Business Networking

Marketing Made Simple TV: What Are We All About?

show icon or brand

The show’s icon @

Since May 17, 2012, viewers have tuned into Marketing Made Simple TV on Thursdays at noon EDT/NY to view guests being interviewed by host, Jeff Ogden. The interviews have been of professionals primarily in the business of social media marketing.

There exists a great deal of information about the show itself. But until now, it has only been in writing on the Marketing Made Simple TV weblog. In other words, there was no video addressing the question, ‘Marketing Made Simple TV: What Are We All About’?

So Jeff decided is was time to answer that question on video. To add a bit of spice to the mix, which we always like to do any way, it was decided that we would do a Q&A format show rather than a solo appearance by Jeff.

Therefore today, as a special treat and surprise, we have a slight shift or twist on the way we do the show. We’ve  given it an extra pinch of zest. Jeff Ogden, the host of the show, has changed seats and become the guest himself.

Producer of the show, Alison Gilbert (that’s me), a veteran interviewer as well as a media maven, jumped at the chance to be the guest host and interview Jeff in the guest’s seat. Alison is the marketing ‘maven in the hat’ who introduces and closes the show each week.

Without further adieu, here is the video of our Q&A session on what Marketing Made Simple TV is all about. On Saturday,  a more in-depth post will appear describing the experience of being the guest host and producer of a show using the latest technology, ‘Television on the Internet’.

Marketing Made Simple with Alison Gilbert from Jeffrey Ogden on Vimeo.

Networking in the Real World and Online

Networking is a crucial aspect of a business marketing plan.  Relationships are essential in business and networking is one way to get the relationship-building process started.  Networking is a way for people to meet and get to know each other.  The use of effective social skills and a strategy is necessary to become a successful networker.   A savvy networker will use these skills both in their real world and online networking efforts.

Every individual who networks should have their own personal marketing plan, strategies and goals to create brand awareness and a buzz about individuals.  Networking should begin long before you print your business cards or step foot into a networking event.  Public relations and social media lay the groundwork for more effective real world networking.  How great would it be to have people who you have never met in person recognize you at an event?  By actively engaging target audiences on social media or by using a blog, you can build recognition and a positive reputation.


LinkedIn is the ideal forum for professionals to gather online for business purposes.  Create a profile detailing your skills, accomplishments and personal interests.  The profile is not for you; it is for the people you want to get to know.  Include a professional headshot.  Make it easy for them to get a feel for your expertise, willingness to share and depth of your network.  Write your profile so people in the cyber world will want to connect to you and people in the real world will want to take the relationship to the next level.

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Although networking has evolved significantly with the advent of the internet, e-mail and social media, there is no substitute for meeting in-person and interacting face-to-face to build relationships.  Online networking should be used to reinforce relationships made in-person.  When networking in person the goal is to find common ground, which often has nothing to do with business.  Rob Fishman, Partner at Hauppauge based Sandler Training said, “When networking, you must resist the temptation to sell.  Networking is about creating a relationship for mutual gain.  The focus should be on meeting a person and creating a relationship.”  He suggested following the F-O-R-D acronym to avoid talking about business when networking.  “F is for Family; ask the person where they are from originally or if they have a family.  O is for Organization; ask the person about their company and who is a good prospective client for them.  R is for Recreation; ask what they do for fun, people like to talk about topics that are enjoyable.  D is for Dreams and Aspirations; ask what the person’s goals are and what they want to achieve.  The big picture is about creating a network of people in which there is a shared mutual level of trust,” added Mr. Fishman.

Bruce Libman, Author of It’s Just Breakfast and Total Networking, endorses the “give to get philosophy” when networking and building business relationships.   “Giving is key to relationship-building and you have to give much more than you should expect to receive.  Giving information, ideas or making introductions demonstrates that you care and that you have listened to the other person’s needs or interests.  This carries a lot of weight when building relationships,” said Libman.

Business Cards

After you’ve met people, swapping business cards remains important to swiftly exchange information.  Today, there are smart phone applications that allow users to exchange contact information by simply bumping their phones together; a cool app, but not common.  Business cards remain the staple.  There are several apps including one by LinkedIn called CardMunch that allows you to quickly scan business cards and import their information into your database and generate a connection request on LinkedIn at the same time.

Phil Capell from GoSchmooze, a networking facilitation system which randomly puts four individuals together for a business lunch or breakfast, suggests to, “Always be networking.  Every person you meet has the potential to introduce you to others in his or her network. Try to meet people every day.  Remember that networking is not prospecting.  Don’t treat all people as prospects. Develop relationships with people first and build upon this to see if business or referrals can be shared.”

After you have met someone, started a conversation and exchanged information, the real challenge begins – follow-up.  It is crucial to following up with each person you want to continue a relationship.  Making contact after the initial meeting is absolutely necessary if you want to build a relationship even if to simply touch base or have coffee,.  A personalized system for following up must be created and used.  If you do not follow-up, networking is a waste of time for you or the company you work for.  Failing to follow-up is a critical mistake that the majority of “networkers” make – don’t be one of them.

Networking is about meeting people and managing relationships.  Create a system to build awareness for yourself and your brand, network in the real world and online to strengthen relationships, and commit to following up.  Each of these steps offers their own challenges.  Even if you have been networking for years, take a look at what you are doing, create a plan or update your networking plan and make sure you have a clear follow up strategy.


This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm.  For more information, go to or to his blog  He can be reached at or @wjcorbett.


Making the Most of a Trade Show

Promotion of a trade show event can be crucial to its success. This is best explained  in the following video by Bill Corbett, owner of Corbett Public Relations, Inc. and Digital Brand Marketing’s resident PR expert.

There are certain aspects to trade show events that are similar whether one is exhibiting or attending. There are other things that are clearly different. In my opinion, they are not nearly as  important as the shared aspects. The rest of this post will focus on the details of trade show ‘who, what, why and how’.

a trade show booth created by the Godfrey Group

A trade show booth created by the Godfrey Group © the Godfrey Group

If one is an exhibitor, he and/or she stands ‘behind the table’ of the display booth. A person, or group of people set up a display and ‘man’ the booth for the duration of the exhibit, handing out literature, talking with visitors and gathering their information.

The visitors or attendees walk around the venue, visits the booths, stops to gather information, talks with the exhibitors and attends the seminars.

Once can also be a speaker or part of a panel of speakers. There are many outstanding seminars at trade shows. They can be extremely educational filled with the latest technological information. There can also be opportunities to make contacts and connections.

the speakers at Trade Brooklyn

The speakers from dbmei at Social Media Action Camp, from left to right, Bill Corbett, Craig Yaris, Bssil Puglisi and Jeff Ogden.

Businesses will also pay to be sponsors. They participate in a variety of business categories. Sponsorship provides businesses with visibility and other perks. Sponsors can range from local businesses to rather large and well known corporations. Businesses do not have to attend the event to sponsor it.

Trade Show Sponsors

A visual of trade show sponsors at Trade Nassau on April 25, 2012 at the Chateau in Westbury. © Cardinal Trade Group

Why do businesses and business people participate in trade shows?

• to look for business
• to promote themselves
• to make new contacts
• to gain visibility
• to educate and be educated
• to demonstrate what they do or sell
• to share information and learn new things
• to network
• to find vendors

Whichever side of the table one is on, exhibitor or attendee, there is a necessary reciprocity for the trade show venue to work. These are probably the most important qualities on both sides:

• openness to unplanned opportunities
• friendliness
• helpfulness
• giving and receiving something of value for free
• generosity of spirit
• sense of community

I have participated in trade shows for many years and in varying industries. I have been on both sides of the  ‘display booth table’. To me the bottom line is, for the period of time that a trade show is happening, everyone involved in it is part of that community. This includes the attendees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, organizers and even the staff of the facility where the show is being held.

A photo taken at the LI Multi-Cultural Fair

A photo taken at the NY Multicultural Business Expo with from left to right, Basil Puglisi, founder of dbmei, Alison Gilbert, a dbmei blog author and Marc Neuwirt, owner and organizer of Expos Your Business. © Expos Your Business

The more we initiate things, starting with a smile, a friendly hello and a handshake, the better the results will be for everyone. It is that simple. The next time you are at a trade show, in whatever capacity, remember just this one thing. You will be amazed what a great time you have and how well things will go.

A collage of trade shows and other activities involving Digital Brand Marketing

Our cover photo montage composed of trade shows and other activities involving dbmei.


Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz. Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere.

Their boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. Contact MARKETING BYTES at or call 516-665-9034 ET


Group Commerce for Publisher-Based eCommerce Solutions: #SocialCommerce

Recently, I sat down to an impromptu interview with the CEO of Group Commerce, Jonty Kelt, to learn more about what publisher-based ecommerce solutions can offer to more traditional form of media that may be lacking digital presence.

What is Group Commerce?

Group Commerce is a platform for publishers who want to integrate ecommerce into a successful element of their business. Group Commerce serves three groups that help to make their ecommerce program work.

  1. Consumers
  2. Merchants
  3. Publishers

Group Commerce’s technology was designed to support, from the ground up, the unique lists of needs that brands and media companies require. Their enterprise-grade platform doubles as a command center for a publisher’s ecommerce program as well. There is nothing else like it anywhere.  Group Commerce understands exactly what it take to succeed. The professional services offered provide all of the needed elements to ensure that their publishers succeed in ecommerce.

Founded in 2010, Group Commerce is backed by several popular names such as Carmel Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Spark Capital, and Bob Pittman. Group Commerce has some top-notch clients in names such as,, CBS Local, DailyCandy, the New York Times, and many more. Based in New York City, Group Commerce now has over 100 employees in 11 major cities.

When asked about the publisher based ecommerce solutions provided by Group Commerce, Jonty Kelt shared with me, “We created group commerce with a mission to enable audience owners, to succeed in ecommerce. This is anyone with an audience, website owners, newsletter businesses, TV, radio, print and more. The brands have to engage with intelligence and integrity, so that they add value to their relationship with their audience. This can give traditional or ad based media companies more revenue stream, more engagement with their audience, attract new audience members and for some solid media based businesses, it can give them more relevance in a digital world.”

Before we wrapped up our interview I definitely had to pose to him a question that is near and dear to publications like DBMEi.

Since there is such a huge market now for content relating to the practices of digital marketing, social media and other similar services, how do you see Group Commerce fitting in for the smaller publishers? How can you begin to monetize platforms such as multi-blogger sites like DBMEi?

Jonty Kelt: We currently have an initiative in our engineering department focusing on building a ladder of service solutions which will enable smaller publishers such as bloggers, smaller websites and audiences to turn ecommerce onto their sites as well.

How Can I Get in on Group Commerce?

Group Commerce is rather picky about the publishers they work with. For the most part, applicants must have several of at least six unique qualifications.

  1. Verticality
  2. High brand engagement
  3. Strong local voice
  4. High user transactional intent
  5. Size
  6. Locally segmented

Since its launch, Group Commerce has raised millions in funding and Kelt plans to continue to expand the company’s reach into 2012.


#SocialCommerce: Jonty Kelt Interview Transcript

Business Insider hosted the Social Commerce Summit on Feb 7th, 2012 at Chelse Pier, during that event I had a chance to sit with Jonty Kelt, the CEO for Group Commerce. Here is a transcript from that interview with a general article to follow on Feb 19th at 5pm, right here on

About the event:

Since the immersion of social media into digital commerce, incredible opportunities and options have opened for business owners. Socially marketing your products and services can come with its own challenges though, so the Social Commerce Summit, or SCS, has a focus on presenting some incredible tips and tricks along with the best practices common to businesses successful in this form of marketing.

The SCS will provide the platform for experts in their industries to share their own best practices and ideas that have been built upon cutting edge trends and technologies and are the products of incredibly successful Fortune 500 campaigns and strategies.

The Interview: (Recorded by Basil C. Puglisi, Transcription done by Joy Lynskey)

JK: Started the company 2 years ago with a vision for media companies that are publishers, that they should engage in ecommerce.  They have great brands, reach, authority over some topics with certain groups, engaged audiences. Those things we believed could be translated into an ecommerce business, alongside the traditional types of advertising businesses. We created group commerce with a mission to enable audience owners, to succeed in ecommerce. Being as broad as possible. This is anyone with an audience, website owners, newsletter businesses, TV, radio, print. The premises of what we are saying here is that the brands have to engage with intelligence and integrity, so that they add value to their relationship with their audience. This gives ad based or ad revenue fueled businesses, the opportunity to have an ecommerce business alongside of it. This can give traditional or ad based media companies more revenue stream, more engagement with their audience, attracts new audience members and for some solid media based businesses, it can give them more relevance   in a digital world.

We have only been live for about 15 months and currently have about 15 live  , all of them traditional media companies. [name companies] A lot of the brands mentioned began with one or two people managing which has now, a year later, turned into teams of 20 or more employees managing their ecommerce. Now that they have seen it can work, many are now aiming for 9 figure revenue businesses.

BP: So what group commerce is offering is the opportunity for them to survive in the digital era with obvious subscription services failing, people are less willing to pay for subscriptions but instead prefer to get content for free. So this is a way to kind of fill the gap ?

JK: In some cases that is true. Some of our customers were already digital, such as Daily Candy, and this is just tacked on. Other services do not have much of a digital business presence and this can be a way to augment their traditional business and help them to survive in a digital world.

BP: So what are some of the verticals that you guys are seeing, in ecommerce that’s targeting general vs specific.

JK: So very simplistically we have two target segments, vertical such as; for young men, for young women, for endurance athletes, and then local media, which tends to be more horizontal,   the new york times for new york, for the boston area. The vertical ones are leveraging vertical authority, such as dailycandy is an expert on what young women want, that brings to bring great content and comments. Different than doesn’t have a specific audience. They have everyone, young and old, uptown and downtown. so they have to use their local authority to find the best merchandise and present it to the best audience.

BP: Do we see a higher conversion rate with vertical specific content versus the general content. We talked a bit about how Boston was able to generate something relevant to Boston being Boston based locations. I imagine some of the verticals when they’re talking about how to sell products outside of geographical limitations

JK: So local is normally services, nationally is normally product.  A local can offer local services, and even local product. National, we see more products since national cannot usually offer local service.

BP: Mike Wallace was a big speaker over at, you guys had him join you, what does it mean to bring this type of person into your fold?

JK: Our company is about 100 people right now. In order to pull off what we are focused on we have to have really high-quality people with different disciplines, technology, merchandising strategy, sales, finance, hr, account management, and Mike Wallace was actually a customer of ours at  Mike is a born leader, he has executed on the vision extremely well at, and we got on extremely well. He loved the vision we had. After about a year and a half of working with Mike, we had conversations with him on having him help us with our business. We wanted him to use his knowledge on how to actually build a program for in a group commerce setting.

BP: So his official title is..?

JK: Vice President of Publisher Sales which means finding new publishers who would like to participate in this. Finding new publisher partners is his main focus right now.

BP: So one of the things we are talking about when looking at ecommerce is that we have a lot of conversation about daily deals, selling locally, lot of conversation of the push vs pull. Push being here is an opportunity or offer, I may take advantage of it later. Vs the I am standing in the middle of boston right now. Push vs pull mentality, selling in advance, vs I’m standing here I am looking for something to do, where is the best deal or value for me? So have you guys seen the platform showing that push vs pull.

JK: We have been very focused on push. Our customers,, New York times, they have very powerful media, they have a voice in many touch points, social media, email list, web page, printed editions, so they are leveraging that and the fact that they have ecommerce now and are offering great stuff. With respect to the on demand, I am in the middle of boston and looking for a great deal right now, that type of pull is not the type of commerce we are currently offering, because we have been more focused on the push.

Groupon and LivingSocial are two of the things that you are referring to with respect to standing in the middle of Boston and having thirty things available around you, is just not reality yet. That is something that we have not been focused on, specifically because we have been more focused on the push. I like to consider the word pull being that when the customer is aware that dailycandy now has stuff on their website to buy, they go there of their own volition, it’s pulling them there. Rather than them having to be interrupted with an email. And that is the holy grail really, for what we are trying to do. We are using a public outlet to push awareness of what are the deals in front of them, which creates buying behavior.

It takes time for our customers to educate their audiences, some of them have only been going now for a little over a year.

BP: There is this huge market now for content relating to the practice of marketing, social media, etc, how do you see you guys fitting in for the smaller publishers? How do you start to monetize platforms such as multi-blogger sites like this?

JK: We have an initiative in our engineering efforts to build a ladder of service solutions, which will enable smaller publishers, bloggers, small websites, etc to turn ecommerce on.

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