Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

3-D Ads coming to a phone near you!

May 15th, 2012 by Deb McLean

Three-dimensional mobile advertising is on its way!  I just read that hundreds of millions of Chinese are already all over this new technology and an acquisition announced last week is betting that we Americans will be getting into it too.
Three-dimensional ads, in which users explore a marketing space by “touching” objects within it is a specialty of the Palo Alto, California-based AdJitsu—a specialty Trevor Healy, the chief executive of Amobee wants to leverage.  “Creating mobile ads with an immersive 3-D experience fundamentally changes the way people perceive ads,” Healy said in the statement released to announce the acquisition. “Instead of a passive experience, mobile users now interact and play with the ad, which is key to starting a love affair between the consumer and the brand,” With AdJitsu’s advanced 3-D technology, Amobee’s mobile ad campaigns feel like mini apps that mobile users look forward to receiving.”

Take a look at how cool this technology is!


Buckle your seat belts!

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Leaving your Mark(s)

May 8th, 2012 by Deb McLean

When I was young, I wanted to be famous (most kids do I think).  I dreamed of being an Olympic Athlete or a famous movie star.  Alas, I wasn’t nearly good enough nor pretty enough. 

As I grew older, I realized that it wasn’t that I wanted to be famous.  I wanted to leave my mark.  Make a difference in the world.

Being blessed with Motherhood has been my most important mark of all.  Raising a good and kind human being is my greatest accomplishment.  She’s my legacy.

But service to others is also leaving your mark.  There are many many charities, big and small in need.  It’s not just making monetary donations although that is important.  It’s your time.  Mentor or be a reading coach in schools.  Volunteer at soup kitchens or organizations like Metropolitan Ministry.  Volunteer at the Crisis Center.   Raise your hand!  Leave your mark!

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November 17th, 2011 by Deb McLean

The holidays are a time to celebrate family and friends.  But you may not be feeling at all like one of Santa’s little helpers. In fact, you may be feeling like the Grinch. The holidays bring an endless round of obligations at work and at home: client annuals, cards to send, presents to buy, entertaining, decorating. . . .Here’s a seven quick tips for the season…

1. Spend the holidays at home this year.

The last thing you can deal with is the pressure of making travel plans for the busiest time of the year. Call the kids together for a family video or audiotape and get to the post office early to mail it. Phone your out of town relatives on the first night of Hanukkah or on Christmas morning and make plans to visit during the new year.

2. Limit the optional events.

Whittle down the list, set limits to what you can and can’t do!

3. Resist the urge to be Martha Stewart.

Suddenly, every house on the block has gargantuan wreaths over the door, candles twinkling in the windows, and a display of light-up choirboys on the lawn. Have your neighbors tapped into some network of indigent elves looking for preholiday employment?  Above all, stop torturing yourself with keeping up!

4. Get choosy about Christmas cards.

Start by asking yourself what holiday cards mean to you. Cut down by not sending to people you see all the time. Or you might want to reverse the process and send cards only to family and close friends. The key to making your life easier is to cross guilt off your list.

5. Stress the meaningful

Focus on what is meaningful be it faith, family, friends or doing something for those in need.

6. Don’t shop till you drop.

Start early and consider shopping online…You can get EVERYTHING and avoid the crowds.

7. Give yourself a time-out.

Right now, before you have a nervous breakdown. Stop roasting those chestnuts. Stop burning that midnight menorah oil. Take an invigorating walk or get a massage or just sit quietly and read a good book.

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What’s lighting the world? Digital

October 25th, 2011 by Deb McLean

It really wasn’t that long ago we were stumbling around in the dark ages. ..whether looking for information, looking for clients or looking for relationships or long lost friends.          

Our kids today can’t even fathom not being able to just grab their smart phone to find the answer to the most mundane trivia or reach out to a friend on Facebook.

From a marketing standpoint, when you know who your customers are, what their shared behaviors, passions and mindset are, you can stop propositioning strangers and get down to the serious task of satisfying the needs and wants of those that matter.

Digital is lighting up the world and I’m excited to be out of the dark.

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212 degrees. The Extra Degree

October 12th, 2011 by Deb McLean

I love this illustration of putting forth that one extra degree of effort whether it’s in work, school, person relationships, sports, and just life in general.

212° The Extra Degree, by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson shows you how to see an exponential increase in your business or personal achievements. It’s the extra degree of effort that often separates the good from the great. 212° The Extra Degree captures a simple, yet powerful concept. At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. It’s that extra degree that can power a locomotive…or take your life results far beyond your expectations. By taking ownership of this fundamental principle, focusing on a clearly-defined goal, maintaining an unstoppable attitude, committing to take action, and persevering, you’ll see life-altering, positive results. The message of 212° The Extra Degree is clear: It’s your life: You are responsible for your results. It’s time to turn up the heat!

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Holiday Forecasters Have Their Work Cut Out for Them This Year

October 10th, 2011 by Deb McLean

The first round of Christmas sales forecasts are trickling in, and retailers are once again wringing their hands about the biggest shopping period of the year.

Most merchants placed orders for holiday goods in the spring, when there was still plenty of hope that the economy was on the mend. But since then the combination of the first-ever U.S. credit downgrade, the European debt crisis and widespread talk of a double-dip recession has squelched that optimism.

Consumer behavior has never been easy to discern. But experts say it is getting harder to predict in the long aftermath of the recession.

“Consumerism today is getting more and more unpredictable, and the recession has a lot to do with that,” said Tracy Pilar Johnson, research director at Context Research, a Baltimore-based consumer behavior research firm. “People are still shopping. They are still buying things. It’s just more hit or miss.”

Trying to figure out shoppers’ appetites for holiday spending is critical for retailers, as sales rung up in the November-December period account for 20 to 25 percent of most retailers’ annual revenue. At jewelry and toy stores, the figures reach 30 to 40 percent.

At the same time, a bad holiday season for retailers could be a bonanza for consumers. Recall the horrible holiday of 2008. The financial crisis happened so quickly that retailers were stuck with loads of goods and panicked. They slashed prices, overwhelming consumers with deals. Shoppers snatched up designer duds at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue for markdowns at 60 and 70 percent, a rare treat.

In 2009, with the memory of the previous season’s price slashing fresh in their minds, retailers reduced their holiday orders. The play-it-safe strategy led to bare shelves and slim pickings for procrastinating shoppers. Last year, retailers brought in more inventory but took extra steps to make sure the goods would sell. Widespread offers of free shipping and Black Friday promotions that lasted throughout November sent retail sales soaring more than 4 percent, double what most forecasters had predicted.

Kurt Salmon, the Atlanta-based retail consulting firm, has watched consumers becoming less predictable since the depths of the recession. The correlation between what the 8,000 consumers on the firm’s monthly research panel say they’re going to spend and what they actually do spend has been shrinking in the past three years.

Before the recession, the survey had a 78 percent accuracy rate, said John Long, retail strategist at Kurt Salmon. Today, it is 20 percent. The difference: Consumers say they will trim their spending, but then they don’t cut back as much as they intended.

“Consumers want to be disciplined, yet they are enticed to buy when they go in stores,” Long said. “Even when consumer confidence goes down, consumers aren’t reducing their spending. It gets to what shopping is doing for them psychologically.”

Still, confidence among the nation’s consumers languished at a two-year low in September, while the percentage of households saying it is hard to find a job climbed to the highest level in 28 years. That’s not exactly a recipe for a merry shopping season, according to some forecasters.

“The outlook for the 2011 holiday season is not a matter of whether it will be weak, but rather how weak it will be in the wake of declining consumer and business confidence,” wrote Frank Badillo, senior economist at Kantar Retail, in the London-based retail consulting firm’s annual holiday forecast report.

Ho Ho Ho

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Facebook Growing in the U.S., But Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Are Still Bigger

September 6th, 2011 by Deb McLean

Depending on what numbers you trust, how you’re counting, the market and the period of time you’re looking at, Facebook is already the most popular site on the web. On average though, in the U.S. at least, it’s still behind the big three: Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

It’s growing though, according to the latest comScore numbers, for July, Facebook added another million unique visitors to its site. 162 million Americans visited Facebook at least once last month, up from 160.2 million in June.

It’s an impressive figure since Facebook is already used by a big percentage of U.S. internet users.

That said, it still has some work ahead of it before it can claim the top spot in the U.S., which now belongs to Google. 182 million people in the U.S. visited at least one Google site in the last month.

The figure includes YouTube visitors, which are quite a few on their own. That said, most YouTube users visit at least one other Google site also, the search engine for example, though the overlap is not 100 percent.

In between Google and Facebook sit, as always, Yahoo, with 177 million visitors, and Microsoft, with 174 million. In both cases, all properties belonging to the two companies were counted.

There’s not much between the sites, Yahoo is less than five million unique visitors behind Google, but the ranking has stayed the same for years.

Even Facebook, which had a huge growth spurt for a few years, is finding it hard to grow past its current size in the U.S. While Facebook has well over 750 million users worldwide, it’s probably at over 800 million already, unofficially, most of the new users come from outside of the U.S. and outside of the markets it became popular in first.

(Source: Softpedia, 08/22/11)

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Research should be part of the Plan

September 1st, 2011 by Deb McLean

My company spends a lot of money on research so we continue to know what our listeners want.  This  is an important investment that is essential to future growth.

The web is R&D in public. So are apps. Not just for tech companies. For any company that is trying to figure out how its customers think and what they want.

We shouldn’t be so quick to criticize companies that launch interactive tools that fail. In fact, we should be critical of those that don’t.  Research should be part of every company’s plan regardless of the size.

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This is a devil of a commercial

August 30th, 2011 by Deb McLean

Could you have guessed what this commercial is for?  It’s fantastic and completely captivating!  You may not have been able to guess, but you won’t forget it!

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How we “help” build our little ones and a better place

August 25th, 2011 by Deb McLean

One of the best books I have read in the last decade is “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.  One of my favorite scenes in the book was also one of my favorite in the movie and something we must NEVER lose sight of as parents.  I think it’s one of the primary points of the book and important for us to realize not only parents but as women.  Not that much really separates us regardless of the color of our skin, our religious beliefs, our education or our bank account. 

Our children must know…”You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important.”   Then together we can build confidence and start to make the world a better place.

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