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Business Marketing

What’s Dad Doing Here? 2.oh no

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Web2.0 as it is, claims to be new.  Many in the tech and web design industry claim truthfully that it is nothing new- I agree with this, sort of.  Honestly, clean style sites have been around for a very long time, ask Apple Computer.  The idea of a fresh clean page with little clutter that gets to the point in a way that speaks to a consumer rather than selling to the consumer is maybe where web2.0 may have a right to claim itself as new.  The “New Style of Professional Copy” is in and of itself something web2.o has given professionals  permission to just be themselvesThank God

Blogging today is explosive, there is no denying that in any way shape or form, and has many believing that it is the new way to tap into the growing market.  Add to that social networking sites that seem to spring up daily, and you get a sense that there must be some truth that we can somehow market to the new and newer 20-30 somethings using this platform.  The fact is, many come across as Dad at the college sorority party– this was pointed out recently in the latest copy of GQ magazine in reference to political candidates using the social networking arena to spew more politics.  Watching Hillary on a video being funny and herself has its advantages if the audience likes Hillary, but if they never liked her in the first place, chances are she will come across as Mom at a high school school dance. Yuk.

The stakes are high with mainly the 20-30 somethings being up for grabs, social networking could potentially retrain entire demos to do business in new ways and Realtors will want to be at that party as well as virtually thousands of other industries.  The problem is, how are you perceived?  Are you the elephant in the room?  Do you convey?  Do you speak their language?  Chances are you don’t.  A Realtor calling another Realtor a fat cat (using 70’s vernacular) is just another moron to a younger demo because the idea that you say fat cat somehow makes you cool and somehow relates to me is presumptuous- the plastic Realtor who is old and is trying to be younger comes across as old and trying to be younger, nothing more than another dork ignored at the party. The truth is, web2.o says be yourself, not someone else- why insult their intelligence?

It has always been my opinion that social networking sites are a fad, but will not go away, therefore you must embrace it. These sites will morph into something much greater, the way bellbottoms morphed into the tapered legged jeans some of you still wear.  1980s called, they want their jeans back– but anyway… It is advantageous for any and all business to get into the conversations buyers and sellers want to have.  It is also advantageous to understand the ideas web2.o present and what they do not or you may end up spinning yourself out of business because you’ve completely lost all credibility to all demographics.  Relating as it relates to conversation is just that, relating, not giving up who or what you are as a professional.  Inviting in and respecting a know it all consumer will only add value to your conversation because the perspective becomes grounded in reality- how it really relates. This makes this concept an exciting must participate opportunity for Realtors even if you aren’t quite sure how to fit in.

It is my humble opinion that blogging is also fad.  Believing that all humans want to broadcast their thoughts beliefs and emotions online or read yours is absurd.  However, what social networkers really do enjoy is the human interaction via technology- chat functions and the ability to wink at a cute girl from a distance without the fear of all out rejection.   This is where I believe the smart money will be spent- creating that human interaction functionality for a consumer to interact without actually having to step into the salesmans den.  A get to know you courtship by reading YOU, who YOU are, what YOU like, and what YOU stand for- developing a sort of personal connection that allows a real comfort zone for the consumer as well as the ability to join a conversation of personal interest. A webpage was close, but lets face it, it missed the mark in the sense that it actually made the business look bigger and not so approachable. 

Web2.o is old hack.  The new name begs a web-second-point-oh look at the internet, technology online, and the opportunity it gives to business and consumers is simply a cry for attention- RE-INVEST in us!  “The dotcom didn’t really bust, we just shed off the bloated and not so informed.”  Web2.o is a fashion trend, possibly a very expensive one over the long term with 2.o v2.3 beta soon to be released. But this 2.0 version is permitting  you to change your site to something a little more lose and baggy with less fringe.  It is also permission to change your copy to more of yourself or corporate philosophy as opposed to the professional jarg consumers have always heard- but as with any trend, it will change.  Colors will change, technology will change, information will become more fluid and ever changing, because now you’re blogging with the consumer shaping the topic and content- but the one thing that should not change is you.  You are the one constant from now until then and your reader wants to know you the product

So, are you the elephant in the social networking room?

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Austin Realtor's Wife

    June 6, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    This is my favorite RealtorGenius article so far. You’ve really captured what so many are missing in the blogosphere. It isn’t about teaching an old dog (or plastic smarmy Realtor) new tricks, it’s about giving a relatable platform to businesses in general.

    Great work!!!

  2. Jonathan Dalton

    June 6, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    My daughter set me up for a MySpace page. I never look at it. Yet I keep getting messages weekly from an agent who insists on weekend broadcast e-mails.

    Maybe it’s working. I dunno. I’m just too old to deal with it, to be honest. And I know it.

  3. B. R.

    June 6, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    lol I feel your pain…

  4. Loren Nason

    June 7, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Well said.

    I completely agree with you that Social Networking and Blogging is the new Fad and at the same time do believe it is here to stay. The hype might die down but it won’t die because social networking and blogging feed every humans desire to gossip about something.

    Yes its all gossip and I love reading it all. I actually have convinced myself that I learn something from all the blogs I read.

    I am addicted to blogs and i just signed up to yours.

    Loren

  5. B. R.

    June 7, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Loren- Why thank you, it’s awesome to have you!

  6. john harper

    June 8, 2007 at 6:08 am

    First time here. Great post, to the point that I have subscribed to follow your genius for a while.

  7. Chris Lengquist

    June 8, 2007 at 9:10 am

    Exactly. I find my clients that come from my blog use the blog as a quiet stalker. They can peek in on me, my business beliefs and thoughts without actually having to talk to me. If they see I present no immediate danger and might actually know what I’m doing, they call. Works perfectly for both parties.

  8. Agent Scoreboard

    June 8, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    I’m don’t know quite how something can be a “fad” and yet be here to stay… but I think your point is made, however I don’t think we have any choice but to get a myspace page (here is mine: https://www.myspace.com/agentscoreboard/)
    and talk. I don’t think the Google generation is going to come to us.

    As a card caring member of the yahoo generation that has been developing internet applications for over 10 years I can tell you that more than just looks have changed in web 2.0. Never before have we been able to so easily create and share such rich content. I can RSS your whole blog and that of others to create a community of information that “I” want and that is important to me, I can find information about something and what others think of it. I can manipulate data from multiple sources in new and exciting ways and then convey that to my friends.

    What I think what is more interesting is the creation of media darlings based on their online presence like the ones I write about here https://www.agentscoreboard.com/blog/2007/06/05/do-you-know-allison-stokke/

    Good blog… I love austin…

  9. Kris Berg

    June 9, 2007 at 9:46 am

    Bravo! I see evolution taking place. We all have these blogs. Neat. We pulled it off. Now what the hell do we do with them? Turning the corner from hobbiest (like one who takes up golf because everyone else is playing) to business blogger is a tricky maneuver and our next challenge. Great post.

  10. B. R.

    June 9, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Scoreboard…
    >It has always been my opinion that social networking sites are a fad, but will not go away, therefore you must embrace it. These sites will morph into something much greater, the way bellbottoms morphed into the tapered legged jeans some of you still wear…< Fads morph, they are further developed into greater things by consumer demand- point being, ignoring this will only put you further behind in the game. As for web2.o being more than... the basis for my comment is just that, the basis... this too has grown into so much more that you have no choice but to ride the wave. The objective is, not losing who you are or your message as a professional along the way. These are fast changing enviorns. Thanks for commenting! On my way to 6Flags! Thanks Kris, it is a pleasure to have you by! Don't be a stranger... BR

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Business Marketing

10 inspirational print brochure examples

We believe that print is nowhere near dead, it is just changing as things go digital, and only the best stand out.

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Below are 10 inspirational print brochure examples that show print is not only alive and kicking, but when infused with a bit of creativity, can make an enormous impression. Gone are the days of horrid clip art and walls of text that overwhelm. Clean typography and design are the name of the game, and added flair can go a long way. Here are some ideas to get you started, click any of the images below to see more photos of each campaign and to dig deeper:

Craft Beer Field Guide

With this fold up brochure guiding Madison’s Craft Beer Week attendees, a vintage vibe is created through color and typography choices, with an emphasis on function and ease of reading. The guide is so enchanting, it is likely that most attendees kept the brochures, a dream for any designer or marketing team!

Italian Loft Brochure

In this Italian Loft Brochure, a classic Tiffany & Co styled blue and chocolate brown highlight the features of this luxury loft community, and is presented in a beautiful, heavyweight cardstock cover that keeps all additional papers that come along with tours. It’s more than just the brochure’s design, it’s the presentation, simplicity, and choice of materials that is eye catching about this print brochure.

Campaign for Freedom

Expressing the dire situation in North Korea, this campaign brochure uses simple to digest infographics and keeps to four colors – black, white, red, and yellow. It is effective for sticking to the point and using bold graphics.

Gourmet Natural Foods

Retailers often go overboard either by offering too many walls of words and facts, or by trying to be clever. Instead, this company’s design focuses on the simple ingredients that goes along with their streamlined, organic-looking containers. This brochure makes you want to go start eating hippie food, even if you’re a cow eater, just because it’s so aesthetically pleasing!

Graphic Designer Portfolio

When a seasoned graphic designer shows off, you can be sure that their presentation will never be an aged headshot of them with bullet points of their accomplishments. No, graphic designers show instead of tell, as below:

Typefamily Brochure

When introducing a typefamily to the world, a designer can choose to slap up a website, or go the traditional, and more elegant route of printing a type booklet explaining the type and giving buyers of the typefamily (font) a closer look at what they are buying. Brilliant.

Yahoo! Brochure

Yahoo’s brochure is a reminder that simple design elements can go a long way – a folding tab, white space, ditching clip art, and keeping consistency between pages all work in harmony to create a quality print brochure.

Antique News Format

In a very clever move, this commercial and residential space is being sold in the form of a large, folding antique- looking newspaper, complete with appropriate fonts and an antique layout, with surprisingly sharp and never cheesy images.

Architect’s Timeline and Story

Promoting an architect’s impressive timeline and story, this print campaign shows the power of red, black and white, making a dramatic impression at a quick glance. Using high quality photography and traditional movie poster tricks, the campaign is stunning.

Our Favorite: Lennar’s Old School Fun

Lennar’s new “Spencer’s Crossing” community brochures got a touch of old school, making the brochure a game that anyone can play. It’s more than a gimmick, it is consistent with their collateral that appeals to the youthful nature of the product and area.

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible; if your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

A personalized daily digital marketing checklist

(MARKETING NEWS) For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an digital marketing strategy, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit. This app can help.

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clearpath digital marketing

There is no doubt that starting your own business can be overwhelming. Along with promoting your business at events, meetings and in person, digital marketing strategies play a key role in the success of a company. For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an online presence, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit.

Simply creating a website and Facebook page for your business is not enough. However, software tools can help simplify digital marketing. ClearPath is a tool that organizes and creates tasks to optimize your online marketing. By creating to-do lists for you based on your online marketing strategy, you can focus on the areas of marketing that improve your business, all the while receiving useful tips and advice.

Using ClearPath is pretty straightforward and only requires one prerequisite. Before beginning, you must have a website.

If you are already lost, don’t panic. ClearPath can help you develop an online presence. Once your website is linked up, you get to choose the marketing channels that you would like to focus on. These include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email, social, content, analytics, local, pay-per-click (PPC) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Again, if you are lost, ClearPath is there to help you strategize.

After ClearPath analyzes your site, they start sending you customized tasks based they believe can improve your online marketing.

As you finish each task, you can simply check it off and it will disappear. New tasks will appear each day, and some may even repeat as they need to be updated.

Whether you are well-versed in digital marketing or not, staying updated with the newest ways to optimize your business online is a constant struggle. Tools like ClearPath give people a place to start. Although I don’t think it can supplement an active and experienced digital marketer, it is a tool that can help small businesses that cannot afford to add to their team yet. At the end of the day, it aims to save you time. And since time is money, your business will hopefully be more profitable.

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