About Me

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As Director of Marketing and Business Development at Underground Elephant my role is to develop high-level relationships in the lead generation and performance advertising verticals. My focus is in the Education and Financial spaces. I am an avid animal lover and member of the humane society. Whenever I have free time I spend it playing with my puppy, watching sports and reading up on trends in the industry.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Social Media Forming Brand Behavior

It’s pretty evident that social media and networking sites are the best thing since sliced bread, but new research is confirming that they decide which loaf you will buy. Controlling market trends is no easy task, but social media has found a unique niche in the online market. A recent study was conducted by ROI Research Inc to investigate the affect that social media has on our lives, with an emphasis on consumer behaviors. In particular, our attitude’s towards particular brands and products was studied. The sample of three thousand social network users led to resounding results.

• 50% of Facebook users click on Facebook ads to "like" a brand
• 37% learned about a new product or service from a social networking site
• 32% of respondents have recommended a product/service/brand to friends via a social networking site
• 32% of Twitter users re-tweet content provided by a company or product Source: ROI Research, June 2010

Frequency of Activities on Facebook (% of Respondents)

Social Activity

Facebook Respondents (Once a week or more)

Twitter Respondents (At least once a week)

Make comments about other people's post


Visit company or product pages


Login to other sites using Facebook


Share an opinion about a company



Click on an ad on Facebook


Make a recommendation



Re-post content


Ask for a product or service



Source: ROI Research, June 2010

  • More printable coupons [49%]
  • Notifications of sales and special deals [46%]
  • Information about new products [35%]

Average Online Spending by Time Spent on Facebook & Twitter ($ in Q1, 2010)

Type of User

Facebook Spenders

Twitter Spenders













Source: ComScore, May 2010 (User: Heavy, top 20% of visitors by time spent on site; Medium, next 30%, Light, lowest 50%)

The social media champion from this study is without a doubt Twitter. Twitter users are more inclined to make an online purchase than Facebook users. Those who love to Tweet have more interest and awareness on brand updates, new products, and updated company services. What really drives this study home for me is according to eCommerce by the end of 2010 nine out of ten corporate businesses will be using social media networks. I’d say that’s better than sliced bread.

Sales tactics in the Lead Generation Market

Despite the best efforts of cash for clunkers, stimulus plans, and bailouts most businesses public and private are making massive cutbacks or shutting down completely. The deteriorating sales numbers found in many industries including lead gen require the bold to take action, and the meek to fall by the wayside. I have never been one to be meek, but the solution is very complicated. With marketing efforts and sales force budgets slashed and dashed, it is difficult to create a positive result from such a negative situation.

What cannot get lost in all this mess, is the importance of being proactive about the problem. Industries that refused to advance with new technologies or customer desires are now stuck making rash reactive measures. Staying aggressive in your approach is important, but it does not necessarily have to be a thorny endeavor.

Sometimes, going back to the bread and butter of running a successful business is necessary, because it is so often overlooked. Build your brand through a happy and loyal customer base. Consumer loyalty is the best marketing because they give you client referrals, testimonials, and return business.

It is also very important to re-examine your product or service. Many times there are hidden values or costs left unattended that can financially cripple a company. Review market trends and avoid industry fads. If you have lasted this long in the market count your blessings and keep moving forward.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jedi Marketing Tricks

Searching for successful strategies to increase consumer awareness and ultimately grow your business is no easy task. Creating effective advertising to your consumer base requires a great deal more than most companies are willing to put in. Gaining new customers often requires you to need to change their thought processes and their behaviors.

There is no end all answer to achieve this result. However, well thought out marketing and advertising tactics placed through multiple channels can achieve this desired end goal. When formulating your strategy, keep in mind the goals you wish to achieve from both your marketing and promotional advertising efforts.

Your marketing approach should be centered on the thought processes of your clientele. Effective marketing gets the consumer to subconsciously acknowledge or even select your product or service. Seeing a well placed Pepsi can in latest blockbuster movie is no coincidence. Most marketing campaigns and strategies are formed through the lens of the consumer. What would they want to see? What are they thinking when they enter a search query into Google.

The second tier in this plan of attack is promoting your product. The difference in approach is that advertising changes the consumer’s behaviors and actions. Hopefully, your marketing efforts have planted the seeds of change in the consumers mind. Your advertising campaign is the last push towards choosing your companies product or service over the competition.

Think of it this way; marketing gets your business into the consumer’s brain waves, advertising gets them to sign the check.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Speed Kills: Response Rate and Revenue

In the lead gen industry, everyone is always searching for ways to bolster revenue and increase results. A research study was recently conducted to conclude the impact of speed on lead conversion rates. While quickness in response to lead inquiries has always been at the forefront of successful conversion rates, the results of the study exemplified the point as speed of the response-to-call is the most important factor of lead conversion. Responding to their inquiry within the first two minutes after the lead was generated gets instant help for the consumer and quick turnaround on the investment from the business. This study was based upon the data of search-generated leads.

Findings from the study indicate that leads called between sixty and one hundred and twenty seconds after they were generated converted one hundred and sixty percent more often than the average. In addition, if these leads can’t be reached within the first few minutes, attempting quick contact is still necessary and achievable. Leads called within twenty four hours are still seventeen percent more likely to convert than those that were not called. The final test of the study found that eighty eight percent of leads that close were contacted within the first twenty four hours. These leads might not necessarily convert within these twenty four hours, but establishing the contact at this juncture is critical to conversion rates no matter the length of time.

The critical importance of this speedy response time has become universally accepted as the driving force of lead conversion. Titans of industry in successful business to consumer services from finance to education place great value on quick response time to increase conversion rates. There are other influences, however, that feel steadfastly convinced that interested and qualified consumers will not be conducive to fast responses. The results of this current study definitively show that the speed of the response rate is a crucial determinant every type and quality of lead.

What you can apply from this research study as a lead purchaser or provider is how you can put this thought process into a business practice. The companies that can achieve the fastest speed to call rates when responding to consumer queries will rise to the top of the industry. Meanwhile, those with slower efforts to respond and less tenacity to achieve contact will be left in the wake.