Copyrighting Color: How (And Why) To Do It

 

image sourceMarketing studies suggest that over 80% of visual information is related to colour. Seem unlikely? Try and picture the following in your mind: Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Cadbury and O2. Roughly 90% of you just saw specific shades of red, green, purple and blue. Not a phrase, not an advert, just those colours and maybe a vague logo.

It’s only recently companies have begun to appreciate how vital this aspect of brand management is, and to litigate accordingly: in the past few years Cadbury’s have trademarked their particular shade of purple; T-Mobile have sued a blog for using magenta in their logo; and Orange have laid claim not only to the colour but also the word itself.

For designers it’s a nightmare: with an ever-dwindling colour palette, creating that stand-out design becomes increasingly difficult. But there are plus sides. It’s harder than ever for copycat businesses to leech off your brand, and once you hit upon that perfect combination, the law will protect it as ferociously as your tagline.

Who Can Copyright a Colour?

Short answer: anyone. In the UK, trademarking your logo automatically registers those colours to your brand, and yours alone. There are, however, certain restrictions. Obviously, you need to check if anyone else has a claim on this colour first, and hold back all that design-money until you’re sure.

Secondly, your logo will need to pass the functionality test. This prevents companies from trademarking colours with pre-existing psychological or cultural associations. We associate green with nature, life, ‘organic’ products; therefore you will be unable to pursue a claim on green, unless you are working in a field where that association simply wouldn’t apply (e.g.: telecommunications).

Depending on your industry, defining functionality could get complicated. Louboutin spent a ton of money dragging Yves Saint Laurent through the courts last year, in an attempt to protect their red-soled shoe from imitation. While they did manage to get limited trademark, it only applies in very specific circumstances, with one judge ruling that, due to the nature of the fashion industry, all colour was essentially functional.

How to Get Your Colour-Scheme Protected

So you have a distinct colour-scheme for a unique product in your field that passes the functionality test. What’s the next step? According to U.S law, that colour needs to have taken on a ‘secondary meaning’ in the eyes of the public. Simply put: you can’t trademark cyan for your tableware range, unless a good chunk of the population now associate cyan with your cutlery. Therefore, you need to have been making this product range, without the help of copyright law, for some time already.

It’s not just the USA either. Australian law requires a ‘record of colour use’ before a trademark will be considered, with the colour in question being used ‘intensively and extensively’ over a period of time. After all, if you could pre-emptively trademark a colour the system would be wide open to abuse from professional litigants. Make sure the colour is demonstrably yours.

How It Will Apply

First, your trademark will only apply in your industry. While T-Mobile may have sued a blog for using magenta, the blog in question was concerned with mobile phones; AKA telecommunications, AKA T-Mobile’s industry. If I want to open a delivery service tomorrow and spray all my trucks magenta, there’s nothing they can do about it. Colours are defined by industry.

Secondly, you will only be protected worldwide if you apply to be. In the EU this is via a Community Trade Mark. Make no mistake, what you consider ‘your’ colour may already be in use elsewhere in the world, and will cause a severe headache if you end up going global. Just see the difficulty faced by apple bringing their trademarked ‘iTV’ over to the UK (where the name doesn’t carry quite the same connotations).

At the end of the day, copyrighting colour is a minefield any growing business will need to navigate. While it may seem a headache, try and imagine how you’ll feel if a rival company gets there first.

Attached Images:

Article contributed by Alfie Davenport, who writes for a printing and binding company, PrintExpress.co.uk; who are specialists in booklets, catalogues and business card printing.

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

“Brains on Fire” Igniting Powerful Sustainable Word of Mouth Movements – Courageous CEO Robbin Phillips


In this show, the Courageous CEO, Robbin Phillips of Brains on Fire, shares insights on how you can craft great Word of Mouth movements. Please note the camera changes, B-roll content and green room (off screen staging area) just like a network TV show. This is why Marketing Made Simple TV is “TV on the Web.”Robbin Phillips Brains on Fire

In this show, you’ll learn:
1) The differences between movements and campaigns
2) Why Movements happen off-line and not on-line.
3) How Movements Help Your Advocates Feel Like Rock-Stars

During the show, you can download a free first chapter of the Brains on Fire book by clicking the Yes, Please button in the show.

Marketing Made Simple TV is brought to you by Find New Customers, now part of The Pedowitz Group (http://www.pedowitzgroup.com) and is made possible by show sponsors. Please visit them.

JasonFalls9:55pm via Twitter for iPad

@fearlesscomp Well done! @robbinphillips & @BrainsOnFire are awesome!

About Jeff Ogden

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancyFind New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

The Best Video Strategy for 2013: YouTube Live & Google+

Mari Smith, called the “Pied Piper” of Facebook by Fast Company, has claimed “2013 The Year of The Video” and even has a webinar set for free on Jan 24, 2013 at 11AM to teach others how to capitalize on it. I don’t know what Mari has in store for her show, but I am interested to learn about how and if they’ll address the YouTube Live/ Google+ game change.

You see not only is YouTube the second largest search engine and the largest video network in the world, it also reports to have more than 3 billion hours of video streaming per day! With data like that, it’s hard to imagine a content or video strategy that doesn’t start with Google!

Google+ and YouTube – FREE

The combination of Google+ Hangouts and YouTube has provided an amazing way to capitalize on video in 2013, you see you can jump into Google+, start a hangout and then enable the hangouts on air feature. Once you’ve verified your YouTube Channel with Google all that’s left to do is hit “Start Broadcast”.

Most industry professionals feel that you’ll want to make this about YouTube, use their share and embed feature and you’ll get a better CTR on YouTube then you would Google+ Hangout as more people are used to that platform and it’s a much stronger brand.

Once you video stream is done, you’ll now get a chance to capitalize on SEO as YouTube will start encoding your broadcast to archive it on the channel. It’s also a great way to know your building up content and getting it out there in one session.

Video’s BIG Picture!

While some do have massive funding to run high end production, most businesses and individuals do not. It’s also true that sometimes production takes out the personal experience that live streaming tends to capture and most of us enjoy connecting with.

Plan out your topic, grab some resources but let the camera roll! This is a chance to be natural and take advantage of the social web. Let people grow with an in interest in who you are, what you offer and the topics you are passionate about. This is the long term strategy that just about anyone would recommend, don’t believe me ask Seth Godin! In a Google Hangout held in Google’s NYC office I asked Seth and Seth made it clear, “those that are genuine are the ones that will be around in the long run”.

Have a Plan

While this may seem free, it’s really not, you’re going to need to devote time to this. Treat your video strategy like a book, draw out an outline and go chapter by chapter and let the topics naturally flow into one another. To address business needs, make sure you have something of value to offer and give some conclusion in each video as you’re looking for a following, think TV series.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

What does networking mean for you?

You’re in the conference room of a very grey office building. Twenty others are milling about in name tags. You’re juggling a whole armload of armour, glass of red in your right hand and a cocktail napkin in your left, three vegetable tartlets precariously stacked. The big conundrum is not how you are going to introduce yourself and make a good impression, but how you might possibly get one of those tartlets in your mouth whilst maintaining some measure of dignity. Ugh. Rewind.

Networking needn’t be so unpleasant. The old ways are slowly giving way to new traditions. It’s time to get creative. What works for you? Networking is infinitely more effective when carried out in a way that is uniquely you. Where are you most comfortable connecting? Under what circumstances do your talents really shine? Those are the events you should seek out.networking

Let’s clear some things up first. By networking, I mean connecting in the following way:

  1. live and in person
  2. with (relative) strangers
  3. on a professional level

What about social media?

Social media is a kind of networking, but it isn’t really connecting. It can however be a great conduit for the real thing. LinkedIn, for example, is a good way to make an initial caonnection and source out people you’re interested in meeting. A few meaningful messages exchanged online can open the door to a close professional relationship. Making the connecting live and in person is the vital next step. Would you sign a contact or hire a new employee who existed for you solely online?

How to stand out 

The trick we’re all trying to master, of course, is to appear both interesting and interested. To begin with, you must select the event wisely. Avoid generic networking groups like the plague. Who is your target market? For example, if you’re in the health industry, you might be interested in events that draw doctors, nurses or other health professionals. Don’t limit yourself to “networking events” specifically.  Conferences and public speaking engagements are a great way to connect with like minds.

How about organising an event yourself? Do you belong to a LinkedIn group you are particularly fond of? Here you have the added benefit of knowing who might be there and doing some research ahead of time. Get informed about who they are and what they do. Prepared questions generally come off rather canned, but if you have some extra info under your wing, the conversation will flow easier.  Whatever the event you’re attending, it wouldn’t hurt to bone up on the latest news in the industry. You need to be prepared for whatever conversation comes up. The latest news in the business is a great conversation starter, much more interesting than the weather.

Network everywhere, all the time

Networking is part of life. You can do it on the train, in the lobby of your building, at lunch and at the races. Remember, your network grows exponentially with every new contact you make. There is always the potential to connect further with your contact’s contacts and so on and so forth. The possibilities are endless.

Some tips:

Have a drink or have a snack, not both. You need a free hand for shaking and gesturing.

Don’t drink too much. You need to keep your wits about you. Sip slowly. When even one else gets tipsy, you’ll have the upper hand.

Don’t hang around the buffet table. You’re not there to hang with the shy people. Get out there where the cool kids are.

Do your research. Your time is precious. Attend the right events.

Shake things up. Try different types of events. Put yourself in unusual situations. Give a speech. Make joke once in awhile.

Amy Knapp is a business blogger based in Sydney, AUS, writing regularly for Australian Job Search – InsideTrak. Educated in Law and the Fine Arts, her work champions the marriage of the creative and the corporate.

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

2013 and Beyond – Where is Social Media going?

The FutureHappy New Year!

We’re 5 days into the new year, and so far, so good.  But, what is to become of the rest of 2013?  To answer that, I thought I would offer 5 social media predictions for the coming year.

So, what will 2013 bring to the world of social media?

1.  More businesses will move towards social media, and will begin to take it as a serious part of all aspects of their companies, and not just as a marketing tool.

In order for businesses to really succeed today, they need to incorporate “being social” throughout the entire organizations.  From customer service to accounting, everyone should have a hand in the social strategy.

2.  Businesses will begin to implement strategies for their social behaviors – they won’t just “do social”.

In order to be successful within social media, you need to know where you are going.  You wouldn’t set out on a trip to a new city without some planning and a roadmap.  Your social strategy is your roadmap.  It is going to show you where you are going, why you want to be there, and most importantly, how you are going to get there.  Gone are the days of putting up a Facebook page and calling it good enough.

3.  GooglePlus will begin to transform into a “go-to” social network and will begin offering advertising within GooglePlus.

As of now, there are over 500 million Google accounts, and there are 253 million actively using this social network.  This year, GooglePlus will grow to over 500 million active accounts, and the network will become a great source of information and offers as Google brings Plus into their advertising network.

 4.  Visual content will become even more important.

Right now, Facebook ranks videos and photos above regular status updates and links (as part of the EdgeRank algorithm), and as the year progresses, the use of photos and video will become even more important to gain access to users newsfeeds.  In addition, a recent study from Mashable showed that videos are shared 12x more than link and text posts and that photos are “liked” 2x more than text updates.

5.  LinkedIn will begin to fade.

Although this seems very specific, Facebook has begun to roll out a job finder function, and should that grow and be accepted by the over 1 billion Facebook users, I believe LinkedIn will begin to fade.  People rely on their community to help them make decisions, from where to stay to what products to buy.  They will also begin to look to Facebook for job referrals and endorsements, and Facebook Groups tend to be more active and more conversational than LinkedIn, which may spell the end to LinkedIn.

 So, there you have it.  5 predictions for 2013.  Do you have any predictions of your own?  What do you think of these?  Feel free to discuss below.

 

Resources

2013 Social Media Predictions for Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more

5 Social Media Predictions for 2013

6 PR and social media predictions for 2013

Web and Social Media Predictions for 2013

Google announces stats for its Plus social network

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Productivity Killers of a Writer

We writers are a blessed breed as not many other people get to sit around doing nothing all day long. We get to go to the beach whenever we feel like it, go to the pub for lunch and choose to stay there for the rest of the day, or just watch mindless rubbish on TV all day long. For some people, spending the entire time watching Jeremy Kyle and home shopping channels on TV while drinking endless cups of tea is a dream come true and writers get to live that dream, or at least that’s what some people seem to think. The reality, of course, is that watching TV doesn’t pay the rent and we do actually have to get some work done from time to time, although even well-disciplined workers can still find their productivity suffering if they are not careful. However by simply keeping away from some of the biggest productivity killers you will be well on the way to actually getting something done.

Don’t Be a Twit

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook will destroy your productivity levels if you allow them to. What’s more is that it is not as though you are spending your time doing something constructive because playing bubble blast or reading what your friends have had for breakfast today contributes absolutely nothing towards getting your jobs done. The best way to avoid the output sapping platforms from resulting in you making no money is to not turn them on in the first place. Keep your tabs open only to the web pages that you really do need and once you have finished all of your tasks, you are then free to watch videos of funny animals on Facebook at your leisure.

Just One More Game

copywritingStart up the PS3 to finally beat that level on Black Ops and you had might as well say goodbye to the chances of getting a single word written. Once you have started playing, getting separated from the console becomes more difficult than splitting the atom and the concept of time becomes lost in the challenge of hitting the triangle and circle buttons at exactly the right moments. If you are thinking to yourself: “I’ll turn it off after just one game”, then think again. Keep well away from the machine; don’t even look at it and you might stand a chance of getting those blogs written after all.

Checking Up On the News

No you’re not. You’re not checking up on the news at all, you’re just making an excuse to do something other than working and you know it. You only checked 30 minutes ago anyway so what do you suppose has happened within that half an hour that so urgently requires your attention? Besides, even if something tragic has happened why does it require your attention at all? A huge earthquake in some part of the world for example, is a tragedy indeed but how does you reading about it make the slightest bit of difference to anything? You can still read the news later once you have completed your work so just keep focused on completing your tasks and you can give the news all of your attention later.

It can be all too easy to make excuses or to get lost in something else and before you know it, the working day is over and you have managed to do nothing. Remember to keep your discipline, recognise and keep away from those things that are a distraction to you getting things done and you should find that you are productive and soon delivering quality pieces well within deadlines.

Ian Arnison-Phillips is a copywriter for Apple Copywriters. If you are still struggling to find the motivation and discipline to get your guest blogging finished, we have professional writers who are ready and waiting to help you out.

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

“You Gotta Have Balls!” Brandon Steiner of Steiner Sports Marketing

In this episode of Marketing Made Simple TV, Brandon Steiner, founder and chairman of Steiner Sports Marketing and Memorabila joins host Jeff Ogden (http://about.me/jeffogden) for a fun discussion about his new book, “You Gotta Have Balls!”

This show is sponsored by The Pedowitz Group, the world’s largest revenue marketing firm with a great offer of a white paper to help you “Build a Revenue Marketing Center of Excellence.” Just click the Yes, please button in the show.

In this show, you will learn:Brandon Steiner You Got to Have Balls
1) How a poor Jewish kid from Brooklyn bought Yankee Stadium
2) Why you always need to ask “What Else”
3) How a strong mother can overcome deep poverty

You’ll also learn how Brandon extended his business by doing a deal with the host’s alma mater, the University of Notre Dame and how a Jewish kid met Touchdown Jesus. You can also follow Brandon on Twitter at @brandonsteiner. And check out the Brandon Steiner blog What Else?

Marketing Made Simple TV premiers new shows every Thursday at noon ET at Marketing Made Simple TV (http://www.marketingmadesimple.tv) and at many syndication sites. The show is a production of Find New Customers (http://www.findnewcustomers.com) and is financed by the show’s wonderful sponsors.

About Jeff Ogden

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancyFind New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

How Modular Booth Designs Increase Trade Show Portability

nimlok modular trade show displayConsidering the time and money that businesses pour into their trade booths, it makes sense that the trade booths would be designed with longevity in mind. After all, why invest hours on top of hours, or thousands of dollars, into designing and/or buying your booth if it will only be used once? You want to make sure your booth looks professional and that it will meet all of your company’s needs. You want it to attract customers, but it is also important that it be easy to set up and take down, that the complicated logistics of transporting it do not outweigh the benefits of using it in the first place. Modular booth designs are a great option for many businesses, largely because they are so portable. But there are other benefits to modular designs as well. Let’s review some of these benefits.

Great portability

Let’s face it: not every booth representative is also a handyman. In fact, most are not. So why do companies sometimes expect their employees to know the intricacies of setting up and taking down a trade show booth? Modular display booths are built to go up and come down quickly and easily, without the need for complicated tools or expertise in carpentry. A booth that can be quickly disassembled saves your employees a lot of hassle, stress, and time. It also makes it easier to transport the booth as smaller pieces, requiring lower baggage fees or less room in the trunk of a car.

Display flexibility

Another benefit of modular booth designs, closely related to portability, is that modular booths are scalable – that means that you can use only a small part of the display booth when you do not need the full-size kiosk, or when you have two conferences the same week and want to have booths at both. This can also be very helpful for adjusting to different space requirements. Some trade shows will allow you the space for your whole booth, others will only allot you enough room for half. Using a modular display lets you scale the booth to the size you need.

Saving money

Many businesses shy away from modular booths because they have a higher sticker price. But the truth is that this needs to be viewed as investment: spending more upfront will save you money down the road. Instead of buying multiple booths for multiple shows, you can buy one booth for use at a number of different shows. You will also save money on transporting the booth, making it an even better investment. Finally, the time you and your representatives save in taking the booth apart and putting it back together also should be viewed as a saved cost. Time is money, after all.

Functional flexibility

Besides being scalable in size, many modular booths are also flexible in their shapes. Many can be reconfigured or reorganized to fit into odd floor spaces. Depending on your needs, you can make a booth that is wide open or a booth that is enclosed and intimate. This will come in extra handy if you want to open your booth to the public for part of the day, and then close it off to only specific kinds of potential customers later in the afternoon.

Modular booth designs are a great way to save time and money while making your booth more flexible.

About the Guest Blogger:

Justine Savage works at Nimlok, a company that provides custom trade show solutions, including modular trade show displays.

 

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

Digital Media and Business: The Case for Regulation

(be warned this is not a short read and the good stuff is at the bottom)

Digital Media Social Media Regulation and CertificationIf you follow anything just about anywhere the subject somehow always turns to the economy, and it should. Money makes the world go around and it’s the basis for our capitalist society. The confusion comes in when we try to figure out what has happened or is happening. It’s simple: the everyday individual has become as powerful as major media, has found ways to be as influential as any politician, can walk away from most jobs and compete with their former employer in many cases with better customer service at a far lower cost.

Unemployment in the United States is around 8% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but many argue that the number could be closer to 30% because it doesn’t take into account those that are underemployed, or are no longer reporting looking for employment or their benefits expired.

What Happened?

The Digital Age arguably has a much longer history then the .com revolution, but this was the turning point that corporations and leadership in the United States missed, or just underestimated. The introduction of the web into the homes of American consumers began the shift in how we consume content. The development of search engines like Google redefined how we learn, in fact Education institutions at all levels still struggle with combating things like plagiarism and balancing the traditional book i.e. encyclopedia vs. the web i.e. Wikipedia. The Social Media revolution changed how we communicate and the mobile rush changed the speed at which we access and share content.

Digital Media’s Effect on the Business and the Economy

There is a battle going on between wisdom and knowledge and the business is coming out as the loser. There are a lot of reasons one can point to the current economic crisis, and the effect it has had on business in the United States. While some point to the greed on Wall Street from Home Loans, or Student Loans, they may not be why we can’t recover.

Education & Digital Media

Today’s youth faces an interesting choice, go to college and spend $40k – $120k and then learn how to use Digital Communications, or start as an intern for a digital company or startup and give 4 years of ups and downs and come out with a skill set that is more attractive than a college degree. In fact in many cases it will flat out provide the knowledge, skills and ability to put another agency or business out of business.

The ability to understand how to build a user, social and search – friendly website is already a major advantage, and take into account that using tools like WordPress and CopyBlogger could help you launch the framework you’ll need to get started for less than a week’s work and a few hundred dollars, it’s no wonder self-employment is on the rise (according to U.S. SBA). Take that to the next level and think about professional development, as a solopreneur you need to learn, set a pattern or “Read, Write and Share” and now you have a learning plan that can in many ways be more effective than traditional education. This also becomes the content, or story of you and your business, arguably the key component to marketing and business in the Digital Age.

Wisdom vs. Knowledge

Wisdom is a process, it takes experience and relationships to really acquire the skill set that gives you the ability to make long-term decisions. Wisdom is the value  that seasoned professionals and some corporations bring to the table, they tend to provide stable long-term solutions through an understanding of the bigger picture.

Knowledge is simply information, it has become nearly limitless and requires little effort to acquire, in many cases provided simply through a solution phrase “Google It”. Knowledge allows many to know more than the individual or corporation next to them by simply spending time to consume content.

A traditional corporation still moves like an iceberg, even if they bring in young talent, that individual is shaped and conforms to the hierarchy and becomes developmentally limited because of the structure they must adhere to. While in many cases they provide long-term solutions that are time-tested and proven, they also suffer for that practice. Time-Tested and Proven is the practice of pre-Digital Age business and is the reason why newspapers nearly went extinct. Once you consider the traditional models overhead for their employees, it’s no wonder you shake your head and try to figure out why their profits are down and their prices are up.

The solopreneur was stuck having to decide, work 9-5 for $60k a year (before taxes) likely with a commute or work at your own pace in a manner that fits you for $40 – $120k with taxes subject to your expenses (S Corp). The solopreneur lives in their community, can operate with significantly less overhead and pivots to solutions as they are introduced to the market. This means the business owner can get the website that was presented to him for $10k for $2k and in many cases will have someone who has a stronger relationship and understanding of that business and the community it serves. After all, why would they work for you, if they can work for themselves and do it for less with more freedom.

Starting to understand the wisdom vs. knowledge analogy?

This is at the heart of the current issue facing the United States economy, the balance between the two is swinging at the far ends of both, after all the best talent isn’t going to come to work for a corporation for less than what they can make for themselves and that’s not even giving consideration to the ego and freedom of being an independent business owner. The issue they face of “lack of corporate support” is vanishing in some industries like marketing as companies like Google and Constant Contact have now built entire service systems around training independent agencies and consultants, in many cases better than larger agencies can. This is nothing new to companies like AVON, Amway and Lia Sophia who have built their entire business model on helping independent business owners be the best trained service agents the world has to offer in their industry.   

How can the United States fix the economy is they don’t understand the change Digital has had on business? Policies that have been initiated by traditional models don’t fit when the middle market talent is rewarded by competing with the corporations they would have gone to work for. Now take into account laws and restrictions for some industries that just don’t fit into things like mobile and social marketing and you have a big issue facing the future of business in the United States, who regulates this?

The Case for Regulation

I hate to say it, but business is suffering from the two extremes; First there is the inflated expenses from a corporation product or service that is caused by unorganized management, poor execution and in most cases unneeded overhead. It doesn’t seem to get better when that product or service comes from an independent consultants who in many cases means well but can’t provide the actual solution their offering.

What’s worse? Is it the $10k for a website that really should be priced at $2k – $5k that prevents a business from spending money in other ways to make use of that tool to generate new business, made even worse by the those that can’t come up with that investment. Perhaps it’s a website at $2k – $5k that doesn’t have the branding and structure to build new business, missing the simple basics like digital call to actions, social and search integration and other data and lead capture features. In either case the business on the purchasing side is facing an issue that prevents their business from seeing digital success.

It leaves the digital industry in flux as corporations and agencies have been as guilty for selling junk solutions to offset their losses on traditional products as those overnight solopreneurs and consultants that are offering budget solutions that don’t work either.

In the end, digital media is a necessity of business. If business owners don’t find ways to incorporate digital strategies into their product offerings, services and brand story they’re not going to be in business for long. In many cases, without a digital strategy most businesses will never reach their full potential. If these business owners don’t know how to tell a legitimate provider from a scarlet corporation or consultant it too will destroy their business. It’s not just consultants and agencies either, it can be a standalone service, something like say Groupon?

We have regulations and oversight for Insurance, Healthcare, Telecommunications, Banking and so on. It’s time someone stepped in and set a standard for the bare minimum before you can represent the service for sale to a business or a consumer. It shouldn’t restrict competition and creativity, but it should set a standard for minimum practices to represent yourself as a provider in the industry and to think I haven’t even touched the issue of individuals or companies teaching or offering training in it. It’s scary when in most cases they themselves clearly don’t know what they are doing with it and have no professional development experience or training with education learning objectives or adult learning practices.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

TWITTER TAKES ON 2013

INTRODUCTION
It has been known for sometime that images enhance social media the way the talkies transformed the film industry. It was a long time coming but visual design finally caught up to social media. Or did social media finally wake up to visual design? That does not matter. What does matter is that they finally got together and their marriage is one that was made in heaven, for the most part.

@MariSmith twitter page © Mari Smith

@MariSmith twitter page © Mari Smith

@JoyLynskey twitter page © Joy Lynskey

@JoyLynskey twitter page © Joy Lynskey

Social media has embraced the visual and has been benefitting from it ever since. Facebook posts that contain images get a greater percentage of Likes and comments.

Statistic Number 1: “…photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more Likes than the average post.”
Statistic Number 2: “…photo posts attracted 104% more comments than the average post…”

Source: Hubspot Blog

Twitter page of @LamourSupreme

@LamourSupreme  twitter page © Lamour Supreme

@WildmanSteveBrill twitter page © Wildman Steve Brill

@WildmanBrill twitter page © Wildman Steve Brill

THE DUOS
Every major social media tool has a visual component:
• Facebook bought Instagram
• Google owns YouTube
• Yahoo flaunts flickr

Pinterest is social media’s grand dame having risen to fame and fortune faster than any other unit of the social media toolkit to date. So far it seems to have no desire to take a mate. It is doing quite well without one.

@FindandConvert twitter page © Find and Convert

@FindandConvert twitter page © Find and Convert

@CraigEYaris twitter page © Craig Yaris

@CraigEYaris twitter page © Craig Yaris

TWITTER TAKES A MATE
Well, Twitter has joined in. Twitter has the ability to connect Instagram images through tweeted URLs. Even better, it has developed a method for some serious customization of its pages. Twitter now allows its members to say, ‘Hey, this page is mine and no one else’s. I am cool. I am serious. I am funny. I am creative. I am unique.’

@ManOneLA twitter page © Man One

@ManOneLA twitter page © Man One

@AmyPorterfield twitter page © Amy Porterfield

@AmyPorterfield twitter page © Amy Porterfield

EASY AS ONE-TWO-THREE
It does not take very long to figure out how to create a completely customized page or one that is a combo of twitter template and original design. There are three components involved:
• the image
• the header
• the background

@BasilPuglisi twitter page © Basil C. Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi twitter page © Basil C. Puglisi

@MktngBytesMaven twitter page © Alison D Gilbert

@MktngBytesMaven twitter page © Alison D Gilbert

Twitter offers all kinds of templates, choices of color and pattern making for the background. In addition, one can take a custom image and tile or repeat it on the screen. In front of that, appears a vertical band containing one’s tweets and other information.

At the top of the band is the header. Twitter allows a very large image to be imported for this area but reduces it quite a bit when uploaded. In front of the header, appear one’s image, name, twitter name, a URL and mini-bio. A 180×180 facebook icon works fine for the image.

@TheEarthDiet twitter page © Liana Werner-Gray

@The EarthDiet twitter page © Liana Werner-Gray

@AlisonsArt twitter page © Alison Gilbert

@AlisonsArt twitter page © Alison Gilbert

CONCLUSION AND QUESTIONS
The results can be very creative and unique as witnessed by the samples displayed throughout this post. What do you think of them? I am eager to hear your thoughts:
• Do you think these samples are creative and unique?
• Do you think they are too much?
• Which one(s) do you like the most and the least?
• Do you have any other thoughts or comments about this post?

SOURCES
The Power of Images on Facebook
Five Reasons Why Twitter Background Is Really Important
Warning: Your Visual Message Is Just As Important
Visual Marketing Book
Twitter Headers and Covers

 

 

 

 

 

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

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