E-Portfolio Assignment – Key Account Manager RFP Analysis

19 Nov

The assignment included for review is an RFP process analysis that was recently completed for a Business Development class. To complete the assignment I, along with my two teammates, interviewed an account manager to gather insight into the RFP process used by her company. From analysis of information given by the key account manager, some best practices regarding the RFP process have been developed. They include:

  1. Be concise – The initial review of an RFP response is commonly a quick scan, not a thorough and thoughtful analysis. This leads to responses being rejected on the basis of how they look rather than the content. Therefore it is important to be quick and to the point. If the agency has what the prospect is looking for, it will be seen immediately.
  2. Customize the response – Almost every agency has standard language to describe their philosophy, their capabilities and their process. Agencies should never “mail it in” by simply cutting and pasting from a previous submission. Every question is an opportunity to demonstrate understanding of the category, the audience, and the prospect. Whenever possible, responses should be framed in a way that demonstrates knowledge of the client’s brand, market environment or audience.
  3. Address the prospect’s criteria, not your own agenda – everything you say should be relevant to the client and the assignment by addressing the specific criteria the client has identified as most important.
  4. Demonstrate your creativity and professionalism in the response – the RFP response is an opportunity to establish your agency as a professional resource that can solve a business problem and help them sell a product or service. But the RFP response is also an opportunity to provide a statement of your agency’s style and creativity as well as your salesmanship.

Through this I have learned how the RFP process works and can apply this understanding to an RFP response should I ever encounter one in my career. The best practices listed above will help guide me through creating an effective RFP response and how to incorporate all of the key elements to my advantage.

See link below for full copy of the key account manager RFP Analysis:

Key Account Manager Interview Report e-portfolio adaptation-3

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Seelio – A great way for students to build their portfolios

22 Apr

Seelio is a company where students can create an online portfolio.  Users can showcase their projects, passions, and work as they go through school.  You can browse interesting projects that are happening on your campus by browsing the website.  The portfolio can include videos of a robot that you have built or a marketing proposal that you created.  Students can share what skills they have gained and what impact they made on a project or organization (Chowdhry, 2013).

From the Seelio “About Us” (2013) section a couple key points stand out as making this a very useful platform for students:

  • Seelio lets you easily and beautifully document your works, projects, and passions. It is a place to track your journey through school, get recognized for your hard work, and build your online brand
  • You can browse works and projects happening at your campus or at campuses around the country. Use Seelio to find a potential collaborator or simply look for inspiration.
  • You can discover career opportunities and stand out in the selection process by using your portfolio to apply to jobs and internships.

Seelio2-Inserthttp://on.mtv.com/ZhWgM2

Some things that you can do on Seelio include:

  • Document your class projects – whether it’s a robot you built or a marketing proposal you developed, use Seelio to document your learnings and get recognized for them.
  • Share about a recent internship or job experience – talk about what you learned, what skills you gained, and the impact you made on either the project of organization.
  • Share and collaborate on things you do outside of class and work – whatever your passion or hobby there will be someone else with similar passions or hobbies on Seelio interested in what you have to show. Add it to the community and be found by people who want to work with you. (http://www.seelio.com/about-us#what-can-you-do)

The company had first targeted students with a .edu email address when it launched last summer, but is now expanding its platform in order to sell directly to educational institutions through a new product called Seelio for Educators. Pricing for the Educator platform is based on the volume of students, and various needs they may have – like whether it’s white-labeled, for example, and other customization options. But the price generally sits at somewhere between $10-$15 per student per year (Perez, 2013).

Some companies currently on Seelio include twitter, Facebook, Yelp, and Palantir. Some campuses currently on Seelio include University of Michigan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon, and University of Notre Dame.

References

About Us. (2013). Seelio Official Corporate Website. Retrieved from http://www.seelio.com/about-us

Chowdhry, A. (February 19, 2013). Seelio is a great way for students to build their portfolios. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2013/02/19/seelio-is-great-way-for-students-to-build-their-portfolios/

Perez, S. (April 22, 2013). Student portfolio site Seelio raises just under $1 million, takes its platform directly to educators. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/22/student-portfolio-site-seelio-raises-just-under-1-million-takes-its-platform-directly-to-educators/

Create your own magazines on Flipboard!

21 Apr

Flipboard has become a leading player in the digital news-consumption field, and now it wants to hand the same filtering and curation tools employed by its editors over to users of the app, to create their own magazines (Ingram, 2013). On March 26th of this year Flipboard launched one of it’s biggest overhauls to date allowing readers to create and share their own magazines. The app lets readers customize their own content around topics, events, and personal interests and can be shared with others.

flipboard-557x362(http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/04/flipboard-app.html)

 

The Official Flipboard Blog, indicates that users are clearly taking to the new concept. There are now 53 million Flipboard readers, including an additional 3 million added in the last two weeks. In that time, users have created more than 500,000 “magazines” and the visually-appealing are the most popular in two weeks.

In the new Flipboard app, users come across content they find interesting that they’ve read or things they plan or want to read in the future and curate that content into “magazines.” Flipboard largely organizes the content that’s stored and creates a layout. These “magazines” can be read privately or shared with other Flipboard users. Users can integrate their own social network feeds onto Flipboard, too (Sophy, 2013). It also partnered with Etsy, the online bazaar for handmade goods, allowing users to shop from Flipboard (Saba, 2013).

Commenting on the potential of Flipboard to attract brands, Laurent Boninfante, managing director, Europe and Asia for marketing and advertising agency media platform Acquisio, said: “Flipboard has designed a beautiful app, being the first to succeed in emulating the feel of an actual magazine, which is ‘built on the fly’ from your choice of news source (Gumble, 2013).

Flipboard_two_imgs(http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/12/flipboard-iphone-app/)

 

References

Ingram, M. (March 26, 2013). Flipboard launches custom curation tools, wants to unleash your inner magazine editor. Retrieved from http://gigaom.com/2013/03/26/flipboard-launches-custom-curation-tools-wants-to-unleash-your-inner-magazine-editor/

Saba, J. (March 26, 2013). Flipboard launches new edition, lets readers create magazines. Retrieved from http://news.yahoo.com/flipboard-launches-edition-lets-readers-create-magazines-010432627–sector.html

Sophy, J. (April 15, 2013). Flipboad app reports half-a-million “magazines” and counting. Retrieved from http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/04/flipboard-app.html

Gumble, D. (April 22, 2013). NBC News to run first third-party ads on flipboard. Retrieved from http://www.mobile-ent.biz/news/read/nbc-news-to-run-first-third-party-ads-on-flipboard/021127

Tint: Aggregate and Embed Social Media Content

12 Apr

In December, Tim Sae Koo, Nikhil Aitharaju, Eunice Noh, and Ryo Chiba launched Tint – a simpy DIY platform that helps brands aggregate, curate and display social media feeds from multiple networks on their websites, in the mobile apps, Facebook pages and event displays. “Admittedly, Tint probably sounds a little bit like Rebelmouse, but Sae Koo tells us that there are a few differences: Namely, Tint enables you to display social media feeds from specific hashtags, YouTube channels and Pinterest boards to help keep your users on your website, app or event (and engaged). Plus, he says, Tint wants to be a platform tool and an aggregator, not a publishing CMS — and one that’s easy to use and takes 10 minutes to set up. The alternatives, he says, are generally expensive, custom solutions that take time to implement and integrate” (Empson, 2013).

Tint allows businesses and brands to connect their social network accounts with their websites, in part to help them promote their products and services through their social feeds, but also to provide their websites with more engaging content. Businesses can link their Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and RSS feeds to their Tint accounts, whereupon the service auto-populates the page from those feeds, serving the social content in a river that is Pinterest-like in design (Empson, 2013).

A couple examples from the Tint website showing how Tint is currently being used by organizations and individuals alike include:

The World Music Awards

“International Awards Show WMA uses Tint because they wanted a way to expand the reach of their Facebook posts to all their online visitors who don’t follow them on their social networks. They get tons of traffic everyday, so exposing those visitors to their Facebook updates via Tint was a no-brainer” (Tintup Gallery, 2013).

wma(http://www.tintup.com/clients/world-music-awards)

Toni Braxton

“American R&B singer-songwriter, actress, and record producer Toni Braxton wanted a way to keep her fans updated on all her social updates whenever they visited her new website. Using Tint, she now does not have to manually login to her website and worry about updating new content onto her site. Anytime she shares on her social networks, it will all stream in beautifully onto her website, keeping fans engaged for long periods of time” (Tintup Gallery, 2013).

toni(http://www.tintup.com/clients/toni-braxton)

Aston Martin DC

“This car dealership wanted an easy and effective way to showcase all the media and photos they share on their Facebook page onto their website to enhance their visitors’ experience whenever they visited. It took minutes to set up and implement, and the best part is now they never have to worry about manually updating content onto their site. Every social update is automatically displayed on their website (Tintup Gallery, 2013).

aston(http://www.tintup.com/clients/aston-martin)

Conclusions

Tint is 50% about promoting your social networks, but it’s also 50% about providing website content. It’s both. It should be a paradox that should cause the Universe to implode and create a black hole – but it doesn’t. Somehow, Tint pulls it off and makes it work – it brings social content and web content together in one place (Dube, 2013). There are currently over 10,000 brands actively using Tint on their websites and each client has seen an average of 10 to 15 percent increase in traffic and a 12 to 18 percent decrease in bounce rate. As well, users are spending 20 to 30 percent more time on the sites (Empson, 2013). After taking a brief look at this site I think it has a lot of potential and like the customizable design and theme options. I also like how each piece of content is given a headline and is laid out in a magazine-like format…all the elements come together to create a very interesting platform.

  

References

Dube, R. (March 29, 2013). Transform your social output into web page content with Tint.  Makeuseof. Retrieved from http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/transform-your-social-output-into-web-page-content-with-tint/

 Empson, R. (April 11, 2013). Tint gives businesses an easy way to bring social media feeds to their websites, apps, and facebook pages. TechCrunch. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/10/tint-gives-businesses-an-easy-way-to-bring-social-feeds-to-their-websites-apps-and-facebook-pages/

Tint (2013). Corporate Website. Retrieved from http://www.tintup.com/pages/tmp/splash_video?utm_expid=64006258-0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tintup.com%2Fclients

The Wedding Planning Industry and Social Media

9 Apr

According to Newsweek Magazine (2012), “the use of social media in wedding planning has risen fourfold in the past four years, according to a recent survey conducted by the wedding planning sites The Knot and WeddingChannel.com. In it, nearly 50 percent of brides said they used social media to communicate information about their wedding, up from 23 percent in 2008” (Reis).

Overall, 92% of consumers in 2012 trust word-of-mouth recommendations, which is up 18% since 2007 (RewardStream Blog, 2012). Brides especially rely on word-of-mouth to find products and vendors as wedding planning is a novel experience and one in which most people have little experience. There is heavy reliance on past brides experiences and reviews for new brides to base their planning choices, which is why social media has been such a useful tool for this industry in particular.

Before the Wedding

Currently, approximately one in ten (8%) brides are updating their Facebook relationship statuses within minutes of saying “Yes,” while nearly one in three (31%) did so within hours of getting engaged (Smith, 2012). Sites such as Facebook and Pinterest are used extensively for planning, sharing ideas, and getting recommendations from other brides-to-be.

8ac0c8f61eboard.jpg

(http://www.crunchdot.com/7-ideas-for-your-first-pinterest-secret-board/)

pinterest kw

(http://www.kootenaywed.com/2012_03_01_archive.html)

According to Andrea Smith (2012), 79% of brides become fans of wedding brands such as The Knot, and two in five use Pinterest to show vendors ideas they like. Approximately 42% of brides have wedding boards on Pinterest outlining all of their ideas regarding dresses, decorations, cakes, and many other wedding items. “Almost half of the couples surveyed [by David’s Bridal] have dedicated online wedding sites or online registries. A whopping 62% of newly-engaged ladies looked to social media for wedding ideas, 43% used Facebook to source vendors, 35% downloaded wedding planner apps and 24% planned to use an online program to monitors RSVPs (Boris, 2013).

During the Wedding

Many brides are now considering live-streaming their wedding ceremony and reception through sites such as LiveVows.com and Ustream. This enables family members, who for some reason or another are not able to attend, to watch everything live. With the increase in popularity of destination weddings this option is increasing in popularity as many friends and family members cannot afford the travel expenses of attending a destination wedding.

livevow

(http://www.weddingbee.com/2008/07/10/wedding-webcasts/#axzz2PuKt1HtK)

Also, many brides are now incorporating a Twitter station so that guests can post their insights and well wishes live. Through the use of a created hashtag, guests can easily share their tweets to one location making it convenient for reviewing at a later time (Elliott, 2010).  As social media becomes more and more socially acceptable at important events such as weddings, new ways of incorporating it will begin emerging and begin to be more commonplace.

After the Wedding

After the wedding is over, approximately 43% of brides upload their photos online. 79% upload their wedding photos to Facebook and 11% upload their wedding video (Boris, 2012). It is usually around this time that brides choose to blog about their experience and promote the vendors that they used and liked. Negative reviews for any vendors or products will be posted online to help future brides avoid making the same mistakes. As well, brides will actively share links and contact information for any websites or individuals who met and/or exceeded their expectations.

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 2.07.49 PM

(https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150546357390019.651638.529235018&type=3)

References

 

Boris, C. (2013) Here comes the social networking bride. Marketing Pilgrim. Retrieved from http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2013/02/here-comes-the-social-networking-bride.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SEOLinkTagstic+(SEO+LinkTagstic)

 

Elliott, A. M. (2010) How to: Tastefully use social media at your wedding. Mashable. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2010/11/09/social-media-wedding-etiquette/

 

Ries, B. (2012) My digital wedding. NewsWeek Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/14/the-social-media-wedding.html

Smith, A. (2012) Facebook and pinterest are the new wedding planners. Mashable. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/11/29/tech-social-wedding-survey/

Slim – Social Media for Busy People

8 Apr

A new startup called Slim is launching an iOS application today that seeks to discover and organize a user’s most important updates and events from friends posted on social media sites. Slim was created in San Francisco by Yair Levin and Zeev Vax, both Israeli born and now living in the Bay Area. The idea was derived from their discovery that keeping in touch with friends and family back home was tiresome as so much time was taken to comb through social media sites to find important updates.

From the Slim website, the application states two major advantages (Slim homepage, 2013):

  1. Discover Important Moments
  • Slim sorts through your social networks, recognizes the most important events and delivers them in a clean and simple format.
  • Connect your Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks, and Slim discovers your friend’s major milestones such as engagements, job promotions, childbirths and many more

201302281237000                 201302281237110

201302281236470

(http://slim.io)

2. Reach Out

  • Slim makes it easy to instantly show you care by letting you call, text, email, or post directly within the app.
  • It also saves you time by pre-populating messages with relevant text that you can send as-is or edit to your liking.

201303222142400

(http://slim.io)

There are lots of other applications, such as Thirst, Circa, and Prismatic, that seek to summarize news stories or filter through social media accounts but Slim actually goes one step further. “As you swipe through the updates that appear, you can also train Slim even further by starring the updates you appreciated and marking those you don’t want to see again. The app will learn your preferences in time, becoming more relevant the more you use it” (Perez, 2013).

The app currently only supports Facebook and LinkedIn as of today’s launch but within the next month will seek to add Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Salesforce and Yammer. The feature of this application that I love the most is that it connects you to Gifts.com if the announcements you are being shown require a gift…another way to save time!

 

References

 

Perez, S. (April 8, 2013). Slim for iPhone helps you keep up with Facebook, LinkedIn and more, without obsessively checking for updates. Techcrunch. Retrieved from  http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/08/slim-for-iphone-helps-you-keep-up-with-facebook-linkedin-and-more-without-obsessively-checking-for-updates/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29

Slim homepage. (2013). Official Corporate Website. Retrieved from http://slim.io

LinkedIn. (2013). Yair Levin LinkedIn profile. Retrieved from http://www.linkedin.com/in/yairlevin

Pinboard Sites for Men – Because Pinterest is just too girly!

7 Apr

Almost everybody knows Pinterest as the pinboard site dominated by photos of wedding ideas, cooking and recipe ideas, workouts, crafting, jewelry, home décor, and women’s fashion. And with an estimated 48.7 million users it is arguably the most popular pinboard site on the Internet and caters, almost entirely, to women (Smith, 2013). I suppose it is no surprise then that pinboard sites directed toward male users have begun showing up. The following three sites are ones that I have found to be of particular interest in capturing the male demographic in the pinboarding community.

1. Dudepins 

As the About Us states, “Dudepins is all about fast cars, tailored suits, scotches that are older than dirt and everything associated with being a Man. Man up. Sign up. Pin up” (Dudepins About Us, 2013). The site was created in June 2012 by social media aficionados Kamil Szybalski and Colin Brown after the two Vancouver-based entrepreneurs realized the content found on Pinterest was of little interest to men (Carlson, 2012). Dudepins works very much the same way as Pinterest. You can sign up via Facebook, Twitter, or with an email account. Photos and videos can be pinned to a montage which, similar to boards in Pinterest, is where all content can be categorized and shared. See screenshot of Dudepins below.

big_Dudepins

 (http://betali.st/startups/dudepins)

2.  Manteresting

Again, very similar to Pinterest in that it has the same pinboard look except with a darker background, Manteresting is a site for men to share all things interesting to them. The site has only been around for about a year now and has not attracted a large following but that is expected to change as more and more people hear about the site. Instead of “pinning” items of interest to the site, users can “nail” them to their boards, and you won’t “Like” anything on Manteresting; you’ll “Bump” it (Floyd, 2013). Content on the site is similar to that found on Dudepins and features “manly” things like cars, tools, sports, mens fashion and watches, etc. See screenshot of Manteresting below.

MANteresting

(http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52124)

3. Gentlemint

Gentlemint, which launched in early January 2012 by  Glen Stansberry and Brian McKinney, shares several similarities with Pinterest, including a similar look and user generated content, but content is definitely more aimed at men than women (Manarino, 2012). Content is typically focused around cars, food items/recipes (barbecue), cigars, alcohol, DIY projects, sports articles, and some technology articles. The site is by invite only and you may request an invite via email on the website. It is expected that the site will grow in popularity as more Internet users become aware of it. See screenshot of Gentlemint below.

gentlemint-1024x703

(http://www.mainlandskateandsurf.com/blog/?p=212)

None of the above mentioned pinboarding sites are exclusively for men regardless of the fact that content is mainly directed towards men. Women are not as prevalent on the sites but do contribute a lot of content found on them. As more and more men become familiar with the online world of pinboard sites, I think they will continue to gain in popularity and number of users.

 

 

References

Carlson, D. (October 7, 2012). Dudepins is Pinterest, but for dudes. SocialNews Daily. Retrieved from http://socialnewsdaily.com/2825/dudepins-is-pinterest-but-for-dudes/

Dudepins About Us. (2013). Dudepins Official Website. Retrieved from http://dudepins.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3

Floyd, T. (March 26, 2013). Manteresting: The Pinterest designed especially for men. Yahoo News. Retrieved from http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/right-click/manteresting-pinterest-designed-especially-men-162401660.html

Manarino, M. (January 23, 2012). Gentlemint honors the manlier side of life. NewMediaRockstars. Retrieved from http://newmediarockstars.com/2012/01/gentlemint-honors-the-manlier-side-of-life/

Smith, C. (April 3, 2013). How many people use the top social media, apps, and services? Digital Marketing Ramblings. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/resource-how-many-people-use-the-top-social-media/