Category: Internet Marketing

Bad Marketing Advice

I was cleaning out my garage and came across this plastic frog and it lead me to write this article regarding the single worst piece of marketing advice I’ve ever received.

I was once asked to give a marketing seminar to large group of attorneys in NYC. The gentleman speaking prior to my slot was also set to give his advice on marketing to the same audience. To my surprise, instead of a typical introduction by the moderator, the speaker chose to stand at the back of the room. He asked the moderator to instead play a theme song which built to a crescendo as he charged down the aisle, throwing plastic frogs all over the unsuspecting audience.

If you haven’t already come to this conclusion, the entire premise of his presentation was about how important it is to get people to take notice of your brand when marketing your business. He went on to drive his point home by announcing that obviously none of us in the room we’re going to forget this particular presentation. In a way, he was technically correct, however, in a much more important way, his presentation was a disaster.

This  idea of “standing out at all costs” is extremely common in marketing. I’ve heard it over and over again, often, sadly, from other marketing professionals.

Another incident I recall was very similar, though on a smaller scale. I was at a local networking event. When we went around the room giving our 60 second elevator pitches detailing who we were, and what we had to offer the group,  one woman, a fellow marketer, decided to stand on her chair and deliver her 60 second pitch. She closed with “everyone will remember the crazy lady who stood up on her chair… and that’s what marketing is, being memorable.”

This is WRONG!

While, yes, it is important for marketing to be memorable to be effective, it is just as important for effective marketers to take into consideration the feeling their campaign conveys, the message they are sending,  and what they are striving to be remembered for. Consider McDonald’s incredibly successful “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign. You can bet each individual character within this short tagline underwent lengthy testing, with a number of focus groups.  A misplaced apostrophe, or an errant exclamation point could drastically change the feel of the campaign. The different between “McDonald’s, I’m loving it.” and “McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ it!”” is a 7 figure price tag on a successful campaign.

Good marketers know that even the fonts they use to create a tagline can instill a feeling which can ever so slightly alter the meaning of the words that make up a tagline. Fonts can feel formal, casual, trendy or fun. The job of a great marketing team is to note every aspect of a message, and to control it, delivering the feeling they want you to feel, with nothing left to chance.

While McDonald’s wants to be memorable, they also want to be memorable for the right reason. Would you want to be remembered for being associated with a cringe-worthy (I call them douche chills) circus style performance? No. And while I’d certainly remember a lawyer who gave cross examination while standing on his head in a TV commercial, the chances are slim and none that I’d actually hire him.

So, if someone recommends you run a print ad upside down because it will “make people stop and take notice,” unless you’re selling gravity boots,  hang up on them quickly, and get Generations Beyond on the phone!

rappamtSummer is a glorious time. Here at GB, we see some rare, but welcome downtime. The great Brendan Bailey gets his rollercoaster fix at Hershey Park, Anthony Rappa dangles dangerously off of the side of mountains, and I finally get to work on our website, getting it back up to snuff with the latest technology.

Wonder what a digital marketing company does to their own website to retain a competitive edge? Well, I’m happy to tell you.

#1 – Have a contact form? Get a privacy policy!
We’ve all seen them, though most of us have never read a single one. We’re talking about “privacy policies,” the dreaded fine print of the internet. Google rarely comes out and says “DO THIS” when it comes to search engine optimization, leaving the challenge to people like us at GB to figure it all out. However, one of the recent commandments that the mighty Google has released is that the future of SEO IS ALL ABOUT USER EXPERIENCE.”

So what does that mean? Essentially Google wants to refer the highest quality businesses to their customers (the people doing the searching) in hopes they have a great experience both on, and offline. Google feels that if they refer you to a shady business and you have a bad experience, you may not return to them for your search needs in the future. What does that mean for you? In short, its probably a good practice to think like a big business when it comes to your website. The “big, reputable guys” all have privacy policies noting what information they are collecting and where its’ going for pages such as contact forms, so why shouldn’t you?

This is a small and easy update to your site that Google really does check for. Recently, some of our paid campaigns via Google received a lower quality score for not having a privacy policy on a page where a lead generation form was located, so we make sure to resolve that issue for both our client’s advertising, and our own campaigns.

#2 – Open Graph Search SEO
This definitely falls more onto the technical side of things, and it can seem a little bit complicated. In short, for the non-techies out there, the Open Graph Protocol makes each page a social object.

Here is a handy application of how OG can help your website in a way that people can actually see, not just some hidden code in the background of things:

You’ve probably had the experience of placing a link into your Facebook status box in efforts of sharing something with your friends and having Facebook automatically create a little excerpt for you along with a thumbnail and hyperlink. Sure, this is very handy, but what if the information you’re trying to convey to your raving fans, so that they, in turn can repost your genius all over the web,  isn’t properly generated by Facebook? You’ve seen this when you post a serious news article, and Facebook decides that a photo of a cute baby duck is an appropriate accompaniment, or when they post a string of nonsense tags alongside a photo you’re trying to share. Open Graph allows you to describe each page, article, video or entire website as you see fit, so social sites can index it better, and, most importantly, you can decide how your content is presented to your audience, with your original intent intact. Here is an example:


Open Graph Example

#3 – Installing An SSL Certificate
Finally! Google comes right out and says something they want! Google wants to make the web a safer place. While a little controversial, they call for something called “HTTPS Everywhere.” This basically calls for a higher level of security on your website by purchasing something called an SSL certificate. This is already very common in the ecommerce world, but Google wants to bring it to the rest of the web. Some may feel this is overkill on static websites, but we’re not here to debate, we’re here to get higher rankings, and Google makes the rules on that front.

What’s the point?

Again this comes back to Google’s original claim of SEO benefiting sites that lead to a stronger “user experience.” So now, if you visit our website, you will notice it says https://www…… instead of the typical http://www…. a quick way to tell if a site is secure.

Honorable Mention
Play Space Invaders Pinball On Our Site!

gameoverWhile it will likely have no effect on our SEO we’ve successfully added the ability to actually play a hybrid version of Space Invaders and Pinball on the Culture page of our website. This is purely for our, and your, enjoyment, but we’re pretty sure it’ll improve the user experience too. Whether or not Google agrees is yet to be seen.

Click here to check it out and give a try!

What’s your highest score? Post it in the comments!
Enjoy the rest of your summer, we’ll see you again soon!





keithI’ve been hearing the same argument about website design since the late 90’s.

“We need to tell our client’s everything we do on the home page without having to scroll”
“Our clients don’t know to scroll so we have to be concise and get our message across immediately”

This phenomenon is known as staying “above the fold” which is where the screen cuts off your webpage and you are forced to scroll (gasp) to see more content.

I began website design in 1999, a time when AOL was dominant. Their interface took up a majority of the screen. Placing their web browser inside that interface, combined with the smaller monitors of the day, and precious bandwidth to conserve due to dial-up viewers web designers like us were challenged with conveying proper messaging and design within a 6 inch, low resolution space on a good day.

Now more than 15 years later, technology has changed, screen sized are gigantic compared to their predecessors, our very DNA for consuming data has evolved yet we still hear the same request about “the fold phenomenon”. Why? Is it valid?


Now I realize you may be coming to this very blog searching for advice because you do not fully understand website design and marketing. So lets try and relate this concept to something everyone knows about. Television.

It’s been said in the ad world that the mark of a good commercial is “if you can watch it with the volume off and still understand what the company does and its value proposition” its a good commercial. While this concept certainly sounds not only feasible but desirable for your commercial think about the top commercials of all time.

If you were to watch the Budweiser frogs commercial with no sound, would you know why Budweiser beer is better? How about the famous Clydesdale spots? Try watching these top 25 Super Bowl commercials of all time without sound and see if you catch my drift:

In short, commercials as well as websites have the ability to connect with clients on multiple levels. You can use them to build trust, convey a feeling, make people laugh, or even annoy them into submission.

Thinking of these potential branding medium and opportunities as a spreadsheet of logistics to convey as to why your product or service should be used is a recipe for disaster, or at least a band-aid for lack of creative thinking. Not to mention massive missed opportunity.

Your website is an unparalleled opportunity for branding, building trust, showing off corporate culture, exposing your vision and more. Take advantage of it, hell push it as far as the medium allows. Trust me, your visitors WILL scroll!

Photo: Nathan Barnatt who is actually extremely creative, he just looks that way.

Having an event on Long Island? Need to get the word out? Generations Beyond has created this free PR Checklist for you to utilize in getting the most exposure for your event via the availability of free postings online.

Click the image below to download your copy of this handy, free checklist!
Think you need more help? Contact us today! We’re great at publicity and packing out events!





Facebook has recently switched up how posts are seen by users. This new change has small businesses scrambling to reach their followers as they discover only 2-5% of their audience is actually seeing posts, favoring a more “pay to play” approach as opposed to organic or viral methods.

Does this mean Facebook is a dead end?

No! While it is more difficult for businesses to be visible on Facebook, consumers are still more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media.

Here are some ways to improve visibility on Facebook:


  • “Like” your business page on your personal Facebook account

– Invite family & friends to “like” your page as well. Encourage your employees to “like” your page.

– Like, Comment and Share posts from your business page to your personal page. The more interaction on the post, the more people will see it.

  • Focus on post quality vs. quantity

– Pictures over text, videos and links from popular/trusted web sources will improve your posts’ chances of reaching your audience

  • Look to the big guys for what works

– Most of social media marketing is trial and error; let the bigger companies with large marketing budgets figure out what doesn’t work. Use them as a template for what you should be posting.

  • Stay on the pulse of your industry and market

– Trends come and go so quickly, once we find out about them on mainstream media outlets, they are already on the way out. Find the most important/knowledgeable sources in your industry and discover the influential voices in your market. Keeping ahead of the trends will keep you relevant on social media.