Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Want to Win $75 or More Off of your Annual Conference Registration Fee?

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4YZAh7cfTLk/TH6GThlcTtI/AAAAAAAAAB8/64nOBUhWakA/s1600/Profile_LMB.jpg       Lisa Baker

Participate in our Twitter contest and tweet to win discounted - or even free - registration!

We’re hosting two contests for our 2010 Annual Conference “Conquering Chaos” to give you a chance to win discounted or free registration. Just follow us on Twitter and watch for tweets starting with “AC CONTEST”.


We want to spread the word about the upcoming conference - to both AMA members as well as their networks - to increase excitement for those attending the event, and to increase attendance by attracting folks who might not typically attend this type of event. By enticing you to engage in our social media, we hope you like what you see and interact with us again and frequently!
-One free pass 
-Two $150 off
-Two $75 off

o   Follow @MNAMA on Twitter.
o   Watch for MNAMA tweets starting with “AC CONTEST” between Tuesday, Sep. 28 and Friday, Nov. 5.
o   Be the first to respond - we’ll choose winners in order of correct responses and notify winners via direct messages on Twitter.
        •   If you have questions about your Twitter direct messages, feel free to contact Lisa Baker at lisa@elbiemarketing.com

o   There will be 2 contests including a series of tasks such as retweet requests and trivia.
CONTEST 1 (Tuesday, Sep 28 - Oct 7 early bird registration deadline)
-Watch for 3 tweets that begin with AC CONTEST 1-A, AC CONTEST 1-B, and AC CONTEST 1-C.
-Follow the instructions for all three retweet requests.
-Participants who execute all three requests will be entered in a drawing to win free or discounted early bird registration.

CONTEST 2 (Oct 7 regular registration prices - Friday, Nov. 5)
-Watch for 3 tweets that begin with AC CONTEST 2-A, AC CONTEST 2-B, and AC CONTEST 2-C.
             -Tweet the sentence with your answer.
-Participants who tweet correct phrases and qualifying answers to all 3 trivia questions will be entered in a drawing to win free or discounted registration.
­    - You do not need to be an AMA member to win.
­   - Response to contest questions must include hashtag #MNAMA10
­    - Winners can only win once, but we encourage you to continue participating if you want to help promote the event.
­    -You can participate even after you’ve registered for the event. We’ll notify you if you’re a winner and refund the prize amount.

Questions? Feel free to leave a comment here or reach us via Twitter @MNAMA. Good luck, and spread the word!
Lisa Baker manages B2B and B2C marketing for health advocacy products at CIGNA Healthcare, and she also owns her own agency - Elbie Marketing, LLC. She has a B.A. in communications and M.A. in ethnographic marketing research and servant leadership.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Irresistible! The psychological pull of location-based services; what they mean for you and your best customers

Marc Sokol

Location-based services (LBS), like Foursquare, are fast becoming an indispensible part of your Smartphone. Elsewhere you can get a quick overview of how they work and how fast they are growing.  In this post we focus on the four psychological needs that get you to start and continue using these services.

1.  WIFM – information as a reason to check-in.  WIFM simply stands for ‘What’s in it for me?’ 

Even though it only takes a few seconds, we each need a reason to actually pull out our Smartphone and check in.  By far the main reason is the availability of information at your fingertips.  Find out what is playing at the movies and at what time, find a restaurant and see the menu, and read tips from others who have been there. YELP  has led the way in this respect, and like tattoos, people who have one LBS app for information probably have 4, 5 or more as well. Fandango, Urbanspoon, and OpenTable now seem as indispensible as having a wallet in my pocket.

How’s that for feeding your need to know it all and know it right now?

2.  No more accidental meetings – check-in to be found.   You know that sense of serendipity you experience when you run into someone you know at a place you never expected them to be?  No more.  With a location-based social network, you can see exactly who else is there and also checked in.

This feature is most engaging when you are at the mall, airport, park, movies or some location too crowded, too spread out, or too dark to easily find others by sight or the obvious meeting place.  Foursquare even awards a Swarm badge when 50 or more people are simultaneously checked into the same location. 

How’s that for feeding the social animal in you?

3.  Just to win – checking in as a competitive sport.  Information at your fingertips is easy to get as a motivator. But checking in to compete with people you may not even know? If you haven’t used Foursquare, it may be hard to imagine but another pull is the simple momentary pleasure of knowing you have checked in more than anyone else, at least for that week.  

Foursquare awards points when you check into a store or location. Multiple check-ins, more points.  Check in to enough locations, or often enough and you get awarded a badge (at least 40 different types at last count).  Check in to a particular location more than anyone else and your badge declares you ‘the mayor’. 

Who cares, you might think.  Apparently enough people do that that you can find a link appropriately labeled, WhenwillIbemayor , that tells you how many more check-ins you need to be mayor of a specific location. 

How’s that for feeding the Type A, “I’m number one” urge you have inside of you?

4.  Discounts and coupons – checking-in for financial reward.   Other than the curious psychic delight of being “the mayor”, why check-in so often?  Starbucks, as one example, provides a discount to the current mayor of any particular location.  Other businesses will offer a discount or something free after a number of purchases.  This is where data-driven marketers get the most lift from LBS and where we will see a lot of experimentation over time.

How’s that for feeding your coupon clipping capacity?

And what this means for you…

Marketing professionals constantly look for ways to attract prospective customers.  Providing immediate information for the goods and services people want does just that.  Connecting our need to be social with our desire for discounts and even the opportunity to be recognized for what we do opens another set of opportunities.   Add in the prospect of web analytics (who checks in, how often and when) and you begin to see new possibilities for data-driven marketing.  Not only can this tell you more about your best customers (at least the LBS enabled ones), it can tell you what they respond to.

If this hasn’t got you reaching for your Smartphone yet, consider the following story:

Two guys are camping when a bear approaches them in a threatening manner.  One guy slowly begins to put on his sneakers.  His companion says, “What are you doing? You can’t outrun that bear!”  He replies, “I don’t have to outrun the bear, only you.”  

Sometimes it’s not how fast you run, it’s whether you run faster than your competition. 

So what are you waiting for? 

Marc Sokol is an organizational psychologist with an eye for how people and teams can be more effective, even in a dysfunctional company. He is part of M Squared Group, a data-driven marketing consultancy.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Coping with Discriminatory Hiring Practices

Job hunting in this economy is a long, stressful, frustrating experience.  Jobs are difficult to land but it is nearly impossible to obtain employment if you are eliminated from consideration due to factors out of your control such as your age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.  We all know that discriminating against individuals based on these characteristics is illegal, and yet we continue to hear stories about it happening.  

In addition to the factors listed above, some employers are discriminating against candidates simply due to the fact that they are not currently employed.  Given the wide prevalence of unemployed candidates, most employers have become more accepting of unemployed candidates.  However, some hiring managers continue to hold on to the belief that those who were laid off were at least partially responsible for the decision and give preference to the employed when filling open positions.  An electronics company in Texas went so far as to state the following in one of their job postings: “Clients will not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of the reason." (As profiled in a June 4 article on the Huffington Post).

Discriminatory hiring practices are hard to prove because a hiring manager will rarely admit to making a decision based on demographics, lifestyle, or employment status.  In fact, quite often, the discrimination takes place on a subconscious level and is explained away as a matter of “fit”.  

So what can we do about it? Although many characteristics such as age and race cannot be easily concealed during the job search process, you CAN know your rights and refuse to disclose this information if asked.  You can report discrimination to The Department of Labor and take legal action if necessary.   

Keep your head up and continue to apply at companies that do not discriminate.  Let’s face it, the use of discriminatory hiring practices by employers is probably a reflection of unethical or illegal decision making in other areas of the business as well.  Do you really want to work for a company like this?

Share your experiences on this topic!  We want to know:
  • Have you experienced discrimination in your past or present job search?  If so, what kind of discrimination did you experience?
  •  How did you handle the experience with the discriminating company or individual?
  • How had the experience changed your job search efforts (if at all)?
Barrie Berquist is a Retail Analyst on the ConAgra Foods Team at Acosta Sales and Marketing.  She has been a member of the MN AMA since 2007 and is a member of the MarCom Committee where she serves as the Career Insider Blog Project Manager.  She can be reached at barrieberquist@yahoo.com.  You can follow Barrie on Twitter @BEBERQUIST.  

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

AMA's 2010 Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN

Just announced: The AMA’s 2010 Annual Conference will take place November 8 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. This year's theme is Conquering Chaos: Channeling marketing's universal truths, tools and tactics.

Here’s how you can stay connected to conference news and contests:

Session topics include B2B and B2C focuses in social media, integrating  traditional tactics with digital tactics, managing strategies with a variety of audiences and messages, the latest research and analytics for today's marketer, understanding today's marketing climate, and harnessing return-on-marketing-investment (ROMI).
More information and topic descriptions are available at www.ConqueringChaosConference.org. Presentation and speaker information will be available soon.
Also, watch our Twitter feed and this blog for contest information - you could win free or discounted admission!
Get ready to channel marketing’s universal truths, tools and tactics on November 8, 2010, 7:00 AM - 4:45 PM | 4:45 PM - 6:00 PM: Happy Hour
Discounted, early-bird registration rates available through September 30, 2010:
Student Member
Student Nonmember

Register today! Questions? Please contact the MN AMA office at 651-917-6241.
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
1300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Lisa Baker manages B2B and B2C marketing for health advocacy products at CIGNA Healthcare, and she also owns her own agency - Elbie Marketing, LLC. She has a B.A. in communications and M.A. in ethnographic marketing research and servant leadership.
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