|By John Savageau||
|November 23, 2012 05:28 PM EST||
Pacific-Tier Communications and Burbank N Beyond’s Innovators and Entrepreneurs had an opportunity to visit with Amy Kramer, President and Marketing Whiz, and Lee Wochner, CEO and Creative Strategist, at Counterintuity LLC, a Burbank-based agency focusing on Internet marketing. Amy and Lee discussed a variety of topics ranging from taking the risk with a start up company, to their visions and ideas on Internet marketing and social media, as well as why Burbank is a great place to run a business.
Counterintuity is a full-service marketing agency that has designed, launched and maintained hundreds of custom-built websites, digital marketing strategies, public relations, search engine optimization, social media campaigns, as well as identity and print pieces.
PT-BNB: It is kind of scary doing a start up when you have worked in a corporate environment your entire life – how did you get started?
Amy: Back in the late 90s I was working in direct response, in infomercials. And I was helping a very large product break into the web. So we were launching eCommerce sites doing email marketing when it was only text, and Lyrist was the only provider. And so right there at the very cusp of Internet marketing I was there with a budget.
It was a tremendous opportunity. So after launching that product, then we’re into 2000 and it was really starting to grow, and the opportunities were really awesome.
So I left the cushy direct response gig and decided to break out and do it myself.
The there was an opportunity for Lee and I together to bring this Internet marketing product and series of products to small businesses and organizations. Because previously it was only available because the cost was so prohibitive. So we were able to bring it to a wider range of businesses and organizations.
Lee: Amy and I already had a working relationship and I already knew she was a really smart digital marketer, we work well together, and I think it is a great time to be in business, it is an important time for entrepreneurship, and I think a lot of the problem in the country and in the world will increasingly be solved by entrepreneurial solutions.
And so what we were looking to do was find a way to leverage those sorts of opportunities for smaller businesses rather than lock them out because they don’t have big budget.
PT-BNB: Are smaller business a focus of the Counterintuity, does it make any difference what size a business is?
Lee: It really depends on how you define small business. I think small business as defined by the federal government is 500 employees or fewer. So people, even in the Small Business Administration think they need to redefine that.
We have clients who do a million dollars a year in revenue, sometimes a little bit less. And we have clients who do 200 million dollars a year in revenue or more. About a third of our clients are non-profit or public sector. So I don’t know if they really fit that profile.
But the commonality among all of our clients is that they are looking to succeed in entrepreneurial ways in response to all of the changes in consumer patterns driven by the Internet.
PT-BNB: On your website you show three majors areas which include social media, website design, and digital marketing. You wouldn’t have seen that 10 years ago, with social media being a focal point. What is the impact of social media? Why is that important for us to understand?
Let me give you the shortest, best answer I can. Social media is word of mouth marketing done big. Amy and I both have a background in the theater. That’s how we met in 1999. What you find out in the theater is that it doesn’t matter what your ads are, what your reviews are, the primary way to drive business is through “word of mouth.”
Social media presents a suite of tools that allows you to capture word of mouth from all of the people you are connected to and spread it.
Obviously there’s a potential upside and a potential downside to that. The potential upside is “hey this is really great we really like this,” and the potential downside is “we were really disappointed, we don’t really like this, and forget them.”
There has always been a conversation about you, your product, and your service. Now you have more opportunity than ever to manage that, and to spread the word, and to turn other people into advocates for you online.
PT-BNB: What does social media mean for the generation that is just graduating from high school and college, and what role do you play in being able to fulfill their need for having access to social media?
Lee: What need does the typewriter fill? Or the quill pen?
It’s not a marketing tool, it is a tool. A basic tool. It is a communications platform. It’s a way to connect everybody up, with all of their content. Some of the content might be “here is a picture of my kid.” And “here is the dinner we had.” I took a picture of my dinner in San Francisco the other night because it was so interesting, and I built a blog post around it.
And then all these people on Facebook “liked” the picture of my dinner, and said they wished they’d had it. If that had been my client in San Francisco I would have linked to it.
But see it was my life, and then I could turn it into marketing, but really it’s about the tool.
When people talk about social media marketing, then I say we’re talking about communications. When you think about it, when you are born the very first thing you do is communicate. You cry, and then you start to breath. You are crying to communicate.
Communication is at the heart of who we are. There is (traditional) scientific research that says we developed more than other primates because we have language, and because we have bigger brains.
The new thinking is we have bigger brains because we developed language, developed synaptic connections, and grew our brain muscles.
So language and communication are at the core of who we are.
I try to talk to people and say “don’t focus on the tool.” If I give you the three basic ways to think about all the social media tools then you can do anything you want with them. Don’t get hung up on how seemingly complex there are, and how to use them.
It’s like your car. I have no idea how the cylinders work. I just drive it. That’s how social media should work for you.
Amy: And when you talk about the next generation, they are just using it (social media) in different ways. They don’t like talking on the phone as much. They like texting more. It’s a small, quick conversation.
Turns out a lot of the kids are not into Facebook. Some prefer Twitter. Others right now are really into Instagram. It is a great way for them to share what they are doing, and what they are involved in. Visual storytelling.
Again it is sharing information, it all comes down to what’s sharing what is going on in your life and telling that story. Whether it is for you personally, or whether it is for a brand.
Kids today – email. Not as big with kids. They are doing Facebook messaging. They are doing DMs on Twitter. Just a text. It is a different way to communicate. But as Lee was saying, it is just a communication tool, it is just how new social media and new Internet platforms are helping them (young people) communicate.
PT-BNB: What is the role of blogging?
Lee: Blogging at its core is journaling.
As marketers, we recommend it for our clients. And the reason we recommend blogging for clients is it is a way to build credibility and to expand your authority in your industry.
When journalists are looking for folks to interview, where do you go? You go to LinkedIn to look them up, and generally the next place is their website. Then if you get to their website and want to look at what they have to say you go to their blog.
Because that gives you a bit of insight into their voice and into their POV (point of view).
The you go “oh, they might be good for this entrepreneurial article that I’m writing.”
So blogging is an entrée into PR. It is an entrée into getting more coverage, as well as if a client is looking for someone like you it can actually help your search engine optimization, significantly. Because it can give you opportunities to talk about what you do.
So blogging is good for authority, it is good for search rankings, because the more content, and the more regularly you update your content on your website and your blog, the more highly Google thinks of you.
PT-BNB: How about video?
Lee: Massive, huge. We’ve been doing more and more video for clients and for ourselves, and have been winning awards for it. It (video) has got to be brief, it has got to be interesting, it has got to make a point, and you need to share it.
Put it on Youtube, Tweet out a link, put it on your Facebook, put it on your website, stick it in your blog, repurpose your content, because then people will see it more often.
Amy: And it has got to be short. Attention spans are now teeny. It must play quickly.
Lee: So if you go to our Youtube page you will see some of the videos we have done. We’ve been doing client videos and internal videos, and the great thing is you no longer need a massive budget.
Now there are projects we’ve done for very large clients who have a budget, and we can go do what would be called a corporate-looking video.
Then there are ways to do more guerrilla type video. We did a video recently for Center Theater Group, the Taper, Ahmanson, Kirk Douglass Theater. I and our video editor went down there and we did 13 setups and shot the whole video in about 4 hours. Because now the technology is such that you can go do that, be really mobile, really fast. We wrote the script in advance, went down and shot it, and then it took about a half a day to do the first cut on a laptop.
We sent it to the client, the client asked for a few tweaks, and in just two days we had a complete corporate video for them.
PT-BNB: Why did you decide to setup shop in Burbank?
Lee: Burbank is a great place to do business. Burbank is a tight knit community, it is easy to do business here, and it is easy to become part of the community.
The city has been terrific. We have personal relationships with all the city council members, the mayor, the city staff… Whenever we have had an issue or an opportunity they have resolved it very fast. They have worked with us, and we have nothing but positive things to say about the city.
With regard to the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber has been a key driver in our business. They have been so terrific at connecting us up, offering valuable services, and anything we can do with or for the Chamber we will do it.
It is a great place to be, Burbank.
You can learn more about Counterintuity at their website www.counterintuity.com
Burbank Innovators and Entrepreneurs
Burbank is the home of the global entertainment industry, prominent in aviation, and a burgeoning Internet development community. Burbank Innovators and Entrepreneurs will look at companies and persons based in Burbank making an impact in their industry, with an emphasis on entrepreneurs, and those on the cutting edge of technology, services, and thought leadership.
Innovators and Entrepreneurs will bring personal interviews digging into the motivations, challenges, successes, personalities, with visions of companies and people driving our business community into the future.
If you have a Burbank-based company or recommendation of a company, that is at the cutting edge of your industry, are an innovator, or an entrepreneur, and would like either Pacific-Tier Communications or BurbankNBeyond to highlight the activity, send a note to [email protected].
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
Jul. 6, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,791
SYS-CON Events announced today that kintone has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. kintone promotes cloud-based workgroup productivity, transparency and profitability with a seamless collaboration space, build your own business application (BYOA) platform, and workflow automation system.
Jul. 6, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,441
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 6, 2015 11:45 AM EDT
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Jul. 6, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 587
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer’s modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation pro...
Jul. 6, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,511
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits, DevOps is corr...
Jul. 6, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 692
SYS-CON Events announced today that Intelligent Systems Services will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Established in 1994, Intelligent Systems Services Inc. is located near Washington, DC, with representatives and partners nationwide. ISS’s well-established track record is based on the continuous pursuit of excellence in designing, implementing and supporting nationwide clients’ mission-critical systems. ISS has completed many successful projects in Healthcare, Commercial, Manu...
Jul. 6, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 293
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
Jul. 6, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,215
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
Jul. 6, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 218
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Infrastructure & Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS) is a managed services provider of cloud computing solutions for the IBM Power Systems market. The company helps mid-market firms built on IBM hardware platforms to deploy new levels of reliable and cost-effective computing and high availability solutions, leveraging the cloud and the benefits of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS...
Jul. 6, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 745
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
Jul. 6, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 422
The basic integration architecture, as defined by ESBs, hasn’t changed for more than a decade. Most cloud integration providers still rely on an ESB architecture and their proprietary connectors. As a result, enterprise integration projects suffer from constraints of availability and reliability of these connectors that are not re-usable across other integration vendors. However, the rapid adoption of APIs and almost ubiquitous availability of APIs amongst most SaaS and Cloud applications are rapidly redefining traditional integration approaches and their reliance on proprietary connectors. ...
Jul. 6, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 501
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context wi...
Jul. 6, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 487
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
Jul. 6, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,543
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 6, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 653
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
Jul. 6, 2015 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 744
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 6, 2015 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 519
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Jul. 6, 2015 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 550
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Jul. 6, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 588
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than
Jul. 5, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 907