Elf on the Shelf Ideas (Part 2)

Last week I shared a few of the Elf on the Shelf ideas our family has done. Some were original ideas, and others I snagged from parents that are far more creative than I am.

Here are a few other Elf on the Shelf ideas that our crazy elf, Shiny, created.

Elf on the Shelf IdeaElf on the Shelf IdeaElf on the Shelf Idea

Elf on the Shelf Idea Elf on the Shelf IdeaElf on the Shelf Idea


Marketing Automation and Drupal

Marketing AutomationA strong lead management process requires B2B marketing professionals to respond to each prospect within the buying process. However, as your business grows, understanding and responding relevantly to a buyer’s interest is almost impossible to do manually. To ensure that your marketing efforts are targeting customers and prospects with the right messages at the right time, a marketing automation software is key.

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation software brings together content assets such as landing pages, emails, web events, etc. and delivers them to prospects at a time when it is most relevant to them in their buying cycle.

Knowing the “right time” is key to effectively engaging prospects with your brand. Conducting an analysis of your target audience and capturing demographic information, along with their interactions with your brand through your website and social platforms, allows you to qualify a lead and deliver to your sales team. Most marketing automation platforms integrate seamlessly with popular CRMs, so your sales staff can most likely continue to use their existing tools.

Marketing automation and Drupal?

I’m skipping ahead in the process and assuming you’ve already determined that you need a marketing automation software. The question now is “how effectively will this software integrate into a Drupal website?”

Drupal is definitely one of the better marketing platforms, and with a simple install of custom modules, the most popular marketing automation platforms can quickly be integrated with your Drupal Site.

Below are just a few examples of custom Drupal modules that have been created for marketing automation platforms:

  • Marketo Munchkin Module – (created by Mediacurrent‘s Damien McKenna) The Marketo Munchkin is a very simple module to output the Marketo Munchkin tracking code obtained from http://www.marketo.com/.
  • Eloqua Module – This module allows you to build webforms that directly parallel forms in eloqua, and can thereby be posted into eloqua.
  • Pardot Module – This module adds Pardot web analytics directly onto your Drupal site. It supports general visitor tracking, path-based individual campaign tracking, and path-based lead scoring.
  • Built In Module to Replace 3rd Parties – This module serves as a locally hosted replacement for 3rd party services like Pardot, Marketo or Eloqua, allowing you to track individual user paths through your site and assign rules for marketing automation in the form of drip campaigns triggered from user interaction.


Personally, I recommend every Marketing and Sales Director investigate marketing automation software. To truly grasp the value provided by marketing automation, a level of understanding is needed, which only develops from in-depth personal experience with the technology, or a thorough investigation of its core features and functions. In either case, plan to spend a significant amount of time learning the ins and outs of the solution features. However, I strongly believe that companies that implement a marketing automation system to support their marketing and sales efforts are better equipped to manage lead flow and process leads more efficiently.ketin

Elf on the Shelf Ideas (with photos)

Last year my mother-in-law gave us the Elf on the Shelf. It quickly became a holiday tradition and fun way for us to bring extra special “magic” to the holiday season. My son wakes up each morning wondering where “Shiny” is.

So, if your family has adopted the Elf on a Shelf tradition but find that you are running out ideas, here are a few that that we have done (and plan to do).

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Elf on the Shelf - Playing Hide-N-Seek

Elf on the Shelf - Making Faces

Elf on the Shelf - Wrapping the toliet

Elf on the Shelf - Christmas Countdown

Elf on the Shelf - Germ Free

Elf on the Shelf - Ipad self portrait

Elf on the Shelf - teacher

Update: Elf on the Shelf Ideas (part 2) 

Here are a few other ideas that Blossom Bunkhouse suggests:

1. Marshmallow fight — marshmallows everywhere
2. Pillow fight — feathers everywhere
3. Nerf gun fight — darts everywhere
4. Laundry fight — clothes everywhere
5. Lipstick on mirror message
6. Crepe paper barricade on their bedroom door that they have to bust through
7. Rearrange story books in ABC order or in a pile of disarray
8. Clean closet or make mess of closet
9. Fill tub with bubbles till the point of explosion
10. Hang from shower nozzle with a towel on
11. Unroll toilet paper roll on the floor, around Christmas tree, etc.
12. Zip down a zip line through the house
13. Caught sneaking candy
14. Eat milk and cookies
15. Organize school clothes — mismatched haha
16. Write a message on the on the snow covered car window
17. Create a paper chain with a bit of a mess to show for it
18. Hang child’s unmentionables on the Christmas tree
19. Hang from chandelier or ceiling fan
20. Make faces on school pictures with a marker
21. Take a spin in toy car/remote control car
22. Play board game with stuffed animal friends or action figures
23. Tea party with stuffed animal friends
24. Read book, newspaper, e-reader, ipad, computer, etc
25. Listen to child’s ipod
26. Play child’s DS/itouch
27. Play video games
28. Draw picture
29. Color in coloring book
30. Dump toybox

No “More” Marketing

We (consumers) are in an era that Jay Baer calls an “invitation avalanche.”

Think about it. Every where you turn you’re being invited to follow, friend, find, like, or share not only company’s information, but friends and family too. Even when your mom puts a message on Facebook, it dilutes all the other messages that are being shared. Messages that marketers are trying desperately to get you to engage with.

Marketers today not only have to compete with other businesses, but with everyone else that is sharing information. Not just on Facebook, but all social and email platforms. At lets face it, consumers go to great lengths to not encounter “marketing.”

How Do You Get Marketing Messages Seen?


Certainly not with “more.” Can’t we all agree that we don’t need to read more tweets, more Facebook updates, or more emails. What we (marketers) need is relevance. Or another way to say it is, helpfulness.

Case in point: Geek Squad. They have posted hundreds of “how to” videos on their Youtube Channel. These videos teach the exact things they charge customers for.

“Aren’t they giving away their business” you ask.

Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, was speaking at a conference a while back when a   member of the audience asked “Robert, you guys are in the fixing business, yet you’ve got all these videos that show people how to fix stuff without you. How does that make business sense?”

Robert responded with humor but dead on. He said “our best customers are the people that think they can fix it themselves.”

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve certainly paid for services like Geek Squad because I thought I could handle the project myself, but then quickly realized I was out of my depth of knowlege.

“Friend of Mine” Marketing

Your content should be so compelling that your audience allows your brand in their inner circle. Jay calls this “Friend of Mine” marketing. Meaning the content you’re producing is so relevant, that once your  target audience needs help, they are not going to “Google a company”, they’re going to call you. After all, they’ve watched your instructional videos, read your blogs, and downloaded your whitepapers—all of which were helpful to them.

Remember though, it’s not a quick close. Being useful in social media and content marketing is all about the long game.

Interview with Josh Clark: Mobile Design and Strategy

Josh Clark. Mobile DesignToday consumers regularly, if not exclusively, access online content on their mobile device. What does that mean for businesses? Where does mobile fit into your digital interface?

Yesterday I had the chance to chat with Josh Clark, Keynote Speaker for the Atlanta Drupal Business Summit and Drupalcamp Atlanta. Josh specializes in mobile design, strategy, and user experience.

In this interview, Josh previews his talks for both events and answers questions about mobile strategy and design such as:

  • What are the biggest hurdles companies face when “going mobile”?
  • What new mobile standards and technologies will Drupal need to embrace to stay relevant?
  • What are the next phases of responsive design?

Inspiring the next generation of web developers

Mediacurrent would like to extend an outstanding offer to local University students looking to major in technology, graphic design, or a web-based industry.

On October 27th, 2012, the 4th Annual Drupalcamp Atlanta is taking place at the Cobb Galleria Centre. We would like to sponsor up to 10 college students interested in attending. This event draws over 400+ Open Source developers, designers, and key IT decision makers from around the Southeast. 

Drupal is an open-source, community-driven, web-based content management system powering sites such as: Whitehouse.govGrammy.com, and Twitter.com. Students can learn about the most essential features and concepts of Drupal through hands-on activities. By the end of the day they will be familiar with Drupal terminology and be able to identify how many Drupal sites are constructed. 

Everything learned at this event will help better position them to potential employers—possibly even help land a paid internship. Currently in the Atlanta area there are close to 100 Drupal jobs being advertised!

Any students interested should email adam[dot]waid[at]mediacurrent[dot]com for more information.

Drupalcamp Atlanta and Drupal Business Summit.

The 2012 Drupalcamp Atlanta and Drupal Business Summit are coming this October!


She’s acquired numerous nicknames over the past few months. Lady Grace. GracieBelle. Lovey. Amazing Grace. “SweetGracieGirl,” from my son.

I call her, a blessing.

Building Your “Social Playlists” (Part 1)

I recently gave a presentation at the National Sales and Recruiting meeting at MATRIX.  For years I’ve worked with this group on how to find potential clients on social media. Not just how to find them, but how to effectively engage with them.  It’s not rocket science, but I would say it’s an “art form.” Strategically, yet relationally, building a trusted partnership with prospects using social media.

This year, my presentation centered around the theme of “getting organized.”

Let me tease out an analogy for you.

Most everyone reading this post has an iTunes (or some sort of MP3) library. We spend numerous hours and countless dollars downloading our favorite songs.  Studies show that the average iTunes library is roughly 7,000 songs.

We don’t listen to each of those songs every day, rather we have specific times of the day where only a certain type of song will do.  So, we build playlists.

We have our “gym mix,” our “driving with the windows down mix,” even our “My day deserves a glass of wine mix.”

We organize them so we can quickly find the type of song we’re looking for, the moment we need it.

Whether you’re in sales, leading a marketing department, or are a job seeker, you can apply these same principles to your social connections that you would to your iTunes library. Organizing them around your specific “target markets” so you can quickly find those connections when you need them.

Building Your Social Playlists.

How big is your social library? If you’re an avid social media participator, I’d bet between LinkedIn and Twitter your connections are well into the thousands.

How do you know if you’re connecting with the right audience, or if you’re just building a network full of (cough) “internet marketers”? You might have an impressive list of social connections but if they’re not in your target market, then you are simply wasting your time.

But Adam, how do I know if the connections I’m building are poised for not just good relationships, but are on their way to qualified leads for my business?

Ah, good question, and I’m going to pull a Ryan Seacrest, and say, “we’ll find out, after the break.”

In my next post, I’m going to show you, step-by-step, how you can organize your LinkedIn and Twitter connections. Putting them into “social playlists” that will enable you to, not only quickly find them, but also give you an indication if your connections truly will help bring in a ROI for your business. Or if you just have a large network full of “noise makers.”

“Don’t touch that dial.”

My Favorite iPhone App

I made the switch from Droid to Apple this past weekend.

The main reason I made the move was because my HTC Evo shift was beginning to have performance problems, with numerous stalls throughout the day, and there wasn’t another droid on the Sprint market that I was interested in.

This post isn’t to compare droid to ios, because you can find many of those discussions here or here. They can be heated.

Even as I was buying my new phone, the sales rep. continued to tell me why droid was better.

I will say, I love my new iPhone. Obsessively really. I spent most of the weekend reading blogs on users favorite apps.

The one I came across that is now at the top of my list (with Instagr.am as a close second) is Momento.

One of my goals for 2012 is to document more of “the little things” in life. A mini-personal blog if you will. Quick prayers. Small milestones in my children’s lives. A moment of clarity in a difficult decision.

Not a long journal (I have one of those), but just moments where I think to myself, I’d love to remember this.

Momento seems to be the perfect app. for this. Not only does it have a beautiful (award-winning) interface, but it allows me to capture moments however I see fit: with a photo, a Facebook update, Youtube video, etc.

I can even add “tags” to my moments. So in a few months, if I want to go back and read all my moments where I needed peace, or inspiration, or even a laugh, I can tag those moments appropriately, and re-read them. One functionality that a pen and paper wont allow.

What’s your favorite app?