Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Norad Santa Tracking Map

I am tracking Santa Claus on my blog this Christmas. See below for the latest update on his global travel and stops - December 24, 2008. Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas holiday and a very Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Graco Baby Website Launches

Tonight we launched the next generation of our Graco Baby Website. This was a collaboration between Newell Rubbermaid and LBi. A lot of people from the Graco Brand, Corporate E-Business Team and LBi put in months of hard work to bring this new website to life. It was a huge accomplishment for the entire team.

We also launched a redesign of our Graco Baby Blog that integrated design elements from the New Graco Baby website.

We are all very excited that we were able to launch prior to the holidays.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bernaise Source Story on Sharpie Blog

I find myself catching up on another excellent post by Dan Greenfield, an Atlanta, GA focused communications, PR and Technology blogger. Dan writes the Bernaise Source blog.

Dan and I were on a Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) panel together discussing "Consulting 2.0 is...All About The Customer."

Dan also moderated an online panel on "Global Brands: Social Media Pays Off" that included myself, Adam Brown of Coca Cola, Jennifer Martin of CNN and Debbie Curtis-Magley of UPS.

Dan also wrote a blog post on the Newell Rubbermaid Sharpie blog based on an interview with me. He discussed our goals of creating a place that highlighted the fun, creative, artistic and innovative ways people use Sharpie pens. The post is titled: Sharpie Blog Puts Newell Rubbermaid's Social Media Strategy Into "Sharper" Focus.

Dan is a great resource on Atlanta based company, social media marketing activities and success stories. If you are exploring social media marketing and technologies like me, please reach out to Dan to connect with others in the Atlanta region and make sure to keep up with his Bernaise Source blog. There is much we can learn from each other in the ever changing and evolving social media ecosystem.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Newell Rubbermaid Social Media Marketing Blog Posts And Articles

It has been a very active past couple of weeks for the Newell Rubbermaid social media marketing teams. We have received positive recognition for our efforts from several influential social media marketing, PR and communications bloggers. Below are a list and links to these articles and blog posts:

  • People Don't Trust Company Blogs. What You Should Do About It by Josh Bernoff - Josh wrote a highly controversial blog post and Forrester Research report on the general mistrust consumers have with corporate or brand blogs. There was considerable discussion on Twitter and in the blogosphere about this report. I think what was missed in all that discussion was the excellent corporate or brand blog framework proposed by Josh as part of his Groundswell blog post and research report. He also identified those doing brand blogging correctly including our Rubbermaid blog. Also, I believe the trust issue is important to consider and evaluate. I personally believe trust will grow as brands get better at blogging and developing content that is focused on problem solving, how to, fun, creative uses and opening a communications path for consumers to interact with brand employees. Josh Bernoff is also the author of the Groundswell book a great resource on social media marketing. Josh can be found on Twitter at @JBernoff.
A very busy couple of weeks and I want to extend my appreciation to all the authors referenced above. As usual, I learn as much from them as they from me and the Newell Rubbermaid social media marketing teams and I value their perspective on the social media ecosystem.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fun Findings In The Twitter Ecosystem

I spent some time exploring the Twitter ecosystem over the Thanksgiving holiday and the past couple of weeks and found some fun, interesting and very useful Twitter tools and information sources:

  • The first is Julia Roy's, A Digital Girl Blog show Tweet Week. She delivers a quick overview of the week on Twitter including gossip, what's hot, and cool new tools and apps. Spend 5 minutes a week with her for a fun and irreverent show. She typically uploads new episodes on Mondays.
  • Another fun find this week is CelebrityTweet. A place where you can "Stalk Celebrities on Twitter." Fun place to hang out and check in on people like Shaquille O'neal, Kathy Griffin and Al Gore .... to name but a few.
  • If you are interested in your Karma on Twitter, check out Twitter Karma. A very cool service that shows you who is following you, who you are following, and who falls into the mutual friend category. It is a great way to view your Twitter network.
  • Mr. Tweet is another interesting service that analyzes who you are following and who is following you and determines who you should consider following amongst your followers and adjacent network. A lot of fun and it helps you find interesting and influential people to follow.
There were also some interesting posts this week from Beth Harte and Tim O'Reilly that I highly recommend:
  • Beth Harte broached the subject Is Social Media Scalable? This post inspired many insightful comments and a lively discussion.
  • Tim O'Reilly wrote a heartfelt and in-depth post titled Why I Love Twitter. Again creating a lively discussion that as of 12/01/08 had 76 comments.
These were but a few of the interesting sites, services, blog posts and Twitter tweets I observed. Send me any you find to my Twitter address or leave a comment on this blog.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ScobleizerTV - The Half Life Of An Online Conversation

This is an insightful perspective on how long conversation subjects last today by Robert Scoble. "Our systems are making the half life of a conversation shorter and more difficult to search and find" and "Comments increase the half life of any given conversation" are important concepts to understand as blogging and micro-blogging evolve. The power of the comment is growing everyday in the subject half-life conversation equation.

As more corporations consider entering the social media marketing arena, they must understand these concepts. Social Media only works if you are persistent and consistent. As the half life of the conversation grows shorter and shorter, it is the deployment of personnel, not financial resources, that become the most important component of a social media marketing strategy. This causes increased complexity in the integrated marketing planning process because the brand is now relying on employees to not only be strong executioners of the plan but also as content developers and deployers across the social media ecosystem.

Keeping employees engaged in this process can end up being the most challenging. Everyone is excited during the first 3, 6 or 12 months, but after that the process of constantly having to develop new, compelling content or having to search for relevant posts, positive to the brand, and making comments often becomes burdensome. That is why it is important to develop incentives, awards and recognition so that they know the work and process are valuable and valued.

Finally, the shortening of the half life of the conversation also poses challenges to search. Finding the important content and the context surrounding it are currently very difficult, as Robert Scoble points out in his video. If search services can help to increase the half life and thus add more value back to the conversation, we all will benefit. Some conversations truly need to have a longer half life, others not, but the community, as it should, usually has the final say through selection and prioritization by commenting, posting, tweeting, texting, vlogging, blogging and searching.

Take about 12 minutes to watch this video and think about where this is all going.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Resume As Interpreted By TagCrowd

So, now that I tried it with Wordle, thought I would look around for other word cloud services. Here is another interpretation of my resume from TagCrowd:



created at TagCrowd.com


My Resume As Interpreted By Wordle

I decided to have some fun and enter my resume into Wordle to see what it would make of my career. See below for the results. If you want to have some fun, copy and past your resume into Wordle to see how it interprets your career.

Mobile's Role in Eighth Mass Media

This is an excellent presentation on the power of social media and the networking effect.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

TAG - Technology Association of Georgia Speaking Engagement

I will be speaking at the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008 in Atlanta, GA. The topic is "Consulting 2.0 .... it's all about the customer." The discussion will focus on the following statement:

"The proliferation of Web 2.0 tools is in top gear, countless number of platforms are available out there. Early adopters of these tools are practically creating a new type of “digital divide”, those who are in Web 2.0, and those who are not."

Should be an interesting panel and conversation.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Web 2.0 Summit 2008 - Kevin Kelly Video - Web Past & Future

Kevin Kelly delivers insightful perspective on the past and future of the Internet. All data will be shared, stored in the global machine, accessible by all with sharing adding the power. A take on Charlene Li's quote of "social networking will be like air" could go "information will be like air." This is a very cool concept and opens all types of entrepreneurial, strategic, service and product opportunities. Take 15 minutes to watch this thoughtful video.

The Break Up - www.bringtheloveback.com

Charlene Li showed this video during her presentation at Google on Social Media and its impact on marketing. It is a good, quick view on that changing relationship. Advertisers need to engage with consumers, not interrupt the conversation. Microsoft commissioned the development of this ad.

Authors@Google: Charlene Li - Social Networks Will Be Like Air

This is a fantastic presentation by Charlene Li on the latest in social media marketing. She makes excellent points about the future of Social Networking and Media - "they will be like air" - completely surrounding and embracing us.

More on Charlene Li can be found at:

The Altimeter Group

Charlene Li Blog

And The Altimeter Wiki where she lists social media resources (consultants, agencies and thought leaders):

The Altimeter Group Wiki

Monday, November 3, 2008

An anthropological introduction to YouTube

Excellent Professor Michael Wesch, Kansas State University, presentation on the Anthropology of YouTube.

Josh Bernoff, Forrester Consumer Forum 2008 and Social Media's Rapid Growth

I attended the Forrester Consumer Forum 2008 in Dallas, TX last week and had a great time being a sponge soaking up the insights, strategies and information. I also spent time listening to Josh Bernoff discuss the dramatic growth in social network and social media use over the last year. Insights on his most recent research report can be found in this Groundswell blog post - New 2008 Social Technographics data reveals rapid growth in adoption. I also spent time listening to a couple of Josh Bernoff's presentations and sat down with him for a face-to-face discussion on potential social media efforts for our Calphalon brand.

Here is a quote from Josh Bernoff's blog that clearly articulates the incredible trajectory of social media and its influence:

"Looking at the US data, the big news in 2008 is that, not unexpectedly, social technology participation has grown rapidly. Inactives -- people untouched by social technologies -- have shriveled from 44% down to 25% of the online population. Spectators -- those who read, watch, or consumer social content -- have ballooned from 48% to 69%. If you think social technology is about to become a universal phenomenon, we just handed you a nice little bundle of evidence."

It is an amazing time to be a part of the rapidly changing interactive marketing landscape...and the entire marketing landscape.

Atlanta Web Executive Rountable at Newell Rubbermaid

On November 6, 2008 I will be hosting the Atlanta Web Executive Round Table (AWERT) at Newell Rubbermaid's new headquarters in Atlanta, GA. I will be discussing Newell Rubbermaid's social media marketing efforts related to our Graco and Rubbermaid brands. Looking forward to meeting Atlanta area interactive marketing and ebusiness leaders. Attendance expectations are high with an estimate of 30-40 attendees.

Global Brands: Social Media Pays Off

I had the pleasure of being on a panel of Social Media experts from Coca Cola, UPS and CNN recently. An article was written about the panel on MediaPost's Online Media Daily website - Global Brands: Social Media Pays Off. Each of us has a very different competitive environment we are dealing with. I found CNN's environment to be the most competitive as they can see where they are leading or falling behind everyday on TV. Fox, ABC, NBC or CBS could try a new Social Media tactic each day that will fail, succeed or completely change the playing field. Speed and agility in constant motion with your competitors watching every move.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Atlanta Area Gas Shortage and Social Media

We are starting to see the real power of social media. As the gas shortage in the Atlanta area continues, traditional news media are unable to keep up with where you can actually find gas. Sites that tracked prices are no match to the speed of fuel showing up at stations and then running out. Some gas station managers have been quoted saying their supplies are lasting no longer than 7 hours. So, where does social media step in? Check out Twitter where Atlanta drivers are informing each other of gas stations that have fuel. A special hash tag #ATLGAS has been created so that drivers can track the conversation, post questions based on location, and, most importantly, see where gas is available.

The power of social media and the crowd is amazing and was even more exciting during the Obama vs. McCain debate. Twitter has a live feed Election 2008 page that is both fun to participate in and fun to watch.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

University of Georgia CONNECT 2008 Conference

I presented today at the University of Georgia CONNECT 2008 conference. Presentation went very well and the questions from the students, professors and professional attendees was outstanding. I also enjoyed listening to the other speakers, particularly Lionel Menchaca of Dell, Kami Huyse of My PR Pro, Prof. Kaye Sweetser and Doug Isenberg. I also wanted to especially thank Prof. Karen Russell for having me present. Great day and hope to attend and participate next year.

CONNECT 2008 Blog

CONNECT 2008 Website

Monday, September 8, 2008

BusinessWeek Article on Corporations use of Twitter

It has been a while since I posted anything, but today I am posting two articles that I was interviewed for. The most recent is in BusinessWeek today: How Companies Use Twitter to Bolster Their Brands written by Rachael King. I was quoted as follows:

But social media sensations are like quicksilver. Today companies may need to pay attention to Twitter. Tomorrow, they may have to join Pownce, Jaiku, FriendFeed, or Plurk, especially if outages keep hobbling Twitter. Newell Rubbermaid (NWL), owner of more than 30 brands including Rubbermaid, Graco, and Sharpie, is hedging its bets by trying several different microblogging sites, including Twitter, FriendFeed, and Pownce. "Eventually we'll determine which ones work," says Bert DuMars, Newell Rubbermaid's vice-president for e-business and interactive marketing. Dumars cautions that brands can't expect instant results. "It's a long-term commitment," he says.

Jim Deitzel's efforts on behalf of Rubbermaid were also mentioned as part of the slide show portion of the BusinessWeek article.

The second article was in the Atlanta Constitution Journal where I was interviewed but not quoted. A co-worker and good friend, Lindsay Lebresco, was quoted and deserves the credit for the article coming out so well. The article is titled: Look Where Customers Are Talking Now written by Peralte C. Paul.

And yes, Lindsay, Jim and I all work for Newell Rubbermaid. I work in Corporate and Lindsay works in our Graco brand and runs the Graco blog; Jim works in our Rubbermaid brand and runs the Rubbermaid blog.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thomas L. Friedman MIT Milestone Celebration | Keynote Address

Thomas L. Friedman excels at synthesizing technology, social, geopolitical and globalization into profound analysis and understanding. As someone who lived through much of what he wrote in his first book - Product Image
The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century - I am constantly amazed at the changes he identified and how they are impacting us today. I cannot wait for his new book - Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and​ How It Can Renew America - to come out.

This is an excellent video and one that is well worth watching more than once.

Thomas L. Friedman MIT Milestone Celebration - Keynote Address

Thomas L. Friedman excels at synthesizing geopolitical, geotechnology and globalization movements and strategies into a cohesive discussion. I have personally lived through most of what he discusses in the "World is Flat" book. We are all about to experience what he will be discussing in his upcoming book "Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and​ How It Can Renew America."

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Conversation Prism


The Conversation Prism created by Brian Solis and Jess Thomas is an excellent representation of the social media ecosystem circa 2008.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Google Finds 1 Trillion Unique URLs and Growing

On July 25, 2008 Google announced it had identified 1 Trillion Unique URLs. Here is the link to the press release "We Knew The Web Was Big."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thomas L. Friedman - MIT Milestone Celebration, Keynote Address

Thomas L. Friedman excels at synthesizing technology, globalization, geopolitical and sociological insights into a cohesive thesis on where we have been and where we are going. This is a wonderful video that allows him to discuss his book - Product Image The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century - and his upcoming book - Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and​ How It Can Renew America.

He is a brilliant speaker and thinker and a person I always enjoy listening too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Portal to Media Literacy

Prof. Michael Wesch presents his social media anthropology learning process. A major part of his presentation focuses on his insights into engaging students to learn. He also discusses how fast the social media ecosystem is evolving and that there is no true legacy, as most companies in this space are young, starting after the year 2000. He also discusses the ramifications of students not being just consumers of information but also creators. This alone will continue to have a major impact on how students learn in the future.

I love his quote "we are all dumb in this space - teachers and student alike." I believe this is true. We are still in the infancy of social media and we are all explorers.

Another insight on this great video: the power of social media, not only impacts the classroom, but could also be used in companies with employees working on innovation, ideation, development, marketing and other business projects.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Google Advertising Strategy Developed on the Back of a Napkin

This is a very compelling way to think about the consumer, understand the environment and ecosystem and develop a visual way to explain the strategy and business model. Tim Armstrong, Google Advertising Executive, explains his methodology and advertising strategy.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Will Twitter Survive?

I would like to open by saying I certainly hope so. I have found it a valuable tool for me to network with other social media and interactive marketing professionals. However, again today, its performance was extremely poor and it appeared to shutdown during the middle of the day -- UGH!!! Not much else to say but that if things do not improve, the future does not look bright for this rising star.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Social Media in Plain English


A very good explanation of social media. I like the CommonCraft approach to explaining complex concepts like social media in easy-to-understand, short videos. This one is very nice and more can be found on YouTube or at their website.

Twitter, friendfeed and Digg

I wish Twitter had higher performance and uptime. It is often sluggish and even Twhirl has to stopping accessing it for 5 minutes, or longer, at a time to allow it to catch up. I continue to find incredible people and publishers to follow including: Leo Laporte, John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine, New York Times, etc.... So, I am finding more value in the service every day. I just hope they can make it work better and figure out a way to make money on it, because without revenue, investment will eventually dwindle.

I have been using friendfeed a lot more lately. I finally figured out the value and have been linking my favorite services to my friendfeed profile. Like NetVibes is for my blog and publisher feeds, I like the way friendfeed has become an aggregation point for my favorite social media feeds. It also performs very well.

Finally, I have been using Digg more and more. I am finding some great articles on the internet and when I am reading some of my favorite magazines and news sources. I like that I can keep track of these articles on Digg, see what others are finding valuable or interesting, and go back to find articles I want to forward to others.

University of Georgia CONNECT Conference

I have been asked to speak at the University of Georgia CONNECT Public Relations and Social Media Conference September 20, 2008. I have Paull Young of Converseon to thank for connecting me with Karen Russell at the University of Georgia. As much as I enjoy speaking on interactive marketing and social media, I really enjoy hearing what others are doing. What has worked well for them, what they experimented with, and, of course, what to avoid. I am also looking forward to engaging with both the professors and students. New insights and new learnings are always welcome.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sam Decker - BazaarVoice - Customer Oxygen

This is a right-to-the-point discussion on the impact of customer reviews and ratings to the operations of a company. Once customer reviews and ratings are occuring the culture of the company will begin to change and eventually feed off of those insights down to the operational level.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

How to Be a Social Media Change Agent/Provocateur

Very good, in depth interview with Josh Bernoff of Forrester on how to be a successful change agent implementing Social Media strategies at your business.

Friday, May 23, 2008

C.K. Prahalad - The New Age of Innovation: Driving Cocreated Value Through Global Networks

I was reading some BusinessWeek articles when I stumbled upon these video interviews with C.K. Prahalad. I thought he made some very important points on the importance of social networks and their impact on product and services innovation. I have been a long-time fan of C.K. going back to my days at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business where I was able to hear his lectures on Strategy and Innovation often. C.K. Prahalad has a new book: The New Age of Innovation: Driving Cocreated Value Through Global Networks.



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ning's Infinite Ambition -- Viral Networks -- Viral Expansion Loop -- Social Networking Start-Ups | Fast Company

Fast Company's Adam L. Penenberg wrote a very interesting article on Ning and its potential as the next step in social media networks. The obvious appeal of having ones own social media site dedicated to their own interests and passions is quite compelling. It will be very interesting to track and monitor as it evolves and to determine if the Viral Expansion Loop plays out as anticipated. If it does, the customer segmentation insights and ability to focus marketing communications to a tight group of interested consumers will be very compelling for CPG companies and many, many others.

Ning's Infinite Ambition -- Viral Networks -- Viral Expansion Loop -- Social Networking Start-Ups | Fast Company

Sunday, May 11, 2008

ForeSee Results - True North

I am speaking at ForeSee Results - True North Conference in Ann Arbor, MI. I am speaking on "Keeping Management's Attention on the Customer." Should be an excellent conference. Small and very focused on online customer satisfaction and its impact on the purchase funnel.

I have used ForeSee Results for several years. The online customer insights are extremely helpful for designing new web properties, redesigning your current sites and truly understanding the voice-of-the-customer.

From a strategic perspective, it is very important to not only understand behavioral metrics and analytics, but also qualitative (like ForeSee Results) and competitive. The next area to uncover is engagement metrics....more to be discussed later.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008

They Call Me Air Traffic Control

I have been working on developing enterprise services specifically related to social media and interactive marketing. A major part of this effort is educating our brands by running webinars and in-person meetings between potential vendors and our brands. I have been described now several times as "Air Traffic Control" for these programs and service providers. It is both fun and challenging to keep all the pieces moving in the right direction. It is most gratifying when brands begin using some of the enterprise services and implement best practices. Enterprise services that have already been put in place include: enterprise web platform, metrics & analytics, online customer satisfaction, email marketing, and reviews and ratings. More to come...

Friending, Ancient or Otherwise

Moving from long emails to Twitter may be instinct driven in the human race. The question is, what is next? How will communications evolve from here? Mind-to-Mind? A distinct possibility...

Read this New York Times article to learn more.

Information R/evolution Video

Another excellent video from Kansas State University Ethnographer Dr. Michael Wesch.

Here are some reference websites to check out after you watch the video:

Michael Wesch YouTube Channel

Kansas State University digital ethnography working group


Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

The history of Web 2.0 in 4 minutes and 31 seconds. All I can say is WOW!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Marketing@Google: Mohanbir Sawhney - Marketing As Conversation

Mohanbir Sawhney is a brilliant marketer who presented on Brand Building and Brand Strategy at Google. Very insightful discussion. He brought up a key point/issue right a the beginning of the presentation - Contextual Marketing. As he states: his 12 year old daughter does not understand why Google does not know who she is. For example, when she enters a search term are the results appropriate for a 12 year old girl or are they the same for everyone. I think we know the answer. Contextual Search, Contextual Marketing - the next Google or competitor opportunities.

The focus of the presentation is engagement and emotional connection between brands and consumers and how digital media and interactive marketing can enable and enhance this relationship.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Twitter

Twitter is an amazing and fun social media tool that traces its roots to mobile texting, thus the 140 character limitation. Twitter also has several fun and interesting services that have been built. Here are but a few:

  • Tweetscan - Scan public tweets. Great for seeing what people are saying about your brand, product or service.
  • Summize - Scan public tweets. Another service that allows you to see what people are saying about your brand, product or service. Also has a few more bells and whistles.
  • Twittearth - This is a very cool tool that provides a 3 dimensional view of the earth and shows tweets geographically in real time as they are written. I like the little Twitter representations of people as well.
  • Twitter Blocks - Shows the people you are following and who they are following and who is following you. Very cool graphical view.
  • Twitter Fan Wiki - But if you really want to explore, go to this Wiki and check out all the Mashups.

Here is a fun and informative video on what Twitter is - "Twitter in Plain English"


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cloud Computing. Available at Amazon.com Today

I found this Wired article very informative and enlightening on the Cloud Computing or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) ecosystem. I personally believe we are quickly moving to an online world of services where business decision makers can select, mix-and-match (mashup) and competitively bid for interactive marketing services instead of technologies. This will also alleviate the need to internally invest in large infrastructure projects that require extensive levels of reviews, approvals and capital.

I am a strong believer in these services and feel that Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others will offer an array of services that open this market up over the next couple of years.

My personal experience with interactive services started when I was at Dell in 1998-1999 where we were developing systems management services. I then worked on managed web services at Intel Online Services (an attempt by Intel to extend its brand into services and gain an understanding into why Sun Microsystems was very successful, at the time, in the web server business). Both programs were very early, maybe too early, but were exactly where the market is heading today. The first company to be truly successful in this area was and is Salesforce.com.

Monday, April 28, 2008

P&G Social Media Panel

I was invited by Stan Joosten at P&G to participate on a Interactive Marketing and Social Media panel with Lisa Bradner from Forrester Research and Bob Pearson from Dell today. The discussion was lively and timely and the P&G attendees had some very insightful questions. I think the one that has been sticking in my head since the panel came from Stan. What is the one skill a Marketing person needs to be successful in Interactive Marketing. This is a very tough question because I do not think there is just one skill. Also, I feel a good Interactive Marketer is a good Marketer. We have been separating these roles for far too long and it is time to integrate them. So, here is what I think a good Interactive Marketer should know:
  • Positioning - Be able to position your brand and your products and services.
  • Customer Segmentation - Know who you are targeting for your product or service.
  • Brand & Product Strategy - What is it? How will you win? How will you go to market?
  • Groundswell - Learn the Groundswell Framework that relies on you knowing Positioning, Customer Segmentation & Targeting, and Brand & Product Strategy. Knowing these and using the framework will allow you to assess your customers and strategize on how to best interact with them on the internet.
  • Experiment - Once you have the above well understood, try some low cost experiments and engage with your customers. Listen to your customers and find out how they would like to engage with you. It might be a blog, it might just be through your branded website, it might be through social networking sites like myspace and facebook or it might be through innovative services like Twitter. Let them guide you to the right technologies and services.
So, did I come up with one skill, not even close. Just as it takes a combination of many skills to become a great marketer it requires a combination of many skills to become a great interactive marketer. But I do think they require the same foundation of marketing skills that then evolve as experience is gained.

Someday, this will not even be a discussion point as interactive marketing will just be another, and possibly major, part of integrated marketing.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

First Blog Post

I have been an active reader of Blogs for quite a while and felt it was time to start my own. I am a Vice President E-Business and Interactive Marketing for Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL) and am in the process of helping our brands explore the Interactive Marketing and Social Media ecosystem. I am creating this blog as a way for me to track my progress and keep track of interesting and cool services and technologies in this space.

Many people reading this blog may not know much about Newell Rubbermaid other than the obvious brand name (Rubbermaid) in our corporate name. We have over 30 brands in our portfolio including: Sharpie, Calphalon, Irwin, Rubbermaid, Paper Mate, Graco, Dymo, CardScan, Endicia, Levolor, Amerock, Lenox Tools, Goody, and several others. I list these as a reference only. I am not using this blog as a way to promote our brands but as a way for me to explore, learn and figure out how to use interactive marketing and social media to help our overall brand building efforts. We are moving from a company that was traditionally North America and Channel focused to one that is Global and Consumer focused. Interactive Marketing and Social Media will play a significant role in this transition over the next several years.

I am looking forward to hearing from anyone else who is exploring this area as well.

Let the ecosystem exploration blog begin.....

With that said, my very first post is complete.