Category Archives: Business

Exactfactor, Another Cool Free SEO Tool

exactfactorIdan Factor of Exactfactor sent me their cool free SEO tool that his company offers. I’ve tested it out and found it to be easy to use and more importantly, useful in checking your position in search engines against your competitors. You can also get regular email alerts and weekly reports. There is a full online presentation on the service that you can review. Very nice! Have a try and see for yourself. Thanks for sharing, Idan.

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Filed under Business, Google, Internet, Online marketing tactics, Search Engine Marketing, SEO

Should Companies Embrace Facebook?

bivI was interviewed for a cover article that appeared in this week’s edition of Business In Vancouver. The story reads “Surge in Social Networking Rings Corporate Security Alarms” and talks about the rising use of platforms such as Facebook and the potential negative affects it could have on the workplace. Privacy and security are increasing concerns as more people congregate, share and communicate online. I don’t disagree, particularly when it’s employees of companies disclosing corporate information not intended for the public on a ‘company Facebook page’. This is particularly true with publicly traded companies. The same careful administration bestowed to a company website, should also be taken with a Facebook page or Ning community site or Myspace space.

But this shouldn’t stop your company from embracing these social media tools and platforms, which allow you to reach prospects and customers in a meaningful and massive way like no other. First, you’re reaching them where they go and on their terms. At Facebook, a user will only get updates on your company if they opt-in by becoming a fan. At Twitter, a user will only receive your messages if they become a follower. They also have the power to share it with their friends, fans and followers instantly, giving you some viral love in return.

And second, these tools aren’t trendy, they’re cultural. More and more people find these tools to be just way too simple and powerful to ignore. And the price is right. Our raw and primitive need to communicate and connect will never change. How we do, does and will. And technology leads the way in helping us serve that need cheaper, faster and easier. These tools and platforms are revolutionizing the way we communicate and connect, and businesses may as well learn how to use them to their benefit, and not their detriment. Below is an excerpt from the article:

While a company may not be able to control negative comments that are posted on the Internet, the web’s interactivity allows companies to respond to them. “There’s a whole etiquette to social networking that not everybody gets,” said Rajan Sodhi, vice-president of marketing at PEER 1 Network Enterprises Inc. (TSX: PIX). One consistent rule is to communicate openly, honestly and often.

Vancouver-based PEER 1 uses a number of social networking tools and has an employee whose sole role is to cultivate the company’s online presence. PEER 1 also monitors the Internet for content that mentions the company. “It can be positive or negative,” said Sodhi. “If it’s something [about PEER 1] they aren’t happy with, we acknowledge them right then and there.” As well as reacting publicly on a blog or network on which a negative comment was posted, PEER 1 will usually follow-up with a phone call.

“We’re a real believer that these social media tools and platforms are here to stay,” said Sodhi, who is the administrator of PEER 1’s Facebook site. “You can be fearful of it and not embrace it, but I think you’re going to lose one of the best tools for communicating and reaching your market.”

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Filed under Business, Communications, Facebook, Internet, marketing, MySpace, Ning, Online marketing tactics, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral

Poll on Marketing Spend

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Communications, Internet, marketing, Selling, Small Business Marketing

Off Topic: Opening the TSX Quite a Thrill

My PEER 1 colleagues and I opening the TSX on September 30th, 2008.

My colleagues and I opening the TSX on September 30th, 2008.

Yesterday, at 9:30am EST, my PEER 1 colleagues and I were given the opportunity to open the market for the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) (on which we are listed under the symbol PIX). What a cool experience and one that I won’t soon forget. I remember back in university taking a course on corporate valuation taught by a former Wall Street insider. I found it fascinating and have been following the markets ever since. I’ve also seen many companies on television opening the market by ringing the bell, or in our case, pushing a touch screen button on a plasma (ah, technology). I can’t say I ever thought I would get the chance, but I’m very glad I did. The opening marks a significant milestone in PEER 1’s nine year history and I feel very fortunate to have been a part of it, and to have shared the experience with a tremendous group of people.

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Filed under Branding, Business, Co-location, Communications, data center, Hosting, Internet, It infrastructure, Managed Hosting, PEER 1, Technology

I’m a PC, The REAL Microsoft Ad Campaign Begins

Now it’s all beginning to make sense. The Gates Seinfeld ads were just a teaser to get people buzzing with its quirky humor and purposeful lack of Microsoft-related content. Negative or positive, it did. Create an environment of high awareness for the brand, then launch the real campaign as people are curious and thirsty to find out what’s next. Well, what’s next is “I’m a PC” ad campaign that embraces Apple’s negative reference to Microsoft in its campaign, and turns it around to show that PC users aren’t the sterotype depicted in the Apple campaign. Instead, they are people of all walks of life, from teachers to architects, artists to programmers, celebrities to ultimate fighters. I’m impressed. From this first set of commercials, I think the ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky is on to something. Regular PC users can also go to the Microsoft website and upload a video or picture of themselves, which will be profiled on the site, can be shared with others, and could be featured in future Microsoft ads as well as appear on the big screen in New York’s Time Square. It’s an audacious campaign and one that will be very hard to ignore.Check out the article in the New York Times that details the Microsoft campaign.

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Filed under advertising, Apple, Branding, Business, Communications, marketing, Microsoft

Second Microsoft Ad With Gates and Seinfeld

Here is the follow up ad (long version) to the first Gates Seinfeld Microsoft ad. Techcrunch isn’t impressed, and based on the comments I’ve received regarding the first ad, not many of you will be either. I found this one very much like a Seinfeld episode, so I enjoy the humor, but I do have to say that it isn’t getting to the point fast enough. This holds true with the shorter tv ad versions that I’ve seen.

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Comedy, Communications, Humor, Internet, marketing, Microsoft, Selling