Marketing Works Today

Integrated Digital Marketing & PR Consulting from Brown Ltd.

Mobile Marketer’s Mobile Outlook 2010

At Brown Ltd., we are keeping an eye on mobile marketing.  As smartphones grow in use and marketshare, look for them to become the next “personal computer” – in your hand. 

We expect mobile to follow the same growth patterns that happened with personal computers and cellphones:

  • Early Adopters: We’re at the end of this stage now. The mobile application, publishing, retail, marketing and advertising is ramping up rapidly. 
  • Growth:  We’re at the beginning. If the Wall Street Journal rumors are true that Apple will release an iPhone on the Verizon Network this summer, watch this phase expand rapidly.  AT&T reported a 5,000% increase in broadband data consumption because of the iPhone.
  • Peak: A long way off!
  • What’s next?

According to Mobile Marketer, “It is quite clear from recent market activity – Google buying AdMob and Apple absorbing Quattro Wireless, Apple iPad and Google Nexus One launches, eBay’s record $500 million in mobile commerce last year – that mobile is no longer considered a niche medium.”

To get an excellent overview and outlook for 2010, click here and download the pdf: Mobile Marketer’s Mobile Outlook


Filed under: Advertising, Future Vision, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing, , , , , , , , , , ,

Engaging Customers: Go Get the Whitepaper

Joe Pulizzi and Keith Wiegold of Junta42 have created a whitepaper that is breakthrough thought leadership.  They tackle the tough topic of:

“What is engagement?  What does it really mean in marketing? How should we measure it? What tactics can we employ to help enhance it?”

I especially like the measurement section.  Since I promote a marketing strategy that will get you “leads, traffic, prospects, sales – at the lowest cost/per customer,” you can’t claim that without measuring results. 

Many think that social media engagement, Web 2.0, and content marketing to engage the customer is “free.”  Just because you didn’t place a media buy and didn’t hire an art director and production staff to create your content, it isn’t free.   There is real work involved in first-class engagement, and it costs you time, if not money. 

All measurement should include that time (cost per hour?) to see if your engagement is creating results.  Keep this in mind when reading their excellent whitepaper. 

It’s really great work and it’s free so I encourage you to go to their blog and download the whitepaper now:

Engagement: Understanding It, Achieving It, Measuring It Whitepaper.

Filed under: Content Development, Content Marketing, Marketing Measurement, Social Media Marketing, , , , , , , , , , , ,

iMedia Connection: An inventor’s shocking forecasts for marketing technology

Great article on the future of marketing technology. –MB

Renowned futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil shares his bold predictions on virtual environments for marketing, the effects of an accelerated technological pace, and how information will transform communications.

Filed under: Future Vision, , , , ,

Blogging, Free Speech, the Law, and Reality

I was recently criticized by an idealist blogger about my position on blogging, publishing, and why you should be careful when publishing negative content. 

One of my specialties is Reputation Management and Crisis Communication.  I’m not a lawyer, but I have prepared Rep and Crisis Communication Strategy and Plans, and had to execute them for many companies and clients.  Plus, I’ve been on both sides of the fence as a journalist and PR pro – including communication law cases.

I’m a 30-year professional journalist and college j-school teacher.  I’ve taken and taught media law for a long time. You should know there are consequences for libel and slander.

This post isn’t a class in media law; but, it is a practical overview of the issue on the street.

I encourage you or anyone to speak your mind anytime you want. Freedom of speech is of vital importance to our country and liberty.  I get it.

Supreme Court

But the truth matters. Facts matter. So does reality.

If you purposefully lie, distort the truth, publish outright false information, and it materially damages someone or their reputation, and they can prove it, the legal action could be a real drag.

I’m not talking about opinion. That’s different.

If you want to publish that you don’t like something or someone, it’s not illegal. Most companies or individuals won’t take legal action. It’s a business decision. Cost vs. bad press, reputation, or customer relations. Public companies usually won’t take action.

Plus the burden of proof to prove libel is all on the person bringing the lawsuit and it’s hard to prove to the standards set by the law.  Congress and the Supreme Court made it that way to protect free speech.

What I’ve explained so far is the ideal world.  Now for some reality.


Front & Backroom Legal Action

Private individuals or privately held companies are a different matter when you attack them with a blog, especially ones with deep pockets and no board of directors to report to, when they decide they personally don’t like something a blogger publishes.

I witnessed the president of a privately held company legally and financially game and drain someone dry because of blogging.  The blogger is living with his mother now. 

Would the president win in court?  Probably not, even though the blogger was a jerk.  However, the legal amusement from a vindictive person with lots of money is endless and so is the cost – for the other party AND YOU.

The question is… as a blogger, how much time and money do you want to spend with lawyers?  How much do you have?

How much do you have?

If you turn your publishing into a full-time rant, the savvy will launch their reputation management system and make your posts irrelevant or worse – you can ruin your own reputation.

If you’re really nasty in your posts, with the sole purpose to ruin someone’s reputation, some will take legal action based on “poison pen” law. I just read that a ranter just got found guilty of that.  They’ve gone for years in the legal process. Great fun for them I’m sure.

By the way, this isn’t just about one or two court cases.  There have been many.  Most don’t make the press.  You have to read the court records.

Many posts and blogs have been taken down by an ISP or blog hosting company because of violations of terms of service.  Most article directories won’t even allow you to mention a company name unless it’s yours.  They don’t want the grief.  Censorship?  Yes.

In an ideal world, you’re right.  Nobody should censor.

Unfortunately, this is a hugely litigious country and the folks with the biggest bank account can bleed you dry.  Is it right?  No.  Does it happen?  Everyday.

Here’s how it works.

In almost all cases, lawsuits settle – you never get to court to have a “decision” based on what is right.  Most of the time there is a signed agreement by both parties – and the judge that you never get to meet – requiring you to shut up about the case.  So you won’t read much about it or the litigant that leaked will have to go before that judge and defend against contempt of court.

Usually they settle somewhere in the middle after both parties are tired of spending or the hassle.  Your time and cost will be yours – at $150-$350 per hour for your lawyer, who usually wants to keep it going, plus mediators at $750 a day.  When all is said and done, the lawyers got richer and you got poorer.  Is it worth it?

My point is: there is an ideal and purely constitutional law side to this – and there is a practical and real-world (and some would say cynical) side.

The ideal is a free flow of ideas and honest discussion, agreement, and disagreement. That exists most of the time and it’s good.

But get your facts wrong and in the process harm someone badly, or go over the top with opinion to the point that you anger someone with deep pockets, and I guarantee you’ll wish you never wrote that post.

I know: reality stinks.  You can live in an ideal la-la land in your head.  Or you can live in the real world.  It’s your choice.  The key is to pick your battles.

Sometimes, it’s just better to listen to what your mother taught you, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

Filed under: Blogging, Crisis Communication, Media Law, Public & Media Relations, Reputation Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blogger Sued for $25 Million

Truth and facts are important everywhere, especially in publishing. 

However, no matter what the legal and constitutional issues are with libel and slander, or the burden of proof for the person that sues, fending off a lawsuit costs a lot of time and money, even if you did nothing but report what you think are the facts. 

The blogger that is being sued already lost his job because of the issue. 

A former editor of mine said, “There are always more than two sides to a story.”  You better know them before you publish.

If you aren’t a media company with a staff of lawyers, and don’t have an editor and fact checkers to check your work, it’s really important to be careful… and sometimes it’s not even worth saying something negative or bringing up a fact you are not 100% sure of.

In addition, since we are responsible for creating, moderating, (and deleting if necessary) our own posts, you have to be careful about what other people comment on a post or blog you start.  You may need to fact check, edit, or delete their comments (since you are the publisher).  This is a gray area that I don’t believe has been sorted out in the law and courts yet.

So before you blog, post, or accept someone’s comments, think about what is said and the consequences. Sometimes, as your mother taught you, it might just be better to not say it at all.

See the story below:

Click Here To See the Media Report (CBS4 in Miami)

Filed under: Content Development, Media Law, Public & Media Relations, , , , , , , , , , ,

Non-Profit That Builds Homes for Wounded Military Veterans – For FREE

I heard about this organization, “Operation Finally Home,” on the radio the other night. 

I do some non-profit marketing so I’m conducting a market test on Facebook, ActiveRain, and LinkedIn to see the reaction and try to drive traffic and donors to them.

They are expanding nationally to build homes for wounded military veterans. I like their operation model.

Wounded vets have a lot of disappointments and this group wants to make sure that doesn’t happen with their program. Vets don’t apply for a house and then suffer another disappointment when they don’t get approved.

Operation Finally Home works with the VA and military services to figure out the family that would benefit most from a free home, but they don’t tell the family until after the family is selected.

The vet doesn’t know it’s going on.

The house is free and clear, no mortgage, and 2 years of taxes covered. I’m going to try and help them market their program nationally.

They are based out of the Houston area and the sponsoring organization is Bay Area Builders Association.

Go to their website, follow them on Facebook, and TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATES!




Proud Marine Dad

Filed under: Non-Profit Marketing & PR, , , , , , , , , ,

Marketing Works Today

This blog is to help you learn how to connect with customers. The goal is to show you how to get the most qualified leads, traffic, relationships, and sales for the lowest cost/customer. I'll write and aggregate content that relates to the goal. You're welcome to subscribe, comment, and post. Send me your news tips!

What’s In A Title?

I've had a lot of titles [Director of Marketing, Communications Director, Advertising Director, Multimedia Producer, Managing Editor, Reporter, Copywriter]; but, I approach every project as a digital producer... what does the audience need and how can I deliver it most effectively and for the lowest cost?

Sometimes I write with pictures or video, sometimes with words. I always keep the goal in mind: sales, leads, traffic, a better brand image or awareness, or just a really good story, etc.

Yeah I create content for money. But you'll see from my background that I'm way better at making money for others than I am for myself.

I wish I had 1%. I'd be surfing with my kids all the time now.

Contact me and I'll make some for you.

Mike Brown

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I have 8 years experience setting up, writing, and managing small business and simple product campaigns ($100/week Google Adwords) and large business campaigns with multiple divisions and product lines (up to $20,000/week in Google Adwords – more than $1.1 billion in annual sales). Contact me to create your campaign!

R. Michael Brown
Marketing Consultant, Public Relations Consultant, Freelance Writer: West Palm Beach, Florida

"I help organizations increase sales, and pump up the value of their brand, using media, for the lowest cost per customer."

Digital Marketing and Public Relations consultant, writer, and producer with over 20 years experience launching brands like DiVosta Homes, IBM Multimedia, Nextel, Motorola business and government sector, and SunFest Jazz Festival.

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