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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: A Crowdsourced Event – Top Trends in Marketing & Communications Heading Your Way

MattHarringtonCrowdsourcing: is the act of outsourcing tasks to an undefined, large group of people or community (a “crowd”), through an open call. Crowdsourcing is channelling the experts’ desire to solve a problem and then freely sharing the answer with everyone. (Wikipedia)

It came up in one of our latest Weekly Action Meetings (WAMs) that I should do a blog post on some new trends that I saw emerging in organizational marketing and communications.  Feeling that I wasn’t the only one qualified to give my opinion and wanting to see what some other experts thought, we came up with the idea of crowdsourcing the topic to some of my LinkedIn connections (a social media experiment to answer a social media question).  In the true nature of collaboration, we posed the question to these top thought leaders and received a great response.  With a wealth of new insights, these visionaries gave us some new trends to keep a watchful eye on in the coming year and we wanted to share them with you.

Please welcome our contributors to the NDCBlogger post and consider their trends as you begin to explore opportunities for your own marketing and communications in the near future (if you’d like to see my predictions, click here):

Todd“As a society, we are moving away from the scattered identity model which in the past has dominated the web (One login for email, one for your sports network, one for your finances, etc, etc). I feel that we are slowly integrating all aspects of our digital lives into one online identity. It is only natural for us to become a more unified virtual self. All our digital “property” into one cohesive grouping will allow for us to streamline the way we use social media in our lives. I believe we will see a large influx of products which “manage” us online, and help us keep all of our outlets in order.”

- Todd Ghidaleson

Digital Engagement Operative

BigBuzz Communication

Melville, NY




Nicole“When looking at developing a PR strategy, content is the currency of gaining coverage.  Writing thought-provoking articles, blog posts and press releases result in meaningful press coverage, more qualified lead generation and helps separate you from competition. Buzzwords are dead. The online world has eliminated the veil at which marketing pros use to hide behind with jargon. Cut it all out. Describe what it is, why it is better and whom it is for. Then repeat again and again. Create your own distribution channel. Don’t rely on the newswires. Build an internal process for getting news, content and commentaries out to the masses.  This can be in the form of posting to LinkedIn Groups, Facebook pages, employees on Twitter, content syndication sites. Tie marketing to measurement. Review Google Analytics behind your web properties, tie campaigns to new followers or users or times viewed. Set goals for your marketing partners so you can see a consistent increase in customers from your marketing efforts. Ask “how did you hear about us.” This feedback is critical to measuring how the media can build a deeper message, tell more about your story and last longer as a marketing tool.”

Nicole Messier


Portfolio PR Group

Albany, NY




“I’ve seen a tremendous rise in the requests for business communication training – particularly writing skills.  Most of us were last given instruction on writing for high school or college.  Business writing is significantly different than papers for an academic class.  In addition, many companies, while wanting to consider their millennial population, have realized that formal business communication needs to be developed beyond texting and tweeting styles.  In addition, there is a big gap in the basic content between new hires and experienced staff.  New hires tend to include far more pleasantries (“How was your weekend?  I hope you had a great time!  I LOVE your new haircut!”) in their communications while executives respond to the issue or question in what younger staff perceive to be too curt a manner (“Yes.”), leaving the impression they may have done something wrong.  Much of this is resolved with some simple dialogue between the groups.”

- Stacy Robin


The Degania Group, LLC

Montclair, NJ


Annmarie“One exciting trend we see is the emergence of Patient Capital.  Patient Capital is when an investor is willing to make a financial investment in a business with no expectation of turning a quick profit.  Patient capital investors recognize that the transition to a sustainable economy and world requires more than investing in breakthrough technologies and quick growth companies. Patient capital recognizes that wealth now/philanthropy later is an inappropriate response to the challenges of the 21st century.

A few good examples of this are Investors Circle and Acumen FundInvestors Circle is a group of over 150 angels and Venture Capitalists who use private capital to promote the transition to a sustainable economy. Acumen Fund uses patient capital to build transformative businesses by making disciplined investments that yield both financial and social returns. Acumen Fund’s Jacquline Novogratz describes patient capital as, “taking the best of both the markets and philanthropy.”

- Annmarie Lanesey

Founder and Chief Operating Officer

Greane Tree Technology

Troy, NY



3258a38“A new trend in hiring. After years of swanky offices, creative awards, free lunches and fancy titles, many graphic designers are now walking the streets. They look dazed and battered after their ad firms, branding agencies and design shops had to make cuts in this stormy economy. Some will change careers, some will land in-house gigs and others will simply fade away. But a new designer has emerged. One that is finding work where there’s simply no budget to hire an entire creative team. A designer that’s delivering solid solutions without a long-term commitment. Lets call them FWB, or freelancers-with-benefits. More than just a one-night-brand or a quickie brochure layout, these creative professionals bring with them years of industry experience, insightful perspectives and the ability to lead a project from concept to production on their own and all they ask for is an open wi-fi connection, payment within 30 days and maybe to keep a toothbrush at your place.”

- Tim Nerney

Incident Command


Troy, NY



3a3bdf1“The big buzz going on right now is what Forrester has named “agile commerce“. Agile Commerce is the next step in multichannel marketing/ecommerce and focuses on customers interacting via “touchpoints” instead of channels. We have a couple of great blog posts on this that is open for everyone to read: Welcome to the Era of Agile Commerce and Agile Commerce in 2011.

Another huge theme that Forrester has branded is called “CORE” this theme focuses on how marketers can survive and thrive in the next digital decade. CORE stands for: Customize marketing experience, Optimize decisions and processes, Respond to consumers, Empower staff and customers.  The main focus on this theme is to have a customer centric marketing experience and to use social to respond to consumers. I definitely recommend checking out this blog post for more info: Use Core to Adapt Your Marketing Organization for the Next Digital Decade.”

- Erica Skov

Account Development Manager

Forrester Research

Boston, MA


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