Vol 2, #27, July 6, 2010
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July 6, 2010


Study finds industrial marketers investing more online
Cypra offers 'Summer of free email' for emarketing campaigns
MEDIchair launches online shopping option
Web design/production skills in great demand according to report
Blackbaud brings social networking to not-for-profits
Hodges Badge Company launches new ecommerce website
Bash! Interactive breaks out in the media scene
3M taps Webtrends to validate Facebook marketing initiatives
Integrated mobile solution developed for SMB market

Study finds industrial marketers are investing more online

As the economy continues to rebound, companies in the industrial sector are putting more dollars into marketing and spending more of it online, according to research published today by GlobalSpec. The company conducted a survey of industrial marketers and results and recommendations are available in a company report, “Trends in Industrial Marketing 2010: How Manufacturers are Marketing Today.” GlobalSpec is the leading specialized search engine, information resource, e-publishing and online events company for the engineering, industrial and technical communities.

One of the most noteworthy trends is the optimism surrounding the economic upturn. In 2010, 70 percent of companies anticipate an increase in sales, compared to 2009, when only 16 percent expected it.

At the same time though, industrial marketers reported their biggest challenges continue to be limited resources, lack of high-quality leads and a need to improve ROI. Nearly 75 percent of the 464 respondents stated that lead generation or customer acquisition is their main goal. To address these issues, more than half indicated that online channels such as directories and websites, along with an increase in social media tactics, will be major components of their 2010 marketing campaigns.

With the prevalence of social media in business, it’s not surprising that more than two-thirds of marketers responding said they plan to spend more on video and social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Conversely, 25 percent plan to decrease their spend on trade magazine advertising and 24 percent will decrease use of printed directories.

“The survey results indicate that manufacturers are responding to economic improvements by spending more on marketing efforts, and they are spending more of those dollars online,” said Chris Chariton, vice president of marketing services and product management for GlobalSpec, Inc. “Companies now realize that the vast majority of their target audience search online for products, services and suppliers and this is where they need to be.”

Additional trends gleaned from the survey include:

- More marketing dollars will be spent online, with 47 percent reporting they’ll spend more than one-third of their budgets online and 51 percent will invest more than they did in 2009.

- Top sources for lead generation include online channels such as company websites, e-mail marketing and search engine optimization.

- Three-fourths include customer specifications on their websites; one of the key features customers and prospects search for on company websites.

Based on survey results, the three key recommendations in the report call for companies to ramp up marketing as the economy improves; implement tactics that can be measured such as online programs; and choose targeted online activities that reach customers and prospects.
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Cypra offers 'Summer of free email' for emarketing campaigns

Want to try an email-marketing program for your small or medium-sized business but don’t know where to begin? Concerned that email messages to subscribers may not display properly, mistakenly end up in Junk and Spam folders, or get low click rates?
Then Cypra Media, a full-service email-marketing company, has a hard-to-refuse deal: a free, no-obligation, try-before-you-buy offer now through Aug. 31 for businesses with email lists of at least 500 contacts.
Cypra’s “Summer of Free Email” promotion encourages new and returning Cypra customers to sample the company’s two main service offerings, Professional and Simple.
“If you choose our Professionalfull-service email offering, a Cypra email expert will help you plan a campaign, design and program the email message, manage your email list and deploy the mailing to ensure messages will render properly, not land in any Spam filters, and finally, analyze the results to make recommendations for improvement,” said Cypra Founder Mohamed Hage.
“Our Simple option, on the other hand, lets you use Cypra’s resources to manage the campaign yourself,” Hage continued. “We give you email templates. We give you tools to manage your lists, test and send your message, and analyze the results. For experienced customers with a target list of less than 2,000 addresses, Simple is the way to go.”
Success Story: Wish-Come-True for Children’s Wish
A free campaign that Cypra recently managed for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada (Quebec West Chapter) Golf Classic annual fundraiser pulled in $190,000 in donations  -- $30,000 more than was raised after an initial email campaign the year before. By contrast, the chapter’s final paper-based campaign for the Classic had netted just $145,000.
Part of the reason for the uptick was that Cypra helped the chapter qualify its database. Cypra also provided the charity with a ready-to-use, email-optimized infrastructure -- a critical element that allowed Children’s Wish to reach more constituents than in past years.

Will an email-marketing campaign work as well for your organization? Cypra’s “Summer of Free Email” promotion will answer the question.
Cash-In before Summer’s Out
Business-development, marketing, sales and public-relations executives especially are invited to set up a free trial for their companies and clients by phoning Mark Berger, Cypra’s Marketing Director, at (866) 545-8223 x124.
About Cypra Media
Cypra Media Inc., a privately held company, specializes in full-service email marketing, design, and delivery that allow clients to reach customers, members, and markets, and produce results -- all at an affordable price.
Cypra’s customers are located throughout Canada and the United States. Top of Page

MEDIchair launches online shopping option

Following on the heels of a complete upgrading of its national franchisee network websites, MEDIchair has added an online retail shopping option. “It’s a challenge in the very personalized and customized Home Medical Equipment (HME) business to offer online, all the products that our customers demand,” says Bas van Lankvelt, MEDIchair’s COO.

“However, for those products that don’t require the personalized consultation or assessment of a healthcare professional, we have added a Shop Online button to all our franchisee websites. As well, this service applies only to products that are not eligible for third party funding. The primary benefit to our loyal customer base is that they can securely order HME products and have them delivered to their doorstep through our 70 MEDIchair service centres across Canada.”

Van Lankvelt explained that the MEDIchair Shop Online option includes many standard items such as bathroom and bedroom safety products, lift chairs, walking aids, scooters, personal care items and transport wheelchairs.

“We also offer customers the opportunity to have home medical equipment specialists provide in-home consultation to quote on projects that may involve the installation of a stair lift, ramps or other home modifications that are customized to enhance the quality of life for those people with specific mobility issues.”

“We intend to add more product lines as we build our online presence and as our customers become aware of the benefits of this convenient service,” adds van Lankvelt. Top of Page

Web design/production skills in high demand according to report

The employment outlook for marketing and advertising professionals is looking up for the coming quarter, according to The Creative Group Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals. Fifteen per cent of marketing and advertising executives interviewed said they plan to increase staff levels in the third quarter of 2010, while 2 per cent anticipate declines. The net 13 per cent increase in projected hiring activity is up seven percentage points from the previous quarter's projection.

The Canadian study was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 250 telephone interviews -- 200 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 50 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

Marketing and advertising executives were asked, "Does your company or agency plan to increase or decrease the number of full-time marketing/advertising personnel on your staff during the third quarter of 2010?" Their responses:

Increase........................... 15%

Decrease........................... 2%

No change.......................... 79%

No answer.......................... 4%

"An improved economic environment has prompted many firms to enhance their digital or social media strategy, requiring additional resources to complete projects," said Lara Dodo, vice president of The Creative Group's Canadian operations. "Often companies lack the internal talent necessary to leverage emerging opportunities and turn to creative professionals on a full-time or interim basis to implement growth strategies."

Marketing and Advertising Specialties in Demand

When executives who intend to hire were asked in which areas they plan to add staff, web design/production ranked first, with 23 per cent of the response, followed by marketing research with 20 per cent. Additionally, 52 per cent of respondents said it's challenging for their firms to find skilled professionals; up six percentage points from last quarter.

Web design/production 23%

Marketing research 20%

Brand/product management 19%

Print design/production 19%

Media services 19%

Public relations 18%

Interactive 17%

Social media 17%

Creative/art direction 16%

Account services 15%

Copywriting 6%

(*)Note: Multiple responses permitted. Top responses shown.

  Top of Page

Blackbaud brings social networking to not-for-profits

Blackbaud, Inc. announced that it will be the exclusive nonprofit sales channel for ThePort Network social networking solutions. The companies entered into an exclusive partnership to help nonprofits further engage their constituents by combining the world’s leading online and social networking solutions.

“There was a natural fit between Blackbaud and ThePort Network due to our mutual focus on helping nonprofits connect with their constituencies and our respective leadership positions as online and social networking solutions providers for nonprofits,” said Bob Cramer, chairman and chief executive officer of ThePort Network. “With 22,000 customers around the world and 4,600 nonprofits using their online products, Blackbaud delivers a comprehensive solution to nonprofits looking to better mobilize their constituencies, both on- and offline. We are pleased to further enhance that solution with ThePort’s social networking tools for online constituent engagement.”

ThePort Network is the only social networking software provider that offers a complete set of products to equip nonprofit organizations with tools to help them take full advantage of the Internet. Providing social tools from blogs to full-scale online communities, ThePort Network offers social media products that enhance an organization’s ability to more effectively communicate and gain insight into constituent behavior. It is the only integrated social platform that offers organizations an easy way to drive awareness and traffic from public networks such as Facebook and Twitter to their own private communities where constituents can meaningfully engage.

“The power of the total solution combining Blackbaud Sphere and ThePort Network allows our website and our online community to seamlessly integrate into our social media strategy,” said Rob Gerth, director of digital media for the Reeve Foundation. “Through the Reeve Foundation Paralysis Community, we can connect people living with paralysis with friends, family members, scientists and each other.”

With 1.75 million active product users and more than 120 online communities, ThePort’s flagship offering, ThePort Social, is an online social networking and media software platform that allows nonprofits to offer their own “white label” or private branded online communities. ThePort Social integrates with Blackbaud Sphere and helps nonprofits build, sustain, and grow a dynamic interactive online community that drives constituent engagement. With a single sign-in, the platform supports bi-directional data transfer to personalize a user’s experience while capturing key data in the user’s CRM profile.

“We are pleased to grow our partnership with ThePort and to be selected as the exclusive nonprofit technology provider to deliver ThePort’s powerful social networking platform,” said Marc Chardon, Blackbaud’s president and chief executive officer. “Coupled with Blackbaud products’ existing integration with public social networking sites, ThePort will add the capability for nonprofits to build integrated private social networks to further engage their constituents.”

According to a recent Nielson estimate, social networks/blogs now account for one in every four and a half minutes online. Nielson also estimated that the average visitor spends 66 percent more time on these sites than a year ago.

“A nonprofit’s social network is a core part of its online ecosystem and there are multiple advantages to building and hosting your own communities,” said Jeff Patrick, president of Common Knowledge, an online agency specializing in social networking for nonprofits. “When you host your own social media sites and communities, you have complete control over the platform, making it easier to integrate your programs and services, thereby creating a socially-enabled, mission-focused experience for your supporters. In addition, you get better access to your constituent data and better management of user generated content, along with tighter control of supporter access and privacy – all essential features of a successful nonprofit community.”
More than 4,600 nonprofit organizations around the world use Blackbaud Internet solutions, including Blackbaud NetCommunity, Blackbaud NetCommunity Grow, Blackbaud Sphere, and Blackbaud Sphere Grow for content email, and event management; online fundraising, online community building, and advocacy. For more information about Blackbaud’s Internet solutions, visit www.blackbaud.com/internetsolutions. Top of Page

Hodges Badge Company launches new ecommerce website

D.M.insite, a company that specializes in developing and delivering ecommerce Software as a Service (SaaS) for the mail order catalog industry, today announced that Hodges Badge Company, the leading custom manufacturer of motivational and recognition awards, sales incentives, and promotional buttons and ribbons, has launched a dynamic new ecommerce site built on the D.M.insite Mercury Platform™ (Mercury Platform). The new site leverages the built-in functions of the Mercury Platform, including a feature that allows for product configuration by the shopper at the time of order. In addition, the site enhances the customers’ overall shopping experience and creates cross-channel synergies with Hodges Badge Company’s catalog business.

“We are very excited about the launch of our new site and working partnership with D.M.insite,” said Rick Hodges, president of Hodges Badge Company. “The site offers our customers a much richer shopping experience. Moreover, our company is well positioned to support our catalog business and maintain our competitiveness online with the freedom and flexibilities we get using the Mercury Platform.”

www.hodgesbadge.com boasts a fresher, cleaner and more inviting site design, along with many key functions, such as:

  • Providing customers with the ability to custom design their ribbons to meet their unique needs. Shoppers simply pick-and-choose from an array of production attributes and, as they build their ribbon, are able to make certain they are making the correct choices. The result improves the overall satisfaction of their purchase.
  • Improved search engine optimization (SEO) to increase online visibility and boost revenue by making sure the site and products show up in relevant searches.
  • Streamlining the site’s navigation and usability that allows shoppers to easily locate and view more product displays and information on a page.
  • A number of other enhancements to the customer experience, such as an ability to rate and review products.

“We’re delighted to partner with Hodges Badge Company to help them increase their online sales with our leading ecommerce SaaS platform and our ability to provide much faster and more in-depth insights on improving conversion rates, attracting traffic and adopting other best practices,” said Larry Kavanagh, D.M.insite founder and CEO. “We look forward to working with Rick and his team for many years to come.” Top of Page

Bash! Interactive breaks out in the media scene

Bash! Interactive is the newest technology boutique production house powering engagement in the digital/interactive realm with out-of-home technologies such as mobile marketing production, social media integration, gesture/face detection, augmented reality and 3D/Holographic. Bash! Interactive has been producing a creative buzz with the local agencies of Toronto with their innovative advertising technology and merging the best mediums available to marketers while providing packaged turn-key solutions and their rarely-used-for-marketing technologies.

Bash! is one of the rare boutiques in Toronto that utilizes experimental technologies to convey brand messages. Augmented reality, for example, is just coming into the public’s eye with the iPhone’s Layar app, an application that lays out digital information on the real world as seen through the user’s camera. Bash! applies this technology in a more creative sense – by engaging and creating an interactive level to augmented reality, people are subject to more unique and personal experiences with brand advertising.  

Bash! has also done work in more senior and developed spheres of technology, such as mobile and social integration with projections to wall, i-glass interactive touch films on glass, streaming media synchronization and more. Getting customers, or simply passerbys, to text a message to enter contests or win rewards via social networking sites is a classic marketing strategy that many companies and brands are executing today. Bash! has become a pioneer in this realm of mobile-social media tie-ins and are experts in this arena as it is one that Bash! team members have been playing in since its beginnings. They are even revolutionilizing d-ooh in Toronto with custom face tracking and gesture software as well as adding QR codes and B!tagz™ to print providing a measurability component that was unheard of before.

Unlike traditional campaigns, Bash!’s offerings are something fun and inspiring to look at. They provide users the chance to participate in what used to be a stagnant medium of billboards and screens and represent the digital future of live media and active consumer engagement – a bandwagon that countless brands are jumping on as they learn the wiser. Top of Page

3M taps Webtrends to validate Facebook marketing initiatives

As the world's most-visited site and fastest-growing social network, Facebook serves as a prime location for today's digital marketing campaigns. Marketers must, however, show measureable results from their Facebook investments to illustrate the true value of their efforts. To that end, Webtrends, an enterprise customer intelligence company, today announced that 3M has tapped Webtrends Facebook Analytics for tracking and measurement analytics across their Post-it Facebook page.

Celebrating 30 years of "Keeping it Simple," 3M™ Post-it® Notes are a necessity within businesses and households, have inspired numerous creative minds and are now indispensable on computer desktops worldwide. To connect with dedicated Post-it followers, 3M leverages Facebook to: share product information, news and uses; announce giveaways, contests and games; post videos and photos; and link directly to the Post-it Twitter feed.

"We currently have over 30,000 likers on our Facebook page, and we want better visibility into how this social network truly impacts our brand. Additionally, we hope to improve our customer engagement and continually broaden our reach," noted Amy Lamparske, Global Social Media Strategy and Operations Leader at 3M. “To do that, we need a deeper understanding of our liker base, which Webtrends can provide. Facebook Analytics offers unprecedented visibility into the activities of our Facebook followers, and their dedicated team of experts is truly committed to helping us meet our measurement goals within the greater context of our digital marketing program."

With Facebook Analytics, 3M will be able to track and measure custom tabs and applications, Flashbook animations, ads, pop-ups, links, content sharing and more. The detail that Webtrends can provide surrounding visitor interactions will help 3M identify and improve popular content while providing deeper insight into conversion-related activities.

"This is an exciting time for marketers, as platforms like Facebook provide endless opportunities to connect with the community that relates to our brands," said Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, vice president of Marketing at Webtrends. "3M is an innovator on Facebook and we are thrilled to support them with unmatched insights helping maximize the investments they make by marketing on Facebook." Top of Page

Integrated mobile solution developed for SMB market

Targeting, measuring, and rewarding customers with mobile social marketing offers just got easier with some help from Connexsus Rewards(TM), Indiplex Media's mobile rewards platform, which targets and tracks customer-specific incentives from businesses with capture-ready offers and affordable point-of-sale hardware.

"Indiplex Media's new solution makes customer affinity programs manageable and results-driven," notes Nathan Wyatt, local owner and manager of RelyLocal. "Small businesses can actually build customer loyalty by distributing specific incentives to specific customers or groups of customers via smartphone or web. The ability to target, capture, monitor, and manage incentives based on actual purchase behavior is really compelling."

The Indiplex Media software solution lets businesses target customers through rewards program membership and unique, customer offers for both mobile and web-based users. Rewards program users can also gift special offers and cash value cards to other member users directly from their smartphone. "The Connexsus Rewards(TM) mobile marketing application brings the power of an approachable, end-to-end solution to the SMB market," noted Dion Eusepi, owner of Indiplex Media. "Traditional approaches to rewards marketing don't effectively enable complete tracking and measurement of rewards against actual purchase behavior. The ability to do this and reach mobile and web users strategically and affordably can really empower small businesses."

The solution's mobile component supports all major smartphones, including the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry platforms. The solution's web-based component lets business owners reach a broader user demographic with the same trackable, point-of-sale features for web-based print offers. For small business owners and social media solution consultants, Connexsus Rewards(TM) offers an inexpensive approach to build and manage customer affinity with direct rewards-driven interaction that can be managed and measured over time.