Adam Waid

Adam Waid, CRM and Social Media Specialist

No More Marketing

We (consumers) are in an era that Jay Baer calls an "invitation avalanche."

Think about it. Every where you turn you're being invited to follow, friend, find, like, or share not only company's information, but friends and family too. Even when your mom puts a message on Facebook, it dilutes all the other messages that are being shared. Messages that marketers are trying desperately to get you to engage with.

Marketers today not only have to compete with other businesses, but with everyone else that is sharing information. Not just on Facebook, but all social and email platforms. At lets face it, consumers go to great lengths to not encounter "marketing."

How Do You Break Through?

Certainly not with "more." Can't we all agree that we don't need to read more tweets, more Facebook updates, or more emails. What we (marketers) need is relevance. Or another way to say it is, helpfulness.   Case in point: Geek Squad. They have posted hundreds of "how to" videos on their Youtube Channel. These videos teach their consumers the exact things they charge customers for.

"Aren't they giving away their business" you ask. Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, was speaking at a conference a while back when a  member of the audience asked "Robert, you guys are in the fixing business, yet you've got all these videos that show people how to fix stuff without you. How does that make business sense?" Robert responded with humor but dead on. He said "our best customers are the people that think they can fix it themselves."

I couldn't agree more. I've certainly paid for services like Geek Squad because I thought I could handle the project myself, but then quickly realized I was out of my depth of knowlege.

Friend of Mine

Your content should be so compelling that your audience allows your brand in their "inner circle" Jay calls this "Friend of Mine." Meaning the content you're producing is so relevant, that once your  target audience needs help, they are not going to "Google a company", they're going to call you. After all, they've watched your instructional videos, read your blogs, and downloaded your whitepapers—all of which were helpful to them.

Remember though, it's not a quick close. Being useful in social media and content marketing is all about the long game.

About the Author: 

Adam Waid is the Director of Marketing at Mediacurrrent, an industry-leader in helping organizations architect custom Drupal websites. Adam is also a MATRIX Alumnus, where he worked closely with the Sales and Recruiting organizations to develop differentiation strategies, create content, and drive CRM and social media initiatives with a single goal in mind - build stronger, more meaningful relationships with our clients. Leveraging new technology, the latest social media trends, and a good mix of traditional marketing, Adam grows online communities.  

Follow Adam on Twitter and Read his Social Media Blog.

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Fun
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The Seven Deadly Myths of Mobile

Recently I had the chance to chat with Josh Clark, one of the biggest names in Mobile Web Design, and keynote speaker for The Atlanta Drupal Business Summit, on how companies can unlock mobile for online success.

In the interview, Josh answers questions about mobile strategy and design such as:

  • What are the biggest hurdles companies face when “going mobile”?
  • What new mobile standards and technologies will Drupal need to embrace to stay relevant?
  • What are the next phases of responsive design?

You can listen to the interview here.

Josh Clark will keynote The Atlanta Drupal Business Summit taking place at the Cobb Galleria on Friday, October 26, with The Seven Deadly Myths of Mobile. This Business Summit brings together business leaders and technology strategists to discuss business solutions built with Drupal and sharing real-world examples, lessons learned and best practices.

“Drupal is the leading open source content management platform for business benefits, rapid technology advancement and long-term ROI,” says Jim Caruso, CEO of MediaFirst and an avid Drupal Association member.

Georgia boasts impressive recent adoptions of Drupal. The metro-Atlanta area is home to Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. which has been gradually migrating their roster of sports web properties onto Drupal, including NBA.com. At the public sector, the State of Georgia is wrapping-up a highly successful migration of Drupal from a proprietary platform—by the way, they are saving about 5 million dollars a year in doing so. At the higher-ed sector, Drupal has exploded in Georgia—Georgia Tech utilizes Drupal on over 40 departmental sites, the University of Georgia, Emory University, and Kennesaw State are all leveraging Drupal.

You can view the full schedule for the Drupal Business Summit and register at: http://www.drupalsummit.com/city/atlanta

About the Author: 

Adam Waid is the Director of Marketing at Mediacurrrent, an industry-leader in helping organizations architect custom Drupal websites. Adam is also a MATRIX Alumnus, where he worked closely with the Sales and Recruiting organizations to develop differentiation strategies, create content, and drive CRM and social media initiatives with a single goal in mind - build stronger, more meaningful relationships with our clients. Leveraging new technology, the latest social media trends, and a good mix of traditional marketing, Adam grows online communities.  

Follow Adam on Twitter and Read his Social Media Blog.

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Development
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Planning Your Drupal Site

In 2009 we released a whitepaper entitled Building an Enterprise Class Website in Drupal.  The paper covered topics such as: how Drupal is being leveraged at the enterprise-level, planning your site launch for long-term success, assessing and scoping your Drupal project, among many other key topics. Though some of the information might be a bit dated, the core process is still a solid structure to look at when planning your Drupal site.

Here's an outstanding excerpt:

Building an enterprise-level Web site is like preparing for the courtroom: all of your efforts 
are tested upon launch, and you have no second chance to make a first impression. While site builders have the advantage of a “beta” period—and opportunities for refinements over a long run—eventually every public-facing Web site has to face a trial by audience. Verdicts are swift, and appeals unlikely.

So the need to prepare is clear, but not all forms of “preparation” are equal: some devour time with little ultimate result, while others are necessary, but non-obvious. How can you tell which is which? In our experience, effective preparation involves examination of two areas: business goals and technical assets.

Defining your Business’ Goals
The two most common questions we get from prospective clients are:

  • How much is this going to cost?
  • How long will it take?

Surprisingly, the answer to both questions depends more on 
the project’s clarity than on its complexity: in short, ambitious goals that are well-framed are easier and cheaper to achieve than simple goals, poorly framed.

The first step toward clarity is to ask: who is your target audience? You’re seeking not only general demographic information, but also a sense of how its members interact with Web sites. To
 drill deeper: how much do they already use the Internet, and in what ways? How much of your interaction will be “offline”, and how will you tie the two venues together? Are they familiar with online social networking, and would they benefit from it in your site? Are there sites similar to yours that they already use?

This is a good time to exercise your optimism and imagination to their fullest. Try to picture the perfect exchange between your site and your audience; imagine them walking away, smiling and satisfied. Then ask yourself: what can I give them to make them feel that way?

Your decisions at this point will help drive the technical design of your site: a little planning now will prevent the need to develop a custom module two weeks before launch.

Planning Your Drupal Site
The second question to answer is: what assets do you already have? If you already have a Web site, which parts would you like to migrate to the new site? Which have become obstructive or obsolete? What “offline” assets should be brought online? Regardless of your answer, chances are that a fundamental reorganization of assets will make your site clearer, less cluttered, and more friendly. But you can’t start that process until you know exactly what’s on hand.

The last question to answer is: how will you know if you’ve succeeded? Modern Web tools offer comprehensive ways to measure the volume of visitors and track their actions, but far too many administrators treat their metrics program as an afterthought. As a result, they don’t have a sense of what’s working, and their attempts to improve response are scattershot.

So you’ve plotted a course, which is no small feat: fulfillment is impossible without a goal to fulfill. Now it’s time to be sure you have everything needed to execute your plan.

Want more? Download our free whitepaper:  Building an Enterprise Class Website in Drupal.

About the Author: 

Adam Waid is the Director of Marketing at Mediacurrrent, an industry-leader in helping organizations architect custom Drupal websites. Adam is also a MATRIX Alumnus, where he worked closely with the Sales and Recruiting organizations to develop differentiation strategies, create content, and drive CRM and social media initiatives with a single goal in mind - build stronger, more meaningful relationships with our clients. Leveraging new technology, the latest social media trends, and a good mix of traditional marketing, Adam grows online communities.  

Follow Adam on Twitter and Read his Social Media Blog.

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Development
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Five Tips for Drupal Newbies

The attendee list at this week’s Atlanta Drupal Meetup group ran a wide gauntlet. There was a mix of business owners, newbies, marketers, and even someone with a Drupal.org ID under 1000. We broke up our normal presentation format and had informal talks about Drupalcon Denver, the job market, and trends. As usual, we went around the room and allowed for introductions and announcements. When one of the attendees, we’ll call him “Jack”, was in the hot seat, he gave a typical hello, but then broke the introduction format and asked a question back to the crowd. He asked, “I’ve only been working with Drupal for a few weeks, what tips do you have for those that are just starting out?”

Drupal drop

You should have seen the room light up with excitement. I saw the same look on my wife’s face when she converted a friend into a Hunger Games fanatic–the look of “let me tell you how wonderful this is.”

Below is a summary of the tips the group provided to this new Drupal’er:

Read Planet Drupal – A great aggregator site for all things Drupal. They have a content upload policy, so you know all the material you will be reading is “the real deal.”

Dig through Drupal.org – Where all Drupalers go to gather information, review modules, themes, groups, etc. Also, when looking through modules on Drupal.org, one tip provided by Kent Lester, was look at the number of downloads. The larger number of downloads usually correlates with a better quality module.

Start with Drupal 7 – This answer came when Jack asked if he should start a new site with Drupal 6, or just begin with 7. The resounding answer was start with Drupal 7.

Read Pro Drupal Development – According to the group, immerse yourself in the book. It teaches you how to create modules, develop themes, and produce filters. It also covers the inner workings of each key part of Drupal, including user management, sessions, the node system, caching, and the various APIs available to you.

Watch DrupalCon/DrupalCamp Session videos – There are videos all over the web from previous DrupalCon’s and DrupalCamps. You can watch all of the 2012 DrupalCon Denver’s videos online. In addition, many of the past Atlanta DrupalCamp videos are hosted on the Mediacurrent site.

Lastly, here’s a personal tip I offer to all of you that are new. Get involved in the Drupal community. There are hundreds of Meetup groups, Co-working days, Camps, Cons, (I even heard someone through out a Drupal Paintball day) that you can participate in. Absorbing what others say and listening to experts in the community will grant you a great knowledge of this powerful open source platform. What other tips do you have for those that are new to Drupal? Leave a comment and help us compile a comprehensive list.

About the Author: 

Adam Waid is the Director of Marketing at Mediacurrrent, an industry-leader in helping organizations architect custom Drupal websites. Adam is also a MATRIX Alumnus, where he worked closely with the Sales and Recruiting organizations to develop differentiation strategies, create content, and drive CRM and social media initiatives with a single goal in mind - build stronger, more meaningful relationships with our clients. Leveraging new technology, the latest social media trends, and a good mix of traditional marketing, Adam grows online communities.  

Follow Adam on Twitter and Read his Social Media Blog.

Posted in: 
Development
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Building Your " Social Playlists" ( Part 1)

I recently gave a presentation at the National Sales and Recruiting meeting at MATRIX. For years I’ve worked with this group on how to find potential clients on social media. Not just how to find them, but how to effectively engage with them. It’s not rocket science, but I would say it’s an “art form.” Strategically, yet relationally, building a trusted partnership with prospects using social media.

This year, my presentation centered around the theme of “getting organized.”

Let me tease out an analogy for you.

Most everyone reading this post has an iTunes (or some sort of MP3) library. We spend numerous hours and countless dollars downloading our favorite songs. Studies show that the average iTunes library is roughly 7,000 songs.

We don’t listen to each of those songs every day, rather we have specific times of the day where only a certain type of song will do. So, we build playlists.

We have our “gym mix,” our “driving with the windows down mix,” even our “My day deserves a glass of wine mix.”

We organize them so we can quickly find the type of song we’re looking for, the moment we need it.

Whether you’re in sales, leading a marketing department, or are a job seeker, you can apply these same principles to your social connections that you would to your iTunes library. Organizing them around your specific “target markets” so you can quickly find those connections when you need them.

Building Your Social Playlists.
Social playlistHow big is your social library? If you’re an avid social media participator, I’d bet between LinkedIn and Twitter your connections are well into the thousands.

How do you know if you’re connecting with the right audience, or if you’re just building a network full of (cough) “internet marketers”? You might have an impressive list of social connections but if they’re not in your target market, then you are simply wasting your time.

But Adam, how do I know if the connections I’m building are poised for not just good relationships, but are on their way to qualified leads for my business?

Ah, good question, and I’m going to pull a Ryan Seacrest, and say, “we’ll find out, after the break.”

In my next post, I’m going to show you, step-by-step, how you can organize your LinkedIn and Twitter connections. Putting them into “social playlists” that will enable you to, not only quickly find them, but also give you an indication if your connections truly will help bring in a ROI for your business. Or if you just have a large network full of “noise makers.”

“Don’t touch that dial.”

About the Author: 

Adam Waid is the Director of Marketing at Mediacurrrent, an industry-leader in helping organizations architect custom Drupal websites. Adam is also a MATRIX Alumnus, where he worked closely with the Sales and Recruiting organizations to develop differentiation strategies, create content, and drive CRM and social media initiatives with a single goal in mind - build stronger, more meaningful relationships with our clients. Leveraging new technology, the latest social media trends, and a good mix of traditional marketing, Adam grows online communities.  

Follow Adam on Twitter and Read his Social Media Blog.

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Job Seeker
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