Global Marketing

Using the power of Instagram to promote your business

In our previous #instagramforbusiness post we have shared with you how easy it is to get started on Instagram, all you need is creativity and a good plan. If leveraged strategically, Instagram can become a great tool and provide you with a direct and targeted way to communicate with your audience while helping promote your business … here are five more tips to help you along…

 1.     We all have heard before the expression that “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” well… Instagram proves it better than any other social media network.
This app is purely driven on images alone (captions are optional and hashtags should be encourage) but taking and posting great pictures is key. You may enhance an image with image filters, which make the pictures look even more beautiful than the original; so no need for scheduling a photo shoot that takes hours and costs hundreds of dollars. With a click of a button from your smartphone device, you can now take some great pictures, emotionally charged and in a dynamic manner that can showcase your products or the results of your products better and cheaper than any advertising campaign you might have had in the past.  And since creativity is not a talent we all can claim, here are some fun and helpful tips:

Once you have a decent number of followers (which we will help you attract in an upcoming post), it makes it very easy to encourage your followers to interact and get involved in your business. This allows you to have an immediate feedback… so who needs surveys that take forever or costly market research that might lead you nowhere, when you have IG? Instant feedback at zero cost… it cannot get better than that!

3.     Generating buzz…
Another cool thing about IG is that it can help generate buzz, and ultimately spark conversations about your brand; have your customers share pictures of themselves using your products or service (when appropriate – of course!)  With a solid hashtag strategy in place, your business will be trending in its own space.  This is why people love it so much.  It helps them be part of your daily business.  After all, this is Social Media!

 4.     Business personality? AKA “Branding”
Have you ever thought that your business could have a personality of its own? Well, Instagram can definitely help give your business the opportunity to build a distinct and winning personality of its own by molding the perception you want to convey to your current or potential customers.  Whether you want your business to appear serious, trendy or fun, all you need to do is take the right pictures and share them on Instagram.  It can definitely help you build that personality or “aura” for your brand, especially when your business is in a niche market where personality could play a major role.

 5.     IG Feeds
Lastly, if you want to keep your name in conversation, Instagram is definitely the ideal platform to help you promote your business and make people talk about you and what you do!  Just make sure you have a steady posting pace (although another tip is everything in moderation); however, post enough interesting visual content and maintain an active Instagram feed that it peaks the interest of followers and new followers! 

 Stay tuned because we have a lot more to come, just follow us, and don’t forget to give us your feedback, we would love to hear from you!!!

Global Marketing

Do you have a favorite movie theatre?

The movie going experience…Love it? Hate it? Don’t care for it? What’s your take?

I for one enjoy the experience. But I can’t say that I do for every movie theatre that I go to. Let’s just say that I’m a bit selective with my theatre locations. Why am I selective you ask? Great question! Allow me to explain.

First let’s start off with a few reasons as to why going to the movies would turn people off.

Price – We live in California, home of Hollywood, movie capital of the world, and for the majority of us residing in Orange County, a local movie theatre will set you back at least $12-$14. Want some refreshments to go with that movie? You’ll probably spend more than the movie ticket itself!

Fight Traffic – We live in Southern California, driving from point A to point B sometimes becomes a mission with strategic tactics. We live traffic.

Fight Parking – Good luck.

Inconsiderate people – Let’s be honest, some people are flat out stupid at the movies. Why are you texting? Why are you talking on the phone? Why is your screen brighter than the sun? Why did you have to take off your shoes and cross your legs to face me knowing that the smell of your feet needs to be quarantined? Why I ask?

I get it; there can be a few spoils to the movie going experience, which is exactly why I have my preferred theatre locations.

Here are a few variables that I consider: brand, location of theatre (city), cleanliness, assigned seating, parking, and technology.

Brand – I prefer AMC over Regals, I feel as though AMC’s facilities are better maintained with better seats.

Location of theatre – Proximity is not of concern to me. I will go the extra mile or two or three or several to watch the next blockbuster at a city that I prefer. Take for instance the Krikorian Theatre in Buena Park vs Regals Theatre in La Mirada. The Krikorian theatre may be closer to me and even less costly, yet I’d rather drive to Regals in La Mirada. Weird, I know, but here’s my reasoning. You’ll notice a “younger” demographic at Krikorian. Let’s call them kids who love to have fun and become a bit over zealous when they’re with their group of friends. They become a little obnoxious during the movie and there goes your movie experience. Whereas Regals in La Mirada has a more “traditional” demographic. A mature audience who come to simply enjoy the movie with their significant other, no distractions, no interruptions.

Cleanliness – I’m a bit of a clean freak. I don’t like to sit on a chair covered in popcorn or to see that there are food stains all around the movie theatre. Presentation is vital.

Assigned Seating – There are 2 theatres that I usually go watch a new release at. Pacific Theatre at The Grove or Arc Light Cinemas. Both theatres have assigned seating hence I never need to worry about sitting in an unfavorable seat. There’s a premium price to pay but it offsets the hassle of wasting time to go early and or potentially getting a bad seat.

Parking – I lack patience to fight for parking. Enough said.

Technology – Many theatres promote their latest technology used to display their movies. The IMAX experience, XD digital display, 3D experience, etc. My simple criteria are that there is clarity in picture and boldness in sound.

So with all that said, where do I go most to watch my movies?

AMC at Downtown Disney. Though the area may be crowded, the theatre never is. It’s always clean, and the movie-goers are respectful to each other’s experience. Parking can sometimes be a challenge, but it’s always well organized. Lastly, the quality doesn’t disappoint.

Global Marketing

YouTube’s Successful Millennial Capture

My teenagers may not have a clue who Eddie Redmayne, Julianne Moore, or Benedict Cumberbatch are – all nominees for 2015 Oscars in a leading role – but give them a name like Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, and watch their eyes light up. Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, aka online persona PewDiePie, is a Swedish online gamer who has the highest level of subscribers of any YouTube channel ever. With over 34 million subscribers and over 7.9 billion video views, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg is a YouTube celebrity! This is the changing world of Millennials.

Millennials, also known as the Millennial Generation, are born between the early 1980s to the late 1990s, generally making their age range today to be between 16 to 35 years.

I recently had the pleasure of having lunch with Rania Succar, Head of North America Brand Solutions at Google, leading the market strategy and product commercialization for YouTube in North America. Rania spoke about Millennials and how they are the main drivers of change in media consumption. “This is a generation of content creators – which is precisely why YouTube is so successful in capturing this audience.” YouTube’s ease of use, large database of video content, and free price tag for usage are key success factors for drawing in Millennials. They feel that it is empowering to have a tool at their fingertips that they can use to broadcast a message, influence people, or just make people laugh.

For Millennials, YouTube is currently the dominant video platform; 98% of this age group reported watching videos on their mobile phone on a daily basis. This is an astounding 42% higher than on computers and 17% higher than on TV. This ranges from cat videos, to news and entertainment, to just about anything you can search for. Among the Millennial Generation, YouTube is also becoming more and more interactive; 9% share or comment on videos each month. As one Millennial put it, “It makes for a better entertainment experience.”

All of this points to a marketer’s dream! It’s no surprise that Millennials rely on YouTube for purchasing decisions – it has become their top destination for learning about products and services. Here are just two examples:

  • 66% of beauty product purchasers say that YouTube influenced their purchases by helping them “visualize how products fit into their lives.”
  • 62% of smart phone purchasers indicated that YouTube influenced their purchase with reviews and how-to videos.

I personally tend to skip online videos and go straight for the text – which is a good indication that I’m way past the 16-35 age group demographics. Hmmm, perhaps I should review the next anti-aging product on YouTube.

Global Marketing

Loyalty Points

Somewhere between the multitude of flight choices from Orange County / Santa Ana Airport to Seatac International, and the various opportunities for mileage points earned on my Bank of America credit card, I got hooked up on the Alaska Airlines’ frequent flyer program.   There’s something to say about unlimited upgrades to first class, TSA pre-check setup through Alaska’s website, complimentary cocktails, no luggage fees, priority seating and the list goes on and on.  It’s true that some of these perks are only a payoff of countless inflight hours but I could have chosen to learn the interior tapestry on one of their competitors’ planes.

Early on, when I was new to my two thousand miles commute, I test-flew other companies and they came short.  Maybe JebBlue is cheaper, but they only fly from Long Beach and their planes feel more like a bus than an aircraft. Virgin Airlines is chic and offers some great service, but I’d rather not have a layover and a five hour flight when I can get there comfortably in just over two hours.  American Airlines is operated by Alaska on this route so I’ll leave it at that.

Once hooked, the experience the mileage plan has only brought me benefits, so much so that I only go to when I buy my tickets. Yes, I’m a loyal customer and they don’t forget to thank me for it through all the big and little things which help me forget the trouble of so many flights and have me check their offers first when flying anywhere else in the country and abroad.  No, they don’t fly to Europe or anywhere else internationally outside of North America, but have I mentioned I could get tickets for as few as 40,000 miles for a roundtrip flight to Rome, Cape Town, or Rio de Janeiro?    Not to leave out the wonderful after-close dinner experience shared with my son and a group of other constant travelers at San Diego Zoo, on Alaska’s coin.  I don’t know if they paid for that evening in mileage points, bitcoin, or dollars, but it was a great token of business appreciation.

My favorite touch: on a few recent flights, the captain came out to thank us personally for flying with him!

On my next regular trip to Seattle, maybe I’ll take a break from Alaska’s free in-flight entertainment, the latest addition to their customer satisfaction package, and I’ll write down some notes of thanks to their employees, those who make it safe, comfortable, and possible for me to continue my not so-short commute.

What kind of reward programs are you interested in? Please share your experience.

Global Marketing


Instagram for your business? Where to start, right? It may seem a bit overwhelming. No doubt, in doing a web search on this topic there was no shortage of information and blog posts to help out the novice user. However, when we strip it down to the basics, getting started is the easy part.

Whether you want to use Instagram #IG to promote your business or yourself, we are going to provide some insightful tips on how to best leverage this fun platform.  Just follow our blog (Samira Rami & Karina Rico) for the next couple of weeks and we will bring you up to speed with this fun online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service now counting more than 300 million users.

1. “Username” – But make this one something short, easy to remember and that properly represents your company’s brand.

2. IG Profile  – When creating an IG Profile/Bio, you may include up to 150 characters; therefore, word to the wise, make each character count. Bio should include keywords from your industry to help make your account easy to find through in-app searches as well as your website. To help you create the perfect profile, below is a great visual illustration that provides a roadmap to maximizing your Instagram profile’s bio.


3. Link Your Accounts  – If you have a Facebook page or Twitter account for your business, link it to your Instagram account so you can share your pictures to your Facebook page/Twitter account for some cross-marketing. Also make sure that your other social media platforms are established and up-to-date, including your website, blog, YouTube, Pinterest etc.

4. Post with purpose – as simple as that. Make sure you are posting images (or videos) that tell a story. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but images are truly worth a thousand words (or dollars). Use high quality, sharp images, be consistent with filters or photo styles, but make sure you are doing your company justice and not injustice with your images. Also, be sure that you are writing a well thought out description to each post. Offer your audience something of value in each photo you post.

5. #Hashtag  Have a solid “hashtag strategy” because on Instagram it is the ONLY method for searching for content. Create a “hashtag strategy” for your business account. Encourage others to use your hashtag when they are posting something related to your business, as it will help their followers track back to your Instagram account. Always include a minimum of five to six hashtags in the description of each post to reach new users!

Were these five tips useful? We can’t wait to hear from you!!! More to come; stay tuned for the #next5greatIGtips #igers #EMBA605 #myhrketing #blogproject #chapmanuniversity

Global Marketing

Speed Reading 2.0

  • Have you ever wanted to read that great new book but just cannot find the time?
  • Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to read more, only to give it up after a few weeks.
  • Or maybe you are like me and have had 3 or 4 news articles that you just can’t seem to get to because of everything else you have going on in your life.


There is a great new solution that readers of all skill levels can use to solve these common challenges. The solution is a new platform called Spritz. Spritz was launched in February of 2014 at the World Mobile Conference in Barcelona and was founded by a team which consists of an entrepreneur, a scientist and a technologist. The platform uses a reading technique the company has dubbed “Optimal Recognition Point” or ORP to zero in on the certain point within each word that helps the reader process it’s meaning the quickest. These words are then presented where the reader is already looking rather than the reader needing to scan across the page. The beauty of this method is that it allows you to read without moving your eyes which enhances the speed at which readers can comprehend the information they are reading. Readers can then set their desired speed anywhere from 100 to 1,000 words per minute. Spritz is now partnering with developers, publishers and even movie studios to disseminate its technology and capture customers throughout the market to adopt its technology. As a unique example, the technology was recently leveraged to promote the Universal’s major motion picture Lucy in 2014.


Check it out at:

I first found the technology when it was recently installed on the latest version of the Huffington Posts iOS app. Since I began using this I have been able to read three and four times as many articles, and have even found myself finish them! One of the brilliant aspects about the technology is the speed at which it can be adopted, particularly when compared to other speed reading techniques such as skimming. The company boasts that the process can be learned in less than 5 minutes and doesn’t have to be regularly used to continue to provide value.


Since being exposed to the technology with the Huffington Posts app, I have downloaded one of the many different speed reading apps which use the Spritz technology for reading anything from webpages to books that are compatible with document readers like Google Play Books. I am happy to report that I have increased my word count from 250 words per minute to 375 in just a short few weeks using the technology.


Media companies ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Gizmodo have featured the firm’s technology in their articles and reviews which have helped to increase the firms brand awareness. The marketing strategy the firm has leveraged is unique in that it has not developed or promoted any proprietary applications itself but has instead licensed its technology to content brands in an effort to bring more users into the Spritz experience. This promotion strategy recently helped the company raise more than $3.5 million in seed funding, but the company’s co-founder and CEO, Frank Waldman, remains more focused on the firm’s user expansion goals.  He recently stated in an article with TechCrunch that, “At this time, Spritz is focused on building a user community of 1 billion readers. We want everyone to make their apps and webpages ‘Spritzable.” He went on to say, “Our goal is to make Spritz available anywhere that our partners and their users think that it makes sense… Billions of readers around the world could soon be spritzing as way to effortlessly consume information.” Spritz’s promotion tactic of leveraging its licensees existing customer base has helped to draw more users into its experience as well as create a grassroots base of loyal users who promote its technology among their own social networks. While it will likely take more funding to reach its goal of 1 billion users, what is clear is that if the company can continue to capture new customers with its unique promotion strategy, the value of the technology will continue to sell itself.


Have you used ever used a Spritz based product or found another speed reading technique valuable? If so, please comment below. Happy reading!

Global Marketing

Where Will You See….?

With summer fast approaching, the big budget blockbuster season is upon us. Each year it starts earlier and earlier in hopes of lengthening the successful months for movie studios. Starting with the hyped trailers and teaser trailers played during Super Bowl ads, passionate moviegoers wait with great anticipation to see what the season has to offer.

The big challenge studios are faced with is if the movie will have such popularity that it can make back enough to pay for all of the inflated production costs, including those $4 million Super Bowl spots. Considering that usually only half of the movies advertised during the big game end up being in the top ten grossing movies of the year at the box office, it seems as if there is a great amount of work cut out for the newborn movie before it is even released. This ultimately leads to where the audience will see the movie, if at all, and what price they will pay.

Movie trailers continue to push a traditional approach as to where the viewers should see these big movies year after year, but the reality is that there are multiple methods of watching that carry different amounts of profit, or loss, back to the source. Whether it is in the theater down the street on opening night, or catching it on a late night at home years later, the impact is made and recorded on each movie that is released. Getting the population to see a movie can be hard enough, but getting each individual to pay a premium on where and how it is seen can be even trickier to navigate.

As different media formats continue to evolve, the art behind the business struggles to maintain an identity as well, adding more pressure on the front runners for the season to stay on top. There is limited, to no ability to predict the small, underground indie pic that lights up audiences and chips away at the presumed heavyweight.

All of this, and more, can be quite the undertaking so early in the year, but yet again the expectations are set, and the positioning starts for the coveted spot of top grossing film at the box office. This is only the beginning of the story that will praise heroes and leave the fallen behind.

Global Marketing

What Every Marketer Should Know About State Tax Nexus

In 1994, Star Trek: Generations introduced movie-goers to The Nexus, a space-time anomaly that gave complete bliss to those who managed to get into it and survive.  Of course, obtaining nexus in that case required being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.  The nexus this blog addresses is more akin to a different space-time anomaly – a black hole, something that is far too easy to get swept into and not very blissful.

Just as Star Trek captains would “boldly go where no man has gone before,” a marketer's job is to boldly take the business where it has not gone before.  Occasionally, and especially in this age of online business, those new frontiers are either virtually or physically outside the business's home state.  The purpose of this blog is to educate marketers about nexus – why it is important, what causes it, and most importantly how to avoid or minimize its impact.

What is nexus?

Webster's tells us that nexus is “a relationship or connection between people or things.” From a tax perspective, nexus is like a cup that measures when the business's connections to a given state are high enough to allow that state to legally force the business to do various things (namely register, file returns, and pay taxes). The unfortunate part is that each state has its own ever-changing measuring cup, so these rules can be especially tricky to navigate.

Having nexus to a state can be a good thing because it typically means your business is doing well at establishing connections there. However, if a marketer is blindsided by nexus, their marketing timetable and budget may be derailed. Even worse, as will be detailed in a later post, nexus can subject the business to a state tax exposure that may remain on the books indefinitely. For these reasons and more, a nexus analysis should be a part of every marketing plan from the outset. A marketer who is able to recognize the factors that create nexus has the ability to structure their plan to avoid or minimize its impact.

Up next: Reach Out and Touch Someone (Creating Nexus part 1 of 2) 

Christopher La Puma is a graduate of Stanford University, with a JD and LLM (Tax) from Georgetown University Law Center.  He has 18 years experience in domestic, state and international tax planning and controversy and is currently enrolled in Chapman University’s Executive MBA Program.

Joshua Applegate is the Director of Finance at IOS LLC where he manages accounting, finance, and human resources.  Before joining IOS Joshua ran his own tax and accounting practice for 9 years.  Currently Joshua is working on his MBA at Chapman University with an expected graduation date of May 2016.