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Who Says Email Marketing Trumps Social Media? Marketers Do.

Over the past decade, few aspects of marketing have received as much publicity as social media. But as the buzz email-trumps-social-mediadies down, we’re seeing more hype than hard results. In fact, most statistics show that email still trumps social media. Email marketing might not be as flashy, but it’s still number one in effectiveness.

Social Media Shakeups Ensure Confusion Reigns

Ever heard the saying, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute. It’ll change?” It seems the same is true of social media. Just keeping up with the platform du jour can be exhausting. Should you be on Pinterest? Google Plus? Reddit? What about some of the newer social networks like Medium, impossible and Mobli? And, at the end of the day, will these all go the way of MySpace, which was the hot new thing just 10 years ago (an eternity in social media worlds)? When it comes to social media, nothing lasts forever.

Social Rules Keep Changing

It’s tough to drive and even track results when the rules of the game keep changing. Take Facebook, for instance. In December 2013, Facebook made several changes to its News Feed algorithm, ostensibly to weed out spammy posts. These updates impacted the way Facebook treats all branded content, however. As a result, there is far less visibility across nearly all brand pages, according to research conducted by Ignite Social Media.

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Starbucks Plans to Test Mobile Ordering This Year

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), the world’s largest coffee-shop operator, will test a smartphone service this year that lets customers order items ahead of time at some U.S. cafes, part of a push to promote its mobile application.

Starbucks is “actively working” on mobile ordering, Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at the Seattle-based company, said in an interview. The move would let customers select coffee or food while in line or before coming into a cafe, potentially speeding up service and saving time.

“It’s something our customers have asked for,” he said. “We’re not revealing a lot of details about it now.”

Starbucks, which processes 5 million mobile transactions a week, has been focused on expanding and improving its rewards program and mobile apps to help boost sales. Last month, Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz handed over day-to-day operations to Troy Alstead, chief operating officer, so he can focus on “next-generation” retail, digital and mobile payments, the company’s loyalty program and electronic commerce.

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New IAB Glossary Limits 'View,' Defines 'Skip' (As In Ads)

New IAB GlossaryThe Interactive Advertising Bureau today will unveil an updated version of its Digital Video In-Stream Ad Metric Definitions and solicit public comment. The reworked version refines some terms and most notably, tosses out the word “view” as a metric -- basically because it is often confused with an "impression."

The new list also officially defines “skip” which describes what consumers do when they "click a button or use some other mechanism" to avoid an ad -- a word that, certainly, some executives would say needs no further amplification.    

Sherrill Mane, SVP of research for IAB, characterized the changes as a reflection of the concerns or questions from what she termed "grassroots” members who work every day with advertising terms and conditions.

“Situations change over time since things change so rapidly in this business, and we begin to get questions about this and that."

In an interview with Mane and Jessica Anderson, senior manager for advertising technology at IAB, Mane explained that the last time definitions were updated was in 2008.

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Why Insomniacs Love Your Blog

Why Insomniacs Love Your BlogMelatonin. New age music. An aromatic bath. Chamomile tea. Nyquil.

What’s your get-to-sleep-in-a-jif trick? You might try reading some business blogs.

They’re mostly horrific. And they don’t support your business objectives. But the reason is probably not what you think. It’s not because they don’t contain useful content. Generally, they do. What’s missing is personality.  

Did God say, “Let there be predictability?” 

No blogging bible I’ve ever read said, “Thou shalt be boring.”

You might be knocking it out of the park with understanding your readers’ needs, developing your topics, and optimizing your posts for search. However, this will only get readers to your blog. It won’t get them into it. It won’t inspire them to opt-in, come back for more, or tell their friends. If you want these things to happen you have to inject your personality into your blog.

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4 Effective Ways to Run Your Small Business Like a Big Business CEO

4 Effective Ways to Run Your Small Business Like a Big Business CEO

Why does one business achieve unprecedented success while its equally matched competitor fails? The truth is, success is largely determined not by your products or prices, but rather by the way you run your business. And evidence shows that entrepreneurs who think less like small business owners -- and more like big business CEOs -- have a better shot at achieving long-term success.

To get you started running your small business like a big business CEO, here are four big business strategies to start implementing right away:

1. Set strategic "critical musts."

"Critical musts" are key things that must exist in your business over the course of the year in order to bring you closer to your vision of success. At the beginning of every year, big business CEOs determine what critical musts they need their organization to achieve, and they set their goals, projects, and to-do lists accordingly. This allows them to achieve their goals in a profitable and sustainable way.

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