Monday, September 29, 2008

The Sub Prime & Financial Crisis For Dummies

The finacial crisis and resulting bailout is a sad state of affairs not matter how you slice it, but this will help explain the mess, and at least make you laugh a bit.

Subprime Primer
SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: moralhazard basics)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dollar Falls - Profits Rise

This is a great link to a story NPR ran on the 8/4 telecast that talks about how the downfall of the dollar has greatly helped American manufacturing. They interviewed a Cleveland automotive part manufacturer that has seen their profits increase during a time when the main economic forecast is bleak for the rest of the country.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Look for positives in these times

It is tough to find good economic news these days, but I can tell you from personal experience that there are strong markets in today's environment. Our agency has considerable business in the manufacturing sector, specifically, metalworking. The growth in markets including energy, aerospace, military and medical is strong. Our clients are busy, and their customers are busy. The export market is growing rapidly as well. We will soon be publisihing the results of some research conducted within this industry, and I am happy to report that there is optimism out there - even in a sector as beaten down as manufactring.

In a recent article in Newsweek, Robert Samuelson also shares some reason for confidence. His comments reinforce the reason that advertisers should stay aggressive during these times. The competition will likely pull back, the rebound will reward those who stay agressive.

(Excerpt from Newsweek)
The paradoxical thing about today's economy is its strength. No kidding. Consider all the hand grenades lobbed at it. Higher oil prices. The housing implosion. Large layoffs in affected industries: autos, airlines, construction, mortgage banking. The "credit squeeze" triggered by losses on "subprime" mortgages. Despite all that, the economy hasn't collapsed. It's merely weakened. Output in the first quarter of 2008 was actually 2.5 percent higher than a year earlier.

We are relearning an old lesson: The business cycle isn't dead. Prosperity's pleasures breed complacency and inspire mistakes that, in time, boomerang on financial markets, job creation and production. Just as expansions ultimately tend to self-destruct, so downswings tend to generate self-correcting forces. People pay down debts; pent-up demand develops; surviving companies expand. The Great Depression was an exception. The present economy would have to get much, much, much worse before it warranted the same appraisal. - Robert Samuelson, Newsweek

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Make Blogging Count

Found this interesting article about blogging tips. Definitely worth a read.

Tips for Blogging

Monday, June 30, 2008

A Comprehensive RSS Tools Reference List

Found this great post on Mashable. It's a comprehensive list of RSS tools, tips, hacks etc. Anyone have any other good reference links like this one on other new media tools and technologies?

RSS Article

Mis suscripciones RSS
Photo by Torchondo
Zemanta Pixie

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

e-ttention Deficit Disorder – RSScue Your Message from Info Overload

I’ve been in marketing for almost two decades. In those 20 years, the one thing I have never stopped hearing is the idea that "consumers are inundated with more advertising and marketing messages than they can handle," and that "it’s harder than ever to cut through the clutter and reach your customer."

Of course, these things are true. Consumers today are flooded with endless promotional messages – print ads, radio, TV, banner ads, spam email, e-newsletters, Amazon recommendations – the list goes on and on.

And with the arrival of every new electronic device or web application we have new ways to get and share even more information. Blackberries and iPhones, instant messaging, podcasts, You Tube, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, XML, RSS – many people quickly reach a point of information overload.

The good news about technology is that while it can foster information chaos, it also provides the tools to manage the cacophony.

Savvy marketers today know the power of blogging and the importance of RSS feed readers. They are one important way today’s information-saturated consumers are filtering out the noise online while letting through key pieces of information about things that really matter to them.

Whether it’s insights, entertainment, or offers they just can’t get anywhere else, you have to find the things that your customers really want or need in order to get them to subscribe to your RSS feed.

If you can get them involved – posting comments, suggestions or even complaints – you not only get your message out, you gain invaluable insights into what your customers are thinking – and more information about what they want.

If your customer adds your feed to their RSS reader, you instantly become a preferred provider. Someone that has been selected as worthy of keeping up with. Your message faces less competition and is automatically given greater credibility.

Its simple but powerful way to get a leg up in an information saturated world.
Zemanta Pixie

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Obama Online - the Future of Political Campaigns

MANCHESTER, NH - DECEMBER 10:  U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) greets supporters asking for autographs during a visit to a 2006 Election Celebration hosted by the New Hampshire Democratic Party December 10, 2006 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The celebration was to honor the historic victory that turned a red New Hampshire to solid blue for the first time since 1874.  (Photo by Jodi Hilton/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption *** Barack ObamaImage by Getty Images via DaylifeLove him or hate him, Barak Obama has made history, and it wouldn't have happened without the internet and social media.

Obama's grassroots online fund raising pulled together over 1.5 million donors and outperformed the Clinton Democratic machine. His online supporters have created more than 30,000 events to support him. The campaign used wikis to organize precinct captains, created counter viral e-mail campaigns to offset anonymous smears questioning his faith and patriotism. They solicited letters from online supporters to help lobby undecided super delegates, and the campaign constantly updated it's YouTube page to contain the latest speeches and support videos, like the "yes we can" video produced by of the Black Eyed Peas after he was inspired by an Obama speech in New Hampshire.

A charismatic personality like Obama's lends itself to the online space, but much of the fervor has been spurred on by the power of social/viral content sharing. It's a new age in politics - the ones who learn how to do it right are the leaders of tomorrow.

What do you think? Could Barak Obama have won the Democratic nomination without the internet? Can McCain stop him without a powerful online counter punch?

Thanks to Sarah Lai Stirland, Wired Blog Network for great details for this post:
Zemanta Pixie

Friday, May 30, 2008

Prince vs. Radiohead - You Gotta GIve to Get

I just read a post with a great socal media lesson:

Prince (you remember, the little purple fellow) is clamping down on every unlicensed use of his name, likeness and music anywhere he can find it online. Among other recent absurdities, he recently leveraged the Digital Millenium Copyright Act to have a family remove an online video of their 18-month old dancing to his 1980's hit "Let's Go Crazy."

At the far end of the spectrum, the band Radiohead has been doing everything they can to give away their music. In October '07 they announced that a fully digital version of their new album would be available online for whatever anyone wanted to pay for it - name your price. $25? 25¢? whatever you think its worth. They also developed a widget for fans to use on their social media pages - to play/broadcast Radiohead songs, videos, it's all fair game.

Upon its commercial release in Jan 08, the new Radiohead album debuted in the #1 slot on the Billboard charts.

Now, it's not surprising that someone like Prince who makes a living off of his name and music might overreact in trying to protect it. The fascinating thing is just how counter-productive that sort of behavior is in the face of today's social media.

Radiohead has a smash success on their hands because they have figured out how to fan the flames of social media by giving away what they ultimately aim to sell - while people like Prince seem hell bent on dousing fans with cold water.

WARNING: The linked post on MASHABLE contains an embedded video of Prince performing the Radiohead song "Creep." And it's...well...let's just say "creepy."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Generate Leads and Customers

With the shaky economy comes shaky consumers. I found this link to a seminar that will teach how to keep generating leads and customers during this rough economical time.

It's FREE!!! It's on 6/3. Hope you can make it.

Coors Light: Great Use of New Media Advertising

In PR, my number one rule is Know Your Audience. I give major props to Coors for going far beyond traditional advertising placements and exploring today's social media outlets. There's a huge audience overlap between young (21+) beer drinkers and social networking users (think Facebook and MySpace). Read more in this New York Times article.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Blogs paying off

Chicago Tribune article highlights growth of blogging in marketing offerings. Blogs are quickly becoming an effective way to reach a highly targeted group with common interests. I'm interested to hear about most popular blogs among the LoSasso group?

Monday, May 26, 2008

LoSasso Staff Sharpening Pencils

Keep an eye out in the coming days for great new content from more of the LoSasso team. We have a lot of talented people in the group with a variety of specialties and interests. It's sure to be interesting and informative.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Optimizing Landing Pages Too Often an Afterthought

A colleague at LoSasso recently forwarded me an interesting post from BtoB online about National Semiconductor. Seems they are spending a lot more time these days making sure that website visitors driven by organic and paid search actually land on pages that will increase their chances of conversion.

By both carefully optimizing their site to draw organic search traffic to the most appropriate (and potentially profitable) pages, and by developing multiple landing pages for their PPC campaigns, they are increasing conversion by giving visitors an easy way to get what they are looking for.

According to Phil Gibson, National Semiconductor's VP-technical sales, “We're trying to customize landing pages based on search queries to get visitors to a decision point right away.”

In SEO and PPC a lot of focus is placed on ranking and click-through rates, but if the pages where people are directed are not designed for conversion (whatever that’s determined to be based on the business) then all the effort to generate the traffic is wasted.

A simple idea that is too often an afterthought.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Online Video Opportunites: 2008

The proliferation of broadband internet access combined with easy-to-use video editing software and the success of user-generated content sites like YouTube, made it easy for B2B marketers to get involved in online video in record numbers in 2007. Momentum continues to grow in 2008, with more money being shifted from away from traditional media to support exciting new online opportunities.

While many B2B marketers repurposed existing content for their first online videos, 2008 looks to be an exciting year in which they look for ways to fully utilize the potential of online video, creating dynamic new product demos, compelling customer testimonials and more.

The video below created by LoSasso Advertising in Chicago talks a bit more about online video and opportunites presented by Web 2.0.

New Metalworking Blog

LoSasso has partnered with Extreme Machining Labs to launch a new metalworking blog. The link is here: If you are a thought leader in the manufacturing space or would like to join a conversation with some of the thought leaders in this space, please take a look. There are already a few impressive videos on the site of some high speed machining. Have a look and jump in.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Social Media Lunch and Learn

We just had a good presentation at the agency about social media and its application to our industry and client base. Lots of good information was shared and interesting some ideas tossed around. A few notables for your consideration...more than 44% of the population in the U.S. are using some form of social media at least monthly - Attention marketers... it is NOT just the kids.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was quoted in Wired Magazine as saying "To find something comparable, you have to go back 500 years to the printing press, the birthplace of mass media… Technology is shifting power away from the editors, the publishers, the establishment, the media elite. Now it’s the people who are taking control."

We recently had an interesting social media experience with our Bonus Zone program for our client Brunswick. Our opt-in coupon program propelled Parker Bohn III into the Motel 6 Rolls to Riches torunament where he took first prize and won $150,000. Many thanks to a bunch of loyal Brunswick bowlers for giving him the opportunity!

With the pace of change in this industry, we should be evaluating our new media IQ every quarter. Are we making the progress we should be?

Friday, May 2, 2008

BMW Accelerates with SEO and Online Marketing

Below is a link to an interesting article about the strategy BMW has taken for their new 1 Series. A few things really stand out to me. The first is that about 50% of the budget is going online. This is big. They are utilizing social media, PPC, SEO, banner placements and viral tactics to generate a buzz among the 30 and under crowd. I'll go on a limb and say that this will work for them. They are also using non-traditional placements within traditional media to stand out. It is the effort and follow through on doing something different that is worth noting. You don't have to be BMW or have a large and expensive ad agency to be dynamic in your thinking. If you are an agency person, challenge your clients, if you are a client, challenge your agency -If you want to get noticed, get out there and do something different.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Use the Web in Your Marketing Mix – Integrate Online Media for Depth and Measurability

If your marketing plan is not shifting towards more online communications and integrated programs, you are not adapting the way you should be. Proper integration of online media adds depth and measurability to your programs. But most importantly, it makes you more accessible to your customers. Accessibility is an important key to marketing in today’s business environment. You have to make it your mission to understand how your products are researched and be a resource to people who are in search of information.

Strong marketers are working feverishly to get and stay ahead online. In the recent “2008 Marketing Priorities and Plans” survey published by B2B magazine, 79% of B2B marketers planned to increase their online marketing budgets for 2008. That is up from 76% a year earlier.

Areas reported for increases included:
  • Website development (cited by 74% of marketers)
  • Email (70%)
  • Search Engine Marketing (64%)
  • Video (40%)
  • Webcasting (39%)
  • Banners (36%)
  • Sponsorships (30%)
  • Social Media (26%)

It is projected that as much as 37% of budgets will be channeled to online spending. Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) continue to rise as critical components that must be factored into the marketing budget. These tend to pull dollars away from traditional programs, but can also work hand-in-hand with targeted promotions and lead generation tactics.

Dedicating funds to organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can pay dividends in several ways. The obvious direct benefit comes from increasing your presence for searchers looking for your products or services. However, other important benefits come from the process of developing and monitoring your keywords – you learn how people are finding your products. Good keyword research will tell you what words and phrases you should use in your ads, PR and on your website. An evolved SEO program will benefit many of your programs; it adds a component of constant research to your marketing mix. If you are wondering where to start – start there. SEO should be in everyone’s plan. It may well be the single tactic that gives you more insight than anything else you do.

Sources: e-marketer, B2B Magazine

View more from B2B Online.
View LoSasso Website

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Forget About the Home Page?

As marketers planning and developing websites, we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about our home pages. What should be included? What should be left out? What sort of first impression are we making and how quickly can we get our visitors where we want them to go?

In a recent post covering a thought-provoking presentation by author and Web Analytics Evangelist Avinash Kaushik, Kaushik explains:

"Fewer and fewer consumers are coming in via the homepage...every page of your Website must now be considered a homepage. The hours spent tinkering on your current homepage needs to shift into ensuring that every page is a brilliant representation of the keywords and external links that drove someone to your site."

Furthermore, many of the most savvy marketers are taking advantage of blogging and the myriad other social media opportunities that take place completely outside of the website.

What do you think? Has the home page lost its importance? What can companies do to develop a more meaningful web experience for their customers – both on and off the home page – and even the website itself?

Added Snapshots to the Blog

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, displays inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.

Sometimes the Snap Shot window will bring you the information you need, without your having to click the link, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not. It seems like it could be a pretty cool tool.

If you decide it's annoying, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

Worthwhile Reading on Blogs

(original Post by Scott)

Hey LoSasso Team, I know many of you are hip to the social media world, but there are lots of opportunities for our clients and thus, our agency. We continuously look for new ways to reach their customers. Blogs are important ways to keep up with the key influencers in just about any industry. Here is a link to a worthwhile article on the subject.


New Blog for New Media

Welcome to the LoSasso New Media blog.

We are launching the blog to serve as a helpful resource for our clients and friends - a place to learn more about new media trends and how to leverage Web 2.0 technologies for maximum online impact.

Stay tuned. We'll get you up to speed on best practices for using video online, blogging, how to tap into social media and more.