The Gold(man Sachs) Standard

Goldman SachsAs a marketing and branding professional, I have been watching with strange fascination as the story unfolds about Goldman Sachs Executive Director Greg Smith’s very public resignation letter, which appeared today on the op-ed page of the New York Times.

The response by CEO Lloyd Blankfein and COO Gary Cohn – in an email to the firm’s 30,000 employees – is, to me, predictably “1984”-esque.

For me, the salient point was made near the end of Mr. Smith’s resignation letter: “Make the client the focal point of your business again.”

Amen.

And we’ll be watching.

12 Things You Can Count on in 2012

  1. 12 Things You Can Count on in 2012Social media is not going away
  2. Inbound marketing will continue growing, as the marketing strategy that engages rather than interrupts the prospect
  3. There will be more social media platforms coming online, and no one knows which will take off and which will fizzle
  4. Ignore online networking at your peril
  5. The watchword in social media – as in all online marketing – will be “make it personal”
  6. Auto-tweeting and autoresponders and “auto-anything” are going to have to evolve in order to engage
  7. Having an online marketing strategy is more important than simply executing tactics
  8. Getting clear on your target audience is the very first step to online success
  9. Marketing, in and of itself, is not the objective; it is the means to an end
  10. Having a step-by-step program in place for effectively reaching and resonating with your ideal customer or client is Job 1
  11. Not only can you blog, you MUST blog
  12. Marketing your business requires time, effort and money; only the proportions are in question. If you want to spend less money, be prepared to spend more of your time and effort on marketing. If you want to devote less time and effort to marketing (and concentrate on serving your customers and clients), you will need to invest more money in your marketing efforts.

Unblocking Writer’s Block

Writer's BlockMost of us don’t write for a living; that is, we are not published authors who make our money simply by the act of writing. (As a writer myself, I can tell you that the words “simply” and “writing” should never even be used in the same sentence, as it creates an oxymoron.)

But, even professional writers often don’t know much about marketing themselves and their work. In today’s world, social media, blogging, and email marketing are a huge part of promoting products and services, meaning that virtually everyone has a need to write (or hire others to write for them). While writing is not easy for most people, writing compellingly is harder still – and compelling is what it must be, whether you’re writing an article, a blog post, or an eNewsletter.

So, whether you’re doing the actual writing or trying to give direction to an outside consultant, here are my best tips for more easily creating articles and blog posts – and, more importantly, ones people will want to read: (more…)

Social Media is Not a Numbers Game

The Social Media Numbers GameDespite what you may have heard, social media is not a numbers game.

Social media, online and email marketing is not about how many friends, fans, followers, subscribers and connections you have.

It’s not about how many pages you’ve “liked” or how many “like” your page.

It’s not about how many groups you’ve joined on LinkedIn or how many people joined the group you started.

It’s not even about how often you post or tweet or blog or publish your eNewsletter. (more…)

Mining Data Like It’s 1849

“Thar’s gold in them thar analytics!”

With all the information so readily available to us, I’m always surprised to learn that even some of my most tech-savvy colleagues aren’t diligently tracking their online marketing efforts. There are so many things your fans, followers and subscribers are telling you by their actions (and inaction) – and getting the message is as easy as just paying attention! For instance … (more…)

Facebook Pages: What, How, Why – and ROI!

Even business owners who have a personal profile on Facebook are sometimes reluctant to finally concede that they should probably consider adding a Facebook Page to their company’s marketing mix. Many still hang back, asking, “What is this going to do for me?” And this is often tied to an underlying question about return on investment (ROI). “Can it really be calculated? And, if so, how?”

The answers are (more…)