COM0015 – Assn# 5 Event participation at the top of new World Trade Center – How cool is that?

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Name of the event is PUGNYC, it stands for Pardot User Group New York City. I had the privilege of attending in person a networking event that was held in the new World Trade Center, New York City in Jan 2015. Pardot is a powerful software tool that enables companies to drive and deliver on their marketing strategies. I currently manage this tool in my organization and am always looking for ways that I can improve adoption and knowledge. I targeted this group because I had joined them in Linkedin and was very interested in the discussions, lots of good insights and cool new things for me to learn. Also sounds like a very fun and personable group so when I heard of this event, I was extremely excited to meet these people in person that I have met virtually. ..

I was quite impressed with the organizers, they put a lot of effort in planning the event. There were food, beer, a free presentation from one of the top implementation consulting firm, and some super users of the product – not to forget about the scenic view of Manhattan as we mingled on the 48th floor of a world class building. I tried to work my way around the room and talked to as many people as possible, one thing that stood out for me was that most of them hold senior positions and are big influencers of strategic marketing decision-making in the companies they work for. People I would like to connect with to grow my networking contacts. The presentation was on tips and tricks and how to create work-arounds for some of the current limitations which I found to be valuable as I can bring it back to help in my current responsibilities at work.

PUGNYC 2 Jan 15

I shared some scenerios on how my company use the tool which after talking to one of the super users I found out a better way and getting higher quality results faster. Gaining this knowledge was truly a breakthrough for me. We played a game where everyone was given an activity sheet to fill in 25 words related to marketing automation using Pardot. The first letter was given and individually we had to come up with the word that begins with the letter. This was such a fun exercise and wow… I learned so much as people were throwing out so many words, some were new to me and made me realize how sophisticated this tool is and how much I don’t know.

I really enjoyed my experience mingling with this group. They were warm, welcoming and made me feel like I fit in quite comfortably. I can see that they genuinely care about helping each other and was surprised to see their willingness to share their ideas and offering their expertise if I need help in the future. I exchanged many business cards that evening and glad to add them to my Linkedin contacts. In my opinion this is a group of professionals and experts in the field that I can learn from and was very inspiring for me.

How many times have you received an email on something you have already responded to and was quite annoyed that the company ignorantly sent you the email? It happened to me many times and here’s an interesting quote from the event that stuck with me “Avoid embarrassing overlaps – Use a suppression list to remind those on an event list to RSVP without emailing those who already have.”

PUGNYC Jan 15

I would definitely attend similar events in the future as I can think of many personal and professional benefits for myself. At a personal level, I get motivated to acquire new skills and can give my resume a nice boost making it more attractive to employers. Professionally, these type of events go beyond just exchanging business cards, it will give me the experience to become more active in business communities and provide opportunities for me to take more leadership roles. It forges lasting relationships with others in similar business interests. I think that these type of relationships will be a rich, continuing source of inspiration and ideas. I did find a similar user group based in the Toronto area which I will be on the lookout for their next event so I can participate.

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COM0015 – Post #4 – Out of the Box

Competition is fierce so marketers are constantly coming up with new ways to leverage social media and online web to create marketing campaigns. The use of mainstream social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook have become common and there is a growing trend for companies using unusual techniques to bring awareness to their brand.

A restaurant company in New York, “Comodo” found an interesting way to use Instagram to engage its customers that led to a brilliant marketing campaign. They noticed that their customers take pictures of their food order and posted on Instagram. Smartly, they quickly capitalize on this behavior to create the world’s first Instagram menu. They direct customers to pictures of food posted by previous customers on Instagram to help them decide what to order. They even changed their menu to add hashtag #ComodoMenu to the bottom encouraging customers to add, share and check out the restaurant’s food orders. Customers are able to tag their photo to leave amazing photos for future customers to browse through. This has not fully caught on yet but I think that it will become more popular in the future.

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Source: mashable.com

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKNA5GnO7Xs

 Vine is a short form video sharing service. It allows you to record and edit 5 to 6 seconds long looping video clips and to “re-vine”, share others’ post with followers. I think there is an interesting new trend developing using vine application for marketing purposes. Lowes, a home and hardware company uses vine videos to help their customers. They created a campaign where they show videos on how to fix common challenges that consumers have such as; what to do to prevent rug from slipping or how you can use a rubber band to fix the stripped screw problem etc. I think that Lowes creatively use the vine application as a great marketing tool.

https://vine.co/v/bU61aqq2YOp

During my research I came across another growing trend in the use of mobile Apps that marketers are tapping into. An example, the company Charmin built a smartphone application that travelers can download to show them the location of the nearest public restrooms. To take it a step further, the app allows users to rate the facility in terms of cleanliness and other factors. Other users know in advance if the restroom is ‘sit friendly’ or mothers with babies can know the general condition of the restroom before they go. This campaign resonates with users and that enhance the Charmin’s image to be a people-friendly brand.

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Source: http://3qdigital.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/63ohrmp1.png?797487

by Robert Cordray on January 9, 2015

As marketers continue to find creative and innovative ways to create campaigns I anticipate that we will see more unexpected applications being used in the future.

 

 

Networking – not just who you know but who knows you?

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Regardless of where you are in your career development it is important to take notice of the power of networking. Nowadays, social media has enabled networking to broaden its usefulness to provide benefits from your peers, critics, experts and not limited during job searches or face to face events. Through networking you can learn new ideas, skills, be updated on concepts you already know, all of these can help you propel in your professional career.

When it comes to enhancing my professional development, my plan is to join a related group in my community where I can attend face to face events and for my online networking, I plan to utilize Linkedin to expand my linkedin groups and be more active in the ones that focus in my specialized area of my profession.

I am a professional working as an administrator and consultant for a software solution in Customer Relationship Management, Salesforce.com. I found a community of Salesforce.com power users, administrators, consultants and developers that get together locally to share ideas, best practices, successes and collaborate on working with Salesforce.com.

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My strategy to develop my in-person networking is to join the local Toronto group. They meet up regularly, most times monthly at different upscale venues. I think networking in this group will be invaluable and give me a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded Salesforce.com professionals that can help in my professional development. I plan to engage in conversations with as many members as possible during the meet-up that will help to turn me into a Salesforce guru very quickly.
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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My online networking needs some improvement. I will use Linkedin as my main avenue to develop my online professional networking. I am already member of a few groups but I plan to be smart about what new groups I can join that is well-managed and relevant to my specialized field. I’m interested in technology industry so I will search for software technology since my career is in Salesforce.com. I think that being a member in about ten groups would be manageable as I want to optimize my experience participating in each group. My goal in these groups would be to build my influence to become an expert in the field. I think I can accomplish this by engaging in discussions and contribute insights that others can benefit from. I believe that Linkedin groups can provide opportunities for me to position myself as a thought leader and an influencer which will increase the number my peers that will boost my online networking.

 

COM0015 – Post # 2 Strong vs. Weak Organization

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Threadless is a company based in Chicago specialized in printing and selling T-shirts. This company stands out because at Threadless, customers are more than just consumers, they are a key part of the decisions that impact the company overall; they are the designers, the decision makers, and the buyers of exclusive and unique clothing. By using social media platforms, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Google+ and an interactive website page, Threadless offers consumers a complete solution by allowing them to become part of the design and decision process. They encourage consumers to be active participants in running the company by submitting the actual designs, voting on them, and marketing them through blogs and personal social networks. The company compares themselves to an art gallery, where artists can display their work and patrons can view, admire, and purchase their work.

Threadless has three unique groups of customers; the buyers, the designers, and the voters that participate in their community. Each customer group has their own unique needs and reasons for engaging with Threadless. The company has done a great job of understanding what each of these groups value. Buyers go to Threadless for exclusive, unique T-shirt’s that are not available at the mall. Designers use Threadless as an opportunity to promote their artistry. Threadless helps to break down the barriers to access for these artists and also allows them to gauge how people respond to their work. The design-review section of the community gives them a unique opportunity to adjust their styles based on feedback from the community. Voters could be buyers, designers or people that simply want a place to express their opinions. Voters have a significant say in what will be produced. For voters, the value is being able to influence the direction of the company and feel like they are part of something bigger.

The Threadless business is more than customers just purchasing T-shirt designs. It is a business based on a sense of identity created by their online community. Their customers have the ability to influence the company. The Threadless founders stated, “Customers feel they can impact the company…we cannot make a decision without considering the community.”2 This is because the entire Threadless value revolves around the community. The community allows the artists to express themselves, allows the voter to influence outcomes and leads to a unique experience for the buyer. Products at Threadless are chosen based on votes in their community and this gives their customers a sense of power and helps them identify with the company.

 

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On the other end of the spectrum, Jimmy T’z Vintage Inc. is T-shirt Company based in Toronto, Ontario, family owned business. Unique to other custom T-shirt shops they use the latest environment inks instead of commonly used silk screening, discharge, heat or sublimation transfers that are known to be hazardous to the ecosystem and human health. Customers have commented that their T-Shirts still looks great with no cracks or faded color after many washes.  A cursory glance at their website shows limited use of social media. I found a Facebook page for the company but the content was all of the owner’s personal content.

I think this company can benefit from using social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin because they offer a product that has a competitive advantage over other custom T-shirt shops and would appeal to a niche customer base who are health conscious people. Social media can give them the opportunity to increase their online presence by introducing campaigns, communicate with their audience and build a brand at a low cost. Being inexperienced in social media efforts, they need to first find out where their customers are in the social media space. They should start by following their customers to listen in on conversations, find out what groups they belong to and join those groups. They should add comments and suggestions to conversations to establish and bring awareness to themselves in the group. Join other groups and communities that are environmentally friendly and educate members on the benefits of environment inks and materials to become expert in the topic. Through the community of environment conscious people, they can leverage them to rally and promote the benefits of environmentally friendly techniques. They should design their website to be more usability and interactive that allows customers to communicate effectively and easily.

COM0015 – Post 1 – Tool & Sources

COM0015 – Post 1 – Tool & Sources

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There are so many choices in the marketplace today when it comes to social media listening tool, selecting the best one depends on your individual social media strategy and goals. You can find some good tools that provide a lot of features for free and there are many others ranging in various prices.

Netvibes

In my previous course, Social Media Analytics, I was introduced to a really cool social media monitoring tool name Netvibes which I think is a great tool for monitoring and listening, easy to use, gives a dashboard snapshot in a single page of what you are tracking and it is free. I think this is useful for small companies or someone just starting out in social media monitoring as it is not necessary to start off with the biggest and expensive tool right away. Netvibes collects RSS feeds, Facebook and Twitter feeds, YouTube channels and using google alerts that you customize and yahoo pipes to provide a fairly comprehensive analysis. I like it because it is free and a great way to get into the social media landscape especially when you are a newbie in social media. It provides a lot of features that some big bucks tools offer and a smart way to learn and develop your experience in social media to understand whether the social media gains is enough to invest in a paid tool.

Radian6

Another favorite is Radian 6. This is one of the higher-end tool, very sophisticated in providing social media monitoring intelligence on a real time basis. It is owned by Salesforce.com, the leader in selling customer relationship management software tool and recognized by Forbes magazine for the past four years as the most innovative company. Because of the vision and heavy investment by Salesforce, Radian6 continues to improve and evolve to meet the needs of new trends. Radian 6 tracks hundreds of millions of conversation across social media channels such as; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, blogs and online communities and provide insights on what their customers are saying online to create actionable objectives for companies. This level of insight and engagement are important especially for companies that need to protect their brand, products and want to hear what people are saying about their services and competitors. Radian 6 offers a scalable solution that provides intelligence and also connect companies with individuals and communities online. With the amount of data flooding the internet, it is well worth that a company invest in a high quality tool to help them market, sell, upsell and service their customers in a way that will help them to achieve their business goals.

Two good sources of news for me would be radio and television. With my busy daily schedule it is a challenge to find time to keep current on news. I try to get my daily dose of news update during my commute in to work every morning as I listen to the radio channel 680 News. I like this channel because, in about ten minutes I get caught up in what is going on. I get to hear quick headline local and international news, I find out the traffic to help me plan my route in to work, hear the latest scores on my favorite sports teams, and I get to know the weather for the day. A traditional source but still works for me.

Television is another source of news that I prefer. I can select which news broadcast channel I would like to hear more from depending on the interesting news stories of the day . I switch to CNN news channel when there is a catastrophe or other breaking news story around the world. Regularly, I watch the network evening news to get update on top local news – usually while preparing my evening dinner rituals. Also, I try to catch up on the economic and political landscape in the late night news broadcast channels.

These traditional platforms of news updates will probably continue to be the sources where I get my news of interest as they fit nicely with my schedule.

 

 

COM0014 – Blog # 1 – Enthralled by the beauty of Rome

arunamanohar

Enthralled by the beauty of Rome

Growing up as a kid in South America, I read many books and became enchanted with the rich history and culture of Italy and Vatican City. I was fascinated and enthralled by stories of the Romans and the renaissance era. Back then I thought this is a place of fantasy and beauty that one can only read about, and I never imagined that one day I would be fortunate enough to visit this hypnotic place. My dream became a reality last year, when I chose Rome to be my next vacation destination. It was sure to be an amazing family trip.

Excited to be visiting Rome, the Eternal City, we were picked up at the Rome airport by a pre-booked taxi driver who could not communicate in English. The drive to the hotel was an experience I will never forget. The taxi driver was…

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COM0014 – Blog # 7 – A Personal Reflection to My Storytelling

arunamanohar

The internet has transformed the way storytelling is communicated today. In this modern era, people are exposed to an influx of data and content more than ever before. Telling a story in narratives can become lost in the chaos and can easily be caught up in the “noise” where everything sound the same.  Therefore, it is important to create stories that are entertaining and compelling enough so that it can cut through the “noise” to inspire, motivate and captivate your audience. Today, we can leverage technology and tools to create compelling stories that contain rich digital content and allow us to use images, music, videos and voices to help make the story come alive.

My goal will be to create content that resonate and build relationships with my audience. The process I can use to achieve this is to center my interest on a topic using a wide angle view…

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COM0014-Blog Post # 5 My Personal Brand

arunamanohar

From a finance background to being an innovative entrepreneur, a marketer and a business systems administrator I have made many footprints in some exemplary career experiences.  Despite the challenges of being a single mother of two aspiring children and a full time job, my self-motivation and passion for learning has proven worthy in the result of my academic achievements in obtaining a Business degree, Business Analyst and a Salesforce.com Administrator certificates. These are my accomplishments that I can shamelessly brag about. My experiences in life have taught me some great lessons and given me some good insights academically, in street smarts and interacting with people of all walks of life. I have made solid relationships in my professional and personal life and have become a well-respected mentor and role model for colleagues, family and friends.

I am driven by goals that I set for myself and have achieved them with…

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COM0014 – Post 6 – What is your greatest fear for your business?

arunamanohar

Social Media is now mainstream and for businesses to succeed in this modern era, they must have social media presence – listening and engaging with their target audience. My employer, has not fully integrate social media in the business strategy and my greatest fear is that it will cause us to lose touch with our customers and prevent us from correctly aligning our target market to our service offerings. As a result we will not be able to compete effectively and build competitive advantages.  

In today’s world with many social media platforms and the internet, customer retention risks have evolved and customer experiences have much greater consequences. These technology savvy customers have become more educated, informed, highly opinionated, and have attained the power to influence others on a global spectrum. Social media has allowed customers to have a real voice. Ultimately, this kind of power can make or break…

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COM0014 – Blog Post # 4 Big auto brand leverage social media to build relationship and creditability in B2C space

arunamanohar

Ford Motor Company (Ford) used social media effectively to engage and interact with its online target audience in the B2C space. They use three channels; Twitter, Facebook and Youtube to educate and create awareness of their products and services with existing and potential customers. They also have a well-designed website page that makes it easy for visitors to readily share their experiences about Ford. “Ford Blog” is a dedicated page where each time they publish a new blog, they post comments from their readers followed by the blog details. They created a community section where people can share their stories and ideas on new products, services and warranties issues. In this community, Ford employees interact with customers and listen to conversations that help them to improve on their product features and services.

I think that Ford approach to their social media presence is creative. Their presence in Twitter, Facebook and…

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