How to Make a Blog on WordPress using Network Solutions

WP_logo1- Buy a domain name (like www.jefflazerus.com)
2- Buy a hosting account on Network Solutions
3- Install WordPress out of the “Tools” panel in your account manager area
4- Login and post, but don’t expect it to work the same each time, and always expect some new useless (?) upgrade from WordPress at random times.

UPDATE 11/05/09:

Network Solutions now allows you to buy a WordPress hosting package, without shared hosting or the high end virtual server, for something like $4.00 US. If you just want WordPress on a nice stable platform, this could be a good solution. If I were going to add WP to a commerce site that already exists I would seriously consider this option.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

What Do You Mean by “On Demand”?

Not everyone agrees on the definition of “on-demand”. They’re all right, AND they’re all wrong, too.

How many ways can you make change for a dollar?

The phrase “on demand” is pretty self explanatory. Software makers use it, video services use it. Even “print on demand” has been pretty much lumped into the book publishing domain.

Digital printers and marketing service providers have taken “print on demand” a step further to include things like web to print, short run reprints of marketing collateral (maybe digital, maybe not), pick and pack fulfillment, and there are others lurking in the shadows. All of these processes are different in a lot of ways. (BTW, there are 293 ways to make change for a dollar. And probably more ways to define “on demand”). Continue Reading →

Marketing Money is Going to the Wrong Places

According to a study by Bredin Business Information (BBI) (from an article in Marketing Charts), marketers are spending too much on channels that their audience doesn’t care about, and not enough on channels they like.
The article says that marketers are putting their most of their eggs in the online basket, but the way SMBs want their communication is in a more passive form. From the article:

BBI, which surveyed both marketers and small businesses about their online and offline media preferences, top concerns and brand ratings, found that marketers are most interested in using online tactics such as microsites/resource centers, webinars and webcasts, and social networking. Offline, tactics such as PR and telemarketing are most appealing to marketers, while interest in direct mail, print advertising and trade shows all declined.

These efforts are at odds with what SMBs say they prefer, according to BBI. As a source of information about products and services, SMBs rely most on newspaper and magazine articles (43.6%) and direct mail, including letters, postcards and catalogs (43.5%)

It is perfectly reasonable that marketing agencies and enterprise marketers are moving toward the online channels. The benefits (to the marketer) are critical: more touches for less cost, theoretically better targeting, online methods are significantly easier and faster to deploy, and marketers can track response accurately and quickly.

But, if your audience prefers to get their communication in a magazine, newspaper, or direct mail, isn’t it a big waste of time and money if you choose to ignore that preference?

I think that there is are important differences between the online and offline channels that marketers should try to understand. First, with print marketing, the recipient is in control, they have the choice about where, when and how they want to read. They can carry it around, put it in the briefcase until the time is appropriate for them. A much when the reader chooses, and controls his environment for doing that, he’s going to be a lot more receptive to the information. At least that’s what I’ve found in my own world. On the other hand, online marketing is typically pushed at the reader, and even if the recipient is in a state where he’s receptive to the message, as soon as he answers his next email or visits the next website, he’s gone. And, possibly gone forever. It’s easy to attract a buyer, and just as easy to lose a buyer.

The boys (in order from left to right): Eric C...
Image via Wikipedia

Like the say on South Park: I think we learned something today. Buy some printing if you want your ads to actually work.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

A New Era of Marketing Gobbledygook

Paying people to hold signs is one of the olde...

Marketing has long been the platform of choice for $#!t-shovelers, wise-crackers, pseudo-scientists, bs-artists, hucksters, shysters, and so on. I believe the Post 9-11, post-internet-boom, “social media” era has upended a large rock under which these people have been hiding, crawling, secretly practicing their weasel words, inventing new ones, creating verbs out of nouns and vice versa, and collecting data by polling each other on their blogs in order to come up with a NEW AND IMPROVED proven method for separating the average person from his hard earned money.

To wit:

I am the Knowledge Sharing Partner, meaning that I am tasked with ensuring information is distributed, knowledge is gained, and best practice deployed for systems and tools to help learning within, and beyond, the company.

It’s hard to summarise what we do succintly but here is our attempt at explaining ourselves in the digital marketplace we work in.

We believe in working collaboratively with our clients to understand their business goals.

We believe in gaining an intimate understanding of our clients’ customers, their behaviours and motivations, the language they use and the networks and communities they belong to.

We believe that a successful brand understands, grows with and seeks to become more influential within its network – it connects with its customers.

We believe in communicating with people authentically, every step of the way is what builds trust in a brand.  Trust is the only basis for a long lasting relationship.We believe in working with responsible clients who understand the need for  an authentic approach. 

What do we do?

We create simplicity out of this complexity.

We help you understand your new opportunities and where to get started.

We find the people that matter most to your business, identify the language they use, describe what they’re looking for and explain how to provide it quickly.

We exploit technology that listens, maps, visualises and reveals customer behaviour and journeys. This insight is the basis of the strategies and programmes we develop with our clients.

We connect brands online by understanding the role of online advertising, user generated content, brand generated content, search engines, information architecture and web development – and the role that they play in the customers’ online experience.

We blend traditional and digital channels, such as search, advertising and creative content in innovative ways to deliver measurable results

We take part in the conversation online by being an active and useful part of the network.

We use proprietary engagement metrics to measure how well connected a brand is with its customers. We ensure our metrics are useful and understandable by presenting them to our clients as stories, pictures and numbers.

Who are we?

We are a full service digital agency, with a ten year heritage in search. We have 650 people in 13 international offices.

We’re the best of a new breed – innovative, results driven, accountable, agile. 

We act as a lens to help you maximise engagement and value.

We’re on the journey as Agency of Record for Coke, Epsom, Unilever and more.

If been able to make it this far, congratulations, I hope your eyes haven’t dried up the way mine do when I read it. And I’ve had the masochistic displeasure of doing so several times in the preparation of this post. My favorite paragraph is this, where he talks about his “authentic communication,” and how they require their clients to communicate authentically (even though they can’t authentically tell you what they do):

We believe in communicating with people authentically, every step of the way is what builds trust in a brand.  Trust is the only basis for a long lasting relationship.We believe in working with responsible clients who understand the need for  an authentic approach. 

GRR!! You’re in the COMMUNICATION business but you can’t even create a sentence with a noun and a verb! “We believe in communicating…is what builds trust in a brand”. Whaa??

moe2

Lets look at some of this more closely. That all sounds very nice. If I were going to spend $100,000 on a marketing campaign, I would want some seriously flowery speech to decorate my thinly veiled excuse for traditional marketing tactics that a student could execute. I think what their really saying is that they will act as an agent for companies who desire some control and brand monitoring whithin various social networks, they’ll check blog postings for you, get you on Twitter, Facebook, and so on, and basically infiltrate internet communication about your company in order to either: retain customers or acquire new customers.

Go to the Plain english site and study up over the weekend, you’ll make at least one more friend. 

 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Marketing Spending in 2009: Where’s the Money Going?

Wordle Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog - ...
Image by DavidErickson via Flickr

In November 2008, BtoB Magazine, a magazine for marketing strategists, did an exclusive survey of marketing executives. The results were reported in their December issue. Among the results are some encouraging numbers for vendors to the industry.

According to the article’s author Kate Maddox, of 211 b-to-b marketing professionals, 31% plan to increase their marketing budgets, while 43.5% will keep their budgets flat. Only 24% will decrease their budgets in 2009.

From the article: “Significantly, of those planning increases, one-quarter intend to raise them by more than 20%, and nearly 9% plan increases between 15% and 19%.”

Some traditional media platforms will also see increased spending next year, including direct mail (36.9%), events (31.0%), telemarketing (21.8%) and print (20.6%).

However, while some marketers plan to increase spending on these media, others plan to cut spending. The survey found that 33.2% of marketers plan to cut spending on print; 30.5% will cut spending on events; 25.6% will cut direct mail spending; and 21.3% will cut outdoor advertising spending.

Where’s the money going? You guessed it: “social media” and the internet. According to Dr. Joe Webb at WhatTheyThink.com, printers can win some of that spending by exploring the “role of new media in strategy development and tactical implementation”. Print is a crucial media component in the marketing mix.

See the whole article here.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Boomers need different marketing

No surprise there, but as everyone knows, this segment (Americans between 44-64) has the most money and the most power. Their decisions affect everyone. The marketing community is now compelled to find a new way to communicate with them. Apparently word of mouth advertising is important to these people. The important part is at the bottom: ”

  • Boomers participate in viral or word-of-mouth marketing as much as or more than younger age groups. 93% of respondents were very or somewhat likely to share product information or news with friends
  • 80% of respondents use a broadband connection at home.

Boomers alone account for 78 million people in the US and control more than 83% of consumer spending.

From MarketingCharts.com:

“People over age 40 participate heavily in word-of-mouth and value personal recommendations and expert opinions, but they have not embraced social networking or blogs despite being heavy users of other online services, according toThirdAge/JWT Boom study.

Below, some findings from the study, which surveyed 1,800 boomers:

Social Networking, Their Own Way

Boomers want to connect and interact with others in their communities around shared interests and common issues, but they use more traditional web communications tools, such as email, to keep in touch. For example:

third-age-jwt-boomer-web-based-activities.jpg

  • 96% use email
  • 92% Stay in touch with family/friends
  • 84% Receive photos of family/friends

Asked whether they visited any sites to connect and engage with others – i.e., social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) – or might in the future…

third-age-jwt-boomer-social-networking.jpg

  • 53% said no
  • 22% said yes
  • 26% said that they did not but might.

Among the 53% who said they had not visited such sites:

  • 47 % cited concerns over privacy and having personal information on the web
  • 39 % said they are too busy
  • 32% said they do not see the benefit of spending time social networking.

Boomers also expressed “little or no interest” in the following activities:

third-age-jwt-boomer-web-based-activities-not-interested-in.jpg

  • 67% Writing blogs
  • 63% Participating in general social networking
  • 62% Playing games with others
  • 55% Listening to podcasts/prerecorded audio content
  • 44% Downloading music

Embracing Online Marketing… Selectively

Boomers participate in trusted online communities and share opinions about brands. They’re also open to traditional marketing and e-marketing, as long as the message is coming from a source or brand they know and trust.

  • 75% who have received promotional emails about products and services have clicked through to the site being promoted.
  • More than 55% have purchased a product or service promoted in an email.
  • 93% of respondents who have read an article about a website in print (newspaper or magazine) have later visited the site online.

Cautious Trust of Websites

Respondents were most likely to trust a Web site’s content if the site corresponded to a trusted brand or featured credible expertise.

  • 83% reported the content needed to be attributed to experts, authors or authorities with subject-matter credibility
  • 66% said they trust sites whose content is sponsored by a company they know and trust
  • 62 % said they would trust a site if they had been going to it for a long time and came to trust its brand

Other Survey Findings:

  • Boomers participate in viral or word-of-mouth marketing as much as or more than younger age groups. 93% of respondents were very or somewhat likely to share product information or news with friends
  • 80% of respondents use a broadband connection at home.

Boomers alone account for 78 million people in the US and control more than 83% of consumer spending. Some 40% of the US population is over 45, with 50% market growth projected in the next 15 years. Boomer spending is expected to surpass $4.6 trillion by 2015.”

Heh heh heh. What the baby boomers really need is a way to communicate with each other, offline, quickly and easily. They need a way to spread information about products, services, ideas, or anything else that they themselves control.