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AiMA Goes Second Life Tonight


Aima_logo Join the Atlanta Interactive Marketing  community - AiMA - tonight for a trip into the world of virtual communities. Congrats to Joe Koufman and his committee for pulling together an innovative event.

Can't join us in the non digital world?  Del Ross, from IHG, will not only moderate the panel discussion in person, but his avatar will be simultaneously moderating the ACTUAL event in Crowne Plaza's Place to Meet, a Second Life island for private, secure meetings.


• Christopher Klaus – Founder and CEO for Kaneva
• Mike Donnelly - Director Worldwide Interactive Marketing for Coca-Cola
•Rhonda Lowry – Vice President, Emerging Technologies for TBS
• Paul Greenberg – Director of Consumer Marketing for The Weather Channel

6:30 pm - Networking
7:30 pm - Panel Discussion

Pay at the Door:
$25 - Basic Member
$35 - Non-Member

February's AiMA Meeting continues in the social media space. On Feb 28 27th Wednesdayhear how The Home Depot -- Shera Shrago and Ayres Nicholas -- (B2C), Goodwill of Greater Washington -- Brendan Hurley
Senior Vice-President -- (Not For Profit) and a TBD B2B brand are using social media and Web 2.0 tools to achieve marketing goals. Special guest presenter Geoff Livingston author of Now Is Gone. Peter Kim, Forrester Research will moderate what is sure to be a lively conversation.

Sidebar: Free wifi in the San Diago airport is making me a happy camper. Off to see what the Twits are talking about!

Take The Wrap Off Social Media Marketing Numbers


Shhh ... don't tell any of the social media Intelligentsia. Numbers It Is about the numbers. Don't let anyone kid you. We talk about dropping a pebble in a pond and the swirling levels of influence. But bottom-line looking deep into the waters  .. we search for numbers. We worship numbers. We want more and more and more. We're only takin' care of business

Oh sure, they have to be the "right" numbers er .. people. Right people. People are not numbers. But here's the secret it was always about finding the "right people." But we could never be sure if the right people were watching or reading or listening so we dived into the ocean of numbers. Network television. Newspapers. Oh okay .. radio was more niched. Oh okay .. cable was more niched. Oh okay .. magazines were more niched. We're only takin' care of business.

Alas but for the demographics we never really knew much about the numbers er .. people. Right people. Hello 18-34 year old women who live in the inner city and don't own cars. Hi there 35-54 year old men with beyond a college degree who reside in the suburbs. Hey sorry over 64 year olds we're not really sure what to do with you so we'll just mush you all together. We're only takin' care of business.

Then Pop! Zap! Bam! the world changed. Blogs. Videos. Podcasts. Photos Online. Technology presented easy, cool ways to communicate for the demos er numbers er people. Right people. Some of chat was about brands.  People were talking to their friends and making new friends. Opinions were being influenced and maybe just perhaps purchase behaviors were changing through social media networking. The window and doors to those conversations were wide open and a few savvy marketers began listening in. They heard - Friends talking to friends. Talking to friends of friends. Here come the those numbers. We're only takin' care of business.

The social media Intelligentsia begin to ponder and some even to drool. Maybe just maybe if we listen we can hear and learn. We can create better products and services because we'll understand more than just demographics. We'll understand customers' dreams. Here come the those numbers. One person won't do. Hmmm .. maybe just maybe we can tap into - The Friend - The Top Dog - The Kingpin -The Influencer - who can lead us to the friends of friends and the friends of friends of friends. It's still a numbers game. We're only takin' care of business.

It is still a numbers game. But is that really so bad? When you have limited resources shouldn't you get the most bang for your buck .. so to speak?

If technology can help us turn a demographic snap shot or a one time view behind a two-way mirror into a multi media scrape book of our customers, that continues to evolve over time, shouldn't we maximize those opportunities?

Let's not pretend that social media marketing is not about qualifying the numbers. Marketers will always want more and more and more information to help make informed business decisions. Let's take the wrap off of the numbers game.  We're only takin' care of business.

Thanks to Cardboard, Castles and Other Amenities for the use of the graphic.

Friday Fun: Age of Conversation Meets Blogger Social!


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Question: What do you get when 103 bloggers from all over the globe collaborate on a book?

Answer: Age_of_conversation_george_2 Innovation, Fun, Mind Candy .. and New Friendships! The back-story of how a guy from the farm lands of America and a guy from "down under" inspired a global partnership among people from 24 states and 10 countries. What could have turned into a Tower of Bable is a cohesive and important book about the changing ways business must communication in this digital age. All of the  profits are being donated to the Variety Children's Charity.

The master minds behind Age of Conversation, Drew McLellan

 and Gavin Heaton, are challenging bloggers once more to work together to create Part II. They want our input on the content direction of the book - even if you don't want to participate as an author- add your vote on what you would like to read. Deadline for voting is Jan 31, 2008.

  • Marketing Manifesto  -or-
  • Why Don't People Get It?  -or-
  • My Marketing Tragedy (and what I learned)

For all the details about how to join the rag tag group of ultra cool folks (you don't have to write a blog or podcast or vlog or even a twit to play along) and the link to the survey go visit Drew!

I'm in! Are You?

Sidebar: I have just one question. Where is Curious "Age of Conversation" George?  When last seen Steve and C.B. and C.K. were showing him Manhattan.

Blogger_social_2008 All work and no play makes for a dull diva and divo! After working in the virtual wouldn't it be swell to toast an appletini or a Scotch or even a cup of the old java in the non digital world? CK thought so too. She's hosting the biggest non conference, or perhaps it's the first Blogger Social for her social media friends in NYC. We're going to skip the streets of Manhattan with people we've come to know through 140 character tweets and blogs vlogs and podcasts and of course blogs.

Deadline to sign up and run that plastic through the works is February 15th. For the nitty gritty details visit CK. Thanks to Mario Vellandi for the poster and to Mark Goren for the video .. I love them both!

I'm in! Are You?

P.s. Drew was a mastermind behind the social too.  

Diva Marketing Talks About Micro Blogging With B.L. Ochman and Connie Reece


Diva Marketing Talks is a live, internet radio show.  30-minutes. 2-guests. 1-topic about social media marketing. Why? To help you understand how to participate in the "new" conversation without getting blown-up. Miss today's show? You can pick it up as a podcast.

Today's Diva Marketing Talks focuses on how micro blogging is creeping into social media marketing. Can 140 characters of text messaging really impact your marketing strategy? B.L. Ochman and Connie Reece tell about their experiences on Twitter and how a few little twits turned into pea soup. With B.L. and Connie as guests at the mic this is sure to be an exciting conversation you won't want to miss!

Topic for January 22, 2008:  The Impact of Less Is More: Micro Blogging

Time: 6:30p - 7p Eastern/ 5:30p - 6p Central/ 4:30p -5p Mountain/ 3:30p - 4p Pacific
Call-in Guest Number: 718.508.9924


Bl_ochman_avatar B.L. Ochman

B.L., publisher of What’s Next Blog, helps companies incorporate social media marketing tools into their communications programs. Her clients (whatsnextonline.com) include IBM, Cendant, McGraw-Hill, American Greetings, Kaneka Corporation and others.  She has been working as an Internet strategist since 1995. Previously, she ran B.L. Ochman PR, which she grew to one of the top 100 independent PR firms in the U.S. before turning her sights to the Internet in 1996. Find B.L. on Twitter.

Connie_reece_casualhead_2 Connie Reece

These days Connie wears several hats that all have a focus on social media including Principal, Austin Social Media LLC; Founder, Every Dot Connects and Executive Director, Social Media Club International. She brings diverse experiences to the new communication space that range from direct response copy writing to fund raising, to donor development to publishing. Find Connie on Twitter.

Tips From The Diva Bag

Complements of B.L. Ochman

1. Microblogging is a way to learn where your customers’ attention is right now

2. Social Networks allow you direct access to people you might not be able to reach directly     otherwise, and to see who they are influenced by

3. There is a huge marketing opportunity in 140 character conversations

4. Putting your thoughts into 140 characters will help you become a better communicator

Complements of Connie Reece

1. Tumblr.com - blogging so easy, a caveman can use it. Well, at least an 83-year-old woman can use it -- my mom does.
Pro: most user-friendly; post with a click of your browser toolbar.
Con: if you want comments, it requires workaround using different application

2. Jaiku.com & Tumblr.com are convenient to use as "lifestream," a place where all your online content is automatically posted.

3. The more people you follow on Twitter, the more interesting conversations you can have. When you set up a Twitter profile, include a link to your blog or website with enough personal information that a viewer can make a decision in under 10 seconds whether you're someone worth following.

4. Twitter is a stream (soon to become a raging river, I suppose). The point is that you can't swim the length of the pool; just dip in now and then and enjoy a refreshing break.

5. When you follow a lot of people on Twitter, you're bound to miss conversations, even when you check the Replies tab. To minimize this, use Twitter SMS tracking, RSS tracking using Terraminds, e-mail tracking using Twittermail, or a third-party client such as Snitter or Twhirl.

My current choice is Twhirl because it streams replies and DM's in the same app window, and highlights them in different colors for easy scanning. Because of Twitter API limitations on 3rd-party clients, if you receive more than 20 messages per update, some will be dropped.

Can't call in but have a question for B.L. and Connie ? Drop a comment and I'll ask it for you. Let me know what you'd like Diva Talks to chat about. Don't forget Diva Marketing Talks morphs into a podcast.

Update: Thanks Geoff Livingston for the live call-in question.

Your Guide to Micro-Blogging and Twitter
10 Micro-Blogging Tools Compared

What Does Social Media Mean To You? With Jay Berkowitz, Kasia Szewcyk, Scott Milinder, Dana VanDen Heuvel


What Does Social Media Mean To You? is a continuing video series of Little Sound Bites of thought, insight and fun. Perhaps you'll be on the little Flip video next time we meet!

Thoughts from a few of the people who attended the American Marketing Association's Hot Topic Workshop on Social Media Marketing in Miami this month. For Dana and Jay, who have clocked several years in the space, it's an evolution of customer communication and an opportunity to have it your way. For Kasia and Scott who are taking their first entree into social media, it is a new environment where they can interact, sort of hang out with customers and prospects .

Jay Berkowitz - Ten Golden Rues. Catch Jay's podcast series.

Sound Bite - Social Media Is ..
The evolution of new ways to connect with people and really build relationships.
The evolution from the old chat groups all the way through podcasts and videos. Im lovin' it!

Kasia Szewczyk Kelly Services

Sound Bites - Social Media is ..
We know we need to connect with our audience on a different level.
We're looking to connect to them where theyre spending their time. 
Traditional media has rising costs and diminishing returns.

Scott Milinder, Progressus Therapy

Sound Bites - Social Media is ..
We're a company that is all about people. We have to find new and innovative ways to get people connected.

Dana VanDen Heuvel VanDen Heuvel Executives
Sidebar: Dana was one of the workshop instructors.

Sound Bites - Social Media is ..
It's an evolution. It gives people flexibility on how they connect with their world.
You can have your world, your content, your messages on your terms.
Content, media and life on your terms only digitally.

View More What Does Social Media Mean To You Interviews
Kevin Nalts, Peter Kim, David Berkowitz
Debby Ruth
Josh Hallett, Julie Squires, Chris Thornton
Dave Williams

White On White or Max In The Snow


It's always a function of perception. What is great customer service to me may be horrors to you. What is a snow storm for me in Atlanta may seem like flurries to my friends in Boston or in Canada or in New York State.




For Max the inch of snow that fell in Atlanta yesterday seemed like a blizzard.

Lessons Learned: Don't assume that your perception about your product/service is the same as your customer's experience.




Go go go right this second to WSJ online to see one of the best online ads of 2008. PC is correcting headlines on the Wall Street Journal's home page and enlisting MAC to help him.

"Come on MAC we have the whole internet to correct. Come on grab the ladder?" 

Who says that the PC and the MAC can't play nicely together? I'm not a MAC user but I could be :-) This is not social media .. but if this post is any indication the campaign could have a nice viral swirl with conversations on blogs.


Interview with Lewis Green - Lead With Your Heart


Based on the title, Lead_with_your_heart Lead With Your Heart - subtitled Sell Happiness and You and Your Business Will Flourish,  you might assume Lewis Green's (of the popular blog Bizsolutions plus) newest book is a box of candy ideas. But I can assure you that Lewis pulls no soft punches (or too sweet cream centers) when he describes his vision of a business/marketing model based on putting customers and employees first.

Lead With Your Heart is well researched .. full of advice not only from Lewis but the best of from many business leaders. In fact, make sure you check out Resource page for other business reads. One of my favorites is the 10 New Rules Of Branding by Simon Williams, The Sterling Group.

1. Brands that influence culture sell more; culture is the new catalyst for growth. 2. A brand with no point of view has no point; full-flavor branding is in, vanilla is out. 3. Today's consumer is leading the front; this is the smartest generation to have ever walked the planet. 4. Customization wherever and whenever you can; customization is tomorrow's killer whale. 5. Forget the transaction -just five me an experience. 6. Deliver clarity at point of purchase; be obsessive about presentation. 7. You are only as good as your weakest link. 8. Social responsibility is no longer an option. 9. Pulse, pace, and passion really make the difference. 10. Innovation is the new boardroom favorite.

So okay .. we have a new way to do business that just might resonate with you but how do you put it into action? The book includes practical how-to lists, points to ponder and tips, tips and more tips.
: Love to have a stand alone index - these resources are that rich and valuable.

With that, please meet my friend Lewis Green who agreed to a Diva-type interview.

Toby/Diva Marketing: For those people who have not read Lead With Your Heart how would describe your new book? Is it a book about business management or is it a book about marketing?

Lewis Green: If I must choose, it is a book about business management, with chapters on most functional areas within a business, and with a heavy focus on marketing and communications. The premise is that leaders and entrepreneurs should put people first, not profits. And that business should be value based. If businesses are run on that foundation, they will make the world a better place to live and work, without sacrificing profits or revenues.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Do you see any similarities in a model based on “happiness” and the marketing ideology that is evolving from social media that we sometimes call conversational or participation marketing?

Lewis Green: To date, conversational or participation marketing (social media) seems focused mostly on how to use the tools instead of on results. That’s natural, as these tactics are still in their infancy. When I talk about “happiness,” I talk about always putting people first by meeting their wants and needs, by using values to filter all business decisions and by creating great customer experiences based on trust, credibility and authenticity. When we follow those guidelines in our interactions with all people (employees, customers, potential customers and the communities we do business in), we create a state of happiness.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Change seems to be the word of the moment. To succeed in changing a business culture e.g., one that embraces the philosophy you outline in “Lead With Your Heart,” that direction must come from the top down. However, it is middle managers who are responsible for implementing the tactics. What are a few suggestions to ensure that occurs with the happiness model?

Lewis Green: To change a culture is a bit like stopping a run-away freight train. Some damage will occur. Managers is a word I wish we didn’t use in business, as managing people destroys the results that “Lead With Your Heart” is designed to create—a spirit and passion where innovation, creativity and flexibility rule. In today’s world, we need leaders who inspire and motivate and then get out of the way so employees can both fail without fear and succeed without hindrance. And that is my first recommendation to managers—become passionate leaders, hire great people that fit the culture and let them do great things.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Lewis, on page 63 you say, “I don’t think a $200 Coach bag vs. a $30 bag has anything to do with personal happiness.” I beg to differ. Perhaps I’m showing a shallow side but I would be way happier with that Coach purse than with a $30 bag. (smile)

I couldn’t resist a tease, but seriously, I realize you were jumping off John Gaffney’s concept of consumer engagement which includes five elements of customer engagement: Identification, Recommendation, Experience, Aspiration and Anticipation. “When those things come together for customers and when employees create those types of experiences, businesses achieve a happiness that results in great companies and great brands.” - Lead With the Heart

 Do you believe that businesses/employees can create this type of consumer experience if the culture is not based on a type of “happiness” model? And if so why then go through the expense to change the business model?

 Lewis Green: As I said in response to the previous question, cultures that are engrained, that represent a business, are difficult to change. And to do so likely will require pain, including some layoffs—both of those employees who don’t fit a culture that is people-centric and to reduce the size of any bureaucracy, which gets in the way of innovation, creativity, and decision-making capabilities at the levels where customers and employees interact. The two keys to a successful culture based on the model presented in Lead With Your Heart are employee, customer and community-focus (engagement) and passion.

When those two factors are in place, engrained cultures can begin to move in the right direction. The first step requires getting the right people into the right jobs. The second step must come from leadership making it clear that the culture is a place where everyone can say “yes” and not a place where everyone says “No” and then reinforcing that by allowing decision-making at the lowest levels of the company, by encouraging employee’s ideas and creativity and by eliminating middle management—not the people but the titles. Furthermore, employee compensation must be based on the contributions an employee makes in achieving the business goals, not based on titles. So, for example, an engineer may actually make more money than the VP he or she reports to.

Finally, every employee, regardless of job description, must be evaluated based on their service to others. For example, accounting must be held responsible and accountable to the quality of service they give to both internal and external customers. This is a top-line answer that cannot possible approach the details necessary for a proper answer. However, at the end of the day a business-start-up or an established business will earn the ROI and the brand recognition that makes this all worthwhile. And the world will benefit, as well.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Let’s get down to a few brass tack tactics. What would a brand loyalty program look like if based on the Lead With The Heart model?

Lewis Green: A brand loyalty program would look much like what we once saw at Starbucks, where everybody knows your name, greets you with a smile, and you are occasionally surprised by a gift.

  • It’s the old TV show “Cheers,” where the bar is a metaphor for conversation, friendship, feelings, honesty, authenticity and relationships.
  • It’s where customers feel as if they are VIPs and that the business sincerely cares about them.
  • It’s a thank you note, a check-up call asking me if my wants and needs are being met or exceeded.
  • It’s a program that begins and ends with employees, the customer touch points.

Every employee must be well-trained, must have wonderful people skills and must be treated as if they are the most important people in the business, because they are.

And without a happiness model, that kind of culture is difficult to create. As for costs, they are short term as we mold the culture to be people-centric, give up control from the top-down, and likely lay off people who don’t fit the model. The ROI potential exceeds that of any model that isn’t based on what I call in the book “happiness,” which simply is a word to form an umbrella over the concept of always placing people first.

Toby/Diva Marketing: In Lead With Your Heart you say, “Happiness is the driving force behind everything American do.” Happiness seems like such a simple concept however, it can be more difficult to be “happy” than to be “sad.” What are some of the business challenges of being “sad?” On the flip side what are a few of the benefits of being happy?

Lewis Green: Actually, sad in this model isn’t the opposite of happy. Arrogance, control, greed, dishonesty, and fake are some of the words that represent antonyms to the happiness I discuss.

As most large companies discover, when businesses operate on what I will call the “winning” model, as described by Jack Welch, the potential for unprofitable mergers and acquisitions increases, the potential for scandal grows (as occurred under Welch’s guidance at GE), employee turnover increases, productivity is never maximized, and passion does not exist around the brand.

The benefits of the happiness model includes the opposite of what I just described, as well as the occurrence of brand evangelism, greater margins, healthy revenues (which may or may not exceed those of the “winning” model), and most important, a better world in which to live and work. I show all these things in Lead With Your Heart through real business examples.

Toby/Diva Marketing: It seems appropriate to end this interview on a personal happiness note. What is business happiness to Lewis Green?

 Lewis Green: Business happiness is waking up each day and looking forward to heading for the office; it is customers who feel good about working with us; it is making a positive difference in those we touch and in the planet we share.

Lead With Your Heart - Chapter One Free Download

Bloggy disclosure: Lewis kindly sent me a copy of the book.

Social Media Marketing From India to Atlanta


Sometimes Blog_the_talk the world spins even smaller than one might think. At the second BlogHer Conference in 2006 I invited myself to share the breakfast table of two women I greatly admire - Amy Grahan - Contentious and Dina Mehta - Conversations With Dina. Amy and I have crossed non digital paths but I lost track of Dina until my friend Rajesh Lalwani, BlogWorks, invited me to participate in a conversation about social media . To my delight the third member to join our chat was - you guessed it Dina Mehta!

Blog The Talk is a joint project sponsored by Impact, a highly respected Indian biz publication, Idea Farms and BlogWorks. Wonderful idea conceived by Rajesh that brings issues and learnings about social media marketing to the India business community. These are important conversations for anyone interested in the global impact of conversational marketing.  Rajesh is not only providing insights and addressing concerns but in retrospect the series will serve to be a documentation of the evolution of social media marketing in India.

Rajesh set the stage for this Blog The Talk asking: It's a great time of the year to discuss where we stand on the conversational marketing front. Is it really making an impact on the ground, to the consumer and to the marketer?

I'll toss the same question out to you. Is social media making an impact on the consumer? Do you find that it's changing behavior and influencing purchases and brand loyalty?

For your reading pleasure .. PDFs of the article follow. Or if you prefer to Rajesh has the entire discussion of Blog The Talk posted.  This is the second Blog The Talk that I've been honored to participate in. The first focused on the Social Media Challenges In India.

Download blogworks_blog_the_talk_edition_5_part_1_page_1.pdf
Download blogworks_blog_the_talk_edition_5_part_1_page_2.pdf

What Does Social Media Mean To You? With Dave Williams


What Does Social Media Mean To You? is a continuing video series of Little Sound Bites of thought, insight and fun. Perhaps you'll be on the little Flip video next time we meet! Update: Video removed by request of Dave.

Dave Williams, Chief Strategist/Co-founder 360i not only shared his thoughts about social media but provided insights into how Opera , the #1 night club and events venue in Atlanta, is leveraging social networking communities to reach the youth market. Well worth a listen.

Sound Bite - Social Media Is ..

  • It reminds me of the web back in 1997 .. the valuations, the interest in the space, investors that express a lot of interest in the space. It's still the wild west. I don't think anyone really knows what's next.
  • Facebook is the next generation of where the new consumer, the younger generation is. Also I see it as a rapidly developing market for the older generation.
  • (Facebook)Opportunities are very compelling from a marketing perspective: event postings, developing priority applications to distribute content and information.
  • Most of My Space pages are similar to website pages in 1998. Like having a flaming logo on a page.
  • (Our) Interns don't use My Space they only use Facebook.

Opera Promotional Strategies
Results: Over 1200 customers on Friday and Saturday nights.

  • Developed proprietary widget that distributes content about new DJs
  • My Space and Facebook pages
  • Text messages
  • Emails - data base of 25k
  • Upload videos and photos to site
  • MySpace and Facebook messaging

View More What Does Social Media Mean To You Interviews
Kevin Nalts, Peter Kim, David Berkowitz
Debby Ruth
Josh Hallett, Julie Squires, Chris Thornton