Remember you’re addressing human beings.Talk to them in plain, simple English. Cut the techno babble and industry-specific jargon. It’s not talking down to your audience. It’s knowing your audience.

3- Make the obscure obvious. If your new techno gizmo is built to withstand all the abuse that a 3-year old can bestow—dropping it, spilling milk on it, letting the dog chew on it—Say so! All that engineering folderol that went into the production of your gizmo is background noise. Focus on benefits, not the technology that ensures those benefits.

4- Use white space. Write flush left and unjustified right; it’s easier to read. Lots of space between paragraphs is good. So are bullets. And short text.

5- Use dashes (–) and ellipses (…) between phrases.The eye—and the mind—need time to digest information. Those visual pauses help provide that breather. See what I mean?

6- Simplify. Go back and reread item #2 above. Then read your copy one more time, ruthlessly whacking jargon that slipped in again. Keep sentences short. Research shows that sentences longer than 25 words flummox most people. Even college graduates (non-English majors, probably) have trouble with sentences longer than 15 words.

7- Shorten. No one except the patent office wants to puzzle through “Wireless manual auditory assistance device.” “Cell phone” is much more direct. Plain speak says volumes.

8- Mix it up. Good writing establishes a rhythm. An endless stream of long, complex sentences can lull a reader to sleep. Wake them up occasionally with short, snappy phrases. Got it?

9- Wrap it up neatly. In the last paragraph reintroduce the thought you had in paragraph one to make a nice “copy sandwich.”

James Michener once responded to a reporter’s flattery that no, he was not the world’s greatest writer. He was the world’s greatest rewriter. Which brings up the final tip:

10- Edit and then re-edit yourself. If your letter is important enough to send, it is important enough to write right. If you can’t be totally honest with your own prose, ask a colleague to look at it. If you’re waffling over wording, get rid of it. It’s not strong enough. When in doubt, throw it out.

From logos and brochures to html emails and web sites, we’ve got you covered.

We can design, write and produce your entire mail package so that it stands out from the clutter

ANNOUNCEMENT: DMA Atlanta Names Doug Gibeaut of UPS to the 2009 Advisory Board

August 26, 2009

“I am pleased and honored to announce Doug Gibeaut to our Advisory Board” states Alex Marchetti, President, Direct Marketing Association of Atlanta. “Doug is a highly respected and distinguished member of our marketing community. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise which will enable the DMA Atlanta to continue building an innovative and dynamic organization”.

“As a new member of our Advisory Board, Doug will help shape the future of the DMA Atlanta and allow us to offer the marketing community valuable and useful insights into emerging direct marketing trends”.

Doug Gibeaut currently is Director of Sponsorships and Events with UPS, based at its Atlanta, GA headquarters. In this role since late 2008, he oversees U.S. motorsports and other sponsorship property strategy, activation, business development and measurement activity. He also directs the company’s corporate trade show strategy and implementation in the U.S.

Prior this role, he was responsible for direct marketing and e-mail marketing strategy for the company, globally. This included interactive landing page / microsite development for direct response campaigns in key markets. The e-mail marketing responsibility included managing UPS’ worldwide channel strategy/expansion, campaign strategy, e-mail service provider relationships and compliance.

Prior to this role, he was responsible for both International Advertising and Global Relationship Marketing areas for UPS. Doug joined UPS in 1993 as a direct marketing supervisor, and led the geographic expansion of the direct marketing practice in terms of creative strategy, measurement strategy and promotional approaches – including the global communications strategy in support of the 1996-2000 Olympic Games sponsorship.

Prior to joining UPS, Doug spent 3 years with Siemens Corporation in brand communications and 5 years with BBDO in account management and media buying. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Doug holds a degree in Advertising from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.

August Volunteer Spotlight – James Culin

August 25, 2009

James_Culin

By Jonathan Freed
Birthplace: Seoul, Korea
Family: Wife Alyssa, Son Judah
Occupation: Account Manager-Sales Rep
Education: BS Biology-Pre-Med

What is the most helpful step(s) you took to advance your direct marketing career? Honestly, it was just to talk to as many people and get as many opinions as possible. Each person has their own unique way to run their business according to their talents and experience. Taking one set of advice would limit my potential, since it would limit my opportunities.

I learned about as many different industries (and am still learning) and trends that I could. I wish I could say that I only attend DMA functions but I also attend AIGA, PIAG and Ad Club meetings as well because each organization has a unique way they present their ideas.

I try to copy/follow/mimic the best. In order to be successful you have to find other successful people and find out what made them that way. If possible, try and follow it.

Be open, creative, honest and available. I pride myself on the fact that I don’t “push” anything. If it makes sense, then let’s do it. If it doesn’t fit, let’s find someone that can make it happen. I will never pressure anyone for my benefit. I’m more of a solution specialist and networking liaison. (Big words to say…I like to help)

Things Have Changed

August 20, 2009

By Alex Marchetti

No matter how big or how small, today’s highly complex and competitive marketing environment is making everyone rethink the way they sell and market their products and services. From the likes of GM to Reader’s Digest, no one has been shielded from the economic challenges facing our nation and the world.

We are pleased to announce that in spite of the dismal economy, the extended recession and horrific unemployment rates the DMA Atlanta has experienced unprecedented growth, energy and excitement. We are now considered one of the elite Affiliate Network Members in the National DMA organization and I wish to personally thank everyone who has contributed their precious time and energy to elevate our organization to this prestigious position. I would also like extend a heartfelt thank you to our sponsors, for without their support, none of this would have been possible.

Looking ahead, we have lots of new things in the pipeline: a new website, newsletter and a discounted online data pipeline, web2print, email services for members. And of course, we have some big surprises planned for our upcoming speaker list.

Yes things have changed, yet change creates historic opportunities for the prepared and profound threats for the unprepared. The DMA Atlanta is about preparedness, seizing emerging opportunities and relationships. Thank you for your friendship and support.  I welcome your comments which may be submitted directly to me at amarchetti@whitestonemarketing.net.