Jul 17

Interview with Bart Christner – Author of DIGITAL MEDIA: A VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA

Book Cover: Digital Media: A Visual Encyclopedia: D5liver (Photo by Glen Green)

Book Cover: Digital Media: A Visual Encyclopedia: D5liver (Photo by Glen Green)

Introductions to Author Bart Christner

I’m pleased to share an interview with Barton Christner, author of DIGITAL MEDIA: A VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA: D5LIVER. 

Bart is equal parts science geek and artist, and he brings these two sensibilities together in his work, insights and now his book, the first in a series.

Q: Bart, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

Author and Digital Media Expert, Bart Christner

Author Bart Christner
Portrait photo courtesy – Bart Christner

First, thanks for an opportunity to interview it’s appreciated and of considerable value to be featured on Glen Green Pro.

Early in my teens I talked about writing a book. I felt life’s philosophy should compel each of us to leave “something of value behind”. I joked my tombstone should read “He Made a Difference”. (laughs) Pubescence didn’t lend much experience or material from which to draw; despite artistic inclinations, having won cover design contests, a magnum opus would have to wait.”

Soccer, the thrill of whitewater kayaking, spelunking weekends while exploring computer gaming and graphics, opened up some “book possibilities”. I studied architectural design-built processes, managed recreational clubs, and passionately immersed myself in everything and anything combining visual and technical.

Q: So, you have a new book out. Can you tell us about it and what makes it special?

Throughout the past two decades I gathered, compiled, then wrote DIGITAL MEDIA: A VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA. In my twenties, I sensed the strength of any Digital Media book I might create, would demand a wide and recognizable survey of projects and brands. This book is unique in it’s visual layout, highlighting at-a-glance a quantity and quality of first-hand digital media projects, recognized fortune companies, applauded real-world projects, and many of the industry experts responsible for each project’s success.

I considered the book’s several target audiences to be important. The first, emerging digital media professionals seeking career opportunities and an overview of an industry and it’s experts. Second, students seeking supplementary project examples relevant to their study within academic programs like graphic design, software development, broadcast or film, video, photography, advertising, marketing, and communications. Third, the book lends as a general reference and/or historical treatise highlighting a millennium snapshot, two decades significant in presenting early generation examples, a media industry transformed from analog to it’s first-ever digital solutions.

The DIGITAL MEDIA: A VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA summarizes a wealth of experience in supporting roles, positions and programs initiated and delivered at the Presidential level, throughout the U.S. (California, Texas, Colorado, Vermont) and internationally on three continents (Canada, Germany, Ireland and the Dominican Republic).

Q: What made you write the book?

My grandmother (we called her “Nana”) surprised me in my late twenties by handing me a ten-inch stack-pile of artwork, publications, videos – everything I’d ever created – she had cherished them and had saved each and every one! I bought my first file cabinet and organized them all.

I branded myself “Barton James” and set about to become expert in all forms of convergent, desktop based Digital Media. I struggled at first in communication with people, managing cross-pollinated “multi-media projects” in the early nineties was a challenge, as each industry had varied silos of knowledge and terminology. An example, the word “storyboard” described a completely different deliverable to experts in the “broadcast industry” or the “print industry” or “software industry”.

I decided I would attempt to propose a uniform methodology not unlike the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) or OmniCode, but for Digital Media. This I decided, would be the framework for a series of books. The book began in 1991, as I explored varied project methods and processes, settling by 1994, a few years later, to acquire work packages and deliverables that support a unified five step reiterative process. By 1996, I came to call the process the 5Funnels or 5D’s which I’d presented to USWeb/CKS executives who endorsed it’s propagation throughout 54 international offices: D1SCOVER, D2FINE, D3SIGN, D4VELOP and D5LIVER.

DIGITAL MEDIA: A VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA is a further developed, resultant bird’s eye perspective, succinctly categorizing and highlighting a relatively wide set, 900+ projects, 30 genres of current digital media deliverable types (D5LIVER).

Q: What tips do you have for somebody getting into digital media today?

Digital Media careers require a relentless pursuit to stay current, to gain knowledge and experience in varied media and industry types – merged media (DVD authoring, Ecommerce, nonlinear video editing, mobile, social media). Stay informed. Year after year, I enrolled in post graduate courses, constant industry training, actively seeking diverse career choices and projects every couple of years that would reflect the various media genres and opportunities I hoped would most appeal to each of my book’s target populations.

Challenge yourself and remained very intentional to acquire jobs that afford you a diverse set of project management roles for each media type. I was fortunate to direct accounts with well known organizations like Fisher Scientific, IBM, Bayer, Dick’s Sporting Goods, NASCAR, Holiday Inn, Clemson University, Daytona State and Penn State University.

Q: What do you hope people will get from the book?

I hope people obtain value from observing and learning from the book’s overall selection of deliverables shared, as well as the commentary from 30+ respected industry experts, and their collective industry experience.

In the late 90’s I took notice and purchased Dorling-Kindersley’s “SPACE: A Visual Encyclopedia”. I felt this full-color book to be extremely well-designed, highly complete, an innovative and perfect example of a photo-driven, graphically oriented collection, with informative “chunks” of adjacent content, well-suited to a readership and population over-stimulated, by various media. I immediately liked the book, hoping then to improve upon it’s already eye-catching, refreshing, moment-by-moment, easy-to-read format – it was unique in it’s presentation that could inform one’s curiosity in under a few minutes, or retain the audience’s interest hour after hour.

Through interim and keystone roles leading up to executive, full-professor, and author, I was constant in meeting and being mentored by some very inspired individuals. I purchased countless books, took hundreds of courses, and reviewed hard-copy and online articles of new media trends, technological advancement, and fresh, innovative marketing campaigns. The people and materials I referenced, ranged from the overly “dry” (often the technical) to some with way too much “fluff” (often the creative), and rarely the right content to impact my needs. So much on the market, either contains unknown or irrelevant examples, nor provided enough insight from the actual people who developed the projects. Example might be “Joe’s Plumbing Video” or “Sally Florist Website” while both might be an acceptable project to reference, each lack’s national recognition, widespread interest, and risks being an irrelevant example to the reader’s immediate needs.

It’s my intent that professionals enhancing their digital media careers and students of merged-media, in addition to reference institutions and libraries, will find DIGITAL MEDIA: A VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA – to be an informative, wide-ranging, visually delightful, millennium snapshot – an important creative, technological and content-based reference that inspires and informs their jobs, related academics, and life’s pursuit in general. For the past two decades, I sought at last, to present an exemplary level of inspired photography, concise writing, and visual layout – my most recent obsession – required to single-handedly launch this book precisely as envisioned.

Q: Where do you see digital media in 5 years? 10 Years?

The term “Digital Media” still differentiates two decades evolution, breaking away from a century or more of analog processes. I suspect the word “Digital” to lose it’s descriptive importance and further morph. We’ve experienced terms and technologies like “multimedia”, “interactive media”, ” immersive environments”, “social media”.

Also, print-on-demand books and more profoundly on demand “3D media” (the low cost ABS plastic 3D printers promise to revolutionize object and parts distribution and delivery. Consider tangible, in-home “3D printing”, with layered manufacturing of everything from plastic lawn gnomes to yet-unlegislated, unlicensed legal ownership of plastic home-printed working handguns. Yep… Google it – there’s now fully functional one-shot – no requirement yet for licensing – undetectable in airports – plastic home “printed” guns…  with the “print-ready” blueprints available online now.

Ten years from now we’ll be immersed, all five senses “plugged in” with simulated smell, advanced kinetics, maybe even taste, complementing our virtual experiences inside giant hamster balls… Or “media eggs”. Classrooms, the workplace, vacation tours, all realistically depicted, remarkably simulated, “Matrix-like” from the comfort of your home “theater”. Biological augmentation, genetic manipulation and in-ear or eye implants will follow sooner than we think.

Keep current observing developments in both virtual and tangible 3D industries… Future media trends will more and more tightly align.

Q: Do you have any plans for more writing? What’s in your future?

I’m interested next, in contacting Penguin Books, parent company having purchased Britain’s DK (Dorling Kindersley). It is very intentional that Penguin also happens to be the parent corporation of Authorhouse, my current publisher. I’m passionate about the potential to partner with a larger international publisher, investing, managing, launching and marketing a full five-book set in collaboration with their resources and distribution capability.

Most important, after twenty years in competitively seeking, collecting, categorizing, and selecting opportunity, experience, references and real-world internationally recognized digital media results… there exists a tremendous satisfaction to see this book – DIGITAL MEDIA: A VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA – propagate online and to brick-and-mortar bookstores, and of course to hold that first copy in my hand… publishing this first in a series of five books, attributes at many personal levels: the book is a reference tool in my classrooms, it is my portfolio highlighting client results, and it’s the sum culmination of my lengthiest, most time-consuming project, spanning decades… finally delivered.

Bart James Christner's Signature from Digital Media: A Visual Encyclopedia: D5liver (Photo by Glen Green)

Bart James Christner’s Signature from Digital Media: A Visual Encyclopedia: D5liver

Bart Online

Many thanks to Bart for his sharing his time, insights and inspirations.

Be sure to add DIGITAL MEDIA: A VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA: D5LIVER to your professional library. It can be found on Amazon.com and elsewhere:

ISBN-10: 1481740105
ISBN-13: 978-1481740104

I encourage others who are interested in the subjects of Digital Media, ranging from the creative to delivery, reach out, connect and follow Mr. Barton James Christner through his many channels, a subset of which I present to you now:



Barton Christner | Facebook

Barton Christner | LinkedIn

Barton James – Google+

Barton Christner | Flickr

And many more at: BartonBartJamesChristner.brandyourself.com

Did I Mention? – Featuring Yours Truly…

As a parting addendum, I also have to thank Bart, not only for his interview here, but for also allowing me to be featured as a Digital Media ‘expert’. Hashtag: Flattered!

Glen Green, featured expert in Book Cover: Digital Media: A Visual Encyclopedia: D5liver (Photo by Glen Green)

Glen Green, featured expert: Digital Media: A Visual Encyclopedia: D5liver (Photo by Glen Green)

Unless noted otherwise, all photos in this essay, by Glen Green. 




Jun 26

Penguin 2: The Revenge!

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's "The Brew Room" logoWhat do a Penguin and Artificial Intelligence have in common? They’ll both affect your SEO if Google has anything to say about it.

Get the full story on Pittsburgh’s ‘The Brew Works‘ website where I was recently invited to contribute an essay:

Penguins, Artificial Intelligence and King Content

Apr 04

The Most Common Mistake

Don't expect a large turnout at your party if you don't invite people in advance. Paris cafe, empty tables. Photography by Glen Green - GlenGreenPhotography.com - Creative Commons: Attribution, Non-Commercial

Don’t expect a large turnout at your party if you don’t invite people in advance.
Photo by Glen Green (Click the photo for a larger version)

I have associates, colleagues and friends who are producers and publishers of media ranging from books to music to photographs and movies. These creators have worked hard to make something interesting and worthwhile.

More often than not, these inventors are composing their works on their own dime and they don’t have deep pockets. And yet, time and again, I see the same mistake that so often keeps these works from getting the recognition that they deserve: they fail to take advantage of content and social media marketing in a timely fashion.

Companies have budgets to set aside to market themselves (or they don’t usually last long.) But that is seldom the case for an entrepreneur who frequently have to sink their own money into the projects and have little to spare.

But what these creators may lack in money, they can make up with content and a little bit of time.  That content and time can translate directly into publicity.

When I raise this opportunity to these media creators, I usually hear that they’ll do the marketing once the work is done. This is a mistake. This is roughly analogous to a movie studio not releasing a trailer until after the movie is already released to the theaters.

Instead, I advocate building your audience in advance and in tandem with the creation of your work and by leveraging the very work that is being created. This must be done early in the process because what an entrepreneur lacks in finances, they must make up for with time. (And even with money, audiences and reputation aren’t created with the flick of a switch.)

For example, If you’re writing a book on digital media that you hope to publish in say, a year’s time, consider some of the following tactics, all of which could be executed while writing the book by devoting a few hours each week:

  • Build a Twitter following now: connect with your target audience and like minded experts. Foster relationships, and share your knowledge on your book’s subject. Share key quotes from your book. 
  • Connect with other authors on the subject through their blogs or other media. Leave comments and thoughts on their posts. This can easily have the added side effect of expanding ideas within your own work. When your book is ready, you’ll likely find a group of peers who are entirely happy to promote, review and share your work.
  • Start a Facebook page – again: like Twitter (and the like), start to establish your expertise and gain a following.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile. Let people know that you’re writing, share excerpts, elicit feedback, join associated groups, communicate and connect.
  • Write your own blog. Share stories on the process of writing, tell fun anecdotes, give advice on your subject of interest, etc.

The list can easily go on, but what’s more important here than providing some checklist of tactics, is to convey the strategy of engaging early with your audience. If you wait until you’ve finished that book, movie, or album and expect to have an audience of 100,000 Twitter followers instantly ready to buy your work, you’ll find it is going to be a long haul. What’s more: once your work is done, one is often exhausted, having spent a the majority of the enthusiasm at the time of creation. Instead, the work is done and in lieu of riding the momentum of an existing audience to greater heights, the author is confronted with starting the long road of publicity. – All the while their work is growing stale and unrecognized.

The time to start publicizing your efforts is now.

Mar 22

Social Media at its Most Basic

Previous site contribute, Ashish Jajoo has written another worthwhile essay that pulls back the curtain on Digital Marketing and Social Media specifically.

At its most basic, from a marketing standpoint, Social Media offers us the insight we always wanted into our consumers’ minds, behaviors and thoughts – the challenge is harnessing it, understanding it and making it work for us.

– Ashish Jajoo

Read more in Ashish’s essay: Social Media and Digital Marketing Should Not Be Rocket Science!

Apr 11

Avoiding Me Too Site Syndrome


Jari Rouas - Digital Marketer and Brand Manager. Expertise influencing consumers and healthcare professionals through award-winning digital programs to drive trial, awareness and retention with a strong emphasis on measurability.

Jari Rouas - Digital Marketer and Brand Manager

Jari M. Rouas is a NY based Digital Marketing Consultant who has more than 20 years of professional experience leading brand site development and social media endeavors for organizations such as GlaxoSmithKline and MRA Services as well as start-up and mid-sized companies.

In this essay, Jari provides great insights and tools that will help you differentiate your site and branding. She reminds us that if we are seeking brand distinction (and who isn’t?), then we must do our homework. This article, serves as a helpful study guide towards getting that work done.

Jari can be reached at jarimrouas (at) yahoo.com and I encourage you to follow her on Twitter: Twitter.com/jarirouas for more great insights and connect with her on LinkedIn: Linkedin.com/in/jarimrouas

One Key Step To Avoiding Being a Me Too Site

Apples and Oranges - Making your brand and your website stand out from the competition, photo by artist Glen GreenHow do you cut through the clutter?  Planning certainly helps and part of this is taking the time to really explore and discover what the digital landscape looks like.   I see otherwise brilliant agencies proposing digital tactics that may appear to be unique but when launched the brand may not be the first, nor even a fast follower, in the space with this offering; there may be dozens of sites that satisfy the searcher.

Taking time to do due diligence and understand the online environment is time well spent.

Important to note as you list the competitive set it should not only include the obvious – similar product but whatever product or services might be competing for the same eyeballs.  For example, for an OTC sleep aide you’d want to look not only at other products on shelf but devices that reduce snoring and beds that help people sleep better.  People seeking solutions don’t always search to find a product.


So what do you look for?

  1. What are competitors digital activities e.g. destination website, social media, blog, paid and organic search?
  2. Are their efforts working?  Are they driving traffic and usage of their sites?
  3. Who are they speaking to?

As an outcome of your discovery you want to be able to say what they are doing well and not so well to see where the opportunities are to differentiate your brand.



There are great and often free resources to use to do your environmental audit, to name a few:

  1. https://www.Alexa.com here you can find out about traffic going to competitive sites and some basic demographic and search information
  2. https://www.compete.com am a huge fan of the pro features but even the free version can give you fantastic traffic and trend information about competitive sites.
  3. http://marketing.grader.com – website and blog graders to find competitors strengths and Achilles heels
  4. https://www.Adwords.google.com worth its weight in gold, here you can learn about what keyword or keyword phrases are heavily searched on and understand if you speak about your product the same way consumers do, e.g. ‘Smoking Cessation ‘or ‘Stop Smoking’ products.
  5. https://www.google.com – ask the Google!  put in your product type and see what is returned, which sites are well optimized and appearing in the top listings, which competitors are paying for adword campaigns against a brand name, product category or product benefit.

Look, listen and learn to understand what is being said about your product and those of your competitors in social media, here a two good free resources:  https://Twitter.com/search and https://Socialmention.com


Now you’ve got a bunch of data that you need to synthesize and digest to get a sense of what the field you are about to play in looks like.  Use this data to help you stand apart from being another ‘me too’ site.  BTW you also now have a baseline to help measure the success of your programs against.  Good luck.

Apr 09

Social Media – A Personal Relationship with the World


Sandy Adams - Manager of Social Media Marketing

Sandy Adams - Manager of Social Media Marketing

Sandy Adam, Manager of Social Media Marketing for ANSYS, Inc. (an engineering simulation software company in Canonsburg, PA) provides her surprising insights on how to advance one’s social media presence once you’re no longer a beginner. As a bonus, Sandy also makes a recommendation on a good social media book to add to our reading list.

Sandy is a recent transplant to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she has quickly connected with locals and the digital marketing scene. You can connect with Sandy (who also has a fascinating background in virtual world development and the use of virtual worlds for training and serious games) by visiting linkedin.com/in/sandyadam and about.me/Sandy.Adam

Let’s get something straight; right from the get go. Social technology isn’t easy, free or the magic pill that will take a Brand from obscurity to success in short order. No. Social is hard. WAY hard. Social never sleeps. You might, but while you do, it’s a thriving and active community that does very well without you.  But that said, social is AWESOME! It’s exciting and invigorating while being confusing and exasperating. Hmm, this sounds a lot like a personal relationship doesn’t it? THAT is what social is.. a personal relationship with the world.

There are plenty of thought-leaders in the social space that I respect and follow almost religiously. But sometimes I feel they are talking to the masses of newbies in this space. And I think, at this point, there are far more noobs than experts out there, and that’s okay. Everyone needs to start somewhere.

But where do you go, when you’ve been in the field for a while? Sure you have developed your own thoughts and methodologies for using social media channels for connecting and positioning your Brand, but sometimes you will find yourself in the position of saying “what’s next?”.  I tried this, that and the other thing, here are my results, here’s what worked and here’s what didn’t. But now what?

My advice, go back to the basics. Remember that social media is only one of the tools in your toolbox and that you want to make sure ALL of your tools are honed. Think about how social media integrates with your other marketing campaigns. How you can use your website’s SEO keywords in conjunction with your social media efforts. And think about the types of metrics you want to achieve.

I recently picked up a book called “Social Media Metrics Secrets” by John Lovett.  Not only does it have great information about quantifying your social media success efforts, it offers some great insight into moving beyond simply counting your social media metrics on to aligning them with your KPI (Key Performance Indicators. I recommend you pick up a copy as it will surely make you think about new ways to use your social tactics. Let me know what you think of it.

Mar 30

Consumer Attention Transforming Communications Organization – Marketing Challenges of Many2Many Communications

Ashish Jajoo

Ashish Jajoo - Director Strategic Engagements & Digital Marketing at CIBER Inc.

The author, Ashish Jajoo, is a leader in Pittsburgh’s Digital Marketing and IT services. Ashish has been kind enough to grant me permission to publish his essay on Marketing Challenges in  the social media world of Many-to-Many communications.

Ashish argues for the ever increasing importance of a holistic consumer experience as the consumer’s voice becomes more powerful in the era of social media. Product life cycles and marketing have changed – products and marketing continue to intertwine even after the product has been purchased; this in turn gives new meaning to customer loyalty and underscores the challenges and opportunities presented by this new mass dialog.


Consumer behavior patterns and influence spheres now extend beyond focus groups and interactions with service professionals. Many to Many (M:M) communications enabled by social media, communities, forums and blogs has changed the dynamic, putting the consumer in-charge of the brand/product with which they choose to associate and share their attention.



Communication paradigms and shifts

In the coming three to five years, marketing organizations will not have a distinct role for digital marketers. All marketers will be digital marketers, with some having specialization in print, TV, and other media (currently mainstream marketing channels). This change reflects ongoing transformations in commercial communications made possible by technology advances that continue to shape our ability to reach audiences and customers.


Prior to the 14th century, sending messages to a multitude of people required a proclamation to be issued for individuals to gather at a given time and location. With print media still a century away, one-to-one (1:1) and one-to-many (1:M) communications (i.e., oral communications) flourished. Once the printing press was invented, 1:M communications benefited from an entirely new distribution capability which provided a clear advantage over the pure vocalization of messages. The advent of the telegraph, telephone, phonograph and broadcast radio and television furthered the reach and convenience of 1:M communications, making them more reliable, consistent and manageable. Communications underwent yet another radical transformation in the internet age, but retained many of the traits of its previous 1:M forms.


The rules changed with the advent of Web 2.0, and a far more enigmatic paradigm – many-to-many communications (M:M) – has become the new reality. Facilitated by social media such as FaceBook, Twitter and others, M:M communications have unleashed both challenges and opportunities never before seen.



Transforming Organizations – Driving Change   

Global organizations will need to transform to effectively convert these challenges into opportunities. They will be driven to dissolve internal functional silos across value chains or risk exclusion from the dialogs their customers are engaged in. Under such circumstances, firms would quickly lose relevance in the marketplace. Alternately, organizations that do embrace M:M communications in the form of digital marketing, will ride the next wave of branding opportunities into the future.


Knocking down these silos will require bold leaders who think holistically and understand the potential synergies between once disparate functions such as IT and marketing. The first signs of this transformation will appear in front offices, where consumer facing employees will become at least as savvy as their customers in social technologies. The traditional front office will convert to a digital front office – marketing, sales, service, PR, and HR will share a unified communication platform that provides for social and digital messaging awareness. Every employee will realize that they are ambassadors for their organizations and brands, especially across social and digital touch points.


As organizations restructure, consumer engagement models will evolve to become more inclusive. There will cease to be separate functions and programs focused on individual communication channels. Print, television, events, and online will come together in meaningful ways, creating a unified customer experience. This convergence will enable reuse/repurpose of resources and assets, driving efficiencies and lowering costs.


The definition of brand value will expand to include consumer lifetime value (CLTV) by including factors such as relevance and richness of content and experience, depth of engagement, and breadth of interaction. KPIs will change from impressions and CPMs to include a wider, 360 degree perspective of individual consumers that chronicle the valuable brand interactions being shared at the sub-value-chain level. This ecosystem of sub-value-chains will form the basis of all M:M brand communications going forward.


Practical Impact   

Impact on consumer communications   

Consider the impact of these changes on a CPG or insurance payer organization* seeking to promote their brands and drive sales. (* insurance payer organizations have been recently empowered to market to consumers directly.)


  1. In 1:1 communications, marketers and sales staff would speak face to face with customers.  Organizations were in absolute control of the messaging and brand positioning.
  2. In 1:M communications, organizations used mass media like print, radio and TV to communicate with many individuals at a time. The race for “eyeballs and attention” began. This was further facilitated by the advent of the internet, which many experts considered simply another mass media channel. Marketers were still in control of their messaging, and creating strong brands and loyal customers remained relatively easy and familiar tasks.
  3. In M:M communications – made possible by the convergence of bandwidth availability, increased computing capability, advanced application development tools and mobility platforms – control over marketing messages passed at least in part from marketer to consumer.   It has let loose a torrent of “conversations” – interactive messages – that are not controllable in traditional marketing terms. However, while marketers and brand managers have the ability to create and distribute the messages of their choosing, they have little to no control over how it will be received, shared and further still perceived.  In this environment, it is difficult to predict the context in which consumers will receive and interpret a given message.  M:M communications can only be loosely channeled, rather than tightly controlled.


Social media brand interactions are a reality that is here to stay.  Consumer engagement with brands is completely transformed, and the richness of interaction is unprecedented. In one instance, a CPG’s toothpaste brand promotion received 300 comments on just one social media outlet within 48 hrs of going live.  The brand website, while typically registering as many unique visits in a day, was unable to engage more than the standard 12-15% of consumers beyond clicks into conversions.


M:M puts the entire organization in focus for every consumer to critique as they wish, when they wish. The integrity of the organization’s value chain has never before been under such scrutiny, and will continue to be in the future. Building strong and vibrant brands will not only rely on product marketing, but also on the integrity of the value chain, visible due to organizations’ increasing transparency.  It will become important not only to let consumers know that a given product is green, but that it was manufactured with minimal environmental impact, that the organization is planting trees to offset its impact, and so forth.  As consumer awareness rapidly increases, no brand will be immune to scrutiny and public dialog.


This dialog will be channeled through brand managers, advocates and brand champions, and it will appeal to the social consciousness of consumers, attracting and retaining them. These types of connections with consumers will be built at a higher, “meta level” beyond product benefits – they will be directly correlated with satisfaction derived and desires fulfilled by brands, creating a stronger identification with the brand promise.  A consumer who self-identifies as an affinity member stands out to marketers as a potential brand champion.  This is where M:M communications and social media prove their greatest value to marketers.  “Sub-value chains” revolving around such consumers – self-identified brand champions – are established, and the conventional marketing value chain is transformed by the addition of these smaller units.


The definition of a loyal customer will continue to evolve to include these sub-value-chains. We are truly in the age where the consumer will become active participants in the overall marketing value chain of the organization they choose to engage with. The involved and informed consumer, who has chosen to engage with the organization and the brand, will be the loyal consumer of the future – a consumer who feels ownership and hence loyalty towards the brand.  Brand loyalty will have an increasing dependence on the value chain of the organization, which in turn is dependent on the attention a consumer is willing to spare for it.  Organizations will be faced with the imperative to become more transparent throughout their value chain to make their customers feel an integral part of it.


Previous notions of the value chain have failed to include the paying customer – the most important part of the chain.  Organizations will have to change – to place customers front and center – which implies that attention will become an essential part of the transparent value chain of a successful 21st firm.



Attention is the key to marketing success 

Digital marketing and the front office will be the turf on which the battle for the attention of consumers will be waged. Consumers have changing and ever increasing expectations for the brands they interact with. Anticipating these expectations, providing the desired engagement channels, and exceeding customer expectations will win and sustain the customer’s attention.


Attention is nothing less than the currency of the future. Currently measured on an overly simplistic high-low basis, it will soon evolve into something entirely different. It will be considered an inviolable trust between consumer and brand, a coveted and precious commodity that possesses the ability – not the mere potential – to move markets, to change behaviors, and to change the world at large by re-imagining marketplaces, economies and enterprises.


Attention from consumers will dictate both the nature of engagement and the imperative to provide engaging experiences with brands moving forward. Marketers, CSRs and the rest of the front office will drive that engagement across social and digital channels in this, the new information driven, service oriented economy.


As services continue to become a greater component of the Global economy and as GDP rises, expectations of customers will rise and competition will drive greater incentives, promotions, etc. to grab the finite commodity – consumer attention. This rise in expectations, combined with an increasing need for marketers to reach and remain relevant to customers, will increase the demand for attention. This will indeed be a golden era for consumers, who will sit at the center of the marketing universe and will be served by organizations on their own terms.


Once given, attention can only be kept for a short time as countering claims bombard the consumer. This means that engaging content driven by superior user experiences will need to be made available seamlessly. Technology facilitating M:M communication will drive this user experience. The convergence of web, mobile and social media will enable rich user experience.


While engaging content and rich user experience are generally created and delivered with advanced technology, satisfying fundamental customer requirements will allow organizations to create meaningful engagements. It’s well documented that only engaged consumers can be converted into paying customers. Attentive customers are primed for potential cross-selling and up-selling opportunities based on their rich profiles gleaned from M:M interactions across the multiple touch points that consumers chooses to engage.


First Steps   

The focus of all communications, marketing, and consumer interaction should be driven by that focal point which will help attract and retain a consumer – attention. Consumer attention should be front and center to the organization’s decision making process, especially as it evolves towards a more transparent value chain. Transparent value chains are “likable” and therefore will engage consumers – who previously offered consumers personalized experiences based on their profile – a more involved experience by dynamically tailoring adaptive engagement models, proactive as well as reactive. This will enhance brand value and garner further attention in the future interactions. Attention will not only lead to deep, rich, long-term relationships with individual customers, but to long-term sustainable sales growth for enterprises.

You can learn more about Ashish Jajoo by visiting his profile on LinkedIn.

Mar 14

Social Media – It’s Relationship, Stupid!

I’m re-posting this with permission from Robert M. Caruso. Although I’ve never met Robert face to face, I’ve gotten to know him through social media: Twitter and Facebook which just goes to prove the points he makes in this essay. I’m still surprised by how many professionals have yet to understand the merits and strengths of social media. However, I imagine that in no time at all, these same people won’t be able to function without social media anymore than they can stand being separated from their mobile phones.

RelationshipThere are so many things that go on in social media by people that really get it. Unfortunately, there is a lot more I see from those that don’t. Understanding the conversational and relationship aspect of social media marketing is often a difficult thing for people to grasp. Believe it or not, I find that digital marketing professionals and traditional ad agency types have the most difficult time with the transition. Those goes for network or MLM marketers as well.

Some of the people that seem to excel within social media are the non-marketing experienced individuals that by nature are highly social. You know the types, no matter where they go they end up in conversation with complete strangers. Starbucks and a coffee results in 2 new friendships and exchanging of telephone numbers for future connection. They seem to understand and read people well, culminating in a constant expanding network of associates and friends. I love these people!

Here is what I have found in my experience in social media… People are truly social animals. We all like attention, we appreciate assistance and we gravitate to those that provide that. Of my 15,000 followers, I know hundreds by name without opening their profiles. I pay attention to when they have been gone on vacation and remember to follow up. It’s just like the real world. These factors and contacts create and develop connections and relationships that grow and thrive.

Through these relationships, naturally people draw together around business. Being genuine, showing interest in your Twitter followers, Facebook friends and fans, establishes interest. Interest in your as a person and your service or product.
It never ceases to amaze me that when I have discussions with people within the social graph about THEM and what they do, inevitably they quickly become interested in what we do and sign up for BundlePost. Engaging and building relationships in social media results in revenue and ROI. So quit being stupid and constantly self promoting. Forge relationships by getting to know and helping others and see your results change dramatically!

The original article can be found here, on Bundlepost.  I also highly recommend those interested in the subject of social media and relationship building to connect with Robert on Twitter: @fondalo.

Mar 11

A New Day Dawns

Bright Sun Photo by Glen Green

Welcome to the new home of GlenGreenPro.com!

After a great deal of planning and wrangling, I’m finally rolling out the first site in my web presence makeovers – so I’m quite excited. In this case, I’ve finally transferred this Pro site from a WordPress hosted environment to a self-hosted installation where I’ll have a great deal more control.

So, again, welcome, thanks for your patronage and please stay tuned for new posts and a design refresh.


Jun 20

Ritz Camera Loses Their Touch

I’ve started evaluating getting a new pocket sized point and shoot for the occasions when I don’t feel liking toting the brick that is my DSLR.

I stopped into a local Ritz CameraRitz Camera Store store and scanned the counters for signs of cameras. Seeing nothing, I asked the clerk, “Do you – uh – sell cameras?” He indicated, yes and pointed to the cameras in display cabinets well behind the counter. He said, “We use to have them there (pointing to an accessible display where customers could have interacted with them) but we didn’t like people touching them.

Good going Ritz. You’ve eliminated your one advantage over online stores.

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