Archive for September, 2012

B2B vs. B2C Marketing

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Guest post by Megan Totka.

When it comes to marketing, which is easier, business to business marketing or business to consumer marketing?

Both concepts are pretty self-explanatory. Business to business (B2B) is the marketing exchange between two businesses. Business to consumer (B2C) is the marketing from a business directed at consumers. So how are each used? And if you happen to sell to both groups, should you focus more on one than the other? Let’s look at an analysis.

When deciding who to focus your marketing efforts on, you’ll need to consider the lead time required between when your customer sees your marketing and when they will actually make a purchase. The lead time in B2C marketing is generally very small. The consumer is more likely to make an impulse purchase based on marketing. In B2B marketing, however, there is a chain of command required. An employee of the business sees the marketing, is intrigued by it and mentions it to his superior and so on until the person who is able to make the decision regarding the purchase finally gets the information.

Before launching a marketing campaign, you must focus on your audience, of course. B2C marketing can be much vaguer, sometimes with just a word or slogan and a captivating image. B2B marketing though will need to provide the answers to any questions that arise during the chain of command. In this case you are not just selling to an individual’s wants but instead you have to sell detailed enough information so your audience can continue to sell up the chain but still without overwhelming that first reader. You can’t use one marketing campaign for both consumer and business clients.

Aside from lead time, the direction of the marketing will differ. Business marketing will be driven by the relationship where as consumer marketing will be driven by the product. Although it’s somewhat of a simplification of reality, businesses tend to rely on rational decisions and consumers typically rely on emotional attachment.

Each product you offer will determine who you need to sell to. Some products will be marketable to both businesses and consumers. In this case, the decision should be based on your expected return on investment. Market to the client you’ll make the most money out of. Compare the costs of your marketing to the revenue you can bring in.

Both marketing types have a time and place and will benefit your business. You simply need to know when to use each one.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. Megan also specializes in writing articles about common-sense business best practices, from finding business loans to hiring accounting firms.

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Eight Ways to Rock at Your Job (or Get a Better One)

Monday, September 24th, 2012

You’re smart, hard-working, and loyal as a dog. So why hasn’t your career taken off the way you had hoped?

7 Ways to Get a Better Job or Excel in Your Current PositionQuite possibly, it’s because while those qualities are appreciated by upper management, they aren’t enough to set you apart. Here are eight tips that may help.

Note that if you are already at the top of your game, this guidance will seem old hat (though you may want to share this with younger colleagues). If you’re struggling just a bit, it may help. And if you are just starting out or early in your professional career, it is vital.

Be Passionate

Care about your company and industry and show it in your work and speech. There is no such thing as a “boring product” or service only bored employees.

I gave a presentation a while back to staff at a company that made rubber gaskets. One of the attendees asked how he was supposed to get excited about rubber gaskets. I asked where the company’s gaskets were used. “Oh, different applications in high-performance motors, like generators, pumps, NASCAR engines…” NASCAR engines??!! How can you not be passionate about that? The rubber gaskets may be only a small part of the equation, but races couldn’t be won without them.

Have Ideas

The best ideas are good ones, of course, but even interesting ideas that don’t ultimately make it into production are important and show that you have, well, passion for the business. New products typically account for as much as 25% of revenue and an even higher percentage of profit.

New ideas, whether for new products or services, enhancements to existing offerings, or just better ways of doing something, are the lifeblood of future success. Particularly when it comes to new products, only a small percentage of new ideas actually make it into production—but all new ideas have value.

Present Alternatives

Never ask your boss / co-worker / colleague what they think of a specific color, font, tagline,  headline, product concept or anything else—instead, present alternatives (at least two, preferably three, no more than five). People prefer to choose between different options rather than just a give a thumbs-up or down to an idea in isolation.

Be Bilingual

Obviously, being linguistically bilingual (e.g. able to speak/write/read Spanish and English, or Chinese and English, etc.) is valuable in many business contexts. But it’s also helpful career-wise to be departmentally bilingual. For example, I got one of my first promotions based on being able to “translate” engineering jargon into language that a marketing team could understand.

And no matter what function you work in, it’s crucial to be able to translate your department’s internal jargon into business language. For example, in social media marketing, measures such as Facebook likes, LinkedIn followers and retweets on Twitter are meaningful—but your CEO and CFO couldn’t care less about these metrics. However, being able to say that social media produces sales leads at x% lower cost than other sources and furthermore that these leads have a y% higher close rate will get C-level attention.

Be Social

Most people in marketing today will interpret this suggestion as applying to social networking, and there’s no question that it’s important for marketing, SEO and PR professionals to be active (in a professional manner) on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn at a minimum. And having an active presence on sites like YouTube, Pinterest and Google+ doesn’t hurt.

But don’t neglect the most literal meaning of this recommendation either. Working through lunch can be interpreted as a sign of your dedication—or give the impression that you don’t care to interact with co-workers. If you’re on a tight deadline, go ahead and spend your lunch time hunched over a keyboard, but if not (and presuming it’s an option), spend that time getting to know those you work with better, and letting them get to know you. Join an office happy hour once in a while. “Office politics” isn’t a nasty term, it’s a fact of life.

Never Stop Learning

For most of human history, odds were that you would end up doing whatever it was your parents did (in most cases, farming), and in pretty much the same way.

In The Logic of Life, author Tim Harford quantifies the acceleration of technological change as it relates to population growth. “The…Homo erectus population in 300,000 B.C. would have been coming up with on (brilliant, life-changing) idea every thousand years. By 1800, the dawn of the Industrial Revolution…the innovation rate would have risen to one stunning idea every year. By 1930 it would have been one world-changing idea every six months…we should now be producing this kind of idea every two months.”

The development of the Internet wiped out a wide swath jobs but created many new ones (webmasters didn’t exist twenty years ago; social media consultants have been around for less than five), and changed the way almost all other jobs are performed (including farming).

For the most part, the college textbooks on my bookshelf are now more of historical interest than practical use. My daughter, for the most part, won’t even use printed textbooks.

Staying ahead of the curve is tough, but essential. As columnist Thomas Friedman recently noted, “if you want a decent job that will lead to a decent life today you have to work harder, regularly reinvent yourself, obtain at least some form of postsecondary education, make sure that you’re engaged in lifelong learning and play by the rules.”

Take on New Projects

New projects are often a test. Even if you’re already very busy—say yes. Employers are looking for you willingness to embrace new challenges and evaluating how you handle them.

Never Present a Problem without Suggesting a Solution

Finally, one of the best pieces of advice I ever got from a CEO. Management has no interest in whiners, but they do value problem-solvers. If you see a suboptimal situation, think before just complaining. Come up with at least one (preferably two or three) potential solutions before approaching your boss. Even if, in the end, none of your recommendations are put into place, your supervisor will value you as a person with ideas—rather than just grievances.

Bottom line, the world is changing faster than ever before. The rewards for innovation are high, but the penalties for falling behind are tough. Keeping these eight recommendations in mind can help you win the rat race, without being a rat.

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21 (of the) Best Facebook Guides, Tools and Rants of 2012 So Far

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Despite a shaky IPO last spring, Facebook remains the 800-pound gorilla of social media marketing, as it now approaches the billion-user mark. Though often associated with bands and brands, Facebook is viewed as the most effective social media tool (by a fairly large margin) by both B2C and bB2B marketers.

Best Facebook Guides of 2012So what are the best tactics for marketing and advertising on Facebook? How can marketers best utilize social plugins for the platform? Which apps are still worthy (and functional) in the Timeline interface? How can brands most successfully drive fan engagement? Will Facebook continue to grow and dominate the web, or is it headed for a fall like AOL and MySpace before it?

Find the answers to these questions and many others here in more than 20 of the best Facebook guides, tactics, observations, tools, stats and rants of 2012 thus far.

Facebook Guides, Tips & Techniques

7 Unbelievably Cool Facebook Ad Tactics by AllFacebook

Dennis Yu provides an outstanding set of techniques to use in various circumstances, such as when you hosting an event, promoting a video, or if your customers are other businesses: “If you know the names of the actual companies you’d like to have as clients, include them in the your list of workplace targets. But be careful to attract only decision makers. If you’d like to get the attention of Walmart executives, narrow down to folks age 25 and up who live within a 25-mile radius of Bentonville, Arkansas, or else you risk targeting employees in stores across the country.”

15 Ways To Use Facebook Pages for Business by Social Media Today

Matt Hamilton lists “some great ideas for your own business Facebook use,” such as for product testing, news release promotion, customer service, ideas to feed your new product development process, employee recognition, and even growing your email list: “it is important to make sign-up very easy. Using a software service such as MailChimp allows you to add a simple sign up form to your Facebook business page and also get some great tools for creating the newsletter.”

28 Things You Need To Know About The New Facebook Pages by KISSmetrics

Though this post is now old news for many Facebook marketers, this piece by frequent best-of contributor Kristi Hines nonetheless provides a great review of Timeline features to go back to and make sure nothing was missed or sub-optimized from Facebook brand timeline pages. For example, “While you can have a total of 12 custom tabs (including your Photos and Page Likes), only four are showed at the top of your page. This means visitors to your page have to be savvy enough to click on the down arrow to find the rest. You can swap the position of your custom tabs to make sure the best ones are up top by clicking on the down arrow, hovering over the tab, clicking on the pencil, and selecting which tab to swap it with.”

The Complete Guide To Facebook Timeline Pages by AllFacebook

As with the post above, this post is pretty much old news at this point, but still worth a quick skim to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything important in your brand’s Facebook Timeline development.

Simple Step-by-Step Instructions for Setting Up a Facebook Ad Campaign by HubSpot

Dan Stagen walks through a dozen steps to create a Facebook ad campaign, from determining a call to action and writing an ad through all of the various targeting criteria to pricing, review and launch.

Facebook Apps and Tools

25 Timeline Ready Apps for Enhancing Your Facebook Page by Social @ Blogging Tracker

Ching Ya reviews more than two dozen helpful (and Timeline-compatible) Facebook apps for functions like providing FAQ information, creating contact forms, displaying a Google Map for your business, showcasing your YouTube videos, encouraging discussion and sharing, integrating Twitter, and more.

6 Tools Social Media Experts Use to Update Facebook Pages by KISSmetrics

Kristi Hines (again) presents the pros and cons of updating Facebook using third-party apps (e.g., the impact of Edgerank: “One thing that EdgeRank has the potential of doing is lowering the value of an update from a third-party tool and prioritizing updates that are made directly on Facebook. This means that pages with updates from third-party apps may not get as much engagement”), then reviews six such tools, including HootSuite and Buffer, for those who choose to go the third-party route regardless.

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing With Facebook’s Social Plugins by HubSpot

Explaining that “a Facebook Social Plugin is basically a widget you can add to your website to extend the benefits of your Facebook marketing efforts beyond Facebook. It’s a way to get more marketing mojo out of Facebook on your own website,” Pamela Vaughan reviews 11 of these plugins, explaining what each one does, its marketing value, and how to install and use it.

18 Tools to Develop Your Brand on Facebook by Practical eCommerce
5 STARS *****

Sig Ueland showcases 18 tools for engagement, promotion and monitoring on Facebook, including the Wildfire (now owned by Google) suite of apps for social media promotion, the Forum for Pages discussion board app, and EdgeRank Checker for post optimization. Missing from the list though is Workface, the first non-Facebook-owned interactive profile and multi-format chat tool to be fully functional in Facebook.

Facebook Changes

The evolution of Facebook features by EngageSciences

A fantastic infographic illustrating the history of Facebook feature changes from 2006 through the beginning of 2012. The narrative also points out why keeping up with Facebook’s constant changes, though maddening, is essential: “the introduction of the Facebook Mobile App has been fantastic as it is now the worlds largest mobile app with 400m users, which has stimulated more people to use the site more often, but businesses have been caught out as they have not realised that apps and tabs they create currently cannot be accessed by users of the Facebook Mobile App. With up to 40% of traffic coming from smartphones that is a lot of lost interaction.”

Facebook’s biggest change yet: Actions are here by VentureBeat

Jolie O’Dell explains what Actions are and why they matter:”Actions are kind of the Holy Grail of semantic data, defining relation types between people, objects, content, places, businesses, and so much more. If users warm to the idea of Actions, it might also be one of the most valuable and lucrative move Facebook will ever make.” But she concludes by writing “As Facebook executive Bret Taylor explained it, with the addition of Actions to Facebook profiles, ‘You can see everything you have ever done in any app.’” Do Facebook users really want that?

Facebook Timeline for Brands: The Complete Guide by Mashable

Christine Erickson puts a positive spin on the March Timeline change and provides an extensive list of Timeline-related resources from Mashable, including Timeline for Brands: How to Prepare for Your Company’s New Facebook Page and Facebook Timeline: 10 Fresh Designs for Creative Inspiration [PICS].

Facebook is telling businesses to become better content marketers by iMedia Connection

According to Doug Schumacher, the “big story” of Facebook’s switch to Timeline format “is that Facebook is essentially telling all marketers that they’d better get their content game on. That’s because your paid advertising on Facebook and the content you publish on Facebook are now one and the same, from a messaging standpoint. The focus on Facebook paid ads won’t be on crafting individual messages that you then optimize, as it’s been in the past. Instead, you’ll simply pipe your best content pieces into different ad units, and measure performance based on how your content attracts interest.”

Facebook Opinions, Observations and Stats

Facebook’s Potential Search Power Could Surpass Google’s by MediaPost

Diane Mermigas is bullish on the long-term value and potential of Facebook, and explains how the social networking behemoth could develop a “torrent of new revenue and value that eventually will make its $100 billion IPO valuation look like child’s play” through a combination of mobile, social search, its relationship with Microsoft / Bing, gaming, and image sharing.

Facebook to Brands: You’re Posting Stuff Wrong by Ad Age

Matt Creamer reports on data showing that the most engaging brand content is generally, well, content closely related to the brand. Attempts to “humanize” the brand through off-topic surveys, questions, and recommendations don’t increase “likes” or grow a brand’s following. And if you want to use questions to drive engagement? “Buddy Media found that brand fans are more willing to comment when asked a question, especially if the question begins with ‘where,’ ‘when,’ ‘would’ and ‘should.’ But other interrogatory words don’t work as well. Avoid asking ‘why’ questions,’ advised the Buddy Media paper. ‘Why’ has both the lowest ‘like’ and comment rates and may be seen as intrusive and/or challenging.”

Facebook on SecondMarket (Infographic) by SecondMarket

An interesting graphical depiction of the rise in Facebook’s value from early 2008 (when the social network had a mere 145 million users and had just introduced Facebook chat) through the company’s IPO in May of this year. In terms of the dollar volume of shares traded at the IPO, 79% of sales were by former Facebook employees, while more than half of purchases were by hedge funds and asset managers.

Facebook Skeptics and Rants

Why there will never be a Margie Clayman Facebook Fan Page by Margie’s Moments of Tiyoweh

The delightful Margie Clayman uses her dagger-sharp pen to skewer the concept of personal fan pages, observing for example, “Isn’t your profile on Facebook kind of a fan page already?…even though the word ‘friend’ is used rather loosely these days, isn’t it more comforting to think that you have 500 friends versus 500 fans?”

Facebook: Why is nobody listening? by ComMetrics

How much is your brand spending on its Facebook strategy? You may want to reevaluate that after reading this scathing but meticulously data-supported post from Urs E. Gattiker. “Facebook status updates are similar to broadcasting a message to an empty football stadium…900 out of every 1000 people do not even see your status update or tweet. Only 0.05 percent (1 person per 2,000 readers) engage by joining the conversation with a comment on your blog or Facebook page.”

14 Ways New Facebook Betrays Small Business by Convince & Convert

Jay Baer contends that “the new design and rules accompanying the new Timeline version of Facebook pages is a boon to big business, and a blow to small business,” for 14 reasons he details, including the death of the landing tab (One area where small businesses could excel in ‘old’ Facebook was with the default landing tab. This became a de-facto landing page/microsite for many companies, and made it relatively easy to drive fan behavior – especially when using inexpensive software. Of course, Facebook killed it in Timeline”) and the penalty on third-party apps.

Why Facebook Could Disappear by MediaPost

Contemplating the future of Facebook in the wake of losing advertising dollars from GM (and potentially other large brands), and the fate of predecessors like AOL, George Simpson writes “MySpace was well on its way to becoming that iconic, can’t-live-without-it kind of company, and Facebook came along and cut its legs off. As soon as the aunts and uncles and grandpas showed up on MySpace, the kids that were the cornerstone of their business hit the exits and ran straight for Facebook. I contend the exact same thing could happen to Facebook.”

The Facebook Fallacy by Technology Review

If you are having too nice of a day, or perhaps even feeling a bit optimistic about the future of online marketing, Michael Wolff will bring you back to earth with his explanation here of why “Facebook not only is on course to go bust but will take the rest of the ad-supported Web with it.” Stock up on canned goods and ammo.

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#Nifty50 2012 Badge Code

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

In April 2011, Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess, author of the Blue Focus Marketing Blog) and I first decided to acknowledge some of the phenomenal men and women we’d gotten to know through Twitter. After a bit of discussion, the #Nifty50 award was born.

This year we made the lists more specific, focusing on engaging women and men on Twitter from the technology sector. With the increasing focus on innovation and STEM education in our schools, it seemed an opportune time to recognize these inspiring leaders.

Once again, the selection process was challenging and no doubt a few deserving names were left out. There’s always next year (probably). But no question, the #Nifty50 top men on Twitter and the #Nifty50 top women on Twitter are special.

#Nifty50 recognees can showcase that honor on their blog or website using the badge code below. Please contact @TomPick if you need a different size badge.

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#Nifty50 Top Women in Technology on Twitter for 2012


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2012 #Nifty50 Top Men in Technology on Twitter


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The Top #Nifty50 Women in Technology on Twitter for 2012

Monday, September 10th, 2012

A year ago, the #Nifty50 honored 50 remarkable men and women on Twitter. This year, colleague Cheryl Burgess and I changed things up a bit, opening the award to nominations but focusing specifically on outstanding men and women who work for technology companies and are active on social media.

#Nifty50 Top Women in Technology on Twitter for 2012These women are executives, thought leaders, bloggers, authors and role models for younger women with an interest in technology. Not only leaders in their professional lives, nearly all these women use their social profiles to express their passions outside the workplace, which range from NASCAR, art, travel, billiards, wine and music to community service, politics and, of course, family.

Among the women profiled below, Emily Gonzales notes that “women in tech are doing really cool things,” while Padmasree Warrior is “passionate about helping women in tech.” True, and important, which is why this year’s #Nifty50 is focused on the technology field.

We’ve also expanded the focus of the #Nifty50 this year to include an element of social good—the #Nifty50 Kids project. Although the idea captured the imagination and interest of several brand-name organizations, the timeframe was just too tight this year to line up sponsorship. That will be our top focus for next year.

2013 #Nifty50 Women and Men of Twitter - LogosNext year, Cheryl and I tentatively plan to honor #Nifty50 Women and Men Writers, including bloggers, journalists, authors, and PR professionals.  As with this year, we will be asking our community to nominate their favorite leaders in this field.

This year, we’re pleased to honor 50 women (below) and 50 men (in an upcoming post on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog) who are among the top social media connectors and engagers in the technology world, representing technology vendors as well as related venture capital (VC), advisory and analyst firms. These are the leaders in the information and communications technology sector who truly “get” social media and social business.

We’re proud to acknowledge these 50 women from 41 different organizations as the top #Nifty50 women of technology on Twitter for 2012.

Stacey AceveroStacey Acevero

Stacey is flat-out awesome: Social Media Manager for Vocus/PRWeb as well as serving her country as a U.S. Air Force auxiliary 2nd Lieutenant and Mission Scanner. She’s a self-described “social media nerd” who loves “NASCAR, steak, rock music and XBOX360 .” ‘Nuff said.

Abby BaileyAbby Bailey

Based in Minneapolis, Abby is Senior Manager Creative Services at Best Buy, and also Board President at FamilyWise, a non-profit organization that provides programs for families that encourage self-determination, self-sufficiency, and healthy family lifestyles.

Cindy BatesCindy Bates

Active across social networks, Cindy leads Microsoft’s small- to midsized-business sales and marketing efforts as Vice President U.S. SMB and Distribution. The 10-year Microsoft veteran is also a graduate of Harvard Business School.

Susan BeebeSusan Beebe

Austin, Texas-based Susan Beebe works in Corporate Communications – Social Media Management at Dell. Calling herself Dell’s “first listener,” Susan also welcomes the opportunity to “learn from others and develop things; including new projects, especially those that improve the world and deliver on the promise of ‘social good.'”

Valerie BiancoValerie Bianco

Now a Business Information Analyst at The Mint Partnership, Valerie has an extensive background in the architecture and engineering industry. She currently lives in Newport Beach (been there), once worked for a pizza company (done that) and is a graduate of San Diego State University (love that town).

Meghan BiroMeghan Biro

As the CEO and Founder at TalentCulture Consulting Group, Meghan connects talent with technology companies as well as being an accomplished speaker and author. She also hosts the talent chat (#TChat) on Twitter Wednesdays from 7-8pm eastern time.

Linda BoffLinda Boff

New York-based Linda Boff, Executive Director Global Digital Marketing at GE, is “passionate about all things digital, specifically new digital media and concepts that fuse design and technology.” She was named B2B Magazine’s 2012 Digital Marketer of Year.

Liz BonillaLiz Bonilla

Senior Manager Social Media and Community at Dell, Liz is a strategic marketing professional with over 10 years of proven success who lives in Austin, Texas. And congrats on being a new mom!

Liz BrennerLiz Brenner

Living, working and tweeting out of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Liz is Senior Director, Talent Marketing at SAP. Her background includes stints in management consulting and the energy industry. Liz also writes the Lead With Intuition blog.

Sandy CarterSandy Carter

As the Vice President of Social Business and Collaboration Solutions Sales and Evangelism at IBM, Sandy Carter plays an integral role in driving the company’s Social Business initiative. Sandy is an active thought leader in helping businesses transition into an era of social business, as well as the award-winning author of two best-selling books: The New Language of Business: SOA & Web 2.0, and The New Language of Marketing 2.0: How to Use ANGELS to Energize Your Market. She also explores the many nuances of social marketing on her blog Social Media to Social Business. A self-described “social media evangelist,” Sandy’s work blogging and tweeting for IBM has led to 27 different awards, and is one of IBM’s top bloggers.

Blair ChristieBlair Christie

Blair is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Government Affairs at Cisco in Silicon Valley. Her integrated marketing and communications organization is responsible for positioning Cisco’s growth strategy and cultivating opportunities in new and existing markets through market and customer insight, corporate positioning, branding, and advertising.

Beth ComstockBeth Comstock

Another New Yorker, Beth leads GE’s growth efforts including sales, marketing and communications and innovation platforms. Prior to being named GE’s first Chief Marketing officer in more than 20 years, she held a succession of roles at GE, NBC (including President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal), CBS and Turner Broadcasting.

Carrie CorbinCarrie Corbin

Carrie Corbin leads the employment brand initiatives, recruitment marketing & media strategy as Associate Director – Strategic Staffing & Talent Attraction at AT&T. Carrie played a key role in launching the enterprise-wide integration of social & mobile recruiting, breaking some of the traditional boundaries of HR in the process. She has been named one of the top people to follow in Social Media Recruiting, and has been quoted in publications such as The New York Post & Workforce Today. Carrie is also active in community work, including work with tornado relief and local sports charities.

Colette CoteColette Cote

From Darien, Connecticut, Collete leads Corporate External Communications at Pitney Bowes Inc. as well as serving on the Board of Directors at Person-to-Person, Inc. Her varied background includes corporate roles (B2B and B2C), agencies, non-profits and startups. She’s a rock star on Twitter and also speaks French.

Lisa CramerLisa Cramer

Lisa Cramer is President & Co-Founder of LeadLife Solutions in Atlanta, a provider of on-demand lead management software that generates, scores and nurtures leads for B2B marketers. LeadLife  is designed to increase qualified leads while shortening sales cycles and decreasing the cost of sales. Lisa also recently authored a guest post here on web analytics and lead scoring.

Elyse DeVriesElyse DeVries

Chicago-based technology marketer Elyse DeVries most recently worked as Marketing Manager, Demand Generation at The SAVO Group, and prior to that did stints as Marketing Manager, Social Media at Alterian (owner of the former Techrigy SM2 social media monitoring product) and Marketing Specialist, ERP USA at Comarch. And she’s amazing.

April DunfordApril Dunford

Based in Toronto, April is currently Vice President Marketing, Enterprise Products at telecom services provider Huawei. She previously worked in marketing roles at Nortel, DataMirror Corporation and IBM. A marketer who’s an engineer by training (I can relate to that), April has a broad range of marketing experience that encompasses messaging, media relations, lead generation, email marketing, content marketing, social media, analyst relations and sales enablement.

Ale EspinosaAle Espinosa

A graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, Ale now lives in Los Angeles and works as Senior. Director, Marketing, Communications & PR at EndPlay, Inc. EndPlay is a leading provider of SaaS content management, engagement and monetization solutions delivered in the cloud. Ale is, in her words, a wine & art enthusiast at night, beach girl over the weekends, and music-lover every single second.

Laura FittonLaura Fitton

Boston’s amazing Laura Fitton is an inbound marketing evangelist for HubSpot, founder of @oneforty, and co-author of the best-selling Twitter For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)). Laura is credited with convincing Guy Kawasaki and thousands of tech execs that Twitter would have real business value, has lectured at HBS and MIT-Sloan, and has been quoted in dozens of national publications including BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal.

Deb FreyDeb Frey

Deb is Vice President of the DaVinci Institute, a non-profit organization near Denver, Colorado, responsible for Member Relations, event planning and marketing director for the DaVinci Institute. She teaches one-on-one classes to small businesses on Twitter, and when she has “a few extra moments,” serves as a contributing editor to the Impact Lab, a DaVinci Institute blog billed as “a laboratory of the future human experience.”

Jeanette GibsonJeanette Gibson

Jeanette leads the Social & Digital Marketing team at Cisco. Our group is responsible for setting the strategy for the company’s global digital brand presence on, social web sites and mobile. Before joining Cisco in 1998, Jeanette helped launch push-technology pioneer PointCast, and worked at public relations agency Copithorne & Bellows.

Emily GonzalesEmily Gonzales

Emily is Chief Technology Officer at Bookigee, an early-stage startup that builds online analytics and marketing applications for the Book Publishing Industry, in Miami. Her Twitter profile notes that “women in tech are doing really cool things” (which is why Cheryl and I chose to honor 50 of the top women in technology on Twitter here).

Christine HerronChristine Herron

Christine Herron is a Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur. She is currently a Director with Intel Capital and a Venture Advisor at 500 Startups. Previously, Christine was a Principal with First Round Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm, where she worked with companies such as BillFloat, Double Verify, Get Satisfaction, Mint, and Xobni.

Alex HisakaAlex Hisaka

San Francisco-based Alex Hisaka is Growth Builder at, part of the family. She gains valuable insight about your audience through Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and social media marketing. She also rocks on Twitter and shares her thoughts on The Fresh and Only.

Ilene KaminskyIlene Kaminsky

Ilene is a “content creationist” whose background includes stints as Director of Marketing and Director of Strategic Development at IBM, Alliance Director at eGain Communications, and Managing Director at Lumina Consulting. She also writes the Techronicity blog.

Katie KeatingKatie Keating

Based in Los Angeles, Katie is the social business manager for IBM Cloud Computing, which involves running the @IBMCloud Twitter handle and other social media venues for IBM Cloud, as well as overseeing a global team of IBM cloud community managers. Before joining IBM she worked with Fleishman-Hillard and the Dallas Museum of Art.

Margaret Anderson KelliherMargaret A. Kelliher

Margaret serves as president and CEO of The Minnesota High Tech Foundation, which provides leadership on science, technology, engineering and match (STEM) education in Minnesota and works with high-tech businesses in the state on talent pipeline issues. She’s also a former speaker of Minnesota state house of representatives and a Harvard grad.

Katrina KlierKatrina Klier

New York-based Katrina is the Senior Director / VP Worldwide Digital Marketing for Microsoft. In her role as Chief Digital Officer for the OEM division, she leads the digital brand and marketing functions worldwide, and has delivered strategy, plans and results for partner, B2B and B2C marketing. She’s a self-described fashionista and blogger.

Lisa LarterLisa Larter

Splitting time between Ottawa, Canada and Naples, Florida, Lisa is owner of Parlez Wireless as well as a sought-after social media strategist and speaker. Lisa was raised by a single mom in the small town of Haliburton, Ontario, Canada. Though a high school dropout, she became a self-taught sales guru and worked her way up the corporate ladder in sales for a Fortune 500 company before starting her own company.

Ann LewnesAnn Lewnes

As senior vice president of global marketing at Adobe in the San Francsico Bay area, Ann Lewnes is responsible for the company’s brand and integrated marketing efforts worldwide. Before joining Adobe in 2006, Ann was vice president of sales and marketing at Intel Corporation. In 2010, she was honored with a “Changing The Game” Award by the Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) and in 2011 Ann was named a “Woman of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Monica Liming-HuMonica Liming-Hu

With her background in International Management and Marketing at AT&T, Monica Liming-Hu has been a stalwart of the marketing world for the better part of the past two decades. More recently, she has focused a great deal of her attention on sustainability, whether in business or the environment—or both. Monica gives the credit for this shift toward developing a strong corporate conscience to her two daughters and their encouragement to “go green.” Outside of the active realm of social marketing, Monica writes fiction under two separate pen names, and often frequents writer’s conferences and workshops. Her thoughts on writing and the creative process can be found on her blog Positive Reverie.

Marissa MayerMarissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer has come a long way from her childhood home in Wausau, Wisconsin. A Stanford grad with two degrees in computer science, Marissa is known for long tenure at Google, where she was the company’s first female engineer and later served in different VP roles.  She was recently named CEO of Yahoo!, making her the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company and one of just 20 female CEOs in that group. She’s actually the second woman from Wisconsin to lead Yahoo! as Carol Bartz was also a cheesehead. And Marissa announced in July that she is going to be a mom—congrats!

Kelly MeadeKelly Meade

Kelly is a Public Cloud Solutions Rep at IBM in Dallas, responsible for IBM Cloud Services and Offerings in the Eastern U.S. Originally from Iowa, Kelly’s loves include her family, traveling and reality TV. You can check out her video profile on the IBM site here.

Erin Mulligan NelsonErin Mulligan Nelson

Erin is the Chief Marketing Officer for Bazaarvoice, a brand engagement and social data integration platform, in Austin, Texas. Before joining Bazaarvoice in November 2010, Erin served as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Dell Inc. Her background also includes positions with Procter & Gamble, A.T. Kearney and PepsiCo.

Ory OkollohOry Okolloh

Ory is Policy Manager Africa for Google in Nairobi, and co-founder of Mzalendo/Ushahidi. Ushahidi, which means “testimony” in Swahili, is building a platform that crowdsources crisis information, allowing anyone to submit crisis information through text messaging using a mobile phone, email or web form. She’s former editor of Global Voices and a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Paige ONeillPaige ONeill

Based in the San Francisco area, Paige is Vice President of Marketing at Aprimo, a fast-growing Saas marketing automation software company acquired by Teradata in January of 2011. Her responsibilities include communications, demand generation, web/seo/ppc, events, customer marketing and social media. She also blogs at Social Media Paige.

Lee Anne OrangeLee Anne Orange

Lee Anne has served as Special Projects Manager at AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology, in Washington DC, since 1999. For a year prior to that, in her own words, she “bounced around the association for a while. Started in Statistics Department and moved to Administration (HR) for 5 years. Then I was recruited to work in the Exhibitions Department. Been there ever since.”

Maria PergolinoMaria Pergolino

Senior Director of Marketing at marketing automation software provider Marketo, Maria writes for several marketing blogs, and is a frequent contributor to Marketo’s award winning blog, Modern B2B Marketing. She’s a frequent presenter at industry conferences, author of guides to B2B social media and lead scoring, and a past judge of the Stevie, BMA B2 and B2BTOTY awards.

Janine PopickJanine Popick

Janine is founder and CEO of VerticalResponse, a leading provider of email marketing, social media marketing & event marketing for small businesses based in the San Francisco area, and writes the popular email marketing blog. Before starting VerticalResponse in 2001, Janine worked with NBC Internet, and FileMaker.

Maria PoveromoMaria Poveromo

Maria leads Adobe’s Global Marketing Social Media program and Center of Excellence. She established the organizational framework and strategic direction for social media activities across the company. With her team, Maria directs a cross-functional social media council to foster knowledge sharing across different groups. She’s passionate about her family, balancing work and home life and advancing the role of women the technology industry.

Kishau RogersKishau Rogers

A technology innovator and engaging Twitterer based in Richmond, Virginia, Kishau Rogers the founder and President of Websmith Group, a company that provides web based software systems for healthcare and research organizations. She holds a Computer Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her expertise includes software and database development, data analysis and computer modeling/simulation technology.

Kathy SacksKathy Sacks

As VP Communications at Infusionsoft in Phoenix, Kathy leads a team dedicated to spread awareness of the company’s next-generation email marketing software. She is is responsible for defining and managing Infusionsoft’s communications strategies, including planning and execution, public affairs and media relations. She’s also the founding editor of bizSanDiego Magazine and ran her own PR firm from 2005 to 2008.

Gina TrapaniGina Trapani

San Diego-based Gina is the creator of ThinkUp, a social media insights engine, and Todo.txt apps, a text-based task manager. She hosts In Beta, a podcast about open source, web-based, mobile and social apps, and This Week in Google, a web show which covers the latest news about the cloud and Google. She’s also the founder of Lifehacker and author of four tech books, and blogs at Smarterware.

Ellen ValentineEllen Valentine

Ellen is Evangelist at digital marketing software developer Silverpop in Atlanta, where she writes and speaks about marketing including marketing automation and email marketing. She holds a computer science degree from Penn State University and her background includes positions with Evergreen Direct Marketing, Applied Software and CIO Partners of Atlanta.

Czarina WalkerCzarina Walker

Czarina is Founder and CEO at InfiniEDGE Software in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a custom software developer of mobile apps and provider of UI design services and web development services for industry and government clients. Before founding InfiniEDGE, she served on the board of the Ascension Chamber of Commerce and worked with IBM and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Angelina WardAngelina Ward

Angelina is Director of Social Media and Content for LexisNexis in Atlanta. Her duties include establishing a social media framework and standards for revising company guidelines and policy, creating and lead training workshops for internal employees on strategic social media communications, and overseeing day-to-day operations of social media communications including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.

Padmasree WarriorPadmasree Warrior

As Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Cisco, Padmasree helps define the company’s technology strategy and works closely with the senior executive team and Board of Directors to drive innovation across the company. She has more than a million followers on Twitter and as her bio notes, she is “passionate about helping women in tech.” Unquestionably nifty.

Courtney WileyCourtney Wiley

Courtney is Director of Digital Marketing Strategy & Innovation at Oracle in Dallas. Her thought-leadership writing has been published in places like,,,, and, and she speaks at national conferences. Courtney is also an SMU grad and mom of a Junior Olympian.

Bryony ZasmanBryony Zasman

Bryony is co-founder and Vice President at ZOOMcatalog, a provider of B2B cloud catalog management and distribution for print catalog dependent industries, based in Denver. She holds a marketing degree from the University of Colorado.

Meryl ZdatnyMerryl Zdatny

Merryl is the Senior Product Marketing Manager, Identity Solutions at Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group in New York. The objective of this group is to “give the right people access to the right information – where and when they need it.” Prior to Verizon, she worked in marketing roles at technology and art-related enterprises. She describes her educational background as “Marketing, Art History, Billiards at The University of Texas at Austin.” Interesting mix, but the degree in billiards is particularly impressive.

There you have it, the #Nifty50 Women of Twitter for 2012. As with last year, to keep it to 50, we had to leave off some deserving names and excellent nominations—it was a tough call. But next year will have a different focus and some of those names will no doubt resurface.

Watch next month for the top #Nifty50 Men in Technology on Twitter for 2012 on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog.

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