With thousands of ad firms wanting your business, how can you choose? Experts explain how to set your goals, put it in an RFP, and snag the best creative team.

Long gone are the days of a handful of Madison Avenue firms controlling the advertising world. Shopping for an advertising agency is no longer done in smoke-consumed boardrooms and martini bars. With the advances of technology and the introduction of digital methods, the advertising world has changed drastically since the 1960s. Thousands of wildly different agencies exist—from 10-men experimental shops in Brooklyn to enormous traditional firms with a global reach, and everything in between. Terms like “experiential marketing” or “social media” that were relatively unknown a decade ago—much less five decades ago—are now crucial considerations. Of course, ideas are still the foundation of creative work, but other key factors play a role in forming a valuable relationship between a company and its advertising agency.

10 Rules for Social Media

There’s no question now that social media marketing is essential for businesses. And since it’s inexpensive to get started, it’s a perfect tool for all businesses. The challenge is most companies are using social media the wrong way.

Here are 10 social media rules to get you on track:

RULE 1 – Stay Focused
Everyday I see business social media fail because they don’t pick a focus for their social media efforts. That is, they try to be everywhere at once and establish a presence on every social network there is with not clear direction. While it’s a good idea to set up profiles on every site to secure your brand name, you don’t need to be active on every site. In fact, doing so only cuts into time you have to spend on more efficient uses.

Erasable Social Media, Hello Snapchat

Snapchat lets users send photos that last only for moments, but investment analysts believe the social media company’s future will be long-lasting. SnapChat is working to tap into its growing reach and is developing ways for companies to advertise on its picture-sharing platform. This makes for an entirely new marketing channel.
Here are the 5 ideas for big-name brands:

1. The name of this potential appeal for Las Vegas’ tourism board: “What Happens in Snapchat Stays in Snapchat.” In a simple but viable application, the municipality could play off its famous tagline by offering prizes to Vegas vacationers who submit footage.

10 Reasons Your Marketing Plan Will Fail

Right now thousands of companies are working on putting together their marketing plans for the upcoming.

In November and December, thousands of companies will finalize their marketing plans.

If you are not done preparing a year end marketing plan, or if you are not in the midst of writing one, you are behind the eight ball.

To help you put together a marketing plan for next year, here’s a reminder of top 10 reasons that marketing plans crash and burn.

1. No written marketing plan.
An obvious one, but if you don’t take the time to create a marketing plan, your marketing will flounder in 2012.

10 SEO Tips for 2014

SEO is an ever shifting landscape and as search engines continue to evolved there is a greater emphasis on the quality of the actual content, versus the quantity of text. There is no silver bullet solution for SEO success and a lot of complex information out there to make sense of but below are 10 simple tips that could certainly help improve your SEO efforts and planning in 2014.

Content. Content. Content.
Relevant content that is updated frequently is key. Stagnant websites die a slow death.

Highlight Media Coverage
Having a Blog and Media/Press page will help in generating the 1# needed, Content. News is the best source of relevant content.

Oreo’s Super Bowl Tweet Win

Anyone watching the Super Bowl this evening saw a great game and one of the greatest embarrassments in pro sports history; a power outage that halted play for a full half-hour.

As the eventual champion Baltimore Ravens, the San Francisco 49ers, tens of thousands inside New Orleans’ Superdome and millions watching on TV waited, Oreo came up with an idea so brilliant and bold that it out and out won the night.

“Power out? No problem,” the tweet read, along with a hastily put together image of an ad showing an Oreo and the brilliant tag line, “You can still dunk in the dark.”

Shake Weights Viral Storm

Few products have ever made as much of a splash as the Shake Weight, a dumbbell-like product that debuted in 2009. Versions of the Shake Weight’s direct-response TV ad have racked up more than 3.8 million views on YouTube. The informercial has also inspired a parody on Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Kimmel Live and logged hundreds of appearances on other TV talk shows including Ellen which has more then 4.3 million views. All of the unexpected attention has helped propel FitnessIQ, the company behind the $19.95 product, to more than 70 million in sales.

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