Abstract Edge: Digital Marketing for Do-Gooders

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Update: You’ve got to love statistics. Now, it seems, that Edison Research has come out with a study which directly contradicts the links I pointed to below. This new study claims that there’s been a big uptick in Facebook’s influence on purchase, and that almost 25% of all Facebook users check their accounts five or more times a day. Perhaps Facebook’s “death” has been greatly exaggerated?


Poor, poor Facebook. You’ve had quite the disappointing month.

First, your IPO didn’t exactly go as planned. Now we get news that, overall, people are spending less time on the site, and that 4 out of 5 Facebook users say they have never been influenced to make a purchase because of a Facebook ad or comment.

Facebook Stock Chart

Well Facebook, never fear. I’m here to cheer you up!

Keeping up with the Joneses is never easy — especially if the Joneses can outwork you, outspend you, and shout louder than you can.  And if you’re vying for attention in a crowded online market, things aren’t getting any easier.

Craig Newmark (who’s best known as the founder of Craigslist) and his CraigConnects staff recently completed a survey of the social media habits of nonprofits.  They compiled their findings into a comprehensive (and colorful) infographic.

One of their observations in particular really jumped out at us:

Out of 21 organizations we spoke with, only 1 does not have a designated social media person — neither part- nor full-time.

This means 20 of the 21 top nonprofits in the social media realm are paying at least one person to work part-time on their inbound marketing efforts.  Some employ more than one person.  Some employ those people full-time. And all of them want to ensure that their investments lead to results, so they’re willing to spend more money and allocate more resources toward reaching their organization’s goals.

Can you?

If not, here are five off-the-wall tips for maximizing the usefulness of your own inbound marketing — whether you’re competing against the social efforts of part-timers, full-timers, or an army of rabid devotees…


One of the dangers of inbound marketing is that it can drive people away from your brand just as easily as it can attract them to you.

How?  Easy.

This post, slightly adapted, was first published on the blog of the American Marketing Association of Baltimore.

Many of our readers are marketing professionals. As a professional, you’re likely at the forefront of marketing.

Sure, you and I understand how effective marketing looks quite different in 2011 than it did in 2001 – a topic we cover at length on this blog. But what do you do if your pointy-hair boss just doesn’t get it?

First, some basic facts


Some rights reserved by Peter Kaminski (http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterkaminski/)

Let’s say you’re driving to the mall and, while you’re stopped at a red light, something bright and colorful catches your eye. You look across the street and see a giant inflated gorilla balloon, surrounded by multicolored streamers, all billowing from the roof of a mattress outlet store.

And, of course, you immediately think to yourself, “I need a mattress, now.”


Well… probably not.

At best, that gorilla balloon might draw your attention to the fact that there is a mattress store at that intersection.  But unless you’re already in the market for a new mattress, you probably don’t think you need one now, and seeing a giant inflated gorilla isn’t going to change your mind.

So why do mattress stores (and used car lots, and thrift stores, and antique shops, and…) use garish outdoor displays to get your attention?


About Us

Abstract Edge is a creative boutique online marketing agency that has launched new brands for Clairol and Vera Wang, inspired a million moms to march on Washington, assisted American Idol’s fight against malaria, and helped increase web traffic so successfully for Discover Magazine that it was recently acquired.

Our primary offices are in New York and Baltimore and we have clients throughout the US. You can read more about us here.