Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Today’s emerging media–taste and enjoy!

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2009 by gingercatmom

Mindchow readers have joined me on a journey through many topics in emerging media. As I’ve written about the many new ways to communicate with consumers in a digital world, I’ve watched my own media consumption change as well. As I noted in my introduction to this blog, I consider myself a bit of a hybrid media user and that has not changed. As I type this, I’m listening to the news on the television in the next room and periodically checking my Facebook account to see what’s new in that world. I find myself reading less of the daily newspaper (sadly, I admit) and checking the headlines more often on my Twitter feed and on news websites. I’m downloading apps for my Blackberry and talking to my friends about how they use their mobile devices to stay connected.

I’ve also noticed an increase in my colleagues’ interest in emerging media. They are curious about how we can harness some social networking applications and use them to build relationships with our customers. It’s an exciting time to work in marketing but more challenging than ever before as we try to understand who is using emerging media, why they use it and how they will use it in the future. I may not have all the answers, but I know I am learning more each day as I examine my personal use of emerging media.

Thank you to all of you who have commented–both on the blog–and through other channels. I appreciate your readership! My emerging media class has come to an end, but I may blog on here from time to time. As I noted in a previous post, blogs provide us with our own little digital soapbox and I’ve come to enjoy having my own place to speak up!

Until next time…I encourage you to be open to new tastes in media. Sample it all!

New media...take small bytes and enjoy!

Savor the world of emerging media...take small bytes and enjoy!



Viral communication on a viral issue

In blogs,Facebook,mobile marketing,Uncategorized on October 22, 2009 by gingercatmom

H1N1 flu information is almost as widespread as the virus itself. Since this influenza strain appeared earlier in 2009, both state and federal government agencies have used a combination of traditional and emerging media to spread the word on the spread of the flu!

Taking a look at the CDC website, here’s a summary of how emerging media is working to help health professionals and the public at large. I think it’s a great example of how to communicate a message quickly, consistently and efficiently to all audiences.

Readers can sign up for an RSS feed on disease updates, request daily email updates, follow the site on Twitter, download podcasts. There’s a widget that can be downloaded, a CDC WebMD FluBlog, a text message option, and even an e-card that can be sent saying “Good Health is in your Hands”. Buttons and badges are available for websites and social networking applications—in both English and Spanish.

The CDC also has a presence on three social network sites: Facebook, MySpace and DailyStrength. The CDC Facebook page, launched in May 2009 attracted 14,000 fans by July 31 and that count has now more than doubled to almost 31,000.

To assist media, a library of H1N1 Flu Audio and Video Resources includes webcasts, audio and video podcasts, public service announcements are available and health professionals can use prerecorded educational audio messages for on-hold messaging.

These are tremendous resources for all of us who want to stay well and help others find the most current information on this disease. There is a level of confusion among the public—we in healthcare call them the “worried well”–and CDC has answers available via the most commonly used emerging media channels.

So…in the spirit of the CDC’s H1N1 website, I encourage you to spread the word—not the virus. Wash your hands, stay informed, and stay home if you’re sick! Stay well MindChow readers!


What a mom wants…what a mom needs…

In social issues and new media,Uncategorized on October 19, 2009 by gingercatmom

There’s no doubt that moms are spending a lot more time online. As a representative of the mommy population, I so often wish that the Internet had arrived on the scene back in the days when my children were young (and that was in the nineties…not exactly in the distant past)! Today I find that the opportunities to connect with other moms, research children’s issues and save money are infinite!

Women…especially moms are a powerful audience. Studies have shown that 85% of the women in the US make the purchase decisions in a given household. So how exactly are moms responding to online marketing today? What gets their attention and keeps them paying attention to the message?

Prospectiv, a firm that specializes in women’s marketing, recently released information from their “What Women Want Consumer Survey”. The study shows that more moms than women without children actually like seeing online discounts and coupons for products of interest to them. Moms also had a higher level of trust in online coupons than those women online without children.

What content would moms like to see in email marketing? Number one is information that pertains to their lifestyle. Surprisingly, 21% of women with children also report being interested in “anything they send me” whereas 35% women without children say “don’t send me anything at all”.

The most effective way brands can reach online female Internet users is through product samples offered, followed by coupons. Emails, banner ads on websites, and blogs were only marginally effective, according to the women surveyed.

Now imagine the value of this information to those who market diapers, or snack foods, or children’s sporting goods–or really just about anything used in a household with children of any age. Raising children today is more expensive than ever, and most moms are looking for ways to give their family everything they want at the lowest cost. Brands that allow web-savvy moms to learn about product features, find those products easily, sample them and at the same time save money will have the best chance at truly reaching moms—and making them smile. And when momma is happy, brands marketers are happy too.


There’s an app for that…

In ad campaigns,mobile marketing,social issues and new media,Uncategorized on October 16, 2009 by gingercatmom

I’ve been hearing a radio commercial this week for Verizon. Mocking the iPhone commercial’s tagline, “there’s an app for that” Verizon says “There’s a map for that…”. I had to listen closely because I knew iPhones were not on the Verizon network and the whole thing didn’t make sense at first. It certainly was a dig against AT&T, but it got me thinking about apps and what they mean to us today.

Isn’t it amazing how a three letter word–app–has so quickly become part of our vernacular?
App is short for application. Apps add function to mobile devices like the iPhone. Like the Apple commercial demonstrates, there is an app for almost anything–from calorie counters to tip calculators. Some apps are informative and some are purely entertaining. In an app store, users can download apps at varying prices, depending on who developed the application and its purpose. Most paid downloads are relatively low priced.

Marketers considering developing apps must be mindful of the cost. According to Forrester Research, apps typically cost between $20,000 and $150,000 to develop. Many brands will want to give away their apps if they want to achieve viral marketing success.

The best apps are simple, work on a variety of platforms (think iPhone, Blackberry, etc) and unique. But before including mobile apps in the marketing mix, it’s important to know how your audience is using mobile devices. You might want to take a survey…and there might even be an app for that too!

There’s no doubt that mobile marketing will boom in the years ahead! Mobile apps offer a golden opportunity to get your brand message right in your target audience’s hands—again and again.


Better late than never

In Facebook,social issues and new media,Uncategorized on October 11, 2009 by gingercatmom

I have a confession to make. I arrived late to the Facebook party. And…I kind of like it.

I’ve explored many other aspects of new media before. I’ve tweeted, I’ve linkedin and I’ve blogged. There were legitimate business or academic reasons to learn about all those things and I made the time to understand. But I was reluctant to enter the hallowed halls of Facebook. I was living Facebook vicariously through my family!

Why did I wait so long? The answer is simple—time! Time is precious to me and I knew that if I wanted to engage on Facebook I would need to spend some time online chatting, posting, being a fan, friend and more. I didn’t want my virtual life to preclude my real life–which is already quite full of conversations, status updates and interactions in the physical world. I also didn’t want to invade a space where my teenage sons play and communicate (I would not have wanted my mother in on my conversations when I was in high school).

So it was with bit of reluctance–though I admit some excitement–that I signed on last week. I need to be on Facebook to fully understand the marketing applications of this site and the power it now wields in the marketing communication world. If we want to reach people with our messages, we need to be where they are…and for a surprisingly diverse group of Americans, Facebook is the place to be.

In reality, I’m among the fast growing group of Facebook users…those over the age of 35. I joined a community of 300 million active users who spend an astonishing 6 billion minutes on Facebook’s site each day, worldwide. It’s a viral marketer’s dream come true! Facebook users are downright eager to spread messages.

I’m making note of the kind of ads that show up on my visits to Facebook and not surprisingly, some are appropriate to my age, my lifestyle and my interests. I might have to pick up some of those pink kitchen gadgets that have shown up on my screen every day in October. However I’m not going to become a fan of Old Spice anytime soon.


Newspapers and online publishing: the new hybrid e-ditions attract readers

In newspapers,social issues and new media,Uncategorized on October 10, 2009 by gingercatmom

These are tough times for newspapers and those who love them. An increasing number of daily newspapers are folding, or radically downsizing due to reduced paid circulation. With free online editions of the local paper, many newspaper readers no longer have a reason to unfold the paper and get their hands dirty (savvy readers know that most papers did away with that smeary ink years ago). We can read the articles, comment on them and forward them to our friends.

Newspaper website audiences are growing… attracting 73.3 million monthly unique visitors in the first quarter of this year. That’s a 10.5% increase over the same quarter in 2008. What does that mean to newspaper publishers, to readers and to advertisers?

The newspaper industry says this means that Americans rely on trusted newspaper brands for accurate news and information, whether in print or online. The industry also recognizes that some kind of transformation of the “old” media is necessary for survival. They are encouraged by the growth in readership and acknowledge that digital editions are essential to future survival of  “newspaper” journalism.

Online newspaper site readers are spending an increasing amount of time reading as well. On average, there were 8.19 visits per person, looking at an average of over 48 pages and spending an average of nearly 44 minutes per person over the quarter. That sounds positive, but it needs to be put in perspective to the reading habits of the print newspaper reader. Avid print newspaper readers would spend much more time reading over a quarter, covering many more pages. They are also exposed to much more advertising on any given “reading” of the daily paper.

Advertisers need to be aware that online newspaper readers are a desirable group to reach. A few key demographic facts:
• 34% of Americans with postgraduate degrees…
• 28.2% of Americans with a household income of at least $100,000 AND…
• 29.9% of individuals in management, business or finance
have visited a newspaper website in the past week.

Dont believe everything you read...its a whole new newspaper online

Don't believe everything you's a whole new newspaper online

There are still some opportunities for advertisers in world of print newspapers. And without advertising and subscribers, newspapers will not survive. But as we better understand who is reading online editions we can better position our marketing messages in this hybrid world of print and online newspaper publishing!


Unofficial Blogs–soapbox or serious source?

In blogs,newspapers,social issues and new media,Uncategorized on October 6, 2009 by gingercatmom

bloggers...serious stuff or somebodys soapbox?

blogs...serious stuff or somebody's soapbox?

Last week, my emerging media class spent some time discussing unofficial company blogs. It’s pretty easy to find a blog on any subject so I just googled “unofficial ________ blog” and had a variety of choices in front of me. is an example –it’s clearly all about WalMart (and all that is “wrong” with WalMart) yet there’s no link to the actual corporate site. There are no logos, no corporate perspective and no e-commerce conducted here. It’s very easy to understand the blogger’s agenda. They want to encourage readers, employees and community activists to demand change in WalMart’s business practices. It’s pretty obvious that this is not content generated by the company itself, but something that WalMart must take seriously.

As a skeptic, I have to ask “who reads blogs” and “why”? What prompts an individual to spend time writing, posting and following responses to their blogs? Why should I care what the blogger thinks about a specific company, product or cause?

The Pew Internet and American Life Project continues to provide helpful data on all aspects of Internet usage–including blog readership. A few facts from a 2008 study:
• 33% of internet users (the equivalent of 24% of all adults) say they read blogs, with 11% of internet users doing so on a typical day.
• Male and female internet users are equally likely to say that they do read other people’s blogs (35% for men, 32% for women).
• 12% of internet users (representing 9% of all adults) say they ever create or work on their own online journal or blog.
Given the fact that this data is more than a year old, I think we can assume that those figures are now even higher. A significant portion of the population reads blogs regularly. How the readers use that information is unclear. Marketers hope their blog content will spur the readers to believe, purchase or trust. But I think a lot of independent blog authors simply want to be heard–their small voices shouting from a virtual soapbox!

Judging whether a blog is serious, credible content–or not–is up to the reader. But credible or not, there seem to be blog readers willing to read.Therefore companies need to pay attention to those unofficial blogs.