Category Archives: Marketing

Create & Deploy Your Own QR Codes (Updated)

The Class

On November 10, 2011, I had the pleasure of presenting “Create & Deploy Your Own QR Codes” to a small class for the Center City Proprietor’s Association in Philadelphia. It was a really fun giving this presentation. If you’d like to see it, can download it from (for some reason, embedding isn’t working – sorry about that).

I may repeat this class in a few weeks as a webinar. Please let me know if you’re interested by commenting on this post.

Also, I added a QR Code Campaign Worksheet at the end of the presentation which should help you organize you campaigns when using QR Codes. If you have any questions about QR Codes, the presentation or the services I offer, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks to the CCPA, Audrey Julienne and the attendees.



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Filed under Marketing, QR Codes, Social Media, Speaking, Training, Viral Marketing

Create and Deploy Your Own QR Codes

Scan (or click) on this Code to Register

You’ve heard about them. You’ve seen them around. They’re popping up everywhere. QR Codes are the latest rage, but what are they? How do you create them? How do you use them? What are they good for? Join me on Thursday, November 10, 2011 (12:00 – 1:30 PM) at the law firm of Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, Ltd. (1635 Market Street, 7 Penn Center, 11th Floor, Philadelphia) and you’ll learn everything you need to know about QR Codes, including:

  • What are QR Codes?
  • History of QR Codes
  • QR Anatomy
  • Types of QR Codes
  • How to Make a QR Code
  • How to Read a QR Code
  • How to Use QR Codes
  • Measuring Success
  • Examples & Best Practices
  • How NOT to use
  • Security Risks
  • The Future

So, come join me. It’ll be a great time.

Click here to register (or scan the QR Code in this post).

See you there!

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Filed under Internet Trends, Marketing, QR Codes, Social Media, Speaking, Training, Viral Marketing

The Dangers of Facebook’s New Ad Display URLS

Inside Facebook and All Facebook are both reporting that Facebook is planning on introducing a new tool to their advertising platform to help protect users and increase transparency. Unfortunately, this new tool could actually have the exact opposite effect by making Facebook ads even more dangerous to click on.

What it Does

Image Source: Inside Facebook

The change is actually very simple. If an ad directs you to a destination outside Facebook, it will display the ad’s destination URL by placing that URL in a prominent location just below the headline and above the ad’s image (see picture). The idea is that you will now know exactly where you will be sent if you click on that ad. It’s a new layer of protection, right?


What’s the Risk?

The risk is that it’s ridiculously easy to dupe the user. How? Because while you may indeed be sent to the URL being displayed, Facebook has not indicated that they are doing anything to validate that the destination itself is safe.

But how could the destination not be safe if Facebook is showing me where I’m going?

Here are two likely scenarios that someone with malicious intent could set up in minutes. In both scenarios, you see an ad on Facebook with the URL You click on it. This is what could happen:

1)      The site you arrive at injects malware into your computer or does other evil things.

2)      The site you arrive at immediately redirects you to yet another website that could inject malware into your computer or do other evil things.

Certainly Facebook could, and should, add some sort of ongoing validation service to investigate these destinations. I say ongoing because it would be simple for the “advertiser” to set up a benign site that could revert into a malicious site as soon as validation is completed.

While I applaud Facebook for their attempt to protect users, they certainly have not thought things through. Until then, Clickers Beware!

What do you think? Let me know in the Comments.


Filed under Facebook, Marketing, Social Media

AT&T Misses a HUGE Marketing Opportunity

The other day I received my cell phone bill from AT&T. This bill was for almost twice the amount that is scheduled in my plan. Obviously I was upset, but this post isn’t about that. It’s about how AT&T missed several opportunities to make money from me while also making me happy in the process.

Communication Breakdown, NOT!

The situation is a familiar one. Without realizing it, I used far more minutes than my plan allows for during the month (I had an unusual number of long conference calls). While working with AT&T’s Customer Service Rep to resolve the issue, I asked why I was never notified that I had exceeded my plan’s minutes, especially considering how massive the overage was. The Rep told me that I could request a notification email, but such an email would only be sent after I had exceeded my limit by one hundred minutes!

Furthermore, AT&T will not notify me when I am approaching my limit, nor will they notify me once I’ve exceeded my limit. Indeed, the only notification I’ll get is after I’ve already accrued close to two hours of additional charges billed at a significantly higher rate.

Regardless whether you consider AT&T’s failure to notify me a “shady” business practice, the one thing it wasn’t was a communications breakdown. It was a conscious decision made by AT&T because their calculations tell them that they’ll generate significantly more revenue by billing their millions of customers who exceed their limits every month at a higher rate. But at what cost?

Missed Opportunities

Clearly, there are massive numbers of people who get upset with AT&T when they receive their bills every month. Obviously, many of those people leave AT&T for another service as soon as their contracts expire. This is called churn and it’s a major loss leader in the telecom industry.

The following steps outline how AT&T should seize the opportunity to provide an important value-added service to their customers that would not only make those customers happy, but both reduce the churn rate and generate additional revenue.

  1. When a customer chooses their plan, they should be required to sign up for Usage Notification Messages via email, SMS, Twitter DM’s, Facebook, voice mail, smoke signals or whatever method they choose. Upon doing this, they have now Opted-In to receiving constant messaging from AT&T which, in addition to notifying customer of their current usage, could also be filled with special offers, coupons, etc.
  2. One or more of these messages could be a mandatory as part of the contract in order to guarantee that AT&T will be able to reach them with their message.
  3. The customer should be allowed to choose when these messages are sent, and their frequency. A typical messaging program could look like this:
    • Notification 1 – Approaching Limits (Optional): “You requested that this notification be sent to you when you are within XX minutes of your limit. If you would like to purchase additional minutes…”
    • Notification 2 – Limit Reached (Mandatory): “You requested to be notified when you have reached the limit of your contract. Any calls made beyond this point will be billed at XX/minute. However, you can purchase additional minutes at the special rate of YY…”
    • Notification 3 – Weekly Usage Report (Mandatory): “At the time that this message was sent (xx:xx:xxxx), you have used XX minutes out of YY minutes as specified in your plan. If you feel you may exceed your monthly minutes, you can purchase additional minutes at the special rate of YY…”

The benefit to AT&T is that they get a chance to offer the customer something of value while at the same time letting the customer know the status of their account. Their customers will be much more likely to read these messages because it keeps them informed as to how many minutes remain.

Is this simple, or what?

BTW, because AT&T realized they were remiss in notifying me that I had exceeded my minutes, they credited me back the overage. Thanks AT&T!

So, is this simple, or what? What do you think? Let me know in the comments.


Filed under Marketing, Off Topic