BenefitBar is Fundraising at Your Fingertips

Check out this cool way to raise funds for your organization. BenefitBar is an easy to get toolbar for your Internet browser. The toolbar keeps you connected with important info related to your favorite organization, and they benefit when you search from the built in Yahoo! search engine.

This is an innovative way to use the new technology available and leverage the power of Marketing 2.0.

I have to disclose that I helped get this set up and designed the logo and tagline. I am not a part of the company but I am extremely impressed with the way BenefitBar team has grown this project. Take a look at the many toolbars they have already created here.

If you are looking for a great tool to increase communication with your stakeholders and earn some extra money check out BenefitBar.

Is Blinkx the Next Google?

There are tons of photo and video files proliferating the web, but most of the search is based on user generated tags. Sometimes tags are manipulated by users to get a better search result for their image. The race is on to use other software based indexing criteria like face recognition and listening to the audio track. Blinkx specializes in searching over 6 million hours of video files on the Internet. They are using innovative search criteria beyond user generated tags. So far Blinkx is leading the way and you can put this cool video wall on your site!

Office Depot - Taking Care of Customers is Good Business

I just came back from my local Office Depot in Ballwin, MO. Most of you know I hate rebates, but I am not going to pass up the money either. I had an issue with getting the right receipt and rebate form. I dropped by the store today and they took care of the problem. I did not have to raise a stink or ask for the manager. I was not even looking very professional as I just came from playing hockey wearing a baseball cap, jeans and a plaid shirt.

Guess where I am going to by buying my office supplies from now on!

How to Make the Most of a Book Signing to Market Your Book

In the new Marketing 2.0 Book I talk about writing and marketing your own book:

"Even though you can publish your own book, is it not better to get a publisher to do the work for you? That depends on your situation. Bear in mind that if you have a small market title many publishers are not going to spend much time marketing it for you anyway. Even the big authors are doing more of their own marketing these days performing book signings, commercials, and or appearing on television shows. If you are going to do the promotional work anyway, why not keep the rights and a bigger share of the profits from your title?

A couple of things to remember when marketing you own book. First, books are judged by their covers. You may have great content, but you have to get people’s attention first. In most cases people won’t even see your cover if it is in the bookstore, only the spine. You have to make sure your spine can catch the attention of your potential customers, not an easy task. I used a professional designer William Good (www.nexdesignstudios.com) for the second edition of the Seven Keys, and it made a big difference in sales and interest even before I had it published.

The second piece of advice is to avoid doing traditional book signings. I remember walking into Borders and seeing a lonely older gentleman wearing a cowboy hat, sitting at a table of his books and holding a pen. There was no one around the table, and I felt sorry for him but did not go over because I really did not want to buy his book about rodeo clowns. Realize that even if the bookstore carries your book and provides a place for signing, they have little time or budget to promote it. If you do something in the store you will need to drum up interest on your own, or create a more substantial event, like a seminar, party or giveaway, to attract attention."

Well, Captain Halloween was spotted at Borders signing his new book in full regalia. Book signings can be tough, but if you do them you should go out like Captain Halloween!

St. Louis Publishers Association- Friend of the Local Author

If you are in the St. Louis area and have written or are thinking of writing a book then you need to check out the St. Louis Publishers Association. This is a great group of people that will help you get your book published, and sold. If you are doing it yourself then you will benefit greatly from the people and resources in this group. Check out the SLPA website for more info.

RSS Feeds: Sorta Simple Syndication

This is an excerpt from the upcoming book by Michael Daehn called Marketing 2.0:

Sorta Simple Syndication

RSS stands for really simple syndication and it is the next leap in Internet communications. It is simple if you have some web skills otherwise it can seem a bit complicated. If you use a start page like My Yahoo! AOL or MSN you are using RSS already. These sites allow you to customize the content you view like sports, weather and news headlines. These pages are getting updated content from various feeds and putting them on your start page for you.

Today you have the ability to create your own RSS feed with content from your site. You can allow people to subscribe to your feed that will appear on their start page or RSS aggregator (more on aggregators in a moment). Now you don’t have to be Reuters to send out your news feed to the world. Anybody can make their content available as a feed.

For my Marketing that Rocks blog I created an RSS feed using Feedburner’s free service. They gave me the web code to put a subscription box on the blog. When people click on the link it takes them to a page that allows them to subscribe using whatever RSS service or start page they are using. Every time I create a new post on the blog it is distributed through the feed and appears on the subscriber’s page.

Are you confused? I know there is some new terminology here, but it is very important that you understand the implications of this tool. This revolutionizes the way people are currently using the Internet. In the past if you wanted to see if my blog or website had updated content you had to go to my site- maybe there was something new, maybe not. Perhaps there was something of interest, and maybe all my latest posts were lame. With an RSS feed you can see my headlines without going to my site. In fact you can peruse the headlines of your favorite 10 blogs in the time it would take you to visit one and look for new content.

I know that not everyone is familiar with or feels comfortable with RSS so I also have a box to subscribe to my blog via email. This free email service, available through Feedblitz, sends an email copy of my new posts right to the inbox of subscribers. The question is with the increase of spam and the relative ease of using RSS how long is email going to be an effective way of sending your communications?

Mercer Provides Reflections on "The Greatest Salesman in the World"

Mercer Provides Reflections on "The Greatest Salesman in the World":

"The book tells the story of how Hafid had come into possession of The Greatest Secret in the World, and of how he passed this secret along to his successor, who also became a penultimate salesman.

Remember the lessons of the ten scrolls summarized below:

1. Today, I will begin a new life (and read daily and remember the lessons of the scrolls).
2. I will greet this day with love in my heart.
3. I will persist until I succeed.
4. I am nature's greatest miracle.
5. I will live this day as if it is my last.
6. Today I will be the master of my emotions.
7. I will laugh at the world.
8. Today, I will multiply my value a hundredfold.
9. I will act now.
10. Pray for guidance.
"

Marketing Agritourism- Corn Maze Has Stanley Cup Feel

In honor of the Hurricanes a farm has created a Stanley Cup shaped maze to lure visitors:

Corn mazes and agricultural mazes represent a growing trend in the relatively new agri-tourism field. These ventures have become so popular that the subject of the corn maze has been featured in a number of national publications in recent weeks.

"'It's one of the most successful agritourism enterprises we've seen,' Koppenhofer said."

Another example of marketing smart instead of throwing your money at random advertising.

Sports Marketing- Now with no Trans Fat!

Aaron McFarling comments on how to use snappy marketing techniques on less than perfect sports performances at Roanoke.com:

"Here are a few sports marketing suggestions for those who had a rough weekend.

Duke: The snap was good! (Even if the kick wasn't.)

N.C. State: Our stadium rocks! (With pleas for Chuck Amato's head.)

Florida State: What a comeback! (Against Troy.)

Texas: Great drinking school! (To help you forget.)

Northwestern: 1-0 against Division I-A competition! (But 0-1 against Division I-AA New Hampshire.)

Tony Stewart: Defending Nextel Cup champion! (Until this year's Chase is over.)

Dallas Cowboys: Terrell Owens, baby! (And Drew Bledsoe.)

Brett Favre: Still chuckin' it! (To the other team.)

Andy Roddick: Federer's gonna retire! (In about 10 years.)

Virginia: We won! (Against Wyoming. By one point. In overtime. At home.)"

More Examples of Marketing 2.0

More examples of Marketing 2.0 at BtoBOnline.com:

"If marketers would only cede control, they'd find their customers can help them market, support and even help design products, Jarvis told BtoB. ' I get the best support for my Treo from other Treo customers,' Jarvis said, noting that he recently upgraded to the Treo 700p based on a recommendation from a poster at Treonauts.com, an enthusiast blog. 'If you hand over control to your customers, great things can happen,' Jarvis said. 'This conversation is happening about your company with or without you.'"

Facilitate, but don't try to control the conversation.