October 08, 2010

Hunger Games


In a recent issue of fashion magazine Marie Claire,  Katie Drummond wrote "The Hunger Diaries" - calling six top health and fitness bloggers out for crazed, obsessive eating and excercising habits that are exposing their readers to more harm than good.

Sure, hindsight is always 20/20, but the article and the immediate angered response begs the question, "What were they thinking?" These six bloggers are obviously powerful and respected women - one look at their online following can tell you that. And they're probably followed by young, health-conscious women. Who does Marie Claire target?

A glance at Marie's Claire's Facebook page quickly reveals that this article completely missed the mark. The magazine is called out on publishing the article in a magazine whose cover shows a bone-thin Katie Holmes, with the words "Hair, Skin, Weight, Sex, Mood, all your problems solved!" in large print.

Are eating and exercise disorders a problem among young American women? Yes. Is it possible that these bloggers have a disorder as well? Sure.  Should obsessive diet and excercise behaviors be addressed? Absolutely.

Marie Claire might have felt threatened by fitness bloggers stealing their readership, as some social media posts suggest. Or writer Katie Drummond may have truly been trying to bring a public health issue to light. If the latter is the case, a better approach would have been to reach out to these bloggers and address young female readers on a unified front, highlighting different negative behaviors, warning signs, or tips on how to approach a friend who has a problem. Instead, Marie Claire - who is part of an industry that hires stick thin models, and is therefore especially vulnerable to an attack - made six enemies, with an army of haters that followed.

We're women - we diet, and when we diet, we get hungry. And when we get hungry, we bitch. Marie Claire didn't have to be the public forum for a bitchfest - next time, perhaps they'll try a strategy aimed at making friends instead of foes.




October 06, 2010

It's The Content Stupid!


In the 1992 presidential campaign the slogan "It's the economy stupid" became the thing to talk about because that is what mattered most to the voters, just as it does today.

In digital marketing the thing that matters most is content. And the content must be outstanding. Whether you are promoting the latest white paper or ebook that will help your clients be successful, or promoting a video on youtube with a handsome stud riding a horse selling aftershave that smells like your grandpa. 

Is it relevant? is it interesting? Is it up to date? Last month I downloaded a white paper on social media and it was dated 2009. Really? With as fast as digital, online, social media changes the company couldn't at least update the date? It made me wonder how relevant the content was, and I did not share it, nor have I read it.

Before you get excited about blog posts, web site design, social media, email newsletters, mobile campaigns, step back and make sure you have content that matters to your clients. Is it something they will share on Facebook or LinkedIn? forward to a friend? add a link to your site in a blog they write?

In real estate they say it's location, location, location. In digital marketing it's content, content, content.

How do you make the content you have the key to your online success? Test what you have. Ask your clients what's important to them. Start a conversation on your social media sites, email newsletters, and blogs. They'll respond and your online converation will begin again.

John Meyer @johndmeyer

October 05, 2010

Everybody Needs a Good Scare!


I was walking through the mall this weekend, an activity I rarely take part in, and to my surprise I saw Christmas decorations!  I am pretty sure there are a couple major holidays still to come before Christmas.  So to make sure that one of my favorite holidays doesn’t get overlooked, I have decided to share a few of the best Haunted Houses in Colorado. 

While I enjoy a good scare just like the next person, I am always a bit hesitant to pay money to have my worst nightmares come true.  But this year is going to be different!

Featured Haunted Houses:

13th Floor Haunted House

Location- Denver

Price- $20 General Admission

Website- http://www.13thfloorhauntedhouse.com/ 

The Asylum Haunted House

Location- Northglenn

Price- $15 General Admission

Website- http://www.asylumdenver.com/flash/index.htm

Primitive Fear- 13th Street Manor

Location- Commerce City

Price- $15 General Admission (online coupons available)

Website- http://www.pf13.net/

Haunted Field of Screams


Price- $16 General Admission (online coupon available)

Dead Man’s Night Time Maze

Price- $12

Website- http://www.hauntedfieldofscreams.com/


For a complete list visit: www.haunteddenver.com/haunted-houses


Happy Halloween!



October 04, 2010

SEO Crush

Matt Cutts Crush, SEO Comic

Lots of pople want to experience great SEO. Here's a quick cheat sheet to help your content score well with the algorithm. FWIW, shrines are less effective. =)

In many instances SEO relies on keywords and how they are used. Some basic concepts are: keyword density, keyword prominence and keyword frequency. Understanding these phrases and knowing how to use SEO can help your site to succeed.

Keyword prominence

The placement of specific keywords can affect its prominence. Knowing where to strategically place keywords for best effect is an important component of successful SEO. For example, keywords placed at the top of the page is given a higher keyword prominence than those further down the website, or those placed within the site’s content. Generally, keywords should be placed at the top of a site, positioned within a title, used to begin sentences or embedded as a metatag. These locations give your keywords a high prominence. Search engines give prominent keywords a higher emphasis, which subsequently leads to your site placed in a higher page rank on search engine results.

Keyword density

Keyword density measures the number of keywords on a specific website. A keyword is any word or phrase that is used in online searches. For example, a site selling flowers may use any of the following keywords: “flower arrangements”, “red roses”, “florist”, “flower delivery” or “gifts”. Using a variety of related keywords instead of just one keyword, for example “flowers”, will help to drive more traffic from different sources to your site. This will result in more organic content and a higher page ranking. Your site will have a high keyword density if you have a large number of different keywords in your content.

Keyword frequency

Keyword frequency refers to how many times a specific keyword appears within your website. The difference between keyword frequency and keyword density is that the latter refers to how many different kinds of keywords your site contains; the former focuses on how many times one particular keyword appears within your content. You can have a webpage that is both keyword dense (has many different related and relevant keywords) and has a high keyword frequency (a keyword occurs many times). Repeating one particular keyword on a website can lead to a higher search engine ranking; however you should restrain yourself from going overboard as an overly high keyword frequency can make your content sound unnatural. Good quality, SEO rich content is ultimately what will help to drive customers to your site, and more importantly, engage them enough to make them want to stay.


If you want to dive deeper you'll need this link and a candle.

I heart Matt Cutts





October 01, 2010

Justice League of Street Food Strikes Again

Justice logo-thumb-541x583-thumb-180x193

Now that I have lived in Denver for just over year, I find myself thinking, fairly often, about the differences between Denver and my hometown of Boise, Idaho.  Despite the usual aspects such as better concerts, actual public transportation, more people and taller buildings, one stark difference continues to surprise me; the food.

Each weekend I look forward to trying new restaurants, new foods and seeing new areas of the city.  Tonight is no exception.  Denver’s Justice League of Street Food is hosting their third Denver Street Food party. From 5-10 pm Tonight (Oct 1st) you can find all of Denver’s finest street food in one location: a vacant lot behind the ball park at 29th and Huron.  Food from awesome vendors and restaurants, drinks from Great Divide Brewery and an 80’s theme to boot.  Should be a blast!

And if due to some unfortunate turn of events, you can’t make it, here are the links to all the food trucks.  You can always track them down any old day and have your own Denver food truck party.

Deluxe Street Food

Denver Cupcake Truck

Inventing Room

The Steamin' Demon

Steuben's Truck

The Biscuit Bus

Gastro Cart








September 29, 2010

Integrating Your Website With Your Social Media

With the creation of the website came the desire to drive all marketing messages to go to the website to learn about your brand and product, and in many instances to buy. Ads in magazines, direct mail pieces, hand outs at trade shows, then email newsletters all had (or should have) "go to our web site for more information and buy now". Websites are wonderful as they are your virtual brochure and can be updated at anytime for the purpose you first designed them; to sell your brand and your product.

Smart marketers also use websites to keep existing customers happy and have them spread the word about you to others.

Some people believe that the advent of social media sites like Facebook and twitter has taken away the importance of a company's website. I totally disagree and feel the social media sites have made it even more important to keep your website the best it can be to sell and support your brand. The integration of the two can be a huge win when managed properly.

I recently started following Jeremiah Owyang's blog WEB STRATEGY. His recent article about "Corporate Websites and Social Networks Begin Integration" is a must read for anyone interested in leveraging the power of combining the best of both worlds of websites and social media. He calls it "Social Sign On". I call it the bulls-eye to get more prospects to your website to buy.

You can read his article here. Let me know what you think. How integrated are your website and social media strategies?

John Meyer  jmeyer@pure-brand.com  @johndmeyer

September 27, 2010

Fashion to the Masses

Picture 1
At the risk of sounding like some fashion-crazed, shallow woman, I'm going to admit that I start counting down the days starting in July until the September issue of Vogue comes. Once I've read every single word and drooled over every amazing piece of clothing, pair of shoes and each accessory, I feel like my homework is done and I can now take note of everything that New York Fashion Week will bring. In the past, I've been able to get a decent overview of New York Fashion Week reading articles about the big shows and seeing a few photos of the most popular (or most controversial items). This year, it was so much more. I felt like I had a front row seat from the comfort of my couch.

For years, New York Fashion Week was designed for buyers and the media. As the market crashed, people started shopping less and information was more readily available online, it became apparent that to get people to actually purchase these high-end fashions, consumers needed to have more access to New York Fashion Week. Attendance to the shows is limited both due to space and cost but with the increasing amounts of technology available, every show can still be available to consumers across the world. Here's just a sampling of what they did:

User Generated Content: ALLDAYEVERYDAY partnered with Milk Studios to create Milk Made - a live chronicle of Fashion Week. Influencers were tasked with taking photo and video of their experiences at Fashion Week from events, parties and shows. This was uploaded to Milk Made where users could filter content to watch the entire week from the eyes of a single person or multiple people. Anyone attending a Fashion Week event was invited to email their photos and video, which were then uploaded to Milk Made, ultimately creating a montage of Fashion Week through the eyes of many.

Twitter: Obviously, Twitter wasn't going to miss out on this opportunity. To aggregate the immense volume of chatter about Fashion Week, Twitter (sponsored by American Express) streamed all of the Tweets with #NYFW and organized the tweets by category (beauty, designers, scene, fashion) so that it was easy to find the info you were looking for.

Live Streaming: 14 designers live-streamed shows on their respective websites so fashion lovers across the world could tune in. Most of these shows were accompanied by widgets allowing users to share their thoughts with others on the site watching the show or via Twitter and Facebook. Burberry event turned it into an e-commerce opportunity making select products available immediately following the shows. Customers were invited to come to their local Burberry store to watch a live stream of the show. Following the show, associates handed out iPads where customers could select the fashions from the show they wanted to purchase months before they would be available to everyone else.

Only time will tell if this massive investment in technology to make fashion available to the masses will pay off. After all, like the majority of average Americans, I can barely afford a sleeve of the Diane Von Furstenberg dress I was drooling over. But, at least we saw it and maybe some of us will go out and purchase the fashions we saw.

- Shannon


September 23, 2010

Fill in the blank

The viral YouTube campaign for European stationery Tipp-Ex, is impressively executed with a great story line and hilarious DIY finales. Created by French agency Buzzman, “NSFW. A hunter shoots a bear!” features a hunter who doesn’t have the heart to shoot a bear. From the ad next to him, he grabs the product for sale, a Tipp-Ex Pocket Mouse corrector, uses it to white out the title, then asks viewers to help him re-write the story. I had fun typing in various conclusions, (eats, fights, is) wondering just how far the hunter and bear were willing to go…

Although interactive viral ads or ads with the option to continue the story are not a new concept, (e.g.: Burger King’s Subservient Chicken, and One of the Lads more risqué ‘Dirty girls, clean cars’) they are definitely fun and memorable. Even though I probably haven’t used white-out since the 7th grade, because of this ad, if I ever came across a Tipp-Ex Pocket Mouse corrector, I might just have to buy it.


Email Envy


Email marketing is often known as one of the most cluttered and challenging environments to have your message heard. Here is an example of one that got it right: Banana Republic. They grabbed my attention with a strong  "$20 off" offer (standard, I know), but once inside, there was something that I have not seen before; animation in an email. I have to say, this is pretty cool!

September 14, 2010

An Emotional Appeal

Clients often ask what makes one ad campaign better than the other? Of course there are multitudes of answers, but I firmly believe the answer has to do with emotion, specifically emotional appeal.  Ads that target the human emotion, not ads that simply trump their products’ features will resonate to an audience.  Not following? Well you soon will.  Case in point, Ikea’s new ad campaign,  “The Life Improvement Store.”   Ikea isn’t simply touting their affordable, self-assembled furniture, but instead is focusing on the theme that having a custom-designed home can improve a person’s life. What do you think?