07 Jul 2015

#### Maybe you don't have to spend as much as you think.

Everyone at bloomfield knoble knows not to ask me STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)-related questions, because I will not give a simple answer. I seize the opportunity to fill an entire whiteboard with formulas and computations as if I were giving a lecture at MIT. In my defense, I don’t try to be like that, it’s just so many STEM-related answers are based on knowing the answers to a bunch of other questions. For example, Chi square (calculating the relationship between two variables to determine if they are related) is pretty common in marketing. However, calculating Chi square means constructing the observed values table using the original dataset; using the f^e formula to construct the expected values table; using the Chi square former to calculate the Chi square value; using the df formula and the Chi square table to discover if that x^2 value is significant; and drawing a conclusion about the relationship between the two variables. So, yeah, ask me a question and I’m going to walk through the entire process to deliver the answer.

Sorry – got a bit off topic. See! I just used a paragraph to explain why people don’t ask me STEM-related questions.

Anyway, it turns out that Clark (associate creative director here at bloomfield knoble) and I have the same birthdate. One of the interns, who doesn’t know better, asked what the chances are that two people in a relatively-small office would have the same birthday, and the topic for this week’s blog was born. Let the whiteboard explanation (followed by the reason it matters in advertising/marketing) commence:

Let’s exclude February 29th because those people, like Gingers, are born without souls, so that a year has 365 days. Let’s also assume that all days are equally likely birthdays for a randomly chosen person. So how many people do you need to ask to be at least 50% certain that at least two of them have the same birthday? What’s your guess? Many people answer 183, which is about half of 365. This is a fairly well-known problem, so you might already know the answer is 23.

We arrive at the answer by computing the probability that everyone has a different birthday and then subtract this from 1. Start with just two people. The first can have any birthday and the second person must avoid this day, which has a probability of 364/365. The probability that two people share a birthday is thus 1 – 364/365 or about 0.003. Add another person. His or her birthday must avoid both previously taken birthdays, which has probability of 363/365. The probability that all three people have different birthday is 364/365 x 363/365 and the probability that there is some common birthday in a group of three is P(some common birthday) = 1 – 364/365 x 363/365 about 0.01. We keep doing this over and over. At 10 people, the the probability already exceeds 0.1 and at 22 people it is 0.48 and at 23 people the probability of some common birthday is 0.51. Thus, only 23 people are needed to be at least 50% certain that there is some common birthday.

Remember, this isn’t the same as the probability that somebody shares a particular birthday, which is how I’m going to spin this math lesson back to marketing and advertising.

There are, generally, two types of campaigns. There is the campaign where you are trying to reach a very specific audience and influence them all; and there is the type of campaign where you are trying to reach everyone and then influence some. The first campaign is like two people sharing a particular birthday – you have very specific criteria in mind and you determine the reach and frequency based on those criteria. These are, in my opinion, the best kind of campaigns and thanks to the willingness of people to give up their private information in return for cat pictures, very easy to accomplish. The second campaign is a bit trickier. This is the “maybe I should get a billboard” campaign. It’s become quite popular to dismiss these kinds of campaigns, simply because we – as ad people – don’t feel like we’ll reach the target audience or that they are simply too expensive to have an effective return on investment. But much of that “feeling” isn’t always based in true numbers.

Like the birthday problem, the number that seems correct (183 to hit 50%) isn’t actually the number. The same is true in different types of campaigns. It is easy to dismiss campaign elements like Digital Out of Home, or billboards, etc. as a “waste of money” because the length of time required to be seen by enough people may seem like too low of an ROI. However, a little statistical analysis may reveal that we don’t have to spend as much as we thought to be effective. I could show you the math behind that thinking, but I’ve run out of space on the whiteboard.

###### About The Author

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

07 Jul 2015

#### Maybe you don’t have to spend as much as you think.

Everyone at bloomfield knoble knows not to ask me STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)-related questions, because I will not give a simple answer. I seize the opportunity to fill an entire whiteboard with formulas and computations as if I were giving a lecture at MIT. In my defense, I don’t try to be like that, it’s just so many STEM-related answers are based on knowing the answers to a bunch of other questions. For example, Chi square (calculating the relationship between two variables to determine if they are related) is pretty common in marketing. However, calculating Chi square means constructing the observed values table using the original dataset; using the f^e formula to construct the expected values table; using the Chi square former to calculate the Chi square value; using the df formula and the Chi square table to discover if that x^2 value is significant; and drawing a conclusion about the relationship between the two variables. So, yeah, ask me a question and I’m going to walk through the entire process to deliver the answer.

Sorry – got a bit off topic. See! I just used a paragraph to explain why people don’t ask me STEM-related questions.

Anyway, it turns out that Clark (associate creative director here at bloomfield knoble) and I have the same birthdate. One of the interns, who doesn’t know better, asked what the chances are that two people in a relatively-small office would have the same birthday, and the topic for this week’s blog was born. Let the whiteboard explanation (followed by the reason it matters in advertising/marketing) commence:

Let’s exclude February 29th because those people, like Gingers, are born without souls, so that a year has 365 days. Let’s also assume that all days are equally likely birthdays for a randomly chosen person. So how many people do you need to ask to be at least 50% certain that at least two of them have the same birthday? What’s your guess? Many people answer 183, which is about half of 365. This is a fairly well-known problem, so you might already know the answer is 23.

We arrive at the answer by computing the probability that everyone has a different birthday and then subtract this from 1. Start with just two people. The first can have any birthday and the second person must avoid this day, which has a probability of 364/365. The probability that two people share a birthday is thus 1 – 364/365 or about 0.003. Add another person. His or her birthday must avoid both previously taken birthdays, which has probability of 363/365. The probability that all three people have different birthday is 364/365 x 363/365 and the probability that there is some common birthday in a group of three is P(some common birthday) = 1 – 364/365 x 363/365 about 0.01. We keep doing this over and over. At 10 people, the the probability already exceeds 0.1 and at 22 people it is 0.48 and at 23 people the probability of some common birthday is 0.51. Thus, only 23 people are needed to be at least 50% certain that there is some common birthday.

Remember, this isn’t the same as the probability that somebody shares a particular birthday, which is how I’m going to spin this math lesson back to marketing and advertising.

There are, generally, two types of campaigns. There is the campaign where you are trying to reach a very specific audience and influence them all; and there is the type of campaign where you are trying to reach everyone and then influence some. The first campaign is like two people sharing a particular birthday – you have very specific criteria in mind and you determine the reach and frequency based on those criteria. These are, in my opinion, the best kind of campaigns and thanks to the willingness of people to give up their private information in return for cat pictures, very easy to accomplish. The second campaign is a bit trickier. This is the “maybe I should get a billboard” campaign. It’s become quite popular to dismiss these kinds of campaigns, simply because we – as ad people – don’t feel like we’ll reach the target audience or that they are simply too expensive to have an effective return on investment. But much of that “feeling” isn’t always based in true numbers.

Like the birthday problem, the number that seems correct (183 to hit 50%) isn’t actually the number. The same is true in different types of campaigns. It is easy to dismiss campaign elements like Digital Out of Home, or billboards, etc. as a “waste of money” because the length of time required to be seen by enough people may seem like too low of an ROI. However, a little statistical analysis may reveal that we don’t have to spend as much as we thought to be effective. I could show you the math behind that thinking, but I’ve run out of space on the whiteboard.

###### About The Author

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

16 Feb 2015

#### Fighting bad advertising practices on the web.

Every once in a while something comes across my computer here at bloomfield knoble that reminds me of  just how big online advertising really is.

Thank goodness.

###### About The Author

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

04 Nov 2014

#### The Big Data Challenge.

Like most people, I am sick of hearing about “big data.” First of all, there is no such thing as big data – there’s just data. Second, having a lot of data doesn’t mean anything. It’s what you do with the data that matters.

In my role as math nerd here at bloomfield knoble, I am often asked by people about what they should do with their data. My first response is always, “sort it.” You’d be amazed how many blank stares that generates. I will then, ad nauseam, explain how data should be structured in order to be analyzed and interpreted – and this is where the first sign of trouble begins. See, storing data is easy and not very expensive. I have about 10 TB in storage sitting on my desk right now. It’s cheap and works seamlessly with my desktop, making it easy to move files and such. People think that sorting data will be easy, but moving files and working with them are two different things. People are often shocked when they try to actually work with data. Most people don’t have a computer with the power and resources to even tackle the project, let alone the software necessary to actually determine correlations.

Just when it seems like all hope is lost and that crunching data will have to be outsourced to giants like IBM, Amazon and Google, along comes a light at the end of a dark data tunnel – quantum computing. Yes, dear readers, it’s been too long since I’ve written about quantum computing (or, as I like to call it, quamputing). I’m just using big data as a cover to gush on quantum computing.

According to Jacob Aron writing in New Scientist magazine, the first piece of software to show the potential of quantum computing has finally been run on a real machine, 20 years after it was initially dreamed up. Although it doesn’t do anything useful on its own, implementing the algorithm could lead to more practical computers powered by the strange properties of quantum mechanics. Quantum computers should be much faster than ordinary ones, but only at tasks for which there is a quantum algorithm – software that exploits the computer’s quantum nature. Without these algorithms, quantum computers are just regular computers that are much harder to build.

One of the best-known pieces of quantum software is Shor’s algorithm, which factorizes large numbers into their prime components – a notoriously slow and difficult problem to solve classically. Shor’s algorithm has been run in a limited way using photons sent through the air and on silicon chips, but a full-blown quantum computer capable of running it could threaten online encryption, which relies on large primes. Designing an algorithm that takes advantage of a quantum computer is tricky, so there aren’t many around. In 1994, Daniel Simon, then at the University of Montreal, Canada, came up with one. Crucially, it was the first to show that a quantum computer could crack a problem exponentially faster than an ordinary computer.

Ironically, Simon was trying to prove quantum computers could never be useful but he stumbled across a problem that showed the exact opposite. Imagine you feed a string of bits, like 0101, into a black box and get another string, like 1100, out in return. there are a finite number of possible outputs, but you don’t know how they are produced. Simon’s problem asks: does the black box give a unique output for every possible input, or do some inputs give a common output? Simon’s algorithm for solving it inspired the more useful Shor’s algorithm and the field of quantum computing as a whole.

Enter Mark Tame at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, and his colleagues. They used a “one-way” quantum computer – one that uses up some of its qubits to solve a two-bit version of Simon’s problem, the simplest possible. More specifically, they state, “We report an experimental demonstration of a one-way implementation of a quantum algorithm solving Simon’s Problem – a black box period-finding problem which has an exponential gap between the classical and quantum runtime. Using an all-optical setup and modifying the bases of single-qubit measurements on a five-qubit cluster state, key representative functions of the logical two-qubit version’s black box can be queried and solved. To the best of our knowledge, this work represents the first experimental realization of the quantum algorithm solving Simon’s Problem. The experimental results are in excellent agreement with the theoretical model, demonstrating the successful performance of the algorithm. With a view to scaling up to larger numbers of qubits, we analyze the resource requirements for an n-qubit version. This work helps highlight how one-way quantum computing provides a practical route to experimentally investigating the quantum-classical gap in the query complexity model.”

Tame’s quantum computer only needed an average of two runs to succeed, while an ordinary computer needed an average of slightly less than three runs – the first step in an exponential speed-up in line with theoretical predictions. “For me it has been like finding the missing piece of a jigsaw and putting it in its place to complete the picture,” says Tame. While most people agree that the run has little practical value, it isn’t the speedup that matters as much has what it could lead to.

###### About The Author

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

15 Jul 2014

#### Diversifying a business takes as much time as launching one

In 1997 I started talking with a few like-minded people about starting a business and no longer working for someone else. We were like-minded in the belief that we could do a better job than the people we worked for in terms of managing the business and client relations, as well as producing high-quality work.

I was 31. I was a freelance writer for magazines and news periodicals, as well as managing editor for a local publishing company. I had experienced struggles and failures, but did not believe that failure was an option for me if I started a business. Looking back, I know that the guys I was talking with at the time did not believe the same thing. They just thought it was a cool idea. I was just stubborn . . . and ignorant. (Turns out that is probably a good combination.)

It is said a business start up takes between 2-5 years. From my experience and watching many, many others, I am convinced it is the better part of 5 years and then some.

We started the business as the Internet was taking hold. Websites were hand-written HTML code, load times were tough and online marketing was a very, very new concept. We struggled to develop websites for local companies and soon realized that was a bad business plan. So we diversified and developed what was just coming up everywhere – an online mall.

During the process we lost 2 of the 5 original players. Their tolerance for “working without a net” was very low. But the rest of us pressed on and discovered that applying some basic marketing ideas to our mall turned into results. We held contests, added book and music reviews. What we did not realize was that we had developed an online portal.

Not being like-minded to Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, we really did not know what we had. So after the mall/portal made us some money and got us some publicity, we started receiving calls from companies that were struggling to monetize their websites or launch websites and suddenly we turned into a Web design start up.

The portal/mall was abandoned as Amazon and other retailers became known brands and we lost traffic. We were creatives, not retailers, so we gravitated to what we knew.

Over the next 4 years we grew by adapting to change, as well as losing two more original founders but brought on a lifer with shared vision. For a time we were expert email marketers, even being the first to develop an email with embedded video for a major game retailer.

When email became spam, we moved to exploring the true needs of our clients, which was strategic marketing and execution. In this new landscape know as the booming Internet, major brands, corporations and small businesses were struggling to find success. Many wanted to abandon their traditional advertising and go with online only and other crazy ideas like that.

So we diversified yet again and began advising and developing integrated marketing and advertising concepts. We kept our head focused on the bottom line and advised others to do the same. “Don’t knee-jerk to new trends, just add them to your arsenal if they work for you,” we said.

Over time, the success our clients had experienced built up the belief that we had finally figured ourselves out – we were a full-service strategic advertising and marketing agency. Nine years later, we had it all figured out.

Not!

While the growth continued, we always faced times where change looked us in the face and we had hard decisions to make for the business. Once CMS software came online we had to adapt and accept that change. Search marketing and lead generation went through iteration after iteration. Adapt and change, recommend only what works. Mobile marketing only? No, just add to the arsenal.

The only reason bloomfield knoble has flourished for 17 years is because we diversify. Today, I believe we are at another point where diversification is necessary. We have experienced success focusing on the energy business and its unique advertising/marketing needs, as well as major brand retailers, retail foods, mortgage, finance and more.

Now, with the advent of content marketing and its impact, it has come full circle. All that we know now comes back to my roots – publishing. I find our agency now providing expertise and consulting on how to drive response and build awareness through content marketing. Well, in 1997 it was called publishing and that was my thing. Suddenly, what was a dying skill is now valued again.

The good news about this diversification is that there is no need to abandon anything we are doing now. It is just focusing on what we know. Oh, and bloomfield knoble has developed quite a track record working for local, state and Federal agencies. That is a major diversification.

Call it what you will – diversification, addition, subtraction, metamorphosis. Whatever. All I can tell you is that it takes time and the ability to adapt. Don’t be resistant to change. Don’t stand still because as businesses we are all standing in a swamp. Stop moving forward and that swamp will swallow you and everyone you are leading right to the bottom and no one will ever know you once made a difference.

###### About The Author

Eric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.

Connect With Eric Hirschhorn

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

27 Jun 2014

#### Business Identity Crisis?

What would you do if you owned a moving company and had been building a respected professional reputation for years, then discovered that there were bad reviews percolating up on websites like Yelp! and Facebook?

You’d be concerned, of course, because you don’t want your customers to have a bad experience, and of course you don’t want bad reviews driving other customers away. You’d want to fix it.

But now imagine that in your investigation you discover the writers of the bad reviews weren’t even your customers. What gives? Are people writing fake negative reviews?

No, you discover. After noticing a frequent “typo” referring to your company by a similar but different name (one word off, but still the same meaning) you realize you have a doppelgänger company and their customers are erroneously posting to your review pages.

But wait. When you dig a little deeper, you realize it’s not just a simple misunderstanding. The owner of this company is intentionally sending his users to your Yelp! page, as well as your A+ ranked Better Business Bureau page. And why wouldn’t they? Their BBB page shows an F ranking.

They need to stop. So you call a lawyer and talk to your marketing folks. That’s where the fun begins. They discover that not only does this other company try to cover up its mistakes by using your company review sites and BBB page, but the owner has a criminal record and lies about his military service. They use falsified certifications to operate, do not have a USDOT number despite operating moving trucks, and have failed to register and insure two of three of those trucks.

As you may have guessed, this is not a hypothetical. This happened to our client, Dallas Move Masters. bloomfield knoble designed their website and developed graphics for their social media pages and provide ongoing marketing consulting for them.

Fortunately for Dallas Move Masters, we also know how to handle a situation like this. We immediately created a series of posts that they could utilize in order to manage their reputation and get the word out about the deception perpetrated by the other company.

bloomfield knoble also devised a campaign to promote the goodwill of Dallas Move Masters, offering a discount to victims of the other company’s poor service.

Additionally, we updated the information on important review sites like Yelp! to indicate the discrepancy between the two in order to keep the other company’s customers from posting inaccurate reviews.

Through that reputation management process, which is ongoing, we’ve been able to get the word out to Dallas Move Masters’ followers that they are not the other, similarly named, company, resulting in more sharing and reposting of this story to spread the word.

Dallas Move Masters is an honest company run by a Dallas fireman. They take great pride in their work and we’re proud to call them a client. We hope that our efforts to provide the public with the real story will put an end to the questionable behavior of another business shamefully leeching off of their good name.

Reputation management is not simply about releasing a single statement to the public, but rather requires a steady flow of information telling your story. The more likely your target audience is to stumble across that story, the more likely they are to share it, whether through social media or through old fashioned word of mouth. Then more of the public will have the true story. Your story.

###### About The Author

Thanks to the shortening of attention spans and his inability to finish a novel (phenomena that are unrelated, he assures us), Jeff Carrington has found the perfect job for himself as director of communications and social media at bloomfield knoble. When he’s not developing social strategies for clients in 140 characters or less, he’s tweeting about dive bars and dog parks, both of which he frequents with his Spitz-Terrier mix buddy, Ben, and other random humans.
Connect With Jeff Carrington

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

13 May 2014

#### Understanding Brand Knowledge

Brands are neither physical products, nor actual services. Brands live in the mind of the consumer. So how do agencies like bloomfield knoble help companies successfully brand? By understanding that when we successfully create a brand, we create brand knowledge.

Brand knowledge isn’t a stand-alone idea. Instead, it’s a combination of two things: brand awareness and brand image. Brand awareness is the level of brand recall and recognition that consumers have of a particular brand and its specific product category. Brand image is the set of mental associations with a brand that influence the buyer. Although different brands may mean different things to different people, brand knowledge is always a function of awareness and image.

At bloomfield knoble, building brand knowledge is a delicate balancing act between awareness and image. So delicate, in fact, that no matter how strong you build one, a slip in the other can bring everything crashing down (example – Tiger Woods: super high awareness + bad brand image = loss of sponsorship). For us, brand awareness is about both recognition and recall. Recognition is the ability to define the product by form. A great example of this is Absolut Vodka. Their advertising features the bottle, so when a consumer goes to a liquor store they see the shape of the bottle and (hopefully) make a decision while looking at the bottle. Recall is the consumer making a decision without actually looking at the product. For example, the consumer needs tires for the car and decides to go to a Firestone store. That’s of real benefit, because there aren’t competitive tires at a Firestone shop where a person may be subject to recognition.

Brand image is way more challenging, because it is the associations in the consumers’ mind of both real and imaginary qualities and shortcomings that influence the customer’s buying decision. bloomfield knoble strives to build images that have strong (based on personal relevance and consistency), favorable (based on consumer needs) and unique (connections not shared by competitors) associations in the consumer’s mind. Starbucks is a good example of a company that built a strong, favorable and unique brand. Consumers keep going to Starbucks because of the unique brand experience as much as the coffee. Creating brand image means selecting elements that become an asset to the brand.

When selecting brand elements, bloomfield knoble looks for “devices” that serve to identify and differentiate the brand:

Memorable – brand elements must be inherently memorable to enable recall or recognition.

Meaningful – strong brands have some inherent meaning that enhances the brand associations. Meaningful brands provide both general information about the nature of the product category and specific information about particular attributes and benefits of the brand.

Transferable – brand elements should be able to reach various product categories and stay the same across geographic and cultural regions.

Adaptable – brand elements must be adaptable to changing consumer values and opinions. The more adaptable and flexible the brand elements, the easier it is to update.

Protectable – brand elements need to be protectable both in a legal and competitive sense.

Creating a brand identity that is strong, favorable and unique is one of the best competitive advantages a company can have.

###### About The Author

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

25 Feb 2014

#### Social Media Cocktail Hour

Clients and coworkers often ask me if they should use social media to build their business. The answer is pretty simple. The Internet is throwing a cocktail party and everyone’s invited. If you’re not there, the other attendees are going to notice. Why wouldn’t you go?

Most importantly, everyone you want to talk to is probably already there. Your competitor is there wearing his best tux, and he’s already talking to your potential customers, so put on your nicest duds and head on over.

Seriously – social media really is like a cocktail party. Follow the same rules and you’ll find social media success. At bloomfield knoble, we guide clients in the proper etiquette and strategies to use social media to grow their business.

Dress nice

You wouldn’t show up at a cocktail party in sweat pants and a ratty T-shirt. Likewise, make sure you’ve spent some time grooming your profile before you waltz into the social media soiree.

Dress up your profile with a smiling head shot (or company logo/product if you’re posting from a company page), a detailed, well-written summary that tells users who you are and what to expect from you, and – depending on the social platform – a creative, informative cover image.

These five optimization tips from Search Engine Watch can help you make the most of your social media profiles.

Be friendly

When you walk into a cocktail party, you look for people you know or who at least have similar interests as you. This is even easier on social media. Use the search features and reach out to like-minded users. Friend/follow them, or start a conversation. Be friendly and sincere. They’re more likely to respond and find out more about you and your company. It works at cocktail parties, and it works on social media.

Don’t dominate the conversation

No one likes a chatterbox. If you don’t let anyone else get a word in edge-wise in person, they’re going to look for someone else to talk to. Online, if someone logs on and your updates are dominating their newsfeed, they’re going to click unfollow faster than Facebook buys up potential competitors.

Each platform, like each different cocktail party venue, has a different culture, as explained in this post from Social Media Today, so vary your posting frequency accordingly.

Don’t only talk about yourself

On a related note, if all you do over drinks is talk about yourself, how great you and your company are, or all you do is show baby pictures, the other attendees will find a new conversation fast. There’s not much of a metaphor here because it applies exactly the same on social media:

Don’t talk only about yourself, your company or your kids. Talk about them, but also show you’re well-rounded and have interests. If all I ever did was talk about bloomfield knoble, my followers would get pretty tired of me pretty fast. To vary it up, from a professional standpoint, it helps to share and talk about articles or news in your industry.

Provide interesting insight

When you’re talking about industry news, no one at a cocktail party wants to listen to you simply recite what you saw on the news or to have you hand them a newspaper clipping (that would just be weird). If you’re sharing an article or news piece, always provide your own insight – why you found it interesting, and why your friends and followers should be interested.

Don’t try to sell to everyone you meet

Nothing’s worse than going to a party and having an obnoxious sales guy corner you to talk about his products and why you should buy from him. You just want to get away. Nothing’s worse on social media too.

Don’t think that because you’re posting from a company page that people expect you to sell to them. They don’t. Even on LinkedIn, it might seem as if you’re at a virtual business conference, but even at a business conference, if someone walks up to you and immediately starts trying to sell something to you, it’s a big turnoff.

Just like in a real-life social setting, it’s OK to ask for someone’s business, but build a relationship first. For every 10 posts, it’s OK if one post is a straight-ahead sales post promoting your business. The other posts should be industry news, professional insight or (on an individual page) appropriate personal posts.

This post from Social Media Examiner goes into more detail about converting leads into sales using social media.

If someone talks to you, talk back

What do you do at a cocktail party when someone walks up to you and compliments your tie? If you just stare back blankly, they might think that tie is cutting off circulation to your brain.

Always respond to posts – questions, comments, updates, mentions and friend/follower/link requests. It’s just the nice, social thing to do. It helps to have some stock responses ready (but vary up your wording), especially for friend and link requests. Use these to tell users a little about yourself and your business. Otherwise, it’s not just rude, but a wasted opportunity.

Be mindful of your goals

When you walk into the room at a social function, whether you know it consciously or not, you have a goal. It might be purely social (finding a date) or business (making a sale). Everything you do in that room should support that goal. But you’ve got to be smart and socially adept about it.

The point is, on social media, first and foremost, you should be social. But from the get-go, you definitely need to know what your business goals are.

What are the insights you want to share? What news are you going to comment on? Who are the friends and followers you want to foster relationships with?

The answer to all of these questions should build toward your ultimate business goals – increasing sales, driving traffic to your website and building and maintaining relationships.

You should never expect money to exchange hands at a cocktail party. Similarly, you’re not going to literally make a sale on social media. But attending the party, building relationships and providing a friendly, honest face and voice for your brand will go a long way toward influencing your customers’ decisions to do business with you.

At bloomfield knoble, we help clients of all sizes navigate all types of social media situations. From developing strategies and best practices and providing custom tools for their accounts, to managing the day-to-day operations of Forbes 100 companies’ social media, we’ve chaperoned plenty of social media cocktail parties.

###### About The Author

Thanks to the shortening of attention spans and his inability to finish a novel (phenomena that are unrelated, he assures us), Jeff Carrington has found the perfect job for himself as director of communications and social media at bloomfield knoble. When he’s not developing social strategies for clients in 140 characters or less, he’s tweeting about dive bars and dog parks, both of which he frequents with his Spitz-Terrier mix buddy, Ben, and other random humans.
Connect With Jeff Carrington

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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

27 Sep 2011

#### You Better Be Interesting on the New Facebook

As Mashable points out, the new Facebook changes that were announced last week will eventually impact Pages as well as user profiles. As it stands now, businesses can post their message and count on that message appearing in people’s newsfeed who have “liked” them – whether it’s relevant to that user or not. That’s all well and good for businesses who post “nonsense” posts that even their followers probably don’t care about. (Think of the company that only posts about how great its product is. After you’ve heard it enough, it just becomes static.)

With the latest changes, the emphasis will be on interacting with the content and informing Facebook of individual tastes and interests. Over time, if your content isn’t compelling, it will be relegated exclusively to the Ticker – the sidebar that shows “less important” updates.

21 Sep 2011

#### The Epic Battle Begins

Now that Google has unchained Google+, it’s time to see which social media behemoth will win the ultimate social media cage match. Can the more experienced and deservedly self-assured Facebook ward off the young upstart with the cool new features?

Mashable has a good write up about the pending war between Circles and Newsfeeds.

Who do you think wins the war?