Consumer Privacy and Internet Marketing

protecting-consumer-privacy-main1Like myself, many Internet users are concerned about their privacy. To be honest, that’s my No. 1 concern. This concern will only increase because there are so many data marketers that can now collect information on us online and through social media. Makes you think what conclusions they come to when they see you.

As a company or brand, you are legally, and in my eyes, morally obligated to treat your customers’ private personal data respectfully and fairly. Don’t look at this as draining or something you don’t want to do because it is a waste of time. If this is done correctly, it can create customer goodwill and even increase sales, while reducing business and legal risks.
Currently, the government only minimally regulates Internet marketing. Among the biggest Internet privacy issues involves undisclosed profiling – a process by which marketers construct user profiles based on information like name, address, demographics and online/offline purchasing data. As marketers we know that demographic information is beneficial to consumers because it helps to target our messaging and ultimately provide a better experience for consumers.

What kind of strategy will you need? Whatever the strategy is, it involves more than securing a network from hackers and posting a boilerplate privacy policy.

It is vital that we understand how our information is being used so that we can make informed decisions, have intelligent debates, and ultimately vote for something that maintains and enhances our economic strength while protecting our privacy.


SEO Marketing is an Investment…Not a Cost

seoInternet marketing can be a daunting but it’s necessary. There’s no textbook on the best strategies or techniques and this is where the trouble comes in. Some people need to know if I do A, then B and C will happen but this isn’t the case with Internet marketing. It’s completely up to the business owners, the marketing team and any SEO experts to figure out what works for them. What works for one company won’t necessarily work for another.

Search engines play a very important role in building or destroying a brand. One thing to keep in mind is that SEO makes your business stand out. There are millions of websites on the web and it can be hard to stand out with so much out there, especially of your product or service is competitive. Using SEO will make your brand stand out from the rest and boost your sales.

Companies also need to keep in mind that SEO is not a cost but an investment.

Social Media Platforms…Which One is Right for Your Business?

The-right-social-media-platformsSocial media is very popular and widely used by companies and people all over the world. 91 percent of today’s online adults use social media regularly. One thing that companies do wrong with these social platforms is using it in a traditional way. It’s not meant to be used as “traditional” marketing…it’s “nontraditional.” Because of this, many companies feel like they are wasting their time.

They “feel” like they are wasting time because they honestly don’t know which social media platform will fit the needs of the business.

  1. Pinterest. Pinterest allows members to pin or post photos, videos, and other images to their pinboards. The site, which has a predominantly female audience, is ideal for businesses for which visual imagery is a main feature or selling point. It is a good fit for wedding planning, travel destinations, interior decorating, fashion or foods.
  2. LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business-networking site. It’s a way of growing connections in the business world and utilizing them as necessary. You can reach out to people and get on their radar, so they can reach out when they need your services. You can also discuss your interests, solicit advice and impress others with your expertise.
  3. Foursquare. You can check in to locations and check your friends in. You can see where they’ve been also. Any business that relies on foot traffic coming through the door might do well to run offers or incentives on Foursquare.

Do your research before integrating social media into your marketing strategy because it will save you time and money!

Sharkeisha…the Latest Viral Video..but Why?


Everybody wants to “go viral.” Going viral is all about creating buzz. One can create buzz around a product or brand. Some viral videos are planned out but a lot of the viral videos we see happen by chance. For example, Sharkeisha…it’s like a shark and a Keisha…at the same time. She was recorded beating someone up and it went viral. I don’t condone this kind of video and think the girl needs a good ass whooping but I digress.

Some of these campaigns are horrible…a stale piece of gum would have more pop! How can one create buzz? There are a few things that viral videos have in common including:

  1. It stands out from the rest. Something about the video captures the audience and their emotions.
  2. They use social media. Social media is very powerful and in building brand awareness and spreading buzz quickly. It’s FREE!
  3. The brand builds trust and is genuine.

One important thing to remember is that the brands or products that go viral aren’t scared to take risks! This is very important. An average product with an average story isn’t buzzworthy. I mean, who really wants to watch that? Letting go of standard business thinking is something a lot of people and companies have a hard time with…this is also the reason why their brand or product hasn’t gone viral either. Push the limits! Think outside the box! Box? Ain’t nobody got time for that! There is no box!

What do you think separates buzzworthy stuff from those that fall flat?

The Art of Storytelling

What is your story?Today, you’re in a meeting watching a PowerPoint presentation on the story of a company and needless to say, you’re underwhelmed. You doodle, check your Facebook and text your friends just to keep you busy. We’re not going to count all the “trips” to the bathroom you made just to keep from falling asleep. *yawns* What you really want to say is that it’s boring. When was the last time you heard someone enthusiastic about a PowerPoint presentation? In the words of Kat Williams, “Not never.”

Telling your story using a PowerPoint presentation is not the way to go. I’m sorry but it’s not memorable at all. People love inspiring and compelling stories! Those are the stories we remember and share in the coffee shop or on social media.

Companies are producing stories or short films to promote their brands. We all know that content is king. One thing people forget is that it’s the quality of content and how they tell the story that separates them from the pack. My favorites are the ones where I don’t feel like I’m being sold. I like the short films where the product placement is subtle.

Web Advertising…I Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me

retargeting-642x500Every site and page has ads now and I can’t say I’m excited about it. I understand why there are ads but I feel like it’s a little much. My niece loves YouTube. She sends me videos all of the time to watch so we can FaceTime and talk about it later. I click on the link just to watch an ad before the video even starts. So thankful you can skip ads but a certain time has to pass by before you can do so.

I love music and it’s a big part of my life. Pandora has ads all over the place! I will be in the zone and an ad just kills my vibe. Will I pay $3.99/month to listen ad-free? No. iTunes Radio is pretty cool and allows you to listen ad-free for $24.99/year when you subscribe to iTunes Match. Will I subscribe? No. I will deal with the ads.

I don’t mind seeing them on websites, I really don’t, but when a purse I looked at showed up in ads on pages I went to later…I was intrigued. Retargeting, thanks but no thanks. Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a form of online advertising that helps to keep a brand in front of the user after they leave a website. It makes me feel like I’m being followed. It’s actually kind of creepy once you think about it. Damn you cookies! *Cues Rockwell and sings…I always feel like somebody’s watching me*

What Does Your Digital Identity Say About You?

digital_identityI know I’m not the only person that has asked this question. Some of you may be wondering what I’m talking about. Your digital identity is all the digital information out there about you. How do they get? Well, to be honest, we give it to them. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Pinterest…Do I need to continue?

We have become so used to sharing our lives with everybody that the minute we don’t have our phones, we freak out. We actually live a double life every single day. Some of you may disagree but let me finish. We have our simple, everyday life that we live day in and day out. That everyday life could be mundane or it could be full of adventure. NOW, what we portray online is a completely different story. What I’m trying to say is that you can do, say and pretend as much as you want with your digital identity.

The people whose digital identity doesn’t match their real life use the digital space to show how they would like their life to be. Unless you know these people, you have no clue if this is their real life. It could be 100 percent real or 75 percent with 25 percent wishful thinking. I’m a very private person so I’m selective about what I share. Is it real? Yes it’s real but it’s not all there is to know about me. As far as companies are concerned, this type of information on their consumers is very valuable. Real-time feedback is priceless.

If you look at all your information out there on the Internet, what does it say about you?

Emerging Media and Credibility…Where Does it Stand?

Long gone are the days where we just watch the morning or evening news to get the news. The emerging media landscape changed how we receive our news today and in the future. It also opened the doors for the average person to report the news. From eye-witness accounts to people with inside information, all of it can be found online before the news comes on TV.

Being a journalist at heart, what I’m about to say kills me. Emerging media has made the news untrustworthy. You can’t control emerging media like you can a newspaper article or actual news program, and to me, that causes it to be untrustworthy. People say whatever they want without checking the facts because they want to be the first one to get the story. All of these news sources are racing to be the first one to tweet about an incident and love being able to say, “You heard it here first.” Forget being the first one to get it RIGHT…they want to be the first one to get it period.

I miss the days where facts were checked before talking about a story. From the shooting in Connecticut to the Boston bombings, news outlets were reporting inaccurate information. I want my news, but I want it to be correct. My parents told us to “Come correct or don’t come at all” and I wish those using emerging media to report the news did too. Maybe one day when the ethics catch up with how fast emerging media is going but until then, we take the information like a grain of salt.

What is Emerging Media?


On your mark, get set, get connected! Emerging media is the way to connect with consumers on a much more personal level. From blogs and social media to apps and podcasts, you and I can connect with anyone, anywhere in the world. Emerging media is much more personal and interactive than the

traditional ways. I wouldn’t say emerging media is “new” because that is subjective. The traditional ways include:

  • Television
  • Radio
  • Print

Now, those mediums are still used today but they are used in conjunction with emerging media.

Emerging media allows us to share every thought, video and picture we want. Video sharing is on the rise with apps like Vine and Instagram. Can you get your point across in 7-20 seconds? If not, I probably don’t want to watch it.

In regards to music, Jay-Z called the Internet the “Wild Wild West” because there are no rules. He’s definitely right! That’s why in conjunction with Samsung, he wanted to write the new rules. The same goes for marketers because new rules are being written as I’m writing this blog right now! As great as emerging media is, there are definitely downsides to it and I will talk about it later on in the week. Until then, happy connecting!

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