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Chicago, IL
eCommerce expertise for delivering early return on investments
Interests: customer engagement, social media, web enabled services, web 2.0, web 3.0 – the semantic web, service channel optimization, running marathons, cycling, skiing, North Carolina fishing
Recent Activity
It's good to know great ideas just get better with time (like wine of course). I've been helping clients with their social marketing efforts for over 18 months now, a standard in my mind. It is still on the cutting edge for others – regardless of how easy it is. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2011 at DC Insights
Blogging. . . an online medium that may seem old hat but actually requires tactics to evolve as the web evolves. Wondering how to keep your approach up to date? Here's a good checklist to start with and easily personalize. What's on your checklist that's not here? Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2010 at DC Insights
It's my firm belief that folks will miss out if they don't recognize and utilize Facebook advertising as an inexpensive platform to build community around a brand, product or service. To be able to do this in a space where the customer is already interacting with friends, networks, and family makes it an ideal compliment to a complete marketing channel approach. Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2010 at DC Insights
I recently finished some consulting work with a great group of critical thinkers at The Devil's Advocate Group. We looked at the impact of social media on the worlds of investing, investor relations and corporate governance. I primarily helped with the study portion of 30 major financial Web sites – here's more info on my competitive assessment of social media sites. What came out of the work was a surprising number of misconceptions–but also a huge amount of opportunity. In this public report, Chunka Mui and Paul Carroll highlight 5 Misconceptions that could contribute to ill conceived initiatives, or to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2010 at DC Insights
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Mar 15, 2010
As a follow up to last weeks post on using customers as a marketing resource, I want to provide some guidelines on how a company might take advantage of this great resource they have – their customers. Customer feedback on products and services, as a part of a company's online reputation, can be hugely beneficial in marketing those products and services. Best part is customer feedback monitoring does not require a large budget or resource allocations; just a set strategy, consistent processes, and the heart of customer service that makes businesses successful. First, if you question whether customer reviews make... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2010 at DC Insights
Small to medium sized businesses ("SMB") can and should leverage their customer base to effectively promote business at a low cost through social marketing. I love sharing this concept with SMB owners, many of whom are too busy to have their companies engaged at any level of social media. Some owners are not even engaged personally (i.e., Facebook with friends and family – the simple stuff), making the term 'social media' even more foreign. Once the conversation converges on where people go to inform purchase decisions or find service professionals – the web – these folks know they miss out... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2010 at DC Insights
Completing a competitive landscape analysis is valuable when exploring the social media environment – personally or professionally. I completed a similar exercise for clients in multiple environments. Social media’s dynamic, infancy provides a unique challenge and opportunity, though. So, besides applying my learning to date, I also leveraged insights from the blogosphere. Here are my insights on assessing social media sites through a high-level framework, some details included. Paying clients and close friends get to see under the hood ;-) To begin, identify objectives for the analysis and what stakeholders are involved. Be sure to always keep these in mind;... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2010 at DC Insights
I wanted to add a big Thank You to a good friend of mine that helped me with this, AFT! She has not decided on her own path yet, and I can't wait to see where that will lead - and how I'll be able to help her in return! Cheers
I believe something more needs to be communicated in this framework . . . something deep or personal. I think this is part of the 'energize' question I posed myself. A friend also made this comment: "I thought about the social networking sites like message boards where some members it seems come to comfort, give advice or offer help to other members . . . I'm a member of several women social media/networking sites and their message boards and I think some women come there not only to consume and connect but also to offer help or advice and guidance to other women" When I look at the framework, this piece was a consideration for my Converse box. So, I will be making the following changes: (1) Updating the objective 'Converse' to 'Engage' (2) Representing eore explicit connecting activities in verbage: - Join asynchronous conversations with the network - Collaborate on products and services, issues, and activities - Embrace the community through advise and comfort
In talking with a client on customer objectives of social media, I realized the need for a light, flexible framework to guide that conversation. I also knew a similar framework could help guide more specific strategy development conversations, like my earlier "What is Social Media. . ." material. But. . . the social media environment is always changing and business objectives are diverse and must change to adapt. So, I developed an initial framework that can: Guide conversations on social media objectives / strategy Remain flexible across multiple clients and Stand the test of time/change inherent to social media Here... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2010 at DC Insights
I was presented with the following query: Do small and medium sized businesses ("SMBs") need a specific social media expert on their marketing teams. If they do, how can they tell if the expert is qualified? It reminded me of a comment a social media presenter said to Booth Business School alumni - if someone claims to be a social media expert, they are lying! The notion: the environment is so new and is changing so rapidly that mature expertise is simply unobtainable. My opinion is a bit more optimistic, and certainly self-serving (laugh track please). So, here's my response:... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2009 at DC Insights
Zach, thanks for the comment and reference to your $.03 (see how fast it appreciates!) I'll be waiting on that review and recommendations, but let me help out, cause we're finding a lot of tools out there - this is just a short list of the good ones - my delicious tag for the whole list is by request only!: For personal / SMB use: - sobees,, track different social networks and news from a single place and share, like or tweet easily. - cliqset,, Share, discover and discuss your life online. and Enterprise: - Socialware,, social middleware platform moving public social networking sites into enterprise-grade channels for communication and collaboration. - nGenera,, software that creates, aggregates and manages an enterprise’s collaborative and social business activities, applying their collective power to drive business outcomes. - VisibleTechnologies,, Visibly focused solutions to Listen, Learn, Engage, and Protect; all for an effective social media strategy.
Thanks for the comment, Stacy. I'm familiar with 1stdibs and will have to check out Decorati. I'm always interested in how socio-economic status differs across folks' web and social media adoption. In terms of web use, there is no question the wealthy is there - they had high numbers by 2007 according to a Luxury Institute Survey: But you hit the right question. . . what about user generated content. . . here, an LI survey shows increased social media adoption,, which is a start to answering the question. I'll look forward to hearing about your continued experiences!
I want to frame this social media ROI discussion with thoughts of Francois Gossieaux who I listened to on Social Media Today's panel. Francois feels ROI is a poor indicator for social media because it is a trailing indicator that does not tell us enough about future benefits. He identified a few more valuable measures like customer equity. I am a firm believer in this position - business benefits from social media need to be measured through a new lens, not traditional ROI. But. . . slow to change companies will be managing participation and measuring benefits of social media... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2009 at DC Insights
Literally that, Running. Staying true to the more entertaining weekend blogs, and to share a bit about myself besides my professional pursuits, I wanted to write about running. . . via social media. I've been a big running for about 10 years now with 8 marathons under my belt and hopefully plenty more to follow. My last was the 5th of December, a trail marathon in Indiana – check out this elevation profile! Lots of fun ;-) I first thought about putting a top 5 or 10 list together but quickly realized I should leave that to Carol and her... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2009 at DC Insights
I've been researching how a company can engage in social media (or should) and I written blog entries on how companies have used platforms like Facebook effectively and how they might be tracking the success of their engagement. But as a company's social media engagement increases in complexity (e.g., increasing number of platforms, deeper relationships across a broader spectrum of clients) the job of management can be daunting. Then there is the higher function of integrating social media content and learning with other business areas (e.g., marketing, service, R&D). Then I happened upon Mel's blog entry on Microsoft LookingGlass (and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2009 at DC Insights
Alison, Thanks for the heads up on the name/url discrepancy - I'll be sure to update that. I can't speak more highly for aardvark; a food question came through about a South African flour, I passed it onto a friend of mine who worked there through peace corps, via her email address, and she was able to provide a very informative answer quickly. . . awesome stuff :-)
Toggle Commented Nov 26, 2009 on Aardvark – New Best Animal, EVER! at DC Insights
First, Happy Thanksgiving Everyone . . . go to your fridge, grab a cold one, and return for a beer battle royal! For the holidays and to get myself deeper into the guts of Facebook, I shall pit three light beers against each other . . . who is the social media KING? To start, I set metrics for comparison – a quantitative assessment. Valuable metrics must be tied to the primary objective, or outcome, of a corporation's presence on Facebook. Metrics must also supply actionable information – information the analyst can use to make positive change. Now, owners of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at DC Insights
I want to start a conversation on Behavioral Economics ("BE") and I want to make sure you can internalize it. . . AND I found the website that helps me! Here is a personal (and positive) experience that allows you to 'live' BE. Here's what you do: Visit stickK and identify a goal you've been struggling to achieve (e.g., marathon, last 10 lbs of baby fat, grad school) Register/Login and enter the details of your commitment Choose the stakes – this is where it can get REALLY interesting (i.e., I suggest Anti-Charity)! So. . . essentially decide which of the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2009 at DC Insights
Have you recently visited a bank* or retailer* and engaged in an online conversation. . . not knowing it was virtual (*instances are positioned next to bank/retailer website)? That's right, HAL is now a reality as virtual web agents start gaining in popularity as a means to extend a company's support services. Here, I provide a quick intro and high level channel cost data – information that should convince you to learn more (that's where I can help). I focus on MyCyberTwin here but recognize other solutions like Noah exist. This blog entry is the second in a series focused... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2009 at DC Insights
FYI, here's a great blog on social search:
Toggle Commented Nov 16, 2009 on Aardvark – New Best Animal, EVER! at DC Insights
Aardvark is a must see! O.k., so this is not about the animal (everyone know the Liger is the best animal EVER). I want you introduce to the most amazing, new web service, aardvark. Here's their one liner, "Aardvark was conceived as the first Social Search engine: a way to find people, not web pages, that have specific information." It's a simple concept in theory: Identify and connect a network of people (LOTS of people - all over) Aardvark is very smart to leverage multiple, mature networks that we already propagate Create multiple (infinite?) 'panels of experts' by allowing users... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2009 at DC Insights
Jim, I really liked your definition of social media - Dan Zane was certainly talking about a lot more then just folk music. . . jazz, SM. . . I have been thinking about, and recently wrote about how the question, "What is Social Media", changes given the stakeholder. In my post, I cited your above choice of words to set the stage. Thanks! . . . and here's my post:
What is Social media? A lot of folks are asking, and answered that question. A very informative dissertation by Patrick James Cavanaugh starts by answering this question. As the paper continued, it inspired me to explore the question from the client-engagement perspective - How might different stakeholders answer the question? Here, I reference a few base answers, and then present a basic conversation slide to help an unengaged client think about what social media is. I'd love to hear from others who used a similar or different approach. The most basic definition of social media comes from Wikipedia. Given the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2009 at DC Insights