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The Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) — the leading association and voice of the internet business & marketing industry. MITX is about all things digital, about what is next for the web and how it impacts the marketing and business worlds. We are passionate about creating opportunities for individuals and businesses to connect, grow and thrive. And we are committed to showcasing the ideas, the innovations, and the contributions that are fueling a thriving and integral industry in New England and throughout the world. Our mission is to capture and convey the essence of what our industry is doing, and to challenge us all to think differently, think big about what is next, because what is next is here.

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What 2014 Taught Us: The Norbella Social Media Edition

  
  
  
Lindsey Doolittle

Hope all of our New England friends are staying safe and warm in this blizzard! If you are locked inside and looking for something to do we've got a great guest blog for you to read from our friends at Norbella. Lindsey Doolittle, Content Marketing Strategist and Aileen McQuillen, Content Marketing Coordinator at Norbella share some big social take-aways from 2014.

Lindsey’s career spans multiple communication channels including public relations, social media, and content marketing. Her recent experience as a fashion editor at Rue La La has given her invaluable experience working with brands such as 20th Century Fox, Norwegian Cruise Line, Canyon Ranch, FX Networks and Blue Apron. Lindsey is also a local blogger, having been featured in the New York Times Style Section, Boston Globe, and BostInno.com.

Aileen’s passion for social media and PR has been a driving force in her career. A graduate of Georgetown University, she gained invaluable experience interning at Refugees International, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and the U.S. Peace Corps. In her spare time, she volunteers for local non-profit, Empower Dalit Women of Nepal. She directs the organization’s social media efforts, supporting their fundraising initiatives and public awareness campaigns.





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Humanizing Omnichannel

  
  
  
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We have a special blog for you today from one of our eCommerce Summit Advisory Board Members! We are hoping to share a few more of these with you in the weeks leading up to the summit to give you a taste of some of the insightful content that will be presented at the summit. This post, written by Rob Schmults, VP, eCommerce at Talbots, dives into the store associate side of omnichannel strategy. 

Rob Schmults is Vice President, eCommerce at Talbots where he oversees online marketing and mobile in addition to eCommerce. Previously, Rob held a number of roles as a retailer and as a solution provider to retailers. Most recently he was SVP at Intent Media, a company that uses predictive analytics to enable retailers to generate advertising revenue to augment their online product sales. Before that he was Chief Marketing Officer for Smart Destinations, a retailer and platform provider for activity, tour, and sight ticketing. At GSI Commerce, Rob oversaw the teams responsible for 30 partners, including adidas, Bath & Body Works, Dick's Sporting Goods, iRobot, and Major League Baseball. 

Omnichannel is doing a wonderful job at making retailers take a fresh run at organizing around their customers. As retailers continue down the path of taking a single view of their customers no matter where they are and what channel they are using, formerly siloed data – and thinking – gets broken down. Even more importantly, as retailers give customers a single view back into the enterprise it forces formerly inwardly focused systems like inventory management to turn outward.




How To Use Social Media for B2B Customer Insight & Prospecting

  
  
  
Christian Habermann

As we are getting the ball rolling on 2015 we have some great social media guest blogs to share with you. Christian Habermann, Founder of Auctus Marketing provides insight into how various social media tools can be used for research. Interested in guest blogging, e-mail taylor[at]mitx[dot]org.

Christian Habermann is the founder of Auctus Marketing and is a leader and innovator in the online marketing world. He is very involved in the local start up scene here in Boston. He co-founded ConsumerUnited.com, now Goji.com, which is one of the fastest growing online insurance companies and has made the Inc. 500 List the past 3 years.  He loves to help companies of all sizes, from start ups to Fortune 500s, embrace the online marketing world to grow their business. He is the author of "SEO for 2014” and holds and MBA in marketing from Vanderbilt.

Want to know how the top pros get ahead using social media as a tool for sales & marketing prospecting? As we all know, using social media to distribute your brand’s message and grow your audience is a great tactic, but using it to gain deeper insight into your community or customers is where the top B2B marketers really shine and rise from the pack. Social media has not been around for that long, it’s quite dynamic and fortunately, does not take that long to become a proficient user. Hence, sales & marketing professionals can spend a relatively small amount of time on it, gain some quality insight on their customers as well as prospects and use this data to move the needle forward.



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Top Three Best Practices for Mobile Marketing

  
  
  
Shirley Zhao

It's our final guest blog of the year! Wrapping up our mobile theme is Shirley Zhao, Content Marketing Coordinator at Experian Data Quality. Shirley gives three actionable tips for your mobile strategy. Hope everyone has a Happy Holidays! Can't wait to share more guest blogs with you in 2015.

Shirley Zhao is a Content Marketing Coordinator with Experian Data Quality. Good books, better writing, and unusual food are what she lives for. Reach her on Twitter @shirl_zee.

We are on the verge of 2015, and the mobile industry is reflecting the change in years with its own changes in the mobile marketing landscape. Recent years have witnessed an explosion in mobile web use. With 1.4 billion smartphone users in 2013, (that’s one in seven, folks), there is a huge move towards hyperconnectivity, and the changes in mobile marketing associated with that connectivity. There is both the necessity for marketers to refine the way they reach out to customers, and how to best do it with the information at their disposal.



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Fad Mobile Apps. Accident or Indicator?

  
  
  
Eric Fulwiler

Here is another insightful mobile guest blog written by Eric Fulwiler, VP, Account Director at Mullen. Eric dives into the importance of 'flash-in-the-pan' mobile apps and the insight we can gain from them. Interested in guest blogging? Next month's theme is social media. E-mail taylor@mitx.org if you are interested in contributing!

Eric leads social and emerging platform strategy at Mullen across its portfolio and manages internal social operations. Eric is a sought-after expert on key developments and the future of the social content marketing and advertising industry, and holds multiple advisory positions with Boston, NYC and SF-based social content, ad-tech, and analytics start-ups. He was an early employee and operations lead for VaynerMedia in NYC and SF, and oversaw early social media efforts for Forbes.com.

Some apps are staples in our lives ­ steadily growing with a proven user base over time. Instagram, Evernote, Vine, etc. But many are here one week and gone the next. They appear out of nowhere, and rocket to viral success at the top of the charts only to peak and fall out of favor. Quickly. And it seems to happen frequently. It almost seems like we're in the era of the 'flash in the pan' apps.



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Mobility: Bridging the Gap between Sales and Marketing

  
  
  
Stephen Skidmore

We are getting closer to the holidays but we have a few more mobile posts to share with you before then. Our next mobile guest blog is by Stephen Skidmore, Director of Product Marketing at Apperian. Stephen gives insights into how mobile can help connect sales and marketing.

Stephen is the director of product marketing at Apperian. He supports the sales team with market messaging, competitive intelligence, sales tools, content creation, social media, demand generation, strategic events and analyst relationships. 

In theory, sales and marketing organizations are expected to work hand-in-hand to help companies to grow revenue and expand their customer bases. However, in too many cases, sales and marketing teams operate in silos where leads generated through marketing often aren’t picked up and acted on by sales. This results in lost productivity and unrealized business opportunities.



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How Does Mobile Fit into Your Omni-Channel Strategy?

  
  
  
Scott Rosen

We've got another week of awesome mobile guest blogs for you. Today we have a post from Scott Rosen, Director of Technical Support Services and Digital Strategy at Ve Interactive. Scott discusses how mobile fits into an omni-channel strategy.

Scott Rosen is the Director of Technical Support Services and Digital Strategy at Ve Interactive, a multi-award winning global technology company, driving online performance to maximize conversions. He oversees the technical implementation and analysis of Ve’s products in North America. Prior to Ve Interactive, Scott held various digital marketing and data analysis positions at Bright Horizons, iProspect, and the Manufacturers’ Alliance. Scott has a JD from Villanova University (licensed to practice law in Massachusetts) and a BS in Business Administration and Economics from the Kogod School of Business at American University. Outside of work, he is an active member of his church. Scott lives outside of Boston with his wife. Follow @VeUnitedStates on Twitter.

If you are solely focused on the “Year of Mobile” or the “Era of Mobile”, you’re probably addressing a trend that has run its course. At the very least, you’re only focusing on one element of a larger trend.



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Programmatic is the Future of Mobile Marketing

  
  
  
Samantha Lordi

It's December, believe it or not, which means it's time for a new blog theme! We are switching over to Mobile and have a great post to kick it off by Samantha Lordi, Marketing Content Manager at Fiksu. Samantha gives insight on why when it comes to mobile marketing, programmatic is key.

Samantha Lordi, Marketing Content Manager at Fiksu, has a Broadcast Journalism degree from Syracuse and an MBA from Seton Hall. Despite being relatively new to the mobile industry, she uses her experience with storytelling to write about new technologies and trends affecting the mobile industry. Twitter- @samlordi

Programmatic is likely to be mobile’s buzzword of 2015. The only problem is, most people don’t even know what it really means. According to a report from STRATA from earlier this year, over 60 percent of ad agency executives feel there’s no accurate, unified definition of the term. Here at Fiksu, we’ve defined programmatic buying as “an automated process to make inventory placement decisions, execute on those decisions, and incorporate closed-loop feedback.”



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What's In Store for In-Store Selling?

  
  
  
Joe Shartzer

Before we all head out to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family and friends we have one more eCommerce blog post to share with you this month. Joe Shartzer, Co-Founder of Nyopoly and Engaged Pricing gives some insight into how this is the perfect time for in-store innovation as eCommerce continues to grow.

Joe Shartzer is a cofounder of Nyopoly and Engaged Pricing. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire and spends too much time of Spotify playlists. You can follow him on Twitter (and mostly everywhere) at @joeshartzer.

We know that shoppers are fleeing physical store locations, drastically and consistently. From The Wall Street Journal, foot traffic has continued to fall 5% year-over-year for over 12 months.With holiday 2014 already at our doorstep, the current climate can look dark for many retailers. Ecommerce sales are projected to rise 16.6% this year to over $72 billion in holiday 2014, according to eMarketer. Despite overall sales number projected to rise, a shortened holiday season and other factors can cast a cloud over retailers with large physical locations.



Holiday Retail eCommerce Prediction Round Up

  
  
  
Kate Putnam

We are close to wrapping up our eCommerce theme this month, but first there are a few more posts we have to share with you! In this post Kate Putnam, Development Manager at Blueport Commerce makes a few predictions about eCommerce during this upcoming holiday season.

As a Business Development Manager for Blueport Commerce, Kate manages several areas for corporate growth, including sales, corporate communications and partnerships. In all of her efforts, she endeavors to strengthen the company’s success as the omnichannel solution for the $78 billion furniture industry. These days, you can find Kate busy planning a marketing and sales strategy for 2015 while writing blog posts and spreading the Blueport story to prospective investors, clients and recruits. She often shares chair space with her Vizsla, Ramsay, who is a regular visitor to the dog-friendly Blueport office. Kate is on the board and heads up the marketing of the local Boston non-profit organization, Spero, Inc.

On the heels of the MITX Data & Analytics Summit last week, the world of data is ever-changing and the tools to tackle it are numerous. As Blueport Commerce enters its peak-omnichannel commerce season with its large furniture retail clients and Furniture.com, analyzing data and predictions become important as we help bring in some of the best in online sales all year. Like us, you’ve probably read the countless reports and data out there on holiday retail predictions and how retailers are poised to succeed. I’ve compiled three of these predictions most relevant to our business.



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