Wrapping Up

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This quarter in digital marketing was a fantastic learning experience. It was refreshing to take a course that focused on real-time topics, instead of marketing principles written by some theorist in the 90’s. Over the quarter, I grew a from an ignorant marketer to a well-rounded marketer of the future. I have been taught to believe that being a good marketer was to understand basic strategy using marketing principals. This is not the case. To be a well-rounded marketer, you need to understand overlapping skills with your IT department, and your marketing department. Over the course I have learned, and practiced several of these skills, such as coding, A/B Testing, Google Analytics and Hootsuite.

Officially Google Analytics, and Hootsuite certified!

HootSuite Certified Professional           analytics

All of these skill make me a much more useful asset to a team of my next career pathway. This course allowed me to develop extensive real life skills, such as my certifications, my website, my social media and my blog. We covered several topics in the course, below are snippets of my favorites, and links to my blog on the subject.

Below is a snippet of content from a handful of my blogs. Click the link to read more if you are interested!

Content Marketing:

Content marketing is composed of three components: content, search and social media. Content is valuable information that people WANT to read. After that comes the search. Search engine optimization is tied directly into the content. People share and link your page if you have interesting content. Finally, social media is important because it creates the incubating ground for your like-ability and brand-preference to grow. Social media allows people to share content which can then be linked and liked by everyone.


A/B Testing:

Perhaps the most useful tool marketers have developed in the analysis of space is A/B testing. A/B testing is a scientific method of creating a website. Essentially you have a control and a manipulated variable. In terms of a website you develop two styles of landing pages, a control (the original page) and a variable page, in which you try several different layouts and track the change in sales. There are several things you can track, click-through rate, headlines, color schemes and much more. What it really determines the form of test is the goal you are trying to achieve. If the goal is to optimize search, you could potentially test things like color, placement, layout and formatting of the search bar. Or maybe you want to see how the text affects the click-through of products, you can test different lengths compared to your control site. All of these metrics can be measured, and analyzed by using a variety of tools. . .


Social Media

Ahh, social media; a cesspool of hormone filled teenagers sharing useless content about Justin Beiber’s hair. That was the past. In the beginning, social media sites like AOL and MySpace were only used as an extension of people’s social connections. They were used to gain friendship, find relationships and to simply post about what you were doing that day. Nearly 10 years later, social media has advance into an interactive arena where the ever resourceful marketers have found a valuable resource for their marketing toolbox. From a marketing standpoint, social media is perhaps one of the most important additions to web 2.0. Social media is what fuels the interactive nature of the web, and allows companies to build brand loyal communities. Today it is abnormal to shy-away from social media sites. With a platform for nearly every type of person, social networking has allowed people to connect all across the world without ever leaving the safety of their computer.


Tweet Chats

Although this subject may not be new, it was to me. Tweetchat is is a great new tool released by the Twitter engineers. Essentially a tweetchat is a specified topic (scheduled in advance) where people can live chat about the subject. To sign up for a tweetchat it is very simple. First and foremost, you must have a Twitter account. Secondly, you can find scheduled chats@ http://gnosisarts.com/index.php?title=Tweetchat_Wiki/By_Day


Digital Currency

All of these mobile payment methods are fairly new, and most are still trying to perfect the art of what I like to call e-money. As I mentioned earlier, I question the safety of e-money, but the concept itself is on the rise. The idea of never having to carry currency is exciting and more than likely they way of the future. Before you know it we will all probably come equipped with implanted chips where all we do it tap the mobile device to transfer money. It is all so new that it is hard to say where the process will be in five or even ten years from now, but needless to say, we will find out.


Mobile Marketing

Back when our expectations of a phone were simply direct calls, mobile phones could get by with this style. However the digital revolution, where the smart phone is at the center of consumer demand, have created a style of mobile computer. Mobile phone don’t serve a purpose unless they can do everything from tell me where I’m going, and what I am going to do when I get there (they kind of dictate our day-to-day life). Either way, smart phones revolutionized the technology as well as the marketing industry.

Of course where this is chatter there is marketing. Mobile marketing is by far one of the most important components to add to your tool box. Reaching the customer on their own medium is crucial to your success, and mobile is the way to do it. This blog presents 3 quip tips on what to focus on when mobile marketing.


There are several other way more topics on my blog (brukson.wordpress.com) if you like the content, keep reading! I developed a fairly decent following over the past month, and even have some friends and family who follow my blog. Below are my stats:


stat 3

Total word count: 14,567

Avg. blog word count: 808

Well, that’s all for now, keep an eye on your email, for updates of new posts!


Facebook’s Secret Sauce

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Every company has its “secret sauce,” that one key quality that makes them a success; and Facebook is no different. Besides allowing you to poke people, Facebook has completely changed the social media platform. With over one billion users, the world’s number one social media site has a few tricks up their sleeve. Facebook’s “secret sauce” is called EdgeRank; their (previous) algorithm which determined how, and what, ends up on your newsfeed. Facebook describes their own algorithm as a means in order to give users the most relevant and interesting content. This algorithm is based on three factors:

1) Affinity: This is the most important aspect of the algorithm. Affinity is how your audience interacts with your posts (on Facebook, people interact with posts by sharing, commenting and liking statuses). The more often people interact with your posts, or the category of post with you, the better chance of your status showing up on their newsfeed.

2) Weight: This is how much priority Facebook allocates to each one of your post. Every post has a different weight, for example, videos and photos rank high while simple status rank much lower. Simultaneously, the weight of affinity takes a place. When people share your content it is the most important. When they comment on your content it is ranks high, and a simple like holds much less weight.

3) Time decay: This is simply how long your post lasts in the news feed. Like with every good sauce, the proportion of these “metrics” is not exposed to the public. 

These three things make up the Facebook algorithm, and it does not sit well with a few business mentors. There is a shark lurking in the waters of Facebook and he goes by the name

Mark Cubin.

Mark is a self-made billionaire, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and is a shark on the hit business show, Shark Tank. Cubin holds a very strong, negative opinion on the algorithm, and it brings up key marketing consequences. Mark brings up the idea of promoted posts (paid status promotions that bring them to the front of the newsfeed). Promoted posts skyrocket to the top of newsfeeds and essentially change the metrics of the algorithm. Before you could organically reach your consumer through tactical content marketing. But now you have to compete with people who are using their monetary capital to essentially, beat the algorithm. It is no longer simple enough to build the secret sauce, but you now have to pay for it. You can use this knowledge to your advantage. I’m sure by now you might be asking yourself about the relevance of this blog to you. From a marketing perspective, this blog is going to help you properly reach your TA on Facebook, and if you’re an avid Facebook junkie, this blog is going to help you narrow down your newsfeed to the content you want to see.

For you marketers out there, I am going to save you time and money right here; so pay close attention. Imagine, it is 4pm, and you are at the office. You just got out of a busy meeting where your boss assigned you the task of improving your social media presence on Facebook. What do you do? Here are 5 quick steps to improving your presence on your friends newsfeed:

1) Post Regularly: The more often you post, the more likely people are going to be engaged with your posts. This is not the fool-proof system, you can not simply spam news feeds to get results. The target number is 2-3 VALUABLE posts per day, in order to build a solid audience. As well the time that you post is crucial. Posting at times like lunch and after dinner drive the most traffic (think about it, this is when people are using social media, after meals during free time).

2) Post Photos: Photos are one of the most quintessential aspects to capitalizing on the algorithm. Photos take only seconds to engage a viewer, and more importantly, allow your audience to visualize the experience. Photos result in  comments, shares and likes, which eventually result in a better news feed presence.

3) Encourage Engagement: It is important to encourage your audience to interact with your post. There needs to be a clear call to action where people feel inclined to participate. Next time you post an event photo, add information on how people can get involved, preferably through a link where there is a direct call to action.

4) Keep It Clean: Negative/Inappropriate posts will result in poor feedback, which we learned is a no go for the algorithm. Therefore keep it fun, friendly and appropriate. By doing so you will draw a favorable audience who engages with your posts.

5) Quality: This goes back to my blog on content marketing. People will go where there is rich, QUALITY content. Draw a crowd to you, which will result in more interactions, positive feedback and SEO.



Open Source Product Design

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There are two main styles to bring a product to market. There are what I call, strategic, and hopeful marketing. Hopeful marketing includes people with inventions. You know, the type where you call invent tech; that great place where only 1% are successful and these results are not typical.

Inventions hit the market with a hope of drawing a crowd. They hope that their product is going to solve a problem, and they hope people will buy (this seems silly but some products are just thrown in to markets). Successful product creation revolves around solving a problem, or satisfying a need. Successful creators are bringing a solution to the problem. This is where co-creation is at it’s finest. Co-creation is when consumer desires are at the forefront of the design. Consumers today know what they want (at least they think they do), and their desires are pushing creators to design new products that can suit these “needs.” For example the iPhone 6 NEEDS a larger display (so consumers can have larger Instagram pictures), and it NEEDS more storage (so consumers can take more selfies). As you can see, consumer concerns are extremely crucial to new product development.

People who partake in this co-creation part are entirely consumers. Several types of consumers are willing to dedicate their time, and money into a more beneficial creation process. Innovators, or early adopters on new products are most likely to partake in the creation process because it allows them to test drive new toys (keep in mind this is usually the 1%). Lead users of the product are likely to partake in creation because it optimizes their time using the toy. And finally enthusiasts enjoy refining the category for all other enthusiasts.

Certain things drive creation, and others inhibit it:

Drive Co-Creation

Maximize Utility: No one works for free, and from an economic standpoint humans are all about maximizing their utility (the most benefits with the least costs). Creators can stimulate co-creation by benefiting the consumer. This can be anything from offering reimbursement for their time, to allowing them free test trials of the product. But more importantly, creators need to reduce the cost of co-creation, in order to receive the most useful insights. In my opinion the most beneficial reduction in cost is to personalize the process of co-creating. Make the process of co-creating fun for the individual, and make it efficient. Saving the creator time will reduce the cost, and make the experience more enjoyable.

The Internet: The World Wide Web has made co-creation so much easier. People can express their opinion, experience product design and (depending on the platform) partake in co-creation from their own home. The revolution of the Internet has led to open source creation (which I think, when taken seriously, results in the most amazing outcomes). i.e. Twitter, was an open source, co-creation, design where many of the features were designed by users.


Not crowd surfing! I said, crowdsourcing; this is the process of obtaining people’s, knowledge, skills and contributions from a large group. The Internet has made crowdsourcing possible. The process of co-creation is essentially crowdsourcing, but using several source sites you can maximize the number of creators you receive. Check out how!


Inhibit Co-Creation

Transparency: Allowing consumers to alter/innovate aspects of your product design demands a transparent company. The consumers must be able to see all of your business practices involved in creating the product (although this can be a burden for some companies I think it is a strong area of opportunity, where it motivates companies to create a clean transparent image).

Intellectual Property: A huge concern of co-creation is the value of intellectual property (the thoughts, ideas and words of an individual). The limitations here range from the worth of consumer opinions, to the reimbursement they receive from offering up their ideas.

Information Overload: This is tied in the concern for valuable intellectual property. Sometimes in co-creation people do troll and offer up the opinion of the devils advocate. This is not only a waste of the producers time, but it can diminish the returns of co-creations. Additionally, when companies receive so much consumer opinion it can alter what their perceive consumer needs to be. So many “needs” can result in a product trying to solve the worlds problems, instead of focused product.






No Paper Trail Has A New Meaning

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As a customer service representative at REI, I am very familiar with various forms of payment. You have cash, card, the occasional check (before REI as a co-op stopped accepting them) as well as the chip in Canadian cards (Credit cards with a security chip in where you can literally tap the terminal and payment is verified). Being so close to the border, nearly half of the members at Bellingham’s REI are Canadian, and many of them question the security when swiping their card. Americans aren’t far behind chip cards  as a form of payment. We are in a day and age where so much of cash is already digital, so why not finish the change and eliminate physical currency? I’m referring to more than just cash/coin. Why even carry those pesky cards in your wallet? There are now several cool new applications that can easily replace these silly cards.

Google Wallet:

This application is run by the most prestigious internet company out there, Google. With a name like Google backing the application it must be a surefire success, right? We will find out. Google Wallet works by implanting micro chips into Google Android phones that allow you to pay for transactions by simply tapping the terminal. Just like Canadian credit cards, this application allows you to simplify the purchasing process. All you have to do is sign up, load an account into the application, type a pin number in and tap.


This is a mobile payment platform that allows you to pay for a transaction, entirely from your phone. Now this is kind of questionable form of payment because it literally transfers a plethora of information the second you tap the transaction. It transfers your phone number, name, email, and account information, which the business can then use to market their goods to you. They also run customer acquisition campaigns, and  social media campaigns where they can team up with local businesses and can help them make money off the app user. This application is by far the most questionable mobile payment out there because it values the business instead of the user.

Square: You may recognize square as that tiny little square that plugs into any mobile device, instantly turning it into a cash register. This little guy has revolutionized payment methods in tons of small businesses. Now the same claim to fame has become an app that allows you to spend directly from your app. This is the mobile payment platform that runs off a simple picture. All you do I load up your name and card, a profile picture, and pay. Essentially the cashier matches the picture on your profile, and yourself in the store, and then you tap the terminal. Sound secure? I personally am skeptical, but people seem to love it.


Perhaps the most popular form of cyber-currency is Bitcoin. They released the app in 2009 and when it hit Google, the popularity exploded. They even have a Bitcoin atm in Vancouver, BC. With this application you store bitcoins (the form of currency) in you digital wallet. From here, you can feel free to make personal transactions with any individual operating on the app. This application is similar to the method of PayPal, but different in the respect that you need no financial middle man. The app allows you to make cyber transactions with no paper trail, therefore the app can be used for anything from buying a car, to making a                                                                                                                                      black market sale.

Another interesting new form of currency, but not one that is entirely digital is called Coin. Coin is a universal credit card that allows you to load several cards into one, all-purpose card. This not only reduces the need to carry several cards that bulk up your wallet, but it creates a simple way to transfer funds as needed, and optimize your spending. Check it out!

All of these mobile payment methods are fairly new, and most are still trying to perfect the art of what I like to call e-money. As I mentioned earlier, I question the safety of e-money, but the concept itself is on the rise. The idea of never having to carry currency is exciting and more than likely they way of the future. Before you know it we will all probably come equipped with implanted chips where all we do it tap the mobile device to transfer money. It is all so new that it is hard to say where the process will be in five or even ten years from now, but needless to say, we will find out.








Quick Tips On Mobile Marketing

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When people think of the digital revolution, one of the most significant changes is the introduction of the smart phone. The new technology creates an almost limitless connection to the world around us, and has essentially transformed our expectations in a mobile phone. Can you think back and remember that very first mobile phone, the one that was the size of a textbook, and had a foot long antenna? It was certainly before my time, but this is what I am talking about.

You know, the one from the 80’s, along with all this stuff:

Back when our expectations of a phone were simply direct calls, mobile phones could get by with this style. However the digital revolution, where the smart phone is at the center of consumer demand, have created a style of mobile computer. Mobile phone don’t serve a purpose unless they can do everything from tell me where I’m going, and what I am going to do when I get there (they kind of dictate our day-to-day life). Either way, smart phones revolutionized the technology as well as the marketing industry.

Of course where this is chatter there is marketing. Mobile marketing is by far one of the most important components to add to your tool box. Reaching the customer on their own medium is crucial to your success, and mobile is the way to do it. This blog presents 3 quip tips on what to focus on when mobile marketing.

User Interaction:

Among some of the most important aspects of mobile technology are the interactive capabilities between user and phone. As I have emphasized before the ability to manipulate and interact with advertisements greatly enhances click-through rate as well as lead nurturing. Human beings gravitate toward things we can touch, it is in our nature, people want to be able to physically reach out and grab something. On a cell phone (thanks to touch screen technology) people can literally touch your advertisement which is absolutely amazing! (This is crucial for marketers to understand) Your advertisements need to jump out and say click me! But more than that they need to follow certain guidelines that most mobile applications do not. First and foremost, do not be invasive. Mobile is a much more sensitive market than web, people don’t appreciate you wasting their precious seconds of mobile time.

Secondly, make sure your application displays quality content that the user wants to click. You have to understand that you have a split second to grasp the viewer’s attention, and if you can’t all hope is lost. Finally make sure the click-through takes them directly to where they want to go, if people go as far to click on your advertisement, do no bother them with pop ups, or useless information, they wanted to view your content SO SHOW IT TO THEM!


Android and iOS power 85% of all mobile devices, leaving the other service providers (blackberry, Symbian and Linux) in the dust. Therefore it is safe to say that if you want to reach any audience with your application, it better be on the Apple or Android App Market. With nearly 13 billion dollars being spent on mobile advertisements in 2013, you can say that the business is booming! It is no wonder people are spending the time to market on these mediums, and here is how. Applications run on your device, and are one of the driving forces of popularity (in smart phones). People take the time to develop applications because of the money to be made through advertising on the applications. There are two ways to make money using an app, by selling advertising space, or through in app purchases. You can sell a few forms of advertisement space, banner ads (or simply put, tiles of advertisements on the application) or in-game advertisements (those pesky pop ups that interrupt your temple run) or sponsorships (brands that pay to have their name included in the name of your application). Spacial advertisements are useful, but not a profitable as in-app purchases. Here, there is something restricting a full version or advancement in an application. The consumer can get past this by using real money on their free application. Take candy crush for example, people are crazy about this game, and go as far to spend real money on extra lives and special candies.


The third and perhaps most important is search ability. People use their mobile devices to make their lives easier (or at least I do). They use their phones in order to connect with friends, find locations, places to eat, what the weather is and so much more. The key link between all of these is that you have to search to find out what you are looking for. You need to search for locations on Google Maps, you search Facebook for long-lost friends, you search Yelp for places to eat. Ensuring that your page, brand or advertisement comes up high on the search list is key to your success in reaching your target audience. You can do this with SEO or things like paid search (If you’re interested in SEO read my blog @https://brukson.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=229&action=edit). Paid search is a tactic in which you pay the search agent (GOOGLE) at a defined rate per click. This is properly termed pay-per-click. This is important because it keeps you above the organic search list and ensures that you are at the forefront of the search. As well some 95% of clicks come from the top four results coined in a search.

Mobile marketing is the best way to reach consumers in the current times. It reaches them on their medium, and provides them with real-time interaction. Something extremely hot on mobile that is a talk for another blog post is social media. We all use it, and most prefer it to keep in touch with friends. Check out my blog on the importance of social media at:


That is it for this blog, and thanks for reading!





The 5 Biggest Mistakes in Mobile App Marketing

Ever Wonder What Companies Do With Your Personal Information?

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It is no secret that companies try to know as much about you as possible. From a companies perspective it makes complete sense. The more you know about a customer, the better they can tailor the content to suit your needs (as well as theres). But where do companies cross the line? I mean, you can hardly even open a website anymore without giving a company your email address. But, more importantly; what are they using the information for? And who are they sharing it with? This blog addresses what companies do with all the data they are compiling; with a focus on the sanctity of personal capital (personal information, and the right to privacy).

Most importantly (and probably the least concerning), companies use your personal information to make predictive purchases for the customer. By logging your purchase history, tied into personal information such as physical and e-mail, companies can send you predictive promotions. For example, when you purchase a new piece of equipment, lets say a new television from amazon, they might be likely to recommend you a related purchase like a DVR or HDMI cables for your gaming consoles. As you can see the intended nature of obtaining your information is harmless (if you perceive advertising as harmless). They are not trying to sell your information to other companies, and they are certainly not just building a database at random, but they are designing ways to better fulfill your purchasing needs (and wants). Target is another great example of a how a company properly uses personal data. (Now if you live in Bellingham Washington you may be skeptical, but I the credit card information is not what I am referring to here). There were several instances where Target could actually predict women’s pregnancies based on their purchase history. In these cases Target was sending letters/promotions to the house related to baby purchases. Just another example for how predictive marketing can be one step ahead of the game.


There are certain companies our there that do use personal information to their advantage. Using their database, Orbitz, the online hotel booking company, found that MAC users spend as much as 30% more on hotels than PC users. Based on this data they chose to run a little A/B testing

(see my previous blog https://brukson.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/who-said-marketing-isnt-a-science/ to learn more about A/B testing).

One website was to be ran for MAC users in which they were presented more expensive hotel bookings. The other marketed to PC users, with less expensive hotel bookings. Now to be perfectly transparent, they were not advertising the same rooms at different prices, but they were limiting the options per device. Some people see this as tactical marketing where a company is simply displaying content that the consumer prefers, while others see this as conning the customer. Personally I hold the opinion that there is something wrong with limiting customer choice based off what you believe they want (leave a comment below on what you think!)

As a side note, the use of personal data is not limited to advertising. In the Obama campaign, they brilliantly captured tons of data in the first four years of his presidency. Now when it came to reelection time, they used this data to their advantage. Check out how in this killer Times article.








The Game of Thrones of Data Crunching

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In the past, excel was the end-all, be-all means of crunching data. Excel could do things that no other piece of software could do, in particular, organize lists of data. The space alone used to be impressive, then came the charts & graphs, and the basic tables. With the latest version of excel, you can create elaborate pivot tables which can sort, count and analyze data in a matter of second, allowing seamless data integration. Unfortunately, even with all of these analytics, Excel is not the king of data analysis. Don’t get me wrong, excel still serves a purpose in the business world, now more than ever. But, there is more sophisticated software for crunching data. For example, Microsoft Access. With this program you can compile loads of data into organized tables, fields, queries and so much more. As well you can link your fields to URL data bases allowing you to import so much more data. But still, with all of these capabilities, neither of these are king. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan like myself, I like to picture these companies as so:

Excel reminds me of Ned Stark. Honorable, reliable, dependable. Both Ned Stark and Excel will   serve you honorably. They have a strong hand in the fight for the throne, unfortunately will never be on the throne again.

Microsoft Access reminds me of King Joffre for several reasons. They have all the necessary skills to be king, however they are both moody, temperamental little kings.

Moving on to the true king, the Robert Boratheon of data mining, Structured query language (SQL). SQL is a programming language that is used to optimize data. With this form of coding you can easily add/drop information, tables, queries, etc. SQL allows you to implant code into your sites which allows you to easily store (and retrieve) customer data. The data can track consumer data as simple as emails, or it can track complex data like purchasing preferences and habits. But, it is the marketing implications of SQL that make it king!

Companies who are clearly using SQL are online retailers like Amazon and Nordstrom. These two companies can almost become invasive when they promote their products onto you. Nordstrom goes as far to store all of your purchase pathways. For example, if you are on their website and add an item to your cart, their SQL server will store this data until you make the purchase. If for some reason you do not buy the item, the server will hold the data for future use. The way marketers use this data is by promoting these “forgotten items” by bringing them to your attention (usually by email). Nordstrom will send their customers emails saying “remember this jacket, well its 25% off.” Just think about the ROI on these types of systems. They are simple to set up, and once in place continually store crucial information. Now, Lets look at how Amazon uses SQL to their advantage. Amazon picture of SQL perfection, they use SQL to power their genius related purchase system. Whenever people compliment goods, Amazon saves this in their server. Therefore when people are shopping on their website, they suggest additional items commonly purchased with the item placed into their cart. GENIUS! (Not to mention their book selections, and the way they run their warehouse)

Becoming a successful marketer requires you to have an in-depth skill level consisting of much more than just being able to operate Microsoft office, it requires you to be competent enough to be able to build and maintain you own website, and become independent of your IT team. This includes being proficient in, graphic design, web design and coding languages such as SQL. Well, that’s it for today! Thanks for reading, and keep marketing!