Creating real client relationships

As we enter the holiday season, one of the things I’m thankful for are the long lasting relationships I have with so many of my clients. It doesn’t happen automatically. It takes special effort and sincerity. It’s not enough to simply complete the work and meet deadlines. Connecting in personal ways goes a long way. Remembering birthdays, promotions and children born. Tools like Facebook make this accessible without feeling like you are intruding on their privacy. Even having lengthy heart to heart conversations on the phone when life gets tough is such an encouragement, and not just to them. Expressing appreciations of thanks either throughout the year or around the holiday season is another way to connect. I have to say that over the years, this aspect of my business has become exciting and rewarding. Here is a link to an article that goes into depth on providing exception client service and making some wonderful friends along the way.


Logos – less is better

Much has been written about the London Olympics Logo long before the games started this week. It has been called “An emblem of controversy”, some see a swastika, some read the word ZION. The games usually generate some political overtones as it is without help from it’s logo. Whether one likes it or not leaves room for personal taste. Setting limits to a design and determining the ideal elements, color etc. are discussed in this recent article. Here is a quote, “Good design is unobtrusive and well-designed, is long-lasting, and, most importantly, is as little design as possible.”

Advertising’s Golden Era

There is no doubt that Don Draper could sell ice cubes to eskimos. But could he compete with two guys who thought it would be “cool” to film themselves doing crazy things with Diet Coke and Mentos? The ad world has changed considerably since the 1960’s, but it can be debated whether for good or not. The appeal of the Super Bowl ads is to see creative, funny, memorable ads. Much of what goes viral is just plain stupid. But the numbers go up and that’s all that matters to sales. Even those outside the industry can remember such classic ads for Apple, FedEx, Coke and Wendy’s to name a few. And though many complain about the amount of advertising, we are effected and amused by them. If today is considered the “golden era” of advertising, you just hope that the industry hasn’t been compromised to the point so that anything that generates chatter becomes the new genre of communication. There are some good things that can make today’s advertisers reach their target more efficiently. Amazon for years creates custom home pages based on previous search within their site. I don’t miss smelly magic markers, rubber cement and waiting overnight to receive your type. But it’s worth noting that youtube alone doesn’t replace a talented creative team.

Print advertising dropping like a rock!

50 years of growth in newspaper advertising revenue wiped out in one decade. Wow. I guess it’s true, you either change or die. This is a stunning decline however one newspaper has seen an increase in their circulation, The Wall Street Journal. In 2003 they began to offer a paid online subscription that has stabilized their subscribers. The question is where is all this advertising revenue going today. And what will it look like in the future. See what The Atlantic has to say about this.

The decline of television and print advertising and the rise of mobile activity.


Perhaps this should not come as a surprise given the success iPhones and other smart phones. There appears to be lots of room for the emerging mobile advertising industry. This simply demonstrates media activity but the art of brand storytelling should not be underestimated regardless of the media that delivers the message. In the end, the clarity and creativity of that message will influence the success of marketing. There are some interesting notes and comments by others at the following link.

Imagery and design trends

Data from a major stock photo agency notes an emerging trend in design and imagery use globally. A significant increase in vector downloads, up 5 fold in the past 6 years. Customization and scalability are 2 reasons for the increased use. Vintage imagery, both photographic and vector have trended up as well. Shutterstock is a major provider of both styles of imagery. Their CEO notes that the nostalgic trend may be influenced by factors such as a desire for a look and feel that pre-dates the social media era and the links to more stable economic times. To view the graphic at actual size, view the following link.

Are you on Pinterest yet?

Pinterest is growing by leaps and bounds driving more referral traffic than well known sites like Google+, YouTube and Linkedin. And much of that growth has occurred in the last 6 months increasing 40 times over last June. Social marketing is changing that fast. Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board (remember those?) that allows users to share images and links they find interesting. Once shared, images become “pins” that can be viewed on thematic boards. They can be “repinned” by other users. Once you create an account, you can drive traffic back to a specific page on your website and that pin can be shared on Facebook and Twitter. So who is using Pinterest? Seems to skew towards females (apx 60%) though I’ve seen even larger percentages, and that same percentage represents the demographic of visitors between 25-54 years of age. Pinterest is image driven so a graphic has been be eye catching at a max width of 222 pixels. At this point, Pinterest is an invitation only social network and current users can invite an unlimited number of friends to the service. Read more about this new services growth.