Over the past week I had the pleasure of teaching a class of talented entrepreneurs about integrated marketing and how they can enhance communications with their target audience to grow their businesses. It was a fun, high-energy, interactive course with a group of great people who had much wisdom of their own to share.
Aside from being marketers of small businesses, we (myself included) are also buyers with loads of experience filtering over 3000 sales messages a day. Choosing the ones that make it through our consciousness and stand out in a cluttered media environment begs the question, why? What makes one marketing message stick and become memorable while the others pass right through the filter of our minds?
Relevance, timing and answering a prospect or customer’s “What’s In It For Me” question. This is what each member of the class was able to define, the incredibly important “unique value proposition” communicated in a way that resonates with their buyer.
Below are a few shots of entrepreneurs from the Squamish Nation presenting their businesses and keeping it real!
Every company needs to have a compelling brand image that promotes who they are and what they do. Equally as important is an integrated marketing strategy that reaches out effectively, making sure the business is relevant to its target audience.
Many of our clients are so busy focusing on their core business through direct sales that they often miss out on the chance to expand their awareness by casting a wider net to attract more potential buyers and referral sources. We’ve worked with entrepreneurs of fast-growing businesses from startups to multinationals and enjoy being around these incredible movers and shakers whose minds are forever filled with ideas and opportunities that they are acting on.
Companies can increase brand awareness and appeal to attract more customers and loyal brand enthusiasts by:
Having in-depth knowledge and understanding of the audience
Building a professional image that will appeal to the customer persona, and;
Finding ways to stay top of mind and on the radar in a sea of competition
1. Know Your Audience
You hear this all the time but it’s so true. In attracting a target audience, you have to know who they are and what they want and need. Research and understanding of your market and what motivates them to act is critical as a first step.
Having this information can help tailor specific messages that will resonate with your company’s various audiences and identify the best vehicles to reach them.
The Internet provides every business with immediate access to research and information on customers, competitors, industry and essentially everything you’ve ever wanted to know on a particular topic. Use it to your advantage and get to know your customer. Always a good idea to test your marketing message and offer to learn what lands best with your target market.
2. Brand Your Business Effectively
What impression do you have when you are called on by a company whose website looks like it is from the 1990’s? Poor branding immediately identifies that a company isn’t paying attention to first impressions or the opinions forming around its image. There are many talented designers and developers around today working for reasonable rates and a professional brand is a solid investment in your company’s success, so make it!
This is also one of the most effective ways to have potential customers pay attention to your business versus that of your competitor. Ensure you get a cohesive, strong look and feel developed and don’t forget to optimize your website for the mobile market or people will leave your site faster than you can say, “What just happened?”
Also remember that creating a brand is so much more than simply the design of a logo and other marketing materials, it is built through every touch point your target market has with your business and what that experience is for them.
3. Connect and Be Relevant
Relevancy means generating content such as video, audio, images, articles, or blogs that resonate with a company’s audience in order to truly connect with them. It has appeal as the viewer or listener has an affinity to it because they are either in buying mode for that type of product or service, they find something you write humorous and inspiring, or it is information that helps them in their personal or professional life.
Find out what matters most to your target customer and deliver compelling content that will appeal to them. Even better, encourage them to share it with others so you get that valuable word of mouth online too.
Once you have these three key areas covered, use them to make sure your business is everywhere your audience is, both online and off.
Your audience is reading the daily newspaper and magazines, watching the news on TV, seeing ads on billboards, buses and in store windows so advertising and public relations are your friends.
Ninety per cent of Canadians have access to high speed Internet and according to a new report by the Media Technology Monitor approximately 63% of social media users surveyed said they read Facebook posts, tweets and/or LinkedIn updates every single day. And who doesn’t search Google for a want or a need?
The following are the concrete, tactical approaches you can take to reach your audience.
In advertising, you control the message and when and where it goes. The drawback is it can be pricey to buy media space and have a campaign created. If you are going to do it, ensure you are really targeting your audience, have a creative, eye-catching advert and have some frequency – it typically requires at least 8 impressions for an ad to capture any sort of attention.
Public Relations on the other hand is when the media writes up your company in their publication because they believe you have a good story. This is golden exposure and hard to obtain as there hundreds or even thousands companies competing for the same editor or reporter’s attention.
In order to get their eyeballs on your story, it takes some skill and creativity in figuring out the right angle for a particular media outlet that is going to beat out all other competing stories. If you are a growing business then you probably have some good angles; it only requires figuring out what they are, and matching them to the right reporter’s or editor’s requirements. PR is more valuable than advertising because your audience will know you didn’t pay for the exposure. This third party credibility goes a long way.
Another offline tactic making a comeback is direct mail. These days we actually pay attention as we communicate more online than through snail mail. I bet you actually look at something colorful now when it comes in the mail as you can actually see and touch it.
One of our clients is a roofing business that has started leaving professionally designed doorknocker adverts (direct mail) at houses in prominent neighborhoods and is seeing great returns.
A catchy postcard to your target market may garner some attention too, especially if you have a compelling offer. Work with your creative team to figure out what that could be. A two-for-one is a great option for a restaurant, while a “try before you buy” works well for software companies or online dating sites.
We live online as much as we do offline. Ensuring your website appears professional, provides a good first impression and gives visitors information quickly is paramount. As mentioned already above, in the mobile society we now live in your site should be responsive and easily viewed on a smartphone or tablet.
Once you have a compelling website presence, or rather online storefront, it’s time to reach out to your customers on a regular basis. You can do this through an email campaign that is properly branded that contains relevant information, an offer or an invitation to an event.
The other great aspect to email marketing is that you can track open rates and see what information people are clicking on to assess their interest in the content you are delivering. A good do-it-yourself tool that is free if your contact list is small is www.mailchimp.com and they have some decent HTML templates that a business can use if budget is an issue. A professionally designed template, however, can further bump up your readership and brand-recognition, ensuring that your company is represented as best as possible in front of your target customer or investor.
If you are going to enter the world of social media, it can helpful to hire someone who knows what they are doing to set you up. Having a poor social media presence is similar to a bad website; it will deter your market and leave a negative impression. On the other hand, have social media profiles that are well branded and have at minimum one relevant post/engagement a day will go a long way to improving your outbound communication.
These tactics can be automated so they’re not as labour intensive, but personalizing the content is important to make sure it’s relevant to the target customer. These basic marketing ideas are a springboard to ensure your business is looking good, engaging the right people and staying top of mind.
In assessing the many reasons video is leading in marketing popularity what stands out most is that it can capture an audience’s attention and tell a compelling story in as little as 35 seconds. Video enhances trust as a potential buyer is able to assess a company’s brand essence and/or a person’s expertise through motion, sight and sound quicker than the written word or still images alone.
Following is a testimonial video we produced for a client who is a real estate developer out of Calgary, Alberta. Their recreational development, Mountain Shadows RV Resort, is a beautiful piece of paradise located in Radium, B.C.
The video was created to give potential lot purchasers an idea of the experience they would have in owning at the Resort. The footage was shot impromptu using a point and shoot camera (which I wouldn’t normally recommend), however our amazing videographer Mat, did a great job putting the entire production together as a high quality video.
Other interesting facts about video:
It’s 6X more likely to turn a website looky-loo into a buyer.
20% of people may read text on a web page vs 80% who will watch the same content in video format.
A company’s website is 50X more likely to be ranked on the 1st page of Google with a video on it.
100 million online users watch at least one video per month. (This includes silly viral cat videos but still…)
90% of online shoppers say video influences their shopping decisions and retailers say it helps them sell more product.
Search engines rank videos higher than most other content on the web, especially if the video is “tagged” properly.
75% of executives told Forbes that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week.
Did you know that YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine? People enjoy having a more personal experience which is what happens when we picture ourselves in a production whether it’s “virtually” meeting a potential service provider speaking on a topic of interest or placing oneself in the natural surroundings of Mountain Shadows Resort.
Video is also a powerful way to reach a large audience given the production targets the right buyer and is entertaining, touching or interesting enough to go viral. If so, it can be shared amongst thousands or hundreds of thousands of social media users within days. A video acts as your 24/7/365 a day sales professional that works on your behalf even while you sleep or are having fun on the golf course!
Companies of all sizes need to make video part of their integrated marketing strategy and it doesn’t have to be flashy or expensive as demonstrated in the Mountain Shadows example above. Take note however, a video should be professionally produced in order to set the right tone and try to keep it under 3 minutes long or you may loose the viewer. We only have so much mind share available in today’s busy world which is why video is an ideal medium for influencing the customer and telling our company’s story.
Now’s the time when many people are preparing to spend the holidays with family and friends, wrapping up another year of business and looking at what 2013 will bring. For us here at Activ8, it’s been a fun and progressive time working with great clients and adding another component to our business, training professionals to be social media savvy.
We love what we do in the creative industry sharing ideas and strategies that help people and businesses to succeed. What we enjoy most is empowering others to be highly effective communicators delivering their talents and value offerings to the world through their businesses. I recently taught a class for the Squamish Nation’s Small Business Program where entrepreneurs can learn how to use social media to advance their business communications. The new course was a huge success and I’m grateful to program administrator, Geena Jackson for presenting us with this wonderful opportunity.
And a recently fun find for corporate Christmas gifting is a company called Sugar Cookies and Confections who I think does a fantastic job of helping businesses to spread festive cheer with their customers while sending a brand message in a fun, tasty and memorable way.
Another fabulous idea whether for corporate clients or personal purposes is to give the gift of art and culture throughSpirit Works Authentic Aboriginal Artwork. These beautiful bentwood boxes in Coast Salish style are an excellent way to express your gratitude to someone important.
The boxes are also quite practical for using in the home or at the office!
Merry Christmas to all! May this Christmas season bring you together with your favorite people sharing in the holiday spirit. Best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2013.
On October 30th, I co-hosted an evening of enlightening conversation on “Trust, Values and Investing” with Bonnie Foley-Wong of Pique Ventures.
Wet weather aside, there was a fantastic turnout of diverse entrepreneurs and investors interested in learning about a values-based approach to investing and intuitive decision-making, in addition to how effective, authentic communication helps to build trust and rewarding relationships.
The evening consisted of an open dialog where people candidly shared their experiences, whether it was entrepreneurs seeking investors aligned with their values and strategic vision or investors looking for companies they can believe in and support.
Some questions that arose included:
How can I find out if a business or individual is the “real deal” and not simply hiding behind a slick web presence?
Does social media provide a good foundation for connection with others? Do I need to be visible online as an individual?
How do I identify alignment to assess a fit with investors or when making an investment?
What role does intuition play in the decision making process?
Reputation was the starting point to the conversation. Learning about an individual or company in order to assess a good fit on both sides of investing or deal making is crucial. How do they communicate through all touch points with their audience? What is the individual or business known for? Do they walk their talk? What is their tone of voice, values, brand character and culture saying about them? By asking around and checking social media channels and conventional media, you can gain an idea of who the person or organization is and how they operate.
Research shows that consumers believe 90% of word of mouth and online feedback on a brand verses a meager 40% trust in paid advertising.
A big brand like Nike or Apple has developed a high degree of trust in the marketplace as a familiar household name with quality products, consistent customer service and brand awareness built up over an extended period of time.
What does a start-up company or an entrepreneur do without a visible web presence? Get one. A LinkedIn profile at the very least will assist a potential buyer with their due diligence when they want to find out about you and your business. Google is the first place most of us check when considering what restaurant to eat at, what car to buy, what stock to invest in and who to do business with. Information that shows up in a targeted search provides the first point of contact. This helps to create a degree of trust that connecting with an individual or business will lead to a positive experience. Done correctly, it’s a powerful door opener.
I’m always surprised when I meet the odd entrepreneur that says they want to stay anonymous online as it will definitely stifle business opportunities when a prospect is searching for what their business offers. That said, there are circumstances where a company succeeds in using a direct sales approach only. While still possible to reach targeted prospects, it ups the game tremendously when an individual or business has an online profile that is active and engaging.
Most people in the room that night agreed that the digital age we live in creates many opportunities to deliver a compelling message and connect with a large network of like-minded people who could become customers, investors and loyal supporters; although it doesn’t replace face-to-face meetings if the stakes are high.
When it comes to raising sizable venture capital from the angel community or other financiers, nothing beats an in-person meeting where an entrepreneur can share their passion, experience and business acumen; and a potential investor can use the tried and true method of “gut instinct” combined with facts to decide if the business and individual are a solid investment.
I encourage you to visit Bonnie at Pique Ventures and follow her social media channels as she offers a tremendous amount of valuable insights and advice for investors and entrepreneurs looking for the right investment connection. Think of her as your personal entrepreneur/investor matchmaker where she puts people together who are aligned in values, vision, interests and investment style. She is turning the old school investing model on its head to create a better world by bringing together innovators and social capital that results in positive change.
People used to invest in businesses they knew well – their neighbour’s business, local businesses, a friend’s business…
Stock exchanges and mutual funds made investing more accessible and more efficient, but we’ve become more distant from our businesses. The economic crisis of 2008 caused many people to lose confidence in stock markets, in banks, and in their financial advisors.
However, with new technologies, social media, and crowdfunding platforms, things are changing. Or are they? At our Crowdfunding event in August, some people asked how we could tell the difference between a scam or an authentic project.
Building trust in an investment relationship between investors and entrepreneurs
What are investors relations or corporate relations?
What roles do social media and marketing play in building trust and investment relationships?
This is the fifth of a series of events held monthly to talk about a different approach to investing. We thought we’d cut to the chase and start talking about the things that help us or prevent us from investing with our values.
In the old days before the vast power of the Internet to share information, groups of people (most often friends and family) would pitch in to offer financial support for an individual or organization’s project or cause, ensuring it could be funded and completed.
By today’s understanding, crowd funding has become synonymous with fundraising through social media networks that exist on all sorts of topics, where the beneficiaries of the funds can be for-profit or non-profit organizations. Social media presents a powerful platform to create a movement, especially when emotion is involved.
Take the well-publicized story of the New York grandmother who was harassed on a city bus a few months ago by a group of youths. A bystander caught the event on video and posted it to the Internet. A kind man, Max Sidorov of Toronto saw the heart-wrenching video of Karen Klein’s traumatic bus experience and created a $5,000 campaign on Indiegogo.com to give Klein a much-needed vacation. Over 30,000 donors saw the campaign video and responded, raising over $700,000. That’s a lot of support by a group of empathetic people moved by her experience. And good for Max for initiating such a cause.
He wanted a watch that allowed him to check emails where he could simply look down at his wrist instead of dropping his smartphone while he was riding. The campaign raised just under $10.3 million on the popular crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter in early 2012 from nearly 69,000 backers having initially sought only $100,000.
The watch was popular because of its cool factor, uniqueness, style, usefulness and versatility with the functionality of computer applications such as email and social media that make it convenient and easy for athletic people to stay connected.
There are four models of crowd funding that exist today:
Rewards – funders receive a non-financial reward in return which could include pre-buy of the product, name credits/public recognition or an act of appreciation of some kind.
Donations – funders believe in a particular cause and have a desire to help so donate money to advance the project without any expected return. (philanthropic motives)
Equity – funders are excited about a new venture and believe it will provide monetary gain in the way of an investment in the project/company. They are investors in the business and gain equity or have profit sharing arrangements.
Loans – funders lend a principal amount of money to a venture collecting interest for the term period, similar to a bank, and expect their principal returned upon maturing of the loan.
A crowd funding project that does well is like any successful business, the product or service serves some purpose in society where people are excited about owning and using it, or their emotional buttons are pushed and they donate to a cause where they feel their contribution can make a difference.
Anyone with a good idea where their story is well told and appeals to the “crowd” can use online funding methods however the individual has to keep in mind that there must be a community that has developed around the project, or one that exists somewhere that can be accessed. If people do not know about a project, they won’t rally around it.
There are numerous examples of individuals or business putting up a crowd funding profile without a compelling enough reason for virtual backers to get behind it. And without a solid marketing program, it’s the old tree in the woods analogy. If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, did it really fall? The same applies with crowd funding. Using the power of social media, one needs a great product or service and a sound marketing strategy. There are circumstances where a video like the grandmother bullied on the bus goes viral because it yanks at people’s heartstrings, or a cat keying a piano is shared millions of times because it’s so different from what we are used to seeing.
It’s the same with traditional media, any project’s “story” that is highly innovative and useful, or out of the ordinary in an entertaining way has public interest value and therefore gets shared. Popular project categories with strong stories that tend to get funded most often include: the arts, film, food, technology and philanthropy, among others.
Websites like Kickstarter.com and Indiegogo.com are online crowd funding platforms that allow individuals, companies or causes to upload information on their project where donations are collected through secure payment processes such as Paypal and donors can easily share the information with their social media networks.
As mentioned above, one doesn’t require a lot of resources to upload a profile and tell a story through a crowd funding platform however once you obtain the funding, you must follow through with your promise of delivering the goods or services or you will loose all credibility and could face lawsuits.
Nonprofits have also used crowd funding very successfully. Organizations like the Red Cross raised money online for their humanitarian projects such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
In order to build a community that will support crowd funding or micro-donations, it’s important to target Internet-savvy people, (the GenX and GenY, 45 or younger adult population) who are comfortable with online transactions. Most are educated, technology friendly and appreciate products like watches, game consoles, and art, and are comfortable donating online.
Recently online crowd funding entered the North American equity markets as policy makers in the United States passed a bill known as the JOBS Act signed by President Obama on April 5, 2012. This act allows for a wider pool of small investors to take an equity stake in a company with fewer securities restrictions. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is currently working on specific rules and guidelines to enact the legislation while still protecting the needs of the investor. This opens up a new playing field for entrepreneurs and the investment community. Finance groups are lobbying around equity crowd funding in Canada, however, at this time it remains illegal.
That said, we are most likely not going to let more of our talent and capital flow south of the border. Eventually our regulators will figure out a way to protect the investor so that we can be competitive with our U.S. neighbors, not to mention the UK and Australia who have been using online equity crowd funding successfully for some time.
Where do you think this new channel of fundraising will lead our businesses, economies and societies? We’d enjoy hearing your thoughts.
Crowdfunding is a fairly new term born with the uprising and mainstreaming of social media. Essentially, it is using crowdsourcing to raise funds by asking a community of members that care about a business, product, service, or cause to contribute to the financing and progress of the project. Especially in today’s lean economy, it’s easier to ask 100,000 people loyal to a brand to donate $1.00 to a venture or cause they believe in rather than asking 1 person to part with $100,000 of their hard earned money.
1) Interest – something that captivates emotion, tells a strong story and is lead by a real person with passion and authenticity.
2) Community – the venture must have an existing network of community and brand advocates to validate the story and is the first point of traction in order to initiate a successful crowdfunding campaign.
3) Cool Perks – most campaigns give-a-way fun stuff that you receive in exchange for your donation such as singing lessons or an artist may include you in their creation. eg. Having your picture on the cover of their album.
In this video Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub explains Crowdfunding:
This video shows the tremendous impact social media is making in our lives. Adoption is here and this form of communication is how we now share information and opinions on our experiences everyday. Enjoy the video and let us know how you see it changing our world.
Social media and potential legal issues can strike the fear of God into any corporate decision maker, especially the CEO of a public mining company who must abide by strict securities and environmental laws, not to mention brand management of the company’s good name.
It is clear that business sectors with tight rules and regulation such as finance, healthcare and mining are late to the social networking party because they are most often not sure how to implement it effectively and are afraid of provoking the regulators or facing a lawsuit by a disgruntled investor.
Although their concerns for hesitation are understandable, there can be, however, more potential risks in lost opportunities and a lack of reputation management online by not being “in the room and in the deal”, so to speak.
Canada ranks fourth for having the highest Internet users per capita in the world, and over half of these users are on social media. In fact, we Canucks spend almost twice the number of hours online (43.4 hours) over others in our global community each month. Sites such as Facebook (845 million users), Twitter (465 million users) and LinkedIn (150 million users) continue to grow exponentially in worldwide daily use.
Social networking also influences consumers’ buying decisions. When we read posts of others’ experiences with companies, either positive or negative, we tend to listen and weigh our decision to engage with the business accordingly. Consulting firm Booz & Co. thinks that social media is a great way to influence buyers and will eventually result in $30 billion in global social commerce revenue ($14 billion in the U.S. alone).
It’s important for companies, both public and private to recognize the opportunity that exists to capture their audiences’ attention online and manage their brand’s reputation. This can safely be achieved while reducing regulatory risk by following some basic rules and ensuring that all employees are well versed and know the policies for interacting in social networks.
As brand advocates and communicators, we regularly receive questions around data privacy, copyright, spam and compliance. For this reason, we asked an expert Internet lawyer, Jeffery Wittmann (Partner at Wiebe Douvelos Wittmann LLP, to provide guidance to companies that want to participate in channels online with greater confidence and ease. When I met Jeffery, he was personable, knowledgeable and open to sharing his fascination with the law and how technology is changing our lives, and our businesses.
Q. Can you tell us about your background and your experience with online communications relevant to the law?
A. I’ve been practicing law for 20 years. 15 of which have been in advising companies that rely heavily upon the Internet, either as a marketing tool or through which to provide wares and/or services. As Canadians are among the highest Internet users in world, it serves companies to know their way around the benefits and potential pitfalls of using the Internet, including social media.
Q. How do you advise companies to navigate this rapidly evolving area?
A. Depends on the company and its business, however Canada’s privacy laws are the first point of contact for businesses collecting personal data. In drafting ‘Privacy Policies’ for their websites, we ensure that the companies’ customers know what use, if any, will be made of the information they may provide. This information includes any credit, personal or vital statistical information or such digital information as the “cookies” users leave behind when surfing companies’ websites.
If the company is publicly traded then counsel focuses on the rules prescribed by the Securities Act. For example, a public company should never post about any event that could be considered to be “material” information under the securities legislation before the material event takes place and is announced through proper disclosure channels.
Q. In relation to employee privacy, does the employer have a right to use social media channels to “check-up” on an employee? e.g. To see if he/she is actually sick or posting information on Facebook that proves otherwise?
A. Several provincial and federal laws govern privacy. In BC, companies should be aware of the provisions of the provincial Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection Act and the federal Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act.
There have been cases whether employers have used information found online to investigate persons seeking employment. There have also been cases whether employers used social media to check on employees. It’s really a question of balancing competing rights or privileges. The Federal Privacy Commissioner has sought to strike a middle-ground between an employer’s right to manage its business through monitoring and an employee’s right to privacy. The Commissioner has recommended that companies should monitor the online acts of their employee only as a last resort. The monitoring must be effective in its stated purpose, proportionate in benefit to the privacy sacrificed, and no more intrusive than any other form of action.
If an employee has set his or her privacy settings on the relevant social media site so that his or her status and profile are visible, then such information may be treated as being public and the employee should not be surprised if the employer makes use of such information. In addition, employees need to be careful in posting about their employer on social media sites. Companies have a right to protect their copyright s and trademarks and to ensure that they are not the subject of defamation.
Many companies that we (Activ8) work with are publicly listed and have fear around posting a statement online that could get them into hot water with the securities regulators or even sued by an investor, both understandable concerns.
Disclaimers are to be placed on all social media pages belonging to the company
No misleading information and the company should be completely transparent
Links should be posted to SEDAR filings with any reference to the filing discussed online
Third party endorsements such as analyst reports or media coverage should be linked to the author and state a company disclaimer
Social media training for employees online is highly suggested
Corporate governance and employee policy should be in place
Q. Is there anything else, we should add to this list?
A. Taking your last point, I’m often called upon to draft corporate governance policies for my clients. These policies could include a code of conduct for online communication (for example, proscribing the use of foul or potentially defamatory language); whether or not postings to the site are monitored by the client; and, as mentioned earlier, what use the company will make of information provided by users of its website.
Q. If a comment is posted on a company’s Facebook page by an Investor Relations Representative and an investor or financial professional regards it as misleading, how can the company best manage this public communication from a legal perspective?
A. This is where disclaimers come in. The posting needs to clearly state that the information may be based on certain assumptions that may change and that such changes may be material. As a result, the user needs to know that there is a risk in relying upon the given posting. If disclaiming language was not used, the company should not seek to redress the error on its own. It should always seek legal advice before trying to address the investor’s concern.
Q. What are the Canadian rules and guidelines around electronic public dissemination?
A. Companies and particularly public companies need to abide by proper disclosure regulations. Several months before Twitter was even created, Bill 198 was passed in Canada giving investors a statutory right to act against public companies for material misrepresentations made in public disclosure and for failure to disclose material changes in a timely manner. Companies have to ensure that information imparted in this matter is not out of context or is carefully thought out in advance of being posted.
In addition, several provinces have enacted legislation the result off which is to treat electronic documents or contracts in the same manner as those made on paper. For example, in BC, the Electronic Transactions Act provides that electronic contracts are just as binding as contracts on paper provided the electronic contract is accessible by the recipient; capable of retention by the recipient and capable of being stored for subsequent reference.
Q. What of Spam in social media channels?
A. In December 2010, the Federal Government passed legislation with the rather unwieldy title: “An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act”. Otherwise known as Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation, some provisions have yet to come into force; however, companies are well-advised to start preparing now in order to comply with the Act.