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Mobile Marketing Goes To The Dogs


 This seems to be the week to share thoughts of some of my smart friends with you. Perhaps we should begin a new series on Diva Marketing .. Sharing The Thoughts of Smart Friends.

My pal Jon Lee Andersen is an attorney in Atlanta. But Jon is no boring lawyer .. he is one cool divo whose practice focuses on the marketing and advertising industries. In fact Jon has bragging rights as the only lawyer who has held the office of president of the AMA/Atlanta Chapter.

Quarterly Jon writes a newsletter on marketing topics incorporating the point of view of the law. He kindly agreed to share his latest article about mobile marketing with Diva Marketing's community. His writing is smart and funny. In this issue Jon's dog analogy so reminded me of Twitter!

Benny _12_2  New Dogs in Advertising - By Jon Lee Andersen

The Faithful Companion

I once owned a Golden Retriever who followed me everywhere. If I went from one room in the house to another, within minutes he was in there with me. I think he was slightly irritated on some occasions with this movement, especially when he was perfectly comfortable where he was at the moment and could see no good reason to move. As he got older he did stop following me upstairs, but he always waited at the bottom step for me to come back down. When I was at home, he was always at my side.

Now my dog sent me messages regularly, but they were only about himself. Today however, there is another “faithful companion” in our lives and it has the potential to deliver messages to me where ever I may roam: my cell phone. Like my dog it follows me from room to room, and even better - it goes out the door, down the street, to the grocery store, to school, the pizza parlor and the ball game.

Advertisers are taking serious note, since technology now enables them to text me messages about their products and services. I have read that as many as 60 million consumers were exposed to mobile advertising in a recent month and that analysts think the mobile market could be as big as $3 billion in billings within the next 4 years. As text messaging gains even more converts, it is likely to grow even faster. As the saying goes, this marketing dog can hunt!

The Hound Dog

Not is the mobile advertising getting bigger, it is getting more sophisticated. Like a good bloodhound, if my phone was equipped with a GPS system (alas, it is not) advertisers could find me almost anywhere. This would enable them to target me with advertising designed for my specific location, say a coupon good for French fries if I happen to be near a fast food chain. And if the advertiser knew from some other source, such as a behavioral study of my habits from my online usage, that I really liked fast food, the success rate of the advertising should be very high.

Max and friend asleep  The Watch Dog

So, with this proliferation of text and other mobile advertising, what are the problems and the guidelines for doing it correctly? As with the online advertising, the biggest problem is spam, the unwanted ads, junk and schemes being sent. While it is annoying in my computer’s email inbox, at least it is free.

For cell phone customers however, it is not only annoying, it can be rather expensive. Most mobile phone service providers charge for incoming text messages. I have read that in 2008, it is estimated that over 1.5 billion spam text messages were received by consumers at a cost exceeding $225 million dollars.

The principal watch dog for abuses in mobile advertising is the Federal Trade Commission, working under the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act. While CAN-SPAM was initially focused on the glut of spam email messages flooding computers, Section 14 of the Act specifically bans companies from sending unsolicited commercial text messages to cellular phones.

The key requirement for mobile text advertising is that the recipient must give the advertiser “opt-in” to send the text message. By opting-in, consumers have affirmatively agreed to receive text messages from an advertiser and have agreed to pay for any resulting charges incurred. An affirmative opt-in is also required to allow an advertiser to utilize location-based information.

Both the Mobile Marketing Association and CTIA Wireless Association have developed Best Practices Guidelines to address mobile advertising. Both state that content providers must obtain approval from subscribers before sending them commercial SMS or MMS messages or other content.

Obtaining consent may be one of the biggest headaches for advertisers, since the rules require that notice about how and what information will be used must be given in proximity to the consent. Therefore, the small screens of mobile phones will pose some technical limitations. But, I’m betting on technology and advertisers!

The text ad was directed to Mark
Whom they knew was out in the park
And being most careful men
They checked his “opt-in”
So the D.C. watchdog wouldn’t bark

© March 2009 Jon Lee Andersen, Andersen Law Firm, All Rights Reserved

Sign up Jon's quarterly newsletters. He's also happy to answers any questions. jlandersen -at - lawyer - dot - com.

Thanks to BL Ochman, PawFun and whatsnextblog,  Benny Bix Ochman Labradoodle's person for the use of his cool photo.

Ron Strauss On Knowledge Sharing As A B2B Strategy


One of my joys is helping marketers understand how to use social media to build brand value. In the workshops and speeches I give one of the most Frequently Asked Questions goes like this: "When it comes to social media marketing all I seem to see is consumer products and programs that target moms. Can social media be used in a business-to-business environment? And How?!"

Toby blogher nyc 2008 That question always brings a smile since the business roots (versus the personal application) of social media began with the tech blogs and than were adopted by small business owners ..  many in the B2B space. Yes, Virginia social media is quite definitely a strategy that can be successfully used to help market products and services whose target audience is other businesses. 

For my money, one of the most effective tactics is using social media to position VIPs in your company as industry thought leaders. The heart of this initiative is built around sharing knowledge. Nothing new here. Businesses have been employing white papers for eons to set this in motion.

However, add social media tools such as blogs, live podcasts, social networks and even Twitter, to the mix and you go beyond what could be a white paper yawn. You have the opportunity for Exchanging Knowledge with your VIP as the leader of the discussion. Powerful way to enhance brand value and equity.

Ron strauss Recently my friend Ron Strauss, president of Brandzone and co-author of "Value Creation: The Power of Brand Equity" wrote an interesting post on an AMA listserve that dovetails with this concept. Ron agreed to share his ideas with us.

The Difference Between the Expert Based Approach and the Knowledge Sharing Approach


TRUST. By sharing knowledge, the company demonstrates expertise and the confidence to 'give' this power to their client.

  • Since knowledge is power, sharing knowledge shares power - to everyone's benefit.  Trust is an intangible attribute and is one of the core values of every brand - essential to building and/or preserving brand equity.

LEARNING. By helping clients understand the implications of the knowledge they shared with them, and its application, companies are teaching how to apply these ideas within the context of the firm.

And the context of the firm is described by its processes, organization, business model, how it chooses its customers, etc.  Thus, organizations are teaching clients how to 'fit' the knowledge to their company's values in a way that created effective outcomes for their served clients. So, the company must understand how to apply the knowledge in a way that aligned with their customers' values and needs.

BUY-IN. Sharing knowledge in a way that encourages the learner to take responsibility for its application and for the outcomes of those applications, creates 'buy-in' from Day 1.

There's no need to 'sell' the organization on the program, the process of acquiring the knowledge and applying it does that. They sell themselves as they use the knowledge to overcome barriers and issues.

PULL VS. PUSH. Sharing knowledge and its applications in a manner that's consistent with the Brand Promise creates a 'pull' force field through out the organization.

In today's flatter, less hierarchical organizational structures this is necessary to quickly adapt to change, and to meet clients ever-changing requirements in a timely, fashion while remaining profitable. Employees need to be empowered to do what it takes to deliver on the Brand Promise, to create the kind of experiences that create loyal customers.

Interested in learning more about social media marketing for business-to-business? I'm honored to be a guest speaker at the webinar Using Social Media & Networking in Client Conversations  sponsored by References Online. I join Umang Shah of Cubed Consulting, Duncan Egan of Taleo Corporation and Lisa Hoesel, References Online. Date: Wednesday 3/25 Time: Eastern: 12noon - 1p  Central: 11a- 12noon Mountain: 10a-11a Pacific 9a-10a Registration

One more .. catch the recent article about social media in the Atlanta Business Chronicle - Executives using social media to brand themselves as well as their companies. Guess who was quoted in her local business rag .. yup me!

Diva Marketing Talks About Social Media Sponsored Conversations With "Auntie" Melanie Notkin and Scott Monty


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 or listen on your computer.

Today's Diva Marketing Talks explores the impact of social media sponsored conversations from both sides of the virtual fence: brand and content creator.  "Auntie" Melanie Notkin, founder of the innovative community for aunts, SavvyAuntie and Scott Monty, Global Digital Communications Ford Motor, discuss the impact accepting money or products/services can have on social credibility. We'll also talk about where blogger relations and pay per click fits into the picture. Question: Are social media content creators the new NASCAR drivers?

Topic for March 19, 2009: Do Sponsored Conversations Make Social Media Content Creators the New NASCAR Drivers?
Time: 7:00p - 7:30p Eastern/ 6:p - 6:30p Central/ 5:00p -5:30p Mountain/ 4:00p - 4:30p Pacific
Call-in Guest Number: 718.508.9924


Auntie_Melanie_Notkin_laptop_2_97061859 Melanie Notkin is the founder and CEO of SavvyAuntie.com, the first online community for cool aunts, great aunts, godmothers and all women who love kids. Before launching Savvy Auntie, in July 2008, Melanie was an interactive marketing and communications executive for global Fortune 500 companies, including New York Times Digital and American Express, as well as L'Oréal.

Melanie is a regular panelist on the Strategy Room on FoxNews.com and a contributing editor to Toy Wishes Magazine. She and Savvy Auntie have been featured on NBC, CBS, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, The Charlotte Observer, Huffington Post, Mashable and TechCrunch, among others.

SavvyAuntie.com was ranked as one of Springwise's Top 10 Entreprenerial Ideas of the Year (2008) and Melanie was recently named a Heeb Magazine HEEB 100.

Find Melanie at Twitter Blog SavvyAuntie and of course on the SavvyAuntie Community

ScottMonty Scott Monty describes himself as a "Renaissance Man."  Although he is a marketer and communications professional focused on the digital industry his career spans a number of industries from healthcare, pharma, biotech, travel, automotive, tech, to communications. Some of Scott’s past clients include American Airlines, Audi, Starwood Hotels, IBM Healthcare & Life Sciences, Boston Scientific, The Coca-Cola Company, Millipore, Motorola and Kraft Foods,

Scott is currently the head of social media for Ford Motor Company, where he holds the title Global Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager.  While his role is based in the Corporate Communications area, he is a strategic advisor on all social media activities across the company. From blogger relations to marketing support to customer service to internal communications and more, social media touches many facets of Ford business, and Scott is there to ensure it is consistent across all of them.

Scott is an active blogger and podcaster. He writes about issues relevant to the intersection of advertising, marketing and PR at The Social Media Marketing Blog and also writes The Baker Street Blog, a literary undertaking. Scott has been featured in numerous news and business publications, on a variety of podcasts, and on national television. Scott is a recognized thought leader in the social media industry and frequently speaks at industry events. Scott received his Master's in Medical Science from Boston University's School of Medicine concurrently with his MBA from BU's Graduate School of Management.

Find Scott at Twitter, The Social Media Marketing Blog  The Baker Street Blog,

Tips From The Diva Bag

Complements of Auntie Melanie Notkin

1. Trust is something you earn. And it's the most valuable asset you have. Deserve it or fail.

2. As a company, you can't wake up one day and decide you are going to be authentic and transparent. It has to be something you were born with. And if you weren't born with it, apologize and be authentic and transparent about your journey to authenticity and transparency.

3. Social media and digital media enable us to be transparent and authentic. The minute you hire an intern to tweet for you is the minute you give the steering wheel to a student driver. From another country. Where they drive on the other side of the road. You'll never make it back home

Complements of Scott Monty

1. You know the phrase from Glengarry Glen Ross , "Always Be Closing"? Forget it. Instead, your mantra should be "Always Be Listening." Thanks to the open nature of the web and the ability for any one of us to create content, we have the ability to track and understand what they're saying about us. Listening is the first step to providing value for your community. If you know what they're saying and what their expectations are, you're well along the way.

2. Give your community a unique experience. Most likely, you work in a market where you're competing for your customers' attention, whether you sell consumer packaged goods, consulting services, or technology. If you can create an opportunity for them to learn or get something from you that no other competitor can offer them, they'll remember you better and come back for more.

3. Be human above all else. Let people know that there are real people working for your company, whether its a small business or a multinational entity. If you can let their personalities shine through and make it easy for people to relate to them, they'll be more likely to trust you with their business.

Ad Age: A Spoof to Mad Men or A Dish To Women?


March has been an exciting month for women. The first  White House Council on Women and Girls was signed, March 8th marked International Women's Day and entire month is National Women's History Month. Helen Reddy's song I Am Women is dancing in my mind

  • I am woman, hear me roar
    In numbers too big to ignore
    And I know too much to go back an' pretend
    'Cause I've heard it all before
    And I've been down there on the floor
    No one's ever gonna keep me down again

And then there is the January 19, 2009 issue of Advertising Age, one of marketing's most respective trade publications. Seems to me that Ad Age has turned the clock back on the position of women in advertising with the cover of it's January 19, 2009 issue.

Ad age_3  

This was the third time Ad Age selected an A-List that recognizes ".. that success in today's agency landscape comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes."

What I find offense is not necessarily that nine out of ten of the A-List agencies are managed by men but the posturing of Linda Sawyer, CEO of Interpublic Group's Deutch.

Take a look at the composition of the illustration. Power house men in dark suites many holding drinks appear very much the good old boys club. While Ms Sawyer sits demurely to the lower left in a sweet sleeveless shift with her hands politely folded in her lap like a good school girl. She seems squeezed out of the frame .. an after thought that off balances the picture.

Or .. did I get it wrong? Was Ad Age just having some fun spoofing one of its most prestigious honors .. the Agency A-List with an illustration based on the TV show Mad Men about advertising set in the 1960's? Did Ms. Sawyer think that her spot in the illustration was no big deal but part of the joke where she seemed more secretary than CEO?

  • Oh, yes, I am wise
    But it's wisdom born of pain
    Yes, I've paid the price
    But look how much I gained
    If I have to
    I can face anything
    I am strong
    I am invincible
    I am woman

Diva Marketing Talks About NonProfits and Social Media Marketing With Beth Kantor and Alex Brown


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 or listen on your computer.

Today's Diva Marketing Talks explores how nonprofit organizations are using social media to not only tell their stories but to encourage donations to their causes, build community and expand their reach. Beth Kanter, prominent social media consultant and founder of BethKanter.org, and Alex Brown, visionary of AlexBrownRacing, will share their insights about the most effective social media tactics to the ROI of social media to how to make it all work on a budget of limited funds and human capital.

Topic for March 10, 2009: Telling The Stories of Social Causes Through Social Media
Time: 6:00p - 6:30p Eastern/ 5:p - 5:30p Central/ 4:00p -4:30p Mountain/ 3:00p - 3:30p Pacific
Call-in Guest Number: 718.508.9924


Beth kanter  Beth Kanter is the author of Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media, one of the longest running and most popular blogs for nonprofits. A frequent contributor to many nonprofit technology web sites and magazines, Beth has authored chapters in several books, including "Psychology of Facebook Applications," edited by BJ Fogg, Stanford University and "Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission: A Strategic Guide for Nonprofit Leaders," edited by NTEN both to be published in 2009.

A much in demand speaker and trainer, and she has trained nonprofits in social media techniques literally around the world. In 2009, she was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the most influential women in technology and one of Business Week's "Voices of Innovation for Social Media." In March, 2009, she will serve as the 2009 Scholar in Residence for Social Media and Nonprofits for the Packard Foundation. You can also reach Beth on Twitter.

Alex brown Alex Brown manages AlexBrownRacing.com. The site has raised more than $1 million to rescue horses from horse slaughter in a little over two years.  The site uses a blog, discussion board, wiki, a Facebook Group, YouTube Group , Flickr and Twitter

Prior to his involvement in AlexBrownRacing Alex worked  in Business School Admissions and managed online communities for Wharton (Alex's interview with Diva Marketing).  He's also written whitepapers on Engagement Marketing and Transparency and is a sought after conference speaker. In 1997, Alex was one of the first to teach Internet Marketing in 1997 at a higher education level. He taught the topic for 10 years and his innovative approach included to teaching was one of the first to include student and course blogs.

Tips From The Diva Bag

Complements of Alex Brown

1. Integrate and be deliberate. Your social media campaign should be integrated within itself and the remainder of your marketing. And you should be very deliberate in your strategy and tactics. ex. If you have a facebook group, and e-mail the group members. Then what is the strategy regarding using this e-mail outlet, and how do the e-mails integrate with other vehicles used.  Just because you can should not mean you should!
2. Just because there is a social media tool does not mean you need to use it.  Myspace may or may not work. Facebook may or may not work for you.  Take risks and experiment, but then stick with what works for you.
3. Don't forget "old" social media tools.  A discussion board is older than the web itself, yet it still might be your most useful social media tool.

Complements of Beth Kanter

Interview with David Saranga, Israel Consulate: A Twitter Press Conference


Israeli Consulate logo In December 2008, the New York Israel Consulate held the first government press conference on Twitter and in doing so public diplomacy took one more step into social media.

The purpose of the 2-hour open conversation in 140 characters was to engage and provide the public with a platform where citizens' questions about the Gaza situation could be addressed directly by @DavidSaranga, Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the consulate General in New York. In addition to the running tweets from the press conference, updates were posted on the Consul's MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube pages.

With a few weeks distance behind him, I asked Mr. Saranga if he would look back on the experience and in retrospective share some of the marketing/PR lessons learned. My thanks to him and to the staff of the Department of Media and Public Affairs who kindly responded to my request. A special shout out to Noam.

Note: Diva Marketing is not a political blog but one focused on social media marketing and branding. My questions and Mr. Saranaga's responses reflect that positioning.

The Office of the Consul General in New York serves as the focal point of the Consulate. While it oversees all departments within the Consulate, the Lishka (bureau) primarily functions as the liaison between the State of Israel and the various centers of power and influence that encompass the New York Metro area such as national and local organizations, the offices of public officials and business alliances.

The role of the Consul General is to promote the positive image of Israel in the media and the surrounding communities by keeping them abreast of the most updated information on Israeli prominent personalities and developments.

David_saranga_Israeli Consulate David Saranga, Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the consulate General in New York.

Prior to joining the Consulate in New York, Consul Saranga served as Deputy Spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel, and was responsible for contact with the foreign media. He was a Manager of the Direct Marketing Department, Visa-Israel Credit Cards and worked as National Sales Executive at Kidum Ltd. Consul Saranga has been engaged as an academic since 1989, when he worked as a Teaching Assistant at the Hebrew University. Subsequent work has included one year as Director of Studies and Lecturer in Marketing Management at the Open University in Israel.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Using Twitter as a media conference forum was innovative and brave. Why did you choose to go in that direction?

David Saranga: We have been involved in online work for some time, through our blogs (isRraelli and IsraelPolitik) and our presence on MySpace and Facebook.  After reading about Twitter, we felt that the tool held a lot of potential for communicating with people online. 

Firstly, we can “focus” on one person, but many people can tune in as well. This way, even when we are answering one person, other people are still taking part. 

Secondly, Twitter is a site where people are increasingly going to talk, so we wanted to join the conversation where it was happening.

Toby/Diva Marketing: How did you achieve buy-in from the consulate and other stake holders?

David Saranga: The diplomatic staff here has really come to understand the value of web-based content and of social media. We told them how important a presence on Twitter could be, and they were hooked.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What were their main concerns? What were yours?

David Saranga: We were all mainly concerned with how many people would ask questions and whether we would be taken seriously.  When we first joined Twitter and mentioned the “Press Conference” idea, we started hearing opinions that we might not answer so-called “hard” questions.  So we needed to make sure that we answered as many questions as we could, even and especially the “hard” ones. 

Toby/Diva Marketing: Where did most of the engagement come from?

David Saranga: While our Twitter following has been quite varied, we seem to have attracted people interested in learning more about the Middle East and people who work in new media, public diplomacy or both. It was quite interesting to see the range of people with whom we have had very rewarding interactions through Twitter and/or as a result of such efforts.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What lessons did you learn from the first Twitter press conference?

David Saranga:

  • Our biggest lesson was the importance of making ourselves available to people through a medium they understand. 

We are aware that this issue raises a lot of emotions, and we wanted to give people the opportunity to talk with us in an unmediated fashion. Many of the questions we received were thoughtful and inquisitive, and we were happy to share our point of view on what can be touchy subjects.  Israeli Consulate Tweeting

It was also important for us that we could expand answers on our blog. While we could give only short answers online (due to constraints imposed by Twitter and by the sheer number of questions*), we did want people to know that we cared about their questions and wanted to give them the full attention they deserved.

*Note: Twitter allows only 140 characters per tweet.

Photo of staff of the Department of Media and Public Affairs tweeting at the press conference.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What was your biggest surprise?

David Saranga: We were really surprised by the amount of interest we generated. We started this whole project figuring we would get a few people to tune in. When our “followers” count began to rise precipitously, we realized we were on to something much larger.

Many more people than we anticipated were interested in having us take part in this conversation. The mainstream media got involved, too. We got coverage in the New York Times, Le Figaro, the Guardian, and other news outlets around the world. We were truly astounded.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What would you do differently next time (will there be a next time)?

David Saranga: We’re still evaluating the lessons of the first time, so we’ll have to evaluate whether we’ll do this again. We all felt this was an extremely positive experience, and we’re grateful for all the attention and ongoing relationships that resulted. 

Our biggest problem was trying to respond to a flood of questions in an organized fashion, so fixing that issue would be a necessary step before organizing another press conference. That said, we’ve really been having an ongoing press conference since late December, as we are active on Twitter. 

The next thing we hope to arrange is a TweetUp (i.e. meeting Twitter followers face-to-face) in the next few weeks to bring our followers together and help them see other facets of Israel with which they may not be so familiar. We’ve thought of a bunch of ideas (music, art, film, etc.) but want to see what our followers are interested in, too.

Toby/Diva Marketing
: What lessons can you pass on to others who are thinking of using Twitter for their press conferences?

David Saranga:The best lesson we can offer is that you should not be afraid to answer the hard questions that come at you.

  • The best thing to do is to be as transparent as possible and just be sincere in your answers.

Toby/Diva Marketing:  To wrap it up … your thoughts on social media ..

David Saranga: It’s clear that social media is not just a passing trend, but rather an effective way to communicate. It is important for us to maximize the capabilities these tools offer and use them to help us in talking to as many people as possible.

Israel Consulate in Social Media



Blogs: Israel Politk isRraelli.org

First Israeli Tweet-up in the making!