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Marketing, design, and technical resources for making your digital and print communications more effective.

Suomi Finland and Nokia – A Benchmark for European Blogging

August 21st, 2006

As I was visiting some relatives in Finland last month, I noticed that very few Nordic Web sites had incorporated blogging and New Media features at a corporate level. Blogging and podcasting have already become commonplace amongst the general population in Finland, as it has in the United States, however there is a glaring gap between most corporate Web sites and available New Media technology.

Something inherent about the Finnish society is that people adapt to technology very quickly. In fact, it is a country where you find youth text messaging live television talk show hosts from their mobile/cell phones although they’re being charged to do so. Finns, and I’m supposing other Europeans, would most likely embrace companies or organizations that would open up the level of transparency in regards to products, services, and community. For instance, Nokia is Finland’s most influential consumer brand, of which people proudly show off their new model phones amongst friends and family, along the same level as a car, home, or other status symbols. So as to exploit and enhance this brand power, I could certainly envision Nokia providing an interactive community where its customers could go online to chat about new product features, designs, like and dislikes, desires for future technology and so forth. Not only would this create further intimacy amongst Nokia’s customer base, but also it would enhance customer evangelism while at the same time providing in-depth and basically free unsolicited market research. Plus, Nokia has already experimented with the blogosphere by sending bloggers new phone models and had phenomenal response; why shouldn’t Nokia then take blogging to the next level and engage their customers? Nokia also has a few non-employed enthusiasts blogging about their products, the next step would be to envelop this community within the Nokia.com sphere to help shape the content and engage in the discussion.

So as to prove this isn’t a Nokia centric blog, Fazer, Finnair, Hesburger, and Stockmann are four other Finnish companies that come to mind that could leverage new media technology and customer evangelism. In fact, no matter the firm or industry, the main ingredient for success is to identify a loyal customer base and empower enthusiastic individuals with tools like blogs and customer reviews so as to become a participative marketing and sales extension for little to no cost. Although this may appear somewhat iffy in terms of ethics, the truth is that most customer evangelists don’t want to be bought, they’ll proactively solicit the virtues of a company’s products and services simply because they feel an inherent personal emotional identification around the brand. In other words, the brand becomes a reflection on their personality.

In conclusion, I’d like to reiterate the old mantra to those of you who haven’t heard it before … great brands create consumer evangelists by empowering their customers to be a strategic marketing force. Companies that have succeeded, such as Apple Computers, Under Armour, and Southwest Airlines, know what makes their customers tick. If you’re a marketer reading this blog, I highly encourage you to check out some articles under Google keyword search using “Customer Evangelism.” One article in particular that I would recommend is the “Customer Evangelism Manifesto” by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba; it has honestly revolutionized our corporate drive at RisingLine New Media Marketing. Anyway, I hope this blog provided some helpful information. Please feel free to provide feedback or ask questions.

Understanding Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

July 26th, 2006

What is RSS?

SS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s an easy way for you to keep up with news and information that’s important to you, and helps you avoid the conventional methods of browsing or searching for information on websites. Now the content you want can be delivered directly to you without cluttering your inbox withe-mail messages. This content is called a “feed.” RSS feeds are commonly syndicated from special web pages called blogs.

RSS is written in the Internet coding language known as XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which is why you see RSS buttons commonly labeled with and XML icon: XML button. Other common icons that indicate an RSS feed include: RSS feed icon & RSS feed icon

What is Podcasting?

Podcasting is an RSS Feed that includes MP3 audio files, usually published through blogs. Listening to a podcast simply means downloading an MP3 audio from a link in a blog you’ve subscribed to. Once you download the file, you can either listen to it on your computer or transfer it to an MP3 player like an iPod to listen on the go.
Find out moremore podcasting information

What is an RSS Reader?

An RSS reader is a small software program that collects and displays RSS feeds. It allows you to scan headlines from a number of news sources and display them in a central location.

RisingLine also builds web sites that can be auto updated through RSS feeds from your own blogs or external sources to provide valuable automatically updated content for your visitors. For the more technically oriented, we also sponsor the site

Where Can I Get an RSS Reader?

Some browsers, such as the current versions of Firefox, have built in RSS readers. If you’re using a browser that doesn’t support RSS, there are avariety of RSS readers available on the web; for some there is no charge to download and others are available for purchase.

RisingLine makes it easy for your visitors to subscribe to your RSS news updates by including options for your feed to be automatically added to individual’s popular home pages just by clicking on a graphic link. If you have a homepage at one of these sites try clicking on the graphic to add our news to your page:

RSS Feed


RSS Feed Add to Google


RSS feed for My AOL

We utilize the great resources of FeedBurner to provide a smart feed that allows people to choose the RSS syndication tool that works best for them.

How Do I Add RSS Feeds Manually?

If you’re using a RSS news aggregator instead of one of the options listed above, each reader has a slightly different way of adding a new feed, also called a “channel.” Follow the directions for your reader but, in most cases, here’s how it works:

  • Click on the link or small XML button near the feed you want. For example, on http://RisingLine.com/blog/ click on RSS Feed
  • From your web browser’s address bar, copy the URL (web address). For example, the URL you would copy for
    our blog is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/NewMediaMarketing
  • Paste that URL into the “Add New Channel” section of the reader. The RSS feed will start to display and regularly update the headlines for you.

Subscribe to RisingLine’s RSS Feed

New Media is the Answer

June 21st, 2006

I know that many of you have heard my mantra on why advertising is losing effectiveness in our society, but I recently came across a New Yorker article that brought about a new dimension as to why consumers are getting burnt as a result of mass media ads. To be specific, we consumers are the ones paying for the ads we don’t want to see. In fact, a good number of Fortune 500 companies allocate approximately 25% of their budget to advertising. For instance, Proctor and Gamble spent nearly $3,000,000,000 on advertising ~ and that was two years ago. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that those costs are passed along to the consumer. So, when you need to cure that scalp itch with some Head and Shoulders, just remember that a quarter of what you’re paying for goes to pay for commercials you don’t want to hear.

So by now you’re probably asking yourself why this blog is relevant to New Media marketing. Therefore I’ll get to the point … if you’re a marketing professional at your firm, think like a consumer and channel your message so as to communicate in a non-intrusive yet informative manner. In the old days, people would gather at the coffee shop to discuss life as well as business; and within their business discussions, they would give recommendations to their
peers over a friendly conversation. This might have cost the consumer a nickel for a cup of joe, but they actually enjoyed the fresh roast much more than having an obnoxious guy with a beard yelling at them through a screen about how some special soap will remove grape juice stains from their grandmother’s afghan. In other words, as a consumer myself, I don’t mind when a friend passes a recommendation along to me because 1) I enjoy my friend’s company, 2) I know my friend isn’t getting paid to provide this information to me, and 3) I myself am not paying for that information.

Furthermore, today’s coffee shop is virtual and the conversations are taking place, you as a marketer need to engage and infiltrate in order to build your brand from an organic level. For example, Apple is a forward-thinking company
that understands this concept of transparent community, so much so that they are willing to invite criticism of their own products. Recently I visited their site to purchase a new power chord for my PowerBook G4, I was pleasantly surprised to gather information – FREE INFORMATION – that wasn’t filtered by Apple that influenced my purchasing decision. I’d encourage you to visit Apple’s Web store to see for yourself:

In conclusion, this New Media marketing revolution must be looked at as a win-win for both consumers and companies because it is not only reducing the communication channel while increasing intimacy, but it is also reducing costs
for companies and bringing about the opportunity to lower pricing for the consumer. The only downside to this movement is that many advertisers will be looking for new careers in the near future.

Articles of Interest:

LinkThe New Pitch, Do ads still work? by Ken Auletta

LinkAdvertising Doesn’t Work – Part 2. by Mike Catherall

LinkFixing the Ad Agency Mess – by Joseph Jaffe

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