Make it a “Social Thanksgiving”

Thanksgiving, the time when we give thanks not just FOR, but TO those who have been an important part of our lives:  our friends and family, our customers, shoppers, advocates, and critics.  Yes, I give thanks for ALL of them because they all provide a possibility for a relationship, which is really what it is all about. 

This year, I propose we all try a Social Thanksgiving – one where we focus on the true meaning and value of relationships, and take the time to pay attention to others first (and ourselves next).

Let’s make this Social Thanksgiving a time to make sure everyone remembers two of the most important rules of a relationship:

#1: More important than finding your own light, help others to find theirs.

 When we help others find their lights, we enter into a relationship with them – collaborating with them, giving of ourselves, and experiencing the gift of seeing life for a while through their eyes.  We can always use a chance to and a fresh perspective on our own lives (and who knows, that could be the way that we end up finding our own light!).

 #2: Build people up, don’t tear them down. 

This is one of my rules and it should be one of yours too… no matter who you are interacting with.  When we tear others down, it is only because we feel small and inadequate and are taking it out on someone else.  Take that energy and put it into BUILDING the relationship and supporting others instead of trying to make them small enough that you seem more powerful, wise, or successful.

All people deserve your respect and genuine caring, and what really makes you shine is when you accept them, and build them up so they can see their own light and shine it on the path for others.

Why not take this Social Thanksgiving idea one step further, and going forward, use those two rules of relationship to inspire campaigns and consumer outreach that leads to deeper emotional connections with customers/shoppers?  I have tried it – it is the way I do business – and I can tell you, IT WORKS.

So this Thanksgiving, I thank each of you for building me up and helping me shine my light, and I hope I have the chance to do the same for you!  May you and your loved ones have a Happy and Social Thanksgiving! 

Ted Rubin

Originally posted at


The Inevitability of Google+ for the Enterprise

Every evolution of Web technologies, applications and devices has seen businesses try to leverage the platforms to fatten their bottom line. While visionary early adopters are quick to see and jump on new trends, conservative businesses eventually – maybe reluctantly – join the fray.

As devices and technologies continue to morph and evolve at a faster and faster pace, reluctantly joining in is no longer an option. The ability to ride what my friend Steve Woodruff calls “Trend Currents” will make or break businesses.

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‘Rocket Fuel’ and Marketo’s $50M Funding News

This morning, we had some great news here at Marketo. We announced a large round of primary capital funding – $50 million – led by new investors Battery Ventures. We’re delighted to welcome Battery, and General Partner Neeraj Agrawal, to the Marketo journey.

The media have been enthusiastic about our news, but today’s announcement is just the tip of the iceberg of a truly breakout year for Marketo. The broader business economy is hungry for ways to grow, especially given the current economic climate (I recently wrote on Forbes about the ways turmoil breeds opportunity). Indeed, there’s a new class of cloud technology that is transforming the enterprise, and business overall. Marketo is right in the thick of that transformative shift.

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Listen. Do You Want To Know A Secret?

For anyone of a certain age (we won’t be any more specific) those words most likely prompt a mind’s earful of a catchy tune as recorded by the Fab Four.  (If “Fab Four” is meaningless to you, skip to paragraph 2.)  The lyrics of the song, simplistic as they might be, belie one of the key — maybe even THE key criteria to successful relationship: be quiet; listen up; and you are likely to hear something of value.

Makes for a nice song.  But practically speaking, we don’t much care for the discipline that is required to really listen.

Don’t believe this?  Look around, and consider the precipitous decline in the art of conversation.  E-mail, texting, social updates (in as few as 140 characters, to boot) — all make it infinitely more easy to browse, skim, filter and create shortcuts for messaging.  Key words and optimized phrases have become the shorthand of ideas.  Seems like this used to be thought of as “hearing only what we want to hear.”

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The Extraordinary Revolution of Media Choice

In the traditional model, you can only play one program at a time. One radio show or one movie or one show…

Scarcity of spectrum has changed just about every element of our culture. Scarcity of shelf space as well.

There are just a few radio stations in each market, and each station gets precisely one hour to broadcast each hour. Scarcity of spectrum, inflexible consumption (listen now or it’s gone forever).

There are only a hundred or so channels on most cable systems. Each viewer is precious and you can only program one show at a time. So program for the largest audience you can find, because that’s how you get paid. Share of viewership is everything.

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Marketers And Advertisers: Women Are Driving The Purchasing Bus, Get Used To It

“Women control the majority of purchasing decisions in a household and their influence is growing.” That’s just one of the many key findings from a Nielsen Study which showed that women the world over are in control of purchasing decisions which should serve as a wake up call to business to consumer (B2C) marketers and advertisers across the globe. 

The study, titled Women of Tomorrow: A Study of Women Around the World, provides insight into how current and future generations of female consumers shop and use media differently and presents many cases where marketers have a “massive opportunity to better connect women with the products they buy and the media technologies they use to make a positive impact both in their lives and in the bottom line.” The study also provides even more proof as to the importance of creating and integrated marketing and advertising message.

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To Link or Not to Link Social Media Accounts?

One of my LinkedIn connections (Phil Masiello) recently asked me an important question – one that, in my opinion, everyone should be asking themselves if they haven’t already.  Following is his question, with my response and a few additional thoughts:

Phil: Ted, 
I have my Twitter linked to my LinkedIn account. One of my contacts is complaining to me that I shouldn’t do that. Linked in is for business and Facebook is for other. My twitter is mostly related to business, business travel, etc. What is your thought? Should I take twitter off LinkedIn?

My response went something like this:

I connect my Twitter activity to my Linkedin account because I do very little daily LinkedIn interaction and this way my LinkedIn presence still has a life. I DO NOT connect Twitter to Facebook since those posts  do fill up peoples pages and cause issues, and the language I use for Twitter and Facebook differs so greatly.

I have had a few LinkedIn complaints as well (about showing my Twitter activity there), but those complaints are HUGELY outweighed by the positive feedback and interaction it creates for me in a medium that lacks that easy functionality. I explain this to those who complain, and they all understand my reasoning. That being said, if they are unhappy, they can simply unlink from me, with no harm done.

I DO pay attention to these things and if the negative begins to outweigh the positive, I will change my practice.  

The key things to ask before linking any social media streams are:

  1. Is the information relevant to more than one network?  If not, don’t link.
  2. Is the language (tone, formal vs. informal, etc) appropriate for more than one network?  If not, don’t link.
  3. Is the content valuable to more than one network?  If not, don’t link.
  4. Is the content appropriate for the purpose of more than one network/tool?  If not, don’t link.
  5. Is the link (and resulting automatic feed) likely to get in the way of other people’s online experience?  If so, don’t link.

Although each social media tool has several shared attributes, each tool also has different functionality and different purpose – which draws a different audience and content for each. 

Bottom line?  Pay attention to your audience and make sure your links between tools are of value to each audience involved, and not just an easy (but useless) way for you to spray your content far and wide.  Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD. 

On the other hand, when done intentionally and appropriately, linking content feeds from one social media tool to another can be a highly effective and valuable way to extend your online presence to more than one relevant audience in more than one way. 

Bottom line?  It’s your choice… just choose wisely, for the sake of all involved. 

Ted Rubin 

PS. Notice how Phil used social media to request information from a trusted source.  LOVE it!

Originally posted at Zemoga’s

CMOs Must Adapt or be Left Behind

Guest post from Courtney Sato, Community and Brand Director at the Constellation Research Group.

On September 20, 2011, Constellation Research analyst, Jeff Ashcroft published “The Four Hats of the Social CMO”—a best practice guide that identifies four roles of CMOs that have emerged as a result new technologies. Jeff utilized survey data from 126 CMO respondents to compile this report. I sat down with him to discuss his findings.

In what ways has technology disrupted the CMO space such that you felt it was necessary to author this report?

JA: It became clear from the results of The Social CMO Survey that a significant shift has begun within the marketing function in response to the rapid and continuing emergence of social networking. From these results we were able to crystallize the findings to determine four specific roles “The Four Hats” CMOs will need to wear to succeed in these times of change.

Can you explain some of the issues and realities facing CMOs today that are driving the need for CMOs to change?

JA: Many CMOs today are stuck in an isolation loop with many only surviving in the role an average of 24 months. Many are no longer members of the senior management teams as a key member with the same respect as other officers. And some marketing functions are now embedded in other departments that frequently manage a hodge-podge of marketing functions (e.g. pricing and customer care).

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The State of Social Media 2011: Social is the new normal

The state of social media is no insignificant affair. Nor is it a conversation relegated to a niche contingent of experts and gurus. Social media is pervasive and it is transforming how people find and share information and how they connect and collaborate with one another. I say that as if I’m removed from the media and cultural (r)evolution that is digital socioeconomics. But in reality, I’m part of it just like everyone else. You and I both know however, that’ I’m not saying anything you don’t already know.

Social media is clearly becoming the new normal. For the last several years, simply adding the word “social” in front of anything and everything from media and gaming to commerce and CRM to business and consumerism, it’s clear that we are finally approaching the end of the hype curve to start making sense of what it all means and just how far it applies to the future of business and media.

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Brand Immersion with Contests… Don’t Forget About the Relationship!

A well-structured contest — wisely integrated in social media, encouraging participation of groups, and easily enabling the sharing and including of the social graph of participants — will bring consumers into your brand experience.  Savvy marketers can leverage contests to increase both short- and long-term return.

As with any marketing campaign using social media, a contest needs to be part of an integrated media strategy, using a blend of social and traditional media as appropriate for your brand’s consumers. And as always, remember to keep your message consistent.  A great contest that does not match your brand message is a waste of your resources and does little to add long-term value. Many are using strictly social contests to grow Facebook “likes” and Twitter “followers,” and this is ok if that is your objective, but keep in mind those are very targeted initiatives and offer little value to the brand experience.

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