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Pursuing Opportunities in Digital Marketing

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Students at Kelly Direct Marketing Club ask Chicago Online Marketing Professionals on how to pursue opportunities in Digital Marketing

The Kelly School of Business at Indiana University has a student organized and operated club, the Kelly Direct Marketing Club, for their students interested in pursuing opportunities in marketing. In an effort to expose their members to the world of marketing, they hold an annual Digital Marketing Conference in Chicago. The conference is designed to give students access to professionals and their expertise.

Marketing Panel

Chicago Digital was one of three guests invited to sit on the Digital Marketing Panel at the conference. The panel consisted of Digital Third Coast Internet Marketing Content & Social Media Manager, Rebecca Otis, LeadMD Marketing Services Manager, Ken Moorhead, and Chicago Digital’s own Marketing Manager, Dianna Kolb.

Student Questions

During the conference, students were given an opportunity to ask questions directly to the panel. The questions were centered on what life is like as a working professional in the marketing industry. Students were most interested about the challenges of the profession, how to remain current, and how to utilize the ever-changing technology. They also wanted to know what shaped our decisions to enter the profession. Below is a brief summary of my take on those topics:

My Personal Influences

What shaped my desire to enter the world of online marketing were the internships I had done over the years.  I've interned and volunteered with film festivals, a magazine company, an event planning company and for a large corporation. These helped solidify what I wanted to pursue and helped to build my resume, allowing me to be where I am today.

Top Tools

Google Webmaster Tools: This is a great tool to help analyze and optimize websites to be more visible by search engines, specifically Google. The program will show html errors, link breakdowns, malware issues and other website optimization suggestions.

Sprout Social: This tool helps manage social media campaigns for multiple clients. It monitors inbound and outbound messages. It also allows the user to schedule messages in advance. This tool also gives a deeper analysis of social media followers and their engagement with posts.

Adobe Business Catalyst (BC): The BC platform is an all-in-one business and online marketing tool. Having a website content management, CRM (customer database), and email marketing all in one system gives the business owner or marketer a simple experience that allows them to effectively manage, target and deliver email campaigns.  Since everything is connected, BC gives you greater insight into the activities of your users across everything from blogging, email marketing, ecommerce, and more.

Staying Current - Top Resources

Social Media Examiner: An online social media resource, offering a series of blog posts and podcasts covering any number of social media, podcasts and blog marketing topics. There is always something to learn from this site, even if the topics being covered seem like they may not be a fit. There are always a few key takeaways from every podcast/blog entry on Social Media Examiner.

Website Magazine: A print magazine covering topics on online marketing, web design, web development, related news and articles. This is a great source of emerging trends, ecommerce tips, website tips and online marketing.

Networking/Colleague’s: One of the best ways to find out what is going on in the industry is leaning from the community. Stay active with local networking groups by contributing and learning from online communities in the industry. Give feedback and share your knowledge in an effort to make the entire community stronger. Find and surround yourself with others doing the same!

What resources and tools do you use as a marketing professional?

Share with us and others in the comments below

Muse. Business Catalyst. Together.

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Chicago Adobe Business Catalyst User Group Meeting

In this month's meeting of the Chicago Adobe Business Catalyst User Group, James Speers from Base Zero Productions gave the group valuable insight into how Adobe Muse and Adobe Business Catalyst can be used to deliver successful websites for small businesses. This post will contain an overview of the topics and tips discussed during the meeting.

How do Adobe Muse and Adobe Business Catalyst Work Together?


Adobe Muse is a website publishing tool with a similar user experience to Adobe InDesign. Traditionally Business Catalyst websites are designed in Photoshop, coded in Dreamweaver, then integrated into the Business Catalyst Content Management System. Muse provides designers a different path for creating websites. The structure, layout and design of the website is put together in Muse. When everything is all set the site can be deployed to Business Catalyst directly without the need of coding. From a Muse perspective, Adobe Business Catalyst is the cloud based hosting environment for Muse projects. This visual process of building websites is really exciting for designers.

One Way Publishing

The integration with Adobe Muse and Adobe Business Catalyst is a one way push of data from Muse to Business Catalyst (at the time of writing). Build you site in Muse, then deploy the site to Business Catalyst. If you want to incorporate Business Catalyst modules into your Muse Site you can insert Business Catalyst module tags into your Muse templates inside of Muse. If you make changes to your templates, stylesheets or other files in Business Catalyst these changes are not synced back with your Muse files. This means that if you redeploy your Muse site to Business Catalyst again in the future it could override changes you made in Business Catalyst.

Muse/BC Tips

Global.css

Don't touch this file in Business Catalyst since this file is controlled by Muse and will be overwritten by Muse.

muse_manifest.xml

When there are major updates to Muse it is a good idea to delete this file before redeploying your Muse site to BC. An example, when Muse went from templates to different versions of templates for "Desktop", "Tablet", and "Mobile".

Accessing BC CMS Features on Muse Sites

If you ever wondered where all the Business Catalyst features went when working with a website that was published by Muse? Chances are that the "Enable online content editing (incompatible with Muse)" checkbox is unchecked. To access this, go to "My Details" found under your name in the top right. See screenshot below for location on the page.

Chicago Adobe Business Catalyst User Group

This group gets together on the second Tuesday of every month at Prasino in Wicker Park, Chicago, IL. For more information about the group and to view upcoming events, please visit the meetup page.


Recap of Google Engage Connect Event on March, 5th 2013

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Live from the GooglePlex viewed at Chicago Digital

Local Business owners gathered at Chicago Digital to tune in to the live presentation given by Google. Google brought in a few top thought leaders for the event that covered a variety of topics: "Keeping Up With the Evolving Digital Landscape", "The Zero Moment of Truth: Reaching Customers When It Matters", and "Working and Winning with an Agency: A Fireside Chat". The topics covered were not specifically about search, which you might expect from a Google presentation, but more on how businesses are leveraging online marketing strategies and technologies to engage with their customers to influence the on and offline purchasing decisions.

Zero Moment of Truth

The concept of the Zero Moment of Truth was the most interesting part of the presentation. This concept was structured in a way that is easy to digest and that helped bring forth the importance of internet marketing. Let's take a moment to explore this concept.


The above diagram shows where the "Zero Moment of Truth" fits into the typical consumer decision journey. This typical journey contains a stimulus, which is all of the traditional forms of advertising; it is what encourages the consumer to pick up the phone or visit the store. The First Moment of Truth is made in the aisle of the store as the consumer looks at in-store displays and product packaging. The Second Moment of Truth happens after the purchase when the consumer is home with the product and can see first hand if the product delivers on their expectations. Now enter the "Zero Moment of Truth". This is the stage between the stimulus and when the consumer enters the store (or is faced with the buying decision). The Zero Moment of Truth is the consumer researching the product online whether it be for more information or peer reviews. The proliferation of mobile devices means that the Zero Moment of Truth can even take place in the store as consumers are browsing the web on their phone.

Adobe Business Catalyst Holiday Party

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Come celebrate the holidays with Chicago Digital and Adobe Business Catalyst Users

It's that time of year again to celebrate! Come along and network with fellow Business Catalyst Partners and users. Talk shop, relax, and let your hair down. This event is free to attend and is bound to be lots of fun!

Event Details

WHERE: Prasino - 1846 West Division Street, Chicago, IL
WHEN: December 11th from 6PM - 9PM
COST: FREE
FOOD/DRINK: Provided until our tab runs out, so come early!!

A reason to celebrate

The future holds some amazing things for Business Catalyst and this has been a very exiting year. Some of the most notable Adobe BC milestones include:

  • Inclusion in the Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Dreamweaver CS6 Integration
  • Muse Integration
  • Level 1 PCI Compliance
  • First Adobe BC Partner Events (Australia and US)
  • Rise of Adobe BC User Groups
  • BC Townhall Meetings
  • New support system and documentation
  • Modules inside Email Marketing
  • V3 Interface becomes standard

Event Sponsors

This event is made possible by sponsors: Adobe Business Catalyst, Chicago Digital, and BC Academe.

Chicago BC User Group

2012 marks the first year of the official Adobe Community Group: "Chicago BC User Group". 5 events were held in the first year and heading into 2013 we will be holding events every month. The location, time, and date is standardized to make it easier for everyone to attend. The 2nd Tuesday of every month we meet at Prasino in Wicker Park from 6 - 8 PM.

Join the Chicago BC User Group

To stay up to date on the latest meetings, please visit our Meetup Group: http://www.meetup.com/Chicago-BC/

For those who could not attend this historic event that took place in Chicago on March 28th, 2012 at Depaul University, I have provided a recap of the meeting and a brief background on what brought the 24 of us together on this evening.

 

Welcome-Adobe-Business-Catalyst-Meeting

 

Setting the Stage

The group was formed to educate, support, and inspire local business owners, website designers/developers, online marketers, and students around the topic of building and promoting businesses online with Adobe Business Catalyst. This group is a first step in building a local community around a product that I am extremely passionate about and use everyday. I look forward to learning from, teaching and networking with passionate, talented individuals in the Chicagoland area.

 

Welcome to the Meeting

At this meeting we welcomed 18 attendees who consisted of the following:

  • Current Business Owners who use Business Catalyst
  • Day-to-day Users of Business Catalyst
  • Aspiring Entrepreneurs
  • Online Marketers
  • Non BC Developers interested in learning about BC

Presentation: Landing Page Optimization

Presenter: Kelly Muldoon - Connect to Patients

To kickoff the event, I introduced Kelly Muldoon, a woman who has been successfully helping dentists bring more patients through their door, around the clock, for the past 8 years. Kelly's unique approach is the culmination of her online marketing expertise, experience, and research.

Kelly-Muldoon-online-marketing

Traffic + Conversion = Profits

Kelly highlighted various techniques on how to convert the traffic once they get to your website. She discussed the many types of people who visit your website and how focusing on the often neglected groups can increase your conversions and profits in the long run. The 4 different types of people who may visit your website include:

  • People who are interested and ready to commit now
  • People who are interested but are not ready to commit now
  • People who are somewhat interested but need further information/persuasion
  • People who are not interested at all

You can ignore group #4. The most opportunity to differentiate you from competitors is in groups 2 and 3. If someone is not immediately ready to take your desired step, you should have a plan to move people from groups 2 and 3 to group 1. Practical examples from Kelly’s presentation:

  • Weekly Dental Hygiene Tips Email Marketing Campaign
    • This campaign provides useful information to the potential patient, constantly reinforces the dentists brand, and keeps the patient coming back to the website. This strategy works well for people in both groups 2 and 3.
  • Information Packet Download
    • After giving up basic information, the user can download a PDF that contains more information about the service (such as sedation dentistry). This appeals to the 3rd group who may be ready to commit if they become convinced that Sedation Dentistry is right for them.

Presentation: Building a BC Website in 30 Minutes

Presenter: Scott Shefler - Chicago Digital

Next I introduced seasoned BC Developer and cofounder of Chicago Digital, Scott Shefler. In just 30 minutes Scott gave the audience a demonstration on how to put together a basic website in Business Catalyst. The audience discovered how templates, content holders, photo galleries, dynamic menus, and web apps can be built with ease. The developers in the room were excited to see that this functionality works right within HTML and CSS.

scott-shefler-BC-developer

Business Catalyst Resources

BC-gurus Tribe-Vita

BC Gurus (left)

BC Gurus has emerged as one the industry's leading blogs. Their Pro Community is a fantastic resource for Business Catalyst Partners who are looking to take their business to the next level. Brent Weaver and team provide valuable information around various topics including sales, design, and development (just to name a few).

http://www.bcgurus.com

Kiyuco (not pictured)

Kiyuco is the go-to resource for development tips and tricks. Jason Tinnin provides videos along with code snippets to create an enjoyable learning experience.

http://www.kiyuco.com

TribeVita (right)

TribeVita provides websites ready to go, out of the box. TribeVita goes beyond a traditional template resource by providing full integration with Business Catalyst. All attendees of the meeting received a discount code good for 20% off any template purchase.

http://www.tribevita.com

Others

Do you have a great resource for the Adobe Business Catalyst community? Please let me know.

Q&A

  • Is Business Catalyst compatible with HTML5?
    • Since Business Catalyst works natively within HTML and CSS, Business Catalyst is compatible with HTML5. You would write your HTML5 code as you normally would and insert the BC tags within the HTML.
  • Is Business Catalyst scalable?
    • No server or database setups allow for easy replication of websites. Also, these websites are hosted on Adobe's cloud infrastructure, meaning you do not have to migrate servers as your website's traffic and bandwidth grows.
  • How BC is Setup (If you are a business owner and want to get a website built with BC, what kinds of people or skill sets do you need to hire)?
    • This question depends on whether you go the custom or templated route. The Adobe Paradigm for the custom route is a simple 3 step process:
      1. Design your website in Photoshop (need a designer for this)
      2. Code your website in Dreamweaver (need a front end developer for this)
      3. Integrate, Host, Manage, and Run your website in Business Catalyst (need a BC Partner for this)
  • Existence of plugins or app marketplaces?
    • The global BC community is still in its infancy and there are only a few resources out there. As of today there are not any common app marketplaces (to my knowledge) as you would think about this in the context of other systems: like WordPress, Salesforce, etc.

Networking

business-catalyst-networking

Before and after the event attendees networked while enjoying food and beverages. I had the pleasure of conversing with a variety of people and I look forward to seeing both familiar and unfamiliar faces at our monthly meetings.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this exciting event and I am extremely pleased to see people coming together to enhance our collective knowledge.

To stay up to date on the latest meetings, please visit our Meetup Group: http://www.meetup.com/Chicago-BC/

I had the pleasure of representing Chicago Digital at the Matrix Integration Expo 2012 in Indianapolis, IN on March 8th, 2012.

At this one day expo I demonstrated Chicago Digital's ability to create content with FlyPaper and introduced our unique way of managing digital signage content with what is traditionally considered a website CMS.

 

Digital Signage Content Management with Adobe Business Catalyst

Adobe Business Catalyst is often thought of as an all-in-one solution to run your website. While this is true, Chicago Digital has extended the reach of Business Catalyst beyond just websites and into the digital signage market. At the expo, I showcased Chicago Digital's Surgery Center implementation as part of the 5x3 video wall that was on display in the main expo room.

Demoed Solution: The Surgery Center

The unique project requirement

The Surgery Center was looking for a solution to manage their website and their digital sign within the same application. They wanted to make it as easy as possible for the different practices that are part of their building to manage their information (general practice information, doctor bios, services, and locations). All of this needed to be done with Surgery Center moderation so that the integrity of design and content could be maintained. 

The solution

Adobe Business Catalyst emerged as the premier choice to accomplish this. Business Catalyst has built in moderation rules, a simple website editor, CRM and web apps (a tool that allows custom applications to be built on top of the platform).

A combination of these tools were used to build a beautiful, easy to use website that delivered the desired solution for The Surgery Center. Using web apps, Chicago Digital developed a secure section of the website where the individual practices could manage their digital assets as well as create their digital signage ads.

Presenting the Solution at the Tech Expo

Behind the video wall, I used a media player from Sherlock Systems that was connected to the display on the top right. This display is showing the content that is being displayed in the lobby of the Surgery Center. The camera captured the screen in transition from the main Surgery Center ads to the Milwaukee Surgical Specialists ads. Each practice has their own branded template that shows up for 2 minutes in the rotation. The main area of the screen shows 4 30 second ads specific to the practice.

The display just below it was hooked up to a MacBook Air. I then used an iPad to control the MacBook Air wirelessly to demonstrate how easy it was to make changes on the fly to the website with Business Catalyst's Site Editor (formerly In-Context Editor) and how the practices can create and manage their information and digital signage ads.