Holiday Cheers with HubSpot Enterprise: BluePrint is the New Black

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CLEVELAND –

2012 is here, and we’re ready. 

Cleveland cleHUG HubSpot enterprise Paul Roetzer Byron Fernandez Holiday social

Cleveland Holiday HUG

From mulled wine (Nordic Glögg – my Swedish/Irish sister would be proud), shrimp cocktail and local pizza to my mom’s famous Austrian jam cookies; the

Cleveland HubSpot User Group (HUG) kicked off the holidays with HubSpot Enterprise and members from local inbound marketing, digital, and creative firms.

Hosted by PR 20/20, HubSpot’s first VAR firm, HUG members had the opportunity to hear from Chris O’Donnell, HubSpot Product Manager for the contacts (MOFU/leads) team, and former Head of Product Development at Performable.

For the first time in Northeast Ohio, three certified HubSpot VARs were present, and it was good to see new and old faces.

Though chatter ranged from weddings, books and techgeek toys, to expecting parents and launching new ventures, key business takeaways from the event included:

  1. 2012 will be a year of results: Firms will continue to be driven by data and disruptive technologies, that will shift the focus from outputs to outcomes. Efficiency and productivity rule: Performance indicators demand that specialists remain well-versed in a host of converging media industries.
  2. Sales and Digital will continue to converge as lower overhead costs, higher performance metrics and limitless economies of scale for startups will transform the landscape. Silos are so 2000 and late. PR, marketing and traditional advertising, branding and communications firms will collaborate with creative, technology and digital in profound ways. Mergers and acquisitions will fuel the rise of complementary, full-service agencies that benefit from diverse and dynamic revenue streams.
  3. Immersion and integration will no longer be an option — across partners, clients/customers and channels. Technology software, platforms and tools drive the market, and those that provide integrated solutions across PR, social, seo, content, web and brand will be best positioned to thrive. A/B testing and mobile (especially games and apps) will lead emerging, “intuitive” services.

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Particularly fascinating to me, of course, was our discussion regarding HubSpot Enterprise and its implications for social and seo intelligence.

One of the highlights of the night was when O’Donnell mentioned testing messages. He elaborated on the effect of trying different offers that meet people at a precise touchpoint along the buying cycle : fear-based, description-based and promise based. 

So many of us get mired in strategy and tactics: We focus on products, pretty websites or image placement – get lost in a rabbit hole of bells and whistles, rather than simply implementing and continually testing what our readers, subscribers and qualified leads are looking for.  

Which is why guys like Chris, Google and HubSpot are around to jar our memory: it’s in the data. Enterprise seems to be taking notes from Facebook, especially in the context of a “frictionless” user-experience: Intelligence driven by consumer behavior.

Bernays would be pleased: psychology and philosophy’s here to stay. Beyond what we say, to how we say it. Understanding not just what we do, but what we don’t do.

Reflecting consciousness.  

Pretty cool. Emotional and practical intelligence are vital differentiators because they are genuine and human, and impart identity to personal and organizational brands.

Accurately predicting consumer behavior in 2012 will depend on professionals willing and able to adapt, take calculated risks and truly reflect the minds of their audiences, across channels.

If performing is the new doing, then being is the new thinking.

*Special thanks to Dia Dalsky for hosting, Chris O’Donnell and Chris Knipper, Founder & President at Kuno Creative for sharing success stories thus far with HubSpot Enterprise. And to end where much of this began, congratulations to Paul Roetzer on his new book, The Marketing Agency BluePrint. We’re proud of you.

RELATED LINKS

Chris O’Donnell – Resonant Emotional Messaging

Jessica Donlon – Quick Response: How Strategic Execution Makes QR Effective

NYT read via Rand Fishkin – Online Retailers Home in on a New Demographic: The Drunken Consumer 

Interested in learning more about inbound marketing and HubSpot VARs? Contact me directly at 1-800-348-9654 x 205

  

5 Reasons Why to Avoid being NonPlussed by Google+

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First, I’d like to thank PR dame Gini Dietrich for ending a slew of misfortune (misfires?). I’m wondering if it was because I never used Gmail…my primary email account since 2004 has been Hotmail, which I love.

But invites to play on what is being lauded the new and next social network (most of us unconvinced but still having fun) were in vain, mainly because the project is still in test-drive.

So I updated my Gmail account information, and presto! Was ready to roll.

One of the first viral vids that streamed in could not have been more appropriate, and I couldn’t help but head-bang to the beat of Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night (TGIF) — think Rebecca Black’s been replaced — with the help of familiar cats Keenan Cahill and Darren Criss:

I’ve noticed there’s a bit of perplexity mired in all the buzz surrounding the project, so I’ve compiled a few ideas and pointers as we continue along the field trial (love how John Falchetto put it >> “We’re just the crash-test dummies…” (What the Heck is Google+?).

1. Have fun – As early adopters of Facebook, remember how cool it was just jumping in and discovering long-lost relatives, friends and colleagues? Nothing different here. Format, visual, etc. changes, but creativity and inspiration does not. Bring back that impish, puckish play and you’ll start to see how much of a hoot it is.

As Mark Twain put it: “The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.”

2. Check out Circles  – Similar to compiling lists on Twitter, Klout and Facebook, you can start to organize your social circles accordingly. Being the narcissistic, career-obsessed maven that I am, I only added one circle for the colleagues/contacts I engage with most frequently across social media channels.

3. Take the virtual tour. I strongly recommend this whether you’ve climbed aboard or not. The demo’s simple, really graphic/visual and gives you an idea of how to start clicking-away and organizing thoughts on how you will interface with the program. Tutorial here >> Google+ Project

4. Be vigilant – The notion of spammers, bots and viruses is all pretty familiar to us by now. One of the reasons we’re here is because quality, transparency and trust is increasingly difficult to replicate, automate or buy. If you don’t know the person, contact or business personally (in real-time), it’s unnecessary, uncouth and unsafe to reflect otherwise online. Use tact and be more persnickety about who you connect with than you might have been in the past.

Seth Godin nails it on the head: Influence ≠ Popularity (What’s the Point of Popular?)

5. Be genuine – Organic, earned credibility and expertise seems to be pretty valuable to Google, and they’re rewarding those who respect and honor the rules of its social and search algorithms. If this doesn’t appeal to you then get out of the game — the great Oz of Google and Facebook wields far greater intelligence and consciousness than any of us could ever dream of, so don’t be a tool.

Plain and simple?

Respect. 

The Convergence of Art and Technology: Google Goes GaGa

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You knew this was coming … ;-) This woman, a year my junior has been a source of validation, inspiration and regeneration since I hit rock bottom in Vegas and moved back to Ohio two years ago.

Nevertheless, my allegorical sister from another mister continues her meteoric rise through the piano, performance art, fashion, social, search, tech, innovation and online zeitgeist:

Highlights

  • If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not standing in the light…
  • And I really encourage people to look into the darkness and places you wouldn’t normally look to find uniqueness and specialness…because that’s where the diamonds are hiding

  • You have to look into what’s haunting you, and you need to learn to forgive yourself in order to move on (referring to the next single off her upcoming album, whose Biblical proportion doesn’t seem likely to conclude at ‘Judas’)
  • My girlfriends wanted to work for you (Google). I wanted to be the one they were searching for…
  • Piano’s funny…I mean it’s kind of this thing that always stays with you. You kind of get your chops back pretty quickly…
  • I was never the winner. I was always the loser.
  • ‎Because if the artist is constantly molding ourselves and changing and bridging –abridging — what we do for the machine, then the artist becomes part of the machine. I don’t want to be part of the machine. I want the machine to be part of me.
  • Addressing bullying: Do I want to stick it to anybody? No. I just wanna make music.

From a PR perspective, few artists today understand viral marketing and the highbrow aspect of our language as well as GaGa. In an interview with Fuse in 2009, she acknowledged: You’re only as good as your best references. I couldn’t help but smile when she mentioned Francis Bacon as a source for her ‘immaculate conceptions’ –and wonder what the spike in his Google search queries will be like in the next few weeks.

Crazy little monsters (a term of endearment she and her followers use).

Perhaps the most exciting part for me, and either those who appreciate or are artists who transcend time (Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Hendrix, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Bowie, Clapton, The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews to name a few…) is simply the music.

I love how she uses pianospeak to describe her message and music: Sonic (root/variation: sonorous, sonoric). Classical pianists (and I believe, all true artists) are religious about Soul: warmth, color — vibrancy.

GaGa reveals some pretty sick details about her progression as a singer and pianist, discussing how the forthcoming album (due May 23rd) will further highlight her abilities as a producer and songwriter. From a melodic perspective, she shared that

“Sonically, it just smells like me, if that makes sense…” adding

“I guess what I’m trying to say is, um –in my opinion — All good music can be played at a piano and still sound like a hit.”

A — f(expletive)ing Men. Is it May, yet? Lol.

But in all seriousness:

‘Where words fail, music speaks’ -Hans Christian Andersen

Enjoy the weekend!

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