Blog Action Day Fights Poverty With Huge Social Media Lever

How can social marketing make an impact on the impoverished? That’s the question I’m asking for Blog Action Day’s topic this year of “Poverty.”. There are millions of places online where you can read about and act to diminish poverty. From Kiva to the Gates Foundation, organizations are harnessing the power of the many online to help their cause. And of course it’s not just for poverty. There are plenty of causes.

So, not to belittle the need to stamp out poverty, but I thought I’d use a local example of an off line “long tail” that I know the Jackson Hole businesses and non-profit (the 200+ of them that there are in our community of just over 20,000 people) community can relate to to help understand how the online long tail can make a difference for their cause, whatever it may be.

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Marketing As Service/Utility

I believe strongly that business provides a service, and your marketing should be no different. Your site visitors have a problem—and it’s up to you to solve it. After all, why would they seek you out if there weren’t a specific need? Sure, there are those impulse and luxury buys, but the reason you go looking for something is to fulfill a need (even if it is frivolous). If you solve their problem they might even become your customers. If you don’t, well, it’s sayonara, baby. And they probably won’t come back.

In this age of online interactivity, the Web provides so many ways to provide utility to your customers. Look at all these “thought leaders” out here providing info so you’ll come have a look at what we have to say and, should you feel comfortable with what we have to say, maybe even hire us or use our services.

And you know when you can custom order a pizza online, the age of utility has arrived. It is the future so don’t ignore it. But utility doesn’t just have to be online. There are lots of ways to provide utility. The bottom line is that age of pushing your advertising out to consumers is nearing an end and the age of your consumers looking for what you provide have begun.

I found this slideshow by Paul Isakson a month or two ago. It really sums up “The Future of Marketing + Advertising.”


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Social Media Proving Difficult For Marketers

Will you find customers on Facebook or other social media?

In case you hadn’t noticed, it appears the world of social networking is giving marketers and the businesses they market for a run for their money. I’ve been paying attention because I, too, am a marketer trying to make sense of this very fickle medium.

The bottom line is that, even as anti-social as social media seems on the surface, people are there to interact with people, not advertisements.
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Twist of Lime Is A Marketing & Content Services Agency

Twist of Lime LogoI’m proud to announce the launch of my new business: Twist of Lime is a marketing and content services agency.

I’ve taken the skills I’ve developed as a marketing and communications specialist for several organizations over the better part of the past decade and parlayed them into this new endeavor. It occurred to me some time ago that here in our relatively small community there are a few graphic designers who specialize in Web design and there are a number of developers/programmers (nobody’s really sure what that number is—they keep a pretty low profile) who do Web development and other similar work. There are even a few agencies that bring the two disciplines together in one shop. But nobody seems to offer complete marketing services or content development or upkeep.

Anyone worth their salt works with their client to develop a good site outline, but often the creation and collection of that content is left up to the client. Some even offer a content management system so the client can update their own content, but if they don’t stay familiar with how the CMS works or have time to deal with updates, it becomes more of a burden and more often than not their site goes stale.

As for marketing, there are a couple of more traditional ad agencies offering media buying in addition to their other services, but not usually of the online variety, and no one comes close to offering comprehensive strategic marketing planning.

Enter Twist of Lime.
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April Fools Day As Marketing Springboard

Happy Belated April Fools Day!Rather than jump directly on the bandwagon and post something about April Fools day actually on April Fools Day (‘cause that would be too on-top-of-it for this blogger. I’d hate to get a heart attack or something…), I figured I’d wait a week and see what the fallout was and how the blogosphere reacted to it.

I caught a few things right off the bat on Tuesday morning, but most of the April Tom-Foolery on the Internet seems to be in the form of jokes, such as the new-to-me but obviously not new concept of “Rick-rolling.”

But what I’ve been looking more for is which companies are successfully using April first as a way to promote their product, tongue-in-cheek style.
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Which Is The Greenest Brand? "None"

“none” is the greenest brandGreen brands, or brands that aspire to be green, have a ways to go, according to the 2008 Brandjunkie Survey Results. When asked, “What brand do you think is truly (going) green? Why?” the number one answer was: none. By a strong 19.4% of the vote, most survey respondents felt there was no brand out there that was truly “green.” The top responses included:

“Companies will pretend they are environmentally aware except they still have, primarily, only their own interests in mind and are therefore never truly green.”

“All brands are out to please their stockholders.”

“There are attempts at establishing green credentials—but these attempts are happening in silos within brands and companies. Very often, the ‘green’ aspect of the business is far outweighed by the ‘non-green’ areas.”

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Marketing To Addicts

Chris Hansen skiing some Teton powderThe best kind of marketing is the kind that you don’t have to do for a product your customers want and believe they can’t live without. There are a handful of products and services that fall into this category. Many are illicit and illegal. Often times they are addictive—be they physically or psychologically. But there are a few things that, while (psychologically) addictive, aren’t necessarily bad for you. In some cases they are even good for you.

In this case I’m talking about skiing. Now, I refer to this activity generically as “skiing” because that’s what I grew up doing. But “skiing” for me often means any form of disciplined snow sliding. Sledding, inner tubing and the like don’t count ’cause any idiot can do that. I’m talking about snowboarding and alpine and telemark skiing. Preferably involving gravity, but I’ll occassionally include skiing of the Nordic variety because, while arguably not as fun, those are definitely “disciplines.”
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SaveTheElves.org A Great Example Of Online Marketing

Save The Elves!At Circumerro, we just launched a holiday self-promotion campaign of satire for the holidays. Its called “Save The Elves” and you can learn more about it at SaveTheElves.org. You see, it appears Jackson Hole has an elf problem. After resting on the National “Elf” Refuge during their long migration back to the North Pole for their winter job building toys for Santa Clause, the elves are supposed to resume their journey. Problem is, many of the more delinquent elves are sticking around town and generally causing havoc. I won’t ruin the rest of the story for you; rather, take a moment to watch the video below.

I don’t mind a little shameless self-promotion since this fits right in with low-impact marketing. We shot the video on the fly, over the course of two weeks, and are promoting it almost entirely online. Though we did send out cards to our clients, we opted for a post-card, and it doubles as our holiday card for the season. In fact, that’s where the original idea came from. And what better way to set yourself apart from the crush of holiday cards?

Be sure to check out some of the out-takes either on the site or via YouTube.