Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The New Twitter

Over the next several weeks, Twitter will be shedding some old feathers and taking on a new look. In a move they hope will coax users away from third party apps and back to the main site, the redesign encompasses Twitter.com and TweetDeck, as well as its mobile apps. Here is a look at what you can expect.

There are three new buttons at the top of the page: Home, @Connect and #Discover.
                        Home: Your updated news feed. See information about @replies and retweets, as well as linkable content (videos and pictures) right in the feed.
                        @Connect: Shows who has mentioned you and suggests some accounts you might want to follow.
                        #Discover: Shows what's trending and points you to notable stories and videos. This feature is a great example of the more personalized Twitter. Discover will identify stories and trends based on your connections, location and language.

The redesign also has Tweets housed on the right side, and your profile box in the upper left hand corner. Not exactly sure why there was a need to do this, but I'm sure there was plenty of market research and design psychology involved.

Other notables:

                        Brand Pages: Taking a note from Facebook and Google+, the new Twitter will allow brand pages for companies which will have a bigger header, more customizable options and extended taglines. The coolest feature here is that brands will be able to choose what tweet stays at the top of their timeline, thus highlighting their best content.
                        Embedded Tweets: Now website developers and bloggers can embed tweets right into their website. This gives visitors the ability to reply, retweet and favorite without leaving the page.

You can get the new Twitter now by downloading the updated version for iPhone or Android here. Otherwise, it will be taking over the Twittersphere over the next few weeks. Here is a video from Twitter showing off the new features:

What do you think? Will the redesign be a hit or have us all atwitter? 

Ashley Haugen is a Gustavus Adolphus College alumna. She has had Marketing experience working with such organizations as the LOFT Literary Center, the Gustavus Marketing Department and the OrdwayCenter for Performing Arts. She currently is a PR associate at Axiom Marketing Communications.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Got great ideas, but just need someone to share them with?

Share your unique marketing perspective on the MN AMA blog as a Blog Contributor! We’re looking for bloggers with varying expertise to write blog posts on marketing or business related content. If interested, contact the MN AMA Blog Content Manager today!

Job Description: The MN AMA Blog Contributor is responsible for creating insightful and relevant blog posts for the MN AMA blog.  Blogs typically range from 300-700 words and can focus on any marketing or business related content. This position is a great way to share content with members, elevate your presence as a marketing expert and hone your social media and blogging expertise. Commitment expectations for this position can vary from bi-annually to bi-monthly depending on your availability.  This is a perfect position for those who are interested in starting a volunteer position with the MN AMA!
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

December is MN AMA Volunteer Appreciation Month!

We want to take the time to say “Thank you!!” to all of the MN AMA Volunteers who help make the MN AMA so successful! We appreciate your hard work and commitment to the MN AMA. We could not be the organization we are today without your dedication, support and commitment.

Special thanks to the following volunteers:

Membership - Aimee Cheek:
Aimee has been instrumental in helping the Membership team pick out interesting and unique venues for our events. She is always willing to help out to find a venue for any type of event and she always works hard with the venue to make sure we get the best deal.Thanks to Aimee we have been able to book venues that the MN AMA would never have had before.

Programming - Tony Rivera:
Tony Rivera is an outstanding volunteer within the MN AMA Programming Committee. Through his dedication, drive to succeed and unparalleled work ethic, Tony single-handedly established a new role within the Programming Committee as Project Manager and continues to produce new ideas and processes that have yielded positive results across our organization. In addition, he volunteered to be an Event Manager for our September 2011 event while continuing his Project Manager responsibilities. Tony demonstrates a natural enthusiasm for learning and brings out the best in people. He has done a fantastic job in adding value and establishing credibility across our members, participants, volunteers and committee members.

Sponsorship - Lynnda Nelson:
Lynnda works for HALO Branded Solutions and has been a volunteer with Sponsorship since June.  Since joining our committee, she has developed a great rapport with the sponsors she has worked with and focuses on MN AMA’s overall relationship with our sponsors.   
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The silver bullet to a successful marketing campaign

What is the silver bullet to creating a great marketing campaign?  Is it leveraging flashy creative or implementing the newest technology?  How about defining the most effective value proposition? Or maybe if your marketing team could create “an app for that” then maybe, your marketing message would truly take off. However, from experience working with clients as they craft their next ad campaign, it is clear that the silver bullet to any marketing campaign is a focused, clear and simplistic message.

I know many times with the beginnings of a branding campaign or launch of a new product, you may want to yell from the mountain tops everything that your brand has to offer the consumer. Yes, it can give you better X or help you be more effective at Y, which can translate into Z… divided by 2, then multiplied by the square root of 34. Even through my poor example, you can see that a complicated message always gets confusing.  Remember, the consumer engaging with your marketing message doesn’t have time to break down the complicated algorithm surrounding your product. Instead, they want a simple value equation—what differentiates your product and what does this mean to them.

Additionally, it becomes necessary to view the campaign itself as a sprint, not as a marathon. With campaigns, the reality is that you need to communicate simplicity with focus on 1-2 brand or product attributes that differentiate. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, it’s not worth throwing in everything plus the kitchen sink—and this is especially true when crafting an ad campaign.  Although there are many incremental messages you may be tempted to touch on, those additional insights can wait until the next campaign. Your current campaign should only be running for 1-2 years, don’t treat it like a never-ending marathon!  Overall, the reality is that too much information will cloud what you’re really trying to communicate to consumers. 

So, when planning your next campaign, try to go back to your marketing roots when crafting your marketing campaign and use the silver bullet of a focused, clear and simplistic message for your next marketing endeavor.

Jennifer Broman is an Account Manager at Hunt Adkins, a full-service advertising agency in Minneapolis.  Currently, she is serving as the MN AMA Blog Content Manager. 
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt, Visits The U. of MN, Mayor R.T. Rybak, and Area Business Leaders Recognizing MN’s Economic Talent While Marketing Google Apps

Jeremy Swenson

On Wednesday, 11/30/11, MN was host to one of technology’s most successful business leaders, Eric Schmidt, who has an estimated net worth of over $6.2 billion dollars according to Forbes.com (2011).  Schmidt has held leadership roles at Sun Microsystems, was the CEO of Novell, and steered Google as CEO during their growth phase – 2001 to 2011.  Today, Schmidt serves as Executive Chairman of Google advising the CEO and Board of Directors.

Schmidt started his talk on the future of technology, asking the audience where innovation was going to come from.  He cited “open idea generation and collaboration” as a way to outthink old ways of doing things.  He went on to describe mobile devices running Google’s finely marketed Android operating system, suggesting some ideas his company brings forward get quashed due to privacy concerns in spite of convenience.  The example he cited was a mobile device application that allows you to predict where your contacts are going to be based on their mobile GPS trail, etc.  This is something I agreed with due to the possibility of misuse, and also because where you are is not always indicative of what you are doing.  Creating such a tool with more intelligent and retractable tracking abilities could have more market appeal for a targeted demographic.

At the later part of his presentation I had the opportunity to ask him (top photo) about the similarities of Google Voice video chat and Google + Hangout video chat.  As I had anticipated, he said, “the two will be merged”, which is a good way to streamline services and reduce marketing confusion between two related but fairly new products.  Schmidt also hailed the U of MN as an early adopter of the Google Apps product, and praised MN’s economy as highly capable of innovation­­­. 

Later in the day he met with technology entrepreneurs and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak (bottom photo) and toured the
Minneapolis Grain Exchange building.  This leads to speculation that Google could open an office in Minneapolis to tap MN’s technology and marketing professionals, or at least that we have a growing market of small businesses that serve Google, like Augusto the Google Apps, Docs, and data migration consultancy

Photos by Jeremy Swenson and John Hageman respectively. 

Jeremy Swenson, MBA, is an experienced marketer, marketing manager, communicator, sales person, and business analyst/academic.  He has extensive product marketing experience with financial products and retail electronics products (State Farm, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Intel, and Best Buy).  Since 2009 he has served on the MN AMA Social Media/Marcom Committee.  You can reach Jeremy at 

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