Daina’s Blog

…the thoughts of a modern day marketing student

I am the Company Spy… November 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 3:57 pm
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Well not technically, but I do like to “stalk” out other publications that compete with my magazine. Fishing is a huge industry in Maryland and all along the East Coast, so there are several outlets for advertisers to turn to. One of the blogs I enjoy checking out from time to time is the East Coast Angler, although it hasn’t been updated since early September. Unfortunately, this causes a lack of interest, so hopefully the author of this blog will update their site soon. Tidal Fish is another good one for news updates and various types of information.

Being biased, my publication, Coastal Fisherman, is top-notch and is garnering more and more interest from a variety of advertisers. We’re a small operation – just two of us in the office – so it’s plenty of work but it’s a passion. It is important to know what the competition is doing and to stay one step ahead of them if possible.

The majority of companies are solely print and they charge a fee for their publications. My mag is free and is going to a video format as well on the Web – this is a new addition this year and is in the infant stages as we speak. We will be recording video segments regarding fishing and everything that has to do with it. Advertisers are already interested via word of mouth, so this should be an exciting project for us. Onward and upward!

Back to the topic on hand, is it ethical to use blogs to gather information from competitors? In my opinion, the information is out there free for the taking, so why not? I found an interesting piece on the legal aspects of lifting information from blogs called “Ethical Considerations for Blog-Related Discovery” written by Jason Boulette and Tanya DeMent. Apparently, discoveries made in blogs can be used in litigations so people should be wary of what they post. “Some examples of potential uses of blogs for informal discovery purposes include monitoring an opposing party’s blog for useful tidbits of information” (Boulette, DeMent 2008).

Here’s an interesting article regarding journalists using blogs for material: “New Media and Blogging for Influence with Journalists” (Odden, 2008) states that:

• Over three quarters of reporters see blogs as helpful in giving them story ideas, story angles and insight into the tone of an issue

• Nearly 70 percent of all reporters check a blog list on a regular basis

• One in four reporters (27.7%) have their own blogs

• About one in five (16.3%) have their own social networking page

• Almost half of reporters (47.5%) say they are “lurkers”

• Over half said that blogs were having a significant impact on the “tone” (61.8%) and “editorial direction” (51.1%) of news reporting

Obviously, blogging is a great way to gather information as long as it is credible. All in all, I think it is an ethical practice as long as the information is used with good conscience.

Odden, Lee. (2008). “New Media and Blogging for Influence with Journalists” Referenced November 5, 2008. http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/01/new-media-and-blogging-for-influence-with-journalists/

http://www.noreastermagazine.com/

http://www.eastcoastangler.blogspot.com/

www.coastal-fisherman.com

http://www.lctjournal.washington.edu/Vol5/a01BouletteDeMent.html

http://www.tidalfish.com/Fishing_Blog/

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Why Blogging is Like Free Advertising November 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 7:28 pm
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Picture this: you’re a new business owner with a small budget but you want to get the word out to current and potential customers. You’re not sure how to create a Web site, but you want your presence to be known on the Internet. What do you do? Start a blog!

A blog is an incredibly easy way to air your ideas without having to know HTML or other programs to create a Web site. Blogs are also great because you can directly connect with your targeted audience; it’s almost like having a conversation with them. Blogs can also be updated several times a day and include photos and links along with contact information or any other item that is deemed important.

According to an article on Independent Street, there are some guidelines that small business should use when taking part in social networking sites and blogs. A business should create a professional looking profile that lists all pertinent information along with photographs and an attractive layout. Make it relatable to the reader. Also, personality adds flavor to the page. “Your “About Me” [section] shouldn’t be just dry facts about your business. Make sure you add some personal touches. Humor often helps” (Spors, 2008). Also, using too much hype could be a downfall. “Using social media shouldn’t be about blatantly selling a business. It’s about making connections and creating credibility so that people will like you and trust you and eventually want to buy from you” (Spors, 2008). This is such an important point – you want to establish a solid relationship with your audience so the trust factor develops. Also, new content that is constantly updated is essential in holding the interest of your audience. Write from the heart – make it passionate – if you believe in something, then that feeling will translate to your audience.

Think about it – you can create your presence on the Web without spending a dime – all it takes is time and passion. Be original, be creative, and just write!

Spors, Kelly. 2008. Referenced November 5, 2008. http://blogs.wsj.com/independentstreet/2008/08/21/social-networking-common-mistakes-small-businesses-make/

 

The downfall of the chat room…among other things… October 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 1:39 am
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Chat rooms seem to gradually be falling to the wayside – a thing of the past, so to speak, as new media and marketing tactics are continuously moving in different directions. Remember the inception of America Online, and how chat rooms were literally the most entertaining things on the planet? Well, times are a-changing; creations such as podcasts, Bluetooth and social networking sites appear to be the way of the future.

In our class discussion this week, there was one sentence written by another student that caught my eye: “I think as marketers we need to avoid annoying consumers. They’ve become far too sophisticated to be talked at.” This poster also speaks of ads in chat rooms as being “visual wallpaper” that is present but rarely noticeable. In other words, we see so many ads that we just look right through them. I love this analogy, as it depicts the inundation of unwanted advertising to a tee. What, exactly, constitutes an annoying consumer though? It is our job, as marketing professionals, to work around annoyances and to break through to the consumer – to grab their attention, their minds, their hearts – and make them feel as passionate about an innovation as we do. It was the second portion of the above statement that resonated with my mind… consumers these days are beyond being “talked at”. Consumers want to be understood and catered to. When marketers utilize chat rooms, they are pushing a message – they are simply talking AT the other participants in the room.

In real time, most people do not have extra minutes in their days to spend chatting with others. Why would people want to waste their time chatting online? It is the lack of credibility of chat rooms that turns many consumers off and makes them shy away from participating. One can never be sure as to whom exactly they are chatting with.

Live Marketing Chat looks to be the beginning of a blog promoting the usage of chat rooms, and it links to the Web site Newsfly 411. This site includes information on marketing tactics and related topics, but is not quite detailed at its current stage. One feature that caught my eye was the forum to discuss marketing topics and related issues. Forums, unlike chat rooms, offer a stable place to ask questions and offer up opinions, and by stable I mean that there is a set topic that is expanded upon. So, I ask, if we’re not using chat rooms, should we use forums?

I have noticed that forums seem to be increasing features on various Web sites, since consumers can voice their views, ask questions and expand upon topics of interest. I think that the forum has potential to push new products and aide professionals as a research tool. It does need to be moderated though, so participants stay on the topic at hand and do not post inappropriate items.

At my current job, which deals with the fishing industry, I often look to a forum site called Stripers Online, which offers up locals’ opinions on current fishing conditions, which bait is hot at the moment, and which holes are offering up the biggest fish. This forum is huge, with over 800,000 posts in the main section alone and nearly a million posts in a section called “The Town Tavern”, which deals with social topics other than fishing. From those stats, it is easy to see that forums are being used quite a bit and should be considered as a marketing tool.