Clearly Webster Had the Right Idea – A Marketing Jargon Dictionary

Posted in General Marketing, Social Media on March 4, 2010 by juliegowel

“Yeah, I twit every day!”

“Of course I have an RSS Feed for my blog, how else would I keep it from starving?”

“Just friend me on LinkedIn…”

Tired of sticking your foot in your mouth when it comes to discussing new marketing techniques?  Marketing jargon has become a language in and unto itself these days.  Online reputation management, search engine optimization, maintaining a presence on the blogosphere…in order to harness the power of 21st century marketing, it helps to know what all this stuff means.  Below is a glossary of the most commonly misused or misunderstood marketing terms.  Study hard, there will be a pop quiz!

  1. Online Reputation Management – v. The practice of overseeing the myriad of ways you engage your target market online, from your website and blog to social networks, consumer review sites and industry specific content databases, to name a few, and adapting your marketing strategy to build or maintain your brand identity through these interactions.
  2. Blog – n. An online journal of sorts where you share ideas and thought leadership with interested readers.  Derived from weblog.   v. The term blog can also be used as a verb, i.e. “I blog about marketing topics.”
  3. Blogosphere – n. The community of all blogs.
  4. RSS Feed – n. Really Simple Syndication.  A tool to update your followers on any changes made to your blog, social media status, audio or video content, etc.
  5. Twitter – n. A microblogging tool in which you send and receive messages using a maximum of 140 characters at a time.
  6. Tweet – v. To write a post for Twitter.  Never twit – not even in the past tense!
  7. Facebook – n. A social networking site primarily used for personal interactions.  Facebook actually has an entire glossary page but here are a few of the most common words:
    1. Friend –n.  Someone you invited to be a part of your network.
    2. Unfriend – v. To remove someone from your network.
    3. Poke – v. This is a way to interact with friends; it is a virtual nudge but can be construed as flirting in certain contexts. (The Superpoke application takes this to the next level where you can do everything from high five to throw a sheep at someone.)
    4. Wall – n. A public forum for posting messages, emphasis on public.
    5. Fan – n.  Pretty self explanatory, but as a business or performer, you want these!
    6. LinkedIn – n. A social networking site for professionals.  On this site you have connections (as opposed to friends, but connections can be your friends, confusing, I know!)
    7. Search Engine Optimization – v. The process by which you get your website to show on the first page of search results in various search engines for the key products or services that you offer.

The marketing jargon dictionary is growing daily.  Twitter was the most used word of 2009 according to the Global Language Monitor!  The New Oxford American Dictionary named “unfriend” as its word of 2009.  The point being, these words aren’t going anywhere so you might as well learn them and the variations that go along with them.  Thirsty for more?  Visit for an exhaustive listing of marketing vocabulary.

Facebook Marketing – Something for Everyone

Posted in Social Media on February 25, 2010 by juliegowel

Marketing execs and small business owners who are brave enough to experiment with using Facebook as a tool to reach their target market rarely get beyond the most common applications: fan pages and groups. Although these are great ways to mark your territory on Facebook, they are merely scratching the surface of what this social media medium can do for your business.  Just like personal applications for the everyday user such as Superpoke and Daily Horoscope, Facebook has a variety of marketing applications that any business can use to their advantage.

The usefulness of Facebook in B2C marketing is indubitable at this point.  B2B adoption was much slower since the concept of reaching other businesses on the social site sat uncomfortably in traditionalist’s minds.  It was hard for many B2B businesses to assess whether or not their target market was on Facebook.  Now, with over 175 million people logging in each day, the question of who isn’t on Facebook is probably an easier one to answer.  That said, as with most things in life, Facebook isn’t for everyone but the following application is particularly valuable for avant-garde B2B marketers looking to take advantage of the social networking goliath.

  1. Slideshare is an important B2B marketing application and one of the best places online to store your collateral. It allows you to upload presentations, Word documents, Adobe portfolios, conference talks, whitepapers, webcasts, etc. and present them in a forum to encourage interaction with your potential customers. Recently, Slideshare added a new feature allowing B2B companies to create customized branded channels for interested parties to follow.  Early adaptors of this new feature include McGraw Hill and RedMonk.  Slideshare is also available for integration with LinkedIn, allowing you to upload new content to one place and have your social networking sites automatically sync.

B2C marketing applications for Facebook are more numerous and eclectic.  Choosing which apps will work best for your business can seem daunting but rest easy – they are free!  Trial and error will only cost you your time and will keep you interacting with your target market even in the testing phase!  Below are a couple of B2C applications we have found to be exceptionally effective:

  1. Fanappz supercharges your fan pages on Facebook allowing you to increase awareness and build your fan network.   Utilizing “fun” tools such as polls, quizzes, Top 5 ratings and “gifts,” FanAppz is a great way for companies to increase the effectiveness of their fan page by increasing their fan participation.
  2. Sweepstakes allows companies using fan pages to easily and seamlessly construct and launch branded sweepstakes.  According to Forrester research, businesses that offer contests have twice as many social network fans as those that do not. Sweepstakes allows fan page creators to take advantage of this consumer behavior with virtually no time suck or commitment other than the prize being given away.

These are just three tools that are currently being used by businesses with successful Facebook marketing campaigns. Search the Facebook applications database today to see if there are others that may work well for your business.  Or, if you are currently having success with a particular application, share your experience with us on our Clearly Creative fan page!

Much A-Tweet About Nothing

Posted in Social Media with tags , on February 18, 2010 by christyschmidt

A priest tweeted the gospel.  Sun Microsystems CEO tweeted his resignation using a haiku: “Financial crisis/Stalled too many customers/CEO no more.”  President Obama tweeted for health care reform.  And Perez Hilton tweeted his most recent feelings on Jessica Simpson and John Mayer.

So you may be wondering: What is it that I should tweet?

If you’re like most people, you heard the buzz, signed up (it takes about 3 minutes and it’s free), and have yet to return to the chaos that is Twitter.  You would think that coming up with 140 characters would be easy, but I remember the first time I finally decided to tweet: staring at my computer, biting my nails, starting to sweat and typing hundreds of different combinations of 140 characters until one finally felt adequate enough.  But even if you have more than the whopping 4 followers I had at the time, deciding what to say doesn’t have to be difficult (or traumatic).

The developers of Twitter chose its name because of the definition: “A short burst of inconsequential information,” and “chirps from birds.”  While short bursts from feathered creatures may not seem important, the website is changing the way that people receive and process information, and a door of opportunity has been opened for everyday people attempting to communicate with the masses.

Here’s a few tips to get you tweeting:

  1. Keep it fresh and relevant.  As with all social media outlets, updating often will keep followers interested.  Try to tweet as often as you would update an active blog.  Relate your tweets to events pertaining to that day.  For example, two days before the big game, Clearly Creative posted a link titled “How social media is changing the super bowl.”  This way, the message caters to our audience of people interested in marketing as well as an upcoming event.
  2. Use your 140 wisely. If you say something worth “retweeting,” (a follower rebroadcasting what you tweet), there is potential to start a meaningful dialogue between your followers.  Think about the things that you would like your friends to have a conversation about, and use that to your advantage.  Ask questions, post interesting links, and give your opinion.
  3. Hint: All of the features are free! Utilize direct messaging (typing DM @ and then a follower’s name whom you also follow will send a private message directly to them), Twitpic (for posting pictures), Tweetdeck (to streamline notifications and tweets), Twitterfeed (link your blog to your Twitter account) and any other applications that may help get you started.
  4. Be personable and mix it up. Twitter is used to convey messages informally, but know where to draw the line.  Tweet like you’re talking to a friend.  And try to vary your updates to keep things interesting.  Nobody likes a boring burst of inconsequential information.
  5. Realize the potential impact. You don’t want to scare followers away by sounding like a salesman. (“Check out our cheap new service!”)  However, you do have an opportunity to get conversation started about your business or events in your industry.  With this comes the opportunity to build credibility.  Posting links about news relevant to your business, industry or location can get followers thinking, talking, and retweeting – building up your account and the relationships with your “audience.”
  6. When in doubt: “What are you doing?” The creators of Twitter see it this way: “Whether it’s breaking news, a local traffic jam, a deal at your favorite shop or a funny pick-me-up from a friend, Twitter keeps you informed with what matters most to you today and helps you discover what might matter to you most tomorrow… How you use Twitter is completely up to you.  Follow hundreds of people.  Follow a dozen.  Post every hour.  Post never… You are in control on Twitter.”

So take control.  And happy chirping!

A Clearly Creative Happily-Ever-After Break-up Guide

Posted in Events, Social Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 11, 2010 by juliegowel

In honor of the holiday, we have a couple of break-ups for you that won’t leave you reaching for the tissues and chocolate this Valentine’s day!  Some marketing practices are like bad relationships, you stick with them because they are habitual and comfortable.  Freeing yourself from these outdated tools of the trade will lead to a happier heart and a heavier wallet.

Dump Cold Calling – Get LinkedIn

Still dialing for dollars?  How’s that going for you?  Probably not well.  Between being hung-up on, cursed at or reported for harassment, you are probably feeling pretty rejected.  Cupid might not be able to help you here, but we can!  Imagine how much better your call would go if your opening line were something like this: “Hi Gary, our mutual friend Jack gave me your number and told me to tell you that you still owe him twenty bucks from your friendly Superbowl wager.”  Instant rapport!  So how do you make a ‘warm’ call like that?  Easy, get LinkedIn.  Using our call scenario above, let’s say Acme Solutions is where our fictitious ‘Gary’ works.  This is a company you have been trying to get into for a while.  What are the chances that if you ran into ‘Jack’ at Target, you would think to ask him if he knows anyone who works at Acme that he could introduce you to?  Probably nil.  However, if you are on LinkedIn and you search for “Acme Solutions,” you will find out in a few seconds that Jack knows someone who works there.  You can give him a call, ask for an intro to ‘Gary’ and voilà, you are in.  LinkedIn can help you with so many common business functions but dumping cold calling has to be one of the most satisfying.

Terminate Tradeshows – Get Intimate

Getting dumped is rough.  Getting dumped after you spent $500 on concert tickets, $100 on red roses and $200 on dinner downtown for Valentine’s Day is exasperating.  Tradeshows are outrageously expensive and rarely worth the expense.  Between travel expenses, registration and exposition fees, booth gear and swag for a bunch of people that will probably never be your customer, it can leave you feeling utterly rejected and poor.  With tradeshow attendance down an average of 30% across the board, you may be looking for alternatives to reaching your target market face-to-face.  Hosting smaller events catered to your existing and potential customers on a revolving basis can put that $50 – $100k tradeshow budget to much better use.  Get creative, your event doesn’t have to be focused on your product or service but there are ways you can weave it in.  Selling home theater systems?  Invite some prospects into your showroom for a “Lost” party.  Lawyers – host a monthly “Get Out of Jail Free” Monopoly themed event (even corporate B2B clients will see the humor in the soirée if marketed effectively!).  Put in face time with your potential clients without breaking the bank on tradeshow marketing.

While we don’t have any advice for you with regard to personal relationships (we leave that to cupid, and well trained therapists!), we do encourage you to step outside your marketing comfort zone and try some new techniques.  This Valentine’s day, link yourself to someone new without a chilly introduction.  Invite them to a creative and intimate event.  Who knows, the next box of chocolates you buy may be a ‘Thanks for Your Business’ gesture.

Making The Most of Twitter Lists

Posted in Social Media with tags on January 1, 2010 by guestblogger12

Twitter, the very popular “micro-blogging” social network has been experiencing rapid growth for over the last year. With this growth, Twitter focused on keeping up with the increasing amounts of traffic, perhaps limiting them from adding new features. However, recently we have seen some very interesting new developments.

Twitter lists were made available to a “small group” on October 15. Since then the feature has been rolled out to all of Twitter. The lists feature has been a consistent trending topic and the buzz of the social media world. While the “Twitterrati” seem to loose their collective mind anytime Twitter bats an eyelash, Twitter lists might justify the fuss.

The feature allows users to follow user-generated groups. Being able to organize Twitter users into groups isn’t a new concept to power users who are currently using Tweetdeck or Seesmic Desktop, however being able to share those groups across the web is a very exciting.

Twitter lists have only been around for a short while but we are already seeing some very creative ways organizations, marketers and third party websites are using them.

Top 3  Twitter list uses:

1. Third party websites that let you search and monitor lists.

There are many third party websites such as or based around searching Twitter or alerting you to certain keywords, provides a very well organized site that tags, aggregates and allows you to search for different lists. If you are looking to connect with Twitter users but don’t want to confine your search to individual tweets or keywords this is a great way to find lots of people. is a very simple and smart tool for receiving keyword alerts. The site lets you set up keyword alerts for specific lists. So if you want to know what a certain list is saying about your brand or client with Listiti you can get an email every time that keyword is mentioned by any member of that list.

2. Creative uses of lists by brands.

In a brilliant maneuver, the NHL made quick work of Twitter lists to organize NHL fans by team. The NHL asked fans to tweet which team they are a fan of coinciding with a hashtag that let the NHL find them and add them to a list. This in effect created a social network inside the social network uniting fans and strengthening the NHL’s brand. The move has been wildly popular among NHL fans and has garnered a great about  of press.

The New York Times is also a great example for how to creatively use lists. The Times has created several lists to help Twitter users effectively follow what content interests them. They have also created a staff directory via Twitter lists. They even went an extra step by creating a page on their website that brings all their lists together.

3. Lists will make Twitter organized events better.

Twitter has always been great for on and offline events. Now when hosting an event, you can create an attendees list as they register. An event list is effective at starting a conversation before the event and will help organize live tweeting during the event. If someone can not attend it will also be an exceptional way to follow along side the action if people are live tweeting.

Twitter lists are definitely a game changer. For a long time Twitter’s most active users have been clamoring for a “grouping” function and lists go above and beyond what most expected. The function provides a really unique way for people to connect and it is user generated. Letting users define the direction of the Twitter has always been at the core of their success.

Marcus Andrews

Marcus Andrews is a new media communications professional in Boston, MA. With a background in PR,  Marcus has developed and  implemented leading edge new media strategies for the PR agency Schneider Associates, at the internet based marketing agency HealthTalker, for Alan Khazei’s senate run to fill the late Ted Kennedy’s vacant seat and for small business’ and entrepreneurs in Boston. To get in touch with Marcus visit his hub at or email him at Mandrews33 (at)

Part 2: to Market, or Not to Market One’s Self: Stepping up Personal Branding

Posted in Economic Issues, Social Media, Tough Economy with tags on November 25, 2009 by courtneyrannacher

It’s tough out there. Jobs are scarce and competition is fierce. Job searchers are taking drastic measures to stand out and be heard, but are these methods effective or are they devaluing their personal brand?

I am sure you have all seen some form of extreme job seeking whether its billboards with resumes plastered across them, radio ads set up by job seekers detailing their experience and job needs, or even internet ads. Using these tactics will surely get you noticed, but not necessarily in the right way. First of all, utilizing these tools gives you an extensive reach, but does not focus in on your target market. You are paying to be heard by the thousands that may drive by your billboard, but how many of those individuals have the power to hire you in the job you want? The answer: not many, if any at all. Secondly, would you take anyone seriously if they had a billboard with their personal information posted over the highway? It comes across as unprofessional and comical detracting from the value you could add to an organization.

However, there are personal branding and marketing strategies that can work. I have compiled some basic strategies that will enable you to get noticed and enhance your personal brand in a way that is consistent with your desired career goals.

Step 1:

What is your personal brand?

What are your career goals? What is your personality? What are the impressions you give to those around you? Until you know the answers to these questions you cannot effectively create your personal brand. Figuring out what you want and how you want to be perceived is the first step to actually achieving it.

For more information visit Dan Schawbel shares step by step methods and unique ideas for discovering and creating your own personal brand:

Step 2:

Create it!

After you spend time figuring out what your personal brand is you then have to put in the work to achieve it. Some things are simple and common sense. For instance, if part of your goal is to be taken seriously and be thought of as a professional don’t have Facebook pages, MySpace pages, or pictures posted to the internet that display you doing keg stands or being scantily dressed. Speaking of social media sites, don’t’ forget to use LinkedIn!

Other ways to create your personal brand include creating your own website, blogging, networking online and at events, and working hard to create a resume that depicts your personal brand. Blogging is a great way to create your brand because you are able to easily tell others more about yourself and your personal brand without having to speak to them in person. For instance, if you are emailing a company for a position you can put the link to your blog in the email. If they go and read your blog they will see right away your writing skills, your interests, your ability to articulate effectively, etc.

Step 3:

Get on out there and promote yourself…But how?

At this point if you did a good job figuring out your personal brand you should know what companies you want to work for or at least what kind of company you want to work for, so make a list. Make a list of all the companies that would be a good fit for you and try to find the right contact person at each to reach out to. You can use your networks through LinkedIn and other personal connections to find the right person to speak with, at the company you are interested in. Email them as to what you’re looking for, your interests, and why this company is appealing to you. Don’t forget to: 1. use a signature block with your LinkedIn profile 2. link to your blog in 3. attach your newly edited resume.

If there are a couple of companies that really appeal to you, you can make yourself stand out without utilizing a billboard. Do your research on the desired company and their competitors in order to tell them something they might not know. Don’t email companies telling them how much you know about them, they already know that information. By showing your desired place of employment information on their competitors and coming up with a new strategy or idea to help them grow you can stand out in a way that enhances your personal brand. You are showing potential employers that you are already putting in the work and are pushing to find ways to strengthen their organization while simultaneously reaching your target market- no billboard necessary!

Another way to attract employers is to find an area that is being overlooked, ignored, or that doesn’t exist within an organization that you feel is necessary and that you could provide for the company. You are essentially telling an organization that they need “X” and that you are the person who has the skill, knowledge, and desire to provide that for them. This is definitely more appealing than a radio advertisement.

Step 4:

Some things take time.

Remember that there are few things that happen overnight. It is going to take time for things to fall into place, but when they do your hard work will pay off. What you do when you’re waiting for these things to fall in place is a testament to your character and your drive. Employers want to see that you weren’t just waiting for something to fall in your lap, but that you were showing the initiative in continuing to build your personal brand.

What a Trip at “Yelp’s Passport to Kendall Square!”

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by martharichardson43

We are still trying to pry the perma-smile off our faces following “Yelp’s Passport to Kendall Square.” In this wildly successful event that we helped orchestrate on Wednesday, October 14th, Clearly Creative’s neighboring businesses in the Kendall Square Association strutted their stuff while being hosted at the Microsoft New England Research and Development community space. 400 Yelpers, Microsoft employees and local dignitaries enjoyed amazing food (filling themselves to the brim), never-before sampled signature cocktails and seasonal brews, one-of-a-kind entertainment and the sights, sounds and personal touches of other local business displays.  This hands-on interactive event was a great mix of the unique Yelp perspective intermingled with the innovative and distinct businesses that contribute to the oft-overlooked destination that is Kendall Square. With over thirty vendors present, the guests were kept occupied in every corner of Microsoft’s amazing venue.

The entire Clearly Creative team would like to thank Yelp Boston Community Manager Leighann Farrelly and her Yelp reinforcements that night, as well as Leah Brunson and the entire Microsoft event team who came together to make this event a night to remember.  At last count, #P2KS (as it is known on Twitter) scored an overall 5 stars out of 5 on

We would not have pulled off such a tremendous event without the contributions of the Kendall Square community and its local supporting businesses.  Please support these businesses as they add to the vibrancy (and tastiness) of the area: Amelia’s Trattoria, Bambara, Bare Foot Wine and Bubbly, Cambridge Athletic Club, Cambridge Brewing Company, Craigie on Main, Domain De Canton, Equilibrium, Fitcorp, Harmonix, Illius Rock, Kendall Press, Le Cordon Bleu, Legal Sea Foods, Mexicali Burrito Co., Mo-Henna Art, Mosaic, Orange V, Pearl Vodka, Photo Fun Box, Sebastians, Shakti Rowan, Starbucks, Tommy Doyle and Zigo.

Vendors who also contributed, but were not present, included Ambit Press who generously donated the printing of the event passports, and the  Kendall Flower Shop who donated bouquets throughout the venue.  And, in addition to being present and taking social media pictures, Kendall Press donated the printing of all signs.

To really get a feel for the magnitude and splendor of the night, take a look at the pictures and reviews over at Yelp. For just a  sampler of some of what was experienced, imagine suckling pig, locally brewed pumpkin ale, “harvestinis,” lobster macaroni and cheese, fall pumpkin soup with ample chunks of crab meat, butternut and sage tortellini, hob knob chocolate cookies, a retro dance party, Beatles Rock Band, massages, fitness instruction, improv theatre and henna art to make for a lasting impression.

To add to the good spirit of the evening, monies and donations were accepted from vendors and guests alike for Cambridge’s East End House a non-profit organization that has been an integral part of Kendall Square area since the late 1800s. It was a pleasure to work with the organization to draw attention and support to their remarkable ongoing efforts and award winning programs.

Thank you once again to everyone that came together to help show the world that Kendall Square is not what it used to be!


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