Lexington, Mass.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

For some consumers, social networking sites have taken on personality traits that reflect who they may log in as and communicate with. Facebook might be a boyfriend. LinkedIn is a boss. Twitter is filled with acquaintances to say "hi" to in the hall.

The lead shouldn't represent the beginning of the sales cycle. Sales cycles should start with thought leadership that informs prospects about future trends that will result in business challenges and opportunities—enough so the prospects have an "epiphany" about their needs and enter the sales cycle.

With these six "word of mouse" tricks, marketers can spread the news on the Internet about their products and services, says David Meerman Scott, a Lexington, Mass.-based marketing strategist and author.

No doubt you've gotten the message from the business media, research firms and colleagues that online video (and its kissing cousin, video advertising) is the next big thing in direct marketing. But just like with any other direct response vehicle, success with video marketing depends largely on execution—and that calls for testing.

For Kiva Systems, the Woburn, Mass., developer of robotic solutions for distribution and order fulfillment operations, the maxim "seeing is believing" permeates the marketing process. With a technological solution for order picking that deviates from the norm and can seem a little space age, the company knows words and pictures alone do not suffice in the selling process.

Sometimes context means everything. Especially when an e-mail contains "XXX." So while Super Bowl fans may have found messages from the National Football League innocuous, spam filters did not. The filters didn't bother to understand the concept of Roman numerals that counted out the games between 30 and 39. So e-mail experts did, and here they provide more tips for marketers in similar fixes.

More Blogs