Month: October 2013

Google Authorship – I’ve Waited Long Enough for You!

Woke up earlier this week to this surprise in my inbox –

Google Authorship

I’ve been waiting for this email since Google announced they were integrating Google+ with the authorship program back in September.  I was excited for the change but knew I had to wait since the roll-out was gradual. I had been manually adding mark up to all my blog entries with the hope of having my picture show up beside my blog post in search results. The problem with that was that it was not consistent – sometimes it would show up, other times it wouldn’t, even though Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool recognized the markup.

There’s been so much talk about authorship and why you should claim it.  The purpose of the Google Authorship Program is to be able to properly attribute original content to its creators.  Through the program, Google is able identify the thought leaders and experts in each field and their work will be tied to their profile rather than the site they distribute their content through.  Since Google’s goal is to serve up quality sites, having expert (quality) content should then improve your overall ranking in the search results, right? I guess then, the challenge is still to prove whether or not you’re an expert… (I’ll save that for another blog post!)

Google is also reportedly reducing the amount of rich snippets and Authorship shown in search results by 15%.  First some good news, then some bad news. I guess I will just have to see for myself whether Authorship makes a difference!

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Cheeky. Clever Marketing in London

I had previously talked about my trip to London, a city I’m absolutely in love with! From the minute the trained pulled into St Pancras, I knew it was a city that I could relate to and find inspiration from.  As a marketer, I was amazed by all the cheeky marketing messages I saw everywhere. For example, this was a drink I had from Pret a Manger:

Pret a Manger Advertising
2013-10-09 23.13.04

First of all – who wouldn’t want to try Yoga Bunny Detox (sparkling too!).  Second, it was something as simple as a “No Nasties” declaration on the back that caught my eye. Brilliant!  Who wants to say “No preservatives” when you can say “No Nasties”!

Sometimes, marketing can be as simple as this – saying things differently, giving your brand personality and gaining your consumers’ trust as a result.

Ah, I love London.

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Creative Genius: TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert TED Talks

I am absolutely in love with the TED Talks App for Android!  I downloaded so many TED Talks to watch for my trip – it was the perfect entertainment for those long train rides with no Wi-Fi!  One of the talks I watched was by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author behind the best seller Eat, Pray, Love.  I had read the book years ago before my trip to Bali.  Seeing her name peaked my interest so I went ahead and downloaded her talk.

Her talk is titled “Your Elusive Creative Genius”.  (If you’ve never seen it, you can watch the video here) This talk was given right after she found tremendous success with Eat, Pray, Love.  She was feeling a lot of anxiety over the fact that she might never see that type of success again in her lifetime.

She talks about how this pressure to continuously perform can sometimes get the most of people (especially those in the creative fields). She compares this way of thinking to the ancient times in Rome and in Greece when people believed creativity came from the gods or spirits who would visit whenever they wanted. Humans were only vessels for the creativity.  This way of thinking took the pressure off of the writers because whether their work was good or bad (or simply non-existent), they were not to be blamed.  I had never thought of creativity like that before –  It was just such a strange concept to me!

Of course nowadays, we don’t think like that.  People owned their creativity and if we were caught talking to the invisible creative gods in the corner, we would probably get some weird looks.

But it got me thinking (as most Ted Talks do) – even if I don’t believe in these spirits, I do believe that we need to be open to creativity. I think it’s so important to keep our eyes open and be accustomed to finding inspiration from the smallest and most mundane things.  I love working on this blog because it has opened my eyes to so many great ideas and it keeps my mind open and curious.

So, while I do think Elizabeth’s idea is a bit of a wacky one, I’m glad I watched her talk.  It was… eye-opening.

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BBMe, Maybe?

BBM's Comeback
I have been seeing a lot of BBM pin numbers pop up in my social media feeds the last 2 days, which has me very intrigued!  Should I or shouldn’t I?

Comments around social media has been very interesting to follow – this topic has inspired debates!  Initially I had thought there was no point to adding another instant messaging app to my phone but now that I see so many people jumping back on the wagon, could it really be worthwhile?

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MiB Awards – Showcasing Canadian Bloggers

This is very exciting!

I’ve entered my blog for the MiB Awards which recognizes bloggers in Canada.  We have a lot of talent in this country and it is nice to see an organization taking lead to showcase what we have to offer! The contest is hosted by madeinblog.ca in conjunction with many of the country’s biggest brands.  One blog will be selected from each category to be crowned the best blog of the year in that category.  I’m just happy my blog is listed on that (But of course, even happier if you vote for me)!

To vote, just click on the badge below or visit this link:

Thank you for your support!

 

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Generation Wanderlust – easyJet Ad

The highlight of my trip was London.  Yes, Paris was very beautiful – but London won my heart!  I knew it as soon as I arrived at St Pancras Station that I would love the city.  Talk about love at first sight!

One of the things I did often in London was ride the tube.  We stayed near Baron’s Court which meant that the daily commute to central London was about 30 minutes each way, plus getting between sites here and there – we actually spent quite a bit of our time in London underground!  This of course meant I had plenty of time to study all the advertising on the trains and in the stations.

Maybe its the travel junkie in me but I absolutely loved the “Generation easyJet” ads!  (See the campaign page here)

“The I can’t wait to go generation.
The early riser for the morning cab, last minute packing, full of excitement generation.
The head first into water, wine or work generation.
The nip over, seal the deal, back for story time generation.
The walk until you’re lost, find a quaint spot, strangers become friends generation.
The we’ve been coming here for years, but still fall in love generation.
The I don’t want to go home, let’s stay longer generation.
The back at the office, staring out the window, let’s do it all again generation.
The everyone doing it their way generation.
The more places, more choices, more often generation.

This is generation easyJet.”

I think it’s so valuable for companies to think beyond products, services and the hard sell!  Think instead about the problems your products or services can solve for your customers and what value they bring to your customers’ lives. In the case of easyJet, they recognize that their goal is not to just fly planes but to make travel possible for their customers – whatever the occasion (or lack of occasion) is – whether it’s bringing families together or making adventures possible. This is their “Why” in their Golden Circle :)

Here are a few more of their other ads:

Generation easyJet

Generation easyJet

And one from Valentines Day:

easyJet1

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Holland is the Original Cool – Just Watch the Videos

IMG_0038-002

I just got back from a fabulous 2 week vacation in Europe! My first stop was in Amsterdam. Truth be told, Amsterdam had not made my list of “top 10 cities to visit” but since a friend had moved there for a 3 month work term, I saw it as the perfect excuse to visit and to see more of Europe!

I had 2 days to explore the city, navigate the canals, eat lots of cheese, drink lots of Heineken, get in the way of cyclists and of course, to people watch!  Amsterdam has lots to offer and is definitely worthwhile to visit for a few days. It’s not a city with a lot to see but there is definitely a lot to do.  Unfortunately, I think many people tend to leave it off their trip itineraries – opting instead for more popular locations like London, Paris or Barcelona.  So how do you compete with those bigger (and more popular) destinations?

By making videos like these!

Holland. The Original Cool

Everything Hip… is from Holland!

Their website is pretty neat too.  Now, don’t you want to be hip and visit Holland?

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