Trend Sites to check out

I have listed a few trend sites below for your reference.

I do have to warn you that most of these sites are just to catch you up to the current trends, not to get ahead of them. While other trends are a little too ecentric to be mainstream, its good to keep an eye on them. That said, with knowlege of the current culture and trends, a good eye,  a little interpretation, and intuition these sites are great resources for predicting the next trend.

Here you go:
www.trendcentral.com
http://trendfold.com
http://www.trendhunter.com/
www.Etsy.com

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Online Monitoring: Rise of the Community Manger

The Holy Grail:

Word-of-Mouth referrals and testimonies have long been considered the Holy Gail of advertising and marketing. It has been shown time and time again that although advertising can be effective, if a trusted user recommends a product or service, there is a higher probability that a non-user will try the product or service. Social Media offers published thoughts of the consumers to allow companies to see likes and dislikes of their products and services – A valuable asset to companies. However, the survey conducted by the CMO Council stated “Despite all the hype about social media, only 16% of respondents [of survey conducted by the CMO Council] said their companies have any routine system in place for monitoring what people are saying about them or their brands online.”

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Response to “What the Facebook Is Going on Here”

I recently read “What the Facebook Is Going on Here?” on AdAge.com. I was interested by the cynicism of the author, but realized that most of the advertisers and marketers that I have met and worked with are just as confused and annoyed by how to break through to the new media that youth are using and that are continually growing.

Maybe its because I was part of the first stage of Facebook. I remember writing in requests to Facebook for them to add the University of Minnesota to the ever growing roster of schools that had Facebook and being elated when it was finally available – A perfect viral campaign. Maybe its because I see the addition of online advertising, social networks, texting and all of the new interactive vehicles as a challenge. But to me, the answer is fairly simple.

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How to Effectively Advertise your Brand on Facebook

In order to effectively advertise on Facebook, it is important to create a customized campaign that fits your brand.

The first step in creating your customized campaign is to understand how others perceive your brand and how you want it to be perceived. This can be done through research and self-evaluation of your company. Conduct an Industry Analysis, SWOT Analysis, Competitive Analysis, and research how your brand is perceived by your primary and secondary target markets. Once you have this information you can determine your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Your USP should drive your messaging. If you do not feel that your company can complete this evaluation internally with an unbiased viewpoint, it may be a good idea to bring in a consultant to help you with this part of the process.

Once you have determined your messaging (be sure to write to youth, not down to youth) develop a marketing strategy determining what Facebook elements you can use and how to use them. This needs to be done on an individual basis and will be different for every brand. Although this makes my job of explaining how to accomplish a customized campaign more difficult, customized campaigns are the only way to effectively brand your product and/or service.

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Happy 2009!

Happy New Year!

As we enter this new year, many people are focused on the economic downturn and the pessimistic views of the job outlook. I instead choose to look at the opportunities (after all, I am an eternal optimist at heart).

Opportunities exist in every negative situation (as SWOT analysis shows) you just have to know where to look. Losing a job opens an opportunity to explore passions, meet new people, and find another job where you can make a difference. This is my current focus, as I too find myself looking for the next step in my career.

I’m an Advertising and Marketing Professional, who is passionate about making a positive difference in the company I work for. I do this, not only through my hard work and unique perspective, but also through my positive personality and ability to connect with others. I believe that strategy drives creative solutions, but to get there you must ask the right questions, listen intently, and observe what is not said.

My experience is posted on my LinkedIn Public Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/sarasummersmn

Sara Summers (The Eternal Optimist)
sara.summers@hotmail.com

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Sara is an advertising and marketing professional who is currently looking for the next step in her career.

Sara would like to use her skills, experience, and intrinsic abilities to derive creatively driven strategic solutions for her next employer and their clients. She would like to cultivate, manage and maintain relationships with her clients and genuinely connect with them to meet and exceed internal and client business objectives.

If you know or hear of any opportunities that you think would be a good fit for Sara, or if you would like to discuss her experience further, please don’t hesitate to contact her at sara.summers@hotmail.com

The best ideas are inspired by creativity, but driven by strategy.