Ashley E. Kingsley

Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Perch Yourself

In App Technology, Facebook, Fail Whale, Perch, Social Media, Twitter, Women in Tech on August 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm

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I have been in social media marketing since the dawn of, well, social media. Countless hours spent moderating Yahoo! Groups, posting to Craig’s List in the early days, using Twitter before the storm, and connecting via Facebook before it was a centralized tool for marketing. Seems like a lifetime, and yet, it’s only been since about 1998.

Engaging early on, both personally and professionally, has taught me a great deal about shifting landscapes, pivoting quickly and consuming information at high speeds, but only if it’s written in 140 characters or less. I think it is referred to as “nimble”. In the world of social media, you must be nimble, or you will not survive.

It has been an extraordinary evolution and one that I am so glad to be part of. Early on, many told me I was wasting my time and that social networking was just a “fad that will fade.”  I didn’t listen, because I saw something early on (or a few things) that struck me.

It was campaign season 2008.  Obama and McCain were on the ticket. I had all but stopped watching any news coverage on the television. I couldn’t stand the endless analyzing, the talking heads. News, just for news sake. I was bored. I spent most of my time on Twitter and some on Facebook.  I was there with other people that wanted to share information and who were connecting in a meaningful way. The news was being reported by people who were seeing it unfold and living through experiences themselves; what a concept.

When I saw the election called on Twitter via someone on the East Coast well before mid-night and far before any major news outlet reported his victory, I was in awe.  A Presidential Election was called out on Twitter by a non-news source, and it was accurate. CNN reported 1.5 hours later.  It was then that I knew Twitter was going to change the way people communicated, consumed and shared information. It was no longer just one of the many start-up tech companies in Silicone Valley.  Twitter was changing our intake and output of information. Long before the Hashtag, Trending, Verified Users, Followers, Klout, Streams, Decks, Influencers, Thought Leaders, Re-tweets, Ninjas and Scheduling, many used this tool in a meaningful way. When we tweeted, we actually shared. We weren’t selling and we weren’t buying. We were listening, even playing and making real connections. We were storytelling, posting what was happening, in between our blogging, our phone calls and our IM’s. Originally, what Twitter was designed for. “The stuff that happens in between.“

Twitter grew quickly. There were a lot of us that often went bonkers when the “Fail Whale” showed up on our screen. “What do you mean I can’t Tweet this thought, RIGHT NOW!” The “Fail Whale” became more and more visible as Twitter’s hosting was overrun and failing. People were taking to Twitter like crazy and by 2010, well, it was a totally different platform.  As a Consultant, I urged my small business clients to let me build their brand and presence, on Twitter and Facebook. Many begrudged the idea, yet the forward thinking ones let me run loose. Now, almost five years later, those small businesses are considered early adopters and have a presence and a following. More importantly, they recognize the value of diversifying their marketing channels and not relying on only print advertising, word-of-mouth marketing and radio. Unlike print and radio, utilizing Facebook and Twitter were extremely cost effective, and I could show my client’s actual insights and ROI and shift campaigns and directions within minutes.

The landscape keeps shifting constantly. Information online has changed so drastically and with the changing eco-sphere of social media, our intentions must follow suit. I think it is important to ask; “What are we here for? What are we hoping to accomplish?”

In answering these questions, I know that my heart has always belonged with Small Business. When I learned how MapQuest Founder Perry Evans flipped the switch and brought the Perch App to life, I had to re-organize the way I viewed social and the dissemination of real-time information.

Perch is a robust app that pulls several leading social streams (think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, G+, Yelp) together in one app, and even adds in tracking for local promotions from Foursquare and Daily Deals, and gives the Small Business Owner the ability to observe, listen, watch, and learn. It is a totally different and new approach to social. Perry actually calls it marketplace listening which I like! I think over the last few years, many claim they are listening to their consumers – the title of Community Manager emerged to confirm, that yes, you are bring heard. But with the Perch App, the SMB can listen to the competition and their customers. Genius.  It has taken me some time to wrap my head around the listening part. It seems we have been busy foaming at the mouth for a while now; I call it “Machine Tweeting”. Hellllo…is anybody out there? Is anyone listening, or are we all just scheduling information and crowding the space with sales pitches, e-Books, contests, and Hashtags?

I highly recommend Perch, as a former Small Business Owner, Marketing Consultant, and as a long time lover of Small Business. It, in Perry Evan’s words  “is the next generation of listening. We are giving you a more real-world pulse of your local marketplace.”

Perch App won Best New Business App at the Appy Awards at SXSW 2013.

Don’t stop Tweeting and Posting. Perhaps, download Perch, and give a listen, observe. Stay Perched for a while, see what you can hear. See what kind of business intelligence you can harness with this power tool.  Hey, be an early adopter, this is Web 3.0 emerging. Adopt it before you are a latecomer.

Download here for Droid or iPhone

Launching a Company

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm

There is something beautiful about startups. I have always had a soft spot for big ideas and collaborative efforts around bringing an idea to life.  There is something very powerful about taking action on an idea and cultivating it from the way it looks and feels, how it operates and how it is perceived by the public once it is launched.

In April of 2010, I was given a great big opportunity to take a company Daily Deals for Moms and make it my own.  The foundation had been poured, and the ball had been set in motion. It was now mine to take, make and grow.  With the enormity of the project and the stellar potential of the business model, I knew I needed a team mate.

I called the one woman, who is everything I am not. She is precise. Detail orientated. Financially literate and extremely diverse in her ability to make things run from SEO to internal systems management.  I called Whitney Trujillo. A strong blend of business savvy, marketing know-how and all things technical.  We formed a partnership based on strengths and it is going well.

Daily Deals for Moms is comitted to supporting small business, keeping capital local and sharing ‘darn good deals.’ I have always been very passionate about the small business.  I have started service relate vantures soley to work closly with small business.  This is no different and I remain very dedicated to making sure I do everything I can to work with small business with Daily Deals for Moms.

Since April 2010, we have opened up the Denver, Boston, Colorado Springs markets, with Portland, Chicago and several other cities in the line up.  We have feet on the street and are formulating meaningful partnerships and learning a lot about the market as it pertains to modern day advertising and marketing.

The landscape has changed, greatly over the last 5 years. Print advertising  is a dying breed, in most cases. Television advertising is also changing dramatically with the ability to DVR or TIVO programs – there is no need to watch commercials anymore; we can fast forward through all of them.

So what do this mean for business?

It means that performance based marketing companies like Daily Deals for Moms is moving into the space with a much more timely way to reach your consumers, directly, with targeted messages. It is very, very powerful.

Excited for the growth of this company and even more excited to continue working with small businesses, and this time, I get to work with them all over the country. That is really, really exciting.

 

 

WARP SPEED

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm

It always amazes me how quickly time passes. I am astounded that summer has made its way into the last official month before fall rests upon us. I have caught myself more that once sitting and outwardly expressing my age and my discomfort with the speed at which time is passing. “How did we get to be this old” I hear myself saying.

One of my very favorite quotes is “We are time and it is not the years that pass but we ourselves. “ Octavio Paz was a wise poet and man.

So at warp speed I have started a new job after being a business owner for 3.5 years. I am very excited about this new position as the Marketing and Communications Director for COLORADOBIZBUZZ It was the right decision to put my business ASHER SOLUTIONS aside in the economy we are experiencing. The first thing people cut out of their budget in a poor economy is marketing. We couldn’t tighten our belts anymore.

I am pleased with the position and the responsibilities. I find challenge and creativity with each day I am with COLORADOBIZBUZZ. I have taken to managing the most wonderful people, who are out working as street teams for the summer. I have become attached to some of them and really love our interactions. Most of them are ten years my junior and so full of hope and life; their dreams are still very real. I remember those days vividly and I can really appreciate seeing it up close again.

I took to training for the Pancreatica 10-Mile Race that has given me a tranquility that I never imagined. I never thought it was possible to run. My body has always been accustomed to agility rather then endurance. I trained very hard for 4 weeks and made my stride at 5 miles when I injured both knees. Not surprised, I have always known running is hard on the body, I stopped. I will run/walk the race in its entirety and the most important thing is that I remember why I signed up in the first place; to heal. I have found great strength in running and continue to feel pride that I set out to accomplish a goal and will meet it in one way or another. When the running got difficult I reminded myself that watching my mom battle pancreatic cancer was tough. Raising a kid, though exhilarating, tough. There are much more difficult things then running. I feel honored to be running/walking/jogging this race with the knowledge that we, as people, really can do what we set our minds to. As a result of this, my mom is a survivor of pancreatic cancer which puts her in a class, of 4%. Unheard of.

Summer zips past and the days bleed together. We celebrated our daughters 2nd birthday and scratched our heads in amazement. “How did this happen? How did it come so fast?” We are amongst the “terrible two’s” and it feels as though we are just seeing her for the first time, still trying to get a hang of this parenting stuff. She challenges me and teaches me so much. I am so glad to be her Mom.

Economic strife has created angst and there is no denying this. As a result of the fear based journalism and crisis reporting I have turned off the television and stayed away from the news as much as possible. I have made this a conscious decision. If I didn’t, I do fear that I would explode. It is to much for any human to take in. We are in tough, tough times. Turning it all off has given me a certain peace that I welcome. More time to focus on the positives in my life. More time to be thankful for what we do have rather then griping about what we don’t. Some would say this is irresponsible; for me it is self-preservation.

This summer, I read ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain, one of my favorite books. It moved me in so many ways, the metaphors heavy and real, the story delightful and brilliant. I think I bought the book for at least three people and every time I go into Starbucks, where the book is sold, I read the last 4 pages. Every time, without fail, I cry my eyes out. I am certain they think I am nuts. What I am… is passionate. This is a book to keep and to re-read and to share with your friends and family, especially if you are a dog lover.

Now, we are, closing in on the end of summer. For the first time since my husband and I have been married we are taking a ten day vacation. We have been married for five years. One might say the first 4.5 years have been rough in so many respects. A lot of immediate challenges as it relates to health, finances, family illnesses and a new baby. It is this little thing called LIFE.

I feel so fulfilled. I know that I am on the right path; the journey always keeping me on my toes. I am thrilled to be learning and growing. I get to see this happening in myself as well as in my daughter and that is an amazing mirror. Not one for vanity yet for the soul.

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