Archive for February, 2013

Q/A with Philadelphia-based Content Marketer, Rob Yoegel

February 26, 2013


Rob Yoegel, Content Marketing Director at Monetate, spoke about “Using Social to Help Build a Kick-Ass Content Marketing Program” at a January Philly Content Strategy Meetup.

Monetate Logo
Monetate is a provider of marketing optimization and website optimization solutions. The company is based out of Conshohocken, PA and has clients across the following industries: travel, hospitality, technology, retail, consumer products, and financial services.

In a special Q/A post for the WVU IMC blog, Rob expounds upon key points that resonated with me during his presentation. The Meetup presentation is available to download below from Slideshare.

Q: How does Monetate leverage social media in their content marketing programs?

A: Social serves a number of purposes, but one of the primary uses would be as a distribution channel for our content. Like traditional newspapers or magazines relied on the postal service, we use social as a way to help make sure followers and fans receive our latest content. If you extend the analogy further, think of the pass-a-long value of a newspaper or magazine. We receive the same benefit when content is shared, retweeted, etc. You could even take it further when you consider we’ll use paid placements on social networks to assure our content is delivered when necessary. I guess that would be like paying for faster delivery with the postal service, Fed Ex, etc.!

Q: In the Meetup presentation, you advised marketers to move from behind their monitors. How could this benefit the content a marketer is producing?

A: So one could argue that social has made more of an impact on businesses than the Internet first did in the early 90s, but the problem continues to be people sit and sometimes hide behind their computers and forget about the real meaning of a “network.” As a content creator, when I tell others to move from behind their monitors I’m really referring to their social strategy. It’s not enough to collect followers, reply and retweet. You need to be a real person. It’s amazing the amount of friendships and business I’ve been able to foster by actually showing the people who follow me that I care about them and actually know who they are.

Q: As a publisher of content, what suggestions do you have for IMC practitioners beginning their publishing journey?

A: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and to take chances. At the same time, know your subject matter, and know it well. For the longest time, I’ve tried to know a little about an awful lot rather than know one thing really well. Make sure to recognize right away you don’t (and never will) have all the answers. Instead, know where to find them. As Gandhi once said, ““Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Q: Who are your top five content marketing publishers?

A: I’m biased to what our team does, so I would put Monetate at the top of the list. My list would be longer than just five and I wouldn’t want to hurt the feelings of some of my friends. Keep in mind that even a great content marketing program will have its share of clunkers. We’re all human.

Q: SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) is a marketing concept gaining traction within the industry. What are your thoughts on how brands could successfully integrate these three distinct and separate channels into one content marketing program?

A: Brands have to pay attention to mobile. Almost one out of three ecommerce website visits already come from a non-traditional device like a smartphone or tablet. The user experience is different as well, in other words, “tablet is not mobile.” Businesses of all shapes and sizes must recognize that and stay ahead of their competition. From a social standpoint, again any businesses not devoting resources of some type to social will be left in the dust.

Monetate Deck Cover

Download the Meetup presentation, “Using Social to Help Build a Kick-Ass Content Marketing Program” from SlideShare.

Special thank you to Rob Yoegel for providing his insight and time for this special blog post on the WVU IMC Student blog! If you have any questions, please post in the comments section.

The Digital Marketer’s Toolbox: Part I

February 25, 2013

Technology and industry change at a rapid pace. The opportunities to miss out on key insights, growing trends, and purposed direction are numerous. How do communication specialists and brand managers stay on top of the trends and changing dynamics taking place in today’s marketing environment?

I recently had an opportunity to see the 2010 film The A-Team. I know I know…I’m a bit late on that one. Nonetheless, I was inspired by the level of strategy and plan of action seen in the film with regards to blowing stuff up…literally. Shaking things up is a common practice for novel digital strategists who strive to get people talking and increase WOM activity. If you haven’t seen the flick, here’s a quick synopsis:

A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed.

Seems simple right? The lesson of the film: “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Those eight words are powerful fuel for integrated marketing communication professionals desirous to see tangible results. A plan of action and strategic approach to orchestrating communication touchpoints effectively is indeed a launching platform for real audience impact.

Just how can we begin to orchestrate, plan, and outthink the competition?


Two of my favorite tools for staying ‘in the know’ and keeping on top of the IMC arena are Google Reader and Feedly. There’s been some recent talk about Google shutting Reader down but until that happens I recommend it as a means of staying informed and building your knowledge base.

Google Reader Toolbox

Keyboard shortcuts and organizing options make it a breeze for collecting the RSS feeds of your favorite websites. Feedly takes this pipeline of content and insights to another level visually.

Just one of the ways to organize the web’s most relevant information in the eyes of the aspiring digital marketer.

Employees Are Solid Brand Advocates

February 21, 2013

Do you retweet your company’s messages, share posts and comment on statuses? If so, you’re one of the reasons HootSuite just proclaimed employees are the the best brand advocates!

I play a major role in social media at my company so I’m always liking statuses, asking my friends to become fans, making sure new employees are aware of our social media platforms, etc. Some may say I do this a little too much!

Being a consistent social media user who shares Facebook statuses and more gives my connections an opportunity to ask a question about our brand or put a familiar face behind a product. After all, peer reviews and recommendations are quite effective.

The following illustration shows the maximum achievable social audience of an average Fortune Global 100 company versus the maximum achievable social audience of its employees.

social media1

That’s a lot of people!

Companies can grow their social media pages through their employees interactions organically, which is wonderful and cost-effective. When employees say genuine things about a product or service their company offers, the word of mouth advertising is priceless!

Do you find yourself supporting your employer’s pages on social media? If so, how active are you?

My Opinion: Too Much Insurance Advertising Confuses the Consumer

February 20, 2013

I probably have much bigger things to worry about in my life given that I have four teenagers that my wife and I are responsible for raising but I cannot stop thinking about auto insurance ads.  A sad state, I know.

Now are Flo and the  Mayhem guy married and is the Caveman their son who has a pet gecko?  And what’s with that duck?  To me it is very confusing and not in the best interest of consumers.  Business 101 tells you that the more you spend on advertising, the less you can spend on other line items of your budget.  Things like customer service, lower rates, etc.

Flo's husband?

Flo’s husband?

Isn’t it natural to think that if auto insurance companies are spending billions on advertising that what you pay for that insurance, the service you get after an accident or that claim processing might be affected?

According to Advertising Age, “Car insurance — a $161 billion industry obsessed with risk protection — is anything but conservative when it comes to marketing these days. The top players are doling out the dollars once reserved for categories like beer and travel, pouring impressively lavish budgets into funding splashy campaigns, partnerships with celebrities and rock bands, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.   Insurers seem to be slapping their names everywhere. Farmers just agreed to shell out $700 million over 30 years to put its name on a planned NFL stadium in Los Angeles. And the city doesn’t even have a team yet.”

The graphic above clearly shows what everyone in marketing is already aware of – you need to create awareness of yr product to get into the purchasers consideration set before they will buy.  The aided and unaided numbers for Allstate, GEICO and State Farm are impressive but look at the overall category spending!

This post was prompted by a discussion we were having in IMC 614, Media Analysis, on the attributes of a reach vs. frequency campaign.  I believe that insurance companies are going after both at the detriment of the consumer.  Not because what they are selling is bad – insurance is a good thing to have for everyone – but because some of the efforts are confusing to the consumer and they are not sure who they are buying.  There is not enough consistency in the messages we see for all these companies.  Frankly, some of the ads are trying to be too clever at the detriment of the message.

The Caveman's pet?

The Caveman’s pet?

Case in point, Geico, at one point was running the caveman ads, the gecko ads and the ads with the two guys singing.  Their argument is that they wanted to stand out and appeal to everyone.  I get that but I have never been ad advocate of this scatter-shot approach.  IMHO, there is too much insurance advertising on TV for any one player to truly standout with this approach.  It becomes white noise that doesn’t stick.  But realizing this blog is not going to change anything, I would advocate for Allstate’s “Mayhem” campaign.  I think the value of this campaign to the consumer is its consistency.  They have evolved from the Dennis Haysbert spots to “Mayhem”.  One character, consistent message,  multiple spots that appeal across many demographics.  They are entertaining and there are enough versions that I don’t seem to mind when I see one on TV.

At the end of the day, there are many arguments for each approach and there probably isn’t one right answer for an industry that spends $4B on advertising annually but it is something to think about.

Til next time!

Break down content and conversation silos with SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) marketing

February 19, 2013

SoLoMo is a new marketing catchphrase I learned about from a January B2Community Webcast titled “How to Prepare Your Brand for SoLoMo.”


According to Chris Horton, Content Creator/Digital Strategist for SyneCore Technologies, “Today’s consumers rely on social, local, and mobile systems to seamlessly perform multiple actions.” He further believes “Brands now more than ever, need to participate and integrate content and conversations happening across a SoLoMo (social, local, mobile) landscape.”

In a January 2013 article on, Michael Szewczyk, solidifies Horton’s position by stating that 2013 could be the year of SoLoMo. 

For further insight on this marketing shift, feel free to visit my IMC 642 Web Analytics /SEO blog for the link to download the free small business field guide to SoLoMo by SyneCore Technologies.


IMC 642 blog

Will you be able to integrate SoLoMo this year as part of an integrated marketing campaign?

How I Used Evernote to Rock my Grad Project

February 12, 2013

Evernote helps.

IMC Campaigns can be a bit overwhelming when you consider the fact that you have a whole slew of activities on your plate from strategy statement development to SWOT analysis and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Top marketers will vouch for insights and we all know where insights come from right? Research!

And that’s where Evernote comes into play. I’m sharing a bit of my experience with Evernote because it really helped me put together a solid campaign. A rebrand and any marketing effort for that matter should be done with strategic rigor. Analyzing articles and customer sentiment is a lengthy process and we’re not even talking about citations. Evernote made it easy for me to categorize my material.

Jose's graduate notebook.

There’s no need for a disclosure because I’m not connected to Evernote. I’m just a big fan of the tool because it helped me stay organized and on track in IMC Campaigns. What are some of your favorite tools for doing some incredible work? Feel free to hit me up for some additional tips on how to rock your Grad project.

Here’s to making it happen.

Printing and saving Pinterest boards

February 5, 2013

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be able to print a Pinterest board? If the thought has crossed your mind, a workaround is now available.

By following an uncomplicated three-step process, Pinterest boards can now be printed as a PDF or archived for future use.

Printing Pinterest Steps