By Pam McNamara on November 22, 2014


Do You Know Jon Loomer? (Hint: Facebook Guru)

Facebook is a way of life now for 800 million people per day on this planet. Amazing. But Alex Madrigal says in Atlantic Magazine this month, their future is still far from secure. His article speaks mainly about individual users, not brands.

All this made me think of my clients and many other brands who use Facebook now as another direct channel to reach their customers and future customers. Brands need to follow their customers….if their customers leave Facebook (which I don’t see happening any time soon)….brands need to learn how to connect on “the next new thing”.

We all know how hard it is to keep up with fast pace of change in social, plus Facebook’s near weekly updates and new ways of doing things. This is where Jon Loomer comes in. I find his advice very helpful and plain spoken. Check out his blog here. 


Categories: Social Media


By Pam McNamara on November 3, 2014


Content Marketing Gets Personal

I think you all know that I lead the marketing effort for Be Smart. Be Well., the content brand for Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL, TX, OK, MT, and NM.

During Nov-Dec 2014, we are focusing on the 7 million Americans managing the challenges of long-distance caregiving. We did a subject matter expert audio interview with Amy Goyer of the AARP. And we did a personal audio story with me.

My colleagues know about the situation my family and I have been managing for our parents, in particular for our mom, these last 7 years. So they asked me if I could contribute our family’s story, which I decided to do.

You can hear the interview here.

The first half I talk about how our family has managed our mom’s situation. In the second half I zoom out to give some advice to long-distance caregivers in general. We took a one hour audio interview and edited down to 5 mins.

If you follow Be Smart. Be Well on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter, you will see some posts over next 6 weeks on this topic.

I hope my story, which is definitely my family’s story, can help other families come together to manage complex care situations for their loved ones.

From the bottom of my heart, I know my sisters, brothers and I are doing our best to help our parents during these difficult years. It’s been some of the hardest work any of us has done, but there have been incredible moments of joy and grace too.

Categories: Content Marketing, Life & Work


By Pam McNamara on October 17, 2014


Happy Friday!

It’s been quite a week here at Prairie Orange. Now it’s about 3 pm on Friday. This is the time of week I find myself kicking around Pinterest doing the curation work for my client Be Smart. Be Well. I came across this photo that put the biggest smile on my face. Hope you have a similar reaction!

Categories: Marketing In Real Life, Social Media


By Pam McNamara on September 22, 2014


How to Start Content Marketing in a Highly-Regulated Industries

My client Be Smart. Be Well. (BSBW) and I had the opportunity to present at Content Marketing World on September 10, 2014 in Cleveland. BSBW is the content brand from Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL, TX, OK, NM, and MT.

The focus of our presentation was to provide direction and tips on how to get a content marketing program started, even if your brand operates in a highly regulated environment like healthcare, financial services or government. You can do it!

Here’s how:



>Start with sub-branding
>Set up an internal content marketing lab to gain traction
>Harness the power of video storytelling
>Use integrated marketing approach / omni-channel
>Measure everything that makes sense

For more details, you can download the presentation here.

Categories: Content Marketing


By Pam McNamara on June 5, 2014


Shareaholics Study: YouTube Pummels Facebook In Post-Click Engagement

These social engagement rate findings are truly worth pondering. Don’t give YouTube the short stick. Take pause with the hype about those content discovery engines like Stumbleupon.

From AllFacebook’s blog:

Brands on Facebook striving for engagement would be wise to heed the power of videos, as a recent study by Shareaholic found that post-click engagement with Facebook posts trailed far behind the results delivered by YouTube, and also lagged behind Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Shareaholic examined six months’ worth of data from more than 200,000 websites reaching more than 250 million unique monthly visitors.

Categories: CRM, Social Media


By Pam McNamara on April 5, 2014


Win-Back Programs Work: I’m Back!



After 5+ year break, the Chicago Tribune won me back today as a print (4 days) and digital editions subscriber.

How did they do it? Marketing Tip: they delivered free samples to my door step for a week, which allowed me to reconnect with the paper and see how the quality has returned/improved. Plus it was easy to do the transaction online. Nice job to the marketers and the UX site designers.

When was the last time you went back to a brand?

P.S. And no, I have not yet run the ROI on what the Tribune invested with free issues to get me back. I guess that will depend on how long I stay….

Categories: CRM, Marketing In Real Life


By Pam McNamara on March 18, 2014


Be Smart. Be Well. Join Us

As many of you know, I have been part of the content marketing team supporting since 2011. is an award-winning consumer health website produced by Health Care Service Corporation, the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer. At the forefront of the video storytelling health-information movement since 2007, BSBW helps people manage important health topics like childhood obesity, STDs, food safety and more with videos and articles that feature health experts and real-life people. Produced in collaboration with medical experts and leading health organizations, like the Centers for Disease Control, BSBW is a non-commercial, informational resource available to the public.

As we close out 2013, I am proud of the work we’ve done and what we accomplished. has built a community of 110,000+ subscribers, fans and followers, and generated 156,000 site visits and 1 million video views across 13 different topics. All this was accomplished with a client and agency team of 6 people and media budget less than $100k.

You can appreciate the heart and soul of’s content marketing strategy with this “Life Stories to Help Us All” video.

Won’t you join us for 2014?

Sign Up: Spotlight newsletters and news alerts

Social: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Categories: Content Marketing


By Pam McNamara on February 17, 2014


Bye Bye Blackberry

After nearly 14 years, I am no longer using a Blackberry.

At the T-Mobile store in Oak Park, IL on Feb. 13, I dropped my two year “relationship” with AT&T and turned off my iPhone 3G and my Blackberry Torch 9800. The salesman and I held a little good-bye ceremony for the Blackberry. And then I fired up my new iPhone 5S. I love it.

Synchronizing the iPhone 5S with my iTunes account was a breeze – including selectively porting over the 10 days of music / 20 GB, 24 hours of podcasts, and 55 apps I have organized on my iTunes database. Think about it —  iTunes is one of Apple’s most significant customer retention initiatives.

I will miss Blackberry’s keyboard and its functionality. But that no longer makes up for all the other negatives. Furthermore, I am no longer writing the same number of “War & Peace” emails on my smartphone as I used to. Every type of corporate communication is much more abbreviated now.

One day, Harvard Business School will be doing a business case on the fall of RIM and the Blackberry (if they have not done so already). One thing I know as a marketer is Blackberry never understood individual consumers. They squandered the passion millions of consumers had for their device, from President Obama to Oprah Winfrey to me. The consumer mindset was simply not hardwired into the DNA of Blackberry’s culture or infrastructure. This fact still feels tragic to me.

P.S. A note about my switch from AT&T to T-Mobile:  T-Mobile’s “no contact” plan is what sold me to switch, plus I am saving about $25 a month. They have been aggressive in their marketing to get the word out on this plan. It is working for them enough that AT&T is firing back with similar offer. But here’s the deal, my two year contract with AT&T was up on Feb. 8, 2014. Did the company ever contact me once to inform me of new offers? NO. AT&T was hoping I wouldn’t notice the contract end date and hoped I would just keep paying what I was paying. Not much of a customer retention strategy if you ask me.

Categories: CRM, Customer Experience


By Pam McNamara on February 13, 2014


Responsys Finalizes Merger with Oracle

Last week Responsys finalized their merger with Oracle (Feb. 6, 2014). Why did Oracle buy Responsys?

  • Marketing orchestration is complex but critical now — This is Responsys’ B2C sweet spot, while complimenting Eloqua’s B2B marketing orchestration capabilities, so Oracle can offer these capabilities to their customers.
  • The Modern Marketing Cloud – Marketing technology is the first major business market of the cloud computing era and Oracle is capitalizing on this. The modern era is definitely here. See Scott Brinker’s take on this.

The chart below explains Oracle’s move in a nutshell:






PDF Source

What are your thoughts? Was this move good for Responsys’ current clients?


Categories: Integrated Marketing, Marketing Technology


By Pam McNamara on January 6, 2014


5 Marketing Stats to Drive 2014

As marketers their plans for launch 2014, here are 5 important stats to keep in mind, courtesy of These and more will drive your strategies and tactics over next 12 months:

1) Content: Nearly 50 percent of companies have detailed content marketing strategies. Do you?

2) Content: 78% of CMOs think custom, original content is the future of marketing.

3) Email: Emails with social share buttons increase click through rates by 158%.

4) Social: Social media budgets (for editorial and advertising) will double over next 5 years.

5) Social: 52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013.









Hat Tip: “Marketing Mix Tape” from


Categories: CMO, Content Marketing