Oct 01

When push marketing isn’t so bad

Posted by Mandy Minor, marketing strategist and copywriter   I resisted starting Twitter and Facebook accounts for awhile, but now I’m on both and like them.  They are two small parts of the new social-media-as-marketing applications.  I like them so much because they represent an economical form of push marketing.

TV ads are traditional push: Show your stuff on TV and the right customers for you will respond.  Works great, but takes a big budget.

Guerilla marketing came in to save the bucks but took a lot of time and required you to do a lot of work to ferret out a few “good fit” customers and get them to listen to your message.  Not so fun.

Now social media combines the best of both – push marketing, but to the right people with less effort!  Don’t get me wrong; your messaging must be relevant and meaningful, which takes work.  But you just write it once, post it once, and watch people respond.  Love it!

Every day I get a new follower on Twitter, and who knows?  They – or someone they know – could become a client.

Just be careful what you post.  Before hitting “post” or “update,” think about who might see your words; realize that they will likely live on the Internet forever.


Sep 01

Working with web designers

Posted by Mandy Minor, marketing strategist and copywriter   A friend posted the webpage below on his Facebook page and I couldn’t resist using it as fodder for a blog post.  It’s called “If Architects Had to Work Like Web Designers,” and as you might imagine it’s a tongue-in-cheek look at the web project process.

We love our clients and love the work we do.  And we know there’s no way for anyone other than a web developer to know what goes into web development.  But I think it’s safe to say that it’s a fair bit more complicated than most clients know.

So, check out this webpage and see what many web developers wish they could say out loud.


Jan 30

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Or, a tale of two logos.

Two recent news items about companies that changed their brand identity got us thinking about the necessity of such changes.

One is Pepsi’s new logo.  Greeted with some admiration but mostly angry backlash over the million-dollar budget that produced a logo only slightly different than its predecessor, the new logo begs the question, Was this necessary?

The other is the new Tropicana packaging, which was also met with dismay by consumers and industry folks alike.

Interestingly, both of these projects were done by Arnell Group, and we’re really curious to know one thing: Did they ask Pepsi and Tropicana customers if they wanted a brand redesign?

To our thinking, both new product identities look generified and are in no way improvements over what had been in use for years.  But it doesn’t matter what we think, as design professionals.  What matters is what we think as customers – us and the millions of other Pepsi and Tropicana customers.  And we think Arnell Group didn’t bother to find out.

All too often companies want to change their look, get a new website, or update their logo “just because.”  Because they’re tired of looking at it.  Because their competition did.  Or because their ad agency suggested it.

But none of these are good reasons.  And in fact there is only one good reason to undertake such a task: Because your customers want it.

We’re all guilty of putting the cart before the horse and charging down Marketing Lane without first getting the input and approval of our customers.  Lucky for us smaller businesses such moves are rarely disastrous, because we can easily change back and don’t have a client base of millions to potentially piss off.  And make no mistake, people are emotionally invested in their favorite brands and get mighty pissed off about changes to them!

Regardless, now is a good time to re-learn the lessons of “look before you leap” and “if it’s not broken don’t’ fix it.”  And lucky for us, we can learn these lesson vicariously through Pepsi and Tropicana, rather than first-hand.


Aug 01

What’s the most important part of your online ad?

Posted by Mandy Minor, marketing strategist and copywriter   In the ads we develop we stress the image.  Even small ads can have images, and images are what people notice first.  It’s human nature to be drawn to smiling people, kids, and animals, so it’s no coincidence that many ads – particularly those selling the intangible, like car insurance – use these tactics.  Since the purpose of most ads is to pique interest and drive traffic to a website or phone number you can use a fair bit of the ad real estate for the picture, and have a good headline and short subhead.