Recent Posts

Digital Wallets, Mobile Payments, and What You Need to Know

May 26, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani, 2 Comments

How smart will our smart phones REALLY get? Well, Google just announced that they have created an open platform for mobile phones to send and receive payments using NFC technology. They’ve already partnered with Citi, Mastercard, FirstData, and Sprint, and are open to accepting more partners. Trials have already begun, and by the summer it will be official. By 2014, the majority of phones will have NFC technology. So, here are the answers to your most pressing questions: What is NFC? NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It is a wireless technology that lets devices communicate to each other over very short distances (roughly 4 cm). It can work between mobile devices, and between a stationary and mobile device. The chip will be in most new smart phones. What does this mean for consumers? Your phone is going to be doing a LOT more than it already does. Your wallet… read more

Business Week Article: Questions to Ask Before You Start a Business

May 16, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani, No Comments

Who does a 33 year old man from Zambia turn to when looking for entrepreneurship advice? In this case, to Business Week columnist, Karen Klein. I was honored to have my two-bit included in the article: “Separating Yourself From the Pack When it comes to your business itself, make sure you have differentiated your products or services from others already on the market. Getting customers to try something new or work with a new vendor is tougher than it sounds; we’re all creatures of habit. “Make sure you know and can demonstrate a significant differentiator to separate yourself from the pack for your startup to succeed,” says Shama Kabani, president of Marketing Zen Group in Dallas and author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing. Keep your external costs low, she says, and forget about fancy offices or full-color marketing materials to start. “Invest in training for yourself and hiring… read more

Pursuit, Passion, and Perils: The Story of One Young Entrepreneur

May 12, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani, 1 Comment

I just did a guest post on Sources of Insight on entrepreneurship. It was so well received, that I wanted to share it with you. I was recently invited to speak to a group of young college students at The City University in Hong Kong on the topic on entrepreneurship. And, I was quite thrilled by the challenge. I believe that entrepreneurship is partly inherent, but everyone has a spark within them to make it happen. At 26, I’ve learned quite a few things about entrepreneurship first hand. My first business was at the age of 9. It was no astounding success. As it turns out, your parents will only buy so much gift wrap before they force you to retire. Since then, I’ve become a savvier entrepreneur. Today, I serve as CEO of The Marketing Zen Group –a full service web marketing firm with a staff of 27 and… read more

Top 3 Signs It’s Time to Raise Your Game

May 12, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani, No Comments

Did you know it’s possible to be playing SMALL …and not even realize it? Amazing – but it’s happening A LOT …  and in some subtle (and NOT so subtle) ways …  It’s a fact that: * Far too many are yielding to a temptation (yes, let’s face it – out of fear) to PLAY SMALL…”hunkering down,” “treading water,” “pulling back for a while,” or even “waiting this out” (how’s that working so far?) … And, as management expert Tom Peters says:“You can’t SHRINK your way to GREATNESS.” * Far too many others are “aiming too low” – toiling away at the level of mere TACTICS … chasing the next “shiny object” or tech toy … or even on the latest “hot” business model or “blueprint” … (Often jumping from one, to the next, to the next – with little to no results to show … and feeling increasingly more… read more

How-To: Outsourcing Your Business’s Social Media Marketing During an Event

May 9, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani, No Comments

Hello again, Mr. CEO. As promised in How-To: Outsource Your Company’s Social Media Marketing Initiatives – Part 1, here is your Wake-Up Call 2: Events, Trade Shows, Conferences – Oh My! The how and why to snag an invite for your social media marketing initiatives when your company is going to be on display. A case study featuring YOU: So, let’s say you’re going to have a booth at a major conference or trade show that directly relates to your industry and you have recently outsourced all social media to a company that specializes in online marketing . You now have 2 options, well I suppose 3: Plan your SM strategy ahead & bring someone from your social media marketing agency with you. Plan your SM strategy ahead & pay for consulting on day-of best social media marketing/networking practices. Don’t plan ahead. Don’t prepare. Don’t bother going Now, I want… read more

Why you must start with a WELL-ENGAGING, WELL-CONVERTING WEBSITE – Part 1 of 2

April 26, 2011 - Posted by Stephanie Cross, 3 Comments

So many times, we have clients who want to jump into social media, which is great because social media marketing definitely works. BUT…there are a few components you have to have in place before diving in head first. The very FIRST PRIORITY and MOST IMPORTANT TOOL in your toolbox when marketing online is your website. Just “having” a website is not good enough. You must have a well-engaging, well-converting website. You have to remember that when it all boils down to it, one of the main reasons we market on various online networks is to DRIVE TRAFFIC TO OUR WEBSITE. So it is imperative that when people get there, that the site engages them to convert in some form or fashion. We don’t want all of our efforts in driving people to our website to result in them just hitting the back button. What good does that do? Let’s first… read more

Part 1: Five Things Your Hospital Should Be Doing To Engage In Social Media

April 20, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani, 2 Comments

[Note: This is the first part in a four-part series about the potential that social media holds for physicians and health care professionals.] The concept of hospitals engaging in social media is fairly new. Institutions like The Mayo Clinic and Children’s Hospital of Boston are using social media to make connections with patients, parents and the community. If you’re a healthcare organization and looking to jump into the mix, we’ve got a few tips for you to get the ball rolling! 1. Create an online identity. This first step seems logical but the data shows that many hospitals have yet to do this. Establishing an online identity by creating profiles on various social networking sites still scares away many hospital administrators. There are currently 5,975 hospitals in the United States according to the American Hospital Association (AHA). Ed Bennet’s blog “Found In Cache” states that only 906 of these hospitals… read more

How-To: Outsource Your Company’s Social Media Marketing Initiatives – Part 1

April 13, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani, 5 Comments

Okay so, you finally did it! You finally decided to get your business on Facebook and have outsourced the task to a social media marketing agency. It makes sense too as you’re a small-medium sized business already spreading your internal resources way too thin. Your social media marketing efforts are now out of sight, out of mind, right? Time to focus your attention back on your regular tasks, right? Wrong. I have to say it. You are wrong Mr. CEO / Ms. CEO. The words engaging, sharable, interactive should mean something to you by now. I’m positive you’ve heard them a time or two if you’ve made it to our online marketing blog before. You need to be all three and you need to be strategic and you NEED to make sure all efforts are in sync with your company culture. Since you’ve outsourced… your social media company needs to… read more

How to Turn Your Facebook Profile Into a Fan Page

March 31, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani, 17 Comments

Facebook has recently made available a tool which will allow you to convert your personal Facebook profile into a Facebook Page (also known as a Fan Page). A quick refresher: profiles are for people. Pages are for businesses, brands, puppies, and yes…people. So, a person can have a profile and a page, but a business for example, cannot have a profile. A business must have a page. If someone wants to friend you on Facebook, they go through your profile. This is a mutual relationship. If someone wants to connect with you, and you don’t know who they are, they can connect with you via a page by “Liking it.”  This used to be called “Fanning” a  page. You can turn your profile into a page by going here: This is perfect IF – 1)    You originally created a profile for your business instead of a page. 2)    You… read more

5 Ways to Measure Content Marketing Success

March 23, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani, 3 Comments

I sometimes wonder why there isn’t as much buzz about content marketing as there is social media marketing. Especially, when content marketing is the foundation of all good online marketing. Content marketing may not be as sexy sounding as social media, but it is absolutely crucial.  If you need some ideas for content marketing, I wrote a post a while back on 50 Ways to Serve Up Hot Juicy Content. This post is about how to measure the success of your content marketing. 1) Opt-Ins – This is the #1 way to see if your content has traction. Do people subscribe to it? Are they willing to trade their email address for your webinar or eBook or mp3? Does it entice them enough to opt-in? It doesn’t matter how well the content is written, it has to grab people’s attention. Our 22 page online marketing plan has hundreds of opt-ins… read more

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