If you have a quick second- please answer these 2 polls. I’ve been curious about this topic for a while!


Top 5 EASY Twitter Tips

Are you keeping up with some of the smallest, easiest, yet MOST effective strategies on Twitter? If you have a second, take the poll at the bottom of the post…

Use Hashtags.

Hashtags give you visibility outside of your Twitter followers through indexing sites such as hashtags.org or Twitter Wiki. Through the index site, tweeters will be able to search certain subjects to find what they are looking for- yours might be one of them if you’re indexing your tweets properly. An example: “Christine Cowan, VP Account Dir. interview www.jeffbobick.wordpress.com #PureMichigan”

This hashtag is now indexed under Pure Michigan. If someone is looking for Pure Michigan topics, they now have access to your link via hashtag index web sites (outside of Twitter).

Tweet often.

It is very unlikely that your followers will see ALL of your Tweets. If you Tweet often, you will increase your chances of being seen on the Home Page of your followers. Plus, you’ll start to become more recognized to others- which may lead to increased attention to what you’re tweeting about, click-through on your posted links and increased followers.

Tweet for a reason.

Before you Tweet something out- ask yourself if it is of value to your viewers. Does the subject matter follow your general subject that you associate yourself with? Does it allow for followers to reply or give feedback/opinion? Do your Tweets include links for increased interaction? Do you drive others to your personal online media platforms (Blogs, personal web sites, Social Media sites etc.)? You will keep a steady number of followers by remaining consistent in subject matter and Tweeting for a reason.

Learn to use Direct Messages.

Do you have a specific question for a specific Tweeter or want to get their email address, etc? Personal information should be done via Direct Message. Or, if you would like to thank someone for following you and would like to direct them to a specific site of yours, use this function! It takes effort to send a direct message- this will give a sense of personal attention to a specific user.

Ask Questions.

Asking questions allows people to reply, which has a viral impact all in itself. After feedback has slowed down, it also may be a good idea to post the results of other responses so that others can learn about it.


Subscribe to my Blog or Follow me on Twitter for future updates! @jeffbobick

Below is the first entry in the “5 Questions” series, featuring Christine Cowan, VP Account Director for the Pure Michigan campaign. Enjoy!



The award-winning Pure Michigan campaign has received much deserved attention over the past few years. It was also recently published as one of the all-time best tourism campaigns by Forbes. Christine Cowan, VP Account Director on the account at McCann Erickson Detroit, shares some of her ideas and experiences about the account. Please visit the Pure Michigan campaign Web site, where you can listen to and view many of the award-winning segments.

1. How did they come up with the idea of Pure Michigan – what were the iterations and how has the campaign grown since 2006? Where do you see it heading in the future?

Christine Cowan: Coincidentally, the campaign we have come to know (and love) called Pure Michigan began as something else.  Our original response to the RFP back in 2006 presented a campaign idea entitled, “True North”.  And we were awarded the business with one tiny caveat:  we had to come up with a new campaign title, as the proposed “True North” idea could be interpreted as forgetting the southern part of our great state.  Funny how things work out though – as the team pondered and brainstormed with our clients, the idea of water kept coming up, which lead to the notion of “pure”, which lead to Pure Michigan.  And it kind of took off from there.

The future of the campaign is bright, as we plan to continue to showcase our current creative work, plus embark and investigate newer technologies to the tourism industry, like mobile marketing, rich digital media, and even merchandising.  But the growing success can only continue if the campaign maintains or grows the support from the state that it has seen over the last 2 years.  Not only is the amount of funding an indicator of how much visibility our state will have with tourists throughout Michigan, surrounding states, and the nation, but we have also proven that for every $1 spent on the campaign, another $2.86 is returned to the state in taxes – so it is tough to argue a dedicated funding source.   In fact, at this exact moment we are awaiting the state budget allocations, and hoping there is a nice line item for Tourism.

2. What component do you feel made the Pure Michigan campaign so successful?

Christine Cowan: There are three components that I think anyone working on the campaign would offer up as differentiators:  the music, the voice, and the writing.  The music is the theme music from the movie, “Cider House Rules” and creates this sensation that overtakes you, but for some reason, does not overwhelm you or the other key elements.  The voice, is none other than native son, Tim Allen.  Having Tim as our guy was the vision of our Chief Creative Officer at the time of launch, Dave Moore.  And there was no Plan B.  What his voice brings to the campaign is indescribable.  Tim was supportive of the campaign from day one, but over the years has grown quite fond of both it, and his involvement with it – the best part is, he really is from Michigan, comes back here often, and visits family still living here – so he knows what he’s talking about.  He offers up his thoughts and opinions as he reads for us, sometimes we debate pronunciations, and every once in a while even throws in a little Buzz Lightyear!  And finally, the writing.  It is really the cornerstone of the campaign.  Almost all of the things you can do in Michigan (note “almost”), you can do anywhere, so instead of talking about all of those things, we wanted to paint a picture about how it feels. Create a story for the listener or viewer that can only be heard in Michigan. That’s why the creative is so engaging and emotional – we aren’t talking about golf, we’re talking about how playing golf in Michigan makes you feel.  Very different than most tourism campaigns, and certainly a defining approach for Pure Michigan.


3. In this economy, why did Michigan invest so much in their tourism budget for the past year, and how did Pure Michigan play a role in that decision?

Christine Cowan: [also from Question 1]…Not only is the amount of funding an indicator of how much visibility our state will have with tourists throughout Michigan, surrounding states, and the nation, but we have also proven that for every $1 spent on the campaign, another $2.86 is returned to the state in taxes – so it is tough to argue a dedicated funding source.   In fact, at this exact moment we are awaiting the state budget allocations, and hoping there is a nice line item for Tourism.

4. How are you able to monitor the campaign to make sure it’s doing what it was intended for?

Christine Cowan: The State has third party vendors they work with to evaluate the campaign from both a messaging and an R-O-I standpoint.  We are constantly revisiting our topics and messages to ensure that they are consistent with those that the consumer is seeking.  Also worth noting, is some very non-scientific data we get constantly – feedback and insights from our partner destinations and the private sector that let us know it’s working.  Like license plates in parking lots, and what they’re hearing from their own guests.  Another non-scientific, but fun measure of the campaign’s success, has been the use of the phrase “Pure Michigan” – it now has millions of Google searches and shows up in even non-contextual places, like an article headline about an NCAA basketball game last year, “Pure Michigan State”.  We love that!


5. Can you share any of your favorite campaigns that have been influential/inspiring to you?

Christine Cowan: Campaigns that have been inspirational or influential to me are few, and both of them PSA campaigns.  One is the “TV Boss” which is an Ad Council campaign created by McCann NY (I swear I don’t like it just because it’s from McCann).  But it’s a great example of how a boring topic can be translated into humor that viewers connect with, want to watch, and even activate what they are asking you to do (which by the way, is why many agencies love working on Ad Council projects).  The other is actually an outdoor campaign called “Pass it On” [featured below]. Reminding you of the finer qualities in people and life.  Clean, simple, and powerful.  Words like, “Unity”, “Courage” “Preparation” and the imagery to go with it.  Certainly makes you think…

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap) 1Christine Cowan is the VP Account Director for the Pure Michigan campaign at McCann Erickson Detroit. A special thanks to her for sharing her experiences and thoughts about the campaign. Please visit the Pure Michigan campaign Web site, where you can listen and view many of the award-winning segments.

*Would you like to be featured in an upcoming “5 Questions” post? Subscribe to the blog or follow me on Twitter for future updates @jeffbobick

This research article is a great addition to the literature of online advertising measurement…

The Journal of Interactive Advertising (JIAD) posts a series of intense research articles each season in regards to digital advertising. Within the Vol 9 Spring 2009, Ginger Rosenkrans of Pepperdine University, attempted a field experiment in the creativeness and effectiveness of online interactive media advertising. Her well-researched experiment is conclusive and supported in detail. Rosenkrans also brings up the point that interactive media is very difficult to measure its effectiveness within the advertising industry. Below are a few of her many important points worth mentioning.


Rosenkrans wanted to determine, through a measure of click-throughs, whether interactive, online, rich media advertising prompted more interactivity from users compared to a non-interactive, rich media ad. An interactive ad and a non-interactive ad were created and placed in a major regional newspaper host site for two weeks to collect comparative data. The interactive ad received much higher click-through rates than the non-interactive ad. She also concluded that the interactive ads garnered more user engagement and encouraged more user interactivity.

“By investigating the effectiveness of this online ad format, this study provides researchers and advertisers with information about consumer involvement in online interactive rich media ads and suggests some metrics to evaluate online ads that may facilitate more informed decisions about advertising strategies. This study also provides further research opportunities pertaining to user engagement with online rich media ad formats.”
The Creativeness and Effectiveness of Online Interactive Rich Media Advertising

Ginger Rosenkrans (Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University) is Associate Professor of Advertising at Pepperdine University. Her research interests include interactive advertising, online advertising effectiveness, online advertising metrics and Web analytics, and online ad design and interactivity.

After a recent visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York City this past June 2009- I WISH that I would’ve known about this resource to make my visit a bit easier.

Many companies are realizing that the more interactive you remain with your audience, the more potential your business has at growing. MoMa has a new supplemental web site, Summer at MoMa, which was created by Gupta Media.

Picture 1

Supply your timeline date, art “style” preference and then select through a few different options that MoMa suggests for you. Within minutes, it has developed an entire day for you at the museum. They also give you the option to remove anything that may not be of interest as well as add more of a particular artist or category. A great way to educate users before they event step foot into the actual museum.

Picture 4From a viral approach, it also requires users to have the site access their Facebook to deliver their results. This plants the seed for others to access- you also have the option to Tweet your day plans, create a printable version and the capability of inviting others too.

I commend this interactive attempt. MoMa is one of the many examples of how companies are becoming very interactive with their audience. Do you have a favorite Interactive Site/Campaign? I’d really like to hear about it. Comment here or @jeffbobick on Twitter!


Lately, I have been trying to get a lot of my friends and family to use Twitter. But they always ask “WHY SHOULD I USE IT” or “HOW DO I BENEFIT FROM IT?” From now on, I’m directing them to this blog entry.

So what can you do with Twitter? Let’s break it down:

From a Social Aspect: “BRAND YOURSELF”

Ultimately, it’s a great tool for Personal Branding. You can use Twitter as THE social media platform to develop a casual persona. If you can design the right Twitter Persona, you have the opportunity to interact with many other personas. Your Personal Brand has the potential to become connected and approachable.

  • Stay up on Breaking/Current News. As a user, you are able to link to other useful news accounts. These accounts Tweet out links to newly-released articles and news scoops. You can also subscribe to Twitter feeds for specific websites/conferences, which allows you to receive and view content quickly. This is very useful for active social news participants.
  • Interact/Make New Friends. As with other social media networks, Twitter allows you to “Add as Friend” and track messages of others. You can find others who have interests in the same stuff you do! Just make an effort to search for similar subjects, add the people, and read up and comment on what they tweet about! This is an easy way for you connect with people outside of your usual circle.
  • Make To-Do Lists. Use Twitter to record down what you need to do while you are away from the computer. Mark the tweet as a favorite to file it for referencing. Another alternative is to use an Online task management service that is synced with Twitter.
  • And if you’re concerned about the privacy of your Tweets, you also have the capability of “locking” them, so only users that are approved through you are able to view your Tweets.


From a Business Aspect: “BRAND YOUR COMPANY”

Many companies are on Twitter for the sole purpose of PR. They are able to monitor what people are Tweeting about in regards to their products- a great way to “fix” anything that may be going wrong. Think of it as an affordable social media monitoring tool! In addition, they are able to bring in prospective clients by Tweeting interesting articles, links to their sites, or promotional incentives that are going on currently or in the near future. The possibilities are truly endless… and it seems there are competitions to see who can be the most creative with how they position their marketing on Twitter.

  • Hire New Employees. Are you looking for a creative designer, an accountant or programmer? Tweet out a message asking for recommendations. You’ll be very surprised at how many replies you get. It’s a great way to hire freelance work or employees based off of familiar recommendations from others.
  • Get Feedback. Do you have a new marketing idea? Are you releasing a new web site soon and need some input or the right course of action to take? New promotional ideas or products? Just Tweet out a message asking for opinions. If you’ve got the right followers, advice from others can be very beneficial.
  • Direct traffic to YOU. Twitter can be used to get traffic to your websites or the sites of friends. Just include links in your messages- and even ask your friends to tweet about it. You’ll notice an exponential increase in your Click-Through-Rates on sites that you direct users to. It works as a great viral marketing tool for news.
  • Notify Your Customers About YOU. Set up a Twitter feed for the specific purpose of notifying customers when new products come in. Customers can subscribe via mobile or RSS for instant notification. Twitter can also be used to provide mini-updates for one-on-one clients.


Hopefully that answered a few of your concerns or questions. Follow me on Twitter and let me know how you want to use the platform or how you already are using it! I would really enjoy hearing from you. I have made some great connections and keep up-to-date on my Twitter. So get Tweetin’ and take my poll question below! thanks!

– @jeffbobick


Broadway’s Next to Normal is a new original musical that is currently playing featuring many talented cast members (Alice Ripley, Robert J. Spencer, Jennifer Damiano) and written by some great minds (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorky). Putting the actual show aside for a moment (I saw it 2 nights before the Tony Awards and it was phenomenal), it’s marketing plan is anything other than NORMAL.

imagesThe Next to Normal Twitter page. The creative team has just finished up the first ever Twitter performance of a Broadway musical. Over the past 4 weeks, with the help of writer Brian Yorkey, the entire story of the show was broken down into 281 individual tweets. By the end of the Twitter performance, they had over 189,000 followers. Tweets ranged from what certain characters were thinking throughout different points in the show, to posting new releases of songs so that fans could hear some of the music. Now that their Twitter performance has ended, they have begun an interactive “talk back” session with the cast and creative team. Tweeters and Web site viewers are able to “@” the team with any questions they have about the show. And soon enough, answers begin to show up on their Twitter page. This is such a great way to incorporate fans with the show- and it clearly has been proven effective. When comparing the other “competitor” musical shows that are playing on broadway (and looking at the number of Followers), Next to Normal (N2N) is in the lead by a landslide. To really retain followers, they may also consider placing contests and raffles that are incorporated into their posts.

The Next to Normal Web site. It seems that there has been quite a bit of activity on their Web site that promotes the show. One of the very unique features that they currently removed (probably to promote the “Talk Back” on Twitter) was the ability to interact with some of the music that plays on the site. Users were able to upload a personal picture and have it be posted on a specific beat of the song playing. It was a great way to incorporate identity within the music, also one of the shows main themes. It allowed for users to, again, feel apart of the production- which I feel a lot of Broadway fans and enthusiasts want.

It is also important to note how great some of the cast members have been with fans on Facebook. For the die hard fans, Alice Ripley seems to be accepting many people on Facebook and interacting with many of them. She keeps them posted as to what she is doing throughout the day, and comments on many of their pictures that they post of her at the backstage door.

Do you see a trend here? All of the interaction allows for people to really become attached to the show. It gives these people a reason to keep following the show. It seems that Next to Normal is really pushing for more than just putting on a show for viewers and leaving them some food for thought. They have created a platform for audience members to come BACK to and continue to see and interact with the success of the show. Maybe I’m the only victim to it, but I am constantly checking the N2N Twitter “Talk Back” with cast and crew. Am I the only one?

It will be interesting to see what future marketing has in store for Broadway. We know that being interactive with clients is a major key to success, but who’s going to take the NEXT step?