In comScore’s “2010 Digital Year in Review,” it was noted that email use is declining, especially among the youngest generation, in favor of other communication methods such as social networking.  Yet, a Merkle report “View from the Digital Inbox 2011” found that people who used social media were actually more likely to check their email more often.  So anyone thinking they can just start replacing their email strategy and spend with social media strategy and spend is making a huge mistake.  As always in marketing, it’s about having a good mix of channels to get your message out.

Why is that?  After all, marketing would be a much easier job if we could just focus on one channel and do that really well all day long.  The problem is that people are not one-size-fits-all.  Based on level in the organization, job function, personality, and a host of other factors, people will migrate towards different channels.  I personally need my information in very short snippets that gets to the conclusion quickly.  I prefer to read vs. watch a video and I rarely attend a webinar (wayyyy too long!).

So here’s the bad news for all of you who know that you need to get into the world of social media to keep up with the changing marketing world – you have to do this in addition to everything else you’ve got going on.  The good news is that those people you are reaching with social media are more likely to be the ones that you are also reaching with email, so your marketing mix should be extra effective for that segment.  If you are trying to figure out whether the people you are targeting are using social media, check out Forrester’s Social Technographic Profile Tool and B2B Profile Tool.  If you are still not convinced, why not start asking your clients how they prefer to get information about products and services like yours?

I’m going slightly off the marketing track today, but you global marketers might find this useful anyway.

I have a confession – I am an organizational junkie. I keep very little on my computer desktop – everything goes into folders. I regularly clean out my email inbox and file everything into folders. I like to shop at the Container Store.  I put all of my one-year-old daughter’s books back on the bookshelf every night, even though I know the minute she sees them there she will just pull them all out again (aparently she didn’t get the “organizational” gene, or at least it hasn’t surfaced yet).

For me, it somehow makes my life feel a little more in control. And for someone with a lot of balls in the air, that’s important. So today I thought I would share five FREE applications that I use that keep me organized at work. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how to keep the rest of my life organized 🙂

  1. Password Safe.  Oh the woes of having a million passwords for every site you surf today.  It’s not safe to use the same password for everything, nor is it safe to keep them all on post-it-notes on your desk.  But Password Safe can store them all nicely for you.  And when you need one, you just need to remember one password to get into your safe (make it a good secure one!).  You can even tell it to browse to the site you want and auto type in your username and password right from the safe.  Oh happy day!
  2. Avant Browser.  Somewhat along the same lines of password safe, this Internet browser will let you save form entries and with one click (like a bookmark) it will browse to that site and log you in.  I use this mostly for sites where I have multiple logins for the same site.  The nice thing about Avant Browser is that when you logout, it will completely log you out, so if you need to log into the same site with a different login, you won’t start getting all kinds of funky errors.
  3. OneNote.  The desktop version is a paid part of the Microsoft Office suite, but you can use the online version for free.  I use this as my new version of post-it-notes.  I keep all of my to-do’s, organized by client, so I can quickly make updates and see where I am on a project.  And Microsoft was smart enough to come out with an iPhone app for OneNote just recently (also free for a “limited time”) so I can still access all that info when I am on the go.
  4. TripIt.  If you travel very much, you just can’t live without this one.  You can store all of your itineraries for a single trip in one place.  You can email your airline and hotel reservations to TripIt and it will automatically add them all to your itinerary.  You can download the iPhone app for TripIt and access all the details for your trip in one place.  So the next time you hop into a cab in a strange city, you’ll have the address of your hotel handy when the cab driver doesn’t know where it is.
  5. iGoogle.  There are other search engines that essentially do the same thing, but I love iGoogle.  You can personalize your Google home page with RSS feeds, your email, and a ton of little apps.  You can organize all of this stuff into tabs so you can quickly find your favorite news, blogs, and information.  I have this set as one of my home pages with my email and Twitter app on the first tab to make sure I stay up-to-date with the world.  To find iGoogle, just go to Google.com and click on iGoogle from the menu in the upper right corner.

Happy organizing!