Several years ago the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are to be treated as individuals in the eyes of the law. I certainly don’t agree with that as it pertains to campaign donations and other issues of democracy, but when it comes to the new age of marketing I couldn’t agree more.

Corporations, more than ever, need to become brands. Brands that are individualized. That have souls and stories that people (aka: consumers, targets) can get invested in. Brands are now being morphed and pressured into becoming content creators, media publishers and thought leaders.

This is the logical evolution of our society where those sitting in the tallest buildings feel the obligation to lead. From Nation States to Religion to Business it has been an organic movement through the ages. This is a natural role for business to take and I believe brands are up for the challenge, but to keep the relationship with their loyalists symbiotic their voice must stay authentic, must provide some sort of value and they must not lose their soul as they carry out their role.

The form must fit the function. The content must be true to who you are as a brand. If you have nothing to say, then say nothing. We are knee deep in an age of information oversaturation and as we navigate this challenging landscape those brands that will win will be “conscious businesses that find their dharma,” said best by the great mystic Ram Dass from the Love, Serve Remember Foundation and Social Venture Network.

Category : News


By: Todd Wasserman

Facebook’s Advice to Marketers: Post Stuff About Your Brand


I know after reading the title you are thinking that something this common might seem very obvious, but from a recent study by Sean Bruich, head of measurement at Facebook said, “Topics related to brand or about the brand were significant predictors of increased engagement.”  An example of what he means by this is from a post by a cruise line marketer stating, “I decided to go on my first cruise because ____,” performed better than one that said, “Hang in there everybody. Monday will be over before we know it.”

It may be some very simple advice and you might be telling your self that you already do it, but you would be surprised by how many people post content that has no relation to their service or product.  To help improve your pages engagement numbers lean towards posting relevant content of your product or service and see if it increases your engagement on your page.

Category : News

By: A.J. Jacobs via www.realsimple.com
How to be More Creative

One thing that everyone in the marketing and advertising world seems to have a problem with is how to be creative? Everyone claims to have a special technique that helps them open up their mind to create these masterpiece ideas.  Well A.J. Jacobs describes his passion of finding how to become more creative & if there is really an easy way to it.  He breaks his article down into seven different steps of ways to help to become more creative.

Jacobs begins his process with Welcoming Bad Ideas, were he calls a gentlemen by the name Rex Jung, whom tells him “it is important to accept failure, enjoy it, embrace the suck, for it is part of the process.” His second suggestion is, Being a Kid Again.  He attends a creative workshop in New York City, where he meets two people, Artist Alejandro Fogel & Novelist Shelly Berc whom describe to him how important it is to, “think less”, “stop being too logical”, and how childish activities help open the mind.  His third idea Flipping the Problem Over was taken from the famous Car maker Henry Ford and took the idea of the assembly line and used it with his kids.  Create a way to get his children to take their minds of one idea and embrace the whole picture in a faster and more resourceful way.

Jacobs decides that in his fourth point that Crowdsourcing or what is really brainstorming does not help for him, he found it to be a waste of time.  Although in the end it was not as productive as he hoped, he still gained what he was looking for through the simplest idea and took it upon him to expand on. Playing the Fool was probably his most successful as a theory that he believes to be creative you must first be open to embarrass yourself.  He joins an improve class to help speed up the process.  One of his last ideas The Finish Line showed him that to sit and think may not get you to the ultimate goal but it will get you achievements towards other ideas in the mean time.

Lastly Jacobs creates a list of 7 Habits of Highly Creative People, of how these terms have increased their creativity in their own lives.

1.)  Play

2.)  Borrow Ideas

3.)  Sleep on it

4.)  Collect Every Seed of an Idea

5.)  Embrace Constraints

6.)  Commune With Nature

7.)  Compete

Category : News

At the recent Social Venture Network Conference held in Skamania, Washington, The Young Mavericks session opened up the Members Gathering with an emotional bang as our own Jared Levy and Jocelyn Kay Levy (Wee Yogis Play)  spoke to “the young and the young at heart” members of Social Venture Network. Inspiring stories of the role that SVN has played in these young leaders lives let newcomers know the kind of impacting weekend they were in for.

Ram Dass, an original pioneer of SVN with Wayne Silby and Josh Mailman 25 years ago, was originally included to maintain a level of spirituality throughout this community of successful business leaders. Twenty five years later he inspires a new generation of SVN through this interview conducted by Jared Levy in which he speaks about the importance of SVN in our world today. Watch the video here:

However, it wouldn’t be SVN without some fun mixed in and so they broke out a top ten (ala David Letterman).


10. “Nice to meet you. Are you okay with a hug?”…”I’m a hugger”

9. You have 2 minutes with a total stranger to share your life long goals and dreams.

8. How late do they serve breakfast?

7. I actually have hope for the world now.

6. If you examine the capital investments in the emerging economies of South America and pair this with a collaborative horizontalsupply chain model learned from our friends to the East then you start to tap into a new paradigm where…..

5. “I really need to take a nap, but I can’t miss this session”

4. “You know ‘so and so?..I worked with their sister solving the water problem in Mauritania last spring”

3. I’m right down the hall from the hospitality suite (with enthusiasm)

2. I’m right down the hall from the hospitality suite (dragging with nothing left)

1. I’ve NEVER seen people dance like that before

“SVN has changed my life and sent me down a new path where I can use our powers for good.”-Jared Levy, CEO, Guru Media Solutions

Social Venture Network inspires a community of business and social leaders to build a just economy and sustainable planet. They work to achieve this mission by:

  • Providing forums, information, and initiatives that enable leaders to work together to transform the way the world does business
  • Sharing best practices and resources that help companies generate healthy profits and serve the common good
  • Supporting a diverse community of leaders who can effect positive social change through business
  • Creating a vibrant community that nourishes deep and lasting friendships
  • Producing unique conferences that promote the exchange of ideas and encourage the development of relationships and partnerships
  • Offering programs that support the spiritual, professional, and personal development of their members
Category : News


My daily life at GMS involves working one-on-one with clients (which I love), strategizing with my colleagues (which I love) and sitting for endless hours in front of the ol’ computer which, sadly, I do not love. Don’t get me wrong, I love all that brain-power strategizing and quiet writing time, but I miss working with my hands and feeling the physical exhaustion that comes from a hard day’s work.

One of our clients at GMS is Snyder Diamond, LA’s iconic kitchen and bath showroom  that started in 1949. Through them, I’ve befriended interior designer Sandy Koepke,  who designed the outdoor kitchen at Snyder Diamond’s Pasadena store. She invited me  last minute to join her at a “Dig-In” through LA Green Grounds, a grass-roots  community of volunteers who build edible gardens on the front lawn of homes all over  South LA to counteract what you call Food Deserts – vast stretches of urban areas with no grocery stores, only corner bodegas full of nutrient-poor convenience foods.

The family that applied to receive the vegetable garden invited their friends and neighbors to pitch in and a bunch of us LAGG volunteers showed up and in one day we cleared and prepped their entire front lawn and planted an edible garden. Once planted, LAGG will help to keep their garden growing. It’s a total win-win. And the garden serves as a beautiful and healthy example to the rest of the neighborhood.

To learn more about LA Green Grounds, check out their website and join us at the next Dig-In!

Category : Nonprofits | Philanthropy


In the midst of a struggling economy, Bonds Make It Easy sought to help people save for their future by investing in savings bonds. Identifying the early part of the tax season as a critical decision-making opportunity for individuals receiving their tax refunds, Bonds Make It Easy wanted to conduct an awareness-driven campaign geared towards empowering people with the knowledge that they could easily, safely and effectively save their tax refunds by investing in US savings bonds—and do it directly from their tax form.

The Goals:

  • Increase awareness for savings bonds at tax time
  • Drive partner outreach to create and leverage strategic partnerships on digital and social media

Our Approach:

gms was tapped to engineer a viral marketing campaign centered on creating strategic partnerships for Bonds Make It Easy within the digital ecosystem to increase awareness about savings bonds. Looking to make BMIE’s content as sharable as possible during the key period before April 17th, we employed the Spark widget from Call2Action. The Spark widget centralizes branded content and action portals in one place to function as a portable online engagement and marketing tool specifically created for nonprofits.

Understanding that consumers, partners, funders and other potential supporters all need a reason to care —and more importantly a reason to care enough to share—was at the foundation of our approach to this campaign. We worked outwards from BMIE’s established relationships to ensure that we realized their full potential and provided tools and information for distribution and brand building. This customized approach to relationship building, which we believe yields a high return on investment, made the Spark widget the perfect partner tool for this awareness-driven initiative.

Most useful in strengthening relationships, raising awareness of key messaging to partner communities, and centralizing viral content, the Spark widget was easily and effectively shared with and posted on our partners’ Facebook walls, Tumblrs, blogs and websites.

The Result:

Since the Spark widget launched in January 2012, the widget has been viewed over 30,000 times and is a major tool in raising awareness about BMIE’s Tax Time Savings Bonds campaign. Utilizing the widget as a partner tool has allowed BMIE to be creative in their partner outreach and viral marketing messaging despite a limited budget. True to its name, the widget has “sparked” curiosity and interest in the campaign from BMIE’s partners and their communities, including ChooseToSave.org, a highly trafficked, influential site and a major referrer to BMIE’s site.  ChooseToSave.org has featured the widget on their home page since the beginning of the campaign and contributed to millions of impressions.  Other partners who featured the widget on their Facebook walls, Twitter messages and blogs include: America Saves, Military Saves, Catholic Charities Fort Worth, RaiseTexas.org, and Campaign for Working Families, among many others. The Spark is truly the hit of this year’s social media campaign for BMIE and their partners, as well as for guru media solutions.

More About The Widget:

The Call2Action widget displays up to 4 tabs that can be customized, edited and changed throughout the campaign. Strategically choosing the most appropriate content, gms chose to include:

-       Videos from BMIE’s YouTube channel

-       A partner feature linking to a site where users can directly file their taxes

-       Two different pledge campaigns, including one for America Saves Week (2/19-26), featured on a pledge tab with info capture boxes that allow users to fill in their pledge and contact info.

*   *   *   *

guru is a nimble, creative, independent minded, digital marketing agency serving purpose-driven brands, organizations and campaigns. We specialize in growing digital businesses by connecting our clients with their customers across all digital platforms. It’s about focused research meeting smart engagement strategies and flawless execution. A mix of proven tactics and some good ole creativity.

It is Call2Action’s mission to become the de facto call-to-action badge. We are dedicated to furthering our partners’ goals through raising awareness, driving engagement, and building community. We are committed to ensuring our technology is simple to use, comprehensive in scope, and seamlessly integrated with leading industry applications.

Category : Case Study | News

“But the question a smart manager has to ask is, can I afford not to do this? Can I really afford not to engage with my readers? Am I willing to let the news conversation happen without my newsroom involved in it?”

- Jeff Sonderman, Digital Media Fellow at the Poynter Institute, “To Bot or To Tweet, That Is The Question” from ReadWriteWeb

Automation and social media can be a dangerous combination. With the multitude of shiny new social management tools available, it’s never been easier to “set it and forget it” across an entire digital ecosystem. Many times, after a brand sets up its initial social media presence, the tendency is to have all content sent to all channels using the least amount of resources.

Up until recently this was the approach of the New York Times. The Times has now implemented a team of social media editors in order to more directly participate in the ongoing online news conversation. This conversation extends into every business niche and major industry online. It’s unlikely that avoiding the conversation can, in any way, improve a business.

Not having any social presence is one way to avoid that conversation. Another way is having a branded presence and automating the content. There is a reason that so few of the world’s biggest brands have automated streams on Facebook and Twitter. Usually, when a social media strategy is a bot strategy, it’s going to attract bots. If a brand wants more human followers, it needs to behave like one in the social channels.

Over time, interacting actively and engaging in the space will bring more business and provide a better return on the social investment.

Category : Brands | News | ROI | Social Media | Trends


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