Archive for the 'Erie' Category

How the web is driving the new rules of marketing and PR

Did You Know…

92% of people use the Web to evaluate purchase options, yet less than 30% of businesses allocate dollars for online marketing.


Over 30 % of online visitors go to social media sites.


Gen Y (aged 18 to 28) is the most Internet-savvy group, spending more time online than they do watching television, with 42 percent watching online video at least once per month.


The older Generation X (aged 29 to 42) also use technology extensively for more task driven needs, especially when they intersect with business and family.


*This research is part of Forrester’s 2008 North America Technographics Benchmark survey which gathered data from around 61,000 consumers in the US and Canada.



“The New Rules of Marketing and PR” – How to use news releases, blogs, podcasts, viral marketing and online media to reach your buyers directly

For decades, marketers have relied on buying expensive advertising and begging for media coverage. We interrupted “prospects” with our egotistical “messages” in the hopes of generating interest from buyers (who usually ignored us anyway), but the Internet is a marketing channel that is dramatically changing how we perform. As marketers, we must shift our thinking from mainstream marketing to the masses to a strategy where we target specific audiences and niches we want to reach.

Writing news releases is no longer just for when we have big news.  Now we write news releases that highlight our ideas and stories and we distribute them online so that our buyers and constituents can get them on the news search engines and vertical content sites.  As Meerman points out, the “Internet has made public relations public again after years of almost exclusive focus on media.”

The online marketing channel requires more than a big idea with great creative and a one-way message. Smart marketers now communicate with buyers through content rich Web sites, blogs, YouTube videos, e-books, and other online media that buyers actually want to consume. To succeed in marketing online, we need to adapt to using these very direct and interactive social media strategies. These mediums help us communicate and engage customers in places where we have no physical presence but where the customer can find out about what we offer and how we can meet their needs. The products and services offered by tuned-in companies resonate with people who willingly buy without being coerced. 

 If you would like to learn some of the new criteria for marketing & PR and how to succeed in a digital world, then come listen and ask questions of David Meerman Scott, a nationally renowned speaker and best-selling author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

 Scott will be the keynote speaker at the Advertising Federation of Northwest Pennsylvania’s Erie Ad Day on Thursday, September 25 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, 55 West Bay Drive, in downtown Erie. The full-day professional development event will focus on the theory, tactics and technologies driving the advertising and marketing communications industry.

Learn how to leverage the potential that Web-based communication offers. A step-by-step action plan for harnessing the power of the new rules of marketing and PR will be provided, showing how to identify audiences, create compelling messages, get those messages to the most consumers possible, and lead those consumers directly into the buying process. Told with many case studies and real-world examples, this a practical discussion about the new reality of PR and marketing.

 Register online at:

Or register by phone at (814) 451-8677.

Listen to Podcast

Get the lowdown on the New Rules of Marketing and PR in a podcast interview with David right here:



Your Web site as a sales and marketing channel…

Today’s savvy online users expect to go to the Internet and get something accomplished. They expect your Web site to help them fulfill their mission. If your site does not provide the information they need or they have to think too hard they will move on to a competitor’s site that will have what they need.


A Web site is an electronic form of your business marketing channel. Do you know how to build a dialog with a customer through a Web site, how to qualify them as a lead or convert them to a sale?  How about if what you sell is more complex, like a course or a custom made component?  I can confidently do a good job helping people pinpoint their needs and help them make purchase decision when I am on the phone or face to face.  I have plenty of consulting experience doing it that way. It is a mix of asking the right questions, good listening skills and then aligning what you have with their specific needs or goals.


But what are the activities that make a product or service desirable to a visitor through a Web site, where it’s open to the world 24/7.  How do you really begin a sales or persuasive dialog with visitors to your Web site? 


I can share from our experiences with our Web site at eBizITPA. Between our web specialist, marketing manager and program managers we have been experimenting and trying to determine what information do our customers need to make an informed decision and how do we influence them to take action.  For the IT Kickstart program we have documents they are able to access and download to apply for IT Kickstart.  This is the type of self service that gives visitors access any time when it is convenient for them.  But are we providing enough information for them to evaluate the program and answer their questions and concerns? Probably not because we still receive phone calls asking about how the program works.


We also continuously try to improve our messaging about our professional development programs like classes and seminars so that our visitors can understand how they will benefit from participating. Ultimately try to persuade them to register.  But we struggle with questions such as how much information do they need, how do they want to receive the information and can they locate it in an intuitive fashion? Just recently one of our email recipients responded to a promotional conference email saying the message was pretty generic and do we have some more detail on what is going to be covered. 


Holly Buchanan podcastWe recently posted an interview on the conference Web site with the featured speaker Holly Buchanan, a conversion expert in online marketing and persuasion architecture. In the interview Holly gives a sneak peak on her presentation called Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results, listen as she teases us with a few good nuggets you will be able to immediately take away. We learned using multimedia mediums such as, podcasts and videos can help our visitors better comprehend and understand our offerings. However, was there a clear pathway to the information? Well, clearly not for this fella.


The conference will have an afternoon session that will be an interactive web assessment where Holly agreed to review several sites on a first come first serve basis. We submitted the Center’s Web site and the Conference microsite in hopes that Holly will give us feedback on how we can improve our customer’s experience, improve responses to our messages and meet our marketing objectives.


We’re tough and we can take whatever Holly tells us because in the end we know she only wants to help us succeed.  Hope to see you there!


Quick resource:

Future Now has a fun and very telling instrument called the Customer Focus Calculator aptly called the WeWe. Use it to check if your site mostly talks about your customer and their needs or are you talking mostly about your business. Use it and you will see immediately.


Holly Buchanan is a Senior Persuasion Architect at Future Now Inc. Future Now is a digital marketing optimization company based in New York.

Search Marketing; One of the Triumvirate Three

Search Engine Marketing is one of three most essential online marketing strategies for businesses that are seriously committed to using the online channel to find new markets, build awareness, promote product and services, qualify and generate leads, acquire new customers and close a sale. The triumvirate three includes having a website and email marketing but I will cover those another time. 

New activities are emerging and becoming a significant influence on Search Engine Marketing.  This includes Web 2.0 activities commonly known as social media, social networks, and user generated content.  Sites like Facebook, Blogs, Video sites like YouTube and user reviewed sites like Digg all of have the ability to influence searcher behavior by generating valuable inbound links which are so important to a search optimization strategy. 

Effective online marketers are always looking for ways to enhance and improve website visibility in natural or organic search engine listings.  The primary goal for most is to increase the number of visitors and increase online conversions. 

Google Paid and Organic Search            

Optimizing your website involves a process of testing and tweaking website structure, search terms research, content creation and link equity. So understanding how to use Web 2.0 activities and linking strategies starts with understanding your particular audience and figuring out how they will benefit, if at all. 

However, Paid Search Marketing, also known as Pay Per Click (PPC,) is the fastest growing tactic used to drive relevant and qualified leads.  Google, MSN and Yahoo all have paid sponsor or advertising opportunities driving close to $6 billion dollars in 2006. One reason PPC is so compelling is because it delivers results almost immediately. Quick measurable results make PPC a smart way to plan your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. All the major search engines offer reporting and analytics tools so you can monitor and tack every click gaining valuable data to be used when planning your SEO strategy.  It makes sense to develop a combination of PPC and SEO strategies for driving traffic and generating leads.  

Search marketing is one of the tools you need to market in today’s digitally savvy world.  Search marketing is a long term strategic investment and marketers need to evaluate how it fits into their marketing plans. Start taking advantage of search and other tactics and technologies to grow your business and gain an edge.

sem2home.jpgBecome an eMarketing Rockstar! Attend the SEM II: Join the eVolution Conference. The web is outpacing all other media for user involvement.  This conference and other educational programs offered at the eMarketing Learning Center @ eBizITPA will help you understand, navigate and integrate Internet marketing strategies to support you business growth.  This evet is sponsored by the NWIRCErie Ad Club Members and Tech Council Members qualify for special rate.

Search Engine Optimization and Web Presence

Search marketing consists of two different aspects: natural, or organic search, and paid-search. Through the proper utilization of these marketing initiatives, companies can enhance and increase their web presence relatively inexpensively, or even at no cost at all!

At the Center for eBizitPA‘s seminar, “Enhance Your Web Presence Through Search Marketing,” held yesterday, August 23rd, 2007 in Franklin, PA, three experts on the topic discussed both paid and natural search. The concluding presentation consisted of a critical analysis of six different attendees’ company websites.

PennTAP LogoPennTAP’s Donald LeGoullon kicked off the seminar with his presentation on natural, or organic search engine marketing and the search engine optimization (SEO), the improvement of the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines. LeGoullon efficiently covered a great deal of quality information regarding the state and usage of search engines today, and useful tips and tricks in order to raise companies’ websites upwards in the ranking of search engine results using SEO. Although only given an hour of time, LeGoullon did a tremendous job of efficiently creating a general understanding of what SEO is, as well as ways to use it to increase the visibility of a web site on the web.eDynaQuote logo

Doug Luthringer, Client Development Manager for eDynaQuote, and an avid ebay seller, was the second speaker of this half-day seminar, speaking about paid search using Google AdWords, which offers pay per click (PPC) advertising, and site targeted advertising for both text and banner ads. Google AdWords LogoThe ads placed on Google AdWords are included in the following locations on the Google Search engine, when the purchased key search terms are searched for.

Google AdWords Placement

Luthringer began his presentation by introducing the concept of paid search marketing with common terms and the different pricing models available. Some of these pricing models include pay per click, pay per lead, pay-per-sale, and performance pricing. The presentation continued with specifics about the Google AdWords service, as well as a step by step tutorial on how to set up an account, design ads, and purchase keywords for the ad. Tips and tactics for creating an effective ad to optimize results and ROI were also covered.

The final presentation of the seminar was presented by Cathy von Birgelen, of the eMarketing Learning Center at eBizitPA, and Don LeGoullon. Six individual company websites were constructively analyzed by these professionals from a marketing and SEO point of view. Many suggestions were made on how the sites could be improved. The positive and effective aspects of the website were also pointed out as a guide for what other companies should and should not be doing with regards to their web site creation. For more information on how to get a personalized analysis of your company’s website, contact Don LeGoullon at PennTAP via email, or telephone (814-677-3152).

If you missed this event, continue to visit eBizitPA’s website for other similar search or e-marketing courses! If you attended this seminar, we invite you to comment on the overall quality and value of the information presented throughout the morning and into the afternoon.

Note: This event was sponsored by:

eMarketing Skills and Training Survey

Technology Industry Partnership

On behalf of the Northwest Pennsylvania Technology Industry Partnership, the Center for eBusiness and Advanced IT (eBizITPA) and the Technology Council of Northwest Pennsylvania are conducting research to gain insights and understanding about the needs of employers and their employees in the areas of e-marketing.

If you are an employee or owner of a Pennsylvania-based business, we would like to invite you to participate in this survey. In exchange for volunteering ten minutes of your time to answer some questions, the first 50 survey respondents will each receive a $10 gift certificate good for the business of your choice to be redeemed at

Your participation in this survey will help us to understand what is important to employers and employees, as well as how you view the challenges and opportunities of e-marketing. With your feedback, we hope to achieve the following objectives:

  • Identify current levels of e-marketing awareness, attitudes and interest.
  • Identify skills and training most needed for successful integration of e-marketing strategies and techniques into your enterprise.
  • Develop effective training programs to provide the knowledge and skills identified.
  • Assist relevant professionals within Pennsylvania businesses in obtaining the required knowledge and skills to apply emerging marketing methods and technologies used in expanding business options and creating new and diverse marketplace opportunities.
  • Assist agencies, Web developers/designers and consultants to attain e-marketing expertise and to develop services and solutions offerings; which would include both software development and consulting services.

We understand that your time is valuable, and we have kept the survey as brief and concise as possible. We will thank all of our survey participants by sending them a copy of the aggregated survey data.

To participate in this survey and be eligible to receive $10 redeemable at,

Click here.


Thank you for your participation!

AOL Advertising Sales Manager Gary Sherwood Addresses Local Erie Advertisers

Erie Ad Club LogoThe much anticipated Erie Ad Club new members’ luncheon took place today at the Erie Club, with a very large turnout. The 70 seats that had originally been reserved looked to have increased quite a bit, creating a buzz of anticipation and excitement in the meeting room. Soon after the attendees had helped themselves to a lunch spread of salad, sandwiches, soups, and cookies, Gary Sherwood, Advertising Sales Manager of AOL Media Services, was introduced and took the mic.AOL

His comprehensive presentation consisted of a broad overview of the current state of the online advertising market in comparison to past years and other advertising and marketing mediums that are being utilized by advertisers and marketers. Sherwood began with consumer behaviors and what they mean for companies. The first characteristic of internet users was identified as the idea of multi-tasking. The amount of available consumer media in our world has exploded in the past years with the growth of recent technologies. Despite this growth, there remains only 24 hours in a day to try to consume all of this information and entertainment. This has resulted in a general tendency to multi task, and the use of technology to compress content and time. Time, in the online space, is all relative.

TiVoAn example Sherwood cited was TiVo, “Who would have thought five years ago that one hour of television could be watched within 40 minutes, or a three hour football game could be watched within a half hour?”

Sherwood continued by outlining four factors that are driving this multi-tasking activity in users:

1. Broadband as mainstream

2. Searching

3. Limitless distribution channels and the vast amount of user generated content.

4. Online video streaming.

One hundred and seventy six million people are online in the US today, and more than 50% of them have access to broadband internet from their own homes. This broadband becoming a mainstream, and in some cases a necessity, has led to a change in users’ online habits, spending more time on the internet, and more likely to become creators and distributors of the content itself.Google

Users who go to the internet to look for a certain company, location, or information about a topic, stop first at a search engine. There are 6.4 billion monthly searches on the Google search engine alone. This search feature is a way of organizing online behavior, which can be greatly utilized by advertisers seeking prospects through search marketing. This solution is available to all levels of companies, even those who do not have a large marketing budget, because a max spending amount per month can be set, and companies only pay when their links are clicked.

YouTubeThe streaming of video streams in 1999 was about one billion. In contrast, the estimated amount of video streams in 2007 will be 35 billion. As you can see, the popularity of video streaming has exploded, and includes users viewing television shows, movies, selected clips, popular advertisements, or random videos on sites such as YouTube.

Online advertising facilitates a one to one, interactive relationship from the first step of awareness all the way through to the transaction. It allows companies and their customers to engage in a unique dialogue that other mediums can not compete with. It is also measurable in real time. Companies can track clicks, which pages of a web site the user clicked through to, how much time they spent on the page, and many other factors almost immediately.

Gary Sherwood concluded his presentation by summarizing his presentation with the comment that the online world is the ultimate on demand user format, where the consumers are in control of the content. When they log online, they are either looking for something that will make their life easier at that moment, or communication with the online community.

Facebook LogoAt this point in the luncheon, Sherwood opened it up for questions about online advertising in general. An extremely interesting question, in my opinion, was asked about the potential of social networking sites as marketing or advertising venues. Sherwood replied that he did not know the specifics of that medium and how it works, but he stated his personal opinion about what should be done, if in fact is not being carried out already. Users of these social networking sites, such as Facebook or MySpace, usually enter massive amounts of personal information about themselves, including particular interests, occupations, geographical location, etc. The social networking sites themselves could then used this self-proclaimedMySpace Logo information to segment these individuals into different “buckets.” This way, those who are interested in sports would see narrowly segmented sports advertisements when logged into the site.

I, personally, know that Facebook does something similar to this. Advertisers can choose to reach only those individuals that are in certain “networks,” or geographical areas. To some extent, Sherwood’s opinion on the ideal way to advertise on social networking sites is already being implemented. However, it seems that advertisers should be able to segment even more, leading to more of that interactive one to one relationship we discussed before.Amazon Logo

Another interesting topic brought up in the Q&A was the idea of websites “remembering” your information to make it easier for users to fill out forms, initiate transactions, etc, as well as to help the website’s company to appeal to you. For example, Amazon’s website recommends different products that you may be interested in based on the selections it “remembered” you either looked at or purchased. Sherwood explained that these websites work by tracking the IP addresses, which are unique for every computer. The site “cookies” the user every time he or she browses the website or clicks a link. The site will “remember” the actions taken by that computer in order to appeal more to the users.

This presentation was an extremely good overview of e-marketing. However, there are numerous aspects that weren’t touched on, simply because of the short nature of the luncheon. However, we would like for you to continue the dialogue about these different types of media being used for marketing. What do you think about the potential of social networking sites as a marketing medium? Does “cookie-ing” an individual invade their privacy? What about blogging or podcasting? Are these media appropriate for marketing?

eMarketing Special Interest Group

March 2018
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