BizReport : Social Marketing : July 15, 2009
When it comes to the social marketplace, local businesses appear to be jumping in quickly. According to a new report from Borrell Associates, local businesses account for about 20% of the ad spend in the social marketplace.
by Kristina Knight
The report predicts that local businesses will spend more than $640 million in the social network marketplace, which is expected to bring in about $3.26 billion in ad revenue by the end of 2009.

“In the scheme of things, it’s still a drop in the bucket. The total is less than 3% of all locally spent online advertising. If we estimated it for individual local markets (we usually don’t do that until an advertising segment reaches $1 billion), it would equate to a few hundred thousand dollars or less in most markets,” writes Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, on the Borrell Associates blog.

Much of the social spending is being aimed at Facebook and MySpace, with good reason. The two social networking giants tower over other, niche social networks and continue to attract more consumers each month.

The real question, however, is will social networks work for marketers as an ad medium?

According to metrics firm Hitwise, less than 5% of retail traffic is pushed from social networks. Comparatively, search engines push 23% of traffic to the retail space. Still, the lure of the social marketplace is the ever-increasing number of consumers logging on. Sure, consumers may not be jumping from their social network to ecommerce hubs, but they are listening to peers who review or recommend certain products. So, while consumers may not be heading to a retail site from a social network, they are considering the products and perhaps making purchases at a later date.

Posted on Jul 14, 09 10:20 AM PDT You’re reading that right, applicants for the “senior manager – emerging media marketing” position at Best Buy were asked to have a Bachelors degree, two years of mobile media experience and at least 250 Twitter followers. Best Buy did find someone that fits the profile, so there’s no need to send your resume now. It’s interesting to see that there was no particular requirement for Facebook or other social networks – that tells you how much mindshare Twitter has acquired recently. Expect more companies to follow Best Buy’s example.

By: SOAPBOX, 7/14/2009
How can a mid level company in an urban center during a recession cut costs while maintaining a trained workforce? Local entrepreneur Martin Gardocki says the answer is not in outsourcing offshore workers, but rather onshoring talented Americans virtually from rural locations outside of your city.
Citing dismal quality and substandard delivery issues from offshore agencies, Gardocki saw an opportunity in providing local talent to staff software companies. After discovering a significant pool of rural talent, highly experienced in current technology willing to work for 25-40 percent less than their urban contemporaries, Gardocki realized he was onto something. Add to the fact that companies could now reduce costs while preserving tech jobs in the US, and Gardocki found himself with a unique idea companies would want to be a part of.

Success for Gardocki’s company is a result of three components:
First being a supportive business environment that utilizes the advantages of services provided by the area’s business incubators. “In our case, we chose the Hamilton County Development Company,” says Gardocki. “Incubators are a great nexus of the resources you need to start and grow your business. ”

The second component is the use of broadband technology that has opened the door for Rural technical professionals to connect and find meaningful employment.

Finally, implementing a “suite of virtual office tools to help collaborate with each other and our clients, handle our sales, marketing and back office work, manage projects and do the development and test work required for the client,” has also been invaluable to the launch of the company.

Gardocki hopes to create a new market category in the outsourcing industry. “When executives consider outsourcing alternatives, we want the Rural OnShoring alternative to be at the top of the list.” Gardocki sees a new trend in work culture. One in which people will work where they wish to live rather than live where the jobs are.

To learn more about Cincinnati Innovates or to vote for Martin Gardocki’s idea, please click here.