Marketers… You Need A Benchmark!

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The late, great Yankee, Yogi Berra was a prophetic quote machine. One of my favorites has always been, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” As silly as it sounds, it’s powerful advice. When it comes to measuring marketing performance, it’s imperative to plan your path to success. With that, until you know where you’re starting (setting the benchmark), how do you know where that path will go? Setting the benchmark is important in data-driven marketing campaigns. If you have a program that measures against specific KPI (Key Performance Indicators), but have no benchmark

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The BIG 3 of BIG DESIGN: Graphic Design Tips for Vehicles and More

graphic design for vehicle graphics

There’s a certain level of excitement when we get to design vehicle graphics for clients. I mean, who doesn’t love to see their work THAT BIG!?! But every time we’re asked to scale graphics to these extremes, we stop and consider the BIG 3 challenges of BIG DESIGN. Design for resolution Design for movement Design for brand consistency So, when Capital City Fruit out of Norwalk, Iowa brought their latest delivery van concept to us for a brand wrap, before we even opened the vehicle CAD schematics and our design software, we started thinking. What could trip us up on

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Better Security and WordPress Hosting

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We were notified shortly after 3AM that brute force attacks and complex access attacks were increasing exponentially on a few of our client sites. With properly protected sites, we only had to go in and block a few (dozen) IP addresses, but with attacks jumping by MILLIONS, we’re happy to have had the protections in place to begin with.  We were able to make quick work of locking down all of our sites and fending off the attacks.

What do YOU do when your WordPress Web site is attacked?

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300 Stories – A New Year, A New Milestone

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Today, I hit 300 stories… This is a special milestone for me and SPOKE Communications. Not only from a content marketing and P.R. aspect, but because from the day I started this career I wanted to do nothing but help people tell their stories. Whatever the application – graphic design, photography, videography, copywriting, illustration, public relations, education and training, I live to tell stories. Today, I hit 300 stories (for one client).

Can I help you tell your story?

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Old is New Again in Direct Marketing Strategy: “Lumpy Mail” Wins

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Direct mail marketing programs are not dead. They should be an integral part of your Direct Marketing Strategy. Contrary to every social media super star’s testimony to the contrary, when you use “Snail Mail” to send something of value to a customer or a prospect, it’s going to get noticed. I don’t care who you are or what your thoughts are when it comes to checking the mailbox, if there’s something in there with weight, or girth – better yet, if it makes noise – you’re going to open it. And for a marketer, that’s 90% of the battle. We

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Time Has Shrunk. Has Attention to Quality as Well?

quality print design spoke communications

We made a couple text edits and sent the client a new proof of the mailer. Through the beauty of technology, we watched as they opened the email, clicked on the proof, glanced over the last round of edit requests, and snap – off to press! But something was bothering me. It was negligible, almost like a shadow that I could see out of the corner of my eye but never quite catch. Deadlines. Because of deadlines, I sent the approved art off to press anyway. That was Friday. Today, only a few days later, we’re re-ordering the print run.

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Strategy Sparks Joy and So Much More

strategic communications

Sometimes I get so laser-focused on the “day-to-day” that I forget the joy in what I do. Outside graphic design, outside web development and maintenance, outside content writing, outside video, outside all of the “tasks,” I love (pronounced “luuuuuuuv”) strategy. As Marie Kondo says, “It sparks Joy.” I love the why. I especially love the how. There’s little more exciting to me than a blank slate laid out in front of me with a goal on one end and a deadline on the other. So, Andy, how do we make the two connect? Today I set aside the “day-to-day” and

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Video Marketing and Digital Marketing Go Hand in Hand

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Many marketing companies specialize in services. We get it. Video marketing companies steer their clients to channels like YouTube and Vimeo where views and shares can be measured and tracked. Digital or social media marketing companies focus on creating content that garners search engine love as well as likes and shares through similar channels like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, email programs, and more. But why do the two have to be siloed? Technology is no longer a barrier to good marketing and storytelling. Mobile devices now have photo and video capabilities that rival many prosumer model cameras. With a little forethought

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7 Ways to Stay Top-Of-Mind and Make Marketing Connections

top of mind marketing connections

What is your brand doing to maintain relevance to its audience?  If your / your company’s brand is dependent on continued exposure in a specific market, what are the steps you’re taking to maintain that contact and staying “top-of-mind?” Back in “the day” it was a combination of marketing, advertising, public relations and good ol’ fortitude and gumption.  But today, that model has been twisted a bit. The average consumer doesn’t have a lot of faith in “traditional” advertising (check out this Nielsen study – PDF Download: 4MB).  Even online advertising has fallen to the wayside as far as credibility

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