LinkedIn: Quantity vs Quality

Yesterday I attended an Orange County Chamber of Commerce breakfast sponsored by my good friend Rob Unger’s accounting firm of Judelson, Giordano & Siegel. The topic du jour was LinkedIn, and the speaker was Jan Wallen. While it is difficult to cover social media in 35 minutes, there were several interesting points made, one of which made ripples in the audience: is it misleading (or should you be concerned) if someone you don’t know or never worked with “endorses” your skills on LinkedIn?


Social Media Confusion

When I ask someone if their company uses social media in their marketing mix, I am typically met with either of these two responses: 1) It takes “too much time”, or 2) “What exactly is a twitter?”

According to, social media use is now widespread, mainstream, and more influential than ever. So, if you are not using it in some form or another, you are now in the minority:


Understanding Branding

1. Perception is Reality. Customers decide whether (or not) to do business with a company based on what they see, hear and feel about them. These emotionally-driven responses are based on and directly related to the messages a company sends out at ALL levels. Your brand is the experience your customers have with you, from how the phone is answered, to your visual identity to your charitable contributions. So if you think you haven’t got a brand, think again. And if you think any of your company’s activities don’t affect your brand, think again.


Networking Blunders

I attended an Orange County Chamber of Commerce breakfast event this morning, as part of their Women in Business Month. The guest speaker was Anne Saile, President of the Saile Group, LLC. In a word, WOW! She was a phenomenal speaker and had the entire room engaged with simple networking tips, backing them up with amusing personal stories.


5 Bad Words

Here are five bad words that, in my opinion, have no place in marketing:

1. SPEND. My lips curl with distaste when I hear people refer to “spending” money on marketing. If you’re spending money to market your company, you might as well just kiss it goodbye. (Or better yet, give it to a worthy non-profit!) You should be INVESTING money in your marketing, and thus expecting a RETURN on that investment. If you’re not, you’re doing it wrong.


Why Do Research?

One of the things I find most irresponsible amongst my competitors is lack of research. When DesignWorks NY submits a proposal to a prospect, our approach always includes a research based “Discovery” component that varies in scale depending on the budget. My findings indicate many of my competitors don’t do this — they have a 1-hour meeting and from that, provide a course of action?! How can that be? What is their plan based on?


Customer Engagement

Marketers use the words “customer engagement” often these days, but I get the feeling that many folks really don’t grasp that concept. And yes, sadly, even marketing folks. Quite simply, customer engagement refers to the engagement of customers with one another, with a company or with a brand.


It's in the Numbers

Today is 12-12-12, the last major numerical date for almost another century.  The next time three numbers will align like this will be on Jan. 1, 2101, or 1-1-1. Today is also nine days before the Mayan calendar's doomsday date of 12-21-12, which is slated be the so-called “end of the world.” Did the Mayans have dyslexia and mean the end to be today, on 12-12-12?


The Definition of “In-house”

A while ago we lost an RFP (request for proposal) to a competitor — an agency where I know the owners and respect their work. We lost the bid because the requesting company decided to (and I quote) “move forward with an agency with PR/Graphic Design/Content/Social Media capabilities all together in house.”


Graphic Artist vs Graphic Designer

Today I got a little testy with a person who honestly didn’t know the difference between a Graphic Artist and Graphic Designer. I apologized after the fact, explaining that I had experienced more than my share of having to play “clean up” when you hire the wrong one, in the past two weeks. In a nutshell, here’s the difference:

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