TVs, 3D Printers, Wearable Tech, Gadgets and More! #CES2014

2014 CES: Day 1

It's Monday, the 6th of January at 7:25am and I'm standing in a cold wet New York street waiting to get a lift to JFK for my journey to Las Vegas and #CES2014, (Consumer Electronics Show). 

As you can see, like taking sand to the beach, I am all lugging around all my own digital gear so I am ready for any gadget necessity.



Tomorrow I will be looking to see the biggest new 4k (at least) TV's, the new "Internet of Everything" stuff, 3D printers, fitness gadgets, and any "wearable" tech, from Google glass to smart watches--anything WOW-worthy!

And I have lots of questions...like...

  • Why have any separate devices at all? Doesn't everything work on the phone?
  • How can I use this stuff as a marketing tool?
  • Speaking of phones...I want to see the tougher, better, stronger versions, and oh yeah, the curved ones too.

If you're at CES, I will be hanging with the @Definition6 client team from @RedTouchMedia, doing interviews for their continuing series on "The Future of Content."

So if you see me around, grab me or come visit us at the SkullCandy tent or the Discovery Tower. We can talk digital, gadgets, content, marketing, and more at #CES2014. 

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Frank Radice Interviews Top Executives and Influencers at The Cable Show 2013

Our Expert in Residence Frank Radice had the opportunity to meet with and interview several top executives and influencers in the cable industry at The Cable Show 2013, held in Washington D.C. where thousands come together (including our client--Red Touch Media) to discuss what the future of the cable industry holds and how it will adapt to mobile technology. Check out some of the interviews below:

Howard Homonoff

Tivo's Tom Rogers

Turner's David Levy

Ryan Pellet of Nexidia

Jonathan Verk, CEO of PromaxBDA

Frank Kane, SVP of Marketing for Al Jazeera America

Freebies at the 2013 Cable Show

Catie Keogh

Collin Zito, CTO of Red Touch Media

Brian Stelter of the NY Times

Hakan Can of boredatwork.com

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I'm Just Sayin' "TV Everywhere, I'm So Over It!"

 

I take exception to the term "TV Everywhere," and no more so than when it comes to news.

There is no doubt that television news is being consumed in new ways as people are finding and effectively utilizing multiple screens (2nd and even 3rd screen applications). But in the case of news it's just as important to distribute content everywhere in "every" way! Management will say that a news organization, to be truly global, must have a "TV everywhere" strategy to survive today, but as I say, a "content everywhere" strategy is essential for success. There is far more to it than just TV.

Radio (terrestrial and satellite), print (newspapers and magazines), online services like aggregators, point of purchase and out of home distribution outlets (airplanes and taxi cabs), PR, news releases and distribution; entrepreneurial techniques such as the Red Touch Media download stations, gaming, and most assuredly social media (from Twitter to Vine, Facebook and even FourSquare)--these are just some of the ways to accomplish extending the reach and frequency of message (in this case, the news). All of these tools can leverage content that will reach those consumers who have found new ways to view content on their many screens.

Expertly using all of these tools in the toolbox (and also the ones I haven't mentioned here) is the only effective way that information distribution can function in modern times.

And while this isn't a wholly new concept, it is one to ponder as everyone talks about "TV Everywhere." Millennials are moving faster and faster and using multiple new methods to consume far more content and data than their predecessors, if for no other reason than they are surrounded by more distribution devices than ever before. They all have televisions, sure, but they have their own smartphones and iPads. That's way more than "TV" Everywhere. Maybe "Screens Everywhere" is more accurate, but that still doesn't cover all the bases.

Additionally, all of this assumes that the news is being vetted by people who can vouch for the fairness, accuracy and context of the content. Oh yes, one very important final thought...if the content sucks, none if this matters.

I'm just sayin'

 

Frank J. Radice

@fradice

 

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Channeling Integrated Media at SCAD's #aTVfest

I recently had a chance to speak on a panel of expert media professionals at the Savannah College of Art and Design's (SCAD) "aTVfest" in Atlanta, Ga. (What a fantastic school!). The TV fest was comprised of 2 days of panels and speakers and focuses on three areas - design, creativity, and innovation in television and media production. 

I was given the opportunity to speak on the panel, "Channeling Integrated Media," which was really about the most effective ways to communicate a message through content. The group on stage was as diverse as you could imagine. It consisted of a news executive, a tech executive, an entertainment expert, a professor of media studies--and me, an Ad guy!

One interesting moment came when the discussion turned to Twitter's new "Vine" App for videos. I shot a Vine video of the panel and the audience in real time and then showed it on camera (The entire panel took place in the TV studio on campus and will be made available online shortly after the festival).

Throughout the panel, The students and faculty were very engaged in the discussion, and loved seeing our "True Blood" and "Downton Abbey" work. One professor told me it was "gratifying to hear working professionals substantiate through real world experience the things they are teaching their students."

Check out these photos from the event as well:

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Behind the Scenes at CES, #CES2013

I am excited to be here in Las Vegas for the 2013 Consumer Electronics show! I will be here throughout the week helping our client, Red Touch Media, manage their Social Lounge where they will be interviewing bloggers, influencers, and more. Keep an eye out for updates and follow the action on Twitter at #CES2013, and be sure to follow our Definition 6 Twitter updates. Check out this exclusive behind the scenes video as we prepare the Red Touch Media Social Lounge:

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Is 9PM The New 10PM in Primetime TV?

Frank RadiceWith upfront season in full swing, I've been thinking about Primetime TV viewership and I had to ask myself - Is 9PM the new 10PM??

Five years ago if a network's primetime show didn't hit a 5 demo in 18-49 viewers, it would be in deep trouble.

Today, the 10pm demo, for the most part, seems to be around a 3 or lower.

Why is that?

A few things come to mind.

One: DVR's are everywhere now. It's not just a TiVo anymore. Every cable company has one, and they are quickly replacing the old set top box (and let's not forget the Roku, the Xbox, the Boxee, Apple TV, and any of the other cool device out there).

And research is also showing that tablets like the iPad are quickly becoming the second screen of choice for content consumption, while services like Aereo allow you to watch and record your favorite show in their cloud for later viewing anywhere.

TiVoTwo: …and this is probably a function of the first thing…there are so many places to get content, and so much targeted content on cable and online, that the hours of material anyone can watch at any given time, is just too much to bear.

Three:…and this is just anecdotal of my colleagues in New York; hard working people are going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier (again, this may have something to do with DVR's). I mean, why not, right? Especially when you can watch "LAW" at night and catch "ORDER" in the morning on your digital device!

Another reason may be simply that the big three (or four) networks are just not programming what people want to see at 10pm.

That is the traditional home for drama's and procedurals…but the biggest numbers are now coming from the 9pm non-scripted shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Voice."

Maybe the premium cable nets, programing high end shows through the 9pm and 10pm slots without commercials, are causing the erosion.  

And maybe that tiny sliver of "un-plugged" viewers is starting to grow.

If everyone could create multiple revenue stream, none of this would matter much. Get paid even without the eyeball analytics (or without commercials in some cases.)

Just create great programs and let people find them wherever they are, regardless of what time they are on.

In the end, it always comes back to great content that can cause conversation (either in person or online, especially social media channels.)

So, let 9PM be the new 10PM.

I will just go to sleep early, and watch my favorite stuff somewhere else, some other time, and be happy about it.

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“Aqui Contigo:" We’re here for you - New Song for Univision's KMEX Station in LA

When Univision asked Definition 6 to create the new song for their flagship Station KMEX-34, I called Randy Wachtler at 615 Music, Nashville. Randy and I have been nominated twice for the National Emmy Award for original music for TV, so 615 was a natural choice. Along with Aaron Grant and the 615 team, we got to work. Univision logo

Univision wanted a “Theme” to celebrate the Latino culture and Mexican heritage of Los Angeles.

So Rene Garza, Alejandro Valencia and I composed a wonderful piece of music based on KMEX’s branding concept, Aqui Contigo. We titled the song with that idea in mind and created a piece of music recorded with some of the best studio musicians in the country. Recently, Chava Garcia, the station’s marketing chief, created a work using the instrumental version of the song against the on air personalities in iconic locations in the City of Angels. In the near future, the entire 2:00 piece, with vocal, will air. Until then, here is a sneak peak at “Aqui Contigo.”

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Social Media: The water cooler of the 21st century

Recently I've been ruminating about social media with colleagues and friends, and I realized that the family dynamic has drastically changed with the evolution of technology, and behaviors we take in social media are very similiar to those that once around the water cooler in the office. For example, watching a primetime television show with your family can now involve tweeting, checking in, and chatting with others in real time about the show, whereas before, these conversations were limited to coversations taking place the next day at work.Family on all screens

In fact, social media provides such immediacy that the water cooler conversations have gone away and are taking place at the virtual "lounge" (aka Twitter, Facebook, other preferred social media platform).

In a recent Jack Myers blog I elaborate on this further, but it definitely has spurred some controversy among my networks. 

When I posted the water cooler idea on my personal social media "stations" there were, of course, some contrarians.  One said "You're still thirsty after using social media." (funny) But another was even more specific, saying, "I think the whole social media thing is over blown. There was no social media during Tiananmen Square. The Soviet Union fell without Twitter and Facebook. When freedom rings, the masses answer."

True enough....but...

The world saw all that on TV not in the square or at the Wall.  And everyone talked about it the next day.  Not much changed in China, and the Wall didn't come down because of an outpouring of global social action through moral outrage and word of mouth...it came down because it was time, and Ronald Reagan said so!

Social media is now our most effective "word of mouth tool."

So let me ask you - do you agree with this water cooler analogy? 



 

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Your Name is Your Brand: 5 Steps to Personal Branding

So, you've been downsized or made redundant. But you're certainly not ready to throw in the towel.

You've been paid lots of money over the years by some big company where you learned and refined the exact skills they needed you to have in order to make their business work.

Now it's your turn to do it for yourself. But where do you start? You've always had the company to give you business cards, cell phones, laptops, desktops, probably an office or a cubicle, and maybe an assistant and an expense account.

Now it's all gone!

But it's really not if you know what to do.

The most important thing to remember is...Your Name is your Brand!

Your skills are still there and your experience has taught you how to hone them.

Here are 5 practical starting points to get your personal brand going.

1.  Register yourself as a company or a partnership (first name last name company) This is easy to do, but you may have to wait in line at City Hall for a while.
Frank Radice's company business card
2. Get your own URL. (You can lock that down at any number of place like name.com. Own your name if you can with your first name & last name.com (joeschmoe.com). Make a basic web page (you can do that a places like use.com).  Make it simple and use your new URL as the title (JoeSchmoe.com)

3.Get your own e-Mail address appropriate to your URL. firstname@firstnamelastname.com (you can do this for your business at google Apps) (Joe@joeschmoe.com)

4.  Print business cards that are very simple. Your name, your URL, your e-mail address, and your mobile phone number

5.  Start a Facebook fan page and a Twitter Page for your company. Show links to them on your website. Make a Linkedin page and get someone to do a Wikipedia page for you.

After you have populated your sites and pages with your expertise, experiences and some examples of your work (make sure you use video), get out there and network.  

Hand out your cards, talk up what you can do for a potential client.  Get their card....and then...Follow-Up.

A great example of personal branding is the recent campaign by Matt Epstein called "Google Please Hire Me" where he created a website and a video all focused on landing a job at Google.  He even worked his personal brand into the URL playing up the double entendre of "ME" to reference his initials.



TalentZoo also released an article last week entitled, "10 Strategies to Reinvent Your Personal Brand" which outlines many of the topics I touched on above.  In fact, it even further discusses ways in which you can improve your personal brand by being a catalyst or being a source of great knowledge.  In this day and age, you need to market yourself even more to differentiate yourself from the ever-growing talent pool.

Of course you need a strategy and you must understand how to use all of these tactics...but you've got to start somewhere.

Now let's get this party started.

 
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The Social Media Lesson We Can Learn From Cats on the Internet

There are nearly 40 million pet cats in America.  Now that’s what I call a community!  And it’s no surprise that the “Two Talking Cats” YouTube video has 39 million views. That’s what I call powerful social engagement.



So, why cats?  What is it about cats that make people watch?

Dog owners will say that their pets have personalities, facial expressions, the ability to respond to commands, give undying love…And they will say that cats do not possess these qualities.  To that, I respond “Bull @#$$!”

I can personally say that my cat, Sam, does all of that!  And I bet your cat does too (to some extent).

So what lessons can we learn from cats on the internet that will help inform us as social media users?

1.    CATS ARE ENGAGING

2.    CATS ARE SHARABLE

3.    CATS MAKE YOU SMILE

4.    CATS ARE UNIVERSAL

After all, why do people share content?  To engage with their community, to express feelings, and to share their stories are among some of the reasons for this.

Cats are universal.  They are loved and adored by people all over the world and no prior knowledge is required to appreciate their humor.  It is harder to read a cat (unlike dogs, which are highly emotional animals).  Cat’s reactions are typically unscripted (although most likely provoked), and for the most part, they are unpredictable.  Which means that the result is good content.  And for us, virtually humiliating them with funny captions, videos and pictures is like a harmless practical joke.

And since millions of people own cats, there's an endless supply of new content.

Cats are just who they are. They are comfortable with themselves and do whatever they want from ignoring you, to puking up fur balls on your carpet. To quote Eric Cartman from South Park, "Whatever - I do what I want."  So is the life of a cat. In many ways, we envy them.  And we certainly watch videos of them online, and share them with our friends.

A special thanks to Jon Accarrino and Turds and Treats for their help on this blog.
 

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Will the Real King Please Stand Up?

At every conference I attend, the statement always arises about which reigns supreme: Content?  Context? Conversation?

While at South by Southwest, I posed this question to Barry Diller, CEO of IAC. 



I shared more of my thoughts on this in a recent blog post for MediaBizBloggers.com.

What do you think?

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We Meet Again: Frank "The Expert In Residence" Radice vs. Lloyd "The Toxic Avenger" Kaufman


Date: 7 April 2011
Subject: MI-6
Location: NOT LONDON!!!!

MI-6 is NOT the British Secret Service...it’s the name of the PROMAX/BDA Game Marketing convention in San Francisco.

That’s right, Gamers need marketing too!

And I will be there representing Definition 6 in my role as Grand Inquisitor, interviewing Lloyd Kaufman, President, CEO, Director and Producer of TROMA Entertainment, America’s longest running independent film production company.

Frank Radice interviews Lloyd Kaufman at MI 6

You may remember such films as “The Toxic Avenger (1-4),” “The Class of Nuke’em High,” and “Sgt. Kabuki-man, NYPD” (and if you don’t, you should) Well..Lloyd made them all and more.

This guy is an institution (and he’s hilarious) and he has a lot to say about the business, marketing, movie-making and on the serious side...Net Neutrality!

Joining us will be Def 6’s own Jon Accarrino, reprising his role as the Social Media DJ, brining to life everything Lloyd and I talk about on stage.

It should be a great time in history.  Hope you can make it there.

 

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NATPE 2011: The Rebuilding Year


The National Association of Television Program Executives Annual Event

I've been going to the NATPE TV supermarket for years.

I remember a time when millions of dollars were spent on the booths, and lavish parties were thrown for the execs and the affiliates.

I also saw it lose ground to CES during the financial meltdown, and now I've seen the start of a comeback for NATPE as an event and a marketplace.

I'm told there were a thousand more attendees at NATPE this year over last.

67 countries were represented here and every major content provider globally seemed to be in attendance.

This year, they had online show guides to help navigate the sessions and the floor, a hash tag and TwitterFall, a Facebook presence, and lots of social media interactions...they just needed better access to the NATPE Wi-Fi on site.

The theme this year was "Content First!”


NAPTE Venue

Some things I heard and learned on content distribution, international programming, video strategies, brand integration and connected TVs:

Netflix, HULU, and other new(ish) content rich platforms need to be viewed as alternative distribution methods, not competitors. Beth Roberts of NBCU says broadcasters need to rethink their approach to windowing feature content to avoid being overwhelmed by all the new platforms.

But traditional media still sees platforms like Netflix as foes, where content producers see it as its friend. The truth is it's not going away, so everyone needs to play nice in the sandbox.

The mood overall was upbeat, as the advertising climate heats up again.

The international business was red hot according to my sources, and of course Latin American programming played a significant role here, with a large turnout from Univision, Telemundo and Televisa (not surprising in Miami)!

There was talk about the mainstay of Hispanic programming in the US Latino market- The Telenovela - being the best at serving the female demographic to the detriment of the male viewer. In other words, give the guys something more to watch as well!

Yahoo!, having lost the UGC battle To YouTube, is changing its video strategy to one of original video content.

#NAPTE

#NAPTE Barndon Tartikoff AwardBrand integration in programming was a big topic for the advertisers here. There was even a company on the floor pitching a software solution that inserts banners into video called SeamBI for seamless branding integration.

The talk about multi-screen TV consumption was still on a roll here, so that's good news for interactive TVs (but I'm still not convinced. Get Glue and Twitter while watching a show already distracts me).

And one last thought. It was an honor to see two old friends, Dick Ebersol and Mary Hart join Regis Philbin and Gerhard Zeiler, all Icons of television, receive the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award from NAPTE.  It truly was an inspiring event.

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Notes from CES 2011 in Las Vegas

This morning's keynote, "Innovation Power" with Jeff Immelt of GE, John Chambers of Cisco, and Ursula Burns of Xerox, was a "Master Class" with Moderator, Gary Shapiro of the CEA. It was truly one of the best panels I have ever witnessed.

CES 2011 in Las Vegas

Other observations:

JVC showed a 3D full 1080p consumer camcorder.

Carmaker, Audi, committed to create and innovate systems for the vehicles of the future in a presentation that included a little bit of Hollywood as character actor James Cromwell (I Robot) joined CEO Rupert Stadler on stage with the cool new Spyder Hybrid R8.

There is a huge offering by a large number of companies of IPad accessories from skins and cases to docks, new batteries and high end in ear headsets. It was astounding in it's ubiquity.

More and more people, both consumers and professionals, are using the Canon D-5 as a primary Full HD video camera for both live and recording purposes on the floor.

This is definitely the year of iPad like devices, (The Pioneer Viera connected tablet was particularly interesting.) G4 communications, Bigger and thinner TVs (one was taller than me). And smaller, smarter, cell phones.

Sony is committing to 3D in a big way.  It's their biggest push for the coming year.

And Toshiba demonstrated "no glasses 3D" TVs that were really cool. This is a big move forward.

And LG made the best new 3G glasses. Lighter, cheaper, cooler (but they don't work with other systems.)

Tonight, the big Monster Cable party with Earth Wind & Fire and later the Adult Video opening event (their convention has always been around CES.) After all, it's the #2 use of the web behind Social Media.

More to come. Stay tuned!
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Context is King?

While moderating a panel on “New Media” (I hate that phrase btw) at the Williamsburg Film Festival (Willifest) earlier this month, one of the panelists, Larry Banks, Chairman of Film/Media Arts Department at Long Island University, said “Context, not content, is king.”



Context? Hasn't content always been king? What happened?

Is Dr. Banks the only person to identify this shift? No, he’s not. Let’s take a look at what some notable people in the industry are saying about content versus context:
  • In a recent NY Post article (the real paper of record in this town), Scott Kessler, Tech Analyst for Standard & Poor’s said about the music industry, “Companies are focusing more on user experience and distribution rather than content itself, and that is an overarching theme, it’s probably not something compelling for content providers.” Ya think?
  • Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, guest writer for “TechCrunch” said, “The context—Facebook, Twitter, email—in which people are introduced to media and consume it is becoming more important than the content itself.”  As this chart shows, 81% of discovered video content comes from the blogs that people arguably already visit.
how videos are found online
  • “Context makes content relevant,” says Jeff Korhan of the blog NEW MEDIA & SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING. “If I give you information that is valuable, you will appreciate it, but possibly never use it.  If I help you appreciate the value of that information by showing you how it works for me or someone like you, then the context makes it invaluable.”
Alrighty then! These folks have a definite point of view. It’s about relevance, placement and a set of circumstances that surrounds the content. But I have a different take on it.

On TV context can help spell success. News, sports and specials have built in context. Comedy can be topical and relevant (From “Cosby" and "Seinfeld” in the 80’s and 90’s, to the more recent “Modern Family.”). Dramas can show real “ripped from the headlines” relevance with programs like “Law & Order.”

In advertising, both traditional and non-traditional, context is very important. That’s what targeting is all about.

Film is experience-oriented, but context is always at play in any given compelling scene. But after a movie plays out in a theater, viewing trends show that on line viewing is often the place for the following runs. Now there is a second layer of context…the place you go to when you want another experience and the way-in is more-and-more, an App. That is a condition that is relevant to the event.

Whether you’re listening to talk radio in your car, reading a billboard in Times Square, looking at a blog that takes you to a piece of video, watching the “Today” show in the morning or “Letterman” at night, you are doing so in “context,”

But at the end of the day (I hate that phrase too), there is no reason to engage with any content regardless of the context if the storytelling isn’t strong.

So what does that say?

Maybe content, not context, is king!

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If You Already Know Everything About Digital Marketing, Don't Read This...

To make your business thrive you need to do more than just think new! Having a Twitter account and a Facebook page is good, but knowing what to do with them is better. Having an iPad and an iPhone app is good, but having ones that really fill a consumer need is better.

Traditional advertising has becoming increasingly inefficient, so how do you effectively reach your customers today without breaking the bank?

The Big Idea: Own Your Edge!

Case Studies in Music & Publishing

Forrester Research shows music industry sales have dropped 50% in the last decade, from 14.6B in 1999 to 6.3B in 2009. The Publishers Bureau reports that for the first quarter of this year, magazine ad pages fell 9.4% to 34,800 pages compared to the same quarter last year.

Clearly both industries are in a state of flux. These stats are stunning, but they pose a great up side for new technology, social media and digital marketing. So what will these two industries look like in five years and what can they learn from each other? Will publishers charge for on-line versions of their magazines? What can the music business do to stem the tide when their sales continue to decline?

Both industries have to contend with a world where people are more and more consuming on-line content for free. The iPad alone won't save magazines, but it's a start. There is no doubt that publishers need to harness the power of this new device immediately.

This is where publishing can learn a thing or two from the music business. The iPod and iTunes saved an industry on life-support. Apple clearly helped change the paradigm. Ever since Napster came into the lexicon the industry was slow to embrace it but Apple made it easier to buy music than to steal it, and that should help do the same for magazines.

Direct sale of content has always been the easiest way to determine the success or failure of any business, but now there's more!

Now is the time to foster B2B strategic relationships and grow your brand community if you want your business to really survive.

"Own your Edge" everywhere you can. Having the best product in the store isn't enough, you have to have the best communities online. Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook... everywhere!

Now, promotion and marketing is as monetizable as the product being marketed, and new technology and social media are the tools to success going forward.

Last week The Financial Times announced it is using Foursquare to target a new younger consumer, and the Warner Music Group has started-up an in-house social media team.

So it's clear some music and publishing businesses are going in the right direction, that is significant, and an understanding of what they are trying to do is sure to open up the door to the companies that have been reluctant to try something new.

Even if entrants into a space aren't paid subscribers, get subscribers wherever you can. Extend the brand, generate awareness through reach and frequency across all platforms, and the money will follow. Plus these new subscribers will be your best brand evangelists.

But everyone wants an immediate ROI and these tactics alone won't provide that.

The secret sauce then is to add a layer of strategic partnering to the mix. Create strategic B2B relationships and enhance the bottom line at the same time you are creating a base of engagement in the social sphere while better utilizing the new technologies.

It's all about creative thinking in the digital space.  The Mantra should be "Think Better!"

And that's why flux in the marketplace is a good thing for digital marketers.

If you use the new tools effectively, create strategic partnerships while creating a loyal brand community, you will "Own your Edge."
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