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babyCreatives are a funny bunch. They need to be cared for, appreciated and above all never fed after midnight. Occassionally, as in any other aspect of business, a creative conflict is bound to occur when working with these creatures. Now, a professional creative has been officebroken, and only has their hissy fits in private. They do this in their natural, cubicular environment, far away from, and out of ear-shot of, the client. It is (or should be depending on your agency) a rare occurance for any member of the general public to catch this act in the wild.

 

Should I be worried that my creative seems testy?
Not really. Consider this: when was the last time you showed any emotion about a topic you had very little passion about?

 
Lets say someone borrows your car and moved your seat? Is this annoying? YES, do you actually show visible emotion to the annoyance? Probably not. More than likely you made a mental note, addressed the issue, and moved on, never thinking about it again because it just wasn’t that important to you.
When your creative has a hissy fit, it’s likely because your project is VERY important to them! He or she may havbe begun to bond and care for your business logo, video or website design as they would a child or pet, and do not want any of the evils, or ugliness of the outside world to harm it. Many creatives even take pride in their work, and develop a sense of personal ownership over the projects they’re involved in. When a creative of this ilk senses that the artistic integrity of a project they’re working on is being threatened, they may become defensive, show bright facial colors, or even make barking sounds. This is entirely normal behavior, but, again, a professional creative, and one that is officebroken, will only do these things in private.

 

So a frustrated creative isn’t a negative thing? 
Not at all! Consider it a sign that your creative has developed a deep concern for the outcome of your project they they appear to be frustrated with the process. While an improperly officebroken creative is certainly not something you want to keep in a public environment such as a conference room, a creative that is prone to such behavior is that way because of their deep concern over your projects well being. If you should encounter a non-officebroken creative working on your project, this does not mean that the quality of work will suffer, however you may want to keep your distance from this unprofessional (and potentially dangerous) creative, as hissy fits do stem from a deep rooted passion and ownership for your project and can sometimes result in tossed snack foods.

 

For your enjoyment:
We caught a rare glipse of a creative hissy fit within the hallowed halls of Generations Beyond  (far, far from client ears) and actually captured it on video. We hope you enjoy:

 

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In the digital marketing world of eateries and nightlife, “social media” is the be-all end-all in self-promotional buzzwords. Anyone with a quality business establishment can benefit from using social media outlets to increase awareness of their brand, create dialogue with their current and potential future clients and even deal with negative comments in a public forum to turn negative press into positive.
But what happens when your business turns up on a social site that you cannot completely control such as Yelp?

 

What Is Yelp? Yelp is an online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play, based on the informed opinions of a vibrant and active community of locals in the know. Yelp is the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what’s great — and not so great — in your world.

 

What happens in the (all too common) event when a disgruntled employee or even a local competitor fills your profile with hateful rants?

 

Without the ability to remove posts on Yelp, the way you can on Facebook, all the positive spin in the world will not quell the person with an axe-to-grind angrily from posting hostile reviews from the safety of their home.

 

So what do you do if your establishment encounters a “Yelp Disaster”?

 

The Knee-Jerk Reaction #1 – CRY TO MOMMY

The #1 response to a Yelp disaster is “I’ll get my friends and family to post glowing reviews to offset the balance!” Hold on there! You thought of it, and YELP has thought of it too, so they’ve created a “filtering system” to combat false reviews. While admittedly, it is still flawed, YELP is sticking to their guns and using their filtering system to weed out what they consider to be unrealistic reviews.

 

The Knee-Jerk Reaction #2 – I’LL SUE!

The second most common reaction is to pursue legal recourse. While this topic is still a grey area as to who is legally in the right and who is in the wrong, a case for defamation can easily be made and filed by any lawyer looking for a quick paycheck. Even if you’re successful with your claim, it will most likely a very long, and very public affair, and yes, Yelp has already thought of this too. They have a very lengthy FAQ about how they think you should handle your lawsuit questions and actions, so let’s move on…

 

Logical Reaction #1 – Use Yelps Other Tools

More than 50% of visits to a restaurants website will be on a mobile device. This fact means that most of your clients will have a mobile device handy while dining.

 

Encourage check-ins via the Yelp Mobile app. Reward or entice customers to check-in on the app. Studies show that people are generally kinder when they know their words will be associated with their identity in an in-person encounter.

 

In addition, your regulars are the most likely people to respond to such an offer, and they’re even less likely to bash you while they’re taking advantage of your special offer.

 

Logical Reaction #2 – Time & Volume – Do What You Do!

While self-admittedly flawed, in time, Yelp claims its filtering system brings “validated” reviews to the top and over time sends bad reviews to the bottom.
Here is a short video on their filtering system:


What’s the difference? A Yelp user who has a long standing history of holding an account with Yelp and has reviewed many establishments (fairly) holds a lot more weight according to Yelp than someone who just joined to post a scathing review minutes after joining then abandoning yelp altogether.

 

In short, if you are providing quality product and service, just keep doing what you are doing, in time your good name and good service will prevail and the cream will rise to the top and the unfair negatives will sink like a stone.

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So who takes home the coveted prize for Viral Video Marketer for the toughest month of October? The top 3 ingredients of a typical, successful viral video is funny, sexy or scary. This makes October a month of high competition and the top dog always turns out something great. This month’s winner is a bit of a weird experiment…


Can you be a viral video marketer if you are not really marketing anything?


Stipulations aside, we’d feel remiss if we did not share this viral video marketing experience with you this month. Check out Take This Lolipop, sit back and “relax?”


Creator, Jason Zada claims “I just love Halloween” and that’s that. Write ups in the New York Times and Forbes coupled with tying into the holiday spirit along with everyone’s fears with sharing anything online certainly is helping this one make the rounds in a big way.


Bravo!

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Going Beyond. What does that mean to you? If someone told you your dream job was out there, just waiting for you, but you’d have to “Go Beyond” to get it, what would you do? Would you buy a new suit? Make a video resume? How about create an entire website dedicated to expressing your love and devotion to that possible employer?


That’s exactly what Netta Marshall, a web designer and developer did in order to land herself a job at Instagram. Instagram is an organization dedicated to bringing a unique memory mosaic to each one of us through the act of sharing iPhone photos between friends.


On the Instagram website, they have a page to upload a resume, and we’re sure that thousands of people have done just that, but how many of them went beyond like Netta?


Netta created www.IWannaWorkAtInstagram.com to help her land the job of her dreams. On top of being a wonderfully graphic representation of her artistic and programming abilities, it showcases her passion and creativity as well. The site is clean and well designed. It’s friendly, but professional. It includes everything a prospective employer could want and more. THAT is what going beyond means to us at Generations Beyond. It means that in addition to covering your bases, you recreate the entire ball field from scratch and make it your own.


In a time when sequels and remakes rule the day, it’s inspiring to see Netta’s kind of creativity. We love to see that level of commitment and dedication in other members of our field and we’re looking forward to adding the next Netta to our own team. Of course, the next Netta won’t make a website, she (or he!) will have to find another way to go beyond. Luckily for us, and for everyone who enjoys watching great ideas unfold, that’s bound to happen. There’s always an artist out there reaching for their dreams, and with luck, a few of them will succeed.


So, take some direction from Netta, and stretch beyond what’s expected of you.


Until you go beyond, your dreams will always be beyond you, but once you do, they’ll be right there waiting.

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Where does the year go? Already September and not too many viral video campaigns have caught my eye this year, but fear not, Halloween season is right around the corner which is typically ripe for Virals.


I wanted to squeeze in this campaign from FX Networks new show American Horror Story before something from October knocked it out of it’s spot. Not much is known about the show which is already due to debut in a few days (surely part of their overall awareness or unawareness approach for this mysterious property)!


Somehow FX Networks actually got people to volunteer to have the sh*t scared out of them at any given time. Can’t imaging the legal hoops that had to have been jumped through, but this groundbreaking network got it done and Ill let you view, laugh, and share the awesome results as Im sure everyone at the network expects, enjoy my personal fav:





For a full youtube page of dozens of these scares from the show visit the official page at: http://www.youtube.com/user/americanhorrorstory#g/a

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There’s an old (and, very likely NSFW) joke that’s the subject of today’s post; we’ll call it “Two Bulls On The Hill, ” and it goes like this:

There are two bulls standing on a hill overlooking a pasture full of cows. The younger bull, eager, but lacking experience, says to the old bull “Hey, let’s run down there and f@#k ourselves a cow.” The old bull, who has spent season after season in this pasture, turns to the younger bull, chuckles, and replies “Nah, how about we walk down there, and f@#k them all.”

Now, anyone who’s ever heard me speak at a seminar, or who’s scheduled a consult with me, knows I’m a BIG FAN of analogies. They’re a great way to take a big and complex idea and break it down into something more manageable.  At Generations Beyond, not a week goes by without the phone at the studio ringing, and on the other end is a client who’s just “heard of a trick” or “found a great tactic” to increase their rankings within Google.

With the recent headlines  about Google’s “massive update,” and the way it punishes those it labels as “cheats,” (JC Penny is an excellent example of a company that was swatted down in the ranks for violating Google’s sense of “fair play”) we feel it’s a good time to reiterate the fact that Google does have a method to its madness. Google’s stated goal (aside from “Do No Evil”) is to sift through every corner of the Internet and find the most important, relevant Web sites and to deliver those results to the Google user. It’s simple, if your Google searches end up giving you irrelevant, or useless results, you’re going to stop using Google. It’s in their best interest to ensure that the people they label as “cheats” aka Black Hat Service Providers (or what some clients or “young bulls” in the story would consider providers of hot SEO “tips”) fail. It may not happen today, or even tomorrow, but sooner rather than later, the company that you’re paying good money to in order to “cheat” Google is going to be discovered and those “hot” tips will go ice cold in a hurry. A good rule of thumb for “tips” like these is that by the time they trickle down through the grapevine, it’s not going to be long before Google shuts them down.


This takes us back to our bovine buddies on the hill.  As the old bull in the story had clearly learned, slow and steady wins the race. Rather than rush out and try to steal a small success, it’s almost always better to take a steady and focused approach to your goal. In almost every facet of life, and certainly in every facet of growing your business, this is what will reap the greatest rewards. This is what our  philosophy relating to SEO is built upon. The slow, steady and quality growth of your website, with new, and quality content, is THE key to building a solid search ranking over time with Google. Sure, the young bull in all of us wants to run to the finish line and reap the immediate benefits, it behooves us (no pun intended) to take a step back, survey the pasture, and know that with experience comes knowledge, and a little planning, and a little finesse, will always garner the best rewards.

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What is social media?

This might seem very obvious to some of you but what exactly does the broad term “social media” cover? What about “social media marketing,” “digital marketing” or “content marketing?” Are these all umbrella terms under “social media?” Do the terms cover overlapping topics?


Social media is still in it’s infancy. It’s important to note that the definition of social media is not clear in any way. This post should clear up a few misconceptions and help further define “social media.”


Definition


According to Wikipedia, Social Media is “the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue.”


The analogy we like to use over at Generations Beyond is that traditional marketing is talking into a megaphone at a group of people who might be interested in your product or service. There might be several different people with megaphones trying to shout over you, those are your competitors. Whoever has the biggest megaphone wins, not necessarily the best product or the best offer. Social media marketing, on the other hand, is a conversation. You need to talk but listening is key. Building relationships with people will get you engagement which will affect sales. The key word is “dialogue.”


Next Time: Social Media 101 – Pt 2: It is more than just Twitter and Facebook.

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Every month we’ll mention campaigns, companies and brands who we think rocked or missed out in the world of internet marketing.

Win: The Chrysler Road to Literacy Campaign

The jist: Test drive an all-new 2011 Town & Country and Chrysler will donate five books to the school of your choice, plus an additional five books to a school in need. The goal is to donate 150,000 books to schools across the country.

Why we like it: Who doesn’t like a campaign that promotes literacy? The main reason why this campaign is a winner this month is because of it’s sweet Facebook application. It breaks it down into three easy steps what the customer has to do to make the donation happen. It also lets you track the donations already made and filter the donations by state. Additionally, the campaign is driven by a legitimate, real-world action by the consumer: the test drive. Anyone in marketing knows that getting the customer to try your product is an important task.

The downside: The Facebook book page shows that only 380 books have been donated so far, pretty far cry from the 150,000 goal. Maybe with a little love from the Generations Beyond  blog that’ll change.

Fail: American Girl

Dear American Girl,

I remember the many hours I spent playing with Samantha and Josephine. Despite the fact that they are separated by 80 years of history does not change the fact that they were best friends in my 12-year-old bedroom. I also fondly remember my sister and I spending even more countless hours making our own plays on the computer with American Girl Doll Premiere. (It would make an excellent Broadway musical.)

Please be assured that I am still fond of your company even though my dolls have been in the attic for 10 years. However, your facebook page well, sucks.

You haven’t made an update since 2009 despite the fact that you have 15,000+ followers and the last one asked you a question 4 hours ago at the time of writing. How disappointing.

But take heart! Plenty of other companies are making money promoting their businesses and selling American Girl style clothing using your facebook page. I’m sure it gives you great pleasure to hear that other companies are benefiting from the community you have abandoned.

Most fondly yours,

Generations Beyond

 

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In the late 90′s, when we first began building website most small businesses didn’t have, and, honestly, didn’t really need a website. But,within a few short years, the undeniable growth of the internet began to reach out in every direction, including that of the small business community. The tremendous potential for a new form of very effective marketing, combined with the “everyone else seems to be doing it, so I have to as well” popularity of internet branding, soon had websites for every type of business sprouting up all over the place. No one who was anyone could get by without a website, and if your answer to the “Are you online?” question was no, you were clearly not a “serious” contender for success within your industry.


However, as with most impulsive business decisions into unexplored terrain, the results tended to be a little lackluster. People who just wanted to be able to say “yes! We’re online!” were suddenly aware that having a bad website was actually a worse situation to be in than having no website at all.  In just another few years, one of the most common thing we heard from incoming clients was “HELP! We have to redo our website ASAP, what we have up now is just embarrassing, and hurting our business!” And so began the age of internet marketing for the small business.


With that in mind, I can’t help but draw similar parallels to the whole “social media craze” that we are currently experiencing. I can no longer count how many businesses impulsively ask clients to follow or like them on a social network without so much as a second thought as to why thier clients should, or if they do… well, what then?


With the ever growing importance and potential of social media marketing you can bet in a very short time, we’ll be hearing quotes like “We have to revamp our social media campaigns! What we’re doing right now (or not doing!) is hurting our business!”

Jesse Wroblewski is the founder of Long Island, NY based digital marketing agency Generations Beyond. Jesse has been known to throw up the devil horns at the site of beautiful CSS code.
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