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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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How Twitter is Changing the Face of Customer Service

Greg Bradley

Check it out, another stellar social media guest blog! This one is by Greg Bradley, Marketing and Communications Manager at Primacy. Greg gives some awesome examples of how social media, specifically Twitter, is impacting customer service.

Greg Bradley is Marketing and Communications Manager at Primacy, a digital-first marketing and technology agency. He runs the marketing, social media and PR programs for the agency and also writes content for clients in industries like higher education, financial services and healthcare. Prior to Primacy, he worked in marketing on the client side at Travelers. 

About a year ago, my wife and I had to change vacation plans due to a death in the family. It meant moving our flights, which meant contacting customer service at the airline. And so began my first encounter with airline change fees.

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Why Service Based Businesses Should Use Social Media

Andie Tilden

Hope everyone had a nice weekend, this week we have some awesome social media guest blogs for you. Today's post is by Andie Tilden, Associate Manager for the Integrated Marketing Group at AMP Agency. Andie give some great tips for businesses about how to achieve ROI through social media. 

Andie Tilden is an Associate Manager for the Integrated Marketing Group at AMP Agency of Boston. At AMP, she helps to drive the strategy behind new business opportunities to tell a compelling story about AMP’s integrated and innovative offerings. Her experience at AMP has allowed her to gain a deep understanding of multiple industries and how social media can be integrated into their core marketing strategies. Her background is in account management where she worked on brands from various industries including casual dining, healthcare, alcoholic beverages, toy manufacturing, and non-profits. Beyond digital marketing, Andie’s interests revolve around fitness and wellness. She is a part time spinning instructor (with the best playlists in town) and enjoys improving wellness programs in the workplace.

Businesses first began integrating social media into their marketing strategies to elevate brand awareness and deepen interactions with their audiences. However, tools and data-driven analytics continue to evolve and the possibilities of social media as a marketing channel continue to change. Specifically, for service-based businesses, marketers have begun to see how social media can not only help drive traffic and improve customer service, but also analyze the social media space to optimize on what’s working, and change what’s not working.

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How Facebook’s Advertising Changes Give PR and Marketing a Competitive Edge

Amy Lyons

Excited to share another social media post with you this week! This post, written by Amy Lyons, President of SHIFT Communications discusses the impact changes in Facebook's Advertising have had on Marketing and PR departments.  

As President of SHIFT Communications, Amy Lyons provides the leadership and counsel to position SHIFT at the forefront of the PR industry. Primarily responsible for the overall strategic direction of the agency, Lyons is tasked with ensuring that SHIFT continues to deliver the creativity, innovation and service offerings that its clients have come to expect. Working hand-in-hand with SHIFT’s vice presidents in Boston, San Francisco and New York, Lyons pulls from a 15-year communications career and a keen understanding of the operational discipline and talent focus needed to grow a successful agency and, specifically, advance SHIFT’s mission and business objectives.

Suppose a major advertising network gave consumers the same opportunity that email marketers have given consumers: the ability to opt out of advertisements they didn't like. As a consumer, this has a certain appeal to it. From the perspective of a marketer, these changes could be a little unsettling. Let's see what Facebook has in store for both groups.

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6 Things Your Content Strategy Can Learn From BuzzFeed

Molly Delaney

To continue with our theme this month we have another excellent post from our friends at HB! In this blog Molly Delaney, Senior Account Executive at HB Agency gives some awesome tips on how to incorporate BuzzFeed-like strategies into your content.

Working in a variety of markets including medical imaging, clinical trial solutions, CRM, cloud computing, education solutions, and clean technology, Molly helps her clients at HB create thoughtful and strategic stories. In addition to her PR experience, Molly has a background in business-to-consumer sales, marketing and promotion, including an internship with snack company, Pirate Brands. Molly graduated from Bentley University in 2011 with a BS in Marketing. Follow her on Twitter @molly_delaney

There’s no denying the fact that BuzzFeed knows how to create content magic. Whether or not you’ve embraced the GIF-heavy, cat-meme site or not, there’s something you can learn from the BuzzFeed model.

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The Top 5 Things You Won’t Learn in this Article

Chuck Tanowitz

Hope everyone had a happy 4th of July! We are back in action here and have another guest blog post to share with you by Chuck Tanowitz, VP of PR and Editorial Strategy at HB Agency. Chuck takes a look at new trends in creating socially shareable content.

Chuck Tanowitz is a VP of PR and Editorial Strategy at HB Agency. Chuck’s clients rely on his expertise to help set strategy that combines content, social and media to reach customers, partners, investors and prospects. His clients include technology and manufacturing companies of all sizes and directions, from major manufacturing companies like Heidelberg, the printing giant, to B to B technology companies such as RedPoint Global, to consumer-facing startups like CoupFlip. Along the way he has worked with cloud computing, IT security, document management, content management, open source, energy and food products.

The shareability of content in the social world has everyone reeling. When the New York Times took a hard look at its own digital properties, the editors quickly realized that the homepage is dying and the social channels are soaring.

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Declining Organic Reach and What It Means for Marketers

Brie Shelley

Can you believe it is already July?! I sure can't, but that means that it's time for a new guest blog theme. This month we will be exploring social media, from new trends to proven best practices. To kick off this month's theme we have a post by Brianne Shelley, Inbound Marketing Lead at Splashscore. Brianne gives some insight to declining organic reach and how marketers can overcome it. 

The author, Brianne Shelley, is the head of tech startup Splashscore’s Inbound Marketing team. Her responsibilities include creating content for the brand’s blog and newsletters. Brianne is experienced in copywriting, blogging, and marketing from her pervious positions as a copywriter at SapientNitro and LogoMix. In her free time, Brianne enjoys staying active, exploring the city of Boston, and updating her photography blog.

As the network’s potential for organic reach becomes increasingly more elusive, the price of paid reach on Facebook is rising. In fact, according to digital marketing agency Flightpath, average CPM on Facebook grew from about $3 in May to $10 in June! As a marketer, it’s important to understand what the changes are in order to know how you can take action. 

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How Social Media Evolution is Challenging e-Commerce Brands

Jeff Espostito

We have another great guest blog from Jeff Esposito, Social Media Manager at Vistaprint. Jeff provides insight into the impact social media has had on eCommerce and the universal shift towards omni-channel experiences and communication strategies. Interested in guest blogging? Next month's theme is Social Media, e-mail taylor [at] mitx [dot] org to contribute.

Jeff Esposito is the social media manager at Vistaprint. In his current role, Jeff is working on global strategy and vision for social media, social advertising and integration of social media across the business. Since launching social media at Vistaprint in 2008, Jeff has worked in many areas of social media at Vistaprint including community management, reputation management, support and strategy. In 2013, Jeff was named Community Manager of the Year by Oracle. Prior to working in social media, he was a member of the company's public relations team. Twitter @Jeffespo, Google Authorship:

There is no question that social media has made an impact on the way that consumers and brands interact. From a consumer standpoint, the playing field has been equaled and companies that at one time could pass the buck or hide from poor customer experiences have to listen and answer to the feedback close to real time.

Enabling Omnichannel Commerce: The Next Big Thing in Furniture Retail

Morgan Woodruff WEB resized 600

Another great post as we wrap up our eCommerce theme this month (next month we are switching over to social media!) Big thank you to Morgan Woodruff, Chief Operating Officer of Blueport Commerce for sharing his insights into omnichannel commerce with us. Interested in guest blogging? E-mail taylor [at] mitx [dot] org.

With a proven track record in developing and scaling organizations, Morgan is responsible for growth, business development and operations as Blueport Commerce continues to expand its furniture retail client base. There’s not a single day that goes by where he doesn’t think about how he can optimize and improve on the business of Blueport Commerce.

As I read the buzz these days about other companies in our space like Wayfair and One King’s Lane and about ecommerce and the future of retail, it’s clear to me how “hot” the home furnishings industry has suddenly become for ecommerce. While I’ve long believed in the 

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Bridging the Gap From In-Store to Online Sales with Personalization

Melissa McClay 01 thumb

As we wrap up our eCommerce theme this month (can you believe it's almost July?!) we have a few more great posts to share. Today we have a guest blog by Melissa McClay, Marketing Manager at Evergage. Melissa shares the importance of personalization for eCommerce websites and provides a few great ways to get started.

Melissa is a passionate marketing professional, recently joining Evergage as Marketing Manager. Prior to joining Evergage, she worked at eBay Enterprise (formally e-Dialog), focusing on both strategy and execution of marketing programs, communications, and events. 

The importance of driving traffic to your website goes without saying, but what are marketers doing once a visitor arrives on their site? Many sites are static meaning that every visitor has the same, one-size-fits-all experience, no matter who they are, where they came from or what they have clicked on. Marketers have been focused on getting people to their website – think of all that money spent on email, display and search to succeed this goal. But now it’s time to think about what they’re doing once a person visits a website. How can you create a better customer experience and help people reach their goals?

One Checkout Experience to Rule Them All

Ralph Dangelmaier

We have another great contribution to our eCommerce theme from Ralph Dangelmaier, CEO of BlueSnap. Ralph provides insights into cross-boarder payments and the importance of a company's payment gateway.

Ralph Dangelmaier is CEO of BlueSnap, where he is leading the charge to establish BlueSnap as the payments leader in e-commerce. A payment processing veteran, Ralph brings a wealth of experience creating products for retailers, processors and financial institutions and has a proven track record of growing companies both organically and through M&A activity. Under his stewardship, companies have successfully capitalized on the rapid growth in commerce to increase their revenue and stock value. Ralph has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, marketing, sales, and revenue, product, SaaS, development and delivery services for global customer base. Most recently, Ralph served as the President of Global Markets and Services for ACI Worldwide, a global provider of electronic payment software and solutions.

In 10 years, we will no longer make a distinction between ecommerce and m-commerce. Instead, we will distinguish between merchants that make payments easy, and merchants that don’t. Companies will drop outdated payment gateways like flies as they realize that conversions and sales can’t grow when their checkout process has more fields and bubbles than an SAT exam.

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