November 17, 2010
USA Triathlon announced Wednesday that three of the top multisport coaches in the United States – Melissa Mantak, Keith Dickson and Beth Sanden – have been honored as the 2010 USA Triathlon Coaches of the Year.
Mantak (from Denver, Colo.) was chosen as USA Triathlon’s National Coach of the Year; Dickson (Geneva, Ill.) was honored as the Developmental Coach of the year; and Sanden (San Clemente, Calif.) was selected as the Volunteer Coach of the Year.
A USA Triathlon-certified Level III coach and a former standout athlete on the international level, Mantak guided two of the top U.S. elite triathletes – Matt Chrabot and Jillian Petersen – to outstanding 2010 campaigns. Chrabot finished the ITU World Championship Series as the top-ranked American and 12th overall. He posted the top WCS finish for a U.S. athlete in 2010 with a fourth-place showing in Kitzbühel, Austria, and closed his season by earning his second career PATCO Pan American Championship title in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Petersen, who was third at this year’s Pan American Championship, finished 2010 as the No. 4 American and 32nd overall in the WCS series rankings
Dickson, has coached more than 100 youth and junior athletes as a part of the Multisport Madness Triathlon Team, including some of the top up-and-coming multisport athletes in the U.S. Among Dickson’s athletes are five of the six members of the U.S. team for the 2010 ITU Junior World Championship, as well as a pair of Youth Olympic Games medalists – Kevin McDowell (silver) and Kelly Whitley (bronze). Additionally, McDowell took bronze at the ITU Junior World Championship, and Whitley and Lukas Verzbicas finished fourth. Ben Kanute was the winner at the 2010 USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championship, while Multisport Madness earned the 2010 Development Team National Championship and Youth Club National Championship titles.
There are currently more than 1,800 USA Triathlon-certified coaches in the U.S.
November 17, 2010
If you run an ecommerce site and your store is not one of the top 500 online retailers, you likely are up at night obsessing about how to get on that list. After all, those 500 claimed nearly 70% of all online purchases last year. eCommerce has become a winner-take-most model and its remarkably difficult for small and medium-sized online stores to catch up without truly changing their customer acquisition model.
Cyber Monday is an important kickoff to the shopping year how will your store compete?
Redefine Success for Cyber Monday 2010
Instead of trying to compete on price with the Amazon.coms and Home Depots of the world on Cyber Monday, create a marketing strategy to retain the one-day-only traffic increase on November 29th, 2010. After all, most purchases take place between December 5 and December 15th. Think of Cyber Monday as a potential shot-in-the-arm for your holiday marketing, not a winner-take-all-24-hour-e-tailing-thunderdome.
Below, we outline how to execute a marketing strategy for your Cyber Monday traffic that will align your marketing in December with real consumer buying cycles in the holiday season.
1. Brainstorm a Compelling Offer for New Visitors
Compelling offers are offers that visitors are willing to give up their email address for the right to participate. Need ideas? Consider:
- Contests (test your knowledge, win free gear)
- Sweepstakes (enter to win free gear)
- Short-term holiday coupons (register to save $50 before December 20th)
- Unique and in-depth buyers guides or shopping assistance not available elsewhere (“ask an expert for gift tips”)
Its most important to pick an offer that your market segment would find appealing. Consider what has worked for you or your competitors in the past, and move quickly to define the details of the offer.
2. Create a Call-to-Action Button and Place it Prominently on your Home Page for Monday
This shouldnt be hard after youve envisioned the offer itself. Make sure to create a large, attractive button that will prominently attract user attention. Remember, this does not need to canabilize transactions, but can lead visitors back to the main store after they accept the offer. Place the button in a higihly visible location on your home page.
3. Link your Call-to-Action to a Dedicated Landing Page
Next, you need a landing page that will convert interested traffic. Generally consumers will understand that offers like contests and sweepstakes will require an email address, but not all will your landing page should have a short form and sell the offer so that consumers not expecting a form are still enticed to complete the offer post-click on the call to action.
4. Configure a Thank-You Page to Curate User Experience Post-Submission
After consumers fill out the form, present them with a thank you message and their offer (in the case of a buyers guide or coupon) on a dedicated thank-you page. Additionally, link your visitors back to relevant products and categories or even embed relevant products on the thank-you page if your software allows. If youre offering a coupon, this is particularly relevant but even in the case of sweepstakes and contests, you want to get your products in front of as many consumers as possible as frequently as possible. Your thank-you page is another opportunity to do so.
5. Remarket to Differentiate Yourself and Increase Product Visibility
Over the next few critical weeks until December 24th, you should be remarketing to your new email addresses. Follow up with consumers to redeem their coupons; follow up to encourage them to share the contest with their friends; follow up to ask how the buyers guide helped, and how you can help further.
You should be putting your products, promotions, and offers in front of these consumers as often as reasonably possible to encourage a sale. This probably means one email per week, where the content of the email is not connected to the original offer above. Implement additional promotions and offers that will differentiate your products and services from bigger online retailers that can undercut your prices.
Using Inbound Marketing to Capitalize on Cyber Monday
The inbound marketing tactic of creating free visitor value in return for re-marketable email addresses can dramatically help SMB ecommerce sites improve their one-day-only traffic influx on Cyber Monday. Good marketers understand these inbound tactics and make frequent use of them as you examine the competition on November 29th, consider how many of the top 500 retailers are already using these tactics, and consider if youre ready to start with more sophisticated marketing techniques to produce remarkable sales figures.
Photo Credit: greengymdog
Sign Up! eCommerce Website Analysis and Cyber Monday Discussion
Posted by Michael Redbord on Wed, Nov 17, 2010 @ 12:00 PM
November 17, 2010
There are probably a number of reasons. They dont have the time to plan 2 to 3 years ahead. They cant afford to try something untested. Fear that their competitors will get an advantage. Most of it is pretty reactive and short-term. And, easily understood.
If youre one of those smaller companies that looks at the competition to justify a marketing effort, there are several ways you can do this effectively.
4. Determine their marketing effectiveness. You can use our Website Grader to see how effective your competitions website really is. That will give you an indication of their traffic in relation to your site.
The reason you want to gather this information in an organized fashion is so that you can better evaluate your competitors marketing tactics. Basically, you want to look more carefully at the tactics of those competitors whose marketing is working well and whose products compete more directly with yours.
But competitive analysis is only one piece of the puzzle. Its also short term and reactive. It needs to be a part of a fully integrated marketing plan that incorporates with both short- and long-term strategies. This is what the big companies do, and its what small
companies should do as well.
Join our free webinar to learn how small and medium sized businesses can most efficiently choose and implement new tactics.
Posted by Jeanne Hopkins on Wed, Nov 17, 2010 @ 04:00 PM
November 17, 2010
Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/waPlkpXekL4/
November 17, 2010
Asking kitchen-savvy women to not only invent their own dishes, but also shoot, edit and upload videos to a contest website seems like a recipe for disaster. But when Kraft invited women to do just that in its latest online promotional campaign for Philadelphia Cream Cheese, it got about 5,600 more responses than the 400 it set as its goal. With Paula Deen at its helm, what was intended to be a one-year campaign blossomed into a thriving social network of more than 30,000 women.
When it was all laid on the table, I couldnt believe the opportunity. I had to pass on an attagirl or a boost to more women out there, explained Paula Deen at a recent promotional luncheon.
When someone seated at a nearby table reminded Deen that the campaign has also been successful in selling more cream cheese, she looked sarcastically surprised. It did? I hadnt even thought of that! she said.
The truth is that the The Real Women of Philadelphia helped sell quite a bit more cream cheese 5% more, as of August. As a branded social network, The Real Women of Philadelphia is about as successful as the cream-cheese-infused French Apple Cake that swept the dessert video competition. These four aspects contributed to the campaigns sweet success:
1. Leverage an Existing Community
Instead of building a network from scratch, the campaign aligned itself with a personality that already had a large following. This has been kind of like a marriage made in heaven, Deen explained. Philadelphia Cream Cheese has always been a part of my refrigerator.
There are arguably few personalities who could represent cream cheese with more gusto, and Paula Deens large fan base was likely to already be cooking with cream cheese. By advertising the Real Women of Philadelphia campaign on Paula Deens website and having Paula Deen star in ads on other media, Kraft was able to reach an existing community of the women it wanted to speak to. EQAL, the company that beat out companies like ABC and Yahoo for the opportunity to produce the campaign in partnership with Digitas, referred to Paula Deens role as the igniter.
2. Create a Reason for Users to Create Content
Even with Paula Deen as an ambassador, its hard to imagine that the campaign would have had much success as, lets say, a social network feature on the Philadelphia Cream Cheese website. The competitive aspect was and is crucial to the success. For the first iteration of the contest, women submitted instructional videos about their invented cream cheese recipes. Sixteen finalists were chosen and flown to Atlanta for a live competition, hosted by Paula Deen, that determined the four women who would become hosts for the next iteration of the competition and win $25,000. Currently these four hosts are accepting submissions for the cookbook that Kraft will create using 80 of the best recipes from the community, recipes from the four hosts, and Paula Deen recipes. Every day the hosts choose a winning recipe from the community, which earns its author $500.
Because women have invested themselves in creating content for these contests, they feel more ownership of the site and are more likely to visit frequently. Greg Goodfried, the co-founder and COO of EQAL, says that its important to have some motive for people to create content on a branded social network. This motive doesnt necessarily need to be a competition, but it needs to be strong enough to spark the community.
3. Focus on Community Content, Not Your Content
Between videos of Paula Deen and vidoes starring the four hosts, the EQAL team has produced more than 50 videos for the site. But they are careful to keep the spotlight on the user-generated content. During the initial competition, for instance, the homepage featured select submissions. One main feature of the site is a gallery of community recipe submissions, and the team will post especially impressive contributions from the community on the LoveMyPhilly Facebook and Twitter accounts.
There was a really great sense that the content people were sending in was the main attraction and made them feel like stars, and it made people thoroughly engaged, Goodfried says.
4. Step Aside
When Kraft launched the campaign, the company wasnt sure what to expect.
I think originally we thought that they would talk a lot about food, a lot about the competition, Goodfried says. [We thought] there might be a little bit of competitive component to it, and they would just all be excited about the opportunity to win.
When the women started talking about their personal lives, it surprised the communitys architects. At one point, a woman mentioned that she couldnt afford a dress for her daughters school dance. Other women in the community offered to ship their own grown daughters dresses to her. One woman offered to make a dress. Another woman who wasnt sure how to use a video editing program mailed her raw video submission to another member of the community who had volunteered to edit it.
Instead of trying to divert these discussions back toward cream cheese, EQAL decided to let the community shape the site. When the managers saw the conversations shaping around individuals lives, they added a weekly spotlight post in which they profile a community member that has been nominated or shared something interesting on the site. When forum topics popped up that were unrelated to Kraft, cheese, or food, they let them be. The tools on the site allowed women to create a robust profile, privately message each other, and participate in whatever way they wanted. By letting the members shape the community, Kraft was able to build a stronger one.
These incredible personal connections that extended beyond food, beyond cooking, beyond anything related to the competition just occurred, Goodfried says. There are substantial numbers of women that we have talked to that have way more friends on Real Women of Philadelphia than they have on Facebook.
5. Play a Supportive Role, Not a Directors Role
If the creators of the social network can make it richer by getting out of the way, what are they supposed to do once the site launches?
In this case, they spent a lot of time helping women participate by fielding questions about editing and uploading videos. After a couple of weeks, other women in the community started answering these kinds of questions in the forums. But the role of the managers remained supportive.
The only reason we build these sites is to encourage people to come to them to make content and submit content, Goodfried says. Its not one-way where were just publishing things and people are coming and consuming it. Were trying to start this spark of a conversation, this spark of community, and then encourage the community to be engaged.
More Marketing Resources from Mashable:
– 10 Killer Tips for Creating a Branded YouTube Channel
– 5 Tips for Creating Non-Profit Online Communities
– 13 Branded Mobile Apps That Got It Right
– Top 5 Enterprises Using Social Media
– HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Your Business Facebook Page
Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/5vRpZnUML-k/
November 17, 2010
Written by: Katie Lance, Senior Marketing Manager, Inman News
More and more of the people who follow you online have a short attention span.
We are constantly being distracted by email, phone, Facebook, Twitter, text messages and more. How do you capture peoples attention? VIDEO!
Video evokes an emotion, it tells a story, it makes you stand out, and it gets your point across faster!
If you are like most real estate agents, video is likely the last type of content that you are actively using online to promote your business.
After all, it seems much harder to produce than it really is and most people get stuck with what to say or what to do.However, video can be the easiest type of
content to create if you follow a few basic rules.
5 easy video rules:
1. Get an easy to upload camera. I love the new Kodak camera the Z18 this camera lets you automatically upload your videos to Facebook or YouTube. Or, my favorite, use your iPhone!
2. Shoot exactly what you want so you dont need to edit anything.
3. Get close enough for good sound. The issue with quality usually comes from sound so try to get close enough so everything you want to hear will be audible.
4. Keep it short and sweet. The best videos are 30-45 seconds.
5. Dont over think it. Dont get stuck over-analyzing what you should video. Guess what, if you dont like it, dont use it!! Just dive in and start!
What type of video should you shoot? Here are 4 simple ideas:
1. Client testimonials. How about the next time you close a sale, you ask your clients if you can take a quick 1-minute video of the happy family? Have 2 or 3 pre-planned questions and ask them in advance what you are going to ask them.
2. Answer a question. Think of the questions you get asked over and over again search your sent email for ideas! Shoot a quick video answering that question and then post it to your Facebook page or blog. You could easily create a library of the top 10 questions people ask me.
3. Quick home improvement tips. Have a simple tip for adding value to a home? Or an easy staging idea? Shoot a quick video of it!
4. Community video. How about a quick video of your favorite park, school, restaurant or neighborhood? There are unlimited possibilities with this idea. Keep it simple. Pick one location and make a 30 second video. How about interview the owner of the local pizza place? Make local connections, post the videos online and now you are really making the most of social networking!
Are you currently using video in your business? Would love your ideas and comments leave me your feedback below!
November 17, 2010
The Boston Redevelopment Authority gave approval last night to move forward on the 100 Arlington Street project, which will transform the current building into a multi-use rental/retail space in Bay Village. The project will include 128 residential rental units along with approximately 10, 250 square feet of retail space along Arlington and Stuart Street. There will be no significant changes made to the exterior of the existing building.
The development team includes The Congress Group, Inc. as the developer; Elkus/Manfredi Architects as project architect; Vanasse Hangen Brustlin as teh Article 80 permitting consultant and transportation planner/engineer; and DLA Piper US LLP as legal counsel. The total estimated cost of the project is $65 million. 130 construction jobs are projected to be created and work is expected to begin in the spring, 2011.
November 17, 2010
Taken from the Boston Herald:
“The city has closed the book on the former Filene’s project known as One Franklin, telling the New York developer that its approvals will not be extended.
In a letter today to Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust and local developer John Hynes, the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s director John Palmieri said the city is “tremendously disappointed with the lack of progress made on the project . . . we have heard from the public who overwhelmingly felt that your disregard for the economic health of Downtown Crossing had a negative impact on the area.”
Hynes could not be immediately reached for comment.
November 17, 2010
In the early days of the medium, a blog was the only available outlet for people or companies that wanted to establish a feedback loop with their target audiences. Today, blogging is one of a variety of options businesses use to communicate with customers, including social networking, microblogging, photo- and video-sharing, and customer reviews. At the same time, the growing use of blogging by media organizations and marketers has raised the comfort level with blogs as a news source, as a means of interacting with companies, and as a forum for customer reviews and opinions. These trends have empowered people to use the blogosphere to reach the widest possible audience.
In Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2009, author Matt Sussman writes: While blog postings often focus on the local issues of the specific blogger, the audience of such blogs is much less limited than other forms of media have been historically. An internet-connected world has expanded the marketplace of ideas available to any individual anywhere.
In the early days of the medium, a blog was the only available outlet for people or companies that wanted to establish a feedback loop with their target audiences. Today, blogging is one of a variety of options businesses use to communicate with customers, including social networking, microblogging, photo- and video-sharing, and customer reviews.
At the same time, the growing use of blogging by media organizations and marketers has raised the comfort level with blogs as a news source, as a means of interacting with companies, and as a forum for customer reviews and opinions. These trends have empowered people to use the blogosphere to reach the widest possible audience.
The rates of blog reading will rise appreciably over the next several years. These increases will be driven by an ongoing confluence between blogs and traditional media, as well as by the growing use of blogs at the corporate level. Blogs are an increasingly accepted part of the news and opinion loop in a broad variety of subject areas, notably politics, technology and celebrity culture.
The numbers of blog creators will also increase, albeit more modestly. This growth will be spearheaded by the ease of use of blog hosting services and the widespread acceptance of blogs in the media mix.
Social media will also promote blogging by acting as a traffic aggregator to blog sites. However, this will be a double-edged sword, as social venues can also inhibit blogging by providing users with powerful platforms of self-expression.
What do you think about this data?
Join our free webinar to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog.
Posted by Jeanne Hopkins on Mon, Nov 15, 2010 @ 05:53 PM
November 17, 2010
Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/UoUUPQZNyUU/