Upcoming Seminar: Inbound Marketing to Grow the Pipeline

Guess what?

I’m speaking!
Those of you that have known me for a while know how much I love speaking, even to small audiences. I found my speaking niche a few jobs ago when I was the face of the company, sent to share tips and tricks, marketing trends, and advice to user groups and customers all over the country.

Guess what else?
You get a discount to attend the seminar! A $25 discount!
(Sorry for those of you looking for, “You get a CAR!” ala Oprah Winfrey..)

At the next Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber meeting, I will be discussing how social media fits into the inbound marketing strategy to drive bottom line results.

Event Details:

Integrating Social Media in the Sales & Marketing Mix

Chances are you have a Facebook, Linkedin, and maybe even a Twitter account… but now what?

Social media can be a great tool to help grow your B2B or B2C business. In this seminar, you’ll understand the role of social media as part of the overall inbound marketing strategy while leveraging the big 3 social media platforms for prospecting, lead generation, customer service, and increase sales closing ratios.

Key Takeaways:

  • Online Marketing as a strategy
  • Methods to leverage social media communities
  • Best practices from real life case studies
  • Date: January 14, 2011

    Time:
    8:30-10:00am

    Location: Doubletree Columbia Hotel (formerly the Hilton)

      5485 Twin Knolls Road
      Columbia, Maryland 21045-3247
      410-997-1060


    Cost:
    $20 (Includes $25 discount)
    Breakfast included

    To register, please call Nancy LaJoice, Membership Director of BWCC, and mention that you are an AMA member or friend of Katie Roberts in order to receive the member rate.

    Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber
    Nancy LaJoice
    301-725-4000
    410-792-9714

    Posted in Uncategorized by Katie B. Roberts. 2 Comments

    Top 5 Android Games

    I’ve already shared my Top 5 Must Have Android apps, now it’s time for my favorite Android games!
    Yes, I know you really are not always checking your email on your phone, especially at the doctor’s office.. It’s okay, your secret is safe with me!

    1. Angry Birds
    If you don’t know about Angry Birds, you don’t know jack. Just kidding.

    Seriously, this game has been lighting app download centers on fire! It started out as a hot game for iPhone and came to the Android market earlier this year. The object of this game is to kill pigs, with birds. Using a slingshot, you aim the different birds at the pigs’ structure and knock out all of the pigs in order to move on to the next level. It has a Super Mario for the original Nintendo sort of addiction. I’ve seen people playing it at doctor’s offices, in airports, in grocery lines.. everywhere. I bet if you here, “Ugh!” and someone has a smart phone in hand, they are playing this game. They even have a Facebook Fan Page!

    Just in case you have become immensely frustrated with the regular Angry Birds, they also offer a holiday edition with Santa hats, turkeys, and pumpkins.

    Fun factor: 4 1/2 stars (It would be 5 if it weren’t so frustrating sometimes!)

    PS – Can someone please tell me how to kill the pigs with helmets?

    2. Lettered
    I’m addicted to word games. When I have 3-5 minutes to kill, I’ll play a round of a word game, usually this one.
    There are two modes: Trickle and Timechase.

    In Trickle mode, connect the letters to make words. As letters are used, they disappear and new letters keep falling down. Rotating the phone shifts the letters on the board, allowing for more words and/or longer words.

    In Timechase mode, the goal is to form as many words via a 4×4 through 6×6 grid of letters in 3 minutes.

    Fun factor: 5 stars

    3. Word Mix Lite

    Told you I love word games… Word Mix comes in a paid-for and free version (lite). I only use free apps, for now at least.
    In this game, you have 2 minutes to make as many words from the given 6 letters. Like other word mix games, you can shuffle the letters, obtain hints, and use the “last” button to quickly display the last guessed word.
    Word Mix also integrates with Feint, which allows you to submit an awesome score to the worldwide score board.

    Fun factor: 4 1/2 stars
    I wish you could shake the phone to shuffle the letters. That’s all.

    4. Big Sport Fishing Lite
    Okay, so you are probably not too surprised that this app made my top 5 list. I love fishing, but I can’t get out on the boat every day. This is a great alternative, and I don’t have to clean any fish or change dirty bait! (Okay, I don’t do that anyways..)
    In this game, you are on a boat with a picturesque view of the water, a lighthouse, and a grassy marsh. Using the internal compass, you can move around in the water, toss the rod to the left or right, and more. Basically, you choose your bait, then toss the reel using your phone as if you were really throwing out the line, rell in the line so it’s taught, and wait to snag a fish. The phone vibrates when a fish is near the hook, and it vibrates even harder once the fish has been hooked. You move your finger up and down over the reel on the screen to reel in the fish, and you can adjust the tightness of line by pulling back on the phone. Just like real fishing.

    Once you are done fishing, you can sell the fish at the market and buy more bait. The new bait allows you to catch bigger fish, which you can turn in at the market for more bait and higher points.

    The boys in my life, from 4-44 years of age, all love this game.

    Fun factor: 5 stars

    It will drain your batter quickly, so be prepared for a recharge if you decide to whip this game out at a party.

    5. What the Doodle?!
    Not only do I love word games, but I love Pictionary. What the Doodle?! is an online version of Pictionary where you can play in a public room with 4 others, or set up your own private room to challenge your friends.
    Each person receives a word in which they must draw. You can change the color and size of the marker, as well as draw with shapes. Everyone else tries to guess what you are drawing. You earn points as people correctly guess the word that you draw, and as you guess the correct word of others’ works of art.

    It’s a good dose of mindless fun and plenty of giggles.

    Fun Factor: 5 stars

    There it is.. you now know what I do in my spare time, waiting in line at the grocery store, while pumping gas, or chillin on my couch.

    Up next…. Top 5 Android Kids Games!

    What are your favorite Android Games?


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    5 Must-have Android Apps

    So there’s no surprise that I’m a huge Android fan. I love my DroidX. So much so that I cradle it as I lay sleeping at night. No kidding.

    I keep receiving requests for favorite Android apps, so here it goes!

    1. TweetCaster by Handmark
    I love this Twitter app! I have tried to use TweetDeck, but it constantly crashes or hangs. And it’s sloooow. I just haven’t been able to get used to HootSuite. I’ve tried since it first came out for the desktop and we just don’t jive. UberTwitter is great for the Blackberry, but you don’t have lists. Well, not easily. But TweetCaster… TweetCaster is awesome. Plus I love the cute little birdie sitting on top of the microphone when it launches!
    Seriously, here’s why I love TweetCaster:
    – Integrated Twitter Lists
    – Facebook Integration
    – Multi-account management
    – RT with comments as an option
    – Awesome graphical interface that makes it easy to tweet, read @replies and DMs, view lists, and quickly review favorites.
    – Easy to view tweeter profiles
    – Ability to share a tweet with other networks. (!!!)

    2. Advanced Task Killer
    The debate is out whether you need a task killer or not for Android.. My experience is yes, download a task killer to save your battery from some unnecessary stress. This app allows you to quickly disable specific applications running at any given time, or better yet, disable all apps directly from the Home screen.
    Why I love this app:
    – Easy to use
    – I can choose the apps and services to stop
    – I can turn off all apps with one tap of the Android dude on the Home screen
    – The ignore list let’s me choose which apps to never turn off
    – Ability to choose the auto kill level
    – Security controls

    3. Dolphin Browser
    It’s a browser for Android. Yes, I’m a Firefox die hard, but even this foxy lady couldn’t pass up the uber coolness of Dolphin. It’s choc full of addons that will make your browsing experience on your Android device so much fun, that you won’t want to log on to your computer.
    Why I love this app:
    – The addons, especially the download page to PDF addon and read me later addon.
    – Multi-tabbed browsing
    – Easy to use & stable

    4. Google Goggles
    No, this isn’t a word twist, it’s a real application. A cool one at that.
    Leave it to Google to come up this amazing technology. Simply take a picture of something and immediately search the internet based on what’s in the picture. Want to know more about a landmark you are strolling by? Take a snapshot, and Google Goggles goes to work, bringing back querries of webpages about the landmark.
    Totally cool.
    Why I love this app:
    – It’s the lazy mans tour guide
    – It’s a new way of searching the internet
    – Take photos of landmarks, text in books, a label on a shirt or pair of shoes, artwork, wine… the possibilities are endless.

    5. Barcode Scanner
    Aside from the silly graphic affiliated with this app, it’s a pretty cool little free app. Simply aim your Android phones’ camera at a barcode or QR Code and bring up information about the product. Cool, yes?
    Why I love this app:
    – quickly search product reviews (barcodes)
    – Find the lowest price of a product (barcodes)
    – Use it to read QR Codes for URLs, contact info, and calendar events. Um, awesome!

    There you have it. My top 5 Android Apps that you need right now.
    Stay tuned for my favorite Android games.

    What are your favorite Android apps?

    Android: Full Steam Ahead


    Lego Android

    But of course there's an android lego dude!

    Today, Mashable.com released unofficial numbers around Android apps. According to the article, the Android app market has now surpassed 200,000 apps. This is astounding, given that it took 2 years to get to 100,000 apps, and a mere 2 months to reach the 200,000 mark.

    This is interesting, especially since Apple’s app store has over 300,000 apps. It’s also an interesting stat given the tight requirements the Android market has. An app can only appear in the Android market after it has reached a specific download quantity and satisfaction rating. This is not necessarily the case with all apps in the Apple app store.

    This has everyone asking, “How did Android get here so fast?”

    Well, I have a few opinions…

    1. Look back roughly 2 years ago and there was a Blackberry boom, along with the iPhone boom.
    Within the past two years, Blackberry has done little to development its platform, other than coming out with a clugy touchscreen model. iPhone is riddled with instability complaints of customers being forced to manage phone calls on the well-known problematic AT&T network.
    The average contract runs roughly 2 years, but most can opt out of a contract or upgrade the phone after 16-18 months. Do you see the correlation?

    2. Android is compatible with a plethora of phone carriers, the primary one being Verizon.

    When we buy a phone, we want to be able to use the phone to talk to people. Yes, we want apps and texting, but we want to talk on the phone! The Android does this well, on all of the phone carrier networks. It’s stable.

    3. Android has had a wicked smart marketing campaign this year.
    Unlike iPhone’s, most Android phones were offered at a discount with a 2-year contract. I paid about $200 and change for my Droid at Best Buy.
    The advertising on tv, in print publications, and online has been nothing short of awesome. From the robot fingers crawling across the touch screen to the little green widget dude that reminds me of a lego guy are incredibly creative.

    4. Android was diversified out of the gate.
    It wasn’t just one Android phone at the selection counter. Buyers had many different types of phones to choose from based on their smart phone habits. So smart.
    And, like I’ve already mentioned, multiple phones compatible with many different phone carrier networks.

    The momentum of Android isn’t slowing any day soon, either. As more people switch from standard cell phones to smart phones, and as iPhone’s stay stuck on AT&T and Blackberry’s remain boring, Android is taking advantage of the market and is headed for smart phone domination.
    Muahawhahahaaaaa.

    Out of curiosity, why do you think Android is taking off so fast?

    How to Track Santa Claus

    We all know the story of N.O.R.A.D tracking Santa Claus… Guess what? You can track Santa on your mobile device this year!

    How to Track Santa Claus on Mobile Phone:

  • Go to Google Maps
  • Search for “Santa”
  • Santa’s current location will be displayed on the map.

    Genius.

    Just hand over your smart phone to the kids in the backseat as you drive to your Christmas destination. They can keep updates on Santa’s location, ending that age old question.. “How much longer until Santa comes?!”

    While you are at it, print out a few Santa Coloring Book pages for even more entertainment.

    NORAD is even on Twitter..

    RT @noradsanta: Track Santa = open Google Maps for mobile and search “Santa” for his location!

    One more smart use of smart phone applications!

    Sample Coloring Book Page:

    BOOM! Mobile Marketing Just Blew Up

    Six months ago, if you had said that mobile marketing would be exploding by the end of the year, I probably would have raised an eyebrow, gone into some sort of debate, and ultimately said, “You are crazy. It needs another 12 months..”

    WRONG.
    (Yes, I admitted I was wrong. It doesn’t happen often, so take it while I am offering it..)

    Over the past few years, mobile marketing has been limited to the iTunes app market for iphone users. Blackberry dabbled in this space fairly well in 2009 & 2010, and I thought for sure Blackberry was going to be the force to contend with iphones, especially when they came out with the touch screen devices. Last Christmas my mom bought a Droid and I saw that it had potential, but no where near the realized potential it has landed in the past 6 months alone.

    Yes, I had Droid envy. When I lost my job, and thus my blackberry, I went through withdrawal. Like cocaine addicts, shaking.. trembling.. feeling guilt for not checking in on Foursquare… not knowing what was happening on Facebook .. without access to Pandora…unable to upload photos to Flickr… It was bad. I finally marched into the Best Buy store and bought the Droid X. No 12-step program was needed, just one single, expensive (for the unemployed) step.

    This life changing moment made me realize how powerful mobile devices have become and how integral they are in our world, especially for the connected folks. Like a child on Christmas Day, I tore into the package, immediately found the Android Market and furiously began download app after app. (Check back later for my list of favorite Android Apps!) I was caught up in the whirlwind of being connected again. Not only that though, but being exposed to the whole new world of mobile marketing. Sorry Blackberry, but you lost the game to get you a ticket to the playoffs. Having been a Blackberry user, I was mostly accessing work-related stuff – email, documents, texts, phone calls, Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Katie B Roberts QR Code

    QR Code for this blog

    That all leads me to where the mobile world is today. Over the past 2 months, I’ve been diving into a 500′ deep ocean of possibilities. I’ve learned about QR Codes, SnapTag, Coupon Finders, real time survey tools, Angry Birds and so much more. The way that we buy as consumers has changed, just about overnight. Our whole shopping experience is defined by a coupon we can find on our phones, compare prices of a specific product just by taking a picture of a bar code, enter sweepstakes without having to fill out a single form or having to buy a product. We don’t even need to carry all of those “VIP Discount Cards” with us since there’s an app that stores all of them for you – all you have to do is scan your phone. This is incredible to me.

    Game Changer. A PHONE has become a game changer, instantly.

    My favorite mobile thingy is QR Codes. This long overdue technology is going to bring new life back into print advertising and finally bring a bi-directional communication to the reader. YES! Advertising is not yet dead, folks. I can flip through a magazine, get an email, or receive a flyer or sell-sheet that has a QR Code on it. With a quick photo snap of the code with my camera, I’m taken to a website or landing page about that product.. and hopefully the page has a coupon or sweepstakes for me to engage with the company instantly. COOL.

    A flavor of QR Codes is SnapTags, and Coors Light is bringing it mainstream. Their new packaging as a ramp up to Super Bowl commercials offers a SnapTag of which you can snap a photo and enter a contest. Can you see it now? Mobilites going through the cases of Coors Light in a liquor store near you to try and win the grand prize… Genius!

    Imagine standing in a store, looking at a shiny new big screen TV, then looking at the price tag. You think to yourself, “Gee, I wonder if that’s the cheapest price out there for this model TV…” Then you set off for the next store, and the next, and the next… trying to find the best price. You may even check a few websites to see if they have a cheaper price, or you may stalk your inbox to see if the next email from a store has a coupon for the TV you want to buy. That’s a lot of work to buy a product. Marketers haven’t made it easy for we price-conscious shoppers. Hey, guess what… there’s an app for that! There are dozens of apps that do this, but they all essentially do the same thing. You find the bar code on the TV box, whip out your phone, launch the app, then snap a photo of the bar code. The little elves inside search frantically far and wide to find the cheapest price for the exact same model TV. Within nanoseconds, you will know whether you are looking at the cheapest price, shipping/delivery included, for your new TV, Super Bowl ready. That’s amazing to me.

    I don’t see this runaway train stopping any day soon. Mobile marketing is a force to be reckoned with, especially if you haven’t found a way to make it fit into your 2011 plan yet. If you aren’t ready to take the leap with QR codes (By the way, they are great for business cards to link to your Linkedin page, a landing page on the website for networking events, and so much more!), or an app isn’t right for your business, start with mobile messaging. I’m using Mobile Scoops to run the AMA Baltimore mobile marketing initiatives. We send out notices of upcoming events, coupons for future events, Trivia Tuesday’s, surveys, and sweepstakes at events. That’s pretty daggone cool. Our engagement quotient is rapidly rising, and I can’t wait until we have more users interacting. It’s going to be so much fun!

    I want to know… What’s your favorite flavor of mobile marketing? How are you using it now, or plan to in the new year?

    The Gift of Giving

    Do you end up running store to store trying to figure out what to get your colleagues for the holiday?

    Well, I used to be one of those frantic people until I realized that people don’t need more things. They need cookies!
    Just kidding..

    While many of my colleagues and friends are getting a box full of my famous cookies, there are many other “free” gifts that mean so much more than material things.

    Give the gift of recommendationsLast year, Joe Mechlinkski of EntreQuest challenged the EQ readers to think of new ways to give to the people you spend many of your waking hours with. The one idea that I’m thinking of doesn’t require a single penny. It doesn’t require a whole lot of time. You don’t even have to leave your comfy office chair or couch to make happen.

    I happen to think that this is a marvelous idea.

    Gift the gift of recommendations. Linkedin has an awesome way to share your sentiments about friends and colleagues through submitting recommendations.

    Is there someone who went above and beyond for you this year?

    How about someone who really impressed you with his/her talent?

    Did you meet someone new this year who changed the way you think about things?

    Is there a person whom stands out from the rest of the field?

    Do you know someone looking for a job that could use a little encouragement right about now.. or that would benefit from your recommendation? *Ahem*

    Start with a list of 10 people. Take the time to think about their contribution in your life this year. Put it into words – it doesn’t have a to be novel, but a few sentences will do.
    Be honest.
    Highlight what they brought to you over the years.
    Be sincere.

    On that note.. I need to start on my list… !

    Happy Holidays!

    Christmas Cookies to the Rescue!

    One of my favorite childhood memories is filled with love, laughter, and FOOD! Cookies, to be specific…

    I would be my mothers helper as she whipped up batch after batch of sugary goodness. She would set the dozens of different types of cookies out in the living room on old family silver tiers, trays, bowls, and more. It was hypnotizing to walk into the room and see all of the different cookies, colors, and smells. I never knew which one to feast my eyes (and fingers!) on. The decision was tough.

    Once I moved out, we attempted to bake cookies together once again, but it seems like father time always got in the way. This year, I’m feeling a little nostalgic in the spirit of the holidays, so I’ve been on a baking spree this week. Many people have asked for the recipes, so here they are! All 26 of them!

    Katie’s Christmas Cookies 2010
    (Click to download PDF)

      Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Icing
      Ginger Molasses Cookies
      Spicy Gingersnap Cookies
      Spiced Orange Cranberry Bars
      Apple Cranberry Crumble Tart
      Peanut Butter Balls (buckeyes)
      Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
      Thumbprint Cookies
      Lime Meltaways
      Pecan Tassies
      Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps
      Rum Cake
      Rugelach
      Raspberry Pinwheel Cookies
      Russian Tea Cakes
      Lemon Drop Cookies
      Slice and Bake Lemon Gems
      Snickerdoodles
      Classic Sugar Cookies
      Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies
      Peanut Butter Blossoms
      Rosemary Honey Shortbread Cookies
      Chocolate Rum Balls
      Peppermint Oreos
      Kolachy
      Eggnong Cookies (a lighter version)

    Feel free to download the PDF and share with your friends and family. I hope some of them make it to your plate for Santa or dessert tray this year!

    I’ve also been asked about my favorite Christmas Cookie. It’s my favorite cookie all year round. Hands down, the Russian Tea Cake wins by a mile in this category. I’m attached to my heritage, and this cookie is part of that. It is a cookie that any Russian, rich or poor, could afford to make. Having time for tea with a chip of cinnamon and a few tea cakes is customary. Some substitute honey cookies instead of the tea cakes, but I say that’s for the birds! Bring on the powdered sugar mess!

    New to the list this year is the Lime Meltaway. I found it on Foodgawker.com and had to make them. The cookies taste a lot like the key lime meltaways you can buy at Florida tourist shops and the airport, only much lighter.

    I’d love to hear what’s on YOUR baking list this season!