IMA Webinar Series Debuts

We are pleased to share with you the official rollout of our new webinar series. We have over 150 thought leaders lined up to provide these highly engaging, weekly webinars that will change the world and showcase how IMA leads the industry. Our goal is to provide IMA members with the knowledge you need to stay ahead of the curve.

Starting June 1, 2014, we’re bringing you the best content from the best thought leaders in contemporary marketing. We kick off the series with Professor Rob Salkowitz of MediaPlant. His firm recently completed work in partnership with Microsoft on the future of marketing.

See the schedule below for more information about this exciting series of speakers and thought leaders.

June 1 – Professor Rob Salkowitz; @MediaPlant
June 15 – Chairman Sinan Kanatsiz; @IMA_Network
July 1 – CEO Tim McMullen; @redpepper
July 15 – Founder & CEO Sebastian Jespersen; #WeAreVertic

Engage and learn in your car, working out or just taking a break by click here.

Five Steps to Better Content

DOT Report

The better the content strategy, the easier your goals will be achieved. Here are five steps that will help enhance your content strategy.

Objectives: First, you need to identify your objectives for the content you are developing. Do you want to increase traffic, drive conversions, maximize your lead generation? There could be other goals like encouraging users to visit specific pages of your website or getting certain products noticed. You need to plan in advance what you want to happen when your audience reads your content. The better you plan, the quicker you will see results.

Competition: Analyze your competition. There is no harm in admitting your competition is doing a better job than you are. Define what makes their content strategy better than yours and proceed accordingly.

Visitor Perspective: Be objective when looking at your website. Put yourself in your audience’s computer. A simple way to get objective feedback is to ask some of your clients what they think. The visitor perspective applies for any size of business, and you constantly need to innovate and be objective.

Channels: Content is divided into two parts, on-site and off-site. On-site content is the pages you are adding to, and off-site is the content you will use on external websites. Ask yourself how you can tie content into promotional channels. For example, a video could go onto your YouTube page with a landing page on your website. By doing this, you are providing your audience relevant content through a social media channel.

Topics: The final step in coming up with a content strategy is to identify specific topics and sources. Work with colleagues who are going to be collaborating with you on this project and take a day to brainstorm. These topics could include a list of awards on your website, subject areas you will be working on, pages you are going to improve, or new technologies and trends in your industry. Compiling these topics into a spreadsheet and setting up a timeline in which you will execute updates will keep you on track.

A Look at LinkedIn: Cost per Acquisition vs. Customer Lifetime Value

By Sebastian Jespersen, CEO Vertic

It’s a common scenario: the pursuit of quality instead of quantity. Many marketers focus on developing a high number of leads because of a lower cost, rather than on the quality of leads, which initially cost more. When the time, energy and money spent focusing only on numbers doesn’t convert to customers, companies learn the hard way that not all customers are created equal. Quality always wins over quantity when it comes to achieving business goals and long-term success.

Over time, we’ve noticed that most brands have the right intentions when it comes to generating traffic, but their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) lead them to focus on driving CPM costs down and increasing traffic – usually however possible. This leads to a lot of traffic, but not always the right traffic. To add to the complexity, the different departments responsible for managing the customer progression usually have completely different KPIs to track against. This creates a gap in how success is measured across the organization.

I’m here to encourage Heads of Digital to switch from focusing on acquisition to thinking about true ROI. Instead of concentrating solely on driving down CPA by lowering CPC/CPM costs, we need to shift our focus to those customers not monetizing over time because that can impact Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and reduce ROI. CLV has to be greater than CPA or your company won’t be able to scale or, for that matter, survive.

CPA only tells you how much it costs to generate a new lead but it doesn’t indicate if you will be able to generate a profit from that customer. And as we know, not all new customers are profitable customers. By layering CLV with CPA, companies can help determine if a new lead could potentially be a profitable one. Vertic has been helping its clients design and implement customer acquisition programs that are heavily focused on acquiring quality leads to improve their ROI. We’ve found many of these quality leads are on LinkedIn.

Looking solely at acquisition cost versus other platforms, LinkedIn does not appear to be an efficient investment. For example, Facebook sees an average CPC of $.80 while LinkedIn CPC can be over $2. However, LinkedIn has unique targeting propositions that distinguish it from AdWords and Facebook, particularly in a B2B context, which can be extremely powerful. You incur a higher CPC on LinkedIn because you are able to narrow the search criteria, which produces more qualified clicks. LinkedIn’s unique target criteria options produce, on average, a visitor-to-lead conversion ratio of 2.74%, which is outstanding and greatly outranks the conversion rates of Facebook and Twitter. Vertic has created numerous solutions for our clients using LinkedIn that focus on quality leads over quantity, and have set our clients up for a successful CLV.

Now the next natural question might be ‘why?’ – Why does LinkedIn cost more? And what exactly is the effective cost vs. benefit proposition of using LinkedIn to target quality leads? Of course, they can effectively pin-point user’s profession, interests, and geography, but the most important point that differentiates LinkedIn lies in how customers use it.

Studies show that over half of all users rank LinkedIn as being their most important social network. Keep in mind that this does not mean it is the most used social network; simply the most important. Due to the nature of LinkedIn being a professional network, users tend to ‘invest’ time on the site reading industry relevant articles, updating their professional status, connecting with clients and co-workers versus other platforms where individuals tend to ‘spend’ time commenting on photos, posting to friends’ and family’s walls, and consuming relevant information.

There is a grand dichotomy in how you speak to and engage with a user who is focused on spending time vs. one that is focused on investing time, and therefore approaching both users with the same strategy is simply not enough to ensure you continue to keep a profitable CLV and CPA. Targeting the user is only a piece of the pie, but what you do once you know who you’re targeting is where you can really differentiate a campaign.

Understanding where the user is coming from allows your marketing team to tailor the content and messaging to speak in a consistent voice. A campaign being run on Facebook and LinkedIn should not have the same banner-ad messaging nor landing page messaging. To do so is to dilute the value of segmentation and defeats the purpose of paying for a more qualified audience base in the first place.

The ability to understand the customer, and where they’re coming from allows you to decide where they’re going. Personalized creative, messaging, and a compelling story that tells the customer you understand them better than they might understand themselves is how to build a great marketing strategy and fully take advantage of the rich set of information that LinkedIn and other social sites have to offer.

To understand your customer is one thing, finding the right way to speak to them is another. We encourage brands to focus on finding the right mix that shifts our mindsets from quantity to quality. Focusing on targeting the right customers and ensuring they are monetizing overtime by normalizing certain CLV KPIs across departments will ensure that everyone within marketing and sales organizations are tracking against the same goals. This strategy is not limited to sales and marketing, but also extends to creative teams as well. Although the initial investment in targeting customers with specific criteria is greater through platforms like LinkedIn, the long-term impact on CLV can be significant if performed correctly.

To see how Vertic used LinkedIn to target qualified users, leverage personalized data to tell a relevant story, and drive conversion, read our case study on Microsoft’s Office 365 global campaign by clicking here.

LinkedIn Group Becomes Major Focus for 2014

With over 277 million members, LinkedIn is a major force in social media and a key connector between business professionals. The platform has made major strides in the past couple of years to become the place where business professionals interact and engage with one another.

One of the key initiatives for IMA in 2014 is to focus and grow our LinkedIn group. Within LinkedIn there are more than 1.9 million groups, ranging in size from just a few members to more than 1 million. The tools LinkedIn provides are aimed at increasing interaction and exchange of ideas within these groups.

“We recognize that LinkedIn has become the center of gravity for business professionals to interact with peers and colleagues worldwide,” said IMA Founder and Chairman Sinan Kanatsiz. “In 2014 we are growing our LinkedIn presence and positioning the IMA LinkedIn group as the best place for Internet marketing professionals to collaborate and interact with other professionals.”

Plans for the group include featuring many of the topics that will be covered at IMPACT14, the IMA signature event held annually in Las Vegas. “Our members who are on LinkedIn will be able to interact with the thought leaders the IMA has gathered, well in advance of IMAPCT14,” added Kanatsiz.

IMA has a number of new programs being released in 2014, and the IMA LinkedIn group is a convenient place to keep up to date on these happenings. As a member of the group, you can share your ideas and seek feedback from the IMA community. LinkedIn groups are also an easy and effective place to ask for help from your peers. Have a tough issue to solve? Ask your colleagues from IMA.

It takes only a minute to join, and it will open up a whole new view into IMA. Our mission at IMA is to bring Internet marketing professionals together for the exchange of ideas and to advance the science of marketing on the Internet. Our LinkedIn group is a key place where this interaction is occurring. Join us today!

Click here to join the IMA LinkiedIn group.

IMA Launches 52-Week Webinar Series

We are pleased to share with you the official rollout of our 52-week webinar series! We have over 150 thought leaders lined up to provide these highly engaging, weekly webinars that will change the world and change the way IMA leads the industry.

Starting early next month, we’re bringing you the best training from the best thought leaders in contemporary marketing. Hear from Professor Rob Salkowitz of MediaPlant as he shares trends on the future of marketing. Sebastian Jespersen of Vertic will share how his company helped Microsoft leverage LinkedIn to launch Office365. Learn tips and tricks to keep your skills sharp. And you can listen to it all while driving, working out or just taking a break.

Click here and view our upcoming webinars.

Launch of Facebook’s Paper App Proves Content Beats Interactivity in Publishing

The launch of Facebook’s Paper App demonstrates a powerful change in the way we think about online media. It suggests that good content is winning out over interactivity; as long as that content is complemented by fantastic visuals. As consumers of media, we want compelling content that tells us something we didn’t already know, not just occupies our time. I tested this theory out with the new issue of The Marketer’s Quarterly.

Built by marketers for marketers, The Marketer Quarterly is designed to guide marketers through the connected world with an in-depth focus on all aspects of marketing. The issue contains feature interviews with JetBlue, National Geographic and Comedy Central executives. There is a great story on a day-in-the-life of Peggy Dyer, CMO of American Red Cross, highlighting the challenges and strategies of the worlds’ top marketers. The entire magazine is also jam packed with practical columns on how to execute marketing tasks and how to use marketing tools such as video in email, managing big data helpful graphs and data snippets on making any presentation look better, and overall how to look smarter to your boss. There isn’t any interactive content, but it wasn’t needed. The compelling visuals and high quality editorial kept me engaged and informed.

Do you think content wins out over interactivity? Check out The Marketers Quarterly for free here and put my theory to the test.

IMA 52-Week Webinar Series

We’re excited to announce the imminent launch of the IMA 52 Week Webinar Series. These quick, impactful webinars feature the latest in Internet marketing tips and techniques from our global partners.

Topics included in the initial launch include training on how to use stories to inexpensively build an audience and discussions on the future of marketing. Several webinars will center around specific social media and internet marketing tools including LinkedIn, Twitter and analytical tools from Adobe, Google and others.

The webinar series is one of several new initiatives IMA is doing to continue to drive value for our members. If you would like to be considered as a presenter on an upcoming webinar, please e-mail Dominick Sirianni at

IMA Leadership Series at University of California, Irvine

Tomo Mizutani will be a featured IMA speaker at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to being appointed President of Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas, he served as President of Nitto Tire USA, based in Cypress, CA. He will share his inspiring story, business perspective, advice from the executive suite, and outlook on Internet Marketing and the global supply chain. The event will be jointly hosted by UC Irvine Extension, UCI Alumni Association and UCI Career Center.


    Tomo Mizutani
    President, Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas


    Newkirk Alumni Center
    University of California, Irvine
    450 Alumni Ct,
    Irvine, CA 92697-1225


    1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    Tuesday, April 1, 2014


    Entirely hosted by IMA and UCI


    Tomo Mizutani began his career at the Japanese trading company, Nissho Iwai, in 1984. He was then assigned to the struggling Nitto Tire business in the United States in 1992, beginning his deep relationship with the brand. Nitto was nearly discontinued by the parent company in Japan, but Mizutani’s passion and intensive market research helped to shift the target, and in three years the business started to see a profit. Since then Nitto’s revenue has increased three-fold, with tire units more than doubling. While catering to the auto enthusiasts who helped establish the brand, Mizutani led Nitto’s award-winning marketing efforts by expanding the brand through bold digital strategies. Garnering nearly 6.0 million Facebook fans, Mizutani is also known for embracing initiatives such as mobile gaming and brand created video content. He was recently appointed President of Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas.

Register Today!

The Difference Between Male and Female Marketers

It is in the spirit of International Women’s Day, Saturday, March 8, 2014, that I write this article. For many readers this may not come as a surprise, but men and women think differently. I don’t have to go beyond my own marriage for an example. It’s not often that I ask my husband to change a light bulb. I’d do it myself if I had a workman’s ladder that could fit in my apartment (not to mention my husband is 6’4″ without heels). His typical answer, said with sincerity and without mockery: “Do you want me to do it now?” After 23 years of marriage I’ve developed a sense of humor: “No, I want you to do it next year, but I’m asking now so you can put it on your to do list.”


Neurologists and psychologists have been grappling with the differences between how men and women think and behave for centuries. In researching for this article I’ve read countless articles about how men’s and women’s brains are wired differently. A recent study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania states, “In one brain region, women have more connections between left and right hemispheres, and men within hemispheres, while in another brain region, it is the other way around.” The researchers go on to say, “This may explain, for example, why on average men are better at learning and performing single tasks, such as cycling or navigating [obviously not changing light bulbs], while women tend to be better at multitasking and problem-solving in group situations.”

In taking a closer look at today’s work dynamics, I asked women at the C-suite level what they thought were the differences between the sexes in the workplace.



Lili Mahlab, EVP of Frontline Marketing, thinks that “often men in leadership positions tend to exude a lot of confidence.” Mahlab added, “It’s their confident attitude, especially when speaking in front of an audience that wins clients’ and colleagues’ respect.” Conversely, Mahlab talked about a female sales person on her team, who is somewhat hesitant when presenting. Mahlab coaches this salesperson to be more self-confident in order for her to elevate her sales wins. “People trust self-assured people,” stated Mahlab.


My way or the highway

According to researchers, men are better at dealing with the facts and tend to be more set in their ways. That means men may be quicker on the perception-action path, while women are better at integrating the analytic side of the brain with the intuitive and social side. Women excel at tasks that involve both logical and intuitive thinking. Mahlab said, “Women are often better listeners and tend to pick up more body language and voice inflection cues, which allow them to ‘course correct’ during a meeting.”



As an executive recruiter and consultant, I have found that people, both men and women, often stereotype. Mahlab chucked and told me, “It’s hilarious when I go into a meeting with a male colleague and the people we are meeting think he’s my boss — that is until I open my mouth.” But what really galls this successful female executive is that often people tend to direct the conversation to the men in the room rather than the women.


Conflict resolution

Many of my clients, both men and women, often tell me that women have a better ability to collaborate in business. Relating a story from her past, Soche Picard, EVP, group account director at Geometry Global spoke about working at a large holding company. The company had a long standing relationship with a Fortune 100 company who sponsored the Olympics ever year. One particular year, the company had the opportunity to bring together a number of its agencies under one platform for its client. Picard was tasked to “rally the troops by bringing the agencies together.” The concern for Picard was dealing with big egos in many of the agencies. “I know that I had to check my own ego at the door for the greater good. I had to understand the psychology of all the different players and how they could work together as a team.”


Talking vs. listening

Many women that I’ve worked with over the years have worked in predominantly male organizations. Mentally, women have the ability to get down to completing the tasks without their egos getting in the way. “What I’ve observed,” stated Picard, “is that women tend to listen first before reacting. Men lean towards the inverse. And, in my experience in this business, being an effective listener is a key attribute to being a strong leader — internally and externally.”

Chris Bart, a McMaster University business professor, and his research partner, Greg McQueen, administered a test to help board members assess their decision-making skills, as part of a training program. Here are some of their findings:

• Female board directors boost corporate performance.

• Some of the effects were measurable: Boards with more women are linked to a 53 percent higher return on equity, and their companies go bankrupt less frequently.

• The presence of even one female director can reduce the risk of going belly up by 20 percent.

• Women ask more questions, rather than nodding through decisions.

• Women rely more often on what the researchers call “complex moral reasoning” by weighing a broader range of factors and implications.

• Women fare better at making “consistently fair decisions when competing interests are at stake.”

• Men tend to base their decisions on rules and traditions.

• Women’s instincts make them better problem-solvers.

Increasingly, innate and beneficial gender differences are being used to build business. Yes, men and women are different. It is diversity of thought and behavior that savvy leaders seek when building their businesses. It’s about tapping the best candidate pools and ensuring retention of star employees. Smart leaders understand that men and women bring different skills to the table.

For more than 100 years, International Women’s Day has celebrated the social, political, and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action. This year, the theme of International Women’s Day is “Inspiring Change,” and the organization is calling for greater awareness of women’s equality, more women in senior leadership roles, equal recognition of women in the arts, growth of female-owned businesses, increased financial independence of women, more women in science, technology, engineering, and math, and a fairer recognition of women in sports.

It may still be a man’s world, but women are making slow but steady progress finding their place at the table in corporate executive suites across the nation.


Erika Weinstein is CEO and founder of eTeam Executive Search.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Online Certification For IMA Members

Certified Internet Marketer (CIM)

The IMA Certified Internet Marketer (CIM) professional certification program provides participants with the foundational Internet marketing education needed to succeed in today’s fast-changing online business environment.


  • Access to exclusive IMA leadership events
  • Access to economic and other business opportunities
  • Introductions to members of the International Executive Council
  • First access to white papers, market intelligence, events and webinars by IMA
  • Ongoing access to CIM instructors and IMA leadership
  • CIM designation next to name (IMA Governing Body)

The certification course is divided into six lesson areas, culminating in a final exam to certify Internet marketing knowledge, including:

1. Overview of Internet Marketing:

The broad array of digital marketing including social media, mobile marketing, and online analytics

2. Online Acquisition:

Search marketing, display advertising, search engine optimization

3. Online Conversion:

Site personalization, online A/B and multivariate testing, content targeting, dynamic recommendations

4. Online Retention:

Email marketing, online surveys, voice of customer (VOC) strategies

5. Online Analytics & Measurement:

Measuring website performance with digital analytics, business goals and standard metrics to consider, tactics for telling “stories” with data to drive better online business decisions

6. Data-Driven Marketing:

Creating a culture and decision-making practices based on data, developing closed-loop marketing strategies and programs

Click here for more information.