Friday, April 24, 2009

Coughing = coffee.

In my first post, I promised that I would write about both marketing and motherhood. While being a mom has been a wonderful journey so far, it is also a lot of hard work, even at the best of times. (All the experienced parents reading this: please feel free to say "Duh.") And no surprise, when the going gets rough, the tough get...COFFEE.

I have consumed more coffee in the past few weeks alone than I probably have in the last year, reason being that my daughter has had a cough since the end of March. And every time she coughs, I want to jump out of my skin. Unfortunately, that's not exactly conducive to a restful night's sleep, hence my new coffee addiction. (Or Diet Coke. Or caffeinated Crystal Light. Or anything else that has a hefty dose of caffeine.) Fortunately, she is happy and healthy as a horse, the doctors claim. A infant's cough can apparently linger for weeks - who knew?

In the meantime, I am thrilled that it's now warm enough to add iced coffee to my caffeine rotation.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Twitterpated (with apologies to Bambi).

I've been on Twitter for a whopping six days - and I have to confess, I'm hooked. I even managed to link Twitter to my Facebook account, so my status automatically gets updated in both places. (It's the little things!)

This morning, two of my coworkers asked me, "What IS Twitter, anyway?" And though I tried my best to explain, I honestly think Twitter is one of those things better explained by trying it out. I follow a few friends, vendors, some big brands, and some news channels...and a few just for fun. For example, http://twitter.com/foodimentary tweets fun food facts. Who knew that 4/17 is National Cheeseball Day?

The more I explore Twitter, the more I like it, and from a marketing perspective, it seems like the sky's the limit. I work for a real estate company, and could see us eventually using Twitter to market to college students and first-time homebuyers, as well as promoting move-in specials and upcoming events. The issue, as with many Web 2.0 technologies, is that Twitter is still a little bit misunderstood, and its effectiveness as a business tool is not completely embraced by people accustomed to more traditional marketing methods. Another challenge is that staying on top of the conversation requires serious effort. A lot of larger companies are using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media channels very successfully (IBM and EMC, just to name two), but often have resources dedicated to managing these programs. With a small in-house marketing team, we haven't quite figured out how to manage this ourselves - yet.

In the meantime, just consider me Twitterpated.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Facebook: not just for kids.

I joined Facebook about a year ago, and I am amazed at how many of my friends from high school and college are using it, too. I'm in my early 30's, and my husband is in his late 30's - and pretty much everyone we know has "friended" us.

Before I signed up for an account, I was convinced that FB was "just for kids." And in some cases, it is. My husband's niece, for example, who is 19, sent out evites via FB to her wedding. (I must confess that this cracked me up - though she also sent out lovely, traditional hard copy invitations, too.) Though I can't see any of our contemporaries using Facebook for their wedding invitations, I DID just get an invite to my 15-year high school reunion.

Interestingly enough, I've also started using FB at work, to market some of our condominium properties. The channel came highly recommended from the EVP of Marketing at our condo broker partner, and though I will admit that I am still a teensy bit skeptical, I really do think that it will generate some significant traffic for the sites. Our biggest demographic is first-time home buyers, so it seems to be a natural fit.

Not surprisingly, FB has a boatload of metrics built into its reporting system, so advertisers can see exactly what they're paying for...and because we can set up the campaigns as pay-per-click, we literally have nothing to lose: no clicks, no cash outlay. We're hopefully launching the campaigns next week.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Baby steps all around...

This is my first blog post - and I'm looking forward to getting started. As a new mom, and a new blogger, "The Baby Step Blog" seemed to be a pretty appropriate name.

I intend to write about a couple of things:

1. Marketing. I've been in marketing for more than 10 years, and I love how quickly everything is changing. For example, I just signed up for a Twitter account - I'm not completely sure how to use it yet, but I honestly think that Twitter (and other social media) will change how we as marketers do business. Follow me on Twitter @sarasgraham.

2. Motherhood. My daughter, C, is just 4 months old, and juggling work and motherhood is already quite an adventure. Though I know I'm not unique in that respect, I do think a lot of people can relate to the balancing act that is my new reality!

Thanks for reading.