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10 Surprising Marketing Predictions For 2013


Remember the days when a big-box store sounded the death knell for small business? Today, that trend may be ending due to another event: the emergence of mom-and-pops with the muscle of a major brand. Social media, online marketplaces such as Etsy and Fab, and transaction-processing technologies have enabled even micro-businesses to compete with national chains.

By Marla Tabaka as seen in

How to Calculate the Value of a Like


Effective marketers expect to see clear cut, positive ROI for every other channel of online marketing including email, search, and display advertising. But for some reason, many seem to forget about return when it comes to channels like Facebook and Twitter.

By Dan Zarrella as seen in Harvard Business Review

Eight Things Wrong with Your Google AdWords Campaign


Many advertisers think there's no harm in having countless keywords in their campaigns just to cover their bases, but this is false logic. First of all, having too many non-performing keywords in your campaign can actually bring your overall campaign down, which in turn can lead to increased expenses to generate the same results.

By Hollis Thomases as seen in

Are All Your Customers Just Like You? Seven Steps to Diversify Your Customer Base


A customer’s experience is shaped by the entire interaction with your brand, product, service, or company--from beginning to end.

Most people will initially find you online or will visit your website or Facebook page to check you out if they heard about you via word of mouth. You want to make sure that your website and your social media pages are welcoming to diverse groups. The least you can do is feature people who don’t all look the same if you use pictures of people on your site or pages.

By Kelly McDonald as seen in Fast Company

Zynga Workshop: Creative Work Perk


The participants come and go--they aren't students taking a required course at an art school. Instead, they're colleagues--accountants, engineers, artists and animators--attending this drop-in workshop for personal and professional enrichment. They all work here at Zynga, a company known for its online social games, including "FarmVille" and "ChefVille."

By Stephanie Wright Hession as seen in SFGate

Three Big Insights from Today’s Top Design Thinkers


A few weeks ago, at the Fast Company offices, we convened an all-star panel of designers and design leaders to talk about the problems that they found most vexing in the past year, and what they were trying to do to solve them.

By Mark Wilson as seen in Fast Company Design

The eBook is the Stud in Your Content Marketing Stable


Content marketers now commonly offer eBooks (usually for free) and the deliverable might be a collection of articles, a portfolio of some sort, an industry roundup, a collection of stories, or a whitepaper-like tutorial (usually with a more pictorial style). There are no rigid rules regarding length, presentation, or even content type. For the purpose of this article, an eBook is a free book, a collection of informative and entertaining pages created with the goal of engaging readers seeking to gather expertise in your field.

By Barry Feldman as seen in Social Media Today

A Patron’s Passion for History on Display


Having overseen the $100 million campaign that the society just concluded and the $65 million renovation of the society's building on Central Park West, completed last year, Mr. Hertog has concentrated his efforts on helping solidify the institution, which a decade ago teetered on the brink of bankruptcy.

"He’s been exceedingly generous," said Louise Mirrer, president of the society.

In addition to giving more than $10 million to the society since joining the board in 2003, Mr. Hertog created its Chairman’s Council, composed of supporters who contribute $5,000 to $25,000 a year. Members are invited to the society’s annual Weekend With History, which features seminars with historians and writers. Participants have included Ron Chernow, Sean Wilentz, and Henry Louis Gates Jr.

By Robin Pogrebin as seen in The New York Times

Is Shakespeare Bad Branding?


If your name is a misrepresentation or worse a deterrent, business sense dictates that you remove the obstruction. When I was executive director of The O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut, I quickly moved to rework the company's logo after multiple people told me stories about its caricature of Eugene being frequently mistaken for Hitler.

By Howard Sherman as seen in Huffington Post

Coke Revamps Website to Tell Its Story


THE company known for decades for promoting its flagship brand as "the pause that refreshes" is refreshing its corporate website for a new century, adopting an approach and attitude more akin to a consumer magazine than a business portal.

By Stuart Elliott as seen in The New York Times

Hack, Remix, Recreate Online Videos with Mozilla's Popcorn Maker


If your definition of "interactive" web video doesn't include much more than clicking off the red annotations that pop up on YouTube videos, Mozilla wants you to meet Popcorn Maker, a free web app that lets you remix online videos by adding links, social media feeds, maps, and photos.

By Christina Chaey as seen in Fast Company

Three Basics of Facebook Analytics


You've spent a significant amount of time setting up your business's Facebook presence and are feeling pretty good about it. You're finding content to share on a regular basis, and steadily growing your "like" base beyond just friends and family. But this isn't the time to start slacking off. In fact, it's now--when you're gaining some momentum--that you need to take your Facebook efforts to the next level.

By Janine Popick as seen in

Art Branding Sucks


Bad arts advertising, it’s everywhere once you start to notice it. If Hollywood movies were as bland and formulaic as their posters, there’d be no point in going to see them. If the writers, directors, and performers on Broadway were as memorable as their publicity materials, their shows would be unwatchable.

By Brian Millar as seen in Fast Company Design

Embracing Three New Megatrends in the Brave New World of Digital Media


When we consider the ways technology is rapidly transforming the media landscape--and our lives--three trends stand out. The first is the seismic shift from presentation to participation. The second is the paradoxical shift from using technology to connect to also using technology to disconnect. And the third is the game-changing shift from using social media as a way to make our lives more fun to using social media to make the world better.

By Arianna Huffington as seen in LinkedIn

E-Mail Is The New Pony Express--and It's Time to Put It Down


In early 2011, the CEO of a French IT company issued an usual memorandum. He banned e-mail. Employees were discouraged from sending or receiving internal messages, with the goal of eradicating e-mail within 18 months. Critics scoffed. Workers rebelled. But Thierry Breton, the CEO of Atos, has stuck to his guns, reducing message volume by an estimated 20 percent. His company, by the way, has 74,000 employees in 48 countries.

By Ryan Holmes as seen in Fast Company