Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Get ahead of 99% of social media and on-line marketers at next Mondays SVForum MarketingSIG.

By Mark Helfen

With some on-line education, you can be ahead of 99 percent of other marketers in effective social media and on-line marketing. Or so says Aaron Kahlow, CEO and Founder of the Online Marketing Institute and speaker at the March 11 SVForum MarketingSIG.

And SIG attendees can get their first week of education free.

NOTE – starting with the March meeting will be at a new location (again!)
Citrix Startup Accelerator
4555 Great America Parkway 3rd Floor, Santa Clara

Kahlow started out around 15 years ago in the back of a dental office as a digital ad agency, designing web pages and optimizing search results. The Institute is now a $10 million a year business that specializes in bridging the education gap between traditional marketing and newer models of social, video, and on-line. The sound of drilling is long gone.

At Monday’s presentation, he will talk about a philosophy of social marketing – how to think about your marketing strategy. His talk will include real-world, global stories of strategies that worked. Kahlow is big on analytics and attribution – having a clear understanding of which social channel actually brings in business, and using this data to guide future investment.

And to prove his belief an attribution, the stories will include links to original materials that were the basis of his examples.

While social means Facebook, Kahlow also emphasizes video. There is more time spent each day watching video than on Facebook, and a “good video strategy” is critical.

The Online Marketing Institute is a subscription based service with classes in social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing and many others. Kahlow described the courses as having “high value and high impact,” and agreed to give MarketingSIG attendees a free week of access.

OMI also offers certificates in a variety of social media marketing. These are recognized by major marketing associations - DMA and IAB were two examples named by Kahlow. By completing the certificate, you will “have a clear differentiation from other people” who do digital marketing, and will know more than 99 percent of them.

True to his social media nature, he invites connections, on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Just search for his name.

So come by next Monday, and start your social media education.

Sign up on 


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant.

He can be reached at:
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Monday, March 4, 2013

The New A-B-Cs

By Mark Lewis

In sales lingo A-B-C means, “Always Be Closing”.  For those not in sales, the new A-B-Cs should stand for “Always Be Connecting”.  I am always surprised by the unexpected things that come from connecting with people.  And I hear so many people say, “…you never know…”.  That is more true today than in the past, you never know where your next lead, deal, opportunity, etc will come from. 

The challenge that so many people have is that they know they should be doing a better job with networking and connecting with people – with existing contacts as well as making new ones.  They don’t however make it a regular practice until they need something.  I won’t say that then “it’s too late” because people are generally helpful especially if they have been a close contact in the past but it is certainly easier on everyone if it is a contact that has been nurtured in some way.  Email and even social media are all fine ways to keep in touch with someone and at least stay on each other’s radar.  Phone and in-person are by far better.

The old adage is partially true, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.  Certainly you still have to know something but it is definitely true that who you know is important.

Get out there and re-connect with people that are in your network then branch out to connecting with new people – wherever you are remember the A-B-Cs; Always Be Connecting.


Mark Lewis is a marketing executive with hands-on experience across the marketing mix.  He can be found at and he is always interested in connecting with new people.